Always Say ‘Yes’ to Pills (and Don’t Trust Pink Duct Tape)

Happy Tuesday, y’all.

For starters, duh, there’s an obvious caveat to the title – you could always say “yeah,” or “uh-huh,” or something else to accept medication.

But for real, I don’t know what brought this to mind, but I was thinking today about the one and only time I’ve ever broken a body part, and the lesson that came along with that experience. Mm, and while I think on it, I’ve technically also had Osgood Schlatter Disease (which is weird to call it a ‘disease’ when it’s a…like a…more of a ‘boo-boo’) when I was a kid. And even though the little bit of homework I did says it’s an “inflammation,” I heard a loud goddamn snap when it happened to me – BOTH TIMES. So, it’s “inflammation” in the same way swallowing a grenade leads to a “bit of bloating.”

Anyway, I’m talkin’ about my toe, today. Which between breaking the (tendon/cartilage/whatever) entailed with OSD as a kid, and this, I haven’t actually broken a bone, just always something near or connected to one. With my toe, it was the ligament on the right side of my right big toe; but, like, a full snap. Do me a favor. Hold out a thumb’s up with your right hand, turn it towards yourself so your palm is parallel with your chest, now bend your thumb at about a forty-five degree angle. Boom. Same angle my toe was at. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve mentioned before, I think, that I used to do parkour and make artsy-fartsy videos about it. As you’d expect, injuries were pretty common, but usually outdoors, not in the gym – except this time. The gymnastics center I took classes at (stay in school, fool!) had their spring floor marked out with colored duct tapes to measure distances. At the end of one of these classes, the coaches set up stations for that night’s work out. One of these was an area on the marked spring floor for running suicides (we all did them in middle school basketball – or these if you were home-schooled or something).

Well, at the first pivot, I hear a loud SNAP! and instinctively, instantly think, “Oo, that didn’t sound good,” and start limping off the floor, with my right toes raised when I step with that foot. My coach calls out, “Evan! You’re getting blood on my floor!” I still haven’t looked down yet, think he’s joking, and give him the ol’ ‘ha-ha-you-so-funny’ wave. Until I sit down, see it (cue thumb’s up exercise), with a pool of red starting to spread under my toes, and the trail of AB Positive breadcrumbs I’d left behind.

(That was also when I learned what almost passing out feels like – and it was NOTHING like what I expected. I thought it was this “you watch the circle of black close in over your vision” sort of thing. Instead, I just suddenly, even though I was all adrenaline-y, got very, very, very sleepy.)

Anyway, longer story short-ish, I got to the hospital, got cleaned out, sewn up, put in a bootie, and given pain meds. This was all when I was maybe nineteen, so when I got home, my mom said, “Hey, here, take a Norco before you go to bed.”

Now, to this point, besides the shock and the almost-fainting, I haven’t felt a thing. My toe was about ripped from my body – oh yeah, by the way, this all happened because one of the tape markers was slightly lifted up and caught my toe when I slid into my pivot – and I’ve felt next to Absolute Zero pain thanks to adrenaline followed by on-site injections of anesthetic before that wore off. So, when she offers the Norco before bed, my cocky dumbass ego says, “Haha, nah, mom. I’m fine. Maybe in the morning.”

Y’all…

Y’all, it was truly one of the most painful experiences of my life.

I’m a stomach sleeper, I’m 6′ 4″, and at the time, was sleeping on a twin mattress (a thing we’ll discuss later). So, even with my feet hanging well off the edge of the bed, I woke up at 2:00 am, and felt like my foot had been thrust up to the knee in a bucket of hot coals. I quickly went up in sweats that drenched the sheets, but I couldn’t move because every small shift was like an Iron Maiden biting into my leg.

Have you ever had a painful experience that, for some reason, sent tingles along the flanks of your neck? Or literally put a bad taste in your mouth? Or just made you laugh? Even if not, imagine everything in these past two paragraphs, in the silent dark, sleep elusively dancing just out of reach, unable to move, for six hours.

So, yeah. That’s why you should always say yes to pills and never trust pink duct tape.

I hope we all learned something.

Catch y’all Thursday, you beautiful folks.

Ciao.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue…

…Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

(Sorry, I’ve been seeing these all over the place and felt a responsibility to add to the mix. This one’s a bit more of a diary entry than anything of super substance, but it’s been a busy week. Started a new carpentry gig, putting the finishing touches on getting my mom moved in, but there’s some good news! I’ve mentioned the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge before, but this year’s different. Previously, my entries never gained any traction, but THIS TIME WE’RE ONTO ROUND TWO [which is pretty dope].)

(And if I can just confide in you guys for a second, I’ll be real: I thought I shit the bed with my second story. I wasn’t even all too crazy about my first one [in a competitive sense; in my heart, I was in love]. They’ll make their way on here eventually after I polish them up a touch, but the first was a Romantic Comedy featuring a slice of pizza and a tourist information center and the second was a Spy Thriller that had to involve a beach ball and a nightclub. That second one was rough especially because I went to a Renaissance Fair that weekend so was pretty…indisposed for most of it. But hey, good things come to those that get daytime wasted in costume among strangers far from home, am I right?)

(Anyway, that’s the wrap-up. Now that I’m working daytime hours again, I’ll be smarter and schedule these to upload ahead of time rather than bein’ a La-Z-Bones.)

(Catch y’all fancy folks Tuesday! M’wah!)

I Wrote a Poem!

Happy Tuesday, you silly bunch o’ waffles.

I wish I was cooler, mostly because I wish I was the type of person that liked coconut water. I really, really do, but every time I try, it always tastes the same: like fart-water. It’s kind of like that scene from Doctor Who [WARNING: If you’re a fan, you’re about to be mad] from that one season where he revives or whatever and is being fed by a little girl.
“What do you like to eat?” she asks.
“Oh, I very much like fish sticks!” he replied (according to my super reliable memory).
-she feeds him fish sticks-
“Oh! Yuck!” he exclaims.
“I thought you said you liked them!”
“I suppose I don’t this time.”

It’s kind of like that: I want to like it, but my tongue, throat, nose, and whole physical being disagree. And it’s the same way with water chestnuts, painting (don’t have the patience for it, even though I wish I did and sometimes even think I do before I’m quickly proven wrong), and finally…poetry.

That last one especially gets me. I’ve written a few poems in my day, but none that are ever stirring or resonating. Poems are supposed to resonate and make you feel and think deeply, right? I’ve read and listened to people read their own poems that stir all kinds of terrific and terrible emotions, but my own never really come close. Now, of course, all that said…

I wrote a poem.

The Red Sun Looms

The sky is blue, but its plumes are gray,
and behind them, the setting red sun looms.

Reporters and Facebook warriors post and relay,
from the comfort of our living rooms,
fire map borders, evacuation orders, and impending doom.
But my map is white. My lights are on. Though, my nerves are frayed.

It’s the taste of survivor’s guilt, watching lives be rebuilt,
the silky sand that slips away.
Within every grain, the whispered promise of a day,
when luck’s run out, and it’s your turn to lose.

FIN

The Take: See?
Insider tip, when I wrote this, I had the butterflies, the trembles, the watery eyes. But reading it back, even now – nothin’. Albeit, it’s an early draft, ever-incomplete in all likelihood, but still, you’d think some of the original shivers would linger.
All of that said, I do seem to only get the inspiration to try my hand at poetry when confronted by really real feel-y feels, and the above is a reflection to having a house full of refugee-friends while on the border of an evacuation zone for a week.

So…there’s that, I suppose.

Anyway, see ya Thursday. Hug a firefighter. Ciao.

PS – Started a job as a carpenter’s apprentice today. So there’s that.

I Forgot it’s Halloween…

Are…are you reading this?

Are you…are you still reading this? I said that I forgot it’s Halloween. That means it is currently Halloween.

Get outta here. Scat. Shoo. Go eat some candy, hug a loved one.

I’ll see ya Tuesday.

Much love.

-Evan

END

Heh…I signed off like it’s a letter.

And I said “scat.” Heh. That’s another word for “poop.”

Why are you STILL HERE!? GO! Watch a scary movie!! Get wasted! Pants someone in a funny costume!

Tale from ‘Round the Fire

Sup y’all. I live in Northern California and we’re having a bit of a wildfire problem right now. Our house is a nice, comfy refugee camp of friends and family at the moment. So, from my phone, here is (literally) the first campfire joke I googled:

“An army ranger, navy seal, and green beret are sitting at a campfire swapping tough guy stories.

The army ranger pipes up by bragging, “One time I had to parachute 4 miles behind enemy lines, take out a platoon of enemy soldiers, and escape with fifty pounds of intel strapped to my back.”

Not to be out done by the ranger, the seal chimes in. “We navy seals are so tough, one time I swam upstream 8 miles into enemy lines. Once there, I took out a whole company of enemy special forces, and snuck back out with 100 pounds of their top secret weapons.”

The green beret sat there nodding his head listening while stirring the coals with his dick.”

Stay frosty, friends. -snap and a wink-

A True Story

Happy Friday, happy people.

So, there I was, sitting in the parking lot of my usual coffee house haunt at the end of a daunting week. I grab my bag, make my way in through the back door, give my usual order of a House Black, and take a seat at the window bar. Out comes the notebook, out comes the laptop, out comes a pen to chew on, when BAM! – a hand smacks on the window in front of me.

There’s a man standing there, disheveled, dirty, a wild look in his eye, his hand pressing a piece of paper to the glass. Scrawled messily on the note, it reads, “bathroom on left, under sink.” I don’t know what else to do, so I glance around, meet his eyes, and nod. His jaw quivers, he bites his lips, then he peels the note off the glass and walks briskly down the sidewalk out of view.

I turn in my seat and look around. No one’s looking up. Their heads are either in a tablet, book, or cup. I was the only one who saw the man at the window. I try to ignore it, initially. There’s a bit of a homelessness problem in the area, and you get the odd kook walking around the bike racks every so often, but this was a first. I open up my files and get to work, but I don’t get anywhere. My eyes keep checking over my shoulder to the hallway between the restrooms, checking whenever there’s traffic.

Finally, I get fed up and just pack my things, get up, and settle my curiosity. I hand in my mug (didn’t even get to finish the damn thing) and hit the head. I lock the door behind me out of habit, set my bag down, and take a leak. I look over at the sink and laugh, shaking my head. I zip up, flush, wash my hands, and lock eyes with myself in the mirror.

Are we really gonna look? I say, then my reflection sighs and nods a few seconds later. I crouch, feel around, and ho-ly shit…there’s a small parcel taped to the underside. I peel it off the porcelain and get a look at it in the light. It’s no bigger than a pack of Marlboro’s, wrapped in brown paper, tied with twine, and light, but it’s warm and hums very faintly. I’m doing the diagnostic in my head of what a bomb probably feels like when there’s a knock on the door.

“Uh, yeah. Gimme a second.”

The handle rattles a bit.

“Yeah, man. I’ll be out in a second.” I stuff the box down the front of my pants, positive I’m gonna get dick-cancer, grab my things, open the door, and stop dead. I’m looking eye-level with a tie clip. I crane my neck and see said tie clip is attached to a seven-foot-six tall suit with a giant inside it.

“Sorry,” it says, completely without expression. “I really have to go.”

“Uh, yeah, yeah, sure,” I stammer, and spill out into the hall. I look over my shoulder on my way out of the cafe to watch him crouch under the doorway and close the door behind him. I pass by two more, normal-sized suits on my way out. I don’t even have time to ask myself any questions before I hear the bathroom door smash open and a deep voice shout, “He has it! GET HIM!”

All common sense is screaming at me to just pull out the box, throw it aside, and run; but – and for the life of me I don’t know why – I skip the first part and I just run. I take off down Second street and hear the motley of footsteps behind me. I dash past Toad in the Hole just down the road, knocking over their sign like it’s going to do anything to stop my pursuers, but it works in the movies. Next I round the corner and beeline it to the construction site next to the new garage downtown.

I barely make it over the chain link fence when I catch a glance behind me and see the giant bounding down the block like a goddamn gazelle. He’ll make it over the fence with no problem, so I sprint toward the low cover of the lifted temp structures on the site. In a spray of gravel, I slide under those just as a humongous arm claws under after me. When I’m out of reach, I hear his deep voice strain, and the supports on the building start to creak. The son of a bitch is lifting the whole building, and I know I’m dead.

“Pssst!” I hear to my right. It’s the homeless guy from earlier, peaking out from a sewer grate. He waves me over and I scramble on hands and knees. I’m through the hole right as the building cracks in half above me. The manhole cover gets ripped out of place and the giant leers down at us, but we’re out of reach. I hear the clamoring footsteps of the other suits, the guy pulls me, and we run.

“Do you have him?” he shouts.

“Have who? What? What the fuck are you talking about?”

He leads us with a flashlight as we take turn after turn in the scattered dark. Eventually, he stops suddenly. He turns around and I can feel him staring at me. “Where is it?” is all he says. I pull out the warm, buzzing box. He draws a knife and cuts the paper, and when he does, a blue light spills out from the slit. A small hand, made of luminescent, opulent blue reaches out, then another, then a little body follows it. A tiny creature made of blue light, with two darker blue, almond-shaped spots for eyes, is standing in my hand now.

He sets his flashlight down and reaches into his coat. When he pulls his hand out, he’s also holding a blue glow in the shape of a small person with dark eyes. The two people of light walk on air, out of our hands, and meet. They touch foreheads with one another, there’s a bright flash, and then their gone. At that same moment, the tunnel’s silent – the shouts above us, and the pursuing footsteps all just vanish.

The homeless guy gives a sigh of relief.

“They don’t live long,” he says. “A day or two max, so there isn’t a whole lot of time to make sure they meet and pass their lives on.”

I shake my head. “What…what does that even mean? What are these things, where do they-“

“Hey man,” he interrupts. “I get that you have questions, and thanks for your help, but I couldn’t really answer them all if I wanted to. All I know is I can feel when a new one is born and that these things gotta meet, so I help out.”

Things get a bit fuzzy for a second, and next I know, I’m waking up this morning. So…yeah…

…that’s why I didn’t post yesterday.

See ya Tuesday!

Mama’s Moving Day!

Happy Tuesday, every’all’er’body! What’s up?

Tomorrow sees the end (probably) of a year-long “struggle” (in quotes only because the power of accomplishment washes out how fucking difficult it’s been), because it’s moving day for my mom! But this ain’t a diary (all the time) and we didn’t come here for that. So are you ready for some fucking stories!? Yeeeeeaaaaah! Ooo! Yeeeeeaaaaah!!

Well, wait until Thursday because all I had time for was some quotes that offer some solid life advice that’s gotten me through some tough shit recently and because when I finally made it to a cafe where I was suppose to write and publish this their WiFi was down so it had to be done in Open Office and then put up once I got home which is why it’s so late in the evening rather than noontime but it’s okay because maybe it is noontime where you are so I’m not mad about it!

Yeeeeaaaah!!!

1
“It’s possible to do everything correctly and still lose. This isn’t a failure on your part, it’s just life. Do your best.” -anonymous

The Take: This is “anonymous” because I found it while scrolling Facebook the other day, but it had a picture of Captain Picard as part of it, so I like to pretend it was said by Patrick Stewart. Anyway, all of us, at some point or another has likely had this happen – you play by the rules, perform as best you can, even excel, but a matter outside your control makes you come up short. I think as kids our parents told us to just “do your best and that’s all you can do” partly because it’s some cliché conventional wisdom, yeah, but also because it’s true.
As kids, we think it’s an even trade – effort in exchange for the desired outcome, and that’s almost it. You need the effort put in, that’s true, but the trade isn’t a guarantee. I think the real message in “just do the best you can” is partially accepting that it’s all that’s in your control, but also accepting that that doesn’t mean 100% or even 110% effort means you’ll get what you want.
But if it doesn’t, pick up, dust off, deep breath, and get back in it.

2
“Learn to be okay with people not knowing your side of the story.” -also anonymous

The Take: This one is sort of a spiritual sibling to number one, and it’s anonymous because I also don’t know who said this one, but I think it was on either Reddit or a bumper sticker. Strangely, I think of Aretha Franklin saying it, and it sounds inspirational as shit in her voice, so let’s go with it.
That said, it’s a tough one to live with, but also pretty freeing. An example I can think of personally is going to the bank with my mom in recent months. For quite a few necessary expenses, we’ve funded them out of her savings account through my checking since I’m cutting the checks for them (long story) all from the same bank branch. Through this process, though, we haven’t sat down with the tellers and associates to explain the project of renovating her house and my managing her money – yatta yatta – so, when we went today, they just saw a mother and her grown son, again, coming in to put money from her savings into his checking account.
So while, when they look at me during these transactions, I want badly to explain that I haven’t touched a cent of hers, as it all goes to contractors, painters, deposits, and the like, and instead actually have spent thousands of my own savings (that I really shouldn’t, being unemployed with no income n’ credit bills n’ whatnot) to help her…I don’t. A) That conversation would be long as fuck with a high chance of, “Okay…I wasn’t even thinking that” reactions. B) It doesn’t really matter, in the end. I know what we’re doing, and that’s good enough.

3
“Will that dog ever shut the fuck up?!” -Amanda

The Take: This one isn’t meant to be inspirational. It’s just because our next door neighbor’s dog barks all the time and I thought it was kind of funny.

4
“In these bodies we live
“In these bodies we die.
“The way you invest your love,
“you invest your life.” -Mumford and Sons

The Take: And this one I just thought was nice. They were song lyrics in my notebook, they made me smile, so I put them here. What I WILL say is that I find it funny how many romantic song lyrics and proverbs really do boil down to the bottom line of roughly: “Life is short, don’t be a dick.”

Anyway, I’ve preached enough. Got a U-HAUL to rent. Catch you lovely bastards (you too, ladies) Thursday.

Ciao.