Monday, November 21, 2011

Bedridden and Bewildered

Two days ago I had my first asthma attack in over 20 years. It was a bronchial shutdown of epic proportions brought on by a perfect storm of bronchitis, and two very resistant and painful ear infections and it landed me in the hospital, after the treatment in the ER did nada.

My admittance to this hospital comes at a time when I have no health insurance and this three day stint will cost me thousands that I don't have. Usually at this point of a post, sticking to the sarcastic banter that I'm often thrilled to demonstrate, I would ask you to send in a list of songs that reference breathing or the lack thereof, lungs, or airways of any kind., and I'll bet you I would have gotten a few Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull references thrown back at me.

I don't think I'll be doing that. I'm reflective of my life and where I've been as I've had this scare, this surprising health conscious downtime and silence in a beige room with country comfort wallpaper, the sounds of phlegm rattling behind the nebulizer/vader mask that I'm donning. I've been second guessing and sort of ashamed of the paths I chose into this adulthood, a bit non-conformist for the tastes of the good friends I grew up with, and most of my neighbors in this sleepy enclave of NW Philly.They love me or are amused by me anyway, but they could never do what I've done(or chosen not to do) The comforts of stability far outweigh the risks for most everyone I know. Comfort is conform.  I sometimes think of my travels, my nomadic decades between 21 and now, the delicious, dysfunctional and dynamic of it all, and how, even though at some of the most creative and fulfilling times of my life, I was never able to turn that spark into something that would bridge a gap between dream and career.

Now at this time in my life, after a truly disastrous three years full of death, divorce and depression, I wonder if it all was worth it. Now, right now, when I can't pay my bill. I can't find steady work. Sure, I have many tales that I could tell of the experiences, but what is that worth? What is that worth on the scale of comparing it to what is really happening right now, right on the streets where we live... now that we are living in the midst of the most intense displays of mistrust, disgust, dissension and uprising throughout the world. And right here in America, as I lay here, budgets cant get passed, demonstrators are getting beaten, the middle class is gone, the jobs are outsourced, more tax dollars go to rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq than go to rebuilding schools, bridges and roads right in our own cities. People no longer trust their banks, clergy, police or politicians unless they're comfortable or a constituent. The majority of the values and freedoms of living in the US have been raped, pillaged and sold off to the highest bidder and held hostage by big business. Mini revolutions are starting in back yards and basements, and citizens are frustrated, tired, unhinged and unruly. And they mean it.

Where should my energy go? One minute as I lay here, with what little money, possessions and patience thoughts waver....... Should I join the 99 percent?  Or should I get a job, I don't like, with no gap between career and dream even considered, with little pay and a health plan, so I can be healthy ...and unhappy. And save the stories for my grand kids, without living through new ones on my own...


  1. Being fit is nice. Thank you for sharing this one to us. I love it.

  2. For now, friend, the most important thing is getting your health back and continuing to be a good father. I see your talent, I see your passion and I understand how frustrating and depressing it is to not be able to bridge that gap between what you were born to do and what you are forced to do to survive. Unfortunately, I've learned, that being a parent is the toughest job in the world, and can be the most rewarding. Your son is young, he is still sweet, impressionable and innocent. What he needs more than anything is a dad that can help him grow up into an honorable, happy man. I know it sucks to put your kids first and it doesn't always pay off (i.e. me and Kev) but sacrifice is a big part of parenting. I'm not saying to give up your dream, keep pursuing it, keep writing, keep going to shows...but also do what you need to do to give him the most stable, safe and loving home possible.

    Shit, I'm sorry for this lecture. I did all of the above and look where it got me? But if I hadn't done all that stuff I'd blame myself, and now I can say that I did the best I possibly good to raise my boy.

    I care about you.