High school was the beginning of an absolute nightmare.
When I began attending a very large building packed full of young men and women with competitive drive and talent in the early 1990’s, I viewed myself as independent. A bit different from most of those around me. There were so many directions I could go. I was fortunate to attend such an esteemed school. I had unlimited opportunity to take advantage its outstanding programs and knowledgeable staff.
Unfortunately, early freshman year was the beginning of a great fall within my life. It was the pivotal moment of my direction towards failure.
My freshman year began with a great attitude. I was happy to see the way my parents were trying so very hard to place their differences aside and make their relationship work. I cannot begin to count the times they had split apart, gotten back together and split again. For nearly every year of my life up until this point, that was my life. In the late eighties into the early nineties, my parents were trying especially hard, as it had seemed to me, to keep our family life peaceful.
The early nineties were a great time. Not only was I so incredibly happy about my parents, I was also flying high with my life of skateboarding, BMX biking, the new sounds of grunge music and the peaking interest in girls. It was all good. I was hanging with some really cool kids and going to all of the great places to hang and share our athletic interests. We had modeled all of the California kids in the magazines by building the ramps, learning all of the latest tricks and taking pride in our work. My friends and I were really happy. We didn’t know anything outside of our innocent lives of having fun everyday.
It didn’t take long for these things to change, quickly and drastically.
My parents had split up. It was nothing new. I guess I was used to it. They were well on their way by the time I had started high school, but I tried my best to ignore the truth of it all. I just wanted to have my fun and live my youthful life the best way I knew how.
My mother and I ended up moving into a cheap trailer way out in the middle of nowhere. It was several miles outside of the city in the middle of fields. Literally, it was in the middle of nowhere. Being a kid, it seemed much further away from the city life that I was so accustomed to. There were few places to skate, few people to hang with and it was a dumpy, desolate, lonely place on top of it all. You could hear a pin drop most times.
I was not really down for staying way out there, but I had to move around with my mother because she had custody of me. My parents had divorced when I was four, but they tried for many years to keep their relationship. I suppose it was because of me, but it was doing more harm than good, I hate to say. Fortunately, the place that I had previously lived was just a short distance from the neighborhood I had grown up in when my parents were on the outs. My mother would almost always end up at her parents home before finding a place of her own throughout all of those years of splitting and rekindling. Nearly every friend that I had was within the area, so I would spend a lot of time at my grandparents. School was right up the road from their house, and it was no problem for them to let me stay there. I could get away from that depressing place in the country.
As I was staying with my grandparents, many things began to change. I had met up with some pretty shady people who were nothing like I had ever been, and they introduced me to something to smoke one day. I had already started smoking “wigwam sticks” years prior, which was a hollow, dry shoot of a plant in our surrounding wooded areas. We started doing that before lifting cigarettes from our parents. I had heard about marijuana, but I really had no idea what it would do. I remember the feeling of being weightless, while traveling through a world of happiness and fantasy. That was the first time. The second time I was so incredibly happy, and so hungry. Food tasted so dang good! I absolutely fell in love with the things that the drug was bringing into my boring, depressing and soon to be, destructive life.