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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Velvet Rope/A Stir of Echoes


This is a journal entry I made in Jan or 2003 while at the Manhattan Family Court Building getting a ‘Restraining Order’ against my mother.

There are repressed memories, and there are memories you simply choose to forget. Today has made me wish they were repressed. Maybe then this flood of history wouldn’t be drowning me. I remember as a child sitting in the Bronx Family Court House while my mom would make attempts to force child support arrests on my Father, or sometimes taking matters into her own hands for my grandmother to get “Orders of Protection” against my uncle.

When I was younger they still had the red velvet ropes, just like the movie theatres, but even when they switched to the more functional nylon pull cords it didn’t change the ending. A subpoena that was never served an ‘OP’ that got lost in a drawer; court date forgotten. I can still walk the halls of that court house and not get lost. The layout the procedures never left me. The first floor was ok I knew the guards; they were always nice to me. Adults always noticed me as a child. They knew I was to quiet to calm. I think it must be unsettling to see someone so small and young and know they’re studying you. I know as an adult when I see children do this it scares me.

After passing security we would reach the giant lobby/waiting room that to my five year old height was big enough to play baseball in. However the tall ceilings and marble floors were covered with wooden benches and filled with women and children and some men. The voices carried and echoed in this giant room so everyone always seemed way too loud. (Maybe that was just due to being so low to the ground) I always made sure to bring a toy and learned to just bring one as to not have to share. I would think to myself in a 5 years vocabulary ‘why does she have to subject me to this? I can’t stand these people I can’t stand these other children all you are too rambunctious, don’t you know I’m above all this?” I would always wish that one of the nicely dressed lawyers would find me and decide to take me home to what I imagined was his big colonial house with a picket fence and his photographer wife, where she would always take pictures of me running and playing in the yard with our 2 German Sheppard’s and I’d have a awesome big brother that would teach me sports or a little brother that I would be awesome to. Then while I was sitting around that big lobby if anyone asked I could just tell them “Oh no I’m not like you I’m here with my dad he works here, he’s a Lawyer you know the one that just sent your crazy mom or dad to jail!”

Don’t get me wrong there were some people I would meet that I was able to tolerate. We’d find each other; all you had to do was look for it. I called it the gleam of despair. That loud wish in our eyes to be anywhere but here. We were the ones trying not to speak too loud so that the stupid people didn’t try to converse with us or even worse want you to play with their even dumber children. Like I said for the most part I just tried to stay to myself.

Nothing is as unproductive as a day in family court. It’s a day in your life you never get back; if you’re late arriving you wait till the judges return from lunch and you except defeat. Defeat always left a bad taste in my mouth. As everyone exits to grab a bite you’re left with three types of stragglers. The new arrivals that got there very late and had already ate, the truly pitiful that can’t afford to go buy lunch and worse of all is the category I fell into; the people that snuck in their lunch, either out of laziness to take a walk or like my mom conniving and manipulative. She would try to flirt with a guard of court officer to be pushed up on the list so that she would be next. Now while she would stroll around with her shoulders arched back to make her already arousing figure even more noticeable (she was quite the fem fatale in her day) I would be left eating a sandwich and an apple in front of the lady with three kids and no lunch. I was suffering from ‘onlychilditus’ would not eat so that I didn’t have to be stared at or worse share. This backfired a few times, when my mom would return from flirting she’s find my uneaten food and donate it to the unfortunate as a way to thank who ever was supposedly keeping an eye on me.

My mother always seemed to get along with these ladies; I think because she truly believed she had it just as bad yet she seemed to love knowing that they thought she was better then them. Then again my mother has the ‘ism’ as well so I supposed that was just her way of needing to feel ‘part of’.

Crystal Clarity


Isn’t it weird that for most of the world the word crystal means something beautiful, glamorous and mystifying? I still think that all that holds true still. In fact I have a ball of crystal right here on my desk. It’s my quartz crystal ball from Brazil.

I used to tell myself that crystal helped me focus and accomplish my goals. It did at first. It helped delay the night terrors and gave me a false sense of everything. It even was beneficial of helping overcome my fears. I was convinced I could do anything I set my mind to. “Brain surgery anyone?”

Through out my youth I have been recognized for my writing skills many times. I’ve won awards in elementary school, praise from High School teachers that tried to get me to submit my essays to competitions, I have even had work published in highly respectable newspapers under other peoples names. The people pleaser in me is always more then willing to give away my skills for a simple ‘thank you’ and pat on the shoulder. (How else did you think I filled up these buckets with resentments’ I carry?)

I’ve always known I’ve had something to say just never really sure what to say so instead I lived my life adventure after adventure each destination leading into another and so on and so on... Well most adventures turned into calamities and all the stops along the way have been the cobblestones on my path of good intention, and we all know where those lead.

In my recovery I’ve had sober eyes to look back on and see that I’m more then the footprints of my past. I’m the conscience choice of every step plus the sum of them. Many lead right into the next but I have made a lot of course alterations. I always say “Gravity Obstacles’ & Destinations” but I have lost count of how many times have I rested on the rocks of difficulty out of laziness only to find out that I was closer to an previous path. My history is littered with me throwing in the towel or better yet not even putting up the effort of the fight.

I don’t regret every choice I’ve made, I don’t think I’d be human if I didn’t regret some things. Either way I choose to go forward. There is a saying “a thief with no opportunity to steal considers himself an honest man” I interpret that to mean that people can ignore they’re character defects if there is no opportunity to act out on them. I am an addict I make a conscious decision everyday to not get high. So what does that make me?

I can look back now and see that I have quite a tale to tell. I’ve lived many lives and worn many hats. Sometimes my memory is hazy about details but for the most party my recall is pretty accurate. I may mess up a date or the chronological line of events but I remember the feelings I had and a lot of the things I’ve done and that’s a burden in and of its self. They say one of the curses of addiction is a great memory!