Open Minds

Open Minds

Ever since I can remember I’ve been interested in the world, other cultures and travel. Especially after my step dad, when he was still dating my mom, invited us to live with him in Arizona for a few months while he worked construction. He had borrowed an RV from a friend for weekend trips, and we stayed in a mobile home on the San Carlos Reservation, an hour or two from Phoenix. In the RV, we visited just about every seeable sight in Arizona within a few hours of us, which is a lot. I spent my days, when my step dad was working, roaming the desert, catching lizards – as I had caught frogs when in the northwest. My om sat around the mobile home listening to CMT (country music television) which I couldn’t stand and was more than happy to be away from her. My school in Idaho had let me finish the school year by mailing in my homework, which I of course did on my own.

On the reservation, cows and horses roamed free so I would follow them around the riverbeds on their daily route to get water from the San Carlos Lake. By 10 I had decided that when I grew up I would either move back to Arizona and/or would live in or near a large city. When we returned months later I had to go into my school for one last assignment for the year, a presentation on Arizona. Before I left these kids had bullied me, thrown rocks at me, de-pants me (pantst?… pulled my pants down), called me names etc, now they were suddenly interested in me and my worldly life. Fuck them.

Later that year, a little before my mom and step dad married, we moved to Montana about 3 hours away from where we lived before, which was a half hour away from where I lived before that and so on and so forth, this would be my 8th school or so. After the first year however, my mom decided to “home school me” I was stoked, I hated other kids, and since my mom didn’t actually “school me” in any way I could just fill in my workbooks and spend the rest of the time playing. My step dad still worked long construction jobs and was usually gone the entire summer so I was free to watch whatever I wanted on our satellite TV with hundreds of channels from all over the world.

I cultured myself and trained myself to be curious, open minded and not think of the US as special, best or better than anyone else. I had already for many years refused to say the pledge of allegiance in school, half the time I don’t know why I don’t like things and years later find out why they didn’t sit right with me, that was a big one.

– me, just now

In Montana, we had some older neighbours in a mobile home down the road. I have always loved old people, having never had grandparents of my own, so I would visit them and we watched the entirety of Roots, something my step dad would have probably yelled at them about because he was a raging racist. I never appreciated that couple as much as I should have but what 10 year old would have…an anti-racist couple in rural Montana, what a couple of gems.

My step dad grew annoyed with my curiosity and other cultures, that I liked Boys2Men and not NKOTB (new kids on the block) and warned me a few times about “bringing home friends” who weren’t white. As for most of my childhood, I said nothing, kept my head down and waited to get the fuck away from these people.

They got divorced and within a couple years I was away from them, though in a Girl’s Home in eastern Montana instead. From 13 on I had no parents, though you can barely say I had them before that either.

Just a rant, sorry, no real punchline!

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