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    A Love Letter To The Villanova Class of '85

    On the day of my graduation….May, something, nineteen-hundred-eighty-five….I vividly recall a seminal moment. There I stood, dressed in my cap and gown, now, officially, a Villanova alumni. It was a whirlwind of activity that day, and yet, I found myself alone for a few moments, just looking around. Amidst all the pomp and circumstance, all the smiles and hugs, all the joy and celebration, I felt a brief but very intense wave of melancholy, of mild panic, sweep over me.

    My mind heard itself say, “You have made so many special friends over the last four years. You are returning to Boston. Most of your loved ones now live in New Jersey, in Philadelphia, in New York. Will you ever see them again? Will you ever be in their lives again? Will you ever feel them like this, again?” 

    In 1985, the world seemed a lot bigger than it does now. There were no cellphones. There was no internet. No email. No social media. And the word “Blog” would have sounded like a Marvel Super Villain.

    Well. Here we are. Almost thirty-fucking-five years later. And guess what? I feel you.

    Our class is special. Don’t exactly know why. Don’t exactly even care why. I just know, Sure as Shit, That It Is. And I’m aware that a lot of you know it too.

    We have learned hard lessons. We have struggled with mental and emotional illness, addiction, and nervous breakdowns. We have born the crushing grief of losing several of our beloved classmates far too early. We have lost parents; many of whom were familiar and cherished by those of us not blood through birth, but blood through love. We have endured the excruciating pain of seeing our spouses, even our children, die. We have endured bankruptcies, lawsuits, and being stabbed in the back by family and friends. 

    We openly bear loneliness, insecurity, self-doubt, and debilitating fear. We go through the seemingly unbearable heartaches of divorce, of betrayal, of break-ups with partners we wanted to spend the rest of our life with. We have reluctantly yet courageously drank from the cup of agony and despair.; we have willingly guzzled from the overflowing stein of ecstasy and joy. We have enjoyed the quiet and priceless moments of sitting with our families, with each other, and doing absolutely nothing; just being. 

    We have shared countless moments of Off The Fuckin’ Charts Fun, Merriment, Revelry, and Mayhem. We do business together, supporting each other’s livelihood. Our children hang together. We have lived together, broken bread together, drank together, slept together, and fought along side one another. We have bled for each other, taken bullets for each other, and had each other’s backs so many times we could tell a stranger about every beautiful blemish, scar, and sweet curve of each other’s backsides. 

    A few years ago, one of our classmates paid me quite possibly the most precious and endearing compliment I have ever had the honor of receiving. She said to me, “Clint, you are the beating heart of our class”.

    Wow. That was like an emotional Academy Award. It was distinction amidst a sea of those of distinction.

    That said, I have, in my life, been a liar, a cheat, a scoundrel, a thief. I have shit where I have eaten. I have fucked around on my girlfriends and I have slept with married women. I have hurt and scarred people with my words and with my actions, both deliberately and unintentionally. I have been passive aggressive, and just plain motherfucking aggressive. I have at times consciously and purposely worked at being the biggest dickhead I possibly could; sometimes just too get a rise. I have at times been lazy, greedy, foolish, gluttonous, and way too full of pride. I have had opportunities laid at my feet and pissed all over them. I sometimes feel as though I have not lived up to my potential; that I was given so very much, and did not fully capitalize on those gifts and blessings. Sometimes I feel the scorching burn that, despite my cavalcade of unique experiences, my life is ultimately not worth much; that I do not measure up; that I have not, nor ever will be, what I would consider “Successful”. 

    I have physically and emotionally hurt myself, and beaten myself up without mercy, because I didn’t believe I was worth anything more than pain. I have lashed out when I should have shut up, and shut up when I should have said something.

    I am not proud of these transgressions. But neither am I ashamed. There have been times in my life when I would have seen myself as a horrible human being for these less than stellar moments. Today, however, I just see myself as being human because of them. 

    I have made amends, still have more to make, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Loosely paraphrasing Elton John, “I’m sorry” has never been my hardest words; “I love myself” has been. 

    Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with an innate desire, with a born of flesh obsession, to throw myself out there; to lay it down; to blaze an ever revealing path of my own sometimes half-baked design; to unabashedly share who I am - in all its naked glory and occasional madness. That has always just felt right to me; in my bones, in my heart, in my soul. It’s always made sense. I didn’t have to talk myself into it. It felt natural. Like breathing. That sort of living inspires some, and horrifies others. And, I’m, like, so okay with that.

    Winning our third title was the Vanilla-Nova icing on an already giant, scrumptious, delicious, beautiful Oreo peanut butter cake. Topped with gallons of Oreo peanut butter ice cream.

    I don’t care where I am. I don’t even care what happens. As long as I am with all of you.

    Whenever I need a dose of unconditional love, I join my Villanova tribe. The gratitude I feel, the fullness of my heart and soul by your company, the emotions that well up in me, the feeling of being so truly blessed, so deeply loved, routinely brings me to tears in my private moments. I often cry in private. Because I can’t always tame the male macho demons of doing so in public. Nevertheless, I want You to know that You move me. All the time. Often beyond words.

    I have lived a life, I continue to live a life, that many would envy. A truly blessed existence. I have so many positively amazing people who love me very much, and who I love very much as well. Who could ask for more? When I can get out of my own shit, drop down deep into myself and truly know all of that on a cellular level, there is nothing in this universe that can put but a dent in the splendor of that moment, in the magic of that day. 

    Countless times during my pilgrimage to San Antonio, I heard, “Clint, we were so concerned about you. We have followed your journey, and we are pulling for you,”. The amount of support, care, affection, and love that I have received from all of you; from the first days we met, to the moment you heard me out cry out for help, to the moment I saw the last of you leave San Antonio, would fill a million hearts. Mine is positively bursting.

    You continue to feed me when I am hungry, shelter me when I am cold, pick me up when I fall, wipe the blood off of my face when it scrapes the ground, and dress my wounds. You hug me when I am lonely, wipe away my tears, and love me most when I need it most. Simply put, You help me live. You do nothing less than give me life. If I have given you but a fraction of what you have given me, I would consider my life a deafening, louder than fuck success. 

    If I shine, it is because you are willing to see the dazzling reflection of your own divinity. If I burn hot, and loud, and radiantly, it is because you generously stoke the fuel of my flame. If I am a bright light, it is because you shine yourself onto me.

    Whatever We Are, We Are Because of Each Other.


                             - Superfly Clint, April 4, 2018


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