When I was young, grammar school young, I used to lay in the grass at school, and I would look up at the sky and wonder about clouds, where they came from, what they were made of, stare in awe at them and envision their many shapes into animals or objects in my mind. All this, starting at a much early age in my life, when everyone else was playing tether ball or engaging in playground sports, running around helter skelter and burning off excess energy, I could be found laying in the grass on my back, looking up and shaping and forming my own little world.
The hopeless dreamer.
Later on, I became the skinny little blond-headed kid who was always at the pencil sharpener, looking out the window. The troublemaker who grew up the son of a telephone man and a dominating mother, who just didn’t quite fit in, no matter how hard he tried. From the get go, this blond-headed kid did not like school and I just wanted to be anywhere but there.
Later on in life, I discovered how easy it was to forge my father’s handwriting and signature, and I then started the period we will call “the cut and run stage.” I flat made a habit of being absent, just didn’t show up, and when I did, I had the note to cover the lost time. I even had notes for my buddies, so instead of Social Studies, we had the beach, a shoplifted bottle of wine, and a lady friend with benefits if we were lucky. When you are young lad, and you first enter the world and discover that there also ladies there to share it with, well, your perspective ( and your dreams) change.
I suppose the only permanent thing we can count on in life, is change. My life radically changed and I was uprooted and sent home. Back to Oklahoma. Because of a dysfunctional family and self destructive lifestyle, I was moved out of state (this will straighten the boy up were my father’s exact words as I recall). Which I must admit worked for a little while, but soon it was the same old drill.
There were many a day that I sat on a rocky crag of sandstone rock in Purcell, known as Red Hill, and stared out over Oklahoma, searching out the landscape to the east and wondered “what was out there? Where are the big cities, the places I have yet to see?” The Impossible Dreamer, my wanderlust gene fully engaged I wondered what path in life I was to take, where would my future lie?
To this day, some fifty years later, on occasion I will sometimes stop there briefly, the view is much the same, stunning in an Oklahoma sort of way, and I reminisce about what could have been. You see, once you realize that you are a hopeless dreamer, the feeling never quite goes away, it dims with age, but it is always just below the surface at all times. With age comes a change … You often dream about different things, but that is a post for another time I suppose.
High school was a drag, thoughts of college totally out of the question. I wanted desperately to be out of my home, to be in the world sort of speaking, and to be my own. But in hindsight, looking back on it now, “this is the last place I needed to be.” Eventually because of my profound tendency to “borrow motor vehicles without the permission of their owners” (which society and municipal judges seem to frown upon) I ended up in the service and did my four years.
Which was a lot better than a reformatory or state sponsored trade school.
After The Nam and my return to The World, there were way too many drugs, drinking too much, a gentle blur of time, that for lack of a better word, was a time that was awful good to me in once sense, and terrible in the other. Wandering around America, lost as a goose, on my old Harley Sportster. Many nights sleeping under a blanket of stars, sleeping on picnic tables made of concrete in rest areas and eating beans out of can with my fingers. It was believe it or not, a profound period of my life, that I now treasure and look back on fondly.
But all good things eventually come to an end.
You need money, scratch, scrilla to get by in life, there is “no free lunch.” I began working for a living, or rather, trying to make a living and I grew up. It was a time, when I was forced to mature for lack of a better word. I was among grown-ups now, and they challenged me on everything.
What I thought, my politics, my beliefs, my seemingly hostile attitude and my desire to not fit in. Then one day, something clicked and I realized, “this is real life, you can day-dream all you want, but here is the reality. You are what you are … and this is what it is. Deal with it.”
So if you managed to hang in there this far, here is the take away.
Be careful, mighty careful about what you wish for or dream of in life. Odds are what it is that you are secretly pining for in the quiet moments of the day, is not going to happen, but there is the remote possibly it could and if it does and you are not ready for it, it will eat you up in a heartbeat of time.
You could find yourself cruising down a one-way street in time and as we all know there just isn’t any turning around and going back.