I Carry A Flame That Can Warm The World

I get why people try to make themselves larger than life because growing up I was made to feel smaller than life. Not even life-sized.

I finally understand why people love “A Christmas Story” so much. Because the kid wants to be a bigger deal than he is. He wants a child’s awesome vision of adulthood to be free from the prison of childhood.

Being a kid sucks and “A Christmas Story” knows it. I couldn’t appreciate the story because it hit too close to home. Being disillusioned and losing faith in everything. Your teachers, your family, your favorite show, and Ovaltine. I will never allow that substance into my house. Bullies will hunt you down and Santa will kick you in the face. Life is hell and kids don’t get to carve their own roads in life.

I went to a shitty K-8 school. I’m trying to blot out a lot of psychopathic behavior from my youth. It was like being incarcerated and tormented by the other cellmates while the screws just left you to your demise. There weren’t any gifted kids at Fordsville school, they figured. So the teachers were just there for a paycheck, grinding until retirement.

It’s easy for kids like us to fall through the cracks. Think about it, a bunch of kids from low-income families in a rural area going to a poorly-funded elementary/middle school. A county that produces farmers, factory workers, mechanics and religious fanatics. Not likely to be the next Bill Gates coming from a place like that, so just shuttle the little turds through the system and get ’em ready to replace their dumb parents within the next two decades.

And if social media had existed in 1991, I would have killed myself. “13-yr-old Fordsville boy commits suicide after video of teasing posted online”.

Move on to high school, hate every minute of that. End up in a logjam trying to move between class periods. Not only are you stuck with the psychos you grew up with but the psychos from the rest of the county: Beaver Dam, Hartford, Centertown, et al.

People from Beaver Dam and Hartford looked down on the Ohio Countians who weren’t from those two little bergs. I don’t know why. All these towns are part of the same shitty county. And of course they looked down on people from other counties. Why are they feeling so superior to Butler County? And why do they hate Daviess County? We’re all part of Kentucky and it sucks. What kind of provincial inferiority complex do we you have here?

Ohio County H.S. had gifted kids but of course the sons and daughters of the local prominent assholes also received preferential treatment. Somebody’s dad is an big-wig insurance agent, or an optometrist, or a powerful attorney. To this day, I swear off insurance, eye checkups and my Miranda rights like they were Ovaltine. I was just some dumb kid from Fordsville. My mom worked in an office and my dad was. . . I don’t know, he wasn’t there. Which is another strike against me.

Haha, I’m from a broken home. Haha, my favorite band is Queen. Haha, their lead singer is a queer who died of AIDS. Haha, I don’t play football even though I’m a big boy. Haha, I can’t afford nice clothes or expensive shoes. Haha, I have to take the bus to school. Haha, I don’t have a pass to the smoking area.

High school does get you ready for the real world, if the real world is like Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”, a cattle cart of miserable grunt work. Unhappiness in service to system that sees you as replaceable. A system that would see Bukowski and think his best work was done in the post office.

From the outside I didn’t seem all that special, I guess. Maybe the teachers already could tell which kids were going to be the fuckups, the criminals, the losers. I’d have to work to avoid that destiny because I didn’t have a rich dad to prevent me from it. Maybe they thought if I worked hard enough I might end up not in jail and that’s about as high a bar as they wanted to set with me.

So of course I spent my whole life trying to scream out to anyone who listened that I was special. I didn’t have the words to express it but my mind was crying out for acceptance and attention. It’s this need that makes people write and sing and play and say “My name’s Johnny Knoxville, welcome to Jackass” before trying to jump a moving automobile.

“I AM EXTRAORDINARY. I KNOW IT DOESN’T SEEM LIKELY THAT I WOULD BE BUT I AM. IF YOU WOULD JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE TO SHOW YOU, YOU WOULD SEE IT AS WELL!!”

I am still that boy, still screaming. Still wanting to be accepted. Still wanting to show everybody what I am capable of. The world feels like an unforgiving, cold and miserable place. I carry a flame that can warm the world if they will let me. I am a messenger and I am a vessel of peace. I know why I’m alive.

I have suffered and I see suffering and I will speak and sing about it. It unites us whether we realize it or not.

Prolonged exposure to heartbreak can make a man delusional.

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