Funerals

“I see dead people” is not something that a child should have to say.

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Harder Hearts

People often opt for hearts of stone when they fear that the hearts they have will be broken.

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Spend My Life With You

Emotional bonding is contingent upon how both parties feel. There is no bond if you love someone who does not love you. The strongest emotional bonds cannot be broken. These include the genuine bond of love between a couple. This is what most of us believe we have when we walk down that aisle. Time tells. Spend My Life With You (1999), by Eric Benét and Tamia, is about this special bond. Listen to the lyrics of both parties. This happens to be a marvelous selection to play when we walk down that aisle.

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Human Nature

My father told me that women change after marriage when I was a little boy. He said that they show the best of themselves beforehand. Everything they kept hidden comes out afterward. Single ladies tend to agree with this when I ask their thoughts. Married ladies tend to tell me that they were the same before and after the ceremony. I think what my father told me is true of both sexes in most cases. Sooner or later, what is hidden will surface. I will try not to repel you if I don’t want to lose you. We all feel this way at some point in our lives. It’s human nature. Hurt can make us feel otherwise. Michael Jackson’s Human Nature (1983) reminds me that I have always felt this way. I hope I always will.

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Smiling Faces Sometimes

I did loss prevention for a luxury retail store in Century City, California in 2007. I was employed by a security company. My scheduler advised me not to converse with any of the customers or sales personnel. I planned on following his advice. I met another loss prevention associate, the store’s manager, and most of the sales people on my first day. Agnes, a member of the sales team, seemed to take a liking to me. She asked me all sorts of personal questions and even offered me food (which I didn’t take). This transpired when there were no customers in the store and we were just standing around. I did not want to hurt her feelings by telling her that we weren’t supposed to be socializing. Her friendliness was overwhelming. She continued to initiate conversations with me as the days went by. Agnes kept a smile on her face the entire time. I found out that she lived with her boyfriend across from a Metro Red Line stop. I relied on the Red Line to go to and from work. One day, a customer transaction prevented the store from closing at the usual time. I missed my bus as a result. I was going to have to spend the night at Union Station because there was no way for me to get home. The only way around this was to get a ride. I explained this to Agnes and asked for a ride to the Red Line stop near her apartment. I saw evil in her eyes. The smile was gone. Then it returned. She agreed to give me a ride. We had a nice conversation on our way to the Red Line stop. She dropped me off and I thanked her. When I came to work the next day, I was surprised to find out that Agnes and a female coworker had reported me to the store manager for always asking them for rides. I was fired by phone after that shift. Agnes’s friendliness had compensated for the fact that she could not stand me. She was scared to death of me from the moment we met. This ordeal was a learning experience. It taught me to reduce my socializing with coworkers to “hi” and “bye.” It taught me to say “hi” and “bye” to coworkers in the exact same stone-faced manner. It taught me that smiling faces sometimes tell superb lies. The Undisputed Truth’s Smiling Faces Sometimes (1971) is a song that you should take to heart. Friendliness must not be confused with friendship.

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Use Your Head

Use your heart only after your head gives permission.

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Old Souls

If death is not the end, birth is not the beginning.

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House

Our demons obstruct the path to happiness. Certain ones arise through no fault of our own. We must slay them. Chance often brings tragedy. It circumvents good karma. We must handle whatever chance throws our way. I first watched House (1986) in a drive-in movie theater when I was eight years old. It scared the dickens out of me. It’s actually a comedy. I realized this when watching the film as a teenager. I have seen it countless times. Roger Cobb must battle a demon that was created through no fault of his own. He must come to terms with his past and himself. This is a fun movie with serious messages. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

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To Zion

I used to work with this lady named Thelma. She was old enough to be my mother. I think she began to think of me as a son. She told me a story that I will never forget. She had a friend whom she had known for over 40 years. Her name was Lynette. When they were in their 20s, Lynette was approached by an older man who wanted a son. He offered to pay her several thousand dollars if she would give him a child (boy or girl). He made it clear that he did not want her to have anything to do with their child after she gave birth. He basically wanted a baby-making machine. Lynette had lived in poverty all of her life. This deal was very attractive to her. She agreed to be his baby-making machine despite her reservations. It took the man about a month to impregnate Lynette. He provided everything she needed and/or wanted while she was pregnant. She gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and received every last dime of the money. Lynette never saw or heard from the man or her son again. I think about Lynette when listening to Lauryn Hill’s To Zion (1998). It’s a powerful song about a beautiful bond. No amount of money could compensate for depriving oneself of the union described. Lynette realized her mistake soon after her son was gone. I hope that this is a song she never has to hear.

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Seriously

We are even more accountable for our laughter when it’s involuntary.

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