When I was ten years old, I opened my sack lunch at Teen Ranch Daycamp and found an Olive Loaf Baloney Sandwich. I love Baloney Sandwiches. And I hate Olive Loaf Baloney. Hate-hate. And worse? I had made this very clear to my parents. Many times.
So I cried: I was inconsolable. My counselor, Beth Hornbeck, offered to trade her Peanut Butter sandwich for my desecration-in-a-plastic-bag, but she was missing the point. This betrayal was not just about lunch. It was about a larger sense of destiny.
I had a sense that I was officially a tragic figure. When I re-read Tom Sawyer as an adult, I knew exactly how Tom felt listening in on his own funeral. I thought back to day camp and the hundreds of similar moments since. There is an exquisite particularity in being aware of one’s own tragic destiny.
A few years later I hand-wrote and circulated an underground soap opera that thinly disguised many of my peers and many teachers and administrators acting in outsized, inappropriate, soap-operatic ways in the hypothetical future. This earned me a trip to the principal’s office of my Fundamentalist Christian School. At this moment I recognized that I was really on to something and purposed to never give up story-telling.
So there you have it. A passionate storyteller with an over-wraught sense of nothing-to-lose. You should probably bookmark this page, close your browser window, and never come back.