Fortune Telling and Real-Time Travel

Though not a betting man, I could comfortably guess that most of you are at work right now. Or school. And after a nice spell of days off, too.

Not all of you though. I know I’m not. I tend to work the holidays though.

But there you are.

Here we are.

In this moment of time brought to you, more than likely, by boredom whilst near mindlessly scanning through social media. It happens. Just a bad habit, like smoking or masturbating on the subway. Well, maybe not exactly.

Nevertheless, it is here we be and be we shall. But being can make you think of what has, or might have been. It may stir pondering regarding where this all belongs, your life or just life in general, when it becomes a finished story.

We all wonder that. Where it all might go. The past comes up, sure, but the past is dead.

It is an imperfect human record anyway.

Things slip away.

That time I evidently nearly broke some older kid’s nose on the school bus because he was making fun of me. Or that other time we haggled over the price of microwavable stuffing in the only store left open on the block at four in the morning. Those were stories that I had lived, yet were only revealed to me years after occurring.

But the true wonder, I dare say, comes from what might still be. Maybe you have supernatural foresight of coming events. Maybe you all do, and are just intentionally keep me out of the loop. Which is a total dick move.

Still, I say with near certainty that we all go through time as it comes and goes.

And I also say, with slightly less but still pretty good certainty, that it is the best way to go. The less you know, the more you learn. And let me tell you folks, the more unpredictable, the better. Or at very least, the more profound. That may just be my opinion, though.

Unexpected circumstances have grown into a sort of forte for me. Personally and professionally, though I may be better at one of those categories more often than the other. But hey, practice makes perfect.

But which one among you has a top ranking memory that you saw coming? That you knew was going to happen as it did? And I’m talking about one of those swept off your feet or kicked in the ass kind of moments. The ones you could and probably did set as some sort of foundation for personal expansion. I dare to reckon that most of what you thought might happen in your life, just passes without much thought or concern. The big moments, however, maneuver through surprise.

A night out with friends no one expected much from yet is the one you still talk about all these years later.

Almost getting hit by a drunk driver.

The first time you ate cheesecake.

Someone important to you dying too young.

The day at summer camp you met your still best friend.

The one who got away.

If you don’t want to say things like that have changed you, they at the very least influence how life is perceived. Absorption of such phenomenon can take time. Sometimes, it can take a life time.

For example..

It may be impossible to fully understand the gift that is my daughter.

amelia_1.jpg

If luck is a thing, I’ve been granted vastly more than a king’s share. As I write, that little girl of my own flesh and blood is most likely gazing up the vast world in big blue eyed wonder, as smiles paint her face and laughter fills her body.

Or she’s filling her diaper. She’s only three months old, after all. Her hygiene skills are not very developed.

Yet, without ever knowing that she would ever exist, I now refuse an existence without her. And this will only grow as she does. It won’t be effortless though. She will turn sixteen someday, you know.

But this has not become a parenting blog just because I’ve become a parent. I’ve only been one for a few months anyway. Who knows how good I’ll be at it? I’ll give it hell though. Having good parents myself helps as a model, so I should be able to figure it out. Her mother does a damn good job at it so far. After all, they say it’s always easier when you love what you do.

So I say now, fire your soothsayer. And don’t go seeking another one. ‘Tis not worth it, friend.

Be it a blind, old wise man or a palm reading gypsy woman with a mustache and an apartment that smells vaguely of burnt rubber- it makes no difference. Even if what they said could even slightly resemble the truth, it’s not worth knowing until just as you need to. Who wants to ruin the surprise party? Or march right into the doomed fate you had worked so hard to avoid?

Prophecy might sound great and all, but I rarely hear of it being sunshine and roses. Just ask Oeddie and Jo. They were as able as headless chickens in missing the cleaver.

But the ol’ timey Greeks were a bit grim, so I would advise trying to dodge the foretelling of doomsdays as much as possible. Keeping the TV off should help with that.

I cannot say when the next time I write will be. It hadn’t felt right for sometime now and despite my hope for reinvigoration, I’ve dropped the ball before. But since the first short story I drummed up without being told by a school teacher, my mind has known it cannot go with trying to string meaning from the written word.

But no writer wants to be a drag to read. At least I hope not. So I shan’t waste your time. Not while you could be ever reaching into the unknown, heart a-pounding and mind agape.

Just be ready to be unprepared.

Sunday Morning Thoughts 8.23.15

So here goes another attempt at this. Consider it the less than grand return.

It’s been over a year- and what a year it has been. Many a time before this moment, the lonely weekly post bearing this title has fallen short, and off track, and unappreciated by its fool of an author. You see, I’m very capable of disappointment, sometimes the sort reaching incomprehensible levels. Not only have a let down myself on a rather regular basis, the pain and heartache I have caused others in this life could border on emotional war crimes.

Yet, there seems to be a sort of insane balance. For as many times as I have been such a great disappointment- expectations were also exceeded and the young man, who is not so young anymore, achieved handfuls of accomplishments that were at the very least good, if not extraordinary. I’ve done a few nice things, while still other humans have thanked me intensely and intimately for actions I deemed to be “no big deal” or “just doing my job”.

So what does that mean?

Mathematically, I suppose that just balances out to average. Sadly, I find that to be immensely saddening, if not disgusting. It is another one of those disappointing personality traits of mine, but being average may be my greatest dread. Even talking about myself this much reflects only on a seemingly selfish nature that puts the rest of the world into categories based upon how they fit into my desires for life. It is narcissistic and vicious, and even worse, I sometimes rather enjoy it.

I cannot say that this has existed for all of human history, as I have only seen a sliver of it- but it seems to me that humans love to believe that things are going to change. They often hope that they will change for the better, but lately I hear folks saying a bit more of the contrary. Actually, a lot more to the contrary. They say the world has changed into a bad place- or from a bad place, into a worse one.

I hear talk about society failing and the world running out of safe places left to go. Some people fear radical Islamic extremists, other people fear rising oceans and climate change, while some are just hiding from the bills they have to pay. There are even those who live in constant terror of what happens in their own neighborhoods. You don’t hear many people talking about sunshine and roses these days. It’s doom and gloom, and in case you haven’t heard it on the news, we’re all going to die. And to make matters worse, a spectacle of business man/reality television goon who inherited his rather lavish lifestyle is attempting to become King America. And a good number of folks think that’s a good idea.

But I don’t need to tell you all of that. You already knew that.

What you may not have known is that today was set as my daughter’s due date. So you know, she has not arrived yet. She may be stubborn, like her father who pushed his own arrival on Earth two weeks past his own due date.

Hopefully she doesn’t keep this up for long. Her father already causes her mother enough strife, we don’t need the little one to push that any further.

Not that her mother can’t handle it. She can deal with most anything. I find it very admirable, when I’m not too busy feeling awful about my own lack of comparable courage. I haven’t had a little human growing inside of me, sucking the energy out every day as the spawn grows larger and stronger. Plus, I’ve still been able to have beer and sushi and soft cheeses which makes my issues seem all that much smaller.

So cheers to the mother of my child, she is a better person than most, especially myself, though she may never admit that. In fact, not admitting it, makes it all that more true.

But her and I can both agree, that we would very much like to meet this little human. I personally have a feeling her arrival will help make every thing seem easier. Other than crying in the middle of the night and soiling her diapers. Still, that stuff doesn’t last forever.

But.

Having a child so close to being part of this world, does not put me entirely at ease. It’s much closer to terrifying. Before all of this, I had set my wee little ambitious heart on trying to change the world for the better. Since that young boy set that goal, it seems to have only gotten worse. He didn’t have anything in this life that he needed to rush into action for. Now he does. Now I do.

No, I am not yet a parent but just the impending occurrence has got me to wondering as to why others seem to do as little as possible to make this future better. Again, I don’t know that their efforts exist or not, or in what intensity they do exist, but if people have been making babies since the first people started happening, and those people only want the best for their children- why has everything gone more and more to shit with each passing generation?

Maybe I’m thinking too much, or in the wrong kind of ways, but I would call myself a failure as a human and more importantly, as a parent, if I left this planet worse than when it was given to me. And no, that’s not just an environmental thing for anyone trying to brand me as tree hugging liberal. And no, it’s not because I think Hilary is just a bad a choice for “leader” of this nation as Trump, for those who might want to think of me as some sort of closed minded conservative. I know how you like to operate, internet.

That being said, I do think we should be kinder to the Earth, if we want to make it last and I do think we should apply a little more intense thought and rationale to selecting our elected officials, no matter how angry and fed up we might be. I do think that all lives matter as much as the people living them choose to value theirs and their neighbors. I think anyone who says their god is loving, but also wants you to kill people is not thinking with their own head. I do think we need to try harder and learn more about ourselves and each other- but I don’t think that this is a unique point of view.

It’s easy for me to stand on the internet soapbox and tell you all about my views, but I don’t intend to stop there. The difference is, that I now have someone to live for that means more than anyone else. She will mean more than any friend, family or romantic relationship has and I owe her the best life I can provide. I owe her a future, as do all of you. If you’ve been alive long enough to spend money or vote, you’ve been alive long enough to help make the changes everyone loves to complain about. I’m guilty, but I am now newly motivated.

I opened this post with an explanation of my great lack of perfection. That is because perfection is a myth, and one of the most harmful myths in all the history of man, (and women). No one is perfect, nor is any place or any time. Perfection is stagnant. Progress and regress are all that exist. Things do not stay, they always change. Yet where they change are up to us. Or so it is for us in the third dimension.

So for my little girl, I will try to make progress.

holderness

Don’t Pet the Sweaty Things

You can stare at the fingerprints on the edge of your rocks glass until they mean something.

You can look at the patterns the light leaves inside your closed eyelids. You can sit and sulk and daydream about things being other than how they are. You can wish you’d done better. Been a better person. Tried harder, or tried something different. You can dwell on all the things that are not, while ignoring the things that are.

You certainly can. I know I have. I’ve gotten very good at it. Too good, I fear.

I know, I know… It’s been a while. A very long while since the last time I’ve written anything here. As a young man, just shy a quarter of a century, it’s hard to believe I’m able to say that I used to write a lot. I’ve written poems and songs and essays and short stories. I’ve written a whole novel, a complete first draft, that I’ve ignored for months. I used to act, too. Lots of plays, funny and sad- Improv too. Hell, I used to do stand up comedy. I opened for someone currently on Saturday Night Live, what seems like a lifetime ago.

Very few men my age get to say such things. Not that it is any sort of blessing. It may only mean that the peak was too soon. That it’s all been used up. That there is nothing left. It may mean that, but I certainly hope is does not. The younger man I used to be most definitely does not. But he might have been better than I am.

Yet…

If there is one thing I was brought up to despise, it is a pity parade. And even with the sacrifices made, willing or otherwise, I am here, at this very particular moment in time. I hold my baggage, as do you, if you happen to be bored enough to read this.

Sensationalism was never my forte, and I cannot pull myself to do a “top ten things that 20 somethings feel about blah, blah blabbity blah”. You know, that shit websites love to pick up and litter across your social media addiction. I won’t be reposted by Huffpo, or Buzzfeed or anything of the sort. I won’t even be reposted by my friends, most likely. Maybe a dozen people will read this. Maybe less. Maybe no one. But I don’t write because it helps other people. I write because it helps me.

A year, and a few days. That’s the last time anything new was published to this lonely blog narrated by a boy struggling to learn how to be a man. A year ago was a different world. My hair was longer and my eyes had seen less than the ones resting in my skull now. I wasn’t obliged to do much for anyone unless I felt the inclination. Not now.

Now it’s my job. It’s my job to help people, strangers, in whatever we’re called for. That would be myself and the men I work with. We never know when the tones go off, and it doesn’t matter what we were doing. All that sound means, is that it is time to go. But that is my profession. That is how I earn my living.

Further than that, is even more profound. Further than that is the only thing that will really matter to me. You see, in a few days, everything will change. In a few days, really at any moment, I will be a father.

Pardon me, that took a moment. I needed another sip and stare at the fingerprints upon my glass. Fingerprints that leave behind DNA. The same sort of stuff that has been brewing another person. A person who is part me, though I hope she will be spared all of my poor qualities, as many as they might be. But I’m not here to talk about her. I won’t speculate about her, as she is not here yet. And I will not talk about circumstances, as they are not business of yours.

Just know that while you read this. To those who are parents, I am only on the cusp of understanding. To those who are not, know that it is not something that you cannot even pretend to understand. Just be grateful if your parents were good to you. And if they weren’t, know that it is the largest burden that our species faces and it is most certainly not for everyone.

But that is enough about that.

I don’t know exactly why this was the moment I chose to write again. It may be desperation. It may be that the time is right to reinvigorate the lost passion. I cannot say for sure. Yet, I am writing just the same.

I don’t have the answers. If you were hoping I did, I apologize. I don’t know if anyone does, but everyone has their own slice of the universe. We all have our own lives. Our own pasts and presents and futures. We mat share many of those, but no one shares them completely. Our singularity may be a curse, but it is the one thing that makes us undeniably human.

I hate to leave this so vague, but I cannot truthfully give you anything more specific. I will keep trying. I will try and keep the promise that I made to a young man who shares the skin I’ve worn down. But all I can do is try, as that is all any of us can do.

If anyone told you they have the answer they are a liar. If they told you that they didn’t know, know that they told the truth. I will try and write again. I cannot guarantee that it will be worth reading. I will guarantee that I will try and make it worth your while.

Until next time.

capandme

Stringing Sayings

Words can trickle,
Be fickle,
And cause pain.
Toss blame
Bring shame

Claims humans make
Promises break
Hearts shake
And quiver
And shatter

Hands can sew tatters
And touch skin
But words can go within
Without doubt
Or with it.

(In fits of rage)
Remorse
And passion
Make bedmates
Of a fashion
That timid souls
Cannot bear
Or cannot see
If that’s how
We choose to be

Be see
And hark!
Now listen to me
Yes you,
Thee.

For the words
Can wander
And meander
But no slander
Shall fall from beyond my teeth
For when I speak
I mean to say
Thoughts I’ve buried
Tried to make dead
Inside this head
This skull
(This soul)
Owes all to you
And will
Until this body,
An organic space ship,
Withers
And wanes
And grows old

Or so goes the story
These words have told

Sunday Morning Thoughts: 8.3.14

A great man died not too long ago. They cooked him up and put what was left in a box with a big picture of what he looked like when he was so full of life. Humans have some strange traditions. This happened yesterday.

The box and the picture rested before a pious stage, in front of hundreds of humans who’d come to say goodbye. His wife and children were right up front. Off to the side sat and stood over one hundred men in the uniform that the great man in the box once wore. A uniform that I myself might be wearing soon, as my father did for most of his life.

But that great man is now a dead man. Many would say that great men die every day, and maybe they do. I just never knew all those other ones. I knew this one, though he probably wouldn’t even recognize me today. I was just a kid when I met him and haven’t seen him for years. I had hardly heard about him getting sick but it happened just the same. It went quickly. Poison, you see, that he got helping to clean out that pile of rubble that killed so many over a decade ago. If you’ve been paying attention, you’d know that stuff has still been killing people years since those buildings collapsed.

This great man was not even the only one I’ve know in my life to be killed by the rubble, in one way or another.

But to us living, the death of a man such as this begs questions. In fact, it demands certain questions about our lives and our legacies. After having been to a few such events this year, I’ve run myself through the ringer of what all this life business means. It’s sad for me to admit, but I’ve been going about parts of it all the wrong way. Perhaps the greatest issue I’ve found myself falling into is wishing I could go back to change something. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “well Brian, doesn’t everyone wish that they could go back to fix something, or stop themselves or someone else from doing something?”

And I would have to tell you that you are right. Even among the greatest of men and women, I don’t believe a single one lived a life without the tiniest regret. But my particular issue has to do particularly with me and this inability I have had to see the present because I’m too stuck on something behind me. It was such a perspective that plagued me until quite recently and although I keep wishing I could go back, I know it would be for naught.

But cheer up gang, I’m not here to be grim because that is not how I choose to deal with such business anymore. I was brought up to deal with death through celebrating life, so that’s what I do. And after years of conditioning myself otherwise, I have broken that whole deal about wishing for the past. Although I’m not quite a perfect practitioner, I am certainly putting forth all the effort I can muster away from wasting time and wishing away the present and future for what has already been.

Does that mean things I used to have will be gone forever? No, it does not. Or at least I believe. We can’t go back, this much I know is true. But we can go forward and anything in the future is possible, or at least the dream of it is.

I have regret, trust me, I do. I used to be ruled by my regret. Yet, I’m too young of a man to let that go on any longer. Sure, happiness is an abstract concept and based totally on conditions but that in no way makes it so far-fetched that it’s out of reach. It’s only out of reach if you make it out of reach. I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve played that card and it holds nothing but emptiness. Great men do not stand in the way of their own happiness. I want to be a great man. I have to be, as I was told many a time yesterday by all those men in uniform, I have very big shoes to fill when my turn comes. And here it is, comin’ around the bend.

Sunday Morning Thoughts 7.6.14: On Regret and the Sort

 For a person who isn’t very good at them, I have found myself spending a lot of time apologizing. I wouldn’t have to do so if my behavior was that of a more decent human being. I’m not saying that I am always a vindictive self obsessed and loathing human being with masochistic tendencies but I certainly have my moments.

I’ve done many a great things with my life but I still have managed to spend the majority of my day brooding over the mistakes I’ve made. The good may outweigh the bad but it is difficult to see that when the tragedy and travesty hang so heavily on my mind and heart. Loneliness is a terrible thing and has caused me to do some terrible things but if I spend all my time so fixated upon my downfalls, my life would waste away in a pool of regret.

I had a few conversations today concerning my many follies and even though the demon liquor may have helped my viciousness along, to blame it entirely on that would be very incorrect. The truth is in my heart somewhere and I may just be too terrified to make right all that I have wronged. But even with all of that, many wonderful people have forgiven me for my harsh words and deeds and though I don’t understand it, they must be able to see something in my that I just refuse to look at.

I want happiness, as we all do but unlike many others, that which stands most prominently in my way always seems to be myself. It has been a long journey to get where I am and yet the same struggles keep plaguing me and they are almost all of my own invention. I’m not a liar but I certainly have a tremendous fear of the truth and as one of my many dysfunctional idols had said, the truth is what is and what should be is a dirty lie that someone told the people long ago.

But to get back to this loneliness of my own creation, I must confess that despite my talk of despise for the many negative traits of man, I still feel obligated to help save this world and all who are in it. It has a lot to do with my ego, which is a monster that often gets out of control. I want to be loved by so many and so few at the same time and yet I can’t seem to find that love for myself. I know I contradict myself constantly but I can’t seem to find the satisfaction in my soul I claim to crave so greatly. I’ve made mistakes and I know I will in the future but if I don’t do something about my pettiness, it will surely destroy me.

I say I want happiness but how could a person claim such a thing and yet always be the one preventing it? The only explanation I can give for that is my own existence which is living testament to my own inability to accept things for how they are.

But how are things?

That’s a question I have dodged like Al Capone with his taxes and if I keep it up, we may share a similar fate. I’ve been at this point before and I’ve always failed to fix what is broken. I’ve pressed on but there has to be a limit and I may be reaching it, if it hasn’t already been passed. I’m not perfect but I’m told I could be if I would just let myself be so.

I don’t know. I was hoping that writing this would bring me some answers be all I can see are more questions. I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused and I can only try and do enough good to outshine the spots of heartbreak and tragedy I’ve caused. It’s messed up, but that’s who I seem to be and who I strive to be. Maybe it has to do with the people I try to emulate and aspire to be being dysfunctional degenerates who manage to create beautiful things from that. Comedians, writers, actors musicians and the like all make wonderful things but they ones I like the best make them from sweeping up the shatters of their lives that they have broken themselves. To quote one of these men, “I don’t know someone loves me unless I can make them cry.”

Awful, I know, but you’d be just as much of a liar as I can be if you didn’t admit it was true. Someday I’ll make everything better but today I will wallow around in some self pity and deprecation. Again, I apologize and I’ll try to make it better if I can.  

In Five Years Time

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. – Shakespeare

 

Five years.

Half a decade, sixty months, 5% of a century or how every you would like to represent it numerically. It doesn’t matter. Humans like seeing patterns and five just seems to scream its aesthetic value to us.

From the past, the future of five years seemed vast and never ending. Go ahead and ask yourself where you were five years ago- physically and metaphysically. What were you doing? Your plans? Your friends? Who did you admire, crush on, love or hate? Where did you live? What did you know?

In five years, who has lived and died? Who has gone from your life without kicking the bucket? Who got kicked out? Who did you trust? Did you think God was still there? Is he now?

What’s happened around you? Where has the world gone? What’s changed? Have you?

I have. Or at least, I believe that I have.

firstnightout

I must have since five years ago I’d never seen a naked girl in person. Five years ago I had just written my first short story and an open mic was just a daydream of the future, let alone doing 15 minutes opening for a member of Saturday Night Live.

I had never touched a cigarette aside from hiding or throwing out my mother’s. I never hosted a radio show aside from that one my best friend and I made up in 1st grade on those bus rides home. We would pretend to be callers with names like Seymour Butts and would sing the songs ourselves. We I’m famous, this will be seen as brilliant. As of now, it seems like I should have been medicated as a child.

I couldn’t grow a mustache and had never worn a real kilt. I hadn’t fallen in love with and on St. Patrick’s Day. I hadn’t walked down a Brooklyn street with a freshly broken heart at 5am, Tom Waits singing in my ears and whiskey and beer heavy on my breath.

I couldn’t wait to turn 18. Now I can’t believe I’m going to be 23. In five more years, I’ll probably have a crisis about how close 30 is. In 100 years, I’ll hopefully be dead. You probably will be too. We could be dead in five but I hope that’s less likely.

Four of the past five trips around the sun were the best and last years I had ever spent in school. The last five years I feel I had learned more about myself than in the previous seventeen. That may just be perspective, but from where I’m looking I can see more of those years than anything predating them.

We hope that each year makes us stronger and smarter. And by we, I mean me. And by me, I mean I have seen things in the last split decade that were never anything but fantasy prior. That includes the tragedies, traumas and downfalls just as much as those grand and glorious glimpses at bliss. I want to say that the happy times will last longer than the bad, but those revelations regarding mortality I’ve had will hang around until I’m facing down my own, I’d imagine. Some things can’t be forgotten, even if it would be better to let them go.

For now, I work at the college that I recently graduated from. They had the first new student orientation today and yesterday and as the go-to A/V guy on campus, my participation was forced for the sake of microphones and video presentations. These young men and women are of the same age and generation of a few of the kids I used to teach karate to. To me, I saw mostly young slutty girls and dopey, dipshit young men. I don’t figure they see themselves as such. They never do.

But when I wore the shoes they find themselves in, a young man, all foolish and doe-eyed was far too excited, wore the same skin wrapped around me now. He was starved of fresh experience. He wanted to dive in head first, smiling a shit-eating grin from ear to ear. And he did. Eat shit, that is.

He ended up getting tossed around by the first current that caught him. Dripping wet with saltwater and hints of blood, I discovered how shallow the water can be at times. You know, like a metaphor and junk.

From there I made a monster, who very much like the one made by Dr. Frankenstein, was adored by his creator. The difference is that lots of other folks seemed to like my monster too. He was charming, talented and good looking- and for a time he was unaware of it. Though that didn’t last and the monster was let loose into the world, some part of that doe-eyed young fool could never die.

He still hasn’t. And although he doesn’t make as many decisions as he used to, he still makes many of the important ones. So perhaps, despite all the thoughts and sights of change, the core remains the same. Or similar, at least. I do hope that some minuscule part of who I was as a young man hangs around for all my days. I wouldn’t want to become totally lost.

But what do I know of time and all it’s comings and goings? I couldn’t even tell you everything that happened yesterday, so forget about what will happen tomorrow.

I don’t know man. Happy birthday, or whatever.

highschool