From the Woodwork

wolfhowlDesperate eyes

Struggling for attention

Peering through the twilight

Desiring connection

Yet not ready to sacrifice security

And step into the light.

Years pass

Before they make an awkward move.

Half a step forward

And three hurried steps back

Is no progress

But it’s still an honest attempt.

Will they beat fear to try again soon?

Or will the squirrels in their heads

Chatter them away?

Will the bear growls scare them off?

Or will wolf howls bring them together

With the unknown they always desired

To be a part of?


the image was copied from https://ulfeid.tumblr.com/post/183888620462 thank you.

What You Hear In The Laundry Room

53d6fcb2a56f4.imageGhosts and whispers,

Furniture being moved in dragon castle,

Arguments,

Butt slaps,

Complaints of running nose,

Fist fights for a piece of bread,

Snoring of a drunk man next door,

Whining of a rusty door in the wind

Plastic mattresses sewn in two by intoxicated gnomes in golden capes

And a virgin elephant deflowered by

The ministry of defense  –

All these and possibly more

Interesting and tragic sounds

One can hear in the white noise

Of a homeless shelter laundry room

With a door open.


the image was copied from https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiMkYa5jKLlAhX0OX0KHSsxD70QjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.heraldextra.com%2Fmomclick%2Fhome-and-garden%2Fsavvy-organizing%2Fquick-fixes-for-a-messy-laundry-room%2Farticle_d8b9eb97-6cf3-5008-929d-bee5cf6d7b57.html&psig=AOvVaw3vNC2Nedvebzq51wIW9bb3&ust=1571360559155805  and laundered by me. thanks.

Get Used To

12743909_945984215455688_7422037828919330423_nEarly February 2005 was three months before I quit poisoning my body and mind. That month I wrote the piece presented below. It’s quite amazing I still had some good brain matter working well.

Yesterday I was swearing heavily at my PC. Some invincible virus has infected the computer and it makes all web pages I open in Internet close or “hang-on” whenever it wants or for whatever period of time it wants. It wants… That is the thing. If you think about it, computer doesn’t want. It doesn’t have a will, a mind, a soul. It is just a working machine with electronics sown though it from left to right and from top to bottom. If the virus has infected the system, machine stops working properly. No curse, no damnation, no active misbehaviour of the machine. Just electronics. It reminds me of people who try to start a car and it doesn’t go. “Come on, work it!” And the engine is silent. “Work it, for God’s sake!” Engine starts. Just a whole bunch of metal, honestly, though you sometime start thinking your prayers have been heard.

Just a whole bunch of metal. Just electronics. We know it. However, I freak out when the “Word” program makes me type a sentence for two minutes. One sentence – two minutes. Words are typed but haven’t been displayed yet and are showing up slowly, one by one. I freak out and swear, but it works as effectively as milking a cat. Couple a months ago I was trying to write an email to my folks back home and had to call out Yahoo web page three times in a row, for it was disappearing as soon as I have type my password and pressed a button to go. Three times. Computer god was laughing at me. Aha… Computer god, right. Listen to Black Sabbath. But seriously, now I am not surprised. I got used to. I call out the program twice, more times until I got the result I needed and it finally works, even after computer being restarted twice. The letter is typed and sent. Bravo.

Earlier that day, in the morning I was waiting for LRT to take me downtown. A group of down-syndrome kids, escorted by either guides or teachers, goes down the ladders and join me in my wait. Maybe not just down-syndrome. Who knows. I can’t distinguish. Poor little kids who looks at the world the way it makes us laugh when we are kids ourselves and have little tolerance for things. Though now when I look at them, I feel nothing but pity.

So there are those female guides, two of them who watch the kids, sit them on the benches and keep them from climbing railings. I watch them, walking there and back impatient for the train to come. A guy who was sitting at the bench next to that group got up and walked for at least fifteen meters away. When I‘ve been passing him by, he said in a low voice: “Can’t sit there next to them… How do they manage to deal with ‘em?” I understood the last part of his phrase was related to the guides. I looked at them. They definitely didn’t have a fun time: watch every kid of ten or fifteen. A kid that can’t just be told “don’t do it.” A kid that needs to be nursed; not a toddler, but a seven year old, almost helpless because of his mental deformity. I said in a low voice: “I believe you can get used to almost anything.” The guy nodded and answered: “But it is a constant headache!” I just nodded. Then the train came. This guy went to the last carriage, I’ve got myself in the middle, and where did the kids go I don’t know and didn’t really care at all, I was into my stuff, I had lots of things to be done that day. Though now I remembered. And I thought.

I thought, you can really get used to almost anything. You can get used to the fact that every day you stare at the faces of the number of kids who experience down-syndrome. Kids that have to be nursed, watched, be fed and clothed and treated not like a mistake of a human kind, but as a living being that deserved care. That is not their fault they’ve been born that way.

You can get used to the fact that for long months you lay in the trenches full of stagnant water and mud, holding defence of the territory and the bombs fall and explode every thirty minutes, and you are deafened and exhausted, hungry and thirsty, none knows what for. Lost in the battle field and every day you watch your yesterday friends been carried out of the hospital tent and been packed in black plastic bags. And no one knows when will the end of this hell will come.

You can get used to the fact your loved ones are not with you anymore and there is no way you can have them back soon, ‘cause you are separated from them with lands and oceans. You can work hard and dream of meeting them some beautiful sunny day, and that day never comes, and you just get used to it and live on.

And you can get used to the fact that your computer “hangs-on” every time you start it, but you have no time to call a technician to fix it or to do it yourself. The computer “hangs” and “hangs-on”, like a war criminal on the gallows pole, for weeks, and you get used to it and keep on going with it, with downloading easy programs for hours, and it eats your time, eats your patience, your sense of confidence. Though you get used to it.

And you also can get used to the fact that some moron defecates in the lobby of your floor in the apartment house, in the middle of the room, every God given day. No bloody way to get the person and kick his dirty ass, and you catch yourself on the idea that you getting used to it. To this shit. You can press hard on your Residence Manager or Resident Assistant, for they would hire a security officer with a face of gorilla and a grip of a bulldog, and put tracing cameras on the walls to check the situation out. But you just hang on, just like a war criminal on the gallows pole in the middle of the desert where God’s eye is tired to watch and just… say it: You get used to it.

You can get used to anything. It is just that some things are never to be changed, and there are some that could be changed if some effort is applied. Make an effort. Make a difference. And let the Force be with you.


the image was copied from https://kadampalife.org/2016/03/14/accepting-unhappiness-without-panicking/ thanks.

bravery

80a898dac48e313dfc891418ea61b4faWas it an act of bravery when you gave up drinking?”

“I never really gave it up,” she said. “That isn’t how alcoholics do it. They can’t do it that way. You employ a lot of sideways thinking instead. One day at a time, easy does it, live and let live, all that. But the center of it is this: you give up believing you can control your drinking. That idea was a myth you told yourself, and that’s what you give up. The myth… What I do – what we do – to keep away from the first one… it’s not that kind of bravery. In spite of movies like The Last Weekend, I think what we do is pretty undramatic.”

Stephen King, Library Policeman, 1990

The first time I read this story I was in ninth or tenth grade and didn’t start drinking yet. I tried it on more than a couple occasions, yes, but I had not even come to buy it or have been to a single drinking party. So, I don’t even remember reading this chapter where the protagonist Sam meets the couple of people who turn out to be problem drinkers and who he’s yet to find out are going to cooperate with him to beat the ultimate evil of Eternal Librarian and Sam’s greatest fear, the Library Policeman. I don’t remember alcoholics or the candy that Sam used to beat the evil, so to speak, but I do remember getting freaked out a bit. After all, Sam’s greatest fear came from a very real situation of being raped by a person in position of power, something he denied has happened to him for decades. Thankfully, he didn’t become alcoholic himself to deal with that experience.

When I read this book again earlier this year, the above passage struck me between the eyes. It is always kinda nice and kinda freaky for a bit to come upon something you’ve missed in the process in the past. It happened to me writing a story 17 years ago about a problem drinking who eventually dies from it, and not realizing that I wrote a cautionary tale to myself.

I always respected Stephen King for his writing, freaky or not, but I came to respect him more after finding out he had a serious drinking problem and addiction to prescription pills, and that he was brave enough to come through by joining self help groups like AA and kept going forward after that, keeping his family and keep writing great books. His writing about problematic behaviors, family violence, and addiction in his scary stories always made more freaked out because I could feel the real terror of it. The real horror is not the ultimate evil with fangs and bat wings, it’s what people do to each other.

And the real bravery and relief is learning that people do get through those experiences and still manage to have a good life after, learning from trouble others cause and from their own errors.

p.s. as for The Last Weekend movie, I think I wrote it before, maybe I should revisit it one day 😊


the image of Stephen King’s face made from the covers of all his books is amazingly done and an amazing idea and it was copied from https://za.pinterest.com/pin/533676624577675719/. thank you.