It’s a night of slight rain and a touch of the chill that lies here in Oregon is outside. Walking home from my day I knew tonight was going to be THE night to sit in front of my PC keyboard, play one of my many song-lists I made on Rdio, and after a warm shower and a Marlboro outside, my new post would spill out of my head and onto theJohnnyspot. I have been hinting at actually writing properly for quite some time, months in fact. Yeah I’ve posted a few pieces here and there, ALL on here actually, but not sat down to compose my life today, to explain where, who and what I am today. Until right now.
Where to begin has been beating my brain nearly unconscious since November 29, 2013. Thanksgiving… the next day precisely. I was run over while driving my scooter in downtown by a gal I adore, Carla. It was an accident and happened as we were leaving to grab coffee. She made a right, right onto me. My fab orange scooter that I drove for nearly 2 years did not survive. I did. Now, I was taken by life-flight to the hospital, Memorial Hermann in Houston, which I do not recall. I was placed on several floors over several weeks for the recovery, which I do not recall. I was moved into an actual recovery room and my Mother and brother, along with visiting friends were told “Not to expect much from him. He may never recover fully, or at all.” Funny, I do not recall that either. Even more funny is that is the 2nd time I was placed into a hospital room in Houston with a terribly bad diagnosis. First time was death, then brain damage, then survival.
That was when I was close to death by by my own hand….I drank myself there. But, God had different plans for me. I made it and recovered and 3 years later on June 9, 2014? No booze. No drugs. Well, how about that. Sobriety is a total life-changing gift I accept and thrive in. Today I was particularly ill-at-ease with the way things are happening in PDX but no matter. I’m here in “PDX” the famed city with Mt. St. Helens a little bit away. Where one of my fave directors, Gus Van Sant, shot “My Own Private Idaho” with Keanu Reeves and the fantastic River Phoenix. He was a man with troubles affecting his life but he did not make it to see today. I’m in Portland because of my love for River.
This occasion I was alive but not conscious for about 4-5 weeks. When I awoke, at least I recall awakening, I was perplexed. Where was I? “Wait, what happened to me? No, no…I am moving to Portland on December 15…the plans are all ready made…. “There is art and beauty I have to see in Portland!”
I was told that might never happen, that I had a lot of recovery to undertake. I might not ever be the same. Just be calm and patient, I was alive, so there’s that!
I was astounded. Didn’t anyone understand what I had been through before. That I was now 48 and had been through a horrible recovery from being a drug-addicted alcoholic now with time and with sponsees and a Sponsor and 2 jobs! It didn’t matter. All of my plans were now changed. I should hope, pray for my mind and body to recover and the scooter was destroyed so Ihad better have 24-hour care assigned to me now so if I ever did come back to myself, I would have the ability to make new plans.
“Fuck you! You have no idea what I’m about to do, what I have been through already” I thought and then said aloud. It was the beginning of a great lesson for me. Patience and the deep belief that God, yep, God was in control. I only had God to talk to every day, ha…all day, over and over again. In terror, in fear, in hope, in shame, in trust, in love and finally in understanding: God has a plan for me,(yes for each of us!) I was just not given the “What happens next” document that exists somewhere. Faith? I had that, I was that. So I began to wait.
I waited another 4 weeeks, before I was let out of the hospital and allowed to stay with a hired man. It was a disaster for reasons Iwill never speak of and I had no control over, mainly because my brother agreed on the idea and he is a lost man with no faith and no plan except for himself. We no longer speak, but anyway, I finally went to MY home in Montrose in February and I began living, working, and believing in God’s mysterious plan for my future. And guess what? HE came though for me. Just as He has and continues to do.
I worked at 2 different jobs, worked on my art and writing and began communicating with my friends here in Portland about my arrival. Tony Howard, Michael his husband, my teenage met when friend, Michael Reper and his husband Deric, Ria McClain…dear old friends in Los Angeles Jill Schwarz and her man Spencer and my dear dude Martin Chavez, knew I was heading west to begin my life again. My new Portlandia friends Tanner, Allison Fox and John also all knew I was going to not only going to make it but MOVE to Portland at the end of February. And I did. Tada!
And their were giving, loyal and trusting friends, employers, even some people I didn’t know helping my new life begin. They all donated money, texts and phone calls to my recovery, to my fund when I was at Memorial Hermann, unconscious and in bandages with the “Yes, I am” mindset playing slowly in my thoughts, giving me new strength, hope and the “It Will” belief I needed.
There is much more to explain: the packing of my apartment with my former partner, Brian Potter‘s assistance, Lisa Benitez‘s kindness and hope, Steve Henry‘s breakfasts and belief . The text messages from so many people I love including John Beeman in Los Angeles and Rebecca Weinberg in Manhattan. The new representative who runs Bristol Properties here in Portland, giving me help to pay the deposit, clean and ready this apartment here in the Greeway building in Northwest Portland neighborhood around the corner from the Alano Clubhouse, where I attended killer AA meetings and met Tanner.
Patience was slowly, haha, coming through almost exactly as I was told I needed, except 3 months later came through after all. I do not know what the reason was behind my being run over and in the hospital in recovery for 2 months, the aftercare plan…I asked God why but was never given an answer. I was told “It will take you a lot of believing in my plan fro you if you really want to acheive your move west.” And I did want that, NEED that and hallelujah, I GOT it. Here I sit on a rainy, chilly Wednesday night, listening to a playlist with Rufus Wainwright, Elton John, Dawes, Allison Moorer, Ami Mann and so many more musicians I adore while I type hard onto my keyboard in order to release my mind from it’s business, many of it’s memories, it’s workout.
Portland, Oregon is a dream city with so much to see and do and attend with so may people I am just meeting and some of the aforementioned ones I have the pleasure of already knowing. This Friday night? Allison and I are seeing London Grammar here in Portland on their first tour ever. Totally sold out. But I knew they were a new favorite of mine, as I had listened to their album on repeat for the week I originally arrived in Portland last fall. Their glorious sound, during the nearly perfect week of weather, walking, meetings, driving and the absolute confirmation that I was meant to live here. Portland Oregon is my home today. And I love it. As much, possibly more than when I first moved to Houston in 1982. It’s the 21st century and I am ready for each and every newness that Portland is giving me. Scratch that. It’s God. He’s given me everything I call “mine.” And I am forever in gratitude with Him for it all. Even on a rainy night with the temperature in the 30s, I sit here and say “Thank you, God.” And thank each of you readers for sticking with me so far. I’m here rain or shine. Especially rain…awesome exactly on my head. But just wait till it’s sunny here for days! No bandages needed now.