Rebel Without a Cause

“I am well aware that I have always been of an inferior race.  I cannot understand revolt.  My race has never risen, except to plunder: to devour like wolves a beast they did not kill.”

Bad Blood from “A Season in Hell”

Arthur Rimbaud

The last few weeks I have been in a trance of self-reflection.  Some would call it a depressive rut but I prefer to embrace denial about these sorts of moments.

It started back in November…

It had been about a week since my Grandma had passed away, and I was down in New Braunfels for the funeral.  The day before the funeral my family had a small get together after the Rosary.  As the alcohol poured into the early part of the next day, the last remaining few at my grandma’s house shared stories and refreshed memories of the days that have long since been gone.

And as most of these conversations normally go, someone brought up the “incident” and as the customary protocol we began to unravel the events that took place that day.  However what has become a new element to the plot is the piece of food that was utilized in the ruckus.  Was it a piece of turkey?  No maybe it had been a roll, which has been often quoted, or perhaps some mash and gravy?

The “incident” my cousins often relish in reliving, took place Thanksgiving when I was 17.  I had been listening to Alice Cooper’s, “I love the Dead,” and drinking a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 since 4 a.m.  My dad kept a booze cabinet in the house and I swiped a bottle from right under his moustache.

I stumbled out my room about 12 o’clock, mostly ‘cause my mom yelled at me to get up.  I was feeling less than cheery when the rest of my family started to show up.  Everyone started to circulate through the kitchen to get food and my sister asked in a tone that felt accusatory, “what’s wrong with you?”

My sister had no idea what was about to happen.  I turned to her and slapped her with some turkey, tossed some corn into her hair and yelled; “This is all bullshit!” and ran for the front door.

In the background I could hear one of my cousins yell, “Run Forrest, Run!”

I made my way down to a neighborhood two streets over from my house and passed out in an alley behind my friend’s home.  I woke a few hours later and made the walk of shame back to my parents’ house.

It’s funny when you think you are being such a rebel.  You know, really shaking up the establishment.  Sticking it to the man.  But in reality all you’re doing is wasting good turkey and gravy.

For quite some time, incidents like that (and many more) became memories I believed personified who I was in the sight scopes of others.  Just another anecdote at family functions to add to the layer of embarrassment.

Trying to decipher what it is about that moment that spurs communal recollection of hilarity can often make you question who and what you are.  There is little doubt that I was in pain about something.  What that was has been lost along with what food item I actually pummeled my sister with.  To this I have concluded instead of dwelling on what thoughts others may have or have had of you, take a chance and change your perspective of “yourself” today.  ‘Cause it is easier to work with present perceptions than to alter the past.