The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Coasting

 I have to get frank on here - my labs have not been good.  I had a biopsy back in Janurary that showed that my most recent transplant had damage - and they determined that it was from the donor, and not from me or anything I or my body's systems had done. The kidney just wasn't as viable as they originally thought.   I've since had another biopsy that showed the same results as the previous one - and my labs have been in slow decline ever since.

I currently have about 22% function.  I don't feel great most of the time - but this is really nothing new for me.  I've learned to live and function feeling that way - if the average person felt how I feel every day, they would not be able to function well at all. In fact, they'd probably think that they were very, very sick.  But it's normal for me, and I do the best I can with it.

Right now, my function will keep me off dialysis - which is amazing.  But I am bracing myself for the fact that there will be an inevitable return to dialysis for me, probably sooner than I would like. Or worse.  I also don't know just how long I might last on dialysis again.  I was in rough shape last time.  I just don't know if I can survive much more of this.  I have fought very hard for a long time.  Almost 19 years now of living with End Stage Renal Disease.  I can't afford to do the normal human thing and pretend death isn't a reality for me.  It breaks every inch of my heart to think I might have to leave this life sooner than I'd like.  At one point in my life, I was more sad for myself - I thought of everything I'd never get to do. Now, it's funny - I am sated with the things life has to offer me.  I have not lived some amazing life of crazy success and glory - but I have lived a good life. I have gotten to live a life of love, passion and creativity.  I have pursued interests that have made me happy and fulfilled - I have had things I've written published internationally.  I have created, composed and recorded music that was a true expression of my heart and expressed through my love of musical composition. I have created video games that have been sold internationally, and there are fans of my work all over the globe.  I've befriended a veritable army of people all over this planet - and they're all just such amazing people.  I mean, when I think about the friends I have amassed over the years, I get a little choked up.  A lot of amazing and good-hearted people thought this stupid kid from Upstate New York was worth befriending. I knew the love of an amazing person, with whom I shared many amazing adventures, laughter, tears and a journey through life together. I have two absolutely wonderful children, whose glory shines so bright, and who have captured my heart and imagination like nothing else in this whole experience of life has.  I have lived a good life.  It's all more than I ever could have hoped for. I couldn't have predicted this life for me when I was young, and every day since Jan 1st 2003 has been an absolute gift.  Even the hard times - the heartache, the sadness, the depression, the setbacks, the failures... it's all part of the experience.  And it's all mine. For better or for worse, it's all mine. 

Right now, as I've said, I just want to hold on as long as I can. My children just started school.  I want to be around for them as long as I can.  I don't want to be a little spot, a dot in their memory.  I want them to look back, and think lovingly and fondly of their father.  I want the thought of me to be one that inspires love, comfort, support and inspiration.  I don't want to be something they recall as a long distant part of their past.  I am so upset that I will have to give them this legacy in life - being a chronically ill father makes me so upset in that I have saddled them with something even before they were born. They love me so much; I am so lucky.  I try not to scare them too bad, but I also try to be as open and honest about my life and condition as I can.  I don't want them to grow up, look back and get mad that I lied to them about things, or how I was.  But I also want to protect them and not scare them.  It's a serious balancing act that I am still trying to manage, refine and enact.  I hope I am doing well there.

So, right now, again, I feel like I am coasting through life.  Drifting on this strange breeze caught between life and death, just trying to stay aloft - all while still trying to live life the best I can, experience the most I can, and enjoy things the most I can.  The last five years of my life have been the hardest in particular - I have survived things I was sure would kill me. But I am still here, and I am still going. Perhaps I still have strength I do not even know about.  All I know is I am going to try my best to keep living a life of quality.  Thanks for taking the journey with me, in some way.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Highway Song (3 of 12)

 Ry strode up the street, and peered into the large picture window in front of the pharmacy. It was a real "old-school" place, with the name of the pharmacy painted in carefully painted script. The old venerable neon sign hung out front, above the door, it's ancient neon still shinning and proclaiming "Judge Drugs". Ry pushed the door open, and heard an old fashioned shoppers bell ring as he stepped inside. The place smelled amazing - Ry always loved finding these old, family run places and they always smelled like an odd kind of comfort.  The shelves were a mix of new products and old - he thought half the novelty toys they had in the aisle were still from the 1970s, while he did spy a few semi-new Star Wars toys.

Ry was out to pick up some bottled water, and a bottle of flavoring in a little squeeze bottle. Mio, or some brand like that.  There were some of these concentrates that had a nice collection of vitamins & minerals infused in it. He could add it to any water, and it was some nice flavor and a pop of something mildly nutritious.  He also picked up some peanut butter crackers.  Decent road fuel for a couple bucks.  He nabbed a small package of Acetaminophen and brought it all up to the counter to pay.  He mused on buying the ancient rubber ball he saw on the counter, but today wasn't a day to indulge whimsy.

The cashier smiled at him as he approached, which he was actually glad for.  Far too often in his transient life, he was greeted by derision and suspicious stares, as people are wont to do. But this young woman smiled genuinely at him as she put down the comic she was reading.

How are you doing today? she asked

Not bad at all he said cheerfully.  Thanks for asking.

My pleasure... just this? she asked, pointing to his items

Yes ma'am.  he said

Ma'am. Don't make me feel all fancy... or old. I'm sitting here reading comics, you know. she said with a smile.

I see that he said, anything good?

Oh yeah, for sure. I've been reading the mags we get in store since I was a kid. Dad runs this place now, but Grandpa ran it before him.  I've probably been reading comics here since before I could walk!

Musta been a neat place to grow up in.

It wasn't bad. It's not a huge town here, so a lot of the excitement in town centers on this place.  This place... and the Village Inn, of course.

Of course! he laughed.

She smiled back at him.  It was nice to get some normal human interaction.

Well, that'll be $7.50 total, today! she chimed.

He fished a ten dollar bill out of his billfold, and handed it to her casually.  She smiled, and placed it in the register as she counted change.  She handed him back a couple coins and a couple bills.

Well, we appreciate your business! Enjoy your time in our town!

Thank you. It's been very nice so far.

He nodded his head, and made his way out the front of the store.  He already missed the smell of the place as he walked down the street, and made his way down to the little park area next to the river.  The bridge that spanned the river carried the State Route into town - the little park down by the river had some small, but nicely kept flower gardens, a couple of benches, and a walking path that went under the bridge.  He spied a nice spot under the bridge he could camp out at. Probably a popular spot, he'd have to be careful.  But he sat on the bench, and took out his guitar to play for a minute.  The sound of the river flowing by was strong - a real pulse heartbeat of a flow, and he played some chords to it.  He started with some major chords, feeling bright, but as the current pulled him along, he was also finding a minor theme in it.  He loved to find himself in moments like this, inspired by his environment, and letting the music just go along. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Highway Song (2 of 12)

     They rode in silence together down the old state route.  The driver had pulled over his old 1979 Ford F-150 and picked up the hitchhiker as he stood on a wet patch of gravel by the road.  The hitcher had thrown his guitar case in the bed of the truck, and noted how delightfully avocado green one of the truck's dual colors were.  It was a hallmark of that era - this car was in great condition.  Someone had taken care of it - or maybe never ever drove it thought the hitchhiker.  The cab was cool, and smelled faintly of old Marlboros.  The driver was a heavier set man, probably in his mid fifties, blue plaid flannel shirt over an old t-shirt.  He wore an old Mack Truck baseball cap, and nodded politely to the hitchhiker.

Where you going? he asked the hitcher.

Just down the road, to the next town.

No problem, that's only about 15 minutes down this way.

Thank you, sir.

The banality of the exchange brought both the hitcher and the driver a sense of relief.  The driver took a chance on this guy - and the hitcher took a chance on the driver.  But all that passed between them in the ensuing minutes was a few songs on the radio.  It was an old classic rock station, and during the time they shared, Bob Seger asked to be Rolled Away and John Sebastian sang about the summer in the city. They were just getting into Love Her Madly by the Doors when the truck pulled into town.

The old state route was the main street of this old town - it sprang up in the North County, like so many other little places, as a home for the workers that came to mine iron ore or to cut down the vast supplies of lumber that would help build structures all over the state.  But, as industries do, they dry up and move on, leaving people where they are and cities and towns to deteriorate and shrink.  Calbot was no exception; main street had a few nice old buildings, but the stores that were once in them sat unused.  There was still the old Village Inn, and a Pharmacy on the strip.  An old bakery still cranked out doughnuts everyday, or at least it claimed to on the sign.  There was an old IGA supermarket down the way a bit.  A few people walking the streets. An old abandoned gas station up at the corner.  Your typical North Country town.  Nice.  Quiet.  Near the river - source of life and commerce.  The Hitcher nodded at the driver as he alighted from the vehicle and grabbed his guitar case.

Thank you very much, sir.  said the hitcher.

John said the driver. My name's John, I'm sorry, I never introduced myself! We just got on well in the silence and I just kept it that way!

No worries said the hitcher, I enjoyed it too.

You got a name?

The hitcher thought for a moment.  It had been a while since he used his name. People really never asked him.  It was kind of odd, he thought, how rarely some people will ask a transient their name.

Yeah he replied with a wry smile It's Ryan. Everyone just calls me 'Ry' though.

Safe travels to you, Ry. You take care now.

The door to the truck closed, and John drove off down the old State Route, off toward the old horizon and out of Ry's life.


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Highway Song (1 of 12)

 The hitchhiker stood on a wet patch of gravel next to the side of the road.  The morning clouds had given up a little rain earlier; he was glad to have spent that little shower underneath the old car park he'd slept in the night before. The roof was standing and sturdy on the old car port, but the house it once belonged to was not in such good shape.  The home, long since abandoned, had caved in on itself long ago, he estimated.  The weeds and growth around the old property suggested so - but the car port looked warm, dry and relatively safe - the old house was set back from the old highway a ways, and with no one to maintain the property, the old shrubbery out front obscured most of the places existence. He'd looked through the house briefly - noting the old newspapers and magazines from the late 70s to the mid 80s.  The house had been deserted for probably over 35 years.  It was a shame no one seemed to want this old property, he thought.  It was kind of out of the way.  It was the lone house for miles in a long stretch of old highway, built long ago before America's super highways had made these old state routes less traveled.  Not that the road was abandoned, far from it - but it was less traveled than it once was.  In fact, the whole roadway was littered with old abandoned hotels and motels, that were probably once full of travelers and vacationers in mid-century America. Most of those places, though the business was given up, still had visitors... more transients.  Much like himself, but yet not like me he thought.  Sadly, many were junkies - chasing the dragon with old dirty needles, or succumbing to the latest drug plaguing the lower classes - methamphetamine.  The hitchhiker steered clear of that stuff.  He traveled light - a small backpack with a blanket, some old clothes inside, whatever snacks or food he managed to get, and his old guitar. It was a beat up Takamine someone in Toledo had traded to him for a pocket knife.  He was glad to have an instrument again - it made a nice traveling partner.  It also seemed to endear him more to people who might stop to give him a lift - even if he didn't play, something about it made others more at ease.  He hoped it did.  He didn't want to hurt anyone. He just wanted to keep going.  Where? Somewhere

The patch of gravel next to the road was about 2 miles down from the car port he'd slept it; he started walking down the road and waited to see where he'd get. He knew there was a little town about 20 miles up ahead.  He'd stop in there, and see what he could find.  A pharmacy, maybe. Hopefully a little restaurant - he'd managed to save a little money from the last job he grabbed at the previous town he shuffled into.  He helped a local road crew pave some roads for a few days, and at the end, he gave back the orange jacket they'd handed him, and handed him a wad of cash. A nod, a hand shake, and he went back on the road.

He didn't often think of where he'd come from - he thought often of where he'd been... but that old home he was once from? He hadn't been there in years.  Didn't have a reason to - everyone was gone.  When you're orphaned into the world, and your siblings won't claim to know you - you've got to find your own path. Which is just what he did. So he here was on the road - in a state he was not from, but rapidly learning to love as his own.  He felt a kinship with this place as of late - and something made him think that this would be his home.  Somewhere around her.  But for now, he heard a car coming down the old highway, and he stuck his thumb out gently as those who ply in his trade do.  The sound of wheels slowing down reached his ear, and soon, an automobile had stopped next to his gravel patch.


Friday, September 3, 2021

On writing

 I've been maintaining a blog of some sort for almost 20 years now.  This current one I've had for a long time.  I've always enjoyed writing - putting my thoughts out on a page, and trying to organize them into something that is mildly readable and somewhat enjoyable - all while pertaining to something. A subject which I might have some insight on.  When I was younger, I had the hubris of thinking anything I thought mattered - the older I get, the more it becomes clear to me that I don't know shit about shit, and that I am pretty much qualified to write about nothing! But I do it anyway - this blog has mainly been about me living with End Stage Renal Disease - how dialysis, transplants and the disease dovetail with the human experience.  At the core of it all, I am just an exceedingly typical and average person trying to live a painfully normal and average life.  It does not always work out that way, but that's honestly what I strive for. So that's what I write about.

I often see the amount of projects other writers participate in, and their prodigious output of writing - be it essays, non-fiction, fiction... anything, and I often wonder how people have that much to say.  I just feel like I do not have much to say any more.  Anything that's really worth anything.  I've had a lot of my passion and confidence sucked out of my soul over the past few years, and I am oddly okay with that at this point in time. I've just come to accept that my enthusiasm and interest in living and doing things really meant jack shit in my life. That and a bag of chips just got me an empty wrapper. I don't know if I will ever rediscover that feeling - the need and want to create. I had a big dose of that for most of my life. But it's just gone right now, and honestly, I feel like I'll be dead before it ever comes along again.  Which is okay, really - most people never even feel the spark like I did.  I was happy for a lot of years, and even though success didn't follow in the way I'd hoped - I am successful in that I did a great many things I always wanted to and never thought I would.  I did not make much money along the way, but I did genuinely garner a lot of friendships.  Those are really worth something in the end.  I always just feel like I am a lodestone as a friend - always in need, and always taking.  When I have the opportunity to give, I try to do it as much and as often as I can... I owe so much to so many people. And I'm not just talking monetary means - people have gifted me their time. Their love. Their souls.  I try my best to give it all back when I can, but I know some friends get neglected.  There are people I have lost along the way, and it hurts when I think of them.  I have never forgotten them, but alas, my time and priorities were relegated elsewhere and my relationships suffered. My resources are limited, ever so much more than people might realize.  When I say I'm tired... I'm tired. My tired is probably more exhausted than most normal people could ever comprehend. And I am this way ALL the time. And it gets worse every year.

I just got more labs drawn yesterday, and results.  It does not look good for this kidney.  There was damage to it from the donor, damage that wasn't seen until it was in me. My function is terrible. My GFR is awful. I am severely anemic.  Transplants are not guaranteed to work - and sometimes there are complications beyond your control or fault.  I do not know how long this will last. I do not think it will improve or get better - I'm being optimistic when I say I do not think. Because it will not get better. There's no way this organ regenerates or repairs itself. It's only destined to fall apart.  And this is my third one. I do not think I will be able to get another one.  Though the record is something like 7 transplants.  I just don't think that's in my cards. And I don't know how long I'll survive on dialysis if I have to go back. If it was just me in this, I'd be more okay.  I'm tired. I've been fighting this for 18 years. I've lived a good life. I've done a lot of great things.  If this is my last stand, I'd be okay with it. But I am not alone. I have two little people in my life now who rely on me so much. And I rely on them - I'd be lost without my kids.  So, yeah, I don't wanna go and leave them just yet.  That hurts. The thought of them having to endure my death hurts more than anything I've ever experienced.  I hate that this is most likely something I am going to leave them with. No matter when I pass...  so I try not to think about it too much.  But I just don't know about my future.  I put them on a school bus for the first time ever next week.  I am glad I made it here.  I hope I can go a little further.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Nanny Chicken

 My great grandmother was alive for most of my life - which was a pretty amazing gift. I came to appreciate it much more as I aged and realized not everyone had that. And not only did I have her in my life - she was just amazingly awesome.  She loved all of us great-grandkids too; there were a lot of us!! My mother was one of nine kids... so she already had nine grandchildren... and then came to have 20+ great-grandchildren... and she always was there for us. My mom would take us over to her house, a really cool little ranch with a neat garden out back, a walnut tree... a candy dish full of Brach's mixed candy for us to have whenever we wanted, and a basement full of books.  Just thinking about it all as I write makes me smile.  I miss her very much, especially as I've aged and had children of my own. But I am so happy for the long life she lived.

At family gatherings, she used to make trays full of what came to be known as "Nanny Chicken". Now the actual secrets of preparation are secret, but in my own estimation, it's basically "Shake n' Bake" with a few twists. Whatever the case, it was always delicious - and a hit at our large get togethers! What I love is that now she's gone, my Mom and her sisters will make it for family gatherings now.  It's referred to as "Nanny Chicken" and every time we have it... the taste reminds me of her, and all the great things she brought into our lives. This kind of silly thing is how people live on - and, let's be real - food is love.  I love that in this small way, we keep her close during important family times. I love that I have the honor of this in my life... that I get to be a part of something that celebrates someone like that.  The old matriarch of our family. These are the things that really matter in life - and not everyone is gifted with them. I was just very, very lucky to be born into what I was, and I remind myself of that on the harder days, when I start to feel like life's been unfair to me. I have had to deal with a lot over the years - but now more than ever I realize it's the idea and celebration of things like "Nanny Chicken" that have carried me through the tough times.  That's love.  That's real. That is what the fight is all about. That is what the struggle to survive in the face of doom is about. 

Course, I love the esoteric idea behind it all, but right now... I want a plateful of Nanny Chicken all the same.  Cause that stuff was delicious.

Monday, August 2, 2021

It's almost always the lonliest at 2:30 AM

 Middle of the night. I'm.... not sleeping. Of course. I fell asleep on the couch for a half hour earlier, so for some reason now, I'm awake. And alone. I have the snoring of my beloved Boston Terrier to keep me company, but other than that - it's me. Alone. With all these thoughts in my head.  My head feels like it's 6 miles across in times like this. I didn't know I could have this many thoughts.

But here I am. Awake. Forty-Three years old, at 2:30 AM on a Sunday Night in my empty house. My kids will be here in about four hours. I should sleep. But I'm lost in my thoughts. And of course, I'm lost in my loneliness.  Truth is, I could be in a room filled with people, and I'd still be lonely.  It's always lonely in my head, and honestly, there's where I exist. At least for me. I can see why some people develop soliocism. But I know the world and people exist outside of me.  But me... truly me, just me, exists in this ole noggin and I have to live with that.  It's a weird mixture of extreme happiness, joy, excitement and passion - and crushing lonlieness, sadness and regret. Both in large waves. Sometimes I think I like to sleep so much just so I don't have to be conscious with my own thoughts. Sure, I'll have weird dreams. But I can kind of ride those out.  Here, I have to live with every dripping second of what now feels like - and in full transparency, I do not like how now feels.  I am not happy to be alive right now.  I am not.  I hope I can ride this portion of my life out and find a new, better place inside me somewhere. Because right now, it hurts to exist, and while I am exceedingly good at living with and dealing with pain, I am tired of it and I hope a positive change is coming.  I have people depending on me, and I want to be there for them.

Monday, July 19, 2021

What you build, what you keep and what you lose.

 I used to think I had life figured out.

Not in any larger, esoteric sense of the word - I'm just as lost on the big questions as the next self-aware thinking bag of flesh and meat.  No, I thought I had the idea of living figured out. You figured out what you wanted, what you could get, what you aspired to and what you wished for - then you found a middle path where you were content with what you had and you'd still spend some effort to "build" more of that life you wanted.

It's a house of cards, though.  So many variables. Who you trust in. Who trusts in you. Decisions you make that seem innocuous at the time end up defining the course of your life.

I've sort of found myself at the bottom again. I spent years trying to build... something. Now... I'm okay with just surviving, and doing the things I enjoy. The only thing I want to build now is a good life for my children - in the end, right now... I've got all I want.  Sure, there may be moments where I want a stupid thing or two - mostly guitars and other nonsense knick knacks... but the big things I have covered. I have a home. I have transportation. I don't need flashy versions of those, nor do I want them. 

I just want to build stability for my kids - and for them to always know they're loved and they have a home. That's it.  I don't really care about me - I've... been there, done that.  I don't want any more. The only thing I want is something I can't buy or get - more time and perfect health.  There's a timer on me and I cannot stop it, and it gets worse as every year passes.  I just... I just want to live to see them into young adulthood.  That's my big secret goal inside my soul. I just want to live long enough to be there for them as they grow up, go to school, learn about life. I would be sad to leave them as young adults, but I would spend my time trying to make sure that they always carried a piece of me and my love for them with them as they grow. And maybe if someday they end up finding the love of their life, get married, and have kids... they can tell their children about their Grandpa Steve they never met. And get told they remind others of me.  That's all I got to build. You can take your pyramid schemes, your 80 work works to break your back for someone richer than you, you can take it all... I just want my children to be happy and remain the amazing people that they are.  I want to have a place in the far firmament of my family, so one day people can look back fondly on me.  And remember my good qualities more than my misgivings.  That's it. From here on out, I'm just trying to last longer than I think I can.  It's been almost 20 years of living with this.  My body is giving out and my soul is tired.

Friday, June 11, 2021

From the back of the room

 From the back of the room, a voice is yelling.  It seems like it might be yelling at me, but I really don't think so. I probably just think too highly of myself and I believe every action happening in a space where I am is about me. But the yelling continues.  I'm only like 20 feet away from the source, but I can't see who or what it is; it's like the room is out of focus.  Like I'm in a film, and the focus puller has made me clear in the foreground, but given the background a hazy, out of focus space to exist.

I don't even know what I'm doing here, I think.

I'm sitting in an old school desk chair - like the ones I knew growing up.  A chair with a little "desk" coming off the side and around to the front.  Why I'm sitting in one, I don't know. I haven't been to school in years.  Why does this feel like a classroom? And if it's a class... where's the teacher?

I don't have time to answer these questions, because the shouting suddenly becomes clearer and in focus to my auditory organs and I realize some one is shouting to me about... something I'm doing wrong, or did wrong.  I dunno, I don't speak the language they're using.  It's beautiful and melodious but something sinister hovers just below the surface with it.  I decide to ignore it.

Of course, I realize as the impossibly lit and pristine room comes into focus, I am dreaming.  What of again? I don't know.  Who cares. What does it matter? It's just my subconscious grabbing onto pieces of my shattered mind and thoughts.  It's trying to arrange these strange pieces into something that makes sense, but what my subconscious often forgets is that my thoughts have always been disjointed, disorganized and ultimately useless.

I don't care. I'm in a white classroom,  no teacher, faceless students all around except for on in the bag, playing hockey with my collective good memories and convincing me that they were terrible.  So I live the dream until I wake, unsettled and with the emotions and memories I saved from the recesses of my brain.

None of it matters.  Does it even matter when I wake up? Is this consciousness just a dream reality for someone else? Or a simulation... or a game?  I don't know.  All I know is that if this is a miracle cosmic experience, my trip around has been an interesting one.  I wonder how this path was chosen for me.  And for why?  I don't even really care. I'm just riding this one til it's done. Maybe then I'll sleep without these foolish and useless dreams.


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Screaming into the void... again.

 Writing a blog is very often for the author more than anyone else. I mean, I know this has been great for me over the years. I love to write, I like to try and capture my thoughts as I go through this life.  But I have to temper all my thoughts and opinions with the fact that no one really gives a shit what I think.  And, I mean, with good reason.  I'm okay with that - I like to think my experiences have shaped my opinions and that I have been through some unique situations, but ultimately... what I think doesn't matter. I'm always amazed at things I see on the net - mostly social media comments and such.  People offering unwanted opinions on things as if anyone gives a rats-ass what Johnny Nobody thinks.  There's a lot of overinflated egos and self importance out there.  I definitely used to be more like that - I'm fervent in my opinions on pop culture, books, music, film, etc.  Once upon a time, I probably thought my opinons on things actually mattered.  Either foolish youth or optimism. I can look back now and say... it doesn't matter.  None of it mattered.

None of it mattered to other people.

But... it matters to me.  So I write. I express. I shout into the void with my voice... sometimes in a song, or sometimes in the written word.  Because I need to express it, if only for myself. It's a validation of my humanity and the recognition of my soul in this mortal experience.  I'm no mover and shaker, or taste maker... and that's okay.  But, I care about what I think. Because when I stop caring, I've stopped thinking and if I've stopped thinking... what's the point in life?

So many people out there cope with the existential dilemma in different ways.  Some just live with it.  Others indulge in anything to take their mind off it... sex, drugs, alcohol, food.. many things.  And it's interesting how we can betray our own heart or moral compass when we're just trying to escape that feeling of staring into the void and having it stare back at you. It's a lot.

I don't know who the hell even reads this anymore. If you do, I hope you enjoy it. It's just my own personal contribution to the void, in the hopes that maybe I can fill in the spaces in my own soul enough to be brave and stare into the void and say "Ok."  That long lonely hallway stares at me everyday as I regain consciousness and try to do my best in this world for the people who count on me.  So, I guess, this blog is just one exercise of me standing on the precipice of time itself and screaming into the void. 

I'm not gonna quote Nietzsche here, but if you've a modicum of classical education, I know your ass is thinking about abysses gazing into you. Nerd.