The Good Boy

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Shirley Waste. Trash bags. Cardboard. Coffee. Water. My phone alarm. Erleada. Orgovyx. Each machine at Anytime Fitness. Bunch Grass. Aspen Buds. All the little Allergens getting ready to burst forth. A Mountain Morning, cool and bright. Recycling. Blizzaks. Off. Synthetic oil. In. New battery. New cabin air filter. Brakes still good. All seasons on. Charlie, the chocolate Lab.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Jackie, my hair stylist

One brief, shining: Jackie, curly hair tall in her cowgirl boots smiles when I come around the corner and can see her through her Aspen Roots picture window, working on someone’s hair, yet able to pause for a greeting which makes me feel warm, loved.


Been trying to tap into my inner critic, the Judge. Always ready to evaluate, parse, deliver a verdict. On just about everything. That jerk who pulled in front of me. My mistake when matching Korean Hangul with its English equivalents. When I overcook or undercook. When I forget something I know I know. That damned neighbor who lets their trash blow into my yard.

You probably have one, too. Da Judge. Almighty. Black robe. Big gavel. Stentorian voice. Brooks no challenge. In my instance I first thought after interrogating myself that the Judge had my father’s voice. That was an intellectual conclusion. I mean, it must have been him, right?


It was the Good Boy. Woah. Didn’t see that one coming. Here’s how I tumbled to him. When I’m late for an appointment, any appointment, I will drive a bit more recklessly. Go around curves a bit faster. Speed. Some. I feel a tension, a sense that I’m making a mistake, one that I have to avoid if at all possible. I’m not crazy then, I still try to drive carefully, just faster. And, it often works.

Yet I don’t feel safe. Or, I realized in an aha, legal. Hmm. Who was behind this? He popped up like a whack-a-mole. Not visible in my inner world for long. So I waited. Yep, he came up again when I saw I would almost make my 8:30 appointment at Stevenson Toyota. 8:33. Yes. He paused for a big fist pump. That’s when I caught him.

The Good Boy. I’d named him a few weeks back when I was somewhere I can’t recall, but I had remarked to an older woman that I was just trying to be a good boy. Oh she smiled-I remember that-and said, you are a good boy.

How silly I remember musing. Wanting to be a good boy at 76. Hair all white. Collagen skipped out. Boyhood long, long, long past.

But no. The Good Boy in me and the Judge are the same person. Sometimes, like in the driving instance, the Good Boy finds himself in tension between Good Boy rules: Show up on time. It’s respectful. Says something about you. And. Follow the traffic laws. They’re there so driving is not chaos, dangerous. For our common good. Also why I’m mad when somebody drives dangerously. He or She SHOULD NOT endanger me for their own selfish reasons.

I made a list of Good Boy rules:

A Good Boy takes care of those he loves.

A Good Boy always does preventive maintenance.

A Good Boy takes care of the dogs in his life.

A Good Boy does not kill the dogs in his life

A Good Boy keeps a clean house.

A Good Boy obeys traffic laws.

A Good Boy takes care of his health.

A Good Boy does not eat fast food.

A Good Boy eats well.

A Good Boy reads a lot. Always learning.

A Good Boy only watches television in the evening.

A Good Boy works out.

A Good Boy uses time well.

A Good Boy fights for justice always.

A Good Boy protects Pacha Mama, mother earth.

A Good Boy hikes.

A Good Boy does not criticize others except gently.

I’m sure there are many more Good Boy rules I haven’t tumbled too yet. It’s been a long life. These rules constitute an internal deontological ethic. A rule based way of determining if something is good or bad. If the Good Boy does not hike, he’s being bad. If the Good Boy works on Dismantling Racism, he’s being good.

A big problem with rule based ethics is that they can and often do develop rules that come into conflict with one another. Show up on time. Yet follow traffic laws. A Good Boy works out. Except when he can’t. A Good Boy doesn’t make mistakes when studying. Except he does if he wants to learn. A Good Boy wants to be a gentle and forgiving critic of others. Except when the other violates a Good Boy rule. All the exceptions produce tension.

In the instance of euthanizing Kep I stood over him when Dr. Doverspike came in the room. Those syringes. Oh. I loved Kep. I care for him. I can’t be the one who kills him. I want to be with him. I can’t kill him. Unresolvable.

My conscious ethics are not deontological. I’m more of a situational ethicist though I have a strong touch of the teleological when it comes to matters of justice. Not gonna go into this because I’ve gone on too long today.

The Self. Our Selves participate in a unity that is bounded by our body, yet each self is a distinct and unique part of us, too. Like all the universe. My situational ethicist Self knows and embraces without judgment the tension I felt over Kep’s final illness. He also knows and often overrules Good Boy rules.

But when I’m acting from the below the shadow line of consciousness the Good Boy often steps in and makes decisions. Whether I’m ok with them or not.