Tag Archives: apathetic society

The Forgotten

homeless manFor those of you who may have already heard my rants about the boggling inequalities and imbalances in society, I apologize for the redundancy. But, my recent contact with an increasing number of heartbroken homeless with hollow eyes and vacant stares has compelled me to find a steady stance atop this familiar soapbox.

The disparity between the haves and have-nots is growing at an alarming rate, but like Roman emperors wearing golden blindfolds, very few seem to acknowledge the impending fall.

We are at a critical crossroads in this country and there is a cauldron filled with the forgotten just waiting to boil over.

Our culture has continued its unhealthy love affair with capitalism, even in the face of some severely detrimental consequences. Instead of making slight adjustments to stave off the resentment and rage directed toward those holding all the cards, the dealers have found ways to ensure that the house continues to profit exponentially. Greed was good in the 80’s, but it’s a poison we’re forced to swallow today.

Poverty and mental illness are running rampant, but it’s more comfortable to draw the blinds and bolt the doors. I watch consumers carrying thousand-dollar bags step over people sleeping in the street to stand in line for an $8 cup of dead coffee beans and foam. I see state-funded food in schools sit in the bottom of garbage cans because mandates force students to fill trays with items they never plan to eat. I walk around in an environment full of waste and pollution and excess, and I wonder where it all went wrong.

I don’t proclaim to have the answers, and I’m well aware there is no cure-all for a population that has been beaten into submission for generations. But, it certainly feels like there is a revolution just waiting to explode with the right confluence of actions.

A seemingly insignificant event may play the role of that backbreaking straw. But, it could be just enough to tip those apathetic scales to the point of no return.

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Saying Goodbye

balloon1At this point, it’s probably pretty obvious that I’m not a big fan of saying goodbye to the constants in my world. Chasing an elusive dream of stasis has proved disappointing and disheartening, and this latest realization has added another slap to an already-bruised face.

I have built a core group of friends that I can say without hesitation is the most supportive, open, caring, and genuine collection of males you will ever find in our modern, self-obsessed, and apathetic society. These men have been in my life for the last 12-17 years, and we are a circle that has defied all male stereotypes, rejecting the notion of “bros,” eschewing emotional safeguarding, and almost always choosing hugs over handshakes.

We have been an intricate and intimate puzzle with interchangeable pieces, falling in and out of the picture when love, work, and commitments dictated our level of contact. We welcomed new members and did our best to embrace rookies into the fold. But, the foundation was constructed from memories and moments, and regardless of connections made later in life, there is a finite number of people who have genuine shared history.

I have been guilty of taking these relationships for granted, assuming they would always be waiting for me when needed. I wanted to believe the band would look and sound the same, regardless of time. The comfort of knowing my most valued friendships all resided in the same city was like a giant security blanket. Even when I wasn’t around it, I was still protected from the cold.

Now, a vital member of the collective is leaving. The news was a mild surprise, having known the prospect was on the table. But, the sadness and nostalgia accompanying the announcement are more than I expected. Some of my earliest and most cherished LA memories and experiences are directly credited to the bond we built and the easy alliance born from the most unexpected common ground.

Those tennis days and music nights were some of my happiest. Even when I was barely working, struggling to navigate the financial hills and (mostly) valleys of this city, he was the one person who visited me each weekend. Breaking the loneliness and monotony of those stress-heavy weeks by hitting some forehands and sharing a quick lunch meant the world to me. I don’t know if he ever knew that. I hope he does now.

People grow and change and move. Life is lived out of a box, and there are adventures waiting for this wide-eyed explorer. But, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to honor the transparency of this blog and admit that dry eyes have not accompanied this post.

Losing some comfortable life consistency is nothing compared to losing a friend.