It is hard to believe that I've made it this far. Forgetting about illness, and fortunately, I've not had any serious illnesses, the live I've led, well, "followed," I suppose is a better term, has neither "normal," as most I know have noted, nor career oriented.
I've been rich and I've been poor, to paraphrase Sophie Tucker or Mae West (a disputed quote). Rich is not necessarily "better" as the remainder of the quote goes and "poor," though I've not been destitute, or without a home or food, has its advantages; perhaps more so than "rich," as one learns to adapt, among other things.
As I've written before, I've raised two boys from the ages of 6 and 3; they're now fine men, one with a family. And that's my greatest accomplishment.
Of course, I've had a few wives, only one of whom is rancorous at this point, though I've, fortunately not heard from her in several weeks. Now I am content to live out my life alone, well, with all of my family spread about the nation.
I've travelled much of the world, much on the cuff of a newspaper, the remainder on my dime and then mostly France.
I've been shot twice, once in Southeast Asia in the late 60s, once in Israel in the early 60s; been knifed twice, once by an angry woman with whom I was travelling in Northern Italy; once by some fellow in Tangier who wanted my passport (I should have given it up).
My poetry has been widely published; and my novel, now a decade old remains unfinished (nearly 800 pages), and obviously unedited.
My closest friends from my late teens, three of them, remain my closest friends, along with Rex.
I've "squandered" many opportunities, but regret none, as something new has always come along.
I've no regrets for women in my life, notwithstanding the generally bad endings of nearly all my relationships, Again, I've learned from all. And more importantly, I've learned my weaknesses, many of which have not been strengthened. But at least I know them when I see them.
I've seen and heard many greats in the theatre, dating back to the late 40s. In the 60s I recall seeing Joan Baez at Club 47, Paul Stookey at the Gaslight, Maria Callas at the Met and Leonard Bernstein's "Young Peoples Concerts" in New York.
It has been my great fortune to visit some of the world's greatest museums with some degree of frequency, yet the most memorable, and a great museum, is the Phillips where I stared for hours, perhaps cumulatively days, at the work of Mark Rothko, and Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party," for some reason, my favorite painting.
I've written stories that have sent people to jail; and ones that have helped others.
I've "dodged" creditors until I "got well," and provided money and substance to those less fortunate than I.
The coin is always two-sided and who know who tallies it up at the proverbial "end of the day." I've played the blues (guitar) for decades and the tune that sticks in my mind these days is "One Kind Favor." It's been done by many, but it was Blind Lemon Jefferson who wrote it: