When I was thirteen, I was convinced I’d not live past eighteen.

When I Was Thirteen, I Was Convinced I’d Not Live Past Eighteen.

At nineteen, I was waiting for life to begin.



When I was thirteen, I was convinced I’d not live past eighteen. 

At nineteen, I was waiting for life to begin. 

At nearly 37, I look back over the years past and wonder during which one I grew up. 

It’s all uphill from here. 

May 30, 2022

We should claim states’ rights to protect their people from

We Should Claim States’ Rights to Protect Their People From


We should claim states’ rights to protect their people from 

May 30, 2022

The Gap Generation

The Gap Generation

Many Millennials are just younger brothers and sisters of Gen Xers. Born in 80, I feel more a part of what I’ve termed The Gap Generation…

The Gap Generation 

Many Millennials are just younger brothers and sisters of Gen Xers. Born in 80, I feel more a part of what I’ve termed The Gap Generation — (a small cohort between Gen X and Millennial of those born between 78 and 81 roughly). The key difference being our pre-digital” experience. The switch from analog, if you will, to digital (the Web, etc.) came at an already defining time in our lives (adolescence or slightly later) — we both created and lived the world’s transition to the Internet and connected devices. 

Just thinking out loud here, but: Maybe that’s also because we get the attitude of the Xers and the problems of the Millennials.

May 30, 2022

Partner Program posts, page 1

Partner Program Posts, Page 1

May 30, 2022

story

Story

So many women came in and out of his life that he felt he must describe them rather than merely name them when in conversation with his…

Story

So many women came in and out of his life that he felt he must describe them rather than merely name them when in conversation with his friends. Instead of, or in addition to, calling someone he was interested in romantically by her name, say, Leah,” he would call her the girl from LA or Los Angeles Leah.” 

How else could they keep them straight? he thought.

In fact, it was easier than he imagined. His relationships tended to be monogamous and passionate, at least on his end. He obsessed over them. He would while away entire days of his life waiting for the evening when a date was to happen. He’d spend all day expecting a phone call canceling the date. He’d be surprised when they only called to change the time, especially if it were to an earlier than planned time. Is she more into me than I thought? he asked himself, hopeful. Does she wants to spend more time with me?

His friends, if they wanted to be around him, were forced to listen to long monologues about the girls and his developing love for them and his failings in courting them. His friends knew it was to be less his failings and more his neediness and the women’s desire to continue to be free. He could see where his love might seem suffocating, but he thought it to be stabilizing, and, thus, freeing in its own way. They could see friendships where he saw romance. He thought his obsession to be interest, and that it would be reciprocated when his partner realized it was spurred by love.


When he picked her up and got the full story, he found that he was right to question when he asked himself if she was more interested in him than he initially thought. She was to meet with friends later in the evening, but she wanted to be sure to meet him so he didn’t feel stood up, she told him. So, their evening would end early. Moreover, she showed up to the date only to keep him from feeling bad. 

What kind of person schedules a date and then agrees to a party with friends later that night? he asked himself.

It was a pity date, he decided. Sadness and frustration set in, a graying of the world and a sharpness to each blink.

It was now clear this was unlikely to go anywhere. At the beginning of their first date, he felt she’d already taken any chance away that their relationship might develop into more than a friendship. He was being placed on the Friendship Ladder. He had to get off it. 

The Ladder Theory had been proposed one evening in a bar on Sixth Street. An older gentleman, unknown to John and his friends, proposed that there are two ladders in each woman’s life. The Friendship Ladder and the Romantic Ladder, or, in crude, late-afternoon bar-speak, the Getting Laid Ladder. 

Each man and/or woman, depending upon the lady’s orientation, was placed on one ladder almost immediately upon meeting. John knew the only way to get off the Friendship Ladder was to make a jump for the Relationship Ladder. There was a chasm between the two that led to the end, but if he successfully made the jump, he’d at least be on the bottom rung of the right ladder. The only way to make that leap was to be honest, and straight-forward. 

I don’t need any more friends,” he said, as they waited for food at a Mexican restaurant. 

She looked at him with a questioning look in her eyes.

I have enough friends, especially friends who are girls,” he continued. I’m looking for a real relationship.”

There, it was done. Now, the ball truly was in her court. 

He looked at her and she was staring intensely into his eyes. 

That’s an interesting thing to say at the start of a date,” she said, still looking at him. As he began to speak, she looked down at the salt and pepper shakers in front of them. 

I only wanted to be honest,” he said. 

Well, you know, I’m not really looking to get into a relationship right now,” she started. You know, I just got out of the thing with Michael . . .”

He knew where this was going. He also knew she was bullshitting him. There’s someone else, he thought, and he knew then there was no reason to pursue the matter. Friendship Ladder it was. But that wasn’t good enough for him, and he’d make that plain. 

He folded into himself. At the party, to which she invited him to as they finished dinner, he lurked beside her while she spoke animatedly, moreso than at any time during their date, to her friends and other attendees. He became jealous of the men at the party who spoke to her. He felt every person but himself was a possible romantic partner to her. 

At the end of the night, he took her home. They hugged in his car and he waited until she’d made it inside before he pulled away from the curb to drive home. 


As he drove home that night, the Beatles sang, She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah,” on the car stereo. He looked the stereo face dead in its orange LED screen and said, Don’t lie to me. Don’t you fucking lie to me.” 



May 30, 2022

Ruta Maya, Part VI

Ruta Maya, Part Vi

In turn of the century Austin, debate raged about indoor smoking. Bans on smoking within business establishments — especially, bars — were…

Ruta Maya, Part VI

Brian Keeper, THE FIRE CARRIERS,” 10x8 1999, acrylic on canvas, www.briankeeper.com

In turn of the century Austin, debate raged about indoor smoking. Bans on smoking within business establishments — especially, bars — were sweeping the country, and Austin was no exception.

Brian, a smoker, opposed such a ban, but his opposition was based on more than mere personal preference. He saw it as just another restriction on freedom. For Brian, giving up liberties forfeited parts of one’s humanity. 

In fact, Brian didn’t want to force anyone to inhale second-hand smoke anymore than he necessarily wanted to inhale car exhaust. It was the supporters of such bans who were intent on imposing their will. 

If private business owners wanted to bar smoking in their establishments because that’s what the free market (that is, customers) demanded, okay. But for the government to require it — that was going a step too far for Brian. Putting what one wants into one’s body is a core facet of free will. He would oppose the ban, but he wouldn’t burn anything down over it. 

May 30, 2022