High School Toby


Yesterday evening I was in Topeka. I had stayed an extra day to work on a welding project that had come up suddenly. A strange thing happened to me.

For no particular reason, I went to a strange place in my mind. My sister Julie had come over to visit. She found me to be deeply negative and surly, and said so. I kept apologizing for my bad mood. We had a long discussion about the futility of utopia and biological influences on human behavior.

I was simultaneously watching some videos of Dr. Michio Kaku, and playing with my little physics demonstration.

I wondered aloud about what was wrong with me. Shortly after Julie left I realized what had happened. I was High School Toby again. High School Toby was not a happy guy, though I didn’t realize it until several years afterward. High School Toby was enamored of physics and philosophy.  High School Toby did not strongly identify with the human race. High School Toby was almost incapable of enjoyment. High School Toby was humiliated by existence.

The experience of being High School Toby again for a few hours was disturbing. I kind of miss him.


3 Responses to “High School Toby”

  1. mike Says:

    In my early years I hid my tears
    and passed my days alone
    Adrift on an ocean of loneliness
    my dreams like nets were thrown
    to catch the love that I’d heard of
    in books and films and songs
    Now theres a world of illusion and fantasy
    In the place where the real world belongs
    Jackson Browne

  2. Sage Says:

    Isn’t a certain amount of misery normal in the teenage years? It may be the most existential passage of your life. I also think we tend to get fixed in those years more than in childhood. It is the emergence of the adult.
    In some ways, I am still there at 58.

    You are incapable, often, of making good decisions and yet you are forced to make them: and some of those teenage decisions are nailed to you permanently. Anyway, if you get any more insight into yourself like this, let me know.

    I am hoping your generation can pull something off. I’m hoping they can assess themselves accurately, because that seems to be something mankind is very challenged about. M. Scott Peck thought it was the real source of evil.

    By the way, Mike, you have discovered that J. Brown is a philosopher. I always liked his song “The Pretender.” Very insightful for a kid who looked like he was still a bubble-gummer.

  3. Igford Says:

    I think that’s pretty normal for immature people to view the world this way. I’m not calling you immature. Just saying that it’s likely that High-School Toby was immature.

    I was the same, only I was enamored with computers. I was very negative about people. I didn’t like most people.

    I grew out of it, but I find that fall back into that every now and then as well. It’s tough not to be cynical in a mad world.

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