Alone in a Crowded Room

The room of strangers are staring at me with piercing eyes. 4 minutes. 4 minutes. How to tell my life story in 4 minutes…I take a deep breath and begin…

I come from a family that is on the lower end of middle class. We aren’t privileged, don’t have the nicest stuff in the world, don’t buy the premier brand of items everyday or the most expensive things, but get by everyday with what we have, what really matters inside: love. Our house is not something anyone would ooh and ahh at. It’s a modest looking mobile home in a sea of mobile homes. I, for one, want to move up in the world but there seems to be a force stopping me from doing so. It seems every time I want to advance myself, but a laughing demon holds me back, saying “What? You? What makes you deserve to achieve success and get out of the mediocrity that is your life? You’re supposed to stay there and go the path the rest of us losers have gone”.

I am smart but not genius, not The Big Bang Theory smart. I know how to do things, how to fix computers to a degree, how to write, how to cook simple meals. I don’t try to be anyone else. Just because someone is at the top of their field and is enjoying renowned and celebrity status doesn’t make me want to stop what I have been doing best and go where the grass collects the most water.

Time.

Boy, did I ever feel more alone in this room full of people. Did they even care about what I said? The picture below relays how I was feeling:


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Flash Talk

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Autumn Time

“By all these lovely tokens, September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer” – Helen Hunt Jackson

Fall is the best time of year for me. I used to dread it, but now that I am not in grade school anymore it is a sensational time. For one thing, football is back and in full swing again. It seems I am inside all the time now, watching great game after great game, catching up on all things fantasy and reveling in the stats, videos, and ultimate controversy surrounding this American tradition. The many different teams, their colors and logos all unique, the sweet sound of pads and helmets clashing, it’s all like a dream and is a bullet train that takes us along for a thrilling ride all the way to February.

Autumns in Michigan, where I live, are the time when everything seems to drop back into place, back to normalcy. Things get much quieter around here. There is not much activity outside because everyone is so busy with school or work. The magic and rushing sense of summer is long gone.

Autumn Time

My cheeks feel flushed

As the temperature plummets

Never had a pumpkin spice latte

Autumn Time

~~

September breeze

Chimes in the wind

Season of new hope

Autumn Time

~~

School days are back

Kids tucked inside

The magic of summer is gone

It’s time to use your mind

 ~~

Leaves are changing colors

The life cycle continues

Drift from the trees

Crunch under my shoes

 ~~

Slight chill in the air

Grass tipped with dew

Going down the ski slope

Towards white and blue

 ~~

The great game of football

Kicks into high gear

From high school to professional

It’s a new time to cheer

 ~~

The baby freshman

In their final leg of school

Hoping to fit in

Playing it cool

 ~~

Mid-autumn nights

Cool and crisp

Crickets chirping

The lake of mist

 ~~

Pools are closed

Lonely now

But it won’t be long

Until “Cannonball!”

 ~~

Fall TV returns

Favorites settling easy

New ones launching

Hoping to please picky me

~~

Warm cozy nights

All wrapped up in my hoodie

Rain splatters the window

While watching classic movies

~~~~

Autumn is somber

Sweet and sound

Old things die

And new life comes around

Autumn Time


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves 

Short and Sweet

Brevity pulls me 

From the long winded scribe —

Touch of cotton

Brevity: The fuel efficient car of words


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Brevity Pulls

If I Had Never Known My Father

If I had only met my father just today, I don’t know what I would say to him. Would I shake his hand or give him an awkward hug? Casually greet him with uncertainty or shout with joy at how excited I was to finally see him? For one thing, I know his outlook on me would be totally different than what is has been. He wouldn’t know about my faults and would be less likely to judge me. I believe there would be more conversation and not so much of that ‘icy wall’ between us. We might be willing to share more of our well kept secrets than we normally would have if I had known him for my entire life since it would not be so embarrassing.

On the other hand, it might be harder to relate to him because we both have difficulty starting conversations and having anything interesting to talk about. Our relationship would be rather awkward at first but eventually I believe we could be great friends, just on a less intimate level. I know I would be calling him by his first name for a while because there wouldn’t be that commanding respect between us right away and I could know him on a more personal level. That would be quite appropriate for a relationship in the early stages of development; a newly seeded plant sprouting up from the ground for the first time; a pillow still fluffy and fresh; a brand new book just opened with pages that feel like air and ink as crisp as night.

My dad would likely want to do more fun things with me, more father-son activities such as going to sporting events, fishing, or even nights out on the town. He does have artificial hips and can’t do a whole lot of strenuous work but he could at least try to go more places with me and participate in certain activities, knowing that he is trying to be a good father. I believe there would be more of a will to get to know each other and not just forcing it. There wouldn’t be any grudges between us, other than the fact that I had not known him until now.

It would be shocking at first to know that we share some of the same traits both mentally and physically. Other than hating the fact that I have things in common with my dad that are not quite up to par with what other people believe are ‘normal’, I would embrace these things because a connection would be formed between us. There is a bit of love between us right now, but if I had only just met him today I believe that would be amplified. I would want to spend as much time as possible with my father to make up for all the lost time that we could have spent together. It would be more mutual and honest; we wouldn’t hold anything back; the relationship would not be stunted and crippled like it is now but would grow into a tall, healthy, and impressive looking redwood. That would mean more than anything to me.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Delayed Contact

Three Words. Ten Minutes

Gallagher, apples, exploitation.

A loud crashing noise wakes up a young man named Gallagher at two in the morning. He jumps up in bed, startled, looking around him with wide, sleepy eyes. Gallagher groggily gets out of bed, slips on his slippers, and heads down to the kitchen to see what the matter is. Lying on the table, shattered into a thousand pieces, is the ceiling fan. Gallagher looks at this with utter bewilderment, staring up at the empty void on the ceiling above the table. What could have caused this he doesn’t have the slightest idea.

As Gallagher walks over to the sink, some apples fall on his head.

“What the?”, he exclaims, covering his head, as more apples start to fall from the ceiling.

One of the ceiling tiles is missing and there is a large opening. The apples stop falling and Gallagher peers into the dark hole.

Everything’s quiet. Gallagher listens intently, his hand cupped to his ear. There is a very faint ticking sound coming from somewhere in the dark chamber. Curious, Gallagher goes and gets a chair from the table and sets it under the hole. He climbs up on it and sticks his head through the ceiling. This happens to be the attic as Gallagher can just make out, from the moon light shining through the small window, some boxes and other junk lying around. Nearby are some apples strewn about, some red, some green. One of them has a message on it. Gallagher picks it up and holds it in the light of the kitchen to read it:

“Your fears will be exploited if you continue to try to understand the powerful demons in your mind”

Gallagher is confused by this. Demons? In his mind? What is going on? Where did these apples come from? Just as he completes this thought a loud screeching sound comes from the back of the chamber. Gallagher almost falls off the chair. Something huge with wings comes swooping across the floor and the whole place lights up in a bright yellow glow. Gallagher shields his eyes and peeks through his hands to see what is there. There is something moving in the light. A shadowy something. It is tall and thin. He can’t quite make out its features but then…oh, no…it turns out to something that makes Gallagher’s heart start beating fast. Sweat starts rolling down his face. The thing suddenly looks at Gallagher with black coal eyes and opens it’s foul mouth, revealing a set of very sharp teeth.

Gallagher screams and falls off the chair, hitting his head on the table, going unconscious in a second. The demonic thing sticks its head out of the hole and blinks before swooping down and taking a bite of an apple and leaving the domain.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

Eudaimonia

Aristotle, one of the greatest thinkers of western philosophy, taught us that happiness is a virtue, not its reward. This means that happiness is a gift that is not to be taken for granted. It is the ultimate purpose of our existence. It does not come and vanish in a mere couple of hours. Happiness depends on ourselves. We choose to be happy. Aristotle gave a true definition of happiness:

…the function of man is to live a certain kind of life, and this activity implies a rational principle, and the function of a good man is the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed it is performed in accord with the appropriate excellence: if this is the case, then happiness turns out to be an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. (Nicomachean Ethics, 1098a13)

Am I a good judge of other people’s happiness? That depends. I don’t know if I’m truly happy myself. My self-absorption clouds my judgment, I can’t look past my inner demons to realize others are facing predicaments that question the nature of their existence. This is tough. I am more inclined in seeing the sadness in people. Since I am a loner and often have depressive states, seeing people on a level of my own makes me feel better because I know they have something in common with me: this insurmountable wall that I cannot seem to get over. But I feel safer on the other side anyway because I don’t have to face my struggles with human interaction and emotion. Stepping out into the light bothers me. I feel better being isolated and not having to win the acceptance of someone else because when I fail at that I often become even more depressed.

I close my eyes for a while, trying to think of a time when I knew someone was happy. For some reason, my late grandmother comes to mind. I am standing by her bedside, seeing her lying there, pale and cold as ever, holding on to her last few breaths of life. She has lost all focus of the world and her words and actions are not entirely hers, coming about from the Alzheimer’s that has progressed ruthlessly. I can tell she is happy and content inside, even if it isn’t readily apparent, because very soon she will be going to a better place, away from the agony and suffering that has been cast upon her. This is not like her. She has always been a strong woman, always alert and on her feet. I hate to see her struggle like this, acting like a totally different person and scaring me. I can tell she doesn’t want to go through with this sickness any longer, wants to rest in peace, be in a state of happiness. A deep depression washes over me. My mind is numb as ice. I can’t quite decipher any emotions for this experience. I guess I just realize dying is the natural part of life and learn to get over it. Grieving is painful. I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m trapped in my mind. Nothing can get out. It is a dark void. There is no where to go but straight. Behind me is just the shadows of despair. The road is foggy up ahead. I am so young, unable to take the burden of this loss.

I’m tired. I can’t go on any longer.


 In Response to the Daily Prompt: Happy Radars

Beauty is A Matter of Opinion

What makes something beautiful?

Should it contain a certain shade of color or a well accepted feature?

Be a piece of music that flows like leaves in the breeze?

Be a magnificent looking house with smooth sloping lawns?

A night sky painted with the stuff of star dust or a crimson sunset rising over the city skyline?

All of these are nice examples but can be very shallow in the true definition of what beauty is. They only point at the surface, not what you really feel deep inside.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s what you make of something that tells it’s true meaning and purpose.

It can be something that is aesthetically pleasing and rings out a certain sound. It can shine brightly in the midst of turmoil surrounding it. It can be something subtle or loud and boisterous.

I believe no one can truly define what beauty is. It does not follow a strict set of rules. Beauty can be found in the murkiest, dullest points of life. A homeless man standing on a cold, dank street corner, the smoky mist from the ground rising around him; there is a certain beauty to that because if this man could be photographed a story would be told, a story of loneliness and desperate times. It would be very somber and soothing, allowing you to think to yourself and feel sympathetic for the poor soul.

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?

The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, comes up when I try to answer this question. It tells you to not make first impressions right away after just looking at the surface. The most beautiful part is contained on the inside, where it really matters. This beauty is not artificial or put on to satisfy someone else; it is true to the subject’s nature, to how they really feel. Anyone that thinks beauty is defined as something that is satisfying to a majority is wrong. This is far from the truth. Anything that is given some thought and consideration can have a trace of beauty in it. Again, it’s how you perceive it, how it captures your mind’s desire. Not everyone can follow the same path. Some find beauty on the long, dark road leading anywhere and others find it on the brightly lit path to happiness. It’s basically how you are feeling inside that makes beauty what it is. It shouldn’t have to be an artificial, please everyone kind of thing. It should be organic in nature and blend in with the fabric of the landscape. It should tap into your most precious memories and bring out a certain set of emotions in yourself.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Absolute Beauty