Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birthday note to my moms and dad November 18th

Clearly I understand that the reasons behind taunting always stem from insecurities and fears inside the one doing the putting down. I know too that the enmity I endure from those I care for comes from a place of fear and anger at aging and so many things changing around them. I don't need to imagine how hard it would be to be a person that got treated harshly by someone who needed to put someone else down to feel better about themselves, I live with it daily. I am graced with an ability to charm (thanks dad) and comfort (thanks mom)
What would be hard to imagine would be how impossible it would be to ever truly feel good about myself if I had to rely on other people around me to validate what I already know. You guys taught me a lot of self reliance, you know. And I appreciate the people in my life who love me, but I know I wouldn't even have those good people around if I didn't honor and know the truth of my own soul. I love and know myself well enough to know that the love and support and care I get from others is the icing on the cake. That's the key. Love thyself.
Theologically (if I may sound like dad for a minute-another nod to you dad) at St. Edwards University (thanks for making that happen mom, I am eternally grateful) I learned that "God" dwells in each and every one of us. So to achieve true good one need only let "God" out of your soul via your actions and movement in the world. There is no force moving things around other than the collective energy of those who populate this earth. Dad would not agree, he feels there are several other layers, and while I agree that there are no doubt other layers, how much ability or interest to manipulate the slice we live in is debatable. Wishing everyday for something will only give you hunger. Go and do. Here it is, my Oprah couch moment: Get up everyday and do good. Its my secret-principle-agreement-habit and so far so good. The Dali Lama I am not, but I have read his books too and he touches upon the same ideas. I owe my three parents a giant debt of gratitude for giving me the tools and teaching to seek answers, thanks for the Head Start and the liberal upbringing, all the alternative lifestyles and the variety of cultures you made sure I experienced. Trips to Europe and life in the Caribbean...being son to a single mother, these things made me love diversity and appreciate women. Thank you.
A big nod to Elizabeth, who taught me to cook and to forgive and forget, to rise above and know myself. No son is as lucky as I am to have had such a strong mom. I cherish the times we enjoyed in the kitchen on Hidalgo, and look forward to more. Sorry the mediatating didn't stick.
Back when I didn't love myself, I ignored or worse attacked my loved ones, found little time to do good in the world and generally took up space. I decided to change and do good. It works. When I lose sight of it, things get funky. Will it work? Its better than wishing. Its better than sitting around the house hoping for change. I'm out there, I help and change and comfort and it rolls back in in spades.

Please note that I am not attacking anyone's beliefs here, mom. And you should know that you push my buttons when you drop the pop-psychology book stuff on me, I am glad it works for you and only feel that you should realize that everything you are looking for in these "shelf help" books is already inside you.
Thanks ya'll for making the crazy wild decision to carry me into this world, I love you!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


“He’s a fuckwit.” He said. The sidewalk crunches underfoot as they emerge from Brewster’s. Mark lights a cigarette, blows the smoke skyward as is his custom.

“Well, you are an asshole, punctuating his epithet with a cursory tug at the cig, “and damn good at it, too.”

“The hell does that mean? I’m saying he’s a fuckwit, no one believes him." Russell turns to Mark, “do you?”

“I didn’t say I do, just saying that calling him out does you no good, is all.” The two pause at the light. A cab slows, drifting towards them, then accelerates.

He reaches for his wallet as he approach the door,

“And they do believe him, Mark, the fricking do, that’s the sad part,” extracts his license and nods to a man on a stool drinking from a large mug, “Hey Doug how’s things man?”

"Good, Thanks Mark, Russell-ID.” Taking a final drag from his cig and flinging it behind him, says, “They don’t, they don’t believe him, they just choose to go along with it and that’s what’s truly screwed.” A wall of inside swallows their backs.

Two girls, one in dark bangs and black nails are by the beer taps. Shot glasses and beers in front of them. A guy passes them with his bike helmet. “And I was laughing and trying to be nice at the same time, you know, but really, the guy’s wearing pleated jeans, I mean come on.” She’s laughing and drinking her scotch. Her friend is dirty blond and dressed in office clothes, victim of happy hour gone long

“So, what? He’s hitting on you, guys do it all the time, bad fashion never seems to prevent them from trying, so what did you say? “

“Well, I guess I didn’t realize he was hitting on me, because, you know, I never even thought about—anyway, I was being nice, I guess’

“That was your first mistake,” she says, as she pokes a message out on her phone,

“I know, I know, “ her voice rises as she explains, “ but anyway then he asks me what I am doing tonight, and that was when it hit me,”

“What hit you?” she puts her phone off to the side among the beer glasses.

“That’s when I said, Oh shit this guy is hitting on me, so trying! And I made up the story about the conference call and meeting you.” The bartender reaches over a tattooed arm to place flickering votive candles in front of the girls. He nods first at the empty shot glasses then at the girls, turns to the bright screen of the register and begins poking.

As the door closes out the bar sounds outside, Mark steps to the urinal. Russell stands at the sink, leaning in to look at a mark on his cheek. “It’s the game, man. It’s pretend and pretense. Everyone dressed up as something.

"Really? I’m dressed as a man, you…well, you dress for shit,’ he laughs and pushes Mark, who steps forward to avoid tumbling into the urinal.

“We have jobs and credit cards and cars and houses and get up and wear ties, but we’re the same as we have always been, just pretending. I’m just pretending, here.” He turns from the sink. Stands there wringing his hands.

“That fuckwit is pretending, and you know it. And all the girls he gets, they know it too, but what else have we got?” The door swings open and they turn towards the sound of music and conversation. A man stops confused for a moment, then moves towards the urinal, each man careful not to touch the other as they move.

“let’s find another bar, the only girls in here are from my office.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Heavy Storm Preparedness

You do what you can to avoid the worst; take precautions and put in your efforts.

You worry about your family, your property. At the end of it, as the winds pick up and the effects start to show up on TV, you watch.

Maybe it won’t be as bad as they expect. You say.

Maybe it will turn. You hope.

The talking heads on news channel thrive on destruction and change.

Eventually as the destruction starts to loop on the TV, you turn in for the night.

The worst always happens once its deep night.

In the morning, you’ll get on the net to check out how bad it was.

There are loses and things saved. There are things that will need patching.

Eventually it all goes back to normal; the world finds a way to cope with changes,

Strong and able to absorb the worst, at least for now, little will seem different.

Life goes on.

Election day 2010.

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