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Nov. 5th, 2013 @ 09:55 am Ghost roads.
So I toured, and saw parts of the country I'd only read about. It was amazing, although there was almost a trip to Michigan on the way home.
I know she doesn't remember me, since it was about nine years ago now, but in Grand Rapids I made a very large mistake with someone else's very important organ. I chose what was safe over what made me happy, and I proceeded to reprogram myself. Grand Rapids became my codeword for not choosing love over security, a monument to my own cowardice. (That same hackjob is what almost killed me, about two years ago.)
And we were headed straight for it.
I'm going to have to deal with that guilt, someday. Choosing not to stay with her was the only crucial decision I erred on where I could have possibly known better. The rest of it can be tied to nature or nurture. That was just folly.
I'd still know her by her voice. Nine years later.
So now, when I date, I don't make promises I can't keep, I don't stay with people who don't resonate, and I sure as hell will not be going back to Grand Rapids without a written invitation.
Maybe she was meant to be an object lesson, and I'm just obsessing with what I did wrong.
She looks happy now. I peeked, despite promising myself (and her) that I'd never break that glass. I know she tracks IP addresses, but I had to. I've already proven that I was stupid, narcissistic, and incapable of making brave decisions. Add this to that pile, I guess. If it helps, my meds were low that weekend.
But she is smiling so hard, in those pictures, and that's what I really wanted for her anyway. This ghost is mine alone, and I came by it quite honestly. It's not a matter of her forgiveness; she's not even an indirect object, a factor in this equation. We were together very briefly, and that was that.
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Jun. 24th, 2012 @ 10:08 pm A quick glance at the rules.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
1. I allow anonymous comments because Phil (saratogaphil)always forgets his logon.
If you don't put a sig of some kind (a shared memory, if you need to remain anonymous for any reason, or maybe a nickname I've used in the past), I will delete your comment. Maybe I'll reply. Maybe I won't.
Either way, I won't squeeze out Phil (have you tried her birthday, man?) for anybody.

2. Don't slag each other. Or me, really, unless there's a solid reason. You can, hard as it may be to believe, try to change my mind.
Sometimes, it may even work.

3. WHEN I SAY "I HATE WHITE PEOPLE", I'm KIDDING. What I mean is "I HATE PEOPLE WHO THINK I ACTUALLY HATE WHITE PEOPLE." Sorry, I guess I should have made that clear from Entry #1.

4. In fact, a great DEAL of the time, I am KIDDING. If you can't laugh at my admittedly obsidian sense of humor, then this really isn't a good place for you. The Internet has other sites, however shabby in comparison; there's got to be somewhere better.

5. REPO MAN is the greatest movie ever made. You just needed to know that. You're welcome.
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guthlactus speaks!
Dec. 16th, 2011 @ 07:51 pm Notes from the siege.
Current Mood: sadsad
Tonight, I had to stay home from a holiday party I'd been planning on attending. I'd been looking forward to it for months, but, lo and behold, by the time we'd have launched, I was not in the right headspace for human company.
I am not crazy.
I am not crazy.
I am under siege, from within and without, but I am not crazy.
I am sad, sadder than ever about my life and so many of its denizens, but I keep walking. My totem animal is probably some kind of zombie. I'd say lich, for you tabletop veterans, but frankly, among my many concerns is a diminishing sense of intellect.
So zombie it is.
I won't break my own self-imposed rule about discussing my divorce, or my relationships in general, but it can be said with great certainty that things could definitely be going better. (Not in all aspects; I love my roommates, and would be quite at sea without them, a lot of the time.)
I miss my dad, even though it's been nineteen years today. The last days of his life were the among the last days I thought things could ever be all right. I have been wrong, every time I thought that, by the way. Things will never be safe, never be assured. Home is gone, as a concept. I struggle to avoid thinking that way, but it's so.
I miss my boys, even though I saw them at Thanksgiving. I am a long way away, compared to spending damned near every day of their lives with them. I know I wasn't the best or worst father; I just made a lot of very common mistakes, as well as managing some pretty standard accomplishments. They're good kids. They deserve a lot better than I've offered or shown, but they've made do like champs.
I don't have much money now, and I'll soon have even less. That makes me nervous, always has since I lost the man who'd pay my way out of Hell if they'd only give him a detailed bill. I love my mom, and she's been as supportive as possible, given herself and the loss of the love of her life, but my dad set the bar for almost-unconditional support.
I was spoiled, both by their indulgence and my own ignorance. I don't have enough of either, these days. I'm quite real, quite rubbed raw by human standards, and while I can keep going, I can't say for how long.
I am very sorry if I offend anyone, as a consequence of being reduced to a walking insecurity, but at least you can rest assured that I will NOT be eating your brain.
Also, I am not crazy. My problem may be that I am finally TOO in touch with reality, and I haven't quite the skills to cope.
I hate winter. I hate this winter even more, though.
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Sep. 23rd, 2011 @ 06:38 pm Edit.
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
A lot of times, I'd love to talk about my life, or my feelings, or my job, but I find myself self-censoring. Too many people have too much access, these days. I've considered starting an anonymous blog, but really, what would I say? I've been editing, or omitting, for so many years. I'm not sure if I'd know the truth, unvarnished, if I saw it in the ether. I speak it, sure enough, and most folks know more than enough about my specifics to piece together what I might mean, but...
...do I really have anything to say, and do I really have the employability death wish to say it?
I suppose I'm something of a coward, after all.
An employable coward, certainly, but that doesn't deafen the notion of sniveling in my head.
I'm pre-selling out, and I don't even profit from it.
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Sep. 22nd, 2011 @ 08:42 pm Flare.
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
I figure I'm just an ember that refuses to go out, but I don't know how happy I am about that, sometimes.
My head is in a pretty strange place, right now. Genuinely strange. I have an insane commute, work stress beyond work stress, and, frankly, no money to speak of. Ain't much a damn thing changed since I got here, has it?
I miss the boys. Christ, I miss the boys. It's been over eighteen years since I lived without at least one of them in mind, in hand, or chattering with his brother. The commute kills the money, the money kills the time, the time is just gone and will never be back. Of course, the same is true of the time we had together. It is there and will never be truly gone. Am I the same?
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Jul. 17th, 2011 @ 06:11 pm We both know I had to.
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
I looked up an ex on Facebook, just to see how/what she was doing.
She looks great.
She looks happy.
(They never end up happy, after me. I am sadly thrilled.)
Knowing her, she logged my IP address and I've bought mild trouble.
It was worth it, she was worth it...especially if she's actually happy. She's probably reading this, by now. She can read; she's bad.

In other news, I offered the two older boys a choice of residences, and they have opted to stay with Jacob and their mom. I'd gotten over the heartbreak of the marriage ending; I'd been slogging along for years, waiting for some kind of sunshine that was never coming. It was almost a relief when the ax fell.
This? This really hurts, more than anything has in a very, very long time.

(And no, that is not why I looked up that other girl. I will not break the glass; she has a life to lead, and I should have never even touched it for the brief, wonderful time that I did. I wish her only happiness.)

So that's me. Broke, in considerable emotional pain, and on my way to a six-day week at work. How've you been?
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May. 4th, 2011 @ 09:02 am Parlance.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
In some places, this would be where they'd tell me to talk about my feelings. (Not here. You've all been subjected to my feelings for years. Let's move on, shall we?)Read more...Collapse )
So that's what I did, and continue to do. Maybe I'll share more, another time. I see our hour is up.
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Jan. 24th, 2011 @ 10:24 am That's why they call them "free throws", actually.
Current Mood: determineddetermined
I am finally seeking help with some stuff. For one thing, I'm going to call the same orthopedic group that fixed Erica's neck...this left ankle has been bothering me for ages, and I should have made that call years ago.
Still not dead, FYI.
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Oct. 14th, 2010 @ 01:51 pm About that...
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Rush, Subdivisions
I know it's fashionable to talk about bullying, these days...and homophobia, but I really don't know much about that. Yeah, when I was growing up, some folks thought I was gay, but that wasn't why they kicked the shit out of me. It was an ancillary insult, despite the fact that at least three or four occasions were based on me talking to the wrong girl (these people were not geniuses, which may have spurred their anger in the first place.) I...I just don't get that part. I understand being different, at least to a '70s small-town extent. THAT I know.

I was, to put it really mildly, awkward as a youth. (I am also awkward now, but considerably less so.) Among my first school memories are my first rejection from sitting with other kids from my preschool when we graduated to kindergarten, my first beleaguered attempts at playground peacemaking (apparently, "I'll leave you alone if you leave me alone", as suggested by my well-intentioned and long-suffering mom, does NOT work), and my first trip to the school nurse (a bee sting. Not everything was the work of bullies. Sorry.), and my first dozen or so fights. I did alright, a hair over .500 by my reckoning, until they started using numbers.

Things didn't get better when I made my first friend (second or third, if you count the Sewer Rat, the poor bastard upon whom I was inflicted by our mothers, or my buddy Paul, who was sentenced to the same Sunday School class), Scotty. Scotty and I were such losers that the local bullies would kick BOTH our asses together. It wasn't as embarrassing, somehow, to have a companion in trauma. Go figure.

I'm not sure how I made it through actual school days, in grade school; I know I did, sure enough, and I managed enviable grades until that first D (Math, sixth grade, Mr. Kishel.) Once my grades swooped down to reach my self-esteem, I just sort of fell apart. The next two years are a blur of embarrassments: suspensions for fighting, academic failure left and right, social inadequacy upon social inadequacy, and a general sense of having dropped what little ball I had. I won the citywide spelling bee, three years straight, but because my town didn't cooperate with other communities, ever, that was the end of the line. A fifty-dollar EE bond (all three of which were spent on diapers and formula), a dish of ice cream with two teachers who were probably just as amazed at my lack of suicide as I was, and then it was back to the horror mill, so to speak.

At the end of the eighth grade, I was asked to trim the hedges along our driveway. That is the last thing my lumpy, tallish-but-never-tallest, misshapen, fat, clumsy, adolescent somatosense remembers. I overclipped, in an effort to even out early errors, and I stayed out in the sun too long. The hedges recovered, in time. I am not so sure that I did, in a lot of ways. (I am still no arborist, even in the meanest sense.)
I came inside, ablaze from the near-summer heat, and passed out.

I am not sure how long I spent in the quiet, cool darkness of my room. I am not sure if my hazy memories of coming out, eating and drinking, then returning to the beige-eggshell-paint-covered womb are accurate. I may have left Earth; I would not know.
When I woke, it was July and I was six feet, almost-two-inches tall. I was approximately 250 pounds. Nothing fit.

Suddenly, I had a lot of new friends; many of them had been a bit less charitable, and terribly recently. I felt compelled to discuss that, I will admit. I may not have been kind, but I was certainly more compassionate than they had been in alleys, swamps, and the odd parking lot. Numbers did not help them any more.

The first year of my sudden superhumanity was almost as awkward as its predecessors; my immune system, in particular, took its dear sweet time to catch up! I also had to relearn walking, and was cruelly denied a spot on the football team. My pediatrician was more concerned about my walking career...whatever. He did, however, clear me to lift weights with the team.
My second year, I did just that.

My mother, happy to finally see her son not get punched in the face with alarming regularity, even though it was all her fault (I'm kidding; she and my dad were more concerned that I'd get in trouble for fighting, as Dad had as a kid...we had similar tempers, so it WAS a valid concern. I was not as kind about this, when I was younger. I have since apologized, though my mother only punched me repeatedly in response. Thankfully, she is still a bit of a dwarf.)

Mom set me straight, early on in the mutative process. I was never to start a fight; I was never to pick on people who were different (and who wasn't?); I was never EVER to punch someone in the face, if I could avoid it; I had to protect people who were smaller than me.
(Many of you owe my mom a lot more than you'd like.)
Given that my mom is 70 in two months, and she still kinda scares me, my 1984 self bought into this policy without delay.

I ran into some difficulty, my first freshman year. I didn't do a lot of homework; I was in detention (for talking, and smoking on school grounds, in most cases) with great regularity; I was, as mentioned, sick a lot. So I stayed back. It was that or public school, and for a change, I chose wisely.

Not a month into my second freshman year, I had all As, was sitting with a thoroughly-engaged table of black kids (there were about eight; I went to Catholic school), and it was then that I made my cardinal mistake.
There was this tiny, mouthy little snot in my French class, and he lipped off to a gigantic sophomore (always the cruelest participants in Freshman Friday, as they had vivid, recent memories of torture.)
The sophomore in question was about six-two, 225...we'd had words the year before. Mine had involved a lot more syllables than he liked.
In about a second, I'd tucked Mighty Mouth behind me and was inviting my more simian colleague to move along (which he did.) I have never regretted that decision, even on days when that particular homonculus has done his best to tempt my wrath. We have to protect those who are small, even when they are small and incredibly annoying and poorly-dressed.

It was then that I started collecting fellow misfits. I have yet to stop, really. Look at you. Look at me. Look at us. The nice thing is that we have each other.

Being this big (at this writing, 6'6", about 290 lbs, and quite a bit more certain of foot and hand), I want to take these kids, gay, straight, or whatever, and get them behind me, too. I want to ask their predators, and good fucking GOD there are even more of them now, thanks to the intarwebs*, to try me first. I wish I could be one of my more-evolved friends, who reach out to those in need, and empower them, reassure them, remind them that there are people who care, even when you're on the ground and the fuckers, those poor, scared, stupid fuckers who won't stop because they don't know any other way to deal with the fear than to find the weak or solitary victim and brutalize them, just keep kicking and punching...but I can't.

I want a piece of them. Every mother who bullies their kid's classmate, every jock who thinks that fast-twitch muscles entitle them to anything, every mob, every community that thinks tricking a lesbian teen into attending a fake prom, every roommate who doesn't see a problem in posting their shy gay classmate's video on YouTube, every asshat who rocks Ed Hardy and makes fun of the Wal-Mart kid...I want them. I guess that fat kid is still in here, hundreds of pounds and hundreds of poundings later. I guess I haven't learned all that much, since those first lessons.

I'm proud to say that my sons have, though. My oldest hangs out with the band kids, as well as the jocks' other traditional victims, the drama club, and he stands up, despite being a good deal smaller than me. My middle man has Asperger's, but he still has enough sense of social cues to not be mean (except to his big brother, but that's different.) Jake knows not to make fun of classmates, and to help anybody who needs it.

Me? I'm still a gigantic jerk. And I'm still collecting freaks. Nobody hurts my freaks.

*If we'd had the internet when I was a kid, I'd be 4000 lbs, alone, and still living in my mom's basement...assuming I hadn't committed suicide from the desperation of it all. How do these kids DO it, surviving from day to day while under siege about body image, popularity, and sexual mores? I like to think I'm kinda tough, but the ones who make it, and help others on the way? They kick my ass like my mom would have. Really. Bless them. Bless them all, and often.
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Jul. 25th, 2010 @ 05:43 am Ghosts.
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
With the new digital pogrom initiative, LJ is probably going to delete a lot of my friends...including at least one whom I only knew here.
There was this guy, Joe. His tag was jerris_darkrun. I think we met on the singleparents community, or something like that. He was a good guy, a ready source of happy in a time when happy had been outlawed. We'd run into each other at odd times, and he always had a comment or aside. He'd been through family court, he'd rebuilt his life, he was in love with his girl and the world; he was a role model, and I've always needed one of those.
Well, he died. Suddenly. His memorial service announcement is the last thing on his journal. The community for remembering him is long gone, too.
And in a few short weeks, it will be as though he never existed, if you ask LiveJournal's servers.
In my heart, though, the Llama (it was a long story, how he got that name, and he never did get to tell it) will always live on, smiling in the Florida sun, on that bike he'd always wanted.
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