Tuesday, August 30, 2016


The woman took a drag on her cigarette, then exhaled into the cold air around her, snow lightly falling from above, resting on the shoulders of her coat.

"I suppose," she said, as she shifted her legs, trying to find a comfortable position on the cold park bench, "we don't really ever know another person, we only know what they want us to know."

She took another drag.

"You just have to hope that, what you know about them, and what they know about you, all jives together in the end. I think that's what love is. It's not wholeness. It's accepting the pieces."

She got up, then, grabbing her purse and slowly shuffling towards the station. Some snowflakes were nestled in her hair. She didn't seem to mind.

"My train is here," she said, as she turned to glance at me over her shoulder, "have a nice day."

I watched her walk to the station, the blare of the train's horn smothering the sounds of traffic and the city around me. I leaned back on the bench and stared at the grey sky above. The snow continued to fall.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Learning About Oneself

It's been said that not only is travelling the best way to learn about other people and places, but is the best way to learn about oneself. Given that the more the present author learns about themselves, the more the present author wishes to distance one from oneself, it becomes apparent that travelling may actually be the worst kind of knowledge available to the present author.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

And So We Said Goodbye To Summer

It's electric, really, the oppressive heat and humidity, the denseness of the air, the sun beating down. The heat and humidity that causes sweat to cascade even when lying in bed might be uncomfortable, but when the air feels alive and the sun warms the skin and the light lasts until 9:30 PM, who cares, really? You can go outside, you can explore, walk, see the green grass sway in the breeze, the flowers in bloom, the trees green and full. At dusk the crescendo of bugs is deafening, crickets singing like they have the most important voice in the world. In July, fireflies danced over the grass and flickered and glowed and remember when as a kid we caught them?

In a matter of months it ends, the oppressiveness of the heat replaced by the oppressiveness of the cold, the dry, stale air, nipping at skin and preventing any outdoor activity unless suitably and bulkily covered and guarded. Another summer passes, this one, like many others, came and went too fast, the daylight shorter now, the sun a little less frequent, the warmth a little less extravagant, and all the while, my age a little bit older. Another winter of slipping on black ice, of clearing driveway and sidewalk, of car crashes and death and runny noses and steamed glasses and all the other things that winter brings. No sunlight, no sunsets, no fireflies, no crickets, no exposed skin. Just grey. Endless grey.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Everything Was Explained and Nothing Even Mattered

In between readings of Chicken Soup for the Soul and 80s synth and 90s baggy jeans and tape cassettes and business meetings it was easy to see that a cottage industry for self-help had become ingrained in our culture, an individualist, post-modern rejection of modernist trappings of self, people seeking a voice to identify with and create an ego but wanting the educational abstractness of a layperson. So people turned to self-help to guide them and create an identity and find a guide that spoke on a level that rejected the rigidity of textbooks and academia, the irony of course being that the authors, the successful, became the ivory tower, "gurus" turned into millionaires by simply displaying an ability to project their modernist interpretation of self into the postmodernist rejecting of self the readers promulgated.

What the 21st century did to the self-help industry is remarkable in that it made it even more superflat, more heterogeneous, and yet still shackled to the inherent limitations of "This is Me, So To it Will Be You." That has not prevented the explosion in content, the Medium posts, the listicles, the Facebook shares and the Tumblr reblogs, in direct contrast to claims of the commonality, now, of post-postmodernism. Concurrently, truly, the self can be reimagined through the lens of another completely distinct from financial attainment and educational attainment, our self-help can come from anyone or no-one, an expert, a teen, a comic, a blog, a rejection of not only establishment thought but anything that could aptly be related to it. But again, what is a rejection of an ivory tower if it becomes the ouroboros.

The industry might claim that in its current construction, it has become more deft, more accurate, more knowledgeable, but the base problems remains. If all we are is our experiences, our background, our perspective, as a postmodernist or a modern (but not modernist) practitioner of 21st century identity politics might ascribe to, then surely there is almost nothing these things can do for us, these self-help teachings, these guidelines of random passerby, these "17 ways to have fun in your 20s." It feels, distinctly, like a new bourgeois, peddling not power over establishments, but power over individuals, looking for affirmation that yes, they were right along, while the customers look for ways to accrue the same affirmation; if they only follow these simple steps. All the while, nobody is all the more learned for it.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Die Young

It's been asked, rather existentially, and by numerous people, why the good seem to die young. Many a song and quote and written word express this sentiment in such form. If one works from the assumption that good people and/or things do seem to die young, then it does explain why the present author is getting older and will, in direct contradiction to personal health, live until the ripe old age of 120.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Heroin Dreams

As a regular participant in various dark, twisted, gory, violent, and decrepit nightmares, the present author has grown accustomed to waking up at odd hours drenched in sweat and heart beating furiously against chest. The present author can now assume, as well, that being forcefully held down (in a dream) and then having heroin injected into one's wrist is of much less enjoyable than a real life injection of heroin. While the latter is not something the present author has actuated, the former is, and in a dream state, having a potentially lethal drug forced into you merely results in a stinging pain, immense amounts of fear, and copious amounts of sweat, without any of the euphoric high that real heroin would produce.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


It has been said that one must accept themselves before they can accept anyone else. It's also been suggested, however, that one should not accept failure.  Given that failure is the present author's state of being, then, it becomes apparent that self-acceptance violates the 2nd rule thusly stated, and as such, should not be pursued.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Mean Kids

One finds that, rather harmfully, the meanest people one will ever experience generally occurs in junior high and high school, when people often look to carve out their social niche by putting others down. This suggests, then, that getting through high school is getting through the worst life has to offer. Unfortunately, the lack of day in and day out verbal virulence softens one as they age, so that adulthood, while not as much of a trial as high school, still seems to each of us every bit as cruelly difficult.

Friday, August 5, 2016


There's beauty in the solitude and the quiet hum of thoughts and imagination run wild. Of the creak and groan and every moan of the house being the only noise, interspersed with the occasional traffic or pedestrian on the sidewalk yelling to another pedestrian.

There's beauty in the comfort of your bed, of your space, of your room. The way the keyboard seems to know you on your PC, the clicks of each key familiar and worn, the way your mattress seems to fit to you, your pillow a loving embrace of your skull.

There's beauty in mowing the lawn, in changing the pattern, the grass a diagonal stripe now instead of horizontal, the smell of grass and weeds blown about and leaking in through the windows that are open at night to cool the house down from summer heat.

There's beauty in music, to yourself, headphones on and eyes closed and the lyrics occupying your thoughts and the gentle melancholy of a song that hints at summer's passing and aging and regrets.

There's beauty in the way the tall grass waves in the breeze and the sunlight cascades off of cars and reflects light all about, catching interest with just the most miniscule glance from the corner of your eye.

All these moments of solitude, vital moments, at times, will be forever etched into your brain, their profundity never fully explained to anyone else, lacking the dopamine and instantaneous reward of talking with someone, of laughing with someone, but etching into your head and heart your personality all the same.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The State

If one were to subject oneself to American politics on a regular basis, one might be aware of the reality in which a number of American citizens (or snake people, until further notice) are running to hold the single most powerful position of political leadership in the world. They have been running (not actually running, mind you) for over a year, and in 90 days, the result of said running will crystalize.

One must, however, have a sort of individual hope brought forth by said political sweepstakes. To wit, the current candidates are so utterly ineffectual and hopeless at possessing a modicum of humanity and empathy, that the only conclusion one can make is that, if such uselessness can elevate oneself to president, all of us must be able, even in our abject failure, at least be able to elevate ourselves to some position of prominence and regard, even if it falls short of being president. In this way, the campaign is rather inspiring, a surefire way to demonstrate that even in failure, with a little sociopathic narcissism, one can accomplish great (or terrible) things.