Allow Me To Dust Off This Old Chestnut For Your Perusal. Also Known As A Passive-Aggressive Cry For Help?

I have a horrible habit of letting people kind of make me do things. Insert the “You’re the Bear” commentary. I’ll wait. Done? Cool.

I have this ingrained need to help people. I need to help them as much as I need to breathe and it never occurs to me, except in situations precisely like this one, when I am just allowed a moment to think, that there will always be people willing to take advantage of this fact. My good friends, hell even my kid of friends, don’t do this, it is those people on the edge of things, the people in your orbit yet not close enough to you every day to say hello, you know the people I am talking about here. it starts with a little favor, then a bigger one, and so on until I gave that fucking bitch two grand and I didn’t even realize it until way too late. Or when I let that cunt move into my house, destroy a relationship, and kick ME out of MY house. All because I needed to be the White Knight riding to the rescue.

I have learned a few things over the years.

For starters, all of the People in My Heart are not helpless. I am never going to be their Obi-Wan, I am not only okay with this, but it is also a principal column of my sanity. When you make me realize that I am not SUPPOSED to help everyone, my mental health gets a massive boost and I can be as normal as whatever that word means to me.

These insidious motherfuckers though, they worm their way into me because I am about as soft a touch as ever has been. I assume they won’t lie to me, because, I mean, we’re people, right?

No, no we aren’t.

So yet again, and I know some of you are sick and tired of me having this epiphany, trust me, you are way less sick of it than I am of having it. Yet again I sit here with the decision made to, while not necessarily hardening my heart to those in need, perhaps inspect their motives just a little deeper, maybe ask a question or two. Why? Why Me? Why would you possibly need me to look up flight times when you have the internet?

Basic things.

My Tribe knows this does not apply to them, however, I am saying it so I can show them it does not. Friends help friends, it is a cornerstone of the whole word.

For now, more caffeinated bean beverage, maybe with a lot of extra wake up juice added.

Maybe meaning yes.

Thankfulness – My Best Friend and My Air Traffic Controller

Gentle Readers Of Mine,

 

I am going to spend this entire week writing about the people in my life that I am thankful for. They are the people who are, to me, the sun and stars and all the things between them. They give me hope and life and love and laughter and if that isn’t something to be thankful for, what is? Yes, they are being put on here in a particular order. No, I will not tell you why. No, that isn’t the reason. No, it is not what you think it is either. Yes, I am going to keep saying this. No, I will not stop. Yes, I would love some hot and sour soup with extra tofu from Golden Dragon thank you very much.

The world is a terrifying place for me. I am scared of my own shadow most days and, without the help of the two glorious women in this written piece, I would stay inside and send local cats to go and do my grocery shopping for me. I see both of them far less often than I would like and far, far less than they both deserve. However, after all of that, they still put up with me and I cannot express to you the depths of what that means to me. Well, I am about to try, but know in advance that I am not going to do a very good job of the whole thing.

I am going to write far more than I would normally write, so maybe grab an extra cup of coffee, sit back and I will tell you the tale of tales.

I first met my best friend when we were in high school. It isn’t that we didn’t get along or anything, we just were not in the same peer groups. I mean, we were, but we weren’t. It’s a complicated thing that doesn’t matter for any of this. I don’t bring up high school to make either of us sound old, although even saying that sentence makes my rheumatism act up, I say it purely to tell you that there is no one I am not blood-related to that I have known longer than my best friend.

Like all things I do, I am going to tell you a story and then tell you why I told you the story. It is the summation of everything that this woman means to me and it encapsulates all the things that are good about a human being all at once and shows that she possesses all of these traits and more.

Many a year ago, like six I think, the group that was glorious and is no more were sitting around drinking an enormous amount of the cheapest booze we could get our hands-on. Boxed wine and peppery tequila some nights, but mostly window cleaner vodka and rum that you had to be drunk on something else to even call rum. We were laughing, smoking copious amounts of tobacco, and listening and watching the glorious sounds of the nineties and early millennium on YouTube, and, as happens to me far more often than I would care to admit, I fell into a very, very, dark place. Being inebriated helped this situation, not at all and, by the end of my part of the evening, I was lying, shivering and crying on her living room floor repeatedly blowing the bottoms out of paper bags as panic attack after panic attack raked over me.

She sat with me. She sat with me and she made it better. She didn’t belittle me for essentially ruining the evening. She didn’t chastise me for drinking what I did. She didn’t even wag a finger and tell me never again. She laid me down on her couch, wrapped me up in a sheet blanket and kissed my forehead and, I think, sat with me until I fell into asleep. I wish that was the end of the story.

The next morning, hungover and still in that dark place I woke up well before anyone else and sat in her living room and smoked for what seemed like hours. The sadness did nothing but grow and grab me by the throat until I did indeed submit to it. I never did get up and do the thing I was going to do, the thing that I am alluding to so openly I don’t need to name. I didn’t do it because she opened the door to her bedroom, early coffee drinker and all, and I knew I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t because I was at her house, with her kids, away from home and I got that little bit of light that I needed. Not quite the story I usually tell, but the truth nonetheless.

I was undeserving of the act of kindness that saved me the second time. She came to the hospital in the morning that Naomi died. I hadn’t spoken to her in months because I was an idiot who, well I was an idiot. I saw her in the parking lot and, if memory serves, I got about two steps before I simply fell into her and the world went away for a while. I know there were phone calls made, things arranged, even shopping done, but the only thing I remember is falling into welcoming arms and the pain leaving me, if only for a few minutes as oblivion took me.

So, you see, my best friend is better than yours and I am more than happy to say that to the dying breath of my body because the truth can be felt like a thunderbolt when I say it.

She is the encapsulation of joy and hope and love and peace and dignity and kindness and wisdom and forgiveness and I do not deserve her, I do not deserve her at all. Plus, to those of you wondering why I have not said her name, it is because I forgot to ask her permission to do such and when I do, I will gladly come back and edit this. Seeing as it is Thanksgiving week, people are a bit busy, so be patient and you will get it. I am not a fan of seeing the word she in lieu of her name either, so at least you know that part.

Now, some people would think that adding to this would be a stupid thing as I have focused on my best friend, I disagree because the very reason I have become such wonderful friends with my dear Air Traffic Controller is because of my best friend. So, now that your awkward curiosity has been sated by my ham-handed segue, sit back and listen.

Now, I first met Colleen years ago. We did not have the same group of people that we associated with, so I did not get a chance to get to know her until just after my Naomi died and circumstances allowed us to communicate on a more regular basis than what we normally would have otherwise.

One of the first things you need to understand is that Colleen is one of the smartest people I have ever known. Not just book smart mind you, although that is an understatement. No, she has this insight into things that is kind of terrifying. Yes, I tell her that she is terrifying. Not often, but enough that I can tell you that. Colleen can see things twelve steps in advance and, as the Air Traffic Controller nickname can tell you, helps guide me away from the worst of things my brain tells me to think about.

Colleen is no stranger to the Darkness I can assure you, not only does she have her own as we all do, but she can navigate the Dark of others in a way that I have never seen before. Maybe it is as simple as an outsider looking in, but I think it is significantly more than that, and I will tell you why.

I have a fucked-up psyche. I am very well aware of this and Colleen can walk around in there for hours and not only not get lost, which I still do, but tell me things about myself that once I hear I just know they are the truth. There have been times where I have been as close to the edge of things as I like to get and Colleen comes in and, over and over, says the things that need to be said. Not what I need to hear, what NEEDS to be said and all of a sudden I am better. Not fixed, not whole, none of that, just in a place where I can look at myself with a less critical eye and see where to go next with everything. It is, again like her moniker indicates, coordinating hundreds of jumbo jets and making everything land safely. Not always unscratched but by the Goddess they all land.

Colleen is also one of the funniest people I know. it is this delightfully understated humor that catches you off-guard and all of a sudden you are laughing and it is a good feeling that makes you feel warm and happy and there is no expectation of the laugh, that’s it. Colleen is just a funny person naturally, a woman that can tell a story like no other.

Now I need to tell you about the Drums. The Drums and Colleen have connected in my head the same way my children to the word Ducks have. When I think of one, the other is inferred at all times.

One night, in the dark of my head again, I got lost and I was talking to Colleen and through a series of stories, thoughts, and metaphors, the idea of listening to the Drums was implanted. When I hear the Drums I am safe, where I hear the Drums I do not need to worry or fear because the Drums are the primal safety of the Tribe, the People, the comfort and oneness of Home.

I cannot tell you how many times I sit, EVERY DAY, and listen for the Drums. I sit and I calm my breathing and always they come. The rhythmic sound that is calling me to the Fire, to the comfort and absolute security of home.

Now I am not a fan of the term trigger when applied to myself, but I cannot think of a better descriptor word for the Drums. When that thought, not the word but the thought, enters my mind, there is a one-hundred percent success rate in calming me down and bringing me back to where I need to be to continue the day.

I love these women very much. They have been with me for a very long time and they, somehow, still call me their People even after all the nonsense and shenanigans I have put them both through.

Thankful?

I would be physically dead many times over without these women. I would be buried in a psych ward without these women. I would have committed stupid crimes for stupid reasons without these women,

I am as thankful for these two women as I am for nearly anything else in my life. They are two of my nearest and dearest friends, my absolute confidants. They are the walls I bounce ideas and, yes, myself, off of. They hold me when I am broken and do all they can to make sure that only do I heal, but that I am somehow better than I was when I started everything.

To say I am lucky and blessed to know these women is an understatement and I just wish I could have them see themselves as I see them just once, just once so they would see the wonder and joy and Home that they are to a broken, vagabond, Bear from the Valley who belongs where I live about as much as a Polar bear belongs in the Sahara.

Loves to them, loves to you all, I will be back tomorrow with more people and I will continue this until, well, until I am done saying thank you and make all of them feel what I feel every time I think of their name or see their face.

RAWRZ

Be One Of Those That Loves Others For The Sake Of Loving Them

I have always had a Tribe. It doesn’t matter if it was a group of people who I smoked all sorts of illicit things with or people who I loved with all I am, I have always had a Tribe, and I will always have one. Not because it is some en vogue thing to say about one’s self, I say it because I am an utter failure of a human being when I try to do anything by myself. That may sound self-deprecating, and I suppose it is in all honesty, but it is no less true. I need people in my life, support structure. It doesn’t matter what word you use to describe that group of people either. Some say, Tribe, others People, still others say Pack or Coven, Church or Family. Some say all of them and others say things that I can scarce imagine.

The point is that when I tell you are my People, of my Tribe, it means you and I have connected on a level that is above and beyond the daily definition of friendship. I will look out for you as I know you will look out for me. Oddly enough, I will most likely be less likely to ask you for help if you of the chosen I have because, in my mind, you are too close to burden with such things. Yes, I know it is a little stupid and I am actively working on changing that part of myself. I love people, I love people strongly and quickly and I become very protective nearly instantly if I can tell you will be of my Tribe. Those of you who are reading this that I count as mine, you know what I will do for you, you have done for me and the bond is not a gentle thing to separate and it is painful and difficult for both parties involved should it happen.

Why is all of this being spoke of this cold and blustery day here in Western New York? I am honored and privileged to have each and every one of you in my life is why. I do not deserve the vast and nearly limitless kindness each and every one of you has given me and if it takes me thirty lifetimes I swear I will try to give back to you in love and support a thousandth of what you have given to me. I will lift you up higher, love you stronger, support your every endeavor and even if I disagree with you, I will support and love you because it is the right thing to do.

Yeah, I am a little emotional this morning, but, have you met me?

RAWRZ

With Every New Soul Comes A New Beginning, With Every New Beginning Comes A New Tale

Protective. I have always been that person who wants to look after people. Even when I was a bad guy I wanted to make sure that people were safe, well, at least most of them if I have to be honest with you. It is built into who I am, forged by what I came from. I suppose the ultimate deal sealer is when my Ducks came along. I didn’t know what protective was until then, I just thought I knew because I was the Big Bear. When your newborn son has his hands wrapped in your beard and you are whispering to any Goddess that will hear you to forgive you in advance for the violence you will do in the name of protecting this perfect creature, you then that you are protective, or at least that is how it worked for me.

It has caused trouble, yes. I have failed people I wanted to protect, yet. I have even hurt the people I swore I would never see harm come to. I am an imperfect thing and I easily and readily admit to that. I am ashamed of transgressions and things aplenty but what I am not ashamed of, what I will never once be ashamed of, is the effort. I may fail, but by the Goddess and the Darkness That Eats All Things I have never once stopped trying to keep all of them safe. Even the pain I caused was horribly misguided efforts to save them from things that turned out to be lies or delusions of mine and mine alone.

If you know pretty much at all you will know that the friend base I have is very wonderfully tilted towards the gender(s) I am not. I do not have anything against males as a whole, it just seems to be that I make friends easier with people who are not that thing exclusively. If one had to analyze it I suppose it has to do with a need to replace the evil of my mother with a positive feminine influence that I know is not a danger to my psyche, even if that danger is PTSD screaming from the darkest corners of my brain. I am sure there are some other much more pertinent psychological things as well, but it is a choice I make consciously and I think that is the important take away here.

Why do I bring that up? I do because almost exclusively, the people I know that do not need protecting are these wonderful people. There’s is a strength that I envy and fear and I think it is a powerful thing in mind and spirit both. I look up to them, put almost all of them on almost impossibly tall pedestals that I then make ever higher with effusive praise and constantly telling them I love them. It is a balancing act I do not do well and from time to time I need to reevaluate and the line gets drawn again. It is a constant thing, it is what my mind and my heart do and even if I could change it I absolutely would not because it is the way it has always been and they are great and glorious in my eyes even if they are not in their own.

Anyway…

Today is for the creative Bear to scream from mountaintops high and oceans deep. Sweet Siobhan will be back and Pater Noster, which I may have totally forgotten about the other day. Something else as well, something bubbling up, not yet formed as whole. The newness of a thing is not to be rushed lest it be spoiled and we all know a first cannot be repeated.

RAWRZ

In Every Instant A Universe Of Infinite History And Complexity Is Created, Evolved, and Destroyed. Every. Instant.

Siobhan opened her eyes to the Universe that she had created and found herself alone and nude on a beach of red sand under a dusky purple sky. It was cold, not bitterly so, but the Goddess felt the skin all over her body raised as the cool wind blew over her. Unworried and unhurried Siobhan stood from where she lay and found the sand fell from her easily and felt pleasant between her toes. In the distance, there was a smattering of buildings that felt like the place to go. With no hurry, Siobhan walked slowly, feeling the red sand move between her toes like water and the wind, still cold, was just enough to slightly move her hair from in front of her eyes and afforded her a better view of where she was going.

The buildings she slowly neared were of primitive construction, trees with animal skins lashed between branches to bring shelter from any elements, yet the wind could still whistle through as it pleased. The hides that hung on the branches were still dripping blood, freshly caught and skinned. They hadn’t removed the head of the beast that had been slaughtered and it’s eyes, pupils barely visible in all of the white of the eye told Siobhan it had died terrified, and it had been skinned whilst still drawing breath, if such a beast even did such a thing. Siobhan did not recognize the animal, although it seemed as if a half dozen animals had been combined within it to make the thing she saw now. She ran a finger down the cheek of the animal, the blood dripping down her hand as she did so, it’s warmth a reminder of how short a time it had been since it had been killed.

Walking from one construction to the next it appeared as if all of the skins were fresh, the kills an hour old at the longest. Cocking her head to the wind for a moment, Siobhan heard the unmistakable sound of drums in the very short distance. She followed the sound, slowly walking up a small rise in the crimson sand and stopped at the crest of the dune. Below was a small valley filled with thousands of beings. Tall, incredibly pale and nude beings who all were in perfect harmony with the drumming that some did, and the dancing that all the others appeared to be doing. Sitting softly in the red sand Siobhan watched as they performed.

No noises exited them no sounds of breathing, so screams or shouts or hatred or praise, just the drums and the synchronous sounds of the thousands of legs hitting the ground in unison. They danced and drummed, sometimes switching between one and the other and finally it appeared, after a rather long drug performance, that the act was finished. Siobhan maintained her place at the top of the hill, incredibly visible as the only being on such a dark hill. As they cleaned up their drums and formed tight groups, they walked slowly in her direction.

She stood up, and once again the sand fell from her like water and she clasped her hands in front of her and waited for them to notice her, or not notice her if that was their choice. It only took a minute or two before the leader of one of the groups saw her on the top of the hill and made a noise Siobhan could only guess was verbiage before all the groups dropped in unison to their knees and prostrated themselves before her. A single man still stood and he walked towards her and stopped a few meters before he got to her, bowed low and, his head still lowered, spoke to Siobhan His voice was raspy and broken, as if he did not use it very often and his tone was a formality that seemed familiar to Siobhan, yet she could not place the exactness of it at that moment.

“Grr.Greaat Gooddesssss. You honnnnor my Trribbeee.” The words were difficult for him. Siobhan walked towards the prostrate man and touched him on the shoulder and wordlessly bade him rise. He shook slightly as he did so and when he spoke again, whether it be her touch or his fortitude, the words were much clearer and seemed to be without the pain that came before.

“Forgive my earlier difficulties. We do not use the spoken words of The Outside very often. I am Xaosih, I am the speaker. It was foretold before time began that one of us would meet the Pale Goddess on the Red Hill and my family was chosen to be the speaker and ask you what we could do, humbly, to serve you.” As he finished, he took a deep breath and Siobhan knew then that he had practiced that line thousands of times and that is why it came out so smoothly.

Siobhan smiled softly, the tips of her top teeth showing through slightly parted lips. “Xaosih, you have done your duty well. You have proven to be prepared in your moment of testing and you have, in that, served your Goddess nobly.” The long tongue flicked out almost serpent-like twixt teeth. “Walk with me.” She did not look to see if the man followed, she knew he would. Siobhan spoke again, her voice was soft and for his ears only. “Tell Me Xaosih, when you were told that the Pale Goddess was to be on the Red Hill, was there anything else to the prophecy?” She had a memory of something in her mind that made her mouth water just a bit and smile as she asked the question.

Xaosih stood to his full height and Siobhan looked up into his eyes, eyes that gave away nothing and everything all at once. His voice now was loud, a shout that Siobhan knew he was using to tell the others as well as her.

“It was said that when the Pale Goddess came, all the tribe would serve her in the ways she desired. After three turns of the great skin, She would kill all but two of the Tribe. She would drink from their bodies and eat of their flesh. She would choose the new pair to go forth and make a new tribe and she would leave them with another prophecy for when she should return.” He said it with pride, not fear. He knew his whole life that he was to be food for a Goddess and he stood with honor and awaited his fate. The entire tribe had surrounded them now and were standing as tall as he.

Siobhan licked her lips with an expectant swipe of her long tongue and took the hand of Xaosih and kissed the back of it, her tongue wrapping around the hand twice before pulling back into her mouth and letting her taste him ever so slightly. Looking up to him she smiled and spoke.

“Tonight you will service me, then your mate and the strongest male will travel to a new land to begin the Tribe anew and I will feed. I will feed on your flesh and blood yes, but also on sex and power, fear and ecstasy. Come now, lay with your Goddess and fulfill your prophecy.”