If I began writing these posts about six years ago, you would be reading the words of a passionate, twenty-nine-year-old, Hell-bent-for-justice sum’bitch who was NOT gonna take it anymore! I was making a real difference in the lives of some disabled individuals by day; and, (I hoped) giving joy to the people who were in the audience when I played music in bars and clubs by night. I had a forum from which I could literally teach people who couldn’t care for themselves how to care for one another, AND a stage from which I could say WHATEVER I wanted in-between songs I wrote (mostly), and my biggest regret is I was entirely too subtle in the messages I conveyed in both cases. So, let me say how sorry I am you aren’t getting THAT me. That guy still had some manners…or, at least the decorum to show respect for the opinions of people whose words and actions and stated beliefs were contrary to my own sense of right and wrong.
Flash-forward to today, and you have me: nearly 35 years of age chronologically, about 70 years of age physically. In the interim between 2009 and 2015, you see, I managed to double my body’s age due to a neurological condition that was “solved” by two brain surgeries in 1987 which has now caught up to me in the form of chronic head pain, stiffness, numbness and aches throughout my body, the need for a wheelchair anywhere I have to stand or walk any length of distance, and (best of all), severe bouts of anxiety and depression. I’m a joy for my lovely and patient wife. All these physical and emotional ailments have created in me a sense of urgency about my life, and, even more than that, a complete lack of patience or respect for the above-mentioned people with whom I used to have such civil disagreements, or, as I now know them to be…the Enemy. Those who would have me live one precious second of my life listening to hateful, bigoted views wrapped up in the guise of religion, of moral-authority, and with an arrogance bordering on hubris, are my enemy. I’m not confident I’ve got many years left on this planet, so I guess I’ve got a lot of work to do if I’m going to do my bit to fix this broken place with words. So, you all will hear from me as regularly as my time and health will allow. But, when you don’t hear from me, please know that I’m busy giving the finger to a politician or an overly loud clergyman of some sort…at least in spirit.
Full disclosure, I’m seriously considering getting ordained online just so I can piss off the pious by signing off with the title “Reverend” before my name. Until then, I will simply say…I’m really sorry, Josh Carlisle