Memories serve as building blocks for the person that one knows by default as themself. With all apologies to the headshrinker crowd, who seem to collectively dominate our obsessively self-conscious cult composed of information happy technocrats, the fundamental recurrent recollections of childhood serve as the all too shaky platform that determine the cant of the many layers of enigmatic complexity that are enjoyed for better or worse in later life. Where all the experiences in-between fall into a blur, the root occurrence that occasioned a core belief or habitual point of view that is the defining characteristic of someone starts with a single formative episode. The ‘Rosebud’ experience that serves to unlock all the inexplicable quirks, annoying or otherwise, hearkens back to a single simple tale of childhood. Perhaps inane to the tastes of the mediocrity of plebian tastes, or perhaps unexpectedly shocking to their Patrician counterpoints? My own tale began upon the local grammar school playground beneath the stepped pyramid a homebuilt rectilinear configured warren of perpendicular steel pipes. Closing my eyes to the glare of the present I can still hear that strident chorus of tiny female voices singing out as one, “Teacher, teacher, he can see our panties!”
An odd paean to have lodged within one’s conscious and seemingly all too self-explanatory in the Freudian cantos as a simple open and shut case of formative self-repression. Maybe so? But the fact of the matter of that time as recalled had the little eight year old boy, played by myself, an inadvertent pawn within the context of a larger power struggle. The sullied twist of the tainted ongoing life experience of the parents playing it out through the surrogate personas of their hapless children who of course did not know any better. If the concept of shame, so novel to the experience of out present era, could be cast in the form of a large rock and hurled on high by some mighty monocular Polyphemus, then that small furtive little lad was driven off from that primal mystery known as woman. There is great power to be harvested in the husbandry of the unresolved feelings of the young. So adept are the practitioners of the playground that the coinage of a single derisive title can stick with a lifelong adhesive that defies all current scientifically figured equivalents.
The slight, whether deserved or not, and perhaps so seemingly inconsequential, when sanctified by the automatic compliance by those otherwise indifferent parties placed in charge at the time is the rough sand that commences a lifelong passion for resistance to any injustice. The once prosaic stomping ground of childish play now a bitter vinegar encouraging copious sweat of the kind carried around through so many future subsequent minefields. A sharp silicone crystal that seems to be impossibly deep and inaccessible else the unstable house of cards known as personality come tumbling down around one’s ears. So silly to others, of course, and maybe to one’s self many decades and eons past. Yet so astounding when one realizes that the n’th degree of shift eventually found one’s trajectory completely off course so many years later.
To demonstrate the absurdity of the chain or seemingly unconnected actions that form that first tiny crystalline appearance of that Carlsbad cavern sized stalactite and the lasting effect consider another subsequent playground event enshrined in the dusty amphitheater of an otherwise empty mind. The descent of a great swarm of locusts the year following giving devilish opportunity to idle little restless hands caught in the all too short time frame of seeking relief in recess. The predilection with the cult of trading various sizes and qualities of cats eyed marbles being driven to a virtual standstill by another ghoulish pastime. A needle and thread produced by some anonymous source, all suddenly summoned to the task of impaling literally hundreds of three inch long insect bodies side by side together and string the many collections of same upon the lower branches of nearby waiting tree limbs. Consider if you will the level of outraged shock such an occurrence would no doubt stir up upon a YouTube powered national news item in our present era? One can only laugh at the reaction of the man who fulfilled the task of building maintenance who was given the additional assignment of quickly disposing of the evidence. Could a writer as adept as in transliterating the notion of horror as a Joseph Conrad find more fertile material as the look upon that poor slob’s face upon discovering that anathema wrought by supposedly innocent incapable hands?
The sins of the fathers, and mothers, translate effortlessly through to the children. The effect of a voracious commercially driven culture all too historically efficient at consuming the lives of fresh manpower to support the egos of those supposedly running the great engines espousing democratic principles in a manner that only a Venus Flytrap could truly understand. The tainted suet of this playground milieu serving the same function as those legendary playing fields of Eton to corrupt any future outlook of life to one cast beneath the ever gathering clouds of remorse. Serving in my own case to drive me further underground and eventually into the bunker of a redoubt of eternal suspicion of the underlying hellish motivations waiting just below in the sump of those otherwise smiling faces of my present day fellow man.