#21: Training wheels
Brother Paul was a self-proclaimed Native American, and what I mean by that is he wasn’t actually of Native American descent, but rather forged his entire identity based on stereotypes. He grew his hair out to his waist, walked around barefoot, and, in case you didn’t pick up on it, insisted we all call him “Brother Paul.”
Then, yesterday, I was walking down Main Street and all of a sudden I felt something slimy. This sounds crazy. I thought I had soiled myself. I ran into the hardware store and had Ed show me the bathroom, clenching my legs the whole time and I got to the bathroom and sat on the toilet and what I saw wasn’t what I thought it would be.
The bleakest, basest circle of YouTube hell is reserved for the amateur musicians audacious enough to bare their souls to the unlistening world. I’m not talking about the ones that garner attention for being impressively bad. I mean the here-goes-nothing guitarists who can’t link chords together.
My friend Nicole is turning twenty in May. She doesn’t normally like to celebrate, but this year she wants to have a party themed Leaving Behind Adolescence. “I found a recipe online for mixed drinks incorporating Pop Rocks,” she tells me over lunch, “and we can put vodka into Capri Sun.”
I'm at least a little afraid that who I am now is who I will be for the rest of my life I find myself desperately trying to make sense of these things I do all the time, of these things that help define me in some small way. So I've been remembering a lot of firsts, writing a bit of personal history.
"When you were first diagnosed with ADHD we did not really understand what it meant. Of course we knew you had focusing issues, and that your legs were always in motion, and we used to joke about the fact that your perfect job would be working at McDonald’s, as all your school reports tended to mention that “you would do so much better if you weren’t looking out the window all the time."
I can’t even call myself a debater without provoking sneers or eye rolls from the self-appointed “real” debaters. Mostly males, they competed in Policy and Lincoln Douglas, CX and LD. There’s a hierarchy within Speech and Debate, and I, an extemper, represented the “softer” side.