Led Zeppelin appeared on David Letterman, to talk but not to play music. I’m only a week away from a new Tolkien movie directed by Peter Jackson. I have a shoot on Saturday. I’m working a lot lately. I’m teaching two classes, not just one. My home looks pretty consistently good lately. My health improves every day and I look forward to walking at the park, even in the cold weather. It really is a strange time in my life. Instead of dreading the holidays I’m simply disinterested. I don’t hate my family, although I can’t speak to the inverse. I just don’t have anything in common with them, barely even a history. I am the youngest of 4 kids. They were all 2 years apart in age and I came so late in the game. As my mother so eloquently stated at the Thanksgiving table November in 1995, I was neither planned nor wanted. I don’t think things have changed much since I was born. I don’t see a lot of animosity regarding my station with the family. There just isn’t a lot of fondness or sentimentality either. I was treated more or less like a burden no one wanted to take a lot of responsibility for.
My siblings didn’t pay much attention to me either. I was just this incredibly odd kid with an overactive imagination and the kind of hyperactivity that in today’s world would be medicated. My dad traveled a lot and my mom would drag me to her sisters’ houses and leave me there when they went shopping or hung out.
Often stories are told of the family vacations and how I was set loose to “explore” the hotel on my own… when I was 5 years old. No one seemed to be concerned much if I were to be abducted or injured or lost. Oddly, this never bothered me, and it still doesn’t. I get to take credit for all my own decisions and who I am. I was shaped more by literature (comic books) and the fine arts (R-Rated movies).
When we moved to El Paso Texas from Ohio, things changed. One sister stayed behind and my brother was already in college and not living at home. It was a strange, unique place. I feel like my childhood and the natural transition from youth to adulthood was abruptly altered.
Without a doubt my incredible immaturity comes from this odd upbringing. I never had someone to pick on or tease, so I relentlessly tease those around me to overcompensate. When I used to babysit my nephews and niece, I was the older sibling I never got to be before. Whenever boredom kicks in, that unused part of my psyche goes into immaturity overdrive.
It’s like I never got to finish the childhood part as it was “supposed” to happen and I eternally chase this mythic piece of my soul. I can fake innocence and even taste it but it’s just a phantom of what I remember. You cannot unlearn all the darkness and cruel realities of life. It sure does sooth the spirit to indulge these innocuous and somewhat harmless follies into immaturity.
I hope no one takes offense as my 3rd grade attempts at meanness and insults. None is intended.