Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter


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She comes into your life and brings nature’s blessing. And with her entrance comes a curse of wanton passion. The grass is still alive as it blazes in the sun. The chorus of our laughter floats gently in the Spring breeze. We are the definition of love and our hands are linked as we dance amongst the growing and the grown alike. We enjoy timeless sunsets on picturesque settings creating canvases waiting to be painted at each moment. We love.

Time works wonders and bonds grow firm. We resolve to walk quietly into the night together. Hands held tightly against the shadows we once faced alone. We pick each other up in the heat of the Summer, against the blazing sun and humanity’s punishment. We turn as one, in unison with one another’s needs. I am your need and you are mine. And like an oak tree we grow together.

The rain has come and we have weathered storms. We still touch… but sometimes our hands Fall like leaves from our tired limbs. The chatter of children running around our base keeps us united, we are still united with finger painted signs and chalk figures. But some nights are cold and the moon shines two shadows upon the ground.

It snows here in Denver. The Winter seems to be most of the year… at least lately. But even with the constant ice, it does melt with the strength of will. A will we share each morning and return to each night. The seasons form a timeless ring that hardens into a golden promise. They touch each time our hands unite with infused emotion. Regardless of what emotion that is the presence of feelings means that we still care.

Jason Cushman

-Opinionated Man

7/11/2014

Death of a Salesman


He sells dreams and glory, all the while living in mediocrity. Does he believe the words he spits into the wind or is he really trying to convince himself? I see them each day… their personas shine through my screen. I hit the dimmer and tone down the brightness of the world, too much light reflects off my weak constitution.

He writes images of strength and presents a brave face. Hiding who he truly is because that is not what is important. The big picture, the lights on the screen, that is the goal of the day. Picking free daisies from a never ending field… I love it. He smiles at the labor because it is what he enjoys. A habit or an obligation, it rolls into the routine he has come to know. What a tragedy to slay that dream and yet the pyre is built. Who has a match?

He sees failure where people view success. And in the lonely hours of the night he finds little solace in empty words of comfort. They neither feed, nor cloth, nor comfort against the stack of bills on his desk. His wife mumbles, she does not audibly complain, but sometimes the faintest noise can sound like our own failure. Where is it coming from? From within, I am the harshest critic of myself. No one will ever take that throne.

They said it couldn’t be done. When I did it, they said “what have you gained?” Christ… I can only perform one miracle at a time people. Shit.

-OM

Hoping to Die


There was a time in my life when the land was covered in darkness. It did not matter what time of the day it was, there was simply no light. I walked the world a ghost and prayed to any god that would listen that he or she would simply end it for me. I wanted to die. I wrote the below poem in remembrance of that time of weakness.

And there they lay. The tools of the day. A razor, a pile of pills, and a bottle of Tanqueray.

I have stared in the mirror for hours. All have gone to bed. With each tear has come resolve. We may as well end it all. I hate you. With a hand I gulp the pills, the bottle is already near. I gulp death’s companion. And to the left are the backup dancers.

A letter to someone… I hope… anyone?

Never there is a reply. I say this aloud now as the razor cuts once, twice, thrice… and as the ice cold water washes away my sight. I feel life fleeing from my nearing empty vessel. And suddenly a wrongness, a surrender of an opportunity? I do not know.

And as the light flees the coming darkness, all I can do is embrace the growing warmth.

People fail to realize that there is depression and there is suicidal. To me suicidal is the point you reach when you just don’t care. You could give a shit less about heaven or hell, they are one and the same because your life has become a living hell. It doesn’t matter how many “do gooders” speak soft words in your direction, you only see darkness.

I remember well that time still to this day. The feeling of that night, sitting online and telling a few “close online friends” that I just didn’t care. That it was time to see what the next page brought. I remember a feeling of finality when I shut down my mother’s computer. My steps were almost light as I walked slowly upstairs. Neither asleep, nor really awake… I walked like a man in a daze to my bathroom. I starred at myself in the mirror for what seems like hours and in those precious minutes I decided I was ready to die. I made that choice. I took those pills and I drank that bottle to the head and I remember smiling. Because finally I didn’t feel so cold anymore. The warmth of death was my friend that night and I was ready to receive him.

It changes you… that type of experience. It is nothing to brag about and many might feel ashamed of that type of weakness. To feel ashamed of being human is a shame in itself. I was human that night, but I am lucky my humanity failed to die.

-Opinionated Man

Mixing Races? How I knew I would marry my Color


If you have read any of my previous work you have no doubt begun to garner some idea of who I am, or who you think I might be. You may have been able to piece together, detective that you are, that I am Asian (South Korean actually, we generally HATE to be called Asian), I was adopted and grew up with white parents, had white and black friends growing up, and really did not realize I was Asian Asian till I went to Korea in that long Summer of 2000. That being said, I really didn’t touch on the topic yet, but during this time period I also came to the realization that I would marry someone of similar color. This decision was based solely on race period, so we can go ahead and bypass the suspicion of racism, because that is what made the decision so easy.

Let me explain, I grew up “dating” girls that were mainly black and white growing up, though we use the term “date” loosely here because my father was both a Priest and a Doctor and the iron grip of communism might find a competitor in what I went through as a child. I laugh here, it really was not so bad, because who can really tell how suffocating a bubble truly is when a person has never known the freedoms of the “outside world?” That is why I was perfectly happy in my soft, protected, and comfortable world. A world of structure and organization, of coming home from high school and immediately cooking a whole DiGiorno Pizza and scarfing it all by myself because guess what… I could. The enviable bubble, enviable now that I look back at it and can compare to the hardships that might or might not have been going on beyond the boundaries of my own domain, that had clean and freshly laid sheets by a maid every Wednesday afternoon when I came home from school, which I would uncaringly threw my backpack onto. You never realize what you have had in the past until reflection.

This is the world that exploded in 2000 for me. It was not the Y2K bug, sorry to disappoint, if that was the inevitable word you were waiting for you can do a U-turn at the next stoplight. My world exploded due to internal torment and a new self-awareness that was more powerful than any terrorist attack or global catastrophe. My new ethnic and worldly identity left me broken and hoping to be mended at the same time. And in that moment I knew, I pieced together my past and my past hardships and I knew, I could never marry anyone that was not Asian.

When I journeyed to Korea, wide-eyed and excited, I went with the love and support of my girlfriend, who was black, whom I had been with for my whole senior year of high school. I left thinking that was perfectly normal and I was content with her at the time. She did nothing to change that outlook, far from it; she was not the cause of my ultimate reverse in personal preference. For some odd reasons when I learned of the existence of my birth sister and my birth mother it bred hope with the hate and anger. Something also “clicked,” I realized I was Asian. Perhaps some cheesy self-epiphany occurred here, if so I will spare you the audacity of trying to put it into words, but let us just say at this point I knew I was Asian and not white or black.

Growing up I dealt with so many trials and tribulations of being Asian, with no Asian friends, and being picked on by any and every race that it built a complex inside of me. I did not know who to relate to. I remember some days praying to God to change me, stop the suffering, I would rather be ANY race but Asian. Black, white, even Mexican it did not matter, I just did not want to be yellow with small eyes. Surely God has a sense of humor right? I saw the joke every day. I had the smallest eyes at my school and yet I saw the most pain. The humor only works if the joke saturates for a few… twelve years or so, so don’t be fooled if you just don’t see it.

I made a decision way back then; I would NOT allow my kids to have both the hardships of being Asian and also of being another race at the same time. It was hard enough being Asian, how could I ever want my kids to ALSO have the discomfort and shame of dealing with the mocking and jabs of being two races, not even fully one or the other. Some may look down on this, I am sure someone will even comment about “moving on and the end of racism and how this type of attitude empowers racist,” I don’t care, I simply know what I think, what I have been through, and what I want to save my kids from.

So to conclude, in a less lengthy fashion, yes I knew around that point I would always marry someone of like color. I would not mix races or mix hardships. If you are of mixed races and you dealt with any challenges you may have had and were stronger for it, kudos to you I salute you, I obviously would not have been strong enough for that additional obstacle, and perhaps God knew that.

-OM

Dear Males – Be Proud of Who You Are!


It is a little unfair that males have to suffer the scrutiny and scorn of women when many of us don’t deserve it. I of course am not referring to myself, I am generally an asshole and probably deserve every single insult directed my way.

Men and boys alike heed me! Take pride in yourself! Take pride in your manhood! Don’t let women trod all over our rights and self-image, just because they feel oppressed by men in the past. Are we the past men? Are we the enemy women? No, the enemies you combat are either privileged, dead, or OVER THERE. They aren’t standing here with your husbands and boyfriends that respect women. So why do we feel the need to turn our backs on respecting ourselves males?

Don’t allow the clubs of feminist and women to cause you to second guess your worth. Men are an amazing gender and we do a lot in this world women cannot and will not do. We don’t need to be ashamed to trumpet what we consider our own value simply because society wants to tell us the “norm” is now a humble, quiet gentleman. SCREW THAT! Let us be loud and proud men as “they” are over there.

Where is our pride men? Do we lay it down simply because society tells us it is “uncool to be a confident male anymore?” That it is no longer politically correct to say you are proud to be a man? I scream TO HELL WITH THAT. Be proud of the gift that was given to you, a gift many women probably wish they had. Be strong men and unite behind the banner of a common cause. If we allow ourselves to be labeled and boxed, we will be packaged and obsolete before we know it. Instead let us show a singularity that even feminist might be jealous of.

Male Power.

-Opinionated Man

We are not the same and never will be


We are not the same and never will be. There are things about my life you will never comprehend and I in turn may not be able to relate to much of your journey. I am ok with that; I can live with that can you? I will never change my ways simply because one person or a hundred people tell me my views are wrong. Why would I? Should I just stop living and instead take my prompts from you and you? What type of life would that be and who could ever respect the puppet that lives that life? Embracing our differences is what makes the mural of society beautiful. I challenge anyone that wishes to paint us all the same color to come and try.

I hate the color you picked.

-Opinionated Man