Posted by: Captain Forehead
karma: 31 [+/-]
Sitting in a queue waiting for my turn to fuel the vehicle, a spot opened. Not being the next in queue, I waited for the old couple in the vehicle ahead to fill the empty slot. Old people, by nature, are slow, and before they could grasp the beckoning slot waiting for their vehicle to comfortably penetrate, an impatient woman from another queue jumped across and filled the gap. I quietly sat and watched, planning.

Usually, I would have some choice advice for a woman who would car-block an old couple like that, then I realized that as I was queued behind the old couple, she was stealing time from me as well! And though I can assume I have more time than the slow moving ancients, who knows. The woman needed a bite of sound advice.

Thinking of what to say to the offender that fit the crime, I watched her pump gas while she talked to her young children in the back seat — younger than one would have expected for a woman with her worn face. Her body was closely observed as it was unexpectedly firm, with fancy floating frontage struggling to stay under the tiny bit of clothing she wore. Perhaps if she had spent less on her sparkling SUV or fancy floating frontage, she could afford a full shirt and shorts, but pieces of clothing were apparently all her budget allowed. I then realized what I would say.

It was difficult to admit, but with what I had encountered in my current incarnation, I could care less about the line jumper. I did not feel like saying anything. I heard the old man grumbling and would have backed his voice of reprimand, but he just wanted to loudly grumble to his wife — and stare at the fancy floating frontage. If he was to have nothing to say, I had nothing to say. I had to admit, I did not really care. The hand of fate would have to take care of this one without my assistance. (Perhaps I was too mesmerized by the fancy floating frontage.)

While the SUV filled, she gathered juice boxes, candy wrappers and other trash from about her children and threw it away, avoiding eye contact with the old couple or anyone else who saw her little maneuver. It was clear that this was how she did life, with an apparent misunderstanding of the consequences.

I smiled as she finished pumping her gas, jumped in the car and sped away, knowing that at some point when she least expected it, fate would intervene. Fortunately for me, fate offered a front row seat.

Being in such a hurry, she zipped quickly out of the station and jumped into the street, where she encountered a truck whose driver was also in a hurry. The two met with a loud, mangling, crunch. Alas, as with her cutting off the old couple, I did not really care.

People stopped in traffic; people ran from their cars in the station; people came from the sidewalk; all because the did not know her, but wanted to help. I figure fate just took her to where she was headed.

With the fancy floating frontage, I am sure she is fine. Then again, does one truly care? Sometimes doing good is simply letting things be as they are...and you can count on fate being a vindictive bastard.
Posted by: Captain Forehead
karma: 66 [+/-]
Alone.

Not sure how or why I did what I had no choice but to do, though there can be no doubt I learned. 12 focused hours pursuing adult content on-line for educational purposes and I am left with more questions than answers. Though I made a vow of personal touching prohibition, violating the prohibition only 3 times seems like an accomplishment — as having fought 3 hard intrusions into submission in 12 hours must also be considered an accomplishment. Still confused about the whole thing.

Why does one want the world to watch them be ‘intimate’? Clearly intimate is not the appropriate word choice... Still, do so many women have daddy issues or is this simply the maturation of society’s move toward the look-at-me! culture? Of course, we know why men do it... We know.

There is something very hollow about the content. People stop interacting with one another in pursuit of actually touching a partner to touch themselves. Some would say it makes for a more ‘polite’ society, but in reality it breeds a disconnected, dishonest society, where needs are dismissed and placated by the lonely self. And yet the desire to sexually stimulate the brain has been throughout time the motivator of a significant amount of technological advancement. So, of course the sexbot is coming!

Once the sex-bot hits the market, those who are marketing themselves solely as vehicles of sex will be pushed out of the market. Sure humans will be cheaper than machines, but if they have nothing more to offer than the machines... It would appear that we are at the end of the species when machines and the self catch the lightening juice meant for the creation of life. Alas, this sounds like stupidity — a nice name for evil — but needs will be served, until there is little left to survive.

Twelve hours of observation. What has been learned: enjoy the moment, the reality, the touch, because it will be fake soon enough...except for he of thee...
Posted by: Captain Forehead
karma: 40 [+/-]
“Could you come with me?”

“Where?”

“A meeting?”

“Why me?”

“I don’t want to go alone and you’ve always been very nice.”

Yes, it was a strange request from a woman I barely knew, who I did talk with on a friendly basis when she came for coffee, but mainly because she had perfect softness and the most inviting smile of any middle-aged woman I had encountered. She was a classic natural beauty, and did not seem to realize her gift.

“Sure,” I answered without consideration, tempting myself with the possibilities of being alone with her softness.

“You’re so nice. Thank you.”

“What kind of meeting?” I asked, realizing I answered before gathering important details.

“Al-Anon.”

“Al Anon? Who’s that?”

“Not sure. I’ve never been, but my therapist said it would be good for me.”

Life is about experience.

“Should I pick you up here? Around 6:30?”

“Sounds fine.”

“You don’t have to come.”

“No, I don’t mind...Tina. It is Tina, right?”

“Yes. Okay, I’ll see you around 6:30.”

“Till then.”

Asking around, I learn that Al Anon was a what, not a who. I was given insight into what a meeting was about, and those that seemed to know the most were carrying their baggage markedly.

At about 6:45, a shiny luxury sports car pulled up in front, of my empty place of employ. A window rolled down and the beautiful woman looked at me and smiled. I am not sure what it is about her, but there is a chemical connection. Nothing had to be said. I walked over to the car and took my place in the passenger’s seat.

“Nice car,” I offered as polite verbal interaction.

“It’s comfortable.”

“Very.”

“Want to drive?”

“No, thank you.”

“I really appreciate you coming with me. I am sure it was an unusual request, but I feel comfortable around you, for some reason.”

“It’s the dashing smile, I’m sure. Thank you.”

Ding? Yes, I heard a ding. There was the chance she might be a 12 on a 1 to 10 crazy scale, so I kept watch on the words I let escape my lips — there has been the occasional woman who has decided we were in a permanent relationship because of a few shared words of kindness.

It did not take long for us to arrive at a small, rundown church. We parked and found our way to the drab room where the meeting was held. Immediately, I was swallowed by the room’s sadness.

There were less than a dozen people sitting around an array of folding chairs pushed together. They used only their first name and tried to make us feel welcome. They told their stories of sufferance of a spouse or child that was an addict, usually an alcoholic, though some were committed addicts, not limiting themselves to alcohol or any single intoxicant. They asked me to share, and though I felt like a bit of a fraud, a thieving voyeur, I was not going to belittle them by telling them I was there for the experience, so simply offered a “No, thank you.” They then invited Tina to share.

Years of practice in non-response allowed my expression to remain unchanged as she detailed the experiences of her childhood as the offspring of two full-time, functioning alcoholics. As she told the stories, her face hardened to try and hold back the escaping tears, you could not help but hate the monsters she called mom and dad. The incredible natural beauty emanated by this woman hid the carnage that worked to destroy her from within. Listening to the horror of abuse all forms, I was unable to restrain all tears. The fact that this woman functioned at all made her my hero, and diminished the obstacles I thought I had encountered. And then, memories.

Her honest and open sharing of experiences brought a flood of memories I had locked away in the vault of isolation. Her experience touched home because I shared many, and when she was done speaking I decided to vomit my experience to the group. The vault was a tad full, so I spewed enough to make room for the present, leaving the horrors of the past in that room, on that array of tables, where they belonged.

When the meeting was over, we were on our way out of the door and a man chased me down.

“I just want you to know how much I appreciate you coming. If you want, there’s a men only meeting on Thursdays, and you’re more than welcome to come. It’s over by the old Circuit City building. Do you know where that is?”

“Yes. Thank you,” I offered, unable to confess I was here to support my escort, my beautiful acquaintance.

“I think you’d like it.”

“Thank you.”

“Well, thank you for caring. 8 Thursdays, if you are interested.”

“Thank you,” was offered one last time, as we walked away. I could see he longed for something I could not give him, but felt I possessed. “I’m sorry about your son.”

“I’ve accepted it’s his choice, but thank you. Thank you very much.” He clenched my hand firmly, desperately.

When Tina and I finally returned to the car and were on the road, I felt a lightness, a sense of unburdening with everything I had left on the table. My escort seemed withdrawn, hardened, upset about the memories she had unearthed.

“Thank you for taking me. It was an experience.”

“You’re welcome,” was her subdued retort.

“Are you going again?”

“I don’t think so. What’s the point? Dragging up the memories of my shitty parents doesn’t change anything. I was giving it a chance because my therapist suggested it. You seemed to enjoy it, though. You should keep going.”

Her words seemed bitter, as she withdrew further. She now seemed angry...at me. Perhaps I saw too much, or showed too much. Silence prevailed the remainder of the trip.

Tina dropped me off, thanked me, leaving quickly with her demons...without offering a tasty treat of chewy, gooey, goodness, which seemed to be souring with every moment. I stood, looking around at the bustle of the relentless world.

How can we know what is in another when we have such difficulty knowing what is within our self? Yet, we have to go forth with the belief that we know both.

The great illusion of life is that it is not an illusion.
Posted by: Captain Forehead
karma: 43 [+/-]
“Hypothetically?”

“Sure, hypothetically, but I know who you are. They can call you Chris or Justin or Ferguson or Cap or Captain or Christ or whatever, I know who you are.”

“Hypothetically.”

“Hypothetically? No, I know who you are.”

“If you knew me, really knew me, I do not suppose I would have anything to fear. If you actually knew who I was you would have the greatest reverence for me...or the greatest fear...or both. Actually, I have no idea how you’d behave. I don’t know me.”

“I just want to know why you would leave everything behind to work at a...a coffee shop. You disappeared. You left and the only thing your family would say was you were gone and they did not know if you were coming back.”

“Of what you speak, the specifics of the man you confuse me with, I cannot answer, but if you are asking me hypothetically why I as that man might do what you suggest you believe he has done, I might be able to answer...hypothetically.”

“Sure, hypothetically. Why did you abandon your comfortable life — hypothetically?”

“Putting myself into the mind of the stranger, it would seem like an absurd path, on the surface. Who leaves the perfect life for the promise of nothing, especially when you ‘have it all’? It would seem to be a difficult question.

“I had everything. My children were grown, at least out of the house, so there was freedom of time. The wife was stunning, beautiful, and on occasion very loving. Businesses were sold. Nice house paid for. A vineyard. Investment accounts with various brokers. Bank accounts were flush. I could borrow more money than most of my neighbors could earn in a lifetime with the mark of an ‘X’ by my overpriced pen. I wanted for nothing.”

“That’s what I...what some of us understand. You had everything! You were the man and your wife was a fucking MILF!”

“Is she no longer?”

“Man, she did not take your leaving well. I don’t know what you were bringing, but that bitch fell apart after...”

“Hey, hey, hey, no need to address her in that way.”

“Sorry. Your MILF fell apart after you left. The rumor was you left her broke when you bailed, then we found out you left her loaded, but it was you she wanted or something, ‘cause that bi... She was broke broken. She went out with guys ‘cause she looked good, but she trashed them all. Rich and poor, smooth and slow, they couldn’t measure.”

“You don’t know how that breaks my heart. I never wanted to hurt her, but I couldn’t... I couldn’t... She was too comfortable in the life we built to throw it all away, which is understandable.”

“But why’d you?”

I didn’t.”

“Riiiiight. Hypothetically?”

[Pause. Long pause. Surrendering sigh.] “Life is meant for living, not existing. My nature is to taste the sweet nectar of life’s sweet runny juices.”

“I don’t know whatcha mean.”

“The challenge of life is to start with nothing and become something. Once you have something, something more is easy to acquire, but that going from nothing journey is so fucking unbelievable. It is not even the getting something, it is the coming from nothing and conquering with the deck stacked against you. The more and more comfortable life becomes the more I longed for nothing. I knew I had to make a change when I started to dream of being homeless while shopping for an exquisite bottle of wine with an absurd price. And I knew it was not much different than a good bottle I could find at 1% the price. I was trying to buy the feeling of living, of being alive, and that cannot be bought. A pricey bottle of wine?! Stupid. Adult grape juice, not the edge of living.”

“So you left to be poor?”

“Basically. I wanted to start again and see where the journey took me.”

“But your kids? Your lady? It was kinda fucked up what you did to them.”

“I did my best to explain. I would have resented them if I had stayed and that resentment would have turned into nasty bitterness. I know they will never really fully understand what I did, but it was the only way. I miss them. I miss them a lot. All of them.”

“They’re all doing really well. You’re one of them high achievin’ families.”

“Give their mother credit for that. She knew how to make people a success. Look at me now. When I was with her, I owned it all.”

“Yeah, but you just said you chose this.”

“I did and I would again. I do not know how to put a value on feeling completely alive. When you are comfortable, you are on the brink of death.”

“Give me some of that death.”

“There is not a rich guy I know...knew that would not love to live your life for a short while, but only if they didn’t have to give up their stuff. That was where I was different, I never cared about the stuff, I never defined myself by the stuff, didn’t worry if I could make it again. It really is about the journey. If you reach the destination, it’s over. I feared I was reaching the destination so I went to start all over again.”

“Here?”

“Anywhere, it makes no difference.”

“You’re a trip, man. You’re a trip.”

“That was hypothetical. I don’t know who you’re talking about.”

“It’s cool, your secret is safe with me.”

“Secrets are never safe...ever.”

“Yeah, but I ain’t sayin’ shit. I know nothin’.”

“However true, if you knew me you would pray to God that we both forgot this encounter. You should know, I still protect my family. I may not be seen there, but I own the shadows.”

“Dude, your secret is safe. Seriously, I don’t even know who you are. The guy you remind me of was older, bit outta shape, soft.”

“Yeah, I hear comfort and security will do that to a man.”

“Not you, man, you lookin’ good.”

“I don’t play in that field, [wink] move along.”

“Peace, brutha.”

“Let’s hope.”

Secrets — only what they are called when they get out.
Posted by: Captain Forehead
karma: 65 [+/-]
“Do you know why you are here?”

I thought about all of the answers I could offer, words that spoke the truth without appearing aggressive or rude, being in a somewhat conciliatory mood. After a long pause, speaking calmly, I stated, “Because I choose to be.”

“No, I...” He then stopped to find his perspective. “Perhaps, technically, but...”

“Perhaps? No, absolutely, for if I did not choose to be here I would be elsewhere. In fact, you are here for the same reason. We both choose to be here.”

“Okay, technically, but there are reasons, motivations for our actions in life. I am here to help people and thereby earn a living and provide income for my family unit while my partner pursues his phallic wood carving artistic endeavors. And like me being here for work, aren’t you here for your work? Aren’t you here because your employer asked you to come and talk about an incident you observed while on the job?”

Yes, the incident. The incident observed. I was only an observer...my failure. “I am here because I choose to be.”

“Yes, that is true, but your choice was encouraged by the consequences of not coming, was it not?”

“True,they said if I did not come I would lose my job.”

“So you are here so you don’t lose your job, correct?”

“No, I am kind of over the job. I am here because I want to be, because I choose to be.”

“So you don’t care about your job?”

“No, it is getting time to move on.”

“Did you have this feeling before the incident as well?”

“Yeah, I guess. Kind of.”

“But it has been awhile and you’re still there.”

“I like some of the people.”

“The people you work with?”

“A couple. Mainly the customers, a few of them.”

“You have a personal relationship with some of your customers?”

I know where this is headed. He tells me my working life is a substitute for substantive real life relationships. Not interested. Maybe I don’t want to be here any longer. I twist my head to deny his presumptive proposition.

The two of us stared at one another, grown men playing some type of silent mental game to claim ethereal territory. I win when he breaks away from my stare to take a note. And the prize: confirmation of action’s cues.

“Would you like to tell me what happened?”

“A man was killed because he grabbed a young girl and threatened her life.”

“Did you see this?”

“I saw it. You know that. I would rather have not, but I did.”

“Tell me what you are feeling.”

“I feel... I feel it makes no difference how I feel. It just was.”

“Then tell me what you saw.”

“Okay. This guy comes in highly emotional. Bacon was his name, the real name his parents gave him. How did they think that was going to work out?! He was complaining somewhat coherently about life. He’s a big, scary looking guy, but he’s done this kind of thing before, so none of us that worked there were worried. Some of the patrons were nervous, but we just tried to get him to talk to us, to focus on us. A couple of customers freaked out, which freaked him out, but eventually everyone began to calm down. Someone handed Bacon a drink he asked for and we were about to wrap this up. Then the police arrived.”

It should have ended. The story should have gone no further, but it did not end. Providence had different plans for what was to follow.

“It doesn’t end there, does it?” the therapist prodded. “Then what happened? What happened after the room calmed down?”

“It should have ended, but...it really should have ended.”

“But...?”

“But this little girl who had been on the opposite side of the room from her mother, hiding behind a high-back chair, came out of hiding to run to her mother. The mother screamed ‘No!’, which startled Bacon. Instinctively, he snatched up the little girl running in front of him and wrapped his massive, grimy hand around her tiny neck. He was frightened. She was frightened. Everyone seemed frightened.”
“And were you frightened?”

I could not help but look up and smile. The question was loaded, so a smile was my answer — perhaps a smirk.

“Well, were you frightened?”

“Of what?”

“Of what everyone else was frightened of, of this Bacon man?”

“Why should I be?”

“You said everyone was frightened, so why wouldn’t you be?”

“No, I said everyone seemed frightened. I do not know if they were or not. I... I was not worried because I — so, so wrongly — thought the situation would smoothly de-escalate and fizzle into a crowd of discomfort.”

Within I tell myself it did not have to end the way it did, but when I consider the hand of fate’s fickle ways I know that it could only have been how it was. And telling this man what happened...pathetic voyeur.

Another stalemate was reached. Silence enveloped the room. An air conditioner tried to start, then gave up, circulating hot air into the room. The host began to sweat.

“Are you trying to torture me?”

“Sorry, we’ve had a problem with the air conditioning recently. Let’s continue this another day.”

“No,” I snapped. “I want to be here now, but I do not think I’ll return.”

“That is your choice.”

“It is.”

“But it is too hot to continue.”

“Not for me. I’m going to finish my telling of events.”

He nodded in offering reluctant acceptance.

“Everyone seemed to tense up when Bacon picked up the girl. The cops came and threatened him, warned him to put the girl down. In his fear, he told them to leave or he would kill the girl, demonstrating his resolve by slowly squeezing her neck, causing her to tear up, gasping for air.

“After his threat, the demeanor of the officers changed. They became more polite to him, more focused. Before anything happened, you could tell everything had changed. While a couple of the officers took his attention, another came up from the side, put something to his head and he fell to the ground, limp instantly. The little girl ran to her mother, both crying. In joy, I presume.”

“And you?”

“Me what?”

“How did you feel?”

“Disgusted.”

“Really? At...?”

“I did not hear a gunshot. I don’t know what the cop put to his head. I saw him drop. I did not see the side of his head explode, but something came out of his head and splattered about a small area. Most of the area was over me, about my face, in my mouth.”

“So some of Bacon was in your... Oh, sorry. I’m sorry, that’s not what I...”

“But that is it. Your bad pun — unintended, you declare — will not stop going through my mind. I love bacon, but this Bacon did not taste good. All I could think was, ‘Bad Bacon!’”

The therapist was unable to quash his laughter fully. He chuckled, cowardly or politely turning away.

“You can’t help it. I can’t help it. A bad pun has been weaved into my fabric, and though I enjoy humor, this is just toxic wrongness. I can’t even eat bacon without thinking of the killing and some idiotic pun. My mind is making jokes and I can’t leave the show. The puppet master is a prick!”

“And to whom are you referring when you say ‘puppet master’?”

Now I am here and no longer wish to be. Sure, there is some sadistic pleasure in watching the therapist sweat like a stuck pig... Pig → pork → bacon → ugh. I am done. I stand and offer my hand as a gentleman.

“Then we’ll finish this later.”

“I think I am finished. Be well and take a look at that a/c, this is an uncomfortable environment for one to purge their soul.”

“We’ll call someone, again.”

“An educated man such as yourself should be able to resolve a problem such as this.”

“We all have our specialties. You make coffee, I help people, and someone knows how to fix the air conditioning unit.”

“Now I know I will not be returning. You may have to limit yourself in that fashion, but don’t project such limitations on me or the a/c guy.”

“You’re right, I don’t know how many years of advanced education you might have achieved to make coffee or the advanced degree an a/c tech might have earned to fix a stupid machine.”

“You know nothing about me but define me by my job? Why do so many people think a degree confers intelligence?”

“Not any idiot can earn an advanced degree.”

“You are correct, it takes a special kind to seek the approval of the status quo to push the status quo.”

“Says the man without a degree.”

“Why do you suppose that?”

“Well, do you?”

“Does it matter?”

“It very well may.”

“I am here because I had bad Bacon and you are here because this is the spot in the universe you have decided is your domain of comfort. Whether or not I have degrees is of interest to you because you think it infers some standing. You wish to use it to measure me...and yourself. Then you would like to discuss the type of degree, the subject matter, the school. I have met idiots with every degree imaginable and geniuses without a degree and vice versa. So, no, you don’t get to know that.”

“You sound defensive. I don’t think you are not smart because you don’t have a degree. We should talk about this sometime,” the soft of possibility asked as sweat ran uncomfortably down his face.

“Thank you, but no.”

“We’ll see.”

“Be well and endeavor to be more than the letters you managed to append to your name.”

He replied about misunderstanding or something or other, but I was no longer present. I was leaving. In my mind, the comedian commenced with bacon humor. Yes, there were many guilty laughs, but I just wanted to enjoy bacon again.

We may not be able to change the past, but maybe we can try to forget some of it... Screw it! Remember is all! Experience it all! And keep on moving...
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