Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Service to Humanity

One of my favorite topics to talk about is the Homo sapiens.   I come across this species almost every day: in the coffee shop, at work, under the boardwalk, even in my own home.  It’s sometimes scary to think that these simian creatures are just walking around, unattended, with nothing separating them from you but some sort of unspoken (and tenuous) agreement that harming one another is not in anyone’s best interest.  While I appreciate these biped mammals when I need some help or social interaction, I never forget that this is the same species that gave the world Hitler and Stalin.  You know what I mean?

Anyway, have you ever wondered why people smile at each other when they inadvertently make eye contact in passing?  I mean, why smile?  Who came up with this inane facial expression as a response?  Won’t this social custom only serve to perpetuate the myth of human kindness and empathy and cover up the fact that we’re just angry chimps wearing clothes and a deceptive smile?  Besides, how can anyone ever grow as a person if someone is never challenged but simply smiled at, as if everything’s hunky-dory?  See what I mean?   So I’ve decided that when I make eye contact with someone, I’m going to shake my head, not smile.  You see, my mammalian friend, when people see me shake my head they’ll be thrown off.  They’ll wonder what’s wrong.  They’ll look inside themselves, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll search for a way to turn someone’s shaking head of disapproval into an affirming nod.  The world will be a better place as a result. I won't shake my head merely to flout convention, but as a service to humanity, whatever that word means.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Six Years of My Life

I left 5 am this morning to make the five-hour drive to my military office in Milwaukee.  I’ll be conducting a change-of-command inventory with the new incoming commander, as my tenure as company commander is coming to an end this December.  Trust me, I’m glad to move on, but it will be a challenge to start anew, as an S1 staff officer, forging new relationships and learning the ropes in a different military unit.  Melancholies, I contend, thrive on change yet find it rather disconcerting. I’ve been a part of this current unit, an unspecified transportation battalion, since my redeployment from Afghanistan six years ago.  I started out as an NCO but went to officer candidate school in South Carolina and ended up serving as platoon leader in one company and commander in another.  Anyway, I’ll be embarking on a new chapter of my military career.  I have about 12 years to go.  Hopefully no new conflicts involving the U.S. erupt in the meantime, but I’m not holding my breath.  After all, this is Earth, and its tortured history is replete with wars and rumors of wars.  There are always territories to seize, terrorists and warlords to track down, and natural resources to secure.   What with seven gazillion homines sapientes traipsing around on this planet and a finite amount of space, it ain't looking good.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Blink of an Eye

Two of my daughters have their birthdays this weekend. Erika was born in Northern California, and Jessika was born four years later in Southern California.  They grew up in the Upper Midwest, however.  My oh my, how the years have flown by!  Erika has just turned the age when I got married.  That makes me feel kind of old……*sigh*….……(wait for it)……………..Shit.  Here’s a photo of them when we lived in Germany.  Things were so simple back then, you know?  I mean, I could put on a Disney movie and give them a Butterfinger; they were good to go.  Nowadays they’re more sophisticated in their interests and hobbies.  Erika is getting a business degree at the University of Wisconsin and working two jobs as an intern and waitress.  Jessi is on the varsity swim team at the U.S. Naval Academy.  Two cute girls become two beautiful, aspiring women in the blink of an eye, and I recede into the background, gratified and proud.  I love them.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thank You, Jesus!

A few months ago I joined a church called Covenant and Redemption, or CAR for short.  Pastor Matt is basically a reincarnation of Jesus Christ and his powerful message of inner reconciliation through focused meditation has gotten me through some tough times.  When you see him you'll duly note the uncanny resemblance to the Nazarene.  Anyway, thanks to my Savior’s teaching and loving guidance, I’ve been able to relinquish the deep-seated hatred I harbored these many years for my abusive stepfather.  No alcohol has touched my lips for nearly a month now.  During an altar call, Pastor Matt, or Jesus, reached out for me personally.  His loving eyes seemed to penetrate the shell around my hurting soul like a laser.  I could feel his divine presence within me, beside me, strengthening me.

I’m writing you about my experience of newfound bliss because I believe the world needs to hear Jesus’ new and timely message of redemption, a philosophy of life based in part on sacred Hebrew and Sanskrit texts and in part on new revelations from the mind of God, that is, Matt.  At first I didn’t understand why he had to sleep with my girlfriend and some of the other female members of the congregation until I had a kind of cosmic realization that he was purifying them with his immaculate body.  More important than His women's ministry, though, is His eschatological teaching.  Pastor Matt has been preaching about the apocalyptic end of the world.  Enemies of the faith lurk everywhere, both within the church and outside.  Fortunately our spiritual ruler has prepared a place of security for us, after drawing upon the connections and financial backing of wealthy followers.  Once the divorce is settled and I've given all my possessions to CAR Ministries (including my firstborn), I’ll be moving to a CAR settlement located about 30 miles northeast of Perth, Australia.  In this isolated compound with fellow believers I will find everything I need.  Thank you so much, Jesus, for the start of a long and wonderful life ahead!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Problem with Rudy

Rudy has worked as a shift manager at Pioneer Chicken in El Segundo for over five years.  While he’s relatively satisfied with his life, he nonetheless yearns for something more—an adventure or new challenge.  Like many of us, he’s discontent with his lot in life and desperately needs a larger purpose.  He wants to travel to exotic lands, experience other cultures, and meet interesting and influential people. Who knows?  Maybe Rudy could find his soul mate on such an adventure.  Problem is: Rudy is a serial killer.  Though it’s been over two years since his last kill, he’s bound to strike again, and living abroad or sipping a margarita in some sun-bleached resort can’t be good, you know what I mean?  People could get hurt.  He should set aside his dreams and aspirations, as far as I’m concerned.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Woman

She didn’t appear in public much, and when she did, she hid her face in a scarf.  Can you blame her?  People can be so unforgiving, especially the morally smug people of this Midwestern town.  Some of them call her a harlot, not a few of them think she’s the Whore of Babylon.  She’s neither saint nor sinner, neither monstrous nor meretricious, though her angelic eyes exude sensuality.  The townsfolk scoff, ridicule, castigate.  If it were up to me, I’d have each one of them shot for having judged her so harshly, for having cast stones upon her without hesitation.  But she would have none of this violence.  The woman spends the days tending her flower garden and playing Chopin listlessly on her Steinway.  A steady diet of tonics and laudanum do not ease her loneliness.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Girlfriends

My girlfriends aren’t real, but they’re no less dear to me.  Well, define real, right?  I mean, they’re real to me, and anyone who sees my playful interaction with Jade and the others would have no doubt about the seriousness of the relationship.  I just know that some people object to the close bond I've formed with these fashion dolls.  Who’s to judge what is real and meaningful?  If these gals are meeting my emotional needs and if I’m satisfied sexually (more so the latter), then what does it matter that my girlfriends are made of plastic?  So I turn the question back on you: Who are you to judge?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bittersweet Autumn

Autumn is bittersweet for me.  As some of you might have gathered by now, it’s my favorite time of the year.  We’re just past peak season at the top of November, but not by much.  As I pen these words on a scratch piece of paper, I’m driving a long stretch of the Interstate from Point A to Point B, and the trees of the Upper Midwest through my window panorama look spectacular.  Yes, I love the fall: the leaves, the sky, the weather, Halloween, Thanksgiving, apple cider, pumpkins, childhood memories, and all the rest of it.  Yet it couldn’t come at a busier time.  Nothing’s changed; it’s always been this way: deadlines and pressures galore, especially in October.  I always have the hope that the next autumn won’t be so complicated and vexing.  Most of this complication is of my own making, I must concede, so I’ll try to maintain a broad perspective about life.  “Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough.”  I must drive on.