My mind was too fluid for the incident to be etched in my memory but I am reliably informed that my early childhood involved a game with the deadly boomslang (Afrikaans: Tree snake). The tale goes on to say that I owe my life to a combination of hysterical maternal instincts, my love of brooms (that apparently often interfered with the domestic assistant’s cleaning duties) and a calm neighbour. This was only the beginning of a lifelong love affair with curiosity and experimentation.
I will spare you the detailed drudgery of my other escapades resulting in:
a) a permanent blue stain on the wooden floor tiles (botched electrolysis experiment involving copper sulphate, rusty nails and a spoon that had to be hidden after it developed a pockmarked appearance),
b) “glue” made out of water and flour quietly “liberated” from the kitchen,
c) an electric circuit involving mains electricity, glass of water and a step down transformer (before a screaming ended it all),
d) more recently, pap and strawberry yoghurt
e) a cat cremation (they burn with a turquoise flame and an acrid stench that fills any parents’ room with open windows).
It’s safe to say that I will have all sorts of experiments till the day I die. I just might die from one of these experiments (I hope it won’t be too painful). The only thing I enjoy more than experimenting is reading and imagining weird stuff. Oh yes, watching cartoons is a firm favourite too!
I’m often told that I have a unique perspective on everything but I wonder, doesn’t everyone? Don’t we all see life in a way that nobody else does? Don’t we all colour with our own crayons?
I think a lot of people have had their unique perspectives buried under a pile of fears, warnings and threats. In my part of the world, deviance from the norm isn’t only discouraged, it is actively punished. I would know, I am a university dropout. Eleven years later, I still can’t believe I had the guts to dropout, let alone know why I did it. The cost has been high: being a stay at home son (the hours are great but the pay really sucks) punctuated by retrenchment from the only two jobs I’ve ever had, but the truth is, I only wonder if I should have stayed in university when I am flat broke (which is often).Of course, I certainly don’t plan on staying this way much longer and am already getting into some exciting stuff (it’s none of your business) but I digress…
The society I live in is not the most flexible and most people follow the well worn path but I’ve found, from observation and interaction, that everyone has a seed of uniqueness lying deep within them and needs a little of the right coaxing to get it to sprout. How far could we go if we found that elusive balance between not getting stuck in a rut and not reinventing the wheel? We would be unstoppable but alas, we still give in to the fear of failure drummed into us from cradle to the grave. We are all going to die anyway so why not try something new?
Whatever the case, I’ve got weird stuff to think and do. Maybe I’ll watch some cartoons, write a limerick or I could just go out and find some more boomslangs to play with.