A Job of Convenience

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“Sometimes you just have to find the majesty in yourself and other things to truly appreciate life.” ~ Imania Margria

“The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can’t save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly.” ~ Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)

“The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.” ~ Joseph Campbell

“The years teach much the days never know.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A couple of weeks ago I saw the woman who adopted the cat in the opening photo. There was a sibling too. The woman took them both. Trust me, she scored. Fine animals they were . . . and still are, apparently. Yeh, I asked about the cats and she just smiled brightly. I love it when they do that; humans can be so cool, at times. Also a couple of weeks ago I saw the woman who adopted three cats, who had arrived at the shelter as a group; the owner had died. Those cats we called the French cats. She had come for one cat and she ended up with three really really big cats. Yeh, she said the cats are doing great. Good kitties. I get that sometimes, people thanking me for hooking them up with their cat, or cats. That’s the cool part. I took the job at the animal shelter as a job of convenience, so I wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time searching for a better job. Listen: there was no better job. Times were tough, living in poverty, and in the deep end of deep depression. Whatever, right? The cats helped me to wake up. slowly and effectively, and I repaid them with the care and love a cat caregiver gives. I tell ya, there ain’t nothin’ like being in a room full of 30-40 cats, many of them staring at you. It is disconcerting in many respects. Weird little beasties. And smart, too. I can’t say enough. Sigh. At the moment . . . . disregarding the insidious tinnitus, it’s a morning of quiet. I’m in the mood to sit here and meticulously craft some really juicy phrases and paragraphs. But not today. Workday. I think I’ll just leave it at the cats.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

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Little Meaningful Nudges

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“One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt.”  ~ Alan Watts

“Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.”  ~ C. G. Jung

“When you want to know how things really work, study them when they’re coming apart.”  ~ William Gibson

“It was his subconscious which told him this—that infuriating part of a person’s brain which never responds to interrogation, merely gives little meaningful nudges and then sits humming quietly to itself, saying nothing.” ~ Douglas Adams

“Little meaningful nudges”. Nicely said, sir! I’m actually feeling somewhat nudgey today. Which is fine. After all, I opened Pandora’s box a few weeks ago. It’s that dark subconscious space, door flung open so far that I can’t find it now, and some of the stuff that’s come flyin’ out of the box so far has been perplexing, to say the least. I don’t know, there’s something about boxes. Ask the cat, she can tell you what they are for, which she knows full well, ever since Schrödinger put one of her kind in a box then refused to say if the beast was dead or alive. Like the old western poster slogan: “Wanted, Dead or Alive”. And the cat is giving you a look that could almost be described as scornful, and she’s like ‘it’s nice to feel wanted’. Friggin cats. They seem to, at times, display a supreme sense of irony.


“It’s in our biology to trust what we see with our eyes. This makes living in a carefully edited, overproduced and photoshopped world very dangerous.”  ~ Brené Brown

It’s one of those rare Sunday’s that is also a workday. I’ll have fun. I always do at work. About Pandora’s Box? It’s hard to say. I suppose ya gotta air out your demons once in a while. They get stale, and the last thing you want is a stale demon, because they will generally kick up all kinds of fuss to garner attention. That’s what it is all about. But, I’ll be dealing with Shadow issues for some time to come. Comes a time when it’s best to just take a deep breath and face the fire. Tally ho, right? Right. I think that’s about all for today.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Few Wiggly Thoughts

 

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“Truth is the offspring of silence and meditation. I keep the subject constantly before me and wait ’til the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light.” ~ Isaac Newton

“Good stories are like those noble wild animals that make their home in hidden spots, and you must often settle down at the entrance of the caves and woods and lie in wait for them a long time.” ~ Hermann Hesse

“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.” ~ Stephen Wright

“If you have nothing left to want, then you just wait. Until there’s nothing left to wait for.”  ~ Neil Gaiman

The coffee came out perfect. It happens once in a while. Same with the cat’s total contentment. Once in a while. It’s so easy for me to conflate stuff at times like these. Like the same mysterious force is behind both the quality of the coffee and the depth of the cat’s slumber. Heady thoughts for a quiet moment. It seems that lofty, heady ideas may be best suited to the expanses of this early morning quiet. There’s more room to move. Yet it also seems that this quiet time is exactly when you don’t need ’em, so even if there is more than ample room for these thoughts they are completely out of their medium. And they should be sent back ASAP. Stat. Whatever. The funny thing is I know better. The thoughts can stay right where they are. A few wiggly thoughts aren’t going to be enough to break up a nice session of self-reflection. I bow my head slightly and thank the Goddess for the opportunity to enjoy coffee and cat at a casual, almost timeless pace. It bodes well for the day. I went into work yesterday, only to find that I had the day off, so I picked up a coupla things at the supermarket and gravitated on back home. That made for three days off in a row. Nice. Even if I had known it couldn’t have been better. I ended up watching three episodes of my current show of interest on Netflix. Entertaining series about a small town in Maine, on the coast, that has Stephen King written all over it. I’m into the stories, but I am also watching the flow of the story. The rhythm of the story. All of those things that a writer can do without changing one word. And I am attempting to collect a few elusive allusions; allusions to pop culture and other things; allusions that amount to little more than getting the storyline, narrative, whatever, into a groove, then ya change the subject for just one moment. So now, back to our story — and now the reader knows something they didn’t, and likely they don’t even know they know it. Isn’t that strange? Our story lines, our timelines, in daily meatspace life work a lot the same. It gets complicated, as well it should. Anyway, I’ve got my story line all set for the day. It includes a lot of spontaneous smiles. That’s how you know you have it right; you are living the right story; the smiles come in abundance. Isn’t that nice?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Opening Melody

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“The wounding becomes sacred when we are willing to release our old stories and to become the vehicles through which the new story may emerge into time.” ~ Jean Huston

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” ~ Nikola Tesla

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”  ~ Albert Einstein

“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard, are sweeter”  ~ John Keats

Rumors of rain set the tone for the day. Very little at all fell yesterday. Didn’t even finish wetting the ground. Rumors of monsoons coming soon. Monsoon, soon come, mon. I love that line. I got in some cloud watching yesterday, and the show was spectacular. But then I spent most of the day in my room, hiding and abiding, so the sky’s looking so good is to be expected. I could go all morose here, but such an attitude is not in keeping with the times. Hooray for our team, right? James Cagney in a voluminous white letter sweater, megaphone in hand, telling it like it is. And the truth of the story? Trump ain’t no Cagney, and he, even more so, ain’t no Yankee Doodle Dandy. And — come on now — he doesn’t even need that megaphone; all he needs is to dial up his base and poke them just so, then those peeps make the noise for him. Whatever. It’s a mess. But the biggest part of the day for me yesterday was my therapy session at noon. It was one of those dreaded therapy moments, when something hidden for so long was revealed to the light, and there I was all misty-eyed to be confronted with something so large and beautiful that it rendered me speechless in the face of truth. It was a hyperbole-free zone. So I’m thinking now of wounds and Shadow; pretty much Jungian stuff, except in myths and such the notions Jung expressed go back much further, farther, whatever, than him. He just learned to say a lot of it right, and in a new way. No, I’m not drifting into a New Agey space. That worldview seems to be too restrictive for me. It’s like why do I need a shoehorn to get my feet into freedom? Seems counterintuitive to me. Am I being obscure? Boy howdy am I ever! How many peeps do y’all know who feel restricted by Love and Light? See, I get it. That in itself in the major restriction. I get it. Sometimes you just have to move on. What happened is just a year and a half ago a woman I know happened by and inadvertently stirred up a melody I know well, and love well. I am referring to and playing off of the Keats quote above. So I ‘hear’ that unheard melody, and I’m like who are you lady and where the heck did you come from? So I was moved to explore. A metaphorical door was opened, and I, for some unknown reason, took the door off of the hinges and left the opening forever  .  .  .  .  well, ummmm, open. Therein lies the Shadow. We are all wounded in some way. The wound I am talking about here is a big one. Some woman I don’t know very well comes along and cracks me wide-open. It’s not some big romantic thing, it runs deeper than that. Soul stuff. Like Roger Daltry, singing Pete Townsend’s “Love Reign O’er Me”  .  .  .  .  that soul-searing wail, an exquisite blend of release and relief. Click here to see what I mean. Dammit, I just clicked and listened. That song, when performed live, gives me chills and tears every friggin time. It’s not just the melody, it’s what Squire Daltry puts into it. Yessir, let the Big Light shine into the deepest corners of Shadow, but don’t let what you find there desiccate from the heat. Like with any wound: keep it moist. And, on that note, it’s time to head into town, into work, into Shadow, once again, in search of a melody. One need only wait, right? Right.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Magpie and Blueshift

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“He judged the instant and let go; he flung himself loose into the stars.”  ~ Annie Dillard

“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” ~ Carl Sagan

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” ~ Robertson Davies

“Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have knowledge and those who have understanding. The first requires memory and the second philosophy.” ~ Alexandre Dumas

A group of magpies is making a squeaky ruckus outside my window. Magpies are among the stranger critters in our world. How can something so knockout gorgeous also be so quintessentially obnoxious? No, I’m not talking about Ivanka. Just thought I’d throw that in there. Ahem . . . . I really do like magpies. It’s just that it is not usually magpies who sing-in the dawn. Even the fake rooster is quiet this morning. Maybe it is the coming storm, if indeed there will be a storm. Rain, they say, starting up around high noon. And magpies, they say, bring tidings of things hidden out in plain sight. As a longtime admirer of clouds I await the rain they may give. But is is the sights that beckon.  I’m sitting here trying to find a clever analogy, but I can’t; I am stuck with the image of a lush cloud-ceiling cordoning off the high summits. Whatever, bring it on. The mundane side of my coming day is easy enough. Relatively speaking. Laundry this morning, psychotherapy at noon. For PTSD, as I know it, psychotherapy is in part palliative — or strong-armed, depending on the day. Some days you make progress, enough so that you feel safe in the company of a demon exposed, and in the resulting breathless relief from some hounding fear you don’t feel the need for any further probing so you lean on up against a tree, the demon at your side, and y’all jest sit there, smokin’ a bowl or two together. Yet sometimes ya gotta pounce on that sucker, then hogtie it, just so’s ya can get it to sit still long enough, in plain sight, to actually have a good look at that sucker. BTW, sucker is an apt and richly descriptive term for the Shadow. Anyway, once ya got it obtained and detained for observation, ya light up a bowl anyway, then kick back and laugh at that sucker until the fierce, glowing red lights in its eyes blueshift. The redshift/blueshift thing is a science thing, a physics thing, a thing of light, that aids in charting the expansion of the Universe. As an object moves away, from the viewpoint of an observer, its light shifts from blue toward red. If it moves closer, it shifts from red toward blue. Red means run, blue means chill the fuck out. That said, it oughtta be an interesting session this afternoon. Right now, though, it is time to do the dawn duties, but I gotta go out and look at the mountains first, to see how the clouds have arranged themselves so far.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Beautiful Woman in a Canoe

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“Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self.” ~ Terry Pratchett

“Coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup”  ~ Gertrude Stein

“For more than three decades, coffee has captured my imagination because it is a beverage about individuals as well as community. A Rwandan farmer. Eighty roast masters at six Starbucks plants on two continents. Thousands of baristas in 54 countries. Like a symphony, coffee’s power rests in the hands of a few individuals who orchestrate its appeal. So much can go wrong during the journey from soil to cup that when everything goes right, it is nothing short of brilliant! After all, coffee doesn’t lie. It can’t. Every sip is proof of the artistry — technical as well as human — that went into its creation.” ~ Howard Schultz 

All three of the quotes above kindle in me that annoying sense of urgency that belongs only to the first whispers of the early morning twilight. Things feel more profound at this hour. In fact, I’ve been up since 3 AM. That urgency has been poking at me the whole time. I know well how to medicate it, to medically dole out the doses — coffee, nicotine, and legal weed. There’s a big day ahead and the meds soften the blow in advance. Certainly the urgency is in part something oozing from the White House. That’s just creepy. It is one word I’ve yet to hear applied to our national crisis: creepy. The preznit of this nation is a creep. Who could deny that? Sigh. It is disturbing to see that this time of crisis in the nation is not going away: it is manufactured. Sigh again. I just can’t believe that this shit is real. Luckily beliefs are about as substantial as air, however when laced with integrity and true morality beliefs definitely carry more weight. Just a note, the word I used, back three sentences, is intentionally spelled “preznit”. I use that spelling as an allusion to Firesign Theater’s “We’re All Bozos on this Bus”, which is 70s stuff, and quite funny in an odd sort of way. Those boys definitely did a bit of acid along the way. I only used it a couple of times. The most memorable is when I spent the day in a canoe on Florida Bay, on a bright sunny Summer’s day, with a beautiful Puerto Rican woman. We popped some acid first. You can’t make this stuff up. My time in the islands is peppered with many such significant events. I can call myself lucky. Many of those events have slipped from memory, which is fine with me. All of it molded me to the point where I am today: laid back and pumped with coffee. Just kidding. I’ve never examined the ways in which island life molded my character, but it would be well worth looking into. I ain’t no Hemingway, but my time in the islands is just as valid as his, and I drank less alcohol, so you just chill Ernie. I woulda loved to tipped back a few with you. Maybe good Cuban rum, at your old haunt in Key West: Sloppy Joe’s. It says a lot dude. Right? BTW, no cigars for me, but I don’t mind if you smoke, seein’s how it is in your persona to do so. Say, could you bring Gertrude Stein along, and Fitzgerald as well? Dude thanks.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Sharing Her Sky

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“The winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities… If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.” ~ Rachel Carson

“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.” ~ G. K. Chesterton

“That’s the whole problem with science. You’ve got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder.” ~ Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes)

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I miss the ocean. And I ask you, who would not? Here and now, the caffeine has only begun to cause stirrings in my synapses. The chemical stimulant has an uphill battle in one respect. It’s the cat. She’s in a deep sleep on my lap, head pointing to the north, just beyond my right arm, and the head is hanging along the outside of my right thigh, showing gravity who’s boss. The reason I mention this is that Rosie the cat’s lethargy is striking a harmonic resonance with my central nervous system. Just think of it: cat’s are so weird; they have lethargy hardwired into their DNA. Just think of it. Cat’s sleep an average of 15 hours a day, and the rest of the time they spend asking for food. No, not really. I jest. What I am saying is I feel logey and I gotta snap out of it. It’s just easiest to blame it on the cat. And yet I start my day in wonder. In the opening quote Rachel yanked my sorry ass and flung me into the ocean for a few minutes. Yes, I intentionally (I do think these things through sometimes) said that in a faux-crude manner. I lived at sea level, in the Florida Keys, in America’s out islands, for the better part of 23 years. Now, I live in the high mountain desert of the San Luis Valley, in Nuevo Mexico del Norte — at 7000 feet above sea level. I’ve been here all of 23 years now. Yet at the drop of a hat I can be snapped right back there — lungs full of the sulfurous, salty aroma of the mud flats; face pushed up against a 15 mph southeaster, skin slathered with humidity; mind all vibrant and stuff with the immersive tendencies of the poetry that is the ocean. I had a dear friend briefly grace my presence a couple of days ago, and she told me that she was headed to Rhode Island for the Summer. Lucky her. As she departed my company I called out “say hello to the ocean for me!”. That sweet voice, “I will”. And I mean it too. So did she. Right at this moment a long walk on a wave-washed beach sounds a might more pleasing and spiritually fulfilling to me than does another day of huffing through the spare, dusty, smokey, parched dry Summer air that is vibrant in its own right. There’s beauty and wonder available in most anything you look at or think about. Back in the day Georgia O’Keefe looked at the New Mexican sky and owned it, nailed it, made it her own. Since her passing it is to ours to share, as it always has been. I look up into her sky at times, expecting to see one of her roses painted up there — or bones. And I, like a tabla rasa stretch canvas, go about my day in search of color and melody to put down for account.


So much for that. I was just out on the deck. I heard a rustle, the skunk came back. Yeh, the totemic symbolism for Skunk is good to consider. It has to do with self-defense and getting things over with without anybody getting hurt. Got it. The traveler friend I just mentioned is one of those soul friends that Irish priest, scholar, and poet, John O’Donohue, likes to write about — a friend he calls Anam Cara. Soul friend. It’s something deeper than worldly ‘how’s your day?’ stuff. Whatever. With the ocean in mind I must groom and head to work.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Making Sense

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“A story must be judged according to whether it makes sense. And ‘making sense’ must be here understood in its most direct meaning: to make sense is to enliven the senses. A story that makes sense is one that stirs the senses from their slumber, one that opens the eyes and the ears to their real surroundings, tuning the tongue to the actual tastes in the air and sending chills of recognition along the surface of the skin. To make sense is to release the body from the constraints imposed by outworn ways of speaking, and hence to renew and rejuvenate one’s felt awareness of the world. It is to make the senses wake up to where they are.” ~ David Abram

The Unfolding of Primal Grace

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“I’ve gotten convinced that there’s something kind of timelessly vital and sacred about good writing. This thing doesn’t have that much to do with talent, even glittering talent… Talent’s just an instrument. It’s like having a pen that works instead of one that doesn’t. I’m not saying I’m able to work consistently out of the premise, but it seems like the big distinction between good art and so-so art lies somewhere in the art’s heart’s purpose, the agenda of the consciousness behind the text. It’s got something to do with love. With having the discipline to talk out of the part of yourself that can love instead of the part that just wants to be loved.” ~ David Foster Wallace
 

“I have this — here’s this thing where it’s going to sound sappy to you. I have this unbelievably like five-year-old’s belief that art is just absolutely magic. And that good art can do things that nothing else in the solar system can do. And that the good stuff will survive, and get read, and that in the great winnowing process, the shit will sink and the good stuff will rise.” ~ David Foster Wallace

Actually, it would be easy to throw up my hands this morning. It’s the news again, and how fascinating it is to watch so many surreal, nonsensical strands come together on occasion. Back at the old Noetic Cafe online message board, at the turn of the century, every once in a while someone would mention Indra’s Web. I think it’s Hindu. Wherever it’s from the bottom line is that everything is interconnected. All of it, this, whatever. I can twist the concept around quite easily, to explain how it is we have all, as a nation, ended up smack dab it the middle of an adult graphic novel. Or a Netflix original. Sigh. I’m keeping it short today. And I have a fulfilling event to hold in memory, or maybe just subconsciously, on through the coming day. It was coyotes who gave it to me. Back around 4:45 AM I heard them start up. It’s been weeks if not months since I have heard a really good coyote chorus nearby; and this morning they were quite nearby. And there were three gunshots that followed the coyotes’ first bark and wail. Yeh, I hope nobody was hurt. No play-by-play today. It’s the feeling I’ll be carrying, the dream. How the wails seemed to lift me up into a dream-like state. How the unfolding of such primal grace, in the center of twilight, can exist at all. How I am here to experience it all. Yeh, gratitude. Best leave it at that — I gotta get me ready for work. Independence Day is right around the corner. The heat of Summer is  . . . . oh, never mind. Gotta go.

Peace out ,y’all. Goof gloriously.

Memories of Now

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“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” ~ George Harrison

“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you – sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.” ~  Lauren Oliver, Pandemonium

“It’s dark now and I am very tired. I love you, always. Time is nothing.” ~ Audrey Niffineger, The Time Travelers Wife

Recently I solved an age-old (for me) mystery — one that would have ceased to be a mystery if I had only taken the time to google it. The issue was one of grammar, or syntax, or both. I’m still not clear on all that kinda stuff. Yeh, I call myself a writer, while admitting to not knowing some basic grammar. My maternal grandmother would have not been amused. She was a reader, but also a substitute teacher, English being her specialty. Ya see what I mean, dude? But I was going to say . . . . the mystery was ‘what does using square brackets around a word or phrase signify?’. So I just looked it up. It basically means that the one using the brackets has admitted to tweaking the content of a quote to some degree — or the editor has gone so far as to make it so, on purpose. All this considered, I am going to try it out right here and now. I’ve never done this before so give me some leeway, if you can find it in your heart to do so. I’m making an effort to grow, k? The last quote here, above . . . . Instead of “It’s dark now and I am very tired. I love you, always. Time is nothing.”, I’ll say “It’s dark now and I am very tired. I love you, always. Time is nothing [new]”. Time is nothing new; thus we oughtta be friggin used to it by now. I remember when my massage therapist asked me (why she was asking me this is anyone’s guess) if time is an illusion. I was face-down on the table, so she couldn’t see my face as I responded. All I said was that I have trouble with the term ‘illusion’. And I do. It’s like compared to what? For some reason this reminds me of a paraphrased quote I remember from some French quantum physicist: “Entropy is the measure of the lack of information about the true nature of a system”. Let that sink in. So, how can you call time an illusion? Yeh, compared to what? It’s not an illusion, we just have yet to get it. Like, ya know . . . . to really get used to it? Why all of this came to mind is that this morning I was scanning memories about my ex-wife, from whom I was divorced in the early Summer of 1979. Boy howdy that was a friggin long time ago, dude. I was earlier sitting out on the deck, at four o’clock in the morning, listening to barks barking angrily in the distance (probably coyote stuff, and the yotees were just shadows in the darkness). For some reason she came to mind, and the odd thing about it was that I realized that my memories of her did not until then contain any hugs and kisses. I had forgotten what it feels like to hold her. Well, I remedied that. She did and said a few things back then that effectively distorted them memories from that moment on. And I finally am starting to re-piece the whole kitten kaboodle. Listen babe, I remember now, and you can’t stop me. So was the love real? Yeh, it was, because it still is. All for now. Don’t worry, I remember now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.