Widdle. Crash. Bang.
Widdle. Crash. Bang.
Today, I saw a peace sign sticker on the rear window of a car with U.S Army plates. Fourth infantry division, it said; it’s funny how those who experience war are those most desirous for peace.
World’s full of cases like that, you just gotta go looking for them. We say things about things without ever truly experiencing those things, yet experience can land the things in the same piles. Thoughts travel consistent wavelengths.
I–I don’t know why the sun sets on the horizon, and I can’t tell you if it’ll rise again tomorrow. Much of what we base our knowledge on is formed of coincidence. Say the sky turned yellow tomorrow. Would we remark upon the event in educated soliloquies? Would we do much else but go about our days because, frankly, the sky is beyond our capabilities?
We believe the planet is under our control, that everything meant to occur does so only within our observation. Are we arrogant in that? Does our pride determine our power? We inhabit spaces, few of which are ours–and as for the rest–well, does a grassy field warrant immediate proprietorship?
Tomorrow, I’m not sure what I’ll see. Maybe the same thing, but probably not.
Photo Cred: ID 6058275 © Marcelo Poleze | Dreamstime.com
There’s something so strangely satisfying about Fall (or Autumn, if you’re a particularly fancy person). I can’t define it here; I don’t think anyone can really define it, too much of an immense task, in my opinion. The best I can do is throw a few sharp adjectives its way, hoping they stick–let’s see, uh: bittersweet, mildly fantastical, slightly spooky, cold, warm, loving, abrupt, careful, dangerous, joyful, magical. Ah, now we got something concrete, magical? Magic’s a complex concept, isn’t it? Well, sure, if you want to make it that way. For the sake of this post, K.I.S.S, or Keep It Simple, Sally. HA, and you thought I was gonna say stupid! Tricked you.
Fall is magical. How so? Gee, that’s a tough question, but only the hardest hitters…make the target? Yeah, smooth move, X-Lax, real intelligent, as if targets have anything to do with Fall. But maybe they do. I can’t say definitively that they don’t, so, as they say, the jury’s out on that one–and, y’know, I just talked to them, telling me they’re gonna be out for the next five hours, so, hey, that’s cool.
Now, I’m gonna stop pulling my swings (or is it throws?), and go all out. Fall is undefinable, BAM! whoah, how about that big dose of Truth, huh? but, and I want to preface this, if I may, with the concession that although Fall may be undefinable, it’s not entirely abstract. When I think of Fall, these thoughts proceed: carving Jack-O-Lanterns in the blistering cold, with a mug of Swiss Miss hot cocoa and stomping into carefully raked leaves, hearing them crinkle and crunch beneath my feet and pressing my gloves over my numbing cheeks to still the wind-inflicted pain within them and watching fog settle over an empty field, slithering around every grass stalk and tumbleweed in it and admiring a waxing, orange moon, a centerpiece in the sky’s constantly revised canvas and grasping handfuls of wrapped goodies out of plastic pumpkins and jittery animatronic hands and gathering around a food-laden table to just get a whiff of the pumpkin pie’s creamy filling, its flaky (and occasionally imitation-concrete) crust and being fulfilled and being pleased and feeling as if the weather can, like, channel your mood and sitting on a bench in some lonely place and watching leaves snap off tree branches and glide in a see-saw manner to the grass, crumpling.
It’s not perfect, Fall. It’s not even many people’s favorite season, but it’s Fall, guys, and how often do we get as much out of a season as we do this one?
So, is it just me wondering this, or are there a bunch of you curious about the same thing? Genre Fiction. This is Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, you name it; it’s everything except Literature, and it doesn’t look like its reputation in the the writing community has become any less infamous.
I’m a writer and a reader. I love all books, be they The Silence of the Lambs or Tess of the Durbervilles. ‘Course, the quality wanes in some books, and in others, it surpasses my expectations, but, man, that goes for everything on the planet.
What I’ve noticed, though, is that Literature often criticizes Genre Fiction for not having enough beautiful, inspired prose, while Genre Fiction complains Literature can be boring as hell.
I can see both sides of the argument, and I understand them. They’re rational, for one, and, well, you’re not gonna go to Tarzan of the Apes looking for artful sentence structure, and Tom Wolfe’s writing is not so heart-pounding and adventurous, as it is introspective and inspiring.
The conflict; however, boggles me. Most genre fiction is influenced by classic literature.
We wouldn’t have I Am Legend without Dracula.
We wouldn’t have Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone without The Fellowship of the Ring.
We wouldn’t have Jaws without Moby Dick.
See, comparisons are scattered all over history, but most times, people forget to look.
It’s all art, right? At the end of the day, man, they’re just stories written for different purposes, drawing out different lives and scenarios, putting characters against unimaginable conflicts, hoping they’ll survive.
Books are great. Art is great. Literature and Genre Fiction are great.
Yes, they’re separate in structure and character and conflict and other writerly mumbo-jumbo, but they are connected through the art of writing; and since both are written–well, there’s one comparison.
Photo Credit: Alex Schomberg
Yes, you read that right. I have officially written 150 of these things, most of them bad, some of them good; but the point of this milestone, you see, is that I have been able to write 150 posts because I have such a huge follower base.
Gee, I’m pretty sure we’re near 100 followers now, in total. Crazy stuff. Wouldn’t have anticipated it a year ago, but there are those things you can never sense until they’re right on top of you, am I right? Eh?
But, to the topic of this post, quite a serious one, if I may say so:
I’ve been attending CAA meetings lately. For those who aren’t familiar with the acronym, it stands for Coffee Addicts Anonymous, maybe you haven’t heard it; and, honestly, I wouldn’t blame you. It’s situated out of my parent’s basement, so…small reception, heh.
I wasn’t always addicted to coffee, no, as a kid, I hated the crap. It tasted like black licorice combined with tar–although, that may have been due to my Dad’s preference for black coffee.
I’m more of a creamer man myself. That’s right, ladies. I’m buddy-buddy with Coffee-Mate.
The addiction started off harmless, like a Daddy Long Legs, then, it…oh, it’s difficult to say…it took over my mornings, filled my stomach, and–and, it made me have to use the little boy’s room quite a few more times than usual.
Oh, man, I need a breather. I can hardly talk about it without feeling the urge.
Quick, someone grab a liter of Prune Juice!
[One hour, and one big, big, big burp, later]
All right, we’re good now. I have quenched my thirst with the worst possible drink–oh, wait, that’s orange juice, duh.
We may now proceed with open questions from the audience:
How many, uh, coffee cups do you consume a day?
Tough question, pal. I’d have to say three…dozen.
What is your favorite type of coffee?
Whatever’s in the pot, babe; and, hey, shoot me your number. We’ll get together, have coffee.
How long is it going to take you to realize no one is actually asking questions?
What a twat that guy was, huh? I made sure he was kicked out of the auditorium, so he’s not gonna be bothering us any longer. There are just no decent people anymore, ‘cept for you guys; you guys are cool.
Like coffee. Coffee’s cool, unless it’s hot.
Use that for your next pick-up line, guys. You can credit me later–with a check for 100 grand, addressed to Thoughts of A Southpaw; but, really, it’s no biggie.
Otherwise, keep it rocking, my people.
150 posts strong, and still rolling!
Photo Credit: Tumblr, I believe…
I’ve been upset about my innocence for a long time–you know, that look in your eyes that just screams inexperienced and optimistic; you haven’t hit the harsh realities of life yet, and instead you’re going along as if everything is doodlie-doo, happy times.
Now, I’m not saying I dislike that I’m innocent, only I am, in a way, aren’t I? Perhaps I’m really tired of people underestimating me, seeing me as a kid who doesn’t know what life is, when, truly, life is what you make of it.
Sure, sounds cliche, but it does have relevance. Life is never the same for anyone; there’s always going to be differences, just as there are no people exactly alike. My life so far has been life. These past eighteen years were not spent in a vacuum, and there is no Real World, once you leave school.
C’mon, people, the world is the world. Known that since friggin’ Galileo’s time, and even beyond then…yeah….
I am innocent. I will not deny it. But am I the lesser for it? No. Do I not have as full a grasp on life as others? Sure. When you’re eighteen, you don’t typically know much; however, you still know enough to be–well, you, and, hell, that’s all you have to be.
No one’s making the rules here.
You are you, and there’s not much to change that.
It seems, though, if someone has not gone through the ringer at least a few times, has not accomplished the necessary requirements attributed to being an adult, then they, or their voices, are not worth the time of day.
Take kids, for example, the people we want to keep innocent in this world–but, that’s it, isn’t it? No one wants to listen to kids, to see what insights they have to offer; and, in doing so, they are missing out on valuable perspectives that could well change the world.
Innocence, and age, for that matter, shouldn’t be this restricting factor, or an inquiring face to turn away; no, are you kidding? Both of them have importance–both of them are crucial to understanding what the hell all us humans are trying to accomplish in these lives of ours.
Everyone matters, not only a few, because to limit is to inhibit further knowledge.
Yo, yo, yo, everybody! I couldn’t stay away from you guys for long without feeling lonely…
Hey, didya know tomorrow’s Friday the 13th? Didya also know I can’t write a post on Friday the 13th because I’m working all night? Yep. Making money sucks.
Any who, just like last year, I hereby present to you the infamous Halloween Stereotypes:
The Halloween Music Fanatic: Just as there are White Christmas fans, so are there Monster Mash fans. These weirdos listen to loops of I Was A Teenage Frankenstein in one ear, while, in the other ear, they are jamming out to Nightmare On My Street–a classic by the Fresh Prince.
Identifiable by these traits:
The Candy Thief: What’s that you say? Why, yes, this does apply to parents; but they deserve their own list of stereotypes. These miscreants steal bite sized goodies out from under your green painted nose–then, they eat it in front of you! MUAAAAAHHHHAAAA!
Identifiable by these traits:
The Store Wh–I mean–
The Store Bore: Ever known one of those people who loves to go to Wal-Mart in October to see the Halloween section? How about a person who visits the costly costume stores working out of rented Circuit Cities? At least a few, right? Or not–hell, even I fall into this category.
Identifiable by these traits:
Well, that’s six so far, only twenty-five left to go…
Heh. That’s a lot.
I wonder if I’m that creative?
As of late, I have been stressed.
This is all thanks to college and work and my third novel–not to mention, the amount of people telling me I need to be social, and the tumultuous roller coaster ride of becoming an effective adult.
Hang on…let me take a breath…
I admit that I’m not as good at managing it sometimes, but I suppose everyone can have their imperfections…at least I hope so. If not, then I’ve been a friggin’ android all my life; yeah, get to referencing some Blade Runner, a movie I haven’t seen yet…
What’s made it easier? Well, butterflies, of course–the Cinderella of the Ugly Step Moths.
Now you’re thinking:
Butterflies. Duh! Who would not have thought of them?
Answer: Normal People, otherwise known as, Not The Weirdo Talking About Blade Runner and Butterflies.
Other-Otherwise, not you guys, ’cause if you were normal, you would have switched off your computer or tablet or phone the minute this post popped up in your feed.
Other–Other-Otherwise, we’re all weirdos.
Right, butterflies. They’ve appeared in swarms recently. Dunno whether it’s the cold weather, or that the Moths have finally struck down Butterfly City in a great and terrible flap of their mildewed wings.
I don’t mind the swarms; in fact, I rather love how the butterflies seem to swarm me in my “downer” moments, brightening me instantaneously!
On the college campus, during the mile and a quarter walk from class to my car, these butterflies float from flower to flower, springing to the air as I pass beside them. They flutter up to my face, say hello–maybe prepare to take a little butterfly poopsie on my glasses–and are gone before I can blink three times…or is it four?
When I run through the fields behind our neighborhood, it’s as if the butterflies are practicing a chorus line. A voice races to mind, “Presenting, for one night only, The Winged Rockettes–ah, damn, they already copyrighted that.”
I almost apologize for screwing with their routines, but then I remember the butterflies are the ones screwing with my routine. But is it purposeful? Or are the butterflies drunk out of their minds on sweet, sweet nectar?
Right now, I’m imagining Dennis the Menace as a moth, and the Cranky Old Man as a walking butterfly. Gee, the things your mind’ll create, am I right, guys? What? No, I’m far from drunk, just buzzed is all…
To the point of this wayward post: amid their flighty antics, the butterflies are inadvertently bringing relief to this ofttimes treadmill of a life. Not to sound weird, but their swarms seem to suck out all the negativity and stress from my mind, and kick their dark asses to the curb.
Maybe the butterflies will enroll in WWE after Broadway?
I woke up late today. Had gotten in at 11:00 the night before, exhausted from work; and so I slept until about 9:00.
When I woke up, the first thing I did was reach for my phone, which was lying beside my bed, and I looked at the screen to see a News update. The tagline that caught my attention was–Worst Mass Shooting in U.S History.
I studied it. Las Vegas? Monterey Bay? Why would someone want attack Las Vegas?
So, confused, I went upstairs and switched on the news; of course, the events were breaking on every local and national news channel. The information piled up, and the overall feeling I received was grim.
50 or more people killed, and at least 500 more injured. One shooter, aiming from a window on the 32nd floor.
A thought came to me: University of Texas.
That tragedy happened before I was born, but I knew enough about it to draw eerie parallels between both of these incidents.
I thought, “What if this guy’s like Charles Whitman? What if his life just went to complete shit, and all he could think to do was take out his frustrations on these hundreds of innocent lives?”
For close to thirty minutes, I watched the live coverage, listening to the reports of the concert goers, most of them barely able to talk; and when they were, it was through tears.
A report that hit me was from a woman who claimed she had had a feeling that something was going to happen at the concert.
How dark must our society have become that when we attend these large public events, one of our primary fears is, “What if there’s a shooter?” or “What if I, or someone I know, dies here tonight?”
Fear is now unfortunately an integral aspect of living life.
I mean, hell, I go to some concerts, even circuses, and I just get this ominous feeling.
However, just because we’re afraid doesn’t mean we have to let the fear win.
I think, as humans, we can overcome anything. We’ve survived God knows how many horrors this world has thrown our way–and yet…we always find a way to come out on top and persevere.
We are Americans, after all. That’s gotta count for something.
The best remedy to any tragedy, I think, is to let it out–let your emotions, your griefs, be heard, because as long as that sadness–that total obliteration of knowing what’s going to happen next–is pent up inside you, then it will never stop haunting you.
To those affected by the events in Las Vegas, the previous night might not ever stop being as real as it is to you right now, and that’s okay–so long as you yourself are okay, and are persevering amid darkness.
Stay strong, America.
What’s up, my people?
Sorry, was that too out-of-the-gate?
Here, tell you what, I’ll call you folks from now on. Just folks. I promise.
All right, so, guys, I gotta tell you about this sweet class I got going at college. Yes, as you might have been able to divulge from the title, it does involve middle schoolers and stories. Good to practice those reading skills whenever you can.
I am scheduled to teach a single sixth grade class, with a partner, for a whole hour. We’re required to construct a lesson plan, and, you know, all the other blah-de-bloo. It is to be presented on November 1st, the day after Halloween.
Kids, hey, we need you to pay attention! Oh my God, I think–
They’re psyched out on crap loads of candy! Run for cover!
Well, barring any unforeseen candy psychoses, I think we’ll be all right…for a little while.
Anyways, back to the point of the post, which is sixth graders writing stories.
Personally, I’m in love with the concept, but maybe that’s just ’cause I’m a writer. I dunno.
Some of the more memorable bits of these students’ writings were:
That is just the beginning–kidding, that’s actually the end.
Those four things are the only events that took place in the hour and a half I spent at this middle school. Other than that, I sat on the ground and stared at a wall and talked to myself about how Kraft Mac and Cheese is a disgusting choice of food.
Wait, you guys aren’t actually that gullible, right?
‘Cause I was totally lying about the Kraft Mac and Cheese.