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Feb 2011
this is my disease
here i am age 6 stealing candy from a shop on Broadway
here i am age 7 pulling a girl’s ******* down around her knees while she’s swinging upside down from jungle gym bars
here i am age 8 Jackie K shows me how to ******* to this day i’ve never looked back
that’s me age 9 creeping into my sister’s bedroom into her sleeping girlfriend’s adjoining bed concerning my sister she’s a great gal but i’ve never been physically attracted to her
this is my disease
here i am age 10 with 4 grammar school buddies shoplifting at Marshal Fields department store we got caught sent home and severely punished
here’s me age 11 erasing and altering test scores in my 6th grade teacher’s grade’s book while class is out to recess
here i am age 12 repressing my true voice and lying to my parents about everything
this is my disease
this is me age 13 being shipped off to boarding school
that’s me age 14 getting kicked out of boarding school then shipped off to another boarding school
there’s me age 15 with Kent stealing girl’s purses from Pink Panther lounge in Rogers Park
here i am age 16 stealing Mom’s sleeping pills trading to score my first heroine fix sick as a dog vomiting by the side of the road
this is my disease
this is me age 17 running away from home to Haight Ashbury CA waking up with ants crawling in my hair strung out on methadrine and acid in Berkley crash house
and there i am age 18 running from tear gas and police Billy clubs in Lincoln Park and rioting in Grant Park at the 1968 Democratic Convention
that’s me age 21 getting tricked by my parents into 3 month lockup at Institute Of Living Hartford CT
this is my disease
there i am age 23 practicing Transcendental Meditation and yoga with Cathleen at Hartford Art School
there’s me age 24 kissing with Cathleen in photo booth at the Century Theater in Chicago
there’s me age 25 working for my Dad while Cathleen is away with her family in Indonesia
there i am age 27 holding a teacher’s certificate from SAIC Mom’s idea i never wanted to discipline kids
that’s me age 30 wearing necktie working at CME and selling coke on the side
that’s me age 32 drunk slurring words telling Elizabeth and her Mom at expensive seafood restaurant i wasn’t fit to marry anyone
this is my disease
here i am age 32 stealing money drugs to support my urges
that’s me age 34 with my first puppy Taters
there’s me age 37 awarded Illinois Arts Council Grant spitting peeing splashing blood on charcoal drawings reading Marquis de Sade dismissing many girls
here i am age 41 exhibiting my first one-man show at Deson Sainders Gallery Chicago Dad dies 6 paintings sold
that’s me age 44 leaving Chicago after too many dropped ***** opportunities chances at love success no destination other than hope prayer of becoming a better person
there i am age 48 burying Taters deep in dirt in Wilmington NC
this is me age 49 working at a record store in Tucson AZ running in the mornings feeling so alone crying
this is me age 50 ******* about **** *** peeing hairy females questioning to myself do any of those fixations actually matter in a real relationship
this is my disease
there i am age 55 living without drugs for more than 10 years swimming every day awarded yoga certification
this is me age 61 without  the affections of a woman for 15 or more years wondering if i’ll ever find love
here i am age 62 returning to Chicago worried about Mom’s illness hoping praying begging for just one more possibility to prove myself
this is my disease
this accounting does not include surviving throat cancer Hepatitis C severe compound fractured wrist and 2 suicide attempts
this is my disease
michael reid rubenstein
8.2k
       biche, Samuel Hesed, Tiffany Marie and ---
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