What makes us human is quite remarkable? Not that we can create complex relationships with many people and things, our other mammal brothers and sisters can do that.
Really, it’s our ability to want that just blows my mind. Some of us are willing to do anything to get what we want. Ghandi waited, Hitler murdered. Both got what they wanted. At least for a little while.
It’s what keeps us going, the sheer will of wanting.
I have to honestly sit and look at myself. My life is really about me wanting.
Growing up, I was pretty much raised to not be greedy. I really only ever got new toys on my birthday. Five dollars a week allowance.
As I grew, I started to grow out of that mindset. I started asking for things. I usually got a “no” or just silence.
Every year, from the time I was 3 to the time I was 10. I asked for a birthday party.
Every year, I got a “no”. They never told me why. And I this day, I have never had a birthday party. Kind of a void missing from my life. I wanted it.
Freshmen year of high school, 2001. Luther South High School, I was really a studious guy. Kept to myself. Really only spoke when spoken to. I wanted to learn, this made me the target of a lot of ridicule and anger. No one had the balls to physically mess with me, but with all great minds, Us intellectuals. We’re very delicate. I found myself in the bathroom crying a lot. I just wanted to learn, but motherfuckers thought it was stupid to learn. Make some fucking sense of that. What I wanted was to be accepted for who I was.
I left that school when the year was over.
Sophomore year, Homewood -Flossmoor high school. Public school. It was about a mile from my house so I found myself walking a lot of days. My big brother Ben always took the bus. We never walked to school together. As I walked, there was plenty of old growth forest, filled with more birds then you could imagine. Different sizes, shapes, colors. I wondered why couldn’t people be like that. Then I would get to the school and all of that would change. I wanted to be part of that flock, just enjoying life among kindred spirits.
I saw the worst in mankind. People being so rude to each other, their elders. So loud, so obnoxious. I spent that entire year, sitting by myself at lunch. And really just not saying anything for another year. The wanting just wasn’t there this year.
Junior year I feel was my awakening. I discovered I was a furry, I started playing dancing games, I met Binky a female friend of mind. My faith in mankind was also renewed.
Mr. Castle, my writing teacher taught me that I wasn’t crazy. I was creative. Folks just don’t get it. He was quite a character himself. Strange coats, fuckin weird anecdotes, and a Pulitzer prize nomination. And I swear he blew his mind on drugs or something. But he’s a great man got me into writing. I mean I was into it before. But he made it my life.
Ms. Demas, crazy old bat. But she inflamed my love for all things cinema, not just the screenwriting aspect that I had practiced for so long no sir. But the cameras, the storyboarding… Just the complete project in itself. She’s one hardcore lady. And I hope all goes well for her in her life.
Ms. Hinchcliffe… she was just always so bright, all the time. Even on the cloudiest the miserable of days. I just felt like she always have a good heart. She always respected me whenever we talked. I didn’t get much respect back then, so this was a really big deal to me. I think our paths will cross again. I think I guarantee it.
I came out of this year with my head held high. I felt like I had finally gotten what I wanted. Life was good, I had an application to Columbia. I was set.
Senior Year. Everything pretty much went as it should. Found myself wanting less… I was actually GETTING. This was a new feeling for me. I even had a new friend, Alex. But more on him later.
I should have seen the graduation ceremony as an omen. The sky went dark green as we marched out. The wind howled. And shortly after, the rain began to fall. Everything was ruined, folks were running everywhere. People were crying, screaming. It was nuts. Little did I know what it all meant.
A few months later. I was in Columbia College. On my way to becoming writer/director man. Upon arriving at my first film class, I realized I wasn’t one of them… they all had dreams of movies. However, none of them knew jack shit about setting up a good story. But that didn’t bother me too much, I just kept my eyes on the prize.
Then came the dagger to my heart. While I was in English class, my mom sent me a text message. They had just put my 15 year old golden retriever to sleep. I really didn’t kow what to do after that. Even being raised by my evil stepmother, I knew better then to do drugs and stuff. So I really just wallowed in my sorrow. I worse my dog’s collar every day. Which I still do to this day. He was really the only real friend I had growing up and I just love to keep a piece of him with me wherever I am. It makes me feel safe.
In my depression, my grades slipped. I barely passed most of my classes. But my parents weren’t pleased. Told me to stop being a baby. And said that if I wanted to keep going to school, I’d have to pay for it myself, because they couldn’t afford it… and very soon after, my dad bought his wife a new 50,000 dollar Lexus. Go figure right?
Much as I wanted to stay, I had to drop out. I got a job at UPS and just tried to make something of myself.
Now begins the toughest year of my life. Things get that way when you can’t figure out what you want.
Shortly after my 20th birthday, I went on a vacation with some very good friends to Massachusetts. One of the best weeks of my life. When I got back, I had found out UPS screwed up and thought I quit. Which was not true. I went home and told my parents. They didn’t believe me.
The next few weeks were hell. My stepmother keep asking if I had a job yet… twice a day. I was still fighting UPS for my job back…
My stepmom yelled at me one day. I yelled back, sick of her shit. And she told my dad that I tried to hit her… which of course is bullshit. But who’s he going to believe, his illegitimate son or the wife that sucks his dick? Yeah. It was unfortunate.
40 minutes later, I had all my stuff packed in my 1998 Ford Taurus. My friend Shane had called me, I was in tears. I was parked in a forest preserve with nowhere to go. I called my friend Alex. He said I could stay the night with him and his mom. I ended up being there for about a month. Before they moved out and I went on my own way as well. I was able to aquire my job at UPS back… which was good considering my living situation.
There was a rest stop about a mile away from UPS. I spent my days and nights there. Cops never bothered me. After a few weeks of this… my body couldn’t take it anymore. I went searching elsewhere for a job. In the process, ran out of gas by a forest preserve. I hid my car in the bushes and just lived in the forest preserve for a good month. I ate leaves, crabapples, and actually caught some squiells.
After about a month of this, it started to get cold… as it does in October in Chicago. I knew that I had to do something… or I would die.
So I joined the Air Force. I was at basic training 5 days later.
Basic went very smoothly, that’s a whole nother story though.
When I graduated, my dad came down for my graduation. The bitch was nowhere to be found. I thought I had formed a new friendship with my dad. He said that his wife was wrong and yadda yadda yadda.
I got a parental figure. My wants were being met once more.
When I got to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi Mississippi, things began to change.
I made friends, very good friends. I had a good job. I was learning. I was actually feeling happy.
Then my parents came back into my life. They said they wanted to come visit.
I was excited. Thinking they actually wanted me. No… they just wanted someone to feel sorry for my dirtbag father because he had cancer. This again, made me upset. My classes suffered. My health suffered… and I got a 60% on a test. I failed out of the Weather program. One of the best jobs in the military. To make matters worse, I was being transferred to the lowest job in the military “Security Forces” a nice name for those guys on the ground you use as a human shield.
I did get another thing I wanted, a 1990 Nissan 300zx. An amazing car. I drove it all the way to San Antonio.
The environment was a lot different here. Cafeteria was infected with roaches, asbestos in the dorms. So much shit going on. One of my friends there got raped by some douchebag too… he’s still in the military by the way. I had never been so stressed in my life. I had a couple of friends in San An, but they had no idea the magnitude of the goings on.
I thought the answer was drugs. They were really easy to get in this town. My choice was cocaine. It really made things okay, but kept things rolling really fast. It was scary, but quite a ride. Thankfully I only did it a few times, don’t know what would have become of me had I gotten addicted to that shit.
During this process, I had many conversations with my parents about leaving the military. They proceeded to disown me and spread dirty rumors to the rest of my family
March 16th, 2008 is the day my life ended. I stared at myself in the mirror for a good hour. And decided it was time to go. I was so convinced that nobody cared about me.
I got my bedsheets and tied around my ceiling fan and around my neck. I stood on a chair and kicked it out from under me. I hung there for a good 45 seconds, my life flashing before my eyes. It was in 3D and had surround sound. But it was stopped by the sheets ripping and me falling to the floor. I laid on the ground in tears. I sent out a text message to everyone I knew that I needed someone. My friend Amanda was the first to call me and told me how much she and and everyone else would miss me.
That was really all I needed to convince me to live.
Unfortunately, the military frowns on actions like what I did, and I found myself out of it and headed back to Chicago.
I was welcomed back to town with open arms by all of my friends. It was a blessing to be able to see them again.
Unfortunately I was now JOBLESS and HOMELESS. I had to sell off almost all of my stuff, just so I could eat and drive. But soon, that money run out… and so did my gas. I spent many weeks in one parking lot… cops would bother me, but I wouldn’t move.
What I wanted, I place to live.
My friend Alex was nice enough to let me stay with him. The only thing I really thank him for.
The next few months were rather uneventful. Just me mentally healing and trying to get back on my feet.
Again, it was in March that my life was flipped upside down.
I wrote a short screenplay many months before, “How I Killed My Parents”. And my douchebag brother and law reported me to the police… I guess for “maybe having the possibility to murder someone”?
Any I was arrested and taken to the Elgin Mental Health center. There I spent 3 and a half very long weeks around a bunch of tried and true crazy folk. Some nice. Some not so nice. But that’s another story as well.
After I got out… my life was pretty much ruined again. No one will hire someone just out of the crazy house.
So I went back to my mentally abusive friend Alex’s place, where I still reside today.
As I lay down to sleep on the floor, I can feel the bedbugs and roaches crawling on me. I can see the mice scurry across the floor in the dark. But this is my life for now. When I tryed to kill myself, I thought I didn’t want life any more… the truth of the matter of is, I think I had just started to live. And things will only get better. I’ll have everything I’ve ever wanted. I’ll be surrounded by those who love me. I’ll make my parents eat crow by becoming the greatest writer who ever lived. Anything short of that will be a major disappointment.
Life is about wanting. Wanting to live, wanting to love. If I say that I love you, don’t think of it as nothing. When I say it, I mean it. I’m gonna owe Lauren a huge bill one day, but I wouldn’t trade any of our talks for anything. I want, a family. Even if they aren’t related to me. One that I can love and they can love me back.
So really, I say all of this to anyone out there going through any sort of hard time. Put it in perspective. MUCH worse things can happen to you. Want things, it’ll keep you going, that’s what being a human is all about. Take Chances and make mistakes. Learn.
Have good lives.