Personal Service Announcement
This is a PSA (Personal Service Announcement):
Keep your head up. Stay vigilant. But most importantly, don’t lose your sense of Compassion.
Lately it feels like a clenched fist has been beating on the inside of my chest. My Heart feels tight. Like those freaky Vampire things from Blade II, with the evolutionary bone growth around their Hearts.
I feel myself walking everywhere with an edginess, speaking sharply & curtly, and giving everyone who happens to catch my gaze an intense visual exchange. Anyone who doesn’t know me probably interprets this shit as badass swag, as is evidenced by the people who come up to me in public lately and the girls that hit on me at school.
But I know deep down that I’m probably just really pissed off right now. It’s such a seething & deep flowing sensation. At least I think it’s anger. Or is it pain? The roadblocks of my Heart are so dense right now that I honestly have no clue what’s in there. I’ve psycho-analyzed myself to a tee—I’m usually aware of how I’m feeling all the time. Self-awareness like a boss. But right now, I honestly have no clue what the hell is goin on.
We all got Angels. We all got Demons.
~J.Cole - Sideline Story
I definitely have mine. The only difference between an Angel & a Demon is whether the helping hand they extend is a open hand or a closed fist.
I can’t honestly say my Hand is fully open—neither is my Heart. There is so much at stake right now in my Life & have very little patience for anything superfluous. I’m not unhappy, but I know deep down inside I am probably pissed as fuck. Frustration channeled as Determination. I feel the edges of my persona hardening. The softer sides of Life feel like a fleeting memory. I feel the blows of this current barrage of Life and I can feel my defenses shoring up. What I fear however, is not what’s going on externally. I can always handle that. My concern is what transpires within. My shields are going up—I fear that it may protect me from too much. It may very well keep everything out…
This World of Men is a strange one. I was subject to much at a young age. Forced to learn very adult lessons prematurely. I was granted the gift/curse of a more Inquisitive Lense and a more Panoramic Mind. I saw early on how often people ran away from Life. Saw early on the full extent of the emptiness that people felt & how often they sought to fill these voids with ephemeral solutions. I also saw how vicious they were to each other when that void got the best of them. I felt like a civilized beast trapped in a World of boorish Men.
Nothing was hidden from my eyes. I saw through the facade. I pierced the veil. I still do. I guess that’s why I can connect to other people so easily. I don’t bother with the Armor & Masks they wear—I assess & interact with what’s behind them.
However, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt anyone get past my own…
So in an attempt to get myself out of my head & give myself a pick-me-up, I take a look back. A look back at a time where I was stronger. Well, not stronger exactly—just different. A time where I was more vigilant & driven instead of conflicted & agitated; like an Angel with a Spear rather than a Vampire with a Conscience:
Tuesdays With Morrie…er… David & Damn Good Mints
~Point in time in my Life where I was Mitch Albom
One is the Loneliest Number
~The true price & worth of a Slurpee.
~Romance is a Lifestyle, not just a mood.
My biggest strength was my ability to emotionally diagnose every situation & do what is necessary. I was a hopeless romantic before & it was fun to believe in the magic of Love. I feel so far removed from who I was at that time & it concerns me.
I am as kind & giving as I am, because of my capacity to be equally just as vicious. The only alternative to Compassion is Contempt. There are already too many imbeciles practicing the latter.
My goals will fall victim to my sheer force of Will. I’ve donned my armor & am ready to brave this current gauntlet. However, this schitt feels like it’s air tight sometimes. I just pray I’ll be able to take it off when it’s no longer needed…
I don’t feel nearly as melodramatic as this post may imply, but I do feel my chest tightening up inside. It’s like a gut reaction to everything happening at the moment. Like I said, I don’t know what’s inside there right now. I have gone through a lot in a short amount of time, and for the most part I’ve handled it like a boss, it’s only natural that it affect me even somewhat. Still, it’s strange & somewhat confounding that I’ve managed to withhold this much—even from myself.
I’ve trained myself to not need anyone. Seen so much bullshit in my Life & the Lives of others, so much that I don’t believe anybody else would even understand. So I just keep this dialogue to myself. I’ve internalized so much from my past & who I am as a person. As a result my Passion is effervescent. I’m willing to go through more than most for what I want—I will literally bleed for anything I believe in. That’s why/how I taught myself to do pretty much a lil bit of everything lol. Write, dance, cook, bake, massage, speak Japanese, fight, draw, etc (Gdamn—I’d be a dopeass boyfriend LOL).
I could go everywhere by myself on a whim. Used to ride the trolley for kicks just to strike up random conversations with strangers. Volunteered by myself at charity events just to introduce a new type of energy to my life, & to make sure it was for wholly appropriate reasons & not rely on the crutch of company to make right decisions. Even went clubbing by myself at times and social butterflied the whole night like a boss. So the issue with me is not the how, but the why…why I do & why I don’t do.
And at times I can’t help but feel as though this independence is a hindrance…
Lately I’ve felt detached. Even during the Summer I was expecting this to occur. I guess that’s why I went so crazy lol. I knew the hardship that I was destined for. It was a good run though. I was a conduit of feel-good & I-don’t-give-a-fuck vibes and bled that energy over to everyone I was with. Now I’ve retreated back into my Batcave, ready to right the wrongs in my Life. It’s cool though. It was a sign of the potential I have & what I can offer to the World someday. When all is said & done, I know I’ll make someone—everyone I Love actually—really happy.
I choose what/who I want present in my Life. I have no problem disappearing or cutting myself off. Such is the nature of those born in the year of the Tiger. I understand now that it’s not necessarily a good thing. I guess this is just my whole way of keeping myself in check. A reminder to myself to keep myself open, or even maybe just open up in general.
Note-2-Self: I know you like to go lone wolf status at times (especially during times of hardship), but STAY OPEN buddy. Never know how, what, & when good things/people may pop into your Life. And if it’s already present, have the foresight to actually realize it’s there. I hope it happens soon. I could sure use the Pick-Me-Up.
Oh & lastly, no matter what—don’t ever give in & act like a lil bitch. I know You won’t, but I’m jus sayin :]
This PSA courtesy of Yourself.
Godspeed sir. Godspeed.
Tuesdays with Morrie…er…I mean David & Damn Good Mints.
Foreward: Man. I’m grateful that I have outlets like writing. It’s a great way to release a bunch of energy. When I write, I feel like I’m a character other than myself, displacing my emotional energy, and placing it on a stage outside of myself. Keeps me sane. Sometimes my posts seem pretty emotionally saturated. Some even intense. Sometimes I truly mean em, other times it’s just a release. Either way, it’s all Art. It’s all fun.
Anyways, this next post is actually a true story. Alluded to it in the end of my Rocksteady post. Blogged about it years ago. Dug through my archives & brought this one back from the dead. I learned a lot from this man. Since it’s Tuesday, thought it’d be fitting to post it. Always good to have reminders, to keep one motivated.
I was at work, at Rubio’s, and he came in again—just like he does every Tuesday for lunch. He orders the same thing everytime:
A Fish Taco Especial and a small Coke. $3.49. For here.
A frail old man, who seemed a lot older than he actually might have been, with one of the most underapprceciated souls I have ever encountered. I admire his continuity. He is always constant. Never fails to show up. And like every Tuesday before today, I opt to spend my lunch break with him.
Our interactions always have the same vibe: a combination of his utter and endless desire to question the attrocities of Life, and my tendency to spew out words of kindness & unrelenting optimism. David was no slouch though. Not your typical bitter old man.
I’ve volunteered at senior care centers before, but this man was a of a different breed altogether. A completely capable individual. He’s actually quite intelligent, a mathematician & economist, who had done work for many big companies. Think along the lines of John Nash a little, then you have David. However, this man’s accomplishments belied his actual posture & temperament.
As far as I could tell, the man had no family, & no more close friends. I’ve never met a met who was so—Alone.
He was not a religious man either. Though born Jewish, he was an atheist through & through. We spent many of our moments together bantering back & forth about the validity of believing in such things as religion. He always came at me with the same old, well if God is real why is he so cruel as to let these evils exist in the world argument. I always kept my hopeful disposition. Telling him that if all that existed was just Hope, then that was God enough for me.
Today was quite a day however. I couldn’t afford to come off as trite. I would need to dig deep into my reserves of positivity on this day. And I would need to be damn confident about it. David told me today that his Life is crumbling. The world as he knew it…
He had no Family.
He lost his job.
He wasn’t getting any younger.
He felt under-appreciated by his colleagues.
His fiance was beginning to get cold feet.
She might not marry him.
At the risk of being reprimanded by my boss (fakk you Dan lol. ya dick.) for goin over my break time & usin too much time to talk to a customer, I stayed. I consoled him. Made an effort to share some of my optimism and youthful exuberance with the man. He honestly had a look of sheer and utter melancholy plastered all over his features. Wholly & utterly despondent. The man looked like he was ready to kill himself. I tried with all my heart to offer him words of kindness & hope and try to reinforce whatever strength he had left inside of him. He’s stronger than he realizes…
However, the veil of lugubriousness that shrouded him was thick. I mean what do you say to a man who looks as though offering any words of positivity, would be akin to shoving a knife in his eyes, his throat, then his heart, and then twisting it. I honestly don’t know if I even got through to him…
After about 20min, I had to get back to work and so we parted ways. He left.
I wondered if I would ever see him again…
Then something extraordinary occurred.
After around 4-5 minutes, David returned from his car, went all the way back to the restaurant and limped all the way towards the front to my register. He then stuck his hand out. I reciprocated & he grabbed it with both hands, & shook it fervently. Not relinquishing his grip, he held my hand as he said…
“Reggie, excuse me for saying this. I mean it when i say it tho…
GOD BLESS YOU. You’re a good man. You’re saving my sanity…you’re saving my life. At times my Life seems so down, but then You give me hope. Thank you Reggie. You always help me out. No one else seems to take notice. Nobody else seems to care. If there’s anything I can do to help you, please tell me…
God bless you Reggie.”
That is what keeps me going…
If I can help at least one soul and make he/she smile and see the light at the end of the tunnel, then I am at peace with myself. Thank you David. Your words have continued to motivate me…
God bless you kind sir. Have no doubt in my words to you:
“LOVE ALWAYS FINDS A WAY.”
He smiled a weak smile upon hearing that. I could see it in his eyes that it was genuine. And with that, he released his grip, and I watched him as he trudged his way toward the exit. He was gone again.
I’ll continue to pray for you, David. God bless you. Much love mang. May life shower you with nothing else but gifts of good fortune.
Originally blogged/written on Jun 7, 2005
David ended up gettin married and moving with his bride to Arizona. A new job awaited him there. As did a new life.
I reblogged this as a reminder to myself, as well as to anyone who comes across this, and cares enough to get all the way to the end. A reminder that even in the worst of times, all isn’t lost. A reminder that if you keep chasing the sun, that it will never set. The sun’s gotta be shining somewhere. There’s always light somewhere out there in the world.
You just never know. You may be chasing & working towards something for what seems a Lifetime, and you just never know when that turning point will come. When all that faith, effort, & devotion will finally show dividend. A lot of people fail because they quit at ninety-percent. Ten-percent more & it would all have been worth it. Lesson learned: Be relentless. Keep chasing.
Chase the Sun & it will never set.
Heh. And now an Afterthought:
David used to walk (or trudge/limp) to Mimi’s Cafe across the parking lot after our lunches every week and would grab me one of their chocolate peppermints. Despite his limp, he never ever failed. Not once. I would love to be that dependable someday. One time he almost forgot, and even came back 15min later to apologize for the whole “ordeal” and proceeded to give me one.
I remember the last time he did that for me. He grabbed me three of em.
Those were damn good mints.
One is the Loneliest Number
Writing this one more for myself more than anything. To remind myself of this moment whenever I read back on it. On with the Show. Damn I love to write.
I’m at work right now. But I had to get this down while it’s still fresh in my mind.
On my way to work today I stopped by 7-Eleven to grab a Muscle Milk. It’s recovery day today and I basically committed suicide at the gym yesterday. Feelin nauseous, pounding headache, & wanna throw my guts up. Try three and a half hours of jump-rope, pylometrics, & weights at the gym and see how you feel. Haha. It’s worth it though. Ohhh-wee it hurts so good. Passion & pain are two sides of the same coin.
I digress however…On wiff the story.
So I’m at 7-Eleven. I walk in, make a bee-line straight to the chilled beverages, grab my Muscle-Milk, and proceeded to fall in line. In front of me was a mother with her son, who looked to be no older than probably 3-4 years of age. The mother was honestly probably in her mid-thirties, but the tired skin, eye bags, and blotches that adorned her face gave off the impression that she was much older. She had a youthful enthusiasm about her. Her smile was sincere, and her eyes full of compassion. She loved her son dearly.
On the counter were their purchases. A coffee and two slurpies. Obviously a treat for the boy. A day out with his mother. How quaint. How beautiful.
As all this processed through my head at about 1000mph, I finally noticed that this purchase was taking a bit longer than usual. So I opened my ears up.
“Hey honey. Mommy doesn’t have any money. You have money right?” She joked at her son as she playfully padded her pockets. The kid started checking his pockets in earnest as well. Haha. Funny. Ahh, to be innocent & gullible again.
I quietly smiled. Heh, I miss those days. Just me and my youthful & eternally beautiful mother.
The clerk proceeded to join in and chide the mother and child.
“Uh oh kiddo! Looks like no Slurpees today.”
The group continued on…but something was amiss. A growing look of worry began to creep over the Mother’s features.
“Oh no. I can’t believe this. I think I actually forgot my wallet.”