Powered by Nature, Humanity, Humor, Food, Lifestyle, Fiction, and Culture; Oh, and a questionable amount of coffee.
Love Yourself and Take a Bubble Bath
Recently, I made a change in my lifestyle. My mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health was taxed to the maximum. Simply put, I was a heart attack waiting to happen. I didn't like myself. The lifestyle I was living wasn't what I had hoped for or wanted.
The trek to Grandmother's residence was an arduous one that could only be made on foot. No highway routes or interstates led to her home. The natives considered it bad luck to build routes in such a location. They prayed that humanity would not disturb the rare fauna that existed in this place. A few years ago, a dirt road occasionally adorned with gravel was deemed acceptable and unobtrusive to these creatures though it wasn't without its misgivings. The road was for foot travelers, bikes, and wagons without motors. It was as if the road was created for a different century.
I overhear a gossip-filled conversation about the fates of another woman by other women themselves, and am filled with anxiety. "Cackling" or "clucking" I call it. Like witches around the cauldron; plotting their victim's demise, discussing their various flaws, criticizing their every decision and move. The witches' motives never change, though I do not understand them. Things have been said about me also; that, I know first-hand. I am a constant subject of interest, but sometimes the things said about other people are far more scary and threatening.
The Big Time
Charles stepped into the arena. The smell of tobacco, cigarettes, livestock, earth, and pilsners wafted into his nostrils. He breathed in the acrid fragrances deeply. "Ah, the sharp scent of humanity at its finest." he smiled, "This is what dreams are made of." He wanted to embrace it with all of his senses. He had lived for this moment. Hundreds of fans cheered in the background, many chanting his name. He looked up at the center section of his own personal fan club.
Goliath And His Rage
I will never forget that summer. The air was pungent, stagnant, as if you would never escape the odor no matter how far you ran. The putrid stench coming from the mental health facility at which I interned seemed to follow me to my client home visits and haunt my dreams at night. I was initially reluctant to visit clients at home, but that was a necessary part of my job description. No home visits equaled no pay. I suppose our agency was at least generous enough to pay me additional mileage, and fortunately I was paid more than the Behavioral Health Aids who took far more risks. I was under the tutelage of my superior, Dave Staunton who was rather unforgettable.
Marjorie looked at the gorgeous golden-orange flower. She felt fearful, anxious, dismal, and dull. Her nerves had been numb for some time. She repressed the urge to burst into tears. How could something so bright and beautiful dare to exist? It was as if the flower was poking out of the ground merely to mock her existence. Where had she gone wrong in her life? What had she done that she could not be this meticulously detailed, vibrant flower, but instead the shell of a human being who was once alive? When did she become a mere cog in the machine?
The Quiet Ones
They say my dad never seemed to get angry. The years I spent with him; I never once saw him lash out. It didn't matter if I failed a test in school. It didn't matter how many fights I got in. All he would say to me is, "Johnny, you've got to control your temper. Find an outlet and pursue it."
"The Devil's Food"
"That is the devil's food," Mother stated, sneering at a young woman outside of a local coffee shop. I looked at the young woman's plate with envy. I know envy a sin, but at least her mother never deprived her of one of the most supposedly delicious foods in every normal family's culture. A frothed latte sat next to her plate with a slice of chocolate cake. The layered, iced decadence tempted my eyes and made my mouth water despite having no idea what it might taste like. The icing appeared light and fluffy, and appeared to be filled with the devil's own ingredient, cocoa. A coffee or latte was never to touch my lips, but even more adamantly a piece of chocolate cake was never acceptable either. Back in the 1900s the chocolate creation of devil's food cake came into being, and my family had been depriving their children of it ever since. It sounds crazy, and it is. Despite this, I've come to realize many religious families buy into multitudes of delusions.
The Barns That Built Me
It was a simple life and humble beginning in Appalachia. My father built an old barn way out in the countryside. The barn itself appeared little more than a shack. We lived in a trailer with clean well water. The power went out frequently due to falling trees and weather. I remember making a trip to purchase a generator in a terrible snowstorm because we had no way to run the well pump, and had ran out of the water we saved. The cows, pigs, and horses were always fed, the hay was baled each year, and additions were added onto the barn as income became available.
I remember when the world government announced the extermination of humanity within 24 hours. The cause wasn't a meteorite, an extra-terrestrial invasion, or a world-wide nuclear frenzy between countries. It was a conscious decision made by the world government for population control and "the good of the planet." A bioweapon had been engineered to directly obliterate mankind on an atomic level. No corpses or disease would remain from its victims. Their bodies would vanish, and the murder would be as clean as if they never existed in the first place.