All Of Him?

Unbeknownst to me, my youngest took the liberty of listening to me proof-read this, and upon its completion said, “I want to be with you – I want to see what you see.”

One who already sees far deeper than I will ever be able to, I really love that kid.

With the prompt in bold, here is this week’s Write On Edge response – I hope you enjoy…

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He didn’t smell exactly bad, mind you, but he didn’t smell entirely “right” either. It might have been the damned John Legend song in that moment spewing lies overhead tainting my assessment, but to me he smelled sad. He smelled musty. He smelled – well – he smelled alone.

And at that moment at least, with the possible exception of me, he was.

But I’d the feeling that he was alone most all of the time, that his aloneness was a state constant. A permanent scent that accompanied him. A shadow that always stood immediately behind, whispering softly into his ear, “I’m here. It’s just you n’ me kid.” A constant reminder that his death would be much more a release than a burden. Much more a connection with those loved, than a separation from those lost.

As he stood swaying at my register, complete with tattered grey plaid vest, blue ball cap (emblazoned with one of the two infamous Buffalo losing teams that so many locals seem to love regardless), and worn-through red and white blotched flesh, I found myself wishing even then, that I could remember the music he was purchasing in CD format, as it somehow felt integral to this tale.

But much like his face itself, the purchases seemed to have immediately faded from memory, leaving only my recollection of those confused eyes and scattered beard.

His eyes were the dug-in sort that said so much, whilst the beard-encrusted mouth said so little. Damn it Troy! THIS is a lesson you’ve learned often, and yet – being bred apparently of the hard-knock school – one that you seemingly refuse to graduate from. If there was ever anything that the ex said true, it was that (in the hands of the devious or arrogant at least), “they’re only words.” Not that this customer could be counted amongst that ilk, all the same he was in the end, far more communicative in eye than in speech.

And those eyes spoke volumes. His babbling diction and scent screamed at me as well, but it was those eyes that made me see truly and finally – as was told to me by a friend, advice provided them by their wizened grandmother: “As you are, I once was. And as I am, you will someday be.”

Christ, don’t let me end like that – like the man I think I see standing before me. Please hear my prayer for him, and hear it please for me.

Making change, I made certain our hands touched at least once. So I could know that he who stood before me was real – not some sort of future self ghosting back in warning – so I could unite with that perceived loneliness, begging that it not remain a shadow constant to either he nor I.

As he paid in cash, I’ll never know his name – never know his story, outside of our brief disjointed engagement. But while he wobbled off, that damned John Legend song was still blaring arrogantly overhead. A song that spoke of a love I’m guessing neither he nor I truly wanted to trust in anymore. But I thought, possibly a love that we still both hoped might – in some realm or fashion – be somehow true.

•••

Love Is Stronger…

“We meet no ordinary people in our lives.”

~ C.S. Lewis

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013 - please click image for more information

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013 – Please click image for more information.

I believe that we find ourselves feeling the need to perform annually, rituals such as the Transgender Day of Remembrance, only because we continue to allow ourselves to live in a world where it is literally easier to take a God-given human life, than it is to permit them to simply live their own.

We find it easier to live in ignorance and hate, than we do in the Truth and Love.

Listen, I’ve no idea who I truly am today, but I do know that people – good people – have been brutally slaughtered, simply because they were not afraid of being who they knew they were. That is wrong, and that has to stop. And that has to stop now.

Love IS stronger than death. Isn’t it about time that we proved that idea to be true?

•••

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth — only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.”

~ C.S. Lewis

 

501 Words Plus A Sentence… the Daily Prompt edition

I am using a recent Daily Prompt Challenge to hopefully introduce you to a wonderful exercise I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with, in Master Class 2013. I decided to do so, simply because the Prompt asked us to do what Master Class does every week. Take a random sentence from a piece of literature (or sometimes music), and wrap a post around it.  I hope you come play along with both, and as always, your feedback is appreciated!

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Rossamund was a boy with a girl’s name.

And no, not anything like “Sue.” Because “Sue” would’ve been too easy. “Sue” would’ve had the children laughing at Rossamund over a staid old Johnny Cash song, though none of them would’ve realized it in the first.

A name like “Sue” would have had them delighting, similar to the way that they did over the girl who decided to call herself “Johnny.” And she did so, only after she’d been liberated by the character in the Waterboys song of the same name. A character that could not be laughed at, as she had made a decision, a conscious choice – versus being simply thrown under some linguistic bus.

So they called him “Rossa,” the stupid kids, they did. Not because they were sure they could, but simply because it sounded hateful and racist enough. And they pulled on his every heart string and physical attribute, to make him aware of their hatred of him.

A hatred, mind you, that grew out of a name. Simply a name, misplaced. A name that, had it been assigned to a person with the correct bits, wouldn’t have been an issue at all.

Johnny felt for him, she always had, even before she had reborn herself. But Rossa – well, Rossamund – was having none of her “pity.” To him, it was all a waste. A sham. To him, all she could offer was a little piece of inconsequential peace, in a vast ocean of hate and ignorance.

No, for him, it wouldn’t be all right until he saw his name in lights. Not until he was standing proudly atop of – well – atop of whatever it is that is the highest thing you can stick on a Goddamned stage. Standing upon it, and dazzling his audience with the greatest magic ever known. Or the most heartbreaking song. Or the funniest joke, or whatever. He didn’t really give a good flip HOW he was going to achieve his fame, that Rossamund. Not really. Not as long as his name, HIS name – “MR. Rossamund Laura” – was the one that was up there in the marquee, and drawing in crowds like head lice to a Bee Gees buffet.

Of course poor Rossa – well – Rossamund, never was quite able to come to grips with the fact that mere dreams weren’t the same thing as effort, and cockiness wasn’t nearly the same thing as confidence. And talent? Well, you sorta had to have some – if even just a bit – in order to draw in them crowds. As a result, he would never see his name in lights. Well, that’s not entirely true. He did get to see at least a bit, after Johnny had asked to borrow a slice of it to help aid her in her career, seeing as she felt that “ MZ. Johnny Rossamund” had just about the perfect ring to it. And while the name alone didn’t bring in the boys, the skills she possessed, whether it be on the pole or the lap – well  – it sure as hell kept them there, at least.

•••

Professor SAM asked Doodle to choose the prompt for today, from D.M. Cornish’s Monster Blood Tattoo Book 1: Founding

Briefly… 100 Words Plus A Sentence

Wait… is this my first-ever 100 Word Song AND Master Class 2013 Mash Up?

Hot damn, I think it is. But you tell me – as I’d love to know if you’ve been paying attention. Lord knows I haven’t…

Anywho – I saw both challenges, and just knew that I had to make them work together (in part, because I had no earthly idea what to do with them individually!) I hope it worked out in the end. And I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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“Do-ya mind… iffff I play tha ukulele?”

He slurred it to no one in particular, as he sat alone, drunk on the park bench. While playing, some pigeons waddled over to inspect it, his efforts, that is. Finding his talent lacking (and he without bread), they went their way; wreaking a havoc different than his upon people simply trying to enjoy themselves – sans pigeons and the homeless.

But he was no mere homeless. No, He was the Savior. The Messiah. The King returned to His people.

Sadly, neither the people, nor the pigeons, nor even himself knew all that. And as such, the world just continued to tip.

•••

This week’s song was chosen by Deana: “Tight Rope” by Janelle Monae

And Prof “asked Lexy to choose any book and give me a 10:” from the 10th page of Terry Pratchett’s “Mort.”

228 Words Plus A Sentence

They call me scrapper.

What?

They call me scrapper.

Now why in the fuck would they call you that?

Don’t know. Just do.

Well, hell, Ain’t nothing scrappy ‘bout you. When’d they start?

Start what?

Start calling ya that, “Scrapper?”

Not sure.

Did ya used to get into fights?

Nope.

Wear rags?

What?

Wear rags? Did your clothes used to be all tattered n’ such?

Ha-ha, no.

Damdendst thing then, them calling you that. Sheez, “scrapper.”

Yup.

Hey, did ya ever happen to ask them where they got the name from?

Nope.

Well, why not?

Well, cuz they was all in my head anyway.

Now wait a… WHAT?

Yeah, they was all in my head anyway.

Who?

The folk that done called me that. They was all living up in my head, see?

Well now, why in the hoot didn’t’ you tell me that before?

Don’t know.

Don’t know??

Don’t know.

Well I’ll be…

Yep. So ya see, asking them why they called me that would be just like asking me, I suppose.

Well… there is that. A whole ball a fuck if ya ask me, but there is that. So, did you ask you?

Sure did.

And?

And what?

And whadya answer with, DAMMIT?

Whelp, all that I could really come up with was what they said at the start.

You mean, your answer was…

Yep, just that, “they call me scrapper.”

•••

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It’s not often that a prompt comes along so perfectly suited to aid me in my long(ish) term goal of using it at both the beginning and the end of the story. This week’s entry for Master Class 2013 finally(ish) realizes that dream. I hope you enjoyed this little trip down the Southernmost section of the rolling trail of the unexpected, and I hope y’all come back now, ya here?

Now, here’s another scrapper. One with a similar problem…

If.

If I had to do it all over again…

I would’ve been a female.

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I mean, and not to sound too jaded or anything, but as I troll along Blogsville’s well-lit streets, it does seem to me that it is the female of the species who garners greater attention overall.

I would have also stuck with more fiction. I understand that the idea behind this thing was to work through some issues in the first; but in retrospect that didn’t provide very much for the average reader to come running back for, now did it?

I would have figured out a way to disable my stats bar.

I would have publicized myself as well (just how in the hell I would’ve accomplished that in an anonymous fashion, I’ve no idea, but I’m sure I could’ve come up with something). I would have plugged my site, made sure that it was at least known about within my circles.

And finally, I would’ve left Jesus out of it. I can’t help but feel as if He’s rather upset with the idea that I spend a portion of my time telling you that He’s giving out (((hugs))), while I dawdle about the remaining posts, throwing f-bombs out and sulking in a general state of oft times unwarranted pissery.

If I had to do it all over again, I would start totally anew. In a new place, with a new name and a new focus. Simply to entertain, nothing more. I wouldn’t put my heart out so much so. I wouldn’t expect that anyone – busy with their own lives and concerns – would ever need to know of mine. I wouldn’t be so “me.” And hopefully, the resulting output would be better.

If I had to do it all over again… I just might.


Here’s a link, should you prefer to forgo the “live experience,” and simply listen to the prerecorded version instead.

Sap…

I suppose I should start with my youngest, as for my children, it was he who ever first requested a “mix tape” from me.

“I want one just like that Heavy Metal one you did for your work friends, but with all different songs. OK?” OK??? I was only too glad to oblige, as buttons busted from my usually sunken chest. The mix, eventually entitled “Metal Haze” (partially in ode to the general character of my son, and partially because my original mix was entitled “Metal Daze”) turned out pretty well, and it still sees regular rotation on family road trips.

It wasn’t too long (figure about ten minutes after the youngest’ initial request) for my daughter to also request a mix tape all her own. One that you might have guessed from the title of this post, was eventually called “Sap…” And, as you may also be inclined to think, there is nary a tune on here that is even remotely heavy and/or metal in nature. In fact, the entire album consists of the weepiest stuff available. Well, the weepiest good stuff, at any rate. Every song is about love lost, love searched for, or love in vein. Every tune concerns itself with people passed, or people passed over. Almost every track is slow and mopey in nature, and at least eight out of every ten is fueled solely by a piano, played mournfully and low key. In fact, it’s not until the very end, when you hear Kermit softly plunking at the strings of his stringless banjo, that you get to see any sort of real Light introduced to the mixture.

My daughter loved it when it was first produced, and played it far too loud and often for C’s liking, but she has since moved on to skinny boys who need voice modulators and overly painted girls with far more tit than talent. I, however, have not. I, however, still enjoy hearing Regina’s call slide softly into Tori’s winter. I still like to dream with the Waterboys of the stolen child, but only until the time of Matisyahu’s song. I agree with Morrissey that everyday is like Sunday, when trapped under The Church’s milky way. I know that while the Style Council may only be a stone’s throw away, they’re farther still than the boy in Suzanne Vega’s belfry. The one that resides in Liverpool. And I know that unlike INXS and no matter how much I beg to go, I will never be allowed a ride on Johnson’s aeroplane anymore than I will ever truly be able to hear Marlene Dietrich’s favorite poem, spoken of so eloquently by Peter Murphy. I have found the somebody that Depeche Mode is in search of, even if at times I feel much like U2 about my not being able to live with, or without her.

In short, and if you know even half the songs mentioned above, you know that the mix is an outright lamentable tear jerker. And yeah, I even included “Total Eclipse of The Heart”. And I made that work as well.

“OK t. That was, ummm, interesting. Care to fill us in on what the whole point of telling us that was?” Well, I happened to be listening to this mix on yet another one of my solitary walks (no worries, it’s just that C works a lot of evenings), and it in turn brought to mind the “Old Punk” mix I had told you of last time, as they’re both part of the same series. Yes, I actually think of my mix tapes as a series. And yes, the series even has a title. “for me” in fact. So it works a little like this. For instance, “Old Punk” is actually “for me: Old Punk.” Likewise, “Metal Daze” was actually originally released (well, sent out in the mail) as “for me: Metal Daze.” The disc created for my youngest, in turn, became “for E: Metal Haze” and so on. In all, there’s a total of fifty such discs included in this series, sent out to well over twenty people each (spreading the disease, one listener at a time).

Hey, I believe I told you at some point that I’m pretty high maintenance. Don’t know why you’re sitting there now, looking so surprised.

Anywho, after what might have been my longest digression ever, let’s get this kid back on track, shall we? When comparing the two mixes, I realized that for all of my punk rock bravado, all of my muffled rage, “Sap…” is actually the mix that far better fits me to a “T” (no pun intended). For all of my anger and pissery – the moans, longings and bellyaches of “Sap…” are much closer to what feels comfortable escaping from my lips – all things being equal. I understand how this could lead some of you to make the giant leap of deductionary skills to the conclusion that it is actually I who am the Sap here instead of my daughter. And to those of you who did, all I can say is “spot on!”

I’m thinking that this is the very reason that “Sap…” is one my favorite mixes in the bunch (besides the notable exception of “for me: The Gayties,” but that’s a post for another time altogether). It’s not so much because I had an accidental stroke of mix-genius when I made it, but rather it’s because it came forth as a conversation natural to my regular mood. When Holly Brook asks where’d you go, I find myself singing along much more honestly than when Wattie is bellowing about being a mucky pup. When Blue October is begging to be hated, I am much more inclined to give in than when Motley Crue is telling me to shout at the devil. I may very well, at one point in time, have wanted to take on the world. But I’m sure if I had my druthers, I would much rather just give it a big old hug.

You may think that that’s quite alright. That that’s the way to be. But I fear that by being like that, it puts me in the very same belfry as that boy living in Suzanne Vega’s Liverpool. You see, in the song, he’s a little bit crazy. A lot crazy in fact. “He sounds like he’s missing something or someone that he knows he can’t have now.” I fear that I too am missing something. I fear that being sap-like, while natural to me, is not the way one is supposed to be. I suppose you might be able to insert here a little blurb about people being just people, but that song didn’t make the mix. And besides, I can’t be certain that my being more sap-prone than not is actually “who I am,” as opposed to just a temporary condition, a momentary phase. You know, assuming that “moments” can last forty two plus years. Am I missing something? I’m none to sure. Is it important if I am? Possibly. Possibly very. Do I want to know if I am? Pretty certain, not. Will I end this post on a high note and – like the mix tape – with a jolly frog singing of rainbows? Most decidedly not.

No, I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard that little ditty before. Instead I will leave you with Johnson and his aeroplane. Firstly because I feel it’s the best song that INXS ever did, and secondly, because it is a flight I so long to someday take. If for no other reason, just to make sure I’m not up in that belfry.