Saturday, June 20, 2009

I've been down on bended knee talking to the man from Galilee. (Day 195)

Band - Johnny Cash

Song - God's Gonna Cut You Down

Album - American V: A Hundred Highways

What else can you say about the man in black?

Early in my life, my father would work his '76 Chevy Imapala that my mother named 'Christine'. She always had bad luck with that car, causing her to reference the Stephen King novel (and subsequent movie) towards that particular automobile.

My father, or I guess I should say step-father Ed, would work for hours in the blistering Arizona sun, and often he would listen to Johnny Cash albums. We've always been on the lower end of the middle class scale, often times dipping down into the poverty line. But Ed, being the ever optimist that he is, would always (and still does to this day) impart a bit of fatherly wisdom lifted from Cash: "Aaron, you gotta take it all. No one is going to give it to you. You have to be willing to take it one piece at a time."

That's something that's stuck with me my entire life.

That started my admiration and love for Johnny Cash. If Ed liked him, then I felt like I needed to like him. So I grew up with that.

Father's Day has come and past, and this post is dedicated to my father.

I was born on October 4th, 1985 in Colorado Springs, Colorado in some hospital in El Paso County. It was just my mother and I. Nine months prior she was given the news that she was pregnant at the age of 36, much to her surprise. Her entire life she'd been informed by doctors that she'd never be able to conceive.

The man responsible for this awkward conception told her he wanted no part in this, that he wanted her to get an abortion. For the first time in her life, however, she felt that God, or whatever higher power didn't want her to feel alone any longer, so she declined the abortion route, causing him to vacate her life in quite a timely fashion. He never even helped her buy a crib.

Nine months later I popped out of the womb kicking and screaming, filled with piss and vinegar. She'd been working as a waitress at this little restaurant in Colorado Springs called the Big Train up until the day I was born, and then resumed work a few days later.

There was a woman whom I would later affectionately know as "Gramma" Jesse. While there was no relation, she helped change diapers, bought toys...everything I'm told a grandmother does for a grandchild. On days she didn't, my mother would simply bring me to work with her and have me in the back. All the other waitresses would take turns on their breaks to help her out by watching me, as did the managers and cooks. All employee's, really.

One day she came across a man with a cane and a lot of friends chattering loudly. It was one of her tables.

One thing about waitresses, especially in places that cater to truck drivers, is that they are very personable. They talk, crack jokes and make friends. Especially with the regulars.

This man was a regular. As time passed, she learned of how a two-ton (yes, two tons) load of pipe had fell on him several years earlier, forcing him to retire. Not only did it not kill him, but five years later he'd defied every logistical obstacle, diagnosis, and odd presented to him by walking (albeit with the aide of a cane). That alone intrigued her, as it really would anyone.

But he couldn't work, and being divorced with his son grown up he really sunk into a depression. He had nothing to do, and felt so lousy being a "cripple". He really did, very understandably, fall into a depression that would've ended so many other people.

But meeting my mother, something sparked inside of him. His natural God-given charisma flamed back to life, his fierce green eyes regained that glimmer that'd been dullened for so many years. Upon meeting me, and gaining my mothers trust, she eventually deduced that Jesse could use a break, and a diner wasn't the best place for a newborn to be 12 hours a day.

She asked him to baby-sit, and so the story began.

They eventually began dating...

His name is Edward Hugh Williams. He had a son from a previous marriage, Leonard. He was a truck driver and mechanic since he was twelve years old. He never finished high school due to a strong form of dyslexia, and given the time frame in which he was in school was basically given up on.

One Christmas Eve Ed, who rarely is ever at a loss for words and never a bashful or nervous man, proposed to my mother via a Christmas Card. In late August 1988 they had a "going away" picnic in Colorado. The doctors had advised him to move somewhere with a more warm and dry climate because of his injuries. All his family (and trust me, that's a lot of people) and their friends showed up to see them off.

But in true Williams fashion, there was more than meets the eye that day. As everyone sat around talking, eating barbecue and generally having a good time, my parents slipped away and got dressed up in their very best.

Moments later while everyone was seated, they calmly walked in front of everyone, and promptly got married. It took everyone by surprise, and to me that's one of the most romantic gestures ever. I view love as defiance to every obstacle and human being; that these two people chose each other out of billions of others, and if it's their union, they'll do it their own way.

In 1990 Ed adopted me. He didn't have too. I was already five, and he'd already raised a child. He was in his 50's and retired. To take on a young child, especially a difficult hell-raiser like myself, is not something most people in his position would ever fathom. At least in the realm that they would claim this child as their own. Personally, if I were him I would've washed my hands of this trainwreck from the beginning.

But he has been there every single step of the way. Teaching me how to read, encouraging me to be my own person, instilling ideals of morals and integrity and honesty and how to be a man in every proper sense of the term, when so many fathers these days, biological fathers at that, don't give a second thought of their child. But there he was.

On the hardest days of my life, on the best days of my life. To discipline me when I was out of line, or to congratulate me when I did right. Every step of the way he's been there. Even now, with me being a 23 year old kid, he's never stopped being a father, not for a second.

I got a second chance to have a positive role model in my life. I've been blessed by whatever force, be it karma, or God or whatever sci-fi book it is that Scientologists worship. While he was a hard working man, and still continues to be, and has somehow found the fountain of youth (he still could pass for early 50's even though he's 73) he's always encouraged me well beyond that of most biological fathers.

I'm lucky to even know him. I'm lucky to say honestly that I consider him my best friend. While I do like to work with my hands (a very little known fact about me) I have chosen the path less traveled, to try to work in the field of "art". Most men from his generation would look down on that with much chagrin, especially those who drove trucks, worked on ranches and could rebuild an engine blindfolded. But Ed constantly pushes me to keep writing, to keep playing music, to keep discovering and chasing what it is that makes me happy, and to always do my best...and then try and top that.

Fathers so often get overlooked. So often fathers are the ones that take on as little responsibility as possible, as well, because it's "the womans job."

He stepped up to bat when a man who helped create me wouldn't even own up an ounce to being a decent human being.

At times I wonder where it is I came from. That biological father...I don't even know his name. I doubt I ever will. It's a piece to this puzzle that I'll never have, and I'll always wonder why he viewed me as such a bottom rung being, or how you could create a living being and then discard it as a piece of trash.

But like they man's trash is anothers treasure.

And I hope one day I make Ed proud. He's been something more than a father, more than a friend. I thank whatever it is that allowed me to meet such a terrific human being, because I know I truly could have never done anything that was deserving of something this great.

I say thank you Ed. I love you very much.

-Until tomorrow.

Friday, June 19, 2009

But you wanna live a lie, and love what you lose. (Day 194)

Band - Broken Social Scene

Song - 7/4 Shoreline

Album - Self Titled.

Gotta love Feist's voice in this song. She's so talented, and the video is cool.

I have a lot on my mind at the moment, and it's really making me tired. Struggles with my family, and painful news to hear from friends is really adding up. I wish I could offer them more. I wish I could offer you more. I wish somehow we could leave it all behind and welcome something less devastating.

I guess all we can do is keep moving on, and hope that life doesn't swallow us whole and spit out the remains.

You just gotta keep your head up as much as you can, and hopefully that will guide you through the bad and dark times.

Maybe no one is meant to be alone, and it's a cruel twist of fate that so many have to fight their battles that way. So count your blessings you made it through today, and if there was someone there with you the entire way...then it's nothing short of a miracle.

Tomorrow will be a special update. So make sure to tune right on in, and as always...spread the word.

-Until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If I could make a copy of myself I might, so I could have twice as much of everything. (Day 193)

Band - The Velvet Teen

Song - Radiapathy

Album - Out of the Fierce Parade.

This song invokes a lot of nostalgia for me. The way it seemingly builds off of something such as waking up every single day and hating that work or whatever tedious and menial chore awaits you.

I really relate to this song. The last line in the song always makes me wish I could wake and see the end of the world, because in this day and age we've seen it all...I truly believe that might be the only way we can be shaken from our somnambulism. I truly can't be the only person that feels this way, either.

I think we were meant to sit and work. I think we were meant to live and explore and love. I know that sounds a bit hippie-ish, but I did once have a one night stand with a hippie girl. But even besides that, I think that's still true.

Every night, especially when it's cool outside, I wish I could just pack up a back pack, some books and my cd's (no ipod for me, unfortunately) and just drive until there's no more road. And then turn around and do it again. To discover and explore every crevice this country has to offer, and then some. All under the protection of the black sky and cool air.

Last year I was in California for most of August. I stayed at a friends house, and I would feel the cool ocean air sometimes while walking to point a to point b. And you look from where she lives, and you see this all consuming black vortex that harbours a completely different universe, and that universe is the road to a completely different side of the map, or the world and there's someone else's story being written. God, I wish I could be there to see it happen, or at least just meet the offer.

But instead it kind of kills me that we're confined to doing something that in all actuality, if we really love, should be a glorified hobby rather than a means to an end. Life should be the job. The one job you actually keep up until that day you ultimately retire from.

I'm not quite sure what I'm getting at. I just wish I could salve the itch of this burning desire to travel.

-Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

He said 'give me something quick and sweet my whole life I've lived on the street'. (Day 192)

Band - Matt Skiba

Song - The City That Day

Album - Matt Skiba/Kevin Seconds split.

Last night I reconnected with someone I hadn't talked to in a long time. It was really awesome to play catch up with someone who was such a great friend.

It's been two years since her and I last talked. While she's still very much the same person I knew in High School, I've definitely noticed a change inside of her. She used to be an extremely shy and introverted person, who if somehow you got to know her you'd realize was more fun than 95% of the people you'd ever meet. She's funny, smart and extremely ambitious.

For the first time in God knows how long, I was not only excited like I used to get, but just all around happy. I never realized, and I guess I either forgot or I didn't realize it at the time, but we have a lot of things in common.

One thing that I had no idea how much I'd missed was her laugh. She has one of the all time greatest laughs I've ever heard.

You can tell a lot about a person in the way they laugh. Either they seem insecure, or are over doing it, faking it or are just insincere. If you pay attention, you can actually find those things about a person when they're laughing. But then there are those whom when they laugh, it's uninhibited and genuine.

I think everything about her is genuine. That's something I'd always regarded her as, and catching up with her last night I realized how much I'd wished we'd never fallen out of contact. It's not like we've ever had a falling out, or ended on bad terms, either. One person goes right and the other goes left and that person just becomes some sort of distant pinnacle you overlook because you get so entranced by what's currently going on in your life.

We used to talk for hours.

Last night we wound up talking on the phone, and it was like no time had passed. One moment it was fairly early in the evening, and the next thing I knew...the sun was coming up.

I have trouble trusting people. Even the closest people in my life, I build up a certain wall that I'm not willing to tamper with.

But I find myself at ease and comfortable with her, because I see a lot of similarities between us.

She leaves for school in six weeks. She's getting her masters at a college in Northern Arizona. Talking to her last night, I got the impression that she could be someone very important in my life, and I don't really want to ever fall out of contact with her again. I'm willing to put forth an effort to keep her in my life this time, because I had no idea how much I'd really missed her.

I'm damned proud of her.

I hope she doesn't find me at all creepy, and usually I don't care what people think of me. It's just something about her that's almost magnetic. Maybe time in Oregon changed that about her. Knowing she's leaving kind of bums me out, because I wonder when she leaves this time...will I ever see her again? That's how life is sometimes.

So for the next six weeks I really want to get to know her again, and discover the new her as well.

Not many people can make me smile sincerely, and I was shocked that she did it without even realizing it.

I'm off to bed. I hope you're doing okay.

P.S: Ryan, buddy, if you read this...I miss you man. Get in touch with me. I want to know if you're doing okay. I hope you're safe and happy.

-Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First time that I met her I was throwing up in the ladies room stall. She asked me if I needed anything I said "I think I spilled my drink". (Day 191)

Band - The Good Life

Song - Album of the Year

Album - Album of the Year.

I began taking my anti-anxiety medication. Coupled with the anti-depression pills, and vicodin (for shoulder and knee pain) I've not been this relaxed in...well, it's been a while.

It's strange. Just a few days ago I was having a major anxiety attack, and now I feel warm and relaxed and able to concentrate. It's a very welcome and nice feeling. I truly can't remember the last time I was this...centered, I guess. "Evening my chi" as a certain someone would say.

I'm getting the itch to really move on. To travel somewhere and try something and someone new. To write more.

The writing thing is becoming a daunting task. It seems harder to actually find an agent than it is to actually write a book. I have absolutely no clue on what I should do. If anyone has any idea or knows of the proper way to go about that, please, please, please get in contact with me.

-Until tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

If you always get up late you'll never be on time. (Day 190)

Band - Broken Social Scene

Song - Swimmers

Album - Self Titled.

I've already noticed some effect of the Cymbalta. It's almost like a tranquilizer.

I think it might've hit me as hard as it did today because I had a pretty bad anxiety attack last night, and was still feeling the after effects when I woke up this morning. Even now, I still feel a twinge of it, but the medication has left me feeling somewhat exhausted (hence the early post) and I'll probably be calling it in early tonight.

It's very difficult to find a job. At this point it's just ridiculous how hard of a time I am finding some form of employment, and it's nothing but discouraging. The added pressure from my family to find a job is really getting to me, as well. What's more discouraging is every time I get into the position where I might be able to get a job or have an interview, they decline to assist me by means of you know...taking me. It sucks, but not everyone who's unemployed has a vehicle.

So that's what I'm facing right now, and I'm feeling pretty burned out.

-Until tomorrow.