Original Thought And The Prophet

origin

Whaaaaat?? Another sequel? Sequels are never as good as the original. Is anything as good as the original? What Is original? Now there’s a thought. But is it an original thought? Some say there is no such thing as original thought because someone somewhere has more than likely had that same thought before. Come to think about it I think I heard that somewhere before. In a way I guess that’s true of course, Tommy Edison gets credit for the light bulb but others claim it was discovered either simultaneously or perhaps even slightly before by someone else. Either way that light bulb has not only spawned generations of ideas it has become the icon of an idea itself. But was it original?
Scientists (or is it romantics?) tell us no two snowflakes are exactly alike but I personally find that hard to believe. What possible kind of study could encompass every snowflake ever? Millions melt before ever being checked. Is there some kind of snowflake database or snowflake genetic information storage cloud? Some haven’t even been created yet so all things considered I’m confidant at least two of those snowflakes in that Alaskan snow drift must be clones. So I will attempt to put original thought into my warped and frivolous snowflake perspective by doing what any original artist would do. I’ll steal it. Or borrow it at least, so this perspective is brought to you in original conceptual form inspired (and ripped off) of a book by the Lebanese laureate Kahlil Gibran. The Prophet.

And then a musician came to him and said “speak to us of music, how is our music not original?” And he answered “Music invades our sensory organs through repetitive and sometimes annoying arrangements of sound. Because we have only 12 notes in every octave it is extremely difficult to create a melody that hasn’t yet been played either in ones mind or on an instrument. Combine that with the fact most of us have been listening to music since our first lullaby and have no doubt watched enough television to have jingles burned deeply into our psyches its impossible not to be influenced by tunes we have heard before when we create music. One could pick up a guitar to start playing something perhaps having just heard that “Nationwide is on your side” commercial and unconscientiously letting the tune drift into what one was translating from mind through the guitar strings. That’s not to say that you can’t make an original song, but it must have come to you from somewhere in your past listening.” It’s called inspiration. Perhaps artists should be wondering where they came up with an original before accusing others of stealing their originals. Music is meant to be shared

And then a poet came to him and said “speak to us of poetry, are not poets original?” And he answered, “Poetry is a way of painting words into feelings and emotions. Poets help us to see ourselves in their flowing word canvas. Poems range in style and can be crystal clear to some while totally indiscernible to others. It is meant to be felt and understood not analyzed. Poetry is an expression of the soul often written while at our most naked and vulnerable selves, when we express our innermost thoughts in words. In that respect it is original, but are not words merely combinations of letters? We have only 26 letters from which to choose our order yet somehow we manage to confuse the usage of English language. But their there they’re, everything will be fine. You poets are indeed original human beings with fragile ego’s so for the sake of argument, yes, poetry is indeed original. But remember it’s the receiver of the poetry message who perceives the originality not the scribe.” It’s all about inspiration.

A Politian came forward and said to him “Speak to us of politics. Are not political ideas original?” And after regaining his composure from sarcastic laughing the prophet answered, “Politics and political opinions are like unwashed armpits. If you stay at home with them you can handle the stench of your own opinion but if you venture out in public best to deodorize your opinions if you value friendships. Its impossible for one to have their own original political opinion because every controversy known to humanity has been discussed, re-discussed, and-over-discussed a million times without an answer. Whatever stance you choose to take has already been taken. In addition, millions and millions of dollars have been spent to tell you what your opinion on various political topics are either through subliminal ads or motivational scam artists disguised as news agents with television shows who’s sole purpose is to anger you into an opinion based strictly on your religion and/or political party of choice. That is not to say you can’t have an original non political opinion of your own but to do that you would need to research the subject through trustworthy methods of information, then sit alone with only your thoughts and think it through. Devoid of outside influences if you concentrate long enough it is indeed possible to arrive at an original conclusion, but it is extremely difficult with all the information super highways and abundance of social media outlet trolls prowling around in the hopes of forcing their own opinion upon you. Otherwise we simply verbally regurgitate someone else’s. spoken thoughts.” That would be inspiring. In my opinion of course.

Next a scientist came to the Prophet and asked, “Why is there religion when we have science? Is not The Origin Of The Species enough?” He replied both religion and science serve a purpose. Science it the study of the world around us and religion is the study of ourselves. Science helps us to understand how and why things work but it can’t explain everything. It is based on testing and re-testing data to prove hypothesis and conclusions. For instance the age of the earth and the dangers of climate change. Religion attempts to help teach us about who we are but science is like a pesky mosquito that becomes more and more difficult for religions to swat.”
“The main problem with religion is most times it’s not a choice, more of a birthright. Often ones religion is determined by their parents or by nature of where they are born and they become defined by their rituals and beliefs. Religion is philosophical, it is based on faith not by cause and effect experiments. One must have faith that the religion they are following has all the correct answers, and the leaders of that religion who give those answers are interpreting the holy texts correctly. One Bible or Torah or Koran can be interpreted in many different ways which give us a massive variety of religions. We have used religion to explain the unexplainable since the dawn of time, assigning gods to nearly everything in nature. So it is useful in explaining the unexplainable and in teaching people how to act correctly as it applies to living together on earth when done correctly. If your religion includes science and instructs you on how to interact with the world then you are indeed lucky, and may possibly have found a true religion. If on the other hand you have become enlightened and reached a state of living that excludes the need for a conglomerate of teachings and beliefs your are even more lucky, because you can appreciate others beliefs while not allowing them to infect yours.” So religion is helpful in adjusting your soul and science is helpful if adjusting your knowledge. You must strike your own balance, but do us all a favor. Don’t attempt to force either upon the rest of us, let us all find our own way.”
And then a child came to him and asked “Well then Prophet, if musicians, poets, scientists, and theologians all contend they deal in originality and may perhaps be wrong then what exactly is original thought and how do we achieve it?” And he answered “let us start with what’s not original thought. Original thought is not learned in a school or institution. Education is a great thing and though it may seem empowering it can’t give you original thought it can only prepare you for it . Many of the young hipsters of the day believe that being able to quote famous philosphers or scientists makes them appear smarter than others because they possess the power of original thought but it doesn’t. It only makes them seem arrogant and out of touch. Education only gives us the foundations to develop original thought. The very second we enter the world we are being shaped by those around us. So to begin with we need to discard all the distractions of life. In order to achieve original you must put down the books, turn off all your electronic devices, and reach deep inside the self and get in touch with your soul, for it is the soul that is the one true original. Get educated then be your own inspiration..PEACE

American History Y

history

History is a thing of the past
Sacrifices made to appease esoteric gods and generals
Scribed in blood across fields of battle
Forged from discrepancies over the faithful dominion
Bearing monuments of granite to mourn our freedom
History is war in it’s inglorious redundancy
Death machines roll over boulders in search of flesh
Mindlessly crushing bones into a gravel pits of grief
Mechanical arrows dipped in chemical degradation
Silken fiery rocks lacking mercy roll the horizon
Leaving tales of soot and ash in it’s mournful wake
Burnt images of abalone gods praised on alters of fear
Built on false pedestals from the spines of men
Shovels pierce the earth to bury our agonies
Hidden deep under earth and out of sight
Grapes too wrathful for our vines so tender
As it was in the beginning so is it now
Our own creations
Who created who
At what cost

The American dream

Preamble
We the people who own the United States
In order to form a more perfect Dominion
Establish tax shelters
Insure domestic dependency on our products
Provide loopholes for corporations
Promote unfair trade practices in their favor
Do ordain and establish the Constitution of The United Corporations of America

Bill Of Wrongs
I Congress shall willfully and wrongfully tax the citizens except in the case of religion or corporation
II Congress shall wrongfully and willingly do whatever the NRA directs them to
III Congress shall willfully and wrongfully take advantage of the citizens it works for
IV Congress shall willfully and wrongfully disregard due process of law to whomever they see fit
V Corporations shall collude with banks to create credit to insure we will always have people in debt
VI Congress shall wrongfully and willingly assure their own raises, perks, and healthcare prior to considering any budget cuts

Pledge your allegiance, buy our products

I pledge allegiance to the Logo
Of the United Corporations of America
And to the Wall Street for which it stands
One nation strictly for the wealthy
And to all the denominations of the dollar for which it stands
Easily divisible
With liberty and justice for the rich

Watching The Smithtown Sunrise

bluffs

Chasing rainbows late into the night
Full from liquid promises and pledges
Clock is spinning as final call gets called
Two lovers we stumble to find our fate
Let love take us to a scene of contrition
Where together we can rule the world
On the waves where creation forms day

On the shore below the Smithtown bluff
Seeing the world in galactic rapture
The sun archer casts arrows of silver
Up to the stars and into our hearts
Our love confirmed under rising warmth
Darkness shuts its eyes fading into sleep
Glowing proud a fiery sun struts into daytime
Love reigns below the sunlit Smithtown bluffs

The Continuing Adventures Of JT Hilltop/Homeward Bound (part I)

Ben Gogna/Tempest Jericho, a drifter since June, sits off of Interstate 80 and waits for her adventure to unfold.

Ben Gogna/Tempest
Jericho, a drifter since June, sits off of Interstate 80 and waits for her adventure to unfold.

Halfway There And listening To A Prayer

I’d just spent two weeks in a blissful sexually charged romance that rocked the shit out of my world. Everything that happened after that just seemed boring and unremarkable. My new focus was to get back to where I once belonged, back to the place of my birth, Centerlawn. Why I’m not even sure but something was eerily drawing me back there. Maybe my hometown has some magic magnetic pull on me. Maybe this is just me exercising my masochistic self fulfilling prophecy of doom. I didn’t really have anything there other than some great memories, and as I‘ve learned you can‘t live off of memories. So the curse of JT continues. My best friends are gone, Carries married now, Tina is who knows where, Mom James and Kayla are dead, all my close friends with the possible exception of Patrick are gone, and Mandy will probably never go back to Long Island. Dad? Well he is another story entirely, not sure where he lives and don’t care. But Centerlawn has my old hang outs and the comfort of familiarity. Maybe what I desperately needed now was some mindless mediocrity. Shades of mediocrity. Clearly there is no greater purpose for me. I am as average and mundane as the town itself. But Centerlawn is also a town that had a dramatic impact on my life and my most recent travels have been……. Interesting. Mediocrity. That’s what I needed most. Go back home and just be boring.
Hard to believe I could take leaving Josie Rae so hard. I had only known her for two weeks yet I felt more empty and alone than any other point in my life. Maturity is bullshit. No one ever told me it could hurt so much. Pain is a state of mind and my mind hurts. “ I whispered my mantra “This too shall pass.”
When you’re out on the road hitchhiking you have a lot of time to think. Perhaps too much time because at times all you can do is think and thinking when you‘re alone and depressed is a Molotov cocktail. Still I reasoned it was important I figure this thing with Josie, love, and my sudden influx of maturity out before I get back home. Realistically I couldn’t have been in love with Josie there simply wasn’t enough time. She was beautiful, the sex was fantastic, laced with heated passion but that’s lust not love. True she reminded me of the best of the two chicks I had really loved and that may have had something to do with it but when it comes down to it I think I was just in love with being in love. After all I’ve been through, addictions, deaths, break-ups, jail, it felt really good to be in love. I wanted to love Josie but what I really loved was the feeling of stability she gave me which is crazy ironic because I knew from the start our time together would be short. A two week sexual fling. I just didn’t want to admit we were using each other. I gave her two weeks away from her life sentence with Randall and she gave me hope at having a real relationship. What puzzled me was what in the hell made me think I would find it back in Centerlawn?
Yet here I am out on Route 17 way down in Conway with my faithful thumb in the wind searching for a rainbow to take me home. I copped a ride with a fair haired young lady and if I didn’t know better I would have said Josie sent a friend to see me out of town. She gave me a ride clear into Myrtle beach and deposited me right at the boardwalk. I had one last look at the beach, The Gay Dolphin Store, the arcade, and the Magic Carpet where Josie and I had danced before doing the bedroom lambada just a week ago. I wiped a tear with my Harley Davidson bandana, wrapped it around my head, kissed my thumb for luck, and off I went. Point me north I’m coming home.
I had no idea how difficult it would be getting back to New York via the scenic route. Perhaps if I had gone straight to 95 it would have been a day or two but the scenic route was far less traveled and for much shorter distances. I was encouraged when my first ride took me over the border from South Carolina to North Carolina but after being dropped off outside Columbia reality would come back laughing its ass off at me. There are two things about Columbia North Carolina I will always remember. One, if you’re a hippie stay away from a military town, and two, Columbia NC has the nastiest bitiest god damn red ants in the world. These fuckers were so aggressive they jumped me like I was being mugged by a street gang. Out of nowhere I start getting these sharp pains first on my feet then quickly up my legs. When I looked down it was like red ant apocalypse. They were running up in flanks as fast as I could brush them off and biting the entire time. I jumped up and down and did a ninja spin while still brushing them away. I could see their faces, the anger in their eyes but kept the fight to them. When I saw what I had inadvertently done to their sand mound, their military base, I understood. I was the invader not them. They were defending. My only move was a quick retreat so off I ran hopping and slapping myself with a new reality and a few wise ass kids laughing at me.
So my visit here to Columbia was marred forever. I didn’t stay to look around which would probably only have gotten me an ass kicking anyway because the military school was full of testosterone driven young cadets with something to prove. I refused be their example so I made a bee line out of antville. My hitchhiker digit now in top form I got a ride in the first five minutes. As great as that sounds it was not without a downside. I was in back seat of a VW bug with what had to be the smelliest couple ever. Now I was probably a bit ripe myself but these two were downright raunchy. The stench had it’s own area code. It was horrible.
A most unpleasant journey but a journey none the less. I was on the move but the highway had gone from a three lane racetrack to a one lane road winding in and out around the shore. Between trying not to breathe and chatting with my body odor spewing taxi I ended up somewhere else in North Carolina. They were going west and let me out on what looked more like a local road than a highway across from some strange looking church. I was glad because I couldn’t take much more of a VW cockpit filled with what could be the steam of a decomposing body in it. Hell, maybe they were serial killers with a body in the trunk looking for another suitable toy. Either way, my joy of having escaped possible cellar torture and being able to discard the layer of stink was short lived.
As well tuned as my thumb was even the magic digit is unable to rustle up a ride if no cars come by. Hours passed and darkness crept in. The only sign of life was an occasional car, more often than not headed the wrong way, and the filling up of the church whose members found me oddly interesting. At least it seemed that way, they all seemed to look over my way, talk to each other, then honor me with a second glance mixed with an occasional surreptitious finger point. Just what I needed, some born again Christian cult members viewing me as a potential new sacrificial lamb. Seems the reed ant army has communications abilities because on top of the dark setting in they apparently sent an aerial assault via the mosquito squadrons. I found myself itching for one of the church goers to save me and if that’s what it takes to get me from this buzzing ghost town back to a real highway then praise the fucking lord!
As if on cue two parishioners ambled my way. It seems born again Christians never do anything strictly out of the goodness of their hearts. Every last favor entails an obligatory thank the lord combined with a slick segue into a preaching parable. But again, attitude of gratitude! So when the young black couple came over and offered me a ride I jumped at the chance. At least they smelled nice. I told them where I was heading and they informed me of the err of my ways. First directionally, then in my life choices. I was headed into a very coastal one lane highway which would get me nowhere if I kept on the way I was and a very downward spiral which already is nowhere if I didn’t find the Lord. Apparently he’s not on that coastal highway and thankfully neither would I be. The couple gave me a ride all the way to Interstate 95 and left me at a rest stop which gave them ample time to recite scriptures and generally make me feel inadequate in my faith. I thanked them reverently for the ride and direction. I knew they were disappointed I excluded to thank their lord but I was pretty certain they would thank him in redundancy for me.
It was great to be out of mosquitoville by the shore but it was now around ten o’clock at night and hitchhiking at this hour was a bad idea. Besides I was really tired here in Lumberton NC so I walked down by where all the truckers rested looking for a little alcove or something. Anything but an abandoned gas station or the side of the road which I swore was a thing of the past. The best I could find was an overturned wooden picnic table under some tree’s. It was like a wooden pillow fort so it would serve two purposes, giving me minimal shelter from the elements and instilling a bit of comforting childhood innocence. I leaned up against my wood fort, closed my eyes, and listened to the cricket orchestra playing stage right. I needed to take my mind somewhere else so I wouldn’t be surrounded in negativity. I couldn’t get the sex with Josie Rae out of my mind so I fell a sleep with a shit eating grin on my face. I did not however, wake up that way. Over the course of the evening the insect world mistook me for Gulliver and began exploring all parts of my body. ALL parts. I never had so many itches in so many uncomfortable places to scratch in my life. It was like the red ants of Columbia and the Mosquito squadron of No Sin City sent messages up about a delicious tasting human being headed their way. Ants, centipedes, some beetle like bastards that had hard shells on them, all kinds of creepy crawly critters claiming me as their territory. Having become experienced in insect warfare recently I took the battle right back to them. A few jumps, shakes, and then any stragglers were destined to meet their end in the great waters of the men’s room as I raced them to their doom. To my tiny enemies it was the great flood without Noah to save any of them.
It took me about ten minutes after being bug free to shake the feeling of their prersence. Phantom crawlings on my legs and arms still had me scratching but I was finally able to get hold of myself. (Not literally) I ventured back out to the truckers area and scoped out the truckers to see if there was anyone I could relate too that might take me north. The first ten or twelve I eyeballed appeared to be speed freaks who were strung out and skinny as hell. Not reliable and the last thing I needed was to be around drug users again. Then I spotted him, a normal looking dude around my age with long hair. He was driving a furniture store truck and from the looks of him I could cop a ride. I put on my lost puppy dog face before I approached him. After explaining my situation in which I stressed the “left abandoned and stranded by someone I thought was a good friend” He offered me a ride to Virginia. Hmmm. The place for lovers and Virginia Ham. Why the hell not? Next stop the State For Lovers…..TBC

Wet Cat Burglar in Red

cat

Contains explicit innuendo. Recommended for immature audiences. Reader discretion advised

Cat In Heat

Like a thief in the night crawling through the window
Love snuck into my bed
Hit me hard my swollen head spinning ecstatic
Cat burglar dressed in red

Holy Toledo
Unbridled libido
The both of us came in the dark
Sharing hard love
Without wearing a glove
Maybe I should just disembark

She came in hard her hands gently stealing my heart
I know I’ll never be the same
Drove my auto erotic hot rod over orgasm cliff
Didn’t even give her name

Wanton lust
Had me trussed
She became the object of my blind affection
Set me on fire
With burning desire
My brain must have been inside my erection

While my head was aflame with lustful desire
Using my brain for kindle
She ignited the flames of my sexual passions
Then snuck back out of the window

Now I’m flaccid
Still as lake Placid
Just the memory of her climaxing scream
Feel so gratified
Feel so satisfied
I sure hope it wasn’t just a wet dream

It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humility

humid

Humidity is a dish best served cold, preferably in an air conditioned dining room. Humility on the other hand can be served either hot or cold but damn its only May and already seems too hot to be preparing any kind of dish. Yea well if you can’t stand the heat don’t work in a kitchen. It’s that time of year again, when we forget about how much we bitched about the cold and couldn’t wait for it to warm up. But these days it warms up with an angry faced humidity snarling a chuckle at us now bitching that spring no longer springs eternal. Not one month ago everybody was offering to help me out working near the ovens to escape the deep freeze. Or perhaps to avoid shoveling the mounds of incessant snow. But now the chef’s clog is on the other foot as everyone springs out of the kitchen in search of air conditioning. Oh the Humanity, Oh the Humility. Oh, the Humidity!!

What happened to those days when young love and beautiful roses bloomed amid the even keeled gorgeous spring weather? Could it be global warming? Well let’s not open up that political can of worms or we will only bait each other over unrelated issues. The bottom line here is….Where the hell is spring? Not even one month of casual warmth? The four seasons are now nothing more than a fond memory and the name of Frankie Valley’s band.

The basic kitchen heat index equation is this, take the heat you feel outside, double it and add ten more degree’s and that’s what make a chef’s pores open up pouring sweat like a power shower headspray. On an extremely hot day there are nine circles of infernal hell around a stove and even Dante doesn’t want to be there cooking. Maybe a dip in the River Styx will cool things off.

Is it hot enough for ya? Too hot to handle? It’s a moot point because once you decide you want to be a chef heat is what you signed up for and heat is what you get. But who signed up for the humidity!? Actually the relative humidity itself seems relatively harmless. I mean its nothing more than the amount of water vapor in the air. But when the air is hot and the water is hot the vapor gets downright ornery. A hot and humid day can best be described as a sweltering steamy stifling sticky muggy oppressive heat that makes one all sweaty and clammy. Put that near an oven and that’s a chefs summer of love. No wonder so many of us chef’s consume so much beer.

As is often the case however I digress. Bottom line is I did choose to become a chef and it is a profession which requires a great deal of passion to take all the heat that both a kitchen and nature can throw at me. So I continue in my kitchen as always to bring the tastiest and best quality food I can create to the inhabitants of my universe. The main thing here is humility and as a humble chef to the universe I maintain my kitchen standards with passion, pride, and an iced cold IPA. Stay cool Y’all…

Jack In The Box, A Life In Cardboard Purgatory

used

WALK THE MILE
This story is a bit long but its a socially important story of struggle and unfair judgment designed to help shed some light on a deeply disturbing problem so IMHO worth the time spent. As tempting as it is to turn it into a political wage equality statement it goes far beyond that, beyond the argument of entitlement vrs. privilege, it’s a plea for us as humans to return to humanity. This is a story of real lives, real struggles, and issues about the need of not just throwing money at the impoverished or disadvantaged but understanding, educating, guiding, and offering a fair and equal opportunity to all of us to live productive lives in a society that values life. All life…One world, One Peace.
By J.T. Hilltop
Never judge a book by it’s cover. Check that. Don’t freaking judge anything at all books or people until you truly understand them. Like the famous Native American proverb says “Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.” There are a number of variations of that proverb and any one of them will do it just means walk the walk before you talk shit. The handsome business man next to you on the train could be a serial killer planning his attack on you. The nice sweet looking old lady could be sticking knitting needles into her cats when she gets home. That mean looking dirty hippie could have a full time productive job. There are low income people who do more for their communities than so called upstanding citizens and phony philanthropists who couldn’t care less about the people they gave to as long as everyone knows how helpful and considerate they are. They don’t even walk a single step they pay someone else to walk the mile for them.
When my first child, my daughter was born I wanted to commemorate her birth by getting her name tattooed in a rose on my arm. So at two weeks old the very first outing my baby girl had was to a tattoo parlor on Long Island that was filled with half a dozen very tough looking mean looking bikers. When they saw this two week old little child they became total mushes. They ewwwed and ahhhed and acted more like we were at a baby shower than a tattoo parlor. So instead of hiding my baby in a blanket I let them make cooing noises and fuss over her like a grandparent would. Who am I to judge?
Not judging was the biggest lesson I took from an adventure I went on after making a long series of bad decisions and having even worse luck. It took scraping the bottom of the beer barrel and finding myself constantly at another self imposed dead end for me to decide it was time to make a U-turn. After a series of misfortunate circumstances I found myself totally alone somewhere in Georgia, some 600 miles from home with nothing but a few bucks in my pocket and the clothes on my back. I had slept the night at a Salvation Army shelter and while I laid in a cot instead of focusing on how and why I ended up lost, broke, and homeless I convinced myself I could turn all my disadvantages around. With the little money I had I would buy a pencil and a notepad and transcribe wherever my journey led me and go out in search of Americana. Someday I’ll write a book. I’d find work along the way teaching myself how to survive and transcribe all my experiences. And so I did.
When I set out on my hitchhiking/transcribing adventure I thought it would be the story of me, how I turned my life around while traveling and learning. I quickly realized however that my adventure would have little to do with me but everything to do with the people I met along the way. And it became obvious the first day. When I left that Salvation Army revived with a shower and a hot cup of coffee I wasn’t even sure where I was going. Maybe back to New York, maybe to Arizona, or maybe I’ll head straight on to California. I was playing each card as it was dealt to me, no plan, no direction, I just wanted to see different places and write about little town America on the way. I used half of my life savings and bought a notebook and pencil.
The very first person I came across was a man I guessed to be about my age sprawled out on the grass seemingly passed out from drinking and baking in the sun. I gave him a little shake to see if he was okay. He rubbed his eyes and sat up. On closer inspection the man was probably younger than me with at least three days worth of stubble hiding his reddened weathered face. Neither the stubble nor the redness could hide his eyes though which were as bloodshot as a blushing beet. But it was more than that. His eyes also made him look a hundred years old, solemn yet unwise with nothing left in him but the ability to reflect inaccurately on his past. He coughed to clear his throat then spat a huge something across the lawn as he stood up. At first he wanted nothing to do with me having mistaken me for another Bible Belt wannabe Christian savior saving his soul and helping him to find salvation through religion. I assured him I was not in fact looking to help him or anyone because I have had enough trouble helping myself and that I never did find salvation in any religion. All I wanted to do was meet people and write about the experience. He offered up an invitation into his world and instructed me to follow him. I didn’t realize at that time but he would help me walk the mile.
I followed behind him while sizing him up with my pre-conceived notions. A homeless young man with a serious drinking problem who would rather get drunk than find work. He was dirty and unkempt with the stench of stale smoke and alcohol trailing behind him like smelly ducklings following the imprint of a mama duck with irritable bowl syndrome. He managed to stay ahead of the wafts of stench but many of them darted directly into my nasal cavity to set up camp in my olfactory glands causing me to wonder if I had already made another poor choice. I wondered why he didn’t just get cleaned up, find a job somewhere, anywhere, doing anything. He was young, seemed relatively strong, and I sensed at least a basic level of education. We walked about ten minutes then through a hole in a fence and finally to an area under a highway overpass. The sight was unsettling. It was a commune of the homeless, an urban campground of cardboard boxes, makeshift tents, piles of blankets or just piles of whatever, all types of homeless nests where everyone carved out their own living area. Like an office cubicle each person had their own territory with their own personal mementos, old torn photo’s, broken statuettes, any remnant that brings a shard of happy memories or a thread of hope. People here used shopping carts as if they were pioneer chuck wagons loaded with all kinds of stuff. Some had clothes hanging on strings between tree’s or posts, a makeshift grill here a three legged dinner table there, whatever resourceful use they could find from the discarded junk of suburban life. A commune of displaced humans seeking shelter from the storm. They mostly knew each other and I stood out as an obvious outcast and I would continue to be an outcast in their eyes until I walked the mile.
I began talking with the people living here in Spivakville (Named for a John Spivak a local inhabitant many years ago who was a champion for the poor and mistreated during the depression) I was expecting to find a profound level of hopelessness but what I walked away with was a profound sense of sadness with seeds of hope looking for a little empathy to help it grow. A few felt hopeless but for the most part it was the feeling of abandonment which was the more dominant emotion. Most were abandoned or mistreated at home or in school, laughed at, scorned at, and forgotten or looked down on by society. Not entitled, not looking for an easy way out, just looking for a fair shake, an opportunity for change. The worst thing for me was what they mostly received was pre-conceived notions like the mistaken ones I had leveled at a man I knew nothing about. I couldn’t give him a job, I couldn’t give him money, but if nothing else I could invest some of my time to hear his story. Jack shone a light on life that had me feeling shamed for having judged him but newly educated and enlightened.
His real name is Sam but since he came to Spivakville he’s been called Jack, short for Jack in the box because his first night he slept in a cardboard box that sat upright making him stick his head out like a Jack in the box. The name took instantly and he never corrected them. My guess is because for the first time maybe in his life he was in a group of people who made him feel like he belonged unconditionally, like he was accepted for himself. Jack crossed the border from South Carolina to start a new life in Georgia. In Grahamsville, SC he was beaten repeatedly by his step father and tended to his alcoholic mother along with two older siblings until he could no longer take it. He saved up some cash, took a bus to Augusta and got a room in a single room occupancy hotel that charges by the week. He had a job as a line cook at a local restaurant within a week. He was on his own and he was surviving. He fell in love with one of the waitresses. Her story was similar to his except she was still living in an abusive home. Together they vowed to help each other rise above the filth of abusive life and begin a new one together. A couple deeply in love and deeply dependant on each other emotionally.
One day she didn’t show up for work and Sam got worried. On his break he ran over to her house but on the way was stopped by her sister who told him she was in the hospital, had been struck by a car and was in intensive care. Disregarding work he went straight to the hospital and sure enough she was there and in real bad shape. He convinced a nurse with the help of his girlfriends sister to let him in to see her. The last vision he had of the love of his life was a battered beaten face and an array of tubes coming from various machines and an IV pole. He never even had the chance to say goodbye because she died a few hours later not having woken up from her coma. Along with his girlfriend Sam’s hope died as well. In desperate need of a friend or shoulder to cry on Sam did what he thought was the next best thing. He bought a bottle of vodka and went back to his room.
Over the next few days he only left that room to use the bathroom down the hall or to go to the liquor store. It wasn’t long before he ran out of money, constantly drinking and eating donuts to survive. He knew it was the worst diet possible but he really didn’t care about much of anything. After a week and a half he finally realized he needed to get back into life. He made his play to get his shit together, showered shaved and went back to the restaurant to beg for his job back. The manager didn’t want to hear about it because he never even called or let them know what was going on. He had no opening but if one came up he would consider him because he was after all a really good worker. He took his final paycheck and went to a bar. When he returned to his hotel that night the clerk, who had always engaged in conversation with Sam, had a saddened look on his face. It appeared the hotel had changed his lock and removed all his belongings which were in a closet in a large trash bag. The desk clerk was directed to deny Sam entrance unless he paid up his bill and another week in advance. Sam didn’t even have enough money to pay his back rents so he reluctantly grabbed the bag and left. The empathetic clerk informed him of a men’s shelter in town where he could stay until he figured out what to do.
Sam left that hotel with everything he owned in a trash bag. His life had been reduced to a Hefty bag full with some clothes, a radio, a hotplate, toothbrush, shampoo. As if that wasn’t deflating enough in it’s own right, when he woke up the next morning on a cheap cot in the men’s shelter, nothing was left in his trash bag under his bed except a few dirty socks and a half used bar of soap. During the night his belongings had been raided and that was all they left him. He moved into the street.
He slept behind a gas station in an abandoned car and used the rest room as his bathroom. Washed in the sink as best he could and shaved whenever possible with only water and an old razor. He went out looking for work but without a plug for an alarm clock, or the clock for that matter, going to interviews on time was a challenge. Add to that interviewing in the same dirty clothes traveling with a profound body odor it wasn’t long before he wasn’t even granted interviews. He couldn’t get a job because everyone hiring saw him as a dirty lazy bum, much like I had earlier. It was at that point I began feeling like a complete ass. Here I had judged him harshly before knowing his story, and now upon hearing it not only could I relate, but I could imagine that happening to me or any number of my friends. What a shit I was for assuming he had just been drinking his life away because I forgot to walk the mile.
Out on the streets he befriended a young man named Corky who schooled him on street life, how to panhandle, how to swindle, how to hide from the police, all the essentials of surviving the street. He had already learned not to leave anything of value unattended. Corky brought him around to Spivakville, showed him a free spot he could camp out on and pointed to cardboard box, “Cardboard acts like an insulator, it’ll keep you warm and dry if it don’t rain too hard. Until you can build a cloth home you should live in the box.” Sam grabbed the box, put it in his new spot and followed his only friend around the commune to meet everyone. That night Sam slept in the cardboard box as suggested but not knowing anything about being homeless he slept in it standing up vertically. The next morning when he popped his head out of the box Corky and the people around began laughing as Corky yelled, “Hey, it’s Jack In The Box” . Even Sam laughed. It earned him a new nickname, a good feeling, and a new sense of belonging. He had friends now, not one of which would ever judge him. Everyone at the homeless encampments has walked the mile.
Jack introduced me to many of his friends who came from all walks of life. Corky was once a promising comedian but lack of work and a girlfriend who introduced him to the needle ruined his act. A true character Corky seemed always ready to make others laugh to brighten their day even though his days are spent in constant darkness. I met Dennis and Sandy who had their house foreclosed on them because Dennis could no longer work construction due to an accident outside of work. Still in love but a completely different life from what they had before. Sandy pointed to an older black woman, “That there is Cookie, her own father pimped her out on her 14th birthday. Onlyest life she ever know was a life of drugs. Half the people here been crack addicts or junkies at one point, some still are. They sell they bodies or give sexual favors for either drugs or something to eat. Ain’t a single on of them say that’s they goal but it ain’t always about choice JT, y’all makes sure you put that in yore book.” I promised I would quote her on that. Next I was schooled in street cons from Slick, whose nickname was well deserved. He sold life insurance, had a house and a wife, sports car, and lost it all because he fell prey the perils of cocaine. He used the money people were giving him for insurance to go on three or four day benders of cocaine. Just an average guy who couldn’t keep away from coke. Everyone has a story, a beginning, a time when they understood what promise was. Everyone one of them hearts of gold. None of them wished to be here. Some came out of the womb at a disadvantage, some were forced out into the streets as kids, and some drove themselves to rock bottom but truthfully not one of them belonged here. Victims of circumstance, of environment, or just being born into a world that offered them nothing but scorn.
Most depressing was the amount of vets living here. All the flag waving and “thank you for your service” and “I support the troops” haven’t helped them at all. To them it’s all bullshit and lip service from the civilians who want to make themselves feel better, like proclaiming support on bumper sticker proves how much they care about the vets and validates their gratitude as payment enough. They don’t sit down and hear what the vets say because they don’t have the time. They look and sound crazy from shell shock or PTSD. Besides war is ugly and they would rather not hear about how truly horrible it really is and some of the things they saw and did. No the vets don’t want your verbal support they want medical attention, jobs, homes, they want to forget the horrible things they saw and did and just go back to living normal lives. They want to live without having nightmares every night. Yet now their normal is panhandling while living below poverty standards. Thanks for your support! They have walked the mile, many times, only to come home and find that others back home haven’t even recognized the fact that there is a mile to walked. Shame on us all.
In the end the common theme is in what the homeless really need. Some support, maybe learn a trade or get a break. Instead they get looked down on by most of society who won’t take a minute of there lives for the lazy free loaders who do nothing but look for handouts. Too many of us condemn them instantly, disdainful of them for not having money yet doing drugs or drinking, likes that’s a privilege only for the well off. You say we should give them drug tests before giving them welfare but I say no problem when you’re ready to do the same to all the wealthy and CEO’s who get tax breaks. I want to make sure they aren’t misusing the money we give them which even without a math degree I can state with confidence comes to far more dollars than we give to the impoverished.
In all my travels I have met many people who are reformed drug addicts or alcoholics both the well off and the poor. Bad luck has no prejudice. The big difference is the well off have family or friends, or at the very least one person who not only believed in them but got them to believe in themselves. I can tell you from experience that once you start to believe you can find yourself in a bottle, or a vial of pills, or even a syringe it’s very easy to lose yourself completely. At first it’s not a downward spiral it’s just a misstep, getting a kick. No harm no foul. Before long that misstep becomes your reality and you find yourself on a wrong path. Before you know it you’re so far down that path you don’t even recognize it, you don’t know where you are or who you are. You no longer even recognize yourself, why there’s an empty soul looking back at you from the mirror. You do things you swore you would never do to just to feel regular, to feel normal because you no longer know what normal is. You completely forget who you are and suddenly it’s too late, you give up. You can’t make it alone anymore. You’ve fallen so far down everyone else steps over you preventing you from rising up.
I stayed with them for three days until I felt it was time to move on. “Just point me west”. In a way I didn’t want to leave. The people I met here are what we used to call the salt of the earth. They didn’t judge me, they weren’t fake, they were just real people trying to survive in a difficult environment, and if you don’t believe that then there’s only one way to get you to understand. You have to walk the mile.
PEACE

The Continuing Adventures Of JT Hilltop/Prison Of Love

prison

Breakfast with the beautiful southern belle police officer Josie “Sexy as Hell” Rae 930 at Waffle King. That didn’t leave me much time so as soon as I saw the lights turn on at Western Union I bolted inside. Amanda hooked me up with a hundred bucks which was like the third good thing to happen to me in the last 24 hours. Holy Jesus a trifecta, a good omen if ever there was three. Now I could afford a new shirt, sneakers, and still have enough left over for breakfast. Did I really offer dinner? What the Hell was I thinking? But that’s just it, I wasn’t thinking, this Josie Rae had me completely inside out. This is way more than just a little horny flirtation, although that wouldn’t be bad either. That said this feeling of cocoons opening up in my intestinal system was something I haven’t experienced in a long time. I haven’t felt like this since….Jesus shit man, …since Carrie! I’m not sure why I have this strange feeling but I did know one thing, I was gonna be at Waffle King by 930 come River Styx or high tide so I’d better get my ass moving.
I found a small clothing shop at the boardwalk which had mostly touristy shit but I was lucky enough to find a Jack Daniels Tee shirt to match my new Harley Davidson bandana. I ran up Ocean Blvd to a gas station and took a hobo shower in the bathroom actually using a bar of soap I bought at some weird store called Piggly Wiggly. I had also bought a tooth paste and shampoo and cleaned myself up as much as humanly possible inside a Shell gas station bathroom. I was feeling more than just positive, I was feeling damn near obsessed. I got directions to Waffle King and that’s exactly where I headed, this time leaving those annoying voices always putting me down at the gas station. Could this be love?
I got a nice table near the window, rearranged the waffle syrups four or six times and waited excitedly. When I spotted Josie Rae I was floored. Out of uniform she was even more stunning. Long curly blond hair that danced off her head, piercing green eyes and a small slightly upturned nose. Her smile re-opened the cocoons. She had on dark blue eye shadow and bright red lipstick. That look combined with the fact I knew she owned handcuffs tipped the scales of justice and I would confess to anything. A mysterious beauty. I couldn’t believe how smitten I had become. She looked at me with a very sexy leer and said, “Y’all have the right to remain silent. But if you do I’ll never shut up so y’all better be ready ta tell me things” She sat down and we began talking instantly as if we had known each other forever. We discussed cultural differences between north and south, compared similar experiences growing up, and every conversation came loose and easy. I had found a friend but was hoping for more. In an effort to feel her out I mentioned that I was only heading back to New York because I have nothing here. She smiled at me assuring me she could tell by the way I got ready for our date that I had nowhere to stay then she put it out there. “Well mister JT, if Y’all wanna come on home with me you can have yeself a nice hot shower and good nights sleep afore you go on yer way.” I tried to weigh the implication of intentions here but what did it matter. I win either way. If its just the plain offer it sounds like nothing lost and I leave fully refreshed, but if she’s hinting at something deeper, then I’ll go deep! “Josie Rae, I have to tell you I am whelmed. In fact I am overwhelmed. I was beginning to believe that the southern hospitality I’ve heard so much about was pure legend. I would appreciate that greatly.
As low as I was on funds I insisted on paying and as always left a nice tip. We left Waffle King and drove out of Myrtle beach towards Conway. She explained to me that Conway is much more real and much cheaper to live in than “The Beach”. We pulled into an apartment complex and her room was around back in what seemed like nowhere. The area’s around Myrtle Beach were remarkably poor, seriously impoverished area’s and this apartment which would have been basic back on Long Island was a luxury home by comparison. Once we got inside it was all I could do to stop myself from ruining everything by jumping on Josie. I maintained my composure as she went into her kitchen and pointed down the hall. “Woncha go on ahead an take a shower JT, I bet its been awhile since y’all felt a nice hot shower. I’ll git us some wine. Towels are under the sink.” She pushed me toward the bathroom and I worried maybe I was smelling ripe or something so I did as I was told and went right into the shower.
Its amazing how much we can take things for granted. The very second that hot water hit my hair and headed downward my attitude of gratitude returned. It was like the hot water was cascading onto my shoulders and chasing away all the negativity that had been clinging to me for so long then forcing it down the drain. As I peered down imagining all the bad shit running down the pipes a voice startled me. “Mind if I join ya?” I looked up and right in front of me was this beautiful angel with the sexiest southern drawl this side of Daisy Duke standing buck bone naked in front of me. Before either of us knew what was happening we were in a desperate lip lock with mouths open and tongues dancing. Embracing beneath a cascading stream of hot water I felt her body up against mine and within seconds she felt not only my body but my intentions. Rubbing our bodies together our tongues continued a desperate slippery tango and the most audible sound either of us could make were moans. I’ve heard people say they could hear fireworks going off from a kiss like this which is pretty damn accurate. My roman candle was reaching up anticipating an oncoming explosion that promised to find itself south of the border. We soaped and kissed, kissed and soaped and let me tell you if I died right then and there I’da died one happy man.
After a complete cleansing and drying we continued our assault of passion in Josies bedroom. Time ceased existing and we made love three times in a row while raising foreplay to an art form. We must have spent a few hours with very little talking, a whole lot of cuddling, and it was obvious to me we both benefited more than one orgasm. Now admittedly I hadn’t had sex in a few months so my libido was begging for release but it was far more than that. The tenderness, the closeness that had been absent from my life since Tina and I split. It was on a par with the love of my life Carrie. Not the third women to have sex with but perhaps the third woman to fall in love with. I was certain she was in love too and I was right, only it wasn’t with me. I had to remind myself to slow down because I had a reputation for falling in love with any female that shows me a modicum of attention.
After the sexual smoke cleared away the talking returned. It wasn’t good news. Josie Rae is engaged to be married. Her fiancé is away for three weeks training at some place called Quantico, some FBI training school or some shit. That hurt but Josie convinced me we can enjoy this small bit of time together before I head back home. When I thought about it I knew she was right, I had nothing to do, nowhere to be, and life has really sucked for the last two years, I deserve some great sex and the company of a beautiful woman if only for a short time. We agreed I would stay with her for two weeks but leave before her fiancé returned. That gave me plenty of time to get her to change her mind. Besides, if I can’t change her mind I’ll want a head start if a well trained FBI dude learns I’ve been boning his bride to be.
So it was I became a kept man, at least for the next two weeks. Josie and I really connected. I wasn’t ready to give it up. I stayed at home while she worked and cooked us breakfast or dinner. On nights she had off we went out dancing, on nights she worked we sat in and had wine, sex, and talk into the afternoon. Towards the end of our time together the conversation of us as a couple kept sneaking in.
“You know JT, I really does like y’all but I caint git outta what Im into. Tell y’all the truth I aint even shore if I loves Randall. It’s juss the way things is here hon, when a feller asks you at marry an your fokes want you to marry him you jess do.” The cultural divide was clear and quite probably freedom of her culture is the one thing I may represent to her that will convince her to stay with me. “That may be how it is around here Josie babe, but not back where I’m from. A girl cn do what she wants and date who she wants. Nobody tells a New York girl how to live her life. Why don’t you come back to New York and try that for a while?” Back and forth for days, neither of us giving in on the future but both of us giving our all in the bedroom. I prayed for time to go as slow here as it had when I was in prison, but time sucks. Instead it flew by.
Unfortunately that inevitable moment arrived. We both knew it was coming. Time for JT to leave and move on to the next adventure. Only thing is this time I wasn’t really sure if I wanted a new adventure. More unsettling was I still wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about Jo. Could it be love? Maybe. Not the traditional type of love but a strange and alluring love that grabs hold while your not paying attention and digs its roots deep into your soul. Our love story was a short story with the end written before it even began. A love story who‘s destiny it was to fail. It started as a time bomb of sexual tensions that made good on its promise to fulfill both our intense needs and then it was supposed to fizzle out. That was all it was supposed to be, two lovers sharing the comfort of each other for just a short time. But the sexual volcano erupted and the lava it released was strong and unfamiliar. Is this an emotional attachment? Not good! Not good at all!
We agreed from the start that before her boyfriend Randall got back home I would leave willingly as we would go our separate ways. I was sort of okay with that. No attachments, no bullshit, not strings. At the time it seemed like a good idea but I never considered that my emotions would sprout into a giant beanstalk in two short weeks and stick my head up in the clouds. I mean sex without commitment should be a young mans dream. And the sex was good, god damn was it good. Reckless abandon? That was an understatement! We often put the music on real loud to drown out our very expressive sexually motivated squeals and promises. I can’t even remember half the shit I said but the half I do remember was pretty much the both of us pleading gods name over and over louder than I ever heard before. So often and so loud you would’ve thought we were staging a Oh God Yes born again revival.
The fact that no strings were attached made it intriguing even though I dug her so much from the start. I knew when the time came I could leave no problem. That is I thought I knew. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way but I was pretty sure I did love Jo. I reasoned I was just not in love with her. At least I didn’t think I was. She understood the dark side of me the way Tina had, she fulfilled me emotionally the way Carrie had, yet I knew from the start she was unattainable. Maybe that was it, maybe just wanting something I know I can’t have is what’s driving these feelings?! One thing I was certain of is Josie and I were really good together. Our feelings for each other went so deep. Our conversations went deep. And the sex, well….deep! But it was time to discard the emotions and say good by. Who knew it would be so difficult. We laid naked in bed in a satiated silence after what was presumably our final high energy fling. Anyway we went at it as if it were our last time either of us would ever make love again in our lives. So much determination and passion we were motionless for over an hour before she spoke.
“JT Sweetie, I sweer I ain’t never gonna firget you baby. But y’all known Randall is coming back inna few days and its bess fir us both if y’all be long gone fore then.” She placed her head on my chest using her soft curls as a pillow. She tenderly reached around my shoulder to lightly scratch the back of my neck. “Why does it have to end Jo? Why can’t you come up north with me?” She moved her hand to my lips, “Shush now Justin, y’all know that caint happen. Things is way differnt down here baby. Things is expected of a gurl down here. My Mama won’t never furgive me an my Papa, well Papa ain‘t one to anger up none.…Ya don’t wanna be puttin no bee in Papa’s bonnet Honey J. I juss caint do that, my future got be with Randall. It’s done been determined already. Thats the way its spose to go. I got to think about the future.” I placed my arms around her and planted her head firmly between my neck and chin to caress her with my cheek. “It doesn’t have to go like that. You in can be in charge of your future. You can make your own choices. There ain’t no reason you can’t leave here. Hell baby child even if its not with me why get married to someone you don’t love? Trust me, that shit don’t end well at all, I been there and it sucks.” I could feel a tear on her cheek. She sat up, “JT, that’s not how life is here in Conway South Carolina. I gotta answer to Jesus. I know y’all don unerstand that but it means a lot here Baby Boy. A girls folks expeck her to marry the man they wants fur her to marry, have chillen and raise them to fear the lord. Womens don’t get to do no choosin’ round here and that’s okay, way its always done been. A girls don’t wanna have no bad past cuz a past can foller her around an make her life horrible if she goes against thangs. My past is determining my future, and my past is with Randall so my future gone be with him too. Mommy an Daddy like him an he‘s gun be a good supporter. So now my future got to go that way, Sugarpie. Don’t matter none what I want.” I looked at her incredulously. “That’s not true Jo it matters very much what you want. Its your life pretty girl. Your past only determines who you were not who you are. Its what leads you to your present but it sure ain‘t who you are today. You can’t live in the past Babydoll that’s over. Your past is gone, you own your future and if you want your future to be with me all you need do is say so.” I gently kissed her on the temple. “Listen to your heart Jo, what’s your heart saying? The heart knows because the heart lives in the present and begs you for a future. A future that you want, not what god or Jesus or your mom and dad want, but what Josie Rae wants! You’re not defined by your past and you can rewrite your future Sweet Thing. Listen to your heart. I think I hear it whispering my name.” She smiled a half smile that told me a hundred sad stories. The story of the past two weeks being over, o a girl and a boy sharing the most perfect moment in time before time runs out. The story of a beautiful girl who is chained to a pre-determined destiny and is not willing to break free. It teased her with what could be while at the same time mercilessly reminded her of her fate. It told of deep stories of sadness and defeat, told by a lonely girl who believes she has no control over her own life so she‘s giving up. Stories of things gone by and things to come, but not the story of the now, the right here. No stories of a happy ever after with me or of endless possibilities. The smile was fighting a sadness underneath below a profound stare with eyes that confirmed her feeling of hopelessness. “Weeze all defined by our pasts JT, ain’t none of us can rewrite the future no matter how much we want to. The heart lives in the present but its afraid of breaking. Like mine is right this second. I dint never spect this to be so hard baby. I aint even sure how it happened, but we had us two weeks of bliss and I ain‘t sorry bout a second of it. But it got an endin sugar, I‘m sorry but as much as it hurts me this song is got to be over. Every song ends. I done wannit to stop neither but that’s my life honeypie. Things happen for a reason an we juss gotta figger out what the reason fur us was.”
We embraced deep in thought for a few minutes. This feeling was so foreign to me. Fuck man, am I starting to grow up? I’m not sure why but I still wasn’t ready to let this all just slip away, “Jo baby listen” I sat up and took her hands in mine. We stared into each others soul with piercing compassion. Our eyes embraced. “The past doesn’t matter Josie Rae. You done things in the past and I done things in the past but that’s history, not destiny. Maybe its our destiny to look beyond our pasts and think about a future. I never really thought that things happen for a reason, like fate or anything. I always believed everything was random and just happened. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe shits not just random. All the things that happened to me were so we could meet. That’s why I took a trip with people I knew I had no business being with. That’s why I got busted and stuck in jail. To meet you. I learned a lot about myself doing my time in prison. Maybe I was in prison to straighten my head and to get ready for you and me.” Now her smile was thoughtful, she was fully aware she was in complete control of everything. One of the things I love about her. (did I say love?) “Sweetie, you wasn’t in no prison. You was in jail Baby Boy. You spent time incarcerated in a southern jail, and maybe you sure enough did do some growin there, but it was just a jail, not a prison. People like you an me we own our prisons. We carry our prisons right here on our backs. It sure nuff don’t seem right but thets how it is fur us dreamers. We dream but we ain’t never in control of our dreams, not really. Way I figger it weeze born with these prisons on our backs, you an me. We live with them an they done remin us that no matter how hard we believe, we ain’t in control of nuthin. We likely carry’em tar graves. And we been out of our prisons for two glorious weeks, maybe the best two weeks of my life. Leastwise the happiest. That’s what I got from you hon, an that’s gun be my most precious memory. You freed me from my prison but it’s still here a waitin, right there on my back. An I got to carry it agin an agin, cuz its my prison. I sure hope it was like heaven fir you too JT. For the last two weeks Justin you let me out of prison and I will always be thankful for that. But I got to pick my prison back up tomorrow, and I recon you gonna fine yersff someone you can live with too, an you‘ll live with your prison still on yer back. Leastwise I recon you will. Lets juss firget all bout this now an just be happy with each other one last time. Lets make love once more afore you leave.”
I had no argument left, she was right. I wasn’t ready to become a good provider like Randall. I didn’t belong here and Josie doesn’t belong in New York. I do carry my prison on my back, I always had. Besides, over time she would get tired or bored of me, or worse, something bad would happen to her. No one stays with JT. Not for long anyway. That was my prison, a life that’s a plague of death or abandonment. Like I always seem to do I got hung up on someone that leaves my life. Then I push them away like I did with Carrie and Tina, or they just leave on their own like Joe, James, Ken, Bill, June, and even my mom. I put them aside and thought about the past two weeks and I gave her the most passionate kiss I was capable of. Then we made love. We made love for over an hour, not with reckless abandon this time, but with slow calculated lasting tenderness. When we finished we wrapped our arms around each other and fell asleep. We never spoke another word to each other.
When I woke up it was six o’clock so I quietly got out of bed and kissed Josie Rae Sessions on the cheek and whispered, “I don’t care what you say pretty girl, I’ll always love you.” I could swear she smiled but whether she did or not, the only fair thing for me to do for her was to exit quietly. At that moment I had truly matured. I knew I was growing up because I loved her and that’s why I had to let her go. That’s how deep my love went. I quietly let her go as I tip-toed away with my heart shattered in pieces. I would only prolong her pain and make it worse if I continued to be selfish. Sacrifice. Love comes with consequences. You gamble on some pain to enjoy the ultimate pleasure. But like everything else in my twisted world it ends. I learned a lot. How much love really can hurt, how my love for one woman could be so strong I would willingly break my own heart to allow her to follow hers. I also ;learned love never stays. Right or wrong it wasn’t for me to choose. I had my own life to focus on now. I washed up, got dressed and left. Maturity is soooo overrated. I walked out the door with exactly what I had arrived with two weeks ago, my wallet, my clothes, and the prison on my back.
TBC

Racist Good News/Bad News

news

Listen, I’m not a racist but……. But what? You play one on TV? Chances are if you start off your statement by prefacing the fact you’re not racist you’re about to make a racist remark. In reality though what’s happening is you are merely afraid of being labeled a racist. Here’s the good news. Racism isn’t a label, it’s a defect. So you are NOT in fact, a racist, you are a defective human being.
Now the bad news. If you also insist that racism no longer exists your not merely a defective human being, you’re an ignorant defective human being. And you may also be a racist.
But it gets worse. If you claim you’re not a racist because it no longer exists and then after viewing documented and taped proof that racist activity has occurred and then you claim “they” always have to play the race card you probably use stupid phrases like “Oh, he’s one of the good ones” and you are in fact a despicable ignorant racist human being. Get your act together, there is no them only WE…live in peace

Existential Freefall

freefall

What’s my purpose
Why am I here
Am I merely an echo
Yesterdays thoughts
Traveling blindly
In a circular canyon
Living each day
Like every other
Of a cul de sac life
Is that all there is

Where am I
Am I here or there
Is anybody anywhere
Is today tomorrows yesterday
Or has yesterday just gone away
Is it all just one long trick
One long tricky delusion
A stubborn illusion
An intrusion
A fusion of mentality
To confirm someone’s reality
Of someone else’s life

Am I here and now
Then and there
At a distance
Near or far
High or low
Offering resistance
Expand my mind
Timothy Leary
Expand my world
M string theory
Dare I mention the tenth dimension
Quantify the quantum
Particles of confusion in collusion

Analog or digital
Reality or fictional
Ritalin will fix it all
Add alcohol and hit the wall
Fastest way to end it all
Who is what
Where is when
Will this story never end
The final page
The last word read
Close my book
I’m at the end

Here’s my confession
Life is merely a question
But death is an obsession
An impression of me calling
Freefalling
Into crisis
Is life really priceless
What happens when there’s no more passion
When the flames die down
Nothing left to burn
The fire goes out
Ashes strewn about
All that remains now
Is the final curtain
The sun and moon take a bow
We gather in the tree’s
Free fall in the breeze
Scenes fade to black
Wind rolls the final credits
Stamped with date and time
Here and now
Finished