Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I Dare You To Look Up

beams of grey and light of gray,
crossing through this winter day,
come to dance along the line
and tune your balance far more fine
than those walking below on clay.

--
An important distinction: in my head, grey and gray are two different colors or hues, grey being closer to black (about 75%) and gray being closer to white (about 25%). I also pronounce them slightly differently: grey has more of an "eh" sound, while gray has a much longer and harder "ay" sound. When read as if they are two distinct colors, the first line becomes less repetitive, as the mind recognizes them as homonyms instead of synonyms.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Breakfast At Dawn, Battle Soon After

when there's nothing more to eat,
I'll consider love a fancy treat;
swatting at your affectionate skin,
I wonder, who will win?

when there's nothing more to drink,
I'll consider loving where you're pink,
where I've gone a shade too deep:
my tongue will apologise for me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Counting Seconds (Mature)

Mature Content
--

"It's the police. Andrew Edwards, open the door."

I'm sitting in my favorite chair, playing one of my favorite video games. I've been here for hours, except for short breaks for food, drink, and bathroom.

"Andrew Edwards. Open the door."

They pound again. I'm coming, I'm coming. Hold your horses.

"This is the police."

I heard you the first time. I'm standing, stretching my knees, elbows, arms, back, before looking through the peephole. One is leaning back to kick the door. Hold on, I shout again, I'm opening the door. He puts his foot down.

"You're coming with us. You're under arrest for the murder of Charlene Provitt. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

They continue, but I'm not listening anymore. My body is limp, limbs as loose as they could be after hours of sitting in place. My ankles are cold, I'm sockless in my slippers, and it's mid-January. There's an inch of light snow on the ground, and the moon is up.

"Watch your head."

I duck and slide into the backseat. The police department is less than a mile away, so I'm not worried. My wrists are aching, under-stretched and cuffed behind me. The two officers in the front seats were silent, radio turned down low. I close my eyes and count the turns and the seconds.

"Come on, out you go."

I haven't said a word since opening the door, and they haul me down brightly lit hallways into a medium brightness room. A mirror dominates one wall. I sit in the chair facing it, let my head rest on my chest and close my eyes.

"You are Andrew Edwards, also known as divby1 and butterflyhuff. Is this correct?"

I open my eyes and lift my head. It's been six hundred seconds and change. Ten minutes. He's sitting opposite me, hands on the table between us.

"We have your poem written on Ms. Provitt's wall, in her blood. We have your short story sitting in her printer, detailing her death. What do you have to say for yourself?"

Kris Trum.

"I'm sorry? Would you speak up, please?"

I turn my head and coughed hard, clearing my throat. Kris Trum, I repeat.

"Kris Trum? Who is that?"

Officer Trum, Sergeant Trum, Mr. Trum, Kris Trum, I want to talk to him.

"Andrew, we've got enough to put you away for a long time. You're not in a bargaining position. We don't even need your confession. This is just a formality."

Kris Trum. Kris Trum. Kris Trum.

"If you're not going to cooperate, we're done here."

He stands, and I drop my head and close my eyes again. The door opens, closes, and fifteen count later I hear hands pressed against the mirror, or the wall, or the door, muffled. Pressed against the other side. The door eases open again, just a crack.

"Fine then. Call him, but it's on your head. We don't need anything more here." "At least get his statement. Go through the rigmarole." "Alright."

The door opened the rest of the way, and then closed again. The chair screeched backwards again, and squeaked to added weight.

"Andrew, we're calling him. Kris Trum. If he comes down, you can talk to him, but it's on your head if you're wasting our time and his. While we wait, I need to know where you were last night, around nine."

I lifted my head and opened my eyes. Kris Trum.

"If we reach him, we'll ask him to come down, but it's up to him whether or not he talks to you. Until then, we need you to cooperate. Where were you last night?"

I haven't spoken in several days, almost a week; I can wait a few minutes and so can you.

"Dammit, Andrew! You can't afford to play games here."

I lowered my head again, closed my eyes again, and stopped listening again. I started counting seconds again. Nine hundred. Eighteen hundred. Thirty-six hundred. The door opened.

"Ace? Ace, what are you doing in here? Can somebody get these cuffs off him, he's no danger to himself or others."

Rough hands grabbed my wrists and keyed them free. I opened my eyes and lifted my head. Mr. Trum.

"I'm here, Ace. What happened?"

I turned my head, coughing, clearing my throat. He turned to the mirror.

"Can we get some water in here, please?"

Not even sixty more counts and there was a bottle setting in front of me. I twisted open the cap, poured a healthy dose down my throat. Thank you.

"You're welcome."

I live alone these days. I haven't been out of my apartment in several days, haven't spoken a word for most of the week... They said they found a poem and a short story of mine at the scene...

"Yes, Ace, they showed them to me. Can you tell me how they got there?"

I write. I express myself better through written word than spoken. I post many of my words online. Sometimes the words are anonymous, sometimes they're under a pseudonym, sometimes I use my publishing name, Ace Edwards. I never use Andrew. Never.

"I don't need to tell you that's enough to find you. I know you know computers."

I do.

"Is there any way you can prove you were in your apartment last night? Any television show you were watching?"

I play video games most of the time, when I'm not on my computer, and I don't have internet access. I was using my phone, though. Someone should be able to check that.

"Can do, can do. Is there anything else I should know, anything they might find in your apartment that might get you in trouble?"

My eyes meet his, but I neither nod nor shake my head. He turns to the mirror again, and draws a hand across his throat. The red light on the camera in the corner turns off. He stands, sits on the table, and leans over close.

"I'm not your lawyer, but you know I'll help you however I can. I don't believe you did this, and if you tell me you didn't do this, I'll believe you."

I didn't do it.

"I believe you. Is there anything in your apartment you don't want found?"

He leans in close and I whisper in his ear: my multimedia collection. Everything is on my phone and my external hard drive.

"Music? Video?"

Yes. Yes. And my porn collection.

"Okay."

He nods, claps my shoulder, stands, and leaves. Before the door closes shut behind him, he turns to me once more.

"I will be back. I promise."

The red light clicks on as the door clicks shut. I lower my head and close my eyes.

--
An experiment in dialog, blurring the lines between internal narration and spoken word.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

You're Not The Prize (Mature)

Mature Content
--

don't open your mouth and ask
don't open your mind and wonder
don't bother--don't gasp--don't stutter
just go back to being last.

I don't like to ask for help,
I don't like to call us friends.
you won't be coming along with me,
you won't be there at the end.

I've been flapping my arms so hard,
but I can't get off the ground.
I've been shooting dirty looks around,
but they're not going very far.

don't close or hide your eyes,
you still won't see my hand.
don't not peek behind the curtain,
you won't see hidden plans.

don't close your mind and forget,
don't close your mouth and hush,
don't get in line, or bother much...
just lay down your final bet.

I Must Be Held Responsible (I Fell In Love First)

no matter our age, we always find death
in the arms of lovers, dreamers, friends.
no matter our promise, our bright shining star,
no matter who we could be, or who we are.

no matter our progress, cold hands reach out,
cupping our warmth, final breath, final shout.
no matter the distance, the carriage always finds
each of us on out fateful night.

for some, it's just time, for some, just cause,
for some, it's counted down to the final pause,
for some, it's foretold with much ado,
for some, it's just them following you.

for me, it's been there for more than six years,
time mostly spent holding back fears.
for me, I'm not counting back days,
time lately spent counting the ways.

in my dreams, I'll be rejoining her,
but I believe there's nothing, no heaven o'er earth;
in my waking, I know I fell in love first,
and losing her, I learned of my curse.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Second-to-Last Mask (Mature)

Mature Content
--

"It's getting late. I should be going." She sat up slowly. "Thank you."

"You're welcome. Do you need to be somewhere tomorrow?"

"No, it's my day off."

I held open my arms. "You can stay if you like. I think this visit has done you some good. I know it has for me."

"I want to but..." She frowned, trying not to say the wrong words.

"You're not comfortable trusting me while you're asleep to not start any funny business."

"It's easier to trust you when I'm awake."

"I'm not offended, but I wonder if I can do something about it."

"Hmm?"

"You know my body will react. I have as much control over that as I've claimed for my imagination. It's been reacting since you stopped by. But we both know that neither of us is looking for that type of thing. Hell, my body has reacted while sleeping next to someone I'm not attracted to, as ugly as me."

"You're not... I mean..."

"I know what you mean. The mind sometimes goes both ways. It wants to stay but fears staying. Let me show you something." I sat up behind her, scrambled around my bed and climbed off, then walked the few paces to my closet. I leaned in, and pulled out a white shirt on a hanger.

"Is that...?"

"Yes. I picked it up last year. Always wanted one and found it on sale. I tried it on once and damn near got stuck. If I wear this..."

"Then you can't do anything."

"You're still free to change your mind in the middle of the night, just please help me out of it before you leave."

She smiled, a rare sight in my presence, when she took off the second to last mask. "This changes everything."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Denial of Service

I got me a carriage
and I hitched up a ride,
pulled up beside a reaper
and invited him inside.

"Now's not yet your time
but still you hurry to go,
pull back the dark curtains,
and let the horses slow.

You'll see her when you're ready,
she'll lead you on your way.
Unless this is a kidnapping,
you will not die today."

"What about tomorrow?"
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "No."

Monday, October 8, 2012

What Are We To Each Other

I don't dare label us as friends, because I'm not even sure I know what friendship is anymore. I have so many different layers of acquaintanceship, but no-one I consider to be a friend. And I see the people I know, more on a scale of gradients than any set categories; there is barely-not-strangers down here, and then you jump up to civil-acquaintances-but-we-don't-talk, and above that is we-can-hold-a-conversation-but-we-don't-have-anything-in-common. Certainly, I suppose if I was forced to divide up groups, then they'd be sub-categorized like that, but I don't. Just like when you look at a rainbow, it doesn't go red, then orange, then yellow; there aren't strict lines between the colors, but a steady gradient, where they mesh and blend and become something that isn't red or orange, but numerous shades and hues in between.

Acquaintances. Friends. Confidants. Dating. Lovers. Significant others.

I don't have any of these. I have people I know and people I don't know. Those are the only two solid categories, and within them are enormous gradients. Like all gradients, it just takes a little extra color to slide up the scale into (what would be for anyone else) "the next stage in our relationship."

But to me, it's all the same. You're still someone I know.

What am I to you?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

These Woods Aren't Lovely, Just Dark and Deep

tired of being alone
but dating will destroy me
tired of being lost
but a map isn't what I need
tired of being cold
but fire will burn me out
tired of moving forward
but behind lies only doubt

tired of being alone
so find another way around
tired of being lost
so stop and listen for the sound
tired of being cold
so warm up gradually
tired of moving forward
so jump up and fly with me,

I'm tired of being alone,
but I don't have any friends,
no-one to talk to
and help me make amends.
I'm tired of being lost,
but I'm not worth being found;
no-thing to keep me present,
give me a reason to stick around.
I'm tired of being cold,
but it's not my body shivering;
my heart is dark and wasted,
so I can hardly feel a thing.
I'm tired of moving forward,
but I don't have anywhere to go;
I made myself a promise...
when I've completed my promise...
I have a lost love to follow.

I don't know how to fix me,
and I can hardly fall apart--
I'm already broken deep inside,
only a mortician can mend my heart.

--
First two lines are not my own.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Home Is Where The Heart Isn't Broken

I've told you about my home before--not my apartment, but where my heart is. Her. The faces of people I'll never see again...

This carnival keeps spinning, keeps dragging me down, telling I shouldn't leave, that I shouldn't want to leave it. Maybe this carnival doesn't take tickets, or maybe it does, but either way, I have to pay in blood and soul and spirit. This might be the perfect or the only world for you, but it will never belong to me. Your heaven's trying everything to break me down...

Why won't you just let me go? Why won't you let me hasten my way home? Why do you insist I must find happiness here? Why are you trying everything to keep me out...?

All I have of here is what I've kept to myself. The pictures and writings that she made, that I set down, stored diligently, that she entrusted to me. There's no grave for me to visit, only a pot of ashes that I have no access to. I know the funeral was supposed to provide closure, but it only closed the doors on my broken heart. The memories of shadows, ink on the page...

And I'm alone. I've tried moving on, but I can't. I've tried loving others, but it's never a complete love. I still love Her; my heart still belongs to Her. All the places I've been and things I've seen...

I can't stop thinking of Her. She's growing stronger again, and I just want to stop resisting and join her. ...a million shattered dreams...

It's not a matter of believing in an afterlife, which, for all these years, I only have for the sake of rejoining her. I don't believe in hell. Either there is the Omega Point, or there is nothingness, I don't care.

I just want the pain to end. I just want to find my way home.

--
Italicized text from Five Finger Death Punch's "Far From Home." I claim no rights to these lines.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Unremarkable

daddy does the stage tricks
and mommy reads the fortune,
sissy likes to fly,
loves dancing with the moon.
auntie speaks to animals,
uncle chats with ghosts,
while I sit here and listen
as they give each other toasts.

for daddy, sleight-of-hand
is cheating through and through;
he claims he does real magic
when he saws his guests in two.

for mommy, good fortunes
are worse than a white lie;
she claims the cards are props,
something for customers to deny.

for sissy, trampolines
are for handicapped swallows;
her feet so light, she claims, for flight,
and bones completely hollow.

daddy does the stage tricks
and mommy reads her tarot,
sissy likes to fly,
air instead of marrow.
auntie speaks to animals,
uncle chats with ghosts,
I wander off to be alone,
while they sit there and gloat.

for auntie, talking to them,
is more body language than voice;
she claims she just listens,
and talking back is their choice.

for uncle, seers and seances
are just a load of bull;
he claims they're talking constantly,
the airwaves always full.

for me, I'm nothing special,
I've got zilch up my sleeves,
listening gets me nothing,
except them bragging in between.

daddy does the stage tricks
and mommy has a crystal ball,
sissy likes to fly,
and I just seem to fall.
auntie listens to animals,
uncle communes with the dead,
I left them to their boasting,
and they didn't hear my tread.

for me, sure, I walk quietly,
but that's just a learned skill;
it's not a gift or anything,
not bending sound waves to my will.

for me, sure, I get forgotten,
but I don't actually disappear;
my family's too busy showing off
to see me when I'm there.

daddy searches his boxes,
while mommy checks her hands,
sissy looks outside,
all without a plan.
auntie asks the spiders,
uncle questions the gods,
but they can't seem to find me,
they won't open their eyes and see me...
I'm just sitting, beating the odds.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Winning (Mature)

Mature Content
--

I can dance in the space between the worlds,
I can create dreams with letters, words,
I can light up the night with hope,
I can swallow the whole spinning earth.

I can decide left or right,
I can decide to stand and fight,
But what hangs beyond my worth
Is seeing beyond this endless blight.

If I finish my work and live in success,
I can appreciate what I've been blessed,
My ability to emotionally write...
...but I'm planning to fail that test.

If I finish my work and end it all,
Make myself win, then let myself fall,
Cut out on a high note no-one would guess.
Achieve my dream and achieve my death.

Better to die win honor pouring in,
Than cut out when the going's getting grim;
I'm planning to when standing most tall,
When the light is brightest, before it goes dim.

I'm going to take my world in my hands,
Take my free will and take my stand,
Take my whuffie and WIN;
Return to my book, my love, my friends.

--
"Whuffie" is a karma-based currency from Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out In The Magic Kingdom."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Emily

This room used to be my world. I would sit, and write, and my eyes to the world outside would come through as post, letters, handwritten and hard-considered, for the cost of paper, patience, and postage. Once, a window, which looked out into a garden of posies, the color in my dim world. This was indeed a prison, but I was-- I am free. The world is imprisoned, and I am here free.

A new window was installed, and now my world is still brighter than ever. The post still comes, in moments instead of days, soon enough that too much thought of consequence goes right out the... well, window.

It's a window to the world, wider than that draped with curtains, more vibrant, more fast paced, more breathless. Sometimes, I yearn for paper and pen, mediums of a slower version of this world, when thought went into every word set down, when the world was smaller, and I felt not so tiny.

But I find myself drowning as much as ever. I can share my art, even as little as I think of some pieces, but I'm floundering in a realm of pictures and movies. My words are sometimes simple, but they tear at my heartstrings, and it takes closing the window to rebuild them.

A photograph takes a moment of attention, a painting a week of patience, a movie a month of planning but a relative moment to record. A poem takes my whole soul, my whole being, my whole likeness, my whole life... and courage. Courage to stand in the darkness long enough to desire the light. Courage to wait in hell long enough to wish for heaven. Courage to feel myself dying, and the world dying around me, and to let it die.

There is no immortality here, though they say everything is kept. Only obscurity, if you cannot find someone or somewhere to be found, read, listened to, understood. Even if they cannot edit the words, they can edit their understanding of them, and sometimes that is too much.

Sometimes, I yearn for my paper, my pens, and ever dream of posies.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dream Journal: 16 Aug 2012 (Mature)


Mature Content
--

When I climbed out of bed, I heard a disappointed moaning behind me.

"No, please don't go. You're so warm."

Surprised, since I live alone and had gone to bed alone, I turned, and saw myself still lying in bed. "What the--"

"Flip? I know, but I don't care. Get back in here."

I sat on the edge of the bed, combing my fingers through other-my's hair.

"Don't speak. We're--"

"The same." I felt my morning wood stir, awakening to true horniness.

Other-me stretched, smiling, and I could see the blanket tenting where theirs had done the same. I laid down, pulling the covers back over us, slid closer, and we kissed.

I kiss pretty good if I can say so myself.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dream Journal: 6 Aug 2012 (Mature)

Mature Content
--

I opened my eyes, and She was Death.

"You're Death, aren't you?"

"I am."

"Once every hundred years."

"That's right."

"Where am I?"

"You're awake now, that's all that matters. Rest, you need to recover your strength. We will have forever together."

I tried not to close my eyes, but they shut of their own accord.

~

I opened them to whiteness. My eyes slowly came to focus, and She was gone. I laid in a hospital bed, in a hospital room, in a hospital. My wrists were restrained.

My mother slept in a chair next to the bed.

"Mom?"

She was awake instantly.

"What am I doing here?"

"You tried to kill yourself." She brushed my brow. "You're okay now. We'll talk later."

"No."

"I'm sorry?"

"No I didn't try to kill myself. I suc--"

"It's alright. We'll talk later. There are some people here who want to see you. Are you--"

"No. Paper. Pen. Now."

She opened a bag beside her and pulled out one of Dad's laptops. "I can't let you. Dictate and I'll--"

"No. Give it to me. Stop playing games. Give it to me before it's gone."

"Which hand do you need?"

"Left."

She set the laptop on my thighs and unhooked my left hand. Microsoft Word was loading, but I went to the Start Menu and opened Notepad.

~

I opened my eyes, and She was Death.
 

"You're Death, aren't you?"
 

"I am."
 

"Once every hundred years."
 

"That's right."
 

"Where am I?"
 

"You're awake now, that's all that matters. Rest, you need to recover your strength. We will have forever together."
 

I tried not to close my eyes, but they shut of their own accord.
 

I didn't try to kill myself. I succeeded, but you brought me back. Why did you bring me back?

~

I saved the file, and noticed the laptop was connected to the local wi-fi. I opened a browser window and sent the file to a place of sakekeeping, before handing the laptop back and closing my eyes.

I felt her nervously restrain my left wrist, and listened to her type until I fell asleep.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

FGHT Club: MNCRFT 2

MonarchMonarch: I want to build a castle.
Jnglhymrschmtt: A castle?
MonarchMonarch: A big one.
Synethesized: Where would you put it?
MonarchMonarch: Right here.
Synethesized: What about the tree?
Jnglhymrschmtt: What about ImBatman?
MonarchMonarch: He can have his cave, and we'll own the sky.
MonarchMonarch: As for the tree, well, it can be in the center of an enormous courtyard.
Synethesized: Enormous?
MonarchMonarch: Large enough that if he were just to peek out the tree, he wouldn't see the inside walls.
Jnglhymrschmtt: That's mean.
MonarchMonarch: He gets his nature view, I get my civilized building. Besides, we'll need his supply of cobblestone, and he'll need our supply of wood.
MonarchMonarch: And we can light up the courtyard so no monsters spawn inside.
Synethesized: Alright, let's do this!

After they logged out, Jnglhymrschmtt crept down past the atrium and followed the trail of open doors and empty halls to ImBatman. It was longer than he expected and was thoroughly lost by the time he found him, mining around a large pool of lava.

ImBatman: Coming to warn me about the castle?
Jnglhymrschmtt: That and curiosity.
ImBatman: Give me a hand?
Jnglhymrschmtt: I didn't bring any tools. What are you doing?
ImBatman: I brought spares. I'm using this interesting feature of lava to distract me from the tedious task of looking for ores and other things.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Other things?
ImBatman: Water springs, for one, so I can turn this pool into obsidian for portals.
ImBatman: Redstone for wiring, compasses, maps, and the train station.
ImBatman: Lupis for blue dye.
ImBatman: Mushrooms for the mushroom farm.
ImBatman: And the rarer and vital blocks: coal, iron, diamond, and gold.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Oh.
ImBatman: If you decide to help, and spot anything other than cola, iron, or lapis, let me know. An iron pick is required for most everything else, and I only brought the one.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Sure.

They worked around the lava pool in silence, finding nothing more useful than iron and coal. ImBatman eyeballed their entrance, walked over to the opposite wall, and continues on into the solid wall of stone. Jnglhymrschmtt followed behind, planting torches every four blocks at ImBatman's direction.

Jnglhymrschmtt: How do you feel about the castle?
ImBatman: I'm a little appalled that they want to make it so large, but at least I won't have to waste wood making too many more chests, just to hold spare cobble. I do so hate to throw anything away.
ImBatman: Besides, I was planning on building one of my own in the Nether.
Jnglhymrschmtt: What is this "Nether"?
ImBatman: Take the lead.
ImBatman: Imagine the world above with lava inside of water, brown soulsand instead of regular sand, netherrack instead of dirt and rock, and patches of glowstone about as common as coal providing light.
ImBatman: Soulsand actually slows you down, so I'm still thinking of a defensive use for it, but netherrack...
ImBatman: Netherrack, once lit, burns indefinitely.
ImBatman: It works great for fireplaces and decorative lighting in a drafty castle.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Ooh, what's this?

Jnglhymrschmtt paused in the one-wide, two-high tunnel, and ImBatman couldn't see around him.

ImBatman: What color is it?
Jnglhymrschmtt: Red. And when I hit it, it glowed.
ImBatman: That would be redstone. Drops a powder that works like electrical wire. With enough of it, you can literally build a computer inside the game.
ImBatman: If you have the know-how, of course.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Do you?
ImBatman: *snort* No, I can barely build a working train terminal with a few tutorials in front of me.
ImBatman: Dig around it, and keep going. It shouldn't be a very large patch. I'll mine it.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Where is this tunnel going?
ImBatman: Anywhere but here.
ImBatman: Eventually, I go back and widen it, maybe put in a rail track "to places unknown"
ImBatman: It'll surprise the others though.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Why's that?
ImBatman: When you wander far enough away from the spawn point, the computer starts randomly generating new areas, and those new areas take some time to load.
ImBatman: The faster the server, the less time, but it's still a discernable different.
ImBatman: Walk through an area that's already been generated, like whatever area we're passing beneath, and the landscape will pop right up.
ImBatman: Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean the computer hasn't noticed we're walking through it, and decided how it's going to behave.
ImBatman: On top of that, above ground, it's difficult to walk in a straight line, but up here, it's easy.
Jnglhymrschmtt: I can see that. Why do you like it down here so much?
ImBatman: Consider this:
ImBatman: In the sky world, when you build a house or a monstrously large castle, you spend your time focusing on building walls, closing space in. Creating darkness, as it were.
ImBatman: Down here, it's the opposite. We're taking all this darkness and making light. Opening up spaces.
ImBatman: That's just one of the reasons.

ImBatman fell silent while he took down the redstone, and Jnglhymrschmtt watched eagerly as each block fractured into power.

Jnglhymrschmtt: Are you turning around soon?
ImBatman: Tired of the monotony?
Jnglhymrschmtt: Actually, I'm really starting to like it down here, but my inventory is nearly full, and I'm not sure I could make it back on my own.
ImBatman: Oh, I can take care of that. Like I said, I brought supplies.

ImBatman lit up the hollow that formerly held the redstone with extra torches, and set down a workbench. He stood over it for a moment, working on something Jnglhymrschmtt couldn't see. Suddenly, ImBatman set down four chests and a pair of furnaces.

ImBatman: That's another nice thing about being down here: I know I'll be able to find this cache again. On the surface, you'd have to comb the area for it, maybe burn down the forest, and even then you still might not find it.
Jnglhymrschmtt: I can believe that.
Jnglhymrschmtt: The world seems so much larger up there, you can see as far as the computer will render.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Down here, it's just as far as you've pushed yourself, only to the last turn or as far as you've pushed away the darkness.
ImBatman: sounds like you're getting the hang of it.

ImBatman dropped his mined cobble, gravel, and redstone into one of the chests, set coal in both of the furnaces, and started melting down some iron. While those were forged, he made more stone picks and tossed half of them to Jnglhymrschmtt.

Jnglhymrschmtt: So what exactly did you bring in the form of supplies?
ImBatman: Two stacks of logs.
Jnglhymrschmtt: And?
ImBatman: Nope, that's it.
ImBatman: Sure, I started with a supply of picks, a dozen stone and one iron, but that's it. I'm replenishing those now.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Wow.
Jnglhymrschmtt: And you made all of this from that.
ImBatman: With plenty to spare too.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Why logs and not wood?
ImBatman: One stack of most anything is 64, right?
Jnglhymrschmtt: What do you mean, "most anything"?
ImBatman: Don't worry about it.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Okay. Yes. One full stack is 64 of the same item.
ImBatman: One logs converts to how many wood?
Jnglhymrschmtt: Four...
ImBatman: Okay, two stacks of 64 logs would convert to how many stacks of wood?
Jnglhymrschmtt: Eight.
ImBatman: and that would be six fewer of something else that I could carry.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Got it.
Jnglhymrschmtt: So how far could you go on two stacks of logs?
ImBatman: No idea. I usually get bored and turn back before I finish one.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Hold on. One chest is eight wood or two lumber. Wouldn't you save more space if you carried a stack of 64 chests?
ImBatman: I would.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Why don't you?
ImBatman: I don't have a good answer for that.
ImBatman: Though, needing that many chests would be a frightening amount of digging. I'm not sure I could think about digging that far.
ImBatman: I mean, sure, I've had 64 chests at one time, but that was setting up a storeroom like the one very far above and behind us.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Alright.
ImBatman: Now, at some point, when I get really bored and really far out, I'll start angling upward as carefully as I can.
ImBatman: Digging up is very dangerous.
ImBatman: When we break sky, I'll build my own above-ground sanctuary.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Really?
ImBatman: Sure. Nothing too ostentatious, probably, though more interesting than a simple excessively-sized castle.
ImBatman: Just a little place to call home, to sleep and respawn in, and to startle the daylights out of the others when they stumble across what they thought was virgin land.
Jnglhymrschmtt: What about preserving the natural land?
ImBatman: I'm not going to destroy much, just build something that looks like it belongs.
ImBatman: Though I will admit to hate building with wood or anything so soft.
ImBatman: If I'm lucky, we'll either come up close to a mountain or in a mountain.
Jnglhymrschmtt: And if we're not lucky?
ImBatman: We'll hit water.

Jnglhymrschmtt was silent for a long while. ImBatman smiled to himself, waiting for a question about digging through flooded tunnels. He would be disappointed.

Jnglhymrschmtt: Can I have my own nearby?
ImBatman: Sure.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

As Above, Moreso Below

plant for me a tree,
and in its branches a sapling,
let them grow and tower high,
reaching to the sky,
even as i dig down low.

nothing can breach my clouds of coal,
even as i plunder so low,
ponds of lava, bubble and sigh,
while i've forgotten about the sky,
on iron bars i fly more free.

the green breaks atmosphere,
a wonder shadowing everywhere,
all i see is a hole in space
leading to another place
that knows nothing of the sky.

at home at last i build my keep,
within a place i will sleep,
all brought in from world behind
where only the stone was kind,
and fire burned so fleetingly.

plant for me a seed,
here will never grow to weep,
never to die of age,
always to fight for grace,
where only ghosts will follow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whipped and Rinkled

lay me down in fairy rings,
bury me in grass and leaves,
let the world spin round and round.
leave me behind, world, round and round.

young men oft remember dreams,
they age while they sleep.
more time, less time than it seems,
lost promises they cannot keep.

wander through the trees on wings,
leave behind pedestrian trappings;
give me a gift that dances, sings,
and never think of lower things:

lost in a world that can't be right,
where all my days are filled with light,
where all my nights are lit by moon,
where when I sleep, ne'er wake too soon.

lost in my head while eyes glued shut,
can't struggle to wake--I don't know I'm not.
can't fight to wake--buried too deep,
in leaves, in grass, in magic, in sleep.

when the mares come crashing down,
chasing me through the sea,
I hop and jump and leap and try...
but my wings are taken from me.

when the mares run me down,
bury me in hooves and feet,
the pain comes rolling in on sounds
but I cannot wake in sweat from sleep.

when the mares take me away,
punishment for staying too long,
I long for wings and light and trees,
for the days when I was strong.

when the mare leave me alone
and I huddle in the dark,
I cannot save myself from this,
cannot heal my aching heart.

I miss the days that felt so long,
and waking tired from my sleep;
I miss the early-morning dawn,
and colors that were all unique.

lost in my head while eyes glued shut,
I struggle to wake--I think I'm not.
can't seem to wake--buried too deep,
in leaves, in grass, in magic, in----

WAIT! I'm free!palms to eyes to scrub away sleep,
sit up, decaying leaves a-wreathed...
yawn... roll over... five more years, please.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This Isn't Melancholy

sorrow tried to consume me
but I beat it back with a stick.
anger tried to defend it,
but I gave it a good lick.
happiness tried to lift me,
but I popped all its balloons.
freedom tried to blow me away,
but I was wearing lead shoes.
disappointment tried to convert me,
but I know what I believe.
guilt tried to distract me,
but I know the lies it weaves
love tried to free me,
but I locked myself deep inside.
betrayal tried to kill me,
but I whipped its hide.

apathy sidled up to me,
watched as I pushed them away,
waited 'til I slept--then held me,
slowly turning the world grey.
when I woke it offered me peace,
and I took it in my hands.
it never tricked me, never tried,
and I never suspected its true plans.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Abused: My Friend (Mature)

Mature Content
--

there's nothing going right,
it's all going wrong.
it's all my fault--
I just don't belong.

Daddy never hurt me,
but now he's left and gone.
new Daddy changed Mommy,
I'm punished for her wrongs.

he beats me and threatens
and there's no going back.
I'm bruised, broken, fading,
my body's limp and slack.

he steps up the torture,
since the "little" does "no good."
I close my eyes. I give up.
I'd suicide if I could.

a hand catches the belt,
the fist, the stick, the chain.
he sees eyes of wild
and fears it won't ever be the same.

it's not me standing tall,
I'm still curled up deep inside.
a new voice whispers to me,
"I'll protect you. It's alright."

new Daddy sees the challenge,
and steps it up again,
but she's too fast and strikes first.
I know he's defeated then.

she tells me she'll be there
when he does it next,
will stop it before it starts,
to just close my eyes and ex't.

she apologizes for taking so long
to wake up inside my head,
but now she'll be there forever,
to protect and help me mend.

there's nothing going right,
but now I have a shield.
she takes over when I'm hurt,
fights when I just yield.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thirty-Two Months of Truth

The thing about giving something your all, about holding nothing back, is that if it isn't good enough, you have nothing more to give. If you work somewhere where you're not measured against others' performance but against your own, and you always give it your best in a area where there's no room for improvement, you're going to look like a slacker standing beside those who slacked off early in the game, played with the numbers instead of being honest with them.

I'm honest with my numbers, because only then can I trust them to be honest with me. People aren't like that. I can give everything at face value, and people still play games with me, with their words.

Give me print over verbal interaction any day. Give me hard stats before intrapersonal interaction. Give me something that won't change, regardless how you look at it. Give me a language that won't change its meaning.

Give me a goal to work towards that doesn't change, a set of expectations that remain the same for my tenure, and stop trying to play games with my numbers.

You can look at your month-to-day call statistics and make what judgments you want, but any true statistician knows that any group below thirty is not true to the mean. You can take your pages of fifteen shifts and go fuck yourself, but if you want real numbers, you come see me and my chart of thirty-two months of truth.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hatred vs Reconciliation

I write to those I have forgiven:
Only one name on the list and it is not mine own.

I'd rather cut ties than heal them,
Burn bridges than repair them,
Raze cities than re-enforce them.

No small wonder
I have no-one left.

If I can't forgive myself,
How can I forgive anyone else?


Hugging myself just isn't the same.

House vs Institution

I inscribe these thoughts the only way I can:
To get them outside my head.

There are no bars on my windows,
But I'm imprisoned all the same,
Locked up inside my head,
Trapped inside my brain.


I need someone to break me out.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hoar vs Youth (Mature)

Mature Content
--

These letters are addressed to myself:
Where do I send them?

To the boy behind me,
Who still lives in my head:

Go out and live.
Don't be afraid to hurt yourself,
To waste money,
To break her heart.
Grow out your hair and dye it.

To the eld' ahead of me,
Who is taking over my body (too soon):

Fuck off,
I'm not done living yet.


I need something to hold me together.

Heights vs Gravity

I write these lines from the ground:
And give them to the sky.

I'm trapped down in this well,
Staring at the circle of light
Where I used to fly,
Wheeling around in the bright
Blue endless day.

I can only climb so high,
Before I must jump . . .
And fall so very far.


I need someone to lift me up.

Happiness vs Apathy

I'be been writing letters to send to no-one:
Here they wait.

My life is too empty for excitement,
Too vacant for victories,
Too pointless for invested personal interest,
Too bottomless for belief, faith hope.

I've never had faith.
I've never reached out and touched
Something that wasn't there.


I need a hug.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hoping vs Fearing

I leave notes, wishing you would read them:
Here I am.

Glad I missed out,
Wishing I didn't remember you,
Wondering what to write next
Because you won't read it.

And if you did read it,
You'd never let me know.

I'll work my way down to the last,
But skip some on the way,
Because I can break my own rules.

But I can't break my own rules.





Here's to wishing for another hug.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Heavenly vs Earthly

I leave notes where you won't find them:
Here.

Glad I stopped by,
Wishing I could join.
Regretted not joining,
Regretted letting myself get old,
Regretted too much...

When she left us, I promised myself:
I would take chances;
I would try new things;
I would remember that youth is a phase;
And we all get old eventually;
And we all die eventually;
But not all of us take the time to live first;
I would try to live first,
Never knowing if I was hastening to my passing,
But enjoying life instead of caring.

I forget that vow some times,
Letting my joint pain rule me.

I want to show up next time,
Screw the pain,
Play all night,
And wake up next to someone in the morning.
(even if they have to help me climb out of bed)








Oh, and thanks for the hug.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Specific or General Direction?

When you smile at me
I probably notice more than you
Notice that you're smiling
And looking in my direction

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Robbery

you stole my sister's life from me,
you can never take her death,
thus I wear her on this chain,
always around my neck.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dream Journal: 29 May 2012

1. Was driving down a very narrow dirt road, just two tire tracks really, and I kept swerving off the track. There were cars ahead of and behind me, and we were traveling in an evenly-spaced column.

The gal behind me swung too wide while gunning her engine and rolled the car, but it suffered no damage. Four drivers, including myself, pulled to the side and rolled her back over.

2. I woke up with hair-mesh yellow-black faux butterfly wings covering my ears. They didn't feel weird or obstruct my hearing or anything. I walked into the bathroom, which looked like my old one on Nordic, and I appreciated them in the mirror before cleaning them off.

3. It was a Saturday.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Used To

I come here, and sit. I sit here, and watch. I don't come closer, I don't participate. I know I don't belong here. I don't belong anywhere but back at my place, alone, nose buried in a book, or staring at a screen trying to write one.

I used to feel senses of belonging, moments in time when I was with others and I didn't feel like I was intruding...

Now, I only feel awkward, like I shouldn't have come in the first place, like even looking longingly on is tresspassing.

I told them I would wear this hat and this feather, and now I just want to stuff it in my bag and take the long way around.

I have made myself a truly solitary creature, and there is no antidote.

Friday, May 11, 2012

FGHT Club

"What is the first rule of FGHT Club?" John pronounced it "fight."

"Talk about FGHT Club!" his compatriots shouted back eagerly.

"And what is the second rule of FGHT Club?"

"Talk about FGHT Club!"

"And what is the third rule of FGHT Club?"

"Never sacrifice comfort for control!"

"With these rules, I open this session of FGHT Club." John banged his inflatable squeaky gavel once and then laid it aside. "Now, before we start our games, I do have some news."

The two other members of the club stopped reaching for their bags and controllers and looked up.

"As you probably know, the school board gives every club a small budget to spend on trips and event and such." There were nods all around. "Well, since we have no need for trips and such, our faculty advisor and I have been negotiating for an alternate use for this allowance."

John nodded to their advisor, Mr. Wyndom, who until now had been sitting quietly in the corner working on his computer, but now picked up a very large binder from his desk and carried it over.

"Instead of just taking it away from us, they've let us spend it on 'renting' space on the school servers. They've given us some conditions, which I will go over in a moment, but first, I want to tell you what we've down with our new corner of the server:

"We are now the newest hosts and administrators to our own Minecraft server!"

Both of the members' face lit up, and one of them started shaking so badly he had to sit down.

"Now, there are a few rules that the school board has put in place. First off, we must manage it ourselves. We have a manual," and with a thud, Mr. Wyndom dropped the binder on the table between them, "and we will soon all have sub-administrator accounts. Secondly, everybody here must sign a waiver not to go doing anything illegal; our activities will be watched very closely, and the Minecraft server will be password protected. Thirdly, only local players may join. Fourth, no playing during school hours. And finally, though they recognize that the server my crash from time to time, we must ensure that before we leave, it must be reset and running every night. Understood?"

The both nodded, and took the waivers that Mr. Wyndom pulled out of the front of the binder, signing eagerly. He took the sheets back, and returned to his corner, leaving the binder where it lay.

"Alright, the server is already installed and waiting for us to start building. You guys ready?"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Falling Out Of The Sky (Mature)

Mature Content
--

Hello?

I know we haven't talked in a while, but--
Wow, it's so good to hear your voice. How're you doing?

I'm not, actually.
You don't sound too good.

My head got to a bad place.
Is there anything I can do? Do you need someone to talk to?

I'm past the talking phase. I just... I don't have much time left. Can you just tell everyone that I'm sorry, please? I tried so hard, and everything just kept turning to dust in my hands. Tell my mom that there's no more pain anymore. I'm past that. I'm... I'm going somewhere where there won't be any pain. I'm sorry things turned out this way, but I didn't see any other options.

Wait. What are you talking about?

I can she Her, she waited for me all this time, and I see Her now, welcoming me with open arms. Would you tell them? Please?

I'll tell them.

Thank you. I'm just... so sorry for how everything turned out. Goodbye.

Wait, don't ha--

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Orange and Black (Mature)

Mature Content
--

I drifted.

The inside walls of my apartment were as solid as smoke. I slipped through my kitchen wall, but surrendered at the front facade. I could not be freed.

My entertainments lay wasted but unforgotten on the floor. I tried to distract myself, but they all slipped through my fingers. Only my chairs and bed would hold me.

I didn't look at myself. There were no mirrors in the apartment shy of the bathroom, and it held a gentle compulsion, keeping me away. I thought of myself as wearing black jeans and an orange shirt--that was the last outfit I could remember putting on, and had no memory of taking it off. My perspective knew nothing of time passing, only that I was tired but could not sleep, could not dream, could not leave or participate

In a single, sudden moment, the apartment shook, and the front door flew open. Somebody staggered in, and though I felt as if I knew them once, I knew them no more. They stormed through the rooms, one by one, ignoring my presence, drifting along beside them.

"Empty. Empty. Empty."

They stomped toward the bathroom at the rear of the apartment, and the compulsion broke before them. We entered together, and together we stopped, staring down at the bathtub. Smeared red letters on the tile above it read "no more pain."

I felt myself lighten, and the outside walls that once held me now pulled me through them and while I gazed down at the body in orange and black.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spirit Guide (Mature)

Mature Content
--

Charon was squatting in the bare apartment, the landlord hovering uncertainly over him. He ran his fingers through the bare rug, whispering quietly to himself, and the landlord tried not to pay attention to the words, missing Charon's statement aloud.

"I'm sorry, what?"

"I said, there's a lot of pain in this room."

He ran his fingers through his thinning hair. "I don't exactly believe in all that sort of stuff, no offense--"

"None taken."

"--But I can feel that something isn't right here."

"Yes sir. Like I said, there's a lot of pain in this room." Charon stood, stretching his cramping legs. "You'd practically have to be comatose not to feel it."

"Will you do it?"

Charon looked around the studio apartment, as if he was daring something to try sneaking into his peripheral vision. "I'm sorry?"

"Will you-- Can you clear the pain?"

Charon looked the landlord in the eyes. "I will try, but I can't guarantee anything."

He was drowning in those eyes, unable to speak until Charon looked away. "You're more humble than anyone we've had in here. They all said they could do it, and then couldn't. And all insisted on being paid before they would try. You never said what this will cost me."

"No, I didn't."

"How much?"

"Financially, nothing more than if you had someone living here, which I will be."

"You're... Are you sure?"

"It's how I work, and how I need to work. So I'll be using your electricity, your gas, your water. You'll pay for all that. I won't be abusing the access, and if you're not certain, you can check my references. When I'm done, I'll let you know. If I've succeeded, it will be fully rent-able. If not... then I don't know what to tell you. I'll need to be undisturbed, apart from normal sounds seeping through the walls, and I can't tell you how long it will take."

The landlord nodded. "When can you start?"

"Everything I need is in my car. I can start right now."

The landlord stuck out his hand and Charon shook it. "Best of luck to you then, and let me get out of your way."

"Thank you."

Charon parked in the slot assigned to the apartment, and it only took two trips to get everything he needed. He lit a stick of incense as he settled in, spreading his sleeping bag in the center of the floor, closing the windows and the blinds, putting his own drapes up to block out the remaining light, until only the embers lit the room. After extinguishing it, he laid his head down and slept.

When I stopped going to school, I stopped making friends. People were never something I was good at; the friends I had were friends of circumstance. We had classes together, or classes in common, or knew each other through a third party, but never really had much in common. I always felt like a pretender among them.

I tried dating a few of them, gals, guys, and those lost in between, but nothing ever stuck. I was too different from them, and always felt broken inside.

When I moved out of my parents' place, I retreated even further inside myself...
~

"It's not natural, I tell you."

"Of course it's not natural, dealing with psychics and witches and ghosts."

"A guy named Sharon or Karen or whichever."

"Maybe he's gay."

"More likely one of those transients or whatever. That think they're a girl trapped in a guy's body."

"I'm sure you'd like to be trapped in a girl's body."

"Shut it, woman."

The monthly get-together for the tenants was running late, the fire burning down to just embers, and a cold night breeze was picking up. Wives huddled closer to their husbands or closer to the dying fire, putting off retreating back indoors. The men were discussing their newest neighbor, unpaying and secluded though he was.

They were all too aware of the haunting inside number 18, inside the cave that was the solo studio in the complex. The previous tenant, something happened to him that they didn't understand, didn't want to understand... and he died.

I tried for a while, to reach out and find other people like me. Online forums, dating sites, art communities, even the occasional in-person event. A few people even tried to reach into my world, into my darkness, but the darkness kept growing, the light kept shrinking, until all I was left holding was a few glowing embers...
~

Charon woke, and not from needing no more sleep. He had been dreaming, but when he opened his eyes, the vision was still there.

"It's okay. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm here to help."

[Nobody helps.]

There was no voice behind the words, but Charon felt and understood them all the same. "I'm not going to turn on a light. I blocked out the windows. This is your darkness. You can be yourself here."

[I am not myself.]

Charon spread his arms. "Will you tell me what happened?"

[I died.]

I pulled in my tendrils, my attempts, cut off the wasted time and stopped wasting more. I consolidated my accounts, left forwarding information everywhere, just in case. I was no optimist, did not expect anything to come, since nothing came while I was active. But I was all too aware of the Right Place Right Time phenomena. I didn't believe in leaving things to chance...

~

"He's always in there. He never comes out. Or is he even in there at all?"

The landlord was warming his hands by the fire, standing among the seated wives and children, but he retreated to answer the question. "I haven't see or heard hide nor hair of him since that first day, but the meters are still running, I'm still covering the bills." He shrugged. "Charon certainly isn't frivolous or wasteful, which is the same message I got from the references he provided. They all said pretty much the same thing: 'Does good work, reliable, but don't expect progress reports. Place was pristine when he was done, whether he succeeded or failed.' And he does it all without the chanting or flashy demonstrations of anybody else in the business. If he had better marketing, he might be the 'best in the biz,' as they say." He shrugged again and went up to bed.

I lived alone so I had no forced interactions with others, except at work, while I worked. Those wage slaves were blissfully ignorant of their bondage. All too often I wished for the same ignorance, but that wish was never granted. When the worst part of my suffering struck, I had enough sense to know my final days were upon me, enough hubris not to be around others while I drowned, and enough money to quit.

Nobody at work was close enough to me to know what was really going on inside my head. If they had asked, I probably would have told them, but nobody did. When I pulled my disappearing act, nobody noticed...


~

[Are you praying?]

Charon laughed. It was a warm sound, bright and uplifting. "Praying? I don't have anyone or anything to pray to. Do you have someone you need me to pray to?"

[No.]

"Just some light meditation. I can hardly help you if I'm weighed down with my own baggage."

[What is bothering you?]

"Do you really want to know?"

[Yes.]

I was good at invisibility while growing up. Too good. When some people were learning how to interact with others, I was learning how to avoid interacting, though not from lack of trying by my family. I was always quiet, and never grew out of it, like so many people hoped.

Some people had to talk a certain number of words everyday, but I felt like I had an upper-bound instead of a lower one. Even before I fully retreated, I'd go days without talking, and to no surprise, nobody noticed...


~

His car disappeared for a few hours one night, and they noticed, but though they tried to keep an eye out, by the morning it was back, and nobody had seen him.

People would talk over me, talk around me, talk through me. For about eighteen months, I dated a girl who actually noticed when I disappeared, though not always spotting me when I left or soon after. It was a refreshing change, but we had other issues that couldn't be worked through.

~

[I do not understand.]

"What do you mean?"

[Are you telling me my story or your own?]

I didn't go quietly into the night. I didn't waste away. I built myself into a sacrifice for gods that I wasn't sure I believed in. I had found too many lies among what everyone claimed to be true, so I decided that the reverse was not only possible, it was likely.

~

"What did he call himself?"

"A spirit guide."

"Whatever that is."

"Does he do tours?"

"Don't be an ass."

One of the wives was poking at her phone. "Honey, I think you should take a look at this."

"What are you still doing up?"

"I really think you should see this."

"What is it?"

"Do you remember what his name was?"

"Sharon or Karen. Why?"

I didn't feel anything, not that I really expected anything. Faith was not something I ever mastered, especially on a spiritual level. When I died, all I felt was emptiness, that space between falling asleep and waking when it feels like you just blink, and you can't even remember if you dreamed at all...
~

"What's the difference?"

[We are not the same.]

"True."

[Our stories cannot be the same.]

"Why not?"

[Because then we would be the same.]

"What if I told you you didn't fail. You may not have felt yourself reaching something, but something felt you reaching out."

[Who are you?]

"An old friend who survived Anubis's scales and returned to row you on to where you belong."

[Urse?]

"You know I never liked that name. And that body is gone forever. But this body has its own name, though I am the same inside. Well mostly."

[Mostly?]

"You never fully let go. That was what Faith was for. Letting go. I caught some of your spirit, your soul, your self, they're all the same thing. Doubt didn't let you cross completely. That's why you're still here."

[You are here to finish the job.]

"Yes."

[To finish killing me?]

"No, to make you whole and join me in Eternity."

~

The landlord was poised to knock,--it had been one month since the utilities had flatlined, showing no activity--when Charon opened the door. He stepped back in surprise, letting go of the screen door.

Charon smiled. "I was just about to find you. It's done." He held a box in his hands, his sleeping bag on top. "Let me take these out to my car, and then if you have any questions, I'll answer what I can."

The landlord pulled open the screen door again, and held it open while Charon stepped out, carrying his belongings. He popped the rear hatch on his fortwo, set the box inside, closed it, and returned to the apartment, where the landlord stood, amazed.

The apartment was bright, and not just from the sunlight streaming in. Like the fog had been cleared and he could see the garden once more.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Here's what I can see:

Everything holding onto the world so tight,
Everyone holding each other upright,
Everybody standing close and standing tall,
Every color, every orientation, everybody.
Holding hands and stronger for it all.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reavers Are Among Us (Mature)

Mature Content
--

There are two types of suicidal people in the world: those who start the physical act before completing the mental, and those who complete the mental act before starting the physical.

Those who start the physical act before they complete the mental act have an opportunity to regret their decision, an opportunity to change their mind. They're more likely to have old scars on their wrists, histories of institutionalization and hospitalization, or legally deemed a danger to themselves.

Those who complete the mental suicide before starting the physical act are the ones who sneak up on you, and it isn't until after they're gone that all the signs become apparent. These are not going to hold back once they start cutting. They may not have mental health histories.

I belong to the second group, the unlucky ones. I was saved before I reached the mental limit, but I refuse to attribute it to God or religion. I can only thank my family, my friends, my upbringing, and my art.

I've looked over the edge of space, and seen the darkness, and returned from it. I am not a reaver, but a reaver lives inside me still.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Security Bandages

I wake up every morning
with my joints wrapped ankle to wrist,
knowing what the day brings:
more pain, just like this.

I woke up yester' morning,
expecting nothing new,
but when I unwrapped to rewrap
my body came unglued.

I left my left hand lying
on my pillow all alone
while I went to work that day,
my plans still unknown.

I didn't rewrap before bed,
my left hand still laid aside,
and when I woke this morn,
another fell off in the night.

This time it was the elbow
that pains me on to lean,
now I have spare bandages,
but no way old ones to clean.

When I lay me down to sleep,
I fear what comes the morn:
not for my shoulder,
but what other ligaments be torn.

When they each do fall,
so too goes away the pain.
Perhaps this shall be good for me,
my liver may be regained.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

S-Oh-Well Mate


I don't fear loneliness, or being alone, or much of anything. I think I'd be okay living like this for a while, where my social life is limited to my coworkers.

I'm fearful of the thought, not that there isn't anyone out there for me, but that there once was, and she slipped through my fingers. That I ruined us (even though I know that I didn't) and now that she's gone, there's no one out there for me anymore.

It doesn't help that I'm good at ruining things for myself. Why should this be any different?

I try not to believe in soul mates. I try to force myself to believe it's a dream for hopeless romantics, forgetting for a moment that I'm a hopeless romantic.

It's like those days when I don't talk. I could say something, but there's no point. I'm not incapable of verbal communication, just momentarily unwilling to participate in it.

I remember those online personality tests I used to take when I was younger. I found one for Neon Genesis Evangelion that seemed so accurate at the time, and sometimes I continue to believe it.

The test claimed that my best match was Ayanami Rei, that we were 99% compatible (and one of my then-friends nailed 100%--I had a crush on him for the longest time, but he's asexual. Figures), if only one of us could step out of our shells for long enough to notice.

I don't want to be alone forever, but I'm afraid I might not have much choice in the matter, as much as I insist on believing in Causality and not in Fate or Destiny.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Destination Uncertain

The arches stood before me,
And I stood before just one.
Each held a gate and a destination,
And I soon too would be gone.

Was this my true place?
Something feels amiss.
I check and recheck my plans,
This feeling I can't dismiss.

Everyone around me is falling
To a plague I cannot see,
Coughing fits are the only sign,
Sharing the air that they breathe.

I don't know why I'm here,
'Cept to go to someplace else.
All I can see is where I am,
Everything external to myself.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Choose Your Own: D.I.O. Ch 2

First Chapter - Previous Chapter
--

I sat for a long while, thinking about everything. The choices I'd made to come here, not just here here, but this vacation, this point in my life.

I'd made a good hobby out of dream studies, good enough to suppliment my income, and I knew my personal weak points in those fabricated realities. I knew the which dream signs worked for me and which didn't. I gave them a run through, and then a second time. By the third time, I was checking out those that normally gave me false-positives (or false-negatives).

I didn't try a fourth time. There was no point. Besides which, a glow was starting to rise out of what I decided would be east, and I knew it was time to make a decision.

--
Choose:
a. Should I stay with the car longer, inventory my supplies, and maybe hope the fog rolls back in?
b. Should I leave the car, walk back up the mountainside, and hope for a portal back home?
c. Should I head downhill for some reconnaissance before making a decision?

Choose Your Own: D.I.O. Ch 1

Previous Chapter
--

The music was building slowly, and I bolted upright. I recognized the music. The fog had gone while I slept, and I saw a rolling hillside out my driver's-side window, below my mountainside.

I pressed the eject button on the player, and out the disc came with no funny business this time.

Shit.

It was a data disc alright, something my CD player should not have been able to read. But it wasn't just any data disc, it was a video game disc.

Nothing etheral had put it there, this was one of my own, a game I was well familiar with. Chance would have it that I had flipped to the wrong page in the case, and grabbed the wrong disc.

But if what I was seeing was real, and I knew I wasn't dreaming--at least in the normal sense of the word--then something etheral had happened to my car to let it play.

And not just play, but also unfold.

--
Next Chapter

Choose Your Own: D.I.O. Ch 0

This story is more than just fan-fiction, it's fan-fiction that takes more liberties than you're used to and makes you feel like the world it takes you to is more possible.
--

The gas tank on the dashboard was starting to flash empty, despite that I topped off at the last depot, too many miles back. My car was loaded with supplies for a long vacation for myself in the wilderness, and getting lost on the way was part of the plan, though certainly not /this/ lost.

A fog crept up around me as I rode the switchbacks higher into the mountains. I fumbled with the CD player, popping out a warm and tired disc and tossing it down into the box on the passenger-side floor along with the past listening history, before grabbing the next one randomly from my CD case. With my eyes still on the road, I pushed it into the built-in player, the world slowly turning gray.

It clicked, chirped, and spat the disc partly out, and I took my foot off the gas before glancing down at the problem. "DATA DISC," it read in digital letters, the almost archaic player only able to discern that much and no more. I reached up to take it out, barely glancing at the label on the disc, but the machine ate it back up again.

I sighed, my fingers missing and stubbing on the hard plastic, shifting my foot to the brake. I stepped on the pedal as I jabbed the eject button, but the player only started to spin the disc. I pressed and held the button, only belatedly realizing the brakes weren't responding.

The car slowed to a crawl, the unurged motor barely winning over the slope of the hill. A familiar tune began to play over the speakers as the fog completely enveloped me. The road disappeared, and I felt the slope crest and subside. We started downhill.

I slammed the emergency break down, and it engaged for a moment before popping back HARD. I pulled at the steering wheel, turning away from the slope, and the engine finally died, taking the power steering with it. I wrenched it harder, turning the car into the side of the road, and then the side of the hill, where it finally ground to a halt.

I winced at the damage and didn't look forward to examining it, hopefully repairable if I ever rescued it from this place. We'd been through a lot together, and hopefully had more to look forward to.

I levered the car into park, and pulled out the key, before climbing out. Despite how rediculous I felt, having heard too many horror stories, I pocketed the keys as I climbed out of the car, closing the door only enough that nothing might climb in, but the latch didn't engage. With my hand dragging along the side of the car, I shuffled carefully to the rear.

The fog was complete. Without my hand on the blue bumper, I surely would have lost sight of even the car too. I threw my weight against it, not so much hoping it would move as hoping it didn't.

And it didn't.

I walked back to my door, trailing my fingers reassuringly, almost lovingly, against the panels, and climbed back in.

Some of the fog had leaked into the car, and the windshield had a perimeter of dew on the inside. I shut the door behind me, locked it, and prepared to wait out the fog. I put the key back in the ignition, turned it to auxiliary, leaned back my seat, and drifted into sleep.

--
Next Chapter

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dream Journal: 20 Feb 2012

Spoiler Alert
Read the following piece at your own risk.
--

Started flirting online with two women, both attractive, both living in the same area, a 34-minute drive south of me. One is at the lower end of my target age range, and the other at the upper end. Both invite me to their place to meet them, and I find out that they're mother and daughter, living in the same house.

I comment on that, and they say they hadn't noticed, but come on down anyway, and maybe one or both will work out.

[I kept rolling over and resetting my alarm to keep the dream progressing, but now I can't any longer, have to get up and go to work.]

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dream Journal: 15 Feb 2012


Had two similar dreams, the first was simply about renting a second apartment in DeKalb (though "DeKalb" looked more like a combination between Normal and Waubonsee than DeKalb), paid for by my folks.

The second was set several months later. I hadn't been to the apartment in a long time, so I could hardly remember where it was. It was still filled with my stuff that I'd been missing from my "primary" (real) apartment.

But the second dream was focused on the door, which only had one measly lock through the door handle, no deadbolt, no security chain. The afternoon, an old enemy, DRD saw me entering my apartment, and decided he wanted a confrontation. I barely was able to keep the door shut with my own weight.

The next day I confronted the landlady about it and demanded being allowed to install a deadbolt and a security chain. After lengthy badgering, she okayed it, as long as I paid out of my pocket.

The locksmith came and installed a deadbolt that went all the way through the door, into the frame on both sides, and two security chains. I don't think he ended up charging me.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Because We ALL Are Dying

Live like you're dying... -Kris Allen

It's that time of year again, but this year I'm treating it with a bit more caution than reference. Her birthday may be approaching, but there's an anniversary I'm much more concerned about: in a few weeks, it will have been one year since you last harrassed me.

"Kit killer"? Really? It's been how many years and that's the best you can come up with? I know creativity never was your strong suit, but that's just pathetic. You get a few points for the alliteration, but those pale in comparison to the length of time it took for you to come up with it.

Was it twenty-one last year? Twenty-two this year, then. Yes, that feel right. Hardly a week goes by that I don't think about her, and wonder "what if?" Yes, there are things I regret from those days, but unless you're more of an idiot than I take you for, you should be regretting some things too. Then again, I don't think you ever had the whole story; I had most of it, and I haven't shared it. Many secrets about those last weeks will follow me to the grave.

What I do know and remember is how happy you were when you heard we were broken up, and I know how long and hard you fought to break us up.

So you blame me for her death because I broke up with her, something you fought so diligently for. Unless you're as blind as you are stupid (honestly, it wouldn't surprise me), you should be blaming yourself as much as me.

That said, if you pull a repeat of last year, or try to step it up any, I will be going to the police. There is little they can do shy of filing a report, despite my evidence of harassment (and I keep records and copies of everything), but if something happens, they will dig out that report, and they will know who to go to when they start looking for someone to blame.

Yes, I miss her. Yes, it still hurts. Yes, I expect it will continue to hurt for a long time, especially since I'm not one who forgives easily, and that includes forgiving myself.

And yes, if you continue to try to harrass me, you will regret it. This isn't a threat, it's a promise.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dream Journal: 30 Jan 2012

Three boys in our class were looking to compete on a whole new level, since they'd tied on so many easier tests. They planned on a super-high altitude jump.

Only the boys and I went into the plane, and I was there to chronicle the journey, their hopes and fears.

When we got to the jump point, we realized that they'd forgotten something, and I'd forgotten to strap myself down securely enough not to get sucked out of the plane with them. I hastily tied myself with a long length of rubber bungee to my laptop and the bolted legs of the row seats. (The plane was little more than a flying schoolbus)

Then the driver opened the back door,, and the first two boys let go and let themselves be sucked out into the air. The third boy decided not to go through with it, but got sucked out before they could close the door.

When all of us got back on the ground, only the third boy had survived the jump, and our class stood and sat around his dying and broken body, honoring their journey. I was still tied to my equipment, and i sat inside the ring.

They remarked about looking forward to my story, but i doubted if i would ever finish it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Something Broken, Something Bruised

1.
I'd given all I had to you,
not your fault you put me through
all the pain and the war
that none of us sought before.

All I'd asked was you to be
serious, honest with me...
but now I've known hearts to break,
and it was my pain to take.
I did what I had to do.


2.
I'd reached out far and caught your hand,
thought I'd found a second plan,
closed my eyes and there was you,
hoped and promised and loving too.

But our needs were far from met,
distance we could not forget,
so you slipped, so I fell,
and honestly you did tell...
For that much I meant to you.


Intermission
I'd chosen you and to flirt,
give no love and get no hurt
we both made plans and both fell through
and I got back all I gave to you:
nothing broken, nothing bruised.


3.
I'd given honesty alone to you,
nothing old and nothing new,
though I felt you want me back,
'til you took away those tracks.

You decided I was too kind,
you wanted mean, I wanted mind.
So you walked away from me
blaming what I wouldn't be,
but saying that it just was you.


4.
I'd given little I had to you,
I jumped though neither flew,
crashed and burned, crashed and burned,
all that pain you put me through.

Then you came and met my past,
and still my plans don't last,
you fell in love and not with me...
did my fate have to be:
chasing, never catching you?


Intermission
I'd chosen you and to flirt,
give no love and get no hurt
we both made plans and both fell through
and I got back all I gave to you:
nothing broken, nothing bruised.


5.
I'd given most I'd had to you,
but for all you put me through,
far too little I had to take...
so mistakes I chose to make.

All I'd asked you to be
your friends accepting of me,
but now I've known no price to pay,
and now it's all gone away,...
I did what I had to do.



6.
I'd made mistakes to be with you,
promises out the window flew,
hoping the difference to save my soul,
and, once again, I did feel whole.

All you'd asked I did provide,
until I let you too deep inside,
burning bridges until alone,
no garden here, no seeds grown;
I stopped and apart we grew.

Intermission
I'd chosen me and no one more,
shut the blinds and close the door,
hide my eyes until I see
just Her in front of me.

Secondo Fine
Now I wait and watch and wait,
knowing any moment I might break,
losing hold of sense and real
and touching only what I feel,
reaching for a world with you...

my spirit broken, my heart abused.
--

This is the second revision, but not the last, of the ongoing poetic history of my romances.. Search swsb for updates.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

With The Lights Out (It's More Dangerous)

Are you still out there? Are you trapped as part of something bigger than yourself?

We all build things that grow beyond us, losing control and sight of our aims and the paths that we once walked. I know I too am guilty of that.

I've starting writing so many times and so many different things. I fear for my characters, if they're still out there somewhere, waiting for me... I stop writing because I start caring so much about my characters that I don't want to ruin it for them. They become real in my head, and I don't know what they would do, what they would say...

I hope they aren't turning their backs on me, like you did, that one time. I still haven't forgiven myself for that, and I still haven't healed.

I don't let myself believe in soul mates, because I think you were the one, if only we had more time to straighten things out. I like to think they would have been worked out...

Now I have to work them out on my own.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Can't Be Used Against Me

you can't see where I'm going,
or why I'm standing here,
watching your one last breath,
leaving you one last tear.
you can't help me move more forward,
though you hardly hold me back...
it's just safer for us all
if you're not standing in my past.

I save you from my fate
if I leave you in the dust,
you'll not suffer my collapse,
you'll not be prone to rust.
you're only safe in my memories,
I'm dangerous in yours,
so when I leave today,
I'll be a stranger at the door.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Last Laugh

Sure, I know I'm paranoid,
but it's all for a good cause:
I get accused when I'm right,
when your instructions are flawed.

I make up sheets and charts
to plot to my heart's content
because the stats you put out
are limited to the extent

of telling me how poorly
I measure up to the team.
I'm doing the best I can here,
so I know the problem isn't me.

So, regardless what you tell me,
I'll keep my numbers and graphs,
work how I know I should be working,
and still have the last laugh.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Untitled

Why can you
not at least be satisfied
that your heart
still beats?

Ifs, Ands, and Buts

If I died when I was younger
and never lived to tell the tale,
I'd hope the dream around me
would never hope to fail.

If I lived only in memory,
where the past ever lives,
I'd pray what you'd remember,
prey what should forget.


And I always reach to touch you,
always reach to strive
to make the world a place,
you could live if you were alive.

And I'm sorry for when I hurt you,
for you know I meant the best:
I just wanted to hold you
and forget all the rest.


But I only died inside,
when the lottery drew your name,
but though I continue striving,
the world has too far changed.

And I've tried to heal the world,
and I try on to this day:
the ones who let me reach them,
and those who push away.