I live a very solitary and lonely life.
I have many friends, but I am also the man who is alone in a crowded room.
I have accepted that. I mask it with smiles and humour. I grin and “bear” it so to speak.
My friends are my Blessings. They sooth my sorrow. Their love hugs me when I am crying alone in the dark. They calm the savage beasts that run amuck in my mind.
I am Blessed and I know it.
I have walked so many paths and highways during my fifty nine years. I have worn out numerous shoes as the rugged edges of existence tore and frayed their soles.
I certainly have learned from every step I chose. I have learned more from the steps I did not choose.
I – like all children – did not ask to be born. That was a choice two teenagers made in the chaos of living in the fifties. I am a direct result of their lust.
I am grateful to have been brought into this world. Even though I was the “accidental” birth. A blue baby born on a blue moon.
My mother could not deal with yet a third child. My early years were spent being bounced back and forth and to and fro between my father, mother, relatives and by the age of ten I had lived in thirty two different homes.
By the age of twelve I had left home to live in The Awarehouse Hippie Commune. I fondly reminisce about the psychedelic years.
The peace and love generation instilled a gentleness in me. Unfortunately, the reality of living on the streets at such a young age infused a violence and deceitful side that was a necessity for survival.
By fourteen I developed a wanderlust – a fear and loathing approach to the reality of my life.
In those days I hitchhiked across Canada and the United States many times. It was a different world then. The peaceful hippie culture provided me with shelters from the storms.
I often ate from dumpsters and I often dined with kings. I had a passion for learning all I could from every soul the Creator’s connected me with. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Much to my despair, I discovered the ultimate drugs. LSD, HEROIN and worse, I also discovered violence.
I became dangerous.
I teamed up with the worse of the worse. I became an urban legend of fear known by all those around me.
I became a biker, a beggarman and a thief. I began “wintering” in jail. Which made it dangerous for society come spring.
I developed an addiction not only to the 10cc syringe, but also to guns and explosives.
The “Unholy Trio of Evil”.
I dissociated from my family and childhood friends. I like to fool myself into thinking I did this for my own progress, but looking back I know it was to protect them from the evil I had become.
Soon, my winter escapes to jail turned into many years in a federal penitentiary.
I learned that choices can be wrong and drugs could mask reality.
In my early twenties I emerged back into your society a different person. I was now a scared young man living like a stranger in a strange land.
My previous lifestyle had hidden reality from me and reality had now been deposited abruptly in my lap.
With the guidance of my dear cousin David and his wife, April and also that of my elder brother Ernie and his wife, Elisabeth, I slowly became human.
Human for the first time in my life.
In the early stages of my new life I feared the challenges. I was lost in a society that had advanced while I was stagnated by incarceration.
I was frightened by all which surrounded me.
I tried. I truly did.
I fell into what I perceived as “love” with my first wife, Michelle. Love that was based on my “purchasing” her for fifty dollars from her mother.
How could I love when I had never experienced love?
Shortly after our union my biological mother was brutally murdered. The assailant committed two murders that day for he also killed our marriage.
Within eight months from wedlock to divorce, my manufactured world disintegrated.
Much like my being released from prison, I was once again thrust into a reality I was not familiar with.
Once again I lay naked and afraid.
I slowly descended into my previous lifestyle. Alcohol and drugs encased me within their evil tentacles.
Once again I became “Shakie”. Once again I became dangerous.
And then I met the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I was introduced to a side of me that I never had met. “Fatherhood”.
Jennifer had a six month old son named Randy. Randy needed a dad. I never had a father in the familiar sense and Randy brought the paternal instinct out of my inner most depths.
I embraced fatherhood. I embraced my new found life. I certainly embraced Randy.
I became as sober as our lifestyle allowed. I always worked. I always provided. I always and very willingly embraced Randy as my “first born”.
I still do. Thirty five years later.
Like all relationships, we had our ups and downs and numerous “inbetweens”.
Nine years into our marriage, Jennifer gave birth to our second son, Jordan.
For his first six years he had a good life.
The remainder of his childhood would echo that of my own.
But, I never strayed from being the best father I could be at that time.
Thirteen years after Jordan’s birth I was once again to become a father. Thanks to the infidelity of my wife and so-called “friend”.
I held no anger or hatred for the handsome little life the Creator’s had placed in my warm embrace. From the cutting of his cord to making his lunch for school this morning I have and always will gaze upon and love him as my own.
Sons and daughters are not necessarily those who you have seeded. They are those you have loved and desired to raise, nurture and guide as your legacies of life.
Jennifer and I had twenty eight years together. Twenty eight years that I never once strayed into another woman’s arms. Twenty eight years of being blinded by love and not seeing the reality of a damaged marriage.
I live a very solitary and lonely life.
But I am not alone. I have Dakota by my side – I have his brothers in my heart.
My loneliness and solitary existence is that of a man who is without the comfort of a spouse. The man who has no arms around him in times of despair. The man who has no soul mate to discuss his day or the strife of life.
The lonely man.
(This is an excerpt from my ongoing book. I shall return and post more as time passes.)