Randomness

I don’t really have the drive, desire, or spoons available to write anything at night normally. I always just want to lie down and let my throbbing head throb in the cold and dark of my bedroom. However, a thought occurred to me tonight.

I was watching John Oliver, a episode he did a few weeks back about police reform, and it occurred to me that I used to live in Los Angeles, California. Now when I say I lived in Los Angeles, I don’t mean that I lived in the suburbs, we lived downtown for a couple of years.

I remember the LAPD driving around, handing all of us baseball cards. I’m assuming it was some community outreach thing, or maybe it was just a really nice cop that I just don’t happen to remember seeing constantly. What I do remember, is what was on the back of the baseball cards instead of the statistics that I loved, and still do love, to look at.

What I saw there, was a random police officer, it would give his likes, dislikes, a little like a basic interview format. Nothing important, nothing big.

Except, it kind of was.

Now I’ll be the first one to admit that I could be misremembering this entire thing, but when you are, as I was at the time, five to eight years old, you are highly susceptible to education and propaganda. Your brain is a motherfucking sponge that absorbs information more than life itself. It’s why you start school at that age, it’s why a lot of development happens all at once around that age.

So, I’m sitting here 35 years later realizing that they were handing us baseball cards with the baseball player that we all idolized on one side and an LAPD officer on the other. Now, call me a little jaded my old age, but I have a feeling that we were supposed to associate one with the other.

I may be talking out of my ass here, I understand that, I recognize that.

I remember my favorite baseball player when I was a kid was Eddie Murray. Eddie Murray played first base for the Dodgers and he was my fucking hero. We used to chant his name when we went up to Chavez Ravine to watch the Dodgers play live,and when he did anything, every kid in the goddamn stadium would go insane.

I’m not going to say that I remember the name of the police officer that was on the back of his card, but I remember it was a very tall white guy, and the reason I remember he was very tall, was because he was standing next to his police car, and the roof of it had to have hit him just about at the waist, again childhood embellishment notwithstanding.

So, were the children of the Los Angeles Police Department’s area of influence brainwashed to believe that the hero’s they saw in baseball players should be associated with those who protect and serve?

I am not smart enough to answer this question, I am just the old guy laying in bed with a migraine who had an idea and likes to write in a little blog.

Question everything Gentle Readers, nothing is for free, not even a baseball card.

Music Soothes The Savage In Us, Releases The Primitive, Cages The Demons And Is The Memory We Can Always Count On

It is ironic what can make your heart bleed, isn’t it? For some people it is things that bring happiness and joy, for others, it is that which devastates and brings agony. Most of us are a combination of these things, however. For me, it is music. Music is that which does both for me. I have songs for virtually every mood I am in and the mood that I want to be in. What the music is isn’t so important to this as knowing there is a medium that conveys, nearly perfectly, everything you feel in life. Not everything, no, but enough to call it a majority by a landslide.

The plurality of the available options is staggering, even from the most modern artists. The farther back in time one goes the more exponential the number of things that can be conveyed. Or, and this is a thing that I think is wonderful beyond words, two people can listen to the same song and have diametrically opposite feelings towards it. You can hear me laughing over your weeping and you can see my sobs even as your skin crawls in ecstasy.

Words, while directly describing the feelings from time to time, are not a necessary element. Anyone who has ever listened to Adagio for Strings as arranged by Samuel Barber and felt it the way a great many do knows precisely what this means. Or when you are listening to the bass of the 1812 Overture as the cannons fire over and over or even when you hear the synthesized bass drops of Dubstep. Words may make it easier for things to be understood, but when you feel a song in the center of your soul, you will feel it whether or not it has words or not, I promise.

Examples.

When I listen to Cry Baby by Janis Joplin, even as I type it in fact, I start to tear up because, of all the demons my mother had in her life, and they were nearly infinite, that woman had a phenomenal taste in music and she passed it to her children. Being the hippie of the family, the folk and acid jazz from the sixties were my birthright and it is one of the few things I can thank my mother for without shaking my head in pain or rolling my eyes with sarcasm. Now while every song in the ten years that were the sixties is not known to me of course, enough are that I can close my eyes and remember the scant memories of childhood that are not contaminated with the foulness of everyday life they were dispersed in.

Couples have songs that they call their own. Whether it is in a laughing way or a way that makes you nearly see their love for one another, they are foundational characteristics of the relationship. My own are near and dear to me and I will not name them, it is one of the few things I keep very safe in a very clean room in the back of my mind that I go and sit in at least once a day with my eyes closed and allow myself to remember and feel everything and anything that was Naomi. I cannot do it all day or else I would be nearly catatonic, but when I need to find respite, even for a moment when the world has told me I am a failure for the hundredth time that day, I think of that room and I crawl to it and listen to these songs and smile with a purity I do not deserve.

I did not forget the anger. Music is a very good conductor of this often misunderstood emotion. It is not good to be violent at all times nor is it healthy to be angry at all times. However there are times when you can release that anger into the world, sometimes even by putting the headphones a little tighter, turning up the music a little louder and letting all of your emotions flow as the music takes away from you the foulness that you do not need and have never deserved.

So I ask you, all of you, during this time when we are all, hopefully, distanced from one another physically to tell me your songs that are the balm for your soul if you are comfortable sharing them. Or, if you are not, then simply listen to one of them when you can and find yourself in your own clean room in your mind and heart remembering that which deserves to be remembered the very most.

State Of The Bear – Special Post Visit Edition

I will use the words ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ this once. I will refer to that organization as a cult from this point onward.

I hate it when I know they are coming. I dread the day for weeks on end, if I even get that much notice that they are coming in the first place. They make me feel small and pathetic and worthless in front of my own child and even though I am positive that not ALL of it is intentional, there is no such thing as that much smug and holier-than-thou on accident.

They make my skin crawl, my spirit wither and my temper flare to places it should never go. Someone who is much smarter than I am told me I should write all of this down and get it all out and purge the whole thing from my system, so that is what I am going to do. All of it though, not just this weekend, all of the skeletons.

We wouldn’t have been screwed without them. I say that we would have a lot, but if I had gone back to work, then everything would have remained the same, and that is a good thing in this particular case. I would have worked there until they shut it down, and even that was six or seven years later. All those years without the guilt and the horror show.

I should back up I think.

It all goes back to them refusing to come to Naomi and I’s wedding. Stupid cult politics told them that it was wrong to go to the wedding because they had agreed to the cult publicly shunning their oldest child and only daughter. So they came the day beforehand and threw hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of things into the carts at Walmart and then promptly left without another word. They missed one of the happiest days of their daughter’s life because a cult told them that because she didn’t want to be part of the cult, then she was to be shunned, ignored, chastised and despised, publicly, if not privately. Remember that last part, it becomes the key here in a bit.

Almost exactly three months after we were married, my mother died. I will not unload that dumpster fire here, what matters is that when it happened, I lost it and had a complete breakdown. I spent weeks sitting in my bathtub because it was the only place I felt safe enough to take a deep breath. Now, I got time off and money because of things at work that allowed for that, but I couldn’t go back when they said I had to. I was a shell of a person and for someone who spent as much time in the bathtub as I did, I smelled like old worry and new fear.

Naomi was my everything during those weeks. She made sure I ate, made sure I slept, didn’t laugh at me for the half-dozen completely unnecessary visits to the Emergency Room I made because I was terrified I was about to die. She was, as she always was, my love and life and strength,

She came down to help Naomi more than to help us and while she was here, I was walking up the hill to Wegmans with her and this idea popped into my head, from a place I cannot fathom. Within hours we had decided that we would move our entire life to Quebec and abandon the very nice life we had literally just begun together.

Goddess, I hate the fact that there is so much about that place that I fell in love with. For a former catholic I got to see some of the greatest churches in Western Christendom, I saw the city of cities for Canada and I immersed myself, involuntarily mind you, in an entirely new culture and language. Montreal at night is one of the best places in the world that I have been to. There is nothing you can’t find if you know where to look and what to say in French to get there.

We moved in with them at first. We had nothing at all and Naomi was pregnant with middle duck at that point. What else could we have done?

One of the chief conditions of moving in with them is that we had to go to cult meetings with them. I swear on all I am, I didn’t know how bad they were before sitting down and listening to the nonsensical drivel that came out of these peoples mouths day after day after day. From scripture I literally knew in Latin and Greek being purposely mistranslated and misused to their horrific treatment of their own, and others, and pretty much everything that was in line perfectly.

I truly think if they hadn’t made me fucking shave every day I would have been far more open-minded than I was. Well, I wouldn’t have, but the humor never hurts right?

Let’s fast forward to that horrible day, almost five years ago now.

I called and I had to tell them she died. I had to maintain some form of sanity while I told them that their daughter was gone from the world. In shock, as one could imagine, they immediately got off the phone and headed down to see the boys and me.

Even that day, with their daughter gone but hours, they started it. The guilt, the shame, the looks. I thought they were manifestations of undeserved guilt that I had at first. No, no they were noticed by others that were here with us all. It grew and grew each time I saw them, each visit where they would take the Elder Duck and pretend my other two children, their own grandchildren, didn’t exist unless I was there with them at the time.

Money is how they say I love you. Wow, and did they say it a lot the first few years. Then it was narrow, like a laser beam and they would pump Elder Duck for information, prime him over and over with cult bullshit while dumping mountains of cash and presents on him under the thin guise of the spoiling grandparents. Then, just like that, they started coming once, if that, a year.

At first, I didn’t think anything of it, but I have had some conversations with Elder Duck and I am pretty sure it is because he has the audacity to talk about wanting to be things like an astrophysicist and explore the unknown of the Universe instead of walking behind them lockstep with the other cult members in a country he doesn’t live in.

Now, I have skipped a lot on purpose. I made the most relevant disclosures because everything would be counterproductive and take too damn long.

They make me feel like I killed their daughter.
They make me feel their other grandchildren are Other, Less.
They acknowledge to your face, deny later.

They are my In-laws and I hate them.

I Am Not A Rag For You To Wipe The Leavings Of The Fucking Emotions You Do Not Want To Have On

I usually write things out on my computer and then carefully edit them to make sure I am writing precisely what I want to say and that nothing can be misconstrued in any way. Not this. Fuck being careful and being meticulous.

I am angry and, unlike yesterday where there was nothing I could do lest I have complications of the legal kind threaten me, this time it is as easy as a block and a fuck you and a nice warm shower to wash away the slime. I don’t want to have to do this, and I have been trying not to for so very long, but I refuse to put the emotional welfare of anyone who isn’t my child above and beyond my own. I refuse to sit back and allow my mental health, which let’s be honest is tenuous on the best of days, be injured so that a momentary ego boost can brighten a day. I won’t, I can’t. Fuck you. You’re Gone.

Not gone as in I am going to monologue to you, gone is in you can’t see this because you are already fucking erased. Gone as in today is the last time I will ever say your name out loud other than to tell this fucking tale of bullshit and deception. Gone as in after this, you don’t exist and you can emotionally vampire another motherfucker.

Stories tomorrow, today is done.

 

On The Darkness That Consumes All Things I Swear They Will Not Hurt You Again

I have made more mistakes in my life than I like to admit. I have done wrong to people who loved me and done some of the worst things to some of the people who loved me the most. I was a drug addict, an alcoholic, a thief, a liar. I did violence to others who did nothing to me at all. I did all of those things, and I served my seventeen months at Attica Correctional Facility that is overseen by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. I have been off of drugs for more than twenty years now, and I abandoned all of that life behind me when I left with absolutely no regrets whatsoever.

Some days I get asked things that people think I know because I was, in their words, “one of the bad guys.” I get asked how to add commissary to prisoners accounts, where you go to get booked in the city I live in, and a personal favorite, how long until you get your money back from the bail bondsman after you don’t skip bail.

There, I have bared what I was. I have said the things I have done. I will do this now as I have done a thousand times before and a thousand times after this time.

Why?

When I want to do bad things I make myself write out all of the things I have already done and make myself remember the hell of it all so I don’t go and do the things again just because a neuron fired in a direction it shouldn’t have.

I do not want to go an do drugs, I am secure in my recovery there.

What I want to do is go and make the people who made someone I love, cry I want them to do the very same thing.

I want them to suffer and and i want them to pay a price for hurting someone close to me and I want them to feel exponentially more pain than the person I love felt. I want this so bad I can taste it like copper on a penny.

I have done the legal things I can do to them, there will be a recompense of sorts, if only in a digital way that will not erase the tears that were shed.

I want to do the Darkest of the things, and yet I know the Light I love will not allow me to do these things.

I will not talk about the specifics, this is not my story to tell, it is my anger, however, my wrath, and for that, I am grateful I do not live closer to a place today.