I have several anniversaries and special dates coming up in the third and fourth quarters of this year. I begin my final journey toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach, on August 23. My partner, Sumire Gant, and I will celebrate 34 years of marriage on September 3. September is also the month we met (long story) in 1983.
September is an exceptional month for me. I was arrested on September 13, 1968 (another long story). I moved to Washington, D.C., from New York in September 1971. I started my broadcast television reporting career in September 1974 and left in September 1978 (at least that’s what I remember). September 11, 2011, I stopped drinking and doing drugs (what a strange date). Dead stopped. I woke up that morning and said to myself, “Enough is enough.” What began in 1966 with smoking a little weed and ran through my life in many different forms of drugs and alcohol came to an end forty-five years later. This is a more lengthy discussion.
December 8, 2021 will mark my seventy-third birthday. I can’t help but wonder where all the years went. It’s like I woke up this morning and wondered, What the Fuck? I remember so much and other times wonder about details, dates, names, places. For better or worse, I’ve been around the block more than a few times. I once calculated that I have lived in more than 28-30 different addresses spread out over eight other cities, sometimes twice during my life. Often, those moves involved starting all over. Like the time I moved to Washington, D.C., the first time. I did have a job. It’s the reason I went there, but that lasted maybe 2-3 months.
I was fired and suddenly found myself in a different city with no friends and separated from my first wife (another long story). She wasn’t taking me back, so New York shrank from being an option to go back to, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to move back in with my parents in the Bronx. Funny how life is. Staying in D.C. led to my life of radio and television. Over the next three years, I hosted and produced two radio shows and was chosen to be paid intern at a Post-Newsweek radio and television station in Washington to learn to be a reporter. Then, I was a reporter for one of their television stations in Hartford, CT, where, for the next four years, I decided it might be a good idea to live with and eventually marry my second wife. That didn’t last long.
Time flies when you’re racing through life, running from one experience to another because you’re lonely or ambitious or confused, or you don’t care that there’s no safety net and what else do you have to do except stand still. Take, for instance, the move to California. In April of 1984, my life was in shambles in Washington, D.C. (that’s going to be a helluva blog when I write it). I had met Sumire earlier in September of 1983, and well, she lived in southern California. She invited me to come and use the opportunity to get my head together in the beauty and dreamscape of LA LA Land. And I said, what the hell, what else am I going to do? So, I came, and it has been a helluva ride.
As I begin the next act in my life as an upper-division college student, I think about the illusion of Time Flying By. It really doesn’t. There’s still sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour and twenty-four hours in a day, and you know the rest. All that time, you breathe and live and do stuff, sometimes great stuff, other times stupid stuff, and then there’s the forgettable stuff that you will never remember because it has fallen in between the crevices of your brain, and it’s not worth occupying any of the time you have. I want to use this site to remember all those seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years that matter to me because maybe it will explain a lot of things about why and what I am today.
I’m not exaggerating that I have lived a fully packed life. The one that I inhabit now is the life that I have and the one that I want to examine while I‘m still living it and putting more living onto the examination table while trying not to clutter up my brain with too much information. That’s why I’m writing this: to sort this out. To place everything in its special place so I can take the time to throw it under the light, view it from every possible position, and determine what I am looking at and how the hell it became a building block of who I am.
Sometimes, it will be nonfiction remembrances that I will try to keep as honest as possible without hurting anyone else. If I hurt, it’s okay. I need to flush out some bad vibes and memories. Other times, I will post fiction and poetry as a way of digging below the reality to examine the symbolism of a life lived to the fullest and what it should mean for other people in my life and me. There will be opinions, observation of other human beings, and the crazy shit that we all do and wonder, what the fuck are you doing?
A good question to ask as I start this blog written by an ex-seminarian, ex-addict and alcoholic, wannabe revolutionary and peace activist, radio and television on-air personality, journalist, and producer and executive producer (I dreamed of working in Hollywood, and I did), ex-member of the “Sex, Drugs, and Rock N Roll Club,” lousy parent and father to two sons who I can’t believe still talk to me, married three times (thirds the charm) and lived with two other women at different times in my life (yes, I was a whore and eventually not a nice guy. No, not proud.) and holder of every odd job in between the big ones, and I’m not finished living. I got things to do and places to be, and I’m going to live every second of it before it eventually flies away.