Home Alone, Again
Work, childhood, mom, sister, freedom, love of life, job, illness, hate, lies, love
I spent most of my life pissing people off. Always wondering why people were angry at me, even strangers. Could it be my knack for seeing through them, knowing when they lied, or just an air of confidence? Maybe it is the touch of John Nash syndrome, slightly affected brilliance combined with contempt for petty emotional gestures. Who can really answer any questions about why humans do what they do and with whom.
From the day I could see and speak, I was extremely independent, stubborn, unwilling to bend in my opinions. By the time I was 5 my mother and sister hated me, dad was neutral, unconnected to any emotional expression. He turned to bourbon, mom to amphetamines, sis to boys and escape. It was the 60's, life was not restrained like it is today.
I found that everyone pretty much left me alone after I turned 8 or 9. Parents gone 16 hours a day, sister older and being a delinquent teen, she left the house often with her friends. I found myself quite alone, learning to navigate the world around me for fun and survival.
Sometimes my parents would send me dinner in a taxicab, delivered to the house. Now (as an adult) I wonder if the drivers ever spit in my food or worse. I learned to cook, sew, dig, explore, shoot, capture game, and find trouble in the neighborhood.
I remember being sick often. Wild fever dreams, some repeated for years when I would become ill again. I do not know what the illnesses were caused from, or how long they lasted, just that they were severe. Warm whiskey was the only remedy I recall getting from mom. Sympathy was not a functional word for describing my treatment, more like why are you sick, what did you do, or rub some Vicks on your chest kid.
At 17 I had had enough and departed for the world. My parents had long been divorced, sister gone and on her 2nd marriage, I was nothing more than slave labor for the man mom married 5 years previous. He was a real piece of work.
Dropping out of school at the end of 10th grade, my job prospects were few, yet I was full of anger and determination to overcome any obstacles life had in store. My recipe for success was simple, work twice as hard as everyone else, stay longer, arrive earlier. It worked so well that in a year or so I was enlisted into management, and eventually supervision of many employees.
I began to feel underpaid and decided to become a salesman. Every prospect told me I either needed experience or training first. I thought, well where do all of the salesman that are working get theirs, then. (grammar was optional)
Never giving up, I eventually found a way to sell, get trained, and test my abilities. Eureka, I was able to become a success at that too. Energy plus attitude, I was once again put into management after a few years.
One day I decided to sell cars. I was pretty good and worked hard, long hours, weekends, nights, holidays. In a few short years I made the bastards put me into management, and was successful in my profession.
Remember, all the time I am doing all these jobs, people still did not like me, nor did they trust me. Yet I flourished, made money, maintained professional status.
I learned how to make customers like me, and that was the real purpose for my being employed anyway. I still never figured out why I was not in the favor of so many people. I was definitely loyal, trustworthy, and was a good person, morally.
So, I went from making $1.37 an hour to over 100K per year, all by myself. Never asked for favors or played politics. I made my won way, stubborn, independent, unbending. Yes, my way.
Oh, I did eventually find out why people did not like me in so many places, even today as I write my neighbors are unfriendly and cold.
My mother and sister have been stalking me for 40 years. One a borderline personality, one hateful for living on the coattails of her many husbands, never piercing the veil of truth.
In the end, I do not care. My life is mine, earned and paid with my sweat. They can never take my memory of being free, winning my honor, and walking tall in the midst of all men, I am proud of me.
Better to create your own path than walk the path of others, I always say. Having spent most of my life exploring, learning, seeking answers, I have come to one conclusion. Why compete for anything other than your own personal experience?
This is a small part of what has been a fantastic journey, only at Smith will I share my story..........much more is brewing in my creative side. I must hurry before my memories fade, along with my physical self.