Posted by: JDM..... | August 6, 2013

Inner MAN…

the journey….

This started out as a comment on a blog that I follow because I find it amusing, but I developed a case of diarrhea of the keyboard, rambling far beyond forgivable comment fare. Ironically, the blog was about “meme things that promote becoming one with your inner happiness”, i.e., “Screw everybody else”, it’s all about me …..and I got so wrapped up in MY stuff that I blew off the response and made my own blog. So there, etcetera. I do recommend good ol’ what’s-‘er-face’s blog, though, so click HERE

Actually, I didn’t know what “meme things” meant so I e-mailed my daughter to bring me up to speed. Good luck! I still have a “phone” that makes phone calls. It took awhile for her to get back to me, of course. E-mail is ”soooooooo yesterday”, as she would say. She better be careful. My grandson figured out the household technology before he was toilet trained, and he’s building up momentum. Karma will out.

Anyway, I groaned at the “inner happiness” doohickey. I was a counselor for the better part of 500 years and am permanently PTSD from jousting with everyone’s “inner” shit head.

I know, I know, the reason the 3:15 was screwed up was because his/her/its father was an ass hole. BFD. So, emulate someone else.

The truth is, I don’t have an Inner Child. I got rid of the little bastard one day when I stole one of my mother’s cigarettes and skulked out to the backyard where I sat on the side of my kid sister’s sandbox, lit up the Raleigh, and inhaled a dirigibleful. When I came to and the trees stopped spinning, I was a MAN.

Well, sort of. I was nine, but it was a start.

Next, I discovered the pure art and beauty of liquor bottles and their diverse labels, not to mention the fact that my parents chucked them with about a half a shot left in the bottom. My collection was up to 17 before our neighbor decided to get rid of the old doghouse out behind their garage and that was the end of that. Anyway, MANhood had been achieved.

Well, sort of. I was twelve, but it was a start.

At fourteen, when the guys decided to skip out of the Friday Night Canteen for a smoke, I was on board. Besides, the girls were all dancing with each OTHER, so no big deal. I didn’t know how to dance anyway, but I did know how to smoke. I also knew how to drive stick shift, so when the consensus was that we should go over to Mike’s house and swipe his father’s old Henry J….. (his parents were out for the evening with friends) ……I was elected to do the ugly. I was ALWAYS elected to do the deed. I think I was being set up, but we never got caught. Good for me!

About a year later, my friend George DID get caught though. I was riding “shotgun” and all of a sudden we spotted his mother heading in the same direction, towards home, on a parallel street two blocks down. She was out with a friend and we hadn’t expected her home for another hour or so, I guess.

When we got to the corner of his street and started to make the turn, two blocks down, Attila the Mother and friend were doing the same thing in the opposite direction, so we were head to head. George suggested when I was halfway out of the door that maybe I should bail. Booking it down the street lest I suffer from rogue shrapnel events, I could hear my friend’s mom conversing with him as he turned into the driveway:

“GEORGE B*********, YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!!!”….

So, on my sixteenth birthday I got a carton of Winstons and not long after, my driver’s license. At last! I was a MAN, and I had papers to prove it!

Well, sort of. I was only sixteen, but it was a start. I have to admit, I was getting a little impatient with that whole transition thing. I thought I had it licked when I turned 18 and got a draft card of my very own, but when it was followed up by one of those friggin’ “Greetings” letters I figured I wouldn’t mind postponing MANHOOD for a little longer after all. The Selective Service System disagreed, so I joined the Navy.

At last. I really WAS a man.

Well, sort of. I felt like a three year old desperately in need of unconditional pampering when the Marine Gunnery Sgt. screamed down my pie hole so hard that I farted and my belly button everted. I was in aviation, AOCS, and that duty fell to seasoned U.S. Marine Corps drill instructors, who could stand at a forty five degree angle and bark like a seal, among other things.

I was destined to become a MAN whether I cooperated or not, then. Well, sort of. Later, after my Commissioning, I had a moment’s relapse to a flash of near pant-wetting prepubescent fear the first time I pulled back on the stick and realized that I was no longer on the ground and there was no combat-grizzled Ace in the back seat to save my ass, and I was going to have to get that mother back on the ground in one piece all by myself.

The years subsequently flew by. I thought of myself as a MAN most of the time, but in more of a minimalist sort of way instead of as some kind of ball dragging reservoir of testosterone. What the hell, I was a psychology major, for cryin’ out loud, not a Naval Academy first string football hero or anything like that!

I wandered about through some sales farces for a few years, tried my hand at small town newspaper editing, and finally found my niche in the behavioral health field as a counselor. Oh, yeah. Wow, I studied that stuff once.

So, here was this MAN, teaching troubled souls about their Inner Children. I get it. Whatever is responsible for putting me on this planet has a sense of humor.

Actually, I came to love my work at least part of the time. I wasn’t particularly fulfilled by hearing very unfunny horror stories and having grown men and women emotionally disembowel themselves all over my desk five days per week, but I learned a GREAT DEAL about myself in the process and may actually have helped a few of them along the way, too. After twenty five years, I was scratching my ass one day while charting at the Unit Nurse’s Station when it occurred to me that I ought drag my buns down to Personnel and retire.

So, I did. Substance Abuse had been fun, but a locked Psychiatric unit could be a tad physical at times. Like I said before, I was a psychology major, not a Naval Academy first string football hero or anything like that, and even if I did wrestle in Junior High School, that was in the 120 pound class and I never made it off the bench. Fifty years and a hundred pounds later, occasionally having to do business with some poor delusional 300 pounder who saw something in me that I did not, or catching an unexpected knuckle sandwich from time to time was beginning to wear on me. Besides, I had recognized “crispy syndrome” creeping up on me. Another two years and I’d have had to exchange my keys and nametag for a johnny. Retirement seemed like a splendid idea.

The dénouement is, I’m a MAN now, albeit a tad overweight, hair challenged, and toting a medical resume fatter than a sociopath’s rap sheet, ….and I grin a lot. That’s not my Inner Child smirking, that’s the MAN. Took me awhile, but I finally figured it out. I don’t have to BE a kid to FEEL like one, or to ACT like one…..any more than I had to BE a MAN to FEEL like one, or to ACT like one…..

Uniform of the day: old jeans with camo suspenders, T-shirt, NRA cap with scrambled eggs all over the bill, Jesus sneakers,…… oh, and teeth, too, but only if I feel like it.

 

~-~* * *~-~

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Responses

  1. Ain’t retirement grand?


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