The First, Real Step…

Over and over, throughout my life I have “started” again.

Tomorrow is the first day of my life; so it goes.

I am tired of starting over.

I am tired of failing in things that I believe are important but seems to turn out, not important enough for me to follow thru on.

Lets bring us all up to date, shall I?

I joined the LDS church when I was 1 month shy of my 20th birthday.

I have been battling with it ever since.

I am now, 54.

35 freaking years….

I have had my “stalwart” phases and my “apostate” phases.

I have been diligent in tithing, the Word of Wisdom, temple recommends, church callings…etc., and so forth.

At times.

And….I am an alcoholic; well, a dormant alcoholic.

I’m no where as bad or prolific as I once was….and in the words of my childhood evangelical baptist upbringing “THANK YA JESUS, CAN I GET AN AMEN?”

I have denied the existence of God.

I have reasoned out the impossibility of Christ actually being the really real son of God.

I have thought Joseph Smith was deceived by either demons or aliens during the First Vision.

I have also stood in the Sacred Grove and cried like a baby.

Unworthy in the Sacred Grove

That was just last year…..smh.

It is always a battle and I am tired of it.

Why can’t I submit or make a decision or whatever….shit or get off the pot?

Why can’t I be what I want to be….?

I want to be what I believe worthy should be.

But, my main problem is; is that I’m weak.

I have no concept of how people can live their entire lives as a devout and shining example of what a Christlike person should be.

Blows my mind.

Not just LDS…any faith for that matter….

There are devout followers of all kinds of Gods around the world.

It doesn’t matter to me what a person believes as long as it makes them happy; doesn’t hurt, persecute, discriminate or wrongly deceive the ignorant and/or innocent.

I just choose to believe in the Christian ideal and I believe in what the LDS church teaches.

I do not care if you agree with me but, I want you to understand me.

Love me for who I am.

See, I can stand on a soap box, just fine.

I can also drink myself into a stupor and deny God.

****************

I haven’t drank for a long time but, I think about it everyday.

I haven’t been to church in a long time but, I think about it everyday.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quit wearing my garments (mythical Mormon underwear) because I either didn’t feel worthy at the time or I thought they were stupid….

I can’t tell you how many times I have put all of my church stuff in storage; my Book of Mormon, my Bible, My records…patriarchal blessing, blah blah blah…..for the same reasons as above.

I got tired of looking at them.

They got on my nerves.

Always laying around, judging me.

But, inexplicably, I have not or will not throw them away.

For some reason, I keep them and I don’t know why.

Because I know I’ll go back to being…..worthy?

That I’ll keep fruitlessly, at least in my mind, attempting to be the LDS man that I want to be?

You know what?

My wife isn’t even LDS.

She’s Pentecostal.

Her dad was a preacher in that church and she absolutely does not believe in what I believe and that’s cool with me.

I do not care if she believes me.

I never give it a thought what she believes; not once. I could honestly care less.

I’m just glad she believes in God and likes me regardless of my membership in an evil “cult”….smh

I fight and fight and fight.

As you can tell I use this blog as a way to work thru stuff and I continuously keep trying and trying to……convince myself? Probably like a lot of you reading this.

So dang frustrating, I swear.

Well, I’m gonna cut this short because I’m kind of at work and I keep drifting into deeper thought (we LDS call this phenomenon “pondering”)

Deeper introspections to the point that I lose my chain of thought.

I have said this so many times in some of my earlier posts “Saints are sinners that never quit trying”

I feel like a failure, a terrible person.

I know that I try but not good or hard enough. I do not sacrifice.

I am the worst kind of “natural man”

I swear this is gonna drive me further insane.

I can see it now “Man dies from religious torment”

I may be going insane; they always say people start getting religiously delusional as they slip closer into the white jacket with 8′ sleeves that tie in the back club

Back to, the cutting it short thing….

Battle, battle, battle.

I’m gonna keep on trying, I guess.

There is something to this or else I would have totally blown it off YEARS AGO.

This is the only thing in my life that has lingered or kept my interests for so long.

I know this because I’m slightly narcissistic and self absorbed..I lose interest VERY QUICKLY.

Anywho, thx for reading.

I’m sorry I said a dirty word but, it’s only a word.

I’ll write more, I swear.

“I am a traveler that will not stay on the path”

So Simply

Here is my blog entry for today.

I began crying, listening to classical music.

I finally saw it.

I saw the layers.

I was the layers.

I stepped into it.

It washed around me, and I cried.

I cried, listening to classical music.

This has never happened to me.

I can’t believe it. I’m a big stinky truck driver.

Carmina Burana, O Fortuna…..

Thank You.

You are beautiful

Today is another day of discovery.

Never too old.

Realization

Thought about this last night.

Popped right into my head…

Never mind all of the stuff that’s already in my head; there’s always room for more crazy.

There’s always room for more crazy; like Jell-o or ice cream.

I love Jell-o. Crazy, not so much.

At least I call it crazy.

It could be normal, or crazy.

Isn’t the human mind amazing with all the stuff it can do?

All of the information it can process or forget?

All of the useful things….or Facebook…..Snapchat….Twitter…..

Sometimes I sit there going “C’mon THINK!”

Most times I’m like “I wish my freaking brain would just stop!”

Ok, I’m getting off track from my original thoughts that are the basis for todays blog.

Here’s what popped into my brain @ 0215….

I will die not knowing everything.

If I sat here, or if you sat where you’re at, run a diagnostic on your brains hard drive and create a pie chart of how your brain utilizes or categorizes info.

It is sadly amazing how much I don’t know.

Hmmm….I actually have no idea how much I don’t know.

Although, it seems like the older I get the more “Eureka” moments I have concerning trivial stuff.

“Why have I just figured this out?”

I’m an idiot, I swear.

Like these little “life hacks” or “kitchen hacks” I see on Facebook that leave me slack jawed in utter amazement, wallowing in self loathing, awash in shame.

How do people figure this crap out!?

I know nothing about rocket science.

I know nothing about why I’m scared of the dark.

I know nothing except what I have heard, seen, tasted, felt, smelled or been told by others.

Problem is, the senses…..I can pretty much count on being truthful

“Fire HOT!”

“Woman crazy!”

The basic knowledges…..

Learning stuff from people, I’d say less than 50% accurate.

If they taught me things that doesn’t include their opinions or bias’, the percentage would go up exponentially, I believe.

We know enough to get thru life. Simple Simon….

Here’s a thought; We get old enough to make babies, then get older to teach babies until they get old enough to make their own babies. That’s it.

At a certain point, what purpose do we serve?

As we get older, our bodies and minds start to wind down; this we know.

OMG, I’m never gonna know everything, am I?

How cruel it is to create something, give it a brain that is capable of magic and put a limit on what it can do or learn?

There has to be a reason….

There has to be some kind of reason that we can’t know everything.

I wonder what the world was like when there was no highways, cities, power lines, cars, planes….stuff like that?

All we were concerned about was survival. that’s all we HAD to know.

Hunter, gatherers.

From my viewpoint, it was probably terrifying back then.

But, if we think about it; it may have been much much more quiet in our heads.

I mean, what do you think is in your head right now that has to do with your actual survival compared to back then?

Now, how much isn’t there?

Next time you’re standing in a Walmart or a grocery store, think about digging up a root for dinner or making a cloth out of an animals skin.

Think about discovering how to make fire; on purpose.

Think about discovering how to make a bow & arrow, just the fact that WHY you NEED a bow & arrow in the first place.

What in our brains, is necessary?

If we had the ability to clean the junk files or cookies from our brains, how much disk space would we get back and how much faster could we process info?

I know people have drawn these comparisons before but, it popped into my head this morning and I felt like blogging it out loud.

I’m sad that I won’t know everything before I die.

At least I know that much….

But, I know more today than I did yesterday.

But…..how much info am I losing compared to my gains?

Crap…

I’m gonna stop talking now.

I’m a crazy person. Ignore me.

Day 2 In Yuma

The title to this days blog kinda sounds like a western novel or movie or something, don’t it?

Uh oh, wayward tangent alert!

Here’s some more “titles” (while I’m increasing my caffeine levels) Yes, I know…I’m a terrible Mormon.

“The Watch” A fast paced movie about minute to minute time travel.

“Coffee Man” A novel about love and survival

“Loading….” A sci-fi mystery about patience and murder.

“Potty Break” Action “packed” cinematic dynamite, edge of your “seat”, “explosive” thriller about letting go…

Ok, I’m gonna stop now, I can see where this is going.

Speaking of potty break…..

BRB

Ok, I’m back. The Potty Break movie had a weak “ending”…..no real substance.

Ok Ok, I’ll stop!

What has gotten in to me so early this Tuesday morning!?

It IS Tuesday, right?

I don’t know what day it is. My phone is off….and I don’t know how to find it on my baby iPad.

Ok, I just figured out that my gps knows what day it is.

It’s Monday Jr?

WTH?!

That can’t be right.

Wayward tangent alert, again….

I just realized that I’ll probably never hold a leadership position in my church because I “may” have used inappropriate language in MANY of my previous blogs.

I kinda cuss when I’m being all emotional and creative….

In my defense, and y’all know this just as much, if not more than me…

Sometimes a dirty word is the only word that can work in certain instances. It takes one to get the EXACT point across: to match the flow of our literary intent….

Or, we (I) couldn’t think of a better word.

In my defense, I only have 33 credit hrs of college. In Texas….

Lets go with the creative juices thing….

Yeah, I’m a Cro-Magnon.

Sometimes I say bad words, think bad things, contemplate mass murder…or is it spree murder?

Hey, you try being a truck driver that goes all over this country, thru tiny towns and big cities and tell me that you don’t feel like running someone off the road!

Good thing is that I can keep fantasy, fantasy. Realistically, speaking….

It’s much more cool in my head; the fantasy part.

I could never kill in real life with the same satisfaction or special effects that I do in my head.

In fantasy dream mode (ok, pretend you’re seeing that daydream thing like they do on tv, with the wavy screen)

Ok, in dream mode, when I kill someone on the interstate (99% of the time its a 4 wheeler; car) there’s lots of screaming, rubber squealing and smoke, metal screeching & crunching, glass shattering and the smell of poop. Oh, and there’s always lots of fire & smoke, blood, guts, people flying thru windshields, the satisfying crunch as my 18 wheeler smashes thru their wrecking cars and over their pavement strewn bodies…..

*shudder in ecstasy*

It puts the lotion on it’s skin….

Thank the holy moly, but in real life, the whole “You’ll not do well in prison” filter keeps me sane.

Plus, I’d probably feel bad later.

Hold up, let me tell Jesus I’m sorry for murder in my heart.

This is my Granny’s fault; all this caring about people and crap.

Social norms…..Not killing fools.

EMPATHY for heck sakes.

Crazy old lady.

She’s the one that took me to church, taught me about Jesus, God and the Holy Ghost!

More importantly, the whole burning in hell thing if I run over people on the interstate, or undress pretty women in my head.

I’d marry them! Don’t be so quick to judge!

I’m a softie but HEY! At least I’m not a sociopath or psychopath , huh?!

That’s good news on this early Monday Jr!

Ok, I gotta go pick up some vegetables and start rolling towards F’n Jersey.

Y’all have an excellent Monday Jr.

TTYT

Today, Yuma

It is nice this morning.

Even though I’m sitting in a truck stop in Yuma, Az and typing this on my iPad mini 4 that never fails to remind me that I have fat fingers.

I……however, do NOT have fat finger

They’re merely clumsy.

I hate being on a diet.

Just wanted to get that out there.

I like gluttony.

It’s my right as an American.

I can have as much Diabetes as I want.

Cool part is, I can personalize it to fit my needs.

Besides, I like taking medicine everyday, twice a day, 7 days a week.

Well, at least I don’t smoke or drink anymore.

No, I’m serious. I don’t.

I’m gonna admit something to y’all….

Ive kinda disregarded , nay, I have ignored my blog this past year.

I was…..distracted.

Sometimes life gets in the way of living.

So, Ive decided to make changes in my approach to said blog to help keep me stay interested and involved.

“Note to self: Read. Other. Blogs” Quid pro quo.

I want to talk about my being a Mormon.

I do not qualify as your typical, per say, cookie-cutter Mormon.

I am a convert to the church. Nigh on 34 years this August.

I am a terrible example of a Mormon.

I am a terrible representative for the church.

I believe I’m a dormant alcoholic.

I’ve taken drugs (years ago) but never had to steal, rob or murder to get them.

Although, I was big with the pawn shops….

I smoked.

Stupidest, freaking 5 years of my life.

I’m divorced 3 times, married now. (To a non-Mormon who is also the daughter of a southern Pentecostal minister)

But nowadays herebout, I try to be a good Mormon and that’s what counts in the long run, I reckon.

Endure to the end. (Fave Mormon quote)

I’m not gonna go thru a lot of theology and crap like that.

And I’m not gonna preach and I’m not gonna try and convert anyone.

I will be the Mormon that answers your questions about what it’s really like in our “cult”

Of course, I can’t tell you everything because I don’t know everything.

I know just enough to get beat up by a mob.

I was worthy enough to know at one time but “All men have fallen short…” and all that mess.

You understand, don’t you?

I keep screwing up.

So, if you wanna know something that I might know, just ask. I’ll be honest.

But, don’t be hateful or rude.

I’m very much a cry baby and my feelings get hurt easily.

Maybe, I’m just getting old.

Ok…TTYL

New Muse: Learning To Starve and Like It

Day 2 of intermittent fasting; con’t:

Not too bad, so far.
Yesterday, I thought I was gonna die before 1pm came around but, it wasn’t so much that I was hungry or that my tummy was growling. 

It was mostly that I just wanted to eat something. 

Anything….Babies… Puppies…wood

See what I’m saying? It was the act of chewing that I craved, I guess.

Well, I ate my 1st initial meal yesterday. 

It was kinda big, but not too.

I was figuring that I only had 7 hrs of eating to prepare for 16 hrs of nothing so, eat until I popped. 

FEED ME, SEYMOUR! 

I was wrong.

I tried to eat a couple of Baloney sammitchs’ 2 hrs later, and could only get one down. And it was like rubber. I chewed and chewed until I had to force swallow.

This is a real thing…

Like a cow…with cud. 

I wasn’t hungry, yet. 

I thought “Oh crap, I’m gonna starve before tomorrow’s eat time” 

But, I soldiered on and swigged a fruit cup for desert. No chewing involved.  

And that’s it, until now, 0808 CST and I’m doing OK.

No hunger pangs. 

I’m a terrible terrible fat American. 

I’ve only had my cup of Java so far. Like I said yesterday, I know Mormons aren’t supposed to drink coffee but in my defense, coffee keeps this trucker from going ape s**T and running 4 wheelers off the road. 

It’s a coping tool 😬

I did notice something else yesterday though, just as the last 30 minutes before eat time began.  I started getting that low blood sugar feeling.

 You know, swirly brain, tingly fingers, slight touch of vertigo…overall, just weird.
So, as I learn, I guess I’ll start my eat time an hour earlier, say noon to 7pm to avoid going into an embarrassing coma or shock. 

Here’s a thought…

I wonder if I had beef jerky to chew on, if that’s cheating or would invalidate my efforts. Not swallow the jerky, just the juice? 

What think ye?

Only 4 more hrs to go. 

Just don’t think about it Trey. It’s OK not to eat all of the time. 

It wouldn’t be as tough if I smoked…but,thats one Mormon rule I do adhere to. 

I’m such a munch mouth though! 
I have a feeling this is gonna save me money on groceries…or future gastric surgery.😷✂️💊⚰️

On to day 3! 

Lasagna

It’s kinda hard, writing

When your humble servant (me) first started with WordPress (WP) I was probably just like the majority of y’all;

  1. Didn’t know how to use the regular editor thingy
  2. Didn’t know, and still don’t know, how to use the CSS thingy
  3. STILL don’t  know how to promote my writings, poems, musings or my carefully rewritten and reorganized ummmm…..what’s the word for stealing other people’s stuff and acting like it’s yours?

It’s either, ‘plagarize’ or ‘inspired’…fb_img_1451345640938.jpg

They’re both so close in their meaning, because if you look up both words in the dictionary and read between the corporate lines, they are, pretty much the same thing.

I guess I’ll go with ‘inspired’ because I do it without malice of forethought.

That means I didn’t mean to steal someone’s stuff and make it better.

Besides I can argue all day about why I have never willingly or knowingly plagarized anything.

I don’t read other peoples stuff or I should say, can’t read….

No, before y’all get all crazy and indignant, hear me out

If I read words from a page, I mean, literally read words on a page from a book like entity, I will be asleep in less than 2 minutes.

I have been like this since the 3rd grade. That’s when Mrs Salter first noticed it in me.

I can’t read instructions, newspapers, scriptures or anything over a page long. Seriously.

I will pass out.

I don’t think it’s a problem with dyslexia because I’ve always been a good speller, good problem solver and such; plus, mathematics doesn’t do it to me. I’ll look up dyslexia and see if I’m using it in the right context.

hmmm…doesn’t happen when I write.

I just noticed something else….

Why is dyslexia such a weirdly spelled word that represents a ‘condition’ where people have difficulties with spelling or the correct sequencing of words?

Oooo, look. My first wild tangent in this post.

Anywho…

My life has gotten in the way of me writing as much as I would like.

  1. eating
  2. paying bills, willingly.
  3. paying bills, that I have no idea why they are as much as they say they are.
  4. Treacherous wife
  5. Treacherous children; at least the ones I know about.
  6. Work; I guess that would be a ‘gimme’
  7. I wish I’d been born rich
  8. Life changes before my upcoming 52nd birthday.

wpid-seductress-plain-black-page-picsay.jpgI never thought I’d ever write that statement “Life changes before my upcoming 52nd birthday.”

But…I’m glad, or blessed, that I have gotten as far as I have gotten in this life; this test, this probationary state.

Because, if any of you have ever read any of my previous “get to know me” or “self revealing” posts on my humble blog, you will know that it’s pretty much a miracle that I have lived as long as I have lived.

Note: If I say I’m humble, does that mean I’m not?

If you haven’t read them, let me just simplify it so you don’t have to go thru the torture of reading them

It’s a miracle I haven’t killed me yet.

  1. I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on August 11, 1984; 32 years ago.

I was 19

When I came up out of the water in the baptismal font, I actually checked to see if my tattoos had come off.

Ignorant, yes, I guess; hoak’m maybe

But, man, I wish I had that feeling again.

It’s been the one instance that has seen me thru my fickleness for these past 32 years.

Yes, one moment in time, I knew that everything was gonna be alright.

….past 32 years….wpid-img_12463873886964-picsay.jpeg

I knew that I wasn’t alone, we aren’t alone. That, I knew secrets…and that I had to tell everybody.

If I had known then, as I stood waist deep in holy water, wiping the soul saving water from my eyes, what would happen in my life over these next 32 years, I probably would have asked the kindly missionary that had dunked me to dunk me again….until I quit kicking and tossing about and just floated, face down.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” – Job 38:4

I have free agency but, Who am I to question God?

There’s a lot more in that question than you actually see at first; read it again and ponder.

I have free agency but, Who am I to question God?

“Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.” – Job 14:1

I have free agency but, I must cry repentance?

I wish I could keep a fetching steady stream of thought on one particular thread of contemplation and insight.

Stupid adult ADHD….

C’est la vie.

I’m all over the place with this.

Have faith?

Oh yes…I think I do finally.

I think I have an understanding in the concept, thereof.

If you are a memeber of the LDS Church, you will understand this…if not, I will add some links for clarification and has absolutely nothing to do with brainwashing. (You are a chicken, you are a chicken)

downloadI have been faithful to the law of tithing for a while now. Tithing

I have been faithful, as much as it is possible these days, to the Word of Wisdom Word of Wisdom

I miss tea and coffee…..WHY!!??

I am trying my darndest to pray each day, as much as possible, considering that I never really made it a priority in my life, plus I’m lazy, plus, I’ve always been like “Why, pray? God knows what I’m thinking or doing or what I need and what I;m thankful for, anyways. He’s a busy God; wouldn’t my stating the obvious to him just be a cruel redundancy or I’d be jamming up the lines for more needy and desperate or WORTHY souls to get their prayers heard?

It’s all about obedience to the word of God, I find out…dang it

Tangent 2….

I have so many ideas and directions that I can go with on this subject that I can’t keep my thoughts organized.

I think my writers block is gone.

Hallelujahimagesblock3

Anywhos….

I don’t know why I’ve gone in this direction with my blog.

Maybe it’s a natural course, maybe it’s a budding writer that is searching for meaning. maybe it’s because it’s time for everyone to start exploring their own souls and I can feel it in the air….

Maybe, I heard the voice of God in a prayer where I was saying nothing at all; maybe I was just listening for him, to see if he was eavesdropping on me.

He was.

I heard “Endure to the end”

As if someone was leaning over my shoulder and spoke into my ear, in a normal, level voice.

Not still. Not small

It happened.

I was there and I’m just as surprised as you are.

I opened my eyes. Got off my knees and sat on the edge of my bed. “hmmmmm”

That was strange.

Why’d he say that?

Not “OMG! God just spoke to me!”

Trey HeaderWhy’d he say that?

I know why. You know why. We all know why.

Endure. To. The. End.

So, I looked it up.

 

Endure: verb (used with object), endured, enduring.

1. To hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; undergo: to endure great financial pressures with equanimity.

2. To bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate: I cannot endure your insults any longer.

3. To admit of; allow; bear:

His poetry is such that it will not endure a superficial reading.

To hold out against?

To bear without resistance or with patience?

To hold out against, what?

To bear without resistance or with patience, against whom?

Hold out? Without resistance? Oxymoron?

Time?

Satan?

The World and all it’s ‘glory’?

God, himself?

I know what it is….

I have to hold out against myself….20141006_125886547-picsay.jpg

The greatest obstacle, hindrance in my life is undoubtedly and unsurprisingly…..me.

I only have to hold out, endure to the end, against the greatest supervillin known to me.

Great.

No problem.

I have to think on this.

TTYL

p.s: Oh, the last meat dish I have eaten was Lasagna.

 

p.s2: I miss meat but, not really.

 

 

 

 

 

Elder Clarke Returns

The nice Mormon people sat in the church pews, surreptitiously glancing over their left shoulders as the doors into the chapel opened; breaking the air pressure in the big room, alerting the members of possibly a new investigator or an old crib Mormon coming to worship, and wondering even more so “Why’re they late to church?”

Sinner….

download (4)

I was a little apprehensive to say the least as I peered thru the doors; the numerous heads turning my way,  and the exploring, questioning, judging eyes.

Like walking into a room full of scary baby dolls….at your great grandma’s… 

There were some smiles of course; or was the baring of the teeth an act of territorial bravado?

There were mostly frowns and straight, clinched, undecided lips.

A baby cried…

I also noticed that there were some indignance, impatience and irony scattered here and there among the congregant faces.

“Guilt” I think to myself “I feel guilty for getting here late”

That’s a good sign, I guess.

After all, I’d been gone for a long time; from church, I mean.

Definitely lending credibility to the phrase of “Better late than never”

…..whatever

Of course this all took place in the blink of an eye and a simultaneous breath, like most death-defying acts of bravery occur.

fb_img_1460244815127.jpg

I passed thru the door into the chapel, heart thumping. 

There was no lightning or burst of hellfire.

No thundering voice yelling “Depart heathen!” or a hissing, demonic “Get. OUT.”

Pheeww…

The echoes of my sliding steps across the carpeted floor were mind numbing to me; ringing off every hard surface like insane church bells being jerked up and down by a crazed hunchback!…. I believe I could actually see people wincing as their ear drums busted!

 Young mothers screamed, holding their infants up as human shields; old men grabbed their chest and fell to the floor; old women rifled the old mens pockets and the young husbands grunted, opened their eyes, looked around sleepily, dug some Cheerios and Apple Jacks out of a Ziploc bag and munched on them all the while putting the binky back in the baby’s mouth; the preacher leaps over the pulpit, swinging a blinding crucifix around his head, pumping righteous death at me from the barrels of 2 golden revolvers, spitting Gods justice in molten hot lead!!!

Well, it coulda happened…No, wait….

wpid-karate-picsay.jpg

That’s just my imagination. We ain’t got crucifixes in our chapels….or preachers; technically speaking. 

The door shut behind me as I slid clumsily into the last seat in the last pew, closest to the aisle.

Peoples heads turned succedently, obediently, back towards the front of the chapel; the room pressure returning back to an optimal church worshipping level.

My ears were buzzing and I realized I had to pee.

“Welcome, Elder Clarke, been a while” came a voice from above… 

Oh, speakers…. 

I looked around the room, scanning various faces that were looking at me again..

I’ve got food on my face, don’t I? 

1461613209900.jpg

I wipe it off.

Is there an Elder Clarke in here?  Weird…

“I’m talking to you, Brother Clarke” said the same all around me voice, followed by a slight microphone squeal.

Oh crap.

I’m a Brother Clarke….(I’m still looking around during this time freeze)

Microphone means speakers, speakers mean microphone, microphone MEANS PERSON TALKING TO ME!

Well, technically in the LDS faith, I am an elder but, I don’t consider myself worthy of the title.

I wouldn’t even say I’m a Jack Mormon. I’m more of a…..Doug.

“Yep, Wolf amongst the sheep” I mumble to myself; man, have I gotta pee.

I throw my hand up in a “Howdy y’all” half wave; the kind of greeting you give to a crowd of people when you are late to a meeting or event and gratefully accept the sentence of death pronounced upon you by the goodly town folk.

But, in a nice, Jesus loving way….

“It’s good to have you join us today; welcome back” said the person at the microphone.

He smiled at me and winked.

So, this is how it’s gonna be, huh?

Dirty pool, Bishop.

Note: (That’s what we Mormons call our dirty, rotten, lying, good for nothing, treacherous ward leader)

No, not really. He’s an excellent human being. Ugly kids though….

He promised me yesterday that he wouldn’t call me out in front of the whole ward (that’s what we call our….wait….I don’t know why they call us “ward’s”. You look it up. I’m writing, here)

I threw him a curve ball.

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Making a wide, sweeping glance around the chapel, I pronounced “I just got back from my mission, Bishop”

He still smiled but, I saw a look quickly pass over his face.

What was that….intrepidation, fear? Nooo….

The dirty bugger can’t wait to hear what I’m gonna say.

Touché mon ami…. 

How’d he know…… Dang! 

I hate it when people talk to Jesus behind my back and figure me out….

“A mission?” I hear a voice ask; somewhere off to my right, slightly behind me.

I follow the trailing echo of the voice and locate the source.

A teenaged girl. Cute, brown hair, invisi-braces….those questioning, Doubting Thomas green eyes.

Not, the Bishops kid, I surmised. 

“You’re too old to go on a mission” the highly astute young girl stated.

I said “You’re never too old to go on a mission” I smiled, sarcastically but, in a loving Jesus way…. 

She flipped her hair, turned her smug little, snotty face towards the front of the chapel, denouncing my presence in her sphere of supremacy and pronounced the obvious..

“I see you around all of the time, Mr Trey (that’s my name) How can you be on a mission when you never left?”

Smart girl.

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I hate smart kids; used to beat them up.

**Back and forth banter (I hate having to put ”  ” after each quote; bugs me)

“Well, dear, I was on a mission of sorts”

“Did the church call you for your mission?”

“Kinda”

“How can they “kinda” call you on a mission?” *snort laugh * Where’d you go on your “mission?” *12-year-olds faint laugh of derision*

……..silence for a few seconds.

Everyone is looking at me.

I feel tears coming.

My face feels hot all of a sudden….

I hear the Bishops voice; not on speakers….right next to me.

I look at him.

He puts his arm around my shoulders and winks at me again.

“Elder…Clarke (he grins) told me this yesterday”

I hear the low rustle of people in church pews paying closer attention. Y’all know that sound.

“Tell them where you served your mission, “Mr Trey”.

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Everyone is looking at us,  I can tell.

I turn to face them.

Deep breath…. Funny, I was breathing just fine a second ago. 

“I went to Hell” I said

…….quiet from the cheap seats. 

Absolute.Quiet.

I think the crying baby was even listening now.

Baby’s are smart.

They talk to angels until they get older and learn how to forget Angel stuff.

Bless his heart…

I know this little boy was sitting somewhere across the aisle, invisible to me; lost among all the big people surrounding him.

“Did you baptize anybody in…you know; where you was at?”

*low snicker* *mom quietly hushing little boy* *grunt, rustle of Ziploc and Apple Jacks*

“Just me” I said

This was too good for all the tweens in my new audience; the missionary scholars…

“You can’t baptize yourself!”

*louder snickers* *quiet slap of a low five*

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“You’d be surprised” I said. 

My gaze wandered to the front of the chapel, a picture of Christ hung there….

It was the Jesus picture that stares at you, follows you around the room. 

I stared back, got dizzy. 

How does he DO that? 

Once again, hushingly “I was in Hell for 20 years….

I felt the Bishops hand squeeze a little harder on my shoulder; I looked back at the curious people in my ward.

They looked back at me, noticing that my voice had changed, my eyes, my face….

I heard “Mommy, Mr Trey is sad”

“No he’s not, baby….” hushed Mommy. “He’s happy”

I smiled at her.

My voice is husky now….

“I was in Hell for 20 years, here…..and here” I first pointed to my head, then my chest.

*Small voice from cheap seats*

“Is Hell bad?” it said

I sat there for a few seconds before I leaned forward; grabbing onto the top of the pew in front of me; knuckles turning pink, red then white, from my grip….

“Yes….” I said.

“Yes……..”

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“Yessss….you could say that”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loser Lips

I wonder what kind of person I would have or could have or should have been without other people around me;  the people I mean, most of all, are the ones that made the biggest impressions on me during my “sponge” years; made me what I am; made me, despite me….

I’m pretty positive that up until my 5th year, that I wasn’t racist, politically active, religious, civic minded or had an opinion on any singular complex subject really other than the hard learned fact that I didn’t like the looks or taste of leafy green foods or their seedlings.

Oh, I was also born knowing that I hated tomatoes. I knew that from the get-go. It’s in my DNA.

Guess what “wasn’t” in my DNA?

Hate.

Anger (Self righteous anger, I mean)

I had jealousy and envy. I wanted a BB gun too and I was upset that everyone else seemed to have one but me.

But, was that jealousy or did I just want to fit in?

I know for a fact that I learned hate, true hate, in and around the 6th grade.

Before hate, we’ll heretofor(sic) [from here on out] refer to the period of time of my “normal” childish tantrums and hissy fits as BH (Before Hate)

I hated everyone.

They made fun of my tennis shoes covered in pig shit.

They made fun of my crooked, buck teeth.

They made fun of the fact that I seemed to be the only human on earth to get lice in my hair every other week.

They made fun of me because I rode the bus, even though they did to but, I had to sit in the front. They sat in the back.

They was cool, man.

I sucked.

They made fun of my clothes, my books, my pecker, my nose, my eyes, my fingers…etc!

They tormented me because I was too beaten down at home to stand up to anybody, and they knew I was scared.

You see, I was too used to being told that I was stupid and lazy; a piece of shit, and I believed it.

If my Dad thought that about me then it must be true.

After all, he was my hero.

Hero’s don’t lie.

I just thought of something.

Maybe the reason I can’t or we can’t, remember much of our first few years isn’t because we were too young; maybe it’s because we never had too much of a traumatic event to scar us and cause us too subconsciously start marking time by the painful events in our lives, not the good times.

I don’t think parents have any idea of the monsters they can create with a word or none.

I’m doing a lot of soul searching in my life right now.

I don’t know if it’s a phase that all 51 year olds go thru; you know, facing our mortality and morality…..looking back?

I am a Mormon and I am beaten down by regrets.

They are as real and fresh to me now as the past instant they became a regret.

“Let go, let God”

I don’t have that much faith.

No, wait…let me rephrase that.

Someone, in my youth told me that God was vengeful, God was jealous, God should be feared and worshipped.

God is Love. A God of peace. A God of forgiveness that drove Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden forever, flooded the world and watched his very own son die on a tree….

I have no idea which God is which.

I have faith.

This is my faith. This is what I believe.

Suicide is a sin.

That is why I am still here. That is the only reason that I am still here.

Someone, somewhere, sometime BH told me that killing someone or even yourself was the worst kind of sin.

I know that burning in hell was mentioned as one of the least torments shelled out to killers, by God, of any type.

What is weird is that I am a Mormon that believes in a literal hell. The residual threads of my Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal upbringing are still tied to me somewhat.

I don’t know why, it’s probably just a description; Hell I mean, of a terrible place to frighten uneducated and unsophisticated peoples enshrouded in the superstition and ignorance of an ancient time and place.

I am a Mormon in a constant non-stop struggle with myself and my inner monsters, a never ceasing battle between my mind, my heart and my regrets.

I have the forgiving others part down, pat! No problem.

I forgive, I forget; to an extent. I’m only human, dammit!

Of course I’m still hurt and bitter about some things people have done to me but, I don’t beat them over the head with it; I’d welcome them back into my life and never think of those things again and sing and dance and throw flippi’n flower petals all over the place if they’d just let me….

How come I can know that people change, that stupid shit happens, that family is family and no one else seems to?

I’m having a little petulant party this evening it seems.

I’m a Mormon that can’t forgive himself.

Where is the faith that I need?

I would kill for the faith of a mustard seed.

“Let go, Let God”

He has enough to worry about, or, he’s quit worrying.

Why should he listen to me, I’ve lied to him before.

I have gone to the well too many times.

I am a Mormon and I do not believe that God is that forgiving. There is evidence in the Bible that he has his days….

I am a Mormon that believes that I am already in Hell.

I am a Mormon that believes that I am already on the lowest level, the terrestrial, of the 3 degrees of glory. (look it up)

This is as good as it gets for me.

Pain still hurts here.

Here’s the twist….

What if my life sux until my last few minutes and then all of a sudden…POOF!

I understand it all….

Suddenly I know why I suffered or thought I suffered or, I come to the realization that I am actually really here on earth and that HELL is real, and I’m going there FIRST CLASS! No customs to declare!

What if I find out that God had originally sent me here to back up Christ during his trial, help him escape and I got drunk, just like I always do….and he gave me eternal life to feel the regret!!?? FOREVER!!!!

I am a Mormon fighting alcoholism and depression.

No, I am not drunk. I am depressed but, I am writing about it and working thru it, or trying to.

That is how I roll.

I heal myself bit by bit by writing, confessing….bitching at the injustice of it all.

Why couldn’t I have had a normal life?

My God, is this a normal life?

I just remembered something as I stared off into the writer idea abyss….

I have a whole body, even my appendix.

I have my sight, my hearing, my mind, my memories, my sense of humor…

My humanity.

I have a wife that loves me and a step daughter that is planning on putting me in the cracker house.

I have a job I love and I have hope.

I haven’t decided which is better yet, hope or faith.

I know I’ve written about this quandry of mine a few times and I feel like I’ve reached a happy medium between the two.

See…it works.

I was feeling bad, down in the dumps.

So…I wrote about it.

I worked thru it, a little.; and I feel a little better.

I am a Mormon, I am a sinner that never quits trying to be better.

God knows this about me, if nothing else, that I am always trying to be a better man.

He might not talk to me anymore but, I know he knows.

I have faith in that fact.

And that’s better than nothing.

Thx for reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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