This is not a story of romance.

Neither is it a story of adventure.

Unless you wish to , do not look for a hidden message, if you do, there is nothing I can do to stop you, so go ahead and try.

This is the story, in full, of the first day of my life.

It, my life, started when I was in grade one. How I came to be in that position is a mystery to me. I had only dim, preuterine impressions of parents, sister and self, knowing nothing of the world beyond my family. I remember standing at the end of my driveway.

Allow me to digress for a moment onto the subject of my memory. For the first ten years of consciousness, I had only the words. I kept a running monologic dialogue within me, describing my life, playing out my fantasies. During those first years, I noted the split between my inner and outer mind, yet payed it no heed. I had my fantasies, I was content within me. Only recently did I create the interior universe where I play out the scenes, where I see the pictures generated from the monologues.

Thus my memory of that first event is only a series of entries in my database. Were I to add any details, they would simply be logical fabrication of that which I did not note as strange. Therefore, if I begin to use details, either they are important, or they have been generated unintentionally by the writing interface I use to transmit my story to you. It is up to you, and possibly the editors, to determine what is what.

My sister was with me, (I have returned to the former thread) or so I believe her to be, though we are as day and night and strange. We waited for the bus, which I had never ridden before, this being the first day of my life and grade one. My mother and father had filled a huge pack and strapped it to my back. (I believe it was my parents, for who else would bestow such gifts on a newborn?) I boarded the bus (which had arrived) first. A newborn, I had no knowledge of the social conditions and rules which governed the machinations of the bus-world. It is a marvellous gift that we are born so unencumbered, free of the shackles of society. I, recognizing the obvious advantages of the rearmost seats, proceeded backwards, yet did not take the back seat, it being filled with large men of strange countenance.

My sister, following after, sat instead with a young girl of her own age at the front, lured by society into its bosom. How easily the woman succumbs to the temptations, yet it was not her fault, she was not a newborn, had already been given the rudiments of society, it was natural that she gravitate towards her own, as natural as it was for me to seek the best.

I sat on the edge of the seat, the pack behind me forcing me almost off the surface. One of the men behind me spoke. He informed me of a rule requiring that all backpacks be removed while on the bus. I, not seeing any advantage to keeping the backpack on, (indeed, finding it quite uncomfortable, as it weighed heavy on my shoulders), attempted to comply, but found it impossible to remove within the confines of the seat.

Once more I shall digress. It shall be the last time on this side of the sheet whereon I write, although when published another may creep onto the page through the marvels of scalable typefaces, mutable margins, and the editors unrestrained green. The subject of my excursion into obscurity is the nature of the backpack which I wore that day.

A gift, as I have previously stated, from my parents, on the eve of my birth, it was an heirloom, used by my father during his trip cross-country to Siberia. It was an army pack, kaki green with tanned leather buckle straps, capable of holding all the necessities of life for a single person for an indefinite period (As my father had proved previously). It was then (at my birth) quite old, my father having travelled many years before returning home to attend university, where, after meeting my mother (or so I hope), he was married, held a number of jobs for varied terms adding to twelve years, built a house, and moved into it with his fledgling family before I was born that morning.

An interesting exercise might be to determine the exact hour of that event, and, working backwards, or more expeditiously, obtaining receipts, determine the length of time from purchase to then present use, or more simply put, the age of the article. I am of course incorrect. Such an activity would be excruciatingly boring to anyone but myself, who would find it merely uninteresting.

I digress from my digression, a sin in this society, it being deemed improper to make more than one leap of logic per day. I, however, am prone (weak as I am) to multiple jumps, often travelling long distances between any two expressions inflicted on the vellum. Sufficeth to say that the backpack was large, old, and shabby, unlike the backpacks (which were rare) and schoolbags (much in the norm) used by the other children huddled on that bus.

Thus was I loaded (for the backpack had been completely filled) as it were, to the limit. The beatings and insults hurt my outer mind, (which at the time I believed (possibly correctly) to be my only) driving me inwards. I did not move though. I have wondered about that. The lowest amoeba, bereft of higher reason (as are some editors [note this comment will be edited out]) will by instinct alone, abandon any locale which is inhospitable to him/her (I grow weary of political correctness. If I say "man", and it is obvious I mean man alone, as distinct from woman, take it thusly. If not, take it to be a short form of "humankind", intended to recoup the loss of ink caused by the addition of this direction.) Yet I, capable of reason (to an extent) and possessing intellect (of a limited scope, admittedly) could not think to move out of harm's way.

This is not to say that I should have moved. Such an act would have had a devastating impact on me, would have trapped me in that bus-society, would have made me one of the masses. It is to say, rather, that I did not think of such a thing, that somehow, a newborn, bereft of teachings, was so out of touch with the world, that he could not feel any urges that his body sent out. (this is a detail [the body's message] I may attest to, only through logic, it not having been noted in the mono-dio-logic script.) Is it a characteristic bred into modern man to be without connection to himself, to be a mind, a soul separate and distinct from the body?

Whatever blessing protected me from that fate (conformity), I thank it, more, I pledge my eternal gratitude (assuming something may be eternal, gratitude would be the matter) to it and its related flaws and imperfections.

The script reads "after much abuse, stepped off bus, into schoolyard. mistaken for kindergarten student. corrected misconception. went to grade one classroom. Teacher Mrs Saddler. Tall, curly blonde hair."

Once more, it is necessary to discover the nature, but more the scope of my memory. As stated previously, my memory medium is a mono-dio-logic script kept by a running interior narration. What has not been mentioned is how that script is stored. The apprehension of this aspect of my memory led me to delude myself into the belief in my mind split. I envisioned my mind as the foyer and adjacent court in a hall of learning. A beggar stands outside the doors, cleverly pressing his ear to the polished copper (or sometimes bronze), parroting what he snatches of the conversations within to the milling crowd outside. Within the inner sanctum true thought took place, within the outer, only repetition. The outer had no knowledge of the inner beyond what it stole from the airs. My script was inside, and was continually being read in a soft, melodic voice. I, outside, cursed the softness, longed for him/her (a concession) to shout it to the heavens that I might hear and remember, but my curses never reached those shrouded ears, never went beyond the doors. I could only snatch the third word, the second on a quiet day, and, on those rare occasions where the denizens of the earth were absent, I might hear it in full, but never the whole, never more than a short paragraph, the reading was slow.

Thus there are gaps in my understanding of the script, though I do not doubt that somewhere there is an unabridged version. I recall no more about that first day of my life beyond that I was given no suck or solace. I wonder now whether, had I asked, it would have been given. Would my story, falling from my new born lips have incited more emotion that this treatise, etched by the pen of experience. Whatever, I might have done, it is irrelevant now, beyond how it affects my current state. It is important only that, unreleased then, it is released now and has freed me of the obligation to feel, the obligation to care. There are other things which I am still shackled to, but they will require an exposition of their own.

If you wish to read a message into them, I cannot stop you.

They may be stories of adventure.

They will be stories of romance.

Please link, don't copy.
This work is Copyright (c) Mike Fletcher 1992