Untitled #3

Don’t pull that trigger just yet

Let’s think this thing through

Someone has been watching you

Every little thing that you do

So, what does that mean?

I don’t know, my friend

What they have in store for you

Little fingers grab and scratch

Pull your scabs open to bleed again

So, what does that mean?

Their feelings are neutral

Yours, yours are running high

So, what do we do about this?

We run.

We fight.

We survive.

 

Rant #1 (The N word…no, not THAT one)

I will keep this short, since I have a tendency to ramble. This will be a nice exercise in self-restraint. I went to school during the 80s and half of the 90s, as I am sure a lot of you did. Popular kids, jocks, druggies, skaters, and of course, nerds. I know I am leaving a few labels out because I don’t want to be here all day listing the subcultures of high school. Guess where I fell in? No, not popular kid, but thank you for the compliment. Of course, I was a nerd. Why was I a nerd? I really don’t know. I wore glasses, I had pimples, I read books (although how anybody would have known that is beyond me.) I did not wear this label as a badge of honor; no, that word was what separated me from being part of the community as a whole. In my mind, it was almost better to be labelled anything else other than a nerd. I wonder if you see where I am going with this…

I hear and see (on social media sites) people use that word today in a totally different way than it was ever used before. Is this a good thing? Perhaps. For me, hearing the word just takes me back to some not so pleasant times in my youth. I wonder, the other kids that were going through it with me, how do they feel now when they hear Johnny Six-Pack Abs talking about how much of a nerd he is because he watches Game of Thrones. In 1990, if you were walking around with a book similar to George R. R. Martin, it would have been endless ridicule. Now, it appears that the tables have turned. Of course, I imagine that this nerd label only applies to popular culture. It’s one thing to admit you like Game of Thrones, it is another thing entirely to talk about your love of League of Legends. Therein lies the problem. People use the label because they feel that they are enjoying something that is outside of popular culture. The popularity of the very things you are calling yourself a nerd for liking are calling you to the carpet for being a hypocrite. Nerd culture is an outlier. You may have some crossover into the world of mainstream, but it is rare.

I may be coming off here as an arrogant prick, and that is fine. I know what I am. I know that I am not a nerd, and neither are you.

 

Musing #2 (Thoughts on Hemingway, 5 Years Ago)

I love Hemingway, but you have to admit that this is true:

Have you ever read Hemingway? If not, I will now perform my civic duty in explaining to you how his novels shake out so you don’t have to go through the trouble of reading them.

SETTING: Somewhere foreign. Italy, Spain, etc.

PLOT: There should be a war going on, or maybe the war just ended. Maybe the war has not started yet, but something is COMING. Preferably, the main character was injured in the war, falls in love with the nurse that, well, nurses him, and everybody drinks A LOT. The main male character hunts, fishes, and drinks. The main female character is a slut who sleeps with everyone except the main character, and is a real BITCH. Sometimes she is only a bitch part of the time.

Here is some example dialogue:

MAN: I love you, and you are a slut. Let me drink this wine, absinthe, beer, port, sherry, and smoke cigars and not care that you do not return my love; after all, I am a MAN and we don’t let emotions get in the way.

WOMAN: I know you love me, and I guess I kinda love you, too, but we can’t be together because I love you too much to stop sleeping with all of these other guys over here. I DO IT FOR YOU!

Things happen throughout the story, but mostly people just get drunk and fight with each other, and then go fishing and stuff.

Now, I will give you a typical ending:

MAN: I am going to drink this beer right here. I wonder if they have hard-boiled eggs around here?

WOMAN: Aren’t you glad that I am such a slut?

MAN: I suppose I am. You know, it does not bother me at all that I love you and can never be with you in any meaningful way… I say, is this not a fine bar?

THE END.

Sometimes the woman dies, but it’s OK. After all, dudes don’t cry.

Oh, and sometimes Jews and Blacks are BAD

Story #1 (The Art of Dying – Rough Draft from 2010)

Tyrone Bates jumped off the 10th St. Bridge and slammed into the macadam below. This kind of thing had happened before. The 10th St. Bridge was a favorite for people who didn’t feel like living anymore. However, when the paramedics came to scrape up his body and load it onto the gurney, a funny thing happened: Tyrone whistled through what was left of his lips, “I’m in a pickle now, aren’t I?”

                Things like this happen all the time, do they not? There are miracles every day. Tyrone didn’t think it was a miracle, however; he wanted death, not eternal life. To this day, Tyrone Bates remains at 12th St. Hospital, in a jar by the window; and to this day, not a soul in Evansburg has crossed over to the other side. It was as if everyone’s secret wish for eternal life had been granted. Well, everyone except Tyrone Bates, of course.

I gave you the beginning of the story, but I’m not much of a story teller, so I’m going to fast forward a little bit. Now the story gets a bit more personal. Now we’re going to talk about me.

I was walking home from the book store that I owned and ran by myself late one August night. The air had a crispness to it that was very unusual for that time of year. I remember being a bit on the cold side. The leaves on the trees were starting to change already, and people were talking about a long winter ahead of us. Up ahead of me, I saw what appeared to be a person lying motionless on the sidewalk. I quickened my pace, hoping in vain that it was just some vagrant, sleeping it off.

I reached the crumpled body, and bent down to gently turn it over. I say “it” because the body was so bundled up that I still wasn’t sure that it even was a human being. When my fingers made contact with the fabric of the bundle, I saw a flash of light, and a bolt of white-hot pain seared through my body. Then, everything went black: I had been shot.

To get to the point, I had been mugged. Except, the robber had decided to have some fun as well, because, it’s not like he could kill me. The last thing I remember hearing was the man’s snickering as he rummaged through my pockets, looking for whatever valuables I happened to be carrying. The joke was on him, though, for I had nothing on me. Not a cent; everything was either at my store or at my home. I had learned a long time before to never carry anything with me. That’s when I felt the knife go in: over and over; I lost count after 56.

I woke up later in a dark room. There was no sound, and it was eerily quiet. I tried to call out for someone, anyone, but I couldn’t utter a sound. It took  me awhile to realize just how severe things were with my situation, and I really only figured it out after I felt hands on my body that weren’t my own, gently lifting me and turning me over to my other side. They felt like the hands of a woman; they were too gentle to be the hands of a man. A wave of terror enveloped me, and I am sure that I cried out. What good would that do me anyway? I was now an invalid; I could not see; I could not hear; I could not move on my own power. All I could do was exist. Forever.

I know that they have tried to end my suffering. I also know, obviously, that each attempt has failed. Sometimes I think about the ways that they haven’t tried yet; for instance, why haven’t they tried cremation? Surely a body could not survive that. Then, I remember that Suzie Wilkins did survive that; well, at least she survived a house fire that had burned her beyond recognition. Suzie had been reduced to bare bones, really, and she was seen patrolling the streets years after her ordeal. Have you ever seen a walking, talking skeleton? Well, I shouldn’t say talking, because her vocal chords had been burned away in the fire, so she was never much up for conversation after that.

OK, so burning is out. Maybe they could just flatten me? No, you could jump off a bridge and still survive; that was proven long ago. I tried holding my breath a few times. I was able to last 604,800 seconds before I gave it all up for hopeless.  You couldn’t even count on renal failure anymore; you didn’t even need a heart to be beating. You just kept on keeping on.

Maybe I was in some sort of purgatory. Maybe if I atoned for my sins and accepted Jesus Christ into my life that would be the ticket out of here. Well, I must have prayed for months on end, but there was no reply. There was no great white light, no tunnel to walk through. St. Peter was a fucking fraud, and if I ever saw him he better stay the hell away from me. Do you get the use of your limbs back in the afterlife?

                I am not going to bore you with further details of my life. A long time ago I developed a way to tell time; it is a crude method, mind you, but it gives me something to do. I can safely say that most of my body has rotted away by now, because I lost the sense of any kind of touch long ago. As a matter of fact, for all I know I could be buried in the ground, or scattered among the trees. As of this morning, I believe the year to be 2166. Don’t ask me what month.

Untitled Two

Floating along the waterway

A crisp and cool morning in May

A little boy wandering around the grass

What a discovery! Mom, come look!

A body lying face down in the muck

Nobody knows who it is

The little boy stares in wonder

The mother covers his face in fear

You, the man in the water

Who might you be?

You, the man in the water

Tell us, what did you see?

What leads a man to walk the edge?

What drives a man to end his life?

Questions bound to go unanswered

By the man in the water

Untitled One

Memory is a jealous lover

You can never relish in your present

For you are constantly brought back to the past

How do you slay the dragon of time?

You were left on a doorstep

But they forgot to ring the bell

All you desired was a friendly shake

Instead they served you tea and sympathy

You cannot see that you are breaking

Because all the parts are hidden

Sometimes you have to trust in others

To ­­repair the damage unseen

You tried to flee the scene of the crime

Virtue kept you detained

She knew it was just a passing fancy

There was little to be done

You chase rabbits at night

To wake up cold and sore in the morn

Swallowing the doctrine of the serpent and the staff

You march along and follow their orders

When you jump off that ledge tonight

How deep will the water be?

How far will you need to propel

Until the rocks kiss your lips?