Depression

I see and read the struggle everyday. Our struggles, through the posts, they become a canopy. A hanging remembrance of sadness felt. Overwhelming because it overshadows us, we cannot turn about.

Our path, a shared path, with memory stones. A stone for each soul that thought they were alone. We walk, a shared path, never knowing that we share the way. One way, one path, yet no one else feels this way we say.

I read about a fallen star today. Another star, someone else’s fall, but it feels the same. A stinging pain that stays like a stain. Look down, not up, we’ll be ok.

JCC

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@smokendust

What blogging has become

I check up on people and their blogs. Through the window of course.

If I ring the doorbell Gary will just talk my ear off. If I say hello I’ll have to hear how well Cindy is doing and how great her doll collection is. Those dolls creep me out and Gary is a hugger… we all know how I feel about huggers.

If you don’t have time to be social then you become “the reader.” You become the ‘liker’ even though you really feel like telling jim his new murse isn’t a good choice. You only come out of your shell when something really pulls you by the teeth and even then… someone damn well better be dying. Because you’ve become a browser due to life, but you are still a blogger…

And that’s what blogging has become.

-OM

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@smokendust

Life

I whispered in the rain and watched as my words collided in pain.

Watched them tumble covered with water…

Am I much better?

A walking sentence searching for a missing word.

*

I whispered alone in the rain with people all around me oblivious to my pain.

The feeling of being so alone amongst a crowd made me feel insane.

I screamed at them without saying a word.

A single sentence in a world of words.

*

I didn’t speak today, I didn’t seem to care.

Didn’t fully wake, didn’t brush my hair.

I walked like I had walked before.

A word being dragged by life once more.

-OM

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@smokendust

44.1

Nothing is brighter than a failing star.

One day there, the next day gone.

Morning light swallowed by the night.

Evening light never sees the morning sight.

But even a falling star is not alone.

See us all? How we all fall?

Impossible to see past our own self.

We are never alone, there is always help.

-Opinionated Man

44.1

@smokendust

Embarrassment

Nothing plants a memory more firmly in your head than a little embarrassment. Who doesn’t like a little shame or public humiliation in their life?

It was my junior year of college and things weren’t going well. I still hadn’t learned the trick on how to force yourself to go to class. There was something almost exciting about standing up and walking out of class early and having no one try to stop you. I loved it a little too much and think I began leaving class just to see if people noticed.

I grabbed my red Ralph Lauren jacket, my notebook, wallet and keys, and headed out my apartment door. I quickly jumped down the two steps leading to the parking lot where my baby, a green two door Honda Civic, was waiting. My car peeled out as I headed towards UT campus with Kanye’s High School Drop Out blaring in the wind. Knoxville flashed by me as I sped towards the part of campus where my history class was being held.

Finding parking was impossible back in 2003 and it took awhile to find somewhere my baby could wait while I went to give my oral report on Roman civilizations. I was ready and had been up all night preparing. Actually that was a lie, I was up all night… but I recall not much time was used for preparing and more time was spent doing other things.

I grew nervous thinking about giving that report in front of actual people. It also occurred to me that I had only been to class a few times and most of them would probably be wondering who the hell I was.

I did what you do anytime you grow nervous in college, even if it is 10 am before class…

I pulled out my trusty double barrel flask and emptied both reserves into my mouth. Instantly I started to feel really good about the speech and headed towards my class with my notes.

 

UTK is a large campus and my car was really far from the class. By the time I got to the classroom the whisky had worn off totally and I was starting to panic a little. I have a huge phobia of speaking in front of large people and having those people judge me. It is particularly more difficult when those people are supposed to be judging you, like for a grade for class, and you are now positive you don’t remember actually forming out a plan for what you will say on the… which Empire again?

As my foot crossed through the door into a packed classroom, holy shit how many people are in this class and where do I sit, I was positive this was about to be one of the worst experiences in my life. I knew a ton about the Roman Empire, but without a plan I was a sailboat with no wind.

You know how sometimes it feels like the world knows when you are down and still she decides to plant just one more foot into your rear for good measure?

“Jason Cushman you are first to present today… is Jason Cushman here?” a voice seemed to boom from nowhere.

Fuck me… I thought as I headed before all the waiting eyes that I was sure were wondering who I was.

Jason Cushman… who is this guy looks darted towards me as I made my way down the suddenly ridiculously long aisle to the front podium. I set my notes down and cleared my throat as I looked over the many faces in front of me.

“The Roman Empire was a great empire that had an intricate road system…” I began nervously.

I stopped.

I couldn’t think of anything else to say…

I had forgotten English.

The eyes in front of me turned from intrigued, to puzzled… to half amused and half baffled.

“… Thank You.” I suddenly said and then quickly walked back down the aisle to my seat and sat down. I pretended like everyone didn’t exist and what I had just done was perfectly normal even though I felt every eye in the room on me thinking what the fuck just happened?

I starred at my desk for a total of 56 and a half minutes until the class was over. I didn’t look at anyone once and waited for everyone to leave first. I was mortified, but I also was suddenly panicked about the sure F I had just received for a grade on my presentation.

I made my way to the front of the class to talk to the professor and I decided I deserved one time in life where I get to pretend to be totally foreign. I mean… I am adopted, I was technically born in Korea.

I lied and told him my English wasn’t very good and asked him if I could write a paper instead of giving an oral presentation. I’ll admit I may have acted a little and exaggerated my speech.

Long story short – he let me write a paper and I got an A. I suffered through some major embarrassment, but in the end lying helped me succeed.

And that’s the moral of this story today.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

44.1

Father’s Day

There is nothing like the taste of freedom and it tastes like the cool night air on a highway in Tennessee outside of Nashville. I was doing 87 miles per hour and we were making great time on our way back home to M town. I was 19 and I had very little concern for the world.

I had brought Chris with me this trip because I was going to Cashville and I didn’t know the area well. I was meeting up with the girlfriend at the time and she had some friends that wanted to go out to the club for the night. Even though Memphis is about 3.5 hours from Nashville, we were game.

It hadn’t gone well.

She hated my new haircut. And I hadn’t told her before getting it cut before seeing her… because I wasn’t aware you were supposed to do that in life. That sounds like a lame fucking life.

There may have been a few reasons I tasted freedom that night as we made it as fast as we could back to Memphis. We were making good time as we passed Jackson and everything was going great. I remember music, Chris and I chatting, and then…

I woke to the smell of smoke.

“Cush… I think we had a wreck,” Chris half groaned from the passenger seat.

“What… the fuck… just happened!!!” I said slowly as I tried to shake myself awake. I realized then, I had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Chris removed his seatbelt and turned to me, “dude, we need to get out of this car. I smell something on fire!”

We quickly exited the vehicle and saw the damage immediately. My car had ripped almost five yards of guard rail out of the ground before hitting a bridge column. The car running over the metal rails had caught the grass on fire and my Ford Contour was dying a slow death that only Ford cars know before my eyes.

“Holy shit!” My parents are going to kill me…” I mumbled as a huge semi pulled up behind us.

A trucker exited the vehicle and hurried over to us. “You boys ok?” He said as he half looked at us and scanned the scene.

“We are good, thanks,” Chris replied as we watched another trucker rush up with a fire extinguisher. It was no use at this point, almost half my car was on fire.

“We all better back up some,” the trucker said. “I radioed in for some help already.”

“Thanks…” I responded as I watched my first car go up in smoke before my eyes.

I pulled out my phone to call my father at 4 am in the morning.

It was Father’s Day.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

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