“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity”
– Albert Einstein
My dad was US Navy sailor stationed on the USS Carl Vinson, aircraft carrier. My mom was born on the island Mindanao, in the Philippines. When she was old enough, she would travel north to Manila and become a maid. She met my dad when he was stationed at US Naval Base Subic Bay. In 1991, it was closed and the Philippine government reopened in 1992 as the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Three months before I was born, David Cosper and Luisa Ortega were married in 1979. I was born January 27, 1980 at 6:57 AM on a Sunday. I was 8 pounds and 8 ounces.
Richard, my brother, was born December 29 of the same year, but on a Monday. In 1982, our family moved to America. My parents had a handful of military friends and we would often move from base to base. One of my dad’s friends was a real computer hack. His name was David, too, and he loved computers as much as my dad. He made a roller ball controller for his Commodore computer system to play pong with. I played pong on the PC for the first time. It was a bootleg version. Later my dad would have several bootleg versions of games like Defender, Zork, and Sundog. I loved watching my dad play Sundog. When my dad wasn’t overseas, he was playing on the computer or he was planing our next trip to Reno, Nevada. We had a Westfalia Van our parents would pack up on a Friday and we would be on the road to Reno right after school. It took my dad 4 hours to drive to Reno from Mountain View. When they got there, they would often leave us in the van in the parking lot. Richard, Cindy and I would wait until one of them emerged from the casino. Then they would take us out for pancakes, asked if we had seen mom or dad, then take us to Circus, Circus, hand us a roll of quarters each and tell us not to leave the arcade. For hours they would leave us, checking up on us and giving us more money until they ran out. Circus, Circus is where I developed my love for Dirk, the Dragon Slayer, Gauntlet, Street Fighter, claw machines, pinball, and pancakes. After leaving us alone for hours, my parents would reward us with our face being painted.
One day while walking with my current boyfriend around downtown Las Vegas we ran across a sign.
“We Care About Your Children. Please don’t leave your kids unattended.” Especially in a parking lot in a van.