I like to think that I have always been my own person. I have my way of thinking, my way of acting and my way of doing things (even if they don't always work). While I can respect the wisdom and knowledge of people that came before me, I like finding my own way. This started at a very young age.
|Never a slave to conventional dress,|
I found my style early on.
|I was gangsta,|
before gangsta was cool.
I demanded this freedom in other areas of my life as well. I knew how I wanted things and would accept nothing less.
|Had Mother fixed the steak I asked for,|
this would not have happened.
My parents, being appreciative of the freedom I was offering them by my new independence, took advantage of the situation. Since I could take care of myself, they could go out and not have to worry about me. It saved money in babysitters and further taught me self reliance.
Against my wishes, they later decided this was not a good idea.
|I invited the neighbor girls over,|
but their mom said they were napping.
|The cop took this picture after pulling me over.|
I was on my way to buy more booze.
One Sunday, my family was walking in the pasture behind my great-grandfather's house. It was a beautiful day and the birds were singing. All that open air made me yearn for the freedom that I knew I deserved. After all, it had been over three years since I had escaped from the suffocation of the womb. How long should I be expected to play the part of cute pet? I knew today was the day and began looking for my opportunity.
As we approached the top of a hill, I observed a wide open space before us. This was the place to make a break for it. If I could make it to the tree line, I could disappear and live off the land.
Being acutely aware of my short stature (darn stubby toddler legs), I knew I would need a head start in order to not be caught. The large descent before me would give me the opportunity to gain speed quickly. If the parental units could be distracted for a few moments, I would have the edge I needed.
I pointed at a cloud and babbled in that way that adults think are so cute. When they looked up, I bolted for the bottom of the hill. I was able to get close to the bottom before they realized I was gone. Only a few hundred feet more and I would be free forever.
I looked back and noticed that they had taken pursuit and were screaming for me to stop. They must have been aware of my intentions because they were much more frantic than usual. My father was closing in fast, so I concentrated on my departure.
Upon reaching the bottom of the hill, I tripped and sprawled forward. My tumble caused a white hot dust to come out of the ground. I quickly found it difficult to see and began to cough. I then realized that I had been duped.
My great-grandfather had anticipated my plan the night before and laid out a trap. He had burned a large brush pile after clearing out some trees. Knowing this was where I would most likely make a run for it, he placed it in the valley before the trees.
The entire pile had been burned to the ground and the only evidence of the preceding days events was the white ash on the ground. In my haste to get away, I had not noticed what I was running toward. The fire was out, but the coals were still crackling hot. My hands were now holding up the rest of my body from being burned, but my center of gravity did not allow for me to stand up and remove my hands from the burning.
Was this going to be the end? Would I slowly disintegrate into the pile eventually engulfing my entire body? I had underestimated the deviousness of my guardians.
My father snatched me out of the fire. I knew they were disappointed that the trap had not worked properly. He was going to throw me in and finish the job properly. I held my breath and waited for the heat, but it never came.
My father ran back to the house as the heat in my hands began to grow to intolerable levels. After a quick clean up, they rushed me to a hospital. The doctor's did horrible things and then bound me so I could no longer cause any trouble. My parents' plan to end my independence was complete.
|I could no longer change my diapers.|
|My dog didn't even respect me any more.|
They teased me this way every few days. The doctors would take them off and then replace them. I finally understood. They were trying to break my spirit.
After a few weeks, I falsely admitted compliance. Satisfied that I would not attempt escape again, they freed my hands. It was several years before I tried again.
|It didn't go well either.|