Taking Part In The Brutal & Necessary

Do you want to hear about killing a dog? Neither do I. I don’t want to write this. I want to forget about-put it in the furthest corners of my jumbled up brain while hoping it replaces itself over time. I’ve tried to write about it for over a week. Every time I sit down to the keyboard I stand up and walk away. Three times I’ve deleted the words and told myself to drop it.

One of my goals in life is to embrace all of its quirks. The greatest periods of personal growth come from some of the most wretched places, to ignore them is to disregard a chance at an unforeseen, perhaps unimaginable perspective. Only through perspective can we achieve understanding. For me, understanding is the secret ingredient of a well made life. If I can gain enough understanding, I will hopefully turn it to peacefulness, tranquility, and the real Atlantis of human mindset: contentment.

In the following I will attempt to work my way to understanding…

Living in a farmhouse off of a semi-busy road leads to a whole mess of bullshit. We have the occasional visitor who only stops to either sell something, ask for something or steal something. A couple of months ago, we had a guy fresh out of jail, who was walking forty miles, stop and ask for a ride. He wouldn’t stop asking. I would rather be in the car with a coked up mountain gorilla than this guy. He was rough looking and smelled like the aforementioned gorilla. It wasn’t happening. We have a few people stop because of car issues and I do my best to help them. It’s not all bad, but the absolute worst are the dog droppers.

What goes through the heads of dog droppers is baffling. They take their malnourished, beaten dogs, and drop them off at country houses. I guess in the sick world of justification, they feel as though the dog will have a good home. It will flourish in its new surroundings and all the damage will wash away. What these fucktards fail to realize is they have usually permanently destroyed the trust the dog may have ever had in humans. The dogs stick around because they’ve most likely been chained up for so long they have no concept of free space. They’re usually injured and sometimes dangerous to people and pets. The homeowner is now left with a tough decision.

Small towns are not hotbeds of dog rescue organizations, and city funded dog catchers are exactly that: city funded. We live over thirteen miles away from a city. You see my predicament? I’m left with deciding the dogs fate. I used to work with a dog rescue group out of Dallas and I know that even if there was a local group, dogs like these cannot take up the precious space held for better suited animals. The dropped off dog can either be left to suffer in the elements or put down.

Last week, we had such a dog. He could have been beautiful. I tried to corral him, feed him, call him, and anything else you can think to do to avoid killing him. He, like so many others, was too broken to be helped. I have two dogs of my own and I couldn’t take the risk of them getting sick or injured. (I’m having a hard time writing this. I’ve reread it and I hate it.) I made the decision to put him down.

For this part I will not go into detail. I will keep these memories. I will sum it up in one sentence: It was not a clean kill and he suffered horribly. I was angry at myself in ways I’ve never been. I kicked myself for failing this creature. I want to do awful things to the ones who put me in the position. Fuck them.

The perspective I’ve tried to gain from this experience is that of those who have to make tough decisions with no good answer but one right answer. The correct answer can be different for different people. I’ve been thinking of the choice between a mothers life and her child. I’ve been thinking of those who must decide whether more suffering would be caused by watching their loved one hold onto life through slow breaths given by a machine, or life without them. I’ve been thinking of the those who put their lives on the line everyday for strangers. All of these are much worse than what I went through. I cannot totally relate, but I think I understand.

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Gothic Benches

A position statement before I go into all this mess: I do not believe in the paranormal.

Recently, two of my best friends from high school came for a visit. These are dear friends who have been together since pagers and Tupac. She is an elementary school teacher and he is a police officer. I sucked at school and law abiding, so our friendship is most likely a lie. On the night they were leaving we stayed up telling stories and playfully pushing for wife swapping.

I vaguely recalled a story from when they were first dating, and for God only knows what reason, they would go to city parks late at night to talk. Talk? Whatever. I asked them to retell the story so Cris could hear it. Cris loves stories, and she really loves when they involve the mysterious.

The story goes that one night around 11pm in Mesquite, TX, Buttplug and Chastity (first names that popped into my head) went to Debusk Park to have their teenage-love-drama-public sex time. The park is massive, covered in trees, and at the time of the night, vacant. A walking & bicycling trail encircles the entirety and roughly every 100 feet are walkways off the main trail. The walkways have small wooden bridges. It’s picturesque and majestic except it’s located in the herpes of Dallas County.

These wooden plank mini trails lead to a circular concrete pad complete with a picnic table and benches. Once there, you’re secluded and surrounded by trees. Even during the day, no none could hear your screams, especially during the day, not over the excitement of Javier and his amigos having a go at the piñata, or the Meth Family having a go at normalcy. The place is probably safer at night, really.

Buttplug and Chastity went down one of the walkways to find the privacy they couldn’t get at home because parents. Once there, they sat down on one of the benches. Small talk, blah, blah. After about 10 minutes, they see a figure moving towards them. They said, it was as if it just appeared. Buttplug has always been and always will be the quiet badass type. He’s about as talkative as a mango, and not prone to freaking out. Before either one of them can react to the figure, a few more appear.

As the figures move closer it becomes clear that they are people, dressed in black and wearing hoods to cover their heads. The couple look towards the walkway and see the path is now being occupied by even more emo goths with too much Dungeon & Dragons coursing through their veins. Chastity looks behind her and sees they are completely surrounded by them. In total there were approximately forty.

Not a one made a noise, neither the couple nor the intruders. The mystery people did their best to keep their faces down and covered. From body types and movements, it was thought that the group was of mixed ages varying from 14-50.  Not a single face was seen. My friends have told me that the concept of time was lost. Not in the alien abduction sense but more in the “I’m scared I’m about to get gangbanged by a renegade branch of Slipknot groupies, and everything is in slow mo.” sense.

Since Buttplug is an officer of the law, he did his best to give us time frames. He said after a about 2-3 minutes of being stared at and full silence, two of the freaks began to walk towards them. One sat on his side and one on her side. Again silence. The two people acted as if the couple weren’t even there, staring straight ahead at nothing. After about two minutes the weirdos got up, and all at once the whole lot walked away.

No words, no pictures, no nothing could prepare me for the fear I would have felt if I thought I could die from a flashmob of Wiccans and Juggalos in Mesquite effing Texas. How they were able to communicate and get together before the internet was big is beyond me. This was a time when screwballs and kooks met each other through classifieds and cryptic signs on telephone poles. Their coordination is as much a mystery as their motives. Creepy shit, y’all.

Later, I’ll put another eerie story up that I was more a part of. It involves my cheating whore of an ex-wife and blood. That sounded better in my head.

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Squeeze It Out

I’ve been having a hard time with life lately. How many blog posts have started with some variation of that statement? Too many, I’m sure. Stating you’re having a bad go of it will allow for numerous short term benefits. It stands to reason, many will choose to begin with such buffoonery. I’ve come to realize, half the world would cease talking if self loathing was prohibited. Sympathy and attention are top candidates for most common reasons to talk online. The downside, is people either don’t give a turd, or your personal information is used to boost their feelings about their crappy lives, while reserving the right to judge you, going forward.

My only wish is to have a laptop with a hug & tissue dispenser.

Tissue dispensers installed on PC’s would make the world a better place for all of us.

The best course of action is to shut the shit up and don’t let anyone into your hell. Form resentments and an addiction. Become a bottled up shell of yourself and purchase a firearm. Tell your loved ones it’s for safety. Use the china set you inherited from grandma for target practice. Cry. Write poetry to your furniture. Get a cat. Name it Happy and forget about it.

I had feelings once. Now all I have is spotty wi-fi and this damn cat.

I had feelings once. Now all I have is spotty wi-fi and this cat.

Screw that, get the poison out, and let it go. Proper ventilation is required. Take caution! The lines can get real blurry between venting, complaining and psycho. Keep it decent! Calling Obama ‘Hitler sans sunblock’, in the comments section of an NPR article, or  sending naughty pictures of your no-no area to your exes new boyfriend, or screaming at the top of your lungs at an empty children’s playground at three in the morning, are not ways to alleviate the strangulation of your innards.

The toxicity that has been getting me all jammed up over the past couple of weeks is a common theme in my piss poor attempt at living; The dark hole of despair I call purpose. I’ve gone through more “WTF is this shit?” moments than Avril Lavigne’s record label. Finding meaning in an unremarkable life is hard whenever you grew up thinking you’re supposed to be the next John Connor or perhaps even Karate Kid. What you don’t tend to think about is even those two had to deal with the monotony of getting through a random Tuesday. Plus, being the Karate Kid was cool and all but eventually you gotta grow up, and Karate Man sounds sad.

Martial arts leads to wearing chopped up trash bags and your dear moms bracelet, while playing Steppenwolf covers for cheeseburgers.

Martial arts leads to wearing sleeveless trash bags and the  bracelet you stole from an old lady , while playing Steppenwolf covers for cheeseburger money.

I’m well over the fact that I won’t be chosen to save the world or be able to kick a douche in the face for the pride of my janitor mentor. But, I still have those random Tuesdays to tend to. We’re told that we’re special and downright important ever since sperm. While that’s all well and good in a pretty little world called fiction, it makes for a lifetime of unfulfilled expectations and disappointments in the real world. If we’re so great, why does maintaining a consistent flow of contentment seem to be such a motherfucker? I could go on about the nonstop barrage of outside influences telling us how much we should be happy but suck. Everything from Facebook, to your Aunt’s insistence on making it clear that your cousin is a god damn genius, slated for sainthood and a solo on the next season of Glee.

I go through these patches. They happen. I’m jealous of the go-getters and the simpletons. A few months ago, I had a conversation with a good hearted but simple minded individual. We worked together and he had shit to say.

Peter: You ready for lunch?

Me: Whenever. I don’t really care.

Peter: You don’t ever think about lunch?

Me: *confused by the question* Sometimes, I guess.

Peter: I think about lunch all the time. *stares off into the distance*

What do sandwich mean?

If all we did was eat, no one would ever be sad.

It was one of the better conversations I’ve ever had. While my first inclination was to laugh and shake my head, the heaviness of what he said caught me. I’m over here, worried about fifteen thousand things I can’t control, ten million things I can’t understand, and one or two things I have a grasp of but can’t settle on. And, he’s in deep with lunch. His philosophical dilemmas were based on hunger. His stomach did the thinking. Gifted bastard.

Gratitude is the real answer. You gotta make sure it’s genuine though. A homemade batch of Stockholm Syndrome can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. Next thing you know, you’re praising Jesus for a wife with grooming issues, a boss who pinches your buttocks, and a dog who humps your elbow but hey, at least someone finds you attractive. Nope. The gratitude must be things really worth their weight. The moment, right now, where you’re breathing and somewhat alive. Another day to prove your worth to yourself.

Release the poison and concentrate your useless energy on the wondrous. Gravitate towards the blessings, and the contentment will ease in behind. Life might suck but it’s yours and it’s fucking marvelous, by God.

 

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No Flow Whatsoever. Part I

I got a herpes breakout happening on my lip right now and I have a photo shoot tomorrow! Ugh!
I don’t have a photo shoot. LOL. I live in the desert, dumbass. I do have this lip herp thing going on though. 😦

On Monday, while I was doing my rounds around the perimeter of the house, checking for freeloading rabbits around the garden, a 4 ft. Bull Snake caught my eye. Ever since I was bit by a 6 inch baby python in a pet store, back in 97′, I’ve had great trepidation in regards to serpents. Luckily for both of us, he hauled ass in the opposite direction. I was heavily armed and ready for whatever. I followed him, from a good distance, until he made his way into my house. He found an open spot between the siding and the walls. We have a 4 ft snake living with us. Cris named it Bully Wooly. I’m trying to figure out how to adhere a mattress to the roof.

I hadn’t slept much for the past week. I tried every trick in the natural handbook. Such as deep breathing (panic attacks), relaxation techniques (lead to compulsive masturbation), sound machine (Who on earth sleeps better with the sounds of a rainforest? Are there tribesman out there in desperate need of sounds from home? Does Sleep Number now make hammocks from bamboo and the bones of adventurers?), dark room (see relaxation techniques). All in all, it’s been a trying time. Last night, I finally gave into science. I took a Trazodone. Pills and I are not friends. The laundry list of side effects I’ve had read like the fine print of an asbestos factory employee manual. Good news! It worked. I slept. I slept for 13 hours. Thank you, big pharma and depression!

 

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Length And Satisfaction

Word count in a blog post of my sort is perplexing. I tend to write to completion, FTW. After spending a good chunk of time (10 minutes) reading others blogs this morning (2pm) I realized what an ass beating it is to keep caring past about 300 words. The author better have some profound doo doo to say to keep my interest. Being the introspective, personalize everything because I’m an only child with a confusing cocktail of low self esteem and self importance, guy that I am, I decided I better be aware of length.

I’m tempted to stop this post right there for emphasis.

Nope.

It comes down to goals for your blog. I’ve already chosen the hardest blog type to pique interest, much less make a dime. According to my research, I’d have a higher shot at success doing a “How To” blog on urinating in Spanx, than doing a humor/personal life blog.

Let it go, gurl! Let it go!

Let it go, gurl! Let it go!

My goals are attention and vindication through articulation via the written word . Not unlike the 18 year old who moves to California to achieve her low budget porn dreams, I crave life validation, if you happen to have your pants around your ankles while reading this, all the better. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope this parlays into a regular gig writing for a big time publication such as Field & Stream or Good Housekeeping. I have dreams. I’m also a realist. The odds of anything, beyond my nervous flatulence questions addressed to ‘Dear Abby’, getting published are about the same as Rick from ‘The Walking Dead’ nailing a Southern accent.
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I’m learning on the fly here. Getting to know what people want to read, and how long they’ll hang around without prison shanking their dog, is a recipe I’m yet to master. The other worry is selling out…..I’m over 300 words, nobodies here. One time, I got my junk stuck in a vacuum cleaner. And still, no one knows.

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I Worked On A Peanut & Cotton Farm For Two Weeks

Working on the farm, for the first time since I was eighteen, was a success. I didn’t die. The hours are long and the pay is on par with wages of non pirates in Somalia. But I do it for the experience and the bitches.

Day one, I sprayed herbicide all over the place. The spray rig drives itself via GPS and some sort of wizardry I’ve narrowed down to either magic beans or prayer circles. Farming has become a highly technological field and in the process has stopped using slave labor. Who knew?

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Starfleet has acquired John Deere in what’s being called a “real coup” for the intergalactic upstart.

The amount of skill required to do farm work would shock the average city dweller. Most urban jobs are one or two skill intensive. Sales? Talk people into buying burden. Computer Tech? Fix glitches caused by people who spit in the face of NSFW. Chef? Make other peoples recipes and feel like a rebel when you go heavy on the cumin. Of course I’ve downplayed the work of others to boost my case for farmers.

Farmers fix every goddamn thing because all of it will break and break hard. Weld it, nail, glue it, duct tape it, whatever it takes to keep moving. Driving a tractor for 12 hours straight is considered downtime. Selling product to an obscure buyer who will back out at the last minute or renege on a deal in an effort to get the crop at a lower price is commonplace. Weather of all kinds can erase the past weeks work in a matter of hours. Weather will make or break you. Too much rain, you’re screwed. Too little rain, you’re broke. The rain must be spread out and time perfectly.

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The first job I was stuck with, after they baited me in with the spray rig built on alien tech, was seedman. A great job if you can get it…. in the porn industry. As far as farming goes, it’s bitch work. The seedman will park his ignorant self in a pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with five pallets of seed. The pallets have roughly forty eight bags of seed each. The bags weigh fifty pounds apiece. He will open up bags and align them along the edge of the trailer in eager anticipation of the tractor drivers need for fill up. He will then open up the planter boxes on the planting implement, swiftly fill each box while trying not to spill seed or fall to his knees while screaming to whatever deity he wronged to deserve this lot in life. The temperature hovers around a hundred. Air conditioning isn’t part of the benefits package either.


aaftd
The next step after shooing the driver away is to burn the empty bags of seed. Starting fires while sweating your tits off makes for pleasant feelings. After the bags have been burned and no pasture has caught fire (it happened twice), he’ll take a fifteen minute break, of which he’ll spend eight cussing and seven hoping the tractor blows up. The day will average out at 14 hours.
Here are a few pictures of my misery and it’s tools.

More, Keg, more. Don't shiest me, you lazy bastard.

More, Keg, more. Don’t shiest me, you lazy bastard.

A standard planter runs between 8-12 boxes. The farmer custom made a 16 box because he's an efficiency queer.

A standard planter runs between 8-12 boxes. The farmer custom made a 16 box because he’s an efficiency queer.

The wind picks up randomly which throws flaming bags screaming in whatever direction the wind is blowing. It's hell on s'more prep.

The wind picks up randomly which throws flaming bags screaming in whatever direction the wind is blowing. It’s hell on s’mores.

On occasion I’d have to go do a menial chore such as picking up parts from John Deere. I’d live for those. I’d get to drive a truck with A/C. I’d leg wrestle a high functioning leper to get the chance at cool air. I felt like the one person who got away from the villain in a horror movie. I’d laugh manically and think about all the things I’d do with my new lease on life. Such as learn how to use Twitter, pen a letter to Robin Thicke asking if he understood wrapping girls in plastic makes you sketchy but kudos on turning the final steps of a well thought out murder sexy, form a drug addiction and blame it on my time farming, play one on one with a little person, ride topless in the sidecar of a motorcycle driven by a burly biker and stare down EVERYONE, and lastly I’d sleep until my depression healed itself. The feeling was short lived. For prides sake, I’d return and submit myself to the torture normally reserved for ones with low education or questionable citizenship. I had to complete it. Quitting is for people with better things to do.

I stayed on as seedman for about ten days. The Farmer eventually moved me to tractor driver ,which was a horrible decision on his part. He immediately regretted his talent evaluation skills after watching me drive like Amy Winehouse on a sad day. I got scolded. It was uncomfortable. He apologized after he realized that the tractor was improperly weighted. I was embarrassed and pissed off. We moved passed it. I only worked a few days after that. Hell, maybe we didn’t move past it. I wasn’t fired but planting season was coming to an end, and my bitch skills weren’t needed.

I learned more about farming than I ever thought possible and I left with a gratitude for the amount of work it takes to bring raw materials to the masses. If you ever have the chance to work on a farm, do it. You”ll regret it and be glad about the experience all the same.

P.S. Side story
One day, we were blessed with a land owner spending the whole day watching and evaluating. He was in the medical field so his expertise on farming was astounding. I snapped a picture of him. I was about ninety percent sure he was gonna pass away right in front of my eyes. His breathing was labored, and bending over took the effort of running a 16K on horse tranquilizers while wearing a bee keepers outfit.

He ingested enough booze in is day to keep Coors Brewing out of the red.

He ingested enough booze in his day to keep Coors Brewing out of the red.

I feel a bit mean by posting that but I can’t stand meddling with an air of superiority. He was nice in his own way. He also thought he was greater than the people working. He shouldn’t have done that.

 

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Soak Up The Best Parts

A long time ago I was told, or heard, read, or made up that the only concepts people deeply care about are love and death. Therefore, the only art worth a damn either dives into these subjects or glides by them enough to force the observer to feel their presence. Different variations of the two shine through in many ways, including sex (truthfully, I tend to think sex is stronger biologically than love but when taking into account a mothers love and the need for strong bonds within a human pack in order to survive, love might win out.) overcoming insurmountable odds to cheat death, sacrifice for the lives of others, health, learning ways to enjoy life more so that death will seem distant and irrelevant, and any other number of plot lines of stories, still pictures or poems.

I’ve chewed on this idea for many years and tried to achieve ways around it. I’ve read books, watched movies and seen other mediums that don’t fit into either category. While these might have their moments of magic, they fail to touch the spirit. They might make you think a little or laugh a lot but you won’t walk away feeling overwhelmed by life. Which begs the question of what’s the point. Considering our time breathing is minuscule and not guaranteed, it would seem to be a waste of it to spend it letting our minds grow mold around lesser matters.

Over the years I’ve spent obscene amounts of time pondering love & death. In my experience, I’ve seen love live a temporal existence, while death is of the more permanent variety. The changing tides of love never made sense to me until I finally realized that love everlasting is not sustainable in an ever changing life. People change, things change. My eureka moment wasn’t pleasant or welcomed. I didn’t want to think of a world where “I love you” meant now, not tomorrow. My heart did its battle with my head, and as per usual, my head won out. It all came together when I accepted that human nature was not built to perceive relationships in huge amounts of time. Death could be coming right up. Subconsciously we know it and make decisions based on its constant hovering.

After the initial shock of this love revelation, I wrapped it up into a tiny box and set it in the furthest reaches of my brain. I’d open it later when I had acquired the proper tools to make it work to my advantage. Without death, I may have never touched the subject again. I would have kept on forcing myself to either believe in a love doomed or I would have given up on love and become a terrible person. Alas, the promise of death formulated the proper thoughts to give me the proper perspective. Fear has always been my staunchest supporter. I can say with absolute certainty, without the level of fear I carry, I would have met death well before any lessons, whatsoever, could be learned.

Surely, I’m not alone in this exercise, I know a few people can relate to my morbid ways. I on occasion will close my eyes and imagine I have a deadly disease of some kind.  I’ll do my best make believe of all the feelings one might feel with a known deadline. I can only last for so long. My breathing gets heavy and I begin to panic. The intensity is too much. After my heart has slowed and my brain has cleared, I see what, if any, clarity I’ve achieved. Normally, the good stuff won’t show up for a few days or longer. The resining lasts for a good while. It was in such a time where I finally understood love in the most profound way.

Death is coming and love is here. At this moment I have love. In the present I have a gift. I must continue to focus on the current to understand the magnitude. Today, I have love. Death is for tomorrow.

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