Tell me something—
Tell me anything; tell me anything at all.
Tell me about the lights and the way they flicker against your skin beneath the awnings on St. Mark’s back before the hipsters took hold of Bowery and the downtown scene was still bold and alive.
Tell me about the warm sensation of sin as trickles from your secrets and falls into a cup of untold stories that no one else knows about.
Tell me about the closed door you hide behind, when you let your hair down, or when you smile that naked smile, and your clothes are thrown on the floor; tell me about that pules that beats through your system and keeps that thing we call, “Desire,” alive and well.
Tell me because I’m curious and the fact that my heart beats fast when I think of your chest against mine; it proves that I’m alive and when visions of you sneak in my thoughts, say, like when wearing one of my t-shirts with nothing else on beneath, it makes it so that I can’t see anything else but you.
I love you in this sexy shade of mystery
It makes make me think
It keeps me sharp like a knife that cuts through the tension of everyday life. And this is me now (with you) alive and wild, and grateful for what I have.
It’s amazing though, if you think about it.
It’s amazing to go from there to here and I can’t say how I made it. I can only say that I’m glad I did
Way back in the day, I used to dare the edge just like you did.
I used to dare the edge like a kid who placed his tongue at the tops of 9 volt batteries just to feel the charge tickle the tip of my tongue.
Man, I loved the rush . . .
As we grew, I caught wind of a new transition. The news told about an epidemic that swept through the nation, so I decided to grab the wings of whatever flew passed me.
And there it is: the younger, old version of me.
I was younger but I still understand where I was and I still recall the unkind nights in the unkind sections of the city
I mean sure, I caught the white charge. I knew all about the downfall and the cocaine breakdowns. I watched the sunrise more than once and I remember what it meant to see day light peaking in from underneath the curtains.
This was all a symptom, I’d say.
“It’s what keeps me alive,” I’d tell you
And it was hard for me
It was hard to see my own worth and understand the value of the sunrise after I gave it away for free.
Man, all I wanted to do was feel special . . .
Well, I was special alright
The things people say are different from the things you hear.
But hey, in the Land of Interpretation, misconception is king
(Or queen, depending upon the circumstance.)
I was wondering…
Why do we bother looking in the mirror when we never believe in our reflection?Understand where I’m going with this?
This means there’s perfection in our reflection but only we see the flaws, which are inaccurate of our truth.
And it’s hard to be beautiful when you can’t see it . . .
It’s hard because of the things that rip us apart:
The constant questioning
The waiting, the wondering, and the worrying about what we say, how we say it, or after we say something, we often wish we never said anything at all.
Ever notice the paths we choose always seem to end the same way?
Ever wonder if this has anything to do with the choices we make?
Ever wish you were someone else because you felt like you were no one else?
Truth is, and I’ve said this before; I know what you see when you look around. Sometimes, I look at the top layers of life; I look at the superficial. I look around at everyone else, and I see what they have, which always appears to be more (or better) than what I have. But this is where the problem comes in.
Whenever I do this, I fail to realize there is a great big world below the surface of superficial life. Not everything people portray is real and not everything is as it seems. After all, no matter how pretty someone may seem on the outside; if they’re ugly on the inside then they could only be average at best.
And us . . .
Believe me when I say this:
You and I are nothing short of extraordinary
As a matter of fact –
We couldn’t be average if we tried . . .
Rain falls, and the sky is not always consistent with what we ask. But yet, there it is. The sky, I mean. It’s always there, always watching, always waiting to warm our skin when we need it most, and always aware that even Heaven needs time to weep….
It seems the news has been plastered with reports of overdoses across the country. Some of the names are of young people. Some of the names are of famous people. Others will recall their stories tragic, and argue about the tales of drug abuse, debating whether this is a choice or something else. But me, I call it drug addiction.
I say it’s sad, but no name is sadder than any other. Take my old friend Kenny, for example. He died of AIDS because of the needle. He sent my mother a letter back in late 89’ telling about his time in a treatment facility, which happened to be the place where he learned about the virus.
He wrote, “Tell Benny my hair is short now. Tell him I shaved my mustache and beard, and that he wouldn’t recognize me.”
He wrote, Tell him that I think he’s doing the right thing and to stay straight.” Then he wrote, “It’s funny to say this, but it took the lesson of me dying to learn what it means to be alive.”
Or what about my friend Mike “The Rocket”?
Did you know him? Did you know anything about him? I did.
I knew him well and if it weren’t for people as loving as Mike and Kenny, I might not have learned what it means to be sober.
See, they didn’t sing or act. They weren’t rich or famous
They were just people. To some people, names like Mike or Kenny’s are just something added to a long list of tragedies. To me, they were my friends
Last night, I listened to a few doctors on a talk show.
They shook their fingers and pointed blame.
They spoke about addiction as if it was still a theory.
But it isn’t…
“It’s a choice,” they said
But I would argue that at some point, it isn’t.
Sure, I feel bad about the news that a woman was found in a hotel bathtub.
Who wouldn’t feel bad about that?”
But I understand what was beside her when she died. I understand the pills and alcohol. I’ll even go so far and say that I understand if her last day on earth was intentional or a desperate way to create a deliberate end (And I’m not convinced that it isn’t) because I understand that too.
But back to the doctors . . .
With all their degrees and credentials, and with all their years at study, it is they who still don’t understand.
Do they understand what an overwhelming compulsion is?
Do they know what it’s like to have an inside-itch, but nothing to scratch it?
Look at it this way:
The mind always tries to find ways to compensate. It’s almost like a natural means of survival. It’s instinctive and as a society, we have been self-medicating for centuries.
What they don’t teach in those years of medical schooling is what it’s like to feel this way.
Most people cannot, no matter how many therapy hours they log down; they cannot comprehend what it feels like to want to touch something, but you just can’t because no matter how hard you try, it’s always a centimeter out of reach.
Clinically, addiction is a buildup of cells in the brain (A buildup of THIQ cells, also known as the clinical disease of addiction, which was first theorized by a Dr. Jellenik and later termed Jellenik’s Disease, is more commonly known as Alcoholism)
Think of it.
We come from generations of excess. And it is that excess, which has trickled down in our own genetics.
Understand something: To say, “Like father, like son,” is not always a compliment
Neither is, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Ever wonder why a daughter looks in the mirror and sees her mother?
It’s because of what’s handed down to us
The excessive amount of THIQ cells, caused mainly from the abuse of alcohol and heroin (If memory serves correctly) creates the obsessive compulsive gene, which means the child of someone with excessive amount of THIQ cells has a three times greater chance of being an alcoholic, an addict, or obsessive compulsive in some other way.
Look at our society
look at how many different 12 step programs there are.
Someone famous died the other day.
And in the amount of time it took to write this long ramble, someone unknown passed the very same way. And that someone had family too. That nameless someone was somebody to someone else.
You say, “Something needs to be done!”
I know what I’m doing to help
But what will you do about it?
In time, the autumn leaf will crumble to earth and create a new tomorrow, which it may take centuries, and all that surrounds us will change into different versions of life.
In time, the landscapes will change (and so will you).
In some ways, we are like an old piece of driftwood that floated across the ocean and washed up someplace on a beach.
And true story, the stories from our crazy days will fade and wash up someplace just like the driftwood. Maybe we’ll wash up someplace too, like say, the rock piles at an inlet called Plum’s Gut.
We all have our own stories
We have our reasons we dressed up when we misbehaved
We all wore a mask at one point that crumbled when we had nothing else to hide behind.
In time, we will look back at the way we were. We will reminisce and laugh because age has taught us the meaning of nonsense. We’ll shake our heads because the things we thought were so important will eventually be meaningless.
A day will come, when you and I will be memory (like the piece of driftwood that washed upon shore.) We’ll be a story, or if I can pull off my trick , we’ll be an entry in a novel and some young hipster will read about us
I think the hardest part of change is letting go. Who would I be, if I wasn’t who I thought I was? Or better yet, who would I be if I wasn’t who I pretended to be?
Who would I be if scaled down to the core after the mask came off and I had nothing left to hide behind? Who would I be if I didn’t have the answers, or at least pretend to?
What’s funny is I never knew there was bravery in the term “Surrender.”
I never knew about the victory in walking away or the justice in standing alone for the right reasons instead of living in crowds for the wrong ones.
I have this dream sometimes. I am sitting on a floating dock at a small round pond. I am surrounded by green grass. Behind the pond is a large pasture. The pasture is surrounded by a fence to keep the cows in.
To my left, the red and white barn stands tall. To my right is the old farmhouse I lived in. Surrounding the farm are tree-lined mountains and a dirt road that leads into town
There is no one with me in this dream. I am alone. I watch the still waters on top of the pond, which reflect the sky just before sunset.
I see this dream as a reminder of where I come from. This is a reminder of what I’ve been through and what I have accomplished. This place I dream about is a place where I felt human in an otherwise inhumane time.
This was the last place I saw The Old Man healthy. It was the first place I ever felt as though I had this thing we like to call “Family.”
Man . . .
Can’t believe it was 26 years this last April 1st
In time, the autumn leaf will crumble to earth and create a new tomorrow
And that, my friend, is exactly what I did
Create a new tomorrow