Creative Writing by Bruce Whealton

Bruce Whealton

Introduction: Memories, Accomplishments, Dreams, and Hopes

Bruce whealton

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My memories of love are proof that I can accomplish great things… proof that I have something to offer
others. I want to fall in love again. This book is not just about me. Celta Camille Head and then Lynn
Denise Krupey allowed me to cuddle up with them, to be nurtured by them, and they helped me grow.
I have nurtured this book that I am writing now. An earlier version of it already appears in my
This book focuses on Lynn mainly because of the intensity of the love that we shared, the duration of that
life we had together, and when it occurred in my life.
It might seem strange to say that finding love was an accomplishment because it just happens. Right? We
fall in love and that is like something happening to us… an experience. That is absolutely true.
Unfortunately, when you are really shy like me and you have a social phobia, that makes it hard to
achieve a goal of finding someone to love who will love me.
Anyway, for the longest time, I quite literally, never thought it was possible that I would find love or
build a relationship with someone. I was too shy.
Overcoming shyness might not be the best way to think about my story and my life. I learned to cope with
the anxiety and fear of rejection that I once felt. My social anxiety or social phobia was not limited to
meeting someone in a romantic sense. I pursued a career as a psychiatric social worker, which was not
even considered by me when I first went off to college. Anything involving counseling and helping others
in a social context was not something I imagined possible for me back then.
It seems to me, based on experience that unless you are in love, you don’t yet know what the experience
of love or being in love is. Unless you are in love, that kind of love is just an abstract idea. Honestly, at
this time, now, as write this introduction, I have no sense that it can or will happen again.
I wonder if I could go back in time, would discover that I felt the same exact thing then that I feel now –
overwhelming doubt? Part of me thinks that I had more hope about love back then than I do now.
I had a great deal more hope about a great many things in the past and I am trying to restore that hope.
Perhaps that is the purpose of my writing this book… to restore hope… to remember a set of feelings. To
believe that things can be good – that I can feel something very good – again.
It’s Saturday, October 16, 2021. It feels like summer with the water temperature nearly 80 and the air
temperature was at 80 and climbing by 10:30 AM.
The waves are gentle. I am not far from the pier – Johnny Mercer’s Pier – where people are fishing.
I hear a lifeguard blowing a whistle. She has driven her vehicle in the direction of the water. I have no
idea what to call this vehicle. It’s like an adult tricycle for riding on the beach with big thick wheels with
large treads. She is standing up now.
She is wearing a bikini. I don’t want to seem like I am staring at her. I walk in her direction to figure out
what the purpose is of her actions? She must be trying to communicate something to someone out in the
After setting up my chair on the beach and pulling out my pencil and paper, I decided to go for a walk.
I don’t recall a day as hot as this in October at Wrightsville Beach, NC. The air is somewhere in the 80s. It
was about 80 at 10:30 this morning and the temperature was climbing. The water is warm and
comfortable – somewhere close to 80 degrees.
I am walking at the edge of the ocean where the waves touch the beach sands in the bright sunlight. It’s an
unusual day for the warmth or heat.
As I walk, part of my mind looks at what I am seeing on the beach and another part of my mind floats
back in time, as if pushed along by some hidden force not unlike whatever it is that keeps the waves
I can’t help but be taken back in time. I came here looking for a state of serenity and peace so that I could
rejuvenate and awaken the part of me that was full of passion and hope.
My mind drifts back in time. It’s hard for that not to happen no matter how much I might want to think
about the future with hope.
I am thinking about that time when Lynn and I would walk hand in hand together. I remember what I felt.
Our fingers interlaced as we walked.
I am sure some of my poet friends would want to read about something more passionate than holding
hands but allow me to describe what I was feeling. It was September of 1992… a day or afternoon like
many others.
I was aware of every place where Lynn’s hand and arm made contact with mine. Like the ocean waves, I
felt a tingling feeling that moved up my arm like a chill. I tilted my head back to look skyward and to
catch my breath.
Occasionally, I would look at Lynn as we talked or just existed as a couple together. It felt serene as well
as excited. It was right and good. I felt like I was ten feet tall. I existed in a world inhabited by only Lynn
and me. Yet some part of me was also aware of others.
There was only the current moment when this happened. I mean I wasn’t thinking about my future plans,
obstacles, challenges, or anything else.
The present and the past overlap and interlace themselves within my mind.
Today, it’s October 16, 2021, and I see a couple walking hand in hand. In the past, before I had ever held
a girl’s hand, I would not have known what that couple was feeling or might be feeling. I might have
wished for an experience like that but I would not have known exactly what I was wishing for. I would
only have had a vague sense that something like this might be nice.
I am thinking of this as I walk along the beach alone today with the waves crashing around me. It’s
slightly hypnotic and just perfect for writing this story.
Dear reader, have you ever read anything by William Faulkner when he employs a stream of
consciousness style of writing? That’s what the muse in me wants to do. To let my thoughts jump back
and forth between ideas from different points within my past.
I think about the woman whose hand I held as I helped her cross a stream… helping her keep her balance.
I didn’t feel anything like I felt holding Lynn’s hand. I didn’t feel anything like what I felt holding Celta’s
hand. Now, you are confused, dear reader, by my schizophrenic writing as I let my mind jump along on
the page following tangents that pop up within my mind as I walk on the beach on October 16 of 2021.
I haven’t even mentioned Celta and I don’t want to confuse you, dear reader. I don’t want to get you lost
within my many memories.
I am just thinking that somehow there is something unique that happens when we hold the hand of that
special someone.
At 2 PM, I went off into the water with an inflated tube. I can swim but this makes it more peaceful. I
learn that I caught the attention of the lifeguard because the waves brought me too close to the pier. So, I
was right the whistle was a means of communicating to some of us. I suppose I could have noticed even
without my glasses (maybe?) her waving her hands to direct me away from the pier.
It’s time to leave the beach now.
I have a story to tell you and so you will need some background.
In order to put things in context, I am going to start with the early years of my life so that you understand
what it is like to be shy or was like to be shy. Can I use “is” and “was” here without confusing you, dear
Shyness is and was a part of me. It takes different forms at different times.
So, in the next chapter, we will go back to my life growing up in a small town called Southington. We
will start with 3rd grade when I first came out of my shell for a brief moment.
Dear reader, please join me. This is my gift to you. I will put you in the story with me in the next chapter
as I go back even further in time.