When I First Experienced Death

I was first exposed to the concept of death when I was between four and six years old. The backyard of my home was the battleground for my education. The lawn was large and green and full of life. Frogs, toads, and little animals and bugs ran free in the lawn, keeping the place natural and healthy-looking. It was beautiful. The flowers and plants were a nirvana for most of the small animals, including myself. You could truly feel the positive glow of it all.

I used to help my father mow the lawn. Imagine the horror that these little creatures beneath the grass felt, seeing a massive metallic blade spin overhead, sucking everything into its path. I didn’t realize the scope and grandeur of our work on the lawn until I sat there one day, on the newly cut grass, enjoying the smell and feel of it. To my right I noticed a frog hopping with difficulty. He was a victim of the blades. He was bleeding a greenish yellow puss from under its belly, and its eyes were wide and blank.

I didn’t want to pick it up; it was gross. I simply watched it from above. I was so young, and ignorant of the truth. I didn’t see it die. I saw it give up. Its breathing was labored; it was trying to keep its motion fluid and find solace in the trees nearby. Wouldn’t you want to lay your body down in the comfort of the forest when you realize your life is ending? But it stopped, and it just laid there, within arm reach of me, among the clover patch and freshly trimmed grass. I crawled over it and watched it lay there. It was such an innocent situation to witness – a little boy on his hands and knees, head hanging below his shoulders, looking at something on the ground, waiting for something to happen. Nothing happened. I looked at his face for signs, but saw nothing. That was the first encounter.

Zen Koan about Life and Death

Today I witnessed a horrible spectacle, where a man was hit by a car. He did not survive.

He was given a funeral and formal ceremonies alike. At this man’s funeral a large number of people showed up.

The people that went to his funeral came from all places. Some knew him from work, some knew him from school. Some knew him from home, and some knew him from his apartment building. Some knew him through the people that he didn’t really know, and some knew him through the places he visited only once in his life.

The owner of a famous nightclub came to his funeral and paid him homage after realizing that it was this man, the recently deceased, that gave him the idea to start his own nightclub. It happened one night in a dive bar, when the man commented on the wall designs, or lack thereof, and wanted to go to a bar that made great use of the walls, artistically.

The president of the golf club, a 90-year old prune, said, “he was the best damn fella’ I ever knew! He hit the balls,” stuttering… “all over the course!” He said. “I am sure he’s up there… somewhere… hitting those balls on fairways in the clouds…” he began to tear up, and began a slow lazy walk back to his seat.

A kid, younger than the others, walks up to the microphone, mostly confident, not affected by the sorrow. “I can’t believe this guy got hit by a car!”

It Had to Happen

It had to happen, one way or another, didn’t it? I shouldn’t be surprised. We all know it was just a matter of time. Am I scared? Shit, I’m scared. I can’t really do anything about it. All I can do now is wait for it to happen. I can see it happening in front of me now. It’s terrifyingly beautiful. It’s like watching a tidal wave 500 feet tall coming towards you, standing and watching, waiting. It crests… the frothiness at the very tip is just leading on to a grand follow-through. I am powerless to avoid this. Here it comes, it keeps getting closer, and it’s taking up everything in sight, swallowing me whole! It is closing in on me, I feel myself getting tighter inside. My heart is pulling me inside; I felt my grip on reality slipping. Everything was pulling itself away from me, stretched ever further, ever further into the center. I could no longer move, I could not feel. I could not move my head; my vision was fixed on the infinitely deep foreground in front of me.

Posthumous Tribute to Mr. Butch

You’re a 56-year old immortal,
and you know what’s up.
You’re a lumbering icon among Allston’s

List of Legends.

The Pied-Piper, the Mayor,
The unofficial King of Men.
I’ve watched the Mr. Butch Show


May your dreams be met,
and your destinations found.
Keep on riding that vespa, King,
The beauty in your

American Dream.