Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Have you ever been torn? Not physically, but torn nevertheless? I mean really torn.
Well, that's where I am right now. Lots of confliction. Confliction about who I am, I reckon.

The only thing I am sure if at this point is, I am still human and I still love the Truth, much as it may hurt at times. Because I know it will make me a better human.
Not just the truth, but beauty and goodness, the virtues, God, and like minded, offroad travellers.
All if that, and all of you I count as friends, sisters and brothers, make me a better human.

So why am I being torn? What is the root cause? And where do I go from here?

Used to be, I kept my emotions in check. Too much in check. Now it's the other way around.
What precipitated this reversal? And, more importantly, how do I get balanced?

Well, I know what precipated it, at least the basics. Or perhaps I should say I get the gist of the cause.
I have even written, in part, the cause of this recent turmoil. Okay, not really recent. It's always been there, for at least 40 plus years. It's just that it's manifesting now, into a nuclear holocast within me, like I'm being torn asunder.

The really odd thing is, emotionally, I feel whole, but I gno I am not whole.
After Patti's death, the lock on this Bendora's box was blown off, and what's inside is both causing turmoil and serenity at the same time.
Turmoil to my mind, serenity to my emotions.

It's funny, really, because I used to kind of pride myself for keeping my emotions in check. All I was doing was supressing them. Perhaps that's all I could do at the time. I dunno. I'm definitely more messed up than I thought I was.

And getting balanced is gonna be tough. What will be the end result? I don't know. The results I feel I would like to see are, no doubt, not good. Or at least not optimal.

So anyways, I could really use your prayers right now.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Love Changes Everything

Not long after we got married the ship I was on, USS Duluth, was undergoing sea trials (to see if the ship will float after being in dry dock, among other things), shakedown cruises (essentially this means you go to sea to see what needs to be fixed), Reftra (two weeks of hell on keel, to see if the crew is battle ready with lots of sleep deprivation, General Quarters, Condition 1 Alpha, etc.), and out to sea again for exercises with your Squadron.

All this is in preparation for a Westpac deployment, which is normally six months straight, but can be for longer depending on the circumstances.

During the month's leading up to Westpac, I was gone from Patti at 70% of the time so we weren't together much the first year we were married.
Which ain't exactly easy on a marriage.
However, although nether one of us liked it, that was part of my job.

Patti was always there waiting for me whenever I returned from sea. And if I had a duty day (once every three days inport, I had to stay on the ship a full 24 hours to stand watch, help take care of fires, flooding, load up stores for deployment, security alerts, stand watches, or whatever else came up), Patti would come by the ship to visit me, if I wasn't working or standing watch.

During which we would always sneak a kiss or two. :)

So anyways, during this time preparing for Westpac the neighbor next to the apt. we were renting in a seedy section of the North Park area of San Diego started trying' to come on to Patti.
Of course, she would have none of that and she told the creep to get lost more than once, but the guy wouldn't leave her alone.
After a few weeks of this Patti told me about this creep.

Immediately, I went next door to pound on this idiot's door, with Patti warning me not to break it down, because she was worried about me getting arrested.
Fortunately, Creepo answered his door before I hit it too hard (these were cheap apartments and the doors were hollow, and thin, but that was all we could afford at the time).

"What the f#ck do you want?" Creepo demanded, as he flung his door open

"Stay the hell away from my wife assh@le, or I'm gonna beat the sh!t out of you!" I replied politely.

Creepo wasn't as tall as me but he was stockier. I wasn't concerned about that, since I was seeing red, but I could see why Patti was afraid of the punk.

"I'm was just being friendly with her. If you care so much about her you should be home more. Now get the f#ck out of here before I bust you up!"

"Go ahead you punk ass sh!tbag, try to bust me up," I replied even more politely than before.

"What are you going to do motherf#cker? I do whatever I want!" He said, sneering.

"If you so much as even talk to my wife again I will kill you. And if you still keep bothering her, I'll kill you again!" I countered, thinking that sounded pretty dumb, but I ain't exactly mister vocabulary when I get that angry.

As I said that, I stepped closer to creepo, and shoved a finger into his chest. Patti was trying' to grab my arm and pleading with me to come back to the apartment but I couldn't backdown.

Creepo's smugness quickly faded and I saw a flicker of fear in his eyes.

"Um...uh...wh-what does that m-mean, dude?" He asked, taking a step back.

Actually, that's a good question, I thought. But now wasn't the time to explain what I meant.
Now was the time to convince creepydink that I would in fact kill him twice.

"If you bother my wife again you will find out," I replied, squinting my eyes.
"This is your only warning," I continued, raising one finger for dramatic effect, like Bruce Lee, or so I imagined.

"O-okay man, that's c-cool. Just c-calm down man," he said.

I stood there for a moment, my finger still in the air trying to think of what else to say when Patti chimed in.

"Okay. Good! Now let's go home Ben. You don't need to beat him to a pulp like the last guy that bothered me," she said, smiling sweetly.

Actually, up to that point I had not beaten anyone to a pulp for bothering Patti, because this was the first guy that had bothered her since we had met.

Creepydink's face went ashen, and he seemed to be even more afraid than before.

Of course, Creepydink didn't know that. This is a perfect time to scare him some more, I thought.

"Come on," Patti said under her breath, tugging on my arm.

"Okay then," I said, with one last crazy glare (to replace my authentic anger glare) in Creepydinks direction.

As I turned to leave Patti put my arm around her shoulders.

"My hero," she said, kissing me on the cheek and smiling that beautiful smile of hers.

My anger never stood a chance against that lovely smile, nor the kiss that followed.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' Update


Tomorrow, I'm gonna go horseback ridin'. I had to book this two months ago. Apparently, lots of people go ridin' in the summer.

I love riding horses, and I like horses, so I figured hey, why not?
Back when I was a boy, I used to ride a lot. I had a friend who's dad owned a ranch and I rode every time I visited him. Plus, my step dad at the time, owned 5 acres and a few people he knew would pay him to keep afew of their horses at our place because we had some grazing land and a barn (that my grandpa built. He owned the place before my stepdad #2 bought it).

So I rode those horses too. I also took care of them, feeding, watering, brushing them, and washing them in the summer, occasionally. Plus, shovelling poop out of the barn and keeping it maintained and clean. I didn't mind the extra work because like I said, I like horses.

Here's the link of some pics of where I may be riding:

Should be fun. I'm gonna take a bunch of anti-poop pills so there ain't no chance of any accidents, I hope. I know, TMI probably, lol.
I'll try to take a bunch of pictures if you guys are interested.

Update: Well shoot, the guy who owns the horse ridin' business just called me and he has to cancel tomorrows rides. His truck is broke and the mechanics haven't figured out what is wrong with it.
At any rate, it will be another two or. three months until I can schedule a new day to ride.

That's the way it goes sometimes. I need some rancher friends.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ignore This Safety Recall For Now

So I got this safetyrecall notice for my 2004 Dodge Durango. Apparently, the driver's airbag doesn't always work right, particularly if the humidity is high.

However, after telling me this the letter goes on to say: don't bring your truck in for an inspection to see if it needs fixing, because we don't have the parts to fix it at this time. We will let you know when the parts become available.

Oh really? How nice of you to do that. Thanks for the warning.

I told Patti we should've gotten a Ford but she liked the way the Durango looks. And it does look okay, but it's made by Dodge Chrysler. Ugh.

Oh well. My next truck will be a Ford, unless they become as stupid as Chrysler or GM.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dog Advice

Little Miss, the youngest of my two dachschunds is allergic to grass pollen most likely, my vet says.
She has uncontrollable itching from around April, maybe May until August or Sept..
In the past I gave her benedryl, various anti-itch sprays and herbal supplements, and various shampoos.

The benedryl helps a bit, but all that other stuff doesn't.
However, last year they came out with a new drug, Apoquel. On the very first day it worked, and she is itch free. :)

Since it is relatively new, it is expensive. About three bucks per pill. But I don't hafta take her to the vet for infections and antibiotics anymore.
So if your dog has this problem I highly recommend Apoquel.

There has been no side effects whatsoever.

Incidently, if any of you guys know where I can buy it cheaper, please let me know.
I tried 1800Petmeds, where I order the doggie's flea and tick medicine, but they have been out for awhile. Apparently, this drug works so well on all allergies, that there is a high demand for it.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

New Look...Maybe

I never thought this would happen, but it did. I always enjoyed having a beard and not shaving.
However, after several cooler than normal summers in western Washington, in a row,  I knew we were due for a warmer than usual summer.

And thus it has happened. Hey, I'm not complaining, it could always be hotter, and, compared to the south, this ain't nothin'.
However, I'm not used to it, so I'm looking' for ways to be cooler.

Cooler than I already am, that is.
Well, it is possible, theoretically.

I will let you, dear readers and fellow Raccoons, be the judge.
Should I stay with the clean shaven look, or should I go back to the clean bearded look?
The winner gets a signed The Tao Of Cosmic ChinFoo Art Of War E Book!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Feels Like Freedom?

Okay, not so much anymore, thanks to SCOTUS. But at least I can tell my granddaughter what freedom used to be like, and pray that America will be free again, someday.

I am thankful I got to experience Life, Liberty and the Pursuit Of Happiness.

I'm also thankful I live in the Boondocks.

Now, this don't mean I give up fightin' for our liberties, far from it. I'll keep praying and fightin' for it until I die.
And with that, may you all have a Happy July 4th!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Yeah, But Does It Work?

Now, I imagine you are probably wondering, "does what work?"

Say what?

Sorry, that sounded funnier in my noggin than it does in my bloggin'.

Okay, as I have mentioned before, I have peripheral neuropathy. I have PN in my feet, sometimes to my knees, and in my hands and arms.

PN can be quite painful. Sometimes it's a burning sensation, and sometimes it's pins n' needles, stabby-like, and sometimes it feels like a cat ripping your feet apart with fangs n' claws.
It can also get the muscles in the affected areas all super-clenched, tight, and charlie horse-like.
For me, the feet are the worst, but over the last year, in my hands n' arms it has progressed in pain.

Needless to say, it ain't no picnic. It also makes it difficult to sleep for long.
I take gabapentin and pain pills amd that does help, but the only drug that has ever completely knocked out the oain is oxycontin, and the VA only allows that if you're on your deathbed (spoiler alert: I didn't die, which is good news, but since I got better, no more oxycontin).

IRT the VA, pain management is not good. That's not my doctor's fault, it's the fault of bureaurats who think they know better than doctors.
The argument these idiots give for not allowing better pain management is that because a few guys abuse the pain meds (and some die as a result), it's too dangerous for everyone else who doesn't abuse them.

I'm willing to bet that more vets commit suicide because they can't get any relief from chronic pain than those who die because of drug abuse.
And it really pisses me off to no end (Big Trouble In Little China reference there...jest because) when bloody politicians and their ilk punish us law abiding folks because of what a few people foolishly do.

Regardless, the idiots who think they know better than doctors can't care less about what our vets are going through. Long as they keep getting their bonuses, even when they lie, cook their books and vets die as a result, there's no reason for them to be concerned.

Plus, whistleblowers under the Obama admin. get punished for telling the truth about these bureaurat scum, so I expect less will be willing to speak up when future abuses happen.
I guarantee obummercare will be far worse, but at least it's free. I mean, more expensive than it ever was.
As Bob has said, this is why we can't have nice things.

Anyways, about a month ago I decided to try deep tissue massage to see if that might help.
Of course, I hafta pay for that myself, because the VA doesn't cover it except sometimes in the case of physical therapy.
But I was gettin' a bit desperate, so fine, I thought, let's try it once and see if it's worth it.

Aye. It is definitely worth it. I felt remarkably better after my first visit, where the therapist worked on my arms, hands, shoulders and neck.
I have gone back every week since, to have the same areas worked on.

I haven't gotten the courage to have my feet worked on, because I can barely wash my feet myself with a severe spike in pain, let alone massage them.
My therapist wants to try working on my hips and upper legs, the idea being it may help my feet and lower legs, since all the nerves are sort of connected, or something like that (I forget exactly how it went),  so I will give that a try.

I have tried other homeopathic stuff, like the pepper skin cream, but none of that helped.
Therapeutic massage does help, and tremendously, I am happy to report.
I also sleep better than I did before, and a bit longer, up to 3-4 hours now, in a row.
Before I started this, it was maybe 2 hours, or an hour here and there, or less.

Thank God I took a chance to try this. It's costly, but when you get to a certain point, then.., well, having more money sure ain't gonna take any pain away.
If you guys know anyone who may be suffering from PN, or any other sucky medical problems, pass it on.
Massage therapy just might help.

Oh, I almost forgot, there are several different types of massages, even one that is tailored for migraines, but a good, licensed MT can explain all that, and there's plenty of info online.
All I know for certain is that deep tissue massage works, and I went in expecting it not to really help much at all, so no placebo effect here.
I sure can't argue with the results. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ain't Much Left Of Me

This song describes me to a high degree, when there wasn't much left of me.
I was at one of them there crossroads that we encounter only all the time in life.
But this crossroad was one of those rock bottom ones. You know the kind I'm talkin' about, when you are broken, hurting', desperate, depressed, dumbfounded, confounded, and, well, you get the idea.

Anyways, yeah, I've been to the crossroad of life n' death a few times more than I'd like to admit.
Where the only two choices I could think of was dyin' or livin', up or down for good (bad, actually), good or evil, God or gogdamn hell, or the closest thing to it this side of hell.

That terrible place where you can't think straight. All you know for sure is, if God won't save me (again) I'm done for. That's all he wrote, Bub. You don't hafta stick a fork in me, I'm past well done.
Ain't much left of me.


When I turn to God everything gets better. Maybe not my material or physical situation (not right away), but my spirit and mind and heart. A thankful heart. And a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Now, there is more of me. The real me. The me I am destined for. The path is clear as God's grace shines on it.

Of course, there are other crossroads that are at various levels of the vertical, as well as the horizontal, but I tend to remember the worst ones a bit more than the best ones.
So I obviously oughtta be mindful of that and work harder to keep a thankful heart.

Here's a different version of the same song. I like 'em both.
I'm glad I found Blackberry Smoke. They are a very good band if you like southern rock/country rock/country.

Monday, May 25, 2015

More Than A Name On A Wall

To all you warriors who gave your all to defend our lives, liberties and property:
Thank you, and God bless you and your families.
There are some of us out here who will never forget you, and we are eternally grateful that you gave your all for us.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


You guys know I'm a staunch supporter of the Second Ammendment. And I'm certain you agree that defending yourself, your loved ones and even strangers is very important.
The police can't do it, most of the time, and calling 911 is fine, but it takes time for the police to show up.
And in that time, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to protect yourself and others, whether you're at home or out and about.

Now, if at home you have far more options available, depending on the circumstances. Usually, nothin' beats a good shotgun, or perhaps a Winchester for accuracy and firepower.
Or you can use handguns. Personally, I would go for a shotgun or rifle first, but I would have a handgun or two on me as back-up, in case someone (or more) assailants were tryin' to break into the house, or my neighbor's houses.

If someone manages to break in before I'm armed (good luck doin' that because my guard dogs have excellent hearing), I have gats strategically placed throughout the house. Not in plain sight, but I know where they are.
Yes, even if I'm on the throne, so to speak.

I also have ammo in every room, so I can reload, even if I'm pinned down or isolated to one room.

Of course, if you have children, this is more problematic, depending on their age. It has been my experience (my grandparents were right) that teaching your children at a young age about fire arms, what they are, how dangerous they are, and what they are for is very crucial.
I was taught this when I was 5 or 6, taught to always assume guns are loaded and never to touch them or point them at family members or friends, and I even got to handle unloaded guns and rifles. This was drilled into me repeatedly until I was 10, IIRC.
That was when my grandparents taught me to shoot.

Today, I carry most all the time, and I only go to businesses that respect our 2nd Ammendment rights, if I can help it.
I usually carry a .45 long colt, .40 or 9mm, with hollowpoints. Hollowpoints have more stopping power, are more likely to incompacitate bad guys, and are less likely to go through a bad guy and hit someone else.
Needless to say, practice is very important. The more you practice, the more accurate you'll be in case you hafta use
a gun to defend yourself or others.

I've been wanting a back-up, smaller weapon for awhile, and since my birthday is coming up, I thought it would make a nice gift.
Something small enough for an ankle or pocket holster (yet easily concealed), and powerful enough to knock a bad guy down.
And with summer coming, it must be easily concealed with lighter clothing.

Originally, this is what I bought the 9mm for, but it's just a tad too big to easily conceal as a back-up. Plus, I wanted a revolver, because revolvers never jam up, and although I have been trained to clear up gun jams it does take a second or two.

This fit the bill for me:
A Ruger .357 magnum. Not a bad back-up or primary weapon.

The only con is it only holds 5 shots, but I can reload it fairly quickly. Not as fast as a semi-auto, but hopefully, fast enough, and hopefully, I wouldn't need more than 5 shots anyhow. Besides, it's mostly for back-up. I can easily conceal the 9mm or .40 cal in a shoulder holster, or a hip holster if I wear an extra large, short sleeve shirt that ain't tucked in.

When out and about, especially in the summer, it's a balancing act between comfort and firepower, and sure, I don't look as good in a baggy shirt that ain't tucked in, but most folks rarely give me a second glance anyhow, which is fine by me.
I hate signing autographs anyway.

Oh, I also recommend carrying a decent knife (make sure you know your state laws on legal blade length). A knife is a good last resort defensive tool, as well as an invaluable, all-purpose survival tool.

Caught in a burning car but your seatbelt is jammed?
Is your car sinking in a lake or river and you can't get the automatic windows down or door open?
Have you ever found yourself in a restaurant trying to use a super dull restaurant knife to cut your well done, even though you asked for medium rare steak?
Need to make an emergency tracheotomy? I saw one on tv, so I'm purty sure I could do it if I had to. Of course I would also need a pen or straw. Stat!

There are so many uses for a good knife.
Mushroom, aka Dwaine has a some good links at his site about knives and how to sharpen them correctly, if you decide it's a good idea to have one.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Give To Live

After Patti's death, one of the changes I went through...am going through is that I find it easier to give than I used to.
Easier to put other people above my self.

So when I feel an urge to give, I don't question it like I used to, I simply do it.
That's not to say I allow my emotions to be manipulated by a bum with a puppy, particularly since most bums are sex offenders that belong behind bars, but there's a difference between emotional giving and giving inspired by God.
It feels different for one thing.

Would I be able to tell the difference if I didn't work hard to master my emotions rather than being mastered by emotions? Perhaps not, I can't say for sure.
Mostly because I have been working at mastering my emotions for a long time (thanks to Bob at One Cosmos for helping me do that). So dispassionate passionate giving is an easier transition than it might have been thanks to me being open more to wisdom than whatever I may be feeling at a given moment.

Does that mean I wouldn't ever give to a bum (or homeless person, or someone that's just goin' through a rough patch) with (or without) a puppy? Not at all.
In fact I already have. However, it's not something' I do automatically, unless I get that inspiration from my reverence points.
After all, God is able to tell the difference between a scam artist and someone who really does need a helping hand up better than I ever could.

Friday, March 13, 2015

In My Dreams

Yeah, so this song was playin' in my head last night while I was dreamin'.
Except, instead of seeing the lady in the video I saw Patti. And I didn't see the band.

Anyways, Patti was saying something but I couldn't make out what it was, so I looked for where the source of the music was coming from so I could turn it down.
Problem was, I couldn't find the source.

Eventually, I found it. It was a stereo that looked like a phone.
I looked for the volume control to turn it down, but Patti shook her head to stop me and placed three of her fingers on my lips, because I was about to talk and she wanted me to be quiet.

I remember hugging, and maybe we danced, or everything danced around us, I couldn't be sure since I was focused so much on Patti's eyes and her beautiful face, and she was staring intently into mine.
It was whelming, but not overwhelming. I mean, just not quite overwhelming, emotionally.
Or maybe a better word is rapturous.

Until the song ended. I started to speak again but Patti stopped me again, in the same way.
Then another song began to play.

I hadn't heard this song in a very long time.
Patti smiled and her brown eyes twinkled. Really. It was dazzling, in fact.
Then she spoke again.

I didn't hear her but I knew what she said this time.
She said, I'll see you in your dreams. I'll be here, waiting, until you join me.
The song ended, and Patti spoke again, except this time I heard her.
"Don't worry and be of good cheer HB," she said, smiling.

Once again, I attempted to speak and once again she stopped me, same as before.
When she touched my lips the dream faded away.

Then I woke up, with tears streaming out of my eyes.
And I smiled.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Aye. Soulshinin' is something' to aspire to. We've all met people that have what seems like an immense soul shine.
Patti, my grandma, my brothers, sisters and friends I have met on the 'net. And a few others I have had the privilege of meeting throughout my life.

How does one soulshine more?

Well, I'm working' on it, but I do know the number one thing I need to do and that's be thankful.
Without that one can't begin to soulshine at all.

Cultivatin' joy would be another thing I can do. It takes practice for me. Some folks seem to be born with it, while others need to practice more and focus through meditation, contemplation, prayer.
Jest gotta dive in and do it.

Which brings me to givin'.
Not just materially. but through prayer, friendship, love, honor, sacrifice...etc..
But you know, when I give it doesn't feel like a sacrifice. I need to give more to receive more.
But I can't give for that reason. It doesn't work that way.

No, I must give because it's the right thing to do. Sure, it may feel uncomfortable at times but it's liberating too. Therapeutic even.

Which leads me to forgiveness, of others and myself.
I gotta say this is the most difficult for me, but I know I must if I wanna transcend past where I am now.
Doesn't mean I gotta be best friends with those I forgive, but those chains need breakin' nonetheless.

Practicin' the virtues sure will go a long way to help me soulshine brighter.
When I do all these things in honesty then verily God's grace will flow like a river into my soul.

Thank you, my friends for soulshinin' on me. God bless you all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I know my marriage vows said "'Til death do we part," however, I took that to mean...forever.
Sure, I know there is no marriage in Heaven. That doesn't mean there ain't no special connection between wives and husbands. How could there not be?
Just as there are special connections between friends or relatives we love.

Of course, I could be wrong, but I don't think so. It's not like the bond we form with our wife or husband simply disappear after the death of our bodies.
It will be different in Heaven, of that I am certain, but it will be better than anyone can imagine, and I can imagine a lot, so it's gonna be awesome sauce all the timelessness.

You know, sometimes I try to imagine 'better than I can imagine.' Perhaps it's pointless to do that, but since love and Heaven are good things I would like to think it isn't pointless at all, as long as I don't get obsessed with it.
The bonds of friendship n' love are truly liberating.
I know it liberates me from utter despair n' hopelessness.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Bobby Ingram, a member of Molly Hatchet wrote this song after his wife died.
I can relate to the lyrics he wrote.

Some people never find the love of a lifetime. I am so thankful that I did.

Gotta hold on, you gno?

Faith gives me the chance, so I gotta take it.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Don't You Take It Lying Down

No! No!

Hold on, hold on tight,
I'll make everything alright,
Wake Up! Don't go to sleeep,
I pray the Lord your soul to keeep...

From what I have read nearly everyone has thought about it at some point or times in their life.
Thankfully, relatively few people actually act on those thoughts.

There was only one time I ever began to act on it. It was after my ill-conceived idea to get married.
This was before I met Patti. I had fallen in what I thought was love (lust, actually) with a barmaid in Long Beach, CA.

Everything was goin' great, or so I thought. My fiancé seemed to love me. I can still recall the look on her face when I asked her to marry me.
A look of surprise and joy. And here I was worried about bein' rejected.

First of all, sorry it's taken me so long to write about the conclusion of this story. It was just too painful and embarrassing to do so before now.
Well, partly.
The other reason is because I didn't want Patti to read it. I knew if she did it would cause her pain.
And I already had caused her more pain than anyone should hafta endure.

I had gotten a rare half day off and decided to surprise my fiancé. I didn't have a copy of her apartment key so I knocked on the door.

And a guy with a towel wrapped around his waist opened the door. Behind him I could see my fiancé in bed with another guy.

"What the hell?" I said, trying' to make sense of what I was seeing.

She got up out of bed, naked and walked to the door.

"It's okay Mark, I'll just be a minute. Why don't you pour us some more wine?" She said, nonchalantly.

It seemed so surreal. It was as if I was facing a completely different woman than the one I asked to marry me.

"I thought you were working all day," she said, glaring at me.

Is she for real? I wondered. Is this real?

"What the f#ck is goin' on?" I asked.

"Exactly," she said, smiling.

"What?" I asked, exasperated and not a little bit hurt.

"I don't think we should get married. You want to join in?" She asked, leering at me.

Is she demon possessed or something? I wondered.

I wasn't gettin' the love vibe anymore. The complete opposite, as a matter of fact. More like an evil vibe. And apparently, she wanted me to join in the evil. Revel in it, I reckon.

"Are you...are you se..serious?" I stuttered.

I used to have a stuttering problem when I was younger, but I had mostly conquered that problem by the time I had entered junior high school. Right after I began fightin' back against bullies.
But it was returning now, and that made me feel more insecure, vulnerable and, I dunno, like an idiot.

"Y-yes, I-I'm se-serious," she mocked, smiling that evil smile.

I didn't reply. I couldn't. I just had to get outta there. I walk quickly, almost running, to the sounds of laughter, from her and those other guys.

I don't know how long I walked, but before I realized it, darkness had fallen to match the darkness I felt on the inside.

Figures, I thought, anger rushing up inside and just itchin' to burst out.

I surveyed my surroundings and concluded I was in a bad side of town. I didn't care. Probably a good thing no one attacked me in the state I was in.

Then I directed that anger at myself.

You! Stupid! F#cking! Idiot! I screamed in my mind.

I went on like that for awhile and started walking' again. It was a damn good tirade if I don't say so.
I needed to smash somethin' and that somethin' was me!

Of course, smashing' myself wasn't very feasible so I did the next best thing.
I ducked into an alley, almost pitch black. A blackness than was encompassing my very soul. Utter darkness.

I reached into my pocket and got out my buck knife. I looked at my arms, wondering if I could really do it.
Do I have the guts? I thought. But it wasn't just my thought. It was alien. But I didn't care, did I?

I stuck my knife into the outside of my forearm, about a half inch deep and I cut about an inch across.
It hurt but not all that much. Blood came pouring out like the darkness in my soul.
I made another cut, a bit smaller this time. Then I started to cut my stomach, just a small stick, actually. I applied more force but it was tougher than I thought.

My stomach muscles are really more pliable than I thought, I thought, applying even more force.
The knife went in a bit more.

Then I pulled it out. Only a small wound remain, blood oozing out. I looked at the blood for awhile. It was dark but I could see the blood...black blood enveloping my arm and part of my stomach area.

It was then I broke down and tears flowed, but they weren't black like the blood. And somehow, that angered me again.
Enough to begin another tirade at myself.

You f#ckin' coward! I thought. You don't have the guts to do it!

This went on for awhile until I finally realized I wasn't a coward for takin' the easy way out.
I choose the hard way, I resolved. Because...f#ck it! Who cares? I just am!

Occasionally I still get a thought, rarely of committing suicide, but I am now strong enough to never act on it, and to obliterate those thoughts once again and nail 'em to the Cross!
And pray and contemplate my many blessings...

Yeah, life can be painful. So what? I'm thinking'. Am I gonna give up? Be a selfish loser?
Or am I gonna smash somethin'. Somethin' dark?
Ben Smash puny darkness! God smash puny darkness!!!

Okay, so I Hulk out every once in awhile. Holy Hulk out. I gotta be stronger than the darkness.
I Am stronger than the darkness.

Because He lives within' me.
And there ain't no darkness too evil for Him and for me to smash!!!