Reverse Image (part 2)

Reverse Image

part 2

by Thadd Presley

 

When Lucas entered the room, the quiet atmosphere stopped him in his tracks before he could say anything. There was a furrow on his dad’s brow he’d not seen before and his mother’s face spelled out volumes of unspoken emotion. He hoped they weren’t talking about his spring semester grades. He brought them up at the end.

Dad spoke up first. “Would you mind explaining exactly what you’re talking about? Your mother and I don’t have all morning to play guessing games. This afternoon we can hash out all the details and decide what we will do.”

“Ryan Butress.” Mother sounded extra-weird to Lucas and for the first time that morning he and his sister looked each other in the eyes. “I’ll not hear more of that. I have all the time she needs and so do you. She will tell us what she wants, when she wants. And we will not decide what she does, she decides what she does. Understand?” When her husband didn’t answer right away, Clare started crying.

Delilah stood in the gaze of three stone serious faces and she didn’t know what to say. Lucas broke the silence before it became hysteria.

“What is going on?”

“I don’t know. I think it’s because I’m not wearing makeup.”

Dad looked up from his bowl of cereal. “Sweetie, I’m not mad and neither is your mother. We just want you to be alright.”

“Well, I’m fine,” Delilah answered. “I just want to think about how I’m going to tell you what I found out. It’s been staring me in the face for so long and for me to just realize it. I mean, it’s stupid that I didn’t see it before. Why didn’t one of you tell me? Did you not know?”

“How could we know?” Her mother asked. “I don’t sleep in your bed, I don’t go out with you when you stay over at Angela’s house.”

“Is that what happened?” Her dad asked.

“That’s not important.” Her mother answered. “What’s important is what happens now.”

“O.K. Fine.” He stood from the table. His left hand shook and that was a bad sign. It meant he was really pissed. Delilah didn’t understand why her mom was so angry. “I’m going to work before I get in over my head and say something I’ll regret. I love you all and I’ll be home by four if anyone wants to fill me in then.”

As soon as the Mercedes backed out of the driveway, Lucas took this chance to jump ship. “I’m going to the gym and then job hunting. Bye.”

His mother crossed the kitchen and hugged him. Then, she turned and took an apple from the basket. “Eat this on your way. You’ll need energy to workout.”

“Thanks, mom.”

After the kitchen cleared of the menfolk, the women of the house stood quietly. They stood at the sink and watched Lucas jog down the sidewalk until he was out of view, then they looked at each other.

“Why are you looking at me that way, mom? God, why is everyone is so weird this morning.”

“I’m just worried about you. We are worried. Your dad and I.”

“Mom. It’s not a big deal. Here, listen. I’ll try to explain.”

“No. I want you to listen. That’s all I want you to do right now.” She pointed to the kitchen table. “Sit down so we can talk.”

“Mom!!”

“Don’t you yell at me.” She said it quietly, but it was a command that Delilah knew to obey. She sat and waited for her mother to speak. “Now I only have one question and I want the truth. Who’s the father?”

“What?”

“Just answer the question. Who’s the…”

“I don’t know. Dad, I guess. Who else?”

The words her daughter spoke didn’t make sense to her. They had meant something, but they quickly turned into something else before they reached her ears. Something like red worms burrowing through the dirt. Worms that ate the all the bad words once they left the mouth and spoiled in the open air.

Reverse Image

Delilah looked at her face reflecting in the bathroom mirror. She had just learned on Youtube that the image she saw reflecting back at her was not the same as it appeared to people on the street. The reflection was a mirror image. Exactly opposite of what everyone else saw.

She wished she could see what other saw, how she looked from the vantage point of others. How had she gone so long applying make-up backward to her face, primping and teasing her hair backward, smiling approvingly at a look that was completely opposite of what she had always thought it was?

There’s no wonder why she never turned any heads throughout middle school and during freshman year. But, now things were going to be different. Delilah was certain to see what everyone else was seeing.

“Dee, hurry.”

It was her older brother, Lucas, standing outside the bathroom door, probably doing the pee dance.

“Dee, please.”

“Go downstairs. Use dad’s.”

“He’s asleep. He’ll go ballistic if …”

The bathroom door flew open. “Fine. Whatever. Just stop talking to me.”

Lucas stared in disbelief. “What have you been doing all this time? I’ve been waiting patiently, gritting my teeth, because I know …”

“You don’t know anything, Luke. Just like always.”

He pushed past her and closed the door, not sure what he said wrong; without time to think, he could figure it out later if she was in a better mood.

Downstairs, Delilah’s mother, who everyone in the world called Clare, greeted her daughter with all smiles. “You’re gorgeous, do you know that?”

“Mom.” She glanced at Ryan, her dad. “Morning, dad.”

“You’re mom’s right, you know?”

“Yeah. Yeah. I’m not wearing makeup.”

“And I think that’s a good thing because makeup should be saved for special occasions.” Clare continued while buttering toast. “It shouldn’t be for everyday use. It’s really not good for your face over years and years of use.”

“Yep. Clogs your pores.”

“Well, that’s not why I’m not wearing it. It’s more complicated than that. I just found out something huge. It changes everything. Last night actually.”

“Like what?” Mom questioned.

“I don‘t know. Well, I don‘t know. I’m not really sure how to tell you. It’s hard to explain.”

“Whatever it is we we’ll understand.”

“Well, I should have realized it before because we were talking about it before school was out. At least last month ago or two at the most. I should have known.”

This brought the attention of both parents.

Continue on Part 2

Allowing the Gratitude

The difference between receiving a pencil or a million dollars is simply this: you don’t think it’s possible that you’ll get a million dollars, but a pencil is different. Everyone has pencils. You could have one of those easy, right? You can picture yourself with a pencil. You know what you could do with a pencil. You can imagine how it would feel between your fingers. Is it shiny or dull? Metal, wood, or plastic?

Now think of a million dollars. What would you do with it? How does having it make you feel? Can you imagine holding the bills in your hand? Can you imagine the vacation you would take and who you would take along? Do you know what type of house you would buy and who would live in it with you?

How would having a million dollars make you feel?

Don’t worry about from where it’ll come or who’ll bring it!!

Forget the money altogether. Focus on the emotions of taking the vacation, of moving into your new home, of holding the house warming party. How would that make you feel? Thankful? Full of Gratitude? Appreciative? Try to Focus on that feeling.

That feeling and the thoughts that give it is the key to everything. You must try and hold that feeling feeling for twenty seconds. If a negative thought breaks in, start over. Don’t allow your thoughts to wander.

A million dollars is hard to imagine, so begin with things relative to your life. The things you need and want. We have mental blocks that we think are true and they make us doubt ourselves, which is why I began this with a pencil. I want you to begin with something comfortable, something you need. It becomes easier and easier. If you do this everyday you will be able to manifest the things you need seemingly by magic.

Don’t doubt your abilities, try it.

20 seconds.

______________

I’m happy in my life as a creator.
You can be too.

 

2016 Third Debate Strategy

Trump’s Third Debate Strategy

by Thadd Presley

 

Trump has built a large platform from which he can choose a number of topics to talk about, joining it ever so tightly with his slogan “Make America  _______  Again.” Fusing Safe, Rich, and Great together like a giant chicken pot pie for the Conservative  soul, he throws in a hefty side dish of “Smart Trade” to tempt a few more to the table, but he has proven time and time again he is not just talk.

He has pushed the U.N. and NATO to adapt new policies, he has pushed for new strategies on destroying ISIS both on the war front, on the Internet, and the humanitarian front, and he has spoken out about the Pentagon’s policy for announcing troop movements weeks and even months before striking. There is no doubt that Trump has the mentality and mental capacity to be president of the United States of America. There are serious issues that still bother many people, though, and they are not simple, shallow differences in opinion. They have become wide gaps, engraved with precision for decades between Republican and Democrats, slicing through religious values and secular views, erupting in violent clashes where the lines between race, income, and gender meet.

While each side seems to want completely different worlds for their children to live, there are many similarities. Everyone agrees on a few things they would like their children to have: jobs, safety, freedom to worship, love, and pursuit happiness. It is not hard to find those who are voting for the next generation, listening to the debate not for the next four years, but the next 400 years. What kind of world do you want?

Strained tensions and malicious thoughts are not good for anyone. Mudslinging makes everyone dirty.  A population stressed out, over saturated with drama, lies, sex, and crime are not going to be able find a quiet moment to reflect on what they really think or feel.  In other countries there is a scheduled time before the election when no one can campaign. I think we need that here in the USA. No one can make a decision like the POTUS with all the din and banging going on around us.

It’s to a heavy a subject; one that will not be solved or rightly discussed in a matter of 90 minutes divided into two minute sound bites.  For the upcoming third debate Trump should radically change strategies. He’s held so many rallies and visited so many cities, providing ample opportunity for the average citizen to stream his speeches online and learn where he stands on everyday concerns.  He’s covered everything that’s worth covering and even uncovered much of what should have been left buried, but his policies are easy to find.

In the last debate, Trump brought up Bill Clinton’s exploits and the backlash has been many women coming forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct as well. So, what can Trump truly do now except wait for Nov. 8th and watch the Live coverage along with the rest of the districts and counties in our fair country?

The debate is not going to sway voters. It’s far too late for that. A year and a half is too long to hold an opinion and not have it form completely. Most people believe they can size a person up in a few minutes and know whether or not they like them.

Trump should try to take some of the pressure off the voters, off the moderators, and allow everyone relax a little bit. He should make the audience laugh, like Ronald Reagan used to do. Trump could drop some Archie Bunker quotes on Hillary.  Maybe, even, go so far as to call her a Dingbat call Obama a Meathead.  Some of the lines that Archie Bunker used were racist, of course they were; they were mean, yeah; but they were thought-provoking and they made everyone smile a little bit inside.

Here’s a couple Archie Bunker quotes I’ve always liked:

“You Liberals play the victim so well, I’m surprised you don’t carry your own body chalk.”

“I see the unemployment on the streets. You got your winos who you can’t get off the ground, you got your hop heads who you can’t get back on the ground, and you got your hookers bein put outta work by the regular girl givin it away for free.”

“If you liberals keep gettin’ your way – we’re all gonna hear one big loud flush. The sound of the U.S. of A. goin’ straight down the toilet.”

There are so many more way to be a good president than making the other person look bad.

Shallow Grave (part 1)

Shallow Grave

(part 1)

by  Thadd Presley

The wind blew out of the woods and though the window, ruffling the curtains, heightening my awareness of the strangely warm night. I had been writing for three hours every night for the past week, feeling more at home at my desk than I had in months. I was becoming more involved in my writing and the newest character, Markus, was finally going to escape the town and the evil I’d created for him so long ago in the short stories written in my youth. The writing had suddenly become effortless and each scene fell out of my mind so easily that I didn’t realize I’d slipped back into an ongoing story I never finished. Actually, I’ve hadn’t tried to finish the story and for over a decade I stayed away from it, dodging every scene that formed in my mind. But tonight, the click-clack of the typewriter keys calmed and somehow soothed the story out of me. I remembered a time when the typewriter was the only thing that quieted the voices in my head. The voices and scenes that returned to me tonight  were directly from the origin of my stories which took place in the same fictional town.

Lately, the voices for these long lost stories had become so loud that they were nothing more than a constant noise I couldn’t escape. I’d written nothing new in so long I was beginning to worry. I knew the only relief from the burden was getting the stories out of my head and onto the paper that I hoped would hold them forever.

Being a professional writer, I often took my writer’s curse in stride and learned how to use it to my advantage. I always told myself that I was lucky to have these voices, although it was sometimes troublesome, it was part of being a writer and, knowing that, I welcomed it.

In my work, it never seemed strange to hear voices and write down what they told me. Many of the voices came through as dialog, but others told me about their lives, their families, and I saw it as my job to document what they said. In some ways, in many ways, I was a journalist and biographer for the people and places that resided in my heart and mind. I made it my life’s work to tell the stories of those that lived and died in my head.

Does this seem strange? It might seem lunacy to those who don’t write stories, create music, or perform any other kind of art. Also, I realized that it’s not just artists who hear voices. I think most all of us have a nagging voice in our head. After all, my thoughts come through in the form of a sound. My ideas have never appeared before my mind’s eye on a computer screen. The voices, the people, the words become part of a process that drives the ideas that make  life worth living.

I always heard the voices and for a long time I didn’t mind having these strange people living in my head. It all changed when I was in the seventh grade. It occurred to me suddenly that I didn’t know if the voices were other versions of myself or if they came from somewhere outside of me. I decided I wanted to be a writer around that time and I’m not sure why, but the voices had much to do with the decision.

Whatever reason it came about, all I can say is that it’s become my career and I’ve been very lucky to have a job that I mostly enjoy. After all, not many people get to document the lives and secrets of imaginary people.
My love for writing has been very strong ever since, but I was often hesitant to write about the depravity of some lives and the gruesome themes of others. It was a good friend of mine during college who told me that it was a gift and I’d be a fool to not follow every trail and embrace it, no matter where it took me.

Years ago, before I realized what my future was going to be, I tried to talk it over with my best friend. I’d already told him the story before, but it never came out the way I intended. Perhaps, he thought I was trying to brag about my chance to publish n a back door fashion and that might have been a tad bit true, but mostly, I think, he thought I was lying. Then one night, I finally got it all out to him.

“Greg,” Allen shouted one night while we were drinking in the local college bar, “it’s time to show your talent. Come on and just publish the novel. You said yourself that it’s finished. What are you scared of? You chicken or…” He didn’t want to continue because we were friends and he knew it wasn’t his place to dictate my career, but he knew me well enough to call me on my bullshit.

“I’m not chicken. I just don’t know if I should do it. My mom’ll want a copy and she’ll not understand why I’d write something like that. It’s not my style at all.”

“Do you want to be a big time writer or not?”

“Yes,” I answered. “I want to be published, but I don’t want people to think I’m a weirdo or become someone who thinks of evil shit all the time. It’s bad enough to be typecast as a horror writer when there’s so much more to write about.”

He only smiled at me.

“Everyone knows there’s more to a writer than what he writes.”

It’s always been hard to argue with Allen, because he always knew me so well and I he usually had my best interest at heart. “But, my mom.”

“But my mom,” he mocked. “But my … What the fuck does she have to do with this? You are the writer. She knows the talent you have. Believe me, she’ll understand. I think she’d be more disappointed if you didn’t follow your dreams because of what you thought she would think.” He laughed then. “She knows it’s only a story. It’s not like it’s a biography.” He took a moment to finish his pint. “She’ d want you to publish and realize your dream. She’d want you to be happy.”

But, he was wrong on one point. It was a biography. A biography of someone in my head and that person is part of me. So, in a small way, the stories are my biography. I shrugged the thought off and took a drink of my beer.  “Yeah, you’re probably right,” I said. “I just don’t want her to be shocked when she reads it. For God’s sake Allen, it’s the weirdest story I’ve ever written.”

“But you have a publisher ready to roll.”

“Everybody has a publisher ready to roll. It’s call Amazon. They’ ll publish anything on demand.”

“You know what I mean. You’ve got an income stream waiting to be utilized and you’re…”

“Yeah, I’m behind on rent. Just say it.”

“Damn it, she’d want you to do this. Imagine if she knew you were afraid of publishing a story because you thought she’d not like it. She’s a grown woman and has probably read books just as weird.”

“I know.” My excuses were running low at this point and I needed the money.

“Then quit wasting time. The moon is full and the devil is waiting.”

“Don’t say it like that. The voices are not the devil.”

“Well, then, correct me if I’m wrong. Last time I talked to you, didn’t you say that someone spoke to you out of the darkness and promised you fame and fortune? I think you said that the voice said anything you want could be yours.”

“Yes, but that was just my imagination. I’d been awake for days writing on the novel and probably having delusions. It was probably just sleep paralysis.”

“But, you did it. Didn’t you? You listened to the voice and now the public is waiting to buy your book. Money in hand.”

Slowly I took the knife out of my pocket. “I did it with this, you know.”

“Tell me again. Exactly what you did. I want to be rich too.” He was holding his empty glass up to signal the waiter. It seemed as if he was getting ready to hear the story for the first time.

“I’ve told you twice already. It’s just not something I like to –”

“I want to hear it again. Please tell me.” He ordered us each a pint each and when they were  in front of us we took them to a dark, corner booth. He was waiting for me to begin, so I downed half the pint and began the story for him.

Have a Cigar (parody)

I’m sure you know how parodies work. Read the lyrics to the music video. I love Pink Floyd and listen to their music all the time, which is probably why I hear their songs in my head. So, here it be: the parody



Duck in here, dear boy, was that a star?
Was it a cop car? That just passed by
You’ll probably wanna hide
You better not run or fight
They’d love to shoot you
Well I’ve always had a deep respect
And I mean that most sincere
The Blacks are just fantastic
That is really what I think
Oh By the way, my skin’s Pink
And they claim all blacks are the same, boy
We call profiling a race a shame
We just got out
We heard about the shoot out
You gotta get the word out
You owe it to your people
They’ve kill so many we can hardly count
If everyone was just green
They couldn’t tell us apart
It’d be a helluva start
We wouldn’t be such monsters
If we all acted like a human being
And they claim all the blacks are the same, boy
We call profiling a race a shame

Flying Crabs

Flying Crabs

by Thadd Presley

When my mother took her children to the beach
we had the most fun while flying kites high out of reach.
So high and fast they’d fly, soaring above the water
that when  they came down, it was really no bother

For my oldest brother would put them back in the air again.
It was he who discovered the night-time sandy friends.
At dusk the little crabs would come out  in droves.
We caught a bucket full  and took them home

My mother let us keep some because they were small
but did she know what we were planning? no not at all.
The morning came and we took straight to our kites,
latched onto the string, and then put them in flight

The kite hoisted them high into the sky and with stalky eyes
they viewed the world , as the only crabs to ever fly.
Finally they would gather the courage and drop back to the sea
When my mother caught, she broke our kites, and grounded us for two weeks

So we are Here. What Now?

So We Are Here. What Now?

by Thadd Presley

The fire in my belly is lit
I don’t use an alarm clock
I’m up before six
with dreams so big you’d think I was a kid
anxious to meet and play with friends

The gleam in my eye is bright
from the dark, a focused light
projecting visions from inside my mind
straight to your heart
illuminating the places you try to hide

They can’t take away or frustrate
the day you stake your claim to fate
For God’s sake, the ache,
this has to be a mistake
there’s no way that Life is such a waste

Beautiful creations clean you
Renews the used and abused
and brings to bloom the fruit needed to prove
that you can choose
without fearing what there is to lose

Choices are Life’s crossroads
designed with two ways to go:
stay where you are or dare into the unknown.
Both are risks that will show
you choose today over growing fat and old

Should we continue to be absurd
flog a dead horse with cotton candy words
bring sandwiches to banquets to feed the birds
or can we allow the truth to be heard:
You can either relive the past or have a future.

Sam I Am (to the tune of “Rock you like a Hurricane”)

Sam I Am
(to the tune of:  “Rock You Like A Hurricane” by The Scorpions)

(press play and sing along with the original)

 

I am Daniel – He said to Sam
I am Sam , yeah Sam I Am
Do you like Green eggs and Ham
I do not like that Sam I am

Would you like them here or there
I would not like them here or there
I would not like them any where
I do not like them Sam I am

Sam I am
I don’t like green eggs and ham
Sam I am
I don’t like green eggs and ham

Would you like them in a house
Would you like them with a mouse
I do not like them in a house
I do not like them with a mouse

Would you eat them in a box
Would you eat them with a fox
Would you, could you in a car
Eat them, eat them, here they are

Sam I am
I don’t like green eggs and ham (Are you ready, baby?)
Sam I am
I don’t like green eggs and ham
Sam I am
I don’t like green eggs and ham (Come on, come on, come on, come on)
Sam I am
I don’t like green eggs and ham

I don’t like green eggs and ham

You may like them you will see
You may like them in a tree
You may like them in the rain
Would you try them on a train

You do not like them, so you say
Try them, try them, and you may
If I try them, will you let me be
I will try them, you will see

Sam I am
I do like green eggs and ham (Are you ready, baby?)
Sam I am
I do like green eggs and ham
Sam I am
I do like green eggs and ham (Come on, come on, come on, come on)
Sam I am
I do like green eggs and ham

Thank you
Sam I Am

Four Liverpudlian Scoucers

 

I’ve been thinking about the Beatles over the last week. They had so many lessons and good things to teach those who wanted to listen. Not many bands really try to promote their understanding of the world. Instead, it seems today that bands look for something popular and take that on as a way to show their music is relevant.

Obviously, the Beatles were more than just a band. As writers and poets and representatives of peace they gave more to this world than mere song. I often wonder what John Lennon thought about the book “On the Road” written by Jack Kerouac in 1957 or Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” published around the same time. William S. Burroughs published Naked Lunch a few years later, but it was also one of the books contributing to The Beat Generation and could have had something to do with the way John thought about the world.

Did John Lennon fall under the spell of the Beat Writers? I don’t like to think so. I believe he was a kindred spirit to the Beat Writers and his ideas were his own, even if his music came after. I think that if nothing was published in the 1950, John Lennon and George Harrison would have been more or less the same people.

Two Beatles Remain

Four Liverpudlian Scoucers

Sadly, two Beatles have passed away
It’s said that two remain
But, even to this day
some’re not sure if Paul’s the same

Like lyrics scribbled on a crumpled page
Intact and translated from a bygone age
There’s simplicity in the beautiful way
Their words still convey what they’re meant to say.

They’ll always be bright, shining examples
on the vast landscape of burning albums
no longer cryptic symbols of things invisible
But ancient fables and parables made simple

 

 

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
― John Lennon

“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”
― George Harrison

“I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, ‘The Beatles did’.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

“I declare that The Beatles are mutants. Prototypes of evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with a mysterious power to create a new human species, a young race of laughing freemen.”
― Timothy Leary