Outside the street’s on fire
in a real death waltz
Between what’s flesh
and what’s fantasy

In an effort to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, I read now that the Pentagon and maybe the CIA are planting stories in the Iraqi press about how good the war is going. Iraqi journalists are being bought and bribed and the propaganda machine seems to be in full swing.

And here I was, under the illusion that one of the tenets of democracy was a free press.

Meanwhile another eighty five more Americans died in Iraq in the month of November. I don’t think the powers that be report the number of injured or maimed American personnel and the civilian death toll from suicide bombers and the like just seem like an afterthought.

And the poets down here
don’t write nothing at all,
they just stand back
and let it all be

Here in the States, people will be clamoring for investigations and threatening that heads will soon roll. For me, that music sounds hauntingly familiar. I think that only one or two lower ranking people wound up taking the fall for that debacle and the brass higher up were either reassigned or got off scot-free.

Come on, this isn't Jennifer Anniston we're talking about.

Such is our attention span

And in the quick of the night
they reach for their moment
and try to make an honest stand
but they wind up wounded,
not even dead

On personal note, I just received word from my doctor that my bad cholesterol is still about a hundred points too high. It should be around seventy or eighty but I registered an off the map one hundred eighty one. They’ve quadrupled my dosage of Lipitor and want to check under the hood again in three months if the numbers don’t start to come down.

Christmas, that’s right, Christmas, not “the holidays” or some other politically correct term, is fast approaching. So far, I’ve been struggling to get in the mood and I’m finding it hard to get in the spirit of things.

A good friend of mine who runs a loan operation shop for small business’s solicits donations throughout the year from employee’s and customer’s alike. He does his own personal version of the Toys for Tots program and he asked if me and Anna would like to join them in shopping for presents and the wrapping them up this Sunday.

At first I declined. After all, my beloved New York Giants were taking on the hated Dallas Cowboys in a battle for supremacy in the NFC East. The winner has a damn good shot of a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.

If it makes me (and any of you feel any better), I might be re-thinking my strategy.

I'll take a shot at redemption, no matter how small, wherever I can find it.

Note: After writing this I flipped over to CNN to get my dose of the news. It seems another ten Marines were killed another eleven injured when they were on foot patrol and an explosive device was detonated nearby.

December is not looking any better.

(Lyrics lifted from Bruce Springsteen’s fine tune “Jungleland” from the album Born to Run)

I would love to believe the world is not filled with perverts. Really, I'd love to. I'd also like to believe that it's not filled with incompetence either, but what's the point in fooling myself, right?

Today, as I was walking home from school, a guy came up to me and started jacking off.

The only things I can really think to say to this are "What the fuck?" and "Why the hell would anyone pull his dick out in such cold weather?"

But you see, despite the inclement weather today, I was truly in quite a happy mood and childishly enjoying the sound of crunching leaves. It was at the moment that I was particularly noting how beautiful was the contrast between the orange blanket of leaves and the grayscale of the rest of the world, when I heard a male voice behind me. I turned around to face what I assumed was merely an innocent inquirer of the time, only to notice that the man before me had his dick exposed to the brisk winter air and was eagerly and doggedly tugging on it.

God, I wish I had hit him with my umbrella, but instead I stomped off in disgust, hoping that I'd be able to laugh about this sometime in the near future.

And looking back on the events of this afternoon, I admit I was angry and disgusted by the way this stranger took advantage of me by fantasizing about my body without my consent. But after that initial shock and outrage, I began to really think about the psychology of such an enigmatic and seemingly fruitless activity. Did this guy think that I would be so astonished by his throbbing, uncircumsized member that I'd want to have sex with him right then on some cold and wet park bench? Or was it some kind of control thing? Does he feel if he can make someone else feel uncomfortable, he somehow holds some kind of power over her? Or perhaps there is some thrilling risk factor involved that I don't understand. Was he excited by the potential that I might have high-kicked him hard enough to ensure he would never spawn any more perverted jackasses like himself?

Whatever the case, I'm sure I'll never figure it out. O well. Unfortunately, there are a lot of perverted people in the world. There's a lot of incompent people as well, but I guess you can't neuter all of them.

It has long been a failing of mine that I don't really talk a lot about how I feel. I still recall back in 2000, when I came home from overseas, discussing with a friend where I'd been, and why I disappeared, and she commented that she'd gone back through logs of our conversations, and made the following observation:

At the time, it felt like we spoke on how I was, how I was feeling, and that we spoke on how you were feeling. But on reflection later, you never really answered. You answered just enough to cover yourself until you could move the conversation away from the subject.

And she was right - that's a pretty accurate summation of what I did.

But why? That's the $64,000 question.

The best I can put it is self-deprecating. I spend so much time deriding angst and depression amongst people, yet I'm frightened that my answers of "not good, not good at all" will just be seen as attention-whoring, trivial little 'pity me' pursuits.

Truth is, a lot of the time, I do feel below average. I dislike many parts of myself. There is a pride in my accomplishments, most definitely, but there is also a lot of self-loathing, both of tangible and intangible things, some justified, some not.

Part of this, too, is not wanting to be a burden, not to subject people to this. I guess it comes back to the whole 'fear of losing face'. I need to learn that people don't need perfection, they need someone human. Practice what you preach, Robert. That's one of the ironies, I'm so good at listening to others, encouraging and reassuring them in their moments of weakness, but generally not my own.

I'd like to think I'm getting better, and I'm trying. But if you think there's more under the surface, poke and prod. It might just come out. And next time, it might even not require that poking and prodding.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.