– which is why I don’t write prose. I can’t. My friend who I referenced in a previous post, not only writes brilliant prose but it is usually in the genre of ‘memoir’. She is reading a lot of memoirs right now, both “well written and not” (to quote her) as part of her craft honing.
Over the years I’ve written bits and pieces about my life and several of my dear friends have said “Oh you should write about your life”. Nope, no can do. I don’t know how.
I ended my previous post with, what I considered a throw-away line, “Did I ever tell you the story about my half-assed attempt to move to Europe was I was 19? Then everyone said “No, tell the story.”
It can be told in one sentence. Just a fact. But – that fact is rooted in what happened when I was 5, and 8 and in my early teens – just about everything that happened in my life prior to age 19.
How do you tell that one story, and have it mean something, without telling all the rest of the story?
Fact: I applied to colleges/universities in Great Britain. How I did that I can’t recall, it was 1965 after all – no internet! So I guess I spent a lot of time at the library, and lots of money on postage and application fees (where there any back in those days? Can’t recall.) Good thing I was working full time and going to college part-time (Queensborough Community College), I could afford it.
I wonder now how I thought I was going to pay for this grand adventure 🤷🏻♀️
I do know that, in the back of my mind, if I got to go I was never going to come back. That much I know for certain.
Not only did I want to get away from my family but I wanted to get away from this country. I don’t belong here. Never felt I did, never will.
I WANTED TO GET AWAY. I still do.
Oh, and what was I going to major in? Theater. Not acting because back in my youth people who looked like me DID NOT get lead roles in anything – perhaps as extras, maybe. Second, third place roles, never the lead, never the star.
I planned on studying to be a director.
Fun Fact: When I was 20 or so I was an extra in one of Brian DePalma’s films, shot at the Cafe Figaro, one of my hangouts, down in the Village. Don’t know what became of the film, probably went nowhere or was never finished.
Fun Fact #2: In my late 30’s not only did I take tap dancing lessons (a lifelong dream, see above, age 5) I took acting lessons. I guess I was good because my acting teacher took me aside and said “You’re not thinking of trying to break into the profession at this point in your life, are you?” She also said “You’d make a good director” Bingo – Back to age 19.
I was thinking of trying to document my life – I have an empty WordPress site – but how does one start? And why would anyone be interested. Except for me. It’s all too depressing in some instances; a bit out of synch with what y’all think of me – there are things about my life, and how I’ve lived it, that I don’t care to share. I think, many of my values are not the same as some of yours (Dear Reader).
Regrets, I have a few, mostly that I didn’t just up-sticks when I was young (and stupid and innocent and not tied into reality) and I just went for it.
When did I get careful? And cautious? And perhaps more than a little afraid?
And then again, where the hell did I get all that self-confidence, and fearlessness, that I thought I could actually pop off to Europe, go to school, make a life somewhere else?
And seriously believe that I could make my dreams a reality.