Ode to My Hometown

May 3, 2013

 

Fairview Village. Inside of Camden, New Jersey, one of the most crime ridden cities in the country. My hometown. I lived here as a child. I live here once again as an adult child. I cursed the Gods for my own decisions that as if they had something to do with everything that has led me here in a couple of years of indecisive despair. Camden, New Jersey.

 

Fairview. Oh how you lured me back into your grips.  Oh Fairview, I am back and you have changed more than I have. You were once a beautiful Village in a fancy town. As Camden fell, you Fairview, kept your cool and were certainly a town with pride. A Village Square with candy stores, restaurants and a grocery store. Now the stores meet covered in graffiti, trash and a violent dirty smell in the air. A Hispanic grocery next to an old barbershop with a cracked striped pole.

 

Your boarded up houses try to keep smiling as the drug dealers hide in your shadows. Unknown and well-known murders, rapes and muggings try and hide but some of us can smell it through our tired ripped screen windows. I used to hide. Over two years of hiding I finally feel free.

 

Suddenly the County of Camden has sent hundreds of black uniformed storm troopers to “sweep” the town clean as they told me. Dozens standing on every block, friendly yet stern. Confident yet uneasy. To an outsider it may look like a Police State or even a Fascist takeover. To me it looks like freedom to step foot in my own neighborhood with out the fear of being hassled or even mugged. Oh Fairview, I feel something new from you. I feel hope. I see courage. I am not afraid, not because of “protection” but because someone cares about you once again. People are making the difference. The proud hardworking families can be proud once again to live in a community.

 

I hear echoes in your dark alleys and streets whispering complaints and curses directed at the County and the Guardians. The dark lords are in hiding and some are running or locked up. I know in my heart that you, Farview, you are beginning to see the future and it doesn’t hurt. We don’t have to hurt anymore.

 

RHJPFAIRVIEWniagara

Where I lived until 5th grade

0myhousse

Where I live now


Bagel and Cream Cheese

June 18, 2012

 

Bagels and cream cheese at the end of my street

Comical caravans drive by my feet

Stick it to man and I get stabbed in the back

Ain’t no lovin for me just quite yet

 

The edge of the park is a nice place to rest

Light a mouthful of grass- the fresh picked best

Share it with the children and get poked with a stick

Ain’t no lovin for me quite just yet

 

Light three candles at the corner Catholic Church

For the three that I love who never got the hearst

My Sunday best clothes melt a holy water scam

Ain’t no lovin for me quietly quite yet

 

Oh driver oh driver do drive me away

Far from this level of the story I am stuck

Where the joke has no punch line

And I don’t give a skunk

 

Ain’t no love for me until I am ready you

Not just quite yet


Father’s Day

June 17, 2012

Father’s Day has been an odd day for me through the years as I’m sure that there are many others who could say the same. I was fortunate to have 2 fathers. I didn’t get to share this love until later in life but there were only a few brief years I didn’t have a “father” with me and even then I lived with my grandfather who played the father figure role.

When I was adopted at the age of 11 I had no contact with my biological father for around 5 years or so at this point but I wanted to keep my birth name for some reason. I was proud to be a Junior of a man I had yet to know. I heard good and bad stories from family and even fictional stories from my mentally ill biological mother through the years.

After a year or so of settling in with my new parents I celebrated Father’s Day with my new dad I called by his first name Bill. He raised me trying to be the best father he could and did a decent job despite my already wacky ways. He wasn’t the type to celebrate holidays much Father’s Day wasn’t a big deal. We’d have a more formal meal or go out to eat and I’d get him something but as I got older all it came and went.

In my 20s my biological father came back into my life. It took a couple years to drop our baggage and become friends and it was worth it. Then I had 2 dads. Some years I divided my time and other years I neglected my real father. I give him a lot of credit for hanging in there with me. I haven’t been the best son to him but he tried to be the best father. We’ve been building since. We started slowly but eventually started getting together once a week and did lunch and we kept with it until we both were broke and changed it to once a month and we still get together.

Meanwhile my adopted father was getting sick on and off from 2006 or 7 to 2009 when he finally died. I moved in with my adopted mother and him early 2009 and he died June 19th 2009. I became closer to him than ever before he died and take comfort knowing him better.

I still hung out with my biological father and every year I begin to appreciate him as a father. This past May he took me to Atlantic City for my birthday because it was the closest town with a Hooters. We used to go to Hooters every Monday for luck for over 2 years. Maybe 2. We walked the boardwalk and even the beach that day and I had a lot of fun. We were both relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. I realized later that I was subconsciously reliving my early childhood bonding with my dad at one of the beaches he actually took me too as a kid.

I realized I don’t give him enough credit as a father and all he has done for me through the years since reconnected.

We’re getting together on Tuesday June 19 for lunch to celebrate father’s Day. I realized later that it was the 3-year anniversary of my adopted dad Bill’s death. I think it’s appropriate. They were both great Fathers. Rich Hillen Sr is the underrated one and it’s time to give back whatever I can and be a son.

Happy Father’s Day.


Blink

June 15, 2012

 

Angela was over again and we were happy for the minute. My parents were there from the dead and from the life. I haven’t seen my dead father since the last time I dreamed he was alive. He had never died in the last one. This time I knew he died and came back over and over. Sometimes I acknowledged he was back from the dead. Like this one. They were mad at me and they kept riding my ass. Angela was there and I didn’t want to say or do anything stupid so of course I did. I started screaming at my parents about all and nothing. When my father started back on me I yelled back.

 

“Yeah, well you’re the one that keeps coming back from the dead!” I screamed.

 

Angela was crying. Everything stopped. I felt so bad.

 

“You know I hate when you yell at your parents. You know I have problems with that.” She said.

 

Angela walked to my porch as if she was leaving. I kept apologizing to her and turned my head to apologize to my parents.  I felt so bad my knees cracked with tears. My bones trembled with fear of loss of what I might have had if only I was a tolerant kinder person. She. She was breaking up with me and I was helpless like in those dreams when I find my self naked in the middle of a department store.

 

Blink.

 

Angela and I are at an old movie theater and all is swell. Swollen you can say. I said. No kinks in the love. All smiles whilst holding hands like professional lovers that have been at this game longer than each of us has lived. I catch her catching me catching her looking at me and we laugh until we smell smoke. Someone burnt popcorn I thought. Flames came up through the floors I carried her down the charred rippled weak stairway to uncertainty. She held me tight with a magical look of “if we go down at least it’s together.” We made it just in time as the Fire People squirted. Squirted the last flame out.

 

Out of nowhere a white man dressed as Jimi Hendrix appears in the lobby as Angela and I are trying to leave the burnt building. It turns out to be my friend Tony and he is with Rolland and Jesse. I didn’t question why he was dressed in his garb or colored face. I accept too many things at face value (no pun intended) too much. Too many times. Like why was I with this beautiful girl as my eternal lover out of the blue pink and red?

 

“I wonder if I can buy the posters and movie star cut outs in the movie theater?” Rolland asked with no greetings or concern of our health or the fire.

 

Jesse was silent and patted us on the back with a “it’s going to be ok” vibe.

 

It was ok. I still had a friend and I had Angela.

 

I’m so grateful in my dreams.


Mind is Under Construction, Sexy Asian Neurologist and Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)

May 11, 2012

Sorry for not filling these pages for a while faithful and infidelic readers. My mind and body have been under major construction and most of my creative focus has been drained on the artistic outlets that I make money on and the rest of my energy is kind of lost. I’ve been lost yet searching while waiting for my mental, physical and spiritual portals to show me some light and it’s been found. Perhaps the following will explain a little so be patient or skip to the good parts.

As always- thanks for reading.

Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)

I recklessly take new medications with out reading the label and the big slip describing all of the side effects. I take the pill then either the pill works, doesn’t work I feel the side effects or I don’t. Then I read the side effects if something feels wrong.

I finally went to see a neurologist after 5 years of being diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, a facial nerve disorder is how I describe I to most people but it’s much deeper than that or it wouldn’t be nick-named as the “suicide disease”.

 

It took 5 or 6 months of waiting for this appointment because having Medicaid as my insurance I am on a lower priority rank at the office. Medicaid even provides me with rides to and from my house which can be nerve racking and a God send at different times depending who the driver is.

I met with a beautiful Asian Dr named Dr Tracey Wang. I was expecting an old unattractive woman for some reason. I don’t even know why this was an issue-I guess it was more of a passing observation. She did a lot of standard physical tests like reflexes on my legs, knees, arms, legs and even my face. I was in pain when I got there and purposely didn’t take any of my pain meds so she could see my pain if possible. The cold medal of her small reflex tool did cause pain on my face.

When she was finished checking my pain she moved on to tell me what steps I need to take next. She wrote a referral for an MRI and another brain scan of the face that I can’t remember what it’s called, a referral to pain management who may be able to write prescriptions for pain medications because this doctor my new family doctor do not like to prescribe pain medicine. Hopefully I won’t need pain medication with the new anti-seizure medication.

I filled my prescription for the new medication Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) on my way to stay at my mother’s. I stay there every Friday night in case my uncle needs me to help him with work on Saturdays doing minor office cleaning a few blocks from my mom’s house. I was planning to stay at mom’s until the following Tuesday in case my sick aunt needed watching over if my uncle had to go anywhere like his Doctor appointments because my mom had preplanned a vacation. I watched some television and did a little writing and went t bed at a decent hour because I was called into work for 8 am Saturday morning. I took the Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) for the first time that night.

I woke up late with little time to get ready and have coffee the next morning and I couldn’t get off the couch I normally sleep on. My face was half numb and half hurting. My arms were numb and semi seizuring. My eyes were blurred and swollen. I made some quick instant coffee and could barely hold the cup. I took all of my morning medications and debated skipping the new one but took one anyway assuming this was all just a side effect that will pass. I sat on the porch and tried to steady myself for a morning smoke and coffee with shaking hands and face. I called one of the other workers to let him know that I was running late. He made a sarcastic remark about me hurrying up that I took serious and sent my anxiety through the roof. I eventually settled a bit and got my ass off to work. My co-workers looked at me like I looked the way I felt. I felt like I had the worst hangover ever. I haven’t had a drink in a while either. I went to work slowly but found myself feeling better once the pain medications kicked in. I made it through work and then a visit to see my uncle and aunt. Great aunt and her “man” of almost 20 years. That’s another story. I eventually made it back to my mom’s and was in and out of it for the next 4 or 5 days.

Every day I’d wake up at different times with various symptoms and deal with it the best I could. I watched a lot of television and barely did any drawing, writing or reading. My mind and body went through changes each day. I did manage to check the side effects each day to make sure most of them were normal ones and I didn’t need to go to the hospital or stop taking the new medication. Since I had to stay at my mom’s anyway I stayed “on call” until Thursday when I had a group therapy thing that night with rides set up through medical insurance . .bla blah.. If you’re still with me folks keep reading. I might actually have a point to these 3 pages of 16 point type.

What I thought was going to be a mini-vacation at my mom’s house for 4 days turned into a 5-day rehabilitation and medication adjustment. The seizures and numbness lessened and now I am just numb in the tongue for some reason. The pain lessened the 2nd day and my dizziness and sleepiness continued but that’s understandable because I take several pills with the same side effect.

This is the first time that I am giving new medications for my Trigeminal Neuralgia and my bipolar a chance for more than a few days in a while. Usually, if I don’t like the side effects I stop. Also, having jobs and many commitments I had to stop taking come meds or I’d lose my job and relationships. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have the freedom and time to give medications the proper time to work through my system and adjust to them and see if they will work. It’s also the first time I feel hope and faith through the temporary side effects to feel better. If it means a few weeks or a few months to find out so be it.

I might end up stop taking some of them and trying it again and that’s ok also because I’ve learned that treating rare neuralgic disorders and mental illness is not an exact science. Sometimes faith and hope is the most important ingredient to the recipe of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness.

Oh yeah -Doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists therapists, group therapy and 12-step meetings are also part of the mix to my personal recovery. If I keep it all balances and don’t let myself get overwhelmed then I might even grow up and out of whatever it is I am now and was before


Dreams of Stains, Refrains and Delorians on Film

May 4, 2012

Yeah. I haven’t had writer’s block per say. I’ve been busy having my 19th nervous breakdown and drawing to pay rent. I love drawing but I miss writing as much as I normally do.

So, here’s a well something I wrote based on a few dreamses.

It was group therapy. It was forced therapy. It was a family reunion of the family that never was but perhaps should be. Grammar school orgy. Grammer school orgy. It was a film making table reading in a locked room. Forced filmmaking. Script reading. It was confusion. Both of my, well 3 of my (2 are brothers) friends who made make write score create direct films -William Hellfire and the Martin Brothers-Andy and Jim Martin were there as counselors or doctors or caretakers or leaders or patients taking charge. They had their latest cast or character actors who belonged here with me along with Kat Dennings with the personality of her character Max in the non-hit TV show 2 Broke Girls, another friend Cherie, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Andy’s friends Rick and Pat and Hellfire’s latest young hot sultry actresses ready to do anything. Anything. Non of the other girls mattered. I liked Kat. I was really into her this time and not the average young skinny wild ready for anything models (although she was young and not fat-she was older than and heavier than most girls I dream about and the ones in the room).

 

The reading was tedious. Repetition and such. Words. Just words. I kept thinking. The padded walls became more apparent. Was it part of the set or part of the prison? The cell. The reading? The words. There was a window in the corner left right over the top wall. I was padded and bars decorated the outside. I think it a was plastic window. No glass for the loons. This loon.

 

We could hear the heavy storm a coming. Rolling round the bend. A hurricane. An avalanche? The doors were bolted shut and we hung out in the lobby of the built in movie theater we found though a secret compartment and sneaked in and ate popcorn and drank coffee and soda. Mr Hellfire always had a stash of liquor with him to share and some took some and some turned it down. This was our scared straight therapy I proposed in my mind. The party was just beginning and I felt like I just begun as well. I never began. I never stopped or started. No one understood why we were there and most of us didn’t care or cared too much. We fluctuated back and forth. An orgy. An evening of days spread across the calendar of my subconscious or maybe I was part of someone else’s dreams.

The storm subsided eventually and I dreamed my way onward onto a floatation vehicle. A car. A Delorian. A delirium. Ruins of the storm maintain the balance somehow and the roads –Who needs roads?- I see foreign flying vehicles. Ed Woodian saucers like whipped by me on the way to Gary’s house. Flight attendants offer my navigational gal Friday pills for the ride and I steer along seamlessly despite the nausea.

 

“Go ahead and vomit” I tell Gary but Gary never gets sick.

 

We arrive in his underground tavern. Cavern to find his equipment ready to go. We park. Hang out forgetting the therapy of filmmaking and ballet dancing. When he’s ready for me to leave the BitchCave Gary confidently hands me a package. I knew what to do as I climb into a new flight device. Airplane maybe?

Flight of the dead. Dead musicians, friends, loves and my own life obliterated into one pile of ashes from the exhaust flames of a flying saucer. I’m still high from the flames and the guilt.


NIGHTMARES ON SALE – GET 2 FOR THE PRICE OF 1

April 1, 2012

I TRY TO IGNORE THE WHISPERS LOUDER THAN THE SCREAMS. IN DREAMS I WALK WITH YOU. You Roy.  I AM TRAVELLING. Always traveling. Moving. New apartment. New house. New CCITEE-Y. NEW STATE. STATE OF MIND. Party goers and house warmers and birthday goers and CHRISTmas mass attendees gather. I know some then I know everyone. I am no one. They don’t see me this way. He doesn’t see me this way. She. You.

 

MR SANDMAN BRING ME A DREAM.. I know you. I love you LOVE! I carry buckets of paint to your house and the party has just begun. I GET NO KICK FROM CHAMPAGNE either Frank, baby. Seven sisters of love pies stare at me and glare at ME AND THAT LOOK. THAT LOOK. IT SENDS CHILLLS DOWN MY SCARS- inside and outside that run against my heart. Let’s get this CHORDETTEONIAN PARTY STARTED MR JIMMY!

 

I put my arm around Grandmom to say I love you. People STARING. People caring. Empty people fill the crowded party. Acting hearty. Listing their character defects. Last chance. MY DEAD GRANDMOM TURNS HER HEAD AND SAYS “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID!”

 

 

I wake up smoking and drift back along the sea of asphalt, scraping my fat ass and ripping my favorite dream jeans still wondering what I did. WHAT DID I DO THAT GRANDMOM KNOWS I DID? Was it last summer Jennifer Love?

 

I am alone. ALONE. MY NEWEST OF THE NEW HOUSES. Sir Raleigh comes with news. I thought he said PRESIDENT REAGAN HAD DIED OF INDECENT IMPLOSURE. I didn’t care until I realized he wasn’t just dreaming about my Dream girl locked in his dungeon TIED UP WITH VINES and THE SISTERS OF REJECTION.

GIVE HIM TWO LIPS OF HATRED AND VIOLENCE. RESTRAINING ORDERS, BRIGHT LIGHTS AND SIRENS.

 

“SHE’S A COKE HEAD” HE SAYS.

“SHE USED TO GIVE BLOW JOBS TO HERMAPHRODITES.” HE SAYS.

 

My throat fills with vomit and joy. IN DREAMS I DO COKE WITH YOU.

 

Stolen emotions and borrowed gifts are shared at the airport and train stations and parking lots and I’M STILL NOT SURE WHICH IS WHICH. IN DREAMS I TALK TO YOU. Us is back and you is cornered and still slip away. Reptilian monkeys bred become bread for the children of Elizabethan peasants but I grab two of them and hand them to the girl with ruby slippers and she vanishes like the Dark Knight into the dark night when she hears Bruno approach.

 

“I’ll whip you now my pretty and your LITTLE MAN too! Hahahahaha” Bruno yells but not enough to find her. I find her in her Old Kentucky home with three wooden porch steps away and I go into seizures. Jules Vern hides Tu-Tu Hundred Feet Under The Sea Under The Porch. I pass out. DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM –DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM. MR SANDMAN WAKES ME. The ape lizards have grown by the time I reach the inside. The Dark Huntress awaits me wearing a smile and a bra. I am excited to see her but worry about poor Mr Vern. Guilt reddens my pink face knowing that I shouldn’t be THERE. The Queen would be quite jealous and take away my deconstructed addictive Kingdom. SHE IS THERE AND SHE IS THERE. IT WAS A DUBIOUS PLAN OF THE HUNTRESS OF DARK TO HAVE Mr Vern under the porch and watch my web of lies unfold. The evil one IS not Bruno and I NOW KNOW WHAT GRANDMOM KNOWS I DID. I JUST DIDN’T DO IT YET WHEN SHE TOLD ME.

 

Caught in the trap admiring the salamander gorilla’s ability to change in size determined by the cage they are in. I imagine if they were let loose if they could grow bigger than the entire world. My Darling Queen and my Miss Huntress dance and change clothes despite the height and come out laughing at me and yet forgiving me and I feel a calm as MY DEAD GRANDMOM SAYS “ I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID.”


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