what guides us

So I originally wrote this with the last paragraph… Then I struggled for so long on whether or not I wanted it on there. I will let you be the judge.

A young man stares into a mirror—amazed at his own sense of self. What does his existence mean? His mind is nothing more than a lake; a small body of water, with the crashing ripples and waves of how he has been affected. How should this young man live his life? To what code of actions will he follow? Three words come to cognitive sight as his eyes narrowed in the mirror: Diplomacy, logic, and morality.

Glaring into the mirror the young man sees his many weaknesses gazing back at him. His own anatomy leaves him subject to the overbearing primal instincts of his body’s desires to survive, reproduce, and die. As humans, have we not developed our species evolution beyond animal desire? What will guide his intellect past the many weaknesses of man? The answer is logic—that basic innate system of cause and affect—as methodical and mathematical as one plus one equals two. His shoulders raise and pull back with pride as he knows he can apply logic into his interactions with the world.

He closes his eyes. The young man retains his optimism despite the world’s relentless pessimism to politics, government and future of society. But what of the intelligent conversations with some of the least diplomatic minds he has ever met. He recalls a conversation he had on the train with a rather large man with bottle cap glasses, from many years ago. The man’s brown shirt had sweat marks almost connecting soaked armpits with a dripping chest. He smelled atrocious. The young man sat and conversed for hours with the unarticulated beast, and through mixed up definitions and spit torpedoes coming of the man’s lips, the young man discovered sweet beautiful truth. The rather large man talked like a pouring river spilling into a lake—none of the care of choice words, and no stopping him. The young man drew in air and opened his eyes. He knew he must remain diplomatic—always developing his skills in dealing with others. He knew he wanted to make ripples in the minds of others.

The young man now put both hands on the edge of the sink leaning forward to take a closer look. He knew that he was ready to take hold of life. He wanted to charge forward like a sword wielding warrior, swinging at the injustices of life. He had the strength to hold the weapon but how would he know when to swing? Morality, the word echoed in his head. He knew he had a strong sense of right and wrong, and he always assumed that the world around him shared this understanding, even if it was not exercised. What worried him was where morality came from. Can we really trust our selves? His intuition was strong. He must have faith in self. He must allow his morality to be guided by how he will affect the world. His basic right and wrong must be lead by how he will effect the ocean. He must put others above himself, knowing that he was not as much an individual but a droplet water in a greater ocean of minds.

The young man took one last look—fixing his hair with a thin black comb, and straightening his silky tie. He felt ready. He could feel the roaring crowd’s powerful rumble through the thin walls. Shaking hands with everyone he walked by and getting fragment pep talks, concluded by a firm pat on the shoulder, he could now see the peering light from the open door to the stage. He walked through the threshold onto the stage and approached the podium.

Published in: on August 8, 2008 at 2:54 pm  Comments (5)  

Photos of my Father

Like a transient emotion. An impish minion to the darkest gamut of human feeling.

The dark destroyer of lucid reality.

abstraction: fear of the awareness of self.

A physical change: to smash and crumble the content of ink and paper into my palm.

A chemical change: to burn this photo, the melting ink and paper like autumn’s turning altering its content into my skin.

Dear Journal,

Sessions are not going well. I am not reaching a breakthrough.

We have talked about my father.

I stare at this photo, letting my eyes dance in and out of focus…

I have his nose. Or he has mine. He looks more aged in this picture than I recall. His face is shattered with wrinkles, his jaw dusted with stubble. He looks proud in his stoic way, standing stolid in front of our old house. An unusual distance separates him from my mother. Mere inches of space show the dimensions of distance between them. His small dark eyes are a shadow of his even darker soul. Cold and with drawn, I don’t even know if I was a part of his world.

My mother was not the strong and independent type, but she was utterly unaware of any short comings. She needed my father. She found him while her flesh was young and springy and took full advantage of his weak anatomy. I have seen many pictures of my mother when she was young, stunningly beautiful, yet completely oblivious. My mother, it would seem, has always been beyond her biology, a creature of perpetual emotion. She longed to create the nostalgic dream of the TV family.

My father, for all history has shown me, has always been a work horse. Even as a young stallion, he spent every waking moment buried in a meaningless task. Project car after project car, never an unfinished task.

I don’t think his intentions were ever to have a family. He lived to work and worked for a reason to exist. I wounder if he ever found that reason after he left.


Published in: on July 2, 2008 at 10:56 pm  Comments (5)  

the throes of young hormonal love

I am Doug’sdespairing romantic desires…

I am Doug’s hormone intoxication…

I am Doug’s distant lurking stare…

Dear journal,

My pen is clicked locked and loaded with deceleration. Its hard to keep the ball point of this utensil from becoming a weapon of mass destruction against this notebook. Disdain finds its way into my blood these days like an unsought drug, forging me into a vessel of feral rage.

But today I want to write. Today, I may have even felt a fleeting glance of euphoria. Today was a good day.

We filed out like sheep, herded by the collie of the school bell announcing days end. Not just any ending school day, but a Friday. I could hear the mixing and conversing of the weekend plans all around me. Proclamations of intent. Intents to drink. Intents to party. Hallow ambitions to get laid… they filled the air with nothing less than a definition for air pollution.

I had my headphones securely fastened to my skull. No noise to disrupt my people watching, but just enough of a statement of solitude to remain a loner on my way to the bus.

The seats were heated intensely by the blistering summer rays. The surface of the seats transformed into a sticky adhesive, covering there posture perfect benches.

I poured into my seat filling the wedge were seat meets metal, and metal meets window. I began to stare from my wedge as ominously as i could back at the school, were the last stragglers made there journey out into Fridays existence. My sheepish peers piled in around me giving me the chance to completely ignore them. I reached down to start the music that was attached to my misdirection. The music started soft and soothing, massaging the canvas behind my ears. I closed my eyes and the engine started.

Music faded to background. Consciousness found center stage and thoughts began to race. When the race became melancholy madness, I had no choice but to open my eyes and absorb my surroundings again.

And there she was. There she came. walking towards me with that walk. that walk was down right intoxicating… no telling what it could make a man do. I quickly checked assuring the seat across from me was open… It was more than open, it was a vision of peace beckoning the right butt to sit… and oh, she was the right butt! Her face was the perfect hybrid expression of apathetic and anger. The “apather” was aimed in no particular direction but it was piercing me with its beauty, and boiling me into a state of unchecked attraction.

Sure enough she chose the open seat, in all its blissful glory. She plunked down, novel in hand. Swinging her book bag around her body as she fell landing in perfect timing to the half revolution. She cocked her head back in an effort to reset her perfect hair, and I instantly married her with my eyes.

She was a stunning spectacle of a woman. Her short brown hair looked soft and silky and I instantly began to imagine what it would smell like. She had a petite frame, that would lack athleticism, as it would be unneeded for this vessel of intellect and spirit. She wore uncharacteristically trendy glasses which screamed with style.

The bus was on the move. Trudging towards the suburban neighborhoods that accommodate the masses of high schoolers. I began to calculate what the remainder of our time together would be… and sparked an intent to make contact. The bus made stops, and I fantasized our interaction. every scenario a calculated scheme to reveal my best selling points. I wanted to slide on next to her and tell her everything good about me.

“High my name is Doug. I am the editor of our school paper.” To forward?

“High my name is Doug. I landed some kick flips yesterday in my driveway.” To cocky?

I felt time burning. Wasting away what stood between current point in time and space, and my stop. Inspired by our slowing for the next drop off, I leaned forward with courageous intent–Observing that she was with out question, closer to the edge of the seat. I was filled with the overwhelmingly euphoric hope of a reciprocation. yes, slowly but surely she must have noticed my advances to the cliff of my seat, and was meeting me above the great chasm of an aisle. The bus slid to its perfect hydraulic stop. my head leaned forward, my lips charged with words of first impression, were met with near contact, by denim covered hip. This was her stop.

I am Doug’s dwelling sense of disbelieving rejection…

Published in: on June 4, 2008 at 5:36 am  Comments (18)  


I am Doug’s empty canvas.

I am his nerve endings firing with the ferocity of a lightning storm.

I am Doug’s eyes narrowing in the mirror.

Dear journal,

My name is Doug. I wake every morning with a burning desire to live. A rash of ambition burning on my soul. They tell me i have depression. My therapist has suggested journaling as a way to organize my thoughts. He tells me stories of break through that come from his medical journals. What would break through mean for me? Submission to what my parents want for me. Want for me… the notion is laughable! More like what they want for them selves. College? The sunny spring graduation day? I refuse to live through your American day dream! Dr. Heller thinks this is the pathway to my break through. He asked me today how I was doing with my new meds. I asked him how he was doing with the rising price of gas and our failing economy? Needless to say he was utterly unamused. I guess when you charge five hundred dollars an hour the price of petroleum isn’t exactly burning a hole in your wallet. I try to tell mom that this is a waste of her money and to go find some pyramid scam to invest in, but she remains persistent that I am the best investment she can pour herself into. Her optimism is nauseating…


Published in: on May 23, 2008 at 5:45 pm  Comments (9)  

I have a much uglier word for it sir… MISAPROPRIATION!

Tomorrow i wish to interact with you minus your ego… we will ad a heavy dose of emotion-leveling logic to balance the super ego and its views of reality… and the entire day we will document what its like to tare away that fleshy, flashy cloud that stands in the way of our divine identity…

standing in front of the bathroom mirror holding that cold razor in my right hand… my left hand braced against the sink proping me up in the position that is the perfect way to face your reflection… i try not to stare… its rude to stare… i run the razor against my jaw with a long and careless stroke… the razor is old and dull and it couldnt matter less, as this is not a challenging ritual. with each stroke i begin to feel my cold naked face just as it is. i can no longer avoid the deep gaze my eyes cast upon my portrait… i soon find myself locked into eye contact looking down a tunnel straight into my soul… my strokes begin to fall with an undertone of rage and the inevitable happens… a cut is formed… my eyes are closed in an attempt to calm myself, but i can feel the opening throbing on my cheek… i open my eyes to investigate the cut and find i have a small gash lined up directly with my jaw line… i think about the pain and try to block out every thought and emotion that would cloud me from it… i concentrate until i can feel nothing but the gentle sting and the sound of suddle ringing that your brain makes when you have a thoughtless moment…

i wish to tare away every pound of flesh from my body… and stand there naked of myself… and i would beg you just to look at me as i am… uncensored… unchanged… exactly as i am… and i would beg you just to look at me and tell me what you see…

Published in: on February 10, 2008 at 5:41 am  Comments (8)  

desprately resourceful

Its zero i don’t know what the fuck hour… i am immersed in what i believe to be the rem stage of sleep. trapped in one of the most breath takingly morbid dreams my subconscious could ever manifest when the hour arrives… the hour of revally(the bugle song that all American warriors live to wake up to). but we dont wake to the sound of the copper horn… we wake up to the spastic sound that can only come from a unknown wooden rod dancing around inside a tin garbage can… my mind falls through some black hole of my dream and snaps to reality. my bare feet are the first i can make out hitting the cold deck, but i am one of the last to come to attention. i will surely pay for this down the road of today.im barely awake and im racking up reasons to get smoked(the act in which a recruit performs P.T. individually devised to punish his actions). orders are being shouted out but i can’t silence my brain enough to come close to comprehension… the longer the D.I. shouts the farther my stomach drops near my bladder… closer and closer until they are spooning… “GO GO GO!!!!!!” is the first thing i make out clearly, and by the grace of god my feet and arms move as if they heard the orders my brain could’nt retain… as im making my bunk, the weight of my stomach’s earlier drop onto my bladder becomes to much, and my worst fear comes to grips with my mind… i have to piss! after i scurry to make my bunk as halfassed as could ever pass for exceptable . i report to my D.I. to beg in the proper verbal military manner to empty my liquids. he makes me repeat my self until my voice is all but a screaming whisper…im sweating in that cold way that you mistake as pleasure for a fraction of a second. my antics have created mass silent attention… no one directly watching, but no one missing out… i know whats coming despite my brave ego telling me it wont, and it cant… i have begun to go completely numb… my ears are ringing… my head is down and my eyes half open… i get visual confirmation before i ever feel the temperature change in my trousers… some of the on lookers have become more apparent but none of them blatant…

as my car comes up to the curb i put my hand on the shifter and time its movement into park as smoothly as a racer shifts into a turn… my fingers pinch the key and i take a second to feel the ripped up texture of the plastic butt… i turn the key to the off position and exhale to the timing of the silence. i listen to the sound my feet make as mynike’s hit the wet pavement . the wind pushes me back towards my car as i fight for my path to the door… here i stand in front of the electric gates of technology… before i can step in i breathdeap into my lungs a turn down my thoughts… i look down, half joking to my self, and check my khakis for a wet spot… i exhale all my insecurities and put on the face i want to be today. my foot crosses the metal frame that runs the length the floor…

a girl asked me at work today why i would want to join the Marines… i paused for a second and said… “I have some personal debts to pay…” (i ment to ad “to my self” but her face had already turned to confussion). i muttered my never minds and smiled to her as i walked away…

i dont know if i really beilive i have personal debt to myself, but i sure as hell feel it… maybe even a score to settle… can one serve revenge to them selves? would it be just as cold?

Published in: on January 29, 2008 at 7:00 am  Comments (4)