I remember at 6 sitting on the cold marble stairs of our house in Rio praying and that prayer was to die. Until then my life was one of violence against me. My father did what his father did.
My mother who also beat me also badgered my father to do things with me. So he would take me for walks to cut the bamboo he would beat me with that week. My mother got me a dog, knowing how messed up I was becoming, and he kicked it to death for not walking properly. By six I prayed to die to the COAT (Creator Of All This). And I prayed that one day I could kill my father.
When I was seven my sister became sick. My mother used this opportunity to flee my father who beat her as well and escape to New Orleans. And at seven I made myself a promise…No one would ever hurt me again. That started my self-destructiveness that lasted until I was twenty six. The last seven of those years I was a bouncer on Bourbon Street and got paid to hurt people. The club I worked for was owned by the mafia, who also owned the cops. And although I was occasionally arrested, I was never convicted of anything. I just wanted everyone to hurt as much as I did. I also did any and all drugs I came across. And continued until I was 46.
I, in those years read everything I could about any religion but soon realized the writings were not historical but memories of people written far after the prophets were gone. People embellish, history does not. I also hated the fact that money was such a big part of all of the religions.
All of my life I only ever wanted one thing. To be loved as much as I could love another. But there was one problem I did not realize until I was much older. My parents never told me they loved me. I was cared for by maids. I was never hugged. All I ever experienced was discipline from my sadistic father and mother. I did not know how to receive or react to love.
There were 4 who loved me. But I could not accept it. I tested and tested until I ran them all off. I proved over and over I was unlovable. Those early years really are the foundation of the rest of your life.
Meg, a missionaries daughter caused my first epiphany. A realization that some relief could come from poetry. She was a caring person who at 13 introduced me to writing. I thank the COAT that it never was more than a friendship. I have been in touch with her in the last decade and she was one of the few that were glad to hear from me.
The hands that wrote poetry also drew way to much blood; these hands. I loved the reputation I had on Bourbon street. I loved that people would travel to challenge me. I never lost. But I always lost.
Even in high school I predicted I would be dead by 25 by my own hand. And now at 66 it is soon to be a reality.
I had three epiphanies in my life…Moments that changed everything in a second. The second in 1979 resulted from a Stevie Nicks song called Silver Springs played in a dive I hung around in called Linda’s Lounge. Me, the person all feared, sat at the bar and cried. Such beautiful lyrics.. And music has always been about the poetry for me and the words are what I chased. I left Bourbon street and flew to San Francisco to kill my father. I am sure those in the bar that day are still in shock. The only emotion they had only see was when my fist swung, usually unprovoked.
Anyways, in San Francisco, COAT intervened and he, who never left that city had left. I ended up broke, and in a mental hospital. Oh yes, therapy – years of it, all through my lifetime. At 12 I was diagnosed with PTSD from all I had suffered. And I saw the man who had taught me violence instead of love as the cause of all my problems. Truth be told after seven I was my worst enemy and cause of pain.
So in 1980 I became a two sided person. One a professional in a suit that covered all the tattoos that were the medals of Bourbon street. And I was very good at my job. I advanced quickly but still had the addictive personality. I managed to put Cowboy away in his place within me. He was the hate and the violence. He still lives. Always there. Alert and attentive and now instead of my hands pounding flesh, it is a gun that gives him his power.
So for 14 years I played the game of society. I did well – I married a woman I did not love, divorced her 8 years later and then at 45 the third epiphany. I fell paralyzed in 1998 while walking to bed.
Never had I experienced a neck or back issue. But C3-4 had a bone spur that eventually pushed the disc against the spinal cord and exploded. Emergency surgery gave me some motion back but that was accompanied by pain that was indescribable. In April 99 I took 300 1 gr Phenobarbital and a bottle of gin. I would have just shot myself but I had a room mate that I worried would have to clean it all up. Somehow I lingered for two days and then on the way to the hospital died three times. I had the out of death experience. And 50 days later was discharged after clots in my lungs and a mandatory hold by the coroner. The second surgery also failed, it was to remove the large amount of bone spurs in my spine. They only did my neck but the spurs existed all the way down to my bottom
So for the past 20 years I have existed in this house. Watched it deteriorate as I watched all hopes and dreams do. I called myself RustyDreams on the internet. Because I lost all future dreams all I had were the old rusty ones to recount. During that time I managed to rescue Great Danes until about 5 years ago when I began falling. I spent a year alone and decided to get another dog. A smaller one I could handle.
COAT again intervened. Instead of a normal happy dog I got a loving dog with major anxiety issues. Rain, wind, thunder, and being alone cause her to go nuts. Even human antidepressants do not help. She is the only reason I linger. Had I gotten a dog I could rehome I would have been long gone. But she needs to be near me 24/7, even at my feet as I type this.
When there is no more chance of love in a life, there is no life. Happiness, who so many claim is all they want do not realize it is just another emotion that comes and goes.
I thought of taking my dog with me into the next world but that caused me guilt. Always I have considered others needs more than my own.
I have but one wish left. The ocean has always been something that comforted me. I went to Key West and spent the whole week sitting on a balcony with the ocean. I was calm inside and somewhat peaceful. It was all I wanted. Maybe it is all the fire in me, a triple Aries I was told, that caused additional torment but found calm in the waves.
They say that God, or in my case COAT gives you only what you can handle.
My hands are so tired. I want the peace of silence I never had. And this time I will not fail. There were attempts before 99. And the next one will be successful.
Please let it be at the ocean. My ashes will be spread there but I would rather die smelling salt air and hearing the waves in the night.
I have written this quickly and tried to be as short with it as I could but still tell my story.
If anything comes of it, parents, your baby’s lives are shaped by you. How can they know how to receive love if you do not love them and hold them when they are young? I never felt the safety all should in their first years.
To all my hands have hurt I AM SORRY.
To those that I helped, thank you – your gift was mine a hundred times more.
For the gift given without expectations of a return help the giver more than the dog or person receiving it.