Oh, Nothing That Matters, And So What If It Did…

Gonna ask a series of questions. ‘Cause I want people to see how I see the social system in the USA. And why it infuriates me so. Don’t answer. Keep your answers to yourself. This is not a poll. This is not a contest. There is not a right or wrong answer. Just a bunch of questions.

Question 1 : You have a choice between two (2) new cars, and only two (2) new cars. Those cars are:

A : Toyota Yaris

B : Toyota Avalon

Which car do you choose?

Question 2 : You have a choice between two (2) new motor vehicles, and only two (2) new motor vehicles. Those vehicles are:

A : Toyota Yaris

B : Toyota RAV4

Which vehicle do you choose?

Question 3 : You have a choice between two (2) new cell phones, and only two (2) new cell phones. Those phones are:

A : Kyocera DuraXV Plus

B : Apple iPhone 6s

Which cell phone do you choose?

Question 4 : You have a choice between two (2) new computers, and only two (2) new computers. Those computers are:

A : Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series Laptop, Non-Touch

B : Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Performance Multimedia Laptop

Which computer do you choose?

OK. One last question. Look at your answers. Are they your answers, or are they the answers you’ve learned as a member of the USA social system?

Just pondering life…


#FlashMobWrites 1 x 44 : The Remedy

I let the police deal with gathering evidence from her apartment, and find her car. I let them do their job, and try to figure out who’d last seen her alive, where she’d been, what she was doing, who she was with.

That information wouldn’t lead anywhere. It seldom did. I had to do something different. Something only an Armor could do. Something only I could do.

I started by visiting the people she worked with. The man who sat in the cube next to hers. What do you do when your computer stops what it’s doing, and asks, “When was the last day Darla came to work?” He turned the screen off, then back on. The question remained. He turned the computer off, then on. Still, the question remained, even on the login screen. He unplugged the computer, and the question showed up on a sheet of paper that landed on his keyboard. He got up, went to the restroom, and the question was written on the mirror he looked into. He gave up. He typed “Last Thursday”.

The question changed, “Did she have a date that night?”

“I don’t know.”

“Who might know?”


“Thank you.”

The questions stopped.

They started again on Debbie’s computer. “Did Darla have a date last Thursday?”

Debbie stared at her screen.

“Debbie, did Darla have a date?”

She looked around.

“This is not a prank.” I paused a moment, then continued, “You know Darla’s been murdered, don’t you?” Her expression showed she didn’t. “Oh. Sorry.”

Debbie stared at her screen, and spoke, “She hasn’t been at work for days.”

“I know.”

“She doesn’t answer her phone, or text messages, or email.”

“She’s dead, Debbie. The police are looking for who did it.”

“Are you the police?”

“No.” I paused. “Debbie. Did she have a date last Thursday night?”

Debbie nodded.


“Her boyfriend.” Debbie whispered, “Tyler. I don’t know his last name.”

“Thank you, Debbie.”

“Is she really dead?”

“Yes.” I added Mrs. Whitson’s phone number. “Her mother’s phone number. Call.”

I left Debbie’s cube, but I wasn’t done yet. I found Darla’s desk, opened a storage door on my armor, pulled out the pink rose I’d stored there, and set it on the desk, with a card that read, “You are missed,” and had the date, time, and location of the memorial service Mrs. Whitson was planning.

I watched as Debbie and the man found their way to Darla’s cube. I watched as word spread like it always does. Phone calls were made. People cried. Chaos ensued. And with all that racket, no one noticed the door of the building open and close by itself.

444 Words

This is Part 3 of a story I’m writing using the prompts for the #FlashMobWrites challenge. #FlashMobWrites is hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites Week 1×44. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?


I sit in the dark tonight.
My cat sits on my lap.
She keeps me company.
I need company tonight.
I grab my music player.
Push the ear plugs in my ears.
Turn it on
And let my music play,
And I close my eyes.

It’s been a hard day.

Songs fill my head,
Drowning out the voices
I hear every moment
I’m awake.
Drowning out the chaos
Of a million different thoughts,
A million different perspectives,
On everything in life.

The differences between people.
Between men and women.
Between the left and the right.
Between Christians of all kinds.
The religions of the world.
And endless chain of thoughts.

Thoughts of right and wrong.
What is right?
What is wrong?
How does who you are,
Where you live,
What you believe,
What you learn,
Affect the definitions
Of right and wrong?

What are morals?
What are ethics?
What is religion?
Is there white privilege?
Is that something we’ve made up?
Is there such a thing
As a rape culture?
Or is that something different people
See in different ways?
Is it sexual harassment when you tell someone at work
They look good one day?
Or is that something our media
Have conditioned us to say?

It’s like this every night.
And endless string of questions.
And endless string of thoughts.
Echo in my head.
No one knows.
No one sees.
I keep it all inside.
Hidden from everyone.
Except for me.

It’s silent in the darkness of the night.
With the lights turned off.
With nothing on TV.
And me
Getting ready for bed.
To rest my weary head.

But it’s in the silence,
In the dark,
When the thoughts I bury endlessly,
Float to the surface.
Shattering the silence of the night,
With endless thoughts,
And endless questions,
From countless voices.
In my head.

That’s when I reach for my music.
Why I turn it up.
Why I use it.
To drown out the questions.
And silence the many thoughts.
That otherwise would echo in my head.
In the silence
Of the darkness
Of the night.

It’s April 22nd, the 18th day of the A to Z Challenge 2015. This is the 18th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April for the challenge. This one’s for the letter S. Tomorrow brings the letter T. I wonder what I’ll write for that.


L is for…

If love is the way,
I find myself wondering
Why do we have wars?

If life is priceless,
Why do we let people die
While we keep our cash?

If love is the way,
Why are there homeless people
Dieing on our streets?

Is there liberty
When we bully and abuse
Those who aren’t like us?

If love is the way,
Why do we jail people who
Steal food when starving?

I know, I know. It’s April 16th. I was out of town on the 14th and 15th, so I’m trying to catch up. With that in mind, here’s all I came up with for the letter L for the 2015 A to Z Challenge. This is the 12th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April. Next up is M.

I Mustache You Some Questions

So, Miranda tagged me for the Mustache Survey, and I decided to play along. Here’s the answered survey.

Four Names People Call Me Other Than My Real Name:

  1. Et
  2. The Old Guy With The Ponytail
  3. Lurch
  4. The Wizard

Four Jobs I’ve Had:

  1. Grocery bagger
  2. Produce department employee
  3. Computer Software Engineer
  4. Geek Squad

Four Movies I Have Watched More Than Once:

  1. Enchanted
  2. Lord Of The Dance
  3. Real Men
  4. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Four Books I’d Recommend:

  1. Goodspeed by February Grace
  2. Gaea’s Chosen: The Mayday Directive by Cara Michaels
  3. The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss
  4. Beneath The Rainbow by Lisa Shambrook

Four Places I Have Lived:

  1. Merigold, Mississippi
  2. Middletown, Rhode Island
  3. Annapolis, Maryland
  4. Chesapeake, Virginia

Four Place I’ve Been:

  1. San Jose, California
  2. Dallas, Texas
  3. Atlanta, Georgia
  4. Sanibel Island, Florida

Four Places I’d Rather Be Right Now:

  1. Norfolk Botanical Garden
  2. Sanibel Island
  3. Cabrillo National Monument
  4. Tybee Island

Four Things I Don’t Eat:

  1. Jalapenos
  2. Oysters
  3. Buffalo Wings
  4. Wasabi Peas

Four Of My Favorite Foods:

  1. Pizza
  2. Burgers
  3. Bar-B-Que
  4. Peanut Butter

Four TV Shows That I Watch:

  1. Agents Of Shield
  2. NCIS
  3. Agent Carter
  4. Dancing With The Stars

Four Things I Am Looking Forward To This Year (2015):

  1. Spring
  2. Taking long walks at MacKay Island National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Taking long walks at Norfolk Botanical Garden
  4. Surprise day-trips with her.

Four Things I’m Always Saying:

  1. Humans. Geeze.
  2. Brain Damage
  3. I’m good (in my evil kinda way)
  4. Are we having fun yet?

Four People I’ll tag: (Only Play If You WANT To :))

  1. D Savannah George
  2. Raiscara Avalon
  3. Rebecca Grace Allen
  4. Rebekah Postupak

What If I Get It Wrong?

A blank screen. Yeah. That. Nothing on it. And I’m supposed to fill it in with words. Make a story. Produce a literary “big bang”, producing something from nothing. Creating a world where none existed.

Yeah. That.


Life disturbs me. I find myself thinking, this morning, “Life’s another blank screen, ain’t it?” Yeah. That. Nothing filling it. No plan. No plot. No dreams. No goals. Nothing. And I’m supposed to fill it in. Make it something. Produce a living “big bang”, turning an empty slate into something. Creating me from a blank sheet of paper.

Yeah. That.

Such simple questions. People ask them all the time. “Who are you?”, and “What do you want?” “What do you believe?” and “What do you think?” and “What do you feel?”

And I’m learning, slowly, painfully, that I don’t know. I don’t know the answers to any of those questions. I live. I work. I do what I’m supposed to. But, what does that mean?

Yeah. 54 years old, and I can’t answer the same question our social system expects children to answer. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Well. I can answer it. But no one likes the answer. “I don’t know. And I don’t really care. And why does it matter anyway?”

There’s oceans of pressures in life. Everyone saying, “make a decision.” I’ve figured that much out. “What do you want to be? What do you want to do? Who are you?” I couldn’t tell you when those questions started. When I started feeling like people were always asking them of me. How many times I’ve felt like they want an answer. Something other than, “I don’t know.” Certainly something other than, “Why do I have to answer that? Why can’t I just wonder around, and see what happens?”

Sometimes, I think I don’t really want to know the answer to any of those questions. Sometimes I think I don’t want to know who I am. What I want. How I feel. Sometimes, I think I should just be happy, and content, not knowing. I don’t have to make any decisions, do I?

See. I’ve learned. Making decisions is painful. That’s the best way to get hurt, wounded, hammered, scared. Make a decision. Make a choice. Take an action. Deliberately. I did that. I did!

Four years ago.

It didn’t end well.

I’ve tried before. Like back in high school. And in college. Making decisions. Taking action. It never ended well.

My doc says, “You’re being vague, Mark. Be more precise. Be definitive. Be direct. Stop being so vague.”

But. But. But. If I’m vague, I don’t have to say what I think. I don’t have to figure out what I feel. I don’t have to know the answers. Any of the answers. To any of the questions.

Like “Who am I?”

I hate that question.

That question terrifies me.

If I know who I am, if I answer, what does it mean? How does it end? What happens next? What happens if the world around me knows who I am, what I feel, what I want to be, what I want to do?

Yeah. That.

Do I have to make a choice? Do I have to figure out me? Is it so wrong to not know? And to not want to know?

And what if I get it wrong?

#ThursThreads, Week 65 – Nothing Personal, Kid

The two men tied dad up, sat him in a chair, and tied him to it. They did the same thing with Tommy’s dad. One of them came over to me, “Nothing personal, kid. We’re just doing what we’ve been paid to do.”

He turned to the other man, “Are we ready?”


He turned back to me, “Go to your room. Cover your head with a pillow, so you can’t hear anything.”

“What are you going to do?” I was scared. I felt like I was going to throw up. The two men had guns. They wore gloves and masks. They were black from head to toe. I had no idea what they looked like, other than mean.

“We’re going to ask a few questions,” the man answered.

The other man commented, “They might not want to answer. And our job’s to make them answer.”

My dad said, “Go to your room, Bobby. And cover your ears, so you can’t hear anything.” He looked at both the strange men, “It’ll be alright.”

It was one of those rare times when dad lied to me. I knew he was lying. He knew I could tell. I went to my room, and covered my years. I tried so hard not to hear anything.

That was twenty years ago. I can still hear the sounds of those men beating on Dad, and Tommy’s Dad. I can still hear the sounds.

247 Words

I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 65. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.