The Love Poem I Can’t Seem to Write (Songs for My Tribe)

The Love Poem I Can’t Seem to Write (Songs for My Tribe)
06/29/2017, Deon Mumple

It’s still not good enough, I’ve written the same poem four times now.
I keep trying to say it just right, keep trying, but I don’t really know how.
How do you say this thing, this feeling? What are the right words?
I don’t want to say the same sounds I know you’ve already heard.

It didn’t turn out those times before, when your hope needed fulfilled
And those last two times, when you swore, no more, after the dream was killed
I don’t want to be that way,  I want to be different, and never see you hurt
But I know the times I’ve failed before, don’t trust me,  trust me, you’ll get burned

I’ve written this poem five times now, just trying to say it right
I want to make the promises and keep them, so we always win the fight
I want to be superhuman, and be heroic, but at the same time, be real,
But I don’t feel real; I’m up and down without flying, can’t even control how I feel.

I’ve written this poem six times now, and it’s never going to be perfect
The same as I know about you and me, but I’m not, and you’re not, and we’re not.
I’m afraid, you’re afraid, it’s not going to work, but I hope you’ll give it a shot.
Like this poem, I’m trying to write it right, and keep on writing it wrong,
Me versus verses that don’t have choruses, and a form that’s far from correct
Sometimes even the best composers build a bridge to write a decent love song.

I’ve written this poem seven times, this is the last time, then I’m through.
It may never be exactly right, about like trying on the wrong sized shoe,
But if a hope is just deferred but somehow I know it was meant to come true,
Maybe mixed up words will make the longing fulfilled, so I can win and keep you.

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Progress and Practice (Fear, Faith, & Medicine)

Progress and Practice (or, Fear, Faith, & Medicine)

I held very still in the palm of her hand, waiting;
I wanted to feel warmth, and give myself completely;
Alternately heard and then muffled, her, debating,
As her hand opened and closed, surrounding me softly…

He shook with tears, blew his nose, I waited, bottled, trapped,
He knew firsthand what doctors knew he’d feel, like dying,
Except, not reaching the end of dying, living, sapped,
Wondered if they’d like a taste of what he was trying…

The terror of being the lab rat, experiment,
So caringly sympathetic to my stress, illness-
To my face, a clinical, practiced sentiment. Then,
I’m observed distantly: measure blood, symptoms, careless…

Somehow this is supposed to cure, while making me ill;
These too expensive bottles, white-capped, an ocean’s wave,
Clean, belying coughing, vomit, blood, and worse, they spill.
Dispelling “bad symptoms,” but pushing me toward the grave…

When medicine was spiritual a shaman might
Try to drive the evil out with inhospitable
Circumstance, ending by ending the poor patient’s life.
The new “practice’s” toxic stew still may be fatal.

I wish you could understand, see that I’m not crazy;
Discover the root causes, extract only what’s bad,
Without, in treatment’s process, nearly murdering me ,
And adding symptoms that are far worse than what I had.

I waited, a poisoned bead, slow-built fatality,
Or, harsh key, ill-fit, but closest to miracle cure,
In the bottle, in the fist, trusting in chemistry.
Despite modern progress, still, much is faith, to be sure.

She told herself the little dots would make her better.
He told himself the side effects were worth the benefit.
She smiled, mouth dry, wishing that water could feel wetter.
He swallowed, knowing, thinking, “Here it comes.  Wait for it.”

06/27/2017, Deon Mumple

I wrote this after hearing my mum talk about certain choice symptoms of some of the medicine dad was prescribed, that she had to clean after, and after watching “The Bucket List,” a charming movie with Jack Nicholson (The Joker) and Morgan Freeman (God) both dying of cancer.  For the record, if the question ever came to your mind, I like good coffee, but I won’t drink Kopi Luwak or its cousin Black Ivory.  Thanks for sharing, mum.

Rainy Friday

It’s Friday and I have an acre and a quarter of grass that I want to mow by tomorrow.  All I have are two push mowers, and one of them is shit.  Tomorrow is Saturday and I should just hide under the blankets, hope for favorable treatment from Mrs. M, then go back to sleep, sleep in, and rest, until the kids and the dog bring us our breakfast in bed.  But I’ve got shit to do, so we’ll fake it if we can, and I’ll accept whatever treatment comes.

The problem is not that I’m depressed, although you could probably prove that if you wanted to.  There’s enough shit in my life for three people, and I know damned well that other people have things much worse in their lives.  I can’t be depressed though.  I shouldn’t be.

The problem is, in part, that I’m IN a depression.  There’s a fucking tropical depression sitting outside this building I work in, pissing buckets of wetness all over the grass which makes it 1) grow faster, and 2) harder to fucking mow because it’s heavy, wet  and clumpy, sticks like gross green painted textured glue to the undercarriages of the mowers and has to be scraped off like shit off a shoe, only heavier because have you tried to lift a lawn mower?  My boots are heavy enough.  Less smelly though.  But even heavier because of the weight of the clumpy wet shit, and harder to get off because of the dull blade in the way.

I refer of course to my dad’s old mower that cuts only slightly better than a spinnning stick because he hasn’t sharpened it in years and has a stick and a scraper he used to use to “clean it out” when he was mow-tivated to mow, and to my new-ish mower I got probably 8 years ago that’s never even had a tune up.   That’s one of the reasons I shouldn’t be depressed, or two if you think of mine that still starts on the first pull, and his as a back up in case mine eats rocks and trees and dies.  Another is that it’s raining so I “don’t have to mow the grass,” except I DO have to mow the grass, but I have to do it later than I want, possibly sometime next week if I can fit that into the schedule, after the jungle has sprouted in my dad’s back yard but it’s drier.

I finally saw Moana last night, with The Rock, who sounded wimpier and more like Jack Black  than Dwayne Johnson to me.  Who the fuck cares about the rest of the cast?  Whatever.  I don’t get excited about a 12 year old princess character or a slightly curvier goddess character.    And I was disappointed not because of the “offensive obesity of the Polynesian god character” portrayed by, um, we’ll go with, “Po.”  If you haven’t seen it, this is your only spoiler alert.  Stop reading now.  No, really, right now.  Don’t read another word.  I was disappointed because he was a little bit wimpy and a little abusive through a lot of the movie, and I hope Dwayne hasn’t gone that way.  I’m sick of wimpy guys who act more like impotent slugs than men, or, wimpy guys who abuse women because they have no fucking control over themselves.  If you’re playing one of those characters, fuck you.  That’s right, Dwayne, or Jack Black, or whoever the fuck you were.  And even worse, Chief Tui, who 1) sounds like something I spit out, and 2) was wimpier than the fucking chicken.  LAME.  I don’t need to see more metrosexual, non-sexual guys to train myself to wimp out.  I already WANT to quit. Sometimes.  Except, not really.  I want to be a fucking bathed-in-the-blood-of-my-enemies- killer-warrior-beast.  But for that I have to be a lot stronger a lot more often.  In my movies I want to see more guys with real character, strength, integrity, virtue, principles, something women and kids can look up to that’s noble, instead of just bull.  And no more wimps who are afraid to fight and let their kids walk all over them and their women do all the fucking work.  Lazy ass holes!  Stop acting like scared little boys and helpless little women, and be fucking MEN!

The randomness of the reference isn’t entirely random.  Nature isn’t some tame, sweet, almost curvy jailbait looking immature girly goddess Te Fiti, nor some horrible, raging, fire-throwing heartless bitch, most of the time, and ocean and lake and river water isn’t a mischievous but well-meaning semi-animate-life-force-y thing.  Nature has a few really good days, like it’s partly cloudy but mostly sunny and you can wear your hottest bikinis without getting a wicked sunburn, ladies (please!), and I can go (sigh!) mow fucking grass all day and finish the whole damned acre and then some and not have time to watch you ladies being all perfect as you all always are.  And then nature has a few randomly really shitty days, like scorching heat and drought, famine, freezing icy snow and avalanches, earthquakes, volcanoes, wind, tornadoes, hurricanes and tidal waves and mudslides and other killer-type shit. (Oh, my!)  Most of the time, nature is not growing pretty edible plants without provocation, she’s spreading damned thistles, thorns and weeds on autopilot.  And randomly raining at times when, just coincidentally, I’ve gone to mow the grass or trim the hedge at Mum’s or tried to plant one of the trees Mrs. M bought when she forgot about her tendencies toward a black thumb.

Nature?  She’s not always a murderous bitch, she just makes us mere mortals fight the pricks and feed our food plants plant food, or she makes those tiny, while growing weeds and thistles and other nuisance-trees and plants fucking HUGE without any plant food (why the fuck can’t it be the opposite?!).  And she loves killing Mrs M’s trees and rosebushes.  If I want a garden I have to fight the damned thistles for it.  And I do want a garden, not because it’s therapeutic, but because I want more food!  And water?  If you’re not careful it’ll swamp your yard, your house, and your car and leave you waiting on the roof for the rowboats or the helicopters, or worse, take you out for a ride on the riptide, or worse, just fucking kill you.  Yeah, that’s pretty fucking “mischievous and well-meaning,” isn’t it?

No, I shouldn’t be depressed, there are too many good things.  Well, semi-good.  Coffee is right up there, fighting for the top spot on the list.  My wife is beautiful, my kids are above average, and they should make me feel a smug self-satisfaction from being just a little bit more beautiful and above average than the average at Lake Woebegone.  I just wish the kids were a little more willing and able to help now as they’re home for the summer from high school, and a little less spongy and messy.  And I wish my lovely wife were a bit more than just a tempestuous tease; I wish she’d put the effort she wastes trying to be perfect (which she’s pretty close to) and trying to make everything perfect and bitching because I’m not, and her kids are not,  and becoming exhausted trying to chase the “Stepford” ideal, into say, putting out vibes of lust, unbridled passion, more frequent nudity, steak dinners, and cleaning the damn dryer lint.  When she’s awesome, she’s awesome, and a bottle of something somewhat less intoxicating than her lips came home with her last night from the store, and I will have to have some of that tonight.  And then there’s the way she handled an extra crisis for me while I was at work.  It was a personal crisis for me, and she just said, I’ve got it.  And $75 later, I could drive on something safer than that stupid baby-spare tire.  The ruined tire was old and dry-rotted, which makes me wonder what the one on the other side looks like on the inside.

The rain seems to have subsided while I was busy working, in between bouts of bitching about the rain.  My dog is probably suffering canine PTSD, really, seriously, he hates the rain more than me.  He’ll hide in the bathroom or under my desk at home if it rains, and God forbid it should thunder.  The rain all day kept making me think, “Go home, fucking tropics! You’re drunk!”

But all I can think of now that it’s not raining all I can think of is that I have to mow my own grass, and it’s too damned wet, and I have to mow mum’s grass and trim her hedge and that’s too damned wet and I hope it all dries out tonight.  But not me.  In between thinking about the stupid wet grass I have to mow, and the trees I have to plant so they can get busy dying, I started thinking about the bottle at home, and I’m now starving and wondering what’s for dinner.  (steak and true and reciprocal love?)  So, I’m done here at work, and I’m thinking, “Go home, Deon, you fucking idiot! You’re not drunk!”

Those lips though, I’m a little tipsy just thinking about them.

Have a great weekend.  I hope I do, too!  I might let you know.  I might not let you know, though.  Because if something good happens and I talk too much about it, it may never happen again.  I may just quietly celebrate.  If it doesn’t happen, you’ll (probably) be the first to not know.

I Learned This

I didn’t write anything at all on Father’s Day,
But rested instead, in a quirky, working way,
I did everything just like my dad showed me,
Before he started to lose the man who he used to be.
I pray that the harder struggle doesn’t happen to me,
But I see clear signs all around me already.
He used to be so strong, and worked so very hard,
At his job, at church, for friends, or strangers, or in the yard,
I can see that more than he loves himself, he still loves us,
His kids, his wife, and surviving friends, He’s my image of Jesus,
When he was younger and stronger he set the tone
Expecting respect, demonstrating grace and love, until we had grown
And always showing love for my mum that still gleams in his eyes
Despite the frustrations that can still make them both cry
I learned this.

So I worked in the yard and the house on Father’s day
Resting hands in the dish soap, in the garden, at play
And I flirted with her;  ’til it hurt when she pushed back,
But I loved past the point when I felt her attack
And I don’t understand how, but I love the same way
Sometimes it works out, it’s what dad would say
The kids disrespect and the wife says things harshly
And occasionally she sees me hurt, says she loves me,
Then offers something different than she knows I really wanted
Because love sometimes translates, and sometimes it doesn’t
If I only know how to speak love with the tongues of mere humans
Ending with surrender, I miss the mark by even farther then
I have to do more than say it to make it really count
Say I’m crazy, but love’s worth blood and pain, any amount
I learned this.

Instead of intent and accomplishment, I gave up and spent
Time to show love, and then our time came and went
To say it, to be it, an example to my kids, and proof to her
That I meant the words of my vow, just like my father
Mum’s frustrated; He says he can’t do it, I feel his discouragement,
As strength that once filled him is replaced by bones, bent,
He gets tired easily instead, now in slow, aging decline,
And his legs hurt sometimes, I’m sure much worse than mine.
She and I did mundane things, held hands, being together
I missed my chance to mow the grass, caught by stormy weather
I can’t get frustrated.  It’ll have to wait until another day
Another time, because love’s worth the time, and any price I’ll pay
I learned this.

A kind word, and laughter, are stronger than strength
I want a legacy of love that outlives my life’s length
But I begin to realize the things I can’t do still
That I used to just do; now I still try; I always will
Offering guidance with a gentle hand, a story, a joke meant
To distract but discipline, train by encouragements spoken
There are and will be days when I want my way, for me
But more often that’s not how I hope to be in their memory
They see me, discouraged, and I get up again, disappointed by
Life, and I get up again, I smile, fall and get up, trying to try
And fail, and try until I win, or die, I want to leave this
They see me discouraged, and angry, I cry, shoot and miss
The mark, but I keep on trying, fighting my pain with rage
Because I’ve seen deep meaning behind trying as I age
I learned this.

My dad is old and sometimes, too tired to try again,
I’ve seen him want to surrender, depressed, and then
To spite the lie, the warrior’s glint in his eyes flashes
Rage to raise to his feet again, teeth grind and gnash as
He tries anyway.  Despite all the negative-he may fail
When he feels disappointed, left alone after betrayal
“A righteous man falls seven times,” and gets up again
I may never be righteous; failure feels like all I’ve ever been
But I want to get up, love, and fight, when I remember his life
She doesn’t speak his language well, but she’s still his wife.
Not all of this is shown perfectly, by either my father or me,
But it’s worth the effort, if generations grow, learning to see
That noble struggles with life, with their personal humanity
Are the ongoing examples they ought to choose to leave.
I learned this.

Thanks, Dad.
~Deon

Holy Near Misses, Batman!

In the wake of our recent loss of Adam West, my first Batman, it felt like a fitting tribute to his legacy.  Personal character issues aside, as an actor in the campy show, I liked him.  And I also did see him in Family Guy.  I missed most of his other work, and will not go looking for it.

Remember how I told you that my relationship with God seemed to be taking an upturn? Well, I’m still feeling the depression.  I forgot to take my stupid meds this morning on my rush to get to work on time.  So there’s that.  But…

Since you tuned in to this same Bat Channel, at this random Bat Time, I’ll tell the tale.

There were strong storms near the bunker last night a few hours after work.  I took the opportunity to go to see mum and dad, and arrived before the rain.   So, nothing could be done outside.  The power went off, so I wasn’t getting the mum-cooked meal either.  They reported the outage, the rain stopped for the most part, and Mrs M started calling and texting furiously to get me to come home.  So I left.  In mum and dad’s neighborhood they have some older trees, and one of them took the opportunity to fall, right across the driveway, and missed my car by about 6 feet.  I was able to drive on the grassy shoulder to get around it, and get home.  And that is the unemotional narrative of what happened.

Not this:
https://giphy.com/embed/xTiTnewMZL1EKAkRnW via GIPHY

I checked with mum, and their power is back on today, and some people are cutting up that tree, so I don’t have to do that.  I should wait and see if some people want to mow the rest of that acre for me.   …I’m not holding my breath.

That tree, though.  I actually knew about the tree.  It was dead, and my dad had plans to cut it down.  It was close to the street, lurked casting an ominous shadow on some homes, including theirs, and he, being older and wiser, had asked for some help from one of the neighbors, when they had time, to cut it down.  They agreed and said that would happen (at some undetermined future date). But that didn’t happen, so this happened.  I was concerned it would fall on the house, or fall and smash a car, possibly mine.  But instead, as if pushed by a large hand, it fell.  Not in the direction of the wind, from west to east, but from north to south.  I’ll let you soak that in.  No human preparation had precipitated that.  I had researched how to do it right, and when I could get a chainsaw, I was going to notch the tree to make it fall and my plan was to have it fall exactly where it fell “on its’ own,” without notching and cutting.  No human-planned physics.

You tell me, it was bugs and rot and maybe a gust blowing hard enough to make it fall. Science explains everything.  Yeah, but you’re a skeptic.  I would be, but I’ve seen too many things, though not quite often enough for me personally, go unexpectedly right. Am I satisfied with life?  Um… No.  But can I call this anything less than miraculous?  Um…  No.  Fuck you, science, you can’t explain, when I know damned well the wind was from west to east, how a tree falls due south, strategically timed to fucking miss EVERYTHING it could have smashed.  It missed the house, it missed the car, it even missed the damned hedge.  And it missed me.

When the universe fucker has free rein, it seems like he’s “coming for [me], and hell’s comin’ with [him.]”  But yesterday, my car wasn’t smashed, the other likely victim – mum and dad’s house – wasn’t smashed, and I wasn’t smashed.  So fuck you, universe fucker.  And thank you, God.  I’m just saying.

https://giphy.com/embed/r83cwYU2bs1CU via GIPHY

Maybe I didn’t win the lottery (shit!).  But what are the odds of a tree falling the wrong direction and missing the obvious targets in its’ path in the direction it SHOULD have fallen?  So I don’t have $500M (shit!).  But I’m alive, my car is OK, and the house is all right and now, new and improved, with a new backyard transformer, providing electricity.  So tonight, I’m going to mums for a mum-cooked meal.  Oh hey, God?  Could you arrange for no more falling trees?  I mean, sigh of relief and thank you and all, but HOLY NEAR MISSES, BATMAN!!!

It’s gotta catch up with us all sometime.  I was horrified by the news yet again.  Their news team commercial for the morning specifically says they’re “all local, all morning,” but they sure as shit reported the big apartment fire in London three times in 30 minutes.  Bastards.  And those poor people in the apartment!  It caught up with them.  And by “it,” I mean the damned universe fucker.  Death comes to us all, even Batman.  But with the odds that were beaten by the tree, maybe I should buy an early lottery ticket for one of their tiny prizes, to see if my “luck” is on a roll.

Maybe Adam West’s bat-angel was sent to use an invisible bat-grappling hook and bat-rope, and his other …bat-shit? … to pull the tree down and stop the universe fucker in his tracks.  Yeah, that.

https://giphy.com/embed/DPvxxlQqrzgwE via GIPHY

Feels Like Writer’s Block

This
Feels like
Writer’s block
But not the same
I could write something
But it wouldn’t be good
I’m not “inspired.”
Could be just me
Or maybe
Things just
Suck.

6/13/2017 Deon Mumple

OK those of you who only like the poetry can go away now, 1,2,3,4,5,6,5,4,3,2,1.

When Jim Morrison was alive, there was apparently an incident at a concert, and from one I recently attended it probably really did happen.  No, not THAT incident, if you’re a Doors fan.  It probably happened nightly at the concerts.  The fans were at the stage yelling out that the band should play that one specific, popular, well-known song.

If  I did a poetry concert and all you wanted to hear was your favorite poem, and you yelled from the audience and everyone only wanted to hear the one poem, I’d be depressed.  I’d like to think I’m more than just a one-hit wonder, not that any of my writing is that great, but that I’d like to think it.  You paid the admission price, got your ticket because you like the performer and want to hear what they want to say.  Sure, you will probably get to hear the popular thing, but think- the performer has more to offer than that.  They have more of a message than just the one popular thing.  There are things you don’t know about them.  And if you like the one thing, and the style, maybe you’d like the other things they have to say.

Maybe not.  In which case, go ahead to the concert and command the performer!  “Dance, Monkey, DANCE!!”

There’s an inspiration behind the poetry; there’s a narrative behind the narrative.  What you see on Youtube or the news or hear on your favorite music feeds doesn’t tell enough of it.  There’s more than just that.

In the same way, there’s an inspiration behind me washing the dishes (or not) and the laundry (or not) and in general, experiencing any kind of joy in life that motivates me to work, or serve, or help.  If that inspiration turns out to be fake, or misguided, or dwindles over time, or less than I need or hope for or expect, you might find my motivation diminishes over time as well.  Eventually, if the gas tank doesn’t get refilled, the car runs out of gas.  Eventually, if you don’t take the car to the mechanic, Penny, the check engine light you have taped over will turn out to mean something (Big Bang Theory, S2E5).  There’s a repository, we’ll call it full-service-fuel.  Every time you receive full-service of some sort, the repository loses some of its fuel.  If that tank doesn’t get refilled, with the right kind of fuel, eventually it runs dry and full-service slows down, or stops entirely, or is broken,

The inspiration behind this blog is to vent, so I don’t care that I only have two real readers, but it would be nice to have a few more.  But when you visit, I hope you’ll do more than just rush the stage chanting like rabid fans, “Dance, Monkey, DANCE!”

I hear “Dance, Monkey, DANCE!” from a variety of sources.  Work is one, and frankly, I just don’t give a shit any more and I hope something better comes along but I’m not very hopeful.  I hope they don’t fire me, because finding a new job sucks ass.  Change sucks ass.  On the other hand, maybe it would be better after I got over my rage and depression and got off my ass and looked for something better.  Maybe I would find it, but I’m not betting on that contingency just the same as I figured I probably lit $4 between the past 2 weeks on lottery tickets.

Mrs. M and the kids are either very slowly learning that my tank is running on “E” with the check engine light on, or they’re about to suddenly learn it.  In their own ways, they either drain me or sustain me, and the demands from the audience are frankly depressing.  They got in free. They didn’t pay shit for their admission, and they expect a great show, and backstage passes with access to me, my band, our food and snacks and beverages, not to mention all of my damned Skittles, and give nothing in return.  They don’t really want to interview me except to ask about their favorite song.  They don’t want to take the dog for a walk, or take the trash out, or wash the dishes, or vacuum, or mow the grass, or empty the fucking lint filter on the dryer (or wash their laundry), etc.  Well, I played and danced for a long fucking time, and gave encores until you obviously didn’t know the lyrics any more.  The concert is over, the performer is tired, so fuck off unless you start the fan club when you go back to your home town, buy the recordings, help out a little around the house instead of proving your talents as lounge lizards, and hey, Mrs. M, how about a little enthusiastic something extra special back in the dressing room once in a while before you bitch about how tired you are and how late it is and how hard you work and what you don’t like giving but you like when people give to you, and before you go off to sleep and leave me to do more “dancing?” (with myself, see also, Billy Idol).  In another draining way, my stupid homeowners association.  I mean, what the fuck do you do besides take my money and tell me my yard looks like shit when it rains too hard and fast, or tell me my yard looks like shit when it doesn’t rain at all.  All you do is drain and there’s no return for my investment.

There should always be a return on my investment, and it shouldn’t be intangible, because intangible is bullshit.

If you didn’t read to the end, good for you.  I hope you quit reading a few paragraphs before the previous paragraph, because after that it’s just more shit.  If you did read to the end, two things:  First, I’m very sorry.  And second, I appreciate you and your support.  I’m sure it’s just the depression talking, mostly.  But fuck it, that’s what motivates me because there’s little else until the next mania.  The lack of motivation blocks me from sensing that I’ve accomplished anything even if I have.  It’s not exactly writers block, because I just wrote this shit.  I even took my meds this morning.  Fat fucking lot of good it did.  Or, maybe it did what it’s supposed to do and I’d feel even more worthless if I hadn’t taken it.  Meh.  Enough.

And if you read the whole thing, I’m sorry for de-motivating you from commenting.

The Evils of Daydreaming, Gambling, Using the Internet, and Other Social Sins

As the Powerball Lottery in my geographic region just went over $400M, I again started to daydream about winning that shit.  I bought a single ticket, because my chance is just as good as any other person’s chance.  And on Sunday we sang a praise song about how nothing on Earth is quite as good as anything in Heaven.  The message from the song was clear, the message from our pastor was clear, and in my notes I wrote it:  “Faith in God makes your perspective about our earthly struggles much clearer, but it doesn’t do shit about fixing them. You have to muddle through just like everyone else.”  Struggles, he might have just as well said problems, frustrations, disappointments,  pain, or whatever other “big picture” word you can pick.

On Friday night, I rested my sore ass after working hard all week at this same shit job, and doing a half-assed job with house work, because my back was twitching and unmedicated.  Literally, I hurt from back to legs, just enough to twitch when I tried to stand and walk.  And that’s just truth, not a complaint.  I endured, and that’s not a complaint either.  I’ll explain in a second.

At least I’m not a plumber, because then my shit job would be a literal shit job.  I don’t mind dealing with my family’s shit, but I really don’t want to deal with a world of shit.  So, I celebrated my tiny shit job ending for the week, and had a tall glass of lemonade while wishing my back would stop hurting.  If I had copay money, I might know a good chiropractor, but instead I tried stretching and waiting, because it’s cheaper.  On Saturday, I mowed a half-acre of grass and did some volunteer work, the completion of which were their own reward.  And I drove home from these tasks, took a hot shower, and rested my sore ass.  This time I had grape kool-aid, because we had finished the lemonade and I got to choose.  There’s still my quarter-acre and the other half of mum’s acre, so 3/4 acres to mow this week if I can fit it in.  And, at least I’m not a landscaper or mowing service, because having it as a job means that’s got to be done to earn money, and it was too hot to do anything Sunday.  Imagine being out in the hot sun all summer long and then, when the landscape business dries up with the spring and summer rains, you do something else to earn money I guess.  Engine repair, sharpening lawn mower blades… (“Mmm hmm…,” brain flashed back to Sling Blade’s Billy Bob Thornton character), driving a snowplow and hoping for snow, vs. the rest of us, wary commuters who are hoping the snow and ice only falls on the dormant grass and not the streets, sidewalks and driveways.

It’s barely summer, just getting hot enough to notice.  So, I’m still mowing grass, not shoveling snow.  I recall in prior, winter storms, when the snowplow played an amusing game with me.  I’d diligently shovel my driveway and sidewalk, and the plow would barrel down the street when I finished, and pile that shit off the street and onto my driveway and sidewalk.  Only the second round was packed down, and usually icy, so if I didn’t go right back out and shovel again, it would freeze and make my driveway worse than before I shoveled the first time.  I say, “amusing.”  I mean, something else.

And you know, with my personal mental issues, that in the moment of having to do the thing I just spent the time getting done right, a-fucking-gain, I was not particularly celebrating the opportunity.   I mean, I get cranky when my kids don’t do shit, which is all the time, I get frustrated when my wife doesn’t do shit I want her to do, which is all the time, and I get a good rage on when I do something and it falls apart and makes me repeat the process.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Tie my shoestrings, I knot the damned things and I’m still walking on sunshine the damned strings by the end of the day.  Bless my heart, my feet are different sizes, profoundly so, and I therefore can’t wear slip on shoes, they just fall off.   And I re-tie my shoestrings again.

Guess what?  The nature of life, I’m told, is that things routinely happen to cause people to have to, for example, re-tie their shoes, or re-wash a dish that accidently shifts from strainer to soapy water, or re-vacuum or mop a floor someone tracks dirt deposits on.  Well, to turn an urban phrase, “I ain’t down wit dat.”  I don’t even want to do it the first time, do NOT make me have to do it twice.  Or three times.  Imagine my consternation with throwing something in a straight line to the trash, from a foot away, and missing.  Three times.  I stand, my back hurts.  I bend.  My back hurts.  I pick it up.  I hover over the trash, release, it sticks to my finger the first time and misses.  The second time it hits the rim, and misses.  FUCK!  I mean, you can laugh, but my back hurts.

We are supposed to struggle, says my pastor.  Well, fuck that.  I get to a point struggling when I am broken, quicker than your average schmuck, and I want to quit.  We are supposed to endure.  I have that down to a science.  And yet, fuck that too.  I know he’s telling us the truth, but I don’t want it to be that way.  I don’t like being broken.  I don’t like struggling.  It’s most often not worth the reward I receive for struggling, at least not in this life.  He never did get around to telling us WHY we’re supposed to struggle and endure.  I do it for Mrs M and the kids.  I do it for a select few of my readers, you know who you are.  And I do it as a matter of personal satisfaction.  And maybe that’s the point.  “…patient [fucking] endurance…” (I just misappropriated Revelation 14:12, if you’re keeping score.)

My church seems to really have an issue with what I do with my money.  I watched my tithe check go into the offering plate, written by the lovely hand of Mrs. M. herself.  I need to mention it, because I know some people love to walk in smug self-righteousness, stand in the crowd of the proud holier-than-thou people, and sit in judgement. (I just appropriated Psalm 1:1, if you’re keeping score.)  Anyway, at the risk of inflating my pride, my “widow’s mite” of a tithe went in, not that it was very much.  But my $2 went for a lottery ticket, because there is a chance.  I myself took a dim view of the lady who claimed to have spent the month’s rent payment on lottery tickets back when it was a billion dollars.  Because that’s just dumb, even if it IS a billion dollars, what do you do when you don’t win?  Your landlord still wants that money.  Rumor has it she tried to crowd-fund, and almost got away with that except that she implied she’d do it all over again and this wasn’t a one-time impulsive dumb mistake that she learned from.

My bills have to get paid. Even the ones I rescued from a random box Mrs M stuck them in, in an effort to clean house, or in an effort to forget them.  I…. don’tunderSTAND!
Image result for james kirk
I …don’tunderstand!!

I like a clean house, don’t get me wrong, but don’t lose the house while you’re putting things “away.”  “Away” is not in a random box you plan to sort through when you get around to it.  The bill collectors do not care that you don’t know where it is or how much you owe, they just want to get paid.  “Patient [fucking] endurance.” (that’s two)  On the plus side, I found the fucking bill and put it somewhere it might be found in time to pay it.

Anyway, the point is, I try to be responsible with money, and get the bills paid as well as I can, and then I keep a tiny reserve of a few bucks a week to spend, sometimes.  Or give to the kids if they need a little money.  I don’t go out to eat, so I might buy a lottery ticket if the jackpot is ridiculously high.  Which is to say, anything over a few hundred million.  So yes, if you keep score, I wasted $2 last week, because my numbers were not drawn.  I’m wasting another $2 this week, unless I win, in which case you’ll change your tune and call it “investing.”  And bet me that even those sanctimonious, richer-than-thou pricks who caught lucky breaks and make boatloads of cash more than me, will turn from their pious down-nose-gazing judgement and be all chummy with me if I do.  And watch their stunned faces when I tell them to fuck off.  Along with the richie-riches who didn’t help me when I humiliated myself and asked them for help.  And the ass holes who put the shit on my credit report, not during the big financial crisis that led to the above humiliation, but after I worked my sore ass off and paid a little of that shit off, will be charged at least 30% interest if they want to borrow from me.  It’s almost as good as they offered, the bastards.

And the ones who actually DID help me will be paid back with interest, or given a gift and they’ll have to figure out what to do with it.

But yeah, gambling is evil, if it’s your addiction.  It’s not mine, because 1) the house always wins; and 2) I can’t afford to be compulsive about it; and 3) if I had the cash, I wouldn’t feel the need to take a chance on more.  Why would you bother?  I wouldn’t go to Vegas if you paid my ticket, room and board.  Because people lose their asses out there.  “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas[, and it keeps your assets there with it].”  If you throw your rent money, or your food money, at your bookie, that’s a problem and you’re going to have a bad time.

Speaking of time, I suppose it is fitting to confess, I’ve daydreamed about the lottery a few times.  Enough to plan a few things when I actually do win.  You’ll know it’s me from the dental implants, the practical, fuel efficient car, the ridiculous swag I give Mrs. M., the diligence to wrap up details I feel responsible for before quitting my shit job, and the gentle, non-bridge-burning ways I distance myself from certain people.  And the way I disappear from view, unless someone who cared about me when I was poverty-stricken needs something.  This, however, is a waste of time because I haven’t won yet.  Who knows what I could have accomplished, if I had harnessed that time in practical pursuits.

There will be wasted money if I win, but not a whole lot of it.  I’ll indulge, because I’ll be able to.

I was a little startled this morning when I went online from work, on the “guest browser” internet access.  The provider (not even my company, because the tightwads refuse to offer bandwidth to guest users from the company who are at lunch), refused to connect me to the lottery website and said the reason my request was filtered was “gambling.”  So I went on Twitter and found my answer there, stupid ass holes!  As an employee, I should be allowed to check on break or at lunch if I can quit my job, using bandwidth provided by my employer.  The only reason to not allow it is for people who will abuse it, so I get that.  As a guest browsing on your bandwidth, as a non-employee, what’s the reason behind filtering out the lottery website?  I should be allowed to check if someone won, just browsing as a guest.  I don’t get that one at all.  Unless you’re one of those holier-than-thou judges and you believe you’re protecting me from myself.  I’m a big boy now, and I don’t have mommy or daddy hovering over me while I take my chances at life, and I don’t need to be prevented from seeing if the lottery jackpot suddenly went down, so I can know whether to bother checking my ticket on the way home after working my sore ass off all day.

There are both practical and recreational uses for the internet, and we all know there is a lighter side to both, and naturally a darker side.  Farbeit from me to judge how you recreationally or occupationally use the internet.  You may well judge me if I “cast a stone. (Matthew 7 1-3, and John 8:7, scorekeepers)”  I recommend the lighter side, but I’m not going to stop you.  I know a certain blogger who knowing he’ll probably never meet anyone from the internet, has been known to casually be flirtatious.  He’s an ass, but intends no harm.  But if that’s sin, then that sin is out there for all to see, just like any other sinner’s “sin.”  I wonder if I’d use the internet more, or less, or differently if I won the jackpot and were free to do whatever I wanted.  I hope I’d work on my books and my blogs more.  But I can’t predict that; I can only hope.  There but for not having enough free time I might be the guy everyone looks down on for “sinful” internet activities.  You can’t do those things at work, because 1) eww; and 2) I don’t even know what that would be filtered as; and 3) even the lighter side of internet distraction gets filtered by my work computer as “entertainment.”  You can’t even do THAT at work, much less anything  “worse.”

In my bunker, guests can do what I can afford to let them do.  Have a beverage or a few, rest and recharge, carry on harmless flirtation, hide from the zombies, sharpen your z-whackers, practice your marksmanship.  Stay for dinner, stay for breakfast, in your own warm comfortable bed, by yourself, guarded by my lack of any real intention and Mrs M’s heretofore un-tested-but-surely-insane jealousy.  I don’t favor the commitment of crime, so you probably should do that in someone else’s bunker if that’s what you like to do.

When I win the lottery, that fucking bunker is getting built in a non-virtual, very secret and undisclosed location, by invitation only.  “And in the morning, Image result for shrek donkey meme
See?  I told you I was an ass.  But because I didn’t win yet, this past weekend, and I feel I need another shot at it, I’m going to waste another $2 tonight.  Just in case someone is still keeping score.  And when I win, quite a few of my daydreams will have to be prioritized and accomplished, because I do habitually daydream.  It’s cheaper than buying something.  I can’t afford to buy much right now, but when I can, I just might.  I hope I’m not compulsive, but deliberate and thoughtful.

Do I need this, want this, or is it a stupid impulse I’ll regret later?  Or, if I bought this and gave it to someone, would it be a blessing, or a waste?  I think those principles will make an excellent guideline for me when I win.  It’s funny, for all the judgement I hear from people who don’t participate moderately and conservatively in social sins, I don’t get enraged at having to buy another lottery ticket or at losing yet another $2 if I could afford to spend it and had it in my wallet and went to the store.  And sure, it’s probably a stupid impulse I’d regret if not for the happy daydream that chance buys.  Will I regret winning?  I’ll let you know, but I doubt it.  With the knowledge that gambling is viewed as a sin, I bet I’ll finally find out if that song is right.

Speaking of social sins, yesterday was so damned hot, that while I was outside doing yard work, I had a cold beer.  And when I finished working outside a few hours later, I had ANOTHER cold beer to cool off, and then a nice hot shower, and then fell into a nice restful sleep.  It brings me to this morning.  This morning, I did a stretch and felt my back adjust, and it took me a few minutes to realize my back wasn’t aching as bad.  So there’s another blessing.  Despite not winning the weekends’ drawing, I really did have a little “thank-you-God” party when my back popped.  On Sunday, I felt VERY blessed to have those cold beverages in my fridge, and even moreso when my back popped to correct itself. this morning.  If it hadn’t, I’d have figured out how to hobble to the car and drive my sore ass to work.  If I hadn’t had those beverages, then probably ibuprofen and more grape kool-aid, because it’s just good-tasting.  Since I had them, though, I’m probably bordering on alcoholism, if you’re keeping score of all my “sins.”  I’ve probably got several others if you are as perfect as the judgemental set are.
But so far, lying isn’t really one of the sins you can charge me with very much.

I really am making waffles on the day after I find out I’ve won the lottery.  The best damned waffles, EVER.