I figure I'll just start from the beginning.
My first memories:
I was born August 6, 1979 in Miami, Fla at Jackson Memorial Hospital. I only know this is the truth because I have the birth certificate that lists city and state, and I've googled the hospital to make sure it's a real place. People say that very young children don't remember things, but I'm here to tell you that they do. I left Miami probably before my 3rd birthday, and I remember 3 things.
1) What the apartment complex I lived in looked like. It was white/cream stucco with brown wood crossbeams outlining focal points, to make it look fancy I guess. It also had a pool. I know I spent a lot of time there. I have a memory of running through the grass from our apartment door toward the pool. I imagine, rather, I hope that my mom or dad was close behind.
2) I remember my dad giving me alcohol and cigarettes in that apartment. The specific memory is a scene where I approach my dad, who is on the couch with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, begging to have some of what he is having. I remember tasting the drink, but I do not remember what it tasted like or whether I liked it or not. Then I remember his laughter as he held the cigarette up to my lips. I took a big breath and blew as hard as I could. Thankfully, toddlers do not understand the mechanics of smoking, so rather than coughing and choking on smoke, the cherry flew from the end of the cigarette and landed in my dad's lap. I remember his reaction. He wasn't mad. He laughed. My dad always laughed, even when we argued. I don't think he was ever really mad at me in my life. This, however, is not a romantic picture of my father ... see: next memory.
This is where baby's first memories get really ugly, and if you are not the type of reader who cares to read about, or can handle stories about domestic violence, I recommend you stop reading now.
3) This memory starts kind of in the middle of an event. I don't remember how it started. I am in my parents' bed, and they are screaming at one another. I am crying and asking them to stop yelling. Then the blows start. I don't remember who threw the first punch, but both of them threw punches. The main difference was that my mom was naked and my father was not. I don't remember what they were saying, just the noise of the yelling, the hitting, the struggle, the fear, and my cries "Please mommy! Please daddy! Please stop it!!" I don't remember how long it persisted, or how it stopped, but at some point it did. The hitting stopped, my father disappeared and my naked, bloody mother crawled into the bed where I hid, terrified, in the sheets, and hugged me. She said something that I can no longer remember. Maybe a reassurance that everything would be ok ...
So that's Miami.