Living bent

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It seems that while looking back on your life as a young man, summers tend to have a sense of nostalgia about them. And though I've had many great moments during my twenty-nine years on this earth, the summer that I turned sixteen was one of the most magnificent and life altering.

This time chronicled my age of experimentation with drugs, alcohol and thought. This is my story, my memoirs, and from my personal recollection, though it not only follows my life, but the lives my very best friends during this time as well. Some of which aren't here any longer to read its words, but all are documented here as they were in our fantastic, yet faded teenage times together.

There wasn't a day of sobriety during this summer, and there was very little, if any parental guidance. For some that were in our click there was little, and for others, there was absolutely none. We lived as we thought men did, cursing, drinking, and indulging in whatever drug or fancy fit our soul. We thought that high times, not the magazine, but the times that most every second of our days were constructed of were better ones, because they brought about a numbness that deadened the realities of the world around us.

The wake and bake with weed at six o'clock in the morning, the robbery of beer trucks by mid-afternoon, and an alcohol buzz long before the sun ever set was how we were living. Acid trips that picked us up out of our world like giant's hands, and threw us into alternate worlds of reality, opened our minds like strychnine razors performing lobotomies on our somewhat innocent, young, and impressionable brains.

We knew no different than to live this way, and every day that sped by us like freeway traffic was another that took us that much further out of what the pop culture would consider theirs. Our language, mannerisms, and the way we chose to live life behind the dark auditorium curtains of inebriation, both confused and intrigued the ones that came in contact with us daily. We created our own world, lived by our own rules, and bent the ones that our manipulative hands could pull apart and construe to fit our agendas.

Living isn't to live under any culturally accepted umbrella. It's to stay messed up at most all times, away from reality, and the worries of what tomorrow may bring about. It's to stand in the rain, whether that rain is literal, or just the shit that falls in our laps daily, and tell it to screw itself. Living Bent is to live every day as if it's your last, to forget spirituality, procreation, and what's socially accepted. It's to live inside yourself, to find yourself, and what works for you. Living Bent is how I have lived most of my life, but never have I lived more so then during the summer of ninety-six.

Photo: Courtesy Shawn Price
About Damian Gerlach
Born and raised locally here in the Germantown neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. I have lived and frequented in both the Highlands and Germantown areas for the past ten years while completing my undergraduate work in communication, and graduate work in business communication from Spalding University. After the completion of both of these degrees, the most recent during the summer of 2007, I began working as a sales consultant for a large telecommunications company, as well as for a few local colleges. In 2008 I self-published my first book, "Always Coming Back," and my second late summer 2009, entitled "Bent."
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