“Once I was checking to hotel and a couple saw my ring with Blues on it. They said, ‘You play blues. That music is so sad.’ I gave them tickets to the show, and they came up afterwards and said, ‘You didn’t play one sad song.’ “
Did I use the quotations marks right? Did I site this correctly at the bottom of the article? Does it have enough buzzwords to make it click worthy and does it have enough content to attract readers but not too much to detract them? And at that moment, I turn away from the keyboard and delve into mindless drivel including cartoons on FX and a constant stream of memes on social media. My attempts at freelancing via pay-per-article sites and assignment driven services have been futile. I couldn’t care less about writing about the best gluten-free restaurants in Provo or how some nameless female revolutionized blood testing. It just hasn’t been my bag. I wanted to be able making money at it, but I couldn’t sell my soul just to make money on such junk. Even the most eloquently put piece, written by Hemingway for instance would be garbage if he didn’t care about it.
That’s exactly where I hit a wall. I was searching for an outlet but none seemed like a good fit. I wanted desperately to write, but there didn’t seem to be a single place that would read what I wanted to write. A flash of inspiration came from a more than excellent friend of mine that requested my creativity for a newsletter that is a subsect for a club I used to be an esteemed part of. It was an assignment, and I tackled it like a free donut in a breakroom of a company that doesn’t give you a Christmas bonus. I saw it as an exciting opportunity to poke back and see who was still listening from that group. At the same time I was flattered at the thought that people might still want to read what I had to say. Either way, I bit hard into the wafer of writer goodness and choked. I had developed a complex. Nobody really wanted to read, so why write?
Because it’s an art form, it’s an extension of a thought process that would otherwise be ignored. It’s a manifestation of whirling ideas in a mind that would otherwise be lost in a dream state at night. They’re words that are mine and mine alone, and your approval, rejection or lack of acknowledgement is not in my power. For far too long I was afraid of rejection while writing, Maybe it was the nasty hate mail that I got from assholes while writing for the club, maybe it was just lack of positive reinforcement for good pieces. Psychologically I was trying to fill a void. Philosophically I was trying to find my place in relation to the world by poking at the general population and asking what they thought. The responses dwindled and nobody gave feedback. Fingers fell silent.
Why I felt like hopping back on the keyboard is beyond me, but I am and trying to make a more solid commitment towards writing pertinent pieces and bringing some sort of light to people who may be in the dark. Format is going to vary, but am making a commitment to expanding the horizons of anyone that might want to read.
So, seeing as how it’s the holidays, why not regale the populous with the saddest story you’ll ever hear. A story that will question humanity and if you could ever love again.
“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make his tail wag.”
Anyone that has ever had a pet, dog or otherwise can relate to the connection that you feel with another creature. It can be a reptile, a fish, hell, I remember there was a coworker that had a guinea pig that she’d had since high school (so the damn thing was ancient). You go home and see their little face, and something pumps in your heart and your brain sends happy juice. Even when they’re little son of a bitch bastards, they’re still our little buddies. If you’re a good human being, you should love animals.
There are people that don’t, and they suck. I can’t defend them, they just don’t. I witnessed my neighbor kick drop a puppy, him being three times bigger than me I let my fingers do the talking and called the authorities. They still have dogs, I’m sure they still have a mean streak, but I didn’t what I could to stop him from doing it ever again. That isn’t even the saddest thing. I’m painting the portrait of human compassion. Loving something that can’t give you anything but love back.
Sitting in the passenger seat of the work van, tired of the day, tired of my job, tired of most things in life, I turned towards reading the plastic signs attached to the telephone pole next to the road. Signs promised yard sales, roof cleaning, and some guy named Jimmy that wants to buy my house for cash. Then, at the bottom of the stack of the signs was a picture of a sweet black doggie with one little ear sticking up and a floppy one. He had a big old doggie smile and I could see a curved tail indicating that he wasn’t just smiling for the camera, but wagging his tail for it too. He was missing, he had ran off from his family as they dined at the adjacent Texas Roadhouse.
It took me back to the several million times that our little buddy ran loose through the neighborhood. He would dart in between fast traffic and drink out of scary puddles. He’s bark at the scariest dogs in the neighborhood and scoff at any attempt at being retrieved. We’d have to chase him with the car at up to 30 miles an hour until he pooped out. Every single time he got out there was nothing that would keep me from scouring endlessly until he was back at the house. Typically he’d come home, dehydrated and dirty and always looking a little guilty, but never did he get scolded. We were disappointed in him, and his Houdini ways, but he was still an excellent doggie. Tail wagging.
Reading that sign I was reminded of that helpless feeling of not being able to find him and sympathy for the family that had lost their doggie. I, however, found there doggie. Less than four feet from where the sign was posted, there he was. Tail wasn’t wagging, smile absent. A casualty of a four lane fast moving road. The irony of that same dog, laying underneath that sign was crippling, and I was choked up thinking of it. Knowing the family had posted the sign with high hopes and the dog probably trying to return back to the last place he remembered seeing his family was sad. Everything was just sad.
The next day we passed by that same spot. The dog was gone, the sign was gone, but the memory remained. I’ll forever be tattooed with that vision, that dog.