I guess I was 14 when I had my greatest epiphany about human nature. Sitting on the steps of a gas station across the street from my childhood home in west Baltimore, I spotted a man wearing a purple coat walking down the other side of Baker Street. He carried with him a sack of cans, tied around the beltloop of his left side. Now, as old as I was, I had never really seen a homeless person before. Never talked to one. Never even thought twice about what it meant to be without a place to go. So, it shocked even me when I ran across Baker to flag down the complete stranger.
“Hey!” I call after him, staring at the man walking away from behind for no more than 10 seconds, no less than 5. Upon closer inspection, the coat that I had thought of as merely purple, was actually more of a light indigo and judging from the delicate yellow stitching on the back wasn't a man's coat, but a woman’s. Meh, bum culture is more accepting of such things.
The man doesn’t move, his body language doesn’t even suggest he heard me calling to him. Either that, or he doesn’t have many people calling to him. He gimps down the sidewalk, edging nearer to the curb. His afflicted leg makes it easy for me to catch up. In a series of starts and stops, I wrestle with the urge to flag this guy down or just let him go on his way.
I try again, from only about 10 feet away this time, “Hey!” I can now make out that the stitching forms a bouquet of yellow flowers. Wilted from the wear and exposure to the elements a bum’s coat would typically undergo, but recognizable nonetheless. His hair, greasy and unkempt, sticks out from underneath a grey fedora. A regular Goodwill fashion model this guy is.
The man keeps walking. Same course. Same pace. Not even a flinch in my direction. What the hell is this guy’s problem? I’m fucking trying to reach out to this worthless piece of shit. I’ve never seen a goddamn bum in my life before and I just want to ask him something. I want to know what the hell happened to him. Was it alcohol? Was it dope? Was it just a series of bad decisions? What is it in life that I have to avoid to not end up walking down Baker Street and having nosey kids follow me from here to there? I want to know his name and for fuck’s sake I want to know why he’s wearing a lady’s coat.
Anger, the kind that comes from being ignored, starts to resonate through my body. It wells up from my feet and shoots out the top of my head. My face red, I extend my fingers to pick up a small marble chunk lying on the surface of the sidewalk. I rear back and throw. It hits the man square in the back of his head, knocking the grey fedora to the ground. Surely he would turn around now, I would promptly scold him for ignoring me earlier, and finally some sort of acknowledgement and resolution to the whole scenario would come about.
Nothing. The man continues to walk. I come to the fedora on the ground and snatch it from the curb. Dusting it off, more out of habit, than of anything else, I place it on my head.
I pick up another rock. A bigger one this time. I don’t throw it right away, taking time to study its jagged edges and tiny black pores. This rock is going to hurt. Not like the other rock, that was more of a warning rock. This rock, this rock could kill the poor bastard. No one blows me off though. I wouldn’t let my best friend get away with it, so why would I let some street person show me up.
The rock leaves my hand and heads straight for the eye of one of the yellow flowers on the back of the man’s coat…er, lady’s coat. It tears a small hole extending from the pistil to the tip of one of the petals. Sensing the imperfection, but not acknowledging the source, the man sheds the purple coat with yellow flowers. It falls to the sidewalk and my eyes shift to it and only it. I stare at the torn flower for a good 10 seconds before looking back to find the man, only he’s no longer there. His cans lay about fifteen yards in front of me.
The streetlights buzzing tell me it's dusk and time for me to get home before mom starts to worry. I grab the coat, slide my arms through its armholes, and retrieve the sack of cans. Fashioning a knot in the garbage bag, I tie it to my beltloop. I start walking and from behind hear, “Hey!”
His fingers were like sandpaper icicles on her chest. Two of the snaps on the western shirt her aunt gave her for her seventh birthday were torn off. Breathing will never be this difficult again except in fits of passion. Flashbacks aren’t only experienced by war vets.
She will never get married.
The entire room was dark except for the disgusting moonlight resting on her face and torso. She hated that window. Heavy breaths whistled out of a nostril and brushed against her temple after going through a filter of whiskers.
Imagine that sound penetrating each one of your senses. Taste those breaths because they will resonate mildew in your mouth for the next twenty years until memories simply turn
into defense mechanisms and you are subjugated again.
She accidentally knocked Furball, her stuffed seal, off of her bed and wanted to apologize, but language was now a foreign concept. The only things she knew were those icicles and that whistle. She will loathe every boy who tries to love her. She will break their hearts and they will secretly hate her.
She really did love you, she just couldn’t tell.
Every boy will tell her that she is beautiful and she will hate them for doing so.
They meant it doll, I promise.
In college she will flat line from taking too many oxycontins. It won’t be a cry for help, it genuinely won’t. Her boyfriend of the time will wake up to her foaming at the mouth and rush her to the hospital.
He will be forced to drop two classes and beg for one “withdraw-passing” in his final semester of med school because he will spend every waking hour at the hospital. Combine that with the problem he had as a freshman of treating hang-overs as opposed to going to class, and he will loose his scholarship and won’t have the money to reapply but he won’t care. His mother will disown him at dinner in front of her side of the family (the only one he associates with) and militarily claim that he shat upon his education for a whore. He will never associate with “her side” again.
She will wake up to sandpaper icicles clenching her hand, but his fingers and compassion can never just be fingers and compassion. She will break up with him a week later. He will end up hanging from the famous campus bridge wearing the suit his grandmother got him for graduation and with the engagement ring he hadn’t given her yet strapped to his hand. She will wear it on her right ring finger for the rest of her life.
In another life she would have married you and been the best wife you could have hoped for. She would have learned your favorite meal and prepared it better than your favorite restaurant, even though she hates to cook and works fifty hours a week. Some days you would come home from work to her laying in bed, waiting for you with a new piece of lingerie she bought with the money she got from piano lessons.
She would tell you she loved you.
She felt bad that Furball had to watch. She never slept with him again.
Her Wal-Mart Levi’s were her only source of protection and those were failing. Icicles have never been so frigid and neither had she. By the time she turns thirty she will have slept with eighty-nine men.
None of them meant a thing.
She will die at thirty-six succeeding where she failed in college. At her funeral the icicles will scrape her one last time as her father cries at her open casket. Even deceased they always find her.
She would have been the best wife you could have hoped for.
The first time I ever saw this little burst of short-lived euphoria I noticed that she had her daddy’s eyes. You could never quite tell what was on her mind or what it is she was truly feeling—he was no different. She used to cry for hours in the middle of the night awaiting the arrival of her [a]pathetic mother knowing that a pat on the back and a changing of the diaper was not what she was looking for. Miss Love never looked beyond those fragile eyes and took for granted everything she had. She had a husband, she had a daughter, and rumors have surfaced that she even had love.
This little girl is an heiress to a grunge dynasty. Never could she or anyone else for that matter have foreseen her ascension to the throne coming so soon, perhaps too soon. Miss Love was taken by surprise and couldn’t remember how to handle such a delicate situation. In a sense, she forgot she was a mother and she had somehow misplaced her baby girl in the deep end of her head—the part no longer attached to her body I suspect.
His only fault was he just had too much black bile in his system. Miss Love wouldn’t help him get it out. He used to retreat to pencils and musical notes and gritty sounds and guitar picks and sinister diction. I once read an article in which this journalist referred to the man as “introverted.” He made it seem as such an affirmative statement, as if it was enough. You can’t sum up a person in one word if that same person can’t sit down and do the same. It’s much more complicated than that.
Complication is what made and makes this dark angel’s life difficult—even that doesn’t do her situation justice, big surprise. She has her moments and then the world reminds her that there will always be “Something in the Way.” “Of what?” is what most ask themselves, but I can’t answer that. It’s whatever she wants. She wants a family; her family, and still she can’t have that.
But what is the cause that leads to the why? It started back in 1994. Daddy used to mourn a loss before his life was lost. On the surface he played house with Miss Love and had the “and baby makes three” bit for awhile. Close friends thought it was enough. Those who take dissect and analyze thought it was enough.
“It’s really enough this time,” escaped from the minds and mouths of every fan who thought they knew him like no one else knew him.
Maybe they do, maybe they didn’t. He used to throw her in the air and smile. Now she’s thrown into the world with no guidance or protection or help or anyone to catch her. There is a void, an unfilled space, a black hole eating away at her heart. I don’t know for sure, but experts on pain think that what hurts the most is she never got to say good-bye. He made his peace with the world and left.
Left her to disintegrate in 2006 into the sheets of a decrepit “mother’s” bed. No one ever sleeps there, but stays up late to watch television and to wonder what life could or should or would be like if daddy slipped under the comforter to join them—the sweet escape. She gave her daughter life, but she took her husband’s life away. The cycle continues which is clear when you backtrack to 2003. Lost custody, lost family, and any chance at normalcy that she had ever thought could be possible. Miss Love’s actions jeopardize[d] her future. In her eyes you can tell that she is trying so hard not to follow in their footsteps. She almost found a Happy Medium and repressed daddy’s words, but not daddy’s voice.
Daddy’s voice drove mommy to tears and to crazy by the horror of living up to expectations.
“But can you blame your own mother for your own problems when you are well aware that you are not the only one in this house with their own problems to deal with and can you hope to find answers in old clothes and records meant to be heard by everyone but you because they were for her and not for you but they are you?” she constantly wonders.
One can only hope she’s not too confused. We still want her opinion on everything having to do with daddy. We want emotion—yes tears.
Miss Love would love to tell her the truth, but it’s too bad daddy never told her. A letter solves nothing and she is coming to learn this.
“How many times can you read a sentence until you realize that you’re a damn fool and that a sentence is just a sentence and most of the time it stands alone meaningless?”
I suppose forever she’ll have questions. And maybe someday someone somewhere will have an answer. Meanwhile, we’ll prevent ourselves from looking past those eyes and continue the pattern of a put off or a change of subject.
Miss Love understands that she’s discovering some things that may not make much sense to her now and may never. But she needs to feel like she still matters—like she still exists I guess—and she still wants to be famous. While she’s away lying and recording, this pop child is learning and accepting. She’s a young lady now and I still can’t get past those eyes. One can only hope that she will be free to make up her own mind about her past, present, and future—someday one day.
Paralyzed Or How I Got Caught In the Machine of Death
My mother called me while I was at work, so I ran into the men’s restroom to talk to her. I locked the door behind me and went into a stall.
“Hey mom.” I spoke very quietly.
“Hey mom.” I didn’t change my volume one bit; I knew she fucking heard me just fine.
“That’s better. I have some terrible news for you.”
That could be anything. I don’t exactly get along with the woman who birthed me and she makes these calls every now and then full of “terrible news”. Usually it means a neighbor made too much noise at 3 o’clock in the afternoon or something.
“Your father died.” I could hear the water running in the woman’s restroom through the wall. I also noticed that some spaghetti sauce from my lunch an hour ago had taken up residence on my work pants. My coworkers had not informed me of this.
“Excuse me?” I asked her while putting warm water to the stain.
“Your father died. William is dead.” William is not my father. He is just some man my mom married a year ago.
“I’m hanging up now. I have to go back to my job. Goodbye mom.” My friend tells his mom that he loves her every time before they get off the phone. It’s not that I don’t love my mother; it just feels awkward putting it verbally. I guess I should feel guilty though, because I should’ve said it this time. Her husband just passed. But I don’t feel an ounce of love or guilt honestly.
I unlocked the bathroom and exited. On the way back to my desk, some of my co-workers laughed at my wet paints, jokingly implying that I had pissed myself. I hate this fucking job.
* * * * * * *
One time I closed my eyes and my brain showed me a movie: I was at a diner with a baby that wouldn’t stop crying. It ate at me and enraged me. My veins were visibly showing through my hands, my fingers ripping at an already tattered napkin. Some kind gentlemen came over and grabbed the baby. I think he meant to do something awful to it, but I was too afraid to look. I stared at a clock so hard it became water and splashed all over the floor. A busboy cursed at me and went to grab a mop. The baby stopped crying but I had no idea where it went. The man had sat back down with his family and attended to his pancakes. He was sweating. I was sweating.
I opened my eyes. I don’t think I blinked for the rest of the night.
* * * * * * *
Work had completed itself and I raced to get home. It’s not like I had something to do or someone to do it with, but I just needed to wash the stench of responsibility off my skin. The water in the shower didn’t seem hot enough despite the amount of steam and the fact that it turned my skin bright red.
The space felt like a burial plot with liquid leaves and oxygen dirt falling on top of my living corpse. Someday I will sleep and not wake up. I may be aware of it before it happens; I may not be aware of it before it happens. It will happen. It is happening.
I dried myself off and went straight to bed. It was the winter season and I was naked on my mattress. I was shivering yet I was too numb to clothe.
I am going to die. William died. He didn’t expect it and he couldn’t stop it and now he is dead. I don’t feel anything about it. The only feelings I have are selfish ones.
Why can’t I know what will happen? It’s so fucking cruel. What if someone just turns off my lights and my book is closed forever? Not even I will remember the seconds that made up my life. What a waste. A cruel waste.
To take my mind off the inevitability of death, I took out a single piece of copy paper and a pen an old lover left behind. I placed my fingerprints on top of hers and began to draw. At first I drew an almost straight line diagonally down the paper but then I took out my right hand and laid it flat. As I traced it, my heart pounded like it was an engine to a faulty automobile. My left hand shook and the end result was really rather terrible. I crumpled it up, threw it at the wall with the rubbish bin and missed. I opted not to try again and to stare at my wall.
I couldn’t fall asleep and I skipped work. Rats.
* * * * * * *
There was a map I drew to the park when I first moved here. I didn’t know the city well but I had found something I didn’t want to lose, so I memorized my way home and put together the map so I couldn’t forget. Living here for 3 years, I’ve figured out how to get there now, but for some reason today I wanted to follow it. So I pretended to forget the route and followed my crude drawing to the land plot of trees, grass, birds and water fountains.
There is a tall oak tree, wise beyond his years that stands off to the side of the park. We speak every now and then when I need to vent.
“Hello old friend”. Hello! It’s so nice to see you! Oh, I have missed you so! You look a bit down my friend. Tell me, what is it that troubles you?
“Well, my step father has passed. I could care less about the man, in fact he was a bit of an asshole, but it’s really got me going selfish. I’m going to die. I don’t know what’s going to happen afterward and I’m fairly positive I’ll leave no impact behind other than a shell of a body which will soon conform with the earth shortly after.” Hmm, that sure is quite the pickle.
Did you know that I am dead? “No I did not. When did that happen?”
Oh many years ago. I was a bit afraid myself, but I was greener then. I aged and went off to a better place I hope. I really don’t know. But what I do know is that I am a monument of that life. I didn’t do anything special but I stand here, as a tribute to what I once was. I have lived as something completely different for so long, it’s become a life of it’s own. And it’s so very rare that you can start over. Doesn’t that excite you a little bit?
“I suppose it does, yes.” Good. So as much as it pains me to suggest you end the conversation, you should go for a little walk and get lost in your thoughts. Sleep, and begin tomorrow anew. Enjoy your surroundings. Let lose a bit.
“Thank you my friend. Oh, I love you so! You always know what to say!” I love you too friend. Tell the afternoon I said ‘hello’.
I hugged the oak goodbye and set foot to start again. I could almost feel a skip in my step. Along my exit from the park, I saw something bright and delicate. It was a lovely flower. What a good sign!
Okay here's a story about my pink fanny pack, which essentially is the distinguishing Drew Danburry factor. If you aren't sure it's me, just check for the fanny pack, right?
So one day me and my friend Rad wanted to go swimming, if anyone has ever been in Utah in the summertime, there isn't much else worth doing it gets so hot and dry during the summers. And on this particular hot summer day (of 2005) Rad and I decided to do just that. Go swimming. So instead of driving we decided to conserve gas because if anyone was around at the time they would remember that gas prices were at the highest they've ever been and so we decided to save gas and ride our bikes to a pool across town, a lot of the pools get monitored by BYU housing enforcement individuals (who usually work at the particular complex and find it necessary to enforce BYU clothing guidelines during the summer months) who usually get one look at us with our short non-knee length swim trunks (unless we're in the mood for Speedos of course) and tell us to leave and in some cases threaten to call the cops and become very angry with us for being there at all when we don't live there in the apartment complex and it's trespassing or whatever. Why argue and push that stick deeper up their rear you know?
I’m a non-confrontational person in some regard so we wanted to just avoid the confrontation in the first place and go swimming on the other side of town. But like I said we weren't gonna drive there so we decided to take bikes, and in order to conserve energy and so we could carry on an uninterrupted conversation we decided to take the same bike, a tandem bicycle, where if you are unfamiliar with tandem bicycles have two seats and two sets of pedals and one frame so that the two riders may ride together and pedal together and celebrate the labors of modern technology together in uniformed exercise.
It wasn't till the moment when we hopped on the bike together and began our ride towards the swimming pool when we realized what we were getting ourselves into. Living in Provo, UT where the population is predominantly made of conservative Mormons or their socially narrow minded counterparts a lot of people fall into the trap of believing that there are only a few ways to live life without being a weirdo worshipping Satan and so obviously two guys with short swimming trunks riding topless on a tandem bike fall into the socially unacceptable category.
As a side note, of important interest, it will be duly noted that I ALWAYS wear a hot pink fanny pack and have for years now around my waist as a sign of my contempt for such narrow mindedness and in a sense to alienate anyone who has preconceived notions as to how a man should behave and dress and be like in order for them to be a respected individual within our societal structure. I tend to throw all of that out the window by nature, but the fanny pack reigns first and foremost in that attack on such notions and is an outright attempt to throw out the normal in everyone's everyday life so that they don't get too comfortable, heaven forbid.
So as we embarked on our bike ride to the pool, these two boys on the tandem bicycle, the cat calls and jeers only bringing all the more smiles to our faces, the whistling and horns a-honking only bringing waves of salutations from our hands bearing the lovely unspoken words of "hello" and "good day" to those we felt we were bringing a special bright spot to in their dreary everyday kind of day. But after about a fifteen minute ride we arrived at our designated pool only to find it more crowded than we had ever seen, and never ones to duck out of an especially good entrance we decided to open the gate and ride the bike right on into the pool area across the deck and over into the corner where it was shaded by a lovely sycamore tree.
The gate swung open and as is normal everyone looked to see who it was, but as their eyes rested on our bodies they didn't stop looking, all the activity in the pool came to a complete stop as we made our entrance, the talking died and activity aside from a particularly cute girl who let out a low little whistle as we rode past her as she and her friend bathed in the sun's light and a group of guys who began guffawing in the corner; aside from all that. Dead silence. Not one word was spoken.
We parked the bike as the noise level around us steadily increased, a few of the guys in the corner's guffaws grew to a slow rumble and there was a buzz of commotion around us as whispers and giggles and chortling and the tickling of ears became more and more audible. We took the towels draped around our necks and placed them over the bike and I unslung the fanny pack from my waist and hung it over the handlebars. Pretending not to notice the increasing excitement around us we nonchalantly walked towards the pool's edge when it happened. The group of boys that had been somewhat quietly guffawing grew brave by their numbers and one of them piped up for all on the pool deck to hear. With a chuckled contempt only someone really "cool" could have the authority to deliver and dripping with the sarcasm that only an individual raised with the confidence of always being right and/or proving himself right by the brute force he apparently was capable of with his rippling muscles he so well displayed at the pool's edge he stridently but subtly stated,
"Uh...I like your pink fanny pack."
Now, this put me into a very unique position and as our sociology would have it, it would seem that this individual was calling me out, challenging me on the premise of my confidence in wearing a pink fanny pack, probably bringing to question my sexual orientation and generally issuing forth a challenge for having taken the attention that he more than likely felt was deservedly his, or rather for his muscles. And me being the scrawny lanky guy I am, I looked like easy pickings. But this is where clever wit and words can overcome brawn and strength in any situation and despite my love for words I have never been a good performer under pressure, to be honest I’ve always been the guy who gets humiliated and then an hour later realizes what I should've said while I'm walking home later. And as I continually replay the events of the moment inserting the right words and that I should have said I prepare myself for the next time...but this time was different and for once in my life without thinking the words flowed forth and I will claim absolutely no responsibility for their cleverness or for their quick delivery, the only reason I would even tell this story is not for my own self-glorification but for the fact that I think this is a good story and I feel that it should be told.
So as I approached the edge of the water and all eyes were seemingly on myself and my friend, this boy piped up quite confidently with the stridently sarcastic (as I explained earlier) comment:
"Uh...I like your pink fanny pack."
To which I surprisingly self-possessed, immediately replied:
"I like your six pack."
And then I dove into the pool and not one more word was spoken between us or directed to the other the rest of the afternoon. Or forever for that matter...now isn't that a happy ending?
HAMILTON. A STUDY OF THE AMERICAN DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM AND ITS IMPORTANCE.
I had a dream about a tiny breeze. It is a humble mass of air smaller than
that of the blue butterfly*
*The smallest butterfly in the world is the blue butterfly from Africa,
which has only a 1/2 inch wingspan.
This tiny breeze moves with such dauntlessness and dedication, that many of
the larger storm systems will cease their treacherous dealings for a moment
to tip their caps to this valiant draft. Although unable to knock down power
lines or flood city streets, young, tiny breeze leaves his mark in his own
way. Yesterday he spent the day blowing a twig off the sidewalk and today
he has his sights set on something far grander; he shall force a leaf to
leave its comfy home on a tree.
The following statement may shock you, but it is 100% true;
The human body contains 147 brains. The one you are familiar
with only serves one function; to keep you completely unaware of
the other 146 brains and their actions.
There is one way, and one way alone to gain control of these
mysterious 146 brains. A boy has just finished his daily paper
route and has chosen an apple tree far outside of the limits
of town to take a nap. A tiny breeze coming from straight above
pricks the top leaf on the tree. As the leaf tears from it¹s home
on the branch a brilliant white light bursts forth.
The sudden ability to use and understand your 147 brains can
be a terrifying and extremely saddening experience. You will
learn quite quickly that many of the things you have based your
life on are false. The concept of love was created by brain #117
in the early 1100's as a form of entertainment for brain #72, who
is the most evil of all brains. You have never been loved in
your entire life. Below you will see the reality of your last love
you thought you felt;
Mechanically the brain is billions of cells called neurons that can
produce little bursts of electricity that can be passed from cell to cell.
(Brain neurons are densely interconnected.) These bursts produce weak
electric fields at the surface of the head that can be recorded, hence the
EEG ("electro-encephalogram", Greek for recording (gram) of head (cephalus)
electricity, aha.) Coarse features in the EEG are found to be related to
broad categories of brain activity: larger, slowly-varying electric fields
indicate sleep, smaller, faster-varying fields alertness.
These bursts of electricity passed from cell to cell have tricked
you into sleepless nights about other brains currently being
manipulated in a similar fashion. You have most likely cried
over these bursts of energy. You have felt like nothing can
harm you while these bursts explode back and forth in
your brain. You have felt hopeful and hopeless, as brain # 72
enjoys the show.
At 12:34pm on April 15th 2012 a charming new angelic world was created
by a teenage boy. The following are the events leading up to and after said
Section One (now known as Section Uchra)
You are ready to begin your journey, or as we call it, the Santra Morteva.
First, hold your left hand, palm out, a few feet in front of your face.
Try and hold it as still as possible. Stare at your hand. This activity
is called Tantux Morvla. As you continue to stare at your hand, you will
notice aspects of it for the first time; tiny hairs between you knuckles,
wrinkles, maybe even a scar you can't remember creating. At this point
you may start to cry. This is perfectly naturally and it is actually the
time you've really cried in your life. This moment is called the
You may put your hand down now. Junstarvo represents the gates
that lead to your Santra Morteva. If you feel ready to accept what lies
ahead, please continue.
Lay down on your back and place your right hand over your right eye.
This positioning is called Jada Contivum and it is how we can speak
to the other side, or as you will now know it; the Gindu.
The Gindu will guide you on your Santra Morteva.
You will feel a slight tingle in your back. This is something
called a Mije, or a "drifting towards the Gindu." Allow this
sensation to take over your body.
If you do not feel confident enought to continue on your Santra
Morteva, you may stand up and resume your life.
If you are still willing to travel, now put your left hand
over your left eye so that both eyes are completely covered.
This positioning is called the Jada Doctu and it is the means
by which the Gindu can enter our body.
Around this time, the most important single moment in your
life will take place. The Gindu will enter your body and you
will now be guided by their beliefs and ideals. You are no
longer what you were, you are something more. Something
When your body expires, you will be set in the Jada Doctu postion
and the Gindu will leave you. It is then that your Santra
Morteva is completed.
Part One. History.
The tiny arm protruded ever so slightly from behind the second row of
books. Five expectant fingers reached out from in between Oliver Twist
and Nicholas Nickleby, They were so full of want and curiosity, I felt a
tinge of jealousy looking at them. They held an eagerness for the world
that had drifted far from me.
I've walked past that hand every morning as I passed through the library
on my way to history class, each time considering the consequences of
acknowledging its presence. Many nights at home have been spent going
over what would be the most acceptable plan of action. A simple friendly
handshake? Or is the owner of this outstretched hand a more refined
fellow? Should I gently turn his palm to the ground and ever so softly
kiss just above his knuckles, showing the proper respect for a man of his
Today is the day. I've settled on a handshake. Firm, yet casual. I've
worn a brown sweater vest and a pair of gray slacks I borrowed from my
father, an outfit I feel is also firm, yet casual and should lead to a
comfortable mood to engage in conversation with the owner of the tiny arm
between Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby.
Richard Henry Dana, Charles Darwin, Marquis De Sade, Daniel Defoe..Charles
Dickens, a miniature hand.
129 Origin & destiny of individual souls
130 Paranormal phenomena
131 Occult methods for achieving well-being
132 Not assigned or no longer used
133 Parapsychology & occultism
134 Not assigned or no longer used*
135 Dreams & mysteries
Index 2 / Exploration of ³Love²
This is the moment she had been waiting for. She looked terrible, but so
did he and neither one of them cared. He had set the needle of the record
player at the most important part of the song. She had placed the salad
bowl on the very edge of the table, hoping that it would fall and they
could both lean down and pick it up together, laughing.
The pulmonary vein empties oxygen-rich blood, from the lungs, into the
left atrium. From here, the blood flows from your right ventricle into
your left ventricle through the open mitral valve and finally, it is
pumped through the aortic valve into the aorta - the blood vessel that
feeds all of the other parts of your body. It is in no way even vaguely
romantic or beautiful. A heartbeat will increase to a far greater degree
if you are being chased by a dog, than if you think you are in love.
He had made sure the phone was plugged in, so that when it rang he would
say "I don't care who's calling, I just want to be with you." She made
sure something was caught in her teeth during dinner. If he were to point
it out, she would then quickly put her hands over her mouth and say how
embarrassed she was. He would pull her hand down from her face and tell
her she didn't need to ever feel embarrassed around him.
He had picked up The Foam Book: An easy Guide to Building Polyfoam Puppets
at the library two weeks ago. It began as a hobby, but soon lead to an
obsession. He returned the book one week later and she checked it out.
First the oxygen-depleted blood enters the heart through two large veins,
the inferior and superior vena cava and then flows into the right atrium.
From the right atrium, it passes through the tricuspid valve and then into
the right ventrical. The blood is then pumped through the pulmonary valve
and into the lungs. The emotion of love is more often based in an
animal-like, or simply animal attraction towards another human being. It
typically lacks anything important or meaningful.
They were both alone at their respective dinner tables trying to imagine
what falling in love would be like. It was hot out that evening and their
foam puppets begin to sink in their seats a little bit. Simultaneously,
in different locations, they both decided a wooden puppet would be a
stronger medium to work in and they left their romantic meals to go to the
The pretend love these two strangers are attempting to feel for their
homemade puppets is more true than 98.7% of all marriages in the US in
PART TWO / further examination of the dewey decimal system with a tangent on
790 Recreational & performing arts
791 Public performances
792 Stage presentations
793 Indoor games & amusements
794 Indoor games of skill
795 Games of chance
796 Athletic & outdoor sports & games
797 Aquatic & air sports
798 Equestrian sports & animal racing
799 Fishing, hunting, shooting
797 Aquatic and Air Sports
If you tell your psychologist your mailman's cowboy hat is floating
exactly 7 inches above his head, they will take a sip of coffee and ask
you what you think that means. You'll respond that you strongly believe
that somehow a super concentrated portion of the earth's upper-atmospheric
wind has positioned itself just above a mailman's head serving as some
sort of beacon to a higher power.
You've confronted the mailman about this phenomenon many times, to which
he simply winks and tips his floating cap to you. It is clear that he is
somehow involved on a greater level. You will explain the situation to
your fat, angry neighbor who will conclude that what you are seeing is
simply an air sport.
Cults & Group Think / no dewey decimal system allocation
The most basic feature is the control of human communication within and
environment if the control is extremely intense, it becomes internalized
control -- an attempt to manage an individual's inner communication
control over all a person sees, hears, reads, writes.
Alien Life and Teachings / also unlisted
The Ufologists, working for the West Lothian-based Anglo Scottish
Unidentified Flying Object Research Agency (ASUFORA), believe that the
72ft-long oval is not a naturally occuring shape and could only have been
caused by a UFO.
The group¹s chief investigator, who asked not to be named, said he had no
other explanation for the find after 10 years of researching possible
A True Believer's Guide to Creating an Omnipotent Being
1. Choose a physical form that has a mystical tone to it, but will also be
also vaguely familiar to those non-omnipotents you are trying to
2. Make an entrance that won't be forgotten. The use of smoke is highly
3. Speak in riddles and/or backwards.
5. End with a profound statement. Most omnipotents
use the phrase, "It will be black in the dead of night."
This is a lyric from Jefferson Starship's "Ride the Tiger" (1974 Dragonfly
album). While most
assume it is merely a drug induced and fairly obvious observation
on how it is dark out in the middle of the night, it
should be noted that all members of Jefferson Starship
are omnipotent beings* and that this particular lyric
is a riddle which buried inside contains the meaning
*While they are omnipotent beings, they are NOT omnipotent human beings.
Jefferson Starship was created as a sort of SOS to their home planet.
There are no documented cases of human omnipotents. (Omnipotent Magazine
June 7 1982)
6. dress the part. ie robes, scarfs, lace, glitter lipstick, cape, etc etc.
Henry felt it was better to bury his head in the sand than to attempt to
once again climb into the hot air balloon. He believed the metaphor was
to obvious and therefore, it could not really pertain to his life.
234 Salvation (Soteriology) & grace
235 Spiritual beings
237 Not assigned or no longer used
238 Creeds & catechisms
239 Apologetics & polemics
240 Christian moral & devotional theology
241 Moral theology
242 Devotional literature
243 Evangelistic writings for individuals
244 Not assigned or no longer used
245 Texts of hymns
246 Use of art in Christianity
247 Church furnishings & articles
248 Christian experience, practice, life
249 Christian observances in family life
244 made Hamilton quite sad. Each evening he would sneak
into the library, climb underneath the shelving in the Landscape Design of
Cemeteries section* (please see below) and wait for everyone to leave.
714 Water features
715 Woody plants
716 Herbaceous plants
718 Landscape design of cemeteries*
719 Natural landscapes
721 Architectural structure
Hamilton would then meticulously go through every book in the Dewy Decimal
system, searching for the ever elusive, 244. He dreamed that it was
something beautifully profound.
244: the meaning of life
244: the secret to immortality
Sadly, each day as the morning sun began its ascent, Hamilton realized he
had once again failed in his quest for 244. Exhausted, he would lay down
in a small gap between two of his favorite books; Oliver Twist and
Typically, the headlines of the black and white printed tabloids found in
the checkout line of your local convenience store are not to be trusted.
There is, however, the rare occasion when they do get things right; One
Pound Baby Born Healthy...and He's a Genius!
12 Easy Steps to Making Your Own Wooden Puppet, Second Edition was
located near the back of the library. That section of the building often
smelled like fresh flowers, as there was a wonderful florist located just
on the other side of that east wall.
He and She made eye contact just as the smell of sunflowers crept into
their noses. It was cliche and somewhat annoyingly beautiful an encounter
for those of us on the outside looking in, but at the same time it was
admittedly perfect. 12 Easy Steps to Making Your Own Wooden Puppet, Second
Edition would remain on the shelf that day.
Hamilton Oliver Jones, the 3rd was now 23 years old. He stood at a less
than intimidating one foot, three inches tall and had IQ of one hundred
and seventy nine.
He was fast asleep with his head resting on page 98 of Oliver Twist when
he felt something firmly, yet casually grasp his hand. Hamilton now took
part in his first ever handshake, with his new friend Henry. The handshake
lead to Hamilton's first real conversation. He told Henry about his
thirst to see he the world, but how his size had limited his ability to
There are pictures in the black and white printed tabloid from the local
convenience store that make people laugh. A hot air balloon with a boy and
a tiny creature inside. Five weeks ago they were spotted above Old Ben in
London. Four weeks ago the duo was scene drifting above the ruins of
Rome. Three weeks ago they were rumored to have been spotted near the
Grand Canyon. Two weeks ago the Egyptian press printed a picture of the
balloon floating just above the highest point of an ancient pyramid and
just this week they were photographed wearing berets above the Eiffel
tower. In each picture, you can clearly see that painted on the side of
the balloon are the numbers 2, 4 and 4.
PART TWO. UNRELATED IN SUBJECT MATTER. RELATED IN TONE AND LOCATION.
Those little cubs were oh so courageous. Six tiny paws raised defiantly
towards a cloudy grey sky. And by the old tree trunk they stood their
ground; firm and strong. The whispers of the villainous foxes began to
grow closer and each breaking twig in the distance signaled the arrival of
what they had all feared most. Through the trees in front of them appeared
an uncountable number of hideous eyes reflecting in the moonlight. The
lapse in time is now infinite; lurching forward, but also willing to
stumble back on itself. It is at these grand and significant moments in
life that we may realize something that lies beneath the obvious structure
of our world. Right now, at this very minute, a brave group of cubs have
collided with an unfathomable amount of knowledge on the workings of our
world. And though they are engulfed with a deep and warranted fear, we see
the hint of a smile begins on all of them. As giant teeth open in front of
them, they laugh knowing that there are adorable three eyed creatures that
live five miles below our feet. As these teeth sink into their chests,
they grin with the newfound understanding of the meaning of true love. As
their little hearts slow and stop, they lay next to their favorite tree
stump, smiling at those foxes.
The foxes form a circle around the cubs. Brilliant white teeth gone red,
they lower their heads. A deep and unmovable sadness swells around them.
They miss the cubs, but more than that, they are jealous of those
This very same moment has happened many times at this very same tree
The two men, their twisted ankles still fresh with pain, raise their wine
glasses to toast the realization of their dreams. Suddenly, they feel a
wave of fear ripple up their backs...
The air is thick with the secrets of their past. The weekend in Atlantic
City is a silent film on the tree in front of them. The four day, seven
night getaway cruise to Bahamas slithers beneath their toes and pauses in
grass just before where the path begins... You can even make out the tiny
umbrellas in the drinks. Each evening spent at a seedy motel now dances
on its own leaf, and the tree now seems to bend with the weight of these
There is a hidden muscle in your throat. Put your hand on your chin. Now
slide your fingers down exactly 4 inches towards your chest. Just below
your fingertips is the only way to justify any emotion you've ever felt.
You can feel it swell and tense when you're around someone you truly
love. It's pulling your jaw down in an attempt to have you stop being a
pussy and say what you mean. It's pushing your chin up to remind you not
to tell your wife where you're off to tonight. It's the most important
muscle in the entire human body.
Their wine glasses by their side, the two lovers feel that muscle choke
them with guilt. Always a sensible pair, they decide to simple lay down
next to a tree and enjoy their final moments together. And with their last
bit of strength they carve their names into the trunk.
D.S. + B.V.
He swings the axe so beautifully. So beautifully. It looks like a
magnificent painting from a world famous museum. In a perfect world that
tree would form the headboard to the bed we'd lay in each night. He'd
compliment the dinner I had made and I'd blush and say thank you. Our
eyes would meet and he'd whisper I love you before kissing my forehead
That headboard will belong to Betty though, as will that kiss. The D has
disappeared completely and the S looks like it has about three more
swings of life left in it. I looked up pity in the dictionary; sympathy
and sorrow aroused by the misfortune or suffering of another. It sounded
better than being alone to me. As he pulled the axe back I began to push
the bushes I had been hiding in out of my way. The muscles in his arm
tightened and the head of the axe battled the forces of nature and started
it's journey back towards the tree trunk. A journey it would never
complete. Out from the bushes I sprang, focused completely on very tip of
It felt warm, like someone had poured warm apple cider on my neck. As I
looked up, the sun was directly behind his head. He looked like an angel.
My plan was to have the blade of the axe
hit me in the shoulder, cutting an inch or so into my flesh. He would then
take pity on me in my weakened state, feeling sympathy and sorrow, which
would eventually spin into
a deep and undying love. Sadly, my plan had gone exactly six inches wrong.
There are profound instances in our lives which we laugh off; Did my cat
just say something to me? The true and simple answer is, yes, he did.
There are only so many tricks that can be played on the mind, none.
137 Divinatory graphology
140 Specific philosophical schools
141 Idealism & related systems
142 Critical philosophy
143 Intuitionism & Bergsonism
144 Humanism & related systems
146 Naturalism & related systems
147 Pantheism & related systems
148 Liberalism, eclecticism, traditionalism
149 Other philosophical systems
Logic lies 15 steps from Sensationalism. The following journal was found
next to the body of a 75 year old boy. Please note the use of
November 15th 2005
Let me ask you something...have you ever seen Lionel Ritchie take 30 tabs
of acid straight to his eyeball, thrust a 19 inch machete into his left
leg, and sing a fucking dead-on version of "Hello?" The answer is probably
yes, but if not, he does it every Friday night at the Copley Square T Stop
on the green line. I may not be able to keep you guys posted on my day to
day events for a bit, as I am currently on tour with Lionel at the Copley
Square T stop for the next 6 months being his guitar tech and helping him
grasp what's real and what's not. If you need to reach me send an e-fax to
Burt Reynolds and he'll bring it over to me. (He's performing Macbeth at
the Arlington T stop which is pretty close to me and Lionel, it's pretty
captivating to watch, mostly because he's crying while doing it.)
I will continue to write in this blog until the day I die... August 17th
The past 10 days of my life have been a blur, as I spent them robo-trippin
with my Aunt Maggie's 10 year old son at the Sunset Sun Hotel.
Sunset Sun Hotel
The two surviving members of the Tom Selleck fan
club trim their mustaches and cry.
Tom Selleck tries on hundreds of flowered shirts, yet
none of them feel right anymore.
(Henry Titley is on the phone, long distance)
Henry:: Hey! What is up?!
Mystery Man:: Not too much...(cackling)... just playing Cranium with
Henry:: Really? me too.
Mystery Man:: fo¹ sha.
Mystery Man:: hahahahahahahaha
Henry:: Any tips on how to get him to leave?
Mystery Man:: hahahahahahahahahaha
(Henry hangs up the phone and moves his game piece to the green square.)
(Harrison Ford is riding a giant mechanical bull)
(pop sensation Nick Lachey and rap/fashion mogul P Diddy are huddled
together in a tiny bathtub)
Nick:: Is that yellow rubber thing a rubber ducky?
P. Diddy:: no.
Nick:: L O L !
P Diddy:: (scared) what is it then?
Nick:: (announcer voice)Conannnnnnn O¹ Brriiiiiiieeeennnn!
P. Diddy:: (wildly coughing)
Nick:: (now holding hands with Conan Obrien in the tub)
I take care of my grandmother every Wednesday. I pick her up
at the retirement home and we usually go to Friendly¹s where she
tells me some crazy story from the town¹s mind-numbingly boring
³Do you know where the apple orchard is? You take Main Street
all the way out of town until you hit Hunting Street. Take Hunting
for a good long way and you¹ll see the orchard on your left.
Well there is a boy that sits under one of those trees. The wind
came down and gave him the power of God. The boy has the
power of God.
³Oh yea grandama? When did this all happen?²
Section Roman Numeral Three. Monsters.
From a green and black tripod website I found::
So, what actually is werewolf or lycanthropy? Is it a fact based on concrete
evidences? Is it a myth, a fabrication of feeble minds? Is it an
exaggeration of some other things? Well, all these questions have been
puzzling mankind for last 5 centuries. Though many ingenious hypotheses have
been suggested as possible explanations, definite conclusion can't be drawn.
Some experts have tried to observe it as purely supernatural phenomena while
others have relied on scientific observations. Contradictions and debates
still persist and will continue till any single theory solves the jigsaw,
which seems unlikely considering complexity and diversity of the topic.
Also from the same site:
A study on lycanthropy from the McLean Hospital in New York reported on a
series of cases and proposed some diagnostic criteria by which lycanthropy
could be classified:
€ A patient reports in a moment of clarity or looking back he sometimes
feels as an animal or has felt like one.
€ A patient behaves in a manner that resembles animal behavior, for example
crying, grumbling or creeping.
First off, I couldn't agree more with every bit of insanity on this tripod
website. Every morning I get the New York Times delivered to my apartment by
an extremely expensive courier service. I wait for him outside my door. When
he hands me the paper, I light it on fire right in front of his face and say
"I get all my information from various tripod websites, NY Times can suck
it." My friend Tony Bologna had a few laughable arguments against the
information above about werewolves. I didn't find any of his thoughts
convincing, but I shall post them below anyway.
1. There does not appear to even be a Mclean hospital in New York.
2. Crying defines someone as a werewolf?
3. How does one creep? If I were to peer around a corner while playing hide
and go seek with my daughter, am I considered a werewolf by the doctors of a
4. If I, at one point in my life, felt like a sleepy cat on a lazy Sunday
afternoon... that makes me a werewolf?
Tony Bologna is clearing blinded by his unflinching love for his daughter.
He must accept the truth around him and realize that he and his 2 and a
half-year-old daughter are werewolves. I am going to prowl (not creep!) the
streets tonight and if I see anyone crying I am going to shoot them in the
chest with a silver bullet and cut their left ring finger off (the cutting
of the finger is more of my trademark thing I am trying to start and doesn't
actually have anything to do with the killing of a werewolf).
Section Roman Numberal Three / Part Dos
To the shock and disbelief of most insane scholars and ugly teenage boys,
is no spot in the Dewey Decimal System for vampires, in spite of a good deal
of convincing online information.
How could such a thing be left off when articles such as this
In any case, numerous vampire accounts have since been discovered in local
newspapers, archives, and correspondence from New England that suggest the
legacy of the TB epidemic in the 19th century left many families with no
other alternative than to exhume their relatives and put their `vampires' to
rest. However, the vampire myth only further fueled itself when these
freshly resurrected family members appeared as if they were actually
`undead' - their fingernails were still growing, their skin looked like it
had grown new layers, and the body looked well fed, even plump. Šfrom
Not fully convinced yet?! Let me put the nail in the coffin;
from: Earlene <email@example.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Subject: Halloween math bulletin board
One of my favorite bulletin boards was inspired by an article in a
World Book-Childcraft book, copyright 1982, book 13 "Mathemagic", that
I picked up at a garage sale. I used the idea for a Math Club Society
bulletin board in college.
It is a proof that vampires cannot exist, because if one vampire bites
2 people who become vampires and they each bite 2 people who
each...soon there will be more vampires than there are people in the
entire earth. So that if I am not a vampire and you are not a
vampire, then no one is a vampire. Of course the assumptions must be
true for this to be a valid proof, but the professors checked out the
proof and it held up. So you can take a 4th grade level explanation
and jazz it up to college level. It made a good bulletin board for
October. I think it had something to do with the Binomial Theorem or
whatever...how quickly we forget! I think high school students would
appreciate it, and you could use charts and graphs instead of a formal
logical proof. FROM THE OKLAHOMO STATE TEACHER¹S MESSAGE BOARD
Now while this may actually look like a rather strong argument against the
Of vampiresŠa reply to her post should be noted.
³ŠMs. Hines IS a vampire.² *from Timmy Smith, 5th grade.
PAUSE IN STORY TO ALLOW FOR AUTHOR¹S FUNERAL REQUESTS
Wake/Funeral requests for/by David Michael Conway to be executed upon his
When preparing my body for display at my wake, please make sure my hand is
propped up in a handshake position. Please then have a video camera tape the
entire wake and see who shakes my dead hand. Also, please make sure I am
made to look like I am winking. Note anyone who winks back at me. I would
like to be smiling too please. Make sure tiny bits of corn are stuck in
between my teeth. Give anyone who attempts to remove the corn from my teeth
one thousand dollars cash as they leave the wake. Tell them they were a true
friend. The zipper on my pants MUST be down. Anyone who attempts to zip me
up should be called a pervert and asked impolitely to leave the wake. My
left hand should be clutching what appears to be a treasure map. Anyone who
attempts to take this should be left alone. The map will lead them to
Blockbuster Video in Woonsocket Rhode Island and I feel this is punishment
enough for them trying to steal from me. (Also, if I am wealthy please hire
a pirate for the wake who will lurk in the background, his eyes always
focused on the treasure map in my hand. This will help convince everyone
that the map is real.)
END OF SECTION ONE.
START OF SECTION TWO. MYTHS & MIND CONTROL.
Winter is approaching here in New York. I feel hyper-emotional during the
transition from warm weather to cold.
JAPANESE WINTER MYTH
There is actually an old Japanese myth based around this. They believe that
in the cold weather your blood actually separates into different emotions,
each taking a color; red for fear, blue for morality, yellow for love, black
for sadness and green for happiness. If you were to prick your finger in the
winter months you would hope for drops of yellow, green and blue to trickle
out. Now the winter months for some reason are also when most Japanese women
will search for mates. Knowing this, the Japanese men are typically on their
very best behavior during this time, hoping that their blood will be the
colors which will make them a desirable partner. Therefore, if you are
planning a trip to Japan, it would be best to go during their winter.
Teachings and Observations by the ³Child of the Wind²
I shall build cloud-based google-like website. If you have a questions you
write it on a piece of paper, tie it to a balloon, let it drift up into the
clouds and one
week later a fairy with wings made out of love will whisper the answer in
TOP 10 THINGZ IN LIFE...or DEATH
1. Humans Believing in Themselves/Others/Ghosts
2. Trust Falls
3. Canyons Filled With Brilliant Hope
4. Learning to see the Superunknown / a Spoonman
5. A Child Seeing Something Die for the First Time
6. The Sunset from the Back of A Chevy
7. Flower people / flower power / flowers / flowered gowns / Rick Flowery
8. Bubbling Heat from the A Heart That Has Just Found Love
9. Bubbleyum / death's cold rumble LOL!
10. Listening to...silence.
Exploring the soul. Questing. Cat-calling cats. A giant,
10 story Nirvana t-shirt. A brave muscular friend. An all-knowing,
all powerful uncle. A young boy carving the ghost of his grandfather
into the moat surrounding a castle of his greatest fears.
Things of/in nature BEING sound. The drip of the faucet, the far off beating
of a lion's heart, the falling teardrops of a
new-born eagle. When the tree falls in the woods, it DOES make a sound...the
sound of freedom????????????
(and Jefferson Starship).
I’m awake. There’s an angel next to me. She’s hanging in the middle of my room. She has a meat hook through her stomach. Her wings are bloody and brown. Her eyes are the ocean.
I sit up. I open the top draw on my night stand. I reach in and pull out a gun. It’s black like oil and cold as hell. I put it in my mouth. The angel shakes. I suck the barrel off for a second and pull the trigger and blow half my fuckin’ head against the piss yellow wall. I’m dizzy. Dizzy…dizzy…dizzy. I reach for a cigarette. I light it and stand up. My knees buckle. I inhale and watch in the mirror as the smoke funnels up and out of the back of my broken skull. I throw on a pair of jeans and my denim coat. I put my cigarette out on the angel’s chest. She drools blood onto my hand.
I walk along the street, kind of playing a beat in my head. Bip-bop-bidip-badip-badip-badip. My back is soaked from blood and brain and my mouth is filled with gooey, white chalk that used to be my teeth and like always, I don’t feel anything.
I stop in front of a storefront, a ten foot wall of mirrored glass. I try to see my blown out skull from behind. I’m craning my neck but all I see is the tattoo on the side of my shaved head. It’s one a.m.. A dog is barking. I pick up a garbage can and throw it through the window. The glass is a waterfall, crashing and exploding onto a cement river. I pick up a piece of the broken window. I let it skip along my wrist once, then again, and on the third time I dig in and slice myself from my hand to my elbow. It stings, I think. Blood blows out everywhere.
A few shards still hang inside the pane. I put my other arm up, roll my sleeve up to my bicep and dig the glass into my elbow pit. I yank my arm down and let the glass ride. It cuts through my forearm, and hand, and out from between my middle and ring fingers. I shiver and I think I just came in my pants. I reach for my pack of cigarettes. They fall to the ground and a couple loose smokes roll towards the street, trying to escape. I kneel down and pick one up in my mouth. I light it.
It’s ladies night so I go in. I order a bottle of vodka. An ex-girlfriend walks up. She says I look great. We hug and my blood is all over her. She asks what I’ve been up to. I try to say nothing much, but I throw up on her shirt before I can get the words out. She says we should get together sometime. I pour the vodka all over me and say that sounds cool but really I’m not interested, that I’m not really looking for a relationship right now. She hugs me again and back peddles away smiling. She tells me again how good I look. I light a match and light myself on fire. She waves and I walk out.
I’m still on fire and I walk into an all-night convenience store. I buy four bottles of aspirin and a gallon of anti-freeze. I open the aspirin and swallow every pill in each bottle in succession and wash them down with green poison. I walk back out and it starts to rain, hard. Smoke climbs up into the sky as the rain is putting me out. My skin is peeling, melting, off. I can see my heart pumping strong under my rib cage.
I walk into an abandoned building. There’s music, loud music. I follow it. Someone is hanging in front of me, hanging from a noose that’s wrapped around their neck, that’s wrapped around a piece of pipe jutting out twenty feet above. It’s a girl. Her face is pale white and her eyes, sunken. She says hi over the screaming stereo and I say hi back. On her neck, just above the noose, just above the noose that turning her throat into blood, she has the same tattoo that I have on my head.
I ask what she’s doing later. She says she doesn’t know. I ask if she wants me to get her down. She shrugs her shoulders. I push the chair back under her feet.
Out on the street everybody is the same as us. Young, alone, and dying to die.
We walk for a mile or a year and we’re not really talking. We’re both looking at each other, and I’m thinking how ugly she is and she’s probably thinking the same about me. She reaches down and holds my right hand in her left. My blood spurts onto her hand and sleeve.
We walk onto the train tracks. We face each other as the light and the noise from the 1:36 bear down on us. She pulls me close. Twenty tons of screaming metal is tearing through brisk, October air. I can feel the ground shaking. We’re facing each other. The horn sounds and blows out our eardrums. Blood drips out of the holes where my ears used to be, before they burned off. Everything is silent as the light swallows us. She leans in and kisses me on my mouth and then so does the train…
All Rights Reserved
Michael Sonbert 2006
Michael Sonbert is a New York born author. His first novel, The Never Enders, will be available in April 2007.www.michaelsonbert.com
Inspired Lyrics for Shall We Skip To Excessive Celebration? (Release Date: February 20th on Alarmor Records) by Autonym
John projected himself as one of courage and valor while also being one who remained humble and approachable. His tall, not too tall, broad, not too broad, stature indeed helped project such an image. His wavy brown hair, neither too long nor too short, and his hazel eyes, shifting between brown and green, seemed to let strangers know that he was indeed the common man. His personality reflected his normality, but from him a bright shine always seemed to emanate. The people of John’s town knew he would one day go far, far away from them and they would hear greatly exaggerated tales of John and his single-handed victories over great battalions of barbaric, merciless animals wearing men’s skin. John had gained such a reputation quickly as his Father Obsipitus was a hero of many wars, never the general, always the soldier. You see, leaders may have gained land and respect among fellow world leaders through victory, but the hearts and minds of the people were reserved for the common men who knew only of living and helping friends live, while defeating the enemy. John remembered being quite intimidated by a name so grandiose and, quite frankly, pretentious, as Obsipitus. However, Obsipitus raised his son to always be humble, to be the common man with a loving wife and family, to treat the left foot as you would the right. However, Obsipitus also taught his son that whosoever he encountered in the perils of war, John was no longer the common man; he was the soldier who became for an instant a fire breathing dragon whose thirst to defend the nest could never be satisfied. Then, you return to being a man, for a dragon cannot live and prosper in the world of men. Such fables were uncommon in such modern times and perhaps this shaped the way in which John felt differently from his people who loved him so.
The cries for battle against foes near and far echoed, as ever-changing rulers with the poor quality of life remaining stagnant. The leader, disguised as a soldier, rallied troops atop his tower declaring each invasion a blessing, an opportunity to set precedence of right versus wrong. Of course, the victors shall always write the history books and, thus, join the saintly heroes of old. John knew all of this. His intuition told him that in a world overrun by coups and constantly warring countries, the ideas of good and evil resided only within individuals who loved and cared as best they could. The leader spoke of peace through war, but John likened such ideals as forming water from fire. Still, John pressed on as the soldier, remembering his Father’s words, always wishing to become the dragon. Through many battles, John drew the blood of enemies not so different from his fellow warriors. He also watched his fellow warriors fall at his feet, life failing them as the blood drained, each wound always slightly different but often just as fatal. The deceased were left looking so cold and alone, staring off into the distance. Battle became one large parade of courage, as either side firmly believed in duty to one’s country, although John became increasingly apathetic towards this duty as he watched leaders rise and fall in his land. In these now commonplace coups, John became one of the few soldiers to live through so many battles on the frontlines, refusing to move to the higher ranks out of harms way, as a tribute to his courageous Father, who saw little value in being the chess player. John’s Father wished always to be the pawn, standing proudly alongside the other pawns, challenging the larger knights and rooks, who would attempt invasion of the first line of defense. John always appreciated this aspect of his Father’s character, not only because the idea was so uncommon in days where men became machines starving for the next big thing. His Father stood taller than any man when John was a boy and it was John and few others who knew the real reason behind this appearance. John’s Father never ran and never left a battle. His conscious, for the most part, was clean.
Most men that avoided battle often cited family as a concern for leaving the ranks of their fellow pawns. This facet hindered John less than the others. John married his wife young and they were so in love and remained as such. Mary, John’s wife, failed however to mention to John prior to their marriage that she could have no children due to the fact that Mary had been one of the many to suffer from radioactivity during one of the nuclear exchanges in recent times. Mary had mutations that kept her from conceiving. When John was told, he certainly was initially devastated, concerned his legacy would falter and fracture with his own body. However, John was grew increasingly resigned to and almost content with the situation. The speed with which he found this peace with a wife others called barren surprised the people around John and even John himself. The family always seemed to be important to him but now that he knew he could not have one with his wife, whom he loved but had knowingly deceived him, he felt a sense of relief. John came to realize that this sense of relief came not from the fact that the mystery as to why Mary had not yet become pregnant had finally been revealed, but in fact he felt as if the weight of bringing children into the world and somehow forming them into moral people in a society so lost was off his shoulders. Mary, however, carried the sadness of her inability to conceive with her and, as the years grew on and she watched her friends have children of their own, Mary became increasingly lost within herself. Minds that cannot find the answer shall never end the search, no matter how fruitless the effort may be. Finding solace in loneliness became her forte and John drifted in the distance of her mind. However, he became one of the few things, though in the distance, to remain in her mind and keep her connected to reality. Her despondency blamed many things, but never chance. She blamed the wars, her parents, human beings, but most of all, herself. Mary always convinced herself long ago the inadequacies inherent in her mutation defined her very being and solely she created this definition. She created this definition, unholy and unsatisfying.
The time was 12:03 am. The phone rang and woke two turtle doves. Once soundly lying, they now flew from their nest to the highest perch of John’s roof . John knew what a call at this time meant. Phone calls had not been allowed after 11 pm for years now with one exception. A call rang John to arms. John answered the call and walked down the cold steps of his modest home to get a drink of water from the refrigerator. Such a call used to mean a time to silence the strays from the herd. Now the calls John received still signaled a time to silence strays but he needed no longer be the same as the sheep he killed. Forever now, the witness, John guarded the wall as an Autonym, the guards of the Gate.
Mary walked down the stairs and embraces her husband from behind. Her long blonde hair fell down at his sides. She held him, trying so hard to disconnect herself from her own guilt. She pressed her face squarely against his back as he pressed her hand against his chest. The sound of ringing echoed throughout the house while they held each other in the dark. John then left the embrace and answered the phone by simply pressing the receiver to his ear and awaiting the prerecorded message. As expected, the voice, calm and steady, assigned John to his location and duration of duty. John walked back up the stairs, lighting up the halls and rooms as he walked. John did not have to leave until morning but he knew that neither he nor Mary would be able to sleep again tonight. John entered his bedroom and sat on the edge, holding his head in his hands, looking toward the floor. John took one hand and clasped the ankle bracelet the Head Counsel insisted new Autonyms wear in order to track their movements until trust is established, or so went the logic.
War still governed John’s actions, even if he may no longer be directly involved with the conflicts. Once again, a war had broken out between two small countries and allies and allegiances made such a war anything but small. Thus, an increase in Autonyms at the Gate was required in order to keep deserters from crossing over to the other side. Autonyms were ordered to question and then kill deserters. John always wondered the purpose of the questioning if deserters were to be killed anyway. The only proper explanation John could gather was that it must be some sort of method to make the people feel as though they had received some sort of trial, be it flawed, before they were killed.
Mary came to the bed and held John’s head to her chest. John was a broken man after years of war, broken and lost. Mary had never loved John more than this very moment. Mary now felt a connection through isolation to John. However, Mary’s love did not provide her with solace in her own existence. Mary did not hold unto herself a sense of personal purpose. She often attempted to be the support of John, trying to bear the cross John seemed to carry. However, this often resulted in more breakdowns personally for Mary as she tried to carry her own cross while carrying John’s cross with the other shoulder. The crosses weighted far too heavy a burden and Mary fell all too often. The emptiness inside her echoed far too loudly and she would often scream aloud, attempting to drown out the sound of her own ghosts, never leaving her alone to think for just one second.
John felt Mary’s squeeze tighten and every haunting feeling washed over him once again. John wondered how he came to such a place in which simply existing seemed so futile when only a few years earlier, life seemed so bright.
“Come inside, John! At least, put on a jacket if you’re going to stand out there all night.”
John’s small house was quite an achievement at his young age. He stood in his yard and took in every cold breath as he watched the clear, white moonlight shimmer off the wooden two-person swing, hanging above their front porch. The yard was small but it was more than enough for the two of them. Sadness relinquished its crown when the silence and peace of nature settled over John. John had not felt peace such as this since childhood. The night air blew and with it came a noise, distant but in his presence, in his home.
John had earned such a night with many more to pay his debt in full. The warring never seemed to end and the promises of reward often felt empty but John had begun to believe for a short while that perhaps all the death he had seen was for some purpose. John kept his wife Mary through years of war. As a soldier, he respected the loyalty reciprocated from her. At the young age of 16, John enlisted, much to the chagrin of his Father, as an Autonym. The years wore on and John had but a single friend through it all: Mary. On a short trip home, he had finally gathered the courage up to ask her hand in marriage on his 18th birthday. The letters they exchanged were so passionate, as it is often easier to spill your inner fears and dreams when put to ink. The two fell in love thousands of miles apart: one to the sound of silence in the setting of boredom, the other to the sound of screaming in the setting of the end of the world.
Six long years had passed now and John had been in and out of war all the while, never spending more than a month at home. Men around him died defending the homeland from the greed of other powerful leaders. However, after six years of defense against invaders, the attempts to invade decreased and morale among the defenders grew, especially those who fought to see an end to the seemingly never-ending war. John had now reached what many thought was the end. John knew this was far from the truth. The same Leader that had led them so heroically through the difficult times would lead them right back into hell. Ironically, this would be for the same reasons the Leader served as such a valiant hero in defense of the State. The leader already had begun spitting his euphoria-inducing diatribes to the masses, telling them, “Defense has led to the wars with Tiertopia and Valion! The wars with Millacal and Vernon: products of isolationism!” The Leader proposed a counter-strike and this break that John so richly deserved was simply the calm before the storm. John knew that factories far and wide in the State was churning deep into the night building fantastic new bombs, no longer to be used just outside the border of the State against invaders. “All invaders driven out have now lost their right to exist! It is the State who will exact this punishment at the behest of justice!” *Cheers* RADIO DEAD.
“If I sell 4 grams for this guy, I get the 5th free”, the girl says. Her eyes, lumps of coal, staring at me somewhat boastful from beyond her Swiss Mocha. Without much thought or having little experience in responding to such conversation, I give her a complimentary “Good”.
This year, well, this year has been a bad year. She takes another drink before picking at her skin. Black, acrylic nails dancing on the surface of her arm. I’ve been watching her thumb anxiously at her phone for the last hour, rifling through all of her contacts. Hannah hasn’t slept in 32 hours. She works two jobs. The first of which is at a grocery store adjacent to the elementary school I teach at.
A tall, shaggy-haired boy sits down on the couch next to us. The lanky boy’s wearing a Rilo Kiley t-shirt. At least he has good taste. Neither of us know him, but that doesn’t stop him from itching to be part of our world. He can’t be more than 19. He presents his freshly pierced eyebrow before departing the shop, scarf wrapped tightly around his lengthy neck.
Within minutes of the vacancy on the couch, a familiar face to Hannah fills the void left by the shaggy-haired kid. He looks to be about 30. His tattooed body and shaved head are an attempt to hide that fact. The kind of masochist that stops his piss midstream. He pokes at her. In an uncomfortable sort of way, she accepts it. He won’t leave, until finally he does. Disappearing to a corner of the room.
Lumps of coal back on me, I ask her to recite that David Lerner poem again. It’s not everyday that one has the opportunity to kiss a drug dealer.
Anton Chekhov, arguably the greatest short story writer in the history of the world. It was when I read The Lady with the Dog in 10th grade that I knew I wanted to write. Chekhov's understanding of the relationship between men and women in that story spoke to me. He knew love and circumstance, how they complicate each other. It never mattered if 10 people read it or 10 million people, I only wanted to write for the possibility of making someone experience the same kinship I felt with Chekhov's Gurov character.
It wasn't too long after reading that story that I discovered a band from Eudora, Kansas called The Get Up Kids. They too, had a profound understanding of men and women. Their music gave me the same kind of feeling that Chekhov's stories had. I got to college and it wasn't a strange sight for me to be holed up in the corner of the campus library, listening to Four Minute Mile and reading a story such as The Bear. The two helped me to appreciate each other in a deeper way and both were a gift in times when I wasn't so sure of my place in the world.
Absolute Ink was started with the intent of bringing the community of Absolutepunk.net the bond that I felt between music and literature. Here you will read stories that should be assumed fictional unless otherwise noted, but contain universal truths and realities that anyone can relate to. My goal is for this to be a creative outlet for me, for you, for us. I envision guest writers from signed and unsigned bands to contribute. I want you, the Ap.net user, to submit your work. A great story can change a person's life. No matter if its origins are the cold and gray of Russia or the wistful plains of Kansas.