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Archive for the category “That Writer Friday”

Please May I Have a Coma?

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“Please, may I have a coma?”

 I said that in a conversation with a friend the other day.  There was no correlation to any one thing I remember talking about.  It was just a stand-alone thought.  This sort of thing happens often with me, seeming, usually, completely disconnected from whatever train of thought or flow of conversation I’m having in that moment.  Most people, even those closest to me, miss it.  That instant when my consciousness gets invaded by my subconscious, and my Freudian Slip starts to show.

I used to miss it, too.

But a lot has happened over the last year that, on this day, I didn’t miss it at all.

I, and most of my nearest and dearest, have had a hard year.  I can’t explain why.  I mean, maybe?  The same way people try and explain how a half-a-dozen women in regular near-proximity to each other seemingly sync their periods, or how, when you buy a make and model of car you never really gave much thought to, then it seems like that same car is on every street and in every parking lot everywhere you go. 

The collective unconscious, manifested.

And no, I don’t believe for one minute that, like periods or late-model cars, any of my friends and I wanted our collective shits to happen, but maybe there’s something equally invisible going on that drew us all together before, so that we could be here for each other in the during, and rejoice with each other in the after.  Because that’s why human beings have friends. 

“Please, may I have a coma?”

Now that the end of another November is here, and with it, the end of another National Blog Posting Month, I think it’s time for a re-examination.  Priorities that held this priory together last month, last year, last life, no longer belong in my life.  Things that once felt important, no longer feel that way.  And I’m educated guessing that the same is being said by many of my friends.  But human beings are nothing if not creatures of habit.  One of those habits is holding onto to things we’ve outgrown, or that have outgrown us.  I don’t know what you’ve outgrown but, like a closet full of last decade’s fashion disasters and fat pants, for me, it’s time to make room for something new, or maybe for nothing new at all, but only for what’s most important. 

Because a closet full of winter coats does you no good if you live the rest of your life in the sunshine.

“Please, may I have a coma?”

Okay, but only for a little while.  It’s time to empty out my storage, give away what I won’t be needing, and decide where the sun shines brightest for me.  But don’t worry.  You’re ALL my friends.  And I’ll leave breadcrumbs on the trail, wherever it is I go. 

Thank you for reading my words these last 30 days.  And thank you for allowing me to spend it reading yours.

Till then. 

 

Always,

Bill

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

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I’m Guessing

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This much I know. 

You’re not that into me. 

I think I’d know it if you were. 

Here’s what I don’t know. 

Why it is you keep me around. 

Maybe you’re just undecided. 

This is all brand new to me. 

And so are you. 

I’m a lousy guesser. 

I’m guessing you are too.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

When an Empath has no Empathy

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I undergo profound changes every November. 

Cataclysmic, visions-of-a-personal-apocalypse life changes.  It’s happened three Novembers in a row now.  Sure, it’s only a blog challenge, but I’m generally blog-challenged, being a poet and not really a blogger at all.  So when November rolls around, it seems like I’m just not allowed to ignore all the seismic emotional upheaval that something of this creative magnitude rips open for 30 days straight.

See, here’s the thing, because you knew there’d be a thing, right?  The thing is, I’m kind of an empath.  Not the ‘I shake your hand and know where you’ve buried the bodies’ kind of empath.  Just the ‘I feel things deeper than most people’ kind. 

My feelings. 

Your feelings. 

Friends’ feelings. 

Strangers’ feelings.

Hell, I even feel your dog’s feelings.

Did you ever see the movie “Species”?  The original, where the government assembled a team of previous strangers with varied skill-sets to capture and/or kill the Escaped Sexy Female Alien Hybrid, on the loose and looking to mate?  Then you remember the soft-spoken empath, played by Academy Award™ winning actor Forest Whitaker.  This version of the B-movie empath wasn’t a psychic, or in touch with the spirit world, or whatever other way B-movies portray the empath.  This version could simply feel what others around him were feeling, and tell you what those feeling meant

I liked that interpretation. 

Because at the roots, it’s the closet I’ve ever come to being introduced to mine. 

And then there’s the downside. 

The thing is, I’m kind of an empath.  Not the ‘I shake your hand and know where you’ve buried the bodies’ kind of empath.  Just the ‘I feel things deeper than most people’ kind. 

My feelings. 

Your feelings. 

Friends’ feelings. 

Strangers’ feelings.

Hell, I even feel your dog’s feelings.

Especially my feelings.

Which in the past, I could ignore for my own sanity’s sake.  But last November, after writing a super-concentrated month’s-worth of feelings, I lost the ability to bury mine.  No more clearly-marked boxes for emotions.  No more handy compartments for feelings to go.  No more mindless default ways to ignore them.  They were, for the first time, all on the same great big plate like a 64-box of crayons melted together in a microwave oven, and it was a fucking mess. 

My fucking mess. 

And I had to choose my path before it killed me.

The title of this post is, “When an Empath has no Empathy”.  It comes from a random thought that popped into my empath head a couple of days ago, about someone from my past, equally gifted with the ability to ‘feel all the feels’ like I do.  A random thought that goes, “What if you were an empath with no empathy?  Wouldn’t that just make you a sociopath?” 

And after reading everything… okay, a few things on Reddit… my non-clinical, non-scientific answer is, “Yeah… I think it would.”

But is that how I want to live the rest of my life?  Just surviving like a spiritual grifter, living off the feelings of others instead of feeling all the feels and helping those who need whatever it is I can do with all the messed up feelings.

My feelings. 

Your feelings. 

Friends’ feelings. 

Strangers’ feelings.

Hell, I even feel your dog’s feelings.

Especially my feelings.

So this November, I was left with a choice.  Do I want to spend the rest of my life finding new ways to shut off all the feelings and face the consequences of knowing and not caring?  Or do I stay on the path, as I suppose was originally intended, and learn how to be who I am?  Feeling, and dealing with my choices.

Like I said, I undergo profound changes every November.

And I can’t wait until December.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Even If I’m out of Time

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This is a throw-away post. 

It was bound to happen sometime this month.  I just didn’t expect it to happen like this.  To be brief, my computer and my phone are working.  I still have the internet, and I’ve been good physically.  I haven’t run out of ideas, and I haven’t run out of words, either.

What I’m out of is money.

And because I’m out of money, I am also out of time.  I’m out of time to sit and contemplate what to write over the last week-and-change of National Blog Posting Month.  I’ve been busy chasing the money necessary to keep the creditors at arm’s length while I complete my comeback from the work-related depression that forced me to quit my job last June.  Yesterday, I sold my pickup truck to the highest retail bidder.  Sold it for a couple grand less than it was worth, just to get the cash.  The cash that won’t be in my hands until after some bills go to collection. 

I’m not bitching about life.  On the whole, life has been pretty good to me.  For now, just not THIS part of life.  I’ve been told, repeatedly, that life… God, the Universe, whatever floats your philosophical boat… takes care of me.  But today, I can’t say I know that.  Because today, I’m writing a post saying that I could be living in a twenty-year-old Dodge in a couple of weeks.

And the downside to all of this distraction is, I’ve got no time to sit and contemplate what to write.  Not what to write for myself, because I do that every day, but what to write for you.  Because some of you read me every day. 

And I don’t want to let you down.

So for the rest of National Blog Posting Month, I’ll keep trying and meet you here, every day.

Even if I’m out of time.     

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Long Beach my Long Beach

A post, in pictures, of my adopted home.

Long Beach, California.

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PALM TREES HOLDING UP CLOUDS… Pacific Coast Highway near 2nd Street.

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HALLOWEEN MOON… Redondo Avenue near 20th Street.

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CITY LIGHTS – LONG BEACH TO DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES… Signal Hill.

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BACK ALLEY… 4th Street near Cherry Avenue.

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THE PHOTOGRAPHER… Home.

 

 All photographs © Copyright 2017 William S. Friday 

 

Like Someone in a Mirror

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BILL is standing behind a podium at the front of a large meeting room.  Before him is a roomful of folding chairs, all of them reserved for the bloggers of Nano Poblano 2017.

Bill is about to call the meeting to order.

 

Bill: Before we begin… where IS everybody?

 

Two people sitting in the room look around at dozens of other people sitting in folding chairs.

 

Woman: You don’t know?

Man: How many people do you think we’re missing?

Bill: Count the empty chairs.

 

The two people look at each other, then slowly, at Bill.

 

Bill: Why are you looking at ME like that?

 

From the back of the room, a voice speaks.

 

Voice: Ummm… Bill…?

Bill (looking for the voice): Who’s that?

Voice: It’s ME, Bill.

Bill (under his breath): Shit.

Voice: Shit is right, Bill.

 

The person who is The Voice stands up, and begins walking to where Bill is standing at the front of the room.

 

Voice: Have you looked in a mirror lately, Bill?

Bill: Huh?  What does that even mean?

 

The Voice reaches the podium.  He stands in front of Bill, looking at him with a face of knowing expectation.

Voice: Don’t you see what everyone else sees?

Bill: I see what I see.

 

Bill looks out at a roomful of empty chairs.  Only the two people sitting in those chairs are the two from the beginning of the meeting.

 

Voice: Look again, Bill.

 

Bill looks at The Voice, then back at the room full of empty chairs.  Each chair has someone sitting in it.  Bill is looking at a roomful of people.

 

Bill (to The Voice): You look a lot like someone I know.

Voice: A lot like someone in a mirror?

Bill: I haven’t seen that guy in a long time.

Voice: Since the first of November?

Bill: About then.

Voice: He’ll be back.

Bill: You mean it?

Voice: Yeah, Bill.  You mean it, too.

 

And The Voice disappears.

The original two people look at each other, then back at Bill, then at each other again.  They seem confused, and a little bit like maybe they’ve seen a ghost.

 

Bill (to everyone in the room): Hello, Peppers.  I’m Bill. 

Peppers (in unison): HI, BILL!

Bill: Only ten days to go.  You all hangin’ in there?

 

Nano Poblano ends November 30th.  If you believe in ghosts, you might want to avoid mirrors until December 1st.  But hang in there.  Between you, me, and the voice in your head, everything’s going to be okay.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

This is Really My Life

 

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Saturday 11/18/17

 

On the day someone takes my truck off my hands…

…some Pablo Neruda.
 

“That’s how I am,” I’ll say, leaving this pretext in writing: “This is really my life.”

-From “Those Lives”                                                     
 (Five Decades. P. 287)

 
Let’s get the best offer, by day’s end, and take it. In trucks for sale, as in everything else, this is existence.  Choices and choosing.  “Make me an offer, already!  I got shit to do, what with the living and the dying and all that.”

What with the living and the dying.

This is really my life.

#LG

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Spanish Ladies

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“Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish Ladies.  Farewell and adieu you Ladies of Spain…”

Don’t be alarmed. 

This could be a good thing.

I might not be finishing Nano Poblano this year.

Today is Day 17.  I don’t know what that means to anyone else participating in NaBloPoMo and/or its happier-go-luckier sister with all the smiling Peppers, but for me, today, it means re-evaluation.  Not because of a date on the calendar, but because today I woke up before the sunrise and, in the dark, realized that writing to be read every day for one month out of the year just wasn’t on my top 10 list of things I need to do to get through Day 17.

It’s nothing personal.

I’ve noticed in the course of the last week or so, about the time my second granddaughter was being born, that a few… and then a few more… Peppers were missing from the daily call to post on Facebook.  Then a couple of days later, even more stopped showing up in my WordPress reader.  And then came this morning, and the realization that I might soon be among their number.

Today, in my newsfeed, reading media posts that my non-blogging friends shared, I read more than one thing on ‘self-care’ and ‘gratitude’.  And those got me thinking even more about what I woke up with on my mind, in the dark, before the larger-than-usual coffee and the 6 a.m. showing of Jaws on Showtime Extreme®.  Got me thinking that maybe this was my day to join the fallen.  I mean, nobody wants to go down like Quint.  We all want to be Brody, blowing up the shark and kicking into shore, still alive as the credits roll.

But this month has me feeling a lot like Quint, black smoke pouring out of an engine running on salt water and stripped gears, and the sound of “Spanish Ladies” playing in my head, telling me that I may be done. 

Then again, if this day ends with me blowing up the shark, I might spend the rest of the month kicking into shore on the last two yellow barrels, looking for a sequel to the story of what got us here in the first place.  Till then, 

“Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish Ladies.  Farewell and adieu you Ladies of Spain.  For we’ve received orders for to sail back to Boston, and so, nevermore, will we see you again.”

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Affective

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I slept hard, I assume, because when my stuck-shut eyes finally opened, I felt like I had not moved all night.  I thought about last night’s beers… only two… and this morning’s coffee, still only a waking dream on the dingy horizon.

I miss the morning sun.

I spent a dozen years without the sunrise, unless you count seeing it come at the end of a work day, on the wrong side of an eighteen-hour shift.  Then my whole life changed, because I changed it.  Things inside me had gotten as dark as the nights I worked, and I couldn’t even tell what caused me to go from keenly introspective to irresponsibly morose in that last year of double-shifting, and falling asleep in the morning, while I wore blinders to keep out my enemy, the sun.  But even so, towards the end of that year, something inside my head told me that I needed to take a walk.  Away from the job.  Away from the life.  Away from the darkness.

I needed the morning sun.

I let the sun be my alarm clock, my thermostat, and my constant companion as I went from nightcrawler to daywalker.  It took months, but it worked.  The brightness of summer burned the long night of winter away, and eventually, for the first time in years, I felt like a human being again.

And then, it got dark again.  Not inside me, but on the outside.  When daylight backed away like the ocean at low tide.  It got dark again with the changing of the seasons from summer to fall, and with the thick morning clouds that blocked the sunrise from waking me, healing me, with each new day. 

But this time, before the darkness on the outside found its way in, I noticed.  Let’s hear it for keenly introspective, because irresponsibly morose really sucks ass.

Last night, I slept hard.  This morning, I woke up looking for the light, and I found it again.  And now that I know what I’m looking for, I’ll make sure that it finds me.

So I won’t miss the morning sun.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Touch

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It’s not

a matter of

how little

or how much,

but only

of how well

we touch.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

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