Remembering My Life
There was a time when I was a young person. I think I was about 10. We decided we were doing to get naked and play in this deposit of wet clay we found when on our bikes out in the countryside. See this is the way kids think. If I take my clothing off, they won’t be covered in clay and Mom won’t know. The reality that there was no clean water and that at best we could just be less dirty did not strike us at all. Us being two friends and I. So we rolled nude in the wet clay bank and pushed each other and had the best time ever. We never thought that someone might come along and do anything to us. Things then where so different. No one talked about that kind of thing. To see this in the light of a distant memory now is to think how fucking lucky we got that we were not picked up by the RCMP or nabbed by some sex offending low life. But at the time it was just three good friends rolling in the clay. The result of course was that we could not get clean enough after in the muddy waters. We ended up home late and smelling like swamp and covered in muck. We all got to spend several days’ home grounded to think about the stupidity of what we did and why it was wrong. The thing is, I would give almost anything to live that afternoon over again. That feeling of being free of the world and only joy in our hearts is long gone. Now it’s payments and rent and what food to get on a budget and how am I going to afford clothing when a 3 pack of undies in my size is $45. But then it was day after day of just being alive in the moment and never thinking of tomorrow. We just did stuff. We just lived. We just where part of this wonder of a world. Now we are oppressed by it and only on the odd moment we glimpse the joy of life that we once thought would never end.
I was 16 and sitting in a dugout in the evening with someone I knew from school. Well I knew him from elementary school and he was going someplace else now. I am not talking about the kind of dugout that water goes in, but the kind the baseball players go in. We were having some beer he got somehow. I never did know how he got it. I knew that he was a strange kid when we were going to the same school, but I had no idea he was this fucked up in the head. We talked about fighting to start with, you know the bravado of the teen male, telling of the fights we got in in school back then. The on the 3rd beer (there were only 6) he started to tell me how he liked to kill animals with this knife he had and showed it to me. He said he liked to hear them scream and to see “the fear in their eyes”. He said he would like to do the same to a person some time. In fact, he had this plan to do it with hookers, but for some fucking reason they had to be blond. He said, “if I cut the clothing off and the pubes where not blond they would die slower”. He was not interested in fucking them, he just wanted to see the look in their eyes when “the light went out”. I just sat there in shock not knowing what to say. I just listened to him go on and on for about an hour. Then without a word he got up and just walked away. I wonder how lucky I was that he did not kill me. I wonder what happened to him. I saw his name in the paper a few times on the police blotter. He was charged with violent assaults on a woman both times. I think they got lucky because he was not very strong and a little person to say the least. Then there was nothing. I was told he moved to Alberta. I wonder if he ended up as a dangerous offender, locked up for the rest of his life. I guess I will never know.
School days in King George where kind of a mix of good and bad times. There were a lot of kids going there from broken families and a lot of damaged goods. They liked for the most part to cause trouble and to push people around. I was always a big kid and they left me alone after I started to push back. But I know others were not so lucky. But the fondest memory was of the lady who worked in the library. She was the nicest person you could hope to meet. She also showed me that there was more to this world than just what is in it. If we opened our minds and just let them wonder, we could be in worlds we created. She is one of the two major reasons I started to do art. She is the reason I started to try and put words to paper, even though I was never that good at it. We had conversations; something that I did not get out of other adults at the time. I honestly think she is the reason that I stopped being an ass hat and started to apply myself. She is why I ended up a good person. I was in the wrong crowd to start with. God knows where I would have ended up. Well I know because that is why one of the two friends I talked about earlier is dead. He died at the hands of another gang member in Winnipeg Manitoba. One of the other reasons I became a productive person instead of a drug addict or a criminal is that he moved and the other friend and I started to stop wanting to smash shit and be a general waste of space. But that librarian was the number one reason I started on the path to who I am today, even if I did divert off the path a few times in my twenties.
So I am now in the work force. I am painting and I am good at it. House painting that is. I was in charge of the three others in my group. I was not demanding, just told them if you don’t work like I work you are gone. I spent a lot of time with them and with a drink in my hand - other than at work. The one was this wild redhead and one of the biggest mistakes I made in my working history. It was strange how we came together in the same job for the same reason. It was even more strange that we both had the same birthday. The same day, month and year. Further still, we were popped out into the world at the same hospital in Saskatoon on the same night hours apart. We kind of hit it off and kind of ended up doing things you should not be doing with people who were under you at work. The other two ended up changing almost every other week, but me and that red head who fucked like an animal worked hard and played hard for almost a year. Then the work was over. The man who owned the place had managed to run it into the ground when the economy was booming. But oh well. We saw each other a few times after and kind of drifted toward other people. Once again I never saw her again after a few years. Yet another person who drifted into the mist so to speak.
Church. OK this is after I admitted to myself that I had sexual feelings toward other men and women at the same time. I did not know the term bisexual yet even. It was my late twenties. A friend and I (one of the original three) started to go to a fundamentalist church. Now being that he is a full on gay man and I went both ways, thigs ended up stupid and we were damaged in many ways. We got full on into this entire God thing and studied the bible ever night (literally every night). The non-forgiving preaching’s of the pastor stuck with us and drove a wedge into our souls. It was the start of an exploration for me to find God on my own terms that lasts to this day. It was also the start of loathing of all things religion for my friend. His logic on the topic goes like this. Mom and Dad told me there was a God they also told me there was a Santa and an Easter Bunny. The last two where a lie, so God had to be a lie as well. But for me the feeling that there was a power out there that no only cared out us, but wanted us to grow, never went away. I found what I was looking for on my terms and continue to seek answers. I also accept that others are on a different path and that all paths that do no harm at paths to God. I also know that books are by men, and men make mistakes. Religion is of the mind and God is of the heart. When these two things get together there is often conflict in many forms. My biggest hope it to never stop looking for more in this respect.
Pain is something I know very well. I have been on a long path these many years to many jobs and to the lives of many people. I also was on a path to spending the rest of my life in pain. This was to get slowly worse as the years rolled on. It’s been about seventeen years now since I would work full time. I have been on disability or welfare for over ten years now. I am not to the point where there is no possibility of me being productive in the workforce. I can only manage to sit in a chair for twenty minutes or so at a time. If I push it maybe forty-five. But then I end up in a lot of pain like I am now, as I am pushing to get this out while my head is clear of the fog. I have pushed myself to sit for hours at a time and ended up on the floor or passed out in a car or truck. Some days though I can sit up for five hours at a time, but most times not even close. I spent many years trying to find out what was wrong with me and in the declining years of my Doctors life he came up with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is a condition that when I am upright for a long time the pain gets worse to the point where I can pass out as I mentioned. Also there are times of brain fog that can last for day where it is literally hard for me to even talk. I can sound to others in this time like I am mentally challenged and I am certain this is what some who have met me thought. The pain comes in many forms and this feeling like my head is incased in cement some days is something that most people could never relate too. The feeling of being wide awake and so tired you want to sleep for a year, all at the same time. There are times where I feel like parts of my body are on fire. Literally it’s a burning pain. The strange part of this is at the same time as the fire, some parts feel ice cold. Other times I feel like thousands of bugs are chewing on me at the same time, in fact I had this today. I could go on, but I won’t. I am tired as hell now from forcing myself to write this in one go. I must lay down before I literally pass out. I can feel the darkness slipping in and the pull of gravity is strong. The reality that when I am rested there will be no way I can maintain this trend of thought is also pushing me. But the pain and the tired wins. I mist lay down.
Thank you for reading this slice of my life from several time frames. I hope there will be more sooner or later. I just wish I could vlog like this. But I can’t. Peace and Love – Dave Nicholson.