When I was young, I had an apprehension of writing anything on paper. It wasn’t that I couldn’t write because I had so many things to express. I felt overwhelmed by the process. As I shared in my first blog, my brain was active and always developing a story, movie, or a plot. I started to create a mindset that what I wrote was wrong and most likely unreadable and incorrect.
The desire to share things about what I thought about the world and things going on around me tugged at me. I wasn’t interested in the regular conversations young kids had at lunch. Yet, my thoughts were on why kids do what they do and act the way they do. I was an oddball and felt content in my separate world.
At the early age of 7, I could play drums by ear. The story goes like this. On August 10, 1983, I was sitting in the pews during song service at my Dads church in Muskegon, Michigan. I felt an overwhelming desire to walk up on stage and play the drums. The drums were there from the Spanish church earlier in the morning. I walked down the aisle, driven to the drums. My brother didn’t even stop me, or he tried, I never heard or felt anything.
As I made my way up to the drums, everything became very peaceful and almost quit. I glanced over at my dad, who was playing the piano, and my mom, who was singing. It seemed from my perspective everything was quit. I felt invisible because I was sure my parents would stop me in my track.
I walked up to the drums and sat down. I picked up the sticks looked over at my dad, and he looked at me and nodded. He proclaimed to the hundreds of people in standing up.”Well, my son David has joined us in worship.”
That was it. My dad didn’t tell me to get off the stage. My mom didn’t give me the evil eye of disdain like Mr. Munson did in my last blog. They continued song service.
I wasn’t sure what was next. I put one stick on the snare and the other on Zildjian crash cymbal. My foot started to find the rhythm of the music, and I began to hit the bass.
The sounds of the song service came alive, it almost hurt my ears. I could hear and feel an intense emotional feeling.
That was it, I in a single moment had become a drummer. This fantastic experience would impact my future.
JUNIOR HIGH BAND
We moved from Michigan to California, so my dad could be a pastor at the local church. I continued to play drums, and when I entered junior high, I went right into the band. Playing drums was not the same as playing at church. We had to learn how to read music. It was challenging, and I still played by ear.
In-band is where I learned some huge lesson in life. One crucial lesson I learned was from a beautiful young girl named Melissa. She’s a massive part of life now and then.
This youthful story is so beautiful, and I know it can help others see through things, but that’s for later. I am continuing to write short stories called “Blind Sided.” I will fast forward to our relationship and the moment I found my passion.
November 4, 1989 (Saturday)
Saturday morning, I walked over to Melissa’s house. We planned to watch the Los Angeles Lakers play the San Antonio Spurs that afternoon. We both love the Lakers, and both sported the gear. As we sat and watched the game, I often looked over at her because she intrigued me. Who is this girl? And how did my silly self end up with her? At that time, I wasn’t outgoing and was, pathic. Yet, when she wasn’t with me, I always felt something was missing. She understood, believed in me and moreover loved me, as for me. It was the purest form of love on earth.
I will never be able to explain it. Melissa was my soul mate, no question.
After the basketball game in which the Lakers lost 98 to 106. It was a great game, but it was only their second game of the season, so Melissa and I knew they would get better. The relationships focal point centered around basketball, Magic Johnson and band. She wasn’t watching basketball for me, she loved the game. She knew so much about the game, it was scary, but I digress.
After the game, we went upstairs into her room. I know what you are thinking? You went to her room at 13? Well, the door was open, and her parents trusted us at this point in our relationship. That would change a tad later, but that’s another story. My fault, of course.
While we sat on the ground, we talked about the game and how we felt. After while we both stopped talking. I was always nervous when things went silent when I was with Melissa, but she calmed me completely. She was so smart and articulate (still is), and sometimes I felt compelled to talk about nothing. That feeling dissipated, and our talks became deep, passionate.
While sitting there, she pulled out a book from under her bed. It was purple and had Laker stickers on it. I asked what it was, and she said: “David, it’s my diary.” I replied, what do you write about Melissa?” She smiled and opened it. “You know, stuff.” I looked at the book and asked: “Do you write about us.” She laughed. ” I bet you would want to know.” I do want to know.”
She flipped through the pages and stopped at one. “This is where we start.” The looked on her face gave me a direct answer. “She was writing about us and our story. “Can you read something for me, a little.” I was so intrigued. “You promise not to laugh,” I moved closer to and put my head on her shoulder, and she leaned her head on mine. “Melissa, I love you, I would never.” Yea, we passed that whole uncomfortable I like you and how should I say it. She was my first real and defining love.
She smiled and started to read one page. You would think I would have read over her shoulder, but I didn’t. I closed my eyes and listened for once. Young boys always have something to say to break up the moment. I felt the moment, like going up to the drums.
She started to read, and the words “I met a boy named David, and he is silly, but I like him.” She continued to read, and I realized she was the one for me. After she finished, she closed the book “Well, I am a going to have to hide this book now.”
I looked at her and smiled and leaned in and kissed her passionately. It was a different kiss. This was a trusting kiss. From there, our relationship and daily engagements became mature.
After everything concluded, she asked me, |”Can you write?”
I replied. “I can write song lyrics?” I wrote Melissa a song called over the mountains. I had it produced by a local musician. Yea, I found money to make this Melissa a full-blown song. I know every lyric from it, but I that’s not for today.
Melissa told me to start writing, and I could share my writings with her. This love wasn’t like the regular 13-year-olds in junior high. The connection was extraordinary.
I went home that night, and my whole world of writing changed and expressing how I felt dripped through the pen. I wasn’t afraid to write, even though it may have been incorrect. It was about telling a story.
I shared some of my lyrics with Melissa, and through those words, she knew I loved her. Sometimes I would stay up all night writing. I kept every word from the journal, and that how I can share these stories in great detail. I never told her I was writing about us, but later while I was in Iraq in a conversation, I told her. She seemed to already know, but that was my Melissa, she knew things without me saying something.
Melissa is the reason earned my degree in Journalism. I later became the Washington States feature writer of the year in 2010 and 2011. This experience is why I continue to write about life.
One beautiful, intelligent, and loving girl when I was 13 would forever be a part of me in every tap of the keyboard. I will always love her for that and so many other things. That’s straight from the heart.
I will never publish the content from those days in full. The reality, its something that is very connected to Melissa. And one other young lady, that to this day I have only spoken about in speeches.
Yet, I will share the stories in a way that heal my soul and help others.
Don’t be afraid to write…..right or wrong the words matter to you and someone else. It can relieve pain….as it does for me on so many levels. It also allows me to tell people a story of paths taking.