Rejection.

Hello,
I just wanted to send an email over to express my extreme disappointment over how our file was handled throughout the process of attempting to become foster parents through your county.
Before today I felt like we were not offered the same respect and honesty we gave you all, and today those feelings were confirmed. There is a large lack of looking at the big picture going on here and also some closed-mindedness and ignorance about medical marijuana itself.
Not to mention the fact other drugs that would be allowed in the household are far more dangerous and have negative impacts far larger than medical marijuana. Drugs that are also legal, and also abused by the families causing these children to be in limbo in the first place.
I digress, just wanted to let you know that Megan and I feel like we were strung along by your team and we would have appreciated you just letting us know you had no intention of giving us a chance from the get go when we told you about our medical use.
More than anything my heart hurts for the child or children that won’t get the chance for this good family and home, because you are unable to see the forest through the trees due to an old-fashioned, and frankly insulting pre-conceived notion about people who are proven to be both responsible and stable.
Hoping in time that your county will come to terms with the times, and understand that responsibility is responsibility and irresponsibility is not inherent to use of a plant that has many more medical uses than alcohol has ever had.
Good day,
Trevor Elms

Need to get this experience off my chest. Feeling rejected time and again through this particular path in life. The reflective experience of writing about things that mean so much to me always helps me get through the toughest ones.

Today, Megan and I were told that it would be a better idea to withdraw our application from the county we have been going through the process of fostering to adopt from. That in no uncertain terms we would be rejected due to our honest use of medical marijuana.

It’s a blow. Our New Year’s resolution was to begin the process of figuring out how we were going to adopt. Knowing it was going to be a long journey, certainly longer than 9 months; better now than never. We have been through many hours of training, paperwork, and travel since January. This is now reduced to another avenue we must mourn and move on from, to pick up the pieces and keep charging towards the next branch upon this crooked path.

Most frustrating thing for us both is that we are people that come from trauma. We faced some major ones as children as many people do. We have demons and failures while not being afraid to own them. To use them as lessons and reasons, the things in our lives that make us the strong and successful people we are today. We feel we are the exact kind of people well equipped to take in children that are inherently traumatized by their situations. Being removed from your family is serious business.

For this reason I need to reflect on this rejection as it not being a problem with myself and Megan — but the society we currently live in. A society that still has some growing up to do when it comes to understanding exactly what the War on Drugs was meant to do, and the kind of ignorance and bigotry it has fostered.

Rejection is just a fact of life. Getting down about it isn’t going to do us any favors and this experience, like much else that hurts — is another thing to bring us closer together.

We will have our family. We will have earned every bit of it when it arrives.

Thank you for reading.

If you have interest in reading anything else I have written please check the Table of Contents, here.

©2018 Trevor Elms

Shower of Love.

Sometimes going a good amount of time without writing is helpful for me to create a piece that I am truly proud of and means a great deal to me.

Just recently spent a lot of time with Megan’s family in Minnesota for the holiday. Had to work a decent amount (about a normal work week) while there. Whenever I did have free time it was spent with them, every moment. Even if it just meant reading while in their presence and speaking when spoken to.

Felt like I got considerable time with them, and got to thinking about what they mean to me and how they make me feel I mean to them.

I was inspired, and so wrote again.

Shower of Love.

This is about my family.
Not the one born into.

The one who accepts me.

Sans blood.
They shower me with love and hugs.

Introduced into their life at first,

A former criminal.
Crazy.
College dropout.

Catastrophe.

Acceptance was not given immediately.
Rightly so, daughter hadn’t need more tragedy.

Respect from me freely given, they had something wanted.
Something prepared to earn.

Years later, different lifetime.
Feels as though we’re different people, together.
Family. Melded & complete.

Showered with love.

Often respect & love have to be given, in order to be earned.
Just thanking my lucky stars to be given a chance.

Benefit of the doubt,
after safety became non-concern.

Family is my strength.

I grow as it.
More comfortable. Happy.

This is about my family.
Not the one born into,
of which I cannot express gratitude in words — yet.

The one who accepts me.

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

For showering me with love & hugs.

 

Thank you for reading.

If you have interest in reading anything else I have written please check the Table of Contents, here.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2017

 

Familiar Fortress.

NetherRealm Studios released their newest video game “Injustice 2” recently. It’s a fighting game with the DC super hero pantheon. As a big fan of comic books, the franchise is my bread and butter. Because it released just yesterday — I haven’t wanted to spare much free time for lots of words.

I played and played, then realized that I hadn’t gotten that feeling of accomplishment that I have grown used to before bed. When I get something written down and completed. So I wanted to write a bit of poetry about video games and what they are meaning to me in tandem with writing as I get older.

Familiar Fortress.

Moving pixels in three dimensional space
give unquestionable escape.

Hunting for treasure,
scavenging for leather.

Climing rooftops,
to collect a feather.

Sated.

Used to be the desires to create.
Polygons streaming across.

Ornate.

Clashing of plate and steel,
feelings easier to process.

Intake.

Moving pixels in three dimensional space
give unquestionable escape.

Eventually no longer,

sates.

Bake thoughts,
share the plate.

Fate.

Not one to believe in it.
Though writing is what it is instead.

Gate.

 

I do now have some sort of sense of accomplishment, and a release from the day in some way.  We will see if I manage to write a lot of words tomorrow, or if I will climb into my familiar fortress and end the night with poetry again.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2017

Ride.

Megan is an Extrovert — with introverted tendencies. I am an introvert, which I have written about a few times. This means that we’ve literally had to work with our marriage counselor about talking, and how much of it I can handle.

How to properly express myself when there has been too much talking and I need to take a break from it. Likewise, for Megan to see this as not being a slight against her and to be able to respond calmly with understanding in kind.

True communication. Recognizing, at base, who each other are as people so that the small things that pile up on a day by day basis do not tear us apart from the foundations. True love in that fashion as well. We love each other with such depth that we want to continually work to communicate better, and reduce the daily friction that occurs between people.

One of the ways we do this is by experiencing things together in which we are not allowed, or cannot easily talk.

Something that we can then have an entire conversation about afterwards that I am not only engaged in, but am incredibly excited to jabber in detail. Movies either at home or in the theater, musicals, plays, and I’ve even dragged myself to some ballet with Megan as it was Swan Lake, after all.

We do plenty of experiences with talking as well, usually to a bar or a sporting event. I really like to listen to people talk in public. Some people call it eavesdropping, I call it observation. So when Megan and I are in a place where I feel like people could and would be doing the same to me, I don’t like to talk very much. I’m a fairly private person in public. Loud spaces make me more me — I’m willing to speak my mind more freely when the evidence in front of me tells me I am much harder to be heard.

Funny to write about being a private person in public, considering all this private information I am writing about myself for the world to see. Though, when it comes to representing myself in writing, I’ve pretty much been free with myself online since before my teens. Also at least, when it comes to who I am as a person — I don’t mind people being able to read it. My thoughts can be edited here — I’m bad at editing my spoken word at times.

Back to experiences, though. Ones where Megan and I don’t get to talk much. I’m going to write a sentence now that I think some people have a hard time understanding — or it will offend them.

Every time I get on my motorcycle I am comfortable with the idea that it may be my last time.

Megan and I haven’t spoken about it yet, though I am sure we will before this is posted in the morning. I am fairly positive she is comfortable with this now, too — and I never begrudge anyone who isn’t. You have to be to get on one of the things. If you don’t think about that decision before getting on one, you should.

Recently Megan and I truly started riding together. I have owned my motorcycle for four years and crashed it twice. Once my fault, the other not. It’s been two years since my last accident. I learn more through my accidents than anything else, and I learned a lot from those.

Don’t think I am a newbie, either. I grew up riding dirt bikes with my friend Jake in his back yard. Took the motorcycle class, got my endorsement, and then rode a moped for a significant amount of miles in Hawai’i before I got wasted and it got stolen.

Riding a motorcycle is like the rest of life, you can be cautious, but it is just as unpredictable.

So to have Megan finally comfortable, so comfortable and trusting she closes her eyes on rides, means the world to me. We do not ride dangerously, we ride extremely defensively and can count out by number when we get home how many accidents we avoided — as well as where we could have died had we not been aware.

We go on these rides together, sharing an experience that no one else will ever get. We see the breathtaking Colorado landscape and sunset — carving in the curves along it.

Knowing full well that if this is our last, it’s our last together.

That is one of the very best things about riding my motorcycle with Megan. It is an experience we share together where at any moment, we could both perish. I know that sounds terrifying to people — but I have have found that being scared of death itself is a great way to not actually live. It’s a great way to hold yourself back from things you want.

When Megan and I get on that motorcycle together, we are comfortable with the idea of Death taking us under its cloak and never letting go. We’re not asking for it, we don’t want it. We sure as hell don’t spend the entire ride worrying about it, though.

No, it’s that slight level of fear that is needed to ride and stay safe. The one that can be acknowledged but conquered. With warm air flowing all around, and a rumbling engine beneath. It’s that feeling of taking back some of the choices life makes for us, and making a choice for ourselves. Doing and experiencing what we want, because it makes our daily life more enjoyable and brings us closer together as people and as a couple.

Riding is one of the many things Megan and I do as opposites so that we can communicate better and enjoy each others’ company better. It’s quickly become one of our very favorite things to do now that Megan is so much more comfortable than she used to be.

Now we can go through this year’s catalogue to pick out a better seat and louder pipes for the highway — because the thing is completely paid off! I wrote about catharsis and football, how there are things that give me great release. I just feel better about life after a ride. Not even football compares to how happy and complete I feel as a person — when Megan is on the back of my motorcycle and we are riding through beautiful scenery.

I’m really happy that as the years go on we are still finding new ways to properly enjoy and appreciate each others’ company. I look forward to seeing what rides we map out next in life.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms, Megan Elms Pictured. ©2017

 

Not Enough.

Try as I might, there just wasn’t enough time for me to do everything I wanted this weekend. Including writing a full story like I have been lately. Been wanting to write about time and what it means to me, but haven’t been able to find the words yet.

Since there were strong feelings in me about a lack of time, I wrote another new poem to take care of my inability to write one thousand plus words.

It’s about doing what we can with the time we have.

Not Enough.

Time flies by.

It’s wont to do,
whether we want it to —

or not.

Oftentimes this is the hardest thing for me.

Bought.

Time can’t be.
Fleetingly, flippantly —

frighteningly,

finite.

For what is it?

Fraught but with —
fingerprint.

‘Swhat we leave.

If not,
’tis but breeze in kind.

We know the begin —

but cannot the end.

Sometimes to come,
an effervescent rend.

When time sequentially serenades
a solliloquy somberly —

stop.

Smell sunflower, something —
or other.

Remember your bedrock.

Take support, gain cover.

Time runs out.
Not a wonder.

Enjoying what we have,
while striving for more.

Brings happiness.

Can’t guarantee without a blunder,
but happiness —

happiness that can’t be given a number.

 

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms.
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2017

Superman.

Haven’t been reading all that many comic books lately. Not sure why. I think a lot of it has to do with my free time. I want to be writing or doing something else. Sure when the winter comes around again and Megan and I aren’t able to go on so many rides — I’ll be reading more regularly again.

Even though I’m not reading them much at the moment, comic books and their characters are very much a part of who I am. My pantheon, if you will. I’ve written more subtlety at times, and others not; I’m not a believer. So when it comes to symbols and moral compasses that I like to identify with and have a sense of “faith” with,

comic book super heroes fill that space.

One of them above all I really see as the manifestation of being a good person, symbol of positivity, and hope. Superman. If I am ever having a moment where I don’t know what to do, or feel like my issues with my emotions might get the better of me. I just think of Clark Kent.

I wasn’t always this way. For the longest time Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern was my favorite super hero. He still is, to an extent. Originally I loved him because that was the longest and coolest comic book I had growing up. It was a collection of the original Hal Jordan origin, a few other issues, an Alan Scott issue, and then a Kyle Rayner issue or two. If you don’t understand these names, that’s okay. I love Hal Jordan because he is a brash ladies’ man with a cool ring that can do anything with imagination.

That was my kinda gig growing up. I wanted to be and was that guy, with a really powerful imagination and some major reckless abandon. Come twenty-thirteen and Man of Steel, though, everything changed.

At this time I was not much of a Superman person, and I hadn’t read all that many comic books either. Just the stack of thirty or forty I had growing up, none of them being about him. Plus all the New 52 and Post Crisis Green Lantern I had read at the time. I subscribed to the general idea that Superman was a boring character and was overpowered, and I really only read comics for GL.

Man of Steel was on my radar purely because it is a Zack Snyder film.

Zack is the director that really took hold of me with his visuals and unabashed style in my teenage years. My brother Alan introduced me to his first movie Dawn of the Dead not long after it came out on DVD. By the time 300 came around I was able to see ‘R’ rated movies in theaters, and did so for the first time when it released.

Watchmen got me particularly interested in actually heavily reading comic books beyond the ones I grew up with — not long after my mental break with reality. It kind of reawakened that spark.

So when I discovered Zack was working on a Superman movie, I was all in. Didn’t have to watch any trailers and didn’t even want to. Since I had some negative preconceptions about Superman I felt like this was the only way to go in — completely blind. Used to do it less, but I am doing it more and more these days. I honestly think it makes films better — to go in blind.

Know the genre, director, actors, screenwriter, studio — what have you, ignore the trailers. In my experience anyways. If you’re on the fence, by all means. If you already know you are going to go? Why bother spoiling any aspect of it for yourself?

I think this is the best thing I did. Not only that, I went to see Man of Steel completely alone, weeks after release, in a nearly empty theater. That may sound super lonely to some people, and if it does — you can’t imagine how stoked I was.

man_of_steel_poster_3_-625393010135

I’m quite the introvert. Alone time doesn’t make me feel alone, it makes me feel complete. I like to spend time with people but it really drains my energy more than anything else.

That’s why I love Megan so much, she’s one of the few people who wears down my energy incredibly slowly. I still need time away even from her and the pets to center myself, but not anywhere near as often as I do from people. The dreaded people.

Because of this — a nearly empty theater with no one’s crinkling, crying, coughing, or chattering, was great. It also meant that when the movie was loud enough I could do what I like to do in intense moments at home — exclaim. Not loudly of course, certainly not loudly enough to be heard from the single couple more than ten rows ahead of me.

Enough that in moments of great triumph I can feel it even more, though. Even just to myself. I love that feeling. Despite a lot of popular opinion that I have found online, I feel like Man of Steel is filled with many moments of triumph and hope. It’s what really turned me on to Superman as a character. The pragmatism of Jonathan teaching Clark how to be a good person, because he should be. Not for any other reason. Because it is the right thing to do. There was also the realism and fear of what this dark and judgmental world, prone to anger of things they don’t understand — would do.

It all felt so real to me. Hope, intertwined within this constant barrage of life trying to make it all hopeless.

There really wasn’t anything that made me feel like he was overpowered, too. The thing about Superman that “holds him back” is his humanity. He was also just a kid starting out in Man of Steel, so he was super green and didn’t know what he was doing. His humanity would get in the way during the fights though. Either from when he lost his cool for his mother being attacked — causing him to bring the fight into Smallville which gets laid waste. To in the same fight saving a helicopter pilot from a death plunge, leaving him open for attack.

There was just such practical good person and hopefulness throughout the whole movie for me. The real life kind. Which is hilarious considering the subject matter of a man flying around in tights and a cape.

Man of Steel was the movie that got me to start reading Superman comics, which then blew open the doors of the rest of the DC Universe for me, which then blew open the doors of Marvel Universe (616), the Mignolaverse, The Walking Dead, etc. etc.

Superman, though. Superman is my symbol.

I am a person that does not believe in any established higher being, I am one of a very populated species on a rock floating in space that circles around a star. In a universe riddled with billions of floating rocks following this same pattern. It’s hard for me to believe there isn’t other life out there — just based on the pure mathematics of it.

So when I am feeling overwhelmed, enraged, or plain depressed. I can think about the guy in blue tights and a red cape with a giant “S” on his chest. Typically he’s smiling and telling me to pick my head up, ’cause he’s got my back.

He’s a good person, like me, just trying to get through life day by day. He just happens to have more power than you and I. So he chooses to make a difference.

I think whoever your Superman is, if they’re doing the same for you as he is for me, then they’ve got to be a pretty good person. Just follow their lead.

Superman-2
Art by Tim Sale & Bjarne Hansen ©1998

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured image by Frank Quitely & Jamie Grant. ©2005

Belt.

Belts are great. They hold up your pants. Especially for men like me who have nothing to hold up their pants without one. There is a particular belt I own that means the world to me, twice over. It’s the twice over part that gets me.

You see, when I took this belt that I am talking about; from my grandfather’s corpse. I expected to hold on to it for the rest of my life. It’s a symbol to me, at that very moment it became one. The Model-T on that belt buckle is like my “S” insignia, it became hope.

If you have been following my writing for some time I am sure you have read about my cousin, Paul. Paul was the little brother I never had. He looked up to me with these eyes. Eyes I have only been able to enjoy again since my nieces and nephews began to use them. He was also my best friend at the same time — because we were exactly two years apart. So it flipped between the two, but more often than not he would look at me with such admiration. He did it more as I got older, and I still miss it dearly.

It’s this reason why no matter what anyone tells me, I feel a particular guilt about his loss.

I know he had plenty other influences around him, and I saw him but maybe twice a year for most of our lives after our early childhood — but damn do so many of those times define me. I want to think they did him too.

I remember before he was even smoking cigarettes — riding bicycles to town so I could go buy some. He would ask to have one and I would oblige, knowing full well if he wanted to no one was going to stop him anyways. It’s not the sharing that sticks out to me, it’s the bicycle ride.

Just like my friend Alex, so much of the time I spent with Paul was purely with him. Just him. We didn’t need or want anything else, and so many memories I have of him are like titanium encrusted across my brain. So a lot of the things I said and did, I feel like they stuck with him.

Like I wrote, I know there were a multitude of other influences and I was far from the largest. But I still did then and now feel a modicum guilt for the path he went down and ended at. Paul made his own choices, but I think with any loss we feel like there is more we could have done.

This is going to be about what I did do, though. I gave him the belt.

It’s funny, thinking on it — I didn’t even physically hand it to him. I believe I gave it to my Mom and she gave it to my Aunt Mary to give to him. That titanium memory though is from Megan and I’s wedding. May 4th, 2013. Just over four years ago now.

Belt 2
From left to right: Paul Perkins, Mary Pillivant Perkins, Kevin Perkins at the Elms/Taft wedding. Photo by unknown. ©2013

The wedding was over. The reception was over. It was the after party. I can’t remember which relative’s room we were in, but it was facing on the starboard side of the hotel. There were two beds, most likely queen — it was in the Boulderado in Boulder, CO, which is a historic and old place. You know the deal, shiny whites and golds, filigree, encrusted and rimmed mirrors, don’t forget the pretty chandeliers. This room wasn’t filled with all those things, but there were two windows on the far side facing as you walked in.

Paul and I stood amongst the room that was so loud we got called in on a few times. We were center, in front of the beds. Center again, in the gap between the door and the windows. Center. In a world of our own. We just stood there and talked. It’s one of those conversations I only got to have with him once and I was looking forward to checking in on it a few years later to see how things progressed.

It started with him telling me he did not like my now wife until that very day.

Something he saw in her, in me, in us that day. It made him realize something about growing up. How he didn’t exactly know everything. He apologized for it and we had a great heart to heart about him getting to know Megan better.

There was alcohol involved, but I know we both remembered this whole conversation clear as day. Since he had already broached serious subjects I decided that it was the perfect time for me to have yet another talk about his health, and making the right decisions — not putting his body in danger by making bad ones. I was well within my recovery at this time. I was not off probation, but I was on emails only at that point.

I said to him, after probing questions about what his plans were over the next couple years,

“Paul, I’m going to give you Grandpa’s belt. Understand something. If you fuck up again I am going to take it back. I don’t want it back, you don’t want to give it back. It’s Grandpa’s belt.”

He was over the moon about it. I remember him calling me after he got it and being concerned about needing to put a hole in it.

“Paul, Grandpa had a fatter waist than me, I put a hole in it. No worries, wear the thing.”

I really, truly, never wanted that belt back. I am not going to lie, I missed it sometimes. When I would see him and he wasn’t wearing it, I got bummed out — but I know he wore it. From my own recollection, family’s… and how worn that new hole is.

This is why I say the belt means the world twice over to me. I took it off my Grandfather, I hoped to inspire my cousin, and now I keep them alive inside and on me with that belt. I think about them both every day. I have them with me every day.

What I wouldn’t give, though. To be bummed about him not wearing that belt when he could be.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms.
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2017

Fifteen Minutes.

Dahlia is a mutt of epic proportions. We’ve done a DNA test on her. Just under fifteen percent shar pei, less than five percent of chow chow & bernese mountain dog. The rest of her is thousands of other breeds with such a small percentage that it could not be discerned what they were.

She is incredibly healthy at nearly 6.5 years old and still learning new things. Many dog owners will say this about their own, and I am no different; she is the smartest dog I know.

Sometimes I feel like animals are not given enough credit just because they don’t speak our language.

For one, from what I know about history and the evolution of human bone structure over many thousands of years — we are animals. We are a part of the animal kingdom just the same.

We wear clothing and create machines while drinking roasted and distilled beans. We have also selectively bred a common ancestor of the gray wolf so that we can have these creatures by our side. However all the empirical evidence standing in front of us says we came from the Earth just as naked, just as in-eloquent, and just as naive.

That is why my dog understanding what “fifteen minutes” means is so fascinating to me.

Make no mistake, it’s not that she understands exactly what “fifteen minutes” is, but her response is extraordinary just the same.

One of the things that sticks out to me is how she listens. Like with human beings she makes a connection via looking dominantly at the eye of her right. I am not sure if you have noticed this, we do it quite subconsciously — but this is how one human looks properly in another’s eyes. We use our right eye and focus on the other’s left — it creates cohesive eye to eye contact.

Dogs having this ability really floors me every now and again. It is part of what  I understand makes them “man’s best friend”. As you can see in the featured photo above — she’s known how to look at a camera from very early on as well. It’s clear cats have this ability too, they just don’t care to do it often, or at all, depending.

fifteen-minutes-2
Dahlia, just over 4 years old. February 1st, ©2015 Photo taken by Megan Elms.

When I call her name calmly, “Dahlia” — the reaction is just the same as a human. Instant response in the direction of the utterance.

She will come up to me sometimes, just after having been brought inside or after dinner looking for something. It will not be time for what it is she is asking for — which could be an entire rundown from getting a duck treat, or checking the window to let her know I am aware of what she needs to tell me about.

We will make eye contact, just the same as I would with you, reading this writing. I say to her “fifteen minutes”, with love — and a touch of sternness. She will typically (though not always) immediately drop eye contact with a high-pitched “hmph” — as much as a dog can manage anyhow. She likes to talk like us, a lot. She just isn’t capable of the same sounds.

Then it will be anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, but she comes back looking for the same exact thing she was asking for — and I give it to her. Satisfied she will then lie down for a nap.

This is just one of the many things she is capable of understanding. Dahlia’s ears will often pick up when the word “she” is used around her. Megan and I have also noticed that she is regularly able to tell the difference between “she” when we are talking about the cat, and “she” when we are talking about her. We noticed this based on how invested her ears are in what we are talking about.

When we drive to Niwot and roll down the windows on 63rd St. — she starts to go crazy whining, wagging, and sniffing up a storm.

She knows exactly where we are going, and who we are going to see. It’s so touching when Megan and I take her to the empty house for our own getaway weekend. She will grab a bone from the basket, run a full circle around the first floor, run up the stairs — and then stop. Dahlia will then realize her plight and ask to go outside. Where she would ask to go if they were home, too — because she is a dog.

Dahlia creates attachments to stuffed animals that she is not ready to fully disembowel yet. She has a pig almost five years old that my brother gave her. We legitimately have to hide it when other dogs come over because she is possessive of it. She won’t get snippy right away, but she gets very upset and doesn’t want to share. She will share all the rest of the toys however begrudgingly, but nobody touches the pig. I would hazard to say at request — considering the eyes Megan and I have both gotten about that thing.

We both believe the attachment to the pig comes from it being given to her by Alan. She sees him but maybe twice a year and it’s the most excited we see her in that timeframe — when he first walks through the door.

Dahlia is happy, healthy, inquisitive, and aware.

It’s the awareness I want to focus in on as I close out this piece. Dahlia is not the first of her species, or the only species that I have seen an awareness of some kind in. Plenty of them may not have the same level of awareness as a dog, but it is awareness — and thoughts just the same. Plenty have more awareness than a dog, just not the the same strength of connection with us.

There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance I have to have when I think and feel these things. Because I very much love to eat meat and I have no intention of stopping. Cows have been bred to have much less awareness, and chickens really don’t have much to begin with. Though I do know what goes on and I just have to live with that as something that happens in nature. Nature is unforgiving and cutthroat.

So it’s just something I like to appreciate when I can. That we share this planet with all sorts of animals that there is a connection with. An awareness and sense of some kind. Maybe not the most provoking of thought — but it is life that can feel pain, loss, happiness, fear, comfort, and plenty other emotions.

It makes our connection with Dahlia just that much more special. Plenty of people call themselves “Mom” or “Dad” when they have pets, and it really isn’t off. Dahlia looks to us as her protectors and defers to us as her parents. She doesn’t understand this world without us. The three of us have developed a language where she understands us and we understand her.

I feel pretty lucky to have that connection with a completely different species.

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Dahlia, just over 6 years old. February 6th, ©2017. Photo by Trevor Elms

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2011

Football.

Catharsis. One of my very favorite words. Football is something that gives me great catharsis. Right up there with being tattooed, & riding my motorcycle. I love to watch football with my family, or even entirely by myself at home. Because of the great catharsis it gives me to get emotionally invested in my team and the game — and give in to those emotions entirely during it.

This is something I wish I understood more when playing ice hockey. I’d like to have been more emotionally invested in the game, anything, in those times. Though I guess when you don’t understand emotions at all it’s hard to understand your own — as well as when and how to harness them.

I really wasn’t the biggest football fan until turning nineteen, going crazy, meeting Megan, & starting mandatory therapy. Now, I was a Broncos fan — since the start of the 1997 and Super Bowl XXXII winning season. Which was when I was getting Sports Illustrated Kids in Andover. Many articles about Terrell Davis & John Elway, my then idols, were consumed. I was also eight years old and had spent a fair chunk of my life outside of the US playing soccer as a goalie on concrete during lunch. My first real exposure to football that I can actively remember was after moving to Andover, and watching Super Bowl thirty-two on the fancy big screen.

I went to a number of Broncos games and CU Buffs games growing up. Relatives will tell you I’ve also been to a handful of Patriots practices at Gillette field, don’t believe them. Not a word, I won’t admit to it any longer.

Football just didn’t click with me, though. Elway’s retirement and Davis’ subsequent injury-forced one are the first real heartbreaks I can remember. Aside from losing my great-grandmother, Nana. So I kind of forsake the sport for a good amount of time.

It just awoke in me one day, though. I can’t even remember what caused it.

My brother has given me a hard time and tried to postulate that it was because of the Tim Tebow season. However I have fine evidence of me watching the Broncos have a grand ol’ time fielding Kyle Orton — and watching that garbage fire of a season before 2011 when he was thankfully replaced part way through. I remember really disliking Josh McDaniels as well.

Of the ones I have seen, that 2011 season is the most hilariously successful season the Broncos have had. Watching that glorified halfback attempt to hit the broad side of a barn for three quarters, then have the defense & Von Miller’s Defensive Rookie of the Year season — keep it close to save his butt. The guy continued on to pull out some halfback/quarterback nonsense, to win the game.

It must have been so infuriating for the opposing fans. Then there’s that wildcard playoff game against the Steelers. Where the Broncos won the first overtime game with the updated rules in league history — on the first play. On a Tim Tebow pass of about 15 yards to Demaryius Thomas who took it to the house.

What I really want to talk about though is the stadium experience, that’s my favorite.

There’s absolutely nothing like it for me. I have been to a lot of places and experienced many different things, going to a live NFL football game is one of my very favorites. I’ve certainly found it to be one of the greatest natural highs there is for me. Even starting with waking up on game day. Megan and I, or anyone that I go with, typically make a whole day of it. It’s a vacation, for that day, to Mile High and the surrounding area.

Orange, a sea of orange as far as the eye can see is something that just gives me such warmth and comraderie. I feel like I am a part of something that is just in general positive and fun. I’ve met and shared so many laughs with strangers whose faces I will never forget and names I will never remember.

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A literal sea of orange at the Civic Center in Denver. Super Bowl 50 Parade — February 9th, ©2016. Photo by Trevor Elms.

Usually we sit in the five-hundreds which are the highest section up. I prefer to sit in the center field and those are the most affordable tickets for us at this time. I also like to be able to see the whole game. As long as I can read the numbers I am good, and there’s not a bad seat at Mile High for seeing digits effectively. It’s live all-22 film, I will never get enough of it.

That’s what’s so frustrating about watching the sport on TV sometimes. They spend so much time focusing on the football and the quarterback that you honestly don’t see all that much. There’s been so many times now I have been at a game and I see a big bomb in our favor or theirs before it even happens. I love groaning or gasping before the ball is even thrown — it’s exhilarating.

Speaking of exhilarating, let’s talk about the crowd.

That’s where most of the catharsis comes from. Starting with the walk up the ramps to the five-hundreds where I can see the crowd below and there’s just such anticipation that can be felt in the air. The excitement is palpable and invigorating! It just makes me feel satisfied with life. That I am at a place with all kinds of human beings just trying to get through this chaotic journey of ours. This is something we all share — regardless of religion, political beliefs, or any other such thing that causes people to not like each other for whatever reason; we share this. We are all football fans and share a love of something together.

Of course there are always jerks that either drink too much or take rivalry too seriously. However, for the most part the grand majority of the crowd I have found to be good respectable people looking to have a good time. I’ve had great heckling sessions with all kinds of opposing fans where we end the game no matter the score with, “good game” and shake hands.

When kickoff — kicks off, that is when I get to release any frustration, anger, depression, or any other in a breadth of emotions that just need release.

One of my favorite things about Mile High is not only how loud people are with their vocal cords. It’s the stomping. You can literally feel it throughout the stadium. From what I understand it isn’t anywhere near what the experience was in the original Mile High — but it’s good enough for me.

I get to roar at the top of my lungs. It’s absolutely liberating in the best of ways. My parents always taught me not to boo excepting very particular circumstances, and not to curse because there’s always going to be kids. So I end up yelling things like “Get him! Saaaaaaaack! Pansy! Laaaaamo!” or I just yell with all my might. Sometimes I will go so hard I almost pull a muscle in my core. I have before, it’s not fun — but it is at the same time. I do slip up and say nasty things sometimes, I try not to though.

Even when we lose, I feel better about life after a football game; that’s true catharsis.

I think these are things we need to find, escape — release. I’m learning as I get older that true experiences are meaning more to me too. I absolutely love video games and comic books, but there’s really not anything like actually going out and experiencing the world. Doing something with my body and with other people. It’s making me feel more connected and less of a meaningless speck.

At the end of the day because I am quite a bit of a nihilist (sans the rejecting moral principles portion) — I still think I am a meaningless speck, on a meaningless rock, in an ocean of so many meaningless rocks and stars that if you tried to visualize the number it would wrap around the Earth many times over.

But, in a way, isn’t that what makes life and this existence beautiful?

That if all I have, is this and these experiences? That I do what I can now because there is nothing, and no one after? It makes me feel pretty optimistic, really. The fact that I am happy and enjoying my life. This website in a morbid kind of way is meant to be my mark. Regardless of if people like this or want to read it, find meaning or not — I am finding meaning in it.

Just like football. What football means to me is that it is absolutely a part of me. It gives me great catharsis and happiness. It allows me to push on and appreciate what I have when I wonder, truly, if anything myself and we as a species does matters. Because honestly, from what I know about space, stars, time, & the universe — it would go on without a sneeze if we disappeared tomorrow.

That makes football, and life, so spectacular to think about for me. I’m really happy I get to experience these things, with people I love. That is what the meaning of life is to me.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo taken by Trevor Elms ©2015, From left to right: Trevor Elms, Alan Elms.

Lullabies.

January 5th, 2009. I think this may have been the very first thing that I wrote after getting out of Kahi Mohala. There’s a lot in these words I am still trying to make out. Thinking about it I am pretty positive that I was wondering if my substance abuse and halting of dreams at night had anything to do with making me crazy. And my dearest friend would be myself, the former self.

I still don’t dream very much any more, and when I do it is usually a nightmare. I am comfortable with that reality these days. That when I dream it is often pure torture. I think many have this problem.

Lullabies.

Dreams…

Real?
Unreal?
Or Surreal?

Nightmares.

The haunting eclipse that has daunted the narrow path,
since before I can remember.

I used to fall to my death multiple nights of the week,
to wake up right before I hit the ground, on my bedroom floor.

I used to be scared shitless, of the open closet door.

Though supposing the halt of these subconscious realities every night,
made it hard to deal with the problems I never knew existed.

Was it you? One of my dearest friends, that made the reality back home, so much harder to bend?

If it was, just know.

That I will go farther in life, than you could ever go.

One step back I may have taken,
but from this crack, my bones won’t be breakin’.

So from those deaths in my dreams,
I will always be stronger, than when you were scheming.

 

Thank you for reading.

©2009 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2016.