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Logan

I circumvented the island today, hugging the outside perimeter. It was astonishingly gorgeous, although I suppose thats to be expected. The weather was overcast and dreary, but in me this invokes a nostalgic feeling. It's the same ambience that clings to the Bay, and whenever I encounter it Im instantly transported back to day long excursions with my family. My Uncle, fastidious as he is towards work, calling in sick to take us to the San Francisco Zoo, then treating us to thick, greasy slices of pizza after. Even at 12, he deserves the Legion Of Merit for shouldering my portion of the bill that day. My Father, inoculating me through the hidden secrets of The City, known only to those who have become intimately acquainted with the locals and the soul of the metropolis itself. We went to Treasure Island, the old Coast Guard installation, and he wove treatises and lessons gleaned during his time in the Air Force. For a young man who believed the world had no place for him, these stories carved out the niche before my eyes, illuminating the darkness, allowing me to glimpse at the life I would lead. My first steps into manhood, guided lovingly and sternly by my Dad. These memories became living, tangible experiences again as I drove aimlessly, absorbing the calming, rejuvenatingly pure tropical air as my heart reminded me of who I am and where I come from. Ive read multiple times from a myriad of books that the past ceases to exist the moment one acknowledges the present. I agree, partially at least, but have to retort based on personal experience. The mind is the most powerful thing known to Man, gifted by God Himself to us to raise us higher than mere animals. It's this marvelous blessing that can stretch a moment into eternity, or collapse years into an instant. I revisit the past often, basking in the glow of peace long passed, yet availably binded to me by the ingeniousness of my soul. You can't live in a memory, certainly not. It's unhealthy and breeds psychosis, indicative of an inability to handle reality, a weakness of character. But you can undoubtedly vacation there, and we could all use some time away.

I seen Logan tonight, the truly eponymous Wolverine film, provided we can all agree to ignore the atrocious The Wolverine that soiled the Summer of 2013. Confirming the rumors circulating about the films level if emotional vulnerability, I did indeed cry. Alot. Ive grown up with these characters, and as theyve inevitably died, Ive taken minor emotional hits. However, Wolverine was different. When the first movie was released in 2000, I fell in love with it. I had just turned 9, and the character of Logan immediately appealed to my boyhood fantasies. Dealing with far more grief and pain than a child should have to endure at that point in my life, I found my sense of identity shaken in the wake of the traumatic events. But when I encountered Hugh Jackman as Logan, his portrayal resonated with me viscerally, an impression that stayed with me and grew with me, shaping me as I evolved into Manhood. Tortured by his past yet ardently focused on raging against it, I unconsciously adopted Logan as a father figure, an example to be heralded, exalted and emulated. So, without spoiling the stellar film, as I watched the ending, I came undone. The entire piece provides an almost voyeuristic view into the humanity of those we propel to the status of heroes. This is not a joyous, celebratory movie. No shining, white knight morals are upheld, no squeaky clean protagonist acts as an overgrown boy scout. Instead, this is bloody, this is physical and violent. This is real, the way Wolverine should be. He's always shown and exemplified that the anti-hero can still be good, that the outcast can meet the universal standards of benevolence. That those that have been damaged can still make contact with and dive into the light thought to be reserved for the pure. As he closes his eyes for the final time, resting with finality and totality amidst the battle and grittiness he knows all too well, he partakes in the gift denied to all too many by their own hand: Peace. Claws sheathed, there will be no more tears, regret, or fighting. Maybe one day there will be no more combat for me as well.

You were the one that started it, and I noticed you, and the potential conflict you presented, before I ever popped up on your radar. I entered the low slung shaded area to the sound of Hawaiian music blaring, undulating percussively off the heat rising from the gravel stained dirt. Black hat slung down low over squinted eyes, I sought to escape attention and the explosive beginnings of trouble. But, as always, it acted bothersome of its own volition. Your wife, garbed lightly in a loose, deliciously flowing sundress that accentuated her toned body, stared at me intensely with a hint of a smile. Not noticing, I looked over, and, surprised, we locked glares before she averted hers to the side enticingly demurely. Then, you felt the need to hop into worthless action. Eyes ablaze with anger, you focused on me intently. I shifted mine towards yours, and the standoff began. This is a classic episode of testosterone fueled stupidity with pride as its crest. But neither of us was going to break stride or lose face. Surreptitiously, I began to study your physique with my peripherals. Big arms with a larger gut, the body common among many Islanders. A sharp right to the button ought to have done it. Eventually, the intimidation attempt began to wane hilariously for both of us, and I took the initiative to defuse the dampened charge. "Whats good bro?", I inquired, nodding in the accepted gesture of friendship. "Whats good, brah.", he replied, visibly softening. "Ya'll have a good day now.", I said, continuing on my way. Situation defused, again. Trouble has a way of finding me, always has. An unwelcome guest that has long worn out the extent of my hospitality. But, unfortunately, I have no idea of how to rid myself of it. I cant control the behaviors or viewpoints of other's, and I'll be damned if I'm going to meekly skulk on eggshells around strangers, as to not invite hostility. So, Ill continue on, fists ready and words sharpened. Ive gotten good at this. But one day, I pray I may again know peace.

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