Tag Archives: Peace

Strikes and Gutters

Hi y’all!  Here I am again barely getting a chance to write some random thoughts about the things that have been going on in my life.  Holy smokes, what a crazy time it’s been for me lately too.  It seems like nearly half a lifetime since I’ve gotten the chance to jot down my thoughts, so I apologize for the randomness of this blog.  Actually, this blog has always been random, so I suppose I should apologize for the randomness of it all.  Ha!  Anyway, I don’t even know where I left off last sometime last month, so I’ll just pick up my life story from sometime this month.

The biggest thing I can say that’s been going on is my ongoing struggle with these mood swings of mine.  I know the cause of them by the way, but damn it sucks to have them!  I’m happy and content some days, ready to break down and cry the next.  It’s amazing what the influence of other people’s energy can do to your soul.  My soul happens to take the energy of people around me and convert it to my own and sometimes in the very negative.

Lately, it’s been due to a woman who I am (I should say was to be honest) romantically involved with.  For some insane and completely stupid reason, I keep trying to have this thing survive even though it’s on life support and brain dead.  Stupidly, I keep holding out hope for a miracle and that she’ll come to her senses and at least reciprocate my actions towards her, but so far nothing.  Honestly, I’m positive that she’s moved on from me and when I confronted her on it, she of course turned it around on me and made me the bad person, but I had the proof I needed in her words and from what I saw on social media.  It felt like I got punched by a life-sized boxing glove, but with the slightly positive things in my life that have been going on, I deflected it and only let it completely destroy me for a short time.  Spoiler alert, she again refused to let me go on with my life and I’m still stuck.  UGH.  I should just shut up about it until something more concrete happens, but just know that it’s the worst thing that has happened to me in probably 9-10 years, since the other bane of my romantic existence “Lady Voldemort” was in my life.

Now, in more happy news, things in my non-romantic personal life are pretty damn gangbusters.  My band, Searchlight Needles (look us up!), is gigging semi-regularly and we’re having fun AND getting paid doing it!  We actually have another show this Saturday night that I’m pretty excited about.  Now if only we could actually slow down just a bit in order to write some new music, we’d be going somewhere!  In time, I suppose!  Also, in a related topic, I came to a realization this past Saturday night.  One of our band friends were having a show at a bar close to where I was at that night and this band loves to bring up their fellow musician friends to play a few songs with them.  4/5ths of my band was there, so 3 of us went up there and played a song with the booked band’s guitarist and when people wanted another song, said guitarist pulled a rabbit out of his hat and was able to play this second song with us.  It was such a good feeling to play music with somebody new and still have it sound great!  The best part was when I thought we were done; I was asked to stay on the drums and play with another guest guitarist/vocalist and the booked band’s bassist.  We played 3 songs.  Two Johnny Cash classics and Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as I had never even met this dude who was going to sing and play guitar, but this guy blew me away.  He was so talented.  The Johnny Cash tunes were great, and he played some awesome solos, but man, when we got to “Comfortably Numb”, he took things to another level.  I locked in with the bass player, dude sang his heart out, and played a 4+ minute solo and I was just in heaven.  I hadn’t felt so alive playing drums (even though they weren’t my drums) in such the longest time.  All I have to do is think about it and go back to that time and holy SMOKES!  It’s hard to describe the feeling.  It’s like excitement mixed in love, joy, a sprinkle of anxiety, and ecstasy all together.  The bar was packed and the majority of them were engaged and enjoying the performance and that just made all those feelings come rushing up to the surface.  It was then that I realized that playing music is what I should be doing with my life.  It’s my purpose.  It’s what God put me here on earth to do.  Nothing, aside from going to confession and Mass, makes me happier.  No offense to family and friends, but that’s the truth.  Playing music with people who are at least as talented as I am makes me the happiest.  I need more of that feeling in my life, so I hope to push the guys in my band to play more music.

Speaking of things that make me happy, camping season is coming right around the corner.  The season here in the southwest, or at least in the west Texas / southern New Mexico area is from April to October.  We (the band) didn’t really give ourselves the chance to head out last year and even though I could have gone by myself as I have before, it didn’t happen last year and now I’m dying to head out.  I stepped my game up with this year’s income tax return and bought a new tent, new air mattress (since my older one has some sort of small leak from where I assume is in the seams), and a brand-new camping chair.  I had my eye on the tent I bought for years.  There is nothing wrong with the tent I still have now, mind you, but this one that I got now is slightly larger and incorporates “dark room technology”.  That means that it’s dark in that tent all the time and is also supposedly cooler during the day too.  The only downside is that I’ve read from more than one review that the thing leaks in rainstorms.  Not good.  No bother though, I went out and purchased some seam sealer and I’m going to hope for the best.  Besides, the only things I keep in my tent when I camp are my air mattress, sometimes an extra blanket, whatever it is that I’m carrying my clothes in, my portable air pump in case I might need to reinflate said mattress, and hanging from the top, my fan/light combo.  It’s not like rain will completely flood the tent (in theory), so I’ll just put everything in a spot to keep it all dry if the seams leak and the sealer doesn’t do its job either.  I’m already happy with my purchase.  If I remember correctly, my old tent is 8×8 and the new one is 10×10, so I’m sure I’ll notice those extra two feet of comfort and darkness now, and that’s what matters the most to me.  As far as the new chair goes, I realized during my last camping trip that my chair started to hurt me with it’s support points on my thighs, so sitting for long periods of time wasn’t going to work out with the current chair I have.  It’s good for short bursts, but if I’m going to have a bit of a lounge act like we tend to do while camping, I’d have to invest in another chair.  Sure enough, I decided to buy a zero-gravity reclining lounger chair that has no points that can hurt any part of my legs (in theory).  I’ve had my eye on these new style chairs for a while now too but just never had the guts to just buy one until now too!  I figured the heck with it!  It felt awesome when I sat in one before, our next camping trip is coming up in 2 short months, why roll the dice and hope to not hurt sitting down and relaxing when I can just recline and relax instead?  So, heck yeah!  That’s what I plan to do.  Now, I just gotta get over to my dad’s house some weekend soon to pitch the new tent, seal the seams and pull out my camping gear to run an inventory and test the worthiness of it all so that I can be ready for when we head out.  I really hope that this is not the only trip we make this year.  Even if it’s the only one the band makes together, I’m planning on going out at least a few more times, even if it’s by myself.  I’m excited!

Well, there it is my friends.  A quick look into what’s going on with me right now.  A big time low being combated by two big time highs.  And that’s what really matters too.  We gotta find the highs to suppress the lows.  Take care of yourselves!  May God grant me the strength to assemble my brain’s thoughts into more words to share with you all!  I’ve been bad with that lately.

Happy for the Holidays

Hi y’all!  Can you believe it?  We’re two weeks away from Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and the full swing of the holidays is upon us.  It’s been a very quick last half of the year by all accounts.  It feels like it was just yesterday that it was the beginning of July and now we’re halfway through November.  Where does the time go?  I mean, I’m a believer that time starts to fly by faster the older we get, but holy smokes, this is the fastest time has passed by in my memory.  I can’t complain about it though, I love the holiday season.  I enjoy watching the holiday commercials on TV (yeah, I actually watch over the air TV sometimes.  Well, it’s mainly NFL Network and whatever networks the sports I love are on, but still!), and my favorite morning of the year, Thanksgiving, brings about the excitement of said day coming at us very quickly.  I actually have the majority of the day already planned out yearly.  I get up at around 6:45am, fire up the TV, and tune it to the local NBC affiliate as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 7am.  I either enjoy a cup of eggnog or coffee while watching the parade, and about midway through it I set up my Christmas tree too!  I purposely bought a Peanuts Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that I made extra snazzy with a small set of white string lights that I have wrapped around the branch.  It looks cool!  Once Santa Claus brings up the rear of the parade and the hosts of the show wish us all a happy holiday season, I tune to the football games on and get the kitchen cleaned up and prepped for the traditional thanksgiving meal.  By that time my favorite NFL team, The Dallas Cowboys, game is on, so I make sure to watch all of that.  About halftime or so is when I set the oven to start up so that by about 3-5pm, the turkey and ham are warmed up and ready to go.  Then it’s dinner, more eggnog, and Christmas music.  I love it so much.  It breaks my heart that I see a lot of my friends hate on the holiday season so much and Christmas music even more.  I know at least some of these friends of mine are atheists and I’ve almost been tempted to tell them to stop giving their kids gifts on December 25th because if they don’t believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, what’s the point of taking part in one of the acts of celebrating His birthday?  Then again, I’m super non-confrontational, so I just let bygones be bygones.  I think I will start posting Christmas songs on Facebook, though!  Somebody has to keep the Christmas spirit going, right?!  Oh man, speaking of Christmas!!!  I think I’m going to really try to watch as many Christmas movies as I can this year.  There are so many to choose from on Netflix and now Disney+!  That doesn’t even include my annual Christmas Day personal film festival that I throw myself.  In no particular order, I watch the following films annually on Christmas Day:  Batman Returns, Friday After Next, Gremlins (sometimes), A Christmas Story, Polar Express, and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (the original Rankin & Bass production) while wearing comfy attire and drinking eggnog and coffee.  I don’t really know why, but I really feel to be in the holiday spirit this year.  I’m not going to complain, though.  It feels good to feel good, if that makes any sense.  I must take advantage of the good feelings while I got them, right?

Well, if you celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day (which I haven’t even talked about either!), I hope and pray that the holiday spirit has hit you too!  What are some of your traditions for the holiday season?

Talk again soon!

Sadness, Loneliness, Depression, Exhaustion, Burn Out, and Malaise: My Life’s Journey.

Happy November, y’all.  We made it to the end of the year.  Whoa.  Wait a minute.  2019 is almost over?!  I never did get quite used to knowing that we were living in this year.  If that makes any sense the way I put it, I suppose.  I guess it the year still feels like it’s too far in the future when I actually think or say the year to myself.  What can I say, I’m one of those people who think of the 1980’s when people say “remember 10, 15, 20 years ago when…”  Yep, that.  I think “yeah!  Hell yeah I remember 1987!”  To think, 1987 wasn’t 10 to 20 years ago.  Nope.  1987 was 32 years ago.  Whoops!  Hahaha!  So, yeah, 2019 is like flying cars future to my brain, not the present.  Now I’m going to have to get used to 2020 in less than 2 months!  I’m sure my brain is going to explode come January.

Anyway, I’ve been having a rough go at it lately.  I’ve been having a lot of times of sadness, loneliness, depression, exhaustion, burn out, and malaise.  I can’t really pinpoint the source, though, and that is making things a little bit frustrating.  All that is causing me to have a general bitter and angry baseline when it comes to emotional status and I don’t think a lot of my friends out here in the non-digital world are liking it too much.  Can’t say I blame them, though.  Seeing me not be a cheerful, joking dude must be a bit of an adjustment.  If I allow myself to think of it, I think I can put a finger on the cause of my problems.  In no order, I think I just have been overextending myself lately and not giving myself enough time to just rest.  It’s been a band practice here, visiting a friend’ house there, play some stupid gig for an hour (not even a full set) on two different occasions here (no, not worth it for me), family obligations there, all the while try and fit in me time into there somewhere.  I knew it would come to this too.  I would tell myself, “Dude, you’re gonna hit the burn out wall and you’re not going to like it.  It’s coming, dude.”  Sure enough I was cruising along at the speed of sound when out of nowhere came the unmovable wall and I hit it straight on.  All of this is compounded with my financial situation of living check to check, and my love life which is in the landfill section of life, so yeah… all of those negative feelings (and probably others that I can’t quite put a name to but they are there) just came out in large flooding event and I’ve been fighting the waves since then.

In a small moment of happiness, however, I befriended the strayed/probably abandoned cat that had been hanging around my apartment building since about May of this year.  She was God’s small gift to me…  Another living object to show compassion and love to without reservations or questions.  Spoilers, she’s been gone since last Wednesday morning which leads me to believe that somebody took her or the maintenance peeps at the complex called animal control and they picked her up.  In any event, the 3 weeks that we became friends helped me out during some of my dark times.  Her and I got into a routine where I’d let her into the flat in the mornings, she’d have a bit to eat, and she would spend some time with be before meowing to be let back out, then she’d go along the rest of the day while I was at work and she would show back around in the late afternoon/evening where she’d have another snack and we’d hang out some more.  I would like to think I was giving her comfort and compassion and even if she didn’t intend to, she did the same to me.  In the days since she’s been gone, I’ve joked to myself that she’s been a typical woman in my life.  Shows up, everything is cool, but the minute I show love and provide a meal, she bails.  L O L!!!!!!!!  It’s sad but true.

Anyway, this damn black cloud of mine has started to affect my energy levels to the point that I am sure that I scared my grandma and my dad.  Last week, during my weekly Tuesday visit with my grandparents, I told my grandma that I have been just tired every single day lately and no matter how much I sleep I still hit a wall of exhaustion.  My CPAP machine of doom should have fixed that up, but so far it’s had no effect at all when it comes to feeling refreshed.  The thing that came to her mind was the possibility of me having Lupus.  My mom passed away of the disease 11 years ago and it runs in her family, so naturally I could also be stricken with said disease.  I told her that I had gotten tested for it a few years back and came back negative but it was enough of a worry for her to tell my old man about it.  Yesterday was his bi-weekly visit, so one of the first things he asked me was about my health.  He suggested me eating something during the day to keep my energy level up since he knows I don’t eat lunch, and also possibly just resting more and taking a Tuesday off from seeing my grandparents to allow me to rest, but then I told him I couldn’t ever take a Tuesday off from the grandparents because the minute they are gone I know I’m going to have that regret of “hey lazy ass, remember when you chose to stay home instead of seeing them?!  How rested are you now, you jerk?!  You can’t see or talk to your grandparents anymore, so you can have all the time you want!”  I don’t want to live with that on my conscience, so I’m going to spend every chance I can give myself with them to live without that regret.  To hell with being tired.  I’ll deal with it later.  I don’t know when, but later.

Personally, I think I just need like 3-4 days straight of just staying home to recharge with no responsibilities to have to tend to.  Wake up, clean the parts of the CPAP machine that I need to on a daily basis, fire up the TV to watch Good Morning Football if I wake up early enough to watch it, if not some sort of streaming app, make myself an awesome breakfast when the hunger hits, clean the kitchen after said meal, then just relax.  Listen to music if the mood strikes.  Lay in bed, watch movies or shows.  Don’t even open the front door or open the blinds in the living room.  Just be me, alone, for 72-96 hours, and pray that it fixes the thing that’s broken inside of me.  Sadly, I don’t think I can pull this feat off anytime soon, but I can sure as hell try to squeeze in a day or two this long weekend that’s coming up.

And hey!  My favorite time of the year is here.  Thanksgiving is 24 days away; Christmas is next month, as is New Year’s Eve!  Happy times are ahead, God willing.

Keep on keeping on, my friends.

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!

Too Lame for my Own Good

It’s it strange how life tends to come about in circles most of the time, right?  I’ve noticed that when it comes to my life, sometimes I tend to see what the other side of the fence when forced to so that I can see what it’s like and I find out that I really don’t like it.  I came to this conclusion over the weekend while I was continuing to nurse my messed up right foot.  God only knows what happened this past Tuesday, but I’m figuring that I either gave myself a high ankle sprain or sprained my Achilles tendon.  In either case, I was dying to just get the chance to rest my foot and try and recover because walking had been quite the challenge the last half of last week.  Anyway, with all that time to sit and think about things, I’ve noticed that I’m just not comfortable trying to live out a life that isn’t suited to me.  I know it sounds like I’ve done crazy things over the past 4 months, but it’s really not that much, but still enough to throw me off balance.

When it comes down to it, I’m really an early to bed, early to rise, keep to myself kinda dude.  That really explains it.  I don’t usually stay up late any night of the week, and I generally wake up early every morning, even on the one day a week I get to sleep in, which is Saturday.  I am also very much a homebody and I generally hate going somewhere just for the sake of having cabin fever.  I don’t like to talk to strangers, and I try to keep to myself as much as I can when I do leave my house.  I guess I’m painting myself to be some sort of a jerk or something, but I’m really not.  I just don’t want to bother people nor do I want to be bothered.  I like doing my own thing and being left alone.  With that said, after getting home Friday night with two new movies and dinner in tow, I was setting myself up for an exciting night alone left to my own devices.  I got through one movie before the drowsiness took over and I passed out early sometime before 10.  Now, this was a Friday night, mind you, and I live alone.  You’d think I’d go nuts and stay up late or something.  No, that wasn’t the case at all.  I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing… well except for icing my damn foot and praying for the pain to go away.  Saturday brought some similar actions.  I woke up feeling better, pain wise, so I actually did venture out to get some groceries and sundries that I needed, but otherwise stayed home and watched sports.  Yesterday brought things to a head for me, though.  In a text conversation, I was pretty much blasted for deciding to clean my house instead of watching the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that show, but I wasn’t going to do a half assed job at cleaning or leave it to be finished today when I could have done the job the right time the first time last night and forego watching the show during the premiere hour.  I was ok with it.  I wasn’t going to be spoiled if I didn’t watch it at the same time everybody else did and that was ok with me but not the people I was talking to.  Not only did they insult me for cleaning, but they also insulted me for taking so much time to clean and deciding to clean when this damn show was going to be on too.  I apologized for cleaning (even though I shouldn’t have) and got to the show 2 hours late, but I watched it, and all the while I thought to myself, “This just goes to show, man.  You’re just different.  And it’s not different for different’s sake, that’s just the way you are and now you’re being made to feel like an asshole because you have your own priorities and they aren’t bad ones either.  That’s not cool.”

That’s not the only thing that I was given grief for yesterday either.  The other thing was for going to sleep early every night.  I love my sleep.  I may get bad sleep because I’m still waiting for my damn APAP machine, but I also just love to sleep.  It’s not like I’m having wild inappropriate dreams or anything, but I just enjoy sleeping.  It’s hard to explain.  But I’m also on a biological clock that puts me to bed around 8:15pm and awake at 4:15am daily.  Some people think it’s crazy, but that’s just the way it works out and of course they think I’m crazy for going to sleep so early.  Again, I have to apologize for just living my life, but I’m still made to feel like some sort of an asshole because I’m just being a quiet, responsible, out of the way adult.  I don’t get it.  Why are we supposed to purposely short ourselves of the rest we need and go to places to do stuff that could potentially lead to trouble?  Why is staying home, maintaining a clean house, and getting 8 hours of sleep every night such a bad thing?  I shouldn’t feel bad for doing the responsible thing, yet here I am feeling bad.  I don’t know, maybe I need to distance myself from immature people and just keep to myself again.  Things work out better that way in the long run, I find.  I’m not sure what the answer is, but I do know that I need to push for my own happiness again.  I can’t be feeling stupid for being me anymore.

Accidents in Emotion

What is it about the connections we have with other people sometimes?  Some people can have the biggest impact on our emotional well-being and we don’t even know it until it’s too late.  Over the past few days, I’ve had to deal with depression, sadness, anger, stress, and anxiety just to name a few because of the effect that somebody has over me.  It happens, I guess, but I hate that I allow it to happen.  I’ve been so busy as well, that I haven’t even gotten the chance to allow myself to think and process these emotions.  What’s going to come out of them?  I don’t know, but it’s affecting my everyday life.  I don’t want to feel this way, because I know me.  I’m going to make dumb decisions that will affect my life if I don’t allow myself to take a breather and chill.  By the way, I should say with that last sentence, I’m not talking about self-harm or anything like that.  I’m talking about personal life decisions that will affect me long term.

All I need to do is just hang out through today and into tomorrow afternoon, then God willing I’ll give myself a chance to just let my emotions go and do what they need to do so that I can try and regain peace.  Sigh.  It seems like every few years after having such a great run emotionally and mentally, I get in to the proverbial violent car crash that makes me have to do build myself back together all over again.  I hate having to do this dance over and over again.  I’m just tired of it.  Who knows?  Maybe my luck in my personal life will change for good FOR ONCE soon.  I’m not holding my breath.  In the meantime, it’s rebuild time coming soon.

Later y’all.

Witness to (hopefully) Accidental Prejudice

I’m back!!!  A little later than I wanted to be, but that’s because life has had me tightly in its grips as of late.  There’s been a lot on my mind too, actually, but due to the respect that have for other parties involved in why there’s things on my mind, I’m going to try my best to keep those to myself.  I know that part is unhealthy, actually, because writing is my outlet and my main outlet to release those pent up emotions, but I can’t disrespect other people much on here, or anywhere else for that matter, which means that I have to find another outlet when other people in my real life destabilize my emotions.  Anyway, I’m going to try and make a quick observation here on something that affected me last week that I just can’t shake.

So, this thing happened to me last Monday in Boerne, Texas as I was going to prepare for the final 513 mile trek westward back to El Paso, Texas from my trip to Houston, Texas.  In case y’all didn’t know, Texas is a gigantic state.  LOL.  Driving to and from Houston takes 10 hours each way and it’s that short now because a lot of the time, the speed limit is now 80mph and just about 75mph everywhere else.  Before, when the speed limit was 65mph, you could expect a 12 hour drive and all within this one great state.  How crazy is that, right?  Anyway, on my way back from Houston, I had strategically set up my fueling stop in Boerne because according to my calculations ( in which I did not factor extreme wind blowing eastward and thus creating more friction for my truck to move through), I’d have more than enough fuel to drive the entire 7 hour trip on that one tank.  I wasn’t hungry waking up and didn’t get hungry until about 40 minutes into my drive back home, so by the time I hit Boerne (which is on the western edge of the greater San Antonio metroplex) I was starving.  I filled my gas tank up to the maximum amount it would let me and noticed a Whataburger (a Texas staple and tradition) across the freeway.  Of course I had to go.  Not that any one of the 25+ locations in El Paso wouldn’t fill my Whataburger cravings, but why have a more national chain restaurant’s food when Texas’ own would do, right?!  So, I got over there, ordered my food, got my soda, and sat down.  Naturally, I just looked around at everybody just curious as to the crowd that hangs out at that place.  After surveying the crowd a bit, I noticed two very young teenagers, no older than 18 I’d say.  One was wearing a trucker hat with some sort of company name on it and the other had a black trucker hat with these words visible as they were printed in white; “Build Wall” I could only assume that the word “the” was in cursive and another color I couldn’t see very well in between the words “build” and “wall”, but I will tell you that it just hurt me to see that.  Now, I know some of you may have conservative views on things.  Don’t get upset, I do as well on most things, but in this instance and the reason the phrase “build the wall” is now popular, I don’t agree with at all.  It’s actually as offensive as a racial slur/term to me because in all honesty it is.  The people wearing these hats or t-shirts or shouting it out either in real life or on their social media platforms have no idea about how life really is along the border.

In case you didn’t know, El Paso, Texas (where I’ve lived the past 36 or so years) is a border city.  We’re now the 7th safest city in the United States according to Safe Wise.  Until this ranking, we’ve been 1 or 2 for the past 10 or so years.  I will tell you, from living here the majority of my life that it is a very safe city.  All of the drug violence that occurred in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on the other side of the border only affected us twice from what I can recall.  Once, a bullet hit a building on the campus of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) as it’s directly across from a very populated area in Juarez, and the second instance involved a stray bullet that struck a woman’s leg somewhere in downtown if I’m not mistaken.  That second one really can’t be attributed directly to the drug violence in Mexico, but the assumption was that the bullet came from over there somewhere.  That’s IT for the violence in the past God knows how many years, by the way.  Now, one could say that those were two incidents too many, but in comparison to what’s being portrayed about violent crimes here, as statistics show, we average 3.9 per 1,000 people.  That’s not really a lot.  Look again at that study as well.  Guess who’s number 6 on that list?  Yup, San Diego, California.  That’s another border city with Mexico.  Their violent crime average is 3.77 per 1,000 people.  So where’s the violence from Mexico?  Where are the rapes, beatings, and murders?  They don’t happen.  What’s the word?  Fake news.  That’s what that is.  Sure, violent crime does happen here, but it’s not because of any illegal citizens.  It’s simply American –v- American crime.  I’ll grant you that there is a language barrier, especially from downtown, into central, the lower valley, and into parts of the eastside of El Paso.  If you don’t at least understand Spanish, it would be best to be with somebody who did because there are a lot of Spanish speaking only people here, but since English is not the legal language here, it’s only frowned upon to not speak it.  I’ll be honest, it bothers me too sometimes, but it is what it is.  It’s not a criminal act.  As far as drugs go, yes, a lot of them go through the ports of entry, but those are the actual legal ports of entry that they get smuggled through.  They don’t go through gaps in the border wall, which I will also tell you that have been up here in the southern New Mexico/west Texas region for a long time already.  Nothing does, actually.  Thousands of people cross daily to and from our two cities/two countries legally via foot and vehicle traffic and we live in relative harmony.

I circle back to these two teenagers who obviously have no frame of reference as to what life is really like along the international border between the United States and Mexico.  That’s what really makes it sad to me.  There’s no reason to erect a barrier when one isn’t needed.  Sure, people do cross illegally into the United States from Mexico, but the vast majority of these people aren’t violent criminals and we’re not talking about thousands at a time all day every day.  If they do decide to try and cross, they are doing it in remote locations in Arizona where honestly they are risking their lives attempting to cross through there due to the harsh conditions and terrain.  It may happen with a larger frequency than some may be comfortable with, but we have Border Patrol agents who routinely go through that area and they do apprehend and deport the individuals they catch.  Same goes for the rest of the border between our two countries.  But a need to advertise slogans like “build the wall” insinuating that people from Latin American countries are ALL criminals and we need to erect some sort of great wall of America is just sad to me.  Hispanics, like myself, aren’t criminals just for being who we are.  Before you go barking out “Build the wall!” or putting it on your next social media post, just stop and think about what exactly you’re talking about.  Do you know the whole story?  Chances are you don’t.

Love and peace, y’all!