Some of the memories I'll take back from here:
Walking into the ocean for the first time
Listening to everyone argue over the rented van
Watching a father play with his daughter in the sea and hearing her shriek in delight every time a wave washed over her
Going out to a sandbar with John and lying in some of the nicest warm water I've ever felt
Do you know what civilization is? It's the thin veneer we wear to keep from annhilating ourselves as a species...and it's scratched away all too easily. We'll do the most monstrous things to one another in the name of vengance and wounded pride, calling it justice all the while. We'll turn into beasts at just the right provocation. And I'm not bemoaning that, nor celebrating it, just acknowledging it.
Walking down the beach gives you time to reflect. I've seen this highschool meme running around and it dredged up some memories I've been trying to bury for a long time. I hated high school. I got a good education, though my grades didn't always reflect that. But beyond that, it was truly hell. I'd accepted my sexuality by the time I turned 17. But I was in an environment where not many would. So I kept it to myself and let it burn a hole in my stomach. Hell, I was in an environment where people had problem with my being black. I went to a school where the term "minority" meant minority in EVERY sense of the word. I actually made more friends with the underclassmen than my own. Timing meant a lot. It was around the time hip hop music started to hit the suburbs and I suppose knowing a kid who was in tune with it made them seem a lot cooler.
One kid in particular I vibed with, though. His name was BJ Daniels. He had a black stepfather, so he was one of the white kids who really could understand where I was coming from. Was my best friend throughout high school and I really miss him sometimes.
More reflection brings up more memories. Some pleasant, quite a few not. I remember doing what I had to to keep myself out of trouble. I remember doing what I had to to keep the would be bullies off my back. I remember doing some things that would frighten or disgust some of you. I'm no saint. I'm just as susceptible to the Beast as any other man or woman. I just acknowledge it and even let it out to play now and again. Better than bottling it up until it explodes. That's one of the reasons I try to be nice. Because you don't want to see me when I'm not. I know full well what man is capable of.
You'll forgive me for going off on this train of thought, but when I get a lot of time to think, the human condition is one of the things I tend to ponder. Angels and Devils wrapped up in one constantly conflicting package, we are. Capable of acts of mercy, love and tenderness, but in another breath, capable of acts of cruelty, venom and hatred. So conflicting. So endlessly fascinating.
I'll stop now.