The Incident

It was one of those spring days that stories are often written about. Bright, warm, and inviting, my friends and I were engaged in a game of wiffleball on the busy city street. It was the year of my third grade. We were all at ages where crossing the road wasn’t an option yet, so we chose to play our modified rules game right there on the sidewalk. Looking back on that day now, I don’t know how we even managed to play at all. The tightly boxed in vehicles didn’t give us much leeway as far as our swings, and I’m sure the neighbors were none too pleased about the possibility of that little, white plastic ball ricocheting off their shiny cars. But, we played on.

As anyone could have predicted, the ball soon rolled into the street. Now, when I say it was a busy city street, I’m not talking about a booming metropolis. My friends and I happened to live in a small city, if it could even be called that, and the street happened to be the main drag in town. It was even called ‘Main Street.’ Nevertheless, it was a fairly busy road. One needed to be careful. Volunteering to fetch the ball, I looked both ways, and not seeing any cars coming I darted out between two parked cars in search of the elusive wiffleball. I don’t remember the sound of tires screeching, but I’m sure it happened.

I was lying on the sidewalk, and I could hear my friend’s mother calling the police, and then I could hear my father being beckoned; I only lived about 6 houses down from where I was struck by the car. Time was fluid, because the next thing I know I’m being lifted into an ambulance on a stretcher. I politely asked the medic not to run over any railroad tracks, because I knew it would hurt. The man smiled at me and promised they would be extra careful. He kept his word.

At the hospital, my mother was by my side. My father must have called her (they were divorced, and their relationship was far from amicable) and I can only imagine the abuse he suffered from her acid tongue. She was talking to me sweetly, trying to divert my attention from what the doctors were doing to my right leg. When they were done, I was allowed to look over. There was what looked like a giant mechanical screw imbedded in my leg, surrounded by brownish residue, and my leg was suspended in what now I believe was traction. I was in awe. How did I not feel it? This was awesome! Of course, that euphoria would be short-lived as the shock wore off and pain moved in to take its place.

The end result was two broken legs, one worse than the other. My right leg wound up growing a bit shorter than the left, which gives me trouble to this day. The woman who hit me was found liable, but I really can’t hold any resentment towards her. I should have known better, and even though I remember looking both ways, I obviously did not. Memory is like Play-Doh; you can shape it any way you want to over time. One thing is clear, however: I will never forget that day.

Cemetery Gates

I enjoy cemeteries. Ironic, really, since I am absolutely terrified of using one as my final resting place. I may hate my life, but I don’t loathe it enough to find out what, if anything, is on the other side.

Unless, of course, god turns out to be pepperoni pizza.
Unless, of course, god turns out to be pepperoni pizza.

I do my best thinking walking among the tombstones and mausoleums. Although, being a fan of Phantasm I tend to avoid getting too close to the latter.

Thank you very much for that, Angus.
Thank you very much for that, Angus.

When I was younger, cemeteries were creepy. After all, every horror movie I ever watched taught me that only bad things come out of graveyards. Zombies, vampires, witches, etc: These are all things that I want no part of in real life, unless…

Yes, why I DO happen to have a moment to talk to you about your Lord and Savior, Lucifer!
Yes, why I DO happen to have a moment to talk to you about your Lord and Savior, Lucifer!

Now that I am older, and perhaps a bit more emotionally intelligent, I realize cemeteries for what they are: memorials of loved ones, and also works of art. If you take the time to walk around the majority of burial grounds, you will find lots of marble sculptures like this one angelweeps, which you’ll find if you are ever in the cemetery which holds quite a few of my relatives. You don’t have to believe in a higher power to be moved by these creations. They are beautiful, and one can only hope that the person they are dedicated to was worthy of it.

Now, instead of traipsing through the graveyards looking for ghosts, I stroll through them looking for clarity. I take time to look at the names, how old they were then they passed, and wonder what kind of person they were. Sometimes, depending on my frame of mind, I can become melancholy and distant, but usually it awakens in me ideas that were dormant. It fuels the creativity. I want to live up to my headstone.

Years lost

Three years ago today, my 19 year old (step) nephew passed away. Jesus, this is as far as I can go. I must force myself to post this because I promised myself I would never delete something once I started, but what good is writing for therapy when you can’t even write.

A new year is upon me

2014 is behind me, thankfully. While every year has its ups and downs, last year perhaps had a few more downs in it than I would prefer to have. The downs were mostly health related issues, and in reality some of them are within my sphere of influence, so if I buckle down I can surely alleviate some of my problems going forward.

2015 will indeed be a year of change for me. I have enrolled in the local community college and as of next week will begin to pursue a degree in Social Sciences. Whether I stop at two years, or transfer to a four-year college I cannot say at this moment, but it feels good to just take that first step, which I have been terrified of doing for twenty years now. I am looking forward with anticipation on starting these classes, but of course the fear of failure is weighing on me like an ape on my back.

It’s good to keep moving forward; once you stop, you might never start up again. I am lucky to have someone in my life who acts as a catalyst for me, constantly challenging me to improve my life. I realize that a lot of people don’t have that, and I’d be committing a moral crime by not listening to her and accepting the challenge, finally.

When I was a teenager I had dreams of becoming a journalist. I am hoping that at the very least my writing will improve this year, and give me the confidence to possibly pursue a career outside of my circumscribed comfort zone.

December 11, 2014

It’s apt that as I type this entry I am listening to Low’s excellent album “I Could Live in Hope.” If you’re familiar with the band, you’ll understand why I love them. Slow, soft, melancholy, perfect. Only 38 words in and I am already stalling; this is not a good method if you are trying to write a blog, unless you are Algernon Blackwood and are getting paid by the word for your stories in magazines. Sadly, I am not Algernon Blackwood.

I was conversing with a friend a few days ago via text messaging about the holidays, and that it doesn’t bother me as much anymore; I am feeling much better, and am able to deal with the loss of my mother more maturely now, so to speak. Then, I promptly slipped into a deep depression, accompanied by a completely atrocious attitude. Well, I guess I wasn’t progressing as well as I thought. Granted, 2014 hasn’t exactly been a banner year for me, but looking back, what year was? I digress.

blog-segment-but-i-digress

13 is apparently getting ready to ask a new girl to go steady. She is tutoring him in math. He is literally living out a fantasy if she says yes. The kid has skills, I will give him that. He will be leaving to see his father for Christmas in another 13 days, and he doesn’t seem too excited about it at the moment. When he’s there I know he’ll have a good time, though; his father is a real life cartoon character, so 13 will get his fill of rough-housing and the like that he doesn’t get here. Around these parts, we have dinner table discussions regarding the ongoing repression of minority groups and the poor treatment of women in society. With his father, he listens to country music, goes muddin’, plays with horses, and gets his fill of League of Legends. Come to think of it, why isn’t he more excited?

I have so much to write about, but so little energy to do it. Perhaps I will write more later. Have a nice holiday season! Here’s a cute picture to make up for the shitty writing.

catsat8

I don’t even like turkey all that much

I will be alone for Thanksgiving this year. The wife and 13 are traveling to visit his godparents, and I will be staying home to watch Blu Rays and read depressing Joyce Carol Oates novels. This is by choice, mind you; I make a horrible passenger in a vehicle, and I also make a horrible companion when you are having Thanksgiving dinner with scores of people you’ve never met before. In reality, I regret not being able to go, but in my present state it just isn’t possible.

Let’s talk about Thanksgiving for a minute. It’s more about the smells, really. I have very fond memories of playing football outside with my friends, coming into the house all flushed, glasses fogging up immediately due to the warmth created by the turkey in the oven, and just being hit in the face with a wave of delicious and comforting aromas. Ironically, at the time I hated everything Thanksgiving was about. I disliked having the majority of my day taken up with eating food I didn’t really like, except of course, for the mashed potatoes and gravy; being forced to sit in the living room with everyone else watching the Lions lose yet again, and being ordered to talk when I really had nothing to say, then being reprimanded for my bad attitude, followed my grandparents chiding my mother for scolding me. The older I get, the more appreciation I have for my grandparents. I think they knew that there was something not quite right with me, emotionally. Problem was, there was also something not quite right with my mother, too, so any criticism about her methods always erupted into an argument about parenting.

So now it’s 2014. My mother has been dead 7 years now. My grandfathers are dead, my grandmothers are either dead, or suffering from dementia. My stepfather and I no longer speak, going so far as not even mentioning me in the obituary when my grammy died. My father and I talk, but we’re not close. He doesn’t even attend Thanksgiving at his brother’s house when invited, and my invitations stopped coming a long time ago, too; most of the blame for that falls with me isolating myself intentionally. This was not supposed to be a sad entry, but of course I never know where they are going until I am finished. Really, all I want is to walk into my house and smell that turkey one more time. Now that we’ve moved, along with most of the wife’s family, too, it could be a very long time until I feel that sensation again. I’ll be ready, and I won’t take it for granted.

If you have a child, or children, please pay attention to their behavior. Don’t just dismiss everything they do as “normal teenager stuff.” Because sometimes it isn’t, sometimes they are really hurting and would love for someone to talk to them like an equal, to take the time to find out what’s wrong, and maybe get them the help they need. Pay attention, and remember what it was like to be that age. Listen, and most importantly, don’t judge.

I was never much good at paying attention to details

So, I have resorted to buying my clothes on Amazon, because that is what one does when you have a Prime membership. Why talk to people when I can just have them ship me my sweatpants. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I now wear sweatpants almost exclusively. I barely leave the house anyway, so who cares, right? Right? Since my arm is already screaming at me to stop typing (I really should get this checked out by a doctor) I will cut to the chase here. I ordered one pair in what I assumed was the large size, because when they arrived I was swimming in them. I could literally wear the bottom of the pants as slippers, they were that big. I washed them and they shrunk a little bit, but they were still a bit too long. So, I hopped on my trusty Amazon and ordered another pair, this time in medium. They came today and I excitedly slipped the too big ones off and put these on instead. Once again, I was up to my nipples in sweatpants. Took them off, checked the size: Medium; picked up the first pair and checked that tag: Medium. What this has taught me is that there is a reason that my wife usually buys my clothes for me. It has also taught me that I am either not as fat as I think I am, or much shorter than I thought. Perhaps both.

I just had to have one in every color!
I just had to have one in every color!