(Here's an odd thing: the F-train stopped at Roosevelt Ave, & an E- train was stopped across the station. When the doors opened, the lady on the station's loudspeaker could be heard saying, "For the 3rd time tonight, this is an E-train to 53rd St." The trains don't stay in the station longer than 30 seconds, so she couldn't have been asked about it that many times. Was she just bored & counting them as they went through?)
Back to thoughts about being older & mature. I learned years ago to be the funny guy, to not let anything get by me without a joke, to have a snappy comeback ready in case some misanthrope put me down. I realize that this is the result of a childhood wish to be like my cousin Dean, who is one of the funniest people I know. My desire to play the guitar, master chess, & my interest in philosophy also came from my desire to be like him. Then I realized that I didn't so much want to be like him as I wanted to be loved & respected like him. This is understandable, since as a kid I was picked on all the time & felt like no one wanted me around, while he was someone everyone looked forward to seeing & begged to come visit. I then realized that the other half of my makeup comes from my father- bowling, the desire to be a pilot, (some of) my politics, Star Trek, the Yankees, writing, Catholicism (I’ve since converted to Pastafarianism, but at one point in my youth I even considered the priesthood) hell- I probably joined the Army fueled by a desire to be more like & respected by him. I get my artistic talents from my mother, but it's fathers that boys emulate.
So one day I woke up, looked in the mirror, and asked myself- if almost everything I am comes from other people, just what the hell is left that's actually me?