I have tried several things in life before reaching for the forbidden fruit of writing. In 1994 I tried Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba right out of High School and seemed to click with it, for a while at least, but I turned to skipping and partying to fill my days as I slowly realized there was no future for me in this field. I started sleeping with prostitutes and was drawn like a moth to the flame back to the North End every paycheck. I smoked a ton of weed and was permanently fried, I could only face life high as fuck.
I couldn’t concentrate, I just couldn’t get my shit together without it. I had yet to progress to harder drugs, but was it only a matter of time? Would I slip off the edge of the world and spiral out of control? I did drink a lot. Okay, I was a budding alcoholic. I would buy a 26oz. of Whiskey and toss away the cap when I opened the bottle. I preferred Crown Royal, the Whiskey of the Royals. I knew that Seagram created it specifically for a Royal visit by King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth III, the first visit to Canada by a ruling Royal.
The company, Seagram, introduced it in 1939 and sold it in velvet sacs purple in color. Anyway, I only finished about a year and a half of the degree requirements in three years of study then I was forced to take a hiatus through low grades. I had faced academic suspension. Life as a professional engineer seemed to be out of my reach and I decided to quit. I got the idea to attend Red River Collegiate and dumbed myself down to try my luck with Electrical Technology in 1998.
While there I fell for the same traps and drank my life away. I still did the North End trips during the summer when I found employment and came into money. Still no harder drugs, but there was always the possibility of them just around the corner. There was a silver lining presented while I attended classes there. They introduced the trade of Power Electrician to me through a fellow student who was an employee of Manitoba Hydro and was at Red River to upgrade.