Things I didn’t see
Things I didn’t see:
So I am going to talk about where I lived from age 15 until around age 22. Most of the people I knew who hung around me only knew what was in front of them and not the reality of the situation. So, my room, above a bar, was roughly around 12 feet x 13 feet, right above the bar’s entertainment system. Everything shook and vibrated. Sleep, I think not. There were 13 rooms above this bar and two hall bathrooms meant to be shared by the occupants of the 13 rooms. The occupants were an interesting variety of individuals. This all goes back to a few of my previous blog posts, leading into that I lived in an interesting environment growing up.
The pen at times is mightier than the sword. Though, having more than one pen never hurts.
One individual made those living conditions bearable – a Navy vet named Rocky, my next-door neighbor. He taught me to appreciate life; I only wish the younger generation would appreciate today and how fortunate they are. This man had nothing, but shared his wisdom, which was more valuable than currency. As in the song from OAR the black rock and the wise old man, he was my wise old man. I miss his constant bitching and arguments; he died some years back and I still hear his words today. Enough of that.
Ok. Let’s get to the grit of this. This environment was where I met the DEVIL as one could say. Please understand I was no saint. I was young, reckless, full of pride and pure rage, and could care less if I lived or died and on more than a few occasions, I almost did. So, when I come across individuals today and they try to push me over the edge or try to push their belief systems on me, I just take a breath and look at them. I say this with honest conviction, because I encountered more of the most vicious and ruthless people during these years than I have ever met during my entire adult hood. I have no problem walking away from pointless situations, or better yet, standing my ground. Don’t get me wrong; I had my ass kicked more times than I can remember and experienced more psychological trauma than anyone could possibly want to experience. As a result, I respect the capacity humans have to heal.
So, my neighbors consisted of drug dealers, hard core drug users, alcoholics, prostitutes, and a lot of racism at every turn. I worked 80+ hours a week in the kitchen of the bar below my apartment. That’s another blog. The things I didn’t see were ridiculous. You get that? So, back to my neighbors….One was a retired fire chief; he had literally given up on life, and had fly larvae and flies “living” in his beard. Enough said on that.
I did my fair share of drug experimenting; sometimes I think it was the only reason I didn’t kill myself. I came close a few times, but I refused to quit. Because of my work schedule, I slept very little. Besides who could sleep with the noise from the bar? I am ending this blog post here. Always have hope.
Some favorite quotes to end today’s entry:
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” (Epictetus)
“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” (John C. Maxwell)
“This one is for those who think they know me: Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” (George Bernard Shaw)
And because it is Isaac Asimov’s birthday I wanted to conclude today’s entry with his thoughts: It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.
See you in the next post!