Sunday, January 22, 2012

They Were Never Simpler Times

Jake and Tim have been neighbors and school classmates since Jake
moved into the small Tampa suburb seven years earlier, in 1996. The
two boys, age 12 and 13, respectively, are removed by six months age
difference and juxtaposed personality types. Sitting on the edge of the
bed in Jake's room one crisp fall day, the boys prepare for a get-together.
Tim: I wonder who's gonna show up for the sleepover!
Jake: I keep telling you to quit calling it that. Girls have sleepovers.
        This is camping out.
Tim: Yeah... that sounds real butch.
Jake: Do you have to say stuff like that?
        And what's with the Power Rangers Underoos?
Tim: I love them! I don't care if they're for little kids...I'm keeping
       them forever. If people don't like it, they can suck it!
Jake: Probably NOT the thing to say while running around hanging
       out of your specialty super-hero underwear.
Tim: You never said nothing before?
Jake: Well, I don't care. But other kids are gonna be here. You don't
       wanna get made fun of, do ya?
Tim (mournful, but defiant): No. I don't care! My "Give a Damn is
       Busted!" Ha ha!
Jake: Oh Lord. I should never have turned you on to country music.
Tim: Hey, you should do that song for the talent show. It'd be awesome.
Jake: Naw that's okay.
Tim: Come on...don't be shy...that's a cool song.
Jake: No song is cool for a guy to be singing in middle school in the
       south. Trust me.
Tim: You worry too much.
Jake: I guess I'll do the worrying for the both of us.
Tim: hmmmnn..well, let's play a game before everybody gets here.
Jake: I hope that means you're getting all the Squirrelly out of your
        system in advance?
Tim: What-EVER Drama King! Sure...let's play something you'd be
      ashamed of with all your hip friends....
Jake: "What if?" I suppose!
Tim: Yes! What if? it is, by popular demand!
Jake: "What if?" I had my head on straight?
Tim: Never gonna happen.... "What could have any super
      power in the world...What would you choose and why?"
Jake: Oh, keeping it real, I see.
Tim: Don't be a killjoy, Snark Attack.
Jake: Okay...didn't we just do this last week?
Tim: It's like "Who do you find hot?"'s always changing based on
      mood and focus. Quit avoiding.
Jake: Okay...Superman.
Tim: That's not a power.
Jake: Okay, I want to be Superman, and have all his powers.
Tim: That's multiple powers, and an identity...Besides; BORING!
Jake: Okay fine, I want to be a Kryptonian, and thereby have all the
       powers of a Kryptonian under earth's yellow sun.
Tim: Cool. Okay...I would want invisibility.
Jake: What the what? Invisibility sucks. That's lame.
Tim: No I could be in espionage, and get all the answers to all the
       secrets I want, and I could know what people really think.
Jake: What's so special about knowing what people think? Over-
       rated. Besides, seeing what people do and knowing what they
       think are two different things, Einstein, Trust me.
Tim: Why are you hating on Invisibility? Lyle Norg was awesome.
Jake: Here i thought you were imagining yourself the Invisible Girl.
       You just wanna sleep with Lyle Norg, doofus.
Tim: The Legion was sooo 20th century good comics. Invisibility...
       Invisible Lad rocks!
Jake: Look...your own guys could shoot you by mistake. A stray bullet
       could kill you. A dog can still smell you. There's no defensive
       measures involved at all.
Tim: Ugh. Fine. Green Lantern, then...I want a power ring. It can do everything.
Jake: I don't like that choice either.
Tim: Well excuse meeeee!
Jake: Look--here's the thing; a power ring is not you. Besides, your will
       power kind of sucks anyway. When's the last time you followed through
       on anything?
Tim: You know, just because you're mister OCD doesn't mean everyone
       else is a slacker. You got a problem yourself!
Jake: Noted. But here's the thing. A power ring makes your 'abilities'
       dependent on an external source. You can't ever put your faith or
       hope in an external source. It has to come from within; That's what matters.
Tim: Killjoy. How is it we even know each other? Okay....let me think......
       I know...I want to be a martian, but like J'onn J'onzz...with an array
       of powers. I could fly, I could turn invisible and still have strength and
       'defensive' capabilities...
Jake: But you'd be green and ugly.
Tim: Ugly is subjective, thank you very much, Senor racist. Besides, he can
       change shape..turn into anyone or anybody in looks.
Jake: Let me guess. you'd turn into the guy someone else wanted so you
        could snag them?
Tim: What's wrong with that?
Jake: If you have to ask....
Tim: I just want someone to love me. That's not wrong.
Jake: No, but you gotta know who you are. You don't change into who
        someone else wants you to be. Your job in life can't be to please or,
        or, to....service others' needs. What kind of life is that? When are you
        gonna start living your life?
Tim: It's just a game.
Jake: Like you tells a lot about who people really are. And what
        would you plan on doing with the mind-reading abilities? Find out what
        people think about you? Figure out how to change to be more liked?
Tim (disheartened): Talk about mixed signals. You never complain when
       I change to suit you.
Jake: I gotta get ready. If you want to find something to wear that won't
       get you laughed at, check my dresser.

And with that, Jake strode out of the room, seemingly oblivious that his
     cavalier manner had finally broken the hopes of his fragile friend.
     Their one-time romance had been too much for Jake's go-gettum
     upward climb in the social setting of a school filled with judgmental
     teenagers. He was too worried about status and image to any longer
     carry his whacky and heart-on-his-sleeve pal of youth.
Tim wiped a tear away and studied the situation a moment. He jumped
     off the bed's edge and walked tentatively to the full length mirror in
     Jake's room. He felt a sadness over the bruised feelings that had
     become all too common a mark of their time together of late. Tim
     spied himself in his Rangers underoos and smiled. He posed a super-
     powered styling pose for himself and triumphantly shouted "I look
He didn't realize it then, but Tim had made a wise choice for which horse
     he needed to back in the race of his life.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Words are what you make of them...

The Book of Souls is clear about all things laid bare
within it's leather bound ancient covers. Whether or
not humanity chooses to pay attention and abide by
the simple offerings is quite another matter.

Some of the many fine gems, which sentimentality and
blind eyes try and rule out, are such obvious claims as;

* Friends are a dubious lot indeed. They are just as
likely to throw you under a bus (not the original
wording!) as repayment for your loyalties as they
would be to look at you.

* When you give support and accommodation to
another, whether within the bounds of agreement
or not, there is no guarantee that a reciprocation
will be forthcoming.

* To speak truth is indeed to grasp hold of an
outsider's life full throttle. Such status will be
alternately illuminating and infuriating, but that is
no different than any other path's rewards.

* Having embarked on a journey with a status of
'troublemaker' (the wicked's onus for one who makes
their life more difficult,) you may find that those on
your path bring troubles to you readily.

* Paths are sometimes decided for us, if only for
a period, but if we are steadfast, we may find that
travails are not only unavoidable, but no longer
undesirable. There is merit in the sun rising as well
as setting.

* The masses in any town imagine themselves
squarely correct in all matters, but this no more
makes it so than the raising of one's voice makes it
so... or repetition, or committing to type and text,
or spreading to a greater and greater majority their

* Those who deny themselves doing what they want
will replace the loss by investing tirelessly in a new
venture for distraction; generally directing others as to
what they should or should not do.

For such a small book, it resolutely sets forth many
wondrous adages and proverbs. Perhaps it is the
quiet and unassuming nature of the observations that
has caused it to remain lacking in popularity.

Perhaps the time has simply not yet come when
man is prepared for an outline that does not demand,
nor tear apart reason, in order to impart wisdom.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sticky Floors Worse than A Movie Theatre's

Setting: A major unholy chain store for crappy retail schlock
in the fair-to-middling sized hole-in-the-wall (No pun intended!)
town of Irredeemable, South Carolina.The Date: Voting Day for Republican Primaries (not that there's
any significance to that!)

The Time: Lunch time! And all good little Christian parodies of
real men are washing their hot and horny little hands like the
barn's afire; OCD harsh scrubbings and self-flagellation aplenty.

Meanwhile, in the Men's room.....

Ricky sings to himself while he fumbles with his tiny pecker, fervently
working it free of the chastity belt he had modified for himself. Too
many damned cute interns to take chances. What are they feeding
those young mid-western boys these days? He sings, not for joy
of touching the withered and neglected member, but because he has
to distract himself whilst physically acknowledging he has one.

Don't want to sin and notice genitalia!
Ricky is at once relieved by the swishing sound of the men's room
door, and also aggravated that he may have to work hard at keeping
his composure. These bitter-sweet moments were what he lived for,
and dreaded.

Once he turned slightly to catch a glimpse of his acquaintance,

Mitty, he was actually disappointed. No school boys today, he
thought, dismissing the aged gentleman. In truth, Mitty looked
and acted far younger than he truly was, born eons ago for the
plow and hearth crowd he was part of, sheer desperation feigning
his youthful zeal. Funny enough, this was in direct contrast to
Ricky, who looked far older than his Micky Mouse Club
childishness and immaturity, who sought to maintain the illusion of
decorum and stability.

Methuselah and Peter Pan, coming together to shake their bitter,
useless pickles. Avoiding their own, while hoping to control all others.

Mitty pretended not to notice Ricky was even standing next to him
now; children are to be neither seen nor heard, and his power play was
in full swing. He tweezered out his Vienna sausage and thought long and
hard about the lean young men his boys had become.

Mitty is feeling his oats, today, and flips a coin in his head, deciding
to take the low road. Familiar territory. "Lovely sweater vest," he
lays out to Ricky in a snarky huff.

Ricky is not too quick or too adept, but his angry inner child,
longing for reconciliation with his absent Daddy (whom Mitty
certainly reminds him of,) has him blurt out a schoolyard retort
of "What are you doing here? Stocking up on your Crisco hair

He's clearly vexed while stoic Mitty just keeps that stiff upper
lip clench in play, hoping eventually someone will be impressed
by it and think him a badass. He pictures Heaven in his mind, as
he often does when he plays with himself. He sees himself in the
throne at the top of the clouds, reshaping the environs in his image.

Both men fight their carnal urges to at least look over and size up
their competition. But fear wins out. Fear that if they initiate such
a spectacle, the other will follow suit, and their secret will be out,
definitely in the wrong hands. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

There is a long glassy stare of insolence that passes between the
two pompous, posturing, pedantic boys-in-men's-bodies....this
octogenarian and this fetus, so far apart, and much in common?
That soulful discomfort....that detachedness...the  slow-wittedness....
the earnestly pleading lost boys who cannot get answers.

In a moment of mad giving in to all that they suppress daily, they
are mauled by their passions, knowing now that they were two sides
of the same coin. Self-hating lapsed into reasoned denial.

"We both have everything to lose! It's the perfect outlet!" they
both thought in unison.

Sure, it wasn't cabana boys, hustlers, interns, or their own barely
legal nubile flesh they were plundering on the cold, dirty, tile floor, 
but it would do. After all, that's what fantasy is for. Robotic,
shame-filled, they groped and fudged around until they had both
squirted forth their worthlessness. They quickly made themselves
back into their normally disheveled forms and began their charade

"Ahem! Well, these voters are sure to back me and my solid core
values. God has made a plan for my Presidency, Ricky. I hope you
don't have too much invested in winning." Mitty's caricature of a
caricature was nauseatingly obvious, but so long as he never ceased
the ruse, could anyone actually expose it?

"These aren't New Englanders here, Mitty. We may have a surprise
or two in store. Don't get ahead of yourself!" charged the little
cheerleader, surprising himself with his gusto even as he prepared
which Bible verse he would recite for the Southern crowd.

"Maybe, if you're a good boy," Mitty said with a lecherous wink,
"I'll save a special spot in my cabinet for you!" With that gauntlet
thrown, Mitty tightened his tie noose-like around his throat and
stomped out of the latrines, enough of an angry air to wilt flowers
and scare children.

Meekly, Ricky splashed water on his face and contritely gave
himself affirmations in the mirror, puffy-eyed and fearful. He sighed
mightily and scurried behind his errant Papa, just as the janitor was
sauntering in for the mid-day cleaning.

He wondered to himself why the floors were always stickiest after
the married men finished their lunchtime constitutions, and figured
that it must just be the glue that holds America together.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stream of Ruthlessness

The bleached out 'naughty' bits,
the pretense of vanilla,
the obligation to the sensible and esteemed,
converging in a saccharine
whitewash of a pure and true soul.

Deluged by influence of Others--
those damnedable controllers of puppet strings--
we sway and motion habitually through
ironically self-defeating patterns;
domestication complete, we satisfactorily
lifeless and subdued minions fully snared.

Seductive smiles and intentions most grand
matter not a natter's tit
when soul devastation is at hand;
pleasing others to a fault,
likewise resentful of the tacit demand
driving these befuddling endeavors.

The greatest feat of all?
Convincing targets that assault is medicine,
that grievance is duty, that suppression is divine.
Take the child and call the parent barren.
This world of duplicity and schisms
has no sentiment for a feeling soul.

We dance around the preposterous shore
of this dwindling River of Life,
seeking to be quenched, sated, cooled.
Instead, it's a Stream of Ruthlessness,
drowning, gagging, washing clean
the evidence of Real, the essence of True.

We can't even shed a tear;
enmeshed to the fictions, we
are bone dry in the midst of our watery prison.
But others will call us 'free.'
Which version will preside?
Was it worth the price to see the ocean?