There are few things I am still sentimental about. Life has sandblasted away most of my naive sentimentality. No regrets there. 

There are other things about me that life has tempered. My rock hard narcissism. My noirish black cutting humor is still ever present but I’m better prepared to stifle it. 

More about all this later but getting back to the remaining dregs of sentimentality I possess is Win. Winson. I can’t get into too many details about him because it is at the moment too painful for me to bear the loss of him. Winson is the only man who ever truly knew me and loved me anyway. We were both terribly flawed. Doing drugs. Smoking cocaine a la Richard  Pryor. Win, with his revolver on the backroom counter of his photo lab. Win, crawling on the floor, convinced he had spilled cocaine on the floor, bound and determined to find it.  That desperate Win was what finally convinced me there had to be another way to live. So I left LA. Bereft of everything but the slimmest glimmer of hope. I knew life held more for me than floor-crawling drug excursions. It would take me six more months to accept my own alcoholism and drug addiction. 

Be that as it may, Win was a remarkable man, full of life, artistry, and love for me. We both loved jazz. One evening in May we drove to Ojai, God’s home on earth without a doubt, where we sat embraced by the gentle evening breezes through the eucalyptus trees, as we listened to Oscar Petersen playing jazz on the piano. The stuff of dreams. 

There are many other such memories but no need to linger. He was the sweetest man I’ve ever known. So much more than his addiction. He’s been dead for decades now, as I have been sober for multiple decades. How I wish he was still here on this journey with me. Only in my dreams.

Richmond, VA.

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