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An Ode to the Destroyed Heart

Today, I’m going to live up to my motto of Bleeding on The Page…  and it’s going to suck.

First, a question:  Do you know the worst day of your life?

If so, my condolences and sincere empathy.

To those without a definitive answer, good and be thankful.   There is nothing, absolutely nothing worse than the worst day of your life.  When or if it happens, you will know– it will shatter every fucking illusion one may have ever held– a broken reality of the highest order.

Ripped heart

Want to be the King or Queen of Pain?

Well, now you’re a serious competitor to the throne.

The following will be a short, condensed version of my own welcoming to the “Worst Day of My Life” club.   Who knows if that is a real thing… but if it’s not, it probably should be.

Fuck, shit, I really, really, really do not want to write this *@#%&$)!!!!!



When in doubt, 1, 2, 3, GO…

The day was 27 September 2009, it was early, for my taste anyway.

For the first time in my life, I agreed to do a friend a solid and meet her girlfriend.  In other words, it was going to be a foray into the world of “blind” dating.   The only reason I agreed was my friend was cool, and the chick-to-meet looked smart and similar enough to S.E. Cupp (or so I thought) that I said, “Why not?”

Me and S.E. (will call her S.E., even though I don’t think she would mind me using her real name) would agree to meet on the 27th, a Sunday, around 1 PM North Cackalacky time.   The date would have been on Saturday, but we both had previous engagements.

S.E. would be going to her dad and his boyfriend’s house to celebrate her birthday; I would be heading to a superior pig roast, keg bash at a buddy’s place.   In other words, for my plans, 1PM Sunday would be way too early.

Since the location of the pig-kegger was a solid 30-40 minute drive from yours truly’s pimp apartment, my friends, Mike & Debbie, would host me for the night.

“Hell yeah,” I said accepting their invitation.

Soon, we were all riding together to attend one of our most significant gatherings of the fall (at least top 30).   It was a great time, featuring me drinking way too many beers, doing keg stands, and almost fighting– not one but two dudes, before ultimately crashing at my friends’ house.

My friend’s son, the coolest dude ever (miss you, Mikey) would offer to let me stay in his room as he was going to stay with another cool peacock.

A funny side story, I would wake up, shit you not, in Mikey’s room wondering, “Who stole all my stuff and replaced it with new stuff?”

That’s right, yours truly, woke up having forgotten I was not at my own place.  This would be followed by me walking through the dark house, sometime between five and six AM, unable to locate the bathroom.   Like any life champion,  I would allow nothing to stand in the way of getting the job done.

Since I could find the front door, I opened, walked out onto the porch and got my half-drunk pee on.  The solution was so delightful, I duplicated the practice a second time– an hour later.   The follow up was different, there was no joyous relief.   It was a sad, self-condemning moment.   Therefore, the obvious choice to drive home was made after such a piss poor effort.

***Note: Not only did I pee off my friends’ front porch, twice, but I would also self-report my violations to my friends.  Turns out, right before exiting the front door– boom, there was a bathroom,  my bad.

After the long, tedious drive to my casa de grande, it was time for a nap.   A few hours later, my sleep would turn to awoken anxiousness.

“Ok, you’re going to meet a girl, not a big deal, bro,”  looped in my head to calm the nervousness, the anticipation.

Strangely enough, S.E. would be driving in from the same town I had stayed at the night before, but she was coming to the big world, my town, Asheville, NC.   Since it was my town, the location of choice would be a convenient but familiar spot.   To provide S.E. comfort, our specific meeting spot was chosen– a parking garage adjacent to my work building. I would arrive early to greet my new surprise “whatever mystery awaits” friend.

dr federal
**FOR DRAMATIC PURPOSES– not a real picture from that day.

As I stood comfortably soaking in a beautiful day, I would receive a text me on the old reliable “flip” phone that S.E. was on her way.   No worries, I thought.   A short forever while later, my phone would ring.

Ok, without bothering to look at the number, I answered the phone believing it was no big deal, “S.E. must have gotten lost or needs help finding the location,” I thought.

Turns out, my assumption was wrong.  Horribly wrong.

The five first words, I still remember verbatim, would change my life forever, they were,

“Jay (my primary childhood nickname), your mom shot herself.”

The call and the words came from my aunt, Sherri.   The only thing I could ask was if my mom was going to be ok.   Sherri did not know the answer but offered her assurance to keep me updated.

A few minutes, at most, which seemed like an eternity slowly crept by as the feelings inside of me were and still remain indescribable before Sherri called and told me the news.  My mom was dead.

Even though there may be no way to describe the emotional disaster raging within, I would not wish that feeling on anyone else, ever– not even upon my worst of worst enemies.  Suddenly reality intervened, as my name was being called out from afar.

That’s right, shit you not, no sooner than receiving word that my mother was dead, I get to meet a stranger.   Welcome to my world, honey.  No matter how much the memory of that day sucks, everything is made worse with the knowledge of S.E. having to walk into such a fucked up situation with a stranger.  Here we just met, she, I promise– will never forget me for as long as she lives.

To her credit, she graciously offered to postpone our initial date.

I said, “No.  Let’s try to do this.”

So, we did.   It was a weird experience, but why wouldn’t it be?   I thought about my mom, drank some beer, did some walking, and occasionally would erupt in a vicious tear release– rivaling the most torrential rains of a typhoon.   Some six or seven hours later, I would walk S.E. to her car and then give her directions for the opposite way she needed to go.  My bad.  Needless to say, there would not be much of a future romantic relationship between myself and Ms. S.E.

The tale of DR-S.E. is a story within itself, maybe it shall be told another time, another day.   However, I will say it was a sincere pleasure to be there when her mom fought and defeated cancer.   In fact, things worked out well enough that while I was doing pre-Afghanistan deployment “stuff,”  I was even able to bring her a pizza at her mom’s house– all the way in Charleston, South Click.  S.E. was there taking care of her mom post-chemo and I was there doing “pre-Afghanistan deployment ‘stuff.'”

During the nine years that have passed, a lot of change has occurred. But I ended up in a same old familiar spot.

First, S.E. would meet her perfect man, they had a kid, last I heard, her world was perfect.  Good for you, girl.

As for me, I went through a bunch of ineffective and frankly, bullshit counseling sessions– until finally finding the “right” fit.  Well, actually, I found the right fit, but josh you not, one day at the beginning of our last session… my counselor would tell me she was taking another job, “Buh-bye.”  Needless to say, the rest of that meeting was her and I discussing our mutual interests, such as the music and speaking work of Henry Rollins and our fondness of Glenn Danzig, again, I shit you not, that happened.   Not too long after, we would even run into each other at a Danzig show.

A bunch of other stuff would happen too, to include (in part):

I would spend a few years in Afghanistan.

I would spend a couple years in St. Paul Island, Alaska

Lots of people I know would die from such tragedies as suicide, murder-suicide, drug overdoses, and cancer.

I would end up drinking to excess every day for years.  If not for a 6-week stint, from early November through mid-December at beautiful Fort Dix, New Jersey living in a small ass room with 11 other dudes for “deployment” training– I fully believe, yours truly would be dead.   Not being allowed to drink, to live, or to do anything other than to train on such things as:

  • Escaping vehicle roll-overs.
  • Searching dudes by grabbing their “dice” and not forgetting to “roll” those dice.
  • Fighting and beating the shit out of a certain– well, everybody (my favorite was a Captain that damn near ripped my arm off with an armbar, only to learn– you grabbed my right arm, bro– I’m left-handed, to which I effectively used to break his hold and whip his ass).
  • Got to kick some doors open and kick some more ass, FYI, that lady was tough.
  • Oh, and I got to shoot all kinds of shit, with not one, but 2 guns– responsibly and respectably.
  • Spent a gazillion hours riding a bus while enjoying the renditions of beautiful songs with my “ECHO” homies.  Whether belting out tunes on the bus, at 6AM or 8PM, we always echoed in unison– for we play for keeps, even while singing You’re So Vain and  Don’t Stop Believin’.
  • Yours truly was blushingly humbled by learning from one or two youngsters of being their “old man” crush, haha.

The best part was meeting fantastic people.

One such person was my goofily hilarious, heart-of-gold just a kid bunkmate.  This dude was a trip.  He would talk in his sleep, often sounding as if he were reading a book aloud.   Despite the endless long hours, he would find time to go run around Dix preparing for a marathon or some shit– rain, snow, dark, it did not matter.   That fellow’s name is Carey.  17 September would have been his 30th birthday.

Unfortunately, it seems the most delightful people amongst us end up taken away too soon while the shitty types live forever.  Carey would bravely face cancer, but it’s been almost two years since he died.  Respect and love, my brother.

Somewhere along the way,  I would even find the love of my life.  Turns out, I was not the love of her life.  God, how I loved and adored that woman– my bad.

In the end, the only thing I’ve learned in the past nine years is– LIFE SUCKS.  Not all the time, but more times than not the bad outweighs the good.   Please, take the time to cherish the good things in life, don’t make things harder than they need to be.  Life does not need assistance in throwing bad things your way, so don’t make things worse for yourself.  Stop worrying about anything that will not matter five years from now.

As for me, words can’t describe how much I FUCKING hated writing this, it’s a horrible reminder of the worst day of my life.  It never fades, never goes away.  Most of the people I know or meet– have no idea.  It’s not something I feel comfortable discussing or a need to share.  Plus, the stigma survivors face is real.

People think I’m a psycho, a lunatic, or a potential murder-suicide waiting to happen.  They are wrong.  I am just another fucked up, lost soul– a dime a dozen in– this world.  Except I do have a gift, I know the pain suicide inflicts upon the lives of the living.   As a result, I made a vow years ago to never want anyone to feel or live with such a burden.  That’s why I made a pact to live through everything life throws at me, a vow to keep getting back up and trying my best until the bitter end.

I am not one for living with regrets, it’s a futile exercise of self-annihilation.  However, not a day goes by that I don’t regret not finding a way from wherever I was in the world to see my mom.   I did not see my mom, not once, during the last eight years of her life.  She’s been dead for 9-years now.

I’ve spent more years of my life not having seen my mom.  Now, 17-years have passed, I am only one year shy of living without my mom longer than I ever lived with her– that sucks.

Thank you, now a word before a dedication:

Please consider “chucking a buck.”   Whatever you donate goes to offset the costs of operating TheDR.World.  Currently, there are no profits, the page is running at a loss.  Often, the first step is the hardest, we’ll get there– eventually.

Thank you for your consideration– To Donate by PayPal.


This writing is dedicated to all the decent folks lost during the past nine years to include  my beautiful friend, Debbie, and her son, the greatest kid ever, Mikey,  my homies since childhood– Big E., Chad, the previously mentioned and always a hoot, Carey, Christi with an “I”, and my little sister, Lisa.

A special thank you to Mr. Bryan Behar and his words of encouragement.  Having shared his own story, Bryan assured me, with time, I too would share mine.  Thank you, Bryan.



1 thought on “An Ode to the Destroyed Heart

  1. […] This week marks the second anniversary of another call that changed my life forever. […]

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