This is why when people ask my name I always tell them it sounds like I’m going to stutter. It saves me from that conversation. Either that or I just accept them calling me ‘Mac.’ I don’t mind much. There are people who still refer to me by my old street name of “Animal.” That name is kind of like a tattoo from my youth. Something you’re not every going to be totally rid of, but also something that reminds me of a different life, a different place and a different me.
And that pretty well sums up my life.Sure I was born and raised (mostly) in the greater Los Angeles area. But I’ve also lived in five different states.
You can play with the interpretation of word ‘states’ as well. I’ve lived in mansions in the most affluent parts of LA, I’ve holed up — homeless — in a hooch in the Santa Monica mountains with a badger as a downstairs neighbor. I’ve lived in the deepest part of cities, I’ve lived in the country where my nearest neighbor was a mile away. I’ve looked across the scorching desert in 128 degree heat. I’ve fought my way through blizzards where the thermometer was reading -28 and I don’t even want to know the wind chill. I’ve ridden motorcycles through urban traffic, horses moving cattle and the bow of fishing boats through 20 foot seas. I’ve been a dirty sweaty laborer. I’ve been a lecturer at universities. I’ve been both an outlaw and the director of a correctional center. I’ve worked in the movie industry as well as been shot at as a body guard. I’ve been a contemptible, selfish and violent person and I’ve been a protector and lifesaver. I’ve stood in front of crowds of thousands and I’ve been a nameless shadow in the night. I’ve crawled into a bottle and fought my way out again. I’ve squatted in the gutter with winos passing a bottle and I’ve discussed science, psychology and law with some of the leading names in those fields. I’ve revolutionized fields, been eclipsed and then come out and revolutionized them again.With all that it’s kind of hard to tell people who I am. “Me” is the most accurate answer, but that doesn’t sit well with most folks, so.
Right now I’m a husband, stepdad, writer, teacher and caregiver. It’s a good place to be