As I reflect on some of my posts on this site, it occurs to me that it might be somewhat difficult to follow my story. One moment, I’m a university student. The next day I’m a middle schooler. Then I’m in the present. Tomorrow, I might be back in high school. The timeline of my life is all sorts of fucked. It’s marked by lots of lows, a smattering of highs, and not enough normal.
So I can appreciate when my writing seems inconsistent and leaves the reader flustered. I’m not a character. And life isn’t carefully choreographed by Oz’s man behind the curtain. Or by anyone with a defined plan for me. If that were the case, I’m sure I’d have a much easier time getting to the fucking point.
People who know my story wonder how such a bright child turned into such an angry, violent, and drunken mess.
How do I tell that story?
At the start, I played the role of the good kid. I strived to please my parents. My grades were exemplary. Those things mattered to me. When my father left, I changed. Not long thereafter, my grandfather died. And I changed. Then, my mother went back to school full time and the older kids had to grow up a little faster. So I changed a little more. When heroin started offing close friends, I changed some more. I became very angry and it seemed like no matter what I did, it was all pointless.
You didn’t think I got this fucked up by chance, did you?
It’s a process.
I attempt to tell stories, but I’m the last one who should. It’s not that my heart is two sizes too small for the task. It’s because it can fit through a keyhole. For most people, writing can be cathartic. They commiserate and have empathy. They reflect on their lives and it makes them feel better to see their events laid out on a linear timeline. Things seem reasonable that way. But what if your timeline is so disjointed you’re not even sure who you were at any given point, let alone how you felt?
I don’t like to throw myself pity parties because it was much worse for those around me. I could tell you about when my friend OD’d on black tar in front of his daughter. He was so huge that when he went into arrest, the EMTs couldn’t muscle him down the triple decker in time. His was an inglorious end to a small, shameful existence.
Now just one of so many childhood memories.
Hollywood has us programmed to expect happy endings. But I don’t have many of those. What I do have are a bunch of fucked up kids who grew into fucked up adults. Reality is less propitious than the movies.
So I skip around a bit. I’m easily distracted, and I have a tendency to digress. I don’t envy those of you along for the ride. But I can thank you for putting in an honest effort to follow me through the confusion. I’ll try to make it all come together in the end.