In my life, I had witnessed so much, and at times, perhaps not enough. Sometimes, what I witnessed compelled me to stand taller than I would otherwise; other times, unfortunately, I had but no choice than to take refuge in some god-forsaken trench, cowering to the whims of my world. Perhaps then I was too weak to fight back. Drugs and alcohol could weaken one’s resolve, this I know. Ah, live and learn, sometimes easier said than done.

       In my life, I had witnessed so much. Through discourse and gain, through triumph and tragedy, I had traveled. And learned. There were times when I laughed and times when I cried. Some could say I’m a true warrior, and perhaps the scars of battle etched within the inner sanctum of my being could reveal this simple truth. But like any warrior I fought to defend. Honor, dignity, integrity – they mean so much to me. As does compassion, understanding, forgiveness. Deep down, I am the same now as I was then! 

In my life I had shared what meager possessions I held. Selfishness, I could never subscribe myself to. . . no, it is much easier for me to give than take.

   In my time, I had given into the ways of the world, sometimes out of necessity, other times by choice. At times I had sacrificed but knowingly. An old line from an old song echoes in my head: “Sacrifice, the future has its price and today is only yesterday’s tomorrow.”

Even when I was living in the park, cold and rained upon, I smiled back at the world. Deep down, I knew. My inner strength had compelled me, moved me and yes, there were times when I felt like giving in. But they were only momentary lapses of reason. I would gather myself and move on, today is only yesterday’s tomorrow. Yes, I will fight my way through yet another storm.

In my life, there had been so much to be grateful for; sometimes it is easier to remember what I do have versus what I don’t. Quite possibly, that is why I had made it here. Simple philosophies, I assure you. I had read a few of the classical philosophers and their philosophies are beyond the realms of simplicity. For now, I will be my own philosopher. Much more simpler.

I do not adhere much to the doctrines of  any set religion. Spiritually, I’m at the helm. Politics, a way of the world, at times I must take a stand, but not one that I find to be incorrigible. I’m against a lot of what is taking place in the world, and a lot of what I witness saddens me, really it does. Again, a simple philosophy: “I cannot carry the world on my shoulders but on my shoulders it is my world that must carry me.” I wrote that for reason. I cannot worry as much as I once did about what happens outside my window.

can only do what I can in my own small ways to change what I can; whether it be through the written word and/or through the powers of being. I had, in the past, witnessed what many may deem to have been miracles. A matter of perspective, perhaps. But there have been events in my own life that defy convention, perhaps could be viewed as mere coincidence or by random chance. As a realist I must determine the odds.

Again, a long night has led me back here – Today. The sun is shining brightly. I’m reminded of an old song: “The sun is the same in a relative way but your older and one day closer to death.” Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. Yes, one day closer to death, one day further from birth. Ah, birth. . . I love that word. It means so much to me. I must admit, I’m not too fond of the word death though. Death could exemplify the end while birth signifies the beginning.

The beginning: I was born a poor white boy. So what? Who cares? It matters not to me if I was born a poor white boy nor would I mind if I was born a poor black boy . . . Opportunities exist, bottom line. Adversity, I love that word too. It provokes challenge. Ah, challenges. So many challenges in life, aren’t there? Writing could be a challenge. Writing about your life as a poor white boy could be more of a challenge. So what? Who cares?

From an early age, I wondered about things. Most of us do, makes us human. I wondered about the world in which I had entered. With all its many colors and textures and its people. I learned early on that people are capable of many different things. Like building. And at the same time, destroying. But I was a curious poor white boy. And if I was born a poor black boy, I would’ve been just as curious, I know I would, I just know it. A blue boy, a white boy, a purple boy, a black boy – all human, I swear. Same with the white girl, black girl, also human. Interesting concept, these humans!

From an early age, I sought answers. Didn’t you? When I was young, I had more questions than answers. And today, well, I don’t have all the answers, never will. Not if I’m human. In which I am.

My mother, she gave birth to me like any other human mother would. Yes, she held me in her womb for nine months. I’m classified as a mammal. But humans are not the only mammals in this world. There are others, I swear.

I‘ve been to the zoo you must know. At an early age I saw Sinbad the Gorilla and Leo the Lion. Behind bars, made me cry. “Why Momma? Why are those animals in jail?” No easy answer for a four year old. At four years old, I had questions. Sometimes answers never came though. As I got older, some of my earlier questions were answered and some of them, still made me cry. I’m an emotional being, most humans are. I swear they are. Some humans, they may have a lesser conscience though. Some, I guess are behind bars now. Maybe it’s better that way, I don’t know…

Ricky J. Fico