When I was 13 or 14 my mother told me I’d experienced a traumatic birth. I thought little of this at the time, but I’ve since considered the possibility that it may have had something to do with my personality as I got older and came into myself.

The chief obstetrician who was scheduled to manage the birth was late for some reason, so the nurses told my mother to sit up and thereby delay the natural birth process. When the doctor finally arrived it was difficult to get me out. They had to use forceps or a suction device or something. When I finally emerged I looked all mangled up, or so the legend goes. When my father first saw me, he put his hands to his face and said “oh, no!”

During my first 18 months my mother overfed me and turned me into a fat (bordering on obese) baby. So first I was a freaked-out baby, and then an ugly baby, and then a Jabba baby. But I finally slimmed down and turned out okay, looks-wise.

Anyway a child psychologist warned my mom that the traumatic birth may have affected me emotionally and psychologically. He also said she should keep the traumatic birth story under wraps. I don’t have any memory of my birth, of course, and I never felt maladjusted or wounded as a child. I was highly energetic and creative and rambunctious, but that seemed par for the course. I developed low-self-esteem issues, but that was normal for a child of an alcoholic. One way or another, through accident or design, parents always manage to fuck their kids up — that’s the bottom line.

Then again most kids tend to be resilient. And if you have the locomotive gene, things tend to work out. I turned out just fine. 49 and I’m still throwing opinions around, looking to stir things up, nourishing a lust for life, wearing Italian lace-ups and high-thread-count T-shirts, riding the rumblehog, about to visit the new granddaughter, etc.

Beckerjustice.com: “Psychologists believe children who had difficult births are more likely to be angry, aggressive and anxious compared to children who had easy births.”