Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Last night I spent the evening bonding with my younger daughter. We did this by texting Haikus back and forth. It was part conversation, part poetry, all fun. With this in mind, I figured I'd post a few of my writings. Most of these Haikus came to mind during the night, after the Haiku text-a-thon with my daughter.

Lotion on its skin
Or it gets the hose again
I don't want to die

Doobie cigarette
A fifth of Jim Beam whiskey
Time to overdose

Two important rules
You don't talk about Fight Club
Don't talk about it

Bloodied fists pound at brick walls
The judge is an ass

John Michael Osbourne
Ozzy to the world at large
Metal Godfather

Jameson Louis
Cutest boy in the whole world
Nothing like his dad

She's a horse's ass
Doesn't know what respect means
Cute as a button

Puppies and rainbows
Are proof of God's love for us
Satan gave us sex

Haikus are easy
A few syllables of thought
Nothing to it man

Sunday, January 11, 2015

An Alternate Point of View

Today's blog entry is an exercise in creativity.  This is a story about my grandson's custody battle, written as if I were the boy's father.

It’s been over two months since I saw my son.  I miss him.  I love my son more than anything in the whole world, but they won’t let me see him.  To make matters worse, I have to pay child support for a kid they won’t even let me see.  That’s not fair.  I don’t even have a job.  How can they expect me to pay child support?  And I’ve got another kid on the way?  How am I supposed to provide for him?  What’s crazy is that my son and his baby momma live with her parents.  Between the three of them, they probably make six figures.  Why should I have to pay child support for a kid they won’t let me see?

It’s really DHS’s fault that I don’t get to see him.  There’s nothing more important to me than my son, but they make it impossible to see him.  They make me come to DHS to see him for supervised visits during the day.  Don’t they know that’s when I work?  And they said that I can’t have unsupervised visits until I take a psychological evaluation and a substance evaluation.  They said that I have to take piss tests.  They can’t make me do that!  There’s nothing wrong with me.  Okay, I had a bad reaction to K2 once, but that wasn’t an overdose.  That was more like an allergic reaction.  They act like I have a drug problem.  Screw that!  I’m not going to piss in a bottle.  Besides, how am I supposed to pay for these evaluations?  I don’t have a job.  How am I supposed to get there to piss in a bottle?  I don’t have a car.  And they make me call or text by noon to “confirm my visits.”  They say that I’ve missed too many visits in the past, so if I don’t confirm, they cancel my visit.

It’s really my son’s mom’s fault.  Her and her father.  It’s their fault that I lost my temper.  Her dad thinks he’s a tough Marine.  Well, I showed him.  It all started innocent enough.  I went over to spend some time with my son, and his mom came along.  We had fun.  We all went to the park.  His mom drove.  When we all got done, we drove back to her house.  I just wanted to take my son with me for a while, but his mom said no, because I didn’t have a car, and I didn’t have a place to stay.  It really upset me.  And then her dad came out, trying to tell me that I couldn’t take my son.  Who the fuck does he think he is?  Well, I showed him.  I brutally beat him.

You’d think that my son’s momma would have learned from seeing me beat her daddy, but she didn’t.  I had my son.  We were having fun, being a family again.  So I kept him overnight.  And we were having so much fun that I kept him overnight again.  I don’t understand what the big deal is.  You’d think that everyone would be happy that I got to spend time with my son.  But his mom got mad and started yelling at me.  She was screaming at me so loud that we got kicked out of the store.  I took my son and put him in the truck, but she stood in front of it.  I figured that I’d just push her with the truck, but she didn’t move.  If she would have moved, I wouldn’t have had to run over her.  And DHS never would have gotten involved.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Happier Ending

Today's post is a follow up to yesterday, where I said there were two that got away.  As I did yesterday, I'm changing the name to protect her identity, but I still suspect that many of my high school friends will know who I'm talking about.

I met Jo my junior year in high school.  She was sweet and bubbly and cute, in that girl-next-door sort of way... alabaster skin, freckles and strawberry blond hair... and she always had a smile on her face.  For some reason, (to this day, I don't exactly know why) she was interested in me.  I, however, was having a lot of fun being single, so we didn't date in high school.  Scratch that.  There was a period of time where I was interested in her, but she was dating another guy.  We still didn't date, but I don't want to make it sound like I was never interested in her in school.

After high school, we stayed in touch, primarily through phone calls, and visits when I came home on leave.  I remember coming home one time and dropping by Jo's house.  She had some friends over.  Jo sent the friends on an errand so that she and I could talk.  Talking became kissing, and I was pretty sure that Jo and I would end up getting together.  Alas, it didn't happen.  The friends returned too quickly.  I guess she should have sent them on a longer errand.

The next time I came home on leave, I brought a friend with me.  I asked Jo to introduce him to a friend of hers.  That friend was Jamie, a mutual friend from high school.  Everything was going well.  Fred and Jamie seemed to be getting along, and I thought that Jo and I would finally end up getting together, after all of these years of innuendo and flirtation.  To this day, I'm not sure how it happened, but I ended up with Jamie, and my friend ended up with Jo.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my time with Jamie, but that's not what I wanted.  It was one of those WTF moments I'll never forget.

Fast forward a couple of years... I was married, with a daughter, and I moved the family to my hometown.  By this time, Jo had gotten married as well.  Both of us knew that we had lost our chance to get together, but we remained friends, and we flirted  -- a lot -- in a shameless, but harmless manner.

A year or two after returning home, my wife and I had marital trouble.  I needed a friend, and Jo was there.  She confided in me that her marriage was on the rocks as well.  We bonded over our mutual distress, and we found solace in flirting more shamelessly than we had ever done.  We came very close to breaking our respective wedding vows that night, but in the end we did what was right.

We joked that we were experiencing the seven year itch a little early, and semi promised each other that if we ever did get the seven year itch, that we'd turn to each other, noting that we had too much history, and that we'd missed so many opportunities in the past that we kind of owed it to each other, and to ourselves, to turn to each other instead of some random stranger if we needed to scratch that itch.

Shortly after that, I ended up moving in an attempt to save my marriage.  Jo and her husband parted ways.  Not long after that, I had my second daughter.  Jo met another man and moved far away, but we kept in touch, talking every few months.  The conversations changed their tone... she talked about the challenges of being in love with a military man.  I talked about the ongoing problems in my marriage and the joy of fatherhood.  And the conversations always involved a lot of flirting, though slightly more tame than we used to do.  And there was more laughing... the laughter that mature, platonic friends share.

My first marriage lasted a little over a decade, by which time Jo had married her military man, and had a kid of her own.  I called her pretty frequently when my first marriage crumbled.  I was a shell of a man who needed any support he could find, and she was one (of many) who provided me that support.  I pointed out that I was available and she wasn't, and we laughed at that, remembering how horrible our timing had been over the years.  We spent a lot of time and energy trying to get together, but no matter what we did, something always got in the way.

Time healed the wound caused by my divorce, and I moved on, finding love again and marrying again.  Jo and I remained in touch.  She called me a lot when her husband was deployed.  I think she missed companionship in general.  We laughed a lot, she told me that she missed her husband, and we flirted.

After being married to my second wife though, I started feeling kind of bad about the flirting.  I knew in my heart that nothing would result from it; after all, Jo and I were (and are) both completely committed to our marriages.  But I worried that my wife would be hurt if she knew about my flirtation.  I told Jo about this, and we kind of drifted apart.  The only contact we had for a couple of years was through seeing each other's posts on Facebook.

Unlike my last story, this one has a happy ending.  Jo and I are starting to reconnect, but on a different level.  We are spending time talking about our families and life in general.  There's still a little bit of underlying flirtation, but like I said, we are committed to our respective families.  If we do start flirting though, I know it will be okay.  Over the years, my wife has seen me flirt with many, many women, and I've come to understand that she's truly okay with it.  She has said on more than one occasion that I'll "flirt with anything that moves," and let me know that it doesn't bother her.  It's also okay if Jo and I don't flirt.  I kind of miss it, but I've grown a bit as well.  The barely-contained passion I long held for her has evolved to a warm fondness... a fondness that I doubt would have survived if we had done anything more than shameless yet harmless flirting.

Friday, January 2, 2015

One That Got Away

Today's post came about because I ran across a stash of old letters and photos from storage.  I've changed her name to protect her identity, but I'm sure that some of my high school friends will know who I'm talking about.

Her name is Deborah.  I met her my sophomore year in high school.  How we met isn't really important to the story, but we quickly became friends.  We spent hours on the phone.  We hung out all the time.  Throughout high school, I always wanted more, but she was either oblivious to, or wanted to spare my feelings; and I never had the nerve to just come out and tell her.  It was something straight out of a movie.

After I graduated high school, I enlisted in the Marine Corps, and we kept in touch... the occasional phone call... the sporadic letter... a visit or two when I went home on leave.  I kept in touch because I still wanted more.  In 1990, I was deployed to the Persian Gulf for Desert Storm.  While I was there, we started writing each other quite regularly.  My feelings for her grew even stronger, and I had a hunch that she was beginning to feel the same way.

I still remember the first time she said "I love you."  I called her one night while I was on liberty during Desert Storm.  It was a dream come true, but so unexpected that I actually laughed and asked "What did you say," in an incredulous voice?  Instantly, I realized what I had done, and quickly explained that I had been waiting for years to hear her say those words.  I was giddy for days after that.

When I returned to the states, I went home on leave, not to see my family, but to see Deborah.  I'm sure I spent about half of my time with my family, but being with her was the only part I remember about that trip home.  For months, I was on cloud nine, calling her at least once per week.  I couldn't bear being separated from her, so I flew her out to see me.

Eventually though, things changed, like they always do.  The distance became a strain.  We started talking less often, and when we did talk, we frequently ended up arguing.  The disagreements were all pretty stupid, but invariably about the same thing -- politics.  She was majoring in political science, so it kind of makes sense.  To make this portion of the story shorter, she was sure that I was a right-wing nut job, and I was convinced that she was a tree-hugging liberal.  I was right because I had lived in the real world, while she was parroting her ivory-tower college professor's views.  She was right because my views came from an uneducated point of view.

For the last couple of months, we were together in name only.  We didn't speak.  We didn't write.  I went home for over Christmas, and knew that it had to end.  I called her, and we agreed to meet at a local bar...

"What do you want to do," she asked as we sat down over a pitcher of beer?

I want to end it.  I want out. I thought.  Instead, I meekly asked "I don't know, what do you want to do?"

"I want to call it off," she stated bluntly.

"Oh thank God," I responded, a little too quickly, with an audible sigh of relief in my voice.  I managed to bookend that relationship by putting my foot in my mouth.  We finished our pitcher of beer almost wordlessly and went our separate ways.  There wasn't much to say.

Less than a year later, I was married, had became a father, and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps.  Deborah and I went through the motions of staying in touch. I called her every now and then.  She sent the occasional greeting card.  We did have a couple of serious conversations about where we went wrong.  We both acknowledged being a bit pig-headed in our younger days.  We both said that we'd come a bit closer to the center of the political spectrum over time.  For quite a while, I was afraid that I'd broken her heart, but she set me straight and said that in the end, she really didn't care that much; she just wanted it to be over.  I was glad that she wasn't bitter, but I'll admit that her statement was a bit of a blow to my ego.

I haven't heard from Deborah for years, but I think about her often.  She went on to get a law degree and become a judge.  I've reached out to her a couple of times.  We're friends on Facebook, but that's about it.  She rarely posts on Facebook and hasn't answered my private messages.  We don't have any mutual friends anymore.  That's okay though.  I have neither the need nor the desire to go back in time and try things over again.  After all, we've all got  that "one who got away."  (I've actually got two, but the second is a story for another day.)  The fact is, I am in love with my wife, and I would never consider straying from her.  A do-over would mean that I wouldn't have my wife and kids, and I couldn't imagine a life without them.  I do, however, deeply miss the friendship we had.  She is someone who truly interested me, and who seemed truly interested in me.