This is a short story about fate or luck – you decide.
There was once a boy who was seen by society as ‘different’. He was a lovely little boy but as he grew up his parents soon realised that his executive functioning wasn’t quite the same as other children his age – he was very impulsive, got himself into trouble easily and found it difficult to communicate on the same level as his peers.
Which meant that his experience of school was very different to the other kids. He spent a lot of time sitting outside the classroom for poor behaviour, detention became an after-school activity and his mother had to have a minimum of two bottles of wine before every parents evening.
He was rarely invited on play dates, sleepovers or birthday parties and although he concealed his disappointment, his ostracization made his mother fucking livid at times.
But with every cloud there is a silver lining and luckily the little boy discovered a passion for music from a very early age and somehow it communicated to him, where his peers had refused. So much so, that music became his best friend and with its support, the boy was able to block out the judgmental looks lobbed his way daily at school.
‘ADHD makes you different, not defective.’ (Wendy Davis)
That boy grew up into a young man and although he faced more challenges than many kids his own age, and oftentimes caused his parents to throw their hands in the air and call upon their God in frustration, and to gnash their teeth VERY loudly, he coped the best way he could.
As he grew older the boy went through many obsessions, and lived vicariously through many of his musical idols, from Michael Jackson to Axl Rose – both worrying times for his parents.
But his obsession with music became his raison d’etre. His memory was perfect when it came to the names of bands and although he could never remember his times tables, he could recite the lyrics to all his favourite songs. He sang more often than he talked and when he was a toddler and finally spoken his first word, he spoke in lyrics (before anything identifiably logical) to his parents.
They were the words to AC/DC’s Back in Black, which was again, a worrying time for his parents.
His dream was to be a rock star and up until the age of thirteen his parents went along with that goal. Who were they to crush his dreams? He showed talent for singing and guitar and certainly conveyed the passion required, and his parents tried to support him as much as they could.
They kept the local music shops in business, funded guitar and drum lessons and were roadie parents as their evening jobs, breaking their backs as they lugged ridiculously heavy amps around some of the most unfriendly-looking pubs in Sydney, whilst trying to deflect the rages of their performer son – who unfortunately also suffered from lead-singer disorder and could be a real fucking prima donna at times.
When he reached the age of sixteen, the inevitable teenage physical changes kicked in and it proved to be a very big year for him in other ways too. Another school, a new set of potential friends, and there were definitive signs that he was catching up with his peers.
And his parents dared to breathe again.
He will look back on that year as a great year; his parents will remember it as the year they sought medication. During that year, (catalogued in the family archives as the ‘year of experimentation’ or ‘year from hell’, depending on whose entry you read), he was introduced to all sorts of terrible vices that his parents couldn’t shield him from – habits that are particularly dangerous when combined with ADHD.
But luckily, music never left his soul.
Then one day, (this week), the boy went to the local barber shop for his two-weekly scalping (even though his mum insisted the cut made him look like a hooligan) and was chatting away with the barber about his music.
When in walked another customer.
The barber introduced the boy to the old man (he must have been at least 35!) who had come into his shop and the two of them began to talk about music. And they found that they shared the same passion for British music and many other genres. Suddenly the man threw into the conversation, (all casual like), that he used to run EMI records and he asked the boy to send him some vocal tracks that he would take a listen to, with a view to collaborating in the future. And he gave the boy his email address.
The boy nearly pissed his pants, such was his excitement, but pretended to be cool. He must have jumped from cloud 9 to 8 and 7 and 6…..and back again all in the space of one minute.
He wasn’t naïve enough to think that this would make him the next Justin Bieber, (nor would he want to be), but he experienced a high that was better than any of the illicit drugs he had experimented with relied upon as a temporary coping strategy over the previous year.
And as the boy paid for his hooligan haircut, the barber leant down to him and whispered into his ear, ‘funny who you can meet in the barber shop,’ and the boy smiled knowingly.
Chase your dreams because they can come true. Carpe Diem.