A Book of Triggers – Page 2

We cannot live our lives cringing from the sound of every trigger we step on. Instead that sound should become like music to our ears as the cacophony of reality impresses upon us the reality of our conquest. We are taught now to ignore triggers and to steer clear of even the subject. In our politically correct society we are forced to forewarn people that “trigger warning” the words written here might actually mean something to you. Might actually affect you in some way.

When I look over my shoulder I do not see a past presented by picturesque Monet created pathways. Instead I am assaulted by the rawness of Memphis city streets alive with the power of memory. A painting littered with forgotten words and stained with pain born tears. A painting of reality is what my past presents and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I wake up to a trigger each morning. A Korean face looks back at me in the mirror and no matter how many times I splash myself with cold water, still the same slanted eye, half smile appears. It must be me. It has to be me. And yet that introduces the second trigger of my story, the power of acceptance. To accept what does not feel right, to be forced to be who you don’t think you are. Who cannot relate to such a feeling for differing reasons? The world is a melting pot of such forced persuasions as we are each told who we are and what we were meant to be.

I think the saddest part about my first two triggers is that they were decided for me. They were part of a path connected by an action one cold morning in Busan, South Korea. A morning when a mother decided she no longer wished to be a mother and in doing so she placed around my neck a necklace that did not hold a locket of love. Instead it held a golden trigger upon which was written a name. A meaningless name which was never to be used. A name that I sometimes wish I was. Ahn Soo Jin.

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

A Book of Triggers is an online book written by Jason C. Cushman on the blog aopinionatedman.com. All rights and copyright ownership to these posts and words are owned by Jason C. Cushman and HarsH ReaLiTy.



“How do you visit all those blogs?”

I hate this question because this question already shows the mindset of the blogger. Many bloggers feel that “subscribing” to another blog is in essence an online contract. That you are dedicating yourself to be a lifelong reader of that website. I have seen this said verbatim actually and I rolled my eyes then just like I did when writing this sentence just now.

“Who would want a reader full of random posts?” I DO. That is who. I also hate THIS question because it assumes that the goals of one person are shared by everyone. It also is normally an introduction into the whole “blogging etiquette” debate that I love so much.

Everyone has their way of blogging. For me I use a matrix for everything. I use a search matrix for copyright purposes, a matrix for networking, and a matrix for folding my underwear. I think it is the little bit of Korean inside of me. I was never good at math to be honest.

I live my life by lists. As a parent of two kids and a busy day everyday, I generally must depend on lists to keep track of things. I have a mental list of posts and what I want to discuss daily. I also have a list of blogs I plan on reading.

People often wonder why other bloggers don’t come back to visit them. I use 33.3% of my time online making new connections and refreshing old ones. Some people reciprocate and others ignore me. That is life. That is blogging and blogging is life. We must always remember first and foremost that bloggers are generally real people. Well I am not real… but most of these other screen names are. Because of this realization we must always work at reconnecting and reconnecting again. That is how “online friendships” work. The people that get hurt over not having every post read will never last as bloggers. The people that appreciate gestures for what they are will always be better online connections in the end. It is due to the simple fact that they understand one thing.

You are a real person.

Note: Before you ask why people have not done things FOR you ask yourself what have you done FOR other people.



Reaching Out

I reach my hand out daily. Allowing it to hover upon the expectation of want and need. Concern from you or I, it matters not to the wanting eye. A wanting eye watching wanting hands reaching into the night for a simple touch. I turn inside for motivation even on the days where my hand grasps the emptiness of human concern. Empty for “there is no time to worry about the needs of others” as personal strife is pushed to the front of mind. There is always time. I spin time from the leftovers of my day. A moment to shed a light into someone’s darkness, letting them know that someone saw and cared. Human concern does not exist in this body. Personal concern is all that lives here today.



B is for Blogging

Can I connect you with other connections. Similar hearts that beat the same tune as your own. Helping those that need help to find a helping hand.

Relaying words that are sent desperately into the night. Words sent upon the backs of hope and prayers that sometimes float… and fall. They fall like falling stars even as we pray for them to fly so far. We see harsh reality in a stream of glory before our eyes. Eyes that beg for only a moment of peace.

Would I carry a heart just a few feet further for a weary body? Allowing a moment of respite where there is no peace and comfort to be found. Could I offer a dry shoulder for a weeping eye and ignore the need to judge that eye. Turning blindly away from the moment to allow another to own that moment fully. Could there be a greater sacrifice than to share the voice of another?



Gambling, Bad Decisions, a Deer, and an Unfortunate Eclipse

“Four Kings,” the man said with a sneer in my direction as he immediately began to greedily scoop up the numerous poker chips in front of him.

Motherfucker…” I mumbled as I reluctantly got up from the poker table. A small Asian man scurried over to quickly take my seat before my second ass cheek was even out of the chair.

Another motherfucker. Can I get out of my seat first? Jesus!” I exclaimed as I accompanied my bad mood out of the poker room of Ameristar Casino in Blackhawk, CO. I stood for a second and contemplated my next decision for what seemed like hours. It was really mere minutes before I began the inevitable walk towards the ATM machine. I really hated the cash machines in Blackhawk because they always charged you out the ass for withdrawing money. My bank would then charge a second fee for using an ATM that wasn’t theirs.

I slide my card in with practiced ease. Putting in my security code quickly I skipped the main menu and went directly to fast cash. I pressed the $200 button and impatiently waited for the machine to spit out my cash. Instead I got an error of “Insufficient Funds!” flashing across the screen. I quickly looked around to see if anyone had noticed and was relieved no one had. I canceled and pressed the $100 button quickly and recalculated how much I would “have to win” to break even for the night. I was interrupted mid thought by the “Insufficient Funds” flashing again across the screen.

MOTHERFUCKER!” I audibly said furiously as I snatched my card from the machine and headed towards the escalator. It felt like I had just lost twice. As I got to my car my mood slowly began to evolve again, as it normally does. I realized it was just “fate” and fate wanted me to leave for some reason. I listened to her and jumped into my Mitsubishi Eclipse and peeled out of the parking garage. By the time I had left the casino strip I was feeling good again.

I began considering my on again, off again relationship with See as my car winded down the mountain road. I was caught up in “what ifs” when suddenly a mountain deer from Hades jumped over the median and nonchalantly waited for me to kill it.

MOVE OUT OF THE WAY YOU STUPID MOTHERFUUUU…” I tried to yell as my car ran into the deer and broke both of its right legs. I heard a sickening crunch and then a loud BANG as the deer flopped onto the hood of my car denting it badly. My car came to a screeching halt and I looked around quickly to see if any cars were coming from behind me. None were and I breathed a relieved sigh as I watched the deer pathetically limp away into the dark. My hands were shaking and I felt like I had run five miles.

“Motherfucker…” I said to myself one more time before beginning to drive my poor eclipse home to Wyoming.

-Opinionated Man



Broken, but not breaking. Will I break today?

Will this pain stay or melt away?

Can I wish, just a single wish, upon a single star.

Hoping it rises, please keep rising. Don’t let it fall.

I would pray if one prayed in a dream.

Instead I accept small bites of reality it seems.

Sometimes the pieces of the puzzle glow so bright.

Missing pieces, forgotten pieces, they fit just right.

I cry for the holes that will never be whole again.

Broken pieces of me left in the sand.

I ignore the pain as pain again begins.

Cycle of life, will life ever win?