Melancholy

This time of year gets me a little down.1  Today, marks the anniversary of my beloved Coopers’ death. I am not sure how he touched me so deep, but I still long for him. The intensity of his death has diminished but the longing for him is as strong as ever. He barreled into my life like a little dynamo and I was better for it. His absence is felt often but more so this time of year.

Next month also marks the anniversaries for the death of both my father and mother, albeit decades apart. Their anniversaries are less than 2 weeks apart. I’ve mentioned before the memories of my mother have become dull. I still have a funeral card to keep her face alive in my mind; however, the memories themselves tend to blur after so many years. I was 5 when she passed. I’ve always wondered how my life would have turned out had she survived her battle with cancer. I can’t honestly say I knew her well enough to know what she would have thought of me being gay. I like to think she would have come to terms with it. The story of my adoption leads me to believe this. For those of you who have not read my history here, I was abused/neglected as an infant. In a defiant act to my birth father, my birth mother asked her friend, my soon to be Aunt, to adopt me. It was out of the question for various reasons so she brought me to her brother, my soon to be foster dad. The story goes that once my foster mother held me in her arms and saw how terrible I looked, that was it it was decided. So yeah, I like to think, however much it might have pained her, she would have come to terms with it, or at least that is what I tell myself. I do remember my mother was gentle but utterly fearless when confronted. I’ll never know and I’m ok with thinking she would have accepted me.

My father and I were estranged for a long time after my abrupt departure from home. We didn’t speak for many years and even after that it was always strained. We never regained the bond that a father/son normally reach to some degree in adulthood. We did get closure together before his death. I say we because I got a closure I didn’t realize at the time that I needed. I now remember him with sorrow for the relationship we could have had together had he not rejected me at such an early age. I find the pain/trauma of my childhood has taken a backseat to the regret of never having a better relationship with him. I do wonder if I had tried harder to mend fences and be closer after our reconciliation if things would have been different between us. I didn’t feel the onus was on me, but now that he is gone it is one of my regrets nonetheless.

It was several years after the death of my father before I realized my melancholy moods around this time of year had meaning. When I notice the turn of my inner mood I now reach for the memories. There is some joy in it as well. In recent years, my memories of Cooper have tended to blend with my thoughts of the past. I guess with the anniversaries being so close it makes sense. As I’ve aged, I have also found many of the good memories from my childhood sprinkled in amongst all the painful ones. I discovered I find solace in remembering the past. In a weird way I think I look forward to it. I am not one to dwell on the past, but pulling up the memories strengthens me today in the now. I pull the memories up, even some of the painful ones and I remember. I remember what got me here and I remember who I am because of my past.

Be well, my friends.

  1. As apposed to the madness we are slowly coming out of now in the political world []

Playing It Straight

I was chatting with a FB friend the other day who came out late in his life. He asked me if I had ever thought of going thru life pretending to be straight. He was shocked when I shared the idea had never even occurred to me.

If you’ve been here long enough1, you’ll remember I “left’ home at a very early age. I was also sexually active very early. That said, at the time I still wasn’t actually sure I was gay. When I told my dad on that fateful day, I remember just telling him I liked having sex with guys, not that I was gay. It might seem like I was dense but I had no idea what it was to be gay. All I knew were the stereotypes thrown around every day.  My understanding of “being gay” meant I had to be super effeminate , wear dresses, or want to have sex with animals or kids. And while I turned myself into a stereotype many years later, at that time none of those things applied to me. It wasn’t like I could talk or ask anyone about it. There were no cell-phones, internet, or social media back then. My small town didn’t have ‘dirty magazines’, much less gay ones. We lived so remote we didn’t even have a landline phone.  For a few years I thought I was a straight guy that just liked sucking cock on the side. I kid you not, I thought that way.

Fast forward to my early 20’s, I survived my stepmother’s torment, being thrown out on the street, M’s death, and a near suicide. These things changed me so deeply I can understand why it never occurred to me. The evolution of my understanding and acceptance of myself negated the very idea of pretending. It just wasn’t an option. I could theorize over it but that seems pointless.

My friend was flabbergasted by my story. He just assumed we all hid it when we were kids. Funny how we go thru the world projecting our assumptions. I was a bit shocked he thought all the guys in our age group hid it until we were older.  He was married to a woman. No kids, but not from the lack of ‘trying’ as he put it. He also shared with me he felt ashamed to bottom until he was almost 50. I can’t say that surprised me. Too many fellow homos carry this nonsense around in varying degrees to this day. He also shared with me the torment he lived with knowing he was living a lie. He both loved and resented his wife because of his secret. He was careful to avoid anything “too gay”, lest he be discovered.

It was a very interesting perspective to me because it was so foreign to my own story. It was a really good conversation. Anyone having to hide who they are doesn’t have it easy, regardless of the circumstances. My struggle was and is but one of many.

At this moment in my life, most of my coming out is a dull memory vs the sharp stabbing pain it used to be. And while I have wondered at times what my life would have been like had I not come out when I did, it is not from a sense of wishing it so.

  1. oh you single digits few []

Goodbye My Precious

We had to say goodbye to Cooper yesterday morning. His breathing had become impacted by the tumor pressing against his lungs. He was simply experiencing too much discomfort and I couldn’t stand to see him suffer. Any doubts I had about rushing it were swept away the night before.

Cooper

I kept saying out loud we’d have him for a few more months but inside I knew we didn’t have much time. The tumor was growing quickly. My only hope was that it might grow at an angle that let him enjoy a few more months. Sadly, it was not to be. I’m grateful he declined so quickly to avoid any unnecessary suffering on his part. However, I miss him so much already. I do not think I’ve ever been so attached to a companion. I never realized how much of my daily schedule included him. Everything reminds me of him and sends me into a new fit of tears.

His life started rough as he was abandoned. When he came into my life he rescued me just as much as I rescued him. I needed him without even realizing it. He gave me so much and asked so little in return. I am happy to know I gave him a good life. He was most definitely loved. I could go on and on about all the wonderful ways he enriched my life. He was not just a pet. He was my friend and companion.

As painful as it was, I was there in his final moments. I couldn’t imagine not being there. My only goal was to keep him from being scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved. We got to play with him a bit before the end and it was a joy to see him come alive in those last moments together. He lived for butt scratches and we gave him so many along with happy words. It was an absolute joy to see him shrug off his discomfort long enough to enjoy the attention and love.

I held him as he drifted off. I spoke sweet words of love in his ear and kept my tears at bay until he had passed. He was a light in my life and my life is diminished without him in it. My Cooper Pooper, my “precious”, my love bug. . . you are missed and still loved.

My heart is broken now. And while it will heal, it will always have a mark from you.

Ghosts of the Past

I haven’t talked about my “issues” here in a long time. Truth is, I haven’t felt bothered by them so there wasn’t a need.

Today, I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of my past. I can’t say anything triggered it. Maybe it’s just ‘my time of the month.’ I’m not depressed by the memories, even though most of them aren’t great. I just can’t seem to shake the progression. One memory will trigger another and down a rabbit hole of deep thought I go…

Anyhoo, it’s been mostly about my step-mother, her family, and my angst at them for never intervening when they saw my step-mother abuse me. I know they recognized it because I would sometimes overhear the adults (her siblings) asking my step-mother, “why are so mean to that boy?” My cousins would just ask me directly. Or they would discuss it amongst themselves in front of me. For many years growing up I worshipped and hated them at the same time. When my family from her side visited, I got a reprieve from the mental torment. It meant things would be more bearable, even if it was just a long weekend. Of course, when they left, I suffered even more for my apparent ‘slights’ while they had been visiting. It was in those moments I hated them most.

When I left home none of them made much effort to stay in touch. To be fair, neither did I. They represented a connection to “her” that was to be avoided. It wasn’t like I was overly stable anyway and there was no cell phones, texting, or even internet. But I didn’t understand that then. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve slowly opened a window to them on Facebook. Being an adult now, my view of them has been complicated. At first, I was resentful more of them didn’t reach out to me. But, I realized that wasn’t fair either. Their lives diverged from mine and I was a distant memory. They had as much reason to reach out to me as I did to them. And it wasn’t like I made a lot of effort either. I kept them at arms length. A small handful made an effort to at least reconnect and “know” me a bit. I’m grateful for that. Our lives are so distant and different so that is pretty much where it ends. We keep a cursory connection at best.

And as expected, many of them tend to be Trump supporters. This isn’t much of a surprise. I only mention it because I routinely chime in when I see them sharing absolute made up stories that reinforce their biases. Reconciling my childhood view of them with my adult exposure has been easier than expected. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. lol

Anyway, I don’t have any wisdom to share. I’m just putting thoughts to pad to help me drag the triggers and emotions out into my conscience id so I can examine them properly. I’ll post more if I figure anything of value out.

47

I’m officially 5 years older than the meaning of life and everything! As I move into my 47th year, I don’t really feel 47. Or more astutely, my mindset doesn’t feel 47. Three years away from being officially ‘ancient’ in gay terms. (I’m totally kidding)  It’s an odd juxtaposition; in some ways I feel my age and others I still feel like I’m in my 30’s. I know, I’m a weirdo, what’s new? hehehe

So what pearls of wisdom can I share having made it this far? Just be the best you you can be. Don’t put expectations from others on yourself. Don’t live for others, live for yourself. Accept your failings while striving to overcome them, whatever that might be.

Shawn and I were actually flying home on my birthday. Shawn had to go to Nashville for work so I took the opportunity to tag along to see my brother. He is about 3 hours south of Nashville. Sadly, I didn’t get any time to sneak over to meet Large Tony.1  The trip went as smoothly as one could expect. The flights on Virgin America (while it still exists) were very comfy and on time. Not a single complaint. Other than being freezing cold in TN, the trip went off without any major problems as well. It was good seeing my little brother and my nephews/nieces.

I’m Southern but they sure do like their boots in Nashville. There was a boot store practically every 20 feet in the business district.  Anyway, we flew home on my birthday but we celebrated with my brother and his family the night before. They all got to meet Shawn for the first time. Of course, they liked him.

Shawn got me VIP tickets to see the Bianca Del Rio comedy show coming up in March. She is by far my favorite from Drag Race. She has gone on to do bigger and better things and is funny as hell! I found out by following her on IG we have several of the same idols from childhood. I’m definitely excited to see her show in person.

So now what? I’ll keep being me. Not much has changed. I appreciate the wisdom age brings but I still don’t feel it. Maybe when I’m 50?

  1. One of these days… []

Anniversary of Mom’s Death

I think this is the first year I haven’t been sad during the anniversary of my mother’s death. It snuck up on me and the grand day arrived before I even knew it.

In year’s past, without even realizing it on a conscious level, I would get sad for anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. I’d start searching my thoughts and feelings to figure out what was wrong and realize it was her anniversary. And for you long-time readers, I’m sure you know I’m referring to my foster mother, not my step-mother.

I’d like to think I’ve reached a point of happiness and contentedness in my own life that I no longer yearn for her in my life. She was only in my life for a few brief years as a child but all my best memories of childhood revolve around her. Even though I was adopted1, I never felt like she treated me any different. I was her baby boy and the memories I have of her are full of love and good things.

For most of my adult life I always wished she was still around. I felt like I needed her. I felt like if she’d survived that brutal fight with cancer my life would have been vastly different. I can’t know for sure how things might have been different. My soul ached for her in the early (miserable) days of adulthood. I still remember crying myself into exhaustion on her grave one year in my late 20’s. I’d been away for several years and felt like I was disrespecting her memory. I was so lost as a person back then. I felt robbed of her love and potential influence. I remember being embarrassed it took longer than I thought it should to find her plot. The cemetery had grown and changed over the years and many of the familiar markings were gone. I remember how completely adrift, cold, and utterly alone I felt when I left her grave that day. It was probably the second saddest day in my life.

Obviously, I survived and moved forward. And yet, every year around this time a wave of sadness would hit me. Some years I knew in advance and embraced it, other years it just happened and I would scramble to figure out why I was so sad. This year the big day came and I was fine. It was a shock to look down at my phone and realize the day. I felt a small pang of sadness for a moment and then smiled.

I still remember her and wish she had been a bigger part of my life. I still wish she was here in this world with me. None of those things have changed. So what has changed? I haven’t forgotten her. Is it just time and age? It might be a bit of both but I like to think it’s another sign I’ve grown up. Gone is the injured boy locked inside the body of a young adult man. In his place is a man mature and experienced enough to handle the world and his own shortcomings head on. It’s certainly been a struggle but I like to think that. I think she would be proud of the man I’ve become.

The memories of her grows slightly more fuzzy every year now. It used to be so crisp and firm in my mind’s eye. I still remember her face but even it is starting to change. I don’t have many pictures of her but the few I do have help me keep her face alive in my memory. I have zero contact with anyone from her side of the family. I haven’t seen any of them in over 25 years. (Many of them didn’t like that I was adopted, from what I’ve been told) There is only my older brother and myself now to remember her. He is in prison and he never talks about her. We’ve never discussed her once since she died actually. He is many years older than me and we were never overly close, even back then. I certainly wasn’t the little brother he wanted. But, as long as he and I remember her, she still lives.

  1. I didn’t know it at the time. []

Trip 

​I’m headed to the big state of Tennessee next weekend to see my little brother. It just so happens to be Halloween weekend as well. I didn’t really want to go on said weekend, but it was actually the cheaper weekend to fly. Who knew? 

Anyway, I’ve only been to TN and that was a few years ago. Actually, almost 3 years ago to the month. I went for some extended work training related to a software project I had been assigned to at the time. I did get to see him then briefly. I’m looking forward to seeing my little brother, my nephews and nieces, and meeting some of his new extended family.1  They seem to treat him well and he has really taken to them so I am happy for them. My little brother felt a bit alienated after both our parents passed away. He, being the youngest and still living at home, obviously struggled with it. Having found a new extended family has been very good for him. 

Of course, I’m also a tad leery. My little bro and I had a huge falling out a few months back. It ended up being a big misunderstanding and we patched it all up; however, we know each other. I do not know his extended family yet. I will do my best to keep politics off the radar. My little brother doesn’t vote and has never even registered to vote so his opinions on politics are often tolerable. That said, I’ve already admonished my little bro to have them keep politics off the table as well. If you read me with any regularity, you know I ain’t shy and I sure as hell won’t be silent. But, I expect it to go ok. He knows me and knows we see things a bit different. He also doesn’t want us to fight. It’s a short trip.

I’m going for the obvious reason, I’d like to see my brother. I’m also going because he’s been having surgeries for degenerative bone disease in his back and neck. Poor thing, he neglected some previous health problems that have led to this. Anyway, he just finished surgery #2 and will probably have to have at least 1 more at some point. They are fusing some discs together to help him regain some mobility and movement. He will never be able to go back to being a volunteer fire-fighter or any job that requires a lot of physical activity. He will (hopefully) be able to go back to some form of work but it’s all still up in the air for now. He is really depressed over it and I know a visit, even a quick one, will cheer him up immensely. He’s already so excited and texting me all the places he wants to show me.  

Unfortunately, it’s only for a weekend. It sucks a big chunk of time is wasted commuting. The three hour time difference really eats up the time off. But some is better than none and as I said, I know it will cheer him up. I’d things go well with his new extended family, I’ll try to plan a longer trip in the next year. 

I might also get to meet a famous blogger I’ve been dying to meet for years! Lol It’s a short trip so timing will factor in heavily, but I’m hoping to finally meet my friend and long-time fellow blogger Large Tony!

  1. He got remarried a few years ago and I have yet to meet anyone beyond his new wife. []

Stuff

I haven’t really talked about my ‘stuff’ lately, or not in the sense I used to here. And that is totally a good thing! For over a decade, I’ve used my blog to air out my doubts, fears, demons, and general thoughts on life. I started out blogging for fun. It was new, exciting, and totally inline with a desire to chronicle my life. It quickly turned into an outlet to work on my failings. I felt adrift in so many ways for so long and finding an outlet that gave me an opportunity to focus on myself was a life-saver. I don’t say that casually. Thru my struggles here I have become a better person. And as I age and move thru life, the new habits are becoming set and I am stronger than I’ve ever been.1

*Note – This started as a quick update and Jesus, Mary, Joseph, & John it turned into a long winded rant! Grab some coffee*

Lately, in almost a weekly occurrence I’ve observed or experienced small happenings that I would have reacted to in a completely different (read ‘bad’) manner in the past. And I am continually grateful that I can see past things that would have also hurt me in the past.2 If anything, I’m feeling a little sad at how many people I encounter who are so adrift in life like I was for so many years.

I used to think what I did wasn’t really that unique. I’m discovering it really isn’t that common at all. And I’m not sure what made me unique. Was it the resilience I developed from years of mental abuse as a child? Was it learning how to be introspective? Was it blind fate? All of the above? I don’t know. It is hard to express outwardly how far I’ve come. I’ve gone on and on here ad-nauseam about it I’m sure. I struggle to put into words how my mental framework has shifted over the years. And to see me in person, you would notice some differences but you probably would never know otherwise.

I’ve always been good at hiding my personal demons. Call it an unexpected gift from childhood. Not many folks, even my closest friends, really knew how hard it was for me to get by at times. On a related tangent, as hard as my early life was, I was so rarely depressed. The brush with suicide gave me a renewed energy and to this day I can’t help but wonder if that one moment saved me continuously over and over. Now that I think about it, not being depressed made it quite easy to hide everything else. Back on topic, my crippled little id hopped along adapting or borrowing coping-mechanisms as fast as I could find them. The best and simplest exampled involved crossing the street. Yeah, you read it right. I would develop so much conflict in the act of crossing the street at an intersection when cars and people were present. There was this prevailing idea that every person in their fancy cars could see how worthless I was. And they were judging me for my failures and inadequacies. Inadequacy was at the heart of my existence then. I felt unworthy of the simple act of existing. And lest you think me joking, yes I felt that every time I crossed a f**king street alone!

Now imagine the conflict that ensued when my logical and not too terribly unintelligent mind ran into that every time I engaged in life events. Going to a bar was an experiment in how well I could hide the pain while desperately seeking someone to fill the void of loneliness, thru sex or companionship. Picture me trying to reconcile that I’d rather be a top in bed but felt so unworthy of the act I made myself bottom for others. Oh yeah, shit just got real! lolol I made myself into a stereotype (on varying levels) just so I could feel accepted. Most people would kill to avoid being a stereotype and there I was molding myself into one.

It easy for me to laugh now. And even though words fail me at times, these are the examples that really demonstrate the degree of dysfunction inflicted upon me. And to have successfully dragged myself out of that will always be my biggest life’s achievement. One might think it a low bar but such a simple change in focus radiates thru everything I do and am now.

Now I find myself struggling with a way to share this with others and help them grow. Trying to explain it doesn’t seem to do the trick. I’ve tried a few times and it didn’t work. How do you help someone see something they aren’t yet ready to see? I don’t have the answer for that one….yet! *scratches head*

Hope springs eternal…

  1. Who says a bitch can’t work on the outside AND the inside?! heehee []
  2. Hurt is such a simple word but covers a whole host of sins we inflict on ourselves or allow others to inflict upon us []

D&D

Today marks the anniversary of my Mom’s death. She died when I was young. For some reason this year I’ve been thinking of her a lot. She always pops into my mind around this time but this year it seems more insistent. It has been almost a daily occurrence for the last few weeks. A memory will randomly pop into my head or something will invoke a memory of her.

It has been long enough now the memories are beginning to get fuzzy. Some of them used to be crystal clear and others were always fragmented. I was so young at the time. There are a still a few memories that feel so real and vivid. I think I’ve mentioned different memories in past rants. For whatever reason, I have a lot of good memories of her sewing. She enjoyed it so I think I picked up on that. Anyway, she’d be sewing away and randomly look up to see what kind of mischief I was into. On one particular day she paused and looked up at me and to her surprise, I was looking back at her rather intently. She asked what I was doing and I just stared at her. She smiled, I smiled and the moment was gone. She went back to her sewing and I went who knows where to get into mischief. I wasn’t thinking anything overly important or specific. I’m not even sure why this one memory is still so strong. I might have been 3 or 4 at the time. I wasn’t 5 because that’s when the cancer diagnosis came and my life went crazy for awhile.

The anniversary of my dad’s death is only a few days from hers. While my dad’s death is much more recent, it doesn’t seem to invoke the same type of memories for me. While he and I patched things up at the end, we were very distant for a good chunk of my life. I’m sure that is why the memories are different. Anyway, I remember my mom’s hair, the scrunched up face she would make during moments of deep concentration. I remember her kind smile and even the thin line her lips made when she was angry. I remember she always liked having me with her. She never made me feel like a nuisance or a hassle. I had a habit of walking into the kitchen and just snuggling up against her leg rather absent-mindedly while she was cooking. I remember my little rocking chair that I absolutely loved. It was in the shape of a horse and it was one of those fixations that kids sometimes get with certain toys. I remember it breaking in the middle of the night one time and I cried and cried. My mom made my dad go out that night and find a piece of wood to fix it. He took it in the back room, patched it up and even fixed one of the little eyes that had come loose. I was beyond gleeful and grateful.

I don’t really know why she is on my mind so much this year. I miss her though. I wish she’d had a chance to see me grow up. I can’t say how she would have taken my being gay but I can’t help but think my life would have been better back then had she been around. She always seemed to be the warm spot for my dad. Oh they fought and sometimes like cats and dogs, but they always made up. Ironically, the best memories of my father are the short years between my mom’s death and him remarrying.

There isn’t any sense romanticizing about what might or might not have happened. My life is what it is and I am where I am because of my life. I talk about her here is so I don’t forget her. She is alive in my memories and if I keep those alive, she will live with me. And even though I probably view her thru the eyes of a small child, I still remember and that is enough for me.

Runaway

I took a call the other day about a runaway child. For whatever reason, it reminded me of some of my own attempts to leave home as a child. I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned it here but I ran away a few times when I was young. Ok, more than a few, 4 times total before finally leaving for good. Are you ready for this? The first time I was around 5 years old! That particular time I wasn’t running away so much as running from my oldest sister’s house to my aunt’s house, where I believed my dad was. It was right before my foster mom passed away. I was feeling particularly lonely considering my dad spent all his time at the hospital. As a child I couldn’t rationalize the fact my mom/dad couldn’t be with me. All I knew is I was left w/my very mean older sister who didn’t seem to like me much and salvation wasn’t far away. Obviously, I made it fine, but it is not the actual story I wanted to share today. hehehe

Fast forward many years, my dad had remarried to my step-mother and things were not good at home. I was still in junior high at the time. If I remember correctly, I think I was in 5th grade. It was 5th or 6th grade, I can’t remember for sure at the moment. The point is I was bored in school so I routinely cut up in class. I was mischievous and hyper active so it shouldn’t have been a real surprise to anyone. And being bored meant poor grades. My dad also had a temper and was prone to fits of rage when he felt he was being challenged.1 He knew I was smart so he assumed I did it on purpose. I’d previously survived a round of whoopings due to said grades and he told me if I got any more F’s on my report cards, I was in for a doosy of a beating. And trust, I believed him! He’d been particularly thorough in his last attempt to set me straight. I knew if I came home and showed him my report card w/three F’s on it, I was in for a good whooping. The kind that left bruises and made me walk/sit funny for a few days.

Report card day arrives and I get off the bus at the road that leads to our place.2 I was alone that day and the fear took over. With no thoughts to how, why, or even where, I ditched my books and fled. I didn’t stay on the paved road as I was afraid my parents would drive by and see me. This was the piney woods of East Texas. There wasn’t much development back then so it was easy to just run through the woods to avoid being seen. I remember making a diagonal line to avoid subdivisions that I knew existed. At this point I’m driven by fear of the coming beating and a little excitement. I loved being outdoors so had little fear of the woods. I knew what the woods held and not much scared me.

I made it about 3 miles the first day. Having realized I didn’t bring anything with me and it was getting chilly, I meandered back toward places I knew where people lived. I spent the first night in the a ceramic storage shed behind the house of one of my school mates. They rode rode the bus to school with me every day. Having been there before with my parents for ceramics, I knew there was plenty of stuff to keep warm so I settled on hiding out there overnight. I covered myself in shredded paper used to stuff boxes. I can still remember giggling at the idea of being a hamster. I got a nice surprise the next day when I found a box of twinkies that made for a lovely breakfast (It is odd how certain moments stick with you over time).

I start out the day knowing I have to head deeper into the woods as I’m approaching more populated areas. It must have been close to winter because I had a lite coat on and it was definitely chilly out. I remember at one point ditching my very tiresome cowboy boots at a rest stop that was along several of the paved roads I had to cross along the way. They were my favorite boots but I was tired and couldn’t bear taking them with me. It helped I had my gym shoes in my school bad. I zigzagged through the woods for most of the day. It wasn’t until I started getting hungry that doubt crept into my mind. I trekked on until it started getting dark again. I’d now been gone more than 24 hours. I started getting cold and hungry. It was then I realized I had no idea where I was going or how I was going to survive on my own. My fear of getting a whooping shifted to fear of my future. I had no idea where I was going. Of course, a kid that young can’t really rationalize properly. I started crying and decided to turn myself in. I remember thinking that to myself. lol

I made a bee-line for the closet rode and by the time it was almost completely dark I made it. I’m only about 10 miles from home by car. Considering how much I zigzagged I probably walked over 15 miles. The first car driving by stopped and picked me up. I was crying and they managed to get it out of me that I ran away and wanted to go home. I pointed out the way and they drove me all the way there. Good lawd was there a ruckus going on! There were 3 game-wardens, a sheriff cruiser, and several other random cars parked by the road side. They had passed out radios to people and a lot of really nice people were looking for me. Apparently, the way I ditched my books turned out to look very suspicious and everyone thought I had been abducted. God what a mess I had created. The lovely folks who picked me up were super sweet. And in the midst of all this fuss, I can remember the very handsome man riding shotgun that let me sit in his lap! Even then I was incorrigible.

My dad arrives in short order and is overwhelmed. Even my stepmother looked relieved to see me. Anyway, I kept my mouth shut as to why I fled; I was afraid my dad would get in trouble. As everyone left and things returned to normal, my dad came back to me and we had a talk. I told him why I ran away thru tears and a death grip on his neck . It was one of the few times I saw my dad look vulnerable. He hugged me, told me he loved me, and told me he never wanted me to scare him like that again. I promised I wouldn’t.

So, in the end I actually didn’t get a beating. lol Even more amusing, my siblings were all amazed I made it so far on my own. I think they saw me as weak and didn’t think I had it in me. Now that I think about it, both my older brothers treated me a little better after that. There was less teasing and being treated like the annoying little brother. My older brother actually left home for good not long after that. I always wondered if he felt I had one-upped him by running away.

*

Wow, that was a lot. I didn’t sit down to write all that out. It just sort of came out the more I thought about it. It amazes me how fearless I was. I don’t think I ever realized how ballsy I was back then. I can also still remember the color of my cowboy boots. Which by the way, we went back for the next day and they were still there! This led to another conversation about how far I made it.

Oh, and the call I took? The kid was fine. He ran away because he was mad at his mom for taking his xbox away. He took MUNI down to the Metreon for the afternoon before being returned home. These youngin’s today. If they only knew. hehehe

  1. Ironically, I never referred to it as rage but looking back on it, that is pretty much what it was []
  2. We were a mile from the paved road []