Saturday, July 31, 2010

Living Underground

I thought about building a house in a pit of earth. My thought was the soil would keep the shelter stable and cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Just cover up the shelter and run some electricity and water and all would be well.

Living Underground.

A block of concrete and solitude would be permanent, but was that the best idea?

The engineering structure of plumbing and power was beyond my expectations. Constructional support to withstand the pressure of the earth was not calculated.

What a wonderful ideal, but what would happen if you lived in this hole?

All alone, in a hole of the earth. All the previsions could be provided, but without light and interaction with the outside world, could we survive?

The top soil would be as a forest, but underground would be the catacomb of electrical wires and pipes providing information and necessaries to the people who live above.

Oh! I just had a thought, I am in the house and don't have to come in from outside.

Maybe I'm am underground after all, but am just realizing it?

The sense of summer

Riding with the fireflies, listening to children play in backyard pools, hearing the chorus of Leo’s lawnmowers to the hammer and saw orchestra, feeling the steam rising off the street after an afternoon shower, smelling of sweet yet sickening smell of summer garbage, noticing the glistening of sweat on the arms and hands that is wiped off on the pants leg but reappears immediately, enjoying the caw of the crows chasing the hawk only to be followed by the squawk of the blue jays chasing the crows, feeling the heat of the enclosed mobile machines as they idle at the intersection, feeding the scurrying chipmunks which seem to come from everywhere, enjoying the momentary coolness from the leafy shade, glaring at the unrelenting brightness, breaking into a sweet after stepping out of a cold shower, being refreshed by the mist of the sprinkler trying to revive the brown grass, and managing the body temperature under the hottest summer in thirty-three years.

Never

·      Never changed a diaper
·      Never won a race
·      Never colored my hair
·      Never kissed a girl I did not like
·      Never went to a PTA meeting
·      Never said, “I’m sorry”
·      Never betrayed a friend
·      Never won the lottery
·      Never was the father of the bride
·      Never learned English
·      Never tried too hard
·      Never made a home run
·      Never like gummy candy
·      Never danced until dawn
·      Never set goals
·      Never had a nickname
·      Never joined a fraternity
·      Never went to a prom
·      Never enjoyed fairy tales
·      Never regretted yesterday
·      Never wished for tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Can't Avoid the Morning

You can't avoid the morning

As the rotation brings the light melting away the darkness

You can't avoid the morning

As your body shutters at the sound of creatures foraging.

You can't avoid the morning

When the sounds and faces fade from dreams

You can't avoid the morning

To lift the body out of the linen explosion

You can't avoid the morning
Unless the morning never comes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hugging and Dancing

From the first family memories, we hug to embrace and show affection for each other. As babies, we are passed around and smothered by family. Growing older, we are asked to give family members big hugs. It is an innocent sign of warmth and acceptance.

Then, when the music starts, we dance together. Our feet move to the fashion of the date and keep track of the beat while our bodies hug. To most, this is the first contact with the other sex.

This male / female hugging to music leads to all sorts of devious behavior, like kissing, but that is for another time.

Take Me To The Place Where You Sleep

Our sanctuary is our home. The structure that holds all our worldly goods. The interior area is divided into functional spaces for specific purposes.

Living room, for living
Dining room, for dining
Sitting room, for sitting
Kitchen, for holding appliances and preparing consumption for the dining room
Bath room, for washing and grooming
Bed room!

Bed Room? A space not named for a function but for a piece of furniture?

Why not name the Living room the Sofa room, or the Kitchen the Stove room, or the Bathroom the tub room?

But the bed room is different. An inner sanctuary where the deepest darkest secrets lie. The one space in the home to truly relax. Take off the daily ware and put on comfortable clothing, watch late night television, tell ultimate truths, snuggle, become intimate, and rest the body. Usually the most personal items are kept in this room.

So to find someone true self, ask the question...

"Will you take me to the place where you sleep?"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just Not Thinking

We get into the routines of the day following ordinary patterns and paths. After a long, hot ride, checking email and cooling down, I went to the grocery store, as I do every day. Only had one thing on the list, well two if you count beer, but that is a daily necessary.

Weaving around the people who look at labels as if they were written in a foreign language or those old folks who look down aisles in wonderment pondering what the journey holds for them. So I slowly cool in the air conditioning while gathering my carrots, sliced meat, Swiss cheese, bird seed, sunflower seed, peanuts, and Colorado's own.

Once in line at the check out, I place the items on the conveyor belt and wait for the two people in front recheck their bags, fold up their list, and act as if this was the strangest procedure in the world.

Just then it struck me. As I reached for my debit card, I realized I had not picked it up before I left. Without hesitation, I shuffle all the items back into the cart and in reverse order placed them all back on the shelves (I could have left the cart for someone else to resort the items, but I'm funny that way).

As I was leaving the store, a neighbor, looking shocked that I did not have any beer with me, stopped me to question if the world had changed.

"NO, I left my wallet at home. The beer will have to chill a little longer." I responded.

I had gotten into a routine and just was not thinking. I'll blame it on the heat rather than age or lack of sleep.

Just A Matter of Time

As I look around at all the projects on my to-do list, I have to remind myself of what I have already done. I can't be overwhelmed with the future, so I pause and consider what has transpired.

I wander out into the yard with all the scurrying creatures looking for more water and food and think what a shady forest it is, but it didn't start that way. Little scrubs and sticks are not leafy shelters for all sorts of critters that call Puppywoods home.

So it's time to put out seed, bread, peanuts and water and let them frolic in the heat.

Things will get done in due time. And if not, it's just a matter of time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tossin and Turnin

It is a strange habit I've grown into.

Every night, no matter when I go to sleep, I wake up and toss and turn in the bed. Back and forth, adjusting the pillow, trying to find a position, arrange the sheet, then back and forth, side to side without any rest.

It seems I wake up and can not stop thinking. Like a flashback of faces, phrases, songs, events, future plans, and past occasions. There is no theme to these thoughts just a random streaming of visions. Not a dream, for when I do go back to sleep I have the most bazaar dreams, but the tossing and turning time is a nightly wander into the subconscious.

Sometimes I get up and watch bad television. Sometimes I log onto the Internet, but only the people on the other side of the globe are awake. Sometimes I just toss and turn until I wear myself out.

I awake refreshed and after a cup of coffee and a bottle of water, I'm on my way, but I know tonight; I'll be tossin and turnin.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

This description seems to be given to everyone coming back from Afghanistan now. If a solider can give an incident that created stress, then they can apply for assistance from the government.

So how much do we pay for this? Since everyone is worried about the debt, this PTSD (as the professionals call it) is not going to help.

Let’s get real folks. It’s a volunteer army. These boys and girls sign up to go and protect a country who has pampered them through their teen years. Now the recruitment might sugar coat the obvious, the new recruits watch the news. They have been seeing the bad things happening for years.

Now the pride of country and faith may be strong, these kids are going into a hostile land to be shot at or worst. A teen has just eaten breakfast with a friend only to have pieces of him land in his lap after a roadside bomb is going to have some stress. You think?

Now fill out the paper work of the traumatic event with enough details to go through the government process to give a check to abate the affect of the trauma.

Face it these kids are going to WAR! Being shot at is a traumatic event. Hearing bombs going off is a traumatic event. Being separated from your family and friends and sent to a dusty dirty hostile environment where you do not understand the language or the customers and some of them are shooting at your is a traumatic event.

Of course the people who live there and can not leave have to cope with this every day as they have for years and years.

It’s A Hand Job

The world is being taken over by aliens! I’m sure of it. They have spread some sort of strange plague of the population creating all sorts of odd and unusual behavior.

I first noticed that people were hanging onto their ears. Driving, walking, even in groups, people had one hand on one ear. It was like some sort of salute.

Then they started talking. There was no one around, but people were walking around talking to the air. Some of them had funny looking ear rings that looked like roaches, but they were all just walking around aimlessly jabbering away for all to hear.

And now…..

Everyone is looking at there hands. Some sit quietly staring at their hands and then some sit in groups each staring at their palms. Some touch their hands with their fingers while other have an uncontrollable twitch in their thumbs. Sometimes looking at their hands brings laughter and they show their hand to others who join in on the laughter.

Are their hands dirty? Are their hands full of cheat notes from Sarah Palin? If they are showing off the green fuzz, we know where that came from.

Perhaps it is a giant conspiracy of palm readers? That’s it!! Alien Palm Readers making people do crazy stuff.

But they will lose this new massive attempt to overtake the minds and wills of the public, because when these new conscripts start with the hand staring, they are hypnotized by what they see. Their hallucinogen minds are so engulfed in focusing on their hands, they walk out into traffic without a pause.

The numbers will dwindle because those in the mobile machines are also staring at their hands.

Or……

Maybe it’s the heat?

The groups of metal mobile machine occupants are traveling around in 110-degree heat and 55% humidity with the WINDOWS ROLLED UP!

Time to wheel home, cool in front of a fan with a bullet, listen to my turntable, and talk to myself.

Now who’s crazy?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Think About It

Recently I decided to give myself some treats, so I went out and purchased a turntable. For those who don’t know what that is, it is an device to play the old 33 and a third vinyl’s I’ve been hanging on to for so many years. Then I had to purchase a machine to power the sound to speakers.
So I hook them all up like I had done through so may years before with cables and plugs.
Now I can hear those old scratchy records I grew up with, but not so fast.
Yes, there was sound, but it was more that scratchy. It was awful. Fuzzy vibrations with caustic words and music filled the room.
“What the…” I thought.
I had just bought a brand new turntable that could plug into a computer and a brand new 200-watt power device to deliver this wonder sound and all I get was this crap.
I powered off the system and tried another record, with the same results.
I thought maybe the vinyl had been affected by being in a harsh environment, even though they were protected inside their paper covers and wooden boxes. Maybe the old songs of my past had become unplayable.
I checked the instructional manual and there was no information on why the sound was so bad.
I did notice there was a not about hooking up the ground wire.
Ground wire? There was no ground wire on this 2010 model turntable. I remember old models having that little u-shaped wire that was screwed to the amplification system to make the turntable accessible, but there was NO GROUND WIRE!.
So I slept on the situation.
Maybe I’ll put all my records out on ebay or give them to friends. Maybe I’ve just spent money on something that doesn’t work. Should I go out and sue the company or just chuck it in the trash?
But after a few thoughts on the problem, I wondered what marvels had technology created to take away the ground wire?
Taking out the plugs from the “phono” section and plugging in the two RC plugs into the “CD” section, I powered up and…..

Like magic, pure sound came out of the small speakers.
It is amazing what can happen when you “think” about it.

Social Networks


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It is a funny phenomenon, this “online” connection with people.
Log into FaceBook, or MySpace, or LinkIt, or the millions of others web sites that you can use for free. Just put down your “profile” of schools, likes, interest and you are ready to browse the world for friends and companions. Meet new people and connect with old friends is the idea.
Then watch every day as people who you know or don’t know post information about what they are doing, where they are going, what their children are learning, and catch photos of silly events and family happenings.
It is like a reality show online, but what is real?
Who cares if you are going to the beach?
Who wants to see your child’s pictures?
Who really want to know??
The Internet is the only link to friends and family I have. I don’t know or care to know my neighbors and friends are far away, so this is the only communication with them.
Much like the family who moved out to Kansas in the early part of the American history, with no communication to anyone close by, they only had themselves to talk to, I wonder what would happen if the power went off.
As we grow closer through the electronic networks, are we more personal than the old face-to-face, look at my expression and read my face conversations? Maybe this is the progression of life where types letters fulfill our want for emotion.
Can we type desire? Can we type ecstasy? Can we type despair?
And does anyone else want to read it?

Countries


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It is amazing the different titles of countries that are used on this planet. I was looking through a book on flags* and noticed the variety of how countries name themselves. Some of them because of where they began and some are named by the government structure, they are still just land and politics and people wanting water, food and a reasonable since of security.
There are

Republics,
Principalities,
Kingdoms,
Colonies,
Federal Republics,
Grand Duchies,
Confederations,
States,
Hashemite Kingdoms,
Sultanates,
Authorities,
Emirates,
Islamic States,
People’s Republic,
Territories,
Decorticate Social Republics,
Federations, Unions,
Socialist Republics,
People’s Democratic Republics,
Arab Republics,
Socialist People’s Republics,
Federal Islamic Republics,
Commonwealths,
Co-operative Republics,
Eastern Republics,
And of course United States.
* Flags are banners we all follow. In sports or war or national pride, we follow the colors of our nation.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Last Newspaper




I’ve stopped getting the newspaper. No longer will it hit the door at three in the morning, no matter the weather. My morning pattern will have to change from my cup of coffee, bottle water and thirty minutes glancing through yesterday’s news.

As a news junkie, I watch it on television morning and night, but the past few months I realized everything I read in the newspaper, I already know.

So I’ve stopped the delivery of a printing industry that propelled my career for nearly forty years.

Now I’ll never know if Funky Winkerbean is dead from his accident. I’ll never know if the little dog Sassy will get back (of course he will, it’s Mark Trail). Since I don’t follow any teams, especially those losers the Flying Squirrels, I won’t get the scores. The weather I can get on television 24 hours a day or just go outside. I’ll not get Michael Paul Williams diversity slant on the news or hear about how the city jail is over populated and hot. I won’t be able to follow the stocks as they drop or see who is dead. I’ll not see the list of cars, houses, and other cheap stuff in the classifieds full of legal notices of foreclosures and no job listings. I won’t be getting the reviews of Dana and her preferences in what she likes to eat or Melissa’s poor writing on the music industry missing the local groups altogether. The same advertisers line the right side of the pages but without wanting windows, children clothing, or automobiles, I won’t miss them. Even Sunday’s coupon, which I don’t use, will not be missed.

And the milk-toast editorials by Todd are a waste of space. To quote: “God Bless America, America Bless God.”

So while the newspaper works hard shifting titles to Revenue Development, Targeted Solutions, and Content Development while bringing in new faces and surveying the public, it all comes down to how much does it cost to present yesterday’s news to the public.

I get faster news from Facebook than I did from the newspaper.

I’ll still support and tote the newspaper to others. It has a large staff gathering lots of information, viewed and reviewed by many eyes, then trimmed down to fit the space available, before being sent out to Hanover for ink to be pressed to recycled paper, bundled and delivered at 3 in the morning.

I can not rationalize paying, though it is a cheap product it is still not worth the cost, to support a 45 year old high school drop-out living with his mother who talked for five hours about his nasty neighbors, feeding squirrels, doing weed, and 60’s rock bands.

So if a newspaper had something I really wanted to read, something that interested me, something I learned only by reading the newspaper, I’d buy it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I’m Bored

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I’m bored with reading my directions
I’m bored with making a connection
I’m bored with ironing socks, tick-tock clocks, chicken pox
I’m bored with video games
I’m bored with remembering names
I’m bored with finding a solution, social revolution, and total confusion
I’m bored with television shows
I’m bored with blowing my nose
I’m bored with wearing a hat, getting up to bat, purring cats
I’m bored with dirty sex
I’m bored with what comes next
I’m bored with trying to sleep, horns that go beep, getting in too deep
I’m bored with monster cars
I’m bored with counting stars
I’m bored with Facebook post, scary ghost, people who boast
I’m bored with watching the grass
I’m bored with scratching my ass
I’m bored with girls who smile; it’s not my child, once in a while
I’m bored with painting cracks
I’m bored with comedy hacks
I’m bored with vampire nights, girls in tights, dogs that bite
I’m bored with a slow Internet
I’m bored with pants that are wet
I’m bored with giving a direction, finding perfection, taking a collection
I’m bored.


On the Market




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Antique model, sun roof, gray sidewalls, most of the original parts, all in working order, gets 10 miles on 12 cans of beer, plenty of gas, but back fires sometimes, used and abused but keeps running with a little TLC. No AC but lots of hot air. This is one of a kind available for a short period of time.
But seriously (not really) how would I get back into the market?
It has been 30 years and I’m not sure what has changed. Perhaps people just do sexting over their cells now. If there were face-to-face conversations, what would I small talk about? I don’t know any of the current movies or music or dances (do people still do that?) and I’m easily bored. Maybe it’s all about social networking on the computer? Does that mean the old chat rooms turned to twitting?
If I was to get back in the race, I can only see two options:
1. An old rich woman. I’m not talking about the old lady who got her first (or second) husband’s retirement fund. I’ve got one of those. I’m talking about rich. RICH. I mean Lots of Money. She would have to have piles of scratch, moola, with no end in sight. More money that I could ever spend, no matter how hard I tried. I wouldn’t mind rolling her to her daily naps or even the diapers (well maybe?) if she had that kind of cash. Of course I would be adorable and fed her with applesauce dripping on her bib, but I’d be spending that money the rest of the time.
2. Young Hottie. Yeah right, where is an old fart going to find a twenty something that would be interested? Have you been to any of the clubs recently? Have you seen what these young “ladies” do? So I figure I’ll find one of these wasted wannabes and hook up, get a quickie nuptial, then move in with here rich parents. This way I get the babe and her folks will pay the bills.
So that’s the plan. It’s not much of a plan, but I’m not looking for another ride on that roller coaster. I don’t visit those “meeting” sites or travel to group activities.
I think this time, I’ll just enjoy my solitude.

Consumption


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We work to make money to buy consumables. Food, clothing, shelter are all necessary to survive, so we work had for the money to consume these basic needs. And as we make more money our ability and quality of our consumption grows.

After World War two, this country was rolling in money from making bombs, and tanks, and guns and planes with industrial growth, which had not been attacked. The rest of the world had been destroyed, so we adjusted our giant manufacturing abilities to making refrigerators instead of bullets, cars instead of tanks, homes instead of bombs, and such consumables as televisions, air conditioners and backyard swimming pools. Our mass advertising blitzes convinced the world that these consumables were necessary to the new way of life.

While consumption is not one of the deadly sins, gluttony is. Gluttony is only consumption to the extreme. Like biggie sizing a fast food meal, or owning multiple cars or houses or fancy jewelry or giant televisions or maid service. The consumption of these goods and services makes us feel important and thus cherished by our families as a great provider and the envy of our friends and neighbors. The ability of mass consumption can even give the appearance of a higher quality of personality, which can sometimes influence promotions at work.

Our continuous desire for more consumption beyond our needs robs the planet of land and natural materials that cannot be replaced. Our gluttony for the next fad or life-changing items will destroy us.
And in the end, our obituary will not measure us by a list of all the consumption. That will be left to others to distribute and fight over.

So the next time you start to put down your plastic, ask yourself, “Do I really need this??”

Those Little Voices



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When the time is quiet, the little voices fly through the air. All the other noise of the day does not block them out. They scurry around your head. Sometimes there are voices and sometimes there is music.

Do you hear them?

They are like a television show next door. You can’t hear all the words. They are just brief glimpses of something going on that you cannot understand.

There they are again.

Perhaps these are the cell phone conversations flying through the air? Or maybe the cable networks lose some of their transmissions along the way? Could the other appliances like the refrigerator be picking these up?

You hear them too, don’t you?

These just could be the mind recouping the conversations of the day trying to organize dreams.

You hear them?

Are these the same voices Syd Barret heard? Are these the voices that haunt Charles Mansion?

Am I the only one who hears them?

Or maybe my mind has been taken over by aliens and I’m receiving secret coded satellite signals.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hey Babe

All around my hat I will wear the green willow
and all around my hat for a twelfth month and a day
And if anyone should ask me the reason why I'm wearing it
It's all for my true love whose far, far away


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Hey babe,

Been quite a year. Not what I expected, but then everyday is an adventure.

I was in shock when I rode the bus down to MCV that morning. The firemen were very professional and did what they do, but they knew as I knew it was over. The doctor asked if I wanted to see you, but I already had. The emotion therapist or whatever she was tried to soften the moment and asked how I was. I replied I was OK, to which she responded “Bullshit.” Nice.

I sat outside for a couple of days getting my thoughts together. I called Chick and Virginia who came up, but there was little they could do. I put a message out on Facebook since that is where most of the people I know are, but did not put a notice in the newspaper. I wrote your parents, not knowing if they were still there, but got no response. I didn’t expect one.

The next months were filled with gathering up “stuff”, making list, and calling charities for pickup. What had begun a few months earlier, picked up pace fired by anger, pain, and frustration.

Summer passed pretty quickly and days were filled with dust and dirt and sweat, but I made progress and space.

Once I made room upstairs, I decided to get a new hot water heater. Or it decided for me.

One night during a heavy rain, the litter room ceiling starting to leak. Great. A hole in the roof. A couple of nights later the dining room ceiling started to drip. The old water heater finally gave up and started to drain downstairs through a rusted out bottom.

I had called a plumber to put a new facet on the outside where water was continuously flowing, so I called him in the middle of the night to have the water turned off. After clearing some more space upstairs and becoming familiar with the Kroger bathroom, I got an estimate on a new gas hot water heater. Of course, it wasn’t that easy.

The old heater, which was 30 years old, could not just be swapped out. New code regulations required additional draining with larger pipes, so walls had to be taken out and holes drilled. It took awhile for the tank to fill, but there it was all bright and shiny. Of course, it wasn’t that easy. There was no gas.

So a call to the city and a guy comes out in a truck looking at the meter and checking the street. He looked around and got on the radio in the truck. He looked around some more then handed me a piece of paper and said, “ Call this number.”

A phone call promised me a new line had to be installed. By this time it was winter and the snows came and the ice came and finally the city crew came and dug a hole in the street and planted little yellow flags in the yard.

To make a long story longer, I finally got the gas hooked up and have hot water. It would have driven you crazy.

Speaking of winter, it was a wild one. This winter was colder with a ton of snow. I moved the little heater into the living room and sat between the two windows basking in the sunlight. Lots of layers and blankets, but I made it through. I guess I’ve grown accustomed to the pioneer spirit.

I also went through all my food cravings last winter. Cookies, cake, ice cream, pie, and all the fast food places were tried, but they all failed.

I go to the store everyday, just like I used to, but I buy less. The major food shopping day is once a month on Tuesday, old folks discount day. I’ve broken my list down to fruit (yes, I have fruit every morning so I won’t get scurvy), grained bread, kidney beans, soup, wheat crackers, whole-wheat pasta, canned tomatoes, and jello for desert.

My cooking skills have become simple. What can I pour into a mug and heat up?

I ride every morning and that gives me some air and time to focus. I even ride Bianci. A couple of crows greet me and the peteies and beau-beaus scurry back and forth while the robins and cardinals do their aerial acrobatics.

And there is a blue jay, that must be you, reminding me when to feed the yard critters. I fed them all winter and they are fat and sassy. Frick and Frack have some new cousins who wander around the tree highway while Beau-Beau’s grand children run amuck through the grasses. And the fish came through the frozen pond winter just fine. I’ve even cleaned the filter a couple of times.

I’ve let the yard do what it is going to do. Cut the crape myrtles on the side to cut down the highway into the upstairs. I also got rid of the upstairs neighbor.

I had to get rid of all the other critters. Too much memories and they needed something better. Buffy was the tough one, but I had to do it.

I went through all your notebooks and papers. You wrote down everything. Things we had talked about, things we didn’t talk about. Pages filled with your secrets and plans and concerns and wishes. I read them all.

And I went through all the photos. I’ve saved a few of you smiling. Those are the best.

30 years of reliving our time together. Vacations to Williamsburg, honeymoons to the beach, walks to Maymont or the museum or the marathons, watching M.A.S.H. or Friends or Quincy, fighting and making up. I spent more time with you than with anyone else in my life.

This has also been a time to review my life. An empty house gives one lots of time for that, but I’m sure you knew that.

I tried to give you everything you wanted and needed, and a bunch of stuff you just liked. I tried to give you the space and freedom to do whatever you wanted. And you always surprised me. Your energy was non-stop and your ideas were unimaginable, but they worked out well. I sorry you didn’t get to complete them all.

Looking back and sorting through all the stuff, I think I provided you with the physical possessions you asked for, but could not give you the emotion you required. Even a diamond ring fades over time. It wasn’t I would not, I don’t think I ever could.