Friday, December 30, 2005 we see Chad...a lifetime away from the homeless beggar he is today...
...a couple of months ago, he approached me at Chevron. I was pumping gas, and he just appeared out of nowhere.

He didn't remember me from the prior encounter we had had at Safeway. And, as before, he hit me with the, "any spare change," grumble. He was monotone...his eyes looked tired...his face was dirty...his demeanor: broken.

I definately remembered I had the intense realization of myself being a total dumbshit cemented with his face.

I looked at him for a nanosecond and exclaimed, "I can't believe you! I already gave you my favorite rock!" And he actually physically reacted to my if I was hurling a flaming dart in his direction. He then squinted at me, thought about it, and slowly smiled, "Hey, I love that rock!" And we laughed.

I again mentioned different programs near by...and he again walked away waving one hand, and shaking his head.

When I got into the car, a friend of mine said, "Hey, I know that guy."

And I was all, "What? Did he hit you up, too?"

And he's all, "No. He was on the 2002 U.S. Postal Team."

And I'm all, "What?! No, come on."

And he's all, "No. I'm full on serious. That guy was #2 in the nation."

And I'm thinkin that since my friend is some huge bicycle enthusiast, he's projecting cycling onto everyone and everything he encounters.

So we go back to my place and look up the team. Hard to tell who's who. So...the matter dies.

Until last week.

I'm walking, head down against the pelting raindrops, into Safeway. And there's Chad.

Lonnnnnnnng time no see. And he does the schpiel. And I looked at him.

I had forgotten all about him...and the rock incident...and all that...and I said, "Dude. Were you a cyclist?"

And he appears ashamed, head down, swiping the pavement with one foot. He barely raises his head, with one eye open as the rain hits his face, "yeah."

Then he bursts into a volley of coughs. "I've been real sick."

And I said, in my motherly tone, as I neared the store,"When are you gonna stop doing this? You need to get back to cycling. My friend recognized you...he said you're famous. What's your last name? I'm gonna look you up."

I was walking into Safeway when our conversation was put on hold. I thought he'd be long gone by the time I exited that place, some 45 minutes later.

From behind a building pillar, he emerges, singing... "I love myself better than you, know it's wrong...what can I do?"

I was suspended in this moment.

Cobain. The truth in his lyrics...these lyrics...and Chad is not a lost cause. This guy.

Being enslaved to drugs. Hating yourself for being your own worst enemy...yet fighting so hard to have a life. The depression, the desperation...the fucking questions and judgement from people.

My exact conclusion to the judgement I receive from people is this:

Until someone walks in my shoes, with my exact past, present and future...the pressures, the struggles, the emotions...then, fucking judge me not.

And, your evaluation, opinion, and declaration of me holds no weight, as I am not subjecting myself to your evaluation, opinion, and declaration. If I want input, I'll raise my hand.

No one knows another person's exact struggles and conflicts better than that person. External behavior and decisions aren't necessarily an indication of a person's nature, character, or lack thereof. Sometimes, a person's outward behavior, and external appearance, are more of a symptom. A symptom of an underlying condition...drug and alcohol induced, or otherwise...a tenable symptom, nonetheless.

In which, judgement is never a solution. As it is almost always uninformed, unfair, and unjust.

There is One Judge. And none of us are Him.

So. In this season of giving, and thankfulness, and all that...I am reminded of my fellow humans.
Those who's "light," at the end of their tunnel, is merely an oncoming train...

I am grateful for the experiences in my life, which have enabled me to fully understand their struggle. And it's fucking hell. Selfish, arrogant, irresponsible...yes...but also a trap, a snare, and a continual ripping on the heart and such an extent, death seems the only peace available.

Not suprising so many find their escape there...

I stood looking at Chad. I began to gently nod, "Cobain." I whispered. He nodded and softly spoke, "I miss him."

For me, life took such a hard, deep dive. I was in a pit I thought I could never escape. And, hardship after hardship...trial after trial...I began to slowly climb out of that abyss. (No, I wasn't all into crack.) (sheesh.) point...(yes, I have a point.) some point, the tide had turned.

Life and relationships began to just flow. Accomplishment were continuous, and peace prevailed.

I was telling a freind of mine that I really missed the way life used to be. That, somehow, even in the hardest struggles, I enjoyed believing "it would all be okay, someday." And, it's like, today has become "someday,"...and it's hard to look forward to things being "better," when things are actually quite great.
It's hard to have hope in something, when it's right here in front of you.
I explained that, it seems like when everything in your life is going perfect, it's unnerving. It seems like the bottom is going to fall out any moment.
Sad...I understand. Sad...doesn't cause me worry...'cause it's about as bad as it's going to get...and there is always reason to hope. But when everything is going's hella unnerving...I'm so much more comfortable with sad...

His response to me was, "It's like that Cobain lyric. 'I miss the comfort in being sad.'"

And, it's true.
Even in the most extreme moments of grief, sorrow, and sadness---somehow I knew, without wavering---that I had a reason to hope. I knew, to the depths of my marrow, that if I continued to do the right things, to endure in doing my best, and to persevere in excellence---despite my obstacles---that it would pay off. I knew that someday I would no longer be bound by the downfall of my foolish decisions---but I would bask in the glow of my dedication to the "higher road." The "harder" road.
The slippery slope up out of the pit.
When you're in the pit...only 2 choices. Give up, or, simply: up.

Giving up is merely inviting death. And, death is the fucking easiest choice. By far, the simplist. But, it involves DYING. And, if DYING isn't really what you are into (as it's permanent...) then, I would strongly suggest, sleep it off...or seek therapy.

To live through the fucking mess of a fucked up life...ah, man, not for the faint of heart. Having to own up to your shit, admit to your wrongs, consciously separate yourself from the self destructive mindset and the "fuck it all," mentality.

All I can say is: focus, motherfucker. It's do-able.

Stop being the fucking victim and toe up to the challenges life throws at you. And one more thing: IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. Grow the fuck up. Forgive others. Forgive yourself.

I guess it's all about emotional maturity, mental stability, coping mechanisms...and all that shit.

But, when you've lived for an extensive period of time steeped in intense sadness and sorrow, even tinged with hope,the silence of it's departure can be quite loud.

For me, there is no sadness without hope.

I leaned toward Chad and said, "I miss the comfort of being sad." He looked out toward the falling rain, and barely spoke, "I'm sad all the time." And, just like that...he walked away...into the rain...

This kid. He's on my heart and in my prayers. His life, his choices. But that doesn't mean I can't care. I can't help but care. And I hate that I can't impart to him what I've learned. Save him from the torture, from the desperation...the loneliness and hopelessness...

But truths this deep only come to those who live through them.

And I forget
Just what it takes
And yet I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard
Its hard to find
Oh well, whatever, nevermind...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

...the first time I met Chad...

...I was walking into Safeway...

The rain was pouring down, the wind, incessant. I was cold, pissed off, and tired. (Again.)

As I began to grab a cart...I see this young homeless guy...he's all unaware I can't hear him...

And...for whatever reason...I didn't just keep walking...or say, "No, sorry--" like I might.

These are people...
human beings...
and...regardless of what reasons factored into their slip into the homeless pit of dispair...that's where they are.

Long after their 3 seconds in my face...we split up...

I go into the warm store...I get whatthefuckever I want...and I drive my warm car back to my warm house...and bitch on my fucking blog, while wearing my zillion dollar mp3 player...

and they're still at Safeway in the rain...or, maybe at Rite the rain. Their night will be great if they can score, eat, or drink, and sleep... without getting their shit stolen, or being fucked with.


Maybe. But it takes a fucking village.

And we're the United Fucking States. WHY are there homeless people in the third richest country of the world? Fucking tell me. Why are drug users clogging our jails and prisons...?
Why are the mentally ill aimlessly wandering down the fucking alleys?

Sometimes I hate this fucking society.

Until we begin to value our citizens despite race, gender, socioeconomic status...physical and/or mental disabilities...our nation, and it's people will remain a "house divided against itself." The rich keep getting richer...and fuck the poor. The downtrodden, the destitute. After all, social policy costs money....and you need to have money to make money. Thus, spending money on the epidemic of homelessness and socialized health care will only deplete our nation's, money is our strength...and our country was founded on certain inalienable truths and rights.

Oh yeah? Ponder this:

... in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity...


“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I am sick to death of our government and lawmakers. I despise the hedonistic mentality of our nation. And it sickens me to witness the complete disregard we, as a people, have for our weakest members of society. It is an injustice which will continue to weaken our nation. If money isn't something that Congress is willing to part with, what about power? Perhaps some political house cleaning is in order. Apathy prevails. It's an injustice--- which I, for one, will not sit idly.

(And yes. I do drive a fucking bmw.)

But, Chad.

I rip out one of my ear pieces...and he's asking for some spare change.

I looked him straight in the eye...and I said, "Why are you out here, dude?"

And he says, "Uh, I dunno."

And I said, "Honestly...what's your drug of choice, man?"

And he looks staight back at me and says, "Crack cocaine."

I began to mention different programs within a five mile radius...soup kitchens...NA meetings...

and he simultaneously (and systematically) shot down each and every idea with an excuse...

(it was like tennis...but different.)

I seem to recall him asking me again if I had any spare change...

(Well, fact is: my change purse is filled with still life. No shit. I have a plastic frog, several small rocks from night hikes, a red sequin, a blue thread of yarn...trinkets from days gone by...momentos from fun times...whatever.)

(And, actually, when I couldn't tip this cool barista at godamned Starbuck's one time, I offered my purple plastic ant...and they we're all thrilled as I dropped it into the tip box.)

I only give away one of my little trinkets when truly pressed by someone.

And just then I had an idea.

I informed Chad I couldn't give him cash...but I did have something I thought he would really like.

I began to dig in my purse to my coin was caught on the thread...but I was making some progress. He eagerly asked..."What is it, anyhow?" And I said, "Oh, you'll like it. It's a rock. I think you'll really dig it--"

I finally get the damn thing unzipped, grab the rock and look into his smiling face.

I extend my hand and place the rock into his outstretched palm. I smiled, awaiting his response, shoulders back...breath held.

His smile fades for a second. Then he leans forward, looks me straight into the eyes, and says, "You're a real fuckin funny person, aren't you?"

And, you know, it was just a rock. So, maybe he didn't get the coolness of it...I thought.

It wasn't until I was about a block from home that I began to piece together our entire conversation.

Never casually utter the phrase, "I have a rock for you," around a self-professed crack fiend.

Theme song for the day: "Kill the poor," by the Dead Kennedy's.

Monday, December 12, 2005

blue monday part II

(it only took me like 200 shots to get this one. The bathtub can be a really cold place.)

I've had the damn flu....


And it's like...people.

...easier to borrow money than receive sympathy.

Bottom line is: I'm gettin this shit like every 8 weeks. So now the comments wander into the "what-the-hell's-up-with-your-immune-system" realm.

And, of course, I roll my eyes and take another drag off my clove.


Why is it when someone is like raging with a fever and body aches (only falling off a moving truck can imitate) do people come out of the damn woodwork and pelt you with dumbass comments---and questions?

In the Bible...this dude, Job, dealt with losers like this...but damn...that was like 15 zillion years ago...and we are in an advanced intellect society...right?

Uh huh.


Flu #2 this season.

8 weeks to be healthy.

Christmas almost here...and I have no idea if I'm gettin the Christmas bonus this year.

You may recall from my ranting of yesteryear: I did tell my boss to "count me out," for next year.

(That's presently: now.)

Do I regret the comment? Not at fucking all.

I say what I mean. And, if I come to discover I was wrong...I come out with the apologies.

Having a "clean slate," means more to me than appearing cool.

I meant what I said...and I'm ready to accept the repercussions. Bring it on, life.

The Yankees remain in my sites...watchin Cash and his lack of wheelin-and-dealin is supreme in my book. Let the Mets and Toronto collect all the mediocre free agents... I firmly believe Bubba Crosby can handle Center...and I also think Boras is standing on the 7 year thing...only to turn around (in due time) with a "okay-how-about-4-years" offer which he thinks Cash will jump at. No offense, Damon....but: no thanks...your bullshit comments about NEVER playing for the Yankees should be something you should stand behind.

Unless...appearing cool means more to you than apologizing and having a "clean slate."

(I'm a bitch.)

Soooooooooooo glad to be rid of Kevin Brown...and Embree...and Gordon can just go pout and scream about wanting to be "the only closer," with some other team. DUDE. We have Rivera: the Jesus-Christ-of-Closers. And you ain't him. Be gone.

Although I greatly admire many players beyond the Yankee clubhouse...I'm really optimistic about the next few years for this team under Cashman's control.

(And Randy Johnson...I once emoted all over my blog for having acquired your shit. You best stop fucking around and pitch when you are told!) Let dumbshits like Schilling go down in still have a one in a zillion skill...don't fuck it up with the mound-antics. K? Thanks. whole body is beginning to cramp up. So I best get back into bed.

I know I didn't really say much...but...bear with me...this is as lucid as it gets today.

Ohandbytheway...I've discovered Tetris. (yeah: Tetris.) But, I'm tellin you: I TOTALLY ROCK WITH A FEVER!!! My record is now: 256.

(Bragging about one's Tetris record isn't very interesting . Odd looks and raised eyebrows are all you get for your badassness in December 2005.)

Ah well, Jimmy crack corn and I don't give a fuck.

See you next time...