You’re Not A Nice Man

“You’re not a nice man. Your mother must be so proud of you.”

He is five foot nothing and hasn’t figured out the poor excuse for a beard he wears is never going to fill in and unless he buys a sharpie with his particular color of lacks testosterone he won’t be able to color in the patches.

“Mama wears army boots and thinks Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is a pussy. I am bored and you’re dismissed.”

Confession, mom doesn’t wear army boots, won’t know who Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is and will not appreciate certain words. I’d apologize but she’d tell me not to bother if I don’t mean it and in this case…I don’t.

If you are in the very small circle of in the know people I don’t have to tell you why I have avoided speaking to people or how I have been spitting blood.

Nor do I have to tell you I am aware that my always short tolerance for stupidity is two steps less than normal. I won’t have certain conversations now nor engage with some people because there is no way I won’t tell them I think they are acting like idiots.

The funny thing about it is I’ll likely be very calm when and measured when I say it but that rarely takes enough of the edge off for most people which means they may respond in a way that encourages me to raise my voice and all bets are off after that.

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson , Essays: First Series

I Know How To Make You Feel Better

Intermixed with my own jaunt into the lower reaches of Hell another acquaintance finds themselves wandering through the fiery wasteland.

They ranted a bit at me and went on about what is ticking them off and I did my best to let them vent. I didn’t say “I know how to make you feel better” even though it is true because they weren’t hearing most of what I was or rather wasn’t saying.

My goal was to try and let them feel heard and not offer much feedback but I don’t know if it was accomplished or not. I didn’t ask and it wasn’t volunteered.

That is fine with me, I may not be a nice man but that doesn’t mean I require constant validation, especially when we’re tight enough for certain things to be understood.

Nine years ago I wrote  “The future beckons and I must answer” not knowing how dramatically life would change between then and now.

Sold one house and moved about seven or eight times. Went from having a nice chunk of money in the bank to almost nothing and back to…something.

There were a couple of extended moments in which I know I wasn’t in the lower reaches but the deep pits of Hell and not just because Old Scratch branded my ass.

Anyhoo, the primary advantage of having been to such places is the knowledge that if you can survive that you can handle most anything that is thrown at you.

But it also crystallizes the things and people that are important and makes you appreciate who is a good friend and who isn’t.

That knowledge is worth something. Knowing who you can be locked in a closet or marooned on an island without fear of wanting to kill or be killed.

It is not how Emerson phrased it, not nearly as eloquent but then again I wasn’t striving for eloquence this time.

I Love Lightning

One of the things I have come to love about Texas are some of the light shows put on by the thunderstorms. There are these moments where you can sit in your house or car and watch a show that fireworks can never match.

Jagged bolts surge across the sky and you know how people imagined that Zeus or some other elder god was flinging liquid fire across the sky.

Every now and then thunderclaps remind me to stay awake and be wary that the show I am seeing can seek out audience participation in ways that I might not appreciate.

Sometimes I stare and wonder how to move from just watching the show to harnessing the energy of the bolts in a way that would help mankind but also provide some extra cash in my pocket.

Every now and then I come up with an idea and do some research upon it and discover someone else has gotten to it before me.

Moments like that I curse Edison and think about how I could have invented the light bulb or something similar if only he wasn’t 150 years older than me.

It may or may not be true, but I like it. Maybe that is why I like the quote below too.

“All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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