Friday the 13th

Before I started working at the hospital, I was convinced that superstitious lore like Friday the 13th was entirely just that—nothing more than superstitious ramblings of overactive imaginations. I chalked full moons into that category as well, because, why not?

Fast forward to when I started working in the Emergency Room admitting patients into the hospital. I started noticing odd things that defied the course of “normal” life that the ER staff treated with a callousness that spoke of being entirely too exposed and desensitized to this sort of phenomenon. Mainly, the weird and creepy things that would go down on Fridays that fell on the 13th, and full moons.

Whenever we were scheduled to work on a Friday the 13th, there was always an electric charge in the air of the Emergency Room. Staff was always on high alert because we would get a heavier-than-normal influx of traumas and car accidents that would occur that day. But the really intense stuff usually started more towards the evening. I remember one evening, a man ran in through the sliding doors carrying his girlfriend in his arms who had a large knife sticking out of her stomach. She had apparently stabbed herself for no reason. Our lobby had already been full to brimming with patients who were unable to keep their hallucinations at bay and people whose suicidal ideations were driving them crazy. The silent man sitting in the corner suffered presences that followed him around that looked like the Dementors from Harry Potter, while the lady sitting next to the fish tank couldn’t stop seeing black cats that ran up the wall and disappeared into the ceiling.

Soon after, a squad of Sherriff’s cars sped into the ambulance bay with their lights flashing and an ambulance hot on their heels. A gang fight had erupted with several members of the opposing gangs being wounded by gunshot wounds. The lobby became a hotbed of tension and hostility by two rival gangs both vying for space while waiting for their respective gang members to be treated behind the closed doors of the ER. Another ambulance brought in a patient with severe drug withdrawals and hallucinations that was strapped to the gurney, bucking ferociously trying to get off, and screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs. Since there were no more available rooms in the ER, she had to wait on the gurney in the hallway.

This is just a small sample of what the ER would look like on a Friday the 13th and a night whereupon a full moon was shining. One evening I had clocked off for the night and happened to be driving out behind a vehicle that had just left the ER. The lady sitting in the passenger seat of the car stuck her head out the window and started screaming obscenities at me and then started throwing glass bottles at my car. Luckily, I stomped on my breaks just in time and the bottles smashed on the road right in front of me. I quickly took a detour to get home.

So wherever you are tonight and if you are preparing to go into work, especially in the service industry, please be careful and remain cautious on this odd night that tends to bring out the stuff that’s not so easily explained.

Curious, has anyone else had any strange experiences that couldn’t be explained?

Memories For a Masterpiece

I never could get past the goodbye
you forced out of me. Moving on looked so
easy on you–
the way you acted as if you were freed from
the obligations of our bond. Perhaps
I kept you back from fully becoming who you
are, but it was never due to a lack of love.
I loved you too much and so I
kept you close; never once realizing that
you were suffocating. I’ve asked your forgiveness
many times in the years that ensued,
but you were never there to hear them,
were you? Piece by piece, I scraped a little more of
you from my soul until the memories were bearable
again. Until I could think of you without wavering
between grief and wounded pride. I rebuilt
myself from scratch, did you know? So how is it
that after all this time, you want a place by my side
again? What am I to do with all the scars
of our last parting? I fear they’ve forever become
a silent companion to fill the spaces between
our words and every breath..
No.
Let our memories be our masterpiece.
Let us walk away from what we once were and content
ourselves in knowing we were glorious once,
when we were at the height of our triumph.

Pain Like a Lover

The abyss calls forth her song
of seduction—luring the wary and unsuspecting
as they fall headlong into her depths. Sweeter
than a siren’s song, the edge beckons softly
with the crook of a finger and a come-hither
smile. Unable to resist, they succumb
one by one. Toy soldiers heading into battle
armed with plastic for bullets. The rare one
makes his way out of the darkness—broken,
bleeding, but with light like fire in his eyes.
Talking about cracks that let the light in and
pain that is healing.

Lonely, Dark Night

And if one day you can’t find
a single star in your black night,
’tis only due to their eclipse
by your own beatific light.
Come one morning upon waking
you’ll find that life’s unsteady shaking
cast up diamonds in its wake;
And ‘twixt their birthing and your death,
when all the world held its breath
the Master quietly brought forth
His own Soul for you to take.

*I generally dislike rhyming poems but for some reason this one was birthed in my mind and I didn’t fight it.

You are beautiful if you are brave enough to believe it

Reading the comments section of a youtube music video really stopped me in my tracks this morning. Someone’s carefree comment of greeting all the beautiful readers spurred an onslaught of responses from people claiming they are ugly and awkward and everything opposite of beautiful. It really caught me off guard and left me wondering how many of us are walking around believing the worst about ourselves?

Our beliefs are intangible, yet they have the ability to wreak so much havoc or bring so much joy to our lives without us doing anything more than simply believing it to be true.

One of the lessons I had to learn in the most brutal way was that my emotions and everything I think about myself are master manipulators. It’s as if they take on a life of their own and start telling you things about yourself that are not true at all. One day I decided to revolt and start acting in a way that was completely opposite to what I actually believed about myself and what my circumstances were reinforcing to be true. I would consistently talk to God about this as well and ask Him to help me reinforce positive beliefs and self awareness. One thing that I did not count on is the sheer amount of bravery that would be required to consistently wake up and choose to believe the best about myself in the face of overwhelming odds.

Social media, Instagram models, and our own doubts (to name a few) are giants that have the ability to morph into monstrous proportions if we give them the slightest ability. (I wasn’t able to keep any social media accounts for the longest time due to this.) Let’s agree on one thing, if we must agree on anything at all, and it is this—the world is just waiting to pounce on you and tell you that you are not good enough, do not meet anyones standards of beauty, are not interesting enough to merit anyones attention, and are generally a failure. But there exists a small truth that, if given the opportunity, will change your life forever. You don’t have to agree with the world’s definition of you.

I recently started noticing a difference in the way people have been approaching me, and it has caused me to stop and take note. It revealed a dynamic about ourselves that we too often forget:

We are mirrors.

And people will always mirror our own beliefs back to us without even realizing they are doing it.

If you truly allow yourself to believe that you are beautiful, people will notice your beauty and treat you accordingly. If you respect yourself, people will treat you with respect. If you are kind to yourself, your kindness will overflow to other people and they will in turn react kindly to you.

So ask yourself—are you brave enough to take a stand about what you believe?