Friday, March 31, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

Maybe I'm too hard on myself. Maybe not hard enough. These were the thoughts I was thinking, standing in the wind, hundreds of feet above the water, ready to jump. I wasn't necessarily suicidal. I was drunk. I was at the stage of maudlin drunkenness where you think, "Wouldn't it be epic if I jumped off this cliff. Maybe I would die. Maybe I could part the water cleanly. Probably die. But if I didn't..."

One way or another, it would make something happen. And that's what I needed. I needed to decide something and fucking act on it for once. I needed to see what would happen...there was only one way to find out. 

But what if I didn't die. Didn't cleanly cleave the water. Perfect 10. What if I had to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair wanting to live, but hampered by my own drunken folly. 

Fuck it. Just jump. 

And then I heard an owl in the trees asking who? It made me laugh.

Who? It's me Mr. Owl. 


Just some guy. No consequence. 


Who will it hurt? Too many people, but...


People who love me. People who are used to seeing me. People who will notice a hole cut out of their lives. 


Who? I think I am? Good question. Certainly not David Foster Wallace. No one will buy my books if I die. Not that anyone buys them now. But I could write more. Better ones. 


I shook my head clear, surprised to find that there were tears in my eyes. I blinked, and they fell. The owl took off with the silence of a ghost and swooped by, silhouetted against the moon. And then it was gone. Off into the inky black. Off to do the things owls need to do. So, I decided to do the thing humans need to do...I turned around and walked back to the car. Grateful for the night. Grateful for being hard to kill. Grateful for owls and silent signs. Grateful for the ones keeping me tethered. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

To tell you the truth, I don't really know that much about it. What I do know, I have tucked away into the folds of my mind, like a mended sock. The one that never leaves the sock drawer. Maybe it's waiting to be made into a puppet. Maybe this is how I see myself. Maybe I'm a stooge. Maybe a conquerer. More likely, just another confused bag of blood and bones. 

Everyone is an expert now, I know. We're all so well informed. We're all so woke and empathetic. Or we're fighting that pansy bullshit with god. Sorry, God. Wouldn't want to lowercase your sky savior - I'm sure with everything going on, that would be the thing that ruined his day. Her day? It's day?

Everything has to fall blue or red, and I think that's stupid when we got a bunch of purple people walking around. Different shades, but purple all the same. Ain't no purple storming capitals. Ain't no purple hunting drag queens. The purple are shaking their head and thinking, what the fuck happened to y'all? Who hurt you? Was it a drag queen? They've only ever made me laugh and be happy to be a part of the unique tapestry that is humanity. 

Doesn't make sense to me. It's like saying you hate people who have blonde hair. I don't know, maybe you hate them, too. Sure seems like there is enough hate to go around lately, and then some. 

I'm a very blue purple, like a blueberry. I don't expect anyone to agree with me. But I won't stand by while you sling hate at people. No matter what color shirt you wear. I'll pull your card. I'm just stupid enough to still do that. Today, at least. I can't speak to tomorrow. 

It gets harder and harder, though. Every day. Everything around us is so binary, and humans are so not

Friday, March 17, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

The wood of the fence was rough, sharp through the boy's thin, worn-out t-shirt. It was so old you could barely see the ghost of The Incredible Hulk still proudly on the chest. Inside the shirt, the boy's heart was pounding. Sweat ran down his back, down his face, into his eyes. They burned. They were burning already, but the sweat didn't help matters. From the back of the house, he could hear the old man yelling. 

The boy took a deep breath and vaulted the fence. Hit the ground running. This was not his first escape, and he knew the flavors of it well. This part was terror. On the other side of the woods, there would be caution and mild victory. By the time he reached the railroad tracks, he would be a man, laughing at the whole situation. Taking slow pulls from the bottle he had hidden in a bush. It was the only thing he had ever stolen. He would have paid for it if they would have let him buy it. There was money saved from yard work in his room. The old man never touched the money. He had to give him that at least. 

The whiskey was cool from the shade of its hiding place. The sun was high in the sky. He had a few hours, max. That would be enough time to drink fast, feel drunk, and still be home relatively sober by dark. He didn't worry about smell. The old man breathed whiskey. Everything in their life smelled like it. 

He pulled a bent cigarette out of his pocket, too. These, he did take from the old man. He didn't consider this stealing much like he didn't consider it stealing to eat food out of the fridge. The old man let him eat enough. He had to give him that, too. 

The cigarette made him feel a little spacey, and he was already feeling warm from the whiskey. The whiskey got the boy thinking. 

The Old Man was grieving. The boy knew that. The loss had hurt both of them, but it had broken the old man's heart. He started drinking. He got mad. He cried. He yelled. Hell, maybe he had that right. The old man never did cheat him, or beat him, or starve him. In a lot of ways the old man treated him pretty well. 

The boy took another sip of whiskey and it brought a flash image of the future. Be careful. The words were spoken in his mind. He didn't even recognize the voice. He put the bottle down and stared at it. He was slightly tipsy, but he figured he might as well go home. See what the old man was up to. Might be he'd want to go fishing. 

And maybe someday, they would be able to look at a puppy without bawling. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

The rain falls in sheets, then drips and drops, plodding steadily toward flood. You can see the fear in the eyes of the lowland folk. Those on the hill look at it as a kind of carnival. A chance to stay inside and catch up on being human. A chance to put on their sympathy masks and feel good about their moral benevolence. 

Homeless people will die. The folks on the hill aren't concerned about this. They're concerned about the essential workers. The small business owners. The good ones who fit nicely into the mold that was created to shape them after their birth. 

Some of the hill folk consider the rain a cleansing. After all, the homeless people were part of the dirt. 

The folks on the hill know that they will never flood, but the smart ones are concerned about a real danger. An ever-present danger. They are worried about the day when the serfs will have had enough and decide to climb the hill. 

The flood will be red on that day, and it will be a cleansing that was a long time coming. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

My subconscious rages like dog-eared pages, hanging bent and mostly spent. My confidence is a misplaced comma, a run-on sentence. My eyes are adequate interpreters of their environment, but there is much they don’t see. You look at a crowd of people, and you see faces. Different sizes, different races. Me? I see misery. Anxiety. Corruption. Users. 

The world is full of abusers. 

The world is also full of allies; there are more of them than you realize. We focus on the ugliness, but there is beauty, too. We focus on fucking up ourselves when we should be fucking you. The ones who hide and dart out for the sick and injured. The alone. They’re the ones to fuck, so be nicer to yourself. 

My mind is so alone, tossing pebbles like stones. Woe is me, the poster child of sad epiphanies. Look, man, you do what you can. Cut yourself some slack, some you can’t take back. Look in the mirror, no fear, you need to look past the surface like a seer. Cause, yeah, you’re ugly, we all are. It’s a question of intention, this dimension, oh, and by the way, did I mention…

Fuck you!