I. Can’t. Make. It. Stop…

It is not my way to share words I have written, other than those that are fiction, created by thoughts, and all kinds of dreams, of worlds, and events that have never happened, and will never be.

But, there are those who wish to understand what drives me. What causes me to behave the way I behave. And it’s shockingly simple to understand. And while many would say it’s simple to fix, and correct, I know it’s not.

What follows is the best description you will ever have of me. The best answer to the question, “Why?”

Something I never told you. And part of what’s causing all this.

Brother David, and Mom, and Dad, screamed at each other. Seriously. They fought. I can remember hiding in my room, back in middle and high schools. And putting my headphones on. And turning the volume up until I couldn’t hear anything but the music. To drown out them fighting again.

And now, I’m dealing with endless screaming on Facebook. And it’s digging up old wounds that I buried a long time ago.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the topics, really. When you get down to the root causes, it has to do with how I deal with conflict.

I don’t deal with conflict.

I will literally walk away, and never come back, to avoid conflict. Because. Screaming. Stop. The. Screaming. Fighting. Stop. The. Fighting. Raw. Ragged. Emotions.

I have to escape. I have no option here. I have to escape.

This is what’s happening with me, right now. Everywhere I look. Every day. At work. At home. On social media. On the radio. At dinner out. At breakfast out. It’s everywhere. I can’t escape. I can’t.

And I’m at a loss for what to do. Because. All I can do is put on my headphones. And turn up the volume. And drown out the world.

So I can’t hear the conflict anymore. So the parts of me that are gone. The parts that are permanently damaged. So I can’t and don’t have to face them.

I keep hearing the fights I heard when I was growing up. Every time these topics show up. And I know I can’t do anything. I can’t leave. I couldn’t leave then. I can’t reason with anyone. I couldn’t then. I can’t fix things. I couldn’t then.

And I’m searching. Seeking. Hunting. Desperately. And more desperately all the time. For a way to make the noise stop. For a way to make the screaming stop.

I. Can’t. Make. It. Stop…


Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/09/12

“Oh, I love that lawn sculpture!”

I smiled at Barbara, and tried not to laugh. “Yes. It looks like a sculpture, doesn’t it.”

“Like a long, snake-like dragon.” She walked toward the head of it. “I mean. Look at the detail. Wow.”

All I could do was shake my head. “Barbara, Barbara, Barbara. Haven’t I explained you’re not on Earth anymore?”

That was the problem with people when they crossed over. They saw familiar sights everywhere, so they acted like everything was normal. Like it was just another Saturday visiting a neighbor. “Oh, well. If I must explain.”

I carefully guided her gaze to look straight at me. “Who am I?”

“Kevin.” There was no doubt in her response.

“How old are you.”

“I’m 83.”

“How old was Kevin when you last saw him?”

“Kevin was 24.” Barbara stared hard at me. I could see her trying to understand what it all meant.

“OK. I’m Kevin. At 24 I shot myself in the head. Remember. I’ve been dead, dead, dead since you were 25, haven’t I.”

She had this baffled look. “But…”

“Barbara. You died at 83. From old age. You had a happy life. Now, you’re here, beyond the veil. And you’re able to see so much more than you could.”

“What does that mean?”

“Means I’ve been here for 58 years, and you’ve been here for a couple of hours. That’s what it means.” I shrugged, “I’d show you what you look like in a mirror, but mirrors don’t work here.”

I held out my hands, and looked at them. “Damn, my hands look good for me being 82. Just like they did when I was 24.” I took her hands, and held them out for her to look at. “But. You’re hands don’t look like they did yesterday, do they.”


“Face it, Barb. Those are not 83 year old hands. Not even close.”

She held them out, and studied them. “But…”

“You’re not in Kansas anymore, you know. So, you have to learn new rules.” I pointed at what she thought was a long, snake like dragon sculpture. “This? This is a lawn snake. They eat bugs. Lots and lots of bugs. You’ll find everybody has one.”

“Lawn snake?”

“Yeah. They come out at night. In daylight, they look like this,” I pointed at it. “After the sun sets, it’ll start moving again. When it does, we’ll want to be inside. Lawn snakes have damn sharp teeth.”


“Yep. They eat bugs.”

“What… Kind… Of… Bugs…”

“What kind of bugs would something this freaking huge eat?” I sighed.

“But, if I’m dead. Isn’t this heaven?”

“Yeah. There it is. That heaven crap.”


“Yeah. We all teach ourselves about heaven, with no worries, and all goodie, goodie, happy, happy.”

I thought she was going to cry right then.

“It’s just the next step of life. You stay in the world you came from until you are ready to be here. Then, when it’s time, you come to this world, and have to start the next level of learning about life.”

She stared at the Lawn Snake.

“Lawn snake?”

“Yes, Barb.” I looked at the horizon. “Well, the sun’s starting to set. Time to go inside. We can watch it bug hunt from inside, where it’s safe, and it won’t hurt us.”

I thought, “Happens every time. Have to welcome a friend, and explain how everything they knew about the afterlife was totally wrong. All because of some silly dream people have of a place called heaven.”

581 words

This is written for Week 71 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Yep, I’m a week late with it. So what. I had fun writing this. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

It Amazes Me How Many Stupid Men Are Out There…

Now, I don’t want to single out women as causing all the problems. They certainly don’t, and they certainly aren’t. As anyone who is familiar with me knows, I tend to shake my head, and quietly say, with unbelief in my tone, “Jesus. Men really are that stupid, aren’t they…”

I have a friend. She’s cute. Pretty smile. Pretty eyes. Lives in the UK. And it amazes me that not one guy over there has decided she’s his best friend. Not one! She’s smart. She’s creative. She’s fun to talk with. And yet, not one guy in the UK has found her, and decided, “She is the friend I’ve always wanted! The one I’ll take to the movies. To the football games. For walks along the white chalk cliffs. To look at the flowers somewhere. She’s the one I’ll sit next to on the sofa, and watch BBC News as we talk about how insane this whole Brexit thing is. And we’ll just be best friends!”

Why? Why hasn’t some guy in the UK figured this out? Why isn’t some guy in the UK doing this with her?


Men really are that stupid, aren’t they…

I have a friend. She’s a knockout. My God, that woman is gorgeous! But. I love to chat with her. About things. About stuff that goes wrong, like when someone brings in a computer for repair, and goes off the deep end when they learn the Manufacturer’s Warranty does not cover a cracked screen. About how the day went. Was it good? Did the physical pain from the chronic illness let up today? Did you get any rest? About doctors, and how they don’t know all the answers, despite all their years of training, and practice. About books, and authors, and how great some of them are. And how some of them should never have made it into print. We talk about everything. Including family cats, and dogs, and even turtles.

And I find it infuriating to me, how many people no longer talk with her. How she got physically ill, and can’t work, and spends her days at her home, wishing she didn’t have to feel the pain she lives with, didn’t have to hurt like she hurts.

And I wonder why other guys don’t talk with her. Don’t spend time sending her messages. Yes, she’s married. That doesn’t mean no one should talk with her. Yes, she’s chronically ill. That’s no reason to ignore her.

Why? Why haven’t other guys figured out she wants friends to talk with. To simply spend time communicating with? Why haven’t guys figured this out?


Men really are that stupid. They are. Holy crap. It’s unbelievable.

I’ve lost count of the number of divorced women I know, and I count them as good friends. I wonder sometimes, what the fuck did the guy do that she left him? How could the guy be that kind of special stupid that she left him? How could he be so blind to her feelings, her heart, her soul, the things she dreams, and wants, and needs. That she gave up on him, and left.

But, there’s more to it than that. There’s other guys that are now divorced. Because. They treated her like a possession. Something they own. Like a frickin’ car, or truck. An object. Not a person. Not a human being with a heart, soul, and emotions. It because, “Now that I’m off from work, which frustrates me endlessly, and there’s nothing I can do about that, I can go home, and let all my emotions out, and unload on the wife.”




I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard such words. Terrifying words. “Well. He owns a gun, you know. So, even though I didn’t want to, I did what he wanted. Because. Well. He owns a gun, you know.”

“Yes, he hit me. It’s better that he hit me the our little girl. I have to protect her from him?”

I’m like, “Wait! Isn’t he her father? And he’s a threat to her? What the fuck is wrong with him?”

And what the fuck is this dick pic shit all about? Guys. Seriously? Seriously? Sending pictures of it to strange women, or even women you work with, or know? Without them asking for them? That’s a special kind of brain damage, isn’t it?

I’ve been learning about mansplaining. And gaslighting. And I find they further illustrate the level of stupidity men have embraced. Guys. Explaining astrophysics to an astrophysicist when you barely got that Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing is like you’re three year old son telling you how to write a novel. And it makes you look every bit as intelligent. Innocent, and flat damn stupid. And you know it.

There are reasons too many guys are frickin’ divorced, and living lonely lives, searching the internet and fueling the growth of the porn industry, and the human trafficking market. Because.

Men. They really are that flat damn stupid.


Time For Me To Fight Back

Let’s talk who is to blame, here. No. Really. Let’s talk who is at fault. Who did NOT do what they should have done. And let’s start with the infamous case of Brock Turner, of Stanford University, in Stanford, California.

Am I to blame for the actions this disgusting individual took? I’m asking an honest question here. Because there are plenty of voices, almost every one of them women, who have informed me that I am. That I’m a white guy, and so I’m partly to blame.

So. Let me put this realistically. I live in Virginia Beach, VA. Brock Turner did his antics in Stanford, California. If I start right now, and drive non stop until I get there, Google Maps says I will drive 45 hours and something minutes, and over 3 thousand miles before I get there to stop Mr. Turner from doing whatever he decides to do on the spur of the moment.

Clearly, there was no way I could have stopped him once he got started. I’d have arrived about two days after the fact. So, saying I didn’t stop him makes as much sense to me as saying I didn’t prevent Donald Trump from saying the magic words, “Grab her by the pussy.”

I didn’t stop either person. I physically could not have. At the time they did what they did, I was hundreds, of not thousands of miles away from them. Hell, I never heard the name “Brock Turner” until he turned up on MSN news. I never even knew he existed. And if not for the news, I would still have no idea who he is.

But, apparently I’m at least partly to blame for what he did. So says the logic of the argument that’s been used to beat me over the head.

I did not raise him. I did not teach him. I did not live anywhere near him. I had no influence on him, or his development. I had no contact with his parents. Or any of his relatives. I did not attend any churches he attended. I did not attend any social activities he attended. I did not work with him. The man, very literally, did not exist, as far as I am concerned, until his name showed up on MSN News one day.

But, you see. I’m a white guy. So, clearly, I contributed to his behavior, and I certainly didn’t do enough to condemn it.

Let’s talk blame here. Seriously. Let’s talk who is responsible for the behavior of Roy Moore. A white guy. And an apparent pedophile. Roy Moore is 70 years old. That’s 12 years older than I am. Clearly. I was not involved in raising him. Nor was I involved in teaching him how to behave. The man was a high school graduate when I was a six year old boy in first grade.

Let’s go further, why not? I first heard of Roy Moore after Donald Trump was elected President. That’s right. I never heard of Roy Moore prior to 2017. I should also say it’s very likely I would not have heard of Roy Moore at all if it wasn’t for Donald Trump’s election. Because, that election precipitated the events that lead to Mr. Moore making national headlines for his indiscretions with underage girls. I should also mention that those indiscretions occurred quite a few years prior to the headlines of the past few months.

But, it would seem, once again, that as a white guy, I’m at least partly to blame for Mr. Moore’s actions. Either because I didn’t stop him. Or I didn’t visit Alabama to straighten his ass out. Or I didn’t show up on his doorstep with a gun, and an arrest warrant when he thought with his dick, and not his brain, however many years ago it was.

Let’s keep this process alive, shall we? Yes, it’s clearly pissing you off. Because it’s clearly blowing holes all through the argument that I’m to blame for the actions of other white men.

Let’s talk about someone who was once on my Facebook Friends list. They had a rough time. I know that. I didn’t know they were having a rough time when it was happening. Let’s be honest, here. The only contact I’ve ever had with them is through text exchanged through Facebook, and Twitter. Outside of that, they may as well live in Agrabah, the fictional Disney city of Princess Jasmine, from the movie Aladdin. Because I have never encountered them outside of Facebook and Twitter. And now that they’ve departed the United States, the odds of me having my foot run over in a parking lot by a snooty dude driving a Maserati are better than the odds of me meeting them.

Turns out they had an ex husband. One who owned a gun. One who wasn’t a nice guy. One who abused them.

Turns out, somehow, because I’m a white guy, I’m partly to blame for the actions of that guy, their ex husband.

Yeah. I can’t figure that one out either. Hell, I don’t even know who the guy is. Or where he lives, other than to say he’s probably somewhere between the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mississippi River, in the United States.

But, you see. I didn’t teach him how to behave. I didn’t teach him how to be a real man. I didn’t teach him how to treat other people, especially women. I didn’t teach him to respect the wishes of women, or their privacy, or their needs. I did not teach him when to physically approach a woman, and when to back away from one. I did not teach them to go out of his way to illustrate to a woman that she is safe, and will always be safe, around him.

So, it seems I’m partly to blame for the things he did. Because. I’m part of the system, you see. Part of what’s wrong with US Society. I’m a white guy. And that’s all there is to it.

As a person who has asked, more than once, and more than one woman, “Am I doing anything wrong? Am I doing something I shouldn’t do? Have I done anything that made you uncomfortable?” Having declared I wanted them to be safe, and if it helped I’d keep a wall, a desk, a partition, a table, or other hefty physical object between us, so they would know I wasn’t a threat. Having shoved my hands in my pockets, and backed away from women, more than once. Having completely left, completely removed myself from someone’s presence, permanently, to keep that someone safe, and to guarantee they would always feel safe from me.

Having done these things.

It’s so very apparent it’s my fault that other white men have grown into slimes who need to be staked out in the desert to learn what true sunburn is, and to experience just how bad sunburn can get.

You want to know why I’ve become an angry white man?

I just told you.

Read this again.

Then tell me I have no right to be angry. And tell me how ALL men are responsible.

And just remember. It’s because you endlessly beat me over the head with declarations of my guilt, and declarations of my responsibility for the truly disturbing things that happened to you, and declarations that I needed to be put in jail (No. Literally. That’s been said to me. More than you know. Far more than you know.) just because I’m a privileged, racist, sexist, misogynistic white man. And made to pay for all the crimes of every white man.

And all this, despite trying everything I know to try, learning everything I can learn, and doing the best I can, to keep women safe around me, and around others?

You want to know why I’ve become an angry white man?

Read this again.


To Those Who Are Concerned…

There was a time. Years ago. When my world burned to the ground, and left me with nothing but ashes, and bare dirt. There was a time I spoke the words, “To those who are concerned.” I will not debate grammar rules, and whether this should have been “whom” and not “who”.

I will, however, repeat what I said then. This is for those who are concerned.

I have tried to explain. I have tried to find the words. I have expended all my strength. All my energy. All my courage. Endurance. Patience. All of it. Trying to explain that which I see. I have said (check my status history on Facebook, if you doubt this) countless times there is no right or wrong, no left or right, no good or evil, no just or unjust, no us or them, no ethical or unethical, no moral or immoral.

I stand by that.

And I stand, as I have always stood. By myself. Misunderstood. And treated as guilty. Because.

I am white.

I am male.

And I will no longer listen when you say to me, “It’s ALL men!”

I will no longer listen when you say to me, “ALL white people are racists!”

I will no longer listen when you pronounce, “Of course you don’t care! You’re a White Man! You can afford NOT to care!”

I would say, instead, the following.

Before my 40th birthday, in 1993, yes, 24 years ago. Before my 40th birthday, my primary care physician said these words to me. They are burned into my brain cells forever. I can never be free of them.

“On those mornings you wake up, and you ache. You know those mornings. I know you understand what I’m saying. On those mornings you wake up, and you ache. Take your naproxen.”

I was 34 years old. 34.

And this morning, I woke up. Not because I was rested. Not because I’d had enough sleep. Not because I felt wide awake. I woke up because.

Some invisible man with a crowbar was shoving that crowbar under my right collar bone, and trying to pry it out of my body.

Some invisible man with a baseball bat was pounding on my right hip.

Some invisible man with a nail gun was hammering nails into my right ankle.

Some invisible man with a wrench had clamped that sucker down on the right ligaments of my left knee, and was twisting that bitch for all he was worth.

I woke up because.

I fucking hurt.

And yes. I fucking took my naproxen.

There are more words to say. Many more.

I remember my days at Old Dominion University, from August of 1977 through May of 1982. I remember more than once, screaming at the gods, at the universe, how it could allow someone as priceless as her, my friend, to be hurt in that way.

I used to do as she asked, you know. I walked with her. All over the place. Countless places I had no interest in going. Places I went, and did nothing. Why? Because. It helped her feel safe. Period. Seeing all six feet two inches of me, next to her, seeing the physical presence that is me, next to tiny, delicate, fragile her.

Guys left her alone. She told me that. “I said goodbye to you, while I stood you in the doorway to the class. And since that day, the guy that was harassing me, bothering me, wouldn’t leave me alone. He’s left me alone, and never bothered me since.”

Don’t tell me I don’t understand!

1984, in the halls of Dam Neck US Naval Base. When I stepped between my friend Denise. And the chaos that was a male sailor, who’d failed an exam yet again, and was lashing out, and being chased by the Military Police. And was physically resisting. When I placed her behind me, without hesitation. To keep her safe. To protect her.

From him.

Don’t tell me I don’t understand!

I understand so very well. I know what happened in 1996 through 2001, when I took Aikido classes, three times a week. I know what happened in those classes, every time a new behemoth male showed up to study. Either as a visitor from another dojo, or as a new regular at ours. I remember how I was endlessly singled out to partner with those individuals. Because.

I’m six feet two inches tall. And everyone in my Aikido class knew, including the instructor. I was tough as nails. And those behemoths were not a significant threat to me. It kept others safe. It reduced the risk of injury to them. It reduced the amount of pain they felt.

Don’t tell me I don’t understand!

I can speak countless stories from my 58 years of life. Am I perfect? No. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Do I have regrets? Yes.

And I will no longer accept blame for not being able to stop the independent actions of others. Do you get that? I will no longer nod my head, and say, “We must all stand up to the worst of ourselves, and stop them.”

I have learned, you see. I can change another, change another’s beliefs, another’s learned behavior, another’s sacred religious faith, another’s response to this world. Every bit as much as I can change lead into gold. Every bit as much as I can bring my four dead cats that I miss dearly back to life, and spend time with them. Every bit as much as I can tell the heavens, “There’s a drought in Phoenix! They haven’t had rain in 90 days! Make it rain there!” And have the heavens listen to me.

I cannot change another human being. All I can do is lead by my example. And pray, and wish, and hope, that other human being learns.

Monday, 12 December 2017, I logged out of my Facebook and twitter accounts. Because. Because of everything I just said above. Because. In the eyes of social media, I’m a guilty, privileged, racist, sexist, misogynistic white man. And I’m hell bent on defending the status quo, and keeping all my privileges.

You want to know why I shut down? Why I walked away.

I just told you.

If my reward for caring. My reward for changing myself, and for talking of those changes with others. My reward for defending women from men. My reward for supporting the rights of non-white people. My reward for standing for the rights, and freedoms, and even recognition of the right to exist, for people of non-binary gender. Is to be called, relentlessly, a privileged, racist, sexist, bigoted, hate filled white male, who can’t understand, and deserves to have every last shred of his existence taken from him, and should be placed in a prison camp, and made to work until he falls over dead from exhaustion, and gets raped endlessly by other, bigger male prisoners. If that is my reward for supporting others.

Then I will no longer support them.

And I will no longer care what they have to say.

And I will continue with my life. As best I can. As best I can learn how. Using what limited skills, and talents, and intelligence the universe granted me in this world.

To those who are concerned.

I’m done accepting the blame for the things I have not done.

And now, I’ve silenced you. I can no longer hear your words. You may scream at me all you wish. But so long as I do not exist in your world. I won’t know. And I will be free from your judgment of me.

And to those who can’t understand what I’ve just said. And how I can be so angry. Now you know. Now you know where all the angry white men have come from.

You made us.


#ThursThreads Week 293 : You’re Better Off Here With Me

It was 0530 hours, and the police arrived at the front door of Samantha’s home. They didn’t even pretend to be polite. They arrested Samantha’s parents, and took Samantha with them, to put her in protective services. One officer tried to keep them safe from harm. “You’re better off here with me. I can protect you from them. And whatever it is that’s blowing shit up.”

Samantha looked around, and saw nothing abnormal. But she spoke anyway. “You’re there, aren’t you. Watching.”

A voice from nowhere answered, “Yes.” The officers drew their guns. “I’m watching. And if you, or your parents are hurt. In any way.” I paused. The officers pointed guns at Samantha.

She nodded, “I know.”

I didn’t speak for a moment. The air was still. The neighbors watched, peaking from their windows, and standing on their front porches. “If they hurt you. I’ll know. And I’ll kill them all. Every last one of them.”

“Please,” she whispered, “hasn’t there been enough violence. Enough shooting. Enough dead people?” She waited a moment for me to answer, “Wasn’t what happened to Michelle enough?”

“They want everyone dead.” The officers swung their guns everywhere, looking for my voice, looking for me. “Even you, Samantha. Even you.”


“Because. You’re different.”

The officer next to Samantha spoke, “Who are you?”

“I am the violence.” My voice came from nowhere. “Birthed by blind hatred. That hatred dies, I go away.”

They never found me. No matter where they looked.

247 Words

Yet another part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 293 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.

That’s How We Roll

Her profile picture looked cute enough. And that was one problem. She had red hair, which I like. Red hair turned me stupid. I couldn’t focus around it. So, yeah. That was another problem. Facebook reported we had 39 friends in common. 39. A nice, safe number. She had green eyes. I knew from her profile pictures, she had green eyes. And two cats. Divorced. It was quite a problem list.

Why? Why was it a problem list?

See. I was me. A guy. Even worse. A 58 year old guy. Worse of all, a 58 year old white guy. You know what that means, don’t you. It means I was part of the problem. Part of what was wrong with the world. I was part of the patriarchy, part of the privileged people who couldn’t even see the problem. Couldn’t understand the problem. Even if I was one of the few who knew the problem existed, I couldn’t understand the scope of the problem. Or how privileged I was. Or how many freedoms I had. Because. I was a 58 year old white guy.

I’d never grown up wondering if I was going to be sexually assaulted at school. If the church pastor would get naked in my presence. If the father of my next door neighbor was going to shove his hands down my pants.

I’d never grown up wondering if I could get a job. Because. Everybody knew. White guys like me always got jobs. It was that simple. And it wouldn’t be a job mopping floors, or cleaning bathrooms. I was a white guy. I’d get a real job. Whatever the hell a real job was.

I never had to go into debt to get a college education. Never had to choose between eating dinner for a week, or making the student loan payment. Never had to lay face down on the street, spread eagled, to keep the cops from shooting me.

I was a white guy. You get that? A white guy.

And that was all the problems. And it would always be all the problems.

Oh, I knew the best part of that too. See. I was a white guy. That meant, if I wanted to be a friend to someone on a social network, or at work, or at church, or anywhere else. It was up to me. I had to make the effort to be the friend.

Because. I was a white guy. And we all knew, everybody knew, if you’re a woman, you don’t ask a guy to be your friend. That’s inappropriate.

So, I looked at her picture again. She was cute. And I was an older white guy. I thought that summed it up nicely.

I clicked on the button that said remove. Because. I knew the truth. It was wrong for me to ask. Because. I was a white guy. A 58 year old white guy.

And she was cute.

And she’d never ask.

So that was it. All I’d ever do was remember, from time to time, that I’d done the only thing I could. And pretended I’d never seen her picture.


Isn’t that how life is anymore? Especially for 58 year old white guys?

I finished checking for any messages, or interactions with people on Facebook. Then, I logged out. And closed the browser. And sighed. And I wondered what I’d do when my lady died. Not that there was much to wonder about. She was the only person I had in my life.

If she was gone…

I killed that thought. I knew I’d deal with that problem when it arrived. There was no sense in rushing it.

It was going to be another night of Ancient Aliens, and video games, and maybe some music videos on Youtube.



I was a 58 year old white guy.

And that’s how we roll.

That’s how we roll.