I have been trying to write something for a very long time. It‘s been nearly a year since I was blogging regularly. This is no one’s fault but my own. I had the time and the means, but I felt I had nothing to say. I had things I wanted to say, I tried to write them down both on paper and on the keyboard. I have notebooks filled with notes and have started essay’s on whatever was happening in the news at the time. None of it feels like it means anything. The internet has become so filled with people voicing their opinion about everything that it felt pointless to add to the cacophony. This past year for me has been so filled with varied emotions and realizations that I could not possibly try to recap them all. With each passing day that I remained silent to the world at large, the more what I felt a few months ago seemed irrelevant. When last I hit the publish button on one of my many blogs I was in the midst of a terrible (for me) break-up and wallowing so deep in self pity and hopelessness that I thought I would drown before I ever reached a safe shore. Once I washed up on beach in Atlanta it took me a while to dry out before I dive head first back into the ocean. I drank most of the last year away. On top of that I compiled a number of drugs and tied myself to a world I had already left behind even more than I was when I escaped the third time.
There comes a point after you end a relationship with someone where you realize the person you were once so hopelessly in love with is no longer there. You realize that they have changed. And you can blame them and be angry with them for changing or you can ask yourself why you haven’t changed, or more importantly if you have changed that they were the one was false. It was. It is based on a lie. The lie that there is someone out there for everyone and that there is a twin human soul we are all per-destined to be with. There is no such thing because destiny is a lie. It is a control technique meant to keep one from exceeding ones potential and binds one to servitude of some mythical higher power. There is no power higher than that of the human imagination. It is bound only by the wielder. The collective unconsciousness of man has driven us this far. When you cease to believe that you can accomplish anything you want is when you lose.
I hate when people talk about winning and losing in life though. As if life is some game to be won or lost. I mean seriously what are the prizes. If you believe in an afterlife how that is a greater consolation than the life you have. Perhaps you should strive to make the life you are living more suitable to you so you aren’t stressed out to reach the great beyond, and you aren’t stressing me out with your nonsensical belief system. Not that I am denying the afterlife I simply do not feel there is enough evidence to support a blind faith in something that is plausibly intangible or definable. There is no grand unify consensus on what said after life is going to be like even by those who believe in it. This is not Atheism mind you but an astute skepticism. God and Heaven could very well be more real than me, but I have no proof, not enough and substantiating enough to bring me to that conclusion. It is my experience and my first hand knowledge that when you are dead you are dead.
Death has swirled around my head for the better part of a year. Today is the one year anniversary of the passing of one of my closest friends. If you look back to my last post his is the second comment. His name was Matthew Guin and he was like a brother-no he was my brother. We lived together during 2006, before I moved away to St. Louis. We had been friends for a few years before and had more adventures than you’d believe, but that year we tested everything we knew about each other. Living with someone is sometimes the greatest test of a friendship. That’s double-y true if both of you are alcoholic monsters tearing through your youth with no regard for tomorrow. For the first time in years I became the responsible one, I became the voice of reason when things got way out of hand. Things got way out of hand a lot. We fought, physically and verbally quite a bit. Yet we came out of it with a bond and brother hood that was stronger than before.
The first time I was introduced to Lil’ Matt, I was living in New York with my cousin. I had gone up chasing the memory of a girl that wasn’t there when I got there. A mutual friend and former lover in Atlanta had met him and decided that he was (in attitude) the spitting image of me when I was 17. He was 17 and from the middle of nowhere, loud, crazy and out of control. She put us on the phone together and I instantly knew she was right. We talked for about an hour and when my time in New York was through and I came to Atlanta to be with her, I finally met the kid who was me if I were white and born in Georgia. We became joined at the hip for little while, but after I became better acquainted with the city I stated going to places he wasn’t old enough to get in, and he started doing things I would never do. We still partied together when we could but bars have a special place in my heart. I work in them, I drink in them, and I live in them. The thing he was doing was also having a bad effect on him. And it was driving a wedge between us. It came to a head one night when he overdosed in my bathroom after he was supposed to be cleaning up his act. I broke down my bathroom door and gave him CPR. At his wake his parents thanked me for giving them ten more years with their son, but I always wished I could have done more.
After several ups and downs and struggles to break free of his demons he fought his way back and when I needed a roommate in 2006 he took me up and the adventure truly began. We both had our demons then but it was a common one that came in a bottle you could buy at the store. We drank so much we decided to forgo heat rather than booze that winter. I could tell stories of that time for the rest of my life and probably will, but I won’t publish them here in case his parents see this. Through it all though we were always there for each other, no matter what I did what I could for him when I could, getting him work and making sure he had smokes and money. But together we were just too out of control. When I saw an opportunity to escape with my life I took it. I went away and toned down my drinking a little. I look back on that year as the last great hoo-rah before I crossed over into my 30s and I credit him with helping me grow up a little. When you hold a mirror image of yourself up to yourself like that it makes you realize a thing or two about your own actions. After I left he stumbled a bit had a few accidents and joined the Army. The Anarchist in me wept, I felt I failed him worse than ever, but he needed discipline in his life and he wasn’t going to find it on his own like I did. He needed guidance I couldn’t give him half way across the country.
After a few years I found my way back to Atlanta and he had found himself in Tennessee. He had reached out to me when I was in California in 2011. He wanted to come with me to L.A. where I was going to spend the summer. I had already booked a room in apartment with these kids I never met before and I didn’t have the money to support us both. I wasn’t even supporting myself after a few weeks. I couldn’t help him and that haunts me to this day. In the end though it seemed to have worked out, he had found a girl with two kids and started to become a father to them. He was working steady and even got a great gig at a Nissan plant. Things seemed to be turning around for the kid, although he stumbled occasionally, he held it together for the most part. In the end though it wasn’t his demons that finally caught up with him, it was a freak accident. He had left work not feeling well, and no one knows what happened but his car careened off the side of a mountain and in the wee hours of May 2nd 2013 he left us. I couldn’t think straight for months afterwards. I threw myself in to drugs and alcohol and the arms of a horrible woman who was spiraling out on her own pain. The summer was a mess and I looked like hell through all of it. As the summer ended I tried to break free, but I just changed one bad decision for another. I ended the year with an arrest and a whole set of headaches. By the New Year I had begun to piece things back together but I wasn’t ready yet to sit down and write about the loss of my little brother. Even as I type this I can’t stop crying.
I have dealt with loss before. My mother died when I was 14, my grandmother who raised me passed away when I was 22. I lost an aunt to breast cancer when I was twelve and a cousin to a lunatic when I was just six. I have lost friends to suicide, murder, and a fascist police state. I am no stranger to death. The girl, who lived in the room I stay in right now, blew her brains out in front of another one of my friends just a month before Matt passed. As you get older you realize the price of aging is that you have to bear witness to others who weren’t so lucky. It’s heartbreaking and difficult and sometimes it feels like you can’t move on, like you shouldn’t move on. Why do I get to stay here while others who aren’t nearly half as evil as me get taken away? Taken away from their friends and families and loved ones. Leaving behind a giant hole where their heart should be. I’ve driven myself insane over the last year with these thoughts. I smile on the outside and try to have a good time. I know my lil’ homie wouldn’t want it that way. I know he’d say I need to buck up and rock out in celebration of the life that he had. I also know that if I was gone and he was here he’d probably go a little crazier himself.
I’m trying man, but it’s hard to think about the ways I could have done more to save this kid who was so like me. Yet I couldn’t save myself. There are things I wanted to do with my life and I haven’t really done them. I’ve found excuses as to why but never a reason. I failed myself long before I failed him and I know my life isn’t over but, sometimes it feels as though it is. I’m closing in on 40 now. I was 24 when I first talked to him on the phone in New York. That’s a lot of time wasted not doing what I want. That’s a lot of years spent tossing back bottles and tripping through nights and days rather than working to have something more than just a few good stories that no one can tell.