Consider the cost of living on the edge of your seat at the table setting yourself on fire/brand New York Times are tough shit just got real estate sale/s pitch black and blue/s Brothers in arms race war is hell on earth Day of the Dead-heat/stroke of luck/y Strike!©
Upon first impression, the guy had to be some kind of schizophrenic. A well medicated one, whose doses and intake were well supervised and documented, at the very least. He was not of much stature. A bit shorter than what's considered average for short. His erratic blinking, the flaring and snorting of his nostrils as if he was a wild boar, and habit of bobbing up and down on the balls of his feet, like he was trying to will himself taller, were clear indicators that the man was not well in some way-- that normal folk should keep their distance. His receding hairline of wispy grey and white strands connected above the ears with this enormous Karl Marx meets Richard Dreyfuss (in Jaws) wire-brush bushy beard, which he stroked and pulled and whisked whenever his hands, or just one for that matter, weren't full. All the tics mixed up and put together in an irregular rhythm were unnerving. If a loud bang were to startle him he would hop up high, with a yell not far from a yip, turn in the air and land aimed towards the source: feet planted, knees bent and shoulders squared off-- like an offensive lineman after the ball was snapped.
He was explicit in his adamance for the necessity of organized militias, a basic tactical preparedness. He knew that these days there was a need for them. He had knowledge of plans, all mapped out and air-tight. Locations and provisions all ready to go. He just needed more 'bodies' to join him. What kind of state those 'bodies' needed to be in he wasn't exactly specific about, or if they were of the no-, some-, able-, busy-, home-, hard- or soft-body persuasion. He just sought bodies.
<Sure, bud, sure. Whatever you say. Lead the way, right behind ya. Is anyone else hearing what this guy is saying?>
Then came the gun magazines he started leaving strewn about the tables of the break room. No one saw him do it, but suspicions were cast and assumptions made. It was scary to see that kind of in-your-face display of obsession and overt advertising of personality. It was one thing to talk about it. You could tune the guy out if you were good enough at tuning people out, not letting their words pass the tympanic membrane and into your head. But it's another thing when your placemat has a scantily clad Spanish babe holding a military issue Belgian FN P90, with an article heading that reads: "8 Best Guns You Need To Survive Doomsday", in thick large print. The guy knew nothing about subtly. The magazines confirmed that. But they drew you, subconsciously, in some repressed and hungry way. 'Give me that Spanish babe and that 50 round mag, rapid-fire bullet-spitter and I'll give you a man of true action', the cover seemed to compel.
Quiet periods when nothing was going on were not great for this guy. Talks about his terrible childhood and his expressive merit about his invincibility would be offered over and over, without solicitation. The stories were sad and always mired in manipulation, sexual misconduct, Fraternal Abuses and the extreme anxiety of raising children. They were among the reasons why he had to, "take precautions".
<Oh fuck, the guy's got children?>
He'd been drilled in a world that was never fair to him. His underground sensibility and chaotic logic needed only to feel that someone else was on the same level, in the same dust storm in which he couldn't see 5 meters in front of his face, behind his back, or to his left and right. He never knew quite how to "adapt and interact within a crowded clashes of molecules, the conscious biological structures that are chemically compounded and with physical capabilities".
!Those are his words. Remember that!
"We move and smash into each other. Interacting with nothing to lose, everything to gain. Sucking the next person down the drain or out into a spastic orbit, as well. Making sure that the smell of raw sacrifice lingers through time, somehow absolving the prior victim, now turned tormentor, whole again and free from judgement for soiling the futures of other innocents."
"So many spoiled ideals and codes of conduct. Solids reduced to steam under the immense heat, dampening the already soft walls of fragility. Making hard the artery. Constricting and choking the voices that have become sweet and hard to ignore."
<Ummm... Back to that bodies thing, you sure you don't want to call in sick tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that? Maybe you'd feel better if you took a stroll? Let those fumes inside your head dissipate before you decide to come back.>
"Whispers of conclusion and an allusion of divinity has us rearranged. We have been leading a beaten body with a head full of sin and pleasure into the foul, diseased waters without worry. Feeding on impulse. Chewing on history lessons like day-old gristle that we are sure can't be digested, but that we chew on for a bit to see if maybe we can get anything nourishing out of it."
<Is that the break bell? Just got to run out and grab a terminal voltage shock collar for this guy. Something that delivers it right to the heart might be even better. Short-out his AV & SA nodes, cease the function of the guy's heart circuitry. Stop this before it goes too far.>
They say it's darker on the shadow side. Well, baby, this guy is dark all over. A swarthy man-shadow with fully discernible features. A vampire out in the high-noon Mediterranean summer sun . A Brit with a subscription to "American Rifleman". This guy doesn't care for consistency. It's straight-ahead, no deviation devastation. That's fucking it. The last hope is to get him busy and MAYBE he'll stay occupied enough to let things settle for awhile. Who knows, he might have a shit short term memory and move on completely.
Not the case.
It gets worse if he's stuck on something and he's been rattling it around inside his head for some time.
"You should meet Page."
<Uh-oh. Anyone else want to work with this guy?>
"Page has got answers. Page has got some real ideas. Page is kind."
<Yeah, sure. This, Page, a he or a she? Could it have the side-effects of your medication written on it? You going to quote this, Page?Is Page a torn and wordy individual? Can I take Page?>
"Page runs the camp. We grow our own vegetables and some fruits. We have a well for water. We hunt goose, deer and duck. We even keep bees, some chickens, and a goat. Page is a seasoned hunter. Page has the real weapons. You really should come and listen to what Page has to say. You'll be a believer after, I guarantee. You'd be a good shot, big strong guy like you. I see in your face the look of a man that could handle a long gun, expertly. I bet you'd be just great at it. Bullseye every time, I think."
<Thanks for the compliment. You may have a point there.>
The guy's words changed instantly. They weren't twisted and frightening anymore. They became easy and familiar. The inflection of his voice became idyllic and soft. He wasn't as threatening as he was at first. Speaking to you, not at you.
"And the women. If for nothing else you should come for the women. All the beautiful women. You should come. They are beautiful. Free love, and all that."
The guy's betting heavily on the licentious tendencies of man now. No shame in it. As forever somatic slaves to the pelvic nerve endings and associated endorphins, it's the right bet to make. No contest.
*The imagery from the cover of the gun magazine comes back into focus*
Defences start to lull and alter, taking up with other, more para-sympathetic parts of the brain stem-- not viewing the guy as a security threat any longer.
"Page can find what you need. Page has connections. What is it you want? What do you need? Do you want to transform or transcend? Become something else? Page knows you do. You know you do. Yours is the type that Page wants at the camp. What is it that you want? You know there's no integrity left in the city, you're not stupid. I can tell. Come to the camp. See the set up. There aren't any shackles out there. The population is getting out of control. Wouldn't you agree? The congestion is like a slow moving freeway, all blocked up by a horrendous accident that's so far out of sight that you'll never be able to tell how many perished in bringing the traffic to such a slow pace."
<Now that you mention it, that does kind of make sense.>
"We need to be armed. Protect ourselves, right? Defend what's ours. A utopia. Do you know what a utopia is? Of course you do, you're so smart. That's why I know you'd be perfect. Oh, and the women. They'll just love you. You are a very handsome man. There's this one..Petra. She'd be all over you, I just know it. Beautiful too. Twenty-three, I believe."
The guy's tics and tells aren't even noticeable now. Just another mildly addled personality with arrested purpose and conviction. Truly benign. The guy's like most people: a little banged up, but ultimately resilient. A little crazed, but regulated enough that he could dress himself, string proper sentences together and get food into his mouth-- instead of all over his face and on the floor.
"It's paradise out at the camp. A sanctuary. Not some shuttered in place. No one to bother you. We all pitch in and work together. Isn't that how it should be? A real community. Not like these income relative, hygiene-biased government constructs and commercialized zoning designations. When was the last time you had mud between your toes, or stayed up all night watching the stars, waiting for the sun the come up? There's great fishing not too far off, too. That's my specialty. I love to fish. Do you? You look like you'd be a good fisherman. Take to it immediately, I bet."
<Ahhh...That does sound nice...What else you got?>
"Just come and see for yourself. Nobody is going to hold a gun to your head, but you should come. You'll be amazed by it. Come stay a night. There's a bed there for you to lay your head and rest, I swear it."
CUE THE OVERTURE.
"Trust me, it's paradise."
Bukowski said, "...to roar out of you..."
Easily told by a street stalking man-lion
of beer and spirits-soaked bellicosity.
Try catching another's echo in this grand stadium of self-triumph, now, Buk,
with so many loud souls clamouring to be heard.
The great mountain of relics in the centre of it all.
The palace of homage and pain.
Bathed in the sun's glory that comes through the retractable dome roof.
But only on days of good weather.
The elder profession:
Gaited professors professing rhetoric
from their press-box and secured premium seats.
Selling wares to the trashed,
prostrate and prone.
Knowing that the trite pays,
and the mass contrition is a well vetted intrigue,
worth the salt of the earth and their labour.
Help no one but those you cherish,
*From the nose-bleeds comes a disturbance*
The drive-thru existence is frothing anxiously
for quick treatment and steady navigation.
One that does not satisfy.
It's a fix
It's all a fix.
One big fix.
The fix is in.
For the fix, I sin.
Forge peace through annihilation, I say.
Tear up the wall from the pit.
Rush the man.
1st degree murder and 3rd degree burns, I say.
Teeth and jaws and bloodied flying parts of people.
*In a corner a Fire starts that will not be put out*
A deep and heavy chant rises around the indiscriminate carnage and flame.
It can't be told, who means what.
The eyes about
tell different stories,
want different things,
but chant in unison,
The chaos bays, seeking to subsist.
Its volatile Lion comes to heed the chant.
Quell that no longer will the deep, coarse trepidation be the fear.
That the cold, hard concrete will not wear out the arch in your foot.
That your ivory will not be horrendously cut from you and sold.
So let it roar:
Let it out.
I don't care if you're considered quiet amidst the DEAF-initiates.
Make them hear.
I come here to find catharsis. What that is, I never truly know, but that doesn't stop me from looking. Even if the fund it does evade me, I do feel better after awhile, roaming around the dirt field.
The earth here is the texture and the colour of very fine-grind coffee. People other than myself must come here to pace and roam like I do. Why else would the earth be so fine? So worn down and flat level.
I can't say those who else that come are looking for what I'm looking for, but still, I'm not the only one that does frequent. And although I'm sure I'm not the only one, I never see another soul out here, ever. Not even a tractor or an old truck on the road off the highway that I take to get here. Not a stitch of life except me and the earth and some greenery (alphalpha) off yonder, to the east, where the dirt field ends. There are bunches of trees (four by my squinted count), in the distance, but I can't see that far to know if anyone or anything darts in and out of there. If something lives inside a house made of a bunch of trees-- Sweet and nNatural. Other than those bunches of trees, that greenery, the sky, and my dirt field, there's nothing. I don't even hear birds chirping or see them flying through the sky. Not one little scurrier either. Nothing but me with the beat of a heart.
My pilgrimage, today, was for reason more than just to bask in the sun and let my mind wander in the open air. Whenever I buy a new book, I like to come out here and kick it around in the dirt a little bit. Beat it up some. Get some personality on it before I begin. I usually like to peruse flea markets and places like that for second-hand books. There's more than likely some good wear on those. But the one I'm about to read evaded me at every place I went.
My new book is an old one: Frank Herbert's DUNE.
I've read it already, but it's just so good I've got to again. And to rough up that new book store-shine gloss when it skids and skips across the face of the dirt field, oh man, I couldn't wait. Getting dusty from so many fine particles of earth, scratches on the cover and back page from the more burly and solid stuff, is too appropriate to not do. Arrakis, for fuck sake. Enough said.(Yeah, yeah, yeah...Arrakis is a desert planet(sand & spice, little fertile soil)...whatever...can you suspend your disbelief for a goddamn second?)
After a few kicks and tosses, I feel a speck of rain hit the webbing of hand between my thumb and index finger. When I look up there is this grey that is starting to crowd the shining sun from my patch of dirt field, but it didn't cool down. The late-June heat still wraps itself around me, keeping me well comfortable.
All at once, the grey cloud dumps an unexpected, flash-shower on me. I rush to get my book from off the ground. I don't want to ruin it by getting it sodden and muddy, to the point that pages start to tear easily and get stuck in a mash and all warped and wavy. I'm just after a little character, no more.
Luckily, I got to it in time. The watermarking was minimal. But when I looked down at the book in my hands, it was beautiful. Something in me didn't want to hold the book close to my chest and run off to the cover of my car to keep it dry. So I held it out in the shower for ten seconds that could've been minutes. I feel the book get heavy, soaking up the shower. The binding glue started to loosen at the top and bottom and the pages started to curl up slightly. The cover ended up coming right off, but the mass of words and story stayed as one. The edged were a bit on the sopping side, but whole. The cover didn't matter to me anyway.
In that instant, the shower stopped abruptly. The dirt field was now a muck field, and keeping my traction proved precarious. But as that fat grey cloud wandered off to pour itself out somewhere else, and that hot sun and summer heat came once more back to stretch across this field of dirt, I feel great.
Catharsis might be the word. ©
Put the hurt on top of your game time decision maker/'s hand in hand it to me, myself and I can only imagine the possibilities are endless is the victory dance/ing with the stars on ice pick/axe to grind down in the dumps/ter diving competition is fierce.©
On the waterfront property damage control freak show of hands down in a hole in the wall street-smart ways to make money hungry for change your mind your own business class clown/ing around the world in 80 days of our lives in the balance the budget rent-a-car/pool lane rules of engagement. ©
What kind of writing do you want? Is it the kind that flays and spreads pieces of self into the hands of others, all bloody, warm and still a little alive, but ultimately dying, wrapped up in some old newspaper? Or is it the kind that is easy and relatable and painless and hopeful, that you want to read?
Living in a time such as ours, I don't know what to print to appease. What the next, un-touched or over-done periodical piece of nonsense is to reflect on.
The monstrousness of the past and the premonitions of the future don't speak as easily as they once did to those we read and absorb and look to for answers and insight. Where is it we can go now? It seems like all they have said, and all that they tell us, is nothing we can't learn or predict for ourselves anyway...But it still has a way of making us feel we didn't arrive at the conclusions or ideas on our own, that we were lead to those conclusions and ideas by invisible hands and discarnate voices.
Is it harder now for us, or easier? Are we smarter than ever before, or just as bright, if not less than, the temple builders of centuries ago?
Questions that pester the succeeding generations now more than ever.
It's a disparate and discrete inundation of self-awareness that will force us to become the robots we were warned would rule the earth. Is there no way to turn it all back and act like the last hundred, thousand, hundred-thousand, million and billions of years never really happened? Convince ourselves that we are not the children of ages that told us to adhere to, or be consumed by, cultural bias and out-dated historical abstractions that have been patched up and modified by successor after successor after successor. Or how about convincing ourselves that we are individual free-thinkers that are going to make the world a better place, better than any generation before us could? Do we have sufficient enough data to back that up?
I'd like to believe it, of course. But there's too much requited heresy all over the planet for that. Admit it already. <Watch your mouth, but speak your mind.> <Treat people with respect, but do whatever it takes to succeed.><Keep your chin up, but don't get your hopes up.>
When did the human race stop adapting? Now it's more like conform, compromise, consume or be ostracized and destroyed. I wonder if all those anti-Darwinists out there are consciously stalling the progression of the human race to prove a point. They've read the articles, tried to discredit the progenitors, but they refuse to roll with it. Why is totally up to them. Personal preference, prerogative, all that crap. I don't want to listen to the arguments anymore. I've tried. They don't get very far when it comes to Sagan's "Baloney Detection Kit". But again, is any of this new?
I say fuck it. Live now and die. Just like they did. Force through the righteousness until we fall apart and can't lift one last finger to open the medicine cabinet...Whatever the concoction is we need to survive.
Give, and go to, all the self-help talks and reassurance seminars as possible. Just as long as the video games and television shows and movies have enough tits and gore and love and war, explosions and sex, suspense and drama and controversy and scandal...All the vicarious ecstasy that we can handle so that we don't have to actually go out and seek on our own, for real. Blast us full of gratification. Let us taste the fruit without the guilt of speaking to the snake in the first place. Fuck that goon, that peer-pressuring bully bastard. What say does it have? None. Kill that fucker dead on sight. It has no right to scare us or tempt us into anything, anyhow. Not if we can have it all for the today-only-special price (get it while supplies last). But still, lots let that biblical-times/modernly-stylized metaphor lick ear and assuage temptation not easily told to go fuck itself, and that there's no vacancy here.
Fuck the fiats.