My Mom used to say;
"Chris,... no matter how bad you think you have it... there will always be someone out there who would trade places with you..in a second..a second Chris!."
That's a quote.
She would say,
Right now! (pointing with a swoop of her hand.. like she was pointing to the whole world.... I imagined) there is someone who's whole life is being flipped upside down.
A mothers child is suddenly killed,
A person is told they have late stage terminal Cancer.
You think you have problems?
You have inconveniences that others would pay to take if you would just take their place in return. They would pay you. Think about that. Your problems are like an oasis for someone out there right now
A second Chris, a second. They would trade places with you in a second.
My Mom lost both of her parents in a short span while she was young. Her Mom passed painfully slow of lung Cancer and her Father painfully fast after. I always felt she knew what she was talking about when it came to pain.
I wanted to grab her and tell her I was sorry but my little boy brain wouldn't do it. I woulda told her before she died that i was sorry for not being a little man that day.I remember our teacher reading a book called "The Giving Tree" and I cried under my jacket then in class because I realized that selfish boy was me. I also started a fight when my classmates looked at me. His name was Josh, the Boy I hit. And I got suspended and then my mother had to come and pick me up from School...Elementary School...again. I was such a spectacular fuck-up that even my guilty feelings brought pain to my Mom.
She said that the teacher had said i was crying before the fight. Whats wrong?
Um....I felt guilty about the way i treat you because i love you Mom. Your everything to me. Whatever I do please remember that and don't ever stop loving me and I'm sorry Dad left
(of course I didn't say any of that as I was being driven home for fighting at School and she had to come and apologize for me...I was confused at how to explain it so I said nothing)
My Mom met my Step-dad and he did everything to try and wake me up. Strict tough love, (my Mom had a guilt of the divorce and the effect she thought it had so she never followed through with punishment) he bought me 3 wheel dirtbikes 2 wheel dirt bikes, he took me to Red Sox games whenever I asked he really tried everything he could. Nothing took so I went to Hawaii. I never ever saw my Mom again. Hawaii is my spiritual home. I feel a peace there that is hard to explain. It's a spiritual peace that defies mere words so I won't even try. When you get to the place your supposed to be you know it right away. That's Hawaii for me.
But, fist fighting is like a second sport in Hawaii. I kept doing it because it seemed O.K. It was the only time I felt alive. Sex is better but fighting is eerily close in the arousal it produces. I eventually made things so bad for myself I came to Japan in 2000 (Escape to Japan#1) to avoid legal woes in Hawaii which included assaulting an undercover police officer who was shaking me down so he couldn't report my assault but he could do much worse so i jetted.
I didn't even tell my Mom I had left America.
(I had no idea that my habit of saying.."Oh, I'll call Mom next week" would come back to haunt me till the day I die)
She knew she was going to die and she tried to find me before she died for close to 10 days. The Honolulu police knew where I was of course but they said they didn't know. Their revenge was sweet and cold and if I knew exactly who did that to me and her I swear I would kill him. I would do it with a smile and I'd make sure he knew the who and why before he died. While my Mom was dying she wasn't sure if I, her only born child was alive or dead. For all her pain in raising me I wasn't even there for her in the end, even my voice escaped her.
She died without me. She was 50. I was found/contacted in Japan after the funeral. The little remaining family I had ended it with me from that point. That's fine (not really but what can you do?) They never wanted to know why. They just cut me. Quickly and completely and forever.
I returned to Japan filled with self loathing and rage (I still hadn't woken up)
I proceeded to get into fist fights on a regular basis which is a problem because I live near underworld/Yakuza types and ended up fighting with them until they threatened to burn down my bosses Schools. I went back to Hawaii for 2003 and got a spectacular beat down Halloween 2003 infront of a now gone club called "Wave Waikiki" infront of stunned tourists who were stunned because I was being beaten by Honolulu police officers who were in uniform. Hawaii is like that. The Police take zero shit and they don't forget either. I was taken to where the Rainbow lagoon's lunch wagon was..beaten some more and then warned not to file a complaint. I didn't.
Ironically I had met my Step Father the day before (October 30th 2003) and had full filled my Moms greatest wish. That me and my step dad Brian "get along". I got some peace that day imagining my Mother watching in happiness, the 2 of us existing in peace.
I came back to Japan and opened my own School. I had a bad streak where I was arrested in 4 cities in 1 month for fighting (Y*nai/Iwakuni/Fukuoka/Nago) and was given a dress down at the American embassy in Fukuoka by a high level official that said I had used my 3 strikes and advised me to get an English speaking attorney. I did with a list they gave me and saved myself from deportation (I'm leaving when I choose).
My Moms death still haunts me in the quiet moments. While taking a shower or the moments before I fall to sleep the guilt creeps in. Drinking made it worse. One of the reasons getting to 700+ hasn't been a struggle is because the horror of my guilt was unbearable when I was drunk. I can never go back to that mental spot again. It's hellish what your own mind can do to you.
I once grabed a kid at a Mc Donalds in Kaimuki HI who had just told his Mother he hated her. It was a HUGE scene and the police were called. He was about 14 and I was 21? I grabbed him and told him he's gonna regret that someday...don't do it....trust me..don't do it.
(Mom didn't press charges and the Police told me to mind my own fucking business....I hope that kid got my message)
Now ...on some nights when I'm alone with myself and my thoughts I realize I'm the guy with the money...with the un fixable thing...and yeah...I'd pay someone to trade places with me if I could just go back and see her before she died so she would know I wasn't dead and I coulda finally been a little man.
I'd pay everything I have for that.
In a second.....a second.