200th Post: I’m Still Here

17 Oct

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

 

David Copperfield kind of crap.

 

Those are the immortal first lines of the J.D. Salinger’s masterpiece, The Catcher in the Rye. They are also the inspiration for my 200th post. This post will be my biography, told in a series of important events in my life from the moment of my birth atop a dying star, to my life now, eating peanut butter and Triscuits for dinner because I don’t want to go to the grocery store.

It is the year 1987. MC Hammer is relevant. Cars run on gasoline pumped from trees, Ronald Reagan is the President, and a certain American inventor named Alexander Graham Bell is about to stumble upon an invention that will change the global landscape forever.

My mother, Paula, is pregnant as Hell with a child. A boy child. My father, Michael, is at his job, taming tigers through sheer physical and mental intimidation. Two hours into comparing his intellect to a nuclear submarine that’s so powerful it doesn’t need people or water, my father’s assistant bursts into the room.

“Mr. Irion!” he shouts. My father sets down his speaking torch and turns to his assistant.

“Yes, Philip?”

“Listen. Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of Lancaster, a Saviour has been born to you; he is Kyle the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You wilt find a baby wrapped in strips of bacon and lying in a manger.”

My father wipes tears from his eyes, gooses the tiger and steps out of the cage. “I will go. I will go to meet my son.”

And he did. I was born that evening–a healthy 5’8″ tall, weighing 168 lbs., 14 oz.

Several indiscriminate years go by where just about all I do is poop, eat, and scream about stuff like pooping, eating, and the owie-feeling my throat gets from screaming. My youth is littered with few difficulties. Being the son of a tiger tamer, life has few curve balls to throw at me.

Except AIDS.

And curve balls.

At 16, I get my driver’s license. For the first time, I feel truly free. I feel as if I have the ability to go anywhere at any time. The freedom’s mere existence exhilarates me beyond measure.

“I want to go somewhere special,” I say to my friend, Brad.

“Yea? Where do you want to go?” he asks, shifting on the couch.

“I want to go to Tibet.”

“Hey! That’s a great idea!” he says, and darts out of the room.

 

Bastard.

 

It is around this time that Brad Pitt and my friendship starts to take a nose dive. Our friend ship is sinking–fast. I’m only a teenager, but I feel like an adult. I have hair in all the right places now. I have big boy dreams–like having a family, owning a home, honking a boob, and watching a movie the whole way through.

I need a true friend–a friend that will stay by my side as I enter the next phase of my life. I met this friend one summer evening in my eighteenth year.

I was exploring in the creek behind my grandmother’s house, looking for some good ol’ fashioned fun and any spent beer bottles that still had some stuff in ’em. I find an old baseball, but after I ring it out, it’s clear that there’s no beer left in it.

The water is to my knees. It’s cool and rushing slowly enough to allow me the ability to walk, but not so slow that I can afford to stop focusing on each step. The creek bed is composed of smooth limestone made slick by a thin layer of moss. My pace is slow and calculated. A breeze rustles the red and orange leaves still yet to fall with the changing of the season. The breeze chills my back and gently whistles through my butt crack, dancing along my taint. It’s at this moment that I see it: a VHS copy of Die Hard sitting prominently among a pile of trash.

I lose all focus and lash out wildly. I almost immediately lose my footing and slip into the water. The current carries me over a small precipice under the waterline. Suddenly, the water is no longer knee-height, but to my neck. I start to swallow water. It becomes difficult to keep my head above water. It’s at that moment that I hear a deep splash somewhere in the water around me.

I desperately reach my hand up to the wall of the creek, but cannot gain purchase along its muddy surface. Suddenly, I feel a rough hand grab me by the arm. I am being pulled. In the haze and the chaos I see the face of a young man who looks to be my age. He has saved my life. He pulls me to the bank and we both sit, gasping for breath. He’s gasping more than me though, since I’m naturally a better athlete than most people.

“Jack,” he said, holding his hand out.

“Kyle,” I respond. I knew that I had found my true friend. He had saved my life and would become my brother.

Two weeks later I leave for college and I’m not quite sure what Jack’s up to now.

College is a beautiful, beautiful experience. My freshman year, I’m in a physics lab. While working with some ball bearings and a triple beam balance, I inadvertently discover that time is in fact a quantifiable entity.

While working in a chemistry lab, I find the gene that makes someone good at basketball and destroy the report–no man is wise enough to handle such knowledge.

While dissecting a frog, my hand slips and I somehow bring the animal back to life. I name it Lazerus and go on a speaking tour with him. I accidentally drop him in an airport and he dies.

On day, I’m doing a drawing for an art class. Twenty or so students surround a nude model, who is sitting on a stool with one leg extended straight out. It is very quiet in the room. We are all drawing, our collective gazes locked on this naked man before us.

“Excuse me,” a girl says, raising her hand slightly, calling the attention of the model.”Can you shift just a bit to the left?”

Immediately and without a sound, the model shifts slightly to the left. I had no idea we could make requests to the model. A few minutes later, another artist, a young man in front of and my left, also speaks up.

“Could you sit up a bit?” he asks. The model obliges him.

I clear my throat and speak up. “Um, sir?” I ask sheepishly. He turns and we meet eyes. “Yes. More dick, please.” The model’s face tweaks a little bit. He seems confused and looks to the professor who is walking across the floor to my easel. Thinking he just didn’t hear me, I say it again, almost yelling. “More dick, please!”

I’m removed from the class. Walking around campus after being kicked out of art class, I did a bit of soul-searching. What am I supposed to do with my life? If I’m not an artist–if I’m not a scientist or a tiger tamer, what am I? Just then, a great crack ripped through the sky. The clouds unfurled and above me was the face of Stephen King.

“Is this scAaAary?” he asks me.

“It mostly reminds me of The Lion King, so no.”

“Damn,” Stephen says. “I’m starting to lose perspective a little bit–more and more often I find I have to ask people what’s scary and what isn’t.”

“Yea?”

“Yea. The other day, I had an hour-long argument with my wife over the relative scariness of a dog with a spot over its eye. I think they’re creepy as shit.”

“Really?” I ask. Stephen sighs. A great gust of wind whips over the landscape.

“No, not really. I was kind of rolling the dice that you thought they were scary and then we’d have common ground. Like I said, things is hard.”

“Yea. I hear ya. I just got kicked out of psych class. I don’t know what I want to do with my life.”

“Do you know what I do for a living, Kyle?” Stephen asks, a mischievous grin stretching across his face.

“You do weird cloud tricks for dollars,” I say, squinting up at the sky, holding out a five dollar bill. A giant cloud hand appears and Stephen rubs the bridge of his nose.

“No. I’m a writer–one of the most famous in the world. And you know what else?”

“What?” I ask.

“I have, like, three Macs.”

And that’s when I knew. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to take my thoughts and my ideas–my mind’s most brilliant dreams–and share them with others. Two-hundred blog posts later, it’s still my dream.

Thanks for reading.

-Kyle

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One Response to “200th Post: I’m Still Here”

  1. Patrick October 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    The best one-liner: “My father wipes tears from his eyes, gooses the tiger and steps out of the cage.”

    The runner-up: “Except AIDS.”

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