Sunday, February 22, 2015

Anyone Can Be the Dark

“I think I’ve opened a can of worms, Danny.”

“Whadya mean by that?”

“I mean I’ve done something I shouldn’t have and now I don’t know what to do or what will happen or if things will ever be the same again once it all comes to light.”

“Sounds like serious shit.”

“Well, I reckon it is.”

Danny doesn’t want to ask what the something is that Earle has done. For one, it ain’t none of his business ‘less Earle wants him to know. And two, if Earle does tell him, then he’s in a shitstorm without an umbrella right along with him. So to speak. Instead, he sits at the bar where they always sit drinking their luke warm beers, Bush for Danny and Coors Light for Earle. They’re lukewarm because the cooler in this place is shot to shit and Boone, the guy that runs it, is too damn cheap to get it fixed. But, It’s the only place in town to get a drink without being tacked onto a “family” restaurant, and Boone knows people ain’t got much of a choice if they want to have a beer without drinking alone at home and still manage to avoid other people’s screamin’ young-uns. So, he can pretty much do whatever the fuck he wants without worrying much ‘bout losin’ business. Place barely stays afloat as it is ‘specially with Boone drinking a lot of the stock right by himself.

Neither Danny nor Earle say much as they finish their beers and crack open new ones. The TV in the bar is playing old reruns of Friends. Danny never cared much for the show. Seemed to him it was just a bunch of uppity ass city folk with idiotic problems they made for themselves being assholes to each other. Where’s the entertainment in that? With the sound turned down like it is now, though, it ain’t so bad. Them girls on the show had hard nipples almost every episode. It ain’t hard to look at if you don’t have to hear them all whining ‘bout shit that don’t matter. Nipples on the TV and the Allman Brothers Band playing through the bar’s half decent sound system. If the beer was cold, this place wouldn’t be half bad.

What’s a man supposed to do in these situations anyway, he wonders. Should he ask in case Earle’s in trouble? Mind his own business like his gut tells him to do? Talk shit about him to his face like them folks on the show would do? This, he thinks, this is why I stick to myself. Anytime you get other people in your life, shit gets complicated in a hurry.

He and Earle haven’t known each other too long. A couple years, he guesses. Earle, unlike most folks around here, wasn’t born in the area. He moved in for some goddamned fool reason. He never did say why, not that Danny asked, but it wasn’t such a good choice. This town, really not more than a village, ain’t exactly filled to the brim with culture unless redneck ingenuity counts for that. There’s not much in the way of opportunities either. Most people end up working in the same old jobs for 20, 30 years hatin’ it all. Danny himself has been working at the same factory putting together produce crates for 15 long, boring, far from fruitful years himself. That’s where he met Earle.

He doesn’t know much about Earle’s past except he’d moved here from Nashville. Earle didn’t know a soul in the entire town when he got here and still hasn’t really made any friends to Danny’s knowledge. They work on the same line but don’t talk much besides shooting the shit most of the day, so he really has no idea what could be goin’ on, what could be so serious that the man would be willing to even mention it. In public.

Three beers down, couple more to go.

“Ok, so here’s the deal….” Earle starts, pauses, shakes his head, and lifts his beer to his lips.


“Oh, fuck it…nevermind.”


The two of them sit and drink not talking staring at the screen of the television ignorin’ each other’s existence. Friends has changed over to something not all that different but these goons prefer a bar to a coffee house and the nipples aren’t playing their own character.

“I don’t like this garbage. “ Earle looks down the bar searching for Boone.

“You need another one already?” Boone calls from the other side of the room where he’s wiping down a recently vacated table.

“No, I need you to change this godawful fucking channel, Boone. Christ sake, do you actually watch this shit?”

“Watch your language, Earle.”

“How you gonna tell a grown man to watch his language around a buncha damn drunks? If I wanted to watch my language I’d be down at that shithole Beef O’Brady’s.”

“Just because this ain’t a family establishment don’t mean you got to be disrespectful.”

Boone still changes the channel though. He’s more amused than anything. He lives for bickering. Anybody that comes to this place knows what to expect. 5 minutes from now he’ll be letting the language fly himself.

American Pickers reruns work out just fine. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that, right? Another beer down however many more to go.

Halfway through the next beer after Frank and Mike have underpaid a couple different people and argued to underpay them even more, Earle turns to me and says, “I think I’m going to kill myself.”

Danny chokes on his beer then, coughing and sputtering before weakly managing to get out a “what..?”

“Don’t die on me, bud.”

“What the fuck are you talking about, Earle?”

“Just what I said. I think I’m going to kill myself.”

Danny’s mouth attempts to work, but no words come out…only a gruntlike sound.

“Well, don’t take over the conversation there, pal. I’m only saying I might be dead soon. No need to get all chatty.”

“I don’t much know what to say here, Earle. That ain’t exactly small potatoes there, fella.”

“Yep. “

The two of them both down the rest of their beers and ask for more. Frank and Mike have long gone from the television set before Danny actually tries to talk again.

“Why the hell would you want to do something like that? What’s this got to do with some can of worms you done opened?”

“It’s a long story, bud. Real long.”

“Well, I got the time if you do. Ain’t no point in killing yourself most likely, but can’t you at least get a second opinion?”

“I reckon so.”

But, he doesn’t. Not then. Not even after a few minutes. Another 2 beers in, though, and he talks. He talks about his ex wife, the one who left him in Nashville. He talks about his two teenaged girls, the girls he hadn’t talked to since his wife left. He talks about what made his wife leave—the affair he had with a woman he was working with, the prostitutes he paid for when he was traveling for work, and all the money he blew on whatever he wanted til they were so far in debt they lost their house not long after he lost his job. He talks about how he stalked her for awhile and how she ended up getting a restraining order after he tried to run her down with his car. He even talks about how he beat the livin’ shit out of those prostitutes when he had ‘em because that’s what got him off. It is all news to Danny who has no idea this guy sitting beside him is capable of such awfulness.

Then he says he’s been going to the city every weekend, the worst parts of town and picking up cheap women from bars or from the corner, whichever suits him. The last one he left unconscious or maybe even dead, he says, and that he partly hopes she’s dead because all women are the same. None of ‘em are worth a damn. They need to know their place. And, he thinks that he’s just going to keep doing it because it’s all he thinks about now.

He talks and talks until Danny is mostly sober and feelin’ mighty sick. Boone is ready to shut the place down and impatiently sighing at the bar when Earle asks for one more beer, the first break he’s had from talking in a good long while.

“Earle, I’m ready to get my old ass home. This’ll be the last one of the night. Period. Don’t ask me again, and make it quick.” Boone shakes his head but slides the beer down anyway and crosses his arms over his chest. He’s ready to skedaddle. So is Danny. He’s heard enough.

The two sit in silence for a few moments. Danny doesn’t really know what to say much. he wonders how he could have worked beside this man day in and day out and never known he was like this, never had an inkling he was working with more monster than man. After awhile, he finally says, “Earle, man, you need some fucking help. Like yesterday.”

“I don’t want none.”

Earle finishes his beer and both push back from the bar, but Danny stops Earle from getting up with a motion.

“I reckon you asked my opinion on the issue of killing yourself, so let me be real frank about this. If you’re not wantin’ no kind of help and you know you’re gonna keep on with it, I think you need to do the rest of the world, especially the women, a big ol’ favor and do it. It’s not a subject I take so lightly given my mama’s brother killed himself with a shotgun to the mouth a few years back, but I don’t see how a man like you should keep livin’ if you’re going to go around torturing folks who ain’t never wronged you.”

Earle looked as if he might say something more, but Danny didn’t give him much chance before he walked out leaving Earle to deal with his the shitstorm of his own creation.

Sunday Confessions!! I love Sundays. I spend days thinking about what I'll write. This time, I had no idea. This took a completely different direction at first but I backtracked, ate a ton of pickles, and went down this road. It's more deliberate than some of the stories that spill out without hesitation from brain to screen in a flood. That makes me a little more self conscious about this, but I also love dialogue-heavy stories so maybe it turned our alright. Thanks for reading!! Be sure to check out the other confessions on More Than Cheese and Beer

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Target Practice


I bring the shotgun to my shoulder and aim carefully making sure to slow my breathing and visually
track the arc of the target within the sites of the gun. When I lock onto it, I pull away accounting for the velocity of the “bird” before pulling the trigger. The blast recoils the butt of the gun into my shoulder but I don’t take my eyes off the prize. Above me in the sky, I see the novel obliterated into confetti that rains down on the ground around me. Book burning really isn’t my thing, but the rush I get from literally exploding a copy of 50 Shades of Grey is priceless. 50 Shades of Abuse should really be the name of this piece of poorly written garbage but somehow it swept hordes of women into some kind of contract-desiring spell. I’ve hooked up with 18 year olds who had a better grasp on sexuality than the author of this series. Watching small chunks of it fall on the grass with a thud as bland as the plot itself is almost as satisfying as well-earned spanking.


The next target arcs through the sky above me and the process repeats itself again. This time it’s Beyonce’s latest album. I know, I know… How can I despise this pop cultural phenomenon and icon? She claims to be feminist, right? And all kinds of other garbage? I can’t be a good feminist if I criticize her, you say. Oh, fuck that noise. Feminism is a state of mind. It’s not just a label you hide behind so you can flaunt your sexuality on a stage or in a video without getting negative attention or so that when you do get negative attention you can shout out loud that it’s not feminist to stifle someone else’s sexuality. Puh-lease. Does that mean Nikki Minaj is a feminist just because she brought Baby Got Back back from a grave it wasn’t even really in just so she could horribly disfigure it, kill it, and set fire to it? No. Her big ass crawling around on screen doesn’t make her a feminist either. Miley certainly doesn’t get a pass on this either. More or less, you have to do more to further the cause than pave the way for people to gyrate in public without guilt (even though to some degree I do agree that’s part of it). So, why don’t we just make this a 3 for 1. As inspired as I feel to destroy all their things, I’m sure I can make all three shots in one pull. Go ahead and make my day.


The O’Reilly Factor has to go, man. It has to. I don’t know how I can absolutely destroy this paradigm of inflammatory “news” programming, but it needs to be done. I follow several resources that fact-check news hosts as well as politicians, and I must say for someone who thinks he’s so fucking right all the time, most of his “news” is complete and utter bullshit. You can research that for yourself. So, in essence, he’s no better than a terrorist. He incites others to believe propaganda that enforces closely held beliefs that are not based in any sort of fact whatsoever and calls them to action based on complete dishonesty and a type of brainwashing—the kind of people who believe Bill O’Reilly typically are more likely to believe their falsehoods even more strongly when shown evidence to the contrary. He’s not the only one to do it, and certainly both sides of the spectrum have these issues with the truth, but I do think he’s the biggest cuntopotamus of them all, so he can be my lesson to everyone else.


TLC has got to fucking go. Let’s look at the lineup: 19 Kids and Counting, My 600 Lb Life, Sex Sent Me to the ER, Sister Wives, Angels Among Us, Buying Naked, 3 fucking shows with the guy from Cake Boss as if he and his family weren’t annoying enough on 1 damned show. I mean, garbage, garbage, garbage. Let’s not forget that this channel also gave us Honey Boo Boo. TLC is supposed to stand for The Learning Channel. Learning. All we’re learning on this channel is that people with problems are supposed to be watched like Side Show acts and that even a bakery is so filled to the gills with drama that it needs a television show or apparently 3. Reality TV is terrible enough by design but TLC has this special ability to make people feel like they need a shower just by flipping past the channel much less stopping to actually watch. We get extreme archtype characters from these shows. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to give assholes like the Duggars or the Honey Boo Boos (whatever the fuck they are really called) are fascinating enough to mainstream them? It’s not about them being relateable. At all. And that’s the sad part of it. TLC, The Learning Channel, put these shows on the air so that the average American can say, hey…my life isn’t THAT bad! Look at those FREAKS. You know, really…if your life is to the point that watching some other family with a host of problems on television is what it takes to make you feel better about yourself then you need to work on that instead of mindlessly indulging in TV. TLC is feeding into a lifestyle where people can get out of working on themselves as long as they’re not as bad as people with idiotic lifestyles on television. What does that say about our culture?


Man, I could do this all day. The lineup would probably include some more “artists.” Kanye will not escape this pop culture demolition derby. Beck who plays 14 instruments should respect the artistry of someone who needs that many people to write her songs for her and who plays no instruments? Fuck. Gamergate is on the list. That whole movement where guys carry semi-automatic rifles into Target or Chipotle has to go too. OOOO….Michael Bay movies. All of them. And maybe that whole thing where people take movies we loved long ago and turn them into TV shows because TV revolutionized the way we view stories in the past several years….I mean, I get it. We used to have sitcom-centric television, but the advent of things like The Walking Dead changed television. Things are so much different now. But, seriously… Fargo, From Dusk til Dawn, Bates Motel, Hannibal, 12 Monkeys…fuck’s sake. Leave movies alone that we already know the end to and focus on bringing us new stories. I’m okay with that. I think other people are okay with that. Twilight. Got to go. And, while we’re at it…the word “smoothie.” I cringe every single time someone says it.

So, in al seriousness, I wrote this is fun, but there’s some underlying sentiment there. I think there are some barnacles on American culture that distract from potential, that hold us back or even act like parasites draining the remaining resolve that people have to be better. Some of those are serious issues like this blanket of entitlement that seems to keep young men from realizing that women have choices and that those choices don’t involve sleeping with whoever pays them attention. Rape culture is a strong issue to tackle. But, in the same token, there are some more light hearted issues that don’t seem like that big a deal on the surface, like 50 Shades of Gray, but really are just another weight on the pile that’s already drowning us in a sea of idiocy. And, I think talking about it maybe breaks the cycle of brainwashing or has the possibility to do so.

So what would you put on your target list?

Sunday is all about the confessions! Hope you'll stop by More Than Cheese and Beer to read all the submissions.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Negotiation

“Before I do this, I want you to know I never meant it to be this way.”

He holds the gun on her, but his grip is loose and hand shaky. It isn’t the ironclad grip of a black heart. Maybe he means what he said. Maybe that gives her some leverage. It’s worth a shot anyway. At this point, she really has nothing to lose.

She pauses for a minute really looking at him this time. She had been afraid to before, afraid that if she really saw him, he’d never let her go, but she realizes that was the wrong approach. Right now, if she is going to live through this and fuck did she never realize just how much she wanted to get old until tonight…if she is going to make it, she has to get personal.

He has long, brownish hair that needed a good wash. His face is lean, gaunt really, like he hasn’t been eating too well for quite some time, but the baggy, ragged clothes he has on kind of hid the rest of him from view. She can’t tell just how thin he is. His hair hangs around his ears almost touching his shoulders. There is some patchy fuzz on his face that can’t really be called a beard, dark circles under his sunken eyes. His cheeks are pock-marked and a band of sores wrap his brow with more on his chin. He isn’t well. Drugs, maybe. Meth? Crack? She doesn’t see track marks on his arms. No scars. No tattoos that she could locate. His clothes are stained, black in places, worn, ripped. If she had to guess, he has no job, no ability to get one, no food, no money, and a hell of a need to get his fix, whatever that fix might be.

“Don’t look at me. I can’t do this if you’re looking at me like that. You’re creeping me out. Turn your fucking head.”

She doesn’t do what she’s asked and makes eye contact instead. He’s the one to turn away from her, and she thinks that’s good. She doesn’t think he’s done this before. He certainly doesn’t act like a killer not that she’s ever kept company with one to know. She thinks maybe he would be more deliberate, less hesitant, less shaky if he really wanted to do it, if he started this with the intention of doing it. If it wasn’t a big deal, he wouldn’t care if she looked at him. He wouldn’t even see her as a human being. In theory, at least. She could be wrong. She hopes not, but she could be.

Her words come out in stutters when she finally says to him, “You don’t have to do this, you know.”

“I don’t know anything, bitch. And neither do you. You’re all banged up. You’re tied up. Just how the fuck am I going to get out of this if you’re alive?”

“I would tell you that I’ll never call the cops, but that’s what they always say in the movies and it never works.”

“Do you think I’m stupid?”

Even in this moment, she is about to burst with sarcasm. Her mother always told her that her mouth would cash a check her ass couldn’t handle one of these days, and this was almost it. The words were almost pouring out of her mouth faster than she could blink. She closed them off, almost painfully, and thought for a second trying to gain her composure.

“Okay, look…I know you think that killing me is the only way to solve all your problems, and believe me, if I could have avoided coming home, there’s no way I would be here right now. You could have it all. All of it. Take it. But, what if you kill me and it doesn’t solve things? What if you kill me and you get caught like a lot of people get caught then you go to jail for like, I don’t know, forever. for life. No parole. Or executed. Doesn’t this state have the death penalty? I don’t think you want to die any more than I do. Think about it. We can come up with a solution for this where both of us don’t end up dying because my date was a total shitbag…”

He starts pacing then. Full on pacing back and forth, shaking his head. She watches him more scared than ever. He was slapping himself in the forehead with one hand mumbling thinkthinkthink under his breath. No sane person would be doing this, right? And how was she ever going to rationalize with a mentally deranged man.

“There’s no way anybody would ever figure out it was me. No fucking way.”

“There’s CCTV several different places along this street. You aren’t wearing gloves; do you have a record? You have long hair. I’m sure some have fallen out. Don’t you watch those CSI shows? I mean, that’s not the way things really work all the time, but there’s ways. It’s possible. More than possible really. You might get lucky and get away with it, but think about it. Really think about it. You’re not cut out for prison, man. I can look at you and tell.”

“Bitch, you don’t know a fucking think about me.” He pauses, stops pacing for a minute. “What the fuck is CCTV?”

“Closed cameras or whatever. The couple of stores along the street on the way here have cameras that show every minute outside. There’s a bank, too. And the apartment building across the street has some too that show, I think, the entrance to this place. It might not, but it’s possible. And they’ll end up getting all the tapes and trying to figure out who was in this neighborhood that didn’t belong here during the time they figure I died.”

“What if I don’t leave your body here, cut it up and throw it in the woods somewhere or put you down in the river?”

“Well…they’ll probably still figure out who I am and then where I lived. Depending on when my body is found, the CCTV might have been recorded over, so you might be safe. Might not. It’s still a risk.”

He paces again. She marvels at how she is keeping calm while saying things like my body, while he talks about maybe cutting her up into little pieces like a bad horror flick.

“I can’t just leave you to it. I walk outta here and 10 seconds later you call the cops before I even got a chance to get off this block.”

“I won’t if that means I’ll live. But, I don’t know how I can convince you of that which is ultimately our dilemma and that’s what we need to come to an agreement about.”

“Miss, just what the hell do you think you can come to an agreement about with the man who beat and robbed you?”

“If I knew that already, I would have said so. But, I’m thinking. If you mean to kill me anyway, why not give me 10 more minutes to work on it. Like a dying wish. Do you grant those?”

He stares at her for what feels like forever almost staring through her. “I ain’t done this before.” It’s almost a whisper. “But you got 10 minutes against my better judgment.” He barks a laugh then. “Who am I kidding? I don’t have good judgment any other time. Might as well keep the tradition alive.”

She watches him sit down across from her. He looks exhausted. Her brain circles maddeningly searching for a solution, for THE answer, for anything that might save her life. But there was nothing. She circles and circles, a whirlpool of thoughts threatening to pull her down into the exact state of panic that would end with him shooting her. She is reaching frantically for a branch that might keep her from drowning and seeing nothing much at all except an occasional rock that would surely quicken her exit from the world. And then out of nowhere she finds something. It’s a twig really. Nothing stable for sure, but the words are out of her mouth before she really even thinks it through all the way.

“I’ll give you a job.”

His brow furrows. He looks at her like she must have looked at him when he was slapping himself in the forehead.

“What in the fuck are you talking about?”

“I own a shop in town. Like a thrift store. I don’t need someone full time, and obviously right now you can’t handle the money side of the business, but I need someone to help me put out stock and go with me to pick things up because I want to start getting some bigger furniture pieces. I need help keeping the place clean and doing little odds and ends.”

“What’s it pay?”

“Do you really have room to negotiate?” A bit of anger flared in the pit of her stomach before she could control it.

“Do you?”

“Point taken. It would be…I don’t know, man…like $8 an hour…..” He starts to interrupt her but she barrels through, “but that could be negotiated later on. And here’s the thing, I’d send you to rehab too. I have some money saved up. Maybe it’s not what you want to do right now. But, you look like you need help. I don’t think you meant for all this to happen. I don’t think you’d be able to live with yourself if you kill me tonight at least I hope not to be honest. And this is a chance at a full, clean fresh start. Sometimes people need that, you know? And maybe if you take a chance on this and I take a chance on you, we’ll figure it out as we go.”

He sits there for a long time. Quiet. Head down. The gun is at his side on the floor now and that’s good she thinks but the quiet scares her more than anything. Her head has never hurt her as badly as it does right now. He clears his throat. She looks up at him then. His eyes are swimmy, she notices. He opens his mouth then stops getting choked up a bit.

“Why?” he finally manages to ask.

“Why not?” she says.

This has been another Sunday Confession with More Than Cheese and Beer. The prompt was "before." Sometimes when I sit down to write, I don't know where the story is going or what's going to happen. The words just tumble onto the screen in an outpouring with my hands flying fast on the fast my brain can barely follow the story. The ending is just as much a surprise to me sometimes as I imagine it is for people reading it or at least hope it is. Anyway, hope you enjoyed it. It might not be terribly realistic, but as someone who has a lot of contact with offenders and who wants a career working with offenders, it's interesting to consider just how much getting a fresh start would mean to someone who has nothing. Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out MTCAB for the other blogger link ups and the facebook page for some other confessions. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

That Feeling You Get

So today is Secret Subject Swap--one of my favorite blog challenges. Here's how it works: For this week, 15 brave bloggers signed up and submitted a secret prompt. We were each given a prompt of our own about two weeks ago. Today, we simultaneously divulge our interpretations of the prompts we were given. No one knows who got what or what the other prompts are, so today's the big reveal, so to speak. I'll include links to all the other bloggers at the end so you can comb through and see how it goes. Happy reading!

My prompt is:

Do you believe in love at first sight?

It was submitted by:


I believe in lust at first sight.

I also firmly believe that many an individual confuses lust for love which is the only thing that can really explain why so many people in my Facebook feed or even in life around me seem to fall in love on the first date and fall out of it just as quickly before moving on to the next love of their lives.

You can desire someone, lust for them, feel a yearning to know them on both an intimate and carnal level when you see them; I do believe that. It happens to me often when I see a chubby, tattooed, and bearded man. I shamelessly objectify, stare slack-jawed, and often do triple or quadruple takes depending on the beard in question, but that’s not love. Love is far too complicated and immeasurable to happen in an instant like that, to be based on looks and first impressions alone.

Love builds over time as you get to know a person and figure out who they are. The intimacy of the details shared with one another about your life journeys bond you. The other person’s quirks become endearing even if still annoying. There’s a passion in the knowing, and with romantic love, there’s a passion in exploring each other’s bodies as well as minds. Love is not something that snaps perfectly into place in the blink of an eye because it’s based on who that person is--the past, the present, personality, character flaws, hopes, dreams, passions, goals, idiosyncrasies, hobbies, and needs. Saying that love is so one dimensional that it can happen on sight alone really does a disservice to the state of truly loving someone, of sacrificing for them, worrying, caring, and being their champion in good times and bad.

Perhaps there are some mothers who contend they fell in love with their children on sight, but that’s not the truth of the matter either, not really. That’s certainly not the way it worked for me. I grew to love my child well before he made his first appearance in this world, and it didn’t happen the first time I saw his tiny form on an ultrasound screen either. All I really felt then was fear and a little awe. As I tracked his growth and what was happening to him, picked his name out, bought him little clothes, things began to change. With every kick I felt and every book I read to my growing belly, the stronger I felt. The love was there before I ever saw his tiny fingers and itsy bitsy toes. The bond built over time as my body sacrificed to nourish his. With every craving and maddeningly exhausting day, the love grew and continued to grow to astronomical proportions. His ruddy little cheeks and fawn crown of hair only added to it. He was perfect when he fell asleep on my chest the first time, but it wouldn’t have mattered if he had been born with any number of defects—I would have loved him all the same because that love was made before my eyes ever landed on his tiny, pink form.

No matter how you look at it, love takes time to grow. It’s like a garden that way. It needs care, time, and a little TLC. It needs to be nourished and given your attentions. And when you do all those things you might get lucky and get a good harvest…or you might do all the right things and still get half-formed ears of corn. Love is fickle that way. And that’s okay. It’s worth the work and the gamble. The good times are worth enduring the bug-ravaged squash vines that make you fall to your knees in the middle of the rows and cry out of frustration or toss your spade in the ditch out of anger. You might even scream to the skies that you’ll NEVER PLANT ANOTHER FUCKING GARDEN AGAIN, but you don’t mean it. It’s too blissful being surrounded by the scent of tomato plants popping a couple of still dirty cherry tomatoes in your mouth while you’re covered in sweat and smiling in the fading sunlight of the day.

So, I do believe you can get a tingle, something electric that makes you want to know a person on sight, but that’s not love, and that’s okay. Because love is worth the work. The bounty of the harvest you get when you get love right is worth the blood, sweat and tears. If it were any easier, it wouldn't feel half as good when you succeed.

That's my swap, folks. Here are the links to the other bloggers:                          Baking In A Tornado                        Stacy Sews and Schools                      The Bergham’s Life Chronicles                          Spatulas on Parade                            Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                                          The Momisodes                                Climaxed                   Confessions of a part-time working mom                      Southern Belle Charm                                        The Lieber Family                             Someone Else’s Genius                      Evil Joy Speaks                             Disneyland in Kentucky                                  Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                           Juicebox Confession

Sunday, February 1, 2015

No Time for the Classics

There’s some mild to insanely heated debate (depending on where you’re looking) about what makes a novel a classic. Some contend that quality of writing is a major factor. The language should be forceful, expressive, and colorful. There’s also the issue of morality. Classics often come with a lesson, an overarching theme intended to teach readers, guide them. To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, discusses the existence of good and evil and how it coincides within one person rather than people being either purely good or purely evil. Then there’s the idea of universality—for the novel, the story, and the characters to be relatable across time periods. These stories are timeless. Like pencil skirts with sensible hemlines. With universality also comes truthfulness. No matter the fantastical nature of the story involved, like with Frankenstein, the storyline and ending seem inevitable--believable for those characters and those situations. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy belong together and it seems all too obvious that they’ll end in love as Pride and Prejudice goes on.

With that status of “classic,” there comes a pressure for a regular, avid reader to digest these novels, to take them down like a pint of Ben and Jerry’s after a bad date and relish them at least twice as much.

Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream. Vanilla ice cream. Fudge covered waffle cone bits. Caramel



So, you know, most of the classics that I’m supposed to be enjoying so much, avid reader that I am, don’t even compare to fudge covered waffle pieces, man.

I can’t help it. I tried. I tried to read War and Peace. I’ve tried to get through Dickens’ works, and every time I ever had to read Death of a Salesman for a class report, I had to fake it. For fuck’s sake, I have nearly lost my will to live just reading the fucking thing which is a tad ironic given the ending of that tale. I did enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird and at least most of Frankenstein. Pride and Prejudice was decent, but when I read it, I just didn’t see what the big fuss was about. Honestly, you couldn’t pay me to read it again.

Tom Robbins, Christopher Moore, Cormac McCarthy, Chuck P., Chuck K., King, Hunter Thompson… Those are my classics. I return to those authors and those books time and time and time again. I devour them, relate, underline passages and write in margins and dog-ear pages going back again and again to quote them in letters or conversations. The political statements and commentary on humanity is so good in those novels, modern as they are. I used to kind of beat myself up about not having the taste that I “should”—not reading things that everyone else says is so fucking necessary for everyone who really loves books. I worried that I “should” be more cultured. That I “should” experience those novels and force myself to finish them because of the classic status they have. But,what’s a “should” anyway? Why should I force myself to get through things I absolutely don’t enjoy.

Life’s too short, man…as cliché as that sounds.

Life’s just too short not to do what you enjoy.

As soon as I’m done confessing, I’m going to finish Revival. It’s King’s latest novel. Then I’m reading the next installment (the SECOND book) of the Veronica Mars series which picked up where the Kickstarter funded movie left off.

And I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of that.

This has been another Sunday Confession with More Than Cheese and Beer. Go on over to her blog to check out all the other link ups and maybe check the Facebook page for anonymous confessions. Let me know in the comments how much I suck for not liking the things I "should." ha. Thanks again for reading.