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My Story – Abbreviated – Volume 1

I have been experimenting with different writing projects to see which kind can be written the quickest. I’ve found, so far, that the articles that seem to be the quickest to compose are those articles which require little or no references, I know a great deal about, and those topics I currently happen to be obsessing over in my mind anyway. It occurred to me that I know a great deal about myself though any readers do not. Also, who would I cite or reference? I’m the expert and who doesn’t like talking about themselves?

Earliest Memories

Naturally, we don’t remember much at all, usually, before the age of about four or five years. However, I do recall a few snippets here and there. I was living with my mother in a small town in California. I only know it was California because I was told later on after my memory became more developed.

From that time period, I recall brief little moments like seeing a rainbow and a walnut tree. I also recall eating pomegranate seeds. Little else comes to me from that time but the memories I do have are fond ones.

It all just sounds like unicorns eating clouds and pooping rainbows right? Pretty boring to the average reader I would imagine. The only sign of trouble from that time I recall was a memory of me waking up walking up while everyone else was asleep and walking outside the trailer we were living in. It was dewy and cool and we had a walnut tree outside.

Nothing bad happened to me but I clearly was not being properly attended to. I tell my mother about this and she responds with alarm every time as if she hasn’t ever heard me say it before. I’m not sure what that means, if anything, but I know I developed an Anxious/Preoccupied attachment style somehow.

Another incident I recall involved a ditch in the back of a house I and my mother were visiting. As I recall, she was inside with the adults and I was playing out back. I can’t recall if there were any other children around or not; it was a long time ago so my memory of the event is a bit vague. I was alone and got it through my head to go play in the muddy canal. Once down in it I could not, for the life of me, climb my way back up out of it because the slopes were too slippery and steep.

I remember being a bit panicky but quickly accepted that I would have to walk down the canal to find another way out. I don’t recall whether I cried out for help before making this decision but certainly none was forthcoming. Eventually I found a way out and wandered around the neighborhood hopelessly lost.

Having noticed that I was missing the police were called and I was brought back to my concerned and somewhat irate parent. I am not brining this up to demonize my mother, by any means. If she was a particularly bad parent I would probably not be writing this right now. No, I suppose that if she had been a particularly bad parent I would be smoking crack and beating prostitutes in between prison sentences.

It is interesting dredging up clues as to how I came to develop an Anxious/Preoccupied attachment style. Certainly one’s attachment style affects not only one’s romantic entanglements, but also one’s career and ability to properly parent. Negative attachment styles can also represent a higher tendency toward substance abuse and other self-destructive behaviors.

Childhood

The mental pictures get a bit less hazy once I think about when I was around five years old. In fact, one of the things I remember when I think about that period is a game I used to play every night in bed before I would go to sleep. The game, or mental exercise if you prefer, involved reviewing my whole life probing back in my head as far as I could go and working my way back forward.

As best as I can figure, I did this partly because I didn’t have anything else to think about at that time but also because I seemed quite fascinated and positive about life back then. I think I must have started doing this around age three because it seems to me I did this quite often for at least a few years and I get that a lot had happened in that time. I remember moving at least a few times by then.

Each night I would get better and better at it reaching further and further back in my history until one particular night. This night something peculiar happened. I had gotten so good at the “game” I was able to find some memories all the way back to my birth even though I don’t remember what was recalled at that time right now.

Once I realize that I could think back all the way to my birth, it occurred to me to think back even further to before my birth and even before my conception, though I had no word or conceptualization of what that meant back then. If I could think back to the womb, why not try to go beyond that and see what happens? Why not?

So I tried visualizing before my birth and the strangest thing happened. To this day, I’m not sure how to describe what happened. I could try likening it to an acid trip but I don’t feel that is quite accurate. As soon as I breached a sort of “divided line” between this life and what came before I immediately perceived a visual effect regarding different faces.

The experience reminded me of experiments I would conduct as a child using multiple mirrors. The faces, attached to bodies which were partially cloaked in shadow, stretched out in two directions infinitely. None of these faces where of people I knew and all of them seemed strikingly familiar.

Even at that early age, this seemed like a clear indication that something did come before. It was as if there was a veil separating this carnation with ones that came prior and that, just on the other side of that veil, it was indicated that there were more to come as well. The nature of this reality is not easily described and does not quite fit the descriptions of heaven, hell, or nirvana that I have encountered.

Possibly the strangest thing is that after that I stopped playing the game for the rest of my life then on forward. I really have no clear understanding of why. I just seemed to get bored of it. I suppose I was no longer challenged by a review of my current life and, for some reason, seeking out more information about past lives or the like didn’t appeal to me for some reason. I got that I had been someone else at some point but it seemed like something I wasn’t supposed to know or just wasn’t interested in.

During this time in my life I was exposed to my maternal grandfather who was more than willing to attempt to answer even my most difficult questions. Because, you see, even at that age I was intensely philosophical so would ask the darndest things. I remember asking him about the peculiar reality that I was me, experiencing life as this one particular individual, and not someone else experiencing life from that other subjective frame of reference.

Now, as should be obvious, that is a very difficult question to even ask, let alone answer. Over thirty years later it is still a difficult question to even put into words. Some might say it’s even a meaningless question but my grandfather, to his merit, really tried.

I also noticed that sometimes I could “feel” someone’s or something’s presence even when they weren’t in my line of sight. My grandfather explained to me how everyone and everything is surrounded by invisible electro-magnetic fields. Even at that early age I understood this answer and have found, throughout the years, that this explanation is still as valid as ever. We now have machines that can help us see these “auras.”

My grandfather had an enormous impact on my mind. He let me play with the some of the earliest personal computers which he had to help with his accounting business. When I was a young teen he gave me a book club membership. He died when I was in high school.

I think the first clues that I had an Anxious/Preoccupied attachment style and what some would call ADHD was in kindergarten. In regard to attachment, I remember the first girl that kissed me practically took possession of me for a short while. Interestingly, now that I think of it, my latest love interest probably looked and acted just like her when she was that age. I can’t help but wonder if that may be part of the reason I “fell in love” with her so hard and so fast.

The girl in kindergarten that “liked” me proved to only have a fleeting interest. After a short while the intense interest faded and she didn’t pay much attention to me after that. Because this was kindergarten so there was no sexual element involved I handled this quite well but the longing and disappointment was still there.

There was another girl who I thought was cute so I’d sit by here every time we sat down in a group to listen to a story. One day, when the girl was having a bad day, she acted out saying, “why do you always have to sit by me!” I didn’t understand her ire and still don’t to this day. I didn’t do anything; I don’t even remember talking to her. All I did was try to sit by her every chance I got. I remember feeling very hurt by this, probably a lot more than one should be given the scenario.

In regard to ADHD, or hunter/gatherer suitability if you prefer, in kindergarten we had “work” to do that mostly involved coloring by numbers and whatnot. We had little cubby holes to place our unfinished work and mine was always full. I tried to finish the work but was unable to get it done as quickly as the other kids in the glass. I remember my mother being somewhat upset with me over this.

Our neighborhood on the east side of the Salt Lake City valley was almost idyllic. We lived in a U-shaped street just off the main road. Further away from the main road was a neighborhood right next to ours full of millionaires which would be equivalent to billionaires today. Crime was low and the schools received more than adequate funding. We played “kick-the-can” in the middle of the street and walked to school in groups.

In first grade I found out that my reading ability was definitely higher than average. I remember we would take turns reading and I recall getting rather frustrated and annoyed when some people would have trouble reading so it would take them a long time to get through a small segment and needed help and correction the whole time. I never had this problem and found myself being tasked by the teachers to help other children learn how to read better.

After first grade, my mother decided she was through with the traffic and other irritations inherent to a city environment. She wanted to get away from civilization altogether as much as she could. We built a modified A-frame kit home in rural Utah over five miles away from the nearest town.

Unlike some of our neighbors, most of which lived over a mile away, we did not have a generator. Also, unlike some parts of the valley where they had artesian wells, we had to use a hand-pump style and hand-carry water to the house. We used candles and oil lamps for light and a wood and coal burning antique stove for heat.

I had a bicycle and a three-wheeler. Later the three-wheeler was traded in for a “mini-bike.” With no brothers, sisters, or even first cousins, I suppose I was a bit spoiled in a way. At Christmas time it was always insisted that I write a sizeable list of what I wanted. I never did get a motorized go-cart but other than that I tended to get everything on the list. Over the years I actually started to resent this because I didn’t believe I deserved it. I can’t say I know why I felt like this but there it is.

While we lived in the country my closest friend lived over one hundred miles away. I recall being left at the property, sometimes for hours at a time, with nobody to talk to or play with. What I would have to do to visit my friend, because I wasn’t allowed to ride my motorcycle unsupervised, is ride my cheap BMX bicycle over steep dirt hills. It was quite difficult so I didn’t attempt it often.

In second grade I got my first taste of being picked on, teased, and treated like an outsider. It was a difficult time for me and I began to hate school because that is the place I would go to get treated like garbage by other students. This persisted the whole time I lived in the county. I always had a few good friends but during school all I could do is fight to maintain my position in the hierarchy just above the omega male. Eventually I worked my way up a couple positions by literally fighting.

After a couple years, our house burned down while we were staying with my grandparents over the weekend. It was believed to be arson and the prime suspect left town never to be seen again. We had a cat that had been secured in the home who survived. Everything in the house, including the cast-iron stove was leveled from the intense heat. Someone must have entered the home prior to it burning down or the cat would not have been able to escape.

We were taken in by an unbelievably sweet kind Baptist widow with three children of her own. We slept in a small trailer and then joined them for breakfast in their prefabricated home for breakfast and the like. This is how I existed in third grade but eventually my mother, who ambitiously worked as a guitar teacher, waitress, and went to Snow College bought a home in a nearby town. The house was over one hundred years old.

While living in rural Utah, at some point I was put in cub scouts. Finally, I had a way of fitting in amongst the Mormons of the communities. They accepted me in a way that I simply didn’t experience in the school system. It was a lot of fun and we were blessed with a variety of outdoor adventure opportunities. I learned how to light a fire with one match with no paper or fuel, something of which I was quite proud.

I don’t recall an exact chronology, but I do remember little incidents that had a lasting impression on me. In elementary school a particular kid would bully me with a couple of his little cronies as we rode our bikes home. One day I got fed up and something snapped in my mind. I started laughing maniacally and assaulting the child back with fervent aggression. He became genuinely frightened and, not only did he not pick on me after that, we actually became friends. This is common theme among boys; I don’t know why.

Another thing that happened that one is not bound to forget is that one day, I think around sixth grade or something, my friend and I found a huge plastic bag full of Hustler magazines under a bridge. Needless to say this had an impact. I was already a sexual being even before I had a clear understanding of what sex was so this discovery certainly had its appeal.

My mother had a live-in boyfriend in those years. He was big, intelligent, rural, mellow, and a seemed a bit lazy. He was always kind to me and, along with my grandfather when I was visiting him, allowed me to experience gaming and light basic programming on some of the world’s earliest personal computers. He was part of the volunteer fire department and search and rescue team. This was hardly unusual. It seemed like everybody had a police scanner just waiting to jump into action as a means of bringing some excitement into their otherwise pastoral lives.

One of the things the volunteer fire department was tasked with was the controlled burning of condemned building. Small towns with their sluggish economies have no shortage of potential dangerous uninhabitable abandoned dwellings. This was great entertainment for everybody as the entire town would show up to watch the building burn to the ground.

The county also had an annual demolishing derby and rodeo around Independence Day. At the time, I was much more interested in the derby than the rodeo I hardly spared a glance. I’m not sure for the reason for this but I was obsessed with anything futuristic and totally apathetic to anything that seemed “old-timey” or mundane.

A thing we didn’t have for the much of the time we lived in rural Utah was a television. However, we would take a trip up to the Salt Lake valley about every other weekend to stay with my grandparents. My grandfather would watch Gunsmoke, Battlestar Gallactica, and Star Trek (TOS). Both my grandparents would watch the news and the nighttime soap opera known as Dallas. At the time I had absolutely no interest in Gunsmoke or Dallas though the former might intrigue me a bit now if I felt I had time for it.

What really and truly intrigued me was Battlestar and Star Trek. I remember riding my bike around the block pretending I was a Viper pilot. I identified with spock and idolized him for his “science” and his “logic.” Now that I watch old episodes, pretty much the only thing I ever do watch nowadays, I realize that, though I still like Spock, he’s actually a jerk. Now I want to emulate Captain Kirk. I want to be JUST like Captain Kirk. I know it’s just fiction and I’m actually a bit older than the character now but I can dream can’t I?

By the time I was in middle-school my mother decided to join the Utah Army National Guard partly for education benefits, if I remember correctly. I lived with my father for a while with his fiancé and her two sons in a decent apartment in the Hyland area. They were the closes things to brothers I have ever had but the experience was fleeting. It was about this time that the Nintendo Entertainment System hit the market. I didn’t get one myself for some time. I ended up mostly just watching my friends play their systems at their apartments. The kids that had systems took turns but I rarely got a chance to play. They didn’t like giving me turns very often because I didn’t have practice so wasn’t very good.

Once my mother returned from basic combat training I moved back in with her in rural Utah. She would tease me for taking so long to eat as in Basic there is an emphasis on getting your food put in your stomach fast. I learned how to eat very fast which served me well when I finally went to basic training years later.

Early Teens

While still in Middle School, I had started playing trumpet in the school band. After my mother graduated from her junior college we moved to Logan so that she could continue her education at Utah State University. I attended an excellent middle school with a band so large they split the woodwinds and the brass & percussion into separate rooms.

I remember calling a girl I had a crush on on the telephone for the first time. I was incredibly nervous and it made for an awkward conversation and nothing else came of it. I didn’t have a girlfriend until about age fourteen.

My best friend in Logan played Dungeons & Dragons. Prior to that my only exposure to it was the earliest computer games based on the roll playing sensation. Years later I found out that I was incredibly good at being a Dungeon Master so I almost never got to be a player but got a huge rush when even outgoing preppies would beg me to run another campaign for them.

When I was fourteen I moved back in with my father who had since broken up with his fiancé. I don’t recall exactly why I moved in with him but I suspect it was because my mother and I were not getting along. It is at about this age where boys will tend to not mind their mother whatsoever. It was my first clue that there really should be two loving parents, a man and a woman, in a household.

To clarify, I’m not religious, though definitely not Atheist, and I don’t hate on people for having non-traditional family arrangements but I have found that children do best when they have both a father and mother figure and typically gender does make a difference when attempting to fill these positions within the family unit.

This time, my father and I lived on the west side of the valley. The kids in the area were a lot rougher around the edges than what I had previously been accustomed. Some of them were already doing drugs including LSD and even methamphetamines.

At first I was a homebody, spending much of my time playing video games by myself and the like. My father wasn’t pleased by my lack of sociability and demanded that I go out and have a social life. He somewhat regretted this decision because once I started hanging out with the kids in the neighborhood I was never home and never did my homework.

The Junior Highschool I attended was difficult for me to cope with because I experienced yet more teasing, bullying, and harassment. I had still not learned how to deal with it. One great thing about the school was that my geography teacher enlightened us to things about the world that one is generally not taught in school and never hears about on the television. To this day I’m occasionally reminded of the perception widening information he offered.

My father was, uh, “friends” with a lady that I guess was a long-time friend of the family. I’m not sure what was going on there because she was Mormon and most of her family and family friends were pretty devote and this definitely does not describe my father.

One time I ended up at a unisex slumber party with her son and a bunch of other young teens of both genders. I met a girl there who warmed up to me quickly. We kissed a lot, one might even say we “made out” at the party and she wanted to be my girlfriend. Naturally I accepted. I can still remember her kisses and how they made me feel.

What happened next struck me as being rather bizarre. We were “boyfriend and girlfriend” but when I called her on the phone I found out that she wasn’t allowed to date until she was sixteen and then only in groups. This meant I would never be able to see her. She was matter-of-fact about the whole thing. I don’t remember if I broke it off with her or just stopped calling. There really didn’t seem to be any point.

At this particular Junior Highschool we had an orchestra as well as a band. On graduation day we had a big concert with both the band and orchestra. As I recall we even played a song or two as a symphony. Backstage I met a girl, she played violin or cello or something, who was incredibly appealing. My hormones raged just looking at her. She had a beautiful but unique look about her. The orchestra geek lived in a trailer park with her mother, I later found out.

My father and I moved back to the east side that Sumer but in the lower portion which really wasn’t much different from the west. I kept in touch with the girl I met during the concert and visited her at her home in the trailer park where she lived with her mother down the road. We did some light “making out” on occasion but by then I knew what I thought I wanted: sex, sex, sex. And sex is exactly what my silly teenage mind was hoping for with her.

The relationship didn’t go terribly far. I don’t remember exactly what happened but I think I got set up. She had her friend spend time with me and, though we didn’t do anything, I guess some of the things I said gave my love interest the idea that I was a game player who “just wanted to see how far I could get with her.” This was only partially true as I was in fact quite fond of her.

It was about this time my father got engaged to another woman he met whom he did marry shortly thereafter. The bought a house on the far west side after school enrollment had already taken place. The school I was supposed to attend was poorly funded so didn’t offer the same opportunities as an east side school so, when my father found out that an east side school had a shortage of students and was accepting outside their boundaries he had me enroll there instead.

My father’s new fiancé had a son but he was already in his twenties while I was already in my teens. He wasn’t particularly interested in spending time with me so no brotherhood experience was felt. He lived with us for a while but soon moved in with one of his friends.

Our house was on the opposite end of the valley from the school I attended so I had to get up extremely early in the morning and take a public bus all the way there and back every day. It was well worth it though because we had some of the best teachers and equipment that money could buy. Unlike many of the other schools I attended, I experienced much less bullying and teasing at my first High School. The students were generally more sophisticated and less animalistic than those I had encountered in other areas.

I had a few friends in High School but developed an very close friendship with one boy in particular. My best friend was a somewhat troubled youth. He was very quiet around everybody but me. I was pretty much his only friend because, out of the few who would approach him for friendship, I seemed to be the only one he didn’t look down on. He tended to be rather judgmental toward others.

Together we went skiing, to concerts, mountain-biking, and visited Moab (Arches National Park and Slick-rock Mountain bike trail). Much of our energy involved trying to meet girls and get laid but we had almost no success in these tail-hunting ventures. We shared so much time together some people thought we were secretly gay lovers. Idiots.

I had a couple of girlfriends while I attended that High School. Both of them, coincidently, had the same first name on their birth certificates. One girlfriend attended another school. I was introduced to her by a friend of hers who attended my school. This was my first taste of how sometimes a prospective mate can go from hot to cold quickly and unexpectedly. One minute she seemed practically obsessed with me and the next there was no interest at all that I could perceive. My Anxious/Preoccupied nature was laid bare as I experienced considerable duress because of her sudden lack of interest.

My other girlfriend also attended another school. I had been introduced to her by one of my friends from the Junior High School I had gone to. I tended to feel like we ended up with each other because nobody would have us. It wasn’t an entirely unsatisfying relationship but I often treated her poorly and in those years I was much more interested in trying to get sex than I was in finding a life partner and she was not interested in sex outside marriage.

More than once I regretted marrying her while I had the chance but it’s probably just as well for she probably deserved better than I was. It’s impossible to say how it would have turned out; I only regretted not marrying her because of my experiences with women who didn’t have her strong sense of sexual morality and work ethic.

My first job was at an extraordinarily busy fast-food restaurant. This location was truly a prime example of being ruined by success. Every day there were multiple “rushes” where the line in the lobby reached outside the door and the drive-thru line circled around the parking lot. I didn’t have any idea that this was unusual but found them hiring and firing people including the managers. A manager was brought in from the regional corporate office to try to handle the place to no avail. Eventually they sold the building to another company.

Because I was, at the time, generally repelled by preppies and anything else I considered mundane, I found myself hanging out with “goths” who often had a vampire fetish. Over time I started to realize that I wasn’t really a goth but that I just liked wearing black. We would hang out at a sixteen and older club that featured “alternative” music of various kinds. Good heavens; I’m embarrassed about my attempts at dancing! I would also “mosh” both at the clubs and the occasional rock concert.

During my youth I got to see Tool and Soundgarden live but the best concerts were actually local ones (Salt Lake City might have the best music scene in the world believe it or not I have no idea why) and ones that feature more obscure bands like Stabbing Westward (which I relate to even more nowadays) and Machines of Loving Grace.

At some point I got sick of living with my father thinking he was far too strict and controlling so I moved back in with my sometimes unpredictable and verbally abusive mother for a while who was living with my grandparents before buying a house in another state. Once my senior year rolled around I got the infamous “senioritis” people talk about. I didn’t expect this so I missed an opportunity to graduate early because of the way I organized my schedule during my sophomore and junior years. As a result, I really only had one class to attend to graduate and got a work release to cover my mother’s old biochemistry lab job until they found a replacement.

I joined the Utah Army National Guard under the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) so I began drills and went to a practice basic training while still in school. I wasn’t to go through real basic and AIT (Advanced Individual Traning) until after graduation.

My job at the laboratory was pretty simple. I washed and autoclaved glassware and took care of the living frog “specimens” but that was just about it. I actually intended to keep the job and stay with my grandmother until I graduated High School but my mother had other ideas. She insisted that I move up with her to the county where she was a health inspector. She called my boss, her old boss, and had me terminated as originally agreed.

Even though I was ahead of the “game” in one of the top one hundred schools, public or private, in the nation, when I moved in with my mother, distinct differences in the school systems resulted in me actually missing needed credits to graduate. Though I was a B student who attended honors classes in my old school I found myself having to do correspondence courses from another school who usually offers such things to people who weren’t doing well and needed help graduating in addition to my full time school work in Idaho. Despite the reasonably high level of success I accomplished in school (despite the fact I never did homework), I still almost didn’t graduate because of the move my senior year.

Late Teens/Early Twenties

My new High School was a major departure from my old one. All of the fashion and trends in music and clothing seemed about twenty years behind. Most people seemed rather boring and difficult for me to relate to so I ended up becoming friends with a flashy gay boy from my band class. I had grown comfortable with homosexuals while hanging out with the “alternative” crowds back in Utah. It wasn’t long before every gay, bisexual, and lesbian for miles around was a friend or acquaintance.

In my new town I met another charming girl. I didn’t treat her well I’m afraid and eventually broke up with her because she didn’t “put out.” Maybe it’s best that I didn’t marry her but I regret having a relationship with such a sweet person when really all I wanted was sex. It wasn’t very honest. I suppose I was lying to myself at the time as well.

It was about this time that I began to experiment with marijuana and tobacco. To this day I’ve yet to quit tobacco for any sustained period of time. It starts with one cigarette; that’s all it takes to send you down that road unwittingly toward addiction.

Pot proved to be a pretty serious problem for me over the years because I liked it so much. Music sounds better, sex is incredible, and I had absolutely no problem fitting in and socializing with people who I smoked with. It took me over twenty years to finally get it through my head that pot wasn’t right for me and I’d still be tempted to toke even now. It wouldn’t be so bad except I like it too much, it’s too expensive, and I’m sexually driven and emotionally charged enough without adding to it by screwing with my hormone levels with cannabinoids.

It was also about this time that I started getting “laid” quite a lot all of the sudden. At the risk of sounding to ribald, time spent in happy valley was incredibly brief. It took me a lot of practice to stay in the depths of the ocean without capsizing, so to speak.

So, I was a slut. I wasn’t very good at it yet but that’s what I was.

Upon graduation, I promptly left for the military. I was originally supposed to be an linguist and interrogator for my guard unit but I failed Russian at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) at the Presidio of Monterey California (the Russian school had an eighty percent failure rate but it still hurt my ego). Even so, I got to experience some great times at the Presidio.

Before going to DLI, I ended up in a coed basic training unit with a bunch of “split-entry” kids who were still in high school. The Military Occupation Specialties all of the other privates in my training unit were all ones that don’t require as high of an IQ to get in except a female soon-to-be medic (who fell off a cargo net and almost killed me) and another female who was going to be an helicopter pilot. Downstairs in our building we had an experimental “lower stress” training unit who, I found out later, consisted of almost entirely military intelligence, medical, and other MOSes that require a much higher IQ like myself. I’m not saying this to brag; facts are facts. I found out later that I was supposed to have been in that unit but was placed in the wrong one by mistake.

One thing about going to coed basic training is that they give you saltpeter. I don’t know if they put it in the food (this is what I suspect) or if it’s in one of those shots they give you during processing but it works on most males preventing them from getting errections… for a while. Eventually your body becomes accustom so it matters not at all. Even so, I was a “good private” and didn’t even try corner any of the females in a mop closet though surly I was tempted. I knew I could get into a lot of trouble if I did.

After basic and before DLI, I went home to my mother and slept with three (not at the same time unfortunately) women I was graciously set up with by my gay friend. To be real I think he was hoping I’d give him some play out of gratitude. Much like friendships between men and women it seems that a relationship between two men where at least one of them is gay will often result in one of them wanting to bone the other while being kept in the “friend zone.” I also picked smoking back up while I was on leave. This is where my tobacco habit got pretty extreme.

I found myself acting like a player, I might as well have been a Dismissive-Avoidant at that time. I was rather fond of the women but was, at best, just friends except for the sexual component. I considered pursuing something more with one of the ladies but was advised against it by my friend who said that they were, in some euphemistic way, promiscuous so weren’t relationship material. This bothered me little because, not only did I know I was leaving in short order, but because it was still sex that was my main focus.

When I first got to DLI, I was shocked by what I found. I remember flying in a regular airliner to LAX airport and then transferring onto a turbo-prop plane to get to the Monterey. The landscape was all barren desert the whole way up… until we got to a ridge of hills. As soon as the plane crossed over the hills I was treated to the most beautiful misty green scenery I could imagine. It was like something out of a fairy-tale to me.

The town of Monterey, except for the parts that specifically cater to tourists, was still a quaint (and expensive to live in) little harbor town complete with a cute wooden boardwalk leading to a seafood restaurant on the peer. I took a cab to the Presidio and continued to be amazed. The Presidio was took up the whole dainty Monterey peninsula and was covered with gnarled evergreen trees. I already felt very fortunate when I went to, I believe it was Alpha company, as directed by my orders.

After looking over my orders at the ordinary typically run-down army building, I was told that Russian school at the top of the hill. The gentleman giving me directions told my I’d be glad and looked rather despondent. Once I got to Foxtrot company I began to understand why.

Foxtrot Company, which housed the Russian, Czech, and Persian Pharsee students was comprised of new looking Santa Fe-style dorms. I figured they must be to house the Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs), Officers, and/or Cadre. I took my orders to the company headquarters and was treated, by the NCO on duty, like an human being. She directed me to my room in one of the dorms, which turned out to be co-ed, where I only had to share my room with one other male.

At DLI, the studies were fast-paced and intense but, particularly in Foxtrot Company, there were little other pressures placed on us. We were treated like adults and given ample respect. In retrospect, we were actually treated much better than most permanent party active duty soldiers though I had no way of knowing this at the time.

To highlight how incredible the experience was, I’d like to mention that I spotted a red fox in the woods around our barracks. Another amazing thing is that, because I stayed back for Thanks Giving day, I found that our “chow hall” decked their cafeteria-like building like a four-star restaurant complete with two ice sculptures: one of a blue dolphin and an orange one in the shape of the world-famous delicate arch back in my home state of Utah. The experience was complete when I got a girlfriend to share the romantic town of Monterey with but more on her in a moment.

At Foxtrot Company, there were a lot of “supposed to” rules. You weren’t “supposed to” have your door closed with the opposite sex in it. You weren’t “supposed to” have more than a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine in your room. Your certainly weren’t “supposed to” have an entire wet-bar in your wall-locker. You weren’t “supposed to” stay overnight in a girl’s room without a “pass.” The NCO students and cadre weren’t “supposed to” be at our barracks (dorms really) except on official business. Certainly the NCOs weren’t “supposed to” throw keg parties with us and have sex with our females.

Still full of hormones, even more so than I am now, I naturally spent my off-time trying to hook up with the ladies. I had a close call with one of them who I really liked. We went pretty far physically but stopped short of intercourse. Somehow it didn’t ever go any further. She was a sweetie though.

There was a girl in the neighboring dorm who had a funny face which earned her the nick-name “grandma.” I wasn’t interested in her romantically but wanted to have sex with pretty much whoever would have me so I hooked up with her. Initially, I told her I just wanted to be friends with benefits even before we went “all the way.” She expressed negative emotions about “another one of those relationships” (I think she was an Anxious/Preoccupied too) but pursued a sexual relationship with me anyway. After a while, I decided to give her a shot as a girlfriend because I felt bad about using her for sex and wanted a special someone anyway. Over time, the strangest thing happened; she transformed from a rather homely girl into a beautiful young woman in my eyes. The change must have occurred only in my perception yet she, quite literally, no longer looked the same to me. It’s almost as if there was a physical transformation gifting me with a stunningly beautiful companion. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

I was very satisfied with this pairing but I wasn’t all that into it at first. At one point, there was a “health and welfare” inspection while I was staying in her room overnight where I missed a spontaneous formation that was called. I had escaped from her room without being caught but the missing formation and the delay of her opening the door for the inspectors instigated an investigation so we were both busted and had to be punished with extra-duty. We did extra-duty with a few other people including another girl (a Dismissive-Avoidant no doubt) who had been making moves to try to have sex with me even though I was with someone. At the time my sense of morality was still developing and we made-out in some tall grass where nobody could see.

I don’t remember if I told my girlfriend about it (knowing me I probably did) or if she found out through the grape-vine but she was, needless to say, pretty upset by it. Seeing how much it hurt her, I didn’t pursue anything more with the other girl. It just didn’t seem right and the other girl wasn’t offering the emotional intimacy that my girlfriend gave freely. This was my first clue that sex with various people, though appealing, isn’t nearly as important to me as a truly intimate relationship… so long as there was a sexual component, of course.

We walked hand-in hand across the Presidio, down to the charming town, across the boardwalk to the pier. We went on dates and enjoyed each-other immensely until we both went to our AITs after which she went back to her National Guard unit on the eastern seaboard and I returned to my unit in Utah. I remember calling her on the phone, talking about how we could continue the relationship. I remember her saying something about how she never held any illusions that our relationship could continue as it had. I was disappointed but didn’t see any point in calling her any more so I didn’t.

My heart just broke writing that; I think even more than it did at the time.

Because I failed Russian, I had to go for my alternate MOS. I arrogantly assumed I wouldn’t fail so I didn’t select my alternate very carefully. My first MOS was 92A which has to do with supply from the unit level up to massive depot warehouses. For some reason this MOS is extremely top-heavy with black men. I have heard some theories about why this is but am too riddled with white guilt to disclose that information at this time. I’m half kidding, mind you. Political correctness isn’t my favorite ball game.

My first AIT unit had somewhere between two and three hundred trainees in it. Most of them were male and black including the entire cadre. The drill sergeants were all black including the one female. The First Sergeant was black. Even the Company Commander was black. Black black black. All black.

My platoon sergeant was an odd one. I had never met a drill sergeant like him and haven’t met another one like him since. Thank heaven for that! I will explain later why I feel that way. The first morning I was there smooth soul music coming out of the PA system and our platoon sergeant calmly coaxed us awake, “wake up privates. It’s time to get up. It’s a beautiful day today,” he said, his voice dripping with honey. It was really bizarre. He acted like this all the time; even when I needed him not to.

I wasn’t racist at all but, unfortunately, most of the black men either were or were pathetic followers who would follow the lead of whoever was. There was a particular guy who would bully and harass me so many of the other little douchebags would go along with it. Unlike rural Utah, I couldn’t fight my way toward respect because I would get into a lot of trouble possibly even get kicked out of the military.

We weren’t allotted time to get more than seven hours of sleep, if that. That might sound good except we had a nightly duty called “fire-guard” which would necessitate each of us getting up in the middle of the night for over an hour on a rotating basis. I tend to require a lot of sleep so this was challenging enough without the men in my bay constantly talking for hours into the night.

Because talking to them only got me insulted and I couldn’t resort to the age-old male respect-earning practice of physical violence, I decided that I’d better have a talk with our platoon sergeant. I spoke with him in his office and all he did was calmly and casually offer stupid advice and refused to enact any punishment. I think, if I remember correctly, he told the overgrown children to have more respect but did nothing real to enforce this. Naturally this succeeded in only drawing more ire from the racist motor-mouths. I learned really fast that, within a controlled environment like a military unit where you can’t take matters in your own hand, sometimes what you really need is a tyrannical jerk not a soft-hearted wallflower.

The harassment persisted but one thing that helped is that one of the black soldiers, a fraternity boy from some Louisiana college, spoke out against the racist bull-crap I was going through. Because he was black they actually listened to him and some of the ingrates actually looked sheepish and a bit guilty. I guess some of them were confronted with the realization that going on with bigoted hatred of a minority was actually not cool.

Down the road we were moved into smaller rooms with only a four men, or women, in them as the previous class rotated out.

While I was in this AIT, I had pretty considerable success at “getting laid.” I had a girlfriend, however briefly, when I first arrived at the entry station before we were assigned to our respective training units. who I wasn’t really all that smitten with but we had fun making out in under one of the buildings. She had made friends with another woman who seemed quite appealing at the time, possibly because she secured herself a boyfriend who was tall, airborne, and handsome. We will call my temporary girlfriend’s friend the “over-enthusiastic” young woman for future reference. Why will become clear in as we read on. I am euphemizing but this too will be obvious further down in the article.

My “girlfriend” had a laundry and bath MOS which only lasts a few weeks of AIT so by the time I had earned a weekend pass I had already written her off. Her friend, on the other hand, stayed at the base for some time. She actually ended up there longer than me because she kept going AWOL (Absent WithOut Leave) and then turning herself in. If you screw up in military training you end up getting stuck in IET (Initial Entry Training) much longer than those who graduate. This is one of the many reasons to stay the course should you be dumb enough to join the military right now during these times of incredible, though rarely covered, warfare, death, and destruction.

During the first few weeks at my training unit, I also made out with an white Hispanic girl behind a chapel where I later snuck off to to have an illicit unauthorized Newport cigarette. It never went further than that but WHEW! Great kisser; very sexy woman.

There were only about maybe a couple dozen women trainees in my unit and only about a handful in my platoon. Most of them were terribly sexy ladies though. There was one girl in particular that caught my attention who was in another platoon (or class; same thing). She was a short (I love short cause I’m pretty short) brunette with snow white skin and a “mod” hairstyle. She was a “PT Queen” which means that she “maxed” (got the top possible score) on her Physical Training tests. The young woman was by far my pick of the pack at that time.

The classes we took were incredibly boring so there isn’t much to talk about there but after about four weeks we started getting weekend passes. I courted the delightful young mod mostly by sheer force of confidence. I think I also did something gimmicky involving some letter I had written or something but don’t remember for sure.

I planned a date with her when I got my first pass. I wanted to check out the city, go to the mall, see some sights, go to a club, et cetera. I assumed that’s what she wanted as well. We had a bunch of stuff packed so we could enjoy the freedom of being off-post all weekend so we had to drop our stuff off at the hotel room first. She did not let me out of that hotel room. As soon as the door closed, she was all over me. We never pursued any kind of relationship either. It was one of my first experiences that sometimes women just want sex.

As I write these things, a number of emotions resurface. I’m amazed how many women are the real game players and men their marks. It isn’t the worst thing in the world being a sex object but it doesn’t always feel great either.

One day, while I was hanging out at the bowling alley on another pass, I ran into the over-enthusiastic girl for the first time since arriving on post. She didn’t waste any time letting me know she was interested. She told me that because I had been with her friend I was sort of taboo which raised my sex appeal. I actually heard come out of her mouth what she wanted me to do to her followed by my last name. I had already established I had a thing for fellow soldiers and now I realized being called my last name before and during sex was hot too.

The thing is though; this young woman was infatuated with me to the extreme. She chased after me trying to secure a long term relationship and one time even went all the way to Utah when AWOL hoping to find me there. Something was pretty off-putting about her pursuit and I, quite frankly, just wasn’t that into her.

There was something creepy about the way she would invite unsolicited sex at the drop of a hat in just about any circumstance too. One time she was in the hospital, I don’t remember why, and she had me come visit her in her room. I just went there to give someone I considered a friend some comfort during her convalescence but as soon as I got there she wanted to get sexual. I did not find the hospital environment sexy at all but, being the hormone that I was (am?), we did play around a bit.

She eventually gave up the chase.

After returning from AIT, I found that my National Guard unit didn’t have a slot for my MOS nor did they have money in the budget to promptly cross train me in an MOS they did have a slot for. I was stuck at the rank of Private E-3 (Private First Class or PFC) for a few years because of this. Paying very little money, the National Guard really started to feel like a waste of time.

This was in the nineties when we had an intensely over-heated economy. I found a number of entry-level jobs. None of the jobs I found I could tolerate for long. I would work a job for a couple weeks or a month, get sick of it then quit. During those years I could simply find another job whenever I wanted.

Up until very recently, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue as a career. I was interested in just about everything. There was no field that didn’t feel worth studying and I had ample talent to make me suitable for whatever I chose. The problem is, I couldn’t choose. I don’t know how others were able to so quickly decide what they wanted to do after they got out of school. Part of the reason I joined the military is that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but knew I wanted to go to college for something so figured the National Guard GI bill would be a great way to help put me through higher-education.

I was unfocused and searching. I felt that there would be some kind of a sign or a feeling which would tell me what I was supposed to do so I had to find it. At the time I was rather Agnostic or really agnostic because my questioning wasn’t reserved to just religion but, though bordering on Atheism, I somehow knew that there must be some purpose out there which would have some meaning to me if I could just find out what it was.

Not just interested in figuring out what I wanted to do for a career, I wanted to understand everything. I had an instinct that there was more beneath the surface of what we presently call reality and a variety of mysteries to be uncovered. Having found that marijuana had philosophical benefits, I decided to experiment with LSD and Psilocybin mushrooms.

My life had become all about smoking pot and occasionally “tripping;” all the while searching for meaning and purpose for my life and about life in general. I actually experienced and learned some remarkable things during these years. Never again can I consider Atheism as a valid belief system, which is exactly what it is whether people want to admit it or not.

On one occasion I was able to (correctly) read the menu in a coffee shop without my glasses. All of reality seemed to bend to bring the menu close to my face. This shouldn’t have been possible. Skeptics might try to write-this off speculating that I had unknowingly memorized the menu at some point and that my mind was playing tricks on me. However, the menu written in dry-erase marker, updated and changed frequently. Skeptics can say whatever they want but I don’t need any convincing because I experienced it and nor am I compelled to try to convince anybody else. If you haven’t experienced something like that for yourself, you can’t possibly understand so there is no need to believe.

Another time, and this happened more than once, I was sitting with a couple friends in the coffee shop attached to the club I still frequented, and I was able to predict exactly, word for word, what they were going to say before they said it. This was a classic case of Déjà vu and it wouldn’t stop until I spoke up and mentioned that this exact same thing had happened before. As soon as I opened my mouth everything changed like the shifting of the winds of time right out of A. A. Attanasio’s Dragon and the Unicorn.

Did I mention I used to read science fiction and fantasy novels like they were crack cocaine?

There were other things too. Whenever I did acid I could see patterns in all things. I found that the features of these patterns were real and their positions were where they appeared because I could measure them empirically but normally I couldn’t perceive them as being parts of a pattern. This is why the “Flower of Life” geometry struck me as being true when I first heard about it years later. There is a sacred geometry which comprises all forms in the universe and it can’t be disputed because it can be observed often. A good example is the golden mean and the Fibonacci sequence which you can see in everything from hurricanes to tulips.

Please, dear reader, understand that I’m not suggesting you go out and start doing drugs. This seems to have been part of my path but it doesn’t mean it has to be part of yours. I will shoulder no liability if you destroy your life and/or your mind.

Between the time I got back from military training and the time I met my ex-wife, I didn’t have any serious relationships with women. I didn’t get much “action” either, so to speak. There were a few missed opportunities for Eros I passed up due to naiveté or, and this was pretty new to me, I found that taking advantage of some opportunities would have meant violating ethics I didn’t even know I had.

One day, I was hanging out with an old friend from high school when he introduced me to his “girlfriend” who was essentially just some “chick” he was playing. They were both into drugs, particularly meth amphetamine, and alcohol. I knew that meth was bad because I saw how pathetic some people’s lives where that did it but I was curious. Just exactly what was so great about this stuff that people are willing to throw away their whole lives for it?

I ended up trying meth with them and still didn’t understand what the big deal was. Apparently, if you have ADHD it takes a little more than most people to have the same effect. The next thing I knew I was hanging out with my friend’s then ex-girlfriend without him trying to get down her pants. I didn’t find her particularly attractive, she was taller than me and, though I like a casually adorned woman, she was usually dressed like a total slob.

It mattered little to me though because, although I shouldn’t have felt desperate to “get laid,” I did. I had plenty of opportunities to sleep with other women prior to meeting her but, for one reason or another, I didn’t take advantage so was frustrated by this time. She was homeless and I didn’t really want to bring her home to stay with my grandmother I was living with at the time so I followed her around going to these drug dealer/pimp houses. It took a long time before we finally had an opportunity to have the sex.

What followed was a classic case of “White Knight” syndrome.

Next Time

In the next volume, we will finish up with my early twenties and beyond. Hope this is all interesting to somebody. There are certainly more stories of struggle to be told. Life is what it is and eventually I learn about what I really desire from it.

People | Relationships | Philosophy


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