Alone in the Past

My toes hang over the precipice as I stare down into the void, each year hoping that this time it might be different, that I won’t fall into that vast chasm of loneliness in my heart, that this time, maybe, I’ll walk home feeling less alone than when I walked there. Maybe I’ll break through my shyness and meet a woman I might eventually find love in, maybe I’ll meet a stranger and through good conversation see the promise of a true friend.

This year, maybe I’ll find my way out of the shadows.

In the green room we again say our rushed hello’s and how are you’s as they all get ready for the night – the majority of the people living less than ten miles away, yet still I only see at most a few times a year, and then only at events. Again the questions invade my mind, wondering who I am to them, and who they are to me.

Though in conversation I would call many of them friends just for ease of description, I hold that title with a certain reverence – and with the exception of a scant few I wonder and doubt if it holds true any longer. Perhaps once upon a time it did, but now, these days, I feel as if I am nothing more than an apparition from the past, chained to their present and still trying to belong in a place I don’t anymore.

Each year I walk out my door with the hope that maybe this time, it will be different – but each year I walk home, again alone, again feeling lonelier than I was on my way there.

There was a time when I changed my life completely around somewhat frequently, a time where I earned and lived my chosen name of Flux – but that person was lost somewhere in the eighteen months in hospice and years after, teaching myself to walk again and rebuilding the atrophied muscle. All I was anymore was the guy who fought death and won.

Now it’s time to be someone different. It’s time to change. Time to let go of the past and who I was, and become, again, someone new. Something new to be known for – and possibly, be remembered for.

It’s time to step back from the edge of this oppressive loneliness, meet new people, and in the process earn my name again, and again make my dreams into reality.

After all – that’s what I’m good at.

Deciding to Live

It’s time for everything to change. Again.
I’ve become complacent, undisciplined – and I need to come back.

I’ve read countless books on motivation, habits, procrastination, visualizing, raising energy, and anything that I thought would help. Some were crap, many got me inspired – for a couple days. I could never follow through like I used to. Something inside of me had broken, and I didn’t have the constant challenge to survive to inspire me.

That is, as strange as it sounds, what I think I miss the most. The fear. The adversity. It’s what inspired me to act on the first day I walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf alone, in full statue dress & makeup. It’s what inspired me to create an online magazine when I didn’t even know the first things about creating a website.
But it wasn’t just the adversity that inspired me. It was the love. The love I had for what I was doing, and the love of walking through the fear and feeling like I did something that mattered on the other side.

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what it was that made me jump into things that I had no idea how to do, and when I realized the answer a few days ago, it was so simple it was absurd.

The one difference, the only thing that will ever create a lasting change in my life, and let me take my jewelry business from more or less a hobby to what I want it to become, the only thing that is different from those things and this is:
I made a decision to do them.
That’s it.

I could read thousands of books, watch hundreds of Ted talks, listen to podcasts until my ears bleed, but that is little more than mental masturbation – letting me feel like I’m doing something of value when nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just very clever procrastination.

Because I am afraid, and for some reason, I’m now letting that get in the way of doing what needs to be done. But that’s another something to look at and figure out another time.

I know that as much as I love making jewelry, there will be many times when I don’t. When I can’t find the right words for the “About” page, when I can’t think of what to write for a post on my site blog, and when I’m just not comfortable doing what needs to get done in order for this to grow. Without a solid, unwavering decision to do what it takes, I’ll never get to where I want. Never be who I want to be. Who I AM.

So it’s time for everything to change. Now.
It won’t be easy, not at first. I know that, and I’m expecting it – but eventually, as long as I show up and do the work, it will get easier. I just need to show up, and do the things that I need to, regardless of how uncomfortable I am with it or how afraid. I’ve been here before, and I know that, as long as I do what I need to, day after day, it WILL get easier.

And another thing I know: When I show up, so does the Universe – and doors that I’ve never even imagined will start opening to me.
They always have.

If you read this, please feel free to comment with what you think – and especially, call me out if you ever see me flagging.

Because there aren’t any excuses anymore. I’ll deal with the physical pain when it comes, and I’ll work through the fatigue. The time of floating is past, and it’s time to fly again.

I’ve made my decision.

 

out from underneath

It’s all in my mind.
I keep telling myself that, doing my best to rip it away, rip it out and discard it like I did most of the memories of my childhood, but it’s tricky. I tend to hold onto things.

I can almost trace it back to the exact time it started, this heart-hoarding. 1986. A call, telling me i would be dead within a year, or maybe a few months longer in excruciating pain if i wasn’t lucky. 19 years old, and all of the sudden all the time I thought I had wasn’t there anymore. I needed to remember it all. I needed a reason to die smiling.

Everyone else was doing what they should. I read the papers, heard about the vigils, and everyone else was behaving as expected, taking their last breaths in a timely manner.

A year passed, then two, then three, and every day for over a decade I would wake up and wonder if that was the day I finally got sick.

every single fucking day, when my mind was left to wander for even a few minutes, I remembered – I couldn’t forget – that every second mattered, and shouldn’t be forgotten.

It’s hard to break a habit like that, but I need to. I need to crawl out from underneath this shadow that has kept me from believing in any kind of future for myself.
Things need to change. need to change.

It’s all in my mind.

Into the Storm

Sitting in my bed, comforter pulled up to my waist, warm and… not happy, not blue, but if I had to think about it (and it seems I need to now that I wrote that) – feeling… what? Perhaps something of a positive indifference, if that makes any sense.

Grey skies, scattered rain & the wind howling through my windows which I intentionally leave just a crack open for exactly that reason. I like the feeling of safety & warmth inside, the storm not able to affect my life, as much as it beats against the barriers that surround me.

But I also miss the exquisite storm, the way my blood pulsed feverishly, passionately through my veins feeding off of the uncertainty of every day. I miss the directionless path, trusting that it would take me where I needed to be and it always did. I miss the way the words would rip themselves out of me, tearing me apart & puttin me back together like a puzzle that always found a place for the extra pieces.

I miss the feeling of the feeling of the road under my wheels.
I miss the fever.
I miss the storm I once was.

The wind screams & moans through my windows, calling me, summoning me.

It’s time to join it.

another day

Wednesday comes around again just as it always has & probably always will in my lifetime, gods willing. I wake up early and feel uncommonly refreshed from a good nights sleep with strange dreams I don’t remember enough to write down.

Give the pup a hug, crawl out of bed & make my way to my kitchen, make a small cup of coffee to warm me, take the herbs that sustain me, the first set always the ones I need to take on an empty stomach. Later, after I dig up something to eat, I’ll take the herbs that require something in my stomach. A daily process. I’m weary of it, but the alternative is far worse than a bit of inconvenience.

Adjusting the pillows I crawl back on my bed, put down a little more than 1600 words of a book that might get done but never finished and wonder at the futility. I try to push that thought from my head and bring it back to the passion of a dream.
I don’t succeed. Not this time. I haven’t been able to believe in my future since I was nineteen years old & was told I had contracted HIV. The book seems so horribly far away…

Today marks the twelfth day I didn’t take morphine in order to get out of bed, the sixth I didn’t desperately want to. Nine fucking years and at long last I’ve broken the chains that held me. Right now it feels wonderful, I feel like I’ve won another battle, but I know that eventually this will fade into the past like the others I’ve made it through.

It seems as if the more I go through, the less surviving and making it through the battles means to me, and I wonder if that’s a product of the life I’ve been living, where so little happens these days. It seems as if it should be the other way around, where things like this are lost in the excitement of life, but… perhaps it’s because this is my life.

Just as I don’t celebrate the ability to get out of bed anymore, just as I don’t think about the way that only a few years ago I couldn’t walk without aid to the bathroom or breathe without a tube down my throat.

I’m not ungrateful. Every night after I crawl into bed, before sleep, I thank the Universe for that day, for my life, for the amazing things that have happened since I walked out of the hospice – but I wonder where my life has gone.

So many years watching the world go by and not able to be a part of it, is it disdain for who I’ve had to become to survive? From working on CultureFlux ten or more hours a day directly to not doing anything but fighting for my life – and suddenly it was all about me. I don’t think that has ever sat well in my heart, and perhaps even now I carry it there.

I’m trying to figure this out.

There’s the oppressive frustration of feeling bound by income, of not being able to even earn the simplest things I require to survive – the herbs, nourishment, hydration – and beyond that. Trapped by my own needs this poverty, this impoverished life I’ve been living for so goddamn long has taken its toll on my psyche. The walls of the city constrict me, suck the wonder & light out of my eyes & spirit.

I’ve never been one to live a static life.

Regardless, I’m alive. Not living, but alive, and I still have the ability to change this life into whatever I want it to be – if I can find the way out of this. When I find my way out of this, and rediscover the passion I once felt.

It’s not up to anyone but me.

I just need to do it soon.

Right now, Wednesday is nothing but just another day that I need to make it through.

and I rejoice

The San Francisco heat wave, our yearly week of Summer, finally breaks & I quietly rejoice. I am not made for hot weather – or at least hot weather where there isn’t a clean ocean or river or lake or large puddle to go swimming or stomping in.

September is knocking on the door of October, and if I had to choose a favorite, I think October would be it. I remember the way some of the places I have lived changed their color, the reds & oranges & hints of stubborn green flooding the air & ground as if the world was on fire, sacrificing itself in some sacred way to become the stark, haunting & beautiful bare branches of Winter.

The energy of Change is in the air. It finds its way into my blood – and my memory.

Twelve years & four days ago I decided to follow my dreams, whatever they were & whatever it took. Shortly after I was working with The Dresden Dolls & my life changed forever.

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It was on this day that my beloved Bean was hit by a train in Austin & killed, a few hours and eleven years ago.

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Ten years less a week ago I received an email from Mike asking if I was interested in becoming a permanent part of the Vau De Vire family.

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Six years & eight days ago I first stepped into the hospice, walking in easily enough but rapidly dying one week later as my body began to shut down.

Five years & a month ago I did what the doctors thought impossible, and walked out alive.

Four years & a month ago I talked with my Birth Mother for the first time in my life.

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Nov. 23, 2013

Two years & a week ago I first spoke to my Birth Father, who until shortly before that had no idea I existed.

And now I feel the story of this man should – will – change again. I’ve already begun to kick a nine-year morphine addiction & plan to have that entirely behind me in less than a week… yet I feel that is far from enough. I want more. Monumental change. I thrive on the shit. It’s my lifeblood, my constant need. When life gets too comfortable, too predictable, I have a bad habit of stepping into a dangerous dance to bring back, to summon life’s music – and far too much is dangerous these days.

The dreams I still have, but the energy to reach for them is as scarred as my liver. I will keep moving forward, doing my best to rip through the barriers, the walls both inside & out. Both physical & mental.
The failed Kickstarter shook me. It hit hard and I fell.
It’s time to rise again. Dust myself off and move on.
I will keep moving forward.
I will live to make my dreams come true.

I see the sun shining outside, feel the sharp chill of the breeze that cuts through my window. Today will be cooler…

and I rejoice.

The Fun Begins…soon (Kicking, day 0)

No ceremony, no ritual. Little more than a momentary pause as I looked at the small white pills in my hand this morning, but in that pause I thought of the nine years gone to the past, and the days or weeks of torture & agony immediately coming as I took my last dose of morphine. Ever.

I took the two half-full bottles out of my nightstand drawer, grabbed the near-full “emergency” pill container that I have kept for three years and moved them across the room to be placed somewhere clever later. Out of sight, yes – but I think out of mind isn’t very likely, at least for a few weeks or more.

If I could figure out the technique that always seems to work when I “organize” things so that they’re easier to find, only to end up lost for months when I actually *do* look for them, then that would be perfect – but I don’t think that will work. If I actually *want* to lose something or forget where it is, it seems inevitable that I’ll find it, even in the least likely of places.

I should figure out that backwards science & write a book about how to use & control it. I’d make millions.

It’s a strange feeling, kicking morphine after so long, so many years of depending on it. So many years of letting it control me.
I was half-expecting a huge mental fanfare – streamers popping out of my head, flame effects shooting out of my ears and little tiny balloons dropping from my nose, but alas, nothing of the sort. It was almost as exciting as putting my pants on.
Okay – as exciting as putting a freshly washed pair of pants on that have yet to acquire any dog hair on them, but still, not much more than that.

The exciting part – well, that will most certainly begin tomorrow, most likely as I race to the bathroom desperately trying not to crap myself in the 20 feet from my bed, or stopping in the middle of eating something for the same reason. It never ceases to amaze me how food can go through an entire body’s system almost as fast as dropping it – as if during withdrawals everything moves around and there is just one direct line from the mouth to the ass.

I think there should be an “Opiate Withdrawal Olympics”, with challenges such as ‘The 10 Meter Toilet Dash’, ‘The Cold Sweat Pool’ (judged by the amount of sweat the body produces in one night of attempted sleep), and ‘The Snot Sprint’, won by producing the most water-like mucus out of the incessantly running nose in an hour. Of course there could be many others – the most sleepless nights, muscle spasm gymnastics, distance or quantity vomiting, most creative screams of agony… it could be fun! Well… at least for the spectators.

And now, off to do some final preparations – give Ruby a *really* good walk, enjoy some of the last sunshine I might be seeing for a few days, clear a direct path from bed to bathroom, send letters to my Mother & Father thanking them for their birthday cards (finally) – whatever else I can think of.

I’ve decided to document the fun with pictures. Here’s one I have titled “Before the Descent” aka “Keep the fog outside of my head” aka “oh, shit.”

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See you all in hell. Be grateful you’re just looking through the window.

falling apart to fall back together

Four days, and as the clock relentlessly ticks down I count every hour with a strange combination of sheer terror and wary excitement, my emotions swinging from one to the other like spectators heads in a high-energy tennis match.

Two days ago I picked up my last Morphine prescription, and as the bottles were handed to me I looked at them with a feeling of triumph. This is it.

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I mostly know what to expect. I’ve done this before, 28 years ago, and again a bit more recently when my motorhome was towed with all of my meds inside. It’s not what I remember that frightens me the most, though those memories still clutch at my mind and sink their diseased claws in when I try to make myself believe that I’m strong enough.

No. It’s the things I know I don’t remember that frighten me the most. The whispered shadows of the nightmare, the parts that my mind gratefully thrust out of my memory in an act of self preservation. The small things that are lost in the fog.

The Fog.

It’s surrounded me for over nine years, from when I finally gave in to my doctor’s concern & offer of something to help with the pain that twisted my face, carving each line on it deeper like a Halloween mask of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”… the only difference being that my screams, I kept inside. At least when I could.

With the first pill they finally went away, and I was so grateful I almost cried, even through the personal guilt and failure of feeling like I wasn’t strong enough, that I had finally lost to what for so many years I had conquered when necessary, not even taking so much as a Tylenol-3 or even an aspirin when I broke my leg skateboarding, tore apart the tendons & dislocated my shoulder when my van rolled 5 times across I-5, and hundreds of other minor bangs, bashes & aches. Those, I knew, would all pass, and all I had to do was hold strong and stand my ground. This time though, instead of fading, getting better & finally going away, the pain only increased. With each day, with each strip of flesh on my legs that caught under my fingernails while the poisoned fluid pooled and the unbearable itching multiplied, the pain grew and my conviction deteriorated…

There were, of course, many, many  times I needed them, so if I chose not to take that first pill then, it was just a matter of time before I did. When the cirrhosis decided to go to town on my body, it’s two favorite places to destroy were my legs and abdomen – and it was like a category-6 tornado in a trailer park. From the swelling to the point where I couldn’t bend my legs & had to cut the legs of my pajamas to be able to squeeze into them to the itching so horrid from the poisons my liver couldn’t process I cut myself open with my own fingernails, to the pressure from the swelling in my abdomen & legs so severe the fluid actually started pushing out of the skin on my calves and pushing my intestines out of my navel, to the pain from the occasional infections that slipped right by even the highest doses of morphine – I was certainly grateful for it at times…

 
…but as the months & years continued and the pain slowly subsided, when I began to wonder and doubt how necessary the morphine was anymore, I knew I was screwed. Sure, there was still the mild constant pain from my calves that never fully healed or grew back more than the thinnest layer of protective skin, and there was still the occasional breakthrough pain in my abdomen – but nothing I thought – that I think – that I can’t deal with. Nothing so bad that my body’s own pain killer can’t handle it. Nothing so severe that the mind/body & quantum healing practices I discovered and used in the hospice and the surprising strength I found in my mind can’t handle it.

There’s only one small problem. My brain has completely shut down all of it’s own natural pain killers. Feeling unloved & un-needed, the receptors that normally block everything bad have gone on to other tasks where they feel more appreciated. I wish I knew more of the science of it – it’s not entirely endorphins or dopamine but a combination of the two along with some other things. That’s what I kind of know. I know the human body is fucking amazing. We all should kiss ourselves every day and thank it for all it does for us.

I know without any question, without the slightest hint of doubt at all – what I know intimately – is that the human body is in constant pain. Anyone who hasn’t experienced the feeling of not having any help at all from your body to dull pain cannot even come close to imagining what it’s like when you feel EVERYTHING.
I don’t feel as if I can explain it well enough right now, nor do I want to.

But I want my body back. I want my mind back, and all the things working as they should  again. I want to feel alive again- with all the pain, passion, love, joy, excitement & fear.

So here we are, nine years later. And I’m fucking done. Things need to change and that is the most obvious one. The feeling of the morphine sticking felt thorns of stupid into my brain is over – or will be soon. First, I need to pay for those lost years, and I know I will – dearly – but every second will be worth it. Nine years of mental fog, nine years of suppressed emotion – the passion, love, excitement, joy, happiness and everything else a person feels on a daily basis has all been muffled, like my mind & heart trying to speak to me through a sealed door.
(Hm. That’s an interesting mental picture.)

On September 21st I will take my final dose of morphine, hopefully for the rest of my life. On the 22nd I’ll begin to feel the withdrawals. They don’t come at once, of course – they gradually build, if I remember correctly, over about three days – but it’s like sticking your hand into a put of 75 degree (Celsius) water. It’s not boiling yet, but it sure as hell isn’t pleasant.
This ought to be interesting.

But WAIT! That’s not all!

To make things completely absurd, I’ve also decided to quit smoking at the exact same time. I mean hell – If I’m going to change my life, I may as well just jump right in with both feet. Get rid of all the things that I’ve been wanting to quit.
In a way I suspect that it will give me something to laugh at myself about – like when you stub your toe and hop around like a fool, feeling like a dumb-ass and laughing through the pain – except in this example I’ll be writhing in pain, wanting a cigarette, and laughing at myself because only someone who is a complete and utter fool would consider quitting both morphine and cigarettes at the same time, and I’ve always held the self-imposed title of “Fool” quite proudly at times such as this.

But there’s something else which is more of an experiment than anything: I have this notion that kicking morphine AND cigarettes at the same time will somehow drive the point that I am now (or will be horribly soon) a non-smoker home a bit harder, because I know smoking is going to be the hardest one in the long run – and I’m in this game to win. So far, I haven’t died 100% of the time, so I’m doing pretty good I think.

When the door is opened, when the fog clears and for the first time in nine years there is no drugged buffer repressing all of the beautiful and horrible things inside of me, I suspect it will be one hell of a ride as I become accustomed to feeling *everything* again – I mean hell, in preparation I’ve cut down the regular dose of 60 – 90mg through the day to one 30mg pill in the morning, and was nearly bawling during parts of the movie “Pete’s Dragon” I watched earlier tonight.

As I said, it’s going to be one hell of a ride. It should make for some interesting blog posts as well.

I should probably apologize in advance to anyone I offend, but honestly – if you get offended, it’s your trip, not mine. Fasten your seat-belts, put on a couple extra layers of skin – and Lighten Up. Things are likely going to get a bit crazy.

Wish me luck.

And please – I’d like it if you commented, if you wish. It will help me not feel so alone.
Comments & ‘likes’ left on my WordPress blog are MUCH more appreciated than those on Facebook, as well.

Four days until I begin to rip myself apart. I’m excited to see what the rebuild will look like.

And I need to figure out whaat kind of art project I’m going to make out of these:
(
I haven’t counted them, but I suspect I have about forty that I’ve saved over the past couple years = when I remembered to.)

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behind the smile

Where do you say what you can’t?

They tell you to be buoyant. They tell you to be enthusiastic, strong, confident in the words you write, the words you share and hope the world will see. When people visit or hear about my Kickstartercampaign, they don’t want to read my woes or worries.

For now, I put on a plastic smile like a McDonald’s server and don’t show the terror. For now I don’t say what I am truly feeling.
People don’t want their bubble popped. They want to feel confident in my project, to be lifted higher in the buoyancy of my words, as forced & manufactured as they may be at times.

I want to make them happy. I do care. I try to give them what they look for, and I hope by writing the words I will also be lifted.

I can’t write “If this campaign isn’t successful I’ll probably die before the book is finished”. As true as it is, threatening people to support my campaign probably wouldn’t go over too well, y’know?
Still, boiling in this head is the knowledge of what will happen if this campaign doesn’t succeed. The things that only I have known.

Until now.

THIS is where I can scream. Most the people I know on Facebook don’t take the time to read anything over a few sentences, regardless of what they say. Here I find a sanctuary, either real or imagined. On WordPress.
This is where we ALL can be real, be vulnerable. This is the shower we sing in.

My book is all I have anymore. All there is left in me to give. Due to the way this disease works and what it’s done to me I can’t really perform, can’t work. I don’t know the days I’ll be too exhausted or in too much pain to do more than pass the day in bed. Though those days are less, they still happen – and the rest are filled with such a growing hatred for the life I’ve been living since I was released from the hospice that I know with certainty that it’s something I can’t go on with.

The book is/was/will/would have given me a reason, a new breath, a purpose. To go back to living each day worried about getting herbs, to go back to each week with the only thing I can focus on is begging more friends for money to afford them is no life at all.

Every waking moment I’ve had the thought of how my life would change to keep me going, to soon be able to live a life that matters, to have a purpose for each breath.
To enjoy life. This is what the success of the campaign would offer me.

I have envisioned myself a thousand times or more waking up for the first time in years with the excitement of living, of having something I needed to do besides beg for more money. I would sit in random café’s writing, sipping coffee for the flavor and remembering with clarity the amazing life I have lived, smiling to myself as I lifted my head & turned to look out the window and knowing that I’m doing something good. That I once again had value.

I would sit at my Mother’s dining room table, facing the back yard wo I can watch Ruby play, run in and out of the door with the dog my mother and I would find for her in a rescue. She says she wants one and I could get it for her, help her take care of it. Help take care of my Mother. She would come home and ask me about my book, and I would share the stories I had written that day. She would get to know me and I her. We have 48 years to catch up on.

I would hold my head up, a smile glinting off the green in my eyes and hinting on my lips. People would know again. I would know myself again. This is why I am. This is me. I would be full and in love with life. It’s been so long, so long – but I woke, rang the bell above my grave and purpose came to dig me out. I sucked the fresh air into my lungs and this empty heart was filled.

They would read my stories, my life laid bare, naked for them to see and they would see themselves. They would find the parts, the lines that made them stop & look up with a sudden spark of understanding that it only took a decision, that the past didn’t matter and all the smallness they felt would be washed away in the ink of my words staining their face with a determined grin. They would mark the pages, underline sentences, read it again and maybe buy a copy for a friend or two. They would write to me and I wouldn’t feel so alone anymore.

This campaign needs to succeed. I need to write my life, give it away.

The heart inside of me is weary, vacant. I say I love people hoping that in the spoken words I will remember how. The smile on my face is an advance taken from when I can feel it again, when my heart fills with the knowledge that my life has changed from the barren desert it has become. Beg for money, get herbs. I’ve been kept alive by the possibility of the book, the knowledge that when the campaign succeeded it would be written. Take it away and I have nothing I need to live for and I need a reason.

I try to write with an empty heart and find all I can hear are the sucking noises like those a straw makes in a cup that’s been drained by a ravenous thirst.

Also haunting me is a thought.
In September 2010 I walked happy & full of energy into the hospice/respite that I was supposed to spend only three months in. Up until that moment I worked every day on my magazine, setting up interviews, making the site better, writing reviews and each morning stepping out of my motor-home with a smile. Even though my legs were bleeding, swollen, leaking the poisoned fluid my liver couldn’t process and in extreme pain, I still walked with purpose and pride to the café knowing there was something I was needed for.

I wasn’t able to work on CultureFlux in the hospice. I had been doing fine (relatively speaking) before I walked in, living in poor conditions with no money, food, and only enough water to wash my face in the morning – but I had a reason to go on. I loved being able to help other performers through the magazine and I loved giving them a voice.

Within a week my body began to shut down. My skin began falling off, hair coming out in clumps, and I was barely able to walk. One week.

What will happen if the campaign doesn’t succeed? When I don’t have the dream of writing & publishing the book to keep me alive anymore?

The herbs have kept me healthy, but it’s purpose that keeps me alive. From the edge of death in the hospice to the 4.5 years following, I had two things to live for: Finding my Birth Mother and giving this book to the world, hoping my life will inspire theirs.

I have found my Birth Mother.
For anyone who reads this, thank you for letting me vent, and don’t get me wrong – it’s not always like this inside my head. There are still many times when I realize it’s only the 6th day with 5x that more to go, and anything can happen. Hell, Oprah could see it and announce it to the world! It could go viral on Youtube! Anything! The most important thing I need to remember is to NEVER GIVE UP, even as much as I want to and as hard as it can be to dredge up the energy to go on. WE DO NOT GIVE UP.

http://bit.ly/NGGKickASS

I’m going to keep on fighting like hell for the success of this campaign, to make this dream a reality and again have my heart filled with purpose and passion.

It IS possible, and I’ve come from behind to achieve my goal more times than I can count. I mean hell – isn’t that what we do with EVERY dream we realize? We are WARRIORS, and this is what we do!

For anyone interested what all the above is about, here’s a link to my Kickstarter campaign! I wouldn’t mind at ALL if you supported it by making a pledge and/or shared it as far & wide as you can – you would be my new favorite person!
Just – don’t include the above, okay? (winky face)

And when you go there, please take a second to check out the update – I was *amazed* with what people said and want the world to see it too!

To all out there in WordPress land – thank you for being here for me. And thank you for not charging for my therapy.
Any comments of support or suggestions on how

 

 

 

Show me.

 

Kitty’s incessant diatribe on the way up was able to keep me out of my head for the most part, not giving me a chance to dwell on what I would say to her, how to prepare myself for every reaction possible – from breaking down in tears to opening the front door solely to spit in my face and give me the finger through the door window as she turned & walked away with her finger still held above her head.

The drive was exquisite once we got onto CA 128, the final 45 mile stretch to her house along twisted mountain roads, trees & pastures everywhere and occasionally following a small river on the right. In some places, the trees stretched to meet in the middle of the road creating a canopy, and though I had driven this road to my mother’s house three times earlier, seeing and admiring the same things – this time I looked at it as if they were protecting me, hugging me and saying “whatever happens, it will be all-right – one way or another.
A subtle smile lifted my lips. I know, but I had forgotten for a moment. Thank you for reminding me.

What frightened me the most was the possibility that she wouldn’t be there. Kitty had driven all the way from Sacramento to do this for me when he noticed that no one else was offering – & it pissed him off. (though that is not *at all* why I wrote the posts & I don’t think I even implied it) & the largest fear I harbored was – what if we got there, and she wasn’t home? What if there were no answers found, what if the 12 hour trip for him was just to leave a note on her door?

As we pulled into the dirt driveway, I noticed her car there, the lights in the living room on. She was home. Ohshit. Here I go.

I walked slowly, willing my feet to take each step and trying not to think of anything. Whatever happens – well, that’s how it’s supposed to be… but damnit, ‘Verse – you’ve already made me strong enough, haven’t you? I mean – what the HELL do you have planned for my future if I need to be even stronger?

I could see her through the clear glass in her door – breaking crackers as she tried to spread cheese on them, and looking terrifyingly frail & weak. I waited what felt like an eternity before I knocked (though it was probably only about 30 seconds) and she turned towards the door, squinting. No lights on outside, I knew she could only see a reflection. She told me to come in…

Hey, ma… Surprise?

I walked over to her chair & crouched down in front of her. “So. What the fuck?”

We hashed it out over the hour – I did my best to try and make sure she knew how her lack of contact confused me, how much it ripped apart my fucking insides not knowing if she just decided to bag up her puppy & throw him in the river, or if it was something on her end. Something that was inside her keeping her from answering my messages or letters.
I could see she was in horrible shape – barely able to walk, had fallen twice in the past few weeks – hell, we even had matching black eyes. It hurt as I looked at her, how feeble she was, how fragile. I want to fix that. I want to fix everything for her.

She told me that was a large part of it – she had gone into a depression, hating getting older, and as the time increased it became more & more difficult to call or write…

I couldn’t help but softly chastise her, reminding her that she’s not the only player in this, and that she was being selfish as hell. I kept looking into her eyes, searching for something – I don’t know what. Maybe just comfort, understanding…

Most of the conversation was mundane talk about each others health, about my book, about my brother’s girlfriends good & bad. I don’t give a damn about my brother’s girlfriends… and me being me, I told her that. This moment was about us and what happened – and how it was going to be changed.
I gave her a pass this time – told her that it all begins again, right now and that she had better fucking call me – frequently.

And then, it was time to go. Kitty needed to make it back to Sacramento, I had to get back to Ruby.

I would like to feel more confident that something changed, that she will call, will write… but I’ll only know that in time. It will be even a greater time before I can trust her, before I begin taking my walls down again.

She slowly stood up from her chair, and we shared a long hug. I looked again into her eyes when we separated… and I think I saw whatever it was I was looking for, before I turned & walked out the door – looking back once as I shut it behind me.

The trip up there was more than necessary, and much of the pain inside was laid to rest inside of me – but not all.

We’ll see what happens.

better than I am, I am.

I read the me from a year ago & realize in dismay & frustration how little has changed.
Lately – for weeks, if not months, I’ve been feeling like all I do every day is pound my fists against this chrysalis I’m in, feeling as if I’ve been stuck in here far too long. I am formed & waiting to stretch my wings, but have somehow created walls in my mind that prevent me from breaking through the shell & feeling the air lift me again.

I begin to resent myself – partly for letting me become this way, partly for my inaction, & partly because even though I *know* how to break out of it I have myself become one one of the types of people I tend to scorn – those who talk and seldom, if ever, act.

That is unlike me, who has jumped into everything most of my life – from moving blindly to cities where I didn’t know where I would sleep & knew no one, to creating an online magazine, to driving across the country & changing the weak plans I had to live in a tent for four months, volunteering for Katrina refugees in Austin… and so much more.

So who is this person now? WHAT is stopping me from moving forward… except for simply moving forward?

I never have before, but now… I think I need someone. To help, to meet with & inspire me to get this book & bio & description done, to bounce words off of, cheer me on, and hold me accountable… but I can’t seem to find them. Everyone else seems too busy with their own things. Their own agendas. Their own lives… and while I can completely understand…

it sure does get lonely.

I simply used to jump off the cliff and wait for the wings to unfold. They always did.
These days however, I don’t seem to be able to find anywhere to jump from.
I just need help to get running, to start moving…

and to change this fear into excitement.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
kSea Flux
December 4, 2014 ·

I look at old videos that I took while in Maitri. Things I haven’t seen since recording them, “footage” that no one else has seen, nor likely ever will unless you ask – and I don’t think you want to.
Better to hide behind the hint of truth that you already know.

These are the things I need to remember when I see other friends going through the hells that they do – so few of us tell the whole story. We’re afraid to.
We aren’t looking for sympathy, not looking for “oh, you poor thing…” We know. We know how you feel because we feel it more. We feel it more because we have that badge sewn into our flesh. Trust me, this is nothing against you… in fact, I hope you never do understand. I hope that you never have the capacity to empathize on that level. Your well wishes *are appreciated…

But what we truly seek is understanding. A person to cry *with* – not someone who cries for us. Only in those (thankfully) few people can we find some sort of twisted kinship.

Please don’t get me wrong – I love you. GODS, how I love you, for your caring, for your support, for the way that you *don’t* understand…

But I watch the videos, and even I, who have lived through that time, am disgusted at what I see… the decomposing flesh, the blood, the “fluid” that stained everything I slept in or wore, frequently soaking through the three layers of gauze & bandages to the pants Nd dripping on the floor of the cafe… And for the greater part of five years (the decomposition began *long* before I went into the hospice) – that was just another part of daily life. Brush my hair & remaining teeth, splash water on my face, peel the dressing and flesh from my legs try not to scratch because GODS they itched from the poison seeping out… and what do I need to do with CultureFlux that day?

THis seems like an entirely different life, the one I am living now… an entirely different person – finding my Birth Mother, being solid and “stable” enough to at least let a dog “think” that everything is wonderful… – even to the point of daring to offer my heart to another…

And remembering how wonderful that feels, even in the pain that it has brought.

Recently a friend said to let go of the past and focus on the future. I understood what was meant, and in many situations the person woulld be right – *IF* my past – this *particular* past were holding me back from myself and who I continue to become – but as I said to the person after a bit of thought – “In order to see where I am going, I cannot be blind to where I’ve been.”

We all go through what we need to, so we can give the lessons we have learned…

and I think I pretty much lost my train of thought… if there was one to begin with.

Perhaps the most important thing however – as grim as it may look to others, keep fucking smiling – and to everyone who *can’t* understand… please keep it that way.

You’ll find out enough about it in my book. That’s as close as I *EVER* want you to get…

I love you.

kSea Flux's photo.

making a difference

Monday. 6:43am, my eyes slowly open & let the small amount of light in my apartment in. Stretch, take a mental note making sure my legs are still there, and if they are how adventurous they may feel after having the whole night off.
They’re there, seem okay but still swollen, we’ll check out the standing thing in a minute – and then walking. The first 10 or 20 steps are always the hardest as the stiffness & pain reluctantly subsides, but this morning there is some extra motivation:
With immense gratitude to Thad & Geri, there is a bag of deep, dark, rich PEET’S COFFEE just about 20 steps away (normally around 5, but these mornings the first steps are more along the lines of heel to toe shuffles, a la old man get off my lawn & where’s my gaddamn Jello).

I put the water on, coffee in the press, bring out my favorite over-sized ceramic mug that has stuck with me & somehow survived our travels & turmoil over roughly the past 17 years.
If I were a coffee mug, I would be this one.

Coffee ready, the aroma already making me smile in anticipation, I take the first sip of *real* coffee I’ve had in over a month.

Ahhhhh….. Sweet elixir of life.

It’s a busy day ahead. Two Dr. appointments, more work on the apartment, the intention to do ALL THE LAUNDRY IN THE WORLD.

With coffee & smokeytreat I prepare for a much needed body cleansing – a bath to loosen & remove dead flesh on legs & feet (I’m molting) and then shower to strip the sgragglyhair on my face that will never, ever let me be a hipster, and wash the hell out of my body – so very long overdue.

First however, I need to remove the dressing. No problem – thankfully I’ve been doing my own wound care for years, when necessary.
There’s a hole in my foot still, and as I pull off the main bandage I see the end of the packing fuse. I didn’t dress it last time, so curious as to how deep the hole is – how much is in there.
I grab the end with the tweezers, and gently start pulling. And pulling. and pulling.

Whoa, cool! I have a friggin’ *stash* in my foot!

….. I need to stop for a while here. I’ve been on my legs all day, and they’re not really digging it too much – but they need the work as well.
Oh, yeah – and when I got back from the Dr., I walked into the foyer of my building and decided something – if I’m going to move forward in the healing, strengthen my atrophied muscles – I need to do make it happen… so with the elevator beckoning, the sirens singing their song for the easy way up, I was able to break free from their seduction and move towards a higher purpose – the STAIRS.

Including the entrance, 49 of ’em, with the bare minimum of help from the hand rail.
I didn’t need to do this, but I did – because I fucking rock, and I made those stairs my bitches!
(Even though it was very slowly, they’re still mah bitches, yo.)

Now I REALLY need to shut the hell up & get my legs on a horizontal plane.

Love love love the ALLS of you, and thank you for all the ways you have been helping, the boosts of encouragement, and just all around… *everything*!

Please, also, rememner to keep getting the word out there for the GoFundMe thing – from special socks to medical equipment to gadgets to help me come back physically, herbs & potions and…

and now that I think about it, this is the first time *ever* sinceI got out of the hospice four years ago that I haven’t had the ever-present but faint cloud of stress hanging over me because I could *never* get what I needed to really make a difference – not on my total of $400/mo for bills, herbs, & food.

You are taking that stress away, allowing me to finally focus completely on getting better, and focus on the *most* important goal – the writing & completion of my book, and changing the world through helping people.

You are making an amazing difference in my life., An immense one.

A permanent one.
Thank you.

Now pardon me while I *finally* put my damned legs up and blubber a little bit.

Home.

The quiet white hush of the electric fan, the occasional car horn or siren coming in through the window… these are the sounds of the past two nights; the sounds that remind me that, without question, I am *home*.

No more 3am blood draws, no more moans of pain from my room-mate and yelling for the nurse throughout the floor, no more random, incessant beeping or not so hushed conversations between the workers on the 5th floor, the patients… and the pain, not letting me stay in one position for any length of time before it was unbearable & I had to try something different
During the past month, there may have been a total of three times where I was able to accomplish getting five straight hours of solid sleep, with the rest being small chunks of two, maybe three if I was *very* fortunate.

All of that is done, now only the past – and now it is time to allow my body & mind to catch up to all I have been missing. I lay on top of one slightly torn comforter, drape the heavy one I’ve loved for many years & many cities across my body. It is now beyond repair, this wonderfrul patchwork comforter, and as much as it saddens me it is time to let it go – perhaps one evening find someone on the street who it will offer its warmth to.

I slowly, softly wake up 7,8,9,10 hours later, Kindle still in hand & a subtle & serene grin on my face, lay there for a few minutes as I think about the day, and do a quick meditation focusing on how beautiful everything is.

It seems as if I still have some rest to catch up on, as I find myself nodding off now & again – but I’m fine with that. Lots to do, but these are easy days – I do what I can when I can, cleaning up my apartment, having fantastic people come & help me with cleaning out my fridge & making certain things are well & good, & that I have healthy food.

I am in perpetual awe at how blessed I am – how blessed we ALL are to have such a loving family of friends – and in that, we will always have everything we need.

I only wish life could be like this for everyone.
Maybe someday, it will.

I love you all – and thank you, so very much, for calling me yours.