Friday, August 29, 2008

Grateful to be hitting 30 (3)

Dipping into the way back machine is weird, if you do it just right, you actually have a lot of the emotions that you did when stuff happened come back to you as well. While the past few weeks have definitely about looking forward at what I want to do with my life, I can’t help but get introspective on the things that have happened in my past.

While most of my stories have taken place during high school, I’m going to jump ahead some time for this one.


Michael Cox was from Chicago. He was part of a biker crew down there; he did some real heavy stuff according to him. He was a short and stocky guy. He had a balding mullet thing going which was hysterical to look at. Gruff hands, plastic smile and throaty laugh. Because he was a bullshitter, he and I hit it off instantly.

Did I mention I was in Seminary at the time?

About 2 years into my being in Oregon I was informed that my calling was to be a pastor. Now I wasn’t always a believer. I really only started noticing God when I was about seventeen. I was at the theater with Moshe and Mick, we were watching Devil’s Advocate with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves. At the time I was still heavy with Sue and we got to the scene where Charlize Theron has finally lost all her marbles and slits her own throat.

I lost it. I got up out of my chair and blotted for the bathroom where I had dry heaves. On my knees before the porcelain god I decided, if anything ANYTHING that evil could exist in life, there just HAD to be a God and I commended my soul to him. I walked out of the bathroom and straight out into open air, it wasn’t until years later that I saw how the movie ended, and Moshe was standing out there. He’d been waiting for me. He was leaning against the guard rail, lighting up a Camel and said, “You just got saved huh?”

I stood up a little straighter and said, “Yes I did.”

“Welcome to the club.” Then he handed me a cigarette and we went about our business.

I didn’t become a Bible thumper. It’s not in me to tell people how to be and what to believe. It’s in me to believe the BEST in all people. So my relationship was a loose one. I’d talk to The Man every day but I wasn’t thinking there was a calling in it for me. Seriously who does?

I come up here and someone ‘speaks’ over me and says that my calling is to be a pastor to the minorities and the people that others won’t touch, geeks in other words. So I plop down my money and as I work full time I go to school full time.

So in 2001 I’m in school with Mike and we BS a lot. We end up coming to each other for the random things in life. He’s happily married and he’s got like five kids. At this stage I’m single and enjoying it, having left one crack whore and having yet to find that kind of interest in Mary.

I was also working as a bouncer for a little Mexican placed called, La Macarena. So I worked there six days a week, Oregon bars close at 2:30 and drinks stopped being served by 2am. I’d get home about 3 or 4 depending on what was going on. Sometimes we stayed after hours and had a couple drinks, sometimes I went over to someone’s house and hung out or crashed. Still, I was renting a room from Mary’s family and I tried to be civil about the hours that I kept. They weren’t thrilled with the job, as church goers they thought it was too close to ‘temptation’ but took with a grain of salt.

That winter I got an itch. It happens every couple of years. I get the itch to FLY somewhere. I don’t care where or why but I just get the urge to travel. This particular time, due to my involvement in Seminary and helping out some other people, I wanted to fly down to Argentina. I wanted to fly down and take about 100lbs of clothing with me to give to a needy orphanage down there. Someone who I thought deserved it basically.

So I got the clothes together, got the money to go on the trip, got my passport and got out of dodge. The trip was wonderful, I have stories for that as well but now’s not the time or the place.

Instead I’m going to go fast forward. I was able to communicate with Mary and her family in Oregon while I was away. I took three weeks off. I spent two weeks in Argentina getting to know the lifestyle, the people and the fact that the nation was crazy and was at the beginning of that time period where they went through seven presidents in like three months.

I spent one week in Florida to catch up with my family. My grandma the most, I miss that old lady.

While I was away I started getting strange information. Bottom line of all that information? Michael Cox had taken things I had told him in confidence, twisted them and then told everyone about them. In his mind, for some reason, I was a coke head, a vein popper and a whore. While I might be a whore to some, I can tell you this, I didn’t get anywhere NEAR the amount of ass it would take to be a whore in that time frame, let alone my life.

Because he opened his yap two things happened. I had a full ride to seminary until he did that, so the school suspended me pending an investigation. The second thing was that the family that I was renting with didn’t want me around because they were doing foster care. So the day I flew back into Portland, there was no one to greet me at the airport. I had to grab my luggage, get on the MAX (Public Transportation Train) and ride down to my school in hope of fixing whatever was going on.

Easier said than done, the dean had been expecting me to darken his doorstep and when I did all he said was, “I can’t help you Gabriel. It would be different if the school had not been notified of these activities. As it stands you’re going to have to confront your accusers before you’re able to go any further.”

Did I also mention I was jobless? Yea. The tri-fecta: no work, no school and no home.

I called in one marker that was owed to me by a teacher in the school, Carl Culley, taught some of the fundamentals in the school and also runs one of the churches in Vancouver. It so happens that the church ground is also a camping ground, so he came to pick me up and took me up to Washington.

It was bitch cold that year. I remember seeing my breath all the time. The cabins were nice and also isolated. I would have some privacy and also die of boredom. There was only one set of people there, they land keepers. They were very nice, geeks after all, but the majority of the time I spent by myself trying to figure out where the fuck I went wrong.

Due to the constant exposure to the elements, my trip overseas and then my stay in a hot temperatures I ended up getting pneumonia. It was the worst kind that had shivers at any time, constant headache. It took me four days to sit and get the ball rolling and by that time I was already very sick. This was a time where there was NO ONE for me to turn to. My friends had betrayed me, the ones that I considered family had cut me the worst.

It took a month to finally talk to my accusers alone. Everyone thought that I was guilty long before anything was finalized. When I did meet them all they had for evidence was slip covers to Stephen King, specific comics and movies. Funnier still? The guy who started this whole thing, Mike, was no where to be found during this little confrontation so all they had was hearsay and my choices of reading and watching material.

Not enough to amount to anything.

I got reinstated into Seminary. If you ever have someone kick or get hitched, you can ring me up and I’ll help out. The rest of it, the friendship with Mike and my trust in Mary and her family, that didn’t turn out as hot.

Fast friends can be fun to have but you need to watch who you trust. Trust is something to be earned, not given and when it comes back to haunt you, it’s the worst way to find out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so what's going on with Ariel these days?


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