Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Cycle of Repeat

He was inconsolable. The blood of his bride ran over his ankle, to his foot and down to his toes, then into the flow of rain water that hurried without reason to the sewer. This wasn't what he had pictured for his life or the life of the woman who had saved him from the opiates.

He had met her here. Not in this exact place, but a pathway to the sewer all the same. He was lying in the middle of the road beneath the bridge. He was flying so high that he couldn't tell yet if he were on the ground or souring into his dreams as a child. He had bought it from this regular junkie type...prancing around and nervous. He unloaded the drug into his blood stream and let himself go somewhere that wasn't here.

She was under the bridge trying to retrieve her little brother, who had gone missing 7 months prior. Her brother was an addict and she only knew to look under the bridge. She didn't find whom she was looking for. She was raped and beaten because this is what awful humanity does. She was on her way out when she saw him.

He was shouting. He wasn't saying any words that could be understood. She didn't understand what he wanted, but she understood desperation when she heard it. She reached down to him writhing on the ground and put her bloody hand on his head.

He looked up and saw an angel. He had never believed in God before, but for this moment in time, he knew that she was a very slight, battered portrait of Him. She pushed his hair back from his face and tried to calm him down. She told him things that made him believe that the world was not over.

A week later, they met again at a little church for a twelve step drug program. He was there because of the kindness she had shown him and she was there because of the desire to know her brother. In their minds, they were both just breathing.

They talked all night long, moving from one closing diner to another. I think they both got what they had searched for from each other. He got a glimpse of something much better than him, and she got a glance at what it means to be human and falling.

They would meet many times for the next several years. They married on Christmas Day. She wore a big and beautiful white dress with her brothers pajama Batman shirt underneath. He wore the suit his father wore to his mother's funeral. Into their marriage, they both carried their own weight...and the weight of everyone they had loved and lost.

Despite the barriers against them, they flourished together. He stopped using and she let herself let go of her brother. They were happy together for once in an eternity.


The telephone rang. It was her grandfather. He had seen her brother under the bridge washing windows. She had to go. He begged her to stop and wait for his friends to arrive and help. She refused. She just could not wait a moment longer to see his face. She ran and ran.

He arrived under the bridge in his car just in time. She had reached her brother and looked deeply into his eyes. She expected him to know her. They had been through hell together, but he only knew what lied beyond her face, hidden deeply in the sunset. He only knew how to survive.

He watched her beg for her brother to remember him, but her brother wasn't her brother anymore. She threw her brother her purse and her phone. She cried and begged him to come home, but instead he rushed to her and cut her throat.

Her husband screamed and lurched toward his bride that bled all over the ground that he used to sleep on. He screamed like no man has ever screamed and beat her brother to death with his broken fists. The police would say that he kept punching until the blood mixed with the pavement and finally with his own blood.

He was committed to a psychiatric facility and deemed insane. He tried and tried to convince them that he was sane and deserved the electric chair but due to his circumstances, he was assigned to live the rest of his years in dark halls amongst the rattling of chains and screams.

He spent the next two hundred years rocking back and forth, trying to convince himself that he was insane. He knew different. He knew who he was murdering that night.

He was told in a dream that as soon as he could realize he was forgiven, he could walk through those doors and see his wife again. Alive. Waiting for him. In Heaven.

But he couldn't. He knew why he had killed that man. He knew that he was the same as him. He would have done it too then. He refused forgiveness and remains, to this day, in a state of repeating history. He is plagued to repeat the cycle of addiction, redemption, and revenge over and over until he can accept forgiveness.

Happy Halloween.

Photo credit to Moodyblue 


Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Own Chains

I want to be missed by someone, but no one that is too close to me. The thought of my son missing me makes me too sad to comprehend. I want people that I have spoken to only a few times to miss me. I think that means that I want people outside of my own circle to see the value in me. I know those close to me see my value to them, that's why they stay around. I want to know that I loved people that I didn't know had noticed.

I try to be kind to everyone. Obviously if you know me, you know I fail more than succeed. I do try though. I want to be someone different than what the average suggests. Again, I fail.

Lately I struggle. I am not a very good picture of who Jesus is right now. I'm not breaking apart for the right reasons. I heard a song a few hours ago that reminded me how much I wept for those that hurt and how much of myself I was willing to give. The song made me want to weep again, but the sentiment came face to face with the same anger that has kept most sincerity and innocence out of my actions for the last several years.

When I gave my life over to God, it wasn't because of some Bible story or some deep seeded belief in someone out there. I came to know God through laying my head on cold steel train tracks and challenging anything out there to stop me from destruction. Nothing about meeting God was pretty for me. I found God in the nastiest place I could find desperation. I went forward with a head full of steam and hurt a lot of people along the way trying to "save" them. I pushed them further away. I judged without knowing I had sat in judgement.

I worked harder than I had at anything. I opened the telephone book and slammed my finger to a name and sent them a letter, letting them know that if God could love me, He could love anyone. I still believe this more than anything else. If you saw me during this time, you did so looking at the Bible in my hand. When I met my wife, she noticed immediately the Bible in the back seat.

My best friend, who had adopted me as a brother died. It wasn't pretty. You can figure the rest out.

Since then, the anger. I had other Christians profoundly hurt me before, some whom I was trying to serve. This was different. I didn't feel betrayed by an imperfect person, but a perfect God.

How does one get mad at perfect God? I can't answer this. How does one so obviously blessed with beautiful people be so angry? I still have no answer.

I want to be the guy that burns with passion for God and for rescuing those that were like me, but I cannot seem to get this churning in my stomach to allow me to relax and let go. I cannot stop feeling like a fool who gave his life savings and ended up with hands full of sand. These feelings pass after a while when my logic and faith object, but they remain buried.

Pray for me. I've since now been too proud to ask.


Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reset (A Short Story)

He held the button between his index finger and his thumb, rubbing his thumb across the surface of the crystal face. The button is dangling from a chain that hangs around his neck, a reminder that nothing is final anymore. Nothing has been final since his father gave him the necklace and explained the meaning of his life to him. His dad said, "Your purpose is to fix everything." That was a tall task. He delivered pizza at the time. Only God knows how many times his dad pressed that button. What he did know was that his father was tired now and something was left blank on his face. He handed him the button and fell asleep.

He feels something wet dripping down his head. His legs are stuck and he can't feel anything below his chest, which hurts every time he tries to breath at all. He is coughing up a lot of fluid and struggling to breathe between the expulsions of red vicious blood onto the steering wheel. He holds the button between his fingers and presses it again. And he dies.

Yet his eyes open in the same place he was when his father gave him the button, standing over the body of his dying father again. He smiles at his father and wipes the hair from his dad's brow; something he has always done when his father was drunk or dying. He let his father go again and went back into living. He went home to his pretty wife and cute kids and enjoyed their lives together all over again. Again, he got to see his son hit his first home run and his daughter skate as if the coliseum wasn't watching and win gold. He took his wife to dinner every night and gave her the very best of him. He corrected every mistake he had ever made in their marriage and continued to find more mistakes. He was nicer to people at work and to people serving him at restaurants and markets. He worked less hours and spent more time with his family everyday. He would hold on to his kids and wife as if everyday would be the last.

Then he would find himself pinned between a car and a guardrail. He'd find himself shot in some freak hunting accident. He'd find himself struck by lightning and paralyzed, just strong enough to fight his hand to his necklace and press that button. Each time, he did things differently. Each time he lived life more generously and less selfishly. He made adjustments and prayed that God would allow him to live this time. If he could just be good enough to be useful for God to let him live. He worked so hard to keep from dying. His biggest desire was to die without regrets...something his father had told him as a child.

He was bleeding out after a machinery accident when he pushed the button again. The next time he was running to keep his cholesterol down and slipped and hit his head on the concrete. The next, he just began dying in his sleep and was dreaming his passing when he pressed the button instinctively.


It became exhausting trying to figure out a way not to die. Every turn was death waiting. The begging and pleading wasn't working. He wasn't going to be good enough to live. Whatever he had done was going to be a permanent penance for his crimes.

He sat in the subway when he realized this. He sat in understanding and acceptance. He couldn't be perfect. His father couldn't be perfect. He had been holding on so long that his face was blank just as his father's was. He had seen his kids grow up so many times. He had loved his wife for God knows how many decades. Right now, he might as well be sitting on the ocean floor. He was so far from real humanity. In the subway, he realized he couldn't do it anymore. He just couldn't give his family another liar. To rewind is to lie. To edit anything is to lie. He wanted them to be at rest.

He paid the ticket and stepped onto the subway car and road the ride. As the squealing of the brakes started, he already knew to close his eyes. Your last moments are best felt looking at your life, not the environment around you. He felt his body release from his seat and soar into whatever was in front of him. He felt things crack and break and his head smash against something.

The noise died down and then silence reigned. He was in whatever existence we was going to be in. He lifted his thumb to the button instinctively and thought of his daughters laugh and his son holding his hand when he was scared. His son hated storms and his little girl loved to laugh. He thought of them and pressed his thumbs next to the button, but couldn't press it. He had to let them live without him. He had to go to where he belonged and wait for them. His last thought was of his beautiful wife and the way she would lay her head on his shoulder. He thought to himself, "I was the luckiest man alive." He dropped his hand to his side and let them all go.

Sing. Migrate.
Thanks for reading...Z