Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “ad/add/AD (Anno Domini).” Use one, use ’em all–bonus points if you fit them all into your post. Have fun!
I was having breakfast this morning and our server was a very lovely young lady who was, how should I say, as pretty walking towards me as she was walking away. As I watched her in mute admiration, I realized that she was young enough to be my daughter.
It logically followed that I would take stock of my situation and I concluded that women like her were not realistic but I should make an effort to meet someone.
I composed in my head the AD, in the yet to be determined outlet.
“recently divorced guy, balding, one testicle, on dialysis with no future prospects of success or moving out of my mother’s house seeks…well SHIT…anyone. Note, in exchange for physical intimacy I will be the most grateful motherfucker EVER.”
Your prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 25th is brought to you by JP! Click here to find her last post (honestly, I’m assuming JP’s a her–sorry, JP, if I’m wrong) and say hi while you’re there! JP’s word for our prompt today is “balance.” Use it anywhere in your post or make it the theme of your post. Have fun!
For years I spent every minute of my life worrying. I worried about money. I worried about my health. I worried about being a good parent. I worried about the consequences of failure.
The last 2 years have taken so much from me that I have learned a whole new way of life. Life was once analogous to walking a tight rope. One slip and I would lose everything. A fall would be into a pit of alligators and razor blades.
Now, looking from the base of the canyon up, I have such an appreciation for the joys of life that don’t revolve around money and success, that a fall from the tightrope may be a fall into a pit of rubber balls and puppies.
Walking that tightrope, I wouldn’t be so worried should I lose my balance.
Your prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 24th is brought to you by Bee! Click here to find her last post and say hi while you’re there! Bee’s word for our prompt today is “zoomie.” Interpret it any way you’d like, and use it anywhere in your post or make it the theme of your post. Have fun!
I’ve been away from the blogging world for a few days. That old “life” thing is getting in the way. But I took on this challenge to ensure that I write something every day so I’m going to make up each day that I missed.
Right now I find myself in the dead of winter. It’s cold, very cold. Everything is frozen. There is not a lot to do where I live and on top of everything, despite my beloved Patriots being in the Super Bowl I am dreading the month of February. It will be a long, snowy, cold and football-less month.
But…this is a big But (I love big buts…sorry had to), I look forward to Spring. With chronic illness being a daily obstacle and a recent near-death experience in my rear-view mirror I have begun to set manageable future goals to give me something to, well not trying to be morbid here, something to live for.
One thing I plan on doing is riding my new Motorcycle. I bought it in the fall to have something to look forward to in the Spring. The anticipation of riding it has carried me thus far through the winter. It gives me hope of enjoyment, of freedom, of reveling in nature’s wonders with the wind in my face and bugs in my teeth.
I am going to attack life when Spring hit with such a vigor that it won’t be just fast…it will be damn zoomie.
Your prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 22nd is brought to you by Pamela! Click here to find her last post and say hi while you’re there! Pamela’s word for our prompt today is “curiosity.” Use it anywhere in your post or make it the theme of your post. Have fun!
To all of those who took risks that led us to a greater understanding of our world, I applaud you. For if you hadn’t had the courage to convert your curiosity into action we would dwell in the uneventful, safe realm of the known, and not charging headlong into the unknown.
I had a dream with the world I shared it that we’d embrace diversity not run scared of it please explain it to me I have nothing but time how ending the lives of each other honors the memory of mine I fought without fists without anger or spite I called for equality and love not to spill into the streets and fight I reached out in peace extended my hand hoping to set an example that would echo throughout the land yet still we fight we hate and we label to see beyond the color of skin we seem hopelessly unable I left this earth many years ago but I still watch from above as my dream remains just that in the absence of brotherly love we must come together as one recognize hatred as cowardice that labeling a man by his skin is a terrible injustice it’s never too late to right this wrong when we walk and live hand in hand that will be my victory song
Your prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 20th is brought to you by Jill! Click here to find her last post and say hi while you’re there! Jill’s word for our prompt today is “serendipity.” Use it anywhere in your post or make it the theme of your post. Have fun!
Serendipity is a happy accident. It’s also a pretty good John Cusack movie.
When I think of Serendipity I think of an event that occurs over a short period of time that isn’t ironic yet it’s profound.
I like to think I have an example of Serendipity that occurred over a longer period of time.
I dreaded dialysis for most of my adult life and I did almost everything I could to avoid it. How surprised am I at the overall impact on my general well-being; the wonderful nurses that I get to see everyday doing God’s work for the love of the job and not the money; and the effect it’s had on my ability to empathize and relate to those worse off than I. I was already pretty good in the last category but now I’m even better.
It’s a happy accident that I am benefitting from something I once thought was the Ninth gate of Hell.
The sleeping man woke to the conductor’s voice. “Excuse me, did you say Willoughby? That stop isn’t on this route.”
“It most certainly is, sir.” The conductor replied.” Just look out the window.” As the train screeched to a stop, the man looked through the faded window to see men and women, dressed in fancy clothes from the last century, carrying umbrellas and carefully wading through a crowd of excited children scurrying around the gazebo in the center of town. He watched as the scene began to move as the train slowly left the station. He sat back in his seat and closed his eyes, taking a mental picture of what he had just seen.
“Stanton. Next stop Stanton.” The
conductor again woke him as he walked down the aisle. The man
captured the attention of the conductor. As he approached the man
asked him about Willoughby. The conductor gave him a puzzled look.
“Sir, I have never heard of
Confused, the man gathered his coat and
satchel and exited the train.
He enters his beautiful home and greets
his attractive wife. Her looks couldn’t detract from the contempt in
her eyes for him.
He begins to tell her of his terrible
day. How his boss had demeaned him in front of the entire office. He
told her he wished that life were simple, how he was tired of the
cutthroat business world and the way in which he needed to behave in
order to survive in it. He explained to her that he was really just a
nice guy, too nice to be a part of it.
His tale of woe was not met with
sympathy. Instead he was told how he must compete, must continue on
course and to stop thinking in such a way. She needed him to keep
providing so that they could maintain the lifestyle that was killing
He was done. Washed up. Burned out. All
he could think about was the lovely, if not odd town of
The next day he goes to work only to have another
confrontation with his boss. He goes to his office and calls his
wife. He tells her that he is leaving his job. Quitting and coming
home to her. She tells him not to come home if he quits his job. He
leaves and gets on the train home. He rests his weary eyes.
Again, he is wakened by the conductor’s
announcement of the stop of Willoughby. This time, he jumped out of
his seat, grabbed his coat, left his briefcase and stepped off of the
train to check out the town.
He was found dead.
Shocked men stood over him, wondering why this stranger had thrown himself off of a moving train. They would never know that he was dreaming, dreaming so hard for a new life that he died in pursuit of it.
Some story, wouldn’t you agree? I wish I had written it. It’s actually an episode of The Twilight Zone from 1960 entitled “A Stop at Willoughby”. I watched it in deep fascination on the SyFy New Years Day Marathon. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I could have been that man, yet it was written 5 years before I was born.
The correlations to my own life are nothing less than staggering.
At one time I owned a house in a nice town, in a nice neighborhood that we didn’t belong in. It was out of our league. Because we somehow managed to pay the mortgage we kept the water level below our noses. But we were in way over our heads. Our children went to school with a lot of wealthy kids and we clothed them accordingly. All activities were A la Carte and we did our best to find a way to enroll them. What we didn’t have, we charged. My wife wanted a lifestyle that was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. I tried to protest, to voice my concerns over our mounting debt but it fell on deaf ears. In hindsight I should have protested louder, but it’s too late for overthinking that. I lived by the mantra “happy wife, happy life.” What I didn’t know is that I would never have either.
For a while, the pace of my career kept pace with the increasing burden of my lifestyle. I kicked and scratched my way up the professional ladder and I did what the situation dictated. I worked long hours, competed with some cutthroat players and managed to come out on top enough times. I definitely engaged in tactics that were not my style but stopped short at the unethical. Like the sympathetic character in Willoughby, I was a nice guy. Unlike him, my career benefited from that very reputation. I was known as honest, reliable and good at my word and I am proud of that to this day. But the toll to my health was immeasurable and devastating. Kidney disease causes Hypertension, as did my career in sales. The rush-hour traffic, the constant looking over the shoulder, the high intensity of negotiations, the nights before the big phone call letting you know you got the contract, and the stress of failure took years off of my life.
Like our hero, I was also afraid to voice my concerns over the nature of the work I needed to do to maintain our address. The few times that I did, I was also told to stay the course, that we were committed. And sadly, if I were to come home after a bad month, I wasn’t met with empathy or a “you’ll get ’em next month”, I was chastised for failing to do “my end”. Or worse, I would get the silent treatment accompanied by a disappointed scowl. Many times I tried to tell her that shit like that wasn’t helpful, she didn’t care. I almost became afraid to come home for fear of the reprisal.
At my last job I achieved the most security I ever had. A strong salary, a achievable bonus plan and decent hours were a welcome respite. But alas, there was a catch. I worked for a megalomaniac. 85% of the time he was a very nice man. But his dark side was abysmal. I would learn that he had to be right; I was to be good at what I do but not better than him; I was never to talk to his boss about anything because of his paranoia and love of the “chain of command”; and I was to be his puppet and totally devoid of independent thought. If I violated any of the above tenets I would be subject to a minimum of a one-sided rambling lecture and at the maximum a violent and irrational episode. Once he actually challenged me to a fight. I put up with it. Why? Because I had to. I had a family at home that needed health insurance, a roof over their heads and most importantly, a childhood. A man supposedly never walks away from a fight. This one did, because a man also doesn’t make his family homeless over his temper or pride. But to stand there and be called the names that I was called, spit flying into my face by a irrational, butt-reaming asshole who was wrong on 10,000 levels took every last drop of restraint that I had. Not hitting him may be my best career accomplishment. Still, when I got home it was all about the paycheck. If I had called home and said “Honey, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore” I would have been told not to come home. So I dealt with it. I was forced to dream of the day when life was simpler, more honest and manageable. Where I didn’t have to claw, scratch and claw for every inch.
I wanted my own Willoughby.
I know that in my heart of hearts that if I rode a train and I was woken to the vision of a town 100 years in the past where simplicity reigned over technology; courtesy over competition; a handshake over a notarized document; family over clients; ethics over business, love over money and simplicity over chaos…I would jump off of the train as well. If the fall killed me, so be it. I would still escape the lifestyle that I loathed. The risk would be worth the jump.
I wish I had found my Willoughby, and to find that it wasn’t a dream after all.