Monday, February 12, 2007

Visages in the Mirror…

I awoke too early this morning and couldn’t sleep. When I can’t sleep, I often like to tinker with my computers. If you look at my photo blog, you will see my computer setup which my brother calls the “bunker.” I had ordered two 512 megabyte sticks of DDR ram the other day on sale for the grand total of $74.99 which was a steal. I installed them and now have 2 gigs of dual channel computer memory on my main blogging and video gaming computer. This really helps when running memory intensive programs such as Photoshop CS2.
A lot can happen in two years; a lot of very good things. Time heals old wounds as they say.
After my tinkering, I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and blow dried my hair. As I stood in front of the mirror, I noticed how old I look these days. The rigors of my mental illness and my drinking days have taken a toll upon me physically. At least, I don’t look as bad as I did when I was homeless.

I then fixed my usual breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and cheddar cheese. Maggie also got her one scrambled egg and a piece of bacon. I and Maggie are such creatures of habit. We eat the same thing every morning without fail.

Speaking of homelessness, this month marks my two year anniversary of obtaining a home. I will never forget that brutally cold and rainy February night when I called my mother for help.

“Mom, I am in a mess. I need your help. I am so cold,” I said as she listened on the other end.

“I need to talk to your father first,” She said. “He will know what to do.”

I was estranged from my father at the time. He had told me that he never again wanted anything to do with me and to never call. My desperation overcame my fears of his wrath and his rejection.

“Where are you now?” My mother then asked.

“I am over here at Fat Albert’s on their payphone.”

“To hell with your father,” My mother finally said adamantly. “He will just have to be mad at me. It won’t be the first or last time. Meet me over at your late grandmother’s house. I am not about to have you freeze to death.”

I drove over on my motorcycle and met mom at Memaw’s house. It had been vacant for over a year after she had passed away. My father had continued to pay for and keep all the utilities on.

“Let’s get you inside and get some heat on and make up a bed,” She said as she got out of her car and followed me inside.

Mom made a bed and turned on the central heating and air. I will never forget how good that heat felt. I had been miserably cold for months. It was one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced in my life. So many people take such things for granted.

I couldn’t sleep in that soft bed for weeks. I would sleep on the hard floor in my sleeping bag. My mother would come by everyday to check on me and bring me a meal from various restaurants in town to make sure I had enough to eat. My father was none too pleased. He came over one day and sat in a chair in the kitchen as I lay in the next room in the bed.

“I can’t take your crazy shit,” He told me angrily. “If you are going to live here then you have to take your medications and stop that damn drinking. You are nothing but a sorry ass drunk. No wonder Rachel divorced you.”

I didn’t say anything and just listened. He soon left and I spent the rest of the day wracked with guilt. It has taken two years of very hard work on my part to rebuild our relationship. He now tells me he loves me. He also bought me a house. I had to clean up my act though by taking my medications and by also stopping my habit of drinking twenty beers a day until I passed out. A lot can happen in two years; a lot of very good things. Time heals old wounds as they say.

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austere said...

It must have been difficult for him too.I think one has to go through what one has to go through to appreciate the finer things in life. Is that a silly sentence? yes!

Terri said...

You've come such a long way Andrew and you have a great story to tell. I'm glad I happened upon your blog months ago, I really enjoy your stories and daily writings. Keep it up!

Ashraf's Pen said...

I am from India and I chanced on your blog by accident.

If you dont mind I will add a link on my blog ( to your's.

Your blog can be described in just one word-"Amazing". Its not funny but its something even better-sobering in more ways than one.

To fall and fall even more only to end up with the courage to rise again is the true measure of a person's strength.

PipeTobacco said...

You have photoshop CS2, sir? I am jealous, for I cannot afford it.


Cheryl said...

Thank goodness for all that you have in your life. You always do express your gratitude, and are very humble. I'm very glad that you're in the place you're at.

zirelda said...

I'm jealous of your Photoshop software too. :)

Life is good most of the time Andrew. Even when we have to dig back and remember why things are so good now.

You rock.

RICH said...

Your Father may have seemed tough on you at the time but tough love as they say can be good. Other wise he would be an enabler to you alcoholism.

It's great that you are close now.

Annabel said...

Count me in on the jealousy of photoshop. I have 6.0 which gets me by. I may end up upgrading and getting it soon, however. Luckily I can get the academic discount as an educator.

Pipe - have you checked out Academic Superstore? Because you are a professor you would qualify for the educator pricing.

Claudia said...

Andrew: how old are you in the picture linked to your profile?


Andrew said...


I was in my mid twenties. It is the only picture I have of my on my computer. I look pretty much the same other than my hair has turned more brown instead of red.


Claudia said...

We are the same age. I wish I still looked like I did in my mid 20's. I'm afraid having a child has made me look old. I wouldn't trade him for the world, but I'm sure the nights spent up with him and running around after him, working a full time job and stresses of marriage and house are catching up. He told me I was pretty this morning, though. I believe him. =)

flowerdave said...

i have really enjoyed you blog, down to earth, real life

Rhonda said...

I find your blog refreshing.
I love hearing your story.
I find I appreciate peace and quiet more as I become more grateful.
Thanks for sharing.