16 and I innocently walked home

Sweet sixteen not my theme: Reflections on a 1920s serial killer.

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Disillusionment started around this time in my life. 16!

What inspired me were the mysteries of life. The dark places of life. I kept it to myself. I was young and wordless, quiet and impressionable. Times were dull and I was asleep to the world around me.  I did not study or read much. I innocently walked home on my own from school. I had my close friends and life was easy. I had a boyfriend who watched over me. I thought he loved me. Well, he enjoyed my body.

Last night I watched a documentary on Carl Panzram. He is a serial killer. He wrote his memoir in prison and when I compare my life growing up to his, I become sick. He went to reform school and prison at a very young age. He was a cowboy-hobo. He did not live a glorious life. His was not an easy life. Mine was.

I am sure I went through the normal psychological changes of a youth becoming an adult. I was reasonably safe and made the transition through a few years, or a generation of the 50s through the 80s.

Carl Panzram was not so fortunate.  He grew up in a different generation during the Great Depression. Yet his youthful rebellion as a boy pushed him into being brutalized by a system that creates killers.

I am not justifying the unspeakable acts he did as an adult; I am comparing my life to his. Maybe to my own two boys who I protect like a mama bear hawk. Some sort of paranoid mythological female mother figure. They are very fortunate indeed!!

Serial killers, gangsters and the cruelty they inflict on society is terrible. I am not afraid to look at them. I wish I could change how this shadowy part of our human nature manifests in our society. Sometimes at night I find it hard to breathe when I think of how many people are locked up, especially our youth.

One cannot fight the shadow with more shadow because it only makes a bigger shadow.

If I could go back to being sixteen  I would inspire myself to wake up!  I would study and apply myself to life. I would learn, learn, learn !

I would take back my body and go to college at a young age. I would study criminology, psychology and get my degrees. I have my regrets and so did Carl Panzram!!

Our penal system is wrong. I would try to change it from the inside out starting with our youth!!

I know that Carl Panzram made the same analogy in his memoir. Carl had the remarkable ability to reflect. A friendly prison guard inspired him to write his memoir. This guard was a rare bird because he treated criminals as human beings. Carl’s revealing memoir is one to ponder; a remarkable confession from a very angry soul.

“I don’t believe in man, God nor Devil. I hate the whole damned human race, including myself. I preyed upon the weak, the harmless and the unsuspecting. This lesson I was taught by others : Might makes right.”
― Carl Panzram




Author: Hudley Flipside

Welcome to Hudley Flipside’s “The Seminary Of Praying Mantis Publishing.” Praying mantis shows me her story of life, death, and rebirth. For me she is an image or symbol of the divine in all things. I watch the praying mantis in my garden and have taken her image as my logo. She is an amazing little creature, and I relate to her connection to nature. We are both wild and part of this strange world. She is a part of my mythology as I am part of hers.

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