Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Comes In My Purgatory Day

In my purgatory, somewhere in a place between Heaven and Hell, in the San Gabriel Valley, spring comes and with it, a renewed sense of hope.  The light drives out the darkness.  The silver sunshine thaws out the snow capped San Gabriel Mountains, and I'm reminded that life overcomes death.

When I was thrown into this world, my hometown, the place where I grew up, the place where I belonged, the space I found to be a hell hole, a destitute place of isolation and hopelessness, I never expected that in God's darkest spaces: hope persists.  I haven't written much in my blog not because much hasn't been happening, actually quite the opposite, much has been happening.  Thus, I haven't found the time to sit down and write.  Furthermore, I'm not sure what I can safely share with my readers here without violating the confidences of my friends.  I've picked some stories to give you a glimpse of what I've been seeing and living through.

It started with the kid - my kid - the one I met in boxing.  A sixteen year old - ex-delinquent.  He asked me - not in these words - but through the message that kids know how to express - if I could help him out of the abysmal life he lived.  For reasons I cannot state here, I had but a few seconds to make a decision.  In life, these are the times that make and break us.  These are the times that we will look upon with regret or relief.  I made the instant decision, "Alright.  I'll help you, but there has to be rules . . . "

And it started.  Bruce Wayne got Tim Drake.  Jean Valjean got Cosette.  I get the boxing kid.  There were many things I needed to sort out with his life.  There were many times I wanted to throw in the towel with him.  But, his constant progress; it showed.  He was getting better: more disciplined, more focused, and more trustworthy.  Now, these changes didn't happen overnight.  It took a lot of time on my part and his.  I also had many headaches and at times, a few shots of whiskey.  Kids - they really know how to push you over the edge and then some.

But the changes - they were obvious and noticeable.  The coaches were impressed.  His family wondered what was happening.  They met me and couldn't believe he found someone of my standing.  It was then - I found that other people in that gym started trying to get into my space.  They came to me with their own issues and problems.  I thought - Hold up!  I am not Mother Theresa!  But it didn't matter - my protests.  My life story was becoming like that of the accountant's time in Shawshank Redemption or Jon Snow's time at the Wall in the Game of Throne.  The boxers came and went and told me their buried stories.  I listened and shared with them my thoughts on solving the problems presented.

All in all, it's lead to such bizarre comments regarding the lives of others.  Such as, "I can't believe you got so and so to finish a book."  "I can't believe you got him to run that much."  "I can't believe you got him to wake up so early."  And so on and so forth.

All in all, it's lead to such strange events.  I was even invited to the HBO Boxing fights - where I was given the prime seats - in which you could see the sweat fly off the boxers when you got hit.  It's lead to me meeting more and more family members and more and more thank yous.  How I got myself into all of this?  I'm not really sure.  The only advertisement I had was the kid and his life.

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