Beginnings. Middles. Endings. All good stories have them.
Heck, all stories have them, good or otherwise.
My story is no different, though most of my story is taking place in The Middle. There have been many beginnings in my life, besides the most obvious one: The Very Beginning. And, there have been many endings in my life as well, though, as far as I can tell, I have not reached The Ultimate Ending.
This blog is both a beginning and an ending: the beginning of a new blog, and the ending of an old blog. I’ve written, haphazardly, for a number of years at Phases of The Noon. It’s been a home for me on the net, a place that began as a journal of ramblings, and morphed over the years into a place to share whatever caught my fancy, as well as a personal tale or two along the way. It’s been a place where I have collected all the flotsam and jetsam of my internet wanderings, but, “Phases” never had much of a purpose (although I did try a time or two to give it one.) I just couldn’t find the right tone for the blog. So, it’s time to bring “Phases” to a gentle end, though there may still be a thing or two posted there, as not everything will fit into this blog.
There is a beginning also, a new home with a purpose: Johnbalaya. (Yes, yes, ok, for the 3 of you who paid attention, Johnbalaya was intended to be a food blog, but, I don’t think a food blog is what I need this space to be, so, the dozen-ish posts have migrated into the big unknown world called: The Garbage Bin. They will be missed.) I have recommissioned this blog to be the space I have always wanted, yet have held back from writing. This is a place about me.
“Well, why the fuck would I want to read a blog about you?” (Yes, that was said in your out-loud voice)
“I’ll tell you”, I reply. (And, gosh darn and dammit all — does that comma go on the inside or the outside of the quotation marks. Should there be a period after “you”?)
I’ll tell you why you might want to give a fuck and give this blog a try.
Because I have stories (all true) to share: stories about caring for an 88-year old mother; stories about living with HIV for almost 23 years; stories about being a gay man; stories about losing a father when I was 14, and losing a brother not long after. I’ve got stories about the depth and despair of depression, and stories about the simple beauty of life. I’ve got stories about the important things, along with stories about the most mundane of things.
This is not a “poor me” blog, because I don’t believe in being “poor me.” Life has happened, as life usually does. It’s happened, and I’ve made choices — not all of them good, but, in the end, they were my choices, and I’ve had to live with whatever happened after: good, bad, otherwise. Johnbalaya is not just about the stories though, it’s about the thoughts that go along with the stories, the thoughts as they happened. There are past thoughts, thoughts about what’s happening now, and even thoughts about what’s to come. There will even be thoughts about trying to make sense of it all, because isn’t that what most of us try to do?
I’d like to be clear that I make no claims, I have no pretensions, nor do I wish it to be thought that I think that my life has been extraordinary. It hasn’t. I’m no child of wealth or fame. I’ve not survived million-to-one odds. I’m simply a man, who grew up in a working-class neighborhood, and was raised by parents who aren’t all that different from yours. I’m one story among a million others (though, I suppose I must have a bit of pretension since I am putting my story out there in hopes of it being read.)
I would also like to make it known that I will try my best to not sound like I believe that life has fucked me over. I don’t believe that. What I believe is that life can, and usually does, fuck with you. In my case, any fucking over that has been done to me has been done by me. I don’t believe I am a victim. I am simply me. I’ve stood up, and I’ve fallen down. I’ve soared to the sun, and I’ve come plummeting to the ground. I’ve been supported by people, and I’ve been hurt by them as well. Yet, I’m not a victim of anything other than my own short-comings and impulsiveness, and my own strange, neurotic need to continually self-destruct.
The stories told herein are not in any sort of order. They’re whatever happens to be on my mind when I sit down to write. As I am in the hypothetical middle of my journey, I suspect that there will be more stories of the Here and Now, and, unless I suddenly develop some kind of psychic ability, there will be a shortage of stories of my future.
Finally, I would mention that there will be off-topic postings also: food (I suspect you’ll encounter more than a bit about food), music videos, the Viral Video of The Moment, a quotation, or some other oddity. But, mostly, I’ll try not to stray too far off the beaten path.
Welcome to Johnbalaya. Welcome to the Mind Of John.