Life, Death, Dogs. A Rooftop Contemplation

The occasional whisper of tires as a car drives by below, an unintelligible shout, the scattered songs of birds. The only sounds at this hour. Only the crackheads & I seem to be awake. Even the sirens are quiet, sleeping.

It’s 4am & I’m up on the roof of my apartment building with a fresh cup of coffee, a cigarette, & Ruby. The clouds above reflect the city lights giving a faint glow, just enough to see by. A cool breeze plays with my hair, blowing it in my face then away. I wrap my robe a little tighter around me.

I sit on the short wall of my building, look down at the weeds growing in our forbidden & neglected back yard. Near the far right corner calla lily’s bloom, defying the otherwise abandoned and unloved desolation. With their beauty inevitably comes a warm sorrow as I’m reminded of when Striggy brought a gift of bone-white lily’s to my tent in Austin. With love & reverence I placed them on top of the pale blonde box I had picked up earlier that day, already made into an altar surrounded with candles, a picture of Bean propped up against the box that now held the ashes of the most amazing dog & companion I’ve ever known. She was killed by a freight train a few days before, found by friends lying between the tracks, her favorite stuffed toy a few inches from her head. Nearly 13 years later & the tears still fall for her.

I turn back facing the roof top, close my eyes, take in a few deep breaths as I find a strange comfort in this sadness. Now, it’s filled with love and warm memories instead of the anguish I carried inside for years, holding it tight, afraid that if the pain wasn’t there I would somehow be betraying her memory.

I know better now. I understand death better now.

I think of how exquisite this life is, how fortunate I am. Occasionally I still let the weight of it all get to me and forget these things, but not now. Not today.

I open my eyes and catch Ruby briefly chasing her tail. I chuckle silently to myself and somehow love her even more.

I think of the time I spent in Hospice. Months on end so close to giving up, so desperately wanting to stop being strong, and each morning having to somehow find just one reason to keep fighting. One reason to stay alive.

As impossible it seemed to be able to imagine at times, I needed to believe that I would somehow get better.

I had to know, with as little doubt as possible, that there would be mornings like this one to look forward to.

Origin.

Five days.

Forty-seven years minus five days ago was the moment I was taken from her arms – taken from all I knew – her heartbeat, her voice, her smell, my only known home. Ripped from everything I knew as comfort, torn from all peace inside.

Only we, the “adopted” know this feeling… but can never truly give it a name.
Others could never understand. Even we barely can.

Forever betwixt and between, never knowing ourselves – making it up as we go along, constructing and tearing down walls built around our hearts to try to have the slightest bit of control over who leaves who this time… destroying any chance of happiness… we don’t deserve it. We aren’t like the others…

We hide.

Only in finding are we somehow made whole – sometimes. The lucky ones. Only the children who needed to search, and then, only those who were fortunate enough to find their origin.

Origin. Where the shape of our eyes, the slant in our smile, the small everysingleday actions of our hands, the pain we don’t even notice in our heart anymore because it has always been there and always will be and it is just who we are… the emptiness our only connection to where we come from…

I have been fortunate. I found her. My Mother. After actively searching for over 25 years, wondering and creating fantasies for an entire lifetime (maybe I am David Bowie’s son?!) – I found her. Alive, welcoming, and only a three hour drive away.

This year I am spending my 47th birthday with my Mother – the first birthday I have ever spent with her – excepting of course the few minutes of the night I was born.

It was Kat’s idea. My girlfriend, my love, my partner, my best friend. She is making it happen – driving us up there, the third time I will see my Mother. The first time Kat & Annie will meet.

This writing is crappy – I am just – so incredibly overwhelmed… 15 years ago I took my gun out of my mouth, thinking “what if tomorrow is just a little bit better”?. Two years ago I was in a hospice, fighting like fucking hell just to stay alive. I had no idea what the future held, just that I wanted to be around for it…

I couldn’t have imagined how amazing my life has become – couldn’t have even dared to dream something even remotely close to this…

But here I am. I found my Birth Mother, and have found the Love of my life – the woman who I have been searching for, who I had nearly given up on actually finding… and as an added bonus, she says she loves ME, too!

Five days. My first birthday with my Mother, my first of many with Kat…

Yeah. So… life is fucking amazing. Well worth the fight to stay alive… and it just keeps getting better.

Even though I am not David Bowie’s love child.