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Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Sad Story

Well today I heard one of the truly sad stories of all my days. There are no redeeming factors. The first reaction for some might be “what were they thinking,” perhaps “I would never do that,“ or some other summary judgment  that we are all quick to make. I only feel sorrow for all who are involved. It is the kind of thing that only the living can carry. Some may think that better legislation would solve this. Or better education. Decisive retribution should be exacted to make an example and protect the innocent. But by all accounts the proper authorities were involved after the fact and none of the societal bug a boos, such as chemical misjudgments were ruled out. They just fucked up, Or did they? No willful negligence was indicated, I am sure that didn’t relieve the pain. Those of us on the outside find our ways to deal with someone else's misery. All such reactions are only the way we convince ourselves that bad things can never happen to us because we are such clever humans. But Fortuna can turn her frowning countenance on any of us at any time. Yes that means you. I know it means me.

This was a young couple. But everyone seems young to me except for you really cranky and or radiant old farts. You have chosen your countenance and so be it. I did not know this young couple, or neither had or have any desire to introduce myself. Any comfort or whatever I can offer would give little solace. This is a big city and the neighborly bit does not always go over so well. Especially since I don’t know them from squat, or they me. But if I ever do meet them and they feel the need to share their tragedy with me I will offer support and sympathy, and spare them my input by listening. I have nothing to add to ease or ameliorate their despair. Just listen without judgment would be my only contribution.

They were a problematic young couple by all reports from their landlord and neighbors, the usual parlance and trade of youth. They were an immigrant couple from different foreign lands and ended up here together joined in matrimony either before or after their newly formed human child was conceived. Such things matter much less with the advent of the more egalitarian property right laws as opposed to the paternal model of old. I am sure this little one was equipped with what has been identified as a soul, consciousness, energy, instructions from before, plan, or whatever your version of what we don’t know is. But it seems the mission was to visit shortly and change these young peoples life inalterably. We will leave predestination and or divine cosmic plans and the nagging free will impetuous to another day. I am altogether chagrinned and saddened by this tale to waste words arm wrestling over the trivial interpretations.

What I know. The young couple decided to shower together, they brought the one month old baby in to share the familial bathing, and the one month old child was dropped and left this earthly existence.

I can say no more but to grieve. I don’t know how I would deal with such a loss.

Do you?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Way to Work the Fags

It is a beautiful late summer day in Chicago. Cool and sunny after a summer that has had almost nonexistent heat and humidity. Compared to previous summers where the dead have piled up in refrigerator trucks, this has hardly been a summer at all. I am sitting waiting for a bus right across the street from the police station when this lanky, crew cut, and aviator shades sporting twenty or thirty something comes bounding across the street walks past and says “great way to work the fags”. Well I had no snappy comeback for that but I figured after he passed I would not have to give it a second thought. But then this numb skull back pedals and asks if I want something to drink. Now I know I look a little shabby these days, actually it has been a look I've spent a life time cultivating, income and prospects have had little effect on my exterior manifestations of cloth. But I said “no” abruptly since I was still trying to figure out the meaning and intention of the rather unorthodox ice breaker . Then, this meat popsicle says , “Are you sure” and I said “Positive” and I was left in peace to wait for my bus. Oh happy day.

This left me with a few moments to wonder just what would possess someone to say such a thing to a complete stranger sitting by a bus stop.

I mean, if you are looking for a way to be friendly a simple “hello” should suffice.
Perhaps a pick up line, and I am sure women have heard even more inane attempts spew forth from the mouths of my fellow men in our endless quest to get laid.
It has been my good fortune to have been acquainted with a few gay men and I could never see them using such a greeting even at their randiest. Maybe I have associated with your better class of homosexual.

If you are a street hustler, I don’t see that as a good way to drum up business.
There is the possibility that this person was an undercover cop trying a new technique, but I don’t see that as an effective way to entrap and entice an offer of illegal behavior.

Best answer I suppose is that this fellows was looking for a way to start up a brawl with somebody he had decided on the spot he didn't like and wanted to “put a whuppin” on. I see nothing to gain for me in this activity and I am glad the thought only entered my mind long after the verbal affront. Evolution is more apparent in some. Or perhaps age.

Truth be told I just don’t know and I just don’t care.

So I continued on to work as the personification of everything that's wrong with our human existence. Ignorance and apathy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who's Calling

One advantage of being phone fodder for corporate America in my spare time, is the opportunity to hear different answering machine messages across the country. Here is my favorite so far because it cuts to the chase:

“From my family to yours, we are looking to make some changes in 2009. So leave a message and if we don’t call you back, you are one of those changes.”

Subtle, no blaming, accusation, remorse. Just I don’t like things as they are and it is time to change. I don’t know anything about the history but I love concise thoughts and statements. I hope the person or persons to whom that was directed to got the message.

Just because you own a phone doesn't oblige you to talk with every numb nut that places a call to the number. Now I may be calling because they wanted a job and I was responding to them. But I didn't have to listen to three minutes of their favorite song. Nor did I have to listen to them mumble incoherently or worse yet actually sing their favorite song. Although I have heard some remarkable renditions. But at least I know this person will call back only if they choose to. I like those that take responsibility for their destiny.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cell Phone Etiquette

Sometimes it just impossible to mind your own business when riding on public transportation. People just want to drag you into their lives while yapping on their cell phones. Now usually it is just the mundane day to day, but every so often one gets a glimpse into the really dark side of human nature. There are a million stories broadcast on the naked cell phone. This is one of them.
It all began as just a typical ride on the bus and the usual scene of a mom getting on the bus proceeded by a crying child. The only thing was that this was at a corner near one of the halls of justice in our fair city. I suppose the mothers first comment should have foretold the coming festivities, but a mom telling a toddler to “ Don’t worry, we will get that son of a bitch” could have meant anything from a rowdy playground mate to the child's paternal genetic material donor. But no, a blog plot that would not make.

Then the phone calls commenced and all the riders on the bus were privy to a skirt lifting to reveal the back story. No hushed conspiratorial tones here this conversation was played out in full playground voice. Here’s a synopsis.
Fresh out of court where this woman's significant other was being arraigned for an alleged assault on a taxi driver, this charge apparently was dropped, brought to light an outstanding warrant on another assault charge on someone named “Josh” who was a common acquaintance to this particular circle friends. We now have established the identity of said “son of bitch’ to be gotten, and a brief aside of the heart rendering tale of the child’s farewell to dad on the way to the lockup. This apparently caused some confusion and anxiety in the child hence the crying, which had thankfully subsiding as he observed his maternal role model spring into action to defend her family.
Apparently this first call sharing the details was a message left on a friends phone, ostensibly a prospective avenger. With the second call which was completed we unsuspecting bus passengers were introduced to the master plan. The heroine in our story had decided on a course of action. Find somebody to give her a few bruises and contusions so she could file a police report accusing the fiend we have learned to be“Josh” of this malicious act. One already known to have perpetrated the crime of filing an assault charge on her loved one. A course of action guaranteed to make every unfortunate victim of such non staged violent crimes cringe.

Then there was a long string of references to the violence that will be done to “Josh” in jail and the treatment his fellow felons would reward him with for “beating on a woman”, the graphic fantasy of Bobbitizing Joshes member, and glee of his contracting aids from the misuse by his fellow prisoners. The things children learn at their parents knee. The things we learn from taking public transportation in one half hour or less.

Now of course you may ask where was the good citizen on the bus to intervene in the plotting of an apparent illegal act, subjection of a minor to inappropriate language as well as inappropriate cell phone usage on public transportation. The answer is easy. The bitch is crazy and you try to avoid crazy people on public transportation. Do you really want to involve yourself in any way shape or form with this aberrant gene strain. Not me. But the question remains…how many others like her are out there?
Besides, I am sure she was just letting of steam in response to an emotional situation. She couldn’t be stupid enough to carry out such misguided course of action after sharing this plot with 25 people. Could she?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Time Management Ruined My Life

Yes I blame it all on Stevie Covey, and of course my ex wife. But not necessarily in that order. My ex wife at least brought some very special and wonderful moments and things into my life. Not so with Stevie. Both cases are examples of the joining together of two incompatible spirits. Both unions then have the potential for extreme disaster. Disaster is what both brought to me.

I had been what I would have felt as successful at the time. Had a good job, wife , two children. With all that comes with it. House, two cars, and the never-ending nagging feeling that I was not finding that elusive work life balance that was being touted, and still is to this day, although the pendulum has swung. Admittedly time management tools have been around since the human concept of time was refined. but in the latter half of the twentieth century it had become big business. With the explosion of media, it grew enormous. In the dawning age of internet access, people who would never have wandered into a book store in search of such a thing, hade it right on their desktop, soon to be literally in their laps. So with me it started on my desktop, and then ended up in my lap.

The people we spend most of our time with have a strong influence on us whether we admit it or not. So it was with my wife. With the growing of our family, the move further away from my friends, family, and work peers; to the center of my wife's desired center of family, friends, and where she wanted to be made me feel isolated and more dependent on her dreams. But that is a whole other story.

Her devotion to the self help guru's and enrichment programs, the evidence of which no doubt still sit on the books of the credit cards she bankrupted herself out of after eliminating me, the one with the income to enable such charges of fancy, I too did get sucked into that world. I became a believer caught up in her jet stream. I started planning my days, weeks, months. Set long range goals, daily tasks, master tasks, and began to keep an incomprehensible Journal. The journal of my demise.

I am sure it works well for some, but as usual I jumped in with both feet and ended up over my head. I was soon to be doomed to spend so much time planning, keeping track of what I had done and hadn’t done, and generally feeling bad about not accomplishing what In set out to do . It sent me spiraling into an ever widening maw of the abyss. Sure there was always the moment of sheer elation as I scratched off the completed tasks, which often made me feel empowered only to sink into the bliss of inaction. After all I completed what I wanted to accomplish that day. Never mind the millions of things that I should have done, been doing or just plain put off because the thought of doing them was more painful that the torture of not doing them. The tricks my brain plays on me often makes my jaw drop to the floor.

But when the jaw is on the floor, that is when the bugs run in.