It's a little past midnight so I am officially forty one now. My birthdays have become more of a time when I get stuck in retrospect than anything else. That's true of most people from what I hear. I was born in 1967 in Newnan hospital on Jackson Street. My mother told me that it was a bit after midnight when it happened. Now I'm here. Ten miles from there. Hindsight being what it is, what do I wish that I could change? Well, I wish that I had all the money that I have ever spent on fast food, beer, liquor, cigarettes, porn and numerous other crutches that have helped to prop up my psyche. I wish that I had bought land with that money. I wish that I had learned to relax more and enjoy things as they happened instead of worrying about what other people thought of me. I wish that I had spent more time with my Grandparents when they were around. Ditto for my Dad. I wish that I had beat that guy in highschool's ass much worse than I did, I would be out by now. I kind of wish that I had taken the bait when I was threatened by the group of cops in Carrollton after they got me back to the station and surrounded me asking, "What are you going to do about it?" when I complained about them hurting me when they pulled me out of the car by my elbow while cuffed, I would be out for that by now as well. I wish that I had listened to my brother when he tried to get me to drive the car when I was thirteen, I really wanted to, but was just too afraid. I wish that I had shown people more respect when I was younger. I wish that I had asked that girl to the prom when I was a junior in highschool. I wish that I had learned how to tattoo people. I wish that I had lost weight when I was in my late teens. I wish that I had kept all of my toys that I had as a kid. I wish that I had not effronted as many people as I have, and for some of that I am sorry. I wish that I had told my cousin that I loved him the last time I saw him. Ditto for everybody else that has gone on now. I wish that I had taken that scholarship from the Savannah College of Art & Design. I wish that I had not drank all that thunderbird when I went down there with the art club to watch the competition. I wish that I had learned to play an instrument. I wish that I had not been ugly to that girl that Christmas. I wish that I never had read The Lord of The rings so that it would be new to me again. I wish that I had gotten a black belt in karate. I wish that damn moth hadnt just flown into my drink... But most of all I wish that I had developed closer relationships with my siblings. Time is a funny thing and I fear that I have wasted a great portion of the time that I have had here by giving in to the paranoid and pessimistic side of my mind, but then everybody is out to get me.
Every person on the face of the planet could make a list of things like this, but this list is mine and unique to me. As my four year old and I were out on night patrol in the Kawasaki mule earlier this evening I came to realize, or rather remember, that all that I have been through has led me to the point that I am at now. I am thankful that I have a good wife and two good sons who have been there for me through thick and thin. They understand me and accept me for who I am, that is special to me. I will love them forever I know, and I hope that I can live up to the standards I have set for myself where they are concerned. I am thankful that my mother, mother inlaw and father inlaw are still here - and they should know that I love them and respect them for all that they have done in their lives. They are all good people and I nod my head to them in a quiet salute for their hard work and accomplishments. I am thankful as well for the people that have shaped my life that are still here and I salute them too for the positive influence and good memories that they have given me over the years. For the ones that have gone on, I hope that from time to time I will be afforded the opportunity to pass on to my sons some of what they have left to me. I am a hard person to like I know, but I am a fair person. I don't talk much and tend to live inside my own mind, and that is a cumbersome existence at times, so if I appear to be surly, just remember that I am simply too afraid to say what I feel.
Some of these things that I wish I had done I could set about trying to accomplish in a bucket list sort of way, but then that would be trying to live too much in the past... Not to mention those cops wouldn't have any idea who I was when I went after them... I have stayed my mind and calmed some of my emotions over the past few years and learned to accept things for what they are, some were easy, some were difficult and some do tend to eat at me non stop. I read my brothers blog today and he said that he was thinking about how he liked to dress up in strange outfits and has lots of useless items that bring him momentary pleasure, he questioned himself as to this behaviour now that he is about to become a Dad for the first time, hell, he may be by now... I've been a Dad now for fourteen years and I say this to him - Go out right now and get yourself a set of matching blue and red robes so that you can show him all the secrets of the hobbits that live around here, you will not regret it one bit.