Breaking Gravity

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About the author

Mitty Walters

Yes, Mitty Walters is a pen name. It's a tribute to James Thurber’s classic, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1939). 

When I read that story, I was a homeless teenager who was never sure where he would be sleeping the next night. I had an instant connection with Walter Mitty. But I always felt like his dark reflection. Walter's wild fantasy life helped him to escape his boring reality. But my fantasy was just to have a boring reality. 

Too bleak? Fine. 

The truth is I joined the Merchant Marines when I was fifteen. When they asked for ID, I gave them my dead cousin's birth certificate. Next thing I knew I was on a bus headed to Savannah. When I hopped my first freighter, my heart was filled with all kind of romantic notions. But three straight days of puking cajoled me back to reality. I didn't set foot on land for another four months.

The Merchant Marine is not some mysterious gateway to adventure for young lads. It's just work, sweat, and misery. I didn't get marooned on any island, didn't rescue any damsels in distress. I just toiled away pointlessly. The most adventure I had was getting arrested in Thailand with a bunch of drunken idiots that I didn't even know. I learned to speak a little Cantonese while I was in there, though. But mostly I wasted away for eighteen long months. Until the riots began, anyway.

Crud. Too bleak again?

Look. You can be honest. You don't care who I am. You just want to go on a wild ride. I'm cool with that. Just scoop up one of my books and let's bounce!