Untotaled: Stepping 51 (September 17th, 1969) I’m Already Gone… January 24, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog



For nearly a week I had been having nightly dreams, similar if not identical.

The root plot of each one of these mini-movies in my mind was a sense of being displaced.

In these visions, I usually woke up late and realized that school had already started. I found myself rushing around to dress, only to realize that I had no need to do so because I had already graduated from the institution and was merely attending for lack of anything better to do.

It was the strangest sensation, mingling freedom with anger, throwing in a dash of craziness.

I was never a great fan of the schoolyard, nor of the classroom that was inevitably attached. But now I felt like a prisoner.

I didn’t know if it was the death of my father, the incident of being caught lying on my job in the summer or the fact that I was dating a girl, but I found myself completely disinterested and even annoyed with all the little trinkets of childhood they tried to throw my way.

The music group I had started years earlier had evolved into some sort of creature I no longer recognized and was out of my control, so I avoided practices, and had my friends chasing me down to find out where I was.

The church I attended seemed more critical of me and my ways than critical to my spiritual well-being. The singing was flat, the preaching was judgmental and the folks I once respected now looked like they belonged in an old folks home.

I was generally pissed off, but covered it up pretty well with a sardonic attitude which occasionally sprouted sarcasm.

So when the sociology teacher told us we needed to read a book that addressed the transitions of our present time and give a report on it, I was oblivious and completely unmotivated with the project–so much so that when the day arrived to give the report in front of the class, I had neither a verbal explanation about my book or why I read no book.

So giggling a bit in my innards, I stepped to the front of the classroom and delivered an impassioned commendation of a volume entitled “In Search of the American Soul.”

It was so well-received that at the end, the class and the teacher gave me a huge round of applause. I even fielded a couple of questions from my instructor about the book and answered adeptly before sitting down to the admiration of the entire room.

Of course, the only problem was there was no such book.

And two weeks later, when the written report was due, and it was required to place on the completed paper the Library of Congress number of “In Search of the American Soul,” I had no such available data.

So when the teacher asked me where my written report was, I was forced to explain to him that there was no book and that the oral report I had given was improvisational.

I thought he might give me a few points for originality, but he was so upset about being duped that he flunked me.

This caused the National Honors Society, of which I was supposedly a member in good standing, to contact me and tell me that my grades had fallen below acceptable levels for their revered organization.

I didn’t care.

I was already gone.

Looking back on it, I don’t know what anybody could have done to revive my interest in adolescent concerns.

It’s just that I graduated before graduating day, so I was going to have to hang around and wait for my class to catch up.

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