There have been several times in my life where my mind would begin to wander and I would think, "Self, I wonder what would happen if..." Before I could finish formulating the thought, I had already done the very thing I was going to ponder. You know, to weigh the consequences of my actions and all that junk. Suddenly I would find my self in deep doody, saying:
Did I do that?
Then I would look around wildly wondering what the hell happened. As if in the moment I was in my head about to ponder something, my body would take over and just do instead of stop. This happened to me so many times that I started to think I was possessed (Probably didn't help that my grandma would sometimes ask me if I was. As if I would know!). Future stories to come in regards to my possession or rather lack of self control. But this one comes to mind as my nephew is about the same age and luckily he does not suffer from my self control problems.
I wasn't a bad kid. I was a smart kid, cute and funny too! You look at pictures of me from when I was a kid and you think, "Aw what a cute little girl." Well what a picture doesn't show is sometimes worth more than a thousand words. I was a terrorist, a plague, a bad apple. My fellow students called me Psycho Susie, that's not very friendly. I got great grades, I should have been skipped a grade but of course my behavior was lacking and I was told so. 'Dear Susie, you do not get to pass go ahead of the other kids because you are bad.' I racked up so many after school detentions I think I technically should still be serving them. So many times during my schooling years I got passed up on awesome opportunities because of my 'problem'. Pfft! It's not like I was pissing my pants! I really wish my parental units kept better tabs on my school pictures because I don't have any. And no one seems to know where they went. Makes me wonder if it was their way of trying to erase me from their lives.
Self control was never my strong suit. I have a bit of a problem with it still. But nothing like when I was a kid. Let me start off by saying, this one time.... no, no, not at band camp. This one time on a field trip I was bad, real bad. Luckily I was able to eat my pride and say sorry in my adult life to the poor kid I probably traumatized. Anyway, I should probably get on with the damn story.
In fourth grade we had a field trip to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and during the tour of the campus we got to see the Agriculture Department. Or as I saw it; nasty, smelly, farm area far from the main campus. Cows were not necessarily the highlight of the field trip for me. The only cow I wanted to see was at dinner time before I shoveled it into my mouth. So my mind started to wander as my body was being guided along the tour by my aunt. Did I mention I was not allowed on field trips without her presence since around 2nd grade?
Well, I guess I needed to have my own personal chaperone. Whatever, I was being herded through the milking stations, looked at the smelly pigs and finally made it outside. Where the air still smelled bad but wasn't as stifling. By now I was beyond bored and annoyed of the smell and mentally I was some place else. As my mind started playing out little scenarios I was walking behind Louis half listening to the stupid shit he was saying. I gotta give it to him, he was a pretty funny kid. But he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As we were walking near the cows that were outside I was disgusted by a drainage ditch full of nasty. It had scraps of hay, poop, stagnant water and we had to walk by it. Oh and let's not forget the pesky flies that were happily swarming above the ditch. It was sunny out so the smell was absolutely delightful! Yes, delightful if you like the smell of steamy cow poop. My mind started to wander, "Hey self, what do you think would happen if you pushed..." YANK! My arm about got torn out of it's socket and my aunt whirled me around and shouted, "What's wrong with you?! Why did you do that?!"
Slack jawed in awe at my aunt's angry face (She is the most terrifying 4 foot 11 thing you have ever seen in your LIFE!) I was trying to figure out what the hell. As the rest of the class is either laughing or talking about me and Louis. I sat there puzzled, I had pushed him in? While I was on my brain vacation my little arms shoved him right into the ditch. Oh my god! Did I do that?! Yea, yea I did that. Well I got shook about like a rag doll and smacked in front of the fourth grade class. Oh yeah it was embarrassing. But what about poor Louis??? I'm sure if his face was as hot as it was red; I could have fried an egg on it. The story gets worse not just for Louis but also for the rest of the class and myself.
Cal Poly is a tad over 30 miles from the elementary school I attended and we still had several hours to go before the excursion was over. My aunt, always being well prepared procured a pair of pink pants from her bag and offered them to Louis. I kind of wonder why my aunt felt she needed to have an extra change of clothes for me when I was in fourth grade? It's not like I was an infant that needed to have my clothes changed 15 times a day. And I sure as hell didn't piss my pants. Who knows what her thinking was, but I digress. As if Louis was not embarrassed enough by being covered in animal filth he was not going to trot around in my pink pants. I didn't want him wearing my pants!!! In my selfish little mind I was imagining the embarrassment of the dreaded kissing song because he would be in my pants!
This may be okay now, but it wasn't then. Not for him.
He opted for the man's way out! Fuck man I take my hat off to the guy. He opted to be hosed down. HOSED DOWN! You would think they could have offered him a shower on the campus. Nope. They hosed him down by the ditch with a garden hose. And then we continued our excursion, until we had to go indoors. Since Louis was still smelly from the filth bath I didn't mean to give him, he had to go wait in the bus. Louis missed part of the field trip because of me. I messed it up for him. This doesn't make it any better but at least it was a shitty trip he missed out on. It's not like I ruined his senior trip, but still I felt(feel) bad about what happened.
The bus ride home was god awful. It was a bus full of fourth graders on a sunny day and Louis' Eau de Poopy given to him by yours truly. Not only did I screw up his trip but I pretty much screwed up everyone's ride back to school. The bus ride was horrible, even with the windows down. The bad trip didn't end when we got off the bus. For me it just kept getting better and better. I ended up in trouble at school getting detention and who knows what else, I can't remember. To make matters worse I got a sound beating when I got home. I COULDN'T HELP IT!!!! I didn't even know I had done it till it was all over! Many many years later I was diagnosed with a psychological disorder that lists impulsivity as one of the tell tale signs. Shoot by the time I was diagnosed I was ready to be exorcized cause I thought grandma was right about the demons.
I think age and maturity have been the only thing to save me from myself. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't think before acting. The same applies for speaking before thinking things through (I still do it, sorry to say). That little stop light in my brain is just broken. These days I at least get a yellow light which slows me down enough to save me from becoming a candidate for a Darwin Award, not for lack of smarts but more so lack of thinking things through BEFORE acting. Give me another 7 or 10 years and I may actually be able to develop a red light.
Over the years I have learned some self control. (I use the term lightly, I still suffer from foot in mouth disease.) I no longer thinks I am possessed by some demonic force. I actually leads a fairly good life, I have a great job and a wonderful loving family. I just took the slow bus on the ride to responsibility and self control. Damn those slow buses! At least now what is going on inside matches what I show on the outside. At least if I am off in a daze you don't have to worry about me shoving you into a pile of steamy shit. I do however say things like, "Oh my god I just had a bad thought!" And sometimes I divulge the bad thought but at least I don't act on it.
I think I might still frighten people but I guess some things never change. I still don't like the smell of cow poop, that still remains the same. I am now allowed to go on trips with out the supervision of my aunt; I'm a grown-up I go where I want. Damn kids misbehaving all the time! It's no wonder my aunt never had kids. She was afraid they would be like me! Hmm I think that's also why I never wanted children. For god sakes one of me is bad enough! I could only imagine having to raise myself (shallow grave in the backyard with my child happy stuffed into it?) okay lets not imagine. But man I was pretty bad, I don't with the world to suffer round two of Psycho Susie.