Saturday, August 15, 2009
Zigging and Zagging, Part 1
I've been thinking of friends.
It seems like I am always on a different path from all of my contemporaries. I always zig when my friends zag. I don't think that it's ever been a conscious thing, but I remember playing hide and seek when I was a kid, and I was always last to be found. Once, on a trip to Disneyland, we were playing hide and seek with a friend's father on Tom Sawyer's Island. It took them ages to find me. When I finally was found, my father said he would be "it." I was excited because my father never played with us. I picked the best spot I could find, and waited to show off my intelligence to him. He took 20 steps, and I was the first.
I asked my father if he'd seen me--had I been visible? He said he knew that I would go the opposite direction of the other kids. He said I always did things the hard way. That's what he told me for the rest of my childhood... or maybe it started before that and I don't remember.
I always went to summer school. When all the other kids went on trips or something, I went to school in the misty summer mornings. Way before it was cool to "take a semester off," I was suspended for a semester and had to change schools. All those summer classes came in handy.
All my friends were in high school, and I was in trade school getting a certificate in computer graphics, working for an architectural firm. I wore collared shirts I bought at the thrift store I worked for the state-ordered community service--they made me manager, they loved me so much. When I was allowed to go back to high school, I didn't have to take a full load because I had taken so many summer classes. I could leave early, go to work at the architectural firm, and go to school at night. I graduated on time with everyone else, but a month later, I had a graphics job working with Coca-Cola and Irvine Digital Graphics and a certificate in graphic design and advertising. I was 18.