whirlpooled topics unbackspaced. streams of consciousness. blurts. scribbled notes. outlined ideas. velocity waves. snatches from icloud. because self-editing is a writer’s cowardly way of preventing a reader from fucking the writer's confidence. dates don't matter. memories and moments aren't chronologically marked on the soul.


Okay so. Surf. (And you don’t have to. This isn’t your first time in the midway with me.)

I’m sitting on my friends’ patio chewing a delicious steak and sipping a gin & tonic. I made a comment about how I no longer want to explain things to ignorant people. I said, “I may be a Sullivan (I am) but I’m not like Annie Sullivan at a pump furiously spelling out water while trying to explain wet!” I thought I was so clever. Until I realized my dear friend has hearing loss and wears hearing aids. And I felt so ashamed of myself. And although I profusely apologized, it doesn’t matter. I was a horse’s ass. I love my friend. I love him. I wouldn’t purposefully hurt him. But it doesn’t matter my intent. It matters I may have hurt him. 

I’ve thought of this all day. Why say unnecessary things? Clever for who? If I’m so interested in amusing myself, why not get porn and not create victims? People have made fun of my foot. I do not find it amusing. I think it’s cruel. I’m ashamed of my foot. God we have so much mean in the world. I don’t want to add to it. Amusing. Damn. I’m now more interested in the adjective contrite. I’m so ashamed.


So during a conversation this week, a man told me he fears, “These are the end times. I think I’ve lived to see the end of the world. I think He (meaning God) is angry.” 

Well, I replied, “What? You think this is the first time anyone’s broken a commandment?” 

I’m much more optimistic than that man is. I believe in my innate ability to create change. I believe I ameliorate each place I set my foot. I believe I can restart acts of kindness by offering gentility and praising generosity of spirit. 

End times? Sweet Jesus I’ve just begun. Let’s create peace today. That’s my plan.


So. My memorial Mass on Saturday. On the altar: lit votive candles with printed names of the deceased from the parish. During Mass each of the names were read aloud and a bell rang.  Roland “Mac” Trost was the last name read. I’m 59 years old. I know how to control myself. I stoically sat in the pew and silently wept. 

I sat alone. Carol stayed home with our Mother. I felt brokenhearted. I felt alone. No hand to hold. No voiced prayer in unison.

At the conclusion of Mass, we were told to take our loved one’s candle home. 

Sunday I received a text from my friend. Could he stop by? He was singing at a memorial Mass at another parish. He’d stop by after Mass. Steve walked in my front door and in his hand: a votive candle from the Mass he attended. “I wrote Mac’s name in the book of remembrance.”

You see? I’m a fool. Alone? I felt alone. Ass.

I’m never alone. The synchronicity of Divinity. Do you see why I love God? Do you see why I love my friend?

Fuck a bar. Kneel beside your friend in a church. That’s my life.

And honestly. I don’t give a squat who believes or who embraces disbelief. We all address our own post cards. I’m just sharing my immortal soul.

You knew me when you joined the team. I haven’t changed the game. I’m just showing you my shoulder pads, knee pads, and jockstrap.

Final Examinations

I look around the room. Mementos of trips. Events. Figurines bought by children as gifts. Now I’m making lists. That I’ll give to a sister. That I’ll throw away. I don’t think I could live here without them. Job offers here. Job offers Chicago. Bahamas. Boston.  Some better than others. I’m sitting here making a list. Why stay here? Why move there? Which job has the most potential? Fastest cash? I’m making lists. Stay for who? Who would I miss? Who would tidy the graves? Who? Where’s the future? Who’s my future? This morning I’m listless. Making lists. Yesterday spiritual direction. What more do I owe? Where are my responsibilities? Who are my responsibilities? I ask Father. His reply: “Mark you don’t have to examine grief. You just have to feel it.” That’s my sentence today. I’ll hold that today. I don’t feel depressed. I don’t feel anxious. I feel sad. So many things to settle. I feel unsettled.


 Grief is wrapping the wound until it heals into a scar. 

What Matters Most

This is my final post concerning the death of my dad. I try to learn with each of my experiences. Me? I use Roman Catholicism as my yardstick. But I think some things are universally true. I’ve learned I sucked at empathy and sympathy. I used to hear someone express grief and I dismissed it as overly sentimental or overly dramatic. I was wrong. Death leaves a hole - an emptiness I’ve never experienced. It’s too soon for me to know if/what can fill it.

I’ve learned sympathy cards matter. Attending funerals matter. Visiting the sick matters. Calling and inquiring matters. I haven’t mastered those acts of kindness in my past. But those failings are in my past. 

And I learned I’ve been intolerant of people who ask for necessary financial assistance. “Go fund me” supplications for funerals might be quite necessary. Thank God we didn’t need one because I’ve learned funerals are very expensive. For instance: an obituary printed in an almost obsolete newspaper costs $550. And that’s a small aspect. Yet necessary unless one lives in a village with a town crier. I’ll donate in my future. God help people who are too poor to bury their dead.

Just The Facts

Now. This will sound simple. 

Reporter. The root “port”. To carry. Reporter: to carry information from one source to another.

Journalist. The root “journal”. Journal: personal diary. A personal diary of a personal journey. 

When you choose a news source and form your opinion, wouldn’t it be sagacious to choose facts over a personal opinion? 

And wouldn’t it be sagacious to choose a number of sources to collect the greatest number of the necessary facts?