Sitting Next to Steve

Tattoos up and down his arm, uncombed hair, and a voice that carried halfway across the train. This was the guy I chose to sit next to. Well, ‘chose’ isn’t the right word. It was the only seat left. Most people would have moved to a different car. That’s what my mother would tell me to do. But I sat there anyway. His name was Steve. He had to be in his forties, and it was his night off work. So he was heading to his friend’s house to… well… to get plastered. It’s been ten years since he’s had cocaine, and tonight he’s doing it again. This he proudly boasted so half the train could hear him. If he had a joint he’d light it up right there. He didn’t care if the conductor kicked him off and called the cops. This was the kind of guy mothers keep their children away from. He talked loud, and he talked to anyone, whether they would listen or not. I just don’t understand some people’s motives. All this guy wanted was some booze, drugs, and rock & roll. A little sex wouldn’t have hurt either.

Now there’s a funny thought; I wonder what it would be like to have Steve sitting next to me in church.

Parking Inconvenience

Lousy orange cones. I’d just gotten off work, the windows were rolled down, the perfect summer rock n’ roll song was blaring on the radio, and I was driving fast. I whip into the driveway and see the parking lot blocked off with orange cones. They decided to pave the parking lot this week. Thanks. So I have to park way off in the boondocks, and walk back to my dorm room.

Then the next time I leave, I have to walk all the way out to my truck. This is not going to be a fun week. Then as I walk along, I look up, and realize what a beautiful day it is. The sun is shining, it’s not that hot, and–there’s a rainbow, out of the middle of nowhere! It wasn’t even raining!

Yeah, hi Kevin. This is God. Remember me?

The Screwtape Letters

Do you believe in angels? Do you believe in demons? Images are conjured up of beautifully shining, winged beings, and wickedly ugly, black little demons. Cartoonish fairy tales. Yet they do exist. Understanding more about them is certainly a difficult task, but I’d urge you to read C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. If his account of demons is anything close to reality, it’s pretty frightening. Imagine a diabolical fiend harassing you at every step, always trying to make you trip and fall that much farther from the truth. It’s really kind of scary to think that they could be messing with your mind like that. But then you also forget that the almighty power of God is also watching you every step of the way. It’s just frightening to think that a demon could be playing tricks with your mind like that. It really makes you think twice. It’s kind of like one of those conspiracy movies. You’d have to read the book to understand, I won’t try and recapitulate Lewis again.

Meeting at the Airport

With my book read, my soda gone, and those kids going nuts–the plane was late. But I really didn’t care. I’ve been waiting for this for two weeks. The scratchy intercom voice announced that flight 718 from Houston had arrived, and passengers would be arriving at gate F7. Finally. Gathering my things, I strode over to the concourse, and found an unobtrusive spot to stand that allowed me to see down the little aisle-way. One by one, the passengers streamed off. Every person that rounded the corner wasn’t the one I was looking for, and I strained to see who the next person was. Anticipation grew as the flow of passengers lessened, and then stopped. But it resumed again, and again I strained to see past all the people, trying to find that one recognizable face. My heart continued to beat faster and faster in anticipation. And then that face. That smile. In moments she was in my arms, and it was all worthwhile.

Pondering Ponderings

You know, some days you try and force yourself to find an issue to discuss, and it just doesn’t get you anywhere. You would have been better off with a few short, rambling sentences. Oh well, that’s what you get with ponderings. You ponder the issue and see where it takes you. I never promised these would be good, I just said they’d hopefully make you think a little bit. Just a little bit.

Police Brutality in Chicago

Police brutality. This isn’t exactly a happy issue, and right now it’s ripping the city of Chicago apart. In the past few weeks there have been reports of police gunning down unarmed civilians. A young activist told me three people were murdered in the last three weeks. You’d have to be living in a bunker not to have heard about two of the fatal shootings, both of which occurred during traffic stops. People have been protesting, marching, and even boycotting. When I went downtown to yo-yo today, a group of radicals was boycotting the Taste of Chicago, a huge food festival downtown that draws nearly four million people. They were handing out flyers and urging others to do the same.

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Rollerblading & Yo-yoing

Strapping a quartet of wheels to each foot, I scream across the black top with the sun setting behind me and the moon rising before me. As the sun vanishes behind the puffy clouds and distant horizon, rays of airy light break out across the clear blue sky. Breathing in the clear fresh air, feeling the wind rush through my hair, and tasting the salty sweat as it beads up and drips down my face; I am alive.

Attached to a string, a small orb sails across the sky, tossed to and fro with the flick of the wrist, to the tune of the jam, to the movement of the man, who sways across the grass, among the quick bright flash of the fire flies, and the sun goes down, and the sky turns black–and the dance rolls on.

Pondering the Interweb

Information overload. Like bugs swarming around the porch light at night. A feeding frenzy of information so intense that it’s hard to glean anything. The internet. In the past few years it’s grown by leaps and bounds–or maybe twitches and spasms would be a better description, violent and sudden. The internet is unlike any media man has dealt with before. Text, information, sound, video, animation, feedback, instant gratification, chats, online everything and anything with “e” for a prefix, from e-mail to e-commerce. But how can we effectively harness this new power? Some companies have succeeded tremendously, earning millions in months. Others have disappeared into cyberspace, lost in the web.

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It’s Almost Tomorrow

The tired weariness creeps in like a shadow, and I’m left alone. I squeeze my eyes shut tight, trying to wish the pain away. But it won’t disappear. I must press on. I must ignore the pain. I must fight the power. Temptation is a tasty treat, laced with poison. I must look away, I must move on. Change the channel–no, shut it off. Move on and find something better to do with your time. Your half an hour wasted could have been spent conquering the world. The warm, soft pillow calls your name, and you forsake it for what? Is it something worthy, worthy of the crusty eyed, don’t talk to me feeling you’ll have in the morning? I want to do so much, say so much, be so much–yet look at the time. It’s almost tomorrow.