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Friday, August 31, 2001

Today's Reality

An L.A. house is burning a sniper to death.
An L.A. deputy is dead.
An Iowa man is sitting in jail. They say he killed seven people.
And I'm happy it's Friday.
Does that mean I'm jaded, bored, numb, or selfish?
Or shellfish?
I suppose it doesn't mean much. We'll all knock back a few of the brown sodies (Reuben Berry, former Willard High School and Saskatchewan Red Raiders football coach speak for beverages in a brown bottle), eat some bad food, and feel fortunate that we're all still alive.

Thursday, August 30, 2001

Random College Journal Entry
Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from one of many college journals I kept.

May 17, 1994--Two days into summer break

Day2--Still no job. I can't decide if it's my long hair or general tendency to fail which contributes the most to my unemployment. I can cut my hair, but the latter is governed by something far greater than a pair of scissors.

I'm munching on cranberry newtons. I figure that the cranberry is one of the least exploited fruits (right behind the gooseberry and the pomegranate) and the concept of fruit and cake still touches a soft spot..."

Editor's note: I'm not sure what that means now or what it meant seven years ago. But for anybody out there who is looking for a job...maybe you should consider some cranberry newtons. It obviously made me feel better.

Your mama

I've never appreciated a "Your Mama" joke any more than I did today.

Recall my rant yesterday about the Latex Glove Bandit. Today he tried it again and a 60 year-old cop chased him into a nice neighborhood near where my friends Susannah and Jay used to live. After about an hour of searching they caught the guy.

I found myself sprinting through nicely manicured lawns with a video camera in my hand. I almost ran into the bandit. I flipped on the camera and asked him a couple of questions which he ignored. I noticed a nice big tattoo on the guy's neck.

Then, as the police started to put the guy into a police car, a colleague of mine yelled out, 'Where'd you get that tattoo?"

The Latex Glove Bandit looked at me and responded, "His mom."

My mom, indeed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Today's Reality

I guess I should consider myself fortunate. I must know nothing about desperation.

Desperation makes people stupid. For instance...bank robbers. There's a guy around here who doens't do much to disguise himself. Maybe a pair of sunglasses and ball cap. But, I'm sure he thinks he's sophisticated. He's been cutting out latex glove finger tips and putting them on his hands. He's doesn't wear the gloves. Just the fingers. Another guy walked into a bank the other day and told the teller...in essence, "If you don't give me some money, those guys out there in the car are going to kill me." She gave him the money. He's in jail. Those guys in the car are nowhere to be found.

Those guys are desperate.

Whatever happened to guys like Paddy Mitchell and the Stopwatch Gang? They didn't rob banks because they were desperate. They robbed banks for fun and profit. Sure, Paddy is in Leavenworth and another member of the group eventually blew his money on coke and smack and tried to kill a cop. But...in the grand scheme of things...the failures and viciousness don't matter as much as their initial drive to do something well and do it for some reason other than desperation. I don't condone the criminal life, but I sure appreciate it when the criminals are at least somewhat intelligent.

Criminal desperation should be criminal in itself.

I should concede, desperate times require desperate measures. And sometimes desperation leads to ingenuity. I admire anyone who can take that route.

Nevertheless, I guess I should feel thankful. I know nothing about desperation.

I guess you have to start somewhere. I watch the flutter, I envy the glub, I bow to the meow. It's only been a few weeks since sweet Su leaned over and in almost a whisper said "Have you started a BLOG yet?" I thought she was talking dirty (which was pretty neat since...well nevermind there). Over a couple of beers and a few too many dozen shrimp she explained the BLOG pheomenon. I was hooked before I found a place to throw away my shrimp tails.

Now, I'm struggling to remember any HTML and realizing that this computer coding stuff has come a long way since I learned the basics in 1995. So, for now, I'll start with somebody else's creativity and see what I can work out on my own a little later.

So...this is how it begins I guess...

Last Night's Dream...

I was mad. There was no question about that. Anybody watching could've seen the meltdown in my eyes, smelled it coming from ears. I was walking and hoping nobody would follow me. Then I ran into her.

From the back she looked like any other girl that might make a guest appearance in any given dream. Then she turned her head and I realized...she was Webster's definition of homely. I didn't mind. Even in REM sleep, I wasn't feeling dream-randy.

She was playing catch with her dad, like an even younger girl in my future life would. I caught her eye and offered a walking invitation. She accepted without saying anything to me or Dad. We walked for three suburban blocks (blocks that were as bland and as homely as she was) without saying a word. I watched her unbrushed hair brush itself against her shoulders, her mouth turn more and more into a frown.

When she started talking, I realized, she was as mad as I was. Maybe more. That fact made less angry. I listened but couldn't figure out exactly why she was mad. She didn't make much sense, and I only knew that the more she talked, the more I hated her dad. I forgot why I was mad and just listened, not understanding, but listening nonetheless.

We walked through that old suburb, up the street, back. She had cooled off and I had somehow fallen in love. I didn't know her name. I couldn't understand a thing she was saying. It didn't matter. I didn't care. I wasn't mad. She wasn't mad.

If only dreams weren't controlled by some sweating, angry, bored being, I could've woken up happy.

The three men slunked toward us. They weren't suburban. They were cracked sidewalks, tree-less streets, steamy manholes, and honking cabs. They were happy to be angry.

Before my sleep-riddled mind could figure out how, they were on us. Their leader--a toothey man with a stocking cap--pressed a .22 to her head. He pulled the trigger and she exploded.

I wanted to help, to put her back together, to make the men angry that they were angry. I couldn't. I ran. Toothey shot. The bullet burned into my back. I kept running, leaving the girl who was angry to be angry--and happy to be happy--all over the suburban street.

I spent the last few fitful hours of sleep dreaming of a way to convince an absetminded doctor that I needed surgery.

I woke up with the bullet still in my back.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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