There are times in our lives when the choice's we make can take us from a smooth high to a rocky low. It can bypass a huge mountain peak or head straight down into the valley. I often ponder the times when air was taken from my gossamer wings and dropped me like a rock off a mountain. The drop's would occur so fast that there was not enough time to prepare for the crash landing. We have been told of the crash and burn experience but for me it would become a crash then create a wake up call. People have asked in past conversations, have there been any regrets in my life, but quite frankly there have been none. Does regret mean, to deny your choices that didn't turn out or to be sorry that the situation even occurred? Either way for me the answer would still be a big fat NO REGRETS. I am however, sensitive to the fact that certain decisions did not work out and often anxiety has filled me with the "if only I had" preface but the amount of incredible realization that stemmed from the outcome's of those unfortunate decisions could never go unnoticed on the path to growing up.
I was a young force to be reckoned with and it was not an easy thing for parental guidance to prevail. No matter how dysfunctional the family unit may have been there were moments of love that prevailed and at rare times was felt in the rooms we lived in. When the moments of trouble appeared for me, I came to learn the art of mind manipulation and strategic planning on how to avoid the consequences of my own decisions. While most parents planned some sort of punishment for the unfortunate conclusion, I had already plotted my way around it. The uncanny part was how did I acquire the mind thought in how to rise above their action. I had seen the results of those punishment decisions laid on my brother and how they never were followed through. I would go beyond accepting punishment and reject anything that did not fit in with my game plan. There would always be the storm warnings and most of the time I would heed them but there were plenty of times that I would navigate from them and be dropped into the eye of my own hurricane.
When I first recognized that the dreams that you so believe in can happen, there would be no turning back for me. I began to spin dream webs as fast as a summer spider could make his web. The ideas and dreams came in units and all with an urgency that demanded my full attention as there seemed to be never enough time to complete one before going on to another. I lived within the walls of my mind and each premonition assured me that I was on the right path. It was a gift that would be recognized more fully in my adult years. When most preteens were caught up in the wake of their peers, I took the road less traveled in order to not get lost in the traffic. I choose to keep myself out of prepubescent evilness and stay within my own private safety range. I was becoming more aware of just how fickle young kids could be. That new awareness would make it hard for me to settle in to friendships. The friendships that I made were all very similar to the kind of personality that I possessed and we had the common sense to look out for each other. We were a unique bunch and stayed out of the maddening crowd.
That summer of 1962 seemed to never end. So much had happened in that time that paved the way for the road that I would take toward many future ideals. I would have no idea to where the roads were to take me but I definitely walked my yellow brick road and never felt the need to look back. Having been shown that anything is possible I would begin to sense the need to leave my hometown. I knew that it would not offer what I wanted to pursue. So much was happening in our country that I became aware of the advances in our culture and took notice of the fear of war. Those day's of Florida living were resolutely recounted by the endless commercials of how Cuba was 90 miles from our doorstep and how we had to be aware in our school about the dangers of a nuclear bomb. The constant drilling of duck and cover became a weekly routine before our classes would start. I found it quite amusing and soon learned how easy it was to stay under my desk waiting for a bomb that never came, but it did allow me five minutes of uninterrupted transistor radio time with my favorite DJ. It would also cost me dearly for the many ear jacks that would be yanked from my ears in doing so.
I lived for the music and the lyrics that spoke of all the unrequited loved and hope of love. I did not know exactly what it was but I wanted my part of it. It would prove to be a bit discerning as I did not have the same biological makeup as most boys came with. My attraction seemed very strongly to the same sex and it would prove to be a hard understanding of what the heck was going on. I do remember that I had a crush on someone who also let it be known that the feelings were mutual. It would begin the journey to recogonizing that other people felt the way that I did about sexual identity. My flight to personal identity was thin and transparent. I had nothing to hide. The air underneath my gossamer wings would support the lift and the energy current would move me to the places that I wanted to be. For I was not afraid of who I was, I was just afraid of who I did not want to turn out to be.