“The truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for”
– Bob Marley

I’ve seen some horrible things.
I’ve said vile, rage-induced rantings.
I’ve also witnessed humanity at its best.
I see the wonderment of it all, my place in it, and it’s astonishing in the difficulty and beauty of it all.

So I shall explain.

My biological father I know only in name (later in life I found him: he told me had a family. He didn’t wish to talk further.) and two half-siblings I know nothing about, save their existence.

My youth was spent mostly in a fog: vague memories of physical abuse from the two men my mother chose to marry after my father “left” (this part remains unknown to me). One such incident that stands out in particular was my step-father choke-holding me several inches off the ground; his rancid breath screaming profane words my mind won’t allow me to remember. An eternity passed before being thrown down.

I was adopted when I was 6. My toy gun I proudly held as a prize for going into court. “Father” dearest coming home staggering drunk nightly, a ticking bomb always following swiftly in his wake; always a saint come Sunday morning.

He’d keep a 2×4 hung on a nail in the basement door, the words “The Peacemaker” carefully carved into its flesh. I remember the sheer panic whenever that door would come open, can still hear the creak as clearly as though only a minutes passing.

I wonder if I was only one that sacred wood was used on; does that sound ring clearly elsewhere?

During my teenage years, I begun to enjoy the distraction drugs and alcohol provided. LSD proved to be the most interesting to me and lead me to a sense of spirituality and awe; perception forever changed.

I watched a meth addict spend hours with a mirror, picking at his face; the remainder of the time glancing out the window convinced the cops lurked within the shadows. “Geeter Heads”, folks around there called them, easily identifiable by their twitchy demeanor and tendency to ride a bicycle.

My past employee while I managed a photography studio suffered from a heroin addiction. Hell of a drug, that. Occasionally, we would smoke pot at the end of the shift together. Ended up having to fire him after showing up in an incoherent stagger one day; rather a shame and to this day I wonder about his fate.

Arguments, so many arguments, I’ve seen in the public.
Mothers smacking a child upside the head, calling them an idiot for dropping a cup.
Couples screaming with sweat-coated veins popping out with their rage whilst walking down a sidewalk; the mother pushing the stroller absently.
The person ahead of you in line complaining about the washer fluid levels are too low; the gas too high.

This list, obviously, goes on extensively for us all.

I’ve dated liars, cheaters, and wonderful people who ended hurting me the most when gone.
I’ve yelled things hateful and explosive, designed specifically to hurt; perhaps one of my only regrets in life.
I’ve received them just as often, the kind that cut to the core and still hurt years later; a cancer that never truly heals.
I have a spectacular significant other now, however strained the circumstances and despite my sickening realization of just how far my rabbit hole goes, is still standing by side. My soul hopes that continues.

I’ve seen the best humanity has.

A stripper I met once (not in a strip club, for the record; not an elegant business in my humble opinion) gave me one of my most accurate tarot card readings while another picked me up at two a.m. during a hitchhike to nowhere.

A Mexican gentleman, speaking broken English, picked me up while hundreds passing me did not so much as slow. He then insisted on giving me $20 after taking me several dozens miles directly to my destination, though I repeatedly told him I had money and attempted refusal. I have not forgotten that, my friend.

Strangers smiling and saying hello.
Love; uninhibited and full, in all of its glory and pain.
Someone pitching in the eighteen cents a fellow man seems short on to buy his loaf of bread.

Tonight, I stood outside and watched the starlit sky for nigh an hour, and reflected upon all this. Where I fit in the grand scheme of things; one tiny speck of nothing in an infinite space.

I finally was able to clear my mind for the first time in memory. At that very moment, in that blissful state of pure nothingness, a shooting star flashed brightly across my direct vision.

It was then, I knew it was time to write this portion of my story.

It didn’t always used to be like this, my Agoraphobia.
It’s terrifying to face, and equally as magnificent.
An absolute curse; a beauty in its solitude.
Hatred and love, entangled into a mesh that I simply cannot undo anymore.

Even if I could, would I want to?

The only question unanswered: Should I be thankful for this and come to love it? Not having an answer is perhaps the most frightening of it all.


The World Sure Does Funny Things Sometimes…

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.”
― William Gibson

So I had this tug several days ago. At first, I didn’t know what this tug was, it was only identifiable as a pulling feeling. After a day or so, it hit me: I’m done living in Pennsylvania. That rather struck me hard, as logistically this is very difficult. Firstly, and most importantly, my daughter lives here with her mother; I couldn’t imagine leaving her on a permanent basis. Secondly, as mentioned before,  I have Agoraphobia. There are times when I have a hard time walking down the street, let alone move 2600+ miles away on the other side of the country. However, this tug became inescapable; consuming me during any and every free moment I had.

Finally, I was drawn to my Tarot cards (I should mention this is not a typical ‘doom and gloom’ Tarot deck… I may elaborate on that another time perhaps), something I rarely feel.  As I shuffle the deck, a card goes flying out, and one that I haven’t drawn, nor seen before, flies out. Picking it up, it became very clear my path: the card “Movement”  was staring back at my bewildered face.

So I start to think about where I’d want to go; for some reason Washington state and Colorado immediately popped into my head and would not leave. A day or two later of research, phone calls, and hold music (still humming that bloody awful Christmas tune, thanks folks), it appears a destination is slowly rising out of the fog: Bellingham, Washington, in the district of Happy Valley (that makes me smile every time I say it) and on McKenzie street (which bears particular significance in its own right as that it is my better half’s name).

While I still have yet to learn the logistics of exactly how I’m moving over there (keep in mind, I have about $0.32 to work with), I remember back in my high school years of oh-so-long-ago telling everyone I was going to walk across the country; At the time, I had no idea this meant in my 30’s.  However, it appears I will have a VERY long hitchhiking trip ahead of me; it’s all happening with frightening speed and synchronicity but I know deep down that this is my path.

There is also going to have to be the talk I have with my ex about my daughter, which may prove to be either a blessing to leave or a hellish thing; time will tell and the outcome I hope to be the best.

I have yet to learn my exact date of departure but I will be taking my camera to share and catalog this journey with you; look for this to happen in the next few weeks, if instinct serves me well.

Any Suggestions GREATLY appreciated!!!! I’m flying blind here, by the seat of my pants and letting my soul guide me.

See you soon, Bellingham!