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 SEVENTEEN tahw ro woh gniwonk to think. You are in 5/28/95 ni era uoY .kniht ot a state of unbeing.... ....gniebnu fo etats a
Well, for the last five hours or so, I've been sitting here watching Kilgore assemble the zine with blinding speed. Never made from potatoes. And, he says, in punishment for not having written anything this issue, I have to write the editorial, or I'll never see my family again. When that didn't work, he said he do something bad or something. (Actually, I did write something, but it is under my handle, not my real name. But let's not tell Kilgore....)
First, I have to take up space with house cleaning. Or something. First, under intense suppression by Agent Williams, Kilgore has been forced underground. The board, iSiS UNVEiLED, is now located in a cavern under Colorado. The new number is at the end of the issue. Don't tell the Feds. Second, in protest for the bombing of the Bosnians, our usual quote supplier has boycotted us. We assured him that we aren't bombing the Bosnians, but he didn't believe us. If we could release his name, we'd ask everyone to pressure him. But he knows who he is....
Well, that was two paragraphs.
At this point, I should probably talk a little about what is in this issue. We can't remember, though. There is a letter to the editor for the first time in a long time. It would be nice if you people would write in. There are also Kilgore's sensitive and caring responses to the points addressed in the letter. We have a lot of articles again this issue, and they are primarily about politics and mysticism. Evidently we ran short of love and suicide, so we had to fall back on our other two topics. It would be nice if you people would write in. A few poems. I was out of the room. Also, I Wish My Name Were Shorter has several stories, and a couple from other people. Or something.
It would be nice if you people would write in.
Well, I've been ignoring the situation in Eastern Europe, so that pretty much leaves me Oklahoma and the Ebola virus to talk about.
Ebola bad. Don't get it.
About Oklahoma. Well, I suppose it is a pity that kids died. But, just to put this in perspective, 17 born and 2 unborn children died in the government sponsored Waco inferno, and by proportion, the government is more of the baby killer motif. The kids were stored in a legitimate target -- a SS and FBI building. The government accuses the bombers of being evil babykillers, while they hide behind the slanted media. For evil babykilling: Dresden, My Lai, Baghdad. In war, kids die. It's sad, but I just ask everyone to listen to all sides, and not just government rhetoric.
The views expressed in this editorial do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or writers of this publication. Feel free to blame the readers and quote suppliers.
Dear America, I've sent this letter to discuss the epidemic spreading through the country. This epidemic is called P.C. (Political Correctness). The whole concept behind P.C. is total and utter bullshit. The people who use this are damn cowards. They're afraid of showing their but they'll still try to enforce it on others. I don't care what someone calls himself, black, white, African-American, I really don't give a damn. I've been called a racist for how I feel toward others. But let me make this point -- I hate every one of you mother fuckers -- whether you're white, black, or whatever. I'm also tired of all the belly aching from our country. We're too fucking lazy to realize the system is crashing around our ears and we're not doing a damn thing, we're too damn busy suing each other and talking on talk shows. I won't apologize for my hatred and I won't apologize for my actions -- because I don't care what you think, because I'll just keep acting Politically Incorrect. Peace, Love, War, Wrathful Prodigy
[Aside from the fact that basically every angry white American is said
to feel this way, and even though this topic is getting really old, I
decided to publish this letter for the following reasons:
The Dancing Messiah
I Wish My Name Were Nathan
Lares et Penates
One of the most dramatic features of the twentieth-century societal landscape is the rampant localized crime and violence of our day. The Republicans would like to attribute it to immorality as they see it, and so want to institute state-supported "values." What a joke. Values, supposedly engendering common decency, in a capitalist society? Ha! If truly civil behavior has ever extended deeper than thin exterior appearance in any free-market industrial society, then I'll admit that Elvis is living in my closet.
Take the Fifties, for example. I've heard some extol the virtues of that decade, when innocence prevailed and everyone was civil to one another. Possibly some semblance of these conditions existed in isolated towns, but I doubt even that. Racism, bigotry, and intolerance were the orders of the day, and classist exploitation was rampant. In addition, it was the heyday of our friend, Joe McCarthy, who persecuted people who didn't even stand up for the ideology he so hated (communism) while he fed his morphine addiction on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, millions were languishing in poverty, as always has and always will be in capitalist societies. The closer we are to Adam Smith, the closer we are to feudal Europe and its inequities.
Back to my main thrust, which is crime in America. I would argue that the crime rate, overall, is proportional to several factors, including the unemployment rate, the size of that part of our culture that is without economic hope, and the size of the lower class. It is one thing to be unemployed or underpaid, but it is another to realize that you are trapped in that situation.
I would also like to forward the position that lack of economic hope is due to the values engendered by capitalism itself. This is because our media promote materialism for the furtherment of the capitalist class. People like inner-city children then believe that material possessions are the primary goal in life. Consequently, realizing that this "good life" is, in the main, unattainable to them and their peers, they lose hope and turn to a hopeless lifestyle. It does not matter that neither they nor their friends have televisions; this materialist preoccupation permeates our society so completely, and is embodied in almost every aspect of our existence, that it can reach even those who live on the fringes of our culture.
The point here is that late-stage capitalism acts as a major corruptive force in society, even to the point where it could completely obliterate it. Socialism, however, can result in a more egalitarian, just, and civil society that we can proudly call home.
Let Crom be a God who gave his followers a sense of purpose, then abandoned them to seek his own pleasure. Furthermore, let this sense of purpose be a riddle with no answer, and let this riddle be, 'What is the secret of steel'. Furthermore let him take no action, and sit on a throne in a dusty hall watching his followers, deriving amusement from their actions. Furthermore, let the purpose of the riddle be to get those seeking knowledge to seek combat and war, that Crom might be amused.
Crom is therefore to men an arbitrary God that asks nothing of them, and gives nothing in return. As each dies, Crom asks them his riddle, and will cast aside any who do not know it. Let it be known therefore that Crom cast aside into the dust all that kneel before him to answer his riddle. Likewise does he cast aside those who sneer at him and taunt and would do war with Crom himself. Thusly does he cast aside all that enter the gates of his hall.
Let JHVH-1 be a God who gave his followers a sense of purpose, then abandoned them to let them prove their worth. Furthermore, let this sense of purpose be inscribed in a lengthy, self - contradicting tome, and let this tome be called the bible. Furthermore let him take no action as he sits in a distant realm known only as heaven, that presumably lies in the skies. Furthermore, let the purpose of his teachings be that man be good and kind to each other, and worship only Him for reasons we are not meant to know.
JHVH-1 therefore seems to men to be an arbitrary God that asks much of his followers, and gives only promises in return. As each dies, JHVH-1 asks them their deeds, and will cast aside sinners into a lake of fire. Let it be known therefore that whom JHVH-1 shall cast aside will be known to no man, for such things are unknowable.
I shall then tell you the secret of Crom, although it is not the secret of steel. Those who truly know the secret of steel never stand before Crom in his great hall. Those who truly know the secret of steel are never slain, and defeat their enemies, and build great halls to live in. In these halls those who know the secret of steel sit, brood and grow old longing for the times they fought bravely in the battlefields, and tasted the blood of their enemies on their lips. They long because they have slain their enemies, and they lie in the dust, and will not make war. When they die they have no time to go begging to Crom for life. Nor do they come to him for solace or to know they are correct, for they already know the truth, and have no time for Crom just as Crom has no time for them, for dead men do not amuse Crom, and Crom does not amuse dead men.
I cannot tell you the secret of JHVH-1, for it is unknowable by man. Once, man was perfect in every way. Despite this, the deeds of the perfect man angered JHVH-1, and forever since man has been imperfect. If the perfect man cannot have pure deeds, then surely I cannot tell you the secrets was supposed to know to keep his purity. This is one of the mysteries of JHVH-1.
Thus is nothing said, thus is nothing done. May entropy be merciful on us, for She has not abandoned us.
"Why don't they just get it over with and give the nigger the chair!?!" I have heard this statement quite a bit since this summer when O.J. Simpson was accused of killing his wife. (Didja see that car chase? Gee, that was fun. Reminds me of the last scene in BraveNewWorld.) It seems few Americans understand justice in this damned country.
Not that I'm supporting the system or anything -- but there are certain small portions that have a little good mixed in with the corrupt power structures. Freedom (which there is truly little of) and due process in trial are the only two I can think of now, but I'm sure there's at least one more in that tangled bureaucracy someplace. And despite my misgivings, I choose to deal with the system, even if by my own rules.
It's an interesting insight on the human psyche to see the reaction of the average Joe, who, like some sort of vindictive compulsive, wants to see an alleged murderer put in the electric chair as soon as he's convicted (or any time, for that matter, or even another method of execution -- as long as he "gets what's comin'"). And even a conviction is just a formality to these people, if there's sufficient evidence; even if that "evidence" has been filtered through the media and thus mutated and polarized into definite markers of guilt or innocence, it is seen as definitive.
If you ask people about the O.J. Simpson case, for instance, (supposing they're NOT in front of a TV camera and so feel obligated to voice a well thought-out -- really just politically correct -- opinion to America) many will tell you their "definitive" take on the guilt or lack thereof of the man, acting as judge AND jury, which they, no doubt, take to be perfectly fair. Reminds me of that glorious relic of our less "civilized" days, the good ol' lynch mob.
Besides, even if we do have a guilty man on our hands, what is the purpose of putting another minority member on death row? So we can pay exorbitant costs just to keep him alive until we impose the ultimate punishment and end that same life. What the hell is the government doing killing people? It's bad enough that we send a bunch of our own citizens, either against their will or brainwashed so that their will was one with the system, around the globe to kill the citizens of other countries. Is this justice?!?
The militias in the United States have recently fallen under intense scrutiny. Through the spin put on the evidence of the recent Oklahoma bombing by the U.S. Government and by the various media, the American people have been led to fear or hate the militias; to associate them with alleged "evil cowards" and "baby killers". The American people, though, have lived in safety on their own land for a long time. The last significant invasion on U.S. soil was in 1812, and the last major war fought in the U.S. was against its own people in the 1840s. The militia, then, has not been a fighting force in a long time. Along with the American people's militancy and love of freedom, their militias have atrophied.
It is not the intent of this article to provide an extensive history of militias, nor to provide a census of the militias today. The intent is to define militia, to place it in an historical context, and to discuss specifically the role of politics in a militia. The emphasis on U.S. law reflects the fact that the U.S. is the center of militia scrutiny at the current time, and also due to the fact that the U.S. citizen enjoys rights to militias that many countries do not. These rights they do not fully understand, nor do they fully use them. Nonetheless, the government has not taken these rights away. Yet.
The militia is, in simplest terms, the people's army. The Bill of Rights says it is "necessary to the security of a free State". The government and media are saying that the militia should be under the control of the government. The claim is made that the militia always has been government controlled, and must always be so. The government doesn't want to hear the question, "Why does a government of the people, by the people, and for the people fear for the people to have guns?"
The Constitution is relatively clear on this point, however. Article 2, Section 2 says:
This states that the President controls the militia only when it is to be used for the service of the nation. Similarly, the Army and Navy are not under the control of the executive branch except in case of mobilization; otherwise each branch -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- has a representative on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with a rotating leadership. The argument may be made that these remain under government control when at peace, and this is true. The national Army, Navy and Air Force remain under national control. The "Militias of the several States" includes the National Guard under U.S. law, and this, being the state's "military", is under its own command and is called by the governor in case of emergency, just as the Armed Forces are mustered by the President in case of national emergency. This is a matter of coordinating forces, not of direct command.The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militias of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States...
The parallel may then be drawn further. The nation needs an executive, and it has one. The nation needs a military for the defense of the nation, and it has one. The state needs an executive, and has the governor. The state also has an army -- the National Guard, or so-called "organized militia" -- for the defense of the state. Similarly, the community, when it perceives a need, has an executive. Similarly, the community, when it perceives a need, has the right to an army: the militia.
Just as the National Guard and the military are not restricted to combat, neither are the militias. When the community is endangered, the militia is to defend the community, just as the National Guard does for the state and the Armed Forces do for the nation. When there is a community emergency, the local militia is needed, just as the National Guard and the Armed Forces at their respective levels. Thus, during the "Baby Jessica" incident -- an incident in Texas a few years ago when a young girl fell down an old well and was caught, needing to be dug out -- the organization of the relief effort was provided by the Texas militia, and it was the militia that got the digging equipment from Oklahoma to Texas so quickly. When the community had a need, the militia provided the solution. A militia, aside from being trained in combat, is trained in other military skills: communications, emergency relief, and most importantly, combat units are the most efficient at cooperating in an emergency.
Once it has been explained, it is obvious that the militia can provide much help for the community. But does this negate the fallacy that it should be regulated by the government? What is the historical context here?
Let us go back in time, then, and look at a few conflicts. First, let us look at the conflict happening now in what once was Yugoslavia. There, when the nation crumbled, most of the military equipment was in the hands of those who were to become the military of the Serbians. When the nation crumbled, much of the air and military equipment was taken to the Serbian nation, and was then used in the war and the alleged ethnic cleansing. The fact that some equipment was not in the hands of these people but in the hands of the Bosnian militias allowed some resistance to continue.
A bit further back, to World War Two. Against Hitler, many nations simply capitulated. This placed the militaries under Hitler's control. In France, for example, the Resistance existed not because France fought back as a political entity, but because France fought back as a national entity; because the militias were there to protect their communities.
A couple of years further, to the late thirties. In Spain, the military, under the control of the fascist Franco, turned against the government in a coup. The Anarchist and Communist militias resisted his coup, however, and managed to fend him off, though only until the Stalinists betrayed the revolution.
Back further, to Ireland in the early part of this century. Militias, independently formed and organized, were the backbone of the 1916 uprising and the eventual civil war, which still rages in the form of the IRA, a community force fighting an external invader.
The U.S. itself can provide adequate example of the need for a militia, though. In the Civil War militias protected their own communities, and the Founding Fathers certainly knew the value of a militia that refused to answer to an oppressive government. Such a force was what stood at Lexington and Concord, and such a force was what took Washington to victory. A people fighting for its homeland and its families will eventually win over any number of Hessian invaders. In order to be defeated, you must first defeat yourself.
So clearly the militia is an important force, and clearly the threat exists that if all the military strength in a nation were centralized that the people could -- and eventually would -- stand defenseless. Without a people's army, the people have nothing. What, though, should be its politics?
Essentially, there will always be a reactionary militia. If need be, a free people will fight with forks and spoons for its freedom. Any person who denies that at times his nation's government might be his nation's enemy -- for we must oppose all enemies, foreign and domestic -- is either naive, foolish, or a coward. Most likely, he is a coward -- someone who feels that as long as he can continue to work and as long as the government hasn't started to oppress him yet then he can keep on keeping on -- and a coward can never be a free man. There is an excellent story told by a Lutheran priest about how when the Nazis came for the Jews he didn't speak out because he wasn't a Jew. And when they came for the Communists and the homosexuals he didn't speak out because he wasn't a Communist or a homosexual. And when they came for the Catholics he did nothing because he wasn't a Catholic. When they came for him there was no one left to speak out. An injury to one is an injury to all. A coward has no people to defend. A coward is alone because he thinks only of himself, and it is not to the coward that the militia preaches its message. The coward is content with the government -- any government -- that "keeps the streets safe" and lets him "make a living," and a government is content with a coward because he pays his taxes and doesn't start trouble. The coward is happy to make a living, but he will never truly live a life.
Those who are not cowards and who would fight when their community's freedom was threatened form the reactionary militia: a force that would react to a threat. A reactionary militia is the minimum needed, and provides defense. A well regulated militia is necessary for the security of the nation because it is the people who would oppose the invasion or coup that provide the backbone of resistance. With a reactionary militia, of course, no advances may be made, but a reactionary militia will hopefully prevent any losses from being incurred. The current militia movement tends towards the reactionary militia at this time: It provides training and organization in the event that the community's freedom is threatened.
In this way, the current militia movement provides an essential service. If the time comes that the community is threatened, either by in invading force or an oppressive nation, it is imperative that the people be prepared to fight for that which God has given them: Freedom. Inevitably, a nation will either become weak and be invaded, or it will become complacent and become increasingly totalitarian, and so the militias not only serve a noble purpose, but one that will inevitably be necessary. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when.
As mentioned above, though, this militia cannot achieve anything new until it has been taken to war and possibly forced to become revolutionary. A reactionary militia has no agenda other than to protect what is rightfully theirs. A reactionary militia will not try to advance for what should be theirs until, as they say, the balloon goes up and they realize the power a free, united people can and should have.
But there is another form of militia. Aside from the reactionary militia -- which inevitably exists, in one state of readiness or another, and derives its power from the accidental structure of the community -- there is the revolutionary militia. The revolutionary militia is not so inevitable, as its strength derives not from free people who know they could lose their freedom, but from true thinkers who can see how much freedom has already been lost. A revolutionary militia derives its fighting strength not from those community members who are prepared to help in an emergency, but from those with the foresight to form for the advancement of the community. In short, the revolutionary militia stems not from the organic community but from the artificial party.
(Let us step aside for a moment into parentheses and define what is meant by the party. The party is a number of like minded people in a sociopolitical setting, but it is more than that. The party is people who are willing to struggle towards a common sociopolitical vision. The party is not so much Democrat and Republican as it is Sinn Fein and Zealot. The Democrats, being an institutionalized "party" in at least partial control of the nation would not think of needing a military wing to protect their interests any greater than a set of bodyguards, because the Democrats take their strength from the status quo. The Sinn Fein or the Zealot would, however, be a true political party, having experienced or having come from a community that recently experienced not having institutional power, and even being considered a threat to the State, a threat to be eliminated. This is a revolutionary party, and they -- not controlling the national Armed Forces -- need a militia for their defense and advancement.)
Again, let us look for an historical basis for this position. In Spain, for instance: was this a reactionary militia? At first. When the coup occurred, the people, as an organic community, rose up in resistance. The advances occurred, however, because the Anarchists and the Communists -- Stalinist and P.O.U.M. -- already had an established militia which then galvanized the people. When the Communists took power and controlled the Armed Forces they eliminated the militias, and lost the war.
In Ireland? The militias were associated with the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the various people's parties. These militias were revolutionary, as proven by the fact that the status quo was oppression -- the British invaders had been there for centuries -- and the militias struck back to win what was rightfully theirs.
In the U.S.? In the Civil War the militias were essentially reactionary, and protected their communities. In the Revolutionary War, however, the militias were undoubtedly revolutionary. They were associated with parties such as the Sons of Liberty and fought against the status quo -- against British imperialism -- and for the rights of man.
So the revolutionary militia has existed in the past, but in contemporary America has become essentially unheard of in the mainstream. Some forces, such as the Black Panthers, have been parties associated with revolutionary militias, and others, such as the Weatherpeople and the Symbionese Liberation Army, have attempted the same. These have been generally derided as fringe groups. This is why the revolution is dead in America, and why the reaction is well entrenched. Without a people's army, the people have nothing.
The reactionary militia in general, and the militia movement in the U.S. in particular, form vital parts of the defense of the free nation. As such, they should not be hated as the easily manipulated American public opinion has leaned towards. Nonetheless, the revolution -- the progression of free men towards more and more freedoms; in short, the true "American Dream" -- cannot continue with only a reactionary militia. Inevitably, if we are to win back the freedoms we once had, and win once and for all the freedoms God meant a free man to have, the revolutionary militia must be formed alongside the revolutionary party. Any freedom loving person must take advantage of their rights to prepare for the revolution; for when it comes to fight in it, or for when it comes time to start it.
In most socialist philosophies and publications there seems to be a romanticization of manual labor for which I cannot account. While I mean no disrespect for anyone whose occupation entails such, it seems to me that someone who is interested in the quality of human life would find it imperative to eradicate it, not glorify it.
In addition, a forward-looking adaptation of Marxism or any form of socialism needs to be reconciled with the fact of the elimination of the human component in manufacturing operations. It is easily within the reach of our imaginations, and soon within that of widely-available technology, to automate all production efforts that supply material goods. It will also soon be the case that automation will prove both more economic and expedient than even the cheapest human labor, which is characterized in our day by factories in southeast Asia, in which working conditions are simply abysmal. Assuming a socialist revolution devoid of the capitalist economics of exploitation, there will be no justification for ignoring this potential technology so that we can employ thinking human beings in a position that a contraption of silicon and steel can do in a fraction of the time without wages, vacations, or breaks.
It seems to me that the vocation of homo sapiens, then, should be of the mental sort, and not simply mechanistic work which a computer can also perform, but of a conceptual sort. Not only does this impress my sensibilities as more noble, it also has a pragmatic reason; that is, that it is the only sort of work that will be available and needed to be done, the only labor left to us, the sentient creatures of this world. And even if, eventually, our computers do reach the complexity necessary to think as we do on such topics as death, morals, or even society, then it would be obligatory to recognize them as fellow humans, or at least as fellow thinkers, and give them rights as our own, and the personal liberty owed to all who qualify as like unto humankind in mind.
So then, it seems to me that we would, in a worker's society, eliminate all jobs that are inhuman, by definition not requiring but a dumb machine to complete, and move on from duties for our animal half and begin those that compel our human half. However, I do not suggest that we abandon our bodies for recreation or enjoyable work. We would likely retain some sorts of manual labor such as art, crafts, or similar endeavors that those so inclined could engage in. But the drudgery of assembly lines or similarly inhuman work should be eliminated, and those who are forced to unwillingly participate in such labor to make a living should be liberated.
So, let's illustrate the hypothetical situation. Humankind has been emancipated of the task of self-preservation by the employment of machines that plow, plant, and harvest our fields, make our food, produce our shoes and clothes, even clean our houses. Thus man transcends his most basic needs and, as Maslow theorized, can move on to the task of self-realization. Persons can pursue what work or leisure they choose, and, because of such, work becomes as leisure is, voluntary, while still retaining its qualities that fulfill any human desire to toil. In such a society, also, we don't even require the phrase "from each according to his abilities"; instead we have "from each according to his inclinations." This slogan upholds liberty to a greater degree than the communist refrain because, although one may do well at something, one does not necessarily wish to do so. In some cases the more modest abilities are more highly enjoyed precisely because they require more effort; the other is to easily and thoughtlessly employed to bring fulfillment.
In summary, the worker should not fight the employment of automation for production or service in the right context. In the capitalist society, it destroys jobs and would eventually lead to catastrophe due to such unemployment. In a socialist system, however, it is humankind's ticket to the next step towards a more humane society.
"ERiS. The personification of Strife. In Hesiod's Theogony she is daughter of Nyx and herself gives birth to Work, Forgetfulness, Hunger, Pain, Battles, Fights, Murders, Killings, Quarrels, Lies, Stories, Disputes, Lawlessness, Ruin and the Oath. In the Works and Days, Hesiod postulates two separate Strifes: one a daughter of Nyx, the other a spirit of emulation, placed by Zeus within the world to give it a healthy sense of competition. Eris was generally portrayed as a female winged spirit. She threw the apple intended for the fairest of the goddesses, which Paris had the task of awarding; this was the origin of the Trojan War."
"GP: Is Eris true?
M2: Everything is true.
GP: Even false things?
M2: Even false things are true.
GP: How can that be?
M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it."
Every person must face the Abyss at least once in their life. Some do it willingly; for others, it is an unwanted experience. There are those who choose to fall into Its great depths and try to climb out, a few are given a push from behind without warning, and many decide to turn away. No right choice exists when one encounters the gaping jaws. Two possibilities exist: the beneficial choice and the harmful choice.
I have willingly jumped into the Abyss and have spent many days and nights trying to evoke Its secrets, to conquer the mystery that so many have attempted and failed. I have been through bouts of escapism, depression, insanity, megalomania, and was once near the verge of suicide.
Yet I have seen a glimpse of something which cannot be described. Some call it "God" or "Illumination" or the attainment of "Knowledge and Conversation with my Holy Guardian Angel." These labels do no justice to what I have observed, yet they are the closest our language can approximate without writing volume after volume of descriptions and still being far off target.
What purpose, then, does the Abyss serve, aside from the arduous task of navigating deep into Its depths and enduring endless torture, when one only acquires a minute amount of something good? Are not the means too risky and dangerous -- nay, even fatal -- to justify such an undertaking?
The answer, quite simply, is yes.
But we humans are ignorant creatures. Many times we forget about safety and trod on dangerous ground unabated. Foolish? Definitely. Sometimes, though, fools make the best partners in a game of chess.
A metamorphosis occurs once the Abyss has been crossed, one that is both permanent and transforming, for to conquer the Abyss is to eradicate the former self altogether. Belief systems rapidly arise and fall in periods ranging from weeks to days to mere seconds. Reality reveals itself as an illusion, and the perception of the illusion becomes the new reality. One begins to understand that nothing is absolute: everything is true and false at once, because perception implies relativity.
Have I crossed the Abyss?
Three men stand on a beach, stranded and starving. Tattered remains of their lifeboat are scattered around them. One man kneels down and scoops up a two handfuls of sand. The grains starts sliding between his fingers back onto the ground.
"A handful of sand will fill an empty stomach but not nourish it," he says.
"We are doomed to die here, with nothing to eat and nothing to protect us from the elements," says the second man.
"But the sand is alive!" shouts the third man, pointing to the first.
In his hand a small crab lies on its back, struggling to escape.
Have I conquered the Abyss?
Two weeks ago I stepped out of the shower and became King Charles. I carried on a full conversation with him for a good five minutes while drying myself. The content of the conversation is still unknown to me. His mother was there, too, but I was not ashamed of my nakedness. Before King Charles left, she said, "This boy is brainsick, and that is why he is good."
Has the Abyss destroyed me?
Four days later I was sitting outside of one of my college classes and for no reason blacked out. A great door rose out of the darkness, and I knocked three times. A voice called out, "Who comes here?" A voice from behind me said, "The son of a poor widow, seeking Light." I turned and beheld the Christ, the Shin that transforms the Tetragrammaton. He looked at me and said, "He who is in the fire is near me." Then he pushed open the door, and I walked through.
Who has ears, let them hear.
I am the Empress being spun around on the Wheel of Fortune, full of life and devoid of energy simultaneously. I am the Seeker of Truth and am the destroyer of Truth as well. Eris delights in my vacillation and strife, and I hate Her. Does She not know the pain of my travels, the torments of my soul, the collapse of my mind? She is the one who caused it. I let Her.
To answer an earlier question, I have not gained passage over the Abyss. Have you not seen through the Lies that all men say? The Abyss does not exist, therefore it cannot be crossed. How then can one gain illumination if there is no Abyss? One must traverse Its profane spaces and emerge victorious on the other side.
Those who understand have no need to read any further. The two are one, and the one is All. For those who have not yet realized the significance of the piece, one question still lurks in their minds.
How can a fool be a good partner in chess if chess doesn't allow partners?
You see? You do understand.
I often wonder what makes a guru. The image that enters my mind is an old bearded man sitting on top of a mountain, a man who has lived many years, through times of turmoil and peace, of uncertainty and luxury. His long life has instilled him with the wisdom to guide others, the young people whose shoes he once walked in. He feels peace and can relax in his final years knowing it has all been worthwhile.
Something of that kind of spirit came into me when I was sitting at Mojo's drinking coffee one Saturday night. Kilgore had gone back into the shop to get something, and I was left sitting alone in a metal chair facing the Drag. In front of me a metal table stood with our nearly empty coffee mugs, save the espresso foam that remained. I leaned back calmly, forgetting my resentment that the caffeine had had no effect on me whatsoever, and watched the road.
So many people were going by at midnight. Single people in cars, couples driving home from dates, drunken fratboys in jacked-up pickup trucks. Austinites out for a peaceful stroll in the mild weather, exhausted college students walking home from a long night of studying, tourists wandering about. All the people, I thought; all the people I could help. I could be a coffeehouse guru.
It wouldn't be so difficult. The chair opposite me was still empty. There was no crowd. The only slightly distracting thing about me was the Mojo's employee picking up cigarette butts from the cracks between the bricks and stones in the ground. I reminisced about watching Kilgore thoughtlessly toss six or seven of his own used cigarettes on the ground. Into my mind came the grand cycle of things: the menial labor, the careless carcinogens, and coffee! -- right smack in the middle of the great city of Austin. My mind became more open to new ideas, more perceptive, more guru-like.
My first visitor would be a morose thirty-something man. He'd fall into the chair, exhausted from depression about a love that'd gone awry. She was the crown jewel of femininity, he'd tell me, but she didn't watch Seinfeld. She never appreciated the Kramer antics or the Jerry impersonations: "What is it, with these uncultured bimbos?" Their nights together would be little but missed jokes and futile reenactments of complicated storylines. I would see that their brief affair was not meant to be, but the man would not be able let go of his passions. My advice: remember the episode where Elaine falls for the opera-buff windowwasher: recall her lack of personal intimacy with him, recall her misunderstanding of his convictions about life and opera and his fear of heights, sympathize with Elaine, because, your lovelet is Elaine; you're in love with the Elaine from that episode. You must let happen to you what happened that windowwasher in that Seinfeldian parallel universe: be kidnapped -- yes, be kidnapped by the Senegalese seal trainer who mistakes your window-washing romantic move for a threat about bombing Sea World -- yes, be kidnapped and disappear forever. Then, only then, can you start anew.
Euphoric from my inspirational advice, the man would hop up reenergized from the metal chair and leap away into the darkness. I too would share some euphoria, but also some exhaustion, having had to reach into the bowels of my soul, to the roots of my knowledge, for such inspirational advice. I would lean back in my chair, making such a grimace as to notify other passing strangers that I was briefly taking a long-needed rest.
But a guru's work is never done; submitting to guruhood means a life of tireless effort and giving. A frail old woman would approach and slowly sit down in the rickety metal chair. I would put on a kind, caring face, cross my hands over my chest, and ask her, pray tell, what is her problem. The words would come slowly, but the seconds of delay between words would be nothing compared to the years of painful and fruitful experience I had earned. After several minutes, an idea about her would have formed completely in my mind: a frail old woman looks completely out of place at a Sixth Street coffeeshop. I would start snickering, then giggling, then laughing uncontrollably, waving my arms about in an effort to prevent my collapse to the ground; her words would dissolve from my mind; her image would dissolve from my eyes; all I'd see would be an angry face under a cheap wig stomping away down the sidewalk into the hands of the night people. The image would redouble my laughter, the caffeine would finally set in, and lucidity would strike into my vision. Nirvana.
A few minutes later, the laughs would cease altogether. It is an unfortunate thing that the guru cannot be happy. Happiness is self-delusion, a mask over the eyes which blots out the stark truths which lie ahead. I would again lean back calmly and gravely in my chair, silently reciting a mantra of revivification and pontification. The night stars would suddenly become clearer after a streetlamp across the road suddenly flickers off. The soothing, rumbling murmur of the night road would envelop my ears. I would sensuously lick my teeth in my closed mouth for another bittersweet ping of coffee. Time would seem to slowly brake at a stoplight, just out of range of the sensors across the street which would give it a green.
Out of the corner of my pensive eye would come a boy, not yet out of junior high. My thoughtful expression would immediately reveal to him my benevolent authority and trustworthiness. I wouldn't whistle down a cop for the curfew violation. The boy would sit down easily in the chair, his grace reminding me of my youth and rejuvenating me. Unfortunately, in coming to a guru such as myself, something would have to be wrong. I would gravely ask what his trouble was, if he were too laconic to bring it up himself. Boredom, he'd say. He'd tell me about how his schoolwork was undemanding, his teachers uninteresting, the curriculum un-thought-provoking. And he'd say that in his neighborhood, they had passed rules prohibiting bike riding, skateboarding, and inline skating on the sidewalks, driveways, and streets. And he'd tell about his friends, who had started to drink and do drugs to combat their boredom and who suddenly became unfriendly. I'd nod solemnly and let the impact of his situation soak into me. Looking up, I'd ask if he at least got to watch Beavis & Butthead. The no answer would make me grimace. What could a boy do?
I would try to be objective again, sitting up straight and looking him sternly in the eye. I'd ask if he had a pencil on him. He would. I would too. I'd tell him to hold the pencil in front of him between his two thumbs. I'd hold my pencil firmly between the thumb and forefinger of my right hand and bend back the tip with the left, and let go. Thwack! Maybe his pencil would break, maybe not. In any case, his eyes would light up. New worlds would suddenly open to him. My eyes as well would light up, feeding off the youthful energy. I would hold my pencil between my thumbs, and he would take aim and strike. Thwack! In mere minutes, our pencils would be reduced to stubs of erasers. I'd suggest a nearby grocery store where we could purchase entire packages of pencils. We'd start walking. I'd ask him if he'd ever had Pop Rocks. Yes, he'd say, but it was so long ago! We'd run down the sidewalk. I'd suggest drinking a Jolt Cola with a mouth full of Pop Rocks. The excitement would send crackles of exuberant lightning through the air; we'd be charged, laughing in the faces of oncoming cars and wary pedestrians, singing the songs of eternal youth. His boredom would be cast away to the winds; my guruhood would be forgotten.
Running recklessly through the streets, I'd cry out: ignore your gurus, throw away your self-help books, forget your common sense and folk wisdom! Years of wisdom and experience serve only to age your skin, produce ulcers, and dull your minds! Social rules were made to be broken! Drop your workloads, forget your trifling problems. Bow down to the giggling, ticklish, curious god of Youth, for only there will true inspiration be found!
It could happen.
empathy: (em'-puh-thee) n. intellectual or
emotional identification with another.
Death is nothing but the toll man
life is nothing but a mother
we are children of nature
we mustn't fight each other.
Hate is the weapon of man.
Power is needed to use it.
Ignorance fuels the flames
Its us who abuse it.
Control is need within
control is what's forced from without
Intelligence is what's needed to break the chain
Faith is what it's all about.
Here I am
for the change
Listening to waterfalls.
The sky is all around me
It opens up m'soul...
Headed for a new home
Uprooted to be replanted
To follow the path to the sea
The watercourse way
Leads me home...
What will the dogs think!
M'flesh is fluid
Here we are
The both of us
Just sinking in
And once again
Sliding toward the future
As the moment of movement
life gets to be a little too much sometimes.
work is a drag but you need to to survive, to live.
life seems to be one big grinding struggle with no end in sight.
sorta like those cats from "Grapes of Wrath" who try to farm dirt.
water dirt, it don't grow. play dirt mozart it don't turn a shade greener.
some times though, life surprises ya, nudging you to go on.
just the other day, the sun was glaring intensely through the windshield of my '73 Volkswagon bus.
of course, the sun was just at the right angle that no matter what way i contorted my head upon my spindly neck, the orb of the sun was perfectly superimposed on the retina of my eye.
then the miracle happened.
for a few brief moments the intensity of the sun had decreased!
searing pain was no longer part of my world, no longer a factor in my life.
for some reason i had never realized before, the upper edge of my windshield was tinted!
never will i again have to deal with glaring solar rays wilst driving my vehicle, my... Bus
joy to the world I exclaimed over the blaring base line of the Prodigy album I was playing.
but as it always is, life let me down.
the sun passed behind a cloud and the true nature of my tint was revealed.
dirt, dirt, nothing but dirt.
dirt across the upper edge of my windshield.
a thin, almost none existent double arc of dirt my windshield wipers had missed.
dirt, the same stuff a lot try to farm, relying on some act of faith to miraculously transform into a source of food or alcohol or popcorn.
then, through all the glum and sunken spirits, i came to a grand revelation.
heck, I'm set until the next time it rains. I HAVE GOT TINT!
who said miracles involve wine, snakes, seas, and women.
I HAVE GOT TINT!
you may not be able to farm dirt, but it sure as heck makes a wonderful serendipitous window tint.
Just a Lonesome Lingam
Yearning for a Yoni
Washing through my blood
And I'm drowning in My Being...
People are playing their own Games
That were invented
By and for Bored People...
Me, I'm a'waiting
And trying to forget
What I am waiting for...
Ah, yes, I've played
But I was the loser
And soon found myself out...
What's the Answer?
When they haven't heard the
But why ask?
I've forgotten what I'm trying to say
But not that I'm trying to...
Words,Sometimes just having some kind of structure existing in the
Words,Roads and paths you've walked before, leading from the world of
Words,HEY YOU!!! Are you listening with a constant level of attention
Words,Will anyone ever read them and know what I'm feeling, right here
Words,You're reading, hoping I'll tell you something that you don't
Words,To understand, one looks at the parts of the whole, and the more
Words,The whole universe as simple as ABC...
Words,Don't you know yet who I am, hiding behind these words, the same
Words,I keep shooting out these empty shells, and you keep filling
Words,The energy builds up as you wonder, where is the energy linking
Do you dare to read
Between the lines?
I was hiding on the roof of the toolshed next to the barn wall. I was in a protective crevice. I was under the overhang of the barn roof. I felt safe, secure, and comfortable. I had a self-assured smirk on my face.
Today I was planning to put the moves on Angela. She didn't know I was hiding here. She was going to take her horse out for a quick spin. I heard her messing around with the saddle and talking sweet to the horse.
She had walked in and out of the barn several times without even seeing me. I followed her with my eyes and I knew she didn't even peek. I love her for her ability to concentrate on her horse.
Angela came trotting out of the barn on her horse. The horse is brown and shiny. The sun wasn't even shining through the clouds. That's how shiny the horse was. I watched her ride around in circles to test the horse's stamina. It was a good horse.
She could have seen me where I was sitting. She was riding in the field and I was visible. A fence surrounded the small field. She went around several times.
Angela's little brother came out of the barn. His name is Tony. He is little by farm standards. He wore a smirk like I did. He was carrying a bucket. The bucket was empty. He walked behind the toolshed. He stopped there. He wasn't visible to Angela. He had sat down behind a barrel.
I watched Angela loping around the field on her horse. The horse looked majestic. She looked pretty on the horse. They both moved fast. I was comfortable in the shade. The sun wasn't out but it was hot.
Tina came out of the barn. She was from the neighboring farm. She was pretty too. She was younger than Angela. She looked around at the field. She saw Angela riding the horse. She saw the toolshed. She didn't see me.
Tony was still sitting behind the barrel. He was still behind the toolshed. He wasn't moving. He wasn't holding the bucket.
I saw Angela on the horse. She was stopping far out in the field. The horse was dropping pellets. Angela was used to it. She was enjoying the break.
Tina was looking around for something. She walked by the toolshed. She didn't see me. She slowly wandered to the back of the toolshed. She didn't know Tony was there.
Tina gasped. I looked at Tina and Tony. Tony was holding his finger to her lips. Tina was nodding a little. He was holding her hand. He was whispering to her. I couldn't hear. They didn't see me watching.
Angela was moving again on her horse. The horse was done. The pellets were steaming. Angela was directing the horse in a wide circle. Angela was going fast. She looked even prettier. I was going to make the moves on her.
I looked at Tina and Tony. Tony was putting his hand up Tina's shirt. Tina was frozen. Tina was fifteen.
I climbed down from the toolshed. They didn't hear me. They didn't see me. I walked around behind the toolshed. Tony didn't see me. He was facing the wall. Tina wasn't seeing anything. I tapped Tony on the shoulder. He turned around. I punched him in the face. He fell down.
Angela saw me. She got off the horse. She was running toward me. I felt disappointed. I didn't get to surprise her.
God of Ages / Lord of Time -- mine is the right to be wrong.
Well I'll go to the foot of the stairs.
Jack rabbit mister -- spawn a new breed of love hungry pilgrims
(no bodies to feed).
Show me a good man and I'll show you the door.
The last hymn is sung and the devil cries more.
We leaned up against the wall outside of that revered hallowed-out theatre called The Symphony Room scoffing with devilish grins and fixed eyes at a few badgery Callows who momentarily watched down upon us from little flats high above the street.
The blackened pavement was wet from the morning rain and set the sound of the exuenting crowds' steps into and echoing cluster between the flats and closed down business buildings that lined the avenue.
I was Gaven, at seventeen years of age, and with me were Jack, Dunnere, who was a whole year ahead of us (didn't act it though), and Conor. We all wore our ragged attire (socially conventional and in style, of course); wool overcoats, mine being black, Jack's a dark blue, Dun's a brown and Conor's being almost as black as mine but in the light could plainly be seen as a shadowy shade of the darkest green. I wore my brown leather vest underneath my open coat and a white button-up beneath that, all of which were my own eclat as not to be as hackneyed others, but my black boots and Levis were much more trite among the rest of everyone.
The Symphony hadn't been as well-performed as always this night but I guess that should be expected once every while. It had been more jazzed up then others but as long as it didn't cross the line as far as that synthetic rubbish those ponces across the river somehow subscribe to as music.
We were the true artists and educates who knew that the others across the river's existence would be short-lived just as it had faded those years ago before any of us were birthed.
We were a farrago. A new uprising of all the art and knowledge that had been lost for so long. We sucked the marrow from the best of the bony past and spat it out for each others well-being. This was our time.
Jack pulled out his cigarette. "Head on to Cafe D'saster?" he asked releasing a breathy mist of smoke.
"A few more minutes, I've got to see her one last time." I explained looking about, knowing my mates would understand as I had done with their infatuations. "She 'ast to come out some time," I muttered into the night air.
"Five more minutes mate," said Conor brushing his mess of black locks back to get a better view of his wrist watch.
"She's probably in there getting on with some other brother while we're out here in the fucking frigid cold," scoffed Dunnere trying to be comedic-like.
"Piss-off," I responded for lack of a better and more sophisticated deride, for language was highly regarded in this "renaissance" of ours. I then looked up into the chasmic sky watching the clouds move swiftly like soot stained waves across the blackness.
I kept looking upward-like, overcome by the sky's vastness, only hearing odds of the other's conversation like that The Bluebloods were playing the Cafe tonight and that some slutty lassy Dun was habituated to (as were half the other brothers at Glascock School) known as Kathy Coxon was supposed to turn up there.
My concentration on the darkened realm above me came to a sudden halt induced by a sharp elbow jab from Jack who, when I turned to him irate-like, motioned his head toward the Symphony Room's door about fifty yards adjacent us.
And there she was in her full brilliant form; laughing lassy-like (yet not so much that she looked as if she were daft or something) with a group of her friends as she came through the doors like some angelic being. Shoulder length, nearly jet black, hair, with legs that arched out beautifully and seemed to go on forever, and the purest of white skin. She had to be at least three years older my age.
Looking at her filled me with a fervor, yet I was then surprised by the fact this same infatuation somehow rained a dreariness in my mind. Seeing her loveliness, in all it's subtle deliciousness, made me realize how pathetic I actually was; my fairly spotted and scarred face, my skinny and unmuscular body, dry hands and callus tipped fingers, my fowl cigarette breath, my ragged and uncombed locks...
"She is a nice looking trad lass isn't she?" blurted Conor quietly.
"Alright, let's go to the Cafe now," I said turning round to the car.
"We waited for this long and your not even going to talk to her?!" asked Jack.
"Look at 'er," I said faced away from her, "some brother 'as to be on that action." I turned back to Jack, "No. There is absolutely no way I can talk to 'er! I only saw 'er just this night, I don't 'ave any slight clue what 'er name might be, and there is absolutely no possible way that she would even look twice my direction let alone respond to whatever yeh think I'm going say 'er. We're going to the Cafe D'saster now."
"We've stood 'ere for this lass for 'alf a bloody 'our; either your talkin' to 'er or I'm putting a word in for yeh," Conor grabbed my shoulder.
I probably won't see her again anyway, I thought, so what the hell? I waited a moment then forced my mind to do it and turned slowly toward that picturesque figure coming down the stairs. My heart was pumping piston-like in my chest, my insides became like rapid covered current and I didn't even realize my legs were moving me closer, upon each step, to her body.
I reached in my pocket and pulled out a cigarette and put it in between my winter chapped lips. She was getting even closer still as she stepped from the final stair on the case. Ah bloody 'ell! I searched my pockets for me damned ligh'er.
Suddenly I found her staring at me not three feet away. I grabbed the cigarette from my mouth and threw it into the bushes off the side of the stair-case. I hoped so badly she didn't see that... but she did, and thank god; she smiled with all her kind tenderness...
"Aye, I'm Gav. I saw you in the Symphony Room," I daftly pointed to the building as if she didn't know where she had just come, "and was just wondering if you'd like to go have a coffee sometime or some..." I stopped and looked at the floor as if I were some inferior servant waiting for orders. I took a breath, "I'm really soory, yeh probably thing I'm a callow or something for comin' 'ere like an idgiot and thinking you might actually..." I shyly pushed my locks from my face as I usually do. The awkwardness was unbearable.
"No, no that's alright. I'll give you my number if you like," she reached into her purse and pulled out a pen. "You wouldn't have anything to write on you would you?"
"No, I don't usually do this kind of th..."
She grabbed my hand out of my trench pocket. I hesitated for a moment but she quickly opened my hand and scribed the number down.
I could hear her friends around her staring and laughing real callow-like at me...
This is probably sounding real cliche and overly trite to you by now so I'll get on with it.
We quickly parted ways, smiling at each other as we did and I returned back to my scoffing audience over against the wall.
"Any luck den?" asked Conor following me like the others to the car.
"Don't think so. I acted queer-like, you know? She's got to have some brother shaggin' her... It's all a bunch of dick."
"What's that?" asked Conor.
"Everything. It's all a bunch of dick."
Dun came up behind me, "How much you want to bet that phone number that lassie gave yehs just some fake she made up on the spot so you'd get away from her?"
"Fuck off," said Conor to Dun.
"All a bunch of dick," I said again opening the car door.
The Cafe D'saster was a massive hall that sat on a corner, towering between many rows of dim shops and shined with an comely firey illumination via it's encircling windows. Through these same windows could be seen many brothers and lassies smoking, scoffing, and shagging about.
We entered the Cafe through the glass doors and were instantly belted by the ranking, yet somehow pleasantly familiar, aroma of java, smoke and bitter as if we had opened the door to some awesome oven.
We made our way through the crowd who were enjoying an evening with a very well received band called The Bluebloods who I had been wanting to see for ages. Tonight, a night I thought would be a quite affable evening on the town, had taken such a fatuous turn though that I didn't really notice the band at all, especially after the new cognizance of my patheticness. It was like those many times I have been given the most unpleasant assignment from my schoolmasters to write of an interesting childhood memory. This obligation usually initiated a night of sitting at my desk and drowning in my own despondency.
"Damn, I forgot my cigarettes in the car," I turned back around to the door.
"No problem," said Conor mockingly laughing, "I can see yehr 'aving a rough night." I've got to get some blues I left in the glove last week anyway."
"Me ma or da could have found those you idgiot!" I yelped at him knowing my parents don't take kindly to finding blues or any type of amphetamines for that matter, lying around.
"Don't worry I'm getting them now," responded Conor as he made his way to the door.
Dun spotted Kathy Coxon over against the stage surrounded by about ten other brothers and took off, Jack following close behind. What I needed now was a brutal java to put me back on top of things.
I sat depressed at a table in one of the Cafe's corners, sipping in the piping hot Karova coffee (named after the bar in the Burgess book "A Clockwork Orange". Just as well, the java was indeed pretty brutal and was known to get the drinker pretty uplifted yet aggressive at times) and thought. Thought about how dismal my days have become since I can't remember when. I needed someone or something to believe in me and I guess that's what I was doing within this refractory renaissance. In some ways this massive band of radicals coming together did provide a sort of credence but it was like I had all the pieces sorted out to look right, like thoughts of what I knew I wanted to do with meself, but still only a minuscule amount actually could be put together. Now, all this metaphoric gibberish probably means nothing to you at all as it doesn't, quite also, to me, and most likely sounds like some marmy-shmarmy song or something, but let's not even get into that poncey shite.
Feeling a bit refreshed and woken up after finishing my java I returned to the dance floor as to try to find Jack and Conor, but not so much Dun for he could make any bad night worse, but he was most likely off drooling over that Coxon lassie anyway.
For a while I just walked round through the crowd giving quick hellos to other lassies I know and some brother friends.
Who then should come rushing up to my side first is Dun, (story of my life). He stood there for a second and looked at me strangely. I had an idea something was amis for Dun wasn't usually as serious as he looked now.
"Ay, what 'appnin' then?" I asked.
"They got Conor," he said with eyes like widened as he pointed to the rear door.
"Ah, bloody 'ell!"
I raced for the back door of the Cafe and could hear Dun right behind me. Every thing went silent in my mind and the door seemed to fade backward in the distance as I raced toward it. I pushed my way through the crowd as quickly as I could and didn't realize someone had actually socked me in my ribs, for pushing them a little too aggressive-like, until later.
I put a nice football foul into the door and stopped in my steps as not to stumble over the bloody faced Conor who laid down at the kneeling Jack's feet. His white shirt looked as if he'd coughed a large quantity of red wine all on it and his head was up against the stair wall that lead up to the street.
"Shite...," I muttered leaning down.
"Aye, ponce." He said spitting out a bit of spitty blood as I rollicked at the fact he was still alive. "Dicks kicked me in the face."
I took my handkerchief from my pocket and began cleaning him up a bit. "My god did they do a job on you. Lets get you to the lavvy," Jack helped me pick him up.
The florescent lights flickered as Conor stared at his cleaned up, but very bashed about, face in the half-way broken mirror.
"Made me look like bloody Claude fuckin' Frollo those ponces did," he said lightly touching a very brutally abraised bruise on his cheek bone making himself twinge with agony.
I cringed at the sight of this and put my sweaty palms under the tap next to Conor. As I scrubbed with some of that annoying powdery soap from a tin can on the sink I saw the ink spiral down into the rusty drain.
"That was quite the stupid thing to do," scoffed Jack leaning over my shoulder. "That about ruins all the chance you have of ever talking to that lassie."
"Shite...," I muttered at the third, but much less horrid, memorable event tonight.
"No, it's not," grinned Dun in the reflection of the mirror in front of me. "Kathy knows her and she is coming to Glascock."
"What?" I asked turning to Dun to make sure if what I'd heard was right.
"That lassie, yeh met tonight, she's comin to Glascock this coming Monday."
"All a bunch of dick?" muttered Conor. "Looks like Gav Duncan's life has finally taken a turn for the better."
I grinned devilish-like in my mirror, "Just hope it lasts I do."
"Ay!" blurted Conor. I turned to his smiling scraped and bruised face. "'ere's your fuckin' cigarettes." I caught the white box he tossed to me in my ink smeared palm.
[This is actually the very good beginning to a very unfinished story. Enjoy. --IWMNWN]
A confusingly happy lad of about nineteen burst into the brightly-lit halls of Wal-mart with a huge self-assured smile on his face. He politely turned down the employee's offer of a shopping cart and headed directly to the junk-food slash candy section of the store. Nathan preferred to call it "sugar heaven".
Someone who was working in the store during these unusually slow hours of a mid-morning weekday would have seen this lad amble into the aisle out of sight for a few minutes, and then reappear triumphantly from the other side with two handfuls of pound candy bags. Rachel was one such person. Her eyes bugged out and she threw her hands to her mouth to stifle imminent raucous laughter.
Nathan looked for the express lane -- he had made sure to keep below the eight-item limit -- and found it with relative ease. And as he stood in that line, he looked over the selection of the impulse-buyers' merchandise heaven and briefly considered buying a few cigarette lighters to make people think he had taken up smoking. His dreams were shattered as he saw the line empty in front of him; he stepped up.
He dropped all the bags of candy, and a new black pen, on the counter, and felt himself salivating at the bounty of sugary goodness he had selected. The cashier, a sixty-something lady, made a passing glance at the pile, decided to be polite, and said nothing.
"Makes ya kinda hyper just lookin' at it, don't it?" he asked in a friendly and completely fake Texan accent. He also winked at her to make his point.
"Oh, no, that would go right through me," she replied, concentrating on the laser price checker. Nathan shrugged, blushed a little, and laid down a ten-dollar bill. "Nine seventy-three," she said perfunctorily, making change.
"Thanks," Nathan said, pocketing the change and looping his hand through the plastic bag. He flashed a quick smile and headed out of the store with an air of importance.
Rachel expelled a brief laugh and self-consciously covered it up by dusting her register. She wore a grin the rest of the day.
I don't believe how much can happen in just a day. I start the day in one of my moody states, I don't want to talk to anyone or be talked to. I'm very happy to see my family leave early to get to work and send my siblings to before school activities. So I get ready and go to school. I get there and my mood lifts a little. But still I didn't want to be at school either so I just kept to myself reveling in my own self hate. The day was flying by in a haze and I didn't listen to any of the teachers. Finally lunch rolled around and I was still in my haze. I had gotten my food and was heading for my seat when I bumped into a tall guy I know was a football player. I looked at the mess that was all over his clothes, ketchup and Koolaid all over, and he looked really pissed off.
"You little fuck look what you did!" he yelled.
"What I did, you walked into me, so you owe me $1.50!"
"I ain't givin' you shit, what I am going to do is beat the crap out of you!"
By this time a small mob had surrounded us and were cheering him on. Then I heard someone call my name and I looked; that was my first mistake.
I didn't see the fist, but I felt it. He hit me hard enough to knock me to the ground and he stood over me telling me to get up and fight back.
I just let my anger go, and I didn't care what I did. So I kicked him in the groin and when he doubled over in pain I stood up and took my knee to his face, until I saw blood on my knee. I let him fall over and I began to walk away, not even seeing the people or hearing the hushed voices. Then something grabbed my shoulder and turned me around. And I was staring into the eyes of a mid-aged coach.
"Where the Hell do you think you're going?" he yelled.
"Let go of me," was all I said and when he didn't I broke his arm, which was my second mistake because as he yelled in pain about ten football players jumped me for hurting their coach. After that I don't remember much because I went into such a frenzy all I remember is hitting and being hit until my head was slammed into the side of a table and I was knocked unconscious.
Next thing I knew was waking up to my head pounding and my hands cuffed behind me.
I looked around to see that I was in a police car. My vision was blurry but I could see more lights from what looked to be an ambulance. I looked around some more and saw a policeman talking to a paramedic. I could just barely hear them.
"Damnedest thing I ever saw. I saw cuts on some of them kids and it looks like a knife, but he didn't have one on him. How many did they say it took to take him down?"
"The kids and teachers told me about ten to fifteen and you saw what he did to them. What is this kid on? I never seen someone do so much damage by himself."
"They say he's one of those quiet types, but you know what they say about . . . " That's when I passed out.
I woke up some time later. My head wasn't pounding and my hands weren't cuffed. When my vision cleared I saw that I was in a jail cell and was laying on a cot. I could just barely make out voices in the other room, so I knew I wasn't alone. I just sat there letting my head clear and waited for something to happen. What seemed like hours went by until a policeman walked in with a tray of food which he slid under the door, saying that I'd be able to talk to a lawyer and my parents in a couple of hours. When he left I quickly wolfed down my food to silence my stomach's aching.
Time slowly dragged on until again a policeman walked in. This time he was with a middle-aged man with dark brown hair and a small mustache, and under the suit he looked to be athletic.
"Has he been ranting and raving or has he been like this the whole time?" asked the man.
"He hasn't moved much and he's kept to himself. We haven't heard a peep out of him," replied the guard.
"Then let me in and excuse us."
"I don't think so, didn't you see what he did to those kids?" said the guard.
"I saw, but I don't think he'll attack me. Now let me in," demanded the man.
"Fine, but I'm not going to be held accountable." The guard opened the door and the man walked in.
"Hello. My name's John Wilson. I'm your lawyer."
"My lawyer, what I do? All I did was get in a fight at school and I'm the one who got the concussion."
"You're right, in a normal case you would just serve some time in Juvenile Detention, but this isn't normal. You cut out two people's throats. They died en route to the hospital."
"Kill them, how could I have killed them? It's not like I'm some kind of martial arts expert."
"Well, the police believe that you had a knife on you and you dropped it when you lost consciousness. They have nothing to prove it, though, because they can't find the knife."
"That's because I didn't have a knife! Why would I bring a knife to school? It's not like I'm some psychotic gang member or something! You can ask anyone. I'm usually very even tempered, except for the last few weeks," I said.
"I know, but I need to ask you some questions, some of them are personal things your friends or parents wouldn't know. Is that all right?" he asked.
"Fine." I got up and started pacing and chewing my nails, which I knew I'd regret later for chewing them too low.
"Okay, first how old are you?"
"I turned 18 a couple of months ago."
"How long have you been having this temper problem?"
"It started some weeks before my birthday."
"Do you get along with your peers? Are you popular or an outcast?"
"I guess I'm about in the middle, because I know people but I only have five to six real friends."
"How do you think you're viewed by others?"
"I don't know, I guess I think people really don't like me all that much."
"Okay, that will be all for today. I'll be back, and you're hearing is in two days. So if you can, talk to your parents."
And with that he left.
Like I said, a lot can happen in a day. All I'm worried about is what's going to happen tomorrow.
My parents showed up the next day with my mom looking like she was about to cry and my dad had a weird look of shame on his face. No one talked about what happened, and my mother battered me with endless questions of how I was, how good they were treating me, and so on. My father didn't even say anything. He just stood there and just watched us. When it was time to leave, my mother started to cry and my father tried to comfort her. She gave me a quick kiss and left for the car. My father only looked at me and shook his head and walked out. I just sat there and cried the whole day.
The next day was the day of my hearing and I didn't feel like I'd be getting out of this. But I made myself presentable and waited to be escorted to it.
The trip to the courthouse was long and boring. The police I could say were almost scared of me. They put me into the car cuffed at both my hands and feet and when I was in the car they cuffed the cuffs to enforced spots in the car. The driver didn't say anything through the whole trip, but kept watching me through the rearview mirror.
When I arrived there were some camera crews and reporters that acted like vultures when I got out of the car. I was quickly ushered through the crowd, much to the reporters' dismay. They put me in a smaller cell that reminded me of a padded insanity cell.
Some time went by until they came and got me. I was led down a hallway and I had an odd feeling that I was being led to my own execution. A door opened before me and they put me in a seat by my lawyer. I noticed my family in the back and some friends sitting around in the courtroom. All were looking upset and my mother was still crying. A bailiff stepped in front of the podium and asked for all of us to rise. When the judge entered and sat we all sat down. The hearing went on in a haze and I really didn't understand a lot of it, but by the look on my lawyer's face it wasn't good. I was finally made to stand as the judge started to speak.
"Seeing that all the evidence points to this young man being the killer, and thanks to the new Republican Crime Bill, there is no need for a trial. But, seeing how this is not a regular murder the death penalty will not be enforced. Instead, you shall be sentenced to life in a minimal security prison. Court dismissed."
"No!" I yelled, and snapped my cuffs as I charged the judge. The guards tried to spot me but I was able to throw some of them off. There were four of them clinging onto me when a fifth came up behind me and hit me behind the head with a nightstick, knocking me unconscious.
When I awoke I was again in a cell. This time I was cuffed and chained to the cell door.
After some time guards came and escorted me to an armored truck that had a couple of other prisoners in it. They were men much older than me and didn't seem to really take notice of me. They cuffed me to a bar that was firmly attached to the truck. Then they shut and locked the door. Then the truck jerked and started forward.
The ride was long and boring because no one in the truck wanted to talk. We went on in silence, when the truck came to a sudden stop. Muffled voices were heard and the men in the truck started whispering. Until a scream rang out that was turned to a gurgling noise.
Then the world turned upside down. The truck had been flipped to its side and my shoulders screamed in agony as my body was twisted and jerked. I just hung there until the door was ripped off its hinges.
What stood at the door was one of the scariest things my young eyes have ever seen, a creature that was so large it filled the door. This creature had the body of a wolf but walked on its hind legs. Its eyes glowed red and its canine mouth glistened with saliva. The thing entered the truck slowly and moved toward the men who were now beginning to yell and scream. As it neared the first man it seemed to smell the air around it. Then, with speed that seemed unrealistic, it ripped the man's throat out, spilling blood on me. It did this to each man until it came to me. But the only thought that crossed my mind was that this was what a trapped animal must feel, tied up and not able to get away. As the creature approached me it raised its clawed hand and as it descended I shut my eyes expecting death, but I only fell to the ground with such suddenness it knocked the air out of me.
The thing's head came down towards mine and in a voice that sounded almost too human it told me to relax and it wasn't going to hurt me. Then it picked me up and carried me away into the trees.
Tony calmly closed the door behind him and said to Jackie, "The sun's going out." Her eyes widened but he placed a calm hand on her shoulder. "I was watching it all the way home," he said reassuredly.
Jackie asked softly, "What are you talking about?" But she knew what he was saying. She'd noticed the dampening light as she read the art history textbook, uneasily blaming it on her tired mind and lack of vitamin A.
He opened the blinds and waved an arm. "I was driving back from the store when I suddenly realized it was dark but not cloudy. I looked up and saw the sun. I looked right at it for several seconds. It's deep red. Didn't hurt my eyes one bit." A good-natured farmer would have chuckled at that statement, saying it was a special effect of nature when the sun set. But it was three o'clock. A farmer like him was now uneasily sitting in his tractor, glancing upwards, not worrying any longer about the failed of the corn crop he was now churning into the soil.
Tony watched the sky, his head nodding involuntarily as he stood motionless with his hands in his pockets. Jackie had turned her head to look out the window but didn't think to turn her body after two minutes. The time for panic hadn't happened that day. A boy, sitting through a seventh-grade history lesson, had glanced outside during a ping of boredom during a droning lesson about another bloody war. His eyes hadn't returned to his notebook even to check if his handwriting was on the lines; his pen had stopped moving long before. He wasn't sure, and didn't care, if his teacher had stopped in the middle of that sentence to glare him down in humiliation. The sun -- the thing -- glowing through the trees cast a ruddy shade on his face. He was shivering.
The sun blinked out of sight when Tony solemnly lowered the blinds. Jackie looked up, startled, and didn't even bother to chide herself. She shifted her gaze down to the floor where the red rays of the sun dropped in through the slits in the closed blinds. Tony walked into the kitchen and pulled a can of grape juice from the refrigerator, and looked at it for a while before opening it and taking a sip. He wandered back to Jackie and sat down next to her.
Two hours later, they were sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall opposite the soon-to-be ineffectual sunblinds. The empty can of grape juice sat between them in the middle of the floor. Tony and Jackie were huddling together under several heavy covers, not speaking. Far away a burly man of about thirty was sitting in an uncomfortable metal chair next to the main furnace of the hospital, staring sedately into the cool ashes he had been watching burn out.
At five-thirty in the afternoon, it was night. Half the world was in sleep; the other half was in stupor. Tony slowly realized it wasn't the militias, it wasn't the Muslims, it wasn't the Republicans. The dualities and prejudices he had learned throughout his life could not explain it. There had been a bombing once. In the days after, as his mind adjusted to his luck survival, his mind also raced in philosophic thought. He had realized the meaning of life. In those flustered weeks when he searched through tons of stone and concrete and metal, and he looked hard and pulled hard and cried hard, he had come to terms with his entire outlook on the world. In the months and years afterward when he grimly faced the fact that he'd meet his end courageously fighting a merciless evil, he planned out a close moment he'd share with Jackie when he'd explain to her his philosophy, his drive, his will to live, and how she would be inspired by his soothing voice backed up with plain sense, logic, and security, before he left to trod off to his valiant end in defense of his rights.
He sat next to Jackie under the heavy sheets and quilts watching the sky slowly turn black in the still bitter cold and found he didn't have much to say.
--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 512.252.3101 14.4 (Home of SoB) THE LiONS' DEN 512.259.9546 24oo TEENAGE RiOt 418.833.4213 14.4 NUP: COSMIC_JOKE GOAT BLOWERS ANONYMOUS 215.750.0392 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--