Me: Some Assembly Required

My Real Memoir

A pile of bricks. That was my life at age 15. And I loved it. I saw no need for mortar to fit them all together. I was enamored with discovering all the things I thought, felt, and could do. A sampling of the bricks:

Humor – From the shy, self-conscious kid who’d hid behind a door at age five, to the seven-year-old class clown tutored by a BFF nicknamed “Sunshine,” I’d discovered my first superpower. My love of absurd, pun-y humor is on display in the pen pal letter (above). It seemed that the insecure little kid “brick” had been reduced to dust. But it hadn’t. It was still there at bottom of the pile.

Art – After considering an art career at the behest of my zealous fifth grade teacher, I’d settled for illustrating poems and pen pal letters, briefly becoming our school newspaper’s official cartoonist.

Music – I didn’t know where it would lead, I only knew that when music called, I would go. I’d initially resisted Beatlemania, insisting they weren’t “that good,” and defending our homegrown Beach Boys, as though there could only be one great band (the musical renaissance of the 60s produced a bumper crop). But when I heard the opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night,” I was hooked; I loved the movie too, despite the screaming girls. I loved “Help!” “Ticket to Ride” and “Yesterday.” And when Rubber Soul was released at the end of the year, it was my Christmas present to myself. I played it non-stop for days, sensing that this, this singer-songwriter thing, was something I just had to do!

Thought (religion, philosophy, science)Ignorance and arrogance spring from the same root, and both had sprung up in me. But for good or for ill, analyzing the why and how of things was one of the bricks in my pile. When pen pal Judy asked me “what religion” I believed in, I replied, “I have no one religion. My ideas of religion can’t be confined to any one delegation [ahem, that’s “denomination,” young padawan]. I have my own ideas.” Translation: “Unlike ordinary people, I am a thinker.” “Man makes God in his own image,” I told my classmates, and actually thought it was original (I later gave the line to a teenage character in my movie Healing River). Don’t you just want to punch 15-year-old-me in the face? I know I do.

Bricks, bricks, bricks. But no mortar. I wouldn’t see the need for mortar, and wouldn’t meet the Maker of the bricks that make up my personality, character and calling…

Until a decade later.

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Me: Some Assembly Required

  1. Belinda O says:

    Well, you may have been arrogant, but you were also creative! I was stumbling a lot more at fifteen.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. beth says:

    here’s to the next decade for you, but no way to not go through the one before, as imperfect as it and we, are

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stumbling over the dog, the legos, the dirty socks, and the little brothers and sisters was the start of tap dance, so you have a good back ground for dancing. I made all that up.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I have resisted ‘Beatle mania’ all my life, which was easy, because I didn’t speak English. 🙂 Later on I liked a few songs, but never got into it. I kinda skipped the Beatles.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Todd R says:

    Rubber Soul is my wife’s favorite! Got her the vinyl last Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the analogy. I know that at 15 I felt like a pile of bricks. Still, some of my mortar later on may have add too much sand … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Having your pen pal’s letters must really add flesh to the bones of memories. Without documentation, I sometimes wonder how much memory morphs over a lifetime. Your historical evidence adds great depth to your memoir. Blessings.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Linda Lee @LadyQuixote says:

    When I was 12, my grandmother asked me “You don’t like those crazy Beatles, do you?” I hadn’t heard of the Beatles yet, I believe their popularity was just getting started. But I could tell by the way she asked the question that the only acceptable answer was “No!”

    Later, when Beatles music was everywhere, I couldn’t quite decide to like them, because my grandmother’s pronouncement had tainted them forever in my mind. And why did all the girls SCREAM and faint when they saw the Beatles? No thank you, that was never my style.

    I read your letter. You were an amazing writer even then. I liked granny dresses, though. I wore those, and I also wore mini skirts. Until some old granny out on the street said “Honey, that thing you are wearing would make a nice blouse, but where is your skirt?” I looked at my reflection in a store window and realized she was right! After that, I only wore the granny dresses.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Victoria says:

    Your letters are fabulous, Mitch. Especially this nugget…and I’m paraphrasing: Dollar bill rings aren’t very popular, but money still is. Funny. It’s as if you were writing one-liners for a stand-up comedian’s act. All of your ‘bricks’ are terrific but the humor? So, so good. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

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  11. oneta hayes says:

    Even a fashion expert. If you don’t believe it, just ask a fifteen year old Mitch clone!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Love it! I can almost see you back then. I can still remember a lot of things from the old days, most of which I wish I could forget, but the cousins like to read the stories and keep telling me to continue. But oh, all those things I wish I could do over with a better outcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thotaramani says:

    At that age Everyone will be somewhat naughty. I appreciate you storing the letters safely. There was a lot of competition between friends in studies. I think You are a Cool Mitch👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I get such a kick out of reading your pen pal letters to Judy. I will be sad when you’ve posted them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your teenage brain had no inhibitions, but you were focused and fun-loving as you demonstrated in your letters. I remember the class rings with the angora yarn wrapped around them. Girls would brush them out as if they were fluffy cats.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. marthadilo3 says:

    Ignorance and arrogance spring from the same root… well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Just Mitch | Mitch Teemley

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