Cole

In the late summer of 1990 some of us kids were at the park playing some kind of game. The sun had set and we were 11 years old so we all headed home. This white kid around our age I had never seen before was with us and apparently had no home to go to. The story was he ran away from the group home that was located just a few blocks away. He must have asked if he could stay at my place because I highly doubt I would have invited him. Every other summer I would be left alone for a month without supervision because Uncle Bill would leave town for a month and my mother would be working 12 hours a day.

There was no way this kid was going to stay under the same roof as us but the back of the house was kind of a junkyard. The back porch was a hoarding area that never saw light because of the enormous orange tarp sheltering it like a tent. I can’t remember any of the items on that porch except a very large rolled up carpet. It’s possible it’s the only thing I can recall because nothing else ever had any significance. I told him he could sleep on the rolled up carpet if he wanted to. He accepted. His name was Cole, I think.

The next morning I must have fed him something then Cole and I walked down to the railroad tracks. At that age I didn’t know that stories involving a strange kid and railroad tracks often had bad endings. Instead of me getting bashed over the head with a large rock though we found a pornographic magazine still mostly intact. The pages had been wearing out probably from several days or weeks of the effects of morning dew and sunshine. I think it was my first dirty magazine. Cole might have went back to his group home that day or not, I can’t remember.

Cole showed up another day. By this time Uncle Bill had come home. Cole wanted to sleep on the rolled up carpet again but he also asked for a pillow. I had to ask for permission this time. I can’t imagine that I asked Uncle Bill if some strange kid could sleep on our dirty, rolled up rug outside but I must have. I do remember asking though if I could give him a pillow because I remember his response was to give him the crappier pillow. Uncle Bill wasn’t very amused with what I brought home.

Some other day soon after he showed up on my doorstep again wanting to come in. We played a board game or a card game together. He would uncontrollably shake his head every minute or so. He told me his dad used to hit him in the head a lot. While we were playing our game he distracted me but I heard the sound of coins clanging together and then disappearing. I accused him of stealing my money. He put the coins back on the table and then I asked him to leave. Looking back now I should have just let him have the money.

He wasn’t a bad kid at all. It seemed as though he had morals and was easy to be around with. A few days later he came by again when it was pouring rain. He wanted to come in but I refused. That was the last time I ever saw him.

 

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Productivity Monday

It was a great normal day. At breakfast I was wondering why my mood was above average. More than sufficient sleep will do that to a person. If I had to choose between good sleep every day with only McDonald’s meals versus poor sleep every day with healthy food I would choose the former. Since I don’t have to choose I went and had a Big Mac today.

I want to say I did laundry today too but how can I take credit for something the washing machine did. It was effortless to decide to go to the gym after. My gym pants are about 10 years out of style but I don’t like the ‘in’ ones. They’re all slim fit and tapered.

My piano teacher said I shouldn’t even try to practice for 1 hour every day. “Just try half an hour,” she said. So I did. Jordan Peterson said don’t even try to read for 2 hours a day, start with 20 minutes. I did that too. All of this sounds like it could have came out of a book titled, Improvement for Dummies. Chapter 1: Sleep.

If I could do all of this regularly I could be a somebody with clean underwear.

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Dog watching me take a shit today

Employment Opportunities

A person I know sent me a message today with a job offer.

“Do you want to pack weed for $18 an hour?”

I’m not sure what packing weed entails but I think it’s packaging consumer amounts for illegal online sales. Some people have been making a ton of money blatantly selling marijuana online and in storefronts. It’s 100% illegal but the story is the city does not have enough resources to deal with it. Although marijuana is legal now the black market is still a large supplier for consumers.

Packing weed is probably an easy job but for $18 an hour there’s no risk premium and I’m doubtful a dental plan is included. I can get paid that much moving boxes at some warehouse without having to worry about the law or getting robbed. If it was $50 an hour I’d have to consider it. Everyone has a price.

There’s a labour shortage of skilled workers as well as low wage positions that are located in areas not easily accessible by public transit. Being a plumber pays well and is important but you have to be a plumber 5 days of the week. Easy jobs are plentiful but pay you dog shit in an expensive city. No one wants a tough commute to a low paying job. Many restaurants have had to shorten their opening hours or even close altogether because of lack of workers.

Even the 8-year-old kid in my neighbourhood quit his paper route because they cut his pay by half. Most of this city haven’t been getting their shopping flyers for the last 12 months.

If you don’t want depressing pay then you have to be somewhat valuable to society. Scarcity equals value.

 

Life Lessons From the Internet

A 77-year-old man on Quora wrote that he is very wealthy, married 2 beautiful women, has 2 great sons, retired at 49, lived a full life but none of it mattered. Us common folk will come across such wisdom and rejoice at the idea that winners are still losers. He goes on to say that he wished he spent his life learning piano, painting, sculpting, reading, owning more dogs instead of, “chasing someone else’s dream.”

A common theme in many of his other answers is that “you’re going to die.” He disparages what many wrestle with in life such as passions, purpose, money and our feelings. Often, the ego owns your life until there’s not much life left. It kicks you to the curb and spits on you while you come to realize the universe was just using you.

Something else he mentions on a few occasions is that he wished he realized that, “you have to want what you have before you get what you want.” It’s like a life hack because if you let the mind run its natural course it will always want more which will always leave you dissatisfied. I’m not sure if I know how to do it though. I’d imagine I’d have to block out or deflect many of my thoughts. Shut up brain or I’ll stab you with a Q-tip.

It’s true though, winner or loser, you’re going to die and quickly be forgotten. Your perceived accomplishments were probably no more impressive than that of any 4 legged mammal or 6 legged insect. Some ants can carry 1000 times its own weight. I believe the lesson isn’t to do nothing but maybe not pick such a painful route that is going to get you to the same destination anyway.

Not the Dog

Aside from the few off-leash dog spots around the city, the law is that your dog must be leashed at all times. At the school by my home I often let my dog run around off-leash because dogs like to run and I figure most people won’t have an issue with my 7 pound dog. It was an issue earlier today.

A woman freaked out when my dog ran towards her. When my dog came closer she started jumping like someone threw firecrackers at her feet which got my dog barking and excited. While I was running in circles, apologizing and trying to catch my dog she kept repeating, “you must leash your dog, you must leash your dog.” Then her husband started yelling at me from 20 feet away so my dog ran towards him and started barking.

“Leash your fucking dog now!” he yells and keeps repeating while I’m trying to catch my dog who is bouncing around barking at this guy. I’m not liking this guy yelling at me as if I’m his slave but I’m feeling bad about this incident so I accept it. My dog might be 7 pounds and harmless but it’s supposed to be leashed.

Maybe fuckface was trying to be a man in front of his wife but it was excessive. And then, he said, “I’m going to kick your dog.” Switch turns on. As I’m trying to catch my dog I tell him that there will be no kicking of dog. He’s still in his fit of rage. At that moment I’m bracing myself for my dog to be kicked and have decided that if that happens I’m going after this guy on the playground with all the kids watching.

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All of this is happening in a shorter amount of time then it sounds. It was like 5 to 10 seconds with each of them. I leash my dog and just walk away. I’m on the other side of the grass field from them now but I see them walking around the track. I could have left but I wanted to see how this would play out. As they came closer he said that he was “sorry.”

“Sorry for what?” I questioned. “Sorry for shouting at you,” he says.

“You threatened to kick my dog.”

He says, “no I didn’t.”

Typical human behaviour. Sometimes you just don’t know if people are lying or compartmentalizing. By the looks of it he feels that his apology for “shouting” should be sufficient. I apologize again and acknowledge that the dog was supposed to be on the leash but I’m being confrontational at this point and I don’t care what the outcome is. He admits to threatening to kick my dog. It’s possible that he was denying that he did because his 2 young kids showed up and didn’t want them to think that daddy’s a piece of shit. “My daddy kicks small dogs.”

He goes on to say that, “we are good people” and that his “daughter loves dogs.” The latter statement sounded like the equivalent of a white person telling people they have a black friend. I halfheartedly accepted his shitty apology and went home. Not long after I started thinking how it may have been because of religious beliefs that had them frantic about the dog.

My plan was to eat a salad for dinner and practice piano. The salad was not enjoyable and piano didn’t happen. Maybe I need to get her a muzzle.

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What happened?