Debauchery

Debauchery: (n) excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures; intemperance.

I sit here just a little bit grumpy because unless I exaggerate—or even worse, lie—I cannot give you a great story about my personal debauchery.

I came close a few times.

I was alone and naked with several women who were willing to put up with my feeble attempts—when all of a sudden, I chickened out.

I’ve been offered liquor, drugs of all sorts and even invited to participate in a scam or two. I do believe I turned down most of these misadventures out of wisdom or moral fiber.

But I’m curious sometimes if I missed out on an exciting rendezvous by simply being afraid to jump in and participate.

The human race is a silly lot.

We extol the beauty and power of virtue while simultaneously hoping there are enough slipups and fumbles to keep things hopping.

We want our children to be virgins when they get married.

But we also want them to have the passion and energy of a Nevada prostitute or a Playboy mansion philanderer.

We are so foolish.

Matter of fact, the word “debauchery” itself is kind of self-righteous and tight-assed—because your debauchery and my debauchery would probably differ.

Your debauchery would be pointing out all the things you refuse to do that I do—and my rendition of debauchery would be much the same.

 

Debatable

Debatable: (adj) open to question; in dispute; doubtful

Feeling in a particularly generous mood, I decided to give you a gift of five things that are debatable and five things which, in my simple-minded way, seem to be non-debatable.

Where to begin?

Let us start with the debatable topics

  1. The American election system.

Since it is broken, it is well worth a healthy discussion.

  1. The educational system.

We love to stir up dust about lackings here and there, but still maintain a segregated and impoverished endeavor.

  1. The purpose for religious services

Since faith without works is dead, maybe works could survive without a building—and an organ.

  1. Racial forgiveness

Instead of denying the misdeeds found within all races of humanity, perhaps we require a massive group hug and teary-eyed apologies to one another.

  1. The institution of marriage

Is it divine? Or simply a man-made way of guaranteeing family units to sustain the tax burden?

Now, as to non-debatable issues:

  1. Is there any power in “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?”

Just open a history book and let the blood pour out.

  1. Is there a God?

Since no one knows, discussion either way is theory, and for that matter, often nasty.

  1. Are men and women equal?

Since we have to live in equality, it would be ridiculous to introduce restrictions.

  1. How, or even when, will the world end?

Go back, clean your room and do your homework, you little brat.

  1. Is there a hell and is there a heaven? It is possible to have a heaven without a hell, so the insistence on including eternal damnation is rather vindictive, don’t you think?

These are just my opinions. You can either revel in them or rebel against them.

 

Debase

Debase: (v) to lower in rank, dignity, or significance

It’s difficult to know whether human beings prefer stories which end in success or are finalized in some degree of tragedy.

I, for one, become light-headed and sleepy if I hear too much good news all at the same time, fearing that some of it may be embellished to maintain the sugar content.

Yet I have to admit, all of this “dark theater” that surrounds me adds an extra layer of worry to my soul—which is desperately in need of being cleansed from unrighteousness.

But universally, all of us are aware that we take our turn being debased. Or as I jokingly call it—spending time in “de-basement.”

Sometimes we even stand in line for it.

We’ll enter a contest, apply for a job, petition for a cause only to be flattened at the last moment like a housefly which paused too long next to the watermelon.

It’s not just part of life.

It is actually the portion of life that makes life ultimately livable.

If I don’t know how to do without, or be left out, rejected and mistreated, I will never have the sensibility to be merciful to others.

It’s a helluva way to learn it.

Certainly the heavens should have thought of a more cotton-candy schooling.

But sometimes you go without so that when you go with, you have a greater appreciation and perhaps even a broader understanding of value.

So give me a story where someone tries, fails, survives, laughs, rallies and then kicks ass.

Thus, the definition of the American dream.

 

Debacle

Debacle: (n) a complete collapse or failure.

It is my opinion that the word “debacle” and “failure” should never be linked.

As human beings, it is our responsibility to learn and appreciate the value of failure. In the long run, failure saves time, energy, money and much future humiliation.

That is, unless we try to fix our failure.

A debacle is an attempt—or many attempts—to mend a failure, so it appears there was never a misstep in the first place.

It is duct tape on a broken piece of glass.

It is an awkward apology to someone who’s truly been offended.

It is becoming offended yourself when the awkward apology is rejected.

It is trying to explain something unexplainable.

It is pardoning yourself before anyone else suggests you might be guiltless.

It is sitting in the middle of a mess and demanding it continue because funding is available.

It is repeating the same service over and over again, though nothing and no one is transformed.

It is taking a system that was crafted two hundred and fifty years ago and holding onto it through tradition, even though modern technology suggests there’s a need for alteration.

It is taking the side of your political party when it is obvious that error has been made.

It is swimming in an ocean when warned not to swim—simply because they don’t know how good a swimmer you are.

It is believing that since people are different, you can claim to be better.

It is arrogance added onto sin, dipped in pride…

…and deep-fried in unforgiveable ignorance.

 

Death Wish

Death wish: (n) having a desire for one’s own death

Life is the opportunity to live.

More life is what we get for solving our problems.

But I have to be honest with you—continued life is not very interesting if it doesn’t possess purpose.

I’d rather be dead than bitchy.

I’d rather be dead than bigoted.

I’d rather be dead than poked and probed for the rest of my days by young doctors who are trying to make their reputation by discovering something wrong with me.

I’d rather be dead than harm a little one.

I’d rather be dead than remain silent as the world flirts with annihilation—simply lacking the common sense of cordiality.

I’d rather be dead than live without knowing if another human being finds me hopelessly attractive.

I’d rather be dead than be religious.

I’d rather be dead than be an atheist—although that’s problematic.

I’d rather be dead than continue to curse after I’m blessed.

I’d rather be dead than live in a country whose people believe they’re better than everyone else.

I’d rather be dead than find myself buying into the idea that lying is just a human thing we do.

I’d rather be dead than sit around all the time, wondering how and when I’m going to die.

Dying doesn’t look very complicated.

But once its accomplished, it does alter your social calendar.

So having a death wish is really wanting a decent burial for what is already dying inside.

Death Penalty

Death penalty: (n) punishment by death for a crime

I am so happy that life is more like a motion picture than a brochure of photo shopped stills.

Honestly, if you had frozen my face, attitudes and beliefs at any one particular time in my life, I not only might have been contrary to you, but also at odds with my present incarnation.

There’s just too much to learn on this journey to ever be certain.

“Certain” is the profile taken by either fools or people who have enough money to pay for an alibi.

So I will freely tell you—there was a time when I was favorable, if not an advocate, for the death penalty.

My reasoning was not vengeance.

Rather, I cited the case of Charles Manson. I felt he was given a cruel and unusual punishment by having to live inside his own tormented brain the rest of his life. It seemed to me that capital punishment in a situation like that would actually be merciful.

Folks would “ooh and aah” over my insight–and I felt that I succeeded in killing off the bad guys and looking genteel at the same time.

Then one day, I opened the Good Book and read the story of Cain and Abel. According to this volume, Cain killed his brother, Abel, generating the first murder case.

When God caught up with Cain and spoke to him, He asked him why he was hiding and tried to get him to tell the truth. Though not totally successful, God, who had the power to take his life, instead exiles Cain. He goes, starts his own family and continues his breathing.

This gave me pause.

If God, who had a slam-dunk murder case against Cain, chose to give him the opportunity to live out a new possibility, who in the hell was I to lobby for the death of another soul?

I am not trying to insinuate that rehabilitation is successful.

I don’t think that someone who is massively cruel deserves to continue existing.

I just know that God chose not to execute the first murderer.

And He’s really the only judge,

For we all know there are many roads and detours before we arrive at our destination.

 

Death

Death: (n) the act of dying; the end of life

Pwanged with a silly stick of maudlin muddling, I will occasionally imagine what the world will be like right after my demise.

That being my death.

When doing so, my eyes quickly fill with tears over how sad I presume others will be over my absence.

And then, without warning, my brain suddenly rights itself, and I realize the past five people I know who have died were afforded about one week of concentrated bereavement.

And then life, wearing very heavy boots, marched on.

I don’t know how it should be.

I don’t know what the correct length of time is to commemorate and memorialize the deeds of another traveler who is leaving because of the absence of breathing possibilities.

But it should be different.

Shouldn’t it?

Even people we regale as “planet changing souls for the ages” only get thirty seconds of silent reflection prior to the opening of Wall Street.

Thirty seconds? Really?

I, of course, understand that there will be spasms of dismay for a length of time over the departure of a fine friend—hopefully including me.

But the audacity of the human race—to think it has the energy and intelligence to proceed without me—is a worrisome, if not tearful, conclusion.

I don’t know what to do about that.

But after careful consideration and pausing to ponder over possibilities, I have decided that my best approach is to get even…

…and stay alive.

Dearth

Dearth: (n) scarcity; lack

Once I realized I was stuck with three other friends on a Saturday morning landscaping project, I decided I needed a bit of frisky folly to survive the ordeal.

It’s not that I hate working with the soil—I just basically hate working—and am more honest about it than most self-conscious mortals.

I do not like to shovel.

I don’t mind paying somebody to shovel for me.

So realizing that we had to go to the local Home Depot, and for some reason or another buy big bags of dirt (which they called soil) I waited for the exact right moment.

To set up my little joke, I hid the bags of dirt in the garage. So when it came time to use them, the chap who seemed to be in charge of the Green Thumb Expedition looked down and saw only one bag of dirt at his feet.

I waited.

I needed him to say the right thing.

Finally, looking around in every direction, he asked, “Where are all the bags of dirt we bought?”

With a smile on my face, choking back laughter, I replied, “It seems we have a dearth of dirt.”

And so I remained sane.

Dear

Dear: (adj) beloved or loved

Not feeling rushed.

The chill of confidence that occasionally soothes my fears.

Breathing deeply.

Watching from a distance and seeing something kind before my eyes.

A fine meal that was easy to fix and settled well in my belly.

A friend who tears up when they describe their love for me.

Me, when I likewise produce the tears.

Waking up with a sense of divine inspiration, not certain where it came from.

Thinking of someone who needed to be well-thought-of.

Discovering the last of something I fancy on the grocery shelf.

Allowing myself to rest in my accomplishment.

A joy that leaves me shaking with gratitude.

Late-night whispers from little children trying to fall asleep.

Cutting open a melon and finding it ripe.

Being remembered.

Knowing that something horrible has been forgiven.

Cool water splashed on my face.

The first bite of steak.

The last bite of steak.

Knowing that life is not one perpetual highway, but rather, a series of blessed stepping-stones that allow us to travel on without sinking into the mud.

These are things that are supernal, which I embrace and hold dear.

Dean’s List

Dean’s List: (n) a list of students of high scholastic standing

I am not sure that I will remain faithful, but I would like to begin to take a moment to speak up when I discover a blatant contradiction.

I think it’s ridiculous to have a Dean’s List.

For that matter, it is equally humiliating to have grade cards at all.

It’s not that I think everybody needs a goose-up or a booster chair.

Other awards are just fine.

Competitions can be very beneficial—as long as we understand we’re actually competing instead of participating to the best of our ability.

I guess I always believed the goal in school was to learn.

In other words, teach the subjects, give the tests, determine the level of understanding, and then either pass the students on to the next grade or ask them to remain in the same classroom and help with redecoration.

What is the difference between an A and a B?

Astronomical. Just ask any child who’s expected to get an A and accidentally “let it B.”

How about between a B and a C?

Please remember that we refer to those who garner a C grade as being “average.” Such a flattering term. (In a room full of C’s, you would be hard to see.)

D: Isn’t that just dumb?

F—failure. Or if you’re emphatic—fucked.

Meanwhile, who’s learning what, and who can translate that knowledge into working life situations?

Are we graduating people from college needing another ten years of adjustment in the “real world,” before they can leave their family home and rent an apartment?

At one time, we tried to avoid teen marriages.

Now we’re recommending “waiting until you’re in your thirties.”

Why?

It’s the unspoken confession of the educational system, admitting it does not know if those who wear cap and gown are cognizant of much at all.

Let’s stop grading—because depending on who you are and where you are—it can be very degrading.