Everything I did as a teenager was wrong or awkward or unsuccessful or insufficient on some level. Dealing with disciplinary action was a constant. I scowled a lot. I hated my home life (alcoholic dad, domineering mom, self-loathing, a sense of imprisonment). My grades were mostly shit and for good reason, I figured, as I hated what I was being taught and I couldn’t care less about college or structure or anything but escape from the dull middle-class gulag I grew up in. I couldn’t land a girlfriend or even a date to save my life. The only happiness I knew was from listening to music and hanging with my friends and getting bombed on beer. I spent many hours each week narcotizing myself with television. And I mainlined movies. I saw (studied) as many as I could back then. They were my curriculum, my major, my lifeline.

I’m amazed when I recall how nihilistic I was. I remember a neighborhood kid laughing at my fuck-all attitudes and saying to me, “You’re either going to wind up as a bum or some kind of exceptional something-or-other…but you’re not a go-alonger, that’s for sure.”

I’ve written about this many times but I’ll say it again: I just managed to crawl out of my flirting-with-losing mindset in my mid-to-late 20s. Just barely. My early 20s weren’t entirely devoid of constructive activity (I was in a band, helped a friend make a silly 16mm art film) but there was no plan or design. And I wasn’t helping myself with my frequent partying and drugging and whoo-hooing, which didn’t seem like a problem back then but almost certainly held me back on some level. This is basically a note of thanks to the Fate Godz for giving me a pass or a reprieve or whatever they did. Seriously.