Monday, August 20, 2012


(8-20-12:  I started writing this blog in September of 2006.  I've talked about creating a "classic" Beaty's Babbling Brain Blog.  We'll see.  For now I thought it might make sense to at least re-post the one I am about to re-post.  I read it the other day and it was pretty hard for me to read for many reasons.  For one, when I numb myself in my addiction, I don't really deal with things like mourning the loss of someone.  In this case, the loss of my dad.  It has been six years and I did get a few months clean here and there over the past six years and time does heal pain even when I'm in my addiction.  Now that I am clean again, I do think of him a lot.  Losing him the way I lost him was hard.  Just like losing Susan the way I lost Susan was hard.  Addiction makes everything hard.  This blog reminded me of how she helped me so many times.  I miss her.  I hate addiction sometimes.  Still, in some ways, my addiction may be responsible for my belief in God.  It seems God uses even people like me.  For that, I love God.  I don't think I can love my addiction though.

I've been formulating this blog in my head called "Wake me up when September Ends - The Saints are Coming - It's a Beautiful Day"  It's going to be a three songer rolled into one.  I hope it helps explain how The Universe really started to make sense for me as a result of a lot of darkness.  Kind of like Contrails.  Contrails is the 15th blog I saved.  It is probably about the 16th or 17th blog I ever wrote.   I have written about 170 - 65 this year alone!  (Unfortunately, I'm not sure I saved the first one or two, but I might be able to find them still.)  It was definitely my first "Novel". Yeah, it's a long one.  I've written longer since this one!  I hope people get what I really hoped for at the end.  Still do.)


(I posted this blog November 3rd, 2006)

Contrail - A visible trail of streaks of condensed water vapor or ice crystals sometimes forming in the wake of an aircraft. Also called vapor trail

Pyramid Creek - Sierra Nevada Mountains

It has been almost two weeks since I have written a blog.  I was back home in Cincinnati for ten days.  It was a great time.  I feel like I spent real quality time with my family and friends.  I saw a lot of great music while I was home, including Rumble Club, The Rusty Van Band, II Juicy, Trey Anastasio and Ratdog!

I was reassured what I have always known in my heart:  I have great friends and a wonderful family.  I will likely blog about my time in Cincinnati in the future.  For now, I want to blog about plane rides, contrails and Warlords.

On my flight from Dayton to Atlanta, I sat next to an Air Force Colonel.  I was taking some photos out the window.  He asked if I would send him a photo I took from the plane.  The photo is of the Ohio River bending just past Louisville, Kentucky.  Before I get into that, I have to go back quite some time.
Louisville Kentucky and the Ohio River

Two summers ago I was spending quite a bit of time in remote areas surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge.  I was getting high and escaping the world.  I would spend hours, even days, in the same location.  Sometimes it would be in a cove on a beach.  Sometimes it would be a cave.  Sometimes it would be a tree.  Sometimes it was in old gun batteries that were built along the coast during World War II.  It was never with another human being.

Many of the things I saw seemed unreal.  I believe some of the things I saw were in my drug-induced imagination.  Some things, however, were too real to simply be my imagination.  I came to the conclusion that I was witnessing things perpetrated by the New World Order.  I believed “they” were capable of creating natural disasters in an effort to reduce world population.  I thought “they” might even be capable of mind control and that perhaps I was in some kind of “super-soldier” training.

I once imagined someone flipping over handlebars, only to see it happen minutes later.  I also met a person who seemed to have been telling me of a future natural disaster.  I spoke of a type of natural disaster at a Christmas dinner table hours before that type of natural disaster happened.  As I said in a previous blog, I am not trying to say I am some kind of prophet.  I think maybe we are all “some kind of prophet”.  In any case, I never knew of the significance of these thoughts or discussions until the actual event occurred.  In other words, I was not saying, “This is going to occur”.  I will likely tell details of these incidents in the future.  I guess, here, I am predicting the future!

Many of these things would happen around Lands End and The Presidio – New World Order Headquarters, of course.  In the middle of the night, I would see “boats” out in the San Francisco Bay and in the Pacific Ocean every night that seemed to be up to something.  I would see crazy lights in the sky and even beneath the water.  I would see contrails in the sky forming crazy patterns.  What was going on?  I had no idea.

One night, I was sitting in Lands End in some heavy brush.  There was an opening in the brush allowing me to see the Golden Gate – the stretch of water connecting the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay.  

As usual, “the boats” came out in formation.  They formed a line out in the bay with an equal distance between each other.  Suddenly I heard a series of popping noises.  I looked to my right, toward the Golden Gate Bridge and saw flashes of light coming my way, each being equally as far apart as the other.  One flashed right in front of me.  It left a small cloud of smoke.  I could even smell it.  Suddenly, the ground I was sitting on began moving beneath me.  I was now sitting atop a landslide!  I began climbing as fast as I could - through trees, rocks and mud.  It was very dark and I was very scared!  I felt like I was climbing for my life.

I finally made it to some solid rock.  I looked back and saw evidence of the landslide.  I walked around to where there is a labyrinth at a point beside the Golden Gate Bridge.

(I'm writing this 8-20-12 - Space-Time)   Labyrinth at Lands End.  I have since taken photos on a clearer day but had these already in a file for this blog I wrote in 2006.  Those photos are likely on a detachable hard drive in one of my storage units somewhere in San Francisco.  Confusing life.  Apparently, it was foggy when I went out there to take photos for this blog.  That's the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog.  I found a labyrinth just up the road in Bernal Heights Park.  I am going to draw a map to this one, print some copies and place them in the center of the one up the road.  It might help The Universe somehow.  It will.  They are fun to get to the center.  There are always interesting offerings once one reaches it.
I saw the bridge, but I could not see the lights of San Francisco.  I thought to myself, “Has there been a major earthquake?  Is San Francisco gone?  Is my wife dead?”  Then I thought to myself. “Maybe I am the one who is dead!”  It was the most eerie feeling I have ever felt.  I recently read there is a psychotic condition in which people who are alive think they are dead.  It is called Cotard’s Syndrome.  I believe I have experienced Cotard’s Syndrome on a few occasions.  On these occasions I was always very high on crystal meth.

I later found evidence that I was not dead and that San Francisco was in fact still there.  However, I would also find evidence that there was a landslide.  I believe these are common in this area, especially when a person spends days there.  But what were those flashes?  Electromagnetic impulses?  Did “they” cause that landslide?

I believed “they” created that landslide.  I began to suspect “they” could create earthquakes.  “They” could control the weather.  I also thought they may somehow be using contrails to accomplish these things.  After all, I had at times seen contrails forming in crazy patterns in the sky just before the weather would change or just before a huge wave would come out of nowhere.  I would always share my suspicions with my wife.  She, of course thought I was crazy.

I think I was on to something - someone or something was controlling all of these things.  However, I am not sure if humans have as much to do with it as I originally thought.  In one way or another, I now believe humans do have something “to do with it”.  Just not quite like I was thinking before.

Months later I was doing a lot of walking around South Beach.  South Beach is an old industrial neighborhood in San Francisco.  It is the neighborhood where The San Francisco Giants baseball stadium (whatever there calling it these days) is located.  It is an up and coming neighborhood.  Currently, the neighborhood is a contrast of many old industrial buildings, docks that are falling apart and new high-rise condos under construction.

As my world began to shrink, I found myself walking to this part of town instead of all the way out to Lands End, Ocean Beach or the Presideo.  Instead of trees, caves and beaches, I found myself hanging out under highway overpasses, in railroad tunnels and under docks.  Things were definitely less pleasant and pretty scary sometimes.  I also know what Robert Hunter (a song writer for the Grateful Dead) meant by Wharf Rat.  Wharf rats are everywhere under the docks.  Some of them are “rats the size of cats.”

There was some cool artwork under this particular dock.  Still wasn't the greatest home a person could have.
I use to climb up and over those metal bars and stay in that "cage" .  I took this from a moving Cal Train I was on about a month ago on my way to Santa Cruz.  It's just before the train goes into the main tunnel.

Old man down
way down
down, down by the docks of the city,
Blind and dirty
asked me for a dime--

dime for a cup of coffee
I got no dime but
I got time to hear his story:
My name is August West
and I love my Pearly Baker best
more than my wine
...more than My wine
more than my maker
though he's no friend of mine
Everyone said
I'd come to no good
I knew I would
Pearly believed
Half of my life
I spent doin' time for
some other fucker's crime
Other half found me stumbling around
drunk on burgundy wine
But I'll get back
on my feet someday
The good Lord willing
if He says I may
'cause I know the life I'm
livin's no good
I'll get a new start
live the life I should
I'll get up and fly away
I'll get up and
fly away... away
Pearly's been true
true to me, true to my dying day he said
I said to him:
I'm sure she's been
I said to him:
I'm sure she's been true to you
I got up and wandered
Wandered downtown
nowhere to go
just to hang around
I got a girl
named Bonny Lee
I know that girl's been true to me
I know she's been
I'm sure she's been
true to me
One night, I was walking around the docks.  It was windy.  The water was choppy.  The ground seemed to be moving beneath my feet.  I kept thinking we were having an earthquake.  It occurred to me that at times I was walking on a surface that was elevated over the water.  As I said, it was windy and the water was choppy, but I have felt windier and seen choppier and never felt the ground move like it seemed to be that night.  I recall walking down the walkway between McCovey Cove and the Giants Stadium and noticed the ground moving.  It did not seem like it should be moving that much if it was supporting a major league baseball stadium!  I even felt the ground rolling back and forth when I was clearly not on a dock, but certainly on land.  I was very confused.

Most people would probably get the hell out of there.  I decided to find the biggest longest pier jutting out into the bay that I could.  I had spent many nights on this particular pier – Pier 30.  Pier 30 is huge and is a couple of piers a way from the Bay Bridge.

I was walking into pitch darkness.  It was windy, but the sky was extremely clear.  I remember looking up at the stars over the Bay Bridge.  It was beautiful.  When I looked ahead, seemingly out of nowhere stood a huge black man right in front of me.  It startled me.  He said something like, “you cannot be here.”

I had my hands in my pocket and when I pulled them out, some change fell to the ground.  It was probably less than a dollar.  Since it was the only money I had I instantly kneeled to the ground and began picking up the change.  The mysterious black man said, “I am not interested in your money.”

After I collected all of my change, I stood.  He repeated, “It is not safe for you to be here tonight”.  I told him I wasn’t worried since I had spent a lot of time on that pier.  He pointed toward the dock entrance and continued, “Tonight it is not safe.  You must go.”  This time, I listened.  I began walking toward solid ground and off of Pier 30.  I turned around and he was following me.  I kept walking and after a while I turned around again.  He said, “It is not I you should fear.”  Then he pointed up to the sky.  His hand waved from one side to the other, perfectly pointing along the lines of a contrail directly overhead.  He said, “See?”  I simply nodded, indicating that I did see.  I turned around and walked off of Pier 30.  In fact I kept walking - all the way home.

About three days later I found myself out by the piers again.  I noticed something incredible.  Some of the areas in which I had been walking three nights before seemed to have collapsed into the bay.

There were even some brand new fences erected that were not up three nights before with signs warning people to stay out.  It gave me chills.

Now I was even more confused.  Who was this person who seemingly warned me to get off the docks?  Was he with the New World Order?  Was it God?  Again, I told my wife.  I told her that I thought I might have met God.  Again, she thought I was crazy.  I was starting to wonder myself.

A couple of months later, I was somehow enjoying some sober time again.  My wife and I took a nice long walk.  We strolled down the walkway between The Giants Stadium and McCovey Cove.  It turns out the Giants were playing.  I decided to take some photos of the kayakers waiting for a rare “Splash Hit”. “Splash Hits” are when home runs are hit into the McCovey Cove.  Around the time we were walking, there had been approximately 39 total in the history of the ballpark.  As I took one of the photos, with my old camera (which took at least a full second from the time you pushed the button until it actually took the photo) something pretty awesome happened – A splash hit!  I did not even realize I had captured it until I got home and saw it on my computer screen.

We walked on.  We ended up walking out onto pier 30 - the pier in which I had received that ominous warning just a couple of months before.  We noticed something pretty strange at the end of the pier.  In red spray paint, someone had written BAVE on some posts.  One of our good friends gave me this nickname.  My name is Dave Beaty.  When I used to get wasted, she would call me Bave Deaty to refer to the character that would sometime emerge.  It stuck.  Many of my friends referred to me as Bave when I got fucked up.  Bave used to show up a lot!

I noticed something else.  At the end of Pier 30 a National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (a division of the United States Department of Commerce) ship was docked.  This government agency is commonly referred to as NOAA (pronounced Noah).  I jokingly said to my wife, “See, they must be part of the of the New World Order!”  They must be creating the weather, not monitoring it!  But why would God be in cahoots with the New World Order?  I then joked, “Maybe I didn’t meet God that night. Maybe I met Noah!”
I was beginning to realize that maybe it was not the New World Order that seemed to be at my every turn.  Maybe it was something even bigger.  What the fuck was it?  Whatever it was, it really had me thinking.  In a previous blog, I said if we pay attention, the world is constantly communicating with us.  I believe this is just what I had been experiencing in one way or another.  However, I now think we can communicate with more than our world.  It seems we can communicate with our universe!

Last March two of my really good friends flew out to help their grandpa move from Groveland, California to Cincinnati.  Groveland is a beautiful little mountain town about 20 miles from Yosemite.  We had some great times at their Grandpa’s house - especially at the Iron Door and atop their grandpa’s roof!  Their Grandpa is a great guy.  He lived in Groveland for many years.  Even though Groveland is a beautiful town, surrounded by mountains and trees, their grandpa decided he wanted to be with his family surrounded by the ones he loves.  I can’t say I blame him.  He has great family.

My wife, our dog and I went to Groveland to lend a hand and to spend one more night in that place that had such good memories.  When the truck was loaded and our friends headed east, we went to Yosemite for three days
I had been sober for at least a couple of weeks before that trip.  I can’t remember how or why.  Maybe I had gotten sick.  Getting really sick was responsible for many of my sober days.  Whatever it was, I was enjoying some clarity for at least a couple of weeks before this trip.

Around this time, I had noticed my dad had not been calling me as much as he used to.  When I spoke to him, he did not sound himself.  My older brother and I had discussed this and he agreed.

For the time being, my wife, my dog and I were in the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life – Yosemite.  Yosemite is one of the few places on earth I refer to as “God’s country”.  It truly is.

I had my little camera I now call “soul assistance” with me.  My wife’s parents got us this camera before we moved to San Francisco.  The first photos it ever took were at the Grateful Dead Family Reunion in Alpine Valley Wisconsin, days before we moved here.

Since we have been in California, I have taken some beautiful pictures with that little camera.  I have even sold many of them on the streets of San Francisco.  I had always enjoyed taking photos, however, it is with this little camera that made me realize I saw the world from another perspective.  It was this little camera that made me realize I am a photographer.

These are some of the photos I have sold on the streets.

One of my favorite pictures I took on the trip to Yosemite was of a contrail in the sky that perfectly intersected Yosemite Falls.  When we got back on Sunday, I emailed some photos to my Yahoo “photos group.”  The photo of the contrail intersecting Yosemite Falls was among them.

The next day, Monday, my step-mother responded to that email confirming  to me that something was in fact wrong with my dad.  I was on a plane to Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Things were even worse than I thought.  As I have mentioned before, my dad was an alcoholic.  Besides being an alcoholic, he had many other health issues.  All of these issues compounded each other.  His situation was very complicated.  It had been a long time since I had seen him like this.  In fact, it was the worse I had ever seen him.  He had struggled with alcohol after my mother died, but did not have all of the other issues to go along with it.

I pleaded with him to get help.  This was of course coming from someone who had recently been shooting crystal meth.  It is always easier for us to see insanity in others than it is in ourselves.

I do not want to get into the details of the insanity very much.  I know my dad was a great, loving and caring person.  I was not seeing this person.  I saw a person that reminded of the person I saw after my mother died, but had almost forgotten about.

I told most of my family my own truths that visit.  When asked what was wrong with my dad, I would tell them that question was for him.  The problem is, he would not tell them everything!  Especially the drinking part!  It all was very hard.  I did not want to “tell” on my dad.  I wanted him to “tell” on himself.  I know it felt good for me to expose my own truths.  However, I was not comfortable sharing my truths with others for a couple of years into my efforts to get sober.  

At the same time, lying and keeping secrets for others is how it all began for me.  My lies and secrets in the beginning were not my own.  I would eventually be lying and keeping secrets for myself.  For me to do this again would be bad for me - which was in turn, bad for my dad.  See how insane this shit is?

Some of my family suspected he might be drinking.  In an effort not to lie, I did not try to dispel their suspicions as I had done when I was young.  Again, I wanted my dad to be the one to tell them – not I.  I had already been telling my dad he could tell anyone anything he wanted about me.  There was a time when this was not so.  I was ashamed of what I did.  Apparently so was my dad.  I was no longer ashamed.  Now, my dad now had to face his own truths instead of mine.  I went back to San Francisco.

I was back just days later.  My dad was in the hospital.  I was very anxious on that plane ride.  I knew this was going to be a difficult time.  I was on a red eye flight.  We were somewhere over Kansas when the sun began to rise.  I have watched to sun rise and set more times than I ever imagined a person could.  The whites of my eyes are burned to this day.
This sunrise was spectacular.  I took out “soul assistance” and took some photos out the window.  I am now calling one of those photos “Heaven and Hell”.

I got off the plane in Cincinnati.  As I got on the long escalator that takes you from Concourse B to Terminal 3, something caught my eye.  On the tail fin of a 767 were some numbers that caught my eye.  When I got to the bottom, I decided I had to ride the long escalator back up and take a photo with my little camera.  The numbers are hard to read in the photo.  The numbers are 666.

He was taken to the hospital with a blood alcohol level of something like .325.  My stepmother had decided that she did not want him in their house until he got help.  I agreed.  I have two teenage brothers who should not have to be around that insanity.  Besides, he needed help.  If he did not get help, he was going to die.  I knew this.

My dad’s family viewed me as taking sides.  Who was this junkie to tell his dad he could not be in his own home?  I told my dad that he would want me to protect my little brothers from the person he became when he drank.  He would.  I also knew my brothers should not have to be around this person.  I was around “this person” when I was there age.  I became an IV drug user.  In no way am I blaming my dad for this fact.  However, I am a product of my environment.  So was my dad.  We all are.  My dad’s alcoholism was not his fault either.  I am not sure of all of the circumstances that led my dad to drink, but I believe my mom’s death played a big part.  She also had addiction issues.  It seems all addicts are first co-dependents.

My dad managed to fight his way out of those times.  It was not easy.  He ended up being an excellent father for my two little brothers who he and my stepmother adopted.

What really sucks about it all is none of it is what I feared it would seem.  I knew how it was going to sound however.  I kept telling my dad’s family to just trust me.  Why would I fly back a second time to kick my dad out of his own house if there wasn’t a good reason?  I used my last frequent flyer miles to do so.  I was pretty much broke.  I had been picking pennies up off the streets of San Francisco just weeks before!
It seems my confessions about my life may have started working against me.  The reality is, I was protecting my dad.  The reality is, his insanity freed me of my own secrets and would soon free me of secrets I kept for others.  I am now starting to realize my dad’s soul somehow knew exactly what I needed.

I told my dad about the things he would do while he was drinking.  He said it sounded like was accusing him of something more horrible than what I had described - just how I feared it would sound.  Just how I feared it would sound to others is exactly how it sounded to him.  I was not telling others.  However, If my little brother shared the circumstances with the police officer (who had been taking him to lunch just about every day), I feared it would sound the same way to him.  Regardless of how it sounded.  I was only trying to protect innocence.  No child should have to be around the insanity my dad’s alcoholism was creating.  Seeing this helped me to not blame myself for my insanity.
In the end, neither my little brother nor I ever accused my dad of anything.  I only told him things I recalled from his drinking days from my youth and also what my little brother had told me.  My little brother had told me the same things that I recalled.  Again it wasn’t as terrible as it sounded.  My dad ended up telling everyone that I was accusing him of what I feared it would sound.  Until then, I had not discussed it with anyone who was not directly involved.  After my dad told them, I told some of them the facts – in his own defense.  However, I never denied that what occurred was in fact wrong.  Alcoholism is pure insanity.

On the insane night when all of this was hitting the fan, I confessed my bad behaviors in my addiction to the most compassionate and understanding person I have ever known - my wife.  She had flown there to be with me during these crazy times.  That night I told her many of my truths.  I was so confused, I wanted to be sure my secrets were not confusing the things I was saying.  I told her Secrets I intended to take to the grave.  Secrets others had already taken to the grave.  My dad’s insanity freed me of these secrets.  My dad was saving my life.

This is not to say I was finished doing drugs.  As I stared out the plane’s window in Cincinnati watching the baggage handlers load chickens, I remember thinking to myself, “The next time I come to Cincinnati it would be for a funeral”.  The only thing I was not sure of is whose funeral - my dad’s or mine.

Three months would pass and I did not speak to my dad.  I was out fucking up again.  After my visit to Cincinnati, I did not want to argue with my dad anymore.  I told him when he got some help; I would be there for him.  I wasn’t getting help.

Finally one day, my aunt called begging me to talk to him.  My wife begged me not to.  I did.  My dad told me he did not want to live anymore.  He told me he couldn’t do it anymore.  I told him I loved him and did not want him to die.  I also told him I understood how he felt.  I have at times wanted to die, but could never kill myself.  I told my dad I could not start “doing this” all the time.  He could not keep calling me until he got some help.  He assured me he would not.  Three days later, he died – alone in a hotel room.

I think addiction is the most horrible disease on this earth.  It turns people into apparent monsters.  It turns family members against each other.  It takes everything a person has before it takes his or her life.  Addiction is as much, if not more so a disease involving the many people surrounding the addict, as it is a disease for the addict.  In some cases, it seems an addict has taken on so many other people’s problems their whole lives yet ignored their own.  Persons afflicted with the disease of addiction cope with all of these problems by numbing them.  It takes a lot of medicating to deal with everyone’s problems.  It takes a lot of medicating to keep everyone’s secrets.  When shit does hit the fan, no one sees it coming.  No one understands.  There is no longer anyone to turn to.

After I talked to my dad, three days before he died, I went out and got high.  My dad died sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.  That night, I found an angel on the streets of San Francisco.  Although my wife hated when I brought junk I would find on the streets home all the time, I picked this one up and kept it.  It now sits with the many other things I have found on my wanderings.

Sunday I spent about 3 hours talking to an older gentleman in a San Francisco alley.  I told this guy the insanities of my childhood.  He told me the insanities of his.  His were insane.  He was an ex-Marine.  My dad loved his country.  He seemed to regret not being able to serve for his country.  Looking back, I have to wonder if this was somehow, in some way, my dad telling me of his insanity.

After we spoke, I went home.  I walked in the door and my wife was waiting.  She didn’t have to say a word.  I said “Who?”  (Even though I knew)  She said, “It’s your dad, he died”.  I had said over and over my dad was going to die if he didn’t get help.  He had even told me three days before he was going to die.  Even so, nothing could have prepared me for that moment.  I had a nervous breakdown.  My wife told me she thought she was going to have to take me to the hospital.  Eventually, I exhausted myself to sleep.

There is no good way to receive such news, although, I think it was about as bad as it could have been.  I would already feel like my world was falling apart when I would come in from a crystal meth binge.  I had never felt anything like this before.

It is actually amazing I came home when I did.  By comparison, three days of being out there on the streets was a short time for me.  I usually averaged a week “out there”.  I know there were some who thought I might not even make the funeral – I’m surprised I did.  I think my conversation with the ex- Marine I met in the alley that day is what got me home in time so I could make the funeral back in Cincinnati.

We were on a plane Tuesday morning.  It was a very emotional plane ride.  It was hard to keep my composure for five hours knowing I was flying home for my dad’s funeral.  I mostly just laid my head against the side of the plane and gazed out the window.

Shortly after we took off, I put my headphones on and began listening to Delta Radio.  Within about 15 minutes, we were flying over Yosemite.  It was beautiful.  It occurred to me that it was my stepmother’s response to my Yosemite photos that I realized something was in fact wrong with my dad.

As I gazed out at the granite peaks of Yosemite, Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper came on Delta Radio.  When the song reached the chorus, tears began to fill my eyes:

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting
Time after time

(8-20-12:  I can't tell you how hard it is for me to hear that song still.  It made me think of my dad - what he was to me sometimes and what I should have been to him.  But, even more than that, when I read this, it really made me think of Susan.  She was there for me so many times.  I think it could mean Susan my Dad and a lot of people now really.  Ultimately, I think it must be God who has been there for me time after time.  I know God works through everything - including people of course.  I've always known that, even in the bad times, but it's evident now more than ever - during pretty good times.)
I did not know how to interpret this song at the time.  I thought maybe the song represented what my wife was to me.  After all, she had been there for me Time after Time.  I also thought the song possibly represented what I should have been to my dad - but felt I was not.  Whatever it meant, it was a very emotional moment for me.

It was difficult being home for my dad’s funeral.  It was even more difficult with the apparent blame game that was going on.  The minister from my family’s church asked me if I wanted to give the eulogy at my dad’s funeral.  With circumstances as they were, I told her I was not sure.  “What was going to happen if I got up and gave the eulogy?”  I wanted to, but I was worried what others might think.  After all, there were some who I felt were, in part, blaming me for my dad’s death.  I supported kicking him out of his own home.  I wouldn’t speak to him for months.  I was worrying him to death.

With input from my older brother and my two younger brothers, I went ahead and wrote the words the night before.  That morning, while in the shower I decided, “No one was going to take this opportunity from me”.  I would regret it the rest my life if I did not stand up, be proud of my dad and give him a proper eulogy – celebrating his life.  He deserved it!  My dad was one of the first people others would ask to deliver a eulogy at someone’s funeral.  He always would.  I saw him give many.

I did the best I could do.  I felt very proud at that moment.  I had not felt proud of anything in a very long time.  Many people gave me wonderful compliments.  That moment will live with me forever.  A great friend had once before encouraged me to write, but I believe writing my dad’s eulogy was the first time I started to realize that I am a writer.


When I got back to San Francisco, I knew in my heart I was not going to let my dad’s death be what got me sober!  I know he would have wanted it that way, but I just couldn’t.  It didn’t seem fair.  I didn’t.

I was really fucked up this time.  This time tactic’s had changed however.  There seems to have been another influence involved.  Where before, illnesses would be the thing that got me clean, this time it was ultimately a physical act of violence.

The three months following my dad’s death were some of the darkest, most insane days of my life.  While I never got arrested, cops seemed to be at my every turn.  They were waiting for me in places I had always gone before and never had problems.  They found me in railroad tunnels, parks at 4:00 AM.  I once had an encounter with police five days in a row.  I had probably not had a total of five encounters with police prior to these days.  Again, I was never arrested.  This is probably because the only person I was stealing from or harming was myself.  (This was true back then.  I never use to take money from Susan until she started giving it to me to keep me off the streets.)   I was not doing any more than I was before - maybe even less.  However, something seemed to have changed.  

My dad frequently told my wife he wanted to come out to San Francisco and knock some sense into me.  This is kind of what happened.  I was mugged; pistol-whipped and had to go the emergency room.  (I didn't write this in 2006, but I was selling marijuana sometimes to support my meth habit around that time.  I was desperate and tried to sell some at 4:00 in the morning at 6th Street one night.  Stupid.  3 guys one gun.  Bad odds.)   I had my little “soul assistance” camera in my pocket that night.  It also took a beating.

That's blood on the camera.  In the original blog back in 2006, I did not put the photo of my eye in the blog - Just camera.  Eventually I would write a blog called "After School Special" in an effort to deter young people from using drugs.  However, when I wrote this, I was not quite ready to reveal something that was hard for me.

The little camera would manage a couple more pictures.  Appropriately enough, the last picture it managed to take was of Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead – the same as it’s first photos.  It no longer works.  I will keep it anyway.  (I finally through it in the garbage.)

One thing I would not be able to keep is something that meant a lot to me.  A hat my dad bought me at a Bengals game we attended back in November.  It was the last really “good” time we had together.  He bought me the hat for my birthday.  I lost it that night in the chaos.  In fact, it is the only thing of any value that I did lose that night.  To me, it was priceless.  I felt I would never replace it. 

The hat has since been replaced.  This hat means even more.  This is the hat my dad wanted me to have.  This is the hat my incredible wife got me because she knew what it meant to me.  This is the hat that helped me forgive my mugger - I hope he is okay.  (There were three, but the one with a gun chased me.  He was faster than me.  I sure was forgiving back then!  I do still feel this way I guess.  The Universe takes care of itself one way or another  Much Grace is given.  So too are consequences - that I know.)

I managed to not lose this one over the past 6 years!

That was two months ago.  I have not gotten high since.  I still don’t have complete feeling in my face.  I think that will come back in time.  However, the scar above my eyebrow will always be there when I look in the mirror.   (Join the scars)

A couple of weeks ago I went back to Cincinnati for the first time since my dad died.  It was a great visit.  I went home to celebrate a friend’s recent marriage.  I went home to be with my little brothers.  I went home for myself.  Like I said at the beginning of this blog (eons ago), I have great friends and I have a wonderful family.

For now, I want to want to finish by blogging some more about plane rides and contrails.  I also want to blog about what I said I would in the beginning – Warlords.

My wife and I purchased a portable DVD player for the plane ride.  She had rented Lord of War from Netflix many weeks ago.  She knew I wanted to see it, so she never watched it.  I have not been watching a lot of movies lately for many reasons.  Some may be obvious.  In any case, we started to watch it on the plane ride to Cincinnati.  The plane ride ended up being too loud and we decided we would finish it some other time.

By this point in the flight we were somewhere over Kansas – about the same point I took the photo I called “Heaven and Hell”.  I turned on Delta Radio.  I suddenly remembered the last time I started listening Delta Radio.  It was over Yosemite.  The song I remembered was Time after Time.  That’s when it hit me.  Maybe the message in that song was from my dad.

If you're lost you can look - you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting
Time after Time

However, I thought of an alternative chorus for me:

You can't run you can't hide - I will send the police
Time after Time
If you fuck up again - expect to get beat
Time after time

I ended up listening to Johann Sebastian Bach.  I was actually able to correctly interpret the music.  I thought the piece I was listening to sounded fun and joyous.  When the song was over, this is what the Delta Radio guy said it was supposed to sound like.  He said it seemed to represent a time of innocence in Bach’s life.  To me, it sounded like many years of my life.  

He went on to say the next piece had a more somber tone.  Bach wrote this piece in the year seventeen-something-or-other while in Paris, after his mother died.  It did sound somber.  It sounded how I felt when my dad died.  The next piece, Bach wrote for his sister.  The sound was to represent the fun siblings experience - and it did.  I found this appropriate seeing I was on the way home to spend time with my two little brothers.  We ended up having a great time.

We flew to Dayton because it was about $300 less per ticket.  We were supposed to have a two-hour layover.  We had a layover - in Cincinnati!  Makes a lot of sense, huh?  This allowed time for me to have some Cincinnati Chili!  The layover ended up being for more like four hours.  They had overbooked the plane, but by the time I went up to say we could get off in Cincinnati, they had already found three volunteers.  The extra two hours we were had to spend in Cincinnati allowed time for us to watch the movie we started to watch on the plane – Lord of War

I think Lord of War is a really good movie.  Nicholas Cage plays a “black market” arms dealer named Yuri.  Yuri lives the American dream as a salesman.  He becomes very rich selling planes, tanks, and guns - mainly from the Soviet Union (his native home) to Africa.  The movie puts quite a bit of focus on the AK-47, a Russian-made assault rifle that has killed millions.

He is a good family man.  Yuri seems to believe that if he is not the one dealing arms, someone else will.  Yuri believes everyone has the right to arm him or herself.  In fact as his character narrates during the movie, “One out of every 12 people in the world owns a weapon. My only question is: How do we arm the other 11?”

It seems the real issue in this movie (and in the real world) is about money.  This happens to be Yuri’s addiction.  His brother is an addict in the more conventional and less accepted way in our society.  His addiction is cocaine.  I believe money addicts tend to cause more harm to the world then any drug addict ever could.  With money usually comes power.  With power comes a need for responsibility.  As humans we tend to be self-seeking – part of what being an addict is all about.  It can be hard to be self-seeking and responsible at the same time.  Drug addicts are certainly guilty of being self-seeking.  However, most end up with little or no money – therefore, have little to no power.

To me, Lord of War seems to be a saga of good versus evil. “Who is good?” “Who is evil?” “What role does the U.S. Military and U.S. Government play?”  It is also seems to raise the questions, “Will justice be served without human intervention?” “ Does the universe ultimately take care of itself?”  “Will our wrong-doings come back to haunt us?”

I had extended my stay in Cincinnati so that I may spend more time with my little brothers.  My wife went home after five days as planned.  I followed five days later.  This time my layover was in Atlanta.

Since my wife and I were no longer flying home together, I ended up sitting next to a very nice gentleman.  It turns out he was on his way home to Cairo, Egypt.  It turns out he was a Colonel for the United States Air Force.  He has lived in Cairo with his wife and two kids for five months now.
He saw that I was taking photos out the window over Louisville, Kentucky.  He looked over and told me that as a child, he was in an automobile accident with his family on a bridge that crossed the Ohio River in Louisville.  He said he would make a deal with me:  if I would send him a picture of where the river bends, just past Louisville (he pointed to an area where there is a bridge), he would take and then send me some photos of the Pyramids of Gizah next time he flies.

He is a pilot.  He now works at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.  He told me some incredible stories of the times he was patrolling the Iraq no-fly zone in the late 90’s in his F-15.  He told me some of his claims to fame- some of his hot dog stories.  Since I love jets, I was truly impressed by his stories.  He also told me how he would leave contrails with his F-15 to communicate with the Iraqis that U.S. warplanes were overhead.

Looking out the window, I noticed how much water there was over Nashville, Tennessee (which is about where we were at this point in our flight).  I said I thought this would be the next major conflict throughout the world - water.  He correctly stated, “It has been for thousands of years.”  He talked of how unique the area of the country we were flying over (the Midwest and the South) was to the world.

He continued to say how when flying into Cairo and many other parts of the world it is nothing but rock and sand.  He said the only evidence of human existence that can be found is “Wal-Mart bags”.  (One of my wife’s and my good friends once referred to them as “urban tumble weeds”.  My wife worked with a guy who, for some reason, called them “party bags”, because he used them to pick up his dog’s shit.  They are the plastic bags you get every time you answer plastic when the person behind the grocery store counter asks, “Paper or plastic?”)

Whatever you call them, my new U.S. Colonel friend says they are all over the world.  He said he was scuba diving somewhere on the other side of the world, and again – “Wal-Mart bags” everywhere!  I told him about my wife’s solution to take canvas bags with us to the grocery store.  She recently even wrote a blog about this.  (Susan had a do-gooder blog for a bit.  Apparently it didn't do so good!  Just kidding Sus!)

I also learned that my new friend was in sales.  He told me he sold planes and tanks.  I found this ironic.  I told him how on my way to Dayton, I watched a movie called Lord of War.  He had never heard of it.  He asked me the title again and wrote it down in his notebook.  I told him the movie was about selling arms to Africa from the Soviet Union, forgetting myself that Egypt was in fact in Africa.  I also told him how the movie emphasized the AK-47.  He told me how “they” were trying to get “their” hands on these AK-47’s right now.  He really wanted to watch the movie.

I sent him the photo I said I would.  He replied saying next time he was up; he would send me those pyramid photos.  I hope he does.  I also hope he watches Lord of War.  It will likely make more sense to him than it did to me.  I can’t help but to think it was all somehow meant to be.  I hope so.

(8-20-12:   It was really hard for me to read and prepare this blog for blogspot.  It kind of exhausted me emotionally.  In fact, a little over half way through I took a nap.  I don't usually do that, but I just felt so depressed and emotinally exhausted.  Then my cousin called and brightened up my day!  Thanks!  I needed that.  So many have offered me so much - especially him.

It's been said that people diagnosed PTSD relive things over and over.  I know I do this but I do it because I really want people to see God at work in my life.  I believe it can be very evident in my writing of The Truth and hopefully in my photo documentation.  I especially like it when I write about things with no idea of what the outcome of things will be and things continue to happen that only support the evidence that God cares about even someone like me.  

Believe it or not, I was not diagnosed PTSD from anything I've ever written about.  It drains me emotionally to even have it on my mind.  My friend I'm staying with was talking to me about my PTSD and she said "Yeah, it's like which "T"?"  Seriously.  

A couple of months back I posted a photo of another Contrail.  I don't think I said exactly what was going on in my life in that blog and was never sure I ever would.  I believed I should and I now see that it was ultimately the right thing to do.  The Truth is The Truth.  

I got Susan's permission to write about it eventually.  At the time, I didn't know what to say, but I wrote a blog called Touch of Grey.  I was in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, very near Yosemite where I took that first Contrail photo just before life was about to really change for me.   I was with some people just days after I learned Susan was pregnant.  I was struggling and telling no one.  One of the guys I was with (who had threatened to kick my ass once before and would again in the future) said, take a picture of this.  As I did, I saw the Contrail and I knew big changes were coming my way.  It ended up being more than I even expected.  I didn't know that to be the case with the photo I took 6 years ago.  I knew it this time.  I also knew something else.  I knew God would be with me.  God always will be - Time after Time.   God will be for us all.  Hopefully, so will I.

The original blog on MySpace did not allow videos.  My blogs were still song titles most of the time.  They would match my slideshow I had running to a song.  MySpace - It's like an abandoned amusement park! LOL)

Lyin' in my bed I hear the clock tick
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion
Is nothing new
Flashback warm nights
Almost left behind
Suitcase of memories
Time after

Sometimes you picture me
I'm walking too far ahead
You're calling to me I can't hear
What you've said
Then you say go slow
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting
Time after time

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting
Time after time

After my picture fades and darkness
Has turned to gray
Watching through windows
You're wondering if I'm okay
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting
Time after time

You said go slow
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting
Time after time

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