Scars

She would cut herself so that she could feel something, so that she could feel anything at all. On the surface she was lovely, innocent, and sweet…but the incisions and scars she marked herself with, in places she knew that no one would ever see, made her feel like she looked the same on the outside as she did within.
Beneath the surface she felt only scar tissue remaining, scars layered over scars, reapplied year after painful year.
Each time she felt the fine line of the razor slicing through the skin of her chest or upper arm, she felt something other than numb, which was the only thing she’d felt for years, until she learned the trick of forcing herself to feel.
No one would ever see her wounds, because she never let anyone close enough to see her exposed.
The only men to ever see the unblemished flesh now turned to a lacerated patchwork were the horrible men her drunken father had let into her room at night to pay off his debts.
Those men were all gone now, many of them dead she knew, all erased from her life but for fragmentary recollections of their leering faces and cruel smiles embedded in her tangled psychology.
But the scars remained.
She dreamed of a day when a man might come along who she could trust enough to lay herself bare, but she knew that there was no one out there who would look at her and accept her, the broken thing she had become.
The scars on the outside served as a reminder for her, that she could never be naked or comfortable with anyone again.
But she was wrong.
One day she met a strange man who wouldn’t look away from her. It wasn’t unusual for men to stare, she knew that she was pretty and appealing to men. The prolonged gazes turning her stomach with reminders of the things that had been done to her in the past.
But there was something in this man’s gaze that drew her attention in a way that no one else ever had. He didn’t look at her with the same vacuous hunger that she saw so often.
There was hunger in his eyes, no doubt, but there was something more.
He looked sad, as he took her in, like he could see right through her and it pained him to see whatever it was that he saw. She felt like he was seeing right through the sleeved dress she was wearing, to the scars that littered her pale skin and deeper still, into the old wounds within.
She noticed him again, time after time, as he seemed to reappear wherever she happened to be.
And always that same look in his eyes.
Finally, after weeks of this, she walked over to him, angry and curious, nervous and intrigued.
Before she could get to him, he reached to the front of his shirt and peeled it open, buttons popping as he exposed a chest crisscrossed with scars that rivaled her own.
He grabbed her hand in silence and placed her palm over his chest where she could feel the textured ridges and he placed his hand over her own.
Beneath her touch his scars began to fade.
He took his other hand and placed it over her chest…where her own scars were able to be felt through the cotton of her blouse and she instinctively placed her hand over his.
She could feel an itching and burning where his hand met her flesh, only the thin layer of cloth in between.
Her own flesh was mending, and the heat of the touch was almost painful, but a different sort of pain from what she’d experienced when inflicting the damage.
A strange man with horrific scars of his own had found her and seen her for what she was…and recognized the shared pain.
He had shown her that they could heal one another. If she could heal him with her touch, then he could heal her. She could feel something changing deeper inside, beneath the mending flesh. The scars within were being erased as well.
The broken mend the broken and the scars fade.
Those on the inside as well as those on the surface.

Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing

In a small and all but forgotten town, a long way from here, there was a little girl who lived with an aunt she barely knew. Her own parents had passed away a long time before and her older brother had gone into foster care because the aunt couldn’t care for them both.

In an old house, a house with leaking pipes and creaking boards the girl grew into a young woman; no matter how old though, she was still afraid as soon as the light died down outside.

She imagined monsters of all shapes and sizes, creatures that defied description prowling around in the night’s blackness, within the house and without.

One night, her aunt failed to return home from the diner where she’d worked as a waitress and the girl worried and worried as the hours ticked by.

She sat backward on the sofa in the living room, peeking through the curtains where she pulled them apart just enough to peer outside into the gloom, scared and alone as she prayed for her aunt to return home.

A pair of headlights finally startled her from the slumber she hadn’t known she was slipping into, a car door opened and slammed shut, and feet drummed against the gravel drive and onto the porch before the door came swinging open and crashing shut behind a strange young man she faintly recognized.

His brow glistening with sweat her brother smiled at her briefly before his face returned to grim seriousness and words began spilling from his lips. He told her that he had wanted to surprise her with a visit. He’d just turned 18 the week before and had called their aunt to arrange for this.

The little girl leapt up from where she’d perched stiffly against the back of the sofa and ran to her brother, squeezing her arms around him so tightly that she might have cracked a rib and interrupting his speech.

She asked where their aunt was and he didn’t have time or presence of mind to mask the truth. Something terrible had happened to her while he’d waited in the parking lot for her to finish up her shift.

Some strange men, dressed as hunters, had come in late, near the end of her shift, and she had refused to kick them out no matter how late it was.

Those men did monsterous, horrible things, and the little girl’s brother had tried to stop them.

The men came after him and he jumped into his car and sped away for the run down old house where he knew his sister was alone.

A pair of headlights tracked him the whole way, edging closer and falling back as he raced along the back roads trying to get to the house.

As he breathlessly neared the end of the story, the sound of two doors shutting outside reverberated through the sinking hearts of the brother and sister.

There were, that night, two monsters prowling around in the darkness, and they had already hurt the girl’s family.

But they weren’t the only ones.

From the rear of the house the girl heard the scratching and shuffling that had filled her with terrified visions so many nights, accompanied by the sound of labored breathing and the almost silent thrumming of subdued growls.

And from the gloom and shadows a giant, misshapen figure began to emerge, covered in hair, mouth bristling with teeth.

Her nightmares had never painted an image so horrible as what she was actually seeing.

And behind that first abomination appeared another, followed by two more.

The monsters she had feared were in fact quite real.

Her brother turned toward those lurking creatures and smiled with recognition…and for all that it could, the monster in front smiled back.

The brother looked down to his sister, grabbed her tear-soaked cheeks in his palms , gently turned her face to his, and whispered, “Stay here. Stay inside with the monsters. They’ll keep you safe. I’ll be right back.”

Before she could utter a word of argument he was walking through the front door as the creatures from the darkness moved closer to her and circled protectively around her.

There were sounds of violence outside followed by drunken laughter as someone fell to the ground.

Loud footsteps approached the front door from the porch outside, and she knew it wasn’t her brother coming back to her.

The door burst open with a crash and through it strode the two hunters her brother had spoken of.

Alcohol on their breath and blood on their hands and sleeves, they strode confidently into the foyer before they saw the little girl and the beasts that surrounded her.

There was no chance for them to scream.

The hulking shapes lunged forward as one and the two bad men disappeared into a tangled flurry of fur and claws and gnashing teeth.

It was no more than a few minutes and the two men were gone, no trace of them remaining in the dimly lit foyer.

The monsters slipped through the door and returned with the beaten and bruised, unconscious body of the brother.

They gently laid him down on the sofa and turned to the little girl, lowering their heads to her and snuffling like she’d seen from so many dogs in the past.

She reached out nervously at first and gently patted her tiny palm on the matted fur of one after the other and they slowly slipped back into the darkness at the rear of the house.

Her brother woke up a short while later, groggy and hurting, and walked her to her bedroom where he tucked her into bed.

She fell asleep just before the police arrived to inform them that their aunt was in the hospital but that it looked like she would come through it all ok. The police had no information as to who had done the horrible things to the kind older woman, but assured the brother that they were investigating it.

The little girl fell asleep that night with no more fear, and she slept through the visit from the police.

The monsters she had feared were no longer monsters.

And there was nothing prowling in the dark that would hurt her but the monsters that pretended to be men.

Lost Little Puppy

Near the center of a big city there was a puppy.

He was a strange little puppy with mismatched eyes and shaggy fur. His breed couldn’t be determined, there were probably half a dozen mixed in there.

He lived in a gap between a dumpster and the red brick wall of an apartment building. It was the only home he’d ever known.

He’d been separated from his litter shortly after he was born. His mother and the other pups were spirited away by men from Animal Control, but he had been overlooked and left all alone.

So, there he was in the home he made for himself in that alley behind an apartment, across the way from a Greek restaurant. The only little piece of the world he knew.

It wasn’t much of a home, barely fit for even a mutt like him, but he’d never had anything to compare it to, so he was happy there.

He played with the pigeons when they settled on the alley floor to scavenge their meals, but the pigeons weren’t fond of playing with him, so they darted away as he ran after them with his tail wagging frantically.

He ate well, the leavings from the restaurant being dropped carelessly on the ground often enough that he was healthy.

One afternoon the dishwasher was dragging the garbage out to the alley and he saw this strange little puppy peeking out from behind the dumpster. He knelt down to see if the puppy would come to him.

With a little trepidation the puppy came out from the shelter of his dumpster home and bounded across the distance of a few feet to the young man.

Petted and patted, on instinct he rolled over onto his back on the dirty alley floor and exposed his belly for the dishwasher to rub it.

And rub it he did, with a huge smile on his face.

The young man reached into the garbage bag he was carrying and retrieved some of the more substantial scraps for the puppy and fed him from his hand.

The puppy whimpered as the dishwasher began to head back inside to where his work awaited, and the young man felt sad as the door closed behind him, separating him from the puppy in the alley

That was the first affection and human interaction the puppy had ever received, and he sadly returned to the space between the dumpster and the wall.

Hours later, while the puppy chased pigeons, the young man came walking into the alley from the sidewalk and the puppy immediately stopped what he was doing and ran to him.

The dishwasher scooped up the puppy and was greeted with an excited tongue lapping at his face.

The young man laughed and smiled and he carried the puppy home with him.

The puppy grew up there in the dishwasher’s tiny basement apartment, going for walks, getting baths, and eating like he never had before.

At night he would leap onto the young man’s bed and circle around until he could nestle up right next to him, and he would sleep so well that he never missed the pigeons.

He began to forget about the alley, the dumpster, and the scraps that used to be his meals.

For years he lived a life like any puppy would dream of having. He was loved and he was cared for.

He was happy.

One afternoon the dishwasher didn’t return home from work when he normally would. The puppy, now a dog whined at the door and padded away, returned again and did the same.

After a while he couldn’t help himself and he went to the bathroom on the tile kitchen floor, and for an hour or so after that he hid in shame waiting for the young man to punish him when he returned home.

For a couple of days that was how it worked for the dog. He would wait at the door until he couldn’t hold it any longer, he would go to the bathroom on the floor, and he would hide in shame for a little while before returning to the door again.

He was sleeping when the key turned in the lock and he was immediately alert and running to the door from the bedroom.

The smell was wrong. It was a stranger who walked through the door, but she smelled kind of like the young man. There were tears in the older lady’s eyes as she turned on the light, and the dog knew that she was sad.

The dog barked at her, not a threatening bark, but a question. He asked her where the dishwasher was.

Startled by the unexpected bark, the lady jumped.

She saw the mess the dog had left on the floor and she shouted at him, opening the door and ushering the dog outside.

He waited outside for a while and when the lady came back out she shut the door behind her before he could get back inside to his home.

She walked right past him without acknowledging that he was there, too distracted with the handful of items she carried.

The dog whined and followed her for a little bit before turning back to wait at the door for the young man to return.

Night came and he curled up and slept on the concrete stoop in front of the door. It wasn’t comfortable like the bed, but it was somewhere to wait for the dishwasher to return.

A few days later he had to leave the yard. He was hungry and he needed to eat.

He wandered around the neighborhood for a while, finding nothing.

He had walked for a good long while before a familiar scent drew his attention. He followed the scent until he found himself in a place that he’d all but forgotten.

He was in his old alley home and the pigeons flew away as he walked into the old, now remembered environment.

There was food there, like there always had been, but there was no dishwasher. He ate his fill and he made his way back home.

That became the dog’s routine for the next few days, returning to his old alley for food when he was hungry and waiting on the stoop for the young man the rest of the day and night. It was only a few days before a group of people showed up at home, one of them being the older lady from before.

They let themselves into the apartment and began moving things out; in the process they chased the dog away.

He had nowhere else to go, so he returned to the alley to eat and wait them out.

They were gone when the dog returned home a few hours later and he settled back in to his place on the stoop.

During the night it began to rain and he couldn’t get inside so he made his way back to the only other place he could find shelter.

The rain grew heavier as he ran toward the alley. It was a tighter fit than when he was a puppy, but the dog could still fit snugly behind the dumpster. He nestled into that space and fell asleep.

When the rain and thunder went away he returned home and continued with the same routine he had before, still waiting for the dishwasher to come home.

New people arrived only a week or so later, they shouted at him and shooed him away. He came back later, thinking it would be safe but those same people chased him away again.

He had no choice but to go back to the alley, and that alley was where he lived out the rest of his days.

He never saw the young man again, though he continued to hope that he would walk down the alley and take him back home; but he never forgot the young man and the home that he’d had.

Of Patriotism and Ignorance

I can’t believe that I am still seeing people on social media complaining about those pictures that were circulating, you know the pictures, the ones featuring people standing on the American flag.

You rabid, flag-waving assholes really just don’t seem to get it at all, and I suppose that I can’t blame you, you’re just fundamentally stupid or so blindly patriotic that you can’t wrap your head around the fact that the rest of the nation isn’t living under the sheltering blanket of straight, white, Christian, male privilege that you have spent your whole life benefitting from.

You can keep your symbol; since that is apparently the only thing about this nation you actually place value on. I’ll side with the people standing on that symbol, the people who place their value on the rights and magnificence that symbol is supposed to represent…even though it never really has, except for on paper.

We live in a divided nation in so many ways.

We live in a nation where two major political parties are at odds, sometimes rising to the point of violence between subscribers to their respective affiliations…even though neither of those parties are even half as invested in the best interests of the American people as they are focused on their own personal self-glorification and the agendas that they’re invested in.

We live in a nation where ignorant, fundamentalist Christians are setting themselves up as a ruling class in their own imaginations, pretending that they are being attacked by anyone who doesn’t agree with their worldview, while voicing clear opinions that anyone not like them should be penalized in defiance of the wishes of our Founding Fathers (don’t imagine it’s just the Separation of Church and State that spells it out, the wording of the Treaty of Tripoli that was unanimously adopted by John Adams and the Senate in 1797 makes it very clear that this was never intended to be a Christian nation).

We live in a nation where anyone who isn’t a straight, white, Christian male experiences clear bigotry on a nearly constant basis, but are ignored when they attempt to change that fact through peaceful means, where they are met with lip service and platitudes until the only way to respond is by violence and extreme measures when tension has reached a boiling point.

We live in a nation where there is a very real fight between an outdated, out-of-touch religious ideology and those who happen to love others of the same sex, and the civil rights of a minority of our population are actually treated as a battleground.

Tell me again of the importance of this symbol that you worship. Tell me again of how unpatriotic and horrible these people are who have stood on the flag. You can keep it. You can have that tainted symbol. It doesn’t stand for what you seem to think it stands for. I’d rather stand for the rights that the symbol is supposed to represent, and the actual people of this country, not just those who fall into your narrow perspective of what people should be. You can keep the symbol. You clearly don’t care about the rights, because it is one of those rights that these people can desecrate that symbol.

If you care more about the flag than your fellow American’s rights, you’re an asshole and you are a bigger part of the problem with this nation than they will ever be.

Heresy Just In Time for Easter

A reasonably good friend of mine decided to claim that atheism is a copout on my part. This came about after I informed him that the reason we see instances of atheists apparently defending Islam is that they are trying to respond to anti-Muslim bigotry from Christians for the most part. This apparent defense of Islam is simply an example of pointing out to the Christians in question that there is a major case of the pot calling the kettle black as well as a great deal of misinformation and poor understanding where Islam is concerned. I go on to explain that the only reason we see more action against Christians here in America is because Muslims constitute a vastly smaller portion of the population than Christians, who make up the largest minority in the Western world. If Muslims were the majority here and were insisting on imposing their cultural choices on everyone else, we would see the inverse of what we see now.

My response is to ask how it is a copout to not believe in fairy tales? The individual in question doesn’t believe in 99.9999% of the Gods that people have believed in or still believe in…all of which had just as much veracity when claiming to be true and correct. There are “holy books” which support essentially every God that he doesn’t believe in with just as much historical accuracy and authenticity as the book that he does accept as being true. What makes the God that he believes in any more real than the Judaic God of the Old Testament or the God of Islam, the numerous manifestations of God in both Hinduism or Buddhism, or the multifaceted God of Baha’i…or even the Norse, Roman, Greek, Mayan, or Babylonian gods that he casually dismisses?

I think it is far more definitive as a copout to just accept something as true when there is literally no evidence to support it and ample evidence that goes against it. To shut off the brain and just accept something without critical thought is more of a copout than it ever will be to analyze something and apply scrutiny.

His response, of course, is to insist that I am guilty of another huge copout by claiming there is no evidence to support the Bible that he holds so dear.

He asks me about the Egyptian chariot wheels in the Red Sea exactly where the Bible said they should be. He touts the fact that they have found Sodom and Gomorrah exactly where the Bible indicated they would be, covered in the purest sulfur ever found. He argues that Noah’s ark was found in the 1970s, exactly where the Bible said it would be, though certain governments have been working to keep that a secret for some time. He goes on about how archeologists have used the Bible to find dig sites for a long time and that the Bible has managed to prove these archaeologists wrong from time to time where historical people and places are concerned.

I try to remind my friend that Sodom and Gomorrah having once been real cities is not evidence of Biblical accuracy. Those two cities, along with others that were not mentioned in the Bible, rested along a fault line located near the Dead Sea and could easily have been destroyed by seismic activity along the Jordan Rift Valley. Evidence of the partial (not complete) destruction of cities in that region has been potentially tied to activity along the fault line no different from earthquakes that plague California. I neglected to point out, because there would have been no point, that though there have been archaeological discoveries of settlements in the region, none of them has been verified as the basis of the Sodom and Gomorrah story. I also didn’t bother to point out that these stories were written at some point well after the devastation would have taken place, if in fact it did, and it’s nothing more than an example of taking an event from the past and applying a rationalization to what happened as a method of spinning it to fit the narrative of the writer. Similarly, someone centuries from now could write about some horrible, sinful event in Pripyat that led to God punishing them by unleashing a great poison upon the populace. From a point in the future, any past or present event could be suitably framed to reinforce any fictional narrative that we desire, especially when there is no written documentation of what actually did happen.

I tried to point out that he was dramatically overstating the claim that Noah’s ark had been found, considering that there have been dozens of finds in numerous locations that have been discovered to be hoaxes. There have been many searches in and around the Ararat mountain region, and nothing has yet been found. There have, however, been unsubstantiated claims by men who were trying to obtain fame and recognition, but there has been no evidence found of Noah’s ark aside from maybe a single plank of wood picked up a long time ago that the finder decided must be from the ark.

I pointed out that the claim that Egyptian chariot wheels were found in the Red Sea was a verifiably false story and that there were no Egyptian records that could be incontrovertibly tied to Moses, the plagues, or the exodus across the Red Sea.

I tried to explain to him that claiming the Bible could be used to determine actual historical and archaeological information is a no-brainer. Of course some of the places mentioned in the Bible existed in real life. A lot of places in Stephen King stories exist as well, though it hardly means that the narratives taking place in those locations are relevant or historically accurate. We have used myths from other cultures to dig up cities around the world. Would that fact make those myths as accurate and truthful as the Bible is?

I also felt that it would be prudent to suggest that he ignores the fact that Biblical scholars around the world concur on the fact that large segments of the Old Testament (from the creation myth to the flood and Noah) were adapted by the Jewish people from Sumerian/Babylonian myths that were not even monotheistic stories in the first place.

My friend suggests in response that I am guilty of casually dismissing what amounts to massive collections of evidence in his eyes, that the site of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah shows clear evidence of God’s footprint.

I had no choice but to ask him if he really thought that I hadn’t carefully paid attention to any of these major “finds” when they were reported? I have many areas of interest, and history is one of them…especially history of myth. I also felt it necessary to point out that what he calls God’s footprint is less dramatic of destruction than what happened in Pompeii, and that didn’t require God’s judgment.

Addendum

This conversation continued further after my posting the initial blog, I have added the following:

My friend replied to my last comment by telling me that what I claimed there is nothing close to what has actually been found. He suggested that I perform more in depth research and indicated that he would be able to share some things with me that I should watch or read.

I informed him that I have actually taken the time to do a lot of research on this subject, from childhood into adulthood, and that the things he insists are true are quite simply not supported by reality.

He went on to tell me that I don’t know anything about what was found in Ararat, that there is video of the chariot wheels in the Red Sea, and that there is an altar with Baal carvings and drawings on the opposite side of the Red Sea.

He mocked my claim, that I have done my homework, and stateed that I have not…while sharing a link to an article from December of 2013 from www.sunnyskyz.com regarding the claim from the 1950s that Noah’s ark had been discovered in eastern Turkey. He went on to say that he could continue on like this for days but believed that it would be more beneficial for me to do my own digging.

I replied that the “find” in Turkey that he is sharing happens to be one of the unsubstantiated finds that I was talking about previously. I explained that it had been disproven almost immediately, as soon as geologists were brought on site to examine it.

I assured him that I have already done my homework. I even took the time to explain to him that evidence to the contrary of the outlandish, albeit scientific sounding claims repeated in the Sunny Skyz article has been readily available from a number of independent sources for a long time now. I went through the trouble of laying out some of these refutations to the story he shared, letting him know that no pitch was actually found at the site (contrary to claims made by those who wanted to spread the story), the “regular structure” which was claimed to be found with metal detectors was nothing more than a random distribution just like one would find pretty much anywhere, that the shape (though it, like many other natural objects, may appear man-made upon cursory inspection) is nothing more than hardened mud and occasional boulders, and that only a couple of traces of petrified wood were found (substantially less than one would find here in the Black Hills).

I also assured him that the site where the story of chariot wheels in the Red Sea first appeared was a satire site, not a real news site, pointing out that they make a clear statement that the stories contained there are satire.

I expressed my sincere apology for poking holes in his beliefs, and stated that he is the one who needs to do homework and research on these topics. I suggested that he reads a story like this and accepts it as true without looking into it at all because it fits his worldview.

I know how strong his faith is and how much he wants to believe these things when he reads them…but he needs to take some time to actually study the sources a bit and look at what is being said and by whom.

I love him, and he is my friend, and I told him that he needs to stop doubting that I have done a lot of research on these things and others. I read almost as much non-fiction as fiction…and I read a lot. I watch a lot of documentaries along with the movies and television shows that I watch as well. I don’t have a life…so that is what I do for fun.

My friend replied by stating that there was no doubt that the find in Turkey was Noah’s ark. He accused me of not reading the whole story, that they found a lot more than a piece of wood. He further stated that my claim that geologists had studied it was false because it took the initial crew 15 years to gain access, that the government of Turkey had shut out anyone else who wanted to come in, and that after naming it Noah’s Ark State Park they almost immediately shut it down and guarded it at gunpoint.

As a brief aside, none of that is true, regarding the site being shut down and guarded at gunpoint. People have been able to investigate the site plenty of times.

He tells me that I still don’t know the whole story but claim to have done my homework. He talks about how they pulled aluminum rivets out of there as well as animal dung and proved it was a ship’s hull using ground penetrating radar.

All of which have either been proven to be total fabrications or have been explained without difficulty.

I told my friend that the story goes back a lot further than just that article posted in December of 2013, and that most of what he’s staking his belief on has been fabricated or exaggerated.

My friend went on to state that the initial person claiming to have found the Egyptian chariot wheels was Ron Wyatt, that he has actual footage from the late 80s of the find. He admits that they called him crazy, but claimed that they went back to the site in 2011 and found more than a few chariot wheels. According to my friend, they found human remains and animal remains, that this is a fact.

I assured my friend that I did indeed read the article he shared, telling him that it makes up all sorts of things considering that the initial investigation found no evidence of any kind pointing toward Noah or any sort of ark.

I felt it necessary to explain to my friend that Ron Wyatt was also involved in the surge of those pushing the belief that the Noah’s ark site was valid as well. It was necessary to point out that essentially everyone, including Biblical scholars, scientists, and archaeologists have dismissed Wyatt’s claims. I told my friend that Wyatt hasn’t ever been a credible source of information, that the guy was a crackpot and a fraud with no expertise of any kind.

I informed my friend that the story about going back to the site and finding remains and chariots was written as satire, that it didn’t happen, and that Wyatt’s original claims were bogus. I even went so far as to share the article from World News Daily Report (a satire site).

I went on to say that I clearly know more about Wyatt’s history as a well-known fraud…that his name is only popular or touted where pseudoarchaeology is concerned, within pseudoscience circles. This was a man who also claimed to have discovered Christ’s cross, his blood, the Tower of Babel, and who knows how many other things…a man with no geological, archaeological, or historical expertise wanders around and makes ludicrous claims, all of which were disproven, and my friend was using this man as a source of information.

My friend’s response was to say that I was wrong and that these were documented facts. He went on to say that this keeps me a clueless consumer, which is what they want.

I haven’t the foggiest notion who “they” are.

He hints at other archaeological facts that are out there in support of the Bible, but that none of which have been released or made into news stories. He suggested that I keep believing the lies and that I’m a great straightforward consumer, to, “keep the blinders on for a little while longer,” because they almost have me locked in.

My first question was to ask how he found out about these things if they haven’t been made into news stories. I admit that I openly mocked that the sites he uses for information aren’t somehow magically privy to information that the rest of the world lacks. I also pointed out that a lot of people knew who Wyatt was before he died, that he didn’t keep any of his “findings” secret and, in fact, spouted off his completely incorrect nonsense to every corner of the world.

What I wanted to ask was whether my friend is aware of what the term delusions of grandeur is indicative of…because, to believe that he somehow sees truth and facts that the rest of the world is somehow ignorant of kind of falls into that category, at least without him being an expert in one or another of the fields in question (which he is not).

Discussion Regarding Indiana

The following conversation took place between myself and a couple of my friends between April 2nd and 3rd of 2015, initially started because one of the friends in question (Friend #1 for the sake of anonymity) decided, not ironically, to share the statement, “Funny how you never hear about leftists forcing a Muslim to bake a cake.”

I am not a fan of the law in Indiana or similar laws in other states. Bigotry masquerading behind religious freedom is a sham of the worst kind. Being the largest minority in the United States by a wide margin, Christians are not being oppressed or having their liberties infringed upon, no matter how much the most vocal jackasses within the ranks would like to have us all believe otherwise. These laws only serve to shelter them from the consequences of bigotry and ignorance so that they can behave towards homosexuals the same way that these same sorts of people used to behave towards African Americans until that civil rights movement actually made enough headway to put that sort of segregationist bullshit to an end, or something of an end, since institutional racism is still a pretty major problem all over America.

I’m sharing this conversation because I feel that it helps to show precisely how much of an uphill battle there is in reaching a point where homosexuals have the same rights and standing in society as heterosexuals do.

I have taken the liberty of correcting as many spelling and grammar errors as I can pick up on a cursory inspection, because it is not my goal to make anyone look stupid due to faults like that in the conversation. It’s not the purpose of this post to make anyone look stupid because of grammatical or spelling errors. The focus should be on the things that are being said and the thoughts that inform those words, not flaws in the communication itself. This is the conversation that transpired:

Friend #2: I would never buy a cake from a Muslim. They don’t believe in sugar. I won’t ever purchase anything in Indiana. Because I hate fake ass Christians.

Friend #1: The Indiana thing has little to do with Christians. It does however have everything to do with homosexuals shoving their agenda down you’re throat whether you like it or not.

Friend #2: Seems like the opposite.

Me: I’m with Friend #2 on this; this Indiana situation is definitely quite the opposite of homosexuals shoving an agenda down anyone’s throat.

Friend #1: Okay then I can have my opinion that my religious rites should be protected and I can think homosexuality is a sickness and in no way okay???

Me: You are free to think that all you like…but people being gay doesn’t infringe upon your freedom to believe whatever you want. Similarly, gays being able to get married doesn’t infringe upon your religious beliefs or practices.

But you sure as hell support infringing on their rights to be who they are…and not based on something they choose to believe or practice, but something they are. Literally no different than people using religious beliefs to hold African Americans back from the same rights that gay people are trying to receive now.

What you have expressed support for, multiple times, are quite literally the equivalent of Jim Crow laws, just applied to homosexuals rather than African Americans.

How does it feel to be in the same camp as George Wallace? I keep waiting for you to suggest that homosexuals are “separate but equal.”

Friend #2: Friend #1. I’ve known you since before I had pubes. I really find it hard to believe that you feel this way. DUDE. These people are the enemy. Now just as much as when you were with us. If you are trying to save your soul. You are doing the opposite. If you really feel this way I love and support your decision, but DUDE!!!!!!!

Friend #1: Quite the opposite Friend #2. Nik not once have I ever said a homosexual can’t be a homosexual. But they do not equate with a man and women in marriage. Adoption and insemination do not equal natural childbirth. There are two kinds of people on this planet men and women that’s it. It is a sickness. Yes they are telling me I cannot believe this. Yes they do have an agenda yes it is sick and warped beyond what you think. Yes you are not awake to it. Next you will be telling me I am a bigot because pedophilia is natural. No I am not as smart as you but I am smart enough to se through this BS. A man has a penis a woman has a vagina. End of story. Grow out of fantasyland already.

Friend #2: Whoa dude. Don’t even try to put that pedophilia shit in my mouth. I NEVER said that was cool. And I never will. WTF dude?!

Bullshit you aren’t as smart as me. ***** said you were smarter.

Me: Pedophilia is actually natural, in that it isn’t something anyone chooses for themselves. Decades of psychological study has very clearly shown that people who are pedophiles are not choosing to be attracted to exclusively or almost exclusively children. None of us, not even you or I, have control over what we desire and what we are attracted to. You seem to be mistaking natural for acceptable. Murder over territory and resources is natural too, animals of almost every variety do that…but for us to commit murder is not acceptable, regardless of how natural it actually is.

Another thing…regarding your perspective on adoption/insemination…does that same thought process apply where one or both parties in a heterosexual relationship are unable to conceive naturally? Is a child born of artificial means somehow less of a child in your eyes and the family somehow less of a family? If that holds true for homosexuals then it would just as validly apply to heterosexual relationships…being an unnatural means to bring about a child.

Friend #2: Whatever… Still not cool… Children aren’t done growing yet. That’s why they aren’t legally allowed to give consent. We don’t live in the middle ages. A 12 year old doesn’t need a husband to survive. In this time it is a disease.

Friend #1: Don’t try to shove a BS lie like homosexuality down my mouth either. And ***** never would say that. LOL!!! Love that lady!!!

Friend #2: No. You were supposed to be the trophy success story from that group. That program still turned into the RC academy system. I might have been a serial killer without her

Me: Hell yes it is a disease, pedophilia…not homosexuality. Pedophilia is wrong because it doesn’t involve two consenting, equal partners. For Friend #1 to draw a correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia is a desperate attempt to create a false equivalency.

Friend #1: You have no control over what you’re attracted to????? What a sheepish copout. Dude really maybe I am smarter then you?

Me: What is this homosexual lie that you are talking about in the first place? The only gay agenda out there is for them to be treated like equal participants in our culture and society, to not have rights restricted based on religious bigotry that isn’t relevant in the first place. Marriage is not a religious institution unless you are a practitioner of a particular religion and get married within that religion. Marriage is a legal and social contract, that is the part that carries over from religion to religion or to the non-religious.

Friend #1: You can be attracted to sheep and just not fuck them. I am attracted to money yet I have never had any and I still haven’t robbed a liquor store.

Me: Yeah, because equating sheep with money and someone of the same sex is perfectly legitimate.

Friend #2: I played truth or dare once and had to French kiss a dude. If that is the way a gay dude feels when he tries to kiss a girl…………… #notachoice

Fucking gross. Never been so grossed out in my life. Still can’t get the whiskers out of my head

Eeeeeew gooosebumps. Fucking gross.

Friend #1: You’re mistaking humans for animals bro.

Me: I am not mistaking humans for animals…I am not the one who suggested that being attracted to a sheep is in any way similar to being attracted to a person of the same sex.

Friend #1: You suggested that murder us just as natural for humans as it is for animals. Even the Vikings eventually figured out they were human.

Me: What feels natural to a homosexual is to be with someone of the same sex just like it feels natural for you and I, and Friend #2 as well, being with a woman.

Friend #1, you and I, are just like anyone else…we don’t choose whom we are attracted to. There is no conscious process involved in attraction and desire. You look across a room and one person appeals to you where another does not, that isn’t because you picked that one…they are the one you desire.

Friend #1: You’re saying that you cannot control what you’re attracted to. Such BS

Me: I am saying that none of us choose who/what we find attractive…because it is true. No amount of trying to convince myself that I should find Kim Kardashian attractive has made her even remotely attractive to me, though I know that she is considered quite attractive to clearly most people. Just like how the three of us participating in this conversation could walk into a bar and be drawn to entirely different women, to the point where we wouldn’t understand why the other two were attracted to the other women instead of the one that we are. We don’t choose that. No one does. At no point in my life did I decide that this or that would attract me…at best, I began to recognize the trends so that I had a better understanding of what was in common between the women I find attractive.

We learn what we like and what we find most attractive in potential partners, but at no point in your life did you decide what those things would be. They just happened to be what you did find attractive. Some guys like blondes or redheads and just don’t find other hair colors attractive, some guys like tan girls or pale girls, some guys like large breasts and others like small…at no point did any of them make a conscious decision that those were the things they wanted.

Friend #2: IDK about all that. I am saying that I couldn’t be gay and enjoy it for all the money in the world.

Friend #1: Nik I love you just as much as I love my lost homosexual brothers and sisters man. Does not mean it’s okay.

Me: And I love you too, Friend #1…hell, there’s a reason we are still friends even when we clearly are never going to see eye to eye on some serious issues.
I wish you could wrap your head around the fact that being gay is no more of a choice than being a boy or a girl or being a certain skin tone or being a certain height. They aren’t lost. They are just not like you or I…that doesn’t make them bad or wrong or unnatural. The exact same type of arguments were used to dehumanize African Americans less than a century ago, that they were unnatural and somehow less than the whites…and interracial marriage was condemned for the same reasoning that you and others are expressing where gay marriage is concerned. It doesn’t impact you if they are allowed to marry; no one is being forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies if it is against their religious/moral code.

Friend #2: And if a gay dude gets as grossed out when he kisses a girl as I do when I kiss a dude then hell no it’s not a choice. I could never choose to be attracted to men.

But when you are playing truth or dare and there are only 2 dudes there…………… you do the fucking dare.

Friend #1: They don’t want to get married that’s a copout as well I am privy to their lies. They feel it is unnatural for one person to be with one person for life I know the lie well. Also I do not hate them or want any harm. But it is a sickness that’s no lie. Just like liberalism is.

Me: There are plenty of heterosexuals who feel it is unnatural to be with one person for life…in fact, I am almost willing to bet that the proportions are higher in heterosexuals than homosexuals where that is concerned.
You talk like there is some homosexual conspiracy, and there isn’t. They are human beings, just like the rest of us…and there will be those within the homosexual community who fall at different points in the spectrum regarding thoughts on marriage just like with heterosexuals.
But damn right the ones who don’t ever want to get married still want that right to not be infringed. I don’t ever want to be part of a gay marriage myself, but I think the right for them to be married should not be infringed.

Friend #2: I want to be with one person until I die……………….. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Am I going to hell because they always left? Have you even considered all the gray area?

Friend #1: There is no doubt there is a homosexual conspiracy. No doubt about it. Most people don’t know they are a part of it but yes there are certain organizations that have perpetrated it and set it into play over the years. To deny that is in fact the real conspiracy.

Me: I sincerely have no response to that.

Friend #1: Friend #2 what??? No man you’re going to hell because you don’t believe that’s the only reason you would go to hell. I am not saying you don’t believe, that’s between you and God. No one person can be the reason you would go to hell but only one person can save you from going to hell.

That’s fine it’s okay to think you’re above it but you’re not.

NAMBLA … Harvey Milk was in NAMBLA and he was a pedo. As well as many other such organizations.

I mean are you that inept to think that all movements are not started they just happen for no reason out of the blue. Really you cannot be that ignorant.

Third Participant In Conversation: Oh… It honestly took me a bit to get it (I haven’t kept up on the news much) No one should have to bake a cake for any one they don’t want to, ever!

Friend #1: Agreed

Friend #2: I agree with that statement. We are all free to do whatever we want. I have freedom of speech also. I’m not gonna come up to your family in public and call your grandmother a smelly old cunt though. I wouldn’t want to deal with the consequences. Just like if let’s say……… I owned a bakery………Long story short. You ARE free to do anything. As long as you are prepared for the consequences.

I think we should leave the North American Marlon Brando Look Alikes out of this. What have they ever done to hurt anyone?

Is NAMBLA really real though?! The chomos?

I’m just gonna leave this here………. Friend #1 if you think this is part of the homosexual agenda you have been mislead……… I know more than one homosexual and not one supports pedophilia.http://www.nambla.org/

Harvey Milk had a consensual relationship with a 16 year old. In SD I can do that right now. There is no mention of him being a NAMBLA member or of him supporting NAMBLA.

Friend #1: The boy was 11 and it was in NY. Not sure you’ll ever understand. That’s okay because when they walk that elephant out of the closest I’m sure you’ll go right with it. I will be considered more of a bigot. I am okay with that. It’s my choice I will live with the consequences. Problem is that I have to live with the consequences of the faggotry and the abortion and all you’re bad choices as well.

Friend #2: You could go be a Muslim. They kill homosexuals and abortion is illegal.

I can’t find anything about him being with an 11 old either. Not even on all the right wing hate monger sites.

Me: Yeah, I looked into that too. Even on the sites that are dedicated to drawing a correlation between Milk and NAMBLA the only “underage” relationship regarding Milk is with the 16 year old.
Also, something that Friend #1 seems to be overlooking is that every gay and lesbian rights organization had cut even the loosest ties with NAMBLA more than 20 years ago…most of them had done as much more than 30 years ago.

And 16 is the legal age of consent in even South Dakota…and it wasn’t long ago that it was low as 14 in plenty of red states too.

Friend #1: The fact is that you have bought into the lie that gay rights and civil rights are one and the same. When they couldn’t be further apart.

Me: People quite literally said the same thing barely more than half a century ago, but with “negro” in place of “gay.” How is it that you don’t recognize that? Pull up some old interviews with George Wallace and others from the 1940s through 1960s…and you will see them using pretty much the same statements and arguments you do, just where African Americans were concerned instead of homosexuals.

The rights of any group of persons in America or elsewhere in the world is a civil rights issue…first and foremost. That is the definition of civil rights.

Friend #1: Here is what I have to say about that; not being able to marry and not being able to go to school, go to work, sit on the front of the bus, get hired for a job, enter a restaurant, or drink out of a drinking fountain is way different. You can’t deny it.

Me: If anyone here is buying into lies it would be the one who seems to be proposing some widespread, insidious conspiracy that involves groups of people that are absolutely not connected with each other, such as NAMBLA and any other gay rights organization. Besides, I don’t see you lumping all of us heterosexuals in with the men who take advantage of young girls (or the older women who take advantage of boys)…which, I feel I need to add, is far more common in the heterosexual community than in the homosexual one.

Yes, and the law that you were originally posting about is promoting a backward step towards exactly that sort of segregation relating to homosexuals. Gays can’t eat here, can’t shop here…and is it really such a stretch to feel that could extend to saying that they can’t attend this school or that, that they need a different mode of public transportation because this bus company or cab company does not serve homosexuals?

Take a moment, don’t just offer up a knee-jerk response…seriously take a second, maybe read a few articles that aren’t on some hate mongering anti-gay agenda site…and really think about what Friend #2 and I have been saying here. Don’t shut off your brain and spit out a preprogrammed response…actually listen to what is being said and compare it to what you are being fed full of. When has a single conspiracy theory ever been true? Men did land on the moon, numerous times…9/11 was not a controlled demolition…and there is no pederast-controlled conspiracy to do whatever the hell it is you seem to think the outcome of gay rights might be.

Part Thirty-Eight: Life After Meth

It was the final little span of time while the degenerate and his wife were in my life, after my roommate and I had opted for a life of relative sobriety and clarity in our lives and in our home, that I ended up being involved in what would be one of my strangest and categorically one of the worst relationships of my life…though a wonderful little girl did come out of it, so I can’t claim that it was all bad.

The girl that I ended up involved with was the daughter of the degenerate’s wife, someone I had dismissively met years before and not remembered. In my newly adopted sobriety she and I bonded over our mutual disdain for the junkies and tweakers still populating our respective lives. She and I had both recently sobered up and felt more than a little bit of contempt for those who hadn’t made the same choice.

When I say that she sobered up, I mean only that she had stopped using methamphetamine and cocaine, because she was still one hell of a drinker. There was one evening in particular during which she emptied a bottle of gin into a bowl along with a can of Dr. Pepper and thirstily continued to drink from said bowl like the classiest woman I’ve ever met. Being highly intoxicated by the time she was done, she was in no state to go anywhere so I invited her to just sleep in my bed with me that night. She ultimately stormed out of the house in the late night hours without even putting her shoes on because her attempt to seduce me failed for two reasons, the first one being that I wasn’t interested at all but also because there is one thing I have always insisted on; I will not sleep with a woman who is intoxicated unless we’ve had a sexual relationship already in place, I don’t know if it’s a moral code or what one might call it, but it would feel too much like taking advantage of someone.

Had I been in a better state of mind, without the after effects of months of heavy drug use and a thoroughly confusing non-relationship that I told you about already, this girl and I would not have become anything more than friends. I wasn’t particularly attracted to her, physically or otherwise, but we did click in some respects that surely could have made us friends at the time. I was not in a good place though, certainly not a healthy one yet, and she was very much interested in me.

Who was I to deny her interest; I wasn’t someone anyone else would want?

There was pressure from her mother for us to get together as well, because she had met my two oldest children and determined that I would be able to give her a beautiful grandchild or grandchildren, if only I could be persuaded to become intimate with her daughter.

The whole situation was fucked up, and only became more fucked up when both the mother and daughter approached me (together as well as separately) in order to propose that I knock the daughter up and then I could leave the picture altogether if I so desired.

I sometimes have those moments when I am forced to question whether I am mentally retarded in some small way or at least severely unbalanced, and my agreement to that plan was definitely one of those things that elicit that rumination.

It didn’t remain as clean and businesslike as all that, as she and I fell into a sort of relationship together…and she did indeed become pregnant after only a couple of months. I wish I could regret that, but the daughter we had together makes that impossible for me. Children have a way of doing that sort of thing to us, turning an otherwise regrettable experience into something we wind up treasuring even if there is nothing else worth holding on to from a whole period of our lives.

I will say that, if it had been possible, I would have preferred to have this daughter with a different partner though…a better alternative would not have been difficult to find.

During the pregnancy itself, things really weren’t so bad with her. She may have given up drugs prior to meeting me, but her alcoholism went on hiatus during the pregnancy and that served to make her a much more tolerable human being. She was so proud of herself for being completely sober for the first time in I don’t even know how long, and it was contagious enough that I was proud of her as well.

That didn’t last long.

It was only two weeks after our daughter was born when I received a phone call from her while I was at work because she needed me to pick her and our daughter up after I got off because she was drunk in an apartment downtown and there was no one sober who could get her and our newborn daughter home. After retrieving her she repaid my kindness by vomiting in my car, having managed to do little more than put the window down before evacuating the mostly liquid contents of her stomach.

This became a routine for us, not the puking in my car part of it (thankfully that was only the once), but the retrieving her drunken self from somewhere or another. Initially it was once every couple of weeks, for a month or two, and then it was once a week, and it kept getting worse until it was a couple of days pretty much every week that I was having to rescue our daughter from some place her mother had dragged her off to in order to be drunk, slobbering, stupid drunk.

The relationship didn’t survive her drunken escapades after we moved into a new house shared with my former roommate, the waiter, and his girlfriend. Having friends around helped me to build up the necessary self-respect to offer her an ultimatum, that she stop drinking so much or she needed to leave. Of course, I was the bad guy for putting my foot down like this.

This was not the first time, nor was it to be the last, that I was faced with a woman who treated me like I was an asshole for little more than standing my ground and displaying a modicum of self-respect and dignity, demanding a little bit of decency and consideration from my supposed partner. Clearly I am a fucking idiot because there have been more than just one or two women I’ve become involved with who considered it an intolerable affront for me to demand any such thing. Maybe it has to do with the sort of women I attract (looking, as I do, like a fleshy pin cushion), maybe it’s just something about me that makes me seem like I am suitable to be walked all over like a carpet and shouldn’t have the audacity to demand more from these women. Whatever it is, I damn well need to figure out how to change it one of these days. That sort of shit gets old really fucking quickly.

As you can probably guess, she opted to continue drinking her life away rather than concern herself with being a mother or my partner. She moved out with our little girl and continued living her life as she preferred. Thankfully that baby girl still ended up with me a lot of the time, during my days off and when her mother was at work I would keep her there with me since there was no other babysitter available.

The fact that my daughter was spending so much time with me even after her mother moved out was something that made me exceptionally angry about what came next in this particular story.

It was less than year after being out on her own that the mother was picked up drunk by the police, in a car full of other drunks, out on some errand or another. She became hysterical and insisted that the officers let her return home or take her there to her baby. The police checked out the house in question and found our daughter asleep in her crib in a house full of drunk and/or high individuals, not a sober person in sight.

Our daughter was taken into protective custody and Child Protection Services placed her in temporary foster care. I didn’t find out about any of this until a couple of days later when I called the mother to inquire as to why our little girl hadn’t been dropped off with me.

I was livid, to put it mildly.

My being angry was made no better when I was finally able to contact someone with Child Protection Services to demand that they let me know what was going on with my daughter and why I hadn’t been contacted. They rambled off some bullshit about how they had no contact information for me and that they were going to keep her in foster care because they didn’t feel that it would be a good idea to have her in unfamiliar or strange surroundings. Think about that for just a moment, they placed her with total strangers as foster care rather than send her to be with her own father, with whom she had spent probably as much time as she had with her mother, if not more. This was the sincere, totally straight-faced response that I received from these people. These are people who have to have achieved some manner of college education before they can work for that department, and yet the total lack of reasoning capability exhibited by the caseworker I spoke with was beyond astounding to me.

It offended my mother and grandmother as well, and they began petitioning the caseworker to pull her head out of her ass in what was probably a more civil tone than I was managing to muster after a couple of days time. I am not ashamed to admit that I was not composing myself in quite the gentlemanly fashion I probably should have been…under the circumstances I had every right to be angry.

It took a while to get through to these people and it was finally agreed that our daughter would be released back into the custody of her mother if she agreed to leave the home and roommates she had and was residing with me. So, she and our daughter began occasionally staying in the house with me, but mostly they would show up early in the morning on the days when the caseworker was going to perform an evaluation of the living conditions. I know that I was breaking the law by going along with this deception, but those jackasses were not going to release my daughter into my custody, and I sure as shit didn’t want her mother living with me again. We manipulated the situation to our mutual ends in order to get our daughter out of foster custody and I feel no guilt about doing so.

The mother was no more suitable to be caring for our daughter than she was before that whole debacle had taken place, but I was damned if that little girl was going to end up staying in foster care any longer than she already had…and it worked out, to some extent.

Sadly, the mother is no more suitable to be a mother today than she was then, less so in a number of ways. She has been in and out of treatment programs four or five times since then for drug and alcohol abuse, Child Protection Services has become involved in her life again at least one more time, and our daughter has been almost exclusively living in my custody for a number of years now, which is where she belongs. It’s just a damn shame that her mother seems to be unwilling or unable to provide a better example of what it means to be an adult and a woman.

I sure know how to pick ‘em, right? You can shut up though, I don’t need your judgment, and it’s not like I’m unaware of the fact that I have some pretty damn poor taste or judgment when it comes to the women I allow into my life. It’s not always a disaster though, just most of the time.