The Uninvited Guest

The year is over, yet this bad comedy continues.

The new year approaches, and the time has come for change. It is my wish that this new year brings you many blessings, that you never feel sorrow, and that all your dreams come to be. I must let you go.

I cannot continue to write for, or about you. I must stop trying to understand why you do what you do. I must take the pain I feel and bury it deep enough that even I cannot find it again. Enough is enough.

My name is Skid Vis. That is who I am. I am strength. I set fire to the worlds of those I touch. I inspire action. I am more than my feelings, my memories, and my pain. This is my purpose.

Today, I will feel. I will focus on the joy you’ve given me. I will focus on the loss. I will remember you for the amazing angel you are. I will smile. I will try to imagine the world you wanted, and suppress all the fears that live in that world. I will feel the flames consume my flesh, as the pain wraps itself around my very being. Tomorrow, I will rise.

I will leave the ashes behind me, and set for the skies. I will shine like I’ve never shone before. I will set the world ablaze, or I will die trying.

You are my heart. You are my hope. You are freedom.

Your life will be wonderful, and everything will be just fine. You’ll smile often, cry rarely, and think of me even less. Our memories will come, now and again, and they’ll pass through you like a ghost. For a second, you’ll feel me, and even sooner, you’ll let me go. I will fade into the abyss of the past, and your joys will fill your life with meaning. This is my dream.

I will miss us. I will think of you. I will adapt.

My days are numbered, like it or not. Change is inevitable. I must stop this game and give this life a go. The pieces aren’t falling how I imagined, so I must snatch them from the air and put them in their place. I will no longer be an observer. The time has come to make things gooder.

I will win. I will exist. I will matter.

I’m Skid Vis, and I do what I want.

The Last Year

Wow, This last year, right? It’s been.. what’s the word?

Tumultuous?

Yea! Totally. Wow. I fell in love, but that all went horribly awry. I pushed all the wrong buttons and was left to the reality that I’m just not meant to have that sort of life.

Aww c’mon, it couldn’t have been all bad?

No, that’s true. There are tons of great memories. But goodness, remember mid-summer??

I could hardly forget, the time your were a po-et.

lol, yea. But wow, those were dark times. In all my life, I’ve never had to endure such pain and dispair. I didn’t think I’d get back out of that. To lose someone that seemed to be an extension of your soul, that’s just such heartbreak. Eventually, with the help of some friends, I was able to accept that, as Mickey Rourke said in Barfly, “That’s just the nature of the way things work.”

I made my mistakes, I ruined many a good thing, but I cannot sit around in sorrow. I still have to live because, true to my moniker, life undeniably goes on.

Indeed. So now what?

Well, I’m glad you asked. This summer was hard, as they usually are. You see, since the age of twenty-two, I’ve been living birthday-to-birthday. I never looked beyond my next birthday. However, I once heard said that those who achieve greatness, usually do it in their thirties. In eighteen months, I’ll be hitting the big 4-0. That doesn’t leave me much time, as evident in that counter on the right.

Oooh, that’s what that is!

Yessir, a countdown to my most important birthday yet. It’s sure to be a blast. It’s my finish line. I’ve decided to go all-in and all-out for the next eighteen months. I’m going to pull out all the stops and follow every dream I can. I have less than 600 days to find my grail.

Hey! This year wasn’t all bad, you got to see Spamalot again!

Yessir, and wasn’t that just a barrel of monkeys! XD
Anyways, buckle up and wish me luck. I plan on it being a very bumpy ride.

Well, I can hardly wait.

The Right In What’s Left

The world has ended.

The impact has caused an uprising of debris that’s blocked out the sun. Your nightmares have ripped through your soul and now stand before you, smiling, taunting you. What do you do?

What can I?

Nothing. You sit there, you watch the timer as it counts down the end of your miserable existence.

Yes.

They were all right. Remember them? The ones who said you’d never amount to much? The ones who predicted you’d die by a gutter?

Yes.

Way to go, champ. You’ve made psychics out of those bitches.

Yes.. I suppose.

You’re a fool. Look at me. Listen to what I have to say.

Fine.

Do not fear the wolves when they’re pups.

Yes, I know. I said that just the other day.

You did, but did you fully understand it?

Yes, we shouldn’t fear things when there’s still time to make changes.

Exactly. You can still make the pack yours. You can still rule the world, your world.

Yes, I can, but so much has gone wrong. I’ve lost control.

You’ve never had control, That’s an illusion. You’re a reactionary beast, you’re born to adapt.

You’re right. I did not get here by following.

Yes.

I still have options.

Yes.

I still have my strength.

Yes.

I am a force, light and nimble.

Yes.

Stop dwelling on all that has gone wrong, find yourself, find..

..the right in what’s left.

“Feels better to be lost, but haven’t felt the choice” — Chevelle, Revenge

The Last 18 Months

I’m in the eye of the storm.

The last 18 months have been quite turbulent, they’ve been a testament to the range of human emotion. I’ve felt happy, hopeful, angry, sad, loved, abandoned, useful, and useless. This is the cost of being the spirit that I am, ducking and weaving in and out of the lives of many.

The last 18 months have been hard to face. I found many moments where life finally made sense, where I had hope. Like bubbles floating in the air, they were gone as quickly as they appeared. The memories of the laughter we’ve shared almost makes it all seem worthwhile. I like to think that I’ve left a positive mark in your life. I like to imagine that your world is a better place because I’ve been there.

I’m in the middle of my life.

The last 18 months will be hard to face alone. It is my last chance to become a monument to goodness. I have a lot left to do and not a long time to do it. I’ll have to knuckle down, I’ll have to dig in and stand firm in my beliefs. I’ll have to open up and explore new ideas.

The last 18 months are my last chance to prove to the world, to you, that I can follow my own rules. That I can put the needs of the many above my own needs. It will be my self-serving attempt at happiness, to determine if I truly can feel happiness by providing it to others.

I’m in the nexus of my existence.

The last 18 months have led me down a path unlike any I’ve ever encountered. I’ve had to face many demons, I’ve had to deal with how I’ve let my fears hurt people. I feel disgraced by the very thought. I had slid into a mode of self-protection that made me lose sight of how much I affect others. I apologize deeply to those I’ve hurt, and I promise to be more vigilant to avoid further pain on either side.

The last 18 months are an experiment, I’m walking into a void where I can’t help but be afraid. Yet, I have no options. Time will not wait for me. I have to push forward and deliver on my goals and objectives. I have to spread my wings and let my hopes and dreams carry me toward the height of my abilities.

I long to be happy, I long to make you happy.
Thanks for your love in the last 18 months.
Love me in the last 18 months.

“You either fail or you rise and reach to other worlds” — Chevelle, Arise

The Far Side Of Close

They say “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”, but what about those who are neither? What about the people who mean something to you, but have fallen out of favor, or have otherwise become distant?

How do you let them know that they still exist? How can you tell them that they are constantly in your thoughts, that they are a huge part of you? How can you show them that, even though they aren’t around, they heavily influence your life?

How can they see that you miss them so much and want to give them what they want, but you can’t because it would compromise your integrity and dissolve your identity? How do you make them understand that you’re not against their happiness, just saddened that you can’t be a part of it?

How do you explain that the intense pain in your soul pushes you to move forward, because there is no going back? How do you thank them for being a catalyst for your self-discovery, for your growth, for your drive?

How do you prove that their laughter, their hopes, their dreams, their successes, their failures, their life is just as important, if not more, than your own?

How do you apologize for disappointing them, for scaring them, for driving them away? How do you make amends and fix the past while still sticking to your core? How do you prove your goodness and love without surrendering your soul?

Me? I’d prolly blog about it.

Blog, huh? Hmm, I’ll have to consider that.

The Counter

It was just another lazy night.

I was on the couch, catching up on my DVRed episodes of The Biggest Loser, trying not to laugh at the irony of me sitting there practically inhaling Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. “I’ll just spend an extra hour on the treadmill tomorrow, it’s worth it!”, I told myself.

It was getting pretty late, it was past eleven and if I was to get that extra hour in on the treadmill, I needed to hit the hay. I grabbed the remote and turned off the television. Oddly, as soon as I powered it down, it came right back on. It was on channel 60, then it went down to channel 59, then 58. I figured that a button must have gotten jammed on the remote, so I tapped it on my wrist and powered the TV off again. That seemed to do the trick, so I went upstairs to clean up and get ready for bed.

As I started to change, I couldn’t help but have mixed feelings about my current relationship status. I mean, on the one hand I was glad to be single with no one to impress; I could wear sweatpants and a t-shirt to sleep and nobody would care. On the other hand, it was a little chilly and I wouldn’t have minded having a nice warm man to snuggle up against. Oh well, them’s the breaks, right? “I’m a successful, independent woman and that’s just the cost of doing business.”, I muttered.

I killed the lights and slid under the sheets, fluffing up the pillows behind me so I could get in a little light reading. I have trouble falling asleep sometimes, and reading usually helps me zonk out. The History Of Love is what’s on my Kindle. It’s quite a complicated story, I’m not sure what’s going on half the time, which makes me wonder why I’m reading it before bed when I have even less focus.

I dove right in and started leafing through page after digital page, unable to retain a word of it and being more on autopilot than anything. It wasn’t long before I noticed the Kindle laying flat on the bridge of my nose and I decided that the time had come to call it a night. I glanced over at my alarm clock, curious of how much time had elapsed. I expected to see the time, but instead the clock said 00:47, then 00:46, then 00:45. I blinked rapidly and shook my head, another glance revealed it was 11:45. It must have just been the sleep in my eyes, or that weird state between awake and asleep. I smiled, let out a sigh of relief, and off to slumberland I went.

“33, 32, 31”

I lept out of bed in a mad panic, my forehead instantly glistening with sweat. Was that a dream? “Hello? Is anyone there?”, I asked, hoping to dear god that no one would answer back. I slowly made my way to the top of the steps, listening ever so diligently for the slightest sound. I had made my way down the steps when I saw that my front door was wide open! Fearing an intruder, I hauled my pretty ass outside, making sure to grab the cordless phone from the living room on my way out.

I waited outside until the police arrived, which thankfully didn’t take long. They did a thorough search of my home and did their best to not make me feel like a fool. “There’s a strong breeze tonight, more than likely you just didn’t fully close the door.”, said one of the boys in blue. Sounded reasonable enough. They said their farewells as I half-jokingly asked if one could spend the night. No such luck.

Back in my officer-approved home, I conducted my own last inspection. Everything looked fine, of course. Still, I felt a bit uneasy. I called up my friend Jeremy, he’s sure to be up, the man never sleeps. I told him about my scare and he ensured me that the cops were right, I just didn’t fully close the door. “I could swear I did! Anyway, it’s closed now! Closed, locked, and there’s even a chair in front of it, just in case!!”, I joked.

As if it hadn’t been cold before, now that I was thoroughly scurred and that door had been open forever, it was damn chilly. I asked Jeremy if he’d come spend the night, but he started rambling off excuse after excuse. “Ok, Ok, I get it!”, I said. He generously volunteered to stay on the phone with me until I fell asleep, that would have to do.

We spoke for a while as I asked him to tell me about his day, and then about his weekend plans, and then about whatever he was looking at. He just talked on and on about everything and nothing until his voice made the fear disappear and I slowly drifted off into blissful sleep.

“16, 15, 14”

I let out a scream and reactively threw my phone fiercely against the wall, shattering it into a billion little plastic pieces. At first I thought that Jeremy was just being a dick, but then I noticed that my bedroom light was on. “I turned it off, I fuckin’ turned it off!”, I nervously mumbled. I grabbed my cellphone and tried to call Jeremy, no answer. He probably fell asleep while on the phone himself.

I stepped out into the hall and saw that all my lights were on. Did I leave them on?? No, I was pretty sure, but maybe? I stood there, frozen, debating myself over and over. I tried to recall my every step, desperately seeking out that vital memory that would make it clear that I did leave the lights on and everything was ok. “But what about the counting on the phone??”, said a persistent little thought in my head that was determined to keep me scared.

Standing in the upstairs hall, entertaining a mental debate between fear and logic, time seemed to stall. Suddenly, the silence was broken and there was a clear winner in the debate. The toilet downstairs flushed, and there’s no way I was the one flushing it!! I’m pretty sure I turned six shades of white. I heard the bathroom door open, so I did what any logical person would do in this situation, I set my cellphone to vibrate and jumped into the hallway closet!!

I stood in the closet, it was dark except for the light sliding in through the bottom of the door. My heart was pounding so furious, I was sure it could be heard a mile away. I held onto my cellphone, trying fiercely to reach out to my police friends once again, but my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I could hear footsteps making their way up the stairs, I became frantic, I wanted to cry, but I had to keep it together! The footsteps stopped, and I could see a shadow stopped before the closet door. I placed my hand over my mouth, as if my body was telling me to shut the hell up. I just wanted to scream!! “Deep breaths, deep breaths..”, I reminded myself, trying to calm myself.

A buzzing in my hand almost threw me over the edge. My cellphone had just gotten a text message. I nervously looked at it, it was a message from myself, how could that be??

“3, 2, 1”

The Short Walk

Dude, guess what..

Your mom.

No, try again..

Your mom?

Ugh.. no! Tomorrow’s the day!

You mean?! Tomorrow you lose your virginity??

What?! No! Tomorrow I’m going SKYDIVING!!!

Yay!! ..wait, what?! I didn’t approve this!

haha!

Um, can we talk about this?

Sure! What do you wanna talk about?

Ok.. can we not do this?

Why the hell not?

Cuz, I dunno, I DON’T WANNA DIE!!!

Oh relax, you big ninny! Skydiving is one of the safest sports in the world.

Yea, falling out of a plane at 120 miles per hour sounds pretty damn safe!

It is, Serious! First off, you have not one but two parachutes, so you’re almost guaranteed to survive the fall. Once the ‘chute is deployed, you’ll slow down to a measly 20 miles per hour, that’s nothing! At worst, you’ll twist your ankle. Well..

Well what??

Well, I heard of a guy who broke his leg, but he was an idiot who decided to land in a pick-up truck! We won’t be doing that, we’ll just be landing in a corn field somewhere in BFE.

Well.. I dunno..
Wait, weren’t you against stupid stunts like this??

Yes. Things like skydiving and bungee-jumping never made much sense to me. I never quite understood why anyone would voluntarily put themselves in so much danger. Back then, however, my life was pretty dangerous, so adding to that didn’t make sense. I still feel that way about bungee-jumping, but I’ve been reading up on skydiving and it’s gotten a lot safer over the years. I mean, riding my motorcycle is a lot more dangerous! I fell off of that at 45 miles per hours and survived, 20mph should be a cakewalk.

mmm, cake

Yea so, wish me luck. If I do well, I’d like to get certified.

Well, you are certifiable!
Why get certified?

What do you mean?? Think of how awesome our vacations would be! Take Colorado, for instance. We’ve been there, what, a hundred times? Been there, done that, right? But imagine seeing the mountains from a totally different perspective.. FREEFALL!! How about Puerto Rico? A beautiful island, but what about falling from a plane and getting a bird’s-eye view?? Doesn’t that sound awesome??!

One man’s awesome is another man’s crazy.
Well, try not to die; I’ve got more insults I haven’t tried on you yet!

Roger that.

“Show me where forever dies, take the fall and run to heaven.”
— I Will Not Bow, Breaking Benjamin

The Love Lex

Hey, are you ready for more rules??

Golly gee, am I ever! ..not really, but whatevs.

Great!! Well, today I wanna talk about the rules of looooove.

lol! You? Have you seen your love life?

Hey, even the greatest pilots can crash and burn. We all make mistakes, especially me. Just because I know the right way, doesn’t mean I always choose it. That’s why they say, “Knowing is half the battle.”

Go, Joe!

Right.. so today I want to talk about the three things that I’ve come to believe are important for a successful relationship. They absolutely won’t guarantee kittens and rainbows, but they’ll at least give you a fighting chance. I’ve mentioned them before, and anyone who knows me well has heard me go on about them, but here they are for the rest of you.

-Never Stop Dating-

Typically, when we meet someone new we like, we spend months trying to impress them. We share our favorite places and our favorite things in an effort to reveal ourselves and to absorb them. Eventually, however, we usually get to a point where we reach an equilibrium. We start to feel that we’ve exposed all there is, or we’ve learned all we need to learn, and we stop dating and make the transition into routine.

The truth is that we’re all in a constant state of flux. Living is learning, and as such we’re constantly evolving. We will never know everything there is to know about each other, and we will never run out of things to share. When we date, we feed the relationship and it grows. The second we decide to stop dating, the relationship starts to starve, and we open up for the opportunity to have that hunger satisfied by an outside source.

Dating is not just a step you take in the beginning of a relationship, it’s not something you do to just to impress someone. It is more like exercise, it strengthens a relationship and it should be continually repeated in order to keep the relationship healthy and strong.

-Relationships Are A Privilege, Not A Right-

Being in a relationship is great, we feel like we can share everything and anything with each other, we’re free to be ourselves and expose parts of us that we would typically withhold from the public. It’s liberating and makes us feel safe. The problem, however, is that forming such a bond creates a false sense of security in us. We start to feel possessive about the relationship. We start to think that because our partner has exposed such intimate parts of themselves, that we have something to own. We begin to imagine that what we’ve shared commits us to each other unconditionally.

When we feel ownership, our expectations change. We start to think that we can get away with treating our partners in worse ways than we’d even treat strangers. This line of thinking is a horrible mistake. Each of us is a unique individual, trying to establish intimacy with someone who’ll accompany us on our journey through life, someone who’ll be supportive and nurturing. Instead, we find someone who starts off that way, but slowly evolves into someone who is primarily concerned with their own journey, and not at all participating in ours.

We are all individuals, we all have our own hopes and desires. Your mission in a relationship is to share each other’s hopes and desires. It’s a partnership, and if it isn’t treated as such, there is no reason for the relationship to continue. There is no obligation for your partner to stick around if you’re going to be self-centered and not be an active collaborator in their journey.

-Everyone Leaves-

From the very moment you meet someone, the clock is ticking. There is absolutely and undeniably a coming end to the relationship. At some point, the relationship will be severed. It may be caused by failing to follow these rules, or perhaps work separates you, or illness, or tragedy, but it will happen.

We need to keep this in mind at all times. You need to consider every moment with your partner and ask yourself if you’d be satisfied with your current treatment of your partner if you never got to see them again. It’s not a pleasant thought, I know, but it’s imperative to be aware that there are circumstances out of our control. We must be diligent and put the moments within our control to good use.

People fight, people argue. Strife is unavoidable, but don’t let it consume you. Try to put your disagreements into perspective and always consider that the words you say may be the last they’ll ever hear. Give your relationship the respect and care it deserves so that you’re never left with the opportunity to regret your words or actions.

Well.. that’s all I have to say on that.
Hello? Are you still here?

*sniff* *sniff*

Are you crying??

What? No.. it’s.. allergies!

Why the hell are you crying??

I’m not.. I’m..

I love you, man!

You’re such a wuss. ..I love you, too.

The 6-foot Ruler

I rule.

Word, you’re pretty cool.

No, I mean I rule!

Yea, that’s what you said. Oh, you mean like a king or something?

Bingo, Gringo!

What?! You know I’m not.. never mind, go on.

Thank you, kindly.
I operate, or at least I try my damnedest to operate in this world according to a rule set. Sure, I live under the idea that rules are often meant to be broken, but it certainly doesn’t apply to my rules.

Ok, I see.. so what are your rules?

-Vis Boni-

My first rule is so damn important, I had it etched into my skin, “BGOOD”. The Desiderata says,

“As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.”

, and that’s a key component of my being. Everyone struggles in this life, everyone has fears. It’s not my place to introduce any more stress or grief into anyone’s life. In fact, I find that my purpose is the opposite. While I exist, I should strive to make gooder the lives of those I meet. If I can help someone, I should. If I can teach someone, I should. If I can make someone smile, I should.

I come from a place where negativity oozes out of everyone like a plague. Bad things happen daily, and people forget to be good. People start to defend themselves without knowing if there is even a threat. Everyone becomes an enemy. That has been one of my biggest hurdles to overcome since leaving that place. I’ve had to constantly remind myself that people are good. I eventually start to believe myself, but unfortunately I’ve been proven wrong a few times, which restarts the process. I become defensive and aggressive, and have to once again remind myself that one rotten apple does not spoil the bunch.

Seeing “BGOOD” on my skin reminds me of that, and it also serves a second purpose. It reminds me that I am not “A Good”, meaning that if I were grading myself, I am not the best I can be. I can always do better, I can always be better.

So are you telling me I CGOOD? I know I sure FGOOD!! LOL

Oh, you. Anyway, Rule #2:

-Vera Dico-

As the great Mark Twain said,

“Truth is the most valuable thing we have, so I try to conserve it.”

..and that’s my second rule, honesty. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t lie. We all lie, usually about silly stuff that we really don’t even need to lie about. What I’m saying is that I try not to lie about anything important, anything serious. That, and if you know me, you know I’m brutally honest when it comes to my opinions and perceptions. If you don’t look good in an outfit, I won’t sugarcoat it. If you’re doing something I consider evil, or wrong, you can bet I’ll be the one to point it out.

Honesty is so important to me, that I even try to appoint what I refer to as “The One”. That means that, at all times, I like to have one person in my life with whom I can be completely honest about everything and anything. One person who knows me so well, that I can completely expose every single thought that flows through this magical noggin of mine. It’s a very important position as far as I’m concerned, and it’s of the greatest honor when someone appoints me to that position.

Also, and let’s try to keep this between you and me, I have a fail-safe. If you ever wonder if I’m lying, all you have to do is ask me three little words.. “Are you serious?” and I will never lie to that question, ever. Let’s not abuse that though, ok? :}

Sooo.. your rules are “be good” and “be honest”? Anything else?

Sure, I have plenty of rules. Alas, I’ve got shit to do, so some other time.

Are you serious??

No, I don’t actually have “shit” to do, but I do have some work I need to attend to. :}
Peace and I’m out!

“But I would be lying, if I didn’t tell you the truth.”
– Counting Crows, Le Ballet D’or

The Devil’s Back Pocket

I’m not a bad guy. Sure, come morning that’s what you’re going to hear. They’re going to say I’m a madman, a villain, the scum of the Earth; but I’m not.

My name’s Francis Oliver Emerson, but my friends call me Frank. I’m a mechanic. Ever since I got my first car at the age of fifteen, I’ve been tearing into them. I’m a good mechanic, It’s all I know. I enjoy fixing cars, it takes my mind off of my problems. I’m wishing I had a carburetor to clean right about now. As far as my problems are concerned, this one takes the cake.

In two hours, the clock will strike midnight and it’ll be my little girl’s eleventh birthday. It will also be a year since her bitch-mom walked out on us. Who walks out on their kid on her birthday?? A drug addict, that’s who. Last year was rough. How do you tell a ten year-old, on her birthday, that mommy’s gone? I felt so powerless, so useless. All I could do was hold her, hold her and use every tear she shed as fuel for my anger.

It was difficult enough trying to support my little girl and her junky mom, but it worked. There wasn’t much, but at least there was something. I was able to pretend that her mom was taking care of her while I was off shedding blood for ends meet. Now however, I can’t dilute myself. I know she’s sitting at home alone, missing me, and probably missing her mom. She’s such a sweet girl, she’s always so happy when I get home. I’m exhausted when I do, but her smile snaps me out of it. I sit with her while we eat our supper and talk about the day. She always has so much to say, and I’m always happy to listen. I sit with a huge grin, fighting back the tears that are just aching to come out. She’s my world.

I wanted this birthday to be awesome. God, how I’ve fucked that up. It’s getting hard to breathe here, my best guess is that I only have a couple hours of air left. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It was supposed to be a simple robbery. The plan was fool-proof. Hide in the bank’s bathroom until everyone but the manager left, have him show me to the safe, tie him up, grab the loot, and get away. Simple.

Fool-proof, and what a fool I am, locked in this safe. I didn’t know the door would close, I didn’t think I’d be trapped. I’ve ruined my little girl’s life. She’ll be shuffled through the system, the daughter of a druggy and a criminal. She’ll hate herself, she’ll hate me. Every year, she’ll recall the horrors of her life. She’ll need to be held, she’ll need to be comforted, and I won’t be there.

I could sure use some luck. Maybe the manager will break free and the cops will get me out of here. Maybe I’m dreaming! Maybe I’ll wake up and this will all just have been one hell of a nightmare. A reminder that things could always be worse. Yea, I’m no bank robber. Where would I even get a gun? This has to be a dream, but damn, it’s hard to breathe.