What I wish for for our Country.

We live in troubling times.  It probably has always been the case, but with the speed and scope of communication today, it seems doubly so. Our Country is on a bumpy ride and we’re having the fillings rattled our of our collective heads.

With another Presidential election looming, we find ourselves in what seems like another endless campaign season.  Each side vilifying the other, trying to portray the opposition as part of some dark existential threat to our very existence – while their guy is a savior on a white horse come to lead us to Glory.  It sickens me.  It wearies me. It makes me angry.

I don’t believe them.  I don’t trust them. I believe they only seek to serve their own self interests, at our expense.

I am not naive.  I know our history.  We have always been a divided nation.  At times, however, the things that united us where greater than those things that divide us.  I still believe that is true.  I want that to be true.  It needs to be true.  Otherwise we’re done.

People in power only seek to hold on to that power and are quick to attempt to manipulate the rest of us if they can in order to maintain that hold on power.  Now, I don’t believe for one minute that everyone who’s involved in politics or government is driven by nefarious purposes.  There’s no doubt that some are, but I know many are good, ethical and honest public servants.  I don’t wish to besmirch them, throwing the good out with the bad.  Just to be clear.

I also reject the idea of a grand secret conspiracy to take over and rule the world.  It’s not much of a secret anymore, considering how much I hear about it from some believers.   Whatever.

We were founded on great ideas, by great idealists.  While not claiming either of those for myself, I’d like to share some ideas for our Country.

  •  E Pluribus Unum, out of one, many.  We are a nation of immigrants.  We need to stop vilifying immigrants and at the same time make a rational path to immigration and citizenship.  Hospitality to the “alien” is a foundational concept from our Judeo-Christian legal heritage.  We need to change this or take down that Statue in New York Harbor.
  • At the same time, we are a nation of laws.  We have to be.  The problem is, we have too many laws.  So many that our lawmakers and law enforcers don’t even always know what’s legal and what’s not.  Often justice is not served.  We don’t even have a justice system any longer, it’s simply a legal system.  Forget what’s just and right – what’s legal?  People lose respect for the law, the lawmakers and law enforcement when the law becomes so burdensome and convoluted. The US Code and it’s counterparts at the State and local level needs a serious paring.
  • Our Military is bloated and out-of-date, both in its size and mission.  We have them spread too far and wide.  When we have troops on food stamps, we have a problem with priorities.  I would completely rebuild our military.  Down size the Army and Air Force in favor of the Navy and Marines.  Creating a more nimble force that can project itself globally.  A few years ago, the USN responded to the Indonesian tsunami – it was us at our best.  They saved untold lives.  I’ve alway been of the opinion that the Navy should have been given the Nobel Peace Prize that year, but alas…  In any event, the DOD is grossly bloated and needs to be more efficient and thrifty. It’s time to bring them home from Europe and Asia.
  • We need universal health care.  I find it embarrassing that we thump our chests about how great we are when we have families driven into bankruptcy because of medical bills.  Health insurance companies exist to serve only their executives and stockholders.  I don’t know how we do it, but we need to do it.  Period.  We put men on the moon, we can figure out a way to do this.
  • It’s time to end the “War on (insert name here)”.  These “wars” have turned into either bottomless money pits or attacks on our civil liberties, usually both.  Why do we declare war on ourselves?  Why? It’s madness.
  • Everyone deserves equal protection under the law.  Straight, gay, black, white, male, female, adult or child.  Period.  We all have the same rights, or none of us have rights.  If rights are denied by some by the votes of others, who’s next?
  • I would revoke the tax exempt status of religious organizations.  Think of the revenue.  Then churches and clergy would be completely free to preach what ever they wanted from their pulpits, to include endorsing political candidates.  Why should any of the rest of us fund your religion?  I think this can be clearly supported by the First Amendment.
So, that’s a start.  Let’s get on it right away.  Before Congress lets out for their Summer vacation, ok?  I’ve got travel plans in July, so I can’t help until after I get back from Vegas.  Who want’s to take the lead?
There are many things to be pessimistic about, but I refuse to take the bait.  I think there are bright things ahead for our County – now to just get there.
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Another chapter fragment

I met Tom Sawyer once. He was sitting on a porch in Lawrence, Kansas with Les Paul, smoking one of those cheap ass cigars that he liked. The smell was not unlike the one that came from under the hood of the car right before the big plumes of white smoke. I knew I shouldn’t have tried to drive this piece of shit all the way across the county, I thought, as I rolled to a stop on the shoulder of the highway.
The sun was starting to set, so setting out on foot wasn’t wise. This part of the country was not terribly safe to start with, let alone at night. Ever since things went all to hell, the countrysides were particularly perilous for travelers.
The old Sioux tribes thought it would be a good time to reclaim their ancestral lands from the white man’s government. They had quite a bit of success at first, ranging as far south as the Red River and well into what used to be Canada. That is until they started to run into the Lycans and the Zombies.
The Lycans were a strange phenomena indeed. At first it was thought that they were actual werewolves, right out of an old Hollywood horror film. Turns out they were actually a new species of wolf. It was almost as if they were a human-wolf crossbred of some kind. Stories of government experiments abounded, and might well be true. Like many things these days, the truth doesn’t really matter, what matters is steering clear of them. They travel in packs and mostly at night, so shelter at night was very much a necessity.
The Zombies, on the other hand, were nothing like what they appeared to be. When things went to shit, some people went completely off the deep end. Tribes formed and took whatever measures they had to to survive, including cannibalism. The Zombies were just that, tribes of cannibals. They would cover themselves in blood and entrails to terrorize other tribes and settlements. It was quite effective and their legend grew – more than just stories to scare the kiddies, they were bad news and their numbers were growing.
So night travel, especially alone was out of the question. Staying put was risky enough, but far safer than trying to cover open country after dark.
I waited until the last of the day’s light faded and crawled in the back seat of the car, covering up with an old Army blanket and leaving a window cracked so the glass didn’t fog up. That’s a dead give away!
I slept a fitful, dream filled sleep. I dreamt of her again, like every other night. The mind is a cruel thing sometimes. It would be a blessing to be able to forget.
I was awakened by a banging on the window. Holy Shit! I thought I was done for, but it turned out to be a cop? A cop, what the hell is a cop doing out here? I rolled the window down a bit and said, “um, yes officer?”
“Out of the car”, he shouted. I complied, seeing that he was armed and I wasn’t in any position to argue. He was part of something called the Nebraska Militia Marshall Service.
“What the hell are you doing out here, boy?” he wanted to know. Not really knowing myself, I just answered, “Car died.”
“Where are you headed?” “West” I said, stating what I thought was the obvious.
“Don’t get smart with me boy, I can see you’re headed west. Where west?”
“Just west, sir, just west. Until I find somewhere to stop.” Not wanting to tell him that I was hoping to get to the Utah Territory. I used to know someone out there and it was rumored to be fairly safe and stable.
This apparently satisfied his official curiosity. “Well, I can’t help you with that. But you’d better keep moving. Things aren’t safe for travelers and there’s not much in the way of Law these days.” The irony of his statement was not lost on me.
He offered me a couple of bottles of water, which I gladly accepted, and climbed into his pickup truck and drove away without even a wave. Serve and Protect, huh?
People have become pretty untrusting ever since the Fall, and I guess that’s to be expected. When everything you’ve come to believe turns out to be a fiction and the people who were supposed to hold civilization together either fled or hid it’s understandable that trust would be in short supply.
I often think about what happened. We always expected the end to come in some grand cataclysm. A war or a plague or maybe some huge natural disaster. But no, things just kind of deflated like a kiddie pool with the stopper pulled out. First the economies started to fail and that snowballed. They called it the Second Great Depression. Then companies started to shutdown, millions and millions suddenly without work. No work, no taxes to pay the government. No taxes, no safety net. It was really quite simple, the world’s wealth just seemed to vanish in to a void. The super wealthy held out a bit longer than most, but even they had to buy groceries and no one was stocking the stores out of the kindness of their hearts. Quite the opposite actually happened pretty fast. Looting was wide spread and short lived.
People then just started to retreat into survival mode. I was in Dallas when the grid finally went off line. The whole country went dark in about 48 hours. There were a couple of nuclear reactors that went critical. Heard tell that Atlanta is gone. Apparently the CDC lost containment and their countermeasures set the whole city aflame.
I was lucky at first, I ran into Sam Houston and Davy Crockett just north of Dallas. They were starting a settlement and were looking for workers. They had guns and farmland, so I stayed on for a couple of months, until Spring. No point in trying to travel during the winter, especially heading west across the Rockies.
I set out that morning determined to get as far as the next shelter. It wasn’t smart to go any farther. You just couldn’t know when you’d happen on upon the next one, daylight or not.
The road was starting to climb into the foothills. I would soon miss the flatness of the prairie.
I was reminded of Lewis and Clark’s westward expedition and wondered if it would be smarter to follow a river’s path west, but thought better of it. The road was easier to travel on and no telling what kind of beasties would be lurking about the river banks. That and rivers didn’t tend to travel in much of a straight line.
So, onward toward the mountains…

Chapter 1ish…

This is a little something I started back in November during the National Write a Novel in a Month program.  I didn’t even come close to completing anything, but I have some chapter fragments that I’m going to post.
I met her in Johannesburg in 2004. I was there on business. What kind of business is not important. I was out for a morning run when I saw her. She was sitting in front of a coffee shop. Sitting with her feet on on the chair next to her when I noticed those legs. Oh, those legs! Anyway, I was noticing, noticing hard when I stepped awkwardly off of the curb and just about took a header. She saw me and laughed and said to me, “very graceful!”. I couldn’t let that go, now could I? “Why thank you”, I said, “I do what I can”, with a sly embarrassed smile. I was completely busted, so I thought I’d seize the moment. “Hi”, I said, “come here often?”. Knowing full well how lame that sounded. She just smiled and shook her head. “You’re really in trouble here, you know that right?” She smiled and cocked an eyebrow. I was already sweating from the run, but that look made it even worse. She had the most amazing green eyes, like emerald stars. They just sparkled. I thought to myself, this is already worth the embarrassment. She was really something to behold, those eyes and hair so red it looked like it came out of a spray can. I had never seen hair that color. Her skin was not quite white, not like most redheads. It had more of a creamy color, covered with more freckles than I’ve ever seen on any one body. And, as I found out later, they were all over. Including a funny little pattern at the top of the cleft of her ass that kind of looked like a rabbit. Anyway, I muttered something about buying her a cup of coffee. She just laughed and pointed at the cup on the table. “Tell you what”, she said, “I’ll let you buy me lunch”. I almost choked. How did I manage to pull this one off, I thought to myself. “I’ll meet you in your hotel lobby at 1”, she told me. I started to ask how she knew what hotel I was staying in, and she interrupted, “You’re American right, Americans always stay in the Crown Plaza”. She had me there. “Ok, I’ll see you at 1, and don’t be late – I don’t wait”, she commanded. I could only sigh a sarcastic “Yes Ma’am”. “That’s a good boy, go now and finish your run”, she told me.
So off I ran, or more accurately, glided along my route and back to the hotel. This was too good to be true and likely was just a ruse to get rid of me, the clumsy American boy. I got back to the hotel, ordered some room service coffee and breakfast and took a nice long hot shower. Nice thing about 5 star hotels around the world – plenty of good coffee and hot water. Globalization was sometimes a good thing after all.
I was in the lobby at 12:45, just to be safe. I found a chair with sight lines to both street level entrances so that I would see her coming regardless of her approach. I tried to relax with a little music from the iPhone. Finally decided on some My Morning Jacket. Didn’t want something too heavy, but nothing too poppy either, so MMJ seemed just right. I tend to obsess about music like that for some reason, every situation has to have just the right soundtrack. So there I sat, trying to relax and pay attention to the music without much success. I found myself tensing up every time one of the doors started to open. 1Pm came and went. Sucker, I thought – what a sucker. She certainly had me figured out and played me. Just as I was about to get up, I heard her from behind me. “Well, what are you waiting for?” This was not the last time she completely foiled my plans and caught me off guard. “What are you listening to?” I told her. “Never heard of them”, she said, “Let’s eat.”
She suggested an Indian place around the corner. I’ve not had much Indian food, so I let her order for me. More correctly, she ordered for the both us and then asked me if I minded. The look on her face let me know that it didn’t really matter if I did or not. I just laughed and shook my head. I really didn’t stand a chance and I knew it and I didn’t give a damn. This woman already had a hold on me. This woman, her name was Linda.
We took our time with lunch. It turns out the South Africans make some damn fine wines too. We drank some, and then we drank some more. Our lunch slowly burned through the remainder of the afternoon. The waiter indicated that they needed to prepare for the dinner service and we would need to be packing it in. I paid our tab, over tipping of course. No point in looking cheap. We stepped out into the late afternoon sun. It was a beautiful October day, and the sun was warm but not overly so. I asked her if she had to go, or if she’d like to take a walk. She was game. We walked a few blocks and low and behold, what did we find, but a wine shop! We bought a couple of bottles of a nice SA Riesling.
Rather than figure out how to get away with drinking wine on the street we headed back to the hotel. As we entered the lobby, she set me straight. “We are not going up to your room”, she said. I attempted a protest, saying that I would not be so presumptuous. She shushed me and said, “let’s go the garden.” So we did. We found a table in the corner, away from the pool. The waiter was kind enough to ignore the “outside” beverages and brought us a couple of glasses. When I say kind enough, he responded properly to the appropriate and not unexpected bribe.
We sat and talked in the fading light. We laughed and laughed. Her laugh was soft and sing-songy and her nose crinkled just so when she did. She took great pleasure in making sport of me, finding something funny in everything I shared with her. I didn’t mind, didn’t mind at all. Simply having her pay me attention was enough. I was happy to be her comic foil. I was clearly smitten.
The time passed quickly, but at the same time the day felt timeless – like we’d been together for days. As it turned out, we would be. As we poured the last of the wine, we were informed that we’d have to clear out, the pool area was closing for the night.
She was true to her word. As we walked to the lobby, she slipped her arm around my neck and gave me a soft kiss. “Dinner, tomorrow – I’ll call for you.” She stepped through the revolving door and into a cab and she was gone.
And I was a goner. I don’t remember the elevator ride up to my floor, or letting myself into my room. I found myself standing looking out the window at the lights of the city wondering what had befallen me. I don’t know how long I stood there, but it eventually occurred to me that I did have a job and I had meetings tomorrow, so I’d better get some sleep. I slept the sleep of child on Christmas Eve. Dreaming soft, warm gauzy dreams full of long legged redheads!
The next morning was ordinary. Got in a run and coffee before the first meeting. Thankfully, they served a light breakfast. The meetings seemed to drag on and on, but finally ended about 3. That was a bit earlier than I expected, so I thought I’d get in a swim before dinner. I found out that wasn’t to be the case when I returned to my room. There was a note on the bed from the front desk. 5Pm, out front was all it said. I didn’t have to be told twice. I wasn’t sure where we were going, so I figured I’d better try to be prepared for anything. I put on my linen suit, with a blue shirt – no tie. I figured that would be versatile enough.
I stood on the curb for about 5 minutes when a powder blue Audi TT stopped. Of course, I thought, perfect. I got in. She was stunning! She had on a yellow sun dress with a wrap of some kind around her shoulders. Looks like I guessed right. “Ready?”, she asked. She didn’t wait for an answer before pulling out and whipping a quick u-turn.
We stopped in front of a restaurant. It looked like some kind of steakhouse, not unlike what you’d find in New York or Chicago. Fine, that works for me – I love a good steak, I thought to myself. The Matrie’D knew her, “Good evening Miss Linda”. Dinner was nice, she was charming and of course we lingered again.
And so it went for the next week. We dined frequently and even danced occasionally. She was always firm, but never insistent in getting her way. I was usually happy to oblige, and even when I resisted I fell victim to her charms.
One week to the day of our meeting, I was awakened by a knock on my hotel room door. It was early, but already light outside. I wondered who it could be, never guessing it was her. I opened the door, she pushed into me and kissed me hard on the mouth, never saying a word.
She squeezed past me as I shut and locked the door. I turned around to see that she had already almost completely disrobed. I went to her.
We made love for the first time that morning. We spent the day repeating ourselves, with barely a word spoken.
Morning stretched into afternoon, afternoon into evening. I mentioned calling for room service – we hadn’t eaten yet today. “No”, she said, “Let’s go out. You’ve earned a good meal.” Her smile was sly and a bit mischievous, and I was not about to argue.
We walked around the corner to “our” Indian place. She didn’t want to go far from the hotel. I took that as a good sign, a real good sign. As before, she ordered for the both of us and we had more wine. This time however, we didn’t linger nearly as long.
Apparently dinner was just what she needed. She was ravenous. She started tearing at my clothes in the elevator, and it was all I could do to fight her off until we were back in the room. Not that I was trying too hard, mind you.
We made love again. This time she was on fire. We fell exhausted into each others arms and slept.
I slept the dreamless sleep of the contented, wrapped around her naked body.
We woke together as morning streamed in through the windows. She was more beautiful than ever in that soft light. She rolled over, smiled and kissed me, “Good morning love” she whispered. I was in heaven. How did this happen, I wondered to myself.
I ordered coffee and we sat in silence and smiled at each other like school kids. There didn’t seem to be anything to talk about that was worth interrupting this mood, this moment.
“I could use some breakfast, how about you?” I asked her. “Of course, let’s go downstairs”, she answered. We showered together and dressed. I was a bit out of my mind at my good fortune.
“What are you thinking?” She asked me. “Oh nothing”, I lied. She laughed and punched me in the shoulder. “You’re so full of shit”, she said, laughing again. I just smiled and winked at her.
We sat at breakfast in the hotel restaurant, enjoying the energy of the morning crowd, making chit-chat and laughing with the folks at neighboring tables.
“I must be off”, she said, “I have business to attend to today.” “On a Saturday?” I asked, “what kind of business?” She just waved off the question and said that she’d be back this afternoon and not to wander off too far. With that she jumped up, kissed me and was gone before I could even stand up. “Wow”, I thought, “that woman moves with a purpose and with a really nice ass”.
I spent the day lounging poolside, going over proposals and contracts. Well, more like napping poolside with a bucket of beers and a folder of proposals and contracts serving as a coaster. It was a warm day with a nice breeze blowing through the garden. I was happy and content and just a little buzzed as I dozed in and out of my nap.
I was startled awake by something touching my foot. I looked up to see Linda standing there running her finger up the sole of my foot. “Oh, you’re ticklish!”, she said with a fiendish grin, “I wish I had known!” “Oh, shit – my secret’s out” I yelped, faining shock.

This is why Baseball is the greatest game.

OMG!  This was a most epic game!  The Washington Nationals vs the New York Yankees.

Briefly…  I put my car in the shop this morning for routine maintenance, so I was on foot for the day.  I was at home, waiting for the call from the dealership and watching the National’s game.  The dealer called around about the fourth inning.  I think the Nats were ahead.  I headed out to walk to the dealership to get the car.

OK, let me insert an aside here because it’s as good a place as any.

The New York Yankees are the sports franchise equivalent of the Evil Galactic Empire from Star Wars.  You either hate them or love them.  No one is ambivalent about the Yankees.  If you say you are, you’re just kidding yourself – you’re really a Yankee fan. And the Washington Nationals are like the Rebel Alliance.  Why? Red, that’s why and it’s my metaphor and I say so.  How can a team from the Heart of Evil represent the Rebel Alliance, you might ask.  You might.  But it’s my metaphor, deal with it.

This totally has everything to do with the fact that I’m a life-long Kansas City Royals fan.

Oh, Yankees fans totally know this and love it.  No, Billy Martin is not Darth Vader…

Anyway…

After running a couple of errands and doing some grocery (read that as beer and steaks) shopping, I got home.  Being such a beautiful day, I grabbed a beer and a book and headed for the deck.  I got a good 90 minutes before the back yard was in the shade.

I then headed inside, got on the MacBook and thought, “let me check on the Nats score”.  I got to MLB.com and lo and behold, the game is still on, in extra innings.

So, I jump in the recliner and put on the game.

So we come to the 14th inning and the Yankees score two to break the 3-3 tie.

The Nats come to bat at the bottom of the 14th.  There’s two men on and two outs. (cue ominous cello and organ music)

The rookie phenom, Bryce Harper comes to the plate.  He’s 19, you know.

Now, here’s where the magic of destiny and fate come to baseball like no other game.

Our Hero is 0 for 6 on the day.  Here he is faced with the opportunity to strike a heroic pose, or go out in flames, like Icarus.

A homerun would win the game and elevate the legend of young Bryce to Mantle levels.  A raging strike out would be equally as legendary – the breaking of the young colt.

Instead, we get the proletarian option.  Surely not meaning to, Harper simply grounds out.  He makes the simplest and most common play a batter makes.  He grounds out.  He finishes 0-7.

There will be days that he mounts Olympus, just not today.

I love this about baseball.  That and the beer and hotdogs, they pretty much rock too.

It always comes back to Rush.

This is a repost of something I wrote a couple of years ago on Facebook, it’s cross posted there too.
 
It always comes back to Rush. Why does it always come back to Rush? It just always comes back to those three guys from Canada. It just does.
I just watched the new documentary about Rush, “Beyond the Lighted Stage”. Like the famously cliched review, “I laughed, I cried…”, I was touched in surprising ways.
Movies about rock bands are a dime a dozen and most of them are as forgettable as the bands they expose. Not this time. Maybe because this is not the story of rock stars, but three life-long friends.
Anyway, it always comes back to Rush for me. I, like many fans my age, discovered Rush with their fourth album 2112. To say that it blew my high school mind wouldn’t be completely accurate, in hindsight. Really how many of us, as sixteen year olds have much of a mind to blow? Oh sure, we fancy ourselves intellectual or sophisticated, but come on… now we all know better don’t we?
It probably wasn’t until they were on their tragic and unintentional sabbatical in the 1990s that I really came to appreciate their profound influence on me. I came across their live album “Different Stages” and became reacquainted with my old friends. That album came out at about the same time we first had internet access at home. So, like many fans of many artists, I had access to the Rush fan community like never before. It was there that I found out what had been happening with what had once been my favorite band. I read about Neil’s tragic loss of his daughter and wife. I explored releases that I wasn’t that familiar with, and heard the rumors of the bands return. Hell, I didn’t even know they’d been away! Some fan I was!
The last dozen or so years have been amazingly prolific for the band, and I’ve been there at every step. As soon as their latest tour was announced I did two things that I’m not know for – I paid the premium for a premium ticket and I bought only one ticket. Going to concerts alone is not something I’m fond of doing, I like to share the experience, but this time it felt like the right thing to do. Man, Sept 18th can’t get here soon enough!
So, anyway, why does it always come back to Rush? Well, I don’t want to start quoting lyrics that have had an impact because there are too many. It’s not just the lyrics. Some of the instrumentals touch me in a most powerful way. That might be hard to understand, but it’s true. Jazz legend Charlie Parker said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.” That explains so much to me about the power of instrumental music. There is life in those notes. To me, it’s as simple as that. There is life in there. Life.
Let me summarize this ramble this way. If you want to truly understand me, you have to understand Rush. You don’t have to like them, but you must understand them. Now, I know some could care less and that’s fine. Hell, sometimes I don’t even care. But I’ve come to realize that I understand more about myself through their music than just about any other way these days. They inspire me like no other artists.
That being said, here is a short list of essential Rush tracks.

Closer to the Heart
Spirit of Radio
Entre Nous
La Villa Strangiato
Working Man
Anthem
Tom Sawyer
Limelight
Free Will
Far Cry
YYZ

Ok, maybe not so short, but it could be much longer!

What a waste.

Damn you, Jeff.

My friend Jeff posted his HS Graduation picture on Facebook today to commemorate the 30th anniversary of our graduation.  Tina even coined a Bushism – Gradiversary for the observance.
The whole thing has got me in a deep melancholy funk.  You see, one week from today would have been the 29th anniversary of my marriage.  A marriage that ended a year ago February.
It’s normal at times like this to reflect and take a measure of your life.  I’m not happy with my score.
I should have listened to my Mother.  This is the one and only time you’ll hear me say that.
I was too young.  I did my best to be a good husband and father.  I never lied to her, never hit her or cheated on her.  There was a stolen, drunken kiss one night 20 plus years ago that was confessed to and forgotten. Or so I thought…
I tried to be a worthy husband, I guess we can see how I scored there.
So now I find myself with a house I didnt want, in a town I didnt want to live in and debt I can’t get a handle on.  Here is where my military bratness back-fired on me.  “I can live anywhere”, I said, “as long as you’re happy with it.”  Hell, I was happy in Reston living in an apartment.  Granted, it was too small for our growing family, but Stafford?
Funny how the job I’ve been wanting to leave for the last 10 years or so turns out to be the only stable, reliable thing I’ve got.
Now what?  I can’t go anywhere because I can barely stay on top of my bills, let alone save money to move.  I’m not sure I can sell the house, but if I did then what?  It is maddening.
I feel betrayed and devalued.  If I thought I could get away with it, I’d burn the place to the ground and slip away under cover of night.
My true friends are scattered around the country, even the planet.
Everyone has their issues, and I’m sure no one wants to hear mine.
I truly don’t know what to do with myself.  How long can someone tread water?
I’m sorry, don’t mean to bring anyone else down…
(Picks up soapbox and exits stage left)

Love to Run, then we drink…

I love to run my mouth,
love it when my mind is racing

to run my hands across your curves,
my fingers through your hair

mostly though, I love to run
trails, hills, sand, pavement or the trusty treadmill

the sweat in my eyes,
dripping from my nose, my hair, down my back

the way it shapes my legs,
less like ham hocks everyday

the way it makes my gut bounce,
knowing that it’s not long for this world

the challenge of keeping tempo,
with the beat, with my heart, my breath

the wall I hit,
hit it hard today, harder still tomorrow