Ah, my life. Is it a puzzle? A labyrinth? A work of subtle fiction the author of which I am destined to eventually meet and be resolved whole by? I don’t know. Maybe you do.
I think at the extremely young end – or beginning – I was a pretty good kid. I recall my sole aim in life was to be good. Do my chores, love my sister and mom and dad, do my best in school, repent appropriately when I slipped off true moral North. There were lots of smiles, hugs and “I love you’s.” Life was good.
I don’t know what happened.
Was it Catholicism? A Father who worked too much and whom I came to know only as a punisher? Was it that my mom suffered from clinical depression? Perhaps it was the bad spirits released by the trees as one by one they were chopped down and removed in order to clear land for development. I always did love trees. Maybe it was soccer – 5 years of soccer with severe ingrown toenails. I tried to back out of it early on around the age of 9, but my parents told me I had obligated to it and had to honor my commitments. I remember not quite grasping that logic, all I knew was that my toes hurt, weeping blood and pus after every practice and game. Did I make the wrong friends? They often taunted me for “throwing like a girl” every time I was cunningly coaxed into playing a game of baseball with them and the other neighborhood boys… I got good at finding excuses to retreat to Nintendo and the land of Super Mario Brothers, where nobody told me I “threw like a girl.” Could it have been Mrs. Kiriluk? 3rd grade started off with such good promise – the first day I stayed after a bit to clean up the colored plastic blocks… and over the remaining 9 months the sought-after approval of Mrs. Kiriluk melted into her black cauldron witch-buckled shoes as stern words in a response to an initial innocent faux pas dynamoed the consistent birth of ugly pink slips sent home in disciplinary disgust. And thus that year I officially became the said and final problem in my home of rearing. A few years between of trying to keep my head above academic and social water, dog-paddle effort, eyes fixed desperately on the horizon for the ship of rescue, I remember not letting my desperation show… 6th grade and I, exhausted from 2 or so years of nearly constant dog-paddling, confused rap music with my rescue ship in a drawn out year-long delirium, and I learned to be hungry for girls and the satisfying zap and sting of curse words as they flew off my 11 year old tongue… But the girls seemed drawn to physical prowess and coordination, of which I had very little, so I compensated for the lack of almost-adolescent estrogen exploiting by stocking up on my arsenal of curse words and as the sophistication of my intellect grew along with my body hair, I began to immerse myself in the study of an imaginary world far, far away from my own – that of Black American males isolated amongst themselves in urban war zones of perpetual rage born of demographic chains I knew nothing about and had no way of comprehending or understanding – at least one would think, and so I have often been told by human beings who might just find themselves as media-labeled in same said description, both in major label recordings and in person… So that became a masochistic study of mine, rap music. I learned from guys who had a lot more real-world experience than I, albeit only being a few years older, that the cause of all the problems in the world were my family, or at least people who might just find themselves as media-labeled in same said description as my family were they ever to find themselves in a police report… Which happened, my subconscious could not deny, to include a mysterious someone I saw with increasing hatred in the mirror every morning before school. This entire developing complex of mine really came from a single source: I will call it “Please don’t make fun of me or beat me up.” Then fashion began to evolve into an issue of consequence… It really began to be a useful tool to avoid social obliteration to have a pierced ear AS LONG AS IT WAS THE LEFT ONE. Piercing the right one was a worse death-wish than not having an ear pierced at all (Einstein Middle School, Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A. – 1990 to 1992)… Mass disdain for a whole other demographic of human beings that to me was likely even more subconsciously confusing than the buried almost-as-deep confusion about the footballesque charade of white team versus black team while neither team is actually wearing black nor white, and I always liked art better anyway… I will just say God Rest Your Soul Mathew Shepard and maybe shed more sunshine on that tangent-tree later…
I think I just made it up through about 8th grade, and this could be a really long story. Obviously a great amount of thought- organization is in order.
I was getting to the here and now, being that the past is exactly as we call it, and can not be revisited outside of memory, youtube videos and that magic place where one can remain there for years on end without moving because of intense bitterness, nostalgia, or whatever other strong emotion that can only be found there.
I’m such a sucker for the past! Sorry, I had counseling today. Thursdays are like this for me. Now I am too burned out to write about the arduous, uneventful present. Coamhim.com.