He didn't have much to say
when you pulled the daffodils out
from the refrigerator where she
left them since "the funeral guys"
         rejected them.

He pursed his lips only
as you pinched off the blossoms
between thumb and instructional finger
and lined them up like the heads of infidels
         along the counter.

The stems, you threw away with
their leaves and hangers-on:
only roses leave corpses worth
keeping, and only because the thorns
         survive deflowering.

Later, while you wept in my
jacket at the truck stop, wept into your
cocoa, he gathered the trophies
you took from the fridge and fed them
         to the garbage disposal.

Veterans Day...A national holiday..A day to honor those who have or do now serve in the Armed Forces..those who have given their lives and who, on this very day, risk their lives in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or where ever that duty calls...

Feeling sorry for myself this A.M., wondering why as a veteran, I and other veterans have to work on what's considered "our" day of recognition..

But then I woke up and realized, Do the troops in Iraq get the day off?? not quite...

Some where, as I write, troops are huddled, preparing for battle, risking their lives...so I'll take my day at work and honor them the best I can by keeping them in my thoughts and prayers...Be safe fellow veterans and get your asses home...


I found out that I lost my Angel today.  She's gone.  
I have her no more, she is lost.  I promised myself 
that I wouldn't cry, that I wouldn't let this hurt me 
as much as I knew it would, and I was wrong.  It hurts
as much as when I first found out this was happening,
it's the most painful thing I've experienced.

But I do not blame her, or Byron, or anyone for it.  
It happened, and well, there was little I could do to 
stop it, and had I, it would have caused more harm 
than good.  And she wouldn't have wanted it.

She was that kind of person.  She loved everyone.  
Sure, she got angry.  She did rash things, but don't 
we all?  In the end, she wanted everyone to be happy, 
because when people are happy, good things happen.  
That's who she was.

I want to remember the times that we had together.  
I want to cherish them as if they were solid gold 
heirlooms passed down since the late sixteen hundreds.  
I want to hold them like I wished I could have held 
her when she hurt, the way she could have held me 
when I was hurting.

She had a certain way of speaking.  You could almost 
feel her cheer, her enthusiasm for life, for love, 
just by talking to her.  Even when she was ranting 
and raving, I could see that she ment it as a way to 
maybe bring who she was ranting about some love, some 
joy.  Not many people could say the same thing of 
others, but I can.

She was the most beautiful person I've ever met, and 
that's why I fell in love with her.  I don't know why 
she fell in love with me.  In some ways, I may not 
have been worthy.  I am not physically attractive at 
all.  But that wasn't Lenore's bag.  She didn't give 
a shit about stuff like that.  She loved me, I think, 
for who I was, what I was.  My heart.

The one thing she left me with was a promise.  A 
promise she had me make, which I aim to keep until I 
die, and long after, beliefs permitting.  She had me 
promise that my heart would never grow cold, to never 
lose it's spark of love.  If there is one thing I can 
do for her, that is it.  To keep that promise.

Lenore Dazen Aulorna Stovall was the first person I 
ever loved.  The first person who ever loved me.  And 
she will always, always be that person.  She will 
always be that buxom blonde, with a sharp wit, who 
knew the value of a good cuddle when someone needed 
it.  Who knew how to calm a heart with a word, and a 
touch.  Who knew how to give love, better than anyone 
I'd ever known.

I miss her.  But somehow, I know she's still out 
there.  She told me herself that she may be elsewhere 
on this orb in this life.  And I aim to find her.

You hear that Lenore? I'll find you!

To me, mirrors strike me as a strange kind of thing. They give one pause to reflect and to see images of themselves of how they appear at a certain moment in time. The image that the mirror returns is not captured for the sake of posterity as it would be in a photograph or a video or, for that matter, even a painting or a sculpture. No, the image that the mirror returns is fleeting at best. It might even be deceiving.

I’ve got a person whom I consider a friend that is constantly looking at themselves in the mirror. They check themselves to ensure that nary a hair is out of place, that no food particles have wedged themselves into their pearly whites and that their clothes are aligned just right. They smile to themselves and give a toss of the head to get the look that they are striving for just right. The mirror never seems to deny them. I just don't know if they actually like what they see.

As for me, vanity has never been my strong suit. Sure, I like to look nice and clean and properly presented but I don’t spend much time dwelling on it. Lately, when I look in the mirror, I’ve been trying to find the person that’s been hiding behind it. The person that I want to be, not the person that I am.

I’ve never been much of what you might call a “spiritual” kinda guy. I’ve pretty much taken it for granted that whatever higher being there might be, whether it be God, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu or the old oak tree has some kind of plan and who was I to interfere?

Those closest to me have noticed a certain sadness in my demeanor over the last couple of months. Nobody can pinpoint when it started but they likened to the way the night just creeps up on you and before you know it, darkness has settled in. It’s only occasionally pierced by the light of the moon or the occasional twinkling of the stars.

I thought to myself that maybe it was the beginning of a head on collision with a mid-life crisis and that if I took a vacation, had a fling or two, bought some new shit and basically spoiled myself that the darkness would go away.

It hasn’t.

The other day, as I was nursing a few at the local watering hole, I mentioned to my friends that I could probably go to a shrink since I’m one of the lucky ones that has insurance these days and most of ‘em thought it might be a good idea. I was heading out the door and one of my friends told me to hold up, he wanted to talk to me alone. We made our way to our cars and he slipped a phone number into my hand and told me call it.

Turns out, it was the number of a local clergyman.

I’m not going to go into much detail about we talked about. The conversation lasted only about 15 minutes or so. As I said earlier, I’m not what you would call a “God type” but I felt a certain comfort in talking to a stranger who didn’t care about how much of a deductible there was and if could meet it. I also felt a certain sense of relief knowing that there would be no medications involved.

I have an appointment today to meet him in person. I don’t know what to expect. Truth be told, I’m kinda nervous.

I’m certainly not looking for any miracles or to be “saved” or to be “born again” or any other terms that one might use when one feels lost. All I’m hoping is that he can help provide a glimpse into the man that’s been hiding behind the mirror for so long and that the man likes what he sees.

On another note, today is Veterans Day. For those of you who, like myself, are veterans, we pay homage to our fallen and stricken comrades whether they fell in wars fought in the past, the present or the future. The battles that you fight, are fighting, and seemed destined to fight are not of little consequence. You have made the ultimate sacrifice and for that we are all eternally grateful. May you and your loved ones find peace in wherever you may roam.

I want to thank the American fighting forces for the freedoms which so many take for granted.

I want to thank them for going on long deployments to inhospitable places where they become targets of opportunity for the enemy.

I want to thank them for their willingness to fight and die in order to carry out the desires of our country's leadership (however capricious.)

I want to thank them for completing their missions throughout history, often while operating with inadaquate, obsolete, or missing equipment.

I want to thank them for putting up with bad food, cold tents, foul water, frostbite, heatstroke, and all of the other indignities they must endure in the process of performing their vital tasks.

I want to thank them for sacrificing their freedom so that I can enjoy mine.

I had gone out for dinner with my friend Courtney. I got home around 9pm and my roommate Holly asked if I wanted to take Abby (our dog) for a walk as I walked in. I said to give me a few minutes first and then I would.

After checking email etc we left with Abby at around 9:30pm. We walked down Hunter and then South on Queen St, as we almost always did.

At Charlton, another dog came in front of us, fairly big dog, but it's owner was walking quite slowly. We crossed to the other side of Queen St. As we got to the other side and just walked onto onto the sidewalk after an intersection, the leash slipped out of Holly's hand somehow. Holly took a few steps ahead, as Holly tried to step on the end of the leash and I called her name. She never did listen, especially when she knew she might be able to run. She ran about 10 feet in front of us, and then turned diagonally across the street, in the direction of the other dog.

There seemed to be a lot of traffic all of a sudden, and she was hit by a Northbound car.

As she started to run across the street, I was thinking, 'wow the odds aren't very good, but she'll make it across and bark at the other dog and when we get her back Holly's going to yell at her.'

I didn't see the actual impact. I'm not sure if I turned away, or there may have been a telephone pole in the way. I definitely heard the sound. Holly had yelled Abby's name increasingly loudly as she crossed the street and again just before impact. As she was hit, Holly squatted down on the sidewalk immediately.

I don't think I had fully comprehended what had happened, but I knelt down and put a hand on her shoulder. I think at that point I assumed she had died. Holly stayed down for a second and then ran out into the street. The distance between where the car had stopped and where Abby was seemed huge, I would guess about 25 feet or so, but it's hard to remember. There were a few cars stopped in both directions. Holly was over Abby crying.

Holly said later that the car that hit her drove past us and away at this point. I have a very vague recollection of a car going past just as I got to Abby, but I'm not sure. I didn't pay attention to the cars in that direction. A couple that had been headed in the other direction got out of their car with a towel. They said to drive her to a veterinarian, Holly said that we didn't have a car and they said they'd drive us.

I picked up Abby and got into the backseat of the car. We told them to go to Dundurn and King, as I thought Holly meant the Blue Cross. I couldn't think straight when they asked me where it was. I said King and Dundurn, then thought I was wrong and paused, and then said it about 3 times over again. Abby didn't seem to be breathing in the car from what I could tell, but I think I saw her mouth move once or twice on the way there. The girl in the front just kept asking questions about strange things and I kept answering her but wishing she'd shut up. When we got to that intersection, Holly realized it was the wrong one and that it was at about King and Locke.

We got to the clinic and I walked in and put her on the table. There was a nurse there, but Holly said that she was a vet tech and that she had stopped breathing. The nurse had a stethoscope and confirmed that.

After a little bit, Holly turned and walked into the front to thank the people that had given us the ride. I shook the man's hand and said something about him doing good driving on the way there. He couldn't speak. He just looked at me as if he wanted to do more for us but didn't know what to do or couldn't. I just kept trying to smile and saying thank you. He just kept staring back. He finally made a steering wheel motion with his hands, asking us if we wanted a ride home or anything else. I said no, that we lived close by. He kept standing there, and wiped tears from his eyes. Still with the same look as before. I had to turn away and go back into the room because I didn't know what to say.

We stood in the room with Abby for a while. The nurse had gotten a form. Holly and I just sort of stood there. We said a few things about something, but I don't know what it was. Holly asked the nurse about picking her up the next day for burial, and called her parents. I didn't know what to say or seem to have anything to say. Holly was crying and I almost felt guilty for not. I was sad, but also completely dumbfounded. We left there and walked to Megan and Amanda's. They didn't answer their doorbell, and we tried to call them from the gas station. I dialed 519 in front of their number at first because I was just so out of it. They didn't answer when I finally did get it right. I wanted to go back to try to her leash and collar. Somehow she didn't have them on when I had picked her up. We walked back down Queen, but couldn't find it. I did see a glasses case, with glasses inside beside a hedge. They had been on the road I believe underneath Abby when I picked her up. I don't know how or why that would have happened.

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