Coffee

Coffee: (n) a drink made from the roasted and ground beanlike seeds of a tropical shrub, served hot or iced.

An ambiguous lover.

That’s what coffee has been to me.

It always reminds me of that one girl I knew, who was a good friend and occasionally made me think that I wanted to make out with her–and I think she probably felt the same way about me–but we never, ever felt it at the same moment. So awkward attempts to be romantic always led us back to long conversations about how we didn’t want to ruin it because our friendship was so special.

That’s the way I feel about coffee.

I have really tried to get into coffee. It seems like something that should work for me. I hang around with people who enjoy it immensely. Part of me would love to love coffee–just to fit in.

But the numerous times I have tried to have relations with the coffee cup have ended up very unsatisfying.

Maybe it’s because I snuck up on it.

A couple of times it seems like it snuck up on me.

Perhaps it revolves around the fact that our love affair is decaffeinated.

I tried it iced, but it just left me cold.

I tried it with cream, without sugar; with both; and even with something they told me to put into it which I could not identify–and did not help.

Officially…I am not a coffee drinker.

I sometimes hold a warm cup of the fluid in my hands in the midst of strangers and adults so as to take my place in the tribe.

But always, by the time they’re ready to have a second cup or top off their first, I have barely taken three uncomfortable sips.

 

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Chuck

Chuck: (informal) another name for Charles

I guess his real name was Charles, but by the time he matriculated in my direction, he was “Chuck.”

He liked music and I played music, and I offered some opportunities to gig–which in the world of the common street musician, translates as
gold.

He had a heart for people, a love for God and a thirst for music.

I liked Chuck.

He was just about the age of my two oldest sons, so they befriended him, started a band together and played a lot of different music–covers and even some of my original tunes.

He was always around, but it was pleasant. There are people who are sometimes around, unpleasantly. Not Chuck. He was helpful, he was kind, but he was burdened by internal demons which seemed unlikely for him to possess, but certainly did possess him.

But he talked about it. He was worried about it. He wanted to be different than he was.

This is the only redeemable part of humanity–when we realize who we are and instead of making excuses for it, we make a plan to improve it.

After a while Chuck floated off, got married and had a beautiful little daughter.

I do see him from time to time. It is amazing how we are able to restore the exact same creative chemistry from when we plodded together for a season.

But I guess friendship never dies–it just sits around, patiently waiting for the day it will once again be uncorked and celebrated.

 

 

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Bruise

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bruise: (n) an injury appearing as an area of discolored skin on the body

He had an unusual name: Page.

He was a boy. So he took a lot of crap for it.

I think his parents thought they were clever–because his whole name was Page Unus McCloy.Dictionary B

In other words, “Page One McCloy.”

I liked him.

He was a simple little fella. He tried really hard to do everything that everybody else did, but he was sickly–that’s what the teacher said–had a difficult time keeping up.

He also had a problem when playing, because the slightest little bump could cause a bruise. So you can imagine, there were times that Page came from home black and blue. The cops would be called and then everyone would realize it was just due to his…you know. Sickly.

So physical games were pretty much impossible because he always ended up looking like he had been beat up in a bar fight.

One day we found some crab apples in his backyard, rotting on the ground. We decided to throw them at each other. Apparently one of them wasn’t quite rotted enough, and it hit him square in the middle of his forehead, knocked him down and left a huge bruise.

His mother was really mad at me, so I wasn’t allowed to play with Page for a couple of weeks.

But when I returned the friendship was as sweet as ever, and we continued to carefully carry on as young boys do–dodging injury.

Christmas vacation arrived, and I told Page that I would call him over the holidays and that I was looking forward to seeing him “next year.”

When January 7th arrived and we returned to school, I couldn’t find Page. A teacher took me to the side and explained that he had passed away over the holidays, from complications due to something called leukemia.

My first thought was that I must have killed him with the crab apple. That idea haunted me for months.

Matter of fact, it wasn’t until we were in biology class two years later that I understood the type of disease that caused Page to bruise.

Whenever I think of bruises, I think of Page.

Then I think about how important it is, if you love someone, to be tender to their condition … and try not to leave any kind of bruise.

 

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Bowel Movement

Bowel movement: (n) an act of defecation.

We aren’t supposed to talk about it.Dictionary B

Matter of fact, it could be the definition of friendship. A friend is someone who has joined you in lengthy discussions about bowel movements.

Since it is the forbidden fruit of human dialogue, generally speaking, you have to develop a very close relationship with a fellow-bowel-mover to actually feel comfortable to open yourself up.

And once you get started, you can’t stop talking about it. It’s as if you’ve been culturally constipated and suddenly are granted the free flow of expression.

Uncorked, as it were.

And it is so enlightening when you hear other people discuss their “seated times,” and realize how much you have in common with them–with some delightful differences. It can nearly bring you to tears.

But we are told not to speak of such things and certainly not to joke about them. Otherwise we’ll be accused of “bathroom humor.”

It is amazing that something done by most people at least once a day is relegated to conversational obscurity.

So if you’re ever around me and I start sharing about “b.m.” you can be certain of two things:

  1. It’s on my mind
  2. You must be a damn good friend.

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Apex

dictionary with letter A

Apex: (n.) the top or highest point.

“Getting high.”

It’s too bad that phrase has been sullied by the drug culture, because it is so rich in truth and promise.

Everything in life has an apex, even though we often settle for the valley.

  • The apex of politics is a decision to be responsive to the needs of the people instead of chasing their whims.
  • The apex of the military is to convey a strength which discourages our enemies instead of using new weapons to experiment with their lethal carnage.
  • The apex of friendship is really honesty–having someone in your life who will tell you when your breath is bad.
  • The apex of spirituality is “love your neighbor as yourself” instead of debating “who is my neighbor?”
  • The apex of education is infusing knowledge which is workable to the student who wants to go out and pursue a craft.
  • The apex of sexuality is mutual pleasure.
  • The apex of finance is having enough for your needs, a little for your desire, and the balance to help others.
  • The apex of athleticism is the payoff of being in shape, whether you win the trophy or not.
  • The apex of commerce is to make a decent profit while feeling soul-satisfaction because you’ve delivered a quality product.
  • The apex of parenting is seeing the good parts of yourself in your children and allowing them to rebel against the bad.
  • And the apex of faith is working towards having the will of God done on Earth instead continually speculating on heaven.

I am in favor of getting high–just not chemically induced.

For finding the apex in life may be the true definition of “the high road.”

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Anus

dictionary with letter A

Anus: (n) the opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which waste matter leaves the body.

There are many standards used for friendship.

Actually, the word “friend” is used quite loosely in our daily lexicon to refer to anyone who is present in our midst and whom we don’t want to offend by calling an “acquaintance.”

But I have one major criterion for true friendship. I know that I am finally in the presence of someone who is my lasting comrade when we are able to discuss bowel movements with each other.

It’s not something you can force (pardon the expression).

But most relationships are somewhat constipated until you feel the freedom to, shall we say, “let it all hang out.” There is something liberating about being able to discuss one of the more tangible evidences of one’s daily life and progress with another human being without fear of ridicule or grossing them out.

I can honestly tell you that I’ve only been able to achieve this with less than a handful of people. I have attempted it with other folks, only to see our interaction quickly go from friendship to stranger.

Yes, they considered me very strange because I took one of the more important bodily functions which produces some of the greatest relief and attempted to make it a common topic.

I have an anus.

I have never used it for anything other than relieving my bowels. Well, I guess I do sit on it. But it is ridiculous for us to be nervous about discussing the dispelling of waste or the clogging up thereof.

Yes, an anal definition of friendship would be the ability to discuss the anus and its production level without fear of being incriminated or considered gauche.

And of course, you know you’re in deep levels of intimacy when color, texture, frequency and flow are free game for your profitable dialogue.

 

 

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