Tale 325 ~Virgil Can B Choosy~

Do I have a choice? Yes. It’s why I look in the mirror, not the nightstand drawer. What? The world’s dangerous, and there’s Heaven, Hell, or the Rainbow Bridge, which I believe my Braxton found. But it wasn’t his choice. Virgil Can B Choosy

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tale 325 ~Virgil Can B Choosy~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… A choice? Sure. One that can’t be undone. Our children. My son, Braxton. Even Virgil.

The things that come into my world. But I didn’t choose the world. It’s been a hard few days living in it. And yes, if my B were still here, the past 1206 days would have been no question. Now, that is a lie. But like the promise I made to you. Always and forever.

Whenever I walked out the door, there were three phrases, three words each. “I’ll be back,” “Love ya, B,” and “Love ya Braxton.” No matter what happened, I love Braxton.

That was enough to survive, whatever. And then you ask, what about you? The kids? It’s my choice to come back to my family. I choose you, lover, every day. But it’s a hard choice. I know I sound selfish.

It’s like looking in a mirror. When I see myself even after all this time. I want to do my best Johnny Cash impression. “I hurt myself today.” If I could see myself like Braxton.

Pure love. I’ve told the story time and time again of when my Olds were moving, and Braxton was standing there. “Get in the car!” I yelled. Braxton did not hesitate. He made his choice. B III didn’t know where it would lead, but that choice to love was enough.

Virgil didn’t get that choice. And you, my love, didn’t choose to love, whatever it is I have become. A man of constant sorrow. Because even the choice of me getting up seems too much.

I wake up feeling robbed.

Braxton wasn’t stolen. If I blame anyone for his passing, it’s a former Day Job and my indifference. And that’s why “I Feel Everything.” Grief and sorrow seem the safest.

There was a time when I existed as “lust’s passion will be served…” As if that’s changed with all I do. I’m still in business, after all. The books, babes, and bucks. I want it all. Braxton, though, will not be a part of that. And now choosing to be here. Right here, this moment.

“It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.” A thousand choices shout praises! But make one.

Loving you? I will. Doing right by family. Yes. Existing without my boy? I’m here!

Choose to be happy? Staying enough? Virgil Can B Choosy

1206 Days Without B III, Day 647 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 318 ~Virgil’s Drowning Risk B~

My fears? Braxton’s passing, which I survived… My Olds who are very much alive, and neither one has put me in the ground yet. Then drowning. I even turned off Far Cry 5 when I saw that happening. But Virgil is off and crying? Virgil’s Drowning Risk B

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Tale 318 ~Virgil’s Drowning Risk B~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… Enough to keep your head above water. Or do I lay my coat over puddles at your feet, my love?

Do I want to be a gentleman today? As with most days—well, let’s say 1199 of them—I want to be a man. I won’t say a happy man, but a man provides. And I’m trying. I always am.

But, my Braxton is gone.

Again, I’m trying to keep Virgil from the same fate. For as long as I can. He has a veterinary appointment tomorrow, so AHEM:


Not a day goes by that I don’t remember the last two that B took. Or was it three? Hmm.

“Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame.” I did that to my furry son. And now to my lovely wife? You’re still here, but Braxton isn’t. What about me?

I’m keeping my head above water. But nobody likes seeing that. So I’m lying here. Waking up, I gasp for air with an expletive upon my lips. No wonder Virgil stays off the bed. And our other children? If I can go through the day without mentioning Braxton. Or saying anything scandalous or scary or that makes someone else sad. Not even now, love. As I can exist… without happiness. I can’t without sadness or FEAR. It won’t go away.

If I am going to wake up wet, with bad words, and wanting another baby. I’d rather be with you, yeah. You keep drowning me in your love. Are you crying from all the laughter, pleasure from… or relief from me not talking about Braxton?

Sigh. Even a sigh means that I’m still breathing. I’m alive. Only the flooding never stops, my love. It’s been raining for so long. And I’m sure even Braxton’s Aunt has grown sick of me. She said she would bring a boat if we ever had another situation like Noah and God’s Wrath, as read in the Bible. But both she and you never knew it would be B III’s passing that would bring this.

I understand what you’re asking of me. I’m a drowning man pulling you under. You’re asking me, when will I grow. Life gave me lemons; I can’t make it lemonade. And I’ll make apple juice because I need to see a doctor. And no man is an island. Water, water, everywhere. Virgil’s Drowning Risk B

1199 Days Without B III, Day 640 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 311 ~Virgil, That’ll B Love~

Love’s not out there. There’s not much love in here, either. If I want to find Love and Happiness. Can I do better than an Al Green song? There are books on love. I don’t have pretty women waitin’ out there. And B’s gone. Virgil, That’ll B Love.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Tale 311 ~Virgil, That’ll B Love~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… Always, be it all of two seconds, twenty seconds of insane courage, or the best thirty seconds of my life. (Snickers).

Give me a minute, my love. Am I trying to be funny? Perhaps because laughter is my shield against tears. They say if you can make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything. But if you can make a woman cry… I don’t want to do that unless it’s tears of joy that I’ve brought to your eyes.

I lost happiness way before I lost my firstborn, and I’ve only been out looking for one. I swear love has many different faces. And nowadays, all I see is tears in the eyes of all those around me. But I don’t count myself in that. My tears are all for my son, my Braxton.

God is love? Braxton is love. So are you. But what comes through that door…

You know me, my love. I’m no conservative. A man of tradition? A man provides. Husbands, Fathers, and real men do that. Mine did that. And I had the things I had before you, even before B III. How can I say that he doesn’t love me? I fear I can’t do the same for our family. Fixing things, Grieving…

Again, a man provides, and that has to be enough—all the money in the world. So, I call myself a man because I give this family what it needs. You’ll never go without—ever!

Virgil, our furry “son.” seems to sense my unease. He’s eating well, has his bed and comfy spots, and has even given you more room since he no longer sleeps on the bed. His eyes, like the flickering signal on our DISH Network, tell a different story. They reflect the uncertainty and worry that I’m grappling with. Blankness and emptiness

Love, my dear, is a force that can transcend financial constraints. It’s about the intangible things that money can’t buy, the things that all the wealth in the world couldn’t have saved Braxton from. Yet, I believe in its power. Would I have noticed his condition sooner if I hadn’t been so consumed with work? I wonder, love. These are the questions that haunt me.

Let me tell you what I don’t see: love being advertised, even with all the Mother’s Day stuff everywhere. I’ll always love my Mama, but I hope she takes that love and passes it to her grandchildren and Virgil, too. I love you and hope you take it for our little ones and, yes, Virgil as well. But love for me? To be open instead of broken. Everything is broken, always. Virgil, That’ll B Love

1192 Days Without B III, Day 633 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 304 ~Virgil, Time To B~

What time is it? Before writing wedding vows, I’ll list the top ten questions I hate the most. Like, what are you reading? It’s even furry kids or flirty women. Either way, they go down. Eww! No time for g-d jokes. “Virgil, Time To B.”

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Tale 304 ~Virgil, Time To B~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… My love for you is boundless; it’s a feeling that grows with each passing day. If life is a game, then love is the instruction booklet. Learning to play again

I’m not sure how much I believe I can now. Do I love my girl or my grief more, love?

And here come the waterworks. I swear the last thing I need is to cry. I haven’t got the flooding from last year out of my mind. It was a water heater and an air filter… (Grumbles). There’s a reason I haven’t turned on the air conditioner yet. What? But even if we’re billionaires, I’m protecting the hearth and home. If only “he” were here…

My firstborn, my Braxton. Always and forever. I promised my son and you, my love. Only it’s been a while since it’s been just us. But B is in my heart and head on Sunday, April 28, 2024. He’ll be here when you see this Tuesday, April 30, 2024. It’s funny that I can’t time-travel past my mourning and grief.

My groin or you G-Spot. I’m sure the critic would love to hear about that—a time when I’m not Braxton’s Dad. And we have kids of our own. Let me be a man, and you are my woman. Period.

Inevitably, I go back to crying about Braxton. I didn’t pour the Bisquick, but Braxton… Yeah, Braxton will always be my pancake. And there isn’t a time without missing him.

That’s one thing he has over our kids. “Haven’t you people ever heard of closing a (blah) door?!” When Braxton was alive, how many times did I have intimate moments with anyone? Seriously!? 161 celibate…

That’s why I relate somewhat to Ethan from the book Bikini Days by Michael Dalton. Ethan’s daughter makes him swear off women after Ethan’s wife walks out on them. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again. My Braxton was much better.

He wouldn’t want me to swear off the things or those I love. I’m sure he would have loved you. And if he could see his siblings, I’ll even include Virgil in that. But the time, my love. If only you could feel as I do. The breath I took after Braxton’s very last one.

Everything feels wrong. It’s as if I have all the time in the world and then none at all, love. I keep talking about turning forty and if somehow I can make that… Anything, love.

There’ll be time to read Bikini Dawn. Thankfully, it will come out before E-Day. I’ll still be thirty-nine, my love!

Live, learn, and love myself, us, this family, always and forever. Virgil, Time To B

1185 Days Without B III, Day 626 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 297 ~ That’ll B Lovely, Virgil~

Life is… beautiful? Everything is… awesome? That’ll be… lovely. And how about existence? I hate this phrase, but “it is what it is.” If something is “good” for others, that is great. Then there’s my boys and their lives, Huh. That’ll B Lovely, Virgil

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tale 297 ~ That’ll B Lovely, Virgil~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… But what does that mean now? That I pay? Part of me yearns for you…

Probably you want me to close my eyes, close my eyes, and relax, think of nothing tonight… That nothing is my firstborn son, Braxton. And tonight? It’s Thursday, April 18, 2024. Braxton is still gone. And this coming week? God, I want to join him.

Braxton is love. So are you. So are they. The family we have made together, this existence, the life that we share… I didn’t ask some father in heaven or one down here on Earth.

Love, I didn’t even ask the one I see staring back at me through the mirror. So, what did I want in this existence? It doesn’t come with a menu. But how much is that doggie in the window? I don’t know. Braxton was/is lovely.

And now I sit here in bed. Why… After seeing that little face. The touch of B III’s soft fur. I would hear Braxton’s happiness every time I returned. The taste of food before sharing.

Smell… please ew. In fifteen years, B learned to go outside. And “with that in mind, a soft, nice-smelling girl’s better.” With all the songs I listen to, why can’t I hear I love you?

I know you do, baby. Despite me being a baby. And you asking me anything and everything except the obvious. Because if you ever did, it would be cruel, ugly, and vile, my sweet love. And I’m trying. When I saw V, I thought, “That’ll be lovely.” A fur kid.

His life’s far from lovely.

But again, what about ours? What About Us, What About The Rest Of Us? Anyone? Indeed, everyone is asking me that. And it’s not fair to any of you. To just be lovely, like something to be picked up for dinner. I mean, there’s lovely. And then there’s, well, more. I can sing Isn’t She Lovely about each of our daughters. And what about our sons. I hope they are better men than me. Wasn’t B III, and what about Virgil? Hmm. Virgil Vivi’s trying.

Everything is lovely and awesome. But I want it to be… Well, how it never will be. Braxton should be here to see it. And if I can love as my firstborn son loved me, love. That’ll B Lovely, Virgil

1178 Days Without B III, Day 619 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 290 ~Love Bugs B, Virgil~

I haven’t been bitten by the love bug in some time. When’s the last time I’ve been outside other than to let V out. Or go anywhere I didn’t want to go. What bugs me the most. Breathing. I wish I could make it worthwhile. Love Bugs B, Virgil

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tale 290 ~Love Bugs B, Virgil~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… But while you always tell and show me, I miss Braxton—you and them. Virgil?

Money makes such a lovely sound. But is it love? For the love of money. If I had it 1,171 days ago, would it have saved my firstborn son, my B? Food insecurity? Never, love! Today, Sunday, April 7, 2024. I’m only thinking about all the problems in the kitchen. Braxton’s food still sits on the counter. Three years? Is that a problem? Frightening, Mad?

Even now, I want to yell out to Braxton to take his medicine or fill up his food and water bowls. I do that for V anyway, but it’s not the same, and it sounds stupid. Doesn’t sound like love…

Like the kitchen faucet that’s acting up, the shelf that fell down, or a messed-up drawer. This mess, I swear.

If that ain’t love, then I don’t know what love is. A well-loved house that I should fix for the living. In doing so, I would honor my Braxton. It’s slowly eating away at me.

Inspecting for termites when I would instead be blasting my way through Terminids, Automatons, and whatever else in the game Helldivers 2. What’s one more distraction? Hmm. I need anything and everything to make some noise. Grieving, Hating, but Loving…

Trying to remember what love sounds like bugs me. Only I want to hear it. You and me, always and forever, my love. I want to place the two of us under the covers. Really?
Hey, it beats me thinking about Maiko Kaneda all day. Your husband has a type.

The two of us love bugs. Those two-legged children of ours, bugging mommy and daddy. Someday, I might even look at Virgil as such. One of our kids. But he didn’t have a choice, my love. I can’t say I was even bitten by the love bug. More like I was bitten by my B. And it would have pained me to leave without Virgil. Only I was being selfish or even obtuse with love. Seriously, what’s with all my talk of bugs anyway? Extermination?

Breathing bugs me. Every breath I take. Take this morning for example. I lied here reading, and Virgil was shoving against me. As long as I didn’t look at him, I could imagine Braxton, love bug. Love Bugs B, Virgil

1171 Days Without B III, Day 612 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 283 ~Hear B, Listen V~

When was the last time I heard “I love you” and felt something? When was the last time I said it? The last time I heard love and felt it was in Braxton’s last breath. And I’m sure I’ll be hearing it well into the future. “Hear B, Listen V.”

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Tale 283 ~Hear B, Listen V~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… But I can tell why it has to be this way. My son is gone.

Braxton, my Soldier, Soul dog, indeed my firstborn Son. Even now, while I time travel. Today is Sunday, March 31, 2024, Easter Sunday. He Is Risen? Well, not my Braxton.

Today, how many more will pay for my sins? There ain’t no coming back from all these things that I’ve done. But that’s the thing, my love. I’m still gone, and you’re still waiting for me. Even though I don’t look a thing like Jesus. I know I need to cut the music off, love. I need to turn off all the noise and stay awake. Why? Because love’s louder?

Honestly, that’s my problem. The last time I heard love was my Braxton’s last breath. And for 1,164 days, I’ve only been listening. But hearing?

Whatever DEI! And you know what I wanted to say.

More like they want to say. But why is hate so much easier to explain? Why do the things I hate come so naturally? Like myself for what happened to Braxton. You tell me, I loved, and I loved, and I lost you. You sing to me. As long as I’m breathing, always and forever.

So why don’t I want to hear it? Am I making any sense at all, my love? Love is confusing.

It’s the way it has to be sometimes. But how much longer? As I said before, look how far I am from this day. Look how far I’ve come from the day my B fell. I still hear it, love.

Only you know you, man. My love language is physical touch. And when it comes to you and me, I feel everything. And you’ll do anything to make me feel your love. Actions, right? More than words? And everything that comes with it. But you want me to hear you. You need me to. But all I hear is pain, yours, mine, my boys, B III and 2V, our kids.

And I listen to everything else, like some white noise. I am sleeping away existence. Today, love doesn’t lie bleeding. It’s sleeping. And I have to find my way, darling.

Honestly, that’s the only time I’ll say you remind me of my Ma, baby doll. I’ll let you love me. Hear? Hear B, Listen V.

1164 Days Without B III, Day 605 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 276 ~Virgil Digs You, B…~

I’ve got hoes, or I got holes, something like that. I certainly dig one. And speaking of digging. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, people in books, my boy, or the bed I must leave before I die here. Nah! V keeps me alive because Virgil Digs You, B.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Tale 276 ~Virgil Digs You, B…~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… But that doesn’t mean I won’t be in the doghouse. You’re mad, I’m sad, Virgil.

Dogs dig their own graves—that’s a dark thought. But I was lying here reading after I brought Virgil in. As usual, Virgil Vivi pawed on the bed and his pillow to get comfy. It made me think of my son Braxton. It’s something dogs do, digging in their bedding. Braxton stopped doing that before the end. Or at least I don’t remember it, love. Impossible! Because I want to remember every single thing about my B. Not just sadness?

Like that annoying song Boots by Leony that I listened to. Mad as all Hell as my boy lay dying. I dug my son’s grave. But not in the way I think. And I don’t mean B in his box?

Like walks, treats, and fun

Huh, fun! You and me, my love. There is a reason I went celibate for 161 days… Don’t get me wrong, baby girl. I dig you more than Resident Evil 5’s Excella Gionne or Final Fantasy VII’s Scarlet. What? With Helldivers 2 making all that noise. Your man digs games.

Can I talk about Virginia and Victra from the book Golden Son? Again, that’s what I was reading this morning. I wish Darrow would dig one of them enough, too… Well, you know. Because we’ll lie on the loveseat together or in bed as I read it to you, love.

Reading, gaming, anything at all to not show you how much I’m digging you today. Could it be that I’m just dumb and… never mind.

No! It was words like never mind, and whatever, that had me digging Braxton’s grave. To save him from my anger, I gave him my indifference. I lay in bed, not wanting to move, instead of getting up and seeing to him. I would dig in with the Day Job I hated instead of seeing to him. And now that’s the thing. I don’t want to dig anything anymore, ever.

But if I want to join my Braxton so badly, I must prepare a place for myself. Dig In! That means living and not just existing? That would be my boy talking, love, honestly. Digging into books. Digging my girl out, ha-ha. There are graves to dig. I have enemies. Myself? Virgil Digs You, B…

1157 Days Without B III, Day 598 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 269 ~B Gives Virgil Space~

When I say I will “Go The Distance,” it’s like my mind finding anything intelligent. Or having a family that includes more than a four-legged friend. What about being *happy.* There’s no space not with my grief and fear. “And Virgil wants room.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tale 269 ~B Gives Virgil Space~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… To the moon and back? How about if the sun should refuse to rise, love?

You’ll have to forgive a friend here or there texting me about space. And you know your husband has always been into Star Wars. For that, I won’t apologize. But distance, space, and the void? My love, have you yet to understand how great my son was in this existence?

What do I mean was? Take yesterday, for example. Anytime I’m afraid, or something becomes too overwhelming. I remember the worst thing I’ve survived. Euthanasia! Specifically, the loss of my firstborn son, B III. And then everything else seems livable.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, I took Virgil to the groomers. While waiting for him, I saw a dog crate that doubled as a nightstand. A place for B III and 2V, my love. My furry sons.

The idea of making space for them both together? And yet Braxton in his box. Or wherever he exists. And Virgil lying in a soft bed underneath. They’re both far.

Remember earlier this morning when Virgil Vivi was upset over the storm? Whether he was in our room or Braxton’s, the space between him and me doesn’t matter, my love.

I was driving to pick Virgil Vivi up, and I was thinking. If PetSmart harmed him? I have two words for them. John Wick. But I can’t say I love Virgil. Nowhere near my Braxton

But What About The Rest Of Us? V isn’t going anywhere. And there are always you, our children, and a few friends. I’m not counting myself. The man I am. I want him far away.

Only that’s the man you fell in love with. Underneath these clothes is an endless story. And the man you chose. I swear, Shakira, Shakira, ha-ha! Bragging about my manhood?

But seriously, The Space In Between Us, my love, this is what I’ve been thinking about all morning. I keep saying that Braxton is sending me messages from books lately. Between how to keep a fur buddy’s memory alive and Darrow protecting his friends, too.

Now, ask me what that tells me about being close to you, my love. All of my fears, the fence, and our finances. Braxton got so close to me before I knew anything, love. While you had me saying Somethin’ Stupid. B Gives Virgil Space

1150 Days Without B III, Day 591 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,

Tale 262 ~Love Lies, B…eing Virgil~

Breathe in and out. It’s a simple thing. But I got the paperwork from the vet’s proving how hard it is. I have more than enough from the Day Job, doctor’s office, and my dad. I hope to have some for a bigger family. Hmm. Love Lies, B…eing Virgil

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Tale 262 ~Love Lies, B…eing Virgil~

Dear Future Wife,
You know that I love you, right… And it hurts sometimes. Good morning to you. But pain, fear, and missing my boy.

The things that get me up in the morning. What about love? It’s at the core of everything, my love. But I know what you’re asking. “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” With us?

Before we go any further, is that today’s tunage sent by my Braxton? Please! Ha-Ha! Neither is the zombie ambiance that, by the day, is more and more of a habit to listen to while writing. Why not listen to you, my beautiful wife? I love you. Those three words.

Always, always, I long to hear them but there is so much more. So much that it overflows, overwhelms, and overtakes me. And all I’m trying to do is keep breathing for a moment longer.

To hear my Braxton breathe.

But what about you, our children, Virgil, all the things I’ve built, all we’ve created? Dearest, “Hey Lover,” I’m being bombarded by the winds. Even now, they’re turning my pages… Not literally! I usually read on a tablet. There’s the sound of Haley playing, trying to blow away the sounds of the dead with her “Hurricane.” There’s in and out…

Breathing, my love, I wonder.

Why? So I hear, I love you. And I do, my love, always and forever. I will always mean it. But it is the same for my Braxton. It didn’t end when he lay in his bed and fell asleep.

Like father, like son, love.

I’ve been a fan of The Walking Dead forever. But when Braxton joined the Dead…

Where he goes, I will follow. But not this time, because there’s all this Air. How do THEY say, water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink? Air, Air, everywhere, and not a want to breathe. But because there’s love? To think those that I love would outnumber B.

And if I were to lose you or anyone, especially by my hand. Is that why I lie here, love?

Isn’t that what took my Braxton? The day he needed me, I wrapped him up in my arms and slept away the humiliation, heckles, and hatred of all those who would draw breath. In particular, myself, the man in the mirror? I miss my B III’s eyes looking towards me.

Yours? Love Lies, B…eing Virgil

1143 Days Without B III, Day 584 of Virgil’s Arrival

B.L.M. Braxton’s Life Matters,