The problem is the problem. So now here's the catch, how do I go from a general a + b = c to finding the right answer? The only one that I am looking for to get out of this life of hell shoved at me and brought to me by bad karma. That's the problem.
Jawn's life stayed pretty neutral after high school graduation. He wasn't off to see New York City or take any other joy ride to a swank venue. With what, his tip money? Working as a busboy, evenings and weekends in a dreamland job at a burger place was his gig. Everyone in the senior class saw him as the kid who looked like he was going to stay right where he lived. Doing nothing but following his family into a declining pit of isolation. What do I do? He had no idea of the next step. Just getting to the end of the school year with a diploma in hand was enough. Before the last walk on that day, Jawn looked around at his classmates and caught the eye of Jake who lived on the other side of town in a totally different world. He upped his chin at me with a subtle smile which meant, "we got this." He and Jawn had clicked in gym class learning and upping their playing skills with soccer. Jawn could have gone further as it seemed to be his calling. He knew this but kept a low profile not wanting to scream, "Pick me!" The coach was adamant about focusing on more skills for a successful future, but Jawn just felt that this sport was his passion in a way to vent the frustrations in his life with so many good swift kicks. "Come on Jawn!" His coach yelled. "Kick it into next week, then next month. You're a live wire and a good team player!" He never stopped all through the long summer season to make Jawn see his potential. He heard it all yet there was no going further with any part into an unknown future. He kept on with a final push to reach out to make some serious contacts. But, it was left up to Jawn and the coach, regretfully, stepped back when it became the last time Jawn decided to end his game time permanently, and left the field. It was right after he firmly told his coach, "No." With his family struggling to get by this was the one and only answer. More work, less play time.
Jawn was a young teenager when his Dad got into a gambling scam by a so-called best friend. He told him quite convincingly with the smug charm of a weasel, "We got this! I assure you this is fool proof. A win is as sure as where I'm standing right in front of you." That was the worst time in his life as an upstanding man in the community in every way. But he was hoodwinked and they family eventually lost their house. Devastation took its toll and with it his Dad worked twice as much and as long as the average person to get back to making it barely out of the red. He lost faith in himself, suffered intensely and soon Jawn's Mom fell into the well of despair. A rundown trailer park was their only place to live. It was in the part of town where the stories of who needed to be avoided were imbedded. They became them. His folks peddled and sold scraps of whatever they could. The trash talk in the town became their poor people story. They were looked at with very different eyes from the many people who at one time were ones they called friends. Did any one offer to help?
Jawn kept to himself through each and every day arriving at school on foot, regardless of the weather. Each class was a way to get out of the jungle of a complex mix of bad and angry thoughts and to focus on doing better, if only for today. One person in his life on occasion would appear in his mind when life packed a crucial wallop; his brother, Tiraun. It would be a message and the same one, to let him know that soon, a new page would begin the story of his life as it should be, not what it was now. How did I even have positivity through what my brother went through? But it happened. That new page began in a new world of soccer. It had its way of those pages turning every day. And now that chapter came to an end. His buddy Jake became his sounding board through the last year of high school. Their soccer days were the best times and he let those moments fly with rants and rages through each practice moment. They cheered each other on through it all. Jake made sure his buddy saw the light right up until graduation. "Keep it up until the end of the summer season." Jake told him to kick it with all he had from head to toe. Everyone else was over the top talking about their college plans.
Jawn just felt everyone needed to get a grip in the real world. The back door or front door is where you went. Good choice or bad. If you're going through hell keep moving before the devil knows you're there. Jawn saw what lay ahead in his path; the trailer park. This chapter had to end. He was eighteen years old. No more being in neutral. It was time to keep moving like his buddy Jake. It was a moment after a friendly jousting between each other one afternoon. His choice to go forward was an eye opener and one Jawn did not expect of his soccer pal. Did he know about Tiraun? He did not share this loss of his military brother with anyone.
"I'll be back from boot camp to see you for a minute." They high-fived as Jake stepped on the bus to leave for his next quest and one that he never hesitated to begin after graduation. Stepping up to join the military was his one and only direction. As the bus went off, Jawn's only memory that would come to him over and over would be his buddy in the back giving him a thumbs up or was it Tiraun?
On a quiet walk back to the trailer park, Jawn opted to sidestep through the downtown before heading back to his life as it would continue to be. He was tired of feeling lost and unsure of his future when it happened. The Army recruiting office he was about to approach had several recruits out front holding a soccer ball. Tiraun's face immediately came to him. He smiled the biggest grin in a long time. As he approached, they greeted him with gusto. One said, "Hey! You look like a good pick for our new squad!" And with a cheesy grin he added, "We knew you'd be coming by, courtesy of your friend Jake. It's all you!" Jawn knew the signs were all around him and smiled back. He said, "Hell, YES!"