Letter to Reese (last name unknown)
Biography (Cary Years)
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20020000                              Cary Years

Note: this letter was sent as a facebook message sometime in about 2002, I think. Reese (last name unknown, November 2013) was (is) or at least claimed to be a geophysicist from a few miles north of Great Falls, MT, and was a cyber-lover of mine for a few weeks. As all cyber lovers she faded away.

Hi Reese,
Well you told me a lot about your history, so a little turnaround is fair play. I am the first spoiled baby boomer. The baby boomer generation started January 1, 1946, and I was born January 9 that year. Hence the first of the wave. I was spoiled as all boomers to a degree materially but starved I guess emotionally. I was the last of three, my brother was born in 1941 five years before me and my sister in 1939. Both had their early formative years in the poor times of WW II, and I think they slightly resent my having had is so easy in the booming post war period. My brother has a PhD in genetics and works for Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. I now live with my sister here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. More on how I ended up here later. As I grew up, I was pretty much alone. My brother was much too much older to be a play mate.

We lived, like you, far from the nearest neighbor in rural central Indiana just outside the town of Mt. Summit, a bustling community of 200 or so and three drunks. My father was a business man with a law degree and my mother a teacher and high school counselor with a MS in psychology. Both sets of grandparents obtained graduate degrees also, so getting a graduate degree was an assumed part or my upbringing. We did not have a farm so much as an 80 acre country estate where we rented the pasture to a local cattleman and rented the upper twelve to a the local hay farmer. So I grew up bailing hay and mowing a 5 acre lawn. I never want to mow grass again. J. The “farm” was a mile from the nearest children my age so I rarely saw them and had to learn to entertain myself. That is where my interest in science started I am sure. I always loved to explore our 80 acres of woods and pasture with two streams and lots of glacial till and outwash that brought fascinating rocks to my doorstep like fossils and granites and flint and chert that the Indians used to make arrow heads, and many other treasures for a curious child alone in a huge wonderful world. I learned all the native trees of Indiana since we had all 50 hardwood species in our woods.

At school I stood out like a sore thumb for my intellect and my athletic ability. The intellectual superiority didn’t bother me until middle school when I left the one-building K-12 school (actually there was no kindergarten there or then) at Mt. Summit for the mighty city of New Castle, the county seat with a population of 20,000 (now it is about 17,000 and declining steadily). In junior high in New Castle I learned that being a brain could get you beaten up regularly unless one had redeeming values like being a bad boy or an athlete. Well I became both and smoked and cussed and drank (later) my way into the heart of the cool kids, but always felt on the outside, felt different. My parents were very supportive of my athletics and academics but did not know too much of my bad boy side until a bunch of us got caught drinking and were kicked off the basketball team for half a season in basketball crazy New Castle (home of the high school basketball hall of fame, which I proudly admit I am a member of).

On the other hand, my parents seemed emotionally very distant. My father traveled internationally a lot, about 6 months of the year, and my mother was a Victorian to the tee. “Keep a stiff upper lip” “Always leave the world a better place than you found it” “Keep your skirts clean and your eyes on the road” and a million other aphorisms that she lived by, having inherited them from her mother, who traced her ancestry (and the aphorisms I am sure) back to the Massachusetts Puritans of the early 1600’s. So with no nearby friends, a stern distant mother, and an absent father,. I was not socially nurtured. I learned to find joy in myself and in what I could create or fantasize. I had a whole cadre of fantasy playmates. They were partly responsible for honing my athletic skills because some of them were ALMOST as good as I was when we played endless games of basketball and baseball and jet fighter pilot in the yard and 100 yard-long gravel driveway. I also found great companionship in the natural world of the farm and spent countless hours alone hiking through the woods and tracing individual stones as they were washed to the end of the property by the streams. Several of my childhood hill slope erosion experiments persist till today, in the form of stones placed at judicial locations on several hill sides of differing steepness. You are the first I have ever told of these experiments; in fact, I had forgotten them till writing this. (More later, I am falling asleep, thank you Reese for being a mind that shines brightly in the great darkness of human trials and attempts to be and do right)

In high school I excelled in everything except social graces. I hid my social insecurities in my academic and athletic processes. Mixing excellence with social escape, I managed to become valedictorian of my class of 500 or so and an Indiana All Star basketball player. Socially I chose the route of escape and dated a freshman cutie for my whole senior year (see I liked 'em young even then, perhaps because I felt a desire to remain young myself). Thus I was really not part of the social scene of my high school. I always have felt out of it, on the outside looking in, an observer rather than a participant, a status I maintain even to this day. That is one reason you scare me. I think I may want to participate in life with you rather than just observe you. Back on the topic at hand, I left high school with no close friends that I maintained contact with. But I took one lesson with me from being kicked off the basketball team, namely that the masses think that people with talent have an obligation to use that talent to advance the interests of the cretin masses. and that a failure to benefit the masses with that talent is tantamount to betrayal and deserving of great punishment. Editorials in the local newspapers suggested that the local hoodlums should take me out and beat me up as punishment for not playing basketball because I did something that prevented me from doing it. The biggest drunks in the school circulated petitions to kick me out of school because I let the school and the community down by drinking. This sense of ownership of me and betrayal on the part of the mob would surface again when I decided to quit playing college basketball in a top ten ranked school, Davidson College in North Carolina, where I went on a basketball scholarship after high school. I had lots of trouble academically there, where I was one of 40 or so valedictorians in a freshman class of just 250. During my first term I got B’s, C’s, and a D. I was shocked: real intellectual competition. But with basketball taking up to six hours a day, and my social life (I pledged in a fraternity) taking even more (escape now from real social intercourse in the form of heavy drinking), the time for study was zero (the same amount I had studied for all A’s in high school), and my grades plummeted. That hit my ego pretty hard, so I quit the basketball team. The coach re-recruited me and I returned to Davidson in the summer of 66 to make up my grades. I met a local girl and we fucked and she became pregnant, almost certainly mine. The coach arranged for a slick city lawyer from Charlotte to take care of it, and I was told, “Just don’t worry about anything, Scott, we will take care of this… you just play basketball, boy, and do what you need to keep your grades up, we will take care of the girl.” So I did and they did, I guess, because and I never saw her again. I don’t know if they bought her off or made it clear that a paternity suit would ruin her reputation and cost her a lot of money.

That has been one of my skeletons that almost no one knows about, and one that I think leaves a dark spot in my heart. The boy she bore I have never seen, but he found my address and phone number a few years ago and called me. I talked to him for about an hour on the phone and wrote a letter to him telling him I would love to meet him and accept him as a son and family member. I never heard back from him. When he contacted me, I had just been fired from a high paying science-executive job. I often wondered if he was just gold digging when he contacted me, and when he heard I was jobless, ended the contact because no guilt money was to be had. I don’t know. I don’t even know for sure if he is my son. I have no real reason to doubt that he is but it’s a part of my past with some questions still lingering. Anyway the guilt of that with the confusion of my self-worth by getting poor grades were reasons, I think, that caught up with me. My grades and basketball performance declined, so once again I quit the basketball team and left Davidson. That was the second time in my life I received threats, this time on my life, for not using my abilities for the enhancement of someone else’s vicarious enjoyment of manhood in the form of sports. As far as my intellect went, I also learned that the masses shun intelligence like the plague while at the same time claiming to admire and respect it when in truth the mob despises it and attempts to negate its advantages. Saying that “feeling” rather than intellect is the true measure of being human does this. Since we all have equal claim to the “right” feeling in a given situation, that philosophy is truly egalitarian whereas the philosophy of intellect as a measure of a human is inherently undemocratic. Two plus two is four; it is not whatever I “feel” is the right answer at the moment. That thought is a dangerous one; in that, if abused and placed in politicians’ hands, can lead to eugenics and the systematic extermination of millions of “inferior” people. I have concluded that both feelings, which I think we share in large part with many other animal species. AND intellect which we also share to a lesser degree, are both measures of humanness. I just happen to be higher on the intellect scale than most and lower on the “feelings” scale. Politicians, salespeople, priests, corporate executives (types of politicians), and counselors are certainly higher on the social, “feelings” scale than me. I am not very good at schmoozing, so I was not a good manager whose job it was to garner money for my organization. I broke all bureaucratic rules and said I could do the job for (cover your ears) LESS money than the previous year. THAT got me fired. So I sit home alone on Saturday nights, and, like tonight at 2:00 am, alone with a computer while others talk on the phone or interact with other people during normal morning-to-evening days. Lonely? Not really, my mind can entertain itself with Aldeberan and the glowing red eye of the bull, and the thought of what a bullet shot forward looks like to a rider upon a light wave, but a very empty part of me does so long for deep and loving contact with another person. I am good at being alone, have been for most of my life, and will always want a substantial private part of me to keep for my aloneness, but I also want another person near me with whom I can share the brilliant as well as the dull things I discover in my alone world. Does that make any sense at all or am I just psycho-babbling?

Anyway back to the timeline (a paragraph seemed in order here being way over due in my ramblings above.) (I never know whether to put the period inside or outside a sentence-closing parenthetical). I left college at the height of the Vietnam draft, but my doctor certified that I was asthmatic (a permanent draft dodge, though somehow I had played athletics for years with no sign of asthma). However I was so naïve I hardly even knew a war was going on, let alone that I could get killed in it. So I was kicked out of my parents’ house with love and good wishes and sent to a labor camp in Salt Lake City, where the company my father worked for had just opened a factory. I helped set up the factory, and a skeleton crew of myself and several others worked out the entire manufacturing process from receiving of raw materials through manufacture of the product (accordion-like folding doors) to shipping the product out the other end. That was great fun and very challenging. Then one day I came to work and discovered that full production was starting and I had been assigned the very important job of Supervisor of Stapling Ends on the Left End of the Shipping Crates. Wow, I was the SSELESC Supervisor AND the sole employee in that department. Hmmm.. I left that job in a week, and sold cars for a good Mormon in Salt Lake City. There I found out I could not sell for shit, but I started my fuck and drug bad boy phase. It was the free love age. Remember I am the first baby boomer and WE institutionalized free love and drugs. Somehow I stayed clean in all that, whew, but there were not as many cooties floating around then. (Actually, I only fucked two girls during that time, making it only three till that time). I traveled through Europe on a motorcycle in that phase and worked there in a factory of my father’s company again. I walked around all the great cities of Europe for wonderful days on end, seeing the world alone, observing, not participating, being awestruck at the DEEP history or Europe compared to the USA. Marveling at ancient ruins, medieval and renaissance castles, narrow streets without cars, Hitler’s fortifications, the ineffectiveness of the Maginot line, and the worship of military culture (which we inherited). Finally my aloneness and lack of “purpose” came crashing down on me and I ended up in therapy for depression I think, but depression was not diagnosed so often back then (late 60’s). All parent supported, I went back to school at the urban campus of Indiana University and took a geology class. The urban campus was just formed and classes were small (3 to 6) and I prospered in academics again. I had found a new home for my energies. I attacked school this time and again was able to get all A’s without studying much to the amazement and concealed envy and resentment of my classmates. (No lasting friend from college years, neither the earlier Davidson or later Indiana phases). I lived with and loved in my way several women during this time. I always committed to them totally but in all cases they moved on from me (that is a red flag for you, a warning perhaps). The reason I became aloof from them (which is why they left me), was, I think, that I was unable to engage them intellectually, and that in turn eventually undermined the lust side of our relationship. (GOD I want to be able to TALK with a woman as well as love and fuck her, talk with a woman who KNOWS science provides MANY MANY answers, but not all answers AND one who knows the difference). From my dalliances I learned there is a world I cannot long be a part of. I once asked one of my lovers why it was important to always have a conversation going, and she said it was like a ball game, whenever you got the ball you had to keep it going and not let if fall to the ground, then pass it on to someone else. It did not matter what you said as long as you kept the ball alive. THAT abhorred me. To me words and conversations have meaning, and if no meaning can be attributed to a conversation, then there is no reason to talk (hence I am very comfortable with silence, but I find most people are dreadfully frightened by it). My own thoughts usually comfort me rather than scare me, so I can handle, even seek out silence and aloneness. Again I babble. I will continue again later Reese. But you are drawing from me thoughts I have not dared to write, and it scares me. You see I am starting to find hope that you are a woman I can love, fuck, AND be comfortable talking with AND being silent with. I have many shortcomings but I hope you will not run away from me as I reveal hidden parts of myself (like the fact that I am terrible at managing and manipulating people so will never be an executive again, or that I will drift into silent aloneness with my thoughts and not pay attention to you every minute, and many more I will get to later, like my fear of closeness and sexuality despite my cyber boldness). I do babble. I will write more later. Love?.. Of course not, that cannot happen, if ever, until we meet and are together long enough to peel a few onion skins off each our hidden selves to expose to each other our real feelings and needs. But I use the word more as a hope rather than a fact. Perhaps I degrade the word, or belittle it, but I don’t think so. What is the right word between like and love that expresses hope beyond hope but still carries with it a baggage compartment full of fear? That is the word I feel for you now Reese. I call it love because it is nearer that than any other word I know. So when I say I love you, I am saying I want to love you but am scared to death of the pain that may or will accompany that love. So, for tonight, Reese, let me love you in my way and like you a whole, whole bunch in yours. I like you.. hehe …Scott

Wow I am almost to my 22nd birth day in this autobiographical narrative. More later.