Anyone who can’t admit to a mistake hasn’t learned from it yet
So here is my story. I’ve sold, grown, and distributed drugs. Bought and sold sex. Abandoned those I loved when they were in need, and been abandoned by those I loved. I’ve pushed away those who loved me and called the scum of the earth friend and business partner. I’ve saved lives and contributed to the deaths of others. And not just strangers, those I called family. I’m not trying to justify my actions at the time I thought they were necessary. I will have to atone for my sins as we all do and not in a biblical sense. If you can’t live with yourself and what you have done you will never be happy. Am I a villain? I have been. Am I a hero? No, but I have done some great things. But isn’t that the duality of man.
So I guess I’ll start at the beginning. I was born in 1985 and like many in my generation I was raised to be a man by a woman. My Dad abandoned us when I was a child and the first memory is my sister holding me on the stairs telling me if it will be fine. I don’t know if that was the night he left I was to young but I learned the hard lesson that sometimes it will not be alright. I don’t really remember meeting my Dad when he came back, but I do remember knowing he was my Father as soon as I saw him.
My mother, sister, and I lived on the farm I was born on for four years. She worked as a secretary and lets say we were the bottom of the income bracket. Again I was too young to remember this but I heard stories of the three of us sleeping in the same bed by the fire place to keep warm. The house was built in the late 1800’s and was insulated by horse hair and newspaper. You could feel the breeze coming through the walls and windows. Nothing is as cold as that house in winter. My mother had to chop the wood since I was three, and my big sister was eight. Mom always told stories of this old man Henry who worked for my grandparents and would come by to help chop wood. According to my mother he kept us from freezing to death because anyone who has lived in a house that is heated by wood knows it takes literally a ton, on a regular basis.
We moved to a village about an hour from my farm to a house that, to say the least was a royal piece of shit. It had a hole in the front porch five feet by five feet with a board over it to cross so you could get into the front door. The kitchen plumbing was an engine hose, and it was heated by wood and the oldest oil heater imaginable. We called it home and started to fix it up. I will say that I was given the eye to see things for what they can be instead of the shit they normally are. I painted the walls from the floor to three feet high, my sister did the next two feet and my mother painted to the ceiling doing the ladder work. By now my mother who is really a genius (and not a Kanye West genius a real one) had started her own business in management consulting. Do you know how hard it is to get away with anything as a kid when your mother is a genius? She could have seen a spec of dirt on my shoes and told me what part of the swamp I was playing in instead of doing my homework. Ever seen the show Monk? She is that good without all the weird quarks.
So she was supporting us on her own with a little help from my sister’s dad’s child support. My Dad was not around. One week a month she would have to go on business and the coolest black woman would take care of us. I say that in retrospect at the time I’m sure I hated her she made me eat my veggies, but mom always said, and I believed it, that if the house was on fire she would have come out with me under one arm my sister under her other arm and hair on fire.
My mother married her third husband when I was seven years old, about the same time my dad came back. My dad moved on to the farm that I grew up on, and me my sister and my mother moved in with my new step dad and his three children. When they divorced I was 18 and I decided to move in with my dad who had just been diagnosed with HIV. I wanted to live with him to get to know him before he died. My mother taking this decision badly decided to move to Canada where she resides to this day. I lived with my dad and went to art school which were the best years of my life. I was a great student a great worker and an even better boyfriend. My life was going exactly where I wanted it to go and I was happy right up to the point where SWAT kicked in my door and threw me out of college. Damn marijuana Laws. At the same time my father’s condition was greatly deteriorating. I spent the next year trying to take care of my dad as best as a 20-year-old could do. Tragically my dad did not want to live and he stopped taking his medication. I couldn’t watch my dad slowly dying of AIDS in front of me so I ran away to the big city two and a half hours from my farm. I only saw my dad a few more times during most of which we fought until I get a call one night saying he is slipped into a coma and will be dead by morning. I went home to smoke weed, drink scotch and listen to Tom Petty with him for the last time. I had to blow the smoke in his face, use my fingers to put some scotch on his lips, which funny enough he quickly licked up; some of the last movements he ever made. He was dead in six hours. What they dont tell you about AIDS is that you go crazy before you die my Dad wrote me out of the will. I lost my Dad and the farm on the same day. I lost my mind and my will to live and decided to try to get killed selling cocaine in the murder capital of America. I made half a million in two years. Tragically I wasted it all on drugs, lap dances, my friends, ridiculous bar tabs exceeding ten grand in one night and the greatest BBQs by the river every day free for everyone of course. You don’t really save when you expect to be killed at any moment. When my partner was gunned down in a drive-by I decided to retire. I was ashamed when I looked in the mirror and I resolve to change. I decided to start my journey to become a gentleman.
Long Live the Writers
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