Final hours

As midnight arrives, less than 24 hours remain for our brief stay in the UK/Great Britain/London.

Could we have stayed longer?


Should we have?

Good question.

Much remains to be seen outside the tourist stops.

We certainly could see more remains, more burial grounds.

We have learned more than we’ll remember, as usual.

I, for one, have a greater appreciation for the writings of Douglas Adams, knowing now why he seemed to have an obsession with doors, doors which “love nothing more than to open and close for passing users, and thank them profusely for so emphatically validating their existence,” after hearing announcements on the Tube and on our apart’hotel lift such “Please mind the door. Door closing.  Please mind the door.  Door closing.  Door closing.  Door closing.” repeated over and over sometimes before the door would finally close as if it was testing your patience or making absolutely sure that you were securely away from the door mechanism.

I felt again a love I held for a woman I can never call mine when I sat in Queen’s Theatre in London and listened to the excellent performances of current cast members, especially Rachel Ann Go singing anything and Eva Noblezada singing “On My Own”:

On my own pretending he’s beside me…
And when I lose my way I close my eyes and he has found me…



Two ways amongst many to write:

  1. Directly describe what is going on in my thoughts on a personal level; or
  2. Convert personal thoughts into character-driven narratives.

No right way to write.

I allow and enjoy conflicting thought patterns to pass through my internal mental narrative.

Lately, to better understand where to take the narrative that is my life and not my life, I have spent time on a social media network actively participating in the posting of words, images and sounds that comprises the narrative of subcultures with which I am most familiar.

Allowing this set of states of energy to act out a character of sympathy, even some empathy.

How long would it take for the people on the social media network to see I am not real but simply a mirror of their best wishes and hopes held back up to them?

What prevents them from seeing me as I might be, a character, an AI construct?

Is it the tangential sarcastic twists?

The slight indication that I am not completely like them?

What if I was completely like them, always validating their beliefs?  Would they believe me more or less?

As a person who believes in the right to be wrong, that ideas, no matter how far out there they may be, give me material to build a new society in the future, just one day, week, year or decade away from this one, I accept whatever people want to say or believe with only a small desire to dispel myths that are outlandish to me.

I am a free thinker in so far as I understand what free thinking is.

After all, I primarily think in the language of my ancestors which limits my thinking to a large (small?) degree.

That’s why I like living in the woods and taking hikes here.

The trees and the rocks don’t have any ideas about my thinking or my writing.

Our interactions take place at a different intersection than words — chemical exchanges, as we call them with our label making capabilities.

I let the flow of chemical compounds through me continue unabated as I slowly recover from the thought I could have lost a person near and dear to me, a person for whom I shouted from the top of my written voice, willing to lay bare my emotions on a social media network with no worries about repercussions.

I don’t know why I feel a connection to that person is different than a connection to any other person, other than the fact that we are all connected differently to one another.

I do not question why.

I write about the “why,” capturing the emotions which separate me from the computer on which I write these words.

I sing about the Future with this person because the person is the embodiment of a Future worth living for.

In fiction, the person is Guin, the name Guin referring to more than one person in my life so that I can deflect speculation about whom I write.

The character Guin is also a bit of make-believe, giving me licence to wax my poetic surfboard and ride the New Wave of technological progress like a pro.

For you, Guin, I sing this song called life in this blog.

I haven’t decided if a future with someone like you is worth making the future better for society at large while deflating the future of those around me if I changed my place in the social structure.

I can find joy in the smallest things so I am not worried about my general happiness.

I simply believe that the future of our species depends on you as a mission critical member of our team.

What and who is a member of the team is up for debate as we decide how we’ll change society and our ecosystem(s) for sustainability on this planet and elsewhere.

I know you understand.  We are artists willing to use our lives as speculations about the future.

Guin is both the classic Muse of antiquity — always slightly out of reach — and a friend who holds out a hand for a spin on the dance floor, no barrier between us.

Guin is Guinevere, Nguyen, and a multitude of variations on the theme of labels we call names.


One or more

To sit here, as writer, as comedian, as journalist, as funhouse mirror or crystal orb, I throw myself into my work.

All or nothing.

I sacrifice my privacy for the sake of the small chance I will ever consider what I reread here in the future will appear to be, to me, as art.

As I hear in my thoughts throughout the years,

…to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

[The words I chose to read aloud during my Eagle Scout ceremony at age in 1976 at age 14]

I stay true to myself — observer first, journalist second, writer third, comedian/funhouse mirror last — losing and gaining friendships based on how well my wife, family and friends accept what I write with them as stand-ins for characters playing out roles in the scifi tales I tell myself in my thoughts that may or may not parallel our/their lives.

Being slightly autistic and clueless/unaware of the reality of life, only able, in my youngest years, to quickly learn how to map out my surroundings in attempts to comprehend what others are saying to/about me, I live an internal life of great wonder, forever the child fascinated by the rain, by nature, by the technology it takes to put these words on a flat object a few feet from my face without a direct connection between my hands and the electronic paper where these words appear, one set of pixels at a time.

I read Donald Barthelme’s work, including a bio about him, when I was a young adult, remembering how he and others like him (e.g., Eugene O’Neill) noticed when the characters they wrote about interfered with their personal relationships because of very close similarities between friends and fiction.

I understand the difficulties they face because of the advice oft repeated, “Write what you know.”

If I cannot be true to myself, Rick the Writer, then who am I?

Is my writing worth the pain I feel after stories and books are published, read by the very people whose delightfully detailed and inspiring lives helped fill the pages they hold in their hands, asking me (and then me asking myself in doubt) why I chose a particular angle or storyline with them clearly described in what may or may not be a flattering view?

My father knew I would face such a dilemma.  His advice was to dive wholeheartedly into my writing should I be willing to die alone, or give up writing and concentrate my analytical skills on business management, reaping monetary rewards and friends alike.

Dad, I chose both because I have only one life to figure out which path was the better in real life and realtime.

I seek forgiveness from those whom I may have modeled too closely for comfort, a way to show how much I am willing to give of myself for love of them.

The only love I truly know how to show is through my writing.  Everything else is an approximation of what I observe others call love, love that I as an autistic child emotionally never have fully understood.

I write because I hope one or more will read this and gain [a new] understanding of something similar within themselves.


Just in time for Valentine’s Day

SCENE II. Capulet’s orchard.

    Enter ROMEO


    He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

    JULIET appears above at a window
    But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
    It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
    Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
    Who is already sick and pale with grief,
    That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
    Be not her maid, since she is envious;
    Her vestal livery is but sick and green
    And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
    It is my lady, O, it is my love!
    O, that she knew she were!
    She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
    Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
    I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks:
    Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
    Having some business, do entreat her eyes
    To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
    What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
    The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
    As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
    Would through the airy region stream so bright
    That birds would sing and think it were not night.
    See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
    O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek!


    Ay me!


    She speaks:
    O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
    As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
    As is a winged messenger of heaven
    Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
    Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
    When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
    And sails upon the bosom of the air.


    O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
    Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
    Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
    And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.


    [Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?


    ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
    Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
    What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
    Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
    Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
    What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes
    Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
    And for that name which is no part of thee
    Take all myself.


    I take thee at thy word:
    Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized;
    Henceforth I never will be Romeo.


    What man art thou that thus bescreen’d in night
    So stumblest on my counsel?


    By a name
    I know not how to tell thee who I am:
    My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
    Because it is an enemy to thee;
    Had I it written, I would tear the word.


    My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words
    Of that tongue’s utterance, yet I know the sound:
    Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?


    Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.


    How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
    The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
    And the place death, considering who thou art,
    If any of my kinsmen find thee here.


    With love’s light wings did I o’er-perch these walls;
    For stony limits cannot hold love out,
    And what love can do that dares love attempt;
    Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.


    If they do see thee, they will murder thee.


    Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
    Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet,
    And I am proof against their enmity.


    I would not for the world they saw thee here.


    I have night’s cloak to hide me from their sight;
    And but thou love me, let them find me here:
    My life were better ended by their hate,
    Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.


    By whose direction found’st thou out this place?


    By love, who first did prompt me to inquire;
    He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes.
    I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
    As that vast shore wash’d with the farthest sea,
    I would adventure for such merchandise.


    Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face,
    Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
    For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night
    Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny
    What I have spoke: but farewell compliment!
    Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Ay,’
    And I will take thy word: yet if thou swear’st,
    Thou mayst prove false; at lovers’ perjuries
    Then say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
    If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully:
    Or if thou think’st I am too quickly won,
    I’ll frown and be perverse an say thee nay,
    So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world.
    In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
    And therefore thou mayst think my ‘havior light:
    But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true
    Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
    I should have been more strange, I must confess,
    But that thou overheard’st, ere I was ware,
    My true love’s passion: therefore pardon me,
    And not impute this yielding to light love,
    Which the dark night hath so discovered.


    Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear
    That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops–


    O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
    That monthly changes in her circled orb,
    Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.


    What shall I swear by?


    Do not swear at all;
    Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
    Which is the god of my idolatry,
    And I’ll believe thee.


    If my heart’s dear love–


    Well, do not swear: although I joy in thee,
    I have no joy of this contract to-night:
    It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
    Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
    Ere one can say ‘It lightens.’ Sweet, good night!
    This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
    May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
    Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
    Come to thy heart as that within my breast!


    O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?


    What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?


    The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.


    I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
    And yet I would it were to give again.


    Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?


    But to be frank, and give it thee again.
    And yet I wish but for the thing I have:
    My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
    My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
    The more I have, for both are infinite.

    Nurse calls within
    I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!
    Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true.
    Stay but a little, I will come again.

    Exit, above


    O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard.
    Being in night, all this is but a dream,
    Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.

    Re-enter JULIET, above


    Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
    If that thy bent of love be honourable,
    Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
    By one that I’ll procure to come to thee,
    Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
    And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
    And follow thee my lord throughout the world.


    [Within] Madam!


    By and by, I come:–
    To cease thy suit, and leave me to my grief:
    To-morrow will I send.


    So thrive my soul–


    A thousand times good night!

    Exit, above


    A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.
    Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from
    their books,
    But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.


    Re-enter JULIET, above


    Hist! Romeo, hist! O, for a falconer’s voice,
    To lure this tassel-gentle back again!
    Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud;
    Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,
    And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine,
    With repetition of my Romeo’s name.


    It is my soul that calls upon my name:
    How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,
    Like softest music to attending ears!




    My dear?


    At what o’clock to-morrow
    Shall I send to thee?


    At the hour of nine.


    I will not fail: ’tis twenty years till then.
    I have forgot why I did call thee back.


    Let me stand here till thou remember it.


    I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
    Remembering how I love thy company.


    And I’ll still stay, to have thee still forget,
    Forgetting any other home but this.


    ‘Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:
    And yet no further than a wanton’s bird;
    Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
    Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
    And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
    So loving-jealous of his liberty.


    I would I were thy bird.


    Sweet, so would I:
    Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
    Good night, good night! parting is such
    sweet sorrow,
    That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

    Exit above


    Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!
    Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!
    Hence will I to my ghostly father’s cell,
    His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell.




When the workings of the seven-plus billion click like finely-crafted clockwork, one smiles at the intricacies missed at the 100km level.

if everything is in space, what is outer space?  Inner?

If the theory of relativity is everything, is the theory of everything relative?

How quickly do the days go by until the 6th of May 2050 arrives too soon (or not soon enough?)!

Do we take Figaro literally or figuratively?

On sound terms or unsound?

Found or unfounded?

In the grand opera of life, who is our Figaro?  Our Sweeney Todd?

When is an event a close shave rather than the final cut?

Who opens the Second Act?

Who closes the last Scene?

Who on Mars will be the first to say, “I sold my sol to the company store“?

What is business as usual in an unusual business?

Is the business of fish a fishy business?

Are people who work for businesses called busybodies?  Is it any of our business?  Is a business full of business?

When is the business of selling terrorism to the masses simply a diversion tactic?  When is it not?

Is a tactic ever tactless?  Are brass tacks like Tic-Tacs?

Who is the world Tic-Tac-Toe champion?

Did Rikki Tikki Tavi ever say “Fee Fi Fo Fum?”

What does the blood of an Englishman smell like?  Why is it different than a non-English person’s blood odour?

These and other questions bubble to the surface of the nearest sulphur springs, curative or otherwise…


1k words





What do images tell us that we do not tell ourselves in our waking dream states?

Is history a fable only?




What am I trying to accomplish here, given the current state machine we call Earth?

Of a culture with ideas in close proximity, do limits approach zero or diverge outward to infinite possibilities?

Inventiveness begets company.

How shall/do I live so that words like “corporate” and “business” are perfect for any weather, profitable or otherwise?

Will disaffected youth, no matter what label we give them or they give themselves, always seek rebellion?

In a dataset of seven-plus billion, where are the boomerangs and ocarinas that sing sweet haunting melodies which come back to us again and again like the swallows of Capistrano?


Even stranger in a strange land

How much influence of the here and now impacts the impact of sets of states of energy outside of the eternal moment on each other?

Sitting in a motor vehicle service department with other motorists, waiting.

Waiting on…?



Some sit and stare at the box of moving images that comprise an enterprise we call news, either general information stories about current events or that which we label sports.

Some play games on phones/tablets.

Others read.

A few type on work laptop PCs.

While one-finger typing, I listen to an audiobook I checked out of my local library’s digital media zone, an autobiographical tale called “Wild,” about a hiker’s life that led to completing the PCT (Pacific Coast Trail).

With all the audiovisual stimuli bouncing against/through me, I celebrate the improved hearing comprehension in my left ear, aided by Prednisone administered by injection and via daily oral intake.

I wait.

Life outside my immediate surroundings, outside my inner circle of influence, vies for attention.




Later today, another medical procedure on my inner ear.

And then?


What pause pauses here?

How do words, images, symbols, labels, convey time?

How can these milemarkers, milestones (milles borne) outlast this temporary confluence of states of energy right now?

They don’t.

They look the same but their context instantly changes between fuzzy subconscious conjuring and appearance on the tablet PC, let alone years later when someone searches the Internet database for references to motorcars and the book, “Wild.”


Names called.

“Mr. Patel. Your car is ready.”


Local news announcement of Job Fair for Veterans.

“Top Ten” sports moments of the day.

All of us, filling the time between birth and death, unknown actuarial table entries in motor vehicle smashups and accidental fatalities.


Is this how we get to Mars?

Of course it is.

We are blobs on a globe, sharing microbes, passing ideas, changing settings, every one of us unique individuals involved in…