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An Unwilling, Yet Unrepentant Outlaw

Sunday's hold an empowering feeling, always have, and I love to bask in their restorative pools, draping their warmth over me like a quilt knitted from the fabric of my most cherished memories. Out on the Lanikai this afternoon, kissed by the gentle island breeze, partaking in my third Double Bacon Cheeseburger, extra bacon of course, I'm visited by the pleasant sedation of fulfilment. In a world and society that demands more effort, continual progress and eternal ascension towards a figure, number or ideal that may as well be imaginary, it's an essential necessity to relax, take stock of all that youve accomplished, and reignite your zest for this temporary flash of existence we call Life. Halt for a minute, and avail yourself of the pungent, intoxicating smell of blooming roses, fortified by the morning dew. Or a simmering plate of thick, rich chili enriched with unique local spices served by a Blake Lively lookalike. Either works, and I love this fucking bar.

Shortly after devouring my comparatively regal feast, I returned to the closet I currently deem home and succumbed to a sudden bout of heaviness. The caloric onslaught continued unmitigated and uncontested, rendering me catatonic for the next several hours. As I slumbered, my body lay satisfied and dormant, while my mind raced with the passion of an Olympic Sprinter. In my deposed dreams, the world had fallen victim to an unknown catastrophic event, reducing us to cowering shadows of what we once were, and rendering the planet desolate, barren, and malevolent. For whatever reason, I resided alone in the abandoned, forgotten ruins of a Hawaiian maintenance building of indeterminate purpose.

Ensconced amongst the isolated, rusted metal catwalks wrapped tight and thick with intertwined vines of unknown origin and their assorted foliage, I navigated my alien environment wearily and guarded, rifle alert and pulse racing. Apparently my scheming mind found it hilarious to immediately deposit me in the midst of impending battle, adrenaline coursing and fear exploding chaotically, contained solely by training that had been beaten into me years before, emerging now as stoic instinct. I heard trailing roars behind me, bestial and malevolent, before they inevitably faded away, audible strobes of unnerving sound.

The lights flickered to the beat of an epileptic's drum, as darkness began to surround me, dousing my hope and amplifying my fear. All I could hear was dripping water, placid and simple, before a grey being, eyes pure black, menacing and unforgiving, leapt forth from the unknown. I raised my weapon and fired, startled but composed. The resultant cacophony intermingled with the deathly silence as it ricocheted off the sparse metal environment. I screamed.

When I say that, I mean both in my imagination and in reality. I shot up, garbed in a cold sweat, awash with consciousness and a rush of terrible excitement. Gripping the sides of my mattress with the force of industrial clamps, I began surveying my room, gradually retutning to waking reality. I was not under attack by some androgynous opponent with disgustingly clammy skin and fangs that would make a wolf blush. I was instead confined to my stolid, calm life in paradise, accompanied by all of its expected trappings. Replete with the comfort of this certainty, I rose and poured myself a drink. I was relieved, as expected, not to be facing the possibility of having my throat gouged out by the gaping, fatal maw of an imperiling monstrosity. However, I was morbidly disappointed, as if I unconsciously craved constant brushes with hazardous events, requiring them to function competently, if not normally, in civilized society, even if said civility is simply an artifice protecting the effete and impotent.

One should seek to marry both the aggressive and contemplative aspects of themselves in a beneficial, flourishing union. It is the surest path to self-mastery available, yet easily the most difficult. To possess the reserve and control of a Zen Monk along with the sheer strength and indomitable will of a nomadic Barbarian is the ideal, mine at least. But, as you maneuver through a crowded bar teeming with gorgeous Women and truculent Men, the latter drunk on a mix of rough whiskey and their own inflated egos, you can't help but be a bit weary. This past Friday I was in this exact position, dancing around confrontation and battle as best as I reasonably could, a frame of behavior that doesn't acquaint itself with me naturally or favorably.

As always, in the process of dodging a barback, my elbow accidentally smashed into the chest of some cocky Soldier. He met the universal standards for lack of height, and as dictated by douchebag law, overcompensated by strutting around like a rooster, legs bowed and bird chest jutting forth hilariously, evoking the invisible mass that he didn't own. Our eyes met, mine disgusted and annoyed at what I knew would follow, his enraged and expectant, an unspoken declaration of idiotic machismo.

No words were exchanged, and no blows were thrown. I may hate children determined to embarrass themselves, but I will never backdown from a dumbass seeking to humiliate or upstage me. A flaw yes, but I never claimed perfection.  His friends appeared and whisked him away, drowning his temerity with copious quantities of cheap beer. Befuddled, I departed the bar, disgusted at the moment that unfolded prior. Windows down, Chris Stapleton blasting. I rode into the night, excited at prospect of the nocturnal abyss and its hidden surprises. As he sang of outlaws he'd known and rebellion against the law, I wailed along with him. In this instance, framed by lonely, glistening stars, I would know companionship with a kindred spirit.

I am not standard issue. I am damaged, burned and bloody. Ive been known to scare people by simply walking into a room and reading, causing them to vacate with nary an effort. Ive entertained inquiries at where I did my time, despite being in the military, engrossed in a technically imposing and ridiculously complex billet. I don't say these with pride or a smirk, but with trepidation and a morose tone. Ive wept in private at the realization of what Ive evolved into, the appealing pariah Ive become. A sensitive, fragile heart encased in mounds of delicately crafted muscle. Yet, I am deliriously and justifiably proud.

Ive talked friends teetering on the precipice of suicide away from the inferno of self immolation that can seduce with delicious appeal when one is incarcerated, through no fault of their own, in the dungeon of insidious depression. It takes fortitude and sheer will to release these confessions out into my corner of the internet. I shudder for hours discussing within myself with the intense fervor of a passionate diplomat the results of publishing my work. But I do, because we all have a voice, even if said voice is fractured and splintered. I'm doing my best, just like you. But to the predators of the world that may mistake my disciplined reserve for cautious meekness, don't take that step, because Ill annihilate you eagerly, leaving only your immaterial footprints, shallow and useless, to be swept away by the unforgiving winds of history. 

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