» What happens to the avalanche of feelings that engulf the boy who is suddenly confronted with things too terrible to handle? .. by things too confusing and too overwhelming for a little guy to deal with?
.. the very same boy .. who learns that the guy who he *thought* was his dad .. really isnt.
.. that his REAL dad (.. who he now realizes that he never knew, that he never met) .. never-never wanted anything to do with him. (His own flesh-n-blood.)
Those kinds of feelings.
Perhaps the boy, in an attempt to salvage what's left of his family life-as-he-knew-it, courageously adopts a position (.. not unlike what you or I might attempt) ..
.. with a cri de coeur that says » "This man will always be my dad," [ regardless of the divorce ].
It aint long however .. until the only-dad our fifth grader ever knew .. wants nothing to do with him (either). Both the dad-he-never-knew .. and the only-dad-he-ever-knew. Neither one .. want anything to do with him.
[ » Lance's Dad Dies of Cancer at an Early Age
A dying parent is bad enough. I grew up across the street from a boy (.. who later became an All-American wide receiver) whose dad died when we were young. It was obviously difficult. For everybody (us friends included).
I remember wanting to, but feeling powerless to comfort him (.. while he was crying, as all us kids sat silently, watching cartoons) .. that morning when all the neighborhood parents had left to go to the funeral ..
.. cuz I was a little freaked out myself. (Death has a way of freaking out the living.) We're talking grade-school age.
Over the years all the other neighborhood dads tried to pitch in here-n-there .. to compensate. For example, they took him on vacations with them. And when we were going for pizza, a parent would usually say, "Run across the street and see if Patrick wants to go."
But a dad who doesnt want anything to DO with you .. with his own son. I cannot quite wrap my head around that ..
That must really mess with a boy's sense of self-worth, no? His self esteem. His self image. His very sense of self. ]
The kind of shit that can eat you alive .. little by little .. by gnawing away at your soul. Until you don't even know that it's gone.
Until you don't even remember what it's like to have one. *Those* kinds of feelings.
I am not talking about the emotionally-distant concept of 'abandonment' and its associated 'issues'. No. I am talking about real-life emotional trauma .. the kind that can crush a 10-year old beyond all repair. [ Only the truly fortunate don't know the difference. ]
I'm talking about the particularly vicious storms-of-life that are too much for anybody to handle .. even the most mature adult .. which makes the prospect of our 10 year-old weathering such a storm .. seem sadly remote.
Things that most Americans, I suspect, would be hard-pressed to even imagine (.. much less be prepared to walk-a-mile in-the-shoes thereof). Because these are wounds that cut deeper than any knife. No stitches will sew up those wounds.
We'll return to our Fifth Grader and his newfound life-in-a-whirlpool .. but right now, let's shift gears .. to something a bit more cheery. =)
••• today's entry continues here below •••
» The Awesome Autumn Full Moons
.. I would choose the day of the October full moon .. when it's good-n-dark .. and the moon has had a chance to rise high in the starry sky .. so high that the coyotes and the wolves could not help but howl.
Now most of my friends would pick a mid-summer day [ .. they must love to sweat, I guess ] .. but the night of the October full moon is when I feel best ..
.. when I'm most in-my-element .. when I feel most alive, primal .. invincible, bulletproof, omniscient .. nuclear grade, vital.
Any of the autumn full moons would work .. Sept or Nov .. but October would definitely be my first choice.
I grew up in Connecticut, where we had awesome autumn moons. It gets much chillier there .. than it does here in SoCal. But that is where I came to love the autumn full moons .. during which I feel thankful, a sense of gratitude. (Tho I can't explain why .. perhaps because that is when Thanksgiving falls .. in autumn.)
» Getting Out of Jail on an Autumn Full Moon
In jail, you can tell/see whether it is day or night outside (.. light or dark), but you cannot actually see anything .. cuz opaque plastic barrier-covers are but a few feet away .. on the other side of the catwalk.
I set out just as the moon began to rise .. over the mountains. Tho in autumn, the moon rises much further to your left (.. compared to this photo I took back in August) .. and it gets darker much faster now.
Coming straight from that confining concrete cell .. to the freedom of mountaintop splendor .. was a TRIP. The radical sensory warp-factor definitely altered my state-of-consciousness .. with a very cool surreal tinge radiating around everything.
And here-n-there you see people going about their relatively quotidan lives.
» The Hyper-Sensory Stimulation of Returning From an FBM Patrol
We used to experience a similar thing .. returning from an FBM patrol [ Fleet Ballistic Missile ] .. where you spend a few months underwater .. in a submarine (.. with lots of stainless steel .. but not much grass or sandy beaches).
Not overwhelming, but very .. stimulating. Hyper-sensory aliveness. Very cool feeling. Happy-happy .. for finally getting back | thru | done | over | finished.
Even the *air* feels good to breathe (.. cuz, for months, you've been breathing refurbished air). Oxygen is a beautiful thing. Makes you feel alive.
Most of all .. is the VISUAL stimulation. Wow! Cuz, for months, you've rarely seen for more than 50 feet, usually less than 10. And only the most drab of colors. The Navy only buys the color-of-paint (pale green) .. that nobody else wants. (And it's easy to see why nobody else wants it.)
But now, scantily clad bain de soleil beauties sporting their bronze bods [ mid-summer near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii ] can seem downright hypnotic. Totally enchanting.
I remember the Dog saying to me .. during the first few minutes after we had arrived back in Hawaii, while standing there on the pier at Pearl Harbor » "Look." He was pointing at something in the distance, seemingly transfixed.
"What?" I said, squinting like a mole with florescent-white skin, which hadnt seen a lick of sun in months.
"Trees," he said. =)
It felt strange indeed to be genuinely captivated by the beauty of something so mundane as a row of tall palms .. swaying gently in the distant breeze. Something that people like us who lived there in the Hawaiian islands [ Oahu ] normally took for granted.
I've never forgotten that sensation .. after all these years. But I totally remembered the same feeling when I went for a long moonlit walk last month. Brightly moonlit. The October full moon. Monday night. (Screw football.) Fresh out of jail.
The short version, part 1 » Getting out of jail feels really, really good.
Part 2 » Getting out of jail is a lot like returning from an FBM patrol.
I'm sure the coyotes must have been asking each other, "Who's the new guy?" =) I heard a large group of them give an especially rousing cry. "Good to be back," I said under my breath. "I missed you, too."
» Jail vs Prison
This was the second time I've been to jail. They kept me twice as long, this time (.. even tho my sentence was the same).
My first time in jail (last year) was a very social experience. I was never alone. Not for one second. Heck, even while taking a stinky krap .. there was always another inmate close by (at least one) .. within arm's reach.
"Hey dawg," I said, seated there on the icy, unsanitary, stainless, nastiness-of-a-throne, as he was reading to me from a National Geographic, "Pass the toilet paper. Sorry to be using up so much of your pillow."
It surprised me that jails provide no pillows. So inmates use things such as rolls-of-toilet-paper and paperback novels to cushion their heads. Bed, Bath & Beyond has never seen the inside of a jail, that much is clear.
Inmates can be remarkably funny. Humor is a form of stress relief. "How was I supposed to know the car was stolen?" I heard one tell another .. as if practicing his plea for the judge.
THIS TIME however (during my second visit to the concrete-and-iron dungeon of slamming doors) .. was very different. They isolated me .. the whole time.
[ My case was considered 'Civil' .. so (unlike last year) they segregated me from 'Criminals.' Each and every time the deputies stuck me in a different cell (alone), they wrote the word 'Civil' on the door's glass-window .. with a colored magic-marker. ]
Shortly after I arrived at the jail .. in the Van from the courthouse .. and right after I talked to one of the nurses at the jail (.. who was seated safely behind a bulletproof plexiglass window) ..
.. who asked me (.. while I was still wearing the silver "bracelets" behind my back) questions such as .. did I feel like killing myself? .. or had I swallowed a bag-of-drugs before coming to the jail? I watched her put a check next to each question every time I answered, "No."
So shortly arriving at the jail .. they stuck me in one of these small holding cells. [ Of which they have many such cells, of varied sizes, with capacities to hold between 3 and 16 inmates ] While I was seated there alone in a small cell .. a Deputy came over to my door and asked, "What's your name?" He then turned to his left and shouted back up the hall, "Here he is!" =)
He shouted this to somebody at the other end of the long corridor .. who I did not see. Who I could not see. When he walked away I thought, "That can't be a good thing."
Im jail you don't want to stick out. Blending into the woodwork is the way to go. (Figuratively speaking, of course, seeing there is no wood in jail.)
I was glad when they moved me to another cell, because that particular one smelled bad. Very bad. Like somebody had taken a smelly krap, buy missed the toilet. Actually, you could SEE where they had missed, perhaps intentionally. [ I will talk more about "conveying the message" a little later. ]
In my particular jail, which I have heard warehouses a few thousand inmates, and takes up a whole city block, the bosses wear black shirts. I liked this. That's how I would set things up, if I were king. Black for the bosses.
In keeping with the tenets of web site optimization, today's entry has been broken into THREE PAGES. The next page is posted here » Tears of Incarceration | Stealing from Your Kids - Part 2