Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Press on

A few years ago, I reconnected with an old friend who had hit on some hard times. 
Actually, this guy is one of those people who seem to have been born in bad times and has pretty much resided there his whole life. I lived with him and his wife when they split up, (for the first time). I was engaged myself while this was going on. His wife got pregnant with some other guy's baby. I went on to marry the woman of my dreams. They got back together to give it another shot for another few years but they were just both too messed up. But I owe this dude and his now, ex-wife a ton. Even while their souls were pretty much bleeding out all over the place they were extremely open and generous with me. I learned a lot about what to do...and what not to do in life from them both.

My wife and I were talking over breakfast one morning about which people we knew that could serve as a good inspiration if either one of us ever gets to write the next "great American novel." Two people came to mind. This guy and and an old boss, (a wannabe thug from Southie Boston area with a big heart, foul mouth and phoney, or not so phoney, IRA connections, who can't say "no" to anyone or anything and subscribes to Military Times AND Mother Jones). Either of them could likely inspire a great story that would be sure to cover all the big things of life. Robert Duval covered some of the ground for this guy's life in his movie, The Apostle. Maybe Johnny Cash did too. Probably the Hold Steady too. OK, so maybe his story is pretty well played out in American rock-n-roll. Anyway, this dude is hilarious and has a perpetually youthful optimism when he's living clean. When he's not, well... the guy is an inexorable narcissist. I don't know anyone that has "hit bottom" more times than this guy. He's only a cliche when he's down. Every time he gets back up he is an original. It's heroic. Every damn time.
"Lord, have mercy on me a poor sinner."