I could just start this story off with the phrase: I see dead stories everywhere. There you go! And that’s exactly how it’s going to be started off. It is befitting, after all, you’re probably wondering what a “Storykill” is right about now? Well another writer of sorts coined the word. Much of this post is not a copy but an idea duplication of sorts. After all we’re both Seahawks football team fans and have to live with the aftermath of an epic storyKill.
Exactly what is a “Storykill”? To describe it I guess, it would have to be similar to buzz-kill or killjoy, storykill described as Seth said it, is that feeling left behind that haunts you when choices alter the course of your narrative—propelling you to that not-so-happy-ever-after that would have defined your story as a tragedy. It is those epic fails so often we’re reminded of by family, friends, or our ex’s, that truly haunts us.
Ok. I’m just now recovering from the tragic Supper Bowl Seattle Seahawk’s loss. In short a “Storykill”. The hawks had one of those unreal seasons after coming off a supper bowl win the previous season. But after an iffy start to the season, my hecklers were starting to beat me down. “The hawks are just a lucky team and not all that good.” “We gave you that last one buddy.” Those were the kinds of things said to me, with that last one said to me by a Denver broncos fan. A 49’ers fan said,” the hawks are a JV team now!” Wow! It was hard, but I have been a fan of the hawks from the beginning, through all of those embarrassing losing seasons, so it’s hard to discourage me.
The hawks this season made it a habit to be a second half team. They came back from a sure losses in the 3rd or 4th quarters of what seemed like the last 8-10 games of the season. They took that style of play right into the supper bowl. In fact right into the last seconds of that game. Friends became discourage watching the games, throwing up their hands, thinking all was lost. But then it happened–or so I thought.
After one of the most unlikeliest catches of all time (in any sport ever) the hawks end up on the 3 foot line—first in goal. Just 3 feet from the glory of winning two supper bowls in a row baby….they lose? Instead of handing the ball off to beast mode as they called their running back, they throw! They throw an interception. Some say they handed the win over to the other team (Who will forever remain nameless for me). I sat in shock. We threw an interception! We lost! How was that even possible?
Storykill struck, and struck the Seahawks hard. Every sports fan has their own stories of disappointments where their team let them down. Just a hand full of unlucky fans though have had to live through such an epic fail of this magnitude, laser etched or so it seems, into the memory banks as well as into the inter-web—creating ghosts that will mercilessly haunt them for the rest of their lives. After all it is just an entertainment, It’s just supposed to be a fun game.
I have had to repeat that more than just a few times—but yes it’s just a game. Why do sorties like this affect us so deeply? It is now a dead story—and those dead stories, right from the very moment of completion are also hardest to bury. It can be the same feelings anyone gets when your favorite character played by your favorite actor gets booted out of the story line. Sometimes by an unexpected surprise, a twist in the story line itself, and still at other times due to true life happenings. It’s the same feelings when the bad guys win in the movies, or in the office where you are working with inter office politics. Storykill’s don’t just happen on TV or in sporting events. They can hit close to home too. Fairytale weddings ending in divorce, causing splits, criticism and hate, and children’s pain. There can be also those children born against all odds with loving parents who struggle against those odds—only to see positive promise along with bright futures dim with drugs, alcohol, and addiction; or for that person who passing their final test in getting their degree; a degree where no one sees worthy enough to hire you. Life is filled with storykill’s, dead ends, disappointments that at least in our minds view “weren’t supposed to happen this way.”
Life is full of storykills, or stories that can kill the human spirit. Some believe, every person that they come in contact with when hearing their life’s stories, that life is unfair and needs to be equalized somehow? But where do we draw the line, and how do we quiet down the complaints, in an effort in separating the complaint of unfairness, to the stories of just dumb luck, and or the ill effects of just dumb choices made and their uncomfortable personal outcomes? Success in life isn’t an exercise of keeping score of what you have in comparison with what I have. Stop keeping score at the football games so to speak? Just how would anyone equalize the inequality in different appearances in supper models and the average person? When will we just see life as it is? Being unfair! Weather we like it or not life is just plain unfair. Plastic surgery may do the trick for some people? Even so life isn’t always perfect or fair—plastic surgery some times leads to more surgery–and plastic surgery doesn’t always age well for some people.
When we look around our lives, we can certainly find plenty of storykill’s, we may also have plenty of people who will constantly remind us of a few as well? But living life isn’t about measuring up to some lofty standard someone else set for us. Aren’t we all just trying to overcome life’s odds? Storykill’s are nothing more than a wrinkle in our life’s stories. Challenges presented to us to keep us from being bored with living. Making an effort, or making unequaled effort’s in overcoming those challenges is what keeps us young in spirit and in heart. Storykill’s aren’t the death of the author’s story as they intended it to be, but the reminder to the author that a new wrinkle has developed and a new chapter now needs to be written.
All the best.
Thanks to Seth Pierce who to my knowledge coined the phrase “StoryKill” and who I also quoted.
When it comes to seeing our government and its officials acting stupid, this has to be it.
WASHINGTON — Half of the U.S. Senate wrote the National Football League’s commissioner Tuesday to urge that he push the Washington Redskins to change their name.
“The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” the lawmakers told Commissioner Roger Goodell in 50 identical letters.
They went on to say: “The Washington, D.C. football team is on the wrong side of history,”
The last I checked it is impossible to be on the “wrong side of history” because history doesn’t pick sides—it simply is what happens, or had happened. So what does that statement really mean? For these Senators to have ruffled feathers over a NFL team name is somewhat laughable when it is DC that makes a living on word play. Changing and rearranging “words” and their definitions in an effort to massage and manipulate the public’s perception on issues.
Ever ask a Senator to explain what it means to have a “cut” (or a reduction, or a balancing) in budgets? With any answer received we all could ask…Would that be a cut in present expenditures or future tax increases? Again definitions are many, when defining the same things or words, almost as many as there is elected officials.
When looking at official government application or paperwork like those of the census and others, we would find ethnicity boxes. Check the box that applies to the applicant is the question mostly asked. Are you “White or African-American, American Indian, Latin…” maybe it’s not all that political correct as I stated it but you get the picture because you’ve seen it. Why can’t the government take the lead of changing its own predispositions to color biases? Why do we need to create voter blocks based on divisions along color of skin? Just as it was in the Travon Martin case, definitions of color were mixed and remixed into an ethnically cleansing soup. When the governments focus should have been case facts and unnecessary violent acts that happen all too often to all ethnicities in America, instead of who the (victim or the perpetrator) was and what their color of skin is. What a missed educational opportunity the Government had in ending racial handicapping.
It is government that seizes the advantage in keeping the color preferences alive, fueling the fires of prejudices in the minds of the public. If they only would have listened to MLK’s I have a dream speech? They might have taken up the torch of attempting to unite the citizenry into this great melting pot that is America over the tactic of defined voter classes and new political victims?
Instead of picking and choosing between violent tragedies, holding onto some of them for political gain above others; like in the Travon Martin case, climbing over themselves to get into the lime light while saying publicly nothing about the “Children of color” murdered in Chicago streets and other big cities, instead quietly accepting, spinning, and redefining terms and events as being acceptable collateral damage in their minds. Where are the public rebukes by officials? Where are the consistencies? Where are all of the common sense approaches to new ideas instead of preserving the game play (I’ll take “revolving definitions of political word usage for a $100 please) status-quo?
None of these 50 senators who are complaining to the NFL to change the team name the “Washington Red Skins” are willing to cleanse the racial biases in their own hearts and minds, while taking up the true motto of impartiality—judging things not on the color of skin but by the content of character. Common sense seems to be extinct in DC?
If a name change of the NFL team the “Red Skins”—also known as the “Skins” is a must!
Because Washington DC loves word games, let the “Talisman Wars” begin. Let the Washington Red Skins change their mascot and all team talisman symbols, let them be changed to the “Red Potato” AKA. Also known as a “Red Skin”. Unless vegetables can be racists… this problem has been solved!
What exactly make for a boorish neighbor? Where is the solution? Alas, couldn’t a complaint just be an expression of dissatisfaction over some issue that could just as easily then be resolved as two adults? It seems we in modern society are just living a bit too closely to each other these days. Your life style, or mine, seems to be just rubbing people wrongly when the intention was never that. Or because we live too closely to each other we become aware of a neighbor who are a bit hypersensitive to often, or they’re real reason to live, is to become an Olympic champion complainer, complaining over little to nothing to you? Everyone has the right to live and let live, until that neighbor, who is happily willing to make an attempt to trample our rights, in the rigged exercise of their own.
Because our new modern homes are on postage stamp size lots that are close enough to lean out of our windows and be able to shake hands with each other. (Not a recommendation or an endorsement to make such an attempt) It can make for some neighborly challenges to say the least. Throwing into the mix of things an Olympic hypersensitive person, whose specialty is complaining, you may have just moved into uncharted territory?
When it comes to noise, what is a frivolous complaint, and what is legitimate? Isn’t loud noise loud noise—should it be blaring music, baying hounds, screaming kids, or screaming parents who scream loudly at their kids, those teen-aged drivers who rev their hot rods, or those old men with midlife crisis’s that now drive Harley Davison motorcycles, net alone rev them up late at night, or just an oversized flag snapping, crackling, those noises that one would make when the wind is whipping around? None of these are a laughing matters when one needs sleep!
At some point a reasonable grievance, expressed a bit too often, will bread resentments, creating a point where people may start building those social walls to protect themselves from the childish actions and reactions, to those noisy nuisances over just peacefully resolving them. One who causes extreme noise nuisance, the other who is perceived as a complaining noisy nuisance? All of these are nothing but intrusions on what the other person sees as being normal. When we are so close to the problem, it is hard to understand the problem, without also having an open mind to see it from the others point of view. So when is it a reasonable, making attempt to live within our own rights without seeing them trampled by those who are religiously rigged in exercising of their own at our expense?
A recent story had this person complaining, and wondering what to do?
“Our neighbor’s unusually large, illuminated American flag that makes so much noise on windy nights that we have to retreat to another bedroom to sleep? He refuses to take it down on even the most blustery nights, and it flaps loudly right outside our second-floor bedroom window. He has let us know that this is politically sensitive to him and I’m sure he would have no qualms about going to the local press if we were to formally complain. There’s apparently no town ordinance regarding this. What can we do?”
Your thinking, a loud, noisy, flapping, snapping whipping flag on breezy nights keeping tired, exhausted, physically spent people from their sleep, and a neighbor who is just got an attitude in resolving the issue? Really? It is true–but how would you all handle it? What is reasonable? What is the adult way of resolving it, or is there a resolution, or is the complaint just hypersensitive?
I heard a story once; where a kid kept kicking a football into a neighbor’s yard, then when screaming after it early mornings, most, if not every weekend mornings, just to repeat it all over again until parents got up to make breakfast. An annoying alarm clock to say the least. Over the course of a summer this was complained about, one neighbor to the other. These complaints were respectfully given, and ample time in resolving the nuisance was also given. The problem was those social walls as defensive actions were built one brick after the other, separating common sense from common decency. These neighbors hardly spoke with each other afterwards. The social walls, and how dar you talk about my kid that way, separated people for the most part in being able to get along with each other. I would hate to think if the roles would have been reversed, what the reactions would have been?
Slow to anger, these people didn’t wish to go to war with their neighbor, and true to form when the summer was over, it stopped! Until the next summer. A year older, and so much stronger, the boy kicked the ball onto the porch and added a loud thud to the screaming, that was also repeated several times each morning. Where was the neighborly respect for other people’s property? What would happen if the window would be broken by the ball? What to do, when each side sees the other as crazy?
Well, one day the boy left the ball on the front lawn. After dark the annoyed, went over and retrieved the ball. It would have been easy to keep the ball. But these parents would have just gotten another when the boy complained about not having a ball to kick around. These parents just allowed the boy to rule the roost. So (we will call the annoyed person Mr. X) Mr. X took the ball down into his basement and into his shop, and opened the ball up and filled it with rocks, closing it again careful to re-stitching the ball exactly as it was manufactured. Then he placed the ball back onto the lawn, exactly where it first was. Grandpaw…..excuse me….Mr. X never complained about losing sleep that night.
True to form the boy, ran out of the house on Sunday morning and hauled off and kicked the ball as hard as he could, as he had been doing all summer long. Instead of a thud of the ball crashing into the neighbor’s porch, it was ear-piercing screams of pain. Resulting from a broken foot.
From that time on Mr. X got a great night sleep, even on weekends. Problem solved.
Because this happened back in 1950 or so, the parents quietly just learned a lesson along with the boy, about treating your neighbors with some respect. Treating people in the same way as one would like to be treated. Is what people used to say when trying to instruct people on proper behaviours.
These days, people get litigious and sue! So what does one do now days with unreasonable neighbors, whether it is noisy balls being kicked early mornings, or those noisy patriotic flag flying neighbors that are allowing your sleep to be blown away in the wind?
Stories that are factions, are just a mixture of facts & fiction. Not that there is any intention to distort facts? But more of a blending of two different people’s stories into one. As children grow up, don’t we take on the characteristics of the people around us, or just bits and pieces, sprinkled with fictional fragments of others, of whom we once have rubbed up against in life, as the presentations of what we have become? What we will be? Or what drives us towards our own branded individualism?
In the end, everything that we may discover in life, the most valuable things, those memories and experiences are what makes life worth while.
Long before there were the electronic entertainments of video games, social media, text messaging, or even E-mail; back in the slower time of the past, way back to those semi-dark ages of times, when snail-mail was the fastest thing going—yea decades ago. Kids had to have mental toughness, along with well-developed imaginations. There were no such things as a text-messaging thumb! Whining about a power outages, or how that was so cruel to have to endure. Because computers, TV’s, video games, even cell phones need power. Back in the day, complaining about power outages just wasn’t excepted or allowed. After all it was an adventure, candle light indoor camping, with fire-place rosted marshmallows to boot! It was all good!
In these times, schools were places of higher learning, where bullies got one black-eye, if not two, because good people banded together on the principles, that good always won in the end. Why did those easier times of the past, give way to our litigious, laborious, over caffeinated, high-speed, and run like hell lives where we live in fear of everything, our modern progressive lives of today?
There are two ways in raising your heart rate; one is exercising, the other is getting pissed-off remembering those good times when you were a child, and realizing that your kids are never going to have those same experiences. I always ended up in the same spot that I started out in when I exercise. Within our modern lives it seems like the same thing. Thoughts and memories of the past while exercising made me weary and exhausted. I stop the treadmill and left the fitness center.
Trying to remember all of those summertime’s as a kid, as being the best. Far better than the deadlines, and stresses of our present existences. Not really wanting to except, that our lives have become that what we have built out of them. Where were those summertime’s of the past? Where relatives (for a kid this meant “cousins”) they would always come over to our house, or at time’s we went to theirs. Plenty of good food, caused us to concoct entertainments to burn off all of our energy. These were far better realities, then those lives of hell we find ourselves in today, having to run in place on a treadmill just to keep fit. Not liking any of it, yet complaining about all of it.
Where did our mental toughness go? Did we forget how to entertain ourselves within our own concoctions in order to relieve stress?
As kids we came up with annual family sporting events. We had Ping Pong tournaments if it was raining out. Living in the Northwest where we receive more liquid sunshine then actual sunshine, indoor events were part of it–no TV at all. When and if it was sunny we had football, basketball, tag, and night-time hide-and-go-seek. We would play in and around the trees in the yard, completely shaded during the heat of the day, and play with child-like ferocity the rest of the day into the night, only taking breaks to refuel/eat as fast as we could, and resume play till we collapsed.
Being that we were smaller kids we all played football. Smaller yards seemed so big then. Later on all grown by a few years, we thought of ourselves as giants and so basketball seemed the sport to play. But play we did. As we got older we drove ourselves to playing fields, Because those yards truly were too small to play in. At the park if there were other kids, we invited them to join in. The more the merrier.
If the park was too crowded to play, then at times we played in farm fields, sand dunes, oversized yards fenced off by barbed wire. Making the game of football more interesting, the barbed wire was the unnamed defensive player for both teams, which also played on both ends of the field as the goal. Nothing seems impossible when you’re young and invincible. So barbed wire goal lines and defenders were by nature small things to overcome. I remember only one time out of the many times that we played there, where a player got caught on the fence doing a diving leap for a touchdown pass. It turned out a play that is still talked about at reunions. The catch was made, the player was stuck on the top run of the wire, and needed every player to lift them off the wired fence, and I bare the scar to prove it all to be true.
On another day when energy levels were over the top. I remember one such fun-filled adventure, in between rainy days we found a field to play in, that to us was NFL great. Few rocks, grass everywhere, it looked NFL approved minus 60,000 screaming fans. In the heat of play we completely overlooked the facts that… where there are farms, open fields by water, there were also the remnants of animals.
Someone once said. “If you ever played football in a cow pasture, you know the meaning of “Watch your step.”
When one team started to pull away score wise, the game got more intensely played. Less attention was paid to the facts of what would become a small wrinkle to the game. Sprinkled throughout the field was the tangible evidence of the existence that cows lived here, slipping and falling was more of a tightrope style of play. Tackling the ball carrier that was rushing for a first down, or a goal, made the game of football into a quick step dance of bravado, within a mine-field. It wasn’t long before the question became more of a when, to the where, in how bad you want to win–over the slipping sliding, evidence of tackling, and the odor of sweat mingled with bovine victory.
Long past those distant memories of those games we played, we all seem to hang onto the facts that sports are a preparation for life. But we all seem to want to reduce the risks to a point of stopping play or even the limiting the competition? But then we create society that needs instantaneous success. We seem to forget those frequented environments of our past, the friends we enjoy, books we read, movies we watch, music we listen to, the media we allow ourselves to adsorbed through osmosis, causing those marks if not scars on / in us, all because… our forgotten pasts have led us to see the negatives before the good. Today there seems no good reasons for obstacles, net alone making an effort in overcoming them. We demand something of an unrealistic fantasy of our life, the fulfillment of our dreams to our expectations, and within out timelines. No wonder we live in a world as screwed up this one. We seem to have forgotten to look for the fun and exciting within a child like attitudes of making unequaled efforts in finding it. We therefore have a time in history, now, today, where we live on the fuel of unequaled personal dissatisfaction.
Now as present adults, we see all of the cow dung, and never seem to see the NFL approved green grass, leaving what fun there is behind, our heads hung low.
We shouldn’t forget child-like ability’s to make boring times into adventurous ones; the limitless ability’s to naturally want to promote positive outcomes to what seems impossible. That belief in principles of being noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious— that endless energy in trying to be the best we can be, not the work; the beautiful, not the ugly, promoting things to parse, not things to curse. Seeing everything with childlike-eye-sight through the acquired wisdom of experiencing all that we can while growing up. This alone should inspire to double down in our efforts to winning the game; for life is a game, at times you may get crap, we may need to get our hands dirty and making the best of it all, with the knowledge that soap restores what once was.
Life is too short to get depressed over the fact we’re suffering a setback. It is a game of sorts after all. It’s okay to hate the game, but never the player! Fun is created when you try, never when it served to you on a plate, because we whined about it!
WINNERS WIN! NOT BECAUSE THEY AVOID GETTING ANY OF LIFE’S CRAP ON THEM! BUT BECAUSE THEY AREN’T AFRAID TO LOOK FOR FUN / SUCCESS IN THE CRAP, WHILE MIXING IT UP A BIT!! DOING SO WINNERS FIND THE FUTURE OF AWESOME!
All the best.
Over the top celebrations usually don’t start out that way. They just happen to end that way.
” Oh YA! How do you like that?” Tom shouted. Pushing his index finger into the chest of his opponent. ” Over the top of you all! Let us guys, know when you girls are ready to play again?”
Tom was one of the smallest on the team. But he could use his rolling voice that seemed to carry farther than he could himself. Being small was at times an advantage. Being built like a beer keg, made Tom seemed extra hard to tackle on the field of play. Football was the game in town, that kept the players out of trouble. At least while they were on the field.
” Tom! ” Coach Dan yelled out. ” What was that all about?” Didn’t you listen to me in the huddle?” Coach Dan had moved over to the side of the sidelines that Tom was occupying for the moment.
“Ya, coach. I did.” Tom was looking down at the ground in front of him, somewhat ashamed that he taunted in that way. Wondering if that was the type of over the top celebration, that the coach has mentioned?
” Tom! Man I wasn’t kidding about the sportsmanship, you can’t do that!” Coach starred Tom down. Looking for some eye contact between the two, as the indication of some kind of understanding. Tom glanced up at coach timidly.
” What’s a good type of celebration? One that doesn’t involve taunting the other team, giving them the psychological advantage.”
” I don’t know coach. ” Tom said. With a barely audible voice.
Coach Dan had a tough type of coaching style, yet respectful of these young men. He knew they needed discipline, direction, on and off the field. Yet they were just boys. If they knew that he had once tried to convince his younger brother, that they had just found him on the door steps of his parents house. As the way of telling him how he came to be. A type of taunting of him. The team may not respect his style of coaching, or even his direction. Now, how can I explain this to Tom, yet make an impact on him? Coach Dan was slightly distracted, for a moment.
“You know what the Pro’s do with their celebrations during the game and after? Don’t you?” Coach picks up Toms head with a gentil lifting motion of his hand, untill their eyes met. Saying again. ” Don’t you?”
“Yea they high-five each other!” Tom answered. Tom didn’t like the game of fifty questions. So he gave an expression to reflect the feeling.
” Or they give thanks to their God, by going to one knee, doing the cross motions on their chests. But that one isn’t what I telling you to do. That’s more personal.” Coach Dan was becoming uncomfortable talking about God and all. He wasn’t the boys minister after all. ” They also at times, after a great victory, pour Gatorade over the coach afterwards. You have watched, or at least seen games like that. Right?”
“Yes!” Tom replayed half heartedly. ” Coach! Going to one knee and thanking God and all. Doesn’t that imply that God picks sides? Doesn’t it give the other team the impression of taunting from God? like God is on our side over your’s?” Tom Gave a slight smile. Knowing coach was uneasy and all. Not the subject that a football coach was to be teaching. But coach brought it to the table didn’t he?
” Follow the Pro’s lead. Being respectful. Don’t taunt the other side after a good play, or score! You use this! ” Coach slapped the helmet on Toms head. ” Don’t waste it! As far as the God thing… good points with that. You can follow what ever your family’s convictions are. You hear what I’m saying?”
“Yes sir.” Tom responded.
After the game some of the parents were standing around, talking to coach Dan. Going over some of their replay’s using memory’s of the game, from their different prospectives, and their positioning in view of the game in relation to the field. Their talking seemed like a quiet hum of semi-excited ex-players, all to eager to give their critique.
Suddenly out of the blue, a women started to scream out.
” Oh Ya! How do you like me now? ” She threw her hands into the air, while spinning around. She then stopped and directed her words towards an older man just sitting there in disbelieve. ” You thought I couldn’t beat you! But spanked you like a red-headed step child. Oh Ya!”
Dan shook his head. ” She makes my job a bit harder with that kind of out burst.” The group of parents barely heard Dan. Fully entranced with the going on’s of the women’s taunting.
Dan looked briefly at the rest of the group and then glanced back towards the women. Realizing that the group didn’t even hear what he was saying. Suddenly out from behind the women Dan saw Tom and his buddy Rick, carrying a bucket of Gatorade. Dan voiced the words ” No! ” But no sound came out of his mouth.
The boys took a hurried aim and slooshed the old woman with Gatorade. Then took off running.
The women screamed out with a piercing high-pitched growl. ” What the Hell ! Who is trying to kill me with ice-cold drinks. Tom! Tom !”
As Tom ran by the group of parents, coach reached out and caught Tom by the shirt. Suddenly stopping him in his tracts, almost lifting him off his feet by getting caught instantly. The look of terror was all over his surprised face. Along with some fear remembering coach’s talk.
“Just what the hell are you thinking with a stunt like that?” Coach Dan barked. While looking for a good explanation.
“You said that we shouldn’t taunt people, but celebrate properly!”
“Yea. But not kill some old woman with a heart attack by cold Gatorade! ” Tom was struggling to free himself. But coach had an iron hold on his shirt. ” Shouldn’t you go and explained at the least?” Coach Dan questioned with more authority then usual.
” What? My Grandma?” Tom shouted back. ” You said if there was a great victory we should celebrate like the pro’s! So I just poured a bucket of Gatorade on my grandmother’s head because she beat my grandpa in a game of electronic Scrabble. Something that never happens! Ever! ”
To the losers it sucks! To the winners it is sweet! The proper celebrations to what ever we’re experiencing at the time. Is at times hard to explain, in choosing, or teaching, or even demonstrating the appropriate celebration to use. Who knows if any celebration is just an attempt in pushing someones buttons, or really just an instance of thoughtlessness, acting in a celebratory way? Aren’t celebrations by their nature spontaneous to the winners of something? Or just the fans way in participating along with their team in a great victory? Celebrations can be pushing buttons indeed. As well just an over the top event in spontaneous celebration?
All the best.
Two steps, is more than the first foot placed in front of the other, a sort of time travel, if you will. Traveling through life’s journeys throughout our world gives us all unique prospectives. Observing the sights and the sounds, as well as meeting new people, or watching them along our way. Just living life, while enjoying the smallest of mysteries. Watching people versus people throughout this journey is nothing more than personal observations, fragmented events, acquired within a daily schedule. Observing people in their natural state, from a slight distance. Gives new life to an old panting of sorts. Just ordinary people who have chosen to paint a deceptive self-portrait, instead of using bright vivid colors. They have a tendency to over use pale pastels in their presentation of themself’s towards others. Yet from a slight distance, two steps off to the right or left, or just from behind, or even in front. We have a perfect vantage point to observe life, in the boldest of colors. Who are they really? Why do people put up a façade? From our observations we can plainly see the truest of pictures that these people present. No fronts, no camouflage, no agendas towards their wishes, or wants, within their presentations. People in general present themself’s differently when there isn’t any personal self interests or agendas to there interactions. Like a black room, the smallest of sparks appere as bright and full colored as the sun. We who are all to shy to posses or present these bold colors of bright light within our self’s, net alone alow honest expression of them. Only making a half-hearted feeble attempt to hide true identity’s. If only we allowed true self-expression, un-incumbered by the thoughts of only panting that what we feel others want see. If we were only honest with ourself’s. We can then see our self’s from the vantage point of two steps removed from where we then stand in relation to our universe.
I have never met another person, that also didn’t actually hide themself’s in plain sight from others, unwilling to express themself’s boldly, my self included. They take on the characteristics, or just bits and pieces, sprinkled with fictional fragments of others, of whom they once have rubbed up against in life, as the presentation for all to see. So in their giving in this way, they camouflage themself’s as to the what, or who, they really are? A copy, at best! Never reveling the orignal panting, of bold, bright colors within themself’s towards others.
So it is with me then, one foot placed in front of the other, observing people versus people in these journeys. The quiet observer two steps removed that surrounds us all when we venture out into the world. Looking at and observing others, while also being observed I’m sure. Observing the fictional, fragments of individual characters, who present themself’s in some kind of fictional gene pool they have created for their own self-image. The perfect stranger, or your neighbors, sales clerks, teachers, ministers, coffee barista, police officers, class mates, parents, husbands or wifes, and yes even your children, just about anyone and everyone, that is also walking along with us in life’s journey. So in celebrating the bold colors presented without an agenda, by real people as they appear hidden in plain sight. Just two steps removed. I have created Two Steps. A regular feature of people, and the things they do as is. The small, as well the brief encounters of two different time travelers coming together, just two steps removed. A day in the life of Aubrey.
OJ and Pete
OJ was the nick name that was bestowed onto this genital spirited person. A boy who was 20 years young or so. He was often accompanied by his mother who was not only keeping a watchful eye on his every action. But was also teaching him as best she could, to his ability’s. OJ was born with ” Downs syndrome “, as well he had a brain disorder. Where his brain would swell, putting extreme pressure on it. After having operations to relieve the pressure. OJ also had to endure insult to injury, by having to ware a football helmet, to protect his head. To relive the pressure the doctors needed to remove a part of his skull and replace it with a plate. Only to replace the skull pieces again later on, when they felt the problem had been solved. The helmet was incase he would have a seizure, or blackout, protecting him should he fall. Such a fall could have kill him.
Because of downs, OJ didn’t have the ability’s to pronounce his words clearly when they were spoken. Though he tried to. The ability to do so just escaped him. For the differences that he had. People who didn’t care to get to know him, or even try to understand, just what kind of life he had to live with all of his sort comings. Instead teased him with name calling. This was how he got the name of OJ. Pete never knew OJ’s real name. But OJ never seemed to mind because OJ Simpson was also his favorite football player.
The memory of these days and events of those two boys seemed just like yesterday, but now years removed with the passage of time. The impact each of those two boys would have on each other, was not known at the time. But so it is with all history. While we are living history it doesn’t seem special for that moment of time. Seem all so unimportant at the time, but then leaves an unforgettable permanent brand burned into the minds memory’s. So deep of a brand that when ever those times are again thought about, the emotions come alive. In that same way, with the same intensity, of the orignal events just years removed.
OJ had that special way of just such an impact on someone. From the first time his mom helped him with introductions to new people. Being a somewhat shy guy, he needed help with shaking hands and introducing himself. Lessons his mom just felt he needed to learn. To the faded views of two boys having to say good-by as one went one way in life and the other seemed to be left-behind in it. This was a good summer for these boys to have found just such unforgettable memory’s, the kind that last forever.
Pete didn’t know just what was wrong with OJ, but recognized there was something. He didn’t care. OJ was like an older brother to him, only having a sister for real, a brother was a nice change. despite the facts of people making fun of OJ. Pete just didn’t care, nor did he care for the attitudes of those people. As for OJ, he didn’t seem to even know that they were making fun in a cruel way. Or did he? If so OJ didn’t let onto the fact, by getting upset. Like water on a ducks back. It just rolled off him. Getting upset only one time in front of Pete, and then he let it just disappear, OJ then just kept on truck-en.
OJ had a mind-set to learn what he can in life, and Pete had the willingness to teach him what he could. Pete’s dad had the contract to put the floor coverings into this building. The same building that OJ mom was working at. She worked in the office. Ordering supply’s and making sure that the progress of work was flowing for the job superintendent. This angle disguised as a mom, took the job so to be able to also watch over OJ throughout the day. The job superintendent also tried to help out, knowing the extreme cost of institutionalizing OJ. Besides! They both thought OJ would do better with his moms watchful eye. So he was more than accommodating to these special needs.
From the first meeting and hand shake, OJ and Pete were buds. When Pete got sick. OJ came to see him everyday. When Pete was back up and about the two weren’t far apart. Pete’s dad recognized the special bonds of the two and allowed their inter action while working. Reassuring OJ mom that he would be responsible for keeping an eye on them both. Keeping them safe from all construction dangers.
During just one of those times Pete’s job was to spread some glue for glueing down some carpet. OJ wanted to learn how to do it as well. OJ’s mom was terrified at the thought. But Pete’s dad convinced her as long as he has some old clothes on, that also didn’t matter if glue got on them, he would supervise the glueing. Everything would be Okay. One would think that downs people can’t do much of anything for themself’s. But after all they are people too! People that wish to challenging themself’s, feeling with every success the same sence of accomplishment, self-worth, and a renewed sence of a can do attitude created within them self’s. Is that not powerful? The same power we all strive for. Discovering new things through our self exploration, and expanding our personal potential? OJ, just as all people, just want to have sence of usefulness added to his existence, being able to contribute. With spreading glue he had all of that. Spreading glue with his buddy was an added bonus to his experiences in life. OJ’s joy expressed, within his ginormous smiles, while working with his bud. Smiles while together never seemed to go away. One could just say a real happy-go-lucky type of experience for OJ.
OJ was careful with the glue, listened to every instruction given while trying his best. His best was extremely slow compared to Peter’s experience of doing it. But each time the spreading needed to be done he finished a little more in the same time. In short he was gaining speed, getting better with each hour that went by. By the end of the day OJ was beaming with pride, being able to look at all of the newly finished carpet that was installed. Despite the sticky glue he had on himself, and clothes, he knew he had done his best. When mom showed up to pick him up. He was all to willing to shar the glue, and wanted to give her a hug.
The next day OJ came to work all prepared to do more glue. This time he remembered when he forgot a spot of glue, you don’t try to walk out onto the glued surface. It was extremely slippery! On day two, he didn’t get near the glue on himself. In fact day after day he got less and less on himself. After 13 weeks of working with Pete he got as good with keeping the glue off himself as Pete was able to. But still need to work on his speed of glueing. At least those were his goals in his thoughts.To both of the boys working together was just the bomb. The best of times, that didn’t seem like work at all to them.
During working hours the boys were working together most of the times. After work the boys were inseparable. Weather they were takeing walks to the park together, or playing some game they made up. They always were smiling and laughing. The odd couple, to say the least. One about 6 foot tall, and the other barely 5 foot tall. One with the football helmet on, and the other without. From a distance they looked like two boys looking for others boys to play a game of football with, just one boy had more equipment to play the game.
At times the two boys could be seen skipping rocks off the surface of the water of a pond behind the building project. OJ had trouble in skipping rocks, but never stopped trying. Pete seemed to be a source of never-ending encouragement that OJ welcomed. Weeks went by untill the day came when it happened. OJ found the perfect rock. Flat, round, and smooth. He took his best shot at throwing it. The rock launched from his hand towards the water, striking the surface of the water, then relaunched back off the surface. 4 skips untill it to sink beneath the water’s surface. OJ threw his hands up into the air and let out a scream of success. For him it was as good as 50,000 people cheering in a football stadium, with a defining roar of cheers, after the winning goal was scored. It was the greatest experience of OJ life to date! Pete also cheered for him, as if it was the most unbelievable play of all time. Both of the boys were slapping each others backs and yelling out extra loud cheers, while dancing their victory dance. For the first rock skipping that OJ had ever done. It was indeed the most unbelievable play of all time!
These two boys shared 13 weeks of live together as if it was a life times worth. Both made an impact on the others life and gave each other the gift of memories for a life time. All though OJ didn’t have the same gift of time, it was this time spent with his friend Pete, that left him feeling like he was just one of the regular guys. The most valued thing in his life.
Years later Aubrey had the off-chance to run into Pete, they both reminisced for a while about those times. Both of them had the biggest smiles on their faces, with the thoughts of different events.
” Hay Aubrey! Do you remember OJ skipping rocks?” Pete said. While reenacting the way OJ was throwing rocks, using an imaginary rock in his hands. He when through the motions of throwing as OJ did.” The way he surprised me when that rock lifted off the surface of the water in his first skip. Well that was priceless!” Pete began to reenacting the celebrations by throwing his hands into the air.
” Ya. That was quite the picture I got from you boys. Wished I had video of it! ” Aubry said. ” Sure was something else.” Aubrey slapped Pete on the back, as if to join into the celebration.
Pete wiped a tear from the corner of his eye, as he sat down again. “You know the best memories of life are the ones that bring back the power of that moment being remembered. With the same emotions and the same intensity of them. The same as when it first happens. Even when it has been a life times worth of time ago!” Pete wiped another tear from the other eye. Then raised his glass and said. “Cheers to those memories. May they be worth more than gold, may they comfort us when we remember them as we get old!”
Aubrey raised his glass to meet Pete’s and said. ” Cheers! To a life well lived. To positive influences, to tears of joy, and the knowledge that we did our best without regret. Never having to ask ourself’s. What if?”
Aubrey quickly noted in his note-book with the memories of the event still fresh in his mind. ” We truly never know just how we impact others in life. Untill we look back through it, using the eye-sight of what others must then see in our actions. In the same way that I saw in OJ and Pete” Is this the views that people have when just two steps removed?