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The 51st Fire: A Tale of Childhood

TheGarbageManDec 21, 2018, 1:18:40 PM
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This is the first part of my story. Of course there is always more, but this is what pierces and causes my reflection on. There is always so much more to our stories.


Young Richard


Where to start? I’ve never written down anything regarding my past. I guess I start at the beginning? Let’s try that.

I was born in the California central valley in the fall of 1984. My father would often joke about me being the only white baby in the nursery, something that foreshadowed California’s actual future.

I have a few memories as an infant. Sitting in a fountain. Struggling in a car seat. Frustrated that others couldn’t understand me, but comprehending what they said perfectly.

Most of it was just flashes of memory until one day, around three, I kept what I saw in continuous memory. Early life was quick with few meaningful recollections.

From there I grew up with my two siblings, a brother and a sister, along with my mom and, occasionally, my dad. I would find out years later that my dad was quite the heroin junkie in those early times, punctuated by him and my mom separating often.

I was molested for most of my fifth year by an older next of kin, something that I don’t like to think about, for obvious reasons. I know some people get all crazy from that sort of stuff, but getting face-fucked as a preschooler is pretty messed up. I only knew that I didn’t like it.

I finally told my mother about a year later after listening to an Adventures in Odyssey radio program about that touchy subject of molestation. Had to talk to a police officer and everything. Like I said, I don’t like thinking about it. I don’t hate him either. I feel sorry for him actually, knowing that he has to live with what he did, even as a father himself now.

It wasn’t all bad though. I got a Game Boy for Christmas that year!

From there it was just domestic life for a rural family out in the Sierra woods. My brother, sister, and I would spend many hours out in the woods exploring, finding Indian flint and grindstones, climbing ancient oaks, and just being a kid growing up around nature.

I remember the creepiest thing we ever found was a deer submerged in the creek we would go explore. There were mountain lions around, later discovering that they sometimes preserve their meals that way. I thought it was a fake deer until the poking stick proved otherwise. A sense of dread overcame me and my brother. We skedaddled out of there as fast as we could.

There was always something cool to be found out in the woods. From turtles to catfish, treehouses and tunnels, we owned the wild and I look back on those times, between six and nine, as the most interesting and fun that I’ve ever had.

We were homeschooled mostly, finally going to sixth grade for public schooling. I was then homeschooled once again, my Christian mother not wanting me to be indoctrinated at the junior high of 7th and 8th grades. I returned later for my junior and senior year of high school, wanting both a degree and the attraction of girls.

Before that though, sixth grade was hell. It started well enough, but then the kids would call me faggot and flip me off. Mostly quiet, I guess I was just too good looking. One hit me few times after following me to the bathroom. I laughed when he did it, asking him “who’s the faggot now?”

I made it almost all the way back to the class, before an outburst of tears in the classroom. I cried like a little bitch in front of the whole class, my world forever marked by some kid that I won’t even name.

I lost my non-mouth virginity to a nineteen year-old that I had crushed on for years. I was fourteen and it made me realize what I wanted most in life: to bury my dick inside a female’s vagina.

But it wasn’t to be. I lost her and she married another. I was probably too young, but it didn’t mean I wasn’t in love. I loved her with all my heart, something that took me two years to silently get over, listening to 90’s rock and physically feeling the hurt in my heart.

I did most of my travelling in the Boy Scouts, going up and down the Sierra Nevada mountains, along with some trips to Philmont Scout camp in New Mexico at the base of the Rockies. I learned much and endured more, the long treks and hikes testing my strength and rewarding my memories with grand sights of much of the western United States.

My dad became infamous, being linked to the Cary Stayner murders at one point during the FBI’s bungled, fuck-up of an investigation. After my father was arrested, Joie Armstrong was getting her head hacked off by Cary Stayner, already having killed a woman and two teenage girls, cutting them up, and torching their car.

My father was employed in the restaurant at the hotel where Stayner was the maintenance man. He worked in the kitchen at night, cleaning and preparing for the next day, and his criminal record was something heavily publicized. I know my dad didn’t have anything to do with what happened to those girls, but without any arrests, the FBI trounced on an a felon who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was quite the thing, last name emblazoned on the front page of national papers, seeing dad’s mugshot, having to stay away from home to avoid the news vans. It all made me quite angry at a world I didn’t quite comprehend yet.

Dad ended up serving a year in the county jail, the penalty for not having mail sent to the address he lived at and was registered to. But by that time my parents had separated a few years before, so life continued on, my mother long being the main parent and the strongest woman that I have ever known, even with an asshole teenager like me.

The return to high school was mostly driven by desire, to be around other girls and bury my dick inside them. I dated a few, fucked a few others, and got to bury my dick in their vagina. Mission accomplished.

But something was missing. I always wanted something as a kid: I wanted to be in the army. I did one of those ASVABs during my senior year and I got calls from all the military branches. They offered me money, college, everything that entices a young man with a desire for a glorious future.

One problem: I was addicted to Meth. I got it from quite a few people, each batch being a distinctly different from the other. I smoked, snorted it, did hot lines with that shit, staying awake as long as a week one time, all while going to school.

It was quite the impressive feat.

But the Army wanted me, and I wanted it, I wanted to get away from the drugs and my life. I wanted to serve my country, especially after the twin towers were “attacked”. It seems so trivial now, but the whole nation was up in arms, and I was right there with it.

I did the physical, finally passed the drug test, even though I had to talk to a Colonel about a previous dirty one. She gave the clearance and I selected 14R, Bradley Linebacker Crewmember. I wanted to drive a tank with anti-aircraft missiles.

I got one more summer with a delayed entry, spent with family and friends. It was a good one. I ran a lot, getting into better shape, preparing for miles and miles...


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