And How Would You Know?

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I came across this site [https://www.futureme.org] which allows you to compose an email and have it delivered to your future self at a date you determine. Being a natural risk taker, I bit.

Before I did, I poked around and read some of the public emails members shared to their futureselves. I wasn’t too impressed.

Turns out most people think they know what’s best for themselves years down the road despite not having one piece of information on the claim and knowing next to nothing about their futureself they lecture. I mean the nerve of some folks.
I found it all arrogant and disrespectful to an elder and rude behavior toward strangers, which is what our futureselves are. It’s best to stay out of peoples business you know nothing about. Then, I’m funny like that.

Wish they had one where the futureself could email the presentself. Now that’d be useful.

At any rate, I fired off an email to my futureself to be delivered in a couple of years. I didn’t lecture my futureself, the last thing my futureself wants is some snot nose kid telling him what’s what in the world.

Motivation and Confidence

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Both come from familiarity with the self. When you know your limits and weaknesses therein lies your strength. Eliminating one less enemy to hold off from your flank and one less enemy is as good as a defeated one, so says Mr. Tzu. With your flank free and clear of threats, you can throw your reserves up front with the rest of the soldiers and archers and calvary and occupy new ground in front of you. Your kingdom now immensely larger allows you to focus only on what is achievable and possible according to your own clear judgment. Don’t forget your flank.

Dreaming is fine; pondering, even better. Practicality is a heartier investment in the longterm. Dreamers attempt to construct castles without knowledge of physical dimensions and rock hewing. Pragmatists build sturdy homes relative to the physical material accessible to them.

Patience is a virtue; procrastination is its evil twin. They look alike, even seem similar at first glance but the other one will rob you.

Repay your debts. That’s all.

Accept change; there’s no great evil in it but don’t tolerate the things that stay the same in consequence of change.

Defend the defensible. If there was no tradition, all new things would have been smothered in the crib.

Our spacetime, our now, is no more important than any time before and will be no less than any time after. Everything that happens, has happened, will happen is already familiar and a well recorded fact regardless of the race in whatever dimension of time, past, present, future, it occurred.

Think continually how many physicians are dead after often contracting their eyebrows over the sick; and how many astrologers after predicting with great pretensions the deaths of others; and how many philosophers after endless discourses on death or immortality; how many heroes after killing thousands; and how many tyrants who have used their power over men’s lives with terrible insolence as if they were immortal; and how many cities are entirely dead, so to speak, Helice and Pompeii and Herculaneum, and others innumerable. Add to the reckoning all whom thou hast known, one after another. One man after burying another has been laid out dead, and another buries him: and all this in a short time. To conclude, always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are, and what was yesterday a little mucus to-morrow will be a mummy or ashes. Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature, and end thy journey in content, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew.

Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.

Always run to the short way; and the short way is the natural: accordingly say and do everything in conformity with the soundest reason. For such a purpose frees a man from trouble, and warfare, and all artifice and ostentatious display (The Meditations, Marcus Aurelius).

Who’s Read Cormac McCarthy?

cormac-mccarthy-4.jpg Cormac McCarthy is a favorite writer of mine. Some don’t prefer him because of his dark and grotesque subject matter. His book Child of God is an example of that criticism. Here are two examples of a powerful piece of writing from Child of God:

Each leaf that brushed his face deepened his sadness and dread. Each leaf he passed he’d never pass again. They rode over his face like veils, already some yellow, their veins like slender bones where the sun shone through them. He had resolved himself to ride for he could not turn back and the world that day was as lovely as any day that ever was and he was riding to his death.

And

In the spring of warmer weather when the snow thaws in the woods the tracks of winter reappear on slender pedestals and the snow reveals in palimpsest old buried wanderings, struggles, scenes of death. Tales of winter brought to light again like time turned back upon itself.

I admit there were times while reading that book that I was repulsed. In fact, it gave me my fill of “the grotesque” for a while. I sat to order another one of his books Suttree but after reading a sample, I realized I wasn’t up for another marathon of flawed characters. However, I will certainly read it and probably sooner than later.

If McCarthy wrote about these things just to write about them, then certainly I would find him grotesque and flawed. So it helps to understand that McCarthy is a Southern Gothic writer and that genre uses dark metaphors, flawed characters and gray and dilapidated surroundings. The HBO series, True Detective is a perfect example. Also written by a young Southern Gothic writer, who grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The point being, there is another story beyond the one written being told. It’s a story about human nature, the depravity man is capable of and how sometimes dark circumstances are a lot of times bigger than we are. He’s showing you something in all that dark blackness. He’s telling you a story that you already know is out there. That there’s a stranger in you; in all of us…that a dog is only two meals away from being a wolf.

Other works I’ve read are No Country for Old Men and The Road. Both great works of writing. The Road especially so because of its subject matter, a post apocalyptic world. He brings to life the impossible and tells it like it really happened, albeit in a dark, dreadful fashion.

Those that may be unfamiliar with his style are surprised to learn that he uses very little punctuation (except for periods and commas, the latter only when absolutely necessary) and no quotation marks. To your mind’s eye that may seem confusing but believe it or not, after a few pages you quickly become used it. In fact, it’s pleasing to the eyes as things tend to flow naturally. He considers all the punctuation in today’s writing as a distraction and in his opinion, is unneeded and unnatural to the eye. Judging from his popularity, enough people agree.

Perhaps, I’ll come back to this and give some deeper thoughts on a specific book of his I’ve read.

Perhaps, you’d like to share some of your own if you got ’em.

Fending Off Snakes

In my hometown there was this family and once a year they’d host a big family reunion. They’d also invite the whole town. Anyone was invited and it didn’t matter who. They loved you anyway you came. The patriarch of the family hosted it at his place, which was more than suitable considering he owned at least 80 acres.

They’d cook huge amounts of food, slaughter a cow, a few hogs, and one year I remember, a few goats. Now, they did this out of their own generosity. That’s just how they were.

We’d play horseshoes, softball, and various other games. I bet my name that at any given time 50 to 75 people were there. One year, at least a hundred souls could be counted. In a town where there wasn’t but few hundred of us to start, you’d be inclined to call it quite the turnout.

All the men in the family tended to be large, now that I think about it, so did their women. Their kids, and there were a tribe of them, tended to be dirty and rough. Put it to you like this: Country people called them country.

But they were the nicest, simplest, God-fearing folks you could ever meet. They’d greet men with death grip handshakes and ladies got bone crunching bear hugs. Always happy to see a friend, even happier to meet a stranger. They were the quintessential example of small town country folks.

During one of those reunions that tribe of rough and dirty kids decided to swim and wrestle in the catfish pond. I’d could see them down there splashing, rolling, and dunking each other. I didn’t want any part of that muddy, murky hole. I know the men around me had to have seen them. The pond not being any further than 200 yards away.

At any rate, one of the wives came as fast as she could, which was not terribly, to where the men were sitting. Panting and panicking she exclaimed, “James y’all got to get them kids out of there! Daddy killed 28 water moccasins with his .22 while bush-hoging around that pond yesterday. He told me last night he counted at least that many he didn’t kill!”

To which James replied, “Well momma, I’m sorry but those snakes gonna have to fend for themselves. Those kids done claimed that pond.”

A brother added, “If I’s those snakes, I’d be looking for some where else to live.”

And that was it. The tribe survived and as far a I know, no snakes were harmed that day.

I cannot lie to you, friends. It all happened as written.

Happy Hour(s)

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I’d like to say I love to visit the place but I would be stretching the truth. I visit it because it is so close to my apartment. It’s mainly for that reason that I like to pull in there and enjoy a few. Sometimes the bartenders misjudge my mood. It’s not their fault that they can’t dissociate me from what I’m feeling. If I’m happy and friendly, it’s Jameson. If not, it’s Johnnie Walker Black on rocks.  They always assume Jameson when they see me and most of the time they’re right. However, there are other times when it is Black and I change the order.

I’m not being dramatic, here; it’s just the way it is. My Black days are just what you’d expect: the table against the wall, no conversation and no menu orders. The Jameson days I’m at the bar critiquing news coverage, elaborating on sports or helping out with cross world puzzles.

Which leads me to…

Mike has trembling hands. I never asked him why his hands shake. He does crossword puzzles and is a sports fanatic and is such a good fellow, well, I’d guess I’d nominate him for president. At any rate, I like to help him answer those up/down questions when I can.

Jerry is a lawyer, beard, long hair and seems to relish the dullness of the place. He’s not fussy or pretentious, but he’s vocal. He drinks IPA’s and solely focuses on sports. I think it’s an escape for him.

Then there’s Roger; now don’t go getting used to saying, “Roger”. He doesn’t like it. He’s a Brit but he lived more than thirty years in France. So he expects you to pronounce Roger with a very soft g; something Americans find trouble doing. He expects this even though he’s lived in America for twenty years!

He told me once, back in December, during the holidays he corrected a lady at the grocery store for wishing him a happy Thanks Giving. In short, he told her that he didn’t celebrate Thanks Giving and that not every one in this country does. Well, here I took exception. I imagined a simple server just being polite and here’s ol’ Roger setting a rube straight. I said, “Roger, it was easier for you to simply accept the kind gesture than to convince her she’d done something wrong. You live in America now. You are in her country, after all. Contrary to political correctness dogma, there are some expectations for all Americans. When in Rome,” I told him.

Roger’s an older gentleman, at least in his 70s,  so I don’t know if he liked my input. Too bad, he brought it up. Then, we don’t need to be too hard on Roger. He’s rich and has many surrogate children he’s sponsored and helped. He’s a good man.

George is a bartender/server there and he grew up in Ecuador and so is Max who speaks Portuguese as well as English, though I’m sure hew grew up here in  the USA. They both are fond of me and like me and I like them, too.

Then there is a girl who is very cute, too skinny, but cute. I never remember her name. She’s from the Ukraine and has a very long pony tail. I’m talking below-the-waste-long. She likes Vladimir Putin, too. She’s a darling. She has that east European slavic look; wide cheek bones, proportionately set almond colored eyes, perfectly placed above a cute nose and sexy lips.

Well just last week Max was late. Turns out he’d overslept. How you over sleep past 5 pm is a question I never bothered to ask him. At any rate, she was mad. I’d never seen this side of her, though I should I have known she was capable because women, no matter where they are from, possess naturally that special feminine prerogative. When it’s revealed, it’s a helluva thing. Well, she broke character and revealed it.

Anyhow, she’s going on and on about Max. He’s not answering his phone, he’s late too often, etc. So there we sit, lined across the bar, and she informs us that she has a place to be in an hour. Max being late put her in a very tight crutch. She’d have to get home and change and fix-up and do–as women will attest–all the things needed for her to beautiful.

Here’s the point I want to make out of all of this; and that is: Men-folk can be funny. First of all, we don’t care. Max could have been another hour late as far as we are concerned. However, when she remarked there might not be enough time for her to look pretty, every man in the joint fought over the chance to correct her. It’s an involuntary reaction for men.

It went like this.

“I have to go home and get ready. We have reservations. I can’t go looking like this. I need enough time to at least look pretty, it’s hard enough as it is.”

Well, that was it. No man, and certainly no group of men, would ever let that pass. Our response was.

“Well, that’ll take about 5 minutes, as pretty as you are.”

“You can go like you are if pretty is what you are after” (that was my line, thank you).

“Well, lucky for you it won’t take you no time at all.”

I don’t know. Men as a race are simple; peculiar, but simple.

Here’s me smoking a cigar while wearing a sweater vest. (No one made me do either).

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Chapter 1 Excerpt “The Dog”

I’ve shared an excerpt from chapter one of a story I’m tinkering with. I’m editing and finishing up chapter three. I’ld like to continue to post parts here and there as I move forward.

THE DOG

Lumps of sandstone sprouted up like half buried skulls. The high noon reflection off the dirt road gave the white farmhouse a rust colored hue. His car was safely parked a half mile away before the turnoff to an empty logging road about 100 yards past a great pine with a no trespassing sign nailed to it.

This wasn’t the first time he’d seen the house, nor the second. He’d been watching the house for three days. Lonely, isolated about eleven miles off Highway 10 just outside of Fordoche, Louisiana.

The silver buckle on the black leather medical satchel he carried in his right hand glistened. He held it out from his body as he stepped over the gaps in the cattle guard. By the time he made it to the mailbox, he was already damp with sweat. Two cowbirds stood like statues in the field looking past one another. Too hot to move; too stupid to fly some place else. The dog, a bulldog mix, lay in a ditch it had dug beneath the white oak. It sat with its tongue out dripping a wet puddle beneath its panting head. It gave a distressed whine and rolled its short ears back but made little effort to inspect him. It was too hot. The oak’s sprawling and ancient roots showed here and there, arching up before snaking back into the earth like great sand worms. Past the corner of the house, near the satellite dish, sat a lawnmower still as a tombstone surrounded by knee high Bahia grass.

He stepped up on the porch, waved a fly from his face and tapped on the screen door. She came from some place beyond the living room. The subfloor creaked with each step. Figurines on the shelves next to the door jingled faintly. She became visible in the doorway of the living room and smiled at him through the screen.

“Hello, can I help you?” she said politely through the screen. Her neck was exposed, her arms too. The dress and apron covered everything else. Visibly embarrassed by his unannounced visit, she patted her forehead and brushed her hair behind her ears. The side of her neck pulsed lightly from anxiety. She blushed. The sight of blood under her skin excited him. Before his eyes could give away the flashes of violence envisioned, he went straight to his pitch.

He told her he worked for a discount sales and packaging firm headquartered out of Denver. It had offices all over the country. A person could order straight from the firm’s catalog and save as much as thirty percent on household items. They even had childcare products: diapers, formula, toys and furniture. In so many words, all the things that should be affordable but aren’t to working families. The way he saw it there shouldn’t be a demand for his job. But here he was like a saint dispatched straight out of the burning sun.

The family was fine at the moment, she admitted. He’d walked seven miles this morning. He figured he could walk another seven more before dark. Wondered how far the nearest neighbor was. Well, she’d have none of that. She would at least allow him to do his job. “C’mon on in and let’s have a look at your brochure. I can’t promise anything other than a glass of water and some lunch if you’re hungry.” The spring slammed the screen door behind them.

The glass was already sweating, condensation forming a perfect ring on the newspaper. He took sips as the fan in the corner circled rotating back and forth spraying them with warm air. The black medical satchel sat on the floor between his feet. He removed his hat. She sat in a chair on the other side of the coffee table. His name was Lloyd. She knew a Lloyd, two in fact. One from church the other one was a friend of her husband. The two went to high school together. He worked in the oilfield and the two still went hunting when they could.

“I guess I should thank you for coming out here. I don’t know if I can be of any help to you though. My husband has to approve of any spending round here. He counts it out to the cent when I go grocery shopping. It’s the way he was raised, I guess. He works for the power line company, Red Fern. Ever heard of ’em? They got great benefits. Hurt his back last summer. They paid for the doctor and gave him eighty hours pay before they moved him to workman’s comp. After that, Dale said he wouldn’t work for no one else. He worked years before that for his daddy hauling timber and cutting firewood. Never made no more than two hundred a week. Cash. They had a real falling out a few years back. Dale broke his arm with an axe handle. That was before I knew him though. He don’t like to talk about that much. His daddy was a hard man, I gather.”

His head began to hurt and his mind raced. The sound of her words caused so much pressure to his ears he feared they would rupture. Great flashes of light stabbed through his eyes and into his brain. He grew sick. Terribly disturbed and panicked, he wondered if he had lost track of time. He glanced at his watch. Only a few minutes had passed since he sat down. Time had already stopped for her, though. He was the only one moving forward. He resolved himself from that fact. He sipped more water.

Then the baby started crying in the next room. “Excuse me, she’s up from her nap.”

He gripped the satchel’s handle tightly and raised it just inches off the floor before setting it back down. He did this again and again. Each drop matched each throb of the migraine in his brain. His skull felt fractured. He touched his forehead expecting to find a depression running across. He clenched his teeth.

He looked around the room as he held the glass to his temple. There on the wall, above the television, was a picture of her and Dale before the baby. Tiny angel figurines lined a shelf next to it. Further down the wall was Dale again holding a buck’s head upright by its antlers. The animals tongue hung down a foot. Its dead eyes gave a green shine. Dale smiled into the camera.

She came back with the baby on her hip. Its hair was matted from sweat. Its cheeks were red from heat. “You said you got some baby items in your brochure?”

She waited but the salesman did not speak. “I said, you mentioned earlier that you had baby items in your brochure.”

He raised the glass to his mouth before speaking. “Yes.”

END EXCERPT

I Invested in Land

I invested in land. I’m smarter than you and I know what I’m doing with my life and money. That’s a lie! I invested in land because my dad found it, told me I should buy it, and I had the money, so I did. Had being an important word. I’m broke now. Sold to the gentleman five states away! Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 8.37.23 PM That clump of trees, believe it or not, is 2.5 acres of land. But look how close I could live to my dad! Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 8.43.49 PM Thank God we get along now. In all seriousness, I plan to develop it. Whether that means selling it out in lots or finding a partner to build houses on it and splitting the acreage . I’m not quite sure what I’ll do at the moment. Like I said it’s an investment. Being that I bought it at floor price (it’s a long story) I plan to double my money at the least. I haven’t really considered living there. I’m looking forward more to the gamble, the turn around than I am at a place to hang my shingle. Lord knows land ain’t free and they aren’t making it like they used to! Or so I’m told.

Drinking Beer Out of Boredom

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I started drinking beer about fifteen minutes ago. Not to get drunk or anything. I still have Macallan left over for that. I mean I may get drunk. Too early to decide right now.

I’m drinking because I’m bored and I get pretty sick of myself sometimes. Which is kind of ironic now that I think of it. I spend a lot of time with myself. I stayed home from work today. In fact, all weekend it was just me and I. No women. No bars. We wrote and played the guitar. We read and watched some boxing too. Shared a bottle of Scotch Saturday night. Got up Sunday morning and cooked some eggs and sausage. We read and wrote some more the rest of the day. I blame me for the hangover.

I guess sometimes I get uppity, preachy, and judgmental. A real pain in the ass for me to be around in other words. Worrying about this or that, replaying this thing or that thing in my head that I did or didn’t do. Generally finding more ways to feel guiltier and shittier. I’m good at that. Maybe it’s just that this one bedroom apartment is too small for me and I. Maybe we were used to the nice home out in the suburbs with the kids. That’s gone now; sold it for the divorce.

I have this game I like to play. I reach rock bottom and then I kick myself over the cliff. Rock bottom isn’t good enough for me.

They say I’ll be happy one day. I give a damn about being happy. I’ll take whole any day of the week.

Sometimes when I get on a bender the few friends I do have say the same thing, “Think about your kids.” Hell, I do think about my kids. I think about them all the damn time. I dream about them too, which is lovely trying to go back to sleep afterwards.

Anyway, I finished my beer.

Can I Share a Chapter?

Below is a chapter from a story I’ve been writing. It’s in the Southern Gothic genre. Most people are familiar with the genre as “the grotesque.” The characters are typically flawed. The descriptions of the environment lends the reader to see it all gray, rundown, decrepit, etc. Throw in a deranged killer and you got yourself a story. Here’s a better description if you want more.

At any rate, I needed a scene to show naivety, ignorance and innocence. The locals are unable to grasp what is happening. They are ill-equipped to face the swelling tide of modernity and evil. It’s simply not in their nature. And so the dialogue, characters and behaviors below is their greatest attempt. It’s comical but only because it’s so ridiculous, depressing, and hopeless.

I’d like to share more, and perhaps I will. I’m curious to the reactions/feedback this might receive.

The Minds

There sat in the breakfast diner a collection of local souls. The counter lined a steady row of men drinking coffee, shoveling down pancakes and sausage. T-shirts pulled tighter than a drum over the girth of mid sections. Cigarette smoke poured as freely from black lungs as the black coffee poured by the black waitress. The sweetness of the syrup was just another thick smell in the admixture of all other ones coming and going. Years of accumulated grease, like coal soot, gave every surface a waxy sheen.

One small television mounted to the wall above kept their attention.

At a booth the four men could hear the news. Turns out Fordoche was famous, as famous as any other place in the world. Yeah, someone had seen two Channel Five vans from New Orleans this morning. Must be a big deal. Lord knows New Orleans got its own problems. Sure wish there’d be something better for them to write about. Suppose people don’t care too much about ordinary stuff. But a murdered woman and her baby, now that really gets people’s attention. Ought not be like that though. Well ought not be a lot of things. When it comes to life the only thing people take notice of are the exceptions. All else just gets a ‘good morning, how are ya,’ which don’t mean nothing anymore. Just politeness amongst strangers is all. No I wouldn’t in all my years expect to hear of something like this happening here. Don’t make no sense. Reckon we’ve all done some mean things during our time but this here, well something else is gonna have to be thought up. Ain’t got no words for it.

“Alright now, the four of you together. We can’t have no trouble here. Done got enough of it,” the black waitress motioned with her chin toward the television.

“Tish, we done too old and slow to cause any trouble. Sides, we are scared of you.”

Tish revealed a perfectly straight row of white teeth. “I just teas’n ya. Y’all need refills?”

The men took their coffee black, save one. He splashed it with milk. “What’s crazier, my nephew says they’s more of these kinds of killings. Down in East Baton Rouge over to Avoyelles. All women. It was down in Baton Rouge they found that young man in his living room. Been shot in the head but he was still alive. Neighbors found him. Fella came in and killed his wife and then killed his daughter. I guess he tried to kill him too afterwards. Way my nephew tells it, it’s the same man doing these killings. Called him one of those serial killers you see on TV. But y’all don’t repeat that. Charlie held me to my word.”

“I heard about that one. Some months back. Fella’s in a bad way. Come home to a nightmare, woke up in a bigger one. They got him at one of those funny farms. I guess he ain’t right no more. Can’t say I blame him. Can’t think of anyone who would be. Getting shot through the head on top of it all.”

“I told my daughter-in-law don’t you let anyone in that house during the day while Randy’s at work. No one. Randy drives for FedEx, y’all know. He’s gone a lot. Gave her one of my pistols. Me and Randy showed her how to shoot it last Sunday. That little lady even knocked over few cans.”

“She did? Little ol Becky did that?”

“She sure did. I says, Becky no matter who it is. I don’t care if it’s a man carrying a stack of bibles and wants to give you one for free. You don’t open that door. You call me and the police. I got grandbabies, y’all know. She understood. Hell, she’s scared too.

“That’s good. You did the right thing. Whoever this fella is, he’s a cowardly sonuvabitch. And a twisted one at that. Cutting up women, having is way with them. I hope they catch him. Did Charlie say they might know where he is or noth’in?”

“Naw, he didn’t say. ‘Course prolly wouldn’t tell me that much anyway. He don’t trust me like he used to. Just says the fella’s been driving up and down Highway 1 and 1o. They gather from the towns he’s killed in.

“Well fellas, I was fixin to go fish’n. Don’t really feel like it anymore. Reckon I’ll just go home instead. Tell Anette I said hi. Wife’s been asking about her. Says to tell you that she is in her prayers.”

“I’ll do that, Buck. It’s spreading faster it seems.”

The men filed out of the booth, walked past the row of backs and shoulders and the lone television mounted above them captivated its audience. An attractive woman was holding a microphone looking back at the local souls. Behind her was a farmhouse. Crime scene tape, vehicles of every sort in the driveway. She was out in front of Ol’ Jessup’s place, one patron noticed. Another recalled driving out past it last week. A sense of pride welled up in the new celebrities.

Fordoche was famous. It was now the exception to all other small towns like it.

The Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated

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It’s been a while. I’d like to say proudly that I’m still alive. How long has it been since I’ve poked my head up here; I can’t exactly say. I’d guess more than two years. Lot’s has changed in that time. I’m going through a divorce, now. Yep, after 9 years it’s over. She filed last week, I think.

She moved back to Texas, back during the summer. That means my kids live several states away. I fly home to see them every six weeks or so. That won’t change. I love them too much. Miss them, too. I’ll do and spend what I have to see them.

I guess my wife and I faced the music, as they say. Wasn’t much love there. Commitment, habit, obligation, sure; love, not so much. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Except they forget to tell you how bad it hurts when she takes your kids. My little girl asked the other night if I was coming home for Valentine’s Day.

I’m not.

I can’t.

Regardless, how does a fiver-year-old girl know what the meaning of Valentine’s Day is? Moreover, how on earth did she associate her far-away father with that date? It was enough to make me cry. It did, actually. I cry a lot these days. Not boohooing here and there like an emotional wreck or anything. I mean, just now and then my emotions catch up to me. So I cry. Which is fine, I guess. Should have cried before over several things. I just never did. So now, I guess like water, tears too follow the path of least resistance.

[I want to say here: I miss my people who used to come to this site and I to theirs]. 

Needless to say, I’ve had some long nights. Missed some work too because of them. Insomnia nearly ruined me last year. Taking up the guitar was the best thing I could have done for myself. I’ve explored every brand of Scotch sold in the US. I can give a very informed opinion on what is good and what isn’t (in case anybody cares to know).

I bought a new car, too. I’d say I spent more than I should have. None of it did me a bit good. Oh wait. There is some good, I suppose. I bought 2.5 acres of land down in Louisiana. I bought it sight unseen. Well that’s a little white lie. I flew in to look at it after I’d already agreed to buy it. So call it what you want. It’s mine now. I reckon I’ll sell it in lots or put a couple of houses on it and sell it for a profit.

One more thing, I finished grad school back in June.

But back to my marriage. I guess in the end it was all my fault. Isn’t it always the man’s fault? I could have been better. A better man and a better husband. I had a lovely wife. A sweet wife and a very caring mother. I’ll never speak ill of her. She’s the mother of my two beautiful children (contrary to some, I really do have beautiful children) and I respect her immensely. Why shouldn’t I?

Listen to this: She allowed me to stay at her parents during Christmas so my babies could have their daddy there for Christmas morning. After all the crap and the things worth keeping on the surface, she’s better than that. I’d die for this woman–even if I can’t stay married to her. I tell you hindsight is more than twenty-twenty; it’s an everyday kick in the ass. At any rate, I guess what I’ve listed has covered the past year. They say time has a way of scabbing over all the things that hurt. Why pick at it ?

Got some literature for you, something I drummed up while I was playing my hand at Southern Gothic. I’ll share more later. I’ve gotten quite a lot written down.

You know his first wife spent every penny he made. When he couldn’t make it fast enough she left him. Well that’s not all. She left him in debt, too. He says won’t let no other women do that to him again. I can believe it. I been asking for a car just so I can run errands during the day. I can’t even get him to talk about it long enough for me to convince him. I guess he thinks I’ll up and run off too. Men are strange. Spend their whole life looking for a woman like their mamma then spend the rest of it treating her like his little sister. I tell you real life ain’t nothing like soap operas. Men can be mean.