If Today Was Your Last Day…and it is.

It’s the end of an era. Today, marks a watershed moment for a lot of people I know…as it is the final day that a friend of mine, and former “partner in crime” walks the halls.

 

09
Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta…but shitty to be unemployed.

It’s also a bittersweet milestone, as it was 3 months ago today that we sat in the studio, talking about our path of life and love. Who knew, that exactly 3 months later to the day…we both will have taken our curtain calls, and would leave the building in less than ideal circumstances.

It’s been a tough road for them, a road that I tried desperately to make smoother with my friendship and feelings…but I always knew, that their heart was never really into the job, or even…us for that matter. They talked all the time about life after radio, but were unsure what the future held as this was the first and only “real job” they’d ever had. That worries me, as they now go out into a world that is not as forgiving, or as fun as radio could be. The other concern, is that no matter how hard I tried, they were never truly “happy” about anything.  I saw it everyday. In the office, during private time, an underlying level of negativity and sadness about life that could not be helped.

Will they ever truly be “happy”, I don’t think so…and perhaps that is a reason why our friendship could not stand the test. Rather than finding happiness in what is important in life…they seem to live in the moment, and not to any long-term life plan. In life, or matters of the heart. It’s an almost irrational mindset for them, fueled by those who don’t have the same responsibilities that my friend does. Even still…rather than fight the tough fight, and do what is right, there is the tendency for them to take the easy way out, and that seems to be exactly the case here. They didn’t want to fight for their career, or the person they said they loved…it was all about looking past the moment, and hoping that the grass is greener somewhere else. I just wish I’d seen those tendencies in them long before I did, for my own sake.

You could say that after so many years in one position, this person is not afraid of commitment. I beg to differ. Instead, they are afraid of a challenge, and willing to settle far too easily. After all, no one with goals works that long in radio, and makes less than $40,000 a year without settling.  That’s not an extraordinary life, and now…looking at the possibilities that “might” lie ahead for them in the private sector…it’s just going to become more “average” every day. No more concerts, no more record dinners, now it’s just a nine to five routine and the hope that maybe they can break out of the mundane from time to time.

I wish them the best in life and love. Do I think they’ll ever find what they are looking for? ……….no. No, I don’t. It’s not in their nature, nor do I think they really know what they are looking for exactly. 3 months ago today…the future was bright. Now, the unremarkable life…is the new normal for them.

Did I die?

I have to admit, I have shared quite a bit online and have no problem explaining the fact that I have made some pretty big mistakes, without question.  Being forthcoming about my failures, while still reconnecting with those who I abandoned in my life. I allowed other distractions to cloud my vision of what and who are really important in my life, and I must clear that fog.

57

However, there are those I still consider friends…who now seem to have the opinion that I am invisible. Ghost-like. Dead to them. These are people who I gave every ounce of my wisdom and guidance to, and now act as if they never knew me or called me friend, never asked my advice, never sought my counsel, or never once had me stand up for them. All of which is incredibly sad and selfish, in my opinion.

I have had exactly 2 people from my former place of employment reach out or respond to any communication. I know that there is a level of discomfort, but I cannot believe that after all that I did for them, standing up for them at every instance, fighting for pay increases when there were none to give, and rolling up my sleeves to make their lives easier…no one has yet asked what I was feeling or going through. Yet, it’s interesting…ALL of them, for the most part, have remained my friends and connections on social media…as if they are only interested in being voyeurs in my world, rather than participating in the healing.  Then again, the hallways at the Winsor Building are full of nothing but negativity and toxicity. The people there feed off of it. It is all they can do…wallow in self-misery, while shamelessly mocking others. I know that must be the reason why there is even more upheaval within the department…that no one can take the level of sadness, savagery, and anger that is a hallmark of the cluster.

I was once their friend, leader, coach, and mentor. I have employees who worked for me 15 years ago who have reached out, yet no one in my most recent home has the desire to care about anyone but themselves. I still think about them all the time, wish them success, and care tremendously about all of them, but am now wondering why I didn’t see their true colors before now. If I were in your shoes, I’d be checking in constantly to see how you were doing. It’s human decency…yet, I am not sure anyone left there is decent.

It is a slippery slope with the circumstances, I will admit. But, at the end of the day…you are my friends. I will always think of you as such, and have never had a bad thing to say about you all. I defended you, and even kept some of you employed longer than you probably should have been. You don’t owe me anything…except perhaps some semblance of decency, and compassion

Be good to each other, and to those who need you. To those of us who are no longer there daily, and to those who have no choice but to walk away. shortly. I’m not dead…so there is no reason to make me feel as if I am to you…

LB

Still Here

This is a poem/story I wrote, while a guest of the Commonwealth…

“STILL HERE”

I…am Still Here.

In spite of my failures and my indiscretions, even with my poor choices in life, I am still here…

After seeking validation in the arms of another woman, after committing a heinous act of jealousy against my partner, I am still here…

Incarcerated, ashamed, regretful, I am still here…

After losing my livelihood, my sense of self-worth, and people I called friends, I am still here…

Even as I nearly decided that my life was worth nothing, and entertained the idea of drawing my last breath to spare those I love from the pain of having me in their lives… somehow,

I am still here. 

And, I am grateful.

My wife, who I hurt so terribly, she is still here. 

My children, who should be ashamed of their father and had the stigma of a father in jail, they are still here. 

My mother, and family, who never wavered in their love for me, they are still here. 

The ghosts of the past, who will remind me every day of the life that I led, and the lessons I must learn, they are still here. 

I will not be here forever, in jail or in life. So, I must create a path unique to myself. I cannot let other forces control my emotions, my soul, my choices, or my free will. I cannot let the demons that enslaved me win the battle. Because, I am strong. I am my own man.

I…am still here.