small town

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



Small Town Losses

I live in a small town.

Since I live in a small town, most big news that goes on reaches these teenage ears of mine; and, as they say, no secrets are truly secret. It can be good to know what happens around here–it keeps things interesting, thankfully; however some times the news is not so good. It is, on occasion, a downer, being that most everyone knows everyone else, and tragedy is oft times the unwelcome stranger.

Tragedy has struck recently, and, normally, I am not a big one for speaking out loud about it–mostly I keep to myself, as many of you can probably gather. This is different. This hit a little close to home. It wasn’t detrimental to me, but it did have–and still does–an effect on me.

Two nights ago, one of my friends was killed in a car accident. The accident was not his fault; in fact, all the blame fell to the opposite driver, who had been driving under the influence. The pictures detailed a nasty crash, both cars were thoroughly battered. The drunk driver sustained minor injuries–my friend, unfortunately, died on the scene.

You know, tragedy is a large word. I suppose versatile would fit. It is the word people use when unexpected sorrow, or, even heartbreak, occurs. I get chills when I hear tragedy, as if it’s some omen, or marker, of misfortune, some kind of posted sign before the news is broken to you.

In this small town, the anxiety brought out by tragedy is amplified, turned up to a decibel so high it spreads itself across each house, each work place, each park, curling into the normal ever so abruptly that many have no time to adjust to these unusual circumstances.

It creates a vacuum: a pressurized chamber sucking out all the happiness and the sense of normality. People here walk around with hearts busy pumping all of their life and love, and they conceal it until an opportunity for aid comes to their side. I am not speaking of aid for themselves because, while everyone, including me, needs a trusted shoulder sometimes, it is the aid we get from supporting others wracked by these tragedies that fills our emptiness and gets us on our way again.

You should all have seen the beauty of cooperation at my school today. What started as a somber morning for all soon evolved into this incredible support system. Students counseled each other, got them chatting and laughing, playing games and having one hell of a time, all in the memory of a great guy who touched hundreds of people, made them feel worth it, because it was his nature.

I think my friend passed from the world too soon, but, I am reminding myself that he, like young Icarus, had a spirit that shined so bright, the world could not handle his brilliance.

I dedicate this post to him, to his family, and the small, yet strong, town in which we all live.

Rest in peace.

Think daily,

A Southpaw