Friday, December 17, 2010

THE THINGS THAT A VIOLENT VIDEO GAME WILL TEACH YOU

I am a fan of the video game Grand Theft Auto series. I always have been and I always will be. These games are not for pre-adolescents or adolescents or, even, teenagers. Those young folks' brains have not developed enough to enjoy (and not be scarred by) the "games."

My latest GTA kick is "Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City." In the game, my character is a guy named Luis, an ex-soldier, a bad-ass, a straight bodyguard for one of the biggest (gay) nightclub owners in Liberty City.

Drugs, violence, sex.

[By the way: Liberty City is a video twin of New York City.]

Luis may not like it, but I absolutely love Carnage. Mayhem. Luis is under my control...or am I under his? That's a transcendental question, I reckon. Be it as it may be, I am the Puppeteer. And when I say "jump" Lou jumps. And when I say "Throw your grenade at the cop car and see what happens" Luis does just that. And when I say "Climb to the top of the highest building and drop a grenade at your feet and wait for the blim-blam" Luis does just that.

I think "transcendental" is too big a word for this. I think "vicariously" would work better.

See? I am college-educated, I have a somewhat golden finger for writing, but I am not immune to the slowly-seductive forces of--gasp!--video games.

They are so fucking realistic. Every time I play, I am immersed in Liberty City. If I start, I play for, at least, three hours. Good. God. Yeah. Three hours.

I enjoy killing. Vicariously. I enjoy throwing a live grenade, vicariously, into a crowded, traffic-jammed intersection. I enjoy watching the cars blow up and I, also, enjoy watching the fire-bound wounded straggle from their vehicle, and deposit Life on my doorstep. Upon which, I shoot them either in the head or the genital area.

In this game, I am a malevolent God.

***

But. Back to the title. What can a video game teach a person?

Well. For one thing, this: I was in Chinatown; I had just bought another grenade and also a bullet-proof vest. (Kevlar?) Anyway, I walked out of the shop and intentionally bumped a dude twice. Once was enough, for him. He said something like, "Why you here-ah?" in an Asian accent and so I bumped him again. In my side-vision I saw the red-and-blew of Trouble. The coppers were on the scene. My fingers itched to hold my M-16. I, instead, backed away from the Asian malcontent, and I squeezed my hands into fists so tight that the next day I had semi-circles on my palms. During the interaction, the game-cops took the Chinese guy away. (I guess he'd been inflammatory.)

***

See? Don't tell me that (even violent) video games can not be informative. That one interaction taught me something: Listen not to your gut which tells you that you are the chosen one, that you can do no wrong. Instead listen to Logic.

***

Words to live by. In this case, Logic dictated that: One, there were cops with guns and batons and training and shields (so.what.) and Tazers. Two, the Asian with whom Luis had tangled was bearing the brunt of the policia pressure. All grenade- and M-16- and rocket launcher- and baseball bat- and handgun-laden, Lou knew where to turn: the alleyway. Let the bellicose Asian fend for himself. Live to die another day.

***

This is not all I do. I do not play GTA 24/7. Hell, I only play it, like, twice a week, man. But when I do?! Oh, shit. I get into it. I am Luis. Actually it's more like, I am Luidam.

***

I am Luidam. Hear m-m-m-me r-r-r-r-roar!

***

(Note To Self: Work on your mofo-ing Confidence.)

***

And that is all I have to say for today. Peace and Love, kiddos. (All two of you.)

***

PEACE......................................LOVE..................................

Monday, December 06, 2010

KING LOUIE

A Poem:

your ashes rest right next to the television set
below, Oliver snorts his breaths on a double-bed

how long could I have waited?
i fear that i waited too long, you were all skinny
gangly

well, you were gangly as a puppy, too
all big-eared and big-headed and full of energy

i remember taking you roller-blading, but
you took me
long legs flexing, you carried me Home

Home is Love
Home is Peace
Happiness is Home

brindle, you were
and are, always in my mind
you're ashes now,
gray, in a plastic bag
but, to me, you'll always be brindled
Golden Louie

Time has a way of diminishing
you were never diminished
Time has a way of culling defeat from victory
you were defeated only once
Time has a way of shellacking over past Glory
your Glory never left you

you were Strong
until your last day, you were strong

does it seem stoopid to poime to a doggy?

not to me, it doesn't

you were my Constant,
you were my Louie

and you'll always be

dogs have a way of implanting themselves into a human brain
a human mind
a human soul
dogs have a way of ingratiating themselves into a human Life

and, so, when the dog is gone
the presence is still felt
and leaves oh-so slowly

dogs are kids and babies and companions and
compatriots
dogs are Love and Health and Compassion and
grief
dogs are life-savers
dogs are saints
doG is God spelled backwards
dogs are:

feeling the wind in your face as you are pulled on 'Blades
behind a boxer-mix who thinks he's a huskey

dogs are Safety
dogs are always there
dogs are 24/7
dogs will come when called

sometimes, dogs are "bad"
getting in the garbage
treating the basement like a toilet
snapping at contractors

but dogs are oh-so good
dogs are dogs
end of story

but it ain't

when i saw you suffering, Louie,
i waited for a reason
"he's lost weight!"
"he's all skin and bones!"
"he sometimes loses his bladder in the house!"
(which, of course, you'd--on one hand--done before)
"he's not looking too well!"
"but he still eats!"
"long live the Survivor!"

even Survivors have to succumb, eventually

your last week, i kept my eye on you
i watched: for differences, for malaise towards food and drink
eventually, it came
and i knew i had to make your decision for you
because you wouldn't
you'd have shrunk to nothing
your Survivor Spirit
was nothing less than amazing

it had to be done

it had to be done.

so i did it

and cried like a baby when you were shuffled off to buffalo
when, through injection, your heart quit
when, throughout it all,

i still remembered you as the gangly puppy
all ears
and the strong boy
all Heart
and the Constant Companion, always

always.

before that point in my life, i'd never shaken with Grief
(every day is an adventure, eh?)
i shook with Grief
i kissed you on your dead head and your dead ears and
smelled, one more time, what i could of you

(the olfactory sense is too-often overlooked)

and then i realized, through the help of meeg, that
it was time to go
i realized that it was time to leave you....

but i never will; you know that, right?

one last thing:
you know how, when you were sick, you still licked ollie's ears?
that, to me, was a denotation of what you were
ollie, the trouble-maker, ollie the oaf
you, in your sickness, were there for him
i saw it in your eyes, man
whenever i would get a little mean with ollie
your ears went back
you'd protect a brother over a pack leader
that meant a lot to me

(could i be personifying?)
(when don't i?)

maybe i am over-emotional
or maybe i am not

the bond that exists between a "master" and his "beast" is strong

i'll never forget, lou
never forget

***

love you, man
have fun at that self-proclaimed "rainbow bridge"
i'll see you when i see you

i'll see you on the Other Side
baby doggy
i love you, man
and i always will

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GRANNY 'BUELA DODIE

The solidity of the occurrence will set in later. The sense of loss is yet to come. Right now, I have memories, good memories...and that's the right place to start.

Watching the Detroit Tigers with her. Watching Superbowls with her. Watching tennis with her. Watching golf with her. Athletic most of her long life, she dug watching sports. She golfed and bowled until her body said that she couldn't anymore. Yet, even in the assisted-living home, she watched the Tigers and the Lions and the ice-skating and the tennis and the golf. Until her brain said she couldn't do that anymore.

Ah, hell, back it up a bit, okay?

When she was in her 30s, she and her love, Bill, were roller skating legends. They almost went to the World Championships, but it was during the War Years. ("The War to End alll-Warz," for those of you who are keeping score.) They didn't go overseas, but they taught kids and teens and adults how to dance on the waxed floor of Roller.

***

I was bummed out all day. I knew the end was coming--I'd seen her on Saturday, and she was a sweet blessed frail sleeping version of herself--but I'd thought that she'd had another week in her. I was bummed out all day. I knew the end was coming, but I wanted her to stick it out. Why?! Because I love her.

***

"Fee-fi-fo-dum; I smell the blood of an Englishman; Be he alive or be he dead; I'll grrrrrrrrrind his bones into my bread." And then she'd let loose with a cackle that'd shame the Wicked Witch of the West. Scared the shit out of me as a kid. Seriously. Her rendition busted me into tears a time or twice. (Okay, maybe more.) But...looking back on it...it was cool. She was a stage actor, too, did I mention? Okay, no I didn't. But she was. I don't know how far-flung her acting career was--I'm guessing not too far--but I do know this: She acted with George Peppard (he of the "A-Team") in a stage show that was something like "Chicken For Dinner." Which, for me? That's absolutely fine. Chicken, shrimp, pork, beef, tofu...whatever. I'll eat it.

But.... In her room at Wickyham. My Mom fabulously decorated it. She brought in Memories and thoughts of Past and Comfort-in-the-Now.... There was this--I don't really know what to call it--this stage revue of her and Peppy in the "Chicken Soup Fiasco" and she was there, all sepia-toned, talking with bedridden, and also sepia-toned, George Peppard. "What's for dinner?!" Um. "Well, chicken, of course!"

And the audience exploded into laughter....

***

But one cannot say a word about Eldora Bella (Andrews) Best without uttering, "Sweet." I have never met a sweeter woman in my life. She was so ingratiating. She was so sweet and soft. I understand that I met her when she was three-quarters through her life, but I have to say this: Leopards don't change their spots. Once sweet, always sweet. She was just a great human being to be around. Being around her raised one's spirits...every time.

I miss her. What a stupid thing to say. It's been half of a day since she exited Stage Left.

I miss her.

***

What a lucky thing it was that I put down my devil and visited her on Saturday. Heck, it may have been pre-ordained. I don't know...I just feel lucky.

Sure, it was tough to see her in her last days. Of course it was. But I had been such a bad grandson. I loved her (and do), sure, but couldn't I have made more of an effort to see her while she was still kicking? At least a bit? I only live 25 minutes away from where she'd spent damn-near three years. And had begged off, on a couple of celebratory occasions, opining that, while she was Here, she wasn't.

So, yes, there is guilt on my part.

***

Ain't there always?

***

I did the same with my dad. I did the same with my uncle. I did the same with my other grandma. I do the same with my dog. If you're sick: Beat it.

***

I sincerely hope that when it is my time? No one will come a-running. I made my own bed and I'll lie in it.

Enough about me and my character defects.

***

I am pissed off. I am pissed to lose Grandma. I am angry that she had to die. I am angrier, still, that she had to strangle through the morass of dying, nigh-upon three years. Does not a good blessed life ensure one of a peaceful transition into the next? I know. It was relatively quick. And for her, I leak tears of Joy. The end is one thing: What about the Epilogue? Why would an Epilogue have to be so strung-out? Finis. Finish. End. Did she suffer? No. No! She did not. But I think/know that an intrinsic part of her did suffer.

I know I would have.

It is the ceiling that kills me. It is the ceiling that she--assuredly--gazed upon, each night, before sleep, that stones me. This is it?! At the end, she wasn't looking at the ceiling; she was looking Into Herself. She was probably clowning with Bill on the beach; she could have been feeding one of her two (fantastic) children; she could have been immersed in an icy lake; she could have been hang-gliding in the Bahamas; she could have been acting with G. Peppard; she could have been scaring the shit outta little Adam; she could have been seeing a White Light; she could have been saying her I-thank-yous and God-bless-yous; she could have been reliving her life as a child; she could have been roller skating, with Bill, in damn-near-perfect symmetry; she could have been hugging her sister Marian and her brother Joe; she could have been....

She could have intrinsically known that she was much-beloved--by everyone--and that she shed the love back, a bit, to everyone, just an iota at a time.

***

I can't do her justice. You'd have had to have known her. Her vitality. Her spark. Her verve for life.

***

When I walked into the room, I was steeled for what I would see. I did. I saw. I saw a frail shrunken woman, with tubes up her nose, and her name was Grandma. I knew the situation. 92.789 years is a fine time. I walked to her bedside and my knees felt weak. I sat in the folding chair and leaned over her. I kissed her on her forehead. The skin beneath felt taut and cold. I kissed her again and lightly-rubbed her shoulder. I kissed her forehead again. "I remember," I said, "watching baseball games with you. Football games. The World Series." I sat back in the chair and just looked at her, examined my 'Buela Dodie: Turned to her left side, being oxygenated, shuddering intermittently, bone bruises on her spindly hands....

***

I have to interject. Let it not be said that Eldora did not receive the highest-quality care, within reason, that she was owed. When I break down what I saw the last time I saw Grandma, well, when a body is ready to go, a body is ready to go. She had ample care, there, and her daughter, Cindy--I am proud for her to be my Mom--was there every day. So, no, I believe that Grandma was not lacking for Love.

But I have to not cloak Death in a White sheen. Let it be seen, I say.

***

I leaned forward again and kissed her on her forehead again rubbed her shoulder again. I looked at her and leaned back over her. "Gramma," I said, as I kissed her repeatedly on the right side of her forehead, "I love love love love love love love love love love love love you."

Her mouth worked around itself a bit, and her right eye cracked open, and she said, "rrrytoo."

Was it just wishful thinking? Oh. No. She had to struggle her ass off, but she said what she thought and felt. For all of us. She returned the "I love you," and she added "too."

***

What a life! What a life! It is Celebration of her life. Start with horse-n-buggies and end up with bullet trains. Start when the Babe is a 19-year-old pitcher/outfielder for the Boston team and end up with a formerly-drug-addled outfielder winning the American League Most Valuable Player award. Start off with dusty roads and end up with mega!-super!-highways!

***

Start off with peace and Love, as she did, and end with Peace and love, as she did.

***

Can you ask for anything more?

***

I miss you already. I know I wasn't around enough during your last years; I apologize. Please, just, know this: That time that I called on the telephone, all drunk, and hyperventilated over the fact that my Mom was on an airplane, with--perhaps!--terrorists, and you calmed me down? Remember that snafu? That, to me, is the sign of Benevolence.

I miss you, kiddo. I hope--I do hope--that your transition has been free of body-scans. Fly free, please? Fly free!

***

I loved my grandma--Eldora--and I will always.

***

The solidity of the occurrence will set in later. The sense of loss is yet to come. Right now, I have memories, good memories...and that's the right place to start....

***
**
*

Saturday, November 20, 2010

RING-TAILED LEMUR

Once upon a time, there was a ring-tailed lemur named Arthur. He was ostracized by his friends, and the community at large, and so he spent most of his time by himself, hanging upside-down, by his tail, swinging from a branch. The dizzier Art got, the better he felt. Or so he told himself.

One day....

Need I continue? I am Art. I am Lemur. Hear me chickle.

The thing about allegories, these days, is that I have no patience to see them through. Call me a monkey.

Do it!

King Kong takes a vacation, sometimes...mostly when I am on-call. When I am off-call, the Kong batters down the door, says "hello" with a backhand to the face. "Hi, Kingie," is all I can manage. "Good...um, it's good to see you again, sir."

Kong snarls and tears the door off of the fridge.

"I think there's some cheese in there," I offer from the living room.

How does a ring-tailed lemur support a giant gorilla on his back? It is mathematically-nonsensical. Yet it happens.

***

You think I, the lemur, am tough? You ain't seen tough yet. Look at Louie. I hope I am not jinxing him by saying this, but he is one tough S.O.B.

Every time I think I should needle him, he wakes the next day as spry as a four-year-old dog. Yes, he still has his bumps. And, yes, he still breaths like the cigar-smoking, 300-pound Cousin Alfredo. And, yes, he is all skin and bones. But the dude survives. Call it an apple from a tree.

I am pretty sure that, during the next week or two, shit'll hit the fan. Lou will have succumbed to his beast. I know that, intellectually. (I also thought the same thoughts two weeks ago.) I know, intellectually, that Lou-Bear be on his lastest leggums. I know. But I am amazed, and proud, at how strong the kid is. He don't wanna go; I certainly don't want him to go.

I am a sucker for strength. Be it physical, mental or spiritual, I am a sucker.

It warms my heart.

***

Strength. Now, while you may say, "Hey, lemur! Get off the sauce, you jag-off!" I would offer this: It takes a hell of a lot of strength to continue to pour toxic beverages down one's throat when one is ill as a hatter. I reckon it's kind of a toxic strength. But it is strong, nonetheless.

***

Lou is different. Lou is better. His is a White Strength, while mine is Paint It Black strength.

***

Like the Cat in the Hat, the bumps came back. I'd like to say, rhetorically, "Wha-?!" But I knew they would. Dude. Lemme tell you this--and I may be jinxing Luigi--I am fucking surprised at how the Lou-Bomb has dealt with his malady. The vet said a month about a month and a half ago.

Lou is as "sick as a dog." That's fer cheezy. But he still gets up and goes Outside. And he still ingests food and water (lots of water). He still greets me in the morning, looking at the Outside Door. He still, occasionally, stands up and puts his paws on my chest.

He is a fighter.

I feel little--and belittled, and emasculated--next to him. (And he has no balls.)

Dude sleeps all the time, now.

But I feel this: I feel that Lou's demise is to teach me one prominent thing: No throwing in the towel. It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Quitters never win and winners never quit. Sometimes Life throws curve-balls--swing accordingly.

There is a hell of a lot to learn from a dying doggie. Tons of stuff.

I think the most important importation is this: Live in the Moment.

***

Friday, November 05, 2010

THE "SPORT" QUANDARY

When...is the game called? Is it when the starting pitcher has a blister on a finger of his throwing hand? Is it when the much-loathed second baseman throws a routine out into the fifth row, first-base side? Nope and nope. Is it when the manager of the team so-completely embarrasses his players that they douse him in Gatorade? Not to celebrate, but to quell?

Is that when you call the game? Naw.

Why even..?

Switch to football. When the wide receiver, who garners much press, bitches to the reporters, do you call the game? Do you ground him?

When the raindrops start falling on your head, do you call the game? When you hear thunder in the distance and sighs from the stands...do you call the game? When the sky flashes with electricity...do you call the game? (In that case, yes.)

Switch back to baseball. Don't we need to get five innings completed before a called-game can be officially recognized?

Switch back to Life.

Dogs....

Lou has not completed his requisite five innings of play. Sure, he's nearing seven years old, but my mathematician mind tells me that he's in the fourth--perhaps the bottom of the fourth, but the fourth, no less.

How many sighs and flutter-breaths from him do I have to listen to before I "pull the plug," "call the game"? How thin must the always-strong dog must get before I pull myself from my tears and concentrate on his.... His tears. His pain. His embarrassment. His dreams left unfulfilled.

Am I being gregarious with my assertions that, yes/maybe, dogs have aspirations all their own? Am I being stupid?

All I can say is this: Seeing a puppy born is wondrous. Adopting and living with and loving said dog is miraculous. Witnessing the end of your puppy's life--be he one or early-seven--is horrific. I don't know what to do. (Typing through tears is tough...but not as tough as the life Lou is living right fucking now, at this moment!)

When do you call the game?

[Teers dreep off me nose.]

When?! When is the lightning enough?!

God works in very mysterious ways. I may have--have--some time off, coming up, with only myself to blame. Do you think?! Do you think that maybe that worked out?! Just in time for Lou's...internment? I don't know. But I have an inkling of a thought that says that God is looking down on me, shaking His head, and throwing me a bone. Me? Hell no. God is throwing Louie a bone. As the thunder crashed.

After the lightning lit up the sky.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A LETTER TO DAD

I miss you. I am in a maelstrom, I am sinking. And all that. That's Life, huh?

I thought, today, my Dad died on the 4th of November, two years ago.

Today is the "anniversary."

I miss you Dad, and I love you Forever.

(Better words...later.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

THAT TIME OF YEAR? YES.

Seemingly every commercial is a political one. We have the Elephants blasting the Asses and we have "back-room deals" and "no jobs" screeching at us every time we choose to hit the ON button.

The Dems suck and the Republicans rule. Or, the 'Pubs suck and the Democratic Truth rules.

See what a phrase--or even a letter-switch--can do?

Do I, personally trust any of them? Nope. Should I? Nope.

I was raised in a Democratic-leaning fam dambly. Must I adhere? Um. Fuck no.

Will I?

I can't tell you. I'll vote, for sure. For sure.

This time of year is "blast down your competitor, show all his warts" time of year.

I like Peace.

This time of year, every other year, speaks only in crocodile tears, veiled tears...that their shit is right and the "Others" are wrong.

Fuck ye.

We're all humans, right? Sometimes you do well; other times you could have your deeds spilled out into the TV and the newspapers and the Cyberspace like you were a...leave that to your imagination.

We are all humans. We all have our foibles. I have mine. Many. The thing I wouldn't do, though? I wouldn't sucker-punch a competitor--below the belt--for some assertions that had happened...Before.

Jesus said something like, if you be in a glass house? Fo' shizzle, my nizzle, doan throw dem stones.

Words...to...Live...by.

The campaign ads just turn out to be so damned sophomoric. It's like: "Some sixty-year-old paid for this slop?!" Hell, yeah, they paid. And they'll pay again. To maintain their maintenance.

It's a fucking joke.

Whatever happened to real leaders like G. Washington and J. Madison and Addams and T. Jefferson and MLK and the Black Vulture X? What happened?! *They* were leaders.

Every. Fucking. Year.

Smear campaigns. "This guy is that. This woman is this. That dude? Who knows? He may be...a molester."

It makes me not want to vote.

But I will.

I have no hard-liners, anymore. I won't vote *strictly* on a "party-line."

I'll vote. Because I am an American. It's my right. It is my *duty*.

But the more I see and hear these childish Wants-and-Needs on the teevee? It makes me sure that there is not a lot of Hope.

Any party, politicians grasp at straws. Most of them double-deal. Most of them suck.

Now: My selection for the "Man of the People"? Me.

Me.

Me. My name is Adam Christopher.

Vote hard and heavy, damn it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

LIFE IS...

Love.

Life is...Hope.

Life is...Faith.

Life is...fucked-up.

Put that on a poster.

Life is...Wondrous.

Life is...Beautiful.

Life is...God-like.

Life is...fucked-up.

Life? Is Life.

"Hello, pleased to meetcha, Life."

And Life is noncommittal.

That's Life! LOL

(Always the buzz-kill.)

Life.

Yes.

Do you know what pisses me off about Life? He's a jag off. He's always looking for the next quick score. Life is a three-year-old. Life is irrelevant. Life is a lifer. He'll never get away. From himself. Life is a braggart.

Life is Life.

What can ya do?!

Well....

Introduce Life to a neuron-changing experience.

And call it "Peace."

I think Life would jive on that. I think Life would break dance a mean motherfucking "Worm" on that. I think--actually, I know--that Life would spin on his motherfucking head over that.

Get with the program, Life! You slow piece of poop. Get with the fucking program.

I don't ask twice.

--Amen.

Monday, October 18, 2010

LOU AND OLLIE'S BIG ADVENTURE

My sick dog and his fat little compatriot busted out of the Harwood Prison on Saturday evening, right around 6:45. I was on-call and unaware that the gate had been left open and I had let them out to do their business and then, right before I had determined that a shower would feel good, I went to the back door to let them in and I discovered that the gate had been left open by someone (not me).

I panicked. I threw some pants and shoes on and grabbed my wallet and drove around the neighborhood for an hour or so, intermittently stopping at intersections and tweeting some whistles. I saw no shadowy dog shapes flitting across my field of vision, I heard no howls at the moon (or at other dogs). I felt absolutely nothing.

I went home.

***

Before Sunday passed, Meagan and I put up six cardboard signs on telephone poles. The signs explained that I had lost two dogs. One was a boxer-mix named Louie, wearing a red bandanna, of brindle color, who was seven years old (and sick with a bump on his neck). The other dog was a beagle named Oliver, overweight, black-tan-white-colored.

Before Sunday had expired, I had had a telephone call from a woman saying that she'd seen the two, running together (for some reason, I see this in slow-motion, Louie's tongue flip-flapping in the breeze, his muscles flexing, and Oliver panting along) down Harwood towards Campbell Road, a busy road.

I went to sleep on Sunday, on-call (with a world of other thoughts weighing my melon down) thinking about my doggies and hoping that they were safe and also that they had not harmed another animal or, God forbid, a person, a small child.

Sunday expired.

***

Bright and early today, Monday, I got a call on my cell phone that I didn't answer. I didn't recognize the number; I wasn't about to answer it. I'd had some really odd dreams the night before and I feared that some small part of them might have been prophetic. I didn't answer then, but I listened to the voice-mail when I got to work and had a moment to myself. It was the cracked voice of an older woman. She said that she'd seen the signs that we'd posted and that she had seen the boys running down Campbell towards Interstate-696. Oy-fucking-vey.

"Well, I live on Brockton, and we were outside taking pictures of my granddaughter before her dance and I saw the two dogs--one had a red bandanna--right in front of the house, going down Campbell to 696."

In my mind, I saw the "going down Campbell" phrase as a shadowy mass that one may see on a PBS television show in which they show maps of, say, Alexander the Great's sign-knock over Asia Minor or the Nazis' subjugation of their nearest neighbors. Just a spread of ownership. And I thought to myself, Just be good, boys. If ye have to be bailed out of doggy-jail, just don't have bitten anyone, or anything. And I prayed that to God, too.

And, like I had been thinking all along, I amended this: And also? Please do have not bitten a police officer.

Because, you see, on a Saturday night, who else will cage a loose dog? But a police ossifer. I just prayed that Lou had not bitten one.

He hadn't. Nor had his sidekick.

***

They were in the dog-pound all along. For damn-near forty-eight hours.

***

During that forty-eight? I fretted that one or both may have bitten someone or mauled a child or killed another animal. During that forty-eight, I worried that they may be dead, slammed by a car on Campbell, or wherever that had run. I was secretly-pleased that I wouldn't have to give Lou the needle myself. Sure, lack of closure would suck, but would it suck as much as having to take your kid to the doc and watch him die? During that forty-eight, I missed the hell out of the both of them, even though Lou loves garbage and Oliver has no inkling of potty-training. During that forty-eight, I was pleased to see Meeg's cats exploring the whole of the house (except my bed--no way). During that forty-eight, I missed the hell out of them.

***

We have them back, now. The cats are back in their prison, the silent prison, the prison I learned to care a whit for. Fifty-five dollars later, of which I paid none (Meeg didn't leave the gate open), the boys are back. Oliver is Oliver; he'll always just be the fat little impervious fuck. Lou is a different story. I know this shit has been coming for awhile, but I just cannot fucking stand his labored breathing. It kills me to hear and it kills me to see. It's almost a comic snore...but it ain't. It just isn't. The kid snores 'cause the kid has tumors in his throat constricting his fucking breathing. There is not a fucking fucking fucking thing I can do about it. Except for one thing....

***

Earlier tonight, Meagan said, "Well, at least Louie got to have one last adventure." I may not have the words exactly right. But, yes. His last adventure. Do you know how much that tears at me? Do you know how much his snore-breath fucking tears at me? It does. A ton. A whole hell of a lot. I'm thinking he has, like, a week or two to live. Or...a week or two before I pull the needle-trigger. Have it pulled.

He is not happy. But, sometimes?! He is! =)

He is not happy. He is happy! He is not. He is happy! He is not. He is dying.

***

I can't do it. I told him earlier today, "Louie? You have to let me know. If you don't, I won't be able to do it."

Intellectually, I know that he's going. (I could have so many more graphic connotations, there, but why? I have them in my head and they spring to the ready every time I think about the end for him. I know they're defense mechanisms...at least I think they are.)

Humor. Don't leave home without it. Especially if your best buddy for near-seven years (too short) is breathing like a five hundred-pound Wop hit man named Skinny. 'Cause it ain't funny. Never has been, never will be.

***

I feel the boy--Luigi, Louie, Lou, King Louis--is suffering. I don't want that. I can't have that. What is a father supposed to do? Make sure his son is getting a better life--either here or in the Hereafter. Amen.

***

I'm still undecided. But each lurch of his breath brings me closer to a conclusion.

***

As a side note: I'm on the couch typing, sitting across from Louie, lying in the armchair. (Yes, dying bring some privileges.) Lou's head is cocked to his right, and the red bandanna is visible just over the black of the arm of the chair. Though I hear his labored snore-breath, I see his eyes. I am not a psychic, but I'll be damned if I didn't see quite a bit of Death in his brown eyes.

***

Calgon. Take me away!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

THE OLE DAWG

Sometimes, when Louie is laying down, resting, his respirations come as "coos." Like a pigeon would do, but he is a dog, a big dog. With a big bump.

I love him.

Friday, September 24, 2010

PHOENIX...RISING

I am the phoenix rising,
charred
bleeding
--flesh sloughs off--
bone is brilliant White
beneath

the fire that encapsulated
encompassed
energized
enjoyed
me--ME--me
is smoldering

it sits, like a tiger
it waits
it stares
it caresses
me--ME--me
it waits.

the rise from the ashes
was not so bad
i got burned like a motherfucker
and, yet, i was glad
far be it for me to screach "fire."
i'd rather prefer to lay--LAY--in my mire
i'm the one who opened the door
I'M the one who became a true whore
whatever the bastard Boozie says
i'll do it (willingly)...pretend that it's Pez

"the rise from the ashes"
what fucking rise?
i may have wings but they're
burned to me
i may have a desire to fly
--far above, like a dove--
but i'm planted, man
my wings are charred bloody pieces of
Nothingness
my long-range view is
a 40 at one o'clock aye-em
confused?
so am i
but i am hardly a phoenix

"The Rise From the Ashes"
sounds like a movie, right?
we'll have pre-moron Charleton Heston play
"the suffering addict"
i can just imagine: his booming voice:
"Why, oh why, Lord, does this plague consume me?!"
[quick-shot to a silhouette of C. Heston in his best "Thinking Man" pose]
chin in hand
nekkid as a baby
"Why?! Lord? Why?!"
--booming voice--
the Lord says:

a bird never had so many damned ideas scrim-scramming through its "brain"

i am the phoenix
"I am the phoenix rising"
i am the phoenix
"I am the phoenix rising"
i am the phoenix rising
"I am the phoenix rising"
i am the phoenix rising
"I am the phoenix rising"
i am the phoenix rising, and i ain't colorful
i have no sharp oranges and bleeding yellows and deepest reds
i am the phoenix rising
i am the phoenix rising
i am the phoenix rising
i am the phoenix rising
and my skinny feathers are charred and
bleeding

i am the phoenix.
charred pieces of bloody human flesh are
affixed to my feathery shoulders
blood is the Order

oh! i Love
i do


i am too charred
i can never fly in the kingdom, man
i can try.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SUNDAY DOG DAY

Dogs....

Even though you love 'em and you want the best for them and you want them to feel better and be better, sometimes they'll just drive you up a wall.

I knew that the kitchen garbage smelled a little--how to say?--ripe. And I thought about changing the bag last night, before I went to bed, but I was tired and so I said, "Fuggit, I'll do it tomorrow."

I guess that's what procrastination gets me.

And I can just imagine how it went down:

Louie probably knocked the lid off, as it most likely was not sealed the way it should have been and then he got up on his back legs to scavenge for the "good smell." Down goes the can! Down goes the can! [Said to the cadence of the boxing call, "Down goes Fra-zhuh! Down goes Fra-zhuh!"]

And then it was game on. Ollie probably crawled into the garbage can, the dirty little mofo. Lou probably just pawed through the wreckage. However they did it, the scene was not one that one wants see on a Sunday morning when one walks into the kitchen/dining room, groggy with sleep.

And, to add insult to injury, Oliver left his little calling card right next to the sprawl of coffee grounds and dog food cans and wet paper towels and cigarette ashes and all the rest of the virtual cornucopia of crap. Not only was there garbage all over the floor, but there was also a pee-circle?! Gimme a fucking break. (And I think Louie might have voided near the back door; but if he did, at least he has an excuse. Ollie's just a dolt.)

It is tough to be angry when the dog whom you love is sick and exiting stage left in the near future, but I managed to still get a little hot under the collar at the both of them. What was done was done, so I didn't scold them or physically disabuse them of their garbage-picking notion, but I sure as hell wasn't giving out any treats, either.

Blimey.

All together, now: "The world, it is a-crumblin'/Through it, I feel I'm stumblin'/Each day it brings a brand-new Sun/But where oh where did I put that gun?"

Joking. (Kind of.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2010

My doggy is dying.

He's full of cancer, lymphoma to be specific. I worry about his level of pain; I worry about his quality of Life. The vet said that he had, like, one or two months to live, given that his disease was high-caliber. Intense. Uber-degreed. Metastatic. I forget exactly what the vet said--the terms that he used--but I know what he meant; I catch his drift.

Louie's doing pretty okay, right now. He eats, he barks (he farts like no one's business). He is okay, right now. I just dread what is to come. Because I love him, you know. I have soooo much love for the little kid, the skinny kid, the sick kid. I--well, it doesn't even register, to me. On too many fucking levels.

[As I kiss him on his snout...] He and I have been inseparable for six-and-a-half years. He's been here, with me, as a Constant.

That is one of the myriad things that tugs at me about this. And but one also has to deal with end-of-life issues ($136.85 from the Rochester branch of the Michigan Humane Society, but then I have to take his body and bury it. Otherwise, three hundred extra dollars will be added--'cause they have to outsource, don'tcha know, to the Burners.) I'll tell you this: I wanted his ashes to spread as I would want, but I'll be got-damned if I'm going to spend another three bills on his death. But, this too: If I don't take his body or pay for the outsourced Burning, what in the hell will they do with his body?! Uh-uh.

I ain't having it. I'll bury the sweet boy myself. I will. I will. I will.

He deserves Respect. He is not some piece of biological garbage. He ain't. He's Louie.

The Best Dog Evah.

My boy.

And it is fucking killing me.

Oh, fuck.

Damn it.

Like I said, he's doing okay, right now.

(I fucking miss him already, damn it.)

***

hot tears dot the page
such Good cannot be equaled
Love is like taffy

***

It keeps pulling you back.

I. Just. Don't. Know.

I think that I have been dealing with my best friend's demise in a detached, clinical manner. No. Uh-uh. It don't work that way, motherfucker. Try to hide from the emotions. Just fucking try. It can't be done. I'll have to face it--them, the emotions--eventually. I cry, but they are tears of angst, they are tears of frustration. Fuck that. They're also tears of loss and tears of Love and tears of what-coulda-beens and tears of recognition.

I know this: I love Louie sooo damned much. Sooo damned much.

To me, he is not just a "dog". (And, by the way? What dog is "just" a dog? Very very few. They're God's gift to us, for sure.) No, Lou is not just a dog. He is Memory. He is a slice of my (hopefully long) life. He is a lighthouse seen from the stormy sea. He is a beacon of Hope and Love. He is....

He is just a dog.

Bullshit.

He. Is. Louie.

He. Is--

LOVE

Saturday, September 11, 2010

502 AND THREE TOUCHDOWNS?!

I am impressed, man. Just flat-out impressed.

You always hear, "Oh, he's good, but he's just a 'running quarterback.'" As in, sure, the kid can run, but he lacks football acumen and his arm is less-than.

I saw Denard Robinson, number 16, the quarterback from the University of Michigan, play today and he just dazzled. The quarterback rushed for 258 yards. Swallow that. 258 yards?! Gimme a fucking break; outstanding. Not only that, though, but he also showed a high football IQ and made good decisions and damned good passes. If not for the stone hands of a wide-out, Robinson would have had another passing touchdown.

I am just flat-out impressed.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A (NEW) UPDATE ON LOUIE

Well, so I took Louie to the animal hospital last night, and he stayed the night and had his biopsy done today on his swollen lymph nodes. I picked him up after work and was told to wait in a room so that the technician could speak with me before I took him home.

You know the drill: Keep the sutures clean, don't feed or water the dog too much in the first couple of days after surgery, keep an eye on him outside (in fact, walk him to do his business like you used to do when he was a puppy), excise the horseplay if you have more than one dog, etcetra, etcetera.

Just...when I was waiting for Jackie the Tech to come and talk with me, I kept eyeing Louie's stuff that another worker there had left in the room with me, on the table, in a little plastic purple-bone-ringed bag. His Zip-Loc bag of food that I had brought, had he been hungry the night before. His red leather collar, with the little metal tag that says "Louie," and then, below it, my telephone number. The red bandanna that I've been tying around his neck. I'd taken them out of the plastic bag and they'd just lain there, on the metal examining table...and I'd just felt such a powerful sense of loss, I could hardly hold back the burgeoning tears. I'd known that they were just fragments of, not him, but, still, I couldn't help my thoughts.

I'm not going to dive off into MemoryLand, right now--that's a post for a different day--but, oh man, dem were some tough thoughts.

Jackie the Tech came in and explained to me what they'd done. They'd biopsied the nodes below the nodes that we had all noticed and that the results would be known in about five to seven days. The vet, who was off that afternoon, would call me with the results. Jackie told me that not just the nodes we noticed were swollen, but all of Lou's lymph nodes were found to be swollen. She also imparted that, during the chest x-ray I'd agreed to, they'd not found "quarter-sized dots," which would imply lung cancer, but that they had found what they reckon are bronchial lesions. The heartworm test came back good, but his liver count was elevated--not alcoholically-elevated, but elevated, like 15 to 20 points too high. "Wow," I'd said, half-joking, "sometimes I give him a little beer; would that elevate his counts?" She'd politely laughed. "Not unless he drinks like a fish." I'd smiled. And had thought, And what rambling wreck shall I call my King Louie?

And she'd left and brought him back into the room, and I had seen nothing but My Louie. A little drug-drunk, with a shaved and sutured area on the left side of his neck, but My Louie. Adorable and inquisitive, little puppy face still peering, bright-eyed, from the whitened muzzle. And my heart melted. With pack-pride. With love. Just. As. It. Always. Does.

And always will.

So the new and abridged update on Louie is this: I'll wait, for five to seven days for the biopsy results, and thus the chess game will enter another stage.

One thing changes, though. Per the doctor's orders, I'll have to keep the two dogs separated for a spell--maybe two or three days, maybe longer. No horseplay, you see. That could screw up the sutures.

Okay, then. Louie sleeps upstairs. With me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

AN UPDATE ON LOUIE

The kid looks 12 but he's only 6-and-a-half. He's been gray for awhile, but the gray seems more pronounced, now. He has a camouflage bandanna around his neck, but he's not looking like a rough and tough soldier. He is lying on his side, and, though his eyes are open (for the most part), they have lost luster. Am I reading too much into physiological signs and symptoms? Maybe, but I doubt it.

The bumps on his throat have not gone down, though I have used all but a day-and-a-half of the allotted antibiotic medication. The aspiration that the vet took a couple of Saturdays ago showed no signs of cancer--lymphoma, to be specific--but the vet told me that the pathologist kind of hedged his bets, seeing as how the bumps had so-recently arrived. I don't know, but I know what I feel.

I feel that the kid is slipping, a bit. He still barks and he still plays with Oliver, but, most of the time that I'm home and looking at him, Louie is lying on his dog-bed...he just looks tired, man. Just tired. And when he eats and drinks, right afterwards, he does this kind of retching/regurgitation thing. He's not outright vomiting, but he is having problems with his throat. And would that surprise a soul? Hell no. He's got his lymph nodes squeezing his trachea and his esophagus, in my not-at-all-medical opinion. Am I wrong? Maybe. Hopefully.

Anyway.

This is how it stands: I feel that my buddy, whom I have known since he was a little big-headed brindled days-old puppy, is slipping away from me. Like the emotional mofo I am, I remember all of him. His good days, his sweet days, his handsome days (always), and, maybe, his end of days. Bah. Bah. Bah! Words don't, won't, could never do him justice. He is a part of me.

And it hurts me to see him (maybe? yes) hurting, or, at least, feeling less-than. It hurts a whole hell of a lot.

Earlier today, when I got back home, I gave him a cold leftover half of a hamburger patty. (He's been getting tons of people-food, lately. And that will continue.) In the past, up to and including just a month ago, he'd have vaporized that treat. Swi-zaysh, down the chute. Like a vacuum. Today, he struggled with the little piece of meat. Oh, sure, he made sure that Oliver didn't steal it away from him--just a head-turn'll do it--but he struggled with it, man. He broke it into little grampa-sized-pieces. And then ate it. And, minutes later, he was doing his throat thing, the thing that makes me feel (like crying) like he's trying to force a cantaloupe down a garden hose. Not good, man.

Memories, like the times we used to share....

I may have the lyrics wrong, and, yes, it was an attempt at smarmy cheesy humor.

'Cause this is how it'll go down, if what I feel to be true, actually, is:

Meagan is going to drop Lou off at North Main Animal Hospital on Monday morning at about 9:00 or 9:30. They're going to do a biopsy of the bumps and, hopefully, just remove the fucking things. Quality of life, you know? At the very least, though, they'll slice and dice (hopefully maybe just remove) and send the samples to a laboratory, somewhere....

And this is what my gut-feeling tells me what will happen:

The sample will come back cancerous. Lymphoma. Listen: I have no money. I am scraping by. I had to jiggle a few commitments to be able to pay for his Monday surgical procedure. But it is not--not!--just a financial matter, a monetary concern. Hell, no. It is also a quality of life issue. I'll not have my baby boy rendered a motherfucking pin cushion. I just won't.

I think that God tells us when it is time to say good-bye. All the fucking drugs and procedures in the motherfucking world will not change that, but for a very very very limited time period.

Anyway....

Anyway.

My gut-feeling tells me that the biopsy comes back malignant. And if it does not?! I'll literally jump for joy. But, gut-feelings...? If the results come back cancerous, then an era is over. I'll not do chemotherapy for multi-fold reasons. One, I ain't got the greenbacks. Two, even if I did, it's just prolonging the inevitable. If a dog has lymphoma--a rapidly-growing motherfucker of a cancer--the dog'll not have a very good life, regardless of how long he or she lives. Just my two cents. Three, I remember (and see) Louie strong, soldier-like, affable, handsome, yes, The Best Boy Evah. And, also, my boy. Will I subject him to pricks and prods and days of nausea? Would I? Hell. No.

I'll watch him, though. I'll eagle-eye him, my lovely boy. I'll center every grain of my being on him and how he is feeling and how he ate and did he drink and did he regurgitate and is he in pain and will he be miraculous...until I have seen enough and the pain of having him hobbled is equal to or greater than the pain of seeing him set free.

And then I'll have to set him free, with much pain and much Love and many endless tears.

"The only knock against dogs is that they don't live long enough."

PS--I dearly hope I'm wrong.

PPS--If I'm not wrong? Well Louie, this, from one King Louie to the next, man. Peace to you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

BUILD THE FUCKING MOSQUE ALREADY

I mean, seriously. Build it. Build it!

I thougt we--as a nation--were built on religious tolerance.

Yes, we had 9/11 happen. It happened; it was horrible.

So the proposed site from Ground Zero is about a three-minute walk? So. Fucking. What.

Build it. Otherwise then, what?

Then we, as a nation, are a bald-faced hypocrite.
And, by the way? It's also a fucking community center.

Gimme a fucking break. What do people think the YMCA and the YWCA acronyms stand for?

So Christianity and Judaism work but Islam doesn't? Come fucking on.

It's simple bigotry. That's it.

9/11 was horrific. Just horrific. Here is a help to all the bigots out there: One group of people are not all the same. There are bad apples in every bunch.

I must repeat: It may be a mosque (so what?) but it will also be a community center.

Let's move on, folks....
This really pisses me off. I mean, really. Pisses me off, man.

Friday, August 20, 2010

GIVE OF YOURSELF...

Short Fiction:

"Give," he'd said. "Give of yourself. Just...give. Give the Devil an inch, and he'll take a mile...I mean, your life."

She'd been scared. She'd thought that she had known him--albeit they had been together, as a couple, for "only" four months--she'd thought that she had seen into the Personal Him.

"Listen," he'd said, "I think about violence and carnage and God and sex and horrific movies and peaceful retreats and Love and pressing a screwdriver into--pop!--somebody's eyeball. Warranted, of course. I'd not do it for no reason. I think about coffee and times lost and rot-gut best booze and times lost. I am a circle with black and white. I am yin and I am yang. I eat meat, yet I love animals. I poo-poo tofu, but it tastes grand. I am just as comfortable in watching 'When Harry Met Sally' as I am watching 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' I profess love for everyone, yet I harbor silent bigotries. I--" He'd stopped, examined her. She'd felt like a housefly, straight-pinned to corkboard. His eyes had travelled over her face, her breasts, her thighs, her Special Place. "I'm hungry," he'd continued, his eyes glazed with his ubiquitous opium. "How about a meal?"

Her heart had fluttered like a butterfly, flitting hither and yon. Through her panic-stricken eyes, he'd seemed to double and treble. Focus, she'd told herself. Just fucking focus.

His eyes had lit up, then. Brilliant-blue. "Scared? Don't be. I'll make the salad; you make the steak. Grill it just the way you do." He'd dropped an ominous wink. "You cook my meat the best that anyone ever has."

She'd shivered inside.

What, she'd thought, seasoned with arsenic?

And but then they'd eaten a meal together--the steak was perfect and the salad was otherworldly--and they'd actually watched "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and then they'd had some popcorn and taken the cats for a walk and then had so-steamy three-minute sexual intercourse and then they'd fallen asleep, legs intertwined.

***

And...she wakes up this morning and this kernel of a thought is in her head.

-----------------------------------------------------

Just fiction.

That's it. Just fiction.

Don't get all bent out of your shape(s).

-----------------------------------------------------

In other news, my doggy Louie may have lymphoma. I took him to the vet's after Nay and Meeg and I (last) had noticed bimpy-bumps in his throat, right where the lymph nodes are. I was crying last Saturday when I took him to the doc's. They aspirated him and told me to call back on Tuesday or Wednesday. The doc left a message on Tuesday--and I called and re-affirmed on Wednesday--that the pathologist could not find any cancer cells in the sample. Good, right? Well, hopefully. In the message, the vet noted that, since it was early, the pathologist said that maybe it was just the beginnings of canine lymphoma, a certainly-deadly disease. Or...maybe not. I cling to "maybe not." It could be lymphoid hyperplasia. Um.... LH is a disease of the lymph nodes caused by anything from fungi to bacteria to a virus to an act of God. I have no fucking idea what caused the bumps in Lou's throat. I can tell you this, though: He's spry. He's fight-playing with Ollie-wag and he's eating his food (and the food, my food, that I give him...'cause I love him) and, though he coughs more than he has in the past, his nose is still cold and wet (good health) and his barking is just fine, and his playing, as noted before, seems up to par.

So, antibiotics twice a day. Okay! Whatever I have to do! Yes. Yes. Yes. But, then, this: If Lou does have lymphoma? I haven't the funds for his treatment. There. I fucking said it. If it comes down to me having to retch one- or two- or three-thousand dollars out of a dry stone for his treatments that may only elongate his life by eight months to a year, I'll say no. Nope. Can't do it. Emotionally and fiscally, I can't do it. And I won't.

Six-and-a-half-years-old is Louie. King Louis the First, I used to call him.... I knew, going in, how "blink-y" a dog's life can be. I knew that dogs live like a candle burning from both ends. Going in, I knew that the only fault that any dog-owner could lay on his or her pet was that they leave too fucking fucking fucking soon! I knew that, but I saw a little brindled puppy. His head was huge and his paws were big and his body was small and I just fucking melted. Couldn't help myself. And, through the next six years, we were inseparable.

That's not to say that I was Opie and he was my dog nor that I was the Lassie-boy-tool. I wasn't. I'm still not, even with his maybe-not-purported death staring him in his graying face. (And mine.) What I will say is that I have never felt such...what? Togetherness. He. Is. My. Boy.

And when he hurts, I hurt. When he coughs, I feel a tightening in my chest. When he looks forlorn, I feel forlorn. For the last six-and-a-half years, as he's gone, I've gone. Or? Vice-versa. See, that is the thing about dogs. They intertwine with a willing host. And I am more than willing.

So we sit and wait. I give the Sir antibiotics twice a day and wait. Wait for the bumps to go down. Wait for the throat to slim. We--I--wait for Louie to be the Louie of old, sans bumps, ready to pull me on my Rollerblades for block after block after block. I'll not expect anything less! LOL

No LOL.

No. I wait, patiently, like a dog for his "master" to regain his health. Or vice-versa.

This is not a comedic situation. There is much grief and there have been many tears dribbled.

(I named my fucking website after him!)

Argh.

Websites don't mean shit. The love behind them, however, mean a hell of a lot.

Time ticks and I wait.

As does Lou.

King Louis the First.

(Never to be a Second.)

***

Megan's healthy...I'm healthy...Naomi's healthy...Ollie is Ollie...Cutie-Pie is thirteen (bastard) and healthy enough...and Mister Bubbles is healthy.

All of that is good and fine. I expect that (except for a thirteen-year-old pussy fromping about). What I do not expect--nor tolerate--is my boy, my Luigi, getting sick when he is 6.72. Don't expect it and definitely don't accept it.

So get better, Lou-Dog. Yesterday.

loveandhugsandmemoriesandsadsmiles,

--A___


Monday, August 09, 2010

A GOOD WALK SPOILED?

Mark Twain wrote that golf is "a good walk spoiled." Though it holds many frustrations, there are a few reasons I play. The nature is nice, birds and trees and squirrels and such; the flora and fauna make for a peaceful morning or afternoon. And then, of course, the good shots keep me coming back.

I made the best shot of my life yesterday, golfing with Pablo at Sylvan Glen in Troy. On a par-four, I made a bad shot and then a couple of decent shots and found myself about 75 or 80 yards from the green. The hole location was front left and I was just off the fairway on the left side, in the short-cut of rough. I grabbed my pitching wedge out of the bag and stood, like Tiger does, behind the ball, trying to visualize the shot. "I'm channelling Tiger Woods," I said to my friend. He snickered a bit and said, "I don't know if now is the best time to be doing that. He's not playing that great right now." I said, "Okay, then I'm channelling him because of all the women he's had." "Well, that's different," he said.

I addressed the ball ["Hello, ball."] and stood over it. Easy-peasy, I told myself. Just let it swing. Let the club do the work. I swung and the hit was butter; you know that feeling you get when you hit something dead-nuts in the sweet spot. Yeah. That was it. The ball arced gracefully through the air, and bounced on the fringe of the green, bounced another time on the green and rolled--"Holy shit," said Pablo, "I think that's..."--and rolled and rolled right into the cup. I dropped my club and hooted and held my arms in the classic sign for victory. High-fives and fist-bumps ensued.

The best shot I've ever had. It feels good. It makes me want to go back. Like, now.

I also made an adjustment to my putting stance--I'm just standing closer to the ball and keeping my arms tucked in more, basic stuff--and so my putting was more accurate, too. I holed a ten-footer and had good long runs on several other putts. (Putting has been my bane ever since I took up the game.) So that's good, too.

Sure, there were tons of horrible shots, but the ones that I'll remember are the ones that got my blood pumping, the ones that boosted the adrenaline levels. They're why I'll keep coming back.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

IN MY LIFE....

Me-Again.


I have never met anyone like her. A few days ago, I forgot the date of our third year of physically knowing each other. My bad.


Yes, my bad. My completely horrific bad. And this is why.


And this is why: I have never met a better woman. She is me and I am her. Soulmates? Uh, yeah.


I--she's a rainbow. I want to proclaim to the skies that I love the woman, that she is my second half, that she completes me, that she is The Love Goddess.


And she is, all of those literary terms. But she is so much more than that. I'm sure you've heard the reference of someone being someone else's "other half" or "second half"? Yes. She is that, too.


She is so beautiful, to me. (Back off, Julio.) To anyone. Symmetrical face, sooty black lashes, fucking beautiful eyes, big breasts, tiny ankles, long reddish hair, strong legs...what more can I say?!


She is me. She is my life. She is my Love.


Wow.


I haven't ever felt so much Love before. I am in virgin territory.


I know this: Complete love. And it feels good. Damned good.


=)


[giggity-giggity]


Some say that one only encounters--One Time Only Sale!--the one person for which he or she was destined.


I would like to say that I am on the fence--pre-destination or free will?--but I think I have, already, the answer: Fate. I know, I know...Some may laugh. But think about it, Some. Have ye ever, ever, felt as "at home" as you do with your lover? Have ye?


I think it is a neuro-chemical-aurical thang. And throw a splish-splash of pheremones in there, too, for good measure. I think--I believe--it just is.


And you can thank whatever god to whom you pay homage. I pay mine to the Christian God, the dude depicted sittin' on a throne of clouds. I say to Him, "Thanks, God. Thank you, so much."




Love her.


Love, here.


I love you, Meagan. Forever.




Sexviolence--A Movie Review--and...Birds

I just got done watching a movie called Donkey Punch. If you don't know what that term means, I maybe suggest your looking it up on-line. Now, I am not a fan--at all--of the allusion (or the practice, for that matter) of a donkey punch, but the movie itself was a good one.

It had sexviolence--one word. That, in itself, is not a precursor to a good movie, but this one was.

I won't go into too much detail, but I will let this be known: The movie had quite a bit of violence and a little bit of sex and copious amounts of alcohol- and drug-use.... My kinda film!

Olly Blackburn directed it; it was his first feature-length film.

I got a kick out of the "Special Features" section on the disc. I usually like to get the director's opinion of his or her movie and Blackburn didn't disappoint. He talked about the film, about its violence and its sexuality and he spoke of it in terms that the movie was something akin to or as shattering as something like Deep Throat or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now, while good--no, uh-uh.

There was sex and there was gory violence, sure, but what really made me like the flick was the way in which the 20-something cast (three girls, four guys) played off of each other and made the script work.

(Maybe I'm just a sucka for sexviolence? Maybe I am. Maybe I am. But the movie worked. And I know quality screensmanship when I see it.)

The main reason I wrote this post? One, to get the word out on the movie Donkey Punch. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope others will, too. Two, something Olly Blackburn said. He said something to the effect (in the "Crowd Reaction" section of the Special Features) that, whilst the movie was being shown in Salt Lake, Utah, some Mormon woman, upon seeing some of the (banal) sex scenes, speedwalked out of the showing into the foyer of the theater...and promptly fainted.

To which I say this: Woman. Listen. You went to a screening of a movie called Donkey Punch. If you don't know the meaning of the term, fucking look it up. If you have a religious leaning, a religious "way of life," for God's sake (rice wine) know what the fuck you're getting yourself into. If you cannot see sexviolence on the screen, don't go to watch. Stay the fuck home.

...

[Or maybe I need to back off on her. Maybe she had low blood sugar, or some other pre-existing health condition. If so, I am sorry. I hope she got what she needed.]

...

But! If you fainted in the foyer of a theater from watching this movie?! Do your fucking research. Seriously. If you would be offended by breasts and asses and half-formed images of males' netherworlds, do yourself a favor. If you're offended by bloody deaths and knives and fatal punches and whirling deadly boat motors, do yourself a favor. In fact, do me a fucking favor: Stay. Home.

And...(smile)...to the rest of you: I recommend this movie. (winkwinknudgenudge) But I do. I do not recommend this movie to my mom, though. Just saying. She, and three other people (perhaps) read this blog-drivel, and so I need to make sure that I would not corrupt my sweet sweet Mom. (Mom, I do not recommend this movie to you. There. My Conscience is assauged.) To the rest of you: Watch it. Just make sure the kids are in bed.

[I can't get over that fainting woman. Shit. Get a grip, lady.]

Sexviolence. It's a new...cool...term.

(forpornography)

[Who said that?!]

***

In more pleasant news, a baby sparrow (I think) fell from the second-story roof of my mom's Tudor house and I sprang into action. (Just ask her.) With her help, I hustled the baby bird into a plastic Tupperware-like container and, upon her insistence, enclosed said box in a plastic bag. Off I was to the back porch, ladder in hand, whereupon I skimmied up the roof--with not a lot of handholds (I'd done it before)--thirty-seven feet in the air. Not a problem. I ain't scared o' no heights. The problem became when, near the chimney, I saw where the unfortunate fellow's home had been: Down a forty-degree grade, with absolutely no handholds, over the double-driveway. "This is where we part ways," I said to the baby bird. He blinked at me and squawked (probably for his Mammy.) "I hate to do it, but there aren't any things to hold on to, man. You're on your own." I angled the plastic box at the nest-in-gutter and let Baby slide. He tumbled, beak over ass-feathers, until he came to rest against a cylindrical roof vent. Okay, I thought, as I contemplated getting back down (coming down is always harder), he can't miss his nest. I am Superman. [cue music]

Well, as I was saying good-bye to my mother at her side door, I glanced to my right.... And who did I see? Seamus the Sparrow, much worse off for the wear after enduring two twenty-nine (?) -foot drops. Kid was not so spry, now. Kill him, my mind said. Put him out of his avian misery. I couldn't do it. My mom certainly couldn't do it. So we dug up a worm, and I cut said worm up, and we left the carcass, in the little plastic box, with the little damaged bird, and we, now, hope for the best.

Had it been me? Just me? I would have put a boot through his little head. I would have. Not to be mean, but to be (more) humane. I hate to see animals suffer. People suffering? Hell, I hate to see that, too...but to a lesser degree. Whatever. I'd have offed Seamus. Right then. I wasn't going to take care of the kid. My mom has bigger fish to fry, herself. She said to me, "I always hear about people taking sick birds in and nursing them back to health, but...."

Yes. I completely agree. She doesn't have time for it, I certainly am not Saint Francis of Assissi, the kid was mortally wounded...let it go.

(And it started off such a heroic story....)

I wish it weren't, but I believe this is how it will go: Seamus won't eat the worm-bits, he'll sit in the plastic coffin on the back porch for about two or three days/daze, and then he will succumb to both his injuries and also the lack of his regurgitating mama-bird. Sad story ends with baby-bird a Bustle of Nothing...nothing but feathers and a skeletal body.

And that is--kinda--the way the Animal Kingdom works: Survival of the Fittest. Yes, but....

But I coulda done better. I shoulda done better. I was so damned gung-ho to get the kid back in his nest, I didn't think ahead. I didn't think about the drastic slope of the roof on the driveway-side. Had I, I would have jammed a nylon rope in my pocket. Verily, I could have tied said rope tightly around the chimney and lowered myself carefully down the grade of the roof and gently deposited baby-bird into his nest in the gutter. And, with a rope, I could have clawed my way back up to the tippy-top of the roof. Would it have worked? Well, yeah, as long as the nylon rope held true. Is it worth risking? Absolutely not. I gave it a go; the baby bird tumbled, a second time, back over the roof (a mere three feet from his nest) and plummeted to his imminent death.

...

...

And that's why we're humans, and they're birds.

Fly free, Little One. Fly free.

=)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MEAGAN, MY MEAGAN...

Three years, today.

We both forgot. Wah-wah. We love each other. Passionately.

I'll have to make it up to her.

On the other hand, last night we consumated our third year of love. (With a game of checkers.)

;-)


(And it was after midnight--so, then, today, the 27th of July. I need to repeat that to myself about a hundred times.)

I love her. Completely. Infinitely.

***

I think we have a ghost in the house. I really truly do. A few things have happened....

***

Break: Meeg and I finish each others sentences and our moods are often yin and yang. Yeah. We sure as hell seem to be soul-mates. I am soooooooooooooooooooo lucky. =)

***

Back to the ghost. I don't want to get into details...there have been a few peculiar things here that happened, in the homestead, lately. I am a little freaked out. (But, maybe, in a good way.) We'll see what happens.

***

I love Meagan Elizabeth. I love her.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

JACK

Jack.

Jack.

Jack.

Jack.

Lovely post--Jack all the thyme.

Jack. One name--the best.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Henry David Throw

I know. I know. I misspelled H. D. Thoreau's name. On purpose. For a reason.

HDT had a point, man. Simplify. Keep it simple (stupid). And this before electronics hypnotized damn-near every person on the "civilized" planet. Before.

I misspelled Henry David Thoreau's name...because. Electronically-speaking, I am fucking cursed, man. Everything seems to glitch, for me. Everything seems to go south in a hurry. This computer upon which I am typing is no exception. My baby has been to the doctor more than once. (Let's call it three or four times.) My cell phone has glitched on me. The big-screen TV, that once dominated a corner of the living room, went ker-plunk. And on...and on.

The reason I spelled his name as "Throw" in the title is because, well, I want to throw all my electronic shit out the do', mang. They completely belittle me, man, on a (seemingly) daily basis. They break, they befuddle me with their madness, they mock me from a distance. Am I the only person in the world who has problems with electronics?!

Fuck! The latest malcontent is the Nikon snap-and-giggle that I bought for the low low price of over $300 just six months ago. It's a great camera: HD video, good zoom, high pixels...it's a good damned camera! So why, now, is the motherfucking piece of metal and plastic not charging? Is it the battery? Is it where the battery cord penetrates the camera's body? I. Don't. Know.

And it pisses me off. This is not a ten-, a five-, or even a three-year-old camera. It is about six months. Gimme a fucking break. What do they make these things with?! Bubble-gum and tinfoil?! C'mon .

Anyway.

I have to take it somewhere. Its receipt is long-lost. I have to take it to a camera shop, I guess. And, eventually, I will. Luckily, I found its predecessor (excluding, of course, that hundred-dollar-piece-of-Canon-shit that died, enexpectedly, far far too early.) Yeah, luckily, I found the silver Canon when my mom looked in the sidewall of her passenger door in her car, about nine months to the day after I drunkenly left the boy in her car. Yes. I am lucky. Lucky, I guess, that I can plastic-purchase time-keepers at a (seemingly) manic pace.

I will tell you three this: If the motherfuckers lasted longer...well, I 'twouldn't be so manic.

Back to Thoreau. HDT knew of what he spoke and wrote. Back to Nature. Keep it simple. Simplify, gosh damn it.

I am not going to throw my electronics to the kerb (curb). I just love them too much. But it definitely is a love-hate relationship. Definitely. But the damned things are just too alluring. They call me.

But Henry David Thoreau had it right. Back to Nature, mang. Keep it simple.

Keep your sanity.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DETROIT POLICE CHIEF RESIGNS

Warren Evans had to resign. It seems that it was because a "personal relationship [was] a personal relationship."

I guess it also comes down to a conflict of interest.

Basically? It's peeps feelings getting hurt.

I saw a video of the chief acting like a warrior, facing down thugs and shit...he is good. He is a good guy. But his dick gets in the way?!

Gimme a fucking break.

What Detroit needs is a man with respect. They--it--had that with Warren Evans. What a fucking dipshit major city. Seriously.

***

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DUCKS

I don't know if I have passed this on, yet.

We were all on the way home from Virginia Beach--I was behind the wheel of the 2010 Chevy Malibu--and the weather had kicked up, a bit, in the lovely curvy and hilly state of West Virginia. I was driving down some six-lane highway (seperated by the grassy median) and, as I angled the vehicle to the right and down (yet another) a hill, I noticed something on the shoulder of the far-left lane, the lane in which I had taken up residence. Must be another blown-out tire, I thought to myself. Yes. Yes, but then the tire began to move to its left...smack-dab in my lane. As I cruised along at 75 miles an hour, I soon saw that the tire was not a tire.

It was, in fact, a family of ducks. Four ducklings and a mother duck.

I was going 75 miles an hour. I tried to brake and move to my right, but that didn't work. The pavement was damp and the ducks were headed exactly to the spot that I'd swerve. It's a moot point, anyway. Once I depressed the brake, the physics took over: 75 miles an hour, downhill--steep grade--angled to the right as it were; the physics told the rear end of the car to shimmy to the left. I gave up on that idea. I wasn't about to flip down the highway thirty-two times and have us all end up (dead) in a fiery crash. Was not going to happen. So I let off the brake and said a quick prayer for the ducks.

The last three ducklings said good-bye to this world. (I like to think that they are doing their "duck-dives" in Duck Heaven, now.) There was not even a thump-thump-thump (obviously) when I ran 'em down. No...just, when I shot a glance in the rear-view mirror, I actually some feathers flying in the air and the Mother duck seemingly taking to the air. Apparently, the mom duck had had enough of her bird-brained attempt to cross the six-lane super-highway and had decided that the last duckling was not worth being Malibu-ed herself.

Nice mom, huh?

Why she even wanted to flirt with the Devil is another matter all together. Maybe she had a duck drug problem? Maybe she had fallen in with the quick mallards? Who knows. I personally think--and events bore this out--the idea was a bad one.

"What was that?!" said Naomi breathlessly from the backseat, snapped awake.

"Nothi--" I said.

"Ducks!" said Meagan, simultaneously. "A mother duck and her four ducklings!"

"Adam?!" said Naomi. "Why couldn't you have missed them?!"

Meagan answered her daughter why (and she completely understood), and I was left to drive in somewhat-blessed silence, saying a repetitive silent prayer to the duck-world: Sorry.

***

x> x> x>

Saturday, July 03, 2010

WHAT THE FUCK #16762

So...Meagan and I were in line at Kroger's. I was commenting to the man behind us that he too purchased a 12-pack of Vernor's when I heard commotion ahead of me.

"I'll bash all the nigger's heads," said the African-American ahead of me. "I'll get my axe and cut them into little pieces," said the black man ahead of me.

I held out my hand. "Here," I said. "Shake my hand."

He looked down at me--a skinny six-foot-three black man--and he said, "I ain't shaking your motherfucking hand."

I removed my hand from the situation.

The man's order was done. His bags were packed. His change (the cashier rounded it up) was in his hand. Still, in his camo hat and with his neck veins pulsating, one never knows where the merry-go-round will end. Does he have a gun? Does he have a knife? Can he kill with his bare hands? (Probably.)

I was just happy to see the crazy motherfucker leave the building.

Meagan regained her voice. "What did you say to him?"

The cashier looked warily out the front window and said, "I just asked why he looks angry all the time. Every time he comes in, he looks angry."

It made me think: Just what is "crazy"? I consider myself pretty fucked-up. Crazy? Maybe. But then, when one actually sees "nuts," it makes one re-think the verbiage. This guy? Fucking nuts. Nutzo.

My prayers go out to the cashier. (And to the warped individual. His pain is heavy, man.)

Peace to all. And to all a good night.

LOVE.