Noises of the Night


The Bose clock blinked from
four twenty-nine to four
thirty. Falling asleep on the

sofa was hard enough given
the hard circumstances of the
day. I was up at eleven, one,

three, and four. Too tired to
sleep; too tired to get up.
That’s when I moved to the

loveseat to stare back at the
word “Vizio” in red staring at
me from the console across

the room. The WiFi hub
blinked intermittently as did I.
The only thing I could hear

was the hum of the refrigerator
turning off, the eerie sounds
coming from my stomach and

night noises. The nightlight
next to the stove was a comfort.
As the digital clock rolled over

to five ten, I tried not to dwell
on my failures about which the
Lord knows very well. All I could

think about was the coming
dawn, a hot cup of coffee or
two,
and the noises of the night.

Odds and Ends No. 32


I stared at this blank page long enough.
A lot going through my mind but not
getting through to the page, so I went

back to my openSUSE Tumbleweed
desktop and played a game hoping it
would jar something profound loose.

I just spit my gum out. She had a pack
on the counter. I had eaten a simple
sandwich, three radishes, and three

olives not caring if my stomach virus
and nagging cold go berserk. Maybe it
was the Dijon or my mild cup of tea,

but I thought a stick of gum would
help. It didn’t. It was like a burst of
sweet chemicals in my mouth and

in minutes turned to rubber that I
could no longer chew. That quickly
reminded me why I don’t chew gum

anymore. I thought the game would be
a great alternative to thinking. I was
wrong even though the pieces started

falling faster at Level 3. This is the
only thing I do right-handed as the
arrow buttons are on the right side of

the keyboard. Surprised I can play at
all. But by Level 6 I was still shaking
my head about events in Paris and

the ongoing anal political events with
North Korea wondering if world stupidity
would prevail. I couldn’t concentrate

any longer and crashed.

Score 1739980
Lines 61
Level 7

Respectable score even though I
feel like crap. Just as well. I believe
good writing (or art forms) are just

that: Good. Not driven by an agenda
or filled with hate, anger, abuse, and
the like. I came close to the edge up

there thinking of world events. Well,
I do have views, opinions, and yada
yada, yada. Many things. But rather,

the Apostle Paul told the Philippians,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable, whatever is

just, whatever is pure, whatever is
lovely, whatever is commendable, if
there is any excellence, if there is

anything worthy of praise, think about
these things.” She just got home. I
helped her in with a few things; decided

to eat a carrot. As I walked back to my
red desk, I asked, “Did you get your toes
done?” “Yes,” she said. Walking back to

her, I said, “I forgot to look; let me see!”
A beautiful Bougainvillea color. “Very
pretty!” Back at my desk, I wished the

carrot was a cigar because I don’t smoke
anymore. Not since 1976; but the desire
still lingers. Listen, I want you to have

hope, not fear. Hard to do in the chaos of
the world today. Paul continued, “What
you have learned and received and heard

and seen in me—practice these things,
and the God of peace will be with you.” A
carrot, cigar, or world news can’t top that.

Odds and Ends No. 10


Hunger struck. I was about to leave for my
next EMDR session. Not enough time for
cheap Chinese. Nor did I want to wait until

after two. Sometimes the smell of grease
calls to you. I was leaving a little later than
usual. I headed down 67th Ave. I was going

to go straight, but the smell of grease
overpowered me; I turned left at the light at
Happy Valley instead and went through a

McDonald’s drive through. I drove and
munched two small burgers and fries all the
way to my appointment with ten minutes to

spare. Sweet ice tea, too. After my session,
my car still smelled like French fries. So
much for my grease fix for now.

I can say “happily” or “sadly” as it depends
on what has happened to you. Sadly (or
happily) what happens to us shapes who we

are, how we act, and who we become. A
history of abuse produces sad outcomes
because you cannot learn to make good

choices without help and healing. This new
series of EMDR sessions is based on a newly
revealed abuse when I was twelve years old.

Oddly, that abuse provided the base model
for how I was to live my life. I had no idea! If
you’ve been abused, get help, get EMDR so

you can live with peace and joy from now on.
EMDR is working for me to disassociate me
from the severe trauma of abuse in my

childhood. Life is unfair but getting better.
I was supposed to post yesterday. It didn’t
happen. My thoughts after EMDR were too

colorful, too big. I couldn’t function, focus, or
think. [Learning that you were left naked in a
wood line and beat up as a kid impacts your

whole life; whether you remember the memory
or not.] EMDR is helping me remember. I’m
tired; I’ve been running my whole life, playing

capture-the-flag over and over again since I
was twelve. I didn’t capture flags then, now,
or anytime in between. I’ve been running like

forever to save my life. I’ve never stopped
running so EMDR tells me. That is how
insidious abuse is; I didn’t know I was running.

Coffee was so good this morning that I’ve been
sipping my second cup of Joe cold as I write this.
May make a fresh pot of Folgers. Drank it all

week and still not sure if I like it. Looks like I’ll
install Xmind and trash Trello. Mind mapping
helps me see my thoughts better than that or a

spreadsheet, etc. I could use a renewed mind!
(EMDR is the tool for my healing along the way.)
I decided to grind my espresso beans for a small

pot of regular coffee. It is done; I can smell it
from here. (Thank you, Father, for restoring me
and for the cup of coffee and lunch I’m about

to have.) Bologna or the end of the roast beef?
It bears repeating: no one deserves abuse. Oh,
and I’m living proof that there is life after abuse.

Mostly Minutiae No. 23


It feels like Saturday, but it is Friday.
So it was flavorful Gevalia; Wally hit
the spot this morning. And bagels.

I’m so tired I can’t remember what we
talked about. She had one ounce of
Jarlsberg and a half of bagel with PB.

I got cleaned up earlier than normal
only to return to my red desk and enter
detail in my journal about yesterday’s

EMDR revelations. Sometimes it is
hard for me to believe what I now know
is the truth about then when I was eight.

But it is true. Got to move on even
through there are so many unknowns.
And so many unknowns ahead.

The medic I met at my doctor’s
appointment was from Clifton, like me.
Should be called a PA appointment.

I’ve never met my doctor. No problem.
PA is on top of it. I took her advice and
added another pill to my old man

medicine repertoire. Traffic was brutal
going and worse coming home. But I
had a grocery stop. I looked in the case

and carefully opened the eggs. Looked
okay. As I went to put it in my basket,
it was egg Niagara Falls from the bottom;

all over my hand, sweater, coat, sandals,
and the floor. No egg on my face, though.
Home now with you. She is at work and

I’m running out of time. This is the only
time of year when I become a “wrapper.”
(I refuse to give you my opinion of rap!)

Jimmy Durante would have laughed.
So, “Inka Dinka Doo” to you, too.
(“STOP–da music, everybody!”)

What about dinner? Omelet, anyone?
I think we’ll go with pizza straight out
of the freezer. Safe Friday night choice.

“Hey, Bud, did you say Niagara Falls?”
“Slowly I turn step by step, inch by inch…”
I’ll wish you you-know-what tomorrow.

Mostly Minutiae No. 22


I’m between dropping the kids off at
the airport and my EMDR appointment.
I’m sitting with steno pad in hand at a

Starbucks near Bell & Tatum in a chair,
not at a table. In the front left corner
my back to the window; looking at the

whole store. Packed. Big rain today.
Outside seating empty. It was a can’t-
see-the-road type rain. Unrelenting all

the way down to the airport and part
way to here. Grande hazelnut latte.
Across from me a man with blue soft

soled canvas shoes to match his jeans.
Iridescent orange pullover top. Doing
something with his phone; a book in his

lap upside down. A small book. Looks
like a self-help type book with a few
quotes on each page. Won’t help.

I don’t wear tops that bright. Speakers
above playing something 1930’s big
band. Female vocal. Big brass with a

great piano. Can’t make it out. Near me,
a table of five women and one man sitting
clustered around a table for four. One hot

drink; the rest cold. Sitting a longtime.
“In three-quarter time…” At a high long
table with stools, eight men with laptops.

Only two talking across from each other.
“Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow…”
Blue shoes still fiddling with his phone.

I see red fluffy socks over black tights,
black Nike’s, waiting for her drink. Her
brown hair is pulled back tight in a bun.

So tight, her very long eye lashes seem
longer; like little fans sticking straight out.
Up at the front of the order line, an older

gent with a younger woman point at the
two vacant seats next to and across
from me. He sat down next to me.

He had a soft blue cast on his left wrist.
Hands that were once long, elegant, and
strong. Not so now. Great smile. We

started to chat. His daughter joined us
but stayed on a business call. Osteo-
something had set in. They put hot tea

in two cups with two tea bags. Hard to
get the cover off and the tea bags wedged
in. I helped him. It was clear from his

charming voice that he was from the UK.
We talked about rain. About snow. He
remembered snow the most from when

he was with the RAF in Germany. 1953.
He goes back to the UK every year; not
this year. Health. Maybe next May.

“What do you miss most in the UK?”

“The green. You can see it as you fly into
Heathrow.”

She looked up from her phone, “Nothing
all morning; now we have to go.” So did I.
Now for session eleven and second EMDR.

My brain and EMDR revealed more unknown
elements of abuse. Too graphic and painful
to write here. Or anywhere. Hard stuff.

(Maybe journal the detail for my sanity.)
I believe I’m healing. Slept fairly well for the
first time in decades. Somewhat alert.

No one deserves abuse.

I would love to go to the UK someday. I think
I could live there. Green is okay. Would I have
more coffee than tea? More tea, I’d guess.