Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Universe Conquered

Come forth to this den of shadows and thought, lay yourself beside the fire and take ear and heart to my tale. Such a tale that might stir with in your soul memories of your own struggles and dare I say ... epic moments? As such for this to truly attain the stature it so deserves I stand before you, a humble story teller, clothed only in his talent. Instead I call to those greater than I who might guide my fingers so that all those who might take forth this tale will give it a home in their minds to inspire their own lives. As such might Thalia push forward my goal and give grace to Euterpe as her spirit lay among all who live within this story! O muses come down to this humble vessel and give rise to words too simple without your presence!

Follow shall we a modern soul, gripped tightly by those great works of modern music! He finds drive, meaning, and solace in the melodies and rhythms of a band who speaks in simple prairie ways, and tells stories dark yet comforting. Like young gods they straddle the imagination of our hero, these Men who Watch. It is to them he gives sacrifice of time and soul, to them he listens when life has troubled him, and to them he cries out and screams along in pain to their words when they rip open the scarred wounds of his soul.

Three times our hero has attempted to worship directly at the temple of The Watchmen. For 18 years he has struggled, through lives and times, children and several families. He has grown and faced fearsome demons, become one himself and yet through that he has clung to that simple mode of worship. The slide of a thin plastic shelf, the laying of another piece of plastic holding encoded and etched foil. The light press of a button, and then the hammering driving sounds of drums, base guitar and a voice howling out from the cold wind of desolation. Letting the music fill his mind, soul and body. Crashing waves of sound that move the physical into ecstatic praise, raise shouted notes from his throat. Yet all from a distance.

He has never been at the foot of the gods, this young hero. Instead this man of animal made has been denied a more intimate setting, a more personal touch by circumstance, theft and timing. All the universe has decreed that this man shall not make his pilgrimage to the steps of the temple to lay himself before the crush of sound and fury. But not now.

18 years since the first chance, 18 years and so many leagues. 18 years and here in a simple prairie celebration of light and commerce, the young gods, perhaps not so young, have come and our hero shall place himself amongst the throng and cry out his worship to them directly! Oh so beautiful.

Yet still the universe turns, and still the miles and miles of change and distance reach out and slowly one last tendril of denial reaches blindly out to entrap our hero, grasp him and yank him away from his worship. It is past time for the gods to take their stage, and a small chirping leads to the reaching for pockets. All in the small knot of people who have gathered look and then point almost accusingly at the hero, 'It's you!'

He answers, and there is hesitation. The young bear phones to tell our hero she has lost the password. She is trapped in the ground between home and outside with her friend and little sister, a bright and loud crow. 'WHAT!?' and the crowd turns. They stare at our hero as the pain erupts in his mind. Not again, oh no not again. He is to be denied a fourth time! 'You lost your key!? You can't get into the house?!' His mind races, because it is not so simple as merely missing out. His children are not safe. And even were he to leave it would be forty minutes to an hour of them waiting.

Wait!! Inspiration, Euterpe calls out and whispers in our hero's ear. So a call is sent out amongst the ether, and a voice answers on the other end. 'Boardwalk, Wascana Estates.' Quickly our hero outlines the situation and the taker of cares responds most pleasingly. 'Yeah I was going there right now, be five ten minutes, I can let them in.' Relief, but not yet fully realized, hits our hero. He calls back to the young ones huddled in the annex, they are crying both from fear of our hero's call for consequence but also for fear of a lost home. Given the proper instruction the children are soothed, in fact laughing occurs for now it has become ... humorous. Shall our hero once again be denied? NO!! He shall worship.

The sound of the Boneyard Tree smashes flat the fear of these people. Will they still be gods? Our hero looks around. Everyone shows grey, wrinkles. They come with children, even in strollers, toddlers toddling, and he feels his age for a brief time. For a precise moment he is both our hero, a thirty something with two children, feeling every ache and pain from a long day of work, and someone elses hero, a 16 year old kid, bound tight in used and sweaty equipment, earphones pushed down hard as he amps himself to do battle on the gridiron. All those heros in between then and now voice themselves, and with a thunderous growl leap from his throat as he sings thrashes, cries out, dances, his body moves without prompting and his fist raises to the sky.

The song echoes out in the end, and our hero, so much more than that singular man looks about, bright hot eyes scratch at the crowd and he moans to the tight knot of people near him, 'How the hell do I start a mosh pit with all these kids around?!' Laughter, and he laughs but there is a note of sadness. He wishes to prostrate himself completely before these young/old gods who appear no different than they did nearly twenty years ago. But like all things that move through time, compromise is learned.

He lets the music, both old and new, loudly smash him as he smashes back. He notices those who notice him. Few show his verve but our hero will not be contained fully. He has compromised but he has not stopped. He shouts out encouragement to the young child, no more than 6 who stands atop a tree stump, her little fist raised to the sky as she dances like a fairy on top of no more than a foot width of wood four feet high in the air. 'Best seat in the house!' he shouts and she smiles back and pumps her fist harder.

The crowd becomes All Uncovered as the music of sin rises to the crowd. A song extolling the virtues of oral sex while driving yet touches on the more soulful matters, and still our hero watches and worships. 'I'm standing in a crowd of my peers, singing about blow jobs, while children of my peers run about and dance to the music.' The horns come up on the fist, 'Fucking A!!'

It ends too soon... our hero craves more, NEEDS more. He wants to spend all night all day all night all forever listening to them, let them feed his soul and earn his redemption through music, and finally he can feel it coming to an end yet while he knows there is no real connection between himself and the gods, young gods so old yet so powerful. they speak and he hears their words and listens. I'm still gone and so is she, let her go so many other fish in the sea(see) mate. A brighter hell awakens his fears, and yet he is like their fabled stereo, battered and wired all wrong yet able to make and move more with a simple sound loop. And yet they come back for one more song. One more strike and our hero feels it, and it breaks him into tiny pieces and he falls amongst his peers like confetti, watching them all, and maybe they don't feel it, maybe they do. They do, some eyes light on his and he smiles, smiles are passed. It becomes confusing and almost carnivalesque as the world spins, and he learns and lives.

Our hero walks away, his friend Das Verlorene und das Verärgert still not quite knowing what our hero speaks of. He has been reconfirmed, he is still a member of the faithful, and he takes what he does. Yet expresses it the only way he knows how.

Ohmigawd whaddagreatfucking concert!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The seedless grapes club.

Come on in and grab a seat, I tried cleaning up the den a bit after that last outburst. And I have some no-name nacho chips. I love'um cuz you can really taste the onion meal they dust on'um. And since I am so angry I thought 'Write something funny' and maybe I'll get a little less angry. You are what you write? We are what we do? I dunno, but this is a funny story.

So I have two kids, I'm over thirty, and I don't want anymore. As such I went into the doctor, and to quote Scrubs, I asked the doctor to 'Grip'um, snip'um, and zip'um.' That's a vasectomy in common speak. I got my physical, my questions answered, and so on. Then I was put on the list, and phoned by the hospital when I should come in, and that whole process was about a two or three month wait.

So I go in at 8 am on some morning and sign myself in, wait for 15 minutes, and am shown to a room. Durring that fifteen minutes I ask the front desk woman a few questions. I'm curious as to how this whole thing goes down, I'm not embarassed about getting my junk worked on, and she seemed friendly enough. So she explained that like once a month or so they just book all the vasectomies into one clinic and they've got it down to quite a little factory line. They book about 20 or 30 for the morning, and the procedure takes like 15 minutes start to finish. I go 'Hmmm, so what like five doctors?' Nope one doctor, one nurse. I go 'Bwua... but if they all get done on one morning?' The admitting nurse smirked 'We get quite a few cancelations, about half don't show up and about a third of those that do show walk out without getting the procedure done.' I chuckled, 'So like maybe 12 or 10 to do over the whole thing?' Yep.

But I thought about this and it bothered me. It means these folks really are treating this like a factory recall on bad breaks down at the Wang Factory. I mean, no offense but you're going to take sharp instruments to my boys, I'd like a little understanding. Which I later found out only comes from the nurse after you make a joke about your junk and her hands.

So after that wait I'm ushered into a room, the nurse says 'Drop your pants and underwear, lie down on your back on the table and cover with the half sheet.' At this point I'm going to get a little graphic so if me talking about my junk is going to bother you, skip the rest of the post. So for those that don't know, your scrotum has its own temperature regulator. When it's hot they hang, when it's cold they pull up. They also pull up when you're hackles are raised or you're nervous. Well hospitals are not known for their warm environment and I'm about to have my plumbing mucked with so what do you think my scrotum is doing? I swear, it felt like my testicles were in my earlobes.

So the doctor and the nurse come in, apparently I'm first cuz I arrived first. Yah me right? So the doc flips back the sheet, and sees that my scrotum is trying to migrate and goes 'Hmm.' I go 'Hmm?' and that is when the BLINDING PAIN begins. So I'm nervous and it's cold so how might you think they'd relax me and get my scrotum to release its death grip on my testicles. Maybe get a cute nurse to mutter sweet nothings in my ear? No. Dope me up like it's Bangkok and it's a wierd sex ritual? Nope. Perhaps even the nicety of throwing a warm cloth on my boys to let them relax? Not even close. Instead the doctor shall FORCE them to relax, by placing two fingers at the base of my penis and using the other hand to push down with two fingers to manually STRETCH my scrotum out.

So naturally I scream in pain, and he gets all huffy. 'Look if you think this hurts, what are you gonna be like when I start the procedure?' I take a deep breath and go 'Hey maybe if you applied the local, or if you let her do it (Looking leeringly at the nurse) it might not hurt so bad.' What I wanted to say but didn't was 'Hey let me pinch your nuts and yank'um down to your knees and see what you say you fuckin' asshat!' It did however get the nurse on my side.

So he applies the local, goes back to yanking on my nuts, which still made me groan in discomfort, but then I looked up at the nurse and said 'Good thing for your chest or I'd see right up your nose.' She laughed at that. I guess you'll laugh at anything when you're watching some poor guy get his nuts worked on.

So he gets me 'loosened up' so to speak and I hear him start asking the nurse for scissors. You see they don't cut you up and rewire you anymore. Nope, they make a small cut with surgical scissors, and then use the medical equivilent of a soldering iron to burn the vas defrens. I think I spelled that right. Anyhow, they don't even stitch you up. They use surgical glue. Fun stuff.

So to sum up. Having needles shoved into my privates, hearing the metalic snip of scissors as they slip through my flesh, smelling the burning of my flesh as they cauterize my sperm slides, none of these things was as painful or disturbing as that doctor trying to 'relax' my scrotum. Try it some time. Just start yanking on that bad boy like it's a change purse that doesn't want to open.

And if after all this you're still ready to get your nuts nipped, well then I will officially welcome you into the seedless grapes club.

Empty rambling

Come in, don't mind the mess. If you sit be careful, I was spraying a awful lot of vitrol about the last little while so the den may look like a catastrophe. There might be food, I dunno. I stopped worrying about that a couple days ago. Oh and mind that one shadow. It's not a shadow, it's the ghost of a squirrel. We'll get to that.

I got so angry, I'm still angry, I feel filled with a bright righteous indignant rage. My body is wracked with tics and muscle spasms, and my stomach feels like a small pocket of liquid lead; hot and heavy, burning yet unable to move. Yet somehow this frightening lightness is spread amongst my limbs and they shake and twitch, stale old adrenalin pushing them out of joint and robbing my movements and mind of any grace.

I should not have gotten so angry, I know this. I will address that with those affected by my rage. I am not ashamed of it, I did not get angry for no reason. I won't say I was pushed, but like any creature that hunts and hurts for its food, I can only be baited so long before I will latch on and squeeze with my jaws and claws until I can lap the blood up from the ground.

I hit a squirrel today with my car. He sat in the middle of the road and I started to slow, and didn't quite slam on the breaks. I had three kids in the car. I swerved a bit, and he darted directly into my car. I felt a small thump, I'm sure the kids did too, and I looked in the rear view and in a soft voice said 'I hit him.' Then I lied to my kids and said 'Oh no I didn't, he ran off.' I couldn't talk about what I saw. It hit me too twisted.

He skittered and spasmed on the tar. I watched his tail corkscrew about as his head, most likely still half smeared to the road. His back feet kicked him repeatedly off the ground. I felt like him. As cliched and sad as that sounds, I understood him and knew I should have just stopped before I came up to him. Let him run off after a honk. But then again, I don't get any warning. I just see the speeding object racing towards me. I see threat and challenge on my ground and my hackles rise and my body floods with adrenalin and I look for blood.

It's my blood that ends up being spilled. I am cut and run through with a thousand small insults, rammed down by a thousand tiny pebbles of disrespect and laid low by the smallest of cuts running along my frame until all the lashings and lacing slip away and my body is nothing but rancid and ruined meat flayed by the wind.

Empty I look down at what is left of myself. I don't even recognize what I am anymore. I fought this once, and the other knew to let it go. This one has backup. I will still fight but perhaps I need a new strategist. I can't do it myself. Will you help me? I just want to love them. To let them feed from me and my soul those things I feel they need. Why am I wrong because I disagree?

I hurt and bleed and still this isn't a complaint. I am here for the duration and will not lie down. My body is ruined and means nothing, but my mind, my soul. It will withstand far more than anyone knows. Eternity means nothing to those who know hell isn't one place, but a vast universe of pain and strife.

Bring it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The exhausted apology

Come on in, grab a seat. Yeah, sorry about that, the shadows are howling because I've had some rage filled moments lately. I don't get really angry often, but when I do. . . Yeah it's bad. So I'm going to share with you a little philosophy of mine when it comes to the ubiquitous sorry.

Honestly, if all you can do after you fuck up is say 'Sorry' then don't bother. I am sick of hearing those words like they somehow fix what was done or said. I rarely say them myself, not for lack of mistakes made or being unapologetic, because I fuck up on a regular basis. The difference is this: when I fuck up I try to fix the problem. I will own my mistake not by saying 'I'm sorry' but by going 'Wow, I screwed the pooch there didn't I?' and then roll up my sleeves and attempt to fix, or at least lessen the impact, of my mistake.

'Oh but Coyote, when you say sorry you're just showing that you recognized you've made a mistake or showing regret.' Yeah and what is that worth honestly? Unless you're willing to OWN the mistake and try whatever you can to make it better then regret and a buck fifty will get you a crappy cup of coffee.

'Well what about accidents?' Accidents do happen, but I personally think they're rare. Usually an accident can be put to carelessness, which is a personal mistake, or miscalculation or a badly placed judgement, also a personal mistake. And for those rare accidents, why not express disappointment rather than a guilt fed regret?

'So what are you saying then Coyote?' I'm saying that each of us has to own and be personally responsible for ourselves. And not just ourselves but the actions we take as well as how those actions may or may not affect the world, the people, around us. We have to stand up and say 'That is my error, and I will learn from it and do what I can to correct it.'

The problem is we have been teaching kids, and our society, for years that if you shame and guilt someone into saying sorry, they may actually stop doing 'something bad.' Guilt and shame do nothing but break down the thought processes that may lead to genuine learning. Instead of teaching kids to say sorry, why not teach them to realize why the mistake was made and how they can make it better.

So the next time the automatic urge to just mouth that useless and tired word 'sorry' comes popping up stop and consider what the mistake was, if it was your mistake how do you own it, and in the end how do you restore what was made wrong. Try it, it's a metric fuckload better than guilt and shame.