Loose Ends

Nov 8, 2023

“Anyone who really gets to know me either falls in love with me or ends up wanting to murder me. Sometimes both.”

While my life has not exactly been a series of loose ends, it could be considered a contender. When I was a kid I wasn’t interested in hearing or reading stories from end to end. If I jumped into the middle and exited about two-thirds of the way down, I felt like I got the gist of it and that seemed to satisfy my curiosity.

But, what about the end? Don’t you want to know about how it ended?” Not really. I could easily make up my own ending and be perfectly satisfied. Maybe it was because I never liked sad endings. Or, maybe it was because it was more fun to make up my own ending. Or, maybe I had Attention Deficit Disorder but, they didn’t diagnose this sort of malady back in the day.

Although I have to admit that sometimes the ending of a story was pretty good. I remember I had a friend who wanted to be a Disc Jockey at a radio station. His name was something like, Mike Sheckenhopper. It didn’t exactly roll off one’s tongue. One day he was at his girlfriend’s house and her parents weren’t home. As you would expect, they were playing around. The TV was on. The movie, South Pacific was just ending. The announcer mentioned one of the star’s names… “Staring Gordon Macray.” Well, at that moment his girlfriend just up from the couch .. flying in the air in her birthday suit when she yelled, “Mike McCay … there’s your radio name .. Mike McCay”. Five seconds later her parents returned and opened the door. A missed opportunity to tie up their loose ends. So to speak.

And, so I just meandered along through playground games, classrooms and work just sort of diving in and exiting situations whenever it seemed to suit me.

I remember playing softball in the street outside of my house in Long Beach, New York. We lived near the end of the boulevard so there wasn’t ever much traffic. Sometimes I started to play when the game began. Other times I just jumped in. The game didn’t mean much to me. Who won? Who lost? Who cared? But, one time we took a break and the conversation turned to sex. Now, I was about 11 or 12 years old then, so my ears perked up pretty fast. I remember there was some discussion about the mechanics of sex. The guys does this; The girl does that. They huff and puff and then smoke a cigarette. I don’t recall how they started but, I do recall how it ended. Afterwards I thought, well .. someday I’ll learn about how to get this boy/girl thing rolling so I can tie up the loose end.

Even from the beginning, school was a blur to me. You read a story and then the teacher wanted to know what you learned. Well, I got bored pretty fast so there wasn’t much to report. Occasionally, I read the Cliff Notes. So, I knew that Jack and Jill ran up the hill but, I never really knew why, when or where it occurred.

Somehow, passed high school, undergraduate school and even graduate school. To be honest, I think the teachers just wanted to push me through the system rather than helping me figure out where and why I fell off the wagon. I always knew enough information to make it though the tests and even better through the essays. I guess I finally realized that I wanted to tell stories because I wanted to make up my own beginnings and endings.

And, so here I am telling lots of stories. I live a disjointed like. I jump from one thing to another. No beginnings or endings. I just go for the laugh.

“I was gonna take over the world this morning but I overslept. Postponed. Again.”