I read the email but it wasn’t processing. “Wayne Fuller has ALSLou Gehrig’s disease. He was diagnosed a year ago.” The eyes passed over the words but nothing was really catching. “three to five years” Nothing. “attacks the muscles” Jesus Christ. Wayne.

I played basketball with Wayne in the mid to late eighties. When I gave up basketball after I turned 40, and then went back a year later, Wayne came up to me and said, I know why you gave up b-ball, man. At 40, you can’t play any more. Everything hurts, and things don’t heal any more.


ALS. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It’s the thing Stephen Hawking has.

Last person on the planet to whom this should happen. Wayne is a man who loves to talk, and talk fast. He’s an ideas guy. They come to him a mile a minute, blam blam blam. Things can’t happen fast enough for Wayne. Wayne is a born sales guy, except he loves engineering too. University of Virginia undergraduate, Stanford for his master’s, Bell Labs, etc etc. The trajectory of his life was forward and fast.

I saw Wayne when my daughter played lacrosse for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Yes, they really say that, except the kids all call it TJ. Wayne was in the stands with his lovely blonde wife, and his younger daughter Brittany sat with him. Wayne is the dad who doesn’t miss a trick on the field. He knows all the rules. He knows all the referees. His older daughter Jessica was playing for Chantilly HS. Wayne is also the kind of guy all the other guys’ wives sit around, because he’s smart mouthed and irreverent, and he makes people laugh.

When we played basketball, I was the bruiser, the inside guy. I pushed, and I got pushed, and there were a lot of elbows where I played. I was slow and I moved ponderously, but I tended to go where I pleased and people would move around me. Wayne was the ultimate point guard, a slight, scatty, quick-moving guy who loved the one on one challenges out there close to the three point line, where a player lived or died with a feint and a fast break. He was always talking while he was playing, always.

After our lunchtime games Wayne was the guy who recounted the game for us. He served as our unofficial post-game analyst. If he didn’t talk about a shot or a spectacular shot or egregious foul or terrible injury, it didn’t happen. He made our games far more interesting than they actually were.

Wayne has ALS.

Doesn’t seem right. Why can’t Osama bin Laden get ALS? Why can’t conservative Republicans get ALS? The ones who oppose nationwide medical care? Why? Why does a father of two beautiful girls have to get it? A good guy we all like? A guy who made something of himself and didn’t screw anybody and was a net plus for society.

I’m pissed. I’m angry. He doesn’t deserve it. Why not some fanatical Muslim anti-technology mullah who studies his damned Koran all day long? Why not a fanatical Hasidic Jewish guy who studies only the scrolls and believes he’s God’s Own People, and preaches that women are worthless unless they’re married and have babies, and incites centuries long hatred against all who are non Jewish? Why not people like this? Why not Jerry Falwell? Why not televangelists?

Why not people who spam the Internet? Why not men who rape young girls and kill them? Let them die this horrible death. MAKE them die this horrible death.

Not Wayne.

Because if it could happen to Wayne, it could happen to any one of us. No one is immune. It could happen to me. It could happen to someone I love.

When your body becomes a coffin, except your brain is still alive. What kind of hell is that? The worst kind.

We’re too ‘civilized’ to allow our citizens the option of euthanasia. Yes, we believe in the sanctity of life. We believe that a man should be forced to live every miserable minute of his life, even though he looks at you with his eyes and begs you to release him. Please, they say, please don’t let my kids remember me like this. We are such morally advanced creatures, God’s creatures, that we couldn’t possibly. It would be murder. That’s so horrible, the stopping of a life.

I want to scream and howl and cry at the capriciousness of life and all the many and horrible ways life winds down into death. Goddammit. I’m angry. ANGRY. It’s not an abstract thing when it’s one of your friends.

As hurricanes go, Ernesto is behaving like a wimp. Even yesterday, when it was a day and a half south of us and not yet approaching Miami, we were told it would – at most - “have winds averaging 40 to 50 mph”.

Still, better safe than sorry ruled the day. Late yesterday afternoon I spent several hours moving 60 containers from the back patio into the garage and house. NOAA had promised heavy rains for most of last night, which would flood many of the tropical plants in their pots. Then, too, a number of slips were a bit too tender and newly-rooted to withstand that type of severe weather. And, finally, the orchids might be blown away if the winds were too strong. Indoors with all of you was decided.

The ferns, ivies, and trailing plants were left in place. They have woven themselves into such a tangled mat of greenery it would have been difficult to separate them in any case. The begonias are past their prime; they have bloomed and bloomed, turning into leggy bullies that crowd everything else out of the baskets. Except for a few special Rex varieties, the begonia population was left to take its chances with the foliage plants.

That decision made, the great migration began. The dining table was extended with all its leaves, covered with blankets, then several plastic shower curtains. This and another table from the patio now hold most of the semi-tropicals. They have grown so over the summer, flourishing outdoors, and need wide swatches of free space between individual containers to accommodate the spreading leaves.

The garage became the refugee center for the orchids and other hanging plants. Orchids can withstand a fairly wide temperature range, but do not like sudden changes; the warm garage is better for them than the air-conditioned interior of the house.

The garage is now festooned with hanging greenery, baskets dangle from the ends of the garage door tracks, metal shelving, and a drying rod over the washer/dryer section. Even the trapdoor to the attic has been opened and four large bromeliads and a staghorn fern are suspended from the edges of the opening.

What I didn’t realize when I started this was that I would be moving more than plants. Late last night I heard krechnuk-krechak. What the H is that? Again, krechnuk-krechak vibrated from the direction of the dining room. It didn’t seem to bother the dog (but then, he’s deaf in his old age), and I finally decided it was one of the patio frogs.

A colony of tree frogs is in residence on the patio. Light spilling out from the French doors provides a perfect hunting ground for them. At least one can be seen on any given night with sucker toes splayed against the glass, skin glistening like oiled silk, big eyes watching for an unwary moth. During the day they disappear, burrowing under a bit of moss, finding a cool cavity among the roots of an orchid. Whenever the orchids are misted the frogs stay in place, gulping as the fine spray touches them.

Now here was one indoors, complaining loudly. Sorry, little guy, stay where you are for a bit.

This morning dawned clear and beautiful with “100 percent chance of rain” forecast for today. Ernesto had weakened considerably and was now expected to tiptoe into Daytona Beach, turn on a dime somewhere over my back forty, and head out high above the Atlantic. But thunderstorms with strong wind gusts were still predicted. It would be best to keep everything indoors until tomorrow. I went into the garage to give everybody a refreshing morning misting.

There was animal life lurking everywhere. A beige frog leapt out of “Pink Star”, a ground-hugging bromeliad, and landed on the clothes dryer control. Another leap and he disappeared into nearby boxes of detergent. A young chameleon half the length of my thumb ran up the chain supporting the basket of a strawberry begonia and glared at me, throat working convulsively. A dark toad, no bigger than the nail on my pinky finger, hopped determinedly along the length of the workbench.

I hope they all have enough sense to stay put in their respective plant containers. Tomorrow morning the patio will be back to normal and it would be a shame if we were missing the bug and mosquito eaters.

Wordmongers' Masque
Two Steps Away.

The snow was falling thick. The only thing protecting me from the chill was a tight sweater. As I walk up to his doorstep the sad realization that he had helped pick out this sweater crosses my mind. With unsteady fingers, my hands manage to ring the doorbell. I don't know entirely why I was doing this. Anyone could have given him his things. But... I needed to feel like it was over.

He opened the door and it took him a brief moment to register that it was me. I looked into his eyes and tried to find the boy I'd fallen in love with. The sweet boy who stole a kiss away. He'd said my lips were begging her to take it away, so it could hardly be a crime. For some reason, that made sense. I suppose love is like that. Where it twists and turns nonsense into sense.

Every time I try to see that sweet boy I keep picturing her. His lips on hers. Her body against his. Her skin rubbing his. I'm holding back tears. Barely. I'm not sure if he has noticed yet. That's proof enough that something has changed. When you're in love every glance carries giant weights of emotion. He used to ask me what was wrong before I even knew I needed him. Now, he can't tell that I'm almost broken.

"You don't know what happened," he whispers softly.

"And I never will." I sound calm. I feel anything but. My heart is on fire. I think I'm shaking, but I'm trying too hard not to cry to focus on anything else.

And suddenly, as if I hadn't been watching him, his hand runs up my arm and rests just above my chest.

"Can you forgive me?" He barely manages to get the words out. With his eyes shimmering from being wet he almost looks hopeful. Or maybe that is genuine hope. I suppose he's not the only one who changed. There was a time when those eyes held no mysteries for me. Perhaps I just don't care.

His fingers caress my neck and for a moment, I let myself pretend he was someone else. That he wasn’t the asshole who went behind my back and fucked some other girl. No, not some other girl. His fucking ex. As much as I wanted to keep him out of my life forever, I let myself pretend. Letting go is worse than being ripped apart.

But it didn’t last for more than a few seconds.

“Scott, get the fuck away from me,” and at the same time as I'm uttering those words, I'm slapping him across the face, “You don't get to touch me. Ever.”

He jumps back, not even trying to hide the anger plastered in his expression. Since when did he have the right to be angry? Since when did he dare get angry at me? He’s the one who cheated on me. He made his bed and he should fucking lay in it.

Resisting the urge to just let out all my anger at him, instead I direct my attention to the floor. Where his box of things sits. A shirt hides everything, but I know exactly what's in there. It hurts too much to think about and my eyes look back at his. And there he is. Just standing there, mouth opening and closing as if he’s trying to say something.

Before he got the chance, I turn around and walk away. Finally, he managed to work up the courage. Or the nerve. Or something. He clears his throat. Before he has the chance to say anything, I cut him off.

“I got over you, Scott. Time for you to do the same.”

A mask of gold hides all deformities.
Thomas Dekker

The Man in White

I find myself in the swirling world of the night time. Once again I do not understand how I came to be here.

This is becoming a regular occurrence it seems.

The clock tower in the distance strikes 3. It is oddly displaced amongst the quiet of the world. I look around to try and take stock of the streets which are devoid of life.

People fear the night and rightly so. At a round midnight, even 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning you have to be wary of the street monsters that seem to emerge from the cobblestones, looking for the foolish or the naive. But at 3 o'clock even the monsters sleep and the only company you have is in the form of your own thoughts, bouncing off the walls of your own head.

I am safe here in this lonely desert of the night. I meander down an alleyway, moving aimlessly and breathing in the city air.

As I walk into the shopping boulevard I spot the man in white. I don't pay him any mind.

I have tendency to get confused between what is real and what isn't. I see things which aren't there. I'm not insane though, because unlike the majority of people I choose to question my delusions rather than simply accept them. I'm certain the man in white is a product of my mind.

Strange though. He's not normally this animated.

I realise to my horror that the man is murdering someone in a violent fashion, beating a person on the head constantly, till their skull caves in. I then begin to realise this is not real- it is a dream. I am remembering this murder.

The man in white is real but I'm certain no one will believe me. That as my thought as consciousness envelopes my senses and I return to reality or rather, what I believe to be reality.

After dressing and shaving I pour myself some alcohol. I need something to drive the images from my mind. As I search for some whiskey my partner walks in.

Let me introduce you to John Walker. A stocky built man in his twenties, exceptionally intelligently and perceptive. He is able to pick up small details that I would overlook. He is a regular Sherlock. Sadly this is also his flaw. His attention to detail overrides his ability to understand the human aspect of a case. He can build quite excellent theories based on a smashed vase, a packet of cigarettes and a broken toilet but he can't always place them within the context of humans, which tends to foul things up.

Still he's great for pointing out those things I would normally miss. He also makes sure I don't forget to take my pills.

I pour him some and he tells me some bad news. There has been another murder. A man named Taylor. Apparently there was quite a struggle. But that's not the worse news.

"I had look over the crime scene and happened to find a bit of fabric that I believe got torn off in the fight." He holds it up. It is white.

It shines as if it may wink out of existence at any moment.

In the silence that follows we both look at each other and stare. John knows about the Man in White. I also know that he doesn't hallucinate. This fabric is real.

He also knows that I have to prove that something that is supposed to be a figment of my imagination is killing people.

Still I've had tougher cases.


For the Wordmongers' Masque

Hi everybody! I hope your summer was as good as mine! I started sixth grade this week and the first two days have been really good. I hope it stays that way for the rest of the year!

I had my bassoon lesson yesterday and my teacher said I was progressing real well. He wrote a note to the band teacher saying that “beginning band” would be a step backwards for me. I have to give an audition to the teacher on Friday. I’m kinda nervous but since I’m the only one who volunteered to play the bassoon I hope that counts for something.

I’m still playing soccer and have tried my hand at painting in oil and acrylics. Just like in life, sometimes one thing comes out better than another.

I keep trying though. I wrote another poem about the summer coming to an end. I thought about the sunflowers in our garden and how sad they looked. I called it “From Beginning to End”.

I hope you like it!

From Beginning to End

The first sunflower of the year
now sheds a tear
but once it held a smile
Its time in the sun
now seems to be done
but maybe it’s in denial

It once gazed at the sky
with an unblinking eye
and stood proud against the rain.
But the birds and the bees
Came down from their trees
And now its face is in pain

It seems to look down,
and its face wears a frown
as the summer comes to end
It once stood so tall
and couldn’t possibly fall
but now it’s starting to bend.

But every once in a while
it still gives me a smile
though its seeds are mostly gone.
They’ve been snatched by the birds
without tears or words
but instead I hear a song.

It sings the circle of life
that was once filled with strife
is done from beginning to end
But as the time goes
there’s more seeds to be sowed
and summer will come once again.


We were, in the Southern tradition, a family of guns. And in the Irish tradition, drinkers too, although there were plenty of men in the county who'd never thought a day about Ireland but could drink as hard as any of us Reillys.

Couldn't say we were the warmest of drunks, given the sloppy crocodile tears that some shed over old sweethearts or dead mothers. The Reillys always seemed to swing the other way. In our cups at the bottom of the barrel would come all the anger that bad blood can find. It was the bottle that righted the wrongs left unsaid in sober times, and there was much best left unsaid in the backwards of our Mississippi.

Come down 98 from Hattiesburg or up it from Mobile just across into Alabama and somewheres in the middle, around Maclean, you'll find the road to Leakesville and in the middle of the two is my grandfather's house.

My daddy's pappy, Mr. A. K. Reilly, built the same around the time he was planning on marrying Sissy, which is what everyone called my grandma but who, before the marriage itself, was a seventeen year old girl name of Honey Pritchett.

Her family, and a whole mess of them there was, hailed from the town of Cuba, Alabama, about 120 miles down 48 which was less of a road back then that it might appear to be now. Took a good while in old A.K.'s '37 that's for sure, especially what with stopping off along the way.

Seem like colorful days to us now, not the least of which because of the segregation that they had back then. I know about the Great Depression and all of that, and Sissy told me many times about how hard it was just to grow the food they were eating, but it was a simpler time for folks also.

I think people from the rest of the country, or at least people from pretty far away who haven't made it down to these parts, probably think we still live the same way, all chewing tobacco and shooting squirrels for our dinner, but it's a different world now, even down here outside of Leakesville.

The Pritchetts, of which I suppose I am a part of by my Sissy's blood, loooked down on Pappy's people. Figured them for country, as though Cuba was some big town which it isn't now and wasn't then neither.

Mobile's a big town. You want to take a run down to Mobile, which is a sight closer to Leakesville than Cuba, and you've got yourself 24 lane bowling and a rodeo come summer.

Anyway, the story is that they weren't so sad to see her leave, being as how she was thought of as a girl who was a little touched, a little different to the average girl. She spoke to toads for one thing, or better put she said that toads would speak to her, tell her things about the way of the world and things beyond the obvious.

It would not be fair or even accurate to say that she was universally loved, although I myself loved her considerably. In a society of precise etiquette (amongst the women) it counted against her that she would decline to share recipes on the basis that

each is a tendril from my very own heart, a child made from potions and ingredients blessed in my own way, that a listing of the things that go into the bowl will not result in a dish resembling this meal in the same way that a dog isn't his shadow at all. I am surely very sorry.

In her younger years she was taken for simple, as I have indicated, and later in life, when I began to know her, it was presumed that some form of dementia had taken an early hold of her and thus she was to be pitied or endured, depending.

Later, when she was killed, there was no one else but me to stand for her, and I did, and could be said to be paying the price for that now, but that don't bother me none.

As indicated, guns and booze and the unlawful bible written from those two things have cut wide across my family, touching all of us in one part of sadness or another. But that isn’t what this little bit of a story is about in the same way that it's not about her cooking, although it's hard to separate her from the smell of her kitchen with its pots all on the boil.

When I was still a boy, just 12 years old, Sissy took me to sit on a sack of dried beans in her back kitchen. She got her faraway look on like God was tuning her radio directly and said soft that when she was gone all she had would come to me.

The question I wanted to ask her was what did she have that I wasn't aware of, because it seemed to me that beyond all her housedresses and a stack of well-used Edgar Cayce pamphlets the sweet old lady didn't have too much else in her pockets.

I didn't ask, of course, just said OK Sissy to her and accepted a piece of her treacle pie which was sticky like heaven.

Then she told me that for all of her life, which by most lights could have been thought unremarkable, she had been in one respect unlike any other person she'd come upon. It was, she said, her blessing to see people as they really felt not as they acted or spoke. It was not an empathy she could much use in any way, but it made her realize that she was, and always had been, flat out happier than anyone else and that she knew I had this same insight inside of me and how as she'd like to make sure that I would be as happy as she was.

I said OK Sissy again, and while I can't rightly say whether I felt happiness because of the pie I was still consuming or some other power, I did feel I understood something about what Sissie was saying in a way that couldn't be put into words.

When I tried to explain that to her she just shushed me and said That's it boy, that's the heart of exactly it.

Two nights ago, a 29-year old lawyer from Fairfield, Connecticut climbed through his neighbor's window and stabbed the 58-year old man twelve times in the chest, according to AP news.

Police found the lawyer standing over the sink, washing off the blood. They charged him with an open-and-closed case of murder.

The story is this: the lawyer's wife told him his neighbor had inappropriate contact (presume sexual) with his 2-year old daughter. The child told the parents some pretty disturbing things, and in the past, the lawyer had called the police due to inappropriate behavior on the part of the neighbor toward the child.

This is all of the story the public knows as of today, August 31, 2006.

I was directed to the story of the murderous lawyer by a blog I scanned today at the behest of a friend who has subscribed me to his personal spam list. Everyone needs an audience. You are mine and I am his.

"What would you do?" my friend asks his 34-person mailing-list audience, rhetorically. We're all fathers, and most of us fathers of girls. "What would you do if a neighbor was acting predatorily toward one of your infant children?"

The correct answer to the question is: I would have been very angry but I would not have killed anyone.

You are supposed to let the authorities handle it. You are supposed to take defensive measures, like never letting the child out of your sight, or moving in with your in-laws until the police arrest the guy. Climbing through his window and killing him makes you as much a criminal as he is.

But looking back over these nearly 20 years, I can't say that at 28 I would have had the presence of mind to stop myself from entering his house to have some words for him while I intruded into his space as he was upon mine. I know my wife would urge me to do something, and then would protest while I kicked in his door, or broke his picture window to climb inside. Because women can't possibly understand how a testosterone rage turns us into dogs they witness in fear while we become the sort of animal the world's armies have leveraged for the history of the human race.

Thank ye Gods I no longer have the energy to develop that much focused rage.

I cannot say I would not have broken into the bastard's home.

But I can say that I would not have brought a knife.

It would have been a gun.

Bravo, iceowl. This is what honorable men do. They protect their families. They protect their children. They kill the predator before he has the chance to strike.

Kill the evil man and harvest his organs for transplant into worthy cancer victims!

Save the poor lawyer from criminal charges. The child was only two, for God's sake. Imagine the irreparable damage, or the horrible death the child would have suffered if that man had his way with her.

Imagine! Have you no mind? Sometimes you must act before you can be struck. "Sometimes you have to shoot first," says the blog.

Bravo lawyer. Bravo iceowl. Bravo blogger. Long live the righteous. Death to evil. Kill them where they are most vulnerable - in their beds, on their toilets, in their showers. When they think they are safe: strike!

Victory for the common man, the young father. Death for child molesters.

A few days ago, Donald Rumsfeld addressed the generally "friendly to Republican Administrations" American Legion. In his speech he suggested that Saddam Hussein and his ilk were the modern-age equivalent of Hitler.

In hindsight - wouldn't any of us have liked to have put a gun to Hitler's eye and pulled the trigger back in the mid '30s, before the Holocaust? Before Poland and Leningrad and the Battle of the Bulge? Kill one man and save the lives of millions.

This is what Rumsfeld was asking. Wouldn't any of us have wanted to drive the butter knife into Hitler's neck and watch him call to his mother as he died, gurgling in his own blood before he had the chance to kill millions of innocents?

Of course we would. Any of us. Hand your grandmother a seven-pound sledgehammer and lead her to the back door to Hitler's office, behind where he sits, give her the chance to sneak up on him, and she'd gladly split his skull and return smiling, pelted in glistening gray matter.

We know what happened because no reasonable man would step forward to end the evil man's life before World War II. And so World War II existed. And the siege on London. And D-Day.

All because nobody would put arsenic in his breakfast coffee.

Oh. Would it have been all that unreasonable to kill Hitler before World War II? What appeaser of tyrants would say it would?

Except for our silly laws. Ridiculous laws that suggest killing someone for something they have not yet done is illegal.

This is true primarily for an aspect of life we call "free will". But we know that's malarky. Once a tyrant, always a tyrant. Expose yourself to a child, expect to die at her father's hands for the rape you know you will commit someday. Maybe if people got that through their heads, the world would be a safer place to live.

But first, we have to agree with our government and dispense with these irritating laws.

Donald Rumsfeld suggests that those of us are confused, unpatriotic, cowards who object to the killing of bad people who are involved in hating the United States and may do something awful, but just have not yet had the chance. He suggests that he is shoving the ice pick in Hitler's ear - pre-invastion of Poland - when he sends more Americans (and British and Australians) to die in Iraq while Iraqis kill more of each other. Because more bad things may happen, and we must stop them before they do.

Just like we would have stopped the Holocaust had we been given the chance back in 1937.

And knowing the American people would have never agreed to such a line of reasoning, we had to be led into the Iraq war with unclear, defective, deceptive information. And then scapegoats had to be found, so CIA personnel were fired and the careers of many individuals had to be destroyed so we could kill 100,000 Iraqis, 2500 Americans, and turn the place into a chaotic battleground of ideological sewage.

Those who object to the war are not supporting our fighting men and women, who have no medical care to look forward to when they come home missing limbs or half their civilized minds, because we have to cut spending on veteran's benefits to give tax breaks to the clients of Jack Abramoff. Those who object are not patriotic.

To be patriotic is to sacrifice our children's lives to attack the evil that might happen, to line the pockets of Bechtel and Halliburton execs, to line the pockets of Dick Cheney and his cronies, fair compensation for fighting the evil that may occur.

Let us all now arm ourselves with kitchen knives, our squirrel guns, our bows and arrows, let us all break into the homes of our shifty-eyed neighbors and kill them in their beds.

Then let's go to Iran and kill all of them, for what they might do.

This is how you save the world for the good people. This is patriotic, according to the American government.

Oh, but how you twist our words, iceowl. We didn't say we are killing them for what they might do - we are killing them for taking down the World Trade Center. For planting bombs in London and Spanish subways. We are killing them to make them stop packing their shoes with plastique and entering shopping malls and aircraft.

Would you not defend yourself against these cretins who believe, beyond all reason, that God himself is on their side?

God is on our side, iceowl, and the sooner you realize that, the better for you. God tells us to kill these people for their indirect actions against us. Direct death is the only adequate remedy for an uncertain future.

Stand in our way, lose your home. Expect camp relocation.

Last night I heard something on television that renewed my faith in humanity and the American system of ideals. Truth, liberty, and freedom for all.

Keith Olbermann's "special comment" must be recorded somewhere for posterity. He was not speaking to the audience of Fox News, but rather, a group of people who could follow complex sentences, coherent logic, and had a vocabulary above that of Big Bird.

When a man stands up to the Fascism that might occur: stands in front of the wall and proclaims that not only does the emperor have no clothes, he doesn't even have the receipt from the cleaners - this is the stuff that made America great, and reminds us that there are still reasonable people here.

"We are not descended from fearful men," said Olbermann, quoting Murrow.

We do not seek to kill the evil men who have assumed control of our government for what they might do, or even for the tens of thousands they have killed in the name of crimes they did not commit, but might have. We seek their defeat in the American system of elections. And we will have it.

And because we are reasonable, we do not have to resort to carnage to remove this regime, that so closely parallels the fascist regimes they claim to fight we may as well forget men ever stepped on the moon.

I am not descended from fearful men. And I have outgrown my need to react to all that angers me with childish physical outbursts. I do not find it amusing my government thinks the world stage is a giant grammar school playground, forgetting as our fathers taught us, that the strongest kid on the block must never punch at someone weaker.

I will not climb into my neighbor's window to kill him. And I pray that after we are done voting this November, nobody will.

It is times like this that I never cease to be amazed at the sheer intellect of people like iceowl.

Check it, I finally have a (somewhat) stable dial-up connection at my home. This means no more long walks when I want to send an email or check something out online.

This is a small victory, and I will savor it like any victory should be savored: with a tall glass of green tea and a pepper jack cheese sandwitch! The internet not only opens me up to the rest of this planet and it's inhabitants, but also connects me to infinite worlds of the imagination, and worlds that carry with them my sentiments. Shows I used to watch when I was 6 that don't come on anymore, toys I used to play with that I lost, books I used to read and can't find anymore, all can be connected to me through this magic that is the internet.

I have lived a deprived life, because responsibility has chained me to my "home." But I have achieved a small taste of victory... and I think there will be more to come.

4:05 PM

I was on the phone in the living room, calling someone because I hadn't had anything to do until then. The PC upstairs is my sisters, and she's using it. Looking out the window there's a... bird approaching.

The bird hits the window, and I'm assuming it's nothing major. It didn't seem like too hard of a hit, and I thought the bird had flown away. Still, though, I said I had to go to the person on the phone, and went outside to check.

Things had not turned out well for the small, yellow bird that I found lying underneath the window, not moving. I was unsure of the type of the bird, but it was a small brownish bird with a yellow belly. The impact, going head first, must've broken its neck, and it seemed very much dead. It had no reaction to me, and I picked it up and, to the chagrin of my mother, took it inside to tell my sister. My mothers opinion on the bird was "Get it out of the house."

We (me and my sister) agreed that there wasn't much we could do, and that we could leave the bird outside, or bury it. Having images of the poor thing being eaten by insects (right away) was disheartening, and I felt that we should respect it by burying it. Some others would think it would've been the best idea to leave the thing alone in the first place, but I was unsure whether it was alive.

I dug a hole about a foot deep, still in my socks from the suddenness of the situation. and placed the bird inside, in a sort of fetal position. We covered up the hole, and, deciding that we didn't want it to be dug up by some sort of wildlife, planted chives over the hole. They'll be back next year, and may serve as a sort of headstone.

Dealing with the death of an animal seems to be a rite of passage in our society, sadly enough. The death of a pet, wildlife found half-alive and cared for, or just a short encounter with an animal, as I had, are things that are always unsettling. I've been exposed to things such as dead birds on the street, or small animals our cats have killed, but it's always disheartening.

Situations like this serve as a sort of depressing reminder of how humanity's expansion affects animals, but given what happened, it's hard to blame ourselves.

I am, however, printing out a silhouette of a sparrowhawk for the window.

Is the rainy season here already?

Woke this morning to a curtain of rain outside my window. From 29 floors up, it’s all silent and everything just looks blanketed in a thick grey fog. No doubt there’ll be reports later of fallen trees and flash flooding all over the island.

How’s one supposed to get to work in this? I think Jack Johnson got it right when he suggested staying in bed with banana pancakes, but I can’t… I’m an SQL slave.

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