Odds and Ends No. 69


I’m still in Oxford by way of Endeavor
back to Inspector Lewis but not sure
why I’m watching these over and over.

A middle of the week martini is rare for
me as was the salad. It was either that
or throw the lettuce out tomorrow.

The BBC must be part of my grieving
process or some process not sure
at this point.

What could have been a productive
book editing day turned into a so-so
OneNote vs. Evernote shoot out.

Add to that late afternoon thunder
storms and the day was meant to
be weird. The joy of the day was

texting you, loving you by emoji
and laughter that neither of us
could hear, but could feel deep

down inside we miss each other
so very much. Martini, salad,
cheese, and a few crackers with

Lewis and Hathaway where I
found them ten years ago made
me think about where I might

be ten years from now. Then, I
decided that wasn’t a good idea.
When I had a plan the future

went awry. Wrong plan. So, I don’t
have a plan beyond today and the
future remains a mystery. I put my

dishes in the sink and decided it
was far better for me to think of
you; so I smiled as I thought about

what it would be like to touch your
hand or trace your lips with my
finger and how lovely it would be

to linger over coffee with you every
morning for the rest of my life and
talk about anything at all.

Odds and Ends No. 42


I’ve concluded without deep thinking or any
intelligence applied, that my electronic
world doesn’t differ very much from my

real world. Better said, it occurred to me that
they are parallel worlds subject to the same
dysfunction of mine at any time. They are

not exempt from my stupid choices or those
choices that result from my dysfunction.
Having said that, my healthy choices can

also happen in either world. So we can both
keep our sanity as I write this and you read it,
I’m not going to discuss my fantasy worlds

here. That content would be better suited to
a secret poems collection (toying with the
idea). Recently I told you I went back to

Windows for whatever reason. I am happily
typing to you from openSUSE in Firefox
today because I figured it out. My long love

affair with Microsoft is rooted in my gray
side, not to be confused with my dark or
secret side. Gray is that place where my

dysfunction bleeds into my light, healthy,
and joyful side. My world of light still has
some gray, some dark, some of this, and

some of that because I’m not perfect, but
healing. I’m far less dysfunctional today
than I was years ago—one year ago or forty

years ago, etc. After I loaded Windows this
time, I detected a false sense of hope. There
was no going back. (Not enough space here

to try and explain it; but I knew a bunch of
old stuff was feeding this simple choice of
OS. It wasn’t based on anything healthy.)

The simple fact is that I can choose Linux
as my OS without the dysfunctional strings.
Dysfunction tries to destroy anything good.

Somehow, I led myself to believe that I had
to keep up a level of electronic chaos in my
life. Not so. The dysfunctional reason why
I was flipping back and forth from OS to OS

was based on old fears. When I walked into my
office at home, sat at my red desk, and turned
on my laptop, I was flying through a self-made

black-hole. I was living my version of Jumanji!
Okay, I’m not really nuts, just working through
my life, through the residual effects of abuse.

Dysfunction becomes part of survival; like
making believe dark is light and evil is good.
I’m doing better. EMDR has been and remains

a life saver for me! I’m happier and I make
better choices. But dysfunction is something
I always have to deal with, something I always

have to choose not to do so I don’t screw up my
life. Better choices bring better consequences.
Am I getting unclear or bogged down here?

Let me give you my short list of dysfunction
defined based on my own life experience
as a result of childhood sexual abuse and
lifelong abuse in many forms:

dysfunction chooses dysfunction
dysfunction loves dysfunction
dysfunction attracts dysfunction
dysfunction produces dysfunction
dysfunction believes dysfunction
dysfunction doesn’t believe dysfunction
dysfunction destroys dysfunction
dysfunction can never be satiated
dysfunction lies (to you and everyone you
come into contact with)
dysfunction kills (you and everyone you
come into contact with)

I’ve said this before: no one deserves abuse
in any shape or form. It wasn’t my fault.

That is enough on that for today. No use
making us both depressed. Without healing,
without changes, a life of dysfunction (alone

or in dysfunctional relationships or marriage)
would have us believe that the chaos we live
in, the Living Hell on earth we are drowning
in, is “normal” and as good as it gets.

Don’t believe it. Wrong! Lies!

The Lord Jesus promised us an abundant and
joyful life. Dysfunction doesn’t believe that.
An unhealthy life, e.g., one filled with abuse

and dysfunction, isn’t able to receive anything
good. If you’ve been abused, then you don’t
trust God or anyone; you don’t believe God or

anyone. You may say you do. But you don’t.
(Dysfunction lies, remember?)

Well, I don’t call these poems “Odds and Ends”
for nothing! How did I get here today? How do
I bring this to a close? I’m reminded that God

loved us before we loved Him. So, it makes
no sense to believe I have to wait until I’m
“perfect,” totally healed, or completely
without dysfunction to make good choices.

I was so excited about walking the other
day. I was planning on walking today, but I’m
in too much pain. Unable to do it. That is a

result of circumstances not dysfunction. So, a
downward spiral is not my choice. I resist the
dysfunction baiting me; I choose to continue

in my peace and joy for today. Life is good. I
think I’ll go check the mail, then finish
watching the movie I started the other day.

And have a lovely peaceful hot cup of tea.

Odds and Ends No. 38


I just poured myself a prize. The last cup
of my morning coffee in my thermos.
Why a prize? Simple. I deserved one; to

celebrate that I shredded the huge pile
of waste paper in my home office. You
know the box that file folders come in?

Well, I use one of those as a to-be-
shredded paper bin. It sits on top of the
dusty seldom used record player in front

of my desk. The pile has been overflowing
long enough. It took me about an hour to
shred it all. I had to dump the small

shredder bin four or five times. No secret
stuff; mostly junk mail trying to sell me
medical or life insurance or trying to get

me to sell my house to them. Junk just
the same. A year ago last summer, we
realized the yard company had our water

system turned up to water too often so
they could justify coming every month to
trim and clean very little. Anyway, we fired

them for more than that over a year ago
also hoping to bring our water bill down.
She looked out the window yesterday and

remarked, “The plants are dying. They
weren’t dying yesterday, but they are dying
today.” We walked out back. Our backyard

isn’t much bigger than our car; one of the
smallest in the neighborhood. She was
right. I watered by hand yesterday and

tested the irrigation system today. I turned
it back on to the old settings. It is a drip
system. One hour from five to six in the

morning every other day. I have not been
able to get a straight story on desert plant
irrigation for seven years. Everyone you ask

has a different solution that requires more
math than I’m willing to apply to the task.
That is why I checked, saw the old settings,

and just turned them on. Maybe too much;
maybe not. You can be sure of one thing.
Our water bill is going up. Just another

reason why I’d be happier living on the
eleventh floor anywhere. Remember, I’m
color blind. Dead or alive the plants look

about the same to me. Not my thing. I have
no idea what is supposed to flower or not.
Fall in Indiana meant only one thing to me.

Leaves fall. And I had to pick them up. I’ve
been telling people my whole life, I’m a city
boy, and I’d love to live in the city. That

eleventh floor dream is still with me! Streets,
sidewalks, buildings, people, crowds. Someday.
I can dream, can’t I? Don’t get me wrong, I’m

thankful for our sweet home and love it. Yet,
there is a part of me that misses the sites and
smells of the city. I confess—I’ve always

loved the smell of diesel. Trucks, tanks, APCs!
And downtown. Downtown any town smells.
Meanwhile, my coffee is about gone. Not so

with the antibiotics. Day five of ten. (I’ll
spare you the laundry list of drugs that
started with a shot of Prednisone last

Wednesday.) Thank God for my NP who I
got in to see fast. (Over the counter always
fails. Why do I still try it?) Looking out the

window, the wind is picking up, so I’ll wait
until about six to take the garbage out so the
cans don’t blow down the street. I wonder

what the wind is like downtown on the
eleventh floor? May happen, may not, but
my mind is on the eleventh floor today.

I need to listen to some of my old records,
too. Good stuff. Good jazz. Good classical.
Great vocals, etc. Why did I stop doing that?

Without Fear


I went down
high school
memory lane
this week for
a pending
EMDR session.

I thumbed
through my
three yearbooks.

Sixty-two was
not as bumpy
as I thought it
was.

I transferred in
that year. It
came and went.

Can’t remember
much with class
photos the size
of a postage
stamp.

Sixty-three was
better than I
thought.

Her entry was
touching, really
cute. I found
her but couldn’t
remember much.

Looks like we
were going
steady at the
end of my
junior year.

I know we
broke up, but
why?

I wasn’t myself.

I mean,
I didn’t know
then what I
know now.

If I screwed up,
it was probably
me, not you.

Anyway, my life
was complicated
and I didn’t know
it then. (Blocked
child abuse works
that way. Sorry.)

Sixty-four was a
surprise. Aside
from the fact
that home life
sucked and I
was afraid of my
own shadow, it
wasn’t that bad.

Did I write in her
yearbook? Do you
think she’ll read
this?

Sadly, I’ve never
gone back. Some
things we don’t
get to do or do
again.

Don’t know why.
Was it fear that
kept me away?

But this surprise
trip down memory
lane has shown
me that I can
chose to remember
differently and

without fear.