Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Wilds

Imagine a vast open plain, bereft of any tall trees, thick hedges or bushes. No tall grasses or rows of rolling wild flowers. It is a wide plain with a thin layer of dust blowing over the ground. How would you fill that emptiness? Where would you start to bring some life into that open desertion?

That's how I feel this morning as I look at this long blank, blinking computer screen. I can hardly think of anything to type that will bring life to this barren whiteness. I’ve too much on my mind to concentrate adequately. I’ve got history rolling around in there, evening and weekend plans, sexual frustration, work related stress, money, humor, conscience, aches and pains all pushing each other around. They’re all vying to be the issue that gets to splash its nonsense all over this wild and untamed page.

I wrote the above paragraph about half an hour ago. I was almost instantly distracted by work. So it would seem that work related stress won the Battle of the Wild Blank Page; which is similar to May 31, 1862 when the Yankees and Rebels clashed at the Battle of Seven Pines or in 1902 when the Boer War ended. Although the casualties were much lower on this page than in those examples.

I have a wedding to attend tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it, even if I am going alone. A lot of wonderful friends will be there and we’ll all certainly have a lot of laughs and cheer. Plus there will be dancing and A Minute with Dancing Michael is so hard to resist.

I’m sure you’re all wondering about the, “sexual frustration”, issue. (Unless you’re family, in which case you’re saying, “Ew”.) Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve known the caring and soft touch of a lovely woman and that tears me up inside. A couch and a remote control is a very poor substitute for the calming comfort of an attentive and passionate and beautiful woman. Most of the time anyway.

Dang, this is a busy day. I can hardly write more than a few words without getting distracted. So I think I’ll bring this battle to a close and surrender to the tasks I have before me. I will let the troops know they fought gallantly but the day is lost. I’ll tell them that while the day may be lost, the night has yet to come, and that is when we’ll reinvigorate the fight.

A charging retreat across the blankness of this now full page, littered with the thoughts of what may be.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This morning I came to the realization that the Universe is constantly trying to balance itself out. I’m sure I’m not the first person to think about it nor will I be the last. (I’m pretty sure there was a Seinfeld episode about it, although I didn’t watch Seinfeld).  Regardless, the Universe is always trying to; as The Matrix put it, balance the equation. Some good stuff happens, some bad stuff happens, it’s all relative.

This idea hit me a little hard this morning though as I was thinking about my lousy luck with the fairer sex. I was grumbling to myself as I walked along the city sidewalks when for no real reason I looked up and my eyes caught the eyes of a young woman walking toward me from the opposite direction. Our eyes met and I could have sworn there was a sonic boom, or a thunderclap. Maybe lightening streaked across the sky at that very moment.

We were both sort of visually stunned to have caught each other’s attention and we lingered for a second. However, since the Universe must keep things in balance and in motion neither of us were unable to stop in the great cattle flow of people to explore this monumental moment. We passed each other. I wondered, “What the heck was that thud in my chest?”

As I rounded the corner I thought I should turn right around and find that girl and ask her if she felt that… thing, that something in the air. I immediately started to doubt that was the appropriate action to take. I would probably come off like a crazy person. But then I started to wonder if it would seem bold and sort of sexy. Then I remembered I’m hardly sexy or all that bold. By the time I completed thinking about how the scenario would work out if I did turn around to talk to her I had already walked to the front entrance of the building I work in.

So the Universe in its unseeing attempts at fairness and parity decided to teach me a lesson in cosmic love. I think the lesson is, while two great bodies may feel an uncontrollable magnetic, gravity driven attraction to each other, their collision would be disastrous and could destabilize the entire Milky Way.   Or maybe, in simpler terms, these two bodies just weren’t destined to run into each other in any real way and it’s was probably for the best.

I can’t say I fully agree with the Universe’s logic, but then, it has no logic, just cause and effect attempting to stay in harmony and balance. I sure would have liked to meet her though. She was very pretty and had a wonderful sense of style. She could walk well in heels and seemed to have an effortless grace about her. I can only wonder if she felt the, “vah-voom”, in her chest when our eyes met or if she was thinking as she looked at me a la` The Princess Bride, “Dear God, what is that thing?”

Que Sera, Sera.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Swing of it

After a long introspective Memorial Day weekend it’s quite difficult to get back into the swing of the day to day. I struggled more than usual to drag myself from the cool comfort of my bed after a long night of fitful and restless sleep. I woke up once and looked at the clock and it read 5:55. I thought that was odd. I couldn’t remember one time in my life where I woke up at 5:55 exactly.

I was sort of glad I did wake up then though. It got me out of a very strange dream in which one of my ex-girlfriends was greeting folks who were honoring her for her recent engagement to a monster. She didn’t recognize me right away and I had to take my glasses off for her to remember me and then dismiss me. It was a very emotionally charged dream and 5:55 seemed to rescue me from it.

I like the whole 5:55 idea. I imagined vampires just getting back to their coffins, or werewolves just winding down their night of terrorizing villagers, or that tentacled thing under your bed needing to get back to its Midnight Zone.  As if it was some sort of magic time that all the evil horrors of the world are forced to recede into the shadowy underworld.   

Today is in full swing though. I’m sipping my coffee and have been trying not to think about those other worldly monsters lurking in the corners, waiting for nightfall. I’ve got a lot of work to do and chores to take care of after work. There’s just too much to do and not enough time to do it all. There’s a weight over me, a Sword of Damocles dangling just over my exposed head just waiting to come loose and render me not.

I suppose there’s one hanging over everyone’s head, some of us are just more aware of it than others.  Some of us just get into the swing of it. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Haven’t I been here before?

It’s the same.
Always the same story.

I’m a week away
from a friend’s wedding
and I’m dateless.

It’s familiar but
still bitter and cruel.
I don’t enjoy it.

I’m not sure how to
do it. I don’t know
how to meet her.
Where she hangs out,
what she likes in her

It’s not their fault.
I don’t blame them,
much. I’ve just been
here before.

In the depot of the
dateless wonders.
Same old posters on
the walls. Same shaggy
panhandler in the corner.
Same tired subway tiles
fighting against the ravages
of time. I’ll sit on this
bench and wait.

I keep thinking she’ll
arrive in her beautiful
nerdiness, but so far,
that train is delayed.

Or derailed.

Till then I’ll suffer
the humiliation of a
charity date from a friend.  
As is usual.
Where I've been.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I don’t have any today.
I spent it all on your
slow walking
and inane talking.

Stories about your dog
or cat or grandmother or
your teenage daughter that
just got dumped on the way
to the prom.

I’ve no patience for it.
I don’t care about your
work, your job, your boss,
your made up problems in
the day to day nonsense you
call a life.

I can’t deal with your
blandness. I don’t want you
to interrupt my story about
prohibition history with your
story about your car. Shut up.

Listen and learn something
for forty seconds you self
absorbed son of a bitch.
I don’t want to waste my
breath on the likes of you.

I don’t have the wherewithal
or the rested demeanor to
give a flying crap about your
stupid hobby. Be a real person.
Be a real god damn human being
for once in your miserable
life and stop annoying

Just listen to me.

I’ve nothing figured out.
But I keep it to myself. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rocket ship Earth

Earth moves through the universe at a startling speed of really, really fast. I actually tried to look up the exact figure but I was baffled by the amount of serious math involved in that calculation. Apparently there are several dimensions of motion to take into account when trying to estimate the speed of Earth through space. There’s the relative speed from the Equator around the sun, the tilt of the Earth, the speed of the surrounding planets, the speed of the galaxy through the universe, all very interesting stuff but way over my head.

So I’ll just say that Earth, spinning through the vastness of space, is moving really damn fast and then times it by Pi. Funny, I hardly feel it moving at all. Although it appears to be moving fast enough that I completely forgot my train of thought for this piece. I wonder where I was going with this. I had the title all set and was lost in the research for a while but now that I’m back to writing it, I haven’t the slightest idea what I was trying to say.

I suppose that can happen on your 367th blog entry. I certainly don’t think I’ve exhausted the myriad of topics available for commentary or stories to be told. But I sure did lose the thread on this one.  Sigh…..

Type, type, type… … … erase, erase, erase. I’m really struggling though this one. Perhaps I should put myself (and you reader) out of our collective misery and just end this 367th piece. But I’m compelled to continue simply because it is my 367th entry. I literally have a blog for every single day of a year, plus two days. Some are pretty decent examples of storytelling, important editorial opinions and some are like this, spinning out of control on our fuel injected Earth.

 Oh, that’s right! I remember now. I was going to write about how on this speeding, spinning planet how amazing it is that two people of completely different backgrounds can somehow find each other, fall in love and live happily ever after. But I think somewhere in my science research I thought that was probably a little lame and boring for number 367. Plus, I tend to drone on and on a little too often about the complexities of human pair bonding.

So I’ll close on this note. There are stories about everything out there. I was thinking about a story from the perspective of a tooth this morning while I was brushing my teeth. The human imagination is ceaseless and a fruitful basket of hope, inspiration, honesty and sharing in the collective human experience. I’m proud to have made it to 367 and I appreciate those that have been along for the ride. I’ll keep doing it as long as this Earth keeps spinning; really, really fast. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to normal, sort of

After a quick hiatus in the gulag that is the Chicago suburbs I have returned to my normal downtown day to day. I fell in love only twice on the Blue line this morning as I headed into work. So clearly, everything’s back to normal.

My desk was the usual shambles of tasks waiting for my keen expert eye to examine and then push off to the side so I could concentrate on writing something silly, like this. You know, normal.

I had to make more coffee this morning as the giant carafes were completely empty and no one had made more; just another normal thing to do. I just heard a co-worker say, “estaments”, instead of estimates. Yes, absolutely things are back to normal.

As it is a normal day and there are normal things going on, ergo the lack of NATO protesters or heavy police presence all through downtown, we can go about the normalcy of this boring, passionless existence.

It was the abnormal thoughts regarding passion that might have dislodged the full normalness of this average and regular day. It caught my attention on the train as a young hipster couple were so damn cute with each other it made me want to vomit with jealously. (Which is in and of itself a normal reaction for me). These two young people, holding hands with what looked like a genuine willingness to be with each other. They were cute and playful with each other and I was jealous. I want that to be my normal.

I thought about all the women I’ve felt something for, be it deep enamored love or mild contentment, and how badly I want to be wanted in the way I want to be wanted. It doesn’t sound like a normal statement I know. It sounds selfish and self-serving, but everyone wants to be wanted in a particular way. I want to want her as much as she wants me. Neither people want their wants overpowering the others; a nice even keeled mutual wanting should be the norm.  

 I wondered what this hipster couple’s day would be like until they were reunited later this evening after work. Would they mutually daydream about each other and be excited to see each other at the end of the day? Was this normal for people? I’d like to think it is and that’s the kind of normal I want.

Even if the day itself is completely abnormal and I’m selected to fight a Yeti in the frozen tundra with a Canadian and a Brazilian Amazonian all to the soundtrack of the classic Star Trek TV show. I would like to come home and see her, smile at her, she smile at me and we take care of my gaping thigh wound. That would make all of it as normal as hell. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Post poned

Unfortunately I am not able to provide you, the faithful reader, with the usual awesome story or thoughts you've come to expect. Please stay tuned for tomorrow's exciting adventure. Thanks!

Friday, May 18, 2012


Just under the surface,
very near the top,
under the foam
but below the lip
is a sizzling silence
set to announce itself.

I heard it moving
through the train cars
and in all the talk at
the bars. It’s about to
spill out in front, at
your feet.

It’s current is writhing
and coursing over sidewalks
and building facades. There’s
anxious eyes scanning the
streets for the hint of
the anxiety bubbling
just beyond sight.

Urgency fills the faces
of the men and women
on the shores of lake
anticipation. Planes cut
the sky with scalpel’s of
sound to drown out the
waves of dissonance lapping
the beaches.

I’m ready though.
My coffee is good.
My hair is perfect.
I’m less worried than
I should be
but just worried

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Long walk

Howard was winded and could barely keep his feet moving forward. The road was dusty with desert sand and the sun was overwhelmingly cruel. It was cruelty he felt he deserved so he kept plodding along trying not to think about the water in his two canteens. Howard was just trying to get to Marie and tell her that he had always loved her and he was sorry that he left her by the side of the road all those years ago.

It wasn’t his fault. Not entirely. Howard told himself that he didn’t have a choice. If he had stayed with her she’d probably be dead along with any real future. Leaving Marie by that dusty Arizona road was the best thing for her. It’d been ten years since he left her there.

Howard had to end the blood feud with Hayato Katsu. Howard was part of the occupying forces in Japan after the war and was glad to do his duty. He was too young in 1941 to enter the service like his brothers, but by 1944 he was eligible. He was rushed through basic training only to be just shy of seeing any real combat. He was stationed in Japan as an MP. He had a real affinity for the Japanese. He saw that even in defeat there as some dignity. He’d made friends with a young man about his age named Hayato Katsu.

A disagreement started between he and Hayato and their battle scorched each other’s lives for decades.  Howard was now 64 years old, trudging through the deserts of 1990’s Arizona; the feud was finally over and he could see Marie again before the cancer got him.

Howard stopped in the desert to take a cool drink from his canteen. This long desert road gave him time to think and clear his head of the past. Hayato and he came to America as friends in 1946 and were planning on starting a business together. But as things were back then it just didn’t work out. Plus, a woman became involved and that always messed things up.

Hayato had fallen in love with Marie, but she was in love with Howard. That’s when things started to go wrong. It was how the fight started in the greenhouse and how Howard got the long scar down his left arm and Hayato lost an eye. Hayato swore vengeance on Howard and over the course of the next two decades they fought on six different occasions, both were lucky to survive the encounters.

But then, ten years ago, Howard got word that Hayato was in town looking for him and Marie. It had only been 8 months since their last fight; Howard lost a finger in that one. He’d had enough. He couldn’t hurt Marie anymore with the constant threat of violence. His own drinking had gotten out of control and he was too paranoid to hold down a real job. So he left her at a gas station along the side of the road.

Now Hayato was dead, and Howard would soon join him. He only hoped his legs would hold out and get him to dear Marie one last time.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Panic with the Crisco

Okay, the title of this piece is a terrible pun but I couldn’t help myself. There’s just so much electricity in the air in Chicago regarding the upcoming NATO summit to be held this weekend. A lot of folks are on edge about the clear impending doom of the entire downtown area at the hands of hippie protestors. You know, mostly practicing non-violence. Those hippies.

The company I work for is making poor, panic stricken decisions regarding how my downtown office is to function on Monday. They’re so worried that they are activating the emergency contingency plan. You know the kind of plan in place for natural disasters, like tornadoes or earthquakes or war, and they are sending those of us that were foolish enough to volunteer, in case of emergency, out to different offices. Regardless of what happens on Monday, rain or blood rain, I am being forced to miss what could be my generations Democratic National Convention riots or Tiananmen Square. (Which I know it won’t be).

I’m fairly confident. At least 99% confident (heheheh) nothing will happen. There will certainly be a few minor arrests of certain rowdy elements, but I hardly think the City of Big Shoulders will be brought to its knees by the acts of a few hippies. I’m not expecting looting and pillaging on a Viking scale with churches being burned and gangs of axe wielding long hairs screaming through the streets and raping the cappuccino machines at Starbucks. I just don’t see that level of anarchy.

It makes me mad though. What if something happens and it gets into the history books and my grand kids ask me, “Hey Grandpa, where were you when the Chicago riots of 2012 took place?”

“Well, kids, I was in Deerfield for work and I missed everything. I wanted to be there and see it with my own eyes but, you know, I was still just a desk jockey and had no control over my own destiny”.

“Oh. Grandpa, that sucks. I’m going to ask Grandma. She was there right?”

“Yes, she was. She was leading a charge of PETA members through Grant Park. They captured the band shell and held that position for three months until all fur products were banned in the United States. Now, will one of you kids help grandpa with his wheelchair? Kids… kids…?”

So I’m annoyed with my company and I’ve never felt more like my freedom to choose where I want to be has been so severely limited. I was explicitly told that I did not have a choice and since I volunteered (in case of emergency) I must report to Deerfield for work on Monday, even if there is no emergency. Even if absolutely nothing happens and everybody just has an awesome picnic in the park, I will still miss it due to the panicky nature of my corporate higher-ups.

So I’ll miss this period in Chicago history due to work and nothing pisses a history lover like me off more than to have missed this moment.   For work, stupid, stupid work. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Must be Tuesday, so I hate you

I sweat the small stuff and almost never worry about the big stuff. It’s just who I am or at least it’s the person I’ve become. I get a little upset when there’s no sugar left at the coffee station at work. All that’s there is the god damn Equal which tastes like powdered asshole.  It is nearly enough to drive me over the edge of sanity and reason and start taking stuffed animals as “hostages” and demand more sugar through a megaphone.

I get very annoyed at the little things. A woman riding the train sat next to me wearing a back pack. She didn’t take the back-pack off but sat down facing the aisle so the back pack took up most of the seat, and mashed up against me. She never looked back. Not even once. Never apologized or had any thought that her large back-pack might be shoved up against a stranger.

Watch your feet when you walk downtown, I take that back, watch other people’s feet when you walk downtown. I can’t tell you how often I get kicked in the bottom of the foot by people not paying attention to the speed or movement of the people in front of them. I just want to turn around and morph into some kind of giant head chomping monster, tear their fool head off their body and spray the remaining crowd with their entrails.

One little thing I think we can all agree on are liars. I can’t stand being lied to. Especially when I know you’re lying. There’s nothing wrong with telling the truth. I hate myself for it too. I’m no angel and I have told my share of white lies but I’m trying very hard to be as truthful as humanly possible. I usually lie to spare someone’s feelings, which I suppose may seem noble but probably isn’t.

Modern technology has given us a lot of amazing gifts, especially in the realm of portable music. However this doesn’t mean I want to hear how much you enjoy rap. That repetitive, constant droning beat over a mumbling speed talker is not how I want to start my morning so let’s turn that down and have respect for the eardrums around you. Or I swear to God I’ll make you listen to 15 hours of Vivaldi.

Stop freaking out about the upcoming NATO event in Chicago. It will not rain chaos down upon the streets. The river will not run red with the blood of international businessmen. Downtown Chicago will not be overturned by a few thousand protestors who can’t even agree on what they are protesting. Chicago will be fine and it should go about as business as usual. Those that want to cause trouble. You suck and should find a new line of work. Maybe volunteering in Africa?

The Catholic Church needs to stop alienating its own people of faith. The Vatican just pointed the finger at some Nun’s for being “radically feminist”. I think they wanted to wear shorts to a picnic or something. Get with it Mr. Pope, we want the loving New Testament God, not the Old Testament wrathful one.  

Well, maybe I worry about a large mix of both small and big things. Maybe everything pisses me off just a little bit. I suppose that’s why I do take such great joy in the times when I can step out and back from the world and just breathe.  

Monday, May 14, 2012


Greg started to pull and poke at his face in the mirror. Puss and gunk came out from under his eyelids and hard crust fell from his lower lids. He squeezed around his nose and more puss oozed out from the pores in his skin. He didn’t scream or cry. He just went about the business of mashing his face up like it was something he did every morning. The facial refuse dropped into the bathroom sink and swirled around in the water like shaving foam.

Greg’s eyes were watery. He felt his heart beating fast but not from fear. He felt that it was amazement. The goo and nastiness coming out of his face was something good it seemed. It was like excising some deep rooted evil just gurgling under the surface of his skin. He just wanted to stop before there was blood. He didn’t want to squeeze so hard that blood started coming out. Greg thought that if blood started coming out then he would be afraid and things would go terribly wrong.

He saw a giant spider in the corner of the bathroom watching him squeeze his face. It was hairy and brown in color. The spider caught an unfelt breeze and drifted toward the dining room and Greg gave it chase. There was something about the spider that reminded Greg of his ex-girlfriend Amy. It sort of had Amy’s face. The Amy spider bounced effortlessly on the dining room walls as Greg closed in behind it and swatted at it with his shoe. Greg’s sister was in the dining room.

“Did you get it”, she asked.

Greg wasn’t sure. He thought he did. It felt like he did. The shoe smacking against the wall seemed satisfying. Somewhere a noise started and it grew louder and louder and Greg was looking up.

Greg’s eye’s opened and he was in his bed. The alarm clock next to him was rattling away with its normal annoying and evil cadence. Greg sat up and smacked the alarm clock snooze button and dropped back down onto the pillow.  He needed five more minutes and then he could get up and function as a regular person.

He sighed with the realization that he had to get up. It was a work day and work needed to be done. He tossed the covers back and slowly pulled himself from his bed. It wasn’t the most comfortable of beds but he did love it so. Greg was already thinking about when he could return to it later that night.

He organized his clothes for work and then headed to the bathroom for his three “S’s”. Shit, shower and shave. He turned on the water and turned toward the mirror. He saw his reflection and thought of the dream. He moved closer to the mirror and inspected the surface of his face. He needed a shave but other than that everything seemed fine. He had an errant eyebrow poking out in the wrong direction, like some sort of counter-revolutionary going against the grain.

Greg opened the medicine cabinet and took out the tweezers. He leaned a little closer to get a good look at this long misbehaving eyebrow hair and grabbed it with the tweezers. He gave it a hard tug and it pulled right out. There was a rush of air from Greg’s face. The hole left by the missing eyebrow was whistling as air rushed out from Greg’s face. He placed his finger over the hole and tried to wake up. He took his finger away and air continued to hiss out. The hole was getting bigger and more air was rushing out. He couldn’t wake up. He wasn’t dreaming. This was happening.

Greg’s thought’s raced to why this could be happening. Was it something he ate? Was it something he did? He flashed to Amy’s face. He did do something. He called her an airhead and told all his friends she was cruel. She wasn’t though. She was beautiful. Was she a witch?  She was sort of dark but he thought that was just a silly Goth thing.

Greg’s legs were getting weak, his arms dropped to his side as he watched his head start to deform. He tried again to stop the rush of air but he collapsed to the bathroom floor in a rubbery pile of Greg.

The rushing water from the tub spout filled the room as steam from the hot water filled the room. The room started pulsing with a musical beat and the walls started to crack.

Amy opened her eyes as her alarm clock radio blasted an Adele song. She stretched out in her bed. She looked over at Greg sleeping through all the noise and she smiled a little.  

Friday, May 11, 2012


The train was rattling
along with the hushed
tones of secrets and

I heard the muffled and
constant sound of stories
being concealed from the
prying ears of strangers.

I could only catch hushed
words like, “belly”, and
“lion face” over the
rumbling, roaring train.

On the sidewalks it was
no different. There were
the mild muted mutterings
of passers-by and the punch
clock heroes jingling through
the din of overhead trains.

“No problems”, and “panty hose”,
“yes, yeas and no’s”, filtered
over the traffic as I struggled to
get to the curious safety of
my cubicle hell.

The office was filled with
more silent conversations,
guttural ascents and denials.
I just wanted the noise to
stop and let me get back
to my quiet bed.

The clock whispers slowly
as I count the seconds until
I can get my ears clear of
all the distraction and

Thursday, May 10, 2012

That’s Gay

In my catholic grammar school days of the 1980’s, the worst possible insults another boy could hurl at another boy was to call them, “gay”, or, “faggot”, or “queer”; especially in front of the girls. The whole idea of homosexuality was so demonized by the church or how parents spoke that the mere thought of someone being a homosexual was punishable by public ostracizing or the occasional fight.  Those phrases were meant to really hurt someone’s feelings.

When I entered high school, an all boy’s catholic high school, everyone was on guard not to do anything the other boys might consider, “gay”. It was a constant mine field of verbal acrobatics not to say something others might judge you for and label you with. It must have been especially hard on those young men who were just discovering their sexuality and where their passions lie.

I was on the fence regarding the whole homosexual issue back then. I was barely figuring out what I liked let alone concerning myself with the desires of others. I was in theater so that of course opened me up to the jock-ocracy that still thought the “homo’s” were to be taunted and teased relentlessly. (Where was Dan Savage then?)

The first time I felt a woman’s breast (under the shirt, over the bra) I was a clearly confirmed heterosexual and I’ve never looked back. Having established my sexual orientation my mind was clear (other than being flooded with thoughts of boobies) to begin the impossible teenage task of judging others based on their behavior. Luckily, I had a wonderful and open group of friends that went along with me on the exploration of teenage life and opened up my world. We learned a lot about what being gay was and that ultimately, it had nothing to do with us straight people.

I remember hearing the punk band Screeching Weasel’s song, “I wanna be a homosexual”, in response to a clearly anti-gay song from another punk band. In “I wanna be a homosexual”; there is a line that essentially says the anti-gay singer of the other band didn’t have the balls to be a queer. That got me thinking about the bravery of those pioneering homosexuals that stepped out of the dark club basements and into the mainstream to show the world that they were there and weren’t going anywhere. No matter how beat-up they got or how many insults they had to endure they would not back down.

I didn’t really compare it to the Civil Rights movement of the sixties but I remember thinking that it does take a lot of balls to be who you are in the face of so much adversity. I got older and people very close to me, whom I may have known my entire life, came out as homosexual. I was completely fine with it because I knew above all that they were good people and their sexual tastes had nothing to do with what kind of loving or caring person they were. In fact, I considered it an honor to know them.

As an adult in my mid-thirties I certainly don’t judge anyone on what they do in the bedroom (unless they’re seducing children or keeping sex slaves chained to a radiator in the basement. That’s wrong). I know that essentially it’s none of my business and as long as they try to lead a loving life then they’re okay with me.

We’ve entered a new era. A far cry from the 1980’s anti-gay slurs hurled between boys on a playground. The open minded people of this country realized the demonizing of any particular group based on their sexual proclivities was just stupid. The homosexual world was brought into the mainstream and I think the country became a better place for a while.

But now I think it has become a Civil Rights issue. The initial pandering to the homosexual community has become something far more concrete and action now needs to be taken. I’m speaking of North Carolina’s recent Marriage Law now part of their State constitution. I think it’s an affront to living a truly decent, loving life.

Here’s what I know about marriage, often times it ends in divorce; which is a sin in the eyes of the Catholic Church. That’s just the statistics and my own personal eye witness perspective. I don’t think God gives a crap about marriage, otherwise he would have had his own son get married at some point or at least say, “Marriage is the most important institution ever”. He didn’t. His son said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, and things like, “Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake”.  Luke 6:20–22.  I, of course, understand this Beatitude can be construed to be more about spreading the word of God against adversity. But I think since God is love, then those that want to embrace that love in marriage are indeed spreading God and Jesus’ message, be they straight or homosexual.

I’ve known a lot of Catholic homosexuals. They are good people with regular jobs and are highly committed to doing what they can to be a benefit to society.  They only wish to do what I do. Find someone to love with all their heart and spend a lifetime together in that love. It’s what God wants for all his children. Love. Compassion. Mercy. Why North Carolina’s populace wants to counter God’s will of loving each other is beyond my ability to comprehend. I’m not a bible beater, but I will throw my Catholic education back in the faces of anyone who thinks God’s love is exclusionary or designed only for straight white people.

I appreciate President Obama’s recent acceptance of same-sex marriage. I think it’s a great step forward in recognizing we are a civilized people and hatred of someone because of whom they love is energy wasted that could be better spent on education, bridges or high speed trains.  

I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’m dizzy from the height. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Curse you work

I’ve got a lot of things to say
today but I’ve no time
to say them in.  

It’s too busy in here,
too much activity at
my desk, on my phone,
in my head.

So I give you this
paltry piece of
nothing just placed to
fill the blankness of
the page. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

If they could see me now…

“Fingers flew furiously over
the faded keyboard while
a foggy framed familiar
focused like a filament
for a few flaming flashes.”

John sat back in his chair and marveled at his magnificent use of words and language. All those college professors that told him he would be nothing would rue the day they ever doubted his literary skill. He cracked his knuckles and returned to the computer keyboard. A smile spread over his fleshy face.

“An idea so incandescent
in its immediacy and irresistible
to interested irises in important

He sat back again and took a breath. It’d never been this easy before. He felt like the words were just pouring out of him. Maybe it was the new coffee creamers or the fact that he used a sugar substitute today. John felt himself sweating.

“Amazing! They’d all
announce as art met
an astoundingly awesome
adjustment. All would adore
and admire for always”.

This was it. This was the one that would get John noticed. That would get him on the review board and then they’d see how wrong they all were about him. They’d apologize to him and crown him the King of Poetry and Prose and he’d never have to work another day in his life. It was going to happen. John could feel it in the pit of his being. He was so close to making the greatest immortal mark a human man can make.

A dog barked and John woke up. He looked down the dark alley toward the street. It was still raining. John pushed the cardboard he was using as a temporary shelter off. It was soaked through now. He felt himself piss his pants again. All that damn rain made him have to go. He yawned. It was so common now he didn’t worry about it. He rubbed his chin and seemed to remember something about his dream. Something about words or letters but John really couldn’t remember. It was Tuesday, or maybe Saturday. Either way, John needed to get somewhere dry. The other garbage was starting to float toward him on long flowing rivers of rain water. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

In tune

I have always really liked The Beatles. Even though I didn’t grow up in the true Beatle era I’ve always really enjoyed them. Recently my local watering hole jukebox was updated with nearly the entire Beatles collection of music and I almost never miss a chance to play something by them. Each and every song has a memory for me and there’s something about the power of music I understand when I listen to it.

I’m most often reminded of the first girl I was ever really in love with. We’d sit in her back yard on summer high school nights with her giant CD player/radio and listen to the Beatles all night while we smoked cigarettes and wondered what the future would bring. It was a wonderful time. I’ve really only barely known that kind of peacefulness.

I find it amazing how much of the Beatles music has been somewhere in the background of my life. I’m amazed how often a song comes into my head on a random day. I don’t want anyone to talk during it. It’s sort of like church or something for me. A sacred moment to be cherished for the few minutes it’s playing. Then life can get back to normal.

I like a lot of music to be sure. There’s a lot of music that moves me and I often times find myself starving for music. So when I hear the Beatles or another band I have a deep affinity for, I feel somewhat sated.

I’m not sure how to put it, but it feels like a warm and welcomed embrace from a lover or a long absent friend. The music starts low in your stomach and rises up through your body and the next thing you know you’re nearly yelling, “Hey Jude”, with happy tears in your eyes.

Not everyone is a Beatles fan and that’s okay. They have a large collection of music and it doesn’t fit everyone’s taste and that’s okay with me. (It just means they have no taste).

Much like Maxwell Silverhammer, I have to get to work. I was off last Friday so Monday has attacked me like a lion strapped to a shark strapped to a Tyrannosaurs. 

“Don’t let me down… do be do-bee-dee”. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I am not an entirely religious man. That is to say more specifically, I’m not a follower of organized religion but I am a person of faith. It sounds contradictory but I assure it is not. I can be a rational human being with a fundamental understanding of how the logical world works but can still marvel in the unknown.

I have a relative who is undergoing one of the most extreme health battles of his entire life. In this time of struggle I did indeed turn to prayer. I asked God to help him and give him strength and for a speedy recovery. I asked God to make the hands of the doctors sure and that medical science saves the day. I did this because I am a man helpless to do much of anything in the face of such odds. I’m not a doctor. I’ve no formal medical training. What I know I’ve picked up from my years sitting at a desk reading medical records as they relate to insurance claims.

It takes a lot to give in to a higher power and ask things of it. I’m no fan of dogmatic recitation of formulaic prayers or the highly ritualized practice of the Church. But I can still open my mind to the possibility of a benevolent, loving, higher power that wants to see his experiment do well.  So I turn to prayer.

We are creatures with free will and the ability to make choices. I choose to believe in science and the human ability to better ourselves though good acts and curiosity. I think blind devotion to a 2000 year old doctrine is a failure to explore the uniqueness of humanity. And yet, I still pray.

I am a man of faith. I have faith that all things will work out as they are supposed to simply because they have no other choice. One way or the other, good or bad, things will work out. I pray because without some ability to existentially remove ourselves from our humdrum lives we would have never moved out of the Stone Age. The building of temples and religious sites led to discoveries in mathematics and science and community which strengthened the minds of our ancestors. They had faith that their survival depended on one another.

So bearing that in mind, I look to the God that helped man discover the science of us and I pray that all that we’ve learned since provides for the safety and well being of my relative in this great time of need.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012


That is probably one of the most painful words in the English language. Unrequited means your feelings, no matter what they are, are not reciprocated in the way they were expressed. It is most commonly associated with love and can be immensely cruel. I know I have been its victim and I know I’ve felt its glare.  It makes me a little sad on both accounts.

I’ve had deep, desperate unrequited feelings for a woman before and she spurned my advances and compliments at every turn. She wasn’t necessarily doing this to be mean, she just didn’t feel the same way about me. I didn’t stalk her or anything; that is when unrequited turns to crazy and I’m not that guy. I’m not going to carve her name in my chest with a sharpened cafeteria spoon and scream poetry into the night while standing on her roof. (The cops warned me about that).

I’ve also spurned the advances of women who were interested in me. They may have felt something deep and powerful for me which I completely ignored. It is not done to be mean, our passions just didn’t line up as we would have liked them to and you can’t very well force it.  It just seems so mean, but we know when that person, whose desire spilleth over, just isn’t the, “one”.

We can logically rationalize it all we like and it certainly makes sense, but it still hurts. There’s nothing like that feeling you get when you imagine the total bliss you and the object of your affections experience as they finally accept you as their one and only. Your imagination makes you believe that the only way to be happy, truly happy, in this life is if this person is with you.  When that happy image is crushed by reality it certainly stings. It’s almost a chemical response in the brain. Endorphin production slows and a peculiar morbidity creeps into the mind.

It feels like the break-up of a long term relationship, but it wasn’t. In fact, it most likely never even happened. And yet, there are lingering feelings, a soft spot when you see that person and nervousness broils in your stomach. A small spark of hope burns that maybe all their protests have been forgotten and they will realize that you were right all along and there’s nothing on this Earth or in Heaven that should keep the two of you apart. But we know that most likely won’t happen and it gets us back to the cruelty of the word unrequited.

I sympathize and empathize with those struggling on both sides of the unrequited see-saw. I sympathize with those that are the object of someone’s heart but don’t want to be and I empathize with those whose heart is out there to get trampled on.

The relationship world isn’t perfect. Mismatches happen every day. Someone always gets hurt, someone else always moves on. It’s not the best system but it is what we have and we’ll just have to make due and hope at some point we never have to worry about our love going unrequited again. (God I hope she likes this).  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Stan wanted her. She was incredible. She had soft, thin features, a gentle complexion; her hair like finely spun hay in the sunshine and her eyes were icy blue. Stan was actually winded when he saw her. Although he might have been out of breath from running to the train which seemed to arrive two minutes earlier than it normally does.

Stan sat in the nearest seat to keep his eye on this vision of Venus, but not so where she could really look at him. She was invested in some paperwork on her lap and appeared to be deep in thought about it. She was absently chewing gently on her thumbnail as the train motored along.

Stan looked at her again, without looking. One of the tricks most men pick up at a very early age. The word ogling came to mind. He wasn’t a pervert or some weirdo that just stared at beautiful women. He was a regular guy enamored by what in his mind was essentially the perfect woman. She wasn’t a supermodel or anything like that but she probably could easily blend in with a crowd of them. He could tell she had taste by her choice of clothing and accessories.

It was then that Stan saw it. The giant wedding ring her left ring finger and his heart slightly sank. Of course this blessed and amazing woman was married. If he had seen her first he would have done everything in his power to keep her for himself. She was probably married within a year of meeting her six foot four, 185 pound high school football coach husband. He’s all lean and muscle, chiseled and square jawed, but slightly balding.  

She flipped through the papers on her lap and looked up. Stan deftly averted his eyes toward the window as if he was merely admiring the passing and familiar scenery along the train route. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and pretended to be thinking about something else. She looked down and adjusted her shirt over her well and perfectly sized breasts. Stan really hadn’t looked at them. He was more taken by her face, but her breasts were clearly well designed in God’s factory. She looked back down at her work and Stan felt that he’d seen a lot of beauty in his life.

He felt that he was pretty lucky to have seen this woman. That in his mind, she was the archetype for the woman that he wanted to be with, to spend time with, admire and smile at all the rest of his days.  He thought of the beautiful women in his life, how each had some spark of beauty he was lucky enough to see. He’d seen glittering eyes, soft lips, loving smiles, felt the passion in their bodies, the desire in their hands. He’d been privileged on more than one occasion to hold such beauty close to his own body and relish in an imaginary world of old age with her.

Stan opened a dialogue with God in his head and thanks him for letting him experience so many beautiful things, so many beautiful women in his life. It seemed like a silly thing to thank God for and perhaps a little petty, but it was sincere. He was truly thankful he’d had so many opportunities to experience the beauty in others.

The train started to slow and Stan stood up as the station swallowed the train car. He took one more look at her and filed her away along with all the other fantastic things he’d been so wildly lucky enough to witness.

The train stopped. He rushed down the stairs and was already cursing the slow moving people milling about in front of him.