I was inspired by Rebecca to be brave and bold. After reading her disclosures I realized my previous list was inadequate. I had to get real after her bravery. See her list HERE. So, here’s a lot more stuff about me
1. I love cereal. Healthy and unhealthy. I also LOVE smelling the inside of the Froot Loops box. How do they get that to smell so good?
2. Noises above the norm make me nervous.
3. I have 2 older half brothers and 1 younger half-sister. I speak to none of them. I grew up until 12 with one of them. He hasn’t spoken to me since I was 12.
4. I have used every drug but heroin and meth. Alcohol is my primary drug, which led to many usages primarily of cocaine and crack.
5. I love rain, especially downpours and thunderstorms. I’ve never made love during a thunderstorm. But I would like to.
6. I loathe soggy bread.
7. My Favorite movie is The Longest Day, a movie about the epic Invasion of Normandy.
8. I’m 6’1″ 225lbs. I would like to lose that 25lbs.
9. I can whistle through all combinations of my fingers. I can also whistle through an acorn cap.
10. I am a very good swimmer. I like swimming in lakes and ponds more than the ocean, but I swim there too.
11. My brother John got hit by a car on Christmas morning and died the following day. He was 8. I was there. I was 11.
12. My retirement dream is to buy a small house on a lake and have a small boat. Preferably with the love of my life. I’m not Robmoji, I can last more than 9 months with a woman.
13. I don’t like it when I’m excessively hot.
14. My favorite season is Fall.
15. I taught High School English for a year.
16. I got kicked out of the Army for an OUI I got in Germany. The discharge is classified as General Under Honorable Conditions.
17. I paid over $350,000 in child support.
18. I have 2 sons, Nick 28 and Matt 26. We haven’t seen each other in 15 years. But I’m working on that!
19. I love Chinese leftovers. One of the few leftovers I will eat.
20. I don’t like the winter.
21. I slept with a fan from age 22 to 52. Jail stopped that habit quickly. I no longer need a fan to sleep.
22. A medium told me once that I had lived over 1,000 lives. I disagreed with her. I’ve lived many more.
23. I met my wife on my blog.
24. Two of my previous girlfriends from my early who’s got abortions. One of them I wrote about in A Cold White Doorwhich turned out to be the moment of conception. I was there for one, not the other, because she didn’t tell me until after it was done–the girl in the poem.
25. I am almost OCD clean and organized.
26. I attained Expert marksmanship in the Army and with German weaponry.
27. I graduated college with high honors. I spent 6 out of 8 semesters on probation for various behavioral issues related to alcohol. I got almost failing grades from elementary school through high school.
28. I like colored rocks. I have some colored rocks.
29. Every time I see a clown I am repulsed.
30. I love archangels and dragons.
31. My middle name is Marc. It ends I’m c instead of k because it’s French.
32. I once had to hitchhike from Monte Carlo to my hotel almost an hour away because I missed the last train because drinking. All I had to give the guy was $1, you’d think he hit the lottery.
33. One of my girlfriend’s was bulimic. One of my girlfriend’s pulled her hair out incessantly. My last girlfriend was a psychopathic alcoholic. She now spends her time creeping my blog and blogging about me.
34. My Favorite series was Madmen, followed by The Sopranos.
35. I have to shake the milk carton and then smell it before I will use it. I don’t care if the cow’s standing outside.
36. I had 4 episodes with “suicide.” To me 3 were cried for help. The last one, while I loved with girl from #33, I swallowed over 100 pills of various medicines. I woke up the next day as if nothing happened.
37. Prior to going to jail from May 2016-October 2016, I worked in the car business for 20 years. I managed, sold, and did finance. No, I won’t help you buy a car. But you should always by pre-owned, only use cargurus.com, and never buy anything in finance. You’re welcome.
38. I love to collect vintage and antique books.
39. I totaled 3 cars in less than 4 months. I totaled my Altima, Lexus ES350, and the nicest car I ever owned, my Lexus GS450. I’ve totaled 4 cars in my life and never got a scratch, never got an OUI charge from any of them. After I crashed my GS450, the police actually gave me a ride home.
40. I believe we are cosmic beings temporarily occupying human form. I believe that once our bodies give out, we will rejoin our celestial bodies and exist in a fantastic dimension as a reward for suffering on Earth.
Special Note: I use lots of pictures, videos, animations, flipbooks, and other cool layouts and features which can be best appreciated by reading this post on my blog. Mobile View will not give you the very best experience.
Since I have already done a ‘Likes’ version of Me A to Z, I thought it would be fun to do a ‘Dislikes’ version. This is Part II. Read Part I Here. One of my regular readers commented on Part I “That’s a lot of resentments.” I politely disagreed, saying I just felt passionate about some topics in life. However, I decided that Part II would be a little more lighthearted; there may have been a kernel of truth to what he suggested. And I certainly don’t like the idea of having resentments.
I have done list posts before about me. The first one that comes to mind is a post titled 40 Impressions of Me. Quite a while ago I also wrote A Few Things About Me. So, if you are crazy-excited about learning more about your humble writer, hurry up over to those posts. Writing Me A to Z really made me think about who I am and what I truly dislike about living my life in this crazy world. So, without further ado, here is Part II of my list N-Z.
N-achos. As in soggy ones. You gotta eat those bastards quickly; otherwise, they became nasty soggy and I do not like soggy nachos. As a matter of fact, I think I will use Soggy as my S word in this list. I mean, what good are soggy nachos? You can’t scoop up ANYTHING with them! So, eat your nachos quickly, but not so quick that you end up choking and someone has to perform a heimlich maneuver to save your ass. That would be quite the story around the Thanksgiving table next year.
O-piods. Not because they are highly addictive. But because of the constipation that they cause. I was prescribed Vicodin after the major back surgery I had in ’97. Yeah, that was caused by the following events: I got drunk at a chinese restaurant. I left said restaurant without paying. I was chased by the police. I jumped a fence behind Dunkin’ Donuts. The ground behind the fence was way far away. I fractured my spine. I spent the night in jail. Opioids cause incredibly painful constipation if you abuse them, or if you don’t drink lots of fluids. I know that now.
P-eeing. That’s right, peeing has started becoming a pain in the ass (huh, another p-word concept). Now that I am rounding the corner to 57, peeing has become an interesting event. Sometimes I can’t pee, even though I have to pee. Sometimes it doesn’t go where it is intended (think morning here guys). Sometimes it goes-stops-goes some more. Unpredictable peeing is a pain in the ass.
Q-uarantine. As in the people who refuse to quarantine themselves while we are dealing with a pandemic! It annoys me that this country doesn’t just go into quarantine and be done with this mess, once and for all. Are we just stupid, ignorant, or just don’t care about anyone but ourselves? I know, speak for yourself (but yours truly has pretty much stayed in his house, shops online and uys groceries via Walmart pick-up, and wears a mask if he has to go out, so shut yer blower!) But hey, that’s not the American Way! Just like when 9-11 happened: we were all gungho about waving flags, anti-terrorism, and all that for about 5 seconds. Then we do what Americans do, we went back to binge-watching The Office.
R-esponsibility. Being responsible is a royal pain in the ass! I mean, when I was drinking, all I had to do was sell more cars and ignore paying anyone but the guy at the liquor store and a dealer once in awhile. Sure, I paid my car payment to get to work. But that was mostly it when I was in my last years of embracing alcoholism as much as humanly possible. But now, I have all these RESPONSIBILITIES. Yuck.
S-ogginess. My hate affair with sogginess, I believe, can be traced back to the chicken pot pies we were forced to eat as children. Remember those? I know, they still make them. Talk about scalding hot! The outside crust was fine, but boy did I hate the soggy innards of those things. Come to think of it, I cannot stand soggy bread period. If I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I put peanut butter on BOTH sides, so the jelly won’t seep through the bread and make it soggy. Meatball sub leaking through the bottom, gross! Italian sub with dressing, NO THANKS. However, I do like dipping bread in olive oil, but it’s not the same as some disgusting sub or sandwich that is leaking sauce or dressing. Which is why I NEVER order subs to go or for delivery. I also feel anything soggy, it is deeply troubling.
T-oenails. I have always hated dealing with my toenails. Even when I wasn’t overweight like I am now. They are difficult to get at! Besides that, I have a few of them that are ingrown. Thus, they are painful as all hell! I went to one of those foot spa places. You know the kind. I thought I would get a professional pedicure (don’t laugh guys, they are actually PHENOMENAL, that is if the wonderful ladies there are not all laughing at you and pointing to your feet.) I’ll never walk into one of those again.
U-ndertaker . Somebody has to do it, right? I don’t like the idea of an undertaker. It would mean I’m dead, and that would suck big-time. An undertaker takes your body and puts it under, right? Hmmm, not if you’re going to get cremated! Like I plan on being. Not going to spend eternity lying in the fucking ground, slowly decaying. Nay, really slowly decaying because of all the chemicals they put in me so I WON’T decay so fast. Uh Uh. I’m going into the oven to go back to whence I came: ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Undertaker may be hauling my ass to the Funeral Home, but then he’s gotta roll me on into the furnace. No dirt naps for me, thank you very much.
V-alentines Day. I’m not even going there.
W-eebles. Why the hell would Weebles wobble, but not fall down? I mean, come on. I just don’t understand who made this stupid toy. Get me in a room with him or her! I want to know…no, I DEMAND to know who came up with this and why! When I was a kid I didn’t want things to wobble and not fall down! I wanted them to crash and burn like Evil Knievel’s Motorcycle toy. Anyone remember that? You put this strip within the cycle, pulled it and it would send the cycle off like a bat out of hell. Weebles wobbling, but not falling down…pffsssh.
X-ylophone. Not too many words that are relatable in the X family. But the xylophone. The xylophone, other than the fact that I can’t type the damn word fast, is a stupid toy for little children (and for parents). First of all, it does not make any truly worthwhile musical contribution as far as I can tell. It does create redundant sounds by little boys and girls that make you want to ring it into the backyard, douse it in lighter fluid and watch it burn though! Also, looking up the definition, there are supposed to be TWO wooden mallets to make it worthwhile; why do most that I have seen only come with one??!! Fuck the xylophone.
Y-ankees. Part of why I am partially brain-dead is because, although I grew up in New Hampshire, my father didn’t root for the Red Sox–like every other kid’s father in the neighborhood. Oh no, he was a RABID Yankees fan! What act of the Gods would strike me with this oppression? All my life I’ve had to endure his toxic fanship of the Yankees. And you can bet your ass he was toxic about it. Just like everything else about him. But I digress. Yankee fans are a different breed from the rest of the baseball fans out there. I especially hate it when they continue to revel in the 26 championships they have won in their illustrious history. I will forever ADORE and REVERE the year we came back down 0-4, and wiped that Yankee smirk of those Yankee fan’s faces. Good enough for me!
Z-oos. While it is certainly cool to see a variety of animals you would otherwise only see in pictures and videos, I do not condone the harboring of nature within cages. But caging up wild animals for the sake of human enjoyment does not appeal to me whatsoever. I think zoos should be refuges for hurt or injured animals, but only as a means for nursing them back to health and releasing them.
One of the biggest problems I have had in life is regulating my emotions. It is surely caused my abusive childhood, and the fact that I was an exceptionally sensitive and intuitive child. However, all throughout my childhood I was not allowed to express any of my emotions.
Life in my household was essentially avoiding anything that would raise the ire of either of my parents. Ironically, I guess as an attention seeking behavior, I stole a lot of little things from my parents: my mother’s jewelry to give to girls I liked at school, change from my father’s dresser.
I never thought I would be caught. And I often wasn’t. But they knew. Fearing for my safety nearly every day, I exhibited early on those instances of impulsivity that would litter the landscape of my entire life. I do not have very many recollections of my childhood before the age of 12. It’s something that bothers me to this day.
However, I recall the feelings of sorrow, isolation, depression, angst, anger, and hostility towards my parents, and schoolmates as well (for they often ignored me on the playground), and I am certain towards the family member who sexually abused me at a very young age.
On Christmas day 1975, when I was just 11, my 8 year old brother John was hit by a car while we were sledding and he died the next day. That tragedy would propel me into an entirely new world of severe living and abuse at the hands of my mother. My father did not hit me but just his hostile presence and angry demeanor was abuse in and of itself.
I despised coming home every moment of my life in 1976-1977. My mother beat me viciously for every little thing. It was usually with a belt. Many times I had huge welts along my ass, back, and legs. I was locked in my room for countless weeks. My only respite coming from the library of books that was in my room.
Reading was not only a form of escapism, it became the foundation of my skewed view of the world in terms of fantasies versus realities. I created an idealized world that would be the basis of much of my emotional dysregulation in my life.
Also, the abuse by the family member seemed to increase as well. Clearly the escalation of the abuse, and the death of my brother, caused my emotions to be expressed in many negative ways.
By the time I was midway through age 12, I was exhibiting juvenile delinquent tendencies that landed me with a probation officer and counseling. Sometime in the summer of 1977 I was removed from the home and placed in a halfway house for youth. It was the first time I experienced freedom in my short life.
I am pretty certain that I was the youngest kid in that program. The other teens accepted me with open arms. They treated me like a brother. I vaguely remember being somewhat stable in this new environment of acceptance and freedom. Then I transferred to a much larger Group Home called the Webster House.
Webster House is a group home for troubled girls and boys. I remember it as a wonderful place where we did wonderful things. The staff were loving and attentive. I attached myself vigorously to anyone who showed me affection. Starved for attention, I craved their acceptance and, when things did not go my way, I had serious emotional outbursts and meltdowns.
So much so the staff would use various restraining methods to bring me to my room and, believe it or not, would usually end up sitting on me while I raged and cried inconsolably. All the rage that was pressed into my soul was releasing itself dramatically and frequently.
Being very immature for my age, and fought every effort to control me, if I perceived it to be overly punitive. There is no doubt in my mind that emotionally I was just a child.
And there were behavioral problems in school as well. Although, I do not recall but one instance of it. I remember spewing out a string of obscenities at an English Teacher, who of course promptly kicked me out of class.
I recall running out of the building and then hurling snowballs at her window stories up. Raging against an authority figure was a behavior that slowly began expressing itself by this time, and it would become pervasive throughout my lifetime.
Back To Turmoil
I don’t recall when it was exactly, but sometime in 1978 or early in 1979, I went back into court and was ordered to leave the Webster House and return home. It was devastating. My mother was so livid about that, she simply left the court without me. My probation officer had to give me a ride home.
I remember standing at the top of the stairs and listening to my mother tell my father that I was home again. He was very angry. It ended up being the worst time of my young life.
First of all, I was enrolled in a different Junior High School and experienced severe bullying as a new student. There were many occasions when I had to avoid the bus and walk quite a ways home; particularly in the winter time. I often came home to a locked house.
I would have to wander the neighborhood for hours until my parents came home and let me in. They made it crystal clear that they did not want me there. They made me do all of the chores while my older brother, who also treated me poorly and with disdain, got to do whatever whenever he wanted.
Some Emotional Respite
It wasn’t all doom and gloom. Some of my best memories from that year were of going to the Boy’s Club. For part of my 8th Grade school year, I hung out at the Boy’s Club. It was a wonderful place. You could play bumper pool and regular pool. There was an arts and crafts room. And they had a wonderful library, which is where I spent the majority of my time. They also had monthly dances.
The few times I was allowed to go to these dances were the most profound times. Of course, they never gave me rides to or from them, I always had to walk. But oh! How I remember the anticipation of dancing with girls. It was during those dances that I learned about girls and their wiles.
I used to build up my courage for just dancing the slow dances. And during those dances I would become intoxicated with how they smelled, how they felt in my arms. In their arms, I was a million miles away from my troubles.
I kissed more than a few girls there. I actually posted about those experiences here on this blog. There was a development of a courage of emotion I had never had before. I felt passions stir in me that I had never felt. After leaving one of those dances I would be sweating in the cold Fall air. In their arms I felt vibrant and alive.
I believe it was the combination of those moments, and the escapism I felt reading all the wonderful literature I had availed myself of, that would become the foundation of my unrealistic expectations of relationships; of my propensity to love too quickly and too deeply.
It was a cycle I repeated through my life. I could not marry the realities of life with the fantasy life I created as a result of finally feeling true and genuine emotions.
A Brief Freedom
Sometime in November of 1979 I was once again happily removed from my home and returned to the Webster House. However, the place had changed. It seemed more intimidating to me. The residents all seemed older. I was older, it was not the same wonderful place it had been for me just two years prior.
It was around this time that I began smoking pot. I hung out with a kid from the neighborhood who always had a supply. I developed into a brooding, angry kid who was constantly getting into arguments with the staff and the other house members.
My emotional dysregulation reared its head on a daily basis. I wouldn’t follow directions. I challenged authority at every opportunity. I rejected everyone around me before they could reject me.
You can still see the black marks I made on the side of the building, after I climbed out my window to go smoke pot with my friend. Whenever I visit my hometown of Manchester, N.H., I always take a drive by there and chuckle when I see those marks.
I think my time there was probably some of the happiest moments of my pre-teen years. And, because I couldn’t control my emotions, I would be ripped out of there and thrown into a place where my emotions once again receded into the darkness.
One day, my roommate ratted me out for having two joints hidden in his speaker. I was incredibly stoned when I was confronted by one of my favorite staff members (Bev was her name). I felt badly that she was the one who had to deal with the fallout.
But, rather than admit my guilt, I flew off into a vehement angry indignant rage. I refused to relent. I left them no choice: they had the police come and take me away to the Youth Development Center (Y.D.C.). I was locked up in the Juvenile Detention Center! It was there that I discovered the true meaning of depression in its most vicious state.
Emotions On Lockdown
I spent the first few months at the main facility on River Road. It was a depressing place. I think the original buildings, one of which I stayed in, were originally built in the late 1800’s. They are all brick, large and imposing. The dread I felt as I was brought there in the police cruiser grew more intense as we turned onto the property.
The entrance road was long and was surrounded on both sides by uniform rows of trees. I was scared and didn’t know what was going to happen to me. They stripped me of my clothes, forced me to shower with some kind of nasty soap, and locked me away for the first 5 days. I was only contacted when food was brought to me.
I spent locked in a room that could be described as half room half cell. The hallways were large and intimidating. The room itself had a huge window with a metal screen on it.
I distinctly remember the horrible depression that overcame me; I was locked up and no longer free. But, this isn’t a story about being locked away at Y.D.C., it’s a story about emotions.
Thankfully, I removed from the more restrictive campus on River Road after a few miserable months there. I was accepted into a pilot program of Y.D.C. called Friendship House. It was based in the community. This was an old Victorian style home where I lived for nearly a year with about 15-20 other troubled teens aged 14-17. Unlike the main campus, we were allowed to go to public school. We were allowed to sign out for weekend furloughs–for those who had somewhere to go.
Bite The Bullet
I had tremendous difficulty controlling my emotions while I was at Friendship House. I was always arguing with one resident or another. I found myself on restriction more often than not. Restriction was being forced to sit in the pass-through kitchen and “rap” (have meaningful conversations) with other residents.
Boy, do I wish I still had those journals they forced me to write in! We had to document our conversations when we rapped. My biggest problem was that I would speak before thinking. I had no self-control when it came to expressions of frustration or anger.
And so, the House Manager Mr. Bernard, would always hear me bickering with someone and tell me to “Bite the bullet Levasseur!” I was relentless when it came to getting my point across. I wouldn’t let something go. I had to continually make sarcastic comments to my supposed tormentors. I learned very early on that I could get under someone’s skin with my comments; and I used them on a constant basis.
John and Barbara Straight
In the Summer of ’79, I was released from Friendship House and went to live with John and Barbara Straight. It was in a very nice neighborhood and the Straights were very nice people. But they were ill-equipped to handle my immaturity and outbursts.
I was at the Straights for about 6 months or so. When they had finally had enough, they shipped me to a much worse Foster Home. That was precisely on my 16th birthday, January 27th 1980.
That would begin a series of movements between various foster homes, many of which were run by very unpleasant foster parents. My emotions were once again severely stifled by some of the harsh conditions within which I had to live.
Memo To My Probation Officer
I can’t believe I still have this letter from so many years ago! It is perhaps one of the oldest things I have in my possession. When the Straights brought me to my new foster home on my birthday, they gave me a copy of the letter they wrote to my probation officer, Dave Cooley. It’s kinda funny, because it was typed in a typewriter on that old typewriter paper that you could peel away and have a kind of mimeographed copy as well. Here is what the letter says:
We can’t say that there were any huge problems that caused things not to work out with Bob and us. Regis Lemaire, counselor at the Office of Youth Services, suggested that perhaps the main issue was that Bob had not yet accepted the fact of his rejection by his parents, and consequently couldn’t accept us in a parental relationship. We’re inclined to believe this is true; when we were doing things where our role as authority/parental figures was not stressed things went fine, but when situations occurred that emphasized our parental responsibilities the “war” began.
Bob refused to accept our rules; he either ignored them, or, if we really put pressure on for him to comply (through restrictions, loss of allowance, grounding, etc.), his reaction was still to try to get around them, or, if he did comply, somehow to retaliate later. We’re sure our lack of experience in dealing with teenagers did not make matters easier, and Bob, being an extremely bright boy, was quick to take advantage of the situation.
We tried two different approaches, neither of which was terribly successful. One was to try to maintain strict discipline and be really firm. This was probably the better approach, but we were unhappy with it since we didn’t want to strictly wardens to Bob. He was resentful of us, and constantly trying to get away with things.
Our inclination was to try more of a positive reinforcement approach – overlooking some bad things, de-emphasizing others, and trying to encourage him into good behavior by stressing when we were pleased with something he was doing. Although things around the house were much more pleasant for a little while, we soon realized that Bob was taking advantage of this approach to get away with a lot of things. He tested us constantly to see just exactly what he could get away with before we’d take action.
We felt, too, that we really couldn’t trust Bob very much. Going along with the idea that he didn’t want to accept us as parents, and probably was afraid of getting too close to us, we think he continuously did things so we wouldn’t trust him. He sometimes took small things from us, or stole small items from stores, but usually leaving clues so we’d find out.
When confronted on anything, no matter how much proof was on hand, he would invariably deny it, and make up a whole series of lies to explain the situation away. Even if we could disprove the whole story, he’d just make up another one. In general, Bob seems to know just the right things to say and do to keep people on edge, and we never really got to feel completely comfortable with him.
Also, in looking at how he was doing at school, and with us, we decided it probably wasn’t doing either him or us any good to try and go on. Bob is very smart, and can be very stubborn and persistent at times, but he does tend to be a quitter when something requires sustained effort to succeed, such as school work. We found he would approach a situation, such as a school project, with a great deal of enthusiasm and initial effort. But, as soon as a problem was encountered, or he had to make a choice between doing extra work or relaxing, the project always lost out. We weren’t able to find the right way to encourage him to go on to finish anything he started.
We do think that Bob has a lot of good qualities that can really help him make it, if he gives himself a chance. He tries very hard not to face up to problems, but when he does, he seems to handle them pretty well. He can be very charming, and very affectionate. We’ve seen him grow a great deal in the last six months in handling his anger. He is still very “pent up” with a lot of unresolved issues; but, he seems to have developed a trusting relationship with Mr. Lemaire, and we’ve encouraged Bob to continue to see him to help work through these issues. Bob does have a good sense of humor, which helps at times in working things out.
A final note is that once we told Bob of the plans to move him to another home, after the initial upset, he has opened up a lot more than he ever has since coming to live here. It seems as though since we are no longer in a parent role he is able to relate to us much more freely, and the “war” is over. We hope to be able to continue a friendly relationship with BOb, and to be here for him should he want any help or moral support in working out his problems, or just to lend an ear would he want one.
That, my dear readers, pretty much sums up what I was like as a young teen. For the most part.
From the moment I was dropped off at my new, and disgusting, foster home, until I met my friend Troy in 1983, my life was one of anger and angst. My emotions were suppressed in the numerous foster homes I was bounced around in, until I was returned to Friendship House during my Junior year of High School.
High school was full of angst and loneliness. It was a huge high school. There were over 1,000 kids just in my Senior class. I was beginning to feel my depression seep in. I was envious of all the various couples and friends that seemed to be enjoying their lives.
Meanwhile, I would be bullied because of my long hair and appearance as a “Head.” Jocks were Jocks. Slummers were kids who looked dirty. Geeks were band Members. Heads were the stoners who wore concert shirts. Man, did high school suck. Interestingly, Adam Sandler graduated from Central High in 1984, two years after I left.
I frequently engaged in self-destructive behaviors. I walked away-literally-from two abusive foster homes. Between stints at foster homes and Friendship House I lived on the streets. And, although my father did start to take me home for a few furloughs in ’81, I established no true relationships with anyone.
I was a brooding teen when I voluntarily requested to be placed in Friendship House at the beginning of my Senior year in High School; I had no place to turn. Unfortunately, I started selling pot to the residents there and I was sentenced to live on the main Y.D.C. campus at East Cottage; a mini-jail for juveniles.
Angst and Anger
I was released from Y.D.C. on my 18th birthday, January 27th 1982. They gave me a $50 hotel voucher and I had to walk to the bus stop in blizzard conditions, with just a garbage bag of belongings. No longer a ward of the state, I endured a harsh 6 months of couch surfing, sleeping in hallways, and doing lots of drugs.
Although I stayed in school, I frequently skipped classes to smoke weed, hash, and to pop acid. I slept in hallways and occasionally with the family member who abused me as a child. I was taken in for about a month or so by a woman who required frequent sexual favors.
She took my virginity, then threw me out when she found someone else to service her. I began to get into trouble with the law through various ventures and ultimately failed my Senior year by .5 credit.
During that time I was severely depressed, isolated and lonely. Because of my instability during my High School years, I never made any friends. However, I did hang around with one of the former residents of Friendship House, who I did alot of drugs with. I was often bullied my Senior year because I was unkempt due to homelessness. Finally, I was arrested for stealing money from the gas station I worked at and forced to go to jail on the weekends.
Time To Move On
After the stint of weekend jail, I realized that I was slowly building a bad reputation with the police. One day, early in the summer of ’82, I decided to hitchhike out of Manchester. I had no idea where I was going. I ended up in Laconia, about an hour north of Manchester.
The man who picked me up allowed me to stay in his home for a few weeks. I eventually got a job at a Howard Johnson’s Inn, but eventually I was fired. Most of the time I was lonely and depressed. I was also kicked out of the man’s house after I stole his mother’s diamond ring.
Once again homeless, I slept on the beach at Weirs Beach in Laconia for most of the summer. I spent my idle time breaking into unlocked cars at night, and taking and losing several jobs. I also discovered a new way of not regulating my emotions: my propensity for falling in love the minute a girl showed me any affection.
Too Fast, Too Far, Too Deep
Weirs Beach is a popular tourist destination in New Hampshire. It straddles Lake Winnipesaukee-the largest lake in the state-and had an old-fashioned boardwalk, complete with arcades, water slides, souvenir shops and mini-golf.
Mini-cottages dotted the hillside. I spent quite a few nights partying with strangers there. It is the summer I learned the effects of alcohol. It was the summer I fell in love with several girls and wailed plaintively when they departed. It was the summer. My emotions went haywire. My sexuality ached to be set free. My alcohol use had begun, and continued in earnest.
I spent most of the summer embroiled in chaos. Between pining away for girls, gaining and losing jobs, and homelessness, I didn’t see it coming. Out of money and unable to enjoy the exploits of the earlier months, I didn’t see my upward trend was about to become a spiral into deep and foreboding depression.
After enduring another girl leaving the vacationland in mid-August, I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided I was going to kill myself. And this is the God’s honest truth: as I was walking to the store to steal some razor blades, Queen’s “Don’t Try Suicide” was blaring from one of the arcades on the boardwalk.
Onward Christian Soldiers
I considered slitting my wrists as a “cry for help,” not a true suicide attempt. I was afraid of the blade as I dragged it slowly across both wrists, in the bathroom on the boardwalk. Well, someone saw the blood dripping onto the floor and soon the police arrived and brought me to the hospital.
When I awoke, I was greeted by a Christian family who were to take me in. The Keysers were a deeply religious family who took me in, got me enrolled in High School, and took good care of me. Though I could have done well enough with less church time.
Because I had a propensity for not following rules, I was once again bounced around different families from the church, and eventually ended up sleeping in a closet of a friend I did make during that year. His name was Troy, and he was my first true friend in life.
Troy and The Good ‘Ole Boys
Attending a new high school as a senior is no fun. Especially if that high school is full of chew spittin’, dirt bike riding, good ‘ole boys. To me they were all hicks. I went from a high school where I could simply fade into the crowd of thousands, to a high school with a total population the size of my former senior class.
I was treated like an outcast and, while I wasn’t bullied per se, I was ostracized as a newcomer and never welcomed into the senior class. My emotions that school year ran the gamut of rage against the “rednecks”, to depression at not being able to get a girlfriend.
If it hadn’t been for Troy, I would have been more depressed and miserable than I already was. Troy was the first person I had ever met that I had a substantive conversation with. We shared the same kind of mind. We spent many days and nights together, talking about any and every topic we could think of. He was my first true friend.
Similarly, I spent many hours listening to his father, Hugh, who was a Psychology professor. Hugh fascinated me with his esoteric ramblings. He and his wife, according to Troy, could “hop” when they meditated. They were of South American descent, and they schooled me in many religions and philosophies.
They expanded my mind and paved the way for much of my mystical poetry years later. It used to aggravate Troy that I would stay up for hours listening to his father talk about his fascinating theories about life, religion, meditation, the spirit, and death. He had heard it all growing up. For me, it was thrilling and exciting stuff.
All throughout that year, I was circulated between “foster” parents. First were the ultra religious parents who were difficult to relate to due to their incessant need to relate everything to the Bible. Next, came parents who were less restrictive, but the father figure was a closeted homosexual who tried to hug me at every opportunity.
He held on a bit too long for my liking. Then there was the antiseptic couple who lived miles from anywhere. That father figure tried to impress upon me the need for hard labor and discipline. I did not last long there.
Eventually I was on my own and was allowed to stay at the “pardoo palace”, in a closet. It was the place where Troy lived, and where everyone went to smoke pot and drink. I did my share of partying.
I had more than a few issues with drinking too much. We smoked a lot of pot. A lot of pot. And, although I had Troy as a close friend, I was unable to form any other friendships through that year.
During the summer of ’83 I found myself taking numerous jobs to support myself. I was having difficulties maintaining my attitude in the face of authority, and was fired from or quit several jobs.
It was also during the summer of ’83 that myself and Troy learned we were accepted to Plymouth State College! I couldn’t believe it. I went from piss poor grades for the prior 4 years of high school, to straight A’s and getting accepted into college!
In Part II Emotions College To Jail, I will be writing something that is more of an overview of how my failure to regulate my emotions affected my life from age 18-52.
Special Note: I use lots of pictures, videos, animations, flipbooks, and other cool layouts and features which can be best appreciated by reading this post on my blog. Mobile View will not give you the very best experience.
Since I have already done a ‘Likes’ version of Me A to Z, I thought it would be fun to do a ‘Dislikes’ version. Be forewarned: I won’t be pulling any punches here, and I probably will sound very opinionated about more than a few on this list.
I have done list posts before about me. The first one that comes to mind is a post titled 40 Impressions of Me. Quite a while ago I also wrote A Few Things About Me. So, if you are crazy-excited about learning more about your humble writer, hurry up over to those posts. Writing Me A to Z really made me think about who I am and what I truly dislike about living my life in this crazy world. So, without further ado, here is Part I of my list.
A- Assholes. We all know one. Some of us know many. The tyrant boss. The jealous co-worker. The folks who cut us off on the roads. The folks who cut us in line. The folks who breed fear in society. The bigots, the zealots, the corporations who suck Americans dry and who continue to find ways to bleed the Middle Class Dry. On and on and on and on. Here’s a great Psychology Today article on Assholes.
B- Bullies. When it comes to bullies, I’m mainly talking about school-aged children. I was bullied throughout my school years. It is inexplicable to me why I was targeted. But I was. Books ripped out my hands. Thrown into lockers. Jeered at and provoked. In Junior High, I often skipped the bus because of the threats made to me by bullies. I blame the parents. Nobody else to blame but the parents. Bullying is bred from the family out, not the other way around. My wife and I recently watched a Netflix series on bullying. It brought back fierce feelings of anger and resentment in me. School administrators and teachers are the second to be blamed. I mean, how ignorant can you be to allow any child to be be bullied to the point that they commit suicide? It’s pathetic, disgusting, and inexcusable. While they are at home, parents have an obligation to keep their children safe and mentally healthy; getting them help if they can’t do the job themselves. While they are in school, school officials have the obligation to protect children. It’s a blight on society that needs to be seriously addressed, in every county, nationwide.
C- Child Molesters/Abusers. Look at the statistics to the left. Relatives of these poor children need to PAY THE FUCK ATTENTION to their children, and who they are hanging out with. 34% are molested by FAMILY MEMBERS!! I do not believe in the Death Penalty. Even if I did, that would be too good for these disgusting predators. Most folks are not aware that inmates live a better quality of life on Death Row than they do in General Population. That’s right: It’s quieter, better food, etc. Google it if you don’t believe me. I think they should be put in the oldest prison in the country, and locked up 23 hours a day. No mail. No books. No visitors. One shower per week. Bread and water, until they are dead. I was molested by a close family member. When his mother passes away, I fully intend on announcing his foul deeds to everyone inside the church on that day. He stole my youth. He stole my soul. I will never be whole again. National Sexual Abuse Hotline 800.656.HOPE (4673) . Visit STOP IT NOW, all the resources you need are there. SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT! We all have a responsibility to keep children safe from harm and from predators.
D- Deadbeat Dads. These guys give the rest of us fathers a bad name. They propagate a myth. They contribute to higher crime statistics, both for themselves and their offspring who grow up without them. They make it difficult for good fathers, fighting for their rights to equal parenting. They have largely contributed to the idea that, if you are a divorced father, somehow you have issues and are not good for your own children. I have constantly had to remind teachers, colleagues, the courts, that I divorced my wife not my children. Dead beat dads are those fathers that do not care for their children, emotionally or financially. They are often caught up in drugs and crime. They are those men who have gotten women pregnant that they had no intention of being a Dad to. They have contributed to prejudice towards divorced and separated fathers in this country. There were times I became unemployed. Times I fell behind in Child Support because that. I rarely moved the Court to lower my Child Support. I always managed to catch up. I left my children to the primary care of their mother, because the parental alienation had changed them dramatically. And I was no longer willing to contribute to their emotional deterioration. That’s not being a deadbeat Dad; that’s being a sensible father and man.
E- Ex-Wife. I haven’t given my energy over to my ex-wife for many years. That being said, I dislike her for many reasons. She was the poster child for parental alienation. She is the number one reason why my children haven’t spoken to me in over 10 years. She disgusts me in that way. When we had a rigid visitation schedule, she would often miss visitation if the children got injured, if she didn’t feel like dropping them off. She never once dropped them off for Thanksgiving; even though the deal was she could have them for Christmas. And, finally, she lied about being pregnant within the first three months of our meeting. In February of 1991, I took her to Santarpio’s Pizza in East Boston and told her I was joining the service. Suddenly, she said she had big news, she was pregnant! It propelled me to marry her in August of 1991 (but my close friend Jack noted it odd that, for being nearly 7 months showing, she didn’t look any different then when we hung out in December of 1991). I was deployed alone to Augsburg, Germany in September of 1991. Weeks later she called me hysterical–or so I thought–that she had miscarried. However, when pressed on it many years later, she could not supply where the baby was miscarried, where it was buried, or any documents supporting her disgusting claim. Enough said.
F- Family Court. Quite frankly the Family Court system is corrupt. Not only in my home state of Massachusetts, but across this country. Fathers are routinely treated merely as cash registers. 209a’s (Restraining Orders) are handed down without due process. Child Support Guidelines are punitive and harsh. Yes, it does happen to women, but largely infrequently. Family court seems to be under the impression that it’s in the best interest of children to remain with the mother. How they continually come to this conclusion, many times discriminating against fathers, is unfathomable. Last I checked, a child is created by both. Mother doesn’t show up for visitation? No problem. Father behind $100 in Child Support? Arrest him. This is not sour grapes here folks. This is the reality in this country. Fall behind in the thousands? They can suspend your license, freeze your bank accounts, send you to jail. I calculated, conservatively, the amount of Child Support I paid over 15 years. It ended up being over $350,000.
G-Gun Laws. According to Wikipedia, ” In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court affirmed for the first time that the right belongs to individuals, for self-defense in the home, while also including, as dicta, that the right is not unlimited and does not preclude the existence of certain long-standing prohibitions such as those forbidding “the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill” or restrictions on “the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons”. Allowing individuals to stockpile assault weapons, grenades, incendiary devices, and an unlimited weapon cache of varying depths and variety is insanity. The Second Amendment, ratified in 1791, is archaic and needs to be overhauled. I mean, does “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” have any place in 2020? It needs to be overhauled. Period. BUt, as long as the NRA and other powerful lobbyists continue to pour money into campaigns, it’s never going to change. Limits on type, limits on amount, and a ban on assault rifles at the very least.
H- Hair. As in, as I turn 57 in a few months, hair has become enemy number one. It’s like a switch was turned turned on when I turned 55; a switch that told my body “Produce more hair, immediately!” I battle the hair in my nose. I pluck hair out of my ears. My eyebrows have gone from normal to caterpillars every other day. I constantly pluck hair out of my ears. My beard goes from trim to Paul Bunyan in a matter of days. Ugh! It’s a royal pain in the ass. And then there’s those folks who seem to be ignorant of the fact that disgusting hair is protruding from their ears and nose. Gangly, unsightly hairs that nearly want me to scream to these folks “OMG! Can you PLEASE trim that shit?”
I-Ignorance. They say that “Ignorance is bliss.” Not to the person on the receiving end of it! And nowhere is ignorance more prevalent than on Social Media. It’s everywhere! Folks making ignorant statements. Folks showing their ignorance when they puke their unfounded opinions and insights. Then there is the kind of ignorance that comes from a lack of education and mental incapacity. Nowhere have I experienced its prevalence, than right here in Missouri. Wow! All I can say is, I can’t wait to move my family back to New England; my little girl has to have better surroundings than this.
J- Jail. Jail is not prison, but it sucks anyway. Forget the fact that you are no longer free. It’s the environment really. EVERYBODY uses the word “Nigger” like nobody’s business. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this word is so commonplace, you’d wonder how it is that so many different races are able to use it in so many ways without repercussions. And the food…ugh, the nasty, disgusting food. I traded my breakfast for laundry service. Nine times out of ten I traded my lunch for bread and packets of peanut butter and jelly. When I had canteen money, I bought plenty of that combination. The pizza was palatable. You could choke down the hot dogs and chili. Other than that, the food could have been used to spackle a house, pave a driveway, bondo a car. The boredom is the reason why I took the nasty job working the kitchen. Not only did it alleviate the boredom, I earned 10 days of good time per month while working. I read 76 books from May 13-Oct 17 in jail. Lastly, the noise in jail is deafening. Except for the times you are on lockdown. Constant meaningless banter, yelling, swearing, and jive-talking is the rule. Don’t go to jail.
K- Killers. Anyone who unreasonably violates the sanctity of life, by taking a life. This includes the reprehensible hunters who kill endangered species, dogs because of dog fighting, and killing animals for sport. I recall one of my favorite short stories, “The Most Dangerous Game.” Also published as “The Hounds of Zaroff”, it’s a short story by Richard Connell, first published in Collier’s on January 19, 1924. The story features a big-game hunter from New York City who falls off a yacht and swims to what seems to be an abandoned and isolated island in the Caribbean. I won’t give the story away, download the PDF securely! The story is inspired by the big-game hunting safaris in Africa and South America that were particularly fashionable among wealthy Americans in the 1920s. Of course, killers also includes those who purposely take another human life. Especially Serial Killers. In my view, they cannot be rehabilitated and need to suffer while incarcerated. Death Row is too kind. First thing that comes to mind is breaking rocks all day, until they die. Bread and water. No correspondence. No books. No visitors.
L- Liver & Onions. Especially fried liver. When I was growing up we were subjected to liver more than a few times. In my house, you sat at the kitchen table-usually alone–until your food was gone. This included fried liver, the most foul smelling food I have ever had the displeasure of smelling. It got to the point that, upon smelling it in the house, I would begin to cry because I knew I was in for a long night. I tried to budget the milk. I tried to feed it to the cat. I tried to pocket it. It didn’t matter, I was usually the last one to be able to go to bed at about 10 or 11 at night. It indeed was a form of child abuse. Disgusting. Fortunately, I have never actually smelled it anywhere else for over 40 years. And I’ll die happy if I never have to smell it again.
M- Mediocrity. I can barely remember a time that I did anything mediocre. From a very early age, I was a perfectionist. I took pride in every little thing I did. Once I was free from the tyranny of my childhood, I tried to do everything as well as I could. Irregardless of my addictions and mental health issues, I accomplished many things by being meticulous and thorough. Whenever I had to do some major project, in life or in work, it was usually anything but mediocre. And it’s been particularly true since I left jail in October of 2016: each time I have had to advocate for myself, compile documents for my VA Disability or Social Security Office, research my Federal Tort Claim, I have always done it well. I don’t have much respect for folks who go about life in a mediocre fashion. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just taking pride in oneself and appearance is something that earns my respect.
This post was inspired by another blogger’s post. But, I can’t for the life of me remember who! That is one of the reasons I enjoy blogging as much as I do. I become inspired by what others write. View Part I here.
I have done list posts before about me. The first one that comes to mind is a post titled 40 Impressions of Me. Quite a while ago I also wrote A Few Things About Me. And, COMING SOON: Me A to Z ‘Dislikes Edition’, you definitely don’t want to miss that. I’m not pulling any punches with that installments.
So, if you are crazy-excited about learning more about your humble writer, hurry up over to those posts. Writing Me A to Z really made me think about who I am and what I truly love about living my life in this crazy world. So, without further ado, here is Part I of my list.
N- Nazareth. The first hard rock album I ever listened to was Hair of the Dog. I think I was only 12. I had just been removed from my abusive home and put into a small group home for boys called Stepping Stone. It was there that I first found acceptance among the long-haired hippies. They played loud music. They enjoyed nature. They taught me how to smoke. I think the first pack was Carltons. They treated me like their kid brother. Dare I say, it was perhaps the first time in my life that I didn’t wake up every morning shell-shocked and petrified. My favorite song was Hair of the Dog, or “Now You’re Messin’ With A Sonofabitch.” Keep in mind, I had never before ever heard music like this; it felt like my soul was set free.
O- Obelisk. First of all, it’s just a cool word. An Obelisk, according to Wikipedia, “is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion at the top. Originally they were called tekhenu by their builders, the Ancient Egyptians.” I have seen many cool shows about these structures. Here are 4 cool facts I found about Obelisks: 1. Built by the Egyptians and associated with the Egyptian sun god. 2. Was used in the first calculation of the circumference of the earth. 3. True obelisks are made of a single piece of stone. Obelisks were really, really hard to build. 4. The oldest remaining obelisks are as old as recorded human history. Check this fascinating post about Freemasons & obelisks.
P- Poetry. You probably already know it, but I sure do love poetry! Check out the Poetry Foundation website for everything poetry. I wrote my first poems in 1983. I was 19. I did not fully appreciate poetry until I attended college, in beautiful Plymouth N.H. I was an English Education Major, because the most influential adults in my younger years were always English Teachers. As a college student I was introduced to the likes of Frost, Shakespeare, Byron, Keats, Shelley…and the list goes on. I did end up teaching H.S. English one year, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude; something I am proud of. I have a penchant for the Romantics overall. I also enjoy Sylvia Plath, e.e. cummings, and Ogden Nash. In the mid 2000’s, I actually built a wonderful online paid community called World of Poets. I just noticed that @worldofpoets is still online at Twitter. It was going really well until my arrogance got the best of me, and the money ran out. I wish I could have seen it through. Oh well, still got poetry!
Q- Quitter. As a youth, I would start things with vim and vigor and then lose interest. Throughout my life boredom has been the Devil’s workshop; nothing good ever came of it. I have unwisely quit more than a few jobs; however, and this is not an excuse, mental instabilities and alcoholism had a lot to do with that. From the moment I left the Youth Detention Center at age 18, to this day, overall my life has been enduring and fighting. Time and time again, life has beaten me down. Over and over again, my self-sabotage dropped me to my knees, and nearly killed me. When I cried out for help in the bathroom on Weirs Beach, razor blade cuts to my wrists, I made it to college. In ’88, from staring down the barrel of a .357, to enlisting in the Military in ’91. In ’98 from a loaded gun in my hand, to successful Automotive Manager. You get the idea. I’m no quitter. The only thing I quit is alcohol. My resiliency is a tattoo I wear proudly. Perseverance is the scar on my soul. Fortitude a daily mantra. Survival a badge of courage.
R- Rebecca. My wife. My love. My life. I met Rebecca (Bec) via my blog way back in mid-December of 2016. She found my poetry alluring, I found her nature blog exciting and refreshing. We went from sharing likes, to emails, to texting, to videos, to visits, to marriage in 2018, to mother of our child, Stella in March of 2020! She is from Belgium. She is the only person-other than my Aunt Sue-who has loved me unconditionally from the jump. She is a wonderful artist. She is a great photographer! Bec is the only person who knows all of the ugliness I tried to hide from everyone else. Very early on I decided that, in order to find a genuine authentic relationship, I had to get honest and get real. Although I faltered on a few occasions, I am proud that I allowed myself to be truthful and honest with her. She has been in my corner ever since we met. She didn’t know it at the time, but in December of 2017, when I was suddenly and inexplicably fired from my job at the VA in Colorado, her presence in my life saved my life. I was that close once again to that dark passenger, suicide. She is my best friend. She is my best human. She is incredibly strong. She is a fantastic mother. She is beautiful. She is sexy. She was, is, and will always be, the very best person I have ever known.
S- Stella. Oh my beautiful little girl, Stella! Oddly, sometime in 2017, I drew a picture for my wife of our “future” family (no, I am not the artist that my wife is). In that picture, was a girl with an ‘S’ above her head. I did not recall the S until I just recently unpacked the picture to get it framed. How cool is that? We named her Stella–as in Stellar–because we both love the sun, the stars, the moon, etc. My wife gave me the loveliest, most precious gift I could ever have hoped for: my darling little girl. She was born on March 13, 2020, right when the pandemic started taking off. There are not enough words to describe the joy that she is to us. She is a healthy, precocious, happy little girl who brightens every corner of the room. Everything that I am, everything that I do, is to ensure she has a future full of promise. I do get a little sad that I will be 75 when she is just 20; however, I always wanted to give Rebecca a child almost from the beginning. I will make everyday with her count as though it were my last. I just hope she keeps all the books I’ve been collecting in the family, lol.
T- Tom Brady. Tom Brady played 20 years in New England. He took pay cuts some years, to allow the Patriots to add additional teammates for runs at Super Bowls. And what did they do? They failed to allow Brady to retire as a Patriot. That pisses me off. Watch a great video about the arrival of Brady and his cohort, Gronkowski, in Tampa Bay. That’s why I uploaded a picture of him in a Tampa Bay uniform. The hell with New England. Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time). Period. And how’s it going over in New England? Ha, they have a losing record for the first time…well, in 20 years. The year before Tom Brady became their quarterback. Check out the milestones Brady set with the Patriots, not counting 2019. And the records he holds. And he’s not done yet folks!
U- UFO’s. I have had a fascination with UFO’s since Middle School. I think that folks who believe that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe, are deluding themselves. And the government has not done anything but fan the fire, through their denials and coverups. If you ever get the chance, watch some of the Ancient Aliens videos put out by the History Channel.
V- Veterans. My Grandfather is a Veteran of both World War II, and the Korean War. I am a Veteran of the Persian Gulf War. My oldest son, Nick, is a Veteran of the War in Afghanistan. In the photo is Nick, me, and my Grandfather; the little girl is my mother. I have always had a deep and abiding respect for the military, and the Veterans who served. It still pisses me off that the Veterans of the Vietnam War were disrespected so horribly. It wasn’t their fault that MOST of them were DRAFTED to fight in a war that they did not believe in. Anyway, next time you see a Veteran, try a handshake, or simply “Thank you for your SACRIFICE.” Because to me, military men and women have had to sacrifice a lot in order to serve this country. For me, saying “Thank you for your service” sounds disingenuous. For me.
W- Writing. I believe that I love writing so much because I read so much. As far back as I can remember, I was always reading. My favorite class was English. I graduated college with an English Education degree. See my transcripts here! I loved grinding away on a term paper. Researching subject matter and creating good writing is something I have always been passionate about. I’ve written sales training manuals for the automotive industry. I received an Army Achievement Medal for the manual I created for our Reassignments Division, back in 1992. It is because of my love for writing that I won my Disability Claim with the VA It is because of my writing that I successfully executed–and won–a Federal Tort Claim against the VA in 2019 (yes, I will be sharing that with you in future installments of my In Recovery Series). Writing has gotten me to where I am today. Publishing is next!
X- Adieux. It’s the best I could come up with for the letter x. It is the french word for goodbye. I chose it because I think the french language is beautiful and elegant. And it’s not because I am of french heritage. Interestingly, my family ancestry can be traced far back into France. I’ve been to France, and I have to tell you: if you have never been, you owe it to yourself to visit this incredibly beautiful country. I visited France with my friend Jack, sometime in 1992. My wife and I visited France in December of 2019. Visiting the burnt Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and the Eiffel Tower with her was really wonderful.
Y- Yin/Yang. I like the concept of duality. The Tao Te Ching encapsulates this perfectly. You can read the entire Tao Te Ching at the end of this post! It’s also free to download. Read it if you want to truly expand your mind! It’s about not being able to have the one without the other. The concept of yin and yang speaks to me of balance in the universe. Think about it, the most important aspects of life have duality: cold/hot, dark/light, good/evil, love/hate, death/birth, order/chaos, etc. Even nature, that fickle woman, has two aspects of duality: summer/winter and fall/spring. There is a wonderful dance of duality happening within and without us. How many different aspects of yin and yang can you think of?
Z- Zygote. I would like to celebrate the zygote i.e., the fertilized egg cell. Encyclopedia Britannica has this eloquent explanation: “Zygote, fertilized egg cell that results from the union of a female gamete (egg, or ovum) with a male gamete (sperm). In the embryonic development of humans and other animals, the zygote stage is brief and is followed by cleavage, when the single cell becomes subdivided into smaller cells.” If you’d like to learn more, and I will tell you it was quite fascinating to read, visit Wikipedia. Just think, every single human being on this earth was once just a zygote! Felicitations to all my brothers and sisters of Zygote! Ok, enough said.