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In my youth, before the grey matter was kneaded like a slab of fresh dough, I imagined I could accomplish what other people deemed laughable. I wanted to keep my powers a secret until just the right time. You know, for dramatic impact. I dreamed about these adventures almost every night. It would help get me to sleep. One of my greatest achievements as a youngster was simply being able to fly. I thought, that If I worked out all the mechanics in my dreams, the day would come when I would nonchalantly step off my right foot and dive into the sky. My big thing was, I didn’t want to tell people about my God-given ability to soar. To me Superman was a show-off, but we were similar in some ways. Neither of us took flying lessons. Unlike Superman, I didn’t wear a cape. That was my choice, too much theatre I thought. At one point, I did start to think I may have come from another planet and if I told people, they won’t understand. Especially my parents. You know, after all these years they are thinking one thing and the next minute they learn I’m from Mars. Mars was a pretty popular place to be from back then. I wondered whether they could handle all that. I kept my mouth shut, but in my mind, I knew they would have to find out one day. When I thought they could deal with it I dreamt of gliding over our neighborhood, low enough to see all the waves and smiles. The neighbors would look up from watering their lawns or reading the newspaper, shouting to my parents, “Oh, you must be so proud of that boy”. My parent’s eyes following me above the rooftops, would shake their heads in agreement, “yes sir, that’s really something all right”. I just felt having those powers was not something to lord over people. I didn’t want to be different -- I just was. We all have to learn to live with who we are. I could also imagine all the young ladies on our street would be wary of me and my X-ray vision. Sounds like fun but in reality, it would be a burden.
Besides being able to fly at will, I also thought I could do more than one thing at a time and I wondered why other people hadn’t tried it. By that I mean, one person could have the ability to be a fulltime orchestra conductor and a fulltime architect or firefighter. When I saw people specialize in one thing, I thought them slackers. Why were they holding back? “You only live once, let’s get to it”, I thought. I also wondered why I was just sitting on the floor of our living room watching acrobats on the Ed Sullivan Show, when I knew people could be watching me do that? I could be on the show doing the same thing, with a little rehearsal. From piano concertos to comedy teams I thought if I wanted to, I could do that. At times even now around the house I believe I can more than one thing at a time. Like brushing my teeth while combing my hair. It’s an odd sight but I have an electric toothbrush. The term “multitasking” became a “thing” in 1965, the year I graduated from high school. It was IBM’s reference to the abilities of one of their computers. It sounds efficient and very productive. When it’s ascribed to a person it sounds like they are busy, busy, busy. It’s a myth. They are not busy at all in fact they’re wasting time. Doing two things at once doesn’t mean concentrating on two things at once. Neuro studies have shown that’s impossible. If CEO’s or Homemakers think they can do that, they are the one’s dreaming.
My doughy grey matter began to develop creases and wrinkles as I got older. The words, hard work, talent and dedication took on deeper meaning. Age brings a better prospective on the ways of the world. I even took Santa Claus off my very top shelf and moved him down a little closer to eye level. He (she, it, we, they) will always have a place on my shelf. I cherish my times of being able to walk through walls, read every book ever published and fly over my boyhood home with wind in my hair. I lived the life I wanted as long as I was a caring, unselfish and obedient pirate or cowboy. As parents, don’t we all want our children imagine, explore and learn? I wanted to keep my super powers a secret from my parents and others. I was content knowing, I alone possessed them. I knew the time would come at some point to reveal those powers to all. As time went by my “great reveal” was pushed back and back further. Any impact from my announcement diminished less and less. Only now do I realize the secret I was keeping from them, was actually their gift to me. You see, the life they had provided for me included flying lessons. I had to buy the ticket myself but they always made me feel I could soar.