I can’t remember how many times I have heard a fan say or read on a message board “man, the Bouncing Souls changed my life”. I smile every time with a deep understanding that what they say is true because the Bouncing Souls changed my life. We wandered into each others lives while I was working at Epitaph and living in Los Angeles. I was not familiar with the band prior to their signing to Epitaph but how very quickly I became not only a fan of their band but a person they called friend, promotional champion, publicist, and camp manager; it was through this they became people I am proud to call family. I have been with them through hard choices and changes in the band, countless shows, amazing parties few of us remember, and many miles traveled on the road. They have been by my side through the darkest of days and the most joyous of celebrations...they not only changed my life, but saved it.
I found myself living in England, at the end of my rope, drug addicted, broke, and waking up everyday wishing I hadn’t. This was the darkest of days, I was living with friends who love me but didn’t know how to help. The Souls and my friend-comrade-heterosexual lifemate, K8 were coming over to play some shows in England. I was very excited about this and hoped that seeing some family would give the the courage to make the hard choices that were looming. I was really at the crossroads of drug addiction where there are two choices, die or get clean and sober. The few short days I spent with my friends reminded me that I was loved and needed to live to fight another day. They never judged me, they never said I was bad or wrong, they were just there playing their songs that reminded me to live. I bid them adeu at the airport and with tears in my eyes took my smelly, hungover, broken ass back to America.
It is four years later and not only are they still my family but I moved to Asbury Park to be near them, some closer than others. I am proud and blessed to call Little Eden my home, everyday I am surrounded by people who loved me at my worst and still love me at my worst! ha! Kate let me move in about a year ago after I had a problem with the crackhead hooker who lived down the hall from me at my first apartment in Asbury. We don’t “party” as much as we use to but we still have the best time ever. Bryan, and Pete both live near by and I see them almost daily. K8 is the love of my life and how I wish sometimes that we were lesbians so we could get married and not have to deal with dumb boys! Little Eden is my home, I love everything about it. The recording studio is right below my room and while it is kinda loud and sometimes a pain in the ass to vacate while drums are being tracked (right now as I write this I am at mongolian barbeque to escape the tracking of drums!) I don’t mind. I live in a house of love that called to me. The first time I ever slept at Little Eden was on a tour stop, we were only in Asbury for the night and it was my first time to New Jersey. We arrived late and left early, but the time we did spend there changed my life. I went to sleep in one of the many rooms at Little Eden after a night of drinking, smoking, and general menacing. As I was falling off to sleep I felt a warm calming feeling in my chest, it almost scared me how relaxed i felt. I could hear the horn of the train as it passed by and I knew the ocean was a few short blocks away, I drifted off to sleep and enjoyed one of the best nights of sleeping I can ever remember. The next morning I thanked Kate for her hospitality and shared with her the strange feelings of warmness and relaxation I had experienced as I fell asleep the night before, she just looked at me with an understanding glance and said “that was love”. I realized that she “got” me at that moment, true love was something that had eluded me no mater how diligently I sought it but I didn’t even recognize it when I had experienced it, what a mess I was. What did I do to deserve such love and acceptance, as a self loather it is sometimes difficult to accept but it is true. Through my work with the Bouncing Souls I found love, acceptance, understanding, kindred spirits, support, the best times ever, and the people I am so very proud and so very honored to call family. Strength and Honor.