A Star.

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Legend

Photo Credit : Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

That’s what he was, for sure. At least in his own mind. But was it really true. Did his school mates, like him, or fear him. He had the physical capability to deal with anyone, as he was one of the, lucky ones, to have grown tall and broad. He had those lucky genes.
He was not by any stretch of the imagination, a woman magnet. But he attracted enough girls to keep him busy, and the envy of some of the less successful boys in his year. His position as the captain of the high school football team, only enhanced his self esteem, and his popularity among most of his class mates. His keen mind and bestowed intelligence allowing an easy passage through school . The same lessons, that had many of the less intellectually gifted, struggling, frustrated and depressed. Imagining future lives of minimum wage employment, or no employment. Perhaps a life of crime. Who knows.

Beneath the square jaw, the broad shoulders, easy smile and the piercing grey eyes, was a fearful human. He had not shared with another soul, that he was afraid of leaving high school, and going to university. Afraid to leave the small town, he had come to love. Where he knew so many others, and they knew him. Could he cope with a new city, a competitive university. Boy’s, bigger than him. Stronger than him. Better looking than he was. Perhaps more intelligent than he ever would be. He knew his parents had plans for his future. To follow in his Fathers footsteps. Work his way through medical school, travel and build up extensive medical experience and after a time, return to the small town, and become the local Doctor. As his Father before him had been.
That is what his parents wanted for him. But was that really what he wanted for himself. How could he tell them, especially his Father, to whom appearances and to be seen to be successful were of the utmost importance. How could he turn round and tell them, that he did not want to be a Doctor, nor attend university, not now, nor anytime in the future.

‘ What I want is important, not what you want. It’s my needs and my desires for once. Stop living your lives through me. I don’t want to be a Doctor, and anything like that, I want to write, to draw and paint, to be artistic and creative. That is where my passion lies. That is what I want to do. I want to design. I want to play and compose music. I don’t give a damn if their’s no money in it. Or if I’m no good at it. I just don’t care. I just want to be happy’. That’s what he wanted to say. He really did.

Of course he never said it. After he excelled at his final exams, as expected. With great unhappiness, on that final day, he packed his bags, slowly and morosely. He tried to tell his parents, he really did. He uttered a few words of doubt, and fear. But they cut him short, and assured him, it was to be expected, and would soon pass. Stepping out from his comfort zone. That is what he was doing, they explained to him. They would hear none of his further objections and small protests. He did not say much else. As they were his parents, and had by and large being good to him, and expected the best from him, and he did not want to disappoint. They waved him farewell from the front porch. With his head held low, his body language no longer that of the popular high school, football team captain. More that of a sad, disappointed child, fulling the wishes of others, not his own. Under silent protest, he trundled towards the empty highway pickup point for the city bus.
In the warm sunshine a few of the boys from the football team, meet and accompanied him of his trek towards the bus pick up point.

‘ You know, I never really wanted to leave this town, this place, and you guys. ‘

Would any of them understand. Could anybody ever understand, and give him a way out. They too assured him, it would be a good move. For his carer, financially, for his family. The small group waited by the highway, for the bus. He bid them farewell, and as he sat alone on the bus, surrounded by strangers. The bus traveled into the setting sun, it seemed like nobody would ever understand.

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Time.

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Photo by Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash

Time, just about  the most precious commodity there is. Do you really want to be working ninety hour plus, a week, to the point of exhaustion, just for the money. What about the time to reflect. To enjoy. To process and think over life events. Time to spend with your loved ones, and maybe children. Much of the lack of free time is to do with greedy, selfish employers, whom, from what I can see, pay those in their employ as little as they can get away with.
Consequently their generally low paid workers, have to spend most of their time, working all the hours God sends, in an effort to provide a decent life for themselves, and there loved ones. Maybe if these employers bought one less piece of expensive company equipment. Or maybe had one less holiday a year, and paid there workers a decent living wage, so they are not forced into working mad hours. How about that, a bit fairer all round, I’d say.
It certainly is quiet frustrating to read of company profits and turnover increasing, and not seeing that profitability reflected in one’s wage packet. The profits and turnover, you, as the employee are contributing to. I recently read an interview where the CEO of one of the major coffee operations in the world, with coffee houses everywhere. In that interview he relayed how he had being brought in a one parent family, by his Mother, in a poor area of town. Watching her struggle financially, under pressure and stress, trying to provide for her family. He determined there and then, that he would always remember how hard it was for his Mother, and that he would always be understanding, and helpful of others struggles on their life journey. Eventually managing to get himself educated, and successful to a reasonable degree, he became CEO of this internationally famous coffee company. How much do they pay their front line staff ? Minimum wage.
Maybe its easy to forget, where you’ve come from, and what you’ve being through, and what you promised yourself, when you are sitting in the plush boardroom, over looking the big city.

Generally I blame the employers, if you have to work for others. Where one is out of necessity forced to work very long working hours, for no great fortune. With little time for much else. To say it’s incredibly frustrating, would certainly be an understatement. Is chasing all that success, and the money, really that important ? You may  get to the graveyard a wealthy person. But were you so stressed out, and maybe missing out on important life, and family events, throughout your life. Missing the opportunity to connect with others on a deep level, form friendships that may have  lasted a life time. Not at all easy to balance it out. Did it all seem so worth it  now, looking back ? Not an easy quandary to solve. Time rich, and poor, or no time and rich. What matters to you, when you look back at your life, if your lucky enough to reach a healthy age. Of course, access to financial resources is an absolute bonus, as it makes life so much easier and smooth. Don’t you believe those Catholics and priests who tell you poverty, and suffering is the gateway to heaven. Trust me, it ain’t. I don’t believe God wants us to suffer. If there is a God, and we are all his children ?  If there is a God, I’m assuming he is a God of love, not a God of nastiness, and suffering. Don’t tread along that foolish path. Will you be a well to do person, full of regret, surrounded by the trappings of success ? But maybe angry underneath it all, that you missed out on so much.
I don’t have the answer. It’s very hard choices what you prioritize in life. No doubt financial wealth and independence is fabulous is one can achieve it. Leading to great freedom and choice in life, which is what I would strive for, and value most above all else. Maybe not everyone is cut out to be a successful entrepreneur. For myself, I certainly value time spent with loved one’s and friends, much more important than maybe a lonely existence of a wealthy person with the obvious trappings of success, but perhaps with a deep inner emptiness and loneliness, and much regret and frustration.
I don’t know if I’m coming back round for a second go, or if I’m coming back at all ! if you believe in reincarnation. Perhaps then I’d hold a different view. Who knows, maybe next time round I may be a wealthy man.

Dishonour.

You lie cheat and deny, say you are unable
To do what you said you were going to do
You insist it’s the truth, but it just don’t add up, like two and two
Something’s not right, something is amiss
How your living your life, like nothing has changed

Are you a man of honor, or does that mean nothing to you
Is it alright in your book, to screw others over
Cause this is what you do
You take what is not yours, refuse to share what you got
We’ve asked, pleaded, cajoled and begged

But none of these methods are getting through to your head
You lie, cheat and steal from those that are deserving
Those who are close to you
Surely we deserve better than this
Rather than be treated like fools

How can you be so immune, to others outside of yourself
Are you so wrapped up, and self indulgent
It does not even enter your head
Is it right, that you should indulge yourself, with what you taken
That don’t belong to you
Can you not see the suffering of others, right here in front of you

Have you no compassion, no empathy for others
Or perhaps you are a narcissist too
I will not be friendly to you
Maybe over time you will learn
To treat others this way just wont do

So I will ask one more time
Are you a man of honour, or does that mean nothing to you.

Choices.

Particular

‘I am very particular about whom I get involved with now. Although perhaps I may enjoy being with you. I don’t need to be with you’.
Never before had he being spoken to like that. The cheek, the very idea. Who the hell did this woman think she was. The blood surged through his veins at speed, like a wild ranging river. He could feel his face redden, his fists clench, his shoulders tense, and the adrenaline run round his abdomen.
Then with the strike, it was released. The very real sense of peace and physical relaxation most welcoming. His jaw he had held so tightly, now eased. His breathing again became more smooth and easy. His clenched fists returned to the gentle creative hands they usually were. His hate filled eyes now replaced by gentleness, regret and sorrow. He rushed to her side where she lay on the floor, the blood seeping from the corner of her mouth. Her smart business suit, now crumpled and sullied with the dirt from the kitchen floor. Her look of shock, and a little fear, but overall her face portrayed a look of righteous anger and indignation.

‘You think you can do that to me’, her scream loud and embarrassing.

What if the neighbours heard, was his only concern. Would they not know, and think so much less of him as a man, as a human. He had to shut her up, to quieten her. She quickly raised herself from the floor. Now she was the one feeling the strong feelings of anger, and indignation. Her emotions propelling her body’s movements. She ran at him, her screams guttural, inhuman, animal like. Her sharpened fingers reaching for his hair, face, his eyes, anywhere she could reach. Kicking and slapping where she could. But her efforts, wasted and ineffectual, on a man of his size. He pushed her away easily, and pleaded with her to calm down. Apologised for what he had done, and promised it was so totally out of character that he could not understand his actions, at all.

‘ It will nevr, ever happen again, I swear. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Look let’s sit down and have a drink’.
‘Get the hell away from me, you animal’, her voice so very loud. Don’t you ever, ever come near me again’.

He needed her to quieten down, what of the neighbors, his main concern. His reputation and place in the community, at risk. He thought best than to decide to talk her down, he would just be quiet, so as not to make the situation any worse.
She gathered her belongings, threw the half filled glass of champange at him,

‘ I’m very particular about whom I get involved with, you freak’, she roared.

With that she slammed the apartment door, and made her way into cold, rain sozzzled night.

 

Into The Blue.

clifftop.

Into the Blue…..

Into the blue, she said, is that what you want to do
Do you really think that is gonna solve it for you
Why don’t you admit what we all know to be true
You’re a liar ,a thief and an alcoholic too

No one likes you, in this family here
Just thought I’d tell you, so it’s very clear
We wish you were gone the hell away from here
So just that you know, and it’s all very clear

I can’t make it any more planar ,my dear
Why don’t you just leave, it’ll be easier all round
The children will have some peace
We’ll all be sound

So you’re going to commit suicide, well good luck with that
It’s a threat I’ve heard a few times before
So it ain’t that big a shock
I say do it, do it, get it done
Then we’ll all be free to have some fun

We don’t like you in this family here
With the arguments you cause, generating such fear
With your nasty way of being, cutting others down clean
The way you carry on, Jesus it’s obscene

Did I mention we don’t like you in this family here
Sail off, and go to hell, why don’t you my dear
I don’t love no more, and it’s been a long time since
That I’ve had feelings of warmth towards you
You and all that alcohol , can’t you see the coincidence

You ain’t the man, I thought you once was
You a drunk, an idiot, a fool, and a slob
You should be ashamed of yourself, look at you now
How you shake and hallucinate, and at time talk to the cows

That’s, the cows that don’t actually exist
Except inside your drink sodden brain ,Where you can’t even see the pain you’re causing to This family of ours
As you spend our finances on people you meet

In the bars and clubs you repeatedly frequent
Keep going there till all our money is spent
Living it up, like the fool what you are
Why I’m stuck here wondering how to feed our children

I hate and detest you, you know that, my dear. Never have I uttered such honest words to another human, I swear
So if you’ve any sense of honour, and your going do what you say
I myself will drive you to the deep ocean blue
Just to make sure you do what you say you’re going to do

I will watch and celebrate, as you sink, struggle and drown
Then the children and I will be free, as we have the right to be
Did I mention somewhere, we don’t like you in this family here

Those were the last words I remember, as I walked to the clifftop edge
With the images of my children, and all those words left unsaid
At least I was a man of honor, doing what I said I was going to do
I stepped off that cliff, into the deep ocean blue.

 

Is this it ?

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Photo by Billy Huynh on Unsplash

Atmospheric

She looked out at the vast universe. She was always taken aback by its sense of infinity, of nothingness, of stretching to the never, never.  The silence, the sense of nothing moving. Although she had seen it many, many times before, it always fascinated her. Too mad, to brain disturbing to even think about it. She thought of her daughters, of her husband, and the day they had waved her goodbye, and wished her well on her journey. The trip she had dreamed of ever since she was a child.

Throughout her childhood, space, the ultimate sense, and real freedom, the universe, had always offered her an escape, from a family background that was less than healthy, or good for her soul. Many time throughout her childhood, she had sought solace, and peace in the vastness and emptiness that the very idea of interstellar travel offered. Her imagination soared freely, as she traveled alone , and in peace, away from people, away from others. Relationships  had always being difficult for her. It seemed to her, life would be so fine, if only she didn’t have the encumbrance of actually dealing with other humans. Animals, no problems there, of course. As generally speaking , they love you forever, if you show them, even a shred of kindness. They always remember, and a bonus being, they can never, ever speak. At least she was secure in the knowledge, that her deepest thoughts and ruminations that she shared, of which there were many, with the various  animals she befriended, would never, ever be divulged to another human being. Weather in the animal kingdom, if she was a source of gossip, she neither cared, or was concerned.

But now as her space capsule traveled,in the silence, through space, towards the outer reaches of the universe, and onward towards infinity, the prospect of never seeing her family again hit hard. She knew it was pointless to try the dim flickering switches of the instrument panel before her. The communication system to earth, had long since given up. She was afraid, sad, but also curious. What actually happens when we die. Where do we go, what happens next. Is there actually a God, a second life, a second chance to live life the way we would have done, given the opportunity. The chance to right the wrongs the all are guilty of. Cruel words and actions,  looking back, that perhaps given some thought and reflection, we would not have indulged in. Could we have being more lenient, gentle and forgiving of those whom we perceived did us wrong, of perhaps their crimes were too monstrous to be worthy of forgiveness.

What she would have given for a second chance. The opportunity to hold her husband gently, and softly tell him, how much she loved him. The opportunity to hold her daughters, just one more time, and to lay out some guidelines, some rules for life, for a happy, peaceful life.  To be compassionate towards others, to try to be  understanding of others lives, and what they have been through. To forgive easily, to throw grudges and resentments aside. To laugh  as much as possible, to have fun, to enjoy life while one can.

She glanced once more through the large open screens that sat before her, into the darkness, and the passing dull stars, as the relaxing classical music played softly and gently in the background, easing her mind somewhat. The effect of the over medication of the tranquilizers slowly and gloriously taking their toll on her once  bright, effervescent mind. Questions she once demanded answers too, no longer seemed  important.

She looked once again at the dark vastness before her, as her space capsule ventured forth into the unknown.

Loved.

Popular

She was the most popular girl in high school . Everyone, it seemed loved her. The teachers loved her. She was the star of the sports team. Her classmates loved her, or so it seemed. She had the looks, the bubbly personality, and a way of interacting with others, that made them feel like they were so important. That they mattered. But truth be told, they mattered little to her. She was a very determined young woman, and knew exactly what she wanted from life. In short order that was a well to do lover, who would see to her physical and financial needs. An employer who would pander to her deep-seated desire for glittering carer success, and in the process garner her even more attention, popularity and self importance. As long as life continued along easy street, she’d be happy enough with that.

She knew how to use her good looks, which had already given her pretty much a free ride through life, on easy street. But she never was forced to develop a fully rounded personality. To learn to be kind, sympathetic, empathic with others. To develop a true sense of humour. An ability to laugh at herself and her own failings. People looked at her, and judged her personality and character on how she looked. Assuming, wrongly, if she looked so pretty, that her personality and character most surely match her physical attributes.

But for those that were on the receiving end of her caustic, critical and unpleasant  behaviour, it was quiet another matter. Her sick ailing Mother, whom she had come to despise. Judging her dementia as a weakness, and a self-inflicted illness, through a bad diet, and laziness, and refusal to activate and invigorate her mind. Many screaming matches had ensued between the two in the privacy of the family home , that they shared together. It was she who screamed, and her ailing mother who cowered, fearful and confused by such anger, and her daughters inability to be compassionate and understanding.
Her popularity hide well her nastiness, that was just below the surface. Ready and willing to come to the fore, when required and when out of sight of those who adored and worshipped her. Many were fooled by the expertly contrived show she was very capable of putting on. Her Mother on the other hand was fearful of her, and when not in a confused state of mind, eagerly awaited the day her daughter was to leave the family home.

It was one such day, after yet another one sided war of words between the two, again her Mother cowered. Eventually her daughter exhausted by her own screaming, anger and frustrations, settled back on the comfortable couch in the lounge. She let the images on the tv screen wash over her, and her tired mind and body. Sleep came easily and was very welcoming. The revery of her inner landscape, such a glorious escape from her irritating and increasingly confused Mother. In her dream world images of her glittering and comfortable future unfolded before her. The handsome Italian man she was sure would one day waltz into her life. Her future career filled with limousines, five star hotels, world travel, and of course important business meetings. Then onto her detached home , hidden by the large landscaped gardens.
Thoses very same gardens, in her dream where she rested, layed out under the mid day sun. After some time the heat becoming increasingly uncomfortable, on her forehead, her cheeks, and her jaw, and across her eyes. Discomfort to the extent where her skin felt on fire, as if it was melting. Striving now to wake up from her uncomfortable unpleasant dream, she struggled to open her eyes. The heat of her skin, searing and red raw. She touched her check, the skin unusually soft to her touch.
She watched, and screamed as the Mother,  she had angrily banished upstairs, stood above her, her eyes empty and lost, again tilted the contents of the steaming hot silver teapot over her once pretty face.