SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 222: “Make It Today!”

“My wife and I just want to help people. We are all capable of amazing things if we stop judging and lashing out and learn to trust each other.” A killer quote from a very interesting and word frenzied artist, Charles, friend of day 222.

“I was born in 1980 and other than being a bit Bi-polar, and I lived in a pretty normal suburban neighborhood.

My dad was a roofer and a reserve cop, and he taught me the importance of a good work ethic.

I never finished high school, but I read a lot, authors like Tolstoy and Nietzsche, and I guess reading in what educated me.

After that I moved around country, music, construction jobs even time in San Francisco doing data work. I’ve seen a lot of things and dealt with many different kinds of people. And I’ve come to the conclusion that too many people are caught up in the distractions of the world and we all have our own vices.”

Charles talks intuition, “We all have a 6th sense that we all feel and we need to learn to express it or at least recognize it.”

I run into Charles as he commutes home from the grocery store.

Now looking at Charles, one might jump to conclusions as to his intent. He is radically tattooed, carries himself in a sunglass guarded strut and the instant sight of him screams a subtle voice of intimidation. Yet, as I converse with him I come to know a man who has the purest of dreams for the world around him.

“The world is full of greed and people looking for self-gratification. That is why my wife and I recently left our jobs in the corporate world. The company that we worked for said it was all about people and helping the environment, but on the inside it was the complete opposite. It treated it staff terribly and the only environmental good it did was based on what would give the greatest visibility for it profit line. It was all a lie and it took it toll on us.”

That toll? Per Charles, “’When we worked there the stress led us to the abuse of OxyContin and the use of Heroin, that was our vice and our escape, but now that we have left that world we are clean.

It crazy, my wife has a degree in economics and is very smart, and even with that she corporate world almost wrecked her. She says, ‘I left corporate because did not want to contribute to the degradation of society.’”

Charles is an artist through and through and with the support of his wife has managed to find a release of his admitted Bi-Polar energy in his art, words and music.

“I just finished writing a book, it is a set of inspirations based on my life. It’s really more of an art piece. I bought this old typewriter and have hand typed the whole thing on paper. I think I’m going to copy it and incorporate its pages into an art installation.” Charles describes his latest project with an energy that is infectious.

I manage to get a few quotes from the book.

“Everyone needs to look at their life and either change the things that they don’t like or start appreciating the things that they have.”

“And here I sit again, human… all too human. I’m worried. I don’t work for urban anymore. I have spent months complaining about how much I hated it and how it was killing me, draining me of life and creativity. I hated it.”

“We are the only ones ourselves back from this peaceful place on earth. Our actions, our words. And on an extremely personal and individual way and thus unto a planetary scale.”

“I never thought I could live, and now I can’t imagine dying.”

We talk about the future for some time, too many points to clearly articulate, but all points that we have covered throughout 365. And right in the middle of our conversation Charles throws an amazing one liner, “Can’t we all behave until that point!”

It’s late now, 12:00am to be exact, my eyes are drooping as I conclude this entry and I hope that I have been able to convey the energy and artistic wonder of Charles.

And in tribute to him, I’ll conclude with one more thought from his memoirs, simply this, “Make it today…”

Charles’ latest tattoo, a tribute that both he and his wife recently have put on their hands – “Love”