Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Human Story

From beginning to end there's a thread to the story of mankind. It's an ongoing narrative that connects all human endeavors, from our dreams to our nightmares. It's called the Stream Of Love. It is relentless and unstoppable in its fury, beyond all measure and comprehension. And in the end, it either saves us or destroys us.

Since the end of the year 1811 an intense arming and concentration of western European forces had begun, and in the year 1812 those forces - millions of men (including those who transported and fed the army) - moved from west to east, to the borders of Russia, towards which, since the year 1811, the forces of Russia had been drawn in exactly the same way. On the twelfth of June, the forces of western Europe crossed the borders of Russia, and war began - that is, en event took place contrary to human reason and to the whole human nature. Millions of people committed against each other such a countless number of villainies, deceptions, betrayals, thefts, forgeries and distributions of false banknotes, robberies, arsons, and murders as the annals of all the law courts in the world could not assemble in the whole centuries, and which, at the period of time, the people who committed them did not look upon them as crimes.

The Stream of Love is the hidden hand that upends the plans of man or carries them to fruition, depending if said plans are in accordance with the Stream. There are no strokes of grand luck - either good or bad - that doom or exalt our designs. Instead, it's just a matter of being in harmony with the Stream's force. It was no accident Hitler was not killed on the battlefield of WWI. It was no accident Lennon met McCartney. The history was already written.

What produces this extraordinary event? What were its causes? Historians say with naive assurance that the causes of this event were the offense inflicted upon the duke of Oldenburg, the non-observance of the Continental System, Napoleon's love of power, [Tsar] Alexander's firmness, diplomatic mistakes, and so on.

Consequently, it needed only that Metternich, Rumyantsev, or Talleyrand, between levee and rout, make a little better effort and write a more skillful dispatch, or that Napoleon write to Alexander: "Monsieur, mon frere, je consens a rendre le duche au duc d'Oldenbourg" ("Dear sir, my brother, I agree to give the duchy back to the duke of Oldenburg") - and there would have been no war.

Oftentimes we say, "If only the body had not hit the ground it would not have died!" Which is true but outside the realm of our reality to expect not to hit the ground after leaping from a tall cliff. It's a false parsing of the history of the event to blame the ground for the death but many will see it as reasonable and undeniable because the force of gravity is not connected to the event in their minds. And so oftentimes do we ignore the force of Love that irrepressibly flows through the course of human events.

Understandably, that was how the matter presented itself to contemporaries. Understandably, it seemed to Napoleon that the war was caused by the intrigues of England (as he said, in fact, on the island of St. Helena); understandably, to the members of the English Parliament it seemed that the war was caused by Napoleon's love of power; to prince Oldenburg it seemed that that the war was caused by the violence done to him; to the merchants it seemed that the war was caused by the Continental System, which was ruining Europe; to the old soldiers and generals it seemed that the chief cause was the need to make use of them; to the legitimists of that time, that it was necessary to restore "le bons principes"; and to the diplomats of that time, that it had all happened because the alliance between Russia and Austria in 1809 had not been concealed skillfully enough from Napoleon and because memorandum no. 178 had been clumsily worded.

Understandably, these and a countless, endless number of other causes, the number fo which depends on countless different points of view, presented themselves to contemporaries; but for us, the descendants, who contemplate the enormity of the event in all its scope and delve into its simple and terrible meaning, these causes seem insufficient. For us, it is not understandable that millions of Christians killed and tortured because Napoleon was a lover of power, Alexander was firm, English policy cunning, and the duke of Oldenburg offended.

Just another weekend hippie

We catch ourselves asking, "What if Napoleon [or whomever] had not existed?", asked in the same vein of "What if gravity had not existed for the falling body?" It's a moot question and to ask it is to wallow in irrelevancy (which is a favorite pastime of many!). Had we in the world been in accordance with the Stream in that time, we'd never have thrown the body off the cliff and Napoleon would be a name unknown to history. But this was all part of the larger struggle with our love.

The actions of Napoleon and Alexander, on whose word it seems to have depended whether the event took place or not, were as little willed as the action of each soldier who went into the campaign by lot or conscription. This could not be otherwise, because for the will of Napoleon and Alexander (the men on whom the event seemed to depend) to be fulfilled, the coincidence of countless circumstances was necessary, without any one of which the event could not have taken place. It was necessary that millions of men, in whose hands the actual power lay, the soldiers who shot, transported provisions and cannon - it was necessary that they agree to fulfill this will of isolated and weak men and be brought to that by a countless number of complex, diverse causes.

When one chooses to close one's eyes the Stream of Love does not stop to accommodate that decision. And in the course of that inevitable movement, a rock comes to cause a stumble. The stumbled one curses the rock, asking why the world could not be free of rocks just as the man who builds his house on sand laments the storm that washes it away. So it is we blame the liars whose deceit brings despair after we've asked to be told lies. All things begin and end with their accordance to the Stream of Love.

There are two sides to each man's life: his personal life, which is the more free the more abstract its interests, and his elemental, swarmlike life, where man inevitably fulfills the laws prescribed for him.

Man lives consciously for himself, but serves as an unconscious instrument for the achievement of historical, universally human goals. An action once committed is irrevocable,, and its effect, coinciding in time with millions of actions of other people, acquires historical significance. The higher a man stands on the social ladder, the greater the number of people he is connected with, the more power he has over other people, the more obvious is the predestination and inevitability of his every action.
"The hearts of kings are in the hands of God."

Kings are the slaves of history.

History, that is, the unconscious, swarmlike life of mankind, uses every moment of a king's life as an instrument for its purposes.

Those who stand in the way of the Stream of Love will be washed away like mud from a rock. Even today we stand in wretched defiance, hoping against hope. We fear the Stream, not trusting where it will carry us even as we cry out for heaven on earth. In words clever to our ignorant ears we hope to deny our fate but they have as much meaning as words from a falling man who denies gravity's fate.

Love is coming, coming like a dam burst from the hills and it is our choice to stand in its way or ride the wave. And in this final wave we'll find our final destiny: Life.

"They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Ma'am, Is There A Bomb In Your Diaper?"

Hope you bastards are happy now

I don't want to sit here and say I hate you people. Wait a minute. Yes, I do! You bastards have put me out of work. See, I used to be a satirist but now those days are gone. I turn on the 6 o'clock news and I see stories that used to be my old act. Sorry folks, I just can't out-nuts you whackos.

That's the kind of stuff I used to make up about the SS TSA stormtroopers. I'd have, like, a 95-year-old cancer patient forced to remove her Depends under suspicion of containing a bomb. Then I'd satirize the SS TSA Nazis to be so clueless as to actually defend it! But now the six remaining journalists left in this country write it up with a yawn:

While passing through security, TSA officials "felt something suspicious and they couldn't determine what it was," so they took Weber's mother to a private room.

A TSA agent told Weber that her mother's Depends underwear was "wet and firm and they couldn't check it thoroughly," so the mother-daughter duo left in search of a bathroom to remove the underwear. Weber did not have an extra pair of Depends with her.

I hope they were at least laughing while writing that. But maybe it's only funny when it's still make-believe. In my act I'd have these refugee guards from a concentration camp doing all sorts of crazy stuff like feeling up 6-year-olds and shaking babies. Now, it's just another news day.

How's anyone supposed to hold down a job in this shit hole country!!!??? Soon there's going to be more unemployed than employed and we'll be coming to take your food! Note to future rioters: Get your own riot gear before the cops use it all up. Are there any suckers left who actually think things are going to get better? If so, may I please wet your bed? The TSA Swastika patrol took my diaper.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Deformities: Mine And Thine

I only knew she had moved down to San Antonio and now that's where I was too. We'd both lived before in the halfwit conservative junk hole known as Amarillo, a place where I was always ashamed of living. I didn't want to have to admit living there because I didn't want to imply I condoned my presence there. Rather, it was just another loathed piece of my desperate life.

"She" was Teresa Terrific and we'd both worked at the same swank hotel (as swank as anything in Amarillo could be, that is). I was drifting in the universe, grabbing my get-by money doing light maintenance and janitorial cleaning while Teresa was what was called a hotel hostess, sort of like a cheerleader for the place - which worked out well because she had been a cheerleader in school. She'd always been a star.

I was thrilled to pieces she gave me the time of day and a slight but honest bond formed between us. She'd tell me about various events going on in her life and I'd tell her about...well, nothing. I had no events in my life. All I really had to offer was my thoughts on hers. Regardless, I always felt good in her presence, like a tonic for the soul. She was the total package and I dreamily wanted her. But fat chance of that.

We never saw each other outside of work. A day without her there was bleak indeed, like being left alone on the moon. But crashing her social circle would have been about as easy as trying to jump to the moon - at least in my eyes anyway. What would I even say to normal people? "Hey, Harry, what do you do for living?" "Wipe toilets! And you?" No, I could never picture myself walking into a party as self-conscious as a naked man while reeking of Lysol and cleaning rags.

So Teresa Terrific with her long auburn hair and shapely tan legs remained a bridge too far. But I never stopped thinking about her and the good feeling I got when I was with her. If only I had some place to go with it. I was pained when she moved away. Naturally someone as beautiful as she would move on to bigger and better things. She really had a gift for people (even as she secretly thought so little of many) and her magnetic personality made her that rare soul who had no enemies.

But now I had made the leap to the big city. I always wondered how much knowing Teresa was there played a role in my decision. I missed that bright light in my life. But as things fell apart for me in Amarillo and I needed to move to a real city with more prospects I had no doubt San Antonio would be my choice. Maybe I just wanted to pretend I had a life like Teresa had.

Truth is, I was still the same me. I didn't move there out of any sort of personal growth. I still stayed home playing video games, yelling at the computer and pounding keyboards if even the slightest thing went wrong. I've always lived on the edge. Nothing is more dangerous than living without courage. How the hell Teresa ever allowed a bond between us I'll never know. One thing I didn't tell her was it was the only bond I had.

Through an old mutual work acquaintance I found the name of the hotel where she now worked. This one was really fancy and I feared to tread upon its perfectly coiffed carpet and suffer my reflection in its glossy marbled lobby. I could save up my money to spend the night there but I had no business in a place like that. Disconcerted and feeling like I had "Interloper" written on my forehead, I gingerly entered the premises so that I might "accidentally" bump into Teresa Terrific.

The lights were kept to a warm glow so it took a minute for my eyes to adjust as I recognized her from afar. Her face lit up as she recognized me as I approached and my heart sang for joy. But then I noticed something completely different about her. Her face had changed, she'd been in a car wreck. In a rapid fire and earnest voice she spoke to me.

"Both my cheeks got puffed out -", she gestured to ensure I saw the bloated points, " - and I lost my left eye leaving only this socket - " again, she exposed the socket to me in a gross display, " - and my nose is flattened." My eyes dutifully noted each deformity listed but what I really noticed was the tone of her voice. It held a defensiveness I'd never heard before.

On one hand I was elated she shared these details with me just like in the old days. Shutting me out would have cruelly broken my heart. Inside I was shaking my head, wanting to say, "Who cares!" OK, so you told me, I just want to be with you! Why do you got your back up like that? Do you not trust me? Such were the things I was feeling as she stepped back to read my face.

Problem was, I had deformities of my own. I was terrified she'd see my whole feelings at last. Sure, I could say the words "Who cares?" to her but only if I emptied them of emotion first - and that would have made me sound manipulative. To me, nothing had changed, she was still an unreachable star. But from that hurt sound in her voice I wondered how many "friends" had deserted her. Admittedly, it wasn't until that moment I could tell you I didn't want her just for her looks.

Part of me took pleasure in her misfortune. Maybe the mountain can be climbed after all! Did I stand any sort of chance with her now? Had shallow jerks mistreated her to the point even I might look good to her? I wrestled with the massive guilt of these questionable thoughts and wondered what it said of my integrity if I were to seize the situation. For one flashing moment of high excitement the question all men have but so rarely speak crossed my mind: "Does this mean I can show you my dick!?"

I asked if I could meet her later after work and God be praised she said yes and gave me the time. I came back and we took a booth in the hotel bar as she explained to me her dilemma. I cannot tell you how gratified I was she still chose to confide in me. Maybe it was because I was outside her circle of actual friends, people she saw out of choice. In fact, this was the first time we'd ever been together while not working.

She said there was surgery that could be done but that it was dangerous. Infections could occur to make things even worse. She was of two minds as to what to do. In her heart of hearts I think she just wanted to let it go and think about it no more, be a free person. But I also think she feared she'd lose life's promise without the face that had brought her so much. My instinct was wholly with the former thought. You're fine, you'll be fine, life will be fine. But I suspect she found that too much to hope for.

I know that because I was struggling with the same thing. Could my loser ass, video game playing janitor ways ever be enough for her? Could she grant me access to her house without feeling shame? How could I ever knock on her door and not be sure I wasn't imposing? Dickhead Harry just wants to take advantage of her situation, doesn't he? With her original face he'd stand no chance. I asked about some of her previous friends who'd move down there with her.

Her eyes pleaded with me. "I'm ashamed to let them in the door."

Now I was really squirming on the hot seat, dying to hold her and embrace my feelings. But since I really did think no less of her, I dare not touch her lest she know everything - lest she know my own ugliness. I always wondered what she thought of me, of how I never mentioned a life worth living. Was she holding back her contempt? She could be so wicked funny when she spoke of other's phoniness! Turmoil consumed me. And fear.

I tried to comfort her but only while swallowing my feelings. I just can't be a creep and take advantage of this, I told myself. She's bound to have some real friends who'll stand by her. Even if she lets me in the door she'll kick me out later as soon as some guy realizes how wonderful she is regardless. Yes, most men are jerks but a real man will come along and thank his lucky stars. I wish the fuck that could be me.

We parted that night and I never saw her again. We talked a couple more times on the phone but then she stopped answering my number. Does she think I'm another "deserter"? Did she come to believe I was a creep who wanted her now that she was more desperate? Did she lose all trust in me, seeing I was hiding my true feelings and suspecting they were ones of disgust? I ask myself these barbs every single day.

What I dare not ask - what I dare not contemplate - was if she too wished us to be together. I certainly knew her so-called deformities were no problem for me - did she also think the same of mine? Oh, dear God in heaven. Now the light is gone with no hope of returning. I float down a river of guilt, washed away to the sea of loneliness. I could not step out of the darkness, and my name remains a mystery.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Judgement

"And it really doesn't matter
"If I'm wrong I'm right
"Where I belong"

-Paul McCartney, 'Fixing A Hole"

I was out walking my favorite secret trail overlooking the luxurious river houses from bluffs on high. Actually, it's not really a trail, I just found a way to the cliff's edge through sheer determination. While the physical barrier to this spot is not that difficult, the psychological one is: most people won't travel without a previous path to lead them. Suckers.

So I was a tad confused when I heard what were scuffling noises coming from down below. And what do i find there but a man clinging to a ledge down below. He was too far away for me to help by merely reaching out. I called out to him.

"Hey, hold on down there! I'll find a way to get you back up!"

"Trust me, I have no plans of letting go! I'm OK for the moment but I can't hold on forever."

"I'll go get some help then!"

"I don't have that much time. It's solely up to you."

"I understand. Just how did you get stuck down there anyway?"

"I was climbing down and a giant rock gave way."

"What the hell you climbing down the cliff for?" I was a bit annoyed he'd endangered his life like that - and now interrupted mine with his irresponsibility.

"I wanted to sneak up on my ex-wife and her new lover. They live at the bottom down by the river. Only way in is from the back."

"Dude! That's some wild shit! What you gonna do when get down there anyway?"

"Kill them! My Glock is loaded and ready!"

At first I thought he was joking but then I saw the look in his eyes. I saw the unbearable pain crying out for relief, hell-bent on murder. He was an unstoppable freight train not to be denied. I reflexively blurted out my first thought.

"Maybe I shouldn't let you up then..."

"You mean you're going to pass judgement on me?"

"More like avoiding Accessory To Murder. I'm picky like that."

"What if I were to tell you this pernicious pair tried to have me killed? That I have to die in order for them to collect my money? That if I don't kill them they'll kill me!"

"I'd have to say you people sound like a murderous lot."

"Well, pull me up before it's too late! Letting me die makes you no better than I!"

"You've really put me in a spot here. I don't know what the truth is!"

"Of course you know the truth! I ask you: what is your true, natural human desire in this situation?"

"My true desire is to pull you up right away no questions asked."

"Exactly! Don't fight it!"

"OK, but a thought has occurred to me. Now that I know your plans you might just kill me."

"Well, duh! I don't want to go to jail. This is just bad luck for you but I can't let that get in the way of my living. Or have you judged I do not have the right to live?"

"I have judged I have the right to live."

"At my expense? Who are to judge anyone? Who are you to deny help? No one knows the absolute truth. Who knows? I may repent my ways from your unselfish act of kindness of bringing me back up at the risk of your own life. The Bible says he who loves his life shall lose it. Truly, witnessing such a deed one rediscovers the joy of life."

"But I need to know what's true to know how to act!"

"All truth is subjective! You think the universe cares what you believe?"

"But what I believe determines if you live or die. If there is no absolute truth then it does not matter what I do. Why should I take any chances? It's safest for me if I just let you die."

"That's not a winning bet to say you have no conscience or soul to answer to. You would live in misery the rest of your days if you leave me to die."

"Then you're saying there is objective truth. That I have a soul whether I believe it or not. That if I live falsely I will suffer and that if I live honestly I'll know happiness."

"What kind of fool argues the truth? Is it not the same regardless of our words? I am not your savior! Heed not what I say! But know this: whether you help me or not, you will have to live with your decision. Choose wrongly and you will suffer!"

"Or I could just believe no decision will make me suffer. If God wants you to live He'll do something about it."

"He did! He sent you!"

I have to admit it's really hard to turn down the idea I'm an instrument of God. Need I only believe it for it to be true? Or does believing it merely get me a bullet in the gut? But is it not true that I know what I know? I know there's such a thing as right and wrong. And I know I must honor that in order to survive. Therefore, I decided to-

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Midnight Screams Of Little Anxious Annie

"Who's brought to justice?
"Why everyone, of course."

Who am I?

I'm a star. Dazzling crowds from coast to coast. I'll display my artistry for all to see. And that would be enough. Just sharing my love. No more lying. No more dying. Is there really a God? One that wants us to be happy? So hard to believe! I want the world to be my family. I want to live in the glow of love with no secrets. My name remembered for all time, bringing pleasure to thousands, maybe even millions. Just thinking this makes my heart beat faster with hope. The future is endless. The future is mine.

Who am I?

I'm nobody. Just another small time crook with my name lost to the ages. I scrap and scrabble my way along until I'm either too tired or shot dead. I got nothin'. All I bring is bad news and bullets. You're on your own in this world so anything goes! No one gives you nothin'. I'm going to keep on living my secret life where those bastards can't touch me. No will ever know I was here because no one ever wanted to know. My heart is dead. Everything before me is emptiness and blackness. Into the void I go.

Who am I?

What could I have done differently? How could have I stayed with him living a lie? Was he not going to end it anyway? What was I supposed to do? Go to prison? Would he have given up his job to save me from jail time? How can I believe good things are meant for me after living a life of crime? How can I be a star? How can I be a nobody? Where is the truth? How much longer can my heart stay ripped in two? Should I run back to him even now? Where will I end up if I just keep uselessly drifting like this?

Questions like snakes bite deep and hard, injecting poison's fear. The illusion of the known sows mistrust of the reality of the unknown. Cobwebs of the mind harbor ancient dread, sunshine's joy fades to dream. Must be a better way when there's no way out. Whatever is grasped slips through clawing fingers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Little Anxious Annie: A Tale Of Two Dreams

Whatever you do, don't tell her your name is "Tim". She shoots people named Tim. Just ask the waiter back in Silver City. Poor bastard. Such a high price to pay - walking with a limp the rest of his life - for having been thusly christened by his Bible cherishing parents. And Annie was having such a rare enjoyable conversation with him beforehand as the two book lovers discovered one another and rejoiced in the finding of that connection. But then he said:

"..and if you need anything just let me know! My name is Tim."

That's when Annie's face turned dark, as if the universe had inverted itself turning black into white and light into dark. A hidden switch lay within her, changing water not into wine, but to poison. Annie shared that poison with a high velocity lead projectile conveying the doom she saw in her heart. Such is the life of a saboteur.


She wasn't born this way, of course. An ill fit for 1870's Pennsylvania, she went west to find freedom. Eastern cities drowned her soul, stifling her with artificial structure stemming from the deficiencies of man's hardened mind. Annie needed a place as yet unformed, still open to the riches free life offers. She would make her own rules.

Her creativity found two outlets: her prowess with a gun and outlawing. With her legendary precision she could shoot a fly off a man's hat, convincing him to comply with Annie's wishes. And since one must always make a living in this world, her wish of choice was that of money. But money was just fuel for the fire, not a destination. Living outside the rules - proving a false world untrue - kept her sweet, loving soul alive!

But for all that, it seemed she viewed paradise behind an unbreakable glass.

Annie had made her point, proved herself worthy and still the nights swallowed her in silence. In hopeless dreams she walked alone no matter how many hands groped her in the dark. Yes she had soared but where had she landed? Into a rut of endless holdups and life on the run? But these were the instruments of her career and how else to make a living from a gun? Something was missing.

That something was Tim. Tim was the widowed husband whose wife had died in childbirth - along with his infant daughter. Sorrow became him. Confused by tragedy, blind by the unspoken panic of living on a godless planet which he now faced, he turned to his languishing art. The business of a marriage and coming family had kept him busy, safe from the complaining voice that asked to be heard. Whereas Annie had sought out freedom Tim had freedom thrust upon him.

Annie's artistry was in her gun. Her crude cohorts marveled at her shotmaking ability, never realizing her shots were not an act of will but rather an event she let happen, to come through her like a song, an act outside of herself. She ached to share the beauty of that moment, where like an excited child she wanted to turn around and exclaim at the treasure of a found object to share with the world. But her audience viewed her shooting same as they viewed her: as a means to an end.

One day Annie saw a bulletin for a trick shot contest and she wondered if she dared show herself in the light of day. What if she were recognized? Is it worth it to give up her freedom? But she had to know. Suppressing doubts screaming bloody murder, she put down a false name, stepping into the long craved limelight. Now she'd dance for all to see! Yes, I Annie, have love to share!

Like a naked Eve, unashamed and unabashed in the world, Annie performed her artistic tricks, showing her belief in life a true one. Washed clean by the light, Annie glowed to the heavens as an appreciative crowd wildly applauded. And in that moment a searching Tim spotted her; enraptured, entangled and ensnared. "If ever a person could walk on water, it must be she!"

Unable to directly speak to this pure angel of light, a smitten Tim passed her a heartfelt note, asking her to meet him that night. Waiting in the restaurant, he imagined his note had no chance, that one as wonderful as she must have dozens of suitors and he'd have to mightily earn his time with her. How to compete with her amazing art? He was just now flexing long held wings of flight, she was one who'd long soared and her commitment staggered his doubting heart.

But no volcano in the earth's history matched the explosion he felt when she sat down. The doom of all mankind could not wipe the involuntary smile off Tim's face. Slowly daring to peel away the burdensome armor of daily life, the pair exchanged tentative words of discovery. But to never reach the ultimate secret remained a grave danger. He feared never to match her non-negotiable desire for freedom. And she hiding the terror struck upon spying his sheriff’s badge.

But a flower had been born. The heavens sang.

Shyly, Tim took Annie to his burgeoning art studio. It was a place he never took anyone whose opinion mattered to him. Annie was non-committal in her reaction. "Here's a real artist," she thought. "Not some outlaw pretending to be one. I'm so deathly ashamed!" He feared the worst in her silence. "She's the one truly dedicated. I was a fool to show her my pathetic dreams!" And yet, each agreed the flower they planted was one worth watering.

Annie and Tim apart could never match Annie and Tim together. All the reluctant sheriff could think about was the new flower in his life, painting an inspired piece in her honor, his heart soaring in a way he hoped to impress even her. Feeling he needed her permission, he told her of the impending homage as if to make an apology for any inadequacy ahead of time. But Tim believed in his work as much as he believed in her: without reservation. "She has put life back in me!"

Annie's gunplay was a more tangible art, quantifiable by anyone with eyes. To her, that made it a lesser art than a song or a painting. How was she to ever match Tim's work? Soon, he'd leave her behind in disgust upon revelation of her limitation. She didn't realize he saw only the excellence of her work, completely uncaring what form it took. To each his own, thought Tim. Besides, he had too much terror of his own with the unveiling of her portrait. Annie genuinely loved it.

The townspeople noticed the skip in the sheriff’s step as he made his rounds of drudgery. He'd talk about painting to anyone who'd listen, his eyes filled with inward enthusiasm. But what ate on him was Annie. What if she were to leave? What hope then? How would his art survive? She was not only talented but attractive. If he didn't marry her someone would surely snatch her away. Tim didn't believe he could survive another death.

Annie's coworkers were less than delighted with her partnering with a sheriff. Like all small beings, jealousy drove them passed their minds to where nothing became more important in their lives than tearing her down. They too were dependent on her, fearing she'd go straight and leave them high and dry without her irreplaceable skills. They asked how could she ever live without her outlaw freedom. They demanded to know who she really was. They asked her what happens when the truth comes out.

Annie peaked after seeing the loving portrait done in her honor. She put on an exhilarating show, reaching inside to the depths of her creativity as never before. Tim, walking above the clouds, knew he had enflamed her. To even be a stepping stone in her life was a gift of immeasurable value. But questions haunted him as well. What of her true friends? They only met within their art. What need she of a painting sheriff? He knew she had a life separate from him and he did not question that. But no way did he figure he could inspire her as much as her everyday companions could.

Annie had to make a choice. "He's better off without me." She could never ask him to make the sacrifice of giving up his career - which is what he'd have to do to maintain a relationship with her. He was true and honest and regardless of the feeling between them she could see no way out. What she failed to realize was Tim too desperately wanted out of his career as much she did hers. Annie had rationalized she was doing him a favor even as she cheated both him and herself.

Without word, Annie ran way, dying of pain. The oppressive guilt of hiding the truth finally snapped her hopes. Her partners in crime laughed at her misery, mocking her dreams and chiding her efforts. Annie could not stop them. She hated her too. Over and over and over she processed through her mind how she could have handled it differently. Surely she did what's best for him! Why didn't she believe that? Why???

Tim blamed his art for Annie's departure. He'd overvalued it after all. Her liking it was just too good to be true. He put up his canvass and oils and got back to doing the "right thing" of doing his job - something real. Surely his paintings were without true merit. He was being responsible now. How did he ever hope to provide for a family as an artist? What had gotten into his head? Idiot! Tim spent the rest of his days in time dutifully spent, never to be fulfilled by "selfish endeavors".

And yet, it all seemed so real...


Rest of her days Annie scoured the papers fearing to read of Tim's artistic success. She'd die if he made it without her. "Please stay a fool like me!" she prayed each night. Never again did she engage in the "foolishness" of trick shot shows. No more false dreams for Annie. But once begun, the running never stops.

After sabotaging her "unrealistic" relationship, any enjoyment of the arts was also deemed unrealistic, a crime in her mind. She'd catch herself humming a song then stop, fearing her feelings. Art is the enemy now, the great lie. Tim too was her enemy, having revealed herself as a fraud to him. To like even herself was to be drawn back to him and that she could not permit. Annie spent the rest of her life surrounded by those who hated art and hated her. But never could she fully convince herself the flower dying was a good thing.

Neither Annie nor Tim wanted to be caught living the life of a dreamy lie. But living without dreams is living a lie.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Alice Asks: "What Is Real?"

Everyone laughed at the way he was. Nobody asked how he got that way.

"The sun rises in the west!"

"The world is flat!"

"Killing us will save us!"

This from a man who once was the Village Brain. The village was a place of high commerce and good living. Everybody wanted to keep the good life going - including the Brain. But in this pursuit the Brain noticed an increase of deaths among the weakest members: babies, the very aged, anyone voiceless. The Brain set out to rectify all this.

While others were busy with business, the Brain examined the dead. Their deaths were not natural ones: death by poison it was. The Brain traced this back to the village water well. Eager to share the results with his fellow villagers, the Brain published his works for all to read. But instead of saving the village as he'd hoped, The Brain suffered brain damage. Nobody cared what he wrote, it wasn't good for business.

"Business is life," they told him. And the Brain started to wonder if the sun rises in the east. What is real?

He stared in dreaded awe at the blind and the willing, seeing his fellow man in a new and terrible light. "I must dig deeper!" Staking out the well in the darkest of night, the Brain caught a frightened creature of the dark dropping poisoned pellets. When the Brain confronted the creature, it hissed and lashed out, claiming, "This is how I make my living! Don't interfere with my business!" Again with the business.

Onward and upward forever!

But who makes a living from communal poisoning? Who'd employ such a creature? The Brain followed the sorrowful servant back to its masters: the Greedy Men. Taking his silver, the creature departed while the Brain listened to talk of the Greedy Men. "The more we kill the more for us! Death to the weak!" they cheered, clinking glasses of village water. Again the Brain suffered damage. These men drank their own poisoned water!

And the Brain started to wonder if the world is flat. What is real?

Staggering and confused, the Brain asked where the future lay? The Greedy Men were esteemed as the Village Gurus for success. No one questioned them for that would be to question their most holy business religion. Undaunted, the brain sought another way to life, trekking through the Great Forest in search of hope on a journey of faith. His faith was rewarded when he found water true and unpoisoned. A place to start again!

"Rejoice! There is a way to live! On the other side of the Great Forest is life anew!"

"But why leave when there is no problem? For the villagers to believe they were on the wrong path they'd have to declare themselves village idiots. Better to drink poison than to do that! (Yes, they knew they drank poison now but since everyone was doing it, it must be normal!) And that's when things got curiouser and curiouser.

The damaged Brain started to wonder if they really could live by killing themselves. What is real?

Reality is we let this garbage control our lives. Really!

The Village Idiot (formerly the Brain) lost all hope and in a death wish of escape wrote a book to mock all the insanity and turtles he saw. "I'll speak the ultimate truth! Go ahead and kill me but I'll have my say first!" Originally titled, "Fuck you death-tripping, lying assholes who bring ruin to the watered land as well as the dry while ignoring paradise" he changed it to the shorter, "Malice in Wonderland".

'I don't think they play at all fairly,' Alice began, in rather a complaining tone,' and they all quarrel so dreadfully one can't hear oneself speak — and they don't seem to have any rules in particular; at least, if there are, nobody attends to them — and you've no idea how confusing it is all the things being alive; for instance, there's the arch I've got to go through next walking about at the other end of the ground — and I should have croqueted the Queen's hedgehog just now, only it ran away when it saw mine coming?'

The book was a smash hit, the villagers blind to their own insanity. Idiocy became genius once branded as such in the reality of their minds - sort of like the value fantasized of mere paper. This was seen as The New Hope (yes, they knew they were dying - but no one connected the poison with that). Soon they all were saying it in hopes of deceiving reality's ugly truths:

"The sun rises in the west!"

"The world is flat!"

"Killing us will save us!"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mad Mavs Beyond Thunderdome: 2011 NBA Finals Game 5 Video!

Darth James throwing an elbow on Jedi Dirk

It was the biggest game in Dallas Mavericks history to date. Win this and they go up 3 games to 2 over the dreaded Miami Heat. If there ever was a case a basketball good vs. basketball evil, this was it. The Heat's two drama queens Dwyane Wade and Lebron James - the Justin Bieber and Rodney Dangerfield of the league, respectively - have been strutting through the season after talk of winning seven championships and dominating the NBA.

But just like a good western, here come the wounded Mavericks, their second best player lost to injury halfway through the season have made it to the finals with a combination of heart, guts and guile. The more they're supposed to lose the more they win. No, they didn't fade away when hell came to town, they cowboy'd up, got back in the saddle and rode their way to finals. I've never seen a playoff run like this in any sport in all my life.

Everyone was all smiles before the game. Anticipation was in the air!

I've haven't see the Mavericks live in twenty years, back at the now defunct Reunion Arena. It's been said that the new American Airlines Center never gets as loud as the old "Reunion Rowdies", who whooped and hollered their boys with a frenzy. But all that was about to change. It was known but unspoken, not wanting to tempt the basketball gods, the Mavericks were going to take this game. Anyone at the game that night had a ticket to history. As one radio commentator said afterwards, "I've never seen this building so full of energy."

I got there early (wanting to get full value of money spent for the aftermarket ticket). In Victory Plaza to the south a nonstop party was going on with media, promoters, performing fans, hucksters and every other sort of chaos you could think of. This is one time where I as a photographer was not in the minority. From I-Phones to HD cameras everyone wanted to capture the excitement. On more than one occasion I was asked by fellow fans to take their picture.

Victory Plaza 3



After pulling out metal objects like Mad Max emptying his weapons before entering Bartertown, I made it through security and found my seat. I was on the last row of the lower level, directly behind the basket. Not the best of seats but not the worst either. Watching from on high the players seem no different than on TV. But from my vantage point, I could see the action in more real terms - when the goal wasn't blocking it, that is. First thing I had to do was put on my blue shirt as part of the "blue out" to show fan solidarity.

Row S
My row. I was second seat in.

A shirt draped over every chair provided a sea of Maverick blue.

My view of the court.

I had never wanted to go to a regular season game, the Maverick's over-the-top in-game production a huge turn off for me. I don't need an overbearing PA announcer and constant music and bells and whistles to be entertained. When it comes to stuff like that, owner Mark Cuban doesn't know when to stop. This game wasn't like that. The events on the court were allowed to speak for themselves and before the night was over I'd leave exhausted, exhilarated and exuberant.

One advantage to my seat I found out was I just below where
the cheerleaders come out during a pause in the action.

Camera Guy
Cameras everywhere!

This is about as well as my point-and-shoot camera could zoom in.
Professional grade camera lenses are not allowed into the arena.

At this point I switched mainly to my video camera which has an outstanding zoom capability. A video montage is provided below.

The game started well for the Mavs and they stayed ahead most of the night but they just couldn't pull away. Outplaying a team but letting them hang around is oftentimes a recipe for late minute disaster. And sure enough halfway through the fourth quarter the evil Heat had a four point lead with a seeming momentum on their side. Three times as the Heat drew close with one of their patented flurries you could feel the crowd holding its breath like now. A timeout had been called by the Mavs to regroup. That was one long timeout to sit through!

Not that anyone was actually sitting. For 90% of the game I was standing as was our entire section. This was the final stretch and once again the Mavs needed to come from behind to win. But the Mavs were like Paul Newman in "The Hustler" looking up from his cue stick to address a doubter: "I'm going to beat him, mister. I beat him all night and I'm going to beat him all day." And that's exactly what happened. The Mavs roared from behind with an uncharacteristic thunder dunk from Dirk, a deflating (for the Heat) offensive charging foul taken by Tyson Chandler and a fuck-you three pointer from Jason Terry over a defending Lebron - which was the fatal dagger in the Heat's foul heart causing the loudest cheer in AAC history!

I'm so proud of this team I just can't stand it. I had tears in my eyes leaving the arena. Originally I had planned to stick around and film the after-game celebration but my energy was spent. I wanted to high-five everyone I met as I staggered my way out. Hell, I wanted to high-five the world, this just too good to keep inside. It was easily the greatest sporting experience of my life and I have a hard time imagining I could ever top it. Go Mavs! Even if you don't win it all, it's been an epic run for the ages and one of the greatest showings of sports heart I've ever seen.

Click here to see the entire set of photos.

UPDATE: Mavs win the ring! Mavs win the ring! 2011 NBA Champions! It's been a wonderful, magical ride. I'm completely overwhelmed, an UNBELIEVABLE dream!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

How Mikey Stopped Worrying And Learned To Rob A Bank

It's amazing how sometimes people that merely brush by us in life can leave a mark that never leaves. I remember heading to the Dallas Museum of Art years ago seeking solace, lost in my life. And there she was in a sun dress, the absolute picture of perfection, flashing me a world class smile. It was like God had created her from a diagram out of my head. My soul thirsteth for thee.

In my other life, she would have changed me, fulfilling me into manhood. But in this life, my usual negativity let out no reaction. But it was shocking to see my intimate dream come to life. In a movie I saw, they called these encounters "a recognition" and if you don't grab onto it you ask "What if?" for the rest of your life. I can testify to the truth of that.

But Mike wasn't anything like that. He was just another shmuck who'd had a swim through the shelter but I could tell he was transitory, uninteresting and stuck in minimum wage hell. He wasn't in the best of shape and I knew the world would write him off like a debt gone bad and whatever hell he suffered would be his own. I'll say it again: How does anyone see a future in this??????

I often ask myself: how does everyone take this shit all the time? I walk around seething, just waiting for the wrong move to be made on me. That's because I know you assholes. You do shit because you can. Most people determine right and wrong by what it is they are allowed to get away with. That's also why most people are sociopaths. Society says it's OK for me to drag you out of your home and leave you to die so therefore it must be true.

If you had the capacity to connect that to your own fate, oh boy you'd sing a different song!

If I can't see what you're saying that means you're wrong!

Turns out part of the mystery has been solved: people aren't coping that well after all! Mikey cracked, robbing hisself a genuine bank, he did!

Michael Buckley started the morning of May 24 by walking to a neighborhood doughnut shop, where he sat down, wrote a note and smoked a cigarette.

It was a desperate time for the 54-year-old former grocery stocker, who was living with his brother in Bedford.

His health was bad, he had just $5 to his name and his brother had ordered him out of the house by the end of the month.

So after leaving the doughnut shop, Buckley walked into a Wells Fargo bank in Hurst on East Pipeline Road and robbed it of about $700. He then walked back to his brother's home.

A statement on unemployment

How's that for a give up plan? He may as well of just walked into a police station with "Fuck me" written on his shirt. Poor bastard. When I heard he was going to live with a relative I thought: "Either he's got some salt-of-the-earth relatives or this is the first time he's imposed." When you're homeless, man, you ain't got no family. Only real family you have is on the street.

After showing neighboring business employees a surveillance photo of Buckley, Hurst police tracked him down within hours and arrested him.

Buckley recalled that day during a recent interview from the Tarrant County Jail Greenbay Facility.

"It was just stupid," Buckley said. "I didn't plan to hurt anyone, but I was just desperate."

If you're desperate it must be because you're shit. That's the rule isn't it? That's how we feel good about ourselves while hanging each other out to dry. We publicly wonder why our politicians are power-tripping maniacs without any regard for the truth. But that's because they are just like all the rest of us. Remember: don't let on you're hurting or we'll find out you're shit too!

A few weeks ago, Buckley said, he was watching a television show about a New York stockbroker who had lost his job. The stockbroker, using a disguise, began robbing banks.

"I had thought of committing suicide, but I decided that wasn't the answer. I thought maybe I would become homeless," Buckley said. "Then I saw that show. He handed a note and I thought, maybe I could do that. I didn't have a disguise and I didn't have a car like he did."

On the night of May 21, Buckley decided he had to take action.

"It was a family party and everyone was there. I decided then I was tired of being looked down on," Buckley said. "I had no life."

Relatives declined to comment.

Ah, that last line is priceless! But I'm telling ya, no way no how should unemployed people be allowed to watch TV. It simply skews all your perspective of reality. I know this doesn't make sense to those who haven't stepped through to the other side of the mirror but you see there's no room for the hopeless in TV land. When you're alone in the world, staring at the magic box of imagined life, you feel there just has to be an answer in there somewhere that you're missing.

And if you fall for the TV lie, you stick your foot in it like Mikey did.

On the morning of May 24, Buckley put on a black T-shirt and bluejeans, and grabbed his John Peter Smith Hospital bag and loaded it with three bottles of heart and blood pressure medication.

When he arrived at the bank, he said, he handed over the note, which read: "This is a holdup. No dye-pack. No funny stuff. Put in $20s and $50s."

Over 90 percent of bank robberies are "note jobs," according to the FBI.

"My heart was just beating so hard," Buckley said. "The clerk looked at me like 'I don't believe this,' but she gave me the money."

As he walked out, Buckley said, "Thank you very much."

Buckley walked to a nearby store, bought a white T-shirt and a pack of Marlboros, and then walked home.

He's been charged with robbery and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.

Funny thing about our neo-Roman society. The unemployed are the new gladiators, duking it out for mere scraps of jobs, entertaining us with their do-or-die struggle. Mikey's desperation makes for good copy! Watch with delight as we wrangle the homeless and unemployed to the ground, hauling them away in shameful cuffs. What separates us from the Romans, however, is that we always give a thumbs down. We're that goddam sure of our rightness.

The ruling Caesars squander their resources, making up the difference by taking from others and putting them into the streets. But if any of those street people dare take anything back, we drop the hammer on them for disrupting this "perfect order" we've created. That's sort of like arresting the bullet while letting the shooter go free. Fill everyone with truth serum and you'd find no one believes all this bullshit rhetoric we spout on the "greatness" of the American way.

Buckley said he has told relatives not to pay his $15,000 bail.

"I have no place to go," he said. "I thought I had a few days of freedom, but I knew I was going to get caught."

Buckley apologized to the bank clerk and his family.

"I'm very sorry for what I did," Buckley said. "I dug this grave and I'll be buried in it."

I shudder to think what's going to happen. Does putting this man behind bars truly make us safer? Does our holy pretense really mean that much to us? Let's just admit we're fucked and start feeding, clothing, housing and providing medical care for free. But we are a proud and stubborn people who cling to our illusions of life. But Michael Buckley is prophetic in his words, revealing the fate of us all: We're digging this grave and we'll be buried in it.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Dissection Of My Previous Post



I heard a boy call out this name while walking down the street, his voice like an air raid siren: a high pitch on the first part, a low pitch on the last. I don't know who Sarah is, but I do know she is lost to him. I recognized that pain. In a reflex, I immediately looked around me to see if anyone noticed my unmistakable look of recognition. I fear what they might say of this knowledge gleaned from me, of the disaster that is my life.

Moments like these are happening every day, winding their way through us like radio waves, showing our resonance of love. When we are in sync with love, the sound is good and people rush to hear, but when we fall out of sync we clang like a sour gong and people cover their ears. Yet each of us is tied to strive to weave the sounds of love regardless of the cost. It's the only way out.

But like a radio play, I can't always see you. I just know you by the words you speak - and the universal truths I already know. God help the clever, it's a dangerous thing this radio play. I may tell you I'm rich when I'm poor or poor when I'm rich. As love is the ultimate goal of every life, whatever we think will get us love is what we'll say. Ergo, we sometimes build a love based on deception - even if knowing it's not a love that can last.

The name for these people is "deceivers". But what does the deception gain the deceiver? Only time away from true love. It was said Judas was the most good-looking and intelligent of the disciples. But when the deception was unmasked, he was shown to be the most ugly and stupidest of anyone. So it's easy to see how a life can become devoted to preventing that moment of unmasking. At least Judas had his moment.

God help those who don't.

The world is like a community that lives on the surface but is in actuality run by a secret cave down below. In that cave are the deceivers as by their nature they must hide. Every once in a while comes a truth seeker shining a light into the underworld and when that happens the deceivers put out that light. To the surface dwellers comes misery as they are thrust back into darkness. Some even call it a sin - or crazy or weird or lunacy - to be a beacon of truth. They think they can live without it.

But like any flower, we cannot live without light.

And flowers are what we are, to grow or die as is our choice. Even as our consciousness grows, so equally has our denial of the need for light. The final public light of this world was extinguished on December 8, 1980, plunging us into the war torn, greed-based hell that we know today. Though we like to (funnily enough) debate it, all plans are futile without love. Just because we say it's impossible has no bearing on the truth. That's merely a deception that only lives in the dark.

If you read the Playboy interviews just before Lennon's death, you can see how in the minds of the deceivers he was someone who had to be stopped, a person who would expose their wicked ways to come, of the falseness of their plays. They seek salvation in death so what hope have they of life? These men of evil are still revered to this day, the mask of their Judas lives intact. But what have they gained? A love stillborn.

So am I truth-teller or deceiver? Am I ugly or beautiful? I see myself as Martin Sheen headed down the river in Apocalypse Now reading the profile of a madman whom he must destroy. But in this case that profile is his own and what he finds at the end of his journey is that it has taken him far, far away from home. He looks back down the river at who was before, at how much more alive he was and how he'd have that life if only he'd gotten off to live.

All things are already known. When I hold a mirror in front of someone, if they see beauty they speak. A few speak of the ugliness. But what does silence say? Speak or not, the truth of what you see of yourself is revealed either way. When we face ourselves, when we face there is only love - or death without it - the flower will open and peace will blossom. No more wars, no more need. If this is the truth, how can anything else be our fate?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Apocalypse Man

This is the kind of report that reaps men's souls. Where you need to lay everything out: the real reasons, the given rationale, and finally the insanity. In the military, before the evil is done the truth is told. Then it's buried and jealously guarded until the final day when all things see the light of day. Trick is to die before that day and get your 21 gun salute. Till then, they'll kill you to keep your eyes off it - but never, ever do they destroy the paper. It's their one strand to hope.

But it's death for Captain A. H. Lawrence.

They called him the Sixties Man though he'd actually stopped living in 1972, the year he came back from the jungle. But he never really came back, his mind still trapped in the endless green morass, searching for a way out that never existed. It's not like he didn't know. He told them all before resigning: "No one's going to want me now." That was it, he heard no words after that, discussion over. He'd found his apocalypse and it was just a matter of time until the world followed suit.

His apartment lay nestled in an urban war zone, comfortable death never far away. Kids who saw inside called his place a time machine; curious and alive eyes marveling at this warped world. He wore the same bell bottom jeans of 1972 as beads hung down from doorways with empty hinges as nonstop incense kept a smoky allure while Doors albums wafted sorrowful lyrics through an air of delayed ideals. What was the point of change? The wheels of fate had already been set in motion.


Lawrence had gone into the war with no hope and left with even less. It was all a process, an assembly line of death. Kill the yellow man because...he never really knew. That made him feel stupid and guilty, ashamed at his lack of conviction and understanding. As a lieutenant he was supposed to know, but the lack of an answer preyed on his mind, crushing it flat, an unlisted casualty. So he did his job of killing mindlessly to satisfy the world's war. He did it so much even the world became ashamed.

The massacres of villages were small enough to stay out of the spotlight but like a steady drip of blood they just kept coming. The army wanted blood but Lawrence delivered too much - or the wrong kind. But blood was blood to Lawrence: either all of it was good or all of it was bad. What folly to try to pick and choose! What did the warmakers hope to prove? He heard the phrase "moral war" and at the time he was still alive enough to laugh. But in that stale beige room of lunatic friends with lives to protect, that laugh sliced open their souls releasing a raging inferno onto Lawrence. Lawrence never laughed again.

Battle memories he could take. Off the battlefield memories he could not. Despairing slits of sunlight cutting through blinds of surreal whorehouses of grunting human sex on a dutiful death march to oblivion. Wicked smiles of pecking eye birds come to cash your soul, knowing you're just another blown spare part gasket of mad military machinery. Reaching out for love into the grasping blackness, swallowed by the void. Nothing. Nothing anywhere. Just the sounds of others living in a world you did not know. Lawrence tried to swim to the surface but the boulder of his battlefield abominations gave no release.


Over and over he traveled creaking dusty hallways of Vietnam anytime his eyes closed, alien smells invading him, questioning his intrusion as this butcher hopelessly begged to belong. He knew he didn't belong back home either. Truth be told, he'd alienated himself. Even the army hated Lawrence but being the twisted entity that it is they promoted him to get him off the field - but that only drove him deeper into his mind. In labored breath he walked under the anticipated veil of Saigon nights as arrows shot into his heart from the eyes of his victims. The cover up was on. "I mustn't let anyone know" he chanted to himself. "I mustn't let anyone know."

But the time of not knowing has passed. That's why now my mission is to kill him.

"Things are happening beyond my control." The wheels of fate can't be stayed forever - only those wheels are headed off a cliff. And Lawrence was going to take the whole world with him. But there's still too many lies to protect, families living on a false hope of war as a crushing tidal wave of death and destruction roars in as yet unseen from the sea. And the men who engineered that wave need kill the accusers before their fruits of malice come to light. "Kill those who know. Every last one must die, no exceptions." Once again, I have orders to kill in a holy war.

Lawrence had had his apocalypse but failed to obligingly die. With nothing to lose he saw true and deep into the hearts of men as he watched them facilitate doom, stuffing poison into their neighbor's mouths, chaining them with lies of promised freedom, sealing their fate. Such men in a world of open eyes are doomed, a part of no living plan. But as Lawrence could be a part of nothing, he was also not part of them. He spoke openly of the secret scandals he saw, of the women whoring themselves with vials of violence, of stillborn seeds planted to starve coming generations.

It doesn't matter no one believes Lawrence. To men of unholy deeds his presence unbearably cuts their souls as they can not hide from themselves the truth of what he speaks. Praying at the conservative altar, their god demands no quarter be given, no chance to be taken by Love's retribution, apocalypse delayed. Yes, I'm saving the world - but it feels stupid, pointless and insane all over again.

Captain A.H. Lawrence
West Virginia Veteran's Mental Hospital
Inmate since 1984

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Elle Est Morte: Oh No She Di'int!"

"Oh no she di'int!"

"Yes, she did! She told me she's been living off another man's feelings for her for years."

"Oh no she di'int!"

"He said he loved her, that she was his fantasy, his dream, his other half. She was who he was looking for his whole life. But she didn't say nothin' back."

"Oh no she di'int!"

"But he made her feel beautiful and excited and worthy inside so she held onto those feelings and puts them in her marriage cuz her husband didn't give her none of those feelings!"

"Oh no she di'int!"

"Whenever she wanted to be happy she just thought back to the fantasy guy and pretended he was going to ring the doorbell any moment and whisk her away!"

"Oh no she di'int!"

"She thought she was really clever there for a while finding a way to be happy in an unhappy marriage but it only dug the hole deeper. She planned on doin' it forever."

"Oh no she di'int!"

"So she does nothing to make her real marriage work exceptin' what looks good in pictures, making all sunshiney and shit at family reunions and mosts of all tricking the kids on how much in love she is."

"Oh no she di'int!"

"But that memory got weaker every day and she never gets to feeling better, just worse, so she dives into eatin' cuz nothin' else makes her feel good. She ate 42 Tootsie Rolls in a row!"

"Oh no she di'int!"

"Then the harder it is pretending her husband is the fantasy man harder it is for her to let him touch her. He gets mad and calls her "fat cow!" and she says she don't care cuz she already got her children out and don't no one gotta touch her anymore nohow!"

"Oh no she di'int!"

"Then she tells him if he's ever unfaithful to her she's gonna divorce his ass right into the ground and take the kids, the house and all his money she can!"

"Oh no she di'int!"

"She tells him his banker job is not even real, it's all made up in his head and they pay him money for nothing and says he better find some art in his life and she she don't mean the art of lyin'!"

"Oh no she di'int!"

"So he asks her if this is all about that fantasy guy that lives in her head because she'll never be good enough for true love because she doesn't want to face up to what a mess she's made of her life and she'd rather have security than happiness and maybe they should discuss all this with her Bible college parents. But all she says is she ain't gonna be no hooker for him!"

"Oh no she di'int!"

"Now she can't sleep nights at all and just lays on the couch all day till someone comes home, saving her energy for pretending everything's OK and she's June Cleaver but later that night she goes in the bathroom and throws up her whole meal while the kids watchin' TV in the next room."

"Oh no she di'int!"

"I never see anyone so upset. She livin' like a 24 hour heart attack every day and her face and hair are melting but she said only thing she's going to do about it is keep on lying."

"Oh no she di'int!"

"Yes, she did. She told me everything. Hard to believe anyone can get themselves in a spot like that and not know they best come clean."

"So why she tellin' you all this now?"

"Guess she's feeling so guilty 'n' scared 'n' horrified she wasted her whole life and now got no place left to go."

[long silence]

"I wouldn't know nothin' about anything like that."

"Neither would I."

She's hurting more than she lets on.