The Ideology of Self (Part 1)

How wonderful it must be to have faith in something so fluid. With no concrete scientific evidence, without seeing or physically hearing it, you are able to have such unshakable faith in something that so many are unsure even exists. How liberating it must feel to believe that the events transpiring around you were fated, that nothing you said, did or could have done would have prevented or changed them. Whatever happens, how ever it happens, whenever it happens, it’s not up to you. It’s beyond your control. Everything works out for the best and there is no reason to ever ask, “why?”. There is no real need to question anything. It’s all part of a grand design. You play your part, and you don’t let your intellect interfere with your beliefs. Give your worries to your god, and don’t let them weigh heavily on your heart. The past is the past, it happened as it was supposed to. You may not understand why, but you don’t have to. To know, without a doubt, that God wouldn’t let anything happen if it wasn’t supposed to; I envy that kind of faith, I truly do, but I can’t live that way.

The intellect that has been instilled in me makes me question everything. I need to understand why things are the way they are, why certain things happen the way they happen. Maybe there is a plan but, I don’t know what it is, so I worry. I worry about the future, I dwell on the past, my mistakes haunt me and I feel guilt. I am anxious about life; excited, nervous, a little fearful. I am in control. My decisions are my own, and the way my decisions affect those around me is a consequence I am prepared to face. I don’t know that everything works out for the best, but I do know it could always be worse. I’m thankful, I’m hopeful. I have faith in myself, that I can live a good life. Good and bad aren’t determined by a set of rules found in some book, I feel them. I can choose the right choice over the wrong choice every time, and I don’t need the restriction of religion to be able to decide for myself. I stress, I over-analyze, I take responsibility; but, I also, celebrate my victories and revel in the reward.

Maybe it’s true what so many say, “Know God, know peace. No God, no peace.” But, I know the world is not a peaceful place, and I can’t allow myself to succumb to oblivion. I am affected by the way people treat one another. I am moved by the good, and I am wounded by the bad. And I just can’t accept the premise that there is nothing I can do about the troubles plaguing our world. Some people pray for better days, but what are they praying for? Prayer only works if someone else, somewhere else, takes action. Everyone knows that actions speak louder than words, right?

Can the godless still be good? I hope so.

Religion of Wisdom

“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and savior?” I must have been asked this question over a hundred times in the last year. It’s not usually a question that strangers ask, nor is it one that comes from a coworker. Instead, it comes from those closest to me; a friend or relative. It makes sense that they would be curious, they care about me. They care about the way that I live my life, they want me to be happy, they want for me, eternal life. I get it.

For years, I’ve always answered the question the same way, “I believe in God, but probably not in the same way that you do (or don’t),” and then I change the subject. I have never sought out a conversation about religion because I know that the odds of pissing someone off are pretty high and really, I’d like to avoid the debate that it will inevitably ensue. I am not out to change your mind, I am not looking for converts. I would never try to talk you out of your religion, even if I disagree. Anything that motivates people to be better, love others, and live peacefully is alright with me. If that is indeed what it is doing.
More importantly, it’s your life, do as you will. I just have a different view of God and the afterlife.

Many people that I know will quickly write off my opinion as ignorance. They will try to explain to me how their religion is the one true religion, a futile task since you can’t logic away logic. They might even pray that the devil leaves me and I get back on the path of the righteous. What they do not understand is that my opinion wasn’t bred out of boredom. I spent A LOT of time struggling to find a religion that encompassed all of my personal beliefs, to no avail. The more I study, research, and discuss with others, the more confident I become in one simple fact: We, as humans, do not possess the mental capacity to comprehend the intentions of God; or to be able to rightfully proclaim to have found the “one true religion”, nor do I believe there is one.

I think, without any amount of certainty, that there is a god, or gods, or goddesses; a higher power, whatever form it takes. I take issue with all religions in general, and Christianity in particular since, it is with that one that I am most familiar. How could we know which religion is true? Maybe each religion is true for those that put their faith in them; maybe none of them are. Having done the research, I cannot presume that Christianity is IT. I do not believe that any religion that has sparked wars, and incited genocides could be IT. But, more on that later. Wars have been fought in God’s name(s) over and over again, which seems to contradict one of the core tenets of each faith: Love they neighbor.

The hubris of mankind is that we believe ourselves to be the most intelligent beings in the universe, the center. We take that arrogance and use it against each other on a consistent basis. We judge others by our own standards, from our own interpretations of our own holy texts (written by us), and we preach against anything that contradicts our own belief systems. But, how do you know? Consider the vastness of the universe, the wonders of the world we live in, the unexplainable beauty and magnificence surrounding us. We are only able to understand a small portion of the world we inhabit, we’re not even the most intelligent being on THIS planet, how audacious to assume that we could know the intentions of the creator of the universe!

In the words of Galileo, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect, has intended us to forego their use.” Logic, reason, and good sense tell me that I simply do not know. I do not need a religion to define for me good and bad. If you need the threat of Hell in order to be a good person, you are not a good person. A person’s actions determine whether they are bad or good, not their race, not their gender, not their sexuality, and least of all their religion. I live by the fundamental rule to treat others as I would like to be treated, and I don’t need to identify as a Christian to understand that. Live, let live, and do no harm. It’s easy. Try it.


A stranger stares through the darkness. His gaze cutting through the haze of inebriation and loose morals, straight to me.
I sense it before I see him. I know I’m being watched. Some say the hairs on the back of their neck stood up, alerting them to the quiet watcher. Not me.
No chills, no tingle, just pressure. That’s the sensation. As if someone were touching me through 12 layers of fabric. Light, hardly noticeable. A minor annoyance rather than a severe discomfort.
I didn’t need to search the room to find him, one second I was staring at my drink, the next at him. Our eyes locked automatically, magnetically, and held.
Instant recognition. Not of each other, we’d never met. I would have remembered. But, I recognized him, a purveyor of secrets. Not unlike myself, but even better.
For the first time I felt my confidence waver. “Better” was not a word I used to describe anyone; though, I couldn’t deny it.
His stare was unfaltering. Not menacing, not smoldering, but cool. His expression gave away nothing, but indifference. I didn’t matter. Or at least that’s what I would have thought, if he’d only just looked away. He didn’t.
I didn’t. I wouldn’t. But, my resolve collapsed, and I slowly directed my attention back to the glass I held, feigning disinterest in the stranger.
I was intrigued. Of course, he was already aware. That’s what he did, what I did, and as I said, he was better at it.
He knew all. My secrets, my desires, everything, but he didn’t know my thoughts. I longed to tell him.
Adrenaline spiked, and the urge to be forthcoming rushed my system. To tell him could be a new beginning, a fresh start with my equal. But no, he wasn’t my equal. He was better. A fact that I’d need to remind myself of often.
To tell him could be the bitter end. The end of nothing.
I choke. Frozen, unable to stand, to leave, to even focus on anything.
I don’t know him. He doesn’t know me. I can be anyone he’s never met. Reinvented. Bit by bit I feel it again. Determination grips me, strength abounds. I stand, he smiles, and I look away.
Turning from him, I walk through the bar toward the door, opposite him. Indignation slams into me, and I know it’s his. His secret.

(To be continued…maybe)

Burning Breakfast

A complete work of fiction… probably…


“Nothing quite like 6:30 a.m to ruin one incredible night,” I thought as the wailing of my alarm clock cut through the dreamy haze that lingered over me.
It was then that I noticed 4 things simultaneously. 1: My hair was a disaster. I didn’t even have to open my eyes or attempt to run my fingers through it to know that it was knotted and frizzy and sticking out from all sides of my head. 2: It was Saturday. 3: I was naked. 4: I couldn’t feel my left arm.
I turned my head to make sure that it hadn’t been amputated during the night. Two hundred and twenty solid pounds of muscle lay sprawled across most of my bed, leaving only a few inches for myself. He was on his stomach, and my arm, his naked body cutting off the circulation to my fingertips. As gently as I could manage, I slid off of the right side of the bed freeing my limb and trying not to wake him. Succeeding in only the former endeavor, my arm fell limply at my side and promptly began tingling as he rolled over and smiled up at me.

“Morning, beautiful,” he stretched and yawned.
“Morning,” I barely mumbled. Did I mention it was 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday?

I turned from him then and trudged off toward the bathroom, acutely aware of the way my bare ass jiggled with each step.
When I faced my reflection in the vanity mirror, it was all I could do to keep from shrieking. It was much worse than I imagined. Black make-up smeared beneath my eyes which were red and puffy. My lips were swollen, deep red bruises had begun blossoming on either side of my neck and a quarter clung to my breast as if glued there. I didn’t stop to consider the reasons for the coin’s presence, I was more disappointed that it wasn’t worth more. “25 cents? That’s it? How come I couldn’t pull a hundo out of my — never mind.”
I plucked the quarter from my body leaving “LIBER–” and George Washington’s face imprinted on my cleavage. Lucky bastard.

I stared at my reflection for a moment and wondered who the hell he, naked man not George Washington, was calling beautiful.
The shower was hot, just the way I like it, when I stepped in. I let the water flow over me, easing the soreness in my back and sides as my mind ventured over the previous night’s events.
His lips at my ear, his hands clenching my hips, the growl of desire. I shivered despite the steaming stream of water that cascaded over my hair and down to my feet.

It was barely 6:45 when I climbed out of the shower, and still Saturday, but I felt better. I smoothed my hair, spritzed body spray at my throat and applied the necessities. Lotion, mascara, lip gloss. I brushed my teeth and re-applied the gloss,  shaking my head at my lack of forethought. My beauty routine rarely held any semblance of logical order.

I almost ran into him, the naked man, as I opened the bathroom door. He towered over me, arms braced against the door frame, blocking my exit.
“No invite?” His expression was one of hurt but his eyes twinkled mischievously. I smiled and tried to push past him.
One of his arms hooked around my waist, pulling me against him, skin to skin once more. He raised his hand to my face, carefully brushing my cheek with the back of his fingers and stopping to tilt my chin up toward his face. He leaned in, intention clear, and all I could think was “Oh no!!! Morning breath! Aah!” But before I could dodge his advance, his lips were on mine. I cringed and held my breath. It took a minute, or a second more likely, for me to discover that it wasn’t so bad. He tasted downright minty. I relaxed into him and my lips moved with his. His hands were everywhere, on my stomach, in my still wet hair. He pressed his long body against mine trapping me between him and the vanity.
Then, without warning, he stopped.

I pushed away from the sink and out of the tiny, steamy, room. Dazed.

The bacon was already in the hot skillet when I noticed that I was still naked. I learned long ago that hot grease and exposed body parts, especially the twins, did not mix. I really didn’t want to be forced to explain grease burns on my torso to my diary.
As quickly as possible, I pulled on a pair of lace panties and a t-shirt and returned to my gourmet cooking.

When he came out of the bathroom, naked man, was only half-naked. Half-naked man?
A pair of jeans hung low on his hips. He said nothing, just stared.
Even after the night we’d shared, his gaze was a little unnerving. Too bold, too wistful. I poured myself a glass of milk and drank greedily while he watched.

“I think I love you,” he blurted out.

In that instant, I inhaled my milk. No, really, it went down the wrong pipe. I coughed violently, sputtered, my eyes watered and a little of the liquid went up my nose.
He rushed to my side, genuinely concerned, as well he should be for nearly causing my untimely demise. Death by milk. No, death by the “L” word.
“Are you okay?”

I sucked in a large breath and nodded, clutching at the stinging in my chest and throat.
At last, I regained my composure and our eyes met.
“Whoa!” I exclaimed.

The bacon was burning.

(To be continued…maybe)


The yearning strikes, it’s been too long. Or, has it?
Less than a day, now but it feels much longer.
I don’t know how it happened or when I became so…
A condition I’d sooner deny than admit to anyone but myself.
I cannot lie to me.

The desire taunts me, with no regard for my physical or mental limitations.
It does not care that I have things to do.
Other areas of my life that require my attention.
It’s a selfish, nagging compulsion that has only increased with use.
My drug.
My unyielding addiction.
How much longer can I resist?
I will give in, and soon.
I’m in need of a fix.
But when? How? Where?
The answers, I know, are inconsequential.
I will find a way. I must

Do I hide my dependence? Do I expose myself?
Here at work? Or in the privacy of my own home?
The latter preferred, but I won’t last that long.
It will take only a moment, a quickie if you will.
A second of alone time — together time?
A stolen minute or five or ten, for the two of us. One.
Maybe here …maybe now. Under my desk.
No one will notice. Or perhaps, they will. A concern I don’t care to address.

My hands are trembling; anticipating, longing.
I push back the cover, revealing the softness within
Breath quickens, I reach my pace
One long sigh as I find the words I’ve searched for

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there,
Wondering, fearing, doubting,
Dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before”

and release…
** It started as a poem… then became a story…then a poem…then a — I don’t know what it is. Stoetry? **