In 1968, when I was in 8th grade, my father took me to a candlelight anti-war march. I felt I was part of something very important. I was hooked.
I became very active in the movement. Life suddenly had a clear purpose. I listened to Jefferson Airplane's "Volunteers" over and over. My clothes began to reflect my new identity. Although this did not endear me to teachers and administrators at Shenandoah Junior High, I was in love with all aspects of my new interest.
I joined the Free Angela Davis Committee. I read Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice. I felt the pain of injustice. I wanted to be the next Willim Kunstler. In the 10th grade, I met a group of guys from the University of Miami, who were also active in the anti-war movement. Some of them were very cute. They took me and my best friend everywhere--to concerts, rallies, and meetings. I was in heaven. My parents were not.
I went to a dance with Chipper, one of the U.M. students. He was beautiful with long blond hair--and he was 20 years old. We stayed out really late. For some reason, I didn't have to be home until the next morning. I ended up sleeping in his bed. I pretended to fall asleep right away because I was scared. He never asked me out again.
In the fall of '71, my parents sent me to boarding school in Pennsylvania.
When the Vietnam war ended, I became involved in other issues. Working for causes or candidates I believed in gave me a sense of accomplishment.
At the pinnacle of my participation in the animal rights movement, I wore a thirty-foot inflatable beaver suit and walked around City Hall plaza. It was really fun. My picture was in the Globe. I was thirty years old.
I was Ward Coordinator for Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. I was a devoted follower, almost rabid. Going to the Democratic National Convention was so exciting. Clinton's speech was electrifying.
It's been a while since I've been involved in a "cause" or campaign. My personal world is more complicated and time-consuming. The problems of the outside world seem overwhelming, if not insurmountable. Issues don't seem as black and white as they used to. But I still feel that desire.