Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Boarding in the Bronx

It's been a long time since i've done any "non-poetic" journaling, either online or off. Seems that this is how i organize my thoughts, which, coming from a rather disorganized mind, need a little restructuring (horrible word) in order to be comprehended by those who don't think in random bursts of images and concepts. They call that "racing thoughts," and say it's a symptom of "bipolar disorder," which is a pretty trendy diagnosis lately. Seems like everyone's bipolar anymore . . . i don't know if it's because the psychiatric community feels at a loss if it can't slap a label on something, or if the society we live in creates bipolar disorder as a by-product.

It's been nigh on a month and a half or so since i moved into this residence in the Bronx; i have 6 months here, after which i will either have my ass kicked to the curb, or i'll have found something else, because i honestly don't expect the house in Jersey to be ready by then (October), and even if it is, i don't really want to go back. I guess i've become "hooked" on NYC. For everyone who reads this, i'll give you a comic-strip version of what caused this transition. Basically, there was a housefire, caused by an electrical fault. Nobody was hurt, only 3 rooms were damaged (but those were pretty well gutted), and my material loss was negligible. Unfortunately, the house is uninhabitable, especially since the power had to be shut off, and it may be a year before it's ready again. There were other issues that came up afterwards that put a major drain on my landlord's finances . . . they did not involve me personally, and i'll forego discussing them here. My district manager expedited a transfer to the store in the Bronx where i currently work, my friend here in the Bronx had a room for me (and, as he likes cats, Shadow was also welcome here), and several people helped me out with cash donations and moral support, not to mention a lot of prayers (which i need all the time). I'm actually happier here in the Bronx than i ever was in NJ, but if i want to live anywhere in NYC proper, i'm going to have to increase my income.

It would seem that, given the situation, there are 3 options open to me:
1) Try to find a good (or liveable) situation here in NYC;
2) Hope that the house in NJ will be ready by the time i have to move out of here,
and move back there when the time comes;
3) Toss away everything and move back to Roanoke, or;
4) Toss away everything and move somewhere else.

Honestly, #1 is the only one i'm interested in. There's nothing for me back in Roanoke, and the NJ situation is complicated by the things i won't get into (let's just say that i don't feel secure there anymore), and i honestly don't know any other place i'd want to live at this point. I guess if i could scare up a job somewhere in Summers or Monroe County, i could move down to the camp on the Greenbrier and become a total recluse, but that would REALLY be hiding my lamp under a basket. Going back to Roanoke . . . i mean, i love my family dearly, but there's nothing in the Roanoke area other than my loved ones that i'd want to hold on to. The Slam situation there ended badly, and i'm not going to say that none of it was my fault, but i don't want to rehash all that here. There's more opportunity for what i do in NYC than anyplace else other than maybe Chicago (too cold), Atlanta, or maybe the West Coast (too far).

I'm 43 years old, although i don't feel it most of the time (and people tell me i don't look it), but eventually time is gonna catch up with me like it does everyone else. Growing old isn't an elective, it's something that just happens while you're busy living. After the job in Richmond, which ate up about 7 years of my life and nothing to show for all that time but nightmares and a long binge of debauchery. Back then, for a LONG time, my life was "stable." But it was tearing me apart emotionally at the same time, and it's only now, stepping back from it all, that i can see that clearly. In the long run, it would have been better if i'd stayed and "toughed it out" at E-Ku-Sumee. Well, i've gotta trash those backwards-looking bifocals. I don't need 20-2o hindsight to point out where i screwed up. Run from it, live with it, but i sure can't forget it.

By this time, most people would think that because of the crap i've gone through, i'd have given up on my Faith, but that's really one of the only things that's "maintained" throughout all the storms. My family's been there for me, too, although we did go through our own struggles, and my poetry has been there for me. It's not odd that i would tie all 3 of those things together. My faith in Christ and my poetry have sort of become entwined, anyway . . . or maybe it's better to say that the poetry was one of the branches of my life that's continued to bear fruit. I contacted John Ault, my pastor from Grace Covenant from "back in the day," and asked him to look into finding a church in the area, one that had a worship/praise style i was comfortable with and a solid grounding in the Word of God. I know that will take some time, but hopefully not too much . . . i need to make that contact point a priority. When i moved away from the Faith, or wasn't "grounded" in a church, my life became more difficult . . . but, whenever i had a supportive church family, my life may have been tough, but i had what i needed to survive, and to survive creatively . . . not just a life of complacency that doesn't take risks, but a life where i learned to appreciate the concepts of Grace and Mercy.

I guess what i'm doing now is just putting my thoughts together after a long bout of chaos. I used to think i thrived on chaos . . . but i don't. Chaos might provide the necessary energy, but it doesn't do anything to keep me grounded. You can only reach for the stars if your feet are planted firmly on the ground.

So, if you're reading this, say a prayer for me, and get in touch. I'll try to stay in contact with my friends and family . . . it may be a little rocky at times, but hang in there, gang.

1 comment:

Dreamsbyday said...

Hey Rags! Nice ! Good to see you writing. Miss you much at PTG , especially at Slam time! Find a way to get back to us!