The mystery train part 4

Dave spent the rest of the day cuddled up next to Iris; anxious about figuring who he was; Iris did his best to calm him.  She said “Dave, don’t worry I’ll help you; however long it takes” Dave had no idea who this woman was; how long he’d known her and why she was so willing to help him but for some reason he put his trust in her.   Iris was contemplating to herself if she should get off in Seattle with Dave and help him find his way or go to her intended destination where she was to visit a family she hadn’t seen in over a decade. Her Uncle had just died and she was posed to inherit quite a hefty sum of money; she was conflicted. She had grown to care about Dave in such a short period of time and she needed to help him find his identity. At the same time, she needed to see her family; heal the wounds from the past and this money could really help her get her life together. “What’s a girl to do” Iris thought to herself.   Iris had only a few days to make her decision. Dave could tell something was wrong and asked “Are you okay?”  Iris replied “Of course I am, honey, you just rest, alright?”   Dave nodded his head and put his head on her shoulder and fell back asleep.

 

As they got closer to Wyoming; Iris made a decision; she just couldn’t live with herself if she left Dave all alone somewhere; she had to help him.  She called her cousin Emily to let her know that she couldn’t make the trip.  “Emily, it’s me Iris; I’m on the train headed towards Wyoming” said Iris in an anxious voice” Emily replied sensing something wrong “Iris, it’s good to hear your voice.  You sound anxious, I know we haven’t seen you in a long time but thank you for being there for us, you know we love you” Iris felt so bad because she knew that canceling this trip would really hurt Emily.  They were really close as kids and Iris thought of her as a sister; since she was an only child. As they became teenagers; they grew apart and had lost touch with each over the years. Long story short Iris had stolen Emily’s long-term boyfriend and it caused a big rift between the two of them that was never mended. And Iris had mental health struggles with caused even more strain with her extended family and eventually she became estranged from them.   Iris thought about it for a second and swallowed hard she said “Emily, I cannot make it on the trip” “Emily replied “What do you mean? You’re already on the train. I don’t understand” Iris said “You see, I met this guy” and before she could finish her sentence Emily interrupted “Jesus, Iris, it’s always about some guy for you.  If it wasn’t my boyfriend; it was missing my wedding because you were out with your boyfriend doing god knows what” “You have always been a selfish bitch, you know” Iris feeling the anger rise in her.  “Listen, Emily; it’s not like that” Emily rolled her eyes; hoping Iris could sense her annoyance.  “Emily, I met this incredible guy and we got to talking and he is just so sweet. Anyways he fell; woke up and now has no idea who he is; he has total amnesia.   I cannot bring it to myself to leave him all alone. He’s supposed to be in Seattle and his wallet and phone are missing; he has no idea who he is”  “So don’t call me selfish or bring up the past; that’s really fucked up; you keep throwing the past at me and it’s not fair”    Emily realizing that Iris was sincere apologized profusely; she really did love Iris and was just hurt that she had let her down once again. When she found out the kind thing she was doing for Dave; Emily realized she had been wrong. They both said their goodbyes and Iris promised to come back to Wyoming once everything with Dave was settled; a promise she intended to keep (unlike the thousands of promises she had made in the past)

 

The train stopped in Wyoming and Jim got off; Iris could see Jim from the window as he got off the train. From the platform; Jim flashed her a smile which sent chills down her spine and she didn’t know why. Something about the smile bothered her; like he knew something she didn’t.  He had given her really bad vibes and was she wasn’t regretting stay with Dave on the train.  Jim was a complete jerk and she had made so many mistakes in the past with men like Jim.  She had a good feeling about Dave; he was just such a sweetheart and she truly believed fate had brought them together.

 

As Jim got off the train; he realized that Iris had earlier said that she was going to Wyoming and yet she was still on the train with Dave. He felt a fit of anger and jealousy; he sat on the bench until the train left the station.  He walked out of the station into the prairies of Wyoming; muttering to himself “that son of a bitch, steal her from me; well you paid for it, didn’t you, you bastard” Jim took out Dave’s phone and threw it on the ground; stomping it with his foot; and the phone became a mound of broken pieces.  He threw the bits and pieces of Dave’s digital life into a field. He took Dave’s wallet and broke apart of all of his credit cards; his id; everything and threw it in the air; laughing like a child; a man in a pickup truck drove past him; shaking his head.  Jim was satisfied and could now do what intended to do on this trip; get the money he was owed; he was going to get that money one way or another he though to himself as he clutched to the knife he had in his pocket.

 

Meanwhile on the train; everything went smoothly from that point on and they only about 2 days left on this train trip.  Iris hoped in this time Dave might start remembering but he still didn’t have a clue but he felt more comfortable with Iris and she began to talk about herself more.  She told him about her Uncle’s death; her cousin Emily and the strain with her family; Dave listened patiently as Iris poured her heart out to him.  She admitted to Dave that she hadn’t seen her family over in 10 years and suffered from mental illness.  “Does that bother you” asked Iris.  “Of course, not Iris” replied Dave.  “Does it bother you that I can’t remember who I am or how I know you?   Iris said “No honey, I am going to help you and will be there for you” Iris looked into Dave’s eyes with a loving look; she kissed him passionately to Dave’s surprise.  As much as she couldn’t believe; she was falling in love with Dave. She’d been with so many guys and lived with a few of them for many years but she never felt the way she did about this man she had only met a few days earlier.  And although had no idea who she was is; he knew she cared and slowly felt himself falling in love and a part of him didn’t want to know his old life; especially if Iris wasn’t a part of it.

 

The 2 days passed quickly and finally the announcement came from the loudspeaker that they were close to Seattle.  Dave asked “Something about Seattle seems to familiar; am I supposed to be there?”  Iris lit up; realizing that maybe part of Dave’s memory was coming back.  “Yes, Dave” exclaimed Iris in a cheery voice.  “Yes, you are going to Seattle, is there anything else you can remember?”   Dave shook his head no; Iris was disappointed.  “It’s a start” Iris thought to herself.   About 30 minutes later another announcement “We have arrived at the King’s street Seattle station; please use the front exits and de-board in an orderly fashion.  Dave felt nervous and anxious about what lay ahead for him but he took comfort in the fact that Iris would be with him. Iris felt nervous too; she had no idea how long she’d be in Seattle or what would happen along the way. They both got their bags and walked towards the exit; the old man who was seated in front of him; wished his luck and shook his hand.  Dave wondered why this man was friendly with him; he had no idea that he had even talked to this man before.  They both stepped off the train into a city they had both never been too (although in Dave’s mind he could have been here 100 times and never known it) ready for a new adventure they’d never forget; in Seattle

 

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New Year goals 2019

New Year Goals

Well, a new year is upon us and it has been quite a incredible year for me; I made a lot of progress and really grew as a person. I pray that 2019 will also be a good year for me; I plan on making the year to come a very successful one; I’d like to improve myself on a mental/emotion, spiritual, social and financial/career level; all aspects of my life. I am ending the year on a somewhat sour note; being unemployed but I have perseverance and I am very driven. I am many goals for this year and I plan to achieve a lot in the coming year.

One of my goals is education; I am determined to finally get my associates degree in developmental disabilities; I want a job in the field; maybe as a job coach, a peer mentor or a motivational speaker in the future. I can sense how my writing and story has inspired others and the idea of using it to help people is something I very much like to do. I will take any opportunity to use my experience to inspire others to do their very best and not to give up; this may be one of my callings in life. I want more career aspects because like anyone else; I want to make enough money so I can be independent; I don’t live with my family by choice; I’m with them because my health issues and disabilities limits the kinds of jobs I can take; I want to push myself to do better; I think we all deserve that.

And speaking of my career; I want to continue to volunteer with the disabled ministry; I plan on spending more time with them this year; getting to know them further; and learning the skills I need to enter the human service field. It also helps me grow closer in my faith and become a more spiritual person. Through this group, I know God is working in my life. I plan on volunteering in other areas such as teaching English as a second language and other volunteer opportunities throughout the area. Now that I have all this free time; I plan to use it wisely and maybe get involved in church more as well. I think God has big plans for me in 2019 and I just have to follow his lead.

I think this will be a big year for me socially as well. I plan to continue reconnecting with friends and hopefully making new friends as well; I am trying to learning to face my fears and learn to meet new people and not avoid social situations; just to put myself out there. Something as simple as asking for a someone’s number who I’m interested in is a big step for me. Maybe dating is on the horizon for me; that is an exciting new chapter for me. That’s something that creates a lot of anxiety but I know God will guide me through whatever happens. I plan on maybe taking a trip back home to see old friends; there are so many people I want to see; just the idea of traveling is new to me but I am ready for it. I am so thankful for all the friends I have connected but am sad most of them live far away; so I have to make the effort to see them. This will be the year where I expand my social life.

I will continue to write; exploring new ideas and forms of writing; I am going to keep my blog and hopefully gain more followers and connect with more writers; I am so excited about that. With my free time; I hope to find a writers group in the area and meet fellow writers face to face; maybe get the chance to share my poetry to a live audience; I would love that. Yes writing is my saving grace and I have no idea where I’d be without it.

I figure if 2018 was such a big year; then 2019 will be even better; I just have to have faith; I need to stay positive and move forward in my life. I want to inspire and encourage others and do my part to make the world a better place. I want to be a more compassionate and forgiving person along the way; I remain in prayer and I hope for the best in the upcoming year. And I wish all of my family, friends and followers a very happy new years. May 2019 be a successful year for you; may you be blessed with all the happiness in the world

Dave

 

 

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A night in Chinatown

As Mike got out of his car into the alone bar on a Friday night; he was hoping to have a few drinks; maybe a nice conversation; anything to just get out the house.  He had a glimmer of hope that he might meet woman that night but he lacked confidence; he knew he wasn’t the best looking guy in the bar that night; he wasn’t dressed to kill; he didn’t have a penny to his name; and his nerves always got the best of him.  He thought back to one of the first times he ever went to a bar; it was an upscale bar; he tried to strike up a conversation with this beautiful woman sipping her cocktail beside him.  She asked “So where do you work?”  He glanced down nervously and stated he worked in a warehouse; she chucked to herself; went back to her drink and found somewhere else to sit; he felt defeated.  This bar was a little more low key  and he thought he might have some more luck here. He walked up to the bar and ordered a beer and sat waiting for someone; anyone to talk to.  The minutes passed by and nothing; he felt lonely; it’s was an empty feeling looking around at the groups of friends that he didn’t seem to have; he felt envious. Bored; he decided to talk to the other guy by himself; drinking a beer too.  Mike asked “These girls, don’t talk to you; do they?”  The guy said “nope” and proceeded to tell Mike about how he was here waiting for a friend and his name was Bob.  Mike talked to Bob for a little while when finally some girls motioned them to go over to the table and talked to them; it was a nice conversation and they seemed friendly enough.  They then said they were going downtown to a club and asked if we could follow them there. Without hesitation and bad judgement Mike took his car along with Bob  ( someone he had only met an hour ago) as a passenger and followed the girls; who he also didn’t know; downtown to a club he’d never been to ;in a part of the city that he had never visited; this had great idea written all over it

Mike who kept thinking it was a bad idea but the chance of meeting up with these girls was too good to pass up.  They got to downtown and realized that the girls had never shown up; they ditched them; probably never meaning to go anyways. Both guys decided to go to the club  because they were already there and figured they’d have better luck in the club.  Upon arriving at the door Mike’s new friend Bob was turned away because he didn’t have the proper club “attire”.  Mike was hoping to himself that this would be the end of the evening and he’d just drive back home but no. It was off to Bob’s house ( a perfect stranger) so that he could change.  It was around 11 pm already and here he was in a bad neighborhood; late at night; with someone he didn’t know; Mike was concerned. How did he get in this mess?  As Mike walked in the house; Bob went upstairs to change and sitting in a chair was an old man who Mike could only assume was his father ( or possibly his grandfather) watching reruns of Sanford and Son. Mike slumped in the chair; not uttering a word to the random old man; it was one of the more awkward moment’s of Mike life. He sat and couldn’t believe he was here at a stranger’s house in the middle of the night when all he wanted to do was have a few drinks and meet some women.  Anyways Bob came downstairs looking 10 times better than Mike ever would; Mike wondered why the bouncer never said anything about his clothes not being proper but I guess it didn’t matter.  And off they went to go to the club.

Mike realizing he hadn’t eaten in awhile quipped “We’re close to Chinatown; let’s go there”  Bob agreed.  And they both found themselves in a Chinese restaurant; ordering beers and short ribs ( never a good combination; especially since they had both had a few beers at the bar); it was if Mike was in a dream and he was waiting to wake up; but alas this was real and Mike was beginning to regret this adventure that he didn’t plan.  Mike could feel himself get sick as guzzled down another beer and stuffed his face with ribs but he was a mission and he going to go to that club.

They managed to get there; how? Who knows.   The club was not the greatest place Mike had been to; in fact it was pretty empty. It was nothing like his first club experience; a packed raved with hundreds of people; beautiful girls everywhere; throbbing strobe lights and loud pulsating music that vibrating through the floors up to the ceiling.  Maybe they had arrived late; maybe it wasn’t the best area in town for a club but Mike was here and he was going to party.  Mike was a novice partier; in fact he hated alcohol; he preferred substances that didn’t make him sick and didn’t require drinking tons and tons of disgusting liquid that always made him feel terrible the next morning; but all of that was overrided at the hope of meeting some woman that night; in his mind it was all worth it.  Mike and Bob went their separate ways; to find women to talk to; they agreed to meet up later.  Mike went to the bar to get some more drinks ( like he hadn’t enough already) and ordered a rum and coke with a little umbrella; not realizing that it wasn’t smart to mix 3 beers with a rum and coke ( along the ribs he had eaten earlier). Mike tried his best to get the confidence to talk to women around the bar but by this time he was already sloshed; slurring his words and completely embarrassed.  He went to the dance floor to see if he could practice his dance moves; when he felt that feeling; you know that feeling where you know you have had too much to drink and your body is saying no more; well it happened; all over the dance floor in front of everyone ;who was privileged enough to be near Mike.  Mike was humiliated and apologized profusely but to no avail; he found himself outside of the club; begging the bouncer to let him back in; his friend was there and he had to drive him home.  The bouncer told Mike they’d get him; so Mike waited in the cold and waited and waited; until it became apparent that Bob was never coming out.  Mike had this feeling in the pit of these stomach that he had no choice but to leave; a feeling of terror came to him because he realized Bob would think Mike had just left him there for no reason. In Mike’s drunken mind; he panicked and realized he had to leave before the bouncer; asked him to leave ( and he wouldn’t ask in a nice matter) So Mike left.

Mike knew he couldn’t drive but he had no choice; no cellphone; no cash for a taxi; he  was in quite the mess here.  Mike drove out of the city limits onto the highway; everything was a blur; the lights from the other cars almost blinding him; the fear of being pulled over; this adventure had turned into a nightmare. Mike somehow made it home safe and sound; didn’t get pulled over by the cops; Bob never went looking for him; vowing to beat him up and that was that. Mike crawled into bed; woke up the next morning and never told anyone about his adventure to Chinatown…  Until 15 years later because he thought ” hey, why not”?

 

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My mountain Trip

Well I just got back from a 3 day fall retreat to the mountains with the disability ministry  that serves those with special needs.  I was taken aback when the leader asked me to go on this trip since I’d only been there a few weeks. I guess she could see how well I interacted with the young adults and how much they liked me.  I was concerned about some of my physical issues but I learned to manage them because I was determined to make this trip a success and not let it get in the way of being there for the young adults we were helping.  And by the way; in the short time that I have known them; I have really grown to care about them and I hope the feeling is mutual.   I get along with them great and I have stated earlier but they all are so kind and gentle; with the biggest hearts of anyone you’ll ever going to meet.  It was touching to see how happy they were and how much they cared for one another; when others were down they made such an effort to cheer them up; at one point praying over someone; I was amazed.

This trip was also good for me because it has been a stressful and painful few weeks with a lot going in my life; I needed a break and this trip kept me so busy that I forgot my troubles for a short while and focused on being a part of this ministry instead.  And we were really busy; we did all sorts of things like cooking meals, bible study; hot dog roast, apple picking, out to dinner and exploring the mountain city; it was busy busy busy but they really seemed to enjoy themselves; they were very excited everywhere we went. One of the more frustrating parts of the trip was that a few times I noticed people giving us funny looks and that made me sad. These young adults are so cool and funny and sweet and yet the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way. But you obviously can’t react so you  talk to the person next to you and continue eating your chicken fingers; pretending not to notice the people staring at us. But for the most part; people were accepting of them and that made me smile.

When I joined this group I was also looking forward to getting to know some of volunteers and I felt that I was able to connect with most of the people there; really well.  Oh and I have always managed to get to know some of the parents of the young adults and I can tell some of them really like me; I really try to get to know them and hopefully they can realize how much I care. Anyways while I get along with a lot of the people; .  I am exhausted and I finally have a day off; so I am taking this day ( how did i get Saturday off?) off to rest and recover from this positive yet emotionally draining trip.

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A mountain poem

The mountains so beautiful before me; air crisp and cool; a crow provides the soundtrack as i enjoy this time of peace with God; alone in my thoughts; bright blue fall sky as I rock in this chair; smoke billowing from a nearby kitchen where we cooked breakfast; reflecting on the days events as i prepare to go back; back to the routine, but for now i am peace with the cold wind blowing at me. This is time I need ; time to reflect; gather my thoughts. Nature inspires me to write out my inner thoughts to no one and everyone at the same time. A good trip this was; just what i needed.

 

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DC memories

I grew up in the Washington DC area and every so often we’d go downtown to walk around the mall; look at the monuments and go to the museums; it was always a lot of fun. I always loved going to the city. I love the hustle and bustle and all the people; with guy playing trash cans as drums; the chiming of the metro bell; people selling hotdogs from carts on the street and all the annoying tourists ( they are the worst btw).  I always loved the museums; I liked to learn and I could get lost in looking at all the exhibits; even as a kid I loved art and going to the air and space museums; where I could see replicas of airplanes and space shuttles; when you 9 or 10; it’s awesome.  And until I moved; I thought museums were free; I thought you could just museum hope from one place to another without paying ( the things you take for granted).   DC is a magical place when you’re a kid because there is so much to see; that you live there all your life and never see it all.

So it was a good day with my family and we had a lot of fun. I have this clear memory of us driving back and we always had the oldie’s station (WBIG) on and as a kid I loved oldies ( I still do); for some reason that music made me really smile; it was upbeat and it just sounded good.  As we going back towards Virginia; I was looking back at the monuments and the Potomac river from the bridge and the song “Easy” by Lionel Richie came on; why I remember this I don’t know why. But it’s a really beautiful song and it sort added a soundtrack to how I was feeling at the moment; every time I hear it; I think of that day; being a kid; and how life seemed to be easier.  Isn’t amazing one song can spark all those memories? Circa ’90-’92

 

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The presence of God in my life

While I was on visiting back home in DC; I felt the presence of God on this trip everywhere I went especially on Sunday of that week. I went back to the church where I had grown up and it was tough to be there with so many memories; I wasn’t sure how I would react. When I walked up to take communion; I cried at church in front of the altar, the pastor’s wife ( who I didn’t know) held my hand and prayed with me; it was one of the most powerful moments in my life. And as I was walking back; this older man who was an usher hugged me and I broke down again and when I looked up I noticed he was crying too; I never met this man before in my life. All I could say was that I missed my brother so much and being there reminded me of him; being a little kid with my family during children’s time; it really was emotional and I will never forget those two people. A few hours later I went to see a friend from high school; it was really nice. I talked about my journey to God and how things happen for a reason. My friends oldest daughter was cleaning out her room and started showing these things she had written as a kid and they were really good; I was really impressed; she was a very creative kid. She then showed me this letter she had written for a friend who had taken his life ( I had hours before visited my brother’s grave who committed suicide when I was 14). I read the letter; trying not to react emotionally; I tried to compose myself; so I kept myself in check because I was floored at what I had read. All I could do was shake my head; hand the paper back and say ” wow this was beautifully written” She smiled nervously not sure how to take the compliment; but I meant it; I’m not sure if she’d ever gotten feedback like that before. So anyways the rest of the evening went well and I told them about working with the disabled and the old times; I wasn’t expecting to have such an emotional moment being there but I felt God was trying to reach and give me comfort.

When I got back to where I was staying I realized that God was present at that house. On the day I was there; that young girl just happened to be going through her things; I’m pretty sure that is not an everyday occurrence. Wherever I go, God is ever present in my life and we seem to have a very special relationship. He looks out for me in obvious ways. I am just so blessed to have friends and family who love me so much and I love them. I was happy to meet their families. So right now I am processing everything and trying to make peace with the past. Am I jumping for joy? No. I just feel a little more at ease. At the moment I am emotionally drained and suffering from a lack of sleep. This is my last full day here so I am taking the time to reflect, write and get some much needed rest after a very busy week.

As always thanks for listening,

Dave

Written on 7/2/18 while still in DC

 

 

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On the train

Written 6/26/18 as I was on a train headed to were I grew up; I hadn’t been back for 10 years and I was very emotional about taking this trip back home

On the train; going back home; a mix of joy and pain; after this trip I may not be the same; I might come back changed but in a good way; I might finally be okay; I have to say that I’m nervous as hell going back; I lack the words to say exactly how I feel but as this train gets closer to my destination; it becomes real; it’s happening; no longer a dream and I don’t want to seem like a downer; all smiles; never a frowner. I just want to see my friends; make peace and end this sadness about the past; maybe at long last I can be happy.

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Wanderlust

I am completely exhausted; I just finished taking my first extended vacation on my own; I planned it; made all the arrangements and financed it. I traveled on my own and stayed with a friend for a week; I was visiting where I had grown up.  I’m pretty proud of myself and I feel independent; when usually I am overly reliant on others in many ways. I have been living where I have been living for over 10 years and I found it depressing that in all that time I had never left the city limits; due to many issues such as my health, lack of funds but a lot of it had to do with fear. I fear driving long distances by myself; I fear getting lost; I worry about the amount of rest stops I might need to take; just a lot of fear; some of it valid; some of it not.

I am taking today to rest and I was thinking about social media and how isolated I feel; the more isolated I am; the more I tend to overshare or exaggerate small successes in my life. I realized a lot of things when I visited back home;this trip opened my eyes to trying to rebuild my life where I am; as opposed to living in the past and on social media. I want to live life; and not a life I can use as a post but real life experiences that can help me grow as a person and learn about the world that surrounds me; instead of living in my little cocoon of a 25 mile radius. I want to meet new and interesting people; I want to join a writers group; I want to see art exhibits; I want to learn as much I can; never stop learn; that’s what I say!.

I have this craving to get in my car and just drive; even if I’m by myself ( which will be most likely the case) to the mountains for a day or two; take a 3 hour drive and stay in a motel or something; anything to get out of the mundane existence of living day to day. I took the train all the way back home and I realized I could go anywhere. I could go to Charleston, I could go to New York, I could take a plane to LA and just walk around Sunset blvd, look at the Hollywood stars on the sidewalk; enjoying the warm California weather and looking at the palm tress swaying in the breeze.  I need to see what’s out there and once I got a taste of freedom; this could be my ticket out of here; anywhere.  I knew this trip could be life changing but I didn’t know how. By facing the past and accepting reality, I can finally move on and start living life starting now….

 

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