To be a tree …
To be a tree …
And I’m up and alive and blessed by the sun.
I’ve personally never had a problem with asking.
I was the baby of the family, so asking for things becomes par for the course. In a family of four siblings, it’s a way to ensure that you get your proper share of whatever choice goodies are proffered. As part of the process of asking, you learn to develop and utilize your charm.
I’m the type of person who will go into any shop or store and ask for freebies or samples – more so when I was off my meds. I’m the type of person who will go to the movies, and if I don’t like what I’m watching, will walk out of the theater and go ask for a rain check – and I’ll get it. And I always find it surprising that many people find my behavior outrageous, that they would never ever ask for anything like that.
I think it’s outrageous to not try to get what you want, or to sit there in a darkened theater and suffer through two hours of your life that you will never get back, watching a movie that’s horribly made.
That’s the type of person I am. Those are the things that I do. In a heartbeat.
But when it comes to me being sick, I’ve found that I have a very hard time asking for help. My mouth transmutes from flesh, muscle, cartilage, and bone to lead.
So, Friday night, when I was in the middle of my depressive episode, I knew I needed help, I knew I needed something.
I was lying on the couch we have in our music room/study feeling leaden-limbed, and I called out to my mother, who was in the den watching TV and coloring the color books she uses for relaxation. And I felt bad, because she was by herself. She came over. I apologized. I explained to her how I felt. She said she understood.
You see, when I’m in that depressive state where I can’t move, I feel such oppressive guilt. I don’t want my mom to think that I’m ignoring her. I feel like I’m failing as a son, a forty-two year old man, a human being – despite everything I do, and I need to hear that it’s okay, to allay some of that guilt.
My mom did that. She told me what I think anybody who’s struggled with depression wants to hear from a loved one: that it’s alright, get your rest, take as much time as you need.
So I asked if she could bring me a banana and some walnuts because I hadn’t eaten anything that day. She did.
I ate a little, then lay there a while.
Then my mom comes back in. In her hands she’s holding a charcoal gray blanket. I have never seen this blanket before in my life. She covers me with it. And I’m amazed because this has to be the most comfortable-feeling blanket I’ve ever felt. My mom didn’t make a fuss. She left quickly. I was near tears. I thanked her.
I laid there, wrapping myself up in the soft comfort of the blanket, and somehow, I found myself texting my ex-girlfriend’s eldest daughter, who I helped raise since she was twelve. She had texted me earlier, and it occurred to me that I never responded.
But in the middle of texting her I had a thought, and something compelled me, so I asked. I asked the eighteen year old girl who I helped raise if she could stop by my house and give me a hug. Her mother struggles with depression as well, so she understands.
I fully prepared myself for her to say no. She’s a teenager. I’m no longer with her mother. I waited, not very hopeful.
She texted back yes.
My leaden heart jumped slightly. Then I slipped back into a stupor.
The doorbell rang. There was a knock at the door.
My mom, surprised and happy to see her, let her in. I heard her talking. I heard hellos being said, but there seemed to be more voices. Then to my surprise, she brought her younger sister with her.
Four and a half years I did my best to raise these girls. I gave them my heart unconditionally. They still have it. I have no other children. These are my daughters.
And when I needed, my daughters came. They sat beside me a while, they gave me hugs, and they let me hug them back. Then they stayed a while. They were themselves, being dorks and children and sisters – the eldest threw the youngest the finger behind my back, but I knew so I called her out, and we all just laughed. They sat a while longer, then they left.
I felt loved. I felt alive. I felt the lead in my limbs lightened.
They came, because I needed help.
And they enveloped me in their love.
For a moment we were a family again.
For a moment I had my daughters again – most probably the only children I’ll ever have.
And their love, and their energy, and their youth lifted me up a bit.
And for me, that bit was enough.
The Last Homely House.
The magic and comfort of The Last Homely House.
Always a light on.
Always a song to sing.
Always a tale to tell.
Always good food to eat.
Always good drink to drink. Always a chair to sit.
Always a place of peace, love, and good cheer.
And a fine place for a think, which is what I need right now.
I am alone.
My brothers have taken my mom to spend Christmas Day with her sister and my cousins in San Antonio.
There are no lights on.
Only the darkening whitewashed water color grayblue of the fading light of the setting sun penetrates what windows it can and serves as the only major light source.
Aside from that, the Christmas tree lights are on, as well as the lights around the Nativity, the scene of the Christ-child in a manger, sleeping in swaddling cloth upon a bed of straw, with his mother Mary, Joseph, the step-dad to be shepherds, sheep of the flocks they keep, the Three Wise Men, and various livestock that would live in said manger. There is also the soft glow of the candles I’ve lit.
The light is warm, cozy.
I feel safe, calm, at peace.
The TV is off. The music I had been listening to on my headphones is off. Right now, there is only the constant whishing whisper duet of the central heater unit and the overhead fan as they work together in keeping the temperature in here a nice balance of warm and slightly chilly.
My head is free of thoughts.
I’m only focusing on the sound of the AC, the fan, and the gently wavering glow of the candlelit Nativity as it flickers softly.
The family plan was to drive up to San Antonio today, stay tomorrow, and leave Wednesday further north up I35 to Pflugerville, to visit my Brother and his family at Moore Manor – what we call the Pfluggervillian post of the Moore clan – His daughter – my baby niece – has a birthday coming up, and they were going to celebrate it Wednesday. I think by then I’ll be rested up enough to drive, spend the evening there, and then head back early Thursday morning.
I was also less inclined to leave due to the fact that I was up late last night from going to the Catholic midnight mass at La Catedral de San Agustín downtown. I haven’t gone since I was a child. It was beautiful. And worth it, but because I normally don’t stay up so late, it really took a toll on me this morning/afternoon. My mom woke me a little after noon, and I said my goodbyes.
Now it may sound bleak and depressing to you, maybe it sounds like a punishment even, but my depression doesn’t work that way.
To me, this is bliss.
Even though I am and can be a very social creature, who loves spending time talking and being in the company of others, it can also be exhausting – a characteristic common to both introverts and people with depression.
You see, I’m very empathic, I can sense the moods and tensions of those around me, and it physically affects me. I act like a human emotional sponge – I’ll soak up some of what you’re feeling and I’ll feel it too. It can be helpful sometimes, but others, it can be too much, so I have to pull in my sensory feelers and put up a barrier. And maintaining that requires an exhausting amount of energy. So, an empty house means a free me – no additional emotional energy to absorb or block. My shields are down. My guard is down. My sensory feelers can be fully extended and feel nothing.
All I’m feeling right now is a sleepy, relaxed state of bliss.
This is how I recover from my mental stressors: silence, calm, music, resting.
This is how I recharge, restore balance in myself.
But I’m not altogether about living the life of a monk. I began last Christmas building up my talismans, my weapons, my rituals for self-care: my skin care products, my soaps, my beard balms. I invested in that as well as my writing desk and my shelf to create my study.
Over the summer I did a lot more decorating to my room, and now, finally, I end this year with treating myself to the last of the items I wanted off of my list that I would enjoy. I bought a great pair of wireless Sennheiser over the ear headphones. They’re an excellent brand for audiophiles and I find the gentle pressure of over the ear headphones calming. I got a great deal on a 32″ Samsung Smart Hub TV. It’s HD only – not state of the art QLEV or anything like that, but it does have all my subscriptions: Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
I also bought myself a wireless sound bar plus a subwoofer, along with a Chrome book, but those haven’t arrived yet – also Samsung – also great deals since they were mid-range items and not top of the line.
And I didn’t even spend a thousand on all that. I love quality, but I’m no snob and I’m not stupid. I research and find the best quality I can get for the lowest possible price. With that, I can finally, fully enjoy my time at home, when I’m not reading, writing, painting, or playing the drums.
This is self-care. This is how I take care of myself. These are not substitutions for happiness nor are they status symbols signifying that I have “arrived” at some vague and unimportant level of “success,” showing that I’ve “made it.” No. These are merely the tools I choose to use as entertainments, as diversions.
These are the tools I choose to use to keep me even.
Tools that I was lucky enough to have some money for and that were just the right price for me to afford.
Now I’m forty-two. I’m single. I have no children, and I’ve been blessed to have a pretty decent paying career for almost fourteen years now. I can afford this.
But I have friends who are starting out, in college, or just finishing college, or just beginning their lives. Just like I have friends my age who are married and have kids or who are single parents who have kids, and you’re thinking, “I don’t have that kind of money.”
That’s not the point. The point is what feels good to you:
What recharges You?
Exercise? Quilting? Crossword puzzles?
My point is, it could be anything – as long as it does the trick.
Take care of yourself.
Put yourself first.
Now that doesn’t mean you get a green light to become totally self-absorbed and narcissistic, no. That just means that you must make time for you, so that your mind, body, and soul are refreshed and sharp, so that you may be able to properly take care of others. And even if you don’t have the terrible privilege of caring for somebody, still, don’t forget to make yourself a priority.
You deserve it.
These items that I’ve been blessed to treat myself to, they are all great gifts. But the greatest gift I’ve given myself this holiday season – as someone battling Major Depression, as a teacher to twenty-three sharp and intelligent students, as the past caregiver to my father, and as the future caregiver for my mother when the inevitable eventually happens – the one truly greatest gift, and the one I’ll get the most out of, the one I will remember the most, is an opportunity for silence, for rest, and for solitude.
“And the sleepiness kicks back in, this time more from sadness, the lethargy from my exhaustion from work is there, too. This very paragraph is where I’ve started writing, because I wanted to try and accurately describe how it feels, what I’m going through right now.
I simultaneously want to cry and fall asleep.
My eyes are closing while tears collect around the corners of my eyes.
And the feeling of falling away into the deep blue state of oblivion comes back strong.
I have to put my phone down now eyes can’t stay open.”
I wrote this yesterday, when I was grieving after receiving the news that another dear, sweet, older coworker had passed away from a heart attack.
About two weeks ago this evening I attended the memorial service that was held for a coworker, s kind, sweet, positive older woman, who finally succumbed to her six-year battle with cancer, leaving her husband – another coworker at our elementary school – and three children here on this plane of existence.
It was hard going to the service.
You see, lately I’ve been having a problem with funerals or memorial services for the deceased since my father lost his battle to liver and gall-bladder cancer.
I’m getting drowsy again. I wonder, is this my depression, wanting me to shut down and go to sleep because it’s too much to process – especially when my body is already recovering from the physical exhaustion of working too many hours at my campus? Is it just the physical exhaustion? Or is it a combination of both?
Depression is funny that way. Even medicated, it’s hard to tell where the depression ends and you begin.
Can’t keep my eyes open anymore.
Time to sleep.
My mom woke me.
I think ten-fifteen minutes have passed.
Right now I’m in the study/Music room in The Last Homely House, listening to a mix of modern throwback Christmas music by Pearl Jam, Sufjan Stevens, Dave Matthews and other Alternative, Indie, and singer-songwriter, along with some Beth Orton.
The study is filled with the clean gleam of gentle, natural sunlight, a sharp contrast to the midnight blue dark of my bedroom yesterday.
The grief has left for the most part, the lethargy has departed as well. Now it’s mostly a cozy church mouse sleepiness I’ve been feeling.
I got up at seven and did my Christmas shopping. I was done by 9:30 a.m.
So, slowly but surely, my forced bed rest is helping my energy to come back.
I live my life by the schedule of my sleep now.
Ever since I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, and I discovered that lack of sleep really does cause a lot of damage for anyone with a mental illness – especially an untreated mental illness – I get as much sleep as I possibly can. And somehow, I knew this. As I grew older, it became harder and harder for me to be fully functional on five hours or less of sleep. My ex-girlfriend saw this firsthand. I became very emotional, very negative. I would joke that being in that state would make me suicidal – but that wasn’t far from the truth. I just wanted to drop everything and go to bed. I was a person who needed eight hours – seven minimum.
Now I’m a teacher. I have to be on campus by 7:30. My daily commute is thirty minutes. But I like getting to work early, even knocking out a kettlebell workout real quick. And I also like to make time to eat a good sit down breakfast, and watch a little CNN. So in order to do all that, I need to be up by 4. I try to be in bed by eight pm.
Regular weekend nights out no longer exist for me, even just staying up late reading, or watching TV – those are pleasures I can simply no longer indulge in.
But sleep, glorious, languid descents into the deepest, darkest caverns of Oblivion – a darkness so complete, I rarely remember my dreams – that is a pleasure I now long for daily.
It’s funny, but I had to change the person I was to save the person I could be, the person I’m supposed to be. And there’s still more changing I need to do.
But the sedentary, junk-food-eating, unfocused night-owl is dead.
Because all that I did and was doing to myself was making me miserable physically and mentally. I was like a smoker with lung cancer, a diabetic who kept eating sugary sweets. I was doing everything that would exacerbate my depression and ADHD.
So that part of me – which seemed like such an integral part of me, like it was tied to my identity – had to die.
I had to do two things which terrified the fuck out of me:
Die and Change.
Death and Change.
I see that now, those two phases are essential to the cycle of life, to the cycle of your evolution as a human.
And it requires rest and recovery. That’s what I’m doing – that’s what I’ve been doing ever since my father and my old life died. That’s why I barely go out. That’s why I sleep. That’s why I spoil myself. A part of me knows another change, another phase of my life is about to begin, and this one involves me finally doing continuous exercise and ends with me quitting the regular drinking, until I don’t drink at all. So instinctively my body is resting. I’m like a field in the winter, laying fallow.
We have to change, we have to die, we have to let go of all the things we make ourselves feel we need that help define our identity but are toxic to us.
We die either way at the end.
The question is how do you want to go?
As your true, whole, happy self?
Or as a sickly, angry, used shadow of yourself?
These recent deaths are terrible. They are terrible in different ways. One family saw it coming, so there was time to prepare despite hope, but a sixty-year-year-old man has lost his life partner for good, and he will have to raise his teenage girls and older son on his own. The other family lost their matriarch suddenly, quickly – and cruelly – right before Christmas. Things will never be the same.
They won’t. And it’s terrible. But there is always hope that families can get past that void.
Five years ago, my mother, myself, and my siblings could not imagine a world without our father. But living here, in the same house – even after I practically moved in with my ex-girlfriend, I knew something was going to happen. I knew something was wrong. So I set my mind to abandoning the life I had built with my ex, moving back in with my parents, and waiting for the time when he would get so sick, he’d need constant tending to. I set my mind so hard to it, I became fatalistic – And that triggered the worst depressive episode I’d gone through.
Bad judgement, lack of communication, lack of compromise – that’s what killed my relationship. Then her discovering an emotional relationship I had begun with a very unprofessional ex-assistant principal is what cut us off for good.
Our relationship died. Who we were died, but it took me killing it to see that I had mental health issues that needed diagnosing and treating.
My life has been a constant shedding of skins that I never expected to shed and that I truly thought were me.
My mother, my whole family has. We’ve had to adjust to the changes. And we move on, our lives now tinged with the memory of my father’s death.
Death and Change.
Nothing is permanent.
The only thing that can be permanent is your understanding and acceptance of that one truth: nothing is permanent.
Who you are.
What you have.
The material and immaterial things that you think define you – they can, and probably will, change in an instant. We just don’t know when.
Life is change.
Life is impermanence.
Life is a work in progress that you truly never get to complete.
To some reading this, the news might terrify the hell out of you, but that’s not my intention. That’s not my takeaway.
The takeaway is: know this, so you can live the life you want, your way, for yourself, without having to answer to anyone.
Life is precious.
And it’s yours, to do with what you will.
And for those who may be depressed during this season, please understand, it’s all about perspective.
This day is not supposed to be about gifts, how many and how much.
This is day is not supposed to be about family – even when it’s good – because most of us know that’s a lie, that family are the first, and sadly sometimes, the only ones who truly hurt, abandon, and betray us.
Today, well, this evening, marks the occasion where a working-class man decided to have the back of a Woman he loved who had a child who was not his own. This couple was on the run and the only shelter they could find for themselves and this child was a poorly manger, a shelter for animals. Shepards, some Wise Men, an angel. A strange collection all, strangers all, who were all probably laughed at, but who stopped, and made their way to see a child, to see life, despite it’s cruel miseries.
The story of this occasion does not exemplify an ideal of being satisfied living in a world of material excess. Far from it – the materially rich in this story were represented by an insecure, jealous king who decided to murder all the male babies he could find in fear of the rise of this one particular child.
No. This is a story of looking down at your feet, at looking up over your head, at looking into the mirror, and seeing an imperfect survivor living an imperfect life on the run the best way you can manage – and saying, “I’m alive. This is now and I’m alive.”
So, yeah, there’s death, there’s change, but there’s also rest, and recovery. The tree drops it leaves and grays, then splays out in a thousand shades of undulating emerald a season later.
It’s about rest and seasons and time, and simply being.
Amidst all the sexy, shiny, glossy screens telling you, showing you:
YOU NEED THIS.
YOU MUST HAVE THIS.
YOU MUST BE LIKE THIS,
You have fulfilled their purpose in this manufactured illusion of “gotta have gotta buy!” and perverted inversion of an ancient tale that taught an important lesson and you have forgotten THE most important thing:
YOU are the gift.
at the dinner table.
glad to be together.
glad to eat together.
memories are remembered.
slivers of time
accruing in increments
in multiples of sixty
when halved, thirty
divided by ten
the Divine number,
the mystic Trinity.
forming floral petal fractals
the sacred mathematics of family,
the beating of our hearts
beats in time,
the beating of our hearts
the beauty and humility of
by the morning bell chime
the catching up.
the how’ve you been.
the what have you been up to.
the remember when.
wild foolishness of youth,
of the times when
we shouldn’t but we did,
of the times of Together.
missing loved ones
no longer with us,
sailed beyond the Silver Curtain.
The beating of
like the beating of
with the same blood
with different blood
with blended blood.
Mexican Muslim Anglo
-and the transcendent
of the children of both.
the unity of family
gay lesbian husbands and wives, widows and life partners
never to divide.
souls broken and whole and healing.
the nightmare of Trump’s “America”
is the glorious, glittering living dream of my family.
my beautiful Technicolor family.
adults of paper and children of technology.
joyous hearts beating.
glad souls eating.
warm lights and warm hearts and lighthearts.
of generations past,
of those gone on
among us still,
in the glow of
wine and Christmas lights.
the table that has fed generations.
the kitchen that has produced miracles,
making anger and hunger dissipate
in equal parts.
a recipe for love.
a chemical bond.
a culinary magic,
it’s spell cast,
with each serving served by a loved one
who serves a loved one
who serves a loved one,
serving a circle,
around the table,
for the selfless love
for another year,
for all those that are gathered here.
like the wine at the
while all this time,
new memories are made.
the sacred spell sealed.
eyes grow tired.
aches are eased.
bellies are full.
souls at ease.
the warmth of
and good food served
has done it’s job.
the ritual is completed,
the spell sealed,
the bond is reset.
it is done.
it is good.
clear the plates,
It’s time for pie.
I got three calls the night after my father passed away:
One from my ex-wife.
One from my ex-girlfriend.
One from Marce.
They weren’t good.
I don’t know, but the day after your father passes away, you do kind of expect a certain type of call. You know, condolences, I’m really sorry and all that. These weren’t like that
My ex-wife called me. Her voice sounded rough. Poor thing, she’d been going through a rough patch. By her breath-catchy heaving tone I knew that she had been crying. “I know you’re dad just died, but I’m having problems with __________ again, and I was wondering …” Okay, Things happen, I thought. I told her it was kind of a bad time. I tried my best to listen.
About an hour later, my ex-girlfriend called me. She asked me how I was, how I was doing, how she felt bad, but then her tone made an abrupt one-eighty from caring to sharp and accusatory. She brought up a girl who wasn’t even a friend of my mine and said “ … so those are the types of girls you like, right?”
My friend from high school, Marcelino, or Marce, sent me a private message via Facebook Messenger that wasn’t so private.
That was enough.
It was like a perverse inversion of the Ebenezer Scrooge tale.
You see the day my father passed away, the deal I made with myself, my body, my god, the Divine, kicked in. The deal was this: I promised that I would do everything in my power to see my father be as comfortable as possible, that he feel safe and secure, and most importantly, that I was not going to let him die alone.
And I did that.
For the three months that we all knew he was terminal with gall bladder cancer that had spread to his liver and chemo was not an option because his body was too weak from all the damage he suffered from his Chrons Disease, I held him and my mother together as best I could, despite the oncoming inevitibility.
I did that.
For the five years previous, I taught and fell in love with a single mother of two who had severe ADHD, severe anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and I did everything I humanly could to maintain that relationship.
I did that.
But after all that, my cup was overfull. I had no more room.
I was just not having it. I told off each one of them. I used my words. I’m very good at them – just ask my two exes. I cut them, and I cut them deep. And I cut them out of my lives. Eventually, over time, I tried my best at mending fences with the two exes.
Hit my thumb with the hammer most of the time, but I did what I could – especially when it came to my ex-girlfriend, Lindsey. I hated her timing, but I really couldn’t blame her anger. The stress of taking care of her and her family and my parents while my father was sick led my then-undiagnosed Major Depression and ADHD to take me down some very dark and toxic roads to find ways to deal, ways that my girlfriend could not forgive. Thankfully, three years later, all of that was addressed. Lindsey and I are still broken up, but now we’ve achieved understanding and forgiveness, and to be quite honest, it’s more than my old sorry ass deserves.
But Marce – Marce was a different story.
I just couldn’t. I am not going to get into the details of what went wrong. If you see me out somewhere and ask, maybe I’ll tell you, maybe I won’t. I’d venture to guess he’d say the same thing. He would try to reach out, but I never responded.
Marce and I were never close. We had a lot in common – but we were never close.
I first met Marce in freshman basketball. I remember him having some skill, but mostly I remember him being very uptight back then. I would have my little comments that I would say – to no one in particular – but Marce was pretty vocal about my comments.His face would pinch up and he would ask me why the hell I would say that, and then he would tell me to stop, because he found it annoying.
You see, I hate people like that. Uptight people who think they have the right to tell other people anything about the way they would talk. I always thought that was bad manners. I mean, come on – I have a pretty vast store of vocabulary in my head and I know how to speak English, but I also have my little jokes that I tell myself because I think they’re funny, but I would never criticize someone for talking a specific way – especially of they weren’t picking on me. Marce had no such distinction. So as soon as he criticized me for that, naturally, I did it more to annoy the hell out of him.
Unfortunately, that didn’t last long. I was told by one of the coaches that I was really bad at basketball, and they had to let me go – but I could still come to the practices and workout if I wanted. It was like being dumped by a girl, then having her tell me that we could still be friends.
I didn’t stay for practices very long.
The next time I met Marce, a whole year had passed, and we were already juniors. He had mellowed out some by then, enough to notice that we got along decently, and by chance, he started to hang out with some of the people I would hang out with. And we were able to spend enough time with each that we found we both had a lot in common.
We loved acting. We both shared a love of Mel Brooks’ classic comedies. We both really loved Val Kilmer’s Top Secret. We loved the ridiculousness of it, and we loved acting it out. We were both attention whores – each in our own way. We loved an audience and we played up to them – especially girls. We loved music – listening to it and playing it. We both shared a passionate love for U2, first and foremost, and then Sting, and then Grunge exploded, and we found our music.
So we shared these commonalities and a creative chemistry, but we were never close. He never confided his fears and worries to me, nor I to him. My best friend was Carlos. We confided in each other. Marce and I, on the other hand, clicked in a different way.
Usually it was fun. We’d go on trips between classes, walking down the hallways or the breezeways, cutting up, acting like we were straight out of Monty Python or Top Secret, copying riffs from HBO’s The Kids in the Hall – “I’m crushing your head!!!” — stuff like that.
NOTE: if you don’t know who The Kids in the Hall are, shame on you, when you’re done reading this, and you still find yourself on the interwebs, go to the YouTube, search The Kids in the Hall, watch, enjoy, repeat.
We were like Wayne and Garth, Beavis and Butthead, … I can’t think of any current “dude bromances” – #sorrymillenials.
I got him into acting – UIL One Act Play, we started an awesome UIL Improv team – and placed in our first events ever – we jammed, he played rhythm and I played drums. Marce was pure constant energy. He was fun. In retrospect, my Major Depression had a lot to do with how I reacted to him. Back then, I didn’t realize that my ADHD and Major Depression competed with each other, and that my energy levels came in waves – my highs were really high, and matched Marce’s toe-to-toe, but when my lows came and I needed to recharge silently his sometimes manic energy seemed too much and I got annoyed.
Of course, I knew none of this at the time. So the good aspects of me and Marce’s chemistry, would become the negatives at times. Creatively, we were each other’s Jordan and Pippin, switching roles depending on the situation. We sparked creatively and worked each other competitively to pick each other’s game up. But then my energy would give and the lethargy of my Major Depression would kick in, making me feel like he got the better of me creatively. My mood would sour, and I’d just pout out.
Added to that, my Major Depression made my lips heavy, so it kept me silent in high school. Any beefs I had – with Marce, or with others – I never addressed, leading a lot of people – even my friends, Marce, even my own family – to believe that I was a pushover. I never said anything to verbally defend myself. I merely held it all in and earned the reputation as having not even a pebble for a spine. I wouldn’t do what guys did – call him out or take the piss out of him. I just kept quiet, kept it in. That was not good. That became one emotional item in a growing storage box housed in an ever expanding warehouse of unaddressed issues.
But we kept on, inspiring each other creatively.
And then he introduced me to Ryan.
The first day we jammed together as a “band” – like all other significant firsts a person goes through in this life – was burned in my brain. I can recall every detail. This blue sports car pulls up – Camaro? I can’t remember … – and this skinny white kid with long blonde hair steps out, walks to the back of his car and brings his guitar and his amp. Marce played rhythm. I played drums. And Ryan waited, counted out the measures and got a feel for the tempo, and shredded on lead guitar. It was fantastic.
That was the birth of the Triumvirate. The connection Marce and I had as musicians was near telepathic. We knew when to change. We knew when to crescendo, when to decrescendo, when to slow the tempo, when to speed it up. And on top of that, Ryan wailed, simply wailed.
We were connected.