the drive-time commute/filtering out the mundane/with Hipstamatic
In response to today’s Daily Prompt:
When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?
Personally, I’d rather have my friends around in uncertain situations. Someone to give you that knowing glance when you are struggling. To provide support when everything might not be going well. A friend in the crowd.
The scariest situations I’ve found myself in I’ve experienced both ways. I had a 7 1/2 month stay in the Denver County Jail back in 2001. I didn’t start out with any friends in that situation. I’ve also been in combat zones with fellow Marines, surrounded by my brothers in arms. Both situations were scary as hell.
When surrounded by strangers I have found that if all of you are in the same boat you have nothing to lose by supporting each other. In the Marines we began boot camp as complete strangers but we ultimately learned to pull together in order to overcome extreme adversity on a daily basis. I still talk to the Marines I served with to this day, but there was a time when we were all strangers, wet behind the ears, most of us broke, young and dumb, the adventurous sort that can’t afford to go to college. I only spent four years in the Marines, but the friendships I made there have stood the test of time. Nearly 20 years later we still look to each other for moral support and guidance.
In jail it’s a little bit more shady but the same approach works wonders. It’s easier for a room full of strangers to be able to relate to each other because none of us really know each other. So we are all in the same boat. Going to court appearances, shackled to each other at the wrists and ankles. There is no dignity to be found in the county jail. There is no privacy, you eat together, sleep together, shit together and suffer together.
There are unwritten rules that you need to learn fast or else you will find yourself a social outcast in a real hurry. My first full day in my squad bay (pod) I tried to take a shower while another guy was in there. There were two shower heads on opposite sides of each other, and every gym in every high school I’ve ever been in, guys showered at the same time. So I walked in there and stripped off my towel and started taking a shower.
The dude on the other spiget wasn’t too pleased with this, and he stormed out of the shower mad dogging me the whole time. I had to find a friendly face I could talk to to find out why this guy was so pissed off. It turns out that in this squad bay, the showering is done one at a time. Lesson learned.
During my time there I made many friends and very few enemies. Of course there were a couple of jerks that I was forced to stand up to, but my ability to get along with others always made it easier. In the real world I’m anti-social but in extreme situations I find a way to do what’s necessary to survive. Knowing how to make more friends than enemies is a great start. It’s nice to know that a few people have your back.
Looking at it from my current perspective as a college student I prefer presenting in front of people I know. I don’t really know them per say, but we’ve been in class together for a few months and there isn’t a single one of us that gets to get out of it if we want to pass the class. I still get awkward and nervous but I know I can count on my little clique within the classroom.I look to them for encouragement.
I’ve been in classes before where a person might be giving a bad presentation, one where it is obvious that this person might not pass the class, and someone in the crowd starts peppering her with really intense questions, knowing they don’t know the answer. I witnessed one man badger a poor girl with questions just to watch her squirm and go through the embarrassment of not knowing. The one thing I have the most trouble understanding in life, the capacity of us humans to be cruel to each other. The worst part is having to accept that you cannot change it, and you have to carry on knowing the problem will never go away.
I had to help that girl a lot in class, and after watching her go through that I admired her ability to shake it off and not let it destroy her. It was obvious she had already moved on from it or just didn’t know or just didn’t care. My skin was hot from watching it, but she was entirely calm as far as I could tell. I clapped loudly and shouted a compliment her way when she was finished. She made the best of it and pulled through. Maybe her presentation wasn’t an A+ performance, but her composure in a tough situation was commendable.
So I prefer friends in scary situations. I’ll be your friend too if you need me. If someone is picking on you I got your back, we might not win but at least we’ll go down together standing up for what’s right. Kindness, compassion, and good will towards all. The “Do the Right Thing” mentality.
Sent from my iPhone
This is a little off the beaten path for me, but after seeing it I have to ask:
What exactly is a “Trout Rainbow Dressed Color Added Fresh” (Farmed Product of the U.S.) ? It doesn’t sound very natural to me.
So is this fish that was raised similar to cattle? Is this how we get the majority of our fish? Have we been doing this for a long time and I’ve just been ignorant to it. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I caught, bought or ate any rainbow trout. Originally I just took the picture because I caught these shiny looking things out of the corner of my eye, but after reading the price tag it has me curious.
Lame Fish Post. Sorry. It is so lame, I have already lost all enthusiasm for going any further into this matter. So with that I give you, an iPhone picture of some Rainbow Trout in Black & White. Your welcome.
I found this in my notes today and enjoyed it. I’m searching for a voice in my writing. I know that sounds corny, but I want to get better. So instead of censoring what I felt inspired to write, I will just say that there is some swearing in here, if that sort of thing bothers anyone who takes the time to read my blog I apologize in advance. My intent is not to offend you but rather to explore my own writing style and come to you from a place of honesty and integrity. Now that I’m done saving face:
Listening to jumpin’ George
“I come crawling out of my warm sack and hit the street,” says Jack.
Slouching on the couch
Listening to Kerouac read crazy poetry over piano
Trying to find inspiration
My fingers feel heavy at the tips
Blood collecting at the bottom
Vibration from these tiny iPod speakers reverberate against the side of my pinkie
Kerouac is quiet now
The boring old apartment
The fan twirls
Shadows dance across the ceiling
An owl keeps watch
Over winter boots
On the countertop
The umbrella above
A steel bicycle
The cold fireplace
The constant droning
Grinding gears, fan’s air flowing
Never silent drone
Fake typewriter clicks
Profane content invasion
Saw some chicks with dicks
Weird boards at strange angles
Living poor living small never sleeping
Squinty face curled up
The shine of the sun blinds you
The clock tics and tocs
skateboard behind me
plays its tune on sidewalk cracks
hot sun burns my back
Is it wrong to slip in a random post with not much of a point? I guess I’m about to find out. I just want to write something down so I don’t freak out.
This haiku was written while sitting downtown amongst the zombie party. Denver’s downtown district has a lot to soak in. Wonderful public art installations, an amazingly talented street art scene, a myriad of strange individuals with various unconfirmed mental disorders, gang members, street vendors, business men and woman, and people of all sizes, race, and creed. I frequent the area solely for the purpose of photographing it. Denver is a boom town again. Our population has increased over 140% in the last year alone.
How is it effecting us? That brown cloud that hangs over the city in the mornings would indicate that it isn’t all that great for the air we breathe. It’s also forcing the city to think about where to put the homeless people that are a major presence in the area. It’s a beautiful place with a rich history, but the rapid change is turning it into something I don’t quite recognize as home anymore.
I feel like more of an outsider looking in these days. That’s okay because I don’t have to stay too much longer. I have about 2 years to document this city before I take my family on the road to explore the parts of America we haven’t experienced yet. I don’t know where we will end up or what will become of us, but we know we can’t stay here.
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