Becoming A Ghost

Once surrounded by all my friends and family, I now find myself a living ghost. In the shell of a life that I once had prior to suffering a stroke and losing it all.

Arturo Dominguez

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Photo of Niccolò Caranti. “A supposed ghost sitting on a chair”. by Terrasque CC-BY-SA 3.0

For most of my adult life, I felt like I’ve either had it all, or whatever I was after was within my grasp. I’ve had several successful businesses that I would inevitably sell off; an exit strategy that was always planned well in advance.

I would then move on to something else. I’ve been a session musician for a good portion of my life so there was never really any downtime. As I would plan the implementation of my exit strategies, I would already start tossing around ideas for my next business venture.

In the midst of all that, I always had music.

I would home-school my kids, conduct field trips, plan out their curriculum, and even have planned training sessions with my kids' skateboarding careers, sports, or whatever it was that inspired them. They love art, music, science, and were very athletic. Since I was once a semi-pro skateboarder in my younger days, they naturally fell right into that. They would inevitably turn to music as well. Hard not to when you have all that inspiration around you.

Hardcore and Heavy Metal were where I was at in my late teens and early twenties in regards to music, I really love Jazz too. I would eventually end up in a Hardcore band that began touring. We did that for the better part of ten years until my first son was born. The decision to give it all up was an easy one. I grew up without my dad around and I didn’t want that for my kids.

By this point, I was approaching my mid-20’s and had made tons of connections in the world of skateboarding and music. So it wasn’t like I couldn’t earn a living. Armed with my degree in horticulture that I had yet to put to use, I was ready for the world. Being a dad, that’s a different story.

To say I was afraid of fatherhood wouldn’t do what I really felt justice. I was scared shitless. To my surprise, I fell into being a dad quite nicely. Not that it didn’t come with some adjustment or surprises. There was plenty of that. But it wasn’t nearly as horrifying as I thought it would be. Not even close.

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Arturo Dominguez

Journalist covering Congress, Racial Justice, Human Rights, Cuba, Texas | Editor: The Antagonist Magazine |