People Who Hate

Last week I was out in the smoking area at school, we were having a lively discussion about whether it is appropriate to hit someone if they do a NAZI salute or use racial slurs.   There were a couple of people who said “If they saw someone doing the NAZI salute and saying ‘sieg heil’ or ‘blood and soil’ they would clock them.”   I was trying to explain to them, that if you do through the first punch, you make yourself and others who also find bigotry offensive look almost as bad as the people you are standing up against.  You fan the flames of hatred and it becomes a powerful force against a positive movement.

I know that some might think this attitude is naive or even cowardly.  To me it takes a lot of strength to hold back that anger, when I hear stuff like that, not to just clock the person.  I severely dislike bigotry  and hatred, but I know the moment I give in to my feeling of disgust, I give them power over me.  They want people who think like me to resort to violence to prove their point.  It is like in “Batman The Dark Knight Returns” when the Joker is trying to get Batman to commit murder to bring him down to the Joker’s level.  In this analogy of course the Joker is ultra violent and murderous, where as in the scenario I stated in the first paragraph using speech as a way to bring us down to their level.  Unless the other person who is saying the vial and nasty things actually physically assaults me, I will not lift a finger to harm them physically.

See in the battle of ideas, this is a battle of words and of the mind.  Those with the best ideas will rise to the top as long as they do not resort to violence.  I will argue all day with a racist and try to show them the error of their thinking.  Let’s be honest if i had to argue all day about the subject with that person, there is likely nothing I or anyone would say that could change their mind.  Just like I could not convince this other person that kicking the crap out of a bigot is not the best way to trying to change their mind.  I had help trying to convince the person too about 6 others tried to convince him as well.   Some people just can not be reasoned with.

This is the same issue on a much larger scale that we have had with extremist in the Middle East.  The U.S. has been trying to force our beliefs through violence and regime change.  If we want to bring the region into the 21st century we are going to have to change our approach to the situation.  First off STOP SELLING WEAPONS PERIOD, TO OTHER COUNTRIES!  Second pull all our troops out of the region making sure we collect all the weapons we have brought over there.  Third close down Guantanamo bay and make that if we try anyone there that it is done fairly and due diligence.  For those we release we should try and help make sure that those people are taken care of, if they are innocent, they have been held there for a long time without trial and they deserve some sort of compensation.  Four gradually as the tensions start to die down try and get food and medical supplies to the civilians.  Though it will take a long time to earn the trust of the people in the region.  This would be just the beginning of the healing process.

In order for us to have a lasting peace on this planet we must rise against the violence.  We can not defeat an idea with violence it only strengthens their position eyes of those who would follow them.  As I said before and I will say it again the only way to defeat an idea is with a better one.  If you have to resort to violence to support your idea it probably is not worth a damn.

Watch “NFL Blackout – Time to take a stand #blackout” on YouTube

I for one have never been a fan of football.  I feel it promotes violence and further divides us.  How many time have we heard about fan rioting over the loss of there team?  Football has never united us it has only tried to divide us.  Please share this video and let people know it is time to hit the owners where it hurts them the most.  The Pocket Book.

Diversity in All Things

I found a post on Facebook today that I thought was interesting, though I thought it was some sort of scam at first.  It was about something called and RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates).  I know nothing about it, but it was talking about how it helps to transition the U.S. to a more green sustainable energy system.  I ended up on this video from the EPA.  It talks about how our power grid works and what we can do to help push more green energy.  The way they do this from my understanding is this: we by the certificate and pay the company we bought the certificate from, they in turn put that much energy into the grid and the fossil fuel company gets half the money.  Which means we are getting 50% of our energy from the renewable energy company, but we still pay the same on our bill.  This does show how much cheaper renewable energy has become.  It is half the cost of the old energy sources.  Then the old place we got electricity does not have to produce that energy.

For some reason this made me think of how we as citizens need to be able to diversify our knowledge base.  Gone are the times of one job or career for the rest of our lives, like our parents and grandparents.  The economy is always changing know.  So, we need to be able to change with it not only that, but with longer lifespans we will start to need a change every once in awhile.   This is why we need college for all and stop calling it a liberal education then start calling it a diversified education.  The people on Wall Street should be able to understand that.  One of the things I have heard about from the stock company commercials is that  we should diversify our portfolios.  If we diversify our knowledge about the world we can transition into different fields easier and explore other careers that we might not have that of.  This helps to stabilize the economy and helps us to work toward that goal in the constitution of happiness.

Hell, I think there should be diversity in all things.  Without it our species would die off for sure.  I could never understand the premises of White Power.  If we only had white people in the world or any color or nationality.  Eventually there would be too much inbreeding in the genes.    That kind of explains the people who want their own people only.  Could you imagine a world with only white, black, asian or hispanic people.  It would be pretty boring.  We would see similar faces all the time.  The other day a guy came into the student store he was Somalian and he had the same facial structure as and old friend of mine who is white.  To me this seems like there are limited amount amounts of faces that mother nature has and reuses them in other races.  Kind of blows my mind.  Now that I said that being said imagine duplicate people of the same ethnicity all over the place.  Pretty unremarkable is it.

My Thoughts on Thirteen Reasons Why

So I just finished the series Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix.  It was overwhelming to me even though I am a 41 year old male.  I sat through every episode in the past 2 days.  I thought it would be one of those shows I watch and end up turning it off within the first 10 minutes.  The story and the themes involved were so compelling I had to keep going.  I force myself to turn it off being I watched it alone, which I do not recommend.  Watch this show with people you love and trust.  Being someone who has been dealing with depression for 20+ years I feel for the characters.

This brought forth ideas I have been thinking about a lot lately given the suicides of both Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell.  It brought me back to when I first attempted suicide in the Army.  I am glad I did not because of what I am trying to do with my life know.  I was lost for a long time, no one understood me it seemed.  I was lucky though I was young and stupid the way I tried to do it.

I had only left home twice before one was to go to Boy Scout camp the other was to go work on a hog farm for 2 weeks.  I had a fuck of a hard time in basic training.  I was one of the weakest in my platoon, always getting the platoon punished for my screw ups, always being screamed at and being called names buy the Drill Sergeants and other members.   Though, my Drill Sergeant Terrance did pull me a side one time and gave me a little hope saying it would not be this way in permanent duty.  I joined to get away from bullies ironic right maybe get to travel and earn money for college.  I made it through my Advanced Individualized Training just barely there.  Granted I had achilles tendonitis for the last 6 weeks and I was held over till I could pass the physical fitness test.

When I made it to my duty station in Fort Lewis, Washington I still felt alone.  I met a guy who invited me to his church group.  When I got there I was so out of place it was an Episcopal Church I think, they were dancing around speaking in tongues.  I could not deal with that I left after the service and never returned.  It was too strange even for me I was and an odd ball amongst a completely different type of odd ball.

I did meet one man who took me under his wing Staff Sergeant Bill Lester.  He had been in for about 20 years and was kind of a loner himself in ways.  He stayed in the barracks during the week and went back to his home in Yakima on the weekends.  He even took me to meet his family a couple of times and celebrated my nineteenth birthday with me.  I felt good when he was there.   When he retired that is when I started having issues.  Some of the other guys in the barracks I did hang out with we even played D&D and Vampire the Masquerade a few times.  The issue I had was when I got back from doing a temporary tour of duty down in California.

Two new guys had just been Dwight and Tom.  I did not have many issues with them so much as with the other guys in the barracks we had all gone out to see Rancid at an underground club where we met a woman named Velvet.  I was not interested in here but two of the other guys were.  Tom and I forgot the other guys name he was a real piece of work though.  Velvet was not in to the other guy who we will call Sam, she was in to  Tom.  Sam and the other guys said she was Sam’s.  This caused a rift in the barracks.  All the other guys were pissed at Tom because they had thought he had stole Velvet.  I was not on either side I was with Velvets choice which was Tom.  I was caught in the middle of it all.  I hated it Tom And D were not trying to make me choose sides.  I still felt like I was being pulled from both sides though.  Till one day I tried to overdose on about 8000 mg of motrin.  I knew nothing about drugs at this time except for what I learned from the DARE Program and what some of the guys in the barracks told me.

I ended up in the hospital in the mental ward for a night and had to do counseling sessions for like a week.  Eventually things calmed down though the barracks still felt divided.  I would hide in my room when I was not working watching movies and smoking cigarettes sometimes going over to Tom and D’s room to play some Playstation.  D is a good guy and he did encourage me to come over and hang out with them until I was released from the army due to physical fitness test failure.  I had failed one prior and I had to pass this one too stay in.  The NBC Sergeant who was one of my NCOIC’s (Noncommissioned officer in charge had dusted me the night before the test.  I had to continually hold a gallon bottle of pine oil in my hands while my palms were turned up having my back against the wall in a open sitting position.  Then he would have me switch to holding 2 bottles while standing and keeping my arms parallel to the ground.  this went on for about 2 hours switching positions about every 2 minutes or so.  Even though I had been through all that the night before I still tried my hardest to pass the test, I missed it by 2 pushups and 2 minutes in the 2 mile run.

After is when I started using Marijuana it was on the bus ride home in Fargo, North Dakota.  I did not give a shit at this point and I was feeling rebellious and wanted in my mind it was a big fuck you to the army.  I ended up getting involved with a dude Named Mike Welsh.  He had started a group called R.A.I.D. (Revolution Against an Indecent Democracy).  I found out the guy only actually started the group to get laid and he tried to have his way with my sister who is younger than me.  After that I left the group and found out later that R.A.I.D. had fallen apart after I left.  That was the last time I followed politics for many years after.

I did hang out and live with a few friends that I had met through Mike: Tony, Jesse, and Adam. Previously I had been diagnosed with depression after I had all this shit went down with Mike.  Then Kurt Cobain committed suicide and I was living with Tony we were talking about it.  I was not a big Nirvana fan till after his death I think it was because it was then I understood his music having tried to commit suicide myself.  When we were talking about it Tony had made it clear about his point of view on people who commit suicide.  He was of the mind set that anyone who did that was a coward and the he would not go to anyone’s funeral who did.  This is when I started to learn to hide my feeling and who I actually was.  I did not want to lose the few friends I had.  I started to live for them and not myself I was using Marijuana a lot and I was experimenting with other drugs as well like: LSD, Mushrooms, Opium and one time I tried Crack.  I remained friends with the guys till about a few of years ago when I had lost my job, wife, two hernia surgeries.  Once again I was lost this time I felt completely alone even when I was with people.  Tony had let me stay with him and his new wife.  Both good people I just was trying to find my way again every weekend I was getting drunk till one night I got so drunk I puked all over their floor while trying to make it to the bathroom.  I moved out shortly thereafter.

In my new place I started pushing people away.  I was going through major changes and looking for reasons to stay alive.  I realized after a couple of years I needed to get help thanks to the story of Malala Yousefzai.  I was looking at my life in a whole new way.  Here was a young woman who had stood up to the Taliban and here I was battling the demons within my own head.  It was then that I decided that I was going to better myself but not for me.  I wanted to better myself to help build a better society for everyone.  From that point on word I have been battling those demons  going to the V.A. for psychological help and get back into school to become a teacher.  I am now almost done with my A.A. and doing it well.

Basically the moral of this story is I know it is hard and things never seem like they are going to get better.  The thing is that you never know when something or someone is going to inspire you.  Things can and will get better.  If you are feeling lonely talk to someone anyone.  Society for now is tough but there are people out there trying to make this a better place for you.  Maybe they can help to inspire you to live and be better because life is not about trying to be perfect or living up to other peoples standards, it is about trying to make ourselves better and making the world somewhere we can all accepted.

The Day I Met George Romero

It was around 13 years ago this month I had the privilege and honor to meet George A. Romero.  It was at FX Con. with an ex girlfriend of mine.  It was at the Florida Midstate Fairgrounds we were one of the first to arrive.  As we sat waiting for the doors to open out walks this man who towered over me, now I am about 6 feet tall, he was about 6 foot 6 inches tall.  He was balding in a U shape with long hair in the back pulled in a pony tail and round coke bottle glasses.  It was the legend himself George Romero, I could not believe it.

He had stepped outside to smoke a cigarette, he smoked like a chimney even more than me at the time and I was a 2 pack a day smoker back then.  He talked to the small group of us waiting to get in, I could not believe how personable he was.  People were asking him all sorts of questions about his movies and getting to know the man behind the myth.  This went on for about 10 minutes or so when one of the people helping to set-up let him know they were about to open the doors.

When the doors opened I rushed to his line and was the first person in it.  This was cool because I was able to talk to him while I was waiting I thanked him for his body of work like “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead.”  I also talked with him about the fact that the only thing that would have made the day better than meeting him was meeting both him and Dario Argento.

He told me “I have been trying to get him to come to one of these things for awhile.”  I had loved Dario’s work since I saw “Trauma”.  This conversation went on for a couple of minutes when they finally let us go get our autographs.  I had brought my copy of both “Night of the living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead” on DVD for him to sign.  I was able to take a picture with him, unfortunately my ex shot a blurry picture of us.  I thanked him for the autographs and let the others have their turn.  Both of us had such a good time talking that he forgot to charge me for the autographs.

This may have been a short meeting with him but to me it is something that will stay with me till the day I die.

THANK YOU Mr. Romero for every movie you have made and for the memory of one of the best days of my life.  Unlike the zombies in your movies Rest In Peace.


James and Eddie

This is a rough draft of a short story I wrote if you could tell me what you like and dislike about the story. Please.

“NOOOO!!!!” I hear from across the trailer.   Rushing down the hallway I hear a “smack, crash, bang”.  “James!!” I yell.  I open the door to find my brother James holding his pillow as if it were a child and sobbing uncontrollably.  His hair is drenched in sweat, as I run over to his bed and grab hold of him tightly and say “You are safe, you are home wake up little brother.”

Little brother he has not been that for years.  I usually call him “little brother” when I am calming him from his night terrors.  He is not normally like this most of the time.  It is just that an anniversary is today, one that James would rather forget.  James was a supply specialist in the army before 9/11.  He had joined to earn the G. I. Bill and go to college and become a teacher.  Unfortunately, he was medically discharged due to PTSD in March of 2003.  I did not hear anything about my brother’s return home until, I got back from a month out in the bush, doing studies on the ground soil in China.

Mom tells me, “James has barely eaten since he has been home.”

“Hey, James little bro.” I say in an awkward jovial voice as I walk over to him.  Not really, knowing what to do.

Man, how things have change in the past two years.  He is eating healthy, getting out to exercise and is able to joke around some.

“James you’re ok now, I got you.” I say trying like hell to calm him down.  He is rocking back and forth wailing “I’m sorry, oh god, I’m sorry.”   “It’s ok, I am here for you little brother.” I say again.

I continue to rock back and forth, for about fifteen minutes, before he starts to make any sense.

“Eddie?” he asks “What was I doing this time?”  I replied “It was just a bad dream.  Did you take your pills last night?”   He looks at the nightstand his alarm clock, pill case is on the floor and an ashtray that was filled with cigarette butts are all over the floor.  He bends over to pick the case.

“Eddie, what is today?” he asks.

“Monday, February 13th.” I say while picking up his clock.

“Fuck, Me! God, damn it!” He screams.  “I did forget, son of a bitch”

“What did I say about using that word in the house?” I take a more serious tone.

“Damn, or bitch?  You have said a whole lot worse in your life.” He says with sneer.

“No, God” I say with a grin and we both chuckle.

We grew up in a loosely Christian home.  Our mother was a secretary at a small law office in downtown Seattle.  She used to have us go to church every Sunday just to keep up appearances.  She was one of those people, who worried about how things would look to others, instead of being herself.    If we ever said “God, damn it.”  She would respond with “What did I tell you about using that word?”  James or I would ask “God?” We were a couple of little shits back then and got plenty of whippings, as such.

My father, James’s step father worked a major publishing firm. He lived for the weekends.  He was fairly laid back hated going to church on Sundays.  He would have rather be Rock climbing; it was his favorite hobby.  Lenny, my father, did not know until James was thirteen that he was not Lenny’s son.   It turned out that our mother was having an affair with Sean (our Pastor) and James was his son.  Mom never told Sean and broke it off quickly to keep up appearances.  He left the parish a few months later to, “Help pass the word of God, to the less fortunate.” His words not mine.

Lenny found an old shoe box of letters that Sean had written her, this crushed him.  He started gambling and drinking, eventually going through James’s college fund and was starting on mine.  When one night on his way home from the casino and drinking, he breaks through the of a bridge on his way home.

I was away at college studying Forestry and Geology at Michigan State when mom called me.  “Edward you need to come home” my mom tries to get out.  I can hear she has been crying.

“Mom, are you ok?” All I hear is sobbing on the other side. “Mom, is James alright?”  I pause and say cautiously, “Is dad there?” The phone on the other side hit what sounded like counter, then hear mom balling in the distance.

“Eddie?” I hear on the phone Dad was in an accident we need you to come home.”  James says sniffling as to try and hold back the tears.  The next morning, I contacted my professors and dean of students to tell them what has happened and that I need to be with my family.  I say “I want to comeback once we get things back in order at home.”  We were in the middle of the fall semester when I left to help my mother and brother.

“James, get dressed it is just about sunrise.” I said with a grin

James put a pair of jeans and a dirty shirt from the hamper, put his boots and jacket on and heads out the door.  He loves to see the sunrise over Mount Reiner.

We live in a trailer about forty miles south west of Seattle near McCleary.  We have about five acres of land, where we go fishing and bow hunting.  James hate guns.

We step out the front door facing east and watch as the sun rises over the top of the mountain.  The clouds are light and fluffy.  Mount Reiner turns from a towering mass of darkness to a majestic blue mountain with a brilliant white cap. As the sun rises it looks almost heavenly, with a halo of clouds around the top.

We stand there for five minutes just taking it all in.  “Time to get ready.” I say as I take in a deep breath savoring the fresh air.  “I have to get you to the V.A.  Remember you promised me two months ago, when I agreed to let you stay with me.”

James fought in Afghanistan when after 9/11.  He had joined the Army right out of high school in the summer of 2001.  In February of 2003, something happened to him, he can’t or won’t talk about with anyone including me about it. I try not to push too hard to get him to open-up.  He is starting a new group therapy class today.  It is supposed to help to teach people how to think in a more constructive manner.

“We have to be on the road in five minutes.” I call to him.  “What are you my fucking drill sergeant?” He speaks in a facetious tone.  “Nope, just your big brother about to kick your ass and bring you up there naked.” I chuckled.  “Hey, maybe I could get a date with one of those good-looking nurses there.” He says as he is brushing his teeth.

“Just move your ass already.” I reply in a bit of a hurried voice and a giggle.  “After I drop you off I have thing I need to do in town.”

Ten minutes later we were on the road.  It often takes him an extra five minutes after I tell him to get ready.

Things are quite on the road for now.  We are on county road 8 heading to the 101. Traffic won’t hit till we reach Tacoma.

Despite the joking around this morning I could tell James was still shaken.  Hell, if I woke up and half my stuff was on the floor, I was crying, with my brother holding me. I would be shaken too.

“You want to talk about it?” I ask him in a concerned tone.

“No.” he shouts “I can’t”

I ask, “You nervous about the new group?”

“I will be ok; you don’t have to treat me like a child.”  James snidely remarks.

He is starting down “his dark spiral” as he calls it.

Last night’s dream had to be a bad one.
I turn on the radio and they are playing a John Lennon’s Imagine.  I start singing along “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky” James starts to move his lips.

I continue, “Imagine all the people, livin for today” James joins in off key “Ahah, aahh”.

“Imagine there’s no country…Nothin to kill or die for” James stops as tears well-up and says “I only wish there was no more death or killing.”

I change the subject and the station “After we are done today would you like to go see Bruce Lee’s grave?”  I remembered James used to love Bruce Lee’s movies.  As kids, we used to watch the Chinese Connection and Enter the Dragon then, pretend we were masters of the deadly art of “Kid-fu”.   We had never gone to pay our respects and I thought this might cheer him up.

“I’ll see how I feel after the group, Eddie.” Slumping in to the seat.

The rest of the ride was filled with only music from the radio.  James did not say a word till we got to the V.A.

“I will pick you up around 11, and we can go have lunch at the pizza place you like so much.”  I say as he closes the door.

“Ok, mom.” He says in a condescending tone.

I pull away from the V.A. and head to my doctor’s appointment.  I need to get a cortisone shot for my shoulder.  It is an old injury stemming from a research job in Peru.  The villagers I was staying with in Peru, wanted to show me some of their sacred ruins.  It took us the better part of a day to walk there.  We rested at the bottom of a mountain for the night before we continued.  The roads were just big enough for a single file line of people.  Luis the man in front of me lost his footing and started to slip down the mountain.  I was just able to grab his arm and in the process, my arm was popped out of its socket.  Jesus the man in front of him turned around and grabbed his other arm, we were just able to help him back up.  My arm was never quite the same afterwards.

I head to the market to pick up some essentials like shampoo, soap and the like and get to the V.A. at 10:45.  I head in to meet James, to talk to his doctor and to see if there is anything new with his meds.  “The prescriptions are working; he just has to remember to take them.” The doctor says.

“Yeah, last nights was a bad one.  Did he talk at all in group?” I ask.  “His moods have been up and down all day. I was hoping that being around other veterans would help him open up.”

“No, Eddie but this will take time.”  He says in a concerned voice.

“I know, I just hate seeing him like this.  I just want to help in any way I can.”  I say in a hopeful tone.

“He will open-up in time.  You just need to be there to support him and be a good ear.” His doctor speaks in a supportive tone.  Then turns to James. “You have quite a brother James.  There are many who cannot handle helping someone with PTSD.  Eddie is in it for the long haul it seems.”

“Yeah Doc, I know.” James speaks in a quiet tone.  “See you next week Doc!”

James just wanted to go home after the V.A.  “I am exhausted” says while taking a deep breath.”

The ride back home was silent except for the radio play music from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s.

We pull up the drive in my dark blue Ford Explorer.  James gets out, goes in the house and lays down on the couch in the living room.

I walk in and ask “Are you hungry? It has been a long trip.”

“Na.” he says flippantly

“That’s ok, I am going to make some Venison burgers on the grill.  I will throw on an extra or two just in case you get hungry.” I like to grill in the winter time, there is something about cooking in the cool crisp air that makes me feel alive.

I start the grill and head in to grab some burgers from the fridge, while the coals get nice and hot, then head outside.

James steps out back where I am putting the burgers on the grill.

“Eddie, I am sorry for being such a burden on you.” James says glibly.

“James you are not a burden, don’t you ever think that.” I reply.  “You are my brother and I will always be there for you.  I would never consider you a burden.  I know if I were in your shoes you would do the same.”

James brushes off the snow from a couple of chairs around the glass patio table, I bought last summer.

“It is such a beautiful afternoon, the air is fresh, but it won’t last forever.  Look over the ocean, do you see it Eddie?” I tilt my head up and look at the horizon.  There a couple of huge storm clouds coming in.  They look like the Greek god Zeus is about to strike us down.

“James, we still have a couple of hours before it hits.” I say with certainty.  I flip the burgers.  “How do you want your burger?”

“Medium” he says “with Monterey Jack.

I let them cook for another four minutes, then put the cheese on.

Taking the burgers off the grill and putting them in to the circular bun I say, “Lets head on in.  The temperature is starting to drop.

James asks, “What do you want to drink a Pepsi?”

“Nah, just a water”

He grabs a Pepsi for himself and hands me a cold bottle of water, sits in his spot on the couch, it is the side closest to the east where he can look out at Mount Reiner from the window.  I set his food on the table.

“Eddie can I tell you something and you won’t judge me?” He says, making me curious.

“You can tell me anything.”

“I killed a child.” He blurts out.

“What!” I thought to myself, but I listened to my brother intently as he told his story.  I know this has been eating at him for some time.

He continued, “It was an accident, I swear.”  My brother was always there to helping the kids in our old neighborhood with the local bullies, so I never thought for a second that he would purposely harm a child in any way.

“I had gotten to base a couple of weeks before in Afghanistan.  It was a small camp of about 1000 U.S. Soldiers, at any one time about 300 Afghani regulars and some families that.

would be traveling through the area.  There were no buildings only tents, surrounded by a chain link fence that was about ten feet high and razor wire at the top.”  He started.

“It was about 2300 when I heard the alarms go off.” His voice seems to quiver. “The rebels had started firing at us with ‘AK-47 Assault rifles’ one of the Marines said.  Next I hear mortars landing behind me and destroyed the tent I had just woke from.  I hit the deck.  I was not sure which direction the fire was coming from, the sounds echoed off the walls of the canyon the base was in.  I hear people scrambling for their rifles.  I saw a family of three trying to find anywhere to hide.  My ears are ringing from the explosions.  They had trained us for this in boot camp, but it feels completely different when people are actually trying to kill you.”  He pauses to catch his breath.

“I stay low and try to see if I can find out what is actually happening.  I hear a whistle and boom there goes our fuel supply.  Another it was the north guard tower.  I low crawl to a Humvee that a bunch of soldiers taking cover behind.  ‘What the fuck is going on? Who is firing at us?’ I asked strenuously.  This had been the first time I had seen actual combat.  I was hoping I would never have to go.”

I could see the terror in his eyes, even now James

“Two of the men look at me like I was nuts and said ‘Where’s your fucking weapon?’ I look back at my tent.  ‘I left it in my tent’ I tell them and point to the destroyed tent.

The sergeant hand a nickel-plated Berretta nine millimeter and two fully loaded magazines and says gruffly ‘Try not to get yourself killed kid.’ Just a mortar went off right in front of the Humvee. I jumped back, knock my head on the ground and closed my eyes for a second.  I swear, I saw a rebel with a rifle. I grabbed the gun and shot three times. Then I saw him go down. “

“Five minutes’ pass and the fighting has stopped.  It felt like longer to me I hadn’t moved from where I jumped to, I was in shock.

I make it up to my feet and look to see what’s going on. There where huge crater holes from where the mortars hit.  Only about three of the twenty tents were still up. I look where I shot when I thought I saw the rebel.  There he was one of the young children from a family of traders, that had come to do some trade.  He laid there with a walking stick in his hand.  He must have gotten separated from his family.”

James stopped there took a couple of deep breaths wiping the tears from his eyes.  Then it hit a wave of emotion

I walk over to and try my best to comfort, “James its ok let it out” I explain “It is what you said and accident the way I hear you tell it.  Trust me James, I can tell when you are bullshitting me.” I hear a little chuckle.

James lifts his head from his hand.  I see his face has cakes on tears and his hair is going in every direction.

“The reason I tell you this story is what you did right there.” James spoke in a raspy voice.  “You have always been there for me and you’re the one person I truly trust.  If I can’t tell you then how can I tell them.













Atheist Picnic in Syria

Absents of god, black and white to gray. Basking cement,
feet burn in an instant. Crimson sands crusade the west.
Driving lawnmower, fresh grass permeates the wind.
Evaluating resource wars, metalrockrapclassic.
Frantically savor, Jolly Rancher Bomb Pop.

Greenbacks coarseness, no warm huckster’s pockets.
Honorable people clamored in pain.
Intend no harm, sweet nectar peace abounds.
Jostling aroma grills, beefporkmesquite.
Killing rainbow faith swirl, no side trustworthy.
Lone bucket splash, knowledge wisdom anguish.
Medieval knights to manless birds swooping unknowns.
Nap cooks back like crustacean pot water boiled. Objective trying search prized metals Plato. Pushing peace talk selling weapons sultans cheer. Questing cold in swampy air makes skin moist.

Random music plays in the mind, silenced drivel. Syria split false dichotomy tares’
society. Table set aground, whiff munchies ants march.
Unraveled mysteries, grow louder when near. Vexed
rosy rage nearer two decades, no calm. Wind nips twilight,

near trees douse the sun. X-mark goal
carries like dandelion breeze. Yummy, marshmallow
chocolate and gram. Zonk, the cradle collapse under
black gold weight.

Clouds, Election, Depression

Apathy, dances rampant through the U.S.
Botched class selection stifles the voice.
Carrions, rancid stench in the heat of day.
Decadent tones of pain and sorrow, screech.
Every cloud thicker, darker, rain will fall.
False prophets sing as the damn nation cries.
Germinating seed crushed like, toes under car.
Horrendously sour is the tapestry of the sky.
Indigo carried in the following weeks.
Jester reeks high from the ass of gluttony.
Known is the kiss of wind wet and sloppy.
Low the heart is heard in a makeshift house.
Mental in a world showered in avarice.
No sweet hurrah in a hindered brain.
Open air, as the sun strains through.

Potent scent of success eludes him.
Quiet he speaks in words ambiguous,
Random cycles pains the joints of old men.
Salty is the wounds in my mind.
Tremendous calls a leader as a child rests in sand.
Undercooked, not on sidewalks, fried bacon.
Victorious she though while orange face strikes.
Wonderful fragrance of life peace, tranquility.
Xylophones chant in clearing the sky song.
Yarns spun soft for ignorant contentment.
Zenith of the sun sprinkles golden rays.


I am sorry friends.  I have been busy with my class and have not had much time to write on my blog over the past month.  Things should open up come the middle of July.  I did not realize the intensity of the class until it was to late and I would risk losing my funding for college if I dropped it.  So, I must continue even though I know my grade is going to be the lowest I have gotten since I have started.  I will hope for the best which would be a B and expect the worst a D or F.  I will try my darndest but the instructor is know for driving people to drop his course.  There is such a thing as to much passion.  I will admit i am partly to blame. My mind just can not get around school in the summer and the fact that I need another job to help me.

This class takes up a majority of my time.  So, scheduling is a pain.  I just do not know what to do.