Tag Archives: Blog

Your Words, Your Melodies

11 May

You and I go way back.

As far as I can remember, you’ve been there right smack-dab next to me.

On my first day of school, you were there to cheer me up when I was just a scared and timid little boy.

As the summertime breeze blew through that window of that old station wagon my mother drove, you were there filling the air with your words, your melodies.

It was you that soothed my soul as I sat and watched a frail 50-year-old man become one with the earth and make his peace with god.

You were the shoulder I cried on when the 17-year-old version of myself was convinced he would never love again.

It was your touch, your lyric that kept that 10-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl safe and happy as they waited patiently for their mother to return home from diligently working triple shift after triple shift to provide for her own.

It was you that stood by me as I watched my own two children come into this world.

It was your skill, your precision that all but single-handedly pulled me out of that hospital bed a year ago.

Never wavering, you’ve stood by my side through the toughest of times.

You have always been that light at the end of the tunnel.

You have always been the life of every party.

Always a conundrum and forever a walking, talking contradiction, you were always the most popular, yet one of the most nomadic of outcasts.

I’ve cursed you. I’ve praised you. I’ve loved you. And I’ve hated you.

I’ve abandoned you for months on end, but that never once bothered you or made you feel anything less for me.

You can bring me to tears with a single word. You and only you can put a smile on my face and change my whole outlook on life.

Our love affair has been passionate to say the least. But one thing is for certain. I will always have you and you will always have me. I couldn’t get rid of you if I tried. You wouldn’t let me. And for that, I will always be thankful.

So, take a bow. You deserve all the recognition you can get.

Thank you for always being there, Music. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it this far.

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A Techno Kind Of Night

19 Apr

This last weekend, I had the privilege of hanging out with some of the finest DJs the Midwest has to offer. The crews over at PhulPhunk and Kansas City Techno got together and put on one hell of a free show for the internets. Come and take a look at just a few of the snapshots I took that night.

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The Storm Within

17 Apr

As I lay here in this empty bed, I listen to the thunder roll in from the west. With each crash and boom that resonates through my eardrums, I realize something insanely profound. As the pain and nausea sets in, this epiphany, this harsh reality, hits me hard like a sucker punch to the gut from an unknown opponent.

The thing is, I should have known this all along. This truth shouldn’t have come as a surprise in any way.

But it did. It took me completely off guard.

And as each flash of lightning illuminates this cold, dark room, my newfound sense of reality finally starts to set in.

I am a storm.

From a distance, you can appreciate and even love a storm. You can marvel at its raw power and beauty. A storm, will mesmerize you and lull you into a false sense of comfort.

I am a storm.

Most of the times, you will make it through a storm unscathed with little more than a few drops of water dripping down your face. But sooner or later, unapologetically and without warning, a storm you’ve seen a million times will turn on you in an instant. Suddenly, you are left wondering what hit you and what you are supposed to do next.

You see, I am a storm. You can only love a storm until it actually does damage to you. Like the best storms often do, I will ruin and destroy. And because of that, you cannot love a storm. Even the most seemingly harmless of storms are unlovable.

I am, without a doubt, a storm.

And as most experts say, you do not get close to a storm. It’s always in your best interest to just admire it from afar.

Katie Graduates

4 Apr

Life always come full circle. I know this. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes.

What am I talking like Yoda all the sudden?

Simple.

This last weekend, I had the honor of photographing my high school English teacher’s daughter for her senior portraits. Yes. You read that correctly. I am now that old.

I had a blast photographing Katie and reconnecting with her mother. Her mother, has always been a huge inspiration to me. Whether she wants to be associated with the credit of teaching me the fundamentals of writing or not, she was the one who pushed me to write even when my writing was the absolute shittiest it has ever been. And to this day, I couldn’t even begin to thank her enough.

Anyway, come take a look at what Katie and I got into at Hodge Park in the good old Liberty, Missouri.

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The Envy of Toes

31 Mar

With each and every step, I feel the cold concrete seep through the rubber soles of my weathered Converse. My toes, numb from winter’s last ditch effort to retard spring’s progress, seem to mock the rest of my body. My limbs and core can still feel the pain, the cold from the years that have passed. But not my toes. They are lucky. They have been deadened. They no longer have to suffer. They no longer have to feel.

Weaving, maneuvering these crowded streets, my eyes glance up with hopes of discovering a friendly face, a smile or two to concentrate on. But these hopes, these internal wishes are quickly dashed. No smiles, no winks, no simple “hellos”.

Not today at least.

And that’s when it hit me. In a city of nearly 9 million people, I am completely alone.

I can see people’s faces. I can hear their voices. I can even feel their laughter reverberate through me as they joke amongst their friends at the table next to me. But I just sit and observe like I am window shopping for things I cannot afford.

As I curl up to this bar and ask the bartender for another drink, I glance down at my feet that swing beneath me from atop of my perch of this old wooden barstool. My toes, still numb, do not care that they are alone. They do not care because they do not feel a thing.

In this very moment, I envy them. You see, my toes are lucky. I wish I could have what they have. I covet their virtual paralysis.

And As I finish this next drink, I hope the rest of my body will catch up. I want to feel numb. I want to feel nothing but the cold.

Because today, I am jealous of my toes. They do not feel alone. They just do not care. And for once, just for today, I want to feel the same.

One Week

21 Mar

One week.

That’s how long it’s been since the first pill hit my bloodstream.

One week.

That’s how long it’s been since my body slouched and conformed to that comfy leather couch in that dimly lit room filled with books and inspirational messages.

One week.

It’s been one week since I admitted I was broken. Just one measly week.

But in my mind, the way I think, it’s been “ONE DAMNED WEEK ALREADY! WHY AREN’T YOU FEELING BETTER YOU WEAK MOTHERFUCKER?”

My mind has been racing, running like a postal worker trying to escape the clutches of a rabid dog. Like the mailman, my mind just wants to deliver the mail and get on with its life. But there is something waiting, lurking. Something standing in the way. Something more scary than gnarled teeth and a foaming mouth. Something more terrifying than deep growl and a vicious bark. Something so limiting, imprisoning, and so very encompassing it sucks the very air out of my lungs before I can even breathe it in.

That something is me.

As much as I hate to admit it, I am the one standing in the way. At the very core, it’s me who is responsible for my own happiness. I have to be willing and able to accept the help. I need to ditch the skepticism, the rolling eyes, the doubtful thoughts.

I need to open my mind.

And that folks, will be the hardest thing for me. I have to dig deep. I have to unlock doors and open windows that have been shut, sealed, and locked for years and years.

So, as I sit here a few hours away from my next therapy appointment, I realize that I, myself, hold the key. I just have to figure out where I left the keychain in the first place.

Come Monday

17 Mar

Let’s be honest.

For once, at least.

Honest with my friends. Honest with my family. Honest with complete strangers.

But most importantly, I need to be honest with myself.

I am not well.

I have been struggling for so long now, that I don’t even know where the surface is most days. Sure, I can see the sunshine sparkle as the waves splash miles above my head. But I’ve lost the ability to swim. Or maybe, just maybe, I never had the ability in the first place.

I’ve been dodging this truth, this brutal honesty for quite some time. My vocabulary of quick answers carry a bevy of “I’m fine. I’m okay. I’m surviving.” All statements used on a daily basis to thwart a single worry from anyone else about what may or may not be going on inside my head.

But Monday, I woke up and verbalized to myself and the pillow I clutched tightly that I, in fact, am not fine. I am not okay. I am not surviving. And as I heard those words actually come from my own mouth, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’ve known for the last couple of weeks that I was nearing my breaking point. I already knew I had one foot over the edge. And I could feel the other foot lurching forward without much hesitation.

With my grip on reality waning, I picked up the phone and dialed. As ashamed and defeated as I was, I knew I needed help.

Monday was my first therapy appointment.

After staring at a hauntingly scary prescription bottle that sat harmlessly on my bathroom counter for the last three months, I finally opened it and took one of the tiny blue pills, placed it on my tongue, and washed it down with a splash of orange juice.

Monday was the first time I took Zoloft.

For those who know me well, this admission, this revelation proves just how low I am and how serious I am about getting my life back on the right track.

I’ve been saying for years that I don’t need medication. I don’t need therapy. I don’t need help. My pride fooled my logic into thinking these statements were gospel. My stubbornness instructed me that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression were for the weak.

But Monday, I admitted to myself I was wrong.

I am four days into trying to right my ship. The waters are bumpy on the best of days. From hour to hour I wonder how this is all going to work out. My feelings of shame, guilt, and weakness have been magnified exponentially because in my mind, I should be stronger, I shouldn’t need help.

But I do.

And since this Monday, I am no longer afraid to admit it.

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