I’m Not Going Back

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I got a text message from my mother this morning. The few times she actually decides to send me a message, I can’t help but remember how seldom it happens.

This is what it said (I’ve translated it from Spanish):

“I love you. If you wish to come back someday and you need our help, we will be here.”

I waited about two hours to send a reply. I didn’t know how to say everything that I felt inside. The only message I really needed to convey was simple: “I’m not going back.”

Somehow, though, I couldn’t say it just like that. I read my mom’s text over and over, each time hearing her kind voice speaking. She has always meant the best for me, whether most people think it’s right or not. I know my mother better than anyone else. She means well. She loves me, and I know that. I’m sure of it.

But, before I could realize her good intentions, I wrote a draft. This is what I wrote:

I love you too and I appreciate your follow up, but I believe it would cause you more pain and unrest if I lead you to believe I will be returning to the congregation in the near future.
My knowledge of the congregation remains unforgotten and I will always cherish the education you set before me, but I have learnt over the last few years that my mentality and point of view seem to no longer conform to that of the Christian Congregation.
I dedicated my heart and soul to the congregation in an attempt to clear my sins, but it did not do. I saw as I fell deeper and deeper into sin until I simply could not be a Witness anymore. I will never forget how abandoned and rejected I felt even while I was in the congregation doing what is wrong according to the Bible. I remember very well the injury of the judgement on the part of those who thought they were better than me. I did nothing but think about others and whether they were pleased, including my parents. I spent my entire youth trying to redeem a stepfather that didn’t want redemption. I built a religious refuge for myself while my family was not there for me, because the pain of unresponsive and uncaring parents was too unbearable. In the end, however, I failed to live by the norms and standards which I had sworn to abide. I was the only one devoted when no one else cared. My innocence and kindness allowed me to forgive what no one else could, and when things seemed to get worse instead of getting better, I put hope before my own interests and opinions. That was a long time ago.
I swore I would never become the monster that reeked havoc in my family all those years, but I failed. Now, in this day and age, I get a phone call that I should not contact or even attempt to contact my parents unless I am bedridden and in the hospital. Just like when I wrote all those letters pleading Emilio to come back and make a change of heart, right? Just like all those times I knew very well he would cause us pain again and yet I was the first to give him another chance.
In conclusion, if you both made the decision of calling me to let me know that you would not speak with me unless I was bedridden, it would be best to set the record straight in regards to whether I will return to the congregation.
I know that you are both trying very hard to sanctify yourselves and live lives of discipline and devotion, because that is what people of guilty minds set forth to do. I wish you both the best and hope that you continue to live the life I can no longer follow. Do not cause yourselves anymore pain, because in the end it just pains me in the process.

With love
–always here if you decide to accept him–
Your son,

L.D. Davis

I sat and read it a few times and realized how unfair it would be to send all those words to my mother. She doesn’t care what I do with my life or if I want to go back, although in her mind she knows that’s the right thing to do. All she said in her message was that she loves me and if I do so happen to go back one day, they will be waiting for me. She will be waiting for me. I suppose I forgot her kindness because it’s been such a long time since I’ve spoken with my mother in person.

You see, I don’t judge Jehovah’s Witnesses, because that is who I was once. It still makes me who I am, whether I like it or not. So, to criticize them simply because it just didn’t work out for me, well, it’s just ludicrous.

So, what did I send to her?

Thank you, mom. I love you too, but I can’t lead you to believe that I’m returning to the congregation. I don’t want to cause you any more pain, so I must be honest.

I’m Not Going Back

SHARE MY WORK

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Last year 76% of Facebook users (approximately 957,600,000) logged in at least once a day. The average Facebook user liked 40 posts each day and a total of 110 million songs were shared, while only 1,470,000 million books were shared.

A lot of our time is spent on Facebook. Most of that time is used absorbing unproductive media.

I’m not saying the information I share is of any use, but it seems we sometimes have to scavenge for useful bits of information among the clutter of today’s media that plagues our News Feed.

What is my point? Artists and writers like myself struggle each day to get their work across. If you truly appreciate literature, you can help me out. You have no idea how much impact a LIKE could have–or even better yet, SHARE my work with your friends and encourage them to share it with their friends. Who knows, you could be helping me publish my first book.

P.S. Feel free to visit my blog: lorenddavis.wordpress.com

Thank you!

SHARE MY WORK

Lost

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That day was the most terrifying of my life.  It was the crack of dawn.  I awoke in a wooded area of a park with nothing on me but khaki pants and a blue dress shirt.  My glasses lay next to me, shattered and without a leg.  The ground was damp with melting snow and all I could see in the distance were ducks and geese flying past the trees of this unknown park in this unknown city.

The mist filled the air of the vegetated area with an eerie density that wasn’t any more reassuring.  I sat there for a few minutes, with an incredible headache, thinking where I could possibly be.  More interestingly—who am I?

I finally mustered up enough strength to walk around to investigate my surroundings and I found a bicycle against a bench.  The wheels were severely deflated, but I needed the transportation.

The entire time I was pedaling I thought to myself about the circumstances that might have lead to my abandonment.  I was obviously out for some sort of business, because I was dressed for such a purpose, but how did I end up in the middle of this park with no wallet, no keys, and no means of communication?

I continued on and saw a green sign.  As I approached it, I could see that it said ‘Dayton City Limit’.  This didn’t help much.  I didn’t know where Dayton was, what I was doing there or what my very own name was.  I needed help, but given that I was left here in the middle of the city, something told me that trusting anyone was not a good idea.

I finally found a nice-looking little diner with a few cars parked in front and I decided to walk in.  I needed to try to contact someone—but whom?

“Excuse me.  Could I use your phone?” I asked with slight hesitation.

“Sure, hun,” replied the hostess as she brought the cordless phone to me.

“Thank you.  Um… what is the phone number for the police?”

The woman now looked at me as though I was from out of this world.  “Well, 911, of course,” she said in a patronizing manner.

“Oh, right.”

As I dialed the number and waited for it to ring once or twice, I looked up at the TV and saw on the news the report of a young man whose body had been found in a park outside of Dayton.  I immediately dropped the phone as I felt an electrifying shiver run through my body as if a cold wind had just blown.

As I turned back to the TV, I heard the reporter say:  “The cause of death is yet to be announced, but local police currently have the case under investigation and will be disclosing details when they are made available.”

As the reporter closed her sentence, a picture of the young man ran across the screen along with his name.  In an instant, I felt an excruciating pain in my chest.  Naturally, I held my hand over my chest with my right hand, only to bring it up to my face again.  As I looked up astonished at the sight of blood on my right hand, everyone in the diner had turned their attention to me with apparent fright.

I now knew who I was and all that had happened to me, but now I was lost and none of that meant anything.

Lost

Rick

walmart greeter

Good morning to all.  I have been waiting anxiously to post today’s blog post since last night.  First of all, I’d like to say that I have decided to structure my blog in a way that would allow me to use various styles and write about a broad array of subjects each week.  Each day will be unique.  I’m still using 642 Things To Write About as an exercise book of sorts, but I want to be diverse, so I’ll do that once a week or so and share it on here.

Anyhow, last night, as we finished gathering our groceries and approached the cashier that we thought was less occupied, we experienced an enlightening moment of sorts.  There was a man in front of us, with his groceries already laid out on the conveyor.  We watched as the cashier slowly scanned the items for him.  It took a while, needless to say, but we finally got our turn.

I greeted Rick, the cashier.  Now, this man was bashful in a way.  He seldom directed his eyesight toward us to make eye-contact.  He was soft-spoken enough that his voice was barely comprehensible, yet there was a weight to his voice that told a story; it added background and depth.

I looked over the display that showed the soaring total of our transaction and caught a glimpse of his name badge, which I now saw labelled him as a People Greeter.  So I thought…  I was thinking about how annoyingly slow this man is scanning these items, sorting them and reaching for items out of the order they’re in on the conveyor, loosening the plastic grocery bags each time he was done packing the bags…  I hadn’t realized, however, the circumstances, his background, his story.  I was too concerned about my priorities and my rush to get back home.

This man was so precise and patient.  Time meant nothing to him.  All that mattered was that he wanted to do his very best for the customers, even if that meant taking a while in the process.

Perhaps when one has lived just as long, time becomes one’s companion.  Time no longer controls Rick the People Greeter.  He is the master of his own time.

Very few people, if any, are like this anymore.  We let time dictate our every action and thought.  It tells us where to go and when to do things.  The truth, however, is that we only live once–why rush right through it?  It could make the difference between dying of old age after a fruitful life or dying at 21 just because we wanted to rush, because we were in a hurry.

“Patience is a virtue” that many lack nowadays, that’s why I am resolved to make patience my virtue.

–L. D. Davis

Rick

Riding Through the Glen

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At the sight of the crimson ribbon
as it stretches over the expanse,
The Cardinal’s song is given
For the swan to begin her dance.

Droplets of dew,
Dense with saturation,
Atop the grass anew
Bring life to jubilation.

In this world, we are God
And this day is our realm.
To us the sun brings laud;
We’re surely at the helm.

Tomorrow is a future unforetold,
But today has been cast in gold.
Reach out to greet him with the firmest clasp,
For invincible is the man with Time in his grasp.

The night has gone.
Our bright friend is out again.
At last, it is Dawn
Riding through the glen.

Riding Through the Glen

Parental Guidance or Religious Belief?

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Empathy and compassion– elements of human morality–are innate and passed on from generation to generation.  Our parents, whether religious or not, set before us their lifetime experience and beliefs with the hope of making us better members of society—people of good reputation and moral standing.  That is not to say they didn’t partake in their share of mischief and wrongdoing with wild revelries as is characteristic of youthful behavior.  In the end, however, when the time comes for children to be raised, a more serious environment is prepared, one seemingly more suitable for the creation and development of successful and reputable persons.  To some, religion plays a fundamental role in the development of children and teens as they make their way into adulthood.  Many seek the kind of guidance that philosophical and religious belief systems and institutions provide, be it because they fail to provide said guidance on their own or because the traditions that their predecessors have followed is so embedded in their lives that they require its presence.

In any case, I do not seek to judge or advise as to which path is the wisest or most ideal to follow.  I would, however, like to tell my own story.  It is the story of a young Jehovah’s Witness whom in the end failed to live by his beliefs.

(To be continued…)

Parental Guidance or Religious Belief?

Exultation

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Microseconds seem like hours as a fist nears your face.  You can almost feel the pain even before the blow is inflicted.  You can see the look in his eyes–that fierce, raging grin and those bloodshot eyes.  Air puffs out his nose like a bull before the torero…  Then it hits you:  This is it.  I can’t take it anymore.  It’s too late, though.  You’re on the floor with your hand on your mouth and nose to cover up the humiliating injury that has been inflicted upon your face.  The only thing you can hear after the ringing in your ears has ended is the sound of people laughing.  All you can see are the eyes of those who, exhilarated by the thrill of a fight, have lost all compassion just for the sake of entertainment.

This is my life.  Everyday it replays in ways that are predictable enough for me to fear waking up each morning, but peculiar in a way that doesn’t allot time for preparation.

I wake up so weak and drained at the thought of going back to that dreadful place.  It’s not school.  I learn more about the scabs on Pete’s fist when he’s about to punch me than I could ever learn in all my classes combined.

I beg my parents to let me stay at home.  I tell them my problems and the troubles I’m going through, or at least I try, but it’s like talking to a wall.

Today was different though.  I guess you could say everything that was bottled up came out at once.

It was lunchtime.  Everyone was at the cafeteria.  Pete came around to my table, where I sat alone.  “Hey, turd-face,” he said mockingly.  “Hey, I’m talking to you, dumbshit.  This is my table.”

You know that feeling you get when your stomach feels like something you ate wasn’t quite right and then it just reaches a point when your body just expels it?  Well, the soothing yet nauseating feeling you get right before that is what I felt when I said:  “I don’t see your name anywhere on here, dickhead.”

I felt chills and goosebumps on the back of my head as he ran toward me with the might of a rhino.  All the punches and pranks that had been used against me ran right before my eyes in that instant and I felt empowered like never before.

As he approached me on the left, I extended my foot and watched as the drool spewed out his mouth as he unexpectedly fell.  In a matter of seconds, he was covered with slime from head to toe.  Banana pudding, green beans, milk, mashed potatoes and gravy–it was all on him.

What happened next was like the cheer of an epic victory.  All the kids in that cafeteria roared in unison as they threw whatever they had on their plates in obese Pete’s direction.

What else could he do but weep as he stumbled out the cafeteria doors, slipping on the sloppy mess that had piled up on the floor.

It’s time for change.  The puny little dweeb that always gets picked on–this defenseless little kid–has to become stronger, even if that means breaking some rules.  I’ve had enough.  No more Mr. Nice-Guy.

Aside