Tag Archives: Friends

I’m Broken

I’ve needed to write out a lot more lately, as y’all have noticed.  Today’s topic is something I’ve actually known about for 2 weeks coming now.  My heterosexual lifemate’s last day at our workplace is today.  For 13.5 of those days, I was actually pretty cool with it.  Not much is going to actually change with us.  Hell, I’ve known the kid for 27+ years and counting.  The only things that are changing are going to be the walks to and from work to our vehicles and our talks during lunchtime.  Camping, roadtrips, and playing in our band are still the same.  With that being said, just this morning, after everybody was asking me if I was going to miss him, etc… the thought occurred to me about me leaving this place one day.  The thought of it almost induced a panic attack.  Seriously!  I did it once, 4 years ago when I went back with my old boss to this current job to go back to the hotel life and the 9 months I was there gave me severe panic attacks, pretty bad anxiety, and now a lingering problem with said anxiety.

I had always been more of a loner, but after that madness I became even more of a recluse.  Talking on the phone gives me anxiety, being around too many people for long periods of time gives me anxiety, and I generally want to be left alone most of the time.  It’s the only way I’m comfortable.  I guess one can make an argument that it’s a bad thing, but I just find a way to manage.

So that brings me back to the present.  I’m now the last one standing of the old crew at this place.  I’ve seen everybody else come and go.  I don’t even know how to feel about that.  I’m not going to lie, it’s gonna be nice to be able to stay indoors every day and watch stuff on Hulu and Netflix for my free hour, but now I’m not going to have the outlet when I need to get something off my chest.  Maybe I’ll blog more!  Actually, I should.  I feel like I’ve been neglecting blogging on a more consistent basis.

As far as the future goes, I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave my gig.  I love doing what I do.  I’m kinda left alone even though I’m around people here, and I enjoy my work.  It’s a Monday-Friday gig and I live 15 minutes away.  I can make rent, pay my bills, and never go too hungry so I can’t ask for much more.  I’ve never been materialistic or greedy, so it all works out for me.  The thing that gives me anxiety and is almost inducing a panic attack now is the thought of me having to find a new job for one reason or the next.  Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do and still be able to support myself.  I don’t know if I can handle the public or not.  That’s kinda scary, isn’t it?  This sounds so bad, but if I were to ever get let go for whatever reason, I honestly think I would try to get disability.  It’s getting harder and harder for me to function semi-normally as it is.  Just this past week I was just burnt to a crisp emotionally.  I was dying for at least one day to be left completely alone and with nothing for me to do.  I was irritated, and annoyed, and was very short fused with everybody.  It was bad.  And worse yet, it almost felt like a new normal for me.  Even this week, I’m going to force myself to clean my house and do laundry today to give myself the 3 day weekend to do absolutely nothing aside from going to Low Mass on Sunday morning.  I need to.  I need to just get away from everybody for my own sanity.  And that’s the end game too, to put it bluntly.  If it were up to me, I’d just stay home and never leave the house.  It’s what I need to be happy, but I can’t do that, so I force myself to go to work.  It’s a messed up existence.

So, wish me luck, my friends.  I’m going to need it.  That and my old buspar pills.  I feel a damn anxiety attack coming on.  Ugh!

A Great Reunion and the Decay of Society

Hi y’all!  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and good health.  As for me, what a difference 24 hours makes.  Let me get right down to the biggest news.  The hood cat IS BACK!  Old habits die young with me, so at about 5:30 this morning, I opened up the door to my flat and there the hood cat was, by the stairs waiting to see if I’d open up the door.  She immediately meowed and came inside.  I can’t begin to tell you how my heart quickly filled up with happiness at just seeing her.  She was meowing for a good two minutes, which I hope tells me that she missed me as much as I missed her.  I had sadly put her food and water bowls away in my closet, so I got them back out and poured her out some breakfast.  Poor girl was hungry!  So she let me pet her a bit and let me ask her where the hell she had been for the past 6 days, then I told her that I had missed her dearly, then she had her breakfast.  It was great to have her back.  She has no idea just how much she has helped me out emotionally and if she would have let me, I would have hugged her.  Petting her and telling her that I missed and love her were good enough, though.  And with that, I think she’s earned a new name from me.  She’s no longer “Quick” (as in Eddie Murphy’s character in the film Harlem Nights, specifically the opening scene when the character was a child), but now she’s earned the name “Bunny Lebowski” from the film The Big Lebowski.  *Spoilers*, but the main plot of the movie involved the ransom kidnapping of said Bunny Lebowski by nihilists, only to have her show up at her mansion towards the end of the film on her own after going to party with her friends in Malibu.  I wouldn’t know of any confirmed people to party with my favorite comedian, the late Sam Kinison, but he joked in his last special Live From Hell that he’s had parties that lasted longer than a skirmish the Kurds had in the early 90’s with another military force and people were lucky to be alive after said parties.  I was joking to myself that the cat found herself at one of Sam Kinison’s parties too, considering she was gone for 6 days.  HAHAHAHAHA!  Either way, I’m glad to know the girl is still around.  Maybe now I’ll get an inexpensive cat tree for her with a scratching post and see if she wants to hang out with me some more and stay out of the cold.  Time will tell.

Speaking of time!!!  Here’s an interesting topic to me that has come up today.  I’m going to get ranty here, so if what I say offends you, then I apologize.  Here’s what is grinding my gears:  People’s attire and the changing of said attire in our times.  This has come about because my heterosexual lifemate has been complaining all day over the fact that he has to wear a tie to work today.  He’s one of those people who despises any sort of formal wear and if it were up to him, he’d wear denim jeans and some beat up looking shirt every day.  He finds clever ways to insult men like me who enjoy wearing dress shirts and ties, and suits, and calls the actions antiquated and disingenuous.  I just don’t understand it.  Granted, this dude wasn’t raised by a good father figure, or actually the way he describes it any sort of good parental figure of any sort, he rebels against any form of authority, hates authority and rules, and can’t see the value of appearance and how it affects people.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m rocking out a suit to work or anything, or like I don’t have casual, damn near bum looking attire, I do, but there’s something to be said about going to work with dress shoes on, dress pants of some sort, and sometimes a shirt and tie and if not a polo shirt.  It’s just the adult thing to do in my opinion.  You gotta dress to the occasion, you know?  I mean, I can go from wearing a heavy metal band t-shirt (specifically Metallica, Pantera, HELLYEAH, and Damageplan) or a sports team t-shirt with some Nike shorts and Nike shoes, to wearing a suit and it wouldn’t faze me at all.  I know how to dress for time and place.  I don’t mind wearing a shirt and tie either, I don’t complain about it… actually I express the fact that I enjoy it when I do!

Question is, what’s changed from the 1950’s where men were in suits and hats every day of the week to now where guys can’t even bother to respect God by showing up to their church of choice in a shirt and tie.  The example of this sad state of affairs happened one of the last times I was forced to attend a Novus Ordo Mass when I made a brief return to hotel management.  I couldn’t attend my FSSP Traditional Latin Mass as I was still on duty at work, so I had to attend a Sunday afternoon Mass at a parish near work.  What I saw appalled me.  Where do I even start?  Drop down screens on either side of the sanctuary (what’s wrong with people?!  YOU SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE SANCTUARY AT MASS!), little girl altar servers (umm, alter serves should be boys who at least possibly have the intention of becoming priests one day, so that should disqualify girls), nobody showing reverence before taking their seats at the pews (lack of knowledge in their faith), and the thing that really got me, the “choir”.  UGH!!!  I had forgotten about Novus Ordo “choirs”.  Guitars, drums, and other instruments that shouldn’t belong in a Catholic church.  That aside, the choir leader was wearing cargo shorts, some casual looking short sleeved white button up wrinkled collared shirt, and FLIP FLOPS.  DUDE!!!!!!!!!  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!!!   This is the respect this guy showed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Read that again.  THE RESPECT this guy showed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  …NONE OF IT.  I know the counter argument to that… “God doesn’t care what you’re wearing…”  We don’t know that for sure I guess, but it damn sure is a sign of respect to try to dress your best in front of those who deserve our respect and the king of kings without question deserves that.  This dude couldn’t have cared less and that just broke my heart.

But that’s society these days.  Nobody has any respect for others.  It’s all about me, me, me, me, me.  Who cares about the other person?  It’s beyond me.  You know, I say that and remember my own words to friends when I say I treat everybody as equals, as I do, but there are a few people who I treat with greater respect than others.  People of authority (Priests, my elders, law enforcement, etc.) are given more respect by me than other people, but I also expect the respect to be reciprocated.  I know I’m a nobody, but I hate to be talked down to or made to feel inferior.

Back to the point, though.  It’s just a sad state of affairs to see where society is at right now.  As President Obama wrote about recently, we’re in a “cancel culture” where people are having to apologize for every single thing that offends people (which is dumb by the way), everybody is so self-righteous and shows no respect towards anybody or anything anymore, and rules are being thrown out the window.  Man, what a difference the world would be if we all just learned that it’s not just about us.  It’s about showing respect to those who deserve it and it’s about showing reverence by our actions and dress when appropriate, just to name a couple of things.  Maybe this world would be a better place than it is now.

Anyway, have a great day y’all.

Taking the Good with the Bad

Happy Friday, y’all!

I hope this post finds those who read it in good spirits.

As for me?  I don’t even know how to feel at this moment.  So many things have been happening and my health has been so jacked up lately that I’m starting to feel like I’m losing something.  What that something is, however, I don’t know yet.  It’s been strange to try to even describe it to myself.  It’s like a mixture of heartbreak, depression, anxiety, malaise, stress and exhaustion all rolled up into one bomb of death.  The odd part is that I have no idea where it’s coming from.  I’ve been feeling sick since the middle of last month with some upper respiratory thing and I thought it has gone away, but I’m guessing that crap is lingering.  I’m just tired most of the time and now it’s affecting my daily life.  I know at this point you’re probably saying “Dude, why don’t you go see a doctor?!”  Well, the answer to that quite simply is because I can’t afford to see my doctor.  My health insurance sucks and I have such a high deductible that I simply can’t afford to see a doctor, so unless things go really south, I just have to bear it.  I’m not going to go into a rant about how the healthcare system in the United States sucks, but just know that it does and I’m part of the proof.  Pray for me, my friends!

In happier news, I have made a new and surprising friend.  I’ve known of her since about May or so this year, but the past week or so has changed things a lot between us.  The crazy part is that I’m talking about a cat.  HAHAHA!  I know!  Not a person, but a cat!  I’ve never been on good terms with cats for some reason.  The majority of them have wanted nothing at all to do with me.  The only cat that has been cool to me was a baby kitten that one of my good friends got a few years ago.  My heterosexual lifemate and I went up to Albuquerque for a weekend to visit her and I was crashing out on my air mattress in the living room and the two mornings I spent there, this kitten would jump up on the mattress and want to play with me.  It was the coolest and so much fun.  Every other cat has avoided me like the plague!  Well, fast forward to around May of this year.  I started noticing that a tuxedo furred cat was lounging around sitting on top of hoods and tops of the cars (including my truck) in my parking area of the apartment complex I live in.  For months, I’ve thought that it belonged to my upstairs neighbor’s girlfriend as this cat started showing up around the time she did as well.  I was annoyed sometimes, admittedly, because I’d find tiny paw prints all over my hood and my windshield from this cat.  I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why this lady would let her cat just roam around and mess with people’s property like that.  But, non-confrontational me just let it slide.  It’s just an old truck anyway.  Who cares, right?  Well, girlfriend takes off but the cat stays.  Hmm… that’s odd.  Dude is at work but the cat is out.  Hmmm… what the hell?  I just brushed it all off.  Well, fast forward to a few weeks ago.  I was doing my laundry one Saturday afternoon as I tend to do, and the cat was hanging out on the sidewalk by my door.  I said my greetings and she actually let me pet her, but then a funny thing happened.  She just wanted my company.  I stuck around and gave her company and went back inside my flat.  Little did I know that this blossomed now into a full-fledged support thing.  She comes by now to see me every morning and every evening just about, and I’ve gone as far as to buy her treats and a water and food bowl to make sure she’s taken care of.  I’m sure that few other tenants do the same, but I’ve started to grown attached to this cat.  Going through this crappy time with my health, feeling lonely and forgotten, and just generally being out of sorts has sucked.  I think God put this cat in my life to cheer me up a bit.  She comes by, I hook her up with eats and drinks if she wants them, she lets me pet her (sorta) and she just gives me company for short periods of time, but right now it’s what I need.  Pretty soon with the cold weather coming in, I’m planning on buying her a pet bed and a container to put it in so that she can have a little bit of warm space to sleep outside if she wants it.  I’d bring her in, but truthfully I have too many things that can easily be knocked over by a curious cat, and let me tell you the times she’s found her way into my flat she’s been curious but she knows I’m watching.  Hahaha!  I can only imagine the mischief she’d stir up at night as I slept if she were to stay indoors.  But I care for her, and she brings me at least a tea light of illumination in this dark place I’m in now and I’m grateful for her every day.  I can’t wait to see her every time I get back home.

Well, time to try and survive the day before I can get myself home to rest and see said cat.  By the way, I’ve decided to nickname her “Quick” in honor of Eddie Murphy’s character in the film Harlem Nights.  For those who aren’t familiar with the film, at the beginning when Quick was just a child, he gets Richard Pryor’s character out of a life or death situation and the dialogue is as follows:

Sugar Ray:  Alright fellas.  Lookit, the game’s over for tonight.  I’m gonna take this boy home to is mother!

Quick:  My momma’s dead.

Sugar Ray:  Alright then.  Yo daddy.

Quick:  My father’s dead too.

Sugar Ray:  Didja kill ‘em?

Quick:  Nah, they just dead.

Sugar Ray:  Where do you stay?

Quick:  I don’t live nowhere!

Sugar Ray:  Well, I guess you can stay with me for a while.

Quick:  A’ight.

L O L!!!!!  She reminds of Quick as a kid.  She don’t live nowhere, but she can stay with me for a while.

God bless y’all!  Talk again soon!

This and That in September

Hi y’all!  Long time no talk.  I know my last 10 or so blog posts have been brief, but that’s due in part to the lack of time I’ve been giving to really formulate my thoughts.  Believe me, there are a lot of thoughts that have been going through my head lately.  Much like most if not all of my blog posts, I’m just going to start typing and see where this one goes.  Bear with me, y’all!

So, where should I start?  I think I’m going to start off with October 5, 2020.  That’s the date that I either get paid $113 or I owe a friend $113.  The reason for that odd number (and yes that triggers my OCD like feelings) is that as of September 9th, that’s rounded up to how many pounds I need to lose to get to my goal weight.  I took the high and the low numbers from an ideal weight calculator website that takes 5 popular formulas, and found the average to be 137.6 pounds.  I know, it sounds insane to some people, especially those who know me in the outside world, but I think I’m going to do it.  Now, I really have no choice, unless my friend tells me to stop because I look sick or something.  I know I’m only 9 days out from the true beginning of this journey, but I’m feeling really good about it all.  I expected a big loss quickly, and sure enough I got it at my first weigh in, but now I’m motivated for the long haul.  I’ve even already gotten to the point of me going a full hour on the arc trainer and elliptical machines to burn off a lot of calories.  I know I can do this and I don’t even need any kind of support system to do it.  I’m doing this out of sheer curiosity and willpower.  I know I’m going to get to my goal weight before next October 5th, but it’s just a matter of when.  If I push myself to lose 3 pounds a week, I might even reach my goal on June 1st of this coming year.  A full 5 months ahead of schedule.  I think I can do that too.  Like I was telling my bandmates/best friends, I really have two goals in mind right now.  First one is to get down to my lowest adult weight that I ended up hitting like 6 years ago.  I decided to celebrate that a little too much and derailed the whole thing.  Secondly, after that, I’m going to keep going and instead of looking too far ahead, I’m going to take things 5 pounds at a time.  Before I know it, I’ll be where I need to be.  That thought actually excites me too, and does not scare me at all.  I’m looking forward to each 5lb checkpoint.  Smaller goals will mean that I’ll get to the ultimate goal in the end.  I’ll be sure to continually check in with my progress here!

As for other things in my life, I seem to have messed up the balance with things yet again.  My love life is a complete disaster which is trying it’s best to really mess with my depression, but otherwise my mental health has taken a turn for the better and has given me the will to succeed at the other aspects of my life.  My spiritual journey as I walk with Christ is good.  I mean, it can always be better, but I feel like I grow and learn more every single day.  My passion for organization and cleanliness has also ramped up.  I know that’s an annoying shock to my friends in the outside world too as they say that I’m already too much of a clean freak and am OCD with my organization.  Little do they know that I’ve only scratched the surface of that quirk of mine!  So, we’ll see how this little journey of mine goes.  I’m really curious to see if my focus on God and keeping things in clean order stay or exceed their current levels.

In a last bit of things that I wanted to mention and talk about was general human interaction and the perceived difference between the two sexes (YES, I said two!).  The reason I bring this up is because in my talks with my female friends, I find that these friends of mine either end up messing around with complete douchebags or get their hopes up and played by complete douchebags, then I get to hear the “well, guys are horrible!” blast.  I, of course, take great offense to that because even though they don’t believe me until they really notice my behavior, they think I’m just standing up for manhood.  No, it’s not that, it’s just that I hate to be lumped in with guys who use women like objects and don’t show them any respect.  I know I think this way, but I’ve actually been told that I think like a woman.  It’s probably because I was primarily raised by my mom as my dad worked his ass off to provide for us.  That’s why I keep such a clean house like I do.  That’s why I know how to cook the dishes I do and love to do that by the way, that’s why I don’t do the typical male things (I don’t know which ones, you pick one!) either.  I’m just wired differently.  I see a lot of things from the female prospective.  Hell, I even love in dating-esque relationships like a woman, so I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I seem to always either get cheated on, or otherwise mistreated in my relationships.  I’ve been told by female friends that they want men to act like men.  Obviously I get confused at that, because what is a man supposed to act like?  Chauvinistic?  Because if that’s it, then to hell with that!  I just don’t understand.  I’m not innocent in the dating life.  I know I make mistakes, but showing respect and treating everybody the way I would want to be treated is always rule number one with me.  I only actually stand up for myself and defend myself when I just get pushed too far.  There’s only so much abuse, disrespect, etc. that I can take before I break.

The thing that got me into this tangent was a co-worker of mine who talks to me about her dating adventures sometimes.  Homegirl was raised very traditionally Mexican and I’m sure has the mentality of men having to do all the work in the relationship (meaning, calling first, inviting out for dates, etc.  that type of thing).  She felt so embarrassed to ask a guy to see a movie with her.  Of course he didn’t respond to her, so she felt even worse and hated the feeling of rejection.  I found it so comical when she told me that she felt embarrassed and rejected because when I said “How do you think I felt all the times that happened?!  That’s why I stopped!” to her response of “but you’re a guy!”  Then I shook my head in shame because in her mind, apparently men have no sense of rejection, embarrassment, or shame.  To her, apparently, men go out to conquer women and get whatever it is that they are looking for then move on.  They are like animals, spreading their seed, unwilling to settle down with one woman.  It’s kinda sad that she has this warped world view.  Maybe it’s the horribly corrupt world we live in now, maybe it’s something else.  God knows what it may be, but I know I can’t be the only male out there who treats their date/girlfriend/wife with just common respect and dignity, right?  Needless to say, I told her that she’s got a lot to learn about the opposite sex, but that my proverbial door is always open if she needed to talk about anything.

So there it is, my friends.  Time to get at this thing we call life!

Talk again soon!

Saturday in El Paso, Texas

As of this writing, it’s been 48 hours since a 21 year old kid drove 9 or so hours from the northern part of my state to my city to kill people like me.  Hispanic people whether or not they were born here in the United States (like me) or whether or not they crossed over from our sister city, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico… either way this maniac wanted us dead.

It was a normal Saturday morning for me.  I was trying to enjoy my one day a week that I don’t wake up to an alarm and get my day started.  The plan for the day was to get up to make breakfast, clean the kitchen up, get a list of things to buy across the street from me at Target for my trip to the DFW area this coming weekend, go to the gym, hit up said Target, then get back home to shower and catch up with Netflix and Hulu as much as I could.

In the middle of cleaning the kitchen up and watching something that I already forget that I had on just as background noise, one of my bandmates started up our group chat on Facebook messenger saying “Hey stay away from the Cielo Vista area…there is an active shooter at the Walmart”.  It was about 11:15ish or so.  Yeah, I was getting the day started a bit later than I wanted to, but my initial reaction was something along the lines of “damn.  Maybe some person just either specifically shot at somebody else or they accidentally fired a gun or something.” Not what was actually going down.  Shortly after his message, however, more information started flooding in.  I turned my cable box on (yeah, I still have cable.  The apartment complex provides it for us, so I use it for some channels) and switched it to the local news stations.  KTSM was first.  Nothing.  Just a message scrolling along the bottom of the screen saying that the message my friend had sent and that they had a crew heading that way.  KVIA had nothing yet.  KFOX and KDBC had nothing either.  So more reason not to kinda worry.  And I say kinda worry because to put things in perspective, the Walmart where this went down is THREE MILES from where I live.

To be honest, I never go to that particular Walmart because it’s just too damn crazy all the time and it’s an older model store that doesn’t have the same layout as the newest versions of their stores are.  As I’ve said a few times here, my introversion drives me away from really crowded places like that, as it’s always an adventure just trying to find a parking spot there, much less to get through their isles to try to find the things I need to get.  I go to one that is 2 miles further away from me, but is newer and has a little bit more breathing room for me to navigate through.  It’s still chaotic, mind you, but I’m used to that chaos.  Same goes for the location by my dad’s house that I’ll go to sometimes.  Oddly enough, I actually DID go to the Walmart by my dad’s house on Friday night because I filled my gas tank up at one of the stations in his neighborhood because the prices are routinely 10-25 cents cheaper than ones near me.  Those cents add up considering I’m filling a 32 gallon capacity tank.  Anyway, after thanking God for making it to the gas station, as I was running on fumes, I drove the 3 minutes up to the Walmart, got critical groceries (since I just got paid that day and kinda live check to check most of the time), then drove back home to put the stuff up, then hit up the gym.

Back to the point and back to Saturday morning 11:30ish AM…

The group text goes on saying that it was on Fox News.  I tuned the TV to that and it was on commercial, so I switched it to MSNBC and that’s where I saw the headline on the bottom about it being a mass shooting and dozens were hurt and dead.  WHOA.  Word starts to get out even more and I started getting messages that there were multiple shooters and were going to target multiple locations.  El Paso was going to be a warzone starting NOW.  Next place in line was Bassett Place.  Bassett Place is a mall with two large anchor tenants on either side of the mall.  Costco is on one end and Target is on the other.  As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, Bassett Place is essentially across the street from where I live.  Stupid me, not really thinking about it then, or whatever… I don’t know… go outside to throw an empty gallon of distilled water container in the dumpster about 25 feet from my door.  I can see the main street, Montana, from there (sorta) and I saw flashing emergency vehicle lights and heard their sirens.  They were probably going to Bassett.  Again, at this point, the fear or whatever didn’t kick in.  I don’t even know why not.  So strange right?  Best thing I can think of putting into words of what I was thinking at the time was “Heh.  Nah, man.  Nothing’s happening at Bassett right now.  Units are probably rushing up from the firehouse and stuff on Chelsea or something going to Cielo Vista.” And I walked back inside.  I got a group text from my dad including my sister about this point too, making sure we were ok.  That’s when another moment of heart dropping came into play.  For two reasons.  First of all, there could have been a very slight chance my sister could have been there.  She’s closer to the one I go to as well, but you never know.  She could have possibly gone there as I remember she has said she has before.  Secondly, what could my dad have been thinking?  He knows both of us are early risers and that we shop for groceries on Saturdays sometimes.  I can’t even imagine the terror he felt wondering if one or both of his children were dead, or if one or both of his grandchildren were dead.  I reply right away that I was home cleaning up the kitchen and my sister replied a few minutes after saying that they were safe.  WHEW!!!   Shortly after that, I get this message on my phone:

Active

Shit got REAL then.  “ALL El Paso City/County residents are asked to shelter”?  My dumb ass was just outside throwing away something that could have waited and I put myself in harm’s way.  I saw the damn emergency vehicles!  I’m right next to another potential place of harm where bad people could run toward to try and escape, and there I was… walking out there.  HELL NO.  I tuned it to the local NBC affiliate, KTSM, who by then started to broadcast.  Multiple reports started coming out, messages were flying from friends.  Horizon City was next; Bassett was next, this was a coordinated attack by a large group of people.  I was in the line of fire.  Even if it was just one person, that one person was 3 miles away from me and could very well be heading my way. I was just frozen, I guess.  I didn’t think about this until later on in the night, but if for some reason somebody was going to spray bullets at my apartment unit… there was little in between the wall and me.  Just my new 4K UHD TV that wouldn’t stop a bullet and that was about it.  Even if I were to somehow fly over my couch, that’s just wood, suede, and foam.  Still not enough to stop bullets.  People started messaging me or commenting on my Facebook posts to stay inside and don’t leave my house.  HELL NO!  DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME TWICE!  I’M STAYING IN!  I started checking the police department twitter feed as that’s where the information was coming through and I see this:

Tweet

Holy smokes.  Multiple reports of multiple shooters?  THEY are confirming it!  So, I blast out the screenshot of the emergency text telling people to not open up their doors if anybody knocks unless it’s the cops.  At this point, I think my nerves are starting to kick in.  I was flipping channels between KTSM, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News trying to find the latest news and all they were saying and showing at that point were people coming out of Cielo Vista Mall but nothing about Walmart.  Then word came out that the shooter had been apprehended.  EPPD was still securing the situation and verifying if there were any more shooters.  At the time, they believed there was only one, but still be vigilant, they said.  Okay.  So, by 2 or so, it was confirmed to be all over.  The wild reports of possible things in different places were dying down.  KTSM had a screenshot of the killer at the front entrance, gun on him, ear and eye protection on probably about to shoot people as seen from the security camera.  Same description as what an eye witness said she saw of a man shooting at people in cars walking along the road.  Same description of a man, El Paso Police took into custody without incident on Viscount and Sunmount streets.  It was really over, but that was just the beginning for me.  I was glued to the TV.  I didn’t want to even go outside.  What for?  I was on social media scrolling my timeline on twitter catching updates from the local reporters I follow, checking the EPPD twitter feed that I follow too, but wasn’t getting messages on for some reason, checking Facebook and doing something I thought I’d never have to do… mark myself safe so that everybody could see I was still alive.  Businesses started posting that they were closing for the day out of respect of the situation and out of the safety of their employees.  Honestly, I didn’t even want to be out anyway.  Then again, when do i?  But even more so then.  Friends started sharing their stories and the focus of the day shifted to starting to repair our lives.  It wasn’t without incident for me, though.  My nerves were shot and I was on edge.  Sometime around 4 or so I heard a snap outside my door like the snapping of a piece of paper or one of those snap firecracker things and I immediately jolted.  I was still traumatized.  I stayed glued to the TV until about 9:30 or so when I took a shower, turned the TV off, and went to my room to pray and try to get some sleep.

I was worried about what Sunday morning would bring.  I was going to fulfill my Sunday Obligation and go to Low Mass at my FSSP apostolate downtown like do every Sunday, which is heading away from the massacre, but all the while I was wondering who was going to be there.  Were the pews going to be overfilling with people coming to seek comfort and/or get back to God?  Or were people going to stay away in fear?  It was pretty much a normal Sunday.  I saw the usual congregation that attends the 8am Low Mass.  Father O’Neil started off his homily with us all reciting an Our Father and 3 Hail Mary’s then intertwined his already prepared sermon with the tragedy that unfolded Saturday morning.  I still needed to get those things for my road trip to Dallas this Friday and maybe something to make for dinner, but I didn’t want to go to a store.  It just didn’t feel right yet, respectful yet, to carry on less than 24 hours after probably the worst day in El Paso’s history like nothing happened.  I talked to a few friends, and one like me, was too afraid to go out.  Just sad and depressed.  All of the people I talked to were.  I offered to go pick my friend up that needed groceries, but she declined as she was going to go to her parents’ house and swim with her daughter and her daughter’s friends.  I had made up my mind to not go out either unless it was to help a friend, so I just stayed inside.  I didn’t know how to feel at that moment.

Coming to work today was the same thing.  Just the unknown to deal with.  We had a town hall to start the day where management told us that it was ok to feel however it is that we feel.  Some cried, some felt anger, some just felt sad.  I’m in the sad camp, but I’m writing this out now because writing is how I rid myself of negative thoughts.

So, El Paso will start to pick up the pieces.  This kid drove 9 hours to our community to try and break our spirit and our love, but he didn’t and could never.  We’re probably closer now than ever before.  This picture below here may depict how we feel.  Amigo Man (the official El Paso mascot), Chico (the El Paso Chihuahuas our AAA Baseball Team mascot), and Paydirt Pete (UTEP’s Mascot) are all crying, consoling each other, but we’ll all pull through better on the other side.  Hug your friends and family whenever you can.  Tell the people that you love that you love them, each chance you get, because something like this can happen to you.

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A Voice

Hello all!  I’ve been meaning to write about this for quite some time but have never gotten the chance to get around to it, well until now at least.  Here’s a question to ask.  Are you a listener?  I mean, we all listen to people one way or another, but do you really listen when people tell you things or do you just tune out to when somebody else talks to you?  In most of my experiences, I’ve found that most people don’t really hear what I have to say.  I’m largely ignored or when I am heard my thoughts and opinions are dismissed as being any form of negative.  It gets annoying, so over time, I’ve learned to just keep most thoughts to myself, well that is until I discovered WordPress.  I think this is the only place that I find myself to be free to express myself any way I’d like and not be judged on it.  This is why I keep writing here.  I don’t know the majority of you followers personally, but those of us who mutually follow each other share the same ideas of freedom of expression to get those things that just gnaw at us out and away from us purging whatever emotion that may be.  I don’t know where I’d be without this outlet, if you want me to be honest.  I have a hard enough time as it is out in the real world keeping it together mentally, and when things get too bottled up, I come here to release them.

That brings me to the story I’ve wanted to tell.  I have an acquaintance who seems to be even more introverted and secluded than I am.  That’s saying a lot, actually.  Dude makes me look like a social butterfly, actually.  Anyway, to put things shortly, he just doesn’t fit it.  He’s quiet, doesn’t like to be part of any groups, and he just makes it an open effort to not be included in anything.  The strange part is that I love to talk to him.  I understand him.  I know what he’s going through feeling like the outcast, and maybe that’s the big thing that draws me to him.  I know other people I know talk to him and what not, but I don’t think people listen to him.  He’s generally misunderstood by everybody, but I know where he’s coming from and I make it a point to listen to him and let him freely express his thoughts.  I interject with them because well, it’s the right thing to do, but also because I generally agree with his ideas and if I don’t, I want to hear the reasoning of his thoughts.  I don’t know if he knows this or not, but I look forward to every conversation we have because not only does he excite the thinking part of my brain, but I feel like I help him out by just simply listening to him when it seems like nobody else will.

I seem to have that talent, actually.  I attract the misfits and outcasts.  Hell, I count myself as part of them, so why would I turn my back away from a fellow weirdo?  We all need a voice that deserves to be heard without judgement or criticism.  My buddy has me, and I have y’all.  Thank you for listening to me, even if you never actually comment on this thing.

I’m Going Through Changes…

Greetings y’all!  What an incredible journey I’ve been having since the last weekend of 2018!  I will tell y’all that my life has been almost completely turned around to a new normal.  I can’t deny it, either.  It feels great.  It’s even odd enough to say that, but it does.  I think my brother (from another mother) who lives in Salt Lake City told me the best way about it too; “Well, dude, you were due for a change.  I don’t wanna sound like a dick about it, but your life had gotten pretty stagnant.  I’m happy for you, dude!”  Hmmm… maybe he’s right!  I mean, I have traveled more in the past 3 months than I have in the past 5 years, and east of all things!  I mean, before about 3 or 4 years ago I had never really been anywhere else here in Texas for any more than a quick stop or some specific thing to do.  I went to Houston 10 years ago for WWE’s WrestleMania 25 for a weekend, but we didn’t venture out much aside from going to the area where the event was being held.  I also went to the DFW area a few years ago to visit one of my band members for a weekend, then again to his new place in Bryan but it was more for a working/band trip, so I didn’t really see much then either.  Well, this year, already, I’ve gone to Houston and explored parts of that wonderful city again, and I got to drive through San Antonio for the first time in 20 years!  Just this past weekend, I was back in Bryan/College Station where I got to see a bit more of the town.  I’ve also gotten to know Interstate 10 from the state line in my hometown of Anthony, Texas all the way through to Houston, Texas.  Before this year, I hadn’t even driven it past the exit to highway 280 right after Junction, Texas that takes you into Fredericksburg, Johnson City, and Austin.  My two trips (and one more scheduled coming up in two weeks) have been really eye opening to me.  I’m wondering why it is that I didn’t want to head east before.  I mean, I can tell you why really.  It’s because my favorite Major League Baseball team is the Arizona Diamondbacks (who are based in Phoenix, Arizona), and the place I visit at least annually is Las Vegas, Nevada.  Both of those places are west of me and I’ve always felt comfortable in my familiar desert climate.  Say what you will about things, but nothing beats the sunsets here in the desert southwest.  The way things are heading, I might be heading east permanently, so I gotta take in as many of these sunsets as I can while I can still remember to!

Along with my travel and my new found appreciation for what lies east of El Paso, I’ve also fully embraced my new lifestyle change.  I have kept losing pounds each passing week and I’m ramping up my confidence that I can continue to get to my goal weight, which I should hit sometime in November.  I’m really looking forward to that AND looking forward to seeing a better version of me in the mirror!  I’ve even started to eat way healthier than I was previously, and I am getting compliments at least weekly from my coworkers about how great of a job I’m doing.  It feels awesome to know that finally, for once, things are heading in the direction they should be when it comes to my health.  Speaking of my health, on Tuesday, I’m finally going to have a sleep study done to hopefully help fix my problem with sleep apnea and snoring.  Hardly anybody understands, but I am super excited about this too.  The more changes, the better I say!

Have a great weekend y’all!  Stay safe out there in this wild planet of ours!