The More You Judge, The More You Sentence Yourself To Prison… And Other Fun Tales

I spent the ages of 7 until 16 in some form of Juvie or foster care, she was telling me.

We were standing in front of a fire. There was meat or something in the fire. It smelled bad. It was on the west side of NYC.

I was raped every day, she said. I forgot if I was a boy or a girl.

I’m about halfway through my operation but I have to do this hustling to raise the money for the rest.

I can’t go outside during the day, she said. People look at me. They know I’m not normal.

I was a good boy, she said. But I needed someone to take care of me.

It’s hard, she said. Living a life out here. Some people make you do things you don’t want to do. But I’m immune now. I just wish we were treated better.

A car drove by. Yoo-hoo! she said. She waved. The car slowed. She walked over and the window rolled down. Her white pants were wrapped tight around her.

Later that night I was at the Empire Diner on 11th Avenue.

I went to the back where I usually went. There was a couple there.

We’re in love, said the girl.

I love her, said the guy. It’s like something I never felt before.

I ordered a vanilla milkshake, fries, and bacon.

We just met at the club, he said. I knew as soon as I saw her that I loved her so I left behind my friends.

I offered him some fries and he took. She watched but didn’t want any. His arm was around her.

They probably still looking for me, you know? he said and laughed.

I love you too but I can’t take you home tonight. My kids, she said. I’m so in love with you, she said.

We just met, he said. I’m married also. My wife doesn’t know yet. Maybe I tell her.

You’re married? she said.

They they started making out. They started to slide under the table.

I went home. The night was over. Almost. A tiny piece of it was still peaking out up high, above the gray and shadowy beginnings of a new day.

People in suits starting to climb out of a hole. More and more of them. A swarm. The subway.

I stood in the lobby of where I lived. It was a cheap hotel.

A woman came in. She said, I live on the top floor. In the biggest room.

She was dressed all in leather. And a leather hat. She was carrying a sword. My name is Venus, she said.

What do I do? She paused. Why? She said. I’m a party planner, she said.

She went into the elevator. It started to shut. I’m in room 1020, she said. You should stop by some time.

I care about myself more than I care about my children. I can’t help it.

I know if I take care of myself, then they will do ok. Because then I will have the strength and groundedness to be there for them.

How do I take care of myself? I sleep. I clean. I’m grateful. I’m curious. I try to not let things bother me but it’s difficult. The thoughts are always Bzzz-ing.


My children love themselves more than they love me.

They also take care of themselves first. What does that mean? You know what it means.

Then what’s second? To have good friends. Because then you want to take care of them and they want what’s best for you.

If you have bad friends, they will always bring you down. Then you can’t take care of who you love the most, yourself.

It’s such a simple formula. Good friends are better than prayers. Good friends are better than ‘mad attention’ (meditation).

Who can you write to today. Who is your good friend today?

What’s after that?

Paying attention. Not what’s in the future. Or what happened in the past. I try to pay attention to right now.

It’s an adventure. You talk to people. You wander the Earth. What new thing can I discover about myself, the person I love the most, today.

Is this advice? I don’t know. All my life I like to connect with people who are different from me. It helps me shed judgments. It helps me love myself more.

To judge someone … only sentences you to solitary confinement.

I want to survive and live and love and thrive. So this is what I do.

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