Today is two weeks.
What is this thing, life? Just breathing, nothing more. It’s just weather, without you my little love, nothing more. I miss you.
Enigmatic mystery. Mind your own business. I enjoy eating hamster fetuses.
March 2, 2012 – May 1, 2019
My little boy. Seven years was all we got together. I hoped and dreamed for more, but no, that can’t happen.
I will miss you eternally, Taco. Handsome-Perfect. Boogie. Bug. Hooks.
You changed my life, little boy. You taught me how to love, when noone else could. You showed me what love feels like, when others failed. You are love. You are my eternal friend, my little kitty.
I’ll miss you from today until a time when whatever I am can no longer exist in any form, and then far, far beyond that. I love you so much.
You’re my heart and my soul, my love and my life. You’re my world.
I have to give you back now.
Rest, little boy. I miss you. I love you. I love you.
(Things are a bit somber here today, so leave it to the class clown to intervene with a bit of foolishness. Stupid is my strength. So, hopefully this helps lift a spirit or nine.)
At least one time before I go bye bye, I’d like to have the opportunity to use these phrases:
Yea, though it is written
In accordance with the scriptures
Avast ye scurvy knaves
Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war
Say hello to my little friend
Preferably at the grocery store, buying oatmeal, because that would be interesting.
If the person ahead of ME in line starts quoting pirates and Tony Montana, it’s time to find another checkout line.
Any other quotable quotes to add to the list?
– NOT SUICIDE RELATED.Just reminiscing. –
My dad could build. He wasn’t a contractor, per se, he was in the telecommunications business. But somewhere along the way, someone taught him how to build. Stuff, things.
My town recently passed an ordinance banning plastic grocery bags, because apparently they are evil and destructive and naughty, and the universe must be saved from them. So, today, I bought three cookies and a small bag of potato chips and left the store holding one of those extra gonzo size heavy duty paper grocery sacks designated as “1/6 BBL (70#) with “Renewable, recyclable, sustainable, and contains minimum 40% post-consumer material” printed on the bottom. Whew. The future of Earth is now safe, for eons to come.
Now, I must decide what to do with my extra gonzo bag.
As a kid, my dad built this “thing” – it was a storage compartment and trash can combo. The bottom part of it featured an area into which this sort of bag could be installed and held in place utilizing a simple binder clip assembly, filled with garbage and removed and replaced as needed. It worked wonderfully. Above that, was a storage area just slightly larger than these extra gonzo bags, into which as many as a hundred or so could be stored, provided they were folded neatly.
This contraption was just one of many such contraptions that dad designed and built. He did the lions share of the work on an addition to our family home when I was young. It took years of work on weekends and evenings, after his full time job, and mom hated that he insisted on doing as much of the work as possible in order to save money, but one day many years later, it was. . . complete. Dad’s greatest accomplishment, a memorial and testament to his skill and ability.
Dad found a basketball goal post for me once. It was buried in someone’s back yard, and he talked them into selling it so I could have it. It took the better part of a Saturday to remove it, he and I working together under a sweltering southwest Texas desert sun. At one point, the use of a heavy metal bar and a sledge hammer was necessary to break up some concrete. I had never swung a sledge hammer at the miniscule end of a steel bar before, and at the age of 14, lacked a refined sense of hand – eye coordination, but dad held the bar in his hands, told me to “focus only on the end of the bar, and try not to miss and hit my arms.”
I did, and I didnt. And roughly two weeks later, I had a nice new goal post in my front yard.
Dad trusted me that day. Without resevation, without visible doubt. He just told me what to do, and waited for me to do it. And I did it.
So, today, I’m staring at this extra gonzo paper bag, and trying to figure out where I’ll store it when I get home, but I don’t build. I do other things, but unlike dad, I don’t build.
I’ll probably use it to dispose of my cats used litter, since my city now says I can no longer purchase groceries and place them in plastic bags, which I then filled with the same litter.
I’ve hated my dad, disliked my dad, liked my dad, loved my dad, ignored him, scoffed at and disrespected him, secretly imagined killing him, and cleaned him after he soiled himself a few years before alzheimers claimed him. I shaved his face in a hospital once, and listened to him ramble about nothing and everything as we sat eating fried chicken in a fast food joint, during the early days of alzheimers. And I’ve buried my dad. I pinned two of his military service medals on the lapels of his suit jacket as he lay in his casket, the day of his funeral, and fought back tears as he received a twenty one gun salute at the cemetery, under not a sweltering sun, but a mild October sun in the desert of southwest Texas.
Dad broke me down, along with mom, over a lot of years. It’s what parents do. It’s what humans do. They succesfully crushed my spirit, and stifled me through years of just being human. It’s everyone’s story, the only difference is the names, the places, the dates, yeah, the details. Parents crush child, child hates parents, child buries parents, child reconciles as best they can, or maybe not.
I suppose I can start a collection of 1/6 BBL (70#) bags now, thanks to a new municipal ordinance.
I miss you, Dad.
Occasionally I need to restore perspective to my kooky mind.
Carl Sagans speech helps.
It reminds me how darn big everything really is, and how insignificant I am.
A photo of Earth, taken from somewhere around four trillion miles away, I believe, by a Voyager spacecraft, many years ago. Just a pale blue dot, inhabited by weenies.
Pass the mustard.
I am a medical transport driver, driving people to and from doctors appointments.
I am learning to value simplicity these days. To see blessings where previously I saw nothing.
Don had a ride scheduled for 7:00 this morning. He lives in an assisted living facility, or as another passenger referred to them recently, “a warehouse for the dying.”
I arrived at 7, and the staff was running a bit behind, so they didn’t have him quite ready. Rush, rush, rush, ok, he’s ready to go. Out the door and into the van and off we go. Don is in a wheelchair. He is probably in his seventies, and his hands are large, and you can see that at one time he did physical work with them. His voice is deep and gruff.
“You’re going to have about a half hour before your appointment, and then afterwards, I’ll be bringing you back, Don.” I told him. “Let’s just get it done.” was his quiet reply.
At the doctors office at 7:45, the front desk informed Don someone had made a scheduling error, and his appointment had been moved out two weeks, “You should’ve received a call, we’re so sorry Don.”
So we get back in the van, Don and his wheelchair all secured down nice and tight, and we head back to his warehouse, uhh, sorry, assisted living facility. I’m craving pancakes, and I wonder if Don had breakfast. I did, but I’m craving pancakes, bacon, coffee, the works. Mmmm.
“Don, did your staff give you breakfast?” I inquire.
“No.” In his deep, stern voice. It belies disappointment and desire, but it confirms his reality – no breakfast, it’ll just have to wait, when in days past, it didn’t have to wait, because Don didn’t wait for anyone. He didn’t need to.
It’s now after 8:00. Don’s appointment wasn’t until 8:20, and his return ride was scheduled for 9:45. By the time he would’ve been back at the ware- uhh, sorry, facility, it would’ve been after 10:00, and maybe he would’ve received breakfast, brunch, lunch, who the hell knows.
Don struck me as a withered version of his younger days, when HE ran the show. When schedules revolved around him, and things were made and maintained through his sweat and effort. He reminded me of a broken down mans-man. He has the attitude of a man who knows he is in decline, who knows he’s been placed in a warehouse for the dying, where he will wait. For everything. For food. For cleaning. For laundry, for visits, for rides, for sunrise, for sunset, for tedious routine that finally leads to a day when he just won’t have to wait any damn longer, because. . . well, because. Don knows this. Resignation and memory are his companions.
I wheeled Don back inside, and joked with him that “at least we got to see some scenery and freeze our balls off.”(Its COLD here today.)
“It was a good ride” was his reply, as he went inside to wait for his overdue breakfast.
I drove to a fast food place, and parked. As I walked across the parking lot, thinking of hot coffee and a baked apple pie, I realized that today, right now, RIGHT NOW, life is ok. It’s ok. It’s simple, it’s got everything I need, and that’s a good thing.
Simplicity. I have my independence, I come and go as I please, and I have two cats that I love. And I have coffee and an apple pie waiting for me.
I want the world and all its shallow, empty lying promises – but right now, I’ve got everything I need. I want much more than I need. We all do. We don’t know, CAN’T know, contentment. It’s not our nature. Sigh. The world has been kicking my ass, all of our asses, and it will continue to, but for now, it can wait for me and my coffee.
What did I do with the darn cream? It was right here. . .
My job brings me into close contact with people with various illnesses and physical challenges. It’s interesting for me to interact with people both older and younger than me who are dealing with situations that I cannot imagine dealing with. You can learn a lot about a person’s character when you spend time with someone who is living a life of tremendous difficulty, brought about by physical trauma or disease.
This is not a passing of judgment on Janet. I met her for the first time today and spent about 45 minutes with her. She is missing a leg, and I am unsure what else is going on in her life. She is a chain smoker and I suspect she may have cancer, but am only basing that on her diminished appearance. I could be wrong, and I didn’t ask.
She is living in “transitional care.” The implication there to me is that this is where one lives until other accommodations can be made, until a sufficient “transition” can be made. Wow. I’m smart, huh?
Janet said transitional care is where you go to die. She is on the first floor of her facility – the public entrance is on the second floor, and it is an attractive and we’ll maintained area. Administrative offices, a large community room, a well organized nurses station and brightly lit hallways decorated with engaging art greets each visitor at this entrance.
The entrance to the first floor, to the “transitional care” area, is on the rear of the building. Near a large metal structure, covered with a ragged green tarp, inside which is a few folding chairs and a long table – the smoking area. The door to transitional care is the type of door you’ve seen on walk in coolers. Big, thick, heavy – industrial white.
Right next to the tarped smoking area.
Janet described the quality of the food as very bad, the staff as mediocre and usually overworked and inattentive. She relayed other details about the facility, and we both agreed that hey, man, whether the business is about housing dying humans or putting satellites in space, lowest bidder gets the contract and profits must be top priority – spend as little as you can and make as much as you can, and let the chips fall where they may, everything else be damned.
She has one sister who visits occasionally, but their relationship is strained, so you know, it’s just whatever it is. “Tis what tis.” She has a few friends, but they’re all in similar situations in the same facility.
I’m not sure what my point is with all this. I sympathize with Janet. I feel for her. I can sense her frustration, I can sense her fear and sadness, I can sense her aloneness. But I cant do a thing to help her. This is her life. She is fading from the bright white of life through the grays of transition into the black of forgotten. She is alone, she knows she is dying, she accepts it. She regrets not doing more fun things, not spending more money on vacations, or on friends and family. She is sad.
As I drove away today, she sat inside the tarped smoking area and lit a smoke. She looked at me and smiled, and gave me a wave. I treated her well during our brief time together today, because she deserves it. We all deserve it.
And for the briefest moment, in her smile and wave, I saw Janet as I’d never seen her before – full of her life, alive, but “transitioning.”
Damn. Makes me happy for what I’ve got. Makes me ponder my control over how I live or . . . “transition.”
When “life” is clearly on display, why do we (I) fight so hard to see around it, through it, to what I want it to be, as opposed to clearly seeing it for what it is?
Here it is. It’s the gray sky and freezing air of today’s snowfall. It’s the pain in my lower back. It’s the sadnesses of years, the happiness of decades. It’s the hope for tomorrow. It’s the reality of death, the certainty of now, the doubt of a tomorrow, the loss of then. It’s ladybugs humping on a leaf.
It just is. This is it. It’s evil mixed with good, pleasure mixed with pain, beauty and blight, sunrises and hurricanes. It’s all right here, in front of us (me), yet we (I) need to deny it the privilege of being what it is.
Someone will win an award. Someone will be shot in the left shin. Someone will feel love and tell all her friends, someone will wake to another depressing day of nothing. Far, far away, a rock will tumble from atop a mountain noone will ever know, and it will rest on the floor of an unseen planet, remaining there for eons. And a ladybug will give birth, while an ostrich dies. The game of life, the theater of that which is, in the only form it knows, and still, I (we) demand that it must conform to me (us). It must conform to my standards and meet my expectations. Wow.
It’s the only true reality. Yet we (I) insist it be something else – it must be what we (I) need it to be, because we (I) just don’t like it.
What will my attempts at manipulation garner? What will my screams and anger achieve? What will raging and frothing accomplish? What will I change? The laws of life are set. “This is it kids, here it is, like it or not!” cries the ringmaster as the elephant goes berserk and crushes the clowns, while high above the acrobat spins above his safety net. This is it. I (we) control so little. Such little control, and so much insistence, such haughty demands that things just had better start working out the way we (I) want them to. Chuckle.
Well hells bells. Ain’t that just tough shit? I better get over my neediness, because life is just gonna keep on going, with or without me, like it or not.
I can’t imagine what it is like to feel love for a human. I can think of noone that I could or would ever love. Not family, not friends, noone. Absolutely noone.
Sociopath? Is this what I am?
We toss around sayings like “You only have one family!”, and “Blood is thicker than water!”, yet I would have absolutely no problem walking away from my family and never speaking to them again. I’m single, no children, big surprise there. I’ve learned love from animals, and can’t imagine a human being who is worthy of that kind of intense emotion.
My mother was an irrelevant figure in my life. Consequently, I see no use for a female partner now as a grown man. I’ve been in many relationships, and only felt miserable and trapped in every single one.
My dad was distant and aloof. The best advice he ever gave me was “Brush your scalp twice a day and you’ll never lose your hair.” Seriously. That was his best offering to me.
Genetically, my folks gave me a lot. I won’t get into the details, but they were good people, and they passed along quite a bit, but in terms of being role models who instilled in me the ability to feel loved, or to feel love, they proved incapable. No doubt they simply passed along what they experienced, so to be angry at them is pointless.
I will never have children, which is the best gift I could ever give them.
Love for a human being.
What??? Why??? What a waste of time and energy. How do you even begin??
Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you to decide, but in all my years, I’ve never felt love towards another person.
I volunteer at a shelter and met this boy a month ago, when he was surrendered. He had a difficult month, he was in a quarantine for biting someone and he got sick for about two weeks. He was frightened and angry when he came in, but he overcame it all, and today, he’s being adopted.
He and I bonded in his month. I fell in love with him, I brushed him and petted him daily, helped him feel comfortable and loved, and while I’m glad to see him being adopted, (I’d love to, but my situation prohibits it) I’m feeling what poets write about losing love. Pain, crushing and debilitating.
For a goofy cat.
I love you Beau. You be a good boy in your new home. I’m glad I knew you.
Yesterday afternoon, a small cat blocked an alley I was driving through. Wouldn’t move, just stood there, staring at me. Staring, and not moving. I honked the horn lightly, inched forward a bit, nothing. Just staring at me. Ahh hell. I was in a hurry, but I also love cats, so I got out and tried to shoo it away, but again, it just stared, immobile. Jesus flippin’ salami. I reached down and petted it, noting it’s bony spine. Very bony spine. It finally starts moving – towards my truck. No. Noooo. Go away cat, I’m going to be late. SHOOOO.
No. Staring at me still, it approaches the open drivers door. Ahh crap. I pick it up, put it in the back end, drive back to my apartment, rush inside and put it in my bathroom, along with a bowl of water and a plate of fresh wet food. Closing the door, I exit the apartment, noting the looks of extreme concern on MY two cats – “What the f_ _ k was THAT thing, and why is it in our house?” they seemed to be saying.
Several hours later, I arrived home, anxious to see an empty plate of food and a purring cat, waiting for whatever it was waiting for. I stopped at the store on my way home and arrived laden with all the necessities – litter pan, food and water bowl, soft bed. Figured I’d make the little thing comfortable while it stayed with me, and then I’d plan a course of action.
I found a mess. Sitting in a puddle of pungent urine on my bathroom floor, eyes almost completely shut with some type of black crust, matted fur, the insides of her ears black with greasy grime. Nails that have gone untrimmed for a long time. There’s a sad phenomenon whereby a cats claw will grow back into the pad of its own foot, in a hook shape, and embed itself in the paw if it remains untrimmed. It must be painful, I guess. She had four of ten front nails doing this. These nails hadn’t been trimmed in years.
Emaciated. She was skin and bone. Literally. Very little muscle tone, really unable to walk, hence her failure to move as my truck approached her. She just stared. And waited.
I cleaned her eyes, her ears, trimmed her nails. She was a filthy mess. All the while, that bony spine, those pronounced ribs and hips. Literally skin and bone.
She spent the night in my bathroom, inside a box, on her new soft bed, with a new box of litter and a dish of water and tuna fish close by. She ate and drank nothing, all night long. She used the litter box one time. I woke up around 2 a.m. with the thought that she could probably use a little company. Maybe I needed the company. Regardless. So, I went into the bathroom, and put an old towel on my lap, and put her on my lap, and started scratching her. She started purring. It was an old purr. It spoke of internal mechanisms that are shutting down, that have seen better days. She flexed her front claws repeatedly, what cat people call “making biscuits”, a sign of contentment. We sat there, I on my toilet in a room that reeked of cat pee and a sick animal, she on a towel, stretched out across my warm lap, purring like your grandfather’s 1975 pickup truck – roughly, tired, wanting a break, wishing to sleep, eternally.
I went back to bed, and woke this morning to more mess on the bathroom floor, only this time it wasn’t urine. She wasn’t in her bed anymore, she was on the tile floor, looking sad.
I worked a few years at the front desk of the shelter I brought her to this afternoon, and recall seeing only two or three cats in worse condition than this one. Often, when a pet owner commits to having a pet euthanized, they would ask me if they were making the right decision, because even though their pet had been ill and lethargic and depressed for weeks, maybe months, years, “today suddenly, she just looks so alive, or he’s perked up and wagging his tail, are we doing the right thing?” Yes, you’re doing the right thing, your pet realizes it’s suffering is going to end, and it is expressing relief. They know. They know. And owners see it, all the while wondering if a miracle has occured, and reconsidering is an option. It’s not.
She perked up on the ride to the shelter. She was sitting up inside the carrier, looking around curiously. Her ears were at attention. A frightened cat lies still, ears often flattened. She was alive, she was hopeful, and as her body was shutting down, her spirit was happy. She knew.
I did the paperwork with the girl at the front desk, then said a quick goodbye to this skinny dying cat. She was staring again. Right at me, with her bright green eyes.
Memories of good food, of good rubs, of clean litterboxes, of soft beds and good living. Who knows what happened to leave her on her own, body breaking down and disease having its way with her as she struggled for survival as a stray. Skin and bones, and memories. And yesterday afternoon, with a stare and the will to stand firm and not move, she forced my hand. She’d had enough, and played her card.
A little over an hour ago, she was euthanized. I’m guessing she was around seventeen years old, and, well, fuckin’a man, I’m just damn sad right now. The world and it’s bullshit can kiss my ass. The politics, politicians, the government’s and the wars, the greed and corruption and insanity, the games and the cruelty, the despair and the hate, the anger, callousness, sarcasm and humanity – none of it matters a hill of beans to me right now.
I don’t form connections with humans. A staring human wouldn’t receive this treatment from me. But a cat – a dog – a lizard – yeah, these I’ll help. Not sure what that says about me, but good or bad, that’s me.
What a world we live in where we force suffering to continue. What a load of pig shit when a bureaucrat with an agenda says “No – you may NOT choose to end your life, because in order to retain my job, I must appear to care about the sanctity of human life and deny you the opportunity to be humanely euthanized.” What a world it truly is, where a cat can stare, and in that stare convey a message of exhaustion and pleading, and in so doing, receive freedom from what had to be agonizing suffering.
A damn cat.
Before she was euthanized today, shelter staff had to assign her a name, for the records. Well, they don’t have to, but often they do. They named her Chocolate Chip. And she’s free now.
(Intense sarcasm warning!)
I’ve never found an opinion that I enjoyed more than his, when it comes to “saving the planet.” For a comedian, he made more sense than anyone I ever heard. If youve never heard this man, give him a try. Hope you enjoy.
I like the sound of rain hitting the roof of a vehicle. I like to drive to the parking lot of a recently closed department store and sit. When the store was open, the lot was busy with its customers vehicles, coming and going, buying their trinkets and blinkets and nice fluffy winkets. The doors are now shut, the buildings for lease. Somewhere is a youngster that owns a winket, blinket or sninket bought here, and she’s saddened to see its closed doors, because when she feels alone and there’s noone around, she sits with her moonky and snunket and also the nice soft warm winket, and she feels peacefully calm.
The rain on the roof of my truck calms. Watching the streams of water as they merge on the windshield to form a liquid sheet of distorting wetness complements the effect.
There’s another store here, next to the silenced hulk of retail greatness, a small thrift shop. Value Village. No tribal warriors in this village, no grass skirts and nasal bones, no spears or grass huts in the village, but if you need a “slightly worn” shirt or pants, if you need a tire iron or weight bench, if you need pots and pans or a set of encyclopedias that’s missing the “G” volume (Gaa-Gym), and you find them on a day when the secret discount color matches the color on the objects price tag, you’ve won! You have won! You are a winner! Now you have a story, “. . . it is cool, huh? I found it at the Value Village, and it was 50% off!”
The rain coats the otherwise dull unattractive asphalt of the parking lot that wonders what it’s done wrong. . . “Once there was so much traffic here, but now. . . I don’t know. . . people come, they shop at the Village, semi’s park overnight then leave, it’s all just so. . . different.” Yeah, I know, parking lots rarely ponder. But the rain. . . it has a way of making the asphalt look like my soul – sometimes shiny and alive, when the drops cause a shimmer of motion in the many small puddles, sometimes vibrant and clean and hopeful. The rain masks the true nature of soul and asphalt – dry, dark, weathered. The pattern of drops on the roof of my truck decreases momentarily, the asphalt breathes, and now the rain picks up again, and calmness returns.
“For Lease, 1-800- XXX-XXXX. Space and Pad Site.” The retail site awaits it’s re-awakening. Call. Call soon.
The rain soothes a soul, but only until it’s cloud says “I’m empty.” Then dryness returns, and store and soul wait, wondering.
Twas the night before xmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a furry brown mouse. This was because a gas leak was slowly suffocating everyone.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, with silvery strands of old St Nicks hair, because last year when that fat fuck showed up, I was able to grab him by his hair and almost throw him down the stairs.
The children were nestled, all snug in their beds, while visions of standing in line at Wal Mart returning the crap gifts they got danced in their heads.
And mama in her kerchief and I in my cap, had just given up on sex because I’m all out of blue pills,
when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, so grabbing my glock I did what I’m supposed to do and randomly shot
The bullets went flying, mama was screaming,
and there on the breast of the new fallen snow, lie Santa and toys, from his mouth came breath a-steaming.
“Hey Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, hey Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, it finally happened, what a surprise, an end to our fun because of a gun. I checked all my maps and thought what I thought, but must’ve thought wrong, and now I’ve been shot. So, to you my fine deer, and the rest of the world, I bid a merry xmas to all, and to all a . . . ”
Guess Jolly old St Nick didn’t make it!