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.

The Dying Rain

rain5
The rain began to patter on the window that looked out over my best friend’s small garden.

I was holding her frail hand, the one with her “green thumb”.

I smile at this…

She always giggled when she told me that she could kill a plastic plant…

I’ve seen it happen.

But now her eyes were closed, her breath labored.

….. today was a good day for her, considering everything….

She may have been asleep but, her fingers gripped mine as hard as she could squeeze.

I could barely tell I was holding her hand at all, as weak as she was.

It’s so painful, beyond belief really, to try and imagine strength draining away from the strongest person you have ever known.

….like sand in an hourglass.

I laced my fingers thru hers, gripping them a little harder, tracing the veins on the back of her hand with my other fingers.

I can’t believe I’m losing her….

My bestest friend in the whole world is dying………Dying!

rain3

She did it to herself…. 

[RUMBLE]

I can hear the thunder in the distance, the rain coming and going, the branches of the trees scraping lightly across the panes of glass

In the storm graying light of the small bedroom I turn back into time to think of our lives together.

I have done this more than usual lately….

Six months…..seems like yesterday. 

Too fast…

…..Way too damn fast.

Doesn’t it seem weird that when you are about to lose someone close to your heart, a piece of your very soul, that we start to reflect on our memories of them more, as if though trying to burn them deeper into our hearts and minds….

It’s as if though we are afraid that we might forget something important….forget them?

I remember when she was sober. 

I look at her face as she sleeps….

She’s so beautiful……..even now.

My flower is fading….

rain7

The sun is leaving her eyes.

The rain reminds me that I must not cry……

Cloud tears trickle down, the beads of sky diamonds ornament her window…..

I won’t weep…..she did it to herself; selfish bitch. 

I’m not going to cry…not now at least. 

She gets upset when I cry.

I sit there, holding my friends tiny hand, staring out the jeweled window as the storm drums the shutters.

The lightning is bright, the thunder is closer….the rain, more insistent…..

I can smell the trees.

I begin the stroll down our memory lane; it isn’t raining here.

There is only laughter, joy and our high school prom.

There is only skinned knees, gum in our hair and boyfriends we shared

.rain4

[RUMBLE]

I am brought back from my breaking heart to the bedside when I feel her stir under the blankets….

The thunder moves her.

Her eyes are open and I follow my dying friends hooded gaze.

She’s looking out the window, watching the storm.

Shadows of the window panes, rain drops and lightning dance across her face…..

She is quiet….

Dying sober, thank God…. 

Oh so still…..

God? Where is God now? 

I notice a small tear is running down her pale cheek and across her dry lips…

She did it all to herself. 

I hate her. 

I reach up and wipe the tear away with my finger.

All of a sudden, I feel guilty that I’m alive.

She grabs my hand and presses it to her lips and then drops my hand with a tired sigh.

She turns her face toward me….dream9

I raise my finger to my lips and kiss what’s left of her tear….

She gives me that shy grin of hers and turns back to the storm.

“Will you do me a favor?” she asks in her beautiful, weak voice; the stormy sky reflecting in her dimming, pretty eyes.

“I don’t know” I say “I’m kinda busy” I grin.

 (I hate you for dying) 

She squeezes my hand again before turning to look at me, her gaze imploring.

“I’m serious” She says.

My face softens, I will not cry….

(You did this to yourself) 

“You bet” I whisper, both my hands pressing hers to show my promise.

I can’t squeeze her hand too hard…..

She lives very close to pain that I can’t imagine.

This could have been avoided.

So easy… 

She turns her face back toward the window as the rain dances across the roof, the thunder making the panes tremble….

She says “Think of me when it rains….”rain6

I cannot cry in front of her….

I will not….I won’t! 

My best friend in life is slipping away like a dream, like water thru my fingers….

“I hope it rains forever” I say….

Her eyes are closed now…

Her fingers relax in mine….

“It doesn’t hurt anymore…” she whispers.

I thank God for this small answer to my anguished prayers….and I curse him.

“No…don’t go…” I say

I feel like an asshole for being alive.

I never thought that would be the last thing she would hear from my lips.

No God….not her….

Not my friend…..

(I HATE YOU!) 

Take me instead, I’ll go. I’ll go right now!

She…..

She dropped my hand.

Her heart has finished its toil.

I can’t breathe….I gotta get out of here….I…….can’t…..breathe….Oh my God! Oh my God!!!

She has gone from me into the storm….

She lives where lightning is born….rain8

Our joined lives continue as memory….

I guess I can cry now….

But, I think it still upsets her…no matter.

 I will dance in the rain with the memory of my friend, and we will laugh…

I rejoice in the fact that as long as I live, she will be there with me.

SOBER

She will watch our children grow.

SOBER

She will watch our children become best friends.

SOBER

It is time for me to weep for my lovely…

I thank God for Heaven and eternal life….

Oh my God, why is it so hard to breathe when I think of her?

I can already hear her voice in my head…

“Cry baby”

I smile….

rain1

It’s true….

She’s here…..right now.

SOBER

She is alive in the thunder and rain.

I will think of her….

(Why….?) 

Richard…Adios

I am tweeking an earlier post in tribute to my wifes brother, Richard Peoples, who recently passed…

Get along little doggie….
The Dying Rain
rain5

The rain began to patter on the window that looked out over my brothers backyard garden.

I was holding his frail hand, the one with his “green thumb”.

I smile at this…

He always laughed like hell, when he’d told me that he could kill a plastic plant…no problem.

I’ve seen it happen.

But now his eyes were closed, his breath labored.

….. today was a good day for him, considering everything….

He may have been asleep but, his fingers gripped mine as hard as he could squeeze.

I could barely tell I was holding his hand at all, as weak as he was.

It’s so painful, beyond belief really, to try and imagine strength draining away from one of the strongest people you have ever known.
….like sand in an hourglass, it seems….

I laced my fingers thru his, gripping them a little harder, tracing the veins on the back of his hand with my other fingers.

I can’t believe I’m losing him….he’s been here all my life

My big brother, bestest in the whole world, is dying………Dying! Like a normal people!

[RUMBLE]

I can hear the thunder in the distance, the rain coming and going, the branches of the trees scraping lightly across the panes of glass305210_196108410454706_7851455_n

In the storm graying light of the small bedroom I turn back into time to think of our lives together, times apart….

Too much time spent apart, life getting in the way and all that

I have done this more than usual lately….regret

months…..years….?

Too fast…

…..Way too damn fast.

Doesn’t it seem weird that when you are about to lose someone close to your heart, a piece of your very soul, that we start to reflect on our memories of them more, as if though trying to burn them deeper into our hearts and minds….

It’s as if though we are afraid that we might forget something important….forget them?

I look at his face as he sleeps….if you can call dying sleep.

He’s so handsome……..even now.

My big brother is fading….rain7

The sun is leaving his eyes.

The rain reminds me that I must not cry……

Cloud tears trickle down, the beads of sky diamonds ornament his window…..

I won’t weep…..

Not now at least, he gets upset when I cry.

I sit there holding my brothers big old hand, staring out the jeweled window as the storm drums the shutters.

The lightning is bright, the thunder is closer….the rain, more insistent…..

I can smell the trees….

In my heart of hearts, I begin the stroll down our memory lane; it isn’t raining here.

There is only laughter, joy……family.

There is only skinned knees, gum in my hair; friends and family we grew up with….

20150318_131303-picsay[RUMBLE]

I am brought back from my breaking heart to the bedside when I feel him stir under the blankets….

The thunder moves him.

His eyes are open and I follow his hooded gaze.

He is looking out the window, watching the storm.

Shadows of the window panes, rain drops and lightning dance across his face…..

Richard is quiet….Still.

Oh, so still…..

I notice a small tear is running down my big brothers pale cheek and across his dry lips…

I reach up and wipe his tear away with my finger.

All of a sudden, I feel guilty that I am alive.

Richard grabs my hand and presses it to his lips and then….he drops my hand with a tired sigh.

Richard turns his face toward me….

I raise my finger to my lips and kiss what’s left of his tear….

He gives me that shit eating grin of his and turns back to the storm outside his window.

“Will you do me a favor?” he asks in his Cajun drawl; a weak voice now; the stormy sky reflecting in his dimming, big brother eyes.

14671194_620229691471769_6886331719480919208_n“I don’t know” I say “I’m kinda busy” I grin.

Richard squeezes my hand again before turning to look at me, his gaze imploring.

“I’m serious” He says.

My face softens, I will not cry….

“You bet” I whisper, both my hands pressing his to show my promise.

I can’t squeeze hard.

Richard lives very close to pain that I can’t imagine.

He turns his face back toward the window as the rain dances across the roof, the thunder making the panes tremble….

My brother says quietly, almost a whisper, he says “Think of me when it rains….”rain6

I cannot cry in front of him….

I will not….

My big brother is slipping away like a dream, like water thru my fingers….

“I hope it rains forever” I say….

His eyes are closed now…

His fingers relax in mine….

“It doesn’t hurt anymore…weird” he whispers.

I thank God for this small answer to my anguished prayers….and I curse him.

“No…don’t go…” I say

I feel like an asshole for remaining here on this earth, for staying alive.

I never thought that would be the last thing he would hear from my lips.

No God….not Richard….

Not my brother….

Take me instead, I’ll go. I’ll go right now!

He…..

Richard dropped my hand.

His heart has finished its toil.

I can’t breathe….I gotta get out of here….I…….can’t…..breathe….Oh my God! Oh my God!!!

My big brother has gone away from me, into the storm….

He lives where lightning is born….

He has all the answers now….rain8

Our joined lives continue as memory….

I guess I can cry now….

But, I think it still upsets him

…no matter.

I will dance in the rain with the memory of my friend, and we will laugh…

I rejoice in the fact that as long as I live, he will be here with me.

He will watch my children grow.

He will watch all the children find best friends, be with our family.

It is time for me to weep for my big burly guy…

I thank God for Heaven and eternal life….

Oh my God, why is it so hard to breathe when I think of him?

I can already hear his voice in my head…

“Cry baby” he’d say….

I smile….

rain1It’s true….

Richard’s here…..right now.

As long as earth lasts forever, He’s alive in the thunder and rain.

I will think of him….

My big brother is gone, until it rains.

Things To Ponder

If I reach one person, it will be worth it.

One talks to one…

“Oh, I read something the other day that got me thinking”

One+One = change

……eventually….

….hopefully…

Sit down.

Close your eyes and breathe.

Forget about the world and get into your own head.

Now….

Why is there war?

Why is there hate?

Why are there borders and fences?

Why do we hate the person that cut us off in traffic?

Why is there racism?

Have you ever really listened to the night?

How have we survived as a species this long?

Why …..?

Just why.

Why do we do the things that we do?

Do you know why I know there is no God?

Because every God created by man has never been this patient.

Zeus, Krishna, Yahweh, Appollo, Odin, Allah,  yada yada yada…pffffft

Have you ever really looked at a flower?

A God, to my understanding of what a God should be, is not here.

We are on our own and we’re killing ourselves.

Nothing is forever.

All things change.

Death is inevitable.

Tomorrow is not real.

Our moral compass will not fail but, our ego can drown it out.

Ignorance is the greatest enemy.

Everyone knows this.

Have you ever really looked at a human and how miraculous they are?

It is the doom of man that we forget.

My thought?

We never had a clue.

Save us from ourselves.

Have you ever wondered where it all went wrong?

Me either.

But, I am now.

There are too many humans on this earth and “God” knows it.

So does all the other Gods, plus Mother Nature  also knows.

The balance is wrong…

Just a matter of time

 

 

 

 

 

Battlefield,  Me.  

The Fourth Mindfulness Training: Awareness of Suffering.

I have started on a new life path.

Let me get going with this before I forget the feelings and emotions that I just went thru about 10 minutes ago.

Kinda scary, really….for me at least; or “my type” of scary.

Close freaking call is what it was.

I just barely walked into my little apartment; put up the groceries with shaking hands, poured a glass of lemonade with spasming shoulder muscles; then sat down, sweating, and turned on this lap top to share something with y’all.

I’m an alcoholic, you see; currently, blessedly, dormant.

I wanted a drink, bad this afternoon; drink aka: beer, whiskey, wine, inebriant….buzz

I don’t know what created the urge, craving, desire, longing or the lust.

It came out of nowhere, like a foul smell on an ill breeze.

I will run thru some sadly familiar things y’all probably already know about alcoholics; or have heard or maybe suffered with yourself.

The newest craving came out of nowhere and I have no idea what set it in motion.

None….

I’ve come to, in too many bars wondering how I got there.

Woke up in too many ditches, vacant cars, dumpsters or a bed in a stranger’s home.

I’m enough of an experienced alcohol rehabber to not be set off by feeble beer signs, beer advertisements, beer trucks, liquor stores, etcetera, etcetra…laudy freaking dah

But, there it was; out of nowhere? Or was it in me, in my soul the whole time, just waiting….?

One second I was driving my big truck to Wal-Mart; as a matter of fact I was listening to an audiobook called “The Heart of The Buddha’s Teachings” by Thich Nhat Hanh, because I am always searching for ways to make myself a better person, or maybe to make me feel better about myself or maybe to fill my head with good things and not bad things.

Right thinking…..

I don’t know why I am always listening and reading these self help books, seminars, different churches and countless other things.

….I don’t know why.

Anyhow, back to the craving.

It came like a hot breath on the back of my neck, it’s broken teeth raking across my skin; shivers and goosebumps up and down my spine.

My mouth started to water as I realized what was happening…

“No” I whispered to myself “No”

And just like that, it was all I could think about.

TA DA!! ABRA-FUCKING-CADABRA!

The battle for my sobriety was joined

Right Trey said “NO, ain’t happening”

Left Trey said “You’re just gonna have a few before bed”

There is no “few” in an alcoholics mind; especially not in this drunks mind.

Right Trey says “I don’t want to feel bad all day tomorrow”

I’m also a newly diagnosed diabetic.

Left Trey says “You’ll get plenty of sleep for it to wear off before you have to get up”

Right Trey says “I don’t want to keep getting up and have to pee a hundred times”

Left Trey says “Oh, it ain’t that bad, you pussy”

Right Trey says “I AM bored, though…..”

First sign of weakness; I have a lot of those.

Left Trey smells blood in the water and continues his attack “Just make sure you make a nice dinner while you can still stand and eat while you drink, that way you won’t get AS drunk or feel AS bad tomorrow”

I can’t believe I still listen to this guy, but….

I am shaking and sweating.

I’m getting so anxious that it’s causing me to get sharp pains in my chest and the inevitable heartburn starts.

Panic attack! Oh, shit! I HATE THOSE!

The beer annex in the Walmart was closed.

Small miracles.

I win!

Look at me! So full of moxy and blazing with self confidence (I know better) I went to a convenience store next door to the Walmart to get me a lemonade or something…

I had triumphed.

My chest hurt. I needed some Zantac

I blinked my eyes and found myself in front of the beer cooler, looking at the beer.

I was trembling….

“….no”

“….yes”

I felt sick, I felt nervous, I felt scared and weak….I felt mad.

I’m losing….

I know me….

Left Trey said “Ok, don’t get a 12 pack then, just get 2 forties”

Compromise; second line of attack

It was such a terrible craving attack.

Left Trey can be a ruthless bastard! Damn near killed me a few times.

I haven’t had a craving this serious in years.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have “bad” cravings everyday. Little bitty ones but, not like this one was.

This was the kind of craving that ends up with me locked in a motel room for 4 days in the dark, hating myself, looking for the courage to find a way out of my head….

You see? I know me…

It made me physically ill and scared the shit out of me.

Too damn close, man….

Why now, after so long, I wonder? That’s the really scary part.

I’m gonna have to be on alert.

Always fucking there, dude!

Jeez, I don’t need a relapse, man . Not like THIS

I’m doing soo much better!

I won for the day though.

That’s a good sign, I guess.

I’m still willing to fight for my soul.

I have been for a long time.

“Do not become frustrated or discouraged when starting a new path in your life because eventually you will shake off the dust of the old path” – Me

“The Noble 8 Fold path teaches that through restraining oneself, cultivating discipline, practicing mindfulness and meditation,the enlightened ones can stop their craving, clinging and their karmic accumulations; thus ending their rebirth of suffering.” Wikipedia

There Be Monsters

For those of you that have followed my humble blog for the past 3 years or so, y’all know that I am a truck driver and go all over this country.

Most of my history as a trucker is spent seeing beautiful places and beautiful faces; y’all have no idea.

I see mountains in mist, the sun melting on waves, the moon dancing on clouds and the occasional rainbow that grows from a cornfield and smells like fresh dirt and hope.

It’s a beautiful world.

But…..in all sincerity

As a trucker, yes; I have road rage.

I admit that I have fantasized about killing inconsiderate people with vehicular homicide and extreme prejudice; albeit justifiable.

I have dreamed about creating a video game where I can kill  said, inconsiderate drivers without all that annoying screaming, the irritating screeching of brakes, the offensive smell of hot rubber, the aggravating smashing of glass, the irritating rending of twisted metal and the obvious smell of shit…..but, with satisfaction; albeit virtual satisfaction.

I also see thousands of flyers about missing children….

Every fucking day I see them……..

I’m sure y’all have seen them to; how could you not?

They’re everywhere………

I try to memorize them.

You know what? I took pictures of them to keep in a folder inside my truck; before cell phones; since 1991; still do.

I took notes off the flyers; still do.

I stared at the sad pictures, trying to burn the images into my brain; making mental calculations on years missing and how these missing kids may have changed and might look now if I may hopefully bump into them at a Walmart somewhere.

“Hey! Aren’t you…so and so?!”

Like most of humanity, I’d stare and think “Where are you at?”

What could steal a child?

“God, make me a super hero so I can find the lost children”

What would rape a child?

“God, let me win millions of dollars and I will spend the rest of my life hunting for these kids”

What would kill a child?

“Lord, let me hunt down the monsters….and I will destroy them”

Why….?

“Heavenly Father….please…..please….let me find the children”

God….why do you let this happen?

God knows, There be monsters.

20131114_152430

I have been looking for Jacob Wetterling for 27 years

I know his face.

I know the story….

Look it up: Jacob

They found the monster first; the FBI.

The monster had dirty pictures of kids.

He also jokingly told the FBI that “I might be a dirty old man but, I ain’t kilt nobody” quote…..

No, Mr Monster…I’m a dirty old man; big difference.

No, Danny James Heinrich; you are the worst kind of monster. An eater of the innocent.

Back in 1990, He said “I ain’t seen nobody named Jacob Wetterling”

Then, in 2016, the FBI was desperate; “Just tell us where the boy is and we won’t kill you”

The monster took them to Jacob…..

Fucking coward.

All of a sudden, he remembered….”Oh, that boy”

They Id’d Jacob by his teeth.

In 1989, the monster stole him from a dirt road in rural Minnesota; stole him in front of his little brother and best friend.

The worst part? He left Jake’s bike in the ditch….

I wonder if they still think about that day….Jake’s little brother and best friend?

Probably so but, it probably involves them waking up screaming, drenched in sweat, looking under the bed.

Do they shake their children by the shoulders and yell in their faces when they tell their own kids “Don’t talk to strangers”?

 Do they look in the closet before the kids go to sleep?

Do their childrens eyes get big and do they get scared when daddy acts all crazy?

“That man or woman seemed nice….”

It doesn’t matter, dammit!

There be monsters!!

You haven’t seen, what daddy’s seen”

10FED1030151“A monster stole my brother”

That monster killed Jacob Wetterling, then buried him on a farm….in the quiet, lonely dirt.

I wonder if the monster piece of shit jerks off while he thinks of killing children….

Monster of the worst sort….

For 27 years, Jacobs Mom and Dad have wondered what happened to their child.

Twenty. Seven. Years.

“Where is my child?”

I can’t even imagine what they’ve gone thru.

Why does God let this happen?

Are the parents praising or cursing God, right now?

If it was me, I’d hate God for awhile.

Maybe, forever…………

But, there’s always an out for God. A plan……..

Will the monster have access to a TV, a college degree or maybe get to learn a trade or find Jesus?

Jesus forgives…. 

Will he become a federal employee?

download (97)

I am glad that they have found Jacob.

I am mad that they have found Jacob.

I wanted to find Jacob and kill the monster.

I cannot imagine what his family is going thru this very day.

Source: According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States — that’s roughly 2,000 per day. Of those, there are 115 child “stranger abduction” cases each year, which means the child was taken by an unknown person.May 8, 2013

Oh yes….

We do not know for sure if there is a God but, we have faith that there is.

But, one damn thing is for sure……….

There be monsters.

PS: I’m glad they found you, Jake.

cudo’s FBI….

 

 

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.

wpid-20150109_062042-picsay2

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.

wpid-drama_king_by_liebatron-d55mt7h.png

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”.

wpid-1447804045508.jpg

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*

wpid-wp-1438087254443.jpeg

“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……..”

10592739_309434649228541_4702930826788118450_n
“Yessss….you could say that”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back A Bit

I grew up here; in my little hick town; up until the 7th grade, that is.

My daddy moved us outta there just as my voice was cracking, hair was growing in funny places, girls weren’t as stupid no more and just before I was supposed to go into town and see Old Yeller upside the courthouse…

Now, I recollect that I haven’t seen home…for nigh on 35 years, if I’m recollectin’right.

And here I stand….

Weird.

Lots of echoes….

My little League field is still there but, I remember the centerfield wall was at least a mile farther back….and the bleachers only hold tens of folks, not thousands of screaming fans, like I remember .

The old building where I got busted for shooting spit balls out our bus window at folks sitting in front of my Uncle Keatons Barber shop has been boarded up for a while now they tell me, and is probably haunted most likely.

I wonder if that old Coca-Cola cooler is still in there…waiting to bite my hand off.

The high school is now the middle school.

I couldn’t even find the elementary school; all I found was a Dollar General and a Rite Aid…

There’s a big chicken processing plant just down the road from the square and my little down town area smells like blood and guts when it’s hot and humid.

And, It’s hot and humid today…It’s always like that in the hot months; March thru March.

It’s really bad at the Walmart.

The big, smelly chicken killing corporate entity wasn’t here when I was a wee lad; or Wally world.

We always went to the Cagles plant in Pine Mountain to catch the runaway, escaped chickens and turn them into free range eggs and dumplings.

Looking at the town square, thru my 50 year old eyes, nothing looks the same; it looks so small and poor, and so….so….south Georgia.

Wow, there’s Mr Teeks Liquor store, STILL OPEN! HA!! 

He’s still got a big rebel flag hanging out front by the road to, and a sign on the door telling folks to pull up their pants.

Poor, Mr. Teek; he’s black and like, 1000 years old, don’t you know. I find his show of independence and liberty as a business owner offensive.

He’d beat the dust off my ass if I told him that.

He still calls me, that “Clarke boy” and I still say “Yessir” not nigger.

Mr Teek ain’t no nigger…

He just be, Missa Teek..

Still sells RC Cola’s….weird.

There’s kudzu growing and hanging everywhere and all the cars have that layer of Georgia red clay dirt roads.

Like most folks that go back home, I reckon, I remember my home town being so much bigger back then…full of wonder, people and noise; stuff to do.

It’s impossible to believe that it’s been 35 years or so since I explored the darkest jungles and the mysterious dirt roads of my childhood home; or graced the shiny, echoing halls in my elementary school; a different world indeed…

A world full of hostile Cherokee Indians, Revenuers and damned Yankees.

Yep, lot’s different now…

I don’t like this world much, come to think of it.

It’s still quiet mind you but, a different kind of quiet; nobody on the street.

They probably in the house under the AC on the computer writing a stupid blog or posting a Jesus money meme on Facebook.

Nothing much to do outside, anymore, I guess.

There’s trees, creeks, arrowheads, bugs, mosquito sprayers and shit….plus it’s humid as Hell.

Now, for me it seems, there’s only fading memories and the smell of blood, guts and corporate invasion.

The killing of mom and pop was a silent affair.

I wonder if my town remembers me?

If it does, I think it remembers me being smaller.

You think my town feels old, too….?

Do you think a town has a soul?

Me too.

And I swear to you, the ceiling in my old junior high, the new high school, is 3 feet lower…

Do you think that schools have souls?

Me too…

I wonder if a town knows it’s dying like we do, most times?

Probably so…

The killing of mom’s and pop’s kills our towns.

“You got till noon to get outta Dodge” said Walmart, fingering his two ivory handled scan guns.

…and they left because no one came to the rescue.

I was gone too.

I wonder if I’d stayed I woulda noticed any changes?

Probably not.

Afraid Of My Shadow

 

 Can I go outside to check the mail, despite the terrorists lying in wait behind my Prius; just dying to blow themselves up or saw my head off? 

They’re everywhere. 

Probably raping and pillaging at the Walmart, right as we speak. 

Can I go outside and check the mail, without getting skin cancer from a dying sun that pours deadly UV rays thru our Swiss cheese ozone layer, that is caused by bushy, bushy blonde hair-dos and their gravity defying gradients? 

Can I go outside to check the mail without getting Type 2 diabetes?

Can I go outside to check the mail without locking my house and jacking a live round into my somewhat lawfully acquired, legal, 2nd Amendment protected concealed carry firearm? 

“It’s an 88 Megnum; it shoots thru schools”

Can I go outside to check the mail or did they email it? 

Well, if they did email it at least I won’t have to go outside. 

Staring at a computer screen will give you cancer or worse; make me gay! 

I might get hit by a driverless auto-car. 

There’s freaking drones out there too, man! 

(3 hrs later) 

Can y’all believe I just seen a blue butterfly? 

 ….in the summer. 

….in Texas? 

I started out this post feeling a little overwhelmed with life this morning. 

Then, I saw the blue butterfly. 

It landed on my semi-trucks mirror and just stared at me. 

I stared back. 

It fluttered it’s wings.

He didn’t say anything so we just sat there… 

I forgot what I was writing about. 

Stupid angels. 

Messed up a perfectly miserable post. 

Guess I’ll have to be in a good mood then… 

Damn. 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: