1,000 A.D. The Viking Norsemen that would beget the bulk of my Scandinavian heritage establish a patrilineal system of naming, in which everyone’s kid is named after their dad. North America is discovered by Leif Erickson, son of Eric Thorvaldsson, son of some guy named Thorvald, known only to history for committing murder and, being literally one of the world’s first white people, punished by being politely asked to leave Norway.
Enduring several harsh winters in a desolate region short of food, lumber or resources, Erickson would handle the crisis by calling the area “Greenland” in order to trick people to move there, thus securing his place as the first asshole in recorded history.
Nine hundred and eighty-one years later, a sliver of history is retained in my middle name, Johnson, given to me by my father, Michael. Because fuck Vikings.
December, 1989. I successfully argue to my parents that I deserve a video game system with a price far exceeding that of any other gifts requested by my siblings on the grounds that I am the only one of three children to have not required braces, and thus, if you think about it, they, if anything, owe me.
A year later, I will use a similar argument regarding being the only one among my siblings to not develop asthma as a sign of the stamina necessary to tackle the responsibility of pet ownership. My family will acquire a cat that will love me the most, largely due to my brother and sister both being allergic to it.
October, 1998. I am adamant that my life and social status is unfulfilled without having my own car, primarily the convenience of taking it to school for my senior year, a feat which for the three years prior presented no difficulty die to my high school’s one point twenty-five mile distance from my house. Most of the money I have in the world at that time will be spent on my first car, a 1993 Ford Thunderbird sedan, which cannot drive uphill during snow and some heavier rains. Ten months later I will attend college in New York City.
September, 1999. A lifelong resident of Teaneck, New Jersey, located roughly six miles from New York City, I attend NYU and insist that I live in the dorms instead of commuting to campus in order to, quote, “fully have the college experience.” I will neither date nor drink alcohol my entire four years there. As of today, eight thousand dollars remains on my student loan, though I will insist it was worth it for my highly desirable film degree.
June, 2008. Though I am not consciously aware of it, I celebrate the one hundredth time in my adult life I declare in casual conversation with someone that I would be an amazing lawyer, but I’m just not interested in it that much.
September, 2009. I celebrate the first time saying this, only for improv comedy.
Lunar Cycle 3, 2095. after eight decades of stasis and near-lightspeed travel, I awake from my cryo-pod on the surface of the red planet, one of only a few chosen survivors of the inevitable environmental apocalypse on earth, to which I partially contributed to via my need to have a television in every room of my 800 square foot apartment.
Many millions of people were abandoned to their fates, but not me, as I had claimed to the government that my unused film degree defines me as a potential documentarian, essential to preserving the history of humanity’s records necessary for study following the oncoming apocalypse. As I look into the inky void at the tiny dot that is Earth, I bask in completion of generations of destiny, as I am cemented in history as the first asshole on Mars.