Hello, if you aren’t already asleep after my previous postings the last few days, here’s another interesting topic: friends. Yes, you are reading it right – MoonieZ does have some friends, have had some friends, does like friends and friendly strangers too.
Here is how it was.
MoonieZ was not very interested to play with other kids, mostly he played alone as a small child. He had a few friends in the neighbourhood growing up. There was one who remained a friend until MoonieZ reached his 13th year. At that point the friend drifted away because something known as hormones started to come into play. While the young MoonieZ was still not aware of this and would not be until years later.
Suddenly MoonieZ felt very much alone. His friends in class – were not really friends – but some he could talk to sometimes in school and on the way home. After school and on weekends and holidays MoonieZ played alone or in the company of much younger kids in the neighborhood. This was not the best way to spend his young teenage years but it was better than no company at all. Sure MoonieZ also had some contact with his cousins who were around the same age or slightly older, but still he lacked real friends.
It was difficult for MoonieZ to make friends of the same age. He had problems with the communication and interaction, could not grasp the unspoken signs and sometimes not all the meanings of the language. MoonieZ found it easier to talk to his teachers in a friendly manner and liked older people more in general. They also liked him because he was such a clever, intelligent boy with lots of imagination and creative skills which he expressed in writing, painting and drawing among other ways.
MoonieZ was no good at sports but enjoyed skiing a lot – mostly cross-country skiing. He also liked to play badminton and tennis and sometimes football (soccer) if he could find people to play with. Some of his classmates wanted him to start playing in the local football team because they thought he needed more planned exercise and discipline. MoonieZ didn’t like to be told how to do his exercise or how much by others, so he didn’t take the advice/offer. This, among other things, lead to increasing amounts of bullying from certain kids at school. For some reason they thought MoonieZ was a fat, ugly and stupid kid who deserved to feel miserable and should be disciplined into the right way of being. Some even locked him in a room at school and held a lecture about the importance of exercise and didn’t let him out until he had promised to start regular training in his spare time. The fact that MoonieZ often avoided gymnastics and sport at school because of the other kids being mean to him, did not get across to the classmate who held the forced lecture. Everything was MoonieZ’s fault. Nobody else had to change except MoonieZ. This was tough for a kid around 12-13 years old. So MoonieZ escaped into the world of fantasy and science-fiction. He was always reading. His first favorite book was Watership Down by Richard Adams – the story of a small group of rabbits walking through the English countryside in search of a place to settle down safely made a huge impression on the young MoonieZ. For years he carried his wornout copy of the book with him at all times – like a Bible almost.
After the rabbits came a movie, as the next huge source of inspiration: Star Wars. It is not too much to say that this movie turned MoonieZ’s world around completely on a slushy winter day in early 1978. He had never seen – or heard – anything like it before. The images, sounds and characters of this movie would inspire MoonieZ’s imagination for many years to come and drive everyone around him crazy, because of the obsession it became at times. Since this was the time before video rentals and VCR‘s would be common, the young MoonieZ didn’t go to see the movie only once but everytime it played at a cinema nearby. He even went when it played years later at the auditorium inside the Air Force base where his father worked.
Next on the list came books by the famous J.R.R. Tolkien. First there was Bilbo but the big event in MoonieZ’s world was The Trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Somewhere in this mixture of rabbits, hobbits and Luke Skywalker there were also room for Indiana Jones to join at a later date. All of this added up to a world into which the young MoonieZ escaped when the real world became too cruel. Which was often, but only in school.
Friendless and alone in his imagined world of fantasy and adventure, MoonieZ also experienced his first encounter with the concept of falling in love. Of course for the shy loner MoonieZ falling in love disrupted everything. Suddenly he noticed how looking at the girls at school made him feel differently than before and how his body reacted to what he saw. At first these feelings fit in with the romantic ideas he found in the books he loved to read but sometime later the concept of sexuality entered his brain at full force. For a long time though he separated the feeling of love from the feelings of lust, but more and more they became intertwined and soon enough he was faced with the dilemma of how to reach out to the one he loved. He had no idea how to do it, so his first, second, and third loves never even got to know how much MoonieZ loved them. Only one of them he ever even spoke to at all during the time.
MoonieZ was happy when he could finish basic school and move on to high school. He had grown a lot and was now no longer close to be labelled fat, if he had ever been. He hoped coming to a new school, new class, would mean the end of the bullying. And in certain ways it was better, for a while. At the physical education classes he found himself to still be the target of teasing and ridicule, along with some of his classmates who, like him, were not much into sports. Luckily the bullys were now from another class only and only shared phys. ed. with MoonieZ. In his own class he continued to be the loner, but he had two other boys in his class to pass time with between classes, so the situation was better than ever, even if it wasn’t great. MoonieZ still lacked friends to be with outside of school hours.
In his new class the majority of students were girls so there was no bullying going on in the class. As before MoonieZ liked and had no problem talking to his teachers, except the phys. ed. teacher, who seemed to think of MoonieZ as a slacker who needed discipline.
Soon MoonieZ fell in love again, this time as before, no one ever knew, least of all the girl in his class whom he watched lovingly from a distance and never dared to approach. However, he did send some silly postcards during summer break to a select few of his classmates. Not only to girls he liked – would have been too obvious – but also to the two guys he used to talk to and to some of the teachers. That gave the girls reason to approach MoonieZ and he could finally talk to them without feeling too awkward. One of the girls seemed to be more interested to talk to MoonieZ even after the simple thanks for the postcard, and this attention was all it took for MoonieZ to fall in love again. This time he had a plan.
But, wait, this is a story about friends, so how does a love story fit in here ? Well, you are right, it doesn’t fit in and this post is the longest I’ve ever written so far, so I will have to save this story for another post. Also the friend recollections will be continued later in a coming post. This one did also touch upon things I have written in the past, so if you find some details similar to previous posts from years back it is no coincidence.