Anyone who knows me would get how ludicrous it is to be frightened of me. It isn't the first time that it has happened; and as for most people of color, we get accustomed to this happening from time to time, that is, to say, if one ever gets accustomed to it. Normally --after years of being around WeHo, especially-- it isn't a problem insulating myself from the dysfunction of others, and despite the number of well-adjusted people in WeHo (Yes, Virginia, they do exist!)t it does tend to live up to it's rep as a magnet for those who may appear okay from a distance but up close one discovers they're just plain... --how can I put this delicately?-- nuts. They give crazy people a bad name.
It was not how I wanted to spend my Mardi Gras. There was no way to excise the feeling that it put me in. I guess for the anniversary of the night before i began my sobriety, I should expect to fell a little out of sorts.
Twenty-five years ago today, I woke up at sunrise at the end of the bus line by the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro. That was one long walk home, believe you me. A number of times since then I've gone back to the site, especially on my anniversary, high on a bluff overlooking the LA & Long Beach harbors with a million dollar view of Santa Catalina Island. There are usually kids flying kites near the old WW II artillery sites. That section of Fort MacArthur has been made into a park dedicated to peace, with a small museum and even a little-used youth hostel. It's easily one of the most beautiful (and surprisingly unknown) picnic spots in all of Los Angeles. A great place to quietly meditate and reflect on my sobriety birthday.
I don't get down there as often as I'd like to; but when I do I never forget that the circumstances of my visit are a far cry from that stormy morning 25 years ago.
Everybody probably has --or ought to, at any rate-- their own special place to go to, even if you can only usually visit it in a day dream. As the town all around me gets ready for Hollywood's! Big! Night! this Sunday, l can't help but think about what has transpired over these last 25 years. So I wasn't able to keep from internalizing the effect of that poor kid staring at me in fear... that ebbs in time. The good news is, thanks to my recovery, I'm not a person who should be feared and avoided like that.