Small Town U.S.A.

In this blog, I’ve expressed a lot about myself and my upbringing.  I’ve talked about many different events that have shaped and molded me into what I am today.  But one thing I haven’t touched upon practically at all, is the actual physical environment that I grew up in; where I come from.  And I’m a believer that we are predominantly products of our environment, we are fashioned by all that’s around us.  So where you get your start, where your formative years take place, that’s integral in what you will become in the end.  Or so it would seem anyways.

My hometown is a small, rural town, population of roughly 3,500 people.  Our biggest focal point is a Wal-Mart, that hasn’t even been here all that long.  The community consists mostly of farmers and factory workers, there’s not much room for anything else really.  This is a very conservative area, as most small towns tend to be.  There’s a heavy leaning towards right wing Republican, and we have more churches than I care to count.  Churches of various denominations, but primarily of a Judeo-Christian base(a couple of Catholic churches thrown in for good measure; ya know, shake things up a bit.)  A community that seems to be afraid of progress of any kind.  A community that hates homosexuals.  Is terrified of marijuana.  Xenophobes that are fearful of any outside influence, and seem to think that if you visit a large city, you will be shot dead in an instant.  A racist community that frowns upon interracial relationships. If you think about it, that’s an exhausting amount of bigotry and hatred.

They put faith and religion above all else, and honestly, that’s where a lot of the bigotry and hatred comes from.  It comes from the bible.  Flag waving bible-thumpers who would rather silence any opposition than to hear them out.  I remember as a child seeing people holding up signs of dead fetuses, signs that read “God hates faggots,” etc.  We still have anti-abortion billboards scattered all throughout the area.  The influence of religion is so huge in this area, it is borderline disturbing.  I am completely OK with a person being religious, people can think and do whatever they want to do, fine by me.  But for it to carry such clout, this day in age, seems silly to me.  What this says to me is that the people in charge here, the people passing laws in my area, are the same people who believe in a floating kingdom in the sky.  They believe in Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the whale, and a man being resurrected from the dead.  Fairy tale stories from an archaic time.  Not to mention the majority of these people are massive hypocrites.

Here, and in most of America, which is obviously the only place I can speak for, the theistic hive-mind seem to practice what appears to me to be a sort of “moderate Christianity.”  Meaning that they don’t necessarily take the bible word-for-word, they claim much of it to be allegory(though I’m skeptical that many even know what that word means.)  They don’t follow the 10 commandments to a tee, claiming that times have changed and it’s OK to maybe take the lords name in vain on occasion.  It’s OK to skip the day of Sabbath every now and again.  So you slept with another man’s wife?  Oh well, shit happens, times have changed.  Covet this, covet that.  I think it’s fair to say that most people who would consider themselves Christian, probably don’t even know the 10 commandments, let alone follow them.  But this seems strange to me, because the bible is the word of god, is it not?  Maybe not directly, but God spoke them to Paul and other apostles.  So, if this is the word of your god, how can you take that lightly?  When your soul is on the line, and eternal damnation awaits those who stray.  If you truly believe in heaven and hell, how can you possibly take the word of your lord god moderately?  

I could go on forever giving examples as to why I find religion to be silly.  But that’s just my opinion, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s OK if you want to believe that, it really is.  I have no quarrel with it.  But when you start imposing laws and passing ordinances based on an ancient, fictional doctrine.  That’s when I have a problem. 

But I digress, I’m focusing a bit too much on religion.  But that should give you an idea of the mindset of the area I was born in.  And you may wonder why, if we are such products of our environment, do my beliefs differ so much from those around me?  Well, having many friends from many different backgrounds helped me a lot.  I grew up with and admired some very strong minded individuals, ones who would always question authority when they saw fit to.  But the biggest factor in becoming who I am today, is the internet.  The internet allowed me to see things from a million different perspectives.  It taught me that there’s more out there than what I could ever possibly know.  People in other parts of the world don’t even practice Christianity, and probably know nothing about it; and they get along just fine.  I started to question so many things as I researched on my own.  This is something I’m actually very proud of.  Because, here in 2014, it’s becoming more and more common for people to be atheist, for people to accept gay marriage, etc.  But back in 1996, in small town USA, it was extremely rare to think this way.  I can remember being playfully ridiculed by friends for my views on religion.  My own friends and classmates jokingly telling me to, “have fun burning in hell.”  But I was never deterred, I’ve held fast to those same beliefs for 15 years now, and I believe them more strongly than ever today.

We should not be so afraid of change, we should embrace it really.  I fear that the area I live in is many years behind even the rest of the country, which in turn is also slow to change.  This is an area of churches and guns, and it’s just not for me.  Bill Hicks once said that we have 2 main choices in life, fear and love.  Fear tells you to buy more guns and put bigger locks on your doors.  Love tells us that we are all one and to accept others for who they are.  The area I live in is dominated by fear.  It’s sad really, and I just want to get out of here.

Emotions

Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.

It’s hard to believe that human’s have been in existence for an estimated 2 million years, yet we still know so little about the inner workings of the mind.  And our mind is everything.  It’s full of creativity, innovation, love, and countless other amazing things that drive human beings on a daily basis.  It’s such an amazing factor, yet the understanding of it seems elementary at best.  And sometimes it almost feels like the more we know about the mind, the more confusing things get.  Think about this: essentially every act we commit each day is driven by some type of human emotion.  Every laugh, every frown, every kiss; all stem from a part of the brain we can’t even begin to comprehend.  And emotions are extremely powerful, they truly are.  Emotions cause us to act out in ways we might not even want to, they cause us to lose control of ourselves.  Think about how many crimes are committed as an act of passion, stemming from some raw human emotion.

I think the best thing we can do is embrace our emotions, learn to accept them, and learn to control them.  But not control in a restrictive way, just learn that they are there, and they will always be there.  Accept them for what they are, don’t freak out and get caught up in knee-jerk reactions.  This is something I’ve always struggled with.  I wear both my thoughts and emotions on my sleeve, when something isn’t right with me, it will be obvious to anyone who knows me.  I often find myself freaking out in certain situations, or breaking down emotionally when I’m hurting inside.  This isn’t really the way I want to be; on one hand it’s very “honest” I guess you could say, but on the other hand it makes me a nervous wreck at times, as well as a liability to those close to me.

So, in an effort to strengthen myself mentally, I have to learn to corral these emotions.  I have to keep them in check, and prevent them from taking control of my actions.  Now of course, sometimes letting yourself “go” is an amazing thing, when the emotion that has you elated is a positive one.  But life is too short to be stuck on a negative plane.  Harnessing the good, and filtering the bad is key.  Bring as much positivity into our lives as we can, and hopefully that will emanate to those around you.  No one wants to be thought of as a Debbie Downer, right?  Because emotions can be contagious, be sure you spread the right ones.

Toying With Fiction Again

Men of Honor

He slipped silently through the night, staying only to the shadows.  His blackened attire allowing him to meld as one with the darkness around him.  Had he a choice, he would have opted for a moonless night; as the moon shown high and bright in the sky on this particular eve.  Illuminating the ground below in a shade of soft white.  But circumstances did not allow for such luxuries, he would have to use his training to it’s fullest and make due.  He scaled the outer castle wall with relative ease, he had studied and practiced this particular ascent for months, shocked at how effortlessly the action came to him now.  The royal guard was on unusually high alert this night, he began to wonder if they suspected anything.  It mattered not at this point, he leaped over the outer wall and out on to the rook.

An archer stood out overlooking the town below.  His feathered leather cap cast a peculiar shadow on the stone wall.  The last sound he heard was his own gargled breath as the knife calculatingly penetrated his side.  Striking the exact point it’s killer had intended, a gloved hand cupped his mouth preventing his muffled screams and gargles from escaping.  His body fell limp to the floor.  The killer opened the small hatch and silently shuffled down the ladder.  There was much more light here than he would have liked, making the moon seem but a minor inconvenience.  Commotion came from all directions, he heard men talking and shouting orders, something was certainly amiss.  Taking a moment to adjust to this new environment, he found his bearings and began his way towards the king’s chamber.

Armed men clambered around in animated bustle, some looked and sounded almost eager.  Others seemed deathly afraid.  Then he heard what he had suspected all along.  “How certain can they be he will come tonight?”  Said one man.  Another answered.  “About as certain as it gets!  Archimonde says they captured and tortured one of ’em and he spilled the whole thing.”  This did not bode well, but there was no turning back at this point.  His honor would not allow it.  Darting in and out of rooms, crouching in corners, he inched further towards his destination.

He shot into a small dining area, presumably for soldiers.  When he heard a startled gasp behind him.  Before the poor woman could scream for help, he brandished his blade and silenced her swiftly.  He did not pleasure in killing anyone, let alone those innocent few who crossed his path at the wrong time.  He drug the body under the table and neatly put the chairs back in to place, darting back out the door as soon as the opportunity arose.  He dashed up the staircase leading to the king’s chambers, making sure to not let his nerves get the best of him, he tried to remain calm.  He crouched and rounded what would be the final corner.

When all of a sudden a large man appeared from out of the doorway of the royal chamber.  Stunned by being caught off guard, the killer made a brisk dash towards this new threat, hoping to silence it quickly.  Though as he approached, he realized this man did not shout for help.  In fact, the only sound he made was the unsheathing of his sword.  A simple blade for a man adorned in full chainmail, but he held it with a practiced precision that caused a brief moment of concern for the man in black.  He thought he saw a smile cross the face of the large knight, and he wondered if this man were mad?  The assassin lunged forward with incredible agility, but the knight was ready.  He parried the small blade with a gauntleted hand and swung in a horizontal arc in return.  Barely bounding out of the way in time, the assassin took a step back and put his dagger at his side, unsheathing his own sword in it’s stead.

The two met in a whirlwind of steel, the symphony of combat filled the royal halls with macabre music.  The armored man was strong and resilient, but the assassin was swift and agile.  After what seemed an eternity of parries and near misses, he landed a slicing blow on the upper leg of the larger man.  A thin slice of blood trickled out from the area where his armor ended, at the meat of the thigh.  But the man did not flinch from this, in fact it seemed only to incite his fury.  A heavy double-handed blow crashed down in a vertical arc, and the assassin’s entire body shook with the force of the impact as he barely blocked the attack in time.  A second similar blow sent the assassin to his knees.  The larger man kicked at the chest of the assassin, sending him reeling back.  He bounced to his feet and lunged forward, the armored man swiped at his sword and sent it to the side, swinging another vertical blow down, this one more reckless than the last.  

Dropping to his knees, the assassin quickly pulled his dagger from his side and stuck it into the under arm of the larger man.  Catching him again where the chainmail did not cover.  The knight gasped, but he did not shout in pain, nor did he stop his attack.  His now damaged arm fell limp to one side, and his good hand grasped his sword.  Swinging now with more desperation than before.  The assassin lunged again, switching up his attack at the last second and striking at his other leg in the same location as the previous blow.  The knight hobbled for a moment, and that was all the assassin needed.  He circled around and leaped up onto the broad shoulders of the knight, grabbing under the chin and pulling his head upwards.  Blood sprayed the linen lined walls.  The assassin stepped backwards and the knight hit the ground with a loud thud.  His lifeblood trickled out, blending into the all ready red carpeted floors.

Gasping for breath, the assassin thanked whatever gods may be listening for keeping him alive.  He quickly regained his composure and made his way into the royal chamber.


“Don’t go.  Not tonight, just stay here with me.  I beg you!”  Lenore said.
He turned to her, taking her small hand in his.  Knowing that whatever words he was about to say would not stop her tears.  “It is my duty, I must.  You know this Lenore.”  He said.
“But Tyriel, you have given so much for that man.  Must you give him everything?  What about me?”  Proclaimed Lenore.
He kissed the back of her hand gently, with grace that belied his hardened stature.  “Like I said, it is my duty.  Not just to the king, but the entire kingdom.  I can’t fail them, not tonight.  If what Archimonde says is true, an attempt will be made on the king’s life.  And this time it will be a serious one.  Not just some retired bard looking to make some coin.  A real assassin, from the guild.”  Tyriel said, nobly.
“All the more reason for you to stay with me.  We can…We can leave together.  We can go stay with my family up the river.  I just have a bad feeling about this one.”  Lenore pleaded.
Tyriel laughed a mellow laugh.  “You always have a bad feeling.  When have I ever not returned home to you my love?”  I will do everything in my power to be back here by morning, I promise.”
Lenore threw her arms around him and pulled him tight, silently hoping she wasn’t holding him for the last time.  “Just…Be safe, for me.”  She allowed herself an uneasy smile.

Back at the castle, Tyriel recalled his conversation with Lenore.  He missed her all ready.  The king was in one of his moods, and rightfully so.  If people were out to kill you seemingly every day of your life, you would be in a mood as well.  He grumbled something incomprehensible to Proctor, leader of the royal guard.  Then pointed in Tyriel’s direction and shouted.  “Do whatever you must dammit, but Tyriel stays with me at all times, is that understood?”  Proctor glanced at Tyriel and reluctantly shook his head in favor of the agitated king.  Tyriel sighed, wondering what a peaceful life would be like.  Wondering if he should have listened to Lenore.

He began the tedious process of strapping himself into his armor.  He had never had a squire, though many had offered or been offered to him.  He simply didn’t see the need for it.  But now, no longer in his youth, he joked that it’s about time to get one.  Pulling his gauntlets on, he reached for the scabbard containing his family sword.  The same one his father had used to protect the realm before his time, he admired the blade for a brief moment, then took a sharpening stone to it.  It’s brushing motion soothed him, and for a while he forgot about all the worries surrounding him.  He slowly stood and put his sword on his back, he watched the king as he stirred about in his room like a small child waiting for his parents to come home.  Feeling the need to leave the king to his own accord, he walked out of the royal chamber.

As he exited the doorway, he saw a flash of black out of the corner of his eye.  Reflexes honed through many years of training caused him to turn in the direction of the assailant and get into a defensive position, his sword was in his hand without him even realizing it.  He saw a moment of shock in the eyes of the would be killer, before the assassin ran at him in a full sprint.  He glanced at his fathers blade, hoping that he had made it as sharp and true as it could be.  He thought of Lenore one last time and smiled.

Motivation Pt. 2: The Return

Hemingway 1

 

Life is hard.  It is my belief that human beings have evolved into creatures that are essentially too complex for their own good.  The mind is such a powerful force that we barely understand even the smallest inkling of it.  And it is that powerful mind that brings us both joy and misery.  In that regard they say that, “ignorance is bliss,” but I think that’s a pretty cheap way of looking at things.  All though it may very well be true.  I’m reminded of one of my favorite films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mindand the quote the film was based off of by Alexander Pope:

 

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot
The world forgetting, by the world forgot
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned

But I don’t want to be ignorant.  And the movie is a perfect example as to why that’s not always a good thing, you miss out on so much.  If there’s one thing in this life I can pride myself on, it’s my mind.  But when you’re stuck in a situation and a place you don’t want to be in, that same mind can bring great anguish.  It’s a sad paradox really.  The same thing that makes me such a good person, is what keeps me from doing the things I want to do.  I know that there are better and greater things out there, because I’ve read about them, I’ve talked to people who have experienced them, I’ve learned these things.  But I also have such immense fear of actually taking the leap to change my life.  I just have to keep constantly reminding myself as to what I really want.

I want to help people.  I want to get home from whatever job I may have, feeling like I made a difference that day.  I put a smile on someones face, or I performed a valuable service, whatever the task may be.  I would prefer this job to be a decent paying job, maybe 30 hours a week.  I want plenty of time to focus on hobbies and exploration.  Adventure is important to me.  I think once a man stops seeking new thrills, then his life is essentially over.  I think people should always challenge themselves, and a person should be scared out of their minds from time-to-time.  Get your adrenaline flowing, feel the blood pumping, remind yourself that you’re alive.  And appreciate all that you have, and all that you don’t have.

Give all the love you can to those around you, and most likely you will receive that same love in return.  If not, find new friends.  We can do that if we need to.  Is it hard?  Sure, but if things aren’t going the way you want them to, if your life doesn’t feel complete or fulfilled, then do something about it.  If you hate your job, get a new one.  Find your current place of residence dull and boring?  Move somewhere else.  Just do whatever it takes to truly live, and make a difference.

The clock is ticking for me, I’m 30 now, I will be 31 soon(yikes) and my biological clock is going to start it’s downward descent.  I have to get the ball rolling as soon as I possibly can.  I have to keep my body and mind sharp, and stop being so damn lazy.  I have to start taking the necessary steps to make these things happen.  I have to stop thinking, and start acting.  It’s hard, but I feel I can make it in the end.

And you run and you run
To catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around, to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way
But you’re older, shorter of breath
And one day closer to death

P.S.  Here’s a little inspiration to myself, in video form.

Between the Bars

Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I have seen baby pictures of myself wearing headphones before I could even walk.  My parents both listened to music quite extensively and I picked up on that same passion at an early age.  All though I didn’t really listen to the same music that my peers were listening to.  Of course I would be lying if I said I didn’t get down with O.P.P.  And yeah, at one point I wished that I had a pair of parachute pants and could bust a move like Hammer.  But for the most part, I discovered my own music, I didn’t just follow along with everyone else in that regard.  I listened to local rock radio stations, like 100.5 The Fox out of Louisville, KY.  And made my own choices as far as what music I liked.

Early on it was all about the grunge and “post-grunge” movement of the early-to-mid 90’s.  Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana.  Then later, with post-grunge, you had:  Bush, Seven Mary Three, Live, and Silverchair.  After that I started to discover heavy metal, it started off lightly with modern nu-metal acts of the late 2000’s like KoRn.  But then I started delving deeper in and going back to the classics, 80’s heavy metal is one of my absolute favorite things to listen to.  And I’m not necessarily talking about Motley Crue or the Scorpions either; all though those are good bands.  I’m thinking more like Grim Reaper, Metal Church, and Queensryche.

From that point I went even farther back, discovering rock’s roots and getting big into classic rock of the 60’s and 70’s, some even older than that.  I started just listening to everything around this period of my life(a couple years out of high school,) from country to rap, from folk to heavy metal.  I truly developed a huge appreciation for all forms of music, and try to keep an open mind to this day about it.  I also began playing music somewhere along the way.

I have played in a couple of different extreme heavy metal bands on electric guitar, but never anything too serious.  Here is a band I played in, though I’m not present here, these are mostly my songs(for better or worse.)  I also love playing the acoustic guitar. My next plan is to get a small percussion set up and learn to play a primitive drum set.  My hope is that one day I can create my own music from scratch(most likely some sort of dark, acoustic folk.)  Not being able to sing might hinder that some what, but I’ll either suck it up and do it myself or outsource it to someone who can.

 


 

Pearl Jam – Elderly Woman Behind the Counter In a Small Town

I seem to recognize your face
Haunting familiar yet, I can’t seem to place it
Cannot find a candle of thought, to light your name
Lifetimes are catching up with me
All these changes taking place
I wish I’d seen the place
But no one’s ever taken me
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

Pink Floyd – Echoes

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you, and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand?
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can

No one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
No one speaks, and no one tries
No one flies around the sun

Hozier – Take Me to Church

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good god, let me give you my life

Black Sabbath – Children of the Sea

In the misty morning, on the edge of time
We’ve lost the rising sun, the final sign
As the misty morning, rolls away to die
Reaching for the stars, we blind the sky

We sailed across the sea, before we learned to fly
We thought that it could never end
We’d glide above the ground, before we learned to run
Now it seems our world has come undone

Oh they say that it’s over
And it just had to be
Oh they say that it’s over
We’re lost children of the sea

Opeth – Harvest

Into the orchard I walk peering way past the gate
Wilted scenes for us who couldn’t wait
Drained by the coldest caress stalking shadows ahead
Halo of death all I see is departure
Mourners lament, but it’s me who’s the martyr

The State of the Nation

You are not the contents of your wallet.

 

I normally don’t concern myself with political matters, ever since I was very young I saw the absurdity of it.  A popularity game.  This puppet versus that puppet.  I’ve been eligible to vote for about 12 years now, and have never voted for anything in my life.  “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”  Some might say I’m “part of the problem,” and maybe they are right.  But what got us to this point?  What brought about such apathy in me?  I look around at the American society today and it makes me sick.  Commercialism and material excess, consumerism, vanity and greed.  This disgusting fixation with the celebrity status.  American’s want more, and they want it now; but they don’t want to work for it.  It’s absolutely repugnant, but no one seems to realize it.

I walk through the malls, and I look at the prices of designer jeans; and I get a knot in my stomach.  The fact that people pay this kind of outrageous money for junk is what the capitalist thugs feed on.  We have only ourselves to blame at this point, but again; no one seems to care.  Wake up people!  It makes me just want to grab the whole of society and shake it really fucking hard.  These things do not matter.  They are meaningless, in fact they are beyond meaningless.  Has everyone forgotten what life is?  And that we have only one to live.

Life is about experiences and adventures, not how much stuff you have.  So many people have forgotten this, and now I wonder, are these people really living?  Or just simply existing.  This is what living looks like, in case you’ve forgotten. I just wish more people would realize this.

There’s only so much I can do on my own, I never buy designer anything, I shop locally as much as I can.  I would simply to prefer to spend my money on things that truly enhance my life, instead of a flashy t-shirt or a pair of pants.  If these things are more important to you than living, then you have some serious problems and I feel so sorry for you.  Chuck all that crap to the curb, and go on a trip.  Go see another country, go see what goes on in other parts of the world.  I imagine your outlook on fancy things will change when you see what life is like in a small African village.  Do whatever you want to do, but please, stop existing, and start living.

Toying With Fiction

I’ve always had a fascination with fiction.  Be it books, or movies, even song.  Fantasy, sci-fi, and horror have intrigued me since I was a child.  So many of my favorite forms of media are highly fictional, or inspired by works of fiction.  I’ve always had a sort of romantic fascination with certain aspects of it.  Bravery and sacrifice, imaginary beasts, etc.  I love reading tales of valiant warriors fighting until the bitter end.  As childish as it may sound, I even try to put myself in their shoes sometimes, and just dream away.

Now I have never been much of a writer, and I never thought that I would even attempt writing anything in my life.  Which is strange, considering I love to read.  But I’ve found a new passion for it recently, and I find it quite invigorating to immerse myself in it.  I may lack technical skill, but I do have a vivid imagination.  So I thought I would try to come up with my own little piece of fiction, and just see how it turns out.  So be gentle please, it’s my first time.

 

 


 

The Doubtful Warrior

The silence stirred all around him as the night slithered in like a serpent. He stood there in the door-way, impassive and unflinching. He knew they would come for him soon, but there was no turning back now; night was all ready upon him. He reached for his lighter, the familiar glossy feel of the Zippo brought a brief smile to his old scarred face. He put the cigarette to his mouth and struck it. “These things’ll kill you.” He laughed to himself. The warm smoke filled his lungs, providing reprieve from the cold still of the night. For a brief moment, he allowed himself to take a quick stroll through his mind. Thoughts of love and joy were quickly subdued by thoughts of the ensuing darkness. They had taken everything from him, his anger rose. His left fist tightened into a ball, while his right reached for the grip of his gun. It’s touch brought with it a strange comfort.

He knew this would be his final stand, here in this place of such death and anguish. Strange it should end here, considering this is where it started. “How did it come to this?” He mused to himself. His memory was foggy, most likely stained by bloodshed. Some things are better forgotten. He was certain of one thing though; he would not live to see the morning sun, never again would he feel it’s warm touch.  His fingers made their way to the spot on his face where he had been torn open; the long and deep scar served as a reminder of past events.  He couldn’t help but laugh a maniacal laugh. The absurdity of the situation was almost too much to bear. Not long ago he had been an ordinary man, living an ordinary life. He had a nice home, and a happy life. He had a girl once.

He remembered Lisa, and suddenly re-kindled an old memory. One that all the bloodshed in the world could not tarnish. She was lying on his bed, half asleep. Her hair a mess, her makeup smeared. This was how he chose to remember her, the real her. She had shed her summer dress for a more appropriate night gown, and the sheerness of it brought out the curves of her body. She couldn’t see him staring, but she must have felt it. She turned to look at him, giving a lazy smile, he had no choice but to smile back. “What’s so funny?” She asked with a giggle. Without a response he strode over to the bedside, he sat down next to her and placed his hand on her hips. He then caressed her soft blonde hair, admiring the beauty of it. He reached down and put his hand on her face and went to turn her towards him. Her face was alarmingly cold. When her head rolled over limp, he saw that her eyes were black and lifeless, her lips purple and her skin a pale white. She had been dead for 2 years now. This was his last image of her.

He had drifted in his own thoughts for too long. He heard movement in the bushes near him, instinctively he pulled out his gun. Out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw something, a blur; maybe his imagination? No, He heard the familiar panting now, almost canine like in sound, and he knew this was no hallucination. The panting persisted, drawing closer. Suddenly he found himself in doubt. “Why did you come back here you old fool? What are you trying to prove?” He cursed himself. It was too late now, the panting grew louder and more abundant. How many of them there were, he couldn’t say. “Enough.” He thought…more than enough. These are the bastards that stole his life away, now they’ve come to finish the job. Then the doubt ceded, and the maniacal smile crept back onto his lips. He would take as many of these vile creatures with him as he could; straight to hell. From the corner of his eye he saw the signature red eyes of one of the beasts. In this moment of fight or flight, he stood his ground; as he swore he would so many times before. He shifted his gun, aimed, and pulled the trigger…

“Lisa, I’ll see you soon my sweet princess.”

Motivation

The world we live in is a big and scary place, full of lies and deceit.  Obstacles to hinder your path.  Just when you think things are going right, a reality check hits you square in the face.  You can either put up your guard, roll with the punches.  Or you can hit the ground and stay there for the 10 count.  It’s so much easier just to stay down.  Just to give in and accept whatever life hands you.  Most people are not willing to fight for what they truly want, and up until this point in my life, I was one of those people.  I was the very definition of “easy going” I was practically a drifter.  I took whatever job opportunity presented itself, no matter how shoddy and worthless I knew it to be.  When I got tired of one, I would just drift to another.  I kind of did a similar thing with my friends, whichever friend was available most of the time was who I spent my time with.  When that friend would get into a serious relationship or take a new job, I would gravitate towards another friend.  I just kind of “went with the flow.”  And I don’t want to do that anymore.

I want to stand up for what I believe in, fight for what I want, and make something out of my life.  And all I can hope for is to try; that these are not just words on a screen.  That these words will someday soon manifest themselves as actions.  I may sound like a bit of a broken record at this point, but I need to reassure myself that this is what I’m going to do.  To at least be able to say, in the end, that I tried.  I lived my life as best I could.  I saw all my eyes could see, heard all my ears could hear, and loved all my heart could love.  I just know that if I continue on my current route, and stay in this small quiet town; someday the regret will strike.  It all ready has to some degree, and it hurts bad enough knowing I’ve wasted 10 good years of my life on nothing.  I don’t want to waste the rest of it.

As a bit of a side note, I recently purchased a T.V.  And I know what you’re thinking, “My, that’s awfully counter-productive for someone looking to minimize distractions in his life.”  And I don’t blame you for thinking that, but hear me out.  I haven’t owned a proper T.V. in nearly 10 years, I have no desire to ever sit on the fucking couch and watch sitcoms or Sunday night football.  This T.V. will be a learning device for me.  I want to use it to watch documentaries, seminars, speeches.  I want it to be my window to the rest of the world.  I want to see how awesome people live their lives, and find the time and monetary means to do what they want to do.  I want to watch a travel guide to Egypt, I want to see what I’m missing, and know how to get there. 

I just can’t give up on myself.  I talked recently about putting trust in others, and I still stand by that.  But you should never give up on yourself, there’s always another chance, it’s not over until you allow it to be over.  Be strong and fight back, life is too short to give in, to lay down and submit. 

There is one principle above all else:  The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences.  When the whole world is telling you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world:
NO, YOU MOVE.

OC Bucket List & The Impossible List

The OC Bucket List.  A phrase coined by myself and a friend.  A some what ironic term, but it still holds value.  OC stands for Orange County, which is where I grew up.  No, not Orange County California, Orange County Indiana.  A small, rural area, with nothing but rolling hills and corn fields.  It’s easy to grow up in an area like this, and feel like there’s absolutely nothing here.  But there’s beauty all around, we just get desensitized to these things.  So despite the desolate nature of your surroundings, I’m sure there are fun things to do, and interesting things to see.  So here are some things I want to see before I begin a more serious journey.

 

OC BUCKET LIST

 

The Impossible List is a list of things you might have always wanted to do, but may have seemed impossible at one point in time.  My list is going to be pretty ordinary compared to most, and quite mundane in some ways.  Only because I have really never left the town I grew up in, never left my comfort zone.  But anyways, here goes.

 

GENERAL

  • Find love
  • Help someone get back on their feet in life
  • Volunteer a weeks worth of time to helping others

FITNESS

  • Run a 10k
  • Run a half marathon
  • Perform a muscle-up
  • Squat 300 lbs.
  • 215 lb Clean
  • 40 consecutive pullups
  • Deadlift 400 lbs.
  • Sub 7 minute mile
  • Complete a marathon

TRAVEL

ADVENTURE

  • Go white water rafting
  • Hike up a mountain
  • Ride an extreme rollercoaster
  • Go bungee jumping
  • Learn to indoor rock climb
  • Go parasailing
  • Go sky-diving
  • African safari
  • Surf on the ocean
  • Hang gliding

MISC

  • Learn to skateboard(adopt the nickname “McFly”)
  • Learn a foreign language(No hablo espanol)
  • Watch a Broadway play
  • Learn to play guitar and sing at the same time
  • Learn to play a second instrument
  • Make a meal with items caught/gathered myself

Ramblings

Another utterly boring work day.  Sitting at my desk, counting down the minutes, wasting my life away as I have for so long.  Stuck in this meaningless soul-sucking job, in this lifeless dead-end town.  Oh well, at least I have plenty of free time to write and think about my future.  This is probably going to end up being quite a rant, as I have no specific direction here, a bit of an aside I suppose.  But anyways, here goes.

I’m currently in the process of selling my car, which has been tough for me.  My car has been my baby for the past couple years, it’s truly unique and I’ve always felt like it was one of the most interesting things about me.  It’s incredibly rare, and people stop me at gas stations just to talk about it.  But then I realized, it’s kind of sad that I need to rely on a crutch like that simply to get attention, to chat with people.  We should place our reliance not on temporal objects, but on ourselves.  I’ve always found myself to be socially irregular, and what I mean by that is at times I am extremely outgoing and I have absolutely no problem communicating with people and making friends.  But then there are times when I simply freeze up in social situations, I shy away from conversation and even if I’m approached I may not open up at all.  It’s really awkward and hard to explain, I’ve always blamed it on other people and not myself.  Saying, “Well if they came off as more polite and respectful, then I probably would have talked to them.”  But now I think, why should I change or be different for anyone?  Why not just be myself all the time?  The real Brian is outspoken and opinionated, but he’s not rude.  He’s witty at times.  He’s compassionate for even the most primitive concerns of strangers.  He’s fun.  Why does this person hide so often?  Where does he go?

The mind is a complicated mosaic of thoughts, bunched up together like so many jelly beans in a jar.  Each one has it’s own unique taste and color.  It’s quite impressive to think about, and staggering as well.  The mind is simply a wonderful thing to behold; but it can also be quite scary.  Because sometimes, when a person finds no solace in those around him, he retreats into his own mind.  There he may find some comfort, yes, but he will also face all of his fears.  Every step he takes will be questioned, every action has it’s consequences.  So lately I’ve been thinking, maybe it’s best to step outside of your mind for a while, put your trust in others, let their energy guide you to a new direction.  This is something I’ve always struggled with greatly, trusting others has been tough for me.  I make friends easily, but it doesn’t mean I connect with them, or trust them on a deeper level.  I shut people out on a regular basis(reference my last entry to know why.)  So starting recently I have made a vow to be more open and honest with those around me.  I will tell them my thoughts and dreams, and if they like them, then great, but if they don’t I will not lose any sleep over it.  I love my friends, even if we don’t all share in similar views; so I owe it to them to let them know how I feel.  And even if they don’t love me back, that’s OK.  The love we give, is the love that we keep, and to give love selflessly is one of the ultimate displays of the matter; in my humble opinion.

And love has been a fascinating subject for me recently.  Though I am maybe a bit unaccustomed to it, I do feel like I have a very strong understanding of the word, maybe more so than those who believe they have truly experienced it.  And this is strange, considering I don’t believe I have ever been truly loved by anyone outside of my own mother, even my father is questionable.  That’s a pretty sad and distressing thought, but I blame mostly myself.  But that’s delving back into that place of pity that I have been so desperately trying to escape, so I digress.  Let me give you my definition of love:

Love is placing another above yourself, it’s putting their wants and needs ahead of yours.  It’s the feeling of wanting to give rather than receive.  Putting a smile on their face is more important than having one put on yours.  It’s knowing that the choice between your life and theirs is an easy one, because in your eyes they are everything and without them things will never be quite the same.  Their touch soothes, and their gaze penetrates; you are not looking at just another person, you are looking at the only person.  I know all of this may sound exceptionally sappy, and I would agree.  But I guess when you have been loveless for so long, you have a lot of built up love to give.

In my quest to become a better person, love is my true mission.  I have to find it out there, somewhere.  I know it exists, I’ve felt it in my heart so strongly that I thought it was going to explode.  I want to fall in love with everything, and I want to be loved.  I want to climb the highest mountain top, overlooking the world and all it’s immense beauty.  In that moment I want to take the hand of the person I love and not only share it with them, but also let them know in that moment they are still all that matters.