Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Category

Hard to describe in words

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

window
You may find yourself…
One day I woke up here and the sun was spilling into our bed in what seemed to be huge buckets of yellow and orange paint. We had breakfast together and then went outside into the garden.

People come in and out of your life for a reason
I come here immersed with gratitude. I am very lucky blessed and God has been very good to me. As I look back on Gods impeccable track record a glow of thankfulness covers me like a warm blanket in my new home.
In all that was chaos is blessings. I have done some of the footwork for I have no idea where I would be today if I wasn’t sober. Most times my mind goes faster than what I can keep up with but even that is getting better. It seems like so many many years ago I walked thru the doors of a place in Piscataway NJ, fresh out of jail, jobless and confused. It was a big room on the second floor covered with windows by a railroad track. There was always cofee and sweets, there was always clouds of cigarette smoke (yes, that’s how long ago this was.) but most of all there was always meetings. The building was not dedicated to anything else but recovery. Everyday, several times a day. And during holidays it was 24/7. I am very lucky blessed to have found people to talk to and phone numbers (there were no cell phones back then but I knew where every phone booth was)

she died a Hartman

she died a Hartman

I continue to be in awe of life …. and death. If you take for granted the billions of miracles that are going on around you and within you then you can lose touch with this whole amazing thing. You were actually a very sweet person, you just got a little lost. (like we all do) I’ve lost count of how many people have just slipped away from my life just so suddenly. They are up here, swimming and struggling* to stay afloat like the rest of us and then you turn around and
they are gone.

* and some people can just float

One day, a long time ago, I woke up on this farm in Canada too.

One day, a long time ago, I woke up on this farm in Canada too.

So this past June 16 was the 45 anniversary of my fathers death. I remember him telling me about the “7 year locust” next to that funny looking tree that is (still!) in our front yard. Obviously the seven year locust only come out every seven years. The story is that he was working on the rose bushes which he loved to do and one of those huge MF’ers flew into that tree and let out one of his crazy long noise/scream/bug sound. It freaked me out but my father soothed me by saying, “Don’t worry it’s only a seven year locust. He wont hurt you.” And that’s the end of the story pretty much. It’s funny how I can have memories that long ago! Actually if you asked me what my deepest longest memory EVER was, I might think it was the 1964 Words Fair in Flushing NY.

I lost you in the butterfly tent
So basically I have obtained a Flux Capacitor on Ebay and with the help of a friend of mine from New York City, we have created a Time Traveling APP. In a nutshell, when the phone is charging I can transfer through communication lines into different periods of time. My current quest is to travel digitally to a bar in West Carteret (Mikes Bar) and transfer my image onto the TV at that bar. The date I picked is October 10, 1968. A Thursday. My father frequented this bar ofter especially on Mondays and Thursdays when the Westfiels Sewing Center was opened until 9PM>
Since my father has never seen my kids, HIS grandchildren, I plan to show photos and small movies of them projected thru this black and white TV in Mikes Bar. My only hope is that dad sees them.

I haven’t traveled into the future yet. I’m too scared.

IDGAF
Sometimes I wish I never connected this blog to the family website. Sometimes creativity is hard to understand. Many

once a long time ago I woke up on the third floor of this Victorian mansion and had just impregnated my wife at the time with my first son.

once a long time ago I woke up on the third floor of this Victorian mansion and had just impregnated my wife at the time with my first son.

people need pure logic and straight thoughts. Sorry I don’t have much of that nor does this blog feature happy butterfly clipart and borders of flowers. I can view the number of times this blog gets “hit” which is actually pretty high probably only because it’s so public. So I’m sorry I can be so deep and dark and I know my audience isn’t keeping up with me nor caring but it’s this: Writing for me is incredibly therapeutic and the creative energy it creates just knowing I have a little corner in the world to turn to is so very nice. At least there is some family tree stuff and heritage so maybe one day one of our kids or their kids might be interested in that. I seem to be the only one.

Every time I start feeling Sorry For Myself I watch The News
I used to think I knew too much about life to have optimism. I was very wrong. When I was a teenager and into my twenties I wasn’t a very good person. In fact I was a big dick. I was indeed a racist, a sexist, an egomaniac and an irresponsible punk ass hippy. I’m very sorry to all the people I hurt, especially my family.

Everything that makes you happy is going to end at some point. I have gotten over that and have diligently tried to be a better person. I used to think that letting my divorce happen was one of my biggest mistakes. One day I woke up in my car and said “what the fuck have I done?” I should be waking up with my kids and teaching them how to sheetrock a fucking house or something! How to make a living in life. How to cook. How and when to put on underarm deodorant.
Actually I don’t have the first clue of how to sheetrock a house.
And today I don’t regret the sloppy one-sided nightmare divorce one bit. I know in my heart of hearts I did the absolute best that I could…..stressing with WHAT I HAD.

I am extremely blessed with these guys. You can not put a word to parental love.

I am extremely blessed with these guys. You can not put a word to parental love.

I have been calling Uncle Billy and I did that because I had some kind of crazy resentment with him. That he “abandoned” us or something. See, I can still be an idiot. After Carol died we used to think Barb was the last elder left in the family, then we found Jerry Jones but she sadly passed away almost as soon as I found her. Our fathers brother is still here and he such a nice, intelligent man with many many memories. He was so pleasant and patient when I last spoke with him and I had a hundred questions(knowing me yes some of them were strange) He is doing very well and will soon be out of assisted care.

Westfield NJ 1919. The Westfield Sewing Center not yet here (second store from the right) I hope to time travel here some day.

Westfield NJ 1919. The Westfield Sewing Center not yet here (second store from the right) I hope to time travel here some day.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve conquered it all except death. And maybe heavy merges on Rt 46 during rush hour.
When I see people in their twenties freaking out in their car, I laugh to myself. I was like that once too. Climbing the ladder of life. Knocking people down. Building a wall around myself and possessions. Yeah, this materialistic fever fed by American TV and movies. I’m reading a book now that changes all that. After the last France truck terrorism episode… it changed me greatly and I needed to find myself again. I’ll tell you one day soon how I made out.

Forever loved by all

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The day we said goodbye to Glenn started as a sunny day like the day before, but slowly turned into a complete washout. The family was drained from Glenns impoverishment and his goodbye was limited to a small memorial service and a rent-a-priest in the funeral home. I don’t believe his cremation even took place so there was an empty urn at the front of the room. Does any of this really matter when you pass away? Glenn had not been “the same” in many years, yet we were there to say goodbye to the spirit of Glenn that we loved and remembered. So on this rainy day two sisters cleaned out Glenns small space where he lived. Fifty one years of living had come down to a few bags of “stuff” Mostly his state supplied medication, some hand made notes and phone numbers, his cloths and razor blades. That’s it. Fifty one years and it took an hour to put away his physical presence on this planet. Like I said in an earlier post Glenn wrote many letters. He was a very talented self-taught artist. During the clean up of his meager worldly possessions, sister Bonnie found a letter from him to her. The last letter/poem that brother Glenn wrote can be viewed below.

Click here

Click here

Glenn left behind more important things, some great memories, two beautiful children, a granddaughter and another on the way. The journey to Brendas grave was started as just an idea as something to do before the service. Traveling to Ohio was a good enough reason to take advantage of going to her grave. Brenda had passed away six years earlier and her body was in an unmarked grave in Middletown Ohio. What we thought would be a forty minuet drive turned into a much longer long twisting journey in the pouring rain hills and back roads of southern Ohio. I had missed Brendas funeral so it became special for me that I get there. Thank you Bonnie and Paul for making that possible. Also the girls persistence that a marker be put on Brendas grave after six lonely years is a blessing.
So after all that driving by Paul we only stood there in the poring rain for a few minutes but there it was. A beautiful and humble stone in honor of our wonderful sister Brenda. It was so powerful for me to see it. I am grateful to all the sisters that pushed it and for the entire family for making this happen. The angel on her stone is even a reference to her favorite song by Sarah Mclachlan’s “Angel” and the sunflower is her favorite flower.
Located in Woodside Cemetery, Middletown Ohio.

Located in Woodside Cemetery, Middletown Ohio.

A Glenn Hartman Salute

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

MAINglennBLOG
REMEMBERING A BROTHER
Middle Child Syndrome
Everyone has their own favorite personal stories of Glenn. The fifth born, third son of George and Joan Hartman. Everyone remembers his mischievous smile, his happy laugh, his love of life, his beautiful children and his flirtations with the law and his health. He was born into a home already buzzing with four young children. During his early childhood, five more siblings appeared after him. Each needing attention and care. To say his life wasn’t hectic from day one is quite an understatement. As all young kids crave attention and love, maybe there wasn’t enough to go around some days. Sometimes you can get lost in a crowd. Sometimes your crying isn’t heard. So you trudge on to survive and always find a way. We were a big family getting bigger but we never failed each other. Our older brothers and especially sisters took care of things. We were never told or taught to do this, we just did it instinctively.
As the third boy in the loud home he followed Greg and I with droopy diaper everywhere. Pacifier stuck in his face, his big brown curious eyes searching for leadership. Early in life Glenn caught the blame for all the little things that went array in the crowded household. Thus the famous cry of “Glenn did it! Glenn did it” appeared and remained with him for the rest of his life. Somebody drank all the pickle juice out of the pickle jar? Glenn did it! Someone took my teddy bear and threw it out of the top bedroom window? Glenn did it! Somebody drew magic marker all over the wall? Glenn did it! It had gotten so that almost all the awkward accusations in a home filled with accusations could safely disappear with the magic phrase “Glenn did it!”
Glenn Did do it
Many years down the road after we all had moved out and mom sold the house in 1985, I still took solace in this verbal escape. If I woke up with a hangover, or dropped a full glass of milk, the Giants losing an important (or any) game, a car accident, my divorce-were all met with outcries of “Glenn did it!”
Personally for me, I was very close to Glenn early in his life but “lost” him after I got sober and he moved to Florida to be with his two younger brothers. Glenn took me to my very first AA meeting at Perth Amboy hospital. This was during one of his early stints of attempting to clean up his act. I just remember sitting there next to him scared, but listening. Glenn was always way more open and sociable then me. He was shaking hands and introducing me to other recovering drunks. When the meeting was over, or so I thought, the entire room stood up. I was attempting to leave when my brother Glenn grabbed my hand. The strange man on the other side of me grabbed my other hand. The leader of the meeting called out: “Who’s Father?” and everyone recited the prayer .. “Our Father, who art in heaven…” And it was in that one powerful moment. in a room full of sick people…powerless people…all calling to a higher power together…that I knew this was where I belonged. Glenn took me to a great place and although it took me years after that to finally “get it” ..to finally get sober, I never forgot my first meeting with my brother Glenn.

For many years it was the three Hartman boys together in Florida.

For many years it was the three Hartman boys together in Florida.

Glenn also extracted me from a 8 year hiatus in a warehouse job painfully going nowhere. He enticed me with the Teamsters Union and really good health benefits. In those days of being twenty-something year olds, I was petrified of people and change, but the thought of finally fixing my chipped front teeth was worth a “risky” job change. My two front teeth were severely chipped when I was 7 while playing a game called Hot Potato, Glenn, yes Glenn actually did do it, threw the bright red clicking-timer hot potato into my mouth.
Right in the kisser

Right in the kisser

Dad promised he would have them fixed “when your teeth fully grow in” but he died. Mom never even considered it when getting food on the table was a more important matter. So my adolescents was a living hell. Afraid to smile. Petrified to talk. I learned to speak with my upper lip closed or my hand in front of my face. But Glenn did it! He got me a great job with more money, overtime and immediate health benefits. I wasn’t at this job for one week before I was sitting unconscious in a dentist chair having my front two teeth grinded down for caps! The thousands of dollars it cost were picked up by the Teamsters. I was a totally new person after that and I owed it all to Glenn.
On The Beach
I have so many wonderful memories of my little brother Glenn. Going to Great Adventure to see Southside Jonny And The Asbury Jukes. The crowd exploding when they sang “On The Beach” and how years and years later, we still sang that song to each other. There were so many times it was just him and I. In Washington Square Park in the village singing along to “Ripple” with a street musician. New York City. A rented room in a boarding house at Belmar beach.
A Hard Worker
Glenn was also responsible for getting me a side job at Min Goldblatt catering company. It was there that I witnessed his true strong Hartman work ethic and dependability. He had also got some of our friends jobs here. It was here that Glenn began to blossom into an excellent cook. Everyone remembers his favorite dishes. Mine was his seafood gumbo. He catered his own wedding.
Lost
Glenns later years became so struggled that it hurt to talk with him. His long bouts in jails and hospitals, what could we do? His letters from jail were filled with colorful sometimes religious art.
We will always miss you

We will always miss you

During one stay at a Kentucky prison, I remember he was in endless physical pain. He kept complaining how it hurt all the time to do anything and the people at the jail did NOTHING. Carol Dooley became engrossed with this and called the prison several times. Consoled Glenn on the phone. Only by Carols constant nagging did Glenn finally get the attention he needed. It had gotten so bad that he was actually taken from the jail admitted to the hospital.
As time went on, Glenns health grew worse. His addictions never dimmed. He had created a hell on earth. But in his daily struggles he was a loving dad and grandfather. He paid back child support. He was blessed with random visits with his children. The running family joke with Glenn was that he would out-live us all. He had nine lives like a cat. But finally one hot Summer day in our sisters Bonnies basement where she cared for him, he never woke up. He didn’t die in a hospital, nursing home, prison or on the street. I salute Bonnie and Paul for that. For, as hard as it was, when nobody else wanted him, or could afford him, they took him in. He was needy and difficult but we thank them for giving him the dignity of passing on to a world far away from this hell he lived in with some respect.
I salute you my brother Glenn

I salute you my brother Glenn


You were a good man that fought an unrelenting attack of demons. I salute you. I look forward to mingling with you on the other side and being connected together in the tapestry. I salute you. I love you. To Bonnie and Paul for most recently taking him under their wing and taking care of him, I salute you.
To everyone in the family that tried to help him. that put up with him, that felt like they had lost him but never gave up hope, I salute you.
All Together Now!
To Grant, for taking care of Greg after his stroke and most recently to Ann and Gary for taking care of Greg every single damn day. For making sure he takes his meds, for bathing and feeding him, I salute you. To Barb, Bernadette and Belinda I salute you for driving halfway across the eastern USA to meet in the middle so that our younger cousins can spend a week or so together. For sharing your resources and sitting down at every single school play and event…for swimming and field trips, stories, love and care..I salute you! For everyone trying to be the glue of the family..for keeping us together with social media, photos, and blogs and text messages and phone calls. I salute all the prayers we offer each other in sickness and in health. In death and new life. In addiction and cure. Thank you for huddling together as The Mighty Ten always and remembering where we all came from and where we are going.
I salute the Hartmans.

Envelope Art

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Click on above art for full view then hit back to go back to gallery.
Glenn was just like his mom. He was a letter writer. Our brother spent more than half his life in jail. He spent a lot of that time drawing with pencil, crayon, pen or anything he could get his hands on. Sometimes they wouldn’t give them paper or pencils. Glenn told me he would make “ink” with water and different colored M&N’s. His letters were filled with a lot of raw emotion and sometimes hope. Most times he knew he didn’t belong where he was. He was typically sorry and frustrated at his actions yet he always ended up in the same place. These are just a few of the many envelopes he drew and colored on before he sent one of his letters. Glenn was very talented with a pencil or magic marker. He was 100% self taught. Although a lot of his work is serious and very spiritual, Glenn had an outright wicked sense of humor. He could laugh at himself and the predicaments that he got into. He met a lot of people in jail and hospitals that were in despair yet he always maintained a pretty positive attitude. Glenn also had a great memory. He was filled with detailed family memories. Many times he surprised me with his outlook and keen story telling.

Glenn Hartman 10-26-62 to 8-17-14

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

BLGglennCollage

things i will never regret:

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

mapFARRING_BLG
Almost dying from osteomyelitis at 2 years old.
Starting to drink at an early age.
Joining a colorful musical cult.
Failing some most math subjects at school.
Hating my mother.
Almost being abandoned in California by my mother.
Doing LSD.
Having nine siblings.
Experimenting with life-crushing poverty.
Almost dying while trying to swim across Farrington Lake.
Going to an all-boys private Catholic HS.
Changing from beer to straight whiskey.
Learning stream-of-consciousness writing method.
Getting arrested and going to jail.
Getting dragged by my hair up a flight of stairs by an ex convict named John Dellaroba.
Working split shifts, night shifts and every minute of overtime ever offered to me.
Marrying an incoherent woman from another universe
Being an alter boy

Things I regret:
…to be continued.

.

Thanks for sharing

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

I’ve spent a lot of time in twelve step meetings the past thirty years and some of what I was “taught” has stuck. One of the things was, that, as long as you are drinking, drugging or acting out consistently and compulsively, you fail to grow emotionally. So in theory, if I began my journey to self destruction at age 15, and continued until I was 28, then I had the emotional development of a 15 yo at age 28. Ridiculous isn’t it? I always thought so until I encountered someone close to me with an insatiable thirst for the “poor me’s” Hey, I’d like to feel sorry for you if I could but maybe it’s time to move along. I’ve also learned my tolerance level in dealing with adult’s that have a child’s emotional growth level. ZERO.
So this is my bad. I pray for patience and enlightenment to help get along with every human being that crosses my path. Even my social media circle of robot friends and family.

I’ve also been learning about passive-aggressive behavior. This targets me generally. Why is it that the darkest side of human nature includes wanting bad things to happen to other people? Whether they deserve it or not, who am I to judge? Who am I to hate? This whole monster of human nature in trying to “out-do” our friends and family brings NOTHING but disgrace. No, it’s not easy for me to say. In everyone’s life tears were shed, harsh words were spoken, fear, dread, resentment, jealousy, frustration and rage comes and goes like clouds in the sky.

To be quite honest I stopped going to meetings. It was easy when you had no solid foot on the ground. When there was no real place to hang your hat. Or, that that place kept changing. It is only through the blessings of a good God that I found some real peace in my life. It is only through the generosity, love and kindness of Krysia that I can bury myself in blankets on a cold north east night and dream. It is through these warm

I am zeroing in on capturing John Karst.

I am zeroing in on capturing John Karst.

hazy dreams that I can wake up in a home. In a home you can begin to take care of yourself. Go to a doctor (even if an overnight visit to the emergency room initiated it.) I can rejoin the ymca. I can begin learning and doing transcendental meditation. Joining the quite bizarre (but Catholic church related) Knights of Columbus. I can actually do things for myself that are healthy. Through it all, whenever I encounter a tough situation or a man-child, I find that I always bounce back on the life lessons I have learned in AA. As repetitious as those meetings can be, maybe it’s time to go back. I have absolutely no desire to go back to drinking and drugging yet something pulls me there. The friendship? The horrible coffee? The human tragedy? The repetitious steps and slogans? The service? Helping others? Maybe all of the above or can I even slide it into my scheduling, I don’t know.
Today I will dress in dark cloths and attend the viewing of a 16 year old girl that lost a gallant fight against some rare-crazy-aggressive cancer. I hardly knew this wonderful girl but it was so easy to join in with the entire community and help her. Something I witnessed which I shall never forget as long as I live (and live on in the afterlife) is hearing a young smart girl announce “We should start a fundraiser” and then see it develop, grow and snowball down the side of a mountain like a runaway train. Because of this selfless act I saw that people will bond together for another human. People are not greedy. People sincerely care. If you fall down there is a hand, EVEN many willing hands to help you get back up. My faith tells me the afterlife is real and that it’s not just some dark, void waiting room in the mountains of the universe. I have an advanced case of poets brain. I struggle with heaven and hell but I am overwhelmed with compassion for humanity. I’m redesigning myself at all times. I’m trying to think of others, even that fool that hung up on me. “Poor me. Poor me. Pour me another drink.”

The reason why they repeat so much in AA is because most alcoholics are so DAMN thick-headed, (and this IS and WAS me!) that it is only after something is heard several million times that it begins to sink into a train wreck of a chaotic alcoholic brain. Next step in the city of steps? Tearing off the leaches. Stay tuned!!

sobriety

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

when you have nothing
you have everything
only you find that out much later
love is a sandwich on the cutting board
or a hot coffee on cold concrete
slipped out his plastic card
and charged his freedom
a poets eyes see’s reflections in the windows
fog on the pond
tenderness in a drive-by shooting

captured in the claw of technology
my emotions carry over the bandwidth
past lonely midnight card games
clenched relationships &
fragile wireless hearts

“ihavent wokeupdrunk in tenYears”
but i remember the vomit stench, bloodand jail cells
like it wuz last night
now i can taste the sunsets and spit out all the
pits
i can see the whispers behind my back
and know just what they
translate
i can touch the moon and bath in its glow
i can hear the music and filter out all the static
i can plant a tree and count its leaves
i can dance
i can live
i can love

neonduskmondaynovember81999ninethirtysixpm

“Does God look down on the boys in the barroom,
Mainly forsaken but surely not judged.
Jacks, kings, and aces, their faces in wine,
Do lord deliver our kind.
From singing for whiskey three strings on the fiddle,
Four on the guitar and a song that I love.
Many’s the night we spent picking and singing,
In hopes it be pleasing both here and above.
Jack’s string fiddle to my sawtooth bow,
Who loves lonlieness loves it alone.
I love the dim lights like some love the dew”
~~~Robert Hunter

Letter to Glenn

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

When time just drags

When time just drags


Come back to us you crazy fool!

Come back to us you crazy fool!

Dear brother Glenn we miss you and love you. I’m wandering a field of dizzy dreams called earth. Come back you damn fool. Where ever this gripping addiction has taken you. Back from the depths of deadness. YOU and your damn nine life’s. (like a cat) This isn’t you brother!!! You’re better than this. We all are. Your consumption of gallons of pickle juice as a child. Hanging with no shirt on our white fence singing Petula Clarks “Downtown” And older you became a man. Your good cooking. Your hard working ethic. Min Goldblatt hero. Good father. You took me to my first AA meeting! You dragged me out of a no where job and got me a job with benefits. You fixed my chipped front teeth. We went on adventures together into the trees off the railroad tracks. Remember crossing the train trestle and hearing the NJ turnpike roaring below…??? A river of cars and semi-trucks downshifting. All the girls that chased you and made me so jealous. You will always have life by the balls. Escaping everything that comes your way except this powerful demon that holds your heart and soul hostage. Oh brother, where art thou?!!

the poets childhood

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

i never really tasted death but addiction
is as close to hell as you ever wanna be
I WOKE UP today stretched out uncovered
in the middle of winters open window
full of overflowing filling spilling
GrAtiTude.
Thanks mom for
molesting me
Thanks dad
for never fucking being there
and because of that
now, when i look at the cloudless night skies
i see things that others do not
think things that others will never cross
write verses from scorching emotions
deeper than the diamond laced blackness

neondusk3142013thursday244pm