Ha ha. Jerri Blank aside, I kind of do. Several years ago, there were some things going on that I thought were kind of fucked up. People were attacking their fellow humans in the most disgusting way. The least powerful had foisted upon them the blame for society's ills. I listened to some prep school brat on the bus boast about assaulting a woman who's sin as he saw it was a weakness as I did. I saw the irate, ingrown toenail-looking man so umbraged at that bitch who would hit the pipe rather than face him sober, but who himself could not even look in the mirror. I saw extralegal sweeps of an impoverished neighborhood that mirrored the Times Square sweeps that left so many denizens stranded in the boroughs. And when it was my turn to say something, when a woman I met advocated "trimming the fat," I replied, in so many words, fuck that. A wind was blowing in 2009, and it flouted everything I've known to be human since we painted caves and hunted mammoths, and I, in my own small way, in a moment in time, took my own stand.
I've heard tell: it's a war out there, we've seen wives beaten and babies neglected, murder, thievery, jankiness. I've heard the tripe about self-indulgence, about the bitch who just doesn't get it, and being less than dignified answered it with a sarcastic, "Ay, papi. I thought it was just candy. I didn't know any better."
When I was homeless and close to death, and didn't have a person I could turn to, they were the ones who helped me out. That's right: drug-addled losers, addicts, hookers, homeless people, et alia, saved my life. No matter how twisted and fucked up some of them were, they showed more compassion and understanding than nurses and doctors and cops who gave me shit for not being who they wanted to be -- though they themselves constantly fail.
To this day, I've got a lot wrong with me. Then again, I didn't start out perfect, either. I've got a smart mouth and grew up a little too fast. I've got chronic health problems and have yet to beat my own issues with addiction. But I've been shown a lot of love and support, and though that may not see me through, I've gotten it every step of the way, and am deeply grateful. Every day it is ever present in my mind that my next moment may be my last. For right now, I'm six feet above, not behind bars, and loved. I never want that to end.
I guess I just wanted to put this out there, because I don't have a therapist, and I am only now for the first time telling anyone, in my own words, how some of that shit affected me. Everybody else pisses and moans, whereas I've always tried to be like Smilla Jasperson, who likened complaining to a virus. But I've got to be honest: in many ways, I'm a broken man in the wake of all the drama. But I'm still a man, and no man alive wants to take me on eye to eye. I've got too much love, too much behind me, and too much to live for. I cry all the time for how hard I know it is for so many out there, especially for people who never ever got a fair shot. I cry too, for any self-described enemies, for their failure and hollowness and sheer self-loathing. Maybe one day I'll cry for myself -- I have in the past. I just thought I'd mention this stuff. I know I'm nobody, started that way and will end that way, but once I got to do a thing that I knew was right, a little thing, but it made a big difference for a lot of people.
I want everyone to know I think I've got the gist of a lot of what you said over the years. Thank you and you're welcome.