I was never one of the cool kids. This is can be determined even now by the fact that I am still using the word cool, even though I believe it is now uncool to do so. I'm still not cool enough to know what the cool words are these days and chances are fair that they aren't worth using anyway. But I digress.
Although you wouldn't know it by my massive bulk now, I was once quite small and rickety and prone to illness. Small and rickety children have very limited opportunities in their social world, it seems, and it didn't help that I also enjoyed classical music and literature. Among my small circle of friends, I was considered to be a good bloke, but put me in a crowded room and I would promptly disappear and, as far as I was concerned, the sooner the better. The athletic, muscular boys would be strutting about the room exuding manliness, while I would be searching for a dark corner into which I could squeeze and while away the evening.
Yes, I was an odd child. At summer camp, the other boys would opt for baseball and make a mad dash for the dining hall whenever the bell rang. I, on the other hand, would prefer to read or draw and become so engrossed that I'd forget to eat altogether. I hated summer camp. I only went once. No, make that one and a half times. I went home in the middle of the week once, because some kid got sick in the night and threw up on my pillow. Deciding that I had pressing business at home, I packed up my stuff and left on the next ride to town.
I was always working on a project, most of them ill-fated. I've long had an interest in writing and newspapers and it was only natural that I would decide to start my own underground press. My father was a pastor and, following the advice experienced writers always give younger ones, "Write what you know," I started a small newspaper about our church, including highly satirical articles about the various members, some of whom had exceedingly thin skins. Feeling pleased with myself, I showed the papers to my mother, who showed them to my father, who quickly shut down the presses before freedom of speech cost him a job. I didn't get into trouble for the venture, however. I still believe that my parents secretly found the papers hilarious and I was, more or less, told so later on. Unfortunately, none of these papers still exist, having been burned along with the rest of history's banned literature. Alas.
to be continued... (maybe)