Everyone has a crutch. Some people drink too much, others gamble till they lose their homes and families. Then there are those that beat their wives, berate their children or abuse drugs. The list is endless. I contend that each and every one of those examples stem from a problem held within. We attempt to fill an emotional hole, some missing piece of us with a variety of stop-gap substitutes. It never really works; maybe for the moment or perhaps a little longer. It's like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. But that emptiness is never truly filled. In a most unusual and unexpected turn of events, I found a way to finally and truly feel "fed." I never what hit me till I was well on my way back to life, to really living again. I will never look at things or people in the same way.
As a birthday gift in May of 2000, my sister Carolyn bought me a computer. I have never liked technology; machines don't interact, they can't smile back or engage you in conversation. I'm a gregarious sort of person. People's company means everything to me, so my situation during those years was a particularly trying and withering experience. In thanked her for it, of course, but silently wondered what she could've been thinking when selecting my gift.
During those years I spent much of my time reading books, mostly regarding history and politics. C-Span brought the wild world of Washington, D.C., into my living room, although there was rarely anyone around with which to "spar" over proposed legislation. I was known to occasionally shout at the television screen, however. Then came the computer. This alien form just sat there cluttering up my one bedroom apartment. Eventually out of the sheer boredom and tempered by curiosity, I ventured into the realm of cyberspace. There were fits and starts in the beginning. I had never learned to type in school and so I used, still do, the two-finger method to travel to places as yet unseen by my cloistered eyes. I visited the Library of Congress website to look up historical documents, mailed letters to congressman and explored news media websites for information. Behind those four walls this machine had become my window on the world.