Until I finally received a bachelors in English Literature, getting a bachelors degree was the biggest thing my family wanted me to get. Even my schizophrenic great uncle has a bachelors. My dad’s side of the family really wanted me to be educated, with a degree. My mom’s side cared too, but it wasn’t make or break.

All said and done it took me ten years to earn a bachelors. I started attending college courses at the age of eighteen, and by the time I was twenty eight, almost twenty nine, I finally did it.

I’m sorta glad I have a bachelors in English Literature. The program was a cake walk, but, whatever. I can’t get that time back. Now, I’m thirty four and still have not earned a spot at the table, so to speak. I’m not saying poor me, or that I’m the only dude who still strives for more in life- I’m just saying, I need to figure something out.

I mentioned Kevin “Mikey” King in a Twitter post. Mikey, as I always knew him, was a teenager in the 90’s. In many ways Mikey was the closest person to me that resembled an older brother in my life. Mikey was my second cousin. Jeremy and Jessica were his brother and sister. Jeremy and Jessica are also amazing, but Mikey was the one who I saw the most. Mikey would babysit me sometimes, make sure no bad guys robbed me. Which is the funniest thing considering I grew up in a middle class LDS neighborhood. I mean, if you knew what I’m saying, you’d know NO ONE was stealing any babies in our neighborhood. Jesus would return before any Mormon babies were taken away. I myself was not and am still not a LDS person, but, for all entensive purposes, the Fort Knox security of the Mormons in my area was an added bonus my family was probably grateful for.

Mikey was into cool music, could play the drums, wore cool shirts I wasn’t allowed to have. He smoked weed and wrote poetry. Poetry filled with anger and resentment for what had happened in his life. He was an outsider, but I knew Mikey. What I saw was someone who was part of the nineties movement. A revolutionary against the corporate world. Someone who wouldn’t wear a monkey suit just to appease societal norms.

He ultimately had to do wear the monkey suit. He was with his partner at the time, they had a child. Mikey became a Dad. Then he shut himself off from everyone from his childhood. I have no idea what Mikey’s up to these days. I’m sure he still writes. Either way I miss him. What a cool guy, the first cool guy I actually knew in real life, not from a fictional movie or book.

Part of why I won’t give up is because Mikey had to give up the ghost. He went out to Washington State, and Oregon. He said they knew way more about stuff than he imagined they would. I mean, little details, trivial information that all added up to a bigger picture. I think he was intimidated, which kinda bummed me out.

I wonder if Mikey had gone to college, if a professor would’ve groomed him for success as a writer. If maybe one or more of the professors had shameless plugs, could open doors that mattered.

I lost that plug. Mikey never stuck around long enough to have that opportunity. Well, there are other ways.

Maybe down the road I can reach out to Mikey. See what he’s up to.

Philip Dietrich Webb

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