My Biography in 500 Words

At first, I would eat anything I could get my hands on, which included bleach and matches. Sometimes on weekends, my mother would make crepes, sopping with butter and sugar, or what she called French Doughnuts, greasy and covered in powdered sugar, for my brother Scott and I, while regaling us of tales of her time spent in France. My father made pancakes for us weekdays, which were always burnt on the outside but gooey on the inside, and we refused to eat them any other way.

Summers were spent at The Ranch, where we’d wake and run as fast as we could to the main house where my Grandmother and her sisters would have made huge platters of sausages, eggs, bacon, fresh-made cinnamon buns, and huge red plastic glasses overfilled with orange juice. They would feed us until we felt like we would burst, and then they’d stuff us again at lunch with thick cut salami on crusty sourdough bread so rough it cut the roof of your mouth. Dinner was huge family style meals with homemade ravioli.

The night I found my mother lying on the living room floor, eyes rolled into the back of her head, I took a sip of her white wine, bitter, dry, and sweet, thinking it may have made her sick. I was 10 and the seizure was caused by an orange-sized tumor on her brain. When Scott was done with his chemotherapy, believing his apricot-sized tumor having been removed from his shin was gone for good, my uncle bought him unlimited video rentals at the local video store, and we would rent movies and order bacon cheeseburgers as big as your head from Chick – N – Que.

By 16 I found weed, tangy bean dip, and tortilla chips, which when applied together made for a great after school snack. I would come home and sit with Mom in her bed and feed her Hershey’s bars (with almonds), tell her about my day, and watch her stare blankly at the TV. In boot camp I cried myself to sleep many nights, wishing for breakfasts at The Ranch, forgetting about them by morning.

The day Scott died, Toph and I sat on the roof of my parent’s house and ate chunks of stale sourdough bread and drank red wine from a jug. When I first met Chandra she made a delicious baked ziti, heavy with sauce and layered with thick slices of mozzarella. We spent our honeymoon in New Orleans, where I had everything fried and found out that French Doughnuts were actually beignets. The night before I left her, we ate a salad with sliced Roma tomatoes, baked tofu, and bell peppers. The last time I got drunk it was during Thanksgiving at The Ranch, and I can’t remember what I ate, but I drank several bottles of red wine and some vanilla cognac.

Tonight I watched cartoons and ate leftover samosas from a funeral for a man I didn’t know.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this with the world. I know it is very personal. You should know I feel touched having shared this somewhat with you. Not only do you have a gift with words, you have a refreshing outlook on life and what it brings each of us. Thank you.

  2. Spencer, thank you for sharing. This is beautiful, & happy, & sad and delicious all at the same time. I love it. Just love it. Keep going please..

  3. beautiful, spencer. thank you.

  4. beautiful authobiography^_^

  5. Delicious.

  6. I would read this over and over if it didnt make me cry every time…. Thank you for sharing.


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