Thursday, July 30, 2009

I, Artist

Hello Dear reader,
I feel it might be time to let you see behind the curtain. I set myself up as some sorta expert demi-god of culture, the hapless victim of the cruelty of the world, the martyr of Art, the brutalized soul of a poet. You find humor in my adventures, or so I've been told. Now its time for a bit of background. I was born in the Magic City in the Spring of the year that Ozzie and Harriet's son Ricky actually sang a Fats Domino song on nationwide TV- which was in the next day's paper. We were just getting into outer space, and it was just after Sputnik. All this is true, The "Magic City" is Barberton Ohio, which is still known as the "Magic City" because it seemed to spring up as if by Magic. It was founded by O.C. Barber as a town for his employees to live and a place for him to place is factory {OC Barber was the "Match King" and if you ever used a Diamond strike anywhere match, you can thank Mr. Barber for the Privilege.} When I was there, Barberton was booming but beaten. The town was the eternal brown grey that is associated with small towns in the rust belt. The sidewalks were broken, the buildings were worn, but it was still small town America, where kids played in the streets, Men went to work, and women had kids and kept the house going. Our neighbors were 1st and 2nd generation Polish people and people that had been born and raised there or had come there for the work in the variety of industrial jobs that were available. Some from Pennsylvania, Some West Virginia, Some from further away. We lived on the West Side, sorta the Blue collar side of Barberton. It was where the Factories were and from my window I could see PPG's smokestack spewing out the remainders of its Soda Ash endeavors. The trains used to move this product to its various locals were constant and would lull me to sleep at night. The Winters were brutal, the summers were wonderful, School was stupid and there were hundreds of distractions for a boy my age. I was born in the Magic City. My parents raised me to be God fearing, honest, hardworking and taught me the difference between "want" and "need".
My Father who is still alive, was from Barberton. He was and is still is the smartest man I know. I take shots at my father because he is so set in his ways, however since my mom died he's loosened up a bit and His eyes light right up when discussing fishing, tools, politics's, or the history of the internal combustion engine and the vehicles that it propels. My father is very technically minded, he is also devout, honest to a fault and the man who taught me to be myself and to trained my mind to think in logic and absolutes, he taught me that one measures a man not by his color, his religion, his station in life, but by how he conducts himself and what he accomplishes. He's still stubborn, but I think I understand him. I can still recall how one makes electricity-you pass a conductor through a magnetic field...which is one of the first things my dad taught me.

My Mom was from Boston, 1st generation Italian born in this country. My Ma was a Taurus, and stubborn to a fault. My Mother was a force to be reckoned with, she was 4' 10 1/2" tall and often got teased about being short-but one quickly learned that Hand grenades aren't very big either. My mother could give you a look that spelled disaster for you, It warned that if you pushed her a bit harder you would regret it. and this was not an idle threat. My mother is another one I take shots at. While at Art school If I made anything for anybody and she saw it she'd admire it and look at me and say "OK, where's mine?" and she wasn't kidding. My Mom was one of those people who believed in communication. She could talk to anybody. And usually did. My Mom had a laugh that was contagious and she could polka on roller skates. She wasn't really creative but enjoyed the attempt. My mother made spaghetti sauce that I try to reproduce but could burn water if you let her...but always ready to try a new recipe-sometimes with disastrous results....There' the chicken and dumplings incident. My Mom had taken her mother-in-law's advice and attempted to make chicken and dumplings. It was fast, easy, and nutritious. Not to mention cheap to make. My mother ended up with chicken and dumpling. Singular. It was the size of a human brain and looked like it swimming in the creamed chicken goo. But we ate it.
Sunday's in my house was the kids up watching cartoons, at 9 my father would come down and turn the TV off, meaning it was time for him to read the paper and us to get ready for church. We went to 12:00 mass at the catholic church across the street from us. We we went every Sunday. At 10 years old I became an alter was one way of getting out of the house. We would eat dinner when we got home and listened to a show called "Polka Varieties." My folks just loved to polka.
I was sent to parochial school for the first 5 years of my schooling...that was a complete disaster. My little sister also went and thrived there. My sister is 2 years younger then myself, excelled in school and eventually went on to an Ivy League College where she also excelled. My sister is a bit shy when around strangers but firms up and is soon running the conversation. She's married and living in London with her husband and two boys. These two are my father's pride and joy...He loves those boys more then Life itself. Since my mom died he has remarried to a lovely woman that I don't know too well but She takes good care of my father and really that's all I could ever ask from her. They live half the year at her house in Barberton, and the other half in Arizona at his house.
I was born in the Magic City. My schooling was all up hill. I learned early what religious intolerance is from the Nuns who taught me. I learned that the Church doesn't deal with Chaos real well, and it doesn't like questions that it can't answer. Which I had many of. I learned that society despises the different, the noticeable and meek. I was all of these. I learned that the world was cruel. I learned that people were slightly evolved monkey's with car keys and also that God created Adam from dust and eve from one of his ribs. I learned that whenever you are in a group the lowest common denominator always rules. There was nothing wrong with my brain. In fact I probably understood what was being taught to me better then most. I just refused to do the work. I felt that until somebody started answering my questions about things that had nothing to do with grammar, addition and subtraction, or what the difference between latitude and longitude was, I wasn't going to do anything they wanted me to do. Most of my questions pertained to those mysteries of Catholicism that you are just supposed to accept. If Noah was supposed to take every animal of the world one of male and female, then why didn't we have any dinosaurs around? IF God always was, always will be and is perfect in every way, why did he choose that time to create the universe? and why us? was he lonely? that might suggest an imperfection. And if God created Eve From one of Adam's ribs shouldn't there be one more on one side of his body and if this is true why do men and women have the same amount of ribs? And sometimes it was just about stuff-Why does South America jut out and in in the exact opposite fashion as Africa? It looks like they broke apart. Why do all the black people live in one part of Town? Why if all men are created equal did we have slaves?
I soon got the reputation of being a troublemaker.
I was born in the Magic City. We moved from Barberton when I was 13. I go back now and again. I notice that the biggest hill in the world that was just outside my front door, wasn't that big, I notice that the streets are still broken, that the houses still look old and worn and that the only thing that's different are the lack of trees, and the small stores and business that were in every neighbor hood have been converted to cheap apartments or are boarded up.

I'll tell you more some other time. Right now I'm thinking about some supper and a nice hot shower....Good luck and farewell.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fathers and Sons

I just got a letter from my “student”. He wished to know how to draw, so his father, a Baptist Minister from down the street, came knocking at my door last January. The reason that it was his father that came was because my student is in prison. The kid has the eye, he can recognize value, and he had a fair concept of reproduction so I agreed to help him. Little did I know that I was going to become his father confessor for all the angst that goes with a young 20 something year old, who just happens to be in prison. Art seems to be the last thing on his mind. He wants to talk about girls, He wants to get his GED, he wants to go into the Military and see the world, he wants to join the CIA, how he feels about the world, what he wants to do when he gets out, his beliefs and his opinions on things. At 21 he hasn’t got an opinion on anything, but like most 21 year olds he thinks he does. During our initial correspondence he claimed to be a born again Christian,(obviously succumbing to his fathers desires) having left his heathen ways of Wicca behind him. Recently he has decided to return to his Goddess worship and informed me of this change in great detail. Well, it seems to go against the grain with his father and in the last letter I read he included a letter from his father denouncing this decision. And {GEE! Imagine THAT…!) it read like a sermon. I was slightly implicated as a possible bad influence.

I refuse to discuss the subject of religion with anyone. The people that ask are either looking for the secret handshake of their particular cult, or if they don’t get it, they try to convince you that what you believe (no matter what it is) is so wrong and ridiculous that they are going to make it their mission to attempt to steer you to the proper path, namely the one they’re on. But there’s more at work here then just the conflict of Faiths. There’s the ever present clash of a man who sees his offspring as a 6 year old who can barely use the toilet on his own no matter what age he is, and a man child attempting to achieve his own beliefs and his own life.

I figured I’d share my version of this conflict concerning my father and myself. My father is of the old school, he was pre-Elvis. I recall him seeing the Beatles on the tube for the first time, raising his finger heaven word (I always thought he was attempting to get better reception between himself and God) and announced that this was the end of civilization as we knew it, and that those Assholes needed to get a job and a haircut. My father likes control. My father doesn’t like surprises, and he doesn’t want to try anything new. My father thinks in absolutes. My father feels that everything you buy should be functional-everything else is junk. My father believes that a man should have a job, either in business or have a trade. When I announced to my father that I was going to art school he thought I was insane. I’m not using that term lightly: My father thought I had literally lost my mind, that I should seek professional help of the mental variety. It’s almost humorous when I recall that he took me to my first art museum. We were killing time in Boston, doing Thanksgiving-My Grandmother had recently passed away and my mother and her siblings were still in mourning. My sister had done a world history class and all the pictures in her book claimed to be from the Boston Museum of Art....SO He took the kids to the Boston Museum of fine art, where he managed to embarrass himself by asking a guard if the El Greco’s he saw on the walls were reproductions. The Guard looked at my father like one might look at a dog that had just pissed on the carpet and said “Sir, This is THE Boston Museum of FINE ART, there are NO reproductions here.” Now My father isn't stupid, he took a western culture class in college. He reilizes that somebody in history did these pieces of artwork and they are in museums...And in my father’s mind, that is what art is and where art belongs.

During one Christmas trip home after I had Graduated from Art School and done quite well there, my mother began to nudge me in the direction of the Family portrait. She had been bugging me about this for years. She wanted Rembrandt. She wanted her in her house, her husband and her children in browns and Golds…I kept putting her off, I had to make a living at this point. So I listened to what she had to say and made a few suggestions. My Father over hearing this conversation harrumphed his dissatisfaction. Now My dad can harrumph with the best of them. He’s a world class critic, and can show disgust with the twitch of an eyebrow. Noticing this I commented that I knew how he would want to be portrayed: His best blue suit with his hand on top of the German WW 1 spiked helmet that sat on top of the family bible. I noticed a sparkle in his eye, momentary but definite. Now a bit of History, a spiked German helmet was the Holy Grail in our family. IF you found one and brought it home all would be forgiven no matter the crime (I did find him one and gave it to him a few years later…and we’ve gotten along better ever since.) It was the one thing that he always wanted ( I still haven't figured out the funtion of one yet.) Later in the week after this conversation my father and I found ourselves in yet another debate concerning some social issues, and although my arguments were sound and logical, my father claimed victory because he was the “Autocrat” of our family. He then asked me if I knew what an Autocrat was…my response was “Yeah, Caligula, Hitler, Mussolini…all autocrats.”

My Father’s Birthday falls about a week after Christmas and for the life of me I could never remember the date. But that year I had a plan. I was going to fix him. When I returned to Boston (I had moved there a year after I graduated from college) I got out all the books I owned about the History of Posters, IE WW 1 posters and got my Cousin Lisa to stand at attention with a broom. I drew my father’s serious look from memory (Not difficult, I had seen that face many times pointed at me) and drew him in a WW 1 German Uniform with an Iron cross and various other medals over his heart, on his head a spiked helmet, and he was saluting with a sword. Under it I wrote “My Father- Autocrat”. It took me a couple of hours including the oval Mat. I put it in an envelope with a birthday card and waited for the shit to hit the fan.

My Mother was very Ill at the time. My father doesn’t call anybody that doesn’t include his business. He’d say “Get that asshole on the phone and let me talk to him!” SO a week later my phone rings. “Albert K. This is you father.” I am just sure he is calling me to tell me that my mother has succumbed to her illness and to come home for the funeral. “Hi Dad, what’s up? Is everything OK?”

“Yes” he says, “Everything is fine here. I called to say thank you for my birthday present. I want to ask you a question. How are you able to do that?”

“Do what, Dad?”

“How are you able to look inside me like that?”

I instantly realized that I had inadvertently pushed one of my father’s buttons, and not a little one either, I had pushed one that was one of his secret buttons.

“Dad, that’s what I do, that’s why I went to Art school, that’s what they taught me to do.” It was half true, but it was an answer he could live with.

“Well I just wanted to say thank you, here, talk to your mother.”

My mom got on the phone and the only words that I could muster was “What in the Hell was That?”

She sounded confused and excited at the same time.

“He brought that envelope in and opened it, and then sat there silently and looked at it for about 10 minutes and then demanded my role of dimes…” (another piece of the puzzle, my mother kept a role of dimes in the house, Why, no one ever found out. But God help you if you touched her role of dimes.) “When I ask him what he wanted them for he said he was going to go the Post office to make copies of the picture you sent him and then he was going to send them to everyone so that ‘those assholes will know just who they’re dealing with!”

And he did. He also took it to all his business meetings and instead of the wood grained plastic sign in front of him that had his name, he put the picture that I drew.

A side note; about a year later I told him that if he loved the picture so much I’d be happy to frame it for him (He had it wrapped in a piece of Plastic wrap) He thought that was great. I told him to send it to me and I’d frame it and either bring it with me next time I came or I’d send it to him. He absolutely refused. “You want to frame it, fine. You come here and frame it, that picture never leaves me.” And that was the end of that. So I framed it for him the next time I went out and now that he's retired I have it on good authority that the minute you come into his house he steers you to that picture and then shows you the house he lives in. He wants you to know just who your dealing with.

I think that that was the first time that my father believed that maybe I wasn’t insane for wanting to go to Art School, that maybe I did know better what to do with my life, and that maybe Art didn’t belong just in museums. I think that eventually every father and son have a moment like this, the son realizes that his father is just a man, scared and as unsure as the son is. And the father realizes that the son is not a child, that he is unique to himself and that although he might look like the little boy who wet his pants, he isn’t.anyway good luck, and maintain.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Art and the science of chaos

Well dear reader, you've decided to join me for yet another trip into the angst of being born 500 years too late, and only good for the menial job of making boxes.
My week of working to get things done is going ok. Not great. The help I was promised has been sick, seems he's got some stomach problems and they're going to send a camera into him from both ends on Thursday/Friday...At least that's what I think he said. See, he's from Viet Nam, Good guy, hard worker, salt of the earth type. And I might add he speaks English better then I speak Viet Namese. However that does not change the fact that instead of having help for the 5 days I've been given to do this I'll have help for a grand total of 2 1/2. Yeah he was Shanghai'd today to put in some molding and do some sanding on sight by one of the carpenter-crew cheifs...The guy's a real tool, but that has nothing to do with this.
My back has been giving me some grief...seems I had it pretty straightened out...but this week has made it bad again. I can't stand for more then a few minutes till my right leg starts feeling like a hot poker is being driven into my thigh, and the part where it connects to my hips starts resionating with that feeling you get when you start driving 1 5/8" coarse thread sheetrock screws into your flesh, by the handful- and the only relief is to sit down. I'm going to the chiropractor next week, I'm already planning it.

ANYWAY, now that I've given you the preamble....The article is about the art and science of Chaos. My work habbits are an atrosity. Wherever I work there's a mess, a collection of wood scraps, tools, my gum, a phone or two, pieces of used and unused sanpaper, sawdust, papers, notes, calculations, screws, glue bottles, what I'm working on and all the things associated with it. It's spread all over my work area and I'm left working in one small corner. Its an atrocity. Really. I've tried to be good and put things away and clean up and move things around...I move the 1st mess to another surface and then go about bringing part of it back and building a new mess. I can't help feeling that this is how the creative mind sorta just throws up all the facts and has them around for reference while it works in a corner on the result...I'll tell you what, I'd buy a child to clean up the studio every day if I thought that I could get away with it. I've offered cash for teenagers for this purpose...if it's a girl I assure the parent that this and this alone is my intent. If it's a boy, I get this look of " you trying to get this kid to clean up after you is like teaching a fish to sing...He can't even keep up with his own stuff." Alas, I was not raised this way. I was raised by loving parents...One an Italian housewife who took great pride in the fact that her house was always clean with her own filing system ( my mother never threw anything away. When she died we had to get rid of boxes of contact paper scraps, grocery bags that had used grocery bags all carefully folded and stored away for when the world had a grocery bag shortage, and boxes of bows and ribbons , some that were only 2" long) and one German engineer. My work habbits drive my father competely up the wall ("I cannot understand how you can work like this. You spend half your time looking for stuff and the other half trying to remember what you wanted it for" which isn't completely true, I only spend 1/4 of my time trying to remember what I wanted it for the other 3/4 is split between looking for something and trying to find a pencil) I've gotten into the habbit of putting away 2 tools for every new one I need. That helps. But this is the way I am. If I'm painting, carving, drawing, building, designing, cutting a block for prints....My tools and my notes and calculations along with the other flotsum that goes with it spread all over my work surface and me in one little corner busily working away. I only mention this because I caught myself doing it at work. I had to sit while I worked so everything I needed needed to be at arms length or closer...and my arms are only about 2' + long.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The last thread is cut

In a former blog ("Albert, just amaze me...) I mentioned that I had a job. Well that ended (sorta) last year at the beginning of July. I have spent this year attempting to find another job (as I had for the two years before the layoff) because of the guy who I worked for. Lets just say that this guy couldn't lead another person to water if both of them were on an island. He lives in his own private little world and avoids any kind of confrontation... I think he's attention deficit and a text book passive/aggresive He makes promises on the spur and then forgets the promises he made, leaving the results to chance or hysteria. And if he notices that there's a problem he wants to talk about it, but hears nothing that anyone has to say...maybe for a few hours but soon its like it never happened-He suffers from the disposition that all he has to do is pretend that he hears you and everything will be fine. He trusts the people that take advantage of him, but the ones who have no interest in taking advantage of him he dogs like a bloodhound on the trail of a convict. See, there are two cabinet making firms in the same space. One belongs to the contractors who own the building and the other my former employer. It used to be that he did the lion's share of their cabinet work. So, they decided to buy the machines and make their own...and despite the fact that they told him they wouldn't compete with him on other work...He took this as some sorta betrayal. Then they told him he was too expensive. Its true, he is the most expensive cabinet maker in the area...he uses these Draconian methods that we have long since developed time saving machinery to not have to do...but this is his way and he'd rather die then admit he's wrong. I could get technical... but I won't. Leave it at, his method of doing things was current about 80 years ago...This methodology takes time, thus the added expense. And as with all things, the more time you take, the more money it costs, the less money you make. Now don't get me wrong...I am all about working smart and not hard to do things... I like hand tools, and most power tools. I get handed the jobs that must be handled delicately...with precision and a knowledge of more then one way to skin the cat. But his attitude about some things can only be explained as obtuse. He must always be the only one who truly knows whats going on, ( he told a former employer of mine that its his way of keeping control.) He likes to give you just enough information so that you can take it to a point...then he'll tell you what you are to do next. Problem is 1/2 the time he's out running errands or involved with other it waits till it needs to be delivered the next day, then he runs around hysterically like at any minute his dick is going to fall off. When you point this out to him, he swears things will be different, next day it's back to the same old thing....I've been trying to get away from this clown now for 3 years.
Anyway...The other firm that shares our space asked me to step into the shoes of their shop foreman for a week while he's on Vacation. Seems they have a rush job that requires somebody with an understanding of how to get it done...SO, I asked my former employer if he had a problem with it (knowing full well in his mind I was turning to the dark side)...He said he didn't and he wouldn't hold it against me, after all I had to do what I had to do. I explained it was only for a week. He said he understood.
Well today was my first full day, I asked to have a couple of days to get a feel for the job, their shop and to have a bit of training on the whats and wherefores of their machinery. Every shaper is like a woman, it has it own ways, its own problems and if you take your eyes off it for a minute it will cost you blood and stitches.
Well, today before lunch my former employer announced that he wanted his keys to the shop and the tool room back. "SO, I'm not coming back to work for you?" (this was something he had been saying for a year, despite the fact that he would rather pay some kid who he has to train under the table to help him then to have me there working for the same money under the table as he was paying the kid, as I had offered to do.) "No, it doesn't look like it." (Did I mention that this guy is a classic passive/aggressive?) Ok, I gave him his keys back. I also removed the few things that I had left-namely my cart that I built with my own materials and kept the few materials I used when I was working on my stuff for the last year (I'd come into work on my stuff on Mondays before my life drawing class)- I won't stay where I'm not wanted. This suited him very well cause all he did was smile as I loaded my stuff up. See this guy has been trying to get rid of me for a while. I'm not one to roll over, I didn't act like everything was hunky Dory when it wasn't, I'm not afraid to call an asshole an asshole to their face, no matter what his position, and I knew how to do about anything he could but I had a few other tricks up my sleeve, thus being able to claim that NO his way wasn't the only way. SO, after 8 years and 9 months its over.
I am the first to admit that I'm not the easiest person to get along with-there isn't a bear on my business card cause I have little button eyes- But I am easier to get along with if shown a small amount of respect, When I pull your nuts out of the fire at least let me know you appreciate it, and If I make a suggestion at least listen to it. Discount me, hover around me like a fly while I'm working, come up behind me while I'm in the process and Yell "What the hell are you doing and why are you doing it that way!?!" When it was what you told me to do, and the way that you told me to do it 15 minutes before, and then when I stop and explain that to you don't shrug and say "oh, well go back to work-and hurry up this needs to get done [at least 5 times a day] or Insist on talking to me while I'm running a machine (RULE 1 in High School Shop class: DO NOT DISTRACT SOMEONE USING A POWER TOOL. IF YOU MUST SPEAK TO THEM LET THEM SEE YOU AND ALLOW THEM TO TURN THE MACHINE OFF.) and don't blame me when What I tell you was going to happen, happens because you were too stubborn to think maybe I might know what I'm talking about.
I've worked in a total of 12 shops over the last 20+ years, some I lasted in a few for years, some for months. I've been asked to leave about half of them. At first cause I didn't get the process, and a few because I have little tolerance for fools who insist that because you work for them-they think that they own you. I also insist on being asked to do something. In short, don't treat me like one of your hand hand a matter of fact, he took better care of his hand tools then he did his employees. So when I took issue with this treatment of me, it was on. And as anyone can tell you- I make no secret of the fact that I'm not happy. The end was inevitable.

NOW, that you listened to this drivel for a while, I'm sure you're just rolling your eyes and saying...'there's another 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back' I want you to know, I've decided it might be time for a change. I'm thinking that the next time I get employed, I'm going to say nothing at all. I'll either nod my head when I can do it and understand, or shake my head when the opposite is true. I shan't attempt to change things unless specifically asked to do so, I shan't improve things because I can and I will no longer take on the responsibility of telling the people in charge just how wrong they are. I will allow them to screw it up, come up with the same plan as I decided to keep to myself and allow them to think that they and they alone know what's going on, In short feed into this need they have to think that they are omnipotent. That's right just heard me tell you that the with the next job I have, the sun will rise in the west, Chickens will breed with pigs and have gofers, and I will allow my employer to hang himself by his balls and not help him to get out of it till he comes up with a plan. Even if mine is better. I need to go to the library and find a copy of "the prince" by Machiavelli". Until next time....Good luck and maintain.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Lose all hope, ye who enter here

I said goodbye to my youth last night. I won't bore you with the sorted details of this farewell, lets leave it at the disaster of a relationship I got involved with 2 years ago with a woman I met while I lived in Boston ended. She too damaged from previous relationships to give anything but bile and viciousness, I too worn to put up with it. It was costly, both monetary and emotionally-not for her, but for me. When she left I was left alone with my work in front of me. I realized that I was no longer a hope filled young man, believing the lie that there is somebody out there for everyone. There is no one out there for me...I must walk my path alone. I used to hope that there was one woman out there that could understand my motivations, appreciate me for what I am and what I do, have my back when I couldn't cover it.
Hope for me to have some sort of normal life has evaporated leaving nothing but a stain sorta like vomit left by a drunk on the sidewalk. A place without hope is Hell; and as I reflect on the last 52 years, it has been mostly that. It is both exhilarating and pitiful that I have reached this conclusion. I haven't given much of a damn about what other people thought for most of my time here, They are usually wrong, they are motivated by both ignorance and fear, and they haven't a clue about me. I also have allowed myself the privilege of appearing in public thinking that I was alone there...I say what I like, dress as I like and treat all people with the same level of contempt that I am treated with, the only advise I usually take is from my mechanic and medical professionals. I figure I'm paying for their advice I best take it.

I had a potential client in here yesterday, just before this farewell took place. She had on a "I love Jesus" Tee shirt and spoke in circles about nothing in intellectual religious fanatic. She claimed she had no money for the work she was wanting me to accomplish but was interested in barter. I responded with "what have you got to offer?" She quoted scripture suggesting that when God spoke he did so through people who spoke truth...OK, not something I can use. However, It did register that for the upcoming event of my farewell to this woman I had claimed to love, I would be presented with the right answer. When this potential client left, it wasn't long before the expected visitor came. She told me she had forgotten that she had left the things she had stored in my place. Not surprising, this woman is so busy picking at the wounds of her past its not surprising she has no room left for those day to day things, like paying her bills or where she had left her shit. I pointed at the pile of her stuff. She claimed that she had missed me, that I had been right about the momentary knot that had driven me off, and in fact I had been right about everything. Yeah well that and fifty cents will buy you a cup of coffee. As I looked at her she begin to well up. It had no effect on me. This woman will cry for absolutely no reason at all so why should this be very different. I told her that there was nothing for us, that there was no future for anything between us. I had told her to lose my number and never contact me again...I know a black hole when I see one-I was tired of believing in something I knew wasn't so. But as she left with her stuff, I knew that with her left my trust in any individual woman, with her left that last occurrence of me allowing a member of the opposite sex to have any influence on my life. The scale had been swaying for years but it settled as her car door slammed shut and she drove off. There would never be another woman in my life-she would be the last. I don't have the time, the inclination nor the hope that my answer lies with normalcy in my life. I will have to stand alone in the world, my past is my future.

Its a pity really. I would have made a good husband, I would have made a good father. I have learned from the many mistakes made by others in these regards. I was a good father figure to her boys, kids love me cause I don't treat them like some sorta alien creature...I treat them as inexperienced humans. I shield my lessons in the promise of forbidden information, that they might not be ready to hear what I have to say but I'll make this allowance just this once...Kids always want what they aren't allowed to have. I treated her well, I listened to her while she described the demon parade of her life...I listened over and over and over. I finally said enough after 6 months of the same 7 stories. I like green beans, but not every day and not for every meal and not as the only thing to eat. I guess its true, a woman will say she wants somebody that cares, somebody who listens, somebody who will make time for her, some who will treat her well. but when it comes right down to it, they want a bastard they can hopefully change. I'm not up to it. I am who I am, I am what I am. I would have enjoyed molding a young mind to take my place in society. I would have enjoyed growing old with a woman and allowing our lives to intertwine, but it is not to be. You can only pet a dog while hitting him so many times before the view of your open hand will cause the dog to whimper and hide. Last night, I realized that the open hand in front of me would cause me nothing but pain and I said no, and I will say no whenever I see the open hand again.

Abandon all hope ye who enter here. Yup, that sums up where my head is right now. Until the next time I think I have something to say, I bid you farewell.