November 14, 2004

A day in the life

Funny how some of the strongest memories I have rest in my mind like ice bergs in the ocean. I can see the top very clearly, but it requires some diving and scuba gear to really see what lays beneath. Some of the memories I speak of are from my earliest childhood. I can hear my own laughter in my mind, see an image of my mother, the back yard in San Francisco, yet I don't remember the context.

I believe that the journey that took me around the world began in the neighbors garage. Our neighbors were the Grebeniers. I remember that they were from Turkey, had a son, and must have had a dog. One summer day I donned my Superman cape and went over to play with Alan (the Grebenier's son). Now I must stop here and remind you that probably this is not the real memory. I either added the cape later in life, or was wearing a bath towel like a cape, or perhaps wearing just a bath towel as I am inclined to do. At any rate........the Grebeniers were not home, and the house was locked! But as my luck would have it, the garage was fitted with a dog door. This may seem odd to those who are dog owners that one would place in the garage the family dog, but I'm inclined to remember that the Grebeniers, well the mother at least, suffered from allergies and thus the dog was banished. Now me being a 4 year old and warning nothing more than a towel in the form of a cape, decided that the best course of action would be to climb into the garage via the dog door.

Ah ha! I was successful............and the treasure house of the garage of the neighbors was revealed! Beholden unto me was the red toy wagon, the lawn mower (smelling faintly of grass), and the nice blue car (it may have been green but who knows).

Now I have found that hero's and villains share much in common. One is the line between villainy and heroism is thin, and I have crossed that line a few times in my life. I suspect that it is the passion to be and do something different, unique that drives them. On some level being a hero and being a villain share the common tie which is fundamentally selfish. That is to serve an end that provides satisfaction for the accomplish whether or not it benefits them directly. Not all hero's are selfish any more than not all villains are evil. Circumstances are what they are, and sometimes the flow of life lands us against shores that are filled with both. The line is thin, and in my life I think I walked both not knowing which side I was on.

Well my crawling into the garage from a dog door that faces the street did attract attention. The neighbor lady from across the street spied me crawling in. "Little boy!" she cried, "what are you doing?" Well she was clearly a villain. In 1974 green/gold plaid pants made of synthetic fibers were all the rage. Her hair was like a large helmet, and the make-up, well yikes, did the Joker attack her? She came to the garage door and knocked, "are you okay little boy?" I did not answer. Of course she did the sensible thing and stuck her head into the garage through the doggie door! Well that was no good, after all could this be my fortress of solitude? Of course there was the red wagon! So I grabbed the wagon to be pulled up to block the dog door! Unfortunately the red wagon was next to the green (blue?) car! Yikes, so the car was now slightly red on one side! Well the woman being pushed out of the dog door went and decided to call the police. Well the fortress was violated and I decided the best course of action was to return home. I pulled the wagon out of the way and ran home.

Well I was four, and as such, the knot in the towel must have come loose as it was left behind. So that afternoon the Grebeniers came over, my cape in hand and wanted to know what I had been doing in their garage and why did I damage the car? sigh, no one truly understands a hero.
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