Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Jesus Prayer

You know how the pilgrim felt saying the Jesus Prayer?  That pure joy with the pain in his heart?  I know that's true, because I've felt that twice.  The first time it happened, I'd been walking around for hours at night in utter despair, saying the Jesus Prayer, over and over like a zombie.  I wasn't expecting any mercy or anything at all, I was just completely overcome with hopelessness.  Then it was like I began to rise up out of it.  It was surprising.  It was weird.  It was completely unexpected, and when it happened, I couldn't quite believe it.  I kept going up and up and up, until I was overcome with joy.  I didn't know what to make of it.  Everything was suddenly all right!  It was amazing.  Just flat out amazing.  I kept walking, and then I felt that pain in my heart, like it was described... like a hot nail.  It wasn't intense, so I don't think I was very far into a real state of prayer; just at the beginning.  But it was still recognizably there, and I remembered the pilgrim, and I put it all together, and I almost lost it all because I got so excited.  But the state persisted until I got home, and got in bed, and closed my eyes, and drifted off in the most blissful state of contentment I'd ever felt.

The next day I was so excited when I woke up.  I couldn't wait to get outside and walk so I could say the Jesus Prayer again, over and over.  I reached a similar state of bliss, again.  Everything was beautiful, and there was nothing wrong with anything, anywhere, and everything was just indescribably joyous and beautiful and right.  I spent the day like that and on into the evening, but I didn't get the pain in my heart that time.

The next day I was determined to do it again, but it never quite caught that time.  After that, I just kind of forgot about it.  I've tried to get that back again, but have never been able to since then.  That was back in April of 2010.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A problem

I wrote the other day about being stuck.  Well, that's certainly true, I'm stuck for sure.  It's a problem, and a tough one.

A few of years ago I had the first inkling of a feeling of an urge to become a monastic.  It was back during the summer of '09, when I was talking to someone who was telling me how they would like to visit a monastery.  It was a very tiny little realization of a thought, but it was definitely there; that first hint of a desire to become a monk.  Later that year, while I was attending a vespers service in Tyler - it was October of '09 - I had another epiphany, and for a while after that, I recognized that old feeling again, but this time it was a desire to become a priest, or a deacon, or something.  A reader, maybe... I'm pretty sure I'd like to be tonsured as a reader, at least.  Anyway, that was back when I thought I was going to be married soon, but since that relationship ended back in April of '10, I've thought more and more about moving to a monastery to see if that kind of life suited me.  The feeling that I should become a priest has subsided a lot.  I don't think I'd make a very good one, but what the heck do I know?  The urge to move towards monasticism, however... that one has been growing for the past three years.  I've prayed often for God to make this feeling stronger and more clear in me if it was His will that I should become a monk.

Lately the desire to check out a monastery has been growing, becoming stronger and stronger.  There are times when I'm absolutely sure that's what I want to do, to become a monk and live a simple solitary life saying the Jesus Prayer constantly.  Maybe even a hermit.  The problem is, I'm stuck.  I'm an addict... I'm addicted to drugs, alcohol, caffeine, food, comfort, and everything else material.  If I could just get rid of my need for substances though... if I could just eradicate that from my life, there would be no obstacle that I would feel that I couldn't overcome which would stop me from just moving to a monastery flat out and abandoning society.  It's the addiction that is the clincher.  It's a problem, and a tough one.

If I could just get out from under this problem, I think everything would be ok.

A dream - Some kind of explosion

Clint and I were touring a factory that made chocolate, and we watched huge chunks of it going down these ramps into machines that just tore them into component atoms for processing.  I thought it was a little more than was needed for chocolate, but what did I know?  I imagined a human going into one, and was immediately horrified.  I couldn't help it.  I kept imagining it.  I mentioned it to Clint, and he agreed... yup, that's horrible.  The tour ended and we were outside.  It was a nice campus, in California somewhere, with modern glass buildings and tended grass and ordered pathways.  There were a lot of people around, everyone going about their business.  Then somebody started yelling, and he ran by and brushed me slightly as he passed, and he was yelling for everyone to get back inside, get back inside, now!  I looked around and people were confused, and starting to panic.  I looked for Clint, but he was gone.  I ran up one of the paths to the top of a hill near one of the buildings so I could get a better view of what was going on.  I saw a few flashes, like lightening, and then felt something pulling on my arm.  I looked down, and little kid, about 5, was gripping my hand for dear life.  I got to the top of the hill and could see across the valley, which was being lit intermittently.  I dashed for the safety of a nearby building and the kid got left behind.  Then there was a blinding flash and the loudest sound ever, and extreme heat.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Tonight a pretty girl blew me a kiss.  Later, another pretty girl gave me a kiss.  There was a party, but I didn't stay.  I don't know how to be at a party anymore.  Like I ever did... but I'm an old man now anyway, so I've been out walking and reading, like I normally do.  I'm tired now, so I think I'll sleep.  I really don't know anything at all, not a damn thing.  The kisses were nice though.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I think I'm getting an inkling of what I need to do.  I need to get away from all of this.  I want to do that too.  I'm stuck here, though.  I feel so very thoroughly fucked.  It seems unfair, I'm stuck.  Not just a mental thing.  I'm STUCK.  I feel like I've been handed the key to everything, but the key is red hot, molten, full of painful heat upon heat upon heat.  I can live through that, but who can decide to grab hold of something that hot and keep hold of it until it cools down?  It's not a matter of just deciding.  There are consequences, physical, painful consequences.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Last night I was walking home just north of University Dr. on Sherman near TWU, next to the Christian Academy, when a guy approached me on a bike with a headlight.  He stopped near me, and I stopped to regard him.  He said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were lost."  I said, "No, I'm not lost, but do you need directions?"  He said, "Oh, no, I'm ok."  And he rode off, turning north on Locust.  Weirdly.

After I'd crossed Locust, I saw a bike with a headlight coming south.  I thought it was the same guy, but when he got closer, I saw that it was a different guy.  He rode down almost to University, stopped and turned around and came back in my direction.  Then he turned around again and rode towards University.  Then my sister tells me about this guy who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted near UNT two nights ago, and these two guys pretty much match the description of those two guys.  I'm not afear'd, I have a vicious punch with a pair of cuticle clippers, and a laser that will blind somebody stupid enough to get close to me.  But I thought the situation was decidedly odd, and warranted an observation.  Oh, here's the article.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Emily Howell

I came across this on YouTube, a computer composer 'named' Emily Howell.  I thought it was pretty cool, that a computer had written this music.  I got excited and showed it to my sister Chey, to listen to.  Her reaction was pbbbttthhhht.  Oh well, you can't please everyone.  Here are some snippets though.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Walking and talking

Synopsis:  just what the title says.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Talking to God

Is it ok for me to tell you that God spoke to me tonight?  That it's only when I'm crying out with utmost pain as I pray that I hear Him?  This happened tonight, and it's the third time I've felt God speak to me, and this time it wasn't just God but the Theotokos.  I had a bare, very dim glimpse of her, after I was praying in anguish, while I was walking home, for Jesus to please, please please tell me what to do to give up my will and to let Him take over, because I don't want it anymore, and I'm just clueless as to what to do.  After about 30 minutes of this constant crying out, I got an answer, and it felt like it was from the Theotokos, telling me what I had to do.  Answering me, directly and clearly.  And that it was that I have to give up substances to prove that I don't want my will anymore.  This was very clear.  I asked, and I was answered.  It doesn't get clearer than it was tonight, and the very very vague presence I felt was of the Virgin Mary telling me this.  Is it ok to tell you this?  I don't know if this is supposed to be private, but I want to say something.  I feel so blown away, happy and also completely devastated that the answer is something that is so hard, that it will require such suffering.  But nothing compared to being crucified... my selfishness again.  I feel despicable when I think of how weak I am, that I quail at this prospect. 
Anyway, I don't know.  I'm afraid.  I don't know if this is something I should talk about.  I'm still so entirely screwed up, and that's part of the problem, that I should believe that, because it's what stops me from going forward, that belief.  Talking to God is hard.
It was a beautiful thing tonight, walking home through the quiet wilderness of north Denton, a rare spot, there in a wide space bordered by trees and water under the moonlight.  It was just the beautifulest thing, lying on the cold ground with a fish eye view of stars, the cloud shrouded moon, and the heavens above.
Good night.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My other blog

Here's my other blog:

That Hideous Dream Journal

I found an old collection of dreams that I'd typed up, dating from back to 2002 and up to 2008, which I had thought was lost forever.  I found them as an attachment to an old Yahoo e-mail that I'd sent to myself back in 2008, and so I decided to post them all there. There are a couple of hundred in all.

All of the more recent dreams since 2008 are posted too.  Dreams, dreams, dreams!  Most of them are really f'ed up.  There are still about a hundred more dreams from January 2006 up to September 2008 that I haven't posted yet.  I'll get to it.

There are also a lot of recurring themes to my dreams.  Here are the most common ones:

I can float, usually by lifting my legs off of the floor and placing them in a cross-legged position.  It is often a very pleasurable feeling and I'm quite proud of myself for doing it and want to impress other people with my ability.

My dream will take place in Russia or Mexico, or some other foreign country.  The location is the only thing consistent with each recurrence, because each time the dream is unique.

I'm either floating by myself or in an aircraft of some type and I am worried about coming into contact with power lines.  If I'm in an airplane, it's usually the takeoff that worries me, that we won't gain enough altitude to clear the power lines.  Sometimes I am floating in the sky and am surrounded by power lines on all sides and there is now way around, above, under, or through them.  I hardly ever actually come into contact with them.

UFO's will appear in the sky.  They are usually very large and spectacular in technical appearance with many different colored lights everywhere.  I am always overcome with the feeling of knowing that this is real, that I'm actually seeing this UFO and that it's not a dream this time.  I am always yelling to other people, showing them the UFO in the sky.  I am always very scared of the UFO.

Matt and I are involved in some type of very hurtful conflict.  Matt shows no regard for my feelings and sometimes is physically violent with me.  It is very depressing.

Charles and Darwin, sometimes both, sometimes individually, hate me and want to do me harm.  Occasionally it is Clint. 

Jeff Archer is present and I am usually intimidated in some way by his success compared to my seemingly failed life.

I am back in high school or college.  I've skipped a class all semester and it's time for the test and I know nothing about it.  Sometimes I have to go back to high school and go through my senior year again, even though I know I've already graduated.

I am riding in or driving a school bus.  Sometimes I am in high school band going to a football game.  A lot of the time I am riding home to the old house in Omaha.

I'm in the military.  Usually I'm either fighting a battle, or presented in a parade rest formation in front of civilians.  Sometimes I am regretting that I have joined and am looking for a way out.

I'm either married to or in a relationship with Stacey Hagan.  I feel very close to her and our relationship almost seems forbidden.  Sometimes I am in bed with her and we're having sex.

Christy Page is my long lost girlfriend and we are finally together again.  I'm always very happy.

I am married to Tammy Jernigan and sometimes we have a baby.  Occasionally Tammy is not present but I am the father of a newborn baby.  I am always filled with anxiety at the prospect of being a parent.

I look up into the sky and a spectacular cosmic vista is displayed.  Sometimes I am aware that it is night time but the sky is blue with daylight.  I can see planets in the sky and nebulae and huge tracts of glittering stars, even in broad daylight.  Sometimes I am looking through a telescope and witnessing these vast displays.  I am always awestruck.

I am working at DuPont again on a probationary basis.  I am usually afraid that I've missed a scheduled day and will lose my job again.

Tornadoes.  They are always very scary and spectacular and very close to me.

I am living on Mars, or viewing it from space.  It is almost always in some stage of being terraformed, and I always feel good when I'm on the cold surface.

I am in the bathroom and can't get the door to stay shut and it won't lock.  I am always very anxious that someone will walk in on me.

I am living at the old house in Omaha.  Sometimes it has been worked on and being rented out and I am out of place there.  Often I will go to grandma's house in dreams like this and grandma will be there, but she will be crazy.

Sometimes grandpa will be alive but it is as though he is cheating death, and nobody can mention the fact that he died years ago or he will have to return to the grave.

I am looking at a huge cityscape.  The buildings are all many times larger than anything in real life, and their staggering size is immensely impressive.  Sometimes I'm flying over it, other times I'm driving towards it.  Usually it is a skyline that stretches across the horizon, rising into the sky and dwindling with perspective, dwarfing everything by its presence.

Martians tripods from The War of the Worlds are invading.  I am always running away from them, trying to hide, always in imminent danger of being captured.

I am skating on rollerblades and I can really skate.  I feel so free while I'm skating.

I am shooting someone over and over but they won't die.

I am in an elevator and it is moving erratically.  Sometime it goes upside down.  Sometimes it falls.

Wonderful, vibrant green landscapes and vast, blue undulating oceans are prevalent.

I am aware of getting older.  I look back on the years of my 20's and grieve for my lost youth.

I am mucking pills from grandmother.

There is a lot of activity in the sky, due to comets and meteors.  It is usually spectacular and prone to change quickly from a harmless display into a foreboding danger.

I have parked my car, usually at high school or college.  I am wandering through the parking lot looking for it.  I never find it.  I am always filled with strong anxiety and am afraid that it has been stolen.

I am crying.  There seems no end to the tears.  It usually feels very good to cry, as if I am releasing some kind of pressure which has built up inside me.  At the same time, I am filled with sadness and remorse.

I'm on the moon.

I'm at school and dialing the combination on my locker.  I'm always afraid that I'll forget it.  Somehow I always get the door open, even when it seems that I've forgotten the combination.

There has been a nuclear war.  It always seems very real and I always say to myself 'this time it really happened, it's not a dream'.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A dream - Grief

It was like it used to be back in the fur days, when Matt and Mom and Ed and myself were all working together.  Chey was working with us too, and we were all stationed on an island, in a similar situation as to the way it was in Ketchikan, except we were all billeted in barracks.  As I was trying to sleep one night, I heard Leah's voice outside, near the door.  I woke up fully and listened, and heard that she was talking to Nick.  I discovered that they had both come to the island to work.  As I lay there I grew more and more anxious as I listened to them talk.  Their conversation became an argument, and at this point I decided that I didn't want to be near their situation, so I got up and got dressed for a walk.  As I was stepping out the door, Nick walked off quickly and Leah looked after him with desperation on her face.  She looked at me and smiled this sad smile, and stepped towards me.  I said to her, "I can't do this again.  Do you know how that makes me feel, when you come to me for comfort in your heartache, knowing that you're in love with him, that your heart belongs to him?  It feels like your hand is inside my chest, squeezing my heart and crushing it down to nothing."  I walked away from her.

The next day, mom and Ed and Matt and Chey and myself were walking to work together.  Our path cut across the island through some very pretty woods, kind of like the path in Michigan on Mackinac Island.  As we walked, I got weaker and weaker as my grief increased, and I began to stumble.  Mom was there beside me, holding me up and helping me as I hobbled forward.  Ed and Matt and Chey were way ahead of us, and finally we were so far behind that we were alone.  We kept going though, and I wept silently.  We finally got the the place were I was supposed to work, and mom let go of me and stood there looking at me.  She asked if I was going to be alright, and at that point I collapsed to the ground and began crying uncontrollably.  It was all back again, the old grief I felt when Leah left, just as sharp and clear and ubiquitous as it had been back when it was fresh.  I sort of stepped outside of myself for a moment and saw myself crying, and as I pictured myself there in my sadness, I thought that there would never ever be enough tears to cry it all away.  I lay on the ground and curled up in a fetal position and cried, "Mama, mama."  She came over to me and lay there with me and held me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

In other news

A Denton cop gave me a ride home the other night at 4:00 am when I was out walking and reading, right before it started to rain.  He knew me from the store because he comes in all the time, but I didn't recognize him immediately because it was dark and his flashlight was shining at me.  He had stopped his cop car halfway off of the road and onto the sidewalk, effectively blocking my path, shone his flashlight at me, and said, loudly: "What are you doing out this late?  Turn off that flashlight!  Come over here.  Turn that phone off.  Get over here now!"  Shit, I thought.  I walked over to him, and he said, "Hey man.  What's up?  Just kidding, you aren't in trouble.  You need a ride home?  It looks like it might rain."  I of course recognized him up close, so I didn't shit the imminent brick which I'd been preparing.  He gave me a ride home, and wouldn't you know it, I wound up leaving my phone in the cop car.  What happened was this: when the next cop on duty brought my phone back to the store (I dunno how he figured out who's phone it was and where I worked, my name isn't anywhere in that phone), everybody at work thought I had been mugged or kidnapped or thrown in jail or killed.  It was a real hoot.

Lets see... in other news, I banged my head so hard the other night in the cooler at work I saw stars for a second. On the way home from work I walked into a telephone pole. That was the second time I banged my head. My skull has served the purpose it was designed for.

Oh.  And I broke my hand a few weeks ago when I fell while I was out walking and reading at 2:00 am.  Just a hairline fracture though, and it's almost back to normal.  I still have to wear a brace though, because it hurts like the devil with I put the wrong kind of pressure on it.  Oh, and I broke my brand new e-reader too when I fell.  I was more upset about that than breaking my hand.

Uh... what else.  Um... oh yeah.  Pinback finally came out with a new album.  Thanks, Pinback!

A dream - The official ale of Gondor

I worked at Kroger, and this guy bought some beer and left. The person after him commented about how it was crappy beer. She was bald, and looked like she was maybe getting chemo. She didn't look happy. I said, "But Guinness is great beer!" And she said, "It wasn't the Guinness," and then she left without explaining what she meant. Then ano
ther employee handed me an empty bottle and said, "This is the beer he bought that she didn't like." I looked at the bottle. It was very hard to read, but I finally made out, Valemir. I held the bottle high before me, and said in a mighty voice, "Valemir, the official ale of Mordor! I mean... Gondor!" The other employee looked at me like I was retarded.

I read the side of the case the bottle came in, and it turns out that Valemir is a beer that goes along with this game, some kind of role playing game, and it was explaining how Bort Nansky (Bortniansky?) had even bought the game board that goes with it, for the really hard core players. I thought to myself, what makes this Bort person special, that he should be recognized for buying the board? Unless he's the only one who bought the board, ever. And if that's the case, what if it's a crappy game that nobody buys?

So then I was at home, looking at that bottle, and I saw that it didn't say Valemir, it said Vunemusko! WHAT? Well, it had been hard to read. So I held it aloft, and said in a mighty voice, "Vunemusko, the official ale of Mordor!" I mean... Gondor!" And that didn't sound right. So then I said, "Domo arigato, Vunemusko!" to my sister as she walked into the room. She looked at me like I was retarded, so I did it again. I wouldn't leave her alone with the Vunemusko thing, and I was bowing like a Japanese lunatic, and my head hit her head as it was bowing, and she said, "OW! that hurt, you know!" And I said, "Yeah, I have that recorded too. I think I'll save that one."

The most kickest-ass shirt in the known universe

The end of a long shift at 3:00 am at 7-Eleven, wearing the most kickest-ass shirt in the known universe. A customer gave this to me after I told him that the one he was wearing was awesome.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dead president in the muddy water

Tonight as I was walking home from church, I stepped over a mud puddle.  One of dozens.  Anyway, I happened to look down as I was stepping over this particular puddle, and I saw a vague, kind of blurry, barely visible thing that looked like a 10 dollar bill submerged in a silt saturated mud puddle.  It was like looking at... remember that scene in The The Two Towers when Frodo looked into the water when they were crossing the dead marshes near the Dagorlad battle plain and saw those dead faces?  It was like that, except the face was Alexander Hamilton.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Secret sickness

I've got a secret sickness.  It makes me radioactive.  You can't see it or smell it or feel it, but it will infect you if you get too close to me.  You won't even know what it is.  The easiest explanation would be, well, insanity, but that's not true.  I'm perfectly sane, and everything I do is according to the utmost logic.  It's just that you don't know the secret.  My life is a lie.  A big fat ugly lie.  Well, there are parts of it that add up to a big fat ugly lie, anyway.  A lot of it is good, but there is that secret part, like cancer, that isn't visible.  Not until it's terminal and time is measured in days or hours or breaths.  It's not terminal yet, but there are symptoms... but that's whats so great about the secret sickness.  The symptoms are kind of befuddling to the casual observer, easily explained away.  It's easy to read about the secret sickness, and sympathize, and say, 'Oh, ok, yeah, I understand, if I were involved I would be compassionate'.  But it's not that way.  It's more like, 'What the fuck is wrong with you?  It's your fault, you're wrong, you you you, it's all you, you did it.  You didn't get infected with the secret sickness, you went out and searched for it, so you're guilty.  I hate you for it.'

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Sometimes late at night, when I get home after work and I'm tired from the walk, and I'm just ready to sleep, and that's all that matters to me at the end of the day is lying down and watching cartoons on the insides of my closed eyelids... sometimes, when I get home, after I've unlocked the door and walked through the kitchen, and taken my shoes off in the hallway so they don't squeak on the floor, and filled my water cup in the bathroom, and stand before the closed door to my bedroom, sometimes I imagine that my life is completely different right at that moment, and that I actually got married like we'd planned, and that when I open the bedroom door my wife will be in there, either sleeping or sitting up reading or doing something on her laptop or watching TV, and an imaginary feeling of happiness will congeal and last for about a second.  It never lasts any longer than that.  I figure that we get just about exactly a second to experience the happiness of our imaginations.  It's not enough by a trillionfold to be real, but somehow it's enough to power a sadness that seems like it could last forever.  Isn't that kind of stupid?

Doesn't it seem like I just harp and harp about this?  The girlie heart breaky thing?  Won't I ever shut up about it?  It's just on this blog though.  I'm allowed to, as long as it's just on this blog.  It's my blog, and I'm just talking to myself, and I have these thoughts anyway, so I'm not hurting anybody by kind of hosing down the inside of my skull and spraying the scummy residue onto this page.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Do you just ever feel really bad?  Really really bad?  Just bad?  I feel like that now.  Bad.  I feel bad.  There's an underlying wrongness in my life, with me.  I hate it.  I'm ashamed that I still feel heartache.  A real man would have gotten over it by now.  I feel yucky because I'll never not be an addict.  I'll always always always have that thing in my brain, my soul, my self saying that you need drugs to be worthwhile.  To be normal, like everybody else.  Isn't that ironic.  I just feel bad.  I was thinking, earlier today, when I was joking and playing around with my sister, that I felt perfectly normal and happy.  Doing normal stuff with people I love.  Just living a normal day.  But behind it, at the same time, I thought as all that normal happy stuff was happening... I thought, this is just a facade, not the foundation.  This sucks.  I'm normally able to ignore this bad bad, but that's all it is.  Ignoring it, because it doesn't really ever go away.  It taints everything.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Going first (or second, technically, whatever)

I had left my car keys in the choir nook last night while confession was going on.  I'd already decided that I wasn't gonna actually go to confession, because there were so many other people waiting, and I just wanted to get my keys and leave.  The reason being, I was in my mom's car, and I wanted to get her car back and so I could visit with her, too.  Mom came up for a surprise visit :)  So, I was standing outside in the little book store nook, and I suddenly blurted out loud, "I'm not gonna go to confession tonight.  I don't have time.  My keys are in there, so I'm just gonna grab my keys when Debra is finished."  The reason I even announced this to begin with was so that everybody waiting would know that I was just going in to get the keys, and that I wasn't trying to usurp the next spot in line.  And Mike said, "Go next!"  I had to stop for a sec and absorb this foreign concept.  I'm almost always the last person to go to confession... I dunno why, it just always works out that way.  I'm always last.  I think everybody sort of knows it for some reason, on a subconscious level... or maybe that's just me.  One time Nancy said to me, "I know you like to go last!" with a big smile.  Well, it's not just an awful thing going last, and I normally don't mind.  And the last person usually gets to hang out for a little while longer and talk to Fr. Justin a little more than the others, so there's that benefit... so anywho, Mike said to go next, and I thought, no... no way.  I can't go next.  Then I said it out loud.  It just popped out automatically, I dunno.  "Go next!"  Mike said again, and at that time, Debra came out, and Mike ushered me in, motioning with his hands, and I sort of wandered in, a little dazed and in a mild state of disbelief.  I remember kind of half giggling and saying to Fr. Justin, "They're letting me go first!  I just needed to get the car keys... but they're letting me go first!"  I dunno why it was so unbelievable.  I don't ALWAYS go last.  Still, it was quite a thing.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A dream - trolls and turtles

I'm at the house where I used to live on Sena St, on the back porch.  It's night, and very dark out, with low lying mist obscuring visibility to about 100 feet.  Chey is out there with me, and she's about to go back in when I see see a line of what I at first think are children marching through the back yard, past the fence.  They are hard to make out, but they seem too stocky to be children.  They cross over Gober street and head into the yard of the house next door.  They're dressed in raggedy robes, and a few are holding small flickering candles.  I realize that they aren't kids, but trolls.  I urge Cheyenne to go inside, and try to hurry in with her, when the trolls see us and come into the back yard and onto the porch.  Then they really become children, and they are armed with long, metal whips, like antennae wires.  A few of them start beating me with them, but it doesn't really hurt.  It's just an annoying attack from kids.  I take away one of the long rods and order the kids out of the yard, but then Chey says, "No, they can't go!  Look!" and the house is surrounded by churning water.  We're all stuck on the porch now, and dad is there.  He gets the idea to fish with one of the rods, and does so, and I take one of the rods from a kid and start to fish with it.  There is a dead gopher tied to the line as bait, and I pull it through the water to try to make it seem as if it is swimming.  I see another gopher go after it, then abandon it when it doesn't want it.  Then a really huge turtle swims by, and dad urges me to swing the gopher close to it and to catch it.  I do this, and the turtle bites onto the gopher.  I ask dad what to do, and he says, "Pull it up when it bites onto it, and I'll catch it!"  So I do this and the turtle bites it, and as I start to lift it out of the water, it falls back in.  "Give it another go," my dad tells me, so I do.  The second time, I life the turtle completely out of the water.  It is extremely heavy, and I can barely hold it, and then  my dad reaches down and takes the turtle by the shell and pulls it up onto the porch.  When he does this, the turtle emits this horrible groan of distress, just the awfullest sound.  Dad gets the turtle all the way up onto the porch, and I look around for something to kill it with.  I have a smaller turtle that I was going to use as bait for the next catch, and I hand it to my dad.  He takes it and beats the large turtle in the head with the shell of the smaller one, until the turtle's head cracks open and it dies.  I imagine how long we will be able to survive on that one big turtle, and if it will taste good.  I'm vaguely horrified at the prospect of eating it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

One of the awesomest things that has ever happened to me.

This ranks up there with one of the awesomest things that has ever happened to me. Yes, really. What happened was, the other night after work I was walking along the sidewalk, and a girl was coming towards me. I've learned to give people lots of space when I'm out walking at night, because people are nervous and wary, especially women, and especially at night when they're out walking. I won't go into details, I just know this from experience. So anyway, as I approached her, I made sure to look down and step off of the sidewalk to give her lots of room, so that she wouldn't perceive me as a threat. When I passed her she said, "Hey, dude. Dude." She had stopped, and she was standing there with her hand held up for a high five and looking directly into my eyes. I broke into a big grin and slapped her hand, and said, "Cool, thanks!"

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about suicide lately.  Not of doing it myself, but just of the thing.  People doing it.  I've seen videos online of various people killing themselves, and it's just awful.  I imagine the sadness and despair they must be going through to move them to such an action, and I almost feel it myself.  Just extreme sadness.  There's a movie called The Bridge, a documentary about Golden Gate Bridge suicide jumpers.  There are several interviews with family members and friends of people who've killed themselves by jumping, and there is video footage of people doing it.  It's in my head now, and I think of these people a lot.  I'm sad about it.  So very sad.  It's awful.  Just awful, but also compelling to me.  The images of these people who jumped, and their families and friends, recur in my thoughts frequently throughout the days, and at night as I drift off to sleep.  I cry at night when I think about them.

There was one guy in particular.  A tall guy, tall and slim, dressed all in slick, shiny black leather... black leather jacket, black pants, long black hair, black boots, and black sunglasses.  He was leaning against the railing, just kind of relaxing, it looked like, and then he turned around with his back to the rail and hopped up onto it.  He sat like that for a few seconds, and then in one fluid motion, he stood up.  He didn't even hesitate.  He crossed his arms over his chest and let himself fall backwards.  It was one of the most graceful things I'd ever seen, the way this guy who had come to the end of his rope ended his life.  It was almost artistic.  It was devastatingly heart breaking. 

A few years ago I came relatively close to making the decision to end my own life.  I even wrote a suicide note.  That was about a year before I discovered the Orthodox Church.  It's not something I would ever consider doing now, but I still think about it once in a while... about how it would be a relief to just give up, or how it would have been better if I had never been born.  And although I do still have those thoughts sometimes, and I still experience feelings of despair, things are different now than they were when I wrote that note.  Better.

"I still don't have any answers though.  Just a bunch of observations, and a lot of experience with feeling disturbed.  I don't know why people kill themselves... and yet, it's a small step to empathize, because I think we all experience moments of despair.  That it would just be so much easier not to do this anymore. "

Thursday, August 2, 2012

An unexpected and unlikely encounter.

Tonight on my way home from work I was walking up Elm St. towards University.  When I was just a few blocks north of Congress, I heard in a loud whisper - "Ash!" from the shadows somewhere over to my right.  I stopped and looked around quickly and kind of frantically.  This kind of thing usually scares me shitless, when somebody appears suddenly in the dark in my presence.  The last time it happened was about three years ago when Leah let herself into my house and came into my room when I was sick and dozing, to see if I wanted to go to vespers.  It was dark, and I when I came to and saw her standing there I was just flat out terrified for several seconds, even though I knew it was just Leah and that I wasn't in any danger.  It just freaks me out when I encounter people unexpectedly in the dark, I guess.  So anyway...

I looked around and didn't see anybody, and I started to high-tail it when I heard it again.  "ASH!"  Louder that time.  I stopped and got a hold of myself, and realized that somebody was calling my name, as odd as that might be, there in the dark, on some random block on Elm St., while I'm on my way home from work.  I looked around again and heard, "Ash!  It's Shauna!" in another loud whisper.  I looked in that direction and saw a shadowy figure approach.  "Shauna?" I said.  I suddenly remembered.  OH!  Shauna!  I remember her!  I used to work with her, at 7-Eleven, back in 2008.  Wow!  What the frik?  Holy cow, I haven't seen Shauna in years!  And here she is, whispering to me in the dark?  What?  Why?  How?  Huh?  All of this I was thinking to myself as she hurried over to me.  I approached her and finally recognized her as she emerged from the shadows and into the illumination of a street light.  "Hey, Shauna!"  WOW!  Recognition!  I grabbed her into my arms and gave her a big hug.  We used to be pretty good friends way back then, and it had been several years since I'd seen her.  What a surprise!  I could barely believe it.  Here was this girl calling my name out of the blue from the shadows on Elm St. as I'm walking home from work, this girl who has just been GONE.  Gone from my life.  Somebody I figured I'd probably never see again.  And here she was!

She said that she recognized me from my silhouette.  Can you believe that?  She lives in a house right there on Elm St., and she happened to be outside as I was walking by, and she hadn't seen me for almost four years, and she recognizes me from my outline!  KEEE-RAZY! 

Anywho.  That's about it, really.  We chatted for about 20 minutes, and I gave her my facebook info because my phone is out of service.  She's looking for a job, and I told her I'd talk to Chiy about possibly hiring her back.  She used to work at that same store, about four years ago.  That'd be really cool, to have her working there again.

I'm still kind of shaking my head in wonderment at the whole situation.  Wow, Shauna!  I can hardly believe it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Same old shmame old - part 2

Anywho... about what I'm gonna do with the rest of my life and stuff, from my previous blog entry.  I forgot to expound upon that yesterday.

I've been thinking quite a bit about visiting a monastery myself. The idea has been in my head since the summer of '09, around the time I was deciding that I wanted to become a catechumen. For the last three years that idea has been growing, and now it has become a persistent thought for me; that I should visit a monastery. Possibly to become a monk. More and more it seems like my entire life has been custom designed for the specific purpose of becoming a monastic. I've never really fit into this life of western culture and society and careers and money and families and social interactions and The American Dream and what everybody considers 'normal'.  I've always wished that I could just drop out of society. I could do that by becoming a monk and living in a monastery for the rest of my life.  That seems like a pretty flimsy reason to become a monk, though... just so that I can drop out of society.

Wouldn't that be ironic if I were led to a monastic life by such a selfish motivation?  After all, the only reason I started going to church in the first place was for the girl.  You know?  And look what happened.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Same old shmame old

I've been thinking a lot about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life, and what God wants me to do with it. I know now that God put Leah into my life for the main purpose of leading me to Orthodoxy, and that we were never meant to be together - although I still hope, like a fool and against all reasoning, that things might change in the future. But she's living at a monastery now as a novitiate, and she's on her way to becoming a monastic, unless she changes her mind.   I should be happy for her.  And I am happy for her... but I'm sad for me too, and that makes this lingering issue concerning my feelings for her just utterly selfish

But things are different this time than they have been in the past, in similar situations.  It's been almost two and a half years since I lost her, and although the immediate incapacitating pain of a brand new broken heart has pretty much faded completely, my feelings haven't diminished for her at all. They've gotten stronger, if anything, and that lends itself to a different kind of pain. A dull pain which never changes and is always there, lingering permanently in the background of my thoughts and emotions; affecting everything I do or think or say in a miniscule way, and as a result I exist in a perpetual shadow of sadness.  I wish these feelings would just fade away, like they're supposed to, so I could feel normal again. I haven't felt normal since the fall of 2008.  I wonder what God's will is, that I should continue to feel this way with no relief.  The only thing I can think of is there's a lesson here that I haven't learned yet, because usually after two years I'm well on my way to being over a broken heart... and that ain't the case this time.  It always has been before, but not this time.

I hate to keep harping on and on about this.  It's getting old.  I feel embarrassed that this is still an issue for me, but I don't have any control over it.  I can't reprogram my emotions... or maybe I just don't know how.  The only thing I can do is write about it now and then.  As an outlet it I hope that it helps somewhat.  I dunno if it does, but it feels like I'm getting some of it out of me when I write about it.

An old friend

Today I received a message from a girl who I haven't seen or spoken to for a long time.  The previous century. Pretty much ancient history.  Back then I was in love with this girl, but she didn't love me and my heart was broken.  Not for the first time... it's the same old story, you know.  It's the way my relationships with girls have always been, or how they've eventually wound up.


In it, she... and I'm finding it hard to express this.  I dunno what to say, and I'm still feeling kind of spaced out and just kind of... I dunno.  Shocked, I guess.  Surprised.  Taken aback.  Blown away... in the message she expressed deep regret that she'd felt over the years, and she apologized for back then, for breaking my heart, for treating me the way she did.  And I feel... I dunno.  Weird.  Sad.  It hurt pretty bad back then, but that was a long time ago.  We had been good friends before our 'relationship', and because of it our friendship had been ruined.  And now, here it is, years and years later, and she sends me this message expressing all of this, and it's pretty emotional.  I dunno if I deserve this kind of expression from her.  It amazes me though.  Amazed.  That's a good word for how I feel.

And it's funny how right now I'm in another frazzle because of a completely different girl.  Life is weird, and it's stupid and it sucks sometimes, and stupid things happen in life that suck and cause regrets.   

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Lum-dee-f'ing-dum.  Sigh.  Frikin frak!  Yeesh... yeesh-o-matic.  Big fat Yeesh-O-Rama. 

Dangit!  You know, you can get used to pain so that you don't really notice it that much anymore, but on the other hand, it just becomes more and more exhausting the longer it hangs around and lingers, like mildew that weighs a hundred pounds.  Just really really tiring, and smelly.  Smelly pain.  Goan now, git!  Scat!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Ferth of Joo-Ly!

A day late and a dollar short.  The Star Shpangled Beaner, by yers trooly.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The cup of soda

I got the cup of soda thrown at me the other night, walking up Carrol towards University, at about 11:00 pm.  It soaked my legs and my bag, and all the little tidbits in it.  I didn't get pissed off this time though, like I did the other night, which surprised me... although it did sadden me a little.  It did surprise me to get hit with a cup of soda though, as it always does.  Still, I just kept walking and reading and I was dry, pretty much, by the time I got home.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spreading the hurt

Friday, June 15th, 2012 (early Saturday morning, actually)

I was in a perfectly good mood tonight.  I was out walking and reading, it was around 1:00 am, and I was heading to 7-Eleven to grab sumpin' to drink.  Tonight was Friday night - an active night.  Lots of kids driving around with loud music, loud engines and loud voices.  I had no problem with that.  I had no problem with anything; that is, until a car passed me on Oak St. right before Fry St. and I heard, "I love your hair, you fucking faggot!" followed by raucous, taunting laughter.  This startled me badly, as I'd had my nose in a book and was hardly paying any attention to anything around me except for the necessities - the borders of the sidewalk, and the occasional stop sign, and the occasional location check.

My instant reaction was that my head jerked up, along with my hand and middle finger.  It's just automatic, I don't have conscious control over it in a situation like that. It happens, even though in hindsight I'd rather have just stayed inert and silent... but I yelled, "COME BACK!  YOU JUST TURN AROUND AND COME ON BACK RIGHT NOW, MOTHERFUCKER!  COME BACK AND GET OUT OF YOUR CAR AND SAY THAT AGAIN TO MY FACE!  FUCKING COWARDS, FUCK YOU!"  I glanced around and there was a couple walking in the same direction on the other side of the street.  They had stopped and were looking at me, and their mouths were formed into these little, precise 'O' shapes.  After a few seconds, time kicked back in and we all continued walking.  I was close to tears at the surprise I felt, at having gone from completely content, to humiliated rage in the span of about five seconds.  I was completely discombobulated.

Now, I should mention that this kind of thing happens to me several times a year when I'm out strolling about.  Sometimes I even get stuff thrown at me, like coke cans or cups full of ice and soda, but I usually don't react the way I did tonight... to the extreme I did tonight, anyway.  It was just so unexpected.  It was a freakin' ambush.  I got ambushed.  Sneak attack, out of the blue, ambushed and shot right out of my saddle as I was swaying to the rhythm of the story I was ensconced within, content with my evening indulgence and the anticipation of a cool drink at the 7-Eleven, and maybe a smoke.  And then those random bastards just shot me right off my horse.

Well, my evening stroll was ruined.  I didn't have the stomach for walking anymore, and when I tried to go back to my story, it wasn't fun to read anymore.  I decided that I would just stop off at the 7-Eleven per my original plan and get something to drink and then walk home.  So, I went into the store, grabbed a Gatorade and brought it to the counter, and the night guy - Mr. Chin - pretended I wasn't there, even though I was standing at his register.  Then, when another customer approached with his items, ready to be checked, Mr. Chin said to me, "Not you, him." and motioned to the guy behind me, who kind of muttered "Sorry dude," to me as Mr. Chin rang up his items.  This just about shocked me right out of my shoes, and it took me a couple of seconds to actually get my feet to obey my commands to back my body up, so the other guy could go have room at the counter.  After that guy was finished, Mr. Chin kept motioning to other customers to come ahead of me until I was the only one left in the store, at which point I finally got my Gatorade and left.  Maybe Mr. Chin was just following some kind of personal creed of his - that regular customers should come ahead of employee customers, or maybe he was joking.  Maybe I was just being oversensitive because of what had just happened... whatever the case may have been, he didn't seem like he was joking, and I don't really know him that well anyway... but after having been called a fucking faggot, getting shoved to the side and made to go last felt really shitty, like I was being punished for heaven knows what.  It sucked.

On my way home I took Carrol up to Congress, and then took a right.  I was almost to Elm St. when the same insultmobile which had passed me on Oak St. passed me again.  As it went by, the brake lights immediately came on, along with the blinker, as if the driver had recognized me and decided to turn around right then to take me up on the invitation I had screamed earlier.  I immediately started to get my blood up again, so I turned off my e-book and waited to see what they would do.  The car stopped in the road and made as if to turn into the adjacent parking lot, then went on and turned right on Elm St.  It kept going and disappeared, and after a couple of minutes, I didn't see it again so I resumed my walk.  However, I hadn't gone more than ten steps when I tripped over something on the sidewalk and just went ass over teakettle.  After everything else, It was just a nice layer of concrete icing on the steaming turd I'd been served earlier... injury added to insult.  Pain in my palms, pain in my elbows and knees, pain in my ankle and wrists, pain in my chin... but most of all, pain in my pride and my ego.

After that I just walked and wondered.  Why did whoever it was in that car call me a fucking faggot?  Was it some inherent need they felt to do damage to another person?  To make somebody feel bad, just because?  Or, was it like, some kind of feeding process?  What, were these people not human?  Were they emotional vampires?  Or didn't they know or understand that tossing an insult like that to a random stranger was likely to do some form of hurt?  They wouldn't have liked it, would they?  Why do people so casually lack empathy?  Doesn't anybody know the difference between right and wrong?  Why are people such shit heads, all over the world, every single day, throughout history and on into the future?  Why do we get off on it?

And now, as I sit here and type all of this, ready to post it publicly, I wonder about my own motivation for doing it.  Why can't I just suffer my injuries quietly and be at peace with the situation?  Why do I type it up and post it so that other people can read it too?  Is it so that I can at least get rid of some of the pain and humiliation by cutting it up into little pieces and sharing it with all of you guys?  By being generous with the crap and making sure everybody who doesn't want one gets a piece?  By making sure the damage gets partitioned out equally?  Am I so generous with the pain?

And this is where I sense the major flaw in myself... the source of my ugliness, the part of me that wants to spread around the hurt until it's gone, because I can't just forgive it and let it disappear that way.  And I realize that I'm just like everybody else.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Hello.  You were a stranger to me when I worked up my courage and made an attempt to say 'hi' to you a couple of weeks ago.  It was somewhat disconcerting and a little bit painful, in a spiky surprising way, at first.  Mostly though, it was just a kind of confusing, dull ache which became diluted as it got mixed up with the minutes and hours and days that have passed since then.  Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that we were once friends, and that we spent so much time together and shared so much laughter and love and were so close for a while.  There are a lot of good memories, but they only bring a painful nostalgia nowadays.  I don't know if that's good or bad.  I miss you... I think.  I'm pretty sure I don't know you now, so I don't know if I can truthfully say that I miss you without acknowledging my own selfishness.  Maybe I just miss those days, and the person you were during that time.  Maybe I just want all of that back, and it's a purely selfish thing.  I'm sure that's part of it... but I don't think it's all of it.

Things sure are different now.  Whatever is going on right now, I know that you were a part of my life once, and that we share some good memories, and that you continue to occupy a good portion of my thoughts and prayers every day.  I hope that you're ok that and everything is becoming good for you now, and that you're learning how to pray and love and resist the enemy and are closer to God and all that good stuff.  I know that you most likely won't ever read this, but that's ok, because I'm writing this mostly to sort out my own feelings.  I don't know why I post it publicly... I guess it's because of the fact that it's tossed out there and away from me, and it's not sitting in my head or moldering on my hard drive. 

I still feel this love for you, as much as I ever did - and more, even.  It's probably mostly a selfish love, but I don't want it to be that way.  Part of it is good, I think, because when I think of you, often times it hurts in my chest, right in the center, but that hurt isn't accompanied by any negative feelings or thoughts towards you or about you anymore.  I think that's how it's supposed to be when you give your love to somebody though... it always hurts, even if they love you back and you don't have to spend years missing them.

Anywho... thanks for opening your personal box of treasures and allowing me to rummage through it with you for a little while, way back when, and for sharing your Orthodoxy with me.  I'll always remember that promise I made to you.  Good night.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Poor Ms. Greely

As I was returning from Kroger this morning, I passed by the Wellspring Christian Academy, where a pool party was in full swing in the parking lot.  Two large pools, made out of some type of corrugated metal (tin, I'm guessing), were filled to the brim with water and screaming children.  On the other side of the pools and across the parking lot, a lady with a megaphone was standing there, supervising and barking orders at the kiddoes and keeping them in line.  Closer to me, another lady was having some trouble from the looks of it, with one of the kids who wouldn't quit splashing the others.  She was bent over the pool and having a fair time trying to keep from getting soaked.  The megaphone bellowed, "Ms. Greely, Ms. Greely!  Ms. Greely, are you alright over there?  Stop giving Ms. Greely trouble, I say, stop that!  Ms. Greely, are you all right?"

When at that moment - AMBUSH AND SURPRISE!  SHOCK AND AWE!  A child, formerly lurking in the depths and waiting for the perfect moment, popped up above the water with a super soaker, cocked it, raised it, and shot a stream of water directly onto Ms. Greely's ample bosom!  Ms. Greely jumped backwards in surprise, and her hands kind of went bananas for a second as she tried to block the stream.

The response from the megaphone was immediate.  "DO NOT SHOOT THE TEACHER!  DO NOT SHOOT THE TEACHER!  DO NOT SHOOT THE TEACHER...!" and I surprised myself by laughing out loud into the sky.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thursday night happenings

Last Thursday night I was at work and checking customers, as usual, and this one cutie pie wouldn't stop chatting with me after she had finished her transaction.  There was a line of customers going back halfway to the cooler, but she seemed oblivious to them.  I know that I should have probably hurried her along, as I was getting pointed looks from the folks behind her, but sometimes sacrifices must be made when you're chatting with a cutie pie.  And you know, you get a vibe from a girl sometimes... especially when she purposefully takes the extra time to just yak with you about nothing, especially in that kind of situation... a vibe that says, she's interested in you, man... she likes you; she's standing there and twirling her hair with her finger and talking to you, and her friend is standing there at the door waiting for her, and she's not even making any kind of move to end the chat and to get on with her evening... she digs you man, she at least thinks you're cute, you can feel it, right? So we just chatted there for a minute or two, holding up the line and pissing off the other customers.  And when she finally left, she - get this - she blew me a kiss!  As she was heading towards the door, she turned, lifted two fingers to her lips and kissed them, then blew it to me, while at the same time extending her arm towards me, offering me those two kissed fingers in a kind of salute!  It made me feel really good.

After work I went for one of my long walks with my e-book, and stopped at a Whataburger.  I ordered just a chicken strip sandwich, no soda, no fries, no nothing else, just the sandwich to go.  Well, the computers happened to be down and they couldn't process my card immediately, so I sat down and read my e-book while I waited.  A guy who worked there took an interest in me and asked what I was reading.  I told him that it was The Dark Tower by Stephen King, and it turns out that he'd read it, too.  We embarked on about a ten minute conversation on how great it was, and do you remember this part, and why didn't he do this at that part, and where are you at now?  and how many times have you read it? and they're making a movie, isn't that awesome? and it was just really fun and cool, talking with enthusiasm to someone about a particular interest that we both shared.  Finally, he just brought my card back to me and said that he wasn't going to charge me for anything.  I said, Dude, you're awesome! and invited him to visit me at the store some time, and that I'd hook him up with a free Slurpee or something.  And when I got outside and checked my bag, he'd included an extra large fries and two apple pies!  How cool was that?

Later on that night, I was still out walking and reading and I decided to cut across some pasture land.  It turns out that this land was very muddy and hilly, and I was very quickly squelching through mud and getting my new boots completely filthy.  I thought about turning around and just going back, but my shoes were already coated with mud, so I trudged on up this hill I'd been climbing because I wanted to see the view of Denton from up there.  Well, no sooner had I reached the top of the hill that I just lost my shit completely and tumbled down the other side to the bottom.  When I came to rest, I was completely covered with mud from head to toe, and a quick inventory revealed that I'd lost my two brightest flashlights, which had fallen out of my backpack on the way down.  And to top it off, I'd twisted my ankle, so I wasn't feeling much like limping back up that hill to search around in the dark and in the mud for my two flashlights.  My phone was covered with mud, but undamaged, and earlier that night I'd bought a little penlight, so I still had some source of illumination, at least.  My walking mood was ruined though, so I limped about two miles back to the house, covered in mud, minus two flashlights and plus one twisted ankle, which was beginning to swell.  FUN!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Last night as I walked home from work, I was reading the biography of Saint Nektarios, and I came across a passage in which he dreamed that he was in a green field, singing 'O Gladsome Light'.  This immediately instilled a strong urge in myself to sing it, and I did, along with other Orthodox hymns such as Psalm 103 and Let My Prayer Arise.  And then I was overcome with a fierce need to pray, which I unfortunately rarely feel.  After several minutes of praying, I got that so rare and valuable uplifted feeling again, which I have only gotten a handful of times.  I'm so weak, I can only hope that God lets me live long enough to learn how to pray ceaselessly.  So, as I was walking, overcome with this rare joy, I looked up and saw the moonlight shining through a break in the clouds, and the light was in the shape of a cross.  It was trying to be a three bar Orthodox cross, but not quite.  The bottom bar was only half, and the top bar was a rounded shape.  It was trying though, which said a lot.  Trying way harder than I do on a regular basis.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today, May something or other.

this morning I woke up at noon.  I walked to work, got hot, and sweated like a slave.  on the way, I was singing out loud at the top of my lungs, queens can anybody find me somebody to love.  I was kind of hoping somebody would hear me singing, and actually walk up to me and say, here you go, I heard you singing and just happened to have an extra love of my life that I don't need, and then present her to me, right then and there, just as real as you please.  problem solved, may it do ya fine, say thank ya. 

well, that didn't happen.  instead, I stopped singing and as I approached these two boys, about ten years old each, a truck passed us and someone threw a ketchup packet at the boys.  this just pissed me right off, and I had to stop my hand as it went up reflexively with the middle finger extended.  as I neared the boys, one of them recognized me from work.  he asked me to tie his backpack to a stick so he could hang it from the handlebars off his bike.  I did this, he said thanks, I said you boys be careful, and he laughed.

I have to pause now, to remark upon this stray dog which is stalking me.  when I pretend not to notice it, it runs around in circles like a lunatic as it follows me.  then, when I turn to face it, it barks and dashes behind whatever cover is available.  I guess it grew bored, because it just beged off of the hunt.

anywho.  I busted my ass today at work.  I had to change shirts twice because I got so sweaty.  I also had to cut the legs off of my pants and turn them into shorts, because I got them soaking wet as I was cleaning the gunk off of these metal baseboard things.  now I'm just tired and want to go home, but I have to go by walmart first to buy some new boots because I only have one pair now and they aren't waterproof anymore.  they got soaked today too, and it wasn't fun having to work in wet socks and boots.

now I'm tired of blogging this crap. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A dream - waking up

I dreamed that I was trying to sleep but Matt kept bothering me about something.   It was almost time to get up anyway though, and grey light was coming in through the windows.  Matt gave up and left, and I continued to doze.  Then Leah knocked on my bedroom door and came on in, like she used to at the front door when she would come over for a visit, back when we were together.  I was groggy and wondered what she wanted, and why couldn't everybody just leave me alone and let me sleep.  She sat on the edge of my bed and shook me awake.  She was all bouncy and in a good mood, which was irritating.  I asked her what she wanted, and why she was here.  I tried to remember the last time I'd seen or talked to her, but I couldn't, and I thought drowsily that I should probably be happy to see her.  She was very excited as she gave me a pillow that she said she'd made for me.  I sat up in bed and examined the pillow.  The pillow case was hand made, like a quilt, with images of all of my favorite things all over it.  Then she touched my shoulder and gave it a squeeze, smiled, and left.  I felt somewhat bothered that she would show up, give me this gift, and then leave so suddenly.  I got up and yawned, and went to my bedroom doorway, which Leah had left open.  I saw her walking away, and she looked to me as though she'd gained some weight.   She looked good - healthy and happy.  I thought to myself that I would probably never see her again.  I went into the bathroom and tried to cough up that morning stuff in my throat, and what came up was this sticky, black gunk, filled with little sharp seeds.   Then I started to choke on it, and I felt the sharp, stickiness of it digging into and closing my throat.  I couldn't breathe, and I knew that I was likely going to choke too death, but I only felt vaguely bothered by the prospect.

Monday, April 30, 2012

This weekend

Moved this weekend.  Matt and mom came up to help, plus a friend I haven't seen for 25 years.  Johnny Rivers.  Oh man, did we ever get completely hammered last night after working all day moving my stuff into storage.  We went to the jazz fest of course, and walked around it completely shnockered.  Then Johnny said, 'Watch this.' And walked up to these two cute little girlies, and just let fly with the bullshit.  We actually spent an hour talking to them, to my befuddlement.  About halfway into the encounter, I simply could not continue without a crucial piece of information, so I blurted out, 'Why are you guys putting up with three slobbering drunk idiots and actually taking time to exchange pleasantries with us for half an hour?'  I simply could not understand the appeal.  Well, they both laughed, and one said, 'It ain't nothing but a thang,' and gave me the biggest, brightest, purtiest smile as a reward or something.  After that I quit being my stupid shy self and we all just got silly.  It was great fun, the most I've had since the jazz fest back in '09. 

So it was great seeing Johnny again.  And I got all my sruff moved.  My loans will be out of default in October.  I'll start back to school spring of '13, prolly, and finally start using my vast experience as a drug addled freak to help somebody.  A guy has to hope.  Or maybe I'll do that thing that scares the shit out of me, but won't leave me alone.  You know, become a monk.  That thing.  Met. Jonah said there was great joy to be found there.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

All kinds of bullshit. It kinda sucks.

The other day I got an eviction notice.  It came as quite a surprise.  Allow me to elucidate.  When Matt moved to Austin, we were already behind with the rent, and with him gone and me having to pay most of everything, it got worse.  However, I had been told repeatedly by the property manager not to worry about being behind, that it was ok.  Apparently, he wasn't speaking for the property owner, who had decided that it was most certainly NOT ok, and I learned this on the 17th when I was handed an eviction notice by the property manager, to be out by midnight of the 18th.  He apologized, said he hated confrontations, and left.  Now we arrive at the part where I'm surprised.

After some frantic thinking and a few phone calls and a little bit of soul dying, I'd managed to talk the property owner into letting me stay until the end of April, dependent on my coming up with $600.00 by yesterday.  I dipped into my student loan payment, which still has to be paid somehow by the 28th, and Matt sent some money, and I paid the six hundred bucks. 

The part that has me especially down in the dumps is the mystery of what happened to the $400.00 I paid at the end of March.  I didn't get a receipt for it, which I should have, I know, and I paid it with cash.  Now the property manager says that he had left a receipt on my door, but I never saw it, and according to the owner, I'm behind by about $400.00 that I thought I'd paid already.  That has me confusricated and bebothered.

Oh well, screw it.  Maybe I will be able to move in with Thom.  Fr. Justin has been advising me to do that, and if he thinks it's a good idea, then I believe him.  I'm gonna talk to Thom about it tomorrow.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Retardo, don't go... I love you, Retardo!

When I'm out walking and reading at night after work, and enjoying some nice, tasty malt liquor, it's easy for me to get distracted and to start thinking about depressing stuff that doesn't bother me nearly as much when I'm not half shnockered.  As a result, sometimes I wind up posting silly, self pitying crap here which I don't even remember blogging.  Then, a few days later, when I'm browsing around my blog, I'll discover something retarded that I'd posted a few nights ago, and only then will I remember getting all boo-hooey and blogging about it while half shnockered off of a couple cans of Steel Reserve.  That shit's gotta stop, Retardo.  Huh?  No, not the Steel Reserve.  The retarded blogging has gotta stop.  Ergo, Retardo, in vino est veritas, sed fieri infirmis non jucundum.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Forgotten memorabilia

This is a collection of notes Leah and I wrote to each other, plus some other bits of memorabilia from our time together.  I made this collage a week or so after Leah broke up with me.  I'd forgotten about it until now, when I ran across it on my photobucket page, which I haven't accessed in more than a year.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walking thoughts

My utilities have been shut off since December.  I'm used to it now, I suppose, and have learned to cope with no electricity and gas and water.  I have to blog from my phone now, which is a drag, so I don't do it much anymore.   That's about it.  I'm out walking now, and I wanna get to my book.  I still think about Leah quite a bit.  I still love her as much as I ever did, and I miss her.  I might never see her again, ever, and the thought of that possibility makes me feel panicky.  I just want to be over her, but I can't get rid of the small hope that she might be a part of my life again.  But I know the truth is that she won't; that she doesn't think of me like I think of her.  She doesn't hurt in the same way, and that just means that we aren't going to be together in the way that I still long for, ever.  I wonder that I'm still feeling like this.  I guess I'll have to wait longer until I'm normal again, and for God to reveal His will to me, if He ever does.  OK, time for bookwalking.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A dream

I dreamed that Julie and her sister got undressed and put on thong bikinis.  It was very embarrassing for me, because in the dream I had to watch because everyone else was watching ME to make sure I watched.  Then my brother said, "You have to go get her now.  You better go get her!" And I told him to shut up!  I was extremely self conscious and awkward.  Everyone was looking at me, expecting me to go up to Julie and take her for my own.  She was practically naked and I was embarrassed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A dream - space-life-time

Oh man the craziest dream.  I was in an old ramshackle house, and a sniper was outside, trying to kill me and my brother.  It was impossible to move around, because the windows offered vantage points, and there were only a few spots on the floor next the the walls under the windows where we could hide.  We just laid there in the house like that for hours.  It seemed like hours passed in the dream too as we lay there motionless, just talking about what it was like yesterday, when we were able to move around.  How we took just being able to stand up, walk around, or even just open the front door for granted.

Then it got late, and my brother said, 'enough of this' and he got up to leave.  I panicked, but as I followed him out the front door, I realized that were on an alien planet, researching the life there.  We had giant supercomputers set up, which were going through the DNA of the alien creatures we'd found.  They looked like fuzzy dogs crossed with deer, and the backs of their heads were triangular shaped and open, so you could see their brains, but there was a clear protective layer, and several horns protruded from the back of the head.  They kept getting in the way of our research, so we had to keep petting them to distract them.  Then the supercomputer had some kind of a breakthrough, and it showed a representation of the hyperreality of life and spacetime as they were combined to form the universe, one depending on the other, and it was a long braid that wrapped around itself and went inside itself, made out of a series of twisting connected cubes that formed long tunnels, and as I followed one of these braids as far as I could I could see it twist and spiral around, and I was able for just a second to see how it looped around through hper-space-time-life to connect back with itself, and I was filled with the most awesome sense of wonder and knowing, and just ok-ness.  It was almost like having your brain exploded, but completely painless, and not violent, and not messy, and instead of the whole thing exploding, it was more like each atom exploded but stayed right where it was.

Then the supercomputer created this large silver ball, this big packet of the space-time-life, that it referred to as toporgic.  It went floating through the air, and it got close to my brother Matt, and he SLAMMED his fist into it, and it shattered into hundreds of little silver balls, some as big as your fist but none bigger.  They flew everywhere, and we ran around picking up little pieces of it, and as I held one in my hand, it was like holding a ball of firm gelatin.  I could squeeze it, and the more I squoze, the more it vibrated, until it seemed like my whole being was vibrating with its energy.  Then it burst into littler balls, and they flew everywhere, and I watched them float through the air in all directions, little marbles of the space-life-time.  Then my brother and I just started walking, looking at the alien life, and we passed a humanoid creature.  I tossed a little ball of toporgic at it, and it caught it and said, "Hey, what's this?"  "Space-time-life!" I shouted back.  "You're drunk!" said the humanoid, laughing, as he squoze the little silver ball between his fingers, and it exploded into little silver marbles, and he ran around catching them.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I was watching a video of a guy who was addicted to skydiving. He only lived for that moment when he was free-falling, and he described his obsession with skydiving as the result of living in darkness and trying to fill himself with something. Now I think of my life, and I realize that this is the case with myself - but even with this realization, there is no accompanying epiphany, according to what seems to me should be an obvious succession of events, to introduce a solution for this persistent state, of being lost and cut off from God - despite all of my efforts. Instead, I realize that I don't even have the first clue as to what anything means, or how to do anything at all. What if I die tomorrow? What if I don't have time to learn? And this is the topper. What's all this worrying about ME for anyway? Is that my only motivation for trying to find this... state of being? Because I'm worried about me? Why should I be so important, anyway? It seems like a pretty worthless thing for me to worry about, from my perspective, when there are other people to worry about. The only thing I think I know for sure is that prayer is the center which leads to the result which finally makes sense and isn't bad. But I don't even know how to do that. And jeez, doesn't all this sound self pitying and self serving? I thought I began writing this with a better intent. I'm just lost, lost, lost. I don't know anything.

This causes great fear to well up inside of me.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


There's a certain amount of shame involved when having to explain to the landlord why you're so late with the rent payment, why you're only handing over a little less than half of the amount due, and why you haven't said anything about it until now, 18 days into the month.  Shame is the reason why you didn't say anything, and shame is what finally motivated you to hand over what money you did have, knowing that it wasn't even half of what was owed.  Shame is what you felt in having to explain the reason why you didn't pay rent on the first, like you assured him that you would, which was because the government just happened to chose the beginning of this month to demand a 400 dollar student loan payment.  You felt shame when explaining that you were the only one paying the bills right now because your brother is in Austin, helping your dad to recuperate from surgery.  You felt shame because it sounded like you were just trying to make excuses.  You're ashamed now because you're a grown man and you don't have enough money to live a basic, simple life.  You're ashamed that those reasons have caused you so much shame, because those aren't even shameful reasons.  But the shame persists, and the shame on top of shame, and it doesn't seem like there's a way for it to end.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Memento Mori

I just discovered this band by random accident the other day... a song of theirs was the fade out music (only about 20 seconds of it) for a little CGI film a dude made for a college project back in 2005, but 20 seconds was enough to convince me that it kicks all kinds of ass, up down and sideways.

Memento Mori - Is One Worth the Other?

The songs on Grooveshark aren't in order, so listen to them in this order because some of them blend together:

1. ... and On and On
2. The Texas Furlong
3. Dawn
4. Drifters
5. Words from a friend
6. Eleven/Fifteen
7. Petals Mark the Time
8. Ballad of Luke Hadley
9. On and On

Friday, January 13, 2012


Last night I dreamed that I was riding somewhere in the backseat of a car, and when we stopped, the door opened and I saw Leah standing there.  Her hair was long, like it used to be when I first met her, and she was looking at me and smiling.  As she got into the car she reached for me and pulled me close to her, enfolding me into her arms.  She rested her head on my shoulder and whispered into my ear, "It's all right.  It'll be all right now.  You're going to be all right now.  I'm here, it's all right."  For a long while we stayed like that in a kind of silent repose, sharing a desperate embrace.  The feelings of joy and relief and comfort as I held her in my arms felt simply to good to be true.  Then I realized that none of it was real, and that it was all just a dream.

I woke up then with such an empty feeling of loss that I couldn't help breaking down into silent sobs.  I felt that same, God sized hole right in the center of my chest again, feeling as if the pain from almost two years ago hadn't even begun to fade at all.  It's not unusual for this to happen when I wake up from an emotional dream, so I knew that the feeling would eventually go away after I'd gotten up and around and started going about my day.  At that moment though it was almost unbearable, and I sat up and cried into my bunched up sheets for a long time.  My nose got so stuffed up that when I tried to lie back down on my side, my sinuses would drain and clog up my ear with that ugly imbalanced feeling.  Sometimes when that happens, one of my ears will get locked up in that 'low pressure sucked in state' - which really sucks, as anyone who is familiar with it knows.  After I'd gotten over my bout of boo-hooing, I felt around for something to blow my nose with.  I didn't have anything handy, and it was dark and too dadgum cold to get out of bed just for some tissue, so I blew my nose with a towel that was lying on the floor next to my bed.  I sat up for a while longer waiting for my sinuses to get back to normal, and after I was all dried up, I turned over and eventually went back to sleep.

I started dreaming again almost immediately, and this time I was at Leah's house in Michigan where her parents live.  It was early morning and I was bundled up in some covers on their couch, watching TV with her family like we did a couple of summers ago when we drove up there to visit.  I looked around for Leah but she wasn't there.  I felt like crying again, but I held it back and just sat there snuggled up on the couch as we all watched TV.  In my dream I drifted off to sleep, and in that dream within a dream, I cried the kind of epic crying that I can only do in dreams.  For a long time I let it all out in great, wretched, noisy sobs, until finally I felt a hand gently shaking my shoulder.  I woke from the dream within a dream and saw Leah's mom sitting next to me.

"You were crying," she said.  "Were you dreaming about Leah again?"  I wiped my eyes and looked around and remembered waking up after embracing Leah in the back seat of the car, and how it had just been a dream, and then waking up again on the couch at Leah's parents' house, and all the dream-sobbing that followed, and finally being awoken by Leah's mom and knowing that this part was also just a dream.  I answered, "Yeah," and started crying again.  Leah's mom moved close to me and wrapped me in her arms.  She rocked me back and forth, and as I was falling asleep again, she whispered in my ear, "Shhhhhh... don't cry, everything is going to be all right.  You're ok now, you're going to be ok.  Everything is just fine.  It's all right.  Don't cry, everything is going to be all right."

And I went back to sleep in that dream, and I didn't dream anymore dreams within dreams, or any kind of dreams after that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I've only got a couple of minutes before I have to head out the door to work, but memories wash over me like music, and I miss you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I had the worst, most godawful nightmare last night.  I was standing at the top of a tall spiral ramp, and I could look down and see it as it spiraled away, and the end of the ramp led into a dark tunnel.  Two people, a mother and a child, I think, were fighting and they fell down the ramp.  They tumbled down it all the way to the tunnel, and as they struggled down there, dead bodies began to fall down the ramp.  They piled up on each other as they fell, and some were walking and stumbling, and falling over the other bodies.  I tried to turn away and leave, but I was paralyzed.  I looked to my right and somebody was holding me still, so that I couldn't move at all, and it was some unidentified woman.  She held me and forced me to look as the bodies engulfed the two struggling figures, and she said, "Bloody dead."  And I woke up scared shitless, didn't know where I was, and was still paralyzed.  If you were watching me, I'd probably have seemed quite calm lying there with my eyes open and expressionless, but I was frikin horrified.  I was finally able to turn over and go to sleep again, after about 5 minutes of lying there unmoving and muttering "I'm scared, I'm scared" to myself, over and over.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I've been puking a lot lately in the early morning small hours.  Yesterday morning I almost threw up my guts.  This morning I did it again.  I missed the Royal Hours yesterday, and almost missed the liturgy celebrating the Theophany this morning, but Dax texted me and woke me up.  I was feeling better by then, so I got up and got ready and went.

I had forgotten that it is three years ago almost to the day that I first visited St. Maximus, and we were singing the Troparia of Theophany a lot today.  When I was reading the hours before the liturgy, when I got to the the troparion it caught me by complete surprise, and all of those memories came rushing back.  I choked up pretty good and had to stop reading, and I'm sure everybody noticed and was thinking, 'Oh shit, why is he choking up?  What's wrong with him, is he going to start crying?'  It was embarrassing, and later during the liturgy, it happened again when we were singing the troparion, and everybody was watching me, so that made it even worse.  I wasn't ready for it.  The reason why it affected me is because today marks the beginning of my experience at church, back when Leah invited me for the first time, and that troparion in tone 1 was the first thing I'd ever heard there at St. Maximus.

Then my stomach started to hurt again, and after the blessing of the water, I drank some Holy Water and had to double over with pain.  I pretty much rushed right home, and again I'm sure everybody was thinking, 'What the heck is up with him?'  I guess I'm not holy enough, and that's why it hurt.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I had a dream about Julie last night.  Most of it was unmentionable.  I haven't had a dream like that in... don't remember when.  I wonder what happened to her.  She disappeared from FB a few months ago.  Anywho, hey Julie, wherever you are.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

That dadgum tuning fork

Here's an example of how I seem to have an inbuilt mechanism for screwing things up, despite the best of intentions.

I'm directing the choir again this morning, and I only realized at 5:00 am that I left my suit jacket at my sisters house last weekend when I was visiting for Christmas, and the tuning fork is in my jacket pocket.  I have semi-perfect pitch though... I can usually start off a certain Haydn sonata in D major in my mind in the right key, and based on the beginning note - which is D - I can find any note from there.  That is, when I'm relaxed and not a nervous wreck.  The problem is, I'm usually a nervous wreck when I'm directing the choir, which pretty much fubars my mental faculties.  Easy things become hard.  Tones I thought I had memorized fly out the window and are splashed to the four winds.  I second guess everything, even when I know I'm right.  It's an interesting phenomenon... when your hands are shaking and your heart is pumping and your mind is a chaotic mess, how 'right' can suddenly become 'devastatingly WRONG'.

I actually gain a kind of superpower when I'm a nervous wreck, which is the ability to transfer that nervous wreck energy onto people within my sphere of influence; namely the other choir members.  I've also noticed that on the semi-rare occasions when I'm in the middle of just royally making a complete and total mess out of something (as opposed to just fumbling through it), and when Fr. Justin tries to give me a hand (by starting me out on the right tone, for example), some of that nervous wreck energy even transfers over to him, because sometimes even HE gets it wrong.  It's not bad enough that I have to be a frazzled ball of anxiety - I also have to be contagious.

Afterward, Fr. Justin will usually make his way toward me through the smoldering wreckage of whatever service it was that I had just nuked - usually a divine liturgy or an all night vigil - and thank me; sometimes offering a few words of encouragement.  This ain't easy, this thing I'm trying to do - this business of choir directing in an Orthodox church.  There's a lot to learn in just setting up the services, such as knowing which octoechos to use during vigil based on which saint is being venerated.  And then there are all of the different tones that have to be memorized and recalled instantly, according to their particular function.  And I hear that it's also pretty normal to be a nervous wreck when standing in front of a bunch of people and having all of the attention directed at yourself.

It helps to realize all of this sometimes, and to know that I'm not really a retarded monkey.  I understand that part of my problem is the habit I have of beating the shit out of myself when I don't necessarily deserve it - like for not having the tuning fork this morning because I left my jacket at my sisters - which makes things harder than they ought to be. 

But I don't even really need that tuning fork.