I was ready to hit the road when I was 4. We were sitting in my dad's truck talking to his friend Johnny close to the train tracks in Little Five Points. I looked up and there were a bunch of train hoppers jumping out of a train. I asked what they were doing and Johnny said, "Those are hobos. Those are the mother fuckers that are living real."
BW: What's the biggest lesson you've learned on the road?
Spoons: Stay out of it. Just stay out of it. Mind your pints and quarts, bitch.
We see the spectacular, we see the magnificent, we see the beauty of nature. But when you look real close, it's cruel, brutal, and unfair as hell, but we don't avoid it. We learn to navigate it. And on the real chance that you get bit by the snake, stung by the bee, or whatever, you heal up as best you can and keep it moving.
For a long time I absolutely refused to work because I didn't want to contribute to wage slavery but when I got my knuckles tattooed I was working in a very busy restaurant during Mardi Gras season and I couldn't take my gloves off.
I was really young. Like 13. One day I got my period and I thought I was gonna die. She gave me a yellow Vicodin and told me it was a Naprosyn and I was like, woah this is great. Ever since then I loved them. After that it was like drugs all the time.
There was a dark time in my life when I collected hard money loans for someone in Phoenix. It wasn't pretty.and I was effective at my job. I earned that one.
Back when I was younger, I had loads of faith. At the age of 15 my best friend committed suicide. I also lost a friend to a drunk driving accident. My mom was an alcoholic and she beat the fuck out of me. I didn't understand how there could be a God
I had been staying in an apartment, strung out, and I walked past this Adventist Church. I'd seen that they were holding NA meetings there, so I went. I was sitting there, chin on my chest, nodding out, and they just didn't give a shit. These guys took me right in.
On the day she was going to be buried they opened her casket so people could say their goodbyes. I went up and looked inside. It was her but her eyes were sunken in. I had made her like a friendship bracelet and I put it on her hand. It was so cold. It was at that moment that I realized she was really gone.
When I was 16. My mother gave me up to the state. After my mom gave me up, I hit rock bottom and got really bad on drugs. I started shooting heroin, coke, pills, alcohol, whatever I could get my hands on.
For a while I wore a purity ring and tried to force myself to be straight and to be in relationships with females. I was 14 when I finally admitted to myself I was gay. I never planned on telling my family, but one day I did.
Everyone's kind of looking for love or someone or something. You hitchhike and travel and you're almost hopeless sometimes, but I met this pretty, dope, girl, hitchhiking, and she's been like the crown jewel of the road for me.
I did fall in love in prison though... He was the first person to read that I was trans. When he touched me, he touched me like I was a girl. He treated me like a fucking princess. I wasn't really interested in him at first, but he coerced me into having sex with him and then he treated me like I was a woman. It became like a fix for me.
Then she just kind of stopped and looked at me in the eye and said, "You know, you're born how you are, and God made you. Scripture says you're beautifully and wonderfully made." In that moment I realized that God made me who I am.
I was about 10 when I stayed home alone for the first time. I'd already thought by this point in my life that I'd make a beautiful girl. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I could never be a beautiful boy, but I could be a beautiful girl.
Two minutes later I turn around and she's walking towards me and she says here you go and she gave me her number on a EKG strip [laughing] and I still have it. We've been inseparable ever since. Today is our four year anniversary.
I've never had a man say, "Ariana, I want to be with you. You're the one I want to be with." and that's OK. I think that people when they meet me, or when they see me, they already have this fantasy of what they want...
I got expelled. I ended up going to an alternative high school for two semesters and I was able to get my diploma. Ever since then my mother has been on me about being gay, and how being gay is a sin, and that I'll go straight to hell if I don't repent...
It took my mom about three years to come around and it took my dad six. Living in the Southern Baptist household, it's wrong to be gay. Both my mom and my dad prayed that God would take this away from me, you know? When that didn't happen they finally accepted it.
He locked the door behind me. At that moment my heart sank and I realized that something was really wrong here. That moment of impending doom. I ran for the other door in the classroom. He jumped over the desk and locked that door too.
My mom saw something on Facebook that I "liked". Some lesbian page or something, and she emails me. She asked if I was gay. I didn't want to say no again, because this was the third time she'd asked me in my life. At work, I sat there typing the email, crying...
My life changed after that completely. They sent me to a camp in Montana and they beat me and electrocuted me. I fought everybody who touched me. I fought until they had enough, and sent me home.
I miss that person who was sensitive and cared about everybody's feelings, but now I don't take no shit from nobody. To go back to that really insecure person that I was... I know a lot today about the child I was.
I had just discovered that I had bipolar depression. I just thank God that he brought me through so much. That's why I want to get my poems out there, cause I want to help somebody who been through what I been through.
My daddy use to drink and get drunk and wanna come home and beat us up, but my mama always took the beatings.
They kept telling me how great it could be in recovery. I thought that it was bullshit. My whole life I'd always heard, once an addict, always an addict. In my mind I was never gonna get any better. Never... I wanted things to get better, but I never knew I could live life without using dope, because I'm an addict.
I started going to jail when I was like 12. I've been to juvenile like nine times, penitentiaries, all types of shit. I'm 23 now and I've been out of jail two years. Every charge I ever caught was burglary. Breakin' in shit around here, know what I'm sayin'? But I just had a little boy the other day. That's all I think about.
You hear about it on the news with people wanting to drown their babies and stuff. It was never like that for me. With my first child, I had a form that was on the other end of the spectrum. I was really obsessed with if I was doing things wrong.
I was driving through Rainsville, Alabama and I saw a sign that said Addicts 4 Christ. I had heard that there was a bad meth problem in the area and was interested in talking to someone who could tell me about their experience. I called the number on the sign and connected with Tina.