What Sounds Funny To An Irritated Person….

Before I start, I am announcing that I am postponing the posting of any segments of You’re Too Fucking Loud” until I can afford a new printer. I need to print off the extremely rough information I have as a rough draft so I can actually rework it to look professional. Smooth.

Now, with that out of the way….

 

My day was going great. We picked elderberries today, not that we got a lot (enough for about a pint of juice), but we got some. I suggested to mom that, to prevent any further future spraying by the county, she needed to post No Spraying signs next to the culvert near the bushes that got sprayed. It would ensure that the county would not spray again.

We did a few other things (sought out her empty jars, looked for a canner and a pan, and other things needed for canning as well as cleaned out and emptied the sprayers) as well. When we were done, I came home. She sent home with me several jars of canned pickled beets (I have always loved pickled beets), three potatoes, some tomatoes, and sugar.

I was supposed to fill the car up with gas, but found that there was not enough in the bank to do so….so I opted to go a little longer without. I’m perfectly fine with that. I understand.

That is where the ‘good day’ ended.

I have been struggling to get a small bit of funding so I can start a business. The whole process has been fraught with faux pas. The first attempt was reversed due to someone hacking an account. Second, by the bank’s alert system. And today?

Today, I was asked to do something. I tried to do it. I was blocked by the need for a code that I did not have.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate investing in anything not tangible. But, to humor the investor, I did as I was asked ‘to make it easier’. I opened a cryptocurrency trading account. I hate cryptocurrency. Perhaps I am a creature of habit that is leery of sudden change. Or maybe I just hate the idea of having to invest in something I can’t readily use.

To shorten the story, I could not get the person I was dealing with to understand why I could not do as they asked. Either they did not listen to what I said, or they flat ignored it. Both will piss me off quicker than anything. Don’t ignore me. Don’t not listen to me either.

To say the least, I am growing disgusted with the whole procedure. Mainly because the person on the other end is not willing to meet me in the middle. Thus, I posted something on Facebook something not characteristically in step with me. Something that seemed funny at the time.

It was meant as a joke. It concerned a project I decided not to go ahead with. One meant to be a sequel to The Devil.

The joke is liable to offend a few even though it was not meant to do so. Oh well. Sometimes sadism creeps into an angry mind. Sadistic sarcasm. Something I am good at.

Anyhoo…..

Did I mention there’s a new book due out on Halloween? Here’s the link:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-door-on-the-thirteenth-floor-jaysen-true-blood/1133067861/

about the new story unfolding

first, I must warn that I changed the age of my character. Originally, I set him at eight years of age. I have set him back to seven for the first two chapters.

Much of the story being written at the beginning of this is true. It is based off events in my childhood. The dreams and the ‘vision’ I mention did actually take place. This first episode is based off years 7-11  7-9 took place on the farm. years 10 and 11 were the first years lived in Sidney. It was the first time I realized that dreams meant something. Something more than most would admit.

Our household never had a television in it. I could never watch horror movies, so my dreams have no basis in anything I have ever watched. I did read a lot as a child, but nothing so terrifying as what I had dreamed.

I have never told any of the first few dreams. Or of the dreams I had as a teen. I have, however, spoken to a few about the dreams I had in my early adult life…which will also be detailed in this portion of the Soul Shard series. My suspicions about the later dreams have been averred, so I know that I am right about the earlier dreams as well.

Yes, I have become very adept at interpreting my own dreams. With such vivid imagery and audible dialogue, Or intense action, they are not hard for me to read. At the same time, I do not want to make too many uncomfortable. It isn’t my intent.

The overall Soul Shard series is meant to tie together the loose ends of the other cycles…Alpha Triad and Deltalink International. It is meant to bring a close to The Dimensional Wars in a way that redefines the universe and time/space itself as a concept.

The Face of It All

I sit here, in my living room, on the day I should be in Virginia. Why? Because of promises broken less than a week into the planning. Originally, my mother-in-law (Ruth) was supposed to help me with the plane tickets and accommodations. Yet, less than a week after she returned to Virginia, she called and asked if I thought I would be able to find my own way.

Knowing how Ruth is, this usually means that she has things other than being a compassionate, understanding person that she feels is more important. This, along with her selfish ideas on what constitutes a memorial service, spurred me into writing a letter to her minister imploring him to try to get her to see how a memorial is really supposed to be and that the wishes of the dead should be honored, despite one’s own feelings.

Subsequently, Ruth unfriended me because I told her that she needed to show more compassion, something she really does not know the meaning of. Oh, sure, she did send money. But that is not borne of a compassionate heart. That was borne from a view that she had a duty. Compassion sees no duty. Born from real love, compassion simply does without personal desires attached. It understands. It accepts the position of the other. And most of all, it treats all with respect.

It is one of the most important components in Love. It is what exemplifies that you have accepted and follow the truth. And that truth is that your wishes do not matter in the grand scheme of things. There are greater forces at work than you. You are finite. At least this physical shell is. Life itself goes on endlessly. And all life is linked.

But, here I sit. No plane tickets, no way to get to where I should be. Perhaps it is for the best. Maybe the universe is protecting those who are in the wrong from my deep mind. Or maybe something is about to happen that I did not need to be involved in. Either way, their little misguided world is safe. I am safe.

Of course, it is supposed to start storming later and I wouldn’t be able to leave Virginia and land in Omaha. Still, I will remember Kelly my way, the way she was. Not my preconceived notion of what I wanted for her. But then, I never expected her to change. To me, she was perfect the way she was, on the path she was on.

From this point on, I will have to remind myself that to stand in judgment of another is to stand in judgment of myself and to condemn another is to condemn myself. If I bind, so shall I be bound.

Cataloguing Pain

I supposed I should give a rundown of my history of pain so some might understand why I am not depressed when I say that I am tired. While depression can cause pain, my pain has been ever-present from early in my life.

1975/76(?): I recently had my mother confess that I’d had a horse step on me while I was still a baby. More precisely, on my chest. My first dance with that beautiful lady known as death, though I knew her not. This is probably the origin of some of the pain I now suffer, though I cannot be sure.

1977/78(?): I nearly drown. My second dance with that wonderful lady called death. Had my mother’s friend not found me when he did, I would have been dead. If he had found me just minutes later, I would not be talking to you

I can also note that between 1975 and 1978, I also suffered from nearly every childhood illness that children are now vaccinated for.

1980: Though I suffered from the chicken pox this point, I also had to have ear surgery to drain fluid. was pushed off the top of a playground slide. had to be carried off the playground. (was later told that I was lucky to be alive.)

1980-present: I suffer from tinnitus and occasional bouts of vertigo brought on by the tinnitus. In some ways, my migraines have also been closely tied to these problems. If you have never suffered from tinnitus, imagine id someone were to install a gadget in your ear that could create inner ear noise that could range from a mildly annoying “distant” buzz to a noise that can only be described as multiple jet engines all running at the same time. At its worst, it can be debilitating and paralyzing. Blinding. The vertigo attached to this happens somewhere near the midpoint of the tinnitus scale. recently, my tinnitus made a resounding comeback, leading to an increase in my migraines.

1983: my sister molested me. destroys my innocence and causes me more problems than she should. She spends her life denying my existence and accusing mom of abuse…despite the fact that she also spends her teen years and young adult life being a “run around Sue” and gaining a rep as an easy lay.

1984/85: I survived a case of massive heat stroke coupled with possible heat exhaustion. I still think that I should have died, and they did almost lose me. From that point on, I have been unable to handle extreme heat. I slap suffer my first bout of frostbite waiting on a school bus.

1985/86-1993: I suffer several subsequent bouts, each worse than the last, of frostbite from having to walk to school in sub-zero temps. I also suffer numerous bouts of “Respiratory Infection” that are also more serious and less fixable with each round. By the end, I am immune to nearly all antibiotics used to treat the “infection”.

1988: A cousin, a distant cousin, almost runs me over.

1992: I went to summer camp. Had a canoe come down across my neck and shoulders after slipping during a portage trip. Should have died, but ended up paralyzed for what seemed to be an eternity (about 15 minutes).

1992/93: had “falling dream” where I hit bottom. Was told that I shouldn’t have survived.

1993: had my own father point a gun at me. had it been working and loaded, I know I would have been dead. His expression said it all.

1994: I am involved in a collision (I rear ended a van) after trying to avoid being hit. note to self: never wear slick bottom shoes while driving.

1995-2001: My first marriage. my first wife attempted, several different times, in several different ways (last being trying to drive me crazy), to kill me.  My health begins its decline when I turn 27. I balloon out to well over 220, nearly die hitchhiking back from Tulsa, and become an outcast for trying to start life over.

1998: I have an accident while working as a landscaper in Alabama, accidentally driving a work truck 40 ft off an 80 ft drop. This is the final straw where my back is concerned. I am unable to stand, sit, or lay down for nearly a week. Note to self: It’s not smart to smoke and drive.

2001: I mess up my feet by wearing worn out shoes on the job, working as a gutter-tech. Nearly fall from a 50 ft scaffolding. nearly fall off a tar-shingle roof where the temps are well over 110 (99 in the shade), and suffer yet another bout of heat exhaustion. All while my soon-to-be-ex is in the mental hospital. In June, I am advised by the psychiatrist (who had noticed my flagging health) that I should get a divorce before my wife takes me down with her. I follow Dr’s orders.

2004: My father tries to beat the shit out of me. He fails. Messes up my thumbs. We both scare the shit out of my niece. Later, I go to Omaha as a tutor for a friend’s son only to be sent packing after the hubby gets jealous. (it had a lot to do with lies being told by a cousin who was also staying with that friend.) I returned and worked briefly for a shipping dock. the pain I had to bear was excruciating, though it never went away all the time I was there.

2006-2011: My second marriage. Another round of having someone trying to kill me. this time, it is through keeping me smoking even though I am trying my damnedest to stop. I almost die from complications with my gallbladder. Again, I have another dance with death. I would have my teeth pulled (probably more a symptom of a bad gallbladder than what the dentist attributed my rotten teeth to) and find out that I was extremely close to having a heart attack. (would take statins, at first, to combat this until they damaged my muscles; then would be put on fish oil tabs). In the latter part of the marriage, I would end up on migraine meds that ended up altering my behavior (and I would wean myself off of them as quick as possible).

2011: Gallbladder attacks! I had been suffering from some “intestinal” symptoms for a few years, but had thought nothing of it. I had started college in 2009, after I had initially split from my second wife. Being the forgiving kind, I took her back under one condition. she would move with me to Council Bluffs so I could be closer to classes. In late 2010, my symptoms became much worse and I began to undergo testing to see what was wrong. In December/January, I had gallbladder surgery. After I woke, I was shown just how “bad” it had been. The doctor explained that he could not tell how long it had been dead. He also told me that he could not see how I was still alive, that people who wait that long usually die. My only reply was that I had been in pain all my life, so I could not always tell what was hurting or how bad. AS stated above, I had another tango with death. That lady must love me.

2012-present: still suffer from many of the side effects that I was told would go away after gallbladder surgery. My health has been in a steady decline, the pain I live in has worsened, and I rarely get enough sleep. I have had occasional chest pains since 2001, but these have gotten more frequent. I can’t always breathe, finding myself gasping at times, and I am concerned. I have also had a nervous shake, more noticeable in my right hand than the left, in my hands that has worsened each time it has appeared. Each time my back has slipped out, the effects have been more devastating (the last time, I was paralyzed and had to be helped to the bed by Kelly…just a couple of weeks before she died), leaving me concerned about what’s going to happen if it goes out and I am alone. (Will I be able to drag myself out of the bathroom? Or will I die in there, unable to call for help?)

I no longer have the strength left to fight. I no longer have the energy. The pain, the physical pain, I have had to go through for the entirety of my life has sapped it all out of me. It isn’t out of depression that I desire an end, it is out of a desperate need for rest. A desperate need for peace from the war I have had to fight my whole life. While Kelly was alive, I had a bit of that peace, a bit of that rest. But not enough.

My tinnitus has come back with a vengeance. Now, it is almost as if I have a whole fucking jet in my head, the high pitched whine often growing to a roar without warning. Vertigo hits with irregularity still, but the migraines-often after a bout of tinnitus-are getting worse. As they do so, I only wish for one thing: an end to it all.

 

 

Mortality

I have been told to have my heart checked. After certain electrical activities began making themselves more noticeable, I decided to ask a relative with some medical knowledge (and family history knowledge) if it was something to be concerned about.

They told me “yes. Go get your heart checked.”

I, then, mentioned (in passing) to my mother that I had been advised to go get my heart checked. She was just as adamant. She, then, explained that there is a history of heart problems in the family on both sides.

So there it is. I need to go get my heart checked. But I do not have any insurance at the moment…that I know of. So what to do? I am damned if I do, damned if I don’t. And so, I am sitting here facing my mortality once again.

Maybe my premonitions were right. Perhaps I don’t have long. Guess I am going to have to step up my game and write 1000 words per WIP until I have finished everything I have started.

Complications….

Today was something else. Couldn’t seem to get anything done. I was given the day off so I could meet my girlfriend at the airport, but she is stuck at Dulles for the night due to a screw-up where her replacement flight was concerned and I am still stuck here alone. And on the edge of my birthday. Oh, well. Shit happens.

Have been struggling with Paypal for nearly a week. Suffice it to say that my probable book covers for Dreams I’ll Never See are still in limbo. Both e-checks were cancelled so I have to do it all over again.

And I haven’t written anything on Ohio either. Hell. I just got done with housework I have been trying to get done for the last two weeks, since I learned my girlfriend was booking her flight!

Finally, to top it off, the knot in my calf that was caused by a charlie horse, Popped loose. Now, my left leg is really weak. Can’t seem to win for losing. Well, almost. At least I caught Fairburys on sale, so have some of the best damn hot dogs money can buy.

Bored…

The Midwest. Land of bizarre weather and illness. Right now, I am story-less and bored. And ill.

No, I haven’t been pushing myself too hard. And I didn’t eat something that disagreed. I am run-down enough to where anything could catch me, even a snail. I have been suffering from headaches and stomach problems all day. I also have a slight temp.

I know. You don’t want to hear about it. But I am bored. And wondering where my cover editing software went to. It was a freeware program that I was going to start learning how to use, but….

NO can do. It has vanished. And I have a cover to do. Wonder if I can use photo shop. Or that other photo program on my computer. granted, the cover won’t be perfect…but it will still be a cover.

Long, Cold Winter: Chapter Three

1969. Woodstock. Mama’s whole commune had picked up and went east. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, known simply as the Woodstock Festival, was happening on Yasgur’s farm. It had gained enough interest among those who’d gone to the Monterey Pop Festival that they simply picked up and headed east. It was billed as three days of peace and music. It became legendary for its outward peace and music context, but there was always the sex and drugs. It was part of the counterculture.

Woodstock would also become synonymous with free love, free sex, and free drugs. And the hippie movement. But It should have been seen as much more. And much less.

Besides. The Grateful Dead was going to play there. And mama loved The Grateful Dead. Daddy had become someone new, the old one long gone. Possibly due to a bad trip on acid or an overdose on some other drug.

Of course, mama had given birth to Rainbow and Starshine-his new sisters-and now had less time for Matt…not that she’d had all that much to begin with. But he didn’t care. He had a second family in the studio and on stage.

he was twelve. He’d become a studio legend in two years. He could be heard on nearly every record put out. He was a written condition in contracts.

He had to laugh. Even the Jacksons had crossed his path briefly. He felt privileged to know everyone in the business. It made his resume look incredible.

He knew that many would never believe. But, then, they would be the ones who’d not grown up during the sixties. Or had the luck he’d had. But he’d answered when opportunity had knocked.

And he had never looked back. He hadn’t wanted to. Or needed to. Life was too short.

He was wise beyond his years. And well read. Worldly. The streets and the studio were his classrooms.

He made himself a promise to teach what he could to his sisters. Mama sure as hell wouldn’t. And the long line of ‘dads’ that were sure to come would only see them as possible sex objects like mama. And he would not allow that. Not while he had the means to prevent it.

But they were babies at the present. He could only watch over them as a protective big brother. With every passing day, he became more of a parent to them than their own mother.

During the festival, he would be called up numerous times to play with bands and artists he’d recorded with back in L.A. and San Francisco. He would have the time of his life, earning the jealousy of mama and her man. But they knew better than to touch him. He had too many friends. Too many protectors.

So mama sought to stop him from making money. But it didn’t work. Every studio in the east had heard that he was at the festival, And they had heard him play. Guitar. Bass. Piano. Drums. Whatever was needed.

Moreover, most had seen him perform. They were now hooked. He would be in even higher demand than before. He could possibly pull in a six digit income. Easy.

But all this work left little time for him to be a child. And no time to acquire friends his own age. No one to identify with. No one to just hang with.

His friends were all in their twenties and thirties. Some even older. They were no longer children. They had long since left childhood behind.

But he had trouble associating or identifying with other children. Especially those in the hippie communes. They had no direction. No discipline. No parental example.

At least that was his own experience. He had to look to others for the fatherly and motherly aspects of his upbringing. Mama was too busy sleeping around and he had no clue what a real dad was. And he was tired of it all. He only wanted to escape.

He was afraid for the country when his contemporaries grew into adulthood. The country would be screwed. Twisted. All their parents had attempted to get done would be undone. He shook his head.

At least he would still have his music. And his solitude. Forget the rest of the world. They could destroy themselves for all he cared. He would go on playing the music he loved.

He would continue to go from studio to studio, playing whatever instrument was needed and co-writing songs. He would make himself a legacy worthy of greatness. Soon, he would move on to singing as well. But for now, he remained an instrumentalist.

He would always remain where he was happiest. The most needed. Wanted. Loved.

To hell with mama. To hell with the men she had him call daddy. When he had a chance, he would go out on his own. And he would take his sisters with him. Just to keep them safe from harm.

Hell. He wished he could save the whole world. But he knew that he couldn’t. He was only one boy. And a lonely one at that.

Musicians had the power to influence change, not make it. He knew that. Just as Hollywood could influence one’s personal view of what was beautiful and what was ugly. And then there was television. Always telling the idyllic family life. Leave It To Beaver. Ozzy And Harriet. And whatever else could be dreamed up.

Why couldn’t life be like that? Why couldn’t there be a mom and dad who really cared? And loved? And kept their child safe?

Why was it that they were always too busy? Or too blind? Or too distracted? Too uninterested?

What had the children done to deserve such abandonment? They hadn’t asked to be born. They’d had no choice in the matter. Hell. He’d had no choice.

Mama could have been chaste. She could have waited. And married. But no.

Perhaps, her first had promised to marry her. Perhaps he’d promised to always be there for her. But war had seen to it that he had not. On either account.

Now, mama saw men as just a temporary fix for the hole in her heart. A drug to be passed around and shared. Someday, that would catch up to her. And he was resolved not to be there when it did. He couldn’t bear to pick up the pieces.

Sorrow, Part Two

“A father should never have to bury their son.”- King Theoden, Fellowship Of The Ring: Return Of The King

I find the above quote (though probably paraphrased rather than the actual quote. Don’t watch the movie often enough to properly quote it) very apt and to the point. And I very much agree with it, and yet, sometimes our children precede us in death and we are left to ask questions. And to soothe wounds that never heal.

To My Son

(piano)

To my son I write
This sad lullaby so lonely
An’ to his memory
I sing it tonight
And if it only
Serves to set me free
Then perhaps somehow
Even though he isn’t here with me now
I’ll be sure that he’ll hear it

To my son I send my love
Which will endure in my heart
As will his memory forever
Here on earth and heaven above
The healing can start
Now and forever
And though I won’t see him
Or do what I planned, I won’t cry
As I sing him this lullaby

To my little boy I sing
This sad, lonely lullaby
And to his memory
I dedicate my song
Let it, with all its pain, ring
With every mournful sigh
Perhaps I’ll grow strong
And someday I hope
I can set my soul free
Maybe then, I’ll be able to cope.

(piano solo)

To my son, my thoughts drift
To the things I wanted to share
And the things he has now
So now I sing this lullaby
Hoping he’ll hear
And know that I will always
Love him with my whole heart
To heaven, my eyes I lift
Knowing that he is in God’s care
As my head, in prayer, I now bow
Tears Of sorrow, tears of joy both I now cry
Knowing that he’s so near
As this lullaby plays.

(piano solo out)

JTB, 1997

Some may claim that faith is hokey, but it is all that has kept me sane for the last ten or so years. It keeps me safe in the knowledge that someday, I will get to see him. It keeps me from being anything more than hopeful that the world will change and all that we hold dear will return to us.

The Travails Of Being Me…Part Two.

This morning, I received a call from my boss. He had an emergency come up, so needed me to take his run for him. I am fine with that. It gives me a little more when paychecks come out. And every little bit counts.

I don’t mind my job either. But it isn’t what I would consider something to make into a career. Being a cabby is fine. But the volunteer part is a killer. I get paid $0.40/mile. If you go two miles, that means you only get $o.80 that run. You only make money when you make the longer runs over 100 miles.

I do need something better to help me survive. Something that will keep me from worrying about how I am going to pay my college debt. Something that’ll help me quit worrying if I am going to have enough to eat. Something that will allow me to follow through on promises made.

But as I have mentioned before, I cannot return to the industries I have been trained to work in due to health hazard. A very real health hazard. If I want a reminder, all I have to do is go and take a look at my sister. She is dying from it.

She is 45 and looks like a 90 year-old. she cannot live without an oxygen bottle or an air machine. She was supposed to get a lung transplant, but has dropped out of line twice. Now, she has no more chances.

She is to the point where she has maybe 4 years, maybe 4 months. Not very good prospects. And not a place I want to go before it is my time. So what is a man to do who has fewer options and less work experience in some of the areas that are now the only things available?

Good question. I guess that is why I write. I guess that is why I want to act. Yes, and even why I sing. Because I want to make my mark. In some way.

It is why I want to build my own company. I do not want to waste the rest of my life working for others. Not as just another number in a long list of numbers. I want to help others rise above the crap.

I know. Never dream too big. Bull shit. Always dare to dream bigger than those who came before. Never settle for second best. Always fight for what you know is right. What you know will make you happy as a career.

Never mind the naysayers. They know nothing. Most of the time, they are living with the regret of having not made the choice to follow their dreams. When someone regrets not following their dreams, they often get the Let No One Else Have Their Dreams syndrome where they try their best to stomp all over everyone else’s aspirations.

I know this all too well. My father was good at doing it. He could have been a successful writer. Hell. His gun shop could have went international. I even offered to help him with it.

But I figured something out. He claimed to not want to “tighten his belt”. In other words, he was afraid of failure. But being afraid of failure means that you are also afraid of success. And that fear keeps you from doing anything that might make you a happier person.

I even told my mother that my father could have had a sit-down story-based routine. He had tons of excellent stories. He could have given Garrison Keillor a run for his money. But, He was afraid to follow his true talents.

My father died never knowing what it felt like to be happy. He had married out of a feeling of obligation. He worked his life away. He drove every nail into his own coffin by not caring about his own health enough to stop bad eating habits. And he destroyed his relationships with his family.

What has this all to do with me? I made myself a promise when I was in high school that I would never follow his example. I would not be afraid of success. I would not be afraid of failure. I would not work my life away. I would not destroy my relationships. Least of all those with my future children and wife.

I can happily say that I did not destroy either of my marriages. I still have two step-children who are close to me. One was never really close to anyone, so I didn’t really ruin anything with her. The cheating of both exes destroyed both marriages. By the time my first wife checked out of reality, she had already left me mentally. She had cheated on me with my then best friend, who-ironically-was also married. And even though both claimed that they had stopped, they were both lying. Same with the second…although the jury’s still out as to whether she has ever been aware of reality.