Dangling Gordon out of a window on the 3rd floor of the New Barracks one day, I had an epiphany. It came so quickly and with such force I almost, no, I did lose my grip on Gordon's left leg. It was a good thing Snake had a solid grip on his right leg, or my life might have turned out differently. And so would have Gordon's.
I am not sure why we had Gordon head down, shoes up 40 feet off the turf. Surely it was some irritating and punk like trick he had pulled. He had to have deserved it. He always did. A smartass underclasman with a big head and a big mouth. Gordon went out of his way to get under our skin. In retrospect, I am sure he was just trying to get our attention. At least when we were torturing him, he had our attention. To this day, I do not know why he latched onto us.
This wave of comprehension as I almost lost Gordon was more of an adolescent personal growth spurt. One of the rungs to maturity reached instantly and without warning. I have a hold of Gordon's leg and I realize that this game is not just dangerous, but extremely stupid. Fun like this could hurt someone. So, in my suprise at this realization, I nearly fulfill the stupidity of the act and Gordon almost went splat.
And this brings us to my point. There's always a point. If there wasn't then what's the point?
When we are little tackers and punk teens, we tend to self absorbtion. Totally self centered, we naturally fail to consider the effects of our actions. We fail in our efforts to completely think things through. We are boneheads. Pursuing fun without a thought to how it might turn out. We often hurt ourselves. We often kill ourselves. And worse, our stupidity will often drag someone else into our mindless madness.
Now I don't consider my childhood as a time spent totally clueless. But, I did have my moments. If I look back without rose colored glasses, being a kid was a damn dangerous time for me and those around me. The manic tendency I have deep inside me even now was totally out of control back then. Combined with the invincibilty of youth, many self inflicted disasters were narrowly survived.
Not knowing any better, I assumed my hyped up ego was normal. Sure, I noticed most of my friends looked at me odd sometimes. They just didn't get it and I was positive I did. No tree was too high to climb. No height too high to dive from. No construiction site too dangerous. The world was my playground. And I played hard.
But that day on the 3rd floor of the New Barracks something changed. A final couple of synapses completed their union. Call it the birth of an internal bonehead filter. I may not consider the personal consequences, but at least from that day on, I considered others before diving right in.
What's odd though, my relationship with Gordon changed that day. I still slapped him upside his head for being a dufus. I still stuffed him in the occasional trashcan. But now I tried to know him beyond the smartass skin he projected. And I think we both grew up a tad because of it. He had a friend now and I had learned to take someone as they came and enjoy them for what they were.