Reflections and Random Thoughts II

New Year, New Possibilities, New Future

Photo by Antonio Ruiz

“Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste they hurry past it.”

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard.
Courtesy of James Monroe H.S. Yearbook 1966

I admit it. My life has been a blur. From thirteen years of age, when I entered the seminary until now, it all seemed too fast, one step in front of another at an excessive speed. Afraid that I would miss something but instead missing so much. Worrying about how I would get to tomorrow and that tomorrow was more important than today. The deafening roar of thinking and overcomplicating a task, an emotion, the moment of experience instead of just being… in the moment of being. In between trying to smother feeling anything at all, I found the act of being a challenge. Crushing me as I tried to glide through life as an unaccompanied minor first, then as a lost adult who was making it all up as I went along. I got good at it. Faking it, that is. At least in the beginning. With time, the experiences of failures and successes helped me along. The next time, I found myself in a crisis where I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. Faking it until I figured it out was my motto. And damn, I got good at it. I fooled a lot of people (or at least I thought I did) and myself.

Photo by Antonio Ruiz
Scattered beans
Like so many memories
Randomly 	    effortlessly 
Spilled from my mind
Waiting to be picked up
And read interpreted
Understood  	and then I will know
What it all meant    About how I got here
Shipped here on a plane at 35000 feet
From East Coast to West Coast
Gliding over cities and towns and
Cotton fields and rivers and monuments
To our vanity- and traffic-crowded freeways and people
Millions of them	looking down at their paths
So they don’t fall	tripping over the cracks in their lives
Hanging on to whatever 	small dreams they have
Because	what else can they do
But not look up at the silver cylinder streaking above them
And see wishful dreams pass over them
On my way	            to an unknown future. 

Holy shit. What happened to 2022? And 2000. And 1984. And 1960. And 1948. You really can lose track of time if you’re not paying attention.

Photo by Antonio Ruiz

Life is a cat crawl

Life is a dog walk

Life is a fox trot

Life is a monkey march.

Everyday Serenity by David Kundtz [Pages 8-9]
Photo by Antonio Ruiz

I must forgive myself so that I can move on. Some people- maybe most people- are not going to forgive me, but that’s okay; I know I’m different. I strive for better than I am. To dig a hole full of guilt is a waste of time and stunts growth.

Photo by Antonio Ruiz

Please Tell Me What I am. Hispanic, Spanish-Surname, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Nuyorican, New Yorker, Spic, Latino, Latinx, American, Anthony, Tony, Lippy, Shorty, Antonio, Fatso, there is somewhere a longer list that I can’t find right now that includes Bougie, Person of color, BIPOC, Gringo, Coconut (Brown on the outside, white on the inside), it’s a really long list, not-really-an-American nor really whom I say I am, I don’t speak Spanish so I can’t be Spanish-Speaking, junkie, alcoholic, sexist, misogynist, bully, liar, I told you it was a long list, you say I’m not a New Yorker anymore so I should stop calling myself a New Yorker, father x 2, parent x 2, not a good father or parent x 2, grandfather, all the jobs I’ve ever had including messenger by subway-motorcycle-walking, counter clerk at Chock Full O’Nuts on 57th street until I went nuts, junkie, seminarian, student, petty thief (I’ve got to pay for the drugs somehow), husband x 3, drunk, drug dealer, abuser of so many people and drugs and alcohol and pills and time, writer, poet, producer of images and voices, radio host, good kisser, good fucker, bad fucker, sex fiend, television reporter, lost soul, lost, protestor, traveler, organizer, television producer, obese, marathon runner, slim, possessor of two kryptonite knees, mentally unstable,  sociopath, arrestee, unindicted co-conspirator, snitch, production assistant, supervising producer, defendant, executive producer, bartender, news director, coward, sober, lover, animal lover (they always love back), builder of imaginary worlds, truth-teller, angry man, human being, college student, student of life, scholar, essayist, news junkie, reader of everything I can get my hands on, video editor, video camera operator, mentor, consultant, small business development consultant, bullshit artist, website builder, telecommunications policy analysts, photographer, grand jury witness, stalker, psycho, man with a good heart, selfish, selfless, brother, son, bisexual, unsexual, old, older, senior citizen, American citizen, resident of the Bronx New York Washington D.C. Middletown New York Hartford Connecticut Inglewood California Los Angeles California San Pedro California Long Beach California Planet Earth The Universe, I told you it was a long list and I’m still not finished listing all the names and titles and identities that people say or I say I am begging the question why I should give a fuck since all that really matters is who or what I am in this moment to me and to hell with what everyone else thinks.

Author: Antonio Pedro Ruiz

Antonio Ruiz is an ex-junkie-alcoholic, former seminarian, one-time radio host-producer, past community organizer, continuing to be a media advocate, retired television reporter, ex-commission executive director, once a street vendor of jewelry and gloves, waitron (waiter to you), a former bartender who drank too much on the job, an ex-motorcycle courier who learned to ride a bike just for the job, ex-airport shuttle driver, former Entertainment news director-producer, the best time of my life, one-time live TV events red carpet producer-executive producer, ex-small business consultant, ex-youth media and journalism mentor, and now a college student who also has been married three times (thirds the charm), and just couldn't help living with two other women because well, that's part of my story.

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