[BTS1] Brigdon

Grinding rails from the train up on the elevated tracks evaporated into the night’s traffic. Sparks spilled over the side of the riveted steel bridge and were lost in the pollution of neon signs, headlamps, and street vendor lanterns. As the blocks spun by, she could only think of the hours that she had spent in these twisted corridors. The days that had gone by in this alien landscape within the press of some ten million other people.

The lights in the train car flickered and she caught a glimpse of herself in the window. Getting older, the bags darkening under her eyes, tired eyes, eyes that no longer knew what to look for, no longer knew what signs would bring meaning back. Somewhere in the routines she had lost something. Something was left behind in taxes and faces and mistakes that kept coming back to haunt her in stabs and jolts. The cars buckled uneasily around the next bend.

“What am I doing?” She said to her blurred reflection in the window and then looked past to the cityscape. As the train came out over the river the lights and millions of people faded away and for a moment all that remained was the dark river of sloshing darkness under the bridge. It was a black void.

She turned away from the window and looked about the dingy train car, the green lights flickered over the graffiti stained walls and the shimmering silver bars and the plastic red seats. She was alone.

She wondered where real friends were, wondered why she felt so strange, like something was about to happen, but nothing ever changed, caught somewhere between the comfort and security of routine and just utter boredom with no good way out. Where was the adventure life was supposed to take her on? The strange anxiety of being trapped in the moment rose in her throat and she closed her eyes.

The train sped on as she slept. Carrying her away.

She woke up with a start at the lack of motion. The train wasn’t moving. In no time, her mind was racing.

“STOP, DON’T LEAVE!” she hollered at whomever was running the train. She looked around for someone who might tell her which station they were at, but there was nobody. She gathered up her bag and moved down the aisle to the doors. They opened as she approached.

Passing in a daze out from the green flickering room of graffiti. She found herself on the dark platform. She looked for someone else, but there were no people in the glow of the platform lamps. There was a light rain in the hush of thick foliage all around the station. There was no city, no people, nothing but the hum of the dingy lamp and the unused benches. Her heart sank. The train doors closed behind her. The train sped away.

She was left alone, utterly alone, clutching her bag against her chest in the patter of the light rain. She deflated, looking at the station name which read in flat black letters: “Brigdon”.  She had never heard of it.

She looked about for some kind of booth, an overhang to get out of the damp. But the platform had nothing, she pulled out her phone and saw it light up only to notify her that the battery was at a mere 4% at which point it promptly died. She was left staring at the dark drops of water on the dormant screen.

She cursed and, seeing no shelter on the platform, she made her way down the stairs at one end and took shelter under a tree with broad leaves. The rush of wind and rain made her shelter-tree shudder and drops fell on her no matter how close she pushed her back up to the bark. She looked around, for something to reveal where she should go, the only path angled from the station into the dark woods with no light whatsoever.

“Another train will be along at some point.” said a voice. “Not until morning I’m afraid”

She looked around  and then noticed, below her gaze at about waist height a small umbrella being held by a tiny person with a furry face like a fox.

Her eyes bugged when she saw the creature hold up the umbrella with a smile.

“If you want you can use my umbrella, I don’t mind getting a little wet.”

She tentatively grasped the tiny handle and held it over her head. Not taking her eyes from the small being.

“I was actually here to meet someone, but I guess she missed her train.” Said the little guy, looking downward and scrunched up his shoulders against the rain.

“W-who were you waiting for?”

“Oh, an old friend… Anyway, no sense in us both getting wet out here, my name is Lander.” he stuck out a small furry hand that emerged from the long sleeves of his coat. She shuffled the umbrella to her other hand with her bag and grasped Lander’s hand shaking it up and down, stultified by the strange little person.

“My name is…” She drew a blank. Panic arose in her. “I don’t remember my name”

“Seems like kind of an important thing to forget; you might be catching a fever.” Said Lander. “Come, if you need a place to stay, you can come stay with me, the next train isn’t until the sun comes up. It’s not safe to be out at night alone, especially in a rain storm.”

The panic that was within her came out as “If it’s all the same I think I should wait for the train on my own.”

“Suit yourself, you can keep the umbrella.”

And then without another word he turned and walked briskly away, producing a small flashlight from his coat and lighting the way down the path into the woods.

She watched him go and was soon left alone in the rain, the drops pattering off the small canvas of the small umbrella. A few moments went by before she turned and saw his little light bumbling down the path away from the small train platform. She was a city girl after all, she didn’t need help. The thought came upon her suddenly, but she soon soured to this small bit of pride and then hurried with her bag and tiny umbrella clumsily balanced after him.

As she ran, puddles splashed and the wind picked up with the rain falling harder and harder. Ahead of her down the path she could see the light bumbling on. As cold drops fell, they got in her eyes. Then there was a dump of water that fell from one of the broad leaves right before her. The splash hit the ground and rose up, covering her in water. She didn’t stop, but she failed to see the water congeal and rise up behind her.

She found herself running, and as she did, more splashes of water fell from the trees and rose up as watery blobs with shimmering tendril hands reaching out. She could see Lander when another splash fell between them. This time the puddle rose up in front of her and the watery blob appeared, eyeless reaching out towards her.

She screamed and nearly fell back, turning from this apparition only to see the five others behind her. She dropped the umbrella and soaking wet reached into her bag for her knife. She pulled it out in the darkness, flipping out the blade.

“Get away from me!” She yelled, but the blobs only continued sliding toward her. Panicking she brandished and slashed with her knife at them, but they only seemed to grow closer and bigger in the rain. She slashed at the closest one, but her hand only went through the monster and came out wet on the other side. They began to press against her and tried to drown her with their blobby bodies.

Before that could happen, a yellow light fell upon them and the watery monsters shrank away returning to simple puddles.

“Are you alright?” He called as he came up to her. “I told you this place is dangerous at night, you shouldn’t walk in the darkness.”

“You’ve got to be straight with me right now!” She said.

“What what, of course, I’m glad those pests didn’-

“No, you be clear with me RIGHT NOW…” She said, the rain and her tears mingling “Am I in a fucking fantasy story right now?”

 

 

 

Burden

There once was a man who overthought life so much, he could never think beyond it. He couldn’t get the thoughts out of his head; the demons only swirled endlessly about him. He wanted all of his stories to feel real, but the journey began as an escape. To think that the sky might be a scoop of blue ice cream or that the moon might be an underdone pancake would be impossible for him. It would only deviate from finding the truth. His solemn goal and duty to figure it all out; to think his way to the understanding of it all. A burden he laid on his own shoulders. A great and untenable task. That made him bitter with no time for nonsense.

 

For he was lost like all men, looking to find something on his own, to be able to be certain of something for himself. To validate the years of thinking. Once he sold his soul on Acid. He wanted to know how to read minds or move things with his, and it is all already possible if you look at it the right way. It’s all significant, he thought. Life’s answers must be contained within all things. Each blade of grass, the caress of the wind, in the smiles and sadness, in the spider in the shed, or the unseen death of a trampled millipede. Every detail of life holds all meaning. Each moment, each breath, a clue that would bring him closer to learning it all.

 

Why?

 

The answers would save everyone. All war, all strife, all disease, all pain, misery, and joy, laughter, love, sex, birth, and death, would have a framework rooted in the experience of the world rather than by myth, or hearsay, or someone else’s contribution. The depth of things, the detail would be all in what is touched and felt and seen. It would give each of us hope that one person could figure it out and hold it all in their hands without the need for the validation of others.

 

And yet, validation is all he craves, not from cajoling or convincing, but by the merits of his own thoughts, with the only credential that he was alive, and thought each day of his life to find something important, something significant. And so his life became a pitch to others of his breakthroughs and his intellect.  He did not realize the maddening nature of his quest or the enormity of what was thrust upon him. He stayed true to it though. He stayed true to it.

 

In a house on a hill lives a man. His name is Delweather. He lives alone.

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.

Nono’s Store

We were all living at Aunt Nono’s store at the time: My Father Kevin and Mother Nancy as well as my Younger brother Ryan. Aunt Nono was in California when it all started so we had no idea where she might have been. The electricity was out for a few months and so we were still getting used to making fires and lighting the old oil lamps Nono kept around the antique store. It had a cozy back room with a fireplace, all wood paneled walls. The front room was about as boring as any store front, and it’s big front windows saw through to the strip mall enclave outside.

I was never a big user of technology and my parents grew up in the 80’s so I don’t think the internet crashes really hit us as bad. Their big thing was the lack of comforts. It took hours to boil the course rice from the bag we salvaged and our clothes stank from lack of any running water to clean them. It bothered me too, but I could see it bothered them more.

But my brother, he never lived in a world without phones and the internet. Even as we sat by the fireplace with the pot boiling rice and the low firelight flickering across our downtrodden faces, he would take out his precious phone and the foreign blue-white LED light would splatter into the dark. His eyes wide and grasping for hope that he would get a connection again. Each time, it became worse to see; I just wanted to take it from him and throw it into the fire, but I could see it gave him hope and that was the resource that could afford any cost.

“Why don’t you just throw that damn thing away!” my mother said. Her face twisted with frustration as she huddled under Aunt Nono’s blanket.

My brother said nothing but clicked refresh on the unopened web page.

“Didn’t you hear your mother!” my Dad said by the firelight. He threw in a leg to an antique chair and the smoke smelled like varnish.

“Maybe it came back up! The government was trying to bring it back in places.”

He clicked refresh again and I could see tears in his eyes. I reached over and put a hand on his. He looked over suddenly with wide eyes.

“You’ll waste the battery.” I said

Slowly he clicked away the screen and put it back in his pocket.

“We’ll try again when we can move.”

The first month or so we had to live this way, sitting by the fire waiting for the rice was full of conversation. We’d reminisce over things and the places we went and how things might get closer to how they were. I always knew that things would never go back to how they were. I didn’t say anything, but I think they knew.

Now we just sat by the fire, watching the flames like the enigma of life. The only sound now the lapping of its magic tenderals on the pot, the snapping of ancient wood, and the occasional bolt of thunder beyond the thin confines of the house. There was no telling if it was natural thunder or not. The silence with each other was a fearful and tense comfort.

We had to find things to occupy ourselves. Nono’s store had a collection of strange knives and I learned pretty well how to throw them and a series of marks embedded into the far wood panels of the wall showed practice. My favorite was a sort of curved knife with a curved handle of bone with a large pommel at the end. I would idly learn how to spin it between my fingers. I taught my brother as well.

“I’m gonna look outside.” I said, standing.

My family looked at me.

“Be careful.” My mom said.

“I’ll look too.” My brother said and got up.

Beyond the thin wooden door was the storefront, still full of junk and antiques which were now of little value except to burn. An old globe, the kind you’d see in old movies in some rich guy’s study, stuck out among brass poles to a disassembled trundle bed. Coffee tables and handcrafted chairs with floral patterns on their cushions from a bygone but not a dissimilar era.

The big glass windows that looked out to the big parking lot showed the rubble and deep holes gouged into the tarmac. The other stores in the old strip mall plaza were dark. Old cars, either smashed into twisted metal or burned to a solemn husk littered the cracked and jaunted pavement. In the distance, a tall building was engulfed in flame. It had been burning for two days.

The sky was clouded with a low overcast that had been present for nearly a month, and tiny speckles of rain formed on the glass panes. Under my poncho and my brother under his blanket, we moved to the window and looked up. Beyond the clouds flashes of orange light could be seen and their mystery was terrifying and out of our control.

The two of us just looked and said nothing for a long moment.

“What do you think is going on?” My brother finally said as booms and rumbles reached our feet.

“I don’t know. The government could be trying to fight them.”

Suddenly an object burst from the clouds far away. Behind it carried a streamer of blue flame and debris broke away and spiraled in streaks of blue.

“look!” My brother said.

The object became more clear, and it seemed to be nearing us. An aircraft of some strange design. I couldn’t see any wings and my brother adjusted his old rayban glasses to see better.

“Get back.” I said as the craft broke apart further, it’s hulk rocketing down.

The craft struck the burning building and the largest part skipped off of it in a shower of fire and rubble. It moved very fast now in our direction and crashed against the smashed pavement at the edge of the parking lot. The sound was a tumult and the ground shuddered under our feet as it came to rest at the far end of the plaza.

From what I could see, it was not a government plane or design at all. Wordlessly we watched it as blue flames rose up to the heavens.

From the side a door could be seen opening and we pressed up to the glass to see. Several small blue humanoid creatures exited it and milled about the wreck, they had weapons of some kind and red spines flaring off of their heads. At the distance we were, it was hard to tell what they were doing, but they were the survivors.

“It’s them.” I said, and the primal fear took hold. We looked at each other and both bolted back to our parents.

“We NEED to go.” I said

Mom and Dad both looked up at us, breathing heavy.

“What is it?” My dad said standing.

“A ship or something just fell and some of them  are out there in the plaza.”

We took no time to hurry our things together. The hunger was what lead my dad to strain the half cooked rice, pouring the water over the fire and make for the door last with the pot in his hand. We left the embers for whomever might find it.

The four of us moved swiftly as we could out into the woods next to the highway and we did not stop moving until dawn rose the world into a grey.

Good & Evil Rush tomorrow

So for a while I’ve been working on this comic, It involves two foxes who may or may not be representing Yin and Yang as they try to deal with themselves and the world around them in parallel adventures.

The vast majority is not online but I do have a website where I plan to rectify that: http://goodevilcomic.com/

Tomorrow from 4:00pm to some time later (eastern US time) I’m going to be uploading a new page every half hour. If you would like to see it from the beginning here’s the link: http://goodevilcomic.com/comic/good-evil-chapter-1-title/

If you enjoy my writing, this comic is little more than a visual story, and I mean that because you need to have an open mind when looking at my drawings 😛

If you like Consider Subtlety please also follow Good and Evil. You wont be disappointed.

SCAN0001

Moment

Once so far away,

is now arrived,

is now behind,

is with us forever.

life is a moment,

long and incoprehendable

brilliantly arising, confirming,and deteriorated

A jump, a wave, a pulse, a splash

from calm to calm

and punctuated by pure sun warmth,

the cool immersion of water,

the tickle of green grass,

the mysterious dark,

Life is a moment of everything.

A fantastical Drop in it all.

Ants & Telepathy

“Mosquitoes pay ants no mind. They lack the sustenance needed. And as I watch what looks like some kind of ant highway, a daddy long-legs marches above them through the tall grass.

Species that don’t bother eachother.

I don’t trouble them, but by my very nature I couldn’t live among them.

I’m too big.

And that’s why the mosquitoes like me.”

Do you think ants see themselves as individuals?

Not family relations, but the insects.

I mean If you take the thought experiment to say that maybe they could have a sense that they are one among many and not in the sense that they have thoughts and feelings. But I mean they could for all we really know.

Apparently the more ants you have in a group, the smarter they become, which seems to be the exact inverse of humanity.

In that regard, perhaps ants all feel and sense the collective colony, seeing the world as one organism. Rather than a bunch of ants working at menial goals, they understand the implications of it all, their place in it as more of an appendage. They would probably feel themselves closer to a plant, with far stretching roots and systems.

Such things would require a certain degree of what we would call telepathy. Whether you believe in it or not, I don’t think if it existed that it would be as simple as “talking” in other people’s heads. Words were around much later from any biological ability. It would be in feelings, images. or just plain impulses to do things.

I recently read that aboriginal Australian tribes have a “system” where when they feel a twitch or a pain randomly in their body, they can touch that place on them, enter a meditative state and somehow “see” a relative (an aunt if you will) or a location that they know. All the article told me was that it was startlingly accurate, as telepathy was just a small caveat to a greater conclusion about the brain.

In this busy world of business we live in of internet and numbers, perhaps that key part of the brain was lost or clouded from us. Perhaps it’s still there somewhere deep inside. It could be for all we know.

Sonnet a day 1 : On Dicipline

So  something I’ve told myself I’m going to start doing, Each day I’m going to write a sonnet, I may not always post them, but I will if I got nothing else. They are likely going to be just terrible because it’s more of an exercise to get better with words than any kind of attempt at anything legitimate. I usually don’t plan out anything, but start out where I’m feeling and work from there. Rhyming is always weird when you have to force it. I am also not keeping to any kind of meter per line for those sonnet nuts out here if you exist. Here’s the first one I wrote last night.

What could be more elusive than discipline?

The specter of death does not harry me so.

Much greater ease to…do a line

Than to organize thoughts for one to go.

So much is said to be gained,

From steadfast work and devotion,

And yet here I have remained,

my head sputtering with useless commotion.

Is this only a moment of clarity?

What befalls those with simple grandeur?

Is it all just mediocrity?

That to my face takes petty pander?

I fear I’m likely a fool’s simpleton

And that death would come easier than any discipline.

(I realize maybe some of you may not think this one is humorous, but It’s more of a sarcastic joke on how in shambles my life has been, I’ve been sick for the last few days but I finally cleaned out my room. It feels better, but I haven’t been in the best mood recently. Hence, a lot of stuff on my life falling into shambles. Hopefully with spring I’ll start to feel better and stuff I post can reflect that. Anyway, something to think about enjoy! (also I do not do cocaine, I couldn’t think of a good way to say what I wanted and rhyme it to discipline.)