Poem: Most Alive, But Some Dead

“Most Alive, But Some Dead”

 

I’ve seen and felt bodies,
Most alive, but some dead.
I know there’s a difference,
But how can it be said

Without calling to mind
Tales of great God above?
Of hidden trajectories,
And eternal love?
Of far, dreamy origins
And hopes for the end?
Of insinuations
That too often offend?

I’ve seen and felt bodies
Most alive, but some dead.
I’ll trumpet the difference
Wherever I’m led.

 

 

Body Alive

photo credit: Jordannnnnnnnnnn via photopin cc

Guest Post – The Boy Who Wanted Nothing

billlabrie:

One of my favorite posts got picked up by Harsh Reality — a blog with 43,000 followers. Thanks to Opinionated Man!

Originally posted on HarsH ReaLiTy:

There are things in life I value greatly but avoid discussing because they sound kind-of weird.

One such thing: At one time I was co-owner of a kid’s consignment store.

failed-retail-business

The location for a consignment store left something to be desired.

It was something my wife-at-the-time wanted to do, so I decided I would want to do it, too. I had trouble acknowledging my own desires at the time. It was as though I didn’t know my desires well enough to state them clearly, much less pursue them.

Similar to most of my endeavors, it took off fast, gained some altitude, struggled to remain airborne for a while, then mercilessly augured itself into the ground. That sequence seemed to represent a lot about my life at the time.

During the brief flight of the rural mountain kiddy boutique, there were rationalizations, laughs, tears, self-reflection, and entire days spent in an insipid sort of panic inspired by…

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Microfiction: Mortie Finds Peace at Last

With the car four hours or so behind him, Mortie was starting to forget things.

desert-abandoned-car

 

He stopped every few seconds to check the pockets in this cargo shorts. It was compensation in a way. He knew the keys weren’t there. The keys were locked inside his rental car. They were on the driver’s seat next to his phone. He had stared at them for 30 minutes or more before deciding to leave on foot. Long ago he had poured the last drop from the small water bottle onto his parched tongue. He felt thirst like he never had before. There was the feeling of gravel in his throat.

On he stumbled in a sad parody of the hike he abruptly decided to take on this, his first visit to Arizona.

If only he had bothered to tell his plans to someone back at the conference golf resort before he left!

When he had awakened that day, he realized he was sick of the restroom fixtures business. Just sick of it all. He didn’t want to hear one more thing about the new Toto Washlet E-200 toilet seat with special new “green” features, much less take handwritten notes about it. He was done with the American Standard Siphon-Jet urinal, no matter how funny the demonstration was the first ten times he saw it. He had collected all the tchotchkes like the commode from Mansfield that was really a coffee mug and the USB drive in the tampon case and the promo condoms from the condom machine maker.

But most of all, he was sick of that smarmy Jenkins and the way he fist-pumped at the podium after getting that stupid award. That no-good with his big goyische smile and the popped collar on his expensive Polo. “What a douchebag–even if he is the top seller of World Air hand dryers for region 6 for the year. Fuck that guy!” Mortie just needed time on his own in the beautiful desert. And he had found it.

He had found it. And then — he had lost it.

He looked up. Everything was swirling around him. He was surrounded by fast stream of confusion. The mountains looked different in some way. He started to wish for home more than ever before–at any time before. When he squinted the mountains looked a bit like the buildings along 5th Avenue. The ringing in his ears sounded like cabbies honking their horns. The hot sagebrush smelled like the exhaust from a diesel bus.

He looked in the far distance above the building-mountains. There was a cloud. That cloud looked like it contained all the comforts that his house in Suffolk County could offer. It was just down the L.I.E. — just a few miles away out on the Island. Just ride the L.I.E. to get there. Everything waiting for him. His TV, his barcalounger, his refrigerator, everything in his freezer.

A voice rang out. “Sir! Sir!” It was too direct — too urgent to really be friendly.

They were trying to take it from him.

Mortie shuddered, then ran. “NO! THIS IS MY ICE CREAM! GET YOUR OWN! LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE IN MY OWN HOME, JENKINS!” he shouted. He started running towards the cloud.

“Sir! Sir! Stop! Watch out!” He turned. He could see it out of the corner of his eye: A little white car was behind him with some sort of emblem on it. He glanced behind the wheel. He thought he saw Jenkins. The car made whirring and clicking noises. He was here. He had come. He was some sort of spy. He worked for the government!

He was here to take his ice cream. Jenkins couldn’t let it rest. That asshole. Mortie kept running.

“Sir! Sir! Look out!”

Mortie ran off the golf course and into the highway and was killed instantly by a passing truck.

It was a truck hauling the latest shipment of World Air hand-dryers to region 6.

photo credit: moominsean via photopin cc

©2014 Bill LaBrie

 

Microfiction: A Real Ladies’ Man

I only remember falling on top of her. She was laughing. She threw her arms around me and I could smell beer and nachos on her breath. I struggled with my pants.

dog woman

Then, nothing–until the sun came up and the birds started singing through the window.

I gradually opened my eyes. My nose felt wet. I saw a paw in front of me. A white paw with brown spots. I thought I might have been sleeping next to someone’s dog — someplace. Stranger things had happened. I like to party. I looked around and back and the dog was gone.

I turned and tried to get to my feet. Something about my equilibrium was off. It was like half of my body didn’t want to move. I guess I had really tied one on the night before. I wondered where the girl was–where anyone was. She seemed to have enormous furniture. I fell to the floor. It hurt.

I picked myself up. I heard a voice from the other room. A girl’s voice. It sounded friendly. I wanted to run to it. I felt like I couldn’t really run. I felt like the top half of my body just wasn’t working with the bottom. I looked around and realized everything seemed to be in different colors than the night before. All the blues of the sheets and the walls were darker. The sky outside was darker.

I could smell something cooking. It was bacon. And let me tell you — that bacon smelled better than anything I had ever smelled before in my whole fuckin’ life. It filled me up just smelling it.

Slowly, I walked toward the voice and the smells. There was a strange noise as I walked on the tile floor. I thought my belt buckle was dragging or something — click-click-click-click. Going down the hallway seemed like it took forever–with my coordination problems and all. I couldn’t wait to get to the kitchen.

As I cleared the hallway I looked inside the kitchen. There above me was the girl who lived in that place — the one who threw the party. She towered over me as she stood in front of the stove. It was then I realized I had been on all-fours. It hadn’t seemed that way, but there I was. I was so fucked up. I crawled over to the girl. She smiled at me. I felt really helpless. I tried to say something but I think only some grunts came out.

I remembered meeting her when she got her windows tinted at the place where I work. She drove a yellow 2005 Sentra. I gave her the extra limo tint that was really illegal but she didn’t care. She liked it dark. She had tattoos. She invited me to this party with her friends. I didn’t know any of them, but she was hot enough and I thought her friends would be, too. I think the one with nacho-breath was kinda hot. I didn’t remember much.

She was cooking. She was cooking bacon. She was cooking bacon and she was wearing a T-shirt. She wasn’t wearing any pants. Just like that. Just cooking at the stove with me in her house, and she wasn’t wearing any pants.

Damn. . . . .

I heard her say things to me. I didn’t understand what she was saying. But I did hear her say “eat”. Finally: A word I understood in this, the worst hangover of my fuckin’ life.  And damn, I was hungry. I really wanted that bacon. I really wanted whatever else I was smelling as well. Suddenly there was a whole bunch of scents — like a symphony. And I liked them all. They were exciting.

So she squatted down and put a bowl of some shit that wasn’t bacon down in front of me. I looked up. Damn, she was fine. I was too distracted by the show she was giving me to care or even question that much about the bowl and the crumbly dry shit inside of it. She ran her fingers through my hair and smiled at me. She said something else I didn’t understand, but she did say “eat.” I understood that.

I didn’t think she was that into me. But, wow: If she wanted me to eat these dry gravel things out of a bowl on the floor, that was fine. I mean. . . whatever.

After a minute or so, she went to the bathroom and left the door open. I heard her talking to someone on her phone. I figured what the hell. I walked in. I had an itch in my ear. I scratched it while I watched her on the toilet. It was like she was so into the conversation that she didn’t even notice me sitting there.

I didn’t really understand what she was saying, but it sounded kind of like this:

“Oh, —- guy Greg? — — know, — don’t know — —– —– him. I saw —- —–in — room and I — —- — what a dog!”

I recognized my name. She knew my name. But she was acting like I wasn’t even there. Kinky bitch.

I walked over to her and had an urge to lick her knee. The smells were really strong and I liked them. She just ran her fingers through my hair. I mean, she’s just sitting there on the toilet and rubbing my head. Fuck.

I haven’t called in to work yet. I can’t find my phone.

I think it’s buried somewhere.

photo credit: midwestnerd via photopin cc

©2014 Bill LaBrie

cowpeople

Actually, This IS my First Rodeo . . .

I finally made it to a Pro Rodeo. It was everything I expected it to be. It was America.

I took my kid there as a birthday gift. Payson, Arizona has the longest continuous rodeo in existence–since 1884. Imagine that!

 

I intended to buy the tickets online, but by the time I got around to it, the sales were closed. It didn’t matter — plenty of tickets at the gate. They even gave my son’s friend a break because he is only 8.

There is no lack of patriotism in Pro Rodeo, though I noticed some interesting aspects to its practice here.

A beautiful cowgirl rode out on a horse with the stars and stripes waving behind her. She was one of the rodeo queens. It’s amazing how the troop of women can ride so fast, so hard, one-handed, while smiling and waving, sometimes carrying flags, all while giving only the impression that something with beautiful lips, hair and boobs just blasted by. I mean this seriously: I admire women in such jobs because it’s expected that they not only do demanding work, but look glamorous while doing it–and they deliver.

 

The crowd seemed to feel it was expected that they rise and put their hands on their hearts for “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood, which has become a sort of an unofficial national anthem among the conservative types in the same way that lefties and some moderates acknowledge “America the Beautiful” as the real anthem (because non-violence).

Anyway, we stood for Lee Greenwood and heard the announcer go off on an extended soliloquy about the wonders of America that included the phrase “God’s green Earth.” I loved that. It brought back memories of my dad, though when he’d say it it usually included the word “asshole”, as in “You’re looking at me like I’m the biggest asshole on God’s green Earth.” He’d say that to my mom sometimes.

A girl with a decent voice sang the real real national anthem, and we were off.

 

 

Sponsorship is important to any such entertainment these days, and we can’t begrudge the corporations (who are really actually people) the right to their free speech (in exchange for a consideration). Just after the anthem, one of the rodeo queens gave the Coca-Cola flag a galloping lap that was greeted with the same seriousness as was the stars and stripes, or nearly so. The announcer then went on at some length about the wonders of the beautiful Ram© pickup parked in the middle of the arena. It was a pickup built by an Italian-owned company based in the Netherlands for tax reasons. But he left off that part.

Anyway, I had enjoyed a few beers (Coors beer. Banquet Beer. That’s what you drink at the rodeo). I was sitting in the stands with my friends and my kid just enjoying the show. The rodeo clown (who these days acts as a sort of MC  with a wireless headset in addition to luring bulls away from fallen cowboys and such) called out to our stands. “Is this anyone’s first time at the rodeo?” he asked. I waved my hands. He asked “Who is our rowdiest rodeo fan?” I waved my hands again. It’s easy for me to do this because I am an extrovert. And extroverts are awesome.

Anyway, with some encouragement from my friends I waved my arms enough that the rodeo clown picked me to come down to the arena for some sort of hokey nonsense that I knew would have been embarrassing for anyone else — but not for me.

I left the stands and walked down to the arena. I climbed over two fences. I think they were about 8 feet high. After the second drop I was on the ground and walking towards the center to meet with the clown. There were three other audience participants, including a woman with large breasts wearing a blue blouse. The clown told me to look towards the stands where I had been sitting. I heard a booming voice over the loudspeakers. The voice asked “Do you dance?” So I nodded and did something like a Cossack-type thing that everyone remembered from Bugs Bunny or something. Everyone laughed.


Extrovert engaged. Laughs from the stands. Mission accomplished. I had done it.

I think I did it a little too well because the next thing I noticed was the clown was in my face, nodding in a controlled way and telling me under his breath that I could go back to the stands. I shrugged and walked back, realizing that just as in my former career spanning almost 20 years at two different Fortune 50 companies, I was trudging through bullshit after taking orders from a clown.

Anyway, the rest of the day was just as terrific: more roping, tying, barrel-racing, sheep riding, and bullriding. More Banquet Beer was consumed. The boy laughed and ran free with his friends.

My only regret was in not entering the NRA raffle. For $20 I could have had a 1-in-54 chance of getting a 12-gauge tactical shotgun with cruiser grips, or any of several other fine arms.

God Bless the USA.

cowpeople

Microfiction: Dating with Our Demons

“I believe you have a reservation under the name ‘Warner’.” Gareth smiled. The hostess looked up from her station. She caught her breath.

Dating-a-demon

“Oh, Warner, yes. . . ” Smiling rather deliberately, she reached for the menus behind her. “Will you be needing some children’s menus for . . . “

The Warner party had taken her by surprise. It was rare to see people with children at the restaurant — especially for a seating at this hour. But then again, these didn’t quite look like children. The hostess was very young. Her nametag said “Kristal.”

Gareth looked down and to his left. There he was: Alichino, the one who gazed up at him through bloodshot eyes. Alichino turned his brooding, gray face towards the hostess station. He wheezed through his crooked, yellowed teeth. They were bared in a sneer.  Spittle drained over his bottom lip. His large eyes glared. A long, hairy arm stretched upwards towards the toothpick dispenser as he whined in a soft, high-pitched warble.

Gently, Gareth caught Alichino’s hand. The toothpicks were saved. At least this distraction had kept Alichino from paying too much attention to Katie’s companion — the one they had met only an hour or so before. The car ride from her apartment had been an adventure.

“No,” Gareth shook his head, “I think we’ll just share plates, right Katie?”

Gareth glanced at Katie and smiled, embarrassedly. She was distracted, fighting to stay in place as Okumura yanked her back toward the front door. Kate held one of its tentacles and gently pulled. She dug in and tried softly consoling Okumura. The being’s bony, spiked exoskeleton expanded like an agitated puffer fish. Though it shook violently, it was — blessedly — almost silent.

Katie reached into her purse and pulled out a pair of embroidered oven mitts. Gently and slowly, she reached down and picked him or her up. Gareth assumed Okumura was female because it was pink, though Katie had only referred to it as “it”.

At the table, the foursome settled in. Other parties glanced at them, but without much interest. This was because they had the same situation: all of them, to one degree or another. Most were aware how difficult it was to get away together as a couple for an evening, especially for young people. There were some gestures of sympathy and irritation, but mainly just shrugs and nods.

“So, this is nice!” said Gareth, finally. Katie nodded and smiled. Gareth was at a loss for small-talk, so he cut to the chase. He really didn’t mean to get so personal so soon. “So you said online, uhh. . . .” Gareth almost reconsidered. “You said you were just getting over a . . .  relationship?”

Katie smiled. “Yes,” she began — tentatively — but with a clear effort to be open with her feelings. “I’m taking it easy right now. Just trying to get over — well — Carl.” She shook her head and smiled wistfully. “We were together five  . . .”

The highchair shook. Okumura’s giant, red cat-like eyes darted at her. There was the sound of a sudden, deep breath. Okumura instantly inflated by about a third again its previous size. Its bony protuberances rubbed against the highchair, making a destructive-sounding, scratching noise. Katie looked at it and then back at Gareth. There was an uncomfortable silence, then soft, awkward laughs.

“I think I need to use the ladies. I’ll be right back!” said Katie, trying to be cheerful. Gareth nodded. She put her potholders on again, then stood and carefully grasped Okumura. She needed to release the locking tray of the high-chair to extract it. She strode off in the distance, holding it before her as she said “excuse me” to the other guests.

Gareth watched Katie walking to the ladies’ room. He turned back towards Alichino, seated in the chair next to him. He had already ripped a hole in the white tablecloth and was poking his long and canchred red tongue through the hole suggestively. He looked at Gareth and hissed.

He lifted his head up and spoke through spittle. “You need to do her in the ass. Hard! Tonight. Tonight!”

Gareth looked away nervously.

 

photo credit: louis konstantinou via photopin cc

hints-of-humanity

Hints of Humanity

I like to leave the front door of my condo open as much as I can. When I look outside I see something like this:

hints-of-humanity

It’s nice. I don’t like being a prisoner of the air conditioning. I like to live in the world. This part of the year in Phoenix, if you want to do something outside you’d better get it done before 8 AM or so. The sun is brutal. After 8 AM, you find a cool place and lie low like an insect under a rock. You avoid the brutal world that wants to sear you and shrivel you up without a second thought — as though you were the enemy.

But it’s this time of the year when cooler moments peek through now and then, reminding us of how nice it is during the six other months when it’s not blistering hot. There are little encouraging hints that we are still human under all this, and will emerge to live in the world again sometime soon– likely within the next sixty days or so. The world will welcome us back after recognizing our humanity.

And so there’s news from Ferguson, Missouri. Some genius within the state or federal government (it’s pretty inconceivable the local constabulary could think of such a thing, based on what I’ve seen) decided to try de-escalating the situation with the rioters there. They’re doing this by removing the soldiers from the streets and replacing them with peacetime authority figures. It helps that in a predominately black community the main authority figure they selected is also black. There are reports that tensions have eased. “Almost celebratory” some have said.

highway-patrol-ferguson

If this is so, then it’s safe to say this: All it took to stem chaos was to treat others like human beings. And really, that’s all it took from the beginning.

Unfortunately, unarmed people are sometimes mistakenly shot by the police. Authority figures expressing shared grief and allowing the community its anger usually lets the venom drain. Deploying special forces is usually the wrong thing to do, though it does allow the pudgy boys in their camo the chance to play with their toys and act out their dominance fantasies.

In this case, it finally took dropping the act of the all-conquering and brutal sun and acting more like a fellow man. It took the expression of hints of humanity.

But that’s not the current default reaction.

The militarized police who have received over half a billion dollar’s worth of military equipment over the last few years, as well as training in crowd control and occupation techniques from the Israelis. They don’t default to treating others like human beings. They’ve been trained — meaning given new reflexes — in ways that are proper to a conquering army.

See: The police maintain the peace, given the rule of law. The army kills people and breaks things when it’s decided we need people killed and things broken. There’s a difference. But at times, that difference seems irrevocably lost.

We now sit waiting for the next Ferguson, the one that will get out of hand before anyone remembers to assume humanity and try fellowship instead of dominance.

So I’m in my condo. It’s a cheerful Friday. There are hints of humanity. It will still get to 104 degrees in Phoenix today. But that’s less than it was in July. I’m not so quick to shut the door on the way in and out anymore. I’m taking more time to look at the flowers just outside my door. But I still can’t leave the door open. I know it’s not over yet.

Not by a long shot.

Microfiction: The Last Vacation

“I can’t see,” whined Harvey in his nasal, sputtering voice. “There’s too much light in my eyes!” He squinted and looked away. His cheek tapped the controller rod. His chair jolted forward by a fraction of an inch, compounding the motion of the ship. He was irritated. They had been at sea too long.

Viv tried holding the ticket sleeve up to shield Harvey from the sun, but it was no use. Those tickets meant a lot, but they made a lousy umbrella. She just wanted Harvey to be comfortable in these last days, hours, moments. She tried not to glance at her watch. The watch had some power to slow time.

Viv looked off in the distance through her two sets of glasses: Her prescription pair and the clip-ons she bought at the last stop during a shore excursion in Martinique. Through the barely-dimmed glare of the sun she could discern their destination. She smiled.

Finally.

The PA speaker clicked. A friendly, boisterous game-show announcer voice came on. “Hi there, ladies and gentlemen of the good ship Charon! If you look straight ahead and a little to the port side, you’ll see our FINAL DESTINATION! Please keep your tickets ready and within reach!”

Viv’s heart raced. She squinted. Through the glare, she could see the water reddened as the native attendants splashed around on the shore, slitting throats of guests here and there.

last-vacation

 

photo credit: calonda via photopin cc

Thanks to Percival Ngheim for the prompt.

Why People Aren’t Using Your Mobile App

Short answer: Greed. But it might not be your own greed. Nor the user’s. 

broken phone

Things are changing in the mobile app world. Screen sizes are getting larger, which makes using websites rather than platform-specific apps more feasible. But also some users are coming to realize that most apps are not only irritating clutter, but also a threat to our convenience if they force us to charge phone batteries more frequently. Apps can also make a real impact to pocketbooks if they push us over our monthly bandwidth limit. 

Somewhere in the background of all this are concerns about privacy and security, but those are the dueling elephants in the room that we don’t discuss — usually (cue the nervous laughter).

The Battery Life Annoyance

I bought my Samsung Note 3 last year in a joyous escape from the limitations of the iPhone 4s. The Note was wonderful at first because suddenly battery life wasn’t a concern. Damn thing lasted forever on a charge, unlike the iPhone which was more like a wired device with an away-mode.

As I added apps to the Note, battery life gradually decreased. That made me sad. I’m a fairly constant user of Facebook. I found that even when I wasn’t posting, The Facebook app and FB Messenger were the largest consumers of battery after the power needed to run the screen.

Hmm. . . . 

I had heard that the current release of Facebook Messenger was basically insidious spyware intended to keep track of your life even when you weren’t using it. Thus, I deleted that app on the assumption that it was tracking/spying/uploading stuff on me in the background. 

Note: I take it for granted this electronic spying is just a facet of modern life for us. Whatever we do, discuss, and in some ways even think around a networked computer is being tracked somewhere. No big: I’ll be a martyr for humanity’s descent into the Matrix. Sigh.

Just don’t force me to connect the $*(&($*& battery cable so you can spy on me in the bathroom more efficiently, you hopeless control-freak assholes. That’s how I look at it.

Anyway, after deleting the FB Messenger app, I found that my battery was lasting a bit longer. However, the Facebook app itself appeared to retain the second spot among energy-consumers. It remained this way even after I would exit the app. They keep their processes running in the background even after shutting down the interface. Sneaky bastards.

So I confirmed that I could still access Facebook via the phone’s browser, and. . . 

I Deleted Facebook.

Can you imagine that? I actually deleted Facebook. From my phone.

I’m used to setting my phone on my nightstand when I sleep. When I have failed to remember to plug it in to the charger, I wake up to a low battery warning. I did this again (deliberately) last night as an experiment, noting the charge when I fell asleep and when I woke. It changed only from 85% to 82%. Not bad.

So, hmm. . .  what had my mobile phone — or more specifically, the Facebook app ON my phone — been doing in the middle of the night without me?

Do I want to know?

I have enlightened other users who have followed suit, all with similar effects to report. They are delighted. But the one who caught my attention most was the friend — an IT manager with a major bank — who said he planned to delete as many apps as possible from his phone and just access data through the browser. At least his offline data is in one place that way, and can easily be dumped.

And he won’t be losing battery and bandwidth without even using the applications.

Don’t Let Greed be Your Downfall

So, this is a warning to purveyors of online apps and companies who want to steer us towards using them: Don’t be greedy. If your app causes me inconvenience (and my needing to charge the battery more frequently is about as inconvenient as a mobile phone can get) it will be deleted and forgotten. You might think it’s smart to run processes in the background and collect data on what I’m doing to “better mould my online experience” or whatever, but it’s not. I will delete your app.

And then, I will spit on your grave.

It will happen faster than if it were revealed you’re selling my info to Azerbaijani gangsters who want to sell me herbal viagra or goat porn. You make me hook up my mobile phone to a power source so that it’s basically like a wired device I’m paying $100 per month to use, then I have no use for you.

Get out.

Get the hell out.

And don’t come back. 

There’s Good and There’s Bad and there’s Just Life

If you have a problem with something, searching the Internet for fellowship in your suffering is a good idea — unless you are depressed.

image

No, if you’re depressed, searching the Internet will make you even more so, especially if you happen upon the forums dedicated to the ailment.

Browse any forum for depression for a bit and you will understand what makes it so hard for sufferers to find support among friends and family for this very real condition.

It’s as if you lifted the lid on some fetid trough of contaminated water where insects and moulds have been allowed to grow unhindered. You see all the base panic of humanity: A supreme, Godly nature so badly spun around that it can only contemplate itself, and thus it consumes itself. The barbaric yawp of pain that rises will astound you, even represented through a computer screen. There is nowhere to hide as long as that expression — all that suffering — fills the screen before you.

So you shut off the computer and go for a run and hopefully you feel better. That’s the only right way to respond. Save yourself. You can’t do anything for what you just saw in the trough. It’s over. Just run.

So Robin Williams is dead and we’re all very sad. He killed himself. Some people are innocent enough to think that funny people are happy, and so they are very shocked that he could have been that depressed. Who knew?

Well, the rest of us — the people who know where the funny comes from — we knew.

I am never surprised when comedians or funny people check out — though it’s still sad.

It’s the same when I realize that comedians who are no longer funny have probably conquered their demons. Whatever made them shout and scream and tear themselves open on stage, revealing far too much about their own vulnerabilities just so you could say:

“Yeah, me too! He gets it! I would never admit that, but he just said what I think! HAHAHA!”

That: That power is gone. They’ve become normal people with private lives and something like dignity, and that’s just not very funny (ahem Jay Leno ahem).

I have thought much about life. I’ve shared a lot here and in other places online. I’ve wondered about what’s good and bad in the world. I’ve realized there’s good and there’s bad, and there’s just life, which seems to encompass both good and bad in a way that can only be described as a separate unity. Thus: Life.

Embrace life, no matter how you need to do it. All the good. All the bad. All the life. Then move out of yourself. Leave the trough. Breathe. Realize that depression is a pain, and pain tells you something is wrong. And to fix what’s wrong, you might need to make changes and confront things you don’t want to confront because none of us really wants to confront change. You might need to admit that you’re out of control and you need outside help, and almost all of us see that as “bad”, unfortunately.

You need to take the bad with the good, because life is bad and good. And that’s all you’ve got.