we are supermodern we are retroactive we are automatons
we are individuals we are whispers we are all you hear.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This Little Piggy Goes to Market; This Little Piggy Brings Us Death

There is a sliding door in my father's new house. It opens to bathroom #0.5 on the first floor, which is essentially a white closet with a toilet, a sink, and a mirror. The other night I was brushing my teeth to a song when I glanced behind my right shoulder in the mirror. At the doorway. Beside the sliding door and the inside of the wall was a deep black space. I froze, my mind panicking for a very brief moment, then I relaxed. I got curious, and turned around to look into the darkness, unsure what lay at the back of the tiny crevice. I could not break the darkness. Fear wrapped a fist around my gut and I quickly turned back to the sink, averting my gaze from the harmless blackness of the door's home away from closed. I do not know why I was afraid then, but I do not think I will gaze into that hole again tonight.

I do not ever feel comfortable swimming in dark or especially deep water. I have an irrational fear of sea monsters. You may be hovering over that comment link, ready to say "No, Will! Sea monsters is a totally rational fear!" but I am disappointed to say that it is not so. Simply put, sea monsters do not exist. There are no giant water serpents or carnivorous, many-tentacled beasts swimming through the depths of the Lake Pollutario or the Larry River. However, I am still afraid of these dangerous creatures ripping me from the surface I so avidly doggie-paddle across. Whenever I think about these deep waters, I see my face as one of the aquatic beings drag me under and it is not a pretty sight. My mouth is open in a vacuous "AHHHHHH!" and my eyes are popping too far out of their sockets, my pupils tight with fear. I watch as my hands sink below the surface for now and ever, fate deciding I am to be the meal of an overgrown water snake. So, instead of swimming around for lengthy periods of time, I jump in and quickly swim to the ladder, fear shaking my spine and making my arms and legs forget the swimming lessons I took in my younger years.

It is no wonder to me why I am afraid of these things. I think about sea monsters every day, and I would say that sea monster-related articles are number one on my Wikipedia searches. And the crack in the wall? That fear I attribute to the various horror films I have watched alone, sometimes in the dark. No dark crack is ever just a dark crack. There is something lurking inside every shadowed hole and blackened rift. Or while you inspecting said rift, something will stealthily make its way behind you and get you/gut you where you stand, that look of surprise on your face showing only to the darkness.

These fears are irrational, yes. Perhaps a small level of paranoia as well. But that is why I ignore these fears whenever they surface. I don't have to be afraid of murderous psycho ventriliquist dolls or men and little girls in masks with knives or big water dragons with teeth and tentacles. I can say "I am not in danger," and as long as I do not enter a horror film through the broken fourth wall, I will be fine.

I read recently that in the same time the media has been broadcasting about this 'swine flu pandemic' in which seven people have died (as of April 29), thirteen thousand people have died from the regular flu. And you are afraid of the swine variation? That seems a little irrational.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Suns; Doters

Summer is a lover. It is hot and wet and gets you naked. All the best things are done with summer. Like a lover.

Two years ago I met a girl who never left my head. We were good, then we went bad. I'll take half the blame for it, but fuck if I didn't try to get her back. It didn't work. This girl, she left my life for a long time after that. Almost a year she was absent. I was angry with her, with the whole situation I found myself in, the discordance between us. I haven't tried so hard for one girl in my life. She made my sentences stop short and my cheeks to flare up as I summoned the courage to try a new line of conversation, one she might actually respond to. It never worked.

On the last occasion we spent time together I played my hand too swiftly, burglarizing a touch of her lips when she wasn't all the way ready to give. So she's been gone for another year. She was too stubborn, too strong to do the usual thing that night and just give in to a dude with an interest. And I think that's part of what makes me always go back to her, even if it's for nothing. It's some sort of Wild Hunt for me, following the wisps of hope through the bushes and the brambles for a kind of fulfillment. Even if it's for nothing. And I'm not trying to make that sound chauvinistic, or like she's some kind of trophy, because I'm not that kind of kid. Whatever is at the end of the Hunt, that's what this is. And I don't mean the carcass.

Now it's summer again and she's risen in my life once more. Prospectively, anyway. Maybe this summer will be the one I finish the Hunt. The weather's nice, the girls are wearing shorts again. All the best things are done in the summer. Like a lover.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ghosts Don't Stink; Ghouls Can't Walk Through Walls

Hello two a.m. friends. Well, you are two a.m. friends to me because I am writing this at two a.m. I'd like to talk to you about the undead. I have an undead problem.

Ghosts follow me around these streets, you know. The memories of my pubescence stink up the sidewalks, the pathways, the old haunts. It isn't nice being stalked by your self. Your history. Do you know those times when you think of something embarrassing that you did and your cheeks flame up and you carefully watch every action you do to make sure you are not being an idiot when in fact taking all that time has made you look like a fool? Those kinds of things occur a lot when you move back to a town full of ugly specters. I see girls I knew in high school and hope to the left and the right that they do not remember me for the caustically defensive geek I was when they last knew me. I duck from the ghouls I used to be friends with because I know their chemicals and my compounds only form noxious gases now. And I walk the streets remembering the times I've spent on them, alone or with my father or my friends.

The girl in the park and I met on her birthday. That girl's best friend and I, dating through a tumultuous winter, two fumbling kids messed up in the dark. The boys and their milkshakes, crossing the tracks. The older friends and their basement games, dice and devils with sharp teeth, red lights. The three girls in one month, running through them like a box of tissues almost empty. Haven in the back of a used bookstore, older guys and staying out late, a twelve year-old boy. The fight in the snowlit twilight. Kisses by the train. Shouting "Fuck you" to the dark countryside. Smelling cigars and feeling safe. Getting sick off a balcony, telling everyone "I love you." Leaving and feeling free. These are the things I remember, the things you do not.

These are my ghosts. These are my ghouls, my goblins, my bumps-in-the-night. These are the things that make me flush with embarrassment or a grin to crack my lips apart. And no matter how hard I try, I can't kill them. I don't know if it's because I love these creatures or because I am simply incapable of murdering them due to some supernatural invincibility, but they will not disappear. I can't kill my past, but I can make sure my future is one thriving brilliant beast. A unicorn or a griffon or a beautiful girl or something regal like that.

So my two a.m. friends, I just wanted you to know this: I'm learning how to deal with having the undead for neighbours and stalkers and watchers and friends. It's not so bad, once you get past the smell.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hope Fiction; Writing Dreams

Let me tell you a story, a short little pseudo-fictional narrative. It is comprised of events that have yet to happen in the lives of myself and those close to me, namely the Best Friend.

Woolen Bones, a young man, has just moved to the Frenchland, to the City of the Mountain. He is unsure of his skills in the local dialect and does not have much in the way qualifications for employers to consider him. He moves in with his best friend, Ddd, who lives in the City and is fluent in the dialect. When he is not working at his shitty no-dialect-necessary job stocking shelves at night, Woolen Bones auditions for student films. He finally gets a part and has to quit his job to make time for the shooting schedule of one weekend.
The film's shooting date swiftly flies by and Woolen is now short a source of income, although he has appeared as a supporting actor in a fairly well-made student film. Ddd says he'll get the rent and not to worry about it this month, that Woolen can pay him back whenever he can. After securing another shitty job, this one utilizing his modest knowledge of the local dialect, he auditions for another film. This one is a studio film, albeit a small local studio. He gets another part, again as a supporting actor and, again, has to quit his job for the shooting schedule of one week.
Woolen pays Ddd back for the rent with three-quarters of what he makes off this supporting role and they go out to celebrate and Woolen ends the night spending the rest of the pay from the film on bottles and shots. Two days go by and Woolen realizes he won't be lucky enough to get another minimum-wage job where the local dialect isn't necessary and sets his sights higher. He goes to the different magazines operating in the City of the Mountain, magazines which print in the Majority Tongue. And he waits.
Two weeks pass by and finally the phone rings for Woolen Bones. One of the magazines is looking for a mailroom clerk and asks when he is available. Woolen says immediately and starts work two days later. A month or two later, his supervisor discovers a piece of writing Woolen accidentally left on a table in the mailroom and shows it to his supervisor. Woolen is called in for a private meeting and leaves the meeting with the task of writing an article for the next month's issue.

Dreams are nice.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Father

Watching my father play with my year-and-five-months-old half-brother, asking him things like "What sound does an elephant make?" to which he replied by pressing his lips together and blowing a long noise that sounded like he was forcing a 'p' out along with a 't' and a 'b,' and walking him around the deck and yard, I, possibly for the first time in my life, felt proud of my dad. We didn't have the nicest experience living with each other for five years (almost to the day I believe), and now I'm living with him again (almost to the day I last left), if only temporarily. Seeing him interact with my little brother, showing so much love... It surprised me.

For most of my life my father has been perpetually pissed off and frequently cynical. After I discovered a whole new world of music from what he had shown me, this gap has stretched and widened between us so far that we can barely see one another beyond the horizon. It hurts me that most conversations he and I have keep me on the defensive, constantly fending off his cynicism and utilitarian beliefs. The only time he and I agree on anything is about movies, and only subjectively good blockbusters. We both like loud noise and explosions in a summer action flick, with some suspended believability, but as far as I can tell, he doesn't enjoy neurological films, whereas they are my preferred films.

I say 'as far as I can tell' because, honestly, my father remains a mystery to me. His isn't an icewall that keeps people out - he is not impassionate and distant. He is a burning inferno, frightening people away from their own person. I am afraid to be honest with him because I do not think he will approve of my ideas. And it is not the typical father's approval I seek, it is a man-to-man approval. He would not approve of my views and would scoff at them and tell me how wrong I am. His caustic tongue and abrasive tones keep me from speaking to him about my life experiences.

This is all in person. When I spoke to him on the phone from university, he was nothing but supportive and caring. He said he thought that it was a really good choice to take life as it was presented to me, and fully backed my decision to not return to university in the coming fall. He gave me advice about moving to Montreal and the things I should do this summer. All on the phone. As soon I got in a car with him, I knew things were going to be the exact same as before I moved out. He doesn't treat me like his serf anymore, this is true, but it seems as though he believes I owe him something.

This summer will be a tough one if I have to live here for the entire time before I move to the Frenchland. If I get a job in the Other Town, I will consider myself fortunate for the escape. This place is not a prison, but it is not a home. What do you call that?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The War of the Bear

We waged our assault on their bastion of sanctity with the utmost naivete. We were not supposed to be there. It was their land. Their music played loud; we could hear it from outside. Some kind of bar blues, not too down-tempo, not showing its Black roots too obviously - the way they like it. We brought our wallets and our contemporary clothing, the energy of our youth and tossed these things toward their solace like we were catapults. But they did not let our siege pass by leaving us unscathed.

The first casualty was Guts' wallet. He pays his seven dollar entry wound and orders himself a pitcher of Red. Surprise washed over him when he discovered it was almost twenty dollars. Later, he asked me to split it with him, maybe as an act of desperation, trying to save himself. The beer wasn't worth the cost.

Next came the battle of the pool table. It was a long, arduous battle. Initially, I had planned on taking part but attrition and comfort in the wooden swiveling bar chair set in. Gravy and Guts wanted to play a game, but the old-timers had been playing game after game since we arrived, and up came two other men. I assumed they were military men because they were built like golems. Guts went out for a cigarette and Gravy confronted one of the old men. This one had dirty, shoulder-length hair parted down the middle and was wearing a Neil Young shirt he probably got before the night before, with pants that made him look like a bull dyke. Gravy insisited it was his turn to play, but Scraggly said no, Gravy wasn't the one who put the loonie down for the next game. And beside that, Golem One and Two were here now and Guts wasn't.

Eventually Guts came back from his cigarette, finished the beer I had been keeping watch over and headed to the pool table. Golem One wanted to play, Gravy was gone, and Guts just wanted to play someone. Guts lost hard.

The rain was still pounding when we went outside for a smoke. I looked to Guts and said I wanted to leave. The girl we were smoking with told me not to leave. Guts said I wouldn't. I don't like being predicted like that, not out loud. The rain convinced me to stay inside and stay a little dry, so I didn't leave then.

We went back inside, but only long enough for me to take a piss and hear from the stall the band's vocalist jeering at a fellow band member as they pissed side-by-side in the high-school styled urinals. The vocalist left without washing his hands. I used my sleeve to touch the door handle.

I found Guts shortly after, and we left. A failure of a night, and of an assault I am glad will not be presented to me again.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Social Antiseptic; Flushes the System

What happens to the people who don't follow the rules? Who don't want to live the suit-tie-interview-officejob ideal? They don't feel comfortable getting a job filing sheets of paper or typing mundane data eight hours a day, five days a week, and so what happens to them?

Society calls it an "anti-social disorder" and gives them pills. Or sends them to jail. Or tells them to "suck it up," that "it's life." And we deal with this. It seems that with my generation, a lot more people are less than willing to follow out this box life. Boxed dinner, box house, box car. Boxed wife and kids. So why are we dealing with it? Will we change once our elders fade from power? What happens when it's that kid you knew in high school who becomes prime minister, president, CEO? Will they get sucked into the powergreedselfishness circuit like their forefathers? Will society, once we are the demographic in control, change into something ... more? 2012 is the alleged 'end of the world,' but maybe it is the beginning of a better one.

The economy is failing, true. And it sucks that you and I and that starving woman over there can't get a job, and I'm not saying that part is a good thing. Look at it in a broader perspective: as the economy fails, so does the consumer's faith in the system. And with this lack of faith comes new thoughts - are there alternatives to the way we live life as of right now? Perhaps we don't need to spend all our money on fuel? Perhaps we don't need to build a bigger gun? Perhaps we don't need to eat this junk that is prefabricated in a factory on the opposite side of the planet?

Perhaps we don't need to put a price on everything?

I see the failing economy and I hear the words my friends and peers have to say and I think "This could be it. This could be change." The pyramids were built by ancient Egyptians. That is their mark on the world. Will ours be a new governing system? Maybe a return to the barter system of old? Or a war over oil or water or trees or food will leave us all hungry and dying and dangerous? Capitalism has been tried. Capitalism has failed. Individual gain should never outrank the needs of the society as a whole, because when it does, someone gets left behind. Democracy has been tried. Democracy has shown its corruptibility in a capitalist society. And consumerism has shown us that there is an end to everything, no matter how plentiful it may seem.

So I think it's time we opened our eyes and set our sights on a life where wearing a box suit and a blue tie, conducting interviews with no right answers, and counting our dollar bills and pocket change are not imperative tasks.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Parasites; Reflections

The snake wears a skin suit made of The Darling's best friend. Hissing, hissing, he lies to her. "Don't worry your sweet little heart, babe. Everything will be alright. You look really great tonight." And The Darling looks at the mimic of her best friend and smiles. With a hissing grin the snake moves in. As the kissing begins, the snake slides deep and eats her while they sleep.

She awakes in the morning and aside her lay a skin suit shed. She cries like she bled and there is no trace of the snake. Only the disgrace and the mess they'd made. She cries as she tries to block out the pain but still the stains remain.

The snake slithers forth seeking another place to hatch his brood, another place to breed his turpitude. He scents the air with his foul tongue, tasting victims everywhere. "Yes," he whispers to the grass. "Yes, this will ever last."

Another friend, another suit. As a fiend, as a brute. He never fails, never falls. He leaves no trails for those he enthralls. He is parasitic.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Castle Without Caste

There is a pain behind my eyes, my sinking eyes, and it will not waver. There is an aching in my spine and it will not quit its quiver. There are daggers in my wrists, blades in my legs, and hammers crashing upon my skull, and they will not cease. These enemies are not real, but they wear me down the same. I think of the future and spears cut through my chest, filling it with blood and longing. I think of the past and leather whips lash out, leaving red lines of regret. I think of her shrouded face and poisoned gas seeps into my lungs and I can't breathe. And I think of my best friend and wooden bats smash my knees to pulp and bone meal with distance.

But there is a figure rising from the horizon. It is a faceless saviour on a white horse, armour glinting in the noon spring sun. It is a many-armed liberator they call Change who rides upon a stallion named Vicissitude. It is coming and it is armed with shields to fend the strikes and armaments to defeat the oppression. Change is coming and I am glad.

Change will look down at me and rest its armour to the ground. And I will don the borrowed steel. I will grit my teeth as the weight of the plate armour shifts and the chain mail bites into my flesh and I will let my blood be a lubricant for the armour as I head into battle. When heavy blade and shield plead with my arms to be rest upon the ground, I will not suffer their grievances. I will square my jaw and set rigid my shoulders and keep the metal above the earth.

And I will grace my fears, my dangers, my obstacles with a sideways smirk before I cast them aside with feints and parries and heavy cascading steel will.