A Lifetime Ago

As I get older and look back on my life, things just don’t seem like they were events in my life.  It’s more like a whole bunch of movies that I have seen that make up what has turned out to be my life.  Crazy thing is I may live for another 40 or 50 years.  I recently moved from the Midwest back to where my family is in southern California.  I am around family now every day. Family that I haven’t seen on a daily basis in close to 2 decades.  I forget how they just don’t know me and I really don’t know them.  I mean it’s cool, we all are happy to be around each other.  We all get along great, but the other night I was having a casual conversation with my aunt and uncle.  We were having a talk about guns and gun violence and they are pro-gun. Which I support but the conversation took a turn after I said the following statement: (a statement I have shared with Hollywood, Gov, Snowflake so much they are probably reading this going dude, seriously a blog about this can you please shut the fuck up).  Anyway, the statement was; “I just won’t own a gun, I support anyone’s right to own a gun, but when I lived in Palmdale, every time I saw a gun come out, things just escalated.  I saw too many friends get shot.”


My aunt put down her wine glass, and for that woman to put down her wine on a Friday night, usually takes an 8.5 earthquake or Howard Stern to walk in the room.  My Uncle didn’t think he heard me right.  I would love to introduce you all to Palmdale California but I like you all too much to bring you that kind of pain and misery.  I mean think of Boys in the Hood, Menace II Society and.. well no not that bad but what people don’t realize is Compton, Watts and South Central are closer to the beach than Palmdale is.  So in a lot of cases the gangs and families of gangs couldn’t afford to live down there and relocated further away from the beach, bringing the violence and anarchy with them.  I really don’t mean to take this blog down this path, but this was an interesting conversation with the family.  All the sudden they could connect the dots to certain things in my life.


I wasn’t a good kid, I mean if we are all being honest, a lot of us weren’t good kids but that’s all a part of finding ourselves.  I was 19 and my mom kicked me out of the house.  Maybe I deserved it, maybe not.  I stumbled around, staying with friends for a time.  I eventually wore out my welcome and ended up on park benches and for a long time slept under the pier in Manhattan Beach.  I scrounged and stole for food.  Lowest point in my life during this time period was sleeping on a table in a park.  Freezing my ass off, it had to be 30 degrees out. Sprinklers came on and I was soaked. This sucked so bad, I thought I was just done.  This continued for close to a year until my grandparents took me in.  Again, this seems more like a movie than some actual events, a lifetime ago.


Now flash foreword to me coming back to Manhattan Beach, first week back and I am sitting at a restraint having breakfast.  Was so good, health breakfast burrito from my favorite spot.  Now I normally won’t finish everything on my plate.  Portion control is drilled in my head (Thanks Jen), I mean we over eat like it’s going out of style and the last thing I want to be is that fat bastard.  So I often won’t finish and I don’t eat leftovers.  Just a nomad I guess.  Imagine that though, I was once homeless, and had to eat out of fucking trashcans and now I am tossing food like its nothing. Later that night Cali Nick and I are grabbing some lunch or dinner (I forget) and I am telling him that I don’t eat all my grub.  He makes the most obvious statement ever and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it. “Bro bro bro just take it in a to go container and go give it to a homeless person.  WTF, why didn’t I come up with that, but good on you for thinking of that.  So now that is what I do.  I have seen this movie before, I know how hungry they are so why not.


That leads me to what happened today, and why I needed to write this blog.  I know up to this point this has jumped around a lot and I have been all over the place.  This might even be a tough read, for that I apologize I just needed to get this shit out.  I am down on Manhattan Beach Pier walking around, sipping on some coffee.  I walk into the restrooms on the pier.  No not the ones with the glory holes, you sick bastards.  I am going to the bathroom and there is this huge dude behind me at the sink.  I am just praying the I don’t feel a hand on my shoulder because I would have been all kinds of prison bitch.  Of course, nothing happens I finish and I walk out. I stop for a minute, thinking about what I just saw.  I am sort of pissed off because it dawns on me that this was a homeless dude who was just trying to clean himself up.  I sit there for a minute pissed.  I wanted to talk to him.  I wanted to know where in the hell did this dude sleep.  I wanted to help.  Take him some food when he needed it, maybe some clothes and most definitely a blanket.  Why in the fuck didn’t I talk to him?  Ugh that was so dumb.  How oblivious am I to just walk by him thinking I was about to be all prison bitched up, not to be confused with wifed up.  Fuck it I thought, I just should go in and ask.  I would rather do that than walk away and not have the conversation.


Walking back into the bathroom, I was a little nervous.  Not sure why maybe because how many conversations does this dude have with people?  Especially conversations that aren’t someone yelling at him to get the fuck out of here.  I still approach slowly, “Excuse me, you mind if I ask you a question?”  He didn’t even look up, kept cleaning some clothes like this was the last bit of free water he would ever get to use.  “Hey buddy I am just curious where do you sleep?”   He looked up, and he didn’t like that question much at all.  “What do you mean where do I sleep. What the hell does that matter.”   Well fuck now I did it, how in the hell did I not see this coming.  Of course, he is going to be defensive.  Why should he tell some random dude where he sleeps?  I mean he tells me why should he trust me not to call the cops just to get him off the street?  I get it.  So scrambling I tell him that I use to sleep under the pier for quite a while.  He pretty much just looked at me and may has well told me to go fuck myself.  You know what though, he didn’t.  He just said that’s great and never told me where he slept.


My intentions were good but my execution was shit.  One of the strengths and curses in my life, I see all sides of a situation.  I fucked up here, I was so worried about not talking to him initially I didn’t think it through and think of what that conversation would look like from his side.  Majority of the integrations I am sure he has are not anything positive.  I mean if you think it through a lot of the homeless people are bi polar or have some sort of mental illness. (IE this guy).


Now I am sitting in a home, my Aunt and Uncles home, listening to one of their friends talk about how she is tired of the government and her money going to so many people that don’t want to help themselves.  People who could make a good living working in the field in Northern California but instead have worked less because if they work more they give up Government benefits.  She doesn’t want to see her money go to that.  I asked her what she voted for in the last election.  She told me who she voted for as president but couldn’t remember anything else she voted for.  Yes, it’s always good to complain about something you have no idea about.  I wish I had a better conversation with the homeless guy, I wish my aunts friend wasn’t an elitist and would swap places with the homeless guy, or the immigrant worker, who is doing all he can not to be the homeless guy.  I wish I didn’t think of my life like it was a movie in the past and happened a lifetime ago. I wish I could remember every emotion of what I went through when I was homeless so I could have a better conversation and understanding of his situation.  I am grateful for Gov and Hollywood for keeping me grounded and working with me through a rough time.  Thank you, Cali Nick, for pointing out the obvious to me when I didn’t see it for myself.  Here is to better conversations with the people that need help and the elitists that can go fuck themselves.



I’m Out… Chaos

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