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Far Behind

By Langdon Hues

The guitars twangy reper toire filled my vintage Ford truck as I turned left into the packed parking lot.

“Wow, that takes me back a bit,” I respond by turning up the thunderous eruption of drums and bass and after a couple of measures the singer enthralls:

“Some say the end is near; Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon; Certainly hope we will; I sure could use a vacation from this bullshit, three ring, circus-sideshow of freaks and…”

Then I realized the song was now considered a classic since it was released sixteen years ago in 1996. Then the song “What a drag it is getting old” raced across my mind as I realized I too am classic since I graduated High school seven years before that. Thank God perpetual tardiness kept me from dwelling on those negative feelings any longer.

I consider myself a gracefully lanky individual as I climb the steady ramp. Trying to be debonair can sometimes come easy to a person with slight Hispanic tones, so my thin goatee and thick black hair tied back into a ponytail dont look to out of place.Well lets face it, slicking long hair back into a ponytail is the quickest and easiest way not to look disgusting, especially when that wedding is in an hour and you havent even showered yet.

Yep, the two phrases my mother used often to try and compensate for all of my shortcomings were “He has potential” and “He cleans up nicely.” Hey, at least I shaved?

The tight black overcoat I was wearing kept repressing my shins as I walked past the sign for this locally known hall affectionately dubbed the“Beal House”. I held in a deep breathe of nervousness, all the while trying to remind myself that this place and ones like it are the most inviting sanctuaries to those in recovery.

I looked inside the single glass entrance door, exposed was a tiny great room with a stage towards the back that was used for theater events and the occasional local rock band that would put on a show or two. Before the stage was an intimate table of a dozen or so people listening to the chairperson introduce himself, the purpose of the gathering, and the few simple rules.

I was late! Damn I hated that.
While entering I was reminded of my first time at this meeting about four months ago, New Years Eve. How one of the members and I talked for an hour and a half after the meeting about how our addictions had ended up methodically ruining our lives.
“Theres Russthere” I said to myself, easily identifying him by his waving and gesturing to an empty seat to his right. I walked over and sat down beside him after customarily shaking my newfriends hand.
Lapsing back to that first meeting talking to Russ, how he had told me his sponsor-to-be approached him at his very first time with open arms and support.
I may be green to this stint of sobriety, but I wasnt virgin to the program. “Never” I said, “Ive invested over a decade to these halls and no one ever so much talked to me none the less.”
Yeah, but I then realized Russ was doing just that so I shut up and took it as the closest thing to a sign, asking Russ for the same type of support though not exactly sure what that entitled.
After the chairperson Don, an agnostic with over a decade of sobriety (another reason I liked this meeting) finished speaking, he asked if there was anyone who wished to share their experience, strength and hope. A stocky bald man raised his hand and was called upon.
“Hi, my name is Jack but my friends call me Happy- because if I wake up in the morning Im already happy!”
There was a call out of “Hi Happy Jack.”
“Anyways, I started drinking, drugging, and smoking cigarettes all by the age of ten. Back in the early eighties you could walk up to any gas station with a forged note saying you were allowed to purchase cigarettes for your parents and score. That and the easy access to cigarette machines made it seem almost acceptable.”
“Older brothers or kids from the
neighborhood supplied most of the pot and alcohol. We also stole booze from our parents, and even weaseled into restaurants after hours through scarcely secured access panels or cubby holesto get our fix. Sometimes wed even just snatch-and-grab from the open back doors of package stores, social lodges, or bars. And much like an animal that has all day to find ways into your home, it wasnt that hard to do.”
“At thirteen I had my first overdose. After drinking too much vodka I was found on the side of the road and wound up spending the next three days hospitalized in a coma. I remember waking up in the hospital to mother by my side. For me, high school was just a social medium where you could obtain any drug you wanted. Weed was always there, yet during the eighties cocaine and acid wereextremely plentiful where I grew up.”
“By sixteen a friend and I were working as dish washers at a local restaurant. Not only did they feed us drinks during the night, we would regularly steal alcohol and one of the cooks was the biggest coke dealer in the area.”
“Everyone was high!”
“My mother would pick us up and Id ask if I could drive home because I had my learners permit and would be holding my breath and oneeyeing it all the way there.”
“It was my intention to experience every drug by any means within my reach. The more intense the pleasure the better, so when someone mentioned they had a friend who use to shoot up alcohol, I gave it a try. Unfortunately youre better off just drinking it if you want the best effect. But I soon learned that wasnt necessarily the case when it came to cocaine.”
“So it really shouldnt have been any surprise that I got into my first drunk driving accident only a year after getting my license. I nearly killed my passenger and the other driver when I took a quick left turn in front of an oncoming SUV. Both cars were totaled but some how I left the scene, still obliterated, and nursed my car two miles to my house without getting caught.”
“I went into work the next day, because no good alcoholic misses a day of work due to his drinking, and turned myself in to the police afterwards. I said I was scared and received a hundred dollar fine for driving to endanger, basically it was a slap in the wrist I just didnt learn from.”
“The easiest way to best describe my childhood would be“I was a pass out, black out, piss your pants drunk” by the age of twenty, and it didnt get any better after I turned twenty-one. But I was a hard worker and always had a job, I just chalked it up to “I work hard and I play harder.” But were not here to compare or bore each other with „War stories”, we all have them and theyre all pretty much the same.”
“I drank and drugged to excess and here I am!”

“But it was that car accident at seventeen where I was first introduced to this program. And here I am almost twenty years later hopefully just starting to get it.”

“I often hear this program being referred as a tool, and at first it became a tool I used to wait out the storm until people got off my back about my drinking. Dont get me wrong, I was remorseful, but that faded quickly and after a couple of months even my family and friends thought I wascured.”

“And thats how it went for twenty years, enduring the unnecessary bullshit I caused by my drinking, occasionally coming in these halls when the shit really hit the fan, and then going right back out and trying it again.”

“Ive always had a love of learning, whether its new experiences and emotions or just reading about something. Thats pretty much the reason I first tried alcohol, I was curious and wanted to know what it was about. And after I found out, I was in love with the instant gratifying pleasure that alcohol and drugs would easily bring.”

“ And I learned how to use this instant pleasure as an emotional tool to help influence any negative feelings I may feel; sadness, loneliness, anger, boredom, fear. Even when I was already happy I would get greedy and want to get happier. And when I made a mistake I dwelled on it and beat myself up with heavy drinking to the point of obliteration.”

“So when I finally crashed after twenty five years of drinking it was no surprise I just wanted to learn what the hell happened, where did I exactly gowrong?”

“Now I could go on about all of the cognitive distortions, the so called „alcoholic way of thinking and behaving that I suffer from and just assumed everyone thought that way! How I see everything as „all or nothing or how I would dwell on the negatives and discredit any positives in a vicious cycle of worthlessness. But instead, to quickly finish up, I recently read a true story that I believe helps sum up my twisted way of thinking.”

“It was about a man, who after years of abusive drinking burned out his throat and couldnt drink anymore, or so you would think. But he somehow came up with the idea of an “Alcoholic enema.” After some time of
convincing his wife to help him with the procedure, they poured a full bottle of sherry into the enema bag and went into the bathroom to do it.”

“ But apparently when you do this you bypass the liver which usually filters out about 90% of the alcohol you drink. This instantly left the man wasted before he could reach the bedroom with a blood alcohol level of 5.7%, where anything over 4.0 will usually put someone in a coma. His wife thought he would just sleep it off, but he died rather quickly.”

“Now t he fact that this man came up with, and followed through on this idea is a great example ofan alcoholics way of thinking on its own.”

“But instead of saying „Man, that guy was sick or even „What an idiot, my first thought was „If you only did a quarter of the bottle youd probably be alright. Youd have a BAC of about 1.5%, plus youd be bypassing the liver and not have to worry about damaging it. And thats how really SICK I am! Well anyways, thanks for listening. Take care!”

“Thank You Jack” everyone replied.

Before the meeting ended there was a raffle and collection, as the program is entirely self supported and refuses any outside help of any kind; therefore avoiding any outside influences, distractions, and possible conflicts of interests.
Did I mention I arrived late?
So as people were saying their goodbyes

outside I walked over to Russ who was just lighting a butt.

“Hey brother, hows it going?” I said to the average thin framed thirty-something.
“Not bad. Im watching my baby girl while the wife goes off to work, which is definitely a whole new experience for me, but other than that” His short wavy brown hair and freckled face waffled in smoke.“Itll take some getting use to, but it seems to be working out alright!”
“You know,” I felt I had to get my „two cents short of a dime in “I love when men say taking care of children is a womans job because itusually means its too much for a man to handle.” Russ just chuckled at that.
“Im serious” I continued, “Women have quietly carried men on their backs since the beginning of time, its about time we pick up the slack” My reassurance Russ was doing the most manly thing a guy can do didnt entirely miss the mark.
“Plus think how much closer your relationship with your daughter will be as she grows older. Most parents dream of such bonding with their children.”
“Yeah, I know. Its just a little weird right now. How are you doing?” Russ quickly got off the awkward subject.
“Hanging in there, Ive only got a little sobriety under my belt but things seem to be going well so far.”
Both of us were well aware of the so called “Pink cloud” syndrome. Thats where people in early sobriety start to feel betterbecause theyre not drinking anymore andbegin to think theyre cured. So they think they can control their drinking and go out to give it another try.
Or sometimes peoples emotions can come crashing back to Earth after the initial wellness of being sober and they fall back to the only thing they know, drinking and drugging.

I d idnt stick around too long this time, after telling Russ goodbye I climbed back into that vintage (still sturdy, but falling apart) truck. My mind has been racing lately and I over analyzed everything, especially my thoughts on addiction.

I have this bad habit (the program calls it a character defect) of always trying to pinpoint the reasons why I drank and drugged the way I did. And unfortunately this character defect of mine spills into all aspects of life- everything has an origin and everything has a reason.

But I’m getting better at not doing this- Well kind of!

Anyways, I was raised up humble and grateful- being given everything I wanted as a child although my parents were struggling and dirt poor. I often try to remind them I do know how much money it takes to play a season of youth hockey, which I wanted to do because all of my friends did it.

Eve spoiled down to my geographical upbringings. I was raised along the ocean in Kingston, Massachusetts, the unknown town just north of historic Plymouth, Ma. (We do have a mall you know!)

And then later living in beautiful Fitchburg, Ma., a city dotted amongst rolling hills near the New Hampshire border. It was like living in the majestic Granite State yet without the isolation and loneliness the deep woods can bring.

My thirst for knowledge will always be insatiable. To me knowledge brings the kind of leverage that will always increase the number of options a person will have at any given time.

And its because of that thirst Ive come to realize an arrogance in my way of thinking. I often felt like I was in such control of my life I could afford to liven things up through the chaotic excitement drugs and alcohol always seemed to bring.

The downside? Because of this over analytical thinking and obsession with the future, understanding the concept of “One day at a time” didnt come easily or quickly. A future deprived of the instant pleasure of drugs and alcohol seemed forever impossible to me.

With my thoughts always on the future, while trying to remember and apply lessons of the past, the future of mankind and the
possibilities of where we may be heading are a constant source of wonder.

Technology seems to be quickening lifes natural process, hopefully bettering our odds of survival. Yet technology may also be hastening the pace towards our demise. Being an impatient soul I preferred the way things are going, though would probably feel safer if nature was doing it alone at a snails pace.

Cell cloning for example, could be disastrous, by accidentally giving our arch enemy the virus knowledge we dont want it to have. It seems to be already learning fast enough, especially when it comes to reproduction. If the virus learns to survive on its own it could practically eliminate all known life on Earth fairly quickly. Maybe not in the colder climates at first but Manuel was pretty sure the virus would soon adapt to survive.

Then theres the future of stellar evolution and the universe to think about. Can there be existence without cycles? This is how my mind continually spins in a constant source of ideas.

“Yeah , but whatever!” I could blow a fart out of my ass tomorrow so violent that I die of a brain hemorrhage. Its just that theres really nothing better to do than think. Shit, I should be writing this down!

II LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION II

The stage manager signaled the count “And three, two, one.” The lights rose to a brilliance as the audience jumped to their feet in applause. “And now, live from New York” the announcer begins as I watch from the edge of the stage.

The dressing rooms were wired with the show but this was a once in a life time
opportunity, I can watch TV tomorrow. And being over six feet tall I had the perfect view even with people in front of me.

With the monologue done, the host now prepared himself as the commercials rolled. I was on deck but currently in the way I headed to my dressing room.

The first guest was a former porn star turned advocate who wasnow “No holds barred” against the business. Trying to make a positive from a negative was a trait I probably admired the most, especially since thats pretty much the way Ive spent my entire life.

It was hard not to overlook her sexual appealthough; about 59”, blue eyes, and bleached blond hairtheres something about a girl with artificially inseminated blondness that turns me on even more, almost like shes going to try harder to be wild. Listening to her finish her story I noticed my cue.Shit, aren’t there people for this I think as I rush to the stage.

“Our next guest is an unknown author who wrote his thoughts on human behavior and why people may become addicted to just about anything. Please welcome Manuel Samson.”

Leaving the comfort of back stage I head out, an anxious rush crept into myhead. “Oh God,please dont paralyze me now” I think while drawing a deep breath. I just kept walking across the stage while trying to contain a genuine smile.

Taking a seat between the tall Irish host and the previous guest still sitting on the couch, I wholeheartedly thanked the audience for the applause. Keeping the interview simple was dancing across my mind.
“Have you met Jennifer?” The questioner

questioned with his hand gesturing towards her with an upward palm.

“No I havent, and yes I would like to!” I turned to face the stunning beauty and shake her hand.

“Any thought of going into the business yourself?” the red headed veteran behind the desk playfully tested.

“No, its that genetics thing” my laughing disbelief evident. “Besides, I dont know if youve watched one of those movies lately, I mean two guys and a gal is like all the rage” the crowd cautiously chuckled.

“I was watching one once thinking to myself„How do you compete with that? Two zucchini and a summer squash?” And yet I continue, “Dont get me wrong ladies my ultimate goal is to get you off without even having to touch you, soI mean, Ill definitely try my hardest- no pun intended!”

“Ill w alk into the room wearing two strapons saying“Honey, I saw this in a cartoon but Im pretty sure we can do it!” For some God known reason I stood up and placed his hands to my hips and turned my head side to side like Tim Taylors Tool Man, doing everything but grunt.

“Telescoping dildo” motioning as if I was taking a rifle from my back. “Laser sights,” I continued by aiming the imaginary weapon at the crowd, who were kind of laughing at least. “I dont mean to poke fun at it” turning to Jennifer “But for better or worse, it definitely got me thinking.”

“Okaayy” the shows freckled faced star chimed in to put an end to that tangent and went for more serious overtures. “What did you do before you wrote your book?”

“I was self employed. An assassination specialist” I quipped.
“A what?” the host curiously parleyed. “A contractual killer. Purely for the money though, I mean, Im not sick!”
“Well yeah, who is?” the interviewer conveyed.
“Thats Conrad with a “C” right?” And when Conrad agreed, “Whew” I feigned relief “Because boy could that have been kind of awkward!”
“No really, I was a sitcom writer, and theres a good reason why that didnt quite pan out. Before I got sober my attitude was “Cash up front and caring costs extra!” Where as now I actually care when I suck,and moneys not a top priority.”
“So you wrote a book about what you think is the root cause and common denominator of all addictions” Conrad plied.
“When I speak, I sometimes begin with „Hi my names Manuel, and Im addicted to everything! And I am! If it gives me pleasure Im already addicted to it. The problem for me comes with the need to control that pleasure.”
“And its that same desire for control and power that seems to be the underlying cause or “common denominator” of all addictions, as people seem able to become addicted to just about everything. Alcohol, drugs, money, sex, weapons, thrill seeking, exercise; I mean, Yogi Bear was even addicted to picnic baskets so…” there was a collective twitter from the crowd.
“No seriously, some people find emotional comfort in food or even some seem to find pleasure in the sound of their own voice, just about anything. The book is more or less about the emotional (and physical) controls and the many ways in which people try to achieve it!”
“So what are you saying” the host intervened, “Were all a bunch of walking junkies?”
“Well, sort of. I mean, I guess were all control freaks on various levels!”

“Now are you religious?” The que stioner queried. “Because Ive heard religions a big part of many recovery programs?”

“As the late Rev. William Coffin Jr. was fond of saying „Too many people use religion as a drunk uses a lamp post! Thats because to us everything is a tool, and every tool is leverage to gain control and has the potential for people to be too dependant on!”

“I have to admit, I had a problem with God for over thirty years so I can see where people think these programs are religious cults. But because its a „God of your understanding it seems to lesson any pressure of having to choose a God. It could be Rau the ancient Egyptian Sun God for all they care, as long as you put something greater than yourself in control.”

“Ive got to admit, this is „information overload” Conrad tried keeping up with my babbling, so I just kept going.

“Its not that I disliked religion, its just getting over that blind faith thing. To me that sounds peculiarly similar to „ignorance is bliss and thats just another philosophy I cant quite fully believe in. God to me was merely timing! Everything from the sperm hitting the egg to the second you die is timing. The words of evil and sin translated into human selfishness, and so on. Its actually timing that we can perceive things the way we do today in a sort of a coming of age thing!”

“I see,” Conrad incubated Manuels thoughts onward.
“But I can see how religion works so well. After falling on my face this last time I wound up in a halfway house. I had to give up certain freedoms in my life and follow their prescribed rules in order to get back control and freedom from my addictions.”
“And this seems to be how religion works,” I kept going,and going… “You abide by their rules and rituals to obtain a peace of mind, or emotional control, over manyof lifes chaoss and fears. It would seem to be the fear of lifes many unknowns, with death probably being one of the biggest! Its funny how all religions, no matter how different they may be, seem to have some sort of afterlife!”
Conrad chimed in “So what happened, because as I understand it you have come to believe in God as yourhigher power.”
“Absolutely, who do you think keeps me honest!Its that possibility that God may exist that scares me strait. Plus early in sobriety I was actually jealous of the people that seemed to have that free, natural high that religion can bring and was like „Sign me up. But I tend to be on the logical side soit wasnt that easy, and I started studying all of the major religions to see which one mightbest fit my philosophy.”
“Im also the type of person that needs physical proof to be convinced; I can see where someone that survived an accident or had a near death experience believes in God because of it. But I have lived my life relatively unscathed, pretty much gettingout of the many holes Ive dug,at least to date.”
“I even caught myself saying getting out of holes was my forte. But then I thought about that. Sure I can dig pretty deep, but getting out was another story. Family, friends, and the doctors that helped me without compensation; right down to the two probation officers that saved my ass. There just seems to be some kind of force that drawsme to good people.”
“All I knew was that I was grateful, but because I hadnt prescribed to any particular religion I didnt know which one to be grateful to so I figured Im pretty much in debt to them all. Because if you do me a favor Im going to try like hell to pay you back, with interest if possible. And that philosophy is actually the best fit for me because I also need all the help I can get!”

“But how i s that possible, believing in all religions at once?” the host finally edged a word in between my holy ramblings.

“I dont nece ssarily believe in an afterlife, it would be nice, but Im not counting on it. Its not that I dont fear death, of course I do, immensely. But if there was a burning building or someone getting robbed at gunpoint Id like to believeI wouldnt think twice about helping. If I die, it was just my time.”

“So I try to look up to the sky and imagine all of the Gods together saying „Join us! Not pushingand shoving each other saying „Join me; no join me, onlyI know the way; or youll burn in hell or wont go to heaven if you dont follow me. Unfortunately, to me this is what religion has sort of become.”

“Because if the Gods really do care about humanity, and I believe they do because theyve gotten us this far, then that is what they would be sayingbecause theres definitely strength in numbers!”

“ Interesting” Conrad seemed to be hurrying things along a bit.“You also had an idea for an anti-drug commercial in the finishing stages that you brought a copy of. Can we roll that?” he looked towards the stage hand.

“The finished product may be a little different but…” I shut up when the commercial began.

It begins with a computer atop a thin metal table. In walks a veteran musician from the right side of the screen who begins with “Without memory, we would never exist. And here we are replicating the brain in all its glory.” He looks down towards the desk top device.

From the other side walks in the guitarist with his guitar slung over his shoulder like an axe. When he gets to the computer he pauses, then begins smashing the computer with his instrument.

He stops, but then continues the tirade once more for good measure until he gets what he intended: a pile of plastic silicon and the body of the guitar hanging from its neck by the strings. He slings his rhythmic mess back over his right shoulder and faces the camera as the singer continues with the message.

“It’s your mind, do what you want!” He then raises his index finger towards the screen, “But if you think you can recover from brain damage” (a clip of an old rocker who can barely speak or function properly due to drug and alcohol abuse cuts in) “Think again!”

“Try fixing that!” the guita rists finally spoke.“And you can’t just go out and buy another one…” appears on the bottom of the screen as the two band members walk away with the camera zooming in to the mess left upon the table: Thus leaving viewers to ponder trying to re-building such an overwhelmingly damaged machine.

The crowd clapped with the reappearance of lights as the host commended.“Nice job. Im sorry, but were running out of time. Quickly though, what are you going to be up to next!”

“Tomorrow Ive been invited to speak at a unity dinner, and I still have one more story Im working on.”

“Excellent, it was a pleasure meeting you.

And youre welcome back anytime, good luck to the both ofyou” they all shook hands.
“Thank you,” I replied.
Conrad ended with “Well be right back,”

after which the stage manager stepped in, “And cut.” Everybody off stage went into action to prepare for the next guests, a local musical group who are quickly gaining recognition.

“Thank you bothfor coming” the young hosts sincerity was warmly apparent as he shook Jennifers and my hand one last time before heading on his way.
*

Walking to the dressing room I realized something, I had been on an emotional high for the last couple of months, but this was it. This was the highest Ive ever been in my life and amazingly it was while being sober! All those years wasted trying to get a quick fix, and all of the damage it caused. If Id just been smart enough to use my mind and time more
appropriately like I have recently, all those ideas and thoughtsthroughout the years wouldnt have been lost.

I’ve got t o stop dwelling on the past, I thought while trying to distract myself with tomorrow nights speech. Any nervousness I experienced on the talk show was already overshadowed by the anxiety I already felt towards my speech tomorrow.Its funny how the more I care about something, the more nervous I become.

After double checking the dressing room for anything I may have left behind, though most of what little I owned was back at the hotel room. I headed towards the exit, then for some unknown reason began quickening my pace.

Oh my god would you look at that ass , I practically walked into the blond in front of me. Turning around she caught me looking, Oops!

“Jennifer, how are you? Did you change youre clothes after the show?”
“Yeah Im not into dressing up. Where are you heading off to?”
“Im not really sure, I mean it is still daylight. How about your self?”
“Im heading back to my day job, Im part owner of a bar down the street. I think you might like it, you dont have to drink!”
“Sure, where else would a recovering alcoholic go at this time of day?” I could almost hear my brain saying you’re listening to him again, the little guy below, aren’t you! You know that always works so well for the rest of us. If that little prick takes us down one more time. Should I remind you of the last occasionwhen…
Well, thats enough of that, even though I know hes right. Silly brain…
“That was some show, huh” I tried chipping away the awkwardness.
“What do you mean?” she turned to him.
“Two guests preaching about the mistakes theyve made during the past, hoping to stop even one person from making the same ones over again.”
“Sure” she just shrugged it off.
Outside of the talk show theater we walked about four blocks away until Jennifer shot over to the left and opened a door. “Come on, were here,” she walked uninterrupted right past the bouncer guarding the entrance and waved me in. I have to admit I was a little surprised to see the young girl stripping on the front stage, but then what did I expect? “Well alright” I joked.
“Im glad you approve, its the only type of place I know” she began leading me through the crowd.
Being a Friday during the day the club was obnoxiously packed, being in construction most of my life I remember doing the same thing. But with the loud music and noise I wondered how we were going to hold a decent conversation until she led me towards the back of the club and up a flight of stairs to a private room overlooking everything behind a mirrored window. She must of noticed a little bewilderment on my face because she began explaining.
“Im a quiet partner. Like I said, this is all I know” she smiled and seemed to be looking for some kind of approval.
“Isnt this a little contradictory?” I quested.
“I suppose. I mean, I could have just walked away and had little or no impact or I could keep on going and try to change the business from within.” She continued,“Were the only club that gives two shits about the girls that work for us. I mean dancing is harmless,its more of an art form than anything. We prohibit anything else other than dancing: no sex, we random drug test- if you fail twice, youre out!” there was a sense of pride for these policies.
“We also offer medical and dental after three months, and most of the girls are working their way through college. Its going slower than I had hoped, but it is progressing.” She looked through the tinted glass towards the young brunette on stage and was lost in thought for a moment.
“Can I ask you a personal question if you dont mind?” My timid nature overshadowed by curiosity.
“Sure hon, Im use to exposing myself remember” flowed from within her lips without hesitation.
I helplessly chuckled“Have you ever wondered why you danced or made films and had sex for money?”
“Well, it was pretty good money” her forthrightness seemed appropriate“And I suppose I liked the attention also.” She
instantaneously diverted any more of my interrogation by reverted to a question of her own,“Why?”
“Well, Ive been working on this theory that the first life forms, being bacteria, eventually learned the „Art of control in order to leave the warmth of hydrothermal pools and thus
becoming the first simple cells. And that is why control is so ingrained into us and still the most important aspect of all life even today. Do you think control had anything to do with what you did?”
“Really” she paused, hoping an answer would just materialize. “I dont know, I suppose so!Do you want a drink?” She habitually offered as another diversion.
“No why, do you want tohave sex?” My wry humor fell flat to the floor DOA.
“All that, and a sense of humor too, good for you!” she quipped.
“Im sorry, being a wise-ass is all I know, Im working on it though.”
“I didnt say it had to be alcoholic!” she began pouring herself a martini.
“I know, I apologize. But you dont have to totally gloss over the sex thing either?” I caught myself“I mean, Coke please!” After pausing for a second“Its been so long since Ive been in a one-on-one situation with someone new, I guess Im just a little nervous. So, where do you come from?”
“You mean other than a controlling cell!” shecouldnt resist, and neither could I as I smiled. “Philadelphia until I was eighteen, then I came up to New York to be a moviestar.”
“In New York, I thought L.A. was for that dream?”
“New York was closer, and in many ways bigger,” she placed my drink in front of me and took a sip from her glass in a trance while watching the current dancer downstairs strut her stuff. “I was young, energetic, and at the time it was either nowor never” she took another sip. “Well, its obvious what kind of crowd I fell into” she paused in the moment.
“And youre who you are because of it” I cut in. “Ive got to admit, I was a little confused when you said you were part owner of this establishment, but when you defined your goals and what youve done already, youre making a bigger impact than most!”
“I suppose,” Jennifer answered, and then fired back “Do you always over analyze things? I mean, you seem to be a nice enough guy and all.” “Yes, yes I do! Usually to death!” I must of came across as almost proud of thefact. “I used to knock the process back with a couple of beers or so.” That pride sank right back down to insecurity.
“Do you have a girl friend?” she asked. And after oureyes met, “Or significant other?” she said as if not to neglect any possibility.
Confused I jokingly confess,“Why does everyone say that to me?”
“I just thought someone as nice as you must have somebody in their life!” she carefully re-worded her reply.
“No, I havent met anyone that stupid yet. Besides, Im not sure Id want to be in a relationship with anyone willing to date me! I guess Ill always be that “Nice guy” women walk allover. Its all good I suppose.”
“Jennifer, my instincts want me to ask if you would mind playing guide tomorrow and give me a tour of the city, but then logic tells me I blew it and should just walk away and say „Doh!” Shruggingly I sipped my drink.
“I would if I had the time, but Im leaving for the West coast tomorrow for more
interviews” she seemed sincere.
“Youd think they would come to you like they usedto the lazy bastards” I finished my soda before rising to my feet.
“Taking off?” she looked up.
“Yeah, I feel elderly all of a sudden. Thank you, thank you for everything.” We shook hands and then I headed for the door. Turning around to face her again, “Hey, if Im ever back in the area can I give you a call?”
“Of course, take a card with my number; theyre over on the bar. Call, drop by. Im sure our paths will cross again, Im not going anywhere” she assured.
Drawing a card, I looked at it briefly and then looked to her once more. “Take care” I said before exiting the room.
On the first floor I had already surrendered to the fact Ill always be unlucky at love while stopped to watch the girl dancing on the main stage. Fishing around I found a twenty and walked up to the stage, putting the bill in the beautiful girls garter.
“Man Ive always wanted to do that” I had to look into her eyes as I said it. Then making the night just a memory, I walked out into the cold and headed for the hotel.

III The “Twins” III

Rising earlier than I ever intended had become the norm.“Id understand if I was doing cocaine all night butwhat the fuck” I bitched, but then realized it will all be gone soon so I best enjoy it while I can.

Before setting out to see the newly risen towers I had this nagging feeling I was forgetting something, like my stomach was trying to tell me something:“Oh yeah, coffee!”

Nooooo, I could hear it groan. I want food! Silly stomach.
Once on the road, the illusion that the new buildings could easily be found by a N.Y. novice such as myself turned to an overwhelming frustration, since the pretty pictures of the skyline were mostly taken by helicopters nowhere nears ground level.
After finally asking someone I was pointed towards the right way.“You see, Bostonians and New Yorkers get a bad wrap, were all good people.” Then I began thinking: On how people who live in the city must hate being asked for directions constantly, and how if it was me, I might amuse myself by guiding the tourist way off course.
“Hey” I cried aloud while looking back to see if the guy was snickering or laughing at me, but instead found he had already disappeared within the crowd. After about twenty five minutes of walking the Twins finally appeared, kitty cornered on the same lot as their
predecessors.
Looking straight down from a plane youd notice both towers were in the shape of a + or cross, a monument to the fallen themselves. The “tube” construction as it is known in the building world made it look like there was one central building surrounded by four separate buildings extending from each side.
Each building, or“tube”, was a hundred and fifty feet by a hundred and fifty feet. Making the entire structure a four hundred and fifty foot by four hundred and fifty foot cross.
Both were still one hundred and ten stories high, and each supported a pyramid rising from their final floors that made the finished height at seventeen hundred and seventy six feet above the world. But height was never the intention, safety was.
The reinforced pyramids on top were used to house antennas high into the air and as protection for the buildings from any possible nose dive from above.
It was first proposed to include something like President RonaldReagans elaborate “Star Wars” missile defense system at the tip of the structures. From a satellite, or rotating ball at the tip, a blinding green light could be shot at the cockpit of an incoming plane to try and blind the pilots into diverting their course. But just like the eighties version it was deemed too costly and never completed.
All of the glass was tinted like sunglasses that changed colors with the weather. In sunlight the glass would take on a dark gray appearance, and with the clouds it would take on an amber hue. But since sunlight couldnt touch the entire building at once it often took on a freaky design. The colors would change with the weather and never to be the same exact color twice.
The base of each structure was
circumvented by a tinted glass canopy that extended far enough to protect people on the sidewalks from the elements, such as the drizzle that currently misted the air.
Taking a brief stroll after entering the grounds, looking at the many stone and metal dedications around the main fountain in the mutual central park, I left the current dampness for the inviting warmth inside.
Each building had two entrances and two exits. The entrances came in from the park so the sidewalks didnt get too congested and the two exits spilt into the streets. The entrances were lobbies which were the same size of each of the crosses arms, about a hundred and fifty by a hundred and fifty.
I waited amongst the paintings and art dedications in the lobby until my turn to pass through the metal detectors. There were “express lanes” for the people who work there every day. They were required to scan their I.D. badges and pass through finger and eye verifications to make the process quicker, easier and secure. But since it was Saturday there wasnt much need for that.

In the first proposal it was also suggested to have transparent elevators on the very outer walls so people could watch the view as the elevators rode up and down. But that was nixed because not everyone is comfortable with heights and it would kill the beautiful office view many corporations are paying for.

So instead, see thru all-glass elevators were installed in the “crotch” areas of each building. The elevator shafts also acted as cross beams in between each arm to give more support and came out to about to the mid point of each exterior building. That meant there were four exterior elevator shafts in each tower and each shaft held three glass elevators.

The “sky view” elevators as they were known began at the third floor where the top of the canopies ended and, rode non stop straight to the top- giving passengers a spectacular view as they rose into the sky. And once they arrived to their goal, the elevators spilt into the central lobby that wasthe gateway to the “all glass” observation posts sitting upon each arm.

Finally passing the guards checkpoint, I noticed there wasnt a whole lot of space in the lobby with the elevators and stairwells taking up a hundred foot “square area” in the center of the building. First you have to take the main elevator, or walk, to the third floor in order to ride one of the exterior glass ones to the top. Even at the third floor the view was impressive, just above street level where you could watch the bustle of down below. Riding up along the inside corner of the building I felt protected and at ease.

Approaching the 110th story, the quickness at which I had arrived surprised me. Even with the elevators going slower over the last twenty stories so you could enjoy the view a little more, it seemed the ride was over too soon.

The central building rose a hundred and ten stories while the observation posts rested upon the hundred and ninth story of each arm, becoming the hundredth and tenth story.

After the elevator stopped all of us passengers meandered into the lobby, which was well lit with white marble floors and artwork decorating the walls and high ceiling, and then headed straight out for the perfect view of the city.Suddenly it was as if you entered a “pillowy glass cloud” a top a high perch far above the

world.

The entirely glass observation posts were rounded at the corners of the ceiling to allow snow to slide off before accumulating, and extend all the way to the floor. Looking down from this altitude could give a mind numbing rush of fear that started in my brain and spread down to the ends of my extremities. While being able to look all the way down to the park on the ground floor sent my head spinning.

“Thats enough of that,” I said loud enough to be strange. After witnessing all four different observation posts I then waited for the elevator, unable to shakethe phrase “e pluribus unum” or “From many (comes) one” from my mind.

“Yeah, they may have knocked us down a bit, but spiritually we have only gotten stronger.” Would I remember all of this? Only if I had taken pictures because boy does my memory suck.

“ Good luck trying to socialize now that you can barely remember someones name.” My sarcasm rarely wasted, even when the carnage was mine.

After the ride down I dropped a five dollar bill in the “Victims of Catastrophes” box located in each elevator. I had visited the twins, but my mind was on the dinner later tonight.
*

It was close to noon time and there was a meeting somewhere in New York,that’s a given!
The one I ended up finding was a favorite, an open discussion meeting where anyone could speak much like the one I visited Russ at a couple of weeks ago.
Its amazing, you can go just about anywhere on the planet and be welcomed by people with the same common problem. Whether you speak their language or not you know exactly whats being said, and New York was no different.
People of all backgrounds and
upbringings: doctors, lawyers, laymen and people just down on their luck; men and women, young and old of all nationalities. People all uniting for a single cause, to help each on another and try to solve their common problem of addiction!
The meeting was at eleven thirty in Brooklyn and it was ten thirty now so I hopped on a train to allow time for the errors of a foreign subway and headed across the East River.
Arriving at the hospital where the meeting was being held I entered conference room B and was greeted by a few people at the door. After shaking a few hands I kept meandering my way in.
It was crowded, as there are just so many people a conference room can hold. But it was also warm and inviting and everyone was welcoming, so the need to run for a corner like I used to do was not there. The tables were set in a circle so everyone faced everyone else.
It was time to begin so the chairperson opened the meeting and asked if there was anyone new or from out of state that wished to be recognized. Raising my hand I stated I was from Massachusetts (I could hear the word Masshole ringing in their heads), to which they all gave a generous welcome and the meeting continued.
After the formalities the chairperson asked if anyone wished to speak and there was a hesitation from the group.
To break the ice and get things started is sometimes one of the hardest things to do, even here. But once that first person speaks and gets the ball rolling, thoughts and emotions take hold and people think of what they would like to say. On that note Ill give it a shot, whats the worst that can happen?”

“Hi, my name is Manuel and Im addicted to everything!”
“Hi Manuel” was returned by the group.
“And I say that because it doesnt matter what it is, if it gives me pleasure I already want more.”
“If theres one word that totally fascinates me it is the word change. A word that is often easier said than done.”
“Whenwere in control of change, like smoothly transitioning from one job to the next, it can be a great feeling of accomplishment. But when changes come unexpectedly; you lose a job; a loved one or your own health; change can be like a sucker punch from hell!
“But then theres a third type of change, where you know you should do things differently but dont immediately have to; like losing weight, leaving an abusive relationship, or drinking and drugging.”
“You could easily “stay the course” and continue on as is, but deep inside you know that changing would probably be for the best, but sometimes its just easier not to. Or sometimes the fear of changing the vicious cycle that will allow you to take back control of your life is just too great.”
Because what is the definition of change? It means to give a completely different
appearance or to transform. And when you can do this on your terms, you are exhibiting a form of another word change can lead to, the word of control.
“And how often do you hear of the word control in our stories? Doing it my way, self medicating, tried to control my drinking, lost control. Even the word “change” is a huge control word in recovery. You could easily say “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not control” or “the things out of my control.”
The word “Want” is another word we often hear in these halls.“I want! I want you to! I want what I want when I wantit! Even if its done politely,„Excuse me, would you pass the bread. All are words of control that are usually used in control statements.”
“Asking for help or asking someone to do something for you is another assertion of control whether its a command, a favor, or by
manipulation.”
“Control is everything, “99% of what people do and say has to do with some form of control.It seems to me that if control isnt the actual addiction itself, then it is the root cause and common denominator of all addictions.”
“I believe Sigmund Freud said it best when he said „People tend to avoid pain and seek pleasure. And I used that instant pleasure of alcohol and drugs as a tool to try and control my emotions.”
“And for me some emotions are very stressful and pretty painful; depression, anger, fear, boredom (the lack of emotion) or
complacency. Even when I was already happy I would get greedy and wanted to get “happier.” The thinking of “more is better” seems to be a warning sign to me that I might have some kind of control issue with something.”
I hate sounding this pretentious, but I’m tired of not getting my point across so here it goes.
“And Im willing to give a hundred dollars to the first person that can prove this statement wrong, Control is the addiction!”

“ But Im not sitting here trying to lecture or sound precocious becauseI usually don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong, it means I’ve learned something.”

“Because to me, the biggest and most important form of control known to all life is knowledge, a why “Know your enemy is the first rule of any war!”

The control knowledge has brought has been with us from the beginning of life when the first life response called bacteria quickly learned the art of control to become the cell. Now it could be free to hunt for its food supply instead of only forming when the conditions were right, thus bettering the odds for survival so it could continue to learn!”

“ And it was with knowledge did life learn to adapt and overcome its environment, just like we still do today. Knowledge is the number one form of control that has given us everything we have to date.”

“Whether its the knowledge thats passed down from species to species that allows them to adapt, reproduce and survive;or whether its the knowledge that allows we humans to adapt even further to become the expert tool makers of today.”

“ Without the control knowledge brings wed be still living in caves hunting and gathering, still slaves to our environment. With the brain capacity to become expert tool makers we have the power to achieve anything, if not today then definitely tomorrow.”

“ Everything is a tool to us that we either adapted or created becauseIm pretty sure trees didnt start growing so we could wipe our asses or write on or with, butthats just the beginning of how we manipulate them everyday.”

“Whether its physical tools such as weapons, money or the electricity or oil that powers the hundreds of thousands of tools we depend on every day; or one of the many emotional tools we can use to make us feel good such as drugs and alcohol, food and even sex.”

“From driving in your car to pulling over and getting gas, even paying for your gas is a means of control. Have you ever noticed sometimes it is okay when you let someone pull out in front of you, but if they do it without your permission it can get under your skin? It all has to do with control!”

“When its said that money is the root of all evilits actually the power and control it brings that is the problem. Lucifer, once the most revered angels in the Bible, was cast from the heavens because he desired more power and control than God himself!”

“ Unfortunatelyknowledge cant even cure you of an addiction because just like saying something and actually doing it are two separate things, knowing something and feeling something are two different beasts also.Im an emotional being and my emotions can be hard to deal with, they can pull me around like the moon does the tides.”

“ There are so many things able to distort my thinking into not caring about staying sober. I may leave this meeting and think Ive made an irreversible ass of myself, and after dwelling on it I might get a case of the “f*** its.”

“Y ou often hear alcoholism referred to as a thinking disease, and it is. Yet for me it was more ofan emotional problem also. Its when my emotions got in the way of my rational thinking that I got in the most trouble! My emotions led me to use drugs and alcohol and my
obsessive/compulsive thinking caused me to continue using.”

“But Im finally starting to understand some of the things I learned from the numerous detoxes I always ended up at. Things like how after years of self-controlling my pleasure through drinking and drugging my brain stopped signaling out its own, natural happy chemicals.”

“So when I didnt use the foreign chemical my brain ended up saying “Youre on your own sucker” because I had done it manually for so long.”

“And it was this emotional dependence that left me depressed and sad until I received the instant gratification of drugs and alcohol again. And for such an impatient person as myself, ending the pain couldnt come soon enough.”

“If your sitting there thinking „That wont happen to me, it was just a fluke, everyone makes mistakes,mistakes happen, Im different! If this mistake happened because of an addictionyoure probably in the right place because millions of people before you said the same exact thing.”

“I n fact the odds wouldstate youre exactly where you should be if you want the insanity to stop because if you have to try and control your drinking, theres a good chance you may have a problem.”

“ All of the unnecessary bullshit, the arguments, fights and chaos; all of the avoidable stress and embarrassmentthat just wouldnt have occurred had you not been drinking because DUIs and public intoxications just dont happen when youre sober.”

“How many people wanted to go through the hellish consequences and torture of their drinking? Its just that I sedated myself as if I was going through a major surgery and wouldnt feel the pain of the self inflicted misery I was creating.”

“Ive always thought I could be in hell being whipped by the devil and wouldnt even care if I was drunk. I may even call it a good time and possibly consider it paradise if I was sedated enough.”

“Everything thats said in these halls didnt just materialize from no where; this is decades of knowledge being passed down for your benefit. Dont be a slow learner, take all that energy you put towards your using and put it towards something productive, something you can use for the future. I use to say drugs and alcohol gave me the energy to get things done, but after a while all of my energy just went into drinking and drugging.”

“To the young newcomer, you walked into these halls for a reason and it wasnt just for the free coffee and donuts. But unfortunately the pain and misery that brought you here will soon fade like most of the past bad experiences in your life. We call it the “Built in forgetter.”

“ And youmay feel like youre better now or cured, most people do feel better in these halls and when abstaining from alcohol and drugs. But once they go back to using the misery and pain often tends to quickly pick up just where they left off.”

“Ive spent most of my life punching myself, and unfortunately I accidentally struck those people closest to me. How is it possible to win that kind of civil war? Either by
surrendering, or I can continue to beat myself to death.”

I looked to the clock on the wall to notice I had taken upmost of the meeting “I just want to continue learning why I think and act the way I do, and maybe try to help one another cure our common problem of addiction along the way. I guess Ive said more than enough so thank you for letting me speak.”

“Thank you Manuel” was said amidst a brief clap. Half of them had forgotten his name it had been so long since hed shut up. Amazingly, he could have gone the whole hour if allowed.

There was an awkward silence that Manuel felt like he had brought on, but that was the beauty of what he had learned in these halls. Most people forget what you said within time, and being from out of state there was a slim chance hed ever see them again anyways.

The chairperson asked if anyone else would like to speak and a white haired lady with thick black framed glasses raised her hand and immediately took command.

“Hi, my name is Jacky” wisped amongst her authoritive voice.
“Hi Jacky” the group quickly rendered.
“When I first came into this program, I wanted to rewrite the book on how to get sober.” I knew where this was heading and wondered “Why does this always happen to me?”
Jacky continued, “And now after twenty five years of sobriety I just try to keep things as simple as possible and not over analyze things because it only makes life more complicated than it has to be. Some people say „Its not how much or how often you drink, its what happens afterwards. Trouble didnt occur every time I drank, but when it did occur I was usually drunk.”
“One thing Ive learned is that I have this disease for life, Im not going to get any better. I will never be able to control my use of drugs and alcohol. And like a person with any illness who doesnt take care of themselves its not going to just go away, and it will catch up to me if I continue down that road. In 1956 the American Medical Association declared alcoholism as a disease, because if it isnt properly treated it will kill you!”
“If I were to pick up a drink or drug today, my mind tends to tell me „Im going to get my moneys worth, Ill quit in a month! Then a month comes along and I say „Ill quit
tomorrow! And „Ill quit tomorrow can drag on for years.”
“And Im not perfect, Ive hurt people in recovery. I try not to judge but just recently I did just that and I screwed up a beautiful relationship and got what I deserved.And theres no taking back somethingonce its said. Unfortunately my tongue can sometimes be sharper than Id like it to be.”
“Just keep coming and you will eventually get this program; you dont have to know how a car works, you just have to turn the key!”
“Thank you!” Jacky finished.
“Thank you Jacky” everyone obliged.
Though myfirst thought was “But someone has to know how the damn car works to keep it running” I knew she was right. Over analyzing is both a strength and a weakness.
The more information the better except when dwelling on all the many possibilities, especially negative possibilities, can often be detrimental.
Dwelling on all of the worst case scenarios can be a relationship killer! After the saying the Serenity Prayer as a group, I headed out back to the hotel.

IV The Shot Heard Around the Halls IV

Back at my room tonights speech was dysfunctionally organized upon the bed. I began trying to memorize as much as I could, nothing like waiting until the last minute. But instead my eyes began committing themselves to some much needed sleep.

Suddenly awakening oblivious gave the same feeling of dread I often felt after passing out drunk. Quickly looking to the clock, four thirty, thank God! My heart stopped racing after realizing there was enough time to comfortably get ready. Down in the lobby I caught my ride to the event.

Upon arriving, the organizer showed me how things would unfold during the night. Everything was going as planned, something Im not used to, when suddenly it became my turn to speak.

Then that rush of paralyzing fear overcame me. Racial harmony was his biggest, though knowingly unachievable desire. It was my belief that possibilities are the closest thing to the reality we seek. If its not possible today, then maybe tomorrow! Either way, there was no backing out now.

“And now, please welcome Manuel Samson,” the M.C. introduced the guest, and then shook my hand before sitting down.

“Thank you.” I began, “Its quite an honor and privilege to be here tonight and speak on one of the subjects Im probably the most passionate about.”

“Ive been fortunate enough to travel all across America, meeting many different people one on one while trying to create an overall picture or barometer of this great country of ours. And to me it seems that the majority of
Americans harbor good hearts and try to get along peacefully while living out their relatively short existence.”

“ Yet, so oftenits the negative actions of the criminal minds that tend to get the most publicity. Lets face it, anti-social behavior can be found in every country, every race and in every religion. They are the misguided souls who cant seem to play well with others just because of another persons color, ethnicity, or religious beliefs.”

“And the se people often tend to be the loudest, most selfish people who will go to all lengths to try and attract as much attention to themselves as they can. But ignoring them and letting them cry it outdoesnt usually work because these children will only whine louder and step up their means to seek the attention they so seem to desire. And every time these
extremists rally or protest, a bigger group will often assemble just to let them know how small their beliefs really are.”

“Ignorance is the number one enemy of all mankind,If hatred ruled the world we’d all be dead! And its obvious that these people are the most ignorant and fearful humans on Earth. Lashing out at their fear through anger, for which I really dont have to explain any further because their actions speak for themselves.”

“How do I know it s fear, when I hear statements like “Theyre taking our jobs, taking over our neighborhoods…” its because these people fear their way of life is being threatened.”

“And its this emotional insecurity that makes these people lash out physically and verbally, venting their frustrations to release the stress and try to make themselves feel better, making them feel that they are in some sort of control.”

“And how do they resp ond, fairly? Hardly. Instead of learning from people of other origins and evolving further they slink down the evolutionary scale and single them out, and then attack them in numbers when theyre not looking or lookingthe other way.”

“I understand, we all deal with our emotions in different ways. Some people implode alcoholically or use drugs, some people have sex to feel good, while still others may overeat to chase their blues away. Then theres the people who explode and respond violently to try and physically remove all their fears and frustrations when they dont get what they want. All of these are examples of bad coping skills.”

“But at times even I wonder if their philosophy might be the correct one, maybe we WOULD be better off without certain minorities in our country!” There were sporadic groans and comments from the audience. “I mean eventually we will run out of space here in America, and maybe we should start keeping certain people out. Or even better exporting some of the minorities that are all ready here!” The hall stood dead.

“But Im still a compassionate man, I would want to be there on the loading docks to see the varied expressions on their faces. When each, and every racist in America, realizes that they are the one and only true minority of this great land. Because the rest of us are human and getting along just fine!” The audience agreed with eruptive applause.

“Coming together as the beating heart of this magnificent country and doing what every organism must do, and remove any virus from within its soul.”

“White… Black… Hispanic… Asian… To all people hate and fear are
indiscriminative.
Let those who cant control their emotions fester like the pus filled fear and chaotic conflict they are, while the rest of us continue to move forward! United we stand, only when divided will we fall. And that goes for every nation of this singular beating Earth.”

“ Love can conquer all! If you want to be angry at someone be angry at yourself for succumbing to such weaknesses, for succumbing to the fear that often brings people down to their knees. How easy it is to kill? I dont care how big you think you are, you are just as fragile as life itself.”

“And just like the criminal s whose negative acts are frequently publicized as freaks of the norm, so too are people who strike out in fear and hate. Who commit no crime but to themselves! Let the antagonizing terrorist of the world…”

Just then three shots rang out as a man approached the stage and I dropped to the floor. Each shot a hit that felt like Id been whacked by a sledgehammer. I could barely look up to witness the assailant surprising everyone by firing several bullets into his own heart falling to the ground before any of the stunned bystanders could rush him. My eyes grew heavy and my heart grew dim And I thought I was tired before…Silly me!

V Details, Details, Details V

The first officers to arrive followed standard procedure and maintained immediate control of the crime scene, protecting everything against damage and contamination until forensics could arrive.

As one officer stood guard the other cop began gathering witnesses accounts of what had occurred during the night. The organizer, and one who called the police, stepped forward to offer his variation.

“Hi ,Im Silas Burton” a burly black man stepped to the cop.“Im the organizer and one of the people who called the police.”

“Im officer Shelton” said the police man of such similar size and appearance that they could have been twins.“In your words, can you tellme what happened?”

“Well, tonight we were holding a unity function to try an address the growing tensions of the different nationalities in the city, and Mr. Samson was one of our guest speakers. He had been doing a lot in the background and conveyed a good message so I asked him to speak. I wish I hadnt now though. Who could have seen this happening?”

“Dont beat your self up, these things happen when dealing with events of this nature” the officer assured.

As more police arrive, they begin securing the area with yellow police tape and obtaining accurate identification from anyone wishing to leave the area for the security log.

Officer Shelton continued while recording everything through a microphone attached to his lapel. “So what exactly happened?”

“I dont know,” Silas continued in his deep booming voice. “He was giving his speech and allof a sudden that guy there” he points to the suspect,“Walks right up to the podium and begins firing. And then before anyone could do anything he shoots himself.”

“Did you receive any threats, or something of that nature?” the cop questioned.

“No, not at all. I would have contacted the police already if there was any indication of such a thing.”

“Well thank you. Is there a number where you can be contacted if we need to reach you?” the patrolman asked.

“Yes, of c ourse.” Mr. Burton gave the officer his number as the patrolman quickly moved on to interview other witnesses.
*

“I hate ignorance! Yet thats the way it must be when entering a crime scene. A clean slate as they say.” I prepare by putting on a sterile, disposable tyvek suit and enter the hall at a careful pace.

“Alicia, do you have a moment?” Officer

Smith approached me to begin giving the info. “Sure Trever, what do you have for me?” “It seems the guy in the suit was giving a

speech when the suspect”
“The one on the floor?” I reaffirmed. “Yeah him. He approached the podium at

approximately 7:20 pm and shot the victim about three times before turning the gun on himself.” “Thanks Trev.”
“Anything for someone as pretty as you” began a night of obligatory compliments Id soon rather forget.
“You have the most beautiful eyes. Is it me or do they change colors because I could have sworn the last time I saw you they were more grayish?” Trever continued.
“Yes they do actually, thanks for noticing. Ive also been told that at forty-four years old I can put most college girls to shame, but that line didnt work either.” I said nicely. Trever is adorable but almost half my age, not that that really matters. But I was here to work.
Besides, I wish more men would acknowledge me for my intellect and all of my inner beauty. I mean its pretty obvious I bleach my hair blond, and for most men thats all it takes!
“Hey Aaron” I called to my trusty servant. “Start with some general videos of the perimeter and then well get close ups of the bodies.” My young assistance with his lumber jack body and the face of a teen, was already busy bringing in equipment. Who better to show these kids the ropes than I?
Aaron fitted his microphone headset on while starting to figure out the best angles to capture the scene. He grabbed the camcorder and began recording, once a video camera is turned on it stays on until the taping is over. One of the video cameras he was using was the latest of technology.
After taking normal video of the scene, he would go back with the second video recorder that emitted a powerful ultraviolet black light ahead of its path to scan and record the location of prints, bodily fluids, and other trace evidence just like a regular video camera.
I continued with what I was doing before the interruptions, the preliminary walk through the crime scene to get a look at the overall picture before the tedious work of evidence examination and collection. While a crime scene is being processed, everything that transpires is documented.
Information is the one desire and the more the better. Everyones a suspect, and no one gets close to the crime scene in order to lessen the chances of Dr. Edmond Locards theory of exchange principle.
The theory states that“every contact leaves a trace.” So for anyone that enters the crime zone: hairs, fibers, prints can either be left behind or taken away on peoples shoes, clothes, or hands. The less the contamination, the better evidence is preserved and recorded.
I then begin to re-create what likely transpired by mentally formulating a hypothesis, focusing on the likely sequence of events and the locations and positions of everyone present during the crime. There are many reasons for doing this, but mostly because the information may be critical in determining the truthfulness of a suspect or a witness.
Always in search of the truth, never to make assumptions with my own logic because if the hard evidence cant support my theory the theory must change, not the evidence. This is why a hypothesis will evolve as more and more information is gathered.
I harness my microphone (a common practice of the day) that ceremoniously recorded everything said and began traveling the path the suspect had taken towards the victim, placing markers near the evidence Ididnt want anyone to disrupt.

With the flags in place I begin snapping shots with a thirty five millimeter camera, describing each picture into the microphone. Nearby was a notebook and pencil for sketches that could be more three dimensional, and for backup notes just in case.

“ Alicia Paige: eight fifteen pm, Friday February twenty-ninth. Majestic Hall, 323 Lyons Street NY, NY- case #532, disk one, frame one”

“Subject: possible victi m, Hispanic/Latin American male” I say while continuously snapping pictures.

“ Time of death: approximately seven pm. Hair color black; eye color…” With her gloved right hand she grasps the victims head and carefully opens his left eye with her thumb: brown.”

Seeing officer Shelton available at the moment “Hey Shelton, can you give me a hand?” I give him the dummy end of the measuring tape and measure the victims height. “Thanks cutie.” It’s okay to flirtwhen they’re happily married.

“Anytime,” he went back to work. “Subject is approximately six feet tall wearing a blue collared shirt with a thin black tie, gray slacks and black shoes. The deceased is lying on his back with apparent gunshot wounds to the chest, shoulder, and head. At first glance the headshot indicates a front entrance/rear exit wound.” The size and location of each wound must be measured and recorded.
Reaching into his pants I hope for some kind of identification. Finding a thick brown wallet, worn out and being held together with Duct Tape? I quickly find a license. Double checkingthe victims features I speak clearly into the mike.
“Manuel Samson, 35 Holt St., Fitchburg, Ma. Disk one end at eightthirty”

This being the primary crime scene where most of the evidence will be gathered, the secondary crime scenes can be just as important. Being late in the evening, we could afford to investigate the secondary scenes, the residences of the victim and suspect, in the coming days when fatigue wont be an issue.

VI Is Everything Really Possible VI

At the hotel, the cop stepped back as Aaron and I approached the door carrying the equipment. As per protocol we should start with lifting the prints on the entrance door, I put on gloves to enter and left that to him.

Essentially the same methodical procedure as the function room, sans decaying bodies lying around, everything seemed in order. With a guard there was less of a chance of someone breaking in and destroying evidence.

“Who knows why people kill, it could be something as stupid as conflicting point of views” for some reason crossed my mind. I knew one reason why the victim was in town, and still had to investigate more.

More like a forensic free for all with no known paths of any perpetrator to trace, we began the search of this secondary crime scene primarily for physical evidence and hope something more comes from it. After recording the scene, Aaron on video and me with my still frames, we begin fingering around his personal effects.

Opening a briefcase lying on the bed, there were mostly documents pertaining to upcoming events the victim was planning to attend, including the one he was just murdered at.

A five subject notebook was filled with notes, some jumbled around the edge of the pages. One such writing was the definition of Cosmogony, that being: Theories of the origin of the universe; in primitive cosmogony the universe and life were created by some
supernatural being.

“Yeah, no shit! I guess were still primitive people” I didnt read further and closed the briefcase, looking towards the bureau. Opening all of the drawers there was nothing but socks, underwear, and the rest of an ensemble.

Aaron was still investigating the bathroom while I looked around the only room left, the bedroom. Taking strong notice to a book bound in red leather on the night stand I had previously written off as Gideons finest- Ah damn, I know I said I never assume but sometimes with experience it’s easy to get complacent! Any ways, there was a certain spiritual energy emanating from the doctrine that seemed to draw me towards it.

Stroking the cover lightly, there was something sensual about fine leather (or maybe I just hadnt gotten laid in a long time) much like playing chess on a fine jade set, even if you dont play the game you have to admire the beauty of the exquisite stone sculptured pieces. There was nothing written on the cover so I dove in.

On the title page was written the words “Experiri Vester Hosticus”
“What the hell?” I thought. “Hey Aaron, hows your Latin?”
“Unused and rusty, why” he came out of the bathroom to see why Id asked.
“Experiri Vester Hosticus.”
“Know your enema?” he took a shot.
“Im going to stick with my first guess that Hosticus means enemy.”
“Whatever, both work for me!” Oh he was definitely a wise ass, especially if it gets him out of feeling stupid. He just left and went back to what he was doing.
I opened the book further, and with the absence of any “Table of Contents” came upon the first page…

(In the highly theoretical world we live in, anything is possible!)

Stellar Evolution: Universal Chaos!

“Can e xistence exist without cycles? Cycles are relevant to everything, nothing exists thatdoesn’t cycle.”

“cycles transfer energies such as our weather patterns; and mass, such as our digestive systems. All existence is the transfer of energies and mass”. Much like our sayings “Things happen for a reason” and “What comes around goes around” are transfers of spiritual energies.

“ So what exactly keeps the planets from being pulled into such an overwhelming mass such as the Sun, Centrifugal force?”

This force is compared to a tennis ball at the end of a string. The string is the gravity holding the ball in place while the centrifugal force is trying to dispel the ball further away. If this were so, then wouldn’t the planets have to be proportionate to some kind of
weight/distance/velocity ratio? And would it last forever as the Sun burns up its fuel and subsequent mass? Some occurrences just seem to defy explanation.

First there’s the smallest and closest terrestrial planet to the Sun, Mercury. Then there’s Venus, which is estimated to be slightly less weight than the next planet in line, the Earth. Then there’s the smaller Mars, which is about a third of the size of the Earth.

You could just calculate that Mercury must be denser with a larger core and therefore heavier, or you could notice
something else. And after the discovery of the planet WASP-18b that appears to be on a suicidal orbit that is heading right into its starWhy can’t that be happening
everywhere, including with us?

What’s to say that isn’t how the universe works? Matter is pulled to a central point where the energy builds and then collapses, either imploding into a matter digesting black hole or explode into a supernova at the end of a star’s fiery furnace of a life. It doesn’t matter whether the size of the cycle is that of a solar system, a galaxy, or the universal explosion of the “Big Bang”?

Wouldn’t make more sense if Mercury, the same size and make of our moon, was once the moon of our sister planet Venus. And as Venus slowly gets pulled closer to the Sun, Mercury would eventually be pulled away into its own trajectory towards the Sun also.

Not having a moon would also help explain Venus’ 256 day rotation and if it were getting closer to the Sun it may help explain its runaway “Greenhouse effect” and
disappearance of an atmosphere.

And then there’s Uranus! How is it Uranus is centered between a gigantic planet that could float on water, like Saturn. Then following Uranus is Neptune: slightly smaller, yet as massive as 17 Earths compared to Uranus’ 14? And following behind are the dwarf planets led by Pluto.

And what of the three largest asteroid belts; the main asteroid belt, the Trojan, and the Hilda. Jupiter has sixty-three known moons as of today; the largest Ganymede is about twice the size of our moon. If Jupiter were slowly heading in a circular path towards the Sun, eventually its many moons would fluctuate and possibly collide with one another, creating the debris we call asteroids.

Of the three asteroid belts in our solar system, the Trojan asteroids are seemingly caught within the orbit of Jupiter, both following and preceding the planet. Then there’s the Hilda asteroids that are still mixed within the Trojan belt, but seem to be drifting into their own orbit heading towards the Sun.

And then there’s the main asteroid belt, where if you added up its total mass it would be that of a quarter of our moon. And if you’ve ever played that “See which coin wins” down the vortex game you find at many malls; you’d notice the smaller, lighter coins almost always wins over the slower, heavier coins. This might explain why the main asteroid belt seems to be slowly closing in on Mars and the rest of the inner planets. For all we know, Mars itself could have been a past moon of Jupiter that pulled away some time during the past 4 billion years of our solar systems development?

So what if a star replenishes its energy by slowly drawing their planetoids back towards themselves and breaking them back down in a stellar furnace/particle accelerator; thus completing the birth/re-birth cycle within the constant plane we call the universe.

“So if this is how the cycle ends, then how does it begin?”

It’s known that Neutron Stars can average just twelve kilometers in diameter, yet their average mass is that of one to two of our Suns. And because their extreme gravitational pull is so strong if something were dropped from one meter above it would only take one nanosecond to hit the surface and would do so at two thousand kilometers per second (7.2 million kilometers per hour).

If this were so, why then couldn’t it be that at the center of every star there’s actually a neutron star as its core that after dispels its energy in a nebula? And as this neutron star spins at thirty times a second it creates “whirlpools” at its poles.

These polar whirlpools, or black holes, break matter to the smallest particles while sucking it in towards the Star in order to rebuild. It’s true that gravity is weakest at the poles and greater at the equator, but is that true when something spins that fast?

Picture the fast moving star in the center of a globe pulling in matter at its poles. Any excess matter it can’t hold onto at the time is pushed outwards at the equator where some collects as planets, and any matter that doesn’t go towards creating planets is slowly recaptured within the globe by the two vortexes at the poles.

After it slowly re-collects all of the matter back over thousands of years the exterior of the star would rotate slower as the fast moving neutron star within would still spin fast, still creating that extreme
gravitational force from within. And this process would complete the cycle to once again become the stellar giant it once was.

And the planets would do the same. Depending on the size of the neutron, the more mass it collects and compresses the more solidified it would become. And this is one possibility of how the Universe may cycle: but it would seem almost unfathomable if it didn’t cycle in some way!

LIFE: Biological Control within the Chaos

(The response of a given environment)

And as the planets crawl towards the Sun they become warmer, and as they do, a warm reaction begins to take place. Ice turns to liquid, becoming the diluted hydrogen that seems to be the basic necessity to most life here on Earth.

And from within the warmth of the hydrothermal pools, the response of life flourishes and slowly rises to the surface. It’s here that the simple response known as bacteria develop, and in some cases overbear their immediate environment, and learn to adapt to other sources of energy; mainly the Sun. And with its evolution it soon learns that with the new found essential aspect of life, control, it can now move freely and adapt even more: always drawing from the successes and failures of the past just like bacteria learned to eventually reproduce on its own.

By obtaining control to survive in its environmental niche, the colony of bacterium in time learns that individual survival is also easiest in numbers. Now it could adapt better by living off of various food sources as a singular team of an organism we call the cell, thus greatly increasing its odds of survival! And the more the single cell evolves the more powerful the team becomes.

With the dominant species always at the helm, what started out as bacteria that pushed the limits of control has now become the Big Bang explosion of life we see today. Some species make it some don’t. But the existence of cell and bacteria seems to always continue.

Overcoming the pools in numbers as life so often does, the cell learns to spread upon the Earth as plants and geophagous animals. As the plants die and cover the ground the animals find it easier to live off the nutrient rich decaying matter, and then learning to process the living plants as well.

Those single cells eventually evolved into the brain that took every physical species along with it. That brain learned better ways to travel, reproduce, gather energy, and just basically survive more efficiently: The brain takes us everywhere!

Soon it went from asexual reproduction, instantly duplicating recreating information on hand just as cells still do today, to passing the knowledge and information in complex codes. Thus storing more information and producing more complex species to adapt to their environments.

Throughout time, animals evolved in a “bigger is better” state; worms, insects, reptiles, and fish all became larger than their means. But eventually either their food supply ran dry or they were just too large to sustain themselves in their environment, and this is how we learn. Kind of like when financial institutions get too big and collapse, or a housing or technology bubble expands too greatly and explodes.

And it is somewhat comforting to know that if there is once again a mass extinction here on Earth, there is a good chance at least one link in the chain will survive and be able to start the process all over. The cell has not only evolved forward, but has evolved laterally in order to keep up with the ever changing environment. Unfortunately though, the process to build back what we have today would take millions of years we don’t have.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? (The egg, we call it the cell)

If you look at the evolution of a single human in the same manner as evolution as a whole: we start from a single cell, the egg; wiggle around for a while like a worm; slowly learn to crawl on all fours like most mammals do, then finally stand upright to become the dominant species of today. And through our evolution as toolmakers we even learned to fly in air and in outer space.

As man grows intellectually from an infant to an adult, he needed some kind of parental unit on the way to help explain the unknowns of his surroundings. From there Gods and goddesses were born.

Religion: psychological control

“ As the cell evolved it wanted to continue to know more! Knowledge and information had gotten it this far and the more it knows the better its chances of survival.”

And as the brain and its surrounding organisms become more complex, just surviving isn’t enough. The organism now sharpens and increasesit’s perception to learn and know more about its surroundings and complex environment. It now wants to know “Why” and “How.” From the lightning in the sky to what happens after their bodies cease to move any more.

But in human infancy and childhood there was no one able to explain as an adult does to a child, so early humans adapt to their surroundings by what they already know. Children come from adults, and adults are responsible for bringing up their children, often in a family environment.

Therefore, to such people as ignorant as the children they were, there must be some kind of parental figure more knowing than themselves in control of all. And in the beginning of religion it was in a family unit such as they knew here on Earth that they choose to call Gods.

GOD: Human ’s parental figure that guided us through our youth and early ignorance, which without, we would not have gotten this far. And like all elders, should be revered and respected as such. But just like our elders telling you stories about bartering for goods and driving horse drawn carriages to get around, times have changed.

And though the early writings are still fundamentally the foundations from which we live, unfortunately the passages of early writings can be interpreted, twisted and distorted by humans as the times change. Some people interpret the Bible to read racial purity is God’s will. Islamic extremists interpret the Koran as a reference for jihad or holy war on all infidels of every country.

There are references to “Aliens” in the Bible that believe it or not is being interpreted as “Extra-terrestrials”. Early people knew nothing of space creatures; the concept hadn’t been invented yet. To them it was just God, the Earth, and themselves which were the center of the universe.

(And on that note: If God did create the universe and everything within it and extraterrestrial beings that don’t look like us do exist: Did God create just us in his image? That’s almost as self centered as“We on Earth are thecenter of the universe.”)

The spoken word can be a thing of beauty, but can also be instantly lost in interpretation and translation. With the written word there is always the question “Was it written the way it actually happened?”

“Which brings up the question of twisted perception and coincidence.”

Black cats may have be prominent during something people didn’t understand at the time, say the black plague. You see the cats while something bad happens, therefore it must be the cats. And the trauma can be so intense it carries with you for the rest of your life.

And as drugs and alcohol can be first construed as a positive energy by the addict, but as time moves on and dependence sets in the negative consequences soon out way any positives left, turning the whole experience into a negative. Fortunately it’s often the majority who aren’t the totally dependant addicts and it is the small percentage who are out of control, yet these people seem to inflict heavy causalities whether it’s drunk driving or extremist of any one of the religions of today. And unfortunately it is possible the majority could fall into such a dependence, in which emotions would take control and nobody would be thinking clearly or
rationally.

THE VIRUS: Negative Control!

In the checks and balances of life, there is one common enemy of us all!

The virus: The virus did what it always did, and as it slowly evolved it began to learn. It learned to memorize and learn from its progresses and its mistakes, it learned how to better attack the living from within: It learned knowledge as the means for better control, and thirsted for more!

Instead of just stealing energy it learned to steal information to become more selfsufficient; reproducing on its own through simple asexual reproduction and eventually creating its own D.N.A. It learned to become an opportunistic infection, patiently waiting and surviving without a host for a period of time. The virus even learned how to get energy from the process of photosynthesis from within its botanic hosts.

And unfortunately for all other life, it learned how to share information and unite with one another- thus utilizing all types of energies and becoming the top survivalists, the dominant species, of its time.

Even learning to hibernate and survive in the interstellar medium as some bacteria do today, drawing warmth and energy from the distant stars and planets through
photosynthesis as it draws closer to its source. Being such a small species in such a vast openness the virus learned to quickly reproduce itself and spread like bacteria on Earth as a way to quicken its traveling time through space, surviving in numbers.

It mastered what it always did, to get the most out of life while using the least amount of energy. Able to mask itself from within in order to take over any living organism, it evolved with such efficiency it learned more about the workings of the brain from within than humans on Earth ever could.

It learned how to locate and manipulate the one common denominator, the control center of any and all life and organisms it came into contact within the universe. It learned what part of an animal’s brain to take over, able to plug itself in and use its host’s senses for its own purposes- now it could instantly see, smell, taste, hear and feel from within the more evolved species without going through the elongated evolution process it takes to develop such senses.

It became the ultimate being, almost like god itself!

“Whew, this guy should have got a life before it was too late” I said while closing the book as it just went on and on. “Maybe later” I thought.

After the hotel room was recorded on film and scanned for prints we carefully placed the book and all the other personal items into bags and hauled them away. We could come back to them later, but there was still the suspects house to go through and the victims residence in Boston to explore, and tomorrow (a Sunday) the two autopsies to perform.
*

The suspects place most likely held the key, and fortunately could be found right here locally in New York. There it was, 1900 Fairmont Lane, still guarded by a cop and yellow tape.

“Howdy, were with forensics,” the cop must have seen me before because he stepped back before I even finished. “Thank you.”

I opened the door with kids gloves on as Aaron stayed back to dust for prints.
The place was dank and unkempt, and just down right dirtylike hed been on an alcoholic bender for monthsand just didnt care.
“Whats sup?” Aaron said after finishing the door and coming inside.
Whats sup indeed I thought while still mentally perusing the apartment, until my eyes caught a hold of something on the wall.
“I thought I recognized his name,” I thought aloud while looking at several glass framed newspaper clippings.

Yonkers, New York 1989: The first cloned human was born today. Raymond Ledger was cloned using his deceased father’s DNA implanted into his mother’s womb. Raymond Ledger Sr. was a New York cop who was gunned down back in November in the line of duty.

“Perfection at its best, I wonder if Raymond Sr. had a resentment against the world and if that was cloned too? Things that make you go hum!

“ Youre kind of a fucked up chick, arent you?” Aaron kind of caught me off guard with that one.“What happened, when you were young you wanted to see what made the living tick so you cut frogs and lizards up? Yet it took years and thousand of creatures before you realized you were causing them to die?”

“Yeah, something like that bitch. And how does it feel to be subordinate to a girl?”
“Should I be aroused right now, because the thought of being under you is really turning me on. Youre like one of my friends hot mother Id do in a second.”
“That really hurts, not the sex part, but the older mother part” I feigned some hurtness.
“Would you prefer cougar because thats like all the rage now a days.”
“No, but thank you! You just reminded me why I never want kids.Youre like the greatest birth control I could ask for. Now listen Mr. Greenlaw, can we get back to work?” I looked around to assess where best to begin.
“Yeah, I was afraid youd say that. Look at this filth! Im a young bachelor and I couldnt even live like this” Aaron and I looked around. “So, what exactly are we looking for?”
After giving it a quick thought, “Well, I guess the obvious would be hate literature to why Raymond would have wanted the victim dead. Or any signs of untreated psychosis or mental disorders. Looking around Id have to guess obsessive compulsiveness wasnt one of them. Also, anything personal that would give us a window into his life- yearbooks, letters, personal phonebooks that could give us leads to other people close to him. How did the doorknob look?”
“Fine, only one set of prints that matched up to his.”
I looked around again at the mess. Damn! The bedroom and bathroom were strait ahead as you walked through the spacious living room with an open kitchen with a view of the street to the left. The bedroom took up the far left corner while the bathroom hung to the right.
After checking the “jackpot zones”, the bedroom and bath, nothing! No books,
magazines, not even a computer, just a TV and two rooms of trash.
“I found a library card,” Aaron said after perusing the living/dining room kitchen. “Maybe he checked out some books or uses the
computers there.”
“Check into it, from the looks of things it may be all we got.”
“Will do, as soon as we get out of here.”
I really like the kid, even after that “Hot for mamma” crack. And how does someone get the last name Greenlaw anyways? Daddy was a sheriff back in the days of old?
“Its been three hours of searching, taking pictures, scanning for prints with nothing to show for itId say the time is now. How late is the library open to on a Saturday night?”
“I believe until at least 7pm, but if I recall correctly closer to 9,” Aaron enthusiastically replied.
“Well okay but only if youre up to it, if not it can wait until later. Besides, it might have to be done by someone with more authority than us, like an investigating police officer.”
To which hereplied, “A challenge? Besides, I have no life outside of this. It helps keep me out of trouble.” Though an obvious fib when I knew hed be meeting his friends tonight at a bar around ten, when the party was really starting, with some juicy work tidbits to talk about (totally off the record of course).
I would go but I wanted to get prepared to do the autopsies on both men tomorrow.

VII Just A Days Pay VII

The second of the two autopsies, after finding no abnormalities in the victim with the exception of the several gunshot intrusions that caused his death, I prepare the suspect for the same.

Being true to investigation, this is where I hopeto help find out “Why” this tragedy occurred. Even if it can be chalked up to behavioral reasoning, there may be something inside triggering the behavioral cause.

“ Hey Aaron, can you start prepping the fucker,Ill be right there.” I figured hed appreciate me talking in his native youthful language.“You remember, take him out of the bag, remove the residue bags from his hands and get the “body block” under his back. What am I saying, you know what to do” realizing Aaron may feel insulted by the obvious.

“Yes mam” he acknowledg ed. With everything in place I approach the table. Of course just like in the TV series Quincy, everything is recorded. Did I just date my age some more?

“Okay, Im making a “Y” incision. From each shoulder Ill cut down to the lower part of the sternum, continuing the incision from the sternum down the body to the pubic bone.”

“Do you want the Stryker?” Aaron questioned.
“Yes, cut the left lateral side with the saw and Ill use the shears afterwards for the right. That way we wont have as much dust in the vicinity of the damaged heart area. Get ready to lift the entire rib section as one big plate.”
After taking descriptive measurements and samples, finding what was expected in the first half of the internal examination, came the more intensive analyzation of the brain. If there was any behavioralabnormalities this is where were most likely find the cause. Tumors, growths, infections can all cause pattern disturbances within the brain.

I have to admit, during my bachelors degree I excelled in microbiology and
biochemistry for a reason, the shit fascinates me! And in medical school I paid close attention to normal and abnormal physiology for the same reason.

It was at this time, after the classes in gross anatomy, I realized there were fewer chances to open up a brain cavity on the living as there were the dead. And since this was a desire of mine, my path of becoming a medical examiner was drawn. I just wanted to know more about the causes of human death, especially in those who take theyre own lives.

“Okay, lets move to the cranium.” My blade skated across the scalp from ear to ear over the top of the skull. The skin is pulled back in two flaps so it will go unnoticed during any funeral presentation.

“Bone saw” as I hold out my hand like a surgeon for Aaron to carefully place the saw.
“Bone saw” he called out in compliance. I followed the line I traced with the saw blade set for a two millimeter cut that wouldnt fully penetrate the skull.
“Chisel, hammer,” The careful taps every two inches helped finish breaking the seal, after which we removed the cranium like a cap.
“Lets see the scalpel Aaron so we can cut away the dura mater,” was the cue for Aaron to hand me theinstrument, “Thanks”.
After I peeled away the thin layer between the skull and brain a hypotenuse was quickly proceeding. “Wow, can you say acute
encephalitis? I mean Ive never seen so much swelling before, causing extensive areas of necrosis from possible hypoxia.” The cadavers neck feels enlarged“His lymph nodes feel noticeably inflamed as well, this guy was a mess!”
“So the guy had some form of cancer and was probably going to die anyways, big deal!”
“Yeah well, theres only one way to find out. Get this guy in for an MRI so maybe we can find the cause of the swelling, then Ill dig a little deeper for a first hand view of whats going on.”
“Do you know how much that costs? For a cadaver?” Aaron questioned.
“Theres too much going on in this guys head already, I want a three dimensional view. Just tell them its for me, theyll do anything for me in xray” I wisped of sarcasm.
“Ya, you certainly know how to use what you got” he said while pretending to run away from my prescribed response to that one.
With a look of disdain, “Just do what I say without your wise ass getting in the way.” I lessoned my tone to friendly, “And while youre out, can you bring the blood samples to phlebotomy.”
“Yes commandant” Aaron gave a subordinate salute.
“Wise ass” I groaned.
*

“Wow, that was quick” I looked up from my desk as Aaron wheeled the specimen back in.
“You call three hours quick?” he didnt hesitate.
“Relatively speaking.”
“Yeah, well I guess youre not that pretty `cause I had to wait in line like the rest” he pushed the body past me into the morgue. “They also dont seem too fond of x-raying cut up corpses. What do they know about having fun?”
Pushing the x-rays on to the lighted screen “Huh, thats strange” I called out.
“What” Aaron questioned as he ventured closer.
Continuing,“Cysts seem to be forming on both amygdales at once;thats quite a rarity. Along with his enflamed lymph nodes” I paused, “Would lead me to presume possible
toxoplasmosis; which also might help explain his erratic behaviorbefore his death.”
“What do you mean” Aaron was lost, but at least he wanted to learn.
“Toxoplasmosis, an infection from the parasite Toxoplasma Gondii, has long been suspected to be a cause for behavioral problems such as schizophrenia, drug abuse,
hypersexuality. The virus seems to trigger an increase in dopamine,” I turned to him “Which has shown to produce more of an aggressive behavior in animals. Rats with the disease not only lose their fear of cats, but have been known to actually seek out cat urinemarked areas.”
“Sounds like a stupid virus with suicidal tendencies” Aaron quipped.
“No,actually its quite intelligent” looking back to the screen my interest continued.“You see cats are its primary host, so if a rat loses its fear of cats it increases the odds it with be eaten by a feline and be able to transmit to its favorite food source. It affects all other animals as well, about a third of the human population is affected but usually its just causes mild flu-like symptoms and thats that.”
“That, and in its cyst form this parasite is quite a survivalist, surviving in the environment, host less for over a year; it also can survive exposure to minus twelve degrees Celsius, moderate temperatures, and chemical
disinfectants such as bleach.”
“Where do you come up with this shit?” Aaron spouted.
“A girls got to have a hobby” And I left it at that.
A radio had been turned on to the news in the back ground when they re-entered the examination room now was foremost in the silence.

“In today’s news: Russia, the third largest army in the world, is still defying the West’s demands to pull it’s forces out of the former Soviet province, all the while beginning unilateral military training with the worlds largest military China and Russia and are rumored to be negotiating to include N. Korea in the exercises. This would create an allied power that would have over twenty-five percent of the world’s active troops and would control almost all of continental Asia and Russia. The United States, #2 on the list, and #4 India and #6 S. Korea are obviously concerned.”

“In local news, four teens were arrested for murder in what seems to be just a night of boredom…”

“Will you turn that mur dering, war mongering shit off” I pounced. “Damn control freaks!” Pausing for a second at that sentence I tried to remember why it struck a chord.

“Wow, what just bit you in the ass?” Aaron shuttered, though hesitating to push my buttons further as he turned off the radio.

“Whats wrong with the people today” he continued “What were they thinking? Sometimes its like people snap, or something interferes with their rational thinking.”

“Lets cut the spinal chord and nerves” I motioned to the cadaver“And place the specimen in formaldehyde to firm up the specimen so we can go in a little deeper in a couple of weeks…”

VIII Road Trip VIII

Awaken to the sounds of silence became a perfect match to the moment of deep thought I was in. As I roll out of bed to the preparation of the day. Aaron and I are going to up to Fitchburg, Massachusetts and meet with the local forensics at the victims apartment to compare notes. Where the hell is Fitchburg Massachusetts?

The coffee was waiting in the pot while I dragged myself over to the computer. In a time of instant gratification was there any better way to get the news and information? After glancing at the headlines my memory kicks in and I begin to research something thats been on my mind. Its been proven bacteria can survive in space, but how well? Something I had read ina victims notes had sucked my curiosity in.

The first article about the survival of “Space bacteria” was the story of NASAs unmanned lunar lander Surveyor 3 in 1967. Two years later the Apollo 12 astronauts retrieved a camera from Surveyor and found specimens of Streptococcus still alive. And because of the precautions the astronauts took, they could conclude the gems had been in the camera before Surveyor was launched. But since there are bacteria that survive in near vacuum conditions here on Earth, the vacuum of space in not a fatal problem for bacteria.

Low temperature and lack of liquid water? Freezing and drying in the presence of the right protectants are two ways normal bacteria can enter a state of suspended animation. And if the right protectants arent initially present, the bacteria that die first supply the rest for the benefit of the surviving ones.

The second story was about two biologists who extracted bacteria from a bees digestive tract from about twenty five million years ago. When placed in a suitable culture the spores came back to life. Spores are bacterial cells in complete dormancy with thick protective coats (a more efficient survival technique).

There are bacteria that metabolize iron, nitrogen, sulphur, and other inorganic materials. Bacteria that live without sunlight.
Archaebacteria that can withstand extreme heat have been thriving in oil reserves a mile underground. Some species of cyanobacteria are highly resistant to ultra violet radiation The only thing absolutely essential for bacteria to live, grow and multiply is liquid water.

Bacteria express different genes in different environments to ensure survival. Inhospitable conditions can turn a “master switch” in some bacteria and allow microbes to form tough spores that can survive the extremes of space.

“Well, thats enough of that!” as I give

Aaron his wake up call.
“Hey, you up?”
“Yeah I know what time it is, time for you

get off your ass and pick me… Forget it, Ill get the truck and come get you in a half hour. Its a long way to Massachusetts. Hey, where the hell is Fitchburg anyways? Near the New Hampshire border, Ill see you in fifteen!”

Yeah, we didnt actually leave New York until ten am. in hopes of missing both cities atrocious traffic jams- two of the earliest cities that werent built to withstand the number of people they now held. I just called Aaron early because I knew he had a late night.

The drive from New York to just east of Beantown took three and a half hours thanks to the youthful foot of my trusty compadre and my knowledge to travel route 128 to 495 north and avoid tea bag central all together.Id been there enough to know better.

It took another hour from Boston to the lovely of city Fitchburg Massachusetts, settled about twenty minutes just under the northern border with southern New Hampshire. And after pinpointing the exact location with the help of our GPS, we arrived at 35 Holt St. at exactly 2:35pm.

Hastings Hall was a majestic looking mansion four stories high. Complete with four great fluted pillars rising 30 feet in the air to support the flat roof covering the 10 x 30 concrete stoop.

Not exactly how I pictured a rooming house to look but the hall was supposedly built by the local wealthy mill owner Hastings during Fitchburgs prosperous era to house the single women that worked in his mills during WWII. And he apparently spared no expense for the lovely ladies.

After climbing twenty concrete stairs we entered the vestibule and rang for the manager.
“Hi, are you Ken?” I asked the
distinguished looking gentleman who opened the door for us. He was, and he then introduced me to his assistant manager Dennis who was to give us the tour of the place before we set to work. Aaron placed the equipment aside in a safe place and we were off.
The entire downstairs ceilings rose about twenty feet and the twenty-by-forty grand foyer was laced with intricate architectural crown moldings and casings. Looking strait ahead as you walk in the practical stairway was hidden past a small cased opening to the left.
Dennis first took us to the oak paneled library/TV room to the right with its oak finished mantle and custom bookcases on each side. All of the downstairs had paneled pocket doors which made each room seem like it was hiding something.
Then we back tracked through the foyer into the dining/smoking area with its faux wall panels made with common moldings in square patterns. And dead ahead from the foyer entranceway was a simpler, though still elegantly trimmed mantle piece surrounding a now decorative fireplace.
To our right began the kitchens, the first one we entered had a double sink to the left with functional counter space for appliances and lockers to store cookware and food to the left. There was a table in the center that Dennis explained was a “Free table” (anything on this table was yours if you wanted it) and a coke machine in the far left corner.
Strait ahead in the second kitchen where two stoves with one of the three refrigerators to the right (the other two were to our right as we crossed the double doors to the main kitchen) and another sink/counter space to our left with a stainless steel island right before it.
From the kitchen they were led up the back stairs three flights to room #55. The whole way Dennis reminisced how Manuel was a decent, quite, keep to himself type guy- kind of private and secretive but in a good way.

There was no caution tape or standing guard as the building was secure we had their personal assurance room 55 would stay exactly the way it was left.

Dennis unlocked the door to introduce us to a quaint, though tiny, 14x14 room with a window centered on the exterior wall that was across from us. At least the ceilings were a high twelve feet to make the space seem less cramped. And on either side of the entrance way were two rather large 3x5 closets.

Dennis then did something peculiar for maintaining a crime scene, he went into the room further that we would have liked, darting strait for some kind of animal cage atop the bureau in a “no pets allowed” establishment.

Upon further investigation, “So thats where the snake came from.” He then explained on of the other house managers had found a ball python in the third floor bathrooms and they had been wondering where it came from ever since. And with his own little mystery solved he quickly exited the room and left us to our work.

I looked to Aaron “Well, the crap isnt going to lug itself up three flights of stairs. I think Dennis said there was a dumb waiter you could use.”

“I could use lunch, or at least a coffee. Is it okay if I walk downtown to Dunkins and see if theres anywhere to eat? Want anything?”

“Im good thank you, have fun,” I said more as a reaction than a statement. Aarons the best, and if he says he needs a coffee and something to eat I know thats what he needs.

Either Manuel Samson was a little on the disorganized side, or Im starting to think my standards are just too high. The one thought that caught my eye was the absence of an idiot box, I thought I was the only one. But he did have a tower and screen which is also my best addiction of the day.

And what a magnificent addiction it is, any question that pops into your mind can be instantly answered; any song you want to hear can be instantly heard. The world wired with questions and answers much like the synapses and receptors of the brain.

There werent many books, but what he had were interesting: „The Puritans Way circa 1852; „The Battle of the Republic four book series written in 1884; A Bible, a Koran and a book that interprets the Koran in English; and a collectors edition of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy all in one book.

Finally, paydirt! I began looking through what seemed to be Mr. Samsons high school year book: The Last of the Eighties at Silver Lake Regional High School! That would be around the time the forty one year old victim would have graduated. But it appeared the brilliant year book staff decided to be artistically different and not list the students in alphabetical order so it took some timebefore reaching Manuels.

MANUEL SAMSON: Thanks Mom and Dad, Mike P. and Steven S. and so on. Most of these people were still on his short list of close friends which would suggest a strong loyalty to people he trusted. Then there was the obligatory poem or saying: If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world there’s nothing to it!

Nice thought pal, but not in this life time; at least not for you! Just then Aaron got back with a coffee and a sandwich and now all of a sudden Im tired and hungry.

Funny how that works!
“My turn, when youre done eating take some pictures, prints and everything else. Unfortunately theres not much here. Ill call his Fitchburg friends from A.A. and well all meet in an hour or so. Then Ive arranged to meet with some of the people he was close to on the South Shore on the long ride home.

*

Two weeks later and its Sunday and Im going to work to do the follow up on the suspects autopsy in the Manuel Samson caseHappy freakin’ Earth Day to me!

Just kidding, what else would I be doing? Even though its being said this will be the biggest Earth Day ever since its on a Sunday and the whole world can celebrate at once! Ill just watch it on TV like Ive done for every New Years Eve- and I live in New York. Man I need a life!

At least I suckered the kid to give me a hand. I didnt really need the help its just sometimes I dont like working alone. I need someone to keep my motivation going.

I arrived late, around ten and Aaron had beat me there and everything was prepped.
“Hey boy, wheres breakfast?” I retorted.
“Its down at Williams waiting for you to pick it up. And since its Sunday and all I figured it was on you” he replied casually.
“Did you order my eggs scrambled, home fries with onions in them and one pancake on the side?”
“Yes sir!”
“Ill buy, you fly,” and with that Aaron headed out the door for the short jaunt to our favorite breakfast place/diner down the street.
So by the time he got back it was 10:30 and the Pope was to give his Earth Day for Peace speech so we settled down with our eats with the newscast coverage ready to begin.

“Hi, my name is Amelia Jean, and in the biggest Earth day anniversary to date, all major countries are joining in the celebrations: from Alaska to Tokyo and all points in between.”

“I’m here with this year’s organizer , Christian Malachi” she prepares the mike close to him as he begins.“This has been forty two years in the making, and still has a ways to go until the whole planet is united for one day to celebrate a dire, universal cause, Hopefully by the fiftieth anniversary in 2020 that will become a reality!”

“Can you tell us some of the highlights planned throughout the day?”

“Well, there’s going to be continuous concerts and community cleanups, you have to check you local listings for those. And U.N Secretary General Colin Powell will be holding a live broadcast that will be simulcast all over the world at once momentarily.”

“And then shortly after Secretary Powel, the pope will be addressing the throngs of adherents at St. Peter’s square at approximately five-thirty (Rome time) on the importance of reversing the decades of the global abuse of the past. It will mark the beginning of Earth day in San Francisco at eight a.m., and signify the end in Tokyo since it will be twelve a.m. there.”

IX Operation BD IX

And at the gates of the Vatican, tens of thousands of people are lined up to see and hear the holiest figure of Catholicism give his speech onthe necessity of preserving Gods green Earth.

The barriers that cordoned off the square of St. Peters stood about three feet high and could barely contain a child. Though the 130 member Vatican police, a special branch of Italian Police force called the Gendarme Security Corps, are only lightly armed if armed at all and drive around in blue and white mini electric Lamborghinis- and though they drive around in glorified golf carts, they are primarily there for extra security when the Pope enters and leaves Vatican City.

But the Gendarme work in close
collaboration with the pontiffs personal security, the 134 member“Swiss Guards”, who are in pronounced force with two thirds of them in operation every given day.

Identified by their blue uniforms and matching brown belt, they guard all the external entrances (The Petrine Gate, Arch of the Bells, The Bronze Door, and the St. Anna Gate) with J.P. Sauers p225 side arms that hold 8 9mm rounds per cartridge. But they have access to SIG SG 550 assault rifles that can blast off 700 rounds per minute and the Heckler and Koch MP5 sub machine gun that shoots at 900 rpm- If you can load the thirty round cartridges fast enough, and depending on whether the guards can get to the guard station fast enough!

The fuckers also stand watch over the entrance of the Apostolic Palace, The Courtyard of St. Damaso, The Belvedere Courtyard, The Sala Regia, The Secretary of State offices, The floors of the various “Loggias”, and in front of the Popes private apartments.

The little cockroaches swarm everywhere within the .6 mile city, along with the invisible sharpshooters in the balconies over looking the streets, but are they really a match for a blitzkrieg of a thousand?

And along that gate groups of people stood and waited to pass through the metal detectors.
They looked wholesome mixed in with the seemingly sea of hundreds of similar groups scattered amongst the thousands, singing hymns and halleluiahs.
They were here to celebrate the Earth, and the persuader of peace, the Bishop of Rome. Proper attire is required and was a great measure to hide the markings of their gang affiliation as well. The tattoos were hidden under white collared shirts and khaki pants to blend in well amongst the pious.
There was another group of twenty, heavily armed and awaiting to charge the Pacem in Terris that overlooked the Vatican heliport with snipers and launchers for any incoming or outgoing traffic.
Also from that vantage point through binoculars they could back the team that was to take the Vatican radio station halfway between the heliport and the railway, two birds in one. But also past the New Gardens was the Vatican Radio administration building that had to be over run as well. There was a lot to be done on the forty-second anniversary of Earth Day.
There were several scattered around the Barracks of the Swiss guards so not to attract attention, yet when the time came they knew this is where the guards would come for heavy arms. Larger numbers were waiting inconspicuously close by along St. Peters Square as
reinforcements.

There's a shadow just behind me Shrouding every step I take
Making every promise empty
Pointing every finger at me

Waiting like the stalking butler Whom upon the finger rests
Murder now the path called "must we" Just because the Son has come

Why can't we not be sober? I just want to start this over
Why can't we drink forever?
I just want to start this over

“Sober” by Tool

Back at St. Peters t hey waited until the square started filling up, about a half hour before the show so not to attract as much attention themselves. The team leader signaled the rest by text- IT WAS ON!

“Shell be coming like a fountain when she comes, when she comes! Shell be coming like a fountain when she comes, when she comes! Shell be coming like a fountain, Ill be rock hard as a mountain, shell be coming like a fountain when she comes, when she comes.” The twisted driver sings the perverse lyrics to the classic folk song as his box truck crashes through the front gates and speeds downSt. Bascillica Square. Its amazing no ones been snagged under his wheels, but in his mind God can just grow more!

“Its show time” the driver of the truck radioed to his comrades to let them know he just smashed into St. Peters Square and was about to hit the papal apartments.

The black and white dressed nun directed a small group of about thirty with one other sister.
“Okay children, lets line up and enter the gates in a holy manner!”

SMASH! The box truck went right through the children sized barriers and was now careening in St. Peters square- just a hop jump and skip from the Papal apartments. Everything unfolded at once and in time for the telecast.

X Anything Is Possible X

“Good even ing! My name is Christian Malachi. Well actually, lets just go with Samael for nowdidnt want to scare you off too quickly.”

Im here at the Va tican with someone you may know,Say hello pontiff!” The camera points towards thou holiest man- allowed only to stand still, his head down in silent prayer.

“Raise your head b ishop, and let the world see who you are!” The frail looking servant of god does as he is told and looks up to the camera in much disbelief.

“Satan? The holiest man mustered before saying “What do you want?”
“Satans a rather general term, anyone who doesnt see things your way seems to fit your definition you little control freak you!
“What do I want pontiff! World fuckin peace! Something your ideology can never produce unless you have total control, and you should be ashamed of the paths youve attempted to get there! Religion produces no baleful resultsMY ASS!”
How about the Crusades, Galileo, and the billions of people that were singularly
prosecuted, tortured, and put to death because they either didnt believe in your god or didnt practice your rituals accordingly. No baleful results or do you just discredit all of religions negatives?
Thats like the addict proclaiming “Im not hurting anyone but myself! After sixteen hundred years you finally agreed the Earth is not the center of the Earth, and it took over four hundred years afterwards for you to admit you were wrong and apologize for all of the torture and death you used to try and dispel the truth.
With all the factual knowledge you suppressed because itdidnt agree with your beliefs and fears wed be living on fucking Mars by now instead of having “all of our eggs in one basket” down here on Earth! Wouldnt have to worry as much about the “End of the world” then…but then again, maybe the church already knows this! No baleful results, my ass!
Consider this an intervention! A sobering slap in the face you fucking addicts! You can take the book of revelations and shove it up your fucking ass you fear mongers! Makes me wonder if there was no fear, would there be a need for religion?Youre worse than the KGB!
“Fucking Children (all of you!), look how you behave!
You have the older child in the Jews, and his “Favored” little brother “Christ” bickering with the Muslim step child over land and religious pretenses.
Little Bastards, I say if you cant play nice, take away the fucking toy! Either no one lives in that cursed land, leaving it as an uninhabited holy refuge for all- Or else blow that fucking wasteland you call Jerusalem to smithereens! Nobody gets it! Let you all re-build your precious little shrines together, wouldnt that be a kick!
Chosen people, get over yourself! If I walked this Earth saying I was the “Chosen One”, what do you suppose people would think? Arrogant? Egotistically self-centered? Right back at ya! You know the saying, “Every Jewish mother has wanted to bear the messiah from the beginning of time. Kind of wish that was never written, now it has to come true to fill the vacuum it created.
So you basically dropped all of the other gods and renamed a Zeuslike figure “Creator of All” so you didnt have to waste time running around to find out which deity of polytheism was in charge for that day! Remember “Polytheism”, the religion way before your god ever existed, and from which you stole!
Real fucking original! Even Jerusalem was derived from Salem, the ancient pagan deity of the time. Oh yeah, youre real fucking special alright!”
“Lets see, Sarah couldnt bear children for Abram so she gave him her maidservant Hagar to bear a child. That got awkward when Sarah did bear a child a child for Abraham at ninety (apparently humans were still trying to figure out how to keep relevant time), Hagar and her son Ishmael were banished from the kingdom. (incest: sounds like Zeus marrying his sister Heart)
Between Abrams story and “Lot and his two daughters”- Reading this crap gets me more aroused than watching porn! Tell me something, up until this point in time adultery and incest were still part of mans original sins, right? No wonder youre all fucked up!
“So, the Jews basically left Jerusalem to go to Egypt when the land was deemed too barren and apparently not quite sacred enough yet at that point. That worked for a couple of years until they became second rate citizens, and finally were enslaved by the Egyptians. Then Moses led them back to Jerusalem to where the Muslims had stayed and maintained control.
If someone left a house I was living and then came back years later after centuries had gone by and said “God says this is my house” Id tell him to fuck off too, after asking “Why the hell did you leave in the first place?” When the going gets tough, the tough get going- right out the fucking door like a running Jew. And then try and return when the shit really hits the fan!
Muslims protected the Jews during the crusades, living side by side in relative peace until 1948 when the state of Israel was declared and well armed by the rest of the world, if I was a Muslim Id be resentful and pretty ticked off too!
“Well, enough about the Jews-and dont even get me started on Catholicism, theres a religion that shoots itself in the foot time after time! So,” he turns to main Bishop, “What do you think of me so far?”
You know Pontiff, I suppose a little civility would be nice also! Everyone working in harmony for a common goal! How long have we heard that one? If one more beauty contestant degrades that philosophy with her bubbly smile and insincere tone- you want world peace honey, shave your head, condone make-up, and become the next Mother fuckin Teresa.”
“World peace, huh! Ill give you world peace- satellites and cameras monitoring your every move. And once anyone of you fucks crosses the line youll be arrested by an
overwhelming majority of a police force. Three strikes and youre permanently gone, making room for people who care. “Ill love ya, Ill tough love ya to death!” Be careful what you wish for I guess!”
Here you are bickering and fighting when at any minute your world as you know it could be obliterated, and are you prepared? Not even close! All that wasted energy and thought! You might as well start firing those nuclear warheads now!
To be honest with you, I dont know why you were ever afraid of mass destruction. What a comforting thought that it wont just be you dying alone. You die, I die, everybody dies!
Were all going to die eventually, why not “If I go, everybody goes!” Right now youve got all of your eggs in one basket, and the basket is about to break!
Where are you now, sitting in your home planet sedating yourself with chemicals and religion. Religion, the “Opium of the people.” Damn strait!” But until you realize “Anything is possible” denial will stop you dead in your tracks! Just like every other addict, “Its all you know, and the fear is too great!”
And if that world devastation does happen (comet, meteor, galaxies eating galaxies, quasars, nuclear war, etc…) total annihilation of the Earth, where do you think most people will be! Supermarkets? Why bother! No, theyre either going to be at their local tavern, liquor store or drug denor on their knees! Either way, theyre both the same!
God, the longest unsolved theory there ever was! Cannot be proved or disproved! What are you afraid of, that science solves its theories much quicker. Well, there is one way to prove your theory true slaves- Die! And then come back to Earth and tell us how that worked out for ya!
Get real people, adapt or die you fucking dinosaurs!
Five hundred thousand gang members in the United States alone, and you didnt see this coming? Young, energetic- already armed with a thirst for blood! Initiate the control by enticing the greed of the already organized syndicates with actual worldwide domination! And there you may just have the worlds greatest sucker punch!
Enough of that, Ive said my peace. So really, why am I here and what am I up to? Good question really! You see, I have this love affair with antiques- being a sort of relic myself. Mostly old books and historic buildings, especially the magnificence of historic churches. There is something that just turns me on about opening a book or walking through a building that was totally carved out by hand hundreds of years ago.
And my life long quest has been to find the oldest Bible known to man- and what better place than one of the oldest standing churches!
I want to see how our elders viewed life, in their own words. How the Bible has changed over the yearsand dont kid yourself, the Bible changes to suit current needs at the drop of a hat! Its no longer “Thou shall not steal another mans oxen or donkey” because that is no longer relevant in todays world.
What a kick, the Bible itself undergoing evolution. There must have been some changes from Greek to Hebrew, then Hebrew to English right! Im sure King James himself made changes that were relevant to himself and his kingdom, to keep his people in his control. Hell, the Bible was changed as recently as 1970.
I wish I had the answers for you, I really do. I do not hold these as truths, just possibilities! And if you cant see them as such, because everythings possible (if not today, then tomorrow) then theres a chance you may be in denial!

Don't damn me
When I speak a piece of my mind 'Cause silence isn't golden
When I'm holding it inside
'Cause I've been where I have been An I've seen what I have seen I put the pen to the paper
'Cause it's all a part of me

Be it a song or casual conversation To hold my tongue speaks
Of quiet reservations
Your words once heard
They can place you in a faction My words may disturb
But at least there's a reaction

Sometimes I wanna kill
Sometimes I wanna die
Sometimes I wanna destroy Sometimes I wanna cry
Sometimes I could get even Sometimes I could give up Sometimes I could give
Sometimes I never give a fuck I took what I could find I cried when I was lonely I fell down when I was blind

It's only for a while
I hope you understand
I never wanted this to happen Didn't want to be a man So I hid inside my world

But don't damn me
When I speak a piece of my mind 'Cause silence isn't golden
When I'm holding it inside
'Cause I've been where I have been An I've seen what I have seen I put the pen to the paper
'Cause it's all a part of me

How can I ever satisfy you
An how can I ever make you see
That deep inside we're all somebody
An it don't matter who you wanna be But now I gotta smile I hope you comprehend For this man can say it happened
'Cause this child has been condemned So I stepped into your world
I kicked you in the mind
An I'm the only witness
To the nature of my crime
Said it tears into our conscious thoughts You tell me who's to blame

But look at what we've done To the innocent and young Whoa listen to who's talking 'Cause we're not the only ones The trash collected by the eyes And dumped into the brain

I know you don't wanna hear me cryin' An I know you don't wanna hear me deny That your satisfaction lies in your illusion But your delusions are yours and not mine We take for granted we know the whole story We judge a book by its cover
And read what we want
Between selected lines

Don't hail me
An don't idolize the ink
Or I've failed in my attentions
Can you find the missing link
Your only validation is living your own life Vicarious existence is a fucking waste of time So I send this song to the offended
I said what I meant and I've never pretended As so many others do intending just to please If I damned your point of view
Could you turn the other cheek

But don't damn me
When I speak a piece of my mind 'Cause silence isn't golden
When I'm holding it inside
'Cause I've been where I have been An I've seen what I have seen I put the pen to the paper 'Cause it's all a part of me Don't damn me
I said don't damn me I said don't hail me
Don't damn me

“Don’t Damn Me” By Guns and Roses

Thanks to Mom and Dad who for some God known reason stuck by me. To the many friends who did the same.

And special thanks to Jennie B. who took time out of her busy schedule as a mother and ninth grade English teacher to read and edit this to make sure the punctuation at leastdidnt suck too bad!

“You know, that felt pretty good!
Centuries of built up resentment, I can’t believe he let me say that!”

“Don’t get too high on yourself Samael, you remember the last time that happened.” His closest adviser stood by his side.

“I don’t know, sometimes I wonder if these spoiled brats need strict adult supervision? What do you think?”

“These people need to learn on their own, if you force them to do your will their hearts won’t be in it.”

“Yeah. This is why the roll of advisor is the most important job there is. This is why He had me choose who it would be. It’s good to see you again Gabe.”

“It’s good seeing you too, Samael.” “I just hope for once in my miserable existence I’ll do the right thing. I know myself all too well.”
“You were always a good servant, it just once we were given emotions we suffered the same fate as these humans. No one’s infallible, not even God, especially if he allows these people to destroy one another!”