WARRIOR

346-3466505_15-best-photos-of-80s-party-clip-artHello all you masters of words, as I sit here listening to my playlist from the 80’s feeling nostalgic, I find myself longing for the good old times.  Missing old buddies, one particular friend comes to mind.  She is one of my champions, who encouraged me to continue writing.  She and I go way back.  I can still see her waiting for me up on the Blvd (Hollywood Blvd) at our spot, planning our ditch day. I recently found two of my diaries realizing that one of the diaries is solely about her and our adventures together.  True to form most of the crew we hung out with all but disappeared, not true with her.  We kept in touch making our bond stronger.  Her story of courage has inspired me to write this blog.  This blog post is dedicated to my dear friend Beth.

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Spandau Ballet Lifeline
Spandau Ballet

Behind the Woman:  Beth is a little intriguing and a lot mysterious which makes her very seductive and attractive. Speaking of attractive, Beth inner beauty is appealing. You either love or her or hate there’s no in between.  For me it’s love at first sight.  Beth qualities are enduring and most women are envious. For example her love of music, she picks the most sappy genra of music love or soft rock. By the time the LP is done spinning, not only did she convince you this is good music but you are now a fan.  Her absolute favorite band “Spandau Ballet” of course. Her song of choice is  “Life Line” a song which she will play on repeat. That drove me crazy. I came up with the rule whoever is driving gets control of the radio.  However, with all her charm it didn’t work.  I still can hear that damn song.

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Friendship-quotes-We-all-have-friends-in-our-life-but-we-only-have-a-few-best-friends.-Best…My BFF:  As a friend Beth is always there, always present and loves giving advice whether it’s sought out, good or bad Beth always sold her opinion. She would say to me “my sunny bunny here’s my advice take it or leave it” most time I would leave it not because it’s bad but I am hard-headed. I need to learn lessons on my own with little interference, with that being said, Beth is one of those champions who always ran interference especially when she sees a friend crashing.  The way we met was not conventional. When I first met Beth, it was late 80’s my senior year of high school. Beth a scared nineteen year old from parts unknown just showed up at school. She would roam the campus as if she was a student. Beth even participated in graduation ceremony rehearsal until our principal head count blown her cover. Back then Beth wasn’t Beth. Beth was known as Arthur and Arthur was the biggest jerk. I must say in the beginning I wasn’t a huge fan but overtime Arthur grew on me like a warm fuzzy sweater. 

(follow former Spandau Ballet lead singer Tony Hadley” on Twitter)

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“National Runaway Hotline” (800) 786-2929

Kanye_West_Runaway_titleHeartbreak City:  According to Arthur, he knew he was different.  He said at seven he knew he have a love for boys. When he played house he would pretend to married a handsome prince. One day his mother discovered him playing dress-up. He went all out from wearing her platinum blond wig to wearing her bright red lipstick even putting on her press-on nails.  His mother so disgusted would burn these items making Arthur watch. He said the flames filled him up with anger and that anger turned to hatred. Arthur said after that his parents distance themselves from him, isolating him from the rest of the family.  His parents would invest in a few different facilities in attempt to rehabilitate him back to normal. This was the environment Arthur was raised in. On his sixteen birthday Arthur came home from hanging out to find all his belongings stuffed in a over-night-bag on the porch.  Among his belongings a ziploc bag with $2,000.00 and note that read “don’t come back”. Nowhere to go he decided to head west.  Unfortunately for Arthur, he got off the bus to Hollywoodland falling in with the wrong crowd.  He was many things, a drug addicted, an alcoholic just a beautiful complicated mess. I have never met anyone so talented ,so gifted with no direction.  As I got to know Arthur I see a passion for the arts. He was a remarkable pianist. He has a voice of a song bird.  He’s true passion is painting. He showed me his incredible works. These paintings looked like an Thomas Kinkade original.  Such vivid details from the trees, to the rain soaked streets. As he explained his techniques, the paint he used, I seen that look in his eyes that this is his duck to water moment. 

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“National Drug Helpline” (888) 633-3239

phone-clipart-png-Image-715x715The Phone Call:   So-called “friend” are the best aren’t they.  They will never ever disappoint you because you know what you’re getting. Arthur so-called friend reached out requesting I grace his presence. Really it’s like I was be summoned to meet the President.  As this person rattle off a location, he made it very clear if I wasn’t there in 20 mins Arthur wouldn’t be. I was always fearful of going to city of orange.  This is an area where your worst demons a fed. Lets back up, after graduating high school I got my first apartment in Hollywood. Whenever you wanted to feed your demons the alleyway between Orange Avenue and Santa Monica Blvd is where you would go.  This area was known as the city of Orange. Arthur would venture there doing things to achieve hit. He would spend weeks living in this alley. I have no idea what heroin is and the effects.  I never experienced addiction on that level. I was taken aback standing over my friend lying in the dirty alley with a needle in his arm. The person that called is a dealer surpise, surpise. He refused to let Arthur go until his debt was paid. I did something I never thought I would do, I negotiated a payoff then handed this weasel my rent money.  I can’t believe I’m standing in a alley negotiating with a drug dealer.  I knew I will never ever see any of that money, however, Arthur was worth every cent. 

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LGBT Hotline (888) 843-4564

843991fb2776da750baaaa67080a6ebc_clipart-fashion-woman-2_1274-2162Making The Change:  Arthur stayed with me for a few months working on sobriety.  I didn’t ask much of him other than getting help not to go back to city of Orange.  It was hard, a struggle but finally we found a good place for him. With a click of a pen, a signature my friend was on his way to recovery. As for myself, I took the opportunity to write about the experience. I knew that one day I would have to confront Arthur. Yes, I was angry and yes I was completely jealous of his talent. I was angry that he would gamble with his talent. I thought if I wrote out my feelings, when the time comes the delivery wouldn’t be as bad. Six months later I’m sitting across from Arthur. He’s looking really good.  We start to chat waiting for the therapist to come. Minimum of words are said I couldn’t resist, I hugged him. I was so proud at how hard he worked at staying sober, clean and healthy.  All the other horrible things he endured didn’t matter to me. He’s in a better place. It’s go time, as I start to read I felt myself getting angry. The last thing I wanted was to pick the scab off of old wombs. I decided I’m not doing this. I reached over hugged him again. Arthur apologized than thanked for me for being a constant in his life.  I knew he never intended to hurt me.  All is forgiven. The next item of discussion is how unhappy he was pretending to be someone he wasn’t. He tells me he’s ready for a 100% change. He tells me he started the procedure to become a woman. This didn’t surprise me because Arthur identified as a woman. If becoming a woman is who he is and he’s happy who am I’m to judge.  I didn’t care, I was just glad I had my friend back.

LGBT Help Center (800) 246-7743

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happy-life-clipart-68150Live Your Truth:  Arthur has been on shaky ground with his family particularly his parents.  He really wanted his parents to accept him now her.  As it turns out Arthur is from a wealthy family. Born and raised in mid-west his family at that time owned a few grocery stores. Arthur is one of four kids.  The middle child and the only son, Arthur was expected to someday take over the family business. As pillars of the community, they had to hide the fact their only son is cross-dressing gay. Among the abuse the final blow is they disowned him.  When you’re in recovery you are encouraged to be truthful and honest.  You can’t possible move on with demons still in the back seat.  This program fashioned itself after “Alcoholic Anonymous”. The mirror was held to Arthur face and now he sees what the rest of us see, a beautiful soul. He invited his parents, his sisters and myself to his penitent ceremony. Sadly they declined. Over time as the transformation were in the final stages, Arthur would spend months searching for the perfect name. She did come up with one Beth. Of course Beth is an alias but for the sake of this blog, Beth it is.

“The Trevor Project” (866) 488-7386

“Suicide Prevention Hotline” (800) 273-8255

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goodbye_PNG22Goodbye Arthur:  One year later Arthur is all but gone.  Beth and I relationship grew. I was so proud of the woman Beth have become. With a lot of encourage and a dream job hanging in the balance, she went back to school got her GED. Beth found her voice and helped those runaway transgender teens. “I’m giving back” she would say. She found her nitch. Before Beth, Arthur had attempted suicide three times. Before Beth, Arthur would overdose several times. Before Beth, Arthur was a miserable son of a bitch.  Beth changed all that. Beth is a lovable, caring, compassionate, empathic kind person. As we said goodbye to Arthur, Beth and I decided to write down the worst part of Arthur. Without reading them, we folded the notes throwing them in the fire to burn.  Goodbye Arthur.

Cancer Treatment of America {CTCA} (844) 540-9818 

City of Hope (800) 826-4673

blood-clipart-tumblr-transparent-9Diagnosis:   Beth fight for life would continue until her death in 2002. She would lose the final battle to stomach cancer.  Beth was thirty-one. I did contact her family letting them know of her funeral. They decline the invite.  We gave Beth a send off fit for a royal. Beth learned the value of life and she lived it to the fullest. Her compassion and her empathy for others taught me the greatest lesson and that is forgiveness and love are the greatest gift anyone can give.

BTW Beth in her final days revealed to me she too kept a diary.  She wanted me to wait until after her passing to read the it.  In the diary there’s a check and a note.  I won’t go into details about the note other to say she paid back the money and more.  I took that money and made a donation in honor of my dear friend.

Be Kind

la fin

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5 thoughts on “WARRIOR”

  1. Wow! That is a sad, but beautiful story. You helped her be herself and have some happy years at the end of her very short life. It’s very disheartening when you hear of families that don’t accept their own member as the people they are. My daughter is on the rainbow and in a great relationship with a transgender man. I know that he has a very difficult relationship with his family and not a lot of contact for the same reason. All I know is he makes my daughter happier than she has been in years. I could go on and on but it’s only a comment on a blog! xo

    Like

    1. She helped me be myself. Thank you for sharing your story of your daughter. I’m glad see everyone is happy. Thank you for reading & support this blog. If Beth was here well she’ll get a big kick out of social media.

      Liked by 1 person

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