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Kage Alan

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Sometimes Raw Is Better
4/19/2012 12:46:40 AM

Polished has its time and place, but sometimes a raw stream of thought puts some light on the dark places. Welcome to a very rare post. It's not for everyone.
What follows this intro is the result of a couple crappy nights of sleep, some dodgy days with dad out in public, and an overall need to let some poison out of my system. I tried to go to sleep Sunday night and finally gave up after a few hours. It wasn’t happening and my brain needed a download. I switched on the laptop around 1 a.m. and decided to just let the chips fall where they may. Someone on a Facebook group had referred to me as an underdog, so I started with that thought and let it blow out of proportion from here. Keep in mind (if you do decide to read this) that I was being emotional and, at times, probably overly honest. It’s also barely edited. Barely.

Here we go…

Let me tell you a few things about this underdog. I was that kid who got picked on in school. I was bullied. My father was a police officer, I didn’t have brothers who toughened me up and I had no example to set for younger brothers. I was vulnerable. It was miserable and I survived. You want to know how? I went off to college.

There, I wasn’t bullied. Instead, I partook in the worst possible thing I could have, mainly the petty stupid jealousies, rivalries and other ridiculous bullshit. Who said what about who and why? I heard rumors. I spread them. Hell, I probably even made some up. Why in the hell do we do things like that and why do adults still do it? The only saving grace at this stage is that I survived. I graduated with two degrees I essentially could do little with (at the time).

My first job post-college was at a metal forging factory owned by MascoTech where I learned what blue collar is all about. The hours sucked, the conditions sucked and the lifestyle sucked. But let me tell you something, I have nothing but the highest respect for people who can do it and who’ve made a life out of doing it. It’s a soul sucking job and the only thing that keeps these people sane is their lives outside of work. And considering the hours they work, there isn’t always much of that either.

I had to accept another factory position after getting laid off from there, and as a contractor. The place was going through a union scare where the workers wanted to organize and, believe, there was a reason for it. Even though I was contract, I was directed by my boss to sit in at meetings and listen to management present a case for not wanting a union. Unfortunately, as careful as they were in their wording, they did not uphold their promise to be factual and not interject opinion. I pointed this out to them in one such meeting with two specific examples. I received a phone call half an hour after I returned home the next morning that my services were no longer required.

If you think I didn’t start to question companies and management after that, you’d be wrong.
The next job had me at GM Truck Product Central with a boss who was a classic bully and, dare I say, mentally abusive. You couldn’t surpass him, so you simply had to outlast him, which I did. The underdog didn’t win, but he persevered and had a MUCH better boss for several months until being laid off yet again.

Now, people tell me I’m a good son. I don’t feel like one. The entity that is my father really isn’t him anymore. That’s the not the man I grew up with. Getting it through my head that he is no more has been the hardest thing in the world to accept. People also tell me that my father is standing right in front of me. No, he’s not. That’s the shell. What’s inside that made him who he was is gone, locked up somewhere and is no longer reachable. We’re dealing with echoes and whispers of what once was.

What makes who we are? It’s the sum or our experiences that live in our memories. It’s what shapes us. Remove them and you’re going through the motions of life. Dad remembers my name, but he couldn’t tell you anything about me except that I’m a good driver. He can’t tell you anything about my mother except that she’s nice and is a good driver. Oh, and we both take him on excellent walks and drives. That’s it. That’s who he is. That’s what he remembers. And granted, they’re good memories, but they’re a couple of the few memories he has left.

I don’t hate him, but I hate the disease. It’s robbed me of my father and the man who helped shape who I am today. He helped me to be a survivor. He helped me to persevere. He lead by example and my only relationship now is that of caretaker and making sure he’s comfortable and doesn’t piss somebody off saying the wrong thing because he doesn’t know any better. It’s like a child, but at least with children, they grow up. He won’t. He’ll get worse and I hate that. The underdog can do nothing.

You know, I’m not perfect and I don’t pretend to be. Number one, anyone who knows me would laugh their extremities off if I ever claimed to be anything other than imperfect. I’ve ruined some very old friendships, some very good friendships and a couple of really bad friendships. I’ll own doing that. I’m trying to do better, but I’m not always succeeding. For the first time a few months back, I wrote letters to two friends to try and get some sense of closure or patch things up, they never replied back. I’ve never known failure as an option and here it is.

Let’s face it, I question things I shouldn’t, take at face value things I should question, and have a difficult time keeping my priorities straight. What are my priorities? My husband and my family. My writing. Work. Should work come before my writing? Many people put work before their family. They’ll lie about it and say they don’t, but they do. I put my family in front of work and not because I’m arrogant, but because it’s the way it should be. I also, at times, put my writing ahead of work. Why? Because my writing is what I see my future being.

Does my work suffer for it? I’m sure my boss would say it does. The thing is this…I keep going there not because of the job, but because of the people. They make the job worthwhile. Some more than others, but that’s not unusual. And I know I’ve hurt my job because of putting things in front of it, but I’ve never not cared. I do care and I want to do good, only I know that I can only put so much into it because I’ve got to save the rest for my family. I also question things at work. Why? Because sometimes some 25 year old who can’t speak a complete sentence without f***ing up the English language is too inexperience to know any better.

And somewhere in this giant mess of things is where I’m supposed to find time for myself to keep me healthy. Well, mom doesn’t get that luxury, not really. Her time is whenever I have dad and she always wakes up with him and goes to bed with him. Removing him from that environment right now isn’t something she wants to do and I understand why.

Do you know what I do for fun and to get out of the flat? I go and do laundry on a Sunday night. That’s my interaction with people outside of work and home. I go to dinner once a month with three of my friends. That’s it. I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie. I can’t remember the last time I went anywhere without a laptop to work on the book or without my phone just in case I was needed. My life consists of work, a few hours working on the next book and posting on social media. There’s no time to do anything else. And when my guy is home, we’re rushing around trying to get everything done he needs to do because it’s so seldom he’s actually home.

The funny thing about all of this is that I don’t feel sorry for myself. You’d think I would. Isn’t it a natural reaction? Isn’t that what people do when confronted with shit like this? I can’t get my head to stop spinning long enough to consider a bit of self-pity. Self-pity to me is kinda boring and it doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t heal friendships, it doesn’t write books and it doesn’t get my father back. It’s poison, but then so is so much of this.

So what good comes out of all this ranting? What keeps an underdog going? Seeing people overcome the crap and misery in their life, climbing out of that ditch and persevering. That’s what gets me off. That’s what makes me realize there is so much more to living this life than what corporations and politics demand of us.

And hot pretzel sticks with cheddar cheese don’t hurt either.

________________________

Kage Alan is the Escape From LA watching, Jerrold Immel listening author of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins” and the first book in a separate series, “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell.” Okay, it was no Escape From New York, but, seriously, Escape From LA could have been so much more. Ah, well. So much for Bangkok rules. Draw!


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• Classic Blog Post: Episode 2: The Publishers Strike Back - Saturday, June 29, 2013
• So…There’s the Whole Thing That Happened Yesterday - Thursday, June 27, 2013
• The Great Cyber Melting Pot (or I Know A Vegan) - Monday, June 24, 2013
• The Face of Gay 35 (Will Parkinson) - Saturday, June 22, 2013
• White Ninja Vs. Half Asian Ninja: The Domination - Thursday, June 20, 2013
• And Now a Word About Fathers… - Monday, June 17, 2013
• CBP: The Good, The Bad & The Oh-Why-Did-I-Write-This-Awful-Thing? - Saturday, June 15, 2013
• My Version of Comfort Food for the Soul - Thursday, June 13, 2013
• My Bum Performs Quality Control Tests - Monday, June 10, 2013
• The Face of Gay 34 (Joelle Casteel) - Saturday, June 08, 2013
• A Year Since I Resigned? WTH??? - Thursday, June 06, 2013
• Do You Know Where That Vague Thing Is I Want That You Packed? - Monday, June 03, 2013
• I Said It Felt Like a Mole on His… - Thursday, May 30, 2013
• The Unbearable Lightness of Learned Humility - Monday, May 27, 2013
• Classic Blog Post: The Hilarity of Stupidity - Saturday, May 25, 2013
• May I Have A BLT With My BDSM and PG13 Horror? - Thursday, May 23, 2013
• The Weekend We Found Xanadu That Was - Monday, May 20, 2013
• The Face of Gay 33 (Petra) - Saturday, May 18, 2013
• Excuse Me, Sir? Would You Please Pick Out A #*$%@ Carpet? - Thursday, May 16, 2013
• It’s a Mo-Mo Monday Morning in the Neighborhood! - Monday, May 13, 2013
• Classic Blog Post: My Reading With Psychic Sylvia Brown - Saturday, May 11, 2013
• Dear Kristopher (One Year Later + A Little) - Friday, May 10, 2013
• The 2013 OutlantaCon Report: Plus Butt Pirates Copies! - Thursday, May 09, 2013
• The Face of Gay 32 (Jon Michaelsen) - Saturday, May 04, 2013
• Out of the Mouths of the Butt Pirates: Kage Alan (Moi) - Thursday, May 02, 2013
• Out of the Mouths of the Butt Pirates: Kiernan Kelly - Wednesday, May 01, 2013
• Out of the Mouths of the Butt Pirates: Angelia Sparrow - Tuesday, April 30, 2013
• Out of the Mouths of the Butt Pirates: Shae Connor - Monday, April 29, 2013
• Classic Blog Post: The Direction $hit Rolls - Saturday, April 27, 2013
• What We Leave Behind II: The Postcards - Thursday, April 25, 2013
• what We Leave Behind - Monday, April 22, 2013
• The Face of Gay 31 (Sharita Lira) - Saturday, April 20, 2013
• Walkabout: Manhattan - Thursday, April 18, 2013
• Dear Self, Let’s Talk About the Last Couple of Months, Shall We? - Monday, April 15, 2013
• CBP: Cheers, Fears and the New Sedaris-Fearing-Gay-Writing Mafia - Saturday, April 13, 2013
• Men, Tetris and Living Life By the 4 ‘H’s - Thursday, April 11, 2013
• Dynasty or Dynastud: The Multiple Soul Mate Quandary - Monday, April 08, 2013
• The Face of Gay 30 (Moxie Ann Magnus) - Saturday, April 06, 2013
• So What Do You Think Happens After? - Thursday, April 04, 2013
• The Rules of Mourning (Or Lack-Thereof) - Monday, April 01, 2013
• Kage Alan & His Flying Robot! - Thursday, March 28, 2013
• Wanted: Outback Steakhouse in the Afterlife - Monday, March 25, 2013
• The Face of Gay…Er…Bi 29 (Wayne) - Saturday, March 23, 2013
• A Voice in the Present Becomes a Voice in the Past - Tuesday, March 19, 2013
• The Waiting Game - Monday, March 18, 2013
• Classic Blog Post: From Finland With Love - Saturday, March 16, 2013
• The Why Behind Why I Blog - Thursday, March 14, 2013


Suddenly Free, Rise of Evil by Yvette Davis

The action takes place at the End of Time on Earth. The Antichrist arises to usher in the end of the world...  
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