Sigurd’s Letters

12074787_10206508149253874_8554630049303174249_nThe Illusion Of Tomorrows

Tuesday 13 October 2015

I intended to write about the shit-storm occurring here in the good ol’ USofA this past week about gods, guns and bullets, but upon further thought realized enough words have been dedicated to that purpose. Instead, I decided to write about a friend and victim of another shit-storm we call The Vietnam War.

Gabitis, everybody’s Sea-Daddy, a first class petty officer who really did not give a tinker’s damn about making Chief, worked as an ordnance man in one of the attack squadrons aboard USS Enterprise and earned his living loading and arming bombs, missiles, and other touchy-feely pyrotechnic stuff. A zesty job, to be sure. I shared much beer and many cigarettes with him in some of the snazzier gin joints that amble their way along the muddy edges of Magsaysay Boulevard in beautiful downtown Olongapo. I do not know why my thoughts drifted back to rest upon him. It all seems so long ago. They ambushed me this morning from the dark, dank corner of a closet I rarely explore.
Read more …
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12115973_10206473015295547_3675587035200118255_nOn The Importance of Being Sigurd

Tuesday 29 September 2015

I began writing with the hope of better understanding myself, to dig deep into secrets I wear buttoned tight around me, like a cold weather garment. Over the decades I have gone from journaling to poetry to fiction, and in the process, have found myself to be a Jack-of-all-trades and master of none. I have often thought much of it to be a waste of time, but in retrospect, it has allowed me move from a life of monochrome cardboard cutouts to one of great depth and brilliant color. So I sit for hours in front of my computer banging out haphazard words with thoughts roiling inside my noggin, thinking perhaps it is not, after all, a of complete waste of time.

Hemingway said, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” I have done my best to apply that maxim. With time, I have found it does not get easier. Perhaps, because with time, I probe deeper into the wound. Read more …

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12015218_10206440253916533_612925064609420980_oTime Passes—Memories Are Forever

Tuesday 29 September 2015

“…you stand with the belligerent, the surly and the badly behaved until bad behavior is recognized for the language it is: Vocabulary of the deeply wounded and those whose burdens are more than they can bear.” -Fr. Greg Boyle.

I am trying to write an anniversary letter to celebrate fifty-two weeks of letters written by the small band of warriors who compose our group. I admit I am struggling. I do not know if I can stay with the chosen subject. I feel a bit guilty about that. My mind is in a fuss thinking about the Pope, his visit to the United States, and the mixed reception he received. I am Roman Catholic by choice, a choice I made after several years of being married to Sweet Grecy.

My mother was Roman Catholic, but she left the church at age eighteen when a priest refused to baptize me because she was unmarried. She told me the story of it when I was still a child. Though I did not fully understand her words, I did understand the rage she felt. It was palpable. I could feel it in my bones as she spoke. Read more …

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10491111_10204957339404597_466421038592545564_nHome Again, Home Again, Zippity-Dee

22 September 2015

Sweet Grecy sings as she sorts out the disarray that occurred in her absence. Her voice is pure and uninhibited, as was my mother’s. The sound of it lifts my spirits and carries me to the place I want to be in this world. She was exhausted when I picked her up at LAX. Because of the long wait for her connecting flight from Inchon, her travel time was well over twenty-four hours. We drove home along PCH, a slower drive than the freeway, so we could enjoy the ocean view and fill the van with our yacking. It was a lovely time between us. Once we arrived in our cottage near the sea, she unpacked a little, then we bathed and went to bed. Without talk, she drifted into a sleep that lasted more than twelve hours. I lay beside her, listening long into the night to the sound of her breathing. Eventually, I too drifted into dreamless sleep.

I am deeply in love. Have been for more than fourteen years. Because of Grecy’s generosity and wisdom, I have made huge changes in my behavior and my faith since we became married, changes that would not have occurred without her presence. I am forever grateful. Read more …
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12037959_10206362666856905_8812526603392267452_nOf Death & Dying

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

It is early—just past daybreak. Hummingbirds are already dinning at the feeder hanging from the gazebo. I love the thrumming sound of their wings. A slight rain is falling. It is a prayer answered in drought stricken California. I hope it continues. Rain in this area is a precious balancing act. Too little, we burn ourselves alive. Too much, houses on the jagged ridgelines above Malibu slide toward the Pacific Ocean. Huge wild fires are wrecking towns and acreage to the north. One death has occurred. My next-door neighbor is a fire fighter. I have not seen him for days. He is a hero in my mind, putting his life on the line to save people and property. He is one part of the thoughts that scramble through my noggin this morning as I sit composing this letter.

I am seventy-two years old. Death for me is no longer an abstraction. It is a very real thing. What has become important to me is to die well.  Read more …


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11953428_10206310341308799_49319402942725108_oWhat Then Must We Do?

08 September 2015

I spent most of my life engaged in some aspect of warfare. I fought in a war that lasted over a decade, which ruined many of my generation. Our nation’s longest war at the time. It has since been eclipsed by our current endeavors, which is perhaps ruining many of another generation. After two decades in naval aviation, I went on to a second career of evaluating military aircraft and weapons systems.

I am a child of the forties and fifties. Not a baby boomer. A pre-boomer by a couple years. A duck and cover kid, raised during the era of McCarthy, monolithic communism, and the domino theory. Having no chance for college, I went off into the service at the age of seventeen with Kennedy’s words ringing in my ears, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country,” my head full of my country right or wrong stuff. Read more …

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11935673_10206268030011043_2666252773306449711_oThe Sometimes Lonesome Love Sick Blues

Tuesday 01 September 2015

Sweet Grecy called last night, as she does every night when away. She asked if it would be a problem for her to stay in the Philippines an additional week. That she has been asked by the local mayor to speak with the provincial governor on a matter of importance. “Of course not,” I said. “It will be fine.” Though I miss her terribly, it is sometimes necessary to share her with others.

I think quite a lot when alone. This is especially true as I am not particularly fond of television. My tendency during these times is to think aloud. To spew words and energy in every direction. I used to pace while doing this—head down—eyes focused on infinity. But now, limitations force me to do it a different way. Now, I sit while a thousand million things bounce around in my noggin. Read more …

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11887540_10206212794870199_5397636074844087805_oAlone-Sigurd Elleflaadt

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Dear Reader-

Sweet Grecy is gone. Saturday night she boarded a plane with her mother, and both were whisked off into the air. My precious daughter Samantha is with her cousin in Orange County. My house is empty. My presence does not weigh on it. I drift ghost-like from room to room, finding nothing but hollow caverns. Silence reigns. It will be two weeks before my joy returns. Two weeks that I must survive on my own. This morning I turned on the TV, thinking maybe its noise would keep me company. It did not. I turned it off. Now I sit, forcing myself to write. I have taken my morning meds, so my mind is sufficiently fuzzy. The physical discomfort still exists, but with the meds, I simply do not care. It is not a great state of being.  Read more…

 

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11694759_10205903440056522_5342358481577260029_nMy Life As an Itinerant Chicken Sexer

Thursday 09 July 2015

My board of directors met today and roundly criticized all I had ever done, and all I ever plan to do. Just before adjourning for brandy and cigars, each assured me in his own way that all that was said, was said for my own good. As they departed one by one, I sat wondering how many earned a living, residing here in this dark, nebulous hall, because as each board member departed, he was instantly replaced by a lobbyist, smelling of caviar and telling me how to turn every situation for the better, the small price being my absolute and utter loyalty to that particular individual, and unlimited caviar privileges. So the day goes, with a half dozen or so slobbery, yammering fucks, directing nonexistent traffic in my noodle. A thought disorder I carry from early childhood.

I lived my past life a step or two ahead of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Sleepless nights of board meetings, of constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. For much of it, booze oiled my bearings and kept me ahead of the game, but eventually it lost its punch, and I got clobbered. Read more …

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11407259_10205682052841980_8566727962085331886_nThe Wonder of It

Tuesday 9 June 2014

Sam is about to finish her first year of classes here in California. She is looking forward to the adventure that will be summer. Six of us, counting myself, the head wrangler, will be bebopping around the countryside. The ol’ Conestoga Wagon will be full up. Figure our first trip will be to San Diego, for a visit to the mother ship, USS Midway. I do a pretty good show and tell there. Might even demonstrate how I walked off the bow, dead of night, hundreds of miles from nearest land, while cruising the Indian Ocean. If the safety net had not held me, I would have hit the water like Fats Domino falling through a sky light. Nobody would have missed Ol’ Sigurd till light of day. By then, I would have been fish food. Read more …

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11207373_10205639717023611_6380834036140437694_nOn the Importance of Air

Tuesday 02 June 2015

I woke this morning knowing to most important thing I had to do for the day was breathe.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

The simplicity of doing that allows all the rest of the day, whatever it becomes, to follow. A hard thing to remember—breathing. Easily lost in the hurly-burly of existence.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Problems from an old wound are escalating. Problems that take my focus away from basic necessities, such as breathing. From life in general. Read more …


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11230906_10205502505273403_5632867855756463644_nCollections

Wednesday 20 May 2015

I am a collector of small things. Most I can hold in my palm, but some few are larger. I have a substantial collection of antiquities dating from Paleolithic times that I started long ago.

Tucker, my son, has an equal interest in them. When he was a young boy, we moved from a large, luxurious condo fronting the Pacific Ocean, to a nine-hundred square foot house about a mile inland. On his first days there, he explored all the nooks and crannies of the place, looking for secret passageways. Read more …

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11118632_10205332279377862_3360325123755137284_nLenzon

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Harvest is done. Corn and rice dried and bagged and sold. Planting has begun. For Sweet Grecy that starts with about a million and a half liters of water and six hundred kilograms of rice seed. Work starts at Oh-Dark-Thirty, long before the sun rises and drives everybody underground. A courteous member of the barrio plays oom-paa-paa waltzes loud on his stereo. It is the Lenzon equivalent of Reveille. Then, the smell of cooking fires fills the air. Breakfast done, people pass the house in ones and twos on their way to the fields, wearing wide brimmed straw sombreros, and carrying improvised water bottles. They work harder than God-All-Mighty. He took a break on Sunday. They do not. Read more …

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10496937_10205286060742425_5769382060356653277_oHello My Darling

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Tucker is in Japan at some university, collaborating with an international group of physicists on the building of a microwave telescope to be placed at 18,000’ elevation in the thin air of the Chilean Andes Mountains, designed to look deep into forever for remnants of the Big Bang. His last email said he had a little free time, so he rented a bicycle to toot around town. I think he is having a hell of a good time. Meanwhile, Sweet Grecy is in the Philippines be-bopping back and forth twixt Lenzon and Manila, acquiring land and taking care of other stuff that needs her attention, and Sam is at school working on an art project she is thrilled about doing with ten other students. Me? I’m lolling around in bed with the flu and an infected cuticle. How exciting is that? Read more …

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10960032_10204814710318959_6199673141628008953_oThe Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

Tuesday 07 April 2015

A quiet week spent. Sweet Grecy is in the Philippines taking care of business interests. Sam spent time in Orange County with her cousin Maia. I knocked around with ghosts in an empty house. I used to prefer that kind of life. The quiet and solitude of it. Not so much anymore. I have grown used to company. Most of all, I have grown used to Grecy’s companionship. We have been married almost fourteen years. It is a successful marriage that started with one simple letter. Everything, all of it, has grown from that

She is a farmer. A land owner who loves having the rich black soil of the barrio under her fingernails. Bananas, rice and corn are the products she brings to market. Read more …

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11019839_10205195172750282_912170476978105399_nSteers—Queers—And Other Worthy Souls

Tuesday 31 March 2015

So—what am I to make of this? “Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Makes me wonder about Indiana and the brouhaha burbling around the bill its governor recently signed into law. “… prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Hmm. Is that what is happening? He signed it to protect the free exercise thereof?  Read more …

bar66

10269110_10205150104103594_1858655466475590896_oLost In The Equation

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Dear Ann,

I’m writing this letter with no expectation of a reply. I just want to send my best wishes for a happy and joyful birthday.

On the day of your birth I was at Danang air base in Vietnam, just returned from flying a double cycle, tired, almost brain dead from the tension of the flight. ASDO stepped out of the duty shack, and called to me. Said I was needed—the OinC had something for me. OinC told me he received a message announcing your birth. That we had a plane going back to Atsugi in the afternoon for check, and one of the crewmen volunteered to stay in my place and take my flights so I could be with you and your mother. I should go to the barracks, clean up, pack my trash, and be ready at 1800. I asked if you were a girl or boy. He handed me the message to read. It did not say.

I arrived in Japan sometime after midnight. Read more…

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11046670_10205105237781964_6335328350305295146_oOn The Damn Human Race

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Sweet Grecy, Sam and I drove back to town the other day, my whips and jangles having subsided to a point where I can deal with the distractions of life again. And distractions there were. A young homeless man, who appeared to be schizophrenic, walked along the sidewalk deep in conversation with someone known only to him. He carried his belongings slung over his shoulder in a black plastic trash bag, and upon finding a grassy spot, lay down to continue his conversation, while using elegant hand gestures. Being American, and a bit insane myself,  Read more…

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11050746_10205026528254275_262571802124043837_nEverything Changes

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Here I sit, 2am, narcotic thoughts dueling in my brain—raging brutes who shriek lies in shrill tones that ricochet round the interior of my skull like .223 high-velocity-full-metal-jacket-rounds. My body, too, shrieks—twitches—squirms—pleads for relief. For the moment, I am a wreck of a junkie going through withdrawal from Fentanyl, a narcotic 100x stronger than Morphine. A narcotic that mitigates pain that racks my body. Pain left over from a spinal cord injury and seven surgical repair attempts.  Read more…

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10491111_10204957339404597_466421038592545564_nTuesday 24 February 2015

To Whom It May Concern:

Spent the past two weeks wondering if I should give up this letter writing business. Maybe just toss it aside and let somebody else pick up the slack. I am sure there are others who would jump at the opportunity, and right now, it feels like I am just occupying space. It seems my energy for everything is ebbing. I have even wondered if I should waste any more time on writing—period. There seems to be nothing gained by it. At my age it is easy to see the edge of the abyss. It is no longer just an intellectual wonderment, and perhaps there are better ways to spend my remaining years. The leaden weight of this depression cuts itself deep into my shoulders, as it has since my earliest childhood. It speaks to me, tells me it will never go away. Read more…

bar6610177973_10204858482053225_8743610380239404062_nThe Good Son

Tuesday 10 February 2015

For a week I have lived on the brink of despair, overpowered by physical pain, overwhelmed with connected emotions, and though not thinking of leaving this earth, of withdrawing into the particular corner where I have absolute control. I feel as though nothing is worth doing, as if any effort is intolerable, that sinking into my particular brand of nihilism is the perfect solution. Then, the phone rings. On the other end I hear the voice of my son, Tucker, and we talk and talk for a long time. Read more …

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10960032_10204814710318959_6199673141628008953_oA Lightness of Being

Tuesday 03 February 2015

I woke in early light to the feel of Sweet Grecy’s breath against my back. Given a choice, I would still be lying there with her spooned against me. But duty calls. Duty calls. This letter has to be finished and in the mail by Oh-Dark-Thirty. Sometimes these letters are easy to write. Easy, like marshmallow dreams. Other times, like today, I crawl over broken glass on hands and knees, and bleed each word through a thousand painful cuts. Read more …

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10941028_10204735065327884_8473540625927967445_nSniping

Tuesday 27 January 2015

I wanted to write something pretty this week. Something ethereal. Pensive. Something from deep within about the beauty that surrounds me. To write it, and hold it close to my heart. But then, American Sniper hit the wide screen. Now, everybody wants to run out and shoot rag heads. It has become a national mania. American males are digging deep into our strategic reserves of testosterone, driving prices through the roof. Looks like Clint’s got another million dollar baby.  Read more …

bar661522456_10204689305743923_4404986270954670615_oSnow Angel

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Piano man. I listen to Billy Joel do his business on the ivories while I sit on the verge of exhaustion, punching keys like a drunk sailor, knowing I have always carried the small hope that in writing shit about my life, I will never have to live it again. That after seven decades, I can put it behind and have the peace of mind, to this point, I have only imagined. That maybe, just maybe, my brain will stop caterwauling and open up to the love offered by Sweet Grecy and by my son and my daughter. I started this business for the wrong reasons, believing I could write some pretty stuff, some tricky, catchy stuff that would move me where I wanted to go. That did not happen. Read more …

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10268542_10152321798977931_5802368896246251533_nShoot the Moon–Reprise

Tuesday 04 November 2014

Hey Bro,

I’ve been watching you up close and personal for some time now, Sig. You know, scoping out the inside your noggin. I see too much confusion. To many doubts. All trivial stuff. Gawd, drinking binges were more fun. Waking up in the back seat of cop car trying to figure out what was bleeding and why was sure as hell more entertaining. Come on, Bro. Get on the stick. You already know the answers. Don’t shake your head, ‘cause you do. Knock it off. Stop treading lightly. Stomp it out. Walk unfamiliar streets. Explore dark alleyways. Sniff the danger.  Read more …

bar66
10888503_10204604703868929_6138819128195823200_nCamp 14

Tuesday 06 January 2015

Sig,

Move your elbow and you change the periphery of the universe. A high school English teacher named Gordon Wood told me that the year before I dropped out. Hmph—what a thought. A fragmentary remembrance that appears pregnant with meaning. A particle allowing me to understand this place and time in the same way Higgs Boson allows matter to understand mass. Magic to keep me connected with all and everything. It leads me to think about Camp 14. Camp 14, a prison camp in North Korea where starving children fight vicious battles over kernels of undigested corn picked from cow turds. Then, to think about this nation. My nation. Not America, but the United States of America. America the Exceptional. Perhaps the most warlike to ever exist on planet Earth, that being our solution to all things foreign, domestic, universal. Trying, in my head, to count the number of conflicts that have occurred in my lifetime. Shooting wars. Culture wars. War for fun and profit. Wars on this. On that. National treasure squandered on squabbles. Treasure down the rabbit hole. Monuments and institutions transformed. Turned to green paper bandages to stanch bleeding. To cover wounds. Our final solution. Read more …

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10888550_10204508802191447_549499619710917466_nThe 9th Degree

Tuesday 30 December 2014

I have spent the day with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The chorus singing Ode to Joy has always moved me. It lightens my spirit. I like listening to powerful music. Beethoven or Led Zeppelin—it matters not.

Listening to Beethoven’s symphonies, I think of his deafness, and how he worked on in spite of it. Then, remember my step-dad who suffered the same malady, most of his hearing blown away by big guns at Iwo Jima. With him it had a different affect. It turned him away from things worthwhile, and toward booze and meanness. He used them to salve his despair, I guess. My mother finally became fed up and left him in 1969, moving back to her hometown on the other side of the state. He lived out the rest of his days alone, successfully drinking himself to death. I sometimes wonder why he married my mother and why he took me under his wing—best he could, in the first place. In all the decades of my life, I have not found the answer.  Read more …

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sigThe War Within or Sleepless in Port Hueneme

Thy sea, O God, so great,
My boat so small.
It cannot be that any happy fate
Will me befall
~Winfred Ernest Garrison

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Here I sit, 4am, digging for some unfathomable thing, some inspirational truth that will carry me through the day after a night pressing back against a siren’s song of infernal pain that longs to tumble me onto its rocky shore. Maybe it is time, again, for opiates. Maybe it is time, but not now. Not this morning. If I fight hard enough, maybe even not today.

I have lived a fast and furious life. Now, I hobble on crutches. Things are no longer easy-peasy. But so what? Somebody once told me that if I was looking for sympathy, I should look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. So—maybe that is all there is to it. Mind over matter. I don’t mind, and it don’t matter. But since I do not want this to be the subject of my letter, it is time to move onward, and like the progressive midget—upward.

It is joy to the world time. Maybe that can be my subject. Read more …

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1618383_10204350594476353_5913107547120222274_oThe Spirit Will Carry Us

Tuesday 09 December 2014

Sig,

For years we hung around AA meetings listening to dry drunks blather on about all the cool stuff God wants for them. He is a magic critter with a magic wand who turns all the traffic lights green for them when they are late for work, and ensures a convenient parking place whenever they go out. They yammer on and on about these wonderful things, while you and I can only wonder how deep they have delved into the mystery that is Him. How can they possibly know what He wants for them?

Another thing that seems to make no sense: It has became a fashion statement for men to join an organization called Promise Keepers. They fill stadiums and listen to stuff they, as adults, should already know, then take an oath to be good. An oath to be good? Why is that necessary? It makes about as much sense as bumper stickers asking, “What would Jesus do?” So, what would Jesus do? I do not know. Do you? Read more …

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sigurd1222014Coming Darkness

Tuesday 2 December 2014

We have spent the whole week at the edge of tears, Sig. A week of gritted teeth, immersed in the festering wound that is Ferguson. It has provoked us to dig deep into our past and search for remembrances. Remembrances of the beautiful black faces of Missus Miller and Bill, family for the first five years of our life. They nurtured. Gave succor. Treated us with great kindness. Over time we became a son and grandson to them. Their ‘pretty little white boy.’

Through years of military service, we lived, worked, shared dangers, and bonded in deep friendships with men of African descent, and never found them lacking. God Sig, with passing time, this country has turned despicable, fighting its perpetual war for racial hegemony.  Read more …

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Rocks & Shoals

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Sig, life is not an empty chair in an empty room, and we are not tilting wind mills. I know pain darkens our day. But we push back hard, and often, we win. Yesterday, with Grecy and Sam, we drove the 101 south to Hollywood, then down Sunset Boulevard through Beverly Hills, all the way to PCH, where we stopped at Neptune’s Net and ate fried shrimp with our fingers while watching surfers frolic. After, we drove on, back to our little bungalow near the sea and watched silly comedies on TV till our eyes grew heavy. A good day, to be sure. But as with everything in our life, not all beer and skittles. Read more …

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Come Dance With Me

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Hey Bro, remember how we are taught that if we work hard enough, we can be anything we want to be. That was drilled into our head. It was presented as an absolute truth. What bullshit that was. And oh, how hard that made our lives. We danced an endless fugue, spiraling outward in a never ending twist of complexity, but we never moved beyond its narrow confines, its well defined pattern. It limited us so. It was a form of mental masturbation that accomplished nothing. It pained us to fail at the impossible tasks we set before ourselves. We read stories, hoping the truth in them would sink into our skulls and become part of us. Read more … 

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BBB low resAll the Flowers

Tuesday 11 November 2014 Armistice Day

Sig,

Here we are again, sitting through this thing that used to be called Armistice Day. On the eleventh hour of this day in nineteen– hundred and eighteen, the grotesque slaughter of humans in Europe halted. That war would later be known as World War I, but at the time, it was The War to End All Wars, and touted to be a short war with everyone home by Christmas, sharing the glory of their participation. At some point, it magically morphed into Veteran’s Day. That took away any and all substantive meaning. It became no longer about the ending of a specific tragedy. It is instead, a day of beer bongs and the marathon sales of useless merchandise.

How many wars have we suffered since the Great One? The one that brought with it ultimate peace. Are they even countable? Read more …

 

bar66
10268542_10152321798977931_5802368896246251533_nShoot the Moon

Tuesday 04 November 2014

Hey Bro,

I’ve been watching you up close and personal for some time now, Sig. You know, scoping out the inside your noggin. I see too much confusion. To many doubts. All trivial stuff. Gawd, drinking binges were more fun. Waking up in the back seat of cop car trying to figure out what was bleeding and why was sure as hell more entertaining. Come on, Bro. Get on the stick. You already know the answers. Don’t shake your head, ‘cause you do. Knock it off. Stop treading lightly. Stomp it out. Walk unfamiliar streets. Explore dark alleyways. Sniff the danger. Read more …

 

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MY PATHThe Grind

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Boy Sig, what a week this has been. Physical pain bore down on you. It was your constant companion. It intruded into everything. Even sleep. Hard to remember life before. Seems like it’s never been any other way. I’m the only one who truly understands. The only one who can.

Sweet Grecy is your constant companion. Her love, all encompassing. She cushions you best she can. But, she stands outside, her understanding limited. That makes it your responsibility. An inside job. You need to do it better. Read more …

 

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MY PATHFind Your Bliss

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Sig,

I’m writing about losses we’ve experienced. Mister Counts, Dirty Bob, Fabulous Freddy Flitter, Horny Ernie, and those we knew who were instantly transformed to star dust when a Zuni Rocket cooked off and turned the Forrestal’s flight deck into a fulminating hell on earth, as well as others we saw die, but didn’t personally know.

Remember when we watched an unconscious Spad pilot strapped to his seat sink into the deep waters of the Tonkin Gulf—for always and forever? The long minutes it took him to disappear? Long minutes, but not enough time for the helo to drop a swimmer into the water. All who watched were helpless as we two. All stood by shaking their heads, then, in the end, turned back to the business at hand. By nighttime it was almost forgotten. Spoken of as though it were already ancient history. Read more …

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MY PATHBuck Up

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Dear Sig-

Your daughter Ann is forty-six years old. The last time you heard her voice was in 1998. From her point of view, you have ceased to exist and will never exist again. She slammed the door and you deserved it. You had no excuse. You were a suck-assed father. A damn drunk who only thought about himself. I know.  I was there. I heard all your whiny shit, and I know when you’re feeling particularly remorseful, you send short emails saying how you love her. Why couldn’t you say that when she was a girl? I know she’ll never answer. So do you. Some wounds don’t heal.

God, what were you thinking? Were you thinking at all? I know you were pissed off at the world most of the time, and you took it out on her. Read more … 

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MY PATHSmoke and Mirrors

Tuesday 07 October 2014

Dear Sig,

You wrote her off when you left home. For the most part, anyway, you did. There were letters time to time, from her. On rare occasions, you wrote. From guilt. Guilt you still wear like fine jewelry. Most of the time it is well masked. It comes out only when you write. When you open like the flood gate of some huge dam.

It has been so long since you scattered her ashes. Easy to believe she never existed—except in your imaginings. She was all you had. Your alpha and omega. The single thread that connected you to history. For all you know, you could have been a virgin birth. A singular incident indeed, though no great star marked your coming. Read more …

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MY PATHListen Up!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Hey Budzo,

Listen up, man. I got something to tell you. I’m tired of watching you drift. Sick to the teeth of it. All the ‘Maybe I wills you bounce around inside your skull—know what I mean? And it ain’t no new thing, either. I’ve heard it all before. Heard everything you say to yourself. Every stinking life-time word of it. “Man, at my age why the hell care?” Can’t count the times I’ve heard your whiny-assed voice say that. I got to tell you, it’s a trap, man. A trap. I mean, how long can you feel good watching reruns of MacGyver? It all bores me to tears, man. It really does. Bet it bores you too, if you think about it.

So what? you say. Why do you care?

I care because I’ve known you from your first second of self-awareness. Watched you grow into a man. Seen you succeed, seen you fall flat on your ass, and I can tell you for a fact, I like the former more than the later. Besides, I’m your damn friend. Times, the only real one you got. Read more …

 

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