You know, Martha's right.
I'm a dumb shit.
I should have known that the village would come through for one of its sons with questions galore. I should have realized that this particular village is too damn intelligent for its own good and the questions would be hard. With sight of the hind, I should have set this thing up like Jeopardy! on TV: I give simple answers and the contestants (y'all) give simple questions.
|Your host, Alex Trebek|
Alex Trebek: "Mapstew."
Mapstew: "What is Charlie's second most favorite crayon color?"
Alex Trebek: "That's right! His favorite color is 'sewer gas.'"
So much for the should haves. If my Muse, my fickle Greek goddess, wasn't fooling around somewhere in Michigan, I wouldn't be begging you people for blog fodder in the first place. I'll answer all your questions as advertised, but it will take several posts to do it; otherwise, this thing would be longer than an all-day sucker.
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Question 1 is from Robert at Plead Ignorance: "If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently and what would remain unchanged?"
As I gaze into my Pensieve, there is nothing I could do differently to change the formative years of my life. The clay of Who I Am was in the sculpting hands of an alcoholic father, a mentally unstable mother, and nuns who constantly promised eternal horror. I didn't have a chance against abusive adults because what child ever does?
If I could change the formative years, the first eighteen years of my life with a wizard's wand, I would rid it of ninety percent of the adults I knew and could not trust, including my parents, especially my parents, in which case I would be an entirely different person sitting here, maybe for better, maybe for worse, but in any event a stranger who couldn’t answer this question because I wouldn’t know Who I Would Be.
Take a breathing break with me. [Good air in, bad air out, good air in, bad air out]
I don’t need Mr. Peabody’s WABAC (way back) machine to know what I would do differently as an adult. I wouldn’t re-smoke the 468,000* cigarettes I smoked and end up with lung disease all over again. I wouldn’t drink again, not even socially because there was never anything social about it; I drank to get drunk because it was my medicine.
The non-drinking thing bothers me, though. Due to my recovery work, which is due to my alcoholism, I know Who I Am. Due to my recovery from alcoholism, I was (and am) able to help others with their drinking and drug problems. Without alcohol, I wonder what my new medicine would be to self-discovery and altruistic helper. (I know, Robert, that you won’t suggest religion, self-help books, or Dr. Phil.)
Fini. While it may not make much sense, I'm glad that I was able to provide an unintelligible answer.
*Calculation: In the US, there are 20 cigarettes in a pack and 10 packs in a carton, for a total of 200 cigarettes in a carton. 45 years times 52 weeks per year equals 2,340 weeks. I smoked one carton a week for 2,340 weeks, for a total of 468,000 smokes. Minimum.
* * *
Question 2 is from Jan at DJan-ity: "Who is your favorite author? Why?"
|Tickle Me |
—Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
What an idiotic statement by Dickens, writing as Copperfield. How does David look into the blank of his infancy? He can't because, well, it's blank. Dickens must mean post-infancy, then, perhaps when David was two. But how does a rug rat in the throes of the "terrible twos" notice anything other than all the breakable shit on the coffee table? He may remember a tiny snippet here and there, a flash in the brainpan, but David has a distinct memory of his mother's "pretty hair and youthful shape." Since when does a two-year-old use adjectives—and know the difference between a youthful shape and a banana?
Gee, I might use this for a book report if I ever need to send one in.
To answer your question, Jan, Charles Dickens is my favorite author. I forgive him of illogic (see my book report, above), wanton use of coincidence, and the cliffhanger story line that disappeared in Little Dorrit. He was a master of characterization, dialect, and emotion. He was a window to Victorian England, writing often about the social ills and inequities between the haves and have-nots.
Most of all, he wrote stories that capitvated me.
Especially David Copperfield.
* * *
I was planning on answering a third question, but my verbosity has done me in. I've spent parts of four days writing this much and my eyes are pooped from constant squinting and refocusing. The other fifteen questions will all get answered sometime in time, so until then you'll just have to keep your shorts on. Please.