If That One Thing Had Not Happened (things would be…)

exeter class of 1981

If That One Thing Had Not Happened (things would be…)

If that one thing had not happened, I don’t know where I would be right now. I mean, I’m fairly happy in my life, but… I could’ve been an astronaut or a famous astronomer. Now, I’m just average. A writer. In a medium-sized town. Making 10 – 12 dollars a month from my books. It could’ve been so different. I might have made it into Harvard or MIT. I might have dated actresses in New York City. Or maybe made movies about my life and my imagined life, like Wes Anderson. It’s hard to tell.

The summer after I was kicked out of Philips Exeter Academy I had a Spanish tutor named Angel Delgado Gomez who was prepping me for next year, when I would definitely have to take Spanish again. We had a summer of conjugation. I was seeing a psychologist too, you know, because of the trauma in New Hampshire, but he sucked. He was not all that interested in me. And his sandals showed his crusty old dried out toes. Twenty years later, he would be the same lame hippy dude, now even more bald and skinny, wearing those John Lennon rimless glasses. And I was told, by my childhood maid, who happened to work for him many years later, that he and his wife (also a psychologist) were freaks and their kids never wore clothes around the house because they were spoiled and didn’t want to.

So, how do you account for the change of plans? Would my life be better, worse, more cynical, less? I have no idea who I would’ve become had I finished 3 more years at the vaunted institution of presidents and Zuckerburg. I might have invented Facebook too. But, I’m not unhappy. I’m rather pleased with how things turned out. I’ve met those kids, now adults, with stellar educations and chips on their shoulders. I’m the result of an unhappy life-altering event that happened in the late 70s. How am I still thinking about these things?

Read more Short-Short Stories from John.

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