Saturday, October 31, 2009


My house is a camera vortex, a camera maelstrom, if you please. I--we--have lost two within the last two months. A camera a month; we're battin' a thousand.

The thing is, we know the optical refractors/savers are here, in the house, somewhere. The other thing is, we can't find them. They're both Canons. One, the original one I had, was a $300 camera a couple of years ago; the other, a red Canon, is a $100 POS that I bought about, oh, a couple of months ago, if that. They both took shots.

And that is the real traged--sorry part of this yarn. The images that was cap'chud is goan.

Gone for all eternity...untill we find the stupid cameras.

(At least Meagan found the rocks that she collected from Martian City. Um...Marine City, Michigan.)


On to significant dates.

My Daddy, Robert, God bless bless bless bless his soul, passed away, died, a year ago two days from now. Tomorrow, my sister and my Mom and I are going to have a Dad Remembrance Day. I love him; I miss him; I want him not to be gone. I am not one--seriously--to whine and caterwaul and carry on, shit, but I miss him. He left faaaaaaaaaaaar too early. (Not his design; His.)

And so I may tell myself that this is a part of life and that "the show must go on," but I miss my dad. I miss him. I love him. I miss him. I lovingly miss him.

A year ago, I was fresh out of rehab--not like it helped a damn--and I came out into a situation of seeing a Power Figure sick and dying. It rocked me. I had been in denial. I hadn't dealt with the significance of the situation. (I don't know, actually, if I have, yet.)

When a son sees his Booming Father shrunken and ailing, it tends to--fuck, at least for me--it made me see the world in a different light. I think it is the loss of the so-called safety net that really gets to a kid.

I am 36. I am not a kid. I am a man. (And I should be more successful.)

The point is, though, when I saw my dad dying, it sent a shiver through my bones. (Apropos, considering it is Halloween.) I saw Death. Death is ugly. Death is shit. Death is Pain. Death is diapers. Death is waiting in a line for one's number to be called. Death is always busy.

On the plus side, Death relieves a human being (and all other beings) from pain. From strife. From chaos and anarchy. Death is the great equalizer. All go to the Promised Land.

The thing that pisses me off, though, is that I wanted my father around longer. Am I a brat, throwing Lincoln Logs at God? Maybe. 'Cause, seriously, God knows best. Shit, even if you're a non-believer, Time knows best.

Who are we to question pre-determination? Who are we to question Fate?

Tomorrow, my sisters and my Mom and I will remember my dad. I remember him every day.

As we all do.

But I tend towards the dark side. I remember his pain, his paralysis, his thrushed breath, his neotonical mouthing of mashed pills in apple sauce. I remember all these images in vivid detail.

I have a photocopy of a picture of my dad that my sister Alexis painted. It is stunningly photographic. In it, Robert Raymond sits, his coffee in his right hand, his glasses perched down on his nose, his eyes winking, his shoulders broad, eyebrows tilted in just his way. I look at that picture often. I gain strength from it. I glean some of--a small percentage--of the strength that my father had... up and through his final day.

I have never met a stronger man.

It took universal malignancies to bring him to his knees. And, even then, he was stoic. He was strong. I can't even imagine the psychic and physical pains he was enduring. Yet he stayed. He stayed. He stayed Strong.

Almost a year ago, I bid farewell to my dad.

And now I say hello.


Peace, Dad. I love you. I miss you. You're always--always--in my heart.


Saturday, October 17, 2009


It is around noon on October the 17th, a Saturday. I am downstairs in the comfortable leather La-Z-Boy and Meagan is upstairs, rearranging the bedroom. I shifted it around on Thursday, but my fine woman was not a fan of how I'd done it. So now she is putting her female slant on the project. I had rearranged it so that our feet wouldn't be right up against the window. It's getting chillier, you know. She wants to surprise me with the results. I'd wanted to help her--had been prepared to help her--but she's all about the pleasant surprises. I'll like it any way she ends up shifting it. I'm easy that way.

Exciting blog post, huh?


It gets more exciting.

Kind of.

Well...not really.

As I walked out through the kitchen to let the dogs back in, I noticed that someone had called my phone and left a message. The number, as I looked at it, was instantly familiar. My doctor's office. What the hell would they be calling me on a Saturday for? I wondered to myself. I listened to the message and the girl on the other end chirpily informed me that it was Doctor H___'s office calling and could I please call them back at my earliest convenience.

I gotta be honest: Morbid thoughts were floating through my head. Why would they call on a Saturday if it were not important, perhaps even life-changing? Thoughts of the Big C or the Hiv or failing kidneys or high liver counts zinged about my head. That's silly, I told myself, I have just been there a month ago and got blood work done and the results came back with a big check-mark through "Normal." Still, though, I wasn't quite at ease as I called the number back.

Hell, they aren't even open on Saturdays.

I got the chirpy girl and she put me on hold. I waited for about two minutes, thinking death-thoughts and/or being stuck with a medical bill that my insurance would not cover and then I hung up and called back.

"Yeah," I said, "This is Adam; I was on hold earlier? Can you tell me, please, what the call was about?"

"Oh, yes,, you're due for your tetanus shot. We need you to come in. When would be good for you?"

Tetanus shot? Ahhhhhh.... A load was lifted. Fricking tetanus shot. And there I'd been, thinking the worst. Ah well, that's the way the Adamnator's mind works, sometimes. I scheduled an appointment for Thursday at 5:15 and hung up, life still intact.


So, in summary, just another Saturday. I saw Meagan's finished work upstairs and I am duly impressed. My rearrangement was sophomoric, hers looked professionally-done. She's got the bed up against the opposite wall and the desk in the corner near the window with the computer and the TV atop. Her dresser is at her side of the bed and mine is at mine. She's got me lying on the side closer to the window, which is just fine. I am hot-blooded (check it and see).

I am very pleased with the finished product, and I love my girl and never want her to leave me for warmer climates (such as Virginia Beach). But, as some sage poet once uttered, Love is like a little bird, held in a hand. Squeeze not tightly, or you may crush it. Hold not too loosely, or it may fly away. But, you know, true love is loving someone enough so that one does not oppress the other with chains of the heart. I, in no way, want my love to pedal off into the sunset. I want her here, with me, forever. I, too, want her not to be miserable. Do you see the quandary? Time will unfold, as it always does, and questions will be answered, as they most-often are.

In tetanus-related news, I did some E-searching and I discovered that, yeah, maybe a tetanus shot is not a bad idea. I'd rather not have my back bent like a Beckham free shot. I'd rather have my jaw unlocked and I'd prefer not to be a helpless victim of spasms, ones which contract and crunch and bunch my muscles and skeletal structure into shapes that belong more in the family Homo Pretzelalius than the family Homo Sapiens.

I work in dirt. I get cuts and scrapes. I could step on a rusty nail. A little prevention goes a long way, you know?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


"The first thing we do, we kill all the lawyers."

I looked at Bill. "The Bard, nice. Whatever. What you meant to say was, 'First thing, we kill all the zombies.'"

He looked at me blankly. He opened his case to his .45. Dribble drooped from his lower lip.


Man, it'd been quick. Exponential. From a few bleeps about "Cannibals in Sandusky?" to mass chaos. It was exponential. We all learned quick.


I'd had this friend Chuck, Charles, since I was seven. He and I grew older and we drifted apart, as friends so-often do. We stopped hanging out when we were, like, 15 or so. He'd started smoking and drinking--at 15!!!--and I still hit the books. We were like grease and water. In the halls we still said hello to each other, but it was low-class teenage bullshit. We'd spaced. I knew it; he knew it. Man....

This is difficult. I hope you--whoever the fuck you are--knows that it was tough to see him that day. After the Alarm-Sec-2009-09.

I do not like zombies. I hate their slack-jawed expressions and I hate the omnipresent fact that they want to kill me and eat my brain.

I'm just not down with that.

Charlie the zombie.


There is no room for error with these fucks. They scratch you, you die an agonizing death. They bite you? You die an agonizing death. They eat you? You're fucked.

Whatever. Charles came after me. It was after all the government's shut-downs and shit. But, yeah, he still was hungry.

He had knocked at my door. He'd still had the modicum of Humanity in his diseased networks.

"Chuck. Not home," I said as I parted the curtains on the door. "Zee-Chuck. Go bite someone else."

He hammered his head in to the door and--goddamn if--his head didn't

Saturday, October 03, 2009


First of all, companionship. And then you also have funny pictures to take. And you also have a warm dog on a cold night, nestled up against your feet.

But, the thing I have been realizing these last few weeks, is that they are not there forever.


I kissed his graying snout. I snuffled his ears. I said, "Louie, immortal." I don't want to be the one to tell him that, yes, his time is up. (He is still well-healthy; just graying. But, still....)


I had a childhood dog named Merlyn. My mom named him and he became a central part of the family's formative years. Through junior high and high school and then--for the older siblings--the moves-out, Merlyn was always there. Being the youngest of three, I was there for the dog's--the beloved dog's--transition into the Otherworld. It was tough, no kidding, to see one's Constant Companion go through the rigors of old age.

He was the dog I used to tackle in the living room, right? Doggie Team of Kansas, I used to call him as I swept him up in a bear-hug and lay him on the floor. Doggie Team of Kansas...who thinks of that shit?! I did.

Merlyn, a big-ole-snouted Lab-mix, got older and creakier. My sisters were off, out of the house, doing the things they needed to be doing. I was--and am--the baby of the litter. I was still at home and I witnessed Merlyn's fall from dignity. "Look at Merlyn," my mom used to say, "he is so regal." And? He was.

But carbon-based lifeforms get older. They eventually die.

Merlyn lost control of his bladder. He lost control of his bowels. He lost control of his hind legs. He got skinny; he got fragile. At the end, I'd sooner drive a hot knife through my eye than treat Merlyn with anything less than kid-gloves.

The last day of Mer-Burr's life, Mom and I drove him to the North Main Animal Hospital. There is a Burger King right next door and we pulled through the drive-through and ordered a chocolate shake. "Here, Mer," my mom said, tears tugging at her cheek, "have some of this." She proffered the lid-off chocolate shake and Merlyn lapped eagerly. (At that point I thought to myself that he looked pretty healthy; were we not, perhaps, jumping the gun? No. We were not.)

Merlyn had his Last Dinner and, yes, I feel guilty about that.

But what is a pet-owner to do?! There comes a--horrible--time in which one must make the correct decision for the benefit of all involved. It is a pros and cons game. It is a balancing act. How much pain should either side endure before it is time to call a halt to the action? It. Is. Heartbreaking.

If you've had a pet, you know what I mean.

Back to Louie. I have known the kid since he was born--I saw him birthed. December 23rd, 2003. So, in a couple of months, he'll be six years old. Six in Dog, with his breed, is like 52. Yikes. Was he not just that little puppy, all ears, looking up at me with unbesmirched eyes? Wasn't he just that agile teenager dodging the raindrops?

Was he the life-preserver when I lit the fireworks in my bedroom when I was 13 or was Merlyn?

Sometimes, I get them mixed up.

And there is a reason for that. Both were big dogs, dogs you could get your arms around--and both had deep wells of permanent optimism and loyalty. And--of course--both had deep brown eyes that spoke of intelligence and pride-pack and love.

They're both much-loved.


But it makes me think. I know Mer--er, Louie--has a few or six years left. But, the graying muzzle? The graying face? That makes me uncomfortable.

Listen: Lou has been with me for coming on six years. He has been with me in three different homes and with six-or-so women. He is Constant Companion. He is my buddy.

But--God damn--I do not want to have to put him in his grave.


flowers, colors bloom
we humans do love our dogs
flowers bloom Dog-love


This--that--is for you both, MerBurr and Lou. Dig on it.


Friday, October 02, 2009


My dear sister Melissa had a birthday yesterday. She turned 38. Wha?! 38?! Jesus, it seems like just yesterday we were hanging out at MSU, she 19 and I 18, both going green-and-white. Hell, it just seems like a week ago that she and Alexis and I sat on the back porch, on the long bench, eating PB & Js and Campbell's Bean With Bacon soup as we looked out at the back yard, dust motes floating through the sun slanting the trees.

Time sure flies, huh?

We all get older, yet we maintain our general default settings. Hers is Helper and hers is Caring and hers is Selfless and hers is Sweet. Sweet as honey.

Happy Birthday, Bumblebee Missy. We all love you.