From Agnosticism to Belief (sort of)
1981 - 1992
In high school, I started staying with a mostly non-Jewish crowd, as I became a huge fan of nightclubs, as they were playing my favorite disco music. Brooklyn (Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurst & Bay Ridge in particular) was the center of the disco universe, and I gladly took part in that scene. The drinking age at that time was 18, but fake identification cards were readily available at numerous stores in Times Square. Even though the I.D.s looked so ridiculous, the bouncers gladly let us in. For some reason, my previous group of Jewish friends wasn't that interested in that lifestyle.
My grades suffered slightly as I aspired to be more like my fun-loving new friends. At first, all we'd do was drink a bit. But soon, we experimented a bit with different drugs. Driving to East Flatbush to buy a dime bag was almost a daily occurrence in 12th grade. I purposely took classes that I'd breeze right through, with hardly any exertion. I wanted to come across as being cool, so instead of studying, I put extra effort into not coming across as making any effort or being too smart. Smoking all that cannabis made the effort a bit easier. I went from being a studious kid with top grades to an average student with mediocre grades and lots of tough friends (many had bona fide close relatives in the mob). My new friends liked that I let them cheat off of my tests. I still managed to graduate with a decent SAT score and a Regents diploma. By that time, I had stopped being friends with my entire pre-high school group.
In 1983, I went on to Baruch College. It was hard to get back into the swing of actually studying for challenging subjects. I still enjoyed the nightclub scene. But during my first year of college I totally stopped partying with drugs. I wasn't promiscuous like many of my friends, but I really liked girls, and dated almost non-Jewish ones exclusively. I never much cared for sports, so I paid extra attention to girls instead, and they seemed to appreciate it. The Jewish girls I knew seemed to be more into material things. They dated the less cool Jewish guys that had nothing in common with me (how could anyone then NOT love disco & NYC nightlife, with its world famous clubs like Studio 54, Xenon, the Funhouse, the Roxy, Starbucks, the Red Parrot, 1018, Limelight, the Paradise Garage, etc.?).
At Baruch, I happened to take an elective course on comparative religion. The professor was a devout Zen Buddhist, so the material he taught was slightly subjective. The class, however, did instill within me a new curiosity about God, as one of the required textbooks was a Catholic version of the Bible. I enjoyed reading what was required, but I put God back on the back burner for almost a decade more. I graduated in 1988 with a Baccalaureate Degree in Marketing & Sales.
During my second-to-last semester I met Maria, my future wife in an International Marketing class. We started dating pretty steadily but we hardly discussed God or religion, despite her Catholic background. Not only was she beautiful, but I deeply respected & was attracted to her sense of old-fashioned values. Even at 20 years old, she had to be home by a certain time and was NEVER allowed to sleep out. She was nothing like all the other girls I had gotten to know over the years.
From 1988 to 1991, I acquired the much-coveted (at least in the circles I frequented) position of DJ at a West Hempstead nightclub called Jamz. What a life! I was having a great time mixing disco & freestyle dance music for 1200 people a night, drinking and getting home at 4:30 am. I had not a care in the world as I had a brand new Acura Integra and my own basement apartment in my parents' home, and came & went as I pleased. All I wanted to do was have fun, be with Maria and make even more money DJ'ing private parties on the weekend. G-d was the LAST thing on my mind.
The Jamz position was a gateway to working in the hottest nightclubs on Long Island, Queens & Manhattan for many years. I also dj'd and managed a few "Gentlemens Clubs". Let me tell you, the novelty of seeing topless women wears off very quickly, especially after one sees the lifestyle most of them live, such as doing every illicit drug imaginable and going home with whatever rich guy they met that night. It's a dirty, disgusting business.
However, the regular nightclubs were great. I worked in many famous places such as Metro 700, Buttles, Zachary's, The LI Exchange, Johnny Rockits, Polyesters & Cafe Society. It was a crazy life, getting home at 5:30am, and waking around 2. After 10 years, I got a bit tired of the lifestyle, and gave up the clubs to concentrate on providing musical entertainment for private special events, which is what I still do.
After my relationship with Maria got a bit more serious, we were engaged in 1992. Since I really didn't care about G-d or my religious background, I agreed with her requests that we would raise our future children Catholic (as it was somewhat important to her mother). I had agreed as I thought religion, as well as belief in G-d were a crock and simply an opiate for the masses, as per Karl Marx (thanks, commie teachings). I was pretty much agnostic, and truly believed that if G-d existed, why would He be concerned with my life.
Click on "Embracing Lies".