Don't really know where to begin this, or why to begin this. I anticipate it being a long, convoluted rambling. A purge of my feelings held back, pent up, denied and contorted over the past... hmmmm... 30 years or so...
I have no one to talk to about these things. Yes, I am married, 16 years now... but it must be my own insecurities that tell me she won't understand, can't understand, or wouldn't want to understand... Hell, who knows? I don't think I will write about all I feel, just hit a few highlights (if one could call them that). Emphasize a few major events in my life, and perhaps shed light on the me that I am, or just get the feelings out of my system.
Not many people I know, know much about me, Some things come out in my poetry, but not depicted plainly and never consistently enough to allow one to put the puzzle together.
Enough, let me begin... At 16 I met a man at work, we became friends and with partied alot with others at work... long story short, we went to buy some beer for a party one evening and ended up parked out in the middle of no where, hmmmm, let me be a UN graphic at possible... he had a gun, knocked me silly with it, raped me and left me on the side of the road. I woke, walked home, and kept the whole deal to myself. Attendance at work dropped (missed two days, and then kept calling in sick) soon I was fired.
Lost my appetite, didn't eat for a while, started my junior year and fell out during PE, short hospital stay because of dehydration and malnutrition and everything was fine. (lost 50 pounds that summer! Thank god for little things - I WAS a bit round before that happened).
Fast forward.... graduate, join the Army, Stationed in Hawaii at 18 where the drinking age was 18, and spent my time buzzed. Sent to Panama during Operation Just Cause, jumped out of a helicopter and landed in about three feet of mud, along with the rest of my platoon. That jump tore up my back, and when we were pulled out, me and two other soldiers discoved bullet wounds. The doctors took a .45 slug out of my thigh and sent me on my way.
Things were going well, Got married, living in Hawaii, find out my wife is pregnant... good stuff.
I donated blood (as I did every six months) and recieved a call a week later from a doctor who explained that the Red Cross had started a program of testing all blood donations and it appears that my blood tested positive for HIV (HTLV III is what they called it then).
So, here I am, 20 years old, married, expecting my first child, and I have just been handed what I considered at that time to be a death sentence. My wife, against the advice of her family, decided to stay with me (thank god for that).
Since then we struggled along, ups and downs, mostly downs it seems... Two more children (the ups) lost jobs, bad jobs, no jobs.... and threw it all the world was colored in a booze induced haze...
fast forward again... January 1998, JP gets run off the road and when the police arrive to take the report, they decide to take JP to jail for DUI despite the testimony of many witnesses who verify that I was not at fault. (hell, I was at fault for the DUI because I was drinking....).
The DUI, while very inconvenient and expensive, did little to deter JP from drinking. Went a long time being very careful and before I realized it the pattern of drinking reinserted itself.... soon I was spending most of my time buzzed again.
Fast forward to two years later and JP makes a turn without signaling, sees the lights in the rearview and knowing full well that he is drunk resigns himself to his second DUI.
This one was different. This time I got to spend 5 days in jail. During that time my wife finds that I was out drinking with someone from school, whom I have been spending a lot of time with. Although I had not had intercourse with this young lass, I had become enamoured of her - enough so, that my wife feels it best to let me cool my heels for a while.
Spending 5 days, in a small cell, with a heroine addict (on his way to "the state pen" for a few years) gives one plenty of time to reflect.
So, here I am, three months sober, paying my fines and doing a lot of walking, my wife and I are working on our relationship. I was forced to withdraw from school which was extremely painful for me (5 years of night school to get my BA, I was two months from graduating and had to pull out).
In the midst of this turmoil and strife, I found myself wanting, and with a bit of spare time on my hands I wandered back to this place, a place I always came for refuge, and with my return I brought with me a storm of discontent.
So, there we are. A very abbreviated version of my 36 years... To close this thread let me express my feelings of the moment. A moment of clarity and of subjugation...
I came back to Passions to regain something of myself - a small glimmer of who and what I know I could be. I wanted to regain my creativity, my sense of belonging, and soak up a few slaps on the back and "glad to have you"s. I ended up offending some, hurting the feelings of others, and feeding my own gnawing discontent and internal rot.
Does my past excuse my present? Hell no! I don't believe in that at all, but it does color one's present. Don't feel that I have exposed my soul for pity's sake, or to say "look at my life, this is why I am such an ass", I shared this because I have never done so (I forgot to mention that my father and one of my brothers still does not know I am living with HIV - it's been 15 years and i have still not told them).
I'll be around, reading, enjoying the work of others, commenting when moved to do so. Eventually i hope to get that spark that lets me write something worthy of y'all.
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
"Everything is your own damn fault, if you are any good." E. Hemmingway