January 12, 2012
During my early teen years, I was weighed down by a barrage of fear and doubt. My complexion wasn’t even near the creamy dreamskin I longed for, I had (still have) a small bosom, I wasn’t as popular as the bubbly cheerleaders at Northridge Jr High, and unless I was with very close friends or family I tended toward shyness. Yes, I was a Beatlemaniac and imagined being on the lap of the Cute One, I canoodled with my very own badboy boyfriend, and dreamed of being an actress. But inside my head and heart I was unsure how to navigate the adulthood looming just around the bend. I felt lesser-than my peers, many of whom seemed to know exactly what awaited them after graduation. Who the heck was I anyway? Who would I become?
It wasn’t until a very strange boy named Victor Haydon arrived at Cleveland High and took a surprising shine to me that I began to see myself in a different light. A new light, like neon highbeams honing in on my burgeoning individuality. Victor was spurned and dismissed by the popular crowd, but didn’t seem slightly fazed, in fact he relished being above the panicky teenage fray, lofty in his self-assurance, even while hiding from the boy’s VP who wanted his longish hair sheared above his ears. His confident nonchalance gave me Another Point of View. I didn’t have to care what the cheerleaders thought of me.
When he started hanging out with a couple of other straggly artistic types, Victor invited me into their small curious circle, and I took a chance on myself -- and gradually began becoming myself. Or perhaps I should say, I began adding to who I already was without fear of judgment or opinions. He turned me on to Bob Dylan and I could hear the chimes of freedom flashing as my mind expanded like an accordion in flames.
Vic was (and is) an artist and all that entails. He lived and colored way outside the lines and took me with him -- to jazz clubs, rock concerts and the animated corners of his unrestricted mind. He introduced me to his cousin, Captain Beefheart, who took us to meet the Rolling Stones. Nobody at Cleveland believed we’d spent hours listening to the blues with Charlie Watts, and I didn't care. The good Captain (Don Van Vliet) told me “God is a perfect musical note,” which suddenly gave me Another Point of View.
Years later my pastor as the Church of religious Science changed my point of view again. “When Jesus said ‘turn the other cheek,’ he intoned, “perhaps it was to get another point of view.” Yes, perhaps we don’t turn the other cheek to get smacked in the face again.
Hmmmm. Just perhaps.
The point is? Be open to another point of view, dolls. It might just…
“Free your mind, the rest will follow.”
En Vogue, 1992
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