It is hard to imagine what my life would’ve looked like had these events not transpired. I used to think about it all the time, obsessed with it really. Today, with all these years separating the events I’m about to unravel for you, I am stable, mostly happy, and best of all, content.
This then is an excavation. A retelling as a process. Remembering. Linking these hard moments with my current life. Letting go of the sadness and resentment about what might have been. This book is less than a coming-of-age story because the young man does not really gain any personal insights in this first book. But, weaving through these words is a hopefulness that I have maintained my entire life.
My inner voice. Today, it says things like, “It’s going to be okay, John. You’re going to make it through this. And someday you will generate tremendous creative projects to transform and illuminate this pain.” Back then, the inner messages of encouragement were more basic, “You’re going to be okay. You’re going to survive this.”
I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here, so, let’s just assume that I’m a middling age man, in a warm and comfortable place, typing these stories out to myself really. Sort of inner dialogue as well. I am going to try and cut as close to the bone as I can. I will not try to put a happy bow on all of it, it was an exhilarating and anxious time. Let’s get to it.