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Marilyn and the Werewolf – a book

MARILYN AND THE WEREWOLF

It was my mom that got me into horror movies and all things scary. Whether she knew it or not, her interest in the macabre and the dark drew me to it and set me on the path that lead me to where I am and who I am. My mom was a voracious reader and loved reading the likes of STEPHEN KING, JOHN SAUL, and DEAN KOONTZ to name a few. I think it’s safe to say that she inspired my love of similarly dark fiction. The same can be said for my love of horror films. I still remember watching John Carpenter’s THE THING for the first time and having to sleep on the floor of my parent’s room that night, scared to death of what I had watched. So scared that I woke in the middle of the night to look up at my mother and see her transform into something horrible. I have loved that movie ever since.

Mom was a shy artist. She drew beautifully, could paint, could sew, could decorate, and the last art she had fallen in love with and really pursued was carving fruits and vegetables into shapes. Why she stopped pursuing art I’ll never know. It makes me sad that she did though, because it seemed to give her joy. We tried to encourage her and towards the end of her life she started to try drawing again but wasn’t happy with the results and didn’t pursue it further.

I said it before, in another post, but it’s worth repeating that I am the child of two parents and as such I have both of them in me in different ways. If I step back I can see what I got from both though people don’t usually work that way. We’re a mix of our parents and everyone that has an impact on us. A mix of the good and the bad and there’s places where it’s hard to know which is which and what came from where.

I can see in myself the eyes of my mother.

In my chest I can feel the heart of my mother.

In my ears I can hear the voice of my mother.

But she is still gone.

And there’s no changing that.

At the end I could offer no comfort she could hear. Could offer no solace she could feel. And could not ease the pain that she had to go through to find her peace.

Knowing all of that I didn’t know what to do with this chest of sorrow that I was suddenly saddled with. I had no idea where to put it or what to do with it. This book is the best I could come up with. My small way to say goodbye to boy my mother and to the dog my wife and I had adopted just four months before she died. This book is my way to honor mom and Banshee and a lot of other people who touched my life or the life of someone else I love. This is a book of ghosts, but these are ghosts that just want to tell you a story, not to scare you. And I suppose that is what life is, full of ghosts, speaking to us, whispering into our ears as we sleep and telling us their stories in the hopes that we won’t forget them.

This is my way of keeping mom, and Banshee, and some other people that mean a lot to me.

It’s my hope that in some small way I captured a bit of the light of mom and Banshee and I can pass on something of the magic that made them who they were. This is my way to whisper their names into the ears of everyone who will lend them and I hope that the story finds the people that need it.

MARILYN AND THE WEREWOLF

(Kindle available now, physical book available in a few days)

https://tinyurl.com/y9qkyd24

Marilyn and the Werewolf

 

 

 

Our Lonely Gods

Since the beginning Mankind has looked to the great Other for guidance. It was a Creator, or a Punisher. Or an an all seeing Eye that We have always looked to something else/someone else for guidance.

This is not a dig on religion at all, because the needle of faith, the heat of faith, can guide a life forward in a thoughtful way. This is not me saying There Is No God.

This is me saying – we keep creating gods.

We want gods for everything.

Our own, personal gods that will care only for and about us.

And that’s sorta weird.

 

We have gotten so that we build gods from anything.

Everything.

We build our gods as walls to keep others out and armor to fight others off.

We want our gods to watch out for us, to take care of us, and to love only us.

We want them to forgive without question and judge without measure.

We want our gods that will make us rich.

We want our gods that will get us laid.

We want our gods that will let us win.

We want our gods make our teams win.

We want our gods to make us famous.

We want our gods to shine on us like an undying sun, forever and ever amen.

 

We play the lottery, make bets, and fill the casinos praying god will make us rich.

We pray during sporting events that god will favor our team over another.

We tweet, and video, and capture every moment of our lives in the hope that we’ll go viral or find some strange piece of fame.

 

All of these things we do to our other gods, the lonely gods we speak to only when we want something.

We don’t give them love, or faith, or fealty.

No.

We take.

We beg.

We demand.

These gods without faces that we put together out of found parts and abandoned hopes.

The gods we turn against one another when we don’t get our way.

 

Faith, true faith, is found over time and contemplation. It is found with introspection and patience.

Faith doesn’t build walls to keep one another out.

Faith doesn’t run for the fame or the money.
Faith, true faith, is the foundation we can build lives upon.

It’s not a get rich quick scheme, or a means to punish the people we oppose.

Faith isn’t about making our lives bigger but making our lives more meaningful.

We forget all that though in the drive to be bigger, better, faster, and more.

We have gotten lost in the glitter of fame, thinking that that is the love we need, that the money is the support we need, and that power is the path to happiness.

LIke everything else in life, if you try to cheat the system it won’t feel nearly as authentic.

You will feel like a fraud.

And hey, if being a fraud still makes you rich and you can find your happiness in that wealth then boss.

You do you.

 

We have a new pantheon of gods in our modern world. Similar to how many niche saints we are.

Gods of wealth.

Gods of power.

Gods of fame.

Gods with no names, no faces, no bodies, just some invisible will that we can call upon.

We have taken to looking to others for so much of our lives that now we want these imaginary gods to step in and lift us up.

Where real faith can guide us or encourage us, this fool’s faith simply encourages us to keep still and wait for you to get what you deserve.

Watching other people’s lives via videos and pictures and stories and believing they have it so much better than you because we can’t see the clutter that’s just out of frame.

The mess that exists in everyone’s lives.

 

Oh lord, oh god, oh great and mighty whoever you are, gimme what I want-need-gotta have because I deserve it.

 

Only, we are better than that.

Stronger than that.

We can accomplish so much if we trust in ourselves and our own power

And if faith can guide you then swell.

False gods will do nothing though but distract you and derail you.

The thing about life is we are not made to get all that we desire.

We have to make choices.

Make sacrifices.

That’s what makes the things we DO get, that we EARN and work for, so special and meaningful.

We will have days where we will wonder What If but the fact is that all we can do is forge the best life for ourselves and go from there.

And no faceless god of fortune can make that happen.

You can.

And there’s the rub.

 

…c…

(I write books. Go to the links and check them out).

 

Good Grief

Grief is a different monster for every person. To some it is robed and silent, watching from a distance, for others it is hulking and ever-present, pushing in on every breath. Everyone experiences it and it’s lifequakes differently. There is not a right way to go through grief and until you get into self-harm and self-destruction it gets blurry as to what the wrong way to deal with it is. You just – deal with it. The best you are able to. The last thing anyone can do is tell you how to go through it. That amounts to telling someone with their eyes closed how to navigate a room with no light. Sure, you can point things out and give ‘tips’ but in the end the person has to find their way forward for themselves.

The thing with grief though is it isn’t an enemy.

It isn’t a villain.

Even though we see it that way it is but a pale sheet in the form of the thing we loved and lost, ever with us, step by step and hand in hand. We can embrace it or fight it and it’s that decision which forms what it becomes to us.

It is as featureless as the pain we feel, forming its face to match our hearts.

Angry.

Sad.

Outraged.

Heartbroken.

Guilty.

Comforted.

Continue reading “Good Grief”

Another True Story

So we all have those stories that sorta make us US. The stories that we tell people to give them a feel for who you are and what you’re about.

Some of us have a LOT of those stories and some of us have a few.

The thing is that they are YOUR stories.

They are OUR stories.

The hope is that you are telling YOUR stories and not just making stuff up or telling someone else’s tales. We connect and bond over our shared stories. They tie us together. Our successes and failures. All of it. These make up who we are. So if we start lying about all of that it doesn’t connect or unite us, it separates us further.

So when I tell you a story, this is my story. This is me. My last true story I told was about a former friend and a flat earth. This story is a little different. It’s a lot funnier for one, and for another, it’s more mysterious.

So let’s go.

For a little while I worked at a convenience store about ten minutes from where I grew up. I was in my twenties and needed a job and they were hiring and whammo! It seems like it was towards the end of my college career but I can’t recall the date without tapping on my head a lot. Our convenience store was called the Circle M and we sold porno mags, smokes, beer, cheap wine, rented movies, and sold your basic convenience store groceries. I worked either the second shift – 2PM – 11PM – or a split on Fridays and Saturdays, which had me working 5PM – 1AM. It was an OK job and I met a lot of uh, interesting people, and acted a fool a lot, and generally just cashed those checks. I saw a lot there. I had teen girls trying to convince me to let them buy booze and when I refused they bought spray whipped cream instead – and dopey me thought it was a sex thing, not a drug thing. This always bummed me out because they were young, like fifteen, and one had a mesh shirt with her bra showing and we were near a highway and a bar and I just worried about them. That’s me. There was a guy who came in with his daughter and he’d load up with two or more 40s of beer and he was nice and his daughter was shy and I always got the feeling he was trying to hook us up.

Which never happened, by the by.

I have another classic story from this job which most of my friends know but which I will spare you, for now.

It was OK. I’d go in for my shift, turn the hot dog maker back on and get a fountain pop, make a couple hot dogs, then plow through some food and get my tasks done for the night early and then just chill out for the rest of the night and wait on people. I hated renting movies because it was a hassle. The owners were nice. The pay was OK. It was a job. And I needed a job.

One night I was working by myself and it was around the time when folks would come in and get their beer and go do what they did. It was the mid-1990s I know because I had a shirt with an Alien on it, it said like Absolut Alien I think. I loved alien stuff. It was silly. I’d never wear the shirt now, which was white with a green alien in a bottle. I just, yeah, not my thing, though hey, aliens, we’re still cool. So here I am at work and these two guys come up to the counter and ask –

“So you like aliens?”

Which is an odd question, right?

They’re two guys that are a little older than me and look as if they are more comfortable on a dirt bike track than at the theater. I wasn’t thinking of my shirt and was like –

“Huh?”

One of them points to my shirt.

“Oh, yeah, sure.” I respond.

“We got one if you wanna see it.”

Again I was a little confused. It was just us in there at the time and I was sorta adrift in the conversation.

“Huh?”

“An alien. We got one. In the barn. If you wanna see it.”

Now, bear in mind that I am sorta paraphrasing the conversation because it WAS about twenty years ago, but I swear, I SWEAR that this happened.

I give another “Huh?”

“An alien. We have one in the barn. You wanna see it?”

“Um…OK. Sure.”

“$1200.”

“What?”

“If you wanna see it it’s $1200.”

Now, that is STILL a lot of dough, and back then it for SURE was a lot of dough so there was no way this was going to happen, not even going into the logistics of trusting two yokels to not brain me and eat me or bury me on the back forty.

“Oh. Yeah, I don’t have that. Sorry.”

“It’s real. You’d wanna see it. An alien. You don’t have the money?”

“No. I don’t. Sounds cool though.”

This had gone beyond weird.

Way beyond weird.

The two guys sorta shrugged at me and headed for the door.

“OK. Your loss. It’s real. Just $1200 if you change your mind.”

“OK” I reply, never getting a name or number or anything.

I’d never have that money.

Especially not for them.

And they left and I never saw them again.

And it’s just a weird story now from a weird time in my life. I wonder though, even today, about all of it. Like…what DID they have in that barn, if anything? Like, were they for real gonna roll me and rob me? Was it a gag? Was it some weird animal? Was it, I mean, WAS it an alien? Is it possible?

Of course not.

Except it’d figure, wouldn’t it, that these yokels would have something like that and instead of letting the world see would be trying to get rich off of it.

Yeah, that seems pretty American.

Man, I dunno.

I still think about it from time to time but I am sure I am better off not having gone to the ‘barn’ with them.

Probably.

Maybe.

Eh, who knows, really.

…c…

 

 

PRIDE

If there is one thing that has become desperately American of late it is a deep sense of pride.
Pride in our nation, in our accompliishments, and in our very act of existence.
We are brag about our history.
We boast about our ingenuity.
We rave about our culture.
We rant about the rest of the world and how they hold us back.
We are the great benefactors, the saviors of teh world, holding the godless heathens at bay with our unstoppable war machine.
We are the world’s police force because only we know what is right and what is wrong.
If we are anything, we are a proud people.
Selectively.
There’s the rub of it. Continue reading “PRIDE”

The Truth

So this here is a true story, with, obviously, the name of the person I am going to refer to removed.

I don’t write this thinking it will change someone, or change how they see the world, or change their mind on what they believe.

I write these blogs, as I have said, as my own statement of how I see the world.

Nothing more.

I hope that if something profound finds its way here then someone gets something from it but I don’t count on it or assume it will happen.

Life isn’t that way.

So.

My story.

 

As we all have seen and experienced, the internet is a wonderful and horrifying place.

No need to go deeper than that because we all know it.

There has always been the dark alleyways and the overgrown and wild places.

And there have always been people lying to us.

On dating profiles, in our emails, on websites, and on and on.

Lying isn’t new to the web.

It just wasn’t weaponized as efficiently as it has been in recent years.

There’s suddenly two strains of people running the mean streets of the web – the trolls and the goblins. I dunno if goblin is a proper term but to me it feels right.

Trolls are the angry idiots that get upset at every last thing and want to make sure you know it.

By god it’s their world and we’re just taking up space in it.

Goblins, again, my term, are the people who get paid to sell lies and untruths – even if that pay is in glee.

Trolls are ugly, are horrible, but goblins are the more dangerous because their lies have enough of the truth in them to draw in people looking for answers and desperate to have the world explained to them, even if that explanation seems like a long drink of madness.

 

I had a friend who fell prey to the darkness of the web. Whether its trolls or goblins that tricked him I can’t say because there’s a point where both factions fight on the same field, shoulder to shoulder because all either side wants to do is burn down the world, at least the parts of if that don’t ascribe to the world they see.

My friend was an angry guy who had the intelligence, skills, and charisma to get a lot further in life than he found himself but every frustration, every setback, every challenge only deepened his bitterness and anger and showed him that the game was rigged, the rules hacked, and the world was against him.

I can’t tell you what set him off.

Was it his folks splitting up?

Was it a girl doing him wrong?

Was it a job that lead him astray?

I dunno, but if I think about it for a moment I can see that he was always broken, I just hadn’t realized how broken he was and overlooked the cracks.

Maybe out of friendship.

Maybe because I saw my own cracks more clearly.

Or maybe because it’s just hard to admit to the darkness you find in someone’s heart.

That was my friend.

A lot of us saw personalities traits that were damaged but we overlooked them.

Overlooked them until he found himself lost with no way for us to reach him any longer.

 

He had called me one night to tell me that he saw a UFO hanging still in the sky. It was something he couldn’t explain and he wanted me to see it. He rushed over and we got my binoculars out and we looked and he was right. It was a lighted object in the sky a bit off just hanging still and silent. He claimed he’d seen another but I didn’t see it. And it was weird but if it was of origins of another world I wouldn’t commit. He was certain though. When my wife returned home later that night and I told her she gave me the easy and obvious answer – it was a police helicopter near the scene of a shooting.

Ahh.

This was the point where my former friend began moving away from the rest of us.

He began diving into YouTube and the web for answers.

UFOs.

Golden Ratios.

Divine Truths.

Hidden Meanings.

Hidden Agendas.

Conspiracies.

And finally, a flat earth.

 

When he began talking about all of this we laughed. It was crazy. Who would believe that?

That the earth was flat?

He did.

Everything seemed to come clear to him – there was a vast conspiracy to lie to us about how our world was under a dome, on a disc, and that there was an alien presence that ran the show. Governments were in collusion. There was no moon landing. The truth was hidden in nature but we just wouldn’t see it. Divinity existed, even for someone who had once been an atheist, and it was all around us.

Taken together it was beyond madness.

It was illogical.

I don’t have to believe in everything that everyone does.

My belief only has bearing on me.

The thing is though that once you start denying truths that have been proved over and over and over again, choosing instead to believe in the harder story, the stranger story, I have a problem.

We proved the earth was flat back when there were only manually operated scientific instruments and the courage of people to see what happens when you sailed further than was reasonable.

We have proven over and over and over certain things.

The thing though is that there are people who are so damaged that they believe the whole world is lying to them, is against them, and is conspiring to make them fools.

They will buy into any lie that tells them they are right.

Flat-Earthers are the sore thumbs that stick out the most but the notion incels have that women owe them sex and companionship, the notion gamergaters have that videogames should be only white and hyper-masculine, or that some religious people have that anyone that does not fall into the binary heterosexual lifestyle is sick.

We are in an era where the lies have become bigger than the truths because we take the truth for granted.

We take it as an obvious thing.

Too many others don’t.

Even if they may believe, deep down, that the world isn’t how they see it, by god, they will do whatever it takes to make it into what they believe.

It’s the last efforts of someone, of a group of people, losing their grip on a shifting landscape.

Losing connection to a world they don’t feel they can control.

It is what someone desperate does.

They revert to the cold comfort of hate and ignorance because there is nothing better, nothing that feels purer than the simple act of being against the norm.

By god, you won’t change me.

I won’t let you change my mind, my heart, or my body.

This has become a scary world.

A scary country.

We want freedom…for us and those we love.

We want rights, for ourselves.

We want knowledge, for the things we feel are right.

We hide behind gods and politicians and blame them when our truths are shown to have holes.

We are a broken people with no desire to patch ourselves up.

 

Our friends went so far out to sea that we couldn’t reach him.

One night I tried to connect with him, went to pick him up and hang out and he asked on the way to my house if it was an intervention.

It wasn’t, and sadly, I was the last of his friends to care enough to even reach out to him.

I had thought we’d watch something on TV, talk, and just have fun.

He had other ideas.

He had made up a PowerPoint presentation to show me his beliefs and, presumably, to convert me.

Alas, as soon as he started it he lost me.

I can reason out a lot of the mysteries he was fascinated by and those that I couldn’t weren’t enough to drive me towards declaring wrong things that science had already proven out.

And that was it.

I remained his friend until he started to get aggressive online any time someone questioned his claims and his YouTube links. His answers came in the form of other people’s diatribes posted online or videos that were supposed to prove out things that had already been proven hundreds of years earlier.

Nothing would break through.

He had made his choice.

I should have seen it coming.

He had quit his jobs.

He had moved into what was essentially a hovel in a sketchy part of town.

He sold his car and just rode his bike.

He cut off everyone who didn’t see the world the way he did.

It all added up to someone removing themselves from society.

That isn’t always a bad thing, at all, but taken with his world views, it’s a dangerous thing.

And I find now that I worry about him, and about what he has become.

He’s not yet 40 and has already given up on people.

I don’t know what sort of future he has.

Just day after day after day.

Fighting a world that you can’t convince, though I think if he did he’d probably change again.

Better to be alone and righteous than surrounded and part of the herd.

 

And I can’t help but think that the trolls and goblins online preyed upon him as they prey upon anyone broken enough to look for truth and answers from random strangers with a video account or people with a website…or book…or some sort of bully pulpit.

Act as if you have authority and knowledge and you will call the weak and fallen to you like lost lambs.

Look around and you see it. Facebook is still full of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Websites that JUST want a little info that they swear they won’t sell. Maybe.

Social sites that want your feedback as they tell you what other people voted…the man behind the curtain a firm that is using your data to preach to you about a specific topic, dressed up as hard journalism.

We all get conned.

Some of us worse than others.

We want to believe.

In ourselves, in others, and the world.

Alas, the world has gotten uglier and it’s gotten easier to fool strangers for fun and profit.

And when our leaders are part of that system of lies, when they profit from it and excel because of it there is no one to help guide us back to reasonable truth.

It’s a lot more comforting to be a zealot than it is to be part of the pack.

And so few want the drama of speaking up and correcting people.

So few want to deal with the trouble of this world that the lies get grander and sink deeper until you start to wonder – but what if…

Everyone has an agenda, we figure, and everyone is on the take.

Every great movement has holes in its base which people pick at until the whole of it falls apart.

ALL this are ALL of that.

There are no grays, just black and white and red all over.

God is dead in a world full of Judases.

And we’re bound to lose friends when the truth of people comes out.

Because how do you look past deep-seated ignorance, or abuse, or bigotry, or sexism, or hatred, or any of the ugly parts of ourselves that we all have an ounce of in us?

How do you forgive someone who wants to see the world burn so they can feel warmed by its fire?

 

In this area of truth, the only thing we can depend on is that truth is malleable and changing and that you have to go with your heart to find what is truest of all and even then you have to look deeper at whether you too might just be wrong.

 

…c…