Awkward Reasons –

God may forgive sins, he said, but awkwardness has no forgiveness in heaven or earth.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Great endowments often announce themselves in youth in the form of singularity and awkwardness.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are reasons why at times my interactions with people seem strained. I say the wrong things. I limp through my social circles, everyone making way for my awkward presence. I bring up subjects deep and poignant. I provoke thoughts, thoughts you’re not accustomed to. I speak in a way you find odd. My accent tainted, not pure, not from any one place. The same with my mannerisms. I fidget with my hands in a crowd, unsure of how to hold them. I wonder if the way I’m standing is threatening. If a purse is left close to me, I walk away, believing you’ll accuse me if something is missing. Trying to drive with a thousand choices that are made instantly, provokes these social swerves that seem ungainly and make others uncomfortable. 

 
Do you know that this isn’t me? This isn’t how I am, constrained to behave oddly, chained to a limp of the soul and mind. Do you know I’m injured? Do you know I almost died because of love? Do you know I fought for my life many times, not from just physical beatings but mental torture and illness? Do you know that I’ve argued for my release from beatings given, many, many times?
 
Do you know how these scars make it hard to smile? The hardened skin refusing to release the joy struggling to stay alive in the poisonous atmosphere of my melancholic soul? Do you know the thousand thoughts I think just to go out the door? Checking my clothes, the color of my skin, the dark circles under my eyes, the length of my nose, the girth of my belly? Do you know that walking to my car creates anxiety? I grab my keys like a weapon; I make sure I always have a knife, though these things have never delivered me from violence or comforted me. Do you know that I struggle with violence a hundred times an hour? Not only my self-imposed violence toward me or others, but of the perceived violence I see directed at me in every face? 
 
Do you know that I always try to help others? Do you know though having been burned 99 times out of hundred, I still reach out, thinking that everyone believes I’m a sucker? Thinking that they all talk among themselves, working out plans to rob me of my time, energy, and money? Do you know that I know you are using me? Do you know that I still give in spite of this? There are reasons, stop and consider why.
 
Take time to realize that the people you know and see everyday are hurt and wounded. Look out from your struggle and know that a friend, a family member, a bartender, a cashier, is on their last thread of hope, wanting to die from the pain they feel. Reach out with compassion on those who irritate you, understand that the scars they bear make it difficult to respond with graciousness toward you and your problems. We are all in this together, make room in the survival raft for those drowning in despair. Act without requiring a suicide note or a midnight call from the police before you reach out…

Also published in Broowaha Magazine
First published in Opinionsofeye.com
02082012

No Fear –

“Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’
‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones 
Noctturnalromance

 

Walking towards the house, I just finished spending another evening with my church youth group. On the way something sinister stirred in the shadows. No sound, just glimpses of dark figures, darker than black, accompanied by a deep foreboding fear. Forcing myself along the path, all my nerves on end, I scramble to find a weapon worthy of this opponent. My fists were no match, guns likewise. I needed something without form to battle the unseen opponent. Words, that will do, they have no shape and find you even when your hiding. I’ve got the weapon, now which words? The pastors taught me words exist that are extraordinary, having more weight and value than common words, words that were in themselves different. The most powerful of these are the words that looked ordinary, but are changed by my belief about the source and effectiveness of them, i.e. they gained value in this battle by virtue of the faith I placed in them. It wasn’t that faith did it, because I had to actually use the words, but it was faith that gave them the edge to cut the dark. I read this somewhere, “You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.” Repeating this I tried to understand how to fight the fight that is not fought with fists but with belief. I believed that Big Daddy (that’s what I called God) let me find those words as advice. Fear has torment and I was always afraid, so this whole thing was a training ground to overcome fear and learn how to fight what is called by others as “the good fight”. The victory to press past this feeling and not turn around and run, was not a gallant one at all, it was horribly clumsy and vacillated between wanting to run and wanting to face this fear. All said and done, I made it through, I didn’t die and I learned a valuable lesson that equipped me for the rest of the craziness called my life.
Also published in Opinionsofeye.com

An Ideal Death

“It’s so strange how life works: You want something and you wait and wait and feel like it’s taking forever to come. Then it happens and it’s over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed.” ― Lauren Oliver, Delirium

“She didn’t say it, I only thought she said it. So really it was my thought, my words, and not hers. How could I confuse “I love you” with “May I take your order?”

 


Pulled deeper, though I had no choice, yet the illusion is that I do. With the edge drawing near, I push against the rough limits of my captivity. Faced with a destiny of falling, in your eyes I see the trap. Both feet planted, earth piling up against my struggle for life, I take a deep and final breath, then jump off with no resistance as I thrust into you. My life has ended, with glee your eyes show your victory. I gave myself to you in the act of love, now my gift has become your weapon. Only one thing can control me, my soul. Using me against me, such a marvelous concept. You have perfected this betrayal of my soul against my mind in an exquisite manner. Whatever, its’ to late now, I fall without redemption, knowing I did this for you, but really for me. That’s what makes all of this so crazy, how easily I committed an emotional suicide. The lure of love, the utopia of ideals and concepts of how life should be, these are the real villains in this crime of passion. I sold my soul long ago to these fantasies, you only came to cash in on the deal.

Power of the Blade – Faith in action

   “Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran

“If fear is cultivated it will become stronger, if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery.” 
Swinging wildly, I caught the beast just under the jaw line. It’s chilled dark blood spewed across my chiseled chest and tainted my lips with the taste of iron. My blade performed perfectly, its power in the sound of visions, its speed in the echo of images burned in my mind from my youth. The creature fell like so many, and meat for the taking lay at my feet. The promise of the blade is that with unwavering certainty, the purpose of the wielder is accomplished. Like many of the nether regions promises, a condition of sort is implied. I cannot for one second doubt the accuracy and lethality of the keen edge and rune struck blade, for in that second of doubt, the blade dulled and its weighty course lost it’s objective. It’s quite disturbing to see my weapon lose its edge and become a twig in my hand. I learned over the course of many battles, that faith in that blade, gave me favor and strength in my choices as I pressed across this desert land. During one lengthy battle I lost my grip and it flew off down a steep ravine. Left with only a very ordinary staff, I forgot to lose faith…for so long I trained myself to never doubt, that I swung that wooden accessory and to my amazement, it hit home with the same unerring providence! I then learned that, the blade though magical, only served to train me, that though magic is strong, faith is stronger and even above the metamorphic power of unseen spells, my faith gave me the ability to transform the ordinary into that of perfect power. I found my blade, but, I never forgot the lesson. All things are possible with faith, and if I will just persevere with that faith, though I lost one advantage, another will fulfill my purpose just as well.

Trickbag – Setting me up

“Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.” – Niccolo Machiavelli 

Thinking you would catch me in a *trickbag of a players game

Pushed to limits of civil thought, left with a criminal’s way

Laughing thinking that never the gun would flash and knife bleed

Lay down the weapons of flesh for the attack that brings to seed

A falcon’s wings now serve me better than a dragons breath

These three ends you chose for me: jails, institutions, and death

Homicidal fantasies I would loath to create a reality

I shun the sad you see I can never be your patsy

Flying high above the fray, killers killing each other to despise

I gather rising winds of peace beneath my tattered wings to rise


They almost had me, looking for a vulnerable spot with hate

Finding my weakness, a harbinger of danger to reveal my strength

They came against me as one, now they run in divided derision

I enjoy the meal now, prepared in the presence of their incursion

Freedom is mine once again, in spite of me, in spite of them

Caught away by spirits leading, the world of success my diadem


*trick bag – setting someone up to do things they would normally never do using peer pressure, elicit substances, alcohol, women, or whatever means to manipulate.

The Queen – Chapter 9

Image credit: ciracar.com
We walked out of the camps, no glances this time, no questioning looks, instead I could feel respect, an empowering feeling, especially for a man like myself, merely a subject of the Queen. My Queen now followed me, letting me lead for the first time, she was still in control, and where else should a shield be, but in front? I walked confidently, knowing the way back, my pants sagging a little from the weight of the black piece stuck in my waistband. It was nice that they filed down the sharp edges of the sight and other areas that might snag should I pull it out quick. Now the knight had a weapon other than that of brute force. Experience told me that this gave me another form of attack, that of threat, just seeing it would cause others to think carefully of executing their nefarious ideas. I felt solid, strong, and honored. My queen was close, every so often when I slowed, she pressed against me and put her hand on my arm, letting her elegant fingers trace softly down my dark tanned skin, then grabbing me firmly before letting go. This Queen, how is it she learned to use every element to communicate? I knew that firm grip she gave was a vote of confidence, not of me, but of her skill in leading us. It was an assurance that things were as they ought to be. Though I was first, somehow I knew that physically being in front did not put me higher up, but put me more in her control. That didn’t matter, what mattered was, tasting her again, pressing my mouth roughly against her, leaving a trail of wetness down her tattoo. I physically smacked myself to pull out of the day-dream, she looked surprised at the move, in fact jumped a little. I looked at her and made references to the bugs flying about, but surely she knew that this is the reason I worked my mundane, back-breaking job, to guard her and escape from the listless world that was mine, outside this Queen’s castle.


Related Posts: The Queen,  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10,  Part 11,, Part 12, Part 13

 Also published in: Broowaha

The Queen – Chapter 9

Image credit: ciracar.com
We walked out of the camps, no glances this time, no questioning looks, instead I could feel respect, an empowering feeling, especially for a man like myself, merely a subject of the Queen. My Queen now followed me, letting me lead for the first time, she was still in control, and where else should a shield be, but in front? I walked confidently, knowing the way back, my pants sagging a little from the weight of the black piece stuck in my waistband. It was nice that they filed down the sharp edges of the sight and other areas that might snag should I pull it out quick. Now the knight had a weapon other than that of brute force. Experience told me that this gave me another form of attack, that of threat, just seeing it would cause others to think carefully of executing their nefarious ideas. I felt solid, strong, and honored. My queen was close, every so often when I slowed, she pressed against me and put her hand on my arm, letting her elegant fingers trace softly down my dark tanned skin, then grabbing me firmly before letting go. This Queen, how is it she learned to use every element to communicate? I knew that firm grip she gave was a vote of confidence, not of me, but of her skill in leading us. It was an assurance that things were as they ought to be. Though I was first, somehow I knew that physically being in front did not put me higher up, but put me more in her control. That didn’t matter, what mattered was, tasting her again, pressing my mouth roughly against her, leaving a trail of wetness down her tattoo. I physically smacked myself to pull out of the day-dream, she looked surprised at the move, in fact jumped a little. I looked at her and made references to the bugs flying about, but surely she knew that this is the reason I worked my mundane, back-breaking job, to guard her and escape from the listless world that was mine, outside this Queen’s castle.


Related Posts: The Queen,  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10,  Part 11,, Part 12, Part 13

 Also published in: Broowaha