August's 11 thru 20

I am not a very warm and loving person. I sometimes wish knowing this was enough to jump-start the hearth and make me gregarious, extroverted, and charismatic. Instead, I look at this person who I am, and feel contentment with what I see. I am not unhappy with this me. I enjoy being alone with hours of solitude. I write, edit, and plan future stories — all for me. I also read to expand my knowledge about, largely, useless and trivial things (to those who are not planning to incorporate it into a plot at some time, if the occasion arises).

In more complicated times of simplicity our intelligentsia claimed we (on a flat earth) were infected with pox because of our sins.
People traveled among us and struck themselves. Chanting about crimes against their deity, they scarred their skin, got paid, and headed to the next village to reopen their backs for some dinner.
Were your distant relatives the soon to be survivors who merely watched, or were your great-grand-parents(x5) flagellants? Neither may have been foolishly pious — both may have been capitalizing on the plague by watching, or working in, a traveling road show; reality television for the middle ages.

I hate consumer-oriented gifts. I’m a bad gift receiver. If you never sent me another tangible item, I would not think less of you, I’d think more of you: I’d say—with confidence—you understand my reasons for not exchanging gifts and being less of a consumer. The best gift I ever got was a hand-made drawing.
My mother is the same. I sent her seven DVDs to show her sick and injured neighbors and whatnot. I got a curt, "no-thanks for all the junk mail I’m going to get because of this unwanted gift." I have been taught well.

I stared at the large window in the back wall as I entered. The view was amazing. Wood flooring and all-weather furniture lent the room an open-to-nature feel. I walked to the corner of the window and bent down. The frame met with the metal bulkhead cleanly; no visible depth. A window made of azlocrilic would need a two-inch thick frame.
"Something wrong?" Derek asked from behind me. Either Derek assumed anyone who could pull their focus away from the view must have discovered something wrong, or, the view was exacerbating some phobia of his.
"It’s a screen." I said.

"See?" My voice and legs raised me from the floor. We were now eye-level.
"Yes. Not all secrets are to be kept." His mocking tone and threatening eyes coagulated his desire to see me kneeling or prostate. Never a convincing beggar or worshipper, I—instead—inhaled and jutted out my chest.
"Did you expect to be alone in achieving your fulfillment?"
"No." He started. His accusing finger poised before my nose. "But operating from your own rulebook, my sweet, brings about some nasty consequences." He leaned close. His attempt at imposing intimidation almost made me smirk.
"Fear isn’t a tool."

Shelby blinked. One dollar would have been fine. Perhaps he'd hoped to win one hundred dollars, tops. He could have gotten away with that, sure. But, as he sat fixed in his father's recliner, Lay's Potato Chip crumbs strewn from his skinny thighs to the corner of his limp lips, his right hand still clutching that shiny little card, he knew that he'd won much more than a C-note.
The funny man on the small, glowing, screen repeated the winning numbers: "01-25-15-31-03-19-37." Shelby sat in stunned silence as the announcer signed off and commercials flashed before his widening eyes. Jackpot.

Yesterday. Twenty-one years ago.
Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry (Mechanized), from Camp Howze, Korea; living and working in a GP Large tent, located adjacent the DMZ on Camp Liberty Bell. Our patrol engaged one of theirs last week. Although no American was seriously wounded, we’re all on edge. The intelligent mosquitoes are insidious. A commo guy shot himself thru the head. He didn’t die. Our camo-nets provide a small amount of shade, but we’re still cooked by the heat of the sand. My son, whom I named after the James Bond author, was born. Yesterday. Twenty-one years ago.

Design the perfect breast using only foodstuffs:
First, take half of a Florida grapefruit; one that is just a slight bit larger than your average orange, would be preferred. Then take a miniature vanilla wafer; the ones which are about the size of a quarter...just a smooth little cookie...and place it slightly higher than the equatorial center of the fruit, towards the top of it — glued to the wall — so when you see it from straight on, it looks up at you. Finally, stick one of those little pink sour-sweet Smartie candies in the middle of that cookie.

Not only breach but breach cesarean, I refused to turn around and start the dive. I must have grown accustomed to living in those warm confines for nine and a half months and lost all intention of standing on my head until the doctors figured out what I’d already discovered: there was no way I was getting my big ass through that little opening. So, I waited for them to come in and get me. Oh Yea. Two weeks late and never did a headstand. I was, and still am, an obstinate fuck (and have never liked being upside down).

Unfortunately many people (parents are people first) do not accept things outside their radar. The same people who scorn television hatred—done to strangers by strangers—hurt their families and members of their communities with the exact same hatred. An Amish family cuts their children off like dead branches because they never returned after rumschpringe; a Jewish mother tears her clothing because a goy impregnated her daughter; parents excommunicate their son because his sexual orientation differs from all cases, the reasons can be distilled down to: fear of the ‘unknown’ and the ‘different’ beyond the ring of firelight.

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