This is the second poem from the Silent Retreat.
by Deborah A. Bowman
Times seems to mean so little in the grand scheme of things.
Fleeting and precious, we are mere dots of energy the light brings.
It only takes a heartbeat, a single breath, a moment
To brew a new formula and give it “time” to ferment.
Seeping into the pores of our bodies and the cells of our brains
Keeping us healthy, centered, balanced and sane.
In silence, we can change our minds in the nick of time!
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I take a look over the starboard side as we pull into port seeing these ghost-like fish in the water.
“Hey bro, what are those?”
“They look cute.”
“Sure, if you like kissing a thousand tasers?”
“They can kill you in seconds.”
“There’s not many out here right?”
“Oh no, they’re everywhere over here but there are more sharks but it’s cool they’re the least of your concerns.”
Wondering what else could be least of my concerns with deadly ghost-like fishes swimming all around me, I step onto the quarterdeck with the heat hitting me all at once, which I finally knew what he was talking about. Fuck it was hot. No wonder Jesus died over her.
“Hey bro, is it usually this fucking hot?”
“Nah, it’s pretty cool today.”
“I guess they were right in bootcamp that was like Hell over here.”
“What? That was bullshit, it barely goes over 130 degrees over here on a good day. Have a nice day and enjoy the pizza.”
I salute him getting off the boat, trying to figure out what the fuck he was talking about but the closer I got to the ground the hotter it got. It was way hotter on land as could feel the heat bouncing back off the concrete. I was already pouring sweat and I haven’t got into any combat yet. Of course, my natural response to suffering is to get blacked out drunk. I ask a raghead where I could get a drink and he points me out to the Beer Hut as he stares at me like he wanted to kill me. Which I could feel the hate while was walking around on base with the natives checking me out wondering how to kill me without alarming any bells.
I enter this pathetic excuse of fun and recreation going to straight for the alcohol. I double fists two tall boys and down the medicine in my head right away. It tasted like a mixture of dog piss and sweat. So, I decided maybe should grab some pizza to go this epic beverage. It looked like a normal pizza but there was something different but not in a good way about this meal. As I was eating it both my mouth and brain was simultaneous telling me that something was not right. As I try to swallow and figure out this enigma someone quietly tells me, “its goat meat.”
“What?” With my mouth full which apparently was full of goat meat.
“It’s goat meat, that’s why it tastes kinda weird but you’ll get used it. Hopefully, you get that bacteria like this guy did last week and died.”
Then it hit me. Everything about this place is meant to kill you.
the people all want to kill you including the goats.
Life lesson number three: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stranger.
I throw up the goat meat as he introduces himself, “My name is Skuba I’m from Long Beach. How many times have you’ve masterbated today. I think I jerked it five times today, wait, I just came right now. Anyways sometimes I use my left hand if want something new and mysterious, you know what I’m talking about?” Skuba tells me this with no expressions on his face. He seemed like a normal white dude that kinda looked a skinhead with a shaved head but there was nothing normal about this dude. He had all the qualities of a human being but he definitely was missing a chromosome or two. I tell him it was great meeting him excusing myself, thinking what the fuck was that about. Walking back to my barracks, which it was around dusk and it was still hot as fuck. No wonder everyone was such in a bad mood around here as I could hear mortars and gunshots close by with men’s voices shouting in the distance. Fuck I realized, I’m actually in Hell. I decided to call back home to check in with the folks before I hit the rack.
“How is it out there?”
“Super. Everything is great!”
All fathers can tell when their own flesh and blood is lying to them.
“Just take care of yourself and look out for you.”
“I hear you dad.”
“Your mother and I are very proud of you.”
This was more puzzling to hear this than the goat pizza because I was such a hellrazer growing up, causing such pain for my parents. I guess my parents were starting to respect me for being out here as human body bag.
“Just come home to us. Do what you gotta do.”
(Life lesson number four)
“Will do.” Click.
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John Forbes Nash, Jr. was an American mathematician whose works in game theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations have provided insight into the factors that govern chance and events inside complex systems in daily life.
His theories are used in economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military theory. Serving as a Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University during the latter part of his life, he shared the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with game theorists Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi. In 2015, he was awarded theAbel Prize (along with Louis Nirenberg) for his work on nonlinear partial differential equations.
In 1959, Nash began showing clear signs of mental illness, and spent several years at psychiatric hospitals being treated for paranoid schizophrenia. After 1970, his condition slowly improved, allowing him to return to academic work by the mid-1980s. His struggles with his illness and his recovery became the basis for Sylvia Nasar‘s biography, A Beautiful Mind, as well as a film of the same name starring Russell Crowe.
Photo Credit: Free Info Society
John Nash, Inspiration for Film ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ Dead in Car Crash
A Beautiful Mind Ending Scene
I was driving into work, noticing there were firemen on each side of the street. I wondered what there were doing, then I saw a sign to “Fill the Boot”, a donation campaign to fund fireman programs. At first, I felt sad that I saw them out there trying to get donations from people. Then I got angry that these are the same people who risk their own lives to keep us safe. These are the guys who throw caution the in the wind and run into burning buildings.
It frustrates me when I seen rich athletes and movie stars walking around, not a care in the world, while our saviours are on the streets looking for handouts. I understand that they signed up for it knowing there wasn’t much money in it but there has to be a better way to help fund this important aspect of our society. If you see these fearless men out today please help them out, cause apparently our government isn’t it.
THE SOONER A-LEVELS CEASE TO EXIST IN MY LIFE…THE BETTER!
It’s a little past midnight when I was about to call it a night but then I get a call for Britney. Supposedly, she came down from the mountain heading to the valley. I thought it was another wack ass fake tip but I decided just to check out to make sure. For last couple of months Mrs. Spears has been all over town doing insane things but for the last couple of weeks she’s been in hiding. Maybe she wanted to make us believe she had calmed down but it was not the case this night. I take a drive on Mulholland Drive up to The Summit and noticed the night crew was not there, parking my car on the side of road making a couple of calls to figure where she was then Arturo shows up in his brand new Jaguar, which is not so new after a couple of Britney follows as the transmission is already gone to shit, the brakes probably needed to be changed weeks ago and the smell from all the fast food wrappers from all the stake outs has a worse smell then an actual garbage truck.
But it didn’t matter to him because he could afford another expensive car because during the Britney days, the money for the shots were so ridiculous that you would do anything to get those photos. From large SUVs to exotic European automobiles, the cars from all those Britney chases looked like car extras from the Fast and the Furious. He tells he she’s already on the other side of the valley and the guys are on it, so I jump in his shit with my gear heading to the hunt. He tells me she’s been out for the last twenty minutes and we need to catch up to the pack. He drives like a bat out of hell, swerving down to the valley as he gets a location of where she was in the valley. Apparently, she was with her manager, driving like a maniac trying to get away from us, which is never a good for us or other drivers on the road.
We are minutes away from catching up to the pack when Arturo gets a tip that a bunch of paps have been caught by the cops for speeding, but they didn’t stop Britney. So, he slows down a bit making sure we don’t get caught up, as minutes later we see a gang of cops pulling over a bunch of paps on Sepulveda Blvd with their backs against a chain link fence being questioned by the cops. We quietly pass them as Arturo finally spots the infamous white Mercedes as continue the hunt. We try to drive normal hoping to not raise any suspicion to Mrs. Spears. Although, she was still driving erratic as we try to figure out her next move.
We’re still in the valley as Arturo spots a notorious Britney hangout, the grocery store. He drives past her making it look like we were just normal stoned dudes, who needed to go to the grocery store because we had the munchies. Arturo pulls into the Ralph’s parking lot as we can see the Britney followed right behind us trying to find a parking spot. We do a couple of loops until Mrs. Spears found a spot getting out of the car with her manager heading to the grocery store. We decide not to shoot her going in as we wait until she finally walked into the store. We park the car feeling a bit astonished that we were the only one there following her. But it was short-lived as paps start to arrive at grocery store like bloodhounds finding her scent. All of us wait at the exit like a couple of hungry wolves waiting for our meal. We see her in line with her manager with a basket full of groceries looking like she was about to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for a small army. We saw our opportunity and took it, storming the Ralphs blasting Mrs. Spears while she was checking out.
Amazingly, as we were flashing the shit out of her none of the patrons or the store employees thought it was odd. They just acted like it was totally normal that two people were getting photographed at a grocery store like it was a runaway show. She finally checks out proceeding to get out the store as we continue to shoot her as she smiled and giggled for us like a school girl right after school. When we reach the parking lot there were actually fans of hers waiting and trying to get autographs from her. I push them to side trying to get more shots but they weren’t going to be denied as they wanted to meet the Princess of Pop. She graciously obliges them by posing with them. I finally had enough of shooting her feeling like a stuffed lion. I just looked at the controlled chaos that was surrounding her as she tired to act like a normal woman trying to get groceries past one o’clock in the morning. She finally gets back into her car with her manager as we run back to Arturo’s car to continue the hunt.
We all start following her again but not as crazy like before because we already got our shots which were great, so good that it could have probably fixed the transmission on Arturo’s brand new Jaguar. While in the car he tells me she was probably going home, which he was right again as she pulled into her compound. We pull on the side of road down Mulholland Drive to check out our photos and video. Once again, I was about to call it a night when Arturo tells me she’s probably going to come out again. I tell him to stop fucking with me but then in the corner of my eye I see the infamous white Mercedes passing us heading down Mulholland Drive. I know who I was dealing with but I was totally shocked and amazed that she came out again. I mean where the fuck is she going to past two in the morning. As we follow her again in the dead of night wondering where she would take us now.
This time she took us into Hollywood going towards Robertson Blvd, which is called Paparazzi Alley because it’s where the Ivy and a lot of trendy shopping stores that many celebrities like to shop. Naturally, all the stores were closed including the gas station as I thought for fucks sake where was this girl going? Then after a couple of laps up and down Paparazzi Alley I see the store manager of Kitson opening up his shop for Britney. She parks right in front of store as we all get out of cars shooting her once again pretending like we didn’t just shoot her thirty minutes ago. She and manager get the run of the store all by themselves as we shoot her looking and trying out clothes. The word has spread that she came out again as the freaks with cameras were coming out of the shadows. As our small gangbang became larger and larger as the store manager tells us that this was totally normal for her.
I thought about what he said as I looked at all the freaks at the window taking photos of Britney trying to be normal girl shopping for clothes at a time where normal people usually slept. Did I also mention this was not the weekend, it was the middle of the week when this shit is all going down. I thought what at any point of this whole night resembled any kind of normalcy. These are not actions of a normal grown human being even with the all media attention she was getting, this was outrageous by any standards of a public or private figure. But as savages we don’t think about that because our job is to report the news no matter how insane or how disturbing it is. So, we keep on shoot as she grabs bags of clothes to her car, proceeding to another a store which is kindly opened up just for her to shop in.
We continue the process of following her then shooting her inside of the store. In the middle of it I start to breakdown, I couldn’t shoot anymore or I did not want to shoot her unless she did something different. I waited as the rest of the animals continued on with the media assault of her as she pretends to be a normal girl shopping on Paparazzi Alley trying to not get any attention from media keeping a low profile. Naturally, she was failing at it and maybe we all were because we were part of the problem. But it was not that kind of night trying to fix the world’s problems. It was just a normal night with a normal girl doing normal things followed by grown men with cameras. It’s past three in the morning when she finally stops her shopping spree heading back to her car. We do the dance again one last time running back to our cars following her in the dark. Arturo tells me once again she probably is going back home, which I prayed to the gods she did because I was getting really tired and I was starting to lose what little mind I had left. Luckily, she went back home again as we pull into the side of the road next toMulholland Drive. Before, Arturo says anything I grab all my things getting out of the car, as he tells me as I walk to my car she’s probably going out again but I didn’t care. I’ve had enough of her and the freaks. I just wanted to go home and sleep, which I didn’t care if I even uploaded the photos because I was so tired.
As I make my way to my car I could hear the sounds of cars starting up, as I hear walkie talkies chirping that she was coming out again but I’ve made up my mind about going home. I’ve had enough with the craziness and the freaks as I see the infamous white Mercedes again drive past me along with the money train going down Mulholland Drive into the unknown during the twilight hours. I say a quite pray in the dark for the hunted because there is usually no mercy from the hunters, as I put an end on this fucked up night but it wasn’t going to be the last crazy night with her unless she actually decides to act normal, which could mean the end of these insane nights.
Secretly, I didn’t want it to end because I know it’s fucked up but it’s a great ride to be on, which you can only ride it once in your lifetime. In the end, we regret all things we should have done because we were too scared. I just hope I don’t have those regrets as I enjoy this crazy ass ride called life or something like it.