Before going on with this, it is necessary for me to explain that the following is a combination of truths and since this is a combination of truths, then it would be safe to call this a scene of real or honest fiction.
The following is a combination of life-changing stories that opened my eyes to events that took place after a decision to enter a war on the emotional virus in our cities. Or better yet, the following is a detail of experiences from a sickness, which has taken casualty upon casualty, in all walks of life, regardless of background, finances, race, religion, location or orientation.
The following content is all true and the quoted lines are accurate details from emergency room experiences in which I was deployed as a specialist. Please be advised, this is not in any way a promotion of self or a glorification of “me” nor is this a detail to celebrate personal actions; but more, the following is to reveal some of the conversations I’ve had with clients who’ve been at the verge of death and came back once more. In addition, this is more of a declaration to celebrate those who’ve taken the steps to overcome themselves so that they can be free from the life that was left behind them.
I am not sure how many deployments there were and it would be dishonest to say that all of them were equally impactful. More so, it would only be fair and honest to explain that I took something away from each experience – including the fatal ones.
The prose below is from a time when I learned how small I am and how big the world really is. This is when I learned that my experience in life is not the key ingredient nor does anyone have the right to say, “I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.”
No two people will ever endure the exact same experience; therefore, by providing the right to be unique and individual, this allows a person to be “them” without shame and in their revival, this allows people to come to their own conclusions about their life.
This segment is taken from when I learned the benefits of active listening and while I’d love to say the effectiveness was lifesaving, I can’t say that.
All I can say is that I was able to pay forward a kindness that was lent to me. I was able to remove an excuse or provide an entryway where someone could make a choice to step away from themselves – and get the help they deserved.
The following poetry is mixed, of course, to protect the less-than innocent. Instead, this is to regard people as human – not as pariah or defective or in whichever views that stigmas predict~
I want to make friends too,
he said but I’m not sure what to do
when the enemies are at the gate (ya know?)
and the dark whispers change the range of my sanity
It’s not what you think, he told me
I was clean for a few years. . .
It’s been a long time, he said.
Waiting for the headlights to turn the corner and meanwhile,
he was waiting for on old trick to pull off its magic.
He is wide-eyed and sick,
sweating out an intolerable sensation of withdrawing lies.
He is a pro by now.
This means he knows how to maneuver
and how to feed his wounds
to keep himself alive.
It’s a long trip, I suppose, between the ins and outs of the world.
It can be confusing sometimes.
It can be a mind-fuck is what it is.
And there I was, he said.
Just inches from a section of perfection
where the wind meets the sky –
bathed in the warmth of absence
and hovering above the horizon,
lifting upwards towards the vastness
and trailing away to the carefree unknown.
I was high. I was weightless. I was untouchable
and lost between the atmospheres
of here and now. Gone –
and moving to the variations of the afterlife affairs.
I had no idea about gravity
nor could I feel the weight of life,
which can often pull us down.
I was lofty. Lifting up and separating from life itself yet
there was no emotion or
sad lamentations or complaints between us and life itself.
But something was in the room with me.
I could hear a voice. I could feel something,
somehow burning in me like a line of fire, burning
pulling me back into the realms of reality.
It was as if someone tied a line onto the balloon,
which I was on, trying to fade out and lift away.
What the hell are they trying to do to me, he asked.
He wanted them to leave him alone.
I was fine, he said.
I was perfect yet I could feel them
pulling me back down to Planet Earth.
I could feel something in my veins,
shooting through me like a burning revelation
of life returning to life
and the distance from a fleeting experience with death
was reeling me back to a state of awareness.
What are they doing to me?
And then I woke up, he said.
I was dead, they told me.
Or maybe they said I could have died
and at the moment, I wasn’t sure
if this was good or bad.
I never asked for this yet
people have told me that this was all my fault.
I think that I’d rather get along.
I’d rather be better or not worry
or not have to deal with the rest of the world
or with people who don’t even know
or “get it’ and yet, they have a big opinion
about me or what it means to “live” in the “life”
No one is ever going to tell my story.
At least, not like this or like you.
Besides, what the hell do you know anyway?
(This could have all been a sensational lie, by the way
but that’s not my part in this play.)
Who the hell are you anyway
and why are you here?
I told him my name.
Then assured him, I’m not a cop.
(He later thanked me for that part)
It’s hard to tell these days, he said
Cops have a lot of tattoos also, he told me.
I have to get out of here, he said.
To go where, I asked.
I have to go, he said
You almost died, you know that, right?
I told him what happened, to which
he denied the possibility
to which I asked him
did you think you came here for the food and friends?
What are you, one of “those”
who come around with a bible in one hand
and a 12-step book in the other.
Nope, I told him.
I don’t do, “drunk, high, clean or sober.”
I’m more into the ideas of, say,
how about not dead?
Or how about “not miserable?”
Yeah right, man.
Where’s my clothes?
He told me –
Look, no offense, but go fuck yourself.
I have to get out of here.
Two months later . . .
You know what, he asked.
I thought you tricked me in the beginning.
Tricked you how?
I’m not sure. I answered the phone
and forgot I gave you my number.
I don’t know what happened.
I’m not sure what you said.
Next thing I know . . . I was in a car and on my way to detox.
This fuckin guy tricked me, I thought to myself.
That’s exactly what I thought.
I thought maybe they paid you for the people
you bring in but when I sat with the nurse,
he told me that you didn’t work there
and that they never heard of you before.
Thanks man . . .
I asked, thanks for what?
You had to do the work . . .
Most people give up on guys like us, he told me.
You kept calling, he said
That’s because you kept answering, i told him.
It’s not easy to go at it alone . . .
It pays to have someone in your corner.
I had someone there for me;
therefore, it only makes sense that I pay it forward
and spread the cure – not the disease.
Behold, I send you out as sheep amongst the wolves.
That’s what I was told
“Stay with us. For the night is falling and the day is almost over.”
Don’t be afraid
I am with you every day . . .
. . . until the end of time
I hope so, Mike.
if it weren’t for you
I don’t know who I’d be