When I was a Bird (Living in Bush Valley)

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On a whim,

On a branch,

On a hope,

On a past.

Broken sticks for bones, they come draped in tattered sheets; these are wings attached to me.  I am this sad bird, no tears show a melancholy.  I cannot fly, I never have- never will.  I look up as if I have aspirations, few.  I look down more often, thinking, had they done this before?  Am I setting precedent?  How hard will I crash on impact?  The sun is proving limelight this event.  This tree is tall, apathetic, and old.  How bold am I?

The joy of being young, a boy, naïve, astute, and poised, is obsolete now.  Feelings die too.  Factions and attraction fill this fleshy head.  I have no need for money, labels, or plans.  Instead I relish now; no past-tense, or future, somehow.  Standing on this feeble limb looking down- it bends.

Failing industrious mentality, the gears inside my skull give out black smoke as they grind to a halt, working too hard on thought too deep.  Hear the sharp metal sound of grinding components which accompany this orchestra of confusion, breaking off one piece at a time… in my mind.

Dirt below, dark, rank; gathered dead leaves, fodder, debris.  My father used to hunt this forest in the morning, both sides of the valley, at that time the fog had not lifted yet- seasons we remember.  12 gauge relevant ascending the hillside.  He would live three days in one.  His energy, whether good or bad, would never tire; thinking on that now I feel lazy, I see others and I think how lazy.  What a waste of time they have become- I shouldn’t be so judgmental.  This, and these words, may be a waste of time.  Making time for it, I find.

We were young, waiting at the bus, me and my sister.  The yellow mass box would lurch and pull and move towards us with a howl, post-fall wearing chains on its tires, proper traction.  I feared this vehicle as much as I needed the shelter it gave, especially in subzero winter months.

A venue for bullies ubiquitous, having imagination made you queer, and a target, being big-boned made you fat, and different, also a target.  Reading slow made you dumb; you sat with the “special needs kids” at the “special needs table”.  Fists bruised your flesh, laughing and calling they gathered, but only to watch your demise.  Obscurity took away helping hands and orphaned you institutionally.

Cold, we stood at the end of the driveway, though, having to trek there first.  It was Sleepy Hollow walking to its end; under massive cottonwood trees with outlined grotesque hands and fingers, grabbing at nothing, carelessly free.  Looking up one could see the eerie morning moon still chasing after the night, that close- yet still seen.

I thought it counted for dark, especially closer to winter, just before the snow had fallen.  Daylight savings changed the playing field by shades of gray, a feeling uneasy, entirely.

It was deer season opener.  My dad had taken Pastor Mark into the woods to hunt deer, on our land- God’s land.  I knew he was watching somewhere in the distant thick foliage.  He was out there, but then again I thought of how far away he must be.  I thought he couldn’t see us.

Then I heard the bus coming, the bird said my name, “terry”.  Bush Valley surrounded and shaded the rising light.  A fresh cut woodpile held to the ground near a ditch, tan and pale, grandpa had just tended it; as evidence sawdust lie matted gathering dirt color more as the days grew short.  The other side of the road a creek ran. This was our drinking water.  We’d catch frogs frequently, here and there.  Little bugs swam in it, translucent.

All was green and covered in frost; fall was upon us.  We saw the lights coming, the stop sign swung out.  Standing, waiting, backing up, noticing; Ma had a flower wheel at the end of the driveway near our mail box- it was white at a time, dinged and peeled now, warm nostalgia.  A comforting feeling spread out on the cut grass.

Things were all right then.  The bus came down, stopping with a screech.  We always looked both ways, checking the street for our safety before crossing.  We pulled ourselves on, and then we were off.

Our neighbor’s dog was out, always, it was white and black, some sort of collie.  It would run along the bus just to the edge of the property near the pond.  The dog would stop and watch for a moment and then turn around, tail wagging, and saunter back.  You could see this out the emergency door of the bus as it went down the road holding the pavement.

The birds kept calling my name.  I was ready to fly, but I had no practice or patience.  I bounded on the branch to get some lift.  One, two, three… And that was it.  I fell right into my plastic-for-leather bus seat and sat.

Posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Houston County, Houston County News, La Crescent, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radom Radio Resources

192879_10150251550197051_4848268_oUtilizing resources seems to be the difference between those who struggle and those who don’t, only to succeed. Wasting time and not knowing facts on issues runs rampant in the States. We live in a society where there is separation of church and state, yet the currency we are partial to suggests in bold letters: IN GOD WE TRUST. This may seem a bit hypocritical and wrong, but this morning I found out where my tax dollars were going: to Russia, to Israel, to the Mexican border. What say do I have?

The whole idea that the U.S. is run by those who don’t actually care about the people who vote them into office is merely a suggestion. I got my idea from the news. It was from an unbiased coverage of an event from multiple pundits, which most people don’t really get. That is just an assumption though, I believe there are people who get their news from more than one resource; there are those who bank at two different banks; drive two different cars; wear two different shoes; and there are those who diversify their interests in play. Why not?

The radio has shown me, NPR/MPR specifically, that random diversity keeps life interesting, especially entertainment-wise, information-wise. These broadcasts fight against the monoculture which is corporate radio, ad-laden leaders of selling whatever shit they can push. I am sick of the cacophony of noise promoting this and that, while avoiding things that I actually care about.

MPR changed me a bit these last few days. While cooking lunch I found my thoughts going from Chocolate to Ebola, from Credit Unions to Gaza, Ukraine to Russia, and then on to women in leadership roles. What more could I ask of the news?

I was baffled at where I had been in 15 minutes, from jokes on politicians and fake campaigns to conversations about new ways of education, sans a teacher. Moreover, striking insight on death, nightmares, and burying corpses that have been lying in the African heat for 3 days.

The night before I was fortunate enough to catch a Ted Talk on MPR in relation to leadership; the speaker, Drew Dudley, spoke on how leadership is about doing something that is being done right now, but making it your own, by doing it better and in a different way.

I find this interesting when considering the web(internet), ubiquitous as it is, this mass media outlet; we have a plethora of complaint, ads, sales, judgment, lies, and misleading content to contend with. How does one weed out the truth from fiction, the fact from false? I would say as the plants and Mother Nature do, by utilizing all of the resources available; by turning your radio dial from Cock Rock and buzz-word ads to non-profit news organizations inspired by presenting objective material- details that matter. Interpretation can be misleading as well, so use the internal resource of intuition and logic to help you better decide.

The more viewpoints you utilize the better viewpoint you gain.

And that is why I always watch Fox News right before I get objective perspective. I’m not running for office or promoting someone who is…  Sorry, I’m more concerned with Temperance Laws from Prohibition times existing in 2014, interfering with my ability to vote with my dollar (Sunday sales of liquor/beer in MN), world peace, urban gardening, the legalization of Marijuana (in a world of legal narcotics; western medicine: big pharma), and Equal Rights, not necessarily in that order.  But no one is talking about that stuff…  They are crying over keyboards trying to crunch ads in between small print and meta-photos, stressing about hits, this and that.  Reality is out there, open your eyes.  I am having fun, I just got new frames.

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What Prohibiting Potlatch did for Assimilation

1170821_10151568895722051_1590224788_nWhat we all need is a vacation. We need some time to ourselves. There is so much time in everyday life spent being stuck in a collective pool of collective shit; Facebook, Twitter, Reddit et al. –social media life- this is a small list of things that make up our lives. What does it mean? Do we exist? I ask, where is the forest adventure, the nature submersion, and the fulfilling exercise routine? Assimilate me into the wild again goddammit! Thought process we think, but these are ads, page space concerns, and hit-bait. These entities give boners to big-pharma and counselors and western medicine, creating needs out of wants.

Now you can complain anonymously on a website, but can you change the situation in real-life? Where are the drug-free liberations from prescription pills (that you need), and the exposés on new-fangled procedures that make everything better in an instant (which don’t)? These are the I-have -depression-fix-me-quick labels that print names on pill bottles. Prozac works fine if you don’t want to be a part of your own life. Bad things happen, good things happen; deal with it. We need more belief that Self creates and fixes all; and everything else is made-up to take advantage of us. I don’t know. I think these tactics are shit. I think we are better for lacking. I sit at a desk and do the best I can. That is it.

Last week I had an incident on my computer where all of my photos were lost from existence, deleted, all 5743 of them, or whatever- three-years-worth of memories. All is not lost. Life happens. More memories and photos will be made. Where did the photos go before computers? Those flip books of retro area dads and moms, relatives with old beer cans, past fads. That was a time too. Those booklets were harder to lose, or maybe just as easy. I guess it’s how you look at it- picture that, a photo is worth a thousand words, and I lost a lot of words with just a click. Maybe I’ve written that many, it goes both ways. I imagine funerals where pictures adorn ipads and laptops, open to see, follow closely the procession.

Biking is great. I love biking down to the Stone Arch Bridge near St. Anthony (namedrop) Main, and almost always getting blindsided by inattentive walkers (simpleton pedestrians). One would think they never look down, or forgot how to read the giant white letters in paint. That same pedestrian wouldn’t step into the road, highway, or street, in front of an oncoming car, so why not imagine the bike path as one of those for cyclists? Why not be proactive about surviving; life one step at a time.

Someday someone will get into some tragic bike accident- and then who is to blame? Will it be the person who couldn’t read, or the person following the rules? I can’t wait to find out. Whenever I see people walking in the bike lane I imagine a monster truck plowing through them, loud as fuck, some announcer describing the devastation, while an 80’s metal song accompanies the chaos. I sort of laugh, but I feel somewhat bad. My whistles are not cat-calls, they mean get the fuck out of the way.

I guess everyone copies everyone. I should start charging my contemporaries. Well, everyone should start charging me, I guess. People start blogs, shoot videos, and scribe poetry- it’s been happening for eternity. They won’t make a profit. Sometimes people actually read the words I have written, surprisingly. There is no money exchange, and I like this. No surprise that millions, if not trillions, try to do the same thing that I do- have been doing, -for five minutes, and lacking the results they desire quit. Where is the conviction? Where is the passion? You had it while talking about it so loudly. That storm has left your attempts like words on the wind, just off the tongue. Writing is not for money. Written word is for sharing thought, expanding minds, and exercising the brain. There is a quote about the poet who writes for the king’s money speaks in the king’s tongue, I forget the title, and the author, but I read it in a book, so it’s fact. Everything changes when money is involved.

People will be very upset when they realize what they have bought isn’t worth shit. Google search whatever you want, there is a way to get it for free. Everything can be given at no cost, so why by words? Why pay for ads? Why? Think of the external cost. We have libraries, institutions which offer free materials, websites using far less resources than publishing houses. What an exclusive bunch.

It must be the American Dream. Get famous, get a name, have a book, pay bills, pay membership dues, and die- remembered, legacy, and so on. That is why the American government did not understand Potlatch; it is the epitome of American culture to charge for art, to reign supreme and exclusive over those who don’t sell, but it will be a major let down your passion does not pay your rent. The natives couldn’t just give things away because that made the new currency worthless, and made it almost impossible for them to be assimilated into American society. Never expect anything, it changes words, reality, everything. Just do something because you love it and share it with the world as a gift, otherwise stop wasting your time.

Spreading complaint is a backward task. Sit all day and write something about what you dislike- while you become that dislike, embody it, generalize it, when you could have taken the time to address the issue, act on it, and better the situation as a whole. I think that is great idea, but others think it is more important to complain. Complaint is boring- now change, that is something to be excited about.

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Just like Everyone Else

SONY DSCA day where the sun hangs above you like tree limbs in a forest, walking the corridors blue and green. To the office, to life, to whatever may be inside. What it might, or might not. Watching the clock on a pale wall; watching time. Remember the time you didn’t do that so much? The time your mom made you lunch every day? Where you would sit and play, or take naps and watch shows which were meant to inform, intrigue, and even excite you? Now you scroll through this and that, something to forget momentarily; the Facebook blue giving me the Facebook blues. Wasting everything for nothing, collecting a check being told what to do, with no passion, no hope, NO nothing.

Your mind off somewhere, the beach, nipples erect, goose pimples; cold from the water, warm from the sun. Worrying about a sunburn.  The sour smell formaldehyde wafts open nostrils, hairs in between. You come back to life.  Nerves shoot pain where you are not sore, where you are not sore is few and far between. Breathing, one breath at a time; breathe in breathe out. Bike lies in pieces; how did I get here?

Just asking questions makes people afraid.

We used to go fishing, get drunk, and talk trash. We used to have real-life fun, and then reality happened. Jobs, cars, careers, and relationships; things just got in the way. Not in a bad way, but in the way.

Aspirin necessity on the tip of your tongue as pain stings the tip of your brain. Tied shoes, zipped jeans, something is too tight. You are too big, too fat, not normal, too unrealistically human, and here. The being itself is the hard part; just being. Why is it, they say. And they told you to get a job, save money, get an education, get married, have kids, but they never told you they would die and not be there, or that you would die someday too, and not be there. That makes it hard for you to be a human being, be a human being, when you aren’t. Death makes you a human with no last name- just human, no being. Coming and going in strange little ways, on a clock. A piece of cake and you thought of pie. Worrying about the idea of worrying, the concept, theory, thought, action. And things happened, as they always do… except without you.

Others just talk. Some try to walk, but they have broken legs. They never practice. They beg and plead for you to see. As flowers hidden beneath weeds; the hours and days we want, we wait, we wish, and hope to forget, in ways. It’s the theatre; this play. Time we’ve spent thinking about time. Thinking about death, breathing and not; fine line. Nothing changes when you sit. The paint stays on the wall, only fading some with the light. The appliances become old and replaced by newer, more efficient, of better quality- they say, make and models. But only as you do, this happens to you. This is mere fact to prove the truth.  Time to conclude.

Sort of ashamed at the way we’ve complained. There is nothing wrong with today, only our labels, interpretation, interpolation, assimilation; the way we fucking get on… And off, maybe.

 

Perhaps.

Off to a good start on a bad topic, on a bad thing, just babbling. About things, and about that: Everyone loves biking, beers, and talking about doing- the act.  Not acting so much though. They love writing, they love poetry, and they love being completely and utterly fucking unique, just like everyone else.  Me too.

There are no problems, only what ones we make. A pleasant day on a pleasant date: July 10, 2014. This is no 9/11, or 12/25, or 06/21, any year. This is right now, today: Heute. The sun is in the sky, the clouds are flying high, and the birds are chirping outside, but only if you believe it. I hit my head really hard last night, and this is the most important day of your life.

Let’s pretend like we’re not pretending.

Posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Houston County, Houston County News, La Crescent, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Price on Your Head (Marketing to Kill You)

10383484_10152149114602051_6324559071133465008_nWhat we need now is more resource management, better content, and less offensively aggressive marketing tactics by local and national publications. I guess we also need to understand the meaning of words as well. For instance, your legs and dick may work, but this ad in this here magazine says they don’t. I am guessing that same advertisement can tell you where to get that fixed, and who is the best at fixing it! The television is blowing your mind while at the same time wasting your day, trying to get into your pocket by exposing you to bullshit. These programmable monotonous moneymaking machines have done nothing more than generalize and play off of the insecurities of a community, a nation, by calculated observation and a constant flood of testimonials, which you- of course, can relate to. That seems like a problem.  I guess we have figured it out, but I can’t help you fix it. I am only trying to understand, just as you.

Locating this problem only begins to scratch the surface. Once you realize it is everywhere, you feel helpless in respect to doing something about it. Every bit of space in the metropolis (and the world!) is dedicated to helping you spend the money in your pocket, the money on your card; the money you don’t have. You may not need (want) it, but you need (want) it. Those products were only made to make you better, right? I guess I may walk, or bike around town on most days and see what is really out there, or I just think about things too hard. I must quote myself in this situation: After being exposed to Post-Structuralism it’s hard to take things seriously. Examining words for hours takes a bit out of you, and adds so much. How does every word not mean something, and what is that meaning? My mind is being raped by ad campaigns that say they can help me with aliments I didn’t even know existed, and I just need a fucking banana to make it through the afternoon. I know that, that is the only truth: I need one banana to make it through the afternoon. That is my life.

So how does one start to do something about this everything everywhere issue? I guess the first step would be to start realizing that the signs you see, the words utilized, are not in a random place by mere accident. These messages are specifically placed, and purposefully sold to and by corporations to take control of your subconscious, and take your bucks, even if you don’t have any. They embed their message into your brain, planting that little seed.  If you think you have a problem, then you surely do- and moreover, they can fix it- for a price.

Think about everything you saw today while commuting to work. Think about the moments you waited in your car, staring at some sign which promoted something better- the best product ever created. What was it located near, who was in the car next to you, what type of individual was the ad geared towards? Are you the same person as every other person? What did it say about you? In order to understand the game one must ask questions about surroundings, and then take action.

Sometimes I grab a magazine from a stand and open it up. There are ads about looking better, drinking more, and living in a new exclusive neighborhood, all in hopes of having more people like me (the reader). I don’t like people, so I immediately throw the newspaper, or magazine into the trash. Who accounts for this waste? I am more concerned with people working jobs they hate so they can struggle to pay bills, buy new things (they need, of course), while attempting to impress people they want to like them. I mean, that stuff is important. People have to like me MORE!  But I am busy thinking about lunch: a banana.

What we have to do is call it what it is, horseshit. Acknowledge the ink wasted, the paper, the chemicals, the external cost, and tell them we don’t want it. Thank you Father John Misty for opening my eyes to that kind of shit. We have to take a stand! I’m not talking about bitching towards the top and working down (no one at the top cares, unless you are talking bucks), I’m talking about starting at the bottom, in your house, and working up. Maybe vote more with your dollar, don’t pick up local trash rags (ad filled magazine garbage), let them sit and fade. How things work are, you can blow your lungs out complaining, and waiting, and thinking, and waiting, to no avail, or you can take charge on your own accord by taking action, or no action.

I think about this as I tie my shoes, which smell like popcorn; they are semi-worn-in and semi-dirty, but they will have to do, and they always (at this age) smell like popcorn covered in butter. I don’t need new shoes, but I may want them.  You see, I have little to no cash on hand at all times, and I don’t need it. It doesn’t matter, but my obsession with not wasting has been recently stuck in my head like the problems people make up to take over their daily lives i.e. eating disorders, mental health problems, and religion. I won’t die if I don’t have money, never have. It is about the same if you have, or don’t have money, the important part is your outlook, and attitude. People are afraid to realize this situation. Homeless people are a prime example; they have no money, and they are still alive. If you think about it the most important thing in life has to do with resources and mindset. Ads cloud that.  Let me shoot you an example: if I don’t have water or food I die. If I don’t have shoes I am still alive.

I can make it without tattoos, new clothes, beauty products, affluent friends, and (sometimes) beer. However, I wouldn’t want to do it without some of those, especially the latter.

More often than I would like to admit, I find myself wondering through Target, downtown. I think about plastic wrappings and boxes; where do they go after they have outlived their usefulness?Florescent lights billowing down on me, headache initiated, not looking for something, but looking for anything to fill the void in my life, a void created by marketing campaigns, television and magazines, which need these spaces filled to exist, to become relevant. We really don’t need all of this stuff. I mean, what’s it for? Do I need a facial soap that claims it can solve most of my problems? Will it? Does it work? -Probably not. I cite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Science_(book)

My adult acne make me look younger.  No one says that.

After doing some reading you feel kind of trapped, though knowledge is power. Everyone and everything is coming at you in hopes of getting you to pull out your wallet, lay down your frog-skins ($). Every magazine in the newsstand needs you to open it up, not for the news, or important information, but so you can look at the pages so their ad team can brag about a head count on a specific demographic to prospect companies hoping to pedal their product to “readers”, and eventually sign a contract. No one cares about content. Publications post pictures of girls wearing skimpy outfits and lists of mostly boring shit to appeal to brain-dead consumers. They care more about you looking at their ads, even if it is just for a moment. Content is out, marketing is in.

I challenge you to go to your local newsstand, magazine rack, or anywhere you can get your hands on a magazine. Take one and open it up. See if there is more actual content than ad space. Look at the adverts and see what they tell you about yourself. Then, after you have been labeled, delegated, informed and taken advantage of- while being told how to feel, by generalization, tell me, do you want to be a part of that publication that so easily lumps you into a category specifically for making profit? They sell space, make money, and waste paper on your accord.

That is an observation, but I must tell you I have worked for publications before (City College News, Thrifty Hipster, et al.), the bottom line isn’t the content; some of the organizations could care less about the words in a piece when it comes down to the money they make off of ad space. The bottom line promotes the media, and drives the publication. The media is geared towards eyeballs opening and viewing ads, in hopes that the corporations and businesses will keep paying them for ad placement. You might get the occasional one good piece; and I commend the writer, and appreciate the art. Don’t be surprised if you open one of your favorite reads and see an ad that is specifically geared towards you. But you pay for the ads anyway- I wouldn’t feel so bad.

You may think I am wrong, maybe I am, but I am not pedaling anything but a bike. I am just promoting thought and action. Understanding words such as needs and wants, and objectively viewing magazines and television as a possible catalyst for waste is the important first step in changing your life, and the world for the better. You make the call.  I say avoid these venues which allow limited intrigue, ones which promote a capitalistic mindset, and start viewing the world as our oyster rather than as a dumpster.

Or at least tell them to change because we want something better.

I really don’t care, I just think it’s funny that other people don’t notice these things.  I guess I start to lose my mind a little bit more each day when I can’t go outside without having a price put on my head.

Placement is everything. Where do you fit?

What can you do?

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How to not Write about Death

SONY DSCPeople never ask me what it’s like. I tell them anyway. It is like having someone in your life who never judges your words, or asks anything of you, having them always there, even before your birth, as much or as little, and then one day they are gone. You could make one phone call. You could send one text message. You could have done that, but now you can’t. The hard reminder comes while looking in the mirror or through your phone records. I am half of something that is no longer here. Am I all here, or just half man? Ridiculous questions become life mottos, fixations, affinities, obsessions.

Something like that is hard to imagine, until the event actually happens. Something takes place. Then it is nothing short of constantly asking yourself if you will ever wake up from this bad dream, or is it a nightmare. Everything moves, contorts, and twists; was it the wind, or just my mind playing tricks? My contacts must be dirty.

One day you wake up, a perfect day, walk outside, and poof the world is upside-down. Imagine sitting in the back of the most beautiful hayride in southern Minnesota looking at the sky taking in life, celebrating, your sister and family members laughing- all big smiles. You are in this massive square trailer, sun beating down on your face. The only concern you have is of the possibility of getting an unremarkable sun-burn, pinked on the cheeks, or maybe even stained clothes. Air smells of dried and cut hay from weeks before. Tractor lurches forward with a grinding sound, gears fall into place, motion. A cold beer is in your hand. A photographer talks with you about the city, life, Iowa, and what it’s all about.

You walk into the reception hall, eat more food than necessary, get prepared to leave, sign some papers with witnesses, shake hands, hug, kiss, and then it is all over. Just moments after you have a sharp pain in your side you walk through green doors to your sister’s reddened face, tears coming down leaving trails. Words you will never forget, ones you don’t want to remember, especially not believe.

Everything changes. Emergency rooms never seemed so unwelcoming. No one wants to be there, but they can’t leave. The food tastes like shit. Every bad joke is an opportunity for silence, and glaring eyes with a chance of flooding. Grotesque positivity; euphemisms handed out like candy. Rooms close in on you, chairs become beds, and you sleep with the lights on, no choice. Everything is on the table; but the table is so small. Even the coffee tastes of medicine. Sometimes you can’t do it.

People complain about depression, obesity, eating disorders, poor relationships, labels that groups or doctors give them, and money, that has nothing to do with sorrow, pain, and feeling right now. This is not a decision, but rather fate, like all of the latter “plights”, “issues”, “problems” (fix mine). There is pizza, Gatorade, and medical jargon. There are new friends you never wanted to meet talking about their sick wife or their son who was in a tragic 4-wheeler accident, again. You stare at the wall- through it now. Everyone wants to talk, you are lost for words. No one gets it, they have to live it. It is one part of life; the most absolute, immediate, sea-change: death.

And people fucking bitch about trivial shit enough to make me want to rip my hair from my head, eyes from sockets… I am not saying they don’t know, I am saying they can’t. Next time you complain about something think about everything you have going for you in your life. This is no complaint, but an honest plea.

This is the same time when shock becomes reality. There is a future somewhere, but now is forever, these moments won’t end. And you don’t have that one person to call or text. People just go. Always say I love you, because you do.

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Nothing

Nothing.

Nothing.

I was thinking one time near Nicollet Ave., downtown, in the back of some kitchen. I can remember a trip where my father and I drove to the boundary waters nonstop from La Crescent, MN. We left just at dusk, we made tracks in a hurry. Our gear was bundled up and thrown in, all hodge-podge mismatched. Something was amiss. My father wanted to leave town. I jumped in and brought music, a leather cd case. We listened to whatever hip-hop or classical rock I had at the time, nothing of consequence. I was relatively young, maybe 17, maybe less. We drove through these desolate towns in Minnesota. It was well late. They were just specks of light really. We drove for 8 hour straight making a seldom stop for a piss or for gasoline. It was growing dark. We were on the last leg of the trip. There were more trees and the smell of the Great Lakes, unfamiliar yet welcoming. We were winding up and through the Gun Flint Trail, the last 90 miles of our journey. This kind of road makes a tired man sea-sick, and a frail boy dizzy. Along the way I had purchased some spray whip-cream and when we hit a bump I cut the side of my cheek trying to squeeze some out. We arrived at the cabin late. The owners were asleep. Two women- lovers, were in the cabin next to ours, but we didn’t have any keys. We couldn’t do anything about it. We didn’t knock. We had to sleep in the truck sitting up, surrounded by our belongings. So, my dad, tired from the lengthy drive, was out fast. He started snoring, and then silence. I sat up in my seat and couldn’t find comfort. I remained there staring blankly into the dark where the road disappeared into oblivion. There was nothing, I could see white bubbles floating across my line of sight. I was watching so hard I didn’t know if I was awake or dreaming. Nothing moved. There was no sound. And out there I knew there was nothing. *** My friend overdosed. I asked him what he saw when he was dead. He told me it was just black. I told him I was glad he was back. I turned to the lake to watch the water.

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