DON’T LET THEM SERVE ME FIRST

“…and please, dear God, don’t let them serve me first” exclaimed Peter. Ann and Peter had been on the road for nearly three hours, on their way out to visit Ann’s parents in Minnesota. It was a frosty day, and nearly everything was covered in a layer of white snow.

“What? Why? Pete they’re going to love you,” said Ann.

“Well I hope they love me but what happens if I do something weird?”

“You’re not going to do anything THAT weird,” Ann rolled her eyes, “just do what we normally do back at home.” Ann was driving the car with her gaze on the empty road before her. It had been a quiet drive for the most part. There had been no traffic—in fact, had they not been in the heart of a city, one would have thought the roads to be completely abandoned.

“I can’t do what we do normally back home because normally back home I wear boxers to dinner,” Peter said, as he tried to contain a giggle behind his anxiousness.

“Ok, come on,” Ann chided, “you’re not a baby you know how to act appropriately at a table for dinner.”

“But what if your parents decide to say Grace?”

“They’re not going to decide to say Grace, they haven’t practiced any fo—“

“But what if they do this time!” Pete interrupted, “What if this time they decide they want to and I’d already started eating? I’d look like a savage idiot.”

“What do you care what you look like? Aren’t you always talking about how you’re the best businessman at meetings because you don’t care what people think about you?”

“Well, yeah, I mean, yes, you know, but it’s different,” Peter stuttered. He took a deep breath, then continued more fluently, “I care more about our relationship than some business meeting.” Ann looked at him with a playful sarcasm.

“Aw. Aren’t you sweet. But that’s all this is. My parents just want to see what you’re bringing to the table. And the bedroom.” A devilish grin crossed Ann’s face.

“The bedroom?” Peter’s eyes bulged, “what have they set up cameras? That’s a little creepy.”

“No you fuckin’ idiot!” Ann slapped Peter’s thigh jokingly, “like how you look. I know and you know that looks aren’t a huge deal or anything, but my parents care about the success of more than just their daughter. They also care about the family as a whole. If you were some feeble, cowardly guy, they’d want to give input.”

“Ok that’s fair, but I still don’t want to be served first.”

“Fine.” Ann paused, “you’re such a baby.” She reached over and pinched Peter’s cheek, then said in a babying voice “who’s my little baby? Hm? Petey’s my little baby.” Peter pried her fingers off his cheek and tossed her hand back at the steering wheel. He turned to pout at the window while Ann laughed. After that, they sat in silence for a little while.

“How much farther is it?” asked Peter.

“We’re actually just around the corner,” said Ann, “now I don’t want you making a bad first impression. So stand up straight, open the door for me, and carry the bags in.”

“Fine.” Peter slumped his shoulders. They turned a corner and drove up to see a couple standing out on the sidewalk.

“Look! There they are!” Ann pointed. She looked over at Peter with a glare, “Pete sit up. This is going to be a good time. Ok? Try to enjoy yourself. They gave us the guest room down the hall and everything so that we can enjoy ourselves. They realize we’ve been dating for a while.” Pete sat up and put a smile on his face.

“Yeah but they’ll love you no matter what,” he muttered to himself. The car came to a stop, and Pete smiled to Ann’s parents through the window, then hopped out of the car to get Ann’s door.

——

 

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BAD GUY

I turned on the lights of the cell room. I like to think my cells are more humane than a prison’s, where in the place of bars and that dull gray there are windows and colorful walls. There are books, toys, various forms of entertainment—televisions, gaming systems, and so on…except in the unstable rooms, but that is for their own safety. This particular room was a favorite guest of mine. She’s a rough, robust girl with a fetish for pain, but she’s also classically beautiful. Take a Cinderella and add in a little Suicide Girl, and voila, c’est elle. Though her tattoos are only in places the public won’t see. It is quite fun, but also quite frustrating.

I am all for sexual expression, and having kinks, and what not. That’s all fine. But I do have a line. I do not much like when I walk in on a woman and she’s covered in blood and violent red marks because it “get’s her off.” Elle—you’ll forgive me, I must use a pseudonym for her own safety, relapse is so common, and easily caused by the lustful—but Elle is one of those people, who I stumbled upon completely by accident. Elle was a prostitute I had hired—I’d say escort but let’s not flirt around like I had other plans for her—whom I had asked to please engage in whatever would make her truly aroused, and while she did that I wanted a shower. You can imagine my surprise when, after my warm, relaxing shower, the first bed was covered in blood. She had opened her wrists with a pocketknife—she must have been carrying it. Logical. There are certainly some freaks (like myself, though in a different way) in the business, even for someone as expensive as she was. There was a thick ruler thrown to the side as well, no doubt the cause of her welts. Not a good time.

As you can imagine, dear reader, I was quite put out. I bandaged her up and we talked for a few hours. I convinced her to stay in my room until she was…treated. She is an interesting character. She is polite, well mannered, genuinely kind…but also extremely passionate. Her sex drive is off the charts (literally, I’ve spent years researching the sexuality of even the most driven people, and they pale), which is unfortunate, because it makes the process more difficult for me. I am only human. But enough backstory. Today was a me day…or rather night. I had woken her with the light. She had worn the silk nightgown I had provided her to bed. A good sign. She was standing up—one hand rubbing the sleep from her eyes, the other slumped off to her side. I entered the room, and dimmed the lights. I crossed the room meaningfully.

“Shh, why are you out of bed” I whispered in her ear. As she opened her mouth to speak, I cupped it. Her eyes appeared glazed over, but I could feel her smile behind my hand. She sank back onto the bed, and I knelt with her. I kissed her, once on the lips, then down in the space between her cheek and her chin, then more and more forcefully until I reached her neck. I bit it lightly, carefully running the skin between my teeth, but with enough force to cause her a little pain. She still liked that. I could feel her heart race. Her hands pulled at my shirt (a shame, it was an expensive material too), but just as she was getting it loose, I stood up and thrust her down onto her back. Like I said, today was a me day. I popped the belt buckle I wore, and tore the belt from around my waist. Her eyes flared open with excitement, but I discarded it. I motioned for her to turn around. She pouted. I felt a snarl creep to my nose for a moment, and in a wave of anger I gripped her wrist hard. She smiled wildly, and ragdolled as I spun her to her stomach. She put both arms forward, flat on the bed, and tucked her knees in against her stomach expectantly. I bit the bottom of my inner lip and gripped her torso, beneath the fabric, admiring her hip bones as a lion admires a recently slaughtered zebra. The rest, well, I’m sure you can imagine.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #27 – FOR YOU

I could write a thousand poems

And yet none would compare to you.

You’re a sweet drop of summer dew

After the springs reign was stolen.

 

So then, why should I even try?

I could tell them of your red hair;

Your luscious lips; your lovely stare,

But such a rhyme would seem so dry.

 

How on Earth could I compare thee

To such a simple summer’s day,

When all of night’s stars cannot say

What this beauty is before me?

 

Though perhaps I say’t not for them—

Whose gossiping ears tend to pry.

Perhaps it’s ‘cause no other guy

Has seen you sparkle like a gem.

——

 

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IN THE DIRT

I found myself facedown in the dirt,

With my tormentors down the hall.

They had told me “get up and get hurt,”

About halfway through the fall.

The sour taste of blood in my mouth

Mixed anger into my shame,

It wasn’t because I was from the south,

But it hurt just the same.

And after they had walked away,

I pulled myself out of the dirt.

I vowed that they would pay

For the stains left on my shirt.

I wiped my chin, and dusted off,

And went about my week.

Still, every day, I’d hear a scoff,

Or someone call me meek.

Until one day I found myself,

Standing strong and six feet tall.

In stature and fortitude I’d been granted a wealth,

To fight back against them all.

And yet I’ll never forget that day,

As a miserable, lonely squirt.

To make the decision to get up and say,

“Not today,” from in the dirt.

THE JOURNEY OF A BEARD

A beard is like an age old friend;

One both constant yet forgotten.

Mine own shades himself like autumn;

Brown with reds to speckle and blend.
And yet, he is also like me.

Once, he was a spry and young thing,

Until life showed what it had to bring.

Now we all know what he can be.
But there is still time for a change.

Shaved, he can be reborn anew,

To show the world what he can do;

Prove nothing to be out of range.
Or, he can sit around and gray,

And watch his strength begin to wane.

To fester his own life’s disdain.

Until white winter comes to say:
“Let me take these hard years from you.

No more kin, and much less than kind.

With me, on your journey you’ll find

The sleep you’ve wished for to be true”
A good friend would not let this pass,

He would grasp the bristles of life,

Like a beard in moments of strife,

And show he had more line to cast.

 

Hello everyone,

 

I recently became able to grow a (small) beard, and my mother challenged me to write a poem about it. So I did. Let me know what you think! It’s a little weird, I know.

MORE DATING THOUGHTS

Hello everyone,

 

Good afternoon! This Monday doesn’t quite seem as Monday-ish as other Mondays for me. Funny, isn’t it? Anyways, I had another thought about dating that I wanted to bring back for further discussion. Hopefully you all have read some of my different discussions about dating etiquette. Guys pay, etc, and how some of these aspects can cause for unfair expectations on women to reciprocate feelings.

That being said, I do want to talk about the other side for a little bit. Which is that a guy paying is technically sexist to some extent. Now, it’s super easy to say “that’s not sexist, it’s simply a nice thing and it’s customary for guys to do.” To which I would say, yes, that’s true. It is indeed a nice thing to do, and it is a customary part of being an American male courting a female. That being said, it also was customary for men to expect women to put out for them whenever they wanted it once they were married, regardless of how the woman felt that night. So you know, not all customs are good, even if those of the time with a voice don’t see a problem with them.

Here me out. I agree that men should pay based on the societal standards we live with now. At the same time, this baseline is engrained in the societal standards that a woman inherently is incapable of taking care of herself. Which is not a good thing. Men pay because they have their lives more together—at least, this is the thought.

Or maybe it isn’t that. Let’s take another look at it. Let’s take the position that a man should pay because any man would want to treat his woman special. This is one that I hear a lot. Men should treat their woman as though they were a princess. Where did we get this idea? Disney? First of all, what does that statement mean? Well, it means that a man should put his woman first. Which is probably true. But it also means that there is no expectation for the woman to do the same. Seriously, I’m all for treating women equally, but that means equal, not unequal. How many women you know would say “treat your man like a prince.” The number probably hovers around zero, because what kind of woman would want to take orders from a man?

I’m not saying this is entirely a bad thing—I mean it pressures men to respect women more, which is something that our society has struggled with for literally thousands of years. But usurping the idea of men being dominant with the idea that women should be the gender that is held up on a pedestal is not the proper way to implement equality.

I don’t have the answer either. It seems like a bad idea to say that men should always pay for dinner. But it also sounds like a bad idea to say that everyone should always pay for their own food. At the same time, maybe this is the only way to move toward more equal treatment and respect between the two most prominent genders in society. What do you think? Am I being unrealistic about the gender roles and what they imply? Let me know in the comments!

COOPERATIVE VICTORIES

Hello everyone,

 

How’s your day in my future going? I’m (hopefully) having a great day in Montana while you read this. Don’t worry, I’ll talk about my vacation when I get back. But right now it’s time to get down to…business? This isn’t really a job. I don’t get paid. Either way, I was thinking more about gender inequality, which is just such a wonderfully substantive topic that is never ending. However, I was thinking today about reverse discrimination, as my dad calls it. Specifically, I was thinking about an ad I saw a while ago trying to promote equality. See it here:cjpnx8ruyaaaaqp

Of course, it’s a totally unfair ad. It’s poorly worded. It doesn’t present the world as it is in reality. Women are abused sexually in higher numbers than men by a significant margin. But the ad does bring forward a problem that I see and hear a lot. Which is that feminism sometimes, depending on the hands it is in, is not about equality and instead about feminine superiority. Typically it’s not even consciously done either. This subconscious idea is how we end up with ads that show two people in the same scenario (Jake drunk, Josie drunk) and think it’s ok to just blame one of them without further clarification. I’ll take a recent example that happened to me by my own family.

My sister and I are both over 21, she’s a couple years older than me. This last Mother’s Day, she received a gift, despite not being a mother, simply because my mom felt like giving her one. That’s super sweet, and I think it picks up on the spirit of the tradition rather than the strict definition of the holiday.

Father’s Day rolls around, and I don’t get a gift. Now, I don’t really care. I’m not a father. I mean sure, I was a little like “hey that’s a double standard” but let’s be honest, Father’s Day has always fallen a bit more to the wayside in American society in comparison to Mother’s Day. The guys are already so far ahead in society, it’s less valuable. Or a “real man” wouldn’t need to celebrate. Regardless, I noticed this difference. And this is the kind of duality that even the most foreword thinking person can make a mistake out of.

One of the problems I have come to face is that the pride that exists for being a woman far out weighs the pride there is for being a man. This could just be the household I was raised in. But we constantly talk up how important women are—which is effectively affirmative action for women, who have been neglected for decades. But in filling the silence with just talk about the greatness of women, we often unintentionally push aside the great parts of being a man. Which I don’t think is the core aim of feminism. A lot of people call feminists pretentious, which I think is pretty clearly false. But there certainly could be experiences like this that would cause people to feel that way. If all I saw were women tooting their own horns constantly, and shaming men for being “manly,” I would feel the same way.

This is a bigger topic than I have time for today. I don’t mean to say that women aren’t facing more difficulty than men. Sexual assault occurs too often. It’s unacceptable that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted in college, and we need to be better about it. But we don’t solve the problem by holding up women and leaving men behind like some people do. We do that by lifting up everyone. Don’t make it a battle of the sexes. Make it a cooperative victory.

ANOTHER ONE

“Another one,” I said.

“I think you’ve had enough,” the bartender was cleaning a glass, looking at the television screen nonchalantly.

“Five beers isn’t enough,” I exclaimed with a smile. The bartender turned away from the screen and sighed.

“Look. I really like you. You seem like a nice guy. But you’re wasting your money. You’ve been here six days a week, every week, for the last month and a half. And I appreciate the business you’ve given us. But you’re wasting your life away here. You need to-“

“If you’re going to talk my ear off, at least let me wash it down with another blonde.” I said. The bartender let out another long sigh. He stopped cleaning his glass, and walked over to the tap. He took a deep breath, and put a glass to the tap. The liquid bubbled slightly as it splashed into the glass. It foamed beautifully, like a graceful wave crashing over the beach.

“Look, I don’t want to be rude, but you’re life is more valuable than this. Why don’t we talk about you?” The bartender closed the tap and walked the beer over to me. It had a perfect froth, the kind one can only do after pouring thousands of glasses.

“What about me?” I said with indifference.

“Why don’t we start with why you’re here.”

“I’ve already told you why I was here. My girl—”

“I’ve heard your bullshit story about your girl that you’ve told half the people who have walked in here before,” the bartender brought both hands down on the counter with a look of annoyance, “Besides, even if the girl was really important to you, 6 weeks is quite a while to drink yourself through your tears.”

“What would you know?” I looked down, drawing circles in the wood countertop.

“Well, I know that break ups suck. But I also know that one girl doesn’t ruin a person.” I looked up at the bartender. He had a warm smile.

“You didn’t have a girl like this.” I took a long drink from my glass. It was cool and crisp, with a light flavor that reminded me of hike through the mountains in June.

“Maybe not. What else is wrong in your life?” The bartender pulled up his own stool and eyed me with curiosity.

“I don’t know.”

“Now come on, spit it out. Did you lose your job?”

“Yeah.”

“Well see, there’s your problem. You’re stuck. You lost your job. You lost your girl. You’re probably feeling like the world has ended. And because of that, you’re letting yourself be consumed by self-hatred. But you have nothing to hate about yourself. You’ve just—”

“Look, I appreciate your time,” I stood up sharply “but I didn’t come here to be lectured.” I downed my glass and threw a few bills on the counter, then turned and walked through the doors. The look on his face was surprised. As I passed through the doors I sighed. Maybe he’s right. I felt my shoulders slump. But if I can’t even take advice from a nice guy like that, what kind of piece of shit am I? My eyes glazed over. Eventually, I came to a sign that read The Boar’s Head Tavern. I looked around. The tavern looked warm and inviting. And I could hear the friendly sounds of glasses clinking together. I pulled the door open and walked in.

THE KEEPER OF THE FRUUT

It little profits that an idle King
Rest from his travels and wars.
As I sit upon this throne
Looking out at my countrymen,
I realize that not all that we once were
Is what we are today.
Surely, we are still unbeatable
I trust our steel nerve
Before all the blades in Troy.

But that does not mean we can lay
Like a sloth beneath the sun.
For those who slumber are often awoken
Cold, alone, and abandoned
In favor of more aspiring men.
That is, of course, if they awake at all.

But an iron fist does not cure all ailments.
As you know, despite our clenched fists
Still some fall through the cracks.
Am I not a good King?
Am I not the man who freed us from tyranny?
Why then do you doubt my throne?
Why then do you doubt my integrity?

Alas, it is true that even the most beautifully ripe fruits
Will go rotten given enough time.
Yet I am no fruit, I am his keeper
With my evergreen sunshine
And my purest waters
I can keep it fresh
Longer than most good men can.

Yet so many men
And women, or even our growing children
Assert their ability to protect.
They assume themselves as the keeper
And in doing so corrupt the strong.
Mine own daughter, Rhoda, is among them.
I know her intentions are good
But her actions are not.
They have become self interested
Like so many of our kin.
And through claims of good nature
They achieve nothing but danger.

Our throne is strong,
Yet in some strength lies greater peril.
Certainly, we are unbeatable in a fair battle
No army alone can muster the strength of our men
In fact, it would take more than 10 armies to match us.
But my friends, we live in a world of 100 armies,
To alienate them all
Is to sow the seeds of our own destruction.
We keep peace because war is costly
How many men must die before we wake up to this?
How many women must be beaten and abused?
How many children must be left homeless?
We can solve this problem.
It takes more than just steel nerves to fight injustice,
It takes a kind heart.
The willingness not to cross blades
And instead put up your swords
Until the time is ripe for them.

 

Hello everyone,

 

Today I made an attempt at a dramatic monologue in a style similar to that of Ulysses. It’s kinda macho. Which is intentional. But it mirrors aspects of our modern political spectrum (or at least tries to). Let me know what you think!

SICK DAY BLUES

Hey everyone,

I’m feeling pretty under the weather today, so I decided to take an easy day. This is my favorite poem, titled Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I recommend looking at it from a few perspectives. First read it and enjoy. Then reread it and realize that Ulysses convinces his men to effectively commit suicide. Then reread it again and realize that all of Ulysses mariners died in previous journeys. Then reread it again and try and see if the poem transitions from location to location at all. It doesn’t. So is it just an old man on his death bed? Does it help that the author wrote this immediately after the death of his best friend?

It little profits that an idle king,

By this still hearth, among these barren crags,

Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole

Unequal laws unto a savage race,

That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink

Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d

Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those

That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when

Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades

Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;

For always roaming with a hungry heart

Much have I seen and known; cities of men

And manners, climates, councils, governments,

Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;

And drunk delight of battle with my peers,

Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’

Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades

For ever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!

As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life

Were all too little, and of one to me

Little remains: but every hour is saved

From that eternal silence, something more,

A bringer of new things; and vile it were

For some three suns to store and hoard myself,

And this gray spirit yearning in desire

To follow knowledge like a sinking star,

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,

To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—

Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil

This labour, by slow prudence to make mild

A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees

Subdue them to the useful and the good.

Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere

Of common duties, decent not to fail

In offices of tenderness, and pay

Meet adoration to my household gods,

When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:

There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,

Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—

That ever with a frolic welcome took

The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed

Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;

Death closes all: but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.