Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Bop Ludite
Baltimore, Maryland USA



I've decided to condense the less than 24-hour period to the approximately hour and a half before my friend Eva comes home and we go out to eat.
I was born in Harbor Hospital in Baltimore City. I've been told later in life that the birth was not easy, particularly as the Stoney Creek Bridge and Route 100 were both out of commission. Anyone from Pasadena, MD would know why this is troublesome to say the least. Speaking of Pasadena, that is where I spent the entirety of my childhood years. I'd only moved once as a child - and it was to a house no more than 5 minutes away from the previous one. My first friend was Sara, and we remain close to this day (she even sings in a band with me). She lived next door to me from the time I was born to the time I was in 4th grade, and even after that I saw her nearly every day. We considered ourselves siblings (along with my biological sibling, Toby). I remember feeling so close to her when I was either late in middle school and early in high school when she showed me this online essay about the arrogant conceptions of god. It was a little childish in hindsight, but it really spoke to me. She's opened me up to a lot of things.
Skipping back, I had a normal, happy childhood - I loved my parents and got a long with my brother. I can vaguely remember being obsessed with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters. I also remember having a bigger family than now. That is, we used to be involved with extended family. My mom's sister Deb and her family were some of my favorite people growing up. I really looked up to Jeremy, who was several years older than me. I'm pretty sure he's what sparked my fleeting interest in comic books, and later, heavy metal. Years later, Rob and her family moved to bumfuck, Eastern Shore, MD. They took my maternal grandmother with them. It turns out she is a rather horrible person. I rather liked her before my age went into double digits, though: she always gave out a lot of money.
My first good friend not given to me by manner of fate or blood was Dave. We met in the first grade and immediately hit it off. We liked that same things, and if nt, I would immediately gravitate toward the things he liked. He was always a lot hipper than I was. I was briefly interested in skateboarding when I hung out with him, but lack of skill or really connection to it ended that. He also got me into a lot of music. I think my favorite memory of him was when he stuck up for me against a rather manipulative kid that I thought was my friend mistakenly for many years, Nate. Dave moved elsewhere in county when I was in third grade, then to New Mexico about a year later. I was heartbroken. In middle school I became acquainted with Bradley, my next terrific friend. Bradley and I did not particularly like the same things, but we had similar senses of humor, and we hung out all the time. A pattern will emerge in which I cling on to one person for all its worth. Bradley was very much into the Simpsons when I met him, so I began watching it more myself; this was the beginning of a life-long obsession. He was my best friend through about the middle of high school. Basically, I grew away from him. I became very interested in music and politics and philosophy and literature, while Bradley still hung on to sports and TV and video games(not that there's anything wrong with that). One of my biggest regrets is that I haven't spoken to him in almost a year. Despite our differences, I still love him. I can remember feeling hurt by him, but in hindsight I think that this was only because I was afraid to ever really express myself around him.
Back tracking a little, I began playing guitar the summer before 8th grade. My parents became concerned because i wasn't involved in any discernable activities, and I was becoming increasingly despondent with playing home run derby or whatever with Brandon. First solution - gun club! I tried this for a few weeks, but my dad and I both were unnerved by the vibe... plus I wasn't very good... plus Columbine happened. Then, one day, I was driving with my dad, and a Def Leppard song of all things came on, prompting him to ask if I'd ever considered playing the guitar. I hadn't, but the notion immediately consumed me. For my birthday, my folks got me a Cort strat-style electric guitar and a little amp. The also paid for lessons with perhaps the single most influential figure in my life, Don. From the beginning I loved Don, and I wanted so badly to play and to please him that I almost never stopped playing. I made tremendous progress. One of the salesman at Music-Go-Round once said I had a Cal Ripken-like steak of lesson attendance. I honestly couldn't see how anyone couldn't. Don pushed me so subtly that I never really noticed. I was initially interested in metal almost exclusively, but under his guiding hand I ventured into blues, folk, jazz, and probably most importantly, classical. later, I even studied country music with him. I still see him regularly. He's like a Zen Master to me. Some of my favorite memories are drinking tea with him in his kitchen. He also showed me the Tao Te Ching. There's much more about music to say, but I'll save thing for sections about a couple of other friends, and college.
In 10th grade I met Aleister. He was unlike anyone I had met up until that point. I became interested in him because of a little zine he and 4 of my other soon-to-be best friends put out called Mishap Revolution. Reviewing those things now is an exercise in torture, but it all seemed so important at the time. Aleister is the major reason I became a vegetarian. He introduced me to innumerable pieces of literature and philosophies, and even still if you were to ask him today he'd say that I was smarter than he. Pshaw. I feel as if I spent the better part of my junior and senior years in high school having mind-blowing conversations with him. He also got me drunk for the first time. I live with Aleister now in an apartment in Hampden, which is a neighborhood in Baltimore. He left for Georgia for about a year while I was putting in my first semester of college. I don't think that up until that point I had ever wept so hard as I did during the weeks leading up to his departure. I could honestly write a whole bio on just Alesiter and I, but I can't afford to linger too much (time is closing in). It suffices to say that he is still the person I feel closest to. Oh yeah, and he showed me Neutral Milk Hotel, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and 1000 other pieces of indispensable music.
My other friends of this period include Charlie, Jon, and Matt. Charlie is Sara's cousin, oddly. I had vaguely known him growing up, but never thought much of it. It turned out he was a music profit of some kind, which access to all kinds of things I didn't even know people still listened too - blues music going back to the 20s, strange local punk music, and other innumerable eccentricities. I won his heart one day by mentioning Django Reinhardt in a conversation unprovoked. Charlie was also a natural musician, and I admired his songs greatly, along with the songs of our friend Kyle, which I listened to non-stop for a period. This is what really prompted to start writing songs, and I haven't stopped since (well, I have for periods, but I always come back to it). I was trying to think of the best day of my life for some reason recently and i landed on a day in January when I was in the 11th grade in which I drove to Charlie's house on a snow day to jam with he, Kyle and Alesiter. I always loved music, but that was the first time I felt transcended by it. I've been in a band with Charlie, Aleister, and our friend Carson as well. We played a few shows, wrote some very good songs, had some excellent times.
Jon was hard for me to get to know because at first he seemed so different than me. He is like family to me now. We, like Aleister and I, have spent many a day and night just talking, and they are all days I remember fondly. We had a rough patch when he, along with everyone else I should say, was drinking way too much, and it became a little hard to be his friend, but I was any way. Things got smoothed over though. I miss him often because we don't live very close anymore and he doesn't have a car.
Now comes the part I've been resisting: the section about Dominique. Oh, Eva's coming. This has taken longer than I thought. I will continue before the 24 hours is up, rest assured... OK, back to work. Sequoia and I met in my Senior year of high school - we were both 17. Oddly enough we met when she sat down next to me in class (disgusting, I know). We almost immediately hit it off. In February I walked over to her house and we made out listening to the Beatles for hours. "Hey Jude," which I previously hated, was our song. Time moved both slowly and quickly around her. The years have gone by so fast, but the moments always seemed so long. We were madly in love. She made me feel better about myself than I ever had before. It wasn't long before she moved into my parents' house with me, where she stayed for a couple of years, before transferring to a different college and moving there. About a month ago we broke up, which has been really hard. I guess we wanted different things. 4 years... We vacationed once to San Francisco, which is where I am right now, trying to settle my head.
Anyway, during most of time I was with Sequoia, I was also in college, which presented its own existential crisis. I decided on being a music major, concentrating in classical guitar performance. It was really hard starting out, really hard. All of the fun of music seemed to be sucked away; I had to practice for 3-4 hours a day; I had to sight sing. It seemed a trap, and I started out despising it. I may have quit and changed for something easier if not for Troy, my classical guitar instructor. Lance is a stoic, understanding presence that somehow has a way of making you want to do better, for him, but mostly for yourself. He gave me rather silent and cryptic encouragement, and I began to enjoy myself. Now, though I still play all kinds of music, I couldn't see doing anything else. Lance informed me into my 2nd year that he wasn't going to be teaching at that school anymore, so I transferred to one where he would be, which worked out quite nicely because I received almost a full-ride scholarship.
During my college years, I also experienced changes of residency. From a dorm at my first school, which I hated, to my parents house again, which I didn't like much better, to a house with 3 friends, to the apartment I'm living in now. Te house deserves at least a few sentences. I lived there with Aleister, Carson, and Eva, perhaps the nicest, most genuine person you'll ever meet. I'm currently typing in her new little cottage in California. The house was located in Fells Point, which is a hip little place in Baltimore I'd wanted to live in since I was 16. We all wondered how we could afford it. Then, we found out. You see, the landlords were (or are, more appropriately) truly crooks, and they took us for a ride, to be sure. Their most egregious abuse was their apparent knowledge that the house was infested with (wait for it) BEDBUGS! They are real, and they are terrifying. You won't even see them until your infestation is fairly massive, then you'll periodically see little tick-like creatures scurrying away from the light. At first, Aleister and I just thought we had mysterious rashes, but it turned out they were bites. The suckers get you about an hour before dawn, and you won't even know it. I rarely slept during that period. We spent about $500 of our own money getting rid of the things because the landlords would not act. We would never see that money again. Aside from the bedbugs, the house became unlivable for other reasons. After Eva left, the place was inhabited by 4 mostly depressed males that had issues with cleaning up. When the roaches came, Aleister and I knew it was time to go.
I've one last subject to touch on before I end this biography. It is the reason that I will be changing the names of all people and places. If I am to learn myself more, however, this must be discussed, as it has been the hardest issue for me to deal with throughout my entire life, nearly. You see I have a kind of unusual fetish known as infantilism, which is essentially attraction to acting and being treated like a baby. If you look down to assignment 1, I have clothing much like the pieces that have been made, and I do wear it in private. This has been with me since before puberty, and is firmly a part of who I am. One of my earliest memories is as a 3 or 4 year old trying on one of my younger brother's diapers. I longed for them for most of my preteen years, and once I hit puberty, this other element got thrown in the mix. Then I discovered the internet. Unbelievably I found erotica, porn, chat rooms, message boards, etc, all catered exclusively to people like me. Still, I tried to keep this part of myself dormant; it wasn't until moving out of my parents house that I ever really allowed myself this release at all. The day I told Sequoia was one of the hardest of life. The sweetness and tenderness with which she received it will always be one of my fondest memories of her. After we broke up, I made a point to tell 2 very close friends after we broke up to kind of relinquish its power over me, and their calm, unexcited reactions really did wonders. I'm tired of apologizing to myself for it.