50 Years, The Short Version

First Posted 12-Sep-2014

A half-century is two generations and a decade. I have never not existed for some of the children at church. I’ve been there in the same spot in the same pew ever since they can remember. The world that birthed me is rather different than this one in 2016. My smart-phone contains a supercomputer’s worth of capability in 1974 terms. I lived long enough to see life in the year 2,000 and beyond. It is a technological wonder in many respects. It is predictably miserable in other ways known for the span of recorded history.

This is something of an autobiography. I am in my mid-fifties as I type this. I’ve crested the hill and can look forward to the finish line in another forty years or so. Those that know me will easily spot the places where I’ve told a stretcher and where I’ve been somewhat factual. The rest of you, just enjoy it on its own terms.

1959 Born in Philadelphia, PA. Go home to Washington Township, NJ after the requisite stay in the hospital to ensure that I and my Mom are ok.
1965 Run up against a school teacher who believes she can bend my will by throwing her high heels at me, locking me in the bathroom inside the classroom, and shaking my head by holding my ears with her long fingernails. She is wrong and I suffer for it.
1970 Spend my first year of school at Mullica Hill Friend’s School. Fall in love with my teacher, whose blend of compassion and stubbornness is a wonder to me. Discover Quaker Meetings and how much I love the time I spend in the meeting hall in silence.
1978 Graduate High School, much to the relief of my parents.
Tell ‘em they are (insert typical teenage parental complaint) . . .
Leave for Navy Bootcamp
Come back, now what?
1979 Start college, first se-mester, straight A’s. Second semester–in the toilet, quit.
Got my first job as a cook.
Tell ‘em again, this time Dad says, “git.” I put on an impressive performance to show him I’m worth keeping around and per-suade him to change his mind. He’s not impressed. I got to grandma’s in Albany, Ca.
Twelve jobs in six months, grandma’s patience is short. The “become a Broadway star” bit is wearing thin.
1981 Start naturalization training for the People’s Republic of Bezerkley when I joined the Taxi Unlimied Collective and became a commie cab driver. Learned more about drugs & women than I’ll admit to here. Way more.
1983 Tired of being sick & tired for the first time. Fog of citizenship starts to wear off. Decide maybe working through college would be a better plan. Start cab driving for Taxi Taxi. Decline citizenship in PRB and discover that you can’t leave once you start naturalization proceedings. Begin plotting to escape, somehow.
1984 Restart college at Merritt College after an abrupt departure from Laney College’s Theater Arts program a few years before.
Much water under the bridge, many, many who prayed I’d get it together, lots of calls & letters home for money from one more pickle I’d created . . . worked for Friendly Cab, Speedway Copy, a bike messenger service, kept my library card active. Find I’ve been anointed a citizen of PRB against my will. Hear my father say that he is a security agent for PRB.
1991 Arrive at Cal State Hayward as a ?math major? One quarter and crisis, change to English Lit.
1995 Graduate college. Many celebrate and hope again I’ll stop being such a bratty drama queen (as if).
Get married to Taiwanese woman friends nickname the Triad Princess. Family groans (again). Son, Tim is born, the best thing I ever did or will do, family is ameliorated, somewhat.
2002 Rocky marriage finally tanks, relieved, start a journey to serenity I’m still on today. Meet David Snead and the guys at St. Giles Presbyterian Church Men’s Fellowship. They have saved my life.
2002 Got my ?third? job as dishwasher & prep cook. Here again for the bazillionth time that I missed my calling as a chef. Whatever.
2005 Start two-year stint as an Americorp Volunteer with Boaz and Ruth. Idea that people & relationships matter finally starts to sink in. The bratty drama queen shtick really starts to get old. Get tired of being sick & tired again (for the last time? One hopes). Realize that key figures in B & R are former security agents for PDRB and that I’m being evaluated for repatriation. Damn.
2007 Become A+ Certified, decide I’m a geek and a poet. Start Dyme Tech so I can put some of this magnanimous thinking to good use. Get told I can’t keep my citizenship in the PRB and be a business owner, so I’ve been excommunicated from PRB (thank God!).
2010 Interrogated by PRB Internal Security. Forced to have patchouli oil rubbed on me. Discover that my landlady’s boyfriend is a member of a secret cult of dissident Shakers. Find odd disappearances of my beer, my underwear, and my Netflix DVD’s for days on end only to have them re-appear smelling of weed. The boyfriend denies everything..
2011 Worked here and there for a couple years before getting hired at SunTrust and worked there for a couple more. Really, really great job where I learned a lot about servicing HP desktops and laptops, supporting Retail Banking software and hardware, and supporting Mortgage & Lending software.
2012 Put in to protective custody by militant Christians investigating the anti-American activities of the PDRB. Find that looking for work while in protective custody is a bit of a challenge.
Stumble in to the odd dishwashing/catering job from a friend from South Philly. My first venture in to the front of the house of a restaurant. I’ll say this, once you’ve been back, you never want to front. Kitchen people rock.
2013 Escape protective custody, start a re-entry program for PDRB ex-pats run by radical Christians, find a job, real job #2 (to hide me from my PDRB minders) and the family nervously ex-hales. The son of the Triad Princess, my son, graduates high school and starts college.
2015 Son completes naturalization class for citizenship in the PDRB and is awarded a signed copy of Mao’s Little red Book. Son’s college career has a fitful start.
2016 Propaganda Compliance Assurance Agency of the PDRB succeeds in retaliating against this site. I am forced to slowly restore the blog from text files. Eugene returns to his spot in the comments section.

I’m in my mid-fifties. Our family seems to pass on somewhere in their 90’s or so. That means this story changes to legacy in another 40 years. That’s a lifetime. I’ve updated it since I first wrote it as I’ve found amusing things to say. Whether I keep adding to it is an unknown.

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