Moribund< out of touch.

There is a false dichotomy spreading across this nation.  Rather than bridging the abyss, the ravine grows colder,  deeper and in disrepair.  Mountains rumble, at  loss.  Time is suspended.   The cloudy white milk pours from deciduous pine trees, while hawks lurk high above in their rarefied air,  sending out notice, to prey.

Fear not the rain, nor the  poles, nor the mighty storms at sea.  They drain and sustain creating rivulets and rivers, of disparaging diversity.    Conditional causes, which do not change matter, but subverts it.  Hollowing trees, scattering bees and bees being boarders in their own land.  baby102

We walk a tight rope and swing from literal AND LIBERAL vines.  We have no time for childish dreams, yet we are the epitome of games and rancor.  We flourish with pens,  inks and blotters, we stutter with jurisprudence.

My own odyssey was  Quixotic.  It started out with being sequestered in a Mental Hospital in Raleigh,  NC.   That lasted about eight days.  The reason for the visit to the ER was a Major Seizure Attack.  The adventure had morphed into a kind of confinement,  a suggestion of mental entanglement.  Upon release, I contacted the hospital and with swift hyperbole,  I mounted their unilateral conjecture,  into a scathing injunction to repartee with a patient.   I MADE MY POINT.  Essentially  saying, “do not condescend to me and patients alike”.

 

I may again at some time during the next couple of weeks.  For right now,  more terrible blogs,   for you to enjoy and me to destroy.   Peace.

 

 

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Incomodious Odes

King

It is pleasing to be pleased AND more than desirable to be desired.   To be desirous of being another one is  better than being a Kate in the Bush or rather two Kates or Phoebe Cates is a conundrums or two out of a pool.

Does the smell of a sagacious skunk offset it’s perspicacious  nature and esoteric wit?   Does the dying flower die to be on it’s own grave?   Is Willy Wonka a policy wonk or a Hershey’s kiss desired?

Every rose has it’s scones and every Knight has his flower,  so by that are we to assume,  that a stinky rose’s prick a knife?  Just wondering my friends….   I guess that makes me wonder what I am not sure.

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She Fell in Love. Can’t be help responsible!

Back in 1974,  I was a kid,   only 18 years and probably was witness in some way to a date rape.   It sure felt like it because as I was leaving out the dorm that night,  guys were pulling a train on a teen girl and some guy asked me if I wanted to have ‘some.’   I said, “no.”   And besides,  the choice of words haunts me too as well as the whimpering that went along with her disorientation.

I was so naive but a part of my soul has been tortured to this very day.   If I knew then what I know now,   I might have gone postal because I cannot imagine a crime worse than that.     You see,   she was drunk and whimpering.   Damnit.   That really pisses me off.  No girl asks for ‘it.’   Not for that.

 

But date rape characterizations are nothing new and for the longest time just generally accepted.   In the movie ‘Animal House’  the guy was contemplating having sex with a passed out underage girl.    Did she ask for it?  NO! Does it happen?   Hell ya!   Is it any wonder so many women want to spread the pain around.

Going a few years into my adult life,   I had a girl friend and she was given a roofie.    The net effect according to her,  was she never felt the same about anything!    Date-raped by her boss at the mall.   She and I went through hell afterwards and my anger @ jerkoffs intensifies.    My girlfriend was only pieces of ceramic,   like Humpty-Dumpty,  those pieces can’t always be fixed.

I suffer too,  knowing that seedy men with seditious desires lay in wait,   like Jack The Ripper or the Boston Strangler.   In these instances the pain is far worse than death.    It is a slow blood-letting of one’s spirit and sense of control.    We had great times and every once in awhile we would talk.

From her bosses abuse of her,  of us really,   she went on a self-destructive binge with an older guy who was a criminal.   Arrested for a crack ball and spending time in prison,   he seemed to like finding young victims.   Her sister said he liked to read magazines like ‘Barely Legal’ and ’18’.      Yeah one of those!    One day her sister gave me a journal she had written and she had talked to her sister about the parasite she was with and how she missed me and my steady decisions and what would I do in a particular situation.   She said I am the guy that returns the shopping cart.    For awhile I was miffed by that but then got the gist of what she was trying to express.     She also got a disease from this miscreant,   Herpes!

(She fell in love in the first place)))

For some reason these words tick me off.    An otherwise innocent girl and not perfect by any  means,   paid the price for both of you and you both should be ashamed.     And I harbor guilt for not being able to protect her from the smarmy underbelly of the beast that lurks with a touch of wind and a wiff of illicit drugs.

If her mom had not been a prostitute and subjected her to so much,   she might have been able to cry on her shoulders.    She could have  told her Mom what he said and did  and your Mom would turn away.   Flushed with anger and disappointment,  words she heard once upon a time. Now reverberating like a song that plays over and over on a music box.   The ballerina fell suddenly and her porcelain dreams laid like a million shards of what ifs.

So let’s examine some of the dubious comments made by men and boys and mostly they are one and the same.     Your high school heroes and high society icons flickered as capriciously as the stories of high school football players and date rapes.   The bottom-line being the reputation of the boys and a girl who was allegedly asking for it.    She was collateral damage in the game of cat and mouse.

He gave you wine or drugs and told you it was okay.    He promised you everything to dance in the sheets and tomorrow he denies that he even knew you or the things you said,  you couldn’t have meant,  if you did say them….

Their friends and influences probably had mixed emotions about the destruction,   from the boss to the drug abusing narcissist whose real romance is a synthetic cesspool of misery.   Both now share in a common malady with excuses and no care for the damage they were doing.

What once was a fairy tale happiness transmogrified into a hellish world of missed chances.   Where lightning does strike over and over again(in the same place) and the pain still flows,  if even now to more or less a trickle.     In the video above  Boy Meets Girl they dance and sing with a love that we all want and yet finally,  even they play a requiem to a love gone strange.     To me,   as I worked in the media in Tampa,   the song was a fresh time.   A promise.   Together with Paula Abdul’s ‘Straight up’,  it seemed life had spectacular promise,  even after a lost preemie and the mother who ran off for a decade and a half with our daughter.

But life has second chances even if those chances require some modifications to retrofit them to make them work.    I do remember what my daughter said about her 16th birthday and how much she loved me.   That that was her best birthday ever.   This after being lost to me from her early post natal days to about fifteen years later.    Still,   I would NOT change things too much because what if we never rediscovered that and that is why the blog about ‘Ten Years a Single Mother’  and her kids love for her touches my heart.   Kids get the connections and their love is pure if they are loved.

The theme of this entire post is what are we going to do.    Rather than just complain about the pain,  how can we fix a thing?   You,   I and many others have lived on both sides of the track and nothing……  nothing gets fixed by complaining.    We need to put people first because a warm place and a hot dinner matters.

To the abuse of women,  children and the vulnerable,   you and I can change the world.    I have a few things going now.    One is to get Emotional Support Animals and Service Pets for people who need them.    Let’s teach men and society in general how to treat a lady and your kids.    We need to focus on identifying potential abuse and treat the family not a case number but take care of it as a village.  With compassion.    No tolerance policies does not heal a family.    Making rules is what politicians do.   Why do we punish people like Aileen Wuornos the way we do?   Why not find out where at-risk people are and help?   That gives us all a better chance of surviving the obstacles in life.

From murderers to offenders of all kinds,   punishment is the easy part,   preventing tragedies can happen and should happen.    That takes  more than a Breathalyzer and seeing if you can walk a straight line.    How much better will this world be with solutions and not grandstanding politicians and other nabobs using the moment for  personal gain.

Education is the key to everything.   Not just laws but helping people be better people.    Not projecting how good we are,  but how good we can all be,  if we just try.   Ghettos are going nowhere and neither are the homeless,  the drug users and other kinds of abusers.   Let’s get this done and stop maligning others.    The old speck and the log thing.

 

 

To Grandmother’s House We Went.

There are those times as a child when certain memories come back like yesterday.   For those of us with doting Grandparents these times are even more special.   Grandma and Grandpa lived in near Wellsboro,  PA.   The town was one of those factory areas with lots of farms, and lots of old dirt roads.

Charles Chips

In the early days going to Grandma’s house there were a few nostalgic places along the way.  One was an area that was flooded and a dam built where there used to be farms and one of those were owned by our extended family.   Next was the old store just before we turned onto the old Route 6,  the road my grandma lived on.

sock monkey

The road was semi-paved and long and the old store was torn down a few years later with my only recollection was a new road was put in it’s place.   The old road also marked the nearness of Grandma’s place and a sense of magic and an accommodating environment.   Grandpa was always a bit annoyed at Grandma’s eccentricities and she had a few.   But in th end,  his love was born out for her even though Dr House probably learned snarkiness from him.

He used to show us the severed finger he suffered while working on an old car that collapsed as his finger got in the way of the hitch.    He wore his infirmity with pride and he was also very keen to my dad’s mistreatment of Mom.   Grandpa seethed with an inner rage and a few choice words from time to time.

Dad’s father was a bit of a jerk also and his sister would tell how he was beat by own his dad and thus the cycle of abuse was passed down.   That inner rage like an old tire tube,  slowly leaked it’s venom and poisoned what would have been an ideal childhood,  all things considered.

Staying at the house was the feeling that dad was powerless there and that he could only go so far pushing my mom to tears.   Something about being patriarchal and fair.   But Grandma always had the Charles Chips Potato Chips,  cases of soft-drinks and a few cookies to boot.  She was in love with her children in the sense that her world revolved us.  From the sock cookies to her love of the Pennsylvania Amish.   I remember light switches that read, “Outen the Lights” and other relics of a different time in the midst of the present.

I remember one time when Grandpa and Grandma visited us in Fairbanks, Alaska.    The bitter cold was relieved by their presence and true to form,  Grandma,  who my dad despised,  was able to help give aid to my mom’s beleaguered spirit.  This is where my anxieties deepest fissures stemmed.   The memory of my dad on top of mom was a knife threatening to hurt her (kill her) if she ever did whatever she allegedly did.

Being the only child old enough to remember much,  it as though something was relentlessly scratching the blackboard in school.   I dangled like an ornament precariously situated on a branch and Christmas a kind of detante against the ongoing drama and virtual cold war.

But back at her mom in Pennsylvania was a place of peace,  a lean-to and suspending sanctuary against the bitter winds that blew like an angry wind.   The best was staying over at Grandma’s during the summer and a few times during Christmas break.   I used to watch the traffic on the new Rte 6 and when there was snow,  the crunching of tires and the slow procession that followed the ruts in the snow packed ice.

The chiming of the old grandfather clock and the old black and white TV that sat below it.  My mom told as kids that they put a kind of tri-colored flimsy on top of the black and white picture to get color TV.    The only cable back then was the one that towed your car out of a ditch.

Speaking of ditches.   While still very young I was in the front seat of our old blue Ford stationwagon while mom and dad were inside.   I decided to go with my first driver’s education class and put the car in reverse and it slowly rolled down the driveway and onto old 6 and against a barb-wired fence.   Beyond that fence was about a twenty foot drop.   My dad was sheepish at his thoughtlessness and I was pretty scared myself.   Afterwards was a warning and a laugh from grandfather that dissipated the pressure of that event.

The old Grandfather clock croaked out the time,   it’s face made of copper and ornate arms which  spun slowly,  methodically and predictably.    Calming the tempest in a generally unfamiliar way.   The stairway seemed much longer than it really was and the excitement of the old house gave it a kind of haunted house feel.

Grandma’s heart seemed in synch with the old time keeper and my grandfather sat in his chair and winked at us.   He had a quiet power over us and though 70ish he was no one to mess with,  He was a steadying force in the family,  truly a great man in my eyes.

I really feel that he loved Grandma even though his first wife died pretty young.  Reminders of her were her spinster sisters,  kind of like the Baldwin sisters in The Waltons.   He was also a pretty good ball player and played in the industrial leagues that were common then.

Both of my grandfathers played semi-pro baseball and probably where I got my athletic skills.   My dad did too though he opted for working hard and there is nothing wrong with that.   The problem is he was terribly conflicted and full of inner rage.   He never went to my sporting events and he missed something special when I was in high school upsetting the number one wrestler in the state of NY in my division (105lbs) LOL>

But Grandma T’s house was a kind of sanctuary and better when the cousins showed up.   We rigged an old crate and used a small beach ball and played basketball.    The excitement with the prospects of going to our Aunt and Uncle’s House on the Dairy Farm.   Days were long with chores and all and since it was a novelty,  the fact that it was work was not a problem.

After eating during the spring and summer we played Little League Baseball.   With tons of catchers mitts and other types of baseball gloves we would head off to the park.  Even cousins who were girls played baseball and this was true even at the fair they had each year near Blossburg in a towned called Roseville.   It was Hooterville with our telephones inside but they were party lines.   Yeah they did exist and long distance calls in the states, a few miles away were expensive.   No cellphones then unless the cans with the string attached could be considered thus.

On our way home we would stop at the Farmer-in-the Dell Creamery were absolutely delicious fresh ice cream was served.  Too bad but that place was bought out and leveled in corporate America’s siege of small farming communities and forcing farmers to find jobs in a world that was decreasingly hospitable to the menial-minded laborer.

The only time it was tolerable was when I had my 17 year old girlfriend Marci along for the ride.   We stroked each other’s hair and cuddled for the long ride.   I was pretty happy at that time.    I remember waiting at her parent’s house one day and the song by Gordon Lightfoot ‘Sundown’ was playing.    As she emerged to come downstairs,  her long flowing black hair felt right at the moment.   I was pretty happy with that too.  Of course.

As my dad and my mom’s mom grew older my dad actually conceded that it was a nice time though he hated going because I think,  it reminded him of what he never really had and the world is sadder when you cannot feel that way about Grandma and Grandpa.

Before Kindle. Airline Bestsellers.

Eastern-Airlines-CoverB47O53jCYAASApA.jpg-large

Above right was our actual crew on flight 666.

I used to remember the long boring flights across the pond and across parts of the U.S.   Airline periodicals (some of those do not exist – Allegheny Airlines, e.g.) were really intense.   Reading copious amounts of airline propaganda and smelling the sweet ambiance of restrooms,  was always a highlight.

I remember when the back two rows were not the only coach seats and where DC -9s and 727s hauled most of the freight.  Still I did  ride a pond jumper into Memphis,  complete lightning strikes,  hail and wind sheer.  The best part of those flights was probably the propeller engines grinding to a stop and the jerking noise made as the wheels grazed the runway and the nose came gliding down.

Also those stewardesses (mostly at the time) won awesome little hats,  serving Gingerale,  stale peanuts and movie reviews on an aircraft with no headsets but plenty of antiquated gas masks.   Still, it wasn’t all bad.  Gone are the days when security personnel didn’t molest octogenarians and three year olds.    A time in which OJs biggest hurdles were football players and suitcases.

But back to that reading fare.   Back then no one was telling you that there will extra charges for additional luggage and one butt bought one seat.    I keep forgetting the reading part.   Anyhow,  before LOL and ROFL we had old magazines that must have been out of date,  even for a doctor’s office.   Periodicals which FDR’s third term and how one day air travel might actually transport people across the country and even the world.

In day when a non-stop flight was done along with crop dusting and mail deliveries.   Could you imagine what they must have read back then?  Or the stewardess (mostly) saying, “oh crap’ had a totally different meaning.   So if you see hieroglyphics and the Original 10-15 Commandments consider yourself lucky.  It could have been worse,  you might have had to watch ‘Annie Hall’ and her polymorphous sexual expressions.   Still trying to find those.   That Woody!!!!

Woodymzl.nodwrhil

What Matters Most!

If I were born with cataracts in both my eyes and all I could see were my dreams,  would life be worth living?  And I were deaf and I never heard Mozart or Beethoven would my life be in vain?  Who among us would trade painless breaths of fresh air for the illusion of power and contentment when that peace is laced with acrimony?

’Tis the perception of the beautiful, A fine extension of the faculties, Platonic, universal, wonderful, Drawn from the stars, and filtered through the skies, Without which life would be extremely dull.   Lord Byron

So what is life all about?  A collection of cars, rings or shoes?  What is beauty and who is allowed to possess it?   Can the simplest childhood memories be more profound than a hostile takeover of someone else’s business?   Can a breathtakingly beautiful woman be more beautiful than majestic snow-capped mountain?

Insurance save me moneyBaaabyLacey1

Well for me one of the most memorable moments was a huge letdown.   As a young boy coupons from box tops was a source of fond anticipation.  It was a toy model of a Studebaker.  But that disappointment was one of the more gorgeous moments in my life.   It gave me the knowledge that heartbreaks are going to happen as that toy never arrived.   I lived for the moment and did that a lot.

Studebaker

Sometimes our joys are more transitory but none-the-less equally profound.   In sixth grade,  we used to get milk breaks in the afternoon.   The milk was cold and sweet and the chocolate milk was Vitamin-D (Whole Milk).   Seemingly a trivial moment or moments could be so valuable but to a young kid in love with sixth grade,  those moments give me hope.

Our teacher was simply remarkable. Mr Earl Ader made school so much fun.   He was tall youngish man with a love for his students and nothing that smacked of anything controversial.  Kids fought to do classroom chores.   The Socratic Principle was amazingly on display and when it failed we remedied our issues with decorum and class.    We learned about adult life in a way that simulated the adult world.

SRA 1973

We raised chicks from eggs and actually saw the chicks hatch.  It was a hands on approach and I loved the SRA reading programs and progressed through so fast that I was reading in the top percentile.    I loved the reading and grammar exercises, a task that most kids hated.  The spelling tests were fun and I had a string of 100s that went from west to east.

During an autumn play and dance,   I was a pumpkin that me and my parents constructed from paper machete and metal hangers as a frame.   I was often called ‘Carrot Top’  though Carrots tops are green,  right?   But that night was awesome and a bit unsettling as every parent was wanting me to pose with their daughters as they took pictures.   I remember having a unilateral love affair with what turned out to be my first girlfriend., Cheryl.

One of the best things was when Mr. Ader decided to skip a lesson and play dodge ball in the gym,  the place of that same play and dance.   I had so much fun at that sport and doing this was one of my favorite times in my life.   I also got to be a hall monitor.   I was ruthless and sick with power.  Okay that part is not true but I did love the safety belt which I wore proudly.

wrest

In Junior High I was harassed in my first day of school and by the grace of God and Providence,  some big boy fired back at my tormentor and most young teens would not mess with him or me.    As a wrestler I stunned my coach,  teammates and other wrestlers by beating a state champion in my first match.    That night was magic for this shy boy when the coach made me the wrestler of the tournament.

I also made an unassisted triple play which was announced over the PA system and I had a mixture of pride and embarrassment and with the hope that the pretty girls would take note.  Sadly it was until my senior year when I got one of the beautiful girls and we went to the Senior Prom.  Long flowing black hair, a rather innocent beauty and my first hands-on girl and that was so cool.

Pinay

From losing my one baby David who weighed sixteen ounces and the kidnapping of my daughter by her mom,  I have had more good moments than those bad ones.  There was a time when I felt that I was unduly burdened but time rectified my apprehensions and salted them with a bit of that thing called reality.

Now I spend my time trying to help as many people as I can and the fruit of that labor is a loving regard for the intrinsic matter of self worth and the recognition that everyone is imbued with talents and love.

http://youtu.be/J9icvbdLEbEhow-prepare-humanitarian-mission-2

The Monsters Among us.

GADChild

The sudden storm blew in.   The tumbleweeds rushed by and the howl of the wind pushed them like unwanted stepchildren.    I was one of those unfortunate souls,  who prayed for darkness and heavy rain.  The gloom seemed to cheer me up,  the low clouds compacted the world and the heavy snows further reduced the shrapnel of ugly words and harsher correction.

Even better was the icy and snowy weather that kept the devil at bay.    The whiteness like a signet made it official and angry ice cycles crashed from atop the roof of our house.   At night I would sleep walk,  perhaps to walk into the road or fall upon the broken glass.  One night in my dream state I decided the camper window should be a punching bag.   The echoes of anger that permeated my realm.

In my heart I cheered the removal of my anxiety.   The sound of the engine and in it’s wake a measure of relief.    On one occasion we had two cats.   For some reason that one day would harbor a death penalty for one of our cats.   With seventeen acres of land,  my father determined that one should die.

My brother took at him and with a thud,  my heart filled with pity,  anger and disillusionment.  Unbearable voices led me to the scene and the grave of soft ash an ethereal tomb.   Suddenly the Raven appeared and that poor cat with blood on it’s side to my astonishment that poor gray cat seemed to be begging,  hoping for some kind of reprieve and a tear or many fell.    My brother finished the task and that thought and an attempted or threatened murder of my mom at five,  congealed into an unholy miasma of doubt and uncertainty.

Like the gales of a winter,   this inclement weather was a well-timed respite.  Revenge against the Tsunami that always lain in wait.   A patient wraith with a two-edged bite and like a small warrior I tried to turn away that wrath,  especially for a mother whose esteem in our eyes was stunted.

TS1TS2

Maybe the rain was a song of sadness reaching out for love,  surely such wrath would pass but never did.  As I grew up the mixed messages closed in around me.    I made my peace with that person I called dad and seeing his own tragedy I gained perspective about him.   Unable to justify he reached out.  Forgiveness?  Without a doubt and an unlocked toolshed seemed so unimportant now.

I did not glory in his sickness but I did look back and realized the good that was hidden from plain sight.   No one can justify abuse but a humble heart finds a way.  Gasping for breath all I could do is hold his hand.   This warrior who too late for himself never really enjoyed the fruits of his ambition until the very end.

He and my sister found a common ground and her fear was not being able to be loved by him.   In all that,  that is my special moment with Dad.   The cold aloofness and rage was dulled by the medication and softness of a pillow.     As he drew his last breath,   I felt release in him,  the devils vanished in a bright light and the shadows cowered.

The lesson is never give up.   As  bad as life can be,  we can survive.  I survived a certain hell which has led to my OCDs and fear of random violence.   I have several panic attacks every day but I am learning to get well and move on.   One rung at a time.