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Ever since I was a little kid people for one reason or other have been saying to me, “your time is gonna come”. It resonates in my head like a bad case of chlamydia. I pretty sure they’re right but for better or worse my time hasn’t come yet. If the truth be told, I was the kid a good girls parents told them to stay away from. I was the nicest bad kid in the neighborhood as long as I wasn’t dating your daughter or hanging around with your son. Yes, I was the guy your mother warned you about. Even now it makes me snicker just a little. Demented but true.
It doesn’t come around twice, this thing called life that is. Shit, most of us are lucky if we get to live it just once. I don’t mean just hanging around in the corners scared to come out of the shadows while simply living vicariously through others. No man, I mean really fuckin’ living, mixing it up and getting blood on your nice white church shirt and shitty skid marks on your drawers. there’s no way around it, either you’re at the party or you’re just looking in through the window from the outside. Getting a taste of the good times and feeling the bad. Enjoying the kaleidoscope of colors life has to offer even if it is only due to the acid you took the night before. Tasting every flavor of woman or boy or transvestite, whatever you’re into for that matter but at least knowing what the menu has to offer. Spinning the wheel of fortune only to have it stop right in between shit or get off the pot.
There is nothing quite like the thrill of wallowing in the bowels of life knee deep in shit. Like the time I found myself locked in a dark, dank cheap motel room, you know the kind with the puke green colored carpet and blood and cum stained sheets. My only friend a bottle of rancid dime store gin, the last rail of a speedball cocktail an ugly twenty- dollar hooker that right about that moment looks like Belle of the ball. The one that I got on trade for the dirty girl scout twenty-one-year-old ecstasy-addicted, pacifier-chewing hottie school girl. The same one I moved out of my own apartment to get away from. Funny that the ugly hooker isn’t half as insane as she was. But god, did I miss that lil’ spawn of Satan prancing around the room in plaid skirt and pony tails. The first time I ever saw her do her lil jig I suddenly I realize, I have arrived. It’s the moment of truth when I revel in the thought that I’ve finally made it? Achieved greatness! Or have I? Yep, I wasn’t sure whether I scored everything I ever wanted or I was in denial and really awash in the realization that I seriously fucked up somewhere on the road of life.
Then comes the out of body experience as there I lie half undressed in a state of complete obliteration with my ugly twenty dollar party girl who now was puking over the side of the bed. Whacked out, wigged out and busted out staring up at the tobacco stained ceiling mesmerized by a slow, deliberate revolving fan that intentionally and slowly spread the revolting diseased bacteria of so many victims who laid in the same bed before me. The petri dish of motel rooms. The same bed that they, like I, had made for themselves. Fuck ’em, who has time to worry about anyone else I gotta get busy getting high. All this only a few hours after having found myself and a few fair weather but dangerous friends quickly backing out of a dark tenement building lugging a leather bag-full-o-illegal party favors, revolver in one hand and my dick in the other. While some maniac dope dealer froths at the mouth while screaming only what I can assume is how they plan on torturing and killing us in some language I gratefully can’t understand. But that kind of thing usually translates universally. Then the fun really begins.
Life, its no joke and it doesn’t knock and ask if it can come in. No! It kicks the door right off the hinges and says, “hey asshole I’m here, get jur hands on the wall and spread ‘em wide”. Sometimes it sneaks up on you just when you think it’s safe to come out and kicks you square in the balls right when you think you got it licked. Just when you’re ready to blow a load it steals your manhood reducing your once raging hardon to a flaccid, shriveled up mess. Yeah life is a funny that way. It likes to keep you guessing. One day you’re on top the next you’re in the gutter like every other ego maniac with an inferiority complex. If you can count yourself amongst the lucky few who last long enough to say you have any experience at life, it wastes no time twisting your balls a little harder to remind you that neither, you, I, nor anyone else within pissing distance has any idea what it’s all about. I gave up the mental masturbation of trying to figure out life long ago. I don’t know about you but my one time around thus far has been harrowing enough, totally insane, yet amazing and wondrous and at times a complete train wreck but still fucking awesome enough that I wouldn’t change a day of it.
If there is anything that is allusive it’s this thing called life. I’ll tell ya, I don’t know much but I do now enough to say I don’t second-guess it anymore. I only need to be kicked in the balls so many times before I get my act together. Well, at least together enough to not end up in a jail cell, again, or worse yet, stuffed in a trunk of a car with an electrical cord wrapped around my neck. Yeah, the first I’ve seen plenty of, the latter, I’ve come painfully close to. But hey that’s life right? Bad choices always make for the best stories. To be brutally honest, I don’t know how I got this far and I surely don’t know how I’m gonna get through the next half. They say fifty is the new forty, shit, if that’s the case I got a long, debaucherous road and likely a few nights in jail ahead of me. If I learned anything in the first half of this game called life, it’s that I don’t know a goddamn thing.
So I round out the first half of the game one day shy of the big five-o. Yes, the big fifty is just around the corner and I’m not sure what fifty is supposed to feel like, but I don’t take anything for granted because life is a shit show just waiting to surprise me and twenty-four hours can be a lifetime. So if and when I do make it to that big day I have decided to take a decidedly different approach to it. I’m gonna take my time getting through this horse race. I mean hey, who do I have to impress? What the fuck do I care anyway? I never have before so why start now? Now that’s not to say I’ve settled down. (For any potential suitors I might by some miracle have out there.) Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. No, I’m not ready to play house yet and I already have a kid, who by the way I love more than life itself! I’m just not ready for another. My little head doesn’t think for my big head as much as it used to. That may or may not be because I’m no longer in an alcohol and drug induced walking coma anymore and haven’t been for some years. I kicked a few dirty habits, twenty-four hours at a time. But not all habits are bad and I’m still dirty sometimes. Yeah, even Danny the cop still half-jokingly calls me ‘sucio’ in his don’t- give-a-shit Puerto Rican accent. Sometimes even the best of morality showers can’t wash all the stink and dirt off. Then again, who would I be without a little grime in my life? That said, I think clearer and if I may say so myself just tad bit wiser.
Another thing is, I have nothing to hide anymore and I don’t particularly care about what others think about me so I am less apt to keep what I think to myself. But have I ever? This is not always a good thing but it is a necessary thing. I’ve been taught, ‘to thine own self be true’. I try to keep live up to that motto. I’ve already spent far too many years doing exactly the opposite. I may not have seen it all but I’m pretty content with what I have seen thus far in the game. I don’t know what part of the game was harder. The years spent in a six by nine prison cell, the times spent shaking and shitting myself with the DT’s in a shitty rehab or crying my eyes out over the hopelessly lost love of the twenty-one year old ecstasy freak after going toe to toe with a couple of crazy bikers for the prize of her heart like knights at a jousting match. What is love anyway? Shit, I’m not even sure I’ve ever really known her, lady love, at least during a sober moment. It seems unrequited love has always been mine but I’m sure that’s partly due to emotional vacancy having been one of my specialties. Love has always been a series of miserably failed relationships after a string of one night stands turned into weeks, months and occasionally years. Eventually I leave with what little is left at the end of a ride on the insanity train. Then they ask me why I still sleep with a knife under the pillow at night. Twisted maybe yeah, but likely necessary. But hey, the upside is she can’t break what’s already broken and that, I am. Maybe luck in love is what they meant when they said, “your time is gonna come”. I doubt they were being that kind but just maybe.
Fifty is a pretty big deal for a kid they didn’t think would make eighteen. Then the ante was upped to twenty-one, then twenty- five and well, you get the picture. A good number of the people I started out with didn’t get this far, many never even made it long after puberty. Those who said, ‘live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse’ did, just that. Not a goal I ever aspired to. No, I wanted you to remember I was here, leave a mark, pee in the corner to mark my territory. Hell, even after I cleaned up I had friends dropping like flies. Bullet holes, puncture wounds, needle holes or natural causes, what’s the difference? Is there really any natural cause of death? What does it matter anyway? Just like being born, we all gotta do it and only do it once. Fifty is looking pretty good from where I sit now.
I’ve had and I’ve had not. I’ve wined and dined on Opus One and Chateaubriand and other times couldn’t afford a cheese burger. I’ve worked straight jake for a living and not so much so. Been a bookie, burglar, loan collector, ditch digger, political employee, city worker, bodyguard, actor, writer, life counselor, paralegal, A-list Hollywood night club operator and county jail fry cook. I’ve taken from and given back. I’ve sat at the table with big shot politicians, famous celebrities and infamous gangsters. Dated goody-goody good girls, preachers’ daughters, models and slept with street corner hookers and high end escorts. Everybody needs to be loved. I’ve slept on silk sheets in first rate hotels and done pushups on cold concrete jail cell floors. I’ve loved, lost, laughed and cried but most of all I’ve lived, really lived and I’m just getting started. If I learned anything in life thus far it’s that I don’t know a goddamn thing and I don’t think I wanna know. Not knowing is the best part, the rush. The action, that’s the juice.
The words, “you’re time is gonna come” resonate in my mind. Time is time, it can’t be hoarded or saved nor can it be wasted. You can’t outrun it. It already passes by too quickly as it is so the way I figure it why be in a hurry? Savor the time I do have and use it slowly. I mean hey, there’s something to be said for living fast and dying old and fucking gray.