Then as it was, then again it will be
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Blind stars of fortune, each have several rays
On the wings of maybe, down in birds of prey
Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn't have to grow
But as the eagle leaves the nest, it's got so far to go

--Led Zeppelin
Ten Years Gone

Every year I spend two days, the sixth and seventh of June, in somewhat quiet contemplation. Today marks the tenth year of these "holidays" which might seem a morbid celebration to many. It is the anniversary of my suicide and my return from death.

On the night of June 6th each year I have a party by myself, alone, with no concerns other than enjoying the moment. It is kind of a replay of the night of my suicide, except that I'm quite happy and enjoying myself and have absolutely no desire or intention to end my life.

Every June 7th I recharge and attempt to once again see the world in a different light and from a different angle.

And yet I've come to realize after an entire decade that I've been celebrating the wrong element. I've been celebrating my own existence instead of celebrating the existence of those people who have come and gone in my life in the time that has passed. And so, tonight I raise a toast to the beautiful people who have become part of my life these past ten years.

To Chris, the marvelously confused young woman looking for answers. A suicide herself with scars on her arms to prove what I cannot, she gave me the courage and the faith to reveal my story instead of hiding it. I'm sorry I didn't have any answers for you, Chris, but maybe we touched each other in ways that will reverberate throughout the rest of our lives.

To Bobby, my childhood best friend who killed himself after I did and didn't bother to come back. I hope you found peace and a way to forgive your father and your family. I pray you are not churning restlessly somewhere, for there has to be some way for you to regain balance. I feel the opportunity will be given you. Don't be afraid.

To Debra, who went mad with visions of Anastasia and the feeling that she was never going to mean anything to anyone. You couldn't hold it together. You saw things that induced paranoia and fear and then you stabbed yourself in the stomach when I told you goodbye. I hope you have found peace.

To Marci, who came back into my life and reminded me of what love really is. For it to be impossible to be with the one person who can touch the very fabric of your soul and weave it into new patterns with greater color was a lesson that taught me so much of what I needed to understand. Love isn't simple and it isn't black and white. Love is and it means nothing if it isn't unconditional.

To Ashley, the girl who was almost my adopted daughter. My scouting reports tell me you are doing very well. I used to want to cry when you called me "dad."

To Malhoit, Joe and Kevin. Together we formed possibly the most insane foursome even unleashed on the city of Worcester. Everyone always asked if we were out with our fathers and Kevin and I almost always said "yes" just for the fuck of it. And to Jerry, our Schneider-like neighbor with the work overalls, tool belt, six-pack of Meister Brau and the freshly rolled fatty. And to Ed and Bob for being the post office's version of Beavis and Butthead. And to the rest, Frank, Keigo, Dave, paranoid Scott, Larry, Donald, Nude Man, Maureen, Sue, Rick, and Ron. Those were indeed great days.

To Christine, who misunderstood me, but read my dark side all too well. You guided me to Orlando and wanted me to give myself to you completely. You couldn't accept the impossibility of that and so you left after giving me everything you could. I ask you to forgive me for not being able to give you in return so that we may be friends again.

To Victoria, for whom I could not stay in New Hampshire even though you made the entire state into sacred ground. It tore me apart to leave you, but you knew I could not stay. We had to let each other go three years later or we would have gone insane. More so.

To Tina, for being real and showing me that my death and the dreams were not a hallucination because you certainly were not. You always knew and understood more than you were willing to say. I could read it in your eyes. Thank you for all you did during the last days of my friend Don, who spent weeks in the hospital with terminal leukemia on your floor. May you find what you were looking for.

To Denise, the receptionist at my first job in Orlando who walked up to me my first day on the job and said, "You're dead, aren't you?" You saw a lot of crazy shit in every frame of life and you weren't afraid to be crazy. Keep on being crazy girl, the stars know your name.

To Chris, who became my closest friend in my early days in Orlando. There was something peculiar about me hanging out with a woman whose given name was Tina but went by "Chris." We held each other up often in those days, but our time together passed as our lives changed. I probably still owe you a drink.

To Doug and Mark at Haagen Dazs, who treated me like a brother during my employment there. Instead of empty jobs where no one knew me and no one wanted to know me, we became an infamous trio for a while. You were both the best sort of people, true to your word and always willing to laugh at yourselves.

To Christina, who passed away more than a year ago. The living dead girl to my living dead guy, you saw the future before it happened and you lived life at the edge every day, knowing you didn't have long to live. I loved you, and still do, and I'm sorry I didn't realize that I needed to let go before it was too late. Thank you for the reconciliation, and for telling Erin it was important to invite me to the funeral.

To Tammy, who saved my life with a handful of words that flowed so smoothly out of her mouth. You've always known who you are. As scatter-brained and clumsy as you are, the lost orphan on a mission, maybe the path you took didn't take you where you wanted to go. Maybe it took you where you needed to go. I have the feeling you had a daughter. I hope you are both doing well.

To Kris, the woman from the job I lost when my life fell apart, for being concerned and for reaching out, and for telling me you knew your mission with me had been accomplished.

To Chrissy, the woman from the agency who got me a job just before my dime in life expired. You disappeared not long after that, so I never really got a chance to thank you.

To Mark, who has been my closest friend for the past four years. Your paranoia and anger reminds me all too often of Martin, the best friend I left behind when I died. You're like an anchor that keeps me grounded, even though you're often staying ashore too often for your own good.

To Tammie, for showing me what it is really like when a person is torn apart and goes insane from obsession. It was a lesson I needed to be reminded of.

To English Don, who lived an extraordinary life just by living an ordinary life. You were a mentor to Mark as Malhoit was to me and you told me to look after him like a big brother, because you knew I could. We never had to explain ourselves to each other because we already understood. May you rest in peace and find the heaven you were looking for. George Harrison is about somewhere now. You finally have the opportunity to make up for waiting outside Apple Records for him in the late sixties because he was your favorite Beatle and didn't know what to say. You fumbled and said, "Oh, so how's John?" He probably doesn't even remember.

To Monica, my estranged wife, who continues to be a friend who loves, cares and listens. I gave you everything I could, but we both knew that we can't give each other what we really need. May your dreams eventually come true and may you learn to embrace and accept your free spirit once again.

To everyone on this website, and to those who have sought me out after reading something I wrote here. You've helped me discover the faith to know that I can speak the truth openly and know that there will be those that understand and know.

To Megan, for making me feel beautiful again, and for showing me that two people can accept their roles in each other's lives without asking for more and without cashing out. You really do have cute knees. I was just guessing, but I guessed right. We'll see each other again soon. Kissing you is like drinking a human cocktail, but mere words could never describe you.

To Joshua, for just being the person you are. You're much better as Mark's straight man than I am, but honestly, marrying a woman with the same first and middle name as your sister is just fucking creepy.

To Christina, the waitress who just might be the fourth queen prophesized to rise ten years after my death. You might be the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my life, in all aspects of the definition of beauty. If I were to design a woman I would have designed you. The fact that you tell me out of the blue that your philosophy of life is "Give everything you can to everyone you know" is just bizarre enough to be the most disturbing sign since Tina became a real person.

Often I see the world like a black and white photograph, although it isn't exactly like that. Some colors are simply more vibrant than others, and for the past ten years you have been the vibrant colors that I cannot help but see and smile at. I love you all. Unconditionally.

The only love there is, is the love we make.

Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are.