ELECTRIC IN TALLAHASSEE
The universal clock that ticks off the destiny of worlds and nations had finally struck my hour of departure for Tallahassee. For me, just like in Las Vegas, I just felt the spirit in my body and mind moving me. I was going back where I had been loved and appreciated.
When I rolled into town my emotions were electric; the memories, feelings, and joys of my life there before were dancing in my mind. I stopped and bought me a beer to level myself out. I was brimming with anticipation of getting back into that place where I was in control and moving in a world where I was accepted and highly valued. I could see it all stretching out into a beautiful, secure future right before me as I drove around the edge of the city by the truck route.
Considering my mental and spiritual condition at the time, it’s no wonder that I couldn’t see the glaring dichotomy I was thinking of creating for myself. The dichotomy of a vision of creating a new life there and the decision I had also made to stay away from practically everyone who knew me. (Houdini couldn’t pull that trick off.) I didn’t want to have to answer questions about what had happened to me; why wasn’t I a fierce, stalwart linebacker for the Washington redskins. Oh, God, I didn’t want to face these questions. However, in my feverish joy, everything seemed to fit together so sweetly, so seamlessly. I could see no problems.
I stopped and got another beer. I felt the mellow effect of the alcohol and began thinking about what I was going to say to my friend, Keith. the first thing I’d say for sure was to thank him very much for getting me the new job. I was so glad to be back where I knew I could be somebody again; like I’d always been schooled by my coaches and motivators.
However, I had a lot to learn; I just didn’t understand that at the time I came to Florida State from high school I was a prize athlete enfolded into a powerful program where everything was well defined. All I had to do was what I was told. Everything was taken care of, all my needs were met, I just had to perform like a thoroughbred race horse. My body and immature mind remembered that cocoon and were longing for it again.
I also couldn’t see why I couldn’t find a foothold in the world or why my business and marriage had just fallen apart. Of course, I had no knowledge of how dysfunctional I was. Who, all those decades ago, had even heard of an apparently normal person having something called a dysfunction that could just stymie their ability to perform well in life? All my life I had depended on being a “good boy” and the great athletic gifts God gave me, but at this point, there was no way to fake it anymore.
If I wanted to reclaim, in my present life, the security, respect, and love that I felt I’d had before I had to realize they were at the top of a very high mountain that loomed before me. A mountain I could barely tell was even there because it was made of my ignorance which I was just starting to recognize and the other part was dysfunction which, at this point, I’d never heard of. It would be many, many years before I would be forced to face my demons and the life and death situation created by my dysfunctions. Dysfunctions became very real and clear to me. For now, though, I was a blind man going back to a place where I’d found shelter in life before…………..I opened another beer and went looking for my friend, I had to have some fun.