I Know It's True Because Rocky Says It's True
Been a crazy last couple of days, and by "crazy," I mean shitty. A painting miscue, -hap, had the family displaced, leaving daddy homeless again for the first time in over a decade (oh, the memories). All seems right now even if "right" is about to cost me a shit-ton of money). But the important thing is I will not be eating out of dumpsters again, or if I do it will be out of choice. A-like so
Anyway, that's the reason for the absence and lack of posting of late, and we're still not back up to full speed at the Chateau du Clifford, with the pots and pans everywhere, the doors off the cabinets, and the general state of (imagined) squalor, which is funny, how that word has changed meaning over the years.
My Lip Service West sponsor, Idan "the Machine" Levin, stopped by yesterday to borrow the PA for an event his San Pablo Arts District is hosting this Friday (http://220.127.116.11/calendar/calendar.php?mode=view&id=39595). It was the first time he's seen my new house, and he made the same tired, lame joke they all do. Anyone who knows my past--and let's face it, if you know me, you know my past because it's like Vince Neil's heart, an open book for the whole world to read--is quite familiar with the skid rows, shooting galleries, and soup kitchens (and that, kids, is called parallelism. And what's that, Timmy? Oh, yes, there is some alliteration).
"Who'd have ever thunk it? You living here," Idan said.
I got in an argument a little while ago, and they brought out the "drug addict" card, which was weird to even hear. Because it's been so long that I've thought of myself that way. I still write about it. Still joke about it. And when I see ol' running buddies like Tom P., we still reminisce, not about the "fun" we had so much as two old combat veterans wondering how they made it out alive (and, no, I am not comparing addiction with patriotism, only the reflecting of horror; I don't want any nasty letters). Still, this argument reminded me that no matter how far I've come, some people are always going to view me in that less-than-flattering light. Which may be fair. And which may not. Even if you include my brief, unfortunate relapse after my second divorce, we've been straight for more years than we used (and that relapse, while embarrassing and humiliating, was also the best thing to happen to me; it allowed me to close a door on that option forever).
It's tough to separate what you've done from who you are, since the two are so intertwined, and it probably sounds nuts to say that while I regret many of my actions during that time that I am also grateful for having gone through it, that I think what I learned out there has made me a better person, will make me a better husband and father. True humility, much like true empathy, cannot be taught; it must be experienced. Lines that were always etched in stone and drawn in sand started coming with footnotes, as it became less possible to judge the actions and misfortunes of others. In other words, I very well might still be a Berlin right-winger (not that there's anything wrong with that!). But, hey, like Rocky (IV) says, we can all change...
And since that is such an important message, let's post that fucker again, but this time in French!
For some reason I've been thinking of an AA bumper sticker lately. I could even have it wrong, but it's something like "spiritual pursuit, not spiritual perfection." Maybe I'm conflating faiths, but if that isn't a bumper sticker for ex-addicts, it should be.
I so want to be a good person, but it's so easy to get derailed. If you know me, I am not the most optimistic of guys, but I have also always believed that faith is the cousin of hope and if you're not going to keep trying to get it right, you might just as well be dead, so let's arrange the funeral, Mr. Wahoo Waturi.
Y'know, I had a really kick-ass closing point. I think it was even going to include the best link yet. This fucker was going to really resonate, maybe even save lives in the process. Then I went back and edited this post a bit, and now I forget what it was. Fucking short term memory loss.
So let this be a lesson to you kids out there. Don't do drugs. Stay in school, eat your greens, and, um, listen to what Rocky says.
Sorry. Best I can do on such short notice.