A long time ago, when I celebrated being weird, I accumulated a lot friends who were weirder than myself. We were all ambitious in our own way - attaching a wooden carving of a swan to a bowler hat with a bolt, wanting to take over the world riding the storm winds of music, politics or delusional espionage. We would spurt out random quotes from rated R movies over six pints of Guinness...each. It was inevitably followed by shots of cheap shit and we'd wonder why the world didn't take us seriously. You know, stuff like that.
Although, my friends remain among the "Questionable" people, I've felt as if I left my own "Wild Child" somewhere far behind - somewhere around 1999.
Sometimes a commercial for some anti-depressant airs - it shows a woman going about her day with a cloud above her head and I thank my lucky stars I'm not her. Yet.
If there really was a "Twilight Zone" or a sliding door that split your life from that moment you missed the train, then I'm sure I'm running around in many different universes as one of the seven different personalities that used to live happily under this one roof.
I know because every once in a while, some buddy of mine calls for that ghost-of-a-girl. Taunting me with that "incident" that marked our friendship in time. I pretend that memory had long since been buried but in truth, I'm surprised someone else took the time to etch me into their history.
Those life blemishes are cherished memories that mark what I've negated to accomplish. It's awesome.
With every good, albeit unconventional, friend that comes calling, they all seem to accumulate around September. It's the time of year I go through an ecdysis - a molting stage to try to exfoliate back to that quirkiness that once was. Crabs go through this. Crabs, apparently my four-year old's obsession is also my sign astrologically. Guess that makes it a natural process.
The month of September was always more bitter than sweet in my experiences. As a kid, the term "Back To School" used to give me hives and heart palpitations that I actually thought I was allergic to the slogan. After Labor Day, I felt like Damien, the son of Satan in "The Omen" approaching the church - only it was school.
My back-to-school-days are a torment of the past. But as of late, both my boys, meaning the four-year old included, is coming into that circulation.
It's hurtle number one.
Prisoners call it probation. Parents call it an empty nest.
It's the time that most moms look forward to re-entering the world. The Legitimate Freedom to the question everybody asks when you're alone.
"Where are the kids?"
"At school, mother-f*cker. The kids are at school all day, okay? Can I have another?"
But I had a "Big Plan" for arriving at this time. The problem is, when you plan for so long, it's almost scary to step off that ledge and set it in motion.
It's all in your head. The plan, that is. It stays there and prevents you from falling back to sleep when you wake up to take a piss at four am. It drapes heavier than your favorite blanket and clouds your decisions with a fog of doubt that's thicker than your mother-in-law's split pea soup.
I need to do something, I tell myself.
What? Go back to school? Swallow my pride and take a free Zumba class?
"No hun. Put away the leotard and tights," a voice from the past said. "Eviscerate."
Yeah, well that's where my weird friends come back into play. Had a friend who was obsessed with learning every word in the dictionary and came back with "eviscerate." It means to disembowel. Why not be happy with "disembowel," right? Does the English language really need another term for that function?
Guess so. And it happened to be my answer to this juncture in my life.
Now, I'm not going to sit on top of the drain of a pool and literally eviscerate my bowels. But all the mental road blocks I've been setting up around myself - the ones that tell me to "Stop" or "Detour"... well, that's going into this Saturday's trash bag.
I suppose our educational system had it right starting the school year this month. If I'm not the only one getting rid of some Spiritual cow-pies, why not start the learning - or in my case - the re-learning process with a clean slate?
All we need now is a really cool "Back To School" song by Alice Cooper.