I left New York a year to the day after I left St. Petersburg. I felt rejuvenated, restored.
In my first weeks back, I lectored at my church, joined the Friends of North Branch Library, saw old acquaintances never forgotten.
Life was grand.
I wrote an article for Creative Loafing. I won the fang-and-claw at Tiger Bay. I was back. I mean baaaccckkk.
Then He came knocking. My old friend Politics. For me, he’s been nothing more than a dealer. He is Sergio to my Jane. Turns out I am addicted to politics. It wasn’t the drugs or the gambling that ever did me in. It was the politics itself.
Denial is a river in Egypt. Denying that what’s wrong is me is insulting. What’s wrong with Deveron? No, it’s what’s wrong with Peter.
It’s not so much what I do, it’s what I draw out. With my old boss who will now be Senator, I remember. With my friend and mentor Jack, I remember him teared up in an Outback in Lakeland because “no one believed in me like you did.” Jamie Bennett was no different. I brought out the best and the worst.
You’re a fool if you think Jamie didn’t know this or that. Yet, it still makes sense. The Jamie that high-fived me at Bella Brava is unlike any other Jamie Bennett the world knows. It wasn’t him, it was me.
He’ll go on. And lose. But there is a nobility in that. He’s not running for Mayor anymore. He’s running to be Jamie Bennett again. “You see, it was that crazy Peter who did all that.” People will believe him.
In college, I dated the ex-girlfriend of a best friend. But the ex-girlfriend, who was otherwise a saint, wanted to get back with the best friend, she merely said I was lying. Who would take my word over hers?
After all, it was Peter who cried wolf too many times.
Today, I am left with four months of time wasted. I look at the campaign invitations I addressed by hand, so they look personalized, and I beg for those minutes back. I look at this flyer or that handout, and beg for the hours back.
I look at this whole debacle, and wish for my second second-chance back.