For a long time, I haven’t wanted to think too deeply about the part my childhood played in my development. Nothing overtly horrible happened then, mind you. It’s just the way those experiences shaped future consciousness. We always had enough of everything in terms of material things. But what was my brain being fed?
I’ve remarked often on the pandemic’s uncanny way of exposing our inner selves and amplifying what already was there. Personally, it reminds me of the places suffering from drought, where the reservoir levels drop and expose what was flooded so long ago.
This all started when I set down to think for the first time what it meant that my father was a fervent supporter of George Wallace. Subsequently, as much as I’d love to put all this back into the box and padlock the lid, various occurrences keep triggering memories of my earlier years. Last week a very big example of this occurred when one of my closest friends in high school died.
I’m still not able to comment intelligently about his passing, apart from acknowledging considerable grief and anguish. This reaction may make more sense if you know that we didn’t have a conversation in the 40 years since; it was an estrangement at his behest, and I’ve no better idea today as to why it happened than I did at the time. Of all the male friends I’ve ever had, Mike quite might well be the only one I flat idolized. He was my hero, and he could do no wrong in high school. Now, even at the age of 60, I feel the same way in spite of it all that came between us — whatever it was.
I’ll never know what happened, and it’s a tad overwhelming, as well as a miasma compounded on a daily basis by all the rest of the bat-shit-craziness gripping the rest of you populating this failed nation.
Clearly it’s time to dispense with the narrative, 1960-1978. Perhaps I’m missing something important by closing the account, but at the same time there’s enough chaos to manage without those ghosts tormenting me.