“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence” – Frederick Douglass.
arose like a mighty warrior from the chair
shouting for all who cared to listen about
his record of football triumph.
The golden boy, the next big thing,
a can’t miss, this was Steve.
I was waiting on him to arrive.
A brawling 6’3 inch specimen drooling words
only a senile gentleman recites to himself
in a dark room, staring at cheat reflections.
The irritated spectators sipped alcohol
numbing the sounds of a never was.
Old men can be argumentative at times.
Steve possessed nothing his feeble mind
garnished as factual history this night,
an old man of grandeur and meanness.
Spewing vulgarities mindlessly
about his youthful athletic invincibility.
He was stuck with anger, in a past time.
His lips soaked with a cheat lipstick
sprouting indecencies on passive listeners.
On this night, the crowd was not cheering.
The crowds never cheers forever.
“I Was Great!” You Bitches and Hoes!
Sure you were, helpless guests mouth closing their
mental panic room’ doors.
I watched Steve that night thinking
very little. I was not enamored by his mean wit
or profanity-filled tirades. You see, he
was my friend in a self-chambered illusion.
So, I must join him in his party
as ill-conceived as it sounds.
Though I did not make excuses
for his behaviors, my face shaped
forgiveness for his tenure this night.
I was his friend and tears flowed inside.
How could I deny this beaten
old man his fake facts.
Although witnessing the moment, I wished they had occurred.
He needed them to be an asset again, a big shot.
I was waiting for him to acknowledge
he made his narratives up, but he did not.
Thus, I believed his imaginings along side him
for this night.
Steve was in a place that never existed
and he did not know it.
But, old men get stuck at times
and they need friends
I am Steve’s friend and I’ll wait on him.
I hope he’s all still here, when he comes back.
The Invisible Dragon
(friend (fr nd). n. 1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts you. 2. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle …(3) “a person who’ll do things for you when it’s of inconvenience to them” (Rod Davis).
I have developed a term that signifies my conceptualization of friendship: Uncomfortable Sacrifice. This is just one tenet of friendship, however, I have found it to be the soundest tool to measure how it works. As such, camaraderie is risking your personal comfort zone for another. I’m not talking about fake charity. Keep the transparent, “I know you could do it” or the proverbial ‘tough love’ b.s. to yourself. These and other statements need works to mean anything of value at least in friendship. With that said, I have a short list of friends.
Omer Avci is a friend. I met him a few years ago when I joined the College Learning Enhancement Program (CLEP) as a reading instructor at Northern Illinois University (NIU). I sat in on his classes as I was trying to see how not to screw up my students. I modeled my early teaching after him and Dr. Armstrong. Unfortunately and fortunately, this past spring he completed his doctorate degree and is heading back with his family to his home country (Turkey) after eight years in the U.S. By the way, without Omer’s support and others my comp exam could have been harder.
Omer always had time, always. He never passed me on to someone else, not once. This cat defended his dissertation while helping me with my comp exam. My friend Rod Davis is like that and so am I. If you’re our friend, we will not let you down, not once. We’ll give to you and forgo our own agency under many circumstances. Omer did the same with no excuses, no b.s. he just said…What do you need?”
I will miss him dearly…
My friend, Dr. Omer Avci
The Invisible Dragon
tao te ching verse 77 (Robert Williams’ translation)
The Tao maintain balance in all things
because it is flexible as the wind.
It brings rain where it is needed and cold
to equal the heat. It never stands by and
Ones who control by force and power
is in opposition of the Tao. They take from
the needy and give all to the rich.
The master continues giving because
her abundance knows no end.
She expects nothing in return while
denying credit for her deeds. She never
exalt herself above anyone.
The woman who does not trust in the Tao believes people cannot do for themselves. She provide her gifts out of pity. The people are like small helpless babies. The true master is more transparent and understands that bringing others to self-reliance is the only true compassion. As such, the master does not cry because she’s busy helping people care for themselves.
The Invisible Dragon