Time is unforgiving. So many choices, so many possibilities in which to choose… it is easy to get lost. There is an idea of what is the right way to be, but it is only a construct of society. I was a punk teenager, and even though I have grown up, that wildness is still a part of me. The influences of youth stretch across the years. I know I’ve always been different.
I remember my mom taking me to a new church as a kid. I had to wear a suit, and it drove me crazy. In the parking lot, I ditched the jacket and undershirt to wear the vest with nothing underneath. And it felt right. I guess I knew I was gay before puberty.
I was drawn to horror early on, fascinated by the imaginary violence. My musical tastes varied from the thrash of metal and punk to melancholy new wave. I loved the chaos pounding in my head.
Running the streets and being free through my teenage years gave me the reputation of an outsider. My life was an after-school special, one of pure anarchy. I was closeted until I turned 21. When I came out, it was with the snarling insanity of a Sex Pistol, in a whirlwind of the underground after hours and gay nightclub scene.
Occasionally, I would be a pretender and try to live a “normal” life, but it was disingenuous to a degree, until I found places to fit in. These included the film industry, managing a movie theater, and a decade in experiential marketing. The pandemic ended work the last time with a sledge hammer, and I felt lost for a bit.
Reminiscing about our wayward youth, my friend Mark reminded me to never forget who I am. That sentiment really struck a chord. I can’t escape my past; all I can do is learn from my mistakes and be myself.
Writing is a key to expression and also an important way to never forget.