Help I'm Alive

Dear you, reading this,

I'd like to tell you some stories about right and wrong, sobriety and intoxication, and intentions betraying results.

I went to a Watsky show at the Odgen Theater. If you've never been, it has a tiered dance floor and a balcony. Watsky put on a hell of a show, but that's not what I want to talk about. During the song "Woah Woah Woah," it became apparent I had to get on that stage. It didn't happen during that song because the crowd in the first tier of the dance floor was too packed and the fence between the crowd and stage would've been too high to effectively climb before jumping the gap onto the stage. The dream would have to wait until the encore. When his earlier hit "Sloppy Seconds" started playing, I knew I had to make my move. Stage right was guarded by a hulking bouncer standing next to the stairs. Stage left was guarded by an elderly man standing in front of the stairs. During the second chorus I opted to try and get past the former. As I hopped the railing of the staircase to the stage I felt his fingers brush along my pant leg. Had I not been wearing skinny jeans, he might've caught me. Before I knew it, I was face to face with Raquel Rodriguez who was in the process of singing the chorus. Our eyes locked and she gave me a look that seemed to say "what are you doing here?" without missing a beat. I'm sure the look in my eyes replied with "I don't know." Security guards were closing in on all sides and I did what I had come to do.  I lunged off the stage into the hands of the unprepared crowd. Hands slapped my shoulders and unfamiliar voices congratulated me as I made my way into the crowd. I got as far as the back of the first tier before the sausage like fingers of the bouncer I had evaded grabbed  my lapel. This time it was clear there was no getting past him. The bouncer sat me down in the lobby across from a police officer which was, in its own way, terrifying. Part of my pretrial arrangement requires me to disclose any recent encounters with the police. I'm not sure they would be understanding of this particular type of risk taking. Luckily, another bouncer arrived and told the grabby meat sack to ask me kindly to leave. Outside the venue, a homeless man grabbed my friends beard while we discussed what had just happened. That was an odd way to cap off the night. What I find odd about this experience is I'm not so sure I would have attempted the stage dive if I had not been sober. Most people who care to comment seem to think that intoxication leads to bolder decisions and looser morality; however, I find it to be quite the opposite. There is nothing to humble you in a clear state of mind, except perhaps, the threat of retribution. I don't have the data to back this up so take it with a grain of salt. What I can say with confidence is the stage dive made me feel alive. It's a feeling that seems to be appearing in my life in short intervals that are becoming fewer and farther in between.

Between that story and the next, my friend Robb and I went to Kumasi Washington and Vulfpeck at Red Rocks. It felt great to be back. The show was amazing and that's all I'll say about that because the drive up might've been more memorable than the concert. We rode in my Grammy's car which has a handicapped placard hanging from the mirror. Seeing this, the Parking attendants started waving us up even though there were cars parking down by the box office. For those who don't know, the box office is about a mile away from any entrance. As we wound our way up the road, a keen eyed parking attendant noticed that Robb and I were able bodied. He asked us to kindly turn right at the next fork into a side lot. When we made it to the fork, about halfway to the entrance, the next parking attendant waved us forward. We ended up in a handicapped spot right next to the gate. We were trembling at this point, thinking that at any moment someone would call our bluff. I walked out of the car with a limp just to sell it. There is no moral here, just know Red Rocks will give you a free soda if you agree to be the designated driver. No problem for a man who is legally barred from drinking.

Speaking of legal issues. I had my first court date on May 11th. It was what's known as a filing of charges and basically they asked me if I had a lawyer and gave me a sheet of paper informing me that I am being put on trail for a felony. What interests me about this is the lawyer situation. Believe or not, I don't make any money of my art or music and, in fact, invest quite heavily in it. If my income was based on my pay before taxes, I would qualify for a public defender. Because it is based on gross pay (before taxes). My options are to take less hours at work or hire a private attorney which would cost me five months salary. Can you guess which option I'm going to choose? The American Justice system makes fools of us all.

A few days later, Lauren and Kate from episode 9 of our podcast, Ye Ultimate Party, threw a birthday party for Lauren and it was awesome. They had amazing food and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Initially, I felt a little alienated because I couldn't take place in the libations or ganja. I had to do a little soul searching to figure out why this was. In high school I had no problem going to parties without drinking or smoking. At the time, it was a point of personal pride to be the sober kid. At Lauren and Kate's party it only served to remind me that I am currently being thought of as a felon by the state. Several psychologists and guru's will tell you that it is not our circumstances, but rather what we think about our circumstances that control our emotions and feelings. This was certainly the case for me. Both in high school and at current parties, I do not need drugs or alcohol to have a good time. I am no longer of the belief that they would only serve to do me harm or decrease my enjoyment of an evening; However, I am all too aware of the risk intoxication poses. I can get past small feelings of alienation if it keeps me out of jail. The only thing real difference between the past and now is pride has turned to shame. At this point, I just want to be a free person again.

However, do I deserve to be? This last story occurs in the not to distant past and has been haunting me recently. Several prominent figures have been arrested or denounced for sexual misconduct. I could tell you the story about how a woman got me drunk with the intention of getting me to sleep with her or several stories about a man I slept with who continued to harass me after our affair. Instead, here is the story about one of the biggest mistakes of my life. A woman I was dating was not having a good day. Her work was stressing her out so we went on a hike before she had to go in, but it didn't seem to help. In the past, I had been able to cheer her up with some physical pleasure. At this point in time, it's clear that everyone has moods and what worked in one situation may not work in future endeavors.  After the hike, we drove to her work and had about a half hour to chill. I asked if she wanted to cuddle in the back of the car. While there, under a blanket, I slid down our pants and proceeded to penetrate her. I could tell it was uncomfortable, but I thought it was my fault for not doing it right. Maybe the angle was off? It wasn't the angle. When I had finished she ran out of the car crying. I had messed up bad. I could say something about how she didn't tell me to stop but I don't want to put blame on her. I should have known that I wasn't doing the right thing. We continued to date for a time. Afterwards we had a few chance encounters. For a time she sent me postcards. Now she doesn't speak to me. There are probably any number of things I did in that time that are responsible for her excommunicating me from her life. There's a chance that this is all water under the bridge and I'm just scared of what would happen to me if people thought I was hiding this. Putting this information out in public may make her resent me more. Who knows? I'd like to believe that this is the right thing to do. Other people need to know how important it is to be absolutely sure that your partner is consenting. You may end up making a huge mistake and regretting it for years to come even after the relationship ends. To this day I'm scared of jumping into relationships for fear that I'll make this mistake again, even though I've had successful relationships since. It's strange. The state is charging me for possession of psilocybin.  Even if I had, I would not feel guilty. Mushrooms have benefited many and the laws against them are unjust and ignorant. No retribution was taken for what I did to a girl whom I loved very deeply, and yet, I've carried it as a stain on my character ever since. I can't speak for her. I know she's living a life without me that is probably much happier. Still I can't shake the image of those tears and how remorseful I felt. Please treat those you love with all the care and decency you can muster.

As always, Thank you for reading,


J say or the day: There's enough important things going on to make everything unimportant.