In my youthful twenties, when I was told the world was at my feet, I was a cartoonist … an artist or up and coming artisan so-to-speak. So . . . with grand enthusiasm I drew a one panel cartoon that was quickly rejected by a magazine called “The Dairy Goat Journal”. I was stunned. And . . . as I was told in an official letter with of course a corresponding fancy gold letterhead, my cartoon was seen as detrimental to the dairy goat and the entire dairy goat industry.
What? Detrimental to the dairy goat and the entire dairy goat industry? It was one panel of artwork paying two dollars if published . . . and it was . . . A Cartoon!
I was the quintessential starving artist. Mostly, a starving artist because I wasn’t that good. I wasn’t that bad, but honestly, I was not that good. Once my artwork was juried and viewed as competent when turned sideways … at arms length … yep, not that bad.
So ended my cartooning career and I started getting older … and curious about many other things. I also picked up my camera again. I did trade in my 120 roll film Brownie type of square box for a modern 35 mm color camera. Fortunately this time, there were no distractions like military service during a time of war.
Part of the war years I just do not remember. It was time of Liberty Passes, exotic locations, drunkenness, lovely wild women, drunken wild women with no discernible moral compass, and extremely poor judgement on my part. Fortunately for my sake, no photographs survived that period of time. Though . . . one did linger around for a while as a bookmark but, alas, was later lost.
The war years were also a time when I became acquainted with the term “Decreased Mental Capacity”. To this day … the self-descriptive term still lurks in the shadows behind me and remains quite accessible at a moments notice. It stands beside the phrase “That signature launched a thousand indecisions”. Both of the descriptive terms accurately describe my inept dealings over the many, many decades with women and alcohol.
Well . . . I am starting to ramble or more accurately, meandering through random thoughts during a time of prescription medication induced semi-depressive thoughts. It is a side-effect of the high amount of meds I am taking daily for diabetic nerve pain. I am, so to speak, a seasoned meandering personage with questionable value to society. Fortunately, alcohol is no longer in the equation.
So . . .
Unlike the Rolling Stones song, I have kissed a barmaid in Memphis, and I did let her take me upstairs for a ride. Most of us have youthful endeavours or indiscretions that often ruin our sleep. This would be, as the old saying goes, many, many years later during the early morning hours of restless and unpredictable nights.
And, it is easy to look back and shake your head during an awkward, relaxed or unguarded moment when shameful or embarrassing images from the past appear in our mind’s eye. There is little defence from such marauding images except extreme self-control which few seem to possess. I certainly don’t.
Even a small measure of wisdom gained from age seldom keeps the ghostly reminders from the forefront of our consciousness. Only grief, degradation, shame and all sorts of small horrors will rain down upon those careless of tongue or talkative in their sleep. Make no mistake, someone is nearly always listening.
And, for sure, such guilty horrors are best, CAN YOU HEAR ME, best left UNSPOKEN to wives, family, life partners, cell-mates, or co-conspirators.
I make no apologies for my past …
It would be fruitless to apologize for a past life lived fast, hard and at times with extreme recklessness. That’s the way it was lived and there can be no changing, wishful thinking or less than truthful revisions. Over the years, I lived through two failed marriages and more than one “Living Together” scenarios. They turned out to be living experiences best catalogued for future reference.
Since I found “Religion” as they say, everything has changed. And for the last thirty-five years I have tried to live my beliefs … hour to hour … day to day. It hasn’t been easy and there have been failures, but I learned the importance of the next step and forgiveness.
For my last married twenty-eight years, my Sweetheart and I have enjoyed a grand time of it. Do I stit.v.ll make mistakes … yes I do and will continue to do so and she, wouldn’t you know, has been quite dutiful in reminding me of when, where and how. Well, that is life.
And . . . after all is said and done, one point does stands out. I firmly believe, there has been little created that I can’t drop on the floor early in the morning or late at night.
Next Week … Something Interesting or something current …
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