Monday, January 11, 2016

A Starting Point

I suppose - if one were inclined to believe Hollywood - all stories either start with a crisp, heroic opening sequence in which personalities are established, or a deep tragedy that pushes the characters forward. Life is rarely that punctuated, beginnings and endings drift about in amidst the nuance of an average day or week or month, full of repetition and doldrums.

I've never experienced real tragedy, truly. I've never had a close friend or immediate family member pass away. The relatives who have passed were ones I knew little. Same with the people at work. I've never had a horrific injury, with perhaps the worst discrete health issue of my life being a nasty staph infection in college. I still bare physical scars from it.

But I have no crisp opening, either, no snappy heroic accomplishment, no exciting scene with which I can draw from. Life for me has been a series of understated events.

I suppose I could start with my sister being born, me all of 3 years old. I don't remember that day. My mother says I thanked her for getting my sister out of her stomach.

I could start withy my first day at preschool. I remember that day. Being a bit shy. Seeing tons of kids I didn't know. Sitting in a circle around the big blue rug for the first time.

It could be my first year changing schools, suddenly thrust from one institution in which bullying was heavily policed and rapidly stamped out, to one in which it was almost viewed as a right of passage, a school whose kids were so spoiled and self centered that both verbal and physical violence was common.

It could be high school, my first bad grades, my teachers calling me a loner to my parents. It could be when one kid gave me a bloody nose. It could be when another socked me on the arm as hard as possible. It could be sitting alone in the cafeteria in abject fear, knowing I was an easy target.

It could be working at Mcdonalds, meeting the last friends of my life I'd meet in person, meeting good people for the first time in years.

It could be the first time I self harmed, rusty scissors drawing blood against my arm, slashing up the skin and leaving scars all over.

It could be the hospital, bruises on my body from the stretcher, spied on in the shower, the 4am screams, screams I'd never heard before, of patients being dragged in and sedated, clawing at everyone and everything.

It could be a trip to Australia as a high schooler, or England as an adult, or Chicago, or Miami, or any other location.

It could be buying my first house and moving out.

Or maybe, as I suspect, it hasn't come. There is no new city, no new friends, no new job, nothing, just endless repetition, all that my 20s have been good for. Nothing that would make a movie, or sell a book, or enrapture the audience. So I'll wait and see, and hopefully, a starting point comes sooner rather than later. Until then, with eyes glazed over, I move on.

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