Wednesday, April 29, 2015


     I was unsure of myself at that age. I hadn't learned my worth or the value of real friendship from them. They (my future classmates) could never be very best friend. I showed up in new clothes. A pair of Toughskins jeans with patches on the knees, because somehow they knew. I probably wore a vertically striped velour polo. My hair was probably combed to the side, just like it is now. It was my first day of school and I was nervous but so excited.

     I won't forget the moment I stepped through those doors. The smell of sawdust and graphite pencils. The way it sounded when a teacher's hosiery shredded together and alerted us to be quiet before she got to the door. Elementary school was the best time of any kid's life. We get to see our friends and make new ones everyday and the teachers rarely cared about what we are doing. In fact, one day I asked to use the bathroom. Mike asked 2 minutes later, then Jason. The three of us eventually ended up smoking weed for my first time in that bathroom. I felt nothing because I was too scared to inhale. I was in 4th grade and my mom had taught me that these drugs could and probably would kill me instantly. I wasn't going to take the chance, but I wanted to test it.

     I remember a few years later and a different school that had this talent show. At the show, some fifth graders did a California Raisins bit which brought the house down. During this bit, I would think of the greatest anti-drug commercial ever for only Nancy Reagan to see. The problem now is that I can't remember the jingle. I just remember it being perfect. It's so close to my tongue that I promise to update you when I think of it again.

     I moved forward until we moved again. We moved every couple of years, so I made a lot of friends but never knew them very well. I made a good friend (Mike) at this time, but lost connection to him when I moved again. For years, we would be inseparable. Somewhere that would fade and I wouldn't see him again, except for the one day I cut school and went to see him at home. He was a year older than me, so he had graduated high school. I went and played basketball with him in the street like we always used to. It was as if we had been playing for years. We played the game and I left...again not seeing him.

     I think the link between people comes when you experience things together. I think the day that me and Andy became brothers is when we were almost abducted together as little kids. Maybe that's dramatic and maybe not. We were at a video store and Andy's mom was renting us Wrestlemania I. A guy came to the passenger door and put his hand in to unlock it. I jumped across the seats and rolled up the power windows until he had to remove his hand an run away. For years after, I told Andy I was the one that defeated and killed Bruce Lee and that I had special powers. He believed me, probably because I rolled up that window. I was always the strong one until he saw me broken for the first time when Will died. I think this broke his heart. I was nothing but exaggeration and lies and that came to finality when I couldn't keep my knees from the floor.

     The great thing is that whenever I walk into my kid's schools, I still smell that graphite pencil smell and it reminds me that home is wherever you are. Home isn't a building or a house. Home is that feeling you get when everything halts your senses to remind you of a particular feeling. That feeling is home. Maybe home isn't where you live, but the feeling you have while living there.


Thanks for reading...Z

Monday, April 27, 2015


     It may just be that throwing up your hands and resigning to not know all of the answers is the correct answer. I may not seem very analytical to you in person. But really, I do think about things, maybe too much, and obsess about what things really mean. Sometimes, things don't mean anything at all. Sometimes things happen because of random chance and the fault doesn't belong to any particular person or incident. This is a hard concept to accept for me because I have always believed that there was a purpose to everything and that some things demand our attention.

     Man I'm tired of writing negative things and feeling negative feelings. I have this desire for justice and sometimes maybe justice isn't for me to judge or experience. Maybe character is built through injustice. Maybe this is my lesson to be learned and I can move on. I simply don't know and I'm tired of thinking about it. So maybe the answer to injustice is to throw up your hands and let what has happened remain in the past. The last bit of anger left inside me may be related to people not getting what they deserve. That's a bad place to be I think. I can't really fathom what I deserve, so I have a self righteous view of justice. That's a problem because I believe I am right, but I just may be wrong.

     It's exhausting. So I'm going to try and leave it behind and move toward the sun. I'm going to try and stop wishing bad things on people I consider bad people and stop thinking about them at all. Right now, I need to think about the way the sand feels between my toes and the sound of rain and thunder as I am laying down to sleep. I need to spend some really quality time with people that breathe positivity and light into the world. The Bible says that God's people are the light of the world. Maybe with all of this darkness, I am seeking the wrong sources of light. For once, I should let go of my own devices and throw up my hands and let the world be the world and let the sun shine on me and through me.


 I'm not me. I haven't been me for a long time now. I want to be me. So I have to try to be me again.


Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Songs of a Little Sociopath

(Warning; This blog contains pseudo bad words partially censored with symbols and suggestive and sometimes blatant adult themes coming from the mind of a child. Please prepare yourself to be maybe offended.)

"I get laid, and my songs get played. Laying on a bit%$ my bed is made. I got songs. My comedy is at large..." Adam Coffman- 9 years old (First Deathstone song, and I can't remember the rest of the words.)

     I'm gonna come clean with some terrible things I did as a kid. Most were directly influencing my much more innocent little blood brother Andy, 6 or 7 years old at the time of the above band quote. Andy was my lead and only guitarist. In fact, my hair metal band had only one musician. Every day, Andy would bring over his little white guitar and a small amplifier that would clip to his Bugle Boy jeans. When it was time to rock, I would turn up the bill of my Vision Streetwear skater hat and Andy would hold his hand onto the heart of his Hypercolor t-shirt until the chemical reaction was complete. He would switch on his amp and Satanic and perverse things would come from my mouth. Things that would make anyone's mother slap me. (Unrelated, but once I was on vacation with a friend and his mother actually did slap me after commenting on her neglect of her bikini line when we were about to go swimming.)

     Andy and I would spend every weekend together when school was in session, and every day together during the summer. The summer was really when I blossomed as a psychopath. Below, I'm just going to list some things I did and get them out of the way for the sake of keeping a timeline for this blog and to prevent jumping around.

  • I started an actual fight club in my backyard, using my mother's daycare kids as the warriors. every nap time would garner the blood of a small child or many children. 
  • We would make forts, then charge other kids hairs from their heads to come in. We saved all of those hairs in a container of broken dreams and hurt feelings.
  • We would go to Chucky Cheese and start fights in the ball pit. We would grab a kid and hold him under the balls until his mom would hear him shouting for help. Then we would run. 
  • I warned another 9 year old who was picking on Andy in his neighborhood to stop or I'd break his arm. He didn't stop, so I went over to Andy's that weekend, grabbed his arm, and twisted it until it snapped. I think the bullying least on Andy.
  • I would go around with a tape recorder and tell little kids to say terribly violent swears and record them secretly. I would then show the tape to their moms, who would then chop off their tongues or whatever. 
  • With Will and Joe, I used to throw grilled hot dogs at the mentally handicapped kids living at the group home in the back yard. We once started their yard on fire with a huge "Crow" symbol just after that movie was released. 
  • I struck a middle schooler in the head with a baseball bat after he hurt my brother Jason with a skateboard. I was in elementary school at the time. I cut school, walked to the middle school, and hit the kid and ran. He lived. No harm, no foul.
  • I got a great idea to paint the bottoms of Andy's little sister and her friend's feet and faces red with model paint, then wake them up so they would get scared looking at each other. I did not foresee them running with red tracks all over the carpet or ruining the wall paper of their newly remodeled bathroom.
     I'm going to stop there to prevent my mother and my friend's mothers and your mother from having a heart attack. Whew, I feel better now that you know all of that. I wasn't really a bad kid. I just had a very intense way of getting revenge and dictating justice to all of those around me. For the most part, I've outgrown or been punished enough to take more intelligent and palatable methods of venting. Although, I do still get these knee jerk reactions to decimate my foes every so often. Once my mother made me go to a family reunion dinner at a fish and chips restaurant. I didn't want to go. I was 18 and didn't have much of a taste for some of the characters infamous in my family. I took revenge. As the entire family was at the table, I announced the future arrival of my first child, to be born just after I graduated. I literally saw the blood leave her face, only to return when she saw everyone looking at her. She said, "Are your serious?" "Yup," I said and sat down. In hindsight, that was probably a bit harsh of a penalty for making me eat cod with family. Nine months later Olivia was born. 

     I'll save the rest of my high school years for other times. It just occurred to me today that I was probably the most dangerous kid another kid could be around. 



Thanks for reading...Z

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Feeling for a Way Out


Sing about what? Migrate to where? I'm not going anywhere.


The above was a melodramatic post that I wrote but didn't publish months ago. I look past it whenever I post a new blog, but can't find it in me to delete it. Why? Because at the time, it was a real feeling that I was afraid to put into the world. It wasn't because I believed I would feel differently, but because of all of the people I have preached hope to. The hope exists, but at the time everything was blurry. It's still blurry, but I can drive.

When I was a kid, we would go to this church three or four nights a week and my mom would practice her songs or her skits with her friend. Me and Jason would occupy our world in whatever way made sense. We were and are very different people, but would find ourselves in the same building over and over. I'm not really sure what he did with his time...he was more of a loner. I would explore every dank, wooden crevice of that building. There is this certain smell of old Bibles and felt paper whenever you enter an old person's church.

This one night, I was in the basement searching for something interesting among all of these boring books when the lights went out. I was alone in the basement of an old wooden building as a 7 year old. I rushed to what I thought was the door and ran face first into something old, creaky, and wooden. I got something in my eye. I started to panic. I didn't know which way was out and I couldn't see anything beyond the blur that the tears were bringing. I shouted and got no answer. I shouted more and got only my own echo off of the wooden lecterns.

Life was doomed.

I used my hands and crawled my way to an opening which led to stairs, then out into ear shot of my mother who was talking to her friend. She got me in the car in hysterics and taught me this trick to getting things out of your eyes. She sat me on the passenger seat of our old duct taped conversion van and looked into my teary eyes. She taught me to pull your upper eye lid over your bottom. If it was just and eyelash, the problem would be solved. If it wasn't the tears would drive out the beast. It was an eyelash.

I won't forget that moment because of the feeling of being completely alone and in the dark. I felt that again when I wrote the words above. What I wasn't thinking of was that I found my way out of that dark wooden basement and to the safety of my mother. I think I remember a lot of terrible moments and focus on them without focusing on the way out. I guess right now I'm feeling my way to safety. That's a comforting feeling because I know safety is within earshot.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Good Memory

I've seen my share of the insides of jail houses. Nothing crazy, just immature and kid stupidity. The first time was with Will. We liked to steal things that no one would realize were gone. There was a beauty in taking away things that people took for granted. We would steal (boost) silverware, plates, beer mugs, and those mats on the counter at McDonald's that told you the current value meals. I had a closet full of our accomplishments.

I've written about this day before. I'm not gonna rehash the details of our incarceration. But I did smile today thinking about my time sitting nervous in a cell next to my brother Will. When I get nervous I talk too much. When Will got nervous, he would go to sleep. I sat in that cell thinking the worst things and kept getting up to pace the floors. I was scared of everything in that moment. It's strange that I feared at all during this day, I didn't have much to lose really. No one really expected much from me and this would be par for the course.

As I sat there trying to find a way to blame someone else, Will's snoring stopped. I waited for a moment for words, but got nothing. I knew he was awake and he knew I was awake. Nothing happened.

Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw a toilet paper roll race past my cell leaving part of itself behind as it traveled. This single moment in time will never leave my memory. It was a reminder that some things don't really matter that much. What really mattered was who I was and who was with me. I had some very beautiful people with me.

Will got bailed and I ate a terrible TV dinner in jail. Later that night, after my mother had taken a loan from a friend to get me out, we sat in front of our parents and told a story. We told a story of two kids crying for help, totally helpless in our need for attention that we robbed a chain grocery store. How they believed it I have no idea, but we left with them feeling bad. Was any of it true? I don't really know. Maybe? Probably not?

What I do know is that the first time I went to jail is one of the best memories of my brother I have. I don't regret it.

This is my good thought. This is my good thing for tonight.


Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, April 11, 2015

People at a Funeral- Part 2- Fish

He stands in front of a black hole in his living room, screaming into the abyss. He, Fisher; the eldest son of Sarah, shouts into his closet as if the entire reason for his anger lives in the darkness of his clothing. He screams like a child in the night, waiting for his mother to take him into her arms. He screams until his stomach wretches and he begins to gag.


People look over to him as he stands at the head of his father's casket. Albert had always been his first and most important hero. His father had never missed a baseball game or teacher conference. Albert had loved his only son the most of all of his children; at least the ones he knew about.

People swept through the room and across the front of his father's body at a steady pace throughout the day. He hugged so many people. He laughed and cried with them over shared memories. He will smile instead of weep for the sake of his family. He is and has always been the strong one.

Despite the attention he is getting as Albert's "Only son," he couldn't help but notice the attention Tim was getting from everyone. Tim (Albert's apparent new son), was the life of the party. He was the center of everyone's attention. He was laughing and crying and people were grabbing his head and putting it on their own.

Fisher shook off bad memories and focused on the one's he liked to remember.

Once, Albert took him fishing on the pier all night. Albert told him that he was named after this very moment in the past with his mother. He told him that his first date with Sarah was spent fishing. She was so amazed by his lack of dating prowess that she bought into what he was selling. In reality, Albert knew what he was doing. He was smarter than everybody...all of the time.


As a kid Fisher would fake seizures. He didn't quite know why we liked it so much, but he knew he liked the outcome. Sarah and Albert would rush to him and hold his mouth open. Later they would hold him so tight and pass him back and forth to even tighter arms. Sarah would weep over him and rock him to sleep, but for a few moments in time, he would remember his father's hard hands carry him to his crib from his mother's chest.


Right now, all Fish can hear is weeping from Tim. All he can see are loved ones wrapping their arms around him.


Thanks for reading...Z

Monday, April 6, 2015

Changing Everything

Summer always passes and becomes another winter, then another summer. It's no secret that people in the midwest love Fall and Spring the most. These are the two very brief times where everything is neutral and comfortable. People smile more during these seasons. Then winter comes and brings dread and stagnation and whatever life has stabbed you with in prior winter months. Summer brings happiness mixed with nostalgia. Eventually summer becomes hot and sticky and loud. I think people find real happiness in the middle.

This is a hard concept for me to admit because I am an extremist in nature. There isn't a middle ground with me. You are going to love me or hate me. I will take a stance that is one or the other, but seldom in the middle. I am impulsive and act on those feelings immediately. But this isn't where I am comfortable. Most times I just want silence in the middle of being asleep and awake.

If you have been reading for more than a year or so, you will see this in what I write down. I write down my guts at times, which get hard to read for some people. I write down my high times brought on by moments of clarity, which vanish. In both instances, I truly believe I have turned a corner, but really I'm just either in winter or summer. I'm having a hard time finding a middle ground. I can't find solid footing in either season: It's either snow or mud.

I sat in church today and listened to my pastor and friend speak about a God that he is so passionate about. A God I used to be so passionate about. He spoke about the sacrifice and meaning of what Jesus did. I get that. Then he spoke about the danger of anger in your life. It felt directed at me, like most truth does. I get that. Really, my thoughts were that the truth dies in me. Then he spoke of emptiness. The entire sermon was my photograph. It isn't pretty right now. I know the truth and ignore it for anger. I'm not proud of that.

I'm pretty tired of messing things up. I'm getting hurt a great deal by it, and hurting other people too. So it has become clear that I must discover a solution. I have to change the way I think. I think I have to stop looking at who I used to be and measuring it by who I am now. It makes me feel bad and that guilt drives me to give up. I've had enough of giving up in my life, both in myself and my loved ones. I used to fight. I used to be a person that would fight you until you had no strength left. I burned and wanted for life so badly and gave the best of me to everyone when I could.

I'm not sure the best of me is something that I would be proud to see now. So I have to change everything. The last thing I said to Joe in text was "You have to find it in you to change everything." He couldn't. I can. I will.


Thanks for reading...Z