i was the kind who got kicked out of bars for mouthing off, demanding attention, who wandered off and misplaced myself in different American cities, found myself thirsty, dazed and alone some afternoons, in alleyways woke by the sun, after nights i would rather have forgotten but stand in my memory still … yet i could always find refuge in the nearest public library or local reading room where the silence could be so loud, you could even hear fingertips striking keystrokes to the tune of the turning of pages, and there in the warmth of centuries of collective wisdom could i manage to wonder how am i alive? there must be a God or the spirits of my predecessors looking out for me, i am so blessed and cursed, i am … my twenties and thirties were absurd at times, my natural privilege did not always work for me because i convinced myself i oughta earn anything. of course i held a job down most of the time and was responsible about rent and stayed mostly out of jail. i was neither thief nor leech on to another’s good fortune; i mean i made and paid my own way. i was often in a relationship. i thought i was in love a couple of times but in the end i wouldn’t work for it, i wouldn’t make the sacrifices and maybe, just maybe, i did not want to be loved. i was critically self-centered and bursting with pride as i walked solemnly toward my next humiliation. i think i wanted to be punished. back then, i was not interested in god.