Living in such a state taTestaTesTaTe etats a hcus ni gniviL of mind in which time sTATEsTAtEsTaTeStA emit hcihw ni dnim of does not pass, space STateSTaTeSTaTeStAtE ecaps ,ssap ton seod does not exist, and sTATeSt oFOfOfo dna ,tsixe ton seod idea is not there. STatEst ofoFOFo .ereht ton si aedi Stuck in a place staTEsT OfOFofo ecalp a ni kcutS where movements TATeSTa foFofoF stnemevom erehw are impossible fOFoFOf elbissopmi era in all forms, UsOFofO ,smrof lla ni physical and nbEifof dna lacisyhp or mental - uNBeInO - latnem ro your mind is UNbeinG si dnim rouy focusing on a unBEING a no gnisucof lone thing, or NBeINgu ro ,gniht enol a lone nothing. bEinGUn .gnihton enol a You are numb and EiNguNB dna bmun era ouY unaware to events stneve ot erawanu taking place - not -iSSuE- ton - ecalp gnikat knowing how or what 4/27/95 tahw ro woh gniwonk to think. You are in SiXTEEN ni era uoY .kniht ot a state of unbeing.... ....gniebnu fo etats a
Sometimes it's actually worth the hassle of being a zine editor. This issue is an example of why I wanted to do this in the first place. When you put an issue together of this caliber, all of those other things that trouble you go away. Disappearing writers, writers who want to extend deadlines, finding the time to put the whole thing together AND still writing your own pieces fade into the background when the realization of what you hold in your hands is an excellent piece of work. (BTW, all three of those things above happened this time around, which is the reason we're later than usual).
Some zine editors can only hope to publish stuff like this. I'm lucky that I am. All the credit goes to my writers. I'm just the bastard that puts everything together. But enough about my feelings, as they'll probably descend into the abyss again once I realize I never got a chance to finish my other story due to many problems in my life, none of which you really need to hear about. If you wanna know more about me, read the interview. As for the conclusion to my story, it'll be in the next issue. As for this issue, well, they'll definitely label us "high-brow" from now on. I don't think I've ever seen any published work in which an author wrote something and then refuted it in the very same issue. Ansat provides some more gut-wrentching tales of love gone bad, and KidKnee writes about happiness, but it isn't exactly a happy article. As I promised, Captain Moonlight is back with his guerrilla warfare series, and, as usual, we've got cool poetrie and more fiction.
A few people have remarked to me in passing just what our stances are on certain issues. The questions probably arose due to the Oklahoma bombing a week ago and our coverage of certain militant groups and tactics. Frankly, State of unBeing does not take a position on anything. Each of the views represents that of the author and the author alone, although some of us may agree with whatever they say. We want to provide equal coverage for ALL sides of any story, and positioning the zine on one side or the other would be detrimental to that cause. The only thing I want to publish is the truth. And I believe that we've tried pretty hard to do just that and not mislead anyone. If you don't agree with something, write us. We want to know if something is wrong. All we ask is that you make sure you're information can be backed up. If you have questions for the authors, pass them along to me and I'll get them in contact with you. But don't just sit idly around complaining about those "weird-ass boys down at SoB". Do something about it.
As for the Oklahoma bombing, I grieve for the families and friends of those who were lost. It was a terrible tragedy, and one that should have been avoided. I'd like to make it clear that here in these pages of State of unBeing, we do not advocate violence as a means to the end if there are other courses available, and there certainly were in this case. The thing that scares me the most about this bombing is that Clinton's anti-terrorism bill will most likely pass without a hitch, and with its ability to deport suspected, not proven terrorists and arrest people who fund overseas terrorist organizations (such as subscribing to the Irish People, the magazine of the IRA), I fear for our liberties. I also fear BBSs like mine which carry information on explosives, terrorist organizations and every other area of the political spectrum under the premise of free speech will be endangered.
We can only wait and see. Right now is a time for mourning, regrouping and rebuilding. But let us not allow rage and vengeance become our primary motivators, or it will lead to our downfall.
Howler in the Shadows
I Wish My Name Were Nathan
Nemo est Sanctus
[Editor's note: This interview appeared in the zine Hogs of Entropy #70. I have lifted it without Mogel's permission, but I figured you guys who don't read HoE might like it. Enjoy, learn all about your favorite <ahem> editor, and then shower me with gifts and prostrate yourself before my awesome presence. Or you could give me a submission. Your choice.]
1] How the poop did you ever originally get such a spiffy god-damned handle?
Well, I always felt that my writing career would be just like Kilgore Trout's in various Kurt Vonnegut books. His stories were always published in porno mags even though they had nothing to do with pornography, and he had only one fan. But that one fan thought he was the greatest writer in the world. That's why I picked it. I wanted to name myself after a writer who could only get stories put between pictures of the "Beaver Sisters" and have only one fan. Or something like that.
2] How old were you and what was it that got you into this whole shin-dig?
I came out of the womb with a Pilot Precise Rolling Ball (Extra Fine) pen in my hand (that is a plug... simply the finest pens made today). Anyway, I've always written, as have most of my close friends, and we decided to do a paper zine. Naturally, this was in high school so we passed it around the school, most of us got suspended and so some of us decided that we'd try it again, only doing it electronically. And viola, State of unBeing was born.
3] Why do you continue doing such socially IMPORTANT work?
If I don't, who will? This work means so much to me, it's as if everytime I see that someone has downloaded a copy, I break out in tears and weep profusely (that's just the type of guy I am). It makes me feel good to know that people out there can escape into the fantasies of Dr. Graves, and more importantly, get out real quick. It makes chills run down my spine to know that there are people out there who are learning from things that we publish. I also have an extremely big ego that needs to be fulfilled. ;)
4] Do you have a life? If so, what are some real world interests of yours?
Of course I have a life. Why do you think the zine barely makes it out on time? I'm basically your average college student, doing all the things average college students do (such as play guitar, drink lots of coffee, and discuss the mimickry devices utilized in the classic Plan 9 from Outer Space) except for the fact that I practice Western Ceremonial Magick. Most people think I'm a crackpot, but that's okay. I'd rather be crazy--it's a lot more fun.
5] What person in the world is the K-RaDDeZT eleet guy dat makes you happy?
I'd have to take a split here. Aleister Crowley and Robert Anton Wilson have provided me with many moments of pure elation and joy. RAW gave me synchronicity, the number 23, and severely uprooted my belief system; Crowley taught me about True Will and magick. Seems pretty good to me.
6] Who is the most ANNOYING person you have ever known? oh, and WHY...
Probably George Herbert Walker Bush. If you wanna know why, read SoB #13 and Clockwork's article (yeah, it's a plug... I'm shameless).
7] What direction do you see your zine heading in? (this one begs for jokes)
Right now the zine seems to be taking a more political viewpoint in many of it's articles. That's fine with me, but I still plan on keeping the literary and poetrie beefed up as well. If that doesn't work, I guess we could always publish death threats or something. Can you get in trouble for that?
8] Toilet Paper - Folded or Crumpled?
I'm not sure, but I can probably link that to Kevin Bacon.
9] If you were to die tomorrow and wanted to leave one quote that everyone would remember you by, what would that be? <evil grin action>
<Nixon routine here> "I am not a child molester."
10] What would be the first thing that came to your mind when I say "zine"?
My path to fortune, fame, and a .45 slug in my skull.
[this article should go before my "Politics, Freedom, and the Human SpIrIt" article, lest the reader gets the wrong idea too early. this is not a note to the editor. do not delete this notice lest retribution reign upon them.]
I fear a grave misjustice has happened in SoB. In this very issue a completely FAKE, FALSE, and SCANDALANDEROUS article by "I Wish My Name Were Nathan the Demagogue" appears. This article was not written by me. Recently.
Here goes. That article claims to solve all the mysteries of life, politics, and humanity that you've all been in such glorious suspense to find out. Well, I've decided I don't want you to know. So don't believe it. Please, do read that article but disbelieve everything you read that has the slightest bit of meaning or significance to you, because it's all a patent lie.
In the course of the past few hours I've realized the real meaning of life, as was presented to me as I was grazing in the androgynous chocolate fields.
Real life is all in the imagination.
Scream! Dream! Weam! Leam! Feem the grooping deems out of the toilet of love!
Real life is all in the imagination. Everything that is presented to me as history or current events is simply fiction; unless I've experienced it, in which case it was something I did.
I am the only real person in the entire universe. Everyone else is fiction or a figment of my fig tree imagination. Figs taste good because I want them to.
NONE of this philosophy applies to ALL of you. I am only clueing you in on the world I inhabit and control. I feel it is interesting that I'm telling you this as it ought to destroy the fabric of my very reality.
Reality is a blooming fig tree.
Reality is a blooming fig tree.
The rest of this refutation essay will prove nothing.
Four years ago I took place in a slightly illegal magic trick at the Hotel Hilton in Dallas, Texas. There I was the center of attention after having been hypnotized into behaving like a manic-depressive wannabe homopederast and being let loose on the audience. The really amusing part about the trick is that they only thought they had hypnotized me. You see, the hypnotist and the audience were a figment of my imagination. I wanted to act hypnotized, so I did, and I wanted to rub into people in socially unacceptable ways, so I did. All the things I did in that ten-minute period of maniacal release were assumed by the audience to be a result of my hypnosis. How they were fooled!
This entire essay is a figment of my imagination, because I did not write it. A ghost writer stepped in and wrote it while I thought I was writing a nice story about some overly intelligent fifth-graders overcoming common political problems in middle school.
Kilgore Trout likes to chain-smoke when the luscious mist of the SU fountain sprays ever-so-gently in the air on a warm humid night when only the drunken cries of four-wheel-drive-driven trucks' passengers pierce the moodless silence of the southern sky.
When they interviewed me to be the local demagogue for SoB, I came in wearing nothing but sandals and some bottomless pajamas. I indeed felt comfortable and I didn't get the usual jittery teeth that interviews usually give me.
I indeed wrote fourteen articles for SoB #8, none of which were lost in the Secret Service raid. Each and every one of them consisted of these seven words: "There are eight words in this sentence." It was going to probe the depths of reality, you see. Kilgore thought it was a little too early to unleash such banal truths on the world and told me to wait.
It is lost forever.
It is lost forever.
It is lost forever.
Just a second. My mother has lost her green glass. I am trying to explain to her that she simply put the green glass back into her mind. Alas, it is lost forever.
Tragedies and horror stories, and even good news, does not faze me. It is all fake. Nothing I see really happens until I have personally witnessed it. Everything I see on TV and hear over the radio is an accident of nature. For sure, no one is out there broadcasting that garbage.
Screw! Drew! Whew! Lew! Few the grooping dews out of the toilet of love!
Just wanted to write "xiv" a few times. I fear it is my namesake.
Remember, you're all in my imagination. Cya later, dudes!
Fear has crept into our hearts and paralyzed our will.
Ugliness is a virtue! Shitty haircuts rule! Welcomely accept the taboo and vehemently reject the accepted and the standard! Common sense is banal, anal, nil, and ill!
Our minds are not steel traps, but sponges. Our bodies are the means by which our mind absorbs information. Our hands, eyes, and ears are the tools for obtaining information to absorb. Most of us waste these tools, lie stagnant, and the forces about us -- television, politics, religion, and advertising -- spoon-feed us, flood our minds, wash away the independent ideas therein. We must be reminded of free will.
How does thought operate in a capitalistic democracy?
Good American citizen: go to school, learn about the real world, get a job, marry your lover, contribute to society, die happy. This is the tenet of our country: Schooling gives you the tools, the critical thought, the experience to become a world citizen. A job develops the work ethic, provides for you and your family, eliminates the boredom and sloth of spare time. A full life is enjoyed, your death is paid for.
A perverse crime against humanity was committed upon wedding the ideas of democracy and capitalism. Democracy: the institution by which the people rule themselves; the purest, most idealistic form of human existence. Capitalism: the institution by which money rules people; the neurotic, paranoid quest for money as happiness; the fettering away of a life for the goal of working to live rather than living to work; the destroyer of philosophy; the ill-conceived mother of spare time.
Anarchy is a pipe dream. Disillusioned citizens look to a world without freedom-killing laws, mind-numbing standards, and soul-crushing conformity. That world contains no politics, no judges, no restriction. That world is a simple conception, born to fruition with the mere act of opening people's eyes. That world, unfortunately, cannot exist by human nature.
Philosopher A says that humans are inherently evil, and without the restriction of society, would tear off around the world in a rampage of selfish, destructive acts. Philosopher B believes that humans are good and well-meaning, and that the restrictions of society itself influence humans to do wrong. Philosopher C takes the stand that humans are born tabulas rasas -- blank slates -- and are entirely influenced by the society around them.
Philosophers are humans, living in societies. They are prejudiced by their own minds.
Take a trip into the animal kingdom. Before the invention of zoos, animals lived exactly as current supporters of anarchy wish to. Animals roam free, living off of nature, apparently enjoying life to the fullest. Why can't humans live like this?
Humans are cursed with consciousness.
Humans are cursed with consciousness.
That sentence was repeated twice. You noticed it. I noticed it. Notice, as well, that you are reading dots of light shining through a piece of glass. We take for granted the distinctly human attributes we have. Most notably, intelligence.
But intelligence is not merely human.
All animals have brains and memories, and can conduct rational thought by synthesizing memory and instinct. Exactly how these memories and instincts are formed, no one knows. A squirrel will run across a highway in terror when a rumbling growling speeding car approaches; the squirrel heads for a tree, runs to a nice spot, and stops. This is an intelligent act.
An unintelligent being, such as a robot which has precise audio circuits, mechanical limbs, touch sensors, and a video camera, could be created by adept human engineers. This robot, however, would run off the end of a high tree branch to its demise -- actually, it would run into the base of the tree -- realistically, it would sit in the middle of the road and be run over -- all without an artificially intelligent brain.
Animals, insects, sea creatures, all have intelligence, and in varying amounts, to be sure. Humans themselves only use 10%-15% of the brain for active thought. Perhaps the same percentages exist in other beings. The human's larger brain is only useful for more refined instinct, behavior, and communication; and a more comprehensive memory. As well:
Humans are cursed with consciousness.
The remaining portion of the human brain is a center of consciousness. We are aware that we exist. For this sole reason, we are human.
Why do humans have language? Why do these 256,000 pixels shining on a VGA monitor make you think, scan your eyes from left to right and top to bottom? Humans have no more radical a language than animals. A cat's meows and cries convey curiosity, greeting, and fear. Why do we not simply utter grunts to convey philosophy and economics?
Humans are cursed with consciousness.
Humans realize, through conscious thought, that separate sounds can convey separate ideas. A cat only meows because it is not aware that it is being so vague.
From the womb of a primitive hominid, the first human emerged with a non-spectacular genetic mutation which gave it consciousness. This human, however, did not know a thing about passive participles or oblique cases of pronouns. Language evolved slowly over thousands of years.
A newborn baby does not know a thing about passive participles or oblique cases of pronouns. Language evolves slowly over several years. The difference lies in the fact that the baby's parents consciously decide to teach it everything they know, in hopes of providing a necessary advantage over the animals.
The human mind acts much as Freud describes, with the three levels of the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is simply inherited from the animal kingdom, providing the instinct to survive. The ego and the superego are shaped by consciousness, providing respectively the drives for personal and selfish desires, and moral and communal needs.
Animals have subsets of the human ego and superego, such as in the concept of marking territory and following the herd, respectively.
Humans are cursed with consciousness.
How, how, how are we so cursed? Consciousness gives us the ability to actively learn, invent, and synthesize. Without consciousness, we wouldn't have the selfish or communal need to do such things. Why is this a curse?
The human is torn between the ego and the superego. These otherwise primitive facets of the mind are blown up into opposing and continuously compromising forces by the means of consciousness, which suddenly makes them very important.
An idealistic anarchy is impossible due to the superego. Anarchy is an all-ego condition, where everyone is independent, free-thinking, selfish, and loving it. The superego is what forces people to form governments, organize themselves, maintain order.
A true communism is impossible due to the ego. This government is an all-superego condition, where people live together and provide for each other, no one has power, and everyone loves it. The ego is what causes leaders to see themselves as individuals, and independent, powerful ones at that, and which leads to corruption. As well, the ego causes subjects to react against their superconformist society and rebel.
The basic power struggle is the result of the war between the ego and the superego. If an anarchy were established, someone would want to control someone else. If a true communism were established, someone would want independence, and would want to control someone else.
Our current government, a republican representative democracy, provides the means for a well-nourished ego and superego. The ego is appeased by freedom, and the superego is contented with fair law and the right to vote. But...
Capitalism fucks us over.
Money fucks us over.
Our current American political system provides us with two major parties, Republican and Democratic. No matter how these parties were created, they are now mainly the representatives of money. Main planks of the parties' platforms, such as abortion, national defense, civil rights, are actually, in a large part, money issues.
Abortion is most often a way to prevent the high costs of raising a child. The sheer idiocy of having a cost of living itself is a direct result of money.
National defense is unnecessary, but the Defense continues. The United States has not been directly attacked as a means of takeover in nearly two hundred years. Defense spending is an excuse both to protect our financial interests in other nations, and to give people jobs to enhance the technology which allows us to do so.
Civil rights on the surface is purely social. Groups of oppressed people seek dignity and self-worth. But people are guaranteed these things, as well as freedom and legal power, by the Constitution. Only a money-based society forces civil rights to exist. Affirmative action is the current topic of debate. This is clearly related to money. There is a need for civil rights legislation only for discrimination leading to financial complications. Otherwise, as mentioned before, we're inherently guaranteed civil rights by the Constitution. Of course, an ideal vision and real life often clash.
In America, where slavery and dictatorship are illegal, the basic human struggle for power is satisfied by the Dollar. Economic class provides a gauge of power over one's fellow citizens. Rising to the top of the money ladder, whether it be through entrepreneurship or pure crime, is the power goal.
Intellectual power and conscious thought are useless to an American.
Intellectual power and conscious thought are useless to an American.
Unless these tools can be used to make money flow.
An aside before moving on:
Stuff caused by money:
A thinking person will often ponder the eternal question: "What is the purpose of life?" The purpose of life is to make money. Money is power. Money is happiness.
This is the capitalist form of happiness.
There are alternatives.
Humans are cursed with consciousness. Consciousness brought us politics, prejudice, lust for power.
Be idealistic, though. Imagine a society without any of the bad things associated with current and past world governments. No politics. No kings or queens. No power struggle. No corruption. No ingrained spoonfed philosophies about life's purpose, death, creation, or the bell curve. What is there left?
Certainly we'll see human equality if all this hierarchy were destroyed.
Humans are animals.
The male is stronger than the female. Females bear children, limiting their productivity for nine months at a time, in the name of life. The male is free to run about and impregnate females, with only a fifteen-minute period of down time between conceptions. There you have it: males and females cannot be equal on a physical or gender basis.
Humans are cursed with consciousness.
People have various levels of intelligence. Smarter people come up with new ideas. These ideas serve the community. People are grateful. The smarter people are elevated to a position of power. There you have it: humans cannot be equal on an intellectual basis.
Humans are animals.
Concentrated groups of humans evolved over time in different areas around the world. In these groups of people, skin color, physical ability, and mental ability evolved in different ways. Groups of people who sense some difference in themselves will take advantage of these differences. There you have it: different races cannot be equal on an intellectual or physical basis.
Humans are cursed with consciousness.
If I were to continue like this forever, I would eventually demonstrate a simple fact: everyone is completely different and inherently unequal. The categories mentioned above are by far the most obvious, and therefore take on the most importance.
People can pretend to treat everyone color-blindly, gender-blindly, brains-blindly. But people notice differences. Ignoring them is only a game. It is a complex game consisting of extensive compromise. No human institution can play the game perfectly.
In America, we have numerous cultural groups, differentiated by the groups' native homelands, economic status, race, gender, religion, and beliefs: New Orleans jazz musicians, inner-city gangs, golf-playing richbitches, struggling fiction writers, Congressional fatcats, God-fearing Christians. One often finds that once a person has found his group, he tends to substitute his group's self-image for his own. Amidst wildly-varying diversity, there is rank conformity.
Most people today attempt to individualize themselves, certainly. Unfortunately, their steps away from conformity are small, insignificant, and bland. Picking from a small variety of popular music, selecting a favorite hack writer, picking out a unique wardrobe from a Sears catalog, making oneself look like a glamorous movie star, watching a personal combination of prime-time networked shows -- this is the American's idea of nonconformity. Oh, and hobbies as well -- maintaining the fastest and most expensive personal computer setup in the neighborhood, collecting low-priced stamps, reading romance novels, buying new fast sports cars, masturbating to the latest pornography -- are an American's attempt to individualize himself from his peers.
These steps toward individuality conform to the popular standards of acceptable nonconformist deviations.
In a free society, we are afraid to truly be free. We are too self-conscious of our actions. We are embarrassed by other people's actions. We wholeheartedly condone individuality, but deride or condemn actions which are truly individual.
In schools, where children are taught the virtues of the American way of life, dress codes are enforced, long hair is disallowed, earrings for males are still taboo, and free speech is a joke. Standardized tests and routine multiple-choice tests numb students' minds into blind subservience. Schools attempt to destroy the very basis for a happy, individualistic life.
After a decade or two of schooling, where conformity is promoted, the American citizen is usually left in one of two states. One, as a happily brainwashed follower. After schooling he looks around him for his direction in life, leeching off the leeched-off lives of others. Or two, as a disillusioned angry individualist. This person either keeps his rage to himself, going insane, numbly becoming conformist, or expressing his rage and finding a quick trip to jail or Congress.
To find a happy individualist is rare. It also makes you nervous and embarrassed to be around him.
This is sick. It's got to stop.
Once again: What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose? For the modern American, life is usually spent working for a living instead of living to work, hating politicians and not voting them out of office, watching television continuously with a vague sense of resentment, and wishing it all weren't so.
Most likely, the general course of life will follow as such for most citizens of this era, who will spend it waiting for Jesus to come back, for another war to spice things up, for a comet to smash into earth, for a revolution, or for sweet death.
I am doubtful that anything much will change for a while. Don't be depressed by this. I'm simply telling you the facts as I see them.
So, WHAT is the meaning of life, once all these restrictions are considered and accepted?
The purpose of life is to be as individual as possible, while you can muster up the energy, strength, courage, and humor to do so. One person cannot change the world -- but one person can change himself
Life is not a drudge. Life is not an inevitable sequence of disappointments. Life is not written in stone. You have the power and the freedom in most cases to live as you want.
In order to see this, briefly detach yourself from your immediate world. Forget your family, your friends, your obligations, your money, your hatred of politics. What is life? It's about eighty years. What is life? It's about you.
Ugliness is a virtue! Shitty haircuts rule! Welcomely accept the taboo and vehemently reject the accepted and the standard! Common sense is banal, anal, nil, and ill!
Our will has not been paralyzed. We have simply forgotten that it exists.
You asked me if we could still talk; if I would talk if you called me. By the end we weren't even talking when we were going together. I don't really see as we will ever again have much of anything to say to each other. But now there are a few things I should say:
First, I forgive you. Or, at least, I am trying as hard as I can. I forgive you for concealing the truth from me. I forgive you for permitting the spread of rumors. I forgive you for using me, for telling me that you still loved me, so that I wouldn't catch on until you had decided I was second best. I forgive you for looking for and finding a replacement for me. I forgive you for things better left unsaid, and even for those things better left unknown that I know have hurt me but that I am afraid to confess even to myself. I realize you have no need nor care for my forgiveness, but I have need to give it to you.
You have killed me in ways you can not even begin to know, but I accepted this and all with joy because I really thought we were something special. I think I loved you -- I know that whatever I felt I feel it now as much as ever -- but I know now, seventeen months later, that you never loved me. If you had, you could never have ended it the way you did.
Now that it is over, and I am forced to admit it was never perfect, I have to wonder whether I could have loved you, too. All I can say for certain is: if I have ever felt love, you were its object.
I despise myself for not being good enough to make you happy. The last time I was this close to suicide was a fortnight before we met, and a knife to the belly was never so appealing as in a hari kari in recognition of my failure. Through the time we were together we had our ups and we had our downs -- towards the ends it was more of the latter -- but the whole time I had a purpose: to please you. I have failed, and there is no other purpose to compare. I despise myself for being unable to fulfill the one task that was truly important to me. I despise myself for hurting you, and I despise myself for forcing you to hurt me. I no longer bear any animosity towards you, for I know you are not at fault. My miasma is eternal. If I can now make you even a little more happy by disappearing from your life forever, perhaps my existence has not been entirely wasted.
I hope M-- pleases your grandmother more than I ever could. I know I have never brought anything but pain to you and your family. I hope that your new love can repair the damage I have done to your family and friends.
I'm sorry we cannot ever "just be friends", but I could never be "just friends" with someone I love so much. Would you want to be friends with someone who was shooting you in the face? someone who was kicking you in the stomach? Why then should it be different with someone who has destroyed my heart? ("You'll be killing my heart when you go away.") No, the pain and the guilt will never go away, and it will be no small amount of time before I could ever be around you in any way that would not simply be too painful. I am truly sorry, and I truly believe I love you.
In my estimation, there are but 2 ways to achieve happiness. The first of these is ignorance. The second is apathy. I furthermore conjecture that a majority of the world systematically passes from the former state to the latter. Those unable to make this transition become disillusioned youth, the mainstay, rank and file members of Generation X.
1. Happiness through ignorance.
If you don't know of anything that is wrong, everything seems right. This simple axiom is the basis for happiness through ignorance. Take the people who invented the principles that made the nuclear bomb possible. When they though they had invented a source of nearly inexhaustible power and were ignorant of the destructive capabilities therein contained, they were very happy. Only when they learned that nuclear power was bad did they become unhappy. The same phenomenon is repeated in childhood. Children are generally very happy people. Children are also inherently ignorant. By the same token, when a child is unhappy, it usually takes very little to make them happy (although the exact nature of what it takes is often elusive). Cancer (and AIDS) patients are further examples. As long as one is ignorant of one's imminent death, it doesn't trouble the mind. It is when somebody knows that they have a severely limited lifespan that the experience becomes traumatic. In short, what you don't know can hurt you, but you can't worry about what you know about. From there it becomes a question of which is more important, survival or happiness.
2. Happiness through apathy.
Most of us have lost our ignorance, but still desire happiness. This is the purpose of apathy. Extending the example of terminal illness, after one knows of their imminent demise, they tend to either let ruin their lives, driving them into despair, or go on with their lives in a mostly normal state. 'Yes, I'm going to die, but i don't care.' This is the joy of apathy. This principle can also be applied to any source of impending doom. Nuclear war, environmental destruction, slime-monsters from outer space (there could be, we have no proof there isn't). We simply say, 'So what if there are slime-monsters, there could be, but until I see one, I don't really care.' Apathy is especially effective when applied to the past. This is mostly because the past is inherently unchangable, and as such deserves little concern.
3. The Worldwide Transition.
Everyone is born a child. Everyone is born ignorant. Everybody learns and loses some of that ignorance. I believe that apathy is the most commonly used defence to ensure happiness. 'I love you ____ , you make everything else go away.' 'Everything just seems right when I'm with you.' Love is a means to achieve apathy, and therein happiness. Drugs and alcohol are similarly a means to more directly achieve apathy. Here lies why you CANNOT ban alcohol, those who don't have love depend on it for their shot of happiness. Families are also vehicles of apathy. 'Bad times may come, but I am secure in that my family can work it out' Self-confidence is also very similar. 'Bad times may come, but I am secure in that I can work it out, whatever it is.' Further examples can be made as necessary.
And this is my conjectural discourse on happiness.
I would like to take this time to join with the majority of the Constitutional Militia leaders in the United States and decry the Oklahoma City bombing of April 1995 and to mourn its victims. Among its victims can be found Freedom, as well as support for the Revolutionary Movement. I realize that many reading this article will disagree with me (in fact I imagine that there will be articles to be shortly published praising the bombing; articles which I look forward to reading), but disagreement is a good thing: It leads to the evolution of the Movement. I can understand why the bombers would wish to bomb a government building, but these were no mere attention getters: These bombers were looking for the maximum number of casualties, and went against the rules of honorable warfare by not identifying their targets. Even guerrillas should identify their targets -- from Castro to the Zapatistas to the IRA the targets have been identified and, in the case of bombings, warning was often given. Even the extremist Red Army Fraction of Germany has begun nonfatal bombings, as have the Revolutionary Workers in Japan. The killing of the children could have been accidental; but had there been a better casing job it was avoidable. This bombing will only act as a catalyst to pass the Omnibus Counter-Terrorism Bill and other bills to end all resistance to the government, both political and military. Military solutions are last-ditch efforts to end repression; simple shoot-'em-up tactics will not work in a society which does not relish violence. These issues will be discussed in more detail in future issues of this serialization, namely the chapters on tactics and the forthcoming chapter "The Case for Non-Violence."
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
As the cells begin to consolidate, organization becomes more important. The earliest traces of a guerrilla army in the bands will be loose alliances between bands who will fight together in order to maximize their efficiency. This will eventually evolve into a Liberation Front, which will here mean a united confederation which, though each group remains autonomous, band together to fight the common oppressor. These Liberation Fronts are by far one of the most common form of resistance before a single government form has been decided. The Liberation Front is probably one of the most useful forms of resistance as well. This, however, is not to say that the members of the guerrilla bands have no political focus; indeed, they must me all the more focused to avoid being absorbed into other groups.
Using the Liberation Front form, a Council would be made which would decide the actions of the guerrilla army, based somewhat on a parliamentary system. This Council would have within it both a Political Branch, which for the sake of simplicity would contain the Legislative and Judicial Branches, and a Military Branch. (See Figure 1.) The Council would be formed of officials elected from the guerrilla bands by the warriors themselves, based on the size of the band. Each guerrilla band would be allied with a political group, and each would elect a representative to the Council. The Political Branch of the Council would act as a provisional government until an elected government could be instated. This provisional government would pass laws which would be enforced by the guerrilla bands and (preferably) citizens' police forces, and judged, whenever possible, by a Judicial Branch of the Political Branch, in the liberated zones. Needless to say, many times the guerrilla bands must act on their best judgment on the revolutionary laws while on the field.
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | FiGURE 1: COMPOSiTiON OF THE REVOLUTiONARY COUNCiL | | | | Revolutionary Council | | | | | +---------------+----------------------+ | | | | | | Military Branch Political Branch | | | | | | +------+------+ +-----+-----+ | | | | | | | | Guerrilla Guerrilla Legislative Judicial | | Band Band Branch Branch | | | | | +-----+-------+----------------+ | | | | | | | Column Column Column | | | (approx. | | +---------+---------+ 3-4 Tricells) | | | | | | | Tricell Tricell Tricell | | Group Group Group | | | | | +-----+-----+ | | | | | | | Cell Cell Cell | | | +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
During the Black and Tan War, the Irish War for Independence, Sinn Fein set up a provisional government to take the place of the British government. A Judicial Branch was formed which, while on the run from the British Government and unable to detain people for any period of time, offered various sentences, such as those of deportation. During this time the Republican police arrested three men who robbed a bank of 20,000 British pounds. All the money was recovered, and the men were sentenced to deportation. By replacing the defeated government with the provisional government, the people are still protected despite the warfare. For this reason the guerrilla army must have a stable Political Branch, for without the political leadership, the interests of the people will be forgotten, and anyone can take control -- including parties even more against the people than the overthrown government.
As Michigan Militia Commander Norman Olson said, "Brutality will breed more brutality if justice is left out of the equation." The guerrilla bands, the citizens' police forces, and the provisional government and laws must be just, for if they are unjust, or do not apply themselves to the needs of the people, the people will go to the former government to relieve them. The average person will go to security over freedom, and so the provisional government must offer both.
The Military Branch of the Council would plan the major operations of the guerrilla bands. Like the Political Council, this group would consist of members of the various guerrilla bands selected by the bands for their strategic and martial abilities. This Branch of the Council would ensure that the groups did not work against each other, and that the actions worked with the aims of the guerrilla bands, both political and martial, and will work with the Political Branch to make sure that the bands do not break with the needs of the people. This Branch of the Council will plan out the assaults and assign the bands their parts in such an assault, and they can take the plans back to their cells.
Each Council member will know only the people in his band and on the Council so that, if he is captured, he cannot reveal the identities of other members of the bands. However, each cell should know the immediate successor to their leader, as well as where to contact the rest of their band so that, in the case of their Council-seat's death or disappearance, the cell will not be cut off from the Council.
The Council will consist of a number of guerrilla bands. Each guerrilla band is a group of cells which, having the same political views, have banded together to form their own group in the army. The bands each have their faction of the Political Branch which they support, and have representation on the Council based on the number of cells within their band.
When a guerrilla band begins to get too unwieldy, it is best to divide that band into columns. An example of column structure, taken from Che Guevara's book on Guerrilla Warfare is given in Figure 2. Che uses the term 'squad' where I have used 'cell', but this is merely a matter of personal preference, as are the title of the ranks used. Using this structure the Column Commander would have a special seat on the Military Council along with the representatives from each cell. The Column Commander will also be responsible for instating successors to the cell leaders when a cell leader is captured or killed. Also, when faster decisions are needed that do not require all the cell leaders, Column Commanders can call a meeting to decide such issues.
Each Column will be divided into several Tricell Groups, each Tricell Group having one seat on the council. When a guerrilla band has an uneven number of cells, or circumstances require division into larger groups, each Tricell group may contain more than three cells -- the Tricell is merely a model. Each guerrilla band will contain any number of Tricells, depending on the number of people following that political ideology.
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | FiGURE 2: COLUMN STRUCTURE iN FAVORABLE GROUND ACCORDiNG TO GUEVARA | | (Based on Ernesto "Che" Guevara's Guerrilla Warfare, section three: | | "Organization a Guerrilla Band.") | | | | Column | | Commander | | (100-150 men) | | | | | +----------------+-------+-------+---------------+ | | | | | | | | Captain Captain Captain Captain | | (30-40 men) (30-40 men) (30-40 men) (30-40 men) | | | | | +-----------+-----------+ | | | | | | | Squad Squad Squad | | Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant | | (8-12 men) (8-12 men) (8-12 men) | | | +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
The cell is the basic unit of the guerrilla band, each cell being assigned a certain task, sometimes to join with other cells, during the assault. If the cell sees that the guerrilla band is working against the good of the people it is its duty to break off and form its own band or join another band which has its ideology. Likewise, if the Council works against the good of the people or the ideologies of the guerrilla band, it is the duty of the guerrilla band to break away and form its own army and Council. The army is then made up of several guerrilla bands, each with slightly different political views. However, it cannot wait until after the revolution to solve all ideological differences. All members of the guerrilla army must have the basic will to help the people. The Council should not allow a band to join which is working at counter-purposes to join the guerrilla army lest the band take over the entire guerrilla army, or defeat the guerrilla army after the fall of the oppressive government. Guerrilla bands which work against the good of the people should be considered just as much an enemy as the oppressive government. In order to keep these regressive elements from the guerrilla army it is best to require a two-thirds majority vote from the Council before the band is permitted entrance into the army. A two-thirds ratification by the individual cells should follow this vote. Then any bands who disagree with the new band and are unable to resolve their disagreements can break off and form new armies.
Each cell contains a different make-up depending on the area which is being fought in. When in favorable ground, ground which is largely in a remote area and almost inaccessible to the enemy army, each cell can be as large as twelve men, marching with their column. However, the guerrillas must often go into more unfavorable ground in order to combat the enemy army, and in these unfavorable grounds the numbers in the cells should be reduced so as to add to the elements upon which the guerrilla fighters must rely: surprise and speed. In urban areas, where there is often a large enemy population and police response is quick, the cell should range from about four to five men in size, the number which can fit in an automobile with the least amount of notice possible. As members of a cell are killed, wounded, or captured, members of other cells can be transferred into other cells within their guerrilla band. New cells, and eventually new columns, are formed with new recruits. In the end, the size of the cell is left to the discretion of those fighting in it based on the speed needed. Cells may band together, or may be divided, based on the difficulty of a mission and the need for secrecy and speed.
The guerrilla bands must each contain a small number of suicide cells. These cells are those with the highest honor in the guerrilla army: They are the vanguard force which takes on the hardest tasks of the guerrilla army, which often prove fatal. Membership in the suicide cells must rely on volunteer basis, just as should membership in any other cell. It must always be remembered that conscription into any cell leads only to security leaks and shoddy military actions; each man must fully want to be a member of his cell and must feel a comradeship with the other members of his cell.
The Eloquence of Silence
Listen, so you may hear
The Urge to Be Still
Words casting ripples
Thoughts travelling out in waves
To the shores of This Pond
Then to return to the Source
Shhhh...The Void calls,
Calling out for an answer
Calling out for an answer
What can the Question Be?
[Editor's note: H.P.B. refers to Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society in 1875, the first time where the study of occultism became serious and organized. She published two huge works in the late 1800's, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, two classics on occultism. They are very interesting and useful sources, but take heed of the words of Aleister Crowley:
"The best of the serious attempts to systematise the results of comparative religion is made by Blavatsky, but though she had an immense genius for acquiring facts, she had none whatever for sorting and selecting essentials."
Both of these can be found at your local bookstore, and aside from Crowley's remarks, which I agree with, they are both a great read, albeit very dense. I recommend them highly.]
If I seen him bearing down on me now under whitespread wings like he'd come from Arkangels, I sink I'd die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup.
I dreamed I was watching the climax of Jesus Christ Superstar -- "The Crucifixion." The stage was completely black as the nails were hammered in, and then a harsh, blood red light came up and a cross dropped down, suspended on chains. Christ was jarred against his bonds as the cross danced against the chains with the sound of the laughter of a child of seven days. The Savior glowed like an Adonis.
"God forgive them; they don't know what they are doing," He prayed as an immense rose rose from the stage below him, blossoming below the cross. The rose was ivory; the blood red light made a right red rose.
I thought I saw a flicker of orange flame dance across the rose as He descended towards it, bearing His cross and calling for His mother,
and when the cross crucified the rose, a woman's voice cried out.
The theater echoed with a woman's cries, and a woman moaned, and then I noticed the orange flames were there. They reflected on the white rose, but then engulfed the Magdalene, kneeling at the foot of the cross frozen in a rhapsody of amber light.
Coming in under the radar, at first only in my mind but gradually in reality, I could hear an undercurrent of voices, male and female, chanting "Eloi, Eloi." One woman cried and moaned in ecstasy at the cross, and the voices chanted "Eloi, Eloi." One woman gasped and panted, gloria in ekstasis, and the voices chanted "Eloi, Eloi."
And the voices chanted "Eloi, Eloi," and the Christ descended. On His cross, He sank towards the rose. From Golgotha He passed to Hell, and the Magdalene's flames licked Him as He broke her from her chains.
And the voices chanted "Eloi, Eloi," and the Christ descended. From Golgotha He came, cross body and Christ soul. He cried for thirst as the flames licked His feet. "O God, I'm thirsty."
And the voices chanted "Eloi, Eloi," and the Christ descended. He passed through the purifying flames, and the blood of Christ mingled with nothing but our own red blood; we, the body of Christ. "Into your hands I commend my spirit," and into the rose I saw descend the Logos. His final "Not My will but Thine be done" echoed as the cross touched the rose; I could see before I could hear His last "You have murdered Me."
And the voices cried out with Christ "Eloi, Eloi" -- "My God, My God" -- and the Christ descended into the rose, tensed, and cried out "lama sabacthani?" -- "Why hast thou forsaken me?" -- as the veil was rent and Christ gave up His spirit.
And there was a scream. The Magdalene fell down as dead, though only to rise up.
from something to nothing in anything flat as these buddha faces fill the void that grips us on this planet but there are other buddha faces friendly bubbha spaces places to share our pain when existential malaise seeks us out so this is nothing but a something in anything flat to share the void in my soul with someone else with a hole where humanity should dwell to rise up from that hell to aetherial spaces where buddha faces fill the void where i was once annoyed (to share is the essence of being human)
He sat on his roof staring at the sky. It was a hot, humid, cloudless night. His eyes were drawn to the moon, full and swollen in the starless sky. His thoughts drifted back over the past three hours and he shuddered. The police were probably already on their way, David's mom had recognized him, he was sure of it.
He should leave, run away, the last thing he wanted was to be arrested. His mind recoiled from his earlier actions. Then it was back. It. That shadowy haze that hovered over his mind sometimes. He could feel it watching. What had he become? How could he have....? He shuddered again.
It was not a part of him. It. The shadow thing. He had lived with it for ten of his seventeen years, long enough for him to know.
Always before it had been contained, leashed, by his morals, his fear, his strength of will. Always before he had held it at bay, suffered its malicious laughter, but no more. Something had changed. He controlled it no more.
He silently cursed himself, for being so weak.
Cursed the shadow thing for its evil.
Cursed God for allowing this to happen.
It made him remember. It feasted upon his anger and his grief. The shadow thing rejoiced.
The day had begun normal enough. He went to school, talked to his friends, publicly announced that algebra was the work of the devil; an average day. He arrived home, watched t.v. for a couple of hours, and began his homework.
The trouble began just after seven. He was the only one home. His parents were working late.... again. The phone began to ring while he was in the shower. At the seventh ring he became anxious. By the tenth he was scared. He bolted out of the bathroom to the living room and snatched up the phone.
"Hello?" he asked.
There was only sobbing on the other end.
"Hello?" he asked again.
"Alex..." began a wavering voice.
He recognized that voice, Jessica, his neighbor and best friend since the second grade. She hadn't been in school that day.
"Jesse? What's the matter?"
"Alex, I need to talk... my parents... can I come over?"
The phone clicked.
Alex walked back to the bathroom and began toweling off. There was a knock on the door. He wrapped the towel around his waist and answered the door. Jessica was standing outside. She was a petite brunette with short, curly hair. Always pretty, but never beautiful. He noticed that she was wearing the same clothes she had yesterday, they looked slept in and cried on. She wandered in past him and collapsed onto the couch. She stared out the window for a moment before bursting into tears. He was immediately by her side.
"Jesse, tell me what's wrong."
She hesitated a moment before latching onto his shoulder and bursting into tears again. They sat like that for several minutes before she began.
"Last night, me and David went on a date." Alex nodded. "We went to his house, to watch that movie that was on t.v. You know, the one with Harrison Ford? His mother wasn't home and he had been drinking. I shouldn't have been there.... I knew it was a mistake... It's my fault...
"We were making out when he began to get rough..." Alex's stomach began to knot up. He could foresee what she was going to say next, and he dreaded it. The shadow thing crept near, hovering at the edge of consciousness. She composed herself before continuing.
"He pushed me down.... I tried to stop him... I couldn't..."
The shadow thing howled with joy. Its leash stretched. Between sobs she forced out, "I couldn't stop him..." Something inside him shattered. The walls of the shadow thing's pen crumbled, falling to dust in the confines of his mind. Its laughter filled his skull.
"Why come to me? Why not your parents?"
"Go to my father? He thinks that I'm a slut as it is! He would just slap me and call me a worthless bitch!" She sobbed again. "What should I do, Alex?"
"Don't worry," he soothed her, "I'll take care of it. You just need to get some rest."
He led her back to his parent's bedroom and sat her down on his parent's bed.
"Take these," he said, pushing two sleeping pills into her hand. His mom used those pills when she had nightmares. Nightmares of the night Alex's brother died in that fire. The night the shadow thing had been born.
He wandered back into the living room and sat down. He had to think.
What should he do?
He knew David, he liked him, was David really capable....?
Yes, he was.
How could he....
HOW DARE HE TOUCH HER!
That was not his thought. That was the shadow thing, now running loose in his brain.
HE MUST PAY!
HE MUST DIE!
No, he would not kill anyone. Alex stopped moving. His hands dropped from his head to his lap. His lips twitched. Cold hatred flooded him. It overloaded his system.
Yes that is what must happen he thought.
The will of God...
The will of the shadow thing.
Thy will be done...
The world must be purged of his presence.
He must be punished.
Alex silently got up, dressed and left. Jessica slept soundly. David lived on the other side of the neighborhood. A short walk. He and his mother lived in a two story brick house, one of the nicest in the area. Alex stood at the end of the street, watching. The lights were on. Someone was moving in the living room. The mother. He advanced to the door. Nothing existed but that door, and what was behind it.
He paused on the doorstep, fighting the shadow thing, but he had little strength left. His vision flooded crimson as new powerful rage flooded his system. He kicked the door open and rushed in. David's mother whirled round and recognition filled her eyes. Alex caught her with a vicious back hand to the temple. She spun half round before collapsing on the floor, unconscious. Alex held no malice towards her. He moved around the inert body and headed upstairs.
Down the hall, up the stairs, third door to the right. He'd been here many times. 'Always before as a friend...' His own thought or that of the shadow thing? It was getting harder to tell. He paused before the door. It was hard. Something fighting him. Or was he fighting the shadow thing? It was the final step, a line, a barrier.
OPEN THE DOOR, YOU SPINELESS PIECE OF SHIT!
He found himself academically puzzled. This was the first time It had actually addressed him. He watched his hand move toward the knob. It was locked. He smiled, somehow it was better if he was resisted. His adrenaline was pumping. This was the most fun he had had in a long time. It was better than... better than life itself. He paused, savoring the moment, inhaled and kicked the door open. David had been on his bed watching t.v., he was on his feet now. Alex's rage doubled at the sight of David. It was almost impossible to tell the shadow thing from Alex's own thoughts.
There was understanding in David's eyes, and fear. David was much larger than Alex. Tall, muscular, a football player, all the things Alex was not. None of that would matter, Alex knew that. Perhaps David did too.
The fight itself was a haze of blood and breaking bones. He remembered beating David with his fists with psychotic fury. He remembered ripping David's throat out with his teeth. He remembered the pure joy he felt kicking David's skull in.
David's mother was stirring as he left. He ignored her. He was still numb when he reached home. The shadow thing was quiet now. Satisfied with the bloodshed it seemed. He crept into the house, his parents were still not home. He entered the bedroom where Jessica was sleeping and watched her for a few minutes. He left her a note on the dresser where she would find it:
Dear Jesse, I'm afraid that I've done something horrible. I would ask for your forgiveness, but I know that it is unforgivable. I sincerely apologize for any pain that I have caused you.
He could hear the sirens now. Getting closer. He would not run. He should be punished for what he had done. He was a monster.
The shadow thing laughed.
He must be punished.
The shadow thing was closer than it had ever been. He could feel it creeping in. It embedded itself into his mind. It saw through his eyes, felt through his hands. His blood pumped through it, becoming its blood. Its thoughts pumped through him, becoming his thoughts.
He must die. It would die with him, he was sure of it.
The shadow thing laughed.
The police would be here soon. He would wait for them. It had him now. He despaired. What had he done to deserve this? He pleaded to God, but God was not there. He would wait for the police.
He must be punished.
He must Die.
Alex was gone long before the police arrived.
[Kind readers, strange readers, the story you
are about to read is true. Only the facts have been changed to protect the
innocent. Yes, I have taken liberties with the facts, but the truth
remains untouched. This is a tale of justice served. As an imperfect
pot is cast aside by the potter, so is the imperfect here cast aside.
But this hollow vessel has a voice. It asks merely that it be heard
out, though its fate is predestined.]
Reflecting despite the agony, I can say I am glad of one thing: that she told me to fuck off to my face. Those six words -- "I think we should break up" -- may have caused me more pain than anything else in my life, but I would rather take the blow from her then have it blunted by phone or mail or -- worst of all -- proxy.
With the pain so acute I had but two options available. I could absent myself, or I could lash out with the hopes of hurting her back, though knowing I could never cut so deep as she just had. Over the course of our nearly seventeen month relationship I have learned that the first option the girl interprets as coldness or disinterest. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I absent myself not because I do not care, but rather because I care only too much. She may have found someone better, but I have never found anyone to compare to her. Despite the pain, and even if my apparent coldness seems to hurt her, I could not make an effort to cause her pain, and if I had stayed I would have said something we both would have regretted.
My answer to her six word barrage: Fine, then let's leave. I walked in apparent disinterest to my car, and with squealing tires absented myself.
There could be only one destination. Nowhere was as appropriate for my retreat -- strategic withdrawal -- as the graveyard. Our graveyard. It was in the graveyard that we spent our first date, her body and mine amid the headstones, and it is in the graveyard that many of my fondest memories of our relationship are set. I remember grabbing a half hour before her rehearsals to sit in the graveyard and gaze into each others' eyes. I remember "kidnaping" her in the middle of the night and spiriting her away to the graveyard to lie on our backs and gaze at the stars, making the angels themselves jealous of the flames of our passions. "We made love like mad angels," and those in heaven were left to wonder whether those in hell had broken free before Armageddon; such was the intensity of our passion.
As I walked amidst the graves in the Saturday dark, I should have been expected to feel alone. I didn't. Rather, I felt like a half-person. I had been gutted; I could not feel alone. There was -- is -- not enough of me left to even call it "being".
The force of my sobs frightened me.
I sat and made a list. She had talked about staying in touch. Again I probably sounded cold, but I was simply being honest. I do not think we would have anything to say to each other. I had made similar agreements to stay in touch with every other girl I've dated, and with every one it has lasted less than a month, and that on the outside. With her though there is an added element. One can only dance so close to the flame. Moths can go so far as to destroy themselves in the fires, but a candle has never openly spurned a moth. For the rest of us, we are doomed to be put in the oven, and taken out, and put in...
But could we have managed it? We shall never know.
Anyway, my list, in part, runs as follows:
How long were you seeing him before you told me?
How long were your claims of love lies, that I would not suspect?
Is he good in bed?
("... take your songs and your Stratocaster," as the poet has said.
"See if they're half as good in bed as me".)
How did I fail?
Did you ever love me?
How could I have changed myself so it wouldn't have had to end
Would it help if I killed him?
Reflecting on the list, it is quite clear what my mind was thinking. It was trapped in a Manichaean war between my child-soul -- hurt and wanting to hurt back -- and my adult soul -- mature enough to recognize my failures and to know the only question worth asking is "why?" As well as mature enough to realize that this is the one question even the most well meaning can never answer.
The next day (after a church service where I cried publicly, if as non-obviously as possible) I set about cleaning. I took down many things I'd had on my walls, including a gift or two from her. "All the things she gave me," as the song goes, although I didn't put them in a big brown box. I could never cast away the things she'd given me; they are like a saint's relics. Having touched the ineffable they retain an almost tangible holiness, as ineffaceable as my miasma.
When one lies in a graveyard as much as I, one learns to respect the bodies of the dead. The gifts are the corpse of our relationship. I stored them carefully in my wardrobe beside her photographs and every letter, card, and scrap of paper she had ever given me. "All the things she gave me."
All except one.
Over Spring Break she was out of town. This is true of both Spring Breaks we were together; it seems that we had very few vacations together and she undoubtedly vacationed more with other guys than with the one she was theoretically dating. She sent me a card that read, simply, "I love you." (The torturer in my psyche never tires of asking me whether she was lying or mistaken. The speed of events indicates that it is more than likely she'd considered leaving me before she even wrote the card, and I have worshiped at the idols of the Romantics so long that if love can end I have difficulty believing it was ever there.) The card came with a little pin with a reproduction of the painting on the card impressed upon it and a letter indicating that I'd likely never wear the pin. She was right; she cast me off before I'd worn it around her. She never discovered -- nor inquired -- what became of it.
I'd put it in my shrine.
Beside my bed I have a small shrine with the icons and jewelry too valuable for casual wear. The card -- the last time she wrote "I love you"; to me, at least -- and the pin stand beside my St. Patrick icon, my Sts. Patrick and Christopher medals, and my golden and wooden crosses, beneath my crucifix and rosaries. When I packaged away her other gifts I left this out.
The other gifts represented her favor, in which I no longer am. This represents my devotion, and she will ever be my goddess.
Looking back -- and that is all I can do, as she took whatever future I may have looked forward to -- I think I may have been mistaken in forcing the decision. Still, it feels better to pull the blade from one's breast, even if it does disturb the wound. With a wound such as this I would rather die empty than violated.
But to whom can I plead my case? She has found a better man. Had I simply fallen from out her favor than I would cast myself at her feet like a troubadour to a noblewoman whom he knows he does not deserve any attention from but whom he petitions because even the notice of her casting him away is better than the oblivion of never having been acknowledged at all. The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. But I will not interfere with her relationship, as I have already been replaced. Indeed, I had been replaced before I'd even been cast off. I'll not try to take her from him, and I'll certainly not interfere if she believes she can derive more joy from him than from me. My happiness is nothing compared to hers.
With this testament, then, I plead my case to the ladies and gentlemen of a jury of my peers -- the dead.
The day before, she had graced me with a kiss much too intimate for its antecedent. ("Judas, must you betray me with a kiss?" A cry not of surprise, not of anger, but of a loathing for one who is so deserving of betrayal that even His most intimates recognized it -- and were forced to oblige.) At the time it was the brush of Ishtar on my lips. (Astarte was in no wise the primary divinity in this touch.) In retrospect it was a slap on the very face that bent to accept it with all the childlike pleasure -- and dogged trust -- that I accepted everything she ever saw fit to cast down to me. "All the things she gave me...."
Our lips had barely parted, our breaths still mingled, and she breathed: I have a crush on someone; I think I like him as more than a friend.
(God, how I hate that pattern of half truths. "I have a crush on..." as if she were some jittery junior high girl. My jading is deep. I subconsciously interpret such a phrase as "I want him to fuck me." It may not be as dainty, it may not even be true. At least, however, it means something, and has the courage to let its true meaning be known, stains and all. "More than a friend." A totally meaningless statement. Would she come up to me and tell me he is her comrade? I think not, but that at least would mean what she said. One's lover is not "more than a friend". "If we can't be friends, we can at least be lovers.")
A few inquiries revealed that she and he were already "a thing" (another damn nicety that the Nemo est Sanctus in me translates as "fucking", though even the Nemo dares not believe it where I can see him; even in my own mind I care more for her honor than for my own happiness) and more than one person suspected that I had been given a false time to arrive at her competition that day so I would miss it and not interfere with their affair. I watched her that day from a distance and, true to form, they were beside each other almost the whole time I was watching.
But whether she had given me disinformation or I had misunderstood: such questions may never be answerable. I do not know -- God knows.
I have a great uncle who fought with the French Resistance during the Second World War. His life was saved once because a bullet hit his religious medal. His chest was black and blue and he was flung across the room unconscious, but it saved his life.
If I'd lived to see the Revolution, I'd hoped to wear the pin she gave me over my heart as my own charm. But I no longer have any life worth saving.
[The following appears to be a fragment from
a letter attempted by the author transcribed into his testament. We can
only assume it was never sent.]
How could you and he have been "a thing", how could "everyone [have seen] it coming" if this situation does not have to do with him? You say yourself, though, "I would never give up our relationship for someone less perfect than you." What can that mean but that he is more perfect?
Indeed, positive though you may be, this undoubtedly did have to do with him. How can I be so certain? Because he was the reason I forced the question. You want him, he wants you, and everyone and their pet goat knew. I could not stand by and be ridiculed like that. I can accept you and him if it makes you happy -- I can be with Joyce in the largest fraternal organization in the civilized world: the cuckolds -- but I will not be ridiculed. I had planned to say you had to either lose him, me, or the rumors. You had a different decision in mind, and I deferred to your wishes as it was that important to you that I be cast off. As you say, you "had no choice."
But I leave you now, and if you choose to ignore this letter, perhaps you will finally be rid of me; I perhaps will have been cast off. I go back to my tears of blood, as I did Saturday, that flow from my burst heart.
But, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I deceive you. Or, rather, I deceive myself. The facts have been changed to protect the indecent. Nothing hurts so much as the truth. I fear this makes no sense, though, as I care not what an impartial jury may think of me. The State need make no case: I am guilty. I plead innocent only that I may get my proverbial day in court. I am judge and I am executioner. As for a jury, I wanted someone who would listen impartially. Ironically, only the jury will not judge me, but only judge my actions.
It was different with her, though. The truth hurts. It is the little lies that keep a relationship together. Each one of us trusts the other most of all not to try to see behind the masks until midnight, when all will be revealed. A relationship that was not based on deception could never be happy. At times I could not bring myself to tell her the truth when there was a problem. I was aware it was my fault, and I would not burden her with it: I have no apologies for that. But then I would not confess my failings to her, and for that I have no excuse. Why could I not tell her the times I was dissatisfied? Why could I not tell her I, too, could feel the pain of the distance that had grown between us? Why could I not tell her that a factor in this distance was the minor stimulants -- caffeine, ginseng, etc. -- that I would take in major doses? Why could I not confess that when I saw her pain at this distance I was afraid to admit the pattern and instead took greater doses and greater potions so I would deaden myself and feel less of everything, including her pain? Why? The one question even the most well meaning cannot answer. Mea culpa.
Why could I not confess that, at times, I would say something I don't believe, not just to make the person I'm talking to think, but sometimes so I could hear my doubts proven wrong; so I could hear someone else confirm that my pessimistic worldview is wrong? Why could I not confess that my idea of conversation is often not far from argument, and the conflict I dwell on is sometimes hard to tell from hatefulness? How often our conversations dried up not because I had nothing to say but rather because I could not see how you could take an interest in my thoughts. And then you, thinking I didn't care, then stopped speaking yourself.
Why could I not confess that I, too, seem to need stability in a relationship? But that is simple. Stability is too frightening.
And with me it is something different. I lie to myself to keep the dwarf in check, the Nemo. I lie to myself because sometimes I cannot face the truth. Sometimes the truth entails too much pain, even for I who am used to being hurt.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: She did not leave me for another man. This is a lie I and the State have been perpetuating. Is it aesthetically pleasing to claim she did, or do I deceive myself (protect myself) again? Is the real reason I make this claim that I really have only two options: to believe she found someone better or to believe I, alone, was entirely unsatisfying? When one is left for another man, one may make the case that one can improve or that one may have pleased the girl once upon a time.
When one is left on one's own "merits", what solace is there to be had?
So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, boys and girls, I confess. I deliver my mea culpas now, on the record, as I will never have another chance.
She left me. I, alone, failed her.
I was thinking this morning of a very different Saturday night, long, long ago. Almost yesterday. When we'd first been going out.
We were on the way to the graveyard, on a kind of double date, and had stopped under a streetlight to wait for more people to join us.
The next day my friend, who'd been with us, told me I'd scared him. He'd never seen me running and horseplaying like that. In short, he'd never seen me as happy as I obviously was with her.
What happened, Bananas? Sometimes I miss you so much.
And now I lie here once again, for the last time. This manuscript can act as a note; as adequate an answer to "Why?" as possible. I lie here with paper and pencil as tomorrow's dew is just beginning to condense on the blades of grass, and with the blade Harlequin gave me for Christmas; the black dagger that thirsts for blood.
A smile steals across my lips at another memory of this graveyard, that of when the police caught us in a compromising position -- when the girl is under seventeen as she was anything is compromising after dark, even I am sure the most chaste of caresses -- and in the course of searching my car found this blade on the dashboard. Felony possession of an illegal weapon.
I'm glad he didn't show up until after I'd removed it from my boot.
And now, O Lord, I harbor no hopes of salvation, but before I am damned I ask that you answer my last prayer: If I have not the strength to stab myself twice, may my blade land home the first time, and may I be dead before anyone misses me.
--SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-- State of unBeing is copyrighted (c) 1995 by Kilgore Trout and Apocalypse Culture Publications. All rights are reserved to cover, format, editorials, and all incidental material. All individual items are copyrighted (c) 1995 by the individual author, unless otherwise stated. This file may be disseminated without restriction for nonprofit purposes so long as it is preserved complete and unmodified. Quotes and ideas not already in the public domain may be freely used so long as due recognition is provided. State of unBeing is available at the following places: iSiS UNVEiLED 512.930.5259 14.4 (Home of SoB) THE LiONS' DEN 512.259.9546 24oo TEENAGE RiOt 418.833.4213 14.4 NUP: COSMIC_JOKE MOGEL-LAND 215-732-3413 14.4 ftp to io.com /pub/SoB World Wide Web http://io.com/~hagbard/sob.html Submissions may also be sent to Kilgore Trout at <email@example.com>. Thank you. --SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB--