Alone I sat, in my mentally made cell.
Why was I there, in that self created hell.
Thinking back to school, and my days of dope.
Foot by foot, rolling out the damn rope.
Hallucinogens were my rope, meth my noose.
Heroin in the needle, would have been my cooked goose.
One day in April, in the year ’99,
I awoke, did my prep, and did my last line.
I looked in the mirror, deep into my eyes.
I’m not am addict? Bullshit! No more lies!
I have stomped a mans head, into a curb.
He only mouthed off, something he didn’t deserve.
I broke my glass pipe, and then walked away.
No hospital detox, not even N.A.
17 years, this wagon’s been on this ride.
Not one relapse or slip up, I say this with pride.
For many years I sat, staring at my cell floor.
In the end, it was up to me, to walk out the door.

**17 years ago today I decided to get clean. I hear people browbeat others when they say they have only been clean for one week or one month and it upsets me. The truth is, we all start at day one. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you aren’t good enough, or haven’t been sober long enough to be respected for the amount of time you have been sober. Be proud of your accomplishments, and stick with it. One day you’ll look back at all that time, and your use will be a distant memory.**

  Well, I’ve been here in Texas a little over a year. I got a job, car, and place. A lot has happened in this time, and there have been many ups and downs.
  To those that used to follow my regular writings, I’m sorry I kind of fell off the face of the earth. I’m still here… but things are looking a bit grim. Recently my roommate and her bf screwed things up with the landlord and as of Thursday, I will be living in my car.
  Not exactly how I pictured things going at this point in my life, but it is what it is. I’m trying to stay positive but as you all know, sometimes that can be hard.
  I don’t know when my next post will be, but it will happen eventually. I’m looking at this as an adventure. I won’t ever be late to work, and it’ll be a very short commute, as I’ll be in the parking lot of my employer. Lol. I have a friend that will let me do laundry at her house and shower too. I haven’t told many people because I really don’t want everyone to know… but I have to tell someone. You all are the lucky ones. Lol.
  At least I have a car this time. Last time this happened I was in high school and there were a few nights I couldn’t couch surf and ended up on the street… so, since I have a car and a cellphone, I guess I’m a high class homeless person.
  Anyway… hope all is going well with you all, and don’t forget to take a moment this Thanksgiving to make a mental note of what and who you are thankful for. I certainly will be, because no matter how much I could whine and cry about my situation… it wouldn’t change the fact that there are plenty of people out there worse off than me. Thank you all for reading. 🙂

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Shackles of the world,
Hold you by the ankles.
You started so strong,
Until those skeletal fingers,
Wrapped themselves around you.
Tripped up,
Like laces tied.
You fall upon your face.
The claws of the creature start to attack.
Alone, broken, pain.
No one to help.
You decide to give up.
Look at you now,
Struggling, hurting,
in the hospital.
Can you see that you aren’t alone?
You never were.
Tried to be,
but some people won’t be pushed away.
You need change.
Need to fly right.
Get right with your God,
Because you might not make it out.
But until that happens,
I am here.

I wrote this on the morning of the fourth, as I sat next to the hospital bed of my father’s brother whom I’ve been taking care of for the last few years. He died shortly before 7 pm on January 4 2014.
I’ll spare you the details. We’ll just say that it was a rough death. I don’t have it in me to go over the whole story at the moment, (perhaps later) but I will say this; No other family was there. My ex wife came so I didn’t have to deal with this all alone. And I am very thankful for that.
He’s no longer in pain, and that’s good… but he’s left a hole in my life. Its never easy to lose someone, but we have to remember that life does go on… and time helps heal.
Have a good day everyone, and don’t forget to tell your loved ones how much you care… You might not get another chance.

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His heart grows heavy,
As his shadow grows long.
Sitting all alone,
Listening to a sad song.
Clutching the hand,
He broke against the wall.
He relishes the pain,
He doesn’t mind at all.
Circling the whirlpool,
Of this downward spiral.
His brain is rotting,
It’s certainly viral.
Not wanting to live,
But not wanting to die.
Not wanting to laugh,
Or love or cry.
But he cries in the darkness,
And laughs in the rain.
But more importantly,
He loves all the pain

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Darkness surrounds me,
Beating me senseless.
A million shadowy hands,
Strip and leave me defenseless.
Surrounded by wolves,
And thoughts of the past.
Think I’m in the clear,
Until a demon bites my ass.
Try to build a fire,
To keep my fear at bay.
Hearing voices of my fathers,
Telling me it’ll be OK.
Knowing that it won’t,
I don’t have to think twice.
No matter how bright the day,
The sun still sets in paradise.
A chorus of wind,
Becomes growls from hell.
Huddled in fear,
With only the light of a cell.
Monsters eat me alive,
As pale blue skies fade to black.
I’m dragged deep into hell,
Pray I make it back.

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Like hardpan desert,
Scars line my body.
The memories fade,
But these lines remain.
Like a grotesque roadmap,
Leading to my ghost town heart.
I trace the lines with shaking hands,
remembering every journey.
Vowing to never come back,
I break down and create a new road.
I watch disconnected
At the creation of this new lane.
Little sharp edged workers,
tearing through the map.
Always doing what they’re told,
The only argument coming from my heart.
It says I need no more roads,
No more rivers, interstates.
I look down at my new lanes,
Melancholy sweetness eases my mind.
No more for today,
But who knows what the future holds.

Tear stained cheeks
and bloodshot eyes
Face buried in a pillow
to drown out his cries
He doesn’t know
what he’s going to do
Yes or no
he has to choose
Give his son
a better chance at life
Or keep him near
amid all this strife
Not wanting to let go
Nor hold too tight
He makes his decision
And prays he is right

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  On this day, seven years ago, I held onto my fathers hand as he died. he was diagnosed with a stage four glioblastoma multiforme. He was given two years… He lasted 11 months.
  My father was a great guy. He always had a warm smile and words of encouragement for anyone in need. Of course, I didn’t realize how great he was when I was a teen… But as I grew up, moved out, and had children of my own, I came to realize that all the crap I hated about him back then, was just him looking out for me. He was trying to give me a life that he never had.
  I remember standing in that waiting room while they did a CT scan, and pacing nervously. The whole family seemed to be there. The doctor came out and said my father had a “growth” in his brain, the size of a walnut. He was rattling on and on using “docspeak” I stopped him mid-sentence and asked if he was saying that my father had a brain tumor. He looked at the floor momentarily and then looked me in the eyes, “yes” he replied. I didn’t know how to react. I left everyone standing there as I walked out the hospital door.
  My wife finally found me by the car, staring at the ground and fighting with my emotions. She had stayed behind and listened to the rest of what the doctor had said. They were doing surgery the next day to try and remove it. It was in an area of the brain that affected speech, vision, and memory. So, he might be ok after surgery, he might be blind, mute, and not have much in the way of memory, or he could die on the table.
  We rented a hotel room, I called work to let them know I’d be out a little longer, and I proceeded to put a liter of vodka on an empty stomach with little sleep. I wrote about eight pages in a journal that night. Its weird when I pull it out to read it, which I do once in awhile. You can see just how inebriated I was at different points of the writing, as my penmanship (not very good to start with) proceeds to get worse and worse. Since he might have suffered memory loss, I filled the writing with lots of things I didn’t want him to forget, interspersed with lots of “DON’T LEAVE” and “YOU CAN BEAT THIS” Special memories that we shared; hiking, (where i now take my kids) him filming while my friends and I were aggressive inlining, and a lot of sorry I wasn’t a better son.
  The surgery took 11 hours, and we were told that they removed all that they could without damaging his brain, but not all of it. We would have to hope that the chemo and radiation treatment would help the rest. I was then allowed to visit him after he woke. He was very out of it, but seemed a lot better. Although, he thought he was in a car crash, (a left over memory from when he was a teen, and was in a horrible wreck that left his brother and him in the hospital for about a year) He thought it was December, (It was March) and he told the doctor the the z in his last name was silent. (We don’t have a z in our last name)
  The short version of the following months is, we went about our lives, visited him often, doctor appointments, radiation treatments, et cetera. Then came Christmas…
  His company was having a Christmas dinner in Monterey, and his mother and sister couldn’t take him. Of course my wife and I jumped at the opportunity to spend some time with him. He was a well liked person, and everyone at his company had rallied to help him in any way they could. I wasn’t about to have them miss seeing him, spend time with my father, or have him miss the last Christmas dinner I knew he was going to have. I knew that he wasn’t going to survive another year.
  We arrived at Cannery Row and needed to find parking. He couldn’t make the walk from parking, so he demanded that we drop him off, and I walk with my wife (who was driving) because, “No lady should walk alone at night around here.”  Everyone came to say hi to him and you could see him beam with pride. Fighting through the headaches and nausea, to seem upbeat. He told everyone he’d be back at work soon.
  It was a beautiful place, and a buffet style dinner. We got our food and sat down close to the buffet because he couldn’t walk to the back where the actual tables were located. We were informed by staff that we would have to move to the back, because we weren’t allowed to eat there. I don’t know what came over me as I stood up, and quietly stated to the man, “That man there has terminal brain cancer. We will be eating here cuz he can’t make the walk to the back. If you want to press the issue, I’ll make sure you enjoy a little hospital stay yourself!”  We were allowed to eat there. Lol
  Fast forward to January. I took some time off work to go down, and be with my father. He was getting worse, the tumors (yes, now there were three) were getting larger, and nothing was slowing them down. I spent our time reading to him, reminiscing about the past, and helping him to the bathroom. On January 28th, he suffered a major seizure and landed in the ER. I stood next to his unconscious body as I was told there was nothing left to do but make him comfortable. He came out of it enough once to ask me for water. The docs said he couldn’t have any, and when I relayed this, he flipped me the bird. I understand his frustration, but let me tell you something… The next thing I did, I will regret for the rest of my life. I was tired, I was worried for my father, I was a little hurt that he flipped me the bird, so I went outside for a smoke.  While outside smoking, he fell into a coma that he never came out of. So, “Fuck you” were my fathers last words to me. My wife on the other hand, got some wet cotton swabs, and moistened his lips… She got, “I love you.” Nothing quite like knowing your ex got better parting words. :/
  For the next three days I sat by his side, sometimes crying, sometimes talking to him, sometimes holding his hand. No food or sleep for me. He was clinging to life, and I told him that he could rest now. We were going to be ok. He had a wife waiting for him on the other side. (my stepmom had died a few years prior) and I wasn’t going to sleep or eat until he went to be with her. Around nine a.m. on the morning of February second, he opened his eyes, took a deep breath, and started his journey into the unknown. I was holding his hand and singing to him as he died. In fact, everyone there was singing. “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” You see… His name was Behr, and he used to call me Baby Bear.
  It took me a long time to start using that name. And to this day, only a few people outside of wordpress know me by that name. I’m proud of this name I bear, (haha… see what i did there?) and I know that somewhere he’s looking down at his cub, smiling. I just hope I’m at least half the man he was.
  Rest in piece dad. I love you.

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  I have a question. What is it that makes people think that they can make jokes at someones expense?! Especially when they barely know you.
  I’m at work, punching back in from lunch, when one of our mechanics is singing. The other mechanic makes a joke about him singing for me. (That i didn’t mind. It was funny) Then the singing mechanic says, “Ya, here ya go.”… Do you all know that song “All Star”? Well he starts dancing and sings, “hey now. You’re an all star. Get your weight on.” I guess he saw the anger in my face because he immediately started stuttering, “oh h h hey, man… Y y you know I’m just joking right?”
  Ok, i am still overweight, but he feels the need to point this out?! He’s a moron, but you don’t see me trying to hurt his feelings, or talking shit. I almost beat his ass, but the thought of losing my job kept me at bay. I said, “I bet you are” and slammed the door.
  Sometimes its hard for me to do that. I grew up fighting. I get pleasure from not only beating someone to a pulp, but also the shots that happen to get through to me. I have learned in life, that ignoring bullies does not make them stop, they only speak one language… The language of fisticuffs.
  He has tried to apologize a few times, and I’ve just laughed in his face. I’m pretty sure he’s afraid he’s gonna catch an asswhoopin… And I’m not doing or saying anything to let him think otherwise.
  Remember the saying, “one day he’s going to mouth off to the wrong guy”? Well, normally I’m that guy. But not today.

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  I’m tired. So fucking tired. I try and try to improve things in my life, and nothing happens. Things fall apart.
  It has been awhile since I wrote anything. Not just here… But any writing at all. I just don’t give a shit about much anymore. My depression is eating me alive, and all i can do is try to ride it out.
  I have a lot of good things in my life. Don’t get me wrong. I have a few great friends, my kids, I’m not dying of some terminal disease, I’m reasonably intelligent, and charismatic… So why do I want to go to sleep and never wake up? Where the hell do these suicidal tenancies come from?
  Maybe my parents didn’t show me enough love, or beat me too much as a child. Maybe my ex wife getting rid of me has something to do with it. But maybe, I’m just broken. I know other people suffer from depression too. I’m not trying to sound like I’m the only one… But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the thought of death is so appealing.
  Everyone says things will get better… It’s just a rough patch. Well, this rough patch has lasted since ’07. I don’t see an end in sight. I’m sure one day I will look back on this and laugh, thinking how stupid I was… But until that day, I am keeping my friends and kids close to my heart, because they are the only thing keeping me alive.