Laying Waste to Being Human

Today is Friday. I think at least I know that much. I look at the date: November 8, 2019. I wonder sometimes how I got here.

Through hook and crook. Through sheer luck. Through determination. Through despair and sorrow. Through love and tenderness. Through letting myself be carried along in the center of the river of life. Never taking too many chances.

So here it is, this day.

I wonder about life. Have I done it the right way? Could I have done it better? I certainly could have done some things better. I was born with a certain set of genes, I grew up and lived in a certain environment. Both of these things have shaped me a certain way.

I wish they had shaped me into a kinder person. I’m lacking so much in that area. I wish I’d been shaped with a better temperament, instead of having one of those “fly off the handle” types. I wish I had learned to be less self centered, and more confident in myself. I have a tendency to get on people’s nerves.

Actually, I get on my own at times! Maybe it’s a little bit paranoia, and a little bit trying too hard to please. Hopefully the ability for self examination is a positive…,

I look at other people who seem to have gotten it “all together” and I wonder what that would be like. I wonder if they really DO have it all together, or if it is simply one of their talents to seem that way to other people? I’ve often said, that we cannot really tell about the reality of other people without being them. There’s a whole lot of people I know I wouldn’t want to be, even with all my shortcomings I’d feel better just staying me instead.

As I get older, I’m more at peace with what I am most days, although the past week hasn’t been my finest hour. I’m taking a deep breath this weekend, and I’m going to try and get back on track. As the rest of my time passes here, I’m sure I’ll have to do more and more “resets” in order to stay focused on what I need to do: live the balance of my time helping more than I hurt, and keeping my words and actions good. That’s a tall order for me.

When I’m gone from here, Id like to have left more good memories than not. I guess that’s really the only legacy I’ll have to offer.

Have a great weekend my friends.

Being Thirteen

I remember back to 1963. That was a great year. I started off at 12 years old, and stayed that way for 10 2/3 months. I had played baseball all that summer and it was great. I hit 5 Home runs, three of them grand slams. I made the all stars. I walked all over town, fished in the Chattooga, gone to the movies. The summer of 1963 was idyllic, and I loved it.

Then, suddenly I became a teenager.

Oh God, how awkward I was. What terrible luck I had too.

I go a bad case of Athletes foot late that summer, and it just ate my feet up something awful. I had to start school that fall wearing sandals with white socks. Nobody can imagine how embarrassing an ordeal that was. My old protagonist J. Suits kidded me mercilessly about it. It took a month or so to finally get healed up….just as the weather started to cool off.

I had fairly greasy hair, so the pimples came along shortly after the feet healed up. I washed my hair regularly, but it didn’t matter. I had one or two fairly bad eruptions a week. Another embarrassing issue, and so I kind of walked around with my head down and avoided direct eye contact, especially with girls…

I remember as Christmas approached, the glee club started rehearsing a Special program. One of the songs was “White Christmas” one of my favorites. I lined up in the back of the boys section and was belting it out, Bing Crosby style. My voice had already changed, and my tenor was clear and on key. I didn’t think I’d be noticed, I just loved the music, the song and the time of year. Mr. Carruth stoped in the middle of the song one day and said: “You…Bowers C’mere”.

I went up front. He proceeded to inform me that I was going to sing solo for the song, with the rest of the singers backing me up. I was floored, and scared crapless.

We rehearsed the song over and over the next few weeks, and when the day came for the program, I was ready. I started a little tentatively but forgot anyone else was in the assembly that morning, and did my best Bing. “Good job” said Mr. Carruth.

The year changed after that. I walked with my head up. I continued to sing every opportunity I got, and I still thank John Carruth to this day for believing in me, and helping to make my life better.

We had several good teachers, who were also decent people at our school that year, and in the ensuing four years. I was lucky to be there with a good group of teachers and some great classmates. It was a wonderful time.