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Rebellion In Ink

The pain wasn’t nearly as excruciating as I’d been warned my entire life. As the needles pierced my skin in perfect rhythm, ink settled in as it was pounded, stretching out into its new home a fraction of an inch beneath my epidermal surface. As the blood welled North, Lance’s practiced hands went about his life’s passion and work, a stern, studious look spread across his weathered face. In the eyes of society, I had just desecrated my appearance abysmally and unforgivably. That was exactly the point. Paul Waggener stated defiantly and powerfully that he made the conscious choice to tattoo his hands and fingers to forever sever the already tenuous ties he endured that anchored him to the mainstream world we all long to escape from. I sought to emulate his dark example. As the freshly battered and aching skin seeped crimson by the seeming gallon, my body caused it to raise high, inflamed and shocked, I smiled with pride and confidence in my own strength. “No one will ever hire you now”, a shrill voice admonished me. "Good", I spat back, howling beastially. What was once a devastatingly heavy handed foe was reduced to a shrill annoyance, one I quickly discarded. These birds, awash in meaning from varied personal and Naval backgrounds and sources, represented my freedom and independence. May they carry these hands skyward, towards the raw material of their ordained destiny, to sculpt my life exactly as I see fit.


In every biographical account of an Entrepreneur I’ve read, whether secondhand and narrated to a proxy or captured straight from the mouth of the subject themselves, one of the universal fears they all admit to harboring and eventually exorcising and conquering is the harrowing ordeal of fending for themselves and surviving without the security of a full time job. I’ve personally known many talented Men and Women who hold themselves in lofty esteem for the prodigious qualities of their talents, yet feel incongruent shame for revealing that they carry ambivalence towards the idea of quitting their jobs and halting their careers, all to strike out on their own. As much as we may disdain our vocations for their supposed monotony and emptiness, the begrudging fact remains that we are heavily reliant on them to support our favored quality of life, whatever that may be. For myself, I’m perfectly fulfilled drinking tea and reading good books sequestered at a table in the corner of a local coffeehouse, interspersed with days at the beach and nights at the bar with good friends. Women come and go on this island, a consequence of the tourist driven economy. This lifestyle, modeled after those of the victims of my excessive idolatry like Roosh V, Tynan and Mikael Syding, can be experienced for a few hundred dollars a month if minimalism is embraced, spilling over into just over a grand when dining out in the overpriced annals of the Waikiki strip, rather than enjoying chili and rice from Zippy’s with an eye towards responsibility. I’ve often daydreamed of the possibilities of monetizing my blog beyond a few small affiliate marketing links, and whether or not my quality of life would degrade noticeably. At this point, I can honestly confide that I care little, as the prospect of answering only to myself grows increasingly more enticing with each day I spend confined to a cubicle.


The open road beckons to me in a cacophony of wanderlust and longing. Separated from home by the vast depths of the Pacific, hardly a day melts by without another vision of my beloved San Diego reaching for me lovingly, a spurned lover angered by my absence and disillusioned with my distance, begging for me to drop my anchor with concrete permanence. My world here has reshaped itself into a long stretch of highway, but instead of being endless, it resembles a long coffin. I’m certain there are those reading these that are either laughing in incredulous jest or fuming with righteous indignation. The temerity I must possess, to live in paradise yet compare it to waking death! Any holding that opinion can go fuck themselves. It’s gorgeous here, undoubtedly and factually. Mark Twain, O. Henry, Sailor Jerry and Elvis Presley waxed poetically about the ethereal, unearthly beauty of these wondrous islands. As we sailed in for the first time in November of 2015, I was moved to tears of enrapture as I bore witness to the artful display unfolding itself before me. The horizon resembled a masterful canvas by a virtuosic painter, and I squinted against the light to view the glimmering light dance on the undulating surface of the crystalline ocean. I am not ungrateful, and I know all too well how blessed I am and have been. But paradise is relative, and mine is currently weeping for me, as I writhe in tremors of agony in turn, dreaming of her iconic coasts.


Another 3 days of nothingness lay themselves before me once again, devoid of all but the meaning I ascribe to them. Blank pages absent words, pleading to be brimming with emotion and memory. Id learned years ago that if your happiness is reliant on imperfect, unstable, external things, you're essentially handing a loaded gun to your most loathed, dreaded enemy.  A writer must draw wisdom from all sources, imbibing the water from many springs, irrespective of bias and regardless of apparent pollution. You must strengthen and harden your constitution by exposing it to threats and potential hazards from a myriad of diverse areas in this fucked up game we call Life. In my case, I drew motivation and inspiration from inmates condemned to solitary confinement. In circumstances that would drive anyone to maddening inanity, these men and women achieve physical perfection, intellectual mastery, and a deep communion with God. All of these goals are inherently intrinsic, intuitive and instinctual. So, I turned my focus to exercise, writing, reading and prayer. This unbreakable set of tools has enabled me to survive lonely, frostbitten nights encased in snow and ice, long voyages on unforgiving, tenacious waters, and rescued me from the peaks of oblivion. So, surviving paradise will prove mundane.


Still, just take me home.

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