Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Reason for Everything

Scott gave meaning to everything I did. Hard day at work? Didn't matter, because my life had purpose. No matter what happened, my life had meaning, purpose, direction.

Scott was a handful, but it was all worth it.
In his younger years, he was extremely popular, socially. But when he started middle-school, the jungle years began the change to tribal social sorting. He didn't do so well with that, especially with so many kids bussed in from rough backgrounds. He grew socially more cautious. He and a few select friends hung out together and tried to keep their heads down and not draw attention to themselves.

Scott was always easy to buy gifts for. Nearly everything he like had to do with cars, most especially Hot Wheels.

Yet he was a musician at heart. From an early age, Scott always got a professional-grade musical instrument. My thinking was, if it's pro-grade, and he doesn't like it, it has resale value. If it's crap, it gets sent to the Goodwill store without a refund. Scott loved his keyboard. The electric guitar, not so much. The synth pedals, he rocked them! The mixing board, so complicated my brain imploded, he figured it all out with very little reading of the instructions. Either tracks, each with four tracks. Then his Roland Juno-G synthesizer, portable speakers, computer with $300 master mixing software, he was a genius.
Yet cars are what he dreamed of doing for a living.

He was pretty normal going into high school. He didn't seem to mix well with girls, which is odd, since he was quite popular in elementary school, but after puberty, he became quite shy. A rather neurotic girl announced to everyone that Scott was her boyfriend. Scott was confused but thought it was an awesome surprise. The next day, she seemed to forget he existed, and I guess the whole school noticed. Or at least Scott seemed to feel pretty confused and hurt by the whole thing. That seems to have been the full extent of his foray into the whole boy/girl thing.

He was always the music teacher's aid for other students. A real natural.

Scott never needed prodding to do his homework, ever. He always got virtually straight-A's all through school. Except his senior year. The first semester, he actually had to be reminded that his senior year grades counted, for getting into college or vo-tech schools. His 2nd semester, he almost flunked. That was a huge surprise to his parents. He barely managed to pass without needing to go to summer-school.

He took a year off from school, then at 19, he started automotive school. A year later, he graduated.
He worked at Firestone, then at a private auto shop. He loved the work, but he hated the blue-collar culture. Too many red-necks, too many jerks. Mechanics tended to have no style, and if you showed any tendencies towards anything trendy or "out-there", they were unforgiving with their ridicule. And it was group ridicule where you could be chastised by every single co-worker you see each day. Culturally, you'd be a complete outcast. Starting out in automotive mechanics, he needed lots of mentoring and help. No one would help. Yet they kept giving him harder work, without help or supervision. He enjoyed the challenge, but it was a setup for eventual failure, because he wasn't allowed to make mistakes.

And then he screwed-up a job that ruined part ($100??). He quit one day before they would have fired him.
And with that, he decided he wasn't cut out to be a mechanic. One shop full of assholes. While assholes proliferate in blue-collar shops (I was a machinist for 20 years) if you keep looking, you'll find shops where they aren't assholes. Scott gave up, though.

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