It was just another day, a little more than routine for me, but certainly different than most everyday peoples. Somehow, I woke up. Before I rolled out of bed, I smoked a bowl of hash and had Bushmills on my breath. Unlike most days, or the past four and a half months, it was raining. The only light that shinned down through the tall trees, was nothing brighter than the dim lighting of tea candles. The tress creaked and moaned in the wind, while the shedding bark of nearby Manzanita’s echoed loud of tearing paper. Just like those drags of cigarettes that you know are marking one year off your life. Or like the sound of scraping metal as things, people, objects disappear, letting even you know that you may have eaten too many mushrooms.
Like the past four and a half months, I was alone. Not entirely alone, Barkley was there. I was there. But Barks’ had become so much a part of me, I consider him just that. He was under the porch, like usual. Rather than staying cool, for once he was staying warm and dry. The best way I could describe my best friend would be to simply say, he’s a black dog. Some kind of retriever mixed with a few kinds of something else, with small and fragile degenerated hips. Though his hips never seemed to bother him when he goes roaming with the pack.
So what was I doing sitting in the rain. And was it rain on my face, or tears? I couldn’t tell. I slipped in the mud onto a pile of steel gauge fencing and barbed wire scraps. Once again, my arms were bleeding. At 19 years old, I was in a place many people struggle their entire lives to get to, and never do. I was in a land where peace and love were claimed to be originated. A place where people love life. Love work. Love waking up. A piece of land geographically unique. Notorious. A place where hippies and hicks bordered land. And of course, a place where everyone else, was doing what I was doing.
For any of this to mean anything, I guess I would have to go back to where it all started. My childhood. I was born in Santa Monica. Raised right on 7th and Pacific. But I’m from a different generation then the people who made it famous. “Dogtown” in my opinion is not a place, it was an era. An era that ended a long time ago. I knew the local board shop as Horizons West, not the infamous Zephyr shop. That may mean something to you, but it doesn’t mean much to me. Grow up. It’s just another fucking city. One that’s joined corporate America, and sold out. And if it means anything more to you, I suck at skateboarding.
To get a feel for who your reading about, so maybe you can relate my struggles to your own, in hope of learning something, it might help if I described myself to you. It might not. So I might as well. Like most people, I like to make myself sound a lot better looking than I really am. I’ve always been an average sized kid, a little on the skinny side. With broad shoulders, and a thin waste. Long, greasy, unkempt dirty blond hair. At 19, 5 foot 7, 135 pounds, with greenish, bluish, honeying eyes that could beat any puppy dogs. The average kind of kid everyone would suspect to be just that, average. Music and movies are my life. I learn from people and their expressions in hopes to better myself.
I guess the most important thing about me, is I’ve been classified suicidal, a few times. Or was once classified. But I believe, once someone realizes enough about life to actually attempt to take their own, those feelings will never fully go away. The thoughts never really stop. Its all about finding a new reason to live every day. My first memories are of questioning life. It never made sense to me, and it still doesn’t. Energies, feelings, perceptions, objects. I guess I have just never been fully OK with the fact reality is a one in an infinite chance, and we’re living in it.
Before we get back to my story, let’s go back to my parents. My father was raised in a catholic family with 3 brothers and 5 sisters. From what I’ve heard, he was a trouble maker from day one, enticed by sex, drugs, and rock and roll by a young age. Born in 1953, he enjoyed the ’70s to the fullest. After 30 years of living dangerously, he became sober sometime before my sister was born. From what I know, his drugs of choice were cocaine then speed. But I also know he was a big fan of hallucinogens, all of them.
My mom is pretty much the same. Product of the ’50s, loved the ’70s, and had just a little too much by the ’80s. She too was a big fan of the party scene, her drug of choice, speed. Raised by an alcoholic mother with 2 sisters, she fell deep into the party.
Proudly enough they both seemed to have had enough, and got some sobriety under their belts before the birth of my sister. Berns’ was born in ’85, Chuck in ’86, and myself in ’89. I was always the outsider of the 2. They have passed as twins many times. Both with red hair, fair skin and freckles, looking nothing really like me. Not long after my birth, before my memories began, my father moved out. I’ve always felt responsible, and felt my siblings agreed.
Never having written or book, or attempted to tell my entire story, I assume I should start form my first memory. Yes, I’m probably making an ass out of you for reading this, and me for writing this. But what can I say, I like you so much better when you’re naked. And I like me so much better when you’re naked.
If you’ve ever tried to think back to your first memories, I’m sure you’ve struggled as hard as I am now. My first memory is defiantly of being a baby in a crib. Which crib and where I’m not sure. It was either at my father’s mothers house, in a back room being baby-sat while the parentals were at work. There was one of those toy chandeliers made of little trinkets to keep babies "entertained", but I was more intrigued by the bars and some wooded beads on them. Or something. Or being a baby in a crib in the apartment I grew up in. Tossing around and rolling in every which direction. The cage was next to a window, with the light of the night shining through. Which happened first I will never know, but the main point was a feeling of entrapment. I’m sure there’s some explanation behind it, but I felt like an actual prisoner before I even knew what one was. Not just in the restraints of a miniature cage, but the restraints of a body.