Friday, May 31, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

So, the president is a crook, and some of y'all are OK with that because he hates the same people you hate. He has the same paranoid delusions that you have. He has been brainwashed by the same echo chambers. Those ugly feelings you have about other people? He says those are OK. He encourages them. 

I had to get a DOJ/FBI background check to be a teacher. There are standards I must live up to if I want to maintain my credential. I can't act the fool, spew hate, or indoctrinate people. Maybe we should hold the most powerful person in the country to the same standards. 

If I did what Trump has done, I would be in jail. If Trump were black, he'd be dead. That's fucked, but look around you and tell yourself it ain't the truth. 

Ten years now. Ten years of gritted teeth and frustration, watching the ideals of the country get shoved into a Christian Nationalist blender. Ten years now thinking, "what the fuck will Trump say next?" Ten years fearing violence in our communities. Ten years hoping that people will wake up, and things will get better. 

Ten years from now, he'll be dead, and I'll be fifty years older than I was ten years ago. What can you say about Trump? He tried to be a star, but he'll end up in stripes. Sounds patriotic to me. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Bones splinter. That's a fact. The older you are, the more likely it is. You ever seen a chicken bone splinter? It's a lot like that but it's inside your body. You can hear the snap. You can feel the hot fire. You are overwhelmed by the body's warning system going haywire. 

Wounds heal, but they leave a mark. You can collect them. Myself, I am a patchwork of scars and badly mended bone. I am held together with duct tape. A strong breeze might scatter what remains of me. 

Inflicting wounds is a different story. I've done it. I've been there. I think I felt worse than the wounded. My words can be fierce, but, inside, there is a scared kid who never figured out how to stop being scared all the time. He just wants everyone to be happy and to stop yelling.

Some people can rationalize themselves the hero in every situation. I assign myself the villain role. Even when it is not my fault - even when I'm right. I was programmed to manage my emotions with guilt and shame. It has proven to be hard to shake off. 

I wound myself. That's the saddest part. So many of my wounds have been self-inflicted. I always feel like being punished. I have taken stupid chances. I have dared death to take me, and I have been to the precipice. Believe me. I've been one wrong step, one wrong swallow, and one scraped footpeg away from it. I'm not afraid of it. 

I have that going for me. 

It has gotten complicated though. I'm old now, and I don't like to be hurt. I don't like to wake up remembering all the dumb shit I did. All the times I treated my body like it was indestructible. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, always. Gotta be some cancer in there somewhere. Or some kind of internal damage that is waiting for an opportune moment. I'd go the doctor and find out, but I have medical insurance through my job, so I can't afford any tests that would reveal anything. The insurance is just for show.

Maybe that's the worst part. I don't like surprises, and I know a big one is waiting just around the corner. When it happens, I hope my family can move on with hope and love. I hope the medical insurance company burns to the ground, too. But mostly, I worry about my wife and kids.

I deserve to suffer for my sins. 

They don't.

Friday, May 17, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Some surprises suck. Some surprises snatch your wind, weaken your resolve, or fill you with a thick paranoia. There are also good surprises, but we tend to forget those. I can show you the scars from the bad surprises if you're interested. Some of them are on my skin; some of them are internal.

I've had a few surprises that almost killed me. Either because they were dangerous or because they knocked me so far off my footing that I almost fell all the way down. The scars from those are bright purple, and they throb when my heart beats. 

I can't stand duplicity. Don't kiss my ass while you give me bad news. That's just to make you feel better. Don't try to take the sting out for yourself. I want us both to feel it. That's only fair. 

Saying it's your job don't make it right. Just ask Luke. 

If this is my tragedy, let it be mine. Find your own. Or wait until someone surprises you with it. 

Friday, May 10, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

It starts with heat. The feeling is tight and hard. It has sharp edges. It doesn't feel good, but it tries to convince you that it does. I don't know if it's universal. I'm just me, and that's all I can be. I am speaking from my frame of reference. Maybe it makes you feel cold. Maybe you feel it all the time. If so, I pity you.

It's poisonous, and it can hurt you worse than you can imagine. 

You have to vent. You have to let it out in little pieces. Otherwise, it will grow. It expands so rapidly. It reproduces itself inside you. You are now a breeding ground. You are a host, and, eventually, it will kill you. It takes a long, long time. 

If you can avoid it altogether, then good for you. Good for you and Mr. Rogers, maybe. Most of us are all too human, with human weaknesses and emotions that poison us from the inside. Mr. Rogers wouldn't like my neighborhood. 

Once in a blue moon, the feeling is washed away completely, but it creeps back in eventually. For me, at least. 

That's how it works in my neighborhood. 

Friday, May 3, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

They said it would never happen to you, and you believed them. That’s a shame. Critical thinking skills matter. You gotta be able to do your own sniff test. That’s part of life. Problem is, some people don’t. Some people can’t. Some people need to be led to every thought they have. Some people just really need a daddy to tell them how to think, feel, react - or they think they do.

I’m not a perfect person, but I've never trusted what I was told without thinking about it. Still don’t. I live in a country where the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment happened. I live in a country where bison were exterminated. Because meat. Because hides. But also because it fucked with indigenous people and their ability to live autonomously. All those things can be true at the same time. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Think about it. It fits a pattern. Decide for yourself. 

I’m not looking for disciples. Never have been. I hate it when people kiss my ass or accept what I say at face value. That shows lack of engagement. That shows apathy. That shows a craving for simplicity, and I know that life is not simple - only simple people think it is. 

One of the reasons that punk rock meant so much to me as a young man was that it was a community full of people questioning everything, rebelling against any authority that was strictly for authority’s sake. That shit was church for me, finally surrounded by people who thought like me. 

So, maybe it’s hard sometimes, but it is the only thing that can save you. Unless you want to be spoon fed. If that’s the case, there are plenty of people out there with spoons and questionable intentions. 

Open your mouth as wide as you can. Try to ignore the taste.