Thinking of Tom
As a youth I was a raw nerve. I would lunge at or into things. I didn’t grow into things gradually. Some interests grew unnoticed, but the tsunamis of various surrounding forces fostered a do or die mentality.
Tom was a classmate. Slightly less than medium height, nicely put together, in his own orbit he seemed to evolve and actually learn from his experiences. I used to wear black jeans and Converse sneakers because he did. He dressed stylishly, had an early sense of his own presence, was competitive and could be cruel with his words. Many were hurt by him and his influence. Others followed him and got shipwrecked.
Where I always got caught up in ideals, principles, and purity, Tom just went through life. He actually grew from it. He seemed to live. In a sense it was the Jewish ideal. Life is to be participated in, not run from. High school, which made many of us unhappy, he used to his own advantage.
I'm sure having a family with enough money and 3 brothers helped him. He played the guitar, wrote songs, had some very early successes, but eventually went back to school, became a lawyer, and a movie mogul in Hollywood. I can't speak for his inner workings, but on the surface he had a good life.
In my youth what seemed overwhelming to me I forced myself to do, and then I wore out. Somehow Tom was able to use things for his betterment. He navigated New York while it pounded most of us. He managed to keep his direction and stayed on course.
He “kind of” lived, I “kind of” observed. Now it seems as if I missed the boat. Still, the final chapter in not written. There are intangibles to my searching and wondering and wandering, but occasionally when in doubt (I'm sure I'm not alone) I think of Tom and envy his “seemingly successful life.”