Thursday, August 30, 2012

GBE # 67 Peace

The old hound dog was putting up a mighty chase.  Feet thundering on the ground, heart beating fast, mouth salivating for the kill.....that rabbit didn't stand a chance.  He chased and chased until he felt he would go on chasing into eternity.

His master put his hand on the old dog's head, to calm him from the dream twitches while he lay stretched out on the couch.  "That rabbit not getting any closer, huh?" said his master.  The old dog's agitated legs calmed, and the whiney howls in his throat died down to a soft whimper as the dream chase slowed into a peaceful, deep sleep.

Submitted for GBE #67 topic:  Peace

Sunday, August 19, 2012

GBE #66 Snapshot In Time


Summer of 1991.

You, topless, smoking a joint.

Your lips curl up in a smile, beckoning me.

In the Darkening Of The Light we join.

Copyright Steven Clark 2012

Submitted for GBE #66:  Snapshot

*This was a snapshot in time from my past...."Bloodletting" is the name of an album by the band Concrete Blonde and "Darkening of the Light" was one of the songs off that album.  I originally wrote this back in April if anyone thinks it looks familiar.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Perspectives - GBE and Blogophilia

Michael was the coolest guy in school.  At least, that's what everyone said.  He had it, good looks, cool clothes, wicked car....every male in the vicinity wanted to be him.  Girls swooned if he looked in their direction, let alone spoke to them.  With every grade A he received, every touchdown he made, Michael spawned waves of admiration and envy with every step he took.

Michael sneered at them....if only they knew.

If only they knew that unless he brought home straight A's and performed well at his sport, his dad would beat him.

If only they knew that the clothes, the car, and the money he was given to spend was all a show for his friends; or more importantly, for his father's friends.

If only they knew that he actually hated playing football, had wanted to go out for band...but his father wouldn't hear of it and called him a faggot for wanting to play music instead of playing sports.

The girls he dated didn't want to talk about anything he cared about: music, poetry, nature.  They only wanted to hear about the next football game or about how much his car cost.

One night he couldn't take it anymore. He drove to a bridge, feeling the wuthering lows of his existence and was going to hurl himself off it because it was the only way he thought he could escape his father's insane expectations. But as he walked to the middle, he saw he wasn't alone. A girl was standing there.

Bridget was a girl he recognized in his class, but that was all he knew about her other than that she was the class "nerd". His peers picked on her relentlessly, jeering at her in the halls because of her out of date, ragamuffin clothes and thick glasses. Michael didn't know it but Bridget had spent many a time in the restroom, holed up in a stall, silently crying over some of the comments her classmates had hurled at her.  At home she cut herself to try and deal with everything....physical pain was easier to manage than emotional pain.  Baggy clothes helped hide the scars.

Michael walked over to her and asked, "What are you doing?"

Bridget stared at him, dumbfounded.  What was he doing here, of all places, of all times?  "Nothing," she said, quietly.  Just go away, she thought to herself, just go away.

Michael was annoyed that he wasn't able to carry out his plan the way he wanted, but he was concerned, looking at her face.  She looked like she had been crying heavily, her cheeks tearstained.  He stood there looking at her for a few minutes and then put two and two together....she was there for the same reason he was.

Wow, he thought to himself.  He hadn't expected this.  He had his own problems to deal with, and now this?  He blurted out the first thing that came into his head.  "You want to get some coffee?"

Bridget looked up and stared at him, incredulously.  Coffee?  He wants to  Now?  Of all times?
But she found herself saying, "Uh, alright."

Michael learned about her broken home, about how her mother couldn't afford anything but clothes from the Salvation Army, and how she needed new glasses but her mother couldn't afford them. He also learned about Bridget's love of music and poetry.  Hours later, after having almost drunk the Perkins Restaurant dry of coffee, and having made an inseparable bond, they said goodnight with promises to meet up again soon.  Pour Some Sugar On Me, Michael thought to himself.  Who would have known?  Bridget  Cooler than he was.  Ha.  If only they knew.

The next day at school, Michael went to his locker, his friends on either side of him, hurling the usual comments to the female passersby.  Just then Bridget walked up to them.

Her heart was pounding as she approached the circle of acolytes that usually followed Michael around.  She wondered if she would find the same person she had met last night.

Michael turned and saw her, and also saw his friends immediately start in on her with the usual jibes. Now was the moment of truth....follow his heart, or stay with the familiar pack?

He shut his locker, hoisted his backpack higher on his shoulders, and ignoring his friends completely, gave Bridget a smile.  "All ready?" he asked, ignoring the crowd as if they weren't there.

Bridget grinned as he took her arm and steered her through the crowd.

"Once bitten by the geek virus, you never go back Mike," one of his friends jeered.

Michael didn't care anymore, didn't care what waited for him at home, didn't care what waited for him in the future here at school.  Bridget was at his side and she understood him....that was all that mattered.

Submitted for Blogophilia 25.5
topic:  Wuthering Lows
(hard, 2 pts): incorporate a song title (or lyric) that has the word, "sugar"
(easy, 1 pt):  include the phrase, "once bitten"


GBE #65:  Two Perspectives

For the Blogophilia bonus picture guesses:
In too deep, cold feet, all washed up, drowning, for better or for worse, together forever, in it to win it, wet w edding

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blogophilia 24.5 Stand A Little Out Of My Sun

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I was doing stuff around my house.  Ok, trailer.  You know, stuff.  Saturday Stuff.  Laundry, groceries, mowing, and bowing to every whim of my masters.

I do not own cats.  They own me.

The following conversation took place on one of these Saturdays.

"Human, fetch me some food, I'm peckish," yawned Sisco, stretching his body out as gracefully as only a cat can do.

"Yes sir, right away sir," I said, running off to the kitchen.  I soon returned with a bowlful of dry cat food and placed it before His Majesty's nose.  He sniffed.

"You did not put the Yummy Sprinkles on top.  You know I like Yummy Sprinkles.  Fix it, Human."

I mentally hit myself for my stupidity.  "Yes sir, sorry sir."  I bounded back to the kitchen for the package of Pounce treats, came back, and poured a generous amount on top of the dry cat food.  I anxiously waited to see if it was pleasing to His Majesty.  Eyeing me like the lowly creature I am, he condescendingly began to eat.

I turned to go back to my Saturday Stuff but then I heard him say, "Human, rub my belly."

"Awwww, lil kitteh wants his belly rubz," I said, forgetting myself.  I was soon shown the error of my ways as I bent down and rubbed his belly.  Soon I was howling in pain from his claws and teeth that had penetrated my skin.

"Serves you right, Human, you know I dislike cutesy-speak.  Do not displease me again."

"Yes sir, I'm sorry sir, I couldn't help myself, sir.  I won't let it happen again."  I hung my head in shame.

"I forgive you.  Now, stand a little out of my sun, you're blocking my rays," Sisco said.  He curled up in the golden glow of the sun coming through the window and went to sleep.

His Majesty, Sisco

Finally able to return to my Saturday Stuff, I returned to the kitchen to put away the dishes, but to my dismay I saw my other two cats rolling around the floor, covered in cat nip.  I raised my voice at the troublemakers, who had broken into the treat cabinet and tore open the coveted package of catnip.  Raising my voice was the wrong reaction to have, however.

"HUUUMMMAAAANNNN!!!!!"  bellowed Max.  Wutter you doiiing raisin' your voiiiice to meeee?  Bow down and cleann dis UP!" he slurred.

"Y-yes sir, right away sir," I stammered.  I kept a close distance away from him; Max gets very temperamental when he's under the influence of weed.

In the meantime, my other cat, Runty, was meowling out a horrible melody at the top of her lungs.  Usually quite the Diva, she apparently now thought she was an exotic troubadour as she walked from room to room, 'singing' all the while.

After I had cleaned up the mess, I heard sounds of fighting coming from the next room, followed by a loud thump that sounded ominous.

I ran back in to find Sisco and Max, wait, this had gone beyond brotherly sparring, this had turned into a knock down drag out fight.  My ashtray had been knocked to the floor, along with several books and the TV remotes.  Sisco was hissing and bucking like a bronco trying to shake Max off his head, and Max was a-hootin' and a-hollerin', seemingly having the best time of his life.  I hesitated, not sure if I should intervene or not.  It wasn't my place to disrupt such a kingly display of superiority.....until they knocked my Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs to the floor.

My right eye began to twitch.  No one messes with my Buffy DVDs.

I screamed "HEY!" as loud as I could and slammed my hands together in a clap that I can still feel to this day.  Both Sisco and Max jumped three feet in the air and then promptly ran to the bedroom lest they be mangled to bits by my fury.  I stood there composing myself for a minute, then stooped to clean up the mess.  I took a deep breath and returned to my Saturday Stuff.

Half an hour later Sisco wandered back out, sauntering as if nothing had happened.  "Human, I'm hungry again, give me some Yummy Sprinkles."

I stood there looking at him.  I didn't fetch Yummy Sprinkles.

"Human, I said give me some Yummy Sprinkles!"

I looked down at my feet, but I didn't budge.

Sisco sighed and rolled his eyes.  "Alright, alright, I apologize for knocking over your Buffy DVDs and the ashtray and everything else.  It's Max's fault but he can't apologize because he's passed out on your bed.  By the way, you might need to change your sheets because he thew up on them.  Now can I have some Yummy Sprinkles?"

My head snapped up with a smile on my face.  "Oh thank you Your Majesty, thank you, you are kind and generous and...."

"Just get me my Yummy Spinkles and we'll forget this ever happened," Sisco interrupted.  "Deal?"

"Deal," I said, smiling.

"Well get on with it Human!  I don't have all day!" he bellowed.

I grabbed the can of Pounce, feeling all was right with the world.

Submitted for Blogophilia 24.5

Topic:  Stand a little out of my sun
(hard, 2 pts): include troubadours and troublemakers
(easy, 1 pt): incorporate a rodeo event

bonus picture guesses:  W.C. Fields, you're pulling my nose, long winded, primal scream/yell, won by a nose, monkey see monkey do

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

GBE 64: Hidden

The soldier knelt down to carefully scoop up water with his hands and drink it.  Musn't spill a drop, he might not be able to drink again for the rest of the day.  As the warm water slid down his throat, he thought of her.

He had been in this prisoner of war camp for over a year now.  They had been promised decent treatment by their captors but as soon as the officials left, the prisoners knew it had only been lip service.  What was shown from the propaganda department was entirely different from reality.  Only the thought of her buoyed him on to endure it.

He and his fellow prisoners quickly learnt that rules can be subjective to a guard's mood that day, to retaliate could mean death, and that maggots in bread shouldn't be passed up, because it was extra protein.

Day in and day out he toiled along with the other prisoners, sometimes being pressed into manual labor for whatever needed doing around the camp, but most of the time simply going out of his mind with despair and futility.  Why did he ever enlist?  Why did he get sent here?  Why hadn't his country rescued them yet?  How much more could they endure of this hell?  But he was lucky; he had her to think of and keep him sane.

He had a secret.  A small photograph of her, his beloved, back home waiting for him, was his lifeline to survival in this hell hole.  He kept it hidden from his captors in a small crevice between the boards of their bunkhouse, wrapped in cellophane to protect it from the elements.  He hadn't even let his fellow soldiers know about it, lest it be stolen; or worse, found by their captors to bring torture down among them all.  He rarely went to take it out and look at it for fear of drawing attention to himself and the hiding place, but just the knowledge it was there kept him going like a small pilot light in a cold oven.  As long as that photograph was there, he would live through this so he could go back to her.

Months went by and he saw some of the other prisoners die from malnutrition, and despair.  He clung tight to the knowledge that she was back home, waiting for him, so he must survive this no matter what.  In his darkest moments he only had to think of her bright smile framed by that soft blonde hair and he felt he could go on for a few more hours, at least.

In time the prisoners were rescued and soon on their way back home to civilization.  As soon as he stepped off the train in his old hometown he was mobbed by family, friends, and well-wishers wanting to welcome him back home from the war.  He appreciated the greeting, but he only had one person on his mind to see.  He scanned the crowd but didn't see her.  He pulled a friend aside and asked where she was.

"Didn't you know?  She up and married that Chicago fellow shortly after you left for overseas duty....surely you knew?"

He hesitated a moment before responding, "Yeah....yeah I knew."

As the friend turned away he sank slowly to the ground, clutching her photograph, wishing he had died back in the camp.

Submitted for GBE #64, topic:  Hidden

Friday, July 27, 2012


I've kept mum about the whole Jerry Sandusky child molestation trial and verdicts, partly because it's an issue that hits way too close to home for me, and partly because others have been able to express their thoughts much more eloquently than I.

When all this shit hit the fan last fall and the story broke across media outlets, I felt like I had been kicked in the gut.  Here was a man who was in a position of authority, leadership, and supposed to be a mentor to the kids in his care...and he mercilessly took advantage of that position to feed his sick needs.  Who knows how many other children he abused other than the handful involved in the trial?  For those kids, now grown men, to come forward and admit this happened to them took an extraordinary amount of courage, but how many others are out there that will never come forward?  How many others out there have had their lives completely shattered by this sick fuck and are struggling in silence?

I struggle with what happened to me as a child everyday.  A couple of years ago I found the courage to start writing about it in my other blog, which is public, but I'm still anonymous somewhat because the random person who might come across it has no idea who I am. So I feel safe writing about it.  It helps me, and it may  help someone else to know they're not alone.

However, most people who know me in my private life have no idea that this is my reality.  I've told only two people "in real life":  two ex's (my former therapist I don't count, but I guess technically that makes it three people).  And some days, I feel that it was two too many that I told.

My "confessions" were done in private.  How must the men involved in the trial feel about having their stories splashed across headlines for the whole world to see?  I commend the news agencies for refraining to use their real names and only refer to them as "Victim #1" and such, even now that the trial is over, but still.  I only hope that they have been able to navigate through all of this with nothing but loving support from their friends and families.

I did read that now the trial is over, a few more men have been willing to come forward and admit that they too were victims.  To reveal something so private, so intimate, so fucked up, takes a shitload of courage.    And now "Victim #2" has come forward to say he was the child in question in the shower incident witnessed by McQueary and is suing the school in a civil suit.  I'm just waiting for the naysayers to start in with comments about how he's just looking to make a quick buck.  Trust me, if you have experienced something as traumatic as this in your life, you do not take coming forward lightly, just to "make a quick buck".  In fact I think that was what Sandusky's defense lawyers tried to posit about the number of victims involved in the lawsuit, that they were just 'hangers on" looking for money and notoriety.  No amount of money can bring your innocence and faith in humanity back.

And then there is Dottie Sandusky, wife of the shitbag, who even now protests her husband's innocence.  I'm not sure how to read her.  She says she never saw any evidence whatsoever of any child abuse in her home.  Well, to this day my own mother denies what happened to me and claims I made it all up.  Of course a perpetrator will cover their tracks!  They are experts at lying and covering up, and make sure their victims become experts at lying and covering up as well.  I sure as hell never entertained the idea of telling anyone, even my mother.  It wasn't until years later that I had the realization of, "Wait a minute.  How could my mother not have known?  How did she not notice the blood on my bed linen and my underwear?"  So either Ms. Sandusky was so unaware of reality that she genuinely didn't suspect anything......or she was like my mother and chose not to believe what was almost literally right before her eyes.

The relationship between the perpetrator and the victim can be as varied as night and day.  From outright terror, to friendly companionship.  Ms. Sandusky's claims that the boys in question were loving and 'clingy' towards her husband just proves the intricately complicated web of lies, devotion, brainwashing, and confusion that transpired.  Many times the victim will have an almost 'hero' worship of their perpetrator and be too young to really grasp the connotations of it all, but yet still feel that something is not right.  But because of their love and devotion to the perp they feel that something not right must be their own fault.  That feeling can last far beyond the abuse into adulthood, making it hard for the victim to admit he needs help.

This case, thanks to its notoriety and livid details, has pushed childhood sexual abuse into the forefront of everyone's conscience, at least here in the U.S. But what about other cases, like the atrocities of the Catholic church and their now stereotypical pedophile priests?  Those cases fall out of the public limelight really quickly, as if there is some 'higher power' pushing to make the headlines go away. I find it amusing in a sickening way that the Sandusky case only got the attention it did not because of the heinous crimes he committed, but because it involved the sanctimonious all-American past time, football.

But even if it casts a tiny bit of light towards sexual abuse victims and the trauma they have suffered, it is a step forward.  Bit by revolting bit.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blogophilia 22.5 Errance

The mind in errance,

intelligence in forbearance.

To think is to dream they say...

but to dream too much is to

waste away.

In front of the tele,

with a potato chip belly,

we ignore reality

and escape mundanity

with the punch of the remote.

I have to quote,

"The fat is in the fire now,"

the sheeple have forgotten how

to think for themselves.

Ignore the books on the shelves,

just grab the latest iPad

and say

"Ah, you shouldn't have."

Copyright Steven Clark 2012

Submitted for Blogophilia 22.5

topic:  Ah, you shouldn't have

Bonus Points:
(Hard, 2pts):  Use the Designer Haider Ackermann's line, "I love what the French call Errance."  
(it means losing yourself by escaping to an unfamiliar place or just dreaming)
(Easy, 1pt):  Mention a really effective fat-melting treatment

bonus guesses:  color blind, a world of black and white, true colors, tuning out, fade to black, vision, taste the rainbow

GBE #62 Breathless

He left the restaurant in

breathless anguish,

ring clutched in his hand,

her "no" echoing in his ears.

Copyright Steven Clark 2012

Submitted for GBE #62 topic:  Breathless

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


You'd think staying clean would mean abstaining from alcohol too, right?  For many addicts, that is the case, especially if they adhere to NA tenets.  I've always "cheated" by continuing to drink when abstaining from other drug use.  I know it's risky.  I tell myself that it's the lesser of two evils, it's legal, at least I'm not jabbing a needle in my arm, and I can control it.  Alcohol is not my drug of choice so it's OK, right?  Right?

Control is such a grey area.  In my desire to escape reality, I'm drinking myself into a stupor every night.  I know when I've gone too far though, and when it's time to pull back.  Now is one of those times....various physical ailments are popping up in unpleasant ways and I know I need to give my body a break and take better care of my health.  So is that control?  

That brings up the internal battle that is always being waged in my head, the feeling that I don't deserve a happy healthy life, that I'll just fail anyway so what's the point in trying.  I know it's mostly my disease talking....but the feeling of inadequacy was instilled in me from such a young age that it's part and parcel of my being.  I do try to believe that I deserve better, but it's like what I was writing about faith a few posts back -  it's hard to wrap my brain around it when I don't feel it inside.  Maybe I'm just so out of touch with my emotions that I have no clue what I'm talking about.  But I'm writing about it so I must be searching for some inner strength somewhere. that I'm doing it again, both the creative stuff and introspective stuff, I'm realizing how damaging it's been to isolate so much.  I think I've smiled more in just this past week than I have all year, so thank you my friends for your support through all of my bullshit.  There's a part of me that says "You can't quit drinking, you write better when you're drunk!" which I think is funny but sadly true.  So we'll see how this goes, this writing completely sober thing.  It's a bit scary to think about.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blogophilia 21.5 - The Monster Under The Bed

The Monster Under The Bed

Horatio listened quietly in the darkness.  He stretched himself as flat as he could possibly get, on the hard dusty floor, under the bed.  He saw bits and pieces of childhood detritus under there with him; random LEGO pieces, a marble, and a sock that had been missing for two years.  He was content to wait was his specialty.

His name wasn't really Horatio, but he liked the name after seeing a book by the same name, Horatio Hornblower, lying on the floor by the bed.  His real name had no English equivalent; no, make that no human equivalent.  Horatio would suffice.

Horatio was a Monster Under The Bed, sent here through a portal to keep watch on human children.  The Monsters of his world had different purposes here:  some were here to scare children senseless, some were here to kidnap them outright, and some were sent here to act sort of like guardian angels.  The Angel Monsters were the elite; only the Lesser Monsters were sent to scare and maim. Once the children grew up, the Monsters returned to their world to be assessed, and assigned to a new child.  Sometimes, the Monsters were recruited to return to the adult children in their dreams, lest they forget their erstwhile childhood nightmares.

Horatio was one of the Lesser Monsters, assigned to Peter for the duration of his childhood.  Lesser Monsters were thought to be incapable of feeling emotions, were considered more crude and unintelligent, and so got the less savory jobs of creating fear and mayhem.  He scoffed at that thought....they really don't know that it takes intelligence to create fear.  One must know their subject, learn the unique individual fears, and prey on them.  Really, he thought, they should consider US the elite; but no matter.  Horatio was content in his job, and knew he did it well.

He laid there under the bed, smiling to himself, thinking back to the first time Peter suspected that there was a Monster Under The Bed.  Little Peter's head kept lowering down to look under the bed, only to whisk up again by the mere suggestion that something might be under there.  Horatio fed off that fear and it made him stronger.  For an added touch, he allowed his growl to be vaguely discerned by the tiny ears above the bedspread....just a whisper of a need to go all out like some of his coworkers did.  They had no subtlety about their work, just barged in and started gesticulating with their fangs.  No, his approach created a much more deeper fear in the child, that lasted longer.

Peter had grown up a little, now nine years old, and already was beginning to show signs of no longer believing in The Monster Under The Bed.  Horatio had had to up his game, match wits with a boy approaching adolescence and more interested in football and cars than monsters and fairytales.  Peter still had a wariness about fetching items that had been kicked under the bed and would only do it in full daylight, and he still had the long habit of jumping into bed instead of sitting down first then swinging his legs into it, lest something grab his ankle.  Horatio beamed at the thought that the sway still held.  Still though, he new he had to stay on his toes, so to speak.

One thing did irritate Horatio's thoughts though....he had come to like Peter.  When Peter would have his young friends over to play in his bedroom, Horatio eagerly listened in on their games and talk.  He learned what was going on in school that day when his parents came to tuck him in and would talk about things before turning out the light.  He had the ability to peek in on Peter's dreams (in order to break in to create a nightmare), but he found himself holding back on the nightmares and simply watching Peter's own dreams unfold.  They were unlike anything he had ever beheld before, dreams of innocence and purity, light and laughter.  Horatio was mesmerized.

Monsters, unless they were of the upper elite Angel type, were not supposed to like their charges.  They were not supposed to harbor feelings of affection for them.  They were not supposed to protect them from harm, but to create harm.  Horatio was confused by his feelings and scowled to himself whenever he found himself waiting to hear Peter's news of his day.  Once or twice he even broke Monster rules and came out from under the bed and stood in the hallway, wanting to hear Peter practice his piano lesson.  After these bouts of emotions he felt ashamed, and vowed to be extra scary that night to make up for it.

That night Peter came to bed, his mother behind him, asking him to repeat his music theory lesson one more time.

"And what are the sharp notes again?" his mother asked.

"Fat Charlie Goes Down And Eats Breakfast, F-C-G-D-A-E-B," Peter said, rolling his eyes.  "Don't worry Mom, I know it!"

"Ok, Ok, just checking.  Now hop in, we have an early day tomorrow," his mother said while straightening the sheets around him.  Do you want me to check.....?" she asked Peter, hinting at their old ritual of checking under the bed for monsters.

"Mom, there's no such thing as monsters, you know that," Peter said.  Horatio, listening, was cut to the quick. He felt a tear well up in his eye.

"Alright alright, just thought I'd ask.  You know, I looked under there the other day searching for something and could have sworn I saw something move...."

"Mom, you're just doing that to scare me," Peter said, rolling his eyes again.  "But if you wanna look, go ahead."

Both Mom and Horatio smiled at this, but Peter was unaware, having closed his eyes.  He's just faking, Horatio thought.  Oh well played Peter, well played.

After his Mom turned out the light, Peter turned onto his side and fell fast asleep.  Horatio considered giving him a good old fashioned nightmare just for the fun of it, he was so overjoyed that Peter still believed in him.  But he let him rest, and settled down to sleep himself, under the bed among the dust bunnies.

A few hours later Horatio woke up, knowing it was far too early.  He smelled smoke.  He wondered if the portal door was ajar allowing smoke and brimstone to waft up (it had happened before, it was an HR nightmare to cover that up) but no, that wasn't it.  No, this smoke was inside the house.  He tensed, waiting to hear the smoke alarms go off to alert the family to safety.  They weren't going off!  Horatio knew the rules, he was absolutely forbidden to interfere with the activity of the family or to approach them in any way, even in an emergency such as this.  But.....this was Peter.  Peter!  His Peter.  He had to do something.

He now heard sounds out in the hallway, and determined that Peter's parents were unable to get to his room.  Horatio broke every single rule in the Monster Manual in one second.  He came out from under the bed, gently shook Peter by the shoulder, and said in as gentle a voice as he could muster, "Peter, wake up Peter.  You need to get out of the house, now.  I'll help you.  Peter, Wake UP," he added a bit of the old growl in his urgency.

Peter woke up, frightened, and looked around.  He thought he saw a shape by the bed but couldn't make it out.  He smelled smoke and started coughing.  "Mom, Dad!  Help!" he shouted, and he could hear their screams down the hallway.

Horatio used his ability to peek into dreams to speak to Peter's conscious mind now.  If he showed his corporeal form to Peter and talked out loud to him while awake it would do more harm than good, so he kept himself hidden in the shadows and let his voice penetrate Peter's mind.  "Peter, go over to the window, open it, and jump to the ground.  NOW."

"But what about my parents!" Peter screamed.

"They are already outside, you need to go to them.  NOW."

Peter hesitated one last second, looked around him for the voice, then went to the window.  He opened it, had the presence of mind to grab whatever books and toys were nearest to him and threw them out ahead, and then followed, jumping to the dew-wet grass in his bare feet.

Horatio risked a look out the window to make sure that Peter was safe, that his parents were indeed outside, and then skulked back to his portal door under the bed.  He knew he was going to be in big trouble.

Back in the Monster world, Horatio was approached immediately by his supervisor.  "Just what do you think you were doing?  Revealing yourself to the child?  Saving the child?  Oh my, there is going to be A LOT of paperwork on this.  You are temporarily relieved of duty until we can investigate this further.  Turn in your portal key."

Horatio turned in his portal key and walked away, shoulders slumped.

A few days later Horatio was summoned by his supervisor and the rest of upper management.  He stood nervously in the middle of the room, lined on all sides with various Monsters in whispered conversation.

"You have hereby been summoned to a hearing concerning your post.  Please explain to us, what happened that made you reveal yourself to your charge," a deep voice said.

Horatio took a deep breath and said, "Well, the burned down.  It was burning down all around them and I had to keep Peter safe.  He is my charge and I just had to.....keep him safe," he finished, hanging his head.

The Monsters whispered fervently to each other all around him.  Finally, the deep voice asked him, "But why did you want to keep him safe?"

"I have grown to like the, love the child," Horatio answered.

"But you are a Lesser Monster, how is it that you know love?" the deep voice asked.

"I do not know, I only know what it is that I feel.  I care about the boy, his family, and his world."  Horatio looked up, then, defiant.  No longer would he hang his head in shame.  He was sure of himself and would suffer the consequences without fear.

More whispers.  Then the deep voice said, "You may go.  We will call you when we have made our decision."  Horatio walked out of the room.

Days later, Horatio was summoned back.  He had feelings of misgivings, and wondered if he had been too brash.  He certainly didn't want to be demoted.  No, those that were under the Lesser Monsters were truly depraved.  His newly awakened emotions caused him to balk at what his future might hold.

Standing in the middle of the room again, Horatio waited for his sentence to be given.  The deep voice said, "You have shown extraordinary qualities that we did not know Lesser Monsters were capable of.  The ability to love, the need to protect.  This is unlike anything we have ever seen before.  We did not know what to do with you."

Horatio cowered, sure he was going to be demoted.

"However, we have come to decide that we would like to give you a chance at the elite front.  Angel Monster, 3rd class.  We want to study you, see if you really have what it takes to be an Angel Monster.  Really, it's unheard of, a Lesser Monster exhibiting these levels of depth within himself.  You are hereby sentenced to one year probation to the Elite Squad.  And, I think you will like knowing you will be going back to Peter's house.  Or rather, his new house."

Horatio was so overcome with gratitude he was unable to speak.  He realized what had just been said and blurted, "I'm going back to Peter?  I'm to look after him as an Angel?"  He quivered with joy at the thought.

"No, you are not being reassigned to Peter.  You are being assigned to his little brother."

"But Peter doesn't have a little brother!" Horatio said, confused.

"He will in about two months," said the deep voice, smiling.

Horatio walked out of the room, smiling as well.


Posted for Blogophilia 21.5

Topic:  It Burned Down
hard, 2 pts:  Include a childhood monster (like the monster under the bed)
easy, 1 pt:  Include a mnenomic device

Bonus Picture:
Guesses:  in too deep, being swallowed, drowning, petrified, reaching out, turning to stone, stoned, reaching, blending in

Sunday, July 15, 2012

GBE #61 Education

I was bent on going serious with this topic but decided I desperately need a lighter change of pace, both mentally and writing-wise.  So without further ado, I bring you....

"How To Cut Up A Mango (if you haven't before)"

*language warning, if you're not into that

Step #1:  Buy mango.

Step #2:  Slice into mango, expecting it to be like a peach or an avocado with a normal pit.  Hit something that feels like cement and get knife stuck.  Say, "fuck!"

Step #3:  Attempt to get knife back out but proceed in making a slimey mess on the cutting board.  Finally wrench knife out, almost stabbing yourself in the eye.  Shout "fuck" again, loudly.

Step #4:  Give the mango a dirty look as if to say, "Why don't you have a normal pit like a peach or an avocado?  I know how to deal with them."  Glower a lot.

Step #5:  Attempt to slice into it again, being wary of the abnormally big "pit".  Manage to get some decent slices of actual fruit flesh off.  Smirk at the fruit, and say "Yeah, take that, bitch."

Step #6:  Continue to take tiny slices all around this mutant alien "pit" and wonder why eating healthy has to be so fucking hard.  Say "fuck" many more times, because it makes you feel better.

Step #7:  After slicing off as many pieces of actual flesh you can, pick up this mutant pit and stare at it.  Wonder at its size, and say, "You've jipped me.  There is more pit than fruit.  I want my money back."  Throw said pit in trash with relish.

Step #8:  Look down at the millions of pieces of fruit you've sliced, and realize now you have to peel all of them.  Use as many variations of "fuck" in as many phrases and ways as you can think of.

Step #9:  Try to peel a slice, realize the fruit is slippery and slimey and cut yourself in the process.  This calls for more than mere swear words, so pour yourself a shot of rum to cope. Continue to glower.

Step #10:  Manage to get the 1.2 million tiny slices of fruit peeled and into a bowl.  Taste one.  Think...."hey, that's not was totally worth it."

Step #11:  Look at your bleeding finger, the slimey mess on the cutting board and pieces of peel littering the counter and floor, and say, "No, that was so not worth it."

Step #12:  Vow to never buy a mango again.

Submitted for GBE #61.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Spiritual Disconnect

My friend Jo left a comment on one of my posts yesterday that something lacking in my recovery is a faith in God.  It got me thinking.

I usually tell people I'm an athiest because it's easier than trying to explain things.  My definition of an athiest is someone who is 100% confident in their belief and knowledge that there is nothing out there.  No creator, no great spirit, no higher power, no great shamoo, nothing.

Well, I'm not 100% confident that there is nothing out there.  Something had to start all of this.  What that something is, I don't know, and I don't care.  I know that I don't believe in the Christian version of things or the Christian God.  I know I don't believe in any other organized religion either.  In the 90's I went through a pagan/Wicca phase but we'll just pretend I didn't admit that.....heh.  So, because I can't say I'm 100% athiest, I guess that puts me in the agnostic camp.  I do believe we all have souls.  I'd like to believe that there is an afterlife and good people are chillin' out having fun and the Hitlers and Ted Bundys of the world are roasting in agony, and I'd like to believe that when I die I'll get to see loved ones again who went before me.  But the whole Jesus salvation born again thing?  Nope.  Not drinking that Kool-Aid.

Anyway, I fully admit that my struggles sticking to 12 step programs is the hangup with the higher power thing.  I just don't get it.  I don't know how to make the spiritual connection that's supposed to take place in order for some great inner transformation to occur.  I mean what do I do?  Literally?  Talk out loud to something that's not there?  Have a conversation in my head that no one will hear but me?  Talk to the chair? And what emotions am I supposed to be feeling while doing this?  I just don't get it.

But I do understand being spiritual. Years ago when I was admitted following a suicide attempt, one of the group therapy sessions was led by the chaplain and going into it, I cringed because I thought it was going to be "Jesus Recruitment Hour."  Surprisingly he didn't address religion at all, but focused on spirituality.  One of the more lasting impressions I took away from that was how nurturing your spirit has nothing to do with religion.  Listening to a piece of music that moves you, reading a book or watching a movie that makes you cry, experiencing a moment of pure joy at the site of a child laughing or a cat purring....those are the spiritual moments that make us human, and it's these emotions that we shouldn't run from even if they're painful, but should embrace them and let them nurture our soul.  Now that I can understand, even as I do try to drown out emotions with booze and drugs.

But to apply that understanding of spirituality to the 12-step higher power thing?  Clueless.  What I described above about my understanding of being spiritual is related to human emotions, not trying to make contact with some third party entity.  The KEY tenet of the steps is that you come to believe a higher power will help restore you to sanity and that you are willing to hand your will and life over to that higher power.  Without that belief, the "steps" don't work.

Add to that the fact that many meetings only adhere to the "higher power" thing with lip service only - most just flat out say God instead of higher power and there is an unspoken, unofficial, but very real and strong expectation that newcomers do so as well.  I've been to some who even quote biblical scripture during the meetings.  It all had an uncomfortable cultish vibe to it.  That really turns me off of wanting to give AA/NA another try.

Now I am NOT bashing AA/NA.  Not at all.  I know they have helped millions of people.  I'm just trying to explain my experiences and my disconnect with the 12 step process.  I wish I could believe.  It would solve  a lot of problems.

So is recovery dependent on a spiritual connection?  Is that the only way to go?  I'm interested in your opinions and thoughts on this.

Thursday, July 12, 2012




Lover o’ mine...



My life for thine...

Cracked and

Jacked and

Hacked o’er time...

Sucked and

Fucked and

Trucked for a line...



Praying for time




Lover o' mine.

Copyright Steven Clark 2012

Illusion of Recovery

I came to an interesting realization yesterday about myself, concerning addiction and recovery.  I'm not always quick on the uptake about learning things about myself, I've spent a lifetime trying to hide from me to the point that I have no idea who I really am.  Really obvious stuff - obvious to others anyway - comes to me slowly.

Anyway, I was reading an account of a fellow heroin addict and he made the statement that his recovery attempts were really only him setting his tolerance level back at zero again so that he could once again use and have a 'proper high'.  That he wasn't interested in getting clean for keeps, he only wanted to take occasional breaks from using so that he could come back to drugs again and he'd get that new novel feeling all over again from them.  Like falling in lust with a new lover.

I read that over and over and it made me wonder, is that what I've been doing all of this time, too?  It really was like an epiphany moment, this new way of looking at my life.  Do I really want to recover, or has this unconscious agenda been there all the time, guiding my choices, my repeated relapses?  I've been thinking on this ever since and trying to analyze whether this is the case with me or not.  I truly do not know.

I don't like what addiction has made my life.  I think about using heroin all the time.  All the time.  It's always there, hovering in the back of my mind like a fly waiting to land on a piece of shit.  I think back to the misery of active using, the panic, stress, sickness, and the person I become when needing a fix....willing to do anything, hurt anyone, to get money.  I make myself remember the physical and mental agony of lying there in bed after waking in the morning, dopesick, with no money and desperate for a fix before I shit my pants.  And even with those memories, I still want it, always.  It is insidious, the pull it has on my mind.  Probably because the only times in my life where I felt an ounce of peace, calm, and happiness was when high on heroin, and my brain is desperate to feel that way again.

The longest consecutive period of time I ever had completely clean and sober was 4 years.  In all that 4 years time of going to meetings, reading recovery and self help books, living life, I never felt peace, calm, or happiness.  I faked that I did because that was what was expected of me.  I smiled and laughed like a robot, right on que.  I had none of the feelings of surrender and acceptance that other addicts talk about feeling while doing the steps.  I don't believe there is some magical higher power that can whisk these feelings away from me; or into me, however you want to look at it.  It was 4 years of white knuckling it, full of depressing, suicidal thoughts despite the ever changing cocktail of antidepressants I was on.

What is wrong with me that I haven't had those same feelings that other addicts do in recovery?  What am I doing, or not doing, that prevents me from wanting to keep on with it?  Has my brain become so permanently rewired from years of opiate use that its impossible to ever feel happy again without them?  I want to feel what other people feel.  If recovery means more years of white knuckling it, always feeling depressed and angry and not quite right, I don't know if I want it.  I don't want the misery that the addict lifestyle brings either so I'm fucked both ways.

I know what I'll be told - better to be depressed and angry but clean, instead of happy and in danger of dying or ending up in jail.  A rational mind would say so, but an addict's mind isn't rational.  I know this also sounds like I'm setting it up to justify a relapse, which isn't necessarily true.  Even on my best days I'm an inch away from relapse.  Just needed to get out what has been circling around my head about all of this - this new idea that deep down I may have no intention of ever really staying clean from opiates.  It's heady, this idea, and I don't know how I feel about it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Redemption Song

An ache so strong that it feels like it will never end.

It pierces me to the quick.  Breathless.

After all this time it hasn't eased.

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery" Bob sings.

Can I?

Copyright Steven Clark 2012


Summer of 1991.

You, topless, smoking a joint.

Your lips curl up in a smile, beckoning me.

In the Darkening Of The Light we join.

Copyright Steven Clark 2012


Falling through the ether, light and sound filtering through me like smoke
Thoughts are here too, they crash against me
Sometimes holding me up like a buoy
Sometimes pulling me under like crashing waves.

Reason and purpose taunt me but are out of reach,
slipping through my fingers like water through a sieve

I twist and turn in the current
undulating like a dancer to music
Sometimes going with the flow,
Sometimes fighting every movement.

I need something solid to grasp.
Something to anchor me in the swaying movement that is my mind.

You reach in and take my hand,
knowing you could be pulled in, too.
"Rearranging the deck chairs, are we?" you say.
"I have to try," I say back.

Copyright Steven Clark 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012


What is the fucking point of anything?

We're all going to die someday, and until then all we have to do is muddle through this pointless existence as painlessly as possible.

Which, as each day goes by, seems more impossible to do.

Don't give me fucking platitudes about how I could "give so much back" and "help others."  So what?  So what if I might help others?  Help them to what?  Live?  Why would anyone want to live in this hell hole?  There is nothing but pain, and despair, and death.  No minute points of light or joy can impede that fact.  No religion can "save us" from it.

Friday, March 16, 2012


First off, thank you my friends for helping me stay sane last night.  I made it through the day without using.  Days like yesterday are incredibly hard to tolerate.

I came across this sentence recently:

"Fear is the great convincer. Fear overwhelms reason, education, logical thinking, and common sense."  

While the article it was in was unrelated to addiction, I thought it fairly relevant to addiction nonetheless.

I think deep down (or hell, maybe not even that deep down) all addicts have a fear of life.  I guess I shouldn't speak for all addicts though, so I'll say that I have an intrinsic fear of life.

Fear of success, fear of intimacy, fear of change.....why all this fear?  Why the hell do we fear that which can bring us immense joy?  Fear of failure.  I think that's it.  We've convinced that anything we attempt in life we will fail at, so why bother trying at all.  Again, only speaking for myself, I am aware that I have perfectionist tendencies, and massive control issues.  Which is funny, because only I can control whether I use or not.....but when I'm using I am completely out of control.  Irony, you are a bitch.

Change is the only thing you can count on being consistent in life....another irony.  I fear change, yet crave it.  Immense joy....I fear that too.  It doesn't make sense, but I distrust happiness.  It doesn't feel right.  Maybe because I have experienced so little of it in my life I don't know how to feel about it.  It's like putting on someone else's shoes.  They might be the right size, and will enable you to walk from point A to point B, but they just don't feel right.  So I guess with happiness, instead of waiting awhile to break the shoes in to make them my own, I get out of them as fast as I can.  Self sabotage.  Sometimes I'm aware of doing this, other times I'm not and only realize it in hindsight when I'm analyzing my life and trying to figure out why the hell I'm in over my head again.

I'm constantly reminding myself of the Serenity Prayer:  Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Some things are really, really hard to accept though.  I get so hung up on the past that I become unable to move forward.  Fear of failure.  Fear of success.  So the temptation is always there to return to at least what is familiar territory, despite the misery of it.  I know what to expect, even if I'm taken by surprise.  I know how to navigate, while being totally lost.  I'm surrounded by like people so that I'm not alone, despite being completely alone.  I love it, even while hating it.  Drug addiction is a world full of paradoxes.

Thanks, Sue, the log jam has become unstuck.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mind Games

I want to use so badly right now I can barely concentrate on keeping my fingers on the keyboard.  My thoughts, every emotion, every sense is consumed by this desire.

I know I can't give in to it.  I know that if I give in to this compulsion I would be throwing away everything that I have achieved in the last 8 months.  I know this.  I know that the older I get each relapse gets harder and harder to return from.  Always the knowledge is there, this time I might not come back at all.

And yet sometimes, like now, the desire to use threatens to overpower all logic, all knowledge and all reason.  Feeling like this is horrible.  I feel stupid, weak, dirty, cheap, ashamed, and a failure for feeling this way, and yet I can't make it stop.  I'm embarrassed to write and admit this.  After battling addiction my entire adult life, after everything I've been through and put others through, after acquiring all of the tools necessary to beat this....I still haven't beaten it.

I don't think it's a war that can be beat.  I might win battles every day by making the right choices, but the overall war will never be won.  I'll never not be an addict.

I just needed to vent while I was in the thick of things.  I know this craving will ease up eventually.  But goddamn fuck it's hard to not obsessively think and feel all of this while it's going on.

Today I choose abstinence but the devil monkey on my shoulder is trying to convince me that I'm being silly.  Mind games.  It gets to the point of not being able to trust myself, my judgement or anything I know to be right.  When in the thick of it, all memories of the pain, desperation, degradation, and misery conveniently fade away and detach from my brain as if it were someone else's memories, and surely *I* would *never* allow that to happen to *me* because I'm so much stronger and smarter now.  Surely just once in a while would never hurt, eh?  After all you still drink and can control it, that proves the point!

Mind fucking games.  This is what opiate addiction is like.  Doesn't matter if it's heroin, vicodin, morphine, codeine, oxycontin, percocet, or any of the rest of them......opiates fuck up and permanently rewire your brain for life.  Last night in a group conversation on facebook we contemplated if we could travel back in time, where would we go - I would go back to that fateful night in 1994 where I was offered to try heroin for the first time and stop myself.  Fanciful thinking, that.  It has done nothing but make my life miserable and yet I still. fucking. want. it.

Vent over.

Word Association

Ok Sue, here ya go.

time out
board game
bored with life
free from responsibility
log jam
too many thoughts
attention deficit disorder
manic thoughts
ping pong

Monday, January 2, 2012

GBE 33: Work.

Work for a living.
Work for the paycheck.

Work to pay the bills.
Work to stick to the budget.

Work at your relationship.
Work at not telling her that outfit really does make her look fat.

Work around the house.
Work to clean the toilet at least once a week.

Work at remembering to return the library books on time.
Work at remembering to call your auntie to wish her a Happy Birthday.

Work to unwind at the end of a long day
Work to rid your mind of all the unceasing worries that keep you up at night.

Work to stay clean, one day at a time.
Work at remembering why you need to stay clean, one day at a time.

Work to paste the smile on your face at a family gathering you'd rather not be at.
Work to keep from retorting back to the rude comment made at your expense.

Work to look at yourself in the mirror everyday and see a lifetime of regrets look back at you.
Work to keep plugging on and pretend that you have hope for the future.

Posted for GBE #33, topic:  "Work"