Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Contradiction

  My first year in college was a time for change and growth. I left the small town way of life behind and in braced the city of Seattle. Compared to cities back east, Seattle is still a small town. But the lessons I needed to learn wasn't from the fact it was large but it was far away from what I considered home. That first year noted changes in my life that could have only have happened that far from home. I saw love and cruelty; I saw sadness and hope at every turn. Evil and good made their home on every corner and I lost myself somewhere along the way.
  Someone smarter than me once said that in order for a boy become a man he must kill his father’s image that he holds up to the light. Now, I am sure he didn't mean to kill my father, but he did mean for me to forget that my father was an all powerful man.  When we are small we look up to our parents as man looks to God. They give us everything and ask little in return.  I got away from my parent early and grew years beyond from the way I was when I left. I learned more about the world in the first 6 months in Seattle than in the first 18 years of my life.
  I picked up a hooker once. I was driving and this woman was hitch-hiking on highway 99, just over the boarder to king county. She wore tight shorts and a bikini top. Just the kind of girl you wouldn't take home to your parents. Well, long story short my passenger announced she was a working girl and I asked her how far she wanted to go up road before I dropped her off. I wasn't mad at her, I was mad at myself for not seeing just what she was doing standing on the side of the road in the middle of the night.
  Then there was the guy that wanted to go into the woods at night with me.  Never took him up on that offer and I am glad I didn‘t.  He claimed to be looking for Meteors. I just didn't trust him. Something was wrong about him. I laughed at this the day he was picked up by the police for assault.  Never heard anything else about him but I wondered for years if I would have every stepped from the woods if I had walked into the secluded spot with him as he had wished.
  Once I was standing at the entrance to a library and met up with a friend. He introduced me to a group of six of his friends as they filtered out of the double doors. One looked at me and said, "He looks harmless enough."
  I told her my name was Todd, Todd Bundy.  Only one of the seven understood what I was saying. She became my girlfriend of the month. I had peaked her curiosity and she liked to live dangerously as I soon found out.  Watch the movie, Blind Date starring Bruce Willis.  Our dates were a lot like that movie, fast and dangerous.  What was I expecting from a woman that wanted to go out with a serial killer's relative?
   Then there was the Goth crew I tagged along with, today they would have been considered Emo, but we didn't use labels back then. We just hung out at dance clubs and Denny’s restaurant all night. I loved the music the most. It was loud and probably the reason I have a little hearing loss today. We listened to heavy metal and punk while enjoyed each others company. When we were together I wasn’t depressed and wasn’t sad. I was me.
  I liked to dress in black; it really fit my mood about life.  I like the music and the group as a whole; they let me hang out with them excepting me almost from day one. I can only remember faces today and this makes me sad. There was Robert our leader and Pete he liked to play the air drums, but for the life of me I can’t think of the rest of their names. I get flashes of their faces and that is all. Like young it is probable best that I don’t jump into those memories very long.
   I met my crew at a club up from my apartment. It was called 'Tuneups and Beats’ or ‘turn up the beats.’ For six months I would go there and hangout with my new friends. Night after night, I would go out and be myself, a depressed young man in a room full of depressed teenagers. My parents called them death-mongers. They were referring to the fact that they believed that my new group of friends were a bad influence and promoted death. I liked them all the same, they understood me, or at least I thought they did. I wore black clothes with no labels, untied boots and always a hoody. I wore chains around my ankle and used one as a belt. Yes, I was back to my same old ways that I had introduced to my school years before.  I would wear my hair long in the front and hide from sociality.
   I started to use stiffing gel on my hair and going to college dress that way.  I quickly learned that people judge you on how you presented yourself.  I was surprised that I failed a class. Going back I figured out that she (The Teacher) was using her power of grading to punish me. I never understood that. She believed that she thought she knew what I was and that I was something that she didn't approve of; she may have been right but what business was it of hers.
   What I wore didn't define me. I had learned this in college and high school. I also learned that you can’t please everyone. Wearing black doesn't make you want to kill yourself and wearing pink doesn't make you gay. Acting grown up doesn't make you an adult. (That lesson took the longest to learn.)
   I learned a lot that year. I learned that people are cruel and unforgiving when you thought they should they would be kind and then I are surprised at the people that I thought were mean were really nice.  I told a story about a chess match the other day. There was more to the story, trust me there always is more to the story. I didn't mention that I was dressed in all black and angry at the world. I sat there dressed in Goth, with a chain around my ass playing chess by myself. I was a contradiction in terms. I did mention that I was depressed and I guess that is why it was so easy for me for fall into a group as with the crew. We were a band without instruments, each had a part to play in our concert we called life.

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