Thursday, December 27, 2012


This post is a couple of days late, but that is usually the story of my life. A day late, and a dollar (or a lot more) short.  Those few, remaining, faithful readers that I still have will remember last christmas, and the debacle of gift giving that it entailed.  This post will not revisit that painful experience any more than is necessary, but is a post to show contrast.

That contrast is provided by this christmas, and the one gift I received.  It was a gift that came in a package of twelve, though there are smaller, and larger packages available. I will eventually need more than a dozen, but for now a dozen will do. It is also a gift that comes in many, many varieties, and I got a package of 4 different types. Some of them are close to my favorites, and some of them I could probably do without, but that is the nature of variety packs. You win some, and you lose some. I will still consume/use eventually. Like all things they have a expiration date, but I am fairly certain that they will be long gone before that future date arrives.

The further joy of this gift was that it was delivered to my house after one simple question being asked. That question, a question that is a solid precursor to any gift giving occasion was 'do you have any of these?' Upon my reply of 'No' the gift giver stopped and purchased the gift without further ado. That is a model of gift giving that we would all do well to follow, no surprises, no gimmicks, no guess work, just a simple question do you have X?, if not then do you want X?, if so then I just bought you X.   This gift does actually require sharing, but after all if a gift is good enough, why not share it. On some level the gift is good for me, and then on other levels it is bad for me. I like versatile gifts, gifts that have the ability to be different things to different people, me included.

In some circles in the world, some circles that I do not subscribe to, the gift is forbidden. That is fine that makes the gift even more perfect. It isn't illegal, and probably never will be, but certain parts of the society in which we live have expressed their extreme displeasure at the gift. However, me and society have never really been on the best (or even speaking) terms, and I could give a tinker's damn about any forbidden aspect of the gift. I am also fairly certain that the gift giver shares my position on this particular subject.  Regardless of our anti-society position, we will at least enjoy some of the gift together.

Therefore, all in all, this gift, this asked for and received gift, has been the one gift that I have received this christmas, and that is fantastic. I am not a good gift receiver, and getting me a gift can be, as you can read for yourself, can be a very tricky proposition. It is not that I am ungrateful, that is what most people would tell you. People who know me, but still just people. People, some quite close to me, that I have not (and probably will not) explain the real, true reason that I do not like getting gifts. That reason is buried in the forests of my past, and I have no intention of excavating it anytime soon. Perhaps, the reason is a silly one, and perhaps it is a valid one, either way it is my reason, and my reason alone. A reason that I carry around with me daily, and one that, like all good secrets, need not be shared. I am very protective/selfish of my reason, and for today just let it suffice to say thanks for the one gift that I have received.

P.S.  I have not divulged what the gift actually is on purpose. My loyal readers are encouraged to guess what it is. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


"Sure" my reply to a lot of questions. One word, one simple word, that I believed provided an answer to whatever question I am attempting to answer.  This particular question that I provided my 'sure' answer to was about as mundane of a question as a question can be. However, to the person asking the question, the word 'sure' took on a whole different, an not pleasant meaning. This person didn't like my answer, and therefore decided to provide me with a shining example of how that one word would make things go to hell pretty quickly.

The first thing they did was withdraw the question/invitation that had provoked my answer.  This holiday season was, it appeared, about to turn out like most of my holiday seasons. That is to say disappointing. I am not a fan of the holidays, and everyone who cares to know me knows this. It is best to avoid me on days like today that are holidays. I am not quite Scrooge, but I'd certainly give him a run for his money. Actually, in some ways I am probably worse than Scrooge, eventually Scrooge redeems himself, I have no intention to reform my ways. The only spirits that visit me in the night come in a glass with ice.  As I realized that my answer was going to lead to what could be considered a 'relationship' disaster, I did try, for reasons passing understanding, to explain what I meant by that one dangerous word, sure.

To me, and to me alone it seems that sure is a prefect substitute for the word 'yes'.  Other people have pointed out the error of my belief. Other people since that particularly bad day when I first found out that 'sure' to me is a sign of indifference to others.  Trying to explain myself using the Webster's dictionary's version of the word, proved fruitless. It only made things worse, if that was possible. It certainly did not help matters, and matter quickly went from bad to worse. And another christmas miracle, as I like to call them, took place.

I've suffered, and yes that is the correct word, several christmas miracles over the years, and they almost always are my own fault. It is just something that I have grown accustomed to. Like the weather, there appears nothing I can do to prevent these little miracles from happening annually.  These disasters are so similar (expect for some minor details, one involving a relocation to Kansas City), that I could probably go ahead and predict next year's disaster today, and just get it over with now.  Though the latest one, the one we are describing today did teach me a very good lesson.

That lesson the only positive outcome of the latest disaster (disasters usually don't have positive outcomes) is that I now understand the power of just one word. One word of merely four letters can change the entire course of a relationship, a horse, a spaceship, or a rampaging animals. You just have to choose those words with extreme care, it also probably helps to stick with the more obvious words that most people have a tried and true definition already agreed upon.  That one word that you sometimes formulate without so much as a second thought, that you don't even realize will be taken the 'wrong' way, a way you couldn't, even if you tried, fathom. 

These words, our words, my words, and your words, are the only way we can communicate. And, when they go potty then all sorts of things start to go bad. The amount of words you will have to use to 'rescind' that one wrong word you used without any malice will bury you.  And buried for the holidays is not something that is a whole lot of fun.  Presents can get unwrapped, and all that crap, but once disaster strikes, it stays struck, and that is something that your Santa Claus can not fix. god jul!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Pants On Fire

Many, many, years ago I knew a person who lied all the time. And when I say all the time I mean that if they told you the time you could be certain it was anytime but the time they told you. If they said the sky was blue, you could probably wager that it had suddenly changed colours.  To be fair to this individual, when I was introduced to them, the person providing the introduction did say 'this is X, don't believe their lies, and they lie all the time.' I laughed at the time and X just shrugged, as if they were used to this introduction, and were resigned to it being the way they were described.

Over a couple of years X and I got to be fairly close friends, and I begin to realize that the person who introduced us was correct. X lied ALL THE DAMN TIME. Sometimes, a discernible reason was there, and I could almost understand why they had lied. We all lie, and we all lie a lot. We lie to other people, to the cops, to the taxman, to our significant others, and to ourselves. We tell, what we consider 'white lies', just to get through the day.  These lies are just part and parcel of being human beings in contact with other human beings. Some of them are truly white lies, lies that we tell to (at times) protect the feelings of the people we are lying to.  No, that dress does not make you look fat, of course it wasn't your fault that something you were working on fell to pieces, I love you more than anyone else in the world. These types of lies, the lies that we tell each other daily, were child's play to X.

X would tell those types of lies for practice. In many ways, those little white lies that X told was probably the closest that they ever got to telling the truth. The dependable everyday lies, usually told in short sentences, were not really worthy of X's skill. You see, X was a consummate liar, a liar that lied for the sake of lying. X told so many lies that I was fairly certain that they had to have some whiteboard of lies pasted to their bedroom wall just to make sure that they didn't lose the plot. And X was a plotter of the first order. A person who always took the long way to get what they wanted, no matter how simple it could have been accomplished. In many ways, watching X 'work' was a thing of beauty, that is until you realized that everything they said was a blazing lie.

Eventually, like with most things, X's lies got old, real old real fast.  The major problem with X's lies is after a while they started getting sloppy. And a sloppy lie is just awful to behold. I begin to realize that by putting just a tad bit of effort into things I could unravel X's lies, and begin to realize that X was just a complete and utter bastard of a human being.  It wasn't overly difficult to figure out that X was working all sides of the street, just a couple of chats with other people who knew X, and a little comparing of notes made it very clear that X was exactly what our mutual friend had told me they were all those years ago, a liar. And not only was X an liar, but it appeared that X was a bad liar. It is an long held belief of mine (if I hold to any beliefs at all) that if you are going to do a thing, you should do it well. What is the point of doing something badly, and X's lies were badly done. It would not have taken too many brains, or too much effort for X to arrange their lies to 'fall into line.' Lies that would stand enough scrutiny to be believed, or believed by the right person for the right amount of time. Lies that you could be proud of, lies that would stand the test of time, but X wasn't that type of liar. Their lies were shoddy things, built on the cheap by a charmer of snakes that couldn't be bothered to make sure their lies were consistent. 

Lies are like that, they like milk, have an expiration date. And like milk, you need to keep gallons and gallons of them around just in case you need to either make a cake, eat a lot of cereal, or convince someone you love them beyond compare.  An expired lie is as useless as useless can be, and once X's lies started to expire things only got worse. X became unable to renew their lies fast enough, and those among us who still cared began to pull the string that unraveled all those lies.  It didn't take much, because as I said, once we started sorting it out, we really realized what a poor liar X really was. A charlatan that promised us the tonic to cure all our ills, but was just merely selling us sugar flavoured water. Sweet tasting at first, but ultimately bad for our teeth, our stomach, and everything else we had. 

Therefore, I had to cut X out of my life. What distant shore they washed up upon, I do not know, nor do I particularly care. It is not something that concerns me over much. X was never going to be one that stuck around, even before I started to no longer believe their lies. There were some nice lies in the amongst the regular detritus of lies that X spouted, but they were just simply lies. Lies that we chose to believe until we figured out that they were not true. We always had that sliver of hope that X would reform, or the belief that X lied to everyone but not to us. That is the foolishness of mankind writ large, to believe that someone is going to put you in the 'special bin', and treat you differently (i.e. better) than they treat the rest of the world. That is fool's gold, and you might as well try proving that Santa Claus really does exist while you are believing in miracles. However, like the rest of the known world I will still hang my stockings with care in the (vain) hope that X and Santa do not have as much in common as I think they do. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


In keeping  with my own personal thanksgiving tradition, I am sitting in my 'home', minding my own business, and polluting the interweb with a blog post. I hope that my massive readership is having the day they want to have with no regrets, and that they enjoy my latest poor attempt at entertaining them.

There is a reason that this blog is as old as it is, and will continue to grow older. It is the simple fact of writing. I started a long time ago trying to write, and looking back at my first posts, I realize they are dreadful. However, like most skills, writing requires practice, and this blog is my practice. An open practice for all who care to attend. I certainly hope that over the years of my practicing my writing that it has improved. On my good days, I look back at the newer stuff, and think to myself that is has gotten better, on my bad days I look at it, and cringe. On numerous occasions my hand has hovered on the 'delete blog' button, but I have always managed to talk myself out of such a radical step. 

For better or worse (mostly worse) I write it down. Now that world has gotten all fancy and shit, writing is not really what I do. What I do is type it all down, but the theory remains the same. Write it all down, or at least as much as you can, or care to, remember. Write down as much as you have the time to do, write down as much as your inherent laziness allows you to.  For if you don't write it down, there is no real way to make sure it actually happened. Volumes and volumes of 'history' have been lost to time because no one was there to write it down. Not that anything I engage in is remotely worthy of the history books, but again the theory remains the same.

History, that odd collection of dates, facts, people, places, and things that we selectively choose to record, is something for books. My life is not something that needs to be shaped into a book form. For the most part it is as dull as watching paint dry, the few moments of excitement are hardly worth the hours of mindless drudgery that make up the majority of my time on this planet.  History is, the saying goes, written by the winners. Once again this probably excludes me or mine from the history books. While  I am (I hope) not quite the loser that I can make myself out to be, or quite the loser that a few people would tell you I am, I do not delude myself into thinking that I am a 'winner.'  At best, I am just trying to draw with life, and I don't mean I plan on making pretty pictures, I mean I would like to at least keep life even.  I don't want to be carried around the village square on the shoulder of my boon companions (it would take a lot of boon companions to lift my big ass) in some celebration of my accomplishments, but I also don't want to be wheezing out my dying breath in some dingy hotel room, in some wayward city on the frontier of nowhere mourned by only the hotel clerk, and the rest of the vermin with whom I shared the place. 

Therefore, my history, the only history I really care about (there was a time, a life time ago when that was not true) is something that I have to write down, or it did not really happen. Thus, this blog, a place that while I sorely neglect from time to time, has become my own personal history channel.  A channel that anyone can watch, and anyone can ignore, I figure that the ignore camp is by far the majority in this, but as I have written before, I do not particularly care. After all what I am writing down is, in the main, the history of me. Certainly there are other actors on this stage with me, and some of them are extremely important. Some of them have such major roles that if they were to cease to be then I might as well book that lonely hotel room, and await the end I hope to avoid. Of course, there are also the bit players, the one that are limited to 'their hour upon stage' and are heard of no more. Mere blips on the radar screen that is my history.  Important blips, maybe, but still blips.  Some choose to be blips, coming into my life, taking a look around, and after calm consideration, deciding that my life was not quite the stage that they were meant for.

Which is fair enough, after all we are all living our own histories, and I am quite certain that to many I am merely a blip, a bit player on the stage of their life. Truth be told, that is (mostly) all I ever really want to be, I am not leading man material for anybody else but myself. I have to be my own leading man in my history, I can't get around that problem. However, the Clark Gables of the world need not fret, I actively seek to avoid leading man roles for others. Although despite my best attempts there are a few people who would tell you that I play a fairly large role in their life/history. Of course, there are ones who would tell that they would prefer that not to be true, and are busy trying to 'consign me to the dustbin' of their histories, a task that I do not try to hinder. But, there are also (I hope) there are a select few that would tell you that, while I might be a mad cunt, I play a larger role in their life than either one of us is happy about.  I also suspect, there exists (an even more select) few that tell you that if I were to 'be heard of no more' if would make their history poorer. It is to the latter group that I dedicate this post to, but as I ponder upon it more, I also dedicate this post to those blips, those poor players that decided for better or worse to strut off my stage. After some of you have provided me with reams of material that is, as yet, unwritten.  Merci. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Funeral for a Friend

Pay close attention to the title, it is not funeral of a friend, but rather funeral for a friend. I found myself in the sad position to attend a funeral for a friend today. That friend's mother had died, and as her offspring's friend I fulfilled my duty by attending the funeral. Not that I deserve any special kudos for that, it is what friends are supposed to do, funerals, wedding, baby showers, and all the other duties that adulthood imposes upon us. Gone are the days of 21st birthday parties and wild bachelor parties. Sometimes being an adult sucks, but sometimes you just have to  realize that life sucks a lot more often than it should.

I had already had a fairly rotten two days when I arrived at this funeral, and yet as I sat there listening to the pastor say his words that were designed to comfort us all, but which I found a perverse dislike for, I realized that, more likely than not, I am at least going to have the chance to have a crappy day again tomorrow. It already is shaping up to be that way, and I am not looking forward to it, but it is still going to arrive for me in about 10 hours. Something that the recently deceased will not have the luxury of having. I, being a non-believer, think that this mortal coil is all we have, and once we shuffle off of it, we cease to exist either as a body or a 'spirit'. Granted, this is not a widely held view, nor it is a particularly happy view, but it is a view that I have put considerable, and considered thought, and effort into fashioning. 

Still, as I kept my voice silent, not voicing any objections I may have with the views being expressed before me, I began to wonder if maybe those words were going to comfort some of the assembled gathering, and isn't that enough? Whatever wound those words provide a balm for, is one less open wound in the world, and in a world full of open wounds that has to be a good thing.  The disbelief of some damn fool like me non-withstanding should not be an obstacle to these good people feeling that their loved one is now in a better place.  The sad part is that, for the briefest of seconds, and perhaps it was due to my own emotional turmoil, that those words, and the promise that they held almost had me on board. For a millisecond or so, I almost came back to the fold that I so willfully left over two decades ago.  A bridge, in many ways the first bridge, that I burned solidly to the ground looked almost worth rebuilding.

Then, the absurdity of the situation struck me, who the fuck converts at a funeral? It was both absurd, and extremely selfish (to which both charges I enter a full, and spontaneous confession), after all I was here to support my friend in her time of grief, not to ponder the return to the flock. That is what I would like to say is the only reason that I am not walking across that rebuilt bridge, but I am not that pure, never have been, never will be. Part of my issue was the rest of the herd.  A look to both my right and my left, gave me a pause, a long pause, a deep seated paused that I have not recovered from since.  There are reasons for both of those directions giving me pause, and none of those reasons need overly concern us here. Even if I could write it without unleashing a firestorm upon my head, and I can't, this is not the space to do it.

No, this is the space about a funeral for a friend, a friend of only about 6 years of my life, but 6 years of my friendship is probably a bit like a prison sentence. I am not, nor shall I ever be, some one who makes friends easily. However, once made it is difficult to get shed of me as a friend. I also figure that it is a difficult thing being my friend, but this person has never complained about it even once. She is always happy, and positive, and not in a 'just took a pill' way. I think she is just a very well grounded happy person. A type that I wasn't sure existed, and certainly would not think would be able to stand me (or me them) as a friend, but nevertheless here we are friends until (and I hope this is a long, long time from now) one of us will be attending the funeral of a friend.

For Patience, who has lived up to her given name more times than I care to think about during the time of our friendship. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Wanderer

The English word for planet comes from the Greek word for wanderer. I say this as an opening because compared to the planets, you are the Sun. I've had a lot more than the eight or nine (depending on how you feel about Pluto) planets 'wander' into and out of my personal solar system in my time on this planet, and most of them I was happy to see transit out of my gravitational field.  Yes, I am big enough to have my own gravitational field. However, that isn't really the point of this post, those 'wanderers' that stayed for a brief time in the solar system of my life, have gone, and are mostly forgotten. They were only 'inhabitable' for a while, and then became less so, some even became down right inhospitable.

With a little more forward thinking research, I should have been able to detect the inhospitable environments that many of these planets possessed. However, I am clearly not an ace in the field of forward thinking. To colonize the planet in front of me was, in the main, my immediate goal, and being an immediate goal became my only goal. It was only after the colony ships had been launched, and a base erected, supported, and established that I realized the environment(s) were unfriendly, unhealthy, or unsustainable.  Some times it was the like the coldest place in the 'real' solar system, those dark craters near the South Pole of the Moon, where the temperature can reach a brisk 397 degrees below zero. Or, at time it was similar to the hottest place, besides the core of the Sun, in this solar system, that being the core of Jupiter which cooks along at about 15,000 degree Kelvin. Hot, or cold, raining base metals, or as dry as dry can be, each of these places ultimately proved fatal to the colonists I sent to 'plant my flag' on their surface(s).

Then there is you, the Sun in this personal solar system of mine. Not that you are all sunshine all the time, no one that I can stand to be around for more than 5 consecutive minuets would be, but there you are the centre nonetheless. I share the same affliction that Ptolemy possessed, that being the belief that the Earth, and here I replace the Earth with myself, as being the centre of the universe. In many ways, because I am the person I am, that remains true. However, it took you 'wandering' into my solar system all those years ago to disabuse me of that notion. Granted you didn't accomplish this extraordinary feat overnight, and at first I had no real clue you had achieved it at all. It wasn't until you too transited out of my system that I begin to suspect what you had done.

Even then, it was just that the merest hint of a clue, something akin to the briefest of glances that we can risk in the general direction of the actual Sun, lest we blind ourselves with its light. Staring at the Sun is, in the main, not a particularly good idea.  It took a truly 'Earth' shattering event akin to my own personal Copernican revolution for me to realize, ever so slowly, what I should have seen from the beginning. The fact that I should have known from the start was not a comfort, nor was the fact that even before I realized it, I had gone through the most elaborate 'colonizing' effort of my life with you.  That should have been, to me at least, a much bigger clue that it actually was, but I remind you about my earlier comment about me and forward thinking. It just does not seem to be my strong suit.

However, while I may be a slow learner, I am still a learner, and while it has taken me exactly way too long to figure all of this out, I have managed to figure it out. As usual it is probably a day late and a dollar short, but being a fool's type of fool, here I am not the less. Looking forward and slightly to the left, and seeing the Sun in my system. The Sun that has been there the actual centre of this system since I first managed to 'wander' my own self into their path. The Sun that outshines all the other wandering planets I have come across in this great, cold universe that I call my life. The Sun that is still there burning as bright if not brighter than ever. Making itself clear as the nose on my face, as clear as a bell, and as clear as clear can be. Sometimes a little wandering is what it takes to realize how far from the centre you've gone, and how much fun it is to wander your way back to that warm, sunny, centre that you should never have left in the first place.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Le Bon

As usual, they were both wrong, they like to think that they comprise the beginning, middle, and end of the universe, but, much to their chagrin, there are a lot of other people on this rock with them. They both did think that they were the only two people in that alley on that fateful night, and as I said they were both wrong. I was there, that what I do be there when a lot of people think I am not. Its not that I don't have a physical presence, it just that at times I can fade into the background with relative ease.

Not that fading took a lot of effort on that night, it was darker than Monty Burns' heart, and even though neither one of them mentioned it, it was raining as well. Not a pissing down rain, but the kind of rain that comes into town, looks around, and declares 'I'm staying for a couple of days, get used to me.' Like a visiting in-law that you just can't toss out on their ass, no matter how much you'd like to. I was, in more ways than one, the guy in the middle. Middle of the part as one brooded at one end, and the other 'charmed' his way into getting asked to leave at the other.  Middle part of the 'feud' between these two idiots, that people on the outside looking in might refer to as a couple of my friends. Nothing could be further from the truth, neither one of these jackleg thugs were any part of a friend to me. Their respective personalities made it impossible for me to befriend either one of them.

Also, I am not a man that makes friends on a lark. When I meet a 'new' person it takes a while for me to warm up to them. One of the most common comments about me from a newly met person is 'I've the feeling you don't care much for me.'  Which is, at the time of being spoken, mostly true. I am a bit like tungsten, I have a very, very high melting point. One or two casual chats over a pint or three, will not make us 'friends for life.'  I had shared more than just pints with both of them, and maybe that would be why some people would confuse them for my friends.  It didn't really matter that I had a use for them both, and getting that use from them was the main reason that I kept them in sight. I knew that they had some issues, and being the brains of the outfit, I knew that those issues were going to have to be sorted out, one way or another.  It was my job, one that I eventually failed at, to make sure that those issues weren't sorted out on a permanent basis.

When I saw them both in the same bar at the same time, I gathered there was going to be trouble, and I was dead set to try and avoid them having trouble, at least until my use for them no longer existed.  I saw the interchange between the first one and the bouncer, but I didn't really hear the words that were exchanged. From their respective reactions it was pretty clear that his presence was no longer required at the bar.  I also noticed the other ones eyes light up as he realized what was happening to his 'friend.'  I took especial notice of his paying his tab, and sliding out of the door unnoticed. Unnoticed that is by everyone but me.  I am a 'pay as you go kind of person, so I was just able to 'sneak' out of the  door before the 'escorting' took place. I knew the bar, I knew the street, I knew the alley, and I knew that is where these two idiots would eventually meet. It was my task to get there first.  That much I did accomplish, but for once I had underestimated these two fools.

That I underestimated them, is a badge of shame that I will carry around with me for a very, very long time. I knew both of them fairly well, but I would have never predicted that both of them would be spoiling for the kind of settlement that happened that night. I've read both accounts, and I realize that they both think they are telling the whole truth, but as with most stories, they leave a lot of stuff out. It is very difficult to tell a good yarn about yourself without 'editing' out the bad bits. The bits that make you look like a murdering bastard, or the bits that make you look like a homicidal maniac spoiling for a fight.  I will keep most of the details of the actual truth (or my version of the truth, which might not be the actual, actual truth) to myself.  Both of their versions have kernels of truth in them, and both versions are full of lies.  I should know I was there. I survived the encounter, and I didn't flee the encounter with the fear of John Q. Law.

To say that I was both surprised, and unhappy at the outcome would be a vast understatement.  Surprised because I really didn't think that either one of them had that kind of violence left in them, but clearly I was wrong. I do not like being wrong. Surprised that both of them came to the party with violence in mind, and surprised at the permanent ending of their little dispute. I really do not like being surprised.  Unhappy because despite the fact that I did not (and still don't) overly like either one of them, I had a use for them both remaining alive, and accessible. Now, one is dead, and I am sitting outside a dingy hotel room, in some grimy city, in a province that I'm not overly fond of.  

I'm here because when the 'winner' ran, I chased him, and I've been chasing him every since. I saw him dispose of the 'murder' weapon. I saw the panic, and smelt the fear on him many times as I got ever so close to him before tonight. I like to think he hasn't a clue that I've been tracking him like a migratory duck since that fateful night, but I figure (from his actions) that he has at least a small inkling that he is not, or ever going to be entirely 'safe.'  He won't mention me in his little tale of what happened that night, and the other one didn't either, but rest assured, if either of them had any sense they would have realized I was never far from the scene. I didn't involve the authorities in this little drama, because I am not a fan of authority. Besides, I figure this kind of thing needs to be settled man to man to man, and now since there are only two men left, it should be just that much easier to settle. 

And it must needs settling tonight. It has gone on far too long, and sidetracked my original plan. I get a bit upset when my plans are sidetracked. Room 6 is where he has come to roost, and room 6 is my destination. I am sure that some people will think I am doing a bad thing, and when I knock on the door things might get ugly, but I am hoping for a good result. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

La Mal

Make no mistake, I killed the bastard. I am trying to decide whether I did the world a favour or not, but I do not dispute I killed him. Murdered him, well that is another thing entirely. Murder is something that a legal system, and some fancy pants lawyers to decide. I have no intention of letting that decision take place with me in the room.  That is why I am in another dingy hotel room, in another unnamed city, in yet another state. I have been 'on the lamb' as they say since the night I put three bullets in him. I figure that 3 bullets of the calibre I used cost me about 4 dollars, it remains the best 4 dollars I've ever spent.

Of course I was there the night in question, I was at the dimly lit bar that was our mutual haunt. He was just too far into his cups to notice me at the other end of the bar. Not that I was trying to be noticed, I was just there to have a few drinks, and ponder why the world allows scum such as him to live, let alone prosper. Because don't believe his lies, he was prospering.  Not driving a Ferrari type of prospering, but well off enough to afford what he wanted, and he certainly wasn't missing any meals.  He said he 'offered to throw himself out' that much is mostly true. He did make that snide remark to the bouncer, but by the time he said it he was already being escorted to the back door. The door that I knew lead to a dead end alley. He knew it too, we all knew it, alleys have several uses, and trash disposal isn't the only use an alley can have.

As the bouncer, not actually an ape, but a fairly gentle giant, closed the door behind him, I was already paid up and out of my seat headed towards the front door. He and I needed to have a nice quiet conversation, and I figured now was as good a time as any. I walked out the front door, turned left, and looked down the dimly lit alley to see him swaying ever so gently near the back door. He paused a moment as if he was getting his bearing, and decided that the brick wall/dead end part of the alley was not for him. That's when he turned and saw me. He was drunk, drunk as a lord, drunk as drunk can be, and I am quiet sure he would have never remembered any conversation we would have. Still, I tried. I called his name and he peered at me trying to ascertain who the hell I was.

That is when the knife came out, and he might say it was ever so slowly, but I was there and I was about three drinks behind him in the race towards oblivion. I knew he carried a knife, he always said that knifing a man was more personal, it showed you cared enough about the other person to get that close. I,on the other hand, do not like having too much physical contact with other people, so I prefer a different type of protection. For a 'knee bobbling' drunk he certainly was quick, and his attempt to get up close and personal with me (knife in hand) left me little choice but to draw the revolver I had inherited from my father and fire one quick shot at him.

I aimed a bit high and to the right trying just to wound him, to stop him from coming any closer, and carving me up like a xmas goose. I knew he was a fair hand with a blade, and I did not feel like losing my good looks to his handiwork.  The first bullet wouldn't have been fatal, on that much we can agree. It was never meant to be fatal. But it didn't even slow his drunk ass down. He kept coming for me, and now there was a look in his eyes that I had seen before. It was a 'tell' of his. His eyes were normally a light shade of blue/grey, but when they turned into a steely blue, there was going to be trouble. Even in the dim light of the alley, I saw his eyes literally change colour to that steely blue. I knew then it was him or me, and I figured it was going to have to be him.  I don't remember saying anything to him, either before or after the first shot. I just remember that I knew shot number two had to count, and I made it count. I shot him center mass, watched him stagger a couple of steps then shot again.

I've no idea if the third shot him or not, he crumpled to the ground, and I ran off in a blind panic. I did not walk away 'as cool as the other side of the pillow.' I ran like a scared rabbit, and I have been running every since. I ditched the revolver in a convenient, large, body of water, and I headed for parts unknown. I've moved an untold number of times since that fateful night, a night that I get the pleasure of reliving when I am finally able to fall asleep, which is happening less and less. I guess I should be grateful for the fact that I get to relive that night, after all, for him it was the end. For me it was almost like a beginning, a beginning of a loop of a nightmare that is played at varying speeds in my mind both awake and asleep.

  I killed him, that much is true, it was not planned, it was not clever, and it was not murder. I had my reasons, most of which he knew, he was a clever lad, the ones he didn't know were the ones that only I know.  The reasons that only I could feel, the ones that only I could think. He would never have been able to suss out those reasons even if he'd lived to be a thousand years old. That the kind of person he was. I realize that his 'death' has been ruled an homicide, and remains unsolved. I've no plans to turn myself in, and ask for the king's mercy, and I've also no idea if there were any witnesses to the event, my gut tells me that if there had been, they would have come forward by now, but that is the rub, one never really knows these types of things until it is too late .It was a mercy for him, and for the rest the world. Sometimes the ugly has to removed the hard way.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


As I heard the door close behind me with a soft, but discernible 'click', I knew that the way back was closed to me for ever, or at least for the rest of the night. As my eyes were still adjusting to the gloom of the alleyway into which I had been shoved, I became certain that this was not the way to grandma's house after all. However, the good news, if there was to be any good news at all, is that I always carried a handy, dandy blade whenever I visited the drinking den that I had just been, none too gently, expelled from.  Truth be told, I had done what I thought was the sporting thing to do, and offered to throw myself out this time just for variety. An offer than was frowned upon by the hulking brute at the door. With a grunt and a very menacing nod (who nods with menace?) he made it clear to me that he was more than able, and very willing to help me find my way out of the bar. It was my choice, one that was quickly being decided for me, as to whether I walked out, or landed out on the sidewalk.

I, being a thinking man, decided that one more rough, unceremonious landing would be bad for both my physical and mental health. Therefore, I graciously agreed to allow the trained ape to 'escort' me to the door, and bid him good night, good health, and a undefined sexually transmitted disease, as he pushed me, none too gently, into the welcoming alley. Perhaps welcoming is not the right word for the unnamed alley that ran behind this particular bar, but it didn't appear to be particularly foreboding at the time. Boy, was I wrong about that.  As the door finished closing behind me, and I straightened out my slightly rumpled clothing, I realized that it was a lot later than I had thought, and that perhaps those last two drinks were not, in hindsight, a very good idea.  Unsteady on my pins would be one way to describe me, if you were being generous, knee bobbling drunk would be another, more accurate term for me at that time.

Either way, drunk me was now clearly no longer welcome at the bar to his back, and decided that home was probably the best place for me to be, if I could just figure out which direction home was, then I would be golden. Bleary eyed, I took a gander in both directions of the alley, and was able to puzzle out that home was probably located somewhere in the opposite direction of the brick wall that was at the end of the south end of the alley. Pleased with myself for my ability to form such complex navigation, I set off in the direction of the open end of the alley.  It was only after about three steps that I heard the noise and saw the vague shape looming (with just the right amount of loom, I might add) at the entrance to the alley.  I peered off in that direction, in a futile attempt to ascertain whether or not I knew the shape blocking my path to my nice warm bed.

Slowly, it dawned upon my booze addled brain, that I did know the person, and they were no friend of mine. I reached ever so slowly in my left pocket and began to ever so slowly draw out the switchblade that I carried with me for just such an occasion. As they walked closer to me, I realized my mistake. Not the mistake of recognition, I knew exactly who this person was, but the mistake that was to be my last. I looked at the revolver in their hand, and realized with a bit of terror, and a bit of irony that I had brought a knife to a gun fight. They just looked at me with a great deal of anger, a bit of disdain, and a dash of hate, as they realized my mistake as well. 'Always the tough guy huh?' they rasped out with a bit of a chuckle. 'Well I am not tough, I am just efficient' and with that, and before I could respond with some witty retort, they shot me three times in the chest.

The first bullet wouldn't have killed me, they say, but it sure as fuck hurt like hell. It was a bit high and to the left and it enter my upper chest near my collarbone, came out of my back and broke my left scapula. Once again, not fatal, but it certainly was going to keep me out of the weekly cricket games for a while. I guess they had time in those few seconds between shots one, and two to steady their aim, and the second bullet caught me dead in the chest. It entered between the 2nd and 3rd rib on my left (ish) side, did all sorts of damage to those bones, nicked my aorta, and lodged against my spine. The third bullet I never really knew much about, because I took about 5 steps towards my killer, and dropped like a stone. I wasn't dead before I hit the ground, but I died about 8 seconds after I landed in the heap that they would find me in come morning. Once that aorta is ripped open there isn't much hope for you, in case you wondered. I didn't have time to wonder all of this lovely medical knowledge, I was a bit too wrapped up in dying.

The person at the open end of the alley, the person that had just murdered me, looked down at me with the distaste that one normally reserves for dog shit, and shook their head once slowly from side to side. They then pocketed the murder weapon, turned, and walked away into the night as pretty as you please, and as cool as the other side of the pillow. I am not sure how well they planned my murder, nor am I certain as to all of the reasons they killed me, I have a couple of theories, but once you are dead, theories don't carry a lot of weight.  Not much really matters after that death thing. They got away with it, because they were clever, or because no one was around, or if anyone was around they never came forward. I was scraped off the alley, put into the meat wagon, sliced open like a xmas turkey, my cause of death ruled multiple gunshot wounds, and my manner of death a homicide. Sometimes the bad guys win. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Tonight (well actually last night, I am a day late with this post) 12 people that I do not know, or sure that I want to know have my fate in their hands. Actually, that is also not exactly true. They have the fate of another person in their hands, and I am one of the people that helped to put it there. These people, carefully selected, are deciding the fate of a many a week of my (and others) work. And, as I lie here tossing, and turning trying to find the right position to find sleep, I can't  help but wonder if maybe I've made some major mistake in picking those 12 people.

Granted, I wasn't alone in picking them, and I have not been alone in trying to convince them how to decide, but in many ways, I feel that they are deciding my fate as well. My fate feels inexorably intertwined with the other fate that is being decided and that is the real reason they have been assembled. While my freedom is not at stake, it still seems as if I am being judged as well. Judged on my performance, judged on every little detail, judged on every word I say, and even the ones I don't, judged on a multitude of things, several of which I have absolutely no control over. It is not a particularly pleasant feeling. As sleep refuses to come, and I replay the last several days wondering what, if anything, I could have done better to influence these 12 souls to decide the way I want them to.

The sad part of all this drama is that for the past week, these 12 people have been staying in a hotel, which is far more luxurious than my adobe, and they have probably been eating better than I have as well. That is not overly sad, but it makes me feel a little bit unfulfilled. These people have a big decision in front of them, and here I am thinking that I am sure they haven't been surviving on hot dogs (like I have) all week. Funny the things one chooses to focus on while under all this stress. Stress is not something that I enjoy, and I am quite sure that the 12 people have probably noticed that during the last week.  I hope that I have done a decent job of handling the stress of the situation, but one never really knows, does one?

These 12 people have no idea that my fate is also in their hands, I am sure if they did it would confuse them even further than listening to me already has. In many ways, I am glad they haven't a clue, but part of me just wants to clue them into the fact that this is really, really important to me. I doubt they would be overly concerned, but I would at least like to give it a shot. I won't of course, because those aren't the rules we play by. So, I lie here and look at the moonlight filtering through the window, and wonder if maybe blankness and darkness wouldn't be a more preferable fate.  To step out into that blankness and darkness and not look back, leaving the decision on my fate unknown.

If I had my way that unknown fate would stay just that, unknown. Perhaps the best fate is an unknown fate. The fate that you don't know, you can't really worry too much about, or try too hard to change. This unknown fate, the fate that I begin to ponder harder as I get out of the bed, finally giving up on that elusive sleep, and wander into my backyard.  I look up at those distant stars, and wonder if maybe my fate is written somewhere in them. These dimly visible objects that were born so very long ago, and that will be around long after I am food for worms.  Maybe I've really got nothing left to lose, and that unknown fate will be a wide blessing. A fate that I deserve (which is too horrid to really think about) or maybe a fate I don't deserve (which might just turn me into either a tragic hero, or a better person). These 12 people, who I don't know, and who I don't think I want to know have this in their hands, and they don't even realize it.

The implications of that last bit, make me want to find a freight train, hop it, and start a new life at the end of the line. I won't do that, because that decision, while very, very tempting, is the coward's way out. In spite of the many flaws I posses, and in spite of the fear that I am certain is obvious to everyone around me, I will stay here and accept the fate, unknown or not that is to be doled out to me.  Having the courage of my convictions can be a very bothersome thing, but having that courage in my convictions is what, in so very many ways, makes me the person, for good or bad, that ends up having his fate decided by 12 strangers.

And so as the morning images burn themselves into my mind, I stagger from the bed that was not a sleeping cell, but more a torture rack, and make myself ready to face the day.  The day which will, hopefully, see my fate decided for better or worse by 12 strangers. As colour starts to find its way into the sky, and I stumble through my morning routine like some automaton, I try to keep my hands from shaking as I assemble the necessary items I need to face my fate with as much dignity as I can muster.  Let's hope, for form's sake that it is enough.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


You invaded my dreams last night, for no reason that conscious me can ascertain or is willing to admit.  However, unconscious me, the asleep me, the one that I have no real control over got a full blown sighting of you last night. It was not a snippet of a dream, not some cameo appearance where you walk onto, and off of stage leaving only the merest trace of your existence. No, this was a full blown starring role, a central role, a main character in some odd drama that played out while conscious me was asleep at the switch (literally and figuratively).

The details of the dream are not overly important, and to relate them here would probably just make it that much worse. Suffice to say that dream you, and unconscious me were getting along like a house on fire, as friendly as friendly can be. The bible was discovered and read with some vigor, and I hate you for it. Or, at least I think I should hate you for it. Truth be told I think the correct feeling I should be experiencing is self-loathing. I go out of my way to NOT think about you on a daily basis, that task is one I set for myself when you 'set sail for Singapore' as it were, and it has become easier and easier to accomplish the further you sailed from my shores. However, it seems that some part of my unconscious just hasn't read the memo that conscious me has been circulating around the office of my mind on a daily basis, and decided to dredge you up from the depths that I cannot fathom, or more worryingly control.  A dreamboat that comes sailing back into the port of my mind without any conscious thought on my part, and certain without the proper authorization. 

The barrier reef that conscious me erected to attempt to forestall this dreamboat sailing back into the port of me was overcome as easily as a fat man's willpower as he trundles past a bakery in the early morning mists of what has become an all too familiar day.  This dreamboat that represents you, plows over my sad attempts to stop it as easy as a hot knife slices through butter. It is not a pleasant experience, at least to conscious me. Unconscious me, that turncoat of Benedict Arnold like proportions, thinks your sailing back into its 'life' is just peachy. Unconscious me is a complete bastard, he doesn't have to struggle to forget your existence on a daily basis. He doesn't have to wonder if he is going to accidentally bump into whilst rounding the next corner. He has it made, and worse is he knows it.

Unconscious me knows that in any spat that he and I have, he is ALWAYS going to win. I can't stop him, I can't really even hope to contain him. It is a very similar feeling that Verbal Kent expressed in the Usual Suspects, 'how do you shoot  the devil in the back? What if you miss?"  How do you stop unconscious me? Not sleeping? Eventually that attempt is going to be fruitless after about 48 hours, you are going to sleep, whether you want to or not, and then unconscious me is going to wreck havoc like Sherman marching through Georgia.  Unconscious me is not a man who likes to be denied his play time.  Therefore, not sleeping is not really an option, it merely makes unconscious me angry, and I don't think I want to make him angry, after all, he conjures up you to punish me when he is just in, what for him, is a 'good' mood. I would hate to see what demons, and you are I am sad to inform  you, a demon, he would terrorize me with if he was angry. Visions of my disappointed 2nd grade teacher flash through my mind and I shudder with horror.

The other option, and it is one that I've tried once or twice when unconscious me gets rowdy, is the little pink pill. Or actually 2 pink pills, since one them isn't quite enough to knock me as far out as I need to be. Once again, a bad option, and a slippery slope that I do not want to start sliding down on a too frequent basis. Once other option is available but it is beyond the pale for the moment. Therefore, the only two options are bad, and worse, leaving me at the mercy of you and unconscious me. An alliance that I never thought I would see, and yet one that you (even if you don't realize it) and unconscious me are lording over me like Cambridge does when they beat Oxford in the Great Race. There is no real way to stop this unholy alliance from having its own little reign of terror over me on a nightly basis, and for that I resent you both. There is fuck all I can do about it, and I am not a fellow that like feeling helpless, but helpless I am. Crushed between the Scylla that is you and the Charybdis that is unconscious me.

There is no lock that conscious me can construct that unconscious me does not have the key for, no plan that awake me can concoct that asleep me can't foil. This must be what the fucking Joker feels like all the damn time. All of these wonderful schemes and plans that are just destined to fail, to falter like an overly tired horse in the last furlong before the finish line of life.  As the lids droop, and the last vestiges of conscious thought start to fade to black, conscious me shudders at the thought of a pissed off again unconscious me unleashing hell in our shared psyche.  Fais de beaux reves!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


The other night I came to a major life decision, which for once was more than just figuring out whether to get Wendy's or Burger King for dinner. It was (as most major decisions are) a very tough decision, and I pondered over it for quite a while. There were only three options available in this decision, and all three of them had some major drawbacks. The options aren't really important, and the decision probably isn't either, but it was my decision, and I suppose I shall have to stick with it.

The actual decision, and the reasons behind it need not overly concern us here, nor should the other two options detain us overlong. The outcome of all this mighty struggle is that, after two years of trying, I am going to become laconic, even if it kills me (which would make at least 3 people I know quite happy, those being the 3 people this month that have told me they wished serious bodily harm upon my person).  Gone are the days of regaling my boon companions, and anyone else who will listen, with the tales of my 'exploits'. No longer will I share the details of my nights of debauchery aloud with my group of friends. Words are precious, and I am going to begin to treat them as such.

Like water in a desert, I will use words sparingly. I will have to adjust to this new theory, and I am quite sure I will get asked the 'what's wrong with you' question a lot, but the decision has been made, and for better or worse it must be enforced.  I had hopes that I would not have to make this tough decision, but factors quite beyond my control forced my hand. It is not something that I necessarily want to do, but something that I have to do in order to maintain a sort of control over my life. Or, at least the appearance of control. How much control any of us have over our lives is open to debate.  This control has to be enforced by me, because of the actions of others. Some of them probably haven't a clue that they are forcing me into this decision, and some of them probably don't give a fuck, and will celebrate my laconic-ness with a high tea party, to which I shall not be invited.

Truth is I am fairly certain my exploits and my debauchery are a bit overinflated, and that really, and truly no one wants to hear about them anyway. Which, from now on, is just perfect because they won't, they shouldn't, and they can't. The foolishness in which I engage shall be solely the province of myself, and perhaps the one other person with with I engage in aforementioned foolishness. Get used to being answered in three words or fewer when you pose me any questions, and if you persist in asking questions, be prepared to get only two words in reply. I am quite certain this decision will not distress anyone in my 'inner circle' and will probably make quite a number of people quite happy (and we all know how much I like making my fellow human beings 'happy'). 

The adjustment period will be difficult, but as with most things worth doing, a little difficulty is to be expected. It is just a simple fact that this has to happen for the betterment of, well the betterment of me, the rest of you lot, with a few minor exceptions, I could give a shit less about. The ones who are the exceptions know who they are, and the others can sod off for all I care. It is a decision born of self-preservation, and one that I do not take lightly.  I can only hope that all the words I save myself from speaking can, with the proper adjustment, turn into words I write with aplomb. I doubt it will work, but the goal of this decision is to turn myself from a talker into a writer. Wish me luck, I've a feeling I am going to need it. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bon Fromage

Someone that I used to know, said that 'The GI is like Limburger cheese, it takes a while to get used to him, but when you do, and you like him, you really like him. He is an acquired taste." I replied that I had wished they had used a different, not quite so stinky type of cheese in their analogy, but that, the in the main, they were probably right. I am an acquired taste, and one that takes a while to acquire.

Limburger cheese has an aging time of between 2 and 3 months, and it, like us humans ages daily, to acquire me probably takes a bit longer, mainly because everyday contact with me is not something that very many people either want, or can stomach.  The bacteria that, after three months, gives Limburger cheese its pungent aroma is the same bacteria that is responsible for foot odour, so you can see why I wished the person in the quote above had picked a different type of cheese to use. However, they picked Limburger, and I have to be faithful to the quote, even if the quoted is no longer a fan of Limburger cheese. I am not sure if you can just 'go off' of a certain type of food that you've acquired a taste for or not, an expectant mother I know has said that she had gone off of avocados, but then again her body is a hormonal battlefield, and I figure once she births that baby her love of avocado will return.

I suppose once you go off of Limburger is it probably at least a semi-permanent type of thing. I suspect that even if you, after 6-8 months of no Limburger, could probably only return to it in small doses, and even then it probably isn't ever going to taste quite the same, or quite as good. These are just my random guesses, because proof of this is as thin on the ground as nuns in Chinese whorehouses. I also suspect that unlike cheese or any other type of food, I have a small say so in the matter of if you can return to the cheese you used to love.

And therein, dear readers, lies the rub. I am not Limburger cheese, sadly I am a human being. Not a particularly good example of the species, and a fairly rotten person, but a human nonetheless. With all the attending problems that a human poses and possesses.  Those tricky little things that you lot like to call feelings, I still possess. I have, after a fashion, been stripping my feelings away like a man peeling an onion (which is the other main component of a Limburger cheese sandwich), and have tried my best, (which is rarely good enough) to dispossess myself of having those troublesome things called emotions. It has been a struggle, and overall I have probably failed (as I do a lot), but I like to think that I am as emotionless as I can be, and still be human.

The problem is the few emotions that remain, are the survivors. The hard to reach, the hard to root out, types that just won't go gentle into that good night. Even after considerable effort, and a lot of willpower on my part. These emotions are the diehards, the fanatics that just won't admit defeat, and remain in the citadel of their creation defying the siege of my army of the unemotional. These emotions are the ones that generally only come out at night. The ones that like to wreak havoc, like Lawrence of Arabia blowing up a train track to annoy the Turks. These emotions are the ones that make my inner self a battleground, much like the mother ship I know, though for her at least the end is in sight, and there is a pay off at that end. For me, well not so much. There is no end in sight in this daily relentless battle between the powers of emotion, and the armies of the unemotional. They are not compatible, and realize that the success of one depends on the complete eradication of the other.

It makes for some wild times, and it makes me realize that while I have stripped away a lot of feelings from my make up, and it is hard to hurt my feelings, that when you do hurt my feelings two things happen. First, they HURT, badly, like a wound that just won't heal, won't even scab over, it is a constant source of pain, and one of the reasons that it just doesn't pay to be a thinking man.  Secondly, once my feelings are hurt they stay hurt. They just don't hurt for a couple of days, or months, but they go on hurting like a bad tooth that you just cannot afford to have pulled. That exposed nerve that just keeps throbbing like a disco ball in your head, that makes a lot of other things seem way less important. When my feelings are hurt, it takes a lot of effort, (and beer) to dull them enough to become functional, if I ever managed to be functional in the first place.

Entire seasons come, go, and come again, and my feelings remain hurt, the memory just refuses to fade, the pain decides that 'hey I think I like it here, and will stick around'.  The emotions have won, and they are not generous winners. When they realize that they have found a home, they generally make it an armed camp that would make a Roman proud. Throwing up battlements, and setting traps worthy of the name in order to keep what they have so dearly won. The armies of the unemotional are relentless, but sometimes they are just quite simply over matched.  Like a Swedish basketball team against the dream team of '92, the armies of the unemotional are going to get their clocks cleaned, and it is not going to be pretty to watch. The emotions will do anything to stick around, they are a resilient lot, and are not above using any type of weapon that comes to hand. Chemical warfare is one of their favorite toys, but instead of mustard gas, they just merely bring out a well aged Limburger cheese, and the battle is won.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


Since G in NC misses me, I felt the need to get off my lazy bum and actually try to write again. The truth of the matter is that lately I have felt a bit indifferent as to my 'writing' such as it is. I wonder if I shouldn't just throw it over, and go silent for good. I ponder the meaning of anything that I write having any real value at all, and I think that perhaps I am in a rut. A rut of writing what appears to be the same 'story' over and over again just using slightly different words. An overarching fear that I am so out of ideas, and words that it would be best to stop deluding myself.  For I do some times feel (if I feel anything at all now days) that I am deluding myself into thinking that anything I have written, can write, or will try to write will not make one little difference to the world, or more importantly to myself.

And therein lies the rub. The 'world' as a concept can slag right on off as far as I am concerned, but when I start to wonder if this dribble I befoul the internet with is even making a difference to ME, then I start to despair. Despair and I have quite long standing relationship with one another, and I do not need one more thing to encourage despair to stick around. If this writing thing begins to fail, and odds are that it is, then perhaps I should return to the silent, mindless drudgery that constitutes my everyday life. However, before that (perhaps blessed) event occurs, if it occurs, I have managed to trap one of the many ideas that float through my otherwise empty head on a daily basis, and the result follows. To G in NC for missing me.

I have you surrounded, surrounded by a group of agents and people that while not exactly my minions, are at least on my side enough to help me surround you. They are not your friends, not matter what some of them may tell you. They are not people you should trust with your secrets, hopes, dreams, fears and all the other nonsense of everyday life. Though you already have shared some of those with certain members of this group. I know because after you unburdened yourself to them, they reported it back to me. It was all very touching, at least parts of it, some of it was sad, a bit was funny, and quite a lot of it was pathetic. However, being a faithful group of agents, they report it all the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I get to hear it all and decide what, if any, use I can get out of the information.

The beauty of this, and the thing I am quite proud of, is the fact that these agents of mine are people you would never suspect. People from all walks of your life that you would hardly believe that I even know, and certainly would not think they would be an agent of mine.  Even I am not sure of what motivates them to be on my rather than your 'side' in this little war we are waging, but I've learned not to ask too many questions as to people's motives.  All I am concerned about is the result, not with the why. The why these people do what could be considered betrayal is not something I am overly worried about. The good thing is they do it, and some of them do it with a certain amount of glee that makes me wonder how they have fooled you into thinking they are even remotely to be considered your friend.

They are quite aware of the fact that you and I are at daggers drawn, and as far as I can tell, they seem to want my dagger in your back more than they want your dagger in mine. Of course, I don't really trust all of them. I am certain that since you are not a complete idiot, you might have sent me a couple of double agents. People who report back to you the same things I get to hear about you. Though worming a way into my confidences takes slightly more effort that one would think. You, as we both know from experience, are much more of an open book. It is one of the things you take pride in, and one of the reasons for our current state of affairs. You were open, I was closed, why we thought that would be a good match boggles the imagination, and I am pretty certain we both got exactly what we deserved from our time as 'friends'.

There is little point in trying to guess the identity of these people, one of them might be your barber or, one might be the homeless guy you pass everyday on your way to work, or your best friend, or they might not. They might not even really exist, and this little tale is exactly that a tale. A fable drawn from the (shallow) well of my imagination just to see if I still have an imagination. Or it might just be a figment of that imagination I might be delusional enough to think that I have each doorway you go into and out of covered with an agent of (dubious) loyalty to me and my cause. All of this babble might just be that babble, the ravings of a madman, or it might be the gospel truth draped in the cloak of a fairytale by a man who is just mad. Mad as in angry, angry at you for being who and what you are, angry at himself for not realizing that sooner rather than later, and feeling like a damn fool for that mistake. Angry at the both of us for being alive and on the same planet at the same time.

 If this is that gospel truth, and if you really do exist then you should not feel too bad, you aren't the only one that is surrounded. In many ways we are all surrounded. Surrounded by agents of (dubious) loyalty to all sorts of other people besides ourselves. You, me, and the other seven billion people on this planet all have our own agenda, and rarely do two agendas fit perfectly together. When they do, I'm told, it is a thing of rare beauty, sort of like seeing a unicorn on a perfect spring day. However, most of the time they don't that is why they (the nameless bastards that are always saying shit) that unicorns do not exist. The wonderful news, and the final bit of news that I have for today is that neither do you.

For G in NC, I don't know anything about you other that you are G in NC, but this post is for you with my thanks for the inspiration to write it. I certainly hope you exist.

Friday, July 06, 2012


I have, believe it or not, been accused (more than once) of being a non-team player. I have also been told that I am as stubborn as a brick wall. Both of these adjectives are probably very true, but still I at least attempt to deny them both. Why I do not know, because really and truly I both understand and embrace my non-team playing stubborn behaviour. Most people don't really care for either of these traits that I seem to posses in abundance, but then again, I am not trying to impress most people. I have a select, limited number of people that know me well, and none of them have ever asked me to impress them. That is why they are on the short list of people that I call my friends.

Friends and teammates are not the same group of people, although some lucky few get the honour of being both. If, of course they are lucky, though I suspect their idea of lucky, and my idea of lucky might just be a little bit different. However, the idea is still basically the same. If you are my friend, well you are stuck. I don't make friends lightly, or easily, but once you are 'made' you are made, and you will have to do a lot of evil, evil things in order to lose me as a friend. Trust me people have tried, a couple even succeeded but they are exceptions that prove the rule. If you are one of those treasured few souls that I count as my friend, I will do as much as you ask of me, even cat sitting for you while you are out of town, and trust me, if anybody in this world hates cats, it is me. Sit them and not microwaving them takes all of my self-control, but a friend asked a favour, and a favour he shall have.

However, there is one thing that I do not, on purpose, possess. That is the rare thing called a 'best' friend. I have great, good friends. Friends who would make any other person in the world proud to call their best friend. There are two reasons that I choose (and it is a conscious choice) not to confer the title of best friend upon any one person. The first reason is the good reason which is why I will mention it first. It is a simple enough reason; it is the fact that all of my friends are, in their own way, quite awesome. That is why I picked them out of the rest of you lot to begin with. Each of them compliment my shitty personality in a different way. Each of them have certain traits that make them both unique from the others, and awesome in their own way. Most 'normal' people would be proud to call any ONE of them their best friend, and I realize how lucky I am to have such an amazing group of people that will suffer me for longer than 5 minutes.  The second reason is the bad reason which is why I saved it for second. Despite every member of this group of amazing people's talents, and obvious suitability to be my best friend, I remain a bit of a lone wolf at heart. It goes back to that non-team player tag that I have been carrying around for years. The fact that I seem unable to trust people in a positive manner makes having one best friend impossible. I cannot pick just one of them to be my best friend, and am unable to place all my eggs in the one basket of best friendness (a new word).  I prefer to scatter my best friend out amongst 3 to 5 people that way I become less vulnerable to the variances of personality (both mine and theirs).

 This group of wonderful people understand my stubborn nature, and are either okay with it, or are able to overlook it. It is an article of faith amongst this group (and they do not possess a great deal of what you would call classical faith), that I am fine as long as you do not try to get me to do anything I do not want to do. Quite a number of people (the non-friend) group make (in the broad sense) me do things I do not want to do, and sometimes get a bit disgruntled about that. Me being disgruntled is probably an unpleasant sight to see, and I am pretty sure it is something that gets really old, really fast.  My friends, on the other hand, realize that I am, at my core, about as mature as a five year old petulant child, and trying to get me to do something I don't want to do is a prescription for disaster. I might attend that function you wanted me to attend, but I will get by (and have done so many a time) with saying as few words as possible. I will stop short, I hope, of being outright surly, but I doubt you will want to bring me back for a return performance.

I am not completely okay with this as a personality trait, but it seems to be a defining one. If I were to radically change it, I might radically change myself, and then that group of amazing people that I count amongst my friends might change as well. I somehow doubt any of the group would be so shallow, but it is a big risk to take. Sometimes I wonder if it is a risk worth taking, but then I realize that I might be too old of a dog to learn new tricks. I do warn people about this bad trait of mine in advance, but sometimes seeing is believing. In many ways, I apologize for all those holidays ruined, parties shortened, and functions made awkward, but in many ways I told you so, and if it is possible to, I mean that in a good way.

This post is dedicated to two small, but not mutually exclusive groups of people. One the group of friends that I waxed lyrical about above, and two my loyal readers. You might have noticed, if you were paying attention that today is the sixth year anniversary of the beginning of this blog. Whatever you do, do NOT go back and read the first few posts I attempted, they are cringe worthy, and I am quite ashamed of them. However, I keep them up to remind me of my extremely awkward beginning, and to hopefully, show that I have improved as a 'writer' ( I even manage to do paragraphs nowdays).  It has been a long six years, and several times my finger was on the delete blog button, but someone usually was there to talk me out of it. For both of those groups of people I would like to express my undying gratitude, and thank you all for your patience in reading this dross. I can only hope that you get one tenth the pleasure out of reading it as I do (most of the time at least) writing it.  Tack, merci, gracias, danka, and thank you.

Monday, July 02, 2012

First in Time, First in Right

I was his first, I am hesitant to call myself his first 'love', so I will just stick with naming myself the first. The first who ever showed him exactly what the joys of love could bring. I doubt he remembers me very often, and I am not sure he remembers me with anything approaching fondness, but while he can deny all sorts of things (and does all the time), he cannot deny me no matter how much he would like to. I was the first 'filly' that he tried to break, and he came close, but I was never really that broken. I let him think he was in charge a lot more than he really was.

It was more years ago that I care to remember when I took him aside on that dirt road and taught him the rules of the road. The ways of the world, and all the other things a young lad like him needed to know in order to navigate his way around.  Try as he might, and I am quite certain he has tried, he can never forget me. I won't allow it, you see even if the rest of you lot have taught him things I never could, even if you lot have changed him from that nervous, uncertain, confused boy that I used to know, I will remain first in time. First in time, first in right is a property law axiom that some other person taught him long after I was gone, and I am not longer first in right, that is something I do not desire to be, it is enough for me to be first in time.

I was born in Detroit, the same state as his father, he didn't like his father that much, but he promised not to hold the state of my birth against me. What he did hold against me was a pair of very uncertain, untrained hands. That was fine with me, after all I was his first, he was not my first, a fact that he knew, but tried to ignore.  I was younger than he was (and I suppose I still am), but he was a self-confessed 'late bloomer'.  The fact that I was his first was quite quaint in very many ways, but soon began to wear very, very thin. Thin in the fact that he really, really didn't have much of a clue as to what he was doing, and pulling myself out of the wreckage of our relationship became quite painful. In his defense, one of the 'wrecks' wasn't exactly his fault, but one was just quite simply his mistake in not paying enough attention to where I was going. I forgave him the one, but not the other.

He currently has absolutely no idea as to my present whereabouts, and I doubt he really cares. He has long since discarded me in favour of younger, newer models. I never expected anything less from him, he isn't (or wasn't) the type to grow overly fond of things and or people. It is both a personal failing of his, and one of his most endearing qualities.  He knew enough to tell me that he had learned enough from me, and would have to let me go to rust like some ancient, outdated Soviet icebreaker that had become too expensive to maintain. He kept me out all night once, and scandalized the entire of his, and my family. We both got into a lot of trouble for that, and I was banned from seeing him for quite a while. He didn't apologize for it, and I thought the better of him for his unabashed refusal to say he was sorry.  It wasn't the worst night I had ever spent, and it wouldn't be the last night I spent with him.

That last night wasn't anything special, and truth be told, I can't really remember any details of it at all. I doubt he can either, but I am quite certain he would be upset if he knew I couldn't. One of his biggest problems was/is the fact that he thinks he should be remembered longer than he remembers you. I was the first 'victim' of that flaw, but I am certain I was not the last.  It is you lot, the successors in interest that I dedicate this little blog post to. The ones that came after me, the ones that he eventually discarded just like me for younger, newer models. I am old fashioned, and out of date like an inline 6 (and if you get that reference you are miles ahead in the race to understand what this is all about), but no matter where he goes in the world, and no matter how many of you lot he 'test drives', I will always be his first whether he likes to admit it or not. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Everything and Two

 'All of the world is about three drinks behind'  Humphrey Bogart- 1950

Bogey made that rather cryptic statement quite a while ago, and I must confess that until this weekend I didn't exactly under the full nature of what he meant by it. However, after this weekend I now know almost exactly what he was talking about, and I am not sure I am quite ready to be Humphrey Bogart. I did get to dress a little bit like him in the ceremony that I was happy to participate in on Saturday, but the suit does not make the man, no matter what those asshats selling suits tell you to the contrary.

It was during this alcohol fueled binge that I realize that I don't feel a thing for you here anymore. That is both a relief, and a tragedy. A relief because, as a wise man once told me, 'the opposite of love isn't hate, it is indifference.' Here I am looking for the space between the arms of another, finally able to feel indifferent towards you. A tragedy because moonlight finds me here alone in this nearly deserted bar, afraid to step out into the unknown. A relief because if I manage to scrape away the barnacles of sadness which you have coated the hull of my ship of soul with, then I will be through. Through expecting the phone, when it does ring, to be you.  A tragedy because when I think of something between everything and two, you were the 'two.'

However, in the long run you couldn't really be the 'two' because I didn't allow you to be. Moonlight brings me back to stay in the half lit, smoke filled bar, wondering exactly why I didn't. If you were here, and in many ways I both thank christ you're not, and wish like fuck you were, I don't know that I would be able to tell you the answer to that question. The question that you would surely ask, the one that I, in my social awkwardness am unable to provide you an answer that you will be able to comprehend. Truth of the matter is, I have no answer that I, in my foolishness, to provide.  I am not that smart, not clever enough to give, what to you is an answer to the simplest of questions, but to me is like lighting a benzine ring on fire and jumping through it.

Answers that come as easy as breathing to you, I find impossible to provide. Either due to being raised by a wolf (though I expect that is just an easy excuse), or a towering amount of cowardice (which I suspect is closer to the truth).  Though those three drinks that I was ahead of the world for those few somewhat glorious hours, gave me an just a bit of a glimpse of the answer that I need to have. I was three drinks of ahead of the whole world, and it allowed me to think of a lot of things that  I wouldn't normally ponder. It made me wonder about things that weren't there, and why they weren't there, and where they were, and where they should be. That is a very complicated sentence, and it was a very complicated thought to parcel out to myself.

The chemicals coursing through my system both sped me up, and slowed me down enough to make a lot of sense of my current situation, and sadly the conclusion I came to was that my current situation does not make a lot of sense. I am steadily becoming a person I don't want to be, and I am not exactly certain I can arrest that slide. I have to try, at least I think I have to because if I don't think I just become a rampaging failure. And that leads us back to the not feeling a thing for you here anymore. To avoid becoming a failure I have to make myself 'unfeel' all the things that you made me feel all this time. That is exactly as hard as it sounds, and to these aged ears it sounds pretty fucking hard. How does one stop feeling something?

Feelings are, sadly, not like a tap that you can just shut off when your glass is full, or your bath as been drawn. Feelings just happen they are no respecter of age, gender, race, or class, and they sure as fuck can have really lousy timing. But, as a being on two with feet with a heart that, while being slightly enlarged, is also broken, we have to move on with the remainder of the time allotted to us by the some higher being that we are not even sure exists. Mostly that time will be spent trying to sort out a lot of problems that haven't even happened yet. Part of that time will be spent rehashing disasters that have already occurred, and the rest of that time, the glorious bit, will be spent being exactly three drinks ahead of the rest of the world.  

Monday, June 25, 2012


Everyman would be lucky to have you. Everyman wonders how he actually got so lucky to have you,and is terrified that you will one day 'come to your senses' and be gone like a puff of smoke.  Everyman looks at your cornflower blue, emerald green, smokey grey, or chocolate brown eyes and sees the future there. When you toss your flaming red, silky blond, coal black, or lovely brown hair Everyman's heart goes 'thump' just a little bit. When you walk into a room Everyman holds his breath. Everyman is secretly delighted that you walk over to him after walking into that room. It makes Everyman able to breathe again.  Everyman is also secretly proud of the number of times he has had to answer the 'what do you do to this woman to make her want to be with you?' Truth is Everyman has no real idea how he fooled you into thinking you want to be with him, but is not going to change one little bit of it.

Everyman sees the sway of your hips, and starts to think naughty little thoughts. Everyman wants you to be his dirty little secret, but not too secret. After all, Everyman has a reputation to think about, and has friends that he needs to brag to about something other than his ability to throw darts. Everyman is convinced that you are the best thing since sliced bread, more important to civilization than the wheel, and a lot more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. Everyman is like that, not the deepest thinker in the world, and quite happy (most of the time) to be content with bread and circuses. Everyman shivers when he sees that he has provoked your temper. It is a wonderfully awful thing to behold, and sometimes Everyman makes you angry just to get to see it.

Everyman is puzzled when you talk about things he fully fails to understand. When you quote Shakespeare or when you mention the labeling theory, or when you tell him you love him in a language that he does not speak. Everyman sometimes has difficulty expressing himself to you, because all he can think about is how wonderful you are, and how wonderful it will be to grow old with you. Everyman wants you to be the mother of his children, to rear them, to hope to the powers that be that those children get your genetic makeup and not his. 

You are the Sun to Everyman, bright, shiny, hot, and a little dangerous, but when you are 'shining', so very glorious. Everyman basks in your reflected glory, and realizes that without you the day just isn't really worth getting out of bed for. Although, Everyman would be quite happy not getting out of any bed that you co-occupied with him. Everyman thinks that to see you smile, and to know that he is at least a partial cause of that smile, is worth all the tea in China.  Everyman sometimes gets a little confused about all of this, and just wants to be reassured. Everyman is reassured when you favour him with the briefest of glances. All of these things, and so very many more are what Everyman thinks and feels when he sees you. Things that the aforementioned Shakespeare put into far better prose than Everyman could ever hope to. Things that made the bards sing, the painters paint, and the grass green. Everyman can only hope you realize all of the things that he tries to say in his own poor fashion.

However, and here is the rub, the problem that makes it all go somewhat pear shaped. The fly in the ointment as it were. The ghost in the machine, the reason that sometimes things are better not lived. The one thing that, like the Riemann hypothesis, has no clear solution. The one thing that is simply as sad as sad can be, it is the simple, but unquestioned fact, I am not Everyman. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


 It has been six months since I discovered this glorious poison that I have become addicted to. This wonderful drug that was 'invented' in 1874 by some idiot I've never heard of, working at some hospital that probably doesn't even exist anymore. That is your history lesson for the day ladies, learn it well. This stuff is glorious, poisonous, and addicting. It is also the only way I have been able to make it through the past six months. It is the crutch that allows to me 'walk' out into the public world and not curl up into the fetal position.

How I managed to find it isn't really important. The important bit is that, in a few minutes when I press down on that plunger, I will experience an euphoria like no other. All this of this euphoria is due to very complex brain chemistry that happens when the dragon hits my veins. I don't care about chemistry, or about my brain, at least not when that first rush hits. All I care about it how green everything looks, how transcendent I feel, and how I am now almost certain that I know the exact meaning of life. I know everything, I can do everything, I feel everything. It is something that makes Pink Floyd make a lot more sense. To describe it is far beyond my meager ability with the English (or any other) language. It makes everything so fucking clear, that if you could stay there in that rush you would probably cure cancer, feed the hungry, and put an end to war.

Of course the problem is that the feeling doesn't last nearly as long as it should. While I was so busy feeling that rush, and understanding the meaning of life, I forgot to writ it down, or to record it in any way. Therefore, I need more of the dragon to get back to that state of being, and this time I WILL make sure to write it all out. All of those complex formulas that will make the world a better place will be written down with precision, and given freely to humankind as my gift to them. Maybe this is what Jim Morrison was talking about when he wrote some of those hard to understand, crazy lines of his poetry and his music. Maybe a little bit of this stuff, and I will be writing the great American novel.  I can do anything as long as this shit is around. Change the course of history if I feel inclined to. Move mountains, save little babies from burning buildings, the whole nine yards of heroism is mine.

That was one of the beauties of wearing long sleeves as a part of my job, it made my addiction easier to hide, all I had to do was not go out in public much. Then summer came, and the wiser part of me (if any still exists) decided to try a new way to chase the dragon. The classical way, the way that gives the expression its name. Chasing the dragon all over some foil, as it slides to the left and to the right leaving a trail of impurities behind. It is in those impurities that you start to see your doom writ large. If this stuff is doing that to a piece of foil, what is it doing to your system? Making your lungs as black as your soul. A soul that I became willing to sell on the cheap, just so I can get another chance to chase the dragon. I will now tell the most outrageous of tall tales, lies, and stories just to explain my actions while on the dragon, and to attempt to get another chance to grab the dragon by the tail.

It is the 'chic' thing to do chase this dragon along a path that has a lot of potential for bad endings. A lot of people have chased this dragon, none that I know of, have ever caught it. It has been the final path that a lot of people took, and I don't think I want to end up in their shoes (or in the same state as them), but once on this chase, it becomes ever so hard to get off of the chase. Things start to lost a lot of meaning, and the 'dream' life that we are convinced that we are after starts to fade into the background very quickly, and not just because we stopped sleeping more than 2 hours a night about 4 months ago. That faded dream is all too real, becoming frayed around the edges, the edges that we use to further chase our dragon.

The final truth of the matter is that dragons eat people both figuratively and in reality, and sure this dragon isn't really what it sounds like, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous, poisonous, or deadly. That poison that has been coursing through your system for six months, and colouring almost every aspect of your life, has to be drawn out, purged as it were, for you own, and others safety. We all have our dragons to slay, and we all could use a St. George to ride in and 'save the day' as it were, but the fact is there was only one St. George, and he slew his own dragon. Maybe that should be a lesson for us all, it is (at the end of the day) your dragon, you must needs be the one that slays it.

Friday, June 01, 2012


There are all types of voices. Voices of reason, voices of insanity, voices that make you want to howl at the moon, voices that you can listen to for hours just for their sound, voices of authority that tell you what to do, and when to do it. Persuasive voices that try to convince you that what they are telling you is either good for you too, true, or both. Voices that tell us to have one more beer, what could it hurt? Voices that try to sell us something, insurance, drugs, sex, love, rock and roll, or anything else we could possibly want. Voices of exhortation that try to get you to make that one final push for god, king, or country, or all three. Voices that whisper terrible things in your ear much like Iago does to Othello. Voices that you recognize at an instant, and in that recognition you know exactly what they are going to say. Voices in your head that are in constant disagreement with themselves. One telling you to do the 'right' thing, one telling you to just 'do what the fuck you want'.

We all are bombarded by these voices all the time. We can hope that they aren't the 'voices in our heads' that make us wobble into a McDonald's with a pistol and shoot the place up, but I am sure that has happened before. But those people were insane, and our voices aren't nearly as disturbing are they?  Managing these voices can be quite difficult, and sometimes we just want them all to stop. We just want to sleep, or watch the boob tube and let the TV voices wash over us gentle as a spring rain shower. We don't want to have to think, or to reason with these voices, we just want a moment of peace. Even if you are able to obtain that peace and quite where the only voices you are under assault by are your own, you still are under assault.

In many ways, this assault is the one you are least able to resist, how do you turn off your own voice(s)? Lying very still, all communication devices turned off, and no music softly playing in the background? Usually, doesn't work, at least not right away. The voices are still there, and now that they have got your undivided fucking attention, they are going to have a field day with you.  Maybe those little white pills the kindly doctor gave you will help, but taking them seems to be an act of cowardice doesn't it? Sure they will put a stop to the voices for the moment, but they also make you groggy in the morning, and you don't really want to have to take them forever.  Addiction to get away from the voices is not something that you are willing to entertain as an solution.

Those voices are quite happy you chose the brave man's way out, and didn't take the pill that quells their incessant humming. The droning they provide in your head is like white noise, but not quite white, because you can, if you pay attention (and you are paying attention aren't you?) you can ascertain what they are saying to you. To you, for you, about you.  They are quite good at telling you all sorts of things you probably don't want to hear. The critical voice that makes its life's work to pick apart your day like a dog worrying a bone. Telling you all the mistakes you've made in the last 24 hours. And then of course, while they are telling you about your recent mistakes they go ahead and compare those mistakes with the mistakes you've made in, say, the last decade of your life. It takes a special glee in showing/telling you how you keep repeating the same mistake(s) over and over. That makes the critical voice as happy as a pirate that just sailed upon a fat, overloaded, unguarded Spanish treasure galleon upon a lee shore.

Those mistakes (the critical voice will tell you) are almost too numerous to mention, but the voice will still give it a shot to catalog them all while you toss and turn, and pray for it to stop.  This is not one of those situations where you can kill the messenger, that would certainly stop the voices, but it is a bit of taking a hammer to a fly.  The wonderful thing about this critical voice is that it is a mimic, and a thief. It can mimic the voice it needs to in order to inflict the most damage on your psyche. It is a thief in that it can steal/access your visual memory and provide you with a moving picture of your disaster(s) that it wants you to see on a loop. Make no mistake the critical voice is not your friend, and is, in many ways, unstoppable. Sure, somewhere in your mind (hopefully) is the soothing voice of someone (maybe your dear, old mum?) that will tell you not to listen to that mean, bad critical voice. Though sometimes, maybe more oft than not the soothing voice isn't strong enough to take down the critical voice.

The only voice that has a chance to 'out talk' the critical voice is the voice that you lot are 'hearing' now. That is the creative voice. The voice that is writing this post after a night of wrestling (and losing?) with the critical voice. The voice that hammers on the inside of my skull telling me 'to get the fuck up and write you loser.' 'It's the only way to ensure the critical voice doesn't always win.' The creative voice is right, and while it can't be held responsible for the substandard nature of the creations that come from its fight with the critical voice, it at least tries. It can't please everyone (least of all me), but it makes the attempt, and if the result is hated, well that isn't the creative voice's fault. It can only work with the material it has at hand. It is not standing upon the shoulders of giants, and sometimes it lacks the vision, but without it there might be dead messengers everywhere.