I turned 34 last Thursday.
I got to thinking about it while in the shower just minutes ago.
In 34 years I’ve gone from Stargard, Poland, to Kalkoffen, Germany, to Newark, to Chicago, to Milwaukee, to Tucson to Belligham Washington, and now back to the east coast again.
Next stop Germany? Poland? I wouldn’t be entirely unhappy with either?
In 34 years I went from wanting to be a cosmonaut, to fireman, to tank commander, to teacher, to priest, to airforce pilot, back to teacher, to economist, to diplomant, and finally to archaeologist? Finally? Maybe not. Science teacher has been gnawing at the back of my mind again. Way to put that PhD to good use you butt-fucking quitter!!!
But I could do so much more good!
In 34 years I’ve gone from riding in the handlebar basket of my dad’s bike to driving cars and small trucks, small boats, and still attempting to raise the cash to pilot planes.
In 34 years I’ve gone from being terrified of my father coming home drunk and unpredictable, to becoming a functional alcoholic all my own. Though not a violent one, but say one bad thing about my father and I’ll tear your throat out. I may never have told him so, but I love that man!
In 34 years I’ve gone from being afraid of the big fat kid down the block who threatened to choke me with a coat hanger, to being fearful of the tiny little short fuck who might cost me my job for small transgressions. I learned that the fears of the adult are far more grounded in reality than the fears of a child.
In 34 years I’ve progressed through wooden blocks, to Legos to being obsessed about building model airplanes and tanks that look like spitting images of reality.
In 34 years I learned to like broccoli, cauliflower, cheap booze, math, physics, Bruce Springsteen, girls, and sunshine.
In turn, I’ve learned to despise Ron Reagan, Top Gun, most cartoons, and centipedes.
I’ve learned to mistrust, I’ve learned to be weary of fate, who I’m convinced is waiting around the corner to kick in my teeth.
In 34 years, I’ve become a lapsed Catholic, who is just now wondering about the idea of God again.
From a Parochial school boy quick to go down on a knee (not what you think you sick fucks) to agnostic to an adult who wonders if militant atheism is as polluting as fundamentalist Christianity or fundamentalist Islam.
A lot of things in 34 year.
But one thing I never lost?
The burning need to ask questions? To wonder why that is the way it is. How that this works the way it does, or when that happened and if it is connected to this?
Curiosity defined me for 34 years, and if it stops to define me in the next 34 years from now, then please just beat the living piss out of me.