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  June 14, 2004

 

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NOW

Monday - June 14, 2004

History

Itís been a long time since I anticipated freedom and now that Iím retired, Iím enjoying the feeling. Kind of like the feeling I had as a child on the last day of school when the whole summer lay ahead without deadlines or pending math tests. In those days, summers lasted forever. In the back of my mind Iím also fooling around with the concept that this time, retirement may very well be forever. So far, I havenít found that notion frightening though on some level I get the feeling that maybe I should take it more seriously. I expect that eventually Iíll have feelings of boredom which usually lead to a creative cycle where I get off my ass and try to do something productive. After college I took horticulture classes and more recently, boredom inspired me to volunteer with our local town hall. Now I have things to do but nothing that has to be done. Itís a good feeling that I hope to cultivate and nurture.

Tomorrow my parents house closes escrow and that brings up another subject that Iíve been beating to death. Yep, my relationship with my parents. In the movie ďOn Golden PondĒ, Jane Fonda complains about her terrible childhood and Kate Hepburn rolls her eyes and says, ďHere we go again; every child complains about their parents. Bore, bore, bore!Ē  Actually, I donít feel like Iím complaining as much as Iím just trying to come to terms with my childhood. A fine point though, to the casual observer, itís pretty much the same narrative.

Tom Brokaw writes about the times when my parents grew up and calls their generation ďThe GreatestĒ. I canít argue with the nobility of their causes though I tend to agree with Andy Rooney who says that his generation was pretty much the same as any other. That is, they were products of their time and they responded the same as any other generation would under similar circumstances.

My parents did what was expected of them and I try to give them a break for doing as well as they did. These days a great emphasis is put on ďgood parentingĒ and I sometimes unfairly hold them up to those standards. Still, one of my biggest tribulations comes from the realization that when it came right down to it, my parents didnít like me very much. In a candid moment my mother once admitted that she really wasnít cut out to be a parent. She gave it the old college try but deep down, the feelings just werenít very strong. As a child, I sensed their parental apathy though astonishingly, didnít take it too personally. My parents, especially my father, were misanthropes and I guess at the time, I took comfort in the fact that it wasnít just me they didnít like. Hell, they hardly liked anybody.

Today I walked through my parentsí house for the last time and couldnít help but dredge up those old memories and regrets. Now that the house is gone for good maybe I can let the feelings go. Bore, bore, boring.


 

 

THEN

September 12, 1968 - Thursday

The summer is over now.  College starts on Monday and as usual I've been quite depressed.  I guess because I'm afraid of going back to school.  All my friends are gone, even Ron is moving, and going to Mesa College will be just like starting over again.  I don't want to go but if I don't, it means the army.

I haven't been writing because I'm too lazy.

The trip Ron and I took lasted just over a week.  We rented a tent and went to Big Bear for a few days then drove though the desert into Arizona and came back on highway 8 from Yuma.  It wasn't quite the adventure I was hoping for and in Big Bear we spent a lot of time in the tent listening to the rain. The desert was more interesting but so hot that I spent most of my time wondering when the car would over heat and leave us stranded.

The rest of the summer has been spent loafing and occasionally working. I wasn't planning on working as much as I did but people kept quitting and Doctor Smith begged me to come back.  He seems to like me and says I would make a good officer in the military.  If he only new.

Marlene sold me some pot in July and it was $10 for a plastic sandwich bag. She came to the house to drop it off and I ended up paying her mostly with quarters. When she was sticking the change in her pocket she said she felt like a two bit whore. Pretty funny.  When she handed over the bag she actually stuffed it in my pants like she was showing me how to hide it. She dropped a lot of hints that she wanted me to come by her house that night but I chickened out.

Mother and father went to a party and I did smoke some pot that night in my room.  At first I felt nothing and didn't think anything was happening until later when I was listening to records.  I suddenly realized that the music had changed.  All the records I've been listening to suddenly took on new meaning and the lyrics that sounded so silly before suddenly made sense.  My Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane albums where like I had never heard them before. It dawned on me that that most of the songs had to do with drugs.

Ron said he was pretty freaked out that I had smoked pot and thought I was becoming a drug addict. Later in the summer he finally tried some and darned if he didn't like it.  Actually, that's become sort of a problem now because he likes it a little too much. He started smoking it in the morning before work and I'm afraid he's getting too reckless.

Marlene also showed me how to grow plants from the seed and I'm thinking about growing my own.  May have to wait for the spring for that.

Well, like I said, college starts next week and I'm really feeling a little nervous about that. I have to admit that my attitude isn't the best.  I have no idea what I want to study and I don't plan on even declaring a major.  At first I'll just be taking classes that they make everybody take.

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