I heard a speech a long time ago. I heard, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but I sometimes wonder where the village is or do they even care.
I see them like this.
They’re just kids or more like babies. They’re just guppies in a little pond that will grow bigger in deeper and more dangerous too.
But while they’re young, the kids hide behind their protection. They’re safe because they’re at least somewhat protected by laws and parents or the revelation that the world is an unkind place and becomes more unkindly if we feed the wrong systems.
They’re too young to be taken in by the cops. They’re too small to do what they do, but yet, the people they play with are too big to play childish games. It’s a powder keg for sure. But that’s the game. That’s the thrill; and the fact that the entire world could detonate at anytime is the rush makes sense of our crazy, young, teenage angst.
There was no hiding from myself.
This was it.
There was no way I could deny who I was or what I did. The sound around me was the humming of overhead fluorescent lighting. I could hear some of the drunks howling and retching their dry heaves and vomiting sounds into the mouth of the stainless steel commode, which is a stainless steel toilet in the back, left hand corner of their little holding cell; no seat to lift or shut, and statues up to a small basin with a drinking fountain for water at its top. The lighting was dim. The aroma was damp and reeking of body odor, bathroom function, and cleaning solvent. The place stunk from regret. Then again, so did I.
I remember a night out downtown South of Houston, or SoHo, as it’s called. I remember thinking about the people I was with.
I thought of the pretentiousness of people standing at the bar, fueling each other with lies and drinks like whiskey and bourbon.
There was a portion of the night where I stood off to the side to just watch them.
There was just too much . . .
Too much time, too much excess, too many excuses, and too many things between you me, us, and the rest of the world. There was too much need, which seemed to benefit the basic meaning of supply and demand.
I used to be friends with a kid named Chris. I lived with him for a short while. Actually, we roomed together in a facility up a place in the town of Liberty, New York.
Chris was a tough kid. He was physically capable and good looking. The girls liked him. Safe to say everyone liked Chris (except for Chris.)
He played basketball. They said he had the ability to take his game to the next level. All he needed to do was learn to get out of his own way.
Chris had an anger problem. He drank too much and partied too often. Chris came from a history of abuse.
He was a street kid with a tough exterior.
Safe to say I admired him.
There were times when ah, I swear, all I wanted to do was dive into the excess. And I mean, I wanted to dive right in, head first, and feel myself submerged in my own special bliss.
I can recall looking at the clock and counting the minutes. I would look at the time and negotiate the hours to make them move quicker.
One by one, the seconds would move me closer to a sensational plunge, which would alter my mind, and separate me from life and limb.
It was right around this time. I knew something was about to happen. I had not gone all in, just yet.
I had gone back to old behaviors and used old defense mechanisms. I went back to the old coping skills of my previous life. Essentially, I went back to the old me because in the simplest terms, I failed to maintain the new person I had become.