Tuesday, December 27, 2011


        It was seconds after the door slammed shut, that I realized there was someone behind it. The ball would drop and I would be sitting beneath the moonlit sky, but buried inside of this refrigerator. I pinched myself twice and slammed a fist into the door, that I could not believe I got inside in the first place. That red glowing light was like some kind of cheese and I was the mouse that just could not resist. Finally doomed. I had made a lifestyle out of following little red lights. Everything about them tells you to stop...that they are profoundly dangerous. But I never much feared the dangerous, but the predictable. I had always said that I would rather die not knowing or by accident than in my bed a hundred years from now, wondering if tonight was the night my eyes wouldn't reopen. As I sat alone in this vertical tomb, my mausoleum, I took it all back. The things I had said. The things I had done. The people I'd hurt. Walking away laughing. I would regret everything.

        Just seconds after the door slams shut, I regret my entire life. It felt deeper than wishing I hadn't wondered into this junk yard and especially sat down inside this fridge. Somehow I wanted to die. I was glad to be getting what I deserve finally. I started praying to rewind the entire tape and record over it. The looks on their faces will haunt my hell I am guessing. I was so terrible to them. Any kid that looked weak, I would pounce on. Now I am under their feet. I slammed my hand into the door again and again until I felt a trickle of warm fluid down my forearm and into my sleeve. I slam it again in anger; and again. I listen as the bones creak and snap as I shatter them on the steel? What was this material anyway? It was soft, yet unforgiving and unwavering. I was trapped.

        Her fingernails were painted red. It was all I saw as the door slammed shut. What witch of a woman locks a child inside of a refrigerator? But I am not a boy anymore I guess. I am no more a child than a feeble old man staring out at the world he once loved. It's been days since that door shut. Maybe years, I don't know anymore. It's too dark in here to count my fist marks in the door. They used to heal and stop hurting. Now they are brittle and falling apart. They bleed no more. I have long since stopped crushing them on the door. The light of the sun crosses only my memory and I am left to my doom. To my regrets...

Photo credit to: http://intao.deviantart.com/


Thanks for reading. - Z

Monday, December 26, 2011

When All The Presents Are Opened

You keep moving forward no matter what's behind you, and you put all your love left onto your wife and kids. This is how you survive the things you never thought you could make it through. Without God, none of these things in the formula will work. God is good and as my friend Jerame said, "Even when He doesn't." Your faith and strength in God will not take the pain away, only time will work on that, but it will give you a peace about what happens when we close our eyes, never to awake. Our God gives us the hope to endure the suffering that life can bring. He doesn't save us always from the pain of being alive. He had to endure it. Why not us? Instead of asking why me? Ask why not me?

Every year is hard when you lose someone you love, but every year does get easier as the harshness of our emotions fade into submission to the pain of sin in the world and our desire for deliverance from it. The fact of the matter is that we are gonna have to bleed to come out alive. We are gonna have to taste the poison that death and hell bring to see the grace on the other side. I am not special. I don't get to be except from what many around the world have to endure. I love my God and He loves me, but that doesn't make me special. My birthright in the eyes of God makes me special to Him, as does yours, but I have to live in this disease that entices mankind as well as any other. What's done is done.

He is gone...my brother that slept on an extra skinny, double long bed, right beside me. I am not gonna hear him snore or the strange mumblings he would say in the night anymore. Jesus alone listens to those, but I get the grace that was planted on this day in 2009, when my God allowed us to be shredded into tiny, sharp pieces to get us to Him. My brother is happy and dancing right now. He isn't alone. He isn't in his garage in the cold. He isn't still stuck in that hell he was living in. He isn't the guy that left us anymore. I gave that to God. He isn't weeping anymore. My brother is dancing. He is building things he never thought possible. He is waiting for us. Because of Christ. Because of the cross. Because of the birth of our God into a stable. May God give you every good thing that your heart needs to be free of anger, and sadness, and loneliness, and fill you with His grace. Merry Christmas.


Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, December 25, 2011


2 years. Two very eventful years. The first was the worst I have ever had to endure. The second? One that has changed everything about me. Two years ago you were doing things that only God could see and thinking thoughts that only He took to heart. It was quiet and cold and I was sitting ignorant...as I usually am. I wouldn't have any idea you had gone until the morning when people missed you. So what happens two years later after the family Christmas festivities have ended and the kids and wife are all in bed? This happens. I write about you...my big brother, whom I love. Whom I miss so much. Whom I have outlived.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and that hasn't changed, no matter how hard I have tried to hate every twinkling light. The celebration of the birth of Christ is just too important to be overshadowed by the anniversary of an enormous enemy victory. It was because of Him and His birth in the very place that the cattle eat and sleep that gives me assurance that you are happy in Heaven right now...because nothing is bigger than the cross, and you believed. This year nothing has fallen from the sky. Oddly enough, two years ago, it was rain all day. There are no parades for you. No one is lighting a candle for you at your house. The world is as it has always been...a very loved by God and sometimes terrible place to be. I am not gonna dwell on the terrible things this year. Last year, those things reigned in my life and made me punish myself endlessly. There is nothing good that can come from blaming yourself for another's actions. So I will focus on my God.

This God. This Beast from Bethlehem. This divider of families and friends. This giver and taker of life. This Savior of all. It all belongs to Him. This day. These wrapped gifts. These moments of happiness with our families. Even these tears we shed over who isn't there with us this year. It is His. He paid for it. He was born in humility and died in agony, but raised in all the splendor of God and clothed in absolute majesty.

This huge God also found His way to weave himself into the very fabric of our lives. He is the tissue that holds the entire universe together. Today we celebrate the day He was born in a barn in the filth of animals. It is because of the loss of my brother that I celebrate today. It is because of Jesus that I can lay my head down and sleep in peace, knowing that my brother has lights strung all over his home in Heaven. I believe he has an ornament of our lives hanging on his tree. I believe tonight he is looking at his mother's dangling ornament. His father's, His children's, His sister's, his brother's, and even mine. His tree is perfect and his lights never go out. Christmas is not a source of pain for him anymore and it shouldn't be for us either. Christmas is about Jesus. His birth into the world to save it.

May God rip away all that holds your face in the cold ground this day. May He lift you up out of the guts of hell and seat you right next to Him in His glory. May we remember His love and love those equally around us.


Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Buried in Christmas

Please check out my short story on Blurb.

Click on the words to bring up the entire text on each photo. Or, if you have an iPhone or iPad, download Blurb for free and all your wildest dreams will come true.


Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I checked it out. Yes, she really did.

People always say they live their lives without regrets. I have never understood this statement. I don't believe it. Even if our mistakes serve to teach us something, wouldn't that lesson have better been learned without the mistake...like maybe if we had listened to wisdom in the first place? I don't buy it. No one is happy about failure. Here is a short list of my failures and regrets. I will leave the deepests things out because I write too many serious things on this blog in such a short span of time. I must water this mix down a bit.

I regret coughing that phlegm ball onto that poor girls forehead.
I regret looking over at those girls watching me skateboard in the 4rth grade, because I regret the terrible wipe-out that ensued and the walk or run of shame that followed as those girls laughed at my demise.
I regret most everything I say that I think is funny, so I say it louder than my normal jet engine volume level.
I regret the way I danced the night I met my wife at a wedding.
I regret that horrible green, skin-tight sweater I wore to show my sexuality on our third date. She regrets it too. It didn't show my sexuality at all. Possibly the opposite of my sexuality.
I regret calling my wife the day after I met her and leaving a desperate message with her grandma. I should have waited the customary 4 days to call....and NOT left a message with her grandma.
I regret shaking my infant son all about while holding him above my agape mouth as he spilled his stomach directly onto my taste buds.

I regret much more serious things as well. Those can wait.


Thanks for reading...Z

Friday, December 9, 2011

Deciding To Dance

The Tree The Homeless Man Decorated (2009)

Christmas. The most haunting time of the year. It cannot be replicated. None of them can copy the others and yet the feeling seems like they do. At Christmas, I remember the little creepy elves my brother and I used to play with inside the tree, much like my son does now. I remember the glare of the twinkling lights outside as they reflected off the snow which always made me wonder how the reflections didn't melt the snow itself. I remember a choir in a packed church singing as bodies clinged to each other as if the ship were sinking. Outside, the snow fell silently but impacted every square inch of my soul. So much life all around me, even as it fell from God to the cold, frozen earth. Something was moving inside and out. I think of walking through the streets, making sure to stay right in the middle of the road and follow the lines as not to make a decision between right or left. I looked into houses and saw families flinging tinsel into the air and onto their trees with Christmas movies playing in the background. Christmas has always reminded me that as bad as the world may get, there is still something inside of everyone that wants to watch the lights dance in reflections off the snow. I remember Christmas 2009 when I went to put a box of food under a tree on a hill a homeless person had decorated for Christmas. I was touched by his desire to continue celebrating. I was wondering if he was lying under that tree reminiscing about his mother's smell when she sang "Silent Night" to him. I was hoping to find him there. He wasn't. I left the bag of things and went home. Two nights later, my brother said goodbye with his eyes. I still see Christmas as warmth. I still believe that people have a sometimes very deep down desire to watch the lights again. So every year, I string mine up and turn them on for them. Maybe they are watching. Maybe they are walking in the middle of the road down my street, mindful to keep to the crack in the middle. Maybe they see my lights and dance with me. Dance with joy. Dance with hope. Maybe for even a minute they consider that the snow falls silently, but fills our hearts. The warmth in here can be shared with (out there). It is hard for them to feel anything but the bite in the air, I know, I've chattered my teeth on the frozen tracks. But sometimes when we reach out our hands and turn on our lights, they decide to dance.

Dance with lights.

Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Type 2

The moon is our back-light. We move through the night as ghosts presenting the past to the those that aren't watching or listening. We are stone in the light of day, but delicate and thorough as we sweep the night sky while, the rest of the world is somewhere behind their eye-lids.

There is a place for us...the people of the night...the people who will stop and stare at the way the light hits an icicle as it gently bleeds in small drops as the world warms, slowly killing the beauty of winter.

Some do not understand us or our decisions and habits. Some are so different and "Responsible." We are called lazy because sometimes when they turn around we are staring at a rose in bloom. We are called stupid because we see in the abstract, finding a picture in every blotted mess littering their senses. We are called foolish because we will spend hours painting the veins of the human hand, desperately trying to get it right. This makes the world no money. It is an in-efficient way to live.

It is in-efficient if you are seeing the world in digits and numerals. We do not make sense to you because we don't make mathematical sense for a thriving person, trying to get things done. To us, we are truly living.

Life is so short, we just want to experience the beauty of it. God has made everything beautiful and we want to express these things, sometimes to our fault. We may not be perfect and we may not be efficient, but we are full of color in a black and white world.

The other side of the coin. This is our downfall. We would rather take a picture of a homeless guy than help him. We will paint pictures of poverty and think we have done our parts by "Raising awareness." We often think too highly of the gifts God has given us, leaving us shamefully plugging ourselves. We often have the softest hands, while the "Black and Whites" are calloused from doing. This is our fault and will be our demise if we don't find a happy medium somewhere. I say, just listen to God and follow His word.

We are the type 2 personalities. We are both the marquee and downfall of our culture. We are both darkness and light. We are only understandable if we are seen as more flawed humans, just like you.

In the end, we are all forced to take the bad with the good, realizing that we would not know the good without the bad. People are people and lots of people cannot see beside their own people, yet we still live as people. It is a good thing to be human, but an even better thing to be a loving human.


Thanks for reading...Z