Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/06/02

The deck at the end of the walkway was it. There was nothing else, nothing left to explore, nowhere left to go, nothing left to see, or do. I’d walked out to the deck, the walkway just above the surface of the lake, and sat down.

“Is this all there is?” That’s the voice I kept hearing in my head. “Is this all there is?” I knew what it meant. It was the most obvious question I’d ever heard, really. “Is this all there is?”

I remember my mother, when I was in 10th grade, only 15 years old, “Do you have a plan for your life?” It was the same way with everyone. “What are you going to be when you grow up?” “What are you going to do for a living?”

The walkway was a straight line, maybe 100 feet long. It started at the edge of the lake, and extended straight out. At the end of it was the deck. I remember the guy at the lodge desk explaining, “This is one of the best features of the hotel. You can go out at night, under the stars, and the moon, and sit on the deck, and watch the stars, and the lake, and forget everything.”

My room was on the second floor of the building, its windows looked out over the lake. I could open the curtains with the lights out, and stay inside, and watch the lake from there. Like most people did. Sitting on the deck, I could see them, standing in the windows, or sitting in the chairs they’d pulled over to the windows.

They couldn’t feel the breeze. Hear the birds, frogs, crickets, or anything else. They were in the sealed environments of their rooms. Safe. Secure. With everything controlled. Planned. Organized.

On that deck I found myself thinking about limits to life, and how we make those limits. How we stop growing, exploring, learning, and settle into a single place, and never leave. Like walking to the deck on that walkway. A one way trip, with a known ending. Predictable. Safe.

If you stayed on that walkway, and that deck, you’d never touch the water of the lake. You could stick your feet or hands into the water, reaching over the edge. Almost no one ever did. If you stayed on that course, stuck with that plan, you’d never reach the other side of the lake. The walkway didn’t go that far. You’d never see what was hidden among the trees way over there. And those distant hills would remain distant hills.

If you stayed on that walkway, eventually you’d learn everything about it. Where to step to make something squeak. Where to step to be silent. What the walk was like in the rain. Perhaps, someday, you’d carry a chair out to the deck, and sit there. Or a computer, notebook, or book. Maybe you’d wander out with an easel, and paints, and try to paint the view.

But you’d always be on that same path. That same walkway. That same deck. Sometimes, there might be clouds, so you couldn’t see the stars. Sometimes, there might be smoke from a fire somewhere. Perhaps, one night it might be raining, with lightning, and you’d stay inside.

But always, the path would be the same. The walk would be the same. The end point would be the same. Nothing would ever change.

Then, I wondered, what would happen if you got a canoe, carried it out to the deck, put it on the water, and climbed into it. Would that break the rules? What would happen? Or, perhaps, you could carry that canoe to somewhere along the shore, and put it on the lake there, and climb into it.

In that canoe, you could cross the lake. Or go all the way around it, seeing the entire shore up close. You could pick a place on that shore, and land the canoe, get out, and explore.

You could change. You could grow. You could do something different.

Instead of walking the same path every day, to the same destination, and the same result.

Perhaps that’s why whoever build the walkway and the deck built them. To remind people. To remind us. To remind me. That I didn’t have to settle for the same path every day. The same endpoint. The same story.

That instead, I could make my own path, change where the journey went, and end up someplace new, someplace different. Maybe it wouldn’t be safe. Maybe it would be better. Maybe it wouldn’t. And that didn’t matter. What mattered was, I didn’t have to walk the same path every day, endlessly. I could leave the well worn, well traveled path. And try something different.

I spent the night staring at the stars, and the surface of the lake. I’d found what I’d been searching for. What I’d been missing for years. A single word.

Change.

It was past time that I did. “And I wonder. What will I find on the far side of the lake?”

844 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s week 109 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. 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.

#FlashMobWrites 1×18 : Savin Me

Zachary cried as they took down the flag in front of the capitol building. Some folks watching patted him on the back, not realizing his tears were not happy tears, but tears of loss, tears for his country as people nailed another nail into its coffin.

It wasn’t like he wanted slavery. He knew it was wrong to own other people. And he did think everyone was equal. But, that didn’t make everyone the same. Black and white people were different. They didn’t belong together, they belonged in separate places. And them homos, they were sick people, had some virus or something, and were infecting everybody.

He knew what to do. The Bible said if a man was sick, cast him out. If he lived, let the church leaders figure out if God had healed him before letting him back in.

Them people wanting the flag down wanted to have black and white people get married, and make babies, have men marry men, and women marry women. And that was sick.

“It’s time to start fixing all this shit. Time to start getting rid of the sick people, so the diseases they got won’t infect everybody.” That’s what he said that night, to his friends in the chat room. And they all said the same thing.

Zachary prayed a lot that night. “Grant me the strength to take down Satan’s minions, oh God almighty. Guide me, and my aim. Protect my family from the evil people of this world. Keep them pure and safe.”

At sunrise Zachary gathered his two handguns, and assault rifle. He signed in to the chat room one last time. Several of his buddies were there, checking to see if everyone was ready. They wished each other well. They wished each other victory. They prayed.

It was time to save his country.

He drove his car as he hunted Satan’s minions. People with that cursed rainbow flag thing, men kissing men, men holding hands, women kissing and holding hands, people walking with them. The weak, infected, sick people who didn’t know they were supporting Satan.

He found a group of six men, holding hands. He watched a couple of them kiss each other. Made him sick to watch. Several couples were with them, men and women, shaking hands with the sick men, everybody laughing, smiling.

He parked his car, climbed out, pulled his rifle off his back, checked it was ready to fire, and screamed, “For the glory of God!” People screamed, cried, ran. He made sure he shot all six of the sick men, made sure they were dead. Then, he got in his car, started hunting more of the sick.

“If it’s my time to die today, Almighty Father, then I’ll leave this life behind, and join your heavenly army.” He hoped he didn’t die, but if that’s what it took to save his country from Satan, then so be it.

487 words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×18, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×18. You might find something you like. But if you don’t try, how will you ever know?

#MWBB 24 : You Know I’m No Good

She was just one of an endless string of people in my life who never understood why I did what I did. Another in an endless string of people I wounded, disturbed, and left in confusion, tears and pain. That’s who I am. I’m no good.

She asked me on that Sunday in November, “Why? Why did you un-friend everyone from the church?” I’d expected her to ask. And I knew she’d never understand, never figure it out. Just like I knew I could explain what I’d done a million times, and she still wouldn’t understand.

But I tried to explain anyway. I’m stupid that way. Or, perhaps, I’m optimistic that way. Yeah. I’m a stupid optimist. That works.

“I didn’t leave because I don’t like them.”

“Then why did you leave?”

“To protect them.”

“To protect them? Protect them from what?”

“Me.”

I knew what was coming. I knew what would happen. The same thing that always happened. I’d learn to live a lie, behaving as expected in the group, so no one would be disturbed, or upset, by me. That’s how I cope with people. I figure out what they want me to become, how they want me to behave, and I become that. Because that makes them happy. That shuts them up. That gets them to leave me alone, and not say to me, endlessly, “But, you can’t be that way!” I would rip my heart and soul to ribbons to blend in, and keep them safe.

And if I decided to not blend in, behaved as me, who I really am, to say what I believe, live like I believe, well. That would leave everyone in her church asking, “What’s wrong with him?” and “Doesn’t he know he can’t be like that?” and “Doesn’t he know that’s wrong?”

They’d have never accepted my writing, especially when I wrote anything explicit. Men and women having sex is something church people don’t write about. Especially when they’re exploring different aspects of sex, trying things out. That’s disturbing and disruptive to them. Besides, that’s something church people just don’t do, and don’t condone, or accept in others. So, just by exploring things to write, I’d have wound up at odds with every person in her church.

I’d shut down my writing before. I gave my word to God, to life, I wouldn’t shut it down again.

Then there were the people I talked to, associated with, on the Internet. Gay rights supporters. Openly homosexual people, bisexual people, transsexual people. People of different races, colors, creeds, religions. Even self-proclaimed witches, pagans, and atheists. I could certainly talk to such people and not hear about it in church, not be criticized in church, not be told, “We’ll pray for you.”

I tried. I did. I tried to explain everything. Why I left. Why I put myself out of the reach of the people of her church. But she never understood. All she said was what I knew she would say.

“You can’t be that way.”

She never understood I am that way, and can’t be any other way. She never understood I’m broken, and no good. And now, she’s one of the endless list of people I’ve hurt, and left wounded, in my life. A list that grows, endlessly. Because no matter how I try, I can’t explain to anyone why I do what I do, why I am how I am. No one ever understands.

And I can’t live that lie of blending in any more. I can’t tear my heart to ribbons, or crucify my soul. I tried that for three decades. That blending in, and being safe, nearly killed me. Oh, I know. People tell me, “There was nothing wrong with you. You just had your through processes screwed up, that’s all.” They literally can’t understand, my thought processes aren’t screwed up. They’re different.

I’m different.

And in their world, I’m broken. And no good.

660 Words
@LurchMunster


My entry, in all its unedited glory, for week 24 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

Merry Christmas, Everyone

I walked today.
I had to.
I needed to think.
To escape the pressure
Of the holiday.
It’s insanity.
For just a little while.

Don’t tell me I can’t be this way.
I am this way.
Always have been.
Always will be.

There are things I’ve never said.
Because.
Because I know
They would be like
Throwing a torch
In a vat of gasoline.
Pressing a branding iron,
Glowing white-hot
From the fire it was heated in,
To the chest of everyone.
Even me.

Because I know
The reaction the words would receive.
The same reaction
They’ve received
Time after time.
For the last 53 years.

People resist change.

But I have to ask
A couple of things.
I won’t answer them.
I have answers of my own.
I’ll leave the reader
On their own
To find the answers.
Or to ignore the questions.
Or to rant and rave,
As they explain to everyone around them
Why I was removed
From the working world.
Why the people I once knew
Avoid me now
As if by simple contact
They could catch
Whatever’s wrong with me.

I can’t help but sigh.
And shake my head.
And wonder.
Will anyone I know
That is that way
Ever wake up?

I already know
The answer to that question.
I won’t say it.
I won’t share it.
It’s a question
Each of you must answer
On your own.

Don’t tell me that’s not fair.
Don’t tell me I should share.
Don’t tell me I’m being mean.
For you don’t believe
What I believe.
The answer’s different
For you and me.
Because we’re not the same.

And that’s how life’s supposed to be.

Think of your friends.
The people you know.
Those you go to lunch with.
Those you work with.
Those within your church.
Those within your group.
Your click.
Your peers.

What happens in that group
When you see someone
Who doesn’t dress like you?
Who doesn’t talk like you?
Who doesn’t shave each day, like you?
Who has long, stringy hair?

What happens in that group
When you see two men walking,
Holding hands?
When you see two women walking,
Holding hands?
When you see a man
Dressed in a Scottish Kilt?

How does your group react
To the girl with the tattoos
On her arms?
On her back?
On her legs?

How does your group react
To the girl dressed all in black,
With a long black skirt,
And platform boots
With big metal buckles on them.

How does your group react
To the girl with bright blue hair?
The one with a buzz cut?
The one with a collar
Around her neck?

And how about that guy
With an ear-ring in one ear?
What’s up with that?

How does your group react
To the man in the median?
You know the one.
With the little cardboard sign
That says,
“Will work for food.”

Or that 15-year-old girl
That’s six months pregnant.
And isn’t married.

Why is it you never think
Before you act?

I told you when I began
Writing down these words.
I wasn’t going to answer
Any questions that I asked.

And I’m not.
Instead I’m going to tell you
Once again.
The answers that I found
May not match the ones
You could find on your own.
I won’t share mine with you.
Because I have no way of knowing
If what I’ve learned
Is right for you or not.

I only ask the questions.

Find the answers
On your own.

Merry Christmas,
Everyone.

I’m Not Broken

Overwhelmed.
That’s a good word.
Very descriptive
Of how I feel
So very often.

Like now.

I keep telling myself
I’m not broken.
I’m not defective.
I’m not a failure.

I’m just different.

I keep reminding myself
There are others like me
Out there.
In the world.
That I’m really
Not alone.

And sometimes,
Despite everything.
Everything I’ve learned.
Everything I’ve experienced.
Everything I’ve been through.
I still feel
Broken.
Wrong.
Defective.

So, here I am.
Sitting at my desk.
Staring at the display.
Reading posts on facebook.
Reading tweets on twitter.
And oceans of flash fiction
Challenge entries.

I’ve tried explaining this
To my lady.
At least a billion times.
I’m not sure she understands.
But at least she knows.
What every day is like
For me.

Have you ever sat at a table,
In a restaurant,
With a group of people
You work with?
One of those lunch out things.
Someone’s leaving.
Someone’s getting older.
Someone’s getting married.
Yeah.
A lunch like one of those.

I bet you didn’t sit there
Praying to God above
You had any clue at all
About what was going on.
Wishing you could understand
How people could so easily
Talk to each other.
Moving from one conversation
To another.

I bet you didn’t sit there
Trying to figure out
How the person next to you
Knew when to smile.
Knew when to laugh.
Knew when to shut up
And be quiet.

I bet you didn’t sit there
Feeling like a failure.
Because every time you look around
Everyone but you
Is talking,
And having fun.
Telling stories.
Telling jokes.

And you don’t have a clue
How they know to do
The things they do.

It’s like I missed something
When I was growing up.
Like I never learned
A certain set of skills.
And now,
I’m stuck.
And never will.
No matter how hard,
Or how long
I try.

I was too stupid
To learn.
And now,
I’ll always feel that way
When I’m in a group.

I bet you don’t feel that way,
Do you.

I’ve left people behind
Many times before.
Because I couldn’t bridge the gap
Between myself and them.
Because I couldn’t understand
All the things they took for granted.
All the things they knew
Every body knows.

All the things they tell me
I’m supposed to know,
That I don’t even know
Are there.

I find myself feeling
Even now,
That I should burn
More bridges down.
Un-follow everyone on Twitter.
Un-friend every friend on Facebook.
To keep them safe from me.
So I won’t hurt them
When I do something,
When I say something,
I don’t know
I shouldn’t.

I find myself terrified,
Once more,
At the thought
Of being told,
“You can’t be that way.”
“You can’t do that.”
“You can’t say that.”
“What’s wrong with you.”
Once more.
Like I’ve been told
So many times before.

And always when I ask
That one word question,
“Why?”
I get the same answers,
“Because.”
“How can you not know?”
“Everyone knows why.”
“Quit playing games.”
“Grow up.”

No one understands
That I don’t know.
I really don’t.

And have you noticed
No one ever can explain?
No one ever answers
That single question,
“Why?”

I used to think
I was broken.
Defective in some way.
Because I never could fit in.
But I’ve learned otherwise.
I’ve learned the truth of me.
And others like me.
Living in a world
We never made.

In my case
It’s all caused
By my Autism Spectrum Disorder.
And I find it downright funny
That it’s been named
A disorder.

Kind of like saying
That a V8 car engine
Is an anomaly.

It’s not a disorder to me.
It’s just the way things are.
The way that I was born.
I’m just wired
A little differently.
That’s all.

There’s nothing wrong with me.
I’m just different.
As I’m supposed to be.

And I’ve learned.
When I get that feeling
That I should block out
Everyone.
To keep them safe from me.
I’m just feeling tired.
And overwhelmed.
By the time and effort
That it takes me
Just to keep up with
People around me.

And all I really need
Is to give myself some time
To step through all the things
That have me overwhelmed.
And process them.
And when that’s done
I know.

I don’t have to leave.
I don’t have to run.
I don’t have to burn
Any bridges down.

I just have to let the people
That I know,
The people that know me,
Know that sometimes
I just have to take a break
To catch up to everything.

That I’m not like them.
That it’s hard for  me
To keep up with
More than a few people
At one time.

And keeping up
Just overwhelms me
From time to time.

And once I take that break
Then I’ll be OK.

Until the next time
I get overwhelmed.

It’s a cycle
That will never end.
I know.

But that doesn’t mean
That it won’t change with time.
As I learn to let the people
Around me know.

I’m not broken.
And I’m not going away.
That I really can
Be the way I am.
And they’ll just have to accept
That every now and then
I get overwhelmed.
And just have to stop,
And take a break.

I’m not broken.
I’m just different.
OK.

Now,
About that break.

#ThursThreads : Different

#ThursThreads Week 23 – Honorable Mention

[Author’s Note : This was my entry in @SiobhanMuir‘s #ThursThreads Flash Fiction challenge. This week’s judge was @Madison_Woods. Lots of really good entries this week. I enjoyed reading every last one of them. Go read them. It’s worth the time. #ThursThreads Week 23]

“I’m left-handed, you know.” My doctor didn’t say a word. He just nodded his head. So I continued. “You remember what it was like to be left-handed in the 60s and 70s?” He still said nothing. So I kept going. “I can remember having to stand at the blackboard. After school. And write. 100 times. Right-handed.  I will not write left-handed.” Still, my doctor said nothing. “I’m 53 now. I was in 3nd grade then. That happened 45 years ago.”

It was so long ago, but the memories hadn’t faded. I could still see the 3rd grade teacher, sitting at her desk. Watching me write. Every so often, she’d get up, and correct some technical mistake in how I held the chalk, or formed letters. I filled the entire blackboard. Column after column of words. All saying, “I will not write left-handed.” My right arm ached. My right fingers ached. My right wrist felt like someone was hammering a nail through it.

When it was over, I remembered the words my teacher said to me. “We’ll teach you to be normal, yet. We’ll fix what’s wrong with you, so you’ll be like everyone else. Normal.”

That night I cried. Silently. In my room. In my bed. It was the first time I understood how people treat those that aren’t like them.

Choices (1)

I found myself wondering
As I walked along today
About what would happen
If I had the money
Of Bill Gates.
So that I could buy
Anything I wanted to,
Because the price of things
Never entered the equation.

Of course, I started
With the car.
“What kind of car would I buy
If I could buy any car that’s made
On the planet Earth?”

Would I buy a Lamborghini?
Or perhaps a Ferrari?
Would I buy that Ford Mustang
Shelby GT 500 Convertible?
Perhaps I’d go overboard
And by the Bugatti Veyron
16.4 Super Sport?

Perhaps, instead of buying
Just another car,
I’d buy something
From the land of trucks?
Like a fully loaded
F-450 King Ranch.
One of those trucks that scares away
All the little cars around these days.

As I thought about
The kind of car I’d buy
It occurred to me
That all those thoughts
Were what I’d been taught
By this world
That I live in.

And the truth is
That I’d buy a car
That would be a big surprise
To everyone.

Like a Mitsubishi i Electric Vehicle,
Or a Nissan Leaf.
Something I could really use.
Something practical.
Something I could use
Every day.

Then I thought about
Other things.
Like going on a camping trip.
If I could do that
Any way I wanted.
How would I do that?

Would I buy
A big honking RV?
One of those buses.
With sides that pop out.
And a full bath.
So you can get a shower.

The kind you can hide in
When the weather’s bad.
That has an air conditioner
That can turn the heat
Of Death Valley
Into a nice spring day.

One with TVs everywhere.
And a big satellite dish.
So you could watch TV
From wherever you are.

And I realized
That I would not do that.
I’ve learned
That I’d like to stay outdoors.
In the wild.
I remember all to well
How much fun I had
Last spring
When I slept outside
In my back yard
In my tent.
All by myself.

If I’m going camping
I’m not going in a home
That’s better than my house.
I’ll take my tent
And enjoy very much
Just being alive.
Where I can hear
The birds sing
In the middle of the night.
Where I can hear the sounds
Of a river or a creek
If there’s one nearby.
Of the sound of the ocean
If I’m camping at the beach.

I don’t want to go camping
Encased in a mobile home.
Protected from everything.
So I can just be numb.

I thought about
The mobile phone.
And what it is becoming.
How damn near everyone
Now owns
This creation called
A Smart Phone.
Some big piece of glass
Plastic,
Graphite
And metal.
With a touch screen no less.
So that they can use it
As a phone.
Or a camera.
Or a game system.
Or half a dozen
Other things.

And I thought about
How I don’t want one
Of those things.
Because they strike me
As a waste
Of time and resources.

I’ll stick with just a basic phone.
Without all that other stuff.
One that I can use
To make phone calls,
And write text messages.
One that I can have with me
In case some one in my family
Needs to get in touch with me.

That other stuff
Is just like icing
On a cake.
It would make me
Fat and lazy.
So I don’t want it
At all.

Another question
Popped into my head
While I was on my walk
This morning.
Would you buy an iPad,
Or a Netbook?

Now I already know
From the sales figures I’ve seen
That the iPad
Outsells Netbooks
On it’s own.

Hell.
It’s not even close.
Thanks to the iPad,
The netbook’s
All but dead and gone.

But you now.
I’ve played with an iPad
Many times.
And I find
It doesn’t work for me.
That with a tablet,
No matter what kind,
I can’t type
One damn thing.
On a touch screen,
I get pushed back
To the days
Before I learned to type.
And I have to
Hunt and peck.
One stupid letter at a time.

Thank you,
But no.
When the Netbook that I’m on
Right now,
Finally bites the dust.
I’m going to search the ‘Net,
And find a new one
To replace it.

And in doing so,
I’ll save a ton of cash.
‘Cause the truth is
You can almost buy 2 Netbooks
For the price of one iPad.

There are so many questions
That I asked today
While I was on my walk.
But I know
From the answers
That I have
To the questions
That I asked.

I’m doing well.
And I’m OK.
I’m just a bit different
It seems.
From a lot of people
That I’ve know
In this life
That I’ve been given.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’ll Try So Hard To Learn Your Ways

OK, God.
There’s something I would talk about
With you on this day.
And I know that you already know
Every word
That I would say.
And every question
I would ask
Today.

But I’m going to say the things
That I feel I need to say.
And I’m going to ask the questions
That are eating away at me
Today.

And I know
That doesn’t surprise you
One damn bit.

First I wish to say thank you.
For making me the way you have.
For the differences
In my neurology
That I was born with.
Because I’m learning
That those very differences
Are the source
Of the differences
That I’ve been blessed with.

Thank you
For placing me
Outside the little box
That makes up
The society
In which I live.

I can’t help but believe
That you made me this way
So that I would come
To understand your ways
Better than I could have
If I’d been made
Any other way.

I’ve lost count, God
Of how many times
I’ve heard a Christian say,
“I saw a man
Wearing a dress.
And it made my stomach turn.”

I’ve reached the point
Where I find I can’t
Remain silent any more
When I hear that.
Because while I hear those words,
I hear something else
That remains unspoken
To this day.

“Someone kill that fagot,
And get his kind
Out of my world.
They all deserve to die.”

And you know, God.
That just doesn’t strike me
As the way that you want
Christians
To really be.

Now, I know that homosexuality
Is something that you don’t approve of.
I understand that
Very well.
But, damn-it, God,
I just can’t understand
Why Christians can’t see in the least
The sins they are committing
When they carry in their hearts
Hatred,
And violence,
Of the kind I see
When they say such things.

I mean, hell, God!
It’s not like none
Of those devoted Christians
That say such things
Are without sin themselves.
Hell,
I have to wonder
How many of them
Get their jollies off
In the bathroom
With a magazine
Or a raunchy book,
And their own two hands?

I assume they’ve never read the words
Of the Bible that declare
How much of a sin
That masturbation is.
If they have,
I sure can’t tell it
From the way that they behave.

And you’ll never convince me,
God,
That any male I’ve ever known
Has never humped his wife
Without imagining she was someone else
At least one time.

Sin is sin.
Let’s be honest now.
It’s no wonder
You know,
That I can’t go to churches
Filled with people
That live that way.

There’s many things like this
That I don’t understand at all,
God.
And I know
That you already know.

Like the questions that I have
About the Bible,
God.
I do believe,
You know,
That it’s the best interpretation
That we mortals have
Of the words
You’ve shared with us.
That it’s the best tool
We have ever had
To learn your ways.

But, I keep running into people
In the Christian ranks
That conveniently ignore
How the Bible was created.
How it came to be.
The way that it was written.

If you ever want
To piss one of them off,
Ask them how Abraham,
King David,
The 12 disciples,
And Paul,
Managed to gain such favor
With you, Lord,
Before there was a Bible
At all.

And then you can tick them off
Even more
By telling them the facts
Of how the New Testament
Came to contain
The books that it contains.

Talk about politics.
It’s a hell of a story,
God.
And the effect
That the politics had
On the final content
Of the Bible
Are well known.

Anyone can go read them
If they want.

But no.
Too many people that I know
Look at such a topic
And they scream at me,
“Shut up!
It’s all a lie!
It’s just a test
Of faith to me!”

As if they’re screaming
At the top of their lungs,
“I’ll believe
What I damn well want to!
Don’t bother me
With the facts
From history!
I don’t care how things happened.
That doesn’t matter in the least
To me!
I’m going to cling to
The things that I believe,
No matter what!”

Hell.
We may as well have stayed
Back in the days
When the Earth was flat,
And the entire universe
Was centered on it.

Why can’t people
Just look to you
And do the simple thing?

God,
There’s so very much
In this life
That I don’t know.
And I don’t understand.

And I know
I fuck up
Every single day.
And would be lost forever
In the darkness
Of this life.
But for one single thing.

You’re son
Gave his life
For me.
To pay for the mistakes
That I make
Every day.

I don’t know
Where all the other shit
Came from,
God.

I really,
Really don’t.

It’s like Christianity
Has lost it’s way.
And can no longer hear
The words you say.

Help me to do things
Your way.
I know I’ll fail.
Hell,
I’ll fail miserably.

But I know
That through your love
For each one of us,
Despite the sins we make
Every single day.

I can be forgiven.
And if I’m blessed
With another day of life
On this world that you made.

I’ll get to try again
On another day.

And that’s what I’ll try to do
For you
My King.

I’ll try so hard
To learn your ways.

The Artist

There is someone I know
That I first met
Not that long ago.
She has a beautiful
Heart and soul.

She takes pictures
With her camera.
And I have seen
Some of the pictures
That she takes.
And they are striking.

The balance in her images.
The use of space.
The use of color.
The way everything is framed.
She’s very talented indeed.

But there’s something
In the way
This world has treated her
That disturbs me.
Causing me to remember
The scars in my own heart
And soul.

Scars I did not put there.

And that just makes me
Angry.

I was injured
By this world
That we all live in,
Just because I’m different.
And I don’t see things
The same way
As the people around me.
And I don’t understand
The way things are.
Or why people
Can be so very cold.
As if their hearts had frozen
Cold as ice
And hard as stone.

There are so very many people
That just seem to me
To have no heart
Or soul.
That have died inside.
And now just march
Through endless days
Where nothing ever changes.
And if they encounter anything
Or anyone
That does not see the world
The same way as them.
They throw that someone
Out.
They get rid of him.
Or her.

My friend once had a job
In this world she never made.
Nearly 2 years ago.
But she did not fit in.
She was different.
And because she was,
She was thrown away.

And this world
That I never made
Has not let her work
At anything
Since then.

This makes me damn angry.

There are those that ask me
How I can hate this world
So very much.
How I can be angry
Like I am.
Where the frustration I live with
Comes from.

I’ve tried to explain.
But none of them has understood.
All they’ve ever said is,
“You can’t live that way!”

They don’t understand
That I can’t live at all
They way they do.
That doing so
Would flat kill me.

I tried, you know.
For 29 years
In the land of work.
I tried to blend in.
And behave
Like all of them.

I’ve been recovering from that,
Every single day now
For the past 15 months.
That’s how wounded I became
Trying to do things
Like everyone else declared
Was the only way to live
In this world
I never made.

My doctor wonders when
I’ll strike out on my own,
To earn a living
For myself.
To be my own
Employer.

Because my doctor knows
That this world
I never made
Tore my heart apart.
And shredded
My very soul.

And now I see
The way this world
That I never made
Has hurt my friend.

And people are stupid enough
To ask me why
I’m angry?

Really?

My friend takes pictures
That are beautiful.
That are works of art.
I don’t care
What other people think.
What other people say.

Unlike them.
I still have a heart.
One that isn’t frozen
Hard as stone
And cold as ice.

And my heart says to me
That my friend
Is an artist.

And that this world
That I never made
Is a sad place indeed
If it turns away
People like me.

And my friend
The Artist.

I know that with time
I will find my own way
In this world
That I never made.

And I know too
That given time
And patience.
And a never ending faith
In her self.

My friend,
The artist,
Will find her own way too.

Our Warriors

I have seen the stories
On the TV.
In the newspapers.
I have watched
The documentaries.
Of the warriors.

The young men
That we sent
To war.
In Iraq.
And Afghanistan.

I’ve seen the stories
Of how they changed.
And they weren’t the same
When they returned
To their homes.
To their families.

Of course they changed.
How could anyone
See the things
They saw.
Live through the things
They lived through.
And be the same?

They’ve been shot at.
They’ve been hated.
They’ve seen others warriors
Around them.
Some even their friends.
Their comrades.

Die.

They’ve done their job
Every day
They were deployed.
Never knowing
If they’d be alive
To see the sun rise
Of another day.

And people say,
“You’ve changed!”

Of course they’ve changed!

I have an ASD.
I don’t fit in.
I’m not exactly like
The people around me.
And I don’t understand
Why people have
Such a hard time
Talking with me.
And just being my friend.

And I see the warriors
In the documentaries.
And I read their stories.
And I know.

They’re different people now.
They’re not like
The people they protect.
The people they fight for.
They’re different.
They’ve changed.

They know the true value
Of life.
How very fragile it is.
How easily
Someone can take it away.
How easily
An accident can happen.

They’ve lived with that
Every single day
They were deployed.

My own uniqueness tells me
That they see the world
Differently
Than they used to.
That being deployed
Exposed them to so many things.

And when they returned home,
To their families
And friends.
Those families
And friends
Expect them to be the same?

People are sometimes
Just flat stupid,
Aren’t they.

Like you,
I’ve heard the stories
Of the families
Now gone.
Of the warriors
That now live alone.

How they seek out
Each other.
Not so much because
They became friends
In the places they have been.
But because
They understand
Each other.

My soul cries tears for them.
For I can not help but know
That they are different
From the people around them.

And I know
All too well
How our society,
Our culture,
Our way of life,
Treats those
That are different.

It gets rid of them.

These are our warriors.
These are our heroes.
These are the men
And women
That did our fighting
For us.

And when we bring them home
We reward them
By avoiding them.

Just because they’re different.
And they behave
In ways that we
Don’t understand.

When will people learn
The true meaning of the word
Diversity?

When will people learn
How to accept others
As they are?
And not expect them
To become someone
That’s just like them?

The warriors
Are heroes.
I don’t pretend to understand
The nightmares
That they have
Every night of life.

I don’t pretend to know
The things they feel
In their hearts and souls.

But I wish.
Oh, how I wish.
That the people of this world
Would accept them
As they are.

They’re not broken.
They’re not violent.
They’re different.
They’ve been changed
By the things
That they’ve been through.

Grow up
Americans!
And treat them
As the heroes
That they are!

Help them to come home.
Help them to feel welcome.
Help them to feel safe.
Find a way
To show them
That we know
They’ve changed.

And that even through they have
They’re still welcome here.
That they don’t have to be
Just like
You and me.

They’re our warriors.
Don’t throw them away.
Don’t forget them.

They’re OUR warriors.

We should take care of them.