See the past, touch it, smell it, and live in it while the moment permits. Seventeen, you are down the beach; await your girlfriend after a ten kilometre fun run to raise money for the school. School finishes, HSC around the corner, and you are more fearful than the prospect of examinations. She might be pregnant. This cannot be real. Does it happen? Everything is different. Love the smell of the sea. Bodies float on and off the sand. Is she with child? Must have an ulcer with the idea, get married, and find a job, no university, no more dreams, for you or the rest. Is she? You love her. She loves you. Sperm fail to make the target, she tells you elatedly, so the memory says. Next, you see alcohol, dance on the balcony with every other illegal drinker, and watch the sun go down on school. It tries to set on you. Celebrate the lack of life. Contraception, what is that? Have sex with twenty different women over the next six years before you use a condom for the first time. When you consider the many prostitutes that you sleep with from 33 to 43, unbelievably never acquire a disease, or a scrape, only insanity that is overdue by the time it arrives.
Some people take until their forties before trauma from their youth explodes within and affects their lives. Have no abuse issues from young years, though the accident when you just turn twenty hovers high behind you. At the time you deal with it like a young man, haphazardly, superficially, prefer to push it to the back and hope that one day it heals despite you. Your cousin almost dies and his friend does. Do you have a right to feel the sympathy that comes your way? Feel shame; look likely to go to jail, only an energetic, erudite legal-aid lawyer saves you. You are in third year university, recently return from your first trip overseas on the good ship Fairstar with two good mates, your maternal grandfather dies, and you are inside court for the first time, more to come years later, face a shrewd magistrate with police officers who look at you as a murderer of their first born. Escape with your life; have no idea how to deal with the issue so you shun it. Your father takes you to visit the family of the young deceased man, they treat you well, tell you that it is not your fault. One of his best mates, also a close childhood friend of yours, tells you at the pub one night that it is not your fault, gives you a hug and you cry on his shoulder. Alcohol and marijuana become the band-aid solutions to cover grief.