Four Ball Rhino

That man over there is the one you should listen to.

The Art of Bed Entry

I had finally completed the installation of a device on a lady’s bed to help assist her in sitting up and getting out of her sleep sack.  Upon her inspection of said device, Mrs. Lady approached with caution.  It was as if I had asked her to reach for a loaded pistol for the first time.  I could feel the adrenaline pulsate through the room as she examined every potential angle of engagement.

What was she seeing? I thought to myself.  It’s a simple thing, an upside down “U” shape.  You grab the bars and pull yourself up.  But something was unsettling to her.

“Is there something I can help you with…did you have a question about how to use it?”

“Well, I’m just not sure how I’m going to use it.”

Her concerned voice was muffled as she bent over to inspect the foreign apparatus.  The sound of her words softened even more by her straining to breath as she stooped to the bed.  If only she would just get in the damn bed I could show her how to use it.  What the hell was she doing anyways?  The room was so small I couldn’t work my way around her to position myself in her view to motion her to do as I wanted.

“It’s to help you sit up and to help you stand up from bed.  If you could just…”

“Well what I need help with is getting into bed, that’s my trouble,” she interrupted.

“It’s…well…I mean…you can definitely use it to help you get in to bed, but it’s made to help you get up,” I reminded her as the impatience began to well up in my throat.

Mrs. Lady still continued with her mission to conquer the entry technique.  She backed away and reinspected the simple device, studied it, and turned to sit on the edge of the bed next to it.  I seized the opportunity.

“That’s the way I would get in,” I quipped.

“I just don’t… I don’t…I’m not sure,” her indecision creeped into my neck muscles as I flexed my head from side to side to release the tension.

She stood up again, facing the bed once more.

“You see. This is how I normally do it.”

She drew her left knee onto the first six inches of the bed while bracing her weight on both hands as if ready to crawl onto the mattress.  Her old bones popped and cracked with every slight movement.  I swore I could feel her breaking apart right before my eyes.  We were all alone.  I didn’t feel like calling 9-1-1.

“I just go for it!” she exclaimed. “I get kind of a moving start and just throw myself into bed.  Kind of jump I guess.”

The baffled look on my face was only trumped by the feeling of horror that she was going to demonstrate her acrobatic bed entry.  I didn’t need this.  Not today.  Not in the afternoon when the day was almost over.

“Well I don’t think I would do that,” I quickly intervened. “Try sitting on the edge of the bed so you can lay down and roll into position.”

She once again backed away slowly from the bed and examined the assisting device very carefully.  With her hand placed softly on the top edge of the rail she rotated slowly and eased herself onto the edge of the bed once more.

“How would…I Just…I’m not sure…How…How do I get into bed?”

My brain snapped.  Did she really just ask that?  Someone who has spent over 30,000 days on this planet asked for directions on how to enter a bed?

“Just lie back, lift your legs onto the bed, and then roll over,” I fought through my monotone voice of impatience.

“That just sounds too complicated,” she shot back.

You want to do a running, flying ninja knee-dive over the bar to get into bed; but rolling over is too complicated? I wanted to scream.  I wanted to hit something.  And then she laid back, rolled over, and slid back to her normal position.

My frustration quickly shifted as something awkward came over me.  I knew it was part of the job, but seeing someone lie in their bed as I viewed their vulnerability all seemed somewhat inappropriate.  There was a weird intimacy I fought to distance myself from.  I was ready to leave.

She quickly discovered a method for using the device to get herself out of bed and I wasted little time in backing my way towards the exit.  I thanked her for her patronage and she returned the gratitude.  We said our goodbyes but not before she could offer up her babysitting services.  Any other time, her childcare volunteerism may have seemed odd.  But the quirkiness of her statement fit the event so perfectly I left it at that.

As I drove away I couldn’t help but think how blown my mind was by her simple question: How do I get into bed?

“Uh…I don’t know, you just do!  You just…get in!” I screamed at the steering wheel. “What kind of a fucking question is that?!  You just…get…in.  Just get in.  Get in the fucking bed! Fuck!”

Such simple questions are things humans don’t contemplate.  There is no instruction guide for mundane tasks.

How to Get Into A Bed?

Step 1.  Get in!

– JM

Divine Homophobia

There are things I expect to encounter when I go to church on Sunday.

People praying, singing, a giant crucifix, bowed heads, closed eyes, and a list of the “Who’s Who” of local hospitalizations plastered at the bottom of the bulletin cover page.

Another aspect of Sunday service has made a regular appearance as of late as well.  What could it be, you may ask.  Well nothing less than your average Christian gay bashing of course.

I’m not surprised so much that a pastor would be against homosexuality; but finding a way to tie it into nearly every sermon of late is starting to get annoying and counter-productive.

The latest anti-gay rant actually made me a laugh a little bit inside.  Not because the pastor made a funny gay joke, but because in his attempt to defend what he says isn’t hate speech — I’m pretty sure he indirectly proved the opposite point he intended to make.

His concern was over protests and people being in an uproar in support of homosexuals.  He stated, in a fear mongering fashion, that someday we may even be arrested for speaking out against gays because anytime someone does it’s considered hate speech.  Gasp!  Oh Lord, say it ain’t so!

But he got me thinking about that hate speech label.  What makes something hate speech?  Someone says something hateful about another person!  Well, no shit.  But how does it develop?  Hate speech can’t be as simple as tying in the present emotion with the statement.

The more I thought about it, the more it hit me that hate speech has close ties to discrimination.  And by throwing the gays into the fire every week in church or in the media or politics, are they treated or addressed differently than others?

The fact I even considered this about homosexuals made me realize how much of a manipulated point the pastor was taking.  The issue isn’t about homosexuality or homosexuals.  The debate, at the core, is about gay marriage.  A legal contract at the government level.  Because after all, “marriage” is a religious ritual and contract with God.  One that can’t be altered by the law of man.  So what’s the big effin’ problem then?

And then I thought more about that.  Why aren’t gay people referred to as bankers, teachers, police officers, etc?  We don’t refer to straight people as heterosexuals as much as we do gay people as homosexuals.  Why are they labeled and defined by their preference in sexual encounter?  Something that makes up less than 5% of their existence.

But the discrimination doesn’t stop there.  Why isn’t the church freaking out about pornography or teen dating?  Those both lead to immoral acts.  When’s the last time your pastor spent time debating the need for porn to be illegal?  But homosexuality?  That would be this past Sunday.

So obviously gays are discriminated against, right?  I know, real shocker.  And discrimination is at the heart of hate.

By continuously discussing the horrible sinful nature of gays versus other sins, especially sexual sins, the pastor not only is participating in actions at the foundation of hate; but he’s also prefacing his hate by saying it’s free speech…not hate.

Man I hate that.

There is Anger in this Place

I’ve spent a lot of my adult life riding the roller coaster of anger and acceptance.

It’s very possible that I’m reaching the valley (or peak, if you look at it that way) of one such period of frustration.

I often calm myself with thoughts of acceptance-with-what-comes.  Then the resolution of sorts calms the waters and I feel content.

This repeated ebb and flow has worn out its welcome.

I really feel now that I’m above the teetering of the acceptance, then anger, then acceptance of how life has gone so far.

I’ve decided to accept that I’m angry.  Not in an outburst kind of way.  I think I’m going to turn to writing it out.  I’m going to let someone else live out the bullshit moments of my life in a meta-fiction way.

Since change doesn’t seem to be in the cards, the cycle of this life is well established, I postulate three things can happen.

One…I don’t follow through.

Two…it feels good to get it off my chest in hopes that other people empathize and learn something from my pseudo-experiences.

Three…I make millions of dollars profiting off people eating up the emotional literature, thus winning the battle until the next bullshit moment of life comes to take something away.

Maybe that’s all life is. 

Wanting things.  Having things.  Having things taken away. 

And reacting.

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