Sunday Sundries … The Baby, The Pope, GOD and Me … Not Necessarily in that Order !

pope-francis-do-not-disturb cropPope Francis, as we speak, is in Cuba. Having Celebrated Mass in Revolution Square this morning, has met with Raul Castro and today, his brother Fidel. It was an informal but cordial meeting between the two men.

The Pope wants “Change.” Change in a good way, Change in an internal attitude way. Of leaving our safe homes and safe lives to go out in the streets and serve “the least of these” in the best way we can, from our hearts, not our minds.

He wants to unite the world in the ways of God. Francis sees God in a very particular way. He invites us to share in the divinity of God through Jesus, and come into that special spiritual awareness that comes with the resurrected Christ on Easter morning.

I admire Pope Francis a great deal, because he asks simply to serve God in each other. Because we are all formed in the image of God, and we are also, star stuff. Which means that “Divinity” exists in each of us, as we are, warts and all.

If we stopped and took a serious look at our fellows, our neighbors and our friends, we too would see that divinity.

It comes to us to “change” to be able to see it.

We are called to serve. Not for our own good, but for the good of others. For the good of God, yes, “church” would be mentioned here as well, Francis has been stripping away the trappings of “Church” for a simpler way of life. We don’t need finery or gems and gold.

Jesus once commanded his disciples to go out into the world carrying only what they had on their backs, and to do the work they were commanded.

Just the same, Francis calls us to go out and do good works.

Because it is in those works that we exemplify the spirit of God.

I am slowly working my way through The Great Reformer, Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, written by Austen Ivereigh.

I have read a few other books about Francis. When he was elected Pope several tomes were released. Pope Francis has not escaped the past because he plays a much hated man, a much loved man, and a man who was once a very tight Jesuit priest with his own ideas and ways of life, until the time came, when God struck him and Francis had his spiritual awakening.

People have many opinions about Francis, and the role he played during the Dirty War. Was he complicit, was he flying under the radar, or was he a victim of the times as they played out before him?

Every writer I have read has painted a picture of Francis.

I do not stand in judgment of his past.

I do stand in awe of the man he became and the words he speaks and the challenges he puts before us as the leader of Holy Mother Church. Even there, he turned the Curia and the papal household on its ear, by living in Casa Santa Marta, and sharing his days working in the church, then at night, he changes into his spiritual superman suit and goes out and visits with the least of these, inviting them to dine with him and attend his morning masses at the Vatican.

There is a kernel of Holy Mother Church in me, I won’t deny that. I loved the church that educated me, the church that served me, and the church that went above and beyond to save me when I needed to be saved and looked after.

I am eternally grateful to those men who took time out of their lives to sit with me, to break bread with me, to minister to my spiritual needs, and to give me Hope and Faith, in a time when Hope and Faith were in little supply.

Churches … Many of them, Across the board, were not kind to the gays, especially us gays who had AIDS, because it was said that we got what was coming to us from God himself as punishment for our sinful lives.

I can say this with total confidence … I have NEVER met a man of God who EVER pointed a damning finger at me and said that God was punishing me for any reason whatsoever.

That is a thing …

We’ve talked of God these past few days again. God has been in high rotation for a while now, and I really did not have anything substantive to write, but it was coming.

We read “An Artists Conception” tonight. It opens with this quote from Appendix II in the back of the Big Book, in regards to Spiritual experience.

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance –

That principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

Herbert Spencer

Our man has a serious problem. And he knows what the problem is, Alcoholism. He has investigated the issue backwards and forwards, but he lacks one thing; the spiritual approach, because like many of us, religion is a nasty word, because of the taste it left in our mouths.

But he meets one man, who shows him the way, humbly and quietly. And our man GETS IT. Then he meets twenty other men who also have gotten it. And the desire to drink becomes pointless against all of his other problems. But he never picks up a drink again.

He says that it wasn’t the words they used, or the book they were reading, but there was an invisible force that he recognized. He saw it. And in some miraculous way, he finds that power greater than himself.

Many of our folks are still trying to figure it out for themselves. God as an intellectual pursuit is a rather hard task. But if you stick around long enough, you will find it, sure enough.

Did I tell you the time I met God ???

Yes, I have. Over and Over again. It is the best story I have in my bank.

After listening to my friend vacillate and try to figure out who God is for them, I had twenty minutes to state my case. And I tell them of the horrors I was living in the nineties. And how my life came to a crashing end when I was diagnosed with AIDS, and was told to go home, kiss my ass goodbye and wait to die.

I made one phone call that changed my life.

I had actually made several other calls that did not pan out.

So that one call I made was to Provincetown.

Todd and Roy returned from their holidays early because I needed help.

When Todd stepped up, it was because he loved me. He chose me to save, in the way he chose to do that. He concentrated everything he had into me in those first two years that saved my life.

Meanwhile, at the bar, all of my friends were approaching death in exactly the way they chose. living fast and leaving a good looking corpse. Well, how good of a corpse is it when it is riddled with K.S. stricken with disease, plowed with exotic drugs and tanked on the best liquor a bar tender could pour ?

I had no other choice. Well, I did have a choice.

I could have taken that route myself. Todd had other plans for me.

He began to teach me how to live, with the reminder that BOB was in the cemetery right across the street from the bar. And if I was not willing to try to live, that I would end up there myself.

When I needed God, He came. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that I know what God looks like, I know His voice and I know for sure that He was with me in my hours of need.

And I looked at my friends after telling this story, (with more words used to get the point across) that if they need proof that God does exist, they need not look any further than myself.

I lived. I did not die. Because God saved me.

But like any mortal man, addiction knows no bounds. I forgot …

But when I returned, I said a single prayer to God for help.

And let me tell you, I prayed a specific prayer for specific needs in a specific order.

  1. I prayed for the desire to drink to leave me
  2. I needed an alcoholic to come to me, and
  3. I needed to get to a meeting.

Nothing is too difficult for God when we really need help. Because He moved heaven and earth and provided me that prayer in the order it went out, as if to say,

“Hey there, I got your back!”

Not a day goes by that I do not remember where I came from. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Todd. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for something. However, I admit, freely, that gratitude is not something I think about constantly.

It is an action.

I’ve chosen to live out my gratitude in my “Presence” to my friends. Like Francis calls us to do, I go out and I serve the “least of these” and those who need the love and faith I have.

Which leads nicely into the next portion of tonight’s read … The Baby

I work every day to be a man of honor, courage and strength. I work every day to make the right decisions, and to be of maximum service to my fellows. And let me tell you, that does not come easily.  Creating family is difficult. Maintaining family is challenging. Taking care of a baby is the most rewarding experience I can share in today.

Today, I got an entire afternoon with the baby, we had some lunch. She would not eat her food, by herself, so she did eat when I offered food to her. hen we played for a while with her blocks, but that did not last very long.

So we dressed her and popped her into her stroller and went to the park. This was our first park outing together. And we passed a few of my friends on the way, and it was said to me that “we probably started tongues wagging …” but you only live once.

We did some swings. We did some slides, and some playground rides. We played in the sand and got dirty. It was just me and the baby. It was the most wonderful feeling. There were screaming kids all over the playground, and their parents watching closely, and for a while, I was one of those parents, playing with his child.

It was immense …

I want to close with some thought’s by Pope Francis.

“Archbishop Quarracino invited Bergoglio in January and April 1990 to give retreats to dozens of his clergy in La Plata. In the first, “Our flesh in Prayer,” Bergoglio reflected powerfully on Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the story of the foreigner who comes to the aid of a traveler beaten by brigands. He showed that those who passed on the other side – symbolized in Jesus’s telling by the priest and the Levite – used a series of distancing techniques, which were all temptations: either they intellectualized the suffering they saw, or evaded the responsibility for it by reassuring themselves that this is how life was.

The Samaritan, on the other hand, got on his hands and knees to get close to the victim, opened his heart to him and bound his wounds, shouldered him and spent his money on him. “That is what we will be judged on,” Bergoglio told the priests, adding that this proximity was at the heart of the Incarnation. Jesus, far from “passing on the other side,” paid the ultimate price in sacrificing his own flesh for those who suffer; and God’s closeness to humanity is the reason why “Prayer touches our flesh in its very nucleus, it touches our heart.”

Prayer, he told the priests, meant enduring the possibility of change; it meant a willingness to suffer. When a person ceases praying and starts complaining, “he ceases to serve the Gospel and becomes a victim. He canonizes himself.” Making oneself the victim, rather than Christ, was blasphemy; and a flesh that is used to blasphemy, which does not know how to ask for help for its own wound and sin, is a flesh incapable of helping the wounds of others.”

Even if he dedicates his life to God he will only ever be able to come close to himself.: It is the asepsis of the Pharisee,” Bergoglio warned: “neither virus or vitamin.”

There is a God, and I am not He.

More to come, stay tuned …

Friday … God – Ikea … Discuss

fifteen years ago aug212000Fifteen years ago TODAY the world was introduced to Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Where were you when The Philosopher’s Stone was released?

The week came to an end on the best day of the week, and the best night of the week. The weather has softened a great deal from what it had been for the last week or so. We hit a number of thirty degree days, with humidexes running from the mid thirties into the forties.

It was so hot and miserable that our little air conditioner that could was having a hard time trying to cool down the apartment. The last few nights, at midnight, the apartment was still stifling hot and my sweat was sweating …

I am reminded that if I complain about the heat, to remember what minus twenty with three feet of snow on the ground feels like ! I, like some of my friends, would rather it be cold outside, rather than steaming humid heat.

The nightly lows are dropping into the mid teens. I am banking on some TENS soon !

Ten is that magic number that we can crate the a.c. and open the windows for a few weeks, while it is still manageable, before it gets too cold, and we then have to shut the apartment down for another winter season.

We sat a full house and split the group up for discussion. Once again, the read was about that ever popular topic among our folks – God. The read speaks towards the clergy and how many an alcoholic turned their noses up at the mere thought of religion, when trying to get sober.

And how it really came down to one alcoholic talking to another, and showing the way.

We find this historical story about Bill.

Bill knew that he could not stay sober by himself. While in Towns Hospital, we’ve spoken about this location before, Bill had had a spiritual experience. And in his mind, it was apparent that he had to share this message with others, the only problem with that message was, that it was about God and his spiritual experience.

Nobody wanted to hear about God, so they rebuffed him.

Bill then heads to Akron to talk with Doctor Silkworth. Dr. Silkworth tells him that he needs to change up his game, and not talk so much about God, but of his own experience, strength and hope.

Enter Doctor Bob … and the Fellowship of A.A. began.

It has been a long time for our young folks to come around, and find that power greater than themselves. The stories vary as much as they are united in the same thought. Most of our men and women come, and at first, won’t hear about God, nor will they admit anything to Him either.

Many almost go insane … as DRY unbelievers until they hit the misery point of no return, and possibly concede that there might be something for them to connect to. One way or another, numbers of our folks have found that power. What they call it varies as the number of people sitting in the room on any given Friday night.

ikea3Every so often we get a visitor from another part of the world. And invariably, what that visitor has to say is compelling to say the least. Tonight, we heard a man from Northern Ireland, and the topic speaks about God, Clergy, and the Church. Our man, grew up amid “The Troubles” that fatal conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants in Northern Ireland.

It seemed that the room went still and everybody listened to him speak.

He shared his experiences in his life as it pertained to the reading.

He went on the share this:

He had heard, on CBC radio one day, an interview of a Jewish man who wrote about his God of his understanding. He likened that God to an Ikea store. Everybody knows what IKEA is, and the fact that most of the world is built by Ikea, one way or another.

It is said, that if you are married or sober and walk into an Ikea and buy something complicated, bring that piece home and build it, if you survive that task and you are still married and or sober, you have succeeded.

He likens God to an Ikea Pack. We go to the store and we buy the item. Then we bring it home and in essence, we have to build whatever that piece is. Inside that mammoth store, there are lots of things to buy, in assorted styles, colors and shapes.

God is like all those colors, shapes and styles. One style usually does not fit all people.

Most people are cookie cutters or they are cafeteria style folks. One opting to copy the last in belief and practice, the other, tends to pick and choose just what they will take or not take over time, and they built what they can handle or stomach, until they either find something bigger or better, or remain where they are, until either growth or implosion takes place.

It went something like that. I would need to investigate further who this guy was talking about and what book he was referring to.

It was the God – Ikea reference that piqued my interest.

It was a great night. My Mount Royal buddy is in Brazil until October, so he is not here to sit with on weekend, nor walk home together. The weather was just right, so I decided to walk from the church all the way to the Mount Royal Metro station which is a walk from the meeting.

While the weather is still good, I enjoy the walk.

Everybody is good. It seems everyone is in a good place, which is the Good News.

More to come, stay tuned…

Thursday … Thou Shalt NOT …

title_ten_commandments_blu-rayThe Seventh Commandment – Thou shalt not commit adultery
The Tenth Commandment – Thou shalt not covet your neighbors wife

I must ask the question, “Where is the sanctity of marriage?”  And perish the little children in today’s world. The Christians stand up for the sanctity of marriage and they spend their time disparaging the LGBT community saying that we are going to upset the fine balance of sanctity and all that is good by getting married ourselves.

Then there are those who deny gay couples marriage licenses because of their beliefs, and add to that some providers who won’t serve a gay couple, once again because of beliefs.

I believe that if you need to go outside your marriage for anything, then you do not deserve to be in that marriage to begin with. But we know, across the board on both sides of the argument for adultery, or going “outside” ones marriage, are the some key non negotiables …

Sex, Self Esteem and Money or the lack of one or more of these.

These are those non negotiables that would push anyone to cross the line.

Cheating websites are a dime a dozen. And hookup sites are just as plentiful.

In today’s social media world the Gays and the Straights can have it all, just at the swipe of your phone.

You say your marriage is lacking, well, we’ll give you something else to play around with.

Cheat on your spouse. All in secret, nobody will ever find out …

Well, They got that one WRONG didn’t they?

What’s with these sanctimonious Christians who have problems in the bedroom, with their spouses, or the lack of enough of them, because for some Christian men, one woman isn’t enough and they need to have more …

Is this Odd or is this God ?

What do we know about the disease of MORE ???

One night, when I was in date mode, with hubby, there was a night that shit happened, and I saw a look on his face, that I knew, then and there, it would be the first and last time I saw it, because I then knew that if I ever caused that look to happen again, I would be in big trouble.

Over the years, I realized that I loved my husband. And that I would never want to be the one who broke his heart, in any way, shape of form.

The day we spoke our vows, we meant them. We spoke them in front of family and friends and before God. To this day, I’ve never needed anyone else, or anything else.

It is a sad statement looking at the number of star couples who have recently “called it quits.” Then there are those star couples who kept their private lives out of the media and they prospered, and some of them have new children.

I think the heterosexual community really needs to take a look at what they define as the Sanctity of Marriage. Because, right now, the sanctity of marriage is in the toilet. And all those secretly cheating husbands are all over the web.

The secret is out guys, you are all fucked !

Secondly, a little fame, a little money and a lot of secrets, what does that get you ???

An hour of Power, a little Ego, and maybe a Sense of Control and Invulnerability.

Eat a particular sandwich and it will change your life. It will change your life so much and make you so much money that you won’t know what to do with all that money. Well, now we know what eating a particular sandwich does to some (read: ONE man/men). They get thin, they get rich, they get married and have children, then add insult to injury,

One man becomes a lock, stock, and barrel pedophile.

They not only cheat on their wives, they fuck around with children (read:Minors)

Oh, its a sickness. A moment of stupid. Because I’ve admitted I have a problem, I can seek help and with that admission, get absolution for my crimes at the same time.

This is where I draw the line on tolerance for those with different struggles.

Um, NO !

Oh, we the public feel so sorry for you because you have a problem with not only sexual behavior, but also because you fuck young people while you are married with children.

Um, NO !

You’ve admitted to a problem. Good for you. You’re a DOUCHE BAG all the same.

You give all of us men a bad name. And you leave a great big taste of shit in our mouths.

There is no excuse NO EXCUSE as a man, that you should commit these crimes on those who cannot defend themselves. Just throw a little hush money at them and they will keep quiet, right?

We live above the Northern Border, and a lot of this shit is N.I.M.B.Y.

Discrimination, whatever that discrimination, affects us all, no matter where we live. We are all interconnected. And if you fuck over one of us, you fuck over all of us.

You treat us with disdain, you mock us and you belittle us, and say to us that you know better and that you have the definitive answers, and that you are sanctified by God and we are not.

Well, Straight folks, who has egg on their faces tonight ?

I think we all know what many men think about the sanctity of marriage. And the value of another human life.

We also know how fame and fortune can fuck over a human life and cause him to do unspeakable evil to another human being.

I’m sick to my stomach. Some men are seriously pathetic excuses for human beings and we should not have to share air with many of them.

And God Wept …

Friday – Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

tumblr_lrr3ngz2KM1qcpwebo1_500 p3n1sAnother challenging week is in the books. Working with others IS a full time job. Summer is coming to a close, and we have begun the transition for some of my folks. We will be bringing some people back to Montreal in the next couple of weeks, and next week others will be departing overseas for their next life project.

Working with others, is a full time job. And accountability is high on the radar. There are things that happen in life that we are powerless to change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be the change we need to have in the moment.

When I first got sober, I needed many things. And as it happened, my friends in the meetings took very good care of me in many ways, and made it possible for me to succeed where failure was a real probability.

Today, I am in a place where I can pay it forward, all those things that were given to me, and to make sure my friends, and their children, are cared for. A food bank is a necessary place here in Montreal. And many families rely on them to feed their families and their children.

Many people do not have stable work that will provide all that they need, and it is difficult for many to make ends meet. Our food banks do wonderful work for our city and the people who populate it.

And I would not be the first to step up and say to my friends, that you won’t need to rely on that food bank, not on my watch. If there is something that I can do for my friends, I will gladly do it, because that is what we do here. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Needless to say, it is never a dull day in my neighborhood.

The Friday night meeting took place and we talked about prayer and meditation. The reading goes on to talk about the “connectedness” we feel, once we have made that connection to whatever higher power we see in our lives.

For a long time, I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop in my life.

This specific thought was mentioned by one of our women tonight, and I wanted to say something, but decided against it, opting just to listen to my friends instead.

Owning my dual diseases, I can’t change my alcoholism, the only thing I can change is how I live my life. And that goes just as well, with AIDS. That is entirely another beast in itself. I will never be cured and I will always rely on medication to keep me alive.

But for a good number of years, I lived with the fear that that definite shoe would eventually drop and I would be dealt a heavy price. Having one foot on solid ground and the other on that proverbial banana peel. Waiting for the big slip to happen.

But I have been on a very long upswing. I don’t know what to attribute that to? It could be one of many things that I do, like take my pills religiously, have faith that I believe in my heart of hearts, is the main key to my longevity. I have my patrons and my beliefs. And I have the utmost belief that my prayers do indeed go somewhere and that they are heard and are useful.

I have my rituals, and my daily practice. And I place a heavy amount of reliance on those rituals and beliefs. I do put many of my eggs in one basket. Because I happen to believe that God and my saints and my family and friends on the other side are moving heaven and earth for me.

A pill is only as useful as the energy you put behind it.

You can just “take a pill” and hope that it works. OR you can take that same pill, and EXPECT it to work. To WILL IT to work. The more positive energy you can put behind any treatment regimen, the better that regimen will work for you too.

It has taken me a life time of study to get the practice down and to have utter faith that it works. And the way I know it works, is simply, I am still alive twenty one years later.

We are all living life on life’s terms today. And for now, it seems to be going alright.

Everyone is well and accounted for. Good things are happening.

More to come, stay tuned …

July 31st, 2015… A life Well Lived … Love is the Answer

bookA new Website for Writers is coming: Write Hear

Fellow Celebrants today: My friends son, Noah (15), Harry Potter (32), J.K. Rowling (50),
Myself (48).

Today was my birthday. And Like a Good Alcoholic I sent two Guerrilla texts that were ignored. I half thought that I might get a response, that was not the best way to start my day.

As I was sitting here at my computer, I got a call from our Member of Parliament, who represents our riding in Ottawa. He called to wish me Happy Birthday, on behalf of Justin Trudeau. I thought that was very kind of him to do that, seeing there are millions of people on his list, that he took time out of his morning to call me specifically.

I got my restart.

Later in the afternoon, I had lunch with a long time friend for many years. We don’t often see each other, because he travels for work and school. So time together is always well spent, read: time well spent, eating together.

The most important place to meet and be present is around a dinner table.

We walked home together and I did some sundry shopping for things we needed for the house.

The evening was still up in the air, but by five o’clock, we had a plan. My friend Rafa was on his way back from St. Anne’s while he made his transit home, I was making my transit to his house.

It has been steamy and hot the past few days, we did not linger long, but set out immediately for more food. We hit a Venezuelan diner and had dinner together. Then we walked up to the meeting. Everything in Montreal is within walking distance. Every neighborhood has its eateries and restos, and places to gather. Rafa lives on the Plateau which is central to everything up there. We spend a good amount of time walking to and from meetings, instead of taking the bus.
Tomorrow we are meeting to go over my outline, which I added a few items to when I got home after the discussion we had at the meeting earlier.

Once again, We talked about God.

It seems that God, as I have said before, is a topic that Bill W, never tires of, because he writes about it often. Every time he mentions the word, it is couched within literature, or a Grapevine letter, or his personal reflections. And every time the word God comes up in any reading, our folks grind their teeth and roll their eyes, and say …

“Oh, God, not this again, can we please move on?”

We listened to everyone speak, and then we talked on the walk home. Since God is a theme I am writing about in my book, I spent the hour reflecting on my outline stories and a little more clarity and understanding comes. I had my first chapter, but I was unsure of how to end it, tonight, I got the much needed insight I needed for coherent thought and process.

We walked through the park on the way home and the moon was bright and dazzling.

I spent the day with all those people who matter to me, and bring me joy and love.

Birthdays aren’t about getting things, but about sharing meals and friendship.

A good day was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …

More to come, stay tuned …

Walking In the Rain …

indian thought

They said it would rain. And it did. Just pissing rain. Enough to get wet, but not wet enough to carry an open umbrella, so we walked home in the rain tonight. However, the weather still has been stellar for a number of days.

Oh My God … I am so POOOOOOOPED !!!

Let’s back up a little bit and tell you about the week that was. Tuesday we talked about liquor and the fact that alcoholism is an incurable disease. Nuff Said about that !

Wednesday is my off night, which has become cook dinner for Baby Mama and Ms. LuLu. I started this little tradition when she first got here, one, to familiarize myself and the baby, and two, to cook her a meal that would last, which usually is a crock pot or casserole dish. But lately it has turned into “chicken” and doesn’t everything work out when it gets to chicken ???

We are still working to fill the apartment. We are still missing a sofa, for one reason only, there are no folks with trucks in the rooms it seems. We have all these resources but no truck owners. We got a quote for a mover who wanted to charge us $300.00 and mama was like fuck that !

So there is a single rocking chair in the living room.

Tomorrow, Saturday, I am installing an air conditioner for the baby’s room.

There are shitty things called by-laws that dictate just how you can install, where you can install using specific REQUIRED tools and wood and plexiglass shit ! UGH, they have to make this so damned complicated, I have an easy peasy, 10 minute hook up that I do here at home, but NOOOO that was just too easy and unacceptible to the apartment management.

God give me strength …

Well, you all know what happened last night.

The shit storm hack event of the century.

Today, Friday I worked my ass off.

There is no better work to do than be of service to someone that you can be present for.

A few hours of work changed two lives in the end.

Who needs Jiffy Maid, when you got me instead!

I came home for a couple of hours and headed off for the best night of the week.

Tonight’s topic … BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD …

Well, that was just one sentence of the reading, which came from a very early letter from Bill W.

it spoke about Bill’s consternation, early on that he could not convert the alcoholic to sobriety. In fact he failed several times over, trying to get men sober, and failed miserably, before going to talk to Doctor Silkworth, who told Bill that NO, Bill, you cannot convert the alcoholic. All you can do is share what you know, your experience, and that’s it.

You are not the center of the universe and You are not God. Hence,

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

Still, to this day, our young people balked when the words Christ and God came within this reading. But they have come a long way in being open to discussions about God, over and over again.

Bill speaks a great deal about GOD in As Bill Sees It.

Continuously !!! Over and Over again …

I got the message I needed to hear.

It was a frenetic, exhilarating day. I worked my ass off with one of my guys. We had lunch and we hung out together all day long while we worked.

At the end of the day the only thing I wanted to know was, if for a few minutes tonight, sitting with his girlfriend that he felt, just a little bit, better about himself. And he did.

All I want is to be a vessel. All I want is for everybody to be well. We all want to be of maximum service to as many people as we can. And we do this in spades.

I am really grateful to have the friends I do.

I would not be the man I am without them.

Another week in the books.

We are all safe, sober, alive.

The computer is encrypted. I will eventually get all my money back.

It’s all good.

Be Still and Know that I am God…

More to come, stay tuned …

Sunday Sundries, Episode #2 … Honor thy Father and Mother

title_ten_commandments_blu-ray

Exodus 20:11

יא  כַּבֵּד אֶת-אָבִיךָ, וְאֶת-אִמֶּךָ–לְמַעַן, יַאֲרִכוּן יָמֶיךָ

עַל הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ.  {ס}

Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

The day passed without feeling or anger. And it would have gone untouched, had not a good friend of mine called me tonight, inquiring if I was “ok.” I knew what he meant, and I answered that I was. But after ruminating over this, I owe this letter to posterity.

In a months time I will be 48 years old. I have lived well past my expiration date, as doctors told me several times that I was going to die. God, it seemed, has other plans for me, because I am still breathing.

God spoke to Moses, and these words are inscribed on the stone tablets Moses brought down from the mountain. This is one commandment that I cannot abide with. And it doesn’t abide with me either.

How could one honor thy father and mother, when they could not honor their first born son. How could they create progeny, abuse them throughout their lives and turn on them with hatred and condemnation, and ask a child to “just die already” and expect to be honored themselves?

My father’s two phrases he used to toss around like the scripture he quoted from a bible that he never opened were:

  • Blood is thicker than water
  • Be careful the words you speak, because once you speak them, you can never take them back.

When I was a young boy, I listened well to everything that was spoken by both my parents. I knew I was Gay, before I knew what Gay was. But by the time I had learned what it was, and that I was Gay myself, remaining under my father’s roof was not something I could do and survive, because he tried several times as a child to kill me, chasing me around the house with a bat, only to be thwarted by vigilant grandmothers who protected me from him.

I moved away, but alcoholism followed me where ever I went.

I was a problematic alcoholic, what I did not know created rifts with my parents.
To this day, I don’t think they ever forgot nor forgave me.

I always lived apart from my family, mainly because I knew they would not approve of my lifestyle, and they did not. They made that perfectly clear well before I left the nest. When I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994, I turned to my family. I called them together to tell them and to ask for help and support.

How do you think that turned out? It didn’t …

Along with my then boyfriend, all of my friends, and my fucking family, everybody walked away. My mother worked in home health care, and knew AIDS patients in her line of work. She knew fairly well, what was going to happen to me, in the end.

Do you think that gave her compassion or love? It did no such thing.
No she just wanted the faggots to “just die already !!!”

That Christmas, 1994, I went home for the holiday, against my better judgment. I knew what was coming. I was locked in at night. I could not use the phone, nor could I visit anyone while I was there. On Christmas day my father set a card table in the living room with a plastic chair. He set me a plastic plate, and plastic cutlery and a plastic cup.

The rest of the guests sat at the dining room table and ate in front of me, while I was separate from the group itself. My father humiliated me in front of friends and guests. The son of one of the guests left the main table and came and sat with me so I would not be eating alone. The next day they invited me out on their boat and they asked me for forgiveness for what was done to me, and how horrified they were to see my parents do that to me in front of others.

I NEVER went home again.

I got sober the first time. And a few years in, my father granted me visits with him when he would travel to Miami from Sarasota. But every time he visited he would belittle me and ponder my death right in my face.

One night, on the way home from dinner, (while on the highway) he started in on me. I asked him to stop the car (on the highway) where I got out of the car (on the highway) and walked miles home by myself. I told him never to come back and see me.

The first time I got sober, I was not of right mind in many ways. I was not very sober. As I am sober today. And I made several decisions based on self that were less than charitable.

My sponsor agrees that certain decisions were not self centered but were made out of self preservation.

I pissed my brother and his then fiance off, which afterwards, they would never communicate with me ever again. And that has been their story for more than twenty years.

I could not live up to the man they named me after upon my birth. How could a gay, HIV+ faggot live up to the honor of a man who died fighting a war in Viet Nam? I legally changed my name to be done with them. That was a direct strike across the bow of their battleship.

Years would pass. I would be sober, I would drink, and I would return to the program in due time.

On New Years Day, January 1st 2001, I was sober. I had not drunk. I had just returned from a job at a nightclub, where I had worked an all nighter. Just coming home and getting into bed, my phone rang. My mother was on the line saying that they were in Miami, and would be coming to see me on their way back.

A little while later, they rolled up and my father parked in a fire zone (read: No Parking in a fire zone) with the car idling. I said to them that we could go out for breakfast and that I would pay for parking and food. They said no.

I had twenty minutes to visit with my mother. We walked around the block where I lived. I walked her back to the car, she got in the car and they drove away. I had twenty minutes with my mother after years of no communication or visits.

I later found out that my parents has been in Miami for a week prior to them showing up on my doorstep. A week !!!

I never saw either of them again, to this day …

I got sober on December 9th 2001. I was sober a few months, when the lies my mother told us as children came up. My mother, being a Canadian citizen when I was born, lied to us, saying she was an American.

I got a letter from the Canadian Government soon after offering me a birthright certificate into the country if I met the criteria, which I did. I sent the check and the paperwork.

The way I was living in Miami was not viable. I was barely surviving, even when I got sober.

I turned my sights on Canada. I came up on Easter Ash Wednesday 2002. I stayed a week, I loved it, so I stayed another week. I found a doctor and a home. I flew back to Miami, for a few days, to pack and sent everything North.

Three day later, I left the United States for good. I never looked back.

Moving to Canada was akin to High Treason on my American Father’s honor.

For the following two years, I worked very hard at relationships with my parents. At the two year mark, my mother called and said:

“If me or your father get sick and die, nobody will call you. Nobody will tell you where we are buried.”

That was the last time we spoke.

It is now 2015. I am closing in on Fifty. I am sober. I am alive. I have a life, a home, a husband and all the things I ever wanted and more. I could not be any happier. The life I have today, would never have happened had I stayed in Miami, I would have probably died sooner.

I am an idealistic man who has dreams of grandeur.

I am a lot more sober than I was fourteen years ago, and much more sober than I was the first time, close to twenty years ago. I work very hard at living and being sober.

With the dawn of Facebook, several family member are on the site. And to this day, they refuse to communicate with me. Every year that goes by, and I am still alive, I get angrier and angrier.

All I want, before I die, is for certain human beings to acknowledge me and the life I live.

If I am to honor thy father and mother, they need to step up and honor me, if only for the fact that when they asked me to die, I lived … How can you turn your backs on your children in their hour of need? How can you live with hatred and scorn for so long?

Happy Fucking Fathers Day you hateful old man …

tumblr_m1x5tpsILv1qmi5uao1_500 alexander