Monthly Archives: July 2010

Drop and Keep Rolling.

What is an emergency,
When all is dark, no light to see?
Where do you run to,
When you are desperate to leave?

Surrounded by flame, accusation and blame,
Those pointing fingers cause you to linger,

Contain that heat you trap within,
Are you brave enough to lose some skin?

A surge of strength brought on by fear,
The growing blaze, it flickers near,
The scars you keep, those lessons learned,
Leave behind the rest to burn.

Three O’Clock Cry-baby.

“Children have killed each other and committed suicide after having been involved in a cyber-bullying incident.”

www.stopcyberbullying.org

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“You and me, we’re gonna have a fight. Today. After school. Three o’clock. In the parking lot. You try and run, I’m gonna track you down. You go to a teacher, it’s only gonna get worse. You sneak home, I’m gonna be under your bed.”

Buddy Revell

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Sixth grade was a rough year.

You see, up until then, I got along with the majority of my classmates, and had very little in the way of trouble. But then a boy named Bobby Guido moved into town, and suddenly I was persona non grata. It was awful. I was taunted, ridiculed, harassed, and even pushed to the ground at one point. Like a gaggle of reef sharks, my male classmates smelled blood, and either spurned me, or actively participated in the daily torture that became my school day.

Why the animosity you ask? It was simply because his new girlfriend at school just happened to be the girl who had a heavy, and rather undisguised crush on me, for several years. Once he learned of this, he quickly set about making my elementary school experience a lesson in misery. He met with great success for much of the school year until my older sister was informed of this by the younger sister of one of her classmates. She promptly marched down to the school and threw the boy into a chain link fence. Problem solved. Laugh all you like, but I had no issue with it. The boy resembled the bully from ‘A Christmas Story’, and had an eerily similar way of sneering that would literally freeze me in place.

“She loves ME, not you, pip-squeak!”

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That certainly was a trying time for me. But I found ways to cope. Athletics, books, and Nintendo all contributed to making life somewhat bearable despite the daily erosion of self-esteem I was being subjected to.

I read incessantly as a child, but after reading a newspaper article the other day on ‘cyber-bullying’, I almost wished for illiteracy.

Has it come to this people? That we are not content with merely raising a generation of undisciplined, buttery-soft, darwin fodder, we must also cushion them from the ‘threat’ of ‘virtual’ teasing? Yes, I have seen the stories as well. Children so unprepared to tackle the social challenges that accompany later school years, that they would rather end their lives than simply approach said online ‘attackers’, and swiftly make seated computing very uncomfortable. Lawsuits fly faster than thrown fists these days, and so do disproportionate school-age punishments for natural adolescent behavior. So perhaps the violence could be skipped, but violence isn’t the point.

It’s the little angry dwarf in your head that says, ‘bite his fucking kneecaps off!’

It’s that pissed off kid holding a bag of sugar and a gas cap.

It’s Bill Gates knowing every dickhead who ever broke his glasses has paid their debt to him a thousand times over, whether they like it or not.

By not ALLOWING kids, ‘to be kids’, we are denying them the basic right of every social creature that has ever existed on this planet. The right to know their place. It might not be a good place for them. Perhaps other kids will pummel them, and perhaps they will be teased and taunted. At some point, the child will either accept this role and work with it (and around it), or, heshe will take on a new role. But how Tobas? Who knows. That’s the beauty of it. Necessity is the mother of invention, and if you participate in your child’s life and teach them self-respect, they will emerge from the forge of public school persecution stronger, smarter, and better able to cope with the biggest and baddest bully of them all. Life.

Has it escaped everyone’s notice that as the laws dictating adolescent social behavior become more draconian, the stories in the news increase, along with the severity of the offenses? Anyone care to guess why that might be?

Because the seemingly never-ending flow of ‘crackdown’ legislation is less, “you kids better behave”, and more, “go have a cocktail mom or dad (or in rare cases now, mom and dad), the LAW will make sure your children do the right thing!” I wish to be clear about what I mean by ‘the right thing’. That means either A. acting appropriately, or B. re-acting appropriately. “B”, is what the situation requires in order to be resolved without causing major injury or death, “B” is what a child with half a brain and even a sliver of self-respect will come up with in order to set shit straight.

But I digress.

“Watch out son! Here come the Cyyyyyyyyber-Bullieeeeeeessss!! Wahhh, run!!!”

Instant messenger. Chats. Bulletin Boards. Blogs. YouTube. Etc. Etc. Etc.

NONE of those things are necessary. NONE. A child could simply use a computer to do their school-work if necessary and then go play some xbox. Better yet, perhaps that child could go socialize with some flesh and blood peers.

If I caught a fist in the face every time I walked into the bakery I’d learn to like celery real fucking fast. Has this new generation been born without a simple sense of self-preservation? Perhaps there is some Darwinism at work in this after all. Because if you finally drop dead from all the concussions obtained eating pastries, welp…

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buddy

“Live it, Love… what? This is MY site now punk-ass”

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…until towel-snapping becomes a felony offense,

Live i-…..::thud::……”I told you, bitch”

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“You’re a bunch of tubby little pussies”

– Buddy

Today (not really)

February 14, 2008

(I posted this a few years back when I had a myspace blog, it seemed to have affected many. so, here it is. This was an intense day, perhaps those feelings came through)

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I went to a funeral today.

I have been to several funerals in my life.  No matter how sad it was, or how many people I saw crying, I could never bring myself to cry.  I would rationalize it somehow, and suck out the emotion by trying to make sense of it.  Today’s funeral was for the mother of a man I care for.  His mother was 84 years old.  He is mentally retarded, and has several other diagnoses.

He is a quiet man.  He says very little, and to those he does not trust, he says absolutely nothing, and mostly answers questions in mono-syllabic fashion.  His family requested I escort him, because he does trust me, and he likes me, and as they said, I know how to make him laugh.  The truth is, he makes me laugh more than I ever could make him.  Most people don’t know that he has a wickedly sharp sense of humor, because he rarely uses his strangely soft, high-pitched voice.

I could tell he was nervous on the ride out to the funeral home.  He coughs and gags when he gets nervous, I know this from years of having to schedule and run medical appointments and procedures for him.  We arrived in northport at the height of todays monsoon, I use that term because it is the only way to accurately convey just how much rain and wind was whipping about.  Luckily it was a short walk to the entrance, and in no time, we were seated with his family, staring at the white-haired corpse of his mother.  He sat quietly as his family told stories and laughed, and then it came time to read prayers.  I have seen him laughing, serious, angry (but not very), and sad.  I had never seen him cry, until that moment.  His large bright blue eyes welled up, and he let out a muffled sob, and even though all the others were crying too, I stared at him, surprised and somewhat devastated.

I knew he felt it, I knew he understood perfectly what was going on, but a part of me hoped he maybe just didn’t grasp the finality of it as well as the others.  Tears streamed down his cheeks, and he cried like a man, quietly, and with dignity.  I put my arm around him and sat there, feeling my own eyes well up, and my throat close with grief.  I had tried to console him on the ride over.  I gave him the perspective of life, as best as I knew how.  She had a long life, I said, we should all be so lucky as she was, to die quietly in old age, surrounded by a loving family.  I then told him he was luckier still, because now he had an angel of his own to look out for him, all he had to do was pray to her, and talk to her, she would always listen, and she would always love him.  He nodded several times, staring straight ahead as he usually does, and answered in his typical fashion, “yeah”.  I knew he was grief-stricken, but his quiet sobs ambushed me, and I felt for him all the more.

I did not cry there, sitting next to him.  But I felt his loss keenly, and my own day to day sadness was somehow magnified by his expression.

We went to mass at St. Francis of Assisi, not far down the road.  It was a short service, that consisted mostly of a heavily lisping priest quoting biblical passages, mostly dealing with the lord preparing a place and such.  The procession then headed slowly towards calverton national cemetary for the burial.  It was a long, slow ride, and a thoroughly miserable day to take it, in every aspect.  The cars lined up by the burial site, and we took turns waiting for a somber man to hand us umbrellas so that we would not get drenched in the short walk to the covered area where there would be two short prayers, and final goodbyes said.

After the prayers, all of us were given cut flowers.  Each of us placed these flowers atop the coffin, and said whatever was left to say before walking back to the line of cars to leave.  One by one, friends and family placed flowers, whispered whatever it was they needed to, and gathered by the edge of the covered area, just inside the rainstorm still raging around us.  He and I were the last ones to go, and by the time he placed his flower, the others had already begun opening umbrellas and drifting out into the tempest.  In every place we had ever gone, I would say, “cmon chicken, lets go” (we all call him chicken as a nickname.  I think this stems from the fact that he has pale milky features that perhaps reminded some of his housemates of a plucked chicken, although I think he more strongly resembles a man drawn by norman rockwell), and he would  follow me without hesitation.

He turned towards me, and suddenly, he turned around quickly back to the coffin.  The others had already turned away and begun walking back, so none of them saw what I saw.  I was scared for a moment, thinking that maybe the sadness and stress of the day would lead to a wild behavioral episode, and I would have to try to stop him from doing something completely terrible and inappropriate.

I quickly turned with him, and stood next to him as he placed his two fingers on the shiny wood.  He gave one more great, heaving sob, and with tears streaming again, he quietly mouthed, “I love you, goodbye”.  I was glad the others were already far off, because I as I held on to comfort him, I ended up partially collapsing, using my arm draped around his shoulders for support.  We both stood there for a few moments, crying softly.  It was the saddest, most beautiful thing I had ever seen a person do in my entire life, and it destroyed me.  He comported himself with more dignity than anyone I had ever seen.  And unlike so-called, “normal” people, he is just not capable of true falsehood, he means everything he does.  So, his quiet classy grief drove into me, like no hysterics ever could.

I did not say much the rest of that day, nor did I try to comfort him further.  It was not necessary.  He expressed himself, then it was over, and that was the end of it.  The simplicity of how he deals with events in his life is remarkable.  Disabled he may be considered, but we should all hope to live in the moment as well as that man can.

Today, that beautiful, quiet, mentally retarded man taught me more than anyone could ever hope to teach me.

In some respects, my job pays wages in ways dollars never could.