Category: Letters

Would Freud Have Laughed? An Apology

I have to think he would have at least smirked. But from what I remember being taught about him, he was a very serious, very serious man. So no. Even jokes that I am only able to attempt after his research and ideas have had a century to take root in western society wouldn’t have caused him to laugh.

I love blogging. I love it because it forces interesting questions, questions like this one about Freud, into my head. You see, life is so very easy for a smart, not to mention good-looking, eligible man like me that I need some way to make it challenging. So I write. I try to see if I can make a total stranger laugh in the same way that I can make someone laugh that I’m talking to in person. And here’s the real challenge. I try to see if I can make them laugh for the same reason.

By the way. Please send me a check for, I don’t know, $300, each month from now on to support my quest. Make it payable to Pete Deakon and mail it to PO Box 3392, Parker, CO 80134. Thank you.

A man like me doesn’t just appear. It takes a very special woman years and years, like 18, to mold a boy-child into a man like me. This woman wouldn’t have been afraid to punctuate the training with a wooden spoon if necessary.

One more thing. This woman, the mother of a man like me, a man who shed the constraining shackles of fear long ago, a man who publicly bears his soul in ways that make her shake her head in disappointment, this woman has no problem walking out of a movie. Not that she’d even let herself be taken to a movie of Fifty Shades‘ caliber. Even by her son.

I’m sorry folks. I want this blog to be a place you can come for truth and laughs. I failed yesterday. The opening of yesterday’s post, the truth I sought to share, was it is really funny to think of an adult man and his mom watching Fifty Shades together. I didn’t take her. She hasn’t seen the movie. We don’t live in the same town. The parenthetical apology was an “I’m sorry for picking on you again, mom.” Not that I’ll ever stop.

But picking on her doesn’t mean I don’t love her. I do. She’s my mom. I just am compelled to avenge myself every once in a while.

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By the way, she finally added to yesterday’s discussion. And on a separate note, Glenn’s review of my new book is up. Buried Within – Isn’t As Gay As I hoped

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Growth

Some of you know I started a side-project blog with a singular goal. It didn’t pan out. I’m shutting it down today. I wasn’t going to mention it here again, but the experience really helped me in a specific way. The life lesson was kind of a nice end-cap to the year while the bigger paradigm shift is less than a month away.  And, as usual, I think by sharing my experience others might be able to learn from it too. Backstory in a nutshell is I hear about a female blogger here in Denver that dates a lot and never pays for the dinners. I tell her I’d like to date her, but we have to split the tabs. She balks. I create a blog to woo her. She still balks. I contemplate everything for quite a while until it happens–growth.

Dear C-,

A couple of things. First, I took a personality test once that revealed my personality falls under the larger category of “Guardian”. Ooo. Makes sense, what with serving in the Air Force and all. Second, I love The Matrix trilogy. Do you remember the second one? The scene with the architect and the word ergo? Neo has to choose between saving his one true love, Trinity, or the whole of Zion. It’s a bigger philosophical point, of course. Most of the time, in my life, I choose to defend Zion, the group. But defend is what I do in any case. Ergo, while I found your voice and personality on the radio that morning many weeks ago very appealing and believed this may mean you would like to play, I have since concluded that my intentions with creating this blog and writing you have not been pure.

You sound sharp. You write well. But I’ve realized that this whole thing (split tab condition/blog) was about defending men. It took many of my closest friends and family members telling me that I’m wasting my time to finally come to this conclusion. However, I should’ve known this just from the fact that I told many people that I thought what you were doing–getting so many free dinners–was criminal. And if in my little brain you’re the criminal, then it naturally follows that I think the men are the ones under attack and in need of protection. Rather than just say this outright (defend), I created a blog and attempted to stir your emotions (offend). That was wrong.

C-, I do think what you’re doing is hurtful. Date away, I say. Find your white knight. But don’t hurt the guys. You’re better than that. In any case, it seems an apology is in order. Here goes:

C-, on behalf of all men, I’d like to apologize for my actions. Your dating life is your dating life. I shouldn’t have treated it like a game. You’re a real woman, not a voice, not a picture. “Life is immense” (Legend of 1900). I hope you achieve the happiness that your writing indicates you desire.

Pete

PS – I’m not ducking you. You know where to find me.

Letter to My Friend About Publishing The Divorce and Doom of Simon Pastor

Hey Friend,

I’ve been thinking about your phone call last week, about the unnamed feeling you felt. Now, I can’t possibly know what you’re thinking about your book, but here’s what I’m thinking about my book. I’m terrified to put it on sale and have people read it. Terrified. Why? Because on that day the dream ends. I think I told you about my next book, Eight Acres, and that I have always had a problem of fantasizing about the future rather than living in the now. After talking with you the other morning at the Egg and I (and even before then) I’ve been sustained by the dream that The Divorce and Doom of Simon Pastor will really take root. That it will go viral. That men (and their women) will write me to thank me for being the vulnerable one and sharing my experiences with such daring. And oh yes, radio shows. Probably even television will be in the mix, to be honest. And more than that, the dream has included that I won’t have to get a real job again. Because I can’t stand working.

But the day I list the book on Amazon, the dream ends. In its place will be only one simple reality–it won’t sell. Unlike the book version of this blog, Simon Pastor may sell 50 copies or so to family and friends and random blog followers because it is new material. But it won’t go viral. It won’t “put me on the scene”. It won’t prevent me from having to endure a real job again. It might, of course, but it won’t. No, it actually doesn’t even have a might. It just won’t. Make no mistake, I needed to write this book. I needed to write it like I need my next breath. And I need to write my blogs. But that’s a far cry from it selling. I’m beginning Eight Acres this weekend and will likely have it complete before February. But then the money starts running out. The dream will end. And I’ll be putting to test my resolve at being kind to my ex-wife as my new job’s schedule will likely act as a catalyst to backsliding into anger and hurt.

I am happy though. Really happy. I don’t regret anything and I wouldn’t change a thing about how I lived my life since taking the oil rig job. 33 is a big year for me. Laughing, I told George the other day that only after having finished this book did I remember that I predicted back in church camp years ago that 33 was when I’d start my calling. Ha. Everyone else always acted like it was in/around college that they would begin their calling. Well, at 18 I said that I felt mine would begin at 33 because that’s how old Jesus was (give or take) when they killed him. Immature, misguided, morbid, delusional, but true nonetheless. And you can bet I never imagined my calling would be a book centered on divorce. Suffice it to say, I can’t wait to hit 34 and laugh at my prophetic abilities. Either way, I’m certain that no matter what it is going to be a helluva lot of fun.

Okay. Sell your book. Give it away. Get people reading it. And on to the next one.

Pete

PS – James Hetfield of Metallica said, “Music is my therapy. I need to do it.” I’m not sure that’s exactly where you’re at with writing, but I think you can see the value in his honest admission. With this book, I am certain now that money has nothing to do with the fact that I need to write.

You Have Listened To Good Music, Right?

For Sam

Dear Stereo Makers,

How many times have you ever broken a nail with a hammer? Or how many times have you sat on a chair and had the chair just simply break? I know! I know! How many times have you turned on a faucet and the water came out so fast that it put a hole in the sink? No, better yet, how many times have you read a book so fast that it broke?

Zero, right?

Then why, for the love, do you sell a product which allows me to turn up the volume so loud that it breaks my speakers? Why? Surely there’s a way you can prevent this. Surely you can put a line on the knob that lets me know “any louder now, Bub, and you might break your speakers”. I would obey. Promise.

Thank you for reading. Just do better.

Pete

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PS – If you’re interested, I ended the affair. The End.

Happy Birthday Sam

Brother,

I started this in my head about fifteen times and always discard it because it is too much about me. How to proceed, then?

I shut you down big time earlier this year, as you know. Believe me when I say (again) how embarrassed I am for that.

I can’t promise that I’ll believe this tomorrow, but special for today let me say that I think your life has proven that despite your being the younger brother, you lead the way in exemplifying the best qualities a man can possess, especially when measured against a certain “know-it-all who can’t keep his trap shut.” See? What is the problem?

I’m proud of you. I love you. The last two visits have been very nice. H- seems very nice. Hold her like a butterfly.

Happy Birthday.

Pete

PS – I’m so excited for the speech come April. You are not going to regret your decision. (You should be nervous enough to consider if maybe you should pick someone else, but not so nervous that you do more than consider it. Part of the reason I’m struggling now is I can’t say a lot that I’m saving for that more appropriate setting.)

PPS – I need the next month to go by slow; the fast-approaching trip to Copper is having the opposite effect, no thanks to you.

She Can Hurt You

Who are these men?  Where do they come from?  What forces form them?  Is it nature?  Is it nurture?

Is there a specific set of childhood variables that must exist in certain quantities in order to produce these men?

We must admit that one attribute that these men have in common is ignorance.  As children, during the formative years, they must have been ignorant and unaware of situations where women hurt men.  Oh sure, we’ve all heard of poor John Bobbitt’s pain, but, seriously, what man considers amputation a likely outcome that need be guarded against?  In fact, there’s probably a man somewhere who has created some statistic which proves that the chance of a woman cutting a man is less than getting struck by lightning.

And men are proud creatures, the lot of them.  And rightfully so.  Is that it then?  Can we point the finger at an adult man’s pride?  (A father’s pride?)  Is pride the causal factor?  Is pride the reason that he wouldn’t share with young men that a woman had hurt him?  Or maybe he, the adult man, had never owned up to himself that she had hurt him?  Is this whole mess created by a simple lie?  Is it created by simple denial?  A virtual, “She didn’t hurt me.  I wanted to break up.  I hadn’t liked her for a while anyhow.  I can do better”?

Whatever the causes, I haven’t been able to figure out what words would get through to these men–or as Heat puts it, “All you are is a child growin’ older!”–these men who rush into relationships with women.  And no ‘mounta nothin’ cn talk ’em outta it–don’ matta who doin’ da sayin’.  I know, because I was one of them.  And then I almost repeated the mistake.  And then almost repeated it again.  And if I didn’t have such a hatred for patterns, I probably would’ve rinsed and repeated for the rest of my life.

Enter “old people”.

Turns out, they can hold their own in conversation.  And they’ve got, by definition, no shortage of experiences to back up the talk.  And I was looking for answers, ready to try anything.

So after a lot of listening, and a lot of thinking, the answer finally appeared.  I believe that I am invincible to women.  Or, rather, I believed I was invincible to women.  No longer.  Now, I know the truth.  Women are just as capable of hurting men as men are of hurting women.

So fellas (you know who you are), I have broken down the (our) problem as simply as I know how.  We need to acknowledge the simple, unbearable truth.  This truth is captured by four words, though I think its most effective delivery comes with repeating the words four times in a row, emphasizing a different word each time.

She can hurt you.  She can hurt you.  She can hurt you.  She can hurt you.

What’s the rush?

PS – As a reminder, hurt doesn’t feel good.

A Letter To Combat

Dear Combat,

I’ve been thinking a lot about you recently.  While I’d love to report that my memory of you grows fonder as the years pass, quite the opposite is true.  To begin, I want you to know I feel like you took something from me.  I think you took something I didn’t even know I had it until it went missing.  I’m talking about care.  And concern.  Care and concern for things.  Take work for example.  How am I supposed to believe anything that is not life and death is worth spending energy on?  Of course I’m capable, and of course I’m qualified.  But the drive to ‘fight the good fight’, when it isn’t a fight, is gone.  I think you took it.

I also feel like I’m not sure how people expect to be treated.  While we were together, everyone was equal.  It was beautiful.  During missions the mission was all that mattered.  Everyone checked their feelings at the door.  Now, people’s feelings are the mission.  Every experience since being with you has included not only completing the mission, but making the person feel like the mission was completed.  Instead of results, people want to purchase experiences.  I just don’t understand it.  I know you don’t either.

Lastly, for now, because of what you taught me about what’s important and what’s not important when lives are on the line, taken together with the depth of the learning experience, I can’t shake the appearance of having a large ego.  It’s like I’m expected to just forget all the lessons you taught simply because not very many people ever learn them.  The trouble is, as you know, I couldn’t forget your instruction even if I wanted to.  With you, there wasn’t endless debating.  There was action.  There was doing.  Indecision was an enemy.  Now, decisiveness is a detractor.  It doesn’t make sense.

You know I love you, right?  Don’t you?  At the same time, I just can’t help wanting to blame you either.

In the end, I guess I really just wanted to say “Thanks” and “No Thanks”.

Your Son,

Pete

PS – This is just a little thing, and I don’t know if it’s you or just flying that is responsible, but I’m not loving how I can’t pass up a bathroom without feeling like “Might as well.  Who knows when the next time I’ll have a chance to go will be.”

White Hot Flame

This blog has a persona that I’ve been attempting to carefully control.  It hasn’t been the full picture, though, and sometimes I don’t feel good about not sharing everything.  As an experiment then, here’s some of what you’ve been missing:

“Hi Pete…maybe not cold blooded, but perhaps a bit narrow visioned, or at least inconsiderate, as a result of white male privilege…brutal enslavement of women is not a thing of the past.  Sadly, that is not made up.  And I disagree that it was “cured” by the U.S. military riding in on their white horse. It happens here too.”

“Hey S-,

I just finished watching “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” and I have to say I’m in the mood to talk about my feelings.  Brutal enslavement of women is not sanctioned by anyone (public or private) in the United States of America.

What are you even talking about?

Individual crimes happen, sure, but those will never stop happening.  In fact, I heard the other day that a white male was murdered.  I cried myself to sleep that night.  Because I’m white.  And I’m a male.

The terrible crimes against women that happen in America and occasionally are bizarre enough to receive national news coverage (which are the only things I can possibly imagine you’re referencing as evidence of women being enslaved “here”–you do know slavery is against the law here, right?), these individual crimes aren’t even in the same categorical universe as the situation in Afghanistan–the situation that is causing Afghan women to choose to burn themselves alive.

Wait a minute.  I think I know what’s happened here.  Yes, it’s all becoming clear now.  Because I look like your dad, who I can only assume you hate, you think you get to bring up my “race” or my “culture” or my “ethnicity” without fear of reprisal.  That must be it.  Am I close?

To be clear:  (I was taught once to not use the phrase “I think” when writing, because of course each of us only ever writes our opinion.  But for those of you who haven’t learned that ev-er-y-thing is opinion, I’ll use “I think” here.)  I read M-‘s poem.  I thought it was good.  I didn’t think it was great.  But I thought it had the potential to be great.  I never doubted that Afghan girls were burning themselves alive, though I don’t have time to focus on the news these days, and until reading the poem, I wasn’t aware they were doing this.  The purpose of this course is to teach us to write better, teach us to use imagery, etc., teach us to write in a way that causes the reader–any reader–to feel what we (the writer) intended to be felt.  I did not “feel” that M-‘s word choice was as effectively-imagery-ridden as it could be, and, in my own style, I told her as much.

S-, R-, and K-, that you chimed in on this discussion did nothing except reveal how misaligned your understandings’ of life on planet Earth are.  Suffice it to say, because I have responded to you despite the fact that you used words like “offended” and “inconsiderate”, I’m now very afraid that some actual repercussion will occur, and, if so, that could result in me losing some money.  Because I clearly think I know everything, I composed a swan song that I’d like to share with you now.  Please write this down, and when able, commit it to memory:

College is the last time in your life

When you might be given actual honest feedback.

However, at your bidding, in this class, and from now on,

I’ll only say the most unoffensive and considerate things about everything you write.

In effect,

I’ll lie.

That should cause

Some real growth.

I know I’m

Looking forward to it.

Pete”

The Plea Answered

Dear Legs,

First, please forgive me for not responding sooner.  I was very moved by your letter, and fully intended to write you back that day.  But, as you know, life got in the way.  I’m sorry for that.

Skipping the weather chit-chat (face already reminds me daily that it has been sunny), I will get right to it.  Regarding why I am making you work so hard these days, I think I know.  You asked about the reason that I made you work so hard of late.  You asked if I was running from “responsibility” or “failure”.  With certainty I can tell you “No”.

I do think that I have discovered the reason that I am putting you through this situation, however.  Do you remember doing the mediation before the divorce?  There was a lot of talk about money and how much I had to pay her.  Do you remember the part about how each tax season we’d review our incomes to see if the “Memorandum of Understanding” needed to be adjusted based on how much money she and I were making?  I actually feel a bit silly admitting this, silly because I’m sure I can just ask a friend what the real answer is, but if I remember right, the rules to the divorce included that if I became a millionaire, I would have to pay her more than I already do.  Well, here’s the thing.  I don’t want to pay her more.  So it’s shit jobs with shittier salaries for now.

It probably doesn’t make sense to you two, my friends, but I think for these next couple of years I’d rather risk ruining our relationship–yours and mine–than hear another man order me to pay her more money.

I know you’re tired.  Believe me when I say I am more than aware that I am the reason you both feel and are tired.  I am sorry about that.  On the bright side, we’ve made it through one year, and that means only a few more years until this burden is lifted.  And you know how time flies.  Maybe I’ll even call up my lawyer friend and find out that I’m wrong about the situation.

In any case, thank you for not giving up on me.  I will owe you both a lot when all this has passed.

Thoughtfully Yours,

Brain

Mars One Rejection Letter (well, email…technically)

If you’re on your computer, it’s best to set the tone with a little mood music:  open in new tab.

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Dear Mars One applicant,

Did you know US astronaut Clayton Anderson was rejected by NASA for its astronaut training program 15 times, yet in 2007 he boarded the Space Shuttle Atlantis for a trip to the International Space Station. He proved anything can happen and no door is ever completely closed.

You, and just over 200,000 other aspiring astronauts around the world, took a bold step in applying to be one of our first heroes to leave Earth permanently for a new life on another planet. We cannot thank you enough for your daring effort.

At this time, we’ve made the decision to reduce our applicant pool down to just over 1000 and your application has been declined. Let’s talk about what that means.

This is not the end of your dream.  We will be reopening the application process for you at a date to be determined in 2014. We want you to seriously consider re-applying. Each and every applicant, including yourself, who was not chosen in in this initial round, will have many other chances to re-enter the selection pool and try again. Don’t give up.

If you’re wondering why you’re applicant was put on hold, please review the selection criteria here. This is the criteria we used when considering your application.

Our goals are the same – human life on Mars and advancing humankind’s evolution as a multiplanetary species. Let’s continue our mission together!

Regards,

Mars One Selection Committee

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What do you say?  Should I keep applying?  I say…Yes!