Peter's Autobiographical Musings

Chapter 1

What do I want out of life? Would that I knew. To die without regret, to leave the world a better place for having lived. How could I make such ambition manifest? The answer to such is a lifelong quest. I try to live the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". There is an even higher rule, "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them". It is likely a good thing that I am a very fallible human being and not quite capable of living up to these rules, for I otherwise might be in a great deal of trouble.

How ought I to tell you a bit more about myself, about my dreams, about who I am and how I live my life? Writing about myself seems awkward somehow, as if I might aggrandize myself or wallow in egotism. In truth I am a relatively modest fellow of modest means and only slightly eclectic tastes. I live mostly in my head and can occasionally neglect the physical reality I find myself in.

I am generally a very happy and content person. I tend to think deep thoughts about the world and the human condition, somehow without it shaking a serenity that I seem to usually feel. I read a good deal, about fifty/fifty fiction and fact. I enjoy science fiction, with a preference for 'hard sf' and heroic fantasy as well. When reading nonfiction my interests span a broad range from economics and management to history and strategic relations. Generally I am capable of having a conversation on virtually any subject. I have a tendency to be opinionated, but am aware of this and try to do my homework.

I make friends very easily and have a manner which makes people comfortable. I laugh easily and almost always have a smile. I also have an occasionally unfortunate habit of winking at people almost unconsciously. I enjoy going to parties where I might meet new people and engage in conversation. I am not however a 'party animal'. I do not enjoy hanging out at a bar or 'slumming with the gang'.

I do like to go dancing and have a preference for really heavy industrial techno to dance to. This is just a little bit strange as the sort of music that I listen to at home is very different, things like Enya and classical. When going to a dance bar I will tend to frequent places that do not typically have lineups, I.E.: I do not go to the 'in' places. I will usually go to bars with a substantial bisexual and gay clientele, somehow feeling more comfortable among the more marginal elements of society.

My leisure time is spent reading, writing, playing on my computer, watching television documentaries and such, going to movies (I tend to see a lot of them), playing various games with friends, in short rather typical 'nerdy' activities. I am not exactly a loner, but am very comfortable with solitude.

I have not lived a sheltered life. In truth my life has been anything but, and one might wonder why I am not more screwed up than I am. Prior to leaving home at the age of seventeen I had lived in over thirty homes and been to over twenty schools. These numbers are no exaggeration. My parents were divorced when I was four years old and I shifted custody between my parents many times with my brother. My father married and divorced another three times during my childhood and is currently working on wife number five (this one seems to be working).

Between the ages of eighteen and twenty I was seriously involved with using various drugs and did not control them well at all. I am now and have been for seventeen years, cold turkey with any drug heavier than an occasional beer. During that time abusing drugs, I did my stint as street people and have seen the bottom of the barrel in that respect.

From all this you may gather that I have never completed any university degree. I have dabbled with a few university courses, doing a year in economics and business administration and a semester studying quantum mechanics and relativity theory in the philosophy department. Unfortunately I have never developed the study habits to stick with a program for longer than my short attention span allows. I content my educational needs with the habit of buying any nonfiction book that I know I will read. My bookshelf does not reflect this well as I also have a distressing tendency to lend books and not remember them later.

I have worked for the last ten years as the manager of a game store. This has been an enjoyable time, but also a comfortable rut as there is little future in being a retail store manager. Recently, during the last two years, I made a lot of money speculating in trading cards. This cash went in a lot of directions. I put ten thousand into mutual funds and spent another ten on a few toys, like my new computer. The rest was spent on having a lot of fun and taking a years vacation.

Ostensibly I took a leave of absence from my job in order to write a novel. Unfortunately my lack of study habits has once again proven to be my undoing as I have largely wasted away my time and done virtually no work on the novel I know I could get published. I have done a fair amount of writing, but this has been mostly Email correspondence and short stories and articles posted to the Net. I suspect that if I were in a relationship where I wished to maintain the respect of my live-in partner, I would find it much easier to accomplish the tasks I set for myself. When alone however, I tend towards my hedonism and will generally follow the path of least resistance.

Chapter 2

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