A Beautifully Chaotic Life

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I’ve lived a beautiful life, and even though I know my countdown has begun earlier than most people, I am ok with it- the majority of the time. Fact is the kid who had a blasé outlook for so long is absolutely loving life. However, on the way home from the Tool concert, I lost it talking to my buddy.

He saw a side of me few do-the raw, unpolished, unprepared guy whose truest emotions rest at the bottom of God’s murky filled cauldron of mystery stew. My batch is good on salt big guy. Every once in a while though the angel stirring the pot is out smoking or on a more important call-lord knows there is enough tragedy and pain on this planet, it’s a wonder dinner is ever served. Point is, that calm, collected demeanor sticks to the bottom sometimes and I scream out unrehearsed material -which goes like this – “I don’t want to fucking die yet. It’s too early!”

Obviously I am still here, but I felt human the other night at Tool. Maybe diseased  or a cancer-ridden  human is more accurate. The metastasized bone cancer areas made their presence known on a couple hour drive. My last vertebrae is affected, as well as areas in my pelvis, meaning sitting hurt. Talk about something we take for granted. “I don’t want to fucking die, and I don’t want to feel so much pain just fucking sitting.” I don’t get both right now, so the living part will be the better play. Tomorrow when I meet with my hospice nurse, my pain meds may go up again. 300mg of extended-release morphine twice a day and 20mg of immediate release hourly if needed put most of my body at peace, but now there’s this, so 400mg, here we come probably.

I had someone tell me how lucky I am to be getting so many opiates. I won’t be speaking to that cretin anymore. “Yeah, I’m blessed- Look at that, I have some leftover chondrosarcoma, lung and bone cancer there’s plenty to spare. Lucky for you my mom raised me to share.” Speaking of lung cancer, 4 flights of stairs at the parking garage and I could barely breathe to curse the cheap bastards for saving  a dime on no elevators. I needed oxygen, desperately. I’ve never felt that before unless someone knocks the wind out of me. It’s a race of ironies, because  needed it as fast as possible, yet had to pace myself between a narcoleptic snail and a Xanax addicted 3-toed sloth.

By far the worst thing though was the other 5 people I was with-they wanted to do something. As I sat breathing in my oxygen, I began to sob. I just can’t keep up with regular people-I’m sick. I’m slowly dying.

I told one of them about it, and through his Russian accent, I remember him telling me that it was cool, not to worry about it. I was there wasn’t I? Isn’t that the important thing? I was fucking there, and that is a beautiful thing. I turn 43 Wednesday. Pearl Jam plays here on April 8th. It would be the 25th show I’ve seen them, and plan on seeing them.

My life has been a wonderful experience. I’ve truly lived it, through all the pain and bs, nothing has stopped me. I saw Game 1 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. I’ve been halfway around the world, countless countries and historical monuments, like Ankgor Wat in Cambodia, Mayan ruins in Tulum, Stanley Cup and a Steeler  victory parades. On and on with the sights, but then there’s the people through all of it. From Mario Lemieux Christmas shopping at Kaufman’s. As a boy, Jimmy “Superfly” (sadly a Murderer) Snuka, to my guys on the railroad tracks, having their deep philosophical conversations on everything from politics to what dog looks strong in the 8th race at the kennel club. The amount of awesome in my life is just humbling.

I got this text last night and cried like a baby who had his Twinkies stolen. Do babies eat Twinkies? Not important.

You’re the man. I appreciate your strength more than you know. It was a good time. I’ll be back sometime this week.

Funny thing, he taught me how to be that man.

Peace & Love-
MFJ

Homecoming/Killing Time

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I think I am from some other era, that my fascination for The Knick has something to do with who I was some other time. Wrapping my head around time and space, souls in continuum, pulling on strings, warping realities into the present. We emerge from our future tainted by the past, working to right wrongs from days of yore, because why else do I want an old typewriter?

Souls never die, and for all the bullshit in this world, apparently mine went through a similar, just unreported saga of pain and despair. Humanity is always rolling on in a quest for more, more wealth, more pleasure, more distractions to shift focus from failure to artificial success. Sometimes time comes undone, and we bounce from a string and the tune changes. We hear something perfectly composed, see someone so beautiful, seconds unwind and transcend their predefined durations. In those moments, true crossroads are reached, and direction is mapped out by gut instinct.

Maybe it’s about paying attention, or avoiding one more slip and fall because dusting off isn’t as fun as tunneling deeper into hiding. I am a little bit guilty of some crimes, and fully convicted for others, but how I define sin these days wipes some of the slate clean. The dragon scorches the future while the succubus hides in the past to punish the present. I get this is one big riddle without my borders defined, but I’ve been no where truly new.

The shame-filled narcissist got exposed under the cover of death, but there is always something out of control when it deals with that, and when repetition only makes something worse and worse, trees always make a lot of noise when they fall, so don’t come at me with pointless musings, it’s time to find an approach a little less novel.

Today’s transgressions are tallied by breaches of integrity, in rejection of grace, in believing there isn’t a point to any of this life or the next.

There will always be those with greater intelligence, with more wit and cleverness, those who own one more exotic good than the man desperate to escape a societal shadow. There will always be a piece of flesh more flawless, sculpted and worldly beautiful than what lies next to you.

What will one be willing to do to shine in a desert, to drink from a mirage of value, or just flee the scene?  More, more and it will never be enough, since life loses purpose when the lie is achieved. Some golf claps and jealous leers, we all fall down, and seldom choose to get up again and change direction.

A direction overgrown from lack of traffic. Ferraris don’t idle here, but men most certainly do. Stuck searching for clarity, but they can’t see the beauty all around thrm, instead looking for a GPS guided prayer to the quickest route over concrete.

It’s perspective that leaves me enlightened, that whatever I did way back when, I’m done paying for in splits of time. Selfless love, where flaws are intrinsically beautiful, where weakness provides immaculate chances to overcome. Learning never ends, growing more unimaginable by the lesson applied to life. That is something worth pursuing, because her beauty absorbs traits that will never stop blooming.

Until we meet, I’m alright, living ion my own two feet, walking wide-eyed and in wonder of all this mystery deemed life.

7/28/15
MFJ

Come Along for the Ride

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Come Along for the Ride

One of these days I am going to fade away
My last breath will ride the breeze
One that will caress her cheek
Miles away, one last touch
With that, my sins dissipate
Lost in the vapors
At peace, at last

Never feel sad
Never carry the guilt I clutched
I bled with no one to mend my wounds
Tears rolled down my cheek,
A silent splash on my floor
Think I had a lot of love to give
Too wrapped up in the pain
Too fucked up in the head to take the chance
What could have been will never be
She was my fantasy
My dream, eyes deep azure pools
I could drown in forever

Stare into me, wade through the filth
Past the scars, into my soul
The purity that I buried
Underneath all the fear
The crush of my tainted realities
Is a man who would have died for you
Instead I rest unspent
A waste of something perfect
She is my finest tragedy
Except the march of time
Has passed me by
Just as her silence grinds me into the ground
Dust to dust, pleasure finally rests

2/10/13
MFJ

Cosmic Conformity for the Treatable Tragically Hip

Not that writing about late-19th century medical devices isn’t fun, (thanks to The Knick no doubt inspiring the past few rambling blogs), but I am going to try and get serious today. Words can truly stir emotion, shove reality into your face with such clarity there is no other thing to do but act. By the way, I am most certainly not talking about mine.

“If we let compassion and an altruistic attitude guide our lives, we will be able to achieve great things…” –Dalai Lama

I’ve been reading a bunch of things, but for some reason, and by that, I mean certain things we can’t see pull us in a direction that we ourselves are going, if that makes sense. Positive pulls positives, and vice versa; it’s hard to escape that momentum. Riding a downward spiral, it seems impossible to change direction, ascension seems futile, my mind drank that poisoned panacea for decades, way before the heroin entered my veins. There was nothing I could do in such a state of decay.

“Suffering is not something that always comes from the outside…we have within us this untamed mind, susceptible to all kinds of problems. It is afflicted with negative thoughts like doubt and anger. As long as our minds are beset by this host of negative thoughts, even if we have soft, comfortable clothes and delicious food to eat, they will not solve our problems.” – Dalai Lama

See, he gets it. Ever read something and have the hairs stand up on your arms and necks, a tingle spreads over your entire body, it’s knowledge being absorbed into your heart, and I believe that’s called wisdom. That path to truth, to pure, beautiful understanding, apparently for me at least, was a huge struggle to follow. It beat me down, over and over, and then I found opiates. Years of doubt birthed so many tormenting insecurities inside my head, the delusions piled up, a huge debt rang up, until my sanity accountant declared bankruptcy. In hindsight, one cannot pay off debts of those kind with vain attempts to ignore them, actions that add to the insanity and futility of it all. The ensuing spiritual siphoning left me cold and dead to any form of joy, stripped me of the most basic inherent purities we all enter the world with.

“It shows us that only through working hard and undergoing hardship over a long period of time will we be able to attain enlightenment.” – Dalai Lama

No way I am claiming enlightenment that rivals a master spiritual teacher, but yeah, I have no doubt the years of shoveling sludge and sewage into my inner void clogged any conscious contact with goodness, that real, undeniable, unshakeable kind, what I call God. The more pain, the thicker the blockage, and the further things like hope and faith back up, stagnant water in the stainless steel sink of the soul. Wonder what the next best analogy is- snaked, plunged, Drain-o’ed, maybe Rectorotored, yeah, I slipped that in…this is a really heavy blog, can’t believe the words are flowing from my fingertips like this, but I have this smile today, that my eyes opened, my voice carried to heaven, and the answer came to me, I wonder if God minds me calling him a plumber, if my imagination runs with it, him all hunched over that drain, holy crack showing and all…he gave me this sense of humor, so might as well appreciate it. Levity is awesome, because today it isn’t that defense mechanism…or at least not always. Perspective is constantly flowing towards the positive poles.

I tend to make everything so dramatic, it kept me sick so long. Really, none of this is that big of deal anymore, so a laugh brings down the self-perceived enormity of moments and memories. Not to say my past actions don’t carry heavy weight, they do indeed, there’s a long list who will attest to the fact that I wrecked all sorts of things, especially trust, which dominoes into losing love, friendships, and ultimately for me, any sense of humanity. My ex-wife Ann said it best: “You’d think he would have learned how to be human by now.”

The truth hurt, and it still took me months more to just admit I was a coward, afraid to accept responsibility, and terrified of life, so much so that I tried to give up on that too.

“Our self-centeredness works fundamentally to inhibit our compassion.” – Yeah, that guy again.

Achieve great things. Love and compassion, those are action words to me, so my prayers are simple, selfless sentences. What I desire most in this world is unshakeable peace and contentment, and the smallest taste I have been blessed with, like the sample I got outside Dunkin Donuts the other day (same day I saw the crullers by the way-if you are lost, see a previous blog), means everything to me. I crave that more than anything I have ever chased in my life, and how to get it is simple- be a stand up human being, doing whatever I can to help others, no matter how simple the act. After all, the slightest breeze still sends a ripple over a still pond. Yeah, I just got all Zen or something on everyone.

All I know is it’s a way better life to have strangers in passing, actually see me, greet me with a smile and a hello than shrink away. Maybe because I actually see myself, in a a much brighter light, and I will definitely take that today.

Peace
MFJ

Discarded Weaves & Old Crullers

I figured today, keep it tame, no ads directing my thoughts, wanted something though to challenge me a little bit, come up with this, the “rubber throat bag.” This can only end badly, I know it, but I figure, it can’t be what I am thinking, because that’s why God made ice  cream no? So, I research it just a bit…

“High quality rubber, so it won’t get hard.”

I think I am a funny guy, seriously though, I could never have come up with that, once again, reality is way stranger than fiction, and funnier. Or is it more funny? Yeah, I am trying to get away from the thought of someone putting ice in a rubber tube and sucki-, no, deep throating it for relief. Nothing is going to come off right today.

Oh….shit. Umm, turns out they are tubes to apply externally, not swallow. Well, that is embarrassing if not disappointing as well. I apologize. Trying to live better these days, dormant emotions pressed flat by a steady supply of fog, well, clearing presents rediscovery, and I ignored a lot of different feelings over the years. Life lesson: never take the top Google result, it might be bullshit.

Where was I? Oh yeah, my work place, it’s moving soon, but damn if it isn’t quite a plaza. A Dunkin Donuts, a pain doctor, a call center, a Kava bar, and a recovery clubhouse. Really, you could live there. And you might, if after making some decent money at aforementioned call center, you go to the kava bar, buy some kratom, then end up at the pain doctor, because yes, this shit still goes on in Florida, just under the name Dilaudid aka hydromorphone (sounds way more tame than oxycodone) these days, but hey, you have to shoot those or they are a waste, wise move medical community…Did I mention there is a wig shop? Yep, after things get bad using, you can go get a disguise, take up a less than promising career in robbery, eventually ending up homeless, unless you land the midnight to 8 shift and sleep in the day time.

Point is, I was walking around back, the dumpster by the weave place had a few items lying beside it, I am thinking yeah, 3-4 months ago, I might have grabbed that and sold it, or found a dress to go with it, hold up a bank in drag, because I am remembering some desperate things from the past, so I chuckle, until I get to the Dunkin Donuts trash, and see a bunch of crullers and muffins lying on the ground, having fallen out of a torn trash bag. Where was this stroke of good fortune 3-4 months ago?

Random this one, buddy tells me a neighbor takes sponge baths outdoors. Probably goes about 250. Sending him to therapy. Listen to me now, it’s all about reactions, how I perceive things, because not everything is a personal affront towards me. I never saw myself as the center of the universe, but I thought I should be. If you didn’t do me favors, there was no room for you in my inn…

I ran my world, slammed it into too many others, pretending no damage ever got done. Like that scene in Wolf of Wall St, when the Lambo is really messed up even though he thinks he made it home without a scratch. So that’s the lesson here, no kava, kratom, vapes, donuts or weaves for me. Don’t think that’s right either.

Another buddy never heard of Led Zepplin. WTF?

All of it is awesome. I am alive. I am peaceful and am there for other people wherever possible. I am getting better, not well by a long shot, I mean, now that I read the instructions to the throat bag, I feel bad for listening to my mind’s suggestions, and I am pretty sure that is 10, I messed up, you all had to read the ramblings of a perverted realist, I know someone out there went down the same road, just glad I can admit that mistake and apologize. I hope you find a sense of humor soon, but they don’t sell it at any stores in our plaza and you certainly won’t find it in the trash.

Or maybe you will, because like I said it’s all about perspective, and you never know when saving grace will give you a laugh.

Spiritual Rocket Scientists

What do you want to know? Pretty sure I am explaining myself rather opaquely these days, oh wait, maybe that’s the problem, I use words completely wrong and in the end, people scratch their heads and wonder. Short and sweet today, clear but probably not concise. Staccato, might be worth a look, but something just feels wrong to me about that, because I get it conveys a pace, but the way my words switch around, aligning with one another in some lost chapter of the Kama Sutra, that I read in a nod years ago, so the burned out synapse dead ends, glad I know there is another way, yeah, doesn’t that demonstrate the pace of what really goes on inside my head?

Meditation. I suck at it. Big surprise, huh? Listen. Might just get an answer. Close my eyes. Breathe.

Picture a crystal clear lake, still, on a cool evening, a blend of red and yellow hues reflect off its  surface, not a single ripple advances towards sure.Breathe.

Then a branch breaks under the foot of some Bigfoot hunter, who swears he just found Sasquatch, could I run a few laps so my heat image glows bright enough to distort my outline, amorphous enough that when I saunter a bit, it’s all the proof he needs to make it onto the History Channel, and see, this is why it’s hard to listen for answers, to pay attention, open my mind, my heart, and get a little of that good orderly direction I mentioned the other day. Still digging the grace on demand, ask, receive, just be careful what I wish for, can’t tell you how bad I want to punch whoever came up with that saying…hold on, time to Google It…

Apparently, it’s a proverb, no one knows, but I am betting it was the guy who first asked a shooting star, the sun or whatever he comprehended put all of this here, or way back then, which for him would be past present perfect tense or something,  to bring him a girl, and sure enough, he fell in love, except she had someone else around, someone she doesn’t even like, so he tortured himself, longing for something he can never have, ends up all sad and lonely..tangents. They suck. Remember something about breathing. Clever? No. Yes. Flip me for it.

Might be wondering about now if I am going to make any point. Yeah, I remember a certain line about this being short and sweet, but it’s all cloudy, so not beaching it right now as planned. Plans. Pretty much done sculpting my tomorrows these days, just wake up with a clear direction, and my days write their own script.

Even when things get bumpy, and life I know is one long Pennsylvania highway, instead of riding the flat, pull over and, yeah, curse Penndot for their hideous road upkeep, I get it, a Yugo would have been swallowed whole by that pothole, so be thankful it just bent your rim and destroyed your tire, be happy you’re alive to curse the ass hole who came up with donuts (the spare in the trunk kind–ok, that apllies to the Krispy Kreme kind too, but yeah, I think it’s clear I find way too much funny these days, but damn, it feels great to LAUGH) because now you need to drive 55, and frankly, if that bicycle tire hits another crater on 79 well, there is always AAA and the ability to accept in 3 hours, you will be well on your way.

Hidden agenda, or overexposure, it’s all about knowing no matter what, the answers will come. Sometimes in the form of a smack in the pride, because a deviant course of action isn’t exactly a good plan, and sometimes in the form of a stranger saying hello, that gets me thinking about one more person that needs added to that list thing I have tucked away in my back pocket. Funny, I have this blog sitting in drafts, called 21st Century Amends, with this awesome picture, and as it is currently, rough around the edges at best, and I ask, why not just use technology to ease the feeling of uncomfortable accountability….not really, working on a lot these days, forgive a white lie and soon enough it gets gray, digressions, I pity my readers, but yeah, I say things like, is it cool to Facebook an amends, maybe a Tweet:

Sorry all, I was a selfish dick; I am trying to live a much better life, #truth #9thStep #YeahthisisMike #yesIreallyamclean  #Waitingonmypaycheck #thedudeabides #cleanstreet #wayover147characters #what?its140? #shit #goingtohavetobeface2face #phonecallsandkleenex #hashtagsscrewupjustifytext #looksterrible

And what about Skype? Doesn’t that just make it even more Back to the now- doesn’t matter the situation life throws at me, as long as I live right, I am at peace, as the text message I literally just got says – ” As well you should be, God’s got you.”

God always has. Today I have him too.

That’s real. That’s short. That’s way beyond sweet.

Peace

-MFJ

Fantasy Football and Everything Gets Stale in South Florida

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What do I name my fantasy football team? There’s always making fun of that QB in New England, and go with Brady Gaga. Then there’s the random team name generators out  there that are getting hits because people like me forgot to grab their Redline Extreme, now with BCAA’s, (no, that’s not a relapse as there is no actual cocaine or methamphetamines in those energy drinks) so I can concentrate, coming up with something clever and cutting edge, but instead, the random generator is saying Mike’s Minions is good and the Sofa Junkies is even better. What to do? Think. Seriously though,  Redline, or more accurately,  makers of,  if you are out there I need a sponsor, no, not that kind, I have one of those already, on 4 & 5 in fact, and while I want to exclaim, ‘what an order, I can’t go through with it’ it’s all gravy because I laugh and smile because an uncomplicated life is where it’s at. Or is that love..Same thing? Sublime. Touche. Point is, I have this friend, tells me, “There’s no future in blogging.” And the free Redlines might just inspire me to pursue this a bit longer, because I write, and get a bit tired some times with  that whole memoir thing, so I need to shift gears occasionally, so why not get some free stuff out of it, spite success, that’s succeeding not because I ever wanted to get anything out of this other than some new creative friends and who have been through hell and recovered, ok, people to hook and buy my memoir when I get it all tightened up and published, it’s an honest program…where was I? Oh, success just to prove to my friend if I cared about the future in any way shape or form, blogging would exist in it, and reward me handsomely, at least until I succumbed to tachycardia and my heart exploded from my sponsor’s superior energy, fat-burning drink, but at least I will appear fit.

What a long paragraph of nonsense…I see that, and I can only offer my apologies. See, my roommate took my headphones which really is causing me feelings of resentment, so, let me tout the quality of Beats Audio, Dre, I turn it over to you and your signature series headphones, because I need some of that in my life to really tune into the spirit of sound. The light is good, but sound…never mind…. So yeah, tags, free things, the future, a caffeine withdrawal headache, no music in my ears, but it’s all okay, because today my eyes opened. Then life crept in, really, should I start Aaron Rogers tonight vs. the Seahawks D? In Seattle no less? And a name…that’s even more important, and isn’t that how all this unmanageability, i.e. babbling, verbal diarrhea, I have a case of dysentery dialect, just shut up, etc., began? It’s all about match-ups really. And you can’t discount Aaron Rogers, so he’s starting, problem one of the day solved. Team name: The Mashed Potatoes. Why? Because my head hurts. Excedrin…that is the ticket. Who makes that?

It’s as if there may be other teams called Mashed Potatoes, but mine is The. Yes, with the long e….As in easy…or the 2nd E in Eazy-E, the end sound in ‘crazy,’ convinced you are all saying it correctly now. It’s that need to separate, to feel above when in reality all this Fantasy Football is just that, fantasy….I am dreaming of winning some self-respect via 1st place, through drafting a team on paper that is pretty damn good if I do say so myself, minus the fact that RG III goes up a Houston D, but that’s Sunday or Saturday night drama, and worrying about that today, just pointless, but if I lose because someone blows a knee, well, karma is a fair sport and I have no one to blame but myself. Maybe this is why I don’t draft Steelers, my karmic debt so in the red, and therein lies the beauty of today, justifying and rationalizing all the way to victory. Something seems off in that last sentence, as opposed to the endless stream of redundant run-on sentences, which if you are an English teacher, please, take no offense, don’t faint over the blatant, colloquial thumbing of the nose, I break rules, and trust me when I tell you this-the rules of proper composition are the ones you want me to be breaking rather than Johnny Law’s or that agency that deals in drugs….see what I did there….drug dealers…yep…Caffeine headache…pulsating. Making my teeth hurt.

But I press on, until hopefully some sort of silver lining comes out of all this rambling. Maybe platinum if I get enough hits. Then follows free Redlines, Pepsi Throwback (obviously, I like nostalgia, rocking the old Steeler logo—which let me tell you- the Steelers, going to win number 7 this year, and for those who don’t know a Steeler fan, come out of your bomb shelter, the world survived both the 2000 software glitch and the 12/21/12 thing…gibber jabber, and don’t think back at that time, both times, I wasn’t pulling for the apocalypse, because I was, but those who know one of us, a Steeler Nation member, we always think like that, we will win #7, but preceding that, the Pirates are getting the Wild Card and then the World Series, and the Pens will win the Cup. 3 parades and the sports world’s envy), Beats Audio, Ferrari, and someone with the clear talent spotting ability that recognizes I would make a hell of an all-expenses paid travel, food, and fun blogger. Hail to the future, Hail to the Chief, that’s Art Rooney BTW, may he rest in peace.

So it begins, good luck fellow teams named Mashed Potatoes, we are kindred spirits with a love of starch and a goal of victory over lesser sides. And in all seriousness, cereal, chips, the humidity down here does more than just melt my mind, it takes the crunch right out of life. Enjoy today, do something good for someone when no one is looking, and all will be ok.