Monday, January 2, 2012

Phantom Secrets: An Essay on Busking with the Ghosts of Christmas Past

Yes. Christmas came and went just as it always does, and New Year’s Day followed Santa’s suit.

No. This blog entry is not to be of redemption and resolution. It is an entry about Psychology and Busking a la wordswords.

It is a sunny -18 degrees. I am cold and bored and ghosts are coming to mind (and I know exactly why). My childhood friend, Brent, came by over the holidays and we visited for eight hours, the equivalent of number of hours in an ordinary moiler’s working day! I have mentioned Brent in previous blogs: Strum and Dang and Oom Pah Pah: An Essay on Guitar, Banjitar, and Accordion Busking, February 27, 2011 & Canines and Coins: A Shaggy-Dog Essay on Busking with Bowwow, December 27, 2011. Whenever visiting with Brent, my woolgatherings always take me back to my teenage years in Vanguard, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Foot (Brent), Race Car, Skin, Gin, Chief, Parson, Pretty Boy, O’Toole, Bear, Toe Head, Radar, Smitty, Stoney, Curly, Fuzz, Teeter, Shane, Carbon, Lash, Weasel, Say, Grooby, Javaman, Teeter, Cork, Honk, Sam, Jimbo, Hooker, and Baiter (self).

These are some of people that we grew up with in Vanguard. These are some nicknames of people from my past. These are my ghosts. Rather than accursed, these are friendly ghosts, and these were their assigned nicknames of affection. They are nicknames of which only those who were there would know the origins, mostly Aesopian in their nature, having meaning only for such spectre members as Brent and myself.

Of these ghosts, wherever they physically may be, I have secrets of them I will never tell. And knowingly in return, these faraway ghosts have secrets of me that they will never tell.

This should be of no surprise for anyone, because by degree, all of us have secrets. All of us have work secrets (of which the public will never know); all of us have family secrets (of which the neighbors will never know); all of us have secrets so secretive (of which not even a spouse will ever know). Such are the secrets of these aforementioned ghosts, those nicknamed phantoms of my past.

These kinds of secrets, of course, would be developmental secrets -- secrets of first love experiences -- personal, interpersonal, heterosexual, bromosexual! Ouch! Have I hit a nerve! Without getting into gritty detail, most of us, in our sexual development, have had far-out and nearby real sexual experimentations, both fantastical and real.

Today, I really don’t know the present condition of these people whose nicknames I have scrivened, other than that all of them are still alive. Of these ghosts, I’ve only had a steady haunting with one – and that is Brent. He still has family there, whereas my Vanguard family has been long gone.

Whenever I am busking and my business is not brisk I often think of my ghosts. I love these thoughts: I am eleven years old and playing Knocky Knocky Nine Door (Bunny Bunny White Tail). I am twelve years old rafting on a slough, swatting mosquitoes, swearing and laughing. I am thirteen years old hiking canyons, riding my bicycle down the highways on bottle hunts, and constantly thinking of sex. I am fourteen years old, rolling about midnight swards, kissing girls in the dark. I am sixteen years old driving around and around and around our town, searching for sexual adventure in my 1960 Chevrolet. I am seventeen years old driving to other towns, flirting with strangers, hoping for back-seat adventures with zaftig fraus. I am eighteen years old and going drinking down the line, starting in Ponteix and ending in Gravelbourg, all the while still hoping for back-seat adventures with flirty zaftig fraus.

All of these things I did with others, others who had nicknames. No, we were not (fill-in-the-blank) ophiles. All of these acts I have mentioned very much represented normative transitions of teenage sexuality. Even all of the acts that I did not mention (and that would be many in number, and too secretive and horriblarious to even write about), were, too, normative transitions of teenage sexuality. Each of these most secretive of acts, save for those bracketed under the covers as personal, were done in the company of those with nicknames. (In fact, about the only idiosyncratic transition I can recall would be that I, and I alone in a village of 400, was raised by my grandparents because … my parents were divorced!)

I really do pity those among us, leading their troglodyte lives, never admitting to such verboten pleasures of teenage angst. As for myself, attempting not to winkle from such a sordid past (humor intended), I shall emphatically state that such teenage amorous adventures really seem rather will-o’-the-wisp. Afterall, they did take place on some adolescent swivet, some forty years away from this present frosty buskapade.

As I daydream of ghosts in my Christmas past -- I cannot help but wonder if ever a ghost of Christmas present daydreams of me.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Neil - I especially liked this one - and last week's as well (as my family has 2 big dogs). Warm fuzzies all the way around.

    Happy New Year!
    Lynn (CMHA SK Division)