Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yearning For Returning

Once upon a time I lived in Santa Cruz, CA.  Ever since I left Santa Cruz, I've yearned to return; but, what would I be returning to?  When I was there I was in a totally different place in my life.  I was homeless and drug addicted, and there was absolutely NO stability in my life.  Now, I'm a father of three, I'm married, and I work full time to support my family. 
I think that I'm in love with memories.  I look back on my time there and think to myself that it was my own personal garden of eden, but alas, it was not.   My life was fucked up beyond belief.  Sure there were amazing times when nothing seemed like it could go wrong, but there were thousands of times when it was the exact opposite.

My family and I took a vacation back to Santa Cruz last year, and while it was wonderful to see it all again, I still had to see my very close friends struggling with their continued homelessness.  I had to see them starving, and ravaged by drugs.  It was not the same town... even though it completely was.

Going back to live there could never be the same.  I would have to make new friends because it would be unfair to subject my children to the daily ongoings of junkies.  I would have to make (nearly) all new friends, and I would have to avoid all the places that my junkie friends would be at.  That sounds like a lot of work.

There are people there, however, that I would definitely still hang out with.  I guess what it comes down to is this:  I love my friends in Santa Cruz, I just don't know if it's a good place to raise my kids.  Temptation could possibly be much too strong for me, and then the next thing you know, my life would be ruined.  That is something that I COULD NOT handle.

This is not set in stone however.  Maybe some day down the road, I will have enough faith in myself to be able to handle such a situation... I don't know for sure.   What I do know is that Santa Cruz is not the city IN my dreams, even if it is the city OF my dreams.  Thinking time.


  1. Hello!!! Stable family drugs...and I'm ur friend!!! Sheesh!!!

  2. Irish --loud and clear, brother. Even to this day when I am laying in bed wandering off to sleep, I imagine coasting down the levee perched on my bike, with the weight of my belongings on my back --on my way to the next spot to hang out with friends, get loaded and engage in the daily tom-foolery. Not only was I addicted to the drug, I was very much so addicted to the freedom, and the chemical reward in my brain that came with accomplishing what was needed to survive on a day to day basis. Not a single care in the world. I've never felt so free in my life --worries were few and far between. It was paradise. We were all kings of that paradise in our own right --and quite frankly we were all slowly destroying ourselves in a macabre drug fueled haze.
    I love Santa Cruz immensely --everything about it. She took care of Sheila and I for a long time --always bountiful and happy to see us everyday. I sometimes kick back and wander the streets in my head. Its truly amazing how you can remember every alcove, every public facing electrical outlet, the patterns of the lines in the sidewalk, the rhythm of the police movement --and places you can hide endlessly for days invisible to the world. It was all so spectacular --I feel like Im trancing just by typing about her.
    You and I are alike in many ways, my friend. From the conversations I can recall back in the day, we have both skipped back and forth over the lines of "good" and "evil" on purpose in an effort to figure it all out. Gain experience, perspective --and have something meaningful to give to others. A unique breed of people we are --purposely tearing ourselves down to see if we have the strength to build ourselves back up again. When this happens, we have a myriad of scars and stories to reminisce on and something else that damn sure doesnt come cheap --experience and wisdom. This last time around I was lucky enough to find an amazing woman that I know always has my back, and always will.
    At this point in my life, there are other welcome variables at play that werent there before --a family. The days of being a youth, and hacking at my own legs with a metaphorical axe to see if I can respawn limbs is no longer a viable option for the sake of my children. Right now they require that I am able to stand firmly on my own two legs so they have something to hold onto while they grow legs of their own. Honestly, if it wasnt for Sheila getting pregnant --I'd very likely be grinding a hacksaw across my legs on the banks of the San Lorenzo today.
    Before I turn this shit into a novel --I guess the point I have been skipping around is that Santa Cruz isnt going anywhere. It will always be there. For me, I couldn't ever go back with my family at this point in my life permanently. The urge to relive that part of my history would be too great for me. It needs to wear off with more years of some life experience that is largely unexplored --parenthood. The more I put into being a dad, the more I have to lose --and the more I have to lose, the less I want to go back.
    One day in the future, I certainly want to be able to bring the kids there when they are at an age to understand the history that place holds in mine and Sheila's chests. I want to show them where we slept and dug in the trash. Where we rode our bikes, and hung out on the levee. Where we were arrested, and where we believe our first child Genessa was conceived (behind the bushes at the red church, ha!) and look back on those memories with my children. I want to show them all these things on the off chance that some of those experiences carry over to them so they dont chase the same illusions I did. I want to teach them that your life decisions are key and you can never take them back and get a "do-over" --but at the same time you can never weigh yourself down with regret, or you will never reach your goals.

    Until then, I'm good with Santa Cruz being right where is is --and I'm good with where I'm at.


  3. yep, i've felt the same way for many years irish..and i still do...santa cruz is MY place to go when i feel like losing "it"...and i have and i will..thats just the way it is, fortunately for me when i go i go alone and that way theres no collateral damage...
    for me, i was in santa cruz in the early 80's and on, and when i think about the times there i glorify it, because back in the 80's santa cruz was on hit.....santa cruz was fun...santa cruz was the place to be...i guess each time i go back i look for that old santa cruz that was...i know i'll never find it, but then on the other hand it wasn't always the lifestyle it was all about location location location....theres nowhere else in the world that is that beautiful place...! i've lived there the longest out of anywhere in my life and that is where i call home...
    i understand you, but know you're not alone is good right now for you, i have mad respect for you. you always thought that i hated you, it wasn't that i hated you irish it was that i knew sarah jane deserved way more than what she had back then, and low and behold it turned out you were the one that gave her what she deserved, and beautiful family and satbility...tits up to irish...
    i miss santa cruz too.....( ha and i'm going out there to run amok in october for a week)...yay