443. My Kingdom Come

My readers know that I am not mechanically inclined or physically gifted. These are givens in Burritospecial Land. Sometimes, however, even I amaze myself with just incredible achievements of self-inflicted stupidity.

Image result for brown brick hearth picturesThirteen years ago I occupied my first counseling office in an old building that had once been a corner pharmacy back in the day. The local church bought it, rehabbed it, and then rented office space to various helpers– a doctor, a psychologist, a group of counselors and a massage therapist or two, and a disturbed end times prepper gunsmith with black teeth. When I took occupancy in July 2004, I immediately painted the four walls and put up a nice wallpaper border of maps and sailing ships, a manly bid to navigation, as if mine were the captain’s office on a mid-sized 19th century frigate.

Image result for sailing ship wallpaper bordersI kept tweaking the decor as I found inspiration. Since it had no windows and felt a bit claustrophobic, I installed some old wood framed windows over a piece of woodsy fabric, creating the illusion of an outside woodland landscape. But that was not enough for Renovatin’ Renoir. I continued to hang pictures and reconfigure the feng shui of the office. I stumbled across a pile of extra bricks the church had not used in its last renovation project– big, over-sized brown Presbyterian bricks. I asked management if I could use them for a fake hearth in my office right below my four fake windows. Ron gave me the go ahead, and I began wheeling them in to my office ten at a time on my old wheely office chair. Very heavy.

Bricks, Stacked, Stack, Pile, ArchitectureHere’s the stupid part:  since I had just painted the wall a lovely golden wheat color, I did not want to mar its matte finish with brick edges and dust. So I drystacked the bricks about a half inch out from the wall, thus depriving them of a solid buttress on one side. The higher the stack, the wobblier it became, but no matter. I had a vision with a mantle of 1 x 6″ pine that would act as a magical cap ballast when completed. Once my hearth was around 36″ high, I added the mantle and the illusion of security and solidity. It did not wobble, though I did wonder about all that weight in one spot. The piece de resistance was a shattered mirror that reflected hundreds of face shards back to the its troubled viewers.

In any event life went on and I received glowing feedback about my decorative genius.

“Oh my!  How nice. It’s like a portal to another place.”

“Cozy. So cozy. What about a fire in it?”

“Is that a real window?”

Image result for brick dust from collapsed building imagesEven my most dull witted readers know where this is going, right? It was a Saturday morning appointment, as I recall. My client was facing the hearth wall and my back was to it. I had put a pot or a candle on the mantle that morning, upsetting the fragile final balance. As we sat down to begin our session, a faint vibration rolled across the wooden floor beneath our cushing butts and created a rumbling, tumbling Presbyterian brown brick avalanche. I saw my client’s mouth and eyes jack open as the bricks crashed across the floor, tumbling toward the back of my armchair. I did not flinch since I knew exactly what was happening. He said, “That can’t be good.” And it wasn’t… as the cloud of brick dust settled around knee level and lower. We continued on with hardly a smirk on either face.

Eventually I rebuilt the pile of bricks along the wall with less enthusiasm but more buttress. For the next three years the faux hearth anchored that far wall. Ron told me to just leave it up when I moved in 2007. I was immensely grateful.

Image result for overloaded bookshelf picturesOh, movement, urgency, shuffling. These things are opportunities for disaster in my world. Which brings us to yesterday at 10:36 a. m. I was chatting politely on my cell phone with a client while facing my desk, upon which my Lenovo laptop lay wide open, playing Accujazz and beaming mindless Facebook info toward my glazed eyes. Three and a half feet above, a shelf I’d installed a while back was overloaded with books I’d recently stacked on it after my daughter began working in the extra, previously known as the storage, room. When I piled the books up, I felt sure that I had anchored that shelf with good long screws into the 16″ OC studs. Well, even the dullest of the dull witted see where this is going, right?

Image result for a computer buried in books picturesSomewhere the fragile balance that had been in effect for two months broke loose. In slow motion, as all trauma victims can attest, I saw 60 pounds of hard and paper back books spill onto me and the floor around me. Miraculously they parted like water and didn’t break or upend a thing. With my one free hand I managed to stop the shelf from also falling outward toward me in my wheely chair. That hand motion managed to redirect the shelf straight down onto my pile of files to the left and the end of my laptop to the right. Crash, boom, karumpfchh! It was really something just short of the Johnstown Library’s Nonfiction Section Flood.

My phone client didn’t even notice the commotion as she was knee deep in two crying toddlers keening for her attention. On my side I remained calm as my daughter came flying around the corner expecting to find my lifeless body beneath a mountain of debris. She stopped in awe of my zen calm. “Dad, I thought you had fallen and hurt yourself, and here you are just chattering on the phone like nothing happened.”Image result for the most interesting man in the world meme

“Yes, remarkable. The thing is, this was not my first rodeo nor will it be my last. I can’t very well preach centeredness and mindfulness while freaking out about an office accident.” The next day I’d learn my computer was ruined. $600 later I’d be back in business with another story to tell about how My Kingdom Came Down Upon Me.

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442. Sir

Related imageOn my way in to Wal Mart this morning to buy paper towels for my office bathroom, the greeter Sean cried out, “Good morning, Sir” as if I were his commanding officer. He refrained from saluting. I would not know how to stand him down since I was never in the military. I know, that’s a shocker for long time readers who know my issues with authority and general lack of seriousness. I greeted him back and wandered through produce and baked goods, knowing precisely where the paper towels were displayed against the back wall, a full acre away. I picked up a goat cheese/walnut salad and some chocolate croissants because I could imagine that the good of the first would cancel out the evil of the second. This sort of counter logical thinking is done by older citizens who are fully aware of their fragile mortality. When I was younger, I would have mindlessly added other sweet and fattening items to my non list and plowed on with my day. Triglycerides and cholesterol were foreign concepts to me then, like moons around Pluto. I wasn’t going there so why bother worrying about them?

On my way out of the self check corral, Sentry Sean caught me again. “Goodbye, Sir. Have a great day.”

“Thanks. You too.” I wanted to say his name and let him know he was doing a super job of greeting despite the slow traffic and dismal weather outside. “Sean, one day you are gonna be managing this warehouse, Son. You have that management aura. You dress and act the part. Well done, my boy.” But I did not. I just pondered the sirness of his greeting. Over the past 15 years I’ve gotten more sirs than ever before. I realize that sir equals old without being explicit about the verbal substitution. Old means weak, feeble, and dunderheaded.  I know I was taught to say sir and ma’am out of respect for my elders back in my pre-elder days. And I did, but now on the other end of the “respect” arrow it doesn’t feel like respect. It feels like pre-dementia code, as if the next thing out of Sean’s mouth might be, “Can I get you a golf cart, sir?” meaning “Don’t buy the green bananas, old man, or stock up on soap and paper products. Think of your heirs and the mess they will have disposing of it all after you are… you know, gone.”Image result for old men in a golf cart pictures

Perhaps I was going too far too fast in my associations. I have a tendency to do that. But that three letter moniker SIR itched like a finely curled hair in my ear. I had to pull it out before a field of ear hairs sprouted up dandelionishly, driving me madly to the State Mental Hospital even sooner than my wife had planned.  At my competency hearing I did not want to explain that it all began with a simple “Sir” at the door to Wal Mart on a damp spring Wednesday morning. I’d be afraid that I’d launch into Cat Stevens’ version of “Morning Has Broken”, and then I’d likely riff on the lyrics until I had firmly convinced the mental health advocate and attorney that I needed more lock down time.Image result for cat stevens photos

Morning has broken                   like the first morning
Blackbird, Sean,                           has spoken like the first bird
Praise for his greeting               Praise for his pure heart
Praise for him calling me         “Sir, a golf cart?”

Sweet the fresh croissants,      and the goat cheese salad
Like the first dewfall                  on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness           of the moist choc’late
And towels absorbant               where my hands pass

Mine is the Wal Mart                 In the damp morning
Born of the one light                  Sam Walton saw play
Praise with elation,                   praise ev’ry low price
Sam’s re-creation                       of the new day

Morning has broken                 Amen.

Analyze ThisYeah, I’d give myself an extra six months on that mash up alone. Not only had morning broken but it had come unglued. “His reality seems to fall like snow flakes in a blizzard, drifting where ever the wind blows”, the chart note would read. “Do not release him.”

Once I drove out of the parking lot, it dawned on me that we have several three letter words that designate concepts/relationships throughout our lives. Kid was the first one that came to mind. Growing up in the cookie cutter suburbs of northern Virginia in the 1960’s, there were so many Baby Boom children running loose that adults couldn’t possibly know everyone’s name. “Hey, kid…” was not an unusual call. In my case it was often followed by “…knock it off” or “quit it” or “I’m gonna tell your parents”.Image result for 1960's kids usa playing images

Folks who were not so distant might call you Son. “Now Son, the window is broken because you and Timmy were playing Army with real rocks.”  Or “Son, I’m loading this gun with rock salt so I don’t kill you.” Or “Son, I told you about cutting through my yard.”

Then there is the intimate, endearing three letter term Bud, as in “How are you, Bud?”  “I’ll have another Bud or Bud Light.” Bud light may actually be the on ramp to deeper friendship. You are a bud until you hatch out into a truly vetted friend. “So how is your bud Sam?”  “Sam is a forever friend now; thanks for asking.”  A certain familiarity is implied in Bud. The Brits call their buds Mates. Perhaps that only muddles the discussion, though, since in the U.S. mating with buds is frowned upon, as in England budding with mates is likewise discouraged.Image result for wayne's world photos

My most dreaded three letter handle of all is Pop. I can’t imagine being comfortable with younger folks, familiar or strange, calling me Pop or Pops.  I know how I feel when I am stuck behind Pops in a big American made car turning slowly in the left lane of Route 30. “Come on, Pops!” I exclaim to the inside of my windshield. “Can I get you a golf cart?”

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441. Mesmerorials

 

 

[my apologies to blog only connections. I sometimes have great difficulty posting to facebook and have to reconfigure my postings to publish there.]

Image result for rainy spring day photosIt smells like spring again, fertile wet soil and pollen dust colliding into rare swirling perfumes. A rabbit has a nest under my back deck, which is driving my grand-dog Kermit insane as she sniffs through the deck boards and digs around the outer edges. She is  determined to rout and ravage that rascally rabbit. Meanwhile Momma rabbit has a buffet of lettuce and asparagus mere hops away from her babies. She is no fool, but I might have to shoot her later. I am not running a bunny hostel after all. No Hugh Hefner here. I have no interest and no license for raising wildlife in my back yard.  Facts is facts, Ma’am. Life is both sweet and harsh. The check out time is .22 magnum o’clock, Bunny girl.

Image result for two ducks on a pond picturesA pair of ducks also like to drop in on our little fish pond for an evening bath. Kermit the pool guard keeps limited hours, however. The pond is usually closed these days. “I’ll see your pair of ducks and raze you three rabbits”, she would say if she could talk. She is an elegant coon hound/ doberman mix who lopes like a deer across the yard, chasing anything on the ground. The only time I’ve heard her bark was when she was locked in mortal battle with a ground hog under the arbor vitae. I put a bullet through the groundhog and that was that. Sweet and harsh, so it was.

Image result for paintings of foreverSomething gets in me on cloudy spring days, melancholy or some other vague mood with no name. I don’t write on glorious sunny days. No. Instead I’ll plant flowers or cut the grass. Maybe go for a bike ride. But on these pewter gray haze days my mind wanders down emotional bunny trails, across memory lanes, around curious cul de sacs seeking deeper introversion… Meaning or at least equilibrium.

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I’m not good at most things that people pursue– money, organization, athletics, power, status, career advancement, big houses and fancy cars. But God did bless me with proficiency in language. I can speak, joke, teach, write, counsel, sing, or banter fairly well. And I’m glad for that, even though I would have traded anything to have been a great ball player in any sport when I was a sulky kid in uniforms that fit bigger boys. I see old pictures of myself and just wish I could tell that freckled kid to be patient, “Your day will come. It all works out wonderfully.”  But he can’t hear me through the yellow film covering the old Kodak snapshot. I suppose I would not l listen to my 75 year old self today if he suddenly whispered to me across the years between us. ‘Life is lived through the windshield and understood through the rear view mirror’, someone else said. Oddly or not, I am driving into my elder days and seeing my life in the rear view mirror as a dream, still unfolding in themes and mysteries. Thank  God I did not find my meaning and voice in money or sex or athletic prowess since they fail and eventually fade away. They are not the destination but merely glamorous bill boards hogging up the landscape along the lonely highway to meaning.Image result for paintings of remorse by dali

I know I should finish my billing, especially since my future son-in-law Zach dutifully fine tuned my computer yesterday. I’m sleep walking, though, dreamily pondering life, the parts and the whole of it. You know heal means whole, and so to be healthy is to be whole.

Old English hælan “cure; save; make whole, sound and well,” from Proto-Germanic *hailjan (cf. Old Saxon helian, Old Norse heila, Old Frisian hela, Dutch helen, German heilen, Gothic ga-hailjan “to heal, cure”), literally “to make whole”. 

This stuff fascinates me, my friends. Like mythology, language is random, illogical and eccentric. So naturally I am all in. Heck, my mother’s name was Helen, and I never fit all that together until this minute. On some level to be with one’s mother is to be whole and healed. She is literally where you came from, pal.  I see it in my grand daughter when she cuddles into her mom’s lap, as if returning to the womb. The parts cease their separate isolation when they are rejoined in the whole. Ultimately the whole for believers is a place of health and saving and wholeness known as heaven, where we will crawl on God’s lap again. Call it what you will.Image result for child on God's lap paintings

 

Yesterday I sat at a memorial service for a friend. Chris Little. Pastor. Husband. Father, Quite a man in my estimation. I posted about him last year when he died. It remains my all time high post for visits. And that’s as it should be. He deserved so much because he gave so much, dying in his newly tilled garden last April. Chris tilled a much larger garden, however:  his congregation of twenty years.  What did he plant? The Fruits of the Holy Spirit, according to Paul the Apostle in his Letter to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience),kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Over and over and over he planted, trusting in God to harvest the outcomes of such rich roots, seeds and bulbs. I knew him for only a few years, but I saw deep into the hull works of his character. How long do you have to sail in a worthy ship to know and trust it in harsh weather? Not so long.Rev. Christopher T. Little

The Harvest… will continue to trickle in to church and in to love and in to family and in to heaven. Wave after wave polishing jagged human stones till they are smooth gems fit for a celestial crown. My wish for you, Chris, is contained in Dylan’s old young song.Image result for polished stones by seashore pictures

“Forever Young”

May God bless and keep you always

May your wishes all come true

May you always do for others

And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars

And climb on every rung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous

Stand upright and be strong

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy

May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful

And may your song always be sung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

 

I just want to check every box, my friend.  Till then.

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440. Choices

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I was all geared up to finish my insurance billing this morning after my lower back x-ray, which I breezed through. Literally five minutes in and out of the hospital and I was on my way to conquering this drizzly spring Saturday. I stopped by the office and engaged my computer. Wrote myself a check for monthly wages and went to the bank so I could breeze through there when it opened at 8:30. I was first in line. The only guy who did not have a grizzled beard and a pick up truck or a little dip. The next six guys in line seemed to know each other from hunting or a social club.

Image result for duck dynasty guys at a bank pictures“I seen your brother yesterday.”

“Oh didja? He said he came in town for breakfast.”

“The club puts out a good breakfast, so it does.”

The older, tightly curled, bubbly teller opened the bank and offered up, “I’m available for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”  There were no takers. Always a bridesmaid, I suppose.

Image result for rusted pick up truck picturesIt was oddly familiar banter that will never include me, the city bred transplant. I don’t have a rusted Dodge truck with a tree stand hanging out the bed. I was wearing Crocs with bright socks not dirty boots or sneakers with paint on them. On my way to get a latte… two clicks away from being gay. Hey, judging can go both ways, I suppose.

Image result for powdered baby butt picturesOff to park for free on a Saturday morning and get a small latte with vanilla to fuel my next two hours of manic billing. Zoom, zoom. Smooth as a baby’s powdered butt, my day was silky. But as I climbed the stairs to my office, I did not hear my Accujazz organ music playing. Hmmm, perhaps the station had a glitch. I’ll just click off and around and get on with my billing. Click, click, click. No internet connection. Well ding, dang, dong! Here I am all ready to go and technology has betrayed me. Hmmm, I know: I’ll just type out my invoices that need to be mailed out the old fashioned way. I can kill some time and maybe my connection will return.

 work computer monkey mouse working GIFSo I began my first invoice and sent it to the printer, which sat on idle, repeatedly. I felt surrounded by foreign entities again. I did not speak techno language and was stumped again. No wifi. I don’t remember these problems when I was just directly connected to the phone line in the good old slowski turtle days. When paper was still an option. When Plan B really was a plan not an empty platitude. When real people who spoke English answered the phone.Image result for man pulling out hair pictures

Okay, unplug the laptop and take the files home. Hook up to wifi at home. Genius. I will not admit defeat. So I gathered up my stuff and headed home, a little disjointed but still optimistic. I was going to prevail. Plus the latte was kicking my heart rate and blood pressure up as I scuttled about. I pushed the speed limit home in my little Honda Civic, pedal to the metal under my socks in Crocs. Don’t cross me, Jeep guy. I will ram you.

Image result for laptop picturesFinally home, I settled at the dining room table and powered up. Then I realized I had no idea how to connect to my home wifi, and the folks who did were out grocery shopping. I tried to remember my user name and most recent password. I was wrong, but the website corrected my username, leaving me to recall Bob Dylan 09 as my password. Which was unrecognized along with Leonard Cohen 07, Van Morrison 05, Keith Richards 03, Jackie Wilson 01. I was out of options. I felt anger rising in my belly and wanted to say fricative curse words, but my innocent youngest daughter was sitting at the table and I borrowed her conscience for the moment.Image result for topanga pictures

Hmmmm, I don’t want to get angry though I feel anger is in the foyer of my being, waiting to be welcomed into my living room. Options, options, options. What would I tell my clients with intermittent explosive disorder and anger management issues? Keep looking, stretching the fuse. Oh, I can log on downstairs with the home computer. Certainly, certainly. It’s all starting to fit together, yep. I am going to prevail.Image result for mc escher pictures of man walking downstairs

Took my stack of files downstairs and logged on to the electronic billing site. Up came the familiar blanks to be filled in. I felt victorious until the second or third screen, where a message in bold red told me that my provider header was not complete. I think that means the website detected a different computer inputting information, i.e., I was screwed.  Now alone in the basement I let a few fricatives escape my tense lips. “Stinkin’ petunias!!” All these time saving, energy saving paperless avenues of efficiency were simply pissing me off. At least with paper I could write out my codes and costs and mail the HICFA form off in hopes of acceptance and payment. But no longer. Progress betrays the way back, defunds it, burns the bridges to the Old Country of Slowskyvania.

Doggonit to dingleberries!!! What am I to do? Well, on other occasions I took my frustrations and anger to the keyboard and converted them to blog posts, turning lemons into lemon vinegar. I decided to do it again. It would take me an hour or so, and by the end I’d have something to show for my frustration. Plus, I needed to do laundry since I was wearing my last clean pair of underwear. Slowly a peace came over me. I was using a form of technology to process my anger and frustration with another form of technology. Image result for psychedelic  images

Though I had not achieved the thing I sought, I felt somewhat better by producing something else this morning. Something that will not pay the bills or make my job any easier, but my car insurance deductible will be okay since I don’t have to ram a Jeep any longer.

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439. Rescinding what I recently re-sent minus any resentment

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Recently I said NATO was obsolete. However, now that I have thought about the subject with the leader of NATO at the podium next to mine, and with Russia continuing to run amok in Syria, the Ukraine, and all areas of international conflict, I now believe that NATO is not obsolete. What I said in air quotes was “NATO would be obsolete if I said it was obsolete.” Notice the quotes, which means that I didn’t really mean what you heard me say. So, let Shawn Spicer know this: Let it be written;  let it be dunced. Stop the presses, my adoring, historically hysterically unsurpassed mass approvalists of me. I have yet again promised psychic alchemy and economic utopia but farted Chanel # 5 and you like it. Say it with me, “We Like It”. I call it ‘the fart of the deal’, which means that I call the shots and you like it.

How can I operate so intuitively and seemingly without a conscience? I am flexible. No one is more flexible than I am, believe me. I do not allow memory, morality or history to get in the way of my visions and prevarications. You see, a good memory or accurate history only confuse the flexible man who lives in the here and now. By operating in the here and now, I can believe –like an extreme right wing Republican– in locking up women who have abortions without considering that I was once a pro choice Democrat. I do this seamlessly, automatically even, when I need the Christian Right extremists’ votes, just as you might blink when a speck of dust litters your eyeball. Blink away the dust in the wind reflexively and all is new.

This is why I am so successful in making deals: I forget or conveniently deny previous offers and/or counteroffers.  I operate without a past, no ledger or accounting sheet, no tax returns or messy out of court settlements are gonna get in my way. I promise big, no, huge, future returns. I turn up the volume like a brass marching band, and you get swept up in the martial music; you march with me, forgetting or choosing like me not to remember the chasm ahead of us. March on, my automatons, no one loves sincerity more than I do. Trust me. Ah, Chanel #5 in the morning is a most glorious odor.

When the truth becomes a super heated butter knife, and it’s rug cutting time, I deflect the other party (ies) with crap I throw out of my speeding escape vehicle. I never pull over or slow down. Never apologize or own responsibility that can be pawned off onto others. I only know how to accelerate, attack, and/or hit back. Slowing down or pulling over is for losers who want to go back to jail. Facts are for losers. Honesty is a prison that holds down the strong.  I prefer heroes who are not captured or inconvenienced by real world struggles. I, for instance, was never a POW because I avoided service due to my flat feet and my father’s money.  My heroes are super beings such as I am, who slip from the gravity of rules or boundaries and conventions. In my biography, Mein Trumpf, (Amazon $29.95) I detail how I alone could command Valhalla. On page 278 I quote myself,

“It’s really amazing to be so great and unchallengeable. I always knew I was special, like the bull on Wall Street– magnificent, bronze, immovable, virile, good looking and aggressive. I knew one day I would mate mightily and conquer the lands of silk and honeys. Like Thor I would thunder across the universe while lesser beings would shiver in fear. Believe me, no problem there. Look at these hands. Nothing tiny here.”

And on page 198, “I did not go to Vietnam because I had a business to build, an empire in real estate to establish. I knew I would one day solve the economic injustice and unfair tax burdens that caused the Vietnam War to begin with. I made deals with Ho Chi Minh in the Hotel Hanoi. Ho was a nice man, a close friend, who did not want to offend me. He was polite and warm. So, indirectly, although some lawyers would say DIRECTLY, I resolved the Vietnam War single-handedly and never got credit for it.”

As for my tax returns, that was so easy. Some people say I lied, Okay? I gave a fake answer to a fake reporter who had blood in her eyes, her ears, her… whatever.   I am not responsible for them quoting me in their fake news stories and trying to crucify me on factual crosses of accountability. Great men cannot be nailed down. Only weak men are crucified. Reporters and the media are truly awful petty people who tear the great men down. Sad, really. Like Bill O’Reilly, Mike Flynn, General Petraeus– we have all been assailed by tiny ants, infected by viral pests who envy our status and virility. Sure, we talk locker room stuff and grab women’s genitalia, but what straight man doesn’t?  My pal Steve Bannon once told me that we should have bronze sculptures made of the four of us in a fountain at the White House. You know, like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I’d be scaled to sixty feet while they remained merely mortal sized, but these great patriots deserve a seat at my fountain, if for no other reason than to bathe in my glory.

Lately I’m getting annoyed at Assad and Kim What’s His Name in North Korea. They are so arrogant and want to play by their own rules. What’s even worse is that I can’t build a hotel in Damascus or Pyongpang with my name on it. Those guys are so self aggrandizing. Really, it’s sickening. They have grabbed control of  their respective countries and shut down any accountability. Their fake news is even faker than our fake news. Terrible. They have ignored or rewritten history to shine their behinds. It’s sad. Really sad. Neither of them can Twitter like I do. Tiny hands. Plus their wives cannot hold a candle to Melania. So hot. So I’m gonna bomb the hell out of them. Eric and Ivanka think it’s a good idea, and Ivanka is always right because she goes to Jared.

It’s great being me. Being me is great. I am great. I need to get back to my executive orders– renaming and branding is what I do best. Let’s see, Trump Canyon, Mt. Trumpmore, The Statue of Trumpity, The Donald Gate Bridge, Lake Donald J. Superior. A great country needs a great brand:  Trumpmerica! Yeah. God I’m brilliant.

People love me, I think, because I say what they think I say, which is hypnotic, erotic and often psychotic, but trust me like you would with your little sister in the sauna, never despotic. You have my word.

 

 

 

 

 

438. Anno Cinco

 

WordPress sent me news that I have been at this blogging business for five years now. Wow! I thought. That’s not possible. And yet, there it is. Over these five years I have found a rhythm sometimes and a destination occasionally. Rarely both in the same post. Eventually I settled on the thousand word limit for some reason. I know that’s a lot to read, but I don’t write dense poetry. I tend to wander and freely associate my thoughts. , which you should know by now. Or not.

Sometimes I look back and wonder what I was smoking. A couple of readers have had the audacity to ask me if I write under the influence. Well, yes, but not that kind of influence. A mood or an idea will arise in me and then my mind polishes it or deconstructs it. I noodle around with the concept until a thread appears. A bumper sticker in front of me on the way to work; a partial dream; a real experience; a memory; and songs; all seem to conspire with my addled brain to ferment into blog posts. You can make alcohol out of any organic thing, right? Most of the choices are horrendous, like red beet and asparagus wine. Yet, through trial and error and more error, good grapes, corn, and fine barley have been fermented and distilled into lovely wines, liquors, and beer. Along the way many guinea pigs died, but that is the cost of progress. My posts?  Maybe rise to the level of an off brand mouthwash. Still, I continue mixing up the raw materials in hopes of a potable draft.

Sometimes an insightful person will observe, “It must be really wild inside your brain.” I guess it is. And to some degree this blog is a tour of my inner world’s thoughts and values and emotions… and quirks. I am quirky, which I think should be added to the LGBT-Q-RSTUV-WXYZ community’s tag for unconventional folks. I am not queer in sexuality, I think, but I am certainly quirky in my view of life.

My office is painted with a mural of the desert mountains around Tucson plus my phantasmagorical touches… Big Ben in the desert wash; hot air balloons on the horizon; eagles’ nests on the ledges of rock columns; a clock face on the immense white sun.  In a visual manner it feels like a scene from inside my brain. It is a location I deeply love and deeply crave. Since I could not relocate there, I relocated an image of it here. And again, I believe that tells you something about my mind, spirit and will.  If I can’t got to see Van Gogh’s paintings at the museum, I can hang prints on my walls. So I do. If I can’t hang out with Bob Dylan, I can listen to him on Pandora.

I can’t be bothered with what visitors think of my artwork, any more than I worry about their opinion of my socks or shirts or haircut. (I would like feedback if my zipper is down.) It’s like worrying about money you had left on a Metro pass from 1988.  Too petty… Tom Petty… Free Falling. Not worth firing a neuron over. “You are Fired!” and after the firing, “You’re fried!” That’s how I roll along. I am not superior to others; I just do not feel accountable to their judgments…but why step in sewage if you don’t have to? Hold your nose and walk across the bridge.

So, from Happy Anniversary to poop sludge. What a journey!  What have I learned?, you have not asked.  Well, privacy is a dynamic thing. I’ve shared a lot of stuff on these posts. It’s not always about me. I realize that in writer mode I value the story over most everything else. I feel compelled to tell stories. Unfortunately I have overshared a few times and been chided for it. The goal has always been to work for the story not to ingratiate myself with folks. That’s harsh at times, which means I am harsh at times. Blunt also, like a blunt instrument, a club for instance. I don’t write surgically or prettily. No, I tend to gush out globs and granules of my inner reality onto the blank white space before me. Just go, and then try to figure out where.

Which leads back to rhythm and destination. If destination is the grand point of it all, the message or theme, the big finale, then I often miss any destination. It’s just a train ride to nowhere, and I try to keep the atmosphere on the train engrossing or expansive or  entertaining. So strangely enough the rhythm is the destination. Like a snake eating its own tail…

437. My Buddy Vlad

Image result for gadhafi picturesImage result for fidel castro picturesImage result for assad picturesI’ve been thinking of international thugs and killers lately. I have an intense dislike for tyrants and despots:  Noriega, Gadhafi, Castro, Assad, Saddam Hussein, the usual suspects. (Isis is just too broad to get at; their leaders get rubbed out quicker than gnats on a late November day.) I’ve posted about Kim Young Fool of North Korea, my favorite grease fed fool with the stupid haircut. He looks like a spoiled five year old who ran unchaperoned through all you can eat buffets and escaped any discipline. I haven’t heard anything back from him yet.  Then there are rogue imams who whip up their faithful to violent jihads, turning faith tenets into rivers of blood.A bailiff attempted to silence Saddam Hussein, who yelled at the court while the verdict of his trial was delivered in Baghdad on Nov. 5, 2006. The court sentenced Hussein to death for his role in the 1982 slayings of 148 Shi'ite Muslims from a town where assassins had tried to kill him.Image result for noriega pictures

They share a certain crazed swagger, and due to this drunk duck walking, they will fall. All dictators eventually do. My problem is all the injustice, torture, maiming and murder that go on under their reigns of terror. It would be a bit more acceptable if these thugs simply admitted that they were evil and corrupt sociopathic megalomaniacs who prey on their populace without mercy or guilt. But no, these guys pretend to be patriots or spiritual leaders of some sort, messiahs who have been anointed by something other than the rule of law to rape, pillage, and raze societies, while protecting their exceptionally holy way of  life and personal wealth. They take and take and take, shamelessly building temples to themselves and destroying the groups they rule, materially and then spiritually.Image result for wasteland pictures

My buddy Vlad, though, he is a slippery eel of a dictator and international manipulator. He appears to be legitimate somewhere, somehow to someone who is likely to be afraid of him. Rising from the old KGB, he managed to create a “Russia First” mentality and launch a long term “Make Russia Great Again” campaign. Surrounding himself with mafia type oligarchs flush with ill gotten gains, he put on the Olympics in Soshi, then helped himself to Crimea for dessert. His unlabeled Russian troops invaded Ukraine, pretending to be local patriots. Sneakily effective. He don’t need no stinking laws.Image result for russian soldiers in ukraine pictures

Vlad did not gasp or cry foul when the world condemned his aggression. He just kept lying, running the plausible deniability game, i.e., keep lying until the lie is accepted as truth. Indeed. “Ze Ukrainian peoples just ask us for leetle bit of help, veech ve so kindly deleevered.” Meanwhile in Syria Vlad rubbed his bare chest up against the well dressed weasel Assad and created an alliance that would frustrate the United States supportive fight against Isis. Once again, while pretending to be for peace and order, Vlad undermined both by bombing any resistance to an evil puppet dictator. But that’s how Vlad is.Image result for syrian devastation pictures

Back in elementary school he was the model student, the eye of the storm at all times. Once in Svetlana Valkeryie’s level 5 class, I witnessed Vlad stoically stare into Ms. Valkeryie’s eyes while his henchmen were ransacking the lunches of our comrades in the cloakroom. He recited Communist Party poems with surgical precision as boxes and bags were pilfered and pillaged mere meters away. He had that hypnotic stare, like a cobra that charms its snake handler. Meanwhile, he enriched himself in plain sight of authority. He has always held authority in contempt.Image result for snake charmer pictures

Vlad was always the quiet victor.  His smile, and I’m not the only one who believed this, was like two rows of bullets pointing at each other. Never did you wish to provoke a smile from him because it would be followed by gunpowder, death, and cover up.

In Level 6 Vlad was elected president of the High Elementary Socialists’ Council of Comrades. The strange part of that story is that he did not run for Council. Two other boys were involved in a super-heated campaign, full of dirty tricks and character assassination. Leonid Sharansky was locked in mortal combat with Nikolai Petroika. They drew nasty facial hair on each other’s posters, even ripping them down in passionate prepubescent political rages. Then suddenly and mysteriously these boys were disappeared, never to be heard from again. In the aftermath and turmoil of the vacuum of leadership created by the missing boys, Mister Mikhail Kisalevsky asked Vlad if he would consider leading the school forward as it was also his Socialist duty to the ideals of Lenin and Marx. Vlad said nothing; he simply nodded ruthlessly and accepted the office truthlessly. It was first of many coronations to come.Image result for putin being honored pictures

In Level 7 the next year we witnessed the demonic powers of Vlad. Mr. Petrosharpov noted one fateful day that Vlad had a zeet on the point of his nose. He made some small joke at Vlad’s expense. No one else dared to snicker. The next day Mr. Petrosharpov’s lifeless body was found crumpled over the coffee machine in the teachers lounge with a tiny poison dart stuck in his neck. No one doubted where the dart came from, but likewise no one was foolish enough to speak of it. Mr. Petrosharpov’s death was ruled a suicide by the coroner, a relative of the Putins.  Caffeine overdose. Vlad was first place in assassination class.Image result for putin adversary shot pictures

But now he is so big. We are so very proud of Vlad. No one needs a gun in his ear to say so. But a little barrel to one’s temple does not hurt. No? As he grew like James Bond, he collected intelligence on many other despots, their secret poop. Espionage and blackmail are very handy skill set. Like keeds in Elementary school, Vlad manipulated world stage players, one after the other. They were putty in Putin’s hands. ( This is very funny joke in Russian language that cannot be translated.) His secret was to find most arrogant nit vits to parasite on, like teek on big deer. Silently, he killed off one after the other with only a squint or a sneer.Image result for putin pictures

So now at fiftieeth school reunion, ve are all so pumped up to see Vlad and his many secret body guards. I hope he vears a shirt this year. Last time vas so awkvard for men who did vear shirts. I felt like penguin at nude beach.

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