Friday, March 25, 2011

I Kissed a Girl...Well Actually She Kissed Me

Sixty kids all running around. "Spin me Page, spin me." I pick them up by the hands and twirl them around till I can't walk straight, regaining my composer and doing it again. I go as fast as I can and them laughing the whole time. My friend Haley once said, "I just want to love them and so I hold them for hours at a time because maybe they haven't ever had anyone hold them." Haley's better at loving kids than I am but I've applied her attitude to spinning kids.

I walk in the gym and she runs up to me, "Page, Page, I missed you." Her long, wild black hair unbrushed for days. I pick her up, "Hey Marissa. I missed you too." Her little body fitting perfectly in my arms, never wanted to let her down. "Now go back and sit with all the other kids like you're suppose to." During direction time I scout the kids looking for a couple that I love more than the rest, making sure they're there.

David, who's dad is an alcoholic, shooting a basketball with one hand because he's too short and too weak to do it with one. Quiet and unassuming but gets that little smile in the corner of his mouth when you tell him the hearts that he's drawing are awesome. Leslie, the self assured 10 year old who tells it like it is; attitude and all. Josh, my main man, rambunctious with the Mohawk, who just likes to kick balls with his friends as long as he can. His little legs carrying him slower than I was at his age, with the biggest grin on his face. I look at Marissa, my favorite, and ask God to bless her life.

Lord protect this child from men wanting to abuse her body. 
Lord watch over this child like you watch over the ones you love and lead her to understand your ways. 
Lord help her not to give herself over to the first man that wants a piece of her. 
Lord help her parents love her at home and not abuse her. 
Show me how to communicate my love towards her. 

"Page can we play sharks and minnows today?" She looks up at me with her brown eyes holding on to my legs. I rub her head and tell her I'd love to. I dominate in sharks and minnows, the reason I want to play. I'm faster than all the kids.

She doesn't follow the rules; when being tagged by a shark, she continues to be a minnow. I tell her to follow the rules but she says...I want to be a minnow. She's wild. She does what she wants and I'm protective as hell towards her. It's a hard thing to do to be impartial but I look at Marissa like my own daughter and I'll spin her till I vomit if she feels the love I have towards her.

People spend time doing things that I think are a waste of time: video games by yourself, reality TV till your eyes bleed, endless facebooking, sleeping. In a effort to make my time valuable I go to hang out with these kids from 3-6 on my days off. An after-school program unlike any other...allowing children to be children and not drug addicts.

I bent down and looked Marissa in the eyes and told her to listen to the people that tell her what to do. She looks at me and smiles and kisses me. I feel warmth and love and fear. "Marissa, don't kiss me anymore okay." The affection of a child is the purest most amazing thing. Safe. I just desire for her and all the other kids to be safe. I volunteer because they are safe at this program. Safe to laugh, get spun, and kiss a leader now and again to show their appreciation.

The days that I go to the after-school program are long. Three hours can wear any energetic 25 year old out but I look forward to them every time I leave. But I praise God for the opportunity to serve him and these children in this way. It's one thing to waste your time but it's another to waste your time when there's kids out there to love...right here in our backyard. love. war.

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. - Jesus

Things to think about:
-taste, touch, sight, smell, hear...which is the best?
-Going camping with me for my birthday.
-2012 Presidential election
-Duke and the ACC vs UConn and the Big East.
-Wisconsin's public workers debate.

Things to read
A piece of land to give up Social Security
Nation of Dropouts

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Before he was Chuck Norris...he was WALKER, Texas Ranger!

I'm contemplating settling the Lone Star state. And, while I know that the great state of Texas has already been settled, it still lacks a certain man that goes by my name. This wouldn't be that big of a move for me  being that I just got back from Seoul and before that Prague...but that's not the point. My happenings around the world don't interest me much and should, therefore, equally not interest you. Been there, blogged that.  The point isn't whether this is a big move or not but is this a move that should be made?

I've been to Texas once before. It was on a road trip that I took with Luke Logan. The one man that is the craziest man I know. At the time we were not adolescences but not men either. It was the summer of my sophomore year at App State and Luke had family in Petaluma  that he wanted to spend time with during the summer. I, a worthy road mate, decided that taking a cross country road trip was something long past due in my tenure as a human and so we set out. Eating one Oreo a piece for every state we crossed, we finally arrived in Texas. Skipping loads of amazing, blog worthy stories, I take you to Marshall. Now Marshall wasn't your average hitch hiker and it's safe to say that he wasn't safe. But not picking him up wasn't an option.

Luke: Okay I don't have many goals for this road trip other than three things.
Page: All right let's hear them.
Luke: I want to get to Petaluma.
Page: All right.
Luke: I want to do lots of things we've never done before.
Page: Good.
Luke: And I want to pick up a hitch hiker.
Page: Awesome.

Hours outside of Fort Worth, after spending a couple days with my lover’s wife and family, we see the thumb, the clothes, and the face of Marshall Hitch Hiker, not to be confused with Herschel Walker,

Or Walker Texas Ranger,

or Stranger Danger. Which I wasn't aware of.

Marshall didn't speak much. And when I say he didn't speak much I mean he spoke maybe 5 words the entire ride to El Paso. From the backseat of the car I could see Marshall in the side view mirror and his face went from steady to smiling to almost a laugh and back again to straight every minute for the next 2 hours we drove. By the time we got to El Paso it was dark and we decided to look around the town. I explained to Marshall what we were doing and he seemed to understand. He followed us 50 ft behind everywhere we explored. I was assuming Marshall would sleep with us now that we were like the Three Amigos, traveling the open frontier. Luke told me, as Marshall trailed, he didn't think it would be smart for Marshall to spend the night with our the middle of nowhere. I told Luke that God would protect us and giving this guy some hospitality might be what he needed...Luke disagreed. Not wanting to get in an argument with my dear friend, I politely explained to our tear-drop-tattoo-faced friend that we weren't going any further and he couldn't sleep with us. He got his bag and walked away without a word. I'll always love that crazy man. And while it's obvious that Luke read the book Stranger Danger and I hadn't at that point I always wonder what would have happened had Marshall shared the tent with us that night. I'd probably not be writing you now. But...

This story doesn't help me try to decide whether or not I should move to Austin but it seemed unbelievably relevant to explain to you the type of people that I've met in Texas before you're able to make an accurate decision and give me sound wisdom with irreproachable objectivism.  Of course much of my decision is based on whether I can convince someone to employ me with this $50,000 degree that everyone told me I should get. If I'm able to do that it's safe to say I'll be in the Texas militia in no time. Love. War.

Things to think about:
-Chuck Norris can sit while standing
-If Chuck Norris ever roundhouse kicked you in the face, you could never turn the other cheek because you'd be dead.
-When Chuck Norris is thirsty he drinks a pint of peanut butter.

Things to watch:

Things to read:

Things I'm reading: