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Showing posts from September, 2005

Dark Disease

My Friend,

Warm, yet I remain cold.
Calm, yet I grow upset.

I long to be around you.
I wish upon you happiness.

I know you've always brought me bliss,
But friend, I now must tell you this:

Something now between us comes;
I fear 'tis all because of me.

The things which bring you happiness,
leave for me the sad.

The things which bring you trauma,
tempt to make me glad.

"Oh God I pray to be a friend--
to cherish and to hold,
The person who to me shall be
the purest of a mold!"

But something grows from deep within--
It strives to blur my vision.

You see my friend, I've not been me.

For I've contracted...

...Jealousy.


An accurate account

i think i am dead. i believe they killed me but i can still feel it. i can feel its heartless beat, gaze, and breath upon my carcass. It did this to me—it's what left me here. It's what calls the shots, watches your moves and pronounces judgment. i hate it, but i obey its call anyway . . .

George Larmer stared into his square mirror on the morning of Public Festival. He studied his face. It wasn't as if he expected to see anything new, but he couldn't help but hope. Form his hairline, past the bridge of his nose and down to his chin his eyes would follow. George found nothing more than a long overdue zit, which was of no consequence to him.

George's facial self-examination could have well lasted throughout the day if it had not been for the uninvited entrance of his phlegmatic dog Camus. Camus did not stay long, but simply eyed George for a minute and sauntered off. George always felt uneasy in his dog's presence, as if he were being scrutinized but it was simply…

Lost and found

In the mid-sixteenth century, there was a ship commissioned to bring fear to those traveling to the West Indies. Armed to the teeth, the galleon was said to be capable of cutting a vessel in half with a single volley of cannon fire. The hull’s exterior was coated in a tarry pitch that gave it a black shimmer when slicing through the waves. To match the hull, the rest of the ship was finished in black lacquer. It was rumored that the Queen herself had secretly requested and funded this operation to protect her interests from colonists tempted to forget their governing body. Setting sail with a skeleton crew of 30 men it left Spain known only as the “Xiphias.” It was never heard from again...

Fifteen years ago, the bow of a 16th-century ship was found buried under a coral formation near the eastern coast of Barbados. Samples from the ship’s bow revealed high traces of a chemical also found in tar. As a coral reef had grown around the find, excavation rights were denied and study of the…

Ignorance is bliss

Not being what one would call an ideal student, my report cards were usually less than impressive. So under-whelming were these progress reports that the bonus toy surprise in each package was a day’s worth of queasy feelings. Report card days were when I had to own up to all the schoolwork I had not been doing that semester. Often I already knew how bad the report would be long before receiving it. Sometimes, I’d even disappoint myself with lower-than-expected performance. Even though my low grades were disappointing to my father, our true conflict centered on honesty—my complete and total lack of it. Every morning and evening up to and including report card day, my father would ask me if I was keeping up with my schoolwork. My responses were varied but always full of assurances that things were on the up and up. The unease I felt riding my bike home with a report card was not dissimilar to what you might feel handing your executioner his axe.

Remember the first time someone told yo…

Shrink-wrapped opinions

Every once in a while, as I stand in some supermarket checkout line, I’ll glance at the tabloids: The National Enquirer, The Weekly World News or The Star. Often, I’m satisfied to just laugh at the paper right there in the stand. Sometimes, the headlines catch my curiosity enough that I’ll actually purchase the rag and take it home for a few laughs. While there may be some that consider these papers to be the only true news, most (myself included) think of them as comic distractions. Every week it’s some new sensational headline about Elvis, aliens, governments, Nostradamus, the end of the world and Jesus. Sometimes, the headline manages to contain all of these things at the same time. Whatever can be said about the tabloids, no one can deny that the reporting style is designed to wow you into buying their paper.

Apparently threatened by the tabloids, news agencies have decided to fight sensationalism with even more sensationalism. News items are now events complete with their own th…

The devil inside

Victor was one of those children with an overdeveloped mean streak—if there was a fly to lose its wings or an ant to be burned, he was the chief executioner. Victor was also one of those kids always being sent to the principal’s office or running laps for the coach. Most parents had Victor’s parents on speed dial. When it was time to learn a new dirty word, we’d all go to Victor for our next lesson—the boy was the professor of profanity. Victor had the first collection of porn any of us had ever laid eyes on. He was also the one that showed us how to decipher breasts and other parts of the female body squiggling in and out on scrambled cable channels. Eventually our parents branded Victor a ‘problem child’ and his underground popularity grew like kudzu.

As we got older, we saw less of Victor as his punishments began to involve authorities with a little more clout than the school principal. It was Victor who tried to shoplift some candy from the local drug store. When the school playg…

Shaping the human tree

When I was roughly six years old, my father took me to track and field day at the college where he was teaching. There were events taking place all over the field: the high jump, the long jump, throwing activities and some assortment of gymnastic events. Surrounding all of these was a giant ring of dirt where runners were warming up for different track competitions. My father needed to do something for the day’s events so he found me a seat where I was to stay until he returned. From where I sat in the stands, I could see the runners getting prepared—their legs stretching, muscles rippling and faces grim with the determination to win.

It wasn’t long before my dad was back with couple glasses of water for us to drink. It wasn’t the cold soda I was hoping for but it quenched our thirst just the same. As the day wore on, I became convinced that I could hold my own against these college runners. They seemed to be taking quite a bit of time to cover what seemed a relatively short distance…

The prickly pear

Once upon a time there was a pear. This pear was quite plump and all the other pears aspired to be as juicy. On sunny days, the pear would make sure to find a leaf or two that could provide adequate shade. No one knew exactly how the pear had become so plump and juicy. Some of the other pears speculated that it had retained all the water intended for some of the less fortunate pears on the branch while others simply reckoned it was blessed to be that way. One thing everyone could agree upon was that the pear was destined for something great. The pear itself knew the other pears were jealous but it couldn’t be bothered with such petty affairs—it was, after all, destined for greatness.

Summer was coming to a close and all the pears were busy making their final preparations for the harvest season. Some would be chosen and others, if they had not grown enough, would be left to the birds and the fall frosts. Most of the pears were busy drinking up as much water as they could and spent the…

One more walk on the beach

Labor Day has always been a time of rest and relaxation for me. It was also a big holiday for my mother who might spend up to a month prior to this weekend pulling together an amazing event—a massive family gathering. Our family would rent a beach house for the long weekend and gather as many relatives under one roof as possible. The kitchen was constantly in use—sometimes hectic but always enjoyable, we were never short of food or people to eat it. Out on the beach, my cousins and I would divide our time between swimming in the ocean, building sand castles or just taking long walks and catching up. At night, we’d go into the little town nearby and have ice cream and re-stock the groceries. Some evenings we'd play board games or just sit around retelling stories of our younger days. Once the ‘older folk’ went to bed, the young and young-at-heart would watch late-night movies or take a moonlit walk on the beach swapping the stories not fit to share with parents. As we got older an…

An affair of convenience

I have a confession to make. I’ve been having an affair now for the past several years. I've known her since we were kids but grew distant in high school. It wasn't until many years later when standing in line at the DMV that I bumped into her again. Having her with me in that line reminded me how much I enjoyed her company. We saw each other quite regularly after that until I met my wife a few years later. During the first year of my marriage, I couldn't maintain the affair but would often wonder if I'd ever see her again. It wasn’t until the second year with my wife that I started to rekindle the affair and found that things would go better at home after each encounter.

When my son was born, of course, there were a few months when I didn’t make the effort to keep up the affair and lost touch with her entirely. These were dark days of stress and unhappiness. Eventually, I started sneaking her into the house and became less frantic. Looking back, it's a wonder I n…

Getting ahead

During my elementary and high school years, my father and I spent quite a bit of time discussing my future. I was of the opinion that school was simply a waste of my time and true potential. He thought I was going to be homeless. I say that my father and I discussed this during my elementary and high school years but the debate actually chased me into college. Eventually my dad gave up the fight and I dropped out of college. Armed with my low earning power, I ventured out into the world to prove my old man wrong. You know, it's really surprising how much employers care about a diploma. You could, in fact, show up for a job wielding the ever useful 'Bachelors of [the dead language] Latin Philosophy' and become the company's next big thing. I had to depend on my charm and good looks to achieve gainful employment.

After the 3rd summer of living with my parents, losing my girlfriend and floating enough credit card debt to make M.C. Hammer look more like Charles Schwab, I …

It could be worse

My wife has secretly replaced her breasts with methane canisters. Every time she feeds our new baby girl, it isn't long before my daughter sounds like the trombone section of my high school band. While amusing, it loses its charm at 2am. I spend most of the evening between burping her and fearing the diaper change. Why fear change? Changing this baby's diaper is much like taking the cover off a cannon. I once saw a documentary about some birds in Africa that seal themselves up inside a tree leaving just a tiny opening through which they receive food and dispose of it. My daughter's range and accuracy reminds me of these birds.

When the trumpeting and projectile pooping settles down, my little baby girl then decides that sleep is overrated and proceeds to stare at me. This is not the "are you my daddy? I think I love you" kind of stare. It is the, "I'm going to chew up your mind, body and soul before sunrise" look. No blinking, no smiles. Just two h…

This little light of mine...

When I was a much younger child than I am now, there was a song we used to sing called, "This little light of mine." I think the words were something along the lines of, "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...all around the neighborhood, I'm gonna let it shine...hide it under a bushel? NO! I'm gonna let it shine...let it shine, let it shine, let it shine..." The lyrics were about sharing one's beliefs with the world so that others could benefit from the blessings given you. While something gets lost without the music, the lyric's message to me have recently been found.

I believe that each of us has a part to play in the shaping of our world. Some influence the course of events in grand, sweeping strokes open to the scrutiny and criticism of all. Others simply keep the wheels turning my maintaining status quo—both are equally valid forms of social participation. In the last several years, however, I've noticed a trend both in m…

Rabbit rabbit

It's now September. More importantly, it is the 1st of the month. What, you might ask, is so important about the 1st of the month? It is an opportunity to gather a little extra luck for the month ahead. If you don't believe in luck, that's ok too because for those of us who do, there'll be more to go around. At this point, most people figure they've got nothing to lose and ask, "alright, how can I have more luck this month?" Because I'm so helpful, I'll spell out all the steps and complex rituals needed in order to generate extra luck the first of every month for that entire month. Here is how this works:

1) When you wake, the first words you speak must be none other than, "Rabbit, rabbit." note: this is doubly important if your birthday occurs during the month as you will receive double the luck for your birthday month.

2) If, for whatever reason, you've forgotten to utter the words, "Rabbit, rabbit" before any other, all…