The Journey Lies Within

In a different lifetime, one of Dad’s closest friends, Marvin, followed a routine with his daughter: black coffee, train ride, kisses and then each walked to work, in Downtown Chicago.

On this day, the day I’m writing about, in a different lifetime, Marvin got to work, poured another cup of coffee, black, opened the window and ended his journey. Is there a Moral to the story? Probably not. But it could be as simple as this: Depression & Booze Don’t Mix.

The next day, since I was still a college kid, caught up in myself, I left for a trip to Colorado. But I was filled with guilt. My heart ached. The Rocky Mountains seemed cruel. How could I leave? It was the first time I’d seen Dad cry.

Marvin was epic. To the kids, in so many ways, he was bigger than life: always funny, always with a drink in his hand, the biggest laugh in the room.

To honor Marvin, since I was still a college kid, I sprinkled Magic Mushrooms on a Pizza Pie. I had a flash back…

There was Marvin, on vacation, in Arizona, falling off a horse, landing on a cactus, Jumping Cactus, a harmless looking plant with needles that wedged under the skin, Marvin’s skin, the skin of his ass, like fishing needles. Talk about a bad trip!

There’s no way to remove the needles without tearing chunks of skin. So Marvin took the pain, had the needles yanked from his ass and went drinking, the same fucking night.

Hmmm, maybe this is the Moral of the story: He wasn’t afraid to jump because he wasn’t afraid of pain. Life, on the other hand, terrified Marvin. Trust me, I understand.

The Brickhouse, like Marvin, went splat. It ended in a half second. I can’t believe how fast it ended: terrifying. Dad always said, “When change comes, it comes fast and without warning.” To be Brutal, to be Frank, it’s true.

Greg and I closed The Brickhouse. But we didn’t open a window. Even if we did, even if we jumped, it was one story. At best, we’d have broken an ankle and pissed off Babs. So instead, we jumped off Chicago. We left for Brazil. Es Bon!

We landed in Rio de Janeiro. The food in Brazil is healing. For breakfast, I have a smoothie with Carrot & Orange Juice. Then I jog the path along Copacabana Beach. For lunch, I drink water from Coconuts. Then I read. For dinner, it’s Raw Veggies tossed with Oil & Vinegar.

My diet is Fruit & Veggie: no meats, no carbs, no kidding!!!

This time, for the first time in my family’s history, which is riddled with addiction, the one I’m actually worried about is Greg. He’s on bender: all day, all night, every day, every night, even this morning, at sunrise in Arraial do Cabo, he’s writing, Writing, WRITING.

It could be a problem. But really, this is what I think: Es Bon.

In Portuguese, “Es Bon” means “It’s All Good.” Yeah, that’s it, I think I finally found it, the Moral of the story.

Receta (feeds 4)

Black Bean Soup with Steamed Cauliflower Salad…

3 C raw black bean
1 teaspoon chipotle
1 gallon water
1 carrot, onion, garlic
1 bunch cilantro
3 heads cauliflower
5 roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 jalapeno
2 limes

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21 Responses to The Journey Lies Within

  1. BabsMeToo says:

    while you’ve been eating in Brazil, Dad and I have been watching Giada and the Barefoot Contessa and trying new recipes here in AZ. Got 3 great new meals to cook for you guys when you get home. Sloppy lasagna, lime ahi tune, and arrugala/spinich pesto. Have fun, be safe and see you soon. Es Bon!

  2. VinVegas says:

    Great story Joe. However, when you wrote “my diet is fruits and veggies:no meats, no carbs, no kidding,” were you joking.

    In the first picture you posted above, your plate has a healthy portion of white rice next to the veggies, and what might be chicken.

    No carbs? Isn’t all that beer filled with carbs?

    Did you think I would fall for one of the classic tricks? Only slightly less well known than “never go into a land war with China” and “never gamble with an Sicilian when death is on the line!”

  3. Gregoreo says:

    Joey has been very disciplined in his eating. That particular meal we had is called Moqueca. We had it in Buzios. Then, on the way to Arraial do Cabo. I agree, never gamble with a Sicilian when death is on the line.” That’s a hard and fast rule. But passing up Moqueca in Brazil, just to be able to accurately say “All Veggies and Fruits” in your blog is self-hatred on a level with opening a family restaurant. We’re trying to grow, here, VinVegas.

  4. VinVegas says:

    Vacations and break-out get-a-ways aren’t meant for new limitation. Reflection, sure.

    It seemed to me that Joey was posting a riddle by internally uploading a picture contradicting the written word.

    Still, Joey, my first statement remains; great story. You’ve be ome quite a writer. If Greg can cook too, Es Bon.

  5. VinVegas says:

    Intentionally, not internally.

    There. Jobs would never have let that lad post fly so quickly.

  6. Gregor says:

    In case anyone is wondering what VinVegas means by “Jobs would never have let that post fly so quickly,” here’s a link to an interview where John Sculley talks openly about Steve Jobs. You’ll have to cut & paste, since links don’t work in comment section of this blog (one of its flaws). But it’s probably the most inspiring interview since Mike Tyson was interviewed in Details Magazine. But I digress…here’s the link, folks:

  7. Vince says:

    So Joey, and I mean this with total respect; what is the meaning of life?

  8. Joey says:

    I’m thinking.

    “Fuck a lot of women. Not one woman. A lot of women. Also, to do drugs when you’re young makes no sense but to not do drugs when you’re old also makes no sense.”

    I talked about women. I talked about drugs. There, that’s pretty much all I care about: That’s Life.

    Now I’m off to get a glass of carrot / orange juice. Then walk over to the beach. Read. Think about my next business move. Or nap. Probably nap.

  9. Conan says:

    The meaning of life is: crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of the women.

  10. Rich says:

    Bro, the meaning of life is simple. Get what you can whenvever you can cause it’s better to burn out that fade away.

  11. Avi Levy says:

    Perhaps the human mind is simply incapable of grasping such a profound idea as the meaning of life. The ever-present, lurking possibility is that there is no cosmic meaning at all. Life certainly can be a struggle, unfair, and cruel. At times it all seems absurd or even a joke. On the other hand, there also seems to be at least some hope that life has meaning. It may be what we make it to be, but the meaning may also transcend us. We at least sometimes sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are all connected in some mysterious way. Life is a gift, an opportunity. While alive we should live fully, savor the experience, enjoy the journey. But we also have responsibilities. We are here to evolve into better and wiser people so that humanity may also evolve spiritually. We are here to pursue truths and knowledge. If we find truths we must stand up for them. We are here to serve and love others. Finally, our task is to contribute something positive to society and to the spiritual evolution of humankind. We should leave the world a better place than we found it.

  12. Avi Levy says:

    Finally, our task is to contribute something positive to society and to the spiritual evolution of humankind. We should leave the world a better place than we found it.

  13. Kip says:

    Life has no cosmic meaning and humans are doomed to insignificance and inevitable extinction.

    The only difference between one man and another is the stage of the disease at which he lives.

  14. Gregoreo says:

    Kip, you’re a virus in sneakers.

  15. Dan Savage says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Avi. Won’t you join us:

  16. Kip says:

    The itsgetbetterproject is just another gay propaganda site. I don’t mind the gay movement, just don’t shove it down my throat.

    But if you think about it, if gay ways were the rule, human extinction would be virtually immediate (based on a cosmic time frame).

    Examine the meaning of life then.

  17. Savage Love says:

    Kip, I seem to remember you loving it when I shoved it down your throat. See you later tonight, babycakes.

  18. vince says:

    When it comes to the meaning of life, it is different for different people, as it should be. What puts meaning in one’s life is an important thought. The idea that there is ultimately some grand meaning, to me, is a calcualted thought of religion. Religion has it’s own agenda, none of which is good.

    I think Avi nailed the general concept that can be applied to everyone.

    Just be a good person and do the right thing.

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