Lakeside / New Hampshire

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Greetings from Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. Live free of die.

I’ve been coming to this lakeside cabin since I was around 3 years old. My father’s parents had this cabin built, and there was nothing around. Now it is somewhat surrounded by year round multi million dollar ticonderoga style “log cabins” with numerous guest suites. Some kind of alternative gentrification, a bit different than what I’ve lived through (and participated in) repeatedly in urban environments.

I realized that this place has been with me longer than most anything else in my life, except my parents and sister. I’m not sure I can attach a meaning to it, other than feeling that people and places don’t last. And they don’t, of course. We’re all only here for a short time, bla bla bla.

It is kind of funny sitting in a room where I was once a little boy, yet I’m here now with a daughter of my own. I do feel like I’ve gone through a circle of some sort, closed a loop. There was a simplicity to childhood that I recall, maybe an innocence. I did a pretty good job of burning that innocence in to the ground in my 20’s. But just recently I’ve been feeling like that innocence has been being re-born, the hateful self abusive cynic is not in good health. I’ve actually been happy and optimistic and that’s felt okay.

To give you a sense of this area: Oliver North runs a syndicated column in the local paper. There are only 2 options for transportation: 4X4 pickup or a harley. But you can’t wear a helmet. One of the big articles in the newspaper was about a fundraising effort by a local family to get money to replace their daughter’s lost glass eye that fell out when she was swimming. Don’t get me wrong. I empathize with the girl and the family, and I don’t mean to make light of their situation. It just feels like an alternate reality.

I recall one trip here with my dad. This was back in my days of self destruction, as so many of these stories are. Sometimes I feel like I lived through that life just so I could walk out with stories. And shit, this isn’t even a story so much as a memory, a recollection, a reminder of how things were and why I try to make better decisions today.

Anyway, my dad had come down to NYC to see my band Cop Shoot Cop play at CBGB’s. I think Motherhead Bug was also playing that night. In those days, all types and everyone would show up. At this show there were 2 simultaneous girlfriends (which was not common), and 2 of my drug dealers (more common, sad to say). My dad was introduced to Joey, who pulled out a huge roll of bills to buy him a drink. At which point my dad said that he must be in construction.

A quick aside about Joey: Joey was a corner dealer, Bedford and South 2nd in Williamsburg. This was prior to Williamsburg becoming what it now is. Sometimes I would work with him as a watch out. He had a good heart but was definitely in the life. He would sometimes keep stuff at our house. This included an Uzi for a while. I’d also drive around with him, just hanging out while he did pickups and deliveries. I ended up pawning his beeper before going in to rehab. When I came out, somehow he got me to get in his car and threatened to break my legs. Luckily, this never happened. And I still always liked the guy. I hope he found his way out…

And, back to CBGB’s. After we played that night, my dad and I drove up to Lake Winnepasaukee. That’s closing in on a 7 hour drive, and we left NYC at 2 or 3 AM. I had my stash with me, but not enough. I mean, there will never be enough, really. But I stayed wired, driving through the night. When we got there, it was one of those weird things. I’ve had this happen in a couple of places. Places from my childhood, places of peace and innocence. I arrived there a mess, looking for some remnant of that lost peace. The echoes that I heard only served to remind me of how far removed from it I was. If I was religious, I would say my presence was a sacrilege. But I’m not, so I won’t.

I couldn’t get to sleep. Because I knew that once I woke up, the magic would be gone. I would awake in a full tilt depression. All would be dark. There would not be enough chemicals to save me, to allow me any kind of pleasure. I hated that fear of sleeping, of the inevitable dawn.

A few years later, I was free of all chemicals, and I went back to the lake with my dad. Some deliberate one on one time, to search out what was inside him, and me, and our family. I don’t quite know what I had in my head, but I did end up realizing that what I saw was what I got. There was no magical bond that was revealed, no “AH-HA!” But this, in it’s own way was eye opening. It became a bit more possible to be at peace with life, and our relationship, as it was. Acceptance. Lessening the fear.

Now, for a swim…

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