It is one week before I begin a new kind of lifestyle in which I will no longer rely on an automobile to get me wherever I want to go and am forced to either walk, take public transportation and/or hail taxi services (only when absolutely necessary).
In the spirit of radical transparency, I am providing my little story here, which begins on the East side of Buffalo, New York, where I was born and raised in a small blue-collar neighborhood still known today as “Iron Island” because it is surrounded by railroad tracks. My story takes a good number of twists and turns over the years, in which I leave the Island, come back home again (yes, you can), and then move on to another new place.
Opportunities for young people to learn face-to-face social skills have disappeared. And this I think can result in tragic consequences for our social well-being overall. In conversations with colleagues and friends who will listen and contribute, I frequently like to point to the death of paper routes and other self-employment opportunities for young people that were relatively easy to take advantage of and taught me things that no school could accomplish when I was a boy.
The entire “Where Now” autobiographical account is a trip into all the “places” of my past, as well as an examination of the present, and a rough prognostication about the future. It is written in multiple tenses in a journalistic style, along with strokes I would categorize as factually true literary nonfiction.
In an essay titled “The Story of a Novel,” Thomas Wolfe – who had a very strong influence on my writing, and, in my opinion, is one of the greatest autobiographical fiction writers of all time, as well as an author who can easily be considered a memoirist – presented an elaborate sketch about his powerful, unable-to-stop, writing habits that should be mandatory reading for any budding writer.
An arduous endeavor that requires patience and stick-to-itiveness.