Friday, October 31, 2008

A Letter to Mariam Concerning My Accident

Second, this letter was written about a year ago before I even started the Letters to the Internet, but I updated it and fleshed it out a little the other day. It's totally made up, for entertainment purposes only. I figured a spooky letter for Halloween would be a good a thing as any to take a break on.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. I still can't believe any of these ever get read.

Dear Mariam,

How are you? You and Max? Doing well, I hope. Is he still getting you where you need to go? For the training you both went through I hope he can at least get you to the market and back in one piece.

I miss you both so much. Yes, even Max. Even fleabag Max. Out here any familiar face would be welcome. Even a long furry one. Hospitals always have so many people, but it never really helps the loneliness. But, you didn't know I was in a hospital. I'm rambling. Let me back up.

I saw Robert last night. Again. Out on highway 83 this time. My meeting ended early so I decided to get a head start on the next leg of my trip. 10 PM, middle of nowhere, looking just like the day he left. Just like last time.

I hit him, Mariam. I was going at least 87. That's always where I set the cruise. Odd number, huh, 87? Might as well be going 90 but those 3 less miles per hour just make me feel safer. I mean, the cops have never appreciated the difference. I guess people put so much stock in multiples of five and ten that anything in between just doesn't seem real. 87 might as well by the speed of blue or hot dogs.

So, anyway, I hit him.

Dear God, honey, the man came apart like 150 pounds of loose hamburger meat. He split apart in the middle at his waste. The lower half was still exploding when it was pulled under and masticated by the under carriage of the Buick. The top half came flying over the hood and his face flattened against the windshield. Like a goddamned cartoon. His arms were spread wide and flailing in the wind. Like when he was a kid and would pretend he was an airplane.

I tried to keep going, baby. I didn't even slow down. I shifted in my seat to look over what was left of his shoulder and just kept going down the highway. I thought I could make it. To a town, a gas station, a house, anything. I swerved a little to throw him off, but he wouldn't budge, so I decided to floor it.

Then he started talking. Jesus, Mariam, why did he have to talk? He never used to talk. Not with you.

At first I didn't notice. Then, the windshield splashed red. I looked at his face and it was blood, pouring out of his mouth and nose. The impact had busted out some of his teeth and the gaps had become valleys for rivers of blood to rush through. It flowed out in a thick stream and then sprayed spatter across the glass as the air burst out of him to speak. Or, actually, to scream. It was mostly screaming. My name, your name, your sister in law. What was her name? Sheena?

I couldn't take it, hon. The sight I can take. I mean, I don't LIKE to see Robert all torn to pieces like that but I can take it. And, I'm not saying I'm a stronger or a better person than you because you COULDN'T take it. I'm just saying he's not, or you know, wasn't, my brother. Not blood brother. So, I can take it. But, the screaming. That fucking screaming. It was like a mother screaming while watching her baby burn to death. Part anger, part pain, mostly pure hell.

I slammed on the brakes and, I guess, fish tailed into a ditch. A state trooper happened to be a few miles up the road so he found me before I bled to death. I didn't tell him about Robert, who was gone by the time the patrol car pulled up. And I didn't tell the doctors about you.

I'd already ruptured my right ear drum when they pulled me out of the crushed Buick. The doctors here say the hearing loss for that on is permanent, but without much sympathy. I imagine it must have been a lot like how they found you. Only, I was trying to push a ball point pen into my left ear instead of using a letter opener to take out my eyes in the middle of a crowded daycare.

If I had told them about what happened to you they would have used words like "hallucination" and "toxins" and told us to move to a new apartment and see a shrink. When, what we need is a goddamned priest.

Oh well. For now I still have one ear to hear your sweet voice with.

So, Im about to go to bed. As with the others, I'm not mailing this. Wouldn't be much point in giving you a letter now, anyway. I'm just going to toss it in the trash and let the nurses try and read my hen scratch if they care to try.

I'll call you later to let you know where I am and how work is going. I think I'll leave Robert and my ear out. No sense in upsetting you. Pet fleabag for me. Don't let him lead you to any more liquor stores. I know you haven't gotten used to the brail books or your cane yet, but, a bottle of Johnny Walker isn't going to help any of that. Besides, Robert hates it when you drink. And, if he's decided not to come back for me tonight, my blood chills to think where he'll end up.

For God's sake, Robert. I know you're reading over my shoulder.

It was an accident. It was an accident and we're sorry. You know we're sorry. You aren't scorned or completing unfinished business. This state you're in, this place, it's freed you to be the psychopath you always wished you were. A goddamn monster with all the trimmings. Fuck you, Robert. Fuck you until the hounds find you and drag your crazy ass down to the bowels of Hell.

If I had it all to do over again, I would have shot you instead. I would have shot you in cold blood you mother, fucking, freak.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Letter to My Mother Concerning Parenting

This is a substantially large sized letter that contains no real outrage, no hippy explanation of the world, and not a lot of humor. It's just a public display of something I feel like talking about. And, will probably be extremely unpopular, to boot, as it deals with my opinions on what a lot of people do wrong.

It's also an attempt to write a letter that actually means something to me, rather than one that is just making fun of something petty, or airing a justified grievance. I know you guys got used to the format of 'funny rant' and I apologize ahead of time for not making with the chuckles. I really, sincerely, am sorry for that.

Maybe I just need to work some of this crap out before I can feel like making jokes again. Maybe I never will and I'm just wasting your time.

Dear Mom,

Parenthood is a funny thing. An oddity to me. A series of exhaustive exercises designed to constantly program and then deprogram another human being in their formative years. Only to then stop abruptly and assume that the constant rebooting has resulted in a perfectly normal human, ready to start and stop his own child's brain after finding an appropriately rebooted mate.

It can't possibly make sense to you, can it? I mean, I know that you tend to adopt the lifestyles and habits of the people around you, and you decided to leave your Christmas decorations up year around even though you don't believe in Christ, and you have this interesting knack for hanging out with exactly the kind of people you shouldn't for that given situation, every single time you go out. But, I also know that underneath the epidermis of your random life there is a woman who is travelled, educated, cynical, and maniacally enraged at the drop of a hat. Because, I'm that way, and I knew you before it was cool to know you.

So, given that we share the same base code, I know that parenting can't possibly make sense to you, and maybe never did.

It's hard to tell, though, because there is an aberration. Your daughter, my sister, is someone who does, and will always, require constant supervision. So, it looks like you are doing the parenting thing full steam. But, supervision isn't the same thing is it? It's not. I supervise hot pockets in the microwave; it doesn't mean I ground them if they don't do their homework. I don't mean to say that you don't provide for my sister, or that you don't try to make her life as comfortable and fun as possible. I just mean there's not really a way to separate the parenting from the care giving in a situation like that. So, for now, let's forget the Autistic variable and focus on your normal kid.

I won't go into details but for a long time now you and I have been on equal footing when it comes to our places in the world. I have always thought that was very fair, but, recognized that it wasn't very common. You haven't told me what to do with the expectation of it actually being done since I was about 11.

You're not a dumb woman, so I think that means you realized at some point, you were a colleague in our relationship; someone to consult on decisions but with no real veto power.

Oh, you got pissed. Let's not pretend it was all head nods and hand shakes. But all that did was teach me how to lie to you just enough to get you to go away so I could continue to do exactly what it was I was doing before you knocked on my locked bedroom door. Just like you used lie to me just enough to get me to stop asking questions.

But as time went we didn't lie to each other so much. What would be the point? We liked hearing the lies but it didn't cover up all the accumulated evidence against our cases did it? So, we became more honest, but less interested.

As more and more time went by where you were pretty much only responsible for stocking food and supplying clothing, and, the longer that went on without me becoming a crack head or a serial rapist, the more you decided that your time card had been punched at the Mom factory and you focused that little left over attention on your work as a teacher (irony is so awesome) and my sister.

And now, this is where we are. You are the mother of a happily married, college dropout, with aspirations of notoriety, and nobody's been in jail or had to move back in with their parents or even fathered an illegitimate child.

So, why the recap? Why the letter dragging all this stuff you already know out into the open?

It's an apology.

It's an apology for putting you through all that guilt you may be feeling for thinking you were a bad mother. For thinking that maybe you didn't pay a lot of attention to me because you went back to school to get a career when I was 8. Or, for not realizing I hadn't been home for 3 days once in high school. Or, because we lived in a house 6 miles away from my nearest friend when I had a Dad that lived most of his life in Singapore, a sister that couldn't have a conversation with me without screaming gibberish, and a Mom that left cold pizza in the fridge for breakfast because she needed to student teach on Saturdays.

It's an apology for bringing that up and thinking that I'm owed something. It's an apology for the sense of entitlement I wear around me like a dark tattered cloak whenever we're around each other. For forgetting that there was just as much attention as neglect.

Remember you used to check me out of school so we could go see the early matinee movies at the theater? We wouldn't have to deal with crowds and you knew I hated that goddamn school anyway. And we used to spend weekends watching old black and white comedies before you went back to school, remember? You taught me about Steppenwolf and Led Zeppelin. You didn't mind it when I would monopolize the house for whatever kind of experiment or building project that had struck me that day. You thought it was awesome that your 9 year old understood and loved the movie Doc Hollywood when it came out.

They fished with dynamite! That's always going to be hilarious!

And for all the pissing and moaning and fighting and awkward silences, I just can't decide what I think would be better if you had been there for me my entire life. I don't know what I think I would have achieved at this point. I get into moods where I think I'm sad that you weren't around, or that I thought you just didn't care about me, but I know that I could really give a crap.

I don't mean for that to sound harsh, but it's the truth. I could give a crap whether you cared or not, and, that seems like the way it should be, you know?

I mean, what do parents teach? They teach babies that there will always be someone there to protect them and to nourish them, but that's a lie. Later they teach that there will always be someone to help with homework and drive them to events and to take them trick or treating. That's a lie too. Then they even go so far as to teach them that someone will always be there to pick them up from a car crash, or bail them out of jail, or pay off their debt. Big lie. Huge.

Every stage of the learning process from "loving" parents is just another set of truths that are later revealed to be total bullsh*t. Is that something you do to someone you supposedly love? Set them up for a big nasty reveal every 6 or 7 years?

You taught me what things were and why they were that way to the best of your understanding and then you let me handle it on my own. You didn't go so far as to kick me out and you also didn't tighten down and set some kind of invisible arbitrary boundaries. At first you tried punishment. No TV, bed at 8, no phone, but it was too late. You'd taught me how to deal with pain and so every time you took something away I just dealt with the loss and moved on to something I could still have. Something that couldn't be taken away.

I wrote stories and painted pictures and (tried) to compose music, and, when the TV got put back, I watched TV. Not all the time. Just when I wanted to. And to keep me company.

You know. Like someone is supposed to.

It must have been frustrating, but, I hope at the same time it was a little comforting. If I had a child I'd like to know that something like a television wasn't so important to his very existence that he couldn't conceive of a life without it.

You taught me that a lot of life's changes are bad ones, because if you're happy, a change almost by definition has to interrupt that happiness. You taught me that if I don't do something, it doesn't get done, and then on top of that, you taught me that if I don't care it doesn't get done, then it didn't matter in the first place.

You taught me a lot, almost exclusively through inaction.

I got rebooted once from infant to child, and then rebooted again from child to adult, and that's it. None of those pussy baby steps that other people go through. You let me stay in a state long enough to evolve it instead of just throwing up a checkered flag and saying, "CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU ARE NOW A TEENAGER! YOU WILL RECEIVE AN OLD CAR, A LATER CURFEW, AND THAT'S NOT ALL. YOU'LL ALSO GET A CREEPY SEX TALK, A MORE RELAXED DRESS CODE, AND, A LAPTOP FOR SCHOOL!!"

You know what I got? Left the hell alone. Thank the Big Cheesy, Jeesy Creesy, for blissful, uninterrupted silence.

I was raised in this wonderful sweet spot between provision and neglect. I got good food and a warm house and presents at Christmas, but wasn't expected to live up to any kind of preset expectation as payment for these items. That is probably why I'm not a crack addict, or a serial rapist.

What can a kid rebel against when his parents don't really give a sh*t about how he spends his time? I tried achieving, but that just got the same cardboard smiles and nods, and was really hard. I also tried drinking, destroying public property, and running from the police. No response, except a warning that any consequence earned by my actions would not be shared by my parents.

So, how did I turn out? Well, I'm travelled, slightly educated, cynical, and maniacally enraged at the drop of a hat. But, I'm not bitter. Anymore.

I never was. I just thought I should have been, so I acted that way to fit in with the way other people act. That was a mistake. My mother raised me better than that.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the holier than though crap I've been giving you the last few years. You know there's more to it than what's in this letter, but the core of my attitude towards you is the subject of the letter so that's what the apology is for. You never interfered with me, so, you just do what you want to do, please be careful, and call me sometime if you want to catch a movie in the middle of the day.

Your Son,

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Letter to Obligators Concerning Obligation

Dear shit filled, shit-eating, shit heads from shitsville,





You know who you are, and you know what you did. What you do. What you always do to those who try to make their way in this world the way their randomly appointed, mandatory public guardians at their geographically specific, government funded, learning institutions always wanted them to. Mrs. Whats-her-face from 3rd period English would be spinning in her "took her whole pension to pay for it and her grandkids still had to shell out for the flowers" coffin if she saw such efforts by her students rewarded with nothing but spit in their faces.

She would spin because she was naive. Because she believed we were all individuals, capable of making individual decisions and contributing individual achievement to the world. She saw each child's face and thought she was looking into a microcosm of the American people. She saw what she needed to see to do her job. To make her individual contribution to the world.

But that's not how it works. The people that lift the rocks are eventually crushed to death, and the people that dig the holes eventually trip and break their neck after falling 20 feet. What we do to pay the bills eventually punches our ticket. No contribution. No individuality. One day you clock out and you don't clock back in and they erase your employee number off the ledger.

I know this because lately, for years now, I've noticed a pattern. I keep getting fucked over, and, I didn't use to get fucked over. I didn't really use to do anything. I didn't get crushed until I started lifting rocks, you see?

At least, that's what I thought. As it turns out I don't really believe I'm being crushed by the rocks I lift. I think it's a lot more sinister than that. I think all that crushing weight is the mile high stack of the collective fat asses that want to benefit from my lifting.

Asses belonging to guys that say things like "zero sum game" or that their in the "people business." You know who else was in the people business? Pharaohs.

Those giant geometric tombs aren't going to build themselves, right?

And it's not just asses. It's also the stomachs of these lazy bastards. Stomachs filled with the remains of every decent person they chewed into a paste out of pure gluttony, and those people, already crushed and eaten, are rotting away inside the belly of the beast. Only adding stress to my shoulders.

You can see these poor chewed up bastards everywhere you go. Their diners have given them cute little names like "chief sandwich artist" or "dry clean specialist manager" or "head of topping technology", and they've been put in slight positions of authority, maybe to give them some glimmer of hope that one day they could eat someone of their very own. They sit and they push their zombied existence forward in hopes of success, like a dog sitting at the dinner table, thinking it's people, and waiting for the pot roast that everyone else got.

Well, I don't think I'm people.

I mean, if were a dog I wouldn't … it's not that I think I'm a dog it's just that, for the metaphor, I needed a bold-you know what? Fuck you, you know what I mean.

Look, I'm just tired of getting shit on. I show up to work on time, I feign as much interest as I can in what I'm doing. What else do you want from me? What else do you really expect you'll get, would be a better question.

People don't like to work. People like to eat and be warm and watch movies, so they work. In the beginning if people had the option of eating and staying warm and getting some joy from day to day that required absolutely no effort on their part, they'd do that.

They'd all do that.

But not now. Now you, that fat asses with the full stomachs, have gotten everyone so trained to blindly toil away at nothing, that it is socially unacceptable to WANT to loaf. I'm not even talking about loafers. I'm talking people that honestly wish they could just lay around all day and get taken care of like a child.

You've created this delightful grinder of self loathing where I am embarrassed to tell some people about the job I have to earn money, because it's dead end and pointless and makes me miserable. But at the same time, I'm embarrassed to tell other people about my dreams and wishes because those dreams are lazy and self indulgent and beg for attention.

We don't have to be worker bees. We don't have to spend all day gathering all that fucking pollen to bring it back to our shit-hole hive and make all this goddamn honey every miserable bitch of a day.

We can give up our lives in the hive, and join the monkeys in the trees; at least, mentally. Have you ever seen a monkey that didn't have a problem with arbitrary authority? I haven't. But, do you see monkeys totally on board with being given tasks that are fun first and productive as a by product? Fuck yeah, they love that shit.

I've watched a monkey drive a car. He wasn't going to a job interview or racing to a big meeting with his investors, he just thought it was awesome. To him, the fact that he can go from point A to point B is secondary to "awesome." Do you see where I'm going?

This philosophy of the "working man" is all in our heads. There's nothing inherently noble about wasting away at a lever for 40 years. Nobility comes from community creation, and sharing ideas, and working together on the things that we find interesting and fulfilling. I don't find answering the phone fulfilling. I do find blurting out all my opinions to anyone that will listen fulfilling.

Guess which one I can buy food with.

Don't you think that's just a little bit fucked up?

My dad is a working man, and he's miserable. He might not say he's miserable, and he might not even know he's miserable, but the few times I've actually been able to spend time with him it's been obvious. The joy has been sucked out of his body and replaced with some hollow sense of responsibility.

And I can feel the same thing happening to me. I'm being cored out like a Thanksgiving turkey and stuffed back full with a bunch of crap about pulling my weight and being part of a team, like I owe it to somebody to reach for the glass ceiling.

Well fuck the team. Fuck the responsibility and fuck you. I'm doing what I'm contractually obligated to do so I can get money so I can pay bills, and, if you fire me, I'm just going to go somewhere else to do what I'm contractually obligated to do, to get money, to pay bills. If you have a problem with me thinking that everything I work for is useless shit then hire yourself a robot because guess what, I don't care what happens to your product. I don't care what happens to your business reputation. I don't give a damn about you or anyone else up here, and if anyone says they do, they are brainwashed and a moron, and they get what they deserve.

You say you're going to pay me, so I show up and I do stuff you'd like me to do, but I'm not wasting my good feelings on this place. I'm saving them for all those hopes and dreams you've made me too afraid to even voice out loud for fear of retribution from the "workin' folk."

I can't change where I live and I can't change where I work right now, but, that doesn't mean I have to keep changing myself to fit in where I am just because my mentality doesn't mesh with what I'm doing. I'm done with pretending to give a crap.

I don't give a crap, and neither should anybody else if their day to day has no meaning to the whatsoever. It's OK to not care about things you don't care about, everybody.

I only hope that the parts of me that have already been scooped out, haven't been dead too long to put back in.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
Wishing he was a free loading mooch, because, who doesn't?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Letter to The Fog Concerning The Fog

Dear people I can only guess are still there,

I want you to know that we can all still see, and I being part of we, can also still see. But, I can't still see you. I can't see you because I can't know you because I don't understand you. And since we see to know and knowing is the beginning of understanding, I can't see you.

You are sight unseen and I am seer unsighted and that is something that I cannot stand to stand.

And, that is why I want to give you a gift. You and all the people I have trouble seeing. I wish to make my own world clearer to me by letting those not seen see what I see, and know that trying to know them is like knowing an unknowable.

Like knowing a flame.

You can remember a flame. You can recognize a flame. You can detect a flame. But you can no more know a flame than you can know the past or a god. Just as it is with them whose actions make them detectable in my life and nothing more. And, it is the unknown to what I wish to give the gift of my clarity.

But, how do you give a gift to something that you're not even sure is there? You can't. Giving is from one to another and since I am just one I have to leave, instead of give.

I will take my clarity, a piece of it that I can spare, and I will leave it hear for you. When you find it, I hope you know what to do with it, for as I cannot see you, I have no instructions with how to use it. But here I will leave it; the boundaries of my own sight. The things I cannot see. I hope in these boundaries you can find yourself, and know why you are obscured.


I cannot see the blind hatred of innocent sadness.

I think I might have started to glimpse it one day, briefly in a lit hall. A traveler faced a piece of a journey that few find welcome. A bend in the road that lead back up a hill. A bend that would make anyone question the path, regardless of the age of the asker.

I saw the traveler clearly, and I saw his question, and then I saw anger. Not from the traveler but from the guide. Anger at the traveler for doubting the path. Anger at the question. Anger at the resistance. And, finally, anger at the innocent sadness of a traveler. A sadness only traveler's can know, but since we are all traveler's, a sadness that should relate to all of us.

That's when I lost them both in the haze of my own blindness.

The anger had become to alien for my eyes, and I could only hear the traveler, wail his begs for forgiveness. Pleading to an angry God. Promising humility in exchange for calm waves and safe return home.


I cannot see revenge for perceived future.

Sometimes arrows come from the fog. Found in the air by my senses. Heard and felt. The fog twists and clouds into soft silhouettes, and then the arrows come. The arrows come from the past of an untold future. They come from the plan of someone's mind. A plan built upon a past or present transgression that one wouldn't think has foundation enough to support another's structure. But that structure stands, and is the home of the archers. An unstable and dangerous domicile, yes, but archers being archers, they need not a steady building to fulfill their obligations. Only a platform to lift them to the medium of their art. Over the tree line. Overlooking the glade.

Being unable to catch sight of the towering barracks, the source of malcontent, I simply wait. I wait for the arrows to come from the fog from archers hired, and highered, by the sheriffs of some similar village. And when the arrows strike my body with no armor, I pull them out for a brief fond moment, as I recognize the wood of the shaft, as being from my own forest.


I cannot see relinquishment over assumption.

There was a carriage traveling past and I could see the driver. The driver was urgent on the horses, as an escapee would be. But the traveler was alone on the road. There was no other carriage or soul, save what could have passed for a passenger. I say this because I could not see the passenger. Covered by the cloak of the carriage curtains the passenger remained only a possibility, but a probable one.

So, I road up next to the driver and asked why the need. My answer was an increase in speed. And a look. Towards the cabin of this carriage. A cabin that could be concealing a cacogenic cargo. I asked again why the speed and looked ahead of myself to make sure I was still keeping my own way.

When I looked back I could no longer see the driver.

The cloak that so cleverly concealed the cargo was now curiously covering the current captain.

But the driver I could still see. Clearly visible as there was no cloak, no cabin, no where at all for her to lie as the carriage sped along its path.

The driver was being dragged. Caught, by the caballine cabriolet, careening into a canyon of carnificial cacotopia. Claimed at the clambake of her own cataclysmic catachresis.

She was being shredded under wheel for having the assumption that she could simply escape her cargo. Torn to pieces by the dirt and stone sander she, herself, had brought to this fatal speed. Not fully realizing that her speed in no way separated the driver from the passenger, but only made it that much easier for the loss of control the passenger ultimately, and so desperately, yearned for.


So, here I have left my clarity, defined by its limits, for those that don't understand why I squint in their direction. My gift to those I truly can't know. Given selfishly so that I may gain more vision for myself, but, intended selflessly so that the collective sight will gain in the big picture.

Maybe after taking my gift, you could give me one of your own. Something given to me selfishly, but, intended to be given selflessly. So, that I can be seen better; perhaps only by myself.

Because if we all understand that we need to see, and we all understand that we need to be seen, and to be seen is to be known and to be known helps us know, maybe, we would try a little harder to be a little clearer. Maybe then those things that are so hard to see will no longer need to be defined, because they won't exist to require definition.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
Remembered. Recognized. Detected. But hardly seen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Letter To An Animal Concerning Its Greater Role In My Universe

Hey, everybody. How are you doing? Good?

Lately, I've had the bug for letter writing, and, on a regular day that would mean that I have been getting my last nerved stomped on by an army of country line dancers. But, today, I just want to write about something.

I just want to take a thought, a conviction, and send it to someone or something just for the sake of expression. I'm not really angry. I'm not feeling vindictive or persecuted. I'm in a rare form today. One that I usually try to hold on to with both hands and keep tight to my chest until the sun punches out and the moon takes up the sentry.

I'm in a good calm mood. The kind of mood a snow bordered brook brings in the stillness of a winter wood. The kind of calm the clouds bring when they fill every inch of your peripheral vision as you stare up from the reclining position on your front lawn after wrestling the mower under that last thorn bush.

I'm just happy, and I want to record it for posterity. Because, just like the rare beasts of the world we call Earth, happiness is not something to be captured and bread in captivity. It's better to just set up your cameras, wait, and record, for the shared experience of everyone to come later and see what you saw.

So, without further ado, I bring you, my first earnest, honest, and benign Letter to The Internet.

Dear spirit animal of my road to work,

I noticed you again today, walking along Buncombe Road with your sleek black fur still shiny as the day you were born. How old could you maybe be now? 2? 3? You look my dog's age, so I think it's a pretty safe approximation.

As always you were walking towards my oncoming car. Not directly at me, but off to the side, in the grass, casually trotting the opposite direction I was heading so determinedly. You noticed me, but not like I notice you. You glanced and sniffed and meandered off further down the incline of the ditch to make sure our paths wouldn't intersect.

And then I was gone from your day. As you so often aren't gone from mine.

I wonder about you, animal. I wonder how someone so stray could stay so fit and comfortable with their day to day.

I suppose there are no mortgages in the spirit kingdom. There are no 99 cent menus or fine print on contacts. Your day is the day that I would be having thousands of years in the past. Your day is the day we shared before my kind decided there were better things. You kept your appointment, and still do, as your kind is the kind that keeps their promises.

I've noticed you many places around my home and wondered where it is that you live. I didn't realize that I had already answered my own question.

You live where I see you. You live where I don't see you. My home is your home, but your home is not mine.

You've seen me many places, around my home, but still in yours, and maybe you've wondered why I go so fast, when in your eyes my origination and destination are one in the same. You watch my car whoosh by, traveling from your train tracks to your field like I watch the bees that fly from my flowers into my trees.

I think about how they live their lives in my back yard, as I live my life in yours.

I'm glad you were there this morning, animal. It always makes me question my actions when I see you. It makes that part of me that is sure die, and lets the uncertain offspring grow fat on its body.

So, animal, I'm always glad to see you.

But, I dare not do more than see. I dare not name, or feed, or attempt capture. Because names and food and fences mean that you are not a spirit animal. They mean that you are a dog, like my dog now, and my dog before. And you can't be a dog. Dogs are mortal and dogs are seekers of guidance.

And you are neither.

You are the spirit animal of my road to work. And, if one morning I see that a car has struck you from my road to work, I will know that is because you kept your appointment, and I wasn't there.

I will know that your body's death will be an ultimate reflection of my failure, as your life has been an ultimate reflection of my desire to turn around and casually walk the other way.

But you will not die from the blow. Your body will remain in your old home, but you will not die. And when I move, I will look for you on my new road to work. I will try to subvert my ignorance and my impatience and I will try to find you, spirit animal, so that I may see you again.

But dare not do anything more than see.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
Your faithful follower, always traveling in the opposite direction