…Or Just Who Is Tom Merriman?
Please gather round for I have a story to tell,
And if you enjoy it I’d have told it well…
Me. I admit, I AM a bit of a mystery. To myself as well as anybody else. Oh, and Tom Merriman? That isn’t me. Well, it is me, but that’s my nom-de-plume. My pseudonym. My blogging persona. We all need masks and cloaks sometimes, don’t we? I do. You see, I’m rather socially awkward.
This current journey of mine began at the latter end of the Swingin’ Sixties, not that I remember any of them. I remember sitting on my Nanna’s knee eating an apple when I was two years old, and that is my earliest memory. If only my memory for things I did yesterday was as clear, but with so much going into our brains it is so easy to lose track of a few things here and there. I like to think so, anyway.
I was born with sticky-out ears, not that it bothered me at the time. I was a very happy child, very curious and eager to learn and to please. I loved learning. Drawing. Painting. But I was painfully shy. I think the shyness kept me somewhat distant from the other children, but it didn’t bother me. I think my distance caused the others not to like me, and soon one or two would start taking their dislike out on me – usually by grabbing my ears from behind, and then the usual kicking, punching and biting. Not very pleasant, and it soon started to affect me. This time, however it was noticed by others.
Eventually, I went into hospital and had, what was at the time, pioneering cosmetic surgery on my ears to pin them back. I think I experienced my first dose of real magic whilst I was in hospital, and I’ll go into more detail of this in part four (Yes, this is a rather long tale!) Following this operation, of which I was terrified – in fact I was terrified of the whole hospital experience – I spent ten weeks of having bandages wrapped around my head.
So, rather than feeling sorry for myself, I’d pretend I was a spaceman. It’s funny, the things you do as a kid.
Every now and then, I’d have a peak at my ears when the bandages were being changed, and I looked completely different to how I had previously. It wasn’t me looking back in the mirror. I looked older. I still liked my drawing and painting, was still happy, and was still shy.
I’m rather protective of that little boy, me and yet not me, going through all that before reaching ten years old. It’s not a lot compared to what others have to go through, but for me it was a big deal. I did it. I didn’t like it, but I did it. I’m going to leave that little one with his pencils and paints now, and head through high school.
Still shy, still loving learning, enjoying art, being bullied.
By this time, I was slightly more outgoing. Gangly and spotty, but outgoing. I had a small circle of friends, but a larger circle around that of what I would call pretend friends. Friends who wanted me to do something for them… or else. It wasn’t referred to as bullying, but that is what it was. Even one of the teachers got involved which didn’t help, but I put up with it. Soon, schooldays were over and I didn’t need to see any of the people from there again. I think I gave up with learning by the time I’d left school, getting good grades in all of my exams but not excellent ones. At least I was out.