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He fell in.

He fell in.

Years of dancing around the edges and flirting with false senses of moral resilience and immortality, such daring made his succumbing all but eventual and indeed, inevitable.

The fall broke him in so many places he hardly noticed, as quickly, its many promises of hedonistic freedom and bawdy heathenry which, like me, had long lured him, were now magnetic opioids blurring his pain with fantastic new pleasures and emergent lies which laid just beyond his newly found recognition.

Highly demanded by those who’d fallen in before him, the purity of his soul was rabidly consumed until he sold each remaining small piece of his best self for promises that no longer came true and relations that soon regarded him simply as just another one who’d fallen in as they once did, ravenously hungry and blind.

From one who escaped to one still imprisoned, I wish you freedom and resistance and feel all your pain of which you are now utterly ignorant and numb.

I miss who you once were, and who you may yet become again.

the price paid for peace

I lost a friend last night who’d been missing for many years. He was stabbed at the hands of another addict promising to make him feel better. Killed by a tiny bubble of nothing that punctured and invaded his tormented heart, ending all hope he would ever be found. I will both miss him and forever wonder at the price he paid for his peace. #usingislosing


You’ve been there a hundred times before.
Good food, good service, good price, so you’re back for breakfast. You order, wait, make some conversation, and watch a table of eight loud, self-centered, drunk leftovers from last night walk out on your waiter because they changed their minds after ordering and because they are assholes.
It’s crazy busy and you can tell he’s been busting his butt as he walks out to serve two huge trays of ordered meals to another suddenly vacated table. It’s been a long night and at the end of his shift, this is a tough pill for him to swallow.
What’s it like to be him right now?
Still waiting for your own meal to be served, you call him over and ask if he might wrap up a few of those unserved sandwiches for you to buy and take for lunch at the office. It’s just enough goodwill at the right moment to lift him out of a momentary pit which, at 5am, is working overtime reinforcing a belief that nobody cares about him.
Your offer engages him for a minute or so to talk about the rough night and the demanding crowd who care nothing about what it’s like to be him, only how fast they can get their food and which excuse they’ll use to stiff him on a tip. But he’s off shift soon and because you were different…because you empathized and showed you cared at the right time…he heads home on a slightly more positive note with a renewed belief.
And a small piece of humanity is redeemed at a cost to you of just $27 plus 20%. And it’s totally worth it.
You say your goodbyes and head to work. And though yours is already in the office fridge, your coworkers thank you for catering today’s lunch. Especially your underpaid, overworked receptionist with three kids who’s been doing without all week until payday.
And though it’s just beginning, today could easily be the start of the best day of your life. And maybe his.

the right thing

Funny, but there are probably just as many stories about someone doing the right thing and winning as there are about someone doing the right thing yet losing. Both are inspiring not for their outcomes but for their decisions to deliberately do what is right, regardless the outcome. When we do the right things, outcomes cease being the climax, focus, meaning or purpose of the story but the doing of the right thing is itself, the sole author of the inspiration. Outcomes are too often overrated, mostly by those who don’t live by faith and so doing, learn nothing about still having joy in endings unknown.

i was a junkie.

I was a junkie. The cravings were unbearable.

I was using day and night around the clock and my mental health was suffering.

I had dealers all over.

Podcasts, TV, talk radio, the internet, subscriptions written everywhere.

I was addicted to politics.

It nearly ruined my life and made me an angry, contentious man nobody wanted to be around anymore.

Then on the road one day, frantically pushing buttons on the dial for yet another fix,

I found the news and this time it was different. It was good news.

It was the SOS answer to prayer when I was at rock bottom.

I started with a few minutes a day on the way to work.

Then took another 15 on the way home.

I got hooked. My attitude changed. I have friends who like me again

and I’m up to more than 30 minutes a day.

I’m Don M. And I’m an SOS addict.

remembering Allison

She swore us to secrecy but while she’s now gone, she’s not to be forgotten for her many generous acts of service. Allison called me last December and said she wanted to share some kindness with a HopeLink client in great need. I shared one very sad case in particular and after we both cried a little on the phone, she was off and running. She shared her own Christmas Jar with this family under the cover of night, placing it on the doorstep, ringing their bell, then running off. The next day, our client phoned her case manager in tears saying someone had left her a $400 jar of coins on the porch, which coincidentally was the past due amount on the family’s power bill. Allison’s secret gesture that evening just before Christmas kept the power on for her family and started them all back to church once again with a renewed belief there is indeed a God who provides. Allison, you earned your angel wings well before you left this earth and your secret is now out, but those who knew you won’t be surprised at all. #whatagal

my not so favorite things

Spiders, clown faces,
And bridges collapsing.
Burglars who break in on me
While I’m napping.
Slivers and big dogs who
Foam at the mouth,
These fears turn all my anxieties south.

Zombies and barfing
Free falls from high places,
Tornadoes, lightning and
Tightly closed spaces,
Birds that attack and
All things that sting,
These are a few of my scariest things.

When there’s alley fights,
Entries with no lights,
When I’m home alone,
These are a few of my scariest things,
All fears of the great un-known.

IRS letters and CPS knocking
Nightmares I’m falling
And empty chairs rocking,
Faces in windows when I’m in the shower
I can think up most anything scary at this hour.

(reprise Chorus)

isn’t it funny

Whether naked or afraid
In the most desolate of places
In the loneliest of moments
Or darkest of spaces

Not a penny to your name
Nor coat on your back
Not a crumb in your stomach
Nor morsel to snack

Closest to death
And the end now in sight
On your last breath
And losing the fight

It matters not time
It matters not place
You can always find humor
And a smile on your face.

the king

So who cares Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is Monday?
I didn’t send a card, but neither did everyone. We’re all too busy making plans for an extra long weekend we did nothing to earn to get out of town, party longer, harder or just get stuff done. Ask the younger crowd and most don’t even remember the guy. Fewer will actually celebrate the life of one who refused injustice, abhorred inequality and remains the outspoken icon from a world and a time when virtue and purpose were more important than life itself. He was a black man in a white world, making his battle even more unthinkable and a quick and easy target…which tragically it became.
Fortunately, our society has evolved. Injustice and inequality no longer being social issues, outspokenness is just the unnecessary rockings of a boat for those whose ignorance means another paid day off on the calendar or an extra night to drink away what remains of our deep social ills. Wishful thinking.
To actually remember the achievements of a dead black guy and the world today had he not stood up and spoke out might be buzzkill for the plans of most. I do hope some will wake up Monday morning with prayers, dreams and hopes for which they might willingly die, or at the very least, pause to send up a thank you for one who did.