While going through some old papers, I came across a school diary from my early elementary days. My teacher insisted that we write in this book every day we had school for a year. I know this, not because I have that good of a memory, rather because her instructions including the minimum numbers of sentences allowed was stapled ever so preciously to the inside cover of the book. Probably by her or a parent because I don’t know too many young children who could execute that kind of perfection, both in lining up the sheet and stapling it. I’m pretty sure I would have felt the need to use at least 12 staples, just to make sure it was secured. And no doubt it would be secured at some outrageous slant that I would see as being perfectly straight.
So I came across this book, this diary of my deepest thoughts as a young child of six or seven and naturally I had to stop what I was doing and read the thing in its entirety. Thankfully there were days that I decided to just scrawl out the minimum sentence requirements; five whole sentences. And at some point we had to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote down hobo, which evidently was not exactly what my teacher was looking for, based on her comments. Apparently in elementary school, your school diary is graded or at least commented on by the teacher.
What I actually wrote was: I want to be a hobo when I grow up. I want to ride trains where they take me. I want to see places. I want to not have to wake up and go to work. Hobos don’t go to work, they ride trains.
I’ve ridden on a few trains, always paying my fare since that time and I have seen places too. I have always gotten up to go to work when it was a work day if I wasn’t too sick although I have always admired the freedom of not having to get up at a certain time to head to a certain place. I’m pretty certain my parents were thrilled I did not keep the hobo phase for long as far as dream careers go. But I can honestly say I’ve never lost the thrill of freedom and heading out on some unplanned adventure, going wherever it takes me. Pity I can’t land a job doing just that.