The Good Old Days
-I don't sit around and look at the past through a glass covered with misty illusions. There were good moments, bad moments, and a whole boat load of incredibly lucky moments inter-spaced with long ass boring moments where I was merely existing. I spent more time drawing, painting and reading than pretty much anything else. Wasn't much of a television watcher back in the day, only had a few shows I liked. Granted, we really didn't have much of a selection in my youth.
Actually, we still don't. Lots of different stations filming shows of the same stories with different people set in different time periods and changing only the locations, but basically they're the same stories. I guess that's why they're using comic books for inspiration...Don't get me wrong. I love what Netflix has done with 'Daredevil', 'Luke Cage', 'Jessica Jones' and, yes, even 'Iron Fist'...Face it, that last character is a hard sell because he is, as 'Cage' said during their 'Defenders' grouping, 'Privileged' and if they dealt with him on that level they just might find footing for his journey. Maybe.
Anyway. I don't sit around and ponder the 'What if?' questions of my life because that's always a sure way to take a leap into a world of hurt and insanity. Getting stuck on the past usually means we tend to romanticize it, we justify our actions no matter how vile and wrong they might have been...And some of mine have been pretty ugly...I tried to escape my past once and it led to a decade of digging a deeper hole to crawl into and by the time I decided to face my mistakes and face them with a clear head I was in so deep that I couldn't see daylight.
I seriously thought death was a better option that actually facing the world without the help of drug and (Not or) drink.
Rehab, my friends, sucks. They make you face yourself, which is bad enough, but then they try to get you to write down all your mistakes and crimes and that wasn't going to happen...We argued a lot about that part. And that first year? That was hell. It kind of reminded me of why I began to drink and everything else in the first place. It also reminded me about just how close I came to actually dying.
I've written a lot about my past. Left out a few things because there are some crimes that the legal system are kind of picky about. Some real close friends know the stories and that's probably best...I am who I am. My dad discovered more about me than he ever expected and that's only because he finally pushed my sister past her breaking point and, to his credit, he did try to deal though he never addressed me directly about my sexual history. I helped take care of him to his death and I guess that makes us even in some way...I don't know how that works. Maybe I earned a couple of positive Karma points.
Not nearly enough to even my life out.
In the end, though, I can say it's been worth it...This life. Like I said, made a whole lot of mistakes and that's really what life's all about. But it's been beyond unusual. I had a dream of being a professional artist and I did that. I danced naked with a bunch of others under a full moon around a fire in the desert and I've hiked the Superstition Mountains and almost got shot at with my best friend at the time because he wanted to get off the trail and check out another area which happened to be where some guys were working a mine and we discovered what it felt like having rifles pointed at us. I spent a few days in San Francisco, one night of which was spent running from the police. I got married and divorced, had kid and grand kids...Maybe I'll see them some day...I met a guy dressed in black that saved me from going insane after I'd spent too long working for Oral Roberts and getting my degree in Theology (The hard way...At college. Not through a mail order company). I moved into a new place after the divorce and came home from work one night to find a tombstone in the middle of my living room and then there were the weird things that happened...I've seen life and I've seen death...
...Way too much death.
There are these shows on television where people go out and hunt 'Ghosts', seek out haunted houses, face the paranormal...Basically my everyday life...And if you watch them you usually know the best you're going to come away with is a shadow. Maybe a rocking chair will rock or a door will close. I've been face to face with a wee bit more than that...So death, it has never scared me. I don't know what will happen to me when I die. I know there is no hell, there is no heaven, not in the way it's being preached or taught in most religions, but there is something. Basic science: Energy is neither created or destroyed. It is merely changed.
Maybe I'll become a tree. More likely a lab rat. Will I be aware? Don't know. Will I care? Don't know.
Always beware of the person who says they have the answers.
I only know the past is there to be learned from and my past...The lesson is to embrace who you really are now. Not tomorrow. Not when things get better because they will never get better. Not until we all stand for something more than a single life. We stand for a people. We stand for those yet to come...We stand, we live and we die for those yet to be. I lived my life and it's been incredible. I've done more than most and I've paid more than most and I'm still here. I hurt, I have nightmares now and then, and breathing is a bitch but I have hope. I have dreams. I have right now.
That's all any of us have.
We need to remember this. For those to be. If we don't, they may never have the chance.
These are the good old days.