by Louie Aragon.
Everything in my life was going crazy, nothing was in control and I had no idea what to do except to take life on and step outside the door. This story takes place between 2008 and 2010. I had just graduated from high school and was spending most of my time behind my home computer. This is my story.
It began as I finished high school and was working my first job. This job I had was something I enjoyed and had fun doing. It kept me hidden from the world because each day I spent 8-12 hours in my room on a computer. I saw friends and family but I was trying to make money. On those late cold nights, I would drink soda and stay up designing websites or try to flip domain names for profit, forgetting that I had school in two or three hours. I enjoyed this, I had fun doing it, but no one saw it as a job. They all thought I was playing games and wasting time. I showed them when I was able to purchase my first car with my own money at the age of seventeen. That was my job. Websites and domains names, which back then it wasn’t such a huge market. Knowing about something so simple made me feel awesome. I was not just another ant on this enormous planet we call earth.
I had sold a website dedicated to streaming episodes of an anime named Detective Conan and due to the money it made from Google Adsense, I sold it for around $3,000. That day, I went against my mother and spent my money. That was the day I said I don’t need help from anyone.
The car was somewhat run down but overall she only needed minor fixing besides getting a new right arm bar (basically a new leg) and a new windshield. I say minor because it could have been a hell of a lot worse for the price I was getting and she was a 2006. This Chrysler Sebring was all mine, and she helped me take those first steps from being the child I once was to a young adult trying to become a man. The smell she had was terrible and it never left, it was like a hint of tobacco with a splash of some woman’s bad perfume. Forgiving her for the little things about her each time I sat behind the wheel of that car I wanted to say, “Screw you mom, this is MINE! And I did it without you!”
Can anything good come from it?
During the years of 2009-2010 I was living with my father in an Apartment in Rancho Cucamonga. For a few months I was just getting high and drinking, so this place is vague to me. I had a bed in my room and clothes in my closet but that was it. I spent most of my time in the living room hogging up the TV, playing video games or watching Netflix. When I wasn’t at the apartment, I was out getting messed up on any drugs we could get ahold of. I am not proud of the shit I did but, it happened and I did it. I will never go back to that person I was but I sure did learn a great deal from the shit I went through back then. It made me a stronger person today.
She was my First Love.
It was the end of high school and the beginning of my job where I first met her. I never thought of a girl more than just a friend even her at first. Girls were friends or family, not once did I ever have a romantic thought in my head towards them until one day something sparked. When she smiled or laughed I felt something deep inside my heart, it was like some drug I just cannot explain. It made me feel happy, excited, anxious, nervous, calm, loved, and so much more just by the sight of her. I didn’t know what it was to be in love, but by God I felt like I was.
I wanted to spend so much time with her that I stopped spending time with friends and family and only had spare time for her. My friends told me that we spent too much time together but she enjoyed it and so did I so why stop? More often than not when I would get off work the first place I would go was over to her house and we would just lay there and talk about the nonsense and bullshit during our day. Quite a few times we would fall asleep on the floor downstairs watching movies with the TV on infomercials and the dog sleeping with us. The dog smelled terrible but just being in that situation was heavenly. We did nothing at times and it was the best times ever, then again we were young and didn’t expect much out of the relationship we both just wanted someone. We turned to each other more than our families because we trusted each other more than we did them. I would do anything for this girl. I was in love.
Then one day it ended, just like that it was over. After about a year she started acting strangely and different towards me. I don’t know what changed. Did I do something that made her not love me? Did she just grow apart for me in the way we loved each other? I don’t know and I never will. The night we broke up she was going on a date with some other guy, so it became apparent that we no longer had anything left. I drove to her house while she was out asked the family politely for everything of mine and took off without looking back even once. I moved on, and gave up trying to figure it all out.
I was hurt by it though. Now that I think about it, it quite possibly could have been the reason I started testing out different drugs. I needed to feel something that I had before, that feeling that I had lost, or something to mask the wound. I have done a handful of different substances, none that I am proud of but can say from that I learned nothing can mask what it was I had I just had to be bold and recover and try to reacquire that love once more.
For the Love of My Parents
I know everyone says they have an icon or some kind of role model growing up. We all see our parents as role models or people we want to become. I was damn sure I did not want to become like either of my parents.
My father was an angry drunk who would always leave home and never wanted to work, only did it because he had to for food and more beer. He always went from being a complete wreck of a person to turning to God and changing. He went from being drunk and sleeping in his truck to drinking water and reading his bible every day, though both characters only lasted months, maybe a year at a time.
My mother, she is a whole other story. I could write so much but I’ll keep it short. She was always strict, about everything and till this day she still is. I get yelled at for fingerprints on the refrigerator, almost stoned to death because I didn’t open the blinds to let the sun hit the plant in my room and so forth. Growing up with her was nice but sometimes I almost thought I was going to lose it. Maybe insanity would not have been so bad. Free meals, drugs and a padded room? I’m there! I loved her but it was too much, I didn’t want to be like her and let every little thing in life bother me. I don’t want to be so stressed out that II can’t enjoy life.
I looked up to both of my parents through the bad and the good. I wanted to gain traits from them both, but never did I want to become what either of them was. I needed to choose what I would take with me and how I could use it to become the person I am today. I might have taken a few bad traits with me sad to say but sometimes that’s just the way things happen, we can’t control everything even though we think we can.
Through the shit and back
Vince is one of my best friends, I can honestly say this dude is my brother. We don’t have everything in common and from elementary school up until high school, we sometimes had different friends and social groups. He was a short ass back in the day and up until this day he still is the runt of our friends. I had some pretty bad moments like when I got kicked out of my mom’s house and had to live with my dad after their divorce. She got remarried and began to act different, started saying stuff that did not sit well with me. The family problems got me to start drinking and smoking whenever I had the chance.
Vince and I would get beer and some good ol’ Mary Jane just for us to hang out. Most of the time we would have nowhere to go to hangout so we would sit on his driveway or inside my car out front of his house and just drink and talk for hours about family, girls, work and anything we wanted to talk about. I would be stoned or completely drunk but until this day I still remember all of our conversations. When we were broke, we did not have the luxury of enjoying our favorite substances and would just hang out drinking energy drinks which most of the time was Monster. Damn those were good back then. No offense to people who like them but now I think they taste terrible, just give me a soda and I’m good. Hours on hours we would spend talking out front or just going on random trips for no reason.
I remember one of my favorite times was the night of Thanksgiving. We both had spent time with our families and just wanted to get out of the house. I wanted to buy stuff from all the sales going on so we just headed out to the shops. That night we walked around and went to different stores just bullshitting and having a good time. Ran into other friends we knew and spent some time with them. Continued on to stores like Target, Walmart and Best Buy all the while talking about family, work, and anything that had come to mind. It’s a sober story I know but I figure anyone can have a good “I’m so messed up” story. I thought I would be real about it and share a simple afternoon that I until this day, I remember was awesome. I do remember almost getting arrested that night too but that’s a whole side story.
I hid myself from the world
To be honest trying to write about people in my past or even people I have relationships with now can be difficult. I don’t really have many people that I can say I truly connect with or have a bond. I try to, but I never really learned how, or at least remember how. After years of spending time alone working at home and not playing outside or hanging out with friends it hindered me. Even now working graveyard shift, I meet fewer and fewer people than the average person. I choose not to write because I don’t feel I have the capacity to do so, until recently I never really cared about others, friends, family etc. They were all just a part of life that I had to go along with to get by.
I will say now, after so many years of having family disappear on me and friends I did have leave I began to hurt inside, more so then ever before. It made me cling to the internet and friends online but I eventually realized it was not healthy. I do my best now to get out of the house even if it is just to walk around a store and gradually mingle with people or just to smile politely to strangers and head on my merry way. I still long for close connections with family and friends, but what happens when you get close to someone and they end up disappearing on you. What then?
You can call them Addictions
I don’t have much that is or was important to me. I know I did have an addiction to marijuana for a few years, but that passed. I smoke little to none now as I see no need for it anymore. I guess I can say I have a very bad habit of smoking cigarettes. I keep trying to quit but the urge and boredom are always there. Longest I have gone in the past 2 years was 3 months. I want to stop. I say I am going to stop. I can’t stop. I just don’t want to die because of these stupid cancer sticks. I only started smoking at work with some coworkers because we became tired of sitting inside at lunch. It turned into us smoking on breaks too and even before and after work. It then caught on with many of my friends, not from me but bringing them around sure added to the problem. It went from harmless to feeling concerned for my health in an instant, but as time flies so did the cigarettes. Pack by pack, more money tossed down the drain.
I know now I will write negatively, as it is helping me to embrace the choice I want to make but for my sake I won’t lie, I am going to smoke a cigarette even after sitting here telling you about all my hate for them. I can’t just stop out of thin air. People say it’s all just a mind game, but I call bullshit. If I could control these urges 100% then I wouldn’t still be smoking, especially the days I drink and I am not supposed to smoke. What do I do? I get to drinking and because everyone else is smoking and fuck I want one too. I end up smoking and forgetting about my reasons to stop. God I hate cigarettes but do I sure as hell love them! If only I had a pack on me right now, lighting one up would make me feel like I was in heaven. Get it? Too soon? I’ll stop there.
Northern California at its Finest
I remember this trip only in bits and pieces but I will do my best to share the tale of my first road trip to go camping up in the mountains of Northern California. It happened back when I was 20, in the year 2010. I didn’t drink alcohol until I was 18, once high school finished. Once I got a sip of the fire inside my belly and brain from it, I craved it and wanted to have some fun. My buddy Gerry never had parties at his parents’ house. Let me repeat that, he never had parties at his house or even had people over. His parents had him in check whether he wanted to admit it or not, and that leash was tight as hell. The night before we were leaving to Nor Cal, I told him to let us throw a kickback. He said no. So we found out his parents were gone for the week and started inviting people over anyway, good friends right? That night ruined him but he got over it when we started to drink. That’s about it for that night, I remember drinking and mixing a ton of hard liquors and then it was a clear knock out. The liquor won and it was hello Mr. Porcelain soon after that.
I woke up the next day with the worst hangover of my life. Until this day, I can’t shake the feeling of how bad it was. The headache wouldn’t go away. I couldn’t hold anything down, not even water. Who am I kidding, I am pretty sure I had alcohol poisoning and just didn’t know it. The people going were Gerry and me and our friend Max and her younger brother Bebo. (His name is Alex, until this day no one knows why he goes by that odd name) We headed off to Northern California and I just remember the entire way there I had my head out the window or was passed out in the backseat. We stopped twice to eat and get gas but I only remember getting food and stopping once. The lady put the plate of food in front of me; it was carne asada with yellow rice and refried beans with a tortilla. The smell was arousing and tickled my nose in such a amazing way, hell I can almost smell it right now as I type this. But that first bite… I ended up in the bathroom again.
At the campsite I had the best time of my life, it was the first time I had ever really gone camping. We had a single two person tent. Slept curled up together in said tent with the wind going about 40mph that night. Bebo got scared of the bears that were roaming the area so he ended up sleeping in the truck one night. When we made breakfast in the morning we had a diehard battle against the incoming army of squirrels from the tree above our tent.
One afternoon Gerry took us fishing. It was the best time and worst time of my life. The four of us sat in a line on a hill beside the river and cast our fishing lines into the water doing what we do best, drinking beers! So much happened on this trip it could take me pages to elaborate, so here it goes: Alcohol, Food, Squirrels Bears, Hot tub, Fishing, Teddy’s grave, Off-roading, Bees, Fishing, Hangovers, Expensive 3 Minute Showers, Wind that never stopped, Sunrise that hurt my eyes, Sunset that made me want to cry inside, and more Alcohol. I thought I would sum it up for you instead of filling up 17 pages of nonsense.
I could not take it anymore.
Before my life seemed to change for the better I was always that kid that listened to his parents, followed the rules and never really made any choices on my own. I figured my parents knew better so why not just do whatever they say to do. If my mother did not want to me wear something I picked out, I would change just to appease her and head off to school. She never gave me bad advice or made me look like a fool, so I never had a problem with complying. My father was more the laid back type but when it came to rules and school, he followed my mother’s command and let her take charge. To me she almost seemed like a boss, or a super crazy anal clean freak split personality drill instructor from hell. I didn’t see how much I llet myself get pushed and pushed until I talked to my friends about it.
Shit man I was almost out of high school and I had never gone to a party, not once tasted what alcohol was like, nor did I ever do anything most teenagers did in their growing years. I was the model child. I was sick of just people seeing me as that, I wanted to experience life and get outside of the box. It was about damn time I grew up and became a man! I take that back, I still wasn’t ready to be a man. I did not want to be that responsible yet, and I definitely was not ready for a family. We’ll call it a young adult for now although most people say you are either a kid or a grown up. I couldn’t really decide.
I was getting older and I needed to start making more decisions on my own. Yes my insane mother may always be right but if I continue making all of her right choices, what happens down the road when I am on my own and I have a tough call to make? I wouldn’t know how to do it on my own. I needed to fail in order to strive. So I decided to begin failing, not so much to fail but to learn by understanding why I failed and what I should have done instead. Starting that year I began to make choices on my own. I did so miserably. I went from the most praised child to the child that gives his parents the most grief and discomfort. Not that I tried to. I just happened to make stupid decisions. For example I was driving my mother’s Corvette to school for some time because my father took the truck that was supposed to be mine. I needed a car and they gave me the best one. It was fucking awesome! But that ended quickly.
I loved to speed in it and one day hit a speed bump too fast and broke something under the car. I literally wanted to shit myself and hide in my closet. I never told her. Biggest mistake of my life. She took the car in for maintenance and found out then. Oh boy was I in for a world of hurt when she got home. Two phone angry phone calls about how irresponsible I am and that I don’t care about other people’s belongings. She even threatened me in a way saying “How would you like it if I went into your room and broke your TV while you were at your friends and didn’t tell you? Then when you got home to find out but no one said anything until weeks later about what happened.” She made a valid point. That day I vowed to never screw around with one of my mom’s cars, if I wanted to live to see the age of at least 25. I needed to make better decisions, take pride in my own stuff and take pride in myself as a person. I needed to grow up.
Life was rough during these two years. I struggled, fell into drugs and alcohol but came away from it realizing it was not going to make anything better. Sometimes out of chaos I gained more insight into making life changing decisions rather than just going with what people told me. I was no longer a child but not completely an adult, though I had matured. I cannot fix what happened in the past but I could change for the better. There is nothing you cannot do if you can learn and gain experience from your trials and mistakes. Life keeps moving, so do not stand still and let your life pass you.