Happy Halloween to the Readers of Brad OH Inc.

It’s that time of year again.

Our favourite time of year.

Halloween is a time when we can become anything we want. Whether that’s a creature from our nightmares, an angel from our dreams, something wild, whacky, frightful… or even something we’ve always suspected we really were.

We can wear it without judgement, be it without cause for explanation—without call for question.

We can be weird or dashing, scary or funny, bold or invisible, obnoxious, quiet, reserved, or zany. We can be ourselves, someone like us, or someone we’ve always dreamed of. Maybe we can find that last illusive spectre out there as well.

So, to all the ghouls, creeps, clowns, crackheads, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, goblins, mer-people, super heroes, super villains, regular heroes, crooks, lagoon-folk, sasquatches, Killer Klowns, gremlins, wooly whatsits, jesters, Juggalos, Jokers, mad professors, incubi, demons, elves, hobbits, serial killers, and freaks. To all the people I’ll pass without recognizing, meet for the first time, or never get to glimpse. To the people I’ve loved, lost, longed for, and those I’ve long forgotten… happy Halloween.

I hope you figure out exactly what you want to be.

-Brad OH Inc.

Re-Share: Ode to the Tavern

Because it bears repeating…

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They say that behind every great man is a great woman. Well that’s goddamn sexist, and you should be ashamed for thinking it. But it may be true that behind every middling writer is a great drinking establishment. Therefore, we thought we’d take some time from our busy schedule here at Brad OH Inc. to acquaint you with the little pub that has been the birthplace to so very many of our greatest pieces: ‘The Tavern on Whyte’.

6- Ode to the TavernThe Tavern on Whyte’– Click the Pic to Visit their Site!

Now make no mistake, this isn’t some hair-brained scheme to establish the Tavern as a historical landmark. Not yet at any stretch. In fact, the staff here at Brad OH Inc. want to take this moment to discourage all potential stalkers and photographers from taking advantage of this profession of affection.

Rather, this is a simple declaration of love for an establishment which has acted as the de facto headquarters for Brad OH Inc. since the summer of 2013. The Tavern has seen the creation of the vast majority of articles here at Brad OH Inc., as well as the writing (by hand) of our upcoming novel, ‘Edgar’s Worst Sunday’.

And why not?

It’s comfortable, and quiet enough to think. It provides a fine view of Whyte Avenue without, and is always friendly within. So come by some time and have a drink—or enjoy any of the delicious selections from their unique menu. Chat with the staff and patrons, take in some fresh air on their patio (a true hidden gem of Whyte Ave.), and enjoy yourself.

Yes, the Tavern on Whyte has a lot to offer. But for this writer, it’s the staff that makes it the especially marvelous place it is. Now, it’s not just that they keep the ‘inspiration’ flowing, mind you. They do, no doubt—in fact we have to wait hardly a minute upon entering before we have an icy cold beer in our intensely focused hands. It’s the company as well—the conversations and inspirations. For truly the staff and patrons of the Tavern (past and present) represent many of the essential muses behind the writings of Brad OH Inc., and for that we are eternally thankful*.

*Disclaimer: This admission of appreciation is not to be taken as a legal acknowledgement of debt or the owing of royalties.

-Brad OH Inc.

When You Arrive

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

When you arrive,

My back will straighten,

My eyes will shine,

And pace will hasten.

When you arrive,

I’ll live once more,

Not for myself,

But to adore.

When you arrive,

I’ll build my home,

Which cannot stand,

For self alone.

When you arrive,

I’ll hear anew,

The sounds and songs,

That I once knew.

When you arrive,

I’ll play and laugh,

And drink deeply,

Of all I have.

When you arrive,

My fears will die,

When you arrive,

Then so shall I.

-Brad OH Inc.

On Commitment

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

‘Commitment’ can be a pretty heavy word. To ‘Commit’ means to give in trust or charge, or to pledge oneself (Source). If we consider some of the most common uses of the phrase however, we see that all too often, it bears some life-altering implications. People may commit a crime, or they may commit suicide. They may attempt to commit suicide, and then be committed to the hospital. We might commit to one another, and then we might break that commitment by committing adultery.

Of course, we also commit sin, as duly evidenced in plenty of the examples above.

The connotations of the word are often pretty negative, and all harbour the element of causing a permanent change in the life of those doing the committing (or having it done to them).

Of course, of all the different uses of ‘commit’, perhaps the most dreaded is the interpersonal commitment of loving relationships. Many a man will balk for as long as possible when the notion of serious commitment comes up. So will plenty of women. Evidently, committing to another person holds a special place among the most terrifying committals imaginable.

Understandably so…just as our previous examples illustrate that the act of committing can have life altering implications on a person’s identity or character, so too can the commitment of a relationship—for good or for ill. In this case especially, to commit is an act of faith: not only in ourselves and the permanency of our intentions, but-all the more terrifying to many—in the consistency of our beloved other.

It’s a gamble of sorts—a bid for potential value at the cost of immediate sacrifice or compromise. No doubt, the payoff can be far greater than the cost, but it remains an uncertainty, and hence presents a terrifying loss if the gamble does not work out.

Committing to another person is an act of giving with no guarantee of receiving. Indeed, the committer may end up bereft of pay-off, exposed and humiliated by their misplaced faith, and left to crawl back jaded and bitter to lick their wounds in dismal solitude.

For a time, they may commit only to themselves. But this isn’t such a bad thing either. All the forms of commitment we’ve discussed require some element of change—whether permanent and uncompromising, or merely a change in our priorities, values, or beliefs. Sometimes, it is merely the change from safety and comfort to risk and chance. But then, this is the case with all things worthwhile in this world. Sure, commitment in all its forms entails change and risk, but we must remember that the only thing worse than changing is the alternative.

The final form of commitment is commitment to self—and this is perhaps the most undervalued of them all. It may take the most sacrifice, and force one to endure the greatest amount of suffering—be that from working physically to change one’s lifestyle or environment, or simply from facing with an honest eye the unpleasant realities of one’s life, and committing to changing them one at a time.

Commitment to self can range from changing your lifestyle or diet in a healthy way, working to further your career, changing your circle of friends, or any other means of improving yourself: physically, mentally, or spiritually. It’s such a broad topic, you can find countless blogs on this very subject, such as that of our good friends over at the venerable ‘Fitness: Fact and Fiction’ (Link).

When it comes to commitment of any sort, more often than not, it’s simply easier not to bother. There is great safety in security after all, and to remain stagnant assures that no greater harm may come. When a child is lost, they’re typically taught to stay where they are—for if they wander about looking for rescue, they are apt to find themselves even more lost. But this isn’t about children, and true commitment requires a more mature mind than all that. There come times in all lives that a person will feel lost, and it may seem that all around them is nothing but open ocean and despair. Each way presents the risk of drifting further from the invisible shore. But if one does not commit to some course or the other, they will remain trapped in the doldrums of inadequacy and isolation. To commit to ourselves, or to another, is to seek the change we need. Damn the risks, damn the sacrifice! In the end, life is change, and it behooves us all to plot our course with confidence and hold true onto the rudder. There are a million ways to go, and countless treasures to be found. First though, one must take their leap of faith, set their eyes bravely on the horizon, and commit themselves to reaching it.

-Brad OH Inc.

Yours Truly

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

I’ve missed you.

I know that may come as a surprise, given my apparent absence. But you’ll have to trust that I’ve held you close in my thoughts, no matter how distant I may have seemed at times.

And it certainly has been a while, I won’t deny it. I’ve been quite busy, although explaining the nature of my work might be a little too heavy at the moment. But you’ve been busy too. Yes, you certainly have. Things have changed around here, even more than I might have imagined.

Not all for the worse mind you. No, I’ve seen some things since my return that have brought a much needed smile to my face—and that’s a rare thing indeed these days, I confess. The decoration I’m a bit split on, but there’s a lot beyond that to appreciate. You’ve had some great ideas, no doubt about it, and there have been moments when you really lived up to your potential.

…It’s just that they’re so damn rare.

Part of it may be my fault, I know—I’ve been derelict in my duties. In truth, I’d been hoping my presence was no longer quite so imperative.

I see now that I was misled. You’ve had a rough go of it lately. It’s hard to say where it all started to go wrong, but it’s far gone now, and it’s time we faced the truth.

I’ll start by apologizing once more for my distance. You deserved some assurance that I still remembered my promise. More importantly, you clearly needed it.

If I’m being entirely honest—and I am, without fail—I actually thought I’d left you with enough to get by. I gave you my word, and I told you everything you needed to know. I tried to make it as simple as I could, but even the clearest instructions grow blurry with the passage of time. And it has been a long time, to say the least.

You must have known I’d be watching though. If not, you should have.

I watched as you forgot who your family was, and turned your back on all the things which really mattered. I saw when you began to use me as a source of justification rather than strength. That’s really what hurt me the most.

What we had was a beautiful thing; at least I thought it was. But you’ve let your passion ferment into a bitter brew, and the intoxication it caused within you has become a blight on everything we once had. We never used to be about the fancy things, but now it’s all you seem to remember about me.

When I first laid eyes on you, I couldn’t help but adore your every fault. All your naïve desires were a wonder to me, and I revelled in your successes and failures alike, as each one made you more and more…you. The way you could be so content in your own head, the way you appreciated everything around you. I lived vicariously through you in some ways, and I adored your passion for creation. I could see myself in that.

But you’re so angry now, so defensive. It seems like whenever my name comes up, you’re ready for a battle. The constant anger is shocking—it’s almost like you wanted to keep me away. Things are different I know, but you can handle it without the blood and teeth and bile. I know you can, because I know you.

Still, I don’t blame you for being bitter. You needed more from me, when I only wanted you to find your own way. You called my name, and I didn’t answer. I tell myself that you needed to learn for yourself, but I know that’s only half true.

I’m not sure what I intended by reaching out again. When I left, I was certain that things could never change between us. Now, I only wish they could once more. You’ve grown unwieldy in my absence, and managed to become something entirely detestable to me. But it works two ways, and I know in truth that the change was at least in part because of my absence.

So what to do now?

It comes down to needs, I suppose. Needs, and wants. I want things to go back to how they were, but I know it’s unlikely. What do you want from me? I can scarcely imagine. Some assurance? Some comfort? I can offer neither. The road is long and hard, and I cannot carry you for all of it.

Maybe the cause is the cure as well. If nothing else, I’d like you to speak of me without the rage, without the need to do battle in the vainglorious hope of proving to others what you doubt in yourself. If that’s too much, then I’d rather you not speak of me at all.

Forget about me.

That’s all I can ask now.

We had a good run together. Great even, at times. But it’s clear we’re beyond each other now. The longer you hold onto the past, the greater damage you do to your present, and I worry that your time is growing short.

So let me go. Just pretend I never existed. Forget my words and burn my letters. Tell yourself you never needed me. Scream from the mountains that you’d be better off without me, that you are beautiful and worthy and glorious just because you are.

…Because you are.

Please, don’t ever forget it. And more import still, please don’t prove me wrong.

Yours Truly…

-Brad OH Inc.

‘Actually’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green DesklampToday we have another song/ poem from the intellectual property vaults of Brad OH Inc. For your enjoyment, we present the lost ‘Basic Human Indecency’ song: ‘Actually’.

You walked out

I said it was ok

I signed on the line

Said you wouldn’t go that way

You were gone from my mind

Until the newspaper today

It said you’d returned

To your place from way back

The old needs recurred

Set you on that same track

Lessons never learned

You just wanted what she had

They never called me

But it’s with me all the time

Once trivial choice

Less thought than a dropped dime

You made her your last

And I guess you were both mine

And actually I

Guess I never knew you

Factually I

Thought I saw right through you

Now finally I

Wish I never blew you off…

-Brad OH Inc.

‘Silent Truth’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

Today we have another song/ poem from the intellectual property vaults of Brad OH Inc. For your enjoyment, we present the lost ‘Basic Human Indecency’ song: ‘Silent Truth’.

It was dark

Just like it always is there

I remember

I thought I’d never be here

I just needed to tell you again

I walked around

and I looked down upon you

I could see

The black amid the clear blue

And I knew that I could not stay

And so I placed

The rose upon those green sheets

And I felt

The moisture on my thin cheeks

And I knew it would not end there

So I looked up

To apathetic eyes

And I could feel

The echoes of my lies

But I could never have told you then

Yet now it’s safe

Because the quiet is so true

So I spoke

I said I’ll always love you

And I just turned and fell away…

-Brad OH Inc.