Moving is a really big thing to do, like taking all your stuff from one place and moving it to another; leaving your school or your job; leaving all your friends and starting over.

Moving in the middle of childhood gives me something many people don’t have, and that is a way to remember what age I must have been for certain events or milestones to have occurred. For me that dividing line is the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade.

What is odd about that precise line in time is that before the move, before 3rd grade, I was never once intentionally bad. Can you imagine how I treasure that move? I have an indelible bookmark in my life which perfectly delineates the point in my life between when I would and would not knowingly do something wrong. Maybe that is about when we gain a sense of conscience?

That perfect window to look back through is so revealing. I can see that I had friends before and after and for me, at least, friends just happen. The day before I was brought to the new house, there were kids already coming to the door wanting to play. Don’t make me repeat that. I hear about lonely friendless people all the time. There is no super-friend trophy for little Mr. Charisma waiting for me to pick up at city hall. My karma before and after the move dictated I would have friends.

I can also see that I didn’t care if I had friends or not. A friend was a habit for me, not a necessity. You get used to having a Snickers bar after lunch every day . . . hold on, bad example, I do need Snicker’s bars. Seeing a particular person or group was a habit I fell into so I would seek them if I was awake and they weren’t there, but apart from this habit . . . this rut . . . I was actually happier and felt freer without them.

Weird. I did not know I was going here. I am human. I can get horribly lonely. Most of the time, though, I’m happy to blindly follow my fancy of the moment and people are just fun toys along the way. The other day I went to the bank to get a registered check so I walked up to the teller and she invited me over with a “can I help you?” and I replied, “I need money, you have money, it is only natural that we come together. Can I have some money please?” Unfortunately she knew me so it wasn’t as much fun as if I had gotten the other teller whom I had never met.

What am I doing here? I see that I am about at my arbitrary goal of 500 words and I’m messing with your head like I tried to with that bank teller.

OK. Moving gives you clear memory bookmarks in your life providing clarity and insight. You become evil in the 3rd grade. Friends just happen and Snickers bars are what matters most. Being alone is happiness and freedom. People are toys to play with along the way.

So why are you still here? Have you learned nothing? Go eat candy and mess with people before they move and it’s too late. Oh don’t worry, there’s always going to be someone everywhere you go to share some goodhearted mischief with.

Go! Candy! Be bad!

2 thoughts on “Bookmarks

  1. I moved 53 times before I was 15, and attended 15 different schools before graduating high school; each move, each school a bookmark in my life. The people, the “friends”, less so, as there were so many people in and out of my life that I simply cannot remember them all.

    What a wonderful piece.


  2. Gosh, I think I moved around my entire childhood. But I did not turn “bad” – truly bad – until well into my twenties. By far, I am having the most fun now. So I really do have to make up for lost time? Interesting perspective on friendships – I am not sure what my perspective is on that one. Okay, I’m off to do very bad things. Cheers.

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