Monday, January 14, 2013

In Conclusion

I changed my mind. I will post something today. Below is the conclusion to my memoir, or at least as it appears for now. I've written this book entirely out of sequence on purpose. Now comes the task of conjoining and juxtaposition.

Another unedited excerpt of Wrecking Ball

In Conclusion

It may seem presumptuous for anyone under the age of fifty to write a memoir. Still, in my own defense, I packed my life full of rich experiences. Often, this was because I thought I’d never live to see twenty-five. I never did anything halfway or at half-speed.

The naturalist author Frank Norris put it this way. “I never truckled. I never took off the hat to Fashion and held it out for pennies. I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn't like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the truth.”

It is in that spirit that I have written this book.

I’ve deliberately chosen my thirtieth birthday as the cutoff date. The events happening in my life today are part of very different paradigm, one I have yet to fully comprehend, much less to understand. My life has taken twists and turns I could have never anticipated. In some ways, I resemble my earlier self, the self presented in these pages. But I think the eighteen-year-old me might find my daily existence today insufferable or even a flat out bore.

It’s easy to wax philosophical about oneself. Technology has made it even easier than before. Facebook has made it possible for me to be at least somewhat engaged with the faces and characters of a different era. I count fifty people in the course of ten years who have made their mark. I have left similarly heavy impression with them as well.

I often find it amazing that I have attracted that many interested parties. The shy kid I was for most of my early days peeks through on occasion. I showed them devotion and loyalty and asked for nothing in return. They have extended the same courtesy to me, even when we live hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. The mention of my name brings back pleasant memories, much as is the same when I think of them.

There are others I have mentioned with whom I no longer speak. They, too, are a part of my identity. The bitterness remaining from our separation has faded with time. I have no ax to grind anymore. They showed me who I was and pointed me from place to place. Even when we parted ways bitterly, I learned from the experience.

If this is the most lasting byproduct of a life, I will gladly accept it on its face. The most important things to me are the simple joys of communication with another human being. As much as we live inside our heads, the times we break out and reach out are a reward far beyond any selfish passion or vocation. I’m sorry that other people can’t always see that. They’re missing out, if you ask me.

And you may find yourself...

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