Feet on the ground and read in the clouds

Around 15 years of age I began to get restless, I played a musical instrument and was good, but I was always alone, I felt lonely, the only thing I wanted was to eliminate that seemingly infinite emptiness. So on some Saturday nights I started to go out with classmates with who I felt comfortable and to be part of the group I smoked my first joint. For me, the class was divided among the nerds, the geeks with long hair who listened to the Beatles, the cool kids from MTV who talked bullshit and then the right ones who listen to Hard Rock.

Inside me there played out an internal conflict, I wanted to be the brave guy, methodical, committed, who could do things, and also the one who goes around shooting the shit, who doesn’t care and does what he wants. So I grew dreadlocks, I dressed in baggy cloths, all in all a little shabby. My father to find a solution to this situation forced me to become a football referee like my brothers, who already were. I didn’t want to do it, it didn’t interest me, I hated it.

Often my brothers took my side of the argument in front of my father, but there was no way to get out of it I had to take the exam, so I passed it and cut my dreads. I was a referee for only a short time, but it was clear in my head that I was doing everything I did because I had absolutely no courage to defy the impositions of my father. So I found a way of my own to hold it against them, I smoked more and more weed. Over the years I stole so much money from my father, I finished all my savings and in the end I was still all alone.

No-one was ever at home: my mother worked and then in the evening went to night school, my brother had gone to live alone, my sister was in college. So at lunch time and after school I would find myself, at home with my father giving me his sermons. I got so sick and tired of all that complaining, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I decided to just be present physically, since I hadn’t the courage to make a firm decision with him, while being absent mentally.Everytime I had to be alone at home with him, before, I would go to my room and smoke a joint. It seemed the best solution in all that mess, I would not have had to face what I didn’t like about father and didn’t even pay attention to what he said. With just a few woord I could fake being there, but I was completely in another place, I didnt think about anything ... exactly what I wanted, I thought.

I found a group of older boys that listened to the same music that I liked and I begin to spend my weekends with them playing music and smoking weed. My school work begins to suffer, I can’t study any more and I skip to many days. To the weed I added alcohol and with my group we begin to go play in local clubs. The only thing that realy interested me was having people listen to my music, the only way I knew to communicate with others was through my music. The problem was that everytime we got together for practice we would get high.

Despite that those times were so special, full of new experience: I'm with musicians older than me who teach me a lot of new things, clubbing and going to different cities playing music, we have fun together. At the same time there were lots of girls haning around, I had lots of girl friends, but it was like no of them are good enough. I would stay with them for a while and then find some thing wrong, giving me a legitimate reason to dump them. I also had a serious girlfriend, a good one, but I couldn’t empathize with her and when we would meet up I was always smashed and could not get along with a girl who was lucid and poised. Even there I had a choice to make, face things, change and pull out my positive attributes, or continue on my way. I knew that to be with her I would have to stop smoking, but between she and weed I always chose the weed. I felt bad for this, in short, all my friends had girlfriends, they were good together, did so many things, but I could not keep one, but the truth was something else.

Basically I was always ashamed to bring girls around my friends. I was afraid of being judged by others, of what they might think, how it would look. In front of the others I had to be impeccable, perfect and bring girls I was with in front of the others would have exposed me to criticism.
I did not have the courage, I have to continue to wear my mask.