The following is an excerpt taken from the much anticipated self-titled book The Only Child Of An Atomic Engineer, which is scheduled to be published in 2021 by Blurb Books.
When I was younger, I used to write in riddles and I used to write in rhymes. I thought that by doing so, that I might capture the attention of my reader. I never anticipated I would be writing for a specific audience; I wrote the way I felt in my heart and soul to be true, not realizing or accepting the fact that while patience might be common, intellect is not. Perhaps the true meaning behind my words might never be revealed, instead blinded by the manner in which they were written.
I used to write in sketchbooks with plain white pages; always in blue ink, and always in very tiny handwriting. There was no rhyme or rhythm to my writing, just random thoughts and accounts of the days events, filled with cryptic references, painting a picture akin to a ghost into a fog.
I had documented a substantial amount of my life during the early 1990’s, though as it turns out, it was a complete and total waste of my time. I wish I had spent my time more wisely, taking more pictures and taking my writing more seriously.
When we are young, we have a very different view about how the world really works. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but some dreams appear to be abstract. In a world full of people with very concrete goals, becoming a writer is something that seems obscure and unusual to most. I believed to become a writer, one would have to write at least one book, and typical of being young and naive, I thought that my cryptic journal entries would one day could parlay into a national bestseller.
Never could I have imagined at such a young and unworldly age that becoming a writer would be a multi-step process; twists and turns, setbacks, and disappointments, made more fleeting by being forced to work in various and unrelated career paths. It is difficult to relate to those around me who attended college and universities with a clear, tangible goal in mind, for which their education was specifically tailored for.
Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, I cringe. It is difficult to explain what a writer actually does, though the end product remains the same; written words, either printed on paper, or through some electronic medium, written for the consumption, entertainment, and/or enlightenment of the reader. The process from inspiration to finished product is immensely complicated, and even more difficult to explain.
From a very early age, my parents encouraged me to seek a career in something considered by most to be prestigious. Their dream was for their only child to become a business man. When I started my first year in college and wrote against capitalism, their back-up plan was for me to become a doctor. So I studied anatomy, physiology, and emergency medicine, but outside interests and curiosities made me question what I wanted to study. My true passion was writing. I can clearly remember my father lecturing me about how, as he put it, “you will never make a single dime by writing.”
He was wrong.
As time went on, it became clear that I was someone who might never possess a true calling. In other words, I was a multipotentialite, following my dreams and interests both vocationally and in life. The obvious career for me was to be a writer, photographer, and website designer; while not always considered prestigious or glamorous, it is the one business venture that has always been something I have been passionate about.
I started keeping a journal around age 8, but since the start, I always self-censored myself, never being completely honest, and leaving out any mention of emotions or what I was feeling. I noted only events, happenings, ideas, and plans for the future; where I had been, what I had seen, heard, experienced, and where I dreamed of going next. I always focus on the past; what was, what could have been, what should have been. I have always terrified of someone reading my journal for fear of being judged.
I never really opened up to anybody; I never told the entire story of my life to anyone only a thumbnail view of how my life and feelings really are. So much hidden behind blue eyes; so much of my existence constantly shrouded in mystery. The only person who really knows me for who I really am is Amelia; it is she who knows and sees me, it is her who doesn’t judge, her who sees the painful secrets I keep hidden from everyone else.
My writing journal has always taken a birds-eye-view of my life. From an early age, I would use my writing as a means of dealing with emotional upset; obsessively organizing and categorizing my pain. I constantly questioned everything through my writing, trying to sort through things to find meaning and sense behind every experience, though many experiences defied any sense or explanation. In my journals I often ruminate over my unhappiness, going over all the painful memories of childhood, in a futile attempt at trying to re-examine and re-write the past.
Amelia is the only person who has ever read my journals from start to finish. I was anticipating her reaction to be one of rejection, or worse, an end to our relationship, but instead, she accepted what I had written in my journals as the past. In many ways, it made our relationship stronger; I knew I was able to tell her anything, no matter how intimate, and she would never judge it.
In the past, I toyed with the idea of writing a tell-all memoir about my childhood, specifically naming, if not flat-out placing the blame on those responsible. But what would I get? Would I get revenge? Or would I simply educate those who read it that everyone goes through some sort of emotional trauma in their lives, and although you learn through mistakes, despite sincere apologies, revenge, and retribution for what happened to us, as much as we try to forgive and forget, the past will never be undone.
Sometimes I feel as if I am lost in the pages of a book about my own life, filled with the jaded ramblings of a madman. The world not as it seems as arcane symbolism seeks the truth of higher meaning.
My written words are sometimes a nightmare to those who are not like me. Those who are unamused by difference, unable to shift focus or perspective, seeing the world only as they are told or taught to see it. Life is ours, we live it our way, and we write our own story as life goes on.
The older I get, the more I realize how the world works, and how many things in life are based on illusions accepted as real by those trapped through common thought. We live in a world controlled through politics and religion. Throughout human history we have witnessed the persecution of differences.
Those who scare me are the ones who are drunk on religious beliefs. Religion preaches lies that are meant to psychologically trap its followers. The notion that we are created broken or our only hope of salvation or getting into heaven requires regular religious attendance and/or monetary contribution. I reject modern religion for a multitude of reasons, but if I had to specify my beliefs I would say that I am Pagan.
My idea of heaven is for my spirit to ride upon the shoulder of a black-winged bird.