It occurs to me it might put my little stories in perspective if I were to tell a bit more about who I am, and what makes me tick. This task is easier said than done. I’m a complicated guy believe it or not. I’ve been many things to many people. It all depends on the timing and circumstance. Even as I write this a handful of personas argue about what to write, what to leave out, and even whether or not to write anything at all. In this post I’ll try to bring these little fellas out into the public a bit. I hope that in doing so future posts come to life more vividly for whomever should stumble across them.
My first self, which perhaps makes it the most honest self, I’ll call Child. Child is my sweet, silly, innocent self. He loves food, pets, games, hugs, etc. Child loves having fun. When I say Child is my innocent self I mean it quite literally. He is in fact my innocence. And he’s still firmly a part of me. I still love to roll around on the floor with my dogs. I love Christmas and a beautifully sang carol will bring me to tears. The idea of a pizza party will always get me excited. Child allows me to see the beauty in the world. Child could see through the illusions but chooses not to.
The next character I’ll mention I’ll call Sport. My father was a boxer, a football player, and a state police officer. He is an intense man who seemingly subscribed to the Vince Lombardi school of parenting. He tried to breed excellence in me through a strong dose of discipline and old-school values. The results were mixed. It was a little like putting a bullet-proof vest on a bunny rabbit. But it did affect me. And it did stick a little. One lesson particularly sank in. Basically it was “if someone is picking on you, you should protect yourself.” My young brain translated it to, “if you don’t like what someone is doing attack them.” This lead to lot’s of wrestling around with other boys, as well as the occasional fist fight. I remember shouting as I was pulled off another kid, “it’s ok! It’s ok! My dad said I should protect myself!” Sport is a serious-minded individual who has no time for nonsense. He judges everyone he meets and finds them lacking, especially himself. In fact, Sport is pretty much disgusted with every other voice in my head. Sport is a lot like my dad.
Because I’m so creative I’ll call my next self Trouble. As in, “you looking for trouble?” And Trouble’s answer is always yes. I’d realized early on that some level of popularity was necessary to have any sort of peace at school. Unfortunately popularity is usually gained when other people admire something about you. Whether it’s your looks, or your athleticism, or your sense of humor doesn’t matter. As long as you have something that others don’t and wish they did. I was pretty normal. So I developed a system. I would get attention by doing things others just didn’t do, but secretly wanted to. I picked up many ideas from teenage movies of the eightys. Others I just made up on the spot. Things like climbing out the window of the classroom when the teacher was writing on the board, putting a toy laser gun with the trigger rubber banded down in the ceiling (it lasted all day, beeeeooooo…beeeeoooo…beeeeoooo), and chugging hot beers out of a friends trunk at lunch time were all Trouble’s invention. Trouble doesn’t mean any harm really (though he did get me expelled at one point). He wants to be liked. He wants a laugh. He hates authority and formality. And he’s up there running his mouth to this day.
My last character I’ll call Thinky. It could just as easily be The Thinker but that’s already a famous statue. Plus Child likes the name Thinky. This is my scholar, my philosopher, my inner professor I guess. He gathers information. Then he uses that information to make informed decisions about life. Unfortunately he gets so buried in the application of facts, common sense and logic that he renders himself useless in most situations. But he stays busy. Everyday he ponders and ponders. His only goal is finding out the answers to every question in the universe, so no big deal. Thinky doesn’t just learn math. Thinky says, “why am I learning this?”, upon receiving an answer he doesn’t accept it as fact but wonders about the validity of that answer. Then he wonders what prompted the answerer to respond in such a way. Then we thinks about why that person would know the things he or she knows. He asks, “What is their background that they’re such an expert?” Thinky’s basically useless. But he’s very busy. And he’s running in the background constantly.
Now it’s important to realize that all these voices are up there getting involved in every single thing I do. No one is driving this thing that is me. And none of them are very competent. It goes a long way in describing why I’m not a successful human being. I’ll give an example. Let’s apply these slices of myself to a simple task, like waking up in the morning.
8am: alarm goes off…
Child: That noise is sooo mean!
Trouble: AAaargh. Leave me alone! What the hell is going on? That noise sucks.
Sport: Get up pussy! You’ve already wasted half the day! How are you supposed to be competitive if you lay there like a pile of crap. If you do nothing, you are nothing. Make it happen!
Thinky: Why is it so hard to get up? I wonder if there’s a web-site or study that details methods for getting out of bed. I’m sure there is… let me see I slept a solid 6 hours. Technically I should be fine. I have read that some people require as little as four hours while others as much as ten. Suppose I was in the latter group and required a full ten hours to feel rested? That would greatly affect my life in the long run. Imagine all the hours wasted. It would certainly explain my troubles in school as a child. Imagine if all those problems could have been avoided by a few more hours of sleep…I wonder if there is a correlation between quality of life and sleep necessity?(on and on into infinity)
Meanwhile time is passing. Chances are I’ll fall back to sleep before I manage to get up. It’s exhausting. I do wish there was just one voice that was all, “Morning sunshine! What’s on the plate for today? Your great champ! Get out there and make things happen!” That’s just not me. I have a head full of idiots fighting with each other most of the time. Its true. They don’t get along. How the hell is that possible. They’re all up there, all me, and yet they are absolutely at odds with one another. I’m a conservative liberal traditional hippy who reads fantasy novels and follows football. I hate laziness as I sit around watching movies and eating pizza. I love myself and completely hate myself. I don’t know who I am. Sometimes people ask me a question and I think my head will explode from the eruption of personalities.
So that’s me basically. Or at least how I think. It’s all founded on a middle-class, midwestern, suburban base. Flavored with an irish heritage and a touch of Catholicism. Hopefully you’ll see these little guys pop up in my writing and understand more about where I’m coming from. If not then I just wasted your time. You’re welcome!