The Wanderlust Misfit

Don't Run From Anything, Run Towards Everything

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Androgynous Crackwhores

I was waiting at the bus stop this morning when a woman came walking by. I saw her approaching, ugly as sin, walking with the shoulders going up down up down. I looked away because I hate acknowledging people who are going to ask me for money.

‘S’cuse may sir.’

I looked over at her.

‘Can I have three dollars to buy something to eat?’

‘No sorry, I only have two dollars for the bus, ma’am.’

‘Oh okay then, sorry ’bout that.’

This woman was carrying a coat, a very expensive looking, gold colored coat, so that when she was far enough down the block I remarked to the guy next to me, ‘Pretty nice coat she’s got, huh?’ Meaning, how the hell is she going to ask for food money when she’s wearing all this nice stuff.

‘You mean he’s got a nice coat.’

‘Say what?’

‘That was a dude.’

I laughed.

‘I saw her walking up and she knew not to ask me, man.’ He told me how he’d once been hooked on crack, that he could see it in her, or him, in an instant. But this guy wasn’t some burned out crack-head. He went on telling me how he’d been hooked, couldn’t pay his bills and finally decided he’d had enough of it. He was out. He quit. Now he’s got a nice apartment across the street from the beer store. But hell, he ain’t living on the streets waddling around as a chick.

‘Hey, it’s personal responsibility man.’

‘You exactly right. If you wanna live on the streets and do crack, that’s your thing, not my problem. If you wanna keep your apartment and be able to feed yourself then get off the shit, or else you’re begging all day. You gotta make the choice man, I did it.’

 

Our Distant Cousins

     I’d like to mention first that I am not a crazy alien conspiracy kind of guy, that these ideas are out there, but that that is all they are, ideas, ideas that wobbled into my head.

    Posit for a moment that human beings are the only intelligent beings, the only beings with reason or free will in the entire Universe. Follow then the idea that perhaps it is our only purpose to spread our free will throughout the Universe*. It is a radical idea, but one we can nonetheless disprove until, if we ever do, encounter extraterrestrial intelligence.

I’m sure you are all familiar with ideas about panspermia and the theories (if you watch the History Channel haha!) about aliens bringing life to Earth. I’ll speak nothing about where I stand on the these ideas and say only that perhaps we are not the first humans to inhabit the Universe. And if this is true, is it wild to believe, considering the above stated, that extraterrestrials brought life to Earth to carry out their only purpose? And that in fact we are descendants, so to speak?

If we ever do span out and populate the wider Universe chances are that genetic engineering will play a pivotal role in preserving the human race. We cannot expect each planet we wish to inhabit to possess an atmosphere exactly like Earth’s; exactly 78% Nitrogen and 20% oxygen, the comfortable temperatures, and the exact minerals and vitamins that we need we survive. That is where genetics plays its pivotal role: in allowing us to genetically alter ourselves so that we can breath 43% nitrogen, survive without certain vitamins and minerals and instead be able to live from the minerals and vitamins and gases that inhabit said planet. Altering the genetic make-up of an individual will ultimately affect his cognition, and probably lessen it. So what we would, will, have to do is to breed genetic variations of ourselves that can survive in an alien environment and at the same time, while not being nearly as smart as we are, still have the capabilities to learn and grow intellectually, to intellectually evolve if you will.

So is it not possible that an ancient race, distantly related to us across the vast Universe, dropped off genetically altered members of its species to inhabit and thrive on Earth? Giving them the physical characteristics they needed to survive while preserving enough basic intelligence that, over the millenia, they could intellectually evolve and rule the planet? Could these extraterrestrial cousins of ours have left us a notice of sorts?

I’ll leave you with this:

You’ll have to find some wild   stretch of your imagination to picture    the bottom of his jaw –>

The Horn of Africa as the brow, sloping down to the eye socket, protruding into the nose and coming down to the chin, back up the west coast to complete the jaw and up to the base of the skull to the top of the head.

 

* I’ve come to develop an understanding of the Universe where free will can only exist between order and chaos, Newtonian and Quantum mechanics, the two halves of the Universe if you’ll have it. The idea then is that we, being of free will, exist in a sort of balance and pull the two separate halves of the Universe together, through our being. With this idea it makes a little more reason, that we only exist to balance the Universe, and that by spreading ourselves, our free will, we balance the Universe on a larger scale.

Whatever Suits Your Tailor

Instead of saying, ‘Whatever floats your boat’,  I’m going to coin the phrase, ‘Whatever suits your tailor.’  I can’t wait to start using it, and then of course hearing other people use it. I tend, or at least did, at times, to catch myself using phrases and words, saying things in ways that I would recognize as the syntax of a close friend and I would realize that this persons mannerisms have rubbed off on me. But when I hear people using phrases or syntax I know to be unique to me? That’s always interesting. And a little ego-bloating. But hey, whatever suits your tailor.  (Not really the best time for it, but I couldn’t resist!)

Homeless

Everyone’s been haggled by some haggard homeless hobo and we all know the sight of the destitute old man who smells like shit, sitting among his trash bags of belongings and begging everyone who walks by for change. I’ve been around the homeless before, I used to volunteer in Newark, NJ at a soup kitchen, but I stopped going when the director was hit in the head with a hammer giving a bum a hotdog. And in Morgantown when I attended West Virginia University there was always a fleet of meth-addled grubbers every night asking the thousands of comparatively wealthy college kids for a dollar. (Does anybody remember Homeless Homer? I saw him in Miami last year and he did have a Maserati.)

The homeless in Columbus are an infestation. Ask anyone. Half of the bums aren’t even homeless. Just dead-beats piggy-backing on whatever they con people into giving.

I opened my door this morning and the first thing I see is a black guy standing in the sidewalk with a white guy. The guy turns around, sees me, and before I’m even out of my apartment this guy go ‘Yooo! My brother, what’s going on?’ as if he knows me and I as if I wouldn’t facilitate his capitulation if given lawful means. He walks up my stoop to my door as I’m locking up (I made sure the deadbolt was secure) and he starts talking to me like he’s my best friend, coming up with his hand out for a handshake. I stiffed him. He got defensive as if I didn’t have that right. ‘Woah, woah! Don’t be like that, man. I’m just a guy.’ I ask him three times what he wants and finally he says, ‘Me and my bro here are from Mississippi we was wonderin’ if you could help us out, help us get on the bus.’ I quickly tell him no. I despise this man. I feel every inch of my flesh just curdle from intense, not even pity, because you can’t feel pity for a despicable rodent, but curdle with disgustful loathing. As if I myself am rotting away just from being in contact with this, perversion of humanity. I quickly tell him no, he gets defensive again, I start walking away and he asks, ‘Well, can I get a cigarette?’ It sickens me how ‘people’ exist in a mind-frame where they think people will just give them things. I had the moral integrity and impetus to improve the city of Columbus this morning, to make its streets seem a bit more, human; unfortunately I lacked the legal standing.

I was standing in front of Travonna’s Coffee House one evening, smoking a cigarette. A man walked up to me and asked if he could have my lighter. I told him he could borrow it real quick to light a cigarette, but that I certainly was not going to let him ‘have’ my lighter. ‘Aw why not, man? Why can’t you just help me out?’ It wasn’t a cigarette he needed to light, he wanted to have my lighter so he could light a joint he had. Why don’t you just buy a lighter? ‘I can’t, man.’ Go across the street and get a pack of matches then. ‘They won’t give me matches no more, man.’ What I failed to understand here, and I think this is a point he entirely missed, was how did come across this joint, how did he get the pot, and not be able to afford 99 cents for a book a matches?

There is one homeless guy I’ve given money to on a few occasions. It’s this older white man and for whatever reason my empathy towards this man was something I rarely find towards the homeless. He came across as compassionate, upstanding, morally sound. His eyes were wilted and he seemed broken to be having to ask; he didn’t come across, nor could I find a way to compare this man, to those other worthless pieces of shit that plague humanity. This man was not one of those predatory creatures that only try to take and take and take whatever they can get through coercing and intimidating a seemingly small and naive white kid as he leaves his apartment in the morning. I was asked by a ‘homeless’ pathetic creature for money one afternoon as I left a small eatery. He came up and asked for money and instantly I knew this man had no regard for anyone but himself, that had no concern for society and just wanted whatever people would give him, what he felt he deserved. I told him no and he says ‘But I just saw you eating in there!’ I really hoped he was hungry as shit. Then I saw the older white man with the puppy-dog face, the eyebrows turned up in the middle, his face creased but still soft walking along the sidewalk. He asked me if I could spare some change with such hopeless pity in his voice that I emptied my pockets. I stared straight at the pathetic creature as I gave this man a handful of crumpled singles and a bunch of change.

What I’m trying to work out here is why some people deserve my help and others don’t. I can put it as such: those who need will be given, those who only want I will gladly watch rot. There are people in this city (trust me, I’ve spent nights in seedy places) who don’t give a shit to do anything with their lives. These people are completely content just hanging out all day, doing as they please, contributing nothing to anybody but only to their own pleasures, getting by on whatever they get weasle out of people. And again, trust me, a lot of these pathetic worms intentionally target the small, the nervous, those who seem easily scared, students coming back from class, because these ignoramuses feel they can intimidate us. But this one, older white man did none of this, does none of this. He got a voice full of sorrow and a friendly face nonetheless.

All in all, to tie this up, being in Columbus has festered just this gross contempt of the homeless, especially the arrogant ignoramuses like the stoop-rhesus that accosted me on my way out this morning.

Tip: this was given to me by a colleague — when a bum approaches you quickly ask them for a dollar before they get the chance.

Strange Children

In Discovery Channel’s ‘Alien Planet‘ at 19:30 the guy, Christopher Kitts, compares robots exploring an alien world to children; that like children the robots have to learn what to touch and what not to touch, what in their environment is harmful to them and what isn’t. But to imagine, if we are to give to robots the issuance of what is childhood — innocence, as this man seems to do? … And with that does not come morals, certainly? And if a being can have morality it must stem from choice, that he makes a choice and chooses the moral action, that he uses reason to decide right action upon a cusp… he intends Liberty!

The Job Hunt

I walked at least six miles yesterday. I had a 10 a.m. interview at a place called ProLogistics. What they do is find people who need jobs and match them with warehouses that need workers and maintain the symbiotic balance that allows the world to keep spinning. I saw their ad on Craigslist.com and applied online. Then, two days ago as I walked around town searching for the unicorn of gainful employment, Prologistics called me and said they had a position at a warehouse that paid $10/hr for four, 10hr shifts a week. They said the position was open, that it was a third-shift job, meaning it’s overnight hours, in this case 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., cleaning the warehouses, sweeping the floors and what not, and they asked if I was interested in the position. ‘Yes, definitely,’ I told her, trying to sound immensely interested but without coming across as desperate for the job. $400 a week? That’s in one week I’d have enough for month’s rent and food. Then I could save the rest for a few months and go somewhere else. I went back to the apartment, finished the online applications like they’d asked me to, and then I called the woman back and she set me up for an appointment the next morning, 10 a.m. yesterday, because they needed me to begin working that Thursday, the day after the appointment.

I woke up at 6 yesterday. I needed time to commute. The Prologistics office was across the street from a wheat field and I live in the center of Columbus. Luckily, the Columbus bus company, COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority) has a bus route going all the way out to Groveport, the town that the wheat field was in. After yelling at COTA’s website I realized, unfortunately, that the bus to Groveport left in the morning and never returned till the evening, taking people to work in Columbus and bringing them home. Luckily, I found a bus that drove down Alum Creek, a main road connecting Columbus to some other wheat fields, but none-the-less passing by the road to Groveport. So I figured, ‘what the heck?’ I’ll take the bus down Alum Creek, get off and walk the two miles down Groveport Road to Groveport.

7 a.m. I took an excursion on foot through the ghetto. Black people sleep late I’m guessing, which I was vaguely thankful for. I needed to catch the bus way down 5th Avenue East, way past the train tracks which are so far out I didn’t know they were there. The bus stop seemed a lot closer when I checked it on my laptop and I ended up walking two miles before it was 8 a.m. The bus finally picked me up, drove through the ghetto and dropped some kids off at school and headed down Alum Creek. All was going smooth and I was the last person on the bus when the driver turns onto a side street, pulls to the shoulder and turns the bus off. ‘Why are we stopping?’ I asked him. ‘As far as it goes.’ ‘The bus doesn’t go any farther down Alum?’ ‘Not till later. I think another bus comes up in an hour.’ I don’t have that time. The damn bus is at least a mile from Groveport road, so fuck, now I’m walking this too. Of course a bridge has the cross the highway, that makes sense, but why wouldn’t they have a sidewalk, or at least a footpath, so that people  can get across the highway? I walked across this bridge along a three foot wide shoulder, vans and cars blistering past and the tractor trailers, I could feel their wind pulling me forwards, sucking at me and I felt if I let go I’d be sucked under the wheels and there’s the end to this story.

I walk the three or four miles to this logistics place and I get there on time. A man out front is smoking a cigarette and he asks if I was the guy walking down Alum. It took me a moment to hear what he said (I had been pronouncing it alum-ni. He said it al-um.) He said he’d seen me walking across the bridge and offered me a ride back which I gratefully accepted, shook his hand and went inside to check in. I filled out some forms and the guy I’d just spoken with plus several more people, white and black, male and female, were seated in the lobby. They took us all back at once, administered basic tests for basic skills, showed a safety video and piss tested everyone. I hadn’t been aware there would be a piss test, well I’d known the night before, but not the night’s prior-to so I’d figured the night before that I was screwed anyway if they did piss test, so I smoked. I pissed in the cup, secured the lid and tilted it over for 30 seconds. Then the woman came in to check the results on the lid. I asked her if I’d passed. ‘Why is there some reason you wouldn’t pass?’ ‘No, no, I was just wondering, I didn’t know how to read them [the results].’ I was nervous and fumbling for an answer and I tilted the cup upside-down in my hands, fumbling with it as I spoke and some piss leaked out, dribbled on my hands and dripped onto my boots. The moment’s frozen forever, I watched her watch the piss drip all over my hands. ‘No, no, I was just wondering.’ They had been so adamant in the beginning that if you knew you would fail the drug test, to leave and not waste everybody’s time. They sent us back to the lobby and one by one began calling people into the back for interviews. One by one through fifteen people and I was the last. Finally a woman called me in. She offered me an entry level job at a warehouse, 6 a.m. to 4, sweeping floors and such for $8.50/hr. ‘Okay, I’ll take it.’ She gave me all the information, said to be there at the warehouse at 6 a.m. and to tell them I was the new Prologistics trainee, or something like that. ‘Awesome, thank you so much.’ I was grateful to have a job. I looked at the address where I’d be working and it was in Groveport, six in the morning in Groveport in some little wheat field back-ass town that no buses would ever logically run to. Great. I didn’t say anything, hoping that when I got back to my apartment I’d find a way to take the bus out there. The guy who’d offered me the ride was long gone so there I was hiking back up the road. It was gorgeous out. Cool breeze and a bright, warm sun. Perfect spring afternoon in the middle of February. Three miles later my legs were rags and I was smoking a cigarette at the bus stop. The bus ride took an hour and I didn’t get back till around 4. It took me roughly nine hours to secure a job in which, as it turned out, there was no physical way of me getting to. The necessary buses don’t begin running until close to six, well after when I’d need them. I called back and told the woman I couldn’t take the job. She sounded pissed, frustrated because my failure to have reliable transportation meant more work before she could leave. She hung up before I could ask if there were other job openings.

In good news, ‘Citizen Whores’ seemed to be well like by the writing workshop I’m now going to attend more frequently. The only solid criticism I received was that it was too up-front, to strong handed about what it’s saying, which is how I’d written it, and they at the workshop wanted something where they had to think to find the meaning, maybe a last line that ties the message together and makes them say ‘Ah-ha!’ But, it seems perhaps it’s good enough to find a political audience, but if I want the audience more diverse I’ll have to bury the message a bit.

Did You Ever?

I put a record on, put the vinyl of Toro Y Moi on the record player and went upstairs, where I put Led Zeppelin blasting on Pandora on my laptop. They didn’t synchronize. And I’m glad.

I was reading an Edgar Allen Poe anthology, got halfway through ‘The Black Cat’ and began reading an Anton Chekov anthology, till I got to the middle of ‘The Huntsman’.

I’ve never read an entire novel. I’ve read 87 different novels.

Did you ever watch all of The Godfather? Part One? Good for you. I saw all three in two hours.

I’ve never read an entire news article. Two hundred dollars says I’m more versed in current events.

I’ve never had one girlfriend. Three barely keep me interested.

I had seven different majors, I’m on my eighth. I can’t wait until sophomore year is over.

I spend six hours a day on the internet, and that doesn’t include my handheld.

I can’t wait till the implant is in my head. I’ll never be bored then.

The Story of Life

Why do I feel I need to write stories where the meaning lies deep, hidden in the brush and that I must make the reader dig for the truth? Why did Hemingway believe that a good story was like an iceberg, where at the surface was only a small part of the meaning and the vast majority of meaning was beneath the water, so to speak? Why is it that all Chekov stories make the reader think and dig to understand the meaning of the story? I’ve tried to rationalize all of this and the only conclusion I can see is a congruence to the meaning of life: the greater mysteries of life and the Universe are mysteries  because they are not clear and easy to see; to understand life you must dig deep, and I think this is reflected in those great works of literature.

New Books

Today began like most days for me, my alarm went off at the sprightful hour of 7 a.m., I changed it to 8 a.m., then hit the snooze for an hour and a half. I had a few sexy dreams during all of this and so I had to take care of that before I could rightfully begin my day. Breakfast took me an hour. I ate soup and yogurt because I still have a bit of Thrush. It’s cleared up well but there are these two spots left, way back and underneath my tongue in little pockets of oral flesh I didn’t realize even existed. They still make it hard to chew but they’re getting quite better. I read the news while I ate and got frustrated by world events and the unconstitutional incompetence of our (s)elected officials.

Then it was 11:30. I tried to get started on Petals of Thought but I need to revamp it almost entirely and I felt it a waste of time for the moment, I’ll get to it later when the more ‘important’ stories are out of the way. I started to write a story about states’ rights but got stuck and decided to go to the Ohio State University Library. I hadn’t been out of the apartment much since having thrush, and I thought it’d be good to go write somewhere else. Before I left I took a list of books I wanted from the library, they were all about short stories and writing fiction. I asked my roommate to borrow his student id so I could get the books, but he said he owed them 300-something dollars for god-know-what so that was out of the question. So I went to the library, wrote a bit, stopped, found the books I wanted and read for a while, writing and taking notes for the story I’m working on. A few years back I conceived a plan to steal books from, well, anywhere. All you need to do is peal off the sensor sticker with the barcode, it’s usually on the back or inside the back cover, this way the alarms won’t go off when you walk out. This is how I got two books today.

In other news, me and roommate began growing pot in the closet.

Dropping Mountains

The majority of work I’ve done since mid-November has gotten me nowhere, will never see a printed page. But that isn’t to say the bulk of this has not helped me grow as a writer. 50-some odd pages I wrote for the novel, and not one will be used. I wrote five chapters and decided to scrap it all, to rework the entire story-line.

What did I learn from all this? How to write. How to sit down and write through for twelve hours. How to sit down and focus and hear or see nothing else but the words of the Universe that sits in my head. I learned how to find a flow, how to write consistently in a single voice, with a single style, with a certain groooove. (Perhaps I’ll post some excerpts.) I wrote five god-damn chapters and scrapped them all. Sometimes you must dig halfway through the mountain, watch the whole fucking thing collapse, and realize it’s much simpler to climb over the rubble. It’s annoying, but you realize that what you’re doing is all the better for it, that without the disaster failure would have been much more tangible.

I did finish a couple of short stories though, I’ll post them after this. One is called “Citizen Whores” and the other is “StreetWalks” and I’ve just remembered about “Reasons”.

“Citizen Whores” is politically charged, which is where I find lots of energy. It’s a trip though, and I kind of saw it as a graphic novel in my head first, with lots of attention to detail, the settings and appearances of the characters. I would like to continue to write politically charged stories, because, again, this is where I find a great deal of my energy, in the simple yet sublime idea that the purpose of being human is the power of choice. I’ve lined up a few story-lines about small government and libertarian policies, but the roadblock I’ve driven up to is my own desire to write a realist, minimalist short story, something that drives a poignant point but with such subtlety as that you’d never expect it. With such themes as those I plan to write, it’s hard to script a simple, realist story — the ideas are too complex. How do you subtly convey the idea of states’ rights in a simple, realistic dialogue? I’ll give it whack I suppose.

Morning Beats

7:00 a.m.  We’ll see how long this lasts. I’ve tried to keep a schedule where I wake up early each morning in the past, and usually I flake out after a couple of days, but here I go again at it, we’ll see how it goes. The idea is to have a longer work day, since I don’t like writing at night. I’d rather sip a beer and read, or else go enjoy a slimmer of social life. This all means of course, that I slept about two hours last night and today is going to be a loooong day.

Part of my plea deal after being arrested was that I attend these three drug and alcohol awareness classes. I went to the first two, and like a ball rolling down a hill and I missed the third. I woke up at 12:30 and decided to go back to sleep instead of catching the bus. I was going to make it up last Wednesday, but then the thrush came out of nowhere (thank you polygala). So I left the instructor a message and I’ll see if he calls back.

It’s my younger brother’s birthday today, 15 I’m pretty sure, so I figured I call him round three or four when he’s out of school. I haven’t talked to anyone back home since Christmas I think, and my mother sent me an e-mail the other day wondering why I hadn’t been in contact. She went on to say how she feels like something is wrong because I left everyone, feels like they did something wrong because I haven’t been staying in touch with everyone. I can’t even explain this to myself clearly and this is one phone call, that I know I have to have, but dread actually having it. What am I supposed to say? I left because I think you’re way of life sucks? Suburbia is boring? Thanks for all the Fish….

Sleep

I love to sleep, I can’t get enough of it, probably because I never get enough of it. I sleep like shit. Here are the Top 5 Reasons I Don’t Sleep (in no order):

1. The bar down the road is blasting music. They don’t close until 2 a.m. and they find it necessary to blast classic rock from speakers mounted on the roof, though everybody at the bar stays inside. Who can fall asleep while listening to ‘Paradise City”? I’m growing close to cutting the wires.

2. I can’t get comfortable. Sometimes it’s too cold. I wrap up the blankets, but then I’m too hot and I take off all my clothes. Then I start sweating and have no clue what’s going on. Perhaps it’s just the bed springs jabbing into my back. I’m going to sell my roommate’s possessions for a new bed.

3. My head won’t stop running. I’ve planned out six story lines for short stories while laying in bed once. Then it was 4 in the morning. I’ve also solved the problems of Quantum Non-Localization in the same fashion, but before 3.

4. I get bored. That’s right, I get bored of trying to fall asleep. Can anybody else lay claim to that? At this point I’ll usually pick-up a book because I’ve heard that helps, or else I’ll jerk-off because I’ve heard that also helps. Invariably I do both and neither helps.

5. I’m hungry. After several hours of laying in bed, pondering the Universe, planning stories and jerking-off, I tend to get hungry. I’ll roll around in bed and try to ignore it because I don’t feel like getting out of bed to go all the way downstairs to find something to eat. At some point, after an hour or so of rolling, I realize the futility and I succumb to the growls of my bowels and go find some food. Then it’s 4 in the morning.

My best night’s sleep comes after copious quantities of beer, but I’ve found that this method of self-induced unconsciousness usually has some unintended consequences when I try and move my head the next morning. Pot is always helpful, but I can’t really afford it all that often. I had a friend in high school who used to punch himself in the head until he would fall asleep, but I’m not to keen to that plan. Usually I’ll just roll around for several hours in that place between sleep and consciousness, where you simultaneously feel on the brink of deep sleep yet completely aware of your surroundings. This usually becomes some crazy lucid dreams, where it’s more like my conscious mind is directing some unconscious movie in my head. Then I see the light coming through the towel over my window. That’s usually when I fall asleep.

Cliff Notes To Hell

  SPOILER ALERT — DO NOT read the following if you’ve yet to read or finish George Orwell’s 1984. —

    Fire Nikki Moustaki and Gilbert Borman because I am pissed at them.  

    Cliff Notes sparked some anger. I’m a third of the way through 1984 and they mention how Winston gets arrested. Are you serious! They were explaining Winston’s dream when O’Neal tells him that they’ll ‘meet where there is no darkness’ and they completely, I mean with no room to misinterpret, come right out and say this foreshadows them meeting in prison. REALLY!! You can say that the literary device is foreshadowing, thankyou, but to tell your audience WHY it is foreshadowing WHILE they are presumably IN THE MIDDLE of reading the novel?!? Why would you do that to a person?! Oh, well, his dream about the field foreshadows him and the mysterious girl Julia falling in love. REALLY? The last time I use Cliff Notes, period, end of story, since I already know what it is. Cliff Notes doesn’t even give you a head’s up, there are no ‘foreshadow’ sections, it’s right in the paragraphs explaining the rest of the literary devices used by the author.

Perhaps Cliff Notes should gather this advice if they regard retaining customers a good business plan: Don’t spoil novels. People use Cliff Notes, Sparks Notes and company as supplements to their reading, to make sure they don’t miss important meanings and symbols, to study the literary methods of the authors; to learn how to improve their own writing. Your customers read these notes in tandem with the novel the notes pertain to, there is little point in reading them once the novel is over you stupid, idiot, fuck-ups. Ugh!! Why would you ruin 1984 for me? Why? Is it a cruel joke? Do your respective sexual organs tingle when you drop conspicuous novel spoilers right in the middle of fascinating interpretations of scenes? Go blow hard. Spark Notes has found a loyal customer through simple lack of competent competition. Fuckers.

After Post Addition: There are also a lot scenes, dialogue, phrases and hints that scream significance yet are never analyzed or even briefed. Cliff Notes, after using you for only a single book I’m going to go ahead and say, ‘You suck.’

Porny

Why don’t porn sites use the phrase ‘Feeling Porny’?

CNN: The Activists

Journalists are supposed to give voices to the voiceless, the small, unimportant people that society largely ignores. But at what point does that become activism for a cause? Where does that turn into subjective journalism? Where does it shed all pretensions of ethical journalism? To answer those questions, when the journalism is not news.

On the front page of CNN.com today, the first link in the Featured section is a photo gallery titled Photos: Faces of Immigration. Curious about what the faces of everyday Americans look like? Take a break from reading strenuous articles about actual events and allow CNN to subconsciously reform your political and social perspectives.

As a clarifier, the author is not anti-immigration, only anti-mind control.

After Post Addition: I left the above ideas in the comments bar of the photo gallery, and someone who referred to themselves as “J” suggested that I didn’t hold editorials to be news. In answer I responded that the purpose of an editorial is to persuade and sway the opinions people hold about a certain issue, and that in an editorial this purpose is always clearly defined and made known. I don’t feel as if the intentions of this gallery were clearly stated, if at all, and it seems to me as a coy method of influencing opinion. Imagine the dullard who clicks through the gallery(I realize we’re all dullards, but I mean the ‘more dull’) and thinks of the pictures as no more than portraits of people in interesting settings. There is nothing here that mentions ‘illegal’ immigration, and perhaps this only came about  in my own head, but I felt that was the message CNN was trying to push, that ‘illegal’ immigrants are people too. Therefore, by not stating the opinion they were attempting to sway, they acted unethically.

Wow, so much more written the second time around.

Polygala & Thrush

I always thought my eyes looked cool green. Normally they’re hazel, but whenever I’m stoned or have the general ‘red eye’ they look green to me. I was looking in the mirror and my eyes were tearing and ‘oh, shit, here it comes again’ so I crouched back over the bathtub and tried to get it all out. I could see the brown flecks and the green bits from the spices, and these white chunks I figured were pieces of my stomach lining (they were pieces of cheese), all mixed into the orange and yellow and brown in the bottom of the bathtub — the tub is an easier target than the toilet. I thought it burned on the way down, it was twice as bad coming back up. And the taste would linger in my mouth and that would only make me want to puke again because it’s like having to constantly smell the very liquor that made you sick in the first place. Except I hadn’t drank liquor that night.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a problem: substance abuse. I’m not embarrassed to say it because I need to face it. I need to quit messing around because one of these days I’m going to seriously injure or kill myself and I wouldn’t be too pleased with either of those outcomes. We were watching the Superbowl, drinking beer and eating pizza and when it was over I found myself back at the apartment all by myself. I was drunk, I was in party mode, and I didn’t feel like going to bed, so I began to look for a way to get high. On top of the refrigerator are three rows of little glass jars, each containing a different spice or herb that my roommate uses to make tea. Some of these spices are rather potent and in large enough doses will make a person high. He had been telling me about the polygala root he bought the other day, that it really has some intoxicating properties. So I picked up the little glass jar with the brown sticks in it and crunched down on a piece. It was bitter, but I figured if I wanted the full effects I would have to eat more. My greedy little fingers in the  polygala jar, pulling out the crunchy brown sticks that were bitter to the point that they made my mouth burn, crunching away any feelings of guilt that should be associated with eating all of someone’s tea mix, because I was going to be high, baby. About half way through my mouth was hurting, sore from those bitter little sticks. But I was already halfway through so I figured I’d just eat all the rest.

Go ahead and Google ‘polygala root’. The first result to come up reads ‘Use of Polygala root must be cautiously monitored, as milkwort is toxic in large dosages.’ You don’t even have to click on it, it’s right there, and I’m sure you’re guessing I didn’t Google polygala before eating an entire jar of it, and I’m sure you’re guessing where this is all headed.

My mouth was on fire and I crunched down on the last few sticks. Then I fell asleep on our slouch (our couch is more of a long ottoman or cushioned bench with pillows propped against the wall so we coined a new term for it), woke up a few hours later with a stomach ache, my mouth still on fire, and went upstairs into my bed where I fell right back to sleep. Then it was 6:00 a.m. and I was rolling around in my bed trying to get comfortable because I could feel something welling up inside of my stomach and it hurt. Finally I jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom and passed the toilet with the piss and pubes all around the rim and swished open the shower curtain and got down on my knees and puked. It wasn’t lovely. For the next, say, eight hours I kept having to puke and so I kept myself bedridden, watching TV shows and movies on my laptop in bed the entire day, rolling around the whole time to make my stomach comfortable.

My mouth hurt. I wasn’t getting sick anymore and I figured that the burning soreness in my mouth was just leftover from puking up the bitter polygala. I couldn’t eat nor open my mouth without my gums and tongue hurting, so eventually I looked at my mouth in the mirror and noticed it was all white; my tongue, the insides of my cheeks were white, the far back of my tongue was yellow and the saliva formed strands that looked like cottage cheese. I didn’t think much of it at first but it became worrisome and I looked up the symptoms on WebMD and sure enough I had Thrush.

Thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth caused by Candida, a bacteria that is found naturally in your mouth. But when the other bacteria in your mouth die off for some reason or another, the candida thrives and you develop a yeast infection. Wonderful. Yeast in my mouth. The same stuff that causes certain yellowy discharges is now thriving in my mouth. I looked into it and it turns out Thrush is easily treatable without seeing a doctor; most cases clear up just by rinsing your mouth out with hydrogen peroxide (1 part hydrogen peroxide, 3 parts warm water). It also works with using salt water. I went out and picked up a few quarts of yogurt, aiming for the brand (I bought Chobani Greek Yogurt because it contains acidophilus which I kept reading was the best) with the most forms of natural bacteria to help balance out the bacteria in my mouth. I also got some orange juice and frozen fruit juice and ice pops because it’s hard to eat, your mouth is covered in sores and everything tastes like ass.

So here’s my routine for the next few days: rinse my mouth, eat yogurt, brush my teeth and repeat every two hours. Also, try to talk to as few people as possible, lest they notice the white tip of my tongue!

 

 

Risk

I began this blog as a catalog of sorts, a journal where to write experiences and thoughts as I try and navigate the world and find whatever it is I decide it is that I’m looking for — I suppose I still have lots of thinking to do.

I want to write a book, a novel which I’ve already titled The I. Will. To achieve this in a most noble fashion I dropped out of college and quit my two part-time jobs. Then I left everyone and everything behind and moved to Columbus, where I am currently typing all of this. I decided I want to be a writer and I’ve got all my eggs in one basket, it’s swim or drown and I completely wanted it this way — to possess a capacity for greatness there must exist an equal capacity for failure. And that’s what this is about. Everything was peachy perfect and whatever I needed was provided for me and I hated it. I threw it away.

I would like to continue on across the country and my original plan had been to go to Los Angeles. It’s still an option and a possibility I wish to extend, but for the time I think I’m here. I don’t plan to make Columbus my home, I already know where that is and it isn’t what I’m looking for, but cash runs short and a cushion is something I regrettably, pathetically, feel a need to maintain. I figure I can get a job here for a little while and possibly build up some cash, maybe even sell a few short stories. When I first got here it was only about the novel but I’ve since hit a snag — I know I can make it better and that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve stepped away from the novel for a couple weeks while I rethink the story-line. I figured I can write short stories in the meantime and possibly get a few published.

This was originally intended to be the post where I explain what this blog is about. I suppose unrelated tangents is now that answer. Go Giants.

Prison.

I thought that for my first ever blog post, it would prudent and wise and awesome to write about my short tenure in the Columbus, Ohio prison system. Part One of Several. Enjoy!

An elderly couple walked in the front doors. They crossed the empty lobby, their shoes echoing off the shiny marble floors, and got in line between the rope barriers. Then they kept walking up to the front window because no one was in line between the rope barriers. A dark-skinned man in a trench coat was standing in front of a vending machine and he bent down to collect his items. He walked out through the front door, saying ‘Take it easy’ to the young gentleman seated by the door. ‘Take care,’ the young gentleman offered in return. The young gentleman was dressed in a tan cargo overcoat, an old pair of blue jeans and a pair of beat up boots. His hair was cropped short, he smelled a little funky and the whiskers on his face were messy from not shaving. He held a cautious, reserved smile and began to whistle a Creedence tune. He heard the phone in his pocket go off. “Hey, you hear?” he said. He kept the phone to his ear as he walked out of the lobby and onto the sidewalk. “You see me? Yeah, I see you.” He stood on the sidewalk and watched a black two-door pull up. The concrete and glass façade loomed tall behind him, the falling streaks of drizzling rain caught in the yellow spotlights that were pointed up at the front of the building. It was dark and he shivered because the rain was cold and he stepped off the curb to walk to the car. ‘Franklin County Corrections Center’ hung high above the doors behind him. He got in the car. “Thanks for coming to get me.” “No problem.” “Dude, what a fucking ordeal.” “Yeah, I want to hear the story.”

Here goes…

I was at Stoobe’s on Sunday, watching the Giants beat the 49er’s for the NFC Championship title. I was there myself since you had bailed to go to your girlfriend’s sister’s, and I still know nobody else in Columbus. So there I sat at the bar, drinking beer and watching football and scribbling in my journal. The game ended, I still didn’t feel that drunk, and I took a couple shots of whiskey. I don’t remember what time I left the bar, but the plan had been to watch some TV shows, Louie, in particular, at the apartment while I finished the PBR’s in the fridge. I had even procured a paperclip from the bartender for the means of scraping resin from my bowl. Then my cheek was against the cold side of cop car, my legs were spread and these very uncomfortable bracelets that I could hear clanking were slapped on my wrists and pulled very tight. Then they pulled me by my hands so that those bracelets bruised my poor wrists and tossed me into the back seat. I looked out the window and saw my bedroom window. I was in a police car in front of the empty lot next to my little brick apartment building. The two arresting officers climbed in then and I tried to plead, saying that was my apartment, look, right there that’s my apartment. But they would none of this young gentleman’s pleas. I was pretty angered that they had really just arrested me because I knew I had done nothing wrong to anyone, had caused not the slightest trouble to anyone. But looking back I don’t know why they had stopped me to begin with. Like I said, I can’t remember leaving Stoobe’s or the half block walk I had almost finished back to my apartment. Police in Columbus don’t normally stop people for being drunk, there’s just too many drunk people and plenty more worrisome individuals to cite people for a few drunk stumbles. So either injustice was served and this young gentleman was stopped for a few stumbled steps, or my feet were all over the place and my half a block stroll had become a half hour meander, but I doubt the latter. The other possibility is that I had provoked the cops in some manner or another as they drove by. There had been in my head for some time the idea that I had never been arrested. I’d been picked up once before, I’d received handfuls of citations and tickets, even the odd warrant at one point, but I’d never been arrested. This manifested itself as some unsightly, unconscious wish to be arrested, a consciously repressed desire to able to say that, yes, I’d been to jail once. Another notch on my belt, another experience to log in the adventures, another accolade to pin with pride on my lapel. So I may have provoked the cops. I may have done something stupid to provoke the cops. I may intentionally done something incredibly filthy moronic and idiotic to provoke the cops. This young gentleman may have been shouting profanities from the sidewalk, may have been throwing middle fingers and obscenely waving insulting gestures as the cop car drove by. But, as the saying goes, if you’re piss drunk and can’t remember, then nothing embarrassing happened and there’s no need for shame. “That’s definitely not a saying.” “Yes it is.” “I know for a fact I’ve never heard that. No one’s ever heard that.” “Hey, um, story here.” Of the arresting officers, one was a younger guy, 20-something and a fresh face, and the other officer was an older woman with faded red hair and lines of hardened seriousness running down her cheeks, and around her eyes, and dry lines of fed-up anger across her brow. I don’t remember much of what they said to me, or I to them, but when they told me I was being arrested for possession of bath salts I flipped the angry switch. What, that’s bullshit! I bought them right around the corner. You can’t be serious, I bought them from the store, they’re not illegal, you can’t arrest me for something I legally purchased, I didn’t even use them! They are illegal, they told me. Then I went off on the woman officer, I was drunk and angry and I needed to vent. She was the easy target. You dried up old cunt! Fuck you you angry old bitch! Fuck you. I tired myself out and tried to get comfortable in the back seat. It felt like we sat for hours while the officers ran my information, and chatted with the other four officers that had arrived for back-up, the necessary reinforcements required to retain one little, light-skinned, young gentleman. In the back of a squad car you can’t really sit comfortably, not with handcuffs your back. It you try to sit back in the seat the handcuffs dig into your wrists and it is just unbearable, especially with the cuffs so tight that they hurt without the additional pressure. So I had to sit sideways, leaning forward so that my hands wouldn’t be pressed against the cushions. I could see my bedroom window and the handcuffs bruised my wrists. The back of my hand is still half numb, tingles when I touch the bump, still…. I’m guessing the cuffs pinched a nerve. I sat with my forehead against the window and I could see my bedroom window as we pulled away.

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