Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Haunted Land, a Halloween Story

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Christopher (front) and Nico just got their fresh haircuts. Snip-its, September 20, 2018 

October 20, 2018

If you were able to find your way to the valley of Indigenous Falls, which is nestled in a deep crevice of ancestral land.  And you were lucky enough to locate the path that is hidden deep in the thick green forest.  One could follow this path where it would lead you to a baron land.  Not only does nothing grow here but also, not one living thing can survive on this cursed land.  You will not find a mammal, a reptile or even an insect.

The story is told to generations of people about this spiritual land, which can give you everything, and anything, that you could have ever wanted.  But your wants, needs and cures will be used against you, as the land is known to have taken many lives.

Only one person has ever made it out to tell her tale of this land.  She will speak to anyone who will listen about a property that goes way back to the Native people.  Those Natives worked this land prior to powerful men, which used violence, as a way of taking what they wanted killed them.   They stole it from the people and tried to build on top of it.

She explains how this 300 yard long, 500 wide, piece of baron land was a spot where the Native Americans would bring their dead, and dying.  Long ago their ancestors before made a portal to the other side.  They spent years working the land, sacrificing on the land, and performing rituals to transform it to a place where their loved ones would make it to the spirit world. 

However, it was also used for greed within their own tribes.  So during their dance rituals they made a promise that they would dance for the Gods day in and day out, non-stop, to chase away anyone who would try to exploit the Gods generous offerings.

In return the spirit God’s rewarded them by protecting their dying and infirm with safe passage on their spirit journey.

However, as the myth of this place turned from whispers amongst the town folk to full-blown, full-scale expeditions were put together with quests to locate it.  The Native American people were killed.  And in the process the day and night rituals were stopped when they were murdered and thrown on the very fields in which they promised the Gods they would protect.  The corruption of man and their evil intentions used their power to destroy everyone.  In turn the ritual dancers became very powerful.  They were once protectors now they were soldiers.  Their blood soaked the land and made the purveyors of the gate.  What was once pure and good intention from the Gods was now rotted, and the stench killed anything that wanted to find a place on these grounds. 

A century later this place was a mere legendary place that never existed.  It was folklore.  It is now known as a haunted land.  A place protected by ritual Native American dancers to protect the Gods good will and destroy anyone who dares attempt to use the land because of mans corrupt intentions.  They say in the very still of the night.  In this wooded place that lays bare.  The dancers can be heard.  They still chant to the sounds of drums.  Their feet are still strumming the ground until this very day which echo’s the valley.  You can still cross this land in search of salvation however; the ritual dancers will see that you pay a terrible price while you attempt to make it through the gauntlet.

A man was holding his dying son who is stricken cancer before the boarder where the lush green grass boarders the brown dirt of ancient land. He caresses his child.  Kisses him on his dehydrated lips.  Hugs him in case he never sees him again.  He cries and whales in the pain that he wishes he could take away from his boy. 

He then lays his gaunt body before him.  Just one foot away from the dirt that boarders the lush grass where he lays his boys head.  He then whispers something in his ear.

‘Go son.   Wake up and go to the Promised Land.  You fight to get to the other side.  When you arrive I promise you this, you’ll find me waiting with open arms.  Until we meet again.”

The boys father fades away into the darkness.

The day passes into night.  The night passed into day.  The little boy still hasn’t moved.  Like clock work the sun rises and sets.  The trees shadows in the surrounding area would creep over his body, which offers some shade throughout the day.   Finally, as the sun set on the 4th day, the boy opened his eyes. 

He is very weak but manages to get to his feet.  He stands there only in his underwear as he takes deep breaths.  The boy closes his eyes and staggers into the land.  He begins to stumble and is unprepared for whatever may come his way.  He continues to stagger but then his surrounds are magically transformed.   There is now energy in his steps. 

What was once a slow deliberate stagger became a more solid walk.  His back straightened his gait began to get long full strides.  Marching forward, the scenery turned to lush green landscape.  A swirl of wind and bright lights encompass his body as he crosses into the other side and just like that the area turns into a place that would only live in his imagination.

His world is transformed what was once green, is now a rainbow of colors from candy that is littered through this fantasy world.  The brown ground turned until a path of chocolate.  The trees around him grew tall as he walked.  The tree trunks grew thick and the branches punched outwards.  Leaves began to form and candy began to bloom from the tips and hang like apples and oranges.  The flat ground began to rise like a wave as hills began to form and shrubs started to grow and more candy began to form.  His day was transforming into a candy land.

He felt new and refreshed.  The cancer that ravaged his body and prevented much movement was gone.  He was now free to run along the green grass and candy-laced trees.  He marveled at the gummy bears that flew above him.

He dove into the sugar water lake and played with marshmallow swans.

He sat on the crushed graham cracker shore and ate the candy seashells. Life was grand.

He turned around and laid on his belly and looked into the thick lush woods when he saw the chocolate bunnies hopping about.

“I wanna eat a chocolate bunny,” he said.

He pushed himself up off the ground and charged towards the bunnies.

They saw him and scattered into the woods. The boy zeroed in on one and followed him along the path.

“Come on chocolate bunny” he yelled while charging ahead.

The bunny stopped hopping and the boy reached down and grabbed him.

“Hi chocolate bunny,” he said,” you look good enough to eat.”

The bunny squirmed a little and then stopped.  The boy opens his mouth wide.  Stuck out his teeth and took a big bite out of the rabbits left ear.

“Mmm mmm my chocolate bunny. You’re sure delicious.”

He swallows his first bite and took another bite out of the second ear.

“Mmm mmm chocolate bunny. Now you have no ears. You sure are tasty.”

As he went in for another bite there was a tap on his right shoulder.  The boy turned to look and saw another bunny.  Only this bunny was 2 stories tall.

The bunny held out his hand and implied to the boy he wanted his delicious chocolate bunny that he had just taken 2 bites out of.

The boy looks down and sees chocolate syrup tears flowing down the face of the little bunny.  Ashamed of what he had done he turned towards the 2 story bunny and laid his treat in his hand.

The 2-story bunny looked down at his little bunny and wiped the syrup tears.  He then smacked his free hand over the top of his hand that had held the little bunny sending chocolate splatter all over the boys face.

The boy trembled.  He was too scared to move. The larger bunny reached down and tore of the little boys left ear.  He then reached to his right ear and attempted to rip off that ear but the pain of losing his left ear woke him up out of his trance.

“No!” He screamed.

The little boy turned to run away as fast as he could.  Blood dripped from the flesh that was torn when he lost his ear.

The 2 story bunny put the ripped ear in his mouth and nibbled quickly until the flesh was all eaten.

“Mmmm taste-tee,” the bunny said in a slow deep deliberate voice.

The big bunny then began to hop towards his meal by following the trail of blood.  The bunny was so full of hate.  And anger.  His hind legs ferociously dug in to the chocolate laden path.  Large nail gashes gnawed into the surface.  His grunts were as loud as a runaway locomotive.  He wanted to kill that boy.

The once healthy boy began to become ravaged with his cancer again.  He wiped away the tears from his eyes while he ran as fast and as far away from the killer rabbit.  He was crying and the boys’ howls seemed to only feed more fuel to the rabbits killer instinct.  He craved the boy even more.

The once candy forest began to melt.  The sweet sugar now became thick molasses as it settled on the ground and further hindering the escape of the boy.  But fear drove him to push harder.  Through the thick glue like substance that stuck to his feet and weighed his pace down and pushing off the licorice vines that lunged at him, threatening to strangle him.

Tumors began to form on his body further weighing him further.  This hell hath no mercy on his soul. Even though he was a child the spiritual dancers did not have pity.  His decadence has shown them he had no purity in him.  He was corrupt.

With the killer rabbit closing in, death was all but certain.  But out of the darkness there appeared a thin light.  Not knowing what that light was he ran for it.  Anything was better than this killer rabbit.  Within this light there was a silhouette of a man waving at the boy like a 3rd base coach to his runner who is rounding 3rd on his way home.

Tumors began to push outside of his body.  Sweat poured over his brows and traced the lines of large brown chocolate chip tumors that lined his face.

The boy was almost there.  The angry rabbit was on his heals.  His dad was the man waving his arms just outside, on the other side of the light.

“Enrique!” He shouted. “Enrique over here. You can do it!”

The little boy who was riddled with cancer he began becoming weak.  Who had no more energy to give, not even to save his life.  He was about to be only the 2nd person to make it to the other side.   Where a new life awaited him.  Not only him but his father who wanted him whole again.

“Daddy!” The boy screams out.

“Taste-ee- Taste-ee- Taste-ee” the manacle rabbit repeated.

Within a few feet the boy went leaping towards his dads awaiting arms.  His dad grabbed him and held him close.

“No!” his dad shouted.

The rabbit stopped short.  He bent over and went nose to nose with the child’s dad.  

“No good,” the rabbit side.  His long ear pointed down to the ground.

The father stood there trembling.  He turned his head to the left and noticed he had crossed the boarder in order to reach his son.  The dad looked up.

“Wait,” he said.

The rabbit’s ears encircled them and forcefully the rabbit lurched back brining them both into the field. 

“ahhh” the last words of the father was heard.

Everything was quite.  Nothing was heard.  Then as the sun began to set behind the hills a small Indian chant could be heard.  This land is haunted. 

Captain Imperfecto and Nico going to his first Miami Dolphins football game vs the raiders. September 23, 2018 

© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.  


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Safety Zone

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Nico (left) and Christopher standing by their drone! (September 24, 2018)

September 30, 2018

Down the block from our house there’s a park where my kids like to go play and just be kids without any of the worries us parents have.  Damn, must be good to be in their safety zone.   The boys' travel by foot, or at times their electric scooter, along the tree lined street.  They sure are enjoying their youth.  I hope they truly understand how lucky they are to be this young.  

Their innocence is evident in the purity of the conversations that I overhear while walking beside them.  On occasion I will ask them questions about the latest things happening but I'm a too uncool for their topics.  Can I just sit and stay in their 5 mile safety zone?

My youngest turned 9 years old and he is going to fly a drone for the first time.  I have never flown a drone myself so I am eager to see how it works.  I'm excited to feel like a kid for an hour or so as I get caught up in the addictive laughter.  

My childhood drone was a kite.  I still remember trying to select my favorite type or design.  The kite is now as old as the man who made it popular, Benjamin Franklin.  But my kite never offered me a view from up above.  I could only use my imagination and wonder what it was like to soar so high.  When I longed to see the world from the kite's point of view I would sneak on the roof of my house and survey the world around me. 

The drone is small, like a kitchen dish towel.  It has four pegs, like a spider, and four upright propellers that spin so fast it sounds like a hundred bees swarming around a honeycomb.  It has cameras all around it to capture the moments that feel special as it overlooks what it flies over.  Christopher places the drone on the ground and activated the controls from my smartphone.  He was completing a safety check.  He then flew that drone so high.  Nico marveled and shrieked with laughter and begged to fly the drone, at least once. 

At the tip of the drone there is a camera and from the camera on my smart phone as high as 240 feet!   I stand by and marvel at the video view that displays life so high above me.  I wish I could be on top of that drone.  The drone telecasts the peace and serenity from up above the trees and rooftops.  How lucky a bird must feel while soaring high above the chaos down below. 

The wind is soft and it gently pushes the drone along the path my son chooses.  The wind doing for the drone what I try to do for my 2 boys'. 

The drone doesn't always cooperate and the ride can be bumpy.  Just as the bumps I hit on the road while raising these boys.  My frustrations can grow as high as that drone is flying but patience and practice will win the day.  At least I hope.  If not there is tomorrow that will take flight and hopefully as their dad I have learned from the mistakes of yesterday. 

“You guys are never stranded in one place like this little 5 mile safety zone you have here.  You can fly above everything just like that drone," I said.  

They didn't hear me.  The flying object, like a UFO, has grabbed all their attention.  My kids don't appreciate this safety net, yet.  Because this moment we are having together is lost in the marvel of technology.   But boys', one day when you are adults and maybe reading this blog, if you remember the view you had from so high up above and find your self stuck today.  Remember, life isn't about a safety zone.  Life is about flying high above it all and looking at the world differently.  Challenge yourself tomorrow because you have lived through today. 

Enjoy Nico's first NFL football game. Go Miami! (September 23, 2018.) Drone view from the roof tops.

© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.  


Friday, August 31, 2018

Big Wheels

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Nico and Christopher on their first day of school. (August 13, 2018)

August 31, 2018

Talking to my children in the car on our way to drop them off at school is an insightful way for me to learn about all the things I had loved when I was their age while listening to the things that they love so much. 

A topic of discussion that I brought up was a, Big Wheel.  After I Googled Big Wheel and showed them what it was, I went on to explain the pure joy of riding that plastic 3 wheeler up and down my block in a convoy with all my friends.

That larger than life front wheel spun round and round, as I heavy footed the pedal up and down our block.  Boy, we wore out that sidewalk.  We drove in cadence, zig-zagged without crashing and drove all day long.

“Daddy, those are kids on that I can't believe you were that little once!”

I chuckled.  It was a different time and place then the life they lead now.  We hadn’t ushered in the technology aspect of life just yet.  This decade was the age of cassette tapes and Sony cassette players.  I mean really, no one was impressed with a Radio Shack Commodore Computer or an Apple 2 computer at the time.  We were forced to play outside and utilize our imagination on the daily.  We built forts, ran in sprinklers and built imaginary cities in mud and dirt so we could toss our action figures around.

“You guys have no idea what it was like to be outside from early day and until the last minute of sunlight."

“Dad, are you going to start talking about how things were different when you were young, again?”

I didn’t have to explain to in-depth my fascination of youth.  The joy in my voice wasn't filtering out any details of my past youth.  I talked as if I were playing 80's music from my mouth.  Even though we are now in a different time and they are doing different things, I am on their side when it comes to bottling up youth and recognizing the power it has. 

I may be getting older and times have changed but the life I'm peddling is like that Big Wheel that drives life.  That joy i convey to them isn't lost to my boys because they hear the inflection in my voice and the know the glorious time it was for me when I was their age.

"We are in these periods of life that I enjoyed when I was your age," I said.  "We will never have them again.  This is the time to really understand your moment in life and realize that these moments are gone as sure as the day that leads us to the next morning.  Cherish these car rides to school with me because someday you'll look back on them as some of your favorite memories of us."

There was a long pause from Christopher and Nico.  The enthusiasm seemed to be sucked out of them by my oxygen consuming rant.  Or maybe I killed the moment with such deep insight.  I probably got too nostalgic on them and lost their concentration somewhere in my interpretation of what they need to cherish and not.  Maybe the term convoy was still on their mind.  These 8 and 10 years old boys who will never know life without a smartphone. 

"Dad, I won't forget this time either."

I smiled and didn't say a word.  I knew that even as an adult if I just keep peddling my Big Wheel of life as hard as I could, we will always have these moments.  Moments that us 3 will never forget.

Captain Imperfecto enjoying a Cuban Cigar in Havana, Cuba. (August 8, 2018)

© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.  


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Endure and Enduring

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Nico (front) and Christopher (the distance) flying their kites off the coast of Cuba. (July 24, 2018.)

July 25, 2018

Endure and enduring.  Words that look the same, but these verbs can work for you or against you.  Endure: suffer patiently.  Or, endure, remain in existence, last, live, go on...survive.

Life’s little problems go hand-n-hand with our daily routines.  I have written about my woes and sadness, good times and fun stories as well, that I have encountered over the past 6 years from my daily dose of reality.  But when I read the story about the woman who lost her husband, 3 kids and 6 family members, I can’t help but feel guilty for having sadness.  Oh my, how will she ever endure what she is enduring?

Deep inside I know that I’m grateful that her situation wasn’t me.  Who would wish such horror on anyone?  When I was younger my 2 friends, who were brothers, died within 6 months apart.  I will never forget the screams of their mother when I informed her of the death of her last child.  Tragically after all that, her husband, and their step dad, drank himself to death.  How did their mom ever endure while enduring? 

Their mom told me once, “ Chris, if I believed in suicide, I’d be dead.”  I’m happy to report that she has endured and lives a quite life.  But not everyone can recover.  People grieve in their own way.  Some people endure longer than others, but just because they are grieving longer than you’d expect, do not lose hope on anyone you care about.  Help him or her or they, endure for the long term.

My brother’s wife just lost her mom who died while at the hospital.  A loss of a parent, a feeling I have yet to know, and hope not to endure anytime soon.  But she is faced with daunting task of honoring her mother in a way that others may not know.  We may all think we knew her mom but a child knows their parent best.  Kind hearted, loving, selflessness is a good place to start if you ask me.

I don’t know how to reach out to the mom who lost her family to the Branson, Missouri Duck Boat tragedy but I do ask myself, how will she endure?  There are no words of wisdom that I can give her.  There are not enough prayers that I can send her.  And there is nothing I can do to make her life feel renewed.  But I know the process she is beginning and it is dark place to start.  She is enduring what no one could possibly comprehend.

Enduring the onslaught of dark clouds that only offer shortsightedness of having no future can seem too impossible to overcome.  It is so much easier to fall into oblivion and never come back.  We will suffer with the loss of a loved one because we understand that their presence is gone forever.   But we have to fight and make sure we endure and do our best to break free of the darkness that is cast over us.  Our demise is not what our loved ones want to occur.  They would want us to endure and overcome this dark place so that we will live on as their everlasting legacy.  You have to endure the pain in the short term to have enduring happiness. 

*** I can't fathom the loss of those of the Duck Boat tragedy.  Please consider donating.

Captain Imperfecto and someone special enjoying lunch. (July 6, 2018)

© copyright 2018 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved.