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Sep. 18th, 2007

pip

(no subject)

Nihilism is not a plane of existence. Nihilism spikes through onto this plane, its chords gripping a human and then infecting. The infection makes its way on neural pathways- the human, unsuspecting. These humans then proceed to infect and debilitate a person who is beginning to make positive changes in their life because the infector cannot bare those who choose to create with life, those who are striving to pull themselves out of denigration- out of victimization. So they attack. They spew accusations or catchy rhetoric to the unaware. Beware. They can begin to put you on the defense and that which is true. The ‘he said’ or ‘she said’ of it all is a trap. A trap of smoke and mirrors. Where have I been? The mind’s diminishing wisdom submits to discrediting truth or discrediting those I should trust. Why do I want to interrogate those I trust? When I ask myself this I know the infection has begun.

Jul. 9th, 2007

pip

Shadows

Cool air and the back of my neck meet. I trust it. It is clean. Scotland holds her secrets close. The ghosts of the ancient Picts shadow me. There is a current message in their penetrating gaze haunting through masks of every shade of green. Conflicting opinions about specifics, people and situations, lacerate any peace I may have found on the drive to Kinross. My last blog entry was only the first of part two. I have attached part II below but I am not the same person as I was when it was written.

 

Part II Jealous

An hour later the cell rang again.  I cautiously picked it up expecting Connor but wouldn't be surprised if it was Mom - that’s the kind of day its been.

"Hello"

"Hi Pip, How did you know it was me?"

"Very funny."

"Sorry, How about some fish and chips, I'm starved."

"If that’s the best you can do, I'll meet you in the lobby."

"Great, but which lobby?'

"Connor, I'm not in the mood for games!"

"Pip, I really don't know where you are staying."

Another hour and we were finally downing a beer and waiting for our meals.  Connor had explained that after the rock festival I had called him from my cell and when he answered a voice quickly said "Sorry, wrong number" and hung up.

 I vaguely remember that, as I was dead tired, had a few too many beers, wanted to call Mom, Connor probably in the back of my head, and I accidentally called his number instead.  Thinking he wouldn't know it was me, I quickly hung up.  He went on to say that he waited a few days - not knowing specifically where I was - and dialed my cell.  He got my number from his caller ID when I had called him accidentally.  He therefore didn't know which lobby to meet me in and most importantly did not "misuse" his position and still wasn't stalking me.

 He continued..."If this answers your questions satisfactorily, its now your turn."

"Okay, what are your questions?"

"Phone-o-vision?  Really, Pip..."

"Connor, do you have any questions or not?"

"Yes, one big one.  When we last met in Berlin your reaction to some of the things I said about your Dad clearly convinced me that you really didn't know that he might be alive.  You are some actress Pip, because thanks to another phone mix up, I clearly heard you say ‘...I won’t tell Dad.’  This tells me that both you and your Mother know your Dad is alive."

I knew that was coming but I couldn't even think of a good fabrication, so I told the truth,  "Look I was late for a scheduled call with my Mom - so I called her and caught her in the middle of brunch with a friend.

  It was obviously a sticky situation for both of us - my missing our schedule and her with an unidentified friend.  My Mom closed our phone conversation jokingly whispering '...Don't tell your father, he might be jealous.'  This was her way of reassuring me everything was okay between us.  I expected her to call me back when she was free - so when the phone rang I foolishly assumed it was Mom calling back and I was anxious to return the reassurance to her that everything was good between us. 'Not telling Dad' was a meaningless phrase to anyone but us.  We occasionally referred to him in the present just to let each other know we will never forget him - just a little unwritten code between us,.... but hell, a logical bastard like you wouldn't understand, so think what you will."

"I'm sorry, Pip.  I do understand and I do believe you.  Actually that is exactly my point.  When two people are as close as you and your father, there must be some - using your own words - 'unwritten code' or something that would enable him to let you know he was alive and it would be something that only you would recognize when it happened or when you saw it.  That’s why I asked you in Berlin if there was anything, anything at all that would cause you to doubt his death.  So all I'm asking is for you to think and be vigil as some might try to manipulate

you for their own gain."

As we left the pub, Connor said "Can we meet up again before you go? How about Wednesday?"

"Lets see, Wednesday, the Fourth of July, Independence Day - how appropriate, but then I forgot you Blokes don't celebrate the Fourth over here."

"We do.  Its just that we call it 'Thanksgiving' - Nite, Pip"

Jul. 2nd, 2007

pip

Jealous

It should be no surprise that it is early July in London and feels more like a day in early spring than the middle of summer. But having said all of that, you can’t always blame the weather when in actuality it is circumstances that make you sweat. Frankly, even in L.A. when the Santa Anna’s are blowing and the average citizen has strapped him/herself to an air-conditioner, I’m still moderately comfortable in my rubber. To say London is congested right now is the understatement of the fucking decade. Making my way back to the hotel wasn’t made any easier by aggressive pedestrians pushing and shoving in order to get themselves to their intended destination. You can’t blame any of them, even I have no desire to be a sitting rubber duck for some sick fuck but it’s all slightly irritating. This exercise of getting back to the hotel took longer than usual due to the added security from the foiled car bombings a couple of days ago.  I was late for the expected call from Mom.  We have a non-binding understanding that she would call each day around five o'clock wherever I was.  I originally thought this might not be the best of ideas.  After all I wasn't 15 any more and I didn't need someone to keep tabs on me.  I mildly protested by explaining about time zones and daylight savings time and how in some places it was in effect and how in others it was not. 

Seeing right through me she smiled and said, "It’s always five o'clock somewhere and besides I'm not checking up on you.  Don't worry if we miss each other one day we'll catch up on the next. I want you to have fun.  It’s just that I'll miss you."

 How do you respond to that? But the ironic part is, I not only don't mind, I look forward to that call and if I don't get it, I'm the one that gets upset.

 

I thought I had missed her call as it was almost six but my cell didn't show a "missed call".  Concerned I called her. She answered the phone and calmly informed me she was having brunch with a friend and was unable to call on schedule and that we expected there would be some days when there was no contact.  Trying to tactfully back-out of the situation, I said I was concerned that she might have heard about the bombings in London and was worried about me.

 A brief second of silence was followed by "Pip, being married to your father for all these years and with him doing the kind of work he did I had to quickly get over being worried at every unfortunate event in the world." 

My feeling of shared relief and disappointment quickly changed to defensiveness as she added "...besides you weren't even in the UK when the bombings were discovered..." she wasn't going to let me off the hook "...if you were, I would have been worried" in an almost whisper she added "...but don’t tell your father, he would be jealous."

 

A long shower was necessary even though I’m in a country where they take baths. As I stood motionless letting every drop of water do its job of reviving me and wondering why Dad might be jealous (was it who she might be having brunch with or that she was worried over me and not him),  my cell rang. Without even reaching for a towel I stretched and picked up the phone...

"You didn't have to call me back, Mom.  I understand and I won’t tell Dad."  I quipped.

"Pip? Are you all right?" a male voice said.  Stunned, I waited for more.

"Pip is that you?  Connor here."

"Connor you sick bastard."  I lashed out.  "How did you know I was here? How did you get my phone number?  Misusing your position to stalk me has got to stop!"

"Calm down and slow up Pip.  I am not stalking you and I did not abuse my position.  This was intended as a social call."

"Some social call!  I just got out of the shower and I'm soaking wet."

"I know..."

"How do you know that?  Did they issue you phone-o-vision too?"

"I know because -"

"Never mind!  Ring me up in an hour.  We clearly need to talk and you have some questions to answer."

"Agreed, an hour it will be.  I have a few questions for you also."

"Like what?  I thought you said this was a social call."

"It was but when you thought I was your Mom you said 'I understand and I won’t tell Dad'.  What should I make of that?"

Heavy sigh, heavy sigh "See you in an hour Connor"

 

Jun. 22nd, 2007

pip

Photograph

Photograph

 

The bottle is empty. I’m still sober. The dawn intrudes, a welcome intrusion. I’m trying to piece it together. I imagined my father at the performance last night. There’s something in me that’s convinced sometime somewhere in his life he has been in Congress Hall. I rocked that fucker last night with every beat, with every pounding I was searching faces convinced the ghost of my father was staring back at me.

Thirty minutes before I went on a note had made its way backstage; some local security guy stopped me in the hall backstage saying, “Are you the one called Pip?”

“That would be correct,” I said.

He passed me a small envelope. I didn’t take it at first.

I asked him, “Who gave this to you?”

“An older looking woman,” he said, “she didn’t have a ticket, she passed it to my colleague outside.”

I’m staring at it now. It’s a picture of my father and my mother from 1989 taken after Vaclav Havel became president. Neither of them has ever mentioned to me that they were here together. What consumes me more than anything about the photograph is how full of life the two of them were. He’s cocky and she’s beaming. Obviously they’re playing to camera having a drink in times full of promise. All the note said was: he is missed by many, we share in your grief in ways you’ll never know; give my love to your mother- Petra. Some people are waking to greet the day in another city that I’m sure holds more secrets.

Jun. 18th, 2007

pip

Unrelenting Light

                                                             Big Girls don’t rain yellow showers

Unrelenting light. A sweet torture for some. Living in extremes of any kind will eventually push a person to their limits. The Fins live in extremes. I waded through a sea of black to reach the sound of pounding. An agonized voice laced with beauty I thought that this young rod of testosterone would volunteer to be a sacrificial lamb. I would lay bets that if you offered him an alternative to his masochism he would simply attack you before he would consider giving up his pain. He was in a state of damaged bliss. A sea of black emanated a smell of young girls covered in yellow showers. An adolescent orgasm easily came as they watched this self-anointed martyr wallow in his own emotional defecation. Any hard-ons, naturally. The metalheads could not confess to that particular transaction but I’m sure there were too many to count. I continued walking through obsidian rivulets. He was raw this one- tats everywhere, another worldly spirit with an ability to plug in to dark and to light in equal balance. He could channel his anger. I’m the first to admit channeling my anger into something productive and not destructive is no easy task. He passed me; I stood in the doorway. He looked back and simply said, “I love you, I’ve always loved you.”  I asked an attractive blonde with freckles how she survived the winters. She said there were more suicides in Finland than I could ever imagine during the dark oppressive months. The only way I’ve learned to survive it she said is by forcing myself outside when it’s dark. The people that stay in to hide from the darkness are the ones that succumb to it. The ones that surrender to it and allow themselves to walk in it, live in it, laugh in it and more or less welcome it into their lives are the ones that survive. There is no darkness as I finish writing this. It has been a full 24 hours. Where is Santa’s furry little eye mask when you need it.

Jun. 11th, 2007

pip

You Go First

      My train pulled into the Berlin bahnhof at exactly 1330.The German train system purportedly runs like a Swiss watch.  I can attest to that as upon arrival I set my watch to the ETA of 1330.

      I flagged a taxi to take me to a memory – an area where “the wall” used to separate two vastly different ways of life.  My BMW taxi made me feel important until I noticed looking out the window at the heavy traffic (but not as heavy as in Paris) that 90% of the taxis here were either BMW s or Mercedes Benz s.  I know its been a long time but it still amazes me as to how the countries we defeat in war prosper at a greater rate than we do following the war.  I guess they all must have seen “The Mouse That Roared.”

      While standing on the curb contemplating ancient history I felt a set of eyes on me...“Guten tag Pip!”  came the voice that has entered my head entirely too many times during the last 48 hours.

“Oh a h h …. Hi,”

“Connor!”

“Yes Connor, behind door number two.  What a coincidence.”

“It isn't a coincidence.  I told you I would see you in Deutschland”

“Deutschland is rather large and I told no one exactly where I was going so how did you find me so quickly?”

“That’s what I'm paid to do.”

“You are paid to find me?”

“No, I'm doing this on my own time.  I'm on holiday, but I can use skills I acquired on the job.”

“So why are you stalking me?”

“I'm not stalking you.”

“What would you call it?”

“Well I might be conducting a little surveillance – but look lets not debate this here.  There is a little gasthaus about a block from here. If you would join me for a Becks and bratwurst, I'll try to explain.”

“.....okay, but I'll warn you in advance – the only thing your whetting is my appetite”

Once in place at a remote corner table, Connor began --

“Look Pip we've gotten off to a shaky start.  We're on the same side. I thought we could exchange information for our mutual benefit.”

“What kind of information?”

“Well possibly about your father.”

“You go first.”

“For starters, I do work where I said but this is not an official assignment.  I am on holiday and my contacting you is strictly my idea and has not been shared with anyone.”

“What is it you want from me?”

“This is a bit awkward but I did learn from your father the importance of facing situations early and head on. so...”

“That's interesting.  You just gave me the first reason to possibly believe anything you've said.  I heard those same exact words from my Dad when I was very young.  You may continue.”

“Pip I don't want to create any false hopes and I have no concrete evidence but there has been a lot of unofficial rumors within the international intel community about your father's reported death.”

“What kind of rumors?”

“Your father and his reputation were greatly admired by people in the business – on both sides , friends and foes.  Few of us were satisfied with the reported circumstances surrounding his so called fatal accident.  There also have been a few possible sightings.  But this too doesn't make a lot of sense.  If he didn't want to be seen, he wouldn't be.  All of these things create a degree of speculation concerning what really happened, why, whether he is really gone, and if not where is he and why?”

Once again the mixed emotions of having my greatest hopes and worse fears play tag in my mind were in high gear.

Jun. 5th, 2007

pip

Scar

I was looking out from the express train’s window looking at everything and seeing nothing at the same time trying to focus my thoughts. I hadn’t noticed that a person had sat herself across from me in the empty seat. Was it the angle that her face was tilted that gave me a perfect view of her scar? Her fashion scarf had slipped below the collar of her shirt which had also been turned upward probably to disguise a reminder of something violent. My mind went through the possible scenarios. Was it inflicted by a human? An animal? Some kind of freak accident? Right about then her phone caught her off guard. I hadn’t moved since she had sat down and I firmly believe that to her I was little more than a statue. This has always worked in my favor. She spoke for just over twenty minutes; within that specific conversation that she was having, I’m almost certain about how she acquired this particular skin imprintation. Which reminds me of another scar but on a man’s hand. His fingers were long, not overly thin, dexterous I would say, unmanacured thank god. Just, well…I really can’t abide that. Gross. Right I mean yuck….Now if Santa appeared without a pedicure, that in itself could distract me for hours-ultimately pissing me off. I don’t have time to be distracted right now. I also know that all is as it should be in our small nucleus of women if Santa’s pedicure is perfect. This means that there is not another crisis going on so pressing that she can’t manage to present a perfect pedicure. There has been one time when Santa did not have a perfect pedicure and there had just been a global tragedy. There is a convenience to having Santa as a walking crisis barometer. Connor didn’t talk about the scar on his hand, I didn’t ask. I happened to be standing with Santa at a bar in London the evening he approached us. It was some private party being thrown to launch the tour at some swanky ass club with relatively decent drinks. The Brits can drink that is not a negative comment that is not a positive comment. (Connor’s dialogue notated in blue)

He began with “Excuse me, but are you Pip so and so,”

I looked at him, not shocked but thrown off and suspicious because I have intentionally not exposed my last name, for my own reasons.

I answered him ‘Who wants to know and why?'.

“I'm sorry, I'm Connor and I believe I knew your father.”

‘You do, do you?  Well, Connor, do you believe you knew my father or do you believe you know him?'

“Well, I’m quite certain that he was or is - your call Pip -a colleague of a gentleman with whom I have worked for a few years now.”

‘Worked where?’

In a split second he turned to Santa whose eyes were glued on the scene and said, “May I have the pleasure of meeting this lovely lady.”

Without waiting for an introduction she rose, extended her hand leaving us with a beaming smile and an, “I’m Santa and I’m off to mingle. J’adore.”

Alone, he took a drink of his lager and began with “Your father would come over to our offices when he would be visiting the U.K.”

‘Scotland Yard, MI 5 or GCHQ?’

“Me? Try door number two.”

‘Ah, so that’s how you tracked me down so easily.’

“Your father mentioned you on an occasion when he was dining with the gentleman with whom I work.”

‘Mentioned?’

He laughed, “He actually told us an engaging story about you and him and the kinds of things you two would get up to just to baffle Kelly.”

‘Kelly?’

“Your mother, Kelly, Pip.”

‘Yes I understand the relationship.’

“I don’t expect you to trust me. Not this early.”

‘Then I won’t have disappointed your expectations. Contrary to popular opinion, trust doesn't come from time.  It comes from demonstrated mutual actions. So why have you tracked me down then Connor?’

“Nothing formal really, I thought I would give you my 24/7 private numbers in case you wanted to contact me.”

‘That’s a bit forward for a Brit isn’t it?’

“I’m not proposing that you run away with me and have a mad affair. Not yet.”

‘Cheeky bastard.’

“In all seriousness Pip, store this in your classified section under Cheeky Bastard preferably.”

‘I have my own coding system Connor, but thank you for the coaching.’

“Expect to hear from me once you’re in Deutschland.”

‘Is that all you’re going to say?’

“Um, I hope to catch a show… And you will hear from me in a few days. Oh, one last thing- if there’s anything that your father may have left with you verbal or otherwise, anything, anything at all that you think would be important, or that you might be curious about, contact me will you.”

Clyde walked up, smiled shyly and politely asked, “Are you a friend of Pip’s?”

“Indirectly, yes, I'm her 'Secret Pal'” he said, as he introduced himself to Clyde and quickly finished his lager.

We didn’t say goodbye, he gave me a final stare and left with a final, “See you soon, Luv.”

May. 29th, 2007

pip

American Doll Posse World Tour

When I had made the commitment to go on the American Doll Posse World Tour, yeah, I understood I’d be spending time in Europe. It had been made clear to me what was expected of me so there was no confusion there. It was also made clear that there would be time to explore the places we were in, if you ‘re the sorta person who can manage their time wisely. As I am in Rome as I write this waiting for the first concert to commence, there are a few observations that I have made since I left America over a week ago now.  I’m becoming increasingly convinced that there are “unknowns” concerning dad that I have yet to discover. It’s now becoming a burning mission that I can’t seem to step away from not even for one day. This translates into what might have been a ridiculous stupid non-conversation that I then put under a magnifying glass going over it and over it looking for clues. Clues to what? Well fuck if I know. But I sense something and something is not right with what we’ve been told about my father. Who to confide in? It would be dangerous if I were to get it wrong. I am becoming more and more skeptical of everyone that was a colleague of my father. But somebody somewhere knows more than they’re telling me and mom.

 

Flying into London Heathrow several days ago I am reminded of an odd conversation that took place back home within the last few weeks, with Buzz – an old colleague of my Dad’s.  Dad was always making trips to London through my growing up years.  I somehow felt closer to him as I disembarked at Terminal 3.  My mind dials back to a not too distant incident involving Buzz…

(my dialogue is presented in black, Buzz’s conversation is in army green)

 

I was watching the brain draining device known as a television since my laptop was having separation anxiety with its server when Buzz came bolting through the screen door.

‘Where’s your mother Pip?’

‘Well hello Buzz, let me give you the script.  Buzz comes in without knocking, gruffly acknowledging the daughter of the woman he came to see with a curt but serviceable, “Morning, Pip”.’

‘Sorry ‘bout that, good morning – where’s your mother?’

‘She’s not back yet.  What’s the crisis?’

‘Nothing critical; I just wanted to check on something your Dad might have told her.  What’s on the tube?’

‘They are doing a follow up on the soldiers that Iran gave back.’

‘What soldiers?’

‘You know, the soldiers that were on that boat in Iranian territory.  They have confessed and Iran gave them new suits and gift bags and sent them back to old Blighty.’

‘Pip, Pip, Pip, are you sure you weren’t adopted?  Neither your mother, nor your father were ever such a casual reporter.  They would have their facts straight.’

‘Facts?  Straight?  Lay them on me, I insist.’

I decided to play dumb and give Buzz a taste of his own medicine – letting the other person talk and then in machine gun fashion shooting them down.

‘Okay, if you insist – First, they weren’t soldiers they were sailors and Marines.  Second, they weren’t in Iranian territory, they were in Iraqi waters.  Third, they were captured, put in confinement, and only confessed under duress.  Fourth, you should have noticed the heroes welcome the Brits gave them.  Fifth….’

‘Whoa buddy!  I’d prefer not to know the details.  I can handle my version but with yours I’ve got real problems.’

‘What problems?’

‘Well, as you would say, first why didn’t they fight?’

‘They said some of them might be dead if they did.’

‘Let me get this straight – troops don’t fight because some of them might die?  And where was the warship and helicopter that was supposed to be protecting them?  Second, territory waters are always in dispute. Some countries claim three miles before international water.  Others claim 100 miles or whatever suits them therefore what we or they thought was Iraqi waters could have been Iranian waters if we were Iranian.  Third, their so called heroes welcome probably was the impetus for their government to allow them to sell their stories to the media even though that decision was contrary to their past policy.  I can only imagine the impact that will have on British military in future similar situations.  I’ll bet that decision comes back to haunt them and probably the rest of us.  Fourth, and most important, they seemed to have ‘confessed’ awfully quickly considering they were threatened with possibly going on trial but I don’t recall any of them saying they were tortured or hurt (at least not yet). Is that what soldiers, excuse me, sailors and Marines are taught?  Is that what you or Dad would have done?’

‘True, they are not your Dad, but…’

‘But brutally put – I wonder if Dad had been captured and he confessed, would he still be alive?’

‘Pip, don’t go there.  Your Dad died in an auto accident – you know that!’

‘I know…that’s what we were told.’

‘Gotta get back.  Tell your Mom I stopped by.’

I didn’t look up as he let himself out.

 

(conversation between me and my mom)

Mom returned shortly and I told her Buzz had stopped by –

‘That’s nice.  What did he want and where is he now?’

‘He wanted to check with you on something but he left in a little bit of a huff and a big hurry.’
‘That doesn’t sound like him.  What happened?’

I reloaded the Gattling gun and fired away, relaying the chat with Buzz as accurate as I could. 

‘Well done.  These are strange days aren’t they?  You know the public is fickle when it comes to how they feel about the military.’

‘Yeah, I think Kipling summed it up best with his Tommy (Atkins).’

‘Yes that’s right!”

We broke into a chorus of –

         

“It’s Tommy this

          and Tommy that

and Tommy go away!

But it’s ‘Thank you Mr. Atkins’

When the band begins to play.”

May. 18th, 2007

pip

Anger

I look up from staring at the pond, or whatever you call this thing, where I remember having had that moment with Dad. I am here. I almost feel as if he were here too. I’ve walked miles and I begin to review today’s emotional shrapnel and all the destruction it has caused. Maybe I should have heard an alarm bell go off this morning when Mom was reading her paper. 
‘Sweetheart,’ she began. ‘Have you been following the story that the Post covered concerning the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Medical Center?’
‘I guess I heard something about it Mom. What’s going on?’
‘Where to begin? Failure of leadership. Shoddy facilities. And among other things a disability system that is best described as a maze that is overly bureaucratic and needlessly complex.’
‘More coffee, Mom?’ I sat down. You just don’t walk away from Mom when she’s informing you. 
She nodded and continued, ‘This situation resulted in the then-CG (Commanding General) of WRMC (Walter Reed Medical Center) being ousted by the new SECDEF (Secretary of Defence, Gates) trying to clearly show the difference between him and former SECDEF (Rumsfeld).’
(Mom talks in Dad speak when she is in political conversation)
‘Well it looks to me like that all got worked out pretty quickly then, huh?’ At that point I just wanted to get to work and get on with it.
‘Actually pip it was just the beginning of a horrendous mess that could have been avoided. This action by the new SECDEF (Gates) caused the then-Sec of Army (Harvey) to deliberately reappoint Kiley as the new CG of WRMC. I say deliberately because Kiley was the CG of WRMC from 2004 to 2006 when the conditions were reported as being the same as today. And apparently, in a fit of anger SECDEF (Gates) replaced former Sec of Army (Harvey) with a new acting Sec of Army (Geren) who after only one day on the job for both Garen and Kiley replaced former Sec of Army (Harvey) and re-appointed Kiley with Shoomaker and/or Pollock. Pollock is the current, maybe I should say temporary, CG of WRMC.’
‘Mom, I’m trying to follow this and I hear that you are really incensed and I’m trying to get why.’
‘Don’t you see pip? Don’t you see that if Anger can make our military chiefs behave no better than the silly macho behaviour you encounter in high school, well you can’t blame Al Qaeda for that one, can you?’
‘Oh Mom, you sound like Dad again. I gotta go. Kiss.’
I was off.
Once I got to work it was almost as if a repeat occurrence from a couple of years ago… Yes, in a different job. Yes, with different people involved. But it was the same ugly, confrontational scenario all over again. 
I don’t want to leave this poor excuse for a pond. Maybe if I wait here long enough the ghost of Dad will speak to me again. 
As if on cue… ‘Well, pip, know it or not you’ve made the first step in turning Anger to your advantage.’
‘Oh really?’
‘Yes, recognizing Anger is important and this morning when Mom was reading about the WRMC fiasco you later thought you should have heard an alarm bell go off. You recognized Anger – very hard to do, especially with someone as level headed as Mom. The trouble with alarm bells, fire bell, for instance, is that the alarm is sounded after the fire has started and frequently after it is out of control. So quick recognition is very useful. It also is much easier to recognize Anger in another than recognizing it in yourself. Therefore, look for Anger in your opponent. If you find it (or if you don’t), pause then look for it in yourself.’
‘Keep speaking O’ Ghost Who Talks.’
‘That’s another thing… If you continue to think of me as a ghost (heaven forbid) then think of me as a ghost whisperer, not as a ghost shouter. So another hopefully helpful hint – tailor made for you – is if you hear me shouting, as during your earlier rant, rest assured you are angry.’

May. 9th, 2007

pip

3. Bite down.

Bite down. 
Bite down and swallow.
Swallow these words. My head is exploding but I have to swallow these words. Words that are loaded artillery. I’m pissed off. So what? Think pip. 
“Think it through,” the ghost of dad is having to shout to be heard over my own Rant. And I must Rant. But I hoofed it out of the front line at work and refused to give any of those useless people one measly syllable – much less a Rant. So I walked. Miles. Boots are good for pissed off walking. The striking of the heal against pavement, a back beat for a confrontation – even if it is only heard by me and concrete. So you, reader. Are you one of these people who says more than you can count, “Wait just a minute. What did I do to deserve that reaction?” 
Now either you are totally blameless and are just a doormat so you better stop letting people dump on you so you won’t drag everybody else you can grab with you on your way into hell. OR… You refuse to see your fingerprints at the scene of the confrontational crime – oh, but they are there. I have boot prints all over that fucking crime so I fucked off. I tried to reason with one of the inflamed combatants, the one I know better. And it was useless. Ridiculous. What a waste of life blood. They could only see what they want to see in order to justify their over-the-top-of-Kilimanjaro-reaction. But my god, they still have to defend. Even though the face of Reason is shaking her head, her finger and every other appendage she’s got, she distances herself from her comrade – ex-comrade. When Reason turns her back on you, things are not going to start looking up anytime soon. 
            “Beer?” A voice from the past. I’m still walking hard. I head for the park while sucking on a sour apple Dum-Dum. I stare into some man-made body of water they call a pond. A few years ago I was this worked-up over some other retched, needless conversation that didn’t have to happen. But then, I was hacking out a livid response on my laptop lover to some pathetic pustule who I no longer have communication with. 
            Dad sat on the arm of the chair, “Seems to me pips, you deserve an end to what looks like a very rough day. Beer?”
            He passed me one. It stayed in mid-air for an undetermined amount of time. My hands were still in battle-stance on my laptop weapon but my head was pounding. “Fuck it.” I took the Becks, pushing my chair away from my computer station. He waited. I took a sip, letting it slide through my boiling blood.
            “There you are,” he smiled raising his beer.
            I tapped his can. “What is that supposed to mean?” I was irritable.
            “You’re back from Anger Nebula 3982.”
            “Well, I wasn’t alone there Dad, just in case you were wondering.” 
            “No, I know you weren’t alone there pips. Anger Nebula 3982 has a dense population and it gets more and more congested there everyday. Solid citizens who consider themselves on most days to be logical - now seem to immigrate there before they even realize that they are trapped behind the borders of Anger Nebula 3982 with no way out.”
            “How Dad? How does a simple disagreement amongst, well, maybe not best friends - but people you would consider on the same team I guess, how does something so stupid become a battle of such intensity - slinging pistachio nuts all over Mom’s kitchen, screaming to yourself that you hate that fucking-cock-dick-motherfucker and would like to serve this useless piece of plasma to Sigourney Weaver’s favorite alien?”
            “Have another sip pips. Have you ever considered becoming a maid for that super-model who seems to need Less Anger, More Smile in her life? If so, beware of flying phones.”
“Don’t make me laugh Dad, it will really piss me off.”
“You asked me a really important question pip and it deserves a well thought out response.”
“What did I ask you anyway? I forgot.”
“How does a simple disagreement turn into a ruthless battle.”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“Well in order for a resolve to occur, one of the participants has to pull themselves out of Anger’s grip.”
“But I couldn’t stop Dad.”
“No. Anger can be extremely convincing. And when a person is convinced that they are justified in their outrage, then Anger’s seduction has only just begun.”
“Whoa. Heavy duty. She sounds pretty impossible to defeat – but I wonder if I…”
“She is. But only if you try to outfight her. In any fight she will consume those who believe they can flirt with Anger herself but soon they will become frenzied and out of control.”
“Bummer.”
“But you can use your wits you know pip. Wits are the best weapon in war. Don’t outfight her, outsmart her.”
“Outsmart her?”
By then I had finished my nice cold beer…
(To be continued…)

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