When I was a teenage inmate at a state-operated boarding school for crippled kids, which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT), the people who helped us get dressed and out of bed and stuff like that were called our houseparents.
There was one housefather whom I particularly admired, at least for a little while anyway. I don’t know if he’s still alive. Probably not. But I will give him a Smart Ass Cripple alias and call him Calvin Coolidge.
Anyway, like I said, there was a period of time when I admired Calvin Coolidge and wanted to be the kind of man he was when I grew up. I felt that way when, as he helped me or my roommates get dressed, he regaled us with detailed accounts of his sexual conquests of the previous night. He was married but he said he’d step out at night and "creep" to the homes of other women whose husbands weren’t home. One time, Calvin Coolidge said, a husband came home by surprise so he had to escape before the husband could detect him by climbing out of a second floor window, buck naked.
I thought all that stuff was so cool. I was about 14, which was old enough to know deep down inside that I could never be the kind of man Calvin Coolidge was because I was crippled. I probably wouldn’t even be able to get into most women’s houses because most houses had stairs at the front door. I would never be able to climb out of second-floor window buck naked either. Hell, I couldn’t even get buck naked unless I had someone like Calvin Coolidge to help me get undressed. What fun was that?
So even though I wanted to be a cool man like Calvin Coolidge I knew I never could be and that hurt.
But then something happened to Calvin Coolidge and he suddenly stopped creeping around. No, he didn’t get the clap. He got into Jesus. Big time. Head over heels. And instead of taking about his sexual conquests, he’d talk about Jesus.
I didn’t want to be like him anymore.
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