Friday, July 24, 2015

Mood Poisoning

 I will myself to go. The switch turns on and off. I don't control it. I don't think?
 Maybe I do. Maybe I am comfortable with this mindset. Conditioned to fail. Staring into space. 
That's a theme I return to repeatedly in my life. No way to overcome it? 
I don't know.
So who does know? I don't believe in a supreme being. I don't believe in a human-centered universe.
I look for the things that will supply some meaning. Humans love to look for patterns.
For proof. For structure. They want the heavenly father, the stern taskmaster, the happily ever after, the afterlife.So what?
 I don't expect anything else to come. I think you just go out like a TV set. The rest of the programming is still being broadcast, but you don't receive it. 
You have today. That is it. Plan ahead if you want. It occupies your time. It's about as meaningful as a board game. Life is capricious. You get to start over. You are not alone.
But you are. You can be. You don't want to be, but you can be.
I am on no high perch.
But maybe the Dyer/Carnegie/"Power Of Positive Thinking" mindset is right.
Be the change you want to be.
Don't be a downer. 
You only hurt yourself.
It's so liberating to know that you don't matter to others, so you may as well go full bore into your own self interests. You don't want to destroy your neighbor, but if HE gets in the way, well, bowl him over. 
Glengarry Glen Ross is not a work of fiction, it's how things are today.
Always be selling, you don't even have to be closing. If you can't close the deal in a short time, move on to the next mark. 
We are all marks. 
We are here for our self aggrandizement, and that is your purpose in life. 
Be a mark.
I want to be smarter.  I don't think it will happen in this lifetime.
But, I'll keep trying.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Horse Race

Photo by Robyn M. Jones

I went to the horse races on the Fourth of July. I didn't know a single person there, except for the ladies I went with. I didn't know a single horse either. It was great to go see them, go smell them. 
And watch them run. 
I wonder what they are thinking. I think they like to run. I've always thought that horses probably tolerated us, to a certain extent. They struck me as being kind of high strung. More like cats than dogs. The racing horses are beautiful, shaped differently than the cow-horses I grew up around. I can see how it gets to people. How it insinuates itself into you. 
I like horses a hell of a lot more than I like motorized transport.
I bet it's just as expensive, though. 
A lot of rural people there. A lot of NRA sympathies. A few 4H badges.
I really enjoyed it. 
Even threw down a few dollars betting on horses to win. Two bucks. It's nothing.
The grandstands are old. They are next to the Fairgrounds. I made a mental note to attend the State Fair early, so I could check out all the animals. 
And the 4H badges. 
And the NRA sympathies.
And the smell of animals.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Before The Fireworks

This is a distant memory. Circa 1998
Things happen. 
So much happens it's hard to remember what order they happened in.
For me, the last 9 years have made everything before it hazy. Stupid Hallmark Holidays like Father's Day have been imbued with such bad memories for me, I don't want anything to do with it. Sure, I was a father. I largely failed at it. 
I remember the boys in this photo, taken on the 4th of July at a cousin's house. The one on the left has not gone off the rails at this point. Although he was always a willful, difficult and intelligent child. Puberty has not happened. The lying, long silences, drug abuse, jail time and violence are coming, but for this moment, with innocent anticipation of cheap fireworks imminent, no one knows it.
The one on the right, he's going to have his problems too, but they are the normal problems, benign problems. He will make mistakes. But none of his mistakes will involve parole and probation, or cardiac arrest and an ambulance ride. So, for that I'm grateful.
My own father is gone now, he's been gone for over 10 years. I've forgiven him for his failures, even though I haven't forgiven myself for mine. It's a long process. 
I still miss him, and think of him often. And I see flashes of him in the mirror every morning. The fear. The fatigue. The lifetime of work. All done voluntarily, I might add. 
It's how I was brought up. I fall far short. I don't work nearly as hard, can't do nearly as many things. And my sons were brought up differently. This is where the mistakes were made. I should have made them do things. Made them learn how to do things. Made them fail. Taught them not to fear failure. That is my biggest failing. 
You can talk about what a "man" should do. How a "man" should handle things. You can talk about things all you want. 
It's what you have done that is the measure of you. And will people see your works as a good thing or bad thing? What you say is a pale echo of what you have done. 
Or, didn't do.
Of all the things taken away, or given away, or lost, lighthearted laughter is something I miss the most. 
What am I supposed to do? I probably have 30 years left. Probably.
I don't want to live. I don't want to die.
My stubborn sense of history has gotten me this far.
But now I lack the confidence, the underlying conviction, that I'm right and alright. 
That things will be fine. 
Am I supposed to pretend that things are great, that reality will conform to my wishful thinking?
That's what all the self -helpers and 12-steppers tell me to do.
I have felt the unease my entire life. Even before I was aware.
I can't help but feel that we are going down the wrong road.
So, that leaves me with the conundrum. I still have to live.
I have no choice in the matter.I have to fight the quandary.
I don't want to put the book down.
I want to see what happens next.
So that's it, then. I'm disengaging from the pettiness. 
I'm looking for things that matter, when I believe that nothing matters.
It's going to be. It has to.
See you around.

How Did We Get From There To Here

When did it happen? Where did it go wrong? We have tortured ourselves with these questions. We made a lot of mistakes. We did a lot of things wrong. He was difficult. Difficult people made him. But, we were all in. Everyone was. Perhaps, over invested, which makes the present even more hard to bear.
It's hard to believe you are bad.You grew up under our sight, if not our supervision.But it's hard to believe you took what you were given, and made what you did from it.
And now we live suffused with sadness. That we created this. And we are not hard enough to turn our back and walk away.But, we can't give anymore. We have nothing left, and it doesn't help anyway.You have to do it yourself.
It's just a bill. It doesn't have any meaning. Someone calling on the phone with a complaint and an offer. Someone far away, who is capitalizing on a decision that was made in faith, bad or not.Someone who has no idea what you went through to give it up.
I suppose it's all meaningless.People who make their own reality don't give in to reality,may never give in to circumstances beyond their control. The lottery may bless you with a sympathetic judge who will make your dreams come true at best, and at the very worst, you will star in a psycho drama that will add meaning to your life.
Some people have angels on their shoulders. You search for a meaning. But it often eludes you.So we cope, we medicate, we try to maintain. But the undercurrent is always there. 
If I never see another courtroom in my life, that will be fine with me.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I Remember When There Was Hope

Maybe I don't. Maybe it was all a mirage. All self delusions. That is the secret. Perhaps. There isn't a secret after all.  
You just live. You get up in the morning. Do something. Maybe you get asked to do something. Maybe you volunteer. It all seems like a remote possibility. I've lost the plot. I think my time has past. Nothing seems to be worth doing. 
So, you fake it. You do something. Even if it seems to be a betrayal. Of something. Truth is, it doesn't matter. You, don't matter. No one does. The mass moves forward. That is what matters. Everyone will just wash away. 
So take that for what it's worth. Me? I'm a grinder. I will see this thing through to the end.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


People are cheap. Do I provide value? Am I worth something?
What does worth mean? Money? An arbitrary measurement at best, because someone other than me controls it.
The best intentions? Work all the time and wonder why?
Timing is everything. Luck is undersold. Nobody wants to be reminded of how slim the tolerances are.The people who make it want to think that is the way it's meant to be. Their unshakeable faith in their success is probably why they are where they are. So, they are probably right. I wonder how many sign fliers just know they are one break away from paydirt.
And it doesn't matter.
Who really cares? Ask yourself that question? Who is there when there is no benefit, no money, no nothing. No question mark. No question? Life is hard, since when is that a question, my existential angst is really getting tiresome. That is why I put it here. It's safe, and it don't matter. I could go on all day, but what's the point?
Time to go to work.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I get tired. It's a theme of mine. Of mind. I'm tired.
Do I mean it? I don't know. I'm expressing the inner futility. The fear.
Who knows if the stuff inside is real.
Real. What a laugh. You only exist in relation to other people. You can't see yourself. You look strange in person. I know I do.
I am old, fat, and tiresome. I hate what I see when I look in the mirror. So, like Lefty advised, I never go around mirrors.