I was told service and charity was the best way to cure my selfish, self-centeredness. I was told, “You have to give it away to keep it,” and this made no sense to me.
In a time of falling to my bottom, and in a time of painful confusion, I was told to get out of myself and do something for someone else. But how could I? All I could think of was me. All I could think of was my anger and frustration. All I could think of were the rules I was told to follow, which was nothing more than a contradiction to the things I wanted to do. I thought about the place where I was and how unfair Continue reading
Did you ever hear the story about the time I stood over a dead body?
I was young at the time. I was around 19 maybe, or I could have been 20. I was clean in some ways but the life I lived was not one that reflects honesty and clean living. I was sober, but in name only. I was only absent of chemicals, but I was not absent of the attitude.
It was the start of winter and during the height of the holiday season. I went with a partner of mine to a nearby food chain. He and I were going to shake the manager down for a few hundred bucks.
The job was Continue reading
And you wonder . . .
You wonder who will be there when it all goes down.
When everything falls apart, you wonder who
will be there to help pick up the fallen pieces.
You wonder who will help fix the shattered pieces
of your broken heart—or who will show up
without so much as a hint or even a phone call
because this is what real friends do . . .
The people I have met, whether they are good or bad,
or whether our interaction is long-lasting or short-lived
have come into my life for a reason.
Every memorable conversation Continue reading
Unfortunately, part of the path I chose comes with the understanding that not everyone will choose the same way. In the beginning, it seemed as if we all started strong. We had a purpose to achieve something. But the further we went from yesterday, the easier it was to forget who we were and where we came from. This is why the tell us to, “Keep it green.” keep it fresh.
The further we moved along the path, perhaps the memories became distant, and the more distant the memories became, the easier it was to forget what we went through, and after we forget where we came from, the easier it is to give in to temptation and slip right back to where it all began.
I admit that I was not ready. In my early stages, I was sent Continue reading
Not everyone will respect or appreciate our decision to change or evolve. But then again, the changes we make and the decisions we choose belong to us and to no one else.
At the end of the day, the only reflection we see in the mirror is the only reflection that matters. And in my case, that reflection is mine . . .
A long time ago, I made a decision to live my life a certain way. I did this in order to maintain a sober lifestyle. Otherwise, I think I would have fallen over the edge at a very young age. And had I not made this decision, I think my name would be nothing more than something whispered in an occasional memory or Continue reading
There I was . . . lost in a nod
I was lost in an imaginary field that stretched
beyond anything I could ever imagine.
(Or maybe I was just on B 15th St.
and I was too far gone to notice.)
I was lost in a figurative field of tall grass,
swaying in the imagination of a summer wind,
and I sat down to feel the strength a warm,
My mind collapsed into a gentle spiral
sinking in twists—swirling downward in a delicate cycle
and everything around me slowed down
to a magnificent crawl.
Outside was irrelevant.
But inside, my body (or church)
was wonderful and contaminated.
A light bulb swung, dangling from Continue reading
Outside, the line stretched down the street. Everyone on line was waiting to get in and everyone on line was wondering if they would make it in before the club would close.
As for me, I was still very new to the New York City club scene. The bars and clubs on Long Island were nothing like the ones in the city. There were too many inhibitions and too many people to impress. There was too many people screaming to break free, but yet, each was too afraid to step from their own comfort zone. The city, however, was altogether different.
I knew this night would be different when I approached Continue reading
Two men argued on a crowded eastbound train from New York City. They pointed and shouted at each other during the evening rush hour. They cursed and threatened each other. One of the two men spoke with so much anger that strings of spit flew from his mouth. The other man was equally as angry, but he screamed less spit.
The argument erupted very quickly in the cramped isle, which was overcrowded with standing Continue reading
I have to remember something:
My words are like a line in the sand. Once I cross the line—then I’ve crossed the line, and coming back is not always easy.
I have to remember that words said out of anger have sharp teeth. And sharp teeth hurt. They leave bite marks and the marks remain even after the anger subsides.
I need to remember this . . .
Back when I was a kid, I remember Continue reading
It was the end of a long day at work. I had just spent several hours repairing, moving, and replacing several old cast-iron radiators on a vacant floor in a building above Grand Central Station. My knees hurt from kneeling. My lower back hurt from lifting and my shoulders were sore from swinging pipe-wrenches.
The main struggle with this job is the old pipework. Many of the valves I had to change were original installs, which meant the valves were locked tightly in place back in 1927, and they have not been disturbed since.
Some were swapped out throughout the years, and some were easier to remove than others. Most, however, are what we called “Squeakers.”
We called them this because of the loud, whinny squeak that echoed in the demolished empty Continue reading