No Forwarding Address.

Your memories of a person are not who they are. It sounds obvious phrased that way but it’s worth saying. Any description I have of a person, even a close person in my life, is just a summary of my personal experience with them. My relationship and interactions, the actual experiences we shared, my knowledge of them from the other people that were there, some memories of my own, and then often, a lot of stories of other people’s memories.

So not exactly cold hard irrefutable facts. But still, this isn’t a prelude to a disagreement about who a person was, or what did or did not happen. It’s simply to state that all of this is the truth as I know it to be, and I write it all down because I’ve thought of it often. My memories will fade and shift. It’s important to me to capture these things before they’re so blurry that they lose any cohesive story, or more importantly the impact the have to other people in this person’s life. I’m writing this for me, but also for “E” and more for “J”, who has the fewest clear good memories, but as the only Dad in our group, deserves to know more and hopefully finds some solace in understanding a person who is no longer here, but whose influence still shows up in all of our lives, because we’re the people he left behind.

This is a story, my story, about my step-dad. Pep. That wasn’t his name, but it is what we called him. And given his proclivity for giving all of his children weird nicknames, it only seems fair.

Pep met my Mom because he volunteered at the college daycare. Mom and I lived with her parents – Grandma and Pap (who for all intents and purposes served the role of the “other” parent), since my actual Dad wasn’t really great at being consistent.

Pep loved kids. Which, in light of his childhood and his parents, is something of note. I can’t say if we ever talked about it specifically but understand that none of us in the years that passed ever really understood why his own parents had children.

They clearly didn’t like them. And I don’t just mean their own children, I mean children in general. Theirs, or so I was told, was a household where kids were supposed to be seen but not heard. I cannot imagine what sort of fearful tyranny you’d have to unleash to keep three boys, who were no more than a few years apart in age, quiet. I do remember my Mom telling me later, how they objected to my Mom and Pep dating, Pep’s mother saying “she’s only looking for a father for her kid.”. Which, ugh, summarizes my relationship with them for most of my life. When I became an obnoxious teenager, all birthday cards and holiday acknowledgements of my existence ceased. I think they’d been waiting for an opportunity to forget I existed for years.

Regardless, I’d always summarize the situation by saying that I think, in those days, in those circumstances, in a smaller town in the 50s and 60s a lot of people did the shit they were “supposed” to do, without much thought about what they wanted. Women in particular. If you weren’t a hippie or a strong rebellious person, you fell in line. You got married, you had kids. You worked and raised your family and put on the window dressing of a normal nuclear family life. What else were you going to do?

I realize this is a dramatic oversimplification, but still, it’s not wrong. They did those things (got married, had kids), it made them (Pep’s parents) into miserable people, or maybe they were already miserable people and it just compounded that into something worse (alcoholism, repressed rage, massively dysfunctional personal relationships, etc.).

So Pep had parents that didn’t really want to be parents. So, no surprise, they kind of sucked. And so his childhood probably kind of sucked, and one of the key ingredients in who he became as a person was someone with no decent example of “good” parenting, not a whole hell of a lot of compassion or support as a person, and ultimately he got slingshotted out in to the world with a pretty fucked up nuclear family and not a lot of tools for being a self-aware, emotionally stable person. He had parents who didn’t give a shit but he loved kids anyway.

Is it entirely their fault he became the person he was? No, certainly not. Did they offer much in the way of a decent start into what kind of a person he would become, no, they offered him nothing.

One of the main stories I always come back to, one that he told me, one that he repeated, laughing. I’m not sure if it still hurt his feelings. I don’t think he knew how to untangle this one story from the mess of his entire shit relationship with his parents. But he’d been off in the Navy, maybe it was bootcamp, or his first deployment. Either way. He came home, and his house was empty. Because he parents had moved, and they hadn’t bothered to tell him.

Sky high with a heartache of stone

This is a day I’m very glad to not be on Twitter. I don’t think I can absorb anyone else’s feelings about today’s news.

Roe v. Wade has been overturned. I’m not even going to attempt to struggle with articulating any coherent reasoning or stop to think about how I’m going to spew on here will be received. No editing, no rewrites, just vomiting forth the disconnected stream of rage I’ve been choking on since I read this.

Fuck this joke of a democracy we live in.
Fuck this country and its pathetic identity politics in a rainbow of sheep’s clothing.
Fuck the white male patriarchal homophobic dick measuring power struggle.

Fuck anyone too lazy to educate themselves about the language the “woke” are using. It is patriarchy. It IS GILEAD. It is a war on women and forced-birth and lies packaged as compassion.

It is a capitalist hellscape of special interests and old irrelevant white men making laws for an entire body of people that they do not understand, represent, or care to protect.

Fuck your Pro-Life bullshit empty promises. There is no universal healthcare. There is no free birth control. There is no structural support for women or children. There is no health or safety or freedom for the queer, minority, poor, others who can’t throw money to participate in your rotten-to-the-fucking core system of support.

Fuck your lies.

Fuck me for ever losing sight of why I have been a contrarian outsider who made the conscious choice to embrace my “otherness” is all facets to show most of the fucking sheeple in this goddamn hellscape that NO, we’re not alike. I believe in autonomy even for you and your dark ages beliefs that treat women like chattel and possessions, as long as you keep that terrorism to yourself.

Fuck your religion for giving this any weight with anyone. I think you missed the entire fucking message of that messiah you’re leaning on.

Fuck SCOTUS it’s a joke. Fuck the electoral collage. Fuck your gerrymandering. Fuck the lack of term limits. Fuck the GOP you facist shitheads. Fuck the Dems you gutless cowards.

Women have been surviving your shit for generations. Fuck you for thinking you can control us. Fuck you for even trying.

Let’s burn this motherfucker to the ground.

Long Form Reboot

Noticed that my last post here was from 2019. Hello again. *Tap tap* is this thing on?
I nuked my Facebook back in December of 2021. Yesterday I decided to log off of Twitter, not delete, because I have less annoyance with that platform. Keeping Instagram because I can’t quite yank the plug entirely on the “push a button, get a treat” phenomenon that is social media but the decision to step back from Twitter was a conscious uncoupling (ew, F you Paltrow for introducing that shit in to my vocabulary) as an attempt to retrain my brain to make use of time in better ways. I’ve said this before. I always mean it.

I want to use the time I used to spend on Twitter to read in the space between work tasks (I finished an entire graphic novel today), and to flex my writing muscles in longer format here. Maybe with the goal of grabbing on to some of the loose threads of ideas I’ve had to turn them into posts or essays or just recognize that this format has always felt better – it’s the format that sucked me in to this godforsaken online hellscape initially (pours one out for LJ).

I like myself better here, in this space. Twitter lately has just reminded me that the scales tip from side to side on if it’s providing me with meaningful fuel. I enjoy a lot of the people I’ve “met” and I don’t begrudge them their space or thoughts but even in the smart/niche communities of people (infoSec, TST folks) people still use their respective feeds to ruminate in short form on shit I don’t want to spend my bandwidth on (horrible social issues, politics, drama within the various communities and “congregations”)

Random sidebar –> On the TST thing… admittedly this is why I am not interested in TST, I realize it’s a non-theistic “religion” but once people become an organized “community” all the same petty issues that plague every larger group of humans surface. Also I am not a joiner. I am happier with my own loose boundaries with various people in various places. I “belong” best as an outlier to all of that, happy to befriend but not interested in being part of any fucking congregation, non-theistic or otherwise. It’s still a “religion”, it’s still a “group”, it’s still got one flawed person as its mouth piece and a bunch of people arguing about who meant what and said/did what to whom. Just… no. People in large groups are hot garbage. the end. Happy to let others manage that in whatever way is meaningful to them (oddly enough this also extends my family and their Christianity) happy for you, none for me thanks.

Regardless. I am slowly creeping back in to creative things, I make no apologies for the lack of consistency, atleast I keep telling myself that when I am annoyed at my lack of consistency.

I must remind myself to view the reality as the result of recovering from the drain of navigating an ongoing pandemic, and pursuing a life rich in other engaging things (being outside, doing things with my people, supporting those people, experiencing art, etc…)

Maybe indulging myself here will improve my writing. Maybe it won’t. It’s still worth trying 😉