*pic below is from the surprise birthday party my family had on Saturday. I got a laptop, so expect more writing. 🙂
Four years ago, when I turned 9. I had just started a dream job. My brother came down from Minnesota and we decided to do it big. We rented what at the time was my favorite bar. Rented a karaoke team, bought a keg, and invited only those we loved.
And it was fun.
No one fought, surprisingly. Everyone sang horribly. And I drank enough shots to take a big man down. I woke up between my aunts. They’re faces were painted. My cousin Wally painted them while they was sleep and spared me. They next day, my dad bought me a big bottle of windsor and sent me home, where my cousin Wally and I sat and continued on.
It was fun, but I remember that night telling my brother-When I turn 10, I will be sober.
And he laughed-Yeah right.
Sure-I said. I didn’t know how, but I knew I would be sober.
I didn’t know the ride I was going to take to that sobriety. Wow!
In that four years, I was put through hell. Made to feel the worst I ever felt in my life. Looked down upon and treated like shit.
When I was riding with the FBI to my doom, I looked ahead. To the horizon, my dads, words echoing in my head “Don’t be scared of any feds. Your ancestors were stronger than any of them. You are stronger than any of them. Fuck those feds, they don’t have their ancestors behind them.”
I stood through it looking straight. I didn’t see Judge Battey when he handed down my sentence, I looked behind him. Behind that court room wall, there was a horizon. That is where I was looking.
When I was getting searched on the tarmac before I could board the plane and marshals walked around with AR-15’s, I looked beyond them. At the horizon.
When I was in the air on Conair, I looked at that horizon below me. When I walked the same halls that millions of other notorious people walked before me in Oklahoma, I looked ahead, past the feds. Past the walls, to the horizon.
When I was corralled into a facility in Minnesota, I looked beyond the fence I couldn’t see through. Over the razor wire.
Tomorrow will be a year since I was released. I will never forget that feeling of being dumped off at the gas station/bus stop. Never forget what it felt like to hold cash in my hand and buy a candy bar. Never forget that bus ride through the small towns and seeing people in those small towns doing something so wonderful as pumping gas or checking their mail. I remember thinking how beautiful of a life all these people have to be free and not ONE of them knows it. I wanted to shout at them, “You’re beautiful, right now! Enjoy your life!”
In between the birthdays of 9 and 10 was quiet a ride. I went through so much, but I’m still here.
And life is fucking beautiful.
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