The Emo Files: Pledges, Pacts, and Promises

Dr. Beardhussein Gets His Affirmation On

It’s Go Time.
When I think back to last year, I was happiest when I was in Florida for my older brother’s wedding. I was down there for 15 days–with travel days sandwiching those. The first week kinda sucked because I was under the crushing grip of a mad suckish double ear infection–an ailment which trumped my tooth ache’n’removal of June 2007 as my most painful/scary sickness ever.

The second week tho’ found me in Long Boat Key FL with my older brother, his fiancee, and her parents. My brother Mario joined us a few days in and we had a blast being silly, helping out with the wedding, and enjoying the multimillion dollar beachhouse we were staying in–and the beach.

I got some sun, I saw dolphins trailing after boats in the Gulf of Mexico, and I got to see 95% of the people that comprised my supporting cast for the first 4 years of my life before Pop Dukes, Mario, and I moved up to New York. I woke up early every day, I enjoyed the outdoors, I put in work, and overall had a productive and exciting trip.

On the return trip home I was really pretty hysterical on the train for maybe the first half hour, hour of the ride. I hated, loathed, and despised saying goodbye to my Mom, my brothers, my brand new sister-in-law, and my maternal grandparents. I hated that my family–mom, father, brothers–wasn’t/isn’t together.

I also hated that I knew I was coming home to, by and large, a group of friends that don’t share my same outlook on life. Maybe I’m destined to forever be the Grasshopper to their Ant, but after rocking and rolling in Florida, being outgoing and fun and talking to people I’d have just politely smiled at before retreating into my shyness, I realized that that’s just who I am.

I’m a dreamer.

Indeed, I am a dreamer. I am an optimist. I’m a hopelessly hopeful romantic. I live with head in the clouds–and have never felt like that was a bad thing. As of right now, our bills are in check, there’s food in the fridge, I’m healthy (knocks on wood), and my car is running nicely. So who the fuck cares if I daydream?

But I digress.

I was happy in FL, and I came home yelling “It’s Go Time!” to anyone and everyone who’d listen. Some people responded and cut loose, some people rolled their eyes and went back to whatever the fuck it was they were doing, and others ignored it entirely. Such is life–and to each their own.

That’s just not me.

That will never be me.


So the lessons of Florida 2k8, and the first couple of months of 2009 have lead to tonite–the last almost 2 hours of Sunday, March 29th. They have lead to a pledge, a pact, and a promise.

Like a lot of people my age, I have no idea what the rest of my life holds. The only thing I know is that I’m painfully aware that the punchline to all this existence is a stop at the end. I sincerely hope that there’s more after this, but if there isn’t, I gotta live it up a bit. If one great nite is all the forever we get–if heaven exists in our hearts and in the loving, hopeful embrace of friends and family, then I need to get cracking.


Last Sunday nite I cried myself hysterically thinking about all of the shit I’ve been through over the last 8+ years. I’ve been through a lot, and outside of people who have lost friends or relatives, I’ll take my pain in a Battle For Sadness Supremacy. That’s not a taunt or a boast, but rather a firm statement saying: Hey man, I’ve been through hell and back.

This Sunday–tonite–hasn’t been as bad, but I do find it to be lonely. Granted, I’m stupid sore from a move yesterday and I couldn’t do anything fun if I wanted to, but it’s still a lonely Sunday.

Now, usually, the loneliness revolves around not having a special girl in my life–and that in turn leads to me being angry and bitter and resentful (“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”–Carrie “Princess Leia” Fisher) and jealous of their taken status–whether or not I agree with the relationship they be in.

Tonite tho’, and today, the loneliness got coupled with the warm(er) weather and the scent that the wind carries around this time of year–the smell of promise, of hope, of adventure.

And that’s where the pledge, pact, and promise comes in.


I’m 28 years old. I’m less than 17 months away from turning 30. On the one hand, I’m happy to see my 20s go, because outside of the birth of my 2 nephews, meeting my BFFE Megan (nicky’s mom), and my FL 2k8 trip, my 20’s have been a horrible, horrible experience. On the other hand, 30 is fucking old–and even tho’ it’s not really old by any stretch of the imagination, society will expect me to act a different way.

Yessir, society will want me to settle down, pack it in, reduce the size of my dreams and change my ambitions wanting to hang out with my friends with fun, loud music and a beer in my hand to…whatever the fuck it is boring ass “normal” people do.

So, spring is here. Summer’s doing some stretching exercises in the back waiting for the early game to be over. 2009 has been a fair year so far, but I want it to be more than fair. I want this year to be more than adequate, more than average, more than the maintenance of the status quo.

I want 2009 to be motherfucking epic.


So here’s what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna make the shit epic.

I can still do epic for one simple reason: I’ve got nothing stopping me from pursuing epic, and I’ve only got my own limitations as a human being to prevent the acquisition of epic.

Let’s just go to the stat sheet, shall we? I have no girlfriend. I mean, aside from a girl that’s already rejected me and a girl I’ll probably never be even an acquaintance with, I don’t even have a girl I could pursue. I don’t have any kids. My job, while tiring and stressful, isn’t something that’s gonna dominate my life outside of the office. My father, while getting older, is managing his health nicely and is perfectly capable of taking care of himself and our dog, F.R.E.D., without my help.

I’ve got nothing stopping me from putting on some wide-width sneakers and running my portly ass after Epic.

I wanna see the sunrise after an awesome nite. I wanna stumble in the door drunk and enjoy the sensation of the bed spinning. I want my voice to be hoarse from shouting out the words to fun music along with my friends. I want an awesome tan and a weekend full of activity.

I want to laugh until my stomach hurts. I want to make new friends, or at least have a beer and a conversation with a new person. I want to drive around and philosophize. I want to smell the Long Island air at 2am on a warm summer night.

I want to live.



Some of my friends just don’t get it. They don’t understand my experiences and my hopes and my desires. They don’t know what it’s like to have been me. They don’t know what it’s like to hope and dream and get crushed and to absorb bullet after bullet of betrayal, of pure fright, of absolute uncertainty. Even the parents–as mindbogglingly tough as that is, they have a coparent to go thru that with. They have family helping out with that.

Me? I’ve got me. That’s it. End o’ list. I’ve got me and whatever strength I can muster as the lines of defense between hope and hell, between faith and falling, between love and loneliness.

Most of all…they don’t know that if it wasn’t for something going right when it could’ve gone left…

…they could’ve been me.

And that, I’m sure, scares the fuck out of them.


So my pledge, pact, and promise is that I’m going to live this summer. This was my goal last summer, but as always, it was derailed by money problems and friend defections and other assorted fuckery.

Not this year.

This year I refuse to be held down by a lack of funds or held back by friends whom I am sadly discovering I have less in common with as years go by.

So be it.

They will always be my family, but when the memories of the past holds us together stronger than the promise of the future, it’s time for me to change my vision.

To enlarge my vision.


I want to live. I want to experience life. I don’t want to be held back or held down by anything but my own imagination and the 8:30am deadline to be in the office.

To anyone who reads this–rap blog friends, twitterfam, or friends who are bored at work, my pledge and my promise has been laid out.

I am cruelly hyper-aware of our finite time on this earth, with each other. I can’t wait for others to discover–years from now, as they inevitably will–that life is precious, and that fun and friendship and love and laughter…

…doesn’t have conditions, nor expiration dates.


1,600 words in, I repeat 3 words that will carry me to new adventures, new experiences, and new opportunities to check off the little box that says “Yes” by the only question that matters, “Did you live the fuck outta today?”:

It’s Go Time.


4 Responses to “The Emo Files: Pledges, Pacts, and Promises”

  1. MK Says:

    “Everything that happens will happen today
    Nothing has changed, but nothing’s the same
    Every tomorrow will be yesterday
    Everything that happens will happen today” – David Byrne

    Today’s the only day you’ll ever have, today is 2009. It’s yours to do whatever you want with it, so make it epic Rey. Enjoy yourself!

    • reythehussein Says:

      Indeed. I was just thinking to myself about how depressed an emo and whatnot I was back in 2007, but ya know what? I had a lot of fun that year. Even with the exGF fuckery, and some feuds, and some po’–it was still an awesome year. If I’d have known then that 2 years later I’d be wishing for a year like that, I’d have STFU and stopped complaining.

      I do plan on making this year epic. To quote a musical I’m not ashamed of having enjoyed: No day but today.

  2. EnglandRepresent Says:

    I echo MK’s sentiments. Most people with the exception of the fortunate few have been through some shit. It’s how you dust yourself off that maps out the rest of your life. At the end of the day, you have to do for self because no one is gonna be there to support you more than yourself. How can you be happy with another person/girl and expect them to be happy with you if you’re not even happy with yourself? That’s the key. Do for self. Have a list of shit you want to achieve by a certain date and try and bust your ass off to do it. Because when you’re happy with yourself and when you love yourself, other people/women/whatever will love you as well.

    • reythehussein Says:

      Yep, that’s true. I just gotta get back to the essence of that–just doing ME and letting whoever wants to come along, come along.

      To be fair tho’, I’m happier overall than I’ve been in forever. I’m happier with me than I’ve been in forever. Sure, sometimes I’m still batshit crazy, but more often than not I’m not doing too bad. I just gotta do some livin’ and stop the speechifying. My job might be ehh, but it’s a means to an end–I can pay my bills and still have money leftover to pursue whatever bits of happiness I want and not worry about bankrupting the family.

      I guess when I think about it, mentally I’m clearer than I’ve been in a long time, but I’m a human being–and humans always want everything to be just perfect. That’s the rub tho’–perfection is unattainable, and there should always be things we strive for.

      We’ll see how it plays out.

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