When I was in NY I would walk up the street to Hillside Ave. from my aunts house and take the bus to school every day. I would have to buy tokens down at the train station every couple of weeks. I think it was $1 a ride which added up if you think twice a day and 5 times a week. The bus driver used to get a kick out of the fact that I would pay everyday. The other kids had passes because they lived in the area which was Floral Park. I lived in a different part of Queens (Hollis) but I was using another address to be able to attend Martin Van Buren High School. The reason for this was because the school I was supposed to attend was in Jamaica, Queens, I rougher part of town so to speak.
I had my walkman with me and I would go to school and get there early. I would walk in the auditorium and listen to music while I waited for that first bell. Depeche Mode, INXS. some of the bands whose music I would listen to. I have good memories of this time.

No one cares

The phrase “no one cares” is one that always appear to have a negative connotation but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Anytime you want to try something or have a new experience and you deprive yourself of this need. You need to remember this -no one cares- whether you do it or you don’t, the only person you need to satisfy is your self.

So why not? Try it out experience new adventures for yourself.  Try new ways of doing things.

No one cares – when you know this and understand that only you are putting limitations on yourself. There is a freedom. There is a sign of relief that you should feel in your soul. Your mind can be a prison if you let it be, but we can rise above.

Here, in the middle of nowhere

To say that Army life contrasts with civilian life doesn’t capture the vast difference between them. Basic training was as shock to the system even for me. We were yelled at and threatened. My hair was shaved off along with my mustache and it was a new me that looked back at me through the mirror. We were prodded thru like cattle through different stations as we were issued standard Army gear, uniform, boots, steel pot, canteen, etc. We received equipment including a ruck sack that included even a blanket, a shovel, wet weather gear. At this point in the journey I tried to stay low and just try to not get yelled at. We were dropping to do push ups for any offense that the drill sergeant deemed.  My home in Los Angeles might have been on the moon at this point because I felt so far away from my family and my former life.

We were issued a small new testament version of the bible. I read it mostly every night where I prayed that I “would be delivered from the valley of death”.  A sense of camaraderie was starting to develop among my platoon and the other recruits in the barracks. Real basic training hadn’t even started at this point unbeknownst to me.


The standard issue of equipment was done at a large scale and now we were broken down to smaller units. We were stuffed in cattle cars with all our new gear and brought into another part of Fort Knox. Another town if you would. It was here that basic training started.