collage no names

Black Hole Sun…

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

With the suicide of another “troubled celebrity” there will undoubtedly again be public conversations taking place via print and visual media surrounding addiction and depression, and hopefully in personal circles as well.

BHS1And while I’ll certainly remember Chris Cornell for his incredible vocals and lyrics – as most others will – what I personally mourn is the loss of yet one more brother in a seemingly endless stream of this unfortunate fraternity.

And as jacked up as this may sound to you “normal” folk out there, that voice and those lyrics will remain intact, forever recorded for remembrance and reverence, but what isn’t left behind are the thoughts and the knowledge he may have possessed for coping… even if ultimately succumbing.  So selfishly I also mourn the possible secrets that may have benefited the rest of us from those times when he was “winning”, for lack of a better word.

As I’ve written many times and I am stridently wide-open about, alcoholism has – and always will be – a huge part of my life. Though I am sober for years now, I am also keenly aware of how quickly that can change, and these “secrets” I alluded to are always being sought.

There is not an addict out there, from the gutter drunk to the penthouse pill-popper, who doesn’t have at least one nugget of wisdom for his “brethren” – if he’s managed to be clean for even a mere half of a day.  We bond over the filth of our disease… but certainly over our individual victories as well, regardless of how small or far between.

What predominantly leads most of us to the self-medication pit that so often becomes our addiction of choice are those underlying issues that don’t just POOF! and go way, even when or if that obvious, overlying issue is somewhat conquered – we just get to deal with it “raw” now, if you will.

Drinking was the obvious “in-your-face” portion of my life that was so glaringly in need of being addressed, but the internal enemies for which I initially sought such numbness remained behind for confrontation… only sans my makeshift arsenal of the bottle now discarded somewhere on an old battlefield.

Along these lines, you will find that many of those of my ilk also possess a shared knack for artistry, be-it through words, painting, music or some other chosen outlet. And that gift often comes from the very troubles that besiege us for much of our days.

We may take what’s deepest inside of us and spin it into beautiful music, captivatingly dark poetry, or stories that may have you jealous of our seemingly enviable talent.  What you’re not aware of is that – considered brilliant to many an outsider – we would swap this “gift” in a heartbeat if it meant that we could free ourselves of the very feelings that drive such output in the first place.

In less than a decade alone I have personally known no fewer than three alcoholics who have left their perceived unmanageable pain behind by way of suicide, but I am also convinced that this is not always their end-goal, but rather accidental in many cases.

I know because I’ve been there…

BHS2In my darker and far more embarrassing years, I have been so shitfaced and depressed that I wrapped a belt around my own neck and climbed to the top of a ladder in my basement, toying dangerously with the idea – and disturbingly even the “sensation” – wondering what the aftermath would look like… what it would sound like to the world around me.

These thoughts and these actions are by no means healthy, but they are also not as uncommon as you Cleaver’s and Brady’s of the world would like to pretend.  Sure, I always descended from my perch, but you will not convince me that others haven’t also been on that top rung themselves and possibly slipped, or even blatantly passed out in such a compromising position.

This whole world is built AND turns on fractions of inches, and many a life crumbles or succeeds by simply a gnat’s nut in either direction much of the time.

Who slipped while merely contemplating the thought, but with an empty bottle at the foot of the stepstool… as opposed to the many others who may have only barely had enough coordination to get down, put themselves to sleep, and try this fight once more the next day?

The truth is that the agony and daily pain of the unknown of depression and keeping it at bay is on many occasions far worse than our addiction ever was, and absolutely just as lethal. We cope as best as each individual one of us can, and we do so with words, canvases or musical notes, among other tools we pick up along the journey.

Some are labeled “brilliant”, renowned the world over and rewarded with what society’s warped definition of success and monetary reward has morphed to look like, while others of us are perhaps only talented and legendary in our own minds. But you would be surprised how little actually separates the two ends of that spectrum when both heads are meeting a pillow, a pint or a street curb somewhere each evening.

The money means nothing, the success was never for you anyway, and the words that you have written which are now being shared amongst the masses, read, or even sung back to you by others, may do little if anything to fight back that demon who was there and has been growing long before any of the rest came alone.

I don’t even know how to wrap this up into that tiny little bow that us self-proclaimed “writers” always feel necessary at the completion of our works, and I sure as hell don’t know what the answer is, however – as will be written and talked about front and center again for at least the next few weeks – conversation is absolutely necessary, and even more-so, condemnation and humiliation must end, not only for those who are lucky enough to escape the grasp of this monster… but even more importantly by those of us placing such daily shame on ourselves for having it.

BHS3It is wrong, I can assure you that is very, very real, and it is nothing that should be buried away and not spoken of.  Like the gay or biracial family member to the bigoted or intolerant asshole of a relative who wishes them unseen or unheard, the depressed or addicted one does not cease to exist either, simply because you choose not to talk about them at the watercooler or on your barstool, hypocritically burying your own demons on many occasions.

We are here, we are many, and we will be heard.

Let’s just hope it is through our art more often than our demise… KMFP-out!

 

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In Plain Sight

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

 

The broken heart beats deepest… within a wounded chest

ip1A tortured soul may crave the most… to bring about its best

The child raised with less than more… will grow to give their all

The Mother battling to provide… she taught them not to fall

 

A quiet student often craves… an outlet for her voice

The wounded, “poor decision” ones… may see no other choice

A bullied child – bloodied most… wants least to raise his hand

The lucky and the “chosen” ones… they’ll never understand

 

The “loose” young girl may only seek… what feels most like attention

A “weirdo” – he may know a pain… beyond your comprehension

The “loner” may have witnessed things… that cloud their here and now

A “loser” – they strive most to win… if only led to how

 

The path once left for darker ones… lies freshest ‘neath the feet

ip2Of those returning with a strength… that few will come to meet

A broken Father – pieced back whole… knows courage most can’t share

The lips once hungry – hide the most… a grief behind their stare

 

The addict’s mind has wisdom… far beyond what’s only taught

A user’s heart – potential… for a love that can’t be bought

The junkie’s body – tough enough… to stand the test of time

An alcoholic’s fingers… can type for you this rhyme

 

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Thank You Donny

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

Thank you Donald Trump… and I mean that sincerely.

tyd1No, no – I’m not thanking you for “saying what needs to be said”, “being politically incorrect”, “talking like ‘we all’ do”, or even for providing an apparently viable excuse for men nationwide to carry on making barroom rape jokes without even the equally indefensible fallback of inebriation as an excuse that you and little Billy didn’t even need – or the barroom for that matter either.

No, Donald – I thank you for teaching this ever-growing man yet another lesson.

The majority of polarizing events that arise throughout our weekly landscape carry with them an opportunity for those who are willing to learn a little bit about themselves – and to possibly change.  If we are not endlessly seeking growth in this life… we are not truly “living”.

And if we are presumptuous enough to assume that there is no longer any need to expand our horizons and reevaluate certain aspects of ourselves – that we are ever a “finished product” – then we are a sad example for those who may be looking up to us.

Donald Trump – with an assist from an old friend – recently gave me this opportunity.

We’ve all heard it by now and a less kind and gentle version of KMFP would’ve been thrilled as hell with the shock value chance to retype the words right here, unexpectedly assault your ears and perhaps make a crude joke as well… but this is where the “growth” that I cited above comes into play.

To recap for those of you who’ve been living under a rock or in parts of Dittmer and Pevely for the last few days, a working microphone apparently was available to our poor Donny at one point in his life anyway, and it caught him making comments that were both disgustingly misogynistic (surprise) regarding specific women, AND the type that would be considered criminal should the actions he bragged of actually take place – or have taken place?

His unsurprisingly deflective apology was widely seen as less than genuine when heard out of his own mouth, and insulting and surprising when heard out of that of his supporters.

This is where my lesson was learned.

I wrongfully assumed that social media would be abuzz with band-waggoneers finally arriving at a line that could not be crossed by their beloved candidate.

tyd2Well not only was I completely mistaken, but his own excuse and words were turned on myself and others who were adamantly opposed to them from the standpoint of morals, parenthood and simply good citizenship – as hokey as that may sound.

The “locker room chatter”, “guy talk” and “women do the same” narrative rose quicker from the ranks of his faithful followers than even flustered campaign strategists had to worry about presenting themselves, and suddenly the collective “we” were the hypocrites, the judgmental assholes… the wrong ones?

And you know what?  We partially were – or at least I was.

A respected friend sent me a message that initially pissed me off, but forced me to accept some ownership for at least part of his point, regardless of the direction he was going with it or comparison that he was attempting to make – which I still find off base.

He accused me of hypocrisy given that he has personally heard me comment on certain attributes of adult women directly to him in private over the course of our friendship, even specifically citing recent language I’d used to compliment one’s chest and what another was wearing, then pointing out that some could turn this against me, especially given the coaching of young girls that I’m so incredibly proud of.

He did make it clear that I in no way offended him… but wanted to remind me that the conversations had occurred.

And while my kneejerk was almost that of The Donald in deflecting or dismissing by way of that historically popular “everyone else” clause of life, and pointing out that it was also to a trusted friend and in a private setting, it SHOULD make it no less acceptable – and that is where a lot of us could learn this lesson that I speak of.

I will offer that I would’ve been mortified to have been called out by any of the objects of my private comments, but that I would have also felt much more comfortable apologizing for an absolutely poor choice of words that I used, than those of the vile language of the Republican candidate, and I still in no way see this on an even keel with what this boor of a human being has been taped saying.

I won’t use “all” because it’s just not true, and such broad inclusion is a large part of what insults me about this whole defense in the first place Mr. Trump, but what I will unfortunately offer is that what myself and many of my male cohorts HAVE done by engaging in our own brand of repartee, is to lend credence to making this “locker room” excuse even possible from the onset.

NOT because I believe that they are in the same ballpark… but I ashamedly can’t deny that they are in the same league anyway.  Had no man ever made the objectifying comments that many of us have regarding women’s looks and body parts while in the company of other men, then such an easy fallback for Donald Trump and his avid supporters to go to in their search for justification simply wouldn’t exist.

tyd3And this goes for the women as well.

No – they are nowhere near as guilty, and the extent of their usage is often of a much softer “tone” – if you will – but I do spend a good amount of time around a bunch of female teachers and I can tell you that this sort of banter most definitely exists in female circles as well – though again not of the Billy and The Don variety.

What I’m admitting to you is that there IS a bit of hypocrisy at play, and – though I still find Trump’s comments repulsive and of a completely different nature than what you’ll hear that I’ve ever said… I have unwittingly advanced the conversation nonetheless.

But now I aim to CHANGE the conversation, even if some still believe such chatter to be non-offensive and just a part of “guys being guys”.

One – there should be an age that we all reach where this just isn’t acceptable anymore; and two – it really never should’ve been.

Is it realistic to believe that the more innocent type of true “locker room chatter” generally taking place in private settings among groups of men and women can come to an abrupt halt?  Probably not… but is it unrealistic to believe that we are capable of better… better as Fathers of daughters… better as sons of Mothers… better as brothers of sisters?

I don’t think so.

Every racial, homophobic or “retarded” joke that any of us make in mixed company is only more fodder for those we all know who can’t recognize the difference between good, stereotypical humor – which is possible for the record – and insensitive, hurtful garbage.

And as we’re now seeing front and center, every oft-thought harmless “look at that ___” that is brashly expressed to your bleacher pal at the game, has the potential of lumping you in with those who are apparently incapable of distinguishing this from bragging of sexual assault.

It empowers Donald Trump in his asinine behavior and it allows him and his ilk even the slightest of wiggle-room when called into account for such actions.

Will I be perfect in this latest attempt at change, and have I uttered my last ill-conceived compliment to a buddy sitting next to me at some public venue about an innocent female bystander?

tyd4Unfortunately probably not, but that’s just honesty talking – and not my lack of intention NOT to.

I owe it to my daughters, to my wife, to my Mother… and I absolutely owe it to the caring, strong, intelligent and goodhearted girls who I’ve been coaching now for years– and who need to mature with the confidence that these adjectives that I’ve just used to describe them are what should always be indicative of their worth, rather than the poorly chosen ones that myself and other men have bantered about regarding adult members of their sex for decades too long.

WE owe it to our women as a whole… KMFP-out!

 

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“Deserved to Die”

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

“Suspect broke loose from law enforcement and fled on foot.”

dtd1“Motorist refused to comply with officer’s orders to exit the vehicle, kept hands out of visible sight and repeatedly ‘fidgeted’ under his seat.”

“Subject was verbally combative, aggressive and physically intimidating toward responding officer.”

“Law enforcement was outnumbered 5-to-1 by an unruly group of young men who were fighting amongst one another upon their arrival and remained unresponsive to commands to stand down.”

“Driver dangerously weaved and made hasty exit from highway, successfully eluding pursuit after sirens were engaged.”

“Young man was in a clearly agitated state of impairment and physically assaulted a responding officer when confronted.”

What you’ve read above probably rings familiar to a lot of you, both as scenarios that you’ve possibly seen reported or read about over the last few years, or more-so as televised and online “justifiable reasons” for killing somebody when such action is defended by the keyboard bombast of our sudden, nationwide plethora of armchair lawyers and Civil Rights professionals.

But what you’ll likely be surprised to learn is that these specific acts were not perpetrated by somebody who “looks like a bad dude”, or young black “thugs” looking to escape capture for their “latest crime”… but rather by a twenty to thirty year old white, suburban male, former honor student, respected friend, employee and son, who would grow up to overcome alcoholism, save a failing marriage, father two incredible daughters – and somehow be highly adept at it, despite never having a suitable role model in this very capacity for the better part of his life.

You may also be surprised to learn that he is now decidedly successful in his career and that he spends the majority of his nonworking time giving back to various causes, most notably founding and coaching in a softball and baseball program consisting of over 100-kids who sought an opportunity that they weren’t all necessarily given elsewhere.

And what you’ve almost definitely figured out by now is that this formerly young, white, reckless, combative and violent alcoholic is now typing this very column… and all because he – because I – was allowed to live and do so.

Now before you take to militant kneejerk and begin aggressively pecking internet vitriol into those tiny little phone displays of yours, you may also be surprised to hear that I have a brother who I love dearly in law enforcement, as well as many friends for whom I have the greatest respect.

This is by no means an indictment upon their profession as a whole and I’m really not even “taking sides”, so to speak, as much as I am pointing out the glaring realities that we conveniently refuse to acknowledge from the comfortable perches of our suburban homes… and yes – Caucasian upbringings.

dtd2You see, we can disagree with many of the actions displayed by those who have been gunned down for such transgressions… while also disagreeing with elements of everything from the motives behind their initial interaction with police, to the results of said interaction.

For most of the polarizing issues in our country, there are simply no “black and white” answers – pun absolutely intended and as much as many hope to literally and figuratively turn them into exactly that.  We can have our differences of opinion and we should do so respectfully, but we all know that this is unfortunately not the case in the new millennium platform of Al Gore’s online playground.

We should be having these disagreements, and spirited – hopefully influential – conversations with the respect that is rightfully deserved by and of our counterparts, and certainly the empathy and understanding of the FACT that most of us cannot truly relate to the world in which a great many of them grew up or still reside.

… but that is where we love to throw our blinders on.

We make such irresponsibly callous statements as “should’ve listened to the cops” and “you run, you die”, damned well knowing that a great many of us have behaved similarly in our own youth, stupidity and/or throes of addiction – or likely love somebody who has.

We just had the benefit of neighborhood – and YES – socioeconomic advantage on our side.

We scoff and even disgustingly laugh at grieving loved ones’ vehement descriptions of “family man”, “good kid” and “wouldn’t harm anybody”, but we do so hypocritically knowing that a majority of our own Mothers and spouses would hopefully describe us in the very same manner had I… er, “we”… met a similar fate.

However, not only did I continue to draw breath beyond each and every one of the aforementioned altercations, but the repercussions that I would incur were limited to mace, “purposeful” cuffing, well-deserved manhandling, and some “cooling off” time in a jail cell.

And I can guarantee you that Ma would still be maintaining and go to her grave insisting that I was “good at heart”, “educated” and “loving” had any of my regretful indiscretions resulted in a cold, bleeding carcass being chalk outlined on the heated concrete and broadcast over the internet from a helicopter or cellphone camera – now subject to insensitive jokes, baseless insinuation and duplicitous judgment.

And I also guarantee that many of you, who know the “me” who I would one day become… would likely maintain the same – though you never would’ve gotten the chance to know him now would you?

dtd3Should I have been gunned down for my actions, certainly done jail time, or at the very least received a healthy beating for the blatant wrongdoings of my drunken past?  That can be debated far and wide, and – surprising to some of you – I would actually advocate for one or more of those results in relation to what I did in some cases.

But what can’t continue to be argued – what I won’t continue to rationally listen to and have respect for the person behind the mouth that is spewing it… is that there is NOT a double standard… that we are not treated differently as a whole.

I have witnessed it firsthand, just fortunately on the “long end” of that proverbial “stick”… KMFP-out!

 

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Making the Cut

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

If we’re to continually improve as men and women, we better damned sure be willing to learn some lessons, regardless of age… or in relation to the age of those who end up teaching them to us.

RP1I was recently humbled by this again and I definitely needed it.

After spending the last half-decade espousing the principle of actually letting your child’s wishes drive their participation in things, I was guilty the last few weeks of almost allowing that to get away from me.

I’ve watched my daughter absolutely thrive when put into a sporting environment dictated by her own desired level of involvement versus that of some grown man attempting to relive his youth, along with a belief and commitment to work with her toward that end.

I’ve watched this now for going on five years and I’ve watched her reach heights in certain areas of skill in that sport that exceed those of many who once didn’t believe in her.  I’ve watched her confidence and enthusiasm grow and I’ve seen her form bonds with similar teammates, who have also grown to wholeheartedly believe in their own, as well as her, abilities.

I’ve watched these abilities prove her dominant over many peers… and I’ve selfishly licked my lips.

I unwittingly began to put on those blinders that so many of us parents are often guilty of and I anxiously envisioned my daughter performing on the “big stage” of her sport to this point, in the way of high school athletics.

I revisited regrets with having stopped my own “career” too soon, and my “never-was” ass was already penciling her name in the headlines of the local Journal and anticipating the bleacher tales that I would recite at work to multiple eyes of those fighting the urge to roll them at me.

I had her strikeout totals bounding across the pages of the paper and proud hugs behind the dugout practically occurring already in real time.

I was an asshole.

I failed at all of the things I had so arrogantly chastised others for, even if I had done so innocently enough and mostly behind the scenes.  I had her playing ball for school in my head as a foregone conclusion, without honestly sitting down and having had a conversation with her about it… a guilt-free conversation with the person in charge of her own future.

RP2I’ve long been realistic as a parent in not pushing my own agenda and practically breeding my children at a young age for the often pipedream of college athletics and some future in the professional ranks that I could brag about.

And don’t get me wrong, I would never suppress that dream if they had it, but I have always errored much more on the highly realistic side of academics, lauding their achievements and encouraging that growth – while also being blessed with some very bright children to help propel this.

As mentioned, however, I recently got lost in all of this and possibly let some success cloud the foundation of what so many of us have built.

I started a team – and ultimately Program – as a DIRECT result of my daughter’s experiences and what she wanted out of what will always amount to a game, regardless of what often comes negatively out of the mouths of so many parents and coaches… my own at times if I’m being honest (and to reflect on that aforementioned “always learning” point).

I’ve watched countless girls who were once told that they “couldn’t” work tirelessly to prove that they indeed could, and I’ve seen so many changed young ladies as a result.

And now I see a group of them reach an age to where they are given the opportunity to test what they’ve worked for, reassess their skill level, and learn some valuable life lessons in the meantime, regardless of the outcome of their efforts – so long as they perform at their best.

I see my daughter’s eligible teammates chomping at the proverbial, nervous bit for the chance to wear their school’s jersey, and I took for granted that she would feel the same.

Well I was wrong – and I was this close to letting that make an impact that I couldn’t necessarily take back… this close.  Then a young lady who has already taught me so many lessons in her fourteen short years of life taught me yet another one – through pride and resolve that maybe even I have unknowingly taught her.

When informed that she wouldn’t be going out for her high school team, my kneejerk was that this must be driven by that evil fear of failure that rests somewhere inside of every child – every human – and definitely was more noticeable in her younger years.

She was surely resorting back to that younger ballplayer, the one who never felt good enough because she overheard the whispers from the bleachers and watched exasperated parents who were literally driven to anger by the lack of natural skill possessed by some nine or ten year old teammates of their “chosen” one – myself sometimes included for the sake of hypocritical disclosure.

The Father in me wanted to push her past this anxiety, and at least wanted her to be aware of those ever-haunting “regrets” that creep back upon us so often in adulthood.

RP3But after she made it abundantly clear that she understood this, and that her decision was not driven by this at all, that asshole “has-been” in me selfishly persisted.  Sure, I straddled carefully on that line of “not too much pressure” for a little bit, but I was also somewhat guilty of not being ready to just take NO for an answer, and I certainly made that presence felt.

I communicated the well-wishes of her other coaches, teammates and parents, and I relished in the thoughtful, encouraging words even passed along by her would-be coaches at the high school level – as I’m quite sure she did as well.

I sank deeper and deeper into blindness.

In a different way, my daughter was telling me exactly what she had a mere four years ago.  But instead of seeing it through the eyes of that once ten year old little girl, staring pleadingly through the now fourteen year old ones of a young lady… I kept seeing it through the pathetic eyes of a now forty-five year old man, staring regretfully through the once fourteen year old ones of a little boy who can never relive his past.

I once took a chance and went another direction for her, and I did so because I always had her back – and that of others like her – and perhaps she simply longs for that support again.

Back then, she only wanted to have fun playing a game that her Daddy had a passion for teaching her, she wanted to do it with likeminded teammates, look back someday and value those relationships and lessons, and she wanted to do all of this with positive memories of that same Daddy.

And most of all – she wanted it on her terms… somehow I forgot that.

It literally took her final assertive words, her young strength in holding her stance, a full night of restless sleep by me, and even my writing of almost 1,500 words – but I once again understand.

I understand that I’d rather be happy with my daughter’s decision to keep playing a game that she still enjoys, while doing so at her own pace and also at one that will likely see her play longer than if I inconsiderately pushed her into possible “burnout” – or worse – unhappiness.

I’m comfortable still annoying my coworkers with those summertime statistics regurgitated to them on Monday mornings while they shake their heads in faux excitement, and I’m even egotistically amused already at the immature side of future me reading that local Journal and saying to myself “my daughter struck her out”, because I’ll never fully erase that ultra-competitiveness (read “jackass”) inside.

RP4Sure, I wish she would play and at least experience that shallow “on the team” feeling of walking through the hallways of her school, but there is so much more that I am proud of her for and I can’t wait to see what more she becomes, and in whatever avenue.

As quoted in that late-90’s cinematic brilliance and by none other than The Dawson:  “I don’t want your life

It’s like a weight was lifted off of me this morning – as pathetic as that sounds for such a trivial subject – and I hope that it is off of her as well.  I can honestly say that I now see the true confidence and peace that she has in her decision.

And I must get better at trusting that… KMFP-out!

 

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How To Save A Life

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

While long the fluff of literature and filmdom, it’s rare that any “real” people actually set upon something with the expectation of saving a life, or even the least egotistical of hopes that their influence can have such an important impact on other human beings.

SL1Is this often the byproduct… absolutely, but it generally develops organically, as opposed to some perfectly executed plan.

Just four years ago I was still searching for so much.

I was searching for reestablished career stability and even how I would “fit” into the dynamic of a family that I had only recently chosen to be a regularly participating member of – as pathetic as that is.

And I was searching for these things because I was still fresh off of searching for the most important thing in my life to this point… sobriety.

For those who have been where I have – be it alcohol, drugs, food or whatever – you understand the absolute terror that can hit you after that “honeymoon” period of euphoria experienced at the onset of finally addressing your problem.

That reality of “HOW?” becomes much more apparent as your initial confidence subsides and those well-wishers fade away.

And for the addictive personality, the answer lies greatly in time.  We simply must stay busy, we must find alternative outlets, and – most importantly – we must keep our sick minds at bay.

In short – we have to find a new purpose.

My old purpose was to maintain that “Leave it to Beaver” façade within the community, all while doing my best on the back pages of that to balance acting like a forever 22-year old, waking up for work each morning, and spinelessly manipulating my wife into not leaving me.

I was sadly successful at this – and for a long period of time.  Never mind that my wife was only surviving on pure strength and a maternal instinct to raise two beautiful girls on her own, and that the home that I was so intent on portraying as solid and functional was in danger of crumbling down upon a pile of weakened foundation that I was burying it in financially and emotionally by the hour.

When your emotional investment is largely spent on hooting it up with drunkards and barmaids, and your financial investment is largely spent on “big-timing” your way with the same, this doesn’t leave a lot of either for the people and responsibilities that actually deserve it.

I have written often and won’t rehash the details, but I was truly on a death spiral – and I believe that wholeheartedly.

By 2012 I had pretty much gotten my proverbial act together, but – if I’m being honest – still struggled greatly with the thought of never drinking again, the anxiety of social comfort and the daily fear of whether I could indeed keep this all together.

SL2I struggled internally with relapse and urge, while externally going back to that “safe place” of false projection, confidence… and even arrogance.

I had better find something if this were to last.

Alcoholics Anonymous had served me greatly but had run its course – if you will – and exercise, writing and even finally being fully invested in my family were not enough.

If that sounds selfish, so be it, but many of you will understand what I mean.  An alcoholic can be physically present for everything and completely committed to his or her home life, but this doesn’t necessarily quell those ever-present demons inside, and this doesn’t make them an asshole for that being true.

My mind has to be almost constantly stimulated in order to suppress that “stinkin’ thinkin’” that is often referred to in those school and church basement meetings that we attend, or I quickly run the risk of waking up in my backseat… or on that well-used yoga mat that they so generously give you in our finest of county jails.

Don’t get us wrong, we KNOW what we have to lose – we are all too well aware – but that never means that we’re not just the tiniest of bugs’ balls away from risking it on any given day.

This is the truth… this is the most frightening of our traits – and this IS addiction.

Moving on from doom and gloom, I was at one of those “crossroads” that is so often written and filmed for your entertainment purposes as well.

But while I searched, something landed in my lap.

I took my Coaching of young girls in a new direction, having been accidentally pushed that way by a differing of the philosophy in doing so between myself and other coaches and parents.

I have also written of this often, but another Coach and I started a softball program based on the principles of full inclusion and equal play – regardless of ability and “natural talent” – a novel concept for youth sports, eh?

We would take the families who were turned away at other avenues and their daughters who had possibly been rejected for not being “good enough” to be trained at something that they showed a passion for, and we would give them an environment in which they would not have to look over their shoulder for a constant replacement.

We would take those who longed to learn a sport, while having the audacity to enjoy other activities throughout the year in addition, not to mention a family and perhaps even vacation life away from both.

We started this with our own two daughters and the first ten who decided to place a bet on us, and we forged ahead.  We sat through lopsided losses, tears, frustrating practices, and surely a lot of “will this work?” questioning behind closed doors and even within our own stands.

SL3But all along we kept training, we kept driving home the fundamentals and we kept reinforcing to these families and these girls that there would be a payoff – if they just continued to believe in what has since become “The Program”.

As the weeks and the games went by, bonds were formed and a trust could increasingly be felt growing amongst us.  One team would become three – three would become six – and six would become EIGHT.

Two girls became twelve – twelve became forty, seventy-five… and now over one-hundred, with the added fact that I have no idea where this growth will take us next year, but I’m excited as hell to find out.

“Losers” in other minds… became winners in reality, and right in front of the very eyes of those who didn’t see NOT believing in them as an option.

More importantly – something else happened.

In the way that schmaltzy writing has a tendency to do, I am certain that you already foresaw the bow that I’ll attempt to tie across the top of this… but I found my “new purpose”.

I traded barrooms for ballfields, fellow drunkards and barfly’s on nightly barstools for fellow Moms and Dads on nightly folding chairs, and I traded investing my money into older girls serving me drinks and ultimately misery… for investing my time into younger girls serving me smiles and ultimately peace.

I’d be lying if I told you that my incredibly understanding wife and daughters at this point aren’t sometimes jealous or even justifiably angry at the time that I now spend hoping to influence young girls spanning many age groups, or even just sitting on bleachers in the heat to support them – or to somewhat selfishly take in what has been built.

But they get it.

My beautiful bride finds herself oddly torn between wishing she was receiving a lot of that attention often given to others… and being thankful that she again cares enough to WANT to spend it with me for a welcome change.

Unlike those movies and books that I referenced at the onset, there isn’t always happiness.  We occasionally argue about yet another evening spent at some half-grassy schoolyard with a few girls looking for additional practice, but we always seem to move past it.

The bottom line is that she understands that I not only enjoy this… but – most importantly – that I NEED this.

She understands that any dollar now spent on a piece of equipment and that any hour now spent at an athletic complex, pales in droves to those once dangerously spent on booze and at shitty saloons.

SLCCWhat I’m badly attempting to wrap this up with is that I never set out with the hopes of saving a life or even influencing confidence and change.  What I did was simply seek an outlet… a refuge… and in doing so I encountered over 100-incredible children and I met over four times that by way of their extraordinary family members.

But guess what else happened?  A life was saved, and confidence and change were influenced.

… but all three belonged to ME; and not to those girls… KMPF-out!

 

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In Hate We Trust

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

As I sit here both angry and exhaustingly heartbroken over tragedies of the last few weeks that seemingly just pile on top of one another, the most disappointing thing about the fear and even dislike that I currently have for my country – more aptly, it’s PEOPLE – is that our three most divisive factors boil down to the schoolyard equivalent of who looks different… who has “coodies”… and whether you think Batman or Superman is the best.

IH1aIt’s simply that “black and white” – pun absolutely intended… or at least so for children.

But then those children grow up and it’s suddenly okay to despise entire factions of people for the sexuality and race that they have absolutely no choice in, or whichever unseen deity that they DO choose to believe in the “powers” of and whose governing books are often used as the hypocritical backbone for their abhorrence of the former.

We literally kill people over who they love as consenting adults, the color of their skin, or which “holy” book of equal parts good AND evil they choose to cherry-pick the management of their life from… or whenever convenient anyway.

It’s funny, but these topics aren’t considered “taboo” in social settings because they should be, but rather because we’ve never evolved to the point of civilly discussing them without being assholes.

If a third grader so much as name-calls another for such inconsequential bullshit, we rightfully “wise old owl” their ass, but we do so as if we held our adult versions of them to ANY reasonable semblance of the same standard.

Adults are an entirely different animal you see.  “Do as I say, not as I do” is one of the most fitting adages in this increasingly backward-ass country, and could almost be its motto.

We go from being chastised, punished and “taught” not to dislike those who are different from us on the playground or in the classroom at a young age, to becoming not those increasingly-hollow lessons that are halfheartedly spoken to us by our elders, but rather the actions that we witness and the words that we passionately hear from their lips when in front of their peers, or angrily perched out in front of the evening news.

We are “taught” inclusion, love and acceptance out of the hypocritical sides of adult mouths… yet shown an entirely different reality out of the other side, along with the neck and the body below it.

And now WE are the adults.

We teach our children.

We can choose action over and/or along with prayer, or we can take our recent, historically-prevalent NON-action of social hate-speak and “sharing” prayers and internet memes, and the not-so-recent, historically-prevalent cowardice of relying on others to fix the world that our children are inheriting.

I’m seriously so goddamned pissed off at the utter simplicity at the heart of this that I wanna’ stand at the top of Mt. Rushmore and give the country a Dad/Coach speech so exhausting that my own children knowingly cringe and every family whose ever been in my softball program would be collectively rolling their eyes while chiming “you’re all gonna’ be here awhile”.

It’s exactly what we aim to teach our children and what’s outlined in the rosy parts of those books that many of you purportedly put so much stock in:

IH2JUSTBENICE

As a titan of the entertainment industry once famously said, “be nice… until it’s time to not be nice”, and to piggyback on that piece of cinematic brilliance – until given a legitimate reason.

And guess what assholes?  “He’s black”, “she’s gay” and “they’re Muslim” are NOT legitimate reasons, and I’m sorry if that puts a wrinkle in your confederate flag or disrupts your plans to “make America great again”… but I digress – and there I GO being “judge-y” again myself.

See, I can admit that it’s tough!

It IS cliché and it’s much easier to print on an effing t-shirt than it is to put into action, but judge people on their character and how nice they are to you, and not on these honestly menial factors that hold ZERO threat to your picket fence, sport utility vehicle and the façade of a perfect home-life that you so viciously protect.

Don’t dislike somebody because they are black, white, Asian, gay, transgender, Christian, Atheist or Muslim… dislike somebody because they still find it acceptable to use disgusting terms to describe any or all of these people in such socially UN-acceptable environments as the workplace or social media – or ANYWHERE if we’re being honest!

Aside from making a great majority of our population more “keyboard tough” than anywhere close to realistic when actually in a position to be punched in the nose for such hatred and ignorance, the social media landscape has also gone a long way in revealing the sad truth behind many veneers on personalities that we once thought genuine.

Dislike people for that bullshit.

Don’t avoid a Muslim or homosexual associate in public because of some redneck, “guilt by association” fear – but embrace them out of support.

Don’t remove your child from an organization or sports team because of its inclusion of all races and religious denominations, but do remove them for EXCLUSION of such, or even others simply deemed “not good enough” to participate at increasingly-younger ages by some adult has-been or never-was.

And don’t fear that your daughters will date men of some “lesser” ethnicity or belief system in your simple mind, but absolutely DO fear that the ones of your own may be excused for raping them someday specifically because of privilege that may accompany that very ethnicity – or the athletic ability they may possess regardless.

THESE are legitimate reasons for dislike… and yes, even hate when apropos.

There has been more death in the name of religion, race and sexuality than I care to stomach for another hopefully 40-50 years of life, and I don’t pretend to know the answer.

IH3What I do know is that it’s NOT in social media venom, “shared” memes and fabricated internet stories, supportive profile backgrounds… or even in prayer – and with all due respect for the latter two.

And it’s also not in the half-assed column of some aging, suburban white guy who thinks that he knows almost everything and actually hopes that any of you give a collective shit.

The answer is in action people, and it always has been.  Go back to the playground… KMFP-out!

 

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The Sins of Ourselves

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

I don’t really believe in “sin” – per se – because I’ve never really had a belief in any “divine entity” who would govern such transgression, or at least in the terms of the definitions that seem to be laid out by the various books that supposedly determine such things.

SO1That being said, I believe in good and evil, right and wrong, and the inarguable repercussions that most often accompany falling on the ill-advised side of those decisions.

The good or the evil that you do in life will not return reward or sorrow upon you with some “karmic” justification any more than I believe that it will have some eternal influence on whether your soul dances happily in some painless “forever-land” alongside all of its lost loved ones of lifetimes before, or burns in some horseshit, endless pit of damnation.

We’re all entitled our beliefs… and I’m just not buying what’s long been sold in this regard.

The right or the wrong – or “sin” if you so choose – that we do within the tiny corners of our worldly impact are directly rewarded or punished by the influence that each choice has affected on the people around us… plain and simple and in my less than humble opinion.

As I’ve written ad nauseam, I have changed exponentially as a man, Husband, and Father over the last almost five years, and as many of you who have been along for the compositional ride that has accompanied it can attest – this change has even been reflected in the nature of my work, and the words that I choose to convey it.

But you can never completely escape what you “used to be” and I don’t give two shits what Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond have to say to the contrary… even if they “don’t bring me flowers anymore” as a result – but I digress.

(many of you will understand the brilliance of that last statement – and for that, you are welcome)

I’ve quit escaping my problems through the twist-top opening of a brown bottle, three day benders in questionable motels and the financial sponsorship of barmaids in even more questionable taverns for more than a few years now, but I’ll never fully outrun some of the deep-seated feelings that this behavior resulted in, regardless of how opposite of that man I now profess – and practice – to be.

My oldest daughter recently turned fourteen and has the unenviable burden of vivid memories surrounding a lot of these instances, as opposed to her luckier, seven years younger sister – and this fact alone was recently pointed out to me as having had a huge bearing on her own inner turmoil.

Why was I not good enough to give up drinking for?

How come when Sissy came along… you finally got sober?

These questions are so much more complicated in the actuality of addiction and are as oppositely related to the true timetable of what took place, as the simplicity with which a child may perceive them makes them out to be – but we as addicts would be selfishly disrespectful to dismiss this perfectly logical perception that they may have.

SO2There was never gonna’ be some predetermined schedule by which I would – or would not – get sober, and neither of my children was anymore individually instrumental in my finally overcoming a reliance on alcohol than my compassionate mother, stubbornly-intrusive brother, or resilient beyond words wife before them should have been.

These are the people – my children included – who I’ve left in my wake, and with whom there will always be “did” that may simply never be “undone”.

These are “The Sins of MY Self”.

I get to bask and often brag these days about the good that I now do, and about the changes that I’ve made to a life so often lived on the other side of that equation, and I get to undoubtedly at times come off as sanctimonious and judgmental to many of you as a result – but I also get to lay my sober head down on a pillow every night and live with the fact that I’ve hurt others close to me… often beyond repair.

My beautiful bride sleeps comfortably next to me knowing that I’m home, safe, and not intoxicated, but she does so from the uncomfortable distance that awkwardly still exists sometimes between two people with so much pain behind them, two people truly still getting to know the “new them” if we’re being honest… and one with scars from the pre-liquor years that highly influenced them, which have still not completely found the antidote that will ultimately heal them.

I only know what I WON’T be using.

She still gets to have that ever-present emotion of worry when I’m summoned out of town on business, and she will forever be entitled an air of suspicion when analyzing my long-distance, goodnight phone calls… for even the slightest existence of a slur.

My oldest daughter gets those aforementioned feelings of inadequacy, just enough distrust to keep our relationship from ever being as close as it ultimately should have been – and all of this on top of the memories of my inexcusable absences from key moments in her childhood and powerful recollections of looking down on the “passed-out-on-the-laundry-room-floor” remnants of a man… who she should’ve always been looking up to.

My youngest daughter got to dodge the graphic reality of what occurred – being insulated by infancy and innocence – yet will always reap the aftermath of a Daddy who may never completely know how to express himself in the ways that he feels inside… the ways of a “normal” person.

My brother and my Ma will never outlive the echo of some truly hateful things that were once expressed to both of them, and the presence of a saturated liver, a bitter, hardened heart, and an almost constant state of intoxication are apology for NONE of them.

I will finish this column, I will post it up here for those who’ve hopefully missed my absence from writing over the last few months, and I’ll go to bed feeling the cathartic – and healthy – effects of what putting pen-to-pad and key-to-computer have always done for me.

SO3I’ll continue to be unapologetically proud of my accomplishments and I’ll again come off many times in the future as smug as I already have many times in the past.

… and I will ALWAYS hurt.

Every one of us addicts has suffering; most of us put up a fight; and some of us even win.

But NONE will outlive “The Sins of Ourselves”… KMFP-out!

 

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Don’t Tell…

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

We were close enough in age to be friends, but far enough AT that age for the events that would unfold over the next few years to be severely inappropriate at best – and criminal at worst.

DT1Like seemingly so many incidents or afflictions in my life, this was yet another that always felt best NOT discussed, and for all of the familiar reasons.

… humiliation, fear, repercussion, and – worst of all – some bullshit, perceived loss of “manliness”.

But exactly like my battles with alcoholism, depression, anxiety, being an overall bastard of a man, and the unfortunate suicidal thoughts that often enter the mind of one so graciously “blessed” with such maladies when mired in the accompanying lows of their intense grasp – there comes a time when I must discuss it, or at least if healing is to continue.

Congratulations, my KMFP-eople… that time is now.

The ironic anguish within my own “circle of insanity” is that the very deepest roots of the destructive tree that I was unwittingly planting so many years before, germinated from a refusal to address the pain that I would ultimately seek to medicate… WELL before I knew such “medication” was available.

It’s odd being a kid.  I never remember being made to feel like I couldn’t share the things that were crushing me inside, but I also never remember being comfortable that I could.

Having now hit that glorious age of honest self-reflection, while also being forced to by an overwhelming desire to never again visit the self-medicating depths of where the previous lack of such took me, I have come to realize that the emotional turmoil that would lead me down a two decade path of caustic behavior and shitty life decisions… was steeped in two particular experiences during my first decade of existence.

While in that sunshine-farting, Utopian world of picket fence America, neither of these occurrences should impact the lives of our young, the simple fact is that one was necessary – and the other, all too common.

I’ve cited my parents’ divorce in much of my writing and my own Ma has long condemned herself for “putting us kids through it”, especially when realizing the unfortunate catalyst it would prove to be in my later trials.

However, as much as I honestly believe that marriage is halfheartedly entered into as far as the true commitment it takes these days, and as much as I believe that little work is often done in attempting to salvage what is undoubtedly a transformative moment in the life of ANY child of divorce… Ma’s needed to happen.

She was married to a physically abusive man with a true lack of fatherly commitment that would further cement itself once papers were legally drawn.

But regardless of blame or necessity, this circumstance would greatly influence the sad majority of what would become the core of who I am.

DTCMore sadly is what influenced the rest

I can still see the hair on his body and I can still smell the “musk” that’s emitted by mature adolescents, as disgustingly uneasy as that makes me typing it to this very day.  And if you feel uncomfortable reading it, imagine how a young boy feels experiencing it… at nine years old.

Nine years old – that’s when it started.

The obvious, physical differences in our age that would soon emerge were not yet present during our earliest encounters, though they seemed to appear from out of nowhere to my young eyes, even intriguing my naivety at such an age.

One of the many lingering effects of sexual abuse is that the victim is periodically faced with “surprise” uneasiness – if you will – that never quite goes away, regardless of how long you believe such reaction to have been buried or handled.

And I mean that in the sense of sometimes years later unexpectedly encountering a specific setting, memory, scent, or even article of clothing that suddenly brings forgotten emotions back into play with an abrupt intrusiveness that rivals the original act itself.

You can be in a crowded room full of absolute strangers who have as much knowledge of what you were subjected to decades earlier as they do of your middle name, yet still hear a voice, catch the glimpse of a throw pillow, or pick up the faint hint of a long forgotten cologne worn by a passerby and you’re instantly heading for the privacy of a bathroom – pursued by a shadow of unwelcome embarrassment that bears down on you as if a placard displaying your deepest secrets were glowing in neon on your back as your scurried away.

… and I don’t exaggerate one bit.

I won’t further disgust you with the gory details, but only cut to the particulars of my own situation – which admittedly pales in comparison to the horrors of many others.  That being said, we’re not keeping score here.

My parents didn’t fail me by allowing me to end up in some position of vulnerability, and I also don’t believe that my… uhm “attacker” (oddly uncomfortable with that term) intended true malice toward me – or future pain for that matter – even if that sounds like standard “victim” response to the lot of you.

My folks had every reason to trust the relationship that I had with this older boy and for reasons that I’m not quite ready to divulge at this time, and he lived within a particular set of circumstances that still bends me toward clemency even all of these years later.

There was definitely intent and the knowledge of his actions being wrong, as evidenced by vows of secrecy and even youthful blackmail… but also a sheltered existence and lack of interaction with those his own age that still somehow has me justifying much of his action – as angry as it makes me that I battle such feelings.

My name is KMFP and – aside from already knowing that I was (always will be) an alcoholic, and have battled anxiety, depression, and an often fragile self-esteem badly disguised by humor (thanks therapists) – you now know that I was also sexually abused at a young age by somebody who I trusted… somebody who my family trusted.

DT3I despise that I’m occasionally reminded from out of nowhere, I hate that I still can’t… won’t… label him an “abuser”, and it absolutely disgusts me that I continue to excuse his behavior as a now grown man myself – both out of childhood guilt and perhaps some “necessity” to heal.

Last of all, I am simultaneously confused, saddened and angered by the fact that I probably wouldn’t “tell on” him, even if granted the ability to go back in time and do so… or if it were even possible today.

Some of you are perplexed, others are sickened – and some know exactly what I am talking about.

If this helped ANY of that last group, that was reason enough to write it… KMFP-out!

 

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Young… Black… Dead

 

Written by – KMFP  (Profile/Bio: http://www.thekmfp.com/team/the-kmfp/)

A young, black resident is walking along the streets of what he considers his neighborhood, unbeknownst of the fact that he’s about to be unfairly targeted – a sadly common story transpiring daily in the poorest regions of our cities across the country.

DP1The routine of his day is suddenly interrupted as he is stopped, pulled aside, harassed, and actually lured into what would become an altercation – albeit one-sided… an ambush in every sense of the word.

To be youthful, black and male can be difficult enough by way of a bevy of influencing factors in the 2015 version of our society, and it can be downright life-threating – with ZERO tinge of hyperbole – simply due to the often uncontrollable conditions of environment and demographic alone – which was definitely a factor in this case.

Sure, we’ve heard ad nauseam about the “injustice”, “my baby would never do this”, “minding his own business” qualities of so many fallen males in our inner city neighborhoods, and we’ve sadly been propelled by overwhelming doses of immediate cynicism upon first impression – if only because of the disgusting volume of such occurrences – and often the evidence that eventually plays out.

We never know what to believe anymore, and even the presence of video and largely definitive proof in either direction still somehow spins those adamantly set on doing so into an immovable state of defense and denial.

… but back to this black male.

He was growing up in the shadows of Chicago – one of our more majestic cities – teeming with buildings housing financial, industrial and commercial leaders; visually emitting success – as far removed from knowing so as he may have been.

And in that “black sheep”, “uncle we don’t talk about” nature of our “puppies and rainbows” world, this city is equal – if not greater – parts façade for the darkness, death, dismay and destruction that takes place only miles beyond its shiny exterior, with more than 390 people killed already at the time of this boy’s assassination alone, and another 2,500 shot.  (insert militant gun beliefs here)

But rest assured – Chicago is not alone – merely a larger reflection of its smaller counterparts littered across the states of our landscape.

The brutality of this murder took place as so many now do – occurring at the borderline of daylight and evening, with the cover of darkness no longer a protective shield even felt needed by those carrying out such heinous atrocities.

DP2They have long now grown a feeling of invincibility made possible by the distrust, hopelessness and unadulterated fear that surrounds them in their own community – blatantly perpetuated by their no longer shadowy influence upon its predominantly – YES predominantly – peaceful people.

They are – or at least feel – like a forgotten corner of the shimmering homeland that we attempt to present to the world, and ironically that very group who keeps them silent and afraid… may many times also provide their protection.

IS there a more disheartening paradox to live in?

Those who “police” you… are those also striking the most fear in you – those who keep you silent, loyal in the most disloyal of manners, protective of that which you can only ultimately be… your own.

“Police” – did I say that?

Would members of the police department purposely stop, pull aside, harass, and actually lure and ambush a young, black resident of an inner city neighborhood for seemingly no reason beyond that of possible retaliation and an obvious disregard for our youth… for human life itself?

This debate has been front and center for the past year and some change, if not back and pushed to the side for decades on end.

We’ve witnessed forgotten portions of our country burning on our sixty-inch flat screens and from the comfort of our suburban homes, and we’ve painted broad strokes of irresponsible judgement based on unabashedly skewed “journalism”.

We’ve watched forgotten people cry for help, only to be drowned out by the “it bleeds, it leads” negative coverage of our vastly negligent media, absolutely set on putting only the most unsavory element of their population out there for widespread public consumption.

They are pissed off and they largely have a right to be.

Sure, we can argue all day – and are – about the merits of what “pushes them” to the proverbial “brink”, and question the perceived reality of an imbalance of concern between the killing of the future fathers of their communities by Caucasian men with badges – justified or otherwise – and the systematic eradication of their future fathers… by their current sons.

DP3But the fact is that they’re dying – and they’ll continue to do so unless this discrepancy is addressed.

NINE year old Tyshawn Lee was deceptively lured into an alleyway on Monday, November 2nd 2015, in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side… and many of you still aren’t even aware.

As we spend our recent weeks on social media sanctimoniously decrying the apparently outlandish notion of helping others from around our world in need of sanctuary and some assimilation of peace within their lives, we do so with that hypocritical arrogance of professing the need to first address “our own”.

… and then nine year old African American boys are gunned down – with multiple shots and ZERO accidental intent – in the fading daylight of a Monday evening and in the backdrop of one of our more “prosperous” cities.

If I told you that Tyshawn Lee was possibly linked to criminal activity and was ambushed by a group of white police officers, and apparently as revenge – and only for the unfortunate, uncontrollable “crime” of being the son of a local gang member… how much would THAT piss you off?

How many of you would take to the streets, destroy the livelihoods of innocent business owners, pilfer their goods for selfishness and with ZERO connection to the matter at hand, and solicit a visit by our most vocal of national talking heads and the busloads of opportunistic ne’er-do-wells that often accompany them?

How many of you would rally – have rallied – and organize(d) in unity and support on the back of a polarizing, questionable tragedy involving Caucasian police officers and young – sometimes unsavory – black members of your communities, and done so in often ill-advised manners?

AGAIN I ASK YOU: How pissed off would you be… HAVE you been… when that was… IF that were the case?

Well white cops didn’t kill this kid – and in the most heinous, cowardly of manners… other young, black men did.

This nine year old, African AMERICAN boy was innocently walking to a playground just before 5:00 pm on a Monday, carrying nothing but a basketball and possibly a headful of dreams of “what may come” – while maybe even gazing wistfully off at the alluring, endless-opportunity-laden cityscape of Chicago, Illinois.

DP4He was lured into an alleyway by a group of local gang-bangers – once likely sharing in his youthful exuberance – and repeatedly peppered with unforgiving gunshots to his innocent little body, and for the preposterous offense of having a father who “wronged” them… by whatever definition applies to that despicable lifestyle.

White cops didn’t kill him… his “own people” did… OUR “own people” did.

Now get just as pissed off… KMFP-out!

 

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collage no names