I don’t like to talk about my childhood. Most of it has been burned from my memory by the fires of time, and what remains even is a little cloudy. I’m not sure how much of it is accurate and how much is reconstructed from the stories told to me or by me. I spent a lot of time inside my own head as a kid, and some of my memories might even be fantasies that my mind really wants me to remember as reality. I wasn’t athletic, witty or charming, and that made it difficul for me to make many friends. I don’t recall having any real friends growing up. My family moved a lot, and my attitude and outlook on life usually alienated me from people my own age. It wasn’t until high school, when I was taken in by a group of outsiders, geeks and slackers that I really made any friends at all.
I don’t think I’ve ever properly thanked them for helping me out as much as they did. If it wasn’t for them, I would never have built up the little confidence that carried me through my teenage years, and probably would not have survived the depression that hit me in my late teens and early twenties. My entire support system comes from friendships that developed as part of that group, or extended away from that group. Everyone I think of as a close friend has come into my life as more than an acquaintance because of them and the things I learned about myself from them. They migh have been dweebs, dorks, goths and freaks to the rest of the world, but to me, they were and still are heroes.
So, to the kids that took away the name that had haunted me for years and gave me a knew one, thank you.
To the kids that said, “nah, party wouldn’t be the same without you.” Thank you. The world needs more people like you in it. In a time when hatred and cruelty have become entertainment television, when kids all over the country are facing down some of the darkest demons that have ever plagued mankind, and many times loosing, It isn’t about the big, empty gestures, you tube vidoes, and dancing celebrities. What really saves the life and soul of a kid that doesn’t think they belong anywhere in the world is having a group of people to sit with at lunch. A group of people that won’t turn on them in a moment’s notice.