pay it forward.

December 23, 2012

Last night, I went to a pub in Houston with my cousin and his wife.  We arrived around 4:30 in the afternoon and got some beers and began playing this hilarious card game called “Cards against humanity.”  It’s basically the super adult version of Apples to Apples.  Anyways, as the game came to a close, my cousin went inside to refill our beers while his wife and I decided to start playing Cornhole.  As we were playing, a man who was obviously homeless slowly walked by the pub and stopped to watch us.  I’ll admit, I was a bit sketched out at first.  But I suddenly realized that he was giggling at us.  We were obviously a bit drunk and doing a horrible job at trying to toss beanbags in the hole.  Jill (my cousin’s wife) noticed him, and without hesitation immediately offered him a drink and to come play Cornhole with us.  The man declined at first, telling us he didn’t want to intrude. Jill insisted, so sure enough, the man walked up the ramp and joined us.  His name was Anthony and he was 63 years old and from Colorado.  He had been homeless in Houston the past 15 years.  Anthony began telling us about his life and the events that led him to where he was now.  It wasn’t addiction or any severe mental illness that led him to his life of homelessness, but choice.  He didn’t choose to elaborate on this, but from what I could tell, he didn’t seem bitter about his situation.  He admitted that he wished he could do many things over in his life such as meet his 2 sons who were both in their 40s now he said.  He never met them and apparently had a bad falling out with the mother.  Enough to make him leave Colorado forever to start anew.
Meeting Anthony and talking to him for just the short time we did definitely made my day.  I’ve been so consumed with my own life and “problems” lately that I have been so blinded to others. Simply opening up your heart to a stranger–even just for a moment, can make the biggest difference.  Anthony told us that he was appreciative of the food and beer we provided for him, but he was most appreciative of the good company.
When it comes to those less fortunate than us, many of us simply want to write a check or hand over a dollar bill and that be the end of it, when sometimes the most important difference we can make is a conversation.
So, whoever reads this damn thing, I challenge you to talk to a stranger in the near future.  And when you talk….really listen.  Because you can learn so much in the most unexpected places and from the most unlikely people.

Au Revoir.



December 19, 2012

Christmas time always gets me in these moods.  They aren’t particularly bad moods, but they’re not good ones either.  This time of year just has me so damn contemplative about every little thing.  I guess because it’s the time of year where I have to face my family all at once for an extended period of time.  Usually our family gatherings don’t include everyone because that’s impossible.  I see family I haven’t seen since last Christmas and it’s always so strange.  No one really knows each other and that bothers me so much.  I’m forced to dress up in clothes that make me look like some politician’s wife or something.  I have to make sure none of my tattoos are visible and I have to take out my nose ring.  I have also been told this Christmas that I am not allowed to tell people where I work.  God forbid my family find out I work at a head shop and sell pipes, bongs, detox, sex toys, etc to people.  It’s just incredibly annoying how fake I have to be during Christmas.  I think that’s what makes it the worst.  I’m not able to express how I feel or even much be myself at all for fear that my family actually know who I really am.  I’ve learned to just stay quiet during these things and only talk when I’m talked to.  All I can say is thank god for portable vaporizers because that’s how I’m making it through this Xmas.  


Au Revoir.

I’ve been a huge fan of Trevor Hall’s music for about 4 years now.  I’ve listened to all of his albums backwards and forwards and no matter how many times I’ve heard one of his songs, I can hear one and it can touch me in a way that no song has before.  I was listening to him on shuffle yesterday and “Giri’s Song” by him came on and it was different for once–it had a different meaning for me.  

I may be a weak man
But I’ve got a heart of gold
And I will let it shine
Until you come home
I’ve been down low 
I’ve been up high
Drowned in sorrow
I have touched the sky
I will do it all over
I will do it again
What ever it takes to see your face again”

It’s hard to remember all of the good things I’ve done in my life when shit goes wrong.  This song reminded me of an Augusten Burroughs quote that I relate to far too well: “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”  Things are bound to happen that will challenge me, push me down, leave me down, and make me feel like there is no hope. But it is in my heart where I can find the courage to defeat these feelings.  I know I have a good heart.  It’s huge, it’s weak, but it’s willing to give love.  

Listen to the song here: