II – Deon’s Demons

II – Deon’s Demons

From morning to afternoon, I’ve known them, circling,
I taste them only when coughing, exhaling,
Doctors can only see random allergens,
Giving snake oil addictions to treat my symptoms.

Medicines, cruel demons, here to stay

Choke, cough, expectorate, medicate, rinse, repeat
Nausea ad nauseum, I don’t want to eat,
Those are the infestations below my brains…
Through my eyes, I’ve welcomed more, sweet, permanent stains

You can’t bleach them or wash them away.

Generation to generation, they ride down,
Hitting tree branches, growing concentration,
So I give them the best evils I’ve gotten,
Though compared, “the good old days” were just as rotten.

Genetics find unfair ways to play.

I can’t concentrate quite enough to finish well,
Retreating from judgement, escaping for a spell.
My wife, from my dad, inherits my mother’s hell.
Failures, words, like anvils on a sparrow’s egg shell.

Disappointing her gives me dismay.

Seasons of sadness enshroud my brain like a pall.
They should be warm and soft, shouldn’t they all?
Instead they scrape, tear and grind, while making me fall…
How many times can I escape, try to stand tall?

Some days I’m OK, then, demon days.

Dragged down by people as much as by demons,
They blame me for myself, as if I had chosen
My feelings, frustrations, of my own free will,
As if my cage could be opened by all these pills.

Past and new bullies are hell to pay.

My brain is on fire, everyone should just run!
This can be transmitted, hell’s special contagion!
Leave me here to fight memory, sadness, time lost,
Come around to be nice to me, warm my black frost.

That Moment When I Learned More Than I Wanted to Know

It was several weeks ago at one of those family things I loathe.  I don’t even want to write it but I have to get this shit out of my system.  It’s been festering a while. We’ll discuss it, I’ll tell her how much she hurt my feelings, how much it hurts every time she pushes me away, how much learning this information hurt me, how it hurts every time she tells me how inadequate I am, and she’ll put it back on me by reminding me how fucking inadequate I am and how I need to get another job and work two jobs, the one I have and a part time one, while I’m finding the third, thus far invisible, elusive job that will miraculously triple my income.  We have two teenage kids, and one is starting college this fall.  She’s on a scholarship, and I pray her grades, and her investments, get her more, because I’ve got both jack-shit AND fuck-all to show for my faithful service to the present job.  For my son, in a few short years from now, I pray the same.

Mrs. M has a way of skating into opportunities and making more money than me at every turn, which is great for her and for us, but the way she holds that over my head calling me a failure kills any shred of extra self-esteem that might come up in my spirit.  Don’t get me wrong.  She works hard, the stress is obvious.  She’s assertive.  She gets what she wants, or believe me, I hear about it.

I used to get by, and get what I needed when I needed it.  I work hard too, but I hate change.  Having a routine is the only thing that keeps me from daily vomit, stress asthma, ulcers, high blood pressure, and whatever other (potentially literal) shit the stress of never knowing what the fuck I was doing would offer.  I used to trust people when they told me about how my career would be going places at [fill in the company name here].  I’d settle in to the comfort of a routine, and then I’d find out later they were using me, taking me for granted, and returning boatloads less than they promised.  The jobs that promised career advancement potential, but the potential was bullshit, the advancement was to more responsibility for the same money.  The people who all said they want to help me, but all they wanted was what they could get from me, and then when they’re done, so am I, and there was never any helping Mr. M.  This even happened when I worked for a few churches., and thus far has always happened when I work as a volunteer.

I hate people who bluff, assert pretend dominance, and then bluff some more, skating their way though life.  They lie and cheat and steal and get more than they deserve, and then they retire early, with benefits, while I stare at them in indignant, and I’m sorry to admit, jealous, amazement.  How the fuck do people get away with that shit?  I also hate people who are selfish, which is just about everyone in the known universe.  Don’t believe me?  Go driving, attentive to being safe and driving purposefully, intent to keep your fellow-drivers safe.  They’ll cut you off in traffic and then hit their brakes, yakking on their cell phones, completely oblivious to why you’re pissed off at them and honking your horn.  Try getting that parking space at the grocery store.  That skinny bitch soccer mom trophy wife with the faded plastic surgery markings will drive her brand new SUV into the spot you’ve been waiting patiently for in your old car, laying on her horn, and acting upset because you were in her way.  I hate people who act like other people only exist to serve them, and who only exist to take that service for granted.  And I hate people who fuck with other people and either pretend they care, or worse, don’t bother to pretend, or worst, pretend they’re not doing anything wrong and it’s somehow the fault of the person getting fucked.  With.

I don’t want to complain about Mrs. M.  She’s a beautiful, amazing woman.  She does everything right.  She wants the best from everybody, and she wants her family to succeed.  She truly cares about people, and helps other people when they need help.  Years ago, a lady she knew was going through a rough time and she stayed attentive, looking for ways to intervene in the circumstances, and her friend landed on her feet and is still doing fine.  That’s just one example; I’ve seen it several times, to varying degrees of help, with lots of people – sometimes she drags me along to help helping out. And she loves me.  I love her too.  And you’re all saying, “awww, how sweet.”  And it is.  It’s mostly worked, for more than 20 years.

And then there was a family dinner party.  It was a fancy thing and her sister and her sister’s husband hosted.  Oh, there was fancy food.  Amazing lobster and fresh raw oysters, and Italian beef, and sausages and lots of other amazing, delicious things.  I’m afraid to eat lobster or oysters, because I think I’m allergic to shellfish.  But there were also drinks, desserts, cookies, coffee, alcohol…  The whole thing was amazing and must have cost a mad fortune.  They do this a couple of times every damn year, not that I’d be jealous or bitter.  Yeah, I’m jealous, but only because of the money, not because they have dinner parties.  I hate dinner parties.

I was talking with someone Mrs M had known basically her whole life, they attended the same schools, that kind of thing, and they’re still pretty close.  And we talked about dinner conversation-type things, the family, friendship, the food, new events, blah blah, blah.  I loathe dinner parties.  Another opportunity for Mrs. M. and me to serve.  We helped with setup, cooking, hospitality (translation, serving in ways I can, just to be nice), and cleanup, because we’re under obligation as part of the family.  Methinks the lady had perhaps a little too much to drink, and out slipped an unmistakable sort-of-half-subtle disclosure about Mrs. M’s past, before she was Mrs. M.

Bless her late mother’s heart.  Her mother was a prude who thought that conservative Mr. M. was enjoying his marriage relationship to her daughter a little too much, so she did whatever she did to put a damper on it.  At least, she heartily discouraged any public display or discussion.  Her mom was Catholic, and behaved as though if such a thing were possible, all of her kids, including Mrs. M., were immaculate conceptions.  Thus, I had always blamed her mom, but nope.  It’s not mom.  It’s Mrs. M.

It seems that in Mrs. M’s past, there was another relationship, which I knew about and had dismissed as irrelevant.  But finding out the little detail is what hurt.  Suffice it to say that Mrs. M. has reinvented herself in our marriage, into someone much more prim and proper, perhaps even prudish like her mom.  But in the former relationship, not so much.  The habit of pushing me away, rejecting my advances, of being socially uncomfortable with public displays, of denying my requests to be treated like I’ve always treated her, all started in her mind sometime before our relationship, but certain things went on in this prior relationship, and I found it out from the little drunken conversation.  Which makes her ongoing and regular rejections, since we’re fucking MARRIED, hurt a lot.  She doesn’t always reject me, but makes it clear she’ll do what she’ll do, and nothing she decides not to do.  At the same time, she expects me to do whatever she wants me to do, and unless I do whatever she wants me to do, she doesn’t do much of anything.  We have discussed this a few times before, and she’s aware of how she’s hurt my feelings through the rejections, long before I found out what I learned at the dinner.  Damned family social gatherings.

So, you’re probably insightful and know without me blurting it all out.  If I were hardhearted, and if I didn’t have so damned much time invested in this relationship, and if there weren’t kids, and if I didn’t have this stubborn desire to keep MY promise that I made when we got married, and if she weren’t so damned amazing and beautiful, and if I didn’t fucking LOVE her, I might just say “fuck this, I’m out.”  Instead, I’m going to express it.

I’m very glad I did not win the lottery right after learning about this, because in the shock of the moment, I might have done the rash and drastic thing, and abandoned ship, finally financially free to do what I want, and to have whatever I want.  Instead, I didn’t win, I know what I really want, and what I really want, is reciprocation from Mrs. M., same as what I have always really wanted.

I don’t want to complain about Mrs. M.  I decided before we were married that I didn’t want to hold any of her old relationship bullshit over her head.  And I really didn’t, except this inadvertent knowledge tells me that in my marriage relationship, I am being treated as though she loves me less than she loved some other guy.  If I didn’t think the lack of reciprocation was fair before, how much more unfair do I think this bullshit is now?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

So, dear Mrs. M., if you love me less than you loved him, why the fuck did you marry me?  Just say “no, ‘we are never, ever, ever, [going to get] together,’ fuck off and die, you’re a pathetic loser, stop persisting you dumb ass, go fuck yourself, and leave me alone.”  Give a guy a clue before you lead him on and say “I do.”  Or whatever the hell we said at the wedding.  I do vividly recall you declined the “old-fashioned” vow “to love, honor and obey.”  I think you said “cherish,” or whatever, “as long as we both shall live.”  Too late now.  More than 20 years too late, and I’m not leaving.  One of us has to die first, and I have no plans of committing suicide.  Nor murder.  I’d prefer the same from you, so just keep on living and don’t kill me, if you please.  So we have to sort this shit out.

Do you really love me, Mrs. M.?  Do you love me more than the other guy, the guy you didn’t marry?  What I want in the marriage is to feel free, unlike I feel in any other arena of life.  Instead, I’m trapped by pain and frustration and rejection, from the unfair way you’ve treated me.  Our wedding preacher and everyone else we talked to about getting married said it has to be more than 50-50.  It has to be 100-100.  And it’s not.  I’m not putting what you want into the relationship.  Why?

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

My feelings are hurt.  I’m deeply hurt, and it’s because of something I found out about quite innocently, quite accidentally, probably unintentionally.  The woman probably thought I thought she was talking about Mrs. M. and I, in our marriage, but I fucking know better.  I have about 18 years or so of hurt to process.  I say 18 because it wasn’t until we had been married a while I started to decide what I wanted.  And the cuts from her habit of rejection that were small and repetitive, since the meal, have been re-sliced open all over again, only much deeper and all at once.  If my heart, and by heart I mean emotions, had any blood left in it, and by blood I mean whatever metaphorical liquid pumps through ones emotions, what’s left is leaking out.  If I thought I was dying inside before, I’m dying faster now.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Um…   Mrs M.?  We need to talk.  Again.  Same discussion as before.  Remember?  It was years ago.  When I said, in one of those rare moments when I wasn’t as resolute in my decision, that if the trend continued we might as well get divorced?  What we have is not good.  Your habit of rejection has me already resorting to the couch more than the bed.  Like the song goes, “I want you to want me.”  But here’s what I found out:  you apparently don’t.  So…what the fuck, Mrs. M.?  Seriously!  What the fuck!?  Everywhere else in my life, I’m supposed to just work my ass off and continually give, and then accept what other people offer me without bitching about how it’s inadequate and not what I really want or need, because other people are selfish and I’m supposed to be the nice guy who politely acts as a doormat for other people to wipe their shitty feet on, accepts whatever they want to offer and act like it’s o.k., and then just wash the shit off to be ready for the next person to take advantage of and use some more.  Please don’t tell me our relationship is the same one-sided bullshit as the rest of my life.  I don’t want to be overly demanding, but I don’t think I’d be out of line to say I think you should start making up for 30 years of lost time, and then some, to apologize for the habitual rejection.

Emasculation ≠ Gender Equality

Back in the very dark ages of the gender wars, say, before 1920, women were quietly and submissively hoping for a better world.  Married women, at least my wife, if she’s an example, know how to quietly and submissively demonstrate how women can live in a marriage.  But they (if my wife is an example) don’t do that.  Instead, they exert a very powerful influence over men (if I am an example).  Don’t go calling me “whipped.”

I heard that!! What the hell did I just say?  HEY!!  STOP LAUGHING!

OK, maybe I’m a little “whipped.”  Shut up.  It means I’m 26 years ahead of my time in the gender struggle.  Or maybe it means I’m not rich or famous enough for anyone to bother accusing of harassment.  It’s not because I’m not annoying enough, but at least I know that.

Although I’m not rich or famous enough to bother with, the question arises, when does flirtation become harassment?  Where’s the line?  As a blogger, when I become a rich, famous novelist, will I be found guilty of harassment for something or some things I’ve written in my blog that are only much later, say, 40 years, after the gender wars have progressed even further, be determined as “inappropriate,” or “harassment?”  I won’t know unless a fellow blogger, or one of my two (maybe three) faithful readers tell me.  What if there’s only one comment I’ve made on a random blog somewhere and I’ve forgotten about it, and no one ever told me they were offended?  When will I be informed of the offense?  Could I be alerted of getting close to crossing that very ambiguous line sometime before I cross it?  Or will the flirtation be returned, such that I think it’s OK until it’s too late?  Or maybe a more pertinent question would be, how much money do I have to have to be worth suing, or accusing?

It’s a cynical line of questioning.

I want to believe the claims because many times, men cross the more obvious lines.  A woman is taken in by his wealth, power, and charming personality, drawn in by the promise of possible opportunity, career advancement, being treated nicely, or whatever else a lady may need of a non-sexual nature from a man.  And a man, being either creepy or completely stupid, is looking for whatever a man may want from a woman, and blunders in thoughtlessly or deliberately.  A woman who wants a career opportunity and may be looking for a good professional reference tries to make friends, and does the normal social and professional things, and the guy is all grope-y, or that and worse.  And then he may or may not offer those opportunities to the lady, based on things going farther than social or professional.  Because I know guys can be creepy, I want to believe.

But I’m sorry, I’m cynical.  I ask the questions.  Was she flirting back?  What were her physical and verbal cues?  How was she presenting herself?  Where are the lines of demarcation for when a woman progresses from social and professional to something more?  How are clueless men (and most are) to interpret a woman’s intentions in the minefield of modern gender warfare?  Is she interested in more than social interaction, but waiting for him to “make the first move?”  Was there an interest back then that went beyond mere social or professional goals, and now years later, with social or political or monetary aims, the interest is being denied?

What I’ve learned from dog training applies here, not that I’d imply that men are dogs.  (read in my sotto voce whisper:  MEN ARE LIKE DOGS!  AND SOME ARE DOGS!)  Any self-respecting dog trainer will tell you that the time to intervene to prevent a dog from acting on his or her impulse, is before they start acting.  So before he lunges, charges and bites the neighbor kid, or snacks on the neighbor’s pet, an owner should distract and divert to a different behavior or give a verbal command, and give a reward for obedience.  Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer” says dog aggression may not be intended as aggression, but instead is curiosity and excitement.  The same is true for a normal man.  Even though I’m married, if a woman wants to talk to me, I am curious and excited.  If a woman flirts in response to my flirtation, my curiosity and excitement will grow.

If I weren’t so very married, I might lose control of my impulses at some point, and I often wonder what that point is for me, but I don’t want to learn it.  Guys are behaviorally similar to their best friends, but if there’s redirection or correction before things get out of control, I think many of those unfortunate biting episodes could be prevented.  Cesar goes on to say that aggression may be triggered by fear, insecurity, anxiety, frustration, and lack of proper socialization.

Don’t be fooled by the guy’s veneer.  We’re pretending to be stronger than we are.  We’re acting calm, but on the inside we’re close to panic or desperation.  We’re motivated by lack of proper socialization, too.  Show a guy a curvy work of art, and he’s helpless.  He wants to study that work of art, by whatever sensory means possible.  He’ll stare, he’ll sniff, he’ll touch if given the opportunity.  Et cetera.  I’m still studying my wife, and damn! She’s still fascinating after all these years!  Thank GOD I’m married, or in the modern minefield of gender warfare, I’d be a different kind of animal.  I mean man.  I mean person.

I believe the line has to be defined, and then respected, by us guys.  It’s our fault if we do something wrong, and we damned well should know the difference between what’s OK and what’s not.  I know there are women who lead men on, but because I’m a guy I’ll go out on record and say if a guy goes too far, it’s his own damned fault.  Not hers.  But I do understand how guys might feel some confusion on the line of acceptable behavior.

When Jesus gave the simplified commandments, He said the first commandment was to love God, and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself.  We guys have to love our neighbors as ourselves, and learn to treat people with that in mind.  Would we love it if girls ogled us or groped us?  Oh, shit.  Nevermind that line of reasoning.  But we need to think about how our behavior will make our “neighbor” feel, and we want to make them feel loved, respected and appreciated, not objectified, hurt, or taken for granted.  Just as we men want women to make us feel.

When my mother read about gender roles in the Bible, teaching me, she read that thing about women submitting, and then went on to read that thing about how a man should love his wife to death, like Jesus loved the church (See Ephesians 5).  Jesus “loved the church, and gave Himself up for her.”  When my pastor shared Ephesians 5 with us in counseling before we got married, he said “it is the wife’s duty to respect her husband, but it is the husband’s duty to be worthy of her respect.”

I try, but I’m not very good at it very often.

My mother-in-law, (God rest her soul (please)), used to make little jokes about me getting castrated.  “Snip, snip.”  Or whatever.  It came to a point I asked Mrs. M. to ask her to stop.

And this is the point I’m trying to make:  There is a point in the gender war where men aren’t just discouraged from being manly.  Society, not understanding there’s a time to stop, goes past pressing the advantages and advances women have made in society, goes too far, and men are neutered.  Men are expected to not act like men.  Well, when a dog is told not to bark or growl, biting is the next dog-like behavior, so they resort to that.  At what point, in telling men to not act like men, does a man resort to another male behavior?

If I haven’t gone on record yet, although I think I have, let me do so now:

I firmly believe that any man who rapes or beats a woman should have a fitting punishment as a consequence, to insure they learn the behavior is unacceptable and to insure they don’t exhibit that behavior ever again.

That being said, I am against the modern trend of social castration.  My mother-in-law hinted at this trend, three generations ago.  My wife often demonstrates a great understanding of having learned from her, and when she does, I fucking hate it, despite my deep love for her.  Men shouldn’t be expected or taught to act like women.  We aren’t women.  We don’t need to be taught how to act like we aren’t men, with masculine traits, masculine thoughts, masculine drives and masculine wants.  Instead, we need to be taught how to be better men.  We need to be taught impulse control.  We need to be taught proper boundaries and proper approaches to proxemics.

Glance at the curves for a half a second, but don’t be hypnotized!  Look away!  Her eyes are attractive too.

A Lesson for Guys in Poem Form:

Study words from her lips,
not the sway of her hips,
Notice hair, what she says,
don’t stare at her legs,
No matter what your brain says,
Never presume she means “yes,”
If you’re married, keep her,
Stir her heart with ardor,
Men, always keep your wits,
no matter how cute she is.

I know what you thought that last line would say.  And you’re right.  Everything women are, that’s different than what men are, is amazing, beautiful, charming, delightful, and exciting.  But the differences aren’t just skin-deep.    Guys, learn what’s ticking in her brain before you try to learn anything more, attraction notwithstanding.  There’s more to relationships than just sex.  What do you do after that?  What do you do before that?  What do you do instead of that?

Ladies, give us a clue before screaming to castrate us.

Guys, unless she marries you, it’s a minefield.  Tread cautiously.  And if you’re rich, get a prenuptial agreement before those nuptials.

To Give, or Not to Give (a Fuck)

There are days when I care, days when I’d like to think I don’t care, and days, like today, when I wish I could stop caring.  I don’t want to give a fuck about anyone or anything, but instead,

I care too much about stupid politicians and politics.  I care too much that idiots are the faces of the politics of the World, of the United States, and of the individual states of the United States.  If idiots weren’t in charge, I firmly believe that basic, needed things would be affordable to anyone who works a full time job, or anyone who is retired and has paid into Social Security, or anyone retired or disabled from our military service, or anyone legitimately disabled and unable to work.  We, and our children, need basic things:  food, clothing, shelter.  We need medical, dental, and optical care, and medicine.  If selfish idiots weren’t in charge, taxes would pay for services the government is needed for, and infrastructure maintenance, and we wouldn’t need special extra gas taxes, cigarette taxes, liquor taxes, and toll roads.  A flat tax paid for consumption or use would be fine, but that should eliminate income tax.  Instead, we pay twice for what we should pay once, and someone or some ones in the middle of it are raking in the bucks.

I mentioned yesterday that I’m paying about five times what I borrowed for the house, instead of just paying it back with a reasonable interest rate.  And thank God I know about loan types, or we might have gone with an adjustable rate mortgage (A.R.M.- that’s what it costs when the rates are “adjusted.”), or worse, a loan with a balloon payment at the end.  It’s bad enough the part of the monthly payment that goes toward reducing the principle is less than 20% of the total payment demanded.  My trouble (first world fucking problems!) is that an assessor went through our crap neighborhood last year and decided my house is worth more than I’m paying (translation, tax assessors and other middle-men can get more money out of me), so they raised the taxes on my house to match the value they say it’s now worth.  Except I signed an agreement to pay a specified amount for 30 years and now the government and the bank and the tax assessors are in collusion with one another, dicking around with it and saying now I have to pay more than I agreed to pay when we signed the papers, FUCKERS!

If I get a raise, the damned government figures out a way to suck that away before I get to touch it.  Raise taxes, reduce benefits, arbitrarily design a “fuck-you, taxpayer” fee I didn’t know I had to pay.  Meanwhile certain people who know how to work the system eat better food than I can afford from my job’s wages, and if I make literally a single $1 too much over a six month period, they are going to pull what benefits I DO benefit from out from under me and make me pay full market price for them (insurance), even though that $1 more doesn’t do shit to relieve the burdens that make me grovel and beg for that assistance, because now my house is allegedly worth more.  It’s only worth more if I try to sell it, but since I’m still paying for it, it seems to me that it’s worth the same as what it was worth when I started paying for it.  The insurance company and the bank and the government want me homeless and helpless and bankrupt, or (actually, “and,”) they don’t want to help.  Why the fuck is that?

Buy a tire and you pay for tires, then mounting and balancing, then valve stems, then tire disposal, then alignment, and then, if you’re wise, for a protection plan because roads have potholes and nails and screws and abandoned disintegrated tire “gators,” and other shit left by litterers and road construction crews and whoever else, not to mention the local fauna.  Valve stems, really?  Like, if you bought a tire it wouldn’t come with fucking valve stems from how they’re manufactured.  Disposal, really?  Like if I don’t want to take the old tire home with me and throw it in my own trash, I have to pay an extra fee for the tire shop to have a guy throw it in the dumpster out back.  I get the other fees, someone has to do mounting, balancing and alignment so the tires will work, and so they’ll last.  But there should be a better way to structure that or to bill for that.

A home loan payment shouldn’t be five-plus times the amount of the principle of the loan.  That tells me several ass holes are lining their pockets with way too damn much (go ahead, insert meme) of my money and probably a few million other wishful would-be homeowners’ money.  Buying feels right though, to finally own something rather than being a renter forever and never having any kind of personal security, or building equity.  If you rent, I’m fine with it and I don’t think any less of you.  I know good reasons to rent, not the least of which is if you don’t own it you shouldn’t have to shell out cash to fix it under conditions of normal use.  Like renting a car, if you just drive it a few days you should only have to put gas in it, not pay to change the oil and pay to rotate and balance new tires for it.

I want a King Solomon for President.  Someone who is wise enough to design systems that actually work, that help people, and who is politically savvy enough to not put us on the brink of World War III every time he opens his mouth, and to not try to just hand over the keys of the country to other countries every time she opens her mouth.  I want a King Solomon for state governor, who will help people beyond basic needs.  We need employment from employers who will pay a fair and decent living wage, and reward loyalty by paying higher-than-entry-fucking-level wages to people who stay with a company.  The governor should hire reputable companies to build and maintain the infrastructure of his state, and oversee the other important concerns of his or her constituency.  The governor, or his trusted appointees, should be able to step in when a constituent is being treated unfairly.

I want a King Solomon for an employer, who trains and promotes and pays higher wages to those from within, rather than hiring from the outside and paying them the same as what I earn after 10 years and calling that an entry level wage.  When I found out that basically unless I made a lot of noise about it they were happy to keep me under  everyone’s thumbs, if I were prone to uncontrollable rage, instead of festering, I’d have driven down to corporate with guns, killed a few select people and gotten myself either killed, or earned 3 square meals and a bed, workout facilities, a legal library to study and earn a law degree, and total dependence on the government and my cellmates.

I care too much about my family.  If I were a selfish ass hole of a man, I could have earned a divorce years ago, instead of 25 years of marriage.  I could tell the courts I’m helpless, find a “sugar momma” to bed, and live off of her excesses and indulgences and leave my ex wife and kids to sink or swim on their own and not pay any child support.  Instead I’m home helping with housework and home repair and improvements if I can afford them and school homework and gas money and car maintenance if I know how to do it myself (MUCH cheaper) and working my ass off and praying for college scholarships because I don’t want to work until I’m 150 years old to pay off the debt and usury, adding the extra penalties and fees for not dying soon enough.  Because the working poor are supposed to work two and three and more jobs just to survive, and die of heart attacks when they turn 42.  I’ve outlived that shit, thankfully, at least so far.  But caring is stressful.

I care too much about my neighborhood and local things.  Instead of hearing about the latest murder victims, kidnapping victims, rape victims, robbery victims, I want the news to lead with the story they try to close with on a slow day.  And I want more news stories like that every day.  I want my neighborhood and my city to be shown what can happen when visionary people who aren’t completely heartless ass holes decide to keep trying.  But instead I get the other shit, for 28 minutes every morning if I only watch for 30, and then 2 minutes of a veteran who gets to be in a parade and go for a short ride in a nice fancy car because he’s 90-something and someone wanted to do something nice for him before he died.

I want people to be celebrated and be on the news for doing the nice things.  Why the fuck do we have 28 out of 30 minutes on the weather, the traffic, the mayhem, and only 2 for the people doing something nice?  I can understand 13 on weather and traffic.  But do the other 15 have to be wasted on how horrible some people are?  Flip that shit and do the opposite.  If it’s in the interest of public safety, fine, tell us to lock up our daughters and wives, or tell us the infrastructure is crumbling and we need a new bridge built over the overpass so there will be diverted traffic, fine, report that.  But otherwise,

Why can’t we hear about Girl Scout Gold Award winners, Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award Winners, and their service projects?  Why don’t we hear about foundations making grants and setting up programs to help retirees make it on their fixed social security and medicare, or churches feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless, and sending out a small army of people to help seniors and disabled citizens with their house- and yard- work and gutters, washed dishes and laundry, vacuuming, companionship, trips to the local community center or to a nice restaurant for a meal?

Why can’t we hear about the people who got the full-ride scholarship to a local college (, and can those recipient be my daughter and son when they graduate)? Why can’t we hear about how Mrs Mumple has managed to not murder or kick Mr. M to the curb, through 25 years and two children?  Why can’t we hear about the mystery generous guy (or lady, I’m not going to give it back because of a gender issue) who just out of the blue decided to hand Deon Mumple a check for a few million dollars with enough extra to pay the tax on that?  That hasn’t happened yet, I’m just putting it out there for that person, whomever they are, so they know there’s room over here for their anonymous donation.
I’m quite certain there’s at least 13 minutes of those kinds of stories that could be told, every day, instead of all the guns and evil.  Maybe if we celebrated the good, instead, there would be more of that, and less of the shit we glorify on TV EVERY fucking day.  Kids looking for role models won’t find them on TV or in the news or media.  All they’ll find are idiots, idiot politicians, cheap-ass business tycoons, and criminals, including murderers and robbers and rapists and vandals and other thugs, not that those genres are never cross-populated.  And the worst thing about putting those role-models on the television and media is, that THE AIMLESS KIDS ARE FOLLOWING THEIR LEAD.

The way it’s run right now I wish I could just not give a fuck.  But alas, I do in fact care, and try to do small things to make it better.  I volunteer a little time out of my life whenever I can, or whenever I can figure out how to schedule it even though I don’t think I can, because I can make a tiny difference by showing up to sweat for someone who needs help.  Because I care, I wish other people gave a fuck too, instead of the standard issue what’s-in-it-for-me and how-can-I-profit-and-screw-the-other-person’s-welfare that I see in the world, in American politics, and in modern corporate America.  I either need enough money so I don’t have to care and then I need to learn the lessons from the above assholes, OR, I need a LOT more people to start giving a fuck about someone other than themselves.

I understand.  We’re all under the same shitty management.  The old managerial ass holes were all taught the same thing, doesn’t matter which hoity-toity school their dads bought their business or law degrees from.  Which means, nobody reading this has shit, unless a bored billionaire is looking for people to condescend to.  I’m willing, in exchange for a few million dollars, to be treated with condescension.  Go ahead.  But if you’re not a bored billionaire looking for a charity case you might only have a few bucks extra here and there.  That’s most of the readers out there that I know about.  I know you need your not-coffee, but how about buying one less cup of not-coffee from Starbucks, and giving that money to a cause I care way too much about.  Click here:

https://www.gofundme.com/single-mom-being-bugged

Please.  Really.  She and her daughter ARE a worthy cause.  I may care too much, but until her tiny goal is far surpassed, I feel that not enough support is being shown to these two deserving young ladies.  What the hell, if you ARE a bored billionaire, how about giving a few million to Ms. N., instead of me.  I’ll be fine, probably.  Or, we’re both willing to accept donations if you’ve got it like that.  But we both need enough for it to be an actual blessing, not just enough to cut their benefits off, or cut my kids’ health insurance benefits off at the knees and make me work 3 jobs to pay the extra costs.  If you’re gonna give and you can give big, give big, and may God bless you back for being a blessing from your abundance.  If you’re gonna give and you can only afford little, give and may my God bless you back for being a blessing out of your own need.

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

From Hyper-critical to I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit in 3 seconds

I don’t know if that’s the accelerator or the brake.  But I know that the right words, or preferably,  silence with the right actions, can motivate me to work my ass off.  And I know that the wrong words, because nobody ever just shuts the hell up, can put me into escape mode.  I’m already gone.  I’m already done helping with whatever concerned you.  The silent, unseen “fuck you” has already left my soul.  It doesn’t need to be said, in language, sign, sigh, or any other physical reaction.  I’d like to think it’s a private, psychic rocket ship, one that, most of the time, is far more efficient than any known technology.

Because of this, I think it’s an accelerator.  Sometimes I wish it weren’t psychic, I wish it were real.  It’s a rage rocket.  Instead of flames, it would release sonic energy.  “Impulse” power just goes, “Buhbye! Bye now!  Bub-bye! Buhbye!”   It ramps up through other rage-induced profane and/or snarky expressions, and if you really piss me off, full throttle goes “FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU! FUCKYOU!!  FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!

Say it.  Push my buttons.  And see what happens.  Except you presume you’ve done or said nothing wrong, and it’s me being batshit that causes me to be angry.  You’re not paying attention to yourself.  You’re not paying attention to me.  And when I told you what the issue was, you didn’t want to do anything about it, and my way of handling that rejection was to shut off that part of your part of my life.  You can still come back.  You don’t have to verbally apologize.  A non-verbal apology and promise will suffice.  But I don’t think you know how to not say it.

My problem  is I want to stay.  I want to come back.  I want you to come back.  I want my kids to know I genuinely care about them and I want them to return my care appropriately, but I can’t afford to buy that affection.  Thank God most of the time the kids have learned to read me, and know when I can laugh with them versus when what they say or do, or don’t do, will just piss me off .  I want my wife to know the same, but I can only offer so much, and there’s that trigger, more sensitive after almost 25 years of being married.  I’d think she’d know not to do or say those things in that way, and I’d think she’d know it’d be nice if she did something I liked once in a while.

It’s the same at work.  I want to work.  I want to work my ass off and make you a ton of money, but I need the favor returned here too.  Entry level wages and being ignored unless I’m being disciplined does not earn my respect NOR my extra hard work.  You pay me shit, expect my work to be shit.  And it would be if I had no pride in something I have to put my name on.  But my name is on what I do, so I want to do it right. You should want to do right by me in return.  After 10 years I’ve proven I’m worth it, and you should prove you want me to stay.

And it’s the same at church. You’d think with my training and volunteer experience, they’d maybe want me to work at the church, as more than a volunteer.  But no, I can volunteer or I can decide to do nothing.  So I’ve decided to do nothing and see if the doors open somewhere else.  Corporate America does not as a rule promote people who know what the fuck they’re doing from the inside.  They make them stay where they are and work them until they’re worn out.  Similarly, “modern day” “normal” churches do not recruit from within.   They find some superman who looks great on paper and has a more forceful presentation, and all the hidden agendas that go along with that kind of force.  Well fuck that.  If God wants to use me, He’ll set that up, and if not, well, here I remain and I think I have to be ok with that.

And it’s the same with God.  I want to have the best relationship with God, but I often fail.  Being the Creator He should know this and deal with me with a little patient and divine encouragement.  And you’d think my struggle with faith and doubt might be answered like it is with my earthly father- sometimes he’ll slip me a $10 or $20 for just being his son, which is really cool.  And lately, this whole relationship with God has actually improved.  I wonder if it’s because I quit trying to do anything.

People ask how you know when you’re in love, and they ask how to find a significant other/partner/spouse, and I think the answer is the same for some people.  If  you’re aggressive, you run after what you want and you take it whether it was offered willingly out of love, or whether it was just you being a pushy ass hole.  And you think you’re getting what you want, but really you’re just taking it.  I want to be given what I want, willingly and out of love.  And I want people to realize, without me having to tell them, that they’re selfish, grabby, pushy ass holes and they’ve been taking everything at my expense.  But I think you find love when you least expect it, and you wake up and realize you’re in love because you were falling long before you ever realized you had fallen.   I still haven’t figured out how to just get what I want at work, but with marriage it’s been a conscious decision, my choice.  Fuck, I still love her and she treats me like shit quite a bit of the time.  It’s because after I realized I loved her I decided I wanted to be in love and stay that way.

It’s naive and stupid and setting me up for heartbreak, people tell me.  And they say the same thing about believing in God.  But lately,

I quit trying to do anything, and God did some pretty cool things in answer to a pretty snarky prayer “request.”  Actually I was flippant and nearly in denial and He did answer, giving me something I really needed when it was needed.

So maybe this quitting doing anything would work for work, and for wife, and for family.  Except I like a clean house, a dog that’s been walked, a yard that’s been mowed.  I’m not sure which “anything” I need to quit and which I can keep doing, that’ll ultimately and miraculously result in me getting what I need from family and wife.

As it stands, I’ve got a dead cell phone because I didn’t demand we get more time/data yesterday when I thought I had a month left.  Kids don’t clean the house or walk the dog because they know I’ll reach a point of desperation where it’s too gross and needs to be done, or I know the dog is about to create a disaster if I don’t take care of him.  I’ve got nothing happening in other areas because I haven’t demanded that.  I don’t want to demand anything to get what I need.  I want to be treated with love and care and respect just because I’m worth it, but because I’m not demanding and pushy people take me for granted and treat me like shit.

So where’s the road sign from rage and depression and lack, bypassing forceful taking, and driving straight through to people just giving me what I need because I’m worth it?

If you know, let me know.  But right now I have to go buy a fucking phone card because mine is dead and Mrs M and the kids want to text me their list of demands.

A day without all this cloudy, grey, dam(n)p rain so I can mow at mum and dads would be great too, but that’s an appeal to a Higher Power,  Fuck it, if He wants clouds and rain, and rivers in my back yard, bring that shit on until He’s bored with that and moves on to sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and lollipops and neapolitan ice cream and remembering Buttercup, and other shit I might actually enjoy.  Same with the fucking job, and the family, and the church.   Maybe the rain has to fall and I have to be broke, and the job has to be shit and the house has to be filthy and my legs have to cramp until I can barely walk before I take the dog out, and the wife has to be off-putting and insulting and demanding, so I really appreciate when it’s finally sunny, and I finally win the Lottery AND the Publisher’s Clearinghouse, and I finally get a job I really enjoy, and my kids finally help clean the house, and finally make a habit of walking the dog and my wife greets me naked at the door and attacks me with all those soft, beautiful weapons.

For now it’s clouds and rain and cramps and abstinence and alcohol.  Bring it on.  I think I can still weather it a while.

It’s been a while since I thought of Buttercup.  I figure, if I just wait, and refuse to do shit, the rest of the clouds are sure to break soon.  (I know, but shut up and let me have my delusion!)

Sounds Funny but Not Funny

Image result for Peanuts aaugh

Oh, it’s not all THAT bad.  But I felt it earlier in the week.  There were two very stressful episodes at work, one where the systems didn’t work badly enough to upset me, and one episode just yesterday with the dog.

When I take the dog for a walk, I anticipate he’s going to take care of whatever business he needs to take care of.  So, I took him for a walk, and he did what he was going to do, and we came back inside.  There was some pulling at the leash, which I regard as non-compliance and I stop moving.  When he went in the direction I wanted to go, we were fine, I thought.  And then he ran up our stairs, so I tried putting him in his kennel.  I didn’t check both door locks, so he of course got out, and ran up our stairway to find out if the kids were in their rooms, and they had gone to school for the day.  Since he didn’t shit outside, I anticipated he might try to go in the house.  I set him up in the bathroom (easy to clean the floor) with paper down just in case, and set the kennel in front of the door so he could have that much more room.

All it did was give him a running start.  He jumped over the kennel, and ran upstairs to impress me with his Houdini-worthy skill.  I was on the phone with a client, and he stood there wanting me to take him outside to shit, and I couldn’t put the customer and the tech support people both on hold, so I sat and helplessly watched as he shit on my carpet.  Just.  FUCK!  Oh. Sorry, seems that SHIT would be a more appropriate expletive.  Laugh, laugh, ha, ha, readers.  But I am sick to fucking death of LIFE adding MORE WORK for me to take care of because I exist, and adding unnecessary shit to my life that I have to deal with later because the dog couldn’t be arsed to do it while he was outside, and couldn’t be arsed to do it while in the safe confines of the bathroom, and I have no time or margin to deal with the shit when it happens, so I have to save up time and money and energy to handle it later.

Time, money, and energy are the frayed margins of my life, for which I desperately need significant repair.  But every time I pray for margin, more gets cut off the frayed edge, so I don’t ask any more.  And while it’s not true that my time is money, it is true that more money would buy me more time.  If I had more money, I could just call the guy when the plumbing needs work, instead of trying to do it myself, fucking it up, and then calling the guy.  Which doesn’t happen as often any more, since I’ve done that enough to learn a few things.  If I had more money, I could just pay the bills and not worry about bill collectors, overdraft notices, car repairs, the insurance bump whenever dear daughter starts driving… don’t remind me.

If I had more time, I might invest some of that in resting.  But so far, whenever I “have more time,” the dog needs something, the daughter needs something, the son needs something, or the wife expected me to have already spent that time doing something else.  If I choose to not invest that time in the expected shit shoveling for whichever demanding person demands it, a) the wife just shakes her head, does one of those life-draining sighs of exasperation and starts doing whatever she thought I should have done already, or fixing whatever part of it wasn’t complete, in the expectation that I will muster the energy to take over and handle it.  Sometimes, I can pull it together.  Not always. b) the daughter screams about how I don’t care, nobody cares,  nobody likes her, and she can’t do it because she has homework/social engagement/exhaustion/insert-other-manufactured-excuse; c) the son almost finishes and then disappears into the darkness of his room and his electronic device(s); d)the dog just stares and expects another treat for not doing shit.  Or for doing shit wherever he damn well decides to.

He has a spot he likes to go, to do his business.  When I have time, not a problem.  When I don’t, I want him to learn to go where I want him to go.  I didn’t think I had time to get there and back, so  didn’t take him, so he shit on my carpet because the bare, easy to clean bathroom floor didn’t have the same grass-like appeal as my grey carpet.  He can’t see anything but black and white, maybe the carpet looks or feels comfortable like grass, but for fucks sake, it’s not shag.  It’s not even plush.  It’s another one of the things I should replace because it’s gross.  The last time I tried to rent a shampooer, it did a shit job, and I can’t blame it all on the shampooer, because the carpet is so old.  The carpet is almost as old as some of the stains on it, or possibly the reverse.  Who can be sure?.  We bought the carpet with the house, back when we had money, time, and hope.  Well now there’s another one, but I’m working on getting that out before it becomes set and older than the dog.  I’m not replacing the carpet until the dog is trained properly, which probably means I’ll replace the carpet and then the dog will forget his training and shit on the new one.  Which begs the question- does carpet come in exactly matched shades of shit brown?  Oh, wait, there’s also food stains and drink stains…  Maybe I’ll have to go with an out-of-fashion camouflage and random colors-print carpet, something like one of the busier, less orderly  Kandinsky-patterns.  Some people like Wassily, and …then there’s me.  Because to me, the paintings reflect the stress of trying to produce a sufficient number of quality pieces of art in the time available, trying to sell them quick enough to earn a decent living, and fail.  But then, maybe I’m projecting myself onto Kandinsky.  Or maybe I’m right, maybe he hates that, and that’s why I don’t really like his work.

Yesterday I ventured forth to the store to return something my wife thought I should easily be able to install.  My faux extroversion knows no limits.  First, when the installation went south, I swore (naturally).  And then I set it aside to wait and see if Mrs M would fare any better guiding dowel A into insertion point B.  It’s just a hanging thing, and one essential piece at the end wouldn’t go into where it was supposed to go, and “click.”  Did I ever mention that I hate house projects, and “easy-to-install” bullshit.  (…You’d think I’d be an expert at putting round peg a into slot b.  Alas, no, I clearly need more practice.  Someone tell Mrs. M, please!)  Thank GOD, she couldn’t get dowel A to click into insertion point B either.  (which can only mean that she needs more practice too.)  The second thing I did is to call the company who was dumb enough to print their toll-free number on the instructions.

I called, and the first lady I got said I couldn’t have a new round peg. I’d have to box the entire thing up and return it to the store, or call her corporate office.  I forgot her name.  She was nice, and even sounded like she was familiar with the very defect I was talking about, but still…  So I called toll-free number 2, who sent a request to the local store manager.  The store manager called me and said he’d take care of everything, and he did, at least, if dowel A’ successfully attaches to insertion point B’.  But I did have to box up most of the defective thing so they could return it to their manufacturer.   Anyway, returned it, exchanged for hope, and went back home barely in time for work.  Today I got that out of the box and the same damned peg in the new box wouldn’t screw and lock correctly into the insertion point of the piece of shit, made in China, from the new box.  Ugh.  The easiest sounding things are too much work.  The easiest sounding things are never easy; they just seem to add more pressure to what’s already too much.  The simplest things are too complicated and too hard to figure out, and too stress-filled.

I’m a simple thing.  (Or maybe, simple minded.)  I literally worried on the way home that I might get hit by someone and be late for work.  Heaven forbid. This is how much I hate drastic change and don’t want to be an inconvenience or a burden to anyone else.  I want to be helpful, in a world where so many people seem hell-bent on fucking it up for me and everyone else.  I very briefly thought to myself, it might have been a mercy.  Like driving off into the retention pond.  But no, see above, I resist such foolishnesses as they don’t fit- I don’t have the margin of time to deal with dying.  Or worse, not dying, and not having an excuse for why it took so long for me to not die.  I don’t really want to die.  I don’t have a preference for death over life, and I don’t have a workable plan.  I mean, life can turn around.  I’m waiting to see how it plays out, but I’m hoping it’s a decisive victory I can start enjoying at half-time, and not a game changing buzzer beater shot at the last second.  I’d much rather enjoy the journey than watch it suck as hard as possible and have to fight until the bitter fucking end.

More pressure -at lunch yesterday I remembered I was supposed to make chicken noodle soup because my daughter went to the dentist the day before (guess who got to take her, guess who was 3 whole fucking minutes late and whose daughter gave him unending grief about it all, including how fast I was trying to drive, and how I was stuck behind another, fairly slow-moving car or two the whole way and  how slow I was driving, and how we were going to be late, and how it was my fucking fault there was a string of cars between me and the door of the school and I didn’t feel comfortable just shoving around them, because I don’t drive a monster truck.  Oh, and how “[I] don’t care about [her,]” either.)  So I didn’t care but I made the chicken noodle soup and got back to my desk with exactly 48 seconds left of the hour.

But you made it back, you’re saying.  And you succeeded, you’re saying.  Well, I’ll admit, I didn’t die.  But that doesn’t mean that going into the store with an item to return after searching for the receipt and failing because it’s either in her purse at her workplace, or already out in the trash, wasn’t stressful.  I had so much time before work that I took the dog for a walk and had the presence of mind to lock him in his crate so he couldn’t escape and crap on my damned carpet again.  Which reminds me, there’s still the stain I have to try to get out of my carpet.  My life sounds funny, like one of those sit-coms you expect to resolve in 22 minutes.  But it’s not funny to live through.  Maybe in another year, after the cash windfall comes, I’ll look back and laugh.  Or maybe, I’ll remember what it felt like and be on a mission to help people who are struggling like I was back before the big lottery payouts started rolling in (what the hell, I can still hope just like the next guy) .

My dad is home from the hospital.  Nice of him to give mum a day of rest while she was sicker than he was, eh?  Both of them have this really tenacious, killer bronchitis that’s not quite pneumonia, just like my daughter has had for a month and a half.  I went to the hospital and spent time with him, and then when his dinner arrived I went to mums.  She was sleeping, so I started washing her dishes.  She heard me and got up.  I made her sit back down when she started coughing uncontrollably.  And I poured her some whiskey.  I wanted some for myself, but she lives across town and I needed to be able to get home before having to sleep anything off.  While she sipped and rested, I finished the dishes and mopped the cat hair, cat food, and other, off the kitchen floor.  I so wanted to do more, because her house is almost as bad as mine.  Or worse, since I know what to do with my own shit, it’s hers and dad’s and I don’t really know what to do with it all.

Mum, she just sat and sipped and stopped coughing for a bit.  I checked in today  and they are both doing better but they have the severe bronchitis same as my daughter.  If you want to avoid a fight with someone, start cooking or cleaning for them and listen while they shut up.  Recalling this, I invaded the sanctity of the maelstrom in my daughter’s room yesterday and made her bed for her.  She was so happy, she took a nap after school, which made her feel even better.  But if I start doing any of those things and they keep bitching, I leave it for them to finish.

I may or may not have a bad habit of rage quitting.  It’s a gamer’s expression, but so fitting to my life.  Because fuck you if you’re not working to help me or staying out of the way, fuck you if you’re stressing me out as if it’s my fault, fuck you if you don’t appreciate it when I try to do nice things for you.  And fuck you if I’m not fast enough to satisfy your impatient bullshit.  With family, the best way I know how to do this still isn’t a good way.  Rage quit means I shut the fuck up, stop talking, finish what absolutely has to be finished, and leave the offenders in my dust.  Or their own fucking dust, if they made the mess I was trying to clean up.  I wish the solution was the same for work.  But no, I have to be a team player to claim I’m a team player and I work well on my own.  I can operate in both modes, but the team part is me faking well.  What I wish I could do is different.

At work, if someone fucks something up, I want to make them fix the damn thing and leave me the hell out of it.  And I want to wait patiently until they fix the shit, so I can do my job.  At work, if a tool I need isn’t working, I want to report the issue and wait until the tool is repaired and when it is repaired, step in and do my job.  But what I have to do instead, is sincerely apologize to our clients, and work that much harder to do what I can until it’s working, and then apologize again to the clients, and work that much harder to do what I couldn’t do until the company lets me play catch up.  If all of corporate America is on thin threads like this, maybe there’s a company out there hiring hack writers who retain their sense of humor, however grim and twisted it may become, in the face of adversity, stupidity, hypersensitivity, insecurity, and reinforced inferiority from all the people who demand I treat them with abject deference to their perceived self-superiority.  Ass holes!

I shredded paperwork dated anywhere from 2011 to 2015 yesterday, and I had two and a half trash bags full of shreds.  I ran across some interesting documents.  They showed us struggling financially, climaxing in 2013 and hovering near bankruptcy, leaving us stuck through about 2015, and we’ve been making slow progress getting out of the shit since then.  Thankfully, “for richer, for poorer” included “for poorer.”  The documents even showed us asking for help, and then there was the letter from one of the places we asked for help.  The letter reminded us that we had asked them for help a year and a half before, and how they counseled me then to “just” figure out how to make more money.  Great advice from great people.  I remember both visits.  I was humbled and discouraged going to them the first time. I left feeling completely humiliated and more depressed both times.  It was worse the second time, and then they added their letter of encouragement.  Thanks so much for the help.  I hope I never have to go back, and I hope no one else gets the same counseling advice from those rich fuckers.  I didn’t shred the letter.  I want a time in the future when I’m in a place to help one of these people and they’re placed in a position of need, and I share with them a) my experiences from 2012 to 2015 and how hard it still is now in 2017, AND their damned letter, b) Proverbs 3:27, and c) my blessings.  They have enough money that one of them could have fucking hired me to work for them for more than I earn now, and I would have worked my ass off to earn their pay.  Or, they could have hired me to work on staff for the organization-this was one of the places I already worked as a volunteer, and it would have been a dream job if the position matched my training, successful previous experience, and credentials.  But back then, I would have worked as a janitor, for fucks sake, and done a better job than the idiot who does a shit job cleaning for them still to this day.  Instead they gave us a one-time gift, which was helpful, once, and the second time we needed help they prayed for us and then told us to piss off and figure it out for ourselves.

This blog started, at least influenced, if not pushed to profanity, by those experiences and others, and my journey into discovery of why I am how I am was twistedly encouraged by them, so, do I owe them a debt of gratitude?  I think the answer from a human perspective is a a tiny yes for the gesture of the gift, and an emphatic “FUCK, NO,” for the way I felt during and after both experiences of humiliation, and for the consolation letter we received instead of help the second time, but I think if I ever have the money I’ll give them back their gifts with interest, and tell them to piss off and figure it out for themselves as to why I don’t really care if they make it or not.

So today, not that I want to do any of this, I remembered I have to get a Boy Scout physical, so I called the doctor and set that up.  I gave the person at the other end unnecessary grief, because of the last episode,that cost me $700, for the experiment I damned well knew the results of before the blood was wrestled from the perceived safety of my veins.  However, I asked how much it was going to cost me and the person was not forthcoming.  She mentioned a normal fee and then said that they don’t do copays for that, they submit it straight to my fucking cheap-ass insurance company, and then the insurance figures out how much they want to squeeze, how far they can elevate my blood pressure without actually killing me directly, now that I’ve lost a little weight and it’s gone down a little.

They charge me an extra hundred from each paycheck than they did before Obamacare, and they have yet to repeal it, so I’m more broke and even less able to afford any experimentation or equipment breakdown.  Yeah, and my income went up zero dollars to help me afford that insurance rate bump.  And I still have to pay copays for doctors and dentists, which is bullshit if I pay this much for healthcare coverage.  I’d go bankrupt if I ever had to go to the hospital like my dad did.  Because those rich fuckers always get their money, and they don’t really seem to give a shit how they’re getting it or what they’re putting people through to get it.  So if by some ill twist of fate I come up sick, I’ll just wait until I’m dead and check in to one of those really small rooms in the basement, that only have minimal amenities- no heat to pay extra for, no extra nursing care, and only one door that opens from the outside.  They don’t charge cadavers in the morgue.  Just the survivors.  If that fucking $700 bill for one tiny tube of blood is proof, evidently the insurance company thinks I earn a great income already!

And I do.  For someone who worked between 1910 and 1940.

Defending Myself

Self realization.  It takes me a while to figure out some things.  I’m not saying that I’m dull-witted all the time, it’s just that about certain things I take a while to figure out.  Fixing certain things takes a while too.  But I solidified something in my mind this past weekend.  I’ll warn the sensible readers who like actual talent to stay away, because this shit is going to ramble on like Led Zeppelin.  (Sorry, to at least one reader who doesn’t like the music, but for some reason keeps reading. You know who you are, and I love you.)

I’m not sure what to do with the information, or if the realization will actually bring any change.  (in large denominations of currency, he jokes)  But it’s information, it’s logical, and I do plan to point out the trend when I observe it, for the purpose of letting people know how I feel.  When it’s not a huge risk, or when I decide it’s something really really important.

What I’ve learned is that when I do things, when I say things, when I cook things, whatever it is, and I’m not even sure if it’s random or if it’s a trend to observe, but for some reason Mrs M is pushing the buttons and making me defend myself verbally.  She asks a question about cooking, I give the answer I know is right, and she questions it.  Yesterday it was Greek cooking.  She wanted to know how to give chicken a uniquely Greek flavor, and I told her that Greek cooking would add a surprise- cinnamon and nutmeg and marjoram for a trace of sweetness- to a spartan Italian mix (garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, onion).  Damned if she didn’t reject the suggestion and then bitch that something was missing.  Well, if you didn’t want my suggestion, why the fuck did you ask?  What’s missing from the tzatziki sauce?  Well, um, plain yogurt where you used sour cream, more lemon, and you totally left out garlic.  Not essential but it does add something.  Same with my dear daughter and her music and the rest of her education.  Why the fuck do you ask for help and then tell me how I can’t be right and you’ll just do it on your own?

My dear daughter has learned that sometimes I’m right, even though she’s hit that sixteen and opinionated as a fucking 89 year old stage.  Two years ago, she didn’t listen to anything I said, rejected my offer to help her with a piece of music, and we play the same instrument.  It’s just that I’ve played the same pieces before, maybe 35 years before her, I still practice, and I know technical things.  She similarly rejected my help with math.  So, two years ago she went to the music contest and got a bronze medal.  I’ve been working on this one.  Last year I fought with her but insisted on coaching, by making her listen to me play and add instruction, and she got a gold.  So this year, she picked a contest piece and under duress of too many other things going on in her life, accepted my help- with practicing, technique, understanding the history, tempo, style and ornamentation of the piece.  And guess what?  She got a gold medal.  But, I felt pretty good when she got out of the performance room and then went to find out her scores, because I damn well knew it was a gold medal.

We have somewhat differing opinions about social issues, but basically we want people to do good and we want people to get help when they need it.  Here, I’m proud of her for pushing back.  I’d rather she have strong, and self-educated, opinions she can back up with research data than be a zombie idiot sheep who follows whatever the herd does and says whatever is popular.  While I am still concerned that the press tells people what and how to think, I’m proud of her for researching multiple sides of a question before making up her mind-that I’m wrong.  HA!  It’s fine, honey, be right and prove I’m wrong.  But in 30 to  years, I’ll be right about this too.

My kids’ taste in music is fucking awesome.  I don’t like all of it, but I’m really happy it’s an eclectic mix and not all the same bubblegum bullshit the rest of the herd is listening to. Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve listened to, and, I confess, enjoyed, my share of bubblegum music.  But mostly I liked classical, what they now call “easy listening” like James Taylor and Jim Croce, and a lot of classic rock and early metal.  But bubblegum, sure.  Girl bands. Girl lead singers, I confess, it’s a trend I still follow.  Madonna.  Did you SEE the cheesy movie they made out of Dick Tracy?  But I bought the soundtrack.  That is still awesome music.  J. Lo.  Mmmhmm, her ex is an idiot.  And while we’re on the subject of idiot ex-es, why the fuck did Mr. Mariah Carey let THAT jewel slip through his fingers?  Um…no.  Not Jewel.  She didn’t do anything for me at all. When I was very young, there was this gem, resurrected by Shrek as a testament to its’ lasting popularity:

and then there was this:

Oh, whatever.  Wordpress, or my laptop, is tinkering with the links so I don’t know what the fuck you’ll be seeing when you read this.  (Both of you.)  When I was older the good bubblegum was Brittany Spears, PCD, Spice Girls (if only for Scary Spice, she is still worth the whole rest of the band), and Christina.  Girl bands.  Girl singers.  All right, enough rambling on about that.

Not all the time, but a lot of the damned time, I feel like quitting.  The fight isn’t worth the cost.  I hurt myself, I hurt other people, I fight to keep on trying at life and work and family and marriage and church and friends and emails and housework and writing.

Lately all my writing is on stolen time, and I have to not take it very often, or life makes me give it back or puts me through more bullshit until I surrender.

If I could change something that sounds like something that could be changed, it would be the whole self-defense thing.

The one person that I should be able to trust NOT to attack me is the person who does it the “best.”  But she questions me on time management, on focus to tasks, on cooking, and is never quite satisfied with anything I do.  It’s not fair.  I don’t want to feel the need to defend myself from the one person on the earth I should never have to be defensive around.  The family learns this. She got it from my in-laws, and her children got it from her, so yeah, I have to sometimes defend myself around them too.  It’s not fair, and yes, I would love some cheese with my whine.  Got any extra sharp cheddar?   The other day I made dinner and they all started in with the criticisms, and I think it shocked them into silence when I softly retorted to my teen children that “If you want it different, or better, you can cook it your damned selves.”  And I left the kitchen.

I don’t want to defend myself at work either.  I want a job that doesn’t harness me on the basis of fear, but rather, on the basis of reward.  I want a boss that doesn’t harass me to exert and display her power over me on the basis of intimidation, wanting to keep me under her control, but a boss that sets me free to work hard and succeed.  And gives me tools that work to help me succeed instead of crippling me with shitty tools that don’t work like they should, and telling me that I need to not be upset or disappointed because if they work the third or fourth time I try to make them do what they’re supposed to do the first time, they’re “working.”  For fucks sake, if your hammer handle is broken you buy a new fucking hammer.

I don’t want to defend myself against random people.  Don’t fucking call me, you asshole telemarketers.  My long distance service is better than yours in the long run, no matter how free yours is in the short run.  Plus, don’t you realize I hate change AND ringing phones?!  Don’t ring my doorbell, traveling salesmen/women, unless you’re bringing girl scout cookies or boy scout popcorn, which I could take or leave because that’s what MY kids are selling.  I don’t want a $50,000 vacuum cleaner even if you vacuum my carpets and show me it’s really worth every penny.  Fuck off.  You know who you are.  You were suckered into a sales job by a deceptive classified ad, and you have to do the fucking presentations and then you pray someone buys that shit because your life now depends on it.  I don’t want to name any names or confess to anything in my bitter past, but I answered the ad and attended days of allegedly paid training and they didn’t confess it was fucking door-to-door fucking VACUUM cleaner sales until the fourth FUCKING day.  And the name rhymes with, um, “Derby.”  And doesn’t start with “DE.”  “Let him (or her) who has ears to hear understand,” it started with the exact same first two letters of the precise thing I wanted to do to the people who wrote the advertisement and led the training, for suckers to quit their day jobs to answer, and desperate people to sign up because they’re desperate.  I don’t want to ever have to carry sacks of shit.  They need to be put down.  I mean every kind of sack of shit, including those who lie around; “let him (or her) who has ears to hear understand.”

And thank fuck there aren’t any trolls on this thing who bother to read my blog and know how to push the buttons.  Thank fuck I’ve been sensible enough to decide who can follow and comment and I can decide  from the list of things to do with trolls:

D  o not allow them to post their bullshit comments;
A  llow them to post their bullshit comments just to show how stupid they are;
E  mail the sender and tell them to fuck off and report it to WordPress;
M  odify the comment before posting so they sound even dumber than their
O  riginal comment was, and make everyone see what a worthless shit they are;
N  icely respond to all the mean shit, and agree that their point was more valid than mine
S  end them a fucking love poem, or eroticism, or traumatize them with something
like a picture of a cute cat, or a dog, or a bag of burning shit, every day so they
realize it’s pointless and they fuck off on their own accord.  “Bite me… gently…”

Ooh, look, it’s a fucking ACROSTIC!  Who knew?!  Oh, and, sorry for the turn-on if you get turned on reading such things.  I can’t help myself, this devout and very married introvert is a steamy, sexy devil dog with a dirty mind, ready lips, and talented, strong hands, just dripping with … oh, sorry, there I go again.

I’m going to find a beverage since it’s Friday night, and see if nature changes its’ course.  It’s a hot day in fucking FEBRUARY, so if that nature changes course, maybe OTHER natures will change and start giving me what I want.  Hope you all have a great weekend, and I hope the universe, God, and your life and family and significant others all love you the way you want to be loved, without bitching about it, for the sole purpose of making you happy because they love you.  I may find three beverages, which is an extra one.  It’ll help me if I have to accept the seemingly inevitable outcome of THAT wish for myself.  But I want YOU to get everything you want.

Math Language Disection IV

Hello again, readers, fans and celebrated literary critics!  It’s been a while, you all have been warned, SEVERAL TIMES, and despite my cautionary notes advising against it, to date there are, according to WordPress, 297 lost souls who for some reason have clicked “follow” at the bottom of one of my wellsprings, by which I mean pits, of insanity.  You may think it’s writing, but this blog is the dumping ground, the killing floor, and the outdoor crapper all in one, for my wasted genius, my grief for undercompensated best efforts, my useless emotional outbursts, and any pitiful kernels of spirituality, dropped and immediately snatched away by birds, and choked lifeless by the cares of the world and the Powers that be which could do something about shit but couldn’t be arsed because, to shamelessly steal from Jeff-fa-fa Dun-Ham (dot-com)’s character José Jalapeño (on a stick) [they’re] “laughing too hard.”  At my damned expense.

Did you see what I did there?  See, we all love readers, we all love fans, and we all love it when a reader or a fan has something nice to say and posts a comment about our writing.  We don’t like the haters, because nobody likes a hater.  But instead of just pushing away, which really resolves nothing and might even provoke an antagonistic response, I gave the haters a little dignity, a little respect, in calling them “esteemed literary critics.”  Maybe that’s all any of us needs.  Personally, I’d love to be a literary critic.  Because what do you do?  You read it, or you skim it, and you offer an opinion about what you read, or about the author.  You can literally say whatever shit you want.  If you’re in a bad mood, fuck your subject, fuck your readers, and fuck the world.  If you’re in a good mood, fuck your subject, fuck your readers, and fuck the world, but enjoy doing that.  Being a critic:  It’s something similar to being tangential, except instead of being tangential at a given point, a critic offers a tangent at any point.

A good critic will offer encouragement to continue doing whatever a person being critiqued  is doing, but to continually work hard, in an effort to do it ever better.  One doesn’t normally just give a status report, a numeric evaluation, without any kind of answer guide or explanation.  One might establish a baseline expectation of performance, either based on prior experiences there, or industry standards, or One gives things the subject should keep on doing that they’re doing well, a kind of “run.”  And then one gives things where they need improvement, a kind of potential to “rise,” or “fall.”  You give an “O-pinion”

An O-pinion is something that’s unpredictable.  The tangent might lie anywhere around the circle, the “O” if you will, and go in any direction established by the critic.  That is to say, if a place did better the last time and they were crap this time, a downward slope might be indicated.  If a critic only pinioned a subject, in contrast, there would be no room to breathe, you would be unable to move, which is why an o-pinion is preferable.  If you were racked and pinioned,  you’re probably already finely ground between the teeth of the gears.  And stretched, if you were racked correctly, and immobilized if you were pinioned correctly.   If you were pinioned, always keep in mind that being immobile has the benefit of being what’s called “nodal,” meaning you are not moving up or down.  If that’s the case, it may suck, but at least things aren’t getting any worse.   And if you were the same as last time, you may get a slope that’s a horizontal line.  It may be on the bottom of the o-pinion, which means you sucked and you still suck and your critic has abandoned all hope, but still gave you a shot, or it may be at the  top, which means you were excellent before and you’re still excellent.  The benefit of a horizontal line is they liked you the same as last time.  I’d hate to have a slight upward slope.  It might give me false hope of actually improving, for fuck’s sake.

There are chefs in restaurants who literally live, or have died, by their rating.  Chef Bernard Loiseau was in debt and suffering clinical depression, and still worked his ass off in the kitchen all day, before killing himself, on February 24, 2003.  I haven’t forgotten.  I never got to go to his excellent restaurant while he worked there.   It is a tragedy, and I will never forget.   I’m not sure which is more tragic:

a) being in debt, which I am, and working your ass off to get out of debt, only to figure out that your employers are shitheads with jackboots on, and realizing there is no way to climb out of the pit because when you try someone is up there to kick you back down;

b) not being able to fix the situation enough to become more comfortable or at peace, no matter how hard you work at it, which I am, precluding some kind of miracle, see below;

c) being prone to depression like Monsieur Loiseau, which I am, though perhaps not quite so severely, after working so hard to succeed and feel good, you get the boot and fall again and feel like a failure who’ll never succeed, which I do.  I married an absolutely fantastic woman, and I love her beyond what I believe is anything normal, but she is a fucking backward nit-picker.  You work your ass off, deal with the details, pick all the nits you can find out, fix everything your little detailed brain can handle until you’re too tired to see, and she comes in and only needs a minute or two to assess, whereupon she always tells you where you fucked up, what you did wrong, the 1 tiny nit that remains out of the five hundred you carefully combed out and killed, the 1 to 3 percent of whatever project you didn’t accomplish, and why it’s not enough and you feel like it’ll never be enough, so why keep trying?  So far, I keep trying and she hasn’t kicked my  ass to the curb yet, so I must be doing all right I guess, even though I feel like a miserable piece of shit;

d) realizing that the only people who really matter to you are all like the above, never satisfied with anything you have ever done.  What’s the hope they will ever not be looking down their fucking noses at everything you ever will do, all the while forcing you to either eat your rage or just accept whatever they do, because your love covers a multitude of  their sins, but evidently they don’t love you enough to overlook yours.  Trust me, it’s a shitty way to live;

or,

e) not being quite stubborn enough or angry enough at them to stick around if only just to piss them off.  I’m one stubborn bastard, which is why I’m not dead.  In my heart and soul, I do care, and I wish that what I brought was enough.  But my stubbornness dictates that I ultimately reach the point of va te faire enculer, and I let the critics go their way with my French, um, well-wishes, trusting they will be self-satisfied and content with their lives while they destroy mine.  In the spirit of said va te faire enculer, I do sometimes pray for a critic to be adjusted, gently given a little bit better perspective, and meanwhile I work until I’m tired, and I get up the next day and try again.  If only I could be self-satisfied as they are, and let that be enough.  If only the hard work I do could be appreciated and well-compensated at work, and reciprocated at home.

Alas, my day job dictates that I be subject to critical opinions and unrealistic timelines and expectations that keep me bruised and kicked down, no matter how hard I work my tail off to satisfy the requirements.  Career advancement might have been possible if I had kissed ass, sucked …up… and let the bosses steer my career.  I didn’t, so I’m dead to them.  They don’t give a shit, they labor hard and long to think of reasons why they can’t give me a fucking cost of living increase, but turn with the same two faces and tell me how much my work is appreciated.  In reality, I know the truth of the matter:  they’re just waiting for me to die, or to quit, and it can’t happen soon enough to suit them.  Fuckers!

Alas, my family life is the same, and I am already bruised and kicked from work, so there’s nothing left to offer but blood and body parts.  I’m not important enough, or depressive enough, to feel that what I do or don’t do is worth getting depressed enough to kill myself. I appreciate solitude, don’t get me wrong.  But Mrs M, bless her heart, more days than I actually appreciate, gives me a nonverbal va te faire enculer and then probably takes that and applies it literally in her own way, because how the fuck should I know when she goes to sleep and leaves me awake and dealing with my feelings all by myself.  I’m not crying, because that’s not me.  “Fucking WAAHH!”  Nope.  I’m just angry, and I eat rage for midnight snacks, and wait for Mrs M to decide she’s relaxed and not tired, and just bored enough to use me.  One of my readers teases me about how I make such a good fucking wife.  I love her, but at the same time…I love her.

Oh, Monsieur Loiseau!  To have ended yourself just for having disappointed one or two smug fuckers, customers who think they know better than anyone else what service, and food, should look like, and taste like, and what you should cook, and how you should cook it, blah, blah, blah.  As if their way was the only fucking right way.  And, as if, disappointing one or two customers mattered, when you’ve literally satisfied a few thousand others.  Those critics probably don’t even pay l’addition, s’il vous plait; les rapiates!  Putaines!

Notice that hope for the “critic.”  I could have just said:

//giphy.com/embed/10ysUs2Cod5Oxi

via GIPHY

and left it at that.  But no.

If I were driven to be the best writer, instead of just expressing what I feel, or writing what I’m thinking about, I’d be done.  I’m aware that my writing can be surpassed.  I have days when I can almost pull it together.  I may have written something crappy last time, but maybe this time, it’s not AS crappy as then.  The slope of the tangent, from last time to this time, is upward.  The love from encouraging, soft-hearted people, comes along.  Other days I’m not so together, those same loving, encouraging, soft-hearted people are too kind to offer a word of criticism because it might be taken harshly.  Because, sure.  Let a heartless putain de connard literary critic come along and shred me, the weak, worn fibers will no doubt tatter easily.  The slope of the tangent, from the quality of yesterday’s writing to today’s, is downward.  Why?  Well, Deon, maybe it’s because you didn’t write anything yesterday, but today’s is crap so why should we expect better?  There are people with better audience appeal.  There are people with more interesting or more compelling subject matter.  There are people who have a better sense of humor, a better way of expressing themselves, a better vocabulary, a better site layout, betterbetterbetterbetterbetter.

There are writers who can actually focus and write on a topic, without rambling.  And speaking of rambling, the moment you’ve all somehow had the stamina to endure for, has come.  My ramble is rambled, my rant is ranted, at least for now, and finally…

It’s time for Math Language Dissection IV:  Today’s Dissection:  Derivatives

Oh, Deon.  Not again.  We could hardly stand it the last time, and this time you rambled on about shit no one cared about until no one was still reading.

But Oh, Yes, more Mould.  Or Math Language Dissection.  Because that’s the nature of math, and mould- it grows on you.    Four times as much math dissection as the first time.  Last time I did this, I nearly lost 212% of my readers, which should be impossible you say, but just trust me, it almost happened.

At the risk of doing it again, click here and look through this webpage.

If you did that, and actually came back to my blog, you intuitively know something about people who studied math on purpose, more than our basic masochistic leanings.  But you should also intuitively understand that the reaction you just had is the same reaction EVERYONE has, especially students who are forced to learn mathematical derivatives.  It’s an entirely human reflex action, as natural as what happens soon after ingesting Carapichea ipecacuanha syrup.  Mmmmm.  Deliciatives.

We hate derivatives.  Derivatives try to copy the original.  You THINK they’re hard to figure out, but when you scratch the surface and take a good hard look under the gilt-edges, you see the truth.  They’re fakes, cheap imitations, trying hard to pretend they’re just as good.  They follow the slope of the original function, or the recipe, if you will, but the flavor is flat as a dropped soufflé.   They follow the concept, you get the idea, but they have no soul.  It’s there, it’s OK, sure, but every OUNCE of the love has been sucked out.  Like The Machine in The Princess Bride sucked the years out of Wesley, a derivative is The Machine turned up to 99: not until the function is “only mostly dead,” but until the function loses its’ purpose.  There’s almost nothing left- it’s a skeleton, where there once was a captivating, lush-lipped, full figured, gorgeous woman.

We loved Alan Rickman, for instance, but there isn’t a human being who can match the snark, the bitter sarcasm, the attitude, the absolutely harsh, absolutely charming ennui, of Mr. Rickman.  He could be apologetic and still, under the gently sorrowful words, you somehow knew he knew he was right.  Fortunately for the pretenders, but unfortunately for the rest of the world, he’s gone.  Attention, all you haters:  You have a chance to aspire to the new number one.  Unfortunately for you, haters, it’s me.  That’s right.  I’m sorry (no, really!), but your opinion is worse than irrelevant, it’s powerless to change the fact that I’m right, and it couldn’t be more exhausting to me.  It’s exhausting, because you so strongly believe you’re right, that you wear everyone out with your endless, foolish, barbaric garrulity.

I am the world’s harshest critic.  Fortunately for the world, my harshest wrath and ennui is trapped inside the mirror of ssensselepoh like a damned horcrux.  That’s right, I am the anti-Gilderoy Lockhart, and I speak Parseltongue, too.  I gaze into the mirror and see my soul, my shattered dreams, my surrendered ambition, my brokenness, and everything adds up to intense self-loathing.  All I’m looking at is the image of a harsh reality; what I see is all entirely truthful.  And unlike Voldemort’s foes, no one is willing to even TRY to destroy the mirror I sometimes gaze into, which could potentially be accomplished by giving me any amount of cash greater than $300M.  Thus far, no one has been willing to try, and therefore I can’t die.  Come on!  Someone, give it a shot!

What the world needs is not more derivatives, like those unending old Haim Saban Power Ranger sequelseries, or Stephen J. Cannell’s crime mimeographs, or Dick Wolf Wolves, or Anthony E. Zuiker Zuikers and Bruckheimers, or sappy Aaron Spelling everything-works-out-good-in-the-end-after-the-shit-goes-down-and-people-“just”-fucking-try-harder shows.  Spelling also loved stories where people didn’t appreciate what they had until they got what they thought they wanted.  I hate that shit.  Fucking “It’s a Wonderful Life” DERIVATIVES.   And honestly, I really DO appreciate what I have, to the extent that what I have is good.  What I have is a lush, full coloured painting, of what could be.  What I want is 3-D, so much more, so much better, so very possible.  I love Spelling’s REAL story in spite of myself, because it could have gone really bad but it didn’t, at least not until his misfortune returned in around 2001.  He was MARRIED to Morticia Addams, and what could be bad about that?

What the world needs are anti-derivatives.  Anti-derivatives are the opposite of derivatives.  Instead of being fashionably way too thin and nearly two dimensional, or worse, one dimensional and just showing the slope, an anti-derivative is original, gorgeous, full figured, proud, stark naked and grinning, going in it’s own unique direction, shouting a loud “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLES!” to all the critics.  THIS, Chef Bernard Loiseau, is who you were meant to be, except you let them wear you down.  When the haute cuisine world goes off on idiot tangents, if you’re able to be yourself, the anti-derivative, the original function, instead of the tangent off the anti-derivative, it’s a glorious thing, but the critics are always critical.  If you’re classical,they want you to run with the fad and still excel, and if you run with the fad, they bitch because you’re not traditional enough.

Don’t let the critics wear you down.  Don’t, even if the critic is the voice in your own head. What the world needs is you.  Not the you that tries to be someone or something you’re not.  The original, beautiful you.  Be that.  Be the Anti-Derivative.

Escaping My Clutches

Escaping My Clutches, 9/28/2016, Deon Mumple

She keeps trying to escape my clutches,
Not realizing, not thinking,
That there, right there, happiness
Is ours for the taking.

Held, firmly, securely, skin to skin,
That’s where I want her,
And she hides, as if it were a sin,
To enjoy the surrender,

Flirting, teasing, it goes back and forth
Sadly, I notice less back,
Escaping, hiding, behind invisible doors
Fortified against attack.

But that smile sometimes still crosses her lips…
Sometimes when stars sweetly align
I’m caught in drunken delight, from tiny sips
Craving more fruit from that vine

After what feels like a drug addict’s fix,
I wait, wish, and hope, for more,
Feeling love and rage and wanting, mix
She’s the one my heart beats for.