Stuck

With a sigh she opened the screen and the lights dazzled across her face. Entering through the pathway into another world. A place of magic or intensity, life, and drama. Not like reality. Somehow reality was less vibrant. Looking around all of the surfaces and corners of her apartment, the usual tree outside by the stoop where she would suck down a cigarette to bookend experiences. None of it penetrated her. Other people were flat unchanging beings except by location. Somehow all of her friends just felt like a far away collection of vague faces in the haze of a humming backdrop to it all.

So she spent her time watching videos, collecting more and more information from the little box who she began to think of as more of a friend. Her and her computer. “Hey that could be a show!” she’d think, nothing about a computer and a girl as romping friends could be bad. They could talk about memes together and joke about how in those fleeting moments where the girl was an artist, that her self–confidence was a wreck and she was better off just getting back on youtube or whatever.

The thought circled around and she almost got up to write it down but then she really wanted to see how the finale would end. The memory of the her and her computer friend faded until it was unreal, faded into the humming blur where all her friends lived along with the collection of a million other possible experiences. Hours between walls and watching the glowing rectangle. As sleep gnawed at her eyes and she could feel herself wasting away. Still she managed to raise a finger and tap for one more hit.

Death would dawn on her as season six was in its climax. “I only get one life.” the thought said to her. But it seemed so wrong. How could she only get one life when she had experienced so many lives. Even history in grade school covered a vast swathe of lives. Literature, movies, comics, all worlds to enter, to jump into. ONE life? that’s absurd.

But the pang of mortality would return as she watched the screen unblinking. “This is it, I’m using this time right now.” she shook her head and went back to the world, hoping, wishing that the lights could just make her forget who she was, what she was, and what she knew. she wanted to fade into this make believe world that some caffeinated room of writers had made piecemeal for some executive who cut half of it out and sent it off to a social coordinator to get “sharability” or whatever the FUCK they call it.

She was scared. And fear drove her to seek to forget as a matter of course. Why confront a fear you can do nothing about? How do you stop the time from slipping away? How do you keep from dying? You act like you want it. You become lethargic.

It was always amazing how hours could tick by. re-runs, re-watching, re blogging, re-entering the world of these people who had so much more beyond the surface level. She smiled at the jokes, wrapped herself in comfort, while the endless cavalcade of stimulus lulled her further and further away from herself.

She watched and she forgot to live until all the world felt like one great watching.

It was all one big show and everyone was always on it.

but it was real.

and

It’s over now, go click on something else.

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Edge

I feel like a shark with a hook in its mouth.

Torpedo fast predator,

razor blades for teeth.

Stuck with this metal thorn,

a splinter tied with coils of cord that run deep and seamless

into the cartilage.

With no way to get it out,

I can only hope it shakes off

before it grows deeper inside

forever.

And I wonder if I would be better or worse off.

Resonance

“Well you know she stepped up to me- had on these boots, like you know, like they were they were from the 1800’s, but there were skulls on em’. I’m rollin’ a jack and I watched her come up and she steps right in front of me, and BAM lands that pointy thing right between my legs.”

“She stepped on you?”

“Nah no no, on the stoop man, like on the concrete, like she was just out to scare me. All the tobacco in my paper goes flying and I get pissed off, I’m like “WHAT WAS THAT FOR!” and she leans in at me right up next to me and she says “whats the best part of life?”

…and that would be the kind of thing she’d do, just to get a rise out of people, you know rile em’ up, get them out of whatever, like cruse control they all act in. I mean I’m in it to, I try not to get stuck in it, but now I feel like my cruse control is just being paranoid about being comfortable.”

“What’s wrong with being comfortable?”

“Well it’s not real is it? Being comfortable isn’t being happy or sad, it’s being content, its not quite all there isn’t it. Maybe that’s just how I feel, I feel like I’m never comfortable. I’m always trying to get away from it, being content, cuz if your content you’re alright with nothing. Like if your content you are just fine with death. Letting time past with forgotten dreams. ”

“oh.”

“Yea, but I still love just laying down and I used to just exist and it’s a hard gear to get away from. It’s easy now with it all, all the TV programs. I guess being comfortable is just not getting anything, not reaching. People wanna be comfortable. I do to, but If I was  comfortable I’d never get anything done. But then I don’t know what I need to get done anyway. If it’s alright to just keep going and hope you end up somewhere. I’m just all chopped up and divided, and I don’t know if I’m the only one or it’s just a human condition. You know?”

“So you have doubts?”

“Shit yeah I got doubts. I’m a hypocrite. I’d like to think everyone is.”

“So what did you say?”

“about what?”

“When she asked you what the best part about life was.”

“Oh when she slammed her boot between my legs.”

“Yeah.”

“I thought about it, I had nothing to say. If you’re put on the spot like that its hard to get it out. Now, I just shoot out the first thing that comes to mind and damn the consequences. Not very responsible, but forget being contemplative. It’s just a god-damned Hamlet complex. ”

“So you didn’t say anything?”

“I thought, and it was a sunny day so I said sunshine. And when I said it, it didn’t feel real, you know, i was just trying to put something out there. How the hell can you- there is a whole world out there. Just pick one thing out of it. It’s all too much man. It’s insulting, and why should I be put on the spot about it.”

“You got upset.”

“Yeah, she riled me.”

“Like you said she does.”

“Yeah, that was how she got a rise.”

“Give others a rise?”

“yeah.”

“So what did she say?”

“SO I said sunshine, and just sat there. Like a dope, and she didn’t do or say anything for a long moment. She knew how to make a moment…significant. She looked at me for a while, she was right up in my face, and then she closed her eyes, she took in air through her nose… deep deep in and her chest rose and her stomach filled…And then she held it…and slowly she let it out through her mouth…and I got the smell that a close breath has….you know when it’s more CO2 than regular air…. And she let it out and she said : “BREATHING.”

“Did you agree?”

“I did after she said that.”

 

 

 

Sometimes

There was a hum to the room.  It wasn’t loud, but it was there, and its funny how that can be enough. I didn’t really notice it the first few times, but once I did hear it, I couldn’t put it back. You could say that’s like a “knowledge is power and power corrupts” kinda thing, but I’m not really here to make those kinds of thoughts. I have them, it’s all there, but recently, it’s all just become a big tangled mess. The feelings are there but I can’t put them into words, I can’t explain them to people. People, other people. I’m not good with people, unless it’s at the surface level, but I guess who isn’t? There are a lot of them, each an enigma that I can’t figure out. Like the source of the hum.

I’m not sure if there’s a hum for anyone else, but I hear it. If I don’t think about it it’s nothing, not there, it’s all clear. But the backdrop, the background noise, the static of all that I know and all that I’ve thought in pure, raw, uncut feeling in the back of my mind. I don’t know if anyone else knows it, acknowledges it. I don’t think I’m special or anything for pointing it out, but usually there’s like a switch that turns these kinds of thoughts off when I’m with other people. We need to have some way to bridge the gap. And the real problem I might have with people is that if we are all the same, and they are just like me, what do they make of it all?

Anyway, I sat back in the chair and let the hum overtake me until it was all over the room. Until it overshadowed all rational thoughts and my mind felt like there was no lucidity anymore. Cognition taken over by screens and words and thoughts and displays that swirled in my head until it was a wonder that there was any output at all. I just don’t know anymore. I need something grounding, something to take the edge off the thoughts before I start.

Maybe I spend too much time alone. In this room, with the hum, It’s just normal, comforting. I don’t know anything anymore. There is only faith, for whatever it’s worth. Everyone’s pretty quick to snuff out faith these days. Optimists might as well be idiots. No, everyone’s so tripped up on proving how smart they are to everyone. “See the reality that everything is awful?” That might be fine when the talky switch is on, but at night when it’s just you and your thoughts…well…at least there’s youtube right?

Just keep pushing out accepting it all for as long as you can. Feel content in your world. Run away from pain. Don’t feel things. Just Cope.

I wanted desperately to take a pull of something. I could feel it all coming up from the hum in my bedroom.  The static. Maybe scratching that itch would clear it up?

It’s all just a cycle.

This is what’s kept me from quitting.

I just had to ride it out.

Idealism

I look at myself and wonder why, 

It has to be such a lonely road to die,

Lonelier still to a life that’s true,

Knowing what I know without you,

Wishing for something just beyond,

Hoping that it hasn’t already gone.

I can feel what I must do,

And it might not be nothing new,

Makes grumpy stew

But I keep walking it without you,

Staring unblinking into the darkness.

Between breaths.

Try to make a fucking nickel while they make you roll a dime, I’ve got ice and fire in my veins from fretting from when I might die and how high I can get, the dichotomy makes me ossified to the troubles of anyone I haven’t met, worried about who I am and what it’s all comming to makes me forget to buy a new pair of shoes or go to the swimming pool, locked in a prison of fear and doubt until I can’t get feeling of the elements or hear all the voices of friends who wanna hang out, just a hampster in a cage just a pidgin who never goes out till my life has passed by and wouldn’t that be a crime? When you try to make a nickel and you’ve always had the dime, but there’s nothing to spend it on now when your years are gone and you get annoyed by all the noise as you stare in the void and what’s the point of playing the game with all the fake people and the fronts they claim to make sense of the world that it’s all cool and fine and just forget I said anything cuz it’s all bullshit anyway, all the stuff going on in the world why should we think about it any more when there’s no barrier to the evil but holding me up is an optimism from another era that tells me it’s all gonna get better. So I’ll just sit here and feel like 15 cents. 

Breath.

I’m at work, two women of middle age in a yellow bug, the kind with the flower holder, came in and would not stop laughing. “Oh valet. So fancy!” Everything I said was funny and I began to feel happy and laughed along with them about everything as they bumble into the restaurant. Their car (despite being a convertable) reeked of weed. All things have an explanation.

The Times

“It’s all the illigals comming in here, the refugees.”

I nodded into my salad and wrap. The wrap was some kind of special and it had chicken and avacado and mac and cheese but they put some kind of sweet sauce in it that was going crazy in my mouth, it was likely meant to insulate arteries. I got the salad on the side instead of fries. I tell people it’s because the doctor said I needed to get more fiber but in truth I actually enjoy having a balanced meal. I could eat five burgurs if they gave me a bowl of sliced cucumbers as well. I was trying to enjoy it, but this guy at the end of the bar was under the impression that we were having a conversation. 

I was all for polite conversation about the weather. He seemed a normal enough guy, probably in his 50’s and my job parking cars outside means I have to at least be decent at polite exchange. Im fine with baseball, or cars, or movies, but you don’t really need to commit much to a conversation about those things. I have my own life with my own issues and people to talk with about things that matter.  Thas when things took a turn.

“God damned illigals are vicious,this 7 year old girl killed and sodomized.”

What a fucking segue. The bar was quiet except for that guy. Trying to talk to me and trying to preach to me about things I could go the rest of my life without having to hear told to me as if he was some enlightened individual and I was some uninspired sheep. 

I know the tone well, him sitting there behind his computer and newspaper and leaning in so that I could hear the spouting of all hateful propaganda like it was the holy truth. I could imagine him trying to connect the age gap, they never sayit, they just push, men filled with songs about getting kicks and hopeful to be dead before they got to this point. 

Now they try, they want to catch a peice of what youth is through us and instill their own life into us like we need to hear it. It makes me sad because it’s not just people who believe they fill babies with heroine and throw them over the border who do this, it’s a lot, good people too, clinging on to a world they remember which isn’t there anymore.

I think of my father sometimes, not at all the level of insanity that this guy was throwing at me, but still with that longing in the back of his mind to be back to where I am, be in my shoes again. And I try to respect that, I don’t tell him to go away when he bothers me because I know one day that I will be there, and all I’d want is someone to talk to.

You might wonder how could I listen to that guy at the end of the bar and just nod and turn away, why dont I say anything, set him strait, argue and fight for the idea that people are people and some are bad and some are good. How could I explain that to a man who lived their whole life with a big bad enemy on the other side of the world that there are no easy enemies, that the big bad is only an idea.

Wardgarble

There once was a wardgarble big and strong,

Who played the tambourine all day long.

With a jingle and a jangle she would step to a beat,

And never was bothered by those who wanted her to eat.

The wardgarble went hither and thither and all the way fro,

Through the sand, the grass and, all in the snow,

Through sea, and sky, and through our great star,

No place is beyond the wardgarble to mar.

With no sympathy, aid, or any remorse,

The wardgarble continues its damnable course,

A Jingle and jangle all through the night,

An unstoppable force of power and might.

Humble

Ponce Fordure was the greatest talker in all the land. What he said didn’t always need to be the most important or on the most interesting subject, but his words carried like the loose feathers of a dove just sprinkling upon the unwashed faces of the masses, filling their ears with the soft avian folicles of beauty; O’ how his words tickled their inner ear and stuck to their dirt encrusted slymy-

Anyway, because of his powers of a-speechcraft, he often found that he had no need for money. Ponce lived in a great big house and he himself became a great big person for he was not in want for anything. The people often listened to what he had to say on the balcony of that great big house at 4 in the morning. Though no one quite remembered what it was thanks to all the laudlum that was so popular in those days.

Going out Ponce would hike up his pantaloons, snap his stocking into place, straiten his gurdle, be sure that the third button of his fourth ruffled undershirt was sufficiently fastened to the collar ruffle of his 2nd over-vest, afix seven red bows on the tail of his ilustrious wig, buckle his shoes, take a bath, change into his outerwear, and be sure to smack the cane child on the way out for safe passage on the muddy streets. Wherever he went he was recognized and the good people waved and smiled and said “Frandurdlee dee do pop zing!” Towards his area. 

When walking into the bankers, all that would need be said on the part of Ponce was “Gud dey.” And the banker would lavish the man in an endless stream of apple turnovers. It was a serious affair.

It became that Ponce had forgotten who he was before he was known so well, in fact he forgot what he was known so well for. The people who he spoke to no longer seemed like people and he was perhaps some kind of God among them… 

Thus, 4 years later began the second stupidest war in all history, the invasion of Holland by the Filthy army of the Great Ponce. Since that day whenever someone is acting like a freakin ponce, you call them that so they don’t invade Holland.