Remembering John

John was good, very talented soul. A tall red-headed gentleman with a gifted voice that could carry you to the moon and quick sense of humor and that would send even the most cynical asshole into uncontrollable tears of laughter. Like many good souls. John had his demons. One’s he would keep to himself throughout his life. His way of dealing or not dealing with these unresolved issues was drinking. On the occasions where he did hit the bottle. He would often drink to excess and to the point of no return. In the end, it was his addiction and love for guns that would lead to his suicide.

While on many occasions John’s drinking and gun play would end with a few gunshots and random bullet holes in his family’s home. His wife always seemed to perfectly time her departures and calls to the local police. During what would turn out to be John’s last implosion. Instead of firing some shots into the home’s interior. He pointed the gun at his head. Threatening, “You don’t think I’ll do it.” “You don’t think I could.” Pleading for him to put the gun down while gripping their young, screaming child. She reached out to him as he pulled the trigger.

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Hearing the news, even years later in a conversation about my Father’s history of drinking sent shock waves, though never intended on my Father’s part through me that would echo for years to come. Less than a year later, I would be hospitalized for panic attacks and anxiety related issues. John was more than a friend to my Father, Mother and myself. He was part of our extended family. I still have the pictures from me and my Dad’s first visit. The pictures of him and Stallone on the movie set. As well as visual memories of the Queens garden apartment he shared with his soon to be wife. Though recalling his suicide was painful. Thinking of him brought back memories, many good ones, I had either buried or forgotten. Little adventures and excursions to the local parks and fields with our dogs. His great big smile, barreling laugh and infectious sense of humor. My fondest memories of John will always go back to when I was a very young child and both he and my Dad had city jobs as bus drivers with Tri-Borough Coach. As a kid growing up in an imperfect world with it’s own problems and imperfections. He was somewhat of a super hero to me. Someone I loved and looked up to. He never revealed that dark side to me. Which, for better or worse. May have been a reason why I took the news of his suicide and underlying issues so hard. News that brought on some pretty intense panic and anxiety attacks. Looking back , I’ve learned from experience, to remember people for all the good they did and the many positive impressions they left on you. Focusing on one negative incident or action will never impact you in a positive way. Though it’s taken me years to fully realize that. I’m happy to recall so many of the good things John and many others added to my life. Acceptance and forgiveness go a long way when it comes to finding peace of mind and closure.

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Communication Breakdown

"Not now honey, I'm texting. "
“Not now honey, I’m texting. “

As my social anxiety manifests itself. I am becoming increasingly overwhelmed and flat out bothered by how attached people are to their phones, mobile devices and social media. How many times I’ve watched as family and friends go out together and communicate solely through their phones and apps. Watching a man staring in to his phone as he sits with a beautiful woman. Unable to take a moment to realize what he’s missing out on.         It would seem that the more connected we are to technology and social media. The more detached we become from one another. Sure, it’s great to have 839 friends on Facebook, but would you even recognize them if you saw them on the streets or at your local hangout. Even worse, would you ever want to see any of them in real life?

Can't Put it Down
Relationship Status; Phone

My wife lightheartedly refers to them as       “The Walking Dead.” This morning, however, took the cake. As I walked in to the public restroom. The guy ahead of me was texting with one hand while holding his Johnson with the other. Imagine being so obsessed with your digital device that you can’t enjoy a private moment with your own manhood. The truth is there is a growing part of the population who spend the majority of their time with their faces firmly planted on the screens of their phones. Am I alone in thinking we’ve lost our focus on what’s real? Will people one day regret not being able to get back the time lost with friends, family and real life encounters? Well, there’s probably an app. for that.

You Never Talk to Me
“You Never Talk to Me.”