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As the title states, like the sand in my underwear, so are the days of my life.
My life and the lifestyle I have chosen to live are by far not the normal. My life is seven years of happiness then a year of sadness, then repeat. Looking back chronologically I clearly had missed the pattern for years.
When I was a youth, 7 years old I went berserk. I was in a very nice foster home and for no particular reason I burned down the garage.
What ends to a meaning for my actions I know not.
My personality changed overnight. That was when the seeds of “Shakie Dann” were planted.
Seven years afterwards I shot my best friend with a thirty aught six bear rifle. To this day I still have nightmares and cannot get the image of the massive hole in his chest off my mind.
Fifty years of regret, remorse and guilt. Every night, every day since that fatal day. Accidental or not – a murderer I be. A murderer you see.
The other shooting we will speak of behind doors closed to sneaky ears. A ladder day tale I am yet to avail.
The difference between loving and living is as wide as the Grand Canyon. You can live without loving. Can you love without living?
I never knew of the word “love” till I was Blessed to meet my second wife. Forty years later my love for her has never faltered. I loved her before I knew her and I will love her long after time ends.
She gifted my soul with three sons. What a greater gift could any man and Father ask for?
Unfortunately, I failed my boys in certain aspects of life. I blame that directly on my lifelong affiliation with gang life and definitely my genetic desire to be a gangster.
For years that was my survival defence mechanism. My early adolescent’s body carried the learned mind of an experienced gangbanger.
(A weighed yoke of shame that I shall carry forevermore.)
How else does a child, who went nomad at 12 years old, protect himself from the Predators and Street Demons of life in the underworld?
Any who grew up on the street can tell you that you develop a series of defensive and offensive mechanisms. They become a part of your body. Rooted directly to your adrenal gland. Instantaneous reflex response to your ‘fight or flight Syndrome’.
The Ten Commandments of living in the gray area of a black and white world are best heard from the vocal chords of the late Tupac Shakur. Not recited from a cult cookbook and holy almanac.
For truly mankind has lost fear of the message written upon those twin ancient stone slabs.
The pages of the Holy Bible now lay incognito beneath the dust of family values lost and compassions mutated to lustful compassions. We coveted not our neighbours wife. We purchased a point in time with his bare breasted daughter. Thy shall not kill unless for thrill. It is not theft if you do not get caught.
It took a street minstrel, a ghetto poet, a legendary soul who saw the harsh brutality of society and modern reality, to recite ten simple rules in such a way they would reach and teach the sensible few who overstood the outlaw shit bear no good.
The title labeled these simple rules , “The Ten Crack Commandments.” I kid you not, the youth these rules they got.
The survival of the fittest Urban Viking could remain a free man if his illegal actions were ten rules bound. There would lay no evidence for dogs to find. Beware the wolves. The two legged mind.
The sorrow seen in this here tale is the loss of childhoods and innocence of youth. When from the basement to the roof danger lurks and rodents run amiss. Aye and there stands the frame of a lad, but his deep socketed eyes be that of a man so sad.
What hurts me the most is that I was that boy. Ten years old I aged three fold. By twelve years in my life was a sin. I sought out the masters of street craft and survival. I learned how to turn to my advantage the actions of many a rival.
Einstein once was heard to state, “When dealing with the insane, it is best to pretend that you, yourself, are sane.”
The necessities needed to survive the streets I mastered very young. My number one weaponized trait being my ability to convince all around me that I was harmless and a wee bit “special”. Like the foolish moth they soon burned in my deceptive fire. Oh what evil had I acquired.
I was extremely adapt at hiding in plain site. I could blend into the shadows like a chameleon on defense. You would not see me because I didn’t matter.
Like I show in my fictional book from my “Walking On Dawes Collection”, “You Can’t See Me”.
You can be the loudest person in a crowd and still be invisible. By invisible I mean “seen” but never “remembered” or “heard.” A tool I used daily. I wouldn’t be here today if not for perfecting the Art of Invisibility.
There lays little of my teen years that I hold pride of. There are many occurrences that I hold and accept blame for.
After all, I am a realist and reality is real. I did – therefore I am of guilt. Beit legally or morally. I plead guilty with an explanation.
There are explanations and there are excuses.
Excuses are the misconceptions of the human mind attempting to justify wrongful actions that were performed with blatant disregard for societal and moral laws.
Explanations are an admission of guilt with your reasoning behind your actions. A confession that explains why you chose to commit such acts.
All the thoughts I will have tomorrow will be the thoughts I had last night. Everything I learned in “high” school I mastered for they I already knew. For my Momma didn’t raise me a fool. She put me in foster care so I could learn their rules.
Catholic propaganda in a Latin voice accrue. I learned that much like Jesus, I, too, had played the fool. Prejudiced opinions set my life askew.
Graduating to “manhood” at the age of twelve, forever surviving an adolescent Hell.
Those days were many dark and tense. Yet now I wallow in a life content.
Beginning at the age of sixty my existence was plagued with tragedy after tragedy. But, were they actually tragedies?
I think not.
First it was the two cancers. Then the gall bladder removal. Followed by a third of my liver removed. Then came the huge abscess costing me a fair length of my intestines.
Top that off a severe case of septicemia which lead to yet another death requiring a resuscitation and days on life support.
And last, but not least, my spleen literally exploded causing me to bleed out and once again dying and being resuscitated once again.
Number eleven of documented deaths. Not near deaths. Actual drop dead deaths. Eleven times in eleven years.
It all took place from January till March of year one.
The years 60 – 61 went by slowly. Thirty-three and a half weeks in and out of the Princess Margaret Cancer Center. Lost my apartment and ninety percent of everything I owned.
Having been diagnosed with late stage four Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Pharyngeal Cancer meant no viable treatment. So, experimental radiation I decided, with the knowledge from my doctors, was the only route to take. And here today sits I “Shake“.
I have PTSD from the traumas I endured these past few years. Not me alone, for my family has suffered through all that I have. The various illnesses and diseases, the suicide of our son, “Jordan” and the loss of almost all my worldly possessions.
The possessions barely bothered me. Easily replaceable via friends and generous strangers who post ads for free items.
I am not one for treasuring my possessions. Often I have given away items I had just purchased. I remember one such incident whereas I had saved up to buy a new coloured tv. The whole family was excited as we drove home with our new set. The television never made it into our living room because a family member called telling me that their tv had died and they had no way of getting a replacement.
I promptly turned my truck around and delivered my new tv to their home. In another instance I had bought myself a brand new Chevy Malibu. I treasured it and was real excited to drive it. I picked it up and drove it home. I ate my supper and talked to my father-in-law on the phone. He was calling to tell us that his car had just died and it would be a while before he would be able to visit. He lived about 90 minutes away.
After supper I got in my prized car and delivered it to my father-in-law.
I could take transit, he could not. He had a 20 minute drive just to buy milk or bread.
I do not tell you this to boast or for some egotistical reason. I merely am stating facts of the way I live and how I have changed the way I make choices.
Possessions are nice to have. They are not necessary. Take a look around at all you own. I know you will see many items that you never use or rarely touch. I give those types of items to people I know will appreciate and use them.
A clutter of nick-nacks, furniture or whatever is a self portrait of one’s mind. A chaotic fumbling of thought and deeds with no set guidelines for logistics.
By no means am I saying give up all your worldly possessions. Hell no! The sixties were to me, but not that good
What I do mean to say is, if a person in need or there is someone lacking the ability to obtain items that we all take for granted, well, take an inventory of your life and materialistic holdings. Perhaps you may have what is needed and you have 2 or perhaps it has been sitting on a shelf for years.
Always pray it forward, prior to paying it forward. And, unlike myself, do not broadcast your charitable actions. A braggart need not you be. To do so is an act of pure selfishness.
I put my actions out there as a truth of my present day life. As I have put out there all the days of my life. In blogs, stories, television, magazines and my autobiography.
My brag is that I have changed my complete self.
I have Flipped the Script and I am now the ‘Yang’ of my ‘Ying.’
From the violence and dangerous days of my youth, to the hippie years, the biker era and my Adventures in Fatherhood to becoming A LightHouse and to whomever I am on this day.
As far as I can tell, I am me, Dann – just as I am I carry no yoke of religion on these ragged shoulders. I bear the weight of complete Faith