Old Boots and New Dreams

It’s really weird going back in time, reliving in detail moment by moment situations in the past. As I tie up, finish up, clean up “Man Vs Skein-The Confessions of a Male Knitter,” I find myself, naturally, emerging into the past, reliving the days that I had vowed I would never return to, nor relive again. But, as I think I’ve mentioned, I could not, cannot move forward and embrace life, nor the light of life, if the darkness of those days aren’t finally approached, dealt with, and finally put to rest. Because I’m having a hard time moving forward. The anchor of my motions in daily life, and even the frail things I tend to minute by minute are ruled by the hindrance of those days. So, you see, better days will never brighten as long as I’m subconsciously stuck in the dark.

My nightmares are sometimes like Hieronymus Bosch paintings, while my dreams are prose recounts of trees dripping with dew, as the sun climbs the horizon, as I knit beneath the misted skirt of an old oak tree. I can allow myself to constantly describe the nightmares, but I’d rather spend time visualizing the dreams.

I was recounting earlier in one of my posts about having when I was homeless, always wearing my boots, even when I slept, fearing I had to leave at a moments notice. If needed, and as we had done before, I could grab my bug out bag, throw Mario in a pillow case, and head on….

Those particular boots were bulky, heavy, never fit very well. They were too big, given to me as a donation because my own shoes had holes in the soles. After a piece I had written had gone viral, had a few dollars of my own, and had managed to rent that little garage apartment, I bought myself a new pair of boots. I owed it to myself, I thought. Oh, and I have loved these new boots. They fit perfectly, looked good on me, helped me walk like a confident man. And the most important thing? I had found in my heart a moment where I could take them off. I didn’t feel I had to worry as much. (of course, I still worry, day by day we try to regain some fame….I’ll get to that). But, those boots have been with me for two years. Everyday I put them on, walk out of our apartment, stride with the best of them as I do my quick shopping at 7am, then rush back home. Those boots have served me well. And I’ve noticed that they’re beginning to wear, beginning to break down.

Fast forward to today….I never got rid of those old boots. I still had them tucked away….just in case? Who knows. I had not seen them in two years, as they sat quietly festering with bad memory in the back of a closet. But, I couldn’t get rid of them for some reason. And maybe today was the reason why.

With these newer boots beginning to fade and a little painful to wear now, I remembered I had those old boots from when I was homeless, and thought I’d wear those while I waited to get another new pair of boots. I lurked through the closet, found them, put them on and…..

It all came back to me. Blistering images of being behind dumpsters, painful visuals of Mario and I asking people for food, moments we forget but cannot shed unless we clarify that they do not define us….

You would think that someone in my situation might have a panic attack, or be ripped by anxiety, or maybe even begin to cry. Not I. Nope. Can’t do it. My face grew stern, and as I stared down at these boots on my feet, my posture went straight, my eyes sharpened, and I got defiant and said out loud, “Never again. I’m not going back.”

I quickly took the boots off and threw them in the trash. It was the start of a realization that if we are always living in a moment of the past we will never move forward. We started visualizing and living as though we were living in the future, mindfully grateful for the present, and taking moments daily to leave the past behind.

img_3168I’ve taped a $100,000 bill to the lamp on my desk. I can’t escape the sight of it. It’s purposely been put there for me to see all the time. As the new book is being finished up and printed, that fake bill reminds me that I can move forward. This book reminds me that those days will be over once and for all, as long as they are dealt with first. Because the past seeps into the present every day. And as I was writing this book, I was watching it all wash away….

And that fake bill reminds me that one day I’ll be in a place where a homeless man, only in need of a hand up, can rely on me. I’ll be able to lift others in the same way others lifted me….

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