Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eleventh Hour, Sixteen Minutes

Lately my friends have been telling me something that I used to take as an insult.  They're calling me "soft-hearted" and "big-hearted" and shit like that.

Them's used to be fightin' words.  I'd throw down over being called something like that.

I'm an evil, mean-spirited man, goddammit!  I want to do terrible things to you in your sleep and I drive a creepy van around quiet neighborhoods at night.  I'm not "soft-hearted" or whatever that means.

A bunch of years ago, I watched something play out at a card game that reminds me of this.  It was Chris and Ed.  Eddie was a backwoods redneck and Chris was a scruffy, dirty, smelly, lying thief. He had a thing for hookers and for him, the lower they were, the better. Seriously.  He was a piece of crap.

But anyways, these two were playing cards.  Eddie was drinking and Chris was on whatever drugs he had gotten ahold of that night.

Eddie sets the cards down, burps, looks at Chris and says, "Goathead."

Don't EVER call somebody Goathead.  Chris was highly offended.


Eddie, not to let it go, countered with, "Dick!"


And it escalated.  The two went back and forth, trading insults.  Eddie pulled out a Buck hunting knife and slapped it on the table, and took another slug of the cheap whiskey he'd been swilling all night.

"Fuck you, you fuckin' fuck!"  And Chris stood up.

Eddie burped again, blinking, while holding up a finger.

"Wait a minute," he said.  "Let me speak good English."

Eddie pushed the cards closer to Chris and said, slowly, "Go ahead."

You never know what somebody means when they say something because words can get jumbled on their path from our brains to our tongues.  It makes communication a real bitch.

But yeah, my friends have been calling me "soft-hearted" a lot lately.  I get attached to women quickly and deeply.  I'm stupid that way.

I try not to be an emotional moth on a suicidal run into a halogen lamp.  I really do.  In recent months, I've met a lot of women who were looking for something.  A couple really got some good shots in that I just had no defense against.

In those times, I learned a few things.  I can't tell the difference between a woman teasing me, flirting with me. toying with me, taunting me, or rubbing my face in who and what I am.  Over the years, I've had women do all of those things to me.  I had one woman, years ago, who felt the need to really show me cruelty.

This woman would rub my belly and tell me how badly she needed sex.  And on the next day, she would tell me about how her boyfriend tore her up.  Then, she would pout and say, "But you don't have anyone, do you, Ted?  You're alone.  All alone.  What did you do last night, hmm?"

And then she'd laugh and walk away.

I have more stories like that than I'd care to admit to or recount.  I'm an easy target for these women. I realize that.  I'm getting better at ignoring them, too.

I met someone very recently and she and I have been chatting every day.  In our first chat, on the day we met, we chatted for about six hours.  In that time, I had a lightbulb moment about my own life and the patterns in it.  Specifically, one pattern in particular that really bothered me.

This was an incredible feeling.  I told my friends as if I'd discovered gold in my flower pots.  It was a Eureka! moment for me and I was proud and happy.

This never would have happened had I not met this woman.  It never would have happened had she and I not had hours of frank and candid conversation without filters.  Those conversations were important and productive for both of us.

Seventeen Minutes....

I was told recently not to label myself.  It's hard because I'm used to it.  I'm used to derogatory labels telling me I'm a "trainwreck" or "damaged goods."   It's easy for me to go back to those labels time and again.  The real struggle has been going forward without them.

I'll admit that it was a bad idea to have given up on everything all those years ago but I honestly couldn't think of anything else to do.  Everything had failed up to that point.  Because every path had led me to nowhere, I just figured I'd run my course, and it was getting close to Checkout Time.

But that was a long time ago and I'm still here.

One of my biggest fears is the cosmic joke I seem to be confronted with time and time again.  In this case, the joke would take the form of my purpose on this planet being fulfilled just as I begin to discover happiness and POOF I'm gone.  Just like that.

Maybe that's why I'm alone.  This way, I can't drag anybody down with me.  Nobody gets hurt.  It's a clean finish with no survivors left behind to mourn.

Sam Kinison was killed by a drunk driver just a few weeks after getting married.  John Candy died just before he was to begin a radical exercise and diet program.  Life is full of those cosmic jokes and death seems to always be the punchline.

So, I decided to pull out of this tailspin.  I don't know why.  I don't.  I have no idea why I'm doing this.  

I'm sorry I'm bouncing around so much.  I know this is hard to follow.  I've written this a dozen times and in so many ways, but it's all jumbled.  My mind is jumbled.  I'm so sorry.  These past few weeks have been so very hard on me and people have been bugging me about finding hope or whatever.
And anymore that seems to be the only thing that makes me angry.  I don't give two shits about much of anything but if you talk to me about hope, I'm ready to take the gloves off and throw down.

My brain has been a very ugly place.  And instead of dealing with it I've been filling my head with as much distraction as possible.  Cartoons, food, idle chat, games, re-run movies, old crap on television, and numbing substances I really shouldn't be doing.  Anything but dealing with reality.


And I just can't withdrawal far enough away.  I can't.  Everything is too much and I can't get away from any of it.  I just want to unplug for a while and I haven't been able to do that.  I feel like I'm under siege by the world and it just won't leave me alone.  That's why I don't go outside much.  That's why I don't talk to anybody on the phone but for a phone call to my mother every ten days or so just to let her know I'm alive.  Those calls usually last no more than three minutes.

Is it possible to be hurling out of control towards two very different fates simultaneously?  Because that's what this feels like.  Something is going to happen and I'll be standing on the last brick before the abyss on two paths.  I don't have much time left, either.  I'm on the last last chapter of the story or the last chapter in the book.  Or the first chapter in a new series.    

Saturday, August 5, 2017

What the "Long-View" Means to Me

I don't get too excited about certain things.  And often I find much of what people do to be meaningless and boring.

But I'll let you in on a secret--I've been here before.

When I was just 3 1/2 years old, I used to have a nightmare over and over again.  In this nightmare, I was bound at the hands and feet with rough, abrasive rope.  I was under water, next to the wooden hull of a ship, and I was struggling for air.  Panicked.  Desperate.

Then I'd wake up.

And I was just 3 1/2 years old.  I swear, this is the truth I'm telling you.

I didn't know what that dream meant until I was in college and somebody explained to me what keel-hauling was and how horrible it was to die that way.

There's more.  Lots more, really.  But it's too personal and I'm not going into it here.  Needless to say, however, there were other lives.  Other deaths.  And there was a soul-mate.

So yes, I take the long-view of things.  I don't need to sow my wild oats, I don't need to do a lot of things to sieze the day.  I don't feel the need to go out and "live life to the fullest" because honestly, unless there's something in it for my soul, I'm not interested.

And this is important for you to understand--I'm here for my soul.  I'm on this plane of existence because of the lessons my soul needs to learn as I journey through this world.

I'm not here for fun, I'm not here to get laid, and I'm not here to party.

I have nothing to prove to you.  Please don't take that to mean I don't care about you, it just means I don't feel the urge to show off, and I'm not interested in following the crowd.  Just because you're doing something doesn't mean I'm going along with you.  I've got my own path.

I'm here for my soul.

This is why I look for love, not some good time.  This is why I'm looking for that emotional bond before anything else.  This is why I do things with my heart firmly committed.

It's also why it's hard for me to feel passionate about things.  I'm selective and choosy.  But when I do, it's deep.  When my heart is in something, you'll know it.  You won't be able to ignore it.  And if you're close enough to me, I'll drag you with me in my wake.

I've gone through past-lives regression therapy.  I've done self-hypnosis as well.  Those helped me piece together random memories I've had with re-occuring dreams until I was able to put together a narrative that made sense.

What I can tell you is this--I have some bad karma from past lives to work through and I made some mistakes.  Plus, I did some things out of love most would never understand.  Because of that bad karma, there have been some issues in my life to work through.

One of the reasons I'm so nice to people is because I don't want to add to my bad karma that follows me around life to life like a stalker.

I cringe when people tell me I only have one life to live and to make the most of it.  I've already done that a few times.  I know why I was keel-hauled.  And I've killed plenty of people.

But there were some problems.  I made choices based on fear and rage.  The result was carnage and bloodshed.

So, I'm here to learn how to be a better person.  I'm here for a few other reasons I'm not going to get into right now.

But please don't tell me I only have one life to live.  Please don't tell me the seize the day.  I promise you--I've seized more days than you can count and I've lived lives on an edge you'd never understand. I have memories of events that are soul-crushing and heart-breaking.

I refuse to be stuck in those past lives or be held hostage by them but I need to know what I'm supposed to learn so I can stop going around and around the block.  There is somebody on the other side of the veil waiting for me to get my shit together and I'm here alone until that happens.

So that's my quest.

Before you write me off as some guy with a mental problem or a writer posting experimental fiction, I'm going to tell you a true story.  I swear, it's all true.

I used to play around with something called remote viewing.  Remote viewing is when you project your mind on a distant place and see what's going on.  That's the simple version.  I was also practicing astral projection at the time.  Those stories are for another time.

But with remote viewing, there is something called "beginner's luck" where your first serious effort gains results, and then you spend months trying to get back to that point in your list of skills.  It's weird.

At that time, in college, I had a girlfriend who broke up with me because she met somebody else.  She broke up with me, headed right for his dorm room, and started fucking him.

How do I know?

I remote viewed.  It was traumatic as hell, too.  It really messed me up to watch the woman I cared about and had just broken my heart having sex with another man.

But I was a kid with serious issues back then.  So, I did what you do when you're a kid with issues and you've had the experiences I've had--I told her all about it a few days later in an online chat.  I told her what I saw, the positions, the print on the bed sheets, details about his dorm room.

She freaked.  She thought I was just a nutcase and there were cameras in the room.  She accused that guy of making a video of the two together and he thought I'd sneaked in a spy camera of some kind.

Why?  Because I was right.  I was right about a long list of details that could only be known if I was actually there or had taken pictures with a camera.  Nobody believed it was remote viewing.

I've walked a dark path for a long time and I'm trying to not go back to that.  I've gone a great distance in my life to get to this point and I've still got a long ways to go.  But I'm doing the footwork and I keep my focus on the long-view.

Right now, I'm struggling to take the next steps.  My friends are there for me.  I'm lucky to have the best friends in the world.  After you've spent enough time in the darkness, it calls to you when you're not there, it beckons with a smile and a promise of peace.  It's a lie.  I can say that now.  It took me a long time to figure that out.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Natural Selection's Little Helper

More people need to die in this world.

The planet Earth, our home, isn't overpopulated with humans as much as it's overpopulated with idiots.  It used to be, natural selection helped keep those numbers down, because the dumber they are, the more easily they died and hopefully before reproducing.

We're all familiar with The Darwin Awards.   You receive the award only if you die after doing something stupid.  The point of it is to make people think but in reality we all read their website because it's funny to know how stupid people can be.

I'm in a bad mood right now.

My allergies are manifesting and my sinuses are swelling totally shut.  I mean, so tight, it hurts.  The swelling is so great, it is having an effect on my vision.  I need to be able to breathe for a variety of reasons.  Drinking water, talking, sleeping, eating.  All the big things we humans do.

I need a drug called pseudoephedrine.  Often, this is known as Sudafed.

Before you send me an e-mail asking me "Well, did you try _______?" please don't.  Please?

I've tried all the tricks.  Hot compress, cold compress (frozen beef liver), steam, peppermint oil on various places of my hands and fingers, Vicks vapor rub, eating spicy foods.  I hate a whole tablespoon of a sauce called Holy Jolokia.  It's over a million Scoville units and it barely burned me because of my nose is too plugged.

Mind you, a tablespoon of that stuff would normally put me in the bathroom freaking out about how badly my mouth burns but because I can't use my nose, I can't taste.

I tried some generic allergy meds to no avail.  They simply don't work for this.  I need something to reduce the swelling and the only thing that will work, or so I've been told by a number of people in the medical field, is pseudoephedrine.

Here's the problem: because so many meth cooks and users need that drug to make meth, it's now only available behind the counter.  You have to go see a pharmacist and they have to scan your ID before they'll let you have it.

I'm fine with that.

But the pharmacies around here all close at 6pm on Saturday nights.  I didn't know what I needed until 8pm when it was clear the other stuff I tried wasn't working.  So, I'm fucked until 8:30am tomorrow.

Normally, I accept shitty corporate policies like this because I get it--the legal teams need to protect their client from lawsuits.  We're a nation that's circling the bowl and all the greedheads are scrambling to keep what they have.  Fine.

But why couldn't the minimum-wage zombie working the register scan my ID herself?  What's the difference between a college-educated person with a state license scanning my ID and an under-paid, over-worked zombie doing it?  It's not like I'm filling a prescription from a doctor here.

I used to buy this shit off the rack for years.  The state changed the laws because of meth cooks.  So why not treat it like booze and just let the clerk scan the fucking thing so I can get some sleep tonight?

Because of the harsh laws and regulations, I won't be able to sleep at all tonight and I have to work tomorrow.  This really sucks.

But I'm also pissed off.  Why do we continue to try to protect people from themselves?  Has the stricter laws done anything to keep meth from being manufactured and sold?  Are there fewer meth heads in the world because of those laws?

Perhaps it's time we allowed people to endure the consequences of their actions.  I'm fat.  If I die of a heart attack or a stroke, nobody will be shocked, because it will be a consequence.  I knew of those consequences when I sat down and ate some ice cream a few weeks back.  I knew of those consequences when I sat down to watch a movie and ended up binge-watching about 5 episodes at once.

Nobody is trying to stop me from having those consequences.  They tell me about them all the time, but nobody is stopping me.  Maybe it's time to let everybody deal with their own shit.  Granted, once somebody asks for help, then the game changes, but up until that point everybody should have potential consequences to deal with.

We've all heard the stand-up comedians talk about removing warning labels and letting everybody sort things out for themselves.  And we agree with it, too.  Nobody's fighting this.  It's time to bring this belief out of the comedic quips and into the legal arena.  It's time to make it into a law, or at least give it a legal backbone.

I say we change our legal system so that idiots who die are laughed at and their families denied any right to claim injury.  It's bad enough we keep idiots alive so they can reproduce, but we have a system in place that tells them it's not their fault if they do something dumb and it gets them killed.

We need to protect our species by ending our protection of the stupid.  A jury can easily determine is somebody was being an idiot or if they had a reason to believe they would survive their choices.

Using a plug-in electric razor in the shower?  You're going to die.  That's called suicide.  Your family doesn't get to sue.

Get served coffee so hot it's nearly boiling?  That's dangerous.  I mean, c'mon--if it's that hot, nobody can drink it anyways, so it's no surprise that if somebody spills it, they'll get 3rd degree burns.  You deserve to be sued if you're serving anything that hot to people.

It's much simpler than it sounds.  If your family member dies, and you think someone was negligent, and you want to sue them, a jury would determine if they had it coming or not.  It would be a Death Jury.  In many ways, we already have that.

But I say we take it much further.

I say, if you're doing something dumb and you get hurt, but you don't die, the Death Jury could vote to finish the job and kill you.  It was be a mercy killing, really.  Somebody should show society and this planet mercy and get rid of the idiots.

Failed suicide attempts, for instance.  We've all heard stories of people who tried to kill themselves but some over-reaching doctor and a medical team keep some brain-dead lump of meat's heart beating and call that "life."  That's not life, it's a fucking horror show.  A Death Jury could vote to finish the job for that person.  Why waste resources on a lump of meat that will never walk and talk again?  They're gone--pull the plug and move on with life.

The other part of having a jury would be to take into account all the various factors that go into measuring a human being, such as age and experience.  I remember what I was like in my 20's and frankly, when I think of the shit that flew out of my mouth, I cringe in embarrassment.  I'm thankful we didn't have cellphone cameras and videos all over the place like we do now.

These juries would help deepen the gene pool by eliminating those we don't want to breed.  They would provide a service that was once a much-valued natural mechanism.  It's not about weak or strong, it's about those we don't want more of and those we don't need to keep around.

As many of you know, if you'd read a previous post, I'm currently reading the novel Dune by Frank Herbert.  In this novel, humanity became helpless and pathetic.  It was only after a revolt did they began to think for themselves.  Herbert's view of humanity's future depicts a species so dedicated to improving itself that it stops at nothing to become smarter.  The brain is a muscle to be exercised and pushed.

But we don't live in that society yet.  Instead, we are becoming lazier and weaker.  Only by eliminating the stupid can we hope to move forward as a species.  And then, we can sell allergy medication on the shelves once again and not have to worry about shitheads using it to get high.  I might, they still might do it, but when they die we simply won't care.  It'll just be part of thinning out the herd and improving our entire species.

Addendum:  The Day After

At some point early this morning, I tried steam for my sinuses for what I would guess to be the fifth or sixth time.  It worked.

So I turned my apartment into a sauna.  I shut the windows, turned off the fans, and steamed this place up so I could work my ten-hour shift.  Sweat rolled off my fat, pale body while I dealt with body blows mentally and emotionally.

And then I started working.  And idiots started calling me.  And I started having a personal conversation with somebody while emotionally remaining detached because I'm a nutcase with severe emotional issues.

But I was able to breathe.  Thank Satan, I could breathe.  My apartment was like a massive armpit and smelled worse, but I could breathe, so I was able to work my maddening job on the longest shift of the week.  Oh happy day.

What bothered me was what if the Death Jury gave me a psychological test?  I'm the first person to admit I'm bat-shit crazy.  And then I realized--my own rules would kill me.  The Death Jury is just another form of suicide.  Instead of pulling the trigger myself, I'm advocating the social equivalent of a Rube Goldberg device to do the job for me, because I'm not ready to do it myself.

It's been a rough week for me.  It really has been.  I've got three blog posts I've started writing but stopped because they were just too crazy and you guys wouldn't understand.  Or personal and you guys didn't need to know this yet.  Or true and I didn't want my family know this stuff.  Or final and there might be a tomorrow, so it's too early to say Goodbye.

But just in case, they've all been written.

So would a Death Jury eliminate me?  Does the insanity between my ears disqualify me from the deep end of the gene pool and leave me in the shallows with the floaties, water wings, and those ugly goggles with the nose pinchers?

Maybe by advocating the Death Jury I'm somehow cheering for Lenin as he triumphantly enters the Gates of Kiev, jumping up and down, screaming at the top of my lungs, in hopes that sees me and remembers that I was on his side early on and he didn't need to send a goon squad to my hovel in the middle of the night to kick me out of bed and throw a black hood on me.

You don't need to put me in front of a jury, I'm with you.  I wanted you from the beginning.  I'm on your side.  So you don't need to judge me because I've already been judged by the Death Jury.  See?  I'm blogging about it.  I'm blogging and talking about it and advocating it early on, so you don't need to judge me.  My genes are great, my mind isn't too far gone, and I am the way I am out of comedic process, not by default.  Let me help you!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dune Club--Thoughts about The First Session

For the first time since college, I am participating in a group discussion of a book, and today was our first session.

The club is hosted on Twitch by ComicBookGirl19 and the book we're discussing is Dune by Frank Herbert.    

I'm loving it so far.  

I'm thrilled I finally get a chance to read this book.  I've wanted to read Dune for a long time but I'm easily side-tracked and my list of books to read is long and growing.  

And I dearly love ComicBookGirl19 (CBG19).  She's incredibly intelligent, well-read, and sure she's stunningly beautiful but honestly, I don't care about that.  You guys know me and you know all I care about is what's between the ears.  And a woman smarter than myself will always have my attention.  

Plus, she's soulful and she brings that to the table when discussing Dune, which is far more soulful and spiritual than I expected.  

Sadly, I have to work when the discussion is live, but once work was done I began following it.  I'm listening to it right now.  

She broke the book into five sessions and tonight we discussed pages 1-59.  

What stood out to me instantly was how over-developed the people of that world are and inferior I felt while reading about them.  

In the Dune world, machines (computers, AI) took over the world and subjugated humanity.  Humanity was left stupid without their machines to think for them and were enslaved until they revolted and re-established their dominance.  As a result, humans forbade machines be made that can think like a human.  Humans instead developed themselves mentally beyond anything we can comprehend today.  I felt stupid reading about these people.  

The MC of the book Paul Atraides, is hyper-aware of not only himself but of everybody around him to a point that is exhausting.  His mother, a witch, taught him to pay attention to minutiae that makes a human.  I find similarities in what his mother taught him and all kinds of various beliefs and religions.  Even Satanism teaches hyper-awareness of your demeanor and in observing another's.

There were a few obvious moments thus far.  Back in the 20th century, if you wanted your bad guy to be instantly hated, you gave him a Russian name.  So, the Barron's first name is Vladimir.   Obvious.

Something else I found interesting while reading the book was how bare the descriptions were.  After having seen the movie from the 80's several times, I was really looking forward to detailed descriptions of the planet Caladan.  Plus, I had hoped to learn more about the day to day lives of those in that hyper-advanced world.  But no, Herbert keeps the story moving forward, and doesn't give us much to work with.

There is some serious wisdom in this book.  The lines about "Fear being the mind-killer" is famous but also true.  How many times have we, as humans, be ruined by fear?  Or made bad choices because of fear?

I'm really excited about this book and I'm really happy about the book club.  I can't wait for next week and tonight I'll read pretty much all of the part for Session II.  And I'm so happy my friend Brittany gave me this book to read.  I would have never been able to afford to get it for my Kindle this week but she totally hooked me up.

This is exciting for me in a lot of ways and I have to wonder just how many of these books I'll end up reading.  But I'll worry about that later.  For now, I'm just happy to have another book to dive into and just enjoy.  It's been a while since I've found a book I can dive into like this.  Dune has really absorbed me unlike any book has for some time.     

Friday, July 7, 2017

The G-Forces of a Downward Spiral

It's 6:11am.

Our Hero can't sleep.  His sinuses keep swelling shut due to the allergies he has every summer.

An evil Mind Gremlin sneaks out the window, unseen by him, but the spell put upon him certainly worked.

Our Hero has been re-living the past.  Certain, select days from the past, in a three-day block from 27 years ago.  The way events unfolded in that memory, deep scars were dug, making them not easily forgotten.

The original events were difficult.  Families, abuse, alcoholism, and anger.  Lots of anger.

What the evil Mind Gremlin did was shine a bright light on that distant memory, highlighting it, calling it forth from the shadows, and forcing Our Hero to relive it over and over again.  But this time, he began to fantasize about what he could have done differently.  What he should have done differently.

It was the emotional equivalent to dumping a ton of gasoline-soaked straw on a dying fire.

Suddenly, Our Hero found himself in a battle inside his mind.  Rage.  He was consumed by rage as he thought about how he should have handled the situation.  He should have thrown the man down on the ground and kicked the shit out of him.  He should have beat him within an inch of his life.  He should have beat down upon him the sum of all his resentments while accusing the man's mother of being responsible for all that was wrong at that moment.

Our Hero found himself in a battle with a ghost.

But this battle is pointless and stupid.  He knows this.  Or rather, he's supposed to know this.  The spell put a fog on that knowledge.  So after a few minutes of rage flowing around in his brainpan, he came up for air.  He looked around his apartment and took a deep breath.

Then he focused on the moment in front of him.  The present.  The small actions of his fingers on the keyboard, the distant thunder of a storm that went around his village, the feel of the fan blowing in his hair.

So often, the solution to a problem is right in front of us.  The present.  What we're doing at that exact moment is far more powerful than any memory or dream or hope.

Our Hero doesn't own a time machine.  He can't fix the past, re-do certain events, or fix the many mistakes he made.  He can't foresee the future and he doesn't know the winning lottery numbers.  But he can focus on the moment he is in, at that exact time, and he can do something about it.

It's 6:30am.  Our Hero is still wide the fuck awake.  His sinuses are still clogged and he can't breathe through his nose in order to sleep.  But his head is quiet.  The ghost is gone and he's left with the empty moments of his life, alone in his apartment, his fingers on the keyboard.  It's the best he's got to work with right now and the best he can do.

He wonders, when his story gets re-told around the campfires, if this lesson will be included.  Small victories in isolation in the middle of the night rarely are and it's a shame.  They're usually the biggest victories of all.    

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ear Worms and Screaming Brains

I need to tell you this story.

Before I do, don't judge me.  I get ear worms.  Badly and often.  I get songs stuck in my head and they just don't leave.  Sometimes I'm lucky enough to have good songs stuck in my head but other times, my luck is typical of my life--shit.  And that's when I get horrible ear worms.

Earworms for me are often triggered by memories.   Last night, before I finally fell asleep, after days of not sleeping more than an hour or two, I was reminded of my time working at a gas station in Freeport.  I worked the late shift until close at midnight every night.

I have a lot of stories about those days.

But there's this memory that popped into my head.  It was back when cellphones first started to have ringtones you could adjust and replace with sound bites from your favorite song.  A regular customer, a beautiful eighteen year-old girl, had her phone ring while she was in line to pay for her gas.  It was a pop song that was so distorted I couldn't understand any of it.

She started dancing.  But it wasn't just dancing, it was this elaborate set of moves while she sang.  Sure, she was beautiful, but she was squirrely.  I like squirrely.

I asked her the song and she weirdly began to sing the song title.  "Rockstar," she said.

I went home that night and got on Youtube.

Something about me I should say right now--I have OCD badly when it comes to music.  If I hear a piece of a song, I have to know what it is.  I have to know who the artist is and what song I'm hearing.

I have to.

If I don't, then I need to find it.

True story.  I worked at a pizza place owned by Sicilians.  They had an old cassette tape with Italian love songs recorded into a mix tape.  One of the songs had this woman sing in a haunting but beautiful voice in Italian.  Nobody knew who she was or what song it was.  But I remembered the melody.

I would spend time once in a while trying to find it on Youtube.

And then something happened.  Maybe my life took another spin.  Maybe more unrequited love ate away at me.  Or maybe my brain began yet another tailspin.  Whatever.

I logged onto my computer and spent thirty-six hours straight looking for that song.  Thirty-six.  I didn't sleep.  I just drank caffeine and listened to old Italian songs.  I never found it.

Sometimes, I still hear that melody and her voice.  I tell myself that now is not the time to search for it.  I promise myself that one day, when I have time, I will.  I made a note of it mentally.  Delaying it to the future helps me get through the OCD moment.

But this beautiful woman.  Blond hair, long and curly down her back, blue eyes, tall and incredibly thin, tripped the switch inside my brain that forced me to find this song.  So, in about ten minutes, I did.  I'm really good at finding things.

It was one of the shittiest pop songs a person could like.  Horrible.  Vile, trite, cliche, and all of the things I despise about pop music.  I get angry when I hear it.  When it pops into my brain, I wonder if perhaps I picked up a brain fluke from bad water someplace, and as it eats away at my frontal lobe, it produces excrement that somehow mixes into the wiring, like a wrench in a gearbox, and triggers this song.

Prima J--Rockstar.

Don't judge.  It's not my fault.  I'm sick.  I'm very, very sick.  I hate this song and everything about it.
But that's why we call them "ear worms."  They are disgusting things that get lodged and we can't stop them.

Lately it seems has if my brain is screaming at me.  I slept last night.  Collapsed, really.  I was a zombie until I finally sank into oblivion.  And that's when the dreams started.

First, I dreamed I was upstairs in some house.  The Incredible Hulk was there, running room to room.  He wasn't smashing anything or breaking anything.  He wasn't roaring or shouting.  Sure, the doorframes were broken a bit because he had to get through them, but at least he was using the doorways and not just blasting through the walls, right?

He smiled at me.  He seemed to be there protecting me.  And I hugged him.  The Incredible Hulk let me hug him.

The second dream, I was in the basement of a recently built house.  It was one of those split-level ranch homes that are so common.  The basement was a finished basement.  You know the type--wood paneling painted white, off-white carpeting, crappy second-hand furniture that doesn't match.

This basement went on forever.  It was massive.  Room after room.

It was raining outside.  It was a cold, winter rain.

I searched the basement for something to drink.  I was thirsty.  Every time I found a kitchen, the refrigerator was empty.  One kitchen had about twenty pounds of raw bacon set out on the counter but the refrigerator had the door removed.  I found about five kitchens in this basement and each time the same thing--nothing to drink.

And then my mom came downstairs.  She was sick with a cold or the flu.  She didn't talk to me.

Mom sat down at the shitty kitchen table set out in the middle of this basement room.  She was eating a bowl of cereal or oatmeal.  The table was one of those with the thick brass-colored frames and faux-wood tops.  Mom's old, ratty bathrobe hung off her shoulders, revealing tattoos covering her back.  They were Asian in theme but Western in artwork.  Her back was covered in them.  For the record, she doesn't have a single tattoo in real life.

Mom had an oversized can of 7-up that was about the size of those oil cans we used to get oil in up until the early 80's.  It was empty because she drank all of it.

I wasn't wearing a shirt and I didn't want to get too close to her because I didn't want her to see the scars on my upper arms.  I had new ones from when I melted down with a meat cleaver in January and I didn't want her to see them.  She freaked out twenty years ago when she saw them then.  New ones would not be good.  She was worried enough about me as it is.

We didn't talk.  I woke up.

There was something about this dream that has lingered with me all day.  I feel disconnected and disjointed.  Something changed.  Something ended.  I missed something.

I feel like a door closed on me and I don't know which one.  An opportunity has been lost.  I lost.  I missed out on something.  I failed someplace and failed to make something happen.  But I have no idea what.

I feel like mourning.  I've felt like mourning all day and I don't know why.

My brain screamed at me last night.  It wanted me to know something and I don't understand what.  I'm not going to demean myself by saying I'm stupid or something like that.  I'm not.  I just don't get it.  I wish I did.

I wish I knew what was needed to fix whatever is broken.  But for some reason I have the sneaking suspicion that it just might be too late to fix it.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Eleventh Hour, Fifteen Minutes

I've been working on a short story this weekend and my fingers aren't doing what I want them to do.  I know exactly what I want this story to read like and I know exactly how I want it to unfold.  The problem is, I can't seem to get the words in the order they need to be.  

So, I write a few, delete a few, and repeat.  Lately that's been my writing style.  Instead of editing, I go forward about two paragraphs, delete most of what's in there, and save a sentence.  Maybe.  

It's different from just throwing it on paper and calling it done.  Hunter S. Thompson used to make a joke that was repeated in the movie Where the Buffalo Roam. Bill Murray did a good job being Thompson.  

  • No need to panic. I'll just lash together a few raw facts, a little bit of old Negro wisdom, and this nightmare is over.

I loved Thompson's work but he bitched about money too much.  And he was obsessed with getting screwed over in his race for Sheriff back in the late 60's.  It just gets old after a while.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be like him.  It was cheap.  Cheap, and so beyond derivative, it bordered on thievery.  I was a stupid kid.  What can I say?  

Plus, Thompson never once wrote about being dopesick.  Any doper worth half a damn will know what that's like and they'll write about it. Being dopesick is something you never forget and it makes an impact on your very soul.  Just the thought of being dopesick grips an addict with a fear a person who hasn't used could never understand or fathom.  

I've been writing things that have been out of comfort zone lately. This week, I got a rejection for an anthology I'd submitted a short story to, and was put on the short-list for the final ToC (Table of Contents) much to my excitement.  This was a biggie.  A highly successful series of books with some heavy hitters that paid well.  To get as far as I did was really something.  But the fact that I was rejected really bugged me.  That story I sent them was different from most of what I've written.  

For starters, it had a sex scene.  As many of you know, I just don't write those.  There's a lot of reasons for that.  But for some reason I threw one into that story.  

I still haven't heard back from the published I sent my novella. It's been damned near four months and the fuckers haven't even told they got the shit.  I'm pissed.  

I'm also getting back to poetry.  Reading and writing it.  There's a project I'm working on.  Like everything, it's a matter of what needs to be said.  These things are always like that.  

Get the stuff said that needs to be said before I get out of here. Or at least the stuff that I need to say.