Thursday, November 3, 2011



A little over a year ago, underfunded for such an ambitious project, filled with worries about what could happen if I was wrong, and concerns that I would find myself overwhelmed by it all and unable to cope, I finally set out on my journey to Omaha, Nebraska.  It was a trip that had been three years in the making (maybe unconsciously planned for a lifetime), the inspiration arising out of a failed relationship, and with Horace Greely’s intonation in mind, in October of last year I would indeed “go west” and move to Omaha.

Perhaps I should shed a little light about me.  My name is Mark (but Big Mark is what they call me!!) and I am a disabled, suffering brain injury as a result of my career as a boxer.  Army veteran, I am divorced, with three daughters by three women, one with my former wife conceived in marriage and two that live in North Carolina, where I went to school and boxed professionally.  I was engaged to a woman that I had known in high school, who, along with a trio of women who I have spoken of in these pages and will again today, where a part of my ‘ex-List protocols’.  The reason that I decided to revisit past loves (excepting my ex-wife) was that I am an adventurous lad and since one of the adventures I had not made was trying to re-kindle an old romance, I put that on my ‘bucket list’.  Oh, one of those three women, Tee Jay, was the main reason that I felt compelled to try to find love again in the embers of my past.

As the name of this project would indicate, there were rules to this attempt to ostensibly win Tee Jay back and ride off into the sunset.  1) Because of the high failure rate of ‘make ups from break ups’, I did not simply pursue Tee Jay as I was opened to ANYONE from my past.  There were several reasons that it made sense to me, and one of them would eventually come to pass. 2) Failing at making a relationship with a past love work out, I would move on to my next project, ‘The Nebraska Concept’.  3) I would have a date where once reached, that I would focus solely on my move to Nebraska, and this would mean in the unlikely event of, say, Tee Jay coming around and deciding to take another chance on me (cos I ain’t so bad!) that I still would ‘head out west’ and begin a new life.


My daughters are split up into two factions: The Carolina Girls, KT and Lexxie, both of whom I see and talk with fairly regularly and Skye, my oldest with my ex-Wife, with who I have extremely limited contact.   Those are the breaks.  Before you judge, take a walk in my shoes… you’ll stumble in my footsteps.

I hope that catches you up to date regarding me prior to moving to Omaha.  And now, we are going to go back to last year this time, with me still being new and quite the foreigner in town.


Sitting around in an empty apartment on most days, a few pieces of furniture, a television for company and whole lot of new sights and sounds whooshing past, I was held together by the fierce determination that I was going to make not just ‘the best of’ but that I will make ‘it’, and thrive.

After one of our more heated and personally took discussion would leave a spiritual ‘crack’ in my wyrd for ‘a darkhorse’ to rush to the front and overtake whatever plans that I had previously laid and change them completely in one fell swoop.  That occurrence, too, was part of my fate and I had accounted for it.  So I obeyed it and took a detour to Virginia, where me and my bestie from the Army, the SFC, and I made a go of things.  But I don’t think I was able to overcome my personal history with Virginia and with ‘promises to keep’ back in the Motor, we ended up parting company, our friendship renewed.  Upon returning to Detroit, I tied up the loose threads that were dangling, including several attempts to reach out to Skye, and I staged my move to Omaha.

Initially, I thought to move and live in Omaha as a ‘house mate’ via one of the roommate/housemate websites.  But I had my concerns.  First, there was the ‘loose threads’ that I had hoped to have tied off.  The civil office that I was working with has never been known for its efficiency, and if things were not done completely, then I would risk being in someone else’s house financially strapped, as well as in a new town with only one friend, Nebraska.  And after spending a few years living under other people’s roof, with Mookie Dee and her daughter, lil’ Mook, then with my Father and his clan, I had about enough of dealing with other people all up in my personal space.  So I did not move into anyone’s home but instead filled out housing paperwork for my own space in subsidized housing.

Second, and of vital importance, was the vibe that I got from the town itself.  Putting it all out there… as much as all the things about rooting for the Cornhuskers as a child and being a big fan of ‘Wild Kingdom’ and wanting to visit the Doorly Zoo, may have meant to me, this was a move that was consumed in large part of being desirous of a relationship with Nebraska.  And while I felt ‘moonstruck’ from the moment we connected on the internet long ago, I also knew that if this was truly a whimsical flight of MINE that I had to own it, pure and simple.  So when I filled out the paperwork for my apartment, had I not FELT that this was the place I could call home, then I would go back to the Motor and ‘dig me out’.

I CAN BE SO LUCKY (sometimes)

Though I would only spend a few days in town, the feeling, the vibes were telling… one of the first things was how undaunted I was over the surprising discovery of all the hills that are in town!  I have whined about inclines throughout my journaling, and flat out bitched about them in the Metroplex.  Omaha sits on the lee side of the Missouri Valley, and while not quite Appalachia, there are hills a-plenty, quite a few of them being steep and ‘long’.  But I rarely have any complaints about them or Omaha in general.  Overall, it is a very nice town and filled with some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet (though my ‘guard your grill, knuckle up’ policy will remain in effect for an undetermined length of time). 

So in spite of coming here so broke that I could not afford to bring all of my personal items (which have as of yet not been retrieved), and not knowing another soul than Nebraska, I am here doing my thing.  I am willing myself through my classes and I really like where I am at, spiritually and emotionally.  My health has begun to stabilize and I have had the fates shine upon me quite often (though I wished they could have caught the car that hit me and had me keep my original cell phone!).


Or in other words… to be continued with the evolution of the Nebraska Concept!


Sarcastic Bastard said...

Thanks for giving me all the back info. Some of it I knew and some of it, I did not. This helps those of us who have become your blog family more recently.

I love you, buddy. You know it.


FrankandMary said...

At least you don't let events just happen around you, you propel them. Some people come off as more of a literary device(online) than an actual blood & guts person...but Mark is very real Mark. ;-o

LceeL said...

Cool. You filled in a spot or two I wasn't clear on.

Beth said...

As someone who has followed your journey for some time now, I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am for you. You sound genuinely happy, and I think that's wonderful. L&R

That corgi :) said...

I think you found the right fit for you, Mark!!! Glad it continues to be that place for you too!


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Saving my comments for real face time!

Toon said...

It's like being reintroduced to you! Pleased to meet you!
'make-ups from break-ups; are usually a disaster -- a slow, sputtering disaster.

Lovebabz said...

Thank you.

I admire you all the more.

Keep the faith.

I am cheering for you!

Mark said...

I never knew about the boxing thing. This was helpful info in situating you.
But I would make "The Nebraska Concept" the title of anything, she in case you're thinkin gof writing a midewestern thriller.

* Ashleigh * said...

This really did fill in a lot of the blank spots in regards to my knowledge of your life :)

Miss you friend!