Off The Subject

You know when you meet someone but can’t remember where or when? and vice-versa? Or when one person pretends to forget, for some reason it just seems easier that way. There’s even the case where both pretend to not remember. Avoiding awkwardness is awkward, so why do we do it? I want people to know the real me, not just things about me.

Up until today the fall weather was quite nice. The cold front came in pretty quickly, it’s just one of those nights when it’s so cold the fire flies won’t shine a light. I don’t blame em’. During the sunny days I did a lot of reading in the grass under big trees with leaves of many colors falling from them. You know, the red/yellow/orange trifecta. The most beautiful time of the year.

Autumn is here

Finding the right spot is essential, it’s located somewhere between the shade and the sun. I call it the “shun” spot (shade + sun). Close enough to civilization but far enough away from interaction. It’s just you and your thoughts, nothing else matters. I’ll admit it. I’m a bit dramatic. I acted like I was having a “moment” every time a pretty leaf laid itself down upon my paperback, but it’s fun to pretend you’re in a movie when you’ve got the chance. We’ve got lots of chances. 

The feather *forrest gump <That’s a feather though.

off the subject

^ What can I say? The kid knows how to find “shun” spots.

I’ve got this issue. Whenever I put my bookmark on the page I want to come back to, I forget which of the two pages I’m on when I open it the next time. I tell myself I’ll remember, but I never do. I need a better bookmark or just need to pay more attention. I don’t wanna be written off, I want to be on the same page like I thought I was. Errr yeah, we’re still talking about books.

Comparing people to everyday things is fun ya know, it’s all so relevant.

It’s like my shoe laces. I can tie em up all tight and neat and all, but I’ll still end up being a big nerd. That’s life for ya.

Bad example.

It’s more like this:

We all wanna’ go after the same chip in the bowl. Is it because of its shape? size? location? Maybe, but once someone goes and snatches it away, it’s theirs for the keeping. No hard feelings, there are plenty more chips in the bowl. The zesty salsa though? You’ve got to scoop it up while you can cos it goes a lot quicker. We’ve all got that perfect chip + dip combination, we’ve just got to seek it out so no one sees it before us. Be patient. When the queso comes along, you’ll lose your shit.

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eVeRyOnE KnOwz U DoN’T jUsT tAkE aNy ChIp.

Again with the chips. Who wants to be a bag of Lays potato chips when you can be a container of pringles? Having a unique design and being filled to the brim is more appealing than being scattered and full of nothing.

I get off the subject a lot.

I could sit in my boxers and play piano for the rest of my life. I gargle honey before I sing. It really loosens up the vocal cords, or it might just be my excuse for a sugar rush. I can see the headlines now “Wannabee rock-star overdoses on sweet emotion.”  Sounds like a pretty sweet death to me.

Amélie's Little Secrets on Bloglovin

I loathe the last little bit from a tube of toothpaste. You’ve built it up to seem like it’s endless, using the amount of the heart’s desire each time. But then it’s a struggle, and you just can’t get anything out of it. It never ends up being enough. It’s frustrating, makes you wanna scrape the enamel right off of those pearly whites. You can’t though, that’s what keeps them healthy. It’s like people. You’ve got to surround yourself with the enamel people, they hold us together.

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As for the others (toothpaste tubes), you can’t keep squeezing the life out of them. There’s not always a whole lot left to give. You’ve just gotta go to the market and get a new tube. Keep on smiling.

In the mean time, let’s all sip some coffee and pretend to get shit done.

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Mentality

That Jesse Linus guy? The so called “bad boy” that all the gals are after? The one who gives me shit when there’s no shit left to give? Yeah, he’s always on thin ice with somebody. He’s been arrested 3 or 4 times for different things, drinking, stealing, fighting, all sortsa’ stuff. Yet, the sheriff always lets him out without postin’ bail. He doesn’t mean to be a trouble maker though, he’s just troubled. I heard from somebody that Jesse’s pops has been in jail for most of his young life, somethin’ about murderin’ his wife with a hatchet or somethin’. Jesse’s aunt Tanya (his mom’s sister) took him in when he was very young. She’s the nurse here at Roosevelt High. I think the staff hired her to keep an eye on ole Jesse till he finishes up his schooling, as if six years hasn’t been long enough. I just think he’s a phony. He’s a lousy, bogus, deadbeat, trashy, no good son of a gun. He’ll never amount to anything. He won’t go to college. He doesn’t want it, and it doesn’t want him.

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Jesse cuts class pretty often, and even when he does go, he doesn’t bring a pencil or paper. He says he’s got a photographic memory or somethin’. If we have homework due at the start of class, he tells the teach his dog ate it. On nights before tests, him and his posse hang out down at the drive-in and blaze doobies. They wash it down with their forties in those brown paper bags that have the big yellow stickers on em’. Jesse drinks to get drunk, not for the social idea of it. He’s in the making to become an alcoholic if you asked me. Sometimes Jesse and his friends get sloshed down at Tilley Park over there off 32nd street. That’s where all the brawls go down. He gets a thrill from the adrenaline of a fight, and can’t wait to hear his buddies applaud him afterward. It’s the only place where Jesse can feel like somebody is proud of him. Jesse isn’t a stupid person, he just doesn’t apply himself. He has goals he will never achieve simply because he doesn’t believe there’s more out there than this little good for nothin’ town. He doesn’t believe in anything. For some reason girls seem to flock to Jesse and the whole “tough guy” mentality though. He usually treats the ladies the same way lots of people treat their newspapers. They order them thinking they’ll read up on em’, but after awhile they just start to pile up at the end of the driveway. They’re nothin’ but an afterthought. The ones after him are like the little religious ladies who go door to door trying to spread their word, but can never get in. Nobody can ever get in.
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Jesse talks and walks like a tough guy on the outskirts, but he’s really a puppy dog. He’s a softy. He goes to the doc twice a month to talk about his self-esteem, about girls, about whatever is left of his family, about his life. The doc tells him that he shouldn’t refer to himself in the third person as much. He says it’s not healthy. Jesse thinks there are worse things in life, like mixing drugs. Doc prescribes Jesse with Ritalin, Zolaft, and Lurasidone. The dopamine pathways in his brain are so clogged up they dismiss any possibility of a chemical balance. Jesse tends to run out of his medicine really quickly. He takes more than he’s supposed to, and that’s when the “tough” guy in him really comes out. His pals usually wonder which Jesse will show up to school.
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I know life is a buncha’ patterns and all, but I really gotta’ work on everything Doc has told me to. Otherwise, I’ll be stuck yellin’ at the mirror in my closet for the resta’ my life. I forget some things from time to time. Even the important things, but it’s usually by choice. I just don’t wanna’ have to remember everything, like my pops murdering my momma’ with a hatchet.

What She Can Expect

For her, wherever she may be.

 

There are 86,400 seconds, 1440 minutes, and 24 hours in a day. That’s enough time to drive from Los Angeles to Houston, Memphis to Phoenix, or even Seattle to Boulder. You could do all your laundry, go on a run, see a movie, play a round of golf, go to a doctor’s appointment, party with Rihanna, and still be able to blow your nose 100 times. Surely there’s enough time in the day for us to tell our loved ones we care for them. Not everyone is blessed with the ability to read, write, speak, and walk. However, we all share the ability to love. No matter if it’s a parent, sibling, teddy bear, or your main squeeze. I’m not sure I know or have experienced what true “love” is before, but I do know if I had an infinite amount of 24 hour days to devote to someone, I’d be there in a heart beat. There’s no such thing as being too busy. I was born to love. Weren’t we all?

Here’s a list of things she can expect, as told by yours truly.

She can expect to be treated like a lady. The most embarrassing thing for me is to see members of my gender make asses of themselves. We should strive to be gentleman with everything that is in us, and try to set an example for how our sons should treat women (ie. their sisters) in the future.

She can expect a nervous wreck at first: You don’t always meet the most beautiful girl in the world.

She’ll see butterflies in these eyes, cos somehow it’ll always feel like the first time.

She can expect my boys to talk me up:

She can expect my friends to butter her up

What’s a guy without a wing-man? Goose and Maverick were literally co-pilots, Paul and John switched off lead vocals till that hoe Yoko came around, and Wayne and Garth made their living in a basement. She can expect them to be along for the ride.

She can expect to make friends with all types of people, as will I. People deserve a chance to be known for who they are, not what they’re known as.

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I will embarrass her with my electrifying dance moves. I was once cast as Danny Zuko in Grease. So c’mon Barbie, let’s go party.

fool for you

She’ll be well acquainted with coffee. I’ve had to teach myself to like it black, since I know I’ll be a father someday.

Ronny.

She can expect to hear lots of singing in the shower:

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Shower jams range from Queen to Yonce’ to show tunes.

Speaking of shower jams, she can expect to be serenaded (in general).

Sometimes I walk around naked.

She can expect compliments. Who doesn’t love being told their talented, or smart, or have good eyebrows?

How Do I Put This Gently ?

We’ll be goofy. We’ll have the dog’s hair cut like a lion by the groomer, set some snakes loose on a plane, or maybe even start some prank wars with the 90 year old neighbors across the street.

She can expect goofiness

I’ll be confident, brave, and daring. I’d put it all on the line. I’d battle a giant fire breathing dragon if it meant I could make her breakfast in bed.

Honesty is and will continue to be a priority, in life and in love.

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It might be hard for her to convince me of certain things. I can be stubborn, but a hard head can be tamed with that of a soft heart.

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I’ll be attentive. I’m a listener.

from poetry to pornography

She can expect the ultimate proposal. Whether it’s during the Macy’s Day Parade or in a small diner in the slums on a cold December afternoon.

welcome to my kingdom

She can expect dad jokes. I’ll be a good daddy, with better jokes.

Dad Jokes

She’ll know that I’m a sucker for red lipstick.

I’m a giver. She can have all the red and pink starburst, or pick out all the cherry lifesavers if she wishes to.

She can expect agiver

I’ll care for her when she is sick.

cameron IM DYING

She can expect to see me cry every once in awhile. Being a momma’s boy doesn’t make you soft. It means you’re willing to provide for your provider. We were created for a reason, and that reason couldn’t be exploited without the help of a nurturing mother’s love.

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Maybe we’ve never met, or maybe we have. That’s the beauty in wondering. All I know is she’ll be beautiful. She won’t be Victoria’s Secret Model beautiful, or the girl out on the town that everyone’s after, but the one who is most comfortable in herself. She can expect to have a keeper. Not because I’m a perfect man (which I’m far from), but because we’ll be perfect for each other. I’ll be the luckiest guy in the world.

Things will get tough.

Let\'s walk in the rain together.

She’ll get mad at me sometimes,

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& we will get into arguments,

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but I’ll do my best to keep my cool.

I’m always willing to forgive,

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as I don’t know what the future holds,

but I expect her to love me no matter what.

21 Reasons Your Mom Is The Best Friend Ever

Cos I’ll be there till the very end.

Toy Story

 

She can expect her love to be written about, if it hasn’t already.

 

 

All Shook Up

 

We covered our tracks to make sure nobody knew we were goin’ down to the ole juniper tree. We hadn’t taken a trip down there in a while, at least not since the whole mishap with Summer Bidwell and her sister, June.

Juniper

There were all sortsa delicious lookin’ berries on the shrubs as we trekked along, but I’d never dare put one in my mouth. Wyatt glanced at the colorful fruits before kneelin’ down beside the bush they were growin’ from. All I could think was that there was no way in hell he was going to eat one. God must have put those berries on earth for some reason, but I for one didn’t wanna’ find out what that reason was. He plucked one of the first berries he saw and jammed it straight into his mouth. Juice flooded down his white t-shirt. He had to wipe the juice from his fingers off on his crisp blue jeans. He musta’ finished the monster in less time than it takes for me to wash up for supper, and that ain’t long. He smirked at me as he washed it down with the moonshine from the flask he’d wedged in his right boot.

“Look, now you try one,” he said to me. “I ain’t fallin’ over dead now, am I?”

“No, you ain’t,” I hunched over to reach for a berry.

He was watchin’ me as I plucked it from the bush and brought it towards my mouth, inspectin’ me like a doc does a patient, glarin’ into my eyes. I couldn’t look away, what kinda’ man would I be if I did? I had to let him know I wasn’t some sorta’ wimp. The closer it got to my mouth the more scared I got, but I didn’t wanna’ be afraid a somethin’ that scared me. The gooey berry I’d started chewing was tart as can be. It made me wanna’ do that angry kinda face you do whenever your momma says it’s time for bed and you just ain’t ready to tucker out yet. I’m pretty sure he thought I didn’t have the guts to do it, and maybe on my own I didn’t, but Wyatt always had a way of makin’ me feel like everything was gonna’ be alright. He explained things in a way that I could understand, even if he was usually a bit of a drunk when he did the explainin’. He had long brown hair that swayed to the side all natural like, and eyes as green as freshly cut grass. Wyatt was never aware of the time, he was rarely aware of anything for that matter. He could blow smoke rings like a champ, but burned through packs like John Wayne.

john wayne

“See, you just gotta’ try things Eli,” he said as we walked. “You gonna’ get nowhere real quick if you always thinkin’ about what coulda’ been insteada’ just lettin’ yourself go numb for once.”

Wyatt is a good daddy for the most part. His high school sweetheart Sarah Lou and him are soul mates, but he loves to be separate from her and their little boy Leon. As much as he really does love them, he just has to feel free. Wyatt’s band plays around town a lot. He even says he wants to make a livin’ of it. I try to tell him to keep a steady job to be safe, but he don’t like to listen. People sure do listen when he sings though. I know I do. He can really make ya feel somethin’, like he means every single word. He closes his eyes and commands the stage, wavin’ his hands and whippin’ his hair around like a mad man. I believe in him.

microphone

We get drunk every Friday night at the Husk, a local bar they play at every weekend. Wyatt always jokes about how he likes to drink on days endin’ with day. Women at the bar can’t get enough of him, even the married ones. They act like they don’t got no husbands back at home, and sometimes he likes to pretend Sarah Lou and Leon ain’t around neither. I know there’s more out there for Wyatt and his family. He’s just gotta believe in himself like he does me. He’d be alright if he could listen to the way he talks to me, all motivatin’ and inspirin’ like, but I don’t think he considers himself much a role model.

Once we got to the juniper tree we plopped down on the ground. Wyatt handed me the flask with a stern gesture, wavin’ it in front of my face till I took it from him. I took a long chug, just so he’d shut up about it. I was a little drunk by now, but I’d known what I was gettin’ myself into comin’ down here and all.

“I still think about June,” I sighed to Wyatt.

He took back the flask disgusted and bowed his head, shakin’ it back and forth.

“Ain’t no use in that Eli,” Wyatt said. “You saw how she was with Bobby Winston last time we saw her out.”

“Yeah, but Bobby is a chump,” I mumbled.

Wyatt could usually see through people, but not this time. I knew she wasn’t after Bobby. He was just a replacement of some sort. Last time we saw her we were sittin’ at the Husk havin’ our usual supper at eight o clock on the dot. Friday is the special. It’s $1.50 for a burger, fries, and a cold one. I love it. I can go grab some grub, drink, and ketchup with Wyatt before the band goes on. This night, though, was the first time I’d seen June since the happenin’ at the juniper tree. She was laughin’ too much, like the way she used to laugh with me. She kept flippin’ her red flowing locks back and forth, gazing back at us with those pretty blue eyes. They were so full of love, but she wasn’t even usin’ em for Bobby. She was tryna’ stir me up. She walked around like she owned the place, with her miniature perfect sized figure and red lipstick. Damn that red lipstick. She was flirtin’ with all the bartenders who knew her on a first name basis, and workin’ up drinks from the locals who didn’t know nothin’ bout her. She even had the nerve to put a certain song on at the juke box. It was our song, “All Shook Up,” by The King himself. The song in itself bugged me, I don’t know how she was doin’ it. She knew it’d get to me. Our relationship fell through right about the time they found Elvis dead on that toilet down there in Memphis, but I didn’t think it was a coincidence at the time.

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“Cmon Bobby, this is our song!,” she shouted, making sure I heard.

I didn’t think much of seein’ her out. Or, not for a couple weeks, but as time went on it really started itchin me. I imagined her sittin’ by the phone waitin’ for my call. That rotary dial would take too damn long though. I think I might have to strangle myself with the curly wires that connect the phone to the dialing board if I had to talk to her for more than five minutes about “stuff”. Yet, here I was sittin’ by the juniper wonderin’ where she was at, and if she was still thinkin’ bout me. I looked over at Wyatt who’d rested his back against the tree. He was fast asleep with a lit cigarette burning away in his left hand and the open flask in his right. I wish I coulda’ captured that moment somehow, it was just so Wyatt. I took the cigarette from his hand. He musta’ been asleep for some time, on account of the ash on his finger was longer than the Mighty Mississippi. I took the last few drags of it and flicked away the butt in a spot where the grass wasn’t green no more.

I glanced back at the juniper as I laid against its rough grey bark next to Wyatt. The tree was ancient. There were so many scuffs on it from the accident y’ouda’ thought it had a run in with a bear or somethin’. One day June and I had carved “JB & EL” on it, back when we was somethin’. The tree was bound to fall at some point, but I think that’s what June wanted when the accident happened. Not so much of an accident if ya asked me. Mother Nature ain’t meant to be tampered with like that.

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I remember it so well. June and I had been on the rocks the weeks leadin’ up to that day. I always picked up her younger sister Summer from school in my baby, a smooth blue Chevy Chevelle. It had a 220-horsepower, 283-cubic-inch V8 engine. The fiercest I’d ever driven, and had that manual shift feature with the Turbo-Hydra-Matic transmission they was always toutin’ on the television. I polished her every day. She was my everything, her and June that is. She wasn’t no habit, she was a parta my life. June never understood my love for the car, she said it was “just a machine.” It really grinded my gears.

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June started wantin’ to be near me at all times, it was suffocatin’ me. She said she thought I loved the car more than her, and I could never argue with her. The day of the incident we was at her parents’ house watchin’ our favorite show “Happy Days” waitin’ to pick up Summer from school. June was always wantin’ to talk about havin’ a love like Joanie and Chachi, but I just wanted to play it cool like that Fonzie guy did.

“You know, Greg Burche and Sarah Hines are fixin’ to get married in the summer,” her eyes were fulla’ butterflies. “I heard he got her a diamond ring. I hope one day someone’s heart is full for me like that.”

“Oh yeah? That’s real nice,” I kept staring at the TV hopin she’d change the damn subject. She was hintin’ to me more than she ever had before, and I just wanted to ignore it.

“So what, you just gonna say nothin?” she said as her eyes started to swell up. She put one hand on her chest and the other on my arm. “I don’t know if you’re just scared, or if this has somethin’ to do with your daddy, but you gotta’ let me know. I want you to be mine forever. I love you, and I wanna’ take care of you.”

“I love you too,” I pushed my hair back with my fingers and took the word “forever” with a grain of salt. She didn’t believe me. She stormed off and slammed the already broken door to her room shut.

We’d been together for five years. After high school I thought life was over. You just get married and have a family, ya get boring. The wife cooks and takes care of the kids, while the husband goes to work nine to five, workin a little overtime when ya need an extra buck. Then ya grow old and wish you was still a kid. Maybe I didn’t love her, or maybe I didn’t know I did yet. Whatever it was, I was confused. These were not such “happy days.”

family

June came rushin’ into the livin’ room with rage in her face. She pushed me backward with all her might, knockin’ me off the couch and onto the dirty carpet. I laid on the ground the most confused I’d ever been. I figured she was pissed, but maybe it was some sorta’ playful fight? We usually did stuff like that. I looked up to see her with tears streamin’ down her cheeks, and all sortsa make-up smudges on her face. The seriousness of the situation started to sink in.

“What’s wrong baby? She said as she dangled the keys to my Chevelle above me. The sound was torture. “Is this somethin’ you’ll fight for? I didn’t know you was able to love.”

“You wouldn’t,” I stammered. Our eyes met in silence for a good long time. Neither of us was sure who was gonna make the first move, but she had the upper hand since I was on the ground and all. I abruptly struggled to get up, but she was too damn quick for me. She pushed me to the ground again and ran across the room with the keys jingling in hand. She slammed the screen door and was halfway to the car before I even had a chance to get off the ground. I heard the engine roar and watched as she sped away with my baby. In a flash she was gone.

June cranked the radio and flipped from station to station. Nothing seemed to satisfy her in that moment. She was whizzing past stop signs and breaking speed limits like she was one of those crooked rangers in town. When she got to the school she sped past the crosswalk. Then hurried her sister to get in the car.

speed limit

“Hurry, let’s go. Mommas got supper ready at the house,” June lied.

“Why are you crying?” Summer pulled her polka dot dress down over her shiny red slippers as she trampled over the loose stuff in the front seat. “And supper already? Its only 4:00 o’clock.”

Summer didn’t wanna ask any more questions, probably because June wouldn’t answer them. The two were silent until they got to the Great River Road.

“What’s wrong June?” Summer had a frightened expression.

“Nothin’, nothin’ it’s just me and Eli. It’s nothin’.” June cried. She thought of his wavy black hair and his soft brown eyes. She thought of the faces he made when he didn’t understand something. She remembered his sweet voice. “I just need to go sit at the juniper for a little bit. It reminds me of the good times, or at least the ones we did have.”

June was sick of the radio, it was all just a buncha’ love songs that no one wanted to hear anyway. She reached in the glove compartment to look for a cassette, any cassette at all. She just wanted to have something to calm her nerves. She pulled out the first one she saw and jammed it into the cassette player. Just as she was starting to calm down, the cassette started to play a familiar tune.

“A well I bless my soul what’s wrong with me?”  the lyrics on the tape began.

It was “All Shook Up.” The song immediately brought June into a high-pitched crazed scream, scaring the daylights out of Summer. She slammed her foot on the gas pedal and drove like nothing was important to her anymore. She wanted to forget it all, and everything it ever was. She wanted to go numb for once.

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The juniper was now in plain view. June was crying and laughing hysterically at the same time. Snot was billowing from her nose and saliva was foaming out of her distraught mouth from whimpering so desperately.

“JUNE WE’RE GOING TOO FAST WE’LL CRASH IF YOU DON’T SLOW DOWN!!” Summer cried to her not so herself sister.

“Please don’t ask me what’s on my mind I’m a little mixed up, but I’m feelin’ fine,” the lryics echoed as the two collectively screamed. June was headed straight for the spot where JB & EL had been carved into the tree. She wanted to rid of it, forever. At least something in her life would be forever. The Chevy slammed violently into the juniper. The horn continued to blare as smoke and dust filled the air. The windows were all shattered with blood stain into a million pieces, the hood was smashed like an elephant had stomped on it, and the tree was beaten to a pulp, but the engraving of June and Eli’s names was untouched.

“I’m in love I’m all shook up Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!” the song continued. The tape malfunctioned as the words replayed over and over and over.

presley again

June’s parents wanted to sue me for all I was, and I wasn’t even in the car. My Chevelle was the least of my worries. I realized who my real “baby” was. June came out of the accident with as little as a scratch, but Summer was a different story. She’s paralyzed from the neck down now. I hear that some of the girls at school make fun of her just cos she can’t eat without somebody helpin’ her. A part a me feels like it’s my fault, but I’m just glad God was there lookin out for them.

I go to their doorstep every once in a while to try and talk to their daddy, but he always slams the door in my face. Sure, words they gon’ hurt, but hearin’ nothin’ at all hurts a whole lot worse. I have to walk there now since my car is gone. It’s not too bad, I only live a couple miles away.

I really wish I could go back in time and fix things, but what’s done is done. If I don’t ever get to tell someone I feel that four letter word for them again, at least I’ll know I still got hope. I could never blame June for anything that happened. It’s my fault. I gotta quit bein’ afraid a things that scare me. Sometimes I hear the kids in my wood-shop class at the local community college talk about her. They say she’s “crazy.” I guess we’re all a little crazy, or maybe we’re just crazy for somebody.

crazy

I woke up to the smell of nicotine, Wyatt was shaken’ me uncontrollably.

“Wake up,” he kicked me in the ribs. I could smell the moonshine on his breath. He took another quick swig. “We been asleep forever, we should start headin’ back now. The wolves be comin’ out at night.”

I didn’t wanna tell him that all I could think of was June. I’d been dreamin’ about her, and it wasn’t no nightmare. This trip to the Juniper was supposa’ help me get over it, but all it did was make me think. I like thinkin’.

“I can’t stop thinkin’ about June, Wyatt,” I said. “You were the one who told me to go numb for once. I wanna’ put everything behind me and try to start over.”

Wyatt glared at me as he dragged the last bit of his cigarette. The weather was gettin’ bad. I haven’t seen wind like that since that damn tornado storm some six years ago. He put out the cigarette on the engraving of me and June’s names, showin’ his thoughts on the matter. He started to walk back without sayin’ anything at all. I just sat and watched him pace away.

“WYATT” I yelled before he got too far. He stopped in his tracks and came toward me.

“I’m done with this shit Eli, get over it. If you loved her you woulda’ let her know,” he said.

I looked down at my feet, he was right.

“But I did tell her I loved her,” I didn’t know what I was sayin’.

“Anyone can do that Eli,” Wyatt explained. “But you gotta’ actually mean it. You can’t just say it. We ain’t in high school no more Eli.”

My sadness turned into guilt, and my confusion turned into hate.

“You’re a drunk, why can’t I go chasin’ after her Wyatt? Why?” I wanted an answer, but I didn’t mean to call him that. Maybe he was right, maybe I did just say things I didn’t mean.

“It ain’t about the chase Eli, it’s findin’ the catch,” It was the most soberin’ thing a drunk person had ever said to me. He was my best friend.

I opened my mouth to try and say sorry to Wyatt but was interrupted by a crackling sound nearby. We looked at each other, aware that somethin’ was amuck. I suppose the wind had taken its toll on my beloved tree. It’d had its time. The juniper broke in half and was crashing towards us with the force of a runaway freight train. I had to react quickly. I tackled a drunken Wyatt to the ground away from the big hunk of earth that I’d had such an attachment to for so long.

“Thanks,” Wyatt said with a wide eyed drunken’ expression. It’s crazy that Wyatt can help me get over somethin’ so quick with just his words, but a near death experience comes as nothin’ to him. It was just another day in the woods for Wyatt. The simple “thanks,” was all I needed.

I got up and frantically looked around the tree to see if I could find me and June’s names. If it was gone I don’t know what I’d do with myself. It was the last thing I had to remember our time together, and it wasn’t even mine. I wanted to carve it out and keep it for myself, but I wouldn’t wanna do that to Mother Nature. She’s got feeling too, ya know. There it was on the other side of the tree, unharmed. I coulda’ cried in that moment. I hadn’t cried for a couple a years, but I think it was time. I went numb, I was starting over. Wyatt saw my face wet with tears for the first time in a long time. He put his arm around me as we started walkin’ up the hill together.

stand by me

(But the good ones stick around.)

“You don’t gotta’ eat no more berries if you don’t wanna’ Eli,” He looked embarrased. “You ain’t gotta do nothing you don’t wanna do. I was wrong, I’m sorry.”

“No you were right,” I replied. “I gotta take more chances, otherwise nothin’s gonna happen, ya know?”

We continued to walk for some time past the mulberry bushes and all the shrubs. A raccoon scurried past us. We could hear the wolves startin’ to howl, but we brushed it off like we didn’t hear it. We were fearless.

“Wyatt, why do you think June hangs out with that Bobby Winston guy? He’s not any better than me is he?” I asked. I wanted to get it all out.

“No one’s better than anybody Eli,” he said. “There’s just always that time in our lives when we long for somebody who don’t deserve us.”

I smiled at Wyatt, who returned a quick smirk back at me. I didn’t deserve June and neither did Bobby Winston.

We made it back to Wyatt’s truck and drove to the Husk for some burgers. The bar was empty, I guess Tuesdays just aren’t their night.

“You know Eli, I think I’m gonna’ try and be a better daddy,” Wyatt said with a serious kinda’ voice. “I been tellin’ you to try all these new things out, when I just been doin’ whatever I wanted for my entire life. My family needs me, and I ain’t been there.”

“Good for you Wyatt, good for you,” I said. “Thanks for helpin’ me go numb for once.” We raised our frosty mugs and made a toast.

“Here’s to you Eli,” Wyatt said. “You’ll find your catch. I just know it.”

end

You can’t just shy away the people that love you. What’s the point if you ain’t all in anyway? I find it hard to believe that we don’t all have somethin’ to give back to the world, I think we each should have a part in it. We can truly only be as good as we believe we are. I’ve accepted that I’m gonna’ get married and start a family, I’ve accepted that I will get “boring”. I know I’ll work nine to five with a little bitta’ overtime here and there to earn an extra buck. I know I’ll grow old with somebody. I just wanna be somebody’s somebody. I do love June Bidwell, and I mean it. I do want to remember the happy days with her. I do want to take care of her forever, but I want to deserve her. I’m done bein’ afraid a things that scare me. I may be all shook up, but I know there’s nothin’ to worry about. I think we’re all a little crazy. We’re crazy for somebody.

Storm Warning: Golden Hurricane Coach Swept Away

Once again, the University of Tulsa Men’s Basketball team is left without a head coach. Danny Manning accepted the head coaching position at Wake Forest Friday, a decision he had been flirting with all week. The former Kansas standout led the Golden Hurricane to a 21-13 record in two seasons, as well as a Conference USA Title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014.

Danny Manning

Photo Courtesy of arizonasports.com

I feel for Tulsa, I really do. For one, their mascot is the Golden Hurricane. Even as a child I didn’t understand. We’re known for tornadoes in Oklahoma, not hurricanes. Growing up there I witnessed the basketball program’s struggles, successes, and all things in between. This appears to be the continuation of a trend for Tulsa. A coach comes in and helps them rebuild for a couple of seasons, only to leave once the successes are noted by larger well known programs. It seems the Tulsa Head Coaching Position is just a temporary feed in to bigger opportunities.

Nolan

Photo Courtesy of www.wnba.com

Nolan Richardson is probably the most well known former coach of Tulsa. He coached four seasons for Tulsa from 1981-1985, and had a record of 119-37. He won the NIT in his first season coaching and won the Missouri Valley Conference title in both 1984 and 1985. Richardson left Tulsa after the 1985 season to take over as head coach of the University of Arkansas. He replaced the legendary Eddie Sutton who had moved onto Kentucky. Richardson was 389-169 with Arkansas and led them to a National Championship Title in 1994 and a second place finish in 1995.

Tubby

Photo Courtesy of blog.al.com 

Tubby Smith led the Golden Hurricane to a 79-43 record in four seasons and two Sweet Sixteen Appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 1994 and 1995. He moved onto Georgia, Kentucky, and Minnesota in the next two decades of his coaching career. He currently coaches at Texas Tech. He won a National Championship with Kentucky in his first year on the job in 1998. In his ten seasons with the Cats he achieved a 263-83 record. Not too shabby if you asked me. Tulsa fans will never let him forget where he got his start as a head coach, I am positive of that.

See the trend here? Coach for a couple of seasons at Tulsa, accept a better job and relocate, and win a National Championship!

Other notable head coaches to leave the University of Tulsa include Steve Robinson who left for Florida State, Bill Self who left for Illinois, and Buzz Peterson who left for Tennessee.

Don’t worry Tulsa, I’m sure someone will step up and take the job. Maybe they’ll actually stay Golden Hurricane true though, we wouldn’t want another to be swept away by all the opportunity out there.

 

Dallas Cowboys Draft A Dad

The Dallas Cowboys signed former Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden to a 2 year deal on Monday. The superstar 30 year-old agreed to receive minimum pay from the Cowboys, but is still guaranteed $2.1 million from his previous contract with the Browns. The third year will play behind starter Tony Romo and backup Kyle Orton; he plans on competing for the starting job no matter the situation.

ff

Photo courtesy of http://standingosports.com/main/2013/10/21/gif-brandon-weeden-threw-terrible-pass/

With the recent departure of Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Ware, it appears “America’s team,” made the right decision in acquiring the double-threat QB. Jerry Jones and company don’t need to sign any more defensive players. They’re already the top defensive team in the National Football League. As for the offense, fans have bickered for years about Romo and his inability to finish in big games. The Weeden signing stirs up some controversy as to whether Romo will remain the starter. Although, I believe Jerry could’ve signed an older QB. I was thinking along the lines of Roger Staubach, Troy Aikmen, or maybe even Brett Favre. Weeden is clearly not old enough to handle a pro style offense like the names mentioned above.

emarcusware.jpg

The “Boys” are better off without this sissy anyway. Photo courtesy of http://www.tddaily.com/news/warren-sapp-demarcus-ware-needs-to-be-more-demonstrative-leader/

Jerry Jones and posse have a lot of decisions to make with the NFL Draft coming up in May. Which kick holder will the Cowboys draft in the first round? Jones has been trying to fill the void ever since Romo’s botched hold back in the 2006 NFC Wild Card game. Perhaps the Cowboys don’t need to draft one at all; Weeden could be the answer to their prayers. The former Major League Baseball player is used to catching balls under pressure.

Look for Weeden to shake things up in Dallas, his 5-15 record in two seasons with the Browns doesn’t do him justice.

This Is My Year

I’ve been looking forward to this month for some time now. Not only did our nation just celebrate “Fat Tuesday,” for Mardi Gras, but the NCAA Basketball Tournament is just around the corner. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! However, the research I’ve done over the past couple of months needs to payoff. I couldn’t bear to have another disappointing bracket. Hell, I’m pretty sure everyone and their mother beat me last year. I’m positive there’s a granny somewhere waiting to fill out a bracket upon request from her grandson. She’ll probably pick out winners according to the way the jerseys look or what she thinks the “cutest” mascot is, and her grandson will somehow come out victorious. Not in my bracket pool though, not in 2014. This is my year.

Photo courtesy of http://www.totalprosports.com/ ^ I’ll have a better bracket than Barry O. in 2014
Ever since Fantasy Football ended, I haven’t known what to do with myself. Second place, that’s all I can think about. The thought will be imprinted in my mind until I make a change. I was never in it to win the money in the first place, it was only a bonus. I wanted the bragging rights, the pride, and the glory. I wanted to know I had earned it. I wanted to feel I had the ability to organize and manage something successfully. The thought of being runner up puts me in a really bad place. I wanted to win then, but I need to win now. I have a second shot, the 2014 bracket season could be my chance to make a statement and redeem myself!

Louisville ousted Michigan in last year's March Madness Tournament but can the Cardinals repeat in 2014 with tough conference games

Photo courtesy of http://www.pbbracket.com            ^ Me after Fantasy Football in 2013

In 2014, I plan to stray away from the analyst’s opinions. The “Big Dance,” is a place where miracles happen. First round upsets are inevitable, and the analysts never seem to get them right. Who would’ve thought that teams like Florida Gulf Coast and La Salle could make it as far as the Sweet Sixteen? I can assure you none of the analysts thought so. I may not be able to sniff out both of these types of upsets in 2014, but my bracket will definitely have a couple of surprises on it. I always play it safe, it’s time to go against the grain and believe in the unimaginable.

Photo courtesy of xfinity.comcast.net  ^ George Mason’s miracle run to the Final four in 2006

My biggest hope is for the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs have won eight of their last nine games, and look determined to claim a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve really looked hungry as of late, maybe the “40 minutes of hell,” could be here to stay. Let’s not count out the North Carolina Tar Heels either, who have won 12 games in a row. They’re playing well at the right time, look for them to be a contender down the stretch of the tournament.

I’m still not sold on Wichita St. as a number one seed, or even a contender. Their best wins have come against Saint Louis, Tennessee, and Missouri St. Sure they’re 31-0, but if you don’t have quality wins on your resume why should you be considered one of the best teams in the nation? You can argue with me all you want, but don’t be shocked when the Shockers take an early departure from the tournament.

I really hope I don’t eat my words, I’m feeling good about my predictions in 2014. Let the countdown to March Madness begin! Soon we’ll be hearing “One Shining Moment,” with past tournament moments being shown on the television screen. It gives me goosebumps every time. I am determined to conquer, this is my year.