Sunday, July 9, 2017

Trip to The City

Yesterday, I decided to take my son to an art gallery opening in the city. I am interested in the aesthetics of graffiti handstyles. I thought this would be a fun thing for the two of us to enjoy together. My son is eight. He is very sensitive in the ways that I was sensitive when I was his age. He looks just like me. He likes many of the same things. The big difference is that by the time I was his age, eight years old, I had already tried drugs. I never want my son to go through the things I went through in my first thirty years on this planet. I let my kids know about my drug history. I also keep them sheltered. I can count on one hand the amount of nights my son has spent away from me- three of those involve the birth of his younger brother. I have sacrificed nights out, vacations, friendships, and job opportunities to be with my kids. My primary concern in life has been keeping them safe.

When I realized the gallery opening was in the city, I didn't even think about the fact that my son and I would be walking through the Tenderloin. Maybe I am immune to it. My son certainly was not. A confusing jumble of homeless folk, people asking for change, and individuals selling drugs on the corners. "I am glad we don't live here mommy". I had to explain to my sweet sweet son that I did live here. All the corners had ghosts. All the places reminded me of my past. The overwhelming smell of piss on a warm day was something he could not understand.

 As we tried to get to the "better" blocks to walk on, we passed by a young man shooting up on the stairs to a doorway. He quickly turned to hide himself a bit. I quickly placed my hands over my son's eyes. "Don't look," I asked him. My son kept asking curiously what was going on. At that moment, I was completely disgusted. Not at the person shooting up necessary. I was disgusted with myself. I was disgusted that I was the person who used to shoot up absolutely any fucking where. I don't remember turning to hide myself if anyone (except the police) came by. I did not give a single fuck. I was selfish in that way. All I cared about (in life) was what that syringe could do for me in that moment. I would pull my pants down to get a hit. Puff my neck up in a car mirror. I just could not care. I did not even try. Here I am, at 7:30 on a warm San Francisco night confronting my past with an eight year old in tow. What have I done? 

The show was a blur. The walk was a blur. We got some ice cream and talked and walked back to the train station. We went through some different blocks. I would point to different things to get his attention. He was fascinated by all the playgrounds in the areas where I used to sleep outside. I don't know what I could do differently. I just know that I can't change the past. I live with it, like the scars I carry around on my body. I had a good night with my son. But we both got a look at too many painful things for one trip to the city. 

9 comments:

  1. I truly enjoy getting to watch and read about your journey through life. And as someone who is also in long-term recovery reading about you trying to explain the world to your wonderful children while trying to reconcile your old life in your new life, is just interesting and very relevant to me.

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  2. Your life and metamorphosis is a huge inspiration to me. You give me so much hope for myself and others. Thank you for everything you do.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my stuff. I appreciate it so much

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  3. Your such a sweet person a love you guys CA.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time out to read and comment

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  4. Real shit. I love your work! Thank you for everything. Your trials and tribulations we all relate to. Also your success we all strive for!

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  5. as always, you continue to be an inspiration, and you are an amazing mother -J

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