Who is Johnny part I?
I didn’t get enough funding to stay in school. I had enough to pay for tuition, but not housing. I knew I could not keep a decent GPA as a homeless Grad student so I withdrew from school. I don’t want to squirrel to far ahead of myself, so let me rewind a little bit more…
Besides the Adirondacks, the valley has some claims to fame: the Remington Gun factory, Herkimer County Cheese, The quartz crystal, know as the Herkimer Diamond, the shoe factory Warhol worked was about twenty or so miles from Herkimer, the first house to ever have a flush toilet is in a small town not far from Herkimer, and the Yale lock estate is somewhere around the area. Some great people live there, some real crappy people, too many drugs for such a small community, nothing for kids to do, impoverished, unemployment rates are growing the fastest in the area, but I think twenty or thirty years ago this might have been an okay place to raise a family. I grew up here and was forced to come back and start life over in 1998.
I am presently on the 3rd edit of the first part of a book pertaining to the emotional car wreck of my life. I am hoping to self-publish soon. I will keep this blog up to date with my progress. I will eventually start a Kickstarter to raise funds for publishing. Arrrgh! Stay focused, Johnny!
Once back in the valley, I was living with my sister and working at the cheese factory, I WAS hating life. An accident occurred between myself and a reclining chair. While attempting to move the chair into my new apartment it reclined across my hands, pulling, severing, shredding the tendons of my right hand. This put me out of work for about six months, but it was all the time I needed to secure funding and location for a business of my own. Archaic Designs, a tattoo, and body piercing shop.
It was also during this time that I saw the most beautiful person I have ever seen. He was an angel. He is still my angel, even though, I have forsaken him many times. He will probably never give me another chance to screw it up again. I will watch and cheer from the sidelines now.
Archaic Designs was the first tattoo and body piercing specific shop in the Mohawk Valley and the reception was amazing. Of course, my past life came back to haunt me and I had to thwart comments pertaining to HIV/AIDS (which I never had but upstate NY mentality is scary) and drug use consistently, but I was strong and determined. In Upstate NY, in the early ’90’s, if you were openly gay it meant that you also had HIV/AIDS. I did not let comments that were untrue bother me. I moved on. Around the time of my third year in business, a blood test result proved that I positively had Hepatitis C.
It didn’t take long for me to decide what to do. I could not ethically tattoo or pierce another person unless of course they knew of my condition and trusted my hand. Needless to say, I closed the shop and started to screen-print t-shirts, play guitar in a punk band, and tried my hand as a home improvement contractor. Eventually, I bought an old warehouse in Utica NY to rehab. My day job for a few years was working as a flooring mechanic. I loved slamming in hardwood.!!!!! I was working 16-18 hours a day. I couldn’t sleep. I was neurotic. On the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was losing the building I bought. I had to get a C of O so I could start collecting rent. Then the inevitable happened. I cut my fingers off. I was out of work for two years Workman’s compensation didn’t cover my expenses. My luck was atrocious. I chopped three fingers to hell and even screwed that up. I needed to hit my thumb to be on the money. Grrrr!
To be continued…….