That picture above is me. I’m guessing that my dad took it around my third or fourth birthday. It looks like I had a pretty nice tan, we were always waterskiing, or just being outdoors when I was a kid. Not only did my dad take the picture, I’m sure he developed the film, and printed the negative onto paper. There is no doubt in my mind that my mom made that cake, she was always a really good cook. The sheer fact that it sits on plate is evidence enough that it wasn’t purchased at a store.
When I look at that picture, there is a sense of amazement that that was me. I know that it is, because even forty five years later I can see that same look on my face that I see in a mirror’s reflection to this day.
Yet, I don’t feel like the kid in that photo. I wish I did. There has just been so much that has happened to me since that photo was taken, and the man that I man now sitting here typing out these words on a keyboard has a hard time identifying with that child.
One day as I was sitting on my cousin’s porch , smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer, I asked myself how it was that I ended up here in my life. How the fuck did I end up here in Davenport, Iowa? If you would have told me even less than a year ago that this is where I would be as I wrote this, I would have laughed in your face.
It was on that day on my cousin’s porch, a smoke in one hand and Busch Light in the other that I realized my philosophical theory of “Freewill Eternalism”. The doctrine of “freewill” states that humans are free to make their own decisions without regard to social, moral, or political restraints, while “eternalism” dictates that time is just another dimension. The future already exists, and all points in time are equally real.
The child in the picture above, and the man sitting here writing this are both equally here. We are living two of the infinite possible existences for this singular soul, yet we are still one in the same. My memories are his visions of the future.
It is so easy for both myself, and you the reader to make the assumption that if Julie had not died, then I would not be where I am. Although I will not debate that that is true, there are so many other decisions I have made since I was a child with that birthday cake in front of me that have led me to where I am in this present form.
Most notably, is my relationship with the almighty dollar. I blow them as fast as they come in. And when I say “blow them”, I mean that sincerely. For the most part, I have always had the skills to make decent money, but I have always loved to have a good time too. My bank account might have next to nothing in it, but my memory bank is overflowing.
So when I ask myself, “How did I end up here?”
The Universe answers, “This is where you’re supposed to be!”
Let’s call it “fate”.