In Timothy Patrick’s autobiography Life…A Fickle Mistress, we learn that whatever bad things get thrown at you, things can always get worse. For Timothy, this mantra is terribly real.
During his childhood, his real parents abandon him. Then, just as he’s settling into his new residence, with foster parents who really seem to care about him, he is shuffled unceremoniously and very much against his will, to a new home, with a well-to-do couple living on a golf course. Should be good news, right? Nope.
The father is abusive and the mother is clueless, leaving Timothy to cope with his bad-news brother, always high on drugs and blaming everything on Timothy. And, since Tim figures he doesn’t have much to lose, he begins unlawful activities himself, winding up in county jail.
That teaches him a lesson, though, and he vows he will never go back. Instead, he goes straight — but into a series of dead-end jobs and failed relationships. At one point he is kissed off royally by an ex-girlfriend he wronged in high school. The scene points up just how pathetic his life has become up to that point.
But some stories have a way of taking a happy turn. Timothy meets and marries a lovely young girl, and he recounts, in vivid detail, the wedding preparations and the event itself, right down to the fairy tale honeymoon in Las Vegas, Disneyland and, finally, Lake Tahoe, at a picturesque cabin in the snow. What could be more perfect, or happen to a nicer guy?
Does the future wind up all sunshine and roses for Timothy? Or does life once again intervene and kick him to the curb?
At one point, he becomes reflective and even profound. “Everyone has a heavy heart at one point in their life, and if they say no, then they are lying…I’ve always heard people say that life is a learning event. I can agree…”
Certainly, in this first-person, stream-of-consciousness narrative, Timothy relays more than anyone’s fair share of drama, angst and hard life-lessons. But through it all, he views his lot mostly with the glass half-full, a testament to his growing maturity.
Four stars to this ambitious journal. It’s an absorbing read for anyone who wants to cheer for a lovable underdog just trying to make his way in the wide, wide world.