I had a troubled teen life. Being an only child, I often felt I was monkey in the middle. Trying to catch the flame from one parent to the other. Not knowing who to pledge my allegiance to at any one time. I sometimes felt left out. In our household, I observed that we were a three-way love affair. In an innocent way of course, there was Mum, and Dad and baby made three. Except that I wasn’t on the top of the pyramid, rather on the bottom, trying to crawl up to the top. Or just to be in between on the same level. Of course, this never happened.
There were days during my teen years I felt desperately lonely. You know, you can feel so lonely right smack bang in the middle of the biggest crowd. It’s called life. I dealt with it by journaling and penning my poems. Although they didn’t always come out the way I may have meant them to, I am only now, many years later, realising that I was really channelling the words which came to me. As I read each one back now – some forty plus years later on, I also see that I have missed words, even complete lines. So, no wonder they appeared somewhat clumsy. I will work on them even more so and try to develop them – or even remember them to what they could really be. It will take some detective work; however, I am good at that, it seems. As I put two and two together to produce four, five or six even and complete the puzzle(s).
My Short Stories
I wrote a few short stories at various times too. Sometimes during the course of my school studies, I would allow my imagination to grow and make a short story out of a three-paragraph composition. To think I used to have the greatest trouble writing a simple three paragraph, one whole page composition, in primary school. It seems crazy to think of that. I could tell a story, keep a story going in my head daily, but struggle with the words to write more than a one-page intro-meat-ending story and fill a whole page. Today I love to write. Cannot stop. Even to write a letter to a friend, I tend to use more words when one or few will do.
So in my short stories, I remember there was one I plagiarised from a friend’s dream about a haunted house. There were others of course, but all of them had one thing in common. They were all taken from my dreams. I had vivid colourful dreams when I was a teen. Some of them were like episodes and might continue for a week or more, interrupted by other similarly spectacular dreams. Frightening, wonderful, and terrorising dreams. I wrote them down to record them as dreams, then later would turn them into short stories.
What is Love?
In the second form – these days known as year 8 – my English teacher gave us a project to write a short love story. I thought about it. Thought about it some more. Read, re-read some of the love stories in the mag “Dolly” which was the female teen’s favourite. I borrowed my mother’s “Women’s Day”, “Women’s Weekly” and the English “Women’s Day” to read the stories in those. They were all enriching and, by today’s standards, quite tame. But I still couldn’t produce a story of my own. Finally, I sat down at my desk, pen in hand, and just began. I finished it in the required number of words and submitted it to my teacher. He was so in love with it he gave me 20/20!!! I was so proud of it, I raced home and showed my parents. My mother – the wonderful mother she was – took it to work and typed it up for me ad verbatim. I think she also showed it around the office. She was a proud mum, after all. I tried later – in my twenties to have it published, but to no avail.