Sunday, February 02, 2014
One day my dad announced I would be going to a secondary school run by Catholic priests. I didn't know a thing about how those things were run or what any of it implied but for some reason I fought against this and eventually he relented and put me instead in a State secondary school, a 'liceo' as they're called over there. I now wonder why I was so steadfastly opposed to something about which I knew nothing. Who knows. The school I ended up going to wasn't that much of a better choice for me, it was a large secondary with vastly oversubscribed classes of sometimes 50 or so -perhaps more, given that with a surname in the middle of the alphabet I was number 31 in the register one year. I was vastly unhappy there, didn't make well at all the transition from a small school where you knew everybody to a large concern with perhaps fifteen hundred pupils or more. Of course you cannot ever know what life would have been like, had I gone to that Catholic school. No point in wondering. I would not be here and I would be such a different person with such a different life that their cones of light in the shift space of all the possible outcomes would not reach each other at all. Sometimes, though, I have dreams in which I stayed in Caracas and ended up living in a low rise 'banco obrero' block of apartments (like council flats here) in Casalta or thereabouts, with pots of plants in the hallway getting knocked over by the local vandals, eking out a life teaching music (perhaps) or, if I did manage to complete a career in something else other than music, enslaved to a civil service job, trying to survive the roller-coaster of booms and busts of the Venezuelan economy in the last thirty years, living unhappily ever after. I may be applying subjective optimisation there (oh, new term filched from a psychology book) but I do believe that would have been worse. There are parts of me that I would so like to change, that fill me with frustration and don't know how to deal with, but overall thus far life here is better than it would have been, had I stayed in Vz and particularly if some of those crucial early choices had been different.