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Wisdom sets In … Motives … It takes Two to Tango

maybeThe city is humming with people coming and going. The Osheaga Festival opened tonight and runs through the weekend, The Berri Transit station was packed with concert goers this evening.

I guess I was right when I said last night that wisdom usually follows a question, and so it has. I sent an email to my sponsor last night before I went to bed, and he followed up with a call today to speak about what I wrote him. He said I did the right thing in opening communication, stating that I was long sober now and that I / we are getting old to harbor such resentments.

Every human being wants to be seen.

Every human being wants to be acknowledged.

Every human being is worthy of dignity and respect.

So looking back on yesterdays post, the question that was posed tonight was, what are our motives and why do we do certain things? Beyond simple connection, my motives are certainly self centered. To make waves, to be petulant and to point fingers.

We, as alcoholics have done damage to others, for the most part, we try to avoid and not see our part in these damages.

Children of abusive alcoholics are certainly victims of indignities beyond their control.

So that is a thing.

When you tell a child that he was a mistake and should never have been born, you damage that child. When you beat that same child into submission continuously, you damage that child.

When that child grows up, he has learned that he was a mistake. That he should not be here, and that takes a toll on that person. And when you follow up that indignity with verbal abuse that he is an abomination and that (having contracted AIDS and is mortally sick) you remind that person that they are less than and that they should die already, what do you think goes through the mind of that person?

When I got sick, I, In turn got sober. I was doing the best I could with what I had. I was young, and I was dying. So I thought. The doctors certainly thought that. When family turns their back on you and humiliates you in front of others, that is an indignity.

I made several decisions during my first sober period that were all about me. I really did not have a sponsor, Puddles had moved to California so I was on my own then. What did I know about sober decisions and correctly motivated actions? First, I made a certain decision about my brothers wedding and I was only thinking about myself. I hurt some people in this process.

I would never be forgiven for that, to this day.

My parents lived in Sarasota and my father would come to Miami on business and he would visit me, only to remind me how abominable I was and that I should die already and leave the family once and for all, because I was unacceptable and an abomination.

One particular night he was in rare form after sharing dinner together, and he started in on me and I asked him to stop the car ( On the Highway) I got out of said car and told him never to come back and visit me until he grew up.

I walked away, down the highway and walked all the way home by myself.

You see my father fought in Viet Nam, (and he fell in love). That soldier was killed in action, Who knew from gay in the 1960’s. My father named me after a dead soldier. He abused me and beat me telling me that I was mistake. I realized that I, as a gay, infected man, would never live up to the honor of that dead soldier. Hence the name change.

Some time later I had a spiritual experience. It came and I acted on it. Again, another decision made in “all about me” mode. I must have been 28 or 29. I went to legal aide, spoke to a lawyer and soon after I had legally changed my name. I was going to reclaim myself once and for all so that whatever life I was going to have, would be of my creation. I would kill that person my father thought was a mistake.

So that is a thing. 

It was a complete dagger to my parents hearts.

My father, the man who for years abused me and degraded me, telling me that I was mistake, would get his comeuppance. I would have the last word for his indignity.

I went on with my life. I survived …

A long time ago, my soldier father met a Quebecois woman, (my mother) they got it on in a drive in theatre in a Ford GTO. And she got pregnant. My ultra Catholic grandparents most likely forced him to marry her because she was carrying his child.

My father buried a secret that I learned about throughout my life. He hated Gay, because he was a heterosexual man with homosexual leanings, and that was abominable to him. Internalized homophobia …

The dog who barks the loudest has the most to hide.

She was STILL a CANADIAN when she had me and my brother.

In 1967 they were married, with me in the oven, at the wedding. I was born in July of 1967. My brother followed in 1970. My father wanted to purge every Canadian family member, ritual, tradition, and way of life from her. He would make her a God fearing, Blood thirsty American, if it was the last thing he would do.

My mother was naturalized in 1974, and became an American.

Fade to black …

Years later we came upon a lie about their actual wedding date. We were told they were married in 1965, and I was born in 1967. And we happened on that lie when on their 25th wedding anniversary, we bought a gift, had it engraved, only to learn the dates were wrong.

Hmmm…

I always say “Never lie to your children, because eventually those lies will come out.”

I stayed sober through my 4th anniversary. And followed several of my friends out the door and into my slip. I came back to Miami in 2000. I had a job that paid cash. I had a studio apartment just off the beach, on Miami Beach. My parents were really not a part of my life, unless they chose to be because I was a faggot with AIDS and an abomination.

When I got sick, they turned their backs on me. And humiliated me.

They had humiliated me in front of guests at a Christmas dinner a year before and I swore that I would never darken their door again. My mother accused me of indignities she thought I had committed on someone I met only once.

On New Years Eve 2000 – into 2001, I was working in a bar doing lights. I went into work at 7 pm on New Years Eve and left work around 8 am the next morning with a mound of cash in my wallet. I went to bed and soon after my phone rang, it was my mother on the phone, telling me that they were in Miami and wanted to see me. (They had been here for a week, but only decided to contact me on their way out of town).

I was happy to oblige. They showed up a short time later. My father parked the car in a no parking zone out front of my building and gave me twenty minutes to speak to my mother. We walked around the short block, while he waited in the car. I even offered to take us all out for breakfast, which they categorically said NO to.

Twenty minutes later, my mother got in the car, they drove off and that was the last time I saw my mother.

So that is a thing

In December 2001, I got sober the second time. I was given a computer which led to my meeting people here in Canada. One thing led to another and I received a letter from Canada stating that If I was born between certain dates, and my mother was a Canadian, that I could apply for a birthright citizenship.

Since my mother was still a CANADIAN in 1967, both myself and my brother were afforded birthrights into Canada.

You know what I did right?

I was living in a dead end life, alone, having to choose between paying for food, or paying rent, or buying medication. Because I could not afford to do all three at the same time.

A friend sponsored me into Canada, helping me pay the fees for the application. At Easter time in 2002, April or May, I traveled to Montreal. I stayed two weeks. I had filed for citizenship and went back to Miami, packed my belongings, got on a plane, and did not look back.

A few months later, I was living in Verdun. I got a call from Sydney Nova Scotia. An office worker just happened to pick up my envelope and opened it which began the paperwork process officially. Things needed to be added to the file.

It was then that Immigration Canada went after my mother.

Her paperwork was not in order regarding her naturalization papers and her birth certificate. They needed to be fixed OR they would deport her back to Canada. Needless to say my mother was not very happy with me.

I crossed the border. It was all about survival for me. I was going to have a life, or die trying.

That was the last straw for my father. I left the country of my birth, the very country my father fought to defend in Viet Nam. He told me I was spitting on my birthplace and my country.

That was unforgivable.

Once again, I had stabbed my parents in the heart.

Now I repeat … Parents are supposed to raise children into adults who make their way into the world and make something of themselves. And what ever decisions they make, whether you agree with them or not, you should at least respect them for their decisions.

Aren’t parents supposed to acknowledge their children’s successes?

My mother did in fact correct her paperwork and in February of 2003, I became a Canadian Citizen. I hold dual citizenship today.

My parents were not happy with me at all. I worked very hard for two years trying to keep communications open between us, but in the end, I eventually failed.

My Mother’s last words to me were ” If either me or your father die, nobody will call you and nobody will tell you where we are buried.”

We never spoke again.

So I ask you, who was right, and who was wrong? And who is guilty ???

I got married in 2004. I returned to university and earned two degrees. One in Religion and a second in Pastoral Ministry. I spent two years following that in Cegep, because I had those credits afforded to me by the government.

I have been sober 12 and a half years. Since my moving here my family and I have been estranged. And they say, it is All My Fault.

A few years ago, I found my brother on Facebook, and that twisted my heart. I tried to speak to him and he blocked me. And that broke my heart. I thought that we had grown up and could try and reconnect. That did not happen.

Facebook fucked with my sobriety in a big way.

On July 30th, this year 2014, the day before my birthday, my aunt calls to tell me that my father was on Facebook. And while we were on the phone I looked him up and sent him several messages hoping against hope that he would reconnect. He did not.

Once again, Facebook fucked with my sobriety.

On one hand I want redemption, and acknowledgement and finally some dignity and respect. On the other hand, I want to shoot off my mouth and incite anger and make a scene.

Not all very sober motivated actions.

I wrote here and asked the question. I spoke to my sponsor today and hit a meeting tonight.

And I got my answer.

Always Check your motives …

I did what I needed to do. I opened a door. Whether he responds, is entirely up to him, if he does re-engage or he does not re-engage, I am powerless over people, places and things.

I have to go on with my life.


Tuesday Thoughts …

Courtesy: RawrDaniel

There is a chill in the air and it was a grey day today. It spitted misty rain all evening and we are sitting at 9c at this hour. They say it’s gonna rain …

Tonight I won my EBAY item that I had bid on like a mad man over the past week.

Funny that, I posted a bid and the item went wild with other bidders, but I just had a feeling. So I punched in enough money that I would carry the listing all the way to the end. And so it went, the price remained steady for a couple of days and then someone would challenge my bid, and I would crank up my bid by $10. Every time someone else bid, I cranked $10.00 more.

At the end I bid a total of $160.00 for a pair of boots I have been looking for, like forever. I won with a total price of $105.50. And I know the person I won these from, he is a fellow blogger. I am one happy camper !!!

*** *** *** ***

The week started off with a bang. It feels very good to be financially secure for the first time in a long time. My M.I.L. is not doing very well after hip surgery, and she is in a short term care facility and my F.I.L. is all by himself, so hubby is going to go visit him soon for a few days to sort him out and make sure he has everything that he needs and that he is not alone. Hubby’s brother and family live in Ottawa as well, so they are going to triangulate Dad’s care so he’s not alone for a long time.

I cranked through my second Psychology exam and passed it. Last night we had class and one more next week and then the final exam on Monday the 14th. Tomorrow is my final exam in Geography. I still have to finish writing my Colony Collapse Disorder Essay. That’s due on the 9th.

There are huge stacks of exams sorted all over our living room floor as hubby’s grading contract is coming to an end, and he had hundreds of exams to grade and sort this past week. He finally finished the grading and got the grades in last night.

*** *** *** ***

The great coffee drama is over …

Over the past few days I have been writing here, much to the consternation of a few folks over at F.W.E. And it all came to a head yesterday when a member dropped off new keys to me for the cabinet. And once again I got scolded like a child for writing on my blog. I am 45 years old and if I wanted to be scolded for being myself, I would move home. I don’t need to be scolded by anyone.

So I was finished with them. I came upstairs and went on Facebook and deleted everybody from my sober Montreal circle. I un-friended 10 people and turned off subscribers. Then last night I asked grasshopper to drive me to drop off those keys to said member this morning.

I wrote a termination notice, signed it and put it and the keys in an envelope and delivered the package to the matriarch early this morning. Last night I had a long talk with my sponsor about this whole debacle. And he is of the mind that there are some people who go to that meeting who say they are sober, but in real life they are miserably abstinent and not very sober. And that I don’t need that kind of drama in my life and that I still had a home group where people love and need me … So I turned in my keys and ended my relationship with Friday West End.

So I have to find a replacement for a Friday meeting and I will probably substitute Thursday Night St. Matthias right down the street from here in stead of a Friday night meeting. Because traveling to the butt end of NDG West End is a bus ride from hell and getting back is a pain in the ass. Hopefully my sponsor will want to hit Chateauguay one Friday night here and there. We haven’t been there in a long time.

*** *** *** ***

This afternoon I got out of the house earlier than usual, because I figured that after knowing folks come to the hall for 5, that I would make sure that the room was set up by 5 tonight. Well, it was 10 past 5 when I finished up. But nobody showed up until around 5:30.

We packed the house and sat 40 folks. We read from the Big Book, and the last story in Edition #4. “AA Taught him how to handle Sobriety.”

After the past couple of says, when it came time for me to share, I just passed because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say, and when that happens, I’d rather keep my mouth shut and listen. The shares went all the way around the room, everybody got in tonight. We had a handful of newbies take chips. It was a good night overall. Everybody was happy and joyful.

I went, I did my service and people were grateful for the meeting.

They say that every day we should be grateful for 5 things …

  • Hubby made a fantastic stir fry last night for dinner
  • It is Tuesday and I am always grateful for Tuesday’s
  • I rid myself of needless drama once and for all
  • Hubby is making a great dinner tonight
  • School is almost over
  • There is food in the fridge
  • There is a warm bed to sleep in
  • And a roof over our head

I have everything I need and a little more, thanks to Ebay and Ruff.

A good night was had by all.

Stay tuned, more to come…


I Thirst … The Year that was 2011 …

“I thirst,” Jesus said on the cross when Jesus was deprived of every consolation, dying in absolute Poverty, left alone, despised and broken in body and soul. He spoke of His thirst – not for water – but for love, for sacrifice.

Jesus is God: therefore, His love, His thirst is infinite. Our aim is to quench this infinite thirst of a God made man. Just like the adoring angels in Heaven ceaselessly sing the praises of God, so the sisters, using the four vows of Absolute Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and Charity towards the poor ceaselessly quench the thirsting God by their love and of the love of the souls they bring to Him.

Mother Teresa writes:

Jesus wants me to tell you again … how much is the love He has for each one of you – beyond all what you can imagine … not only He loves you, even more – He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy…

*** *** *** ***
This will be my 2,582nd post…

We begin this tale of the last 365 days at nearly the end, because that is where I think we need to begin. I re-read my end of year 2010 report to try and get a sense of what I need to write about this year. So many things have happened this year and I haven’t written out an outline, I will then free write …

First, we need music. Barbra Streisand … A Piece of Sky …

The winter 2010-2011 school season was a success. I did very well in my courses and finished at the top of my game. Not much happened over the summer so I took off those months. There wasn’t much in classes that I really wanted to take. I went to an inordinate amount of meetings over the summer.

This past Fall, I pursued my education at CeGep this year with as much zeal as I could muster. After two semesters of French, I decided that I would no longer pander to the language police here in Quebec. I would rather eat glass then study French another day in my life. So I gave it up on the first day of the third semester. I sat in the chair and the prof started in and I sat until the break and then I left. Never to return. I had had enough of that …

That night I decided to study Western Civilization instead. So the Fall Semester I studied Sociology, following in my husbands footsteps. Added to that was Western Civilization. Both courses I did fantastically well. I had great teachers and a little help from my friends in the form of free textbooks and occasional coaching from the side. That’s what you get when you go to meetings. People truly want to see you succeed and if they can, play a part in that success. So thanks to Eric and Hubby for their help.

Last year I spoke of Hubby’s doing well in University. And today I can say with a proud heart that he has more than exceeded all of our expectations. He not only was a student in the Graduate Studies program for Sociology, he taught a section of tutorials this past semester. Something he worried about – but to me, looking at it from the outside, it was effortless. He just is the most fascinating man I know. He did it all like a Master…

On the medical front, I lived another year. All my numbers have been above the 1000 mark. My good run has been extended this past year. My doctor never varies from his talk to me whenever I see him. He says the same thing like a litany that never changes. Loose weight, stop eating junk food and exercise. The theme never varies. However I can report that I did lose some weight over the last year. I changed up my diet – hubby is a very health conscious cook.

My diabetes numbers have been nominal to the degree that the last time I saw my doc for that it was for five minutes. He has dispensed with the whole triage, dietician and extensive medical history and check up for a brief looking at the number on my meter – signing off on refills and sending me on my way.

The other night at a Christmas dinner at a friends, I met a man who is diabetic and we talked about our respective situations. I seem to be doing so well and he has all but given up he says “you only get one life, so might as well live it” and not in the good way either. You see this happen with certain people who can’t be bothered to take care of themselves correctly and follow medical advice, and at that I shake my head, I keep my council and I let it go. He takes pills to control his diabetes, but he doesn’t test daily, nor does he do what he is told. Which is a shame, because in the end it may kill him one day and that would be a loss.

The same goes for people with HIV. I get them newly diagnosed and I talk them into a life plan and we find them the next step to survival. Most of the men I have worked with in the last calendar year have dispensed with my advising. It is not something they wanted to continue, so I must let them go. If they live or die is entirely up to them.

Another of my fellows on the HIV train was dumped after a long term relationship by the man who fell out of love with him and over a steak dinner divulged that he did not love him anymore. This sent my friend into a tailspin that almost killed him. I warned him not to use or drink. But what did he do? He went out in a blaze of glory.

Where everyone was pissing and moaning about lost love, I was the only one to warn him of the consequences of a major slip in recovery after being sober for so many years. My counsel fell on deaf ears and he used heavy narcotics in a haze that almost killed him. And with that I took my leave of him. He ended our friendship over this.

One of my guys got sick, ended up in the hospital and had a near death experience. That experience sent him out the door into a drunken drug filled stupor for a few months only to end up in rehab, and in a haze of forgetfulness calls me one night begging my help once again. I can proudly say that today that man is sober and clean. He has a few months sobriety and is actively working his steps with me in a 12 step intensive. One of the only success stories I can talk about on the HIV front.

Another year in the books as year 44 came around this past summer. I am soon heading for fifty. Can you believe it??? Me at 50. Who knew. But we are not there yet. One day at a time … I read the book Aging with HIV, and in the book I am at the near beginning of the scale, not so old as the men in the book, but I am getting there slowly. In reading the book, I learned what concerned men going into their 50’s. Most of the issues I read about, I have already dealt with in my sobriety.

This past year has been one of disappointments in people. As I stated above the theme is recurring several times over. When people show you who they are the first time believe them…

A long time friend who I had been counseling, listening to and confiding in for the last ten years trying to be her friend just pissed me the fuck off. After 23 years of sobriety, she admitted after the fact that she was drinking and lying to me all the time, prior to her return to Montreal this past fall. I am beginning to learn just who is my friend and who paid me in lip service over the past year.

Suffice to say that I held my tongue quite well when she picked up a desire chip after 23 years at my home group. I sat on my feelings and stuffed them until they almost choked me. And one night words were spoken. Words I can never take back. It all came out one word after another …

I am not ashamed that I caved. I mean what are we unfeeling cyborgs? Can’t I feel an emotion and put it out there? Well, that was another ending. I said my piece and she felt victimized and reported me to her sponsor as a bad man. I ended that friendship in a blaze of glory. She went back to Florida. If she is sober is up to her and God.

I am beginning to find my voice as a man who knows himself. I have spent the better part of the year taking care of me and learning all those lessons that Oprah had to offer in terms of Life Class. And I put to practice all those things that she says will help us become who we are meant to become.

Being true to ones self. Knowing and being responsible for the energy we give out and what energy we bring to ourselves. When people show us who they are the first time, believe them. Things like this …

Every day of my life is book-ended with meetings. That formula for success is what I attribute my successes. I have this year crossed a huge mile marker which I will touch on a bit later. If I have a night free, you can usually find me at a meeting somewhere. Tuesday Beginners has been a part of my life for more than ten years now. And it served me well.

Over the summer, my sponsor and my friend Dave, who is a proud daddy today used to travel to different meeting on Friday night. From the South shore to the West End to NDG. We did this for weeks on end until I had enough of traveling from here to there. I wanted to invest in somewhere certain. You can’t invest in a meeting and their people if you are not a weekly attendee. So I decided to go to Friday West End by myself.

I set a goal for myself and that goal was to go and wait for God to tell me what to do. I went, week after week until the voice gave me direction. And I knew it one night when after the meeting I felt the urge that this is where the next chapter of my sobriety was to open. So I joined the group a few months ago. I needed three months of service to become a proper member, and so I did that gladly.

I would go and set up chairs and make coffee. I sat in the same chair week in and week out. People began to notice me, not because of what I was doing, but because of my presence in the same spot week after week. People started talking to me, I learned their names, and made some friends. An old timer and his wife from Dorval. I have spoken about them before.

The next chapter of my sobriety was opening up. I did my time and got into the rotation as a full member. And then everything changed. And it was the greatest gift I have ever been given in sobriety. Firstly there was the night we were in the church for the meeting – it was the first time I was responsible for setting up and doing all the grunt work because most of the group was out of town that night, and the hall was being used the next day for a church bazaar so we were in the church proper and that night we all had a spiritual experience. It was the most beautiful night on my life, listening to a young lady play the piano. It was angel speak. The night was a HUGE success. And it did not go unnoticed.

The fall came and went. I am still doing service every week. Now I am the designated coffee maker. That along with minor set up skills I am an upstanding member of Friday West End.

Weeks before my 10th sober anniversary, I had been in a really deep conscious contact with my God. My prayer life I stepped up. I was reading holy texts and I came across Mother Teresa once again. A book I had once dismissed, I picked up again, just by happenstance. And I was convicted … The story of how she began the Missionaries of Charity with “I Thirst …” I knew that was going to become the marker for my anniversary.

On certain big anniversaries, I was taught in early sobriety, you make an offering to God for your sobriety. I did it on my first anniversary with a piercing. And now at ten, I needed to do something big. I made a few calls and visited a few tattoo parlors in the core and settled on Adrenaline. I talked it over with hubby and he gave me the green light to get the tattoo I wanted. I prayed about it for a week. And on the Friday prior to my anniversary, I got that tattoo. It was all the rage at Friday West End. Since I Face booked it everyone wanted to see it, and so it went. I was really proud of myself.

And also as it came to pass that I was approaching my 1oth sober anniversary, is when God stepped in and gifted me. The Friday before my anniversary, the chair asked me to speak, ON my anniversary. On that same night our matriarch asked me if I would take my cake on that next Friday night. (Now I was prepared to wait until the 13th at TB’s to take my cake) But she had other plans for me.

She asked me if I had my 2 year silver oval medallion. Yes, it was in my wallet. I gave it to her and she took it and sent it off to the jewelers to be Gold Plated and engraved with whatever I wanted on it … “I Thirst…” is on that medallion now.

I talked to my sponsor about sharing. And he said as long as I keep my ego in check, all should be well. That Friday came to pass. I got up there and knocked it out of the park. I don’t remember all of what I said. But whatever I did say made a difference in my life and the lives of the members of the group and others as well who came to hear me speak. It was the most exciting night of my life in recent years. Then I got my cake and my GOLD medallion. It was the most exciting moment in my sobriety so far.

The people of Friday West End gave me a gift that I could never repay. They gave me a memory that I can take to my grave as being had. And I am forever grateful to them for that. We are a great happy bunch of drunks that do good things every Friday night for every person who walks in our doors.

We had our anniversary the following week and we had over a hundred and some odd people. We had food galore and fun, fun, fun. I even got to thank that speaker because the chair thinks I am so eloquent in thanking capabilities. I don’t know if it went over as good as I wanted because of the man I was thanking. Some stories are tougher than others to thank because of content and experience. And he was rough trade… But I did my best.

On the 13th of December I took a second chip and celebrated with Cake at my original home group. To show to newcomer that it can be done. Many old friends came to help me celebrate. We had lots of cake and conversation. So I have a ten year medallion to keep forever, and one to share with someone coming along to their tenth… December has been one very exciting month.

The holidays have come and are nearly gone. The weeks are just flying past, as if to say, let’s get this year over already !!! Christmas was a big BLUR on the radar screen. And it is Tuesday late night once again as I write this. I was so busy over the holidays that I forget that the day came. Our home Christmas was sandwiched in between cooking for home, setting up for an evening meeting and attending a second Christmas dinner all on the same night.

And with great effort the world is going to welcome in the New Year in the way they know how to do… With lots of liquor and celebrations. I talked to a friend on Tumblr earlier and I said that all those young people won’t know what hit them after imbibing copious amounts of liquor and smoking the best weed out there. What a waste … But what can you do???

We will take in the New Year as we always do. With our Crystal Goblets and a little non-alcoholic bubbly. We will watch the ball fall and kiss on the moment and then we will go to bed and listen to Coast to Coast AM and the yearly predictions show for 2012. This year proves to be exciting, with Armageddon knocking on our doors on December 21st 2012.

PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR. TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE SOMEWHERE SAFE BECAUSE IT IS ALL SUPPOSED TO END. WE CAN ALL KISS OUR RESPECTIVE ASSES GOODBYE BECAUSE THEY TELL US THE WORLD WILL COME TO AN END.

At Least the Mayan’s have given the preacher world something to go on about for the last year. And needless to say it will only get worse as the date draws nearer. So we will see who the forgiven/saved are and who is going to suffer damnation, hellfire and sorrow.

And that is how we will close out the year that was 2011.

What did you do this year that is noteworthy? Share those thoughts with us.

I really want to thank all the people who have subscribed to this blog, and to all my readers out there. From all over the world. Especially, Bear Toast, Rod, Vincent and the rest of you. Thank you for a great year. It has been a joy writing for you – and you have helped me polish my voice so to speak.

I am in touch, so you be in touch.

I love your faces.

WC:  3,173 Post 2,582


R.I.P Farmville …

Courtesy: Flickr EvanMischelle

A few weeks ago I had to write a reflection on my gaming life. That life consisted of Farmville on Facebook. I don’t own any video game consoles. Haven’t been near one since I was a kid. So anyways, I wrote it.

Over the last 3 years, I have played this little Zynga game and had fun for a while playing. I quickly moved from level to level. It was a great fun for a while. Then to sweeten the pot they added the English Country Side, which we all with bated breaths waited for with great excitement to get our invitations.

I consolidated my home farm, where I had amassed millions of coin and over the years paid out handsomely for Farm Cash every so often. There are times when you have to buy in to move forwards in the game. During this time I began a foray into CityVille. An energy based game of the same sort but more on city building and maintaining a farm onsite as well. I overgrew my city, I could not provide for my city very well, and my citizens were not very happy with me. So I ended my relationship with City Ville.

All the while I was farming madly in the English Countryside. I played the game all the way to the end of the series of quests and achieved my Castle at the end of the game. You could play both farms at the same time. Many of the quests were set so that you would utilize both farms to complete missions across the platform.

Then in August, the English Countryside was retired. And they decided to change our settings where our farms were to these plain Jane backgrounds, and the little English Countryside farm was gone. I was not pleased with this change. So I stopped farming all together only harvesting my animals, trees and my livestock pens.

Once again, I figured they wanted to sweeten the pot again and opened Lighthouse Cove. That would be three farms now we would be farming, playing and questing. I had timed my farms all to harvest at the same time every night. Because I wasn’t farming, just harvesting, the 24 hour cycle was the same for all three farms.

When playing a game becomes a chore, you know you’ve come to the end of your playing days. So with a full heart tonight, I logged into Facebook and calmly deleted all traces of any links to my farms, Farmville or Zynga. After years of faithful play, I was finished.

I put an RIP message into my status and was done with it.

I think I am gravitating away from Facebook. It has become a depository of posters, rude signs and all this political shit that doesn’t concern me since I live in Canada. I mean we watch U.S. television here and we know what’s going on, I just find all this stuff pointless and not worth my while. Now I don’t have a reason to even log into Facebook any longer. I mean I will – but the why has changed.

We are all changing as we grow up. All of our lives are changing and priorities are changing as well. I still do my fair share of internet reading, Tumbling, You Tube and Ebay. But I’ve noticed that today I am not spending as much time online as I used to. I can run my reads and tumble and watch videos in smaller intervals during my day.

I check my mail in the mornings. I go about my day, school, shopping, meetings, and so forth. In the evenings I run my reads because by nightfall everyone has posted on their respective blogs, most do, but a good number don’t post every day and I don’t even post every day. I Tumble for a good hour and keep up on the rotation over night until I go to bed.

But I am not attached to the computer with the chain like I used to be. I still love my blog and all my reads. It keeps me in touch with the wider world out there. And I write for my friends who read whenever I post.

So a change has happened. I bid it goodbye. It was fun for a while.

Tomorrow is Friday. I have to get my hair cut, Finally, I have to go buy a textbook and then put tickets on my Opus card and my meeting Friday night. Which means a 6:45 departure from home for set up and a business meeting at 8 before the main meeting.

Hubby informed me tonight that I owed him $500.00 to pay bills and take care of sundry needs of the house. And here I had already budgeted out all the money to pay bills and take care of some of my own needs this time around, but that isn’t going to happen, Again!!! Fuck My Life !!!

I have an Ebay bill to pay, a book to buy and  haircut on the list … Everything else will have to wait until he gets paid again next week.

God Grant me Serenity …

More to come tomorrow, definitely. See you then…


Just One Spark …

Courtesy: RawrDaniel

“Imagination, Imagination a dream can be a dream come true with just that spark in me and you …”

I have found the most amazing website just clicking through links for the old E.P.C.O.T. Center audio/visual clips. Click THIS EPCOT LINK for some fun.

There is a collection of audio clips from the rides of E.P.C.O.T. old that many no longer exist and along with that videos of several of the rides themselves. This post was going in one direction and quickly morphed into what I am writing now. I don’t have the space upgrade with enough space to put the links here myself. I started with the thought of “one little spark” and that led me to Imagination and then I kept clicking links and came by this website where I have been stuck for the last almost two hours watching video and downloading audio clips.

*** *** *** ***

It was a regular Tuesday today. It was much cooler than it has been in a long time, it actually felt like a cool fall day in September. Last night I was reading through my blogs and I came across ROD’S BLOG HERE and he had a clip from D.J. Tiesto and Tom Hang’s Blessed featuring Shermanology.Which I liked a lot.

That took me on a second journey to find more music to put on my phone and a few hours later I had downloaded 3 D.J. Tiesto Cd’s Kaliedoscope, Magikal Journey and Club Life Volume 1 Las Vegas. Hours of music which is always good fun.

I have a very eclectic assortment of music on my phone now, and it is hours and hours of music that I will never run out of good music to listen to.

*** *** *** ***

So I plugged into the tunes on my way out and stopped by the grocery store to get milk and cookies and I walked down the cookie aisle and stopped dead the store was having a run on cookies. A whole bunch of selected tasty goodness was on sale. As I stood there looking at the choice another man walked up behind me and stopped dead as well. We were both looking at the Ultimate Crunch cookies and he sighed and said to me … “Wow, these could be dangerous.”

And you know, one does not normally converse with other shoppers in the store, and it was almost furtive the way he came across, it almost felt like a pick up line moved from the vegetable section to cookies. So I said “yeah, they do…”

And then as quick as I could I walked away from the cookies, with two packages in my cart I set off for the checkout.

You never know what is going to happen in the grocery store.

I got to the church and began my prep. Have tunes, will travel. It took me less than an hour to get finished and my set up usually takes me right up to the 6 o’clock hour and the ringing of the bells.

I came out of the bathroom and people were already arriving. Since we picked up several new members over the last 2 months, their sponsees followed. And now, once again, the lifeblood of the meeting has returned. I love that people are coming in early to chat and to read. Our space lends itself to entertaining.

The room was packed. Numbers were good. We had 30 people and a great kitty haul for the night. With numbers like this we will be sitting pretty for a while. Hopefully they will stay that way. There is a big New York contingent in the room now and everybody knows each other from NYC. And over the past few weeks we have had out of towners from NYC and so our New Yorkers know of the meetings in the city there  and who is on the speaker circuit, lots of good conversation.

We read from the Big Big Book Dictionary. And since it is the ninth month our chair brought up the word Amend, which led us to the Big Book and the Ninth Step. It’s a long step in written form, we stopped just short of the Promises in the book, because we read them at the end of the meeting.

The discussion was lively. It was also very emotional for some. “Made direct amends to such people where ever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.”

For me, Facebook was a great vehicle of connection and many of the people I grew up with are in my facebook friends list. Many of them are sober and over the past few years I imagine that we are all making living amends to one another where ever possible. Many of those friends are sober too. Some much longer than I have been sober.

Family – the dirty subject nobody talks about. This is the one area that I have failed at miserably. And it isn’t just my problem. I have been trying to make amends to family for years to no avail. I can’t sit here and beg someone to hear me out or even listen to what I have to say. You’d think that at this stage of the game, we are all adults and we all grow up, shouldn’t those adults see the err in the way they live and think and allow for a little two way communication?

When my brother popped up on Face Book I tried to contact him and he ignored me and so I tried to go through common friends to make contact and that failed. And it came to pass that my mom’s sister and I are still on the family black list. I can’t be bothered with this issue any more. It is a big waste of time and emotional effort.

We’ve played this tit for tat game for years. And this story goes back over a decade. I am guilty for my share of the issues but it isn’t all my fault for the silent treatment I get today. What can you do with being told by your mother that if they died, no one would call me or better yet tell me where they are buried!!!

My move above the northern border pissed my parent off so much that it was tantamount to family desecration. How dare I leave the U.S. and spit on the life my parents gave me! I made some serious decision earlier in my life, those decisions which I made for my own health, well being and safety are the very same decisions that I am paying for today in silence.

So Fuck me for living … And I wonder if they really care one way or another?

I don’t care one way or another. Nobody has gone out of their way to contact me or send a holiday card or gift or acknowledgement in any form or fashion. oh well, you win some – and you loose some.

So that is my mini rant on step nine…

A little drama, a little fun, and a lotta memories …

I hope you enjoy the links. I did …

More to come, stay tuned …


High Dunk …

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. We had some rain and some clouds and it is a little cool and breezy. Cool and Breezy is good. August is going to bring on the beginning of the seasons changing. Looks like evening temps will be in the teens for the next few days.

I’ve been tracking my latest purchase via the USPS website and today my High Dunks, pictured above came in the mail. Our mailman/person/woman is hit and miss when it comes to package delivery to the door. When they are lazy and don’t feel like coming upstairs they leave a note in the mailbox and make you go to the local drop zone to pick up packages. Sometimes they leave them with the office downstairs but today he came up and dropped off my package. I was happy !!!

My hunt for these odd looking shoe laces was a complete failure. I could not find them here in the city nor online. But I did find some funky plaid shoe laces on Ebay, I was waiting to see what color laces came with the shoes, and they are black. I might change it up and get some other laces, because I am not sold on the black laces, I think a lighter color and not white would work with the red and white shoe.

Today is Thursday and St. Matthias meeting night. I gussied myself up and laced on my new sneaks and set out for the meeting around 7, I had to make a few stops on the way out for sundries and I walked through the tunnel to Greene and up to Church Street. It takes about 25 minutes by either the inner or outer route.

The meeting was great. It was a nice surprise to hear one of my friends speaking tonight. I’d never heard him share before. I think he did a fine job. “Thinking the drink… it’s just insanity.” “I can only drink!” There has to be a better way.

Just Don’t Drink…

After the meeting I walked home. I didn’t see a bus pass on my way back. I think I just missed them by a few minutes. It was a good walk. Have tunes, will travel.

When I got home Big Brother was on. So I did some email and some farming. I just happened to take a look at my “suggested friends” list. I don’t often troll that list, because it never produces any connections I am looking for. But tonight my wait has been rewarded.

I happened upon a friend I had many moons ago. He and his two brothers and I were best friends for a long time, through high school and the year I was in seminary. The last time I saw him was just after I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. So it has been more than 17 years. I sent him a message hopefully he will remember me.

That will be a great catch up when that happens. So we’ll see.

That’s about it for tonight. More to come, stay tuned…


Lost in Translation …

Courtesy: Ministry of Pleasure

It is a mixed bag today. It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Last night I had my final interview for my final grade in French. The prof gave us the work sheet well in advance to work on our translations and story telling abilities. We had to bring photos of a vacation that we enjoyed in the past. We then had to answer questions regarding the trip itself. A second topic was about our daily habits and what we did during our days and nights. The last topic was questions about our health situation.

My skills at writing are less than acceptable, my speaking skills are better than my written skills, even a year in, I favor my speaking ability. And the prof says that stuff like this happens when studying a language.

I’ve been making good use of Google Translate to work on my skills. In stead of breaking my back trying to translate my English into French, I use a computer program. On Sunday night I wrote up my script, it was a page long. I had hubby check my translation for mistakes or language errors. He amended my script for me because the program isn’t perfect translation.

I studied that script like a madman, trying to memorize what I had written, and I even went as far as to write flash cards with short notes that I could look at during the interview.

My appointment was for 7 o’clock last night. So I went to school 45 minutes early to sit and read, re-read such and so forth. Some of my classmates were there studying themselves.

I went into the interview with my vacation photos and sat down. I had my script with me which I placed face down on the desk, and it started. The prof started asking me questions which I answered in French, that was working for me so she kept going. The more questions she asked me the easier it got for me to talk to her. And so it went like that for almost fifteen minutes. Script be damned – I did not look at it or my notes once. So much for studying.

She went through all the topics from the sheet, including the health questions, which I really did not want to have to discuss. How do you explain AIDS in French? I tread lightly on the topic of HIV and she looked saddened when I said the words. That passed rather quickly.

She said I did very well and that she was happy with my progress. I had a few speaking issues like past and present verbs – I can never get them right all the time. But I got through alright.

So classes are over for me now. I have a few weeks off before the summer term beings at the end of May. I have to make an appointment to register for summer.I was very pleased with this term. It went much better than the last term, and I enjoyed my classes much better as well.

*** *** *** ***

I set off for the meeting around 5 tonight. It was nice out so I took the overland route up to the church. I had plenty of time to set up and pick what readings we were going to study tonight.

I got a call from my sponsor saying that he would not be coming to the meeting tonight because one of his cat’s are very sick and he is going to put him down tomorrow afternoon. Very sad indeed.

So it was Dave and I to run the meeting and break down afterwards. It was looking thin on the ground as 7 o’clock was coming quickly and eventually about a dozen people came in at the last minute. We read from the Big Book, chapter 7, Working with Others. It was a lively meeting with lively discussion. One of the members brought a loaf of banana bread for people to snack on and baked goods always go over well.

After the meeting everyone pitched in, in helping me break down the hall so I got home just about 9. I called my sponsor when I got home and we chatted for a bit about kitties and anniversaries. Hopefully he will be up for the party that we are supposed to attend tomorrow night. We’ll see tomorrow.

Classes are over and I am officially on vacation, Yay …

I got a friend request tonight from a friend I haven’t seen or heard from in over 25 years. It seems that my family (what’s left of it) is coming together on Facebook. It is quite a treat to see people from my childhood. My extended family is growing from friends I grew up with to include some of the adults that raised kids the same age I was once. It’s all good.

 That’s all for tonight.

More to come, stay tuned…


Rainy Days and Tuesdays …

Courtesy: Mind-State

They say that it is supposed to rain and rain and rain some more. But they haven’t been very good at forecasting in recent days. The city was supposed to get a deluge of rain, but that didn’t happen. It’s just a little drizzly out, enough to make it dark and gloomy.

There is a hockey game tonight, so that affected tonight’s numbers. But still, we had a good turn out nonetheless. In the end the night turned out good. The new format is flourishing and there is money in the kitty to cover prudent reserve.

This is an odd month, because I have back to back shifts at the phones on Thursday (my 4th Thursday) and on Friday (my 5th Friday). I got a call from the DLP the other night for my Friday, before I got a call for my Thursday, and for a moment I thought I missed a shift, but I didn’t.

We are coming to the end of term at Dawson. Two more weeks and everything will be finished. I don’t have the term book for summer studies yet. I have a few things that have to get done in the next few days and a final project that I have yet to work on for French. (let us pray…)

The 2011 election campaign is in its final days and the push is on for all parties to get out the message. Facebook has been a crucial tool in getting the vote out and we are hoping that we get a good turnout at the polls this coming Monday.

If you’re a citizen and you can vote – there is no excuse for you not to vote. The very future of Canada hangs in the balance. People we have to vote. Voting is a privilege, exercise your right and get out there and vote. There are several mass media campaigns out there on Facebook, Twitter and online to get people to the polls next week. You Tube is active with all parties posting ads on the Tube.

That’s about it from here tonight.

I need to eat dinner and do some homework. Yay Homework …

More to come, stay tuned.


Friday Phunnies …

Courtesy: Josh Stewart Photographer/Creator Extraordinaire

A good day was had by all. This week I have been on break from school, and I have yet to finish homework assigned for the break. I have most of it completed, I just need to finish up my French studies and go over my Mid-Term sheet.

The weather has been cool. We are still in the minus territory and there is snow on the map for the week to come. I have enjoyed sleeping in and spending time reading some of my favorite books.

Tonight Rick and I went to Wesley United Church for A Vision for You meeting. It is a double speaker meeting, one ten minute and a 30 minute main speaker. It was a real treat because one of my friends had the ten minute time slot. Every time I hear him I feel so happy – he just brings such joy into the room. He does it by the book and all that work translates into forward action.

The 30 minute speaker was a woman whom I had not met before. She had a great share. She had more time than my sponsor at 23 years. That’s something, to hear another old timer speak at a meeting. They are far and few between.

We are winding down our speaker meeting the end of the month. On Thursday night I went to St. Matthias for their speaker meeting. I met a man, who spoke as well, he got sober the same time I did. You kind of listen for things in a share from people around the same sober time as yourself.

I don’t see many folks from my early sobriety any more. Many of them have moved away or do meetings in other parts of the city like the West Island and up North.

I posted a few photographs that my Aunt Paula posted on Facebook today. She is sending me a whole box of photographs from her collection. I am really excited for this package to get here.

One of my cousins, Carol wrote on one of the tags and she sent me a friend request. I haven’t seen most of my family in over 20 years or more. The last time we were all in the same place was my Peper’s funeral, or was it my uncle Leo’s wedding in Connecticut, maybe that was it.

It is a good thing. Family. We are all much older and have our own lives now. I don’t know how many people stalk my profile or use the links provided for the blog. Every so often I see tracks from there to the blog.

I would like to say a hello to my subscribers. All 6 of you.

I admire you for reading my wanderings here and there.

It is very late as I write this and I should get to bed soon.

More to come, stay tuned…


Farmville Madness …

Continuing from Vincent’s post [Here]. Here is a screen grab of my farm. I currently own the largest farm in the market, a 24 x 24 farm called a MIGHTY PLANTATION.

The property is ringed with assorted trees and barns, (which you can’t see in this pic) My farm is so big that you can’t see it all in the screen at the same time.

It’s just a game… but it is an addictive game, nonetheless.

I have on the farm:

  • 4 Dairy Farms (with 20 count cows, and bulls)
  • a 60 count chicken coop
  • a 20 count horse stable
  • a 20 count baby nursery
  • an assortment of animals: pigs, goats, ducks, geese, reindeer (a hold over from Christmas), cats, rabbits, sheep, seagulls

Most recently Farmville introduced the baby barns, which I purchased all of my items to build it, and also the new dogs, you can barely see it sitting near my avatar. Bonkers is 15 days old and should grow up tonight.

I’ve been at this for a long time. It is an investment of time and sometimes a little cash to buy farm cash. I have a stash of farm cash to buy dog treats now, and we can gift them to each other now.

I am at level ( 37 – 109,878 )
I have in the bank 1,889,868 coins …

It costs coins to plow and plant, according to the price of the seed. Each seed harvests in a certain amount of time and each pays out when harvested. Some crops are more financially better to grow because they give you lots of coin.

I have a little town on my farm, with a farmhouse, some cottages, a green house, a red school house and a library, a general store and a Post Office.

Like I said you can’t see the other corner but there are 4 red barns, 3 tool sheds, a harvester, plow and seeder. I have 12 neighbors at the moment. Some of them are slackers, and there are 2 neighbors ahead of me in the game.

There are several kinds of trees on the farm:

  • Bananas
  • Pomegranate
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Grapefruit
  • Dates
  • Plumbs
  • Cherry Trees
  • Evergreens
  • Durian Trees
  • Breadfruit Trees
  • Olive trees
  • Passion Fruit
  • Apricots
  • Starfruit
  • Gulmohar Trees
  • Maple Trees
  • Mandarin Trees
  • Cashew, Walnut and Almond Trees
  • Apple Trees
  • Magnolia Trees

So that is my obsession right now.


Courage to Change …

“When I was a newcomer I was one of those whom others “viewed with alarm” and so was my group. I was very young, female, dually addicted, and very socially unacceptable. And my group included every type of alcoholic that old timers feared most: young people, addicts, people with mental illnesses, minority races, those with various belief structures or no belief at all, bikers, convicts, gays and lesbians. The amazing thing is that most of us stayed sober, despite all the dire predictions. Why? Because the two things we had in common were more important than all our differences. We were alcoholics and we believed in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.”

Beginners Book, Getting and staying sober in AA… Stories from the Grapevine.

It was a beautiful day today. The sun was shining, it was neither hot nor cold, but a comfy in the middle kind of day. The kind of day that makes you wanna fuck off the whole day and go hang out in Old Montreal. The Old Port is a great place to hang out and do nothing. Sit by the water, watch the boats go by, walk around the old part of the city and window shop. There are some really great shops in Old Montreal. You gotta live here to get it though. These are the days when people start coming out of their winter hibernation holes and they come out to sit on the grass at the old port and people watch. Maybe this weekend.

I spoke to Louise this afternoon. She told me about her surgery and that after it was all over with, she didn’t remember it happening. Thank God for good drugs. The nurse comes every day to change the dressings and the drainage ports are working correctly. She is in good spirits and was very happy on the phone which was a good thing. One day at a time…

I got the the church with plenty of time to set up. It was a Madonna day today. I’ve been watching a lot of Madonna in Buenos Aires on the computer. I don’t know if I like Hard Candy better than the Confessions Tour. They are both good shows.

We had a good showing for the early meeting. Courage to change was my topic for the meeting. It went over well, people enjoyed the topic, we have a good group of regular folk who aren’t afraid to share what is on their minds.

We had a small group for the 8 o’clock meeting. The message was short and sweet and to the point. And Rick and I broke down and got out on time. It has only been us two for the last few weeks to break down. None of the other members hang around for the second meeting to help us. Although the attendees do help us stacking chairs and storing the tables.

I have 6 days to finish all my course work, hubby is helping me polish one of my papers, I am working on a second and my Hermeneutics essay is due on the 19th as well. Lots to do in the next few days.

If you are a reader of the blog and you Face Book, look me up.

That’s all for tonight. Time to go harvest…

More to come, stay tuned …


It's My Birthday !!! "42"

christmas-presents_ajm4d6-copy

Friday, Thank God it’s Friday, Friday, FRIDAY !!!

Another candle gets added to the cake. But we are not having cake. Not just yet. I have heard from all of my friends on FB and tonight we are having pizza and cool drinks for supper.

What do you get a man who has everything? I got a gift certificate for my favorite bookseller – INDIGO. I have been plowing through my library of books for the last two months. I need some new material to read.

I bought myself some new duds from my favorite online store. I made a vow to myself that I would get into the gym and start polishing this weight loss that I am experiencing as of late.

So that was the day that was. No singing, no dancing, no drama…

Maybe I will have something wise for you later…

more to come, stay tuned…


It’s My Birthday !!! “42”

christmas-presents_ajm4d6-copy

Friday, Thank God it’s Friday, Friday, FRIDAY !!!

Another candle gets added to the cake. But we are not having cake. Not just yet. I have heard from all of my friends on FB and tonight we are having pizza and cool drinks for supper.

What do you get a man who has everything? I got a gift certificate for my favorite bookseller – INDIGO. I have been plowing through my library of books for the last two months. I need some new material to read.

I bought myself some new duds from my favorite online store. I made a vow to myself that I would get into the gym and start polishing this weight loss that I am experiencing as of late.

So that was the day that was. No singing, no dancing, no drama…

Maybe I will have something wise for you later…

more to come, stay tuned…


Silence …

shhhcopy1

There is nothing more deafening than “SILENCE.” Knowing that one is the target of silence is MADDENING. Knowing that I am powerless over people, places and things is PRICELESS..

I have a choice today to either allow emotions to overtake me and I start building condos in my head BIG CONDOS in my head, or I can choose to feel my feelings and give them proper space to reside, I can articulate those feelings in a healthy manner and know when it is time to let them go.

Sometimes I don’t see the fine line that exists between proper maintanance  and painful rumination. Over the last week I have been up the mountain of emotion and I have sat there and ruminated in my feelings and I have let them consume me.

Anger that is not dealt with appropriately can become seriously deadly if not dealt with with due process. I have a storehouse of anger inside of me and it has its place in my life because that anger, pointed in the right direction, is useful. Bad anger turned into healing anger works wonders for HIV people, that is a very valuable lesson. I work very hard at maintaining a calm cool exterior yet inside of me I have a churning maelstrom of emotions that run the gamut from happiness and joy to utter destructive anger.

People are responsible for this gamut of emotions because of what they have done to me. I am responsible for taking care of myself with proper care and love. I cannot breathe in the past, nor in the future. I can only breathe in the present moment. And so that is my task. To stay in the moment.

And for some that is a tall order. But it is a lesson that I work very hard at mainaining. It is really sad when people do not rise to the occasion because of their choices in this life. I don’t think they “GET” that their actions or choice of non-action are detrimental to those they know. People choose to do what they do – and it is not always about me – there is the solution.

I cannot expect people to rise to the occasion and be good people. All I can do is live my life accordingly with some dignity and grace and hope that what I do, others will do as well. I just know the painful lesson about expectations…

God giggles at me every time I place an expectation on another human being. I imagine he sits up there shaking his head knowing that I really know the deal and that I shouldn’t do this t0 myself. Yet, once again, I have done it to myself.

I know that some people in my life have no idea the amount of work I have done to build the life I have. Not only the physical building of my surrounding but also the emotional and mental building I have done in the past fifteen years. I don’t think you all realize just how much physical effort it takes to live inside a body that is HIV positive. I think many take their lives for granted never knowing what it feels like to work through fear and death. I don’t think you know what it feels like to work through abandonment by family and friends and fellows. I don’t think you all know what it feels like to feel corrosive anger and hatred for my fellow man and woman for the things they have done to me. I just don’t think you can fathom what corrosive anger is and how destructive it can be if it is not worked through with due diligence.

So you see now, with all that mental and emotional work that we do to survive, to find that very fine balance of emotional sobriety that takes every fiber of my being sometimes to maintain, that fragile life that I live can be disrupted so terribly by the appearance of some one from that past pain, it has taken the wind out of my sails. There is such a distance between the people of the past and the man I am today. It is very dangerous for those people to even dance that fine line between me and my friends. And I don’t think that people understand the seismic shift they create by taking that dalliance near us.

There is a lot of water run under the bridge and there is a lot of bad blood that still surges to the surface of my soul. There is still a lot of resentment that exists because of what some did or didn’t do when they should have done it. And I cannot fault anyone for inaction. Because that’s where they were in the grand scheme of things. But I could not stand there and wait for people to acclimate to something that clearly did not impact them the way it impacted me. Solid and decisive action had to be taken to save a life and that decisive action was taken to insure my survival. I don’t need to explain the life saving decisions that I once made to ensure my survival. Because you weren’t there and I was.

Decades of time have passed underneath the bridge of life. Decades that we cannot get back. People lived and died during those decades of time. I was witness to unspeakable horrors and unspeakable hatred and ignorance and I lived through it and it helped inform and produce the man I am today. I can name every name of each person who turned their backs on me. I can name every name of each person who did not act to be my friend or family member when it counted. I can name every name of each person who spurned me for one reason or another.

And I can name every name of every single person who stood with me during the storm, those angels of men and women who held my hand when it was the darkest time of my life. Where were you??? That is a rhetorical question. Or is it???

I put a great deal of importance on the notion of family. In the absence of such nuclear and biological persons, I had to find and create my own. You don’t get to choose your family in life, you are stuck with what you get in whatever incarnation it comes. Sometimes you hit the motherlode, and sometimes you come up short. In the world of Gay men and HIV, when the world turned on us and on each other, we got to choose who we would take into the fight with us. For better or for worse, those were the choices we made. Because that is what we had to do to survive. This, they say, is water under the bridge. Yes it is. But you never forget who turned their backs on you, ever…

You never forget that with the distance of time that the wounds of life still exist, even if years have passed and those wounds have healed over, all it takes is some dynamic storm to come along that throws the fine balance of a life we live into chaos.

People with AIDS never forget.

We might not seem like we remember at times, because to remember is to relive the pain over and over and what kind of life would that be, if we lived to relive every pain we were ever visited with? The work of survival takes a lifetime. And it wasn’t and isn’t easy work. I think the rest of the world takes for granted just how fine a dance we do to maintain a calm resolution to go on with our lives, because that is what we have to do to get on with life.

I just don’t think you realize the amount of anger that exisits on any given day that has to be disposed of properly. It is like spent nuclear fuel that needs to be taken and stored at a secure site where it won’t harm anyone else. It is very important that we do this work daily. To maintain emotional sobriety we must rid ourselves of this corrosive anger, hatred and resentments.

I thought that it was time to communicate this message to you, because underneath my calm exterior seethes a man in conflict. And I have to make heads or tails of that conflict and then I have to sort it out properly. And to do that I need to keep a safe distance from people, places and things that trigger this kind of cathartic emotional upheaval.

People from the past that come back into my life need to state their purpose and give me a solid plan of what they plan to do with me and for me. Access to the inner circle is restricted. And for good reason. I don’t need to be saved and I surely don’t need to meet Jesus. And I know that I am powerless over you and others and that takes me off the hook for being responsible for your actions or your inaction. I warn you not to play with my emotions, even if you don’t think you are playing with my emotions, there are some who’s by their very existence in my social planetary system, have already shifted the planets circling around me. I know you are out there, And I know that you know that you are out there, just beyond my reach. And though I have attempted now 4 times to get your attention, You have chosen to feed me SILENCE, and that is unacceptable.

You either ENGAGE or you tell me to go FUCK myself.

So you have one of two choices. 1. You can choose to stay out there on the periphery and stay there silent, or 2. You can make yourself known and state your desires. Either way I am going on with my life.

I cannot grant you space in my brain. And I cannot grant you access to my emotional sobriety. I know better. I can’t offer you anything that I don’t have in my body. What I can offer you is what I have learned over the last fifteen years. Forgiveness is something we learn to do, lest unforgiveness takes us down the road to hell. If you are seeking forgiveness, you need to ask for it.

Only God forgives unconditionally. I need to see your soul and know that you seek my forgiveness for what you have done and what you have not done. I can say the words “I forgive you” but not without some reservation. I am a human being and what was done was done. And quite possible through no fault of our own. But you who I am addressing now, made a choice. You made a choice and you stuck to that choice and in the end it was me that was left out in the cold. I had to go on with my life without you. And there you are just outside in the neutral zone, I know you are there, and you know you are there. There are no coincidences.

As Christian’s we are told to forgive seventy times seven… So in order to be a good Christian I must forgive everyone of their sins. Like God. Yet, I know, I am not God. Forgiveness is something I struggle with daily when constant reminders pop up when they do, and usually they are unannounced and they catch me off guard.

I must literally say the prayers over each and every person I feel this corrosive anger and hatred towards. And over time, I have abated this anger. I have let go. But the past is not very far away, emotionally. It is still there. Just beneath the surface and with every day that passes, I must maintain my emotional sobriety and so you see just what kind of work that takes.

Never should you take for granted the lives people with AIDS live. Never should you ever second guess our wisdom. And never should you ever treat us with anything but respect, dignity and grace.

We have earned every breath we breathe and every day that we live, through blood, sweat and tears. It is because of those people who wrankled us so badly that we survived because we had to deal with what you did to us. And I survived…

Thanks be to God…


Oh Brother where art thou ???

kenny

I am usually calm and composed but tonight I logged into Face Book and I was farting around as usual, and I clicked on People You Might Know? And I looked at the page and almost fell out of my chair. There was my brother. A man I haven’t spoken to in over 17 years. I friended him, sent him two messages and I googled him and I found a cache of information on him that I never saw before. Thank God for bookmarks.

So if you find this bro, call me. It’s been a long time. I can make amends and get on with my recovery. God is funny, funny in a good way.

Let us pray he makes first contact…