REPORT A PROBLEM
The concept of you breaks me does into little pieces, and you can't even tell what I am now. I am unreadable, and you don't seem to mind.
We all hate you and you don't know it -– because we lavish you with praise, praise so heavy that even I can feel it, and you stand there, at home on that pedestal.
I would give my life to see you fall, to see you torn, ravaged, naked here on the floor like the rest of us. But every word you say renders me fragmented at you feet, and it is hopeless.
When is it ok to hate? It seems wrong to hate the lady behind me in the theater just because her pig-squeal laugh makes my nerves twist, but I can't seem to help it.
It's all well and good to be a happy, kind, and polite person, but sometimes it's not worth it. I'm never going to see her again. It doesn't do anyone any harm if I'm a little pissed off.
Social graces only go so far.
And shit was it annoying. I wanted to change seats, but I'm sure no one would have been stupid enough to trade.
Soon my nerves will lead to internet cables and my fingers will be their own keyboard. One day I will be as much a part of a computer as a circuit board.
The beauty of it is not access, not information, not communication. The beauty is beauty itself, and infinity: for every question there are a thousand answers: glowing, shifting, new.
Already I can think in code. In my mind I plan the layout and margins of the world. The future is only a few steps away. You fear it, you don't understand it, and I can paint in pixels.
They walk along holding hands, and I don't think I will ever be like that. They share each other's worlds and I share in nothing.
I pretend that I could understand, I pretend there is hope -– but that is a lie. I am my own, set apart, and I will never know the hows and whys and workings of someone else's mind. And when the others say they understand me it makes me want to laugh -– because they have their own paradigm and I have mine. They can guess, they can assume, but that is all. They do not know.
The ringing in his ears has begun again. There is a droning in this life, and it is driving him mad. It builds in his mind until it spills out, the sound of a ringing phone that no one ever picks up.
It is the daily toils of life, the hum, the dark repetitions of those things that must be. It is the drudges of life that refuse to admit that no one wants, no one needs, no one cares.
Nothing will ever change this monotony, this black noise of reality. It swallows his human prayer and leaves only this.
The sign says God's Acre, and it is right behind my house. It is a tired, half-forgotten graveyard, and I used to visit there every week and cry for a little boy that died when he was only a few months old.
I can imagine it as a forest of souls. I can imaging an acre of human life pacing as the rest of us sleep. I used to jump around the raised mounds and yellow grass that mark a casket. I used to apologize to gravestones.
I used to call the boy Little Lamb.
There is no God there.
It could've been worse, she knew that -– but she didn't feel it. It was already bad enough: a pile of errors, of accidents, of sins that made life too sour to face just now.
But then there was a moment like this that caught her, trapped her, held her immobile. The world around her seemed still, as if waiting for her to appreciate the richness, the thickness, the sweet perfect smell.
When it passed life was hell again, but the molasses moments and chocolate seconds were enough to help her face it, bite it, swallow it. They made it easier.
My bedroom walls where white and my Wicca books were piled on the floor.
It occurred to me quite suddenly that I hadn't opened those books in weeks. I had missed a holiday. In the rush of moving I had forgotten that I believed and I had faith.
The realizations came swiftly: I had cared for a god that had done nothing for me, I had put effort into something that was too weak to give back. It was hard to accept that I'd been fooled. But the turning away that occurred in the moments that followed, that was easy.
Thanksgiving is still some time away and the stores are already candy striped and playing Deck the Halls.
I don't mind the prematurity of the season. This is my sedentary time of hot chocolate and cold and presents. I like to stay up late by the lighted, decorated tree and think about the year when my parents were up all night setting up Playmobile.
It's still, but this feels like my last Christmas –- and then I'll be grown and gone, and the magic will have faded. I want every second of this Christmas, and I want to be young again.
There is a fascination in a fiasco, an attraction to an accident that makes it impossible to ignore. It holds, freezes, crystallizes the human status. Set out and preserved, the emotions wait inspection.
Seeing crumpled metal makes you ache. The public, stopped, parked, and anxious to help, makes you want to cry. The ambulances that scream as they pass by scare you because one day they may be rushing towards you.
And the moment is forever frozen sharply in your mind, digging into the side of your brain with the reminder you watched you stared you could not look away.
My bed is soft and I am finally warm. I could live like this forever and still be happy. This is a place beyond contentment. The rain sounds like breathing and I have just reached the point where I can stop thinking and only listen.
Right now I don't worry that I am alone and heartless. Right now there is no reason to worry, and the pillows will coach my heart in the way of gentleness. The day will come soon enough, but now I dream. I dream about this rain never-ending and about that gentle alarm going on forever.
She wants to be nothing more than a leaf, as strange as it is. She wants to be one of a thousand phoenixes, a worker, a maker, gone in a red flame falling. She wants to be a fallen, a forgotten, a crunch underfoot. She wants to rain a shard of brimstone and she wants to help paint the world. But she is human –- is that so bad?
Colors are harder to come by. The inferno is more difficult to pull off here in this world of people. There is nothing to do but pray for lighter fluid and matches.
It is still tempting, somehow, to eat the rotten fruit and to drink the overripe, too-sweet juice that makes the stomach ache. Yes, it is rotten, but the ruby color makes it seem still alive. Spoiled or not, it looks like a delicacy. Like it would satisfy
hunger, that hunger that only he knows. Rotting, dripping juices, sure to make you sick because the time has passed for that but still he looks beautiful, ripe, and devourable. You will fail as the books recite, victim to the corrupt, soft, fermented apple that dangles before you in what he is.
The unread books in my collection make me feel unworthy of the pen I hold in my hand. What is a writer that does not read? Not just the good books and the easy books, but the hard ones and even the boring ones should be my daily bread. Sometimes I just can't do it –- I can't force myself through those slow chapters.
But they are books still. Simply for the sake of publishment, for the concrete paper and ink form, they have my respect. Collecting dust and crumbling away, they still hold a cherished place on my bookshelf.
Touch the highest heavens. Eat the clouds: they taste like crystal and rain. There is no god here where the sun is blinding. There is only you, floating here where you cannot even see the ground.
I am afraid of flying, and even I can recognize this feeling.
There is something in the air up here –- in its thinness and the fleeting touch it has on your brain. But the view quickly grows stale, and there are always further heights to fly. It is the rising, the movement toward perfection. The attempt. The wing beats.
And the taste of clouds.
The quality was poor, but she could see well enough. They looked like idiots on the tape, stumbling through their presentation and getting the order of their index cards mixed up. She found that she could not move her eyes from the image of herself.
Arms folded across her chest to keep the world away. Head down-turned. Eyes always moving. She was shifty, wary, and insecure. No wonder she had so few friends. Who would want to be friends with someone like that?
The others, giggling and passing notes, did not even notice the profound moment that passed over her.
He is so much like a puppy, cocking his head at the sounds that he doesn't understand. He's begging to be petted, caressed, and comforted. Every quizzical look and every grin makes him darling.
But does he have claws, a bark, and a bite? Could he lose the cuteness and strike out, attack? Of course. You are sweet yet you can hate, and he can kill in kind. That rancor is animal nature.
But while talking and flirting it is easy to pretend that both of you are harmless, that he is toothless and sweet. That delusion is human nature.
I like to sit silently and observe human behavior, and after much time spent watching I have come to the conclusion that humans are funny things. We mess up, we trip, we misspeak, and we laugh at our own farce. Humans are light, funny, simple, and little more than that.
It is ironic that we think so much of ourselves, and sad that we have been wrong this whole time, but it is comical still. Stooges all, we are a joke, and no one seems to mind.
Maybe that is why I am so dark: to counteract the human comedy.
I have nothing to say of myself; at least, not of late. That makes it a very sorry choice for a subject, but I know there are words there, hiding in the back of my mind, and they're just too heavy to pull into the light.
And I don't know why. I don't know why I draw a blank when I think about my own life. I don't know why 100 words is too much to manage. It just is, and there is nothing that I can do but try and fail, and wait it out, and count the words.
The siren is the epitome of Eve, and she is a creature worth being. The siren is everything the woman can be: the skill, and the winning, and the power: the power to have and the power to ruin. As Eve led men away from Eden, the siren leads him from the safety of the ship to ragged water and rocky shores.
There is no woman that does no seek the power of the siren. Every flip of well-brushed hair, every smile, every heavy gaze is part of that beauty. There in lies power over the weak and heroic man.
She has a figment, a mirage, and it is in her mind. There is a boy there, and he is perfect. He would make her happy. He has kept her welcome company throughout the long and violent nights.
But she has seen many relationships fail, and she knows the boy will never save her. She knows love is a deadly thing.
The wanting is still there, even the need, and the boy remains hers. But she does not believe in it. She has learned to doubt. She knows the poison for what it is.
She wants to be proven wrong.
It was an internal apocalypse, and everything that you thought you knew about yourself was wrong. Your identity is fragmented now. You thought you were perfect, but you are fallible.
Failing, ruining, crashing and burning –- it exposes a broken structure from which you must build yourself, it tears you down to glistening, gory shreds and making flesh out of them is up to you. Anger means nothing as the world waits for you to pick yourself up and carry on. We all end up here, in the chaos and anarchy after the fall, and this is your test: build again.
The world is indeed a stage, she says, and everything she does is part of her performance. It's true, and she'll admit it.
Pretending to like people she can't stand. Drawing attention with stage-worthy dramatics that are their own spotlight. Singing, dancing, performing, and catching the admiring eye of everyone who can see colors.
It doesn't seem to bother her that she has been lost beneath layers of stage makeup. She is an honest actor, and she will admit that she practices her smile in front of the mirror.
She is the queen of the stage, and she knows it.
Fingers tapping, heart racing, and I fucking hate this. I fucking hate being strung so tight that it feels like something in me is going to be ripped in two. Something is clutching at my chest and I can't take a fresh breath –- the slate air is making me sick.
Something has build me up to this cruel anxious peak, and I can't take any more monotony. Once this starts I can't stop it –- the world alights around me and all I can do is run with it. Run, and try not to fall behind, and let it pass over.
This is what it all comes down to: power is power.
Friendship can help. It is true that in every life we lose a little. But power is power.
The world can be destroyed more than it can be rebuilt, and the time has come to acknowledge the thing for what it is, to let human disillusion drop away: in this fighting, clawing, working to the top, there is only one truth: power is a solid, confinable, finite thing.
When I tower over you it is not magic. These God hands are not miracles. This is all very real indeed.
They spent the night together because he knew he couldn't manage another night alone.
They were just friends –- maybe they weren't even that. They had known each other for years, but they weren't very close. One was a writer, the other an engineer –- their lives didn't cross much.
It'd been a long day, it'd been a hell of a week, the night out hadn't done much to help, one thing led to another, and he came to the conclusion that he needed someone, tonight.
There was no sex. There didn't need to be sex. They held each other and slept.
I hate the happy people.
No, scratch that. I hate the happy couples. I hate to see people walking down the street holding hands, bragging, pushing their perfect romance against the world like they're better than the rest of us.
I know I'm jealous. I'm perfectly aware of that. I know that I want to be one half of that happiness and that the only reason I'm so angry is because I don't think I can do it. I know I want to force them down so that I can be higher than they are.
But I still hate them.
I am thankful for the material things in my life: a good computer, hundreds of books, and video games.
I am thankful for my sister and my friends.
I am thankful for everything that has gotten me this far and for those things that will push me farther.
I don't think about this often enough and I know I need the reminder, because without it I'm that much more lost and a little bit more helpless. I don't eat meat and I hate cranberries, but I always cry when we go around the table and share that small something inside.
Happy immobile unwilling unwanting full. Even opening my eyelids is work. There's a magic in the day after Thanksgiving, when you can eat leftover pumpkin pie for all three meals. It's a miracle by way of the seven deadly sins.
Damn do I love pumpkin pie.
It's nice to celebrate thankfulness through gluttony. It's comfortable, knowing that no one really expects me to move from my seat on the couch. I'm not going to do anything today and my homework can rot on my desk for all I care. That will change tomorrow, today I see video games and food.
There is a girl and an old lady in the store, and the younger speaks clearly and buys the older porcelain dolls.
Something about the two of them makes me miserable.
So many of the elderly are sour, and so many of the young are cold, but this is harmony. I wish I could be so kind and so patient, but I know that my abilities don't stretch that far. I just ring up the till and wrap the porcelain and know that for all of my independence and all of my intelligence, both of them are better than me.
The Tip Jar