mazecraft13: (Default)
 I am fortune's fool. A broken thing that pushes forward out of joint and always behind the clock. My heart is sheared in two and resides in two different places. There is no way to completely fix this rift, but to resign to live a life torn. So what does it all mean. Well in the short term, it means leaving my beloved Washington yet again. Not even a year after my less than triumphant return. Fits and starts. Always in fits and starts. That is how a broken thing moves. A twisted thing of little use to much of anyone. But still I try. I try to do good wherever I can. They may be small and insignificant things. Maybe they only matter for a moment. But in that moment, I hope it is worth it to whoever can benefit.

I tried to help my friend's child. I was there the week he was born. I saw him in his formative years with the heart of gold and an imaginative mind. So when he came here at 21 years of age without a plan, no job, no where to live, and hope that God would provide for him and his girlfriend, I offered him help. I got him a job, went in on an overpriced apartment with them, paid more than my fair share of the rent. I paid all the utilities and bought most of the groceries. I bought necessities for the kitchen and things to make them more comfortable. I was respectful of their space and even politely offered to keep their business secret from his mother, my friend, since they had a falling out with her.

See, the girlfriend didn't like his mother, and so he wasn't allowed to talk to her. Oh sure it was his choice. But it was a choice made under duress in order to not lose his girlfriend. It was a sacrifice that she manipulated him into making. In fact, she forced him into similar choices for all of his family back in AZ. They burned everyone that helped them and the bridges they crossed as they left. But I thought I would be different. I'm so easy. I don't create undue conflict, and take a lot of petty shit before I lose my cool. I would be different too because I have been a friend to the boy his whole life. I would show them that not everyone in the world is out to get them, or use them. They would be touched by my example, and healed by my resolve. I couldn't have possibly been more wrong.

The girl was a tragic combination of both paste eating stupid, and throwing feces at the wall crazy. She managed to convince her bf that I was trying to get into their room late at night while they were sleeping. So he put a new doorknob with a lock, along with a chain like you would use on your front door. I shook my head but said nothing. If it made her feel safer that the heathen brown person living in the room across the hall couldn't get into her room than so be it. But quickly she began to create other dramas. She expressed discomfort with all of the other people that her bf already knew up here creating an instantaneous isolation from anyone that might call into question whether or not she was in his best interest. And he acquiesced. He allowed it. He even chose to believe when she told him that other people's intentions were evil and malignant. She pointed out that his good heart was just too pure to see the evil that she saw in others.

Like the time I gave her a bottle of Advil. She had hurt her hand and it wasn't healing very fast, still swollen the next day. I had just bought a large bottle of Advil so I poured some into a smaller bottle of Advil that I had just finished using. I gave it to her and recommended it might aid in her healing if she took some. When I was at work the next morning she text me in a fury saying I had lied to her telling her that it was a new bottle when clearly it had been opened and what was I trying to pull? I calmly explained that I never said that it was a new bottle, but that I had just bought some. I used a jumbo crayon and spelled it out for her and told her that if she didn't trust the pills, not to take them. I also recommended that if she is ever uncertain about pills she can always look them up online and get a full description including pictures of what they should look like along with directions for use and side effects.

But really? FFS!

She over time proved that she was hell bent on misunderstanding, misinterpreting, and assuming the worst about me no matter what I did. She implied that I was straying her bf from the path of Christ by indulging his interest in our "geek" shit like superhero movies and fantasy novels. She would spend hours locked up in her room watching motivational videos from evangelical pastors, reading select bible passages, and even in this I was supportive though I didn't share her faith. I respectfully encouraged them to go to church, was quiet when they wanted to study, and humored them when they wanted to cleanse the house of negative energies.

She was unable to hold down a job for more than a few weeks, even at the temp agencies that she was working at. It was a little reaffirming that I wasn't crazy or delusional every time someone else perceived her volatility. When the inevitable day finally came that they decided my living with them was too much of a burden (IKR?), I went down to the office and only hinted at how irrational she was and the office ladies instantly jumped on it to express run ins they had with her.

So it was the first week of a new term at school, getting over a cold, (I've since relapsed), and total inundation with work that they asked me to move out. I agreed post haste. Fuck you don't have to ask me twice. Hell yeah I wanna move out! See, I was only hanging on because I made a promise to friends of over twenty years that I would watch out for their boy. But when he let himself be manipulated and lied to and then sided with his manipulator against every. single. person. he. knows. and. loves., there really isn't much more I can do. My intention was always just to help them get on their feet and be self sufficient. They assured me that they could make it without any more of my help. Perfect. Mission accomplished. Now gtfo my face. Cause at this point I'm pretty much over the whole lot.

Except the boy is my co-worker and direct subordinate. Well. This job has been ridiculously over taxing on my personal life and ability to maintain my pace at school anyway. So I am leaving. And I am training the boy to take my place. I know at my rate of pay he will be able to afford the overpriced apartment even without her occasional input when she cons someone into hiring her for a few weeks.

Which brings me to why I am also leaving WA state again even though I really don't want to, but also kinda do.

But this has gone on longer than I wanted so I'll have to save that for next time.
mazecraft13: (Default)
I should have known it was a dream.

But I was hungry, and I felt like going for a walk. It was dark already when I left the house, walking down a long curving driveway. Trees on either side loomed and swayed in the amber streetlights. At the bottom of the hill, there is an abandoned warehouse that I have to pass in order to get to the part of the city where all the restaurants and shopping places light up the night with a rainbow of twinkling lights. There is a chain link fence around the warehouse but it is open and so I walk onto the property.

Only after I am walking across the lot do I realize there are other people there. I assume they are homeless squatters or something and even as they come up to me I am sure they are just gonna hit me up for money. I actually don't have any cash so I tell the one closest to me before he even asked. He had greasy uncut hair, and his clothes were rough and filthy. His skin was leathered by long hours in the sun making him appear older than he likely was. He sneered at me and says a guy dressed like I am and I don't have any money? I look down and I am wearing cargo pants and a thermal shirt. I don't look particularly well dressed but I shrug off his comment as irrelevant and tell him again I don't have any cash.

"If you're trying to get into the city the only way is through the building," he points to a side door on the side of the warehouse. I look around the perimeter of the property and he seems to be telling the truth. The fence wraps all the way around and there are people loitering around the fence line but I get the feeling they are almost guarding against people trying to cross over it. I walk toward the building trying to step more quickly from the dirty guy but he follows and I can feel him exuding a menacing and violent vibe.

Inside the building I am surrounded by more people and ushered into a room and left there with others who seem to have fallen into what is feeling very much like a trap. The room is dark, like a nightclub but there is no music and the others are mingling. There is a great deal of confusion and questions but no one seems overly afraid. The disheveled and dirty people who have brought us here intermittently enter and walk among us, take positions along the walls, and leave again with a ritualistic precision. At one point someone I knew (I can't remember who it was but it wasn't someone I am particularly close to) came out of a room and stopped to say hello before exiting a door on the opposite side wall.  

A short time later myself and everyone that had been waiting were allowed through the door that the person I knew had gone into. The other side is a much brighter room like a cafeteria. We are seated at long tables and told that we will be allowed to leave after we have eaten. There is some sort of propaganda film playing on a big screen tv and we are all seated so that we can watch. At this point I realize that this is some sort of cult and they are attempting to indoctrinate us. I completely tune out the television. I could care less what BS they are selling. I just want to get the hell out of there. A plate is set in front of me. There are small slices of fresh tomato, green pepper, and some kind of cold cut meat sandwiched between small thinly sliced toast.

"I can leave after I eat this?" I ask. One of the attendants nods. So I pick up the sandwich to eat it whole and the attendant grabs my wrist with one hand and then gestures with the other that I have to eat it in layers. They want us to eat each piece as if it were a communion wafer! Livid and only consoled slightly by the fact that the snack was actually rather tasty, I finish each layer and then roughly get up and storm out the door. At this point, I am still thinking about getting a meal but instead of a sit down restaurant like I'd originally intended, I decide to just get take out somewhere. For some reason, my Jeep is on this side of the warehouse but as I approach I realize something is wrong. 

There is a police car with its light rack on and its spotlight on the back of my Jeep. As I come around to the front I see the front tires are gone, one of the doors is missing, along with the windshield. My anger and anxiety ratchet up several notches when I realize with absolute certainly that the cult members inside the warehouse did this! I turn to approach the police officer just as the spotlight turns off and the car pulls away and leaves. "Fucking Really?!" I shout as it drives past me. Not knowing what else to do at this point I pull my phone out of my pocket to take pictures. As I turn on the camera, my rage and sense of being violated overload my ability to concentrate on anything...and I wake.
  
mazecraft13: (Default)
Is this going to be a once a week kind of thing? I don't know. Maybe.

April has turned out to be a really difficult time for me and my family. A few years ago my godmother and aunt passed away from a cancer that swept her life away like a tornado in just about a year. Her lung cancer was a bitter irony since she never smoked a cigarette in her life. Its hard not to blame my uncle for smoking around her and in the house for 20 some odd years, and his cognitive dissonance about that only makes it more tragic, really. It is said back in those days they didn't really know how bad second hand smoke was for people. No one thought twice about smoking in the house. I have old 8mm films from my grandparents generation of family gatherings where people are holding a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and a baby in their lap. It was a thing. 

Anyway, she was a light in the world. Born Light by name, she quietly and powerfully was that, and more. Not that she was perfect. There were shadows in the light she cast, making strange and interesting patterns. She was splendid. I mentioned earlier that she was my godmother. That is a catholic tradition and though she wasn't catholic and ultimately neither was I, she fulfilled that role as my spiritual inspiration and guidance. I never got to tell her how much she affected me just by being herself and following her natural inclinations. When everyone else was being loud and boisterously proselytizing their opinions, I could feel her rolling her eyes. When she tried to speak her mind and was interrupted by people inferior in insight and intellect she would just sigh and fold her hands in her lap, realizing the futility of arguing with fools. The thing is, anyone who bothered to sit with her and set aside their need for attention would inevitably feel her resonant power as an individual. Its hard to believe it has already been five years since she passed.

It was only a few years later when another powerhouse of a different magnitude was lost to us. My stepfather was a difficult man who had a rough and violent youth that made him a passionate and often angry adult. Traumatized by his experiences in Vietnam on top of feeling betrayed by family, country, and ultimately God himself, he spent most of my childhood either dejected and aloof, or on fire for some topic that crossed his radar that day. Restless and touched by divine providence, he had returned from war completely convinced that he was the only one in his original company to survive because God had a plan for him. His fire and passion was so compelling that he got others to believe too. "The Blood of the Lamb" ministries was a short lived thing. And all kinds of supernatural shenanigans surrounded it and filled our lives with equal measures of terror and wonder. The experiences were so compelling that they informed my perspective for the rest of my life. They shifted the belief systems of my mother, aunt and uncle, and sadly destroyed my dad's faith altogether. He was never able to feel passionately about faith again afterward. Ultimately, he returned to Christianity before his death, but the immersive experience he once got from it was no longer there.

After retreating into the solace of eating too much and smoking, and wasting away in front of the television, he spent the last 18 years of his life battling illness and disease. He had a double bi-pass heart surgery, and developed vasculitis, and a number of other ailments that kept him bed-ridden for years. I would often go to him and sit beside his bed and we would talk about what was going on in my life, how awful the food was at the extended care facility he was stuck at, and sometimes, dreams he had or strange feelings he was going through. I saw him for his birthday during a really busy time in my life just before he died. I took him lunch and was only able to stay a short while before taking off but I'd promised I would go see him again soon. That never happened. He was taken to the VA ER due to pain he was experiencing possibly from a fall the week before. He sat in the ER waiting room and died sitting in his wheelchair. No one knows exactly how long he was dead before someone noticed and they administered CPR. They got his pulse back, and some shallow breathing. We went and saw him in the hospital attached to the ventilator. Ultimately we had to come to terms with the fact that his brain had been denied oxygen for too long and likely to remain comatose and even if he regained consciousness he was likely to be a vegetable the rest of his life.

Now it has been a few months since my great-aunt has passed. She was the matriarch of our family and the one from my grandparents generation that I was closest to. I can't even write about this one yet cause it is still too tender.

So many people that were once the foundation of my world now travel boundless. Passing clouds and memories of storms. Their touch still lingers, wounding the heart even as it stitches it back together.

"Like the wind searching, lifting feathers round the sparrow's neck, lifting leaves in a wave across the bean field, I find no place where I can say, here my being ends." -Boundless by Colin Oliver


 

mazecraft13: (Default)
I had a notion that I would start this journal with some art, perspective, poetry and maybe even some levity. But somehow none of that resonates with me today. I sat in front of the screen trying to compose thoughts into something enlightening or purposeful. But the words wouldn't form in my mind, my hands sat motionless refusing to give life to a lie. So here we are. It needn't be particularly vulnerable, but some transparency has to be present. Art can't flow through the filter of pretentiousness. It demands authenticity.

My heart is heavy today. For the sake of posterity, we are in the aftermath of Drumpf's order to bomb a Syrian airfield from which it is believed that fighters were launched armed with Sarin gas and dropped on a civilian population in rebel held territories. The order was implemented without any attempt to gain approval from Congress even though we are not at war in that country and so violates our Constitution. It was also done without seeking a coalition of NATO forces or UN backing.

But the part that bothers me the most about this is that Drumpf claimed that the attack was inspired by some sort of humanitarian purpose. As many critics have already noted, this is an absurd notion from a man that has actively railed and passed legislation against accepting refugees from the very population he is supposedly avenging. That the lie is so blatant, and stated so arrogantly without the slightest sense of irony or humility makes it much the worse. The general politeness of the media toward such an obvious affront to civility and common human decency is going to make it possible for Drumpf to hit his real target: Distracting the American people from the allegations of collusion with the Kremlin prior to taking office, and the naked corruption and cronyism that already has tainted the new administration.

Drumpf's idea of making America great again seems thus far to include creating a hardened outer shell of defense while rotting away the society it is meant to protect. And as the heart of our country is broken down, that outer shell will become brittle and eventually crack. The attacks on education, science, environmentalism, arts, and social safety net programs are just the beginning. Justice, honor, integrity, principles upon which true greatness is built, are suffocating under the weight of Drumpf's ignorance, hubris, and utter disregard for anything that doesn't bolster his pathetic ego. In that much, Drumpf's already much like the society he is attempting to create either consciously or not. Rotten on the outside and brittle and cracked on the out.
mazecraft13: (Default)
What is the width of a dream? Let's find out, shall we?

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