Recently, I was a approached by a former publisher of mine to write my memoirs. I was, to say the least, surprised that anyone was interested, and who know, they may not be!I told my publisher that the problem with writing an auto biography was that I had to tell the truth. This has become a real adventure in itself and I have come to realize that if you are one of those who is smart and who still does stupid things at times, then you'll love my story. I hope you read this excerpt and let me know what you think.
Patriot Acts Nimrod Rising StillBorn! Probable Cause
It was going to be a great day. I got out of school early and started a journey that would totally change my life. I always find it strange today how a four hundred pound, fourteen year-old boy could actually look in the mirror and think he looked good. Yet, until I was almost fifteen, that’s exactly what I did.
(Steven at 8 years old)
I have developed the theory that the human brain has some kind of mechanism that makes the eyes inside of a fat body not see the real person reflecting back at them; at least, that was my case, after the expanse of my guts got bigger than it had ever been intended to be and when I took up more space than I was ever allotted to take up, I still thought I looked great. But, back in 1974, at the age of fourteen, going on fifteen, at four hundred something pounds, I felt just fine, until my mom stuck her nose into my fat problem. I thank God she did, and she knew how to get each of us kid’s attention. Geneva Bradley was definitely the smartest person everywhere she went.
One day, I was walking out of the high school and my mother was waiting outside to take me home. I was happy and bounded down the school steps. I got in the car and my mother looked at me and said, “Steven, you shake like a bowl of jello when you walk.” It was those words that had hit me like an arrow through my heart, and I had
( Steven 12 Years Old)
repeated them over and over and they made me angry and determined which was why today, I was leaving school early on this May afternoon in 1974. The result of
that afternoon appointment at the doctor’s left me with a bottle of diet pills that would eventually take me from a forty eight inch waist to a thirty-two inch belly in the short space of three month and it almost killed me.
Those days were the moments when I first really started to work on writing out my experience of trying to stop looking like a giant human ball. I was taking three times more each day than the doctor had prescribed, and it gave me an overdose of energy and I could not sit still. So, I wrote down almost everything I did when my self-prescribed two pills a day regimen seemed to be doing the trick.
Sometimes in the morning, I could not remember if I had slept or not. I have always hated to sleep anyway. I have never slept more than five hours a day anyway. I didn’t care; the weight was melting off of me. I talked nice to my mom, and I was genuinely happy, because I liked what I was changing into. I stayed in my room and exercised, wrote everything in my journal and listened to some awesome Pink Floyd and Grand Funk Railroad, and then there was Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Steve Miller…
(My High School Graduation Day)
journal, which I had appropriately titled ‘The Happy Loser Diary,’ in tribute to all the weight I was losing. I recorded my movements, many of my thoughts, the excitement of beginning to finally looking human until the first day back at school right, after my fifteenth birthday. It was my way of making truth stranger than fiction. Here are some entries from my journal, The Happy Loser Diary.
Happy Loser Diary (301 pounds)
Friday, June 28, 1974 11:32 a.m.
It was summer school. I’m not attending; I can’t be bothered with all that. I did have permission though to use the library in the mornings. I really liked the school library. The books cases are lined up in domino formation, or at least they were. The arrangement made it easy to see all the books. Earlier this morning, I was surprised to see the library full of students. There wasn’t an empty seat in the whole place. So, I just hung around.
At one table, to my right, there were four boys laughing it up, big guys, Juniors or seniors and much bigger than me. They were all looking into the end of a pen at some kind of dirty pictures.
There would be no negotiations today; only reactive fury. I had been on the pills for two weeks at that time. My mind worked fast and I was used to giving off energy and I had a mother lode of it mixed with rage this morning.
(My Brothers and Sisters, Left to Right Back Row: Diann, Gary, Me Front Row: Joann & Mark)
I turned my head toward the high school big boy and he hit me in the face. That just could not be allowed and left me no choice. The pills were coursing through me now and forcing adrenaline through my head. I stood up fast and just let the rage rising up inside me propel me to almost want to kill the boy. I grabbed that big bad boy by all of his long hair and wrapped his girly locks
I heard the noise of at least twelve rows of cases tumbling downward, one by one. I put my hands to my side and looked at the devastation and said, “Oh, No!” Everyone laughed, except for the librarian. I was kicked out of the upcoming first week of the new
(My Mother, Geneva Wireman 18 years old)
school year. That was a deal of a lifetime. I must have scared the stupid boy’s male anatomy to death, because every time he sees me at school, he goes the other way. For me, I was of a mind to apologize, which I never got to do.
July 21, 1974 4:35 p.m.
It was four-thirty; was it morning or this afternoon? I can’t be sure. I remember checking my watch. I felt like I had just awakened, but I had actually realized that I was outside, downtown in an alley and pacing back and forth. I couldn’t remember where I was, barely knew who I was or how to get out of the alleyway and back on the street. My brain still feels like it’s on fire. I couldn’t sit still and walked my reducing body of 292 pounds around in circles.
About the only thing that can get me to sit still for a while is sitting in the library reading World book Encyclopedias. I am devouring them and reading through them with almost religious ferocity. Reading through the volumes of information gave me a taste for the beyond, out of my realm of activity, to worlds so different than my own. The thought tantalizes me as an almost fifteen year old thinning boy who wants significance.
Then there was politics; I remember loving politics since I was a young boy in 1968 when Nixon was running against Hubert Humphrey. I crave information on the president, Watergate, the history and documents of the republic. During campaign season, I watched it all, followed each state and read every word of Time Magazine, Newsweek and US News and World reports. I have to know, to see it, to be able to speak to it and understand the way the rest of the world thought.
I remember sitting in the Knox Indiana City Library reading about Bangladesh. “It’s the poorest country in the world, and one day, I will see it with my own eyes.” I told myself. I opened the B volume to read the rest on the famished land of the Bengalis. I heard something and felt the library table shaking. My eyes glanced up and there was such a pretty face looking back at me.
Though, I truly cannot remember her name, a beautiful girl was smiling at me and said, “You know, you’re looking great.” That was nice. So, I smiled and looked at her and said, “You too.” She smiled and then frowned. I was not implying she had gone from fat to slim like I was doing. She looked down at the time magazines I had spread around me and the Newsweek magazine and three different World Book volumes open before me.
You’re smart aren’t you?” She said. All I could respond was, “I don’t know.” I had truly never thought or wondered about that. I just liked what I liked and hated what I hated, but it made me think. I was a boy who hated to hurt people and wanted to make them laugh, and to reach out and to do something significant.
I looked at the pretty face of this unnamed creature that was very wonderful to behold. I thought about my words and then said, “I don’t know if I’m smart, I might just be the most intelligent of idiots.” She smiled nicely and I think truly coolly turned around and said, “Is that going to be the name of your biography?”
Happy Loser Diary (207 Pounds)
Entry 27, Knox, Indiana
August 4, 1974, 5:49 p.m.
There was also another face I recall seeing in my drug-induced stupor. I can still see it looking down at me as I opened my glossy speeding eyes while sprawled out on the sidewalk. Earlier today, I was reeling and so nervous I thought I’d shake all my bones lose. I can see it all now so clearly. I kept trying to figure out how to get out of that cursed alley. It had crossed my narcotic-Laced brain a few times with the notion that maybe I had died and I was in hell; cursed to wander to and fro for eternity in that dark and gloomy alleyway. That was ridiculous since I do not even believe in God.
What if I walked to the end of the alley, if I can get to the street?” Nothing seemed real and my mind felt like it was suddenly in slow motion. My body was reeling from hyper activity for days on end and then a sudden shutdown of the energy made me feel like the medicine felt stronger than usual, probably because I had most likely messed up and taken three. There I was walking in circles but forced myself to move in one direction and I found the end of the alleyway and ended up on the city sidewalk, right in front of Chuck’s tavern. Everything looked hazy and my hands and feet were tingling and my legs felt like rubber. I sat myself down on the sidewalk just before everything went black. I remember, everything was gone except mere echoes.
I could feel someone breathing on me; someone was watching me as I lay on the cement sidewalk. My eyes opened and I caught a glimpse of someone, a him or a her, as my eyes flashed open and closed several times. Whoever it was grabbed me under my arms and lifted me up and walked me all around town to keep me awake and use up some of the mother lode of excess energy that three of the pills at the Franke time had produced. I felt like everything was jumbled and somehow real but not. The bundle of nerves and thoughts and words I was no longer able to get out had induced a panic inside me that I was fading away. The stranger made sure I had revived, sat me down and let go of my arms.
“He was a stranger just in time.”
Happy Loser Diary (147 pounds)
Entry 32, Knox, Indiana
August 19, 1974, 6:32 p.m.
My first day back to school today was one of the most enjoyable days of my childhood. I had traveled from the world of the fat and ugly four hundred and twenty three pound me to the world of skinny and still ugly one hundred forty-three beautiful pounds.
Just yesterday, I saw my fifteen year old brother, Gary for the first time in two months. He had been caught doing a legal no-no and had been on a two-month retreat behind bars. My mom actually went to talk the judge. The honorable someone told her that he was going to put Gary on probation. My mom asked to lock Gary up for two months, which the judge approved. When I walked into the house, earlier today, Gary saw me but had no idea who I was. He had been … away while the pounds rolled off me. When I spoke and he heard my voice, he knew immediately who I was and his mouth dropped open. And, it got better.
When I walked into the school, after having almost hidden out for the whole summer, no one knew who I was. I was just learning about my new self as well. I remember one of my best friends, Peggy back, looked at me and realized it was me and started crying, hugged me and she said, “Are you dying?” My response was perfect. “Dying? I just started living!” The moment was and is precious.
Without a doubt, the most memorable part of the day is when I went into Mr. Ostreiker. He was for sure one of the very best, and his demeanor made me always want to go to his class. I walked in and found a seat close to the front. There would be no backseat numskull anymore. The Teacher walked up to me and looked up at the class.
Let me have your attention, we have a new student with us.” He looked at me and said my name wasn’t on the roster. “Welcome, what’s your name, young man?”
I could scarcely hold my laughter. “Steven Bradley.” I said. Mr. Ostreiker looked slightly befuddled. It was obvious he was having a moment of where his brain was deciphering conflicting information from the previous year; he smiled. “We have another Steven Bradley.”
I inhaled so not to kill the moment with laughter. He walked closer to me and looked at me. “Stand up, young man.” He told me. “It is you; everyone, give Mr. Bradley a hand.” It was embarrassing and perfect.”
As I read a new these early records of my life, I can see place after place where God placed his protecting hand on me and saved me from arrest, from danger, and that day, from certain death. I never learned who this stranger just in time was, but I have a good idea where he came from, but why send a stranger in time to save the most intelligent of idiots?
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Click Here To Read An Excerpt From
The Second Republic ______________________
Steven Clark Bradley
it is entertainment or the irrational rambling of a scared
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Steven Clark Bradley
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