A Path Without End

There’s a man sitting poolside. Palm trees stretch skyward. Turquoise water sits still as glass by his side. Closing his eyes he rubs his brow, taking a long slow breathe before returning to the impermanence we call life… and I chuckle aloud, thinking he’s frustrated with the thirty naive students he’s promised to mentor over the next month.

It’s day four and he’s a sweaty mess, looking less like guru with the passing of every vegan meal. White cotton clings to him like freshly microwaved Saran Wrap as he slowly lifts his guitar to lead us in our morning meditation for gratitude.

His voice is weaker than it should be, yet somehow I struggle to keep up. His tone is off, yet somehow it resonates at a depth I can’t access alone – like he has the strength of a senior mason, but it’s built from spirit rather than stone.

My eyes well with tears as long buried emotions flood to the surface dragging rusty epiphanies into the light of day… Independence is my weakness. Guilt serves nothing but fear. What I am isn’t who I am. Love is acting without expectation. Learn to be and let the doing happen.

Eleven minutes later my heart opens to all I am, all I have and all I’ve experienced – the good and the bad – my cupped hands filling with blessings as my subconscious mind pulls warm lessons from the harshest of life’s offerings.

Six weeks later I’m sitting on a small sheepskin rug across from woman I just met. We’re dressed in full white, perched under a pavilion shielding us from the desert sun. Two-thousand others sit attentively beside us in long rows stretching East to West.

We lock eyes, raising our arms to begin a one-hour partner meditation. Pressing our index fingers to each other’s foreheads we start chanting a Sanskrit prayer. Within minutes the awkwardness fades, only to be replaced by searing shoulder pain. She wiggles forward, changing the angle of her outstretched arm hoping to ease her pain. Minutes pass. She wiggles ever closer, forcing me to uncross my legs and extend them long over her hips.

Her eyes smile in return as I relax my body, unleashing a machine gun style fart that richochets off her thighs and reverberates through the crowd like a grenade dropped down a slot canyon. An army of shell-shocked yogis erupt in laughter as I shrug my shoulders and continue the meditation feeling lighter than ever.

Day two begins with a new partner sitting across from me. The meditation leader calls for quiet before projecting an image of my guru onto a giant screen. It’s time to pay tribute to a man who touched thousands. To a man who knowingly gave the final weeks of his life to teach a group of strangers how to fall in love with themselves – believing that contentment is built from within upon the foundation of self acceptance. To a man who embodied the prayers he sang and the lessons he taught, patiently answering every question with conviction and sincerity while pancreatic cancer chopped at his body – felling him the same way my mother passed a few months earlier.

I wept as they played a video of his final song, feeling both the pain of his illness and immense gratitude for having the privilege to learn from such a humble and generous soul.

When done, the leader took a moment to implore all the creatives in the audience to share their stories, their art, their music and their creations with the world – citing Guru Dass Khalsa’s work as a treasure for future students to learn from and imploring us to share that which we have to give, for it is through expressing our own uniqueness that we each play our role in the theater of life.

Yesterday I did yoga at the studio where I took my first class. I found a spot in the back behind a guy who reminded me of myself nine-years earlier, bending slowly and reluctantly like a crowbar trying to lift the moon – and I chuckled once again, seeing no end in sight to the path he’s just begun and every yogi seeks to follow.

Guru Dass, Bali 2017, just weeks before his passing.

________

Teachings of Guru Dass Khalsa:

On why we do morning Sadhana…

“You do it to feel blessed and open to the infinite within yourself. To know yourself. The purpose is to grow as a spiritual being and quiet your thinking mind. You do it to open your heart to every blessing. To know God loves you, that you are complete just as you are, that you are worthy. You do it to free yourself from feeling unwhole and disconnected.”

On the first Sutra of the Aquarian Age… Recognize that the other person is you.

“Everything is within. The world is a mirror of our awareness and understanding. As we change, our world changes. Our ego separates us from the whole. Desire creates suffering. Suffering is born from thinking. We are born enlightened, without a thinking mind. There is no should, could or would living in the present. We are born happy. Our story of our self is based on our memories… it’s not real, it’s just perception, an illusion – our story is not our true SELF, our Atman. What we think of others is a reflection of what we think of ourselves, our judgements. Our true SELF is permanent, unchanging – you do not find your soul through the thinking mind. True devotion comes from knowing that it’s within, feeling connected to your own soul connects you with the divine, that which is all, the divine love within all of us.”

On the second Sutra of the Aquarian Age… There is a way through every block.

“Blocks are created by our ego, which fights against what should be. Our mind creates blocks that makes us feel powerless and frustrated… when you feel loved and complete, blocks are impermanent. Don’t trust your mind, don’t attach to how it is. Feeling love for yourself is empowering. It makes you feel powerful and deserving.”

On the third Sutra of the Aquarian Age… When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.

“We put pressure on ourselves because we are attached to the outcome of our choices… trust your intuition. Act and the pressure will be off. Stagnation and indecision causes doubt, confusion, stress and suffering – but know the outcome is out of your control. The one who thinks, doesn’t do.”

On the fourth Sutra of the Aquarian Age… Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.

“A compassionate mind accepts people of all types. Judging people harshly makes them feel imperfect, that they must be perfect to receive love and acceptance. Everyone deserves love. If you hate, you are the one imprisoned. The perception of mistakes comes from desiring a certain outcome. There are no mistakes. Compassion flows from believing we are all one.”

On the fifth Sutra of the Aquarian Age… Vibrate the cosmos. The cosmos shall clear the path.

“Do your practice! Start your day by feeling connected. Losing your self. Clearing your mind. To trust. To live. To surrender. To flow with life.”

On Life…

“Spirituality does not lead to perpetual happiness. Accept that all emotional states are impermanent.”

“When you begin to believe that you are the source of your pain, everything begins to change.”

“Pleasure, pain. Love, hate. Pride, shame. You must experience one to know the other. You know through opposites. It’s what creates balance.”

“Self love is acceptance of ones weaknesses and shortcomings, but realize that you can mature and change to leave behind the things that aren’t serving you.”

“There is no God judging you. You are the only one judging yourself. Pleasure and pain happen because you’re alive. Don’t seek the extraordinary, the extraordinary lies within.”

Same Old Story

We are not the sum of our past experiences. We are the sum of the emotional memories we’ve crafted from those events. It’s our interpretation of the past that defines our present and ultimately shapes our future. Feelings dictate thought. It’s how we feel, rather than what we think, that determines our actions. The body processes our emotions, not the brain and thus we must open our hearts before we can ever hope to change our minds.

________________________IMG_9083bb________________________

The first time I saw her she was sitting on a curb doubled over in agony from menstrual cramps. It was SAT day and she had just popped 1200 milligrams of ibuprofen. She was a hot mess and we became fast friends.

Six months later we were heading south at 100mph in my cherry red Toyota Corolla 5R5 hurling towards our college orientation. I was in a hurry to be someone new.

Later that day during orientation we were instructed to write one word on our name tag that best described ourselves. I wrote “BOLD” IN CAPITALS and stuck it in the middle of my chest. I remember the professor looking at it perplexed, raising her eyebrows and saying, “really” which of course made me REALLY insecure.

That night I spent a dime at Nickel Draft Night before walking up to the prettiest girl in the bar and screaming, “So, what grade are you in?” over the blaring music. “This is college. We don’t say that here,” she replied in equal parts pity and disgust. Mr. Bold took his leave.

They kidnapped me from my dorm room. I was blindfolded, stuffed in a car and driven to a shitty house on the edge of town. I was “forced” to drink warm Mad Dog 20/20, Colt 45, Schlitz, red wine and champagne and I was fucking psyched to do it. I puked all night and was inducted as a fraternity pledge the next day.

I failed every pledge test possible and was nearly blackballed by the brothers multiple times, but somehow squeaked my way through making some of the best friends of my life in the process. Hell week was hell and that’s all you need to know, because I consider myself a brother to this day.

A couple months later I was the one doubled over in agony.

I remember climbing her dimly lit stairs before everything went black. When I woke up on her doorstep I was sobbing uncontrollably. I’d been there for hours, curled up rocking back and forth.

I didn’t know it then. I didn’t know it for years, but something broke inside me that night. Something sacred.

It has no name. It’s simply the source of everything that’s good. Everything that loves and everything that heals. It’s the beginning before the beginning. The innate you. My inner child was no longer.

That night, my best friend told me she had been raped by one of my fellow brothers at my fraternity house. She explained it to me in detail. I remember every nuance to this day. I’d tell you, but you don’t need that shit in your head.

She was holding me when I woke up. She was consoling the inconsolable. There was nothing I could say to her. All I could do was cry. Then she swore me to secrecy.

The pain of having my best friend raped…

(the girl I told everyone was my sister because we were so inseparable that everyone assumed we were dating, the girl who took me under her wing and actually made me bold by pimping me out to all her friends, the amazingly beautiful girl I could sleep next to without getting aroused because I so completely loved her that I wanted absolutely nothing from her)

…was magnified exponentially by being sworn to complete secrecy and begged not to take action. From there, pain invited shame and things began to twist.

My brothers started thinking I was psychotic as I became angrier and more protective of her in the months and years to follow. “Don’t even look at Morris’ sister,” became a running joke that drove me to madness.

I switched colleges for a year – joined the boxing team, lifted heavy weights, got prison mean and returned thirsting for blood.

A few weeks later I stood alone in a dark room seething vengeance, screaming, “bring him to me” like a crazed animal…

But when the doors opened my first instinct was to talk, rather than fight. I needed to know why? I needed him to admit it. I needed to understand. When he denied it repeatedly I started describing the events of the rape to him in detail. He threw the first punch and we crashed to the ground smashing a window in the process.

Instantly the doors burst open and the brothers rushed in to pull us apart. I can testify with absolute certainty that murder was averted that night. Rage is all consuming. When it grabs you, you become one.

That anger and guilt tainted the soil from which my story has grown. It’s the beginning I never wanted and the end I fear most.

________________________

Two decades, fifty countries and a busload of breakups later I’m laying prone on the ground with my head facing a bunch of Tibetan sound bowls, metal gongs and weird shaman shit. A serious faced woman dressed in all white stands before me explaining the power of Sacred Geometry Meditation. I focus on my breath, trying to clear my mind of; “this.is.total.bullshit, ur.a.cooky.n.spooky.lady, i.hate.math…” and I close my eyes.

Ninety minutes later I awoke from a dream.

Somewhere in the vast uncharted universe that exists within each of us, at the beginning before our beginning, I hugged and forgave that motherfucker.

Then I paused, savoring the most liberating breath of my life and thought, “Now you just have to forgive yourself.”

We all tell ourselves stories that come to define us. They serve as the foundation of our identity, but rarely do they serve us. We cling to them mightily when we should shed them expediently.

Everyone has the power to rewrite their own story, to choose their own reality. I chose to hate a man that day rather than learning to love and care for a woman – and it’s defined me ever since. It’s the reason I must rewrite the beginning before my beginning.

It’s the reason I seek the source.

________________________

A week later I’m sitting in a circle with forty strangers. The guru jokes that he’s making us hold hands to keep us from running out the door once things get going. Everyone laughs. Turns out, he wasn’t joking.

I had to stop before the last breath cycle. I couldn’t feel my arms or legs. A corset of energy surged from my stomach, strangling my chest. My hands seized violently as if I were a star falling in on myself, creating my own black hole.

Panicked I worked to slow my breath, willing the energy to subside. As I came down I started to cry. Not for any one reason, but for every reason.

Ten minutes later I pulled myself together and made it to the door, only to collapse outside in the common area. This time I really started to cry. I’d made it to the root of my sadness, gasping for air as waves of despair washed over me…

and then I started to laugh.

Hard. Real hard. Not like a mad man, but like a child being tickle-tortured for their first time.

I’d set my pain aside and I was laughing hysterically in the face of everything that’s never served me. My stomach cramped as I snorted and jerked wildly – kicking and writhing like a delusional weirdo for twenty magnificent minutes.

All I could think was, “It’s all such bullshit. The past doesn’t matter,” as I forgave everyone who ever hurt me and gave thanks to all I love so dearly.

I rose to my feet, weightless, like a man who just shed a backpack filled with granite – and immediately checked my chest for the dull pain that’s been my companion for the last twenty years… and that miserable heartache was still there waiting, faithfully as ever.

“Fuck,” I thought. “You’ll never truly love anyone until you learn to love yourself.”

You can plant all the seeds of change you want, but healthy new beginnings only flower when planted deep in the soil of self-love.

And yet, this too is just another carefully crafted story.

It’s titled, The Illusion of My Sorrow.

Perhaps you’ve written it before.

—— end.

Love America. Ban Bannon.

I know. You don’t have time for this horseshit. You don’t want to deal with this bullshit – and you certainly don’t want to waste your day fighting ideas and sentiments that deserved to die a miserable death long ago.

I get it. I want to drink beer, ski, climb, make art, watch football and have sex. I want to be happy. Live life. Go about my day and pretend it’s o.k., but it’s not…

Instead my head is exploding and my heart is bleeding because I’m an American forged from democratic values, raised to believe that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights – and today I watch on powerlessly as my government willfully subverts the rights of my fellow countrymen.

What follows are neither conservative nor liberal ideals. They are eternal truths embedded into opposing sides of a coin We The People have the power to flip at will.

We are one nation, one people indivisible, bound together by our belief in liberty and justice for all – and nothing more. That’s it. That’s all we have and that’s all we’ve ever needed. We need not agree on anything else. Simply that democracy stands as the highest expression of political equality the world has ever known and it’s our job as Americans to preserve, protect and share or Founding Father’s creation with the world, leaning together with our considerable weight against the injustice of inequality, totalitarianism, fascism, communism and racism – standing strong against every undemocratic principle, deed and law any authoritative force tries to divide us with, because that’s what true patriots do on both the left and the right! Conservatives and Liberals alike.

Stand strong together. Red and Blue. Black and White. Christian and Muslim….

And ask yourself what you stand for and who you stand with?

_________________________________

Bannon Roll On

bannon

Proud Sponsor of the Trump Administration

News Flash: Steve Bannon is Trump’s Chief Strategist & Senior Counsel

Tired of smelling like an immigrant? Bannon Roll On offers the fresh scent of entitlement you deserve. Never again will you be mistaken for a Savage, Wetback, Negro, Towelhead, Chink, Punjab, Kike or worse yet, refugee. Finally, a product so powerful you can mow your lawn on a hot summer day without fear of condescending neighbors passing judgement on your stinky, sweat stained Polo shirt.

Never again will you suffer the melodious consequence of a hard and honest days work. You are an enlightened being of the Information Age where sweat and pride need not mingle! Signal to the world that you are indeed above them all. Above all who stoop to the lows of manual labor, those who will never climb higher than your leaf filled gutters to drink from the righteous air of aristocracy.

Let Bannon Roll On stand as a barrier between you and humanity, shielding you from the truth of inequality and injustice. You need not apply it liberally, as its strength is powerful enough to erase the shortsighted ideals of America’s Founding Fathers and desecrate the very tenants our nation was founded upon.

One application alone is enough to hide your truest desires and allegiance, acting as the curtain to your personal voting booth from which you can freely pass judgement on the worth of others without fear of transparency or reprisal. Bannon Roll On is the alternative facts of deodorants! One swipe of Bannon Roll On and your innate truth is masked for life.

Controlling, envious, critical, condescending or dogmatic? No problem! Prideful, judgmental, arrogant, intolerant, destructive, dictatorial, possessive or deceptive? No worries! Elitist, superior, lustful, cynical, condemning, righteous, scheming, obsessive, punitive, cruel or coercive? We’ve got your back! Pompous, secretive, pessimistic, nationalistic, forceful, tenacious, demanding or demeaning? We’re on your side! Ambitious, intoxicated, impulsive, materialistic, prejudiced, divisive, exploitative or selfish? No way Jose… will ever know you’re a closeted racist!

Bannon Roll On is the most revolutionary product since the Revolutionary War when noble whites fought noble whites for their inalienable rights! Fuck it. Slather this shit on and you can walk the hallowed, blood stained grounds of Gettysburg without an iota of guilt or shame for standing against the democratic values set forth in the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence.

Democracy be damned! Abraham Lincoln smelled like an immigrant. Thomas Jefferson was a liberal pussy. Those powdered wig motherfuckers only wrote those documents out of expediency, to excuse themselves from British tyranny. They didn’t actually believe that stuff. Civil liberties? Freedom of speech, press and religion? Protection of life, liberty and property? It’s all bullshit! Bring back the internment camps!

Bannon Roll On! Raise up your arms against your aggressors without fear of smelling like the hypocritical bigot you know you are! Bannon Roll On! Deny this country was built on the backs of hard working, foul smelling immigrants! Bannon Roll On! Watch on as civil liberties vanish and news agencies become enemy combatants of the state. Bannon Roll On! Sit idly by as people of color are systematically marginalized by new laws and regulations designed to protect the powerful and prosperous. Bannon Roll On! Watch on in silence as your public lands are privatized, sold to the highest bidder and raped by multinational corporations. Bannon Roll On! Stand silent as the government denies science, favoring capitalism over environmentalism. Bannon Roll On! Celebrate the construction of new jails, walls, pipelines and war machines. Bannon Roll On! Torture suspected enemies and fight fire with fire. Bannon Roll On!

Invite your neighbors to join our collective fight. For once we have successfully subverted the system and become the majority we will no longer need to conceal our identity or our true nature and we will be free of Bannon Roll On forever! We shall reek of such arrogance and superiority that the unworthy masses will willfully bow at our feet! Join us today. Bannon Roll On! Intoxicatingly prejudicial. Forcefully coercive. Undeniably nationalistic. Bannon Roll On! Let fear be your guide. Bannon Roll On! Righteous entitlement for the far right! Bannon Roll On! Comply or fry! Bannon Roll On!

Ingredients: Fear, Pride, Anger, Insecurity, Greed, Vengeance, Misery, Shame, Dipropylene Glycol, Water, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Fragrance, PPG-3 Myristyl Ether, Tetra Sodium EDTA, Satan Urine #6.

______________________

Filled with anxiety and despair? Do you find Bannon Roll On ominously horrifying, objectionable and soulless? Fear not! Together we can give him the Axe. It’s no Secret what this world needs…

Become an aware, balanced, beautiful, charitable and considerate being who defends democratic and egalitarian values confidently, Sure that encouraging empathy and equality is the path to a noble and joyful life. Believe the Right Guard of a true patriot is justice, kindness, humility, optimism and a keen respect for others. Know that Brut force is powerless to the principled and unifying values of goodness, fairness, generosity, forgiveness, tolerance and integrity. Be the thoughtful, patient, respectable, grateful, gracious and virtuous leader you yourself deserve, honoring others and inspiring them to give love, seek joy and encourage peace.

You don’t need a Degree to know the Oldest Spices are the most holistic, healing, liberating, freeing, timeless, truthful and powerful antidotes to injustice. Raise your Arm & Hammer hate with the Speed Stick of hope and a Suave dose of harmony. Even the most loving Dove knows it’s time to fight for a more egalitarian and peaceful world. So go now and flood our cracked, disparate, Arrid Extra Dry land with your best intention. America needs your loyal patriotism now more than ever.

Divided we will fall my friends.

Stand strong together. Red and Blue. Black and White. Christian and Muslim.

One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

______________________

Editor’s note: If you, like myself, favor transparency and are concerned with the state affairs in our nation right now, please consider purchasing a subscription to a news organization you trust. They need your support now more than ever to keep We The People informed.

Possible options include, but are not limited to:

The Economist, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times, The Atlantic, Time, Newsweek, Bloomberg, The Week, The Nation and Hustler.

Balancing Mankind

Man Hell exists. It’s a Hallmark store in Buffalo, NY where scented candles twist savagely at your nipples and cheaply framed inspirational posters gouge at your eyeballs. The foyer glistens with estrogen as I maneuver my way toward the greeting cards. The isles are stacked high with tacky nick Knacks, embroidered pillows and gaudy shit. It’s a hoarder’s paradise and I’m boiling with hatred for all womankind.

I blame women for a few things: macramé, ice dancing, dry humping, the color mauve – and men for nearly everything else… which is why this sign, a sign I wish were untrue, is currently taped to the driver’s side of my van.

img_8713

The idea that it’s “a man’s world” is something I personally abhor and resent, but reluctantly believe to be true in light of this last election – as I find the phrase hard to argue against after such a politically uneducated and morally incompetent man won the presidency despite mountains of evidence substantiating his numerous and unforgivable flaws.

His victory signifies to me that we indeed live in a “man’s world” – as there is no American woman, dead or alive, in the history of our nation who could display one tenth Trumps’ petulant, ranting, narcissistic, ignorant behavior and still get elected to the Oval Office. It sucks, but it’s true – and that’s why “man’s world” is on my poster, not because I wish it so.

In fact, more than anything, I’m inviting men to contemplate their inadequacies as leaders – wondering aloud if “manly” dispositions and qualities are to blame for the vast majority of America’s problems… even if, truth be told, 42% of all women voters voted for Trump!

Later that evening, sitting on my couch debating the morality of abducting female Trump voters to use as targets at my niece’s archery practice, I began scrolling through hundreds of empowering and inspirational Facebook photos from women’s rally’s around the nation – and I began asking how the fuck America could be so fucking fucked with so many amazing, intelligent and capable women inhabiting it…. and what qualities we need to instill in our children to better our nation?

42% WTF! How can that be? I thought.

And in an instant, still filled with Facebook infused pride for women everywhere, I felt scared – fearing that we as a culture have it all wrong, knowing that we emulate what we respect and we as a nation respect the wrong qualities in our leaders.

Of course it’s a matter of balance, as all things are – but I think it’s healthy to purpousfully consider why we prefer and prioritize certain characteristics when electing our leaders…. so I submit the following to you and ask which job listing best summarizes the leader you’d like to follow, or boss you’d like to work for?

American Voters Seek True Commander In Chief!

Candidate-A Job Listing:

Our ideal candidate is enthusiastic, gentle, nurturing, intuitive and possess an open mind. They exhibit a centered disposition, are supportive, relationship oriented, make suggestions while seeking help from others and are receptive to varying opinions. They must be an attention giver who empowers others, believing we should be idealistic in a graceful and positive manner even if it slows the decision making process. Above all the ideal candidate seeks to avoid conflict.

Candidate-B Job Listing:

Our ideal candidate is confident, bold, efficient, rational and possess a focused mind. They are assertive, willful and goal oriented. Unwilling to seek help from others, they prefer to give orders and act autonomously when faced with varying opinions. They must be an attention getter who feels personally empowered, believing we should be practical in a precise and strategic manner and make decisions as fast as possible. Above all the ideal candidate seeks conflict.

* The above descriptions are crafted from lists of human characteristics I found on Google posing “feminine” and “masculine” traits in opposing pairs.

Of course we all want a balance of both descriptions in a candidate, but what if you had to choose straight up – wouldn’t that indicate where your true priorities lie? It’s easy to see why Trump was elected if you are at all drawn to Candidate B.

I despise him and I’m embarrassed to call him my president, but even I have to admit that Candidate B’s description has some allure. Sadly, I think we’re all products of social conditioning and the invisible tractor beam of our male dominated society has steadily pulled us out of balance.

Candidate A exhibits more uniquely feminine characteristics and sounds amazing, but isn’t who we as a society view as an effective leader. She’s the right choice, the only choice to help bring balance to the highly imbalanced “man’s world” we’ve created – and yet Candidate B is preferable in a general election, because most people subconsciously believe “male” characteristics are superior to their opposing “female” traits when considering presidential candidates.

In effect, women have to exhibit “masculine” traits to gain acceptance in leadership roles and political office when it’s precisely the opposite our country needs to bring balance to our national priorities and personal belief systems.

So, how do you get America to start viewing the “feminine” traits of compassion and unity as equal or superior to the “masculine” traits of agression and power? And will people ever understand that the most assertive are often the least confident?

My point being, I want more women in power, not more women who think and act like men in power. I get it. Raising your daughter to be more assertive and aggressive prepares her to succeed in our current society, but does that bring balance to our communities, nation and social values? Maybe, but maybe not. It takes more weight to balance the heavy end of a teeter-totter as you move closer to center – meaning, the more similar we become the less counter balance is asserted.

In my opinion, the best way to move the fulcrum of America’s consciousness is to cultivate compassion in our men, rather than assertiveness in our women. Women need to teach the qualities they naturally embody, not cultivate the problem causing behaviors men embody!

I understand women need to be strong and assertive to be heard – but only compassion will balance America’s scales of justice and I fear that aspiring to beat men at their own game will never level our scales.

How strong does a woman have to become to be respected the same as a man? Is it not easier to change the perception of strength, than to change a woman’s natural gifts?

I’m looking at the long game and it’s a fools game, with men and women finally playing equal parts – and nothing’s changed because the most assertive continue to become the most powerful and thus, despite gender equality, the status quo remains unchanged.

But what do I know? I’m a man after all…. with a letter to share.

It was written in April of 2012, four years into the Obama presidency by a middle school girl at JHMS. The letter, which arrived late to my mailbox along with fifty others was never delivered to its intended recipient in Rwanda. Instead, I share it with you now because it needs and deserves to be shared.

It begins with a thought borrowed from Confucius and continues on, embodying the sanctity of a little girl who has already tapped the source of her immense strength, channeling an eternal power only love can trump…

letter2

letter3b

… and I can only hope today, five years later, she and her friends haven’t learned the false meaning of strength from the result of this election, the president himself – or anyone else for that matter.

—– end.

PS – If you happen to know a girl who’s initials start with the beginning of the alphabet, share this with her.

About The Author

If you look deep enough into any mirror you’ll see the reflection of your parents standing tall in the long shadow of your truth; their strengths magnifying your inadequacies, their weakness emboldening your most admirable powers. Whether you’re all they are, or all they aren’t – there’s a message for you, and only you, waiting to be reflected on…

__________________

All my fears lay beneath me, on her deathbed. “So, I go now?” she sighs, trembling with exhaustion.

Her hazel glazed eyes turn softly toward me, lost in a fog of gratefulness and regret. Unable to speak, unwilling to let go, she presses against the vast silence that lays ahead. Loving praise rains down on her washing away any comfort of illusion. She resists, tensing and writhing beneath a flow of words that make it all too real – lamenting the woman she nearly became, forsaking the future she never realized.

“Yes momma. Your work is done here. You can go now,” I exhale in reply, staring into the wet eyes of a bound soul, praying the only prayer I’ve ever prayed.

————

I’m staring out my bedroom window at a gibbous moon. A small black and white television sits beneath my cherished, glow-in-the-dark, black-velvet panther poster. Johnny Carson just ended and it’s time to pray for my mom before sliding under my Star Wars comforter. The T.V. shows have changed over the years, but my one prayer has forever remained the same.

————

It’s 7pm and Kendall Jackson has joined her for dinner, again. Of course no food will be served tonight, as her menu offers nothing but loneliness.

She rests lazily upon a green pluther couch, nestled in a throng of soft pillows, surrounded by a thick wall of historical-fiction books she sequestered herself in long ago. Her nightgown creeps high on her thighs as she settles in to watch the local news. She’s crying before the first commercial break.

I was twenty-nine at the time. She’d started drinking heavily eight-years earlier after watching her second husband, a man she no longer loved, die from cancer. I’d returned home to work on my graduate thesis. I was up before sunrise most days photographing the streets of DC before making my way to the Washington Post. I was a rising star and I’d never been more miserable in my life.

Eleven months later I found myself driving toward the evening sun. I was leaving it all behind, my mother included. Misery sought new company.

I found that and more in the shadow of the Tetons. Friendship, adventure and four-legged love made for a five star life. I felt so blessed I never returned home, for I had made my own in the high mountains of western Wyoming.

Fourteen years and six-hundred missed holidays later I apologized to my mom for running away and never inviting her to join me, companionship being the one gift she coveted beyond any other. My apology set the rusted wheels of reconciliation in motion and together we mapped a grand adventure that would never come to be.

The thought of spending a week road tripping with my mom terrified me, afraid to open myself to her unfiltered truth while driving quiet roads that offered little escape – but I reached out nonetheless, certain the trip would be our resurrection after these words poured out of me onto a page I didn’t know existed…

“We are one. Her pain is my pain. There’s no way around it, only through it. She needs you and you need her. You don’t have to make her your neighbor, but you need to make her your dear friend. I’d forgotten that we were best friends long ago before I became a man.”

You see, without loving my mom unconditionally for all she is and all she isn’t, I knew there would be no hope for me in life or love – that without this, I’d continue pushing love away, banishing myself to my own lonely existence.

No man can love a woman more than he loves his mom – which is why a man’s maternal bond is more important than any other. For once a man pushes his mom away, no woman will ever bring him closer to loving himself – no matter how much she cuddles, compliments or supports him.

Simply put, a man’s self worth is tied to his mom whether he likes it or not. A man looks to his father for validation, to his mother for love – and only one of these nourishes the soul.

Trust me. It’s true.

It’s why I kneel beside my mother now, desperate to atone for a misery I fear may never leave my side by seeking the friendship of my oldest companion, certain my window of redemption has passed and no matter how hard I push, closure will never come.

The next morning I find her laying half naked on the carpet, moaning. Her adult diaper is torn, shits piled up beneath her and she’s too exhausted to stand.

I bend down, looking to close the distance between us any way I can. I reach out, stroking her silver hair the way she once stroked mine – but she’s beyond consolation so I set to cleaning her lower half…

Her legs are withered, her chest heaves. There are no words; given, or received. Only drugs to numb and a blanket to warm – she lays silent as the night in the eye of a storm.

and I stand, staring down at the inevitability of death.

Neither the carpet, nor myself will ever be the same, I think – before turning toward the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, knowing it’s over, wishing I’d reached out sooner and once again praying the only prayer I’ve ever prayed:

Dear God, or Mother Nature, or whoever’s out there, please let my mom be happy and find peace.

The teapot wails and I turn, looking back at my mother glued to a floor she’ll never rise from again.

“The window of redemption never closes,” I think. “It endures in every relationship, forever – as long as you remain open to it.”

I press my coffee and take a sip, wondering if I’m completely full of shit.

—– end.

“Close your robe Morris. I’m afraid someone will think we’re making a lewd movie.” – MJM 2016

 

Teacher Appreciation Day

“Who is a spiritual person?” the guru asks. 

Punnu Singh Wasu doesn’t fuck around. When he drops knowledge, souls quake. He’s staring into faces he’s never seen, yet somehow knows intimately. My eyes find the ground. I have no answer. 

———-

I flash back to a few months prior. It’s the first week of January and I’ve resolved to do whatever the fuck I want in 2016. I’m on my couch researching meditation retreats. I’m on a plane a week later to Joshua Tree. I’m sitting on a pillow staring off into space. I’ve been silent for four days and a teacher has just told me that he’s going to share a story about perfectionism. I roll my eyes in annoyance. “Waste of time. This has nothing to do with me,” I thought. 

Ten minutes later I’d glimpsed my reflection in a shallow puddle, just deep enough to drown myself in. I was neck deep. 

I’m in fourth grade. I’m laying naked in the grass outside my neighbor’s townhouse. It’s fall and the earth is cold. I’m shivering, but otherwise motionless. I’m protesting the unfairness of life and I’m not getting up until my mom comes home to save me. 

Hours later…

“Where are your clothes?” she asks. “Keith and Kraig stole them and locked me out again,” I said. I don’t remember her reply, just the sound her footsteps made as she brushed past me.

l continued laying there in protest. I knew what she’d say if I went inside. “Nobody ever said life is fair,” was her favorite line. 

My mom raised me to be self reliant. To take full responsibility for my actions and expect the most of myself and others. She’s the teacher every kid fears, respects and admires. On Teacher Appreciation Day her stack of presents rose taller than others. She was a single mom badass, working two jobs to make ends meet that never got along.

We had a teak desk she’d sit at for hours in the evening. Stack of bills in front of her, legal pad in hand, forever adding and subtracting to the sum of bad news. 

She’d pick me up after football practice if she wasn’t working and take me to Roy Rogers to eat fried chicken. I’d gorge myself and we’d talk. She was never hungry. She’d just pick at the bones after I was done. My sister told me years later that mom was always hungry, we just didn’t have enough money for both of us to eat. 

I wanted to cry, but didn’t because I’d been taught long ago that perfect is being strong and in control at all times.

“Perfectionism is a disease,” the teacher continued. “The love a perfectionist gives is always conditional, which isn’t love.” He now had my full attention. I’ve struggled with love my entire life and I knew this was a lesson my mom had never taught me. 

My parents divorced when I was a baby and she never truly recovered. This and more is buried inside her at a depth light finds annoyingly distant to travel to. 

As his prose reached conclusion my mind started projecting the sad way too many of my days have met their end – rolling to my side, turning my back to a woman I can’t will myself to love.

I started sleeping on my left side long ago. I tell myself it’s because of an injured shoulder, but I know better. All she wants is a kiss goodnight and I can’t bring myself to give it to her, again. 

She’s asleep in minutes while I lay awake, trapped beneath an iron blanket of self-loathing, certain she’ll never be the woman I wish her to be and blaming myself for being a terrible person.

What my mom never taught me is that life will always be unfair as long as you expect too much of yourself and others – as disappointment will lay ahead no matter what path you take, decision you make or partner you choose. 

And it’s this disappointment, the bastard child of lofty expectation and a judgmental mind that undermines our relationships and fuels our sense of failure – ultimately manifesting itself as the anger, sadness, jealousy, fear and doubt we suppress at all cost. 

Forever frustrated, perfectionists become their own worst enemy – never seeing that their actions are driven by the very emotions they refuse to express.

Perfectionism is self-defeating and soul crushing not because those afflicted try too hard to achieve too much, but because their reality is tainted by the belief that there’s always more they could do, or others should do, which pre-destines every outcome to be perfectly disappointing prior to any decision made or action taken. 

And thus, unable to feel contentment their internal battle rages on like a wildfire in August, leaping from branch to branch until the forest has burned and they’re left standing all alone – and it’s then, in this moment of true vulnerability that the perfectionist either chooses to believe that life isn’t fair, or let’s go of what “should be” and learns to accept what is. 

Today I woke up at 4 am, alone, resting on my right shoulder, certain that life is neither fair nor unfair – before navigating a dimly lit hallway to give my mom her pain medication. 

Yesterday the Oncologist kept closing his eyes, unable to hold my mother’s gaze. “It’s stage four pancreatic cancer,” he said. “You have a handful of months to live.” And with that, a lifetime of hope drained from her body and we made our way to the door.

Later that evening she awoke from a lengthy nap. We sat together. Quiet filled the room comforting us as it always had. “It is what it is,” she whispered gently. “I really get that now. Most people don’t.”

———

“A spiritual person is a happy person,” says the guru. “It’s that simple. The only difference between you and the enlightened ones: Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus” he says, “is that they learned to stop fighting themselves. Happy people spread happiness. Sad people spread sadness… So, which do you want to spread?” he chides mockingly, before breaking into a broad grin. 

My gaze lifts, turning skyward.
I’m three years old and I’m half asleep in my mother’s lap. She’s running her fingers through my curly hair. The moon’s out and I’m home, with no one to be and nothing to do. 

I’ve never felt more spiritual in my life.

Single mom badass in action. RIP momma. I love you.

Note To Self

(Your name here), nobody is ever going to love, admire or respect you for anything you do for yourself. If you want to change your world, start by giving as much as you can to others and everything else will fall into place. It’s not a long road, it’s the most enjoyable shortcut ever. When you start thinking of others and putting them first you’ll no longer feel conflicted, because you’ll be operating with a clear conscience and without reservation. That’s it. That’s all. The past is the past. Your future, and our future, starts today. I know you, so I know you’ll take this to heart. Go now and give as much as you can while you still can – as you know it’s the only way forward without regret.

Love, (your name here).

Prophecy

Today is the same as any other. It’s as miraculous or mundane, insidious or gracious, debilitating or rewarding as you choose it to be. It’s your attitude that determines your fate – and its those you surround yourself with who determine your attitude. Treat them with love and your heart will be cared for. Neglect them and darkness will become your guide. Believe you are blessed and blessed you shall be. Live life like its a gift you can’t wait to open. Never fear the unknown, it just might exceed your grandest expectations – and remember that time is an internal clock waiting to be turned back with every fall. 

Me n’ my momma. The woman who has cared for my heart like no other.

Prelude To Servitude

Prelude:   “Get out of my car,” I said evenly to the pledge. “Why?” “You can’t say that in my car.” “What, nigger?” “Yeah.” “Man, I’ve got lots of black friends. There’s a difference between blacks and niggers.” “Get the fuck out of my car,” I demanded. As the door closed behind him I shook my head in disgust, knowing it was a lost cause.

Twenty-years later they built the fence around our fraternity house the angry white minority of our brotherhood always wanted. Our fraternity house sits precariously along a set of railroad tracks separating the Haves from the Have-Nots.

The fence stands eight-feet tall and for everything I detest in this world. It stands against the laws of goodness, unity and acceptance. It stands as a symbol to the failings of our brotherhood and white men everywhere. For there is no need to accept and understand others once you’ve built a wall to exclude them.

I grew tired of explaining my “liberal” perspective and moved West to live in an exceptionally white town with a liberal white majority. Since then I’ve spent fourteen blissful years living a nature lover’s utopian dream, insulating myself from the reality of America’s shrinking middle-class and rising income inequity – which I believe to be the two main reasons for our nation’s current social unrest. Propagated by the natural extension of an unchecked, rampant Neo-Capitalist system that consolidates wealth in the top 1% by protecting millionaires, billionaires, Wall Street, insurance companies, big-business and multinational corporations – America’s middle class has weakened and become less financially secure. It’s this growing income disparity that has generated the mass-insecurity from which an angry and defiant Trump campaign has grown.

And so, our day of reckoning has arrived in the form of a hate-spewing, Neo-Capitalist businessman… and sadly, I as part of the politically inactive silent white majority know I’m complicit, by failing to actively support minorities and defend the democratic principals all working-class Americans owe our wealth, security and good fortune to.

My point being, the time has come for America’s silent white majority to take responsibility for their inaction and stand tall against the angry white minority who wish to build a wall of division in our country and along our Southern boarder.

Now is the time to scream, “Get the fuck out of my car!” to silence those who stand for Trump and against the American principal of, “liberty and justice for all” which unites our nation.

To:

Now I ask you, who’s exhibiting “violent tendencies” here?

What scares me the most about this incident is that the officer honestly believes he did his job to the best of his ability and was justified in his actions. While it’s possible be critical of this woman’s reluctance to close her door, I would suggest that she had good reason to be scared and “uncooperative” as the events and discussion that followed ultimately proved.

Earlier today I read about a white male being discriminated against for having too high of an IQ score to become a police officer. A state judge ruled against his appeal on the grounds that highly intelligent officers are more likely to quit the force after receiving expensive police training, which is a waste of state resources.

Good thing that cop from the video was hired instead, right? When did our country begin devaluing intellect and favoring mental mediocrity? I’m sorry, but I struggle to think of one vocation that benefits from a less intelligent labor force. Personally I’d argue that public safety, being the primary reason for police officers in the first place, benefits substantially when guns are in the hands of officers with “excessive” intellect,  rather than tactical training. Of course, basic morality and steady judgement would be nice too!

This video absolutely breaks my heart. Every action and reaction on both sides of the encounter is driven by fear. Both the woman and the officer fear for their safety which culminates in a disgusting show of what our law enforcement officials commonly consider “justifiable force.”

Personally, I think race relations on an individual basis are better today in our nation than ever before. There is more genuine openness and acceptance within our populace than the media or our personal news streams suggest, as America is becoming more diverse every day.

The real problems that need addressing are institutional. We have a top-down problem that’s perpetuated by a shrinking white majority that’s fearful of losing power, status and wealth. Scared of losing control, they’ve begun justifying their actions and governance by blaming minorities for our nation’s problems while systematically infringing on their civil liberties.

This bigotry and xenophobia is born from the same racist sentiment that’s plagued our nation since its inception – and it’s this fear which manifests as hatred that has brought about the rise of every Nationalist movement that’s ever existed.

A shrinking white majority fearful of losing power, blames the growing minority population for the nation’s troubles by pushing a scary and negative narrative to win the support of a fearful populace, effectively creating more divisiveness and friction in the country which feeds their agenda and ultimately comes to justify their unfair, unjust and patently undemocratic actions.

The growing police state in America is a problem. The rise of Nationalism in America is a bigger problem. Both our burgeoning militarized police presence and America’s angry white populace are born from the negative and fearful perspective that the world is a dangerous place and becoming increasingly so every day.

It is this sensationally ominous mental paradigm, one which is perpetuated by our 24-hour news agencies, who derive higher-earnings from higher-ratings, that causes everyday Americans to feel more fearful and less secure with the passing of every news cycle. And it’s this feeling of insecurity that has become an incubator for resentment, growing distrust and intolerance against anyone of differing values, race, religion, gender, beliefs, sexual orientation or status.

Fear and hate are not innate qualities. They are learned behaviors. That “white” cop and “black” woman are of one race, that of the human race – and they were both born as loving and trusting individuals. It’s their negative past experiences that molded the prism through which they view their current reality and drove their actions that regretful day. Neither of them were acting willfully during the moments of this encounter. They were both living on autopilot, propelled by past negative associations and events that directed her to exit the vehicle and him to become overly aggressive, escalating the situation to a confrontation that could have easily been avoided.

Servitude:

And is that not what’s happening within our political arena at this very moment? Are we not living on autopilot ourselves, driven by past associations we give no thought or credence to? Are we not heading towards a confrontation that only the most radical Americans on both sides wish to see?

I don’t know, but what I do know with absolute certainty is that WE as a nation, who still champion the principals of democracy and justice for the world cannot let Trump, our media or anyone else perpetuate the negative, fear-based narrative that America is wildly unsafe and needs protecting.

It’s just another power grab using  McCarthyism tactics to enact more PatriotAct-esque legislation in an attempt to consolidate power in the Executive Branch to control the general public while simultaneously marginalizing minorities through social exclusion, all in the name of national protection.

Wake up America! WE, our policies and our allies are the reason nearly half the world’s populace live in fully democratic states, but that also means more than half of the world’s citizens still live in fully communist or partially democratic countries!

After traveling extensively over the past twenty-five years I can tell you that every partial democracy and Communist state I’ve visited has two things in common. They all have an intensely strong police presence and their people live in fear of the law. All of their people, not just the poor. Nobody is safe under authoritarian rule. Just look at the recent events in Turkey as an example of a democratic nation that’s fallen under authoritarian control and has turned against their people in the name of moral imperatives.

In these authoritarian states, police officers are paid well to ensure their loyalty to the party. These institutions are not looking for the brightest applicants, they are looking for those with a propensity towards loyalty. Sound familiar? Our court system recently ruled that highly intellectual officers don’t fit the mold not to combat overspending, but because intellectuals are hard to control and pose a threat to the status quo. Intelligent people encourage change, something police departments have little incentive to do so long as officers are being paid well and department budgets keep expanding. Our police and jail systems benefit from confrontation by using each encounter to statistically justify their existence. Sadly, that poor woman’s struggle gets counted as one more reason to hire another loyal police officer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I along with most affluent white people like the police. They serve and protect me very well. Sometimes I think they can be jerks, but I’ve always felt they’d have my back if shit ever went down – a sentiment few minority citizens have ever shared.

But right now, sitting here on my comfy couch, eating Tamari almonds and typing on my fancy MacBook Air  I must confess to feeling less secure today than anytime since the height of the Cold War… and it’s certainly not because I fear the minorities of America.

It’s because I fear the angry, right-wing “conservative” Caucasians of America who have hijacked the Republican Party and are using hate-fueled rhetoric to shame the moderate Republican base into compliance. It’s because the rise of Nationalism in America would not only lead to division within our nation, an increase in racial tension and the continued need for a militarized police state, but would also serve to destabilize NATO and Western democracies around the world, opening the door for Russia and China to push their anti-democratic doctrine.

This election isn’t just a referendum on the intelligence or morality of the American public – it could be the fulcrum that serves to distance our allies, tipping us toward a more insular, pre-WWII foreign policy approach that creates a true super-power power vacuum and propels us towards a more dangerous and uncertain future. Americans cannot afford to stand silent against Trump anymore than the world can afford to have America stand silent against Communism.

I too am angry at our do-nothing party-politicking, self-serving asshole politicians. I abhor our unjust primary election process that utilizes super delegates to protect the power elite. I too want reform in political fundraising, social services, subsidies, EPA regulations, primary education, college student loans, healthcare, our military, environmental policy, monetary policy, banking policy, foreign policy…. EVERYTHING that is, except the very principals that have steered our nations’ moral compass from the days of accepting immigrants at Ellis Island through the social revolution of the 1960’s, till today. I’m proud of our nation and our accomplishments and I believe that our strength is our diversity! That the greater a melting pot we become, the more powerful we grow as an example of democracy and unity for the world. For it’s our nations’ ideology that shapes our future and drives the collective conciseness of the free world.

We have a unique opportunity this year to quiet the angry white minority and unify as nation against the bigotry and fear that underlies the Republican base. Every vote against Trump will serve to reassure the world that America will continue to be on the just side of history.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not believe a vote for Clinton is a vote for radical change. It is a vote for status quo. It is a vote to continue steadily on our current path – but it is without question a far better option than electing a selfishly childish, dangerously inconsistent, pathological lying, media whore narcissist with racist tendencies to the White House.

So I speak to you now, both angry Sanders supporters and moderate Republicans… I get it. You hate her face, her name, her voice, her hair, her StarTrek pant-suit, her everything – but I beg of you to look at her policy. Look at her qualifications. Look at her record and ask yourself who really makes you feel safer? A vindictive man with a pension for stirring up trouble, insulting people and picking fights, or a hard-ass woman whose been remarkably consistent in both her world-view and… well… yes… her unwavering Un-Likability!

With that said, I’m betting America chooses optimism over anger come November. Of course, that’s what most intellectuals thought in Britain on Brexit Day, but fortunately for us we have multiple prime time debates to help us make an informed and painful decision.

The world will be watching with bated breath. Let’s just hope calm and reason prevail that day with America voting in resounding opposition to a man who needs to, “Get out of OUR fucking car!”

Step Back America

I remember walking out of a bar in college with a pack of buzzed-up buddies. The streets smelled of hot pizza and sloppy women.

Everything was right in the world until our one friend, being the highly entertaining pretty-boy, loud mouth dick he was started talking trash to a big guy. “Really, again” we all thought, having grown tired of his arrogant bravado. You know the type. The guy who’s only tough when he knows someone has his back. So this time rather than stepping up, we all stepped back.

Our friend’s voice fell flat with the sobering realization that he was on his own. The “fight” lasted half a second. Crying, confused and angry that we refused to come to his defense he hurled garbled obscenities at us though his, “bwoken jer.” Picking him up off the sidewalk we felt a sad sense of satisfaction knowing he had gotten exactly what he deserved.

That’s what I see when I look at Donald Trump. Donald’s machismo is easy to like, but impossible to respect. He’s the shit talker without balls. He’s the trouble maker without a conscience. Donald’s the guy who rides in on a white stallion five minutes after the battle has ended to kick a dead guy in the head for a photo op, then tweets about the “epic beat down” while everyone else is busy washing fresh blood from their swollen hands.

He’s strong only when he has a crew standing behind him. Give him that security, whether it’s an army of lawyers or soldiers, and it’s war he will make – secure in knowing that he’ll never have to throw a punch or take a bullet.

Seriously, go through a list current political nominees and ask yourself who you’d want by your side in a street fight?

The Bern… would try desperately to make peace until he went grandpa-mad, defiantly spitting into his palms 1930’s pugilist style seconds before grabbing a t.v. remote from his Lazy Boy in hopes of fashioning a shiv from it only to get trampled to death in the may lay while exiting his recliner.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 5.01.29 PM

Senator Bernie Sanders reacting to news that food stamps don’t cover lox and bagels.

Rubio… irritable and feisty he’d work the body like an angry small intestine after a late night sweaty meat sandwich binge.

Momentarily stunned by a Miami LGBT crowd's insistence that he's "super gay" Rubio recovers by finally endorsing to the new Love Boat movie.

Momentarily stunned by a Miami LGBT crowd’s insistence that he’s “super gay” Rubio recovers by flip-flopping shirts and promising to endorse the new Love Boat movie.

Hillary… feeling supremely protected by her one-inch thick bulletproof mask of makeup fashioned from crushed tiger skulls and wombat urine, would take to gouging eyes, chewing ears and yanking testicles in hopes of finally harvesting enough skin to finish her life-size voodoo doll of Dick Cheney.

Hillary Clinton, photographed here at a 2012 Congressional hearing, explains why she's the boss and former House Speaker John Boener will always be her, "crybaby bitch."

Clinton, photographed here at a 2012 Congressional hearing, explains how she made Lucifer her bitch.

Cruz…. would drop to his knees and start praying to God for the courage to beat someone to death in the name of Puritan values with the giant bible he carries in his overpriced Prada briefcase, only to abandon his plan at the first sign of blood and proceed immediately to the nearest hospital in hopes of making bank off a civil lawsuit.

Trying to court working class voters today, the Cruz campaign released this portrait explaining that Cruz paid his way through law school working as a nude Christmas model. "I've never worked harder in my life," explained the Texas governor while sipping champagne at the Houston Yacht Club.

In an effort to court working class voters the Cruz campaign released this portrait today, explaining that Cruz paid his way through law school by working as a nude Christmas model. “I’ve never worked harder in my life,” explained the Texas senator while sipping champagne at the Houston Yacht Club.

Kasich… fresh off the boat from an Arctic winter survival retreat where he routinely used his own scrotum as an emergency blanket for afternoon power naps would deftly pull a blood stained baby seal club from his trench coat and set to using it.

John Kasich, being John Kasich.

John Kasich, being John Kasich.

And where would Donald be? The guy who picked the fight to begin with… he’d be chillin’ on the opposite corner sporting freshly pressed khakis enjoying a hot slice of pizza, chatting up sloppy ladies and launching useless f-bombs at the “idiots” fighting in the street.

Donald Trump, pictured here, disputes the alleged size of Ivanka's vagina while giving the keynote address at Trump university's new graduate pizza party.

Donald Trump disputes the purported size of Ivanka’s vagina while giving the keynote address at Trump University’s new graduate pizza party.

Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t care whether you lean left or right, you deserve a president who will stand front and center when the shit goes down.

Spoiler alert. That entertaining friend with the loud mouth turned out to be a douchbag no one could trust. Sadly it took us four-years to figure it out.

Sure hope we don’t make that mistake again.