I was driving around the other day, not lost yet, and saw a business that announced “Industrial Gaskets” and I wondered, where did that idea come from? I mean, when asked as a child, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” imagine this, squeaky little voice and earnest facial expression: “I want to have an Industrial Gasket store!”
It set me to wondering what happens to lead people into different capacities as adults; I mean, do children want to grow up to be podiatrists, mattress salespeople, septic tank specialists?
I wanted to play professional baseball. For the Red Sox. Left field. I gave it up when, at the age of 15, I realized I couldn’t see well enough to distinguish between the rotation of a curve ball and the spin of a fast ball. Two pitches that didn’t break on two consecutive at-bats resulted in two beanings that drove the point home. But at least I got to first base, although they had to point me in the direction. Explains a lot, I think.
Then I wanted to be a writer, but why? Maybe it was the positive attention from my friends for writing grisly, warped-humor poems in high school. More likely, it was a creative writing teacher when I was a senior who encouraged me, and still does. Maybe it was the fun of making things up that people liked.
So that’s what I am now – a writer. Pretty happy about that. I would’ve made a lousy industrial gasket guy.