The Silent "NO"

The Adventures of Rule:
The Acting Legacy That Never Was.

Continual Confusion

You Know Whose A Fucking DumbAss? IM A FUCKING DUMBASS. Wanna know why I am fucking dumbass?  Because every single god damn time I set for something, I can’t finish the job.
Every time I go for something,  I over think Every Single Jeezum Crow Fucking Detail. I have and continue to ruin things that do not need to be ruined, I think over things that should be first instinct,  I cant figure things out for myself until it is already too damn late.
I seem to know Jack from Shit, because once again I have fucked it up. Said something stupid,  made a stupid promise,  remember things that need, no Have to be forgotten.
When will I fuuuuuuuuuucking learn? When will I stop allowing some fucking memory stain my entire existence? When will I realize that I can stand up and say “It’s My Time Now! Not Yours!”
It honestly shouldn’t be a problem. It honestly should Not be this big of deal. It honestly shouldn’t matter at all.
3 years. It’s been three years and I still think about it when I see some place we went, or hear some song that we liked, or some feel some generic feeling towards a completely different subject.
I am obsessed with a memory that no longer exists. I am obsessed over an idea that has long moved on. I am obsessed with a feeling that is just a dot in my life.
And it sucks man, it fucking sucks that i have to write this message every time this happens, it sucks that you have to continue to hear about it like it was today’s headliner when in fact when this happened I knew not of your existence.
It Fucking Sucks that I still am depressed and moved by this incoherent being that is not what I believe it to be!
Why!? Why??? For Gods Sakes Burke GET OVER YOURSELF and MOVE THE FUCK ALONG.


“When my husband was dying, I said: ‘Moe, how am I supposed to live without you?’ He told me: ‘Take the love you have for me and spread it around.’”


“When my husband was dying, I said: ‘Moe, how am I supposed to live without you?’ He told me: ‘Take the love you have for me and spread it around.’”

"There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, ‘Morning Boys, how’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?’"
-David Foster Wallace
*Watch Mr. Wallace’s unbelievable 2005 commencement speech here:

Bless the Broken Road

As told in Crush Crushed,Morgan obviously did not feel the same way about me, and the rest of day was had with awkward glances between she and I. Lovely. Loved That. But life moved on and I was able to push past the first few cracks in the road of my life. Rule’s Life. No one else’s.

My road would, and continues, to bend and wind a different direction with every event, place, and person that I experience. Making my life just as unique and as intriguing as anyone else’s. Bless the Broken Road because it makes us all human. Bless the Broken Road because it makes us all humble. God damn road can be a big ole bitch sometimes, BUT it is worth the ride. Because at the end of my road is peace and serenity. And what a thing beautiful thing that will be when I get where I’m goin’.

"Bless the Broken Road" -Rascal Flatts

The Call

I had had enough of waiting around on Morgan to realize that I had the hugest of huge crushes on her. So I did something about it. One night after school I worked up the nerve to call her up and tell her how I really felt. Ballsy, right? AHA! God I had a lot of guts.

Okay let’s be completely honest here: My Fourth Grade Self Was Shitting Himself. I fumbled to get her number into my home phone, but after a big breath I pressed the call button. It had to be the longest 15 seconds of my life, waiting for Morgan to either pick up and say hello, or have the call go to voicemail. I began to pace uncontrollably, which is normal for me on the phone, but more than usual with this call. After the 6th ring tone I began considering ending the call and blowing off the whole operation. I had homework to do! I needed to feed my dog! I need to take a shower! I need to eat some dinner! I need to go to sleep! So many things to do before tomorrow, maybe I should just call her… 



"Is Anyone There!?"

"Um yes! Hi, sorry Morgan. It’s Burke Swanson"

"Oh! Hey Burke!"

And it began. The painfully long process of working the fact that I had feelings for her, into a very friendly everyday conversation. Looking back, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what I said in the five to ten minute conversation that Morgan and I had that night, for I was to busy trying to man myself up! There was a pause in the conversation and the courage shot out of me like rocket.

"Morgan, I Love You. Bye!"

I proceeded to hang up the phone.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” 

-Mark Twain

Mother Nature Released

The low rumble of the nature shakes everything with in it’s grasps. Not like the wind whips a flag, or the death defying sound, that leaves you feeling hollow at the core, that an Earthquake makes, but something unique, solemnly powerful. 

You feel the thunder before you hear it. The sound rises from you heart and then exits out your ears. It makes you suddenly nervous, suddenly humble, suddenly powerless. As it leaves you, like a sore breath leaves the body at impact, you can not help but smile. 

An awkward smile, because it is not necessarily a frolicking through the garden smile, but a listening to the spirit of this world smile. And it is enlightening. Spirit arousing, and death defying to say the least. 

Envelop me in your all mighty power thunder, let it all out. Let me feel you pain, and your vigor. I am willing to listen.

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

-John Ruskin

Crush Crushed

Imagine, your me, walking into your fourth grade class, nervous as can be. You see your happy smiling classmates walking around, talking happily with one another, going about their school day like any other day. You look around as you move to your desk in the back of the class room, take off your jacket and set your books out onto your desk. Out of the crowded, noisy room you hear a voice that you could recognize anywhere. A sweet voice that relaxes you. This day however you stop short, pausing for a moment, your heart racing. Looking up, she makes eye contact with you. At that specific moment a force shoots towards your heart disrupting the steady beating of life.

Morgan looks away to talk to some of her other friends laughing and smiling just like any other day of her life. I made my way over to where she was and said hello to everyone, jumping into the conversation. As Mrs. Dennen, my fourth grade teacher walks into the room to begin class, I am momentarily alone with Morgan. I turn to her to talk to her about the night before, if she felt the same way. You know, to feel some relief in the situation. But all she does is look at me, and turn to walk away. Making some comment that is common between us. Nothing had changed. She did not feel the same way.

"It is sad not to love, but it is sadder not to be able to love."

-Miguel de Unamuno

Young Stupid Love

I have to laugh though, thinking on those years of my life, realizing that I thought that I knew what I was feeling and what I was doing, and what I was going through. But in truth: I WAS NO WHERE CLOSE! Ha!

I attempted to keep a diary at a young age and one entry I am talking about how I’m just friends with Morgan and then two days later, “I Love <3 Morgan <3”. At that age no one really knows what “Love” is. I am not quite sure what “Love” is entirely now! It is humorous to think that I believed that I knew it all with one realization. But I guess it has to happen to everyone. Crushes come and go and without a crush here and there to teach us the right and wrong, how can we move onto what we really love.

Morgan was the first step. My first learning experience. More were soon to come, but how would my 3rd grade mind have even began to comprehend the feelings and the experiences that I go through. It is good to be young. Innocent. Pure. Ironic how: Everyone begins a child wishing to be older; and everyone finishes yearning to be younger.

"In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on"

-Robert Frost

One Must Water the Flower for it to Bloom

After spending an entire school year with Morgan, I was excited to find out if we would be in the same class for our 3rd grade year at Brock River. So being the old fashioned guy that I am, I called her up late in the summer. Fate had it, that we would spend another year together with a new teacher. Ms. Terney.

Ms. Terney was fresh out of college, ready to have fun with her first ever class. She had medium, dirty blond hair, and glasses. The key thing about Ms. Terney that everyone had noticed though, was that she was a midget. When I first walked into the class, I heard a voice saying, “Hi, I’m Ms. Terney” close by, but when I looked around I didn’t see anyone! She coughed and said  ”I’m down here”. I looked down to see her with a big smile, and I knew immediately that we would be friends. 

Anyway, 3rd grade was a pivotal year for my friendship with Morgan. We were a year older and that meant one more year of change. The was almost like the beginning of the end in a sense that other people entered our lives, that also became extremely close with Morgan. Morgan has that tendency though. Her vibrant and positive energy just make people want to be closer with her. It is something that I soon realized, and would have to except, that I would not be her one and only “Best Friend”. Morgan was not the only one making new friends though, I too found two or three guys that I still call friends today. 

Here’s the thing. At this point of our lives, the whole being friends with a girl (or girls for that matter) just wasn’t what people seemed to do. You stayed away from “the other side” and stuck with you own gender. So the fact that I was always getting poked at for hanging out with Morgan and her new friends, just made the guys think that I liked her. Which looking back now, I did, but then I had absolutely no clue what I was feeling about anyone. It took a guy by the name of Kyle to jump start my heart and realize that I did in fact have feelings for Morgan. 

I began to notice Morgan pulling away from me, probably because of the whole “Burke likes Morgan. Morgan likes Burke. Na NaNana Na Na” thing, but also because of this hot shot Kyle that was in my class. Even at that age he was the ladies man, always winking and playing with all the girls. It really had no effect on me until Morgan became involved. Suddenly, she wasn’t talking to me. Suddenly, she was spending all her time with this kid and not with me. Why? And why was I so effected by this? My 3rd grade self was hit in the face with a lot of mind blowing ideas which somehow connected to this new foreign word “LOVE”. I had realized why I was so attracted to Morgan. It was because I wanted to be “more than friends”.

"Love is a flower you’ve got to let grow"

-John Lennon


Morgan walked into my life that very eventful first day of my 2nd grade year, and wouldn’t leave for a long long time. Like I said, this girl had me from hello. We IMMEDIATELY became best friends, life was good. The two of us were attached at the hip most days during that first school year. Whether it was playing hop scotch or just playing tag on the black top behind Brock River Elementary, she was my partner in crime. We both enjoyed singing, and joined chorus when 4th grade came around. We were both a part of a creative team name S.C.O.P.E. (which has now morphed into a group where if you are the smartest kid in your class you are in, but back in the day, only the “outside of the box” thinkers were able to join), later we both were on the same team for a S.C.O.P.E. competition called Odyssey of the Mind. Oh and I can’t forget about Brock River’s Annual Field Day Class Races. 

The class races were held at the end of each field, and consisted of the two fastest boys and the two fastest girls from each class in grades 3rd to 5th. Morgan and I would be a part of all 3 years of the race. Only racing against one another once. But more on that to come.

I remember her always smiling, always laughing, always astonishing. I do not remember her ever angry or rude or harsh with someone, even if that person was her worst enemy. She was the perfect example of someone living their life to the fullest. Which makes her being a big time cheer competitor not surprising. I have seen photos of her twisting and flying through the air, doing crazy stunts and acrobatic moves, with a big ole smile during the entire event. To tell you the truth, it would be extremely hard for me to find something that I didn’t like about her! I guess that there was one point in that 2nd grade year that I thought that she had become friends with someone that was a bad influence on her, but that is about it! To this day, even with her thousands of miles away, I still consider her one of my best friends.

"A single rose can be my garden… a single friend my world."

-Leo Buscaglia

Very Elementary, Watson

I’ll start my story before “The Beginning of the Beginning”, (what kind of prick title is that) but there’s something I need you all to know. I’m Not Perfect. I mean who is? Truth is, if we were all perfect, we wouldn’t be perfect. It would be the norm, mainstream, all you hipsters will understand this. Anyway. I am going to be as straight up with you as possible, gotta get some stuff off my chest. We all need a little weight off our shoulders, and I think that this could be my relief. Thanks for listening.

The biographer who was attempting to analyze me, well he got it mostly right. So that’s me. Back to the story. Except another thing about me is that I have what we call the Olson squint. It comes from my mom’s side of the family, but basically whenever I smile: I squint. I have been asked if I was of the brother of a good friend of mine that is  Korean American -_- sooo Rule=Chinky -_- :) 

It’s the first day of my 2nd grade year, it is also my first day at my new elementary school, Brock River. I had moved from another part of Virginia, and I once again had to begin the grueling process of meeting new people and building up my friend base.
Most people that know me will tell you the Rule Swanson is one of the biggest people person they have ever met. They swear that I’m just like my mom, who can start up a conversation with just about anyone, about anything, whenever and wherever. Well okay, that is true for the most part haha ;) But only when I am around my friends. I know that’s weird, but whenever I am with my family, I kinda just let them take the reigns. I find meeting people awkward, especially when it is someone that is friends with one of your friends. It’s like you are having… Whatever, its awkward. So being thrown into a new place with new people, I get a little reclusive

I am sitting in my assigned seat where I am at a table with three other guys that seem to know of one another and they are all talking up a storm. I sit there quietly. Silently listening in on their conversations, Burkin’ like usual (Ill get to Burkin’ later). Now I will admit that I was a tad intimidated by these three, they were talking and cussing liked they owned the school and I just felt like nothing that my baby fat face and unkept blond hair would matter to them in the least. Thinking back now, I realize that the thing that turned me away from them was a few cuss words sent my way. Which I have to laugh at because my mother is one of the biggest swearers that I know. 

At this point, I have gone off into my own little world. Imagining what it would be like to  be with this class and these people for the rest of the year and so on. I was brought back to a motion at the door. Briskly walking into the room was a girl with long brown hair, soft brown eyes, a intriguingly cute off tan birthmark on her forehead, wearing a little pink skirt with a white sweater top. She immediately caught my eye, obviously since I can still distinctly remember her walking into my life. She and I made eye contact as she walked by me. I gave a half assed hello as I attempted not to stare for too long. She responded with a cheerful and happy, "Hello".

At that age, I can say that I did not know what love was, and since I still barely understand it at this stage of my life, that means I had absolutely no clue what feelings were frolicking around my heart at that time. All I knew was that this girl was different from the rest of the girls that I had met before. She and I were destined to be friends. I could just tell.

And that she became, from that day on, my elementary school days were filled with memories always with me attached at her side someway or another. Little did I know what would become of us in the years to come, and how girls and guys just never seem to be allowed to be just friends.

"You Had Me From Hello"

My Turn

What I don’t seem to ever understand is the fact that people can never seem to tell theory own story. Well its my turn. This is Rule Swanson, and this is my story.

The Beginning of the Beginning

Rule and his long blond hair and baby face walked onto the stage, with his South Korean summer camp roommate following close behind. Rule’s face lit up as he was blinded by the intensely bright spotlights from the catwalk above. As his eyes adjusted, Rule and his roommate moved to center stage. Rule looked on out into the crowd of his fellow campers, and he was somehow taken aback. 300 plus people, but somehow, seeing their pre-teen faces only made him all the more confident. All the more Free. No longer was he the same boy that walked onto the stage not 30 seconds earlier, but something new, something different. A feeling rose up into Rule’s soul as the announcer for the camp talent show read the boys names and the name of their stand-up act, “Annndddd next up we have the comedic act, ‘Granny & Sonny’!” The crowd erupted with applause, and was then followed by a complete and utter silence. Tension rose up from the people in the room as its force raced at Rule, but it no longer mattered. Anything that he had had upon his mind seemed to melt away, leaving behind only peace and serenity. Rule suddenly had no reason for nervousness and he started the show. The act was filled with corny one liners and awkward conversations that had the crowd roaring. And Rule just kept on rolling. He and his roommate, playing off one another like they had know one another for years. His roommate kept the Granny part old and tempered, while Rule played Sonny the grandson young and sarcastic. And what a sight to be held. When the act was over and the two bowed their humble heads the spark had already been lit inside Rule’s heart.

Rule knew what his passion was, acting, being on stage, THAT was his purpose. That was his drive. He needed it.

Words can not describe the revelation felt by Rule, it just came upon him and never left. Well at least until the Silent “NO” took its tole.

"With any part you play, there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has to be, otherwise it’s just not acting. It’s lying."

-Johnny Depp

Rule *part 2*

Rule was considered the good kid throughout his life, never drank or smoked, wasn’t ever crazy kid that most people turn into during their highschool years. Rule enjoyed a ice cold Coca-Cola and sitting around a campfire, not sweating it up with boos smelling up the room. Was just never his scene. A lot of his good friends enjoyed that but Rule usually just stayed at home.

Rule was always the athletic type, never turning down a chance to be outside with a ball at his feet or a racket in his hands. He was never the All Star, perfect child, but he was well rounded and decent at most sports. Rule’s ability to listen and learn always helped him in life. With people, school, or work rule was about to pick things up with ease, if he set his mind to it.  

Now he was not alway the perfect smiling kid that some come to call a “goody-two-shoes”, he would have his moments where his wild side would break through his shell. Sometimes his Assertive behavior was hard for people to deal with, but people just learned to expect it from their fun loving friend. He loved to laugh, and had a pretty decent sense of humor, but he mainly spent his time laughing till he cried, instead of telling the “buh duh TSSS” kind of joke. Very sarcastic and blunt sometimes, which would cause some issues down the road but it was usually all in good nature. Great with adults, and usually hung out with people more his age. He found that older people were just easier to be around and more interesting to talk to than people his own age.    

Rule was strong in singing, acting, history, writing, talking, smiling, laughing, and listening. But seemed to always struggle in math, dancing, science, and just living the “YOLO” attitude. Rule was always known to meet you with a firm hand shake and a “Hey, Rule, Rule Swanson”.  

The most important thing to Rule had to be: a) Respect b) Memories. Those things would stick with him until the day he died.

"A life-long blessing for children is to fill them with warm memories of times together. Happy memories become treasures in the heart to pull out on the tough days of adulthood."

-Charlotte Davis Kasl