// Future & Present

On Jason Molina and his untimely death…

He was 39. That’s my age now. He died of alcoholism. I used to drink a bit. Had I not been shot, I’d still be drinking. I know I have an addictive personality. My biological father died an alcoholic. I could have easily gone in the same direction, but I realized what I was doing and stopped doing it. I have many friends who I worry about. A lot are my age or even younger. We are not immortal. We’ll all be dust one of these days. Hopefully not for a while. To all my friends and loved ones: think about your future… if you want one, think about your present. You are in control of both.


// A Query

In the end time, just before your eyes must close, pinching off the last bit of life – living, breathing, colorful life – and the scene fades to pitch, would you be satisfied with what you had given to the world?


// A Death In The Family

Tido was one of a kind. Black as pitch. Wide yellow eyes. He was 13, yet behaved like an energetic kitten most of the time. My roommate, John, was Tido’s mother. In Tido’s mind this was quite literal. He’d spurn affection from anyone else, but as soon as “mother” walked in it was all over. It was lap cat from then on, and John would have to tear him away in order to move.

I lived with Tido for almost two years. He’d slyly visit me every now and then, on his terms, of course. We’d converse in his preferred cat/bird/wookie language for a bit, then he’d saunter out of the room, still chirping to himself. Adorable.

I know John has a lot of memories of Tido. They’ll linger forever, as with anything special. I learned to love that goofy fucking cat. A lot. I’ll miss his jingles around the house. Goodbye, baby-ding.


// An Aside: The Blog

This blog has only existed for one full day and already my head is in my hands and I am crying. The comments, though few, have already hit home. Honesty was mentioned. If there’s one thing I will try to do is to keep this as honest and raw as possible. This is my life. This site is my way to get my feelings out to the public. I control this, as I do my own life. As an outlet, I think it can only help. Me as well as others. You can rest assured I will keep doing it as long as I can. I hope people will continue to read. It is going to be a bit of an experiment.


// Info Text from Poster Art Show, 2010

In the early morning hours of June 28, 2008, I was standing with my friend and bandmate, David Williams, having a beer. We had just played our first show as a band, and were waiting for some friends so that we could celebrate. We were approached by two young black men. We had a quick conversation regarding drugs. They asked if we wanted any, we declined. We offered them a beer. They accepted. After a few moments, they walked away. About five minutes passed; they were back.

A gun was pressed into my neck. Before I could say anything, he fired. I fell paralyzed. The bullet had passed through my neck and entered Dave’s neck. He hit the ground but was able to crawl over to me and grab my cell phone. He called 911. I suffered a spinal cord injury at my C-5/6 level. I am paralyzed from the chest down. Dave survived with a damaged vocal cord but is otherwise fine. I have limited use of my hands. That doesn’t stop me from producing art. Thank you for reading and having an interest. Please visit my booth.


// A Little Slice of Absolute Hell

Autonomic Dysreflexia, also known as Hyperreflexia, is a potentially life threatening condition which can be considered a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. It occurs where the blood pressure in a person with a spinal cord injury (SCI) above T5-6 becomes excessively high due to the over activity of the Autonomic Nervous System.

The most common symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia are sweating, pounding headache, tingling sensation on the face and neck, blotchy skin around the neck and goose bumps.

Not all the symptoms always appear at once, and their severity may vary. In untreated and extreme cases of autonomic dysreflexia, it can lead to a stroke and death.

– from apparalyzed.com

This will be revisited soon.


// The Loudest Sound I Never Heard

I’ve never died but I’ve come close. In my case, I was shot in the neck at point-blank range. Most people know this, but no one knows what was going through my mind in the few seconds after I was shot. First of all, I knew I was paralyzed before I even hit the ground. It was like my body was one giant rubber band that had been snapped, the vibration strong at first and dissipating as I fell.

Then I heard the blood. A soft hissing sound followed by gurgling noises. I watched as it trickled into the gutter. At that point I thought I was going to die. And in that moment, I accepted that fact. Now, I know some people believe in God. If not God, then some other higher power. But I’m here to tell you what I experienced. There was no God. There were no angels, nor trumpets, or even a long tunnel with a light at the end. There was no devil, nor demons or hellfire. My salvation came in the form of something else. My salvation was love.

It was a face. Her face. I saw it in snapshots. I saw it in good memories and bad. Always changing, smiling. It was like someone had taken a photo album and made it into an animation. A flipbook of everything I’d ever done with her. It was this that made me want to hang on. So I clamped my neck down onto my shoulder as much as I could to stop the blood from pouring into the gutter. I held it there until the paramedics arrived. I lived.

My point is that there are things in this world worth living for. Others might see angels. Others might see a tunnel with a light at the end. Whatever it is, there is something worth living for. So, love when you can love, help when you can help, and teach when you can teach. We will all be better off in the long run.