At 16 I was a drug dealer and a pimp. At 22, I was a stripper. At 27 I joined the armed forces and returned from Afghanistan 2 years later. At 31 I fell in love for the first time and it was the closest I had ever come to care for someone more than I did for myself. But, that isn’t saying a lot for him because I hated myself. Now, at 37, I’m on a mountaintop in Costa Rica listening to geckos fart in my walls and living off words and rice and beans. It all seems like a dream really, one that I haven’t woken up from yet.
I was on a fast pace road to killing my liver before 40, and I had bad skin sweat and alcohol bloat to prove it. I finally decided it was time to get rid of that stranger in my house that I had invited into my life 5 years prior — the worm at the end of the Jameson bottle — and start focusing on getting my shit in order. I wanted to stop pretending like real love wasn’t an option for me. I knew what I had wasn’t working since the beginning, but I didn’t want to be alone.
Previously, I always pretended to fall in love. When the situation provided a little bit of comfort, I’d make the bed and half-ass lay in it; placing one foot on the ground to make sure that earth was still beneath me and I could get up and run if I needed too. And I always found the need, nothing lasting more than a year. I didn’t have enough love in myself to share with anyone anyway.
I thought I fell in love at 31, this was after a suicide attempt — I’m not crazy I just had not learned to deal with my shit yet and my problems were saturated with whiskey, Benzos and PTSD. George lived near my building and eventually, I would move into his. We were “doing it” on a regular basis “as friends”. He had told me that he didn’t want a relationship but when he said it, it was obviously opposite day. He wanted to be with me and I knew it. You know where I’m going with this. This little obsession lasted for 5 years and we ended up living together in a nice little place in the Bronx. I had a drinking problem and he had an online hook-up problem.
He was robust and stood 5 inches taller than me. He looked like he jumped off the page of a lumberjack, heavy metal magazine with his dirty jeans, chain wallet, leather boots, full beard surrounding his pillow lips and oily black locks that cascaded past his shoulders onto his usual ripped, black shirt. He was a fuckboy and the most redneck looking Puerto Rican I had ever met.
Deep in the 5th year, I had had enough of his cheating and I had found some sort of inner strength at the end of a rocks glass to tell him I had had enough.
I also had been following the Standing Rock Protest and there was a fire lit in me that wanted to rush out and help these people. He was not amused and told me I was crazy. All my friends in NYC disappeared and stopped contacting me and most are still hanging out with him or are nonexistent. It is funny how people disappear when shit gets real, I felt alone. So, I got on the Veterans bus to North Dakota to go protest.
Going to Standing Rock was like going to a cultural festival in the Antarctic, minus the drugs and fun stuff. There was the fire though and that’s where the elders and the magic were. Everything else just seemed like some type of messy ant hill of millennial type colonialism. I realized from being there that I was NOT a protester. The idea and vision were heavy at the fire and I have the highest respect for the Natives and their never-ending struggle to regain their rights and get their shit back from the white man. Honestly, being there made me ashamed of being white because I am put into this racist category automatically, which I am not. Honestly, I feel purple. I identify as purple, not white. IS that a thing?
Anyways, the way this trip saved me was through the people that I met on the bus. They introduced me to the prayer and the plant medicine and then broke me into being a conscious person. I also became aware of the fact I was an alcoholic. I was a real mess and I wasn’t sure how to get out of it. It wasn’t until I realized that I was an alcoholic that things started really making sense. It was like I couldn’t hear for years and then my ear popped, entering me into a whole other dimension. And no, it was not the Ayahuasca. However, when I did do it, my mentor at the time told me in a rainbow haze, “let go of all that does not serve you, people and things.”
This was profound in the moment. And after the 14 hours of purging, I had made my decision, I was moving to Costa Rica. I quit my apprenticeship with the Local 580, sold my Harleys for the price of one and got down to a suitcase full of stuff., cashed out on my little bit of annuity and fucking bounced. Trump had just gotten elected too so I used him as an excuse to go refugee status.
IN THE NOW
Reflecting back on the whole process it seems like a fart in the breeze, but one that left skid marks. I am in a new relationship with a man that loves me passionately and for real! However, I find myself thinking about George a lot. We talk from time to time but he is drinking heavily again and that is something that I am not comfortable with. I have been sober now for 6 months and I don’t want any influence on the rebound. I am writing a book and for a solid week have busted out about 3000 words a day. This is what progress looks like. I have also written my first personal essay, which I am awaiting responses on. However, if I haven’t heard back within a couple weeks, I am just going to post it here. I spent a lot of time on it and it isn’t getting read.
This is something that I am struggling with, responses to my pitches. I have pitched to over 10 places and have heard back from one; wasn’t what they were looking for but I had an interesting topic. I’m not really sure what I am doing wrong but it is really discouraging.
With all that being said, I feel free. I feel free of doubt and rejection and the fear of whether or not I am going to be alone. Although I am in another relationship, this one isn’t one that was pressured. It just happened and is full of love. It is full of understanding and communication, not this emotional unavailability garbage. What are people trying to prove with being emotionally unavailable? This tough guy and girl shit is so freaking weird. Like, “Hey I like you but I’m just going to put up this wall because I know there is something better out there, so don’t get to close but don’t see other people either because that makes you a whore, but I am going to lie about not seeing other people and then get paranoid when you come home late.”
It’s all a pack of fucking lies and I am glad that I separated myself from it and quit listening to all those Cool NY cats with these types of passive-aggressive issues.
I actually stopped caring what people thought and started vibing with myself. I quit judging myself and started loving who I was. I am funny and intelligent and have had one hell of a life. Full of adventure, not a conventional Tom Sawyer type adventure but more of a Fear in Loathing in LV kind of adventure. I let go of the anxiety of what if and just started making my day as it came; living in the moment kind of shit. It works for sure. It is freedom, For SUre. And Reflecting back on it makes me feel happier that I made the decisions that led me to where I am today.