*please note all links contained within are to supporting documents of statements made*
It is impossible to turn on the news without hearing some absurd happening within communities of these united states. Trivial things turned vicious, ignorance turned deadly, and tolerance turned intolerant. The number of stories have increased tremendously especially over the last 8 months. It seems as if there is something America has forgotten. A phrase, saying, and steadfast pillar of peace and tolerance; practice what you preach, treat others how you want to be treated, turn the cheek, or even bite the bullet. The amount of specific examples where this phrase or collection of phrases could have been used to promote peace is astounding. Following are a few examples.
In 2011 Florida state highway trooper Donna Watts arrested a Miami police officer who while driving a marked police car led her on a high-speed pursuit for over four minutes with speeds topping 120 mph on the highway. After the arraignment and judicial procedures the arrested officer lost his job. Though he broke the law, other law enforcement officers from 25 different agencies searched police archives (privileged information) to find her address and contact information in order to harass her.
If the other police men and women took a second and said, “practice what you preach,” they would have found no need to try and intimidate an officer who was actually doing what they are all sworn in to do. Maturity would have allowed this phrase to enter their minds before they reacted blindly. It also should have stood as a testament to the fact that they are not above the law. Of course there are many other current situations where this applies to the cops as well, so please, officers start asking yourself if you are practicing what you preach.
LGBT community and supporters
We all know the fight for equality has been difficult but has seen some amazing steps forward with the repeal of DOMA and Prop8, along with the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell. The past few years have been great, there is still, however, a very real struggle underway. In some places the fight is going backward. Let’s think Memories Pizza in Indiana. They refused to make pizza for a gay wedding. It is their constitutional and living right to choose who they serve. If they decide they want nothing to do with it, try some other business, or think of some other cuisine. The backlash created for this family run business is sickening. If we allowed the phrase, “treat people the way you want to be treated,” to run through our minds this wouldn’t have happened.
No we don’t want to be looked down upon, or berated for who we are, so why would we do that to someone else. Just because their beliefs don’t align with what the rest of the world is trending toward doesn’t give us, the same people who only recently have made some serious milestones, the right to tear their business to shreds.
Those screaming RACISM!
It will be a very dark page in the history books when the stories of Ferguson, Garner, and many more hit them. It is a time in America when we can say that unfortunately racism still exists. It is with all of my heart that we can get this to go away, but it won’t if the reactions continue to be less than appealing. There is no need to shoot and kill an innocent officer because of the color of his skin. There is no need to attack and refer to all police as killers. If it weren’t for the police force we would be in a world that stinks way worse than it does right now. So even in these rough times, when it seems there is new evidence being turned out about some other wrong doing every single day, we should be asking ourselves, can we “treat others the way we want to be treated?” Racism exists, yes, but we need to be able to come together and live life devoid of the ignorance that creates the terrible idea called racism. You may never know when you meet someone that’s racist, but as long as you hold true to yourself and let your light shine, you may never know who you converted away from it either.
I don’t know your story, nor will I ever, but the color of ones skin doesn’t equal the caliber of human you may perceive them to be. In a clear, unaltered news story that recently came up a few Florida police officers were fired because of the slanderous way they talked about black people. Sure it can be easy to lump individuals together by a common feature, but you are doing yourself one of the worst injustices you can. Don’t be narrow minded and allow yourself to think, “treat others the way I want to be treated.” Who cares what your thoughts are or what you think of people. Do the most human thing and think for a second and treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. It is, after all, ignorance which breeds intolerance.
The Unyielding Religious
It doesn’t matter what religion you are, most religions preach peace and love. Yes there are certain abominations, but it is also up to God, Allah, or whatever god you pray to, to judge those in abomination. So keep that in mind when you want to judge someone for the way they are. Recently a lawyer in California, who claims to be Christian, posed a ballot that encourages homosexuals be punished by a “bullet to the head.” This is an extreme case, but in every day life you will run into someone who’s views or life you don’t agree with. It is already stated in the bible that you aren’t to judge anyone, but leave that for God. So why can’t you say to yourself a phrase taken from your book, the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12)
To Those crying No Immigration!
Recently President Obama went out of his way to pass a law that would allow illegal aliens to gain citizenship in the United States. This was a double edged sword. If the people didn’t meet all the criteria chances are they could be deported back to their country. Some of you reading this may be happy about that, but I ask you, where did you descend from? In 2013 only about 2% of Americans were native, which means your family came from somewhere else. We are constantly flooded with reports on how immigrants get a free ride, let me tell you this is false. Understandably there is concern about foreign criminals and such reaching our soil and staying, but the government has many practices in place to limit that from happening. So think about those families who want to come here and are willing to take the jobs you don’t want, along with another, just to make ends meat and support a family away from said criminal and brutal activity. Practice what you preach. If it weren’t for immigrants chances are you wouldn’t be here.
There are many groups that weren’t touched on here but the point of the essay is to increase the internal dialogue of everyone. This is America, home of the free. Of course there will people that don’t agree on one topic, life, religion, or creed. That’s the point. Take that and realize we are merging into a new era, a new generation, and the last thing we need to be guilty of is creating a hostile environment for our young ones, let alone our neighbors and ourselves. We are united with the respect of each living person, glorified in the knowing that we can live harmoniously together.
There will be times when the simple phrase, treat others as you would like to be treated, will go to the way side especially when someone threatens what we all stand for. An enemy of our rights. A true threat to the freedom that we have to be able to argue about such values. But when it comes to person to person, neighbor to neighbor, community to community we must stand united with a respect to each human to have their own thoughts, beliefs, life, and religion. This is America. These are our fundamental truths that we must not let pass.
May God Bless America!
Caleb A. Mertz
How’s life? A bar patron asks the manager at the restaurant I occupy. He smiles and goes off on a tale about the Padres. The guests smile and they begin to talk, I drift with a perfect beginning to my post.
Life is good. With the past few months of laxed writing practices, I am happy to say that I’m back! Not just back, but better than ever. In previous posts, in particular On a very different path, I take you along my road to recovery after a break-up… Welp, here I am, sitting in a restaurant while my boyfriend is in dance class.
My boyfriend, my FOUND inspiration, my new beginning. A life that, since he’s been in, has been utter bliss. I would tell u the story of how I knew one day I’d be speaking spanish, but that’d only bore you. Who cares about the young man feeling envious of the secret code being spoken around him? Desperate to break the barrier and understand what was being said, thus using bi-lingual packets to begin his learning. Who cares?
Now, I sit. I look around the restaurant. Only one other couple occupies the bar, but many have gathered to watch the fight between the Dodgers and the Padres. It is San Diego, after all. My Miller Lite is extremely lite, just as my wallet.
I present the only card that may be able to cover the price of two beers. If I succeed, I’ll have another and pay cash. If not, well, I have enough to cover and a nice tip as well.
I can’t help it! I think back to him. His smile, laugh, everything.
“¿Como estas?” A young couple asks, walking to the bar.
I know that: How are you?
Now the conversation goes a bit further. I understand! Not everything, but all things in steps right!?
It’s now within my scope to translate my best selling book, “With Thoughts of Jason” into Spanish. Why not broaden the scope of people that might be able to enjoy a book taken from my heart and soul?
My boyfriend is Mexican, and with that comes a sleu of, ahem, thoughts…yeah, thoughts. You see, my sister married a man from México, and well, he’s done some damage. So now, even with my boyfriend in the room with me, my mom doesn’t seem to accept that i’m dating a Mexican.
“Mom,” I say, “he’s my boyfriend, not just a friend,” I realize it might take her some time, well untill she’d meet him. At that point i know she’d fall for him as quickly as I have.
Well hey. Just wanted to give u all a heads up. I feel like life is taking a turn for something amazing, if u believe so as well be sure to like or follow my blog! I can’t wait to share more exciting things when it comes to writing, or stupid updates on the life that’s wielding my writing.
Caleb A. Mertz
A young man stood upon the rocks in ocean beach, peering into the vast darkness. A land, or space, or existence that held breadth and terrible power within. The waves are ever constant, in five’s or maybe seven’s did a large one come forth. A distant light catches his eye, as a voice from within begins.
“You’d never make that swim,” the ocean swirls upon the rocks to his right. Cresting high upon the barnacles, white froth displaying the water’s torment. “You’d tire just far enough off shore you couldn’t return, and not far enough to make it.”
The water recedes out as sanderlings run in. The young man takes two steps further to the edge.
“It’d be like everything else,” a wave sends a small flurry of splash across his face, and spurs small ripples in tiny tide pools.
“Like Jonathan,” a young nude couple runs down to a small private beach between the rocks. They laugh, as she tries throwing him into the now on-coming wave. He tugs her teasingly but sends her falling into the water.
“Or Aaron,” a piercing scream comes from the young nude girl as the frigid water rushes over her. The wave recedes as they both giggle, now allowing sand to cling to their bare skin.
The light still shines, off in the distance, across this barren space, full of unknown dangers.
‘The big one is due’ he thinks to himself watching the water swirl around the rocks, then the white crest of the in-coming waves tumbling upon themselves. The blue moon shines imperiously upon the surface, demanding attention, and breeding insight.
“Everything you’ve tried, you’ve failed at lately.” Another wave washes in, traveling up a small fissure within the stone embankment. The young man sits now at the edge of the slippery rock. Another wave crashes in, but still of no “big” proportion. The water churns below his feet, swishing and unpredictably taking paths not taken the same before.
The light from a boat off in the distance has traveled slightly to the right, both blue and red lights still bequeath their light, and strength upon the barren land.
“Failure is something that must be learned to be taken,” small waves continue to wash upon the shore. The young nude couple has quieted, except for a random female pleasure song. A long hoot is heard from a-top the steps as three college kids arrive to indulge in drinking, and eventually driving.
The moon shines promisingly on a white-cap well off to sea. ‘This could be the big one,’ it had been seven, eight, nine, since the last swell.
“Sharks infest these waters. They feed at night. You’ll be chum,”
‘the swell!’ he hoped. There were rocks beneath him, capable of bending his skeleton in ways not meant. It could snag him and hold him there, if that were her intent.
“He’s gone too far,” a whooshing noise came.
“You’d never make the swim,” the white caps frothed and exploded as they should.
The college students arrived upon the rocks.
Hollering ensued. The nude girl screamed in artificial orgasmic praise. Our young man planted the heels of his hands steadfast upon the rock.
The wave came in.
‘Nothing’ a small wave ran into the big wave, and reduced its power. The lone young man stood. Bottles smashed behind him as the reckless college kids wreaked havoc on this sacred place.
He walked past the three college kids, falling upon their 24 bottle load.
“Fuck you!” They yelled.
“Fuck you!” He yelled back.
“What did he just say?” The one asked to the other. Another waved crashed upon the barnacles, and rocks, and sand, and love making one-night-stand. He jumped from the rock to the private beach where the lovers once rolled in sand.
“Go get that fuckin faggot!” One collegiate roared at the other.
The pants of our lone young man loosened and fell to his ankles. He stepped from them.
“Dude really is a fag! Fuckin’ get him!” He marched past the nude girl whimpering in fake pleasure as her knight shook above her. The small wave caught his toes, then his feet, then his calves, it’s fuckin’ cold!’ he yelled at himself. Sand was flying high with the run-prints of his potential attacker closing in. The next wave, a medium one, rose to his thighs as he purged through the water. The shirt came off next to reveal the fat of the old relationships bearing heavily upon him. A sight no one in the modern world would want to see, fat, man-boobs, and a gut jiggling upon the slightest vibration from the universe.
“You’re going to die,” the voice rang within him.
‘if it gets me away from you’ he thought.
“Get back here! Are you nuts!” The drunken scholar hollered.
Sanderlings rushed in with the receding wave, as our young swimming loner took off to sea. The crest of the next wave intruded upon his sight of the light that lay off in the distance. No foot could be placed upon the ocean floor as it dipped quickly: nearly relentlessly. She, the ocean, demanded the strength and endurance of only a man.
The sound of water lapping around him stirred nothing within him. ‘I have to get to that boat’ he demanded.
“Get back here! Homo!” Roared the intelligently educated master of the arts upon his mast.
“You’ll die!” Roared the voice within.
With that, he saw it. The wave he was going to jump into upon the rocks. The one he hoped would carry him out to sea, to the boat where he needed to be. It raised high above the waves that crested behind him.
‘I’ll take you’ he said sure of himself. Ready to take a deep breath and ride her recession out to the boat. The boat that was now three-quarters a mile away.
“You’ll be chum.”
“Dude!” The collegiate sang, swimming in fifteen feet of water. Our lone-swimming young man was fifty yards from the rocks now. The houses and lights shown oddly about the shore. Perhaps it was the cold gripping him, perhaps it was this new perspective.
‘no time to linger’ he determined himself. He continued to swim, as the big wave went beneath him as nothing.
The splash of his arm, upon arm, upon stroke, upon stroke wore upon him. The unexpected wavelength cast salt water to his lungs. The swim was still to be made.
‘am I mad’ he asked of himself.
“Chum,” was all he heard back. Rarely could he here the call for what now sounded as a concerned college kid yelling from the rocks.
Peace was here now, while his breathing increased. He remembered his swim classes, “look away from the fishies; talk to the fishies.”
The lights of the boat went further than he could have hoped. Land was so far in the distance only a speckle of light shown where he once was. The poor girl, devoid of sexual pleasure assuredly made her male mate feel competent, the college boys probably talked about the crazy guy that went for a swim.
“You should have stayed, he would have come back for you,” the nagging voice ensued.
‘and then WHAT!’ the lone swimmer screamed before talking to the fishies.
“He would have taken you back,” the voice continued.
‘no.’ the swimmer continued. He continued to swim, he was making better time than ever before. ‘no he wouldn’t have’
“So why!” The voice asked. The swimmer continued to paddle. Wave upon wave, he felt the oceans force. “Why do this?”
‘Because I have to!’ he yelled within himself. His limbs were growing numb, the lights from the boat nearly getting further away. He took a second to wade water.
‘it’s only in my mind’ he said looking upon the darkness that surrounded him on all sides.
“This is no longer just your mind,” the voice of reality came in. It was true. All things ventured lately were failures, but he wasn’t going to give up on this. He continued to swim.
“You’ll never make it,” the waves lapped his face. He didn’t dare think of what may be trailing him, lurking, stalking, getting close. Though peaceful, it was loud; between the heavy breathing and the splash of each stroke he took. The cold water and his efforts bore down upon him.
‘I’ll never make it’
The ocean is a strange and powerful creature, so full of life it carries a soul of its own. A soul that reserves itself for no man, beast or fowl. A soul content with being beautiful, gently caressing places she holds dear, but bolstering a power never meant to be taken lightly. Rarely does she help to make one persevere, it had to be there before ever tempting her.
The ease of swimming to shore was not one our lone swimming broken-hearted boy ever intended. He could still hear what still sounded as a concerned college kid. Yet he was too far out.
“What are you doing!?” He heard. “I’m turning around!”
His jaw nearly dropped. The feeling of stalking wasn’t from a shark! Someone was following him, the college kid from the shore!
‘what is he thinking?’ he thought angrily swimming back where the voice came from.
“Where are you?” The voice called.
“Here!” He yelled.
“Here!” He splashed about to ensure he was heard. He swam faster than he had before.
‘someone really cares!’ he thought excitedly. The waves propelled him now. As he rose with the waves he could see a head not far off in the distance.
“Don’t do this man!” The head called.
“I’m coming back!” Our loner responded.
“C’mon, last one to shore is a chicken leg,” the college student yelled.
They swam, faster and faster. Head to head. And soon arrived to shore tired of their efforts, and breathing with sharp inhales.
“Why did you follow me?” Our loner asked.
“I couldn’t stand to watch someone try and off themselves.”
He looked at him. The kid was handsome, built, and had eyes that sparkled in the spotlights from above.”I wasn’t going to off myself,” he responded. The waves crashed around them.
“Then why would you swim off into the night ocean?” The student asked. Our boy looked out to the ocean, only a small flicker of light shown from the boat he was going to swim to, even if death had met him.
“I do it all the time,” he said, then scooching closer to the young man, “will you hold me?”
“What? No!” The student responded, still too out of breath to move.
“Right,” the loner responded seeing a kayak lantern off in the distance. He stood as the strong seventh wave came in. “You stay here,” he commanded. Then looked back at the handsome young man who thought he was saving a life. “I never would have made it, if it weren’t for you.” He said, then turning back to the lone lantern. He estimated a twenty minute swim to it. “Keep your faith alive in humanity. But this one has to make it alone.” He said walking then trudging into the ocean. He would embark upon the path he told himself he couldn’t make. The belief in humans renewed he had a plan, and one that wouldn’t require too much swimming.
Derrick Handleman, black hair formed perfectly into a wavy fohawk, stood in-front of the mirror adjusting his white bow tie situated comfortably upon his neck, settled on a white tailored dress shirt. The purposeful stubble shaped his angular jaw more so, than the cuts originally made by the god’s. Lite hazel eyes met his stare, as a reflection of his own when he
finally became comfortable with the look he so diligently prepared. He stepped back. The shine of the black belt had to be slightly less than the shine on his shoes, which it was. The shirt had to snugly hold his body, embracing it’s v-shape, it did. His dress pants, silky and flowing, had to bulge slightly in the front, and caress his butt, flaunting its tightness, they certainly did. The right corner of his mouth raised slightly as he smiled confidently into the mirror, adjusting his cuffs.
The sound of a glass hitting the marble bar top caught his attention. Joelynn must have been done with her last-minute prepping. Derrick leaned back slightly to look out the door, sure enough through the colorful display of orchid’s he could see her sneakily reaching for the vodka on the top shelf which was center of an accent light. The bottle was deserving of it’s display light as the bottle cost around $150.
Joelynn brought the glass with her onto the step-ladder. Setting it upon a shelf slightly below her breasts, she then reached for the bottle, and slowly took off the crystal decanter style top. She whispered something to herself. Convinced he could easily scare her if he yelled, or snuck up to her, his smile only broadened. He’d wait till the bottle was safely back in its display, and then he’d make the call. She poured the silver liquid into the glass, replaced the cap and set the bottle back, then moved it slightly to the right. She then turned the bottle slightly, twisted the cap, moved it left again, “shit!” She said.
“Yep, you’ll never get it,” Derrick called from his room.
“Shit!” She said now bending over in laughter on the step stool. Her laugh was loud, bubbly, and contagious, “o, no!” She laughed again.
“I saw ya,” Derrick smiled leaving the room and walking over the threads of the pristine carpeting.
“You caught me!” She smiled, then, “you wanna shot? Since I’m up here.”
“No, you know I’m a scotch guy,” he said walking into the bar area of his high-rise suite. The marble bar top rounded the lounge area, which then extended outside to a large patio with fire pit. Three orchids, accentuated by recessed lights adorned the left flank of the bar offering splashes of color against the black and stainless steel kitchen. Glenfiddich would do as it should before the party. The subtle smokiness would zing his lips and pucker his desire for more golden nectar of the ancient bards.
“What are you doing?” He laughed at Joelynn. The first shot must not have been enough as she now tipped the bottle into her shot glass once more.
“Sorry,” she said laughing as she put the bottle back, this time with less effort to situate it perfectly. “Cheers!”
“I hate that you treat it like a shot, rather than enjoying its subtleties.”
“It’s vodka,” she said clinking her glass against his and throwing it back. Her hair, which was currently nicely up and in a bun, was curly and voluminous, and it loved bouncing around at its every opportunity.
Derrick looked out his floor to ceiling windows across to san diego bay. A few lights blipped upon the water of small boats surely full of college kids embarking upon a night of boozing and sex. Drinking and sex, not exactly the worst idea of a night out, rather quite exciting.
“Don’t worry,” Joelynn said now coming up next to him, looking out over the bay as well, “we’ll find you a man.”
“Not quite what I was thinking,” he began. Then he saw the drink she had prepared. “Joelynn! When did you make that drink?”
“Just now,” she laughed, placing the straw into her lips and gulping it down.
“Lord, fish outta water.” Derrick laughed with her. Tonight would be a good night, not just anyone got a personal invite to a Details magazine party. Other celebrities would be there, and fashion icons, and article writers that reveled in the celebrities life. Yet, chances were better that the man Derrick searched for wouldn’t be there this night or any other night, he didn’t know what he was looking for, but it wouldn’t be there.
This is my first post using the app on my blackberry. Probably not the best idea ever, but I’ll never know if I never try. As it turns out the starbucks I sit outside of is currently outletless as some business men talk quietly in the corner, cords stretched across the door. A hindu family sits near the front door scolding their children softly that are trying to eat the fake display artisan food. The overly handsome barista just had an awkward conversation with me in my attempts not to appear socially awkward. I’m sure I sounded like a stalker.
“How is your day going?” He kindly asks over the frothing noise the espresso machine makes to pump out my quad caramel machiatto .
“Great…” I begin, as would be the usual response, but leave it to me to take it further. I mean he is handsome right? “Golly,” I might well have started with a glint in my eye, southern accent drawling, eyes shifting to the back door then the employee schedule. “What time do you usually have to come in?” I slightly lean forward, hunching my back, closing one eye and scrunching my face; furthering my cause.
He looks up at me, when I realize how much I adore his eyes. Really? Maybe I titled this post wrong. Maybe it should be: Caleb’s likliness to that of a creeper, or fantastical fascination with the frappuccino guy, either way there’s a story here. So his eyes are the kind that have an aura of their own, almost golden circles envelop the hazel eyes, and the darkness of the pupil that peers into my homosexuality (aka gaydar!) His hair, short, tidy, and black knows about me too. The stubble on his face gives him just enough scruff to holler ‘I’m a man!’ Though scant enough to show the young features that shape the face and lil dimple chin.
He fills me in on his in-time rather un-altered by the completely off the wall question. Well it wasn’t really. I am not usually up this early, today I am because the apartment complex where I currently, well, usually reside is being fumigated for bedbugs! Ick!
Needless to say, I go on to further humiliate myself with admitting to my usual laziness, “I don’t know how you can do it. I’m not usually up anything before ten!” I should have added a bunch of likes for a valley girl tone, then blinked my eyes a few hundred times in a matter of a few seconds.
“Ah, you get into a routine of it,” he says. No duh! Ugh! I’m so stupid. Though he smiles, I think it was a smile that revealed a scar on his right cheek; hmm…mystery and intrigue. Ugh! Love him already! Oh, yeah. What am I doing now? Sitting out front, where I know he can see me laughing to myself picturing what I must have sounded like.
So on with the real reason for this post: killing pests and spawning new creative efforts. My apartment is being fumigated for the next three days. Oh yeah! Bed bugs! How delicious! The exterminator asks,”have you noticed any rashes, bumps, or even blood on the sheets?” Ew! Blood on the sheets? What kind of bugs are these? Ravenous creatures waiting for the warmth of my body to hit the mattress to crawl out by the thousands out of every crevice in attempts to devour my flesh in one evening? A type of evolved scarab beetle? I imagine waking up in a pool of blood, covered by pumpkin seed looking little pricks with heads like ticks, and pincers like a spider’s…ew!
So with the news that I actually don’t have them but five of the other units do, I can sleep at night without the aid of alcohol or nyquil. They’re still tenting the place to kill the little suckers, after two failed heat treatment attempts. For three days I will be staying at a place in old town with nothing to do except work and read, and what’s that? Write? Wahoo! Oh wait, it’s a cheap hotel…without wireless! What! What hotel doesn’t have wireless! Oh wait, they do, however, I’m too far from the “G” router they have in the office! What a jip, McDonalds here I come; especially since I can’t seem to find a good outlet at the starbucks where the handsome, halo-eyed, cappuccino foam-maker works. Then again, I could drive twenty minutes out of my way, again…wait, Jesus! Here goes that creeper thing again. (it’s all in good fun, by the way)
Anyway, I have finished John Irving’s depressing novel The Hotel New Hampshire and feel like working on refining my voice and sentence structure. I also just signed with examiner.com to be an affiliate and sourced writer for cbs.com. It’d involve real topics, real deadlines, and most of all real, tangible money!
Alright. Well this has been fun. I’m out of my macchiatto, and have to pee, and would love to strike up another embarrassing conversation with mr. Halo-eyes, without caffeinating myself to anxiety, so maybe a chai tea? Ugh! It’s so gay, but soo good!
Thanks for reading! Muah!
Caleb A. Mertz
Could it be that the physical location of the author, writer, artist has a strong impact on their work? Is it the state of mind, frame of mind, or mental stability that produce works worth talking about? I’m not sure but I am more than willing to find that out for myself.
There are a million songs out there that have to do with break ups. A few thousand that refer to one being in love and the other not so, and a few more where the other is cheating. Regardless a situation as such is never good for one’s soul, heart, or drive/motivation. Could it be that this state of mind could create some of the most heartfelt poem, song, or soliloquy? Or would a refined and renewed sense of life create a piece that encourages thousands of others through the same situation? This was only a simple example of how the argument of location versus mind comes into play. Is it possible that a new location, surroundings, view on life could stimulate a writer to create works of literature that could be read for years and generations? Much like our greats from the past (#Ernest Hemmingway)?
Hemmingway was a man of great emotional troubles. He was also a man that traveled often. Found himself in situations he wasn’t sure how to handle and later found a perfectly reasonable answer in his writing. One of his favorite things to do was talk about his travels. These travels inspired locations, landscapes, physical descriptions that allow the reader to piece together their own landscape roughly similar to what he had experienced. Were these places so special that he decided to write about them? Of course they were! Little towns, small cities, ports, all very important and of significance to Mr. Hemmingway. But then you have to ask yourself, especially if you are familiar with his works; What was his state of mind?
While Hemmingway was often apparently in feud with himself over a gal, he also was fond of absinthe. He loved himself a drink or two at any given point in the day. Each time he did this he made it seem as if it were a grandeur ceremony. Both examples show how the possibility stands that location and state of mind inspire writing. So while my writing feels stale and pungent, a good change of location may be all that I need to switch things up. Liven things a bit, add that extra spark. Even if it were to only be a mental thing, ultimately reverting back to a “state of mind.” Could a location as different from what we know as normal change the way we feel?
Every time that I used to visit Florida a flood of experiences waved over me. Though I was inspired to write, I was too enthralled with everything going on around me that I could not focus. I would type out a word or two and go and chase a lizard. A new world invited a threshold of new experiences, new views, no matter how miniscule. This is one of the reasons why I am packing up and moving to San Diego, California. I have a perfectly fine life here where I live in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. However, standing strong to my muse (Hemmingway) I am willing to try a change of scenery. A different view on life, new friends, new situations, and new surroundings. I have never been one to be okay with my life without trying to get to the Bigger Better Deal (BBD). I will obviously keep my blog, but I am anxious to see how much truth lies behind a location that inspires you to write. I mean, I am already writing. Only thinking of my future destination! Please check back to see where I stand with this philosophy, as mine change regularly based on my life situations.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you found some inspiration of your own.
Caleb A. Mertz
“Ahh, the gays,” my friend kindly posts on her facebook wall moments before she is to arrive and hang out with me and a few of my friends. Gay, a word that I have come to accept as something that will never go away; a token of gratitude to sum up my life in one word. A legacy of shopping, emotion, and shared music that I will strive to fulfill everyday. Those that have convened many of my likes as their friends have someone to turn to for whatever the occasion. Caring, enthusiastic, and supportive of mostly anything our friends have to say or do is what we tend to do. When my friend arrives and repeats, in person, her facebook post I interpret exactly what I had originally thought. Her sense of relief, a chance to get away, a chance to be around people that love her, compliment her, and accept her. It is the likes of those that genuinely enjoy the presence of such amicable beings. So where does the hate, injustice, and avoidance of general civil rights fit in?
Amazed at the articles that come up when I type “gay rights” into google is what prompts this simple article. Relevant news is a disdain for those that have hope for civil rights. Many say there is nothing wrong with finding love in another person of the same sex, but the values of families will be up-held, hence no gay marriage. These contradictory statements influenced by religion, bigotry, and ignorance smear the face of the current attempts at gay marriage legalization. Michele Bachman (Republican PRESIDENTIAL candidate) answers a little girls question regarding LGBT rights. She states that if she were to be nominated as a face or voice for LGBT rights that she would guarantee the same civil rights to LGBT, but then goes on to state that they are free to marry a woman if they are a man, and a man if they are a woman. This is the same woman that is trying to oppose the reason Zach Wahls stood and gave testament to pass this bill in Iowa. Zach Wahls is a young man of 19 years that was raised by lesbian parents proudly standing to allow marriage and union between two partners of the same sex.
“Ahh, the gays,” Somewhere beyond high school it’s hoped and wished upon that people grow up. Jonah Mowry posted a strong message on youtube regarding homosexuality and bullying in school. Though he is apparently loved by everyone in his school, he wanted to stand and make a voice for those that aren’t so vocal. For the young ones who aren’t sure how to deal with the stress’ of the situation. My book, WITH THOUGHTS OF JASON investigates bullying in school, and the true life back issues that arise from such bullying. It is not an overstatement by a few sensitive people. Those gays that made it past this sometimes terrible time of their youth know the strength that comes of it. Those gays that were able to make friends and express themselves in their youth by being out and open without judgment by their closest friends are testament to all. These are brave young men and women that have to do this. Think of it, the American youth leading way into the future. Being promised that after high-school everyone matures. Yet they have to watch the ignorance pasted across the media regarding homosexuality; by adults.
Yet and still I wonder is the hate actually spreading? Again, reviewing the news thread that came up regarding gay rights I find an interesting article that I would have usually just perused over. The Washington Post states the following headline: Bill outlawing gay marriage in oil-rich Nigeria puts foreign HIV, AIDS funding at risk. Where is the accentuation in this headline? I would assume the HIV/AIDS funding. However as you read over the article it talks of homosexual acts of crime being punishable under Islamic Sharia law, by stoning to death. How is this not anything worthwhile of a headline? This is a law that is about to be passed…not even grandfathered in. Though the marriage equality issues we are struggling through; imagine it being lawful to kill someone because they are gay. One of the men on the courts in Nigeria is extremely adamant on making this death sentence a strong possibility. This bill still has two steps to go before becoming an actual law to be executed.
Do we need a new word for marriage, as some have stated marriage is not appropriate? As I recall something like civil union, and domestic partnership was welcome enough for me. Or do we actually have to minimize the hate, and illegitimate behaviors of those that oppose gays? Those like the mayor of Troy, Michigan, Janice Daniels, who states she was giving up her “I love New York” bag because they marry gays there.
Everybody has their secrets, their wants, their needs, desires, and guilty pleasures. Because one statement, “I’m gay” allows a flood of assumptions on character and morality doesn’t mean that we aren’t all different. How is it that we are fighting a fight that has been done before? Oh, I know. Religion. The amount of marriages that are desecrated in front of God’s name everyday by those of the heterosexual nature, yet the possibility of a homo actually loving out side of sexual endeavors is slim to none. Homosexuality is a sin of the flesh, and the fallacies of such lifestyle are of satan.
Stop the ignorance. Stop the hate. Stop the blockade on our civil rights. Last I checked I was human, and with all this hate believe me, I checked.
It was a grand hall with large white pillars towering high above to hold the paintings firmly in the sky. Decorated with three thirty foot white angels in the center garden square surrounded by large ceramic snow flakes suspended by silver strands of tinsel. Men in black suits talked amicably in the corner, while women ran about laughing with winter masquerade masks and flowing dresses. I had arrived to this party, full of classmates from high school, with a good friend. He soon diverged and got lost in his world of thoughts and bitterness. I decided it was well time for me to leave. I wasn’t interested in hanging out with people from ten years ago. Going toward the front doors I see a young man dressed in a silver vest, and all in white. He looks at me just as I am to walk by before he lowers his drink, and stops me. Intrinsically handsome I pause to speak briefly to him.
“I was just heading out, buddy,” I say.
“Oh, that’s too bad. I’m here with Liz,” he responded. The look on his face was that of dissatisfaction.
“I love Liz!” His face, eyes, hair, mouth, nose, every detail staining my memory. The sound of the brass band playing muffled into a simple background. The glittering ballroom couldn’t deflect my attention, I was solely interested in him.
“Me too! I’d love it if you’d stay,” he asked. I couldn’t resist. I knew this man was someone I should be talking to.
“Okay,” I now found a reason to stay. “But please excuse me. I’m heading outside to smoke.” As I head out, there are people being searched. A small blue hallway leads to the front door. Small rooms unlit and blackened with the feeling that was quickly approaching loomed off to the side.
“Sir,” An officer motions me over to him.
“Are you serious?” I ask. “I’m only going out for a cigarette, is this gonna happen again when I try to come in?” He’s already felt everywhere and seems like he really wants to check the crotch of my pants. He motions for another man to come over. This man is carrying three small cups.
“Okay sir, we’re going to need your fingerprints, urine sample, blood sample, and semen sample.” While fingerprinting me, the doctor jams a needle into the back of my arm as blood spurts into the small tube. Arms take me into the dark room, where the other two samples are collected. Upon redeeming them I see the man label me as “300.”
Heading out the front doors there are only a few people standing out there. I still feel awkward from being frisked and giving samples. I can’t figure out why they needed these items. Leave it to me for not asking why. I flash my lighter to ignite my cigarette and see the Marines at the camp in drill practice. They march off of the field while the football team begins. Even this is a well orchestrated production. The defensive team on the right gets ready to accept the offense. Through a method of orchestrated grunts the man up front stops, slowly walks to the right while two others a bit further back stand their ground. The offense runs clear into the center of the triangle formed. The three guys turn towards them in an about face fashion to tackle the entire offensive!
Next they quickly assemble and intercept a field goal, by flipping the third high into the hair while he catches the ball. Great production, but I am done with my cigarette so I have to go back in. I am not frisked but I walk back to where I left my friend. He moved into a smaller room which was dimly lit. A table set with banquet food stood along the far wall. It was untouched and had candles scattered about the food.
A smile quickly spreads across my face. I am happy to see that he waited. No longer taking in the crowds about me into thought I walk closer to him. He meets me, we stare into each others eyes. They were blue. Everything about his appearance was wintery. Yet he was warm, dynamic, and severe. He smiles that smile. A smile that says, I can’t believe this is happenening. Slightly taller than I he leans in for a kiss. It was marvelous. It was quick. It was lasting.
I’m now driving my car with a beautiful girl in the passenger seat. We take the exit from the highway. A kid at the center circle managed to block the fountain, so the pressure builds and fills the windshield with water. I scream, while she laughs at me. I hate it, but I love her. We get back to where the ball is. It took a while due to the fact that it was on a military base. We go to walk in but I sit at a fountain. She’s dancing with arms spread wide. She’s making circles, she’s in love. She’s in love with me. I put my head in my hands. I love her too. I see myself sitting there. An image of despair. I come back and look up. Now I am sitting in a fine living room. The young man across from me is a few years older than I. He’s handsome with blue eyes that I know. His hair is darker.
“You can’t do this,” he says to me. He looks concerned. I only look back at him. I turn and the young man from earlier is only looking at me. I look to my left, and she’s looking at me.
“You can’t be in love with my brother and my sister.” The words don’t seem odd or out of place. He continues to talk but I am no longer listening. I’m thinking on our time spent between the two of them. I finally look back at their brother, and he has changed. Now it is a tan man. He has dark hair, glasses, and green eyes. A thin jaw much like his brother’s that I’ve fallen for. It’s the oldest brother.
“You have to choose.” he says. The words get through, but he continues to talk. I am no longer listening because I’m weighing it all. She feels good because I finally feel a sense of normal. She’s beautiful. She want’s the same things that I want.
I think of him. He feel’s right. He, I feel static and electric. I know he truly cares about me, all encompassing. I think back to her. I know that I will only eventually leave her for a man anyway. I’m gay. I get distracted and think about the final Harry Potter movie.
Suddenly his face burns in my mind once more, but we’re now on a steel bridge. The steel supports rise above and over us as a cage. There are many people here. Everyone is on the ground. Maybe drugged. I look up and see an oversized slithering salamander climbing down towards us. His tail is long and purple. It has a mace on the end. It see’s the girl next to me and like a frog launches it’s tongue at her. She quickly grabs hold of it and rips it out relatively easily. As we begin to look around we notice that there are more coming. We stumble to our feet as they approach. At the other end of the bridge the salamanders are making out great as they eat humans with one latching swipe of their tongue. Dazed, this girl and I stand just as another salamander tries his tongue at her. She grips it, rips it and the salamander falls off the edge of the bridge. Around us more people are drugged but still moving. We run inside, where I happen upon trays and trays of cups labeled. I step back quickly and find the ones labeled “300.” Only taking a second to destroy the fear of what might happen if I steal these, I see my semen and I know that this was not a normal thing. This was some other craziness. The others that gave the same were all out there being destroyed. I grabbed every sample and quickly dumped them down the toilet. I finally run out to my safety, but I wake before I ever make it.