Lost Bob

Bob is a lost 27-year old man. You may think he is but confused. Bob is confused, but more precisely, he is lost. Bob knows the way. He just can’t find the way. This is the story of Bob.

The first story Bob will tell you is of his first rememberance. He was three years old. The year was 1968. Bob, his mother Betty, and his sister Linda flew down to Dallas to visit Betty’s grandfather. On the flight down, Bob was immortalized as an honorary pilot of TWA—he was given his wings to fly. And with that, Bob first dreamed of being someone else.

Bob can also tell you about his orange Nerf football and how time after time, day after day, and yes, year after year, he took his orange Nerf football through the obstacles of his mother and father’s house and always scored the game-winnig touchdown—usually with an inspirational dive over the back of the couch. Sometimes Bob would change up. He had an equally illusionary playing field for his one-against-the world basketball game . . . but that started a bit later. And when strapped for a ball, molded one with a damp tea towel that would be line driven over the regrigerator and the green plastic scrub bucket that was seemingly ever-present atop the Sears machine.

Bob will tell you about the floor length mirror that hung on the outside of his parents’ bedroom door during his childhood. It would later be propped up in the corner of his adolescent bedroom. That mirror is where Bob would lose himself. And as we know, Bob was lost.

Bob was so enamored with that mirror that over the years he was able to step into the mirror and enter the world in which he yearned. The world in which he was accepted. The world world in which he, Bob, was in charge.

In his youth Bob toured the worlds of athletes and superheroes. Firemen and presidents. Alwats revered. Always respected. He could do no wrong. He was happy.

Yet, Billy the little cowboy that hung on his wall could induce fear into Bob. There was that feeling that came upon Bob every now and again. Those pins and needles—although stronger and more fearsome, That was the only thing Bob feared—Billy the little cowboy.

Bob will aslo tell you about cleaning his room for the nihilist look. He was 11? It was to appear to be an adult.

Looking back, Bob will say it was when he was a little boy that he lost himself. Always the younger brother, Bob hung out with Linda, her friends, and the neighbor’s much older children. He will tell you that he was ever-attempting to impress them—to be their peers, rather than the little boy they made fun of.

There was Barry later, who so picked on him that when Bob saw him just this past summer, he quickly excused himself from the bar. The uneasiness of being nicknamed Odor stifles Bob.

The legacy of a nickname that Bob has woven into one of his patented stories. But this story alone is never told. In 1972, second grade, Bob collected stamps from the town’s Sunoco station. If you look at that year’s media guide, you will see that one of the Cleveland Browns running backs was Bo Scott. Bo Scott. A back no one remembers. A back who probably wasn’t even very good. A back who’s responsible for uncountable childhood torture of a little boy in New Jersey whom he would never know. Bob’s initials were B.O. And Bob was very proud that Bo Scott had his initials. So proud Bob would bring that stamp to class and tell his classmates. And while doing a pie chart exercise in Mrs. Leaming’s second grade class—the nickname Odor was given to the boy with the unfortunate initials.

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