My deal with the faeries

At some point I made a deal with the faeries. I must have. I met my beautiful, angelic wife after many years of looking for her; a while later our amazing, perfect daughter arrived; then right after that I was diagnosed with a terminal illness.Read More »

Future you

As an unwavering, hard-core Zen practitioner, you know that this inscrutable moment contains the entirety of reality. All previous times and all future times are unreal in practical terms. From this you deduce that the past is over and done with, that the future is yet unborn, and you resolve to focus all of your energy on being here now.

Not only that, you have also heard that every seven years every molecule in your body is replaced. It means that the you from seven years ago, or seven years from now is literally an entirely different physical being.Read More »

Corey

My other first best friend besides Shane Hickey was Corey Wehner. His family went to my church too. There were only four people in his family, but they were part of a clan of fishermen who all lived in a compound near the edge of a high bluff overlooking the Cook Inlet where they all fished. There were always a dozen or so cousins and other kids running around, so it was great fun for me and my brother John to go over there and run around with them, playing in the woods, riding our bikes back and forth on the winding roads that ran between the houses, and running down the steep, zigzagging goat trail that connected the top of the bluff to the beach.Read More »

Thirty percent

When I was a really little kid, like around age three, my favorite color was deep purple. I remember being into lacy, sheer materials like my mother’s scarves, which I would drape over my head and run around the house. My dad nicknamed me Markalina. Around age five I told my mother that I wanted to be a girl. She deflected the question expertly, like this: Go tell your father.Read More »

Nina

Then there was Nina Perkins. She and I had been classmates since the early days of elementary school, but I didn’t take notice of her in that special way until we were juniors in high school. She had just gotten back from Germany on an exchange program. She came up to me one day right at the beginning of the year wearing a derndl and told me all about how cool Germany was and how much it sucked in the US. I can’t say I was all that into the derndl, but I was well into punk rock by this time – very anti-The Man – so the conversation was right up my alley.Read More »

Mr. Doyle

On the first day of third grade I sat in the very front row and Mr. Doyle was standing in front of me. When we stood up to do the Pledge he looked down at me, made this frowny face and dropped into a slouch. I guess he thought I should stand up straight and smile. I didn’t get the hint though and just looked back at him.Read More »

Phlogiston

Men have a blob of ectoplasmic sexual energy called phlogiston that originates in their lower abdomen and pulsates in there, waiting to be released. The common term for phlogiston is “horniness”, and as you know, it increases over time. When you have sex or jerk off, the phlogiston hitches a ride on your semen and goes shooting out of your johnson, and you feel better. If you go too long without having sex or jerking off, the phlogiston builds up and you start to feel uncomfortable.Read More »

Yasmin

I love my CNA. Her name is Yasmin Torres-Flores. She’s 28, came here from Acapulco when she was 18 and started CNAing. She’s great. She gets to my place every morning before I get out of bed and gives me a massage, starting with my feet. It’s a terrific way to start the day, especially since I usually wake up with intense cramps in my feet and calves.Read More »

Be here now

This is something I have to remind myself, to keep everything in perspective when I’m getting really frustrated and angry, trying to do something like pull my pants up and it’s not working right.

I’m looking at a video of Nisi and me playing. I reach over with my right hand and mess up her hair and she laughs her head off. That video was from a year ago and now I can’t use my right hand at all hardly.

It makes me remember that time. I was losing the ability to use a computer mouse. My fingers would twitch, randomly clicking and right-clicking and it would drive me crazy, just like pulling my pants up drives me crazy now. But in the video I can still mess up my daughter’s hair, and I didn’t stop to appreciate that as much as I should have.

I need to remember this, and appreciate that I can still stand up and mostly pull my pants up. I can open doors and flip on lights. I can open a beer by myself. But in a year who knows? I need to remember that this moment is all that matters. I need to cherish the things that I have, and not hold on to the things that I’m losing.

Shane

My first best friend was Shane Hickey. We became friends around age six because he went to my church. He was one of those kids that other people instinctively hate. Our classmates hated him. His four older brothers hated him. Even some of our teachers hated him. Our third grade teacher, Mr. Doyle gave him a swat every day for a week for no apparent reason.Read More »