Only in dreams

The only times I see you is in my dreams, in my awaken state I’ve forgotten your face and voice but when I dream you’re there talking to me as if you’re still here, just as I remember you, forever young.  A part of me in the dream is thinking “I know you’re gone and this is an illusion” but I’m so thrilled to see you again I humor the REM waves of memory and subconscious. Old faces join us in the dream, like in the past, we’re all in this place together, like before,  sometimes you’re close by and I enjoy talking with you, hearing your voice again, it’s comforting as it as if it’s your way of letting me know you’re ok. Other times you’re far away in the distance, I can see you but I can’t reach you, I try in vain to get your attention but you never seem to know I’m there.

 

When I wake up, I have come to the realization that it was only a dream and you’re still out of reach and the pains of loss encompass me so, I shake with sadness that the reality is so painful after all these years but with all that, it’s still good to talk to you even when I’m sleeping and our conversation was a figment of my imagination. I only hope when I close my eyes tonight and drift off to sleep I might be able to see you again, if only for a short while.  See you in my dreams, until later

God saved my life

I want to tell a story. Around 2002, I was a new driver and I was following a friend and I failed to stop at a left turn signal, as soon as I turned, I had no time to react and a car smashed into to me at about 45 mph from the drivers side. My car spun and I end up on the median, the car was completely totaled but for some miraculous reason, I didn’t lose consciousness or have any injuries, aside from a sore neck and the shock of the accident.

 

I was in the hospital and I was really dazed and out of it. But I remember talking to the doctor and him telling me how lucky I was to make it out of there, without a scratch, in fact, if my foot had been a few inches closer, I could have lost it and been disabled for life.

 

I truly believe God saved my life that night, I don’t know why he did, because I should have been seriously injured, given how fast the other driver was going and the fact that I ran a red light during heavy traffic. Yet for some reason I was spared harm. I believe God spared me because he had a purpose me, to help others, spread compassion, help the disabled, and try to make a difference.

 

At the time, I didn’t believe in God and it just hit me as I was commenting on someone else’s status. But it shows to power of God and how much he loves me. I can’t tell you how many situations I have been able to escape from by the grace of God, there’s just no other explanation beside God’s grace.

 

Sometimes if I’m laying in bed, that feeling of that car speeding towards me will hit me and I will jump in fear, like my body never forgot that moment. I am grateful of God’s love for me and am so happy I have him in my life again.

 

Just wanted to share that with all of you 🙏 ❤

My brother died today

22 years ago today, my brother passed away and my heart broke, he was my best friend and we had a strong bond, we were brothers and loved each other. We’d spend time together, he’d protect me from bullies and we’d laugh and have so much fun. I miss him everyday and will always miss him but I remember the good times and the wonderful sweet and gentle soul that was my brother. I miss you Joe and I love you

 

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My meeting with the disability counselor at school

So I had my meeting with the disability counseler today and I had my mom there for support. It went surprisingly well, the counselor was really friendly and I told her about the issues with my learning disabilities and the history pf not being taught math because I bounced around from one alternative school to another. I also told her about the trauma of losing my brother at 14 and how that impacted my learning. I made sure to point out that I am an honor student and my struggles in math were not due to lack of trying, since I have taken these courses several times. I told her about the accommodations that I needed. Apparently I was entitled to one on one tutoring but I assumed that meant the tutoring class with multiple students, not individual instruction. I again asked about using a calculator and she again stated that it was part of the curriculum, nothing she could do. I noted I was disappointed that the class was not adaptive to my needs and she said a lot students struggle with how the class is set up and that the course was designed by state level. I asked if could substitute the math course and she told me that she’d talk to the person higher up and then talk to the woman who heads the department of my degree program ( She headed the internship class and I was not fond of her) but it doesn’t usually happen. The counselor was friendly but she basically said her hands were tied when it came to getting some of help I need. I’m still frustrated but the meeting went as well as it could be, it wasn’t tense and I was calm and managed my anxiety. I felt I got my point across and I was understood and I realize there is only so much she can do from her end. I will continue to kep everyone updated and to stay positive. Thank you for all the wonderful support, friends, it means the world to me

 

The mystery train part 11

Dave spent the rest of day relaxing with his new friends; a few hours later there was a knock at the door. Melanie greeted the man with on the steps with a “Oh hey Johnny” and invited him in. Susan exclaimed loudly “Johnny!!!”  She ran to him and hugged him tightly.  Dave felt some jealous overtake him. He was a good-looking guy; the kind of guys that women fell for; he couldn’t help but feel inferior. He was a tall guy with long black hair and tattoos scattered throughout his arms.  He had was carrying a guitar case and had big rimmed glasses. Melanie said “Dave, Iris, this is my brother Johnny; he’s in a band too”.  Upon hearing that Dave’s jealously faded; he felt stupid for even thinking for that.   Dave extended his hand to shake Johnny’s hand and said “Hi, I’m Dave” Johnny said to Dave “So how’d you meet my sister, let me guess: the coffee shop?”  Melanie turned to give him a scowl. He added “You know, there are other coffee shops in the city” She ignored his statement and replied “Yes, we met Dave and Iris in the coffee shop; they are traveling from New York and we offered to let them stay with us” “Oh” said Johnny.  He continued “Oh I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself to Iris, how are you?”   Iris lit up; she thought Johnny was so handsome; just her type but she still thought of Dave; so, did her best to hide her attraction.  She replied “I’m fine. Your sister is great; letting us stay here and all” Melanie replied “Don’t worry about it” Johnny said “Yeah Melanie is great and I love her but she can’t play guitar like me” Melanie retorted “That’s your opinion, I’m sure our new friends would disagree” “Whatever” said Johnny with a laugh.

Johnny lit a cigarette and sat on the couch; noticing the new records they bought; began to sift through each album.   Johnny then went on about his record collection and music tastes; Dave was intrigued when started listing his favorite bands.  Dave chimed in “I think I like those bands but I can’t remember” Johnny laughed and said “What do you mean you can’t remember, you either like them or not” Dave didn’t respond and looked slightly upset.  Melanie grabbed Johnny and took him to the kitchen to talk; he could see them from the distance. They talked for awhile and it looked like Melanie was scolding while Johnny just listened patiently; not responding. He finally shook his head and walked back to Dave.  Melanie sat next to Dave put her arm around him and kissed him on the cheek playfully.  Johnny sat on the other side of Dave on the couch.  Johnny said to Dave “I am sorry, man. I didn’t mean to laugh at you. Melanie told me your story about how you lost your memory; that’s sucks, dude and also how everyone is trying to help you” Melanie looked at Dave and hugged him and gave him a big smile.  Johnny continued “Anytime you wanna hang out I’m around, man, in fact I am playing a gig tonight, if you want to see me and my band” Melanie exclaimed “Johnny, you know I never miss a show, Dave, Iris you wanna go?”   Iris flashed a big smile; almost blushing and replied “Oh course we’ll be there, right Dave?”   Dave stated “Yeah” Johnny said “Solid, look I gotta go but I’ll be playing at Cool Kat’s at 9 pm, see you guys” He left. Dave liked Johnny; he seemed like a cool dude and possibly a new friend; someone he could trust.

Iris said to Dave “Hey you wanna take a walk just me and you?’   Dave said “Sure” Iris then said “Are you guys are going to here, because I don’t have a key” “Melanie opened a drawer and handed her a key replied “Oh yeah, here’s a spare key, I forgot” “Cool” said Iris and Dave and her left the house.  It was a bright sunny day and Iris was wanted to explore the area a little more and talk to Dave alone.  Iris linked her arm with Dave’s arm and said “Isn’t this a beautiful day, I am really started to really like Susan and Melanie, I know I said it before but I really do and Johnny seems cool too.   “Yeah, I still don’t have my memory back though” said Dave.  “It’ll come” said Iris in a soft voice.  Dave then said to Iris “I don’t know why but I feel nervous about tonight” “What do you mean?” asked Iris.   Dave said “I am not sure but I feel like crowds make me anxious; I feel fine with you guys but being with a whole lot of people” It was true, Dave suffered from extreme anxiety; he had been in therapy for many years and on medication. He stopped both about a year ago and had been struggling ever since; of course, he couldn’t remember it.  He was the most anxious in large groups of people and especially on dates; his anxiety kept his dating life non-existent and never had a steady girlfriend; which really hurt him; at his age and never having a steady girlfriend.  Iris hugged Dave and said “Sweetie, you may have had anxiety in the past, I have it too, you’re not alone” Dave replied “You do!?  “But you seem so confident” he added.  She said “Oh, honey it’s just a smokescreen.  I am always anxious, especially around new people and crowds” Dave responded “That is amazing. I’m glad I’m not alone” Iris smiled; it was rarity to be so open about these things but Dave needed a friend and he was so sweet.  It also wasn’t everyday she met a man who was open with his feelings; it was a breath of fresh air.

 

They walked to a park with a little playground that was empty. “Hey, let’s go on the swings!!” exclaimed Iris in a sing song voice. Dave shook his head no “I don’t think so, we’re a little too old, don’t you think?”  Iris said “Oh no way, Dave. Never too old”.  She ran to the swing and yelled loudly “Push me, Dave. Come on!”   Dave ran to the swing and pushed Iris on the swing as hard as he could.  “Weeeeee” she yelled; laughing her head off.  She was having the time of her life.  An old lady walking her dog looked at this scene and watched for a while; she chucked to herself and remembered the days she spent on the playground with her recently deceased sister so many years ago. She walked by with a smile on her face; it had made her day and brought back fond memories.   Iris jumped off the swing and said “You get on, Dave” Dave replied “Oh, I don’t know” Again with the sing song voice Iris explained “Daaave get on the swing” He complied and sat on the swing as Iris joyfully pushed him with all of her might.  Dave became a kid again; laughing and carrying on; not caring how stupid he looked.

After several minutes they both stopped and ran to the slide. The both slid down the slide and rolled on the ground; just laying there talking.   Dave turned to Iris and said “This was a lot fun” he said catching his breath. “I told you it would be” replied Iris laughing.   Dave turned to Iris and asked “You mind if I ask you something, it’s sort of a weird question” “Sure” she replied.   “Well, I don’t remember my childhood, I hope it comes back to me but what was it like you being a kid, do you remember?” asked Dave.  “Hmm” stated Iris.  She had to think about it.  She said “Well I grew up in Connecticut; it was pretty boring. The suburbs, you know” she rolled her eyes.  She added “I had two brothers, Tommy and Sam and we got alone pretty well.   Her smile faded “Sam actually died” “I’m sorry” said Dave.  “How did he die, if you don’t mind asking” he asked.  Iris didn’t want to answer that question.  Sam had taken his life while she was at college; she was devastated and never been able to get past it.  She regretted bringing it up.  She said “I shouldn’t have brought it up.  I don’t want to go into it” she looked down at the ground in sadness; her heart broke just thinking about Sam.  Dave said “I’m sorry, I totally understand. I’m sorry I asked” Iris looked into his deep blue eyes and said “It’s ok” but she wanted to cry and yet she couldn’t even when she was alone.  She continued the story “So my childhood was rough actually.  My parents divorced when I was young and my brothers and I lived with my dad for awhile and it was tough especially on Sammy he was sensitive like you are”.  She felt herself begin to cry and she just let go and the tears began to flow from her cheeks.  “Oh god” she yelled; crying uncontrollably.  “I miss him so bad, I mean it was so long ago but I still miss him. I just want him back” Dave hugged her and consoled her; she put her head on his shoulder and just cried without saying a word. “Shhh” he said.  “It’s alright”.   Iris said “Thank you for being such a good friend, you are amazing” “I am sorry about crying; I’m a little embarrassed” Dave replied “Don’t ever apologize for that.  Anytime you wanna talk to me, I’m here to listen” he added.  Iris said to Dave “Just don’t tell Susan and Melanie about this, ok” Dave replied of course “It’s between us, friend” Iris smiled and they both walked back toward the house.  It was a powerful moment between them and they were both left shaken and emotionally drained but Iris felt a sense of relief; letting out all of that pain she had held on to for years; she felt a little freer and she had Dave to thank.

 

That night they all went to see Melanie’s brother play at the club.   It was a packed house; full of noisy patrons drinking and the band (Not Johnny’s) was playing at full volume.  Iris went to the bar with Dave to order some drinks; a beer for both of them. Dave really wasn’t a drinker but he didn’t know that. He took a sip of her beer and recoiled at the taste; he didn’t want to seem out of place so he continued sipping on his beer despite how nasty it tasted.  Dave had only been there a few minutes but it was obvious he was nervous.; it was loud and he could barely think.  Iris yelled in his ear “Hey, you alright?   Dave tried to play it off and bopped his head to the band playing “Yeah, I’m fine” Dave turned to see Melanie and Susan dancing close to the band; he couldn’t help but notice how sexy they both looked.  Dave was pretty sure he wasn’t a dancer; so, he sat in his chair next to Iris; sipping on his beer and looking around; trying to remain calm.  He noticed a guy trying to dancing with both girls; they both ignored him; he looked defeated; he was in older guy in his 40’s. He went to the bar to flirt with the female bar tender who was too busy to respond to his advances and besides she was so used to being hit on by creepy guys that she was immune to it.  Then Dave heard Johnny’s voice and he joined him and Iris at the table.  “Hey guys”, he said in a loud voice.  Iris replied “Hey, man.  When do you play?”   “In about an hour” he replied.  “Cool” said Iris.  She really liked Johnny; she had a thing for guys in bands.  Johnny thought she was cute too but had a girlfriend; he wasn’t about to screw that up with some girl he just met. Johnny said to Dave “You doing good, buddy?” “Yeah” Dave replied.  Johnny said “After the show I can introduce to some people, I know a lot the people here” Dave said “Sounds awesome” It was so difficult to have a conversation and compete with all the news. Dave felt overwhelmed and Iris just looked at Dave and smiled.

 

Dave said to Iris “I’m going to the patio for a smoke, you wanna join me?”   Iris said “That’s ok, I wanna hear the band; you can go if you want” Dave walked onto the patio and it was full of guys hitting on every woman they saw; he couldn’t flirt to save his life.  He reached for his pocket; realizing that he didn’t have any cigarettes. “Shit, I don’t want to bum cigarettes” he thought. He asked an older woman and she angrily said “Why don’t you bring your own cigarettes, I only have a few left and they are for me” Another guy overhearing the conversation said to the woman “Why are you so mad” he said with a laugh.  She replied “Why don’t you mind your own business” Dave felt uncomfortable and moved to the other side of the patio.  He saw a muscular man with a cigarette in his mouth and asked for a cigarette. He just ignored him and went back to talking to the woman sitting beside him.  Dave was regretting going to this bar and he sat at an empty table; sipping his beer.  He looked up to see this gorgeous woman walk through the door; he was mesmerized.  She sat at the table with him and asked “Do you mind if I sit here” “Sure” Dave said nervously.  She pulled out a pack of cigarettes. Dave asked “Can I bum a cigarette?”  She laughed and said sure.   He asked for a light and she didn’t hesitate “She cupped her hands with his and lit his cigarette for him.  Her name was Kim. They started talking and she seemed nice.  She was talking about how she’d been in Seattle for a few years; she was originally from Los Angeles.  She told him a story about how she wanted to be an actress and had given up on her dream when she ran out of money and moved to Seattle to find herself (whatever that meant); she had gone to college here so she knew the area. She asked Dave about him and he didn’t want to tell her the truth because he was tired of explaining it to strangers so he bullshitted his way through a story about growing up in Michigan and that he was a writer; visiting his family here in Seattle.  She was intrigued by his stories and much to his dismay started asking him about his writing; he tried his best to avoid those questions; he could feel himself digging himself deeper and deeper into the lie.  She then said to him ‘I want to buy you a drink” Dave didn’t know how to respond but he said “Sure, thanks” She said “No, problem honey”

 

They walked the bar and she ordered him another beer. Dave saw his friends sitting at the table and walked over to introduce Kim to his friends.  Melanie and Susan recognized her instantly and Melanie got up to hug her.  Melanie exclaimed “Iris, Dave, this Kim; Johnny’s girlfriend” Dave felt so disappointed; he knew it was too good to be true. There had to be a catch.   Kim said “Well I met Dave on the patio and we got to talking; cool guy” Melanie replied “Yeah we know” She smiled at Dave.   Kim continued “Dave told me he is a writer” Iris quipped “He is, is he?” she said with a laugh.  Dave looked embarrassed but Iris decided to let it die and she decided that a little lie didn’t hurt anyone.  They all sat down and all of a sudden a man ran up to the microphone and said “Ok guys, this next band you are going to love, here are the “Laugh tracks” Melanie, Susan and Kim all clapped loudly “Yeaaah, wooo!!”  Johnny ran up to the mic and said “Alright guys we do mostly covers but we promise not to fuck it up” The band went into a cover of Stone Temple Pilots “Plush”

Iris asked Dave if he wanted to get closer to the stage and they both went.  Iris began singing the lyrics to the song as loudly as she could; along with a crowd of people who had gotten close to the stage. They all sang in unison; it was one of her favorite songs; she loved grunge music growing up. Dave felt he knew this song and suddenly he began singing along to the song; as if he’d heard it before. Iris looked at him and she sang the lyrics as she was looking at him.  A lightbulb went off in her head and she grabbed Dave by the arm and took him outside to the patio.   Dave asked “What’s wrong?”   Iris had a serious look on her face.  She replied “Nothing, but you remembered the lyrics do the song, your memory may be coming back slowly” Dave smiled and said “You’re right. I think I remember that song. Stone Temple Pilots, right” Iris exclaimed loudly “Yes!!”  “Oh my god, this is a breakthrough; it’s not much but it’s something” she added.  Iris hugged him; she was so happy for him.  She hoped that Dave would begin to remember; it pained her to know that he was struggling so much.  They walked back in; both a little bit more relieved.

 

The band played for another hour or so and afterwards Johnny walked back to the table where everyone was sitting. Kim got up and kissed her boyfriend saying “You did great as always!”  Dave and Iris both felt uncomfortable; somewhat jealous to know that Johnny and Kim were a couple.  “Thanks babe” Johnny replied.  He put his arm around Kim and asked Dave and Iris “So what did guys think?” Iris said “You were great, I love the Stone temple pilots!”  Johnny said “Yeah we do a lot of grunge covers” Iris said “I love grunge” Dave stated “Yeah, dude you really play good, man” Johnny replied “Yeah, man anytime you wanna see me play; I have gigs throughout the week” Melanie added “Dave I don’t miss a show of my brothers, so you are always free to join” “Thanks” Dave replied.

Johnny said “Hey you guys wanna get something to eat, the food here sucks” Susan laughed and said “You guys wanna go?”  They all agreed and headed to the diner where they had been before.  Johnny and Kim walked ahead of them.  Iris said to Dave do you mind if I tell them what happened?”  Dave nodded his head yes.   Iris said to Susan and Melanie “You won’t believe it but I think Dave is slowly getting his memory” “Really? That’s great” exclaimed Melanie; she was visibly excited.  “Yeah, well Johnny was playing Stone Pilots; Dave was singing the lyrics with me; like he knew the song.   Dave added “Yeah, I remembering like that song as a kid, I don’t know where I heard it or who I was with but I remember it” he said with a smile plastered on his face; unable to contain his joy.   Susan replied with “Yes!! I am so happy for you.  I told you the memories would come back” They all were filled with excitement; they were hoping it wouldn’t be long before Dave would get his memory back. But it was more complicated than that; and it would take longer for any of them to imagine. Yes, it would be a long road until Dave could remember again.  For now, he could enjoy the company he was with and his new life.

 

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The mystery train part 9

Dave woke up and looked to the side of him; only to see the bed was empty and Susan was gone.  He let out a yawn and a large stretch; looked at the clock and realized it was almost 1 pm.  “Wow did I sleep that long?” thought Dave.    Dave showered afterwards; he just sat on the bed for a while; thinking about everything that had happened in the past few days. He thought about how much he cared for Iris and how he may hurt her when he cuddled up with Susan the night before.  “But we didn’t sleep together last night so she wouldn’t be upset.  Why am I even worried about Iris; it’s not like she is my girlfriend; I barely know her.  Why does she even care about me? Did something happen between us before I lost my memory?”  He felt conflicted and had this little debate in his head for quite a few minutes.  He began to try and remember anything from the past but he was drawing blanks.  He tried to figure out who is family was, what is job was (if he even had a job), was he married? Did he have kids?   He tried his best but no memories came to him.  “Dammit” he said loudly.  He stomped his foot on the ground in frustration.  He knew that he had to rely on the others to help him find his identity; he felt so lost and weak. He opened some drawers to find some clothes to wear; Iris had been nice enough to unpack his suitcase.  While he searched through the drawers, he found a little black diary.  He thought that this was private and that he shouldn’t look but he curiosity got the best of him.   He opened up the diary and it was filled with poetry.  He wasn’t sure why but he really appreciated poetry.  Did he write in the past? Did he enjoy poetry? Someone inside him thought that might be the case.  Most of the poetry dealt with sadness and some romance.   Dave could tell she was sensitive from reading her beautiful words but he did feel guilty reading such personal posts; it  did just gave him insight to who this person was.  A very touching poem dealt with the pain of breaking up with her boyfriend of many years. “Maybe the one she mentioned” he thought to himself.   “My heart ripped from the seams as my soul shattered with your sudden goodbye” Susan wrote in the poem.  “Wow” Dave said loudly.  He closed the book and put it back in the drawer.

Dave went downstairs; expecting the girls to be there but he didn’t see them.  He looked in the backyard and they weren’t there either.  He thought of calling them and realizing that he didn’t have a phone or even a phone number.  He walked around for a clue and saw a note on the kitchen counter that read: Dave, you were asleep. We went out for a bit; we’ll be back soon, Love, you Iris” It had a little heart at the end. “Cute” Dave said to himself.   Dave walked around the house; looking at all of Susan’s artwork and was really impressed. Again, he felt that he appreciated art. Maybe he was an artist; he was trying to find anything to help him remember.  He sat down in the kitchen fixed himself a sandwich; lit a cigarette and waiting patiently for the girls to come back.

 

Susan and Melanie decided to take Iris to a local record shop that sold vinyl LPs; Iris had expressed interested in that earlier; so the girls thought it would be a good idea to take her. Plus, they figured Dave needed rest and didn’t want to be disturbed.   While they were walking; Melanie asked “So, Iris do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”   “Sure” said Iris.   Melanie said “Well, you seem close to Dave.  And I’m wondering did something happen with you guys on the train?  I know that you have only known each other for a short while but you seem to be really close” Iris was taken aback by the question and didn’t know how to respond and sort of silently just looked at Melanie.   Melanie sensing her uneasiness said “You know, I’m sorry, that is too personal. I’m sorry I asked” Iris laughed nervously and said “No, it’s alright, nothing really happened between us, I care about him; he’s a nice guy. I mean, ok, I kissed him but that’s it”.  Susan almost felt a little guilty when she heard this; she felt bad for coming on to Dave; not realizing that Iris liked him too.  An uncomfortable silence came upon them as they continued walking towards the store.  Susan broke the silence with “Dave is such a sweetheart, you know, I don’t blame you.  Iris said “Yes he is and I’m just trying to protect him and help him through this whole amnesia thing” They all nodded in agreement.  Melanie stated “I know we just met but we want to help Dave too” “I know” said Iris.  Melanie extended her arms and gave her a hug and exclaimed “I’m so glad we have become friends” Iris said “Me too”.    As they were walking; unbeknownst to all of them; Deborah (Alex’s wife) was walking by. She was off to meet a friend in the art district. While she was headed that way; she was on the phone with Alex and looked nervous.  She walked right passed  Iris, Susan and Melanie; not realizing that these were the three people that could leave her to finding Dave but at the moment they were just strangers on the street.

The girls spent about an hour at the record store while Melanie flirted with the male clerk; apparently, she was regular there and they knew each other quite well. “Damn do these girls flirt with everyone they meet” she thought.

 

They got back home and found Dave laying on the couch with his feet on the coffee table; watching tv and smoking a cigarette.  Dave got up and said “Oh hey, you guys are back” “Yes” said Melanie “We knew you were sleeping and needed you rest; we didn’t want to wake you” she added.  “Oh thanks” Dave replied.  Melanie took out a bag of the new records they had bought and spend the day listening to records and talking.  Susan showed Dave some of her artwork; although he’d already seen them.  She told Dave how much her artwork mean to her and how she could sense that Dave appreciated art.  Susan said “ I have this feeling that you are born artist; a sensitive soul; we just have to bring out in you”  Dave sort of scoffed “ I don’t know about that”   Susan replied “ You have gifts, Dave, that have yet to be brought to the surface; I believe in you”   Dave smiled at this compliment; he didn’t take compliments well but he was slowly learning to accept them.   Dave felt really comfortable around these women; he really got along with them well and they seemed to understand them; they accepted him and genuinely wanted to help him; which he appreciated.  Dave started wondering if his past life was even important; maybe this new life was better and he didn’t need to find who used to be but instead focus on who he was going to be; moving forward into this new life. Susan put her arm around Dave and asked “What are you thinking” Dave looked at the ground and replied “I’m just so happy here and everything you’ve done for me.  You guys seem to be care” He began to cry uncontrollably.  Susan put her arms around her him and cooed “Shhh, it’s going to ok, honey, I’ve got ya” She held him in her arms until he calmed down.  He wiped the tears from his eyes and said through sniffles “Don’t tell them I cried” “I won’t” said Susan.   “And you know what, nothing wrong with a guy crying, don’t ever be ashamed of that” she added.  Susan hugged him once again and Dave knew he was safe in this house.

 

Earlier that morning.   He opened his eyes and said a little prayer “God, please help us find out what happened to Dave, wherever he is keep him safe and out of harm’s way. Give his family strength and give me the strength to get through this. Amen” He saw his phone face down on the end table next to his bed; he hoped to God that Dave called him back. A message that said he was ok; that’d gotten his days mixed up and he’d be heading to the house any minute.  Alex hesitated and grabbed his cross from his neck and said out loud “God please help me” He finally picked up the phone and there was a voicemail message and a few texts; he was hoping that one of them was from Dave.  He looked at one of the text messages; it was from Betty; informing him that she had not heard from Dave after trying to contact Dave several times; she was really concerned.  He then played a voice message from Dave’s father he said “Hello Alex, how are you? This is Harold, Dave’s father. I woke up this morning and did not hear from Dave. Both his mother and I called him and got no response.  His mother is beside herself and I am really worried.   You haven’t heard from Dave, have you? If not, then It’s been over 24 hours and we have decided that we should file a missing person’s report soon. Please call us when you get this message” Alex felt a lump in his throat; he now feared the worst.  He decided to eat some breakfast before he called anyone back.  He peaked his head out of his door and called out “Deb?”  No answer.   He got dressed and walked out; checked his phone again and saw the message from Deborah.  It read “Honey, went out for a while; be back soon” He felt a little disappointed that she wasn’t here to help him search for Dave; he didn’t want to face this alone right now; he was really stressed out but made himself some coffee and eggs and tried to calm himself before he called Dave’s family back.

Alex finally picked up the phone and called Dave’s parent’s; Margery answered the phone. She was quick to pick up the phone she answered after one ring; eager to get some news from Alex “Hi Alex I’m glad you called, did you hear from Dave” Alex could sense her nervousness.  He hesitated for a moment and replied “No, I’m sorry” She let out a big sigh and sounded like she was on the verge of crying “Oh” she said.  “I was hoping to God that someone would have heard from him but he hasn’t contacted Betty or Harold or I, I am just so worried”.  She broke down crying.  Alex comforted her and let her know he prayed for them this morning and will continue to pray for the family.  “I appreciate that” she said.   Margery said” I keep thinking that maybe he’s… you know”   Alex said “ Don’t do that to yourself; we have to think positive, ok, I pray God is with us and we will find Dave safe”   She composed herself and apologized and said “You’re right, I am sorry I don’t know why I said that, I’m just upset”   “I understand” said Alex.  She thanked him.   She then told Alex that they had no choice but to file a missing person’s report. Alex understood and stated “I think you are right, I will help anyway I can. Please let me know what happens” She thanked him and they ended their conversation.

Alex sat down trying to gather his thoughts; deciding that when his wife came back, he and her would search the city for Dave; putting up missing person’s poster’s and they’d do everything they could to find him.  He called his wife Deborah as she was walking in the art district.  She picked up the phone “Hey Alex, did you hear anything from Dave” Alex replied “No, honey, I talked to his parents and sister and they haven’t heard from him either” Deborah “Oh wow, this is terrible.  Now I am really am concerned; something is seriously wrong.   Just as she said that; she walked right past Iris, Susan and Melanie, if she had only known the significance of seeing them at that very moment.  She walked past them and Alex said to her “If you can come home as soon as you can, they are filing a police report back in New York and I think it would be a could idea if we can search through the city and put up some missing person’s posters of Dave” Deborah agreed and headed back to Alex.   Little did they know that Dave was alive and well; in their city; but with no idea of who they were or even who he was.  This was the beginning of a long journey for all of them.

 

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Dream #6

I haven’t been sleeping well lately and last night I finally slept the while night through for about 8 hours (which is a rarity); I had a nice long vivid dream. As soon as I woke up, I immediately wrote down the dream; the best I could remember.

The dream started out at a funeral for a little boy that had died; it was large crowd and I was feeling upset; I could feel myself start to cry. I was carrying a box which I think had his ashes; I almost dropped it a few times and people kept looking at me; I was really nervous. I placed the box on the altar and afterward we were standing on these big steps outside of the church; just talking.  Then I was with the disabled ministry and we were in a shopping center and close to an abandoned warehouse.  We were just hanging out there for some reason; one of the leaders was there but in the dream she looked different. I keep trying to talk to her but she was ignoring me; in fact, everyone seemed to be ignoring me. At the end of the shopping bar was like a biker bar and there were all these tough guys walking in. There was some woods to the side of the bar; full of trash.  I was talking to one of the young adults there; I was asking him how his job was going etc.  I had to go the bathroom so I was looking for a place to go; I went in the woods and came back and everyone was in the same area; gathered in a circle just talking.  At one point I was just walking around and I think I was in a house.  I was still concerned about the leader who was ignoring me.   All of a sudden, I was laying on the floor and I saw an old childhood friend. In the background the song “Under the Bridge” by the Red-Hot Chili Peppers was playing.  That song reminds me of my brother who passed away.  In the dream I said to my friend “This reminds me of Joe” He said quietly, I know, man, and gave me a hug.   Next, we were all back outside and I had to use the bathroom again. I went back in the woods and when I returned; everyone was still there. I got bored went to the abandoned building by myself and it some graffiti and there were some kids skateboarding.  I came back and everyone was gone; I was concerned. I was looking everywhere and couldn’t find them.  I ended up in an office building and trying calling them on their cell phones but to no avail.  I walked through a nature path and they were nowhere to be found. I was feeling angry and hurt and literally abandoned.

I woke up kind of shaken; trying to find meaning in this dream.  All I know is that maybe   Even as I write this, I am emotional about; it was such an intense dream with so many interpretations.   I have to remind it was only a dream and I am ok.

 

Thanks for reading

Dave

How I have grown as a writer

I just finished backing up my blog; it took a long time and I finally got it done.   For the last year or so; I have been working on my old computer and I don’t have Word on it; so, everything was saved to my blog only and I was really concerned about losing everything. I finally managed to buy a new laptop for Christmas and was determined to get everything safe; in case (God forbid) something happened to my blog and I lost all of my writings; that would have been heartbreaking.  So right now, I am relieved to have everything saved; safe and sound.

As I was saving my writings, I noticed that I have written a whole lot since I started my blog in October 2017 (has it been that long?); 530 posts to be exact.  I sometimes would make 2 or 3 posts in a day; I had a lot to say; a lot of personal pain and memories I needed to get out; it was therapeutic.  My early writings are short but potent and raw, honest; full of anger, extreme sadness and a need to be understood.  It was the first time I had ever written these feelings and certainly the first time sharing them with an audience; I was risking being vulnerable and feared being judged about my posts; I wrote quite a few posts about the anxiety of sharing my writings online. I had been judged all my life and put down and wasn’t sure how people would react to my posts; I was surprised at the positive reactions I got; I didn’t expect it at first.  I was just happy people were reading my posts and could relate to them.

 

I look back at those writings and although I’m proud of all my posts; I can’t help feel somewhat embarrassed at my early writings. I hadn’t found my voice as a writer yet and while I was honest; I spoke about my feelings in metaphors. I wrote a poem about River Phoenix that was really about my brother that passed; I couldn’t bare to write how I felt about his death; I wasn’t ready yet. When talking about my anxieties about women; I wrote a poem about traffic lights and mixed signals; it’s a great poem but it wasn’t until I made posts about how exactly I was feeling (without the metaphors) could I really reach my audience in a major way.  So, while I wrote poetry; I also had raw honest posts about the death of my brother, childhood memories, my issues with mental health and disabilities. The more I wrote; the more confident I became; I stopped caring how my audience would react and just started writing from my heart. As I scrolled up; my blog posts got much better (in my opinion) I found better ways of articulating my feelings; my posts because longer and expressive and I could write about a different range of topics; with an air of confidence that I didn’t have in the beginning.

I learned a lot about myself in reading my posts throughout my writing journey; I see myself as a different person now; the writing helped me make sense of the past and cope with the present. It hurts to read some of those posts; some of the most painful things I have ever written and it was in public no less.  Sometimes I see a post and it makes me want to cry; other times I smile at my accomplishments and other times admittedly; I cringe.  I saw I’m proud but some posts I made were cliched and amateur but that’s how you get better, right?

I hope this past inspires new writers not to give up; to keep writing and to be honest; to grow as writers.   My tip is to write for yourself and hope it reaches someone; if you write (like I did in the beginning) and worry what others will think; your write will come across as authentic and the best writing is real; so be real; be yourself and keep posting; even if it’s multiple times a day.

So now I can sit back and relax; proud of this blog and grateful for all the amazing support of my followers; you guys have been amazing. I have had nothing but positivity on this blog (with some rare exceptions) and I appreciate all of you; your comments make the difference and give me the confidence and the privilege to call myself a writer. Thank for taking this journey with and will continue to blog for many years to come.

 

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Disney World

I have tried to stray away from writing about painful memories; I am trying to focus on the present and a part of me feels like I’ve touched on so much from the past there is nothing left to write but sometimes I find myself depressed and thinking about past; triggered by events in the present that spark painful memories.

 

While I was working my seasonal job; I couldn’t volunteer with the disabled ministry; I was just working too much. As you guys know I lost my seasonal job right after Christmas and I soon found myself back to volunteering; which made me very happy.  I came back and they were all glad to see me and the feeling was mutual.  Within minutes one of the young adults was telling me they were taking a trip to Disney World and I should go; I explained that I didn’t have the money to go (and it’s the truth) but I was excited about their trip.  A part of me was a little hurt I wasn’t asked to go but something else was bothering me and I couldn’t figure it out.

 

There’s a reason why I feel so uneasy about Disney World; I had actually visited the park with my dad when I was 15; about 6 months after my brother took his life.  My Uncle gave us the gift of paying for our airfare, hotel and tickets to Disney; it was an incredible generous gift and I think I needed the break after so much turmoil. I was still broken that December and would remain in the same  state of mind for many years    I was grateful that my Uncle had given us this trip but it obviously bittersweet because my brother was gone and no trip to Disney World was going to bring him back. And I know that sounds harsh or ungrateful; I know the intent was not make me forget what happened but to do something nice for me; especially my first Christmas without my brother; I was just in a lot of emotional pain

 

I’ll never forget the trip though; it was my first and only time in an airplane and I was pretty nervous being high up in the sky. I remember my ears popping a lot and looking out of the plane window.  We arrived in Miami to visit family who I had never met. It was crazy to me that Florida was flat no hills or anything; you could see how flat it was from the plane and it was so hot the moment I got off the plane.  DC was cold and snowy and Miami was like 80 degrees with palm trees and people wearing shorts; it was magical.  For the time being I was started to forget about the pain; I was caught up in traveling and seeing this new place.

The trip to Miami was such a wonderful experience; we stayed at my dad’s cousin home and she was really sweet.  She really took to me and I remember talking to her a lot; she was a principal and I think an English (writing) teacher and she was kind to me. And I remember telling her how I was bullied and she really understood and listened to me. My family is from Cuba and it was first time I was exposed to so much Cuban culture; everyone was speaking Spanish and we ate Cuban food the whole time. At one point we were drinking coconut milk from a tree in their backyard and we visited this older Cuban lady who had chickens in her back yard for some reason and a mean dog locked up in a crate; it was just wild to me.  We celebrated New Years at the Orange Bowl Parade in downtown Miami; there were beautiful women everywhere and fancy cars and good-looking guys dressed nice; a real party atmosphere; I fell in love with the city and it has never left me after all these years.  It was wonderful to know there was this other family who I hadn’t met but loved me anyways because I was family. I came out of Miami being really proud to be Cuban American.

After we stayed in Miami; my dad and I drove to Orlando from there; all I remember is just orange fields all the way down 95.  We arrived at Orlando and stayed in a little motel outside of the park; I think once we got to Orlando and it was just my dad and I; I began to feel depressed again. I loved my dad but in Miami I was so caught up in meeting new family that I couldn’t think about my brother; once we left; my thoughts became consumed with his death.  We got to Disney and it really was amazing; we went on all sorts of rides and went to Epcot and took a whole lot of pictures but again even being at Disney World; I felt an emptiness in my heart; my brother should have been with us and he wasn’t. We were only on that trip because he’d died and that was a depressing thought.  As I write this; it hurts so bad and I hadn’t thought about that trip in many years; not until they started going on about Disney World.

 

Its not their fault; they don’t know and even I told them; they wouldn’t have the capacity to understand; so, I’m not upset with them; obviously; it just hurts.  So, I help dry the dishes with this young man and he likes to repeat himself. In fact, I have heard from many of the leaders and other parents; that this guy has been acting out; I’m not sure what’s happening but he’s struggling (much like I did when I was younger).  Anyways the last week or say he keeps saying “I’m going to Orlando, are you going to Orlando?”    He’ll say it 10 times in a row and at first, I kind of laughed it off but I hate to say this but after a while I have been annoyed; I try not to respond but it’s triggering me and it took me awhile to figure out why.   I don’t want to go to  Disney World or be reminded of that trip, you know?   It’s amazing how that was almost 22 years ago and yet it’s so fresh in my mind.   I just had to get if off my chest because somedays I am in pain and my blog is the only safe place, I have to express my feelings.

 

Thanks for listening

 

Dave

 

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