First things first, thanks to all the people who’ve responded to my last column. It’s heartening to know that there are so many of us out there who have struggled with booze and drugs, and lived to fight another day, not only stronger than before, but more at peace in our lives. I feel like it’s time for a network of punks in recovery. Like those of us who’ve been through the ringer need to speak out.
I’m not saying we ought to go out and rescue everyone, but there are those among us who know they need help, who want to get help, but they just don’t know how to get help.
It’s just a thought, you can think about it too. Also I want to send a big cheers to Ken Ciderpunk who just completed a stint in in rehab and is now sober AND smoke free. Since I’m two weeks off the smokes myself (I’m now addicted to quittin’ shit.) I know what a jolt that is and I commend him, and personally I love the guy. Well done sir!
Through the initial compilation of the magazine and evolution as the new incarnation of Profane Existence, like the last two print issues came about during a period of personal upheaval. Starting with issue 62, which was edited and compiled in a hotel room. I’d decided to finally leave my partner of thirteen years, just after our eleventh wedding anniversary.
We managed to reconcile for a short period just after printing 62, but by August I was about done again and so I headed to Minneapolis where Dan and I compiled, layed out and sent off issue 63 of the magazine in a three day orgy of punk rock, coffee fueled, printing mayhem.
Since the problems at my home started, Dan was someone I could turn to for advice and a sympathetic ear.
During my time away from home, I felt free and alive. I was spending time with people who were glad to see me, people who payed attention to me and who I could relate to. People who liked to talk about music and art, eat and prepare good food and ride bicycles… talk about Profane Existence and play with kids and pets and it was GLORIOUS!
The suburb I’m presently residing in is a nice place to visit, lot’s of great restaraunts and it’s the heart of silicon valley, but dammit my nearest close friends live forty miles away, and at the minimum a two hour train ride. I’ve felt isolated since moving here, Lori (my ex) goes out a lot, since she was making the most money she got dibs on going out and it’s hard to go to a show living where I do. It’s not that I can’t make friends with civilians, I have friends who are civilians, I just want so badly to hang out with punks, preferably close to my age and who don’t spend their time getting wrecked outa their heads all the time.
I’m quite sure that living with someone who’s life is devoted to their child and hardcore punk rock and roll must get tough sometimes, but seriously since I quit drinking Lori just weren’t clicking. I don’t want to go to bars, and I’d been reminded several times over the years since my stint in rehab that she’d “checked out”. So you see, my home life has been a wreck for a long time. The only glimmer of sunshine comes through my son. Gabe (my son, for those of you keeping score) has been the apple of my eye since his birth ten years ago and I cannot imagine my life without him.
When I returned to California things between my spouse and I quickly deteriorated and so we decided to seperate. I started looking for places to live that were near work and school (did I mention that I’d just gone back to school? When the pressure is on, take on more responsibility, that’s what I always say.) and close enough to Gabe so that he won’t have to ride his bike too far after he gets done with school.
While working in Minneapolis in August I connected with Adrienne Droogas who’d just happened to call Dan one night while we were working on the magazine. Adrienne and I exchanged a few texts and decided to get together and hang out once I returned to the bay area.
I started hanging out with Adrienne more and we shared stories, I told her about my fucked up marriage and she shared her tales of marriage horror. We talked about what had been going on for the last several years and through her encouragement and small Ford Ranger pickup; I moved out of my house. I was lucky to discover a co-worker who had a room for rent and it fit all the criteria I needed and on top of that it’s HELLA cheap.
So, here I am living in a small room in Mountain View California, going to school four nights a week, working nearly every day and in my spare time I’m spending time with Gabe and Adrienne.
Adrienne went from being a confidant to becoming my lover. This is the happy silver lining part of the story, I’ve never had a serious relationship with another punk before, and I certainly never had a partner who was more tattooed than me, so this is quite lovely.
With Adrienne’s encouragement, support and love I’m moving on with my life. So, like the t-shirt says, I can only see a better world built on the ashes of this one, my life needed to be cleared out. I needed to wipe the slate clean. It’s like going through rehab, only this time I feel as if the person I’ll be hanging out with on the other side of tomorrow truly understands and supports what I want to do. And in return I support and encourage her in her pursuits.
So I guess what I’m trying to do with this column is say that things can get crazy, things can get hard but you have to keep going. And when things get difficult and you don’t know where to turn to, go to your friends. I never realized how bad things were or how good they could be until I opened my mouth.
Without my friends I’d be lost. You owe it to your friends to let them help you when you need it.
Thanks to Adrienne, Dan, Jill, Salina, Erin, my mom, Andre, Chelsea, Tommy, Ken, Matthew, Stephen, Cody, Rooster, Georgina, Devon, Gabe, Ami, Sandee, and all the PE contributors. The PE family is growing. More on that next time. OH! Next time will be a little smoother guys, I promise.
Keep on truckin’
UPDATE I’m now living with Adrienne in Oakland and we’re moving to Berkeley. Fuck the suburbs, if you’re in one, leave as soon as possible.
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to send mash notes or yummy vegan recipes or whatever. For PE related issues hit me up at email@example.com