It’s All About Me

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Because I have written about my parents, brothers and sisters in previous posts, I decided to post a little essay I wrote to introduce myself when I was a multimedia student  in 2009. These are the randomly accessed thoughts and emotions of R.O.M.* Russell Owen Miller, student at City College of San Francisco. 

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  • Millions of years ago dinosaurs roamed the Earth. I wasn’t there, but I played with brightly colored plastic dinosaurs when I was a kid, and I’ve seen Jurassic Park so, I think I pretty much know what it was like.dino thb
  • The earliest memory I can access is filled with confusion and ecstasy. I definitely didn’t ask to be here, it seemed. It felt more like I’d taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque. I quickly decided I’d play along, because not playing along was painful, and usually led to a lot of shouting. Besides, I had no choice. I was stuck here.
  • I remember thinking girls are just like boys, but with longer hair. I recall when my nephew told me that he saw his mother taking a bath, and that girls aren’t like boys AT ALL! After he described what he had seen, I had nightmares for months. I felt sorry for girls, I mean, what I had was bad enough, especially when it started DOING THINGS, but girls….I was so glad I was a boy!
  • My parents didn’t talk to me about the birds and the bees. My father suggested I work hard, stay out of trouble, and obey my boss. My Mother insisted I pray and read the Bible, to answer all my questions.
  • It hadn’t occurred to me that I wouldn’t be spending my time at home, on the farm, playing around the pond, for the rest of my life. Everything would stay the same except I would get bigger.
  • School changed all that. I didn’t like school. I didn’t want the world to be bigger. It scared me.
  • Strange things can happen when you recall early past memories, like before you were 10. Sometimes you can’t be sure if something actually happened, or you imagined it happened. I had a very active imagination, with lots of imaginary friends (my adult mind tells me). We had a lot of tomcats on the farm. But these cats weren’t typical. These cats could actually talk, and dance. As a matter of fact, they had their own television show. I remember that I was the show’s announcer. It was a good gig.
  • It was probably then that the time travel began. Or, maybe it was interdimensional travel. I don’t know. Like I say, your memory plays tricks when you try to recall early memories.
  • I remember standing on the steps of the Parthenon on a bright sunny morning. Everybody was naked. I remember Jesus had a peculiar smell, and his skin was kind of oily. I recall a lot of time on horseback, wandering around in the dark, unbelievably cold, searching for a nice warm fire. I remember feeling like I never had enough time to do, well…anything, and death never made any sense. Birth was even more of a mystery. At least that’s how I recall it now, back then, on many occasions, it was all very, very clear, and I was happy. But one thing is for sure. Nothing Lasts.
  • I have soared over a White City, in which the light came from all directions, and all the buildings were white. But I never saw anyone on the streets. I have sailed through an endless darkness with grim determination, while tiny lights of different colors twinkle like Christmas lights, on the horizon.
  • Everybody thought I was smart. But I was bullied and teased anyhow. Maybe I was bullied and teased BECAUSE I was smart.
  • I didn’t feel smart, though. I felt trapped in a scrawny body, with a funny face. For any activity that involved more than just thinking and talking, I would inevitably screw up somehow. People thought I did it on purpose, just to make them angry.
  • Yeah. RIGHT
  • Girls were a mystery. I think they still are.
  • But I still like them.
  • As a matter of fact, I have always liked girls better than boys. Boys are cruel. They are all about doing to you, before you get the chance to do to them. Oneupmanship. What’s the point? We’re all gonna die anyhow. I figured that one out very early on. It really hurt my grades.
  • So I spent my life, living inside my imagination, having a few friends, scrawny kids much like myself. I avoided the bullies, if I could. Stood up to them if I had to, and got beat up a few times as a result. Typical childhood in early ’60’s America. I was so relieved when I graduated from high school. NO MORE BULLIES IN MY LIFE!
  • Sadly, the bullies didn’t go away, they just became much more subtle.
  • But you know what? I eat those guys for breakfast! (I think I may have become a bit of a bully myself)
  • Say it isn’t true! Indeed, I became very self-righteous in my college years. I knew better than ANYBODY. I would offer my pearls of wisdom to my parents, my siblings, and I absolutely would not GIVE IT A REST! This little change in personality, fueled by a flood of freshly squeezed male hormones, went over really well, within my family. (as you can imagine) But my friends loved it!
  • Want a hit of acid? SURE! Want a hit off this joint? WHY NOT? I was a hippie, yippie, dippy weatherman, and didn’t care about the future.
  • UNTIL IT CAME
  • But that actually took a while. As a matter of fact the future arrived fairly recently, when I had a heart attack.
  • As a young man, I lacked ambition. ON PURPOSE. I rejected many of the social mores of our society, I scorned the American Dream. I imagined myself to be ENLIGHTENED, as I read about Zen Buddhism. It allowed me to be smug, as I continued to be clueless.
  • I suppose I’m being a little hard on myself. I was sincere in my spiritual quest. My questions cut to the quick. I was deep. Girls realised this as they gazed into my eyes. I was INTENSE (they said). But they still wouldn’t be my girlfriend.
  • Getting into a relationship. This was the subject of an endless conversation with male friends (and female, come to think of it), which lasted for about thirty years, like a sitcom that goes into syndication and the episodes keep repeating themselves year after year. I am so sick of talking about getting into a relationship. The conversation was boring before it began.
  • But, of course, I still talk about it. Alas.
  • I applied myself with gusto to a wide range of endeavors, developing skills which serve me to this day. I learned how to be patient, how to apply myself to every situation. Many people congratulated me on my magnificent courage, in being willing to tackle just about any task. I wondered, however, at what point does courage become foolhardiness? I learned an awful lot, though, and it left me with a confidence in myself I certainly lacked in my younger days.
  • I had fun, too. (It should be my epitaph.) I quenched every thirst, satisfied every hunger, so long as the resources were there. And when they weren’t I made do with what I had. But it’s true I was unhappy a lot of the time. I milked it for all it was worth, and at times I found my unhappiness intoxicating. JUST HOW MUCH CAN I TAKE? Am I tough or what? I wish I could say I never complained, and was never afraid, but when my left eye’s retina detached, leaving me blind in that eye, I was scared, and I complained plenty. I thought I’d never adjust to that, but, of course, I did. Adjustment has always succeeded in dragging me, kicking and screaming, into the next phase of my life.
  • I have never blamed anyone but myself, I am proud to say. I am the author of my life. NUFF SAID.
  • I’ve done this (teaching, offset press operator, office manager, dishwasher, data entry clerk, assistant manager of bookstore). I’ve done that (many, many drugs, Scientology, est, Zen, kneeled at the altar of Elvis Presley, dabbled in ritual magic, fell in love repeatedly with the entire inertia of the Universe working against me, and almost always had a cat)
  • I am always ready for something new (well, almost always).
  • All of the most interesting stuff happened inside. Outside circumstances of my life are a necessary nuisance, intruding upon my spectacular imagination, I’ve spent most of my life there, and I would have to say that real life doesn’t even begin to compare. I have been famous many times over. I have loved some of the most beautiful women that have ever lived. I have sung, and women have wept. I have conquered continents. I am a well known writer. I worked for a while as a stand-up comic. Everybody wants to be my friend, and is impressed with everything I do. I have more girlfriends than I know what to do with. No question about it. Reality is hard, Dreaming is easy. I choose Dreams because my dreams are the best!!
  • Perhaps that will change. GOD! I SURE HOPE SO!
  • I am waiting for the REAL WORLD to suddenly appear, in crystal clear clarity! I want REALITY to give me a French kiss, I want it to KICK MY……!
  • About a year ago, Reality almost kept it’s promise, almost, that heart attack I suffered opened my eyes a bit. I stopped living like I was (of course!) going to live forever.
  • So, that brings us to now. HOW BORING.
  • So I guess the lessons learned will be relearned. On and on. I think some smartass labeled that tedious little process which seems to rule our lives, the Law of Karma.
  • Of course, I am above all that. Always have been. I am the original face of my mother before I was born. I am so far beyond all that I have written, thought, experienced. I am OUT THERE!
  • I’m curious if you are still reading this nonsense. I am so full of it!
  • But it makes me laugh, and that counts for something.

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