Not a bad prelude to a life of dreams.
I come from a large Catholic family, and took my first road-trip at fifteen-years old. My parents didn’t have time to miss me. I went to Montreal with an older and wiser friend who was 17. The next summer I hitch-hiked to the East Coast and burrowed in Cambridge while the anti-war protesters rioted down the street at Harvard Square. And that was just the beginning. One lonely trip after another. A half-smart kid from a thumbtack town with a knack for living on the edge of trouble.
Restless. Underpowered. Stubborn beyond reason. I drifted to the West Coast one lost summer. In Santa Barbara, I stayed with friends of my hitch-hiking buddy who was sinfully handsome, got all the girls, and later went certifiably insane. Eventually, I would teach Special Education in Detroit and soothe the psychologically frail. Meanwhile , in Santa Barbara, our hosts had a dog that wasn’t feeling well. On the trip to the vet, I got assigned to sit in the back-seat and hold the sickling. I felt its stomach quake. An almost biblical foretelling. When the dog puked on me? I felt vectored by the angels to be less than zero.
Before leaving town, I visited a chic Santa Barbara bookstore. I had the feeling that I was in for a long-long life at the bottom, and that there must be an art to it. Deep down inside, where I should've had leaden anger, I had fighting exuberance. Well, I couldn't quite find the book that I was looking for, and so I thought that I'd have to write it for the next sad-sack a million miles away from home with euphoria his blood. A life's assignment. I should've given up. But I’ve got a peasant drive along with something that science can’t explain. Do you think that there’s such a thing as a spiritual IQ? Why do some experts experience God with organic gusto, and other experts experience God at an academic remove? I think that receptivity to the divine in art is an analogous thingy. Even then, many are called and few are chosen to actively create as opposed to politely receive. Therein lies the inner-road to headache, heartache and all kinds of rejection. Maybe I don't know enough to quit.