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  • Before the ambulance arrived

    We went to a call for a woman in labor at an apartment complex. We were met by a four year old at the bottom of the stairs to a second story apartment. Silently, he led us through the open door of an apartment that was unfurnished except for a king size bed in the master bedroom. We asked the police officer who trailed us to watch the boy. In the middle of the bed was a young woman of remarkable composure given the circumstances. She was pushing, and I asked her to try to stop until we w

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    Combat

    The practice is not about eastern philosophical mumbo-jumbo or moral education, yet both happen. The practice is about combat. When I practiced with the old men, no confusion or internal argument clouded their actions. These compassionate and loving men would destroy in an instant. Here was the example experienced. Avoid combat, but once joined, someone dies. If your partner in this dance disengages or can no longer dance, then combat avoided. But, while joined, the roles were set; they w

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    Personal Questions

    Personal Questions A boring look into the existence of Jason Rimbaud In the forums of GayAuthors, in the Games and Humor thread, there is an entry called Personal Questions. Basically it’s a forum game where each person asks a personal question and the next person answers the question before asking his own personal question. As I read through all the questions and the replies, I realized that there was numerous questions I would have love to have answered. So I thought it would be a g

    Jason Rimbaud

    Jason Rimbaud

    Water from another time

    In the mid-1950s when I was seven or eight, we lived on a dead end street that stopped at a creek bed. The garbage trucks would head down the street, nose-in, and then turn around in the driveway of the last house before heading back out. The crews were made up of a white supervisor who drove and two black men who handled the garbage. In the hot Florida summers, they often waited after turning around, and took a short break in the shade. The driver would remain in the cab with its fan while

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    Persistence

    One day when I was thirteen, during teisho, the old man, even then universally admired, recounted Okazaki Teruyuki’s definition of the relationship between teacher and student. Okazaki-sama said, “Student here (indicating his knees), teacher here (indicating his head), no steps (indicating the space between).” I told the old man that I had no notion that I could reach his level of skill, and that I imagined that he had been a prodigy. He told me that many of his fellow students were more tale

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    Ple-ize, stop!

    I write to you on behalf of a dear old friend near death in a shabby linguistic hospital ward for the aged, replaced by a newer, longer, less precise but more scientific sounding, and newer version. . . . the short words are the best, and the old words, when short, are best of all. — Winston Churchill (Speech on receiving the London Times Literary Award, November 2, 1949, Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches) Use use, do not utilize utilize.

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    Fire and Rain

    The first two fires I attended were in the rain. After the Fire Academy and three weeks of department training I was a probie in the cab of a ladder truck, seated between the driver and the officer, headed to my first fire. I experienced a little boy’s delight as I worked the electronic siren. As we approached, the single story house’s roof was collapsing, a dark hole spreading from the center of the fire’s first penetration through the shingles. The engine companies had matters in hand, and

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    ghost-net

    It's been over a month now since my grandmother died. This past weekend was the 11th anniversary of my dad's death. I had a really close relationship with my family. That's no matter what I say about being gay, my feelings about that. The past few weeks, after doing a lot of immediately necessary things, I then sort of retreated into my shell. I know I can't really do that. My house is a mess. And by mess I mean something beyond pigsty. Pigs would be offended. My grandmother's house is still to

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    Alphabet Soup and Unlabelled Cans

    Gay. Straight. Both. Neither. Transgender. Intersex. Queer. ... Just how many letters are in that alphabet soup, anyway, and what happens if you don't have enough letters? There's a scene in one of my favorite shows, Firefly, where River Tam has taken the labels off most of the canned goods in the ship's pantry. Some of the crew (Jayne, for one) object. River's brother, Dr. Simon Tam, and the preacher, Shepherd Book, say they'll just have unlabelled cans for a while, pot luck, it'll keep things

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    Tuning

    At the University of South Florida, in the small gymnasium, on a platform draped with hand-woven rugs and supporting pots of burning incense, Shankar and Allarakha sat and began to play. Lines of raga and percussion pierced me. After a few minutes, the music stopped; the crowd applauded wildly. Shankar smiled toward Allarakha and said, “Thank you. If you liked the tuning so much, we hope you enjoy the concert.” The tabla playing that evening was virtuous, and like lightning striking. Try t

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    The Standard Model

    At the Hilton for a charity event with silent auction. Of all that I do in my present tired and cranky state, public socializing is most taxing. But, I know the organizers and I support their work. They'll help Ann later, so I feel obliged. I don't drink and never have, a nod to my passion for control, but now I couldn't even if I wanted to change a lifetime habit. Ann has four or five of these events around the holidays and begged off. I circulated, receiving greetings from acquaintances

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    Someone always wants you dead

    I warned you I'd get back to it. A number of people want me dead. I think the number has decreased over my lifetime, but still, quite a few people are in that company. They don’t just want to make my life miserable; they would really prefer I suffer a painful death. I don’t have enough economic value as a possession to warrant keeping me in servitude. Death is the solution because I may be a vector. Many of them wouldn’t publicly condemn me to death or directly participate in the killing

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    Shoot me an email

    I'll get back to death soon. I promise. And now for something completely different: I’ve decided to use email only in the most extreme instances of inability to communicate with people in my building by other means. I've taken to walking down the corridors in the prairie dog warren where I work. Three or four minutes of attention and conversation between a colleague and me are both more satisfying and more effective than a chain of emails. Mind you, i still churn out more emails than I'd l

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    It's hard enough for two

    I've managed a lot of enjoyment and some pain in trying to figure out how to live happily, both socially and sexually, as a bisexual man. Early on, I tried threesomes, and while a triad provided a lot of advantages during sex, the social situation was almost always fraught. Often, each of my partners thought of himself or herself as having a primary relationship with me. I found trying to behave as if a primary couple existed within the little menage stressful, and eventually one or both part

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    Hello, My Name Is...

    The internet is full of anonymous people behind usernames. There are pros and cons to that fact of internet life. That can be a blessing and a curse. The topic's been covered elsewhere enough that I don't feel a particular need to go over it again here. I have something else to say. Then there are people who use pen names or stage names to write or do other artistic work. That's normal in the real world. People understand why writers and actors and musicians use pseudonyms. Both those situatio

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    Glowing in the dark

    This morning I'm not working because I'm going for a bone scan. Early in the morning I'll find my way to the basement of the nuclear medicine building where I'll be injected intravenously with a slightly radioactive soup that has a preference for accumulating in bone. Then about noon, I'll go back to be scanned back and front from head to toe with a gamma camera. Areas where the tumor is growing will light up brightly. Here's the fun part: Since this is by now a regular ritual, tomorrow my

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    One and a half dollar bill

    When we were in our twenties and first involved with each other, Ann told a number of her friends that I was bisexual. The friends were deeply concerned for her. The chief concern, because they doubted that bisexual men actually existed, was that I must be gay and trying to pass. Over the years and well after we married, she heard the concern so often that by the mid-eighties she developed a standard response that went like this: Checks against stereotype: Look at how he dresses! He sure a

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    First random thought

    Not to disarm you, but we' re all dying. My schedule is just a little more accelerated than most. I believe, with Daniel Servan-Schreiber that, "Death is part of the life process; everyone goes through it. It is very reassuring in itself." I am reassured and require no extra measure of sympathy (I'm very cross with anyone who extends sympathy). I'll violate social norms by sharing my thoughts as the wild part of me cannibalizes my bones. I don't spend most of my time contemplating the end

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    Rewards of Despair

    Okay there are several threads where I might post this op-ed with some degree of being relevant and not off topic, but Ive decided that here might be as good as anywhere. Just be warned I'm in a philosophical mood. As always, feel free to comment. Rewards of Despair © 2011 by Desmond Rutherford The circumstances of one's life are often overlooked as being a significant contributing factor for creative work, and yet adverse conditions might be used to dismiss the opportunity to create. Tryin

    DesDownunder

    DesDownunder

    Evil Plot Bunnies

    Ever have one of those days? I've been having days like that lately. Especially last night and today. The Evil Plot Bunnies are taunting me extra hard lately. Evil Plot Bunnies are the sort of story muses that give you vexing story ideas and characters and don't leave you alone. The term's from a fanfic community I enjoy. Well, for a very long time, the Evil Plot Bunnies have been keeping quiet in stealth ninja mode, and I wasn't getting much of anything done. That's because real life was kick

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    hello, world

    "Hello, World." Is this thing on? Oh, hi, there you are! Some time back, I was asked if I'd start a blog. I did. It got spammed and then deleted. Meh. Here we are again because someone asked again. You do know asking a writer if he wants a place to blab whatever the heck he wants to (within reason) and especially someone who's physiologically incapable (almost) of short posts is like...well...let's just say it could get messy. But the trouble with a blog is, you (the writer) want to have som

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    Dudeism. It's the perfect fit!

    Like most people - or some people, anyway - I have been searching, nay, questing most of my life for the perfect religion. I've been hunting a religion that was a fit for me. I grew up in the Church of England (Henry VIII's personal (and consequently England's - it's nice to be a King) religion. Henry was miffed because the Pope refused to let him get divorced when he didn't want to off yet another wife). But as religions go C of E wasn't right.... Yes, there were nice hymns. Yes, I was in the

    Camy

    Camy

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