ideas

Creepy.

I try to run as often as I can. Sometimes that may be only once or twice a week, perhaps every other week; still, though, I try my darnedest, and I suppose that’s what counts.

I went on a run today. Three miles. Average. Felt pretty good, healthy.

It’s been getting to be damn hard, though, if I’m gonna be honest. The will of wanting to run–well, it has its ups and downs; most of the time, I am forcing myself to do the deed. Makes it sound like an illegal act, or something, when, in all actuality, running helps keep me sane.

I saw a dead rabbit while running. Its fur was matted with water splashed up from passing cars; and it just lay there, eyes empty, tiny mouth agape. Looked like a ruined washcloth with shriveled paws.

This rabbit was on the side of the road, an empty, empty road. Must have been fresh, since the birds hadn’t taken their pickings yet; but I gotta say, I–I didn’t like seeing the emptiness in its eyes.

It wasn’t petrified–how could it be scared for its life when it was likely taken within a few seconds? It was…just…dead. That’s one of the scariest things to see in life, you know, something that’s had its life snipped at the seam–in an instant.

Blammo. And nothing left.

Didn’t help there were crows watching me from roofs, groups of them circling high in the sky. I remember one large crow, its head appearing as if shrouded beneath this black shawl, talons scratching at the fence post on which it roosted. It stared at me as I passed the dead rabbit. Those beady button eyes stared directly at me; and the rest of the crow made no movement at all. The thing sat hunched there, brooding; hell, maybe it was waiting to swoop across and gut its newfound meal.

I don’t know.

But I didn’t like it.

Birds were everywhere when I walked back home, a flock in one tree, three or more crows perched on roof after roof; and, looking around, all I could see were the birds with their noise and their silence.

Felt like Christmastime, all the lights out upon the houses, twinkling, buzzing; and not a footprint to be seen on snowy streets, nor a fracture of firelight from within one of the houses encroached in shadow, only the winged predators dragging their talons across roof tiles.

I would say it was reminiscent of Hitchcock, but what I can gather mentally from that experience is–

Is that it felt creepy.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

The Top 5 Most Important Questions To Ask In A Blog.

  1. Why do dogs dislike cats?
  2. What’s the difference between drinking water and tap water?
  3. Can you call foul in a game if the whole game is foul?
  4. Is art the manifestation of us, or are we the manifestation of art?
  5. Did this post attract you because it was a numbered list? Or was it the picture?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

The Squirrel

I watched a squirrel for close to an hour the other night.

Of course, I should have been intensely studying for the math test that night, but this squirrel, it was more than a squirrel. It was…well, it’s hard to completely explain in a short number of words.

I’ll start from the beginning–

I was sitting at a table on the college campus, math book and notebook cracked open in front of me. Review mode was engaged–let’s put it that way; and as far as studying for math goes, I thought I was doing pretty well.

Now, to step away from the math–we already know I’m terrible at the concept–I want to introduce all of you to the man of the hour: the squirrel that hopped down from a tree to the right of me.

It’s not as if this was a mutant squirrel; no, it was your average, everyday, acorn-loving creature, nothing much to it. I could tell it had come out to scavenge when I first saw it–why, you ask? it was hunting beneath the various tables for scraps of wasted food.

The squirrel got lucky a few times, found two French fries, and, I think, a potato chip.

I wasn’t too interested in what it was eating, though.

Sidetrack a moment from the squirrel.

Picture: a set piece on which all these types of people are walking and acting out their lives, their personalities, within the restricted boundaries of whatever influence the public opinion has over our confidence.

One girl, two tables away from me, was chatting on a phone while studying for, possibly, the same math test. Truth be told, I didn’t check out that specific detail.

Another guy showed up during the middle of the squirrel’s charade–and take note, this guy is important in this story, ‘kay?–chomping down on a pink coated chocolate candy and pacing the ground before a bundle of spiring trees.

Dozens more people passed and went, walked and skated, talked and reflected. Classes were let out, and those students came through this set piece, only to go onto another one within an instant.

Why are they crucial? Why did I observe them so keenly?

Not a single one of these people acknowledged the squirrel’s existence.

The squirrel here is crawling over and under the intricacies of these tables, grabbing at crumbs; and, to them, it’s a ghost. The French fries disappeared, sure, but to where they went, no one would be the wiser.

I had my eyes fixed on the squirrel, and with each group that entered the set piece, I watched to see if any would take note of it. Surprisingly, as I said, it was as if the whole scene was happening underground, no lights, no sense of what or why was going on in the surroundings.

I had to laugh; of course, who wouldn’t in a situation like that.

Every time I kept thinking someone would point out the squirrel and admire its cuteness, my intuition was proven wrong. Sometimes it is–that I don’t deny; it’s pointless to assume I would have predicted any of the reactions.

Then I wondered…

Why was I so enamored with the squirrel in the first place?

The answer came to me when I saw the squirrel, fresh off its second fry, venture carefully towards the girl chatting on her phone. It would take a few bounds, stop, sniff the ground, and tread some more ground, its tail twitching with each movement.

It reached the girl…eventually–and what did the girl do but stare at it and stamp her feet.

The squirrel retreated, scared, unsure, wrecked in all of its emotional faculties. Had it been looking for food? A companion? Someone to give it a good petting? Dunno. All I know is that it ran from her.

At this point, we return to the guy eating his chocolate candy.

During the periods when I was unable to clearly observe the squirrel, my focus had been spent studying this dude. By all accounts, he looked simple enough, just enjoying his chocolate; he was the guy you’d pass on the street without a second thought–that is…until the group of girls walked by him.

A glance was all it took, and I recognized the panic in his eyes as they tracked the girls, this trio glued to their phones, disregarding the guy without a second thought.

He lowered the chocolate candy, moved to speak; although, by then, they were gone.

I winced.

The guy walked a few more minutes, lost to his thoughts–

During this painful moment, another class stormed down from the hill, jabbering, hopping on their skateboards and scooters; again, not one of them noticed the squirrel that, cowering beneath a table, dropped to its paws and hightailed it to the bundle of spiring trees near the recently heartbroken guy.

And guess what?

As the guy pondered and paced, he stopped a second, looked up; and he saw the squirrel, just stood there in an awe of sorts as the squirrel clamped itself to one of the trees and crawled up the trunk.

What else could I do than be mesmerized? Another of these bystanders had seen the invisible critter; now, it was as real as anything else in that small dining square.

Why do I tell you this story? Why do I waste your time with a little human observation?

To me, that most people did not see this squirrel says something about the state of humanity–of existing.

I forgot to mention earlier, but the whole time I was studying the squirrel, none of those people took a notice of me, either. Like the squirrel, I became a ghost for a short amount of time, free to wander, to act, to do, as I wished.

Maybe it’s ’cause I was silent. Maybe it’s ’cause I simply watched.

Maybe it’s ’cause, for one reason or another, I just didn’t blend.

I put faith in this assumption because of the one other person who saw the squirrel:

The guy who had recently been rejected by the trio of girls.

The both of us were not, by any stretch of the matter, different, per say; however, what if, since the majority of this small society had not stopped to acknowledge our being there, we were then able to acknowledge the presence of the squirrel?

Perhaps existing is more than simply being seen by others. Perhaps, as long as you yourself are confident in what you stand for, in what you think, or believe; then, perhaps,   existing is a matter of whether or not you want to stand tall, or sit complacently with the masses.

Perhaps, at this moment, there’s a squirrel scampering at your feet for food, and you haven’t yet noticed it.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

Carpe Diem.

Holy Crap, no one actually told me college was going to be this difficult. I just finished my first week, and already I am stressed out of my young, adult mind–wait, young and adult?

First off, boy, some of these classes are friggin’ long–I mean, five hours long. That’s a long time. A good thing, though, is that some of the professors can lecture so fluently time goes by in a flash. They can start on a conversation at the beginning of class and finish the class on the same topic.

Okay, maybe not the exact same topic…

I’ve made some friends already, which is a constant struggle in college; in that respect, lunch has gone smooth every day since then–but I’ve also been taking some time to venture out into the campus and reflect on life.

You know what I figured out?

All of the freshman entering college are in my position. I’m not talking the exact same position; however, each person is lost and isolated and confused as to what the hell they’re supposed to do after that one class.

We are lost souls, swimming in a fishbowl of our own loneliness. It’s sad when I put it that way, and maybe it’s sad for me to think of it as such; but when you gotta be honest, you gotta be honest.

I’m not avidly searching for people to hang out with–well, maybe a little–because I sorta got a bunch of friends from high school with whom I can connect. It’s just…it’s hard, you know? Stepping into the shoes of an adult for the first time… There’s a need for responsibility, a need to act, everywhere I turn; add on top of that a load of homework and studying and social pressures–it makes me feel like a ticking time bomb.

But, then, I remember. I remember how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to receive this great gift that is education. I tell myself to buck up, get my shit together. Life is hard, but it’s only gonna get harder; and if I have dreams to follow, then I had better go chasing after them as if it was the last day on Earth.

Carpe Diem. Translated from Latin, it means Seize the Day. That’s my catchphrase this year.

Armed with the ambition of wanting to be a writer, to tell stories that change how stories themselves work, I’m going to recite those two words every morning of every day.

When I wake up, the moment I open my eyes–Carpe Diem.

When I sit down to write on a story–Carpe Diem.

As I climb the staircase of knowledge at a university where hard work, and perseverance, will make me capable of achieving my dreams, my goals in life–Carpe Diem. 

It’s the truth as I believe it.

It’s the truth as I say it.

It is whatever I want it to mean, and more.

Why?

I have the ability to do so. I have the freedom to do so.

I’m not just going to sit here and write all of this crap down and do nothing with it.

No, these words are to be acted upon, as all words should be; and they will hold within themselves the truths that I have set forth in this blog post. This is a declaration of action, not inaction. It is a route by which I will travel these long and troublesome years, because I know I can do whatever I want to do–whatever I dream I can do, if I only suffer through the pain and come back out on top at the end.

Life is fair to us if we strive to make it so; otherwise, the chances can be less to none.

I say: Make Your Life, The Life of All Lives.

And never regret it.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

How the iPhone and The Industrial Revolution Are The Same.

We live in the Digital Age, don’t we? We carry mini-computers in our pockets, watch any form of television we want from the comfort of our sofas and beds; hell, folks, we got these strange friggin’ hover boards–honestly, to me, they look like skateboards with an engine. What else? Too much to list? Perhaps. Yes, I would say there is a lot to handle in this generation.

It takes a little bit to get adjusted to the new fangled anything. It’s not because this product is more complex than the next–no, to simplify it to that would be to blatantly deny the past millennia of developments in life and the act of living.

In the early 1900s, America struck it rich with the Industrial Revolution, a Renaissance for the modern times. It was astounding. It was innovating. It was frightening. Don’t any of you think to tell me that any situation in which the old is knocked out of the ring by the new, gleaming, and glorified champion of the world of tomorrow is not the least bit  abrupt.

You can bet there were people, maybe farmers, who wanted to take a piss all over those giant iron machines; or, as I will call them, Crop Transformers. They probably foamed at the mouth cursing out the inventors and the businessmen whose purpose it was to move the world forward.

Why? They got scared.

How on Earth would they be able to support their families–and even if they were alone, themselves? It was like playing out your whole hand the second time round in a game of high-stakes poker. Neither of those scenarios would have an ending that satisfied both ends of the table.

So, the farmers thought, machines. All right, sure, machines could be a pain; but if there was no pain, then would we know calm? Wrong analogy. What I mean is, the farmers started seeing the machines as an asset, a comrade in arms against those pestering weeds, the bushels of grain that took hours to collect.

That was it. Time.

Whoever said money runs the world never took a good look at a clock.

Take the farmers. Harvest was their life; and, not only that, but their purpose–this never ending production–it rose according to the rise of the sun, and it set when that glowing ball sunk beneath their plains. The seasons. In spring, growth, and lots of it. Come summer, their products were spreading across the country; the farmer prepared for that cold breath of autumn and winter in which he harvested and cultivated.

Machines had no sense of time. You pressed one button, and it did the work of three farmers without breaking a sweat. No emotions held it down, nor simple laziness. The machines were the tools of men, used by men to improve themselves and their world.

So, then we had two sides of a coin. Somehow it always leads to those two opposing sides.

Of course, with all coins, it must be flipped; and, in this case, the coin landed on the side of the machines. No, that does not mean Arnold Schwarzenegger finally won the war against ol’ John Connor–it means the farmers settled with their conditions.

Now, cut to the Modern World, or the World Currently Ruled By Apple, All Hail the Mac Computer.

On a routine trip to the At&t store, my grandfather and I went to purchase his first -iPhone, as well as an iPad, because it was a sweet deal. He chose the latest edition–the iPhone 7 Plus, and; of course, who wouldn’t choose the best version, right?

Me, I guess. I still have my iPhone 6. Yeah…

The clerk informed him about almost all of the things an iPhone can do, many of which, to me and my generation, have become common knowledge:

Internet Connection? Psshh, I’ll just use data, suckers.

Games, Games, Marvelous Games. Hit the damn pigs, you stupid bird!

Yeah…I don’t know what the hell a Kodak is, but I’m gonna take your picture–actually, before that, let me find the right filter.

Despite the clerk explaining the iPhone well, my grandfather still looked confused. He was replacing an Android phone; and yet the complexities of an iPhone are a tad more…complex, shall we say.

Then I thought–

Grandpa is not used to the smart phone; in fact, in his time, it was the rotary dial and the pay phone–and, god damn, if I ever see one of those, I am totally reenacting that one Matrix scene.

Grandpa is like the farmer in the Industrial Revolution. The iPhone is a machine created to make his life more efficient. He can carry the basic idea of a pay phone in his pocket!

Whoopdie do dah! Don’t you guys love it when analogies work out in your favor? It’s like peanut better and horse radish!

Then I also thought–

There is going to come a time when I am the farmer.

There is going to come a time when a machine threatens my comfortable existence.

What will it be?

A holographic writer; or, worse, an actual ghost writer?

Nah, it’ll probably be interviews in virtual reality and disposable underwear.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

Life–Well, It’s A Cheesecake, Isn’t It?

Life–well, it’s a cheesecake, isn’t it? I’m not talking a single piece of cheesecake, no; in fact, I mean a pie of cheesecake. See, you can say you love every flavor in one of those creamy things, but we all know you’re lying. No one, no one likes all those pieces. There’s always the singularity–the missing link, if you would, that we all wish would get the hell out of Dodge, you know?

Life is interesting for me. It has been interesting for me. I work a pretty fair job in the field of manual labor. I’m a regular blue collar, sweeping brooms and wiping out toilets. It’s meh, to be truthful–and if there is one thing I have learned from this job, it is the sometimes nasty truth.

Drugs, for example, are nowhere on my to-do list. Day in and day out, I see people ravaged by constant drug use. Their faces are old, older than their age; and in their eyes is a haze that never seems to dissipate. I can see the blankness in some of their faces, and it is hard to watch at times.

These folks do this for fun, mind you; and, hell, perhaps it’s to find an escape. But, for me to know what it will do to them in the long run…it can be heartbreaking to see someone throw away their potential like that.

I speak from no experience; and, yes, I might also be speaking from a safer perspective, but I am innocent, after all.

I come from a small town where the craziest thing I have ever witnessed is a bleeding lady taken away on a stretcher after her husband’s psycho ex-girlfriend drove her motorcycle into the back of their car. Before this job, before this peek into another life, that was the craziest crap.

I have seen stuff since then. People who absolutely loathe their lives. Temper tantrums that can get way out of proportion. Worms swimming in some worker’s shit, and let me tell you, that was in two different Porta-Potties.

It is disgusting, but at the same time eye-opening. Would I have experienced this bit of life, this slice of cheesecake, if I had not taken this job? Would I be less of an innocent man than I am now? Would I even be writing this post?

The answers aren’t clear. When are they?

Life is a lot larger, a lot nastier. There are tendrils where I used to see sunshine. Adults can be total assholes, immature for that matter; or, they can be some of the best of the best.

A cheesecake? How about a loaded die? I’m serious. You don’t get to choose what happens in this world. The die is rolled–the numbers are chosen, and you either deal with the unfair, or you get out and do the best you can to force those numbers into your favor.

Win-win, or a lose-lose. No way of telling until you’re standing right in front of it. By then, too, the smell can be so bad, you aren’t sure you want to test your luck.

I say do it, but do it wisely. If you’re dumb when it comes to making those important decisions, you’re going to get landed with a nightmare, one of which you have to climb out of yourself to reach those sweet dreams.

Be smart out there, guys. It will pay off.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

Give It Up.

I want to tell you guys something, something special.

When I was a freshman in high school, I ran Track. I have gone over the sport in an earlier post, told you all about how much fun it was to belt out a two mile an hour after a mile–and I’m sure some of you think I’m being sarcastic when I say that, but, unfortunately for you, I am not.

The team was–well, I wouldn’t really call it a team in the first place. We were the Distance Runners, the Sprinters, the Throwers, and the Jumpers, not specifically a Track team. We had our class sections, too, the Freshman and the Seniors, being the most separated of those ranks.

It wasn’t only the students, either. The coaches didn’t see eye-to-eye on most things; in fact, most talked behind one another’s backs–and so, it transferred to the students, creating a whirlpool of bad attitude and glum that made running not fun at times.

Of course, I was new, had no idea what the team was like; but, even then, I didn’t give a shit about some invisible system run by people who had had it run for them, and them before; and it probably went back and back. Who knows? All I knew was that it felt weird.

I went about my routine for a while, and ran races as was expected during the season, but throughout the whole thing, I was observing and gaining insight on this overbearing atmosphere, not liking it too much. The different events never interacted with each other. If they did, it always turned into an insult battle: who works harder…who has the tougher workouts…

Before I delve further, I want to clarify that I myself succumbed to this attitude for a time , enough to make me sick and attempt to abandon the ideals that had been planted in my young mind. It was a battle progressing into sophomore year, but I at last broke it this year, after a period of self-enforced solitude for junior year.

Anyways, it sucked. Lines had to have seniors leading them, even if it meant stepping in front of the freshman already standing there; the events engaged in horrible arguments, calling names–again, even the coaches joined in, behind the scenes; and there were derogatory comments tossed around from one end of the track to the other, so you couldn’t escape them.

That was what got me. The derogatory comments.

If a senior said openly the freshmen will not be making it to State, I got pissed. So, they thought the team wasn’t skilled enough to carry its talent through the classes, and what exactly gave them that authority? Their experience? Could they see into the future? If so, then my school should have invested in a Clairvoyant course, all psychics to the front of the class.

I hate it when the upper echelon tells the lower echelon what it can and cannot do.

I hate that there are echelons.

Why not join up, be a team, to inspire others with your camaraderie?

Why not, instead of saying, “give it up,” say, “give it all?”

I wish I had spoken up, but I was a freshman who thought his words meant nothing. I sat back and watched, sure; however, I also learned, and I spent time preparing what I would want to change about our team, to make it a team. There were successes, also failures–but I kept striving forward, despite the view of others that the team could not and would not change.

As a senior, it is great to see the change implementing itself–as they always say–slowly but surely. The team is a team, for the most part. There are some kinks here and there, but they have a long time to straighten out the hose.

I only hope it will stay straight.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

Something’s Rotten In The State Of Literature!

Say hello to literary fiction:

This is Hemingway; Dickens; Thackeray; Melville; Dostoyevsky; Shelley; Hawthorne; Wilde ; Joyce; and a bunch of other people whose books have become the gospel of literature. When folks talk about literary merit they are referring to the novels and short stories which have won the acclaim of critics.

Repeat that? Won the acclaim of critics? Boy…they must be skilled–hard enough time it is to work a compliment out of them on a piece of popular fiction…mainstream.

Allow me to introduce popular fiction:

This is King; Koontz; Rice; Rowling; Straub; Dickens–he’s a special guy–and the names written on the novels advertised on the shelves at Wal-Mart. They are good stories: each one–not every one–has well constructed characters and conflicts. Their entertainment value is never-ending.

The problem?

According to literary fiction…popular fiction is trash; it is crap.

That teen vampire novel you finished reading? Crap.

Every dystopian young adult series, excluding The Giver? Crap.

The wonderful wizarding world of the boy who lived? Crap.

Anything not written with symbolism, profound themes, and/or meaningfulness in relation to this whirling torpedo we call life is utter crap; as somewhere along the literary historical timeline one person set a divider between the world of entertainment and the world of meaning.

But the popular writers have their two-bit, as well: apparently all literary writers are snobs who care for nothing but the works which inspire in them eternal meaning–I have used that word a lot; but it is the premise of many a good piece of literature. They like commenting on how those writers never frequent their genres…save for a good laugh at its quality.

The separation is uncanny. Can we not write together?

[Commence playing Why Can’t We Be Friends? by War]

You should; however notice I never said unbreakable divider.

We are all writers here. We are all chasing after ideas–sometimes those ideas can be considered insane; take Poe for instance, he was a creative genius with some questionable ideas. And we have all dreamed of seeing that brilliant letter declaring our acceptance into the publishing realm.

I see it as two children bickering on the playground. The one with the wide rimmed glasses and dress pants is insulting the child wearing Hammer pants and mismatched socks; and the Hammer pants child is criticizing the effort at tidiness taken by the other. Such a battle has no worth to sustain its longevity. Let the kid wear his darn Hammer pants; sure they went out of the style in the 80s, but Shakespeare has been out since the Renaissance.

Put simply: we need to move past those artificial barriers and focus on the real reason for writing, which, as we all know, is enjoyment. We need to go to our writing sanctuaries and write because we love doing so; and then perhaps the desire to criticize will be drowned out by quiet restfulness.

While all books are not to be read under the same light, all books should be read.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

Halloween Versus Christmas–The Terrifying Truth…[Insert Scream Here]

Can we get a picture of Jack Skellington and Santa Claus duking it out under a mistletoe? Never mind, forget the mistletoe–no one can look at that and think violence–and instead go skull crazy. I am talking six foot skeletons holding giant Grim Reaper scythes…and those creepy cow skulls you see in almost every Western horror movie; it is as if the director is whispering “Beware the cows…” into the set designer’s headset.

But to talk about the picture: give Santa some beefy arms and a biker mustache, stick him in a spandex suit with a belt of candy canes; opposite him put Skellington on a fire breathing motorcycle that hums the theme from Halloween in a never-ending loop–

We have to wait on the picture?

Fine–I suppose I can them entertained until then.

Is he gone? Good. What a piece of black licorice….

You are obviously wondering the purpose of this artful picture–not to give myself credit or anything. As a matter of fact it is the essential image of the war waged between Halloween and Christmas since the dawn of the Tootsie Roll and the stocking stuffers.

Marketing–that selfish fruitcake!

Pardon my French, ladies.

To illustrate this further I see I need to educate you on your role as a consumer in these colossal money suckers. For both Halloween and Christmas there is this feeling; and this feeling–in laymen terms we call it anxiety–pushes you, the tradition following citizen, to leave the safety of your home and venture out to the treacherous soul stealing–in laymen terms we call it your wallet–pit known as Wal Mart to purchase either latex masks and candy bags, or aluminum trees and freaky elves you like to see staring at you from the shelf…

In short: the repetitive ankle twisters of the holiday season.

Imagine a man breaks into your house; and while you are stuffing shells into your shotgun–it was an early Christmas present–he rushes up to you and twists your wrist so far you wish it did snap. He tells you the only way he is letting go is if you buy him a roll of present wrapping and a gingerbread house kit. This man is Twister Tommy–the bastardized version of your favorite holidays; and he lives on Consumerism Avenue.

Do the right thing–eliminate the Twister Tommy who intrudes on your season. This has been a Public Service Announcement from the Bureau of Protecting the Values of Holiday Fun Times.

Is that picture ready yet?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Writing is the New Running

It should be obvious by now: I like to write. If I hated writing I would not do it; however as it is my favorite hobby I devote what little time I have to its pursuance–perhaps one day as a career. It is calming and acts as a source of release for me; all the pent up issues in a day are blown out in 500 or 600 words a night.

But you know what else is calming?

Running five six or miles. You know how it feels to strap on your shoes–okay, who actually straps on shoes? we all have laces for a reason–and leave your driveway or apartment staircase and go jogging inside a mental marshmallow. At first you may hate this feeling–and then you will grow to love the runner’s high received from running comfortably for a long period of time. It has nothing to do with drugs.

The thing is, running and writing are not as separate as they seem: they both require excessive mental endurance; they both act as forms of release from stress–although some stories can be stressful–and for both pacing is key.

What do I mean by pacing?

A story needs conflict and character–action and rest.

A race needs sprinting and running–action and rest.

To master each form you must understand them. I’m not about to spout some Mr. Miagi be-one-with-the-story junk; but when excelling in writing and running you have been through the ringer with them; you have sat down next them on the bus and fired up an emotional conversation in which both parties shed at least one tear; and you have been versed in all of their likes and dislikes throughout life.

This sounds more serious than it is, you say. Perhaps on that you are right, but are you willing to step out there and get to know these activities, to cherish them fully for what they not only appear to be but truly are?

Running and writing are buddies; their friendship is unmatchable even on the standards of Frodo and Sam…or the pilots in Top Gun. If you happen to do both take them out to dinner some time and observe the fluidity arising from their sudden union. Buy writing breadsticks…and get running a platter of salad–he is always on about his diet.

And get this, I ask him, “Hey, Running, you want some chocolate cake?” He turns slowly in his sweaty singlet and gym shorts–all the while he is staring with those grassy eyes of his–and replies, “Have you forgotten I am in your head? You’re not even talking to a real person!”

Joke’s on him, I guess…

Bye for now. I’m going to invite Drawing to the art museum–he’s a quiet guy.

Think daily,

A Southpaw