So your sitting on your couch one day...wearing the same night clothes for 3 days...pigging out on chocolate and diet pepsi(nice combo) and rehashing your life and wondering where it all went wrong...then *ping*...just like the proverbial lightbulb over the head...it comes to you...that defining moment that sent your straight and ordered life skidding down a slippery slope into chaos and oblivion...or something like that.
We all have them whether we are rich or poor, brilliant or mediocre, male or female...moments in our lives...more specifically One Defining Moment, in which we can point a finger and say "thats where it all went so terribly wrong." If we could go back in time to that moment and do it over...do it differently...and get that much deserved outcome we were "supposed" to get if destiny, fate, the Hand of God...had not stepped in and robbed us of the life we planned on..would we? I know you are all thinking about your One Defining Moment right this moment...so you know what Im talking about.
Mine goes something like this...I was fairly brilliant in school...high marks without even trying(other kids hated me..go figure)...I had dreams of being either a writer or a vet...or both...why not both...All Creatures Great and Small etc( a very fine book btw) was written by a vet so I knew it could be done...so My Life was all planned out...except for one hitch....dear daddy, of whom I have mentioned previously, would not fork over the money to send me to college...not only that, he wouldnt allow me to apply for scholarships or anything...said if I wanted a free education to go in to the military. So My Life took just a little side step...nothing too bad...I could recover and get back on track while doing my military stint....(no war anywhere at the time so that was a relief).
So off I went to the Air Force with The Dream still alive and well...boot camp was an eye openener...heat and humidity a drag...bugs the size of VW Beetles...Texas in otherwords...but it was all good. The advisor said I could enlist in college on the Air Force dime when I finished bootcamp and training school..so no problem...a little patience and all would come about.
So there I was, enjoying life, preparing for my life as it were...then along comes that fate, destiny, Hand of God that we all get a taste of now and then...in the form of pizza and pool. Pizza and pool you say? How can pizza and pool...two of America's happiest of combinations...send my life into a tailspin in which 20 years later Im still trying to recover...well, pull up a chair and I will tell you...it isnt a pretty picture.
There is I was in my dorm studying for the next weeks big exam...Im not usually one to study but things are just a little more serious in the military...eveyone is rather anal...gives new meaning to the words..."uptight"....so I like to be extra prepared. No need to give the instructor reasons to make his head swell with superiority more than it all ready does...the fact that his head hasnt burst yet is a testament to how tight his hat must be...keeping all things intact so to speak. Anyhow...study study study(and all the while impatient to start my real job...studying to be a vet and or writer)...when there is a knock on the door. Now this knock should have the full sound effects of impending doom and ultimate tragedy to coincide...as that knock was the beginning of the end for me...little did I know this when I walked across the floor and opened it up to destiny, fate, the Hand of God...or rather...my friend from down the hall. Impending doom comes in many disguises. "Lets go out for pizza and play some pool," she says. Ive got to study I tell her and go to close the door...she is insistent and tells me that with my brains why the hell am I wasting my time studying when I can be out having fun...fun is very over rated I have since learned...sigh. Anyhow, with much persistence on her part...and not much defense on mine...off we go to meet my destiny....somebody please slow the track down...its going much too fast for me at this point.
I must digress just a bit here and just make this simple statement. I wish our lives were accompanied by soundtracks just like movies in the cinema...I mean, really, would I have been so easily led to my ultimate downfall if the soundtrack was playing something appropriately gloomy and just a little dangerous sounding...maybe...who knows...we dont always listen when we should anyhow.
So, there I was...enjoying pizza and playing pool....The Dream playing like elevator music in the back of my mind as it had been doing since I was around 12 when I realized I liked writing and writing liked me just fine...not too mention animals were pretty cool too...and much more dependable and predictable than humanbeings so to combine the two seemed like fate...ha ha(cue the laugh track here....sigh). It was at this point that I noticed the man playing the table alone beside mine was noticing me noticing him. He wasnt bad looking....good dresser...clean cut and groomed just fine...so looking back all these years I wonder about it all....how does one know when a person looks ok on the outside but harbors a beast...a black heart...within his chest? What self defense do we have against destiny, fate, the Hand of God when it comes wrapped up in the form of a good looking man with a soft spoken voice and enough charm to make Mother Theresa blush? Thats right...we have no chance at all....so there I was playing pool...eating pizza...having fun while all the while dreaming of My Life and what it should be....when destiny walked up to me and asked if I wanted to play a game of pool...and I said yes(funny enough there was no dipping of the heart, that skipped beat we sometimes get when we feel something isnt right... then as there always is now when I think of that moment)....and the rest, as they say....was written. More on that later....