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Archive for the tag “friends”

These People

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I watch a TV show

or a movie,

and I see friends. 

Human beings

who have friends,

friends who have

human beings

who are their friends. 

And I ask myself,

“How did these people

find each other?”

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Starting and Starting Over

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Starting, and starting over, is not the same thing.  They are as different as walking forward, and walking forward, backwards.  Not as clearly different as starting and stopping.  If it was, then you would have no trouble telling them apart.  But make no mistake; people do have trouble telling them apart.

Starting is that thing we do at the beginning of some something we have not done.  Starting over is that thing we do when some something stops us, but just long enough for us to think that maybe we have not really stopped at all.

It is understandable when those who have never really started a something, and seen it to its end, don’t know.  Most books don’t teach it, and most folks have never lived it.  It’s a mystery, on the lines of accepted but incomprehensible things like the laws of gravity, and thermodynamics.  But whether or not someone knows what those names are names for, ask them if a satellite or even a shooting star could fall to earth, and they nod and say, of course those things are true.

And this is where I say that, because those laws say that a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest tends to stay at rest, the very same thing can be equally true about the path of a human life, lived in this human world, often at the mercy of the most human of circumstances.

Speed bumps are formed.  Detours are made.  Shit happens.  And sometimes, those obstacles stop the beautiful movement of a body in motion, until it becomes a body at unintended rest.

Have you ever tried to give a falling star a shove to get it back on its course through the heavens?  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  In fact, it’s damn fucking impossible.  Yet when a very human body, with all its complexities of motion and emotion, loses its path through the glory of this world, it is no more easily shoved back on course than the star that fell from the sky.

But we still ask of those who lost all their momentum, sometimes well-intentioned, sometimes with a critical intent, why can’t you just start over?

Maybe it’s in the way they’re walking.  And maybe you’ve been fooled, because you haven’t noticed that they’re walking forward, backwards.  And maybe in walking backwards, they are slowed by looking at the past that was; their past, lost to the speed bumps, the detours, and the shit of something that no longer is, and not the new that waits behind their back, right over their shoulder.  Not in starting over, but in turning around and starting brand new.

So in the same way you would look into the night sky and at the stars within it, look closely at the shining stars before you, and understand.  Because starting over is never easy, and they are doing the best that they can.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Like a Grocery Store Trout

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Sometimes, we are handed a life.  Cleaned and cold, gutted, like a grocery store trout, bones in, with all the skin and scales still attached, knowing nothing of the frying pan, and hoping only to avoid the fire beneath.

This is how I think most of us exist.  Unaware of our surroundings, except what directly affects us, and that, only if we ever are in actual contact, and hopefully with the right combination of tastes and smells that allow all to forget that we, in the big picture, are really nothing more than the stink of low tide and death.

Pick a metaphor.  Sardines in a can.  Lemmings on a cliff.  The people of Soylent Green.  Fast forwarding our way to an inglorious end, unaware, for the most part, what we are speeding toward.  That end always in sight if we only think to look.

This was me, until it wasn’t anymore.

I work a job that, in the couple hundred times I’ve tried explaining it to folks over nearly a decade, defies description.  And it’s not even the job description that defies it.  It’s not the job of Freight Runner, Certified Forklift Operator, Warehouse Night Manager, Inventory Control Specialist, Bookkeeper, and Small Parcel Courier that confuses people, it’s how the job gets paid.

The bottom of bottom lines is, I am not an employee.  I am a contractor.  This means there is no salary, no hourly wage, no insurance and paid time off.  There is only the job, or NO job.  Pay, or NO pay.  Don’t come in?  Don’t come back.  Every day for the last 8 years, 8 months, 13 days, 23 hours, and a handful of minutes and seconds, I haven’t taken a day off that didn’t cost me in docked pay.  That includes two major surgeries, bookended weekdays around weekend getaways, sick days, dentist appointments, family birthdays, national holidays, you name it. 

If I took it, I ate that day’s pay.

This also includes regularly adding duties to the job description at no additional compensation, four double-shifts per week at one flat rate, hours worked for free one night a week, as well as… now THIS is where it gets interesting… back pay stolen by the third party job broker who held my contract with the warehouse, and finally, intermittent pay cuts, just to be allowed to keep my job.  All that, and however many hours I find between the cracks to write and publish two books, and maybe mix in a nap.  Then today, one more demand for me to spend another $500 for additional licensing and commercial insuring, just to keep my job.  As I write this, I have less than three weeks until I pay, or get out.

Sometimes, we are handed a life.  Cleaned and cold, gutted, like a grocery store trout, bones in, with all the skin and scales still attached, living in the false comfort of the frying pan, and hoping only to avoid the terror of the fire beneath.

On this day, I see the frying pan for what it is, and no longer fear the fire.

Today, I decided to get out.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

The Accidental Prophet

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“A wish is not a goal, and hope is not a plan.”

I have a friend, a very close friend, who says that whenever I speak of the future, I already know what’s going to happen.  One year.  Five years.  Ten.  Every step and every stage, all mapped out, in my head and then, into words.  Thoughtful.  Methodical.  Concise.

Except I swear that, every time it happens, I have no conscious idea that what I’ve just said is, in fact, a plan.

So unbelieving am I that, after my friend who hears recites my future future back to me, I am left scrunch-faced, my head shaking, saying, “What are you talking about?  That wasn’t a plan, that was just wishful thinking.”  And yet, in the two years of our friendship, apparently, I’ve never been wrong. 

And it pisses me off every time.

It would seem that I hate being right.

If I were to put it in terms that I could understand, I would call myself, “The Accidental Prophet”. 

Over the last year alone, I called my shot about creating a job out of two other jobs so that I would have all the time in the world to sit undisturbed and, on company time, with the boss’ blessing, write another book.  That happened.  Before that, I called my shot about taking ten years of chicken-scratched poems, and publishing a first book.  That happened, too.  Somewhere in between the first book and the job, I said something about creating a publishing company and, yeah… yeah… whatever.

Now, says my friend, I’ve been saying things again.  Future kind of things.  The kind that, if you were to ask me, I wouldn’t call anything more than a few nice ideas.  A wish here, a hope there.  Just spitballing into the wind.  And if I didn’t have the big-eared friend with the over-developed sense interpreting irony in all its forms, I might dismiss these, too. 

Except now, I can’t.  Because I know better than to argue with a plan, even when I don’t know it’s a plan until comes true.

And all I can say right now is, if it’s true, 2017 is going to be a hell of a year.  And if none of it comes true, well like I said, I hate being right, so I’ll be the first to tell you I was wrong. But if by accident I was right, I’ll be writing another one of these next year. 

Complete with the “I told you so” from my friend who hears.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Depending

 

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I am the one who

harms,

heals,

hinders,

holds,

hurts,

everyone he touches,

depending on who

you are to me,

and who

I am to you.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Heyoka

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“I’ve been holding up the world too long.”

Those were my words to her, when I finally had the words to say.  I had been in hiding from her, and from the world, for days; short texts becoming longer, until I could not look at them anymore.

“Thanks for having the guts to be honest,” she answered.

There is a difference between being honest, and telling the truth.  One involves not lying.  The other, speaking when it hurts; sometimes to the ruin of those you love, and eventually, yourself. 

I once wrongly believed that my cup had no bottom, meaning I could take into myself all the burdens of those I chose to bear the burdens of.  Sadly, turns out this is bullshit, and you never know when your cup is going to overflow, until it does. 

My cup has a bottom now.  I found it in the place where ego learns the difference between honesty and the truth.  In the same place where you learn that you can’t help anyone if you’re helpless, and the first person you have to be honest with is you.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Serialized Cyber Screed

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This is a make or break proposition for me.

You see, I lack the “boldness gene” so commonly found in other people.  Not really sure why.  You’d think some equivalent could have been programmed into me at an early enough age so that, by now, no one would be able to tell the difference, least of all me.

So here I sit, facing a keyboard, words just spilling out of me like raw sewage during a flood run-off, while I hear voices in my head, both creative and destructive.  The creative ones assure me that whatever it is I slap on the page will be something worth reading.  The destructive ones assure me that no one will give a pair of shits about it.

And I know which voices usually win.

But this time, and possibly because of the 11 cups of coffee I’ve had since I woke up today, or maybe because I always feel an overcompensating hopefulness after my fourth and last 14 hour shift of the week, that for right this minute… and this minute only… I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Blog.

I know, if you’re reading this, you probably write one.  I have one, but don’t.  Not in the truest meaning of that made-up word.  Blog.  Weblog.  Serialized Cyber Screed.  Not to denigrate the medium or anything but, as humans, we mock what we don’t understand, right?  We know it’s wrong, but we do it anyway.  Hell, I’m mocking myself, right now.  But as a writer… as an author… maybe the only thing that keeps me from falling into the quicksand of isolation is the mockery of introspection.  Wherein I bang on the keys like I’m having a conversation with myself, and a few friends read it. 

Knee-deep in their own quicksand.

So I’m gonna try this again.  Blog.  Weblog.  Just a conversation with myself, every so often, where the voices in my head battle it out for Cyber Screed Supremacy.  And I have the right to mock them, for your enjoyment.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Defragging

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Pretty words that writers use

to describe what it is they do. 

Emote. 

Ruminate. 

Bleed. 

I prefer words that find

their form in function. 

Every time I sit,

or stand,

to write,

I always go on much too long,

with words steeped

in antiquation. 

When,

in all reality,

the words bitch in my direction

to be sorted and chopped,

then laid sparse on the page. 

Someone once called what I do in words,

defragging. 

Like a computer,

in desperate need

to sort out its shit,

discard what slows

and corrupts,

and make itself right again. 

I will never hear a better way

to explain me

than they used to explain me

to myself.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

November Is No More

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November is no more.

The frenzy.  The confusion.  The push to the finish.

(and that’s just when you’re sleeping)

Every day a panic where there need be none, all because of a looming, self-imposed midnight deadline that causes content anxiety in the most honored of bloggers.  And gives all wannabe bloggers the only reason they need to disengage from all social media until after the New Year.

So before I go off into blogging witness protection for the next month, here’s a little recap of the November that was.

NaBloPoMo 2016.

 

Where most of my good ideas came from…

urban-lumberjack

 

Where most of my bad ideas came from…

bed

 

My most favorite post…

There Must Be Something More

more

 

Your most favorite post…

Shitheap

 

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The reason I quit every year…

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The reason I don’t…

cheer-peppers

 

Thank you to the Cheer Peppers, and thank you to their creator, Ra Avis…

ra-avis

 

And as much as it pains me to say this here and now…

I’ll see all of you here again, next year.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Outlier

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I’m a free agent now.

          You’ve always been one, kiddo.

          You’re an outlier.

          That’s lonelier than a minority group.

Then I am at liberty to say “fuck you” to the world.

          Always.

          That’s what poetry is.

And I’m going to have one hell of a next decade for poetry.

          I’m betting on it.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

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