I was talking with a New York aquaintence a lil while back he said it was amazing how people only remember me as a dork drunken troublemaker. I haven't lived in New York since 1985 and even then I was drunk but isolated. I didn't raise hell like I did in the seventies. Yes, I did some really stupid shit. Evidently it was shit that no one could get over. But I think rather is was because the people I lived around and with were pretty much druggies and had issues of their own and they needed a scapegoat. I mean I never did anything worthy of jail that I can remember. Drunk driving, and once I broke into a friends garage to get some cash for beer. But he later thanked me when I told him what I did because my getting in there showed him how to burgler proof the place. (were talking 10 bucks here too.) I was pretty out of my mind with grief over my recent divorce, and I couldn't find a job, and I was in constant pain etc....I deserved being looked down upon for that.
After I got sober I played guitar for a poor African American Church, gave money away left and right to charities, never drank another drop of alcohol, didn't smoke any dope, went to work regularly and added to the GDP and paid my taxes. Raised a daughter who seems to be fairly senseable and sound in her decisions. Of course my wife had a lot more to do with that than I did but I think I have a big influence over her. And if I hadn't stopped drinking I'd be dead long ago. I got to live. So my critics can dredge up all the bullshit I pulled as a young drunk and point to my character and say "hes so and so or he did such and such" and be right, but then to be fair they'd have to say, well then he settled down, and did this right, and that right,...etc. To be fair.
If indeed fairness is what they seek in personal assesments.
At One point after I sobered up I wrote or called and talked to all the people I knew that I'd offended in one way or another and apologized. I meant it when I said that. I asked some how much I owed them for restitution and they told me. I did exactly what they told me to do in each case. Some wouldn't even discuss it. AND it was the Xtians who were the hardest about discussing forgiveness and restitution! They of all my former aquaintences STILL to this day say I'm the same as before. Most of them not having known or seen me for over 30 years.
Which is also OK. I loved some of those people and showed them that when we were together. I admit I was a mess, but when I was lucid and productive I was a benefit to them or they wouldn't have had me around. It just seems odd to me that I'm locked in a time warp with them and can't escape it. But hey.