Tag Archives: rage

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is always a strange time of year for me. I have not had the best relationship with mine, and I always feel a little weird when refer to my wife as a mother. It’s not that she isn’t, it’s just that it’s weird to think of her only as someone else’s mother. I don’t even think of her as just my wife. I mean, she is so much more than can be fit into just one single box. She is my wife, her children’s mother, sister to her siblings, daughter to her parents, and someone else who exists just for herself. I was drawn to her because she was one of the first women who I’d met that seemed complete within themselves, and yet still wanted something romantic with me. Normally, I’m drawn to damaged people, pulled in by the vacuum of their negativity, as they were drawn to mine. But with my Wildflower it was something else entirely. She saw the best in me, despite the fact I warned her otherwise, and took a leap of faith into love with me. One of these days, I should probably apologize to her for not running in the opposite direction, and sparing her the pain of dealing with me all of this time, but I’d like to wait until I am successful, as a thank-you mansion helps ease the pain more swiftly than pretty words.

With my own mother, things get a little bit more complicated. I’ve had countless people tell me that I just need to put the past behind me and move on, but I cannot help but wonder how my life might have diverged were it not for her interference. Throughout my final years as a teenager, and into my early twenties, I heard nothing but venom from her regarding my life choices. Interesting then, that had she chosen not to interfere with plans of compromise forged between myself and the school district, none of the events which she felt obligated to speak down to me about, would have ever come to pass. As a minor, I required her permission to attend Seattle Central as part of the Running Start program. Had she not revoked it at the final hour, I would never have met one of my “friends” that year. I would not have been there when she was kicked out of school. I would not have been there when she was kicked out of her home. I would not have stood firm in my promise to be there for my friends and given her a place to stay. When things finally fell apart between my mother and I, I would not have been able to call upon this friend to return the favor of sanctuary, and would, in turn, never have met her mother.

I wouldn’t have been staying at that house when my friend and her little brother went off to Eastern Washington to stay with their grandmother. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to fall in love with… her. We wouldn’t have started dating, and I wouldn’t have been there when she fell back into a pattern of drug abuse. And if I hadn’t been there, who knows if my friends would have been there either. We wouldn’t have gotten caught up in all of that. The hardest substance which I’m likely to have tried would have remained some LSD. From there I cannot even think how much my life might have diverged from the one which I wound up living. Maybe I would have been writing sooner. Maybe I might have published something which reeked of youth and inexperience and the arrogance of knowing everything. Maybe I might have sunk to the bottom of a bottle and never come up for air again. But I wouldn’t have met Flor. And I wouldn’t have helped create the Minkey. And I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to try to get right what my father never could.

Are there things that I would change in my life right now if I could? I’d like to be living a little bit more comfortably. Other than that, I don’t know. Pull one string, and the whole damn thing unravels. What frustrates me is that I didn’t get to make that one decision. Everything I’ve built, everything I’ve done, has been built upon a foundation of reaction, of me trying desperately to shore up the what-might-have-beens and try to figure out how to go from there.

When I was nineteen, I wasn’t speaking to my mother. She’d shared her judgement of my girlfriend (nineteen years my senior) with me, and done nothing to hide her vitriolic disapproval from the woman with whom I was in love. So I severed ties between us. I told my mother that until she could get over herself, that I refused to be a part of her life any longer. That from the moment when she kicked me out (though, believe me, I was more than ready to have gone), she had renounce all claim to motherhood. If she wanted to still have me in her life, she’d have to ditch her failed attempts at mothering, and come to interact with me on an adult basis. It took her about a year to realize I wasn’t bluffing, and then she relented, and things were tolerable again. But I don’t think that she could ever see past the age difference, and when the woman and I finally parted ways (after a couple of trips to the hospital on part for nervous breakdowns), she could not conceal her joy. To this day, I still hear nothing but venom though her clenched teeth if that time in my life happens to be discussed.

But all of it, down to the tiniest little detail, could have been completely avoided were it not for her decision in early August of 1996. She’s told me that I’ll feel differently when David blames for screwing up his life. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll accept that I failed him, and try to minimize the damage. I’ve been through all of this before, hopefully I’ll still be able to recognize some of the landmarks along the way.

I cannot forgive. I cannot forget. I am the Center of All Bitterness. It is this rage which drives me forward, still attempting to prove all my critics wrong. Maybe I have my mother to thank for that. Actually, I know that I do. But I don’t think that I can do that today. Maybe next year. Maybe never.

To Protect and Serve

I stand by what I wrote yesterday, but it seems that I left out some people in my scathing rant about civility: the people directly responsible for these protests. When it is your job to safeguard the populace, and yet nobody seems to trust you, then you’re doing something wrong. Too many people are winding up dead, and the use of lethal force has gone from a measure of last resort to the first line of defense. And local police departments are stocking up on military toys, excited at the chance to play soldier like they did when they were kids. It leads me to wonder exactly who they think that they’re protecting and what noble cause it is that they might be serving.

I get it though, we’re all afraid. If I was convinced that someone posed a clear and present danger, I would want to eliminate the threat which they might present. And who seems to be enraged toward law enforcement more than the specifically targeted, determinedly profiled (by said law enforcement) populace of African Americans? I mean, especially in areas of extreme poverty, who knows if they will be packing heat because they have committed to a life of crime? So the cops shoot first, and fail to ask a single question, or they beat someone past the point of no return, and then leave them alone to die. I mean, they’re terrified, right? And instead of trying to figure out why exactly that the citizenry might be (justifiably) upset, they do their best to tear them down, dehumanize them, so that they might not feel so foolish when they sprint from shadows. It’s easier to believe that you are slaying dragons than committing crimes against the people you are sworn to protect.

And before I get torn down for suggesting that police are animals, let me be clear: not all officers of the law are guilty of these crimes. In my life, I have met several decent men and women of various police departments who genuinely seem to care about those in their jurisdiction. But theirs is a profession of high stress and higher risk, where their lives are on the line in any given moment, and that tends to foster a protective group mentality. Like soldiers, or firefighters, the team is what you’re loyal to, as it is the team which is primarily responsible for making sure you stay alive. Unfortunately, this means that even good and decent people tend to overlook the heinous actions of a few, in the name of fraternal unity, until those actions become institutionalized. The vast majority of law enforcement will not turn upon their fellow cops, and even when it happens, the punishment is oft-times muted, or reflected back upon the accuser.

Well, that’s not good enough anymore, if it ever was. The police are afraid of the people that they are sworn to protect, and those same people live in constant terror of those sworn to protect them. The deck is stacked against each and every one of us (though more against the majority of minorities), with legislation regulating more and more of our private lives. We are becoming, the lot of us, outlaws in our homeland. It is not a crime to be born Black. It is not a crime to be born poor. It is not a crime to not speak English. It is not a crime to love another person (who has attained the age of majority and is capable of and willing to give consent). I was told that the United States of America was the greatest country in the world, a land of indomitable people of vision and tenacity, a leader in the world, last of the great superpowers. And yet we lock away our citizens by the millions, and bleed others dry to pay the bills. We tell them what they can and cannot do in the privacy of their own homes. We are a nation of hypocrisy, and maybe we always were.

It’s not enough to blame the bad cops who go out and hunt their prey. It’s not enough to blame the rioters for having endured more than they should ever have had to. While there are cops who go above and beyond the call of regulations to go out and “make the world a safer place,” the root of the problem does not lie with them alone. For over a decade we have mutely witnessed a stripping of our rights away, all in the name of “keeping our nation safe.” That’s not to say they weren’t being eroded long before, just that about thirteen years ago, there was no longer a need to keep it hidden from public view. Our representatives have taken it upon themselves to try to criminalize that which they do not understand. Add in an aversion to scientific fact, and a tendency to view the world in black and white (and the everflowing holy shade of green), and you get a situation like the one which we wound up with.

On a more local level, disgusting initiatives have been placed before the voters, appealing to the fear within them so that the politicians’ hands might not get dirty. It is easier to divide us than to bring us all together. We have no universal commonality between us, other than our most basic shared humanity (and history has shown that not to be enough). It’s the Blacks who are ruining everything! No, wait! It’s the Mexicans! Now why are the those women getting so damned uppity? It’s the Muslims! It’s the Atheists! War On Christmas! Gay people are trying to destroy marriage! We are constantly set upon one another so that we’ll be too busy to see what’s really going on. And there will always be the perfect spot to poke between any of the many groups with which we identify to make us turn upon each other.

There is a deeper problem here, one which we’re only just beginning to acknowledge. It’s not just cops, though they need to get their shit together. I am not the type of guy who is easily convinced to move to a philosophy of violence, but I have generally had a pretty privileged life. Maybe it’s time that we all stand up and take this country back. We will never all agree on everything, and there will always be those who seek to emphasize our differences for their own ill-gotten gain. To paraphrase Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Blacks, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not Black.

Then they came for the Gays, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not Gay.

Then they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not a Muslim.

Then they came for me-  and there was no one left to speak for me.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Anarchy and Activism

An Open Letter to the Anarchists and Those Engaging In Violence For Violence’s Sake

(And Those Who Tacitly Enable Them)

Listen up, because I’m getting really tired of repeating myself: While there may be some people fooled by the destructive actions of the handful of you who always seem to attach yourselves to whichever valid protest may be occurring like a tapeworm which has infiltrated the open wounds of injustice, the rest of us are not, and we’ve had enough. You idiots are the reason why no one takes a protest seriously any more. I know, I know: many people out in the streets make fantastic cover for your petty larceny and desire to break something. But all you’re doing is giving those with no desire to effect a change the ammunition they desire to maintain the status quo. It takes courage to stare down a police force armored in full riot gear, armed with nothing but the knowledge that you are in the right, and that kind of strength should not be undermined by callow, undeserving, self-centered malcontents who only know how to direct their agitation toward a narrow slice of personal gain. It is not the fault of local businesses, so stop destroying them. And if you take the law into your own hands and seek out vigilante justice, then you are no better than the authorities being protested for having done the same while on their narrow and misinformed personal crusades.

There is a reason why the best among us have always advocated peaceful protest: give them no excuse to ridicule your ideology, and don’t sink down to meet them on their level. The moment a rock or punch is thrown, your argument becomes invalid in the eyes of those whom you are protesting. See? they say, This is what we have to deal with. Maybe we crossed a line, but we had to protect ourselves. That’s all it takes. I was a stone’s throw (metaphorically, of course) from the WTO debacle in Seattle in ’99. My girlfriend’s daughter went over to town to bask in all the chaos. I remember watching the news coverage, and sitting with my girlfriend while worrying if her teenage daughter would make it through the night. And what did that accomplish? Not a goddamned thing! The rest of the country got to chuckle at the disorganized flailings of an obviously childish philosophy. Was the police response justified? On the one hand, obviously not. They are ostensibly there “To Protect and Serve.” But when your city is under siege by those who are engaging in acts of casual destruction? What then?

The Occupy a News Cycle protests wound up failing in much the same way. Sure, it would have helped if there had been a unified message with a handful of bullet points instead of countless voices trying to scream over one another, demanding redress for their grievances, but eventually a conversation might have finally been forced to start, were it not for the elements of rash destruction which tended to hang about the fringes of the protests in all the major cities. Instead of inspiring an open discussion of inequality and the erosion of our basic human rights, the entire movement allowed itself to be marginalized by the lawlessness and stupidity by which they’d already been forcibly branded. What should have been handled with the caution and determination of a siege mentality was instead wasted on a futile assault against the gates. You cannot give them even the slightest excuse to mow you under. The first brick thrown, the first fire set, and the whole thing comes unraveled in the interests of “public safety.”

Now, that is not a defense of the policies (and the police officers who enforce them) of brutal violence blooming out of their own fears and racism. The incidents which sparked the riots in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Los Angeles were inexcusable, and need to have been properly addressed. Crime exists when its perpetrators feel that they’ve no other option for survival, and there will always be those who will exploit their helplessness, and prey upon their fears. No one should have to live in fear of the police, unless they are murderers on the run. And even then, I’m told, there is the framework in this country for the public, through its appointed and elected representatives, to try an individual in a court of law. No one should have to worry that an encounter with a cop will result in death. No one should have to worry about being arrested without cause. It’s not enough to say that if you don’t want to risk a run-in with the Law, then don’t break any, when we live in a world where almost anything can be construed as an act criminality.

We have the right to peacefully assemble (at least for now). We have the responsibility to make our voices heard. We must stand up for one another before there is no one left to stand at all. And when rise, and when our voices carry, we must keep our house in order. It’s the same principle as the what many Christians have been facing. No one likes the Westboro Baptist Church, or thinks what they are doing is a good or decent thing. No one likes those dudes with megaphones and giant signs screaming “God Hates Fags!” And yet we allow them to continue. We allow their hate to permeate the conversation to distract us from the things which we need to say. The First Amendment ensures that government cannot censor what we say, but that doesn’t mean we have to let the worst among us spout their hatred without consequence. Call them out on it. Make them stop. Even if you didn’t throw that brick, you saw that dude who was about to. We are trying to stand up for civility, equality, and justice. We cannot allow ourselves to be undermined by those who simply want to watch the world burn.

Weather: Summer Sun And Crazy Days

Every source I can find says that it’s only 64°F in Not Quite Richmond, CA, but I beg to differ. It feels like Satan’s asscrack outside, with the sun beating down in unrelenting waves of punishment for crimes against humanity that someone around here must have been planning for quite some time. I’m still a Seattle Boy at heart, and this tropical weather is something that I never will get used to. It’s funny that the main selling point of the Bay Area for me was the promise of Palm Trees, and yet I never quite got around to thinking about what type of climate that vegetation represented. It isn’t helping either that we’re in what I can only hope is the tail end of a years’ long drought. I’m just not prepared to go to war over potable water, but give me a few more days like this one, and I’ll unearth my swords and buy new tires for my bicycle, and ride around the Iron Triangle in search of something cool and refreshing that I can bring home to my wife and child. Now there’s an image: A balding man mounted upon a bicycle, wielding twin katana wildly with a look of desperation in his eyes. Surprisingly, I’m more or less okay with that.

I remember one summer when I was living on the Island, I think it was sometime around August, if the explosion of blackberry vines were any indication, and the temperature spiked into the 90’s. That in and of itself might not have been the end of the world, but the humidity seemed to add another pound of misery with every degree above the high 70’s, and there was no escaping it. We tried shutting ourselves in, with all the windows and doors closed, but wound up roasting. We then opened everything up to admit whatever breeze might come, but the only guest to heed our invitation was a second helping of excruciating warmth. We tried splashing water upon our skin to encourage evaporation, but it was sucked in quickly in an attempt to rehydrate our sorry selves. Finally, with no other option available to me, having long since passed the point where I could even consider the notion that other people might exist, I took a couple of machetes to the creek which marked the boundary of our property and began to do some landscaping. It was going swimmingly, down there in the dried-out creek, until someone decided they wanted to pick a fight with me over the property rights of said machetes.

At this point, I would like to offer up some friendly advice to anyone who may someday be in a similar position: If you see someone with a couple of bladed weapons, sweating, swearing, and taking his frustrations out in a horrifyingly useful fashion, please, for the love of all that is good and decent in the world, leave him the hell alone! There will be nothing so important to impart to him that is worth the imminent risk into which you are so valiantly thrusting your life. I’ll leave out some of the more amusing (from my perspective, with a healthy dose of retrospection) details, but I can reassure you that everyone wound up walking away from the incident with the same number of appendages with which they entered. I will say that it was about this time that I realized why there could never be peace in the Middle East, and why the South always seemed a brewing cesspool of intolerance, and why the riots erupted in Los Angeles. Hot weather, put simply, pisses people off. You know where you don’t find a lot of hatred, nor a culture of institutionalized violence? Seattle. Sure, there have been incidents, but overall, everyone is so better adjusted to the concept of not being a complete tool.

It doesn’t rain all the time there, but it is overcast for a majority of the time, and can get pretty chilly when it isn’t June, July, or August. People there seem to be better equipped to get along because they have a common enemy: Californians. No, I’m kidding (kind of). Their real enemy is the unrelenting shittiness of the weather on any given day. And on the Island, if there’s even a weak breeze, there’s a 60/40 chance the power will go out. So people band together and support one another and even the crazy hobos are generally kind. Or at least they used to be. I remember being genuinely shocked when I moved down here, that even after I’d said I had no change to spare, people would keep following me, shouting after and harassing me, like that would change my mind. Just weeks before, back in my hometown, I also couldn’t help someone out, but instead of cursing me and any future offspring, he wished me a good day, and good health. Now, as the temperature continues rising, I’m afraid that Seattle will wind up like San Francisco, and only be good for the people rich enough to avoid having to actually experience it.

And in Mexico, my next stop on the slowest world tour of all time, it just hit 110°F in a place where actual people live! I mean, I’m not planning to go out roaming the countryside, but I’ve been told that it’s kind of rainy where I’m going, and I’d like a chance to get to see that before the whole damn place erupts into either a bloody jungle, or falls away to dustbowl. I know that I’ve made jokes about finding myself a nice cave somewhere in a mountain range (I’ve always been particular to the Olympics), I was mostly joking! I don’t want to have to live in some grubby little cave just to beat the heat! I mean, maybe someday I’ll be ready to dive right into hermitage, but that probably won’t be for at least another decade or so.


I look out into the world as single tear rolls halfway down my cheek (before evaporating in the direct sunlight), thinking about what kind of place that’s been left for my son to have to face. And then I think about my grandson. And my unborn granddaughter. I’ll probably be dead before the final bowel blast, but them? What do they have to look forward to?

Master Of Serenity

Somehow I seem to have maintained my zen-like state for the duration of the afternoon. To be honest, I am just the slightest bit impressed. Normally it takes me nearly forever and a day to calm myself when I have blown my top. Rage is just the flip side of depression, and if there’s anything I’m really good at, it’s being mopey as hell, sometimes for days on end. But today, after the incident with the grasshopper in the parking lot, I felt a level of serenity which I’m normally not accustomed to. I brushed aside all of the frustration and disappointment, and sat down to get back to work. I couldn’t get back exactly to where I’d been before, but the ideas were still there in my head, and I just had to trust that I could get them out again. Sure, they weren’t as beautiful as what had come before, and each near-miss, a tiny stab of heartache, but I stayed with it and managed to get it down, If I’m being honest, though, my favorite part of that entire piece was the epilogue, and that was mainly because it had almost nothing to do with what I’d (failed to have) written. Plus, it either made me look a little more or a little less deranged, depending on how one might view a bald coincidence.

But enough jabs at my lack of hair: it’s time to focus back upon the very best parts of me. I seemed to have discovered a surefire way to find my center in the middle of a storm, and the best part of it is that it only requires a pack of cigarettes and endless supply of grasshoppers. I used to be able to more easily access my happy place, but years and years of falling back in the face of a constant barrage of disappointment and injustice have made it nearly impossible to find. It’s hard to keep an upward glance when you’re caught out in the rain, and by staring at my feet, I’ve missed everything else around me. Pleasant thoughts, like summer breeze, lift upward due to warmth, and the only ones which sink below are scuttled by the chill of sadness driven down by winter winds. Simple serenity, I’ve found, can be discovered in the smallest things, just waiting to be seen. It’s just a matter of letting all the screeching ego simply fade away, and learn to view the world through the eyes of a child again.

I’ve spent the last several years drowning the innocence inside of me, hoping to find the answers I’ve been seeking in the cold reason of adulthood. But all that’s gotten me is an unending stream of stress and misery. In trading youth for understanding, I’ve been left with neither, and the only thing that I can figure is that I’ve gotten it all wrong. The happiest I’ve ever been was when I was still a child, and my whole life lay in front of me, with nothing but endless possibilities as far as I could see. Every day was a new adventure, inspiring me again. From astronaut to baseball player to astrophysicist, each new bit of information launching me ever forward. And through it all, I always knew that I would one day write about it. That was the constant through every other dream: that no matter what I did, I did it so that I would have something I could write about. And as the years marched on, and my options began to thin, much as my hair would in the years which (shortly) followed, so too did my primary dream begin to fade. With every drop in probability, the joy and hope which once defined me continued to recede. Eventually all that was left was the memory of who I used to want to be when I managed to grow up. It never occurred to me to think that growing up would rob me of the very best parts of me.

A Moment of Truth, Presented in the Omniscient Third Person
A Moment of Truth, Presented in the Omniscient Third Person

A single leaping grasshopper in the middle of a parking lot. A man rapidly arriving at the end of what little rope that he’s got left. A thing of beauty, never seen, lost forever in a digital world gone mad. Tensions within the man’s apartment are written on the walls in large, swirling, angry letters spelling in out in great detail each and every slight and misstep committed by the occupants. The smell of hopelessness now permeates the air, the byproduct of the late-night arguments and fading faith in one another. Seven lives, hanging in the balance, each one counting on the other, and disbelieving them, even so. Like animals roaming restlessly, trapped within their cage, these now-empty husks of once fully realized people pace about, bumping into one another, and feel the rage begin to bubble over without the slightest provocation. Hanging above them all, a sense of doom nears palpability. A single spark could set them off, and at least one of them is smoking. But the man outside, having just lit up his cigarette, takes notice of the insect as hops directly in his path. Everything, every little thing then resolves to crystal clarity. The grasshopper is a metaphor, the man begins to realize, for his standing as mere novitiate upon the path toward tranquility. It is a sign that he must let go of all of his pent-up anger, and seek out the words within him once again. He takes a breath, and extinguishes his cigarette, opening the door, and walking back inside. While he has not managed to recapture his inspiration, he has at least found some measure of composure by which he may attempt to finish what he started. He knows that it cannot be the same, but the flicker of his muse has been rekindled and the echoes of his madness still linger in his brain. He breathes deeply, clearing out the doubt and agitation and begins to write again.

Walking Through Forever

Yeah, it’s going to be one of those days, I can already tell. You know the kind: every thought explores the depths of meaning and perception, and simple tasks unfold before you like a never-ending scroll. I’m not sure exactly what might have set this off, but I think that I’ll just try to roll with it to see where it will take me. I mean, it’s not like drowning myself in metaphor is an entirely new thing for me. Sure, I used to have assistance to reach this frame of mind, but I guess that decades of staring into the void have finally produced results all on their own. This could mean that I’m beginning to take my first steps toward enlightenment, or it could signify that I’m falling down the water slide to madness. Truth be told, I’m really not all that worried about it. I’ve spent years and years trying to keep it all together, and if this should be the day when everything unravels, so be it. It takes a lot of effort to try to appear even slightly less “eccentric” than gladly I’ve become, so why bother with normality? Let’s see what happens when we pull upon the fraying threads of this tapestry. Will the whole thing fly to pieces or will the truth become apparent, liberated at long last from the tyranny of mundane life?

I’d like to go on record here, before we start again, as declaring my sobriety from everything except the caffeinated nicotine which even now is coursing through my veins. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with a little altering of one’s perceptions, from time to time, rather that I wished to make it absolutely clear that I’m in (as much as I’ve ever been) my right mind.


“I think, therefore I am.”

And with that we have established that the reality of self. One knows that he exists because he knows that he exists. Are we just a form by which the universe has chosen to know itself? Are we living in a world which exists apart from us, and yet is one with us, or one which we create within ourselves with every breath we take? Does it extend beyond perception, or fall away to nothingness beyond what we can perceive? If I close my eyes, does it cease to exist, held in memory for it when it may be needed?

Are we agents of Free Will, or slaves to narratives which we ourselves have written long ago, and then cause ourselves upon our births to forget we’d ever done it? What if this life is merely a crucible by which to forge ourselves into the beings which we’ve chosen to become?  Bereft of everything except for the very essence of who we are, we act out life or death scenarios to teach ourselves what we must learn. Might this not explain the sensation of déjà vu? What if we are simply pages we had written while we existed outside of time, or hints which we’ve allowed ourselves to keep us from despair? Is coincidence truly ever so, or are there connections all around for us to crack the code?

And what of everyone living in this world which may or may not be? I can prove my own existence, but not that of another. Can you prove that I exist, and can I prove that you do too? What if the entire world around me is just some sort of living dream, populated by the phantoms which exist only in my mind? Does everyone I meet have a piece of knowledge which I must unlock, aspects of my consciousness designed to move me forward? Am I speaking to myself through strings of written words? I am swimming through a sea of metaphors in search of solid ground.

The only thing which I can prove is the fact of my existence, and then, only to myself. I cannot prove that anyone or anything outside the confines of my mortal consciousness is anything more substantial than a half-remembered dream. And when I am deep within the arms of sleep, am I back in the reality from whence I came, or is it merely another nuanced level for me to figure out? I could make the case, as long as I’m only here arguing with myself, that there have been too many little things for me to just dismiss out of hand. Little tricks of numbers, or double entendre prophecies which sail right before my eyes. Sometimes I feel like I could skip ahead if I only paid attention to the clues I left myself.

Considering that I feel like this, you might wonder, I realize I’m still talking to myself, how I feel about the subject of my death. It would stand to reason that if I were the only game in town, that the very concept of an ending would, at the very least, give me pause. But there are other times when I’d just like it to be done. I’m tired of jumping through my hoops, and have a score to settle with myself. Will I even feel the same, rejoining with the eternal version who made me, or will I come to call him out for all my pain and suffering?

For an atheist, it sounds an awful lot like I have some issues unresolved with faith and spirituality. Or it could be that the backstory was laid down as yet another clue to help me work it out. If that’s the case, then I have got a lot of blood upon my hands. I realize that if no one else is real, then no harm was ever truly done, but still, it seems a bit excessive.

And then there is whisper I’ve not heeded for some time: a small divergence from the theory stated just a couple of paragraphs above. What if everyone I meet is both a version which I’ve molded to fit my narrative, and yet somehow also pulled from someone who actually exists? What if we are all shadows in the dark, muted copies of ourselves living out entire lives as someone else’s NPCs? When I meet someone, are we interacting, or is it just a message on their answering machine?


You’ve made it through, so I feel I owe you this (if I’m wrong, and you actually do exist): While the first paragraph is from my original post, the rest has been an attempt to recover what was lost when the internet abandoned me. It’s kind of like this:


I should also note that I find it… intriguing that as I was tapped into whatever force I draw from when I’m nestled in The Zone, ready to uncover the secrets of reality, my internet went down. According to Comcast, there wasn’t anything wrong. A couple of resets fixed the issue, but they couldn’t figure out why it went down in the first place. And then, having been in a rage since losing what I’d written to the deepest reaches of the ether(net), desperately trying to claw my way back to serenity, I went outside to smoke my sixth cigarette in just over an hour and a half. And what should jump right in front of me, as I was contemplating how to get myself back together? A grasshopper! A grasshopper! I live in the city. There is no real grass in which this insect might have hopped. And yet it popped out right in front of me, like a slap to my sensibilities. And just like that, the rage began to dissipate, and I knew that I could write again. I’m still pissed off, don’t get me wrong, but at least I’ve had a chuckle.