Journal 44.2

The party was heating up and the music blared through the open door and windows into the parking lot. The air was cool as I pushed my friend into the parking lot through the small crowd gathered at the door. I called him my friend, but I had many friends at this point in my life. This particular friend was drunk and a little angry at the moment.

“Dude, she is in there letting those white dudes grind on her,” he said with exasperation that was quickly turning to rage.

“Easy bud,” I said, not wanting to see violence break out at my friend’s party. Another friend.

I set my crown and coke down on the hood of a car and turned to talk to him. “I mean… she isn’t your sister man…” I finally said with an obvious almost sarcastic tone.

He looked up at me and looked in my eyes. “If she isn’t my sister then your sister isn’t your real sister,” he said purposefully, daring me to care.

I cared. My fist lashed out faster than my thoughts, possibly faster than my anger. It connected with his chin and he immediately pushed me back. He was a much larger friend… I’ve found it normally pays to have large friends around. But not if you are fighting them.

By now all of our friends and mutual friends had poured out of the apartment party when word had spread like wildfire that there was a fight in the parking lot. We breathed heavily and looked at each other while deciding how much we still cared.

My roommate rushed out like Godzilla was chasing him and grabbed me as my right hand was sliding beneath my coat. I didn’t carry guns in college, but I did have my trusty Winchester blade that I had half drawn before I was tackled by Rob.

“No, let this motherfucker talk,” my yell came out over my interfering roommates shoulder. “I’m just getting started,” I almost screamed as more of my friends grabbed me. They had no clue what had occurred, they just could tell one of us was about to kill the other. Sadly this wasn’t a strange occurrence for my group during college. At least this time it wasn’t over a game of chess.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust

Social Media

Social media can be funny. You gotta decide who you want to let in and who you want to keep out… with their issues. One day you might have to say “Gary I’m not coming to your tea party man…” The problem with confronting issues is that issues have mouths and fingers. So Gary types back “but Jim likes tea. Why don’t you like tea? 😰” Then you are stuck… because you do actually like tea and now you’ve lied to Gary. Do you come clean and in turn commit yourself to all future tea parties forever? Or do you pull the plug, plan a fake trip to Florida, and post old photos hoping no one notices… and live the lie.

All because you didn’t like “tea.” Social media.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust

​

She

She sings to me, how sweet she seems. My mockingbird, she is my queen.

I come to her, she becomes my me. My everything, she is all I need.

I know that things didn’t turn out the way you wanted. They didn’t turn out how I wanted either. I am always amazed at how strong you are, strong enough for us both. You show me how the strong should be. You show me my own weakness.

I’ll make it up to you. Love.

Jason

44.1

@smokendust

Pain

I cannot walk a beach without walking back to the year 2000. Any day turns to that night, that night in Busan as I walked by my shadows and demons. I wanted to walk into the ocean forever and ever. I wanted to die.

You never forget your steps no matter how many more you take. Each new motion towards a step is started with the remembrance of a past step. Sometimes I wish I could remove a hundred steps from my life. Sometimes I miss the three years I don’t remember. Other times I hope I never remember a day of that life.

I see myself in the waves. A younger self, what a fool he was. He walks by a shadow he thinks is his mom.

But it isn’t.

It is his own and will be forever.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust

Why I don’t Ski

“So I want everyone to do the next step and place their feet out so their skis make a backward V,” the instructor said in the bored voice one would expect from someone that has given this lesson a million times. His eyes would occasionally drift to the slopes where everyone else was having fun.

I was still on step one. “What did he say? Something about Bacardi?,” I said as I worked to keep my skis steady. I was of the few humans, apparently, that thought people didn’t belong on long aluminum death sticks that shoot down mountains at the speed of a million miles an hour. And it wasn’t even a mountain we were on. I was skiing for the first time in Gatlinburg, TN on what could only be called a large hill. I realized this later in life when I moved to Denver, Colorado and learned what real mountains were.

“Ok so that’s it. The lesson is over and I want you all to try the bunny slopes first,” the instructor almost yelled as he hurried away to his next lesson or simply somewhere else.

My sister and I looked at each other and then headed towards the bunny slopes. They were easy and it was basically just a few yards of straight hill without the danger of being killed by the oncoming traffic I saw further down. We eventually got bored and I suggested moving to the next level up the “mountain.” Small decisions in life really do matter people.

Things were going great when I set off down the intermediate slope. Speed was good, no one had run into me, I was even able to look around and was starting to realize why people skied when things went drastically wrong. I started speeding up. That V shit that instructor was babbling about. Yea that shit didn’t work. It was like a roller coaster without brakes and suddenly all these people were around me. When did this hill get so crowded? I started moving to the right to maybe intentionally crash and call it quits when I didn’t crash. I started going back up the hill towards the bunny slopes. I heroically threw my body to the side to avoid any human casualties and laid there a minute thankful to be alive. I have never skied again.

Jason

-OM

@smokendust

44.1

Lucky Number 6

When the wife and I were dating and I was still in Cheyenne I found my favorite smell. Previously I would have said fahrenheit was my favorite smell, but then I found a bottle of Lucky Number 6.


You know those smells that take you back? This smell takes me back to a red 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse, sun on our faces, and no cares in the world. For me it was a time of zero fucks, finding myself and losing myself at the same time.
And then I met her and everything changed. Cheyenne became Denver and hills formed into mountains.


Mountains became a home and there appeared our memories. Two of them.


We became more than just friends and then in the end I smelled it again.

Lucky number six.


-Opinionated Man

44.1

@smokendust