the Caucasian is obviously fucking entitled as shit, and the Asian is fucking dumb as shit—so it’s obviously not about race … lol.

the Caucasian is obviously fucking entitled as shit, and the Asian is fucking dumb as shit—so it’s obviously not about race … lol.

Yea, obviously, I read the article about the “Bad” art friend, and honestly, I don’t really care about the drama of it all, at all (not to mention the whiteness of the author in a context that’s attempting to present a relationship between an Asian and a Caucasian woman, and the bias is small but there), nevertheless, that relationship, specifically between an entitled Caucasian and an opportunistic Asian is what has sparked a bit of interest for me, and as a writer, I could not help but feel a bit of pathetic sympathy for both of them for existing inside the world from which I’ve worked incredibly hard to remain distant. 

Yea, sure (re this “writer’s world”), you can think to yourself that this is how I deal with my ego and my lack of tangible trophies of success as a writer, or you can believe me when I say that I actively avoid being around other writers. And I learned this lesson from experience after experiencing a few writing groups, starting my own, and eventually landing on the conclusion that this idea of a “writer’s community” is one fucked up piece of shit. I’d rather not go into specifics, especially since I’ve already written about the terrible experience I had with two Caucasian women who considered themselves writers. And yea, sure, you can go ahead and think that, because of my race, I feel entitled or what-have-you to comment on this particular … drama. The point is that your thoughts do not affect the reality of my situation, and so, I decided that I’d take a stab at writing my perception of the situation told in the unfolding of an Asian plagiarist and a Caucasian White (no, not all Caucasians are White, as in, not all white people hold to the belief that they are the center of the universe, and yes, people of Global origin may also be White). 

As an Asian female—raised but not born and currently living in These United States—my perspective on the story is fixated on the nature of the two women’s relationship, if you can even call it that. And this is where I’d like to begin. Statistically speaking, Caucasians have less diversity among their friends. The chance that a Caucasian has a friend who is not Caucasian is extremely low. However, if you are Global, the chance that you have non-Global friends is extremely high. I know this from firsthand experience, and if you are Global, you also inherently understand that everyone in your dominantly Caucasian circles, EVERYONE, knows who you are, while you might not know everyone’s face in any given circle. Now, for the context of this piece, we’ll take into account the writer’s circle within which both of these women exist, and I will compare it to my job environment. These two women interacted and knew of each other inside the realm of a writer’s group and a writer’s community, a community that I must assume is mostly Caucasian (yes, there were some tidbits in the article from people of seemingly varied races [due to the names associated with each comment], but I do not know [nor do I really care about] the specific makeup of the group as this is a situation between two women of different races, one of them being White). 

At my job, I run into an interesting social conundrum wherein all the Caucasians know who I am, but I only vaguely know who they are because we do not work in the same department. Since I wear a name tag and gossip runs rampant, these Caucasians have this social attitude toward me as if they know me, when they haven’t even introduced themselves to me, and we’ve never actually exchanged words. How do I know this? By the way they interact with me … the very. first. time. And it’s the same situation every fucking time, at my job and in my life.

Here’s the sitch: Some White girl thinks that she knows me because she knows OF me, and when you’re, literally, the only Asian inside a workplace, EVERYONE knows OF YOU. This does not mean that they know me or have even spoken to me. After a little while, they become convinced that they DO know me, so they take a stab at a conversation with me. One White girl said to me one day as her very first words ever uttered to me, “Hey, I heard you’re Korean.” To which I responded, “I am Korean.” And then she proceeded to tell me all about how much she loves Korea, and how she’s been to Seoul. 

Now, if you’re Caucasian, you’re probably thinking, “What’s the bfd? She’s obviously trying to be nice and friendly.” To which I respond, “No she’s not. She’s being lazy and racist. She heard some gossip about me, specifically about my race, and instead of having anything else, anything at all, more interesting to say to me, she chose to talk to ME (a Global) about my RACE.” When was the last time someone asked you, “Hey, I heard you’re Caucasian. Where in Caucasia are you from?” Fuck you.

Another time, a different (dumbass) white girl whom I don’t know came up to me and said, “OMG Tiffany, the cantaloupe was so good the other day!” To which I responded with a look that said, “Do I know you?” as I said nothing at all in return. 

These are a mere TWO examples of an endless list of examples of all the times that Caucasians have assumed our friendship due to our proximity and THEIR hyper-awareness of my existence. This is a situation that has unfolded so many times that this type of interaction makes up the majority of interactions I have with Caucasians. 

With that said, it’s obvious to me that the Asian Plagiarist suffers from exactly this sort of relational misinterpretation misinterpreted by the Caucasian White. I only say this through the desperation with which the Caucasian White reached out to the Asian Plagiarist when the Asian Plagiarist “failed” to treat the White as a friend by acknowledging her organ transplant. And honestly, when I read this bit of the article, I was shocked by the entitlement and obviously pathetic desperation of the White … until I remembered an interaction or two that I’ve had with older Caucasian White women, most notably my former supervisor.

I began my job earlier this year, and at that time, I had a supervisor who trained me for two days and then left for a two-week vacation. While she was away, I killed it, worked my way out of the six-week probationary pay period after my first week, was met by the corporate head who patted me on the back and told me to keep up the good work and that I was well on my way to a promotion. When my supervisor returned, her first words to me were, “Did you think of me?” To which I responded, “No. Why would I?” 

She “trained” me over two shifts, and then went off and left me in a lurch while thinking to herself during her vacation that I must be thinking of her? Why would she think this? 

Then, the following weekend, when I arrived at work, she greeted me in a very hostile tone, which I suspected was due to her finding out about my success while she was away, “Morning. How are you?” to which I responded, “Fine.” To which she responded in an even louder, more hostile tone, “Fine?! You’re fine?! I haven’t seen you all week, and there’s nothing else you want to tell me?” To which I responded, “No. But is there something you want to tell me?” And then she walked away in a rage. I was thoroughly confused. And then she undertook the task of attempting to make my life tritely miserable, hoping that I’d fold and quit like the half-dozen or so former coworkers who quit, making way for my arrival. 

My strategy was simply to report everything she did “her own way” to HR, and after “management” (and I use quotes here because they are not managers so much as lifers who have not quit) slowly forced her to conform to corporate standards, she quit in early September. But I digress.

My point with these “anecdotes from the office,” is that I routinely ruffle the feathers of White women because they feel entitled to something about me. My Caucasian White mother treated me the same way. I do not fully understand what it is exactly that they feel entitled to, but it must be, in my mind, something about how they see themselves as socially superior (whether or not this is conscious is the determinate between a White Supremacist [like my supervisor] and a mere White Dumbass [not innately harmful but the potential for harm is infinite]) to “people of color,” because that’s what they’ve been taught over and over and over again—that they are better than all others (even other Caucasians), Globals included. This is, obviously, not true. The reverse is something more like the Truth (when considering the monolingual nature of American Caucasians), but that’s neither here nor there. Nevertheless, there is some ugly rationale for their social superiority, which has never really made sense to me if you simply look at an “attractive” Caucasian and an attractive Global standing side by side (and yes, ik that this is the time when you call me “racist”—have at it) that makes them entitled to my social life and time. 

Like … I get it. It must be tough to be a Caucasian woman and watch as the most powerful men on Earth (White Men, duh) choose, time and time again, Global women. Yea, sure, obviously, there are beautiful Caucasian women, and there are seriously hella-fucking beautiful Global women. No offense. I’m a racist! You got me.

In the end, my point is merely that this seems like a typical entitled Caucasian White woman being upset that some Asian woman doesn’t consider her perception of a “friendship” a friendship. This is something that has happened to me more times than I can count. However, I’m not so stupid to fucking COPY-AND-PASTE someone else’s text right off the internet with the intent to use it for anything else other than a direct quote. Like seriously? As a writer? How fucking stupid do you have to be? Damn.     

An Original List & The Window Model (Again)

An Original List & The Window Model (Again)

TRIGGER WARNING: this chapter peddles Suicide Ideation

He awoke one day as a full-grown adult, conscious, the Listmaker did. Oblivious to whether or not he ever had parents, the Listmaker always concluded that he must have had parents at some point, but somewhere floating along the surface just above the depths of the faraway unconscious, he knows that he has never had a family. How did he get here, then?, he wondered from time to time, never dwelling on the details but rather, questioning the manner of his existence, in general. The only thing that gives him any sort of existential relief is his uncanny abilities regarding organization and the particular way in which he could arrange stuff in an exactly right schema. This stuff, undoubtedly, ranged in importance from the triteness of one’s clothing to the esoteric nature of one’s mental faculties. Assuredly, however, the Listmaker would never characterize his … proclivities with any sort of genius or thoughtfulness; the prowess is perfunctory. Nevertheless, the Listmaker found that he had little to no tolerance for bad design or clutter, per se, and so, at some time he learned that there a hierarchy of better existed.

Inevitably, like for all people who reach the heights of exceptionality, people sought out the Listmaker for his exclusive skill set. And soon thereafter, the boredom and eventual disdain for “regular folk” convinced him to get the hell out of this hell hole. He had never truly contemplated suicide ever before, but now, the urge was too great to ignore, and so, after a little research, he sought out the necessary supplies for the quickest, most effective hanging. What he learned included a space that offered somewhere from which to hang a rope that would allow him to dangle appropriately, something upon which he could stand, another thing that would allow him to either kick or pull the thing upon which he would stand out from underneath him, and, as a consideration for whoever might find him, a ladder and a mat within the vicinity. The Listmaker made a list for all of these things. The first item proved to be the most difficult to acquire. As a tenant of a more-than-modest apartment, the place had no high beams or hooks or nooks from which he could loop a rope. He also decided against installing a hook into the ceiling, since, it would essentially ruin the general feel of the place, since, rarely do ceiling-type hooks ever belong in such a space. He was also quite tall. He was not short on cash, either. And so, after a few days of mulling his options, the Listmaker made another list of what types of residences or spaces possessed what he would consider an ideal, lofted space. And then he made a list for the order in which he would do all of the things that needed to be done beginning with, “scout out places to do the deed (via Types of Places list),” ending with, “do the deed.”

Disinterested in wasting money, he opted for something akin to a storage unit. To his surprise, the Listmaker found that the monthly rate on one of these things was enormous. Of course his storage unit search prioritized functionality to the cause over price or general size, but despite the specifics of his needs, the Listmaker felt sick when visiting various storage unit facilitators. One particular storage facility’s facilitator answered his inquiry into the vacancy rate of the particular facility in question by stating that it was null. The only thing that interested the Listmaker in a storage space revolved around the peculiarities of his needs, and oddly enough, a set of makeshift units that were tall and narrow were squeezed into the back portion of this particular facility’s lot as an afterthought for people needing to store odd things like kayaks or basketball hoops, etc. But aside from the four spaces of the tall-and-narrow type, all the other units were booked and billed. Ever the more curious about the nature of storage units, the Listmaker found himself jotting down a list of questions regarding store unit facilities and had a delightful conversation with this particular storage facility’s facilitator. The bottom line, according to the sf’s facilitator was simple: big pay, small work. He, the sf’s facilitator, unfortunately, was not the owner of this particular facility. He, the sf’s facilitator, did, however, do most of the work and so, knew how much money poured in and out of the place on a daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly basis. The operation, in and of itself, according to the sf’s facilitator, was extremely well-suited to money laundering, as word throughout like-businesses were concerned but that this particular facility did not participate in the overall, well-known practice of the storage unit business. As far as he, the sf’s facilitator, knew, the Listmaker noted. Curious still about this storage unit business, as a whole, the Listmaker asked the sf’s facilitator to whom he had been talking for a few hours now, whether or not he could or would outright name a facility that practiced these … shady business operations known as money laundering. The facilitator hardly hesitated before suggesting that he could not name the place, but that he could point the Listmaker in the right direction. And then the facilitator quickly followed up with a question regarding whether or not the Listmaker himself was in need of some … laundering.

Sadly, the Listmaker responded, he was not, but that he was very curious about the whole endeavor. What he did need, however, was a storage unit of exactly the type that this particular storage facility offered—one of those tall, narrow things. And so, the facilitator got to the small amount of work required to acquire such a unit. To the Listmaker’s surprise, the facilitator was absolutely right in the smallness of the amount of work he must do on a day-to-day basis. After filling out one form of a mere dozen lines or so requesting information about the short-term tenant’s personal such-and-suches, the Listmaker paid the facilitator the month’s rent. After the Listmaker’s information entered the digital catalog, the facilitator disappeared through a door behind the service counter area for a minute and then reappeared with a set of keys and another form that was half as small as the first form. On this half-sheet, the Listmaker wrote down similar information as to that that was required on the first form and handed the sheet back to the facilitator. At this point the facilitator wrote in large numerals, a three-digit number and then asked the Listmaker to say a sort of password. The Listmaker thought for a moment and then picked the word bombastic. Switching pens now, the facilitator asked the Listmaker to spell the word, which he then did as the facilitator wrote the word down while holding a small flashlight. The letters glowed on the page as the facilitator wrote them down. Obviously, the Listmaker’s curiosity had not damped, and so, the Listmaker asked the facilitator about this particular process. The facilitator gladly shared that the keys are not marked with any information about the storage unit or the facility, just in case a renter loses the key or whatnot. So, if a renter forgets, which they do, which unit their stuff is in, they can come in here and find out by presenting the key and their password. The system seemed strange to the Listmaker when considering how the system relies on a people who cannot remember their unit’s number remembering their password. The Listmaker said this aloud, of course, and the facilitator merely looked at him with a look. Then the facilitator pulled out another small piece of paper that greatly resembled a business card, a blank business card upon which the facilitator promptly wrote down the Listmaker’s password in visible ink. The Listmaker nodded in acknowledgement of his own presupposition. At this point, the Listmaker decided that he probably shouldn’t ask anymore questions.

The facilitator then explained the keys. One of the keys was significantly larger than the other. The large one, according to the facilitator, accesses the building itself, the small one, the Listmaker’s personal unit. The Listmaker nodded in understanding. The Listmaker learned that he was free to come and go throughout the facility twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred, sixty-five days a year. Well, the facilitator added, except not really in his case since he’s only renting for one month. The Listmaker smiled, then asked if he could look at the unit one more time, to which the facilitator replied by repeating how the Listmaker was free to move about the facility now that he had his keys. So tempted the Listmaker was at this point to ask about security and safety and all sorts of procedures regarding people who don’t pay their monthly bills but who still have keys, etc., but the Listmaker refrained, thanked the facilitator and walked out of the storage unit facility’s office toward the main entrance of the storage units’ building.

As the Listmaker walked through the hall lined with unit after unit after unit filled with stuff that people wanted to keep but not be around, the Listmaker lamented at the entire concept of storage facilities, but then a feeling of gratitude overcame him as he thought about how he would be unable to carry out his wishes to end his droll life if such a place did not exist. Torn, he meandered through each hallway of the building, strolled up the steps to the next floor and meandered the next floor until he reached the fourth floor. The Listmaker meandered the fourth floor as well until he found his temporary … coffin. On each of the four floors of the facility, one of the tall-but-narrow type of units was housed or smushed into the end of the hall next to the staircase that necessarily ate into, what would otherwise be, another full-sized storage unit. An elevator sat at the opposite entrance-end of the hall, but elevators are more rote in size and so, take up an entire full-sized storage unit’s space. Bending down to unlock the padlock from the vertically sliding, garage-door-type door, the Listmaker unlocked the lock, shimmied the thing from the loop attaching the door to the floor and pulled the door up as he stood to pull the door up farther over his head. A dry, dull air came slowly oozing out of the unit. Upon examination, two of him, the Listmaker decided, could not fit in there shoulder to shoulder. Since this particular unit was not actually a proper unit, no lights were installed, hence the higher, unfinished ceiling with exposed beams and such, hence the acquisition of this particular unit. Luckily, the facility’s hallways were lighted, and the lighted light easily poured far enough into the unit that the lightless situation bothered the Listmaker not.

Here, now, the Listmaker stands, working out the particulars of the space. The thing stands fully empty with the one exception of some kind of trash stuff in the corner. He wants and/or needs to examine the thing more closely. Two crumpled up pieces of paper it is, and so, he picks the stuff up and begins to meticulously unfold the paper balls, one at a time. Upon opening the first, the Listmaker recognizes the general schematic of a brochure. “All Tents Circus!” the top of the first sheet reads and below it, a smattering of circus-related designs, event details, etc. He folds the first sheet and tucks it into his back pocket. He opens the second. At first it seems blank but then he turns to face the light oozing in from the hallway, and tilts the paper ever so slightly so that the paper may reflect said light. Still the paper seems to be blank, and just as the Listmaker’s about to fold the sheet up for safe keeping—Let’s not be wasteful, he thinks to himself—the paper shimmers a bit to slowly reveal an image … the face of … the image of the Listmaker’s own face. Bending over the sheet to stare into it, the Listmaker sees that the sheet has turned into some sort of reflective surface … a mirror of sorts. Holding the sheet vertically now, he moves the paper around to see if the thing continues to reflect more than just his face, and as soon as the paper moves away from his face, the shimmery effect slowly dissolves, returning the magical sheet to its dull, papery self. Of the curious sort, the Listmaker realizes that he needs to find out if any other person can/will see his/her own face reflected in the paper. The facilitator, he thinks. Forgetting, at least for the moment, about the task at hand, he locks up his unit, questionably magically paper in hand, runs down the stairs, out the door of the storage units’ building, back into the storage unit facility’s office building.

“Hey, man,” the Listmaker greets the facilitator. “Everything look alright?” the facilitator asks. “Yea; it’s great, thanks,” the Listmaker responds. The facilitator looks at him, a little curious himself now. The Listmaker is breathing a bit heavier than a person ought, the facilitator considers. The Listmaker, recognizing the look on the facilitator’s face immediately pipes up, “Uh, so I was wondering if you’d take a look at this piece of paper for me?” “What?” the facilitator nearly scoffs. “This piece of paper,” the Listmaker reiterates as he holds up the piece in question; “Can you just look at it for me?” “I am looking at it. It looks blank,” the facilitator comments; “And very wrinkled.” “Yea, just here,” the Listmaker offers as he holds out the sheet for the facilitator to take. The facilitator obliges and takes the paper with both hands from the Listmaker. “Okay?” the facilitator shrugs. “Uh, hold it up to your face, and look at it,” the Listmaker gently directs. The facilitator complies. And then looks back at the Listmaker. “Look at it,” the Listmaker reiterates. The facilitator looks at the sheet again while the Listmaker waits patiently for the facilitator to be blown away. Nothing. Still holding the sheet, the facilitator looks back at the Listmaker, “What?” Quickly, the Listmaker lowers the sheet in the facilitator’s hands to see if he can see the facilitator’s face in the sheet. Nothing. The Listmaker takes the sheet back, “Here, come look at this.” The facilitator walks around the service-counter area and stands next to the Listmaker. Slowly, the Listmaker lifts the sheet to face level and waits. He’s sure that the paper is about to shimmer, but then, the thing remains fucking dull. “What am I looking at?” the facilitator asks. “Goddammit,” the Listmaker curses; “Nevermind.” “Alright, man,” the facilitator mocks; “That’s a nice wrinkled piece of paper.” “Thanks,” the Listmaker retorts, disappointed, somber. The facilitator does not seem to care much about the Listmaker, in general and so, simply walks back around to the Employees Only side of the service counter. The Listmaker feels slightly embarrassed but is overwhelmed by surprisingly strong feelings of anger. He turns to exit the office, “See ya around.” The facilitator merely raises a hand in farewell while attending to other sheets of paper related to the nature of his work. Standing just outside the storage unit facility’s office now, the Listmaker takes another glance at the paper; it begins to shimmer. “Are you fucking kidding me,” the Listmaker whispers under his breath. Another moment passes and the paper slowly reveals and reflects the Listmaker’s face. “Motherfucker,” the Listmaker spits as he crumples the sheet back into the ball-like form in which he originally found it. He tosses the thing into the nearby row of weeds lining the storage unit facility’s office and walks away. He hears the door of the office open behind him. “Come on man!” the facilitator scolds. The Listmaker keeps on walking away. “Asshole!” the facilitator yells.

The Listmaker consults the list of necessary goods in his pocket and reads:

  • a place for the deed
  • rope
  • stool or the like
  • mat or the like
  • knife or large scissors
  • ladder of unknown height

Then, he crosses off the item that reads “a place for the deed,” crosses off “of unknown height” and jots down a two-digit number next to the crossed off portion regarding the ladder. Of the more insular in nature, the Listmaker does not own any of the remaining necessities of his list and has never frequented the type of store he imagines one would frequent in order to purchase the remaining items on his list. Thus, the Listmaker retrieves the to-do list regarding the necessary steps of the task at hand and adds the instruction, “scout out places to purchase necessary items,” before the line item, “buy necessary items,” after, “acquire a place to do the deed.” And then the Listmaker reads a few line items down the to-do list regarding the necessary steps of the task at hand and sees, “prepare to do the deed (consult Doing the Deed Preparation list),” and soon realizes that he has not prepared the Doing the Deed Preparation list. Obviously, the Listmaker jots down “prepare the Doing the Deed Preparation list” onto the to-do list regarding the necessary steps of the task at hand list under “prepare necessary items,” over “prepare acquired place with prepared necessary items.” At this point, the Listmaker considers how vastly under prepared he truly is for the task at hand, and so, immediately decides that he must return to prepare the rest of his preparations. But first, he consults his to-do list regarding the necessary steps of the task at hand and jots down “return home to prepare the preparations for preparing” beneath “acquire a place,” above the newly added “scout out places to purchase necessary items.” The Listmaker takes a deep breath as a temporary glaze of satisfaction washes over him. Within a moment, however the feeling fades as he remembers another line item, and so he jots down, “discard Types of Places list” between “acquire a place” and the newly added “return home to prepare the preparations for preparing.” And then he spots the first three items on the list that have been completed and thusly squeezes “scratch off first three completed items,” directly below the “acquire a place,” atop “discard Types of Places list.” Promptly, the Listmaker follows the newest order and crosses off the three completed items at the top of the to-do list regarding the necessary steps of the task at hand. The Listmaker reads the immediate next item and reaches into his pocket for the Types of Places list, crumples the thing up and litters.

Frozen, the Listmaker stands debating whether or not he should add instructions to cross of each completed task as he completes them, or if he should simply let all remaining lists, in general, persist in their duties. For an unknowable amount of time, the Listmaker stands outside the storage unit facility’s office, just out of sight of the facilitator. A vehicle screams by as it blares its horn at the Listmaker loitering on the side of the road. Awakened by the screeching terror, the Listmaker, under adrenaline’s influence, instantly decides that to write instructions instructing him to cross off each item would be a sort of conundrum since he would then have to write instructions instructing him to cross off each line of instruction instructing him to cross off each line of instruction instructing him to cross off each line of instruction instructing him to … etc. The Listmaker consults his to-do list regarding the necessary steps of the task at hand, reads the next line item—”return home to prepare the preparations for preparing”—and walks on home, free of distraction, pursuing one, very specific, instruction.

And then, the worst possible happening happens. Focused, the Listmaker walks the most direct route home, passes through the main street corridor through the heart of the small town in which he resides. He fixates on the task immediately before him so intensely that he finds it waning just as he nears the end of the main block of the main street of the heart of the small town. Losing focus now, questions surrounding the Listmaker’s general sense of purpose begin to cloud his mind with distraction. In an attempt to quell the disturbance, the Listmaker stops for only a moment, closes his eyes, shakes his head in a lame struggle to regain clarity. It is within this moment that the Listmaker’s eye catches but only a glimpse of a face sitting beyond the glass that separates him from the face. A face of such extraordinary exclusivity cannot be easily ignored. Of course only his unconscious mind recognized the fantastic nature of the face, and so, then sent the necessary stimuli to the places that could and would do something about this need to see and know more about this fantastic face. The Listmaker slowly turns his head over his right shoulder and takes a good long look this time into the face that sits clearly through the glass that continues to separate the two. Amazingly, the face looks up and smiles at him. He nearly dies from the radiation of the emanating beauty. The Listmaker, caught between what he must do and what he wants to do, stares into the face of the seated woman. She looks away, embarrassed but smiling. Smiling too, the Listmaker refuses to suppress the mind-blowing urge to know the face that sits beyond the glass that separates them.

The Listmaker’s desire outbids the demanding next step shouting at him from the to-do list regarding the necessary steps of the task at hand. He is young, so they say, and so, why not? Through the front door of the establishment he enters and looks toward the young woman at which he could not help himself but stare. The Listmaker stops to take in her beauty like the warmth of sunshine after a long winter. The young woman glances up at him and smiles; he nearly faints at her glow. Confident, the Listmaker walks through the cafe and sits himself down in the open seat across from her. She begins to look around the place, as if seeking some sort of approval. The Listmaker does not notice her discomfort. Silent, the two simply look at each other, happy, wonderful. Soon enough, the Listmaker strikes up a conversation, skipping all formalities regarding introductions and whatnot, jumps right in as if he’s known her and simply needs to catch up, “How are you?” She smiles and laughs a contagious laugh. “I’m fine. And you?” she responds. That laugh, the Listmaker realizes, will kill him; she is perfection. “Oh, I’m doing just great. Thank you,” he answers, never taking his eyes off her. The two sit together for another silent moment. “I’m not bothering you, am I?” the Listmaker finally asks. She looks around again, “Uh, no.” The Listmaker observes that she looks uncomfortable and prods, “Are you doing some work or something?” “Well, not exactly,” she responds. “Oh,” the Listmaker states in a seriously chipper tone; “Well then, would you like to accompany me on a day out on the town?” She looks over her shoulder toward the counter/ordering area of the cafe. The Listmaker perceives her attempt at subtlety and so, also glances in the same general direction. A person who looks like a manager or supervisor of some sort eyes him coolly. “Uh, well, I can’t exactly leave here right now,” she answers. The Listmaker catches another glimpse of the manager-type person looking in their direction, “Oh, I see.” Sad and disappointed, the Listmaker fidgets in a motion to excuse himself, “Well, it was really nice to meet … Oh, I guess we never really met.” “No, it’s not that,” the young woman urgently states as she reaches out across the table and touches his arm; he feels warm, then feels … excited. The Listmaker melts at her touch, “Oh.” He situates himself back into a comfortable seated position.

The young woman takes a deep breath, sighs, “It’s just that I’m working right now.” “You are?” the Listmaker wonders aloud. “Yes,” she explains; “It’s my job to sit here, right here, in the window of this cafe.” “What?” he laughs; “That’s a thing … that you get paid for?” She rolls her eyes a bit, “Yea.” “Wait, wait, explain this to me,” the Listmaker urges as he crosses his arms and leans back in the chair. The young woman scoffs sarcastically, “Come on, don’t be so judgmental.” The Listmaker leans forward again, arms resting atop the table, “Oh, I’m not judging, please, by all means, please, explain to me how it’s your job to sit here in this window.” “I’m a window model,” she begins softly, almost whispering. She looks all around her, supposedly at the manager again. Curious, the Listmaker also looks around the cafe. “A window model?” the Listmaker repeats, mimicking her whisper. “Yes,” she confirms. “Okay, so what exactly does that mean?” the ever-the-curious Listmaker pries, thoroughly entertained. She sighs again, “I sit in the window seat of different cafes and restaurants so that people will think that this is the place to be.” “Are you serious?” the Listmaker almost shouts, excited … nearly erect this time; “That is the greatest thing I have ever heard. You’re being serious?” “Yes,” she whispers while miming him to please keep it down. The Listmaker picks up on the hint and gazes around the cafe to make sure no one is listening, and then he leans in again over the table, “And you get paid?” “Yes,” she verifies. The Listmaker sits back and crosses his arms again, smiling. They stare at each other in silence.

After another moment or two, the Listmaker leans forward and reiterates, “Okay, so let me get this straight. You’re so beautiful that people, shop owners, hire you to sit in the window where randos walking by can see you sitting inside their shop or whatnot, and these people who hire you think that this helps their business. And so what, you get a cut of their daily profits or something?” The young woman lightly scratches the space between her eyebrows, “Well, I don’t know if it’s that I’m so beautiful. Maybe I just have the right vibe for whatever the owners think will attract people.” “Right, you’re not sure if you’re so beautiful,” the Listmaker sarcastically mocks. She hugs herself tightly and then takes a sip of her tea. “I’m sorry,” the Listmaker apologizes; “I didn’t mean for that to sound rude. But come on, you’ve got to have some semblance of recognition that you’re being hired because you’re beautiful.” She shrugs, and the Listmaker notices her face as it turns somber, uncomfortable. “I need to get rid of you in about two minutes,” she explains. “What?” he questions. “I’m not really allowed to let people sit here with me for more than a few minutes,” she outlines. “Oh, because a taken woman is all the more less appealing?” he asks. She nods and shrugs simultaneously. “Oh, come on,” the Listmaker states, annoyed; “So, I have to leave while you just sit here?” Again she nods and shrugs. The Listmaker’s calm excitement morphs into a mild, heated frustration. “Well, I’m not gonna leave that easy,” the Listmaker challenges. “Then you’ll eventually meet the manager,” she retorts. The Listmaker grins a big grin in acceptance of the challenge, “Oh, so you don’t want me to leave either.” She fingers her teacup. “Alright,” the Listmaker nods; “Then what are we gonna do?” “We could just sit here until the manager kicks you out,” she suggests. “How can he, she, they?” the Listmaker begins. “She,” she delineates. “Yea, so how can she just kick me out?” he disputes. “Uh, she usually just comes over here and asks, ‘Is this guy bothering you?,’ to which I have to respond, ‘Yea,’ and then she says something like, ‘Look kid, why don’t you just leave this nice lady alone,’ or something,” she explains; “Then the guys just leave, sort of pissed, sort of desperate for me to reach out to them. They usually want to know how they can see me again.” The Listmaker fills with concern and ultimately looks a bit concerned, “Wait, do any of them give you problems. You know, like if they see you again?” She laughs, “No, I have a pretty steady rotation. I won’t be back in this area of town for at least another month.” “Oh,” the Listmaker responds, shocked; “May I ask you something?” “Uh, sure,” she allows. “So, like how many guys hit on you on a daily basis?” he boldly throws out. She blushes, “Uh, I don’t know.” “Oh, like so many guys that you can’t keep count?” the Listmaker further requests. She cocks her head, “No, not like that. I just don’t keep track because I don’t care. I guess if you’re making me come up with a number, it’s only like one a day, on average. Most guys don’t talk to me or even approach me.” “It’s cause they’re scared,” he nods with lifted eyebrows. “What? No,” she condemns; “Oh. I get it. But you’re supposed to be some man’s man who can handle me?” Feeling proud, the Listmaker confidently nods, “Definitely.” The two laugh together, she almost mockingly, he full of certainty.

“Oh shit,” the Listmaker stops laughing; “I think she’s coming over here.” “It’s fine,” she starts; “I’ll be done in an hour.” “What am I supposed to do without you for an hour?” he helplessly states. She laughs. “Fine. I’ll be back in one hour,” he concedes. “Ma’am,” the manager states calmly. “Yea yea,” the Listmaker cuts in; “I’m outa here. She’s not into me anyway.” He winks. She looks to be suppressing a smile. The manager walks away. As he turns to leave the cafe, he looks back, “I’m Erzst by the way.” She smiles a big smile. The Listmaker makes his way to the cafe’s front doors and takes a left back toward the direction of the young woman. Outside now, through the glass, the Listmaker waves and gestures a motion as if slitting his throat. She smiles back and cocks her head as if confused. He then blows her a kiss. She catches it. The Listmaker gives her a nerdy thumbs up and jogs cross the street to walk the other side and heads home.

On Fishing (According to the Listmaker) … continued …

On Fishing (According to the Listmaker) … continued …

Fuschia. “Fuck,” she whispers. “Wha … what the …” Kevin stammers. “Back up!” she commands; “Back up!” “Okay, okay,” Kevin insists as he stops the vehicle midway into a parking spot and throws it into reverse; “Which way?” “That way!” she points, pointing back in the direction from where they just came. Red. “Go!” she shouts. The vehicle jolts forward at a high speed, “Where?” “Away from here!” she loosely guides while grabbing hold of the dashboard; “There.” Kevin follows her direction and pulls back out onto the main road. She looks back over the back of her seat through the back window. Blush. “Okay, pull over here.” Kevin obeys, “What the hell was that?” The world is clear. She gives Kevin a look, and oddly enough, Kevin seems to be getting to know her in a way that she finds … intriguing. “Oh,” he states, and then he asks, “That’s the thing?” She sighs, “You’ll know soon enough.” Stiffly upright, Kevin sits with both hands still firmly clutching the wheel. After a moment he realizes that the vehicle is still in the Drive position; he commands the vehicle into off mode. Still catching his breath, Kevin looks at her. She sits serene, calm, seemingly unmoved. A moment of silence passes. And then, she quietly speaks, “Okay, go back and try to park again, slowly.” Feeling tempted to request assurance, Kevin hesitates. She feels Kevin’s mind soften but allows him the opportunity to find courage either in asking her whether or not she’s sure or in accepting her instruction blindly. Kevin mulls a bit; she is impressed. Kevin presses the vehicle on, flips a u-turn, and slowly drives back toward the place from whence they nearly escaped. “Slower,” she guides. The vehicle seems as if it’s not moving at all. “Stop,” she instructs with a coordinated lift of her left hand. The vehicle comes to a stop. “Okay, slowly,” she allows as she slowly lifts and lowers her palm-faced-down hand. Kevin maneuvers the vehicle at a crawl toward the turnoff. At the place in the road where the vehicle now needs to take a left turn, she reaches her hand out again, “Stop. Pull over.” Kevin checks for approaching traffic. An oncoming vehicle zooms past in the opposite lane. They wait for another moment or so. Clear. The road clears again as well. “Alright. Do what you need to do to pull into the lot, but be prepared to step on it to get out of here again,” she directs. “Yes. Got it,” Kevin relays. “Whenever you’re ready. Take your time,” she encourages.

Contemplative, checking everything within his immediate surroundings, Kevin examines and reexamines for an extensive amount of time. She sits patiently, quietly. Kevin’s ready and gears himself up for the task at hand. Quickly, Kevin bears down hard on the steering wheel and screeches across the oncoming lane through the entrance way into the lot, veers right and comes to a skidding stop just out of the way of potential traffic, and then Kevin pulls the wheel to the left and prepares the vehicle for a tight, semi-circle turn for a hasty exit. Fully alert with his hands still squeezing the steering wheel, Kevin is ready for further instruction. They wait. Clear. A spot at the far end of the lot, the end nearest them, free of any potential neighbor to the immediate left of any parked vehicle that may choose the stop, stands empty. They wait another full minute. Clear. “There,” she points to the open spot. Kevin turns the wheel to straighten out the vehicle. “Slowly,” she instructs. Crawling again, Kevin guides the vehicle into the open space. Once within the confines of the allotted space, Kevin commands the vehicle back into reverse. They sit and wait once more.

“Alright,” she decides; “Park it, but keep it running.” She exits the vehicle and walks around to the driver’s side. Kevin opens the door in recognition of what’s happening. “One, two, three,” she counts. And on three, Kevin throws himself from the vehicle as she quickly climbs into the driver’s seat. Clear. “This is really stressful,” Kevin admits. “This is the way that things are,” she explains. She shuts the door and hits a button. The window portion of the door disappears into the solid portion of the door. “You can do this,” she goads. Kevin’s mind softens again in need of assurances. She considers this for a moment and decides the best course of action is assurance at this point, “He’ll know.” Kevin’s demeanor strengthens, “Alright.” “Just like in practice,” she reminds. Kevin nods and looks to be working himself up for the task. “Do you have the message?” she inquires. Kevin reaches into his pocket and holds up the small roll of paper between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand in confirmation. “Good,” she smiles; “It will guide you.” Kevin nods again in a self-soothing manner. And then a question that never came up during the two’s practice sessions rises to the forefront of Kevin’s mind. She feels it, “Stay put. You will not be able to get out here fast enough. Also, he’ll know what to do if you’ve connected.” “Alright,” Kevin nods yet again with his entire torso. Kevin takes a deep breath. “You can do this. There’s nothing to it,” she consoles. Kevin slips the message back into his pocket, “See you, then.” “Yes,” she waves.

September Reads [Books 45-50/72]

September Reads [Books 45-50/72]

Month Total: 6/7

45. Ages of American Capitalism: A History of the United States by Jonathan Levy

  • this is a photograph of a book sitting on a white-painted window sill of a window that is covered in a light muslin, and behind the book sits a tall white, glass vase with a heart-shaped leafy vine growing out the top of the open vase full of water … other details of the window, like the lock mechanisms are seen, as well as the wall within which the window assumedly exists … the book is a large 700-page tome roughly the same height as the vase … the cover of the book is the color of old parchment and a small two-line border outlines the cover … in the middle of the book reads the text “A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES” in an all-caps blue, double-line, sans serif typeface … around the four corners of the centered text are four small depictions (beginning from the top left, working clockwise) of an old wooden ship, locomotive, prefab house, and modest-sized skyscraper … and at the top and bottom of the cover sits the title, “AGES OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM” and author, “JONATHAN LEVY,” in tall, thinnish, all-caps, sans serif, red typeface, with “Capitalism” and “Jonathan Levy” being in the same point size and “Ages of American” sitting slightly smaller.    

46. Year Book by Seth Rogan

  • this is a photograph of a book sitting on a white-painted window sill of a window that is covered in a light muslin, and behind the book sits a tall white, glass vase with a heart-shaped leafy vine growing out the top of the open vase full of water … other details of the window, like the lock mechanisms are seen, as well as the wall within which the window assumedly exists … the cover of the book is a bright blue with the title, “YEAR BOOK,” centered near the top of the cover in a sans serif blue with red shadowed thick, square, all-caps typeface, where “Year” sits atop “Book” … in the center of the cover is a cut out to the hardcover of the book itself … through the small, vertically rectangular cutout, you can see the image of Seth Rogan in a cartoonish drawing of Rogan in a red hoodie with orange t-shirt underneath, full beard and fluffy hair, blue-lensed “Wayfarers” and a background made of yellow behind the hair, a thin pink horizon line above the sunglasses, where the blue begins and completes the background of the small drawn yearbook photo … centered beneath the cutout and depiction sits the author’s name, “Seth Rogan,” in the same typeface as the title and the same positioning of “Seth” above “Rogan.” 

47. There Plant Eyes: A Personal And Cultural HIstory of Blindness by M. Leona Godin

  • this is a photograph of a book sitting on a white-painted window sill of a window that is covered in a light muslin, and behind the book sits a tall white, glass vase with a heart-shaped leafy vine growing out the top of the open vase full of water … other details of the window, like the lock mechanisms are seen, as well as the wall within which the window assumedly exists … the book’s cover is a faded purple that begins in a blush pink on the right side of the cover that blends into a light purple that fades into white … the color changes hues and shades from the right edge toward the left spine … the title, “There Plant Eyes,” sits atop the cover, left justified, with “There” placed above “Plant Eyes” in a black, serif-style typeface, while the subtitle reads, “A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness,” in the same typeface as the title but in italics and a faded dark grey, with the text reading, per line, “A Personal” then “and Cultural” followed by “History” and finally “of Blindness” … below the subtitle, the author’s name, “M. Leona Godin,” sits in the same typeface as the title in an even further faded, lighter grey, with “M. Leona” atop “Godin” … underneath each line of text for the sighted is the embossed (assumedly as I do not know how to read braille) title, subtitle and author of the book in braille. 

48. Trouble The Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson

  • this is a photograph of a book sitting on a white-painted window sill of a window that is covered in a light muslin, and behind the book sits a tall white, glass vase with a heart-shaped leafy vine growing out the top of the open vase full of water … other details of the window, like the lock mechanisms are seen, as well as the wall within which the window assumedly exists … the book cover is a dark navy designed in an art deco style of thin, tall lines … the cover has a red-lined border of thin lines that also border the centered title … across the middle, in an all-caps, san-serif, white, thin, tall typeface sits the title, “TROUBLE THE SAINTS” (“the” in a much small point)  in a shallow upward diagonal from left to right, where “A NOVEL” is set in a small point in the rightmost acute angle formed by the title’s diagonal reaching the vertical of the cover’s border edge … the title’s diagonal serves as a mirror-like horizon line between the two highly stylized depictions of a woman above and below the title text as if reflecting on herself … the upper image being of a woman, cigarette in her right hand, in a red dress and fancy earrings, while a small asterisk-like symbol made of three crossed knives sits just above the tip of her cigarette, while the woman, depicted upside-down, is adorned in what looks to be maid’s attire of blue shirt, white bibbed apron, headscarf and duster in her right hand while the same asterisk-like symbol sits just above the duster … at the top of the cover, above the red-lined border in not all-caps, reads a quote in praise of the novel, “‘Juju assassins, alternate history, a gritty New York crime story … In a word: awesome,’ —N.K. Jemisin, New York Times bestselling author of The Fifth Season” … and at the bottom of the cover, beneath the red-lined border sits the author’s name in a smaller version of the same all-caps typeface of the title, “ALAYA DAWN JOHNSON”. 

49. In The Company Of Men by Véronique Tadjo

  • this is a photograph of a book sitting on a white-painted window sill of a window that is covered in a light muslin, and behind the book sits a tall white, glass vase with a heart-shaped leafy vine growing out the top of the open vase full of water … other details of the window, like the lock mechanisms are seen, as well as the wall within which the window assumedly exists … the book’s cover looks to be a hand-drawn depiction of a large tree with large, above-ground roots, thick trunk, many variegated branches and sage-green bushy leaf, with a small group of tiny people in and around the tree, one person leading  a packed camel on the right side of the tree, and in the distance the look of another tree and the shadow horizon of small mountains or large hill in the background … in the center of the cover reads the title, “IN THE COMPANY OF MEN” in a semi-thick, all-caps, red sans serif typeface, neatly fitted into a white circle outlined in a thick black outline placed directly over the center of the drawing of the tree as if the title were under the drawing and the circle serves as a window onto the text … “IN THE” sits atop “COMPANY” that sits atop “OF MEN” that sits atop a very small “A NOVEL” in a black version of the same typeface …  and near the bottom, the author’s name “VÉRONIQUE TADJO” is in a white version of the title typeface.

50. Josephin Baker by Catel & Bocquet

  • this is a photograph of a book sitting on a white-painted window sill of a window that is covered in a light muslin, and behind the book sits a tall white, glass vase with a heart-shaped leafy vine growing out the top of the open vase full of water … other details of the window, like the lock mechanisms are seen, as well as the wall within which the window assumedly exists … the cover of the book is simple in that the background is a solid blue-grey with the title “JOSEPHINE BAKER” splashed across the very top, nearly from edge to edge where “Josephine” sits atop “Baker” with “Baker” indented so that the “B” aligns with “O” in a chunky, sans serif, all-caps typeface in white … a hand-drawn drawing of “Josephine” in motion sprawls across the center of the cover with “Josephine” in a profile position, facing the right side of the cover, balancing on her left leg, right knee lifted waited high, back arched, face looking upward, eyes closed, right arm stretched down, left arm reaching upward toward two o’clock, while adorned in a flouncy lime-green grass skirt and four strands of lime-green beads that cover nothing more than her crotch and nipples, respectively … directly to the right of  the demi-pointed toe upon which the drawing of “Josephine” stands, the names of the authors “CATEL & BOCQUET” are placed in a smaller, beige-khaki version of the title font, with “CATEL” above “& BOCQUET” where “& BOCQUET” shares the same horizontal plane as the toe on which “Josephine” stands, where the indented “&” sits centered below the “C” and “A” in “CATEL”. 

[all photographs are edited in a warm, brown tint of faded light effects and a light grainy film effect]

To see the photographs in their visual form for the sighted, visit FIND.YUMMY.LOVE. *peace*

some seminal september sun sailing (in poetry)

some seminal september sun sailing (in poetry)

Dear Boomers *heart* #Millennials

  • If you’re trying to reach us, you’ve already lost us.

Family (all three mothers, three fathers, five brothers and sister)

  • It is only upon your (my) death that I (you) will know whether or not you (i) truly loved me (you).

A Reminder

  • Write the scene (script style) of the “Drano break” during our viewing of Squid Game.

re Squid Game

  • To call it “like Hunger Games” is ignorant, as Hunger Games portrays “The End,” while the ordeal of 456’s survival is one of an origin story.

I think, therefore …

  • … my mental health is an absolute must.

And then, a longer form:

  • In the town in which I live, a person was arrested after threatening racist fliers against Black people were discovered around the businesses and restaurants of the downtown area.
  • The police said that there was no punishment to be served as the perpetrator is protected under the First Amendment.
  • The “community” responded by saying that there is “no place” for this sort of behavior in “our community.”
  • “Fuck you,” to “the community” I say.
  • In the spring of 2020, I wrote and sent a group email to the entirety of the leadership group of which I was a part and accused the town of racism that I felt through a handful of interactions I had had during the few short early months of the program.
  • I asked for a partial refund once these Happy Covid Times began. 
  • I was issued a full refund and had a “talking to” about my email as the CEO of the chamber of commerce, the host of the program, wanted to understand where I was coming from.
  • After I left his office, I realized I had, really, essentially been kicked out.
  • I wrote to the CEO, himself, with regards to his incompetence and disregard for the racist nature of the city that they believe no longer exists.
  • I felt conflicted about my words and for my accusations.
  • I am no longer conflicted.
How to deal with not writer’s block …

How to deal with not writer’s block …

I feel a bit trapped inside this … liminal? … space. If you’re a writer, I’m sure you’re familiar with this … feeling? It’s not writer’s block, as you can see, since I’m writing this here piece right now. If you’re not a writer, then I’m not sure why you’d care at all. And if you are a writer who is familiar with this “feeling” about which I’m currently writing, I’m sure you have your own sort of name for it. If you don’t and you don’t, it’s fine. I’m fine with being the only person who experiences this sorta thing. 

It’s something entirely different from writer’s block. It’s like, you’re waiting for the thoughts on your thoughts to rise so that you can write about the risen thoughts. A lot of back-burning is happening, and so it’s inaccessible to the voice in my head. I’m waiting for a train to arrive. Just waiting. 

It’s not like I’m out of ideas—that’s how I’d categorize writer’s block. For me, writer’s block is something of a myth because I’ve never worked as a writer, in the technical sense of professional writing (I do consider my writing my work, but it’s not “work” in the sense that I get paid to show up and write for someone. I also do not consider myself a writer. I categorize myself as an artist [with two degrees in the subject] whose medium of choice is words on paper, followed closely by photography, which has recently morphed into videography). Thus, this is not a writer’s block situation. Plus, if I were suffering from writer’s block, I’d simply go on a writing date with the bodybuddy/lifemate, and we’d do a bunch of speed writing sessions … like literally, two-second writing prompts … amounts of time too short for my own mind to get in the way, etc.

What it is, for me, is that I feel like I’m just waiting around for my back-burning brain to spit out a conclusion or the nutgraph. I usually become a productive reader during these periods of back-burning, and depending on the time of year, I’ll participate in activities that require the use of my hands, like crocheting, sewing, painting, etc. Right now, though, I’m just happily waiting around because I’m a bit tired these days. I forget to remind myself that I’m surviving a pandemic, that we’re all surviving a pandemic. It’s more than enough to do the bare minimum these days. There’s no need to feel as though I need to excel, that I need to be productive. I am more able to really understand the meaning of soaking up life while you’re living it—that pernicious thing called mindfulness, I suppose. 

When I was a young, ambitious writer, I used to wrack my mind for things to write about, and I had the ardent goal to never really say anything at all. I kid you not; I swear on the grave of whomever is most inappropriate. I sought to write and write and write without ever actually saying anything. I practiced this. I am 10K+ hours into the practice of writing about shit without saying anything meaningful or purposeful at all, to not come to conclusions, to not express an opinion. I have no idea whether or not I was successful; I am merely revealing my intentions as a young, largely ignorant, aspiring thought provocateur. If I were a betting woman, I’d say that I was largely unsuccessful as writing is a specific kind of art that readily reveals the intelligence of the artist. The use of language, one could argue, is the ultimate test of one’s human intelligence.

*sigh

Never-the-less (and honestly, I don’t ever use “nevertheless” afk because it’s pretentious, but then we [the bodybuddy/lifemate and I] looked into the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack recently [yes, we still watch the movie from time to time because it’s ephing awesome] because those moments in the movie when Miles Morales sings that song “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee, I am filled with so much joy I giggle for hours, and after viewing the song’s video on the Tube, the lyrics gave me a new appreciation for “nevertheless,” as an element of writing), I have no point here because, like I’m trying to explain by writing about it while experiencing it (feeling like Neo in the looped, underground station), the IT of this writing is that I’m in that liminal space where I must wait for the next words to pop into my head with regards to the shit that I’ve been mulling and thinking about lately, which includes but is not limited to: my father’s emotional distance due to being a Vietnam Vet riddled with largely untreated PTSD, which is why he most likely escaped so often into exercise nad books (as opposed to booze, luckily for us), but it makes me sad that he didn’t include me in this part of his life—his reading life; why fucking James fucking-fuck-faced fucking-dick-fuck Corden is a fucking fuck but to even waste my breath is a waste of breath, so I shant; some thoughts on capitalism after reading a 700+ page tome on the Ages of Capitalism; and my thoughts on “poetry,” as I’ve recently come to realize that the simple rebranding of my “thoughts” as poetry has really given my “stats” an empirically exponential boost, etc. 

So, until my brain’s ready to shit out those longer-form thoughts, I hope you enjoy my “poetry,” as I find the process (and prospect) of being poetic, very fun.      

On Fishing (According to the Listmaker)

On Fishing (According to the Listmaker)

The Listmaker coughs a small cough. He is awoken by sounds the Listmaker ought not be making and rushes to his side. Blinking deep, slow blinks, the Listmaker looks at him and attempts a smile. “Shhh,” he calmly coaxes. The Listmaker carefully moves his eyes to meet his, and then in a raspy whisper the Listmaker speaks, barely audible, “Do you know how to camp?” “Shh, don’t speak. Let me call the nurse,” he consoles. The Listmaker rests a hand on his arm, “No need to waste the time.” He looks at the Listmaker with furrowed brows, “But …” “Do you know how to camp?” the Listmaker insists again. “Uh, yea, sure,” he humors. “Do you?” the Listmaker prods. “Yes. Yes, I’ve been camping before,” he clarifies. “Sure but do you know how to camp?” the Listmaker reiterates. “I … I guess I don’t understand the point,” he admits. “If you needed to go camping, say, tonight, would you be able to do it for a sustained amount of time? Don’t lie,” the Listmaker extrapolates. He thinks for a moment, “Uh, yes. I could figure it out.” “Are you confident of this?” “Yes.” The Listmaker closes his eyes again and lies silently for a moment as he stands with a hand on the Listmaker’s arm and looks upon the Listmaker’s face.

The Listmaker coughs again and blinks his eyes open, “When I was a child, my father used to insist that I knew how to fish, but I never found fishing very interesting. It really never seemed like a skill one could cultivate, right?” Brows furrowed yet again, he looks at the Listmaker in disbelief, “Yea, sure.” “It’s not really a trick, and it’s not really skill either, fishing,” the Listmaker continues; “And yet, some people are truly better or luckier at catching fish, right?” In an attempt to grasp what the Listmaker seems to be babbling about, he agrees, “I don’t really like to fish either.” “The worst part was when I would catch something, and I’d have to bring the fish in while it wriggled with all its might to set itself free, be freed, not die, right?” the Listmaker explains. “Yes, I would agree,” he admits. “And then once I had successfully reeled in the poor fish trying desperately to live another day, my father would look at me and say, ‘Now beat it over the head with this rock; put it out of its misery’,” on went the Listmaker; “Everything I caught would be killed, cleaned and then consumed. I never really understood the endeavor except to say that whenever anyone in my family caught a fish, we’d eat it. In a sense, the fish sustained us whenever we would go camping.” Eyes closed, the Listmaker went silent again.

This must all be in my mind, he thinks to himself. How long have I been awake? I must be sorely sleep deprived, he wonders. And then just as he was sure that the Listmaker had not been speaking to him, that he had hallucinated the entire exchange, that there’s no way the Listmaker, in the severest of comas, is conscious and speaking, the Listmaker came to again with a smacking and licking of his lips as if he were thirsty. “Here, some water,” he offers as he gently lifts the glass to the Listmaker’s face and guides the straw to the Listmaker’s mouth. The Listmaker takes a small sip, “Thank you.” “It’s no problem,” he whispers as he places the cup back down on the nightstand. “Eventually,” the Listmaker starts up again; “Eventually, I refused to fish whenever the rest of my family would fish while camping.” The Listmaker pauses as if in deep thought, not asleep, “The whole endeavor was too much for me. I was too sensitive to the entire process, and so, I told my dad that I never wanted to go fishing again, and further, I would not accompany the family during fishing outings.” The Listmaker pauses again and almost seems to chuckle. “Here,” he offers the water again. The Listmaker squinches his face in dismissal. “What was I saying?” the Listmaker asks. “You quit fishing,” he guides. “Right, that’s right,” the Listmaker recalls, and then he continues on, “But my father would not let the issue go. He suggested that I try fly fishing. When fly fishing, according to him, a fish gets caught in the lip, and when you bring the fish in, you can easily release the hook and return the fish to the water, practically unscathed. I remember considering this for a day or two, still refusing to bait fish with the family. Instead, I would spend all my time back up at the campsite reading books, playing with the campfire or hiking and trekking around the lake. I didn’t believe my father, for obvious reasons because I knew my father fly fished, and yet, he still brought home fish. Maybe, though, he did both so that he could enjoy the sport of fly fishing and still bait fish a few fish to cook up.” He begins to understand that the Listmaker is perhaps speaking his last words to him, through some means he cannot understand, and so, he sits himself comfortably on the side of the bed as the Listmaker takes another break from whatever it is he finds so important to tell him at this moment. He sits while the Listmaker lies in silence. At some point the silence begins to grow louder and louder until he realizes that his eyes are closed now. Immediately, he blinks them open, vigorously and finds himself still seated on the edge of the Listmaker’s bed with a hand still gently pressed upon the Listmaker’s arm.

The Listmaker is looking at him, and he attempts to smile. “Relax, it’s okay,” he consoles in an attempt to make the Listmaker feel better about not being quite able to smile. The Listmaker inhales a deep breath, and then he exhales, “I can’t remember what made me decide to try fly fishing, but I did decide to let my father teach me. Fishing was so important to him, and he wanted to share that experience or activity or whatever with me. It mattered so much to him that I thought, what the hell. I’ll just learn how to do it. If I don’t like it, I’ll not do it anymore. So, the next morning, my father le d me through the ropes of fly fishing, and honestly, I was terrified of the whole process. He guided me as I swung my pole over my head, back and forth, back and forth, while a tiny little fake fly with a hook on it, also went swinging by right by my face. I was terrified that I would hook my own face with the fly. I expressed my concerns with my father and he gave me a hat to wear. Apparently, if the fly gets too close, it ought to hook on the hat and not my face. After a morning of practicing my cast, my father said I was ready to put the thing into the water. I reminded him that I had only agreed to learn how to fly fish because he told me that you don’t kill fish, you just catch and release them. He was adamant that that would, in fact, be the case.” The Listmaker stops to take another deep breath. “You want some water?” he again grabs the cup and offers. The Listmaker opens his eyes wide in acceptance. After another small sip, the Listmaker coughs and continues, “By the late afternoon, I was successfully laying the line down flat upon the water, but I wasn’t throwing it out very far. We were on a beachy cove on the lake, feet a foot or two in the water, sun blasting overhead. My father told me that I was a natural and that when we came back out during sunset, I’d surely catch something. We took a break from the whole endeavor for a few hours and hiked as a family or something. I can’t remember now. By the time early evening rolled around, we were all back on the beachy cove, fishing. Honestly, I was excited but wary. I was certain that I wouldn’t catch anything, and so, the whole endeavor seemed futile and boring. But then the worst thing happened. I did catch something. I cast my line out, and for a moment it sat on the water. I cast a few more times and was about to call it a day when on a return pull, a tiny little sardine-sized fish was on my line, and as I back cast my line, the tiny fish weighed the line down and the fish hit me in the gut. It was a tiny little fish, maybe four inches long or so, so I wasn’t hurt or anything, but I soon realized that there was no way I would save the thing, like my father had convinced. It had swallowed the fly whole, and my father was not apologetic. Instead, he was excited that I had caught a little minnow that he could use as bait in deeper waters.” Silence falls over the two once more.

He sits, slightly stupefied by the whole situation unfolding before him. Why is he telling me this? His father really fucked up, but he, his father, clearly didn’t really care about what he, the Listmaker, thought about the whole prospect of fishing, etc. But what’s the point of all of this? How can this all even be happening, keeps on running through his mind as he rambles the bits and pieces of the story over and over in his thoughts. The Listmaker coughs again. “I’ll go get a nurse,” he urges as he moves to reach the call button on the Listmaker’s bed. “It’s fine,” the Listmaker whispers; “There’s no time for such nonsense.” He insists again, “But a nurse should come and check on you. You’ve been unconscious for a few days. I’m honestly not even sure if all of this is only happening in my mind.” “Everything is always happening only in one’s mind,” the Listmaker quips. He gives the Listmaker a look of disbelief. “Remember my dying words, will ya?” the Listmaker requests. “What?” he responds. “Nobody really knows me; everyone always wants something from me. It’s hard to live a gifted life. You know the story of The Girl Child with Gifted Hair, yes?” the Listmaker inquires. “Sure,” he affirms. “Well, there you have it. Some people love to give of themselves because it shines a light on them. All that goodness and selflessness they exude draws attention to them through the so-called good that they do for others, but those types are frauds. If you ever hear about a person who gives or who does good, that do-gooder is a fraud. The good that they do is in the service of the self. They crave the attention that the sharing and giving of one’s self brings forth. Those who truly have something worth giving and who give at the cost of their own self, they are the one’s who find the gift of giving a burden, a curse, the gift that they possess must be given, which ultimately means that they grow smaller as others benefit from their gifts,” the Listmaker explains. “People rarely get what they deserve,” he sighs, head hanging low thinking of all the horrible people in the world who deserve the worst. “People rarely get what they don’t deserve,” the Listmaker corrects. He lifts his eyes and then his head, “What are you saying?” The Listmaker does his best to lick his dry, chapped lips, “Do you feel as though you are in control of your life?” “But you already know the answer to such a question when pointed at someone like me,” he responds. “So, no,” the Listmaker projects. “Obviously,” he confirms. “Well, then you should know better than anyone,” the Listmaker informs. He looks at the Listmaker solemnly. The Listmaker looks back at him and apologizes, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry to burden you with such a task.” His eyes narrow in confusion. “The receipt roll you picked up from my house,” the Listmaker points out. “Yea, I brought it for you,” he explains. “No, it brought you to me,” the Listmaker articulates; “The task is now your burden to bear.” He pulls the roll of seemingly innocent receipt paper from the pocket of his jacket and turns it over in his hand. He stretches his arm out and holds the roll so that the Listmaker can see it as well. The Listmaker looks as if he is trying to shake his head, “No, someone is coming for me.” “Who?” he asks. “It’s no longer my place to know such things,” the Listmaker speaks; “There is one last thing, however, I do know for certain.” “Yes?” he leans. “She is coming here to find you,” the Listmaker tells. “But she’s supposed to be looking for you,” he thinks. “I’m irrelevant now, and so, I think it’s probably time for me to go,” the Listmaker responds; “You must wait for her here, though, in the hospital.” “She knows better than to come here,” he insists. “Yes, which is why she sends a messenger,” the Listmaker informs. “Then who’s coming for you?” he asks. “That’s really none of your concern, besides, I will be long gone by then,” the Listmaker smiles. And so, the time has arrived for the Listmaker to leave. The Listmaker’s face softens into a look of peace and calm; he blinks and whispers something inaudible, and just as the Listmaker begins to gently close his eyes, he’s too curious and blurts out in a whispered shout, “Wait! Where were you before you woke up just now?” The Listmaker smiles, “The world is flat, and everything within it lacks depth.” “Is that where you will return?” he prods. With furrowed brow the Listmaker scoffs, “Oh, no. I will go whenever it is that I’m meant to be.” He hangs his head low in both sadness and frustration, “Will I ever see you again?” A smile returns to the Listmaker’s face and he looks him in the eye, “You’re seeing me again right now.” He attempts a small, closed-lipped smile as he watches the Listmaker close his eyes. “See you when I see you,” he whispers. The Listmaker takes a deep breath in, “Good men do good things for others. Great men do good things for the self.” Slowly, the Listmaker exhales until he and the room falls silent.

Within a few seconds, all of the monitors monitoring the Listmaker’s signs for life begin to beep and blink, and within a moment, a nurse comes rushing into the room. He steps back from the Listmaker’s bed. “What happened?” a nurse asks. “He looked like he was waking up. He made a few noises, and then everything just started lighting up,” he lies. A sizable team of nurses and presumably, doctors file into the room. “You shouldn’t be in here right now. Someone will find you if you wait in the waiting room,” the same nurse suggests. “Yes, right,” he obeys. Quietly, he slowly takes a few steps backward in order to keep an eye on the Listmaker as he makes his way to the room’s door. Feeling at a slight loss for reasons unknown to him, he remembers the words of the Listmaker, Nobody really knows me; everyone always wants something from me. A small twinge of guilt rushes over his face, and he takes a moment and whispers from the doorway, “Thank you.” He turns to walk out of the room forever, but then in an instant a flash of green light explodes from behind him; he turns to see a vortex of swirling wind as everything in the room lifts off the ground into a tornado of material fury. The staff of nurses and doctors stand frozen, stiff as if nothing strange at all is happening around them. He jolts upright as if catching himself from a chair in which someone had been leaning back and falls in a wild heap onto the floor. The nurse who first answered the distress calls of the monitors in the Listmaker’s room rushes toward him, “Are you alright?” He feels dizzy and disoriented, but once he sees the nurse’s face, he recognizes that he’s on the floor of the hospital’s waiting room. “How long have I been waiting down here?” he whispers as a few onlookers look concerned. “I first saw you early this morning, maybe around 0600. You said you were going to wait down here until visiting hours,” the nurse informs. He shimmies himself back into the chair and assumes that the nurse has come down to collect him for visiting hours, “Oh, is it time now?” “Well, no, I’ve come down here to tell you the news,” the nurse states somberly. He understands the tone, “Oh, yes, I see.” “His doctor is on her way down if you need more detail,” the nurse offers. “Uh, yea, sure,” he hesitates; “When did he pass?” “The doctor will be down in a minute, and she can give you all the information you want to know,” the nurse redirects. “Oh, okay,” he accepts. The nurse looks at him with concern, “Are you sure you’re alright? I can take a quick look at you, make sure you didn’t hit your head or if you need fluids or whatnot.” He mulls the option but remembers the Listmaker’s instructions, but then he questions the entire exchange in light of the present situation, “Uh, no. I’m fine.” “How about some water, then?” the nurse suggests. “Sure, thanks,” he nods. The nurse leans down and quickly checks his pupils, “Alright. I’ll be right back.”

A moment or two later a woman dressed in a lab coat approaches and he assumes that she is the doctor. He does not recognize the woman as the doctor he met the day before, “Hi, there …” the doctor pauses, waiting for him to fill in the pause with his name. “Hello,” he stands and greets. “Right. Your friend … relative …” the doctor again pauses. “Uh, relative, distant relative, an unofficial relative, close friend,” he interjects. “I’m sorry for your loss. Do you have any questions for me regarding your … distant relative’s passing?” the doctor straightforwardly states almost cold. “Uh, yea, when did he pass?” he asks. “We’re not entirely sure. There was some malfunction with his monitors. It looks like he passed in his sleep, and the night nurse on duty recorded that all of his vitals were normal,” the doctor begins, but then he cuts her off, “Except being unconscious.” “Right,” the doctor admits, and she continues, “Since the nursing staff does routine checks every other hour on patients like your relative and the last notes on his chart were roughly around 0315 this morning and taking into account when the monitors alerted the nurses at the nurse’s station that something was awry, our best guess is that your relative passed sometime around 0430.” “He was gone when the nurses were alerted?” he presses. “Yes. We performed a few procedures just to cover the routine bases, but I believe that he was already gone when we entered his room,” the doctor admits; “Would you like more detail about the procedures?” “No,” he quickly responds. “Does he have any other family that you would like to contact or that we should contact?” the doctor asks while flipping through the Listmaker’s chart to make a note if he were to mention anyone. “No,” he responds. The doctor flips the chart closed and purse-lipped smiles at him, reaches a hand out, stiffly pats his left shoulder, “I’m sorry for your loss.” He reaches into his jacket pocket and grips the Listmaker’s list-making roll of receipt paper. “Is there someone I can call for you?” the doctor asks in an odd moment of warmth. He shakes his head. “Alright, well, there’s one more order of business, if you don’t mind,” the doctor informs. “Sure,” he relegates. “Let’s just come over here to the reception desk,” the doctor guides, and then she goes into the details of the Listmaker’s disposal, “First, it’s not your responsibility to decide what to do with your relative’s body, since he has no listed, legal family. Since you are here, however, the funeral process for your distant relative will run smoother and faster if you know of any wills or wishes your distant relative may have written. The standard practice for unclaimed persons is cremation.” He simply shakes his head, “I have no idea.” The doctor jots some note down onto the chart, “Alright, well, I do apologize that we cannot assign the ashes to you or allow you to see him or have any say in the dispo … the funeral process since you have no legal relation.” “I understand. It’s fine,” he states. “Well, feel free to spend as much time as you need here within the hospital today,” the doctor offers. “Thanks,” he thanks with a smile.

The nurse appears from the hallway behind the desk at which he and the doctor still currently stand. Catching the look in his eye, the doctor turns over her shoulder and catches the small motion of the nurse who carries a cup, assumedly for the grieving person. He recognizes the nurse and makes a small motion in acknowledgement. The doctor acknowledges the service, “Ah, yes, I see that you are already being taken care of.” “He is indeed,” the nurse, a little too cheerfully, confirms; “This is for you. Why don’t we go have a seat in a more private area for a few minutes.” “That sounds like a good idea,” the doctor agrees; “Again, I’m very sorry for your loss.” The doctor reaches a hand out again, stiffly pats him on the left shoulder, promptly turns and walks away and disappears down the hallway from whence the nurse just came. “Follow me,” the nurse instructs and leads him toward a small room adjacent to the waiting room with a window that looks out to the outside world and a door with a window looking back into the waiting room; “Go ahead and have a seat in here. There’s a button on the wall here if you need anything.” Inside the small room sits a small, round table with four of the same uncomfortable, easily sterilized-type hospital chairs. He takes a seat in the chair closest to the window, “Thanks.” “Light on or off?” the nurse asks. “Off, please,” he answers. The nurse follows up with another question, “Door?” “Closed, please,” he somberly states. “Alright then. Take your time,” the nurse instructs as the door shuts.

Alone now, in the silence, he honestly cannot quite figure out why we feels at such a loss. It’s like the Listmaker said, Nobody really knows me. Yet on some level, he feels overwhelmed and overcome with the feeling that he did know the Listmaker. He sighs and tries to make himself comfortable in the chair. He replays the scene with the Listmaker he was sure he had, and wonders whether or not he should wait until a messenger arrives. He has no idea how long he needs to wait, though, and he knows he cannot wait for more than a few hours here. He takes a long drink and easily finishes off the cup of cold water. It’s delightful. Deciding that he will just sit as he’s been instructed for as long as he needs, he pulls one of the other chairs around the table, leans back in the uncomfortable chair as well as he can, props his feet upon the other chair, and then the world slowly grows in a bluish hue. No, no, no. Shit! Not here!, he thinks to himself as he jumps upright in the chair looking anxiously around him. Luckily, the blue fades and the room returns to a typical white-balanced glow. “Fuck!” he shout-whispers as he looks through the window in the room that looks out into the outside world beyond the hospital walls. He sees nothing. He examines the window in the door and looks out into the waiting room. While scanning the room to see if anything looks different, he sees a man walk through the automatic, sliding entrance doors. The man does not even look toward the reception desk, instead, makes a beeline to the waiting area and scans the room. He knows the man must be his messenger. Cautious, nevertheless, he exits the secluded waiting room and slowly emerges into the light of the general waiting area. He makes eye contact with the man who still stands too near to the entrance doors that the automatic sliding doors open and close once more. The man looks behind him when he notices that no one entered or exited and takes a step further into the hospital. He makes a small nodding gesture to the man. The man holds up what looks to be a small white tube between his thumb and forefinger. 

September | week three in poetry

September | week three in poetry

  1. The Desire of the Liar 
    1. The desire of the liar never tires.
    2. The desire of the liar is inspired.
    3. The desire of the liar’s needs are dire.
    4. The desire of the liar shant be hired.
  1. Photon
    1. I feel as though I’m being propped up by time.
  1. From a woman who works at 0500 and rides her bike there.
    1. If you wanna get up early, but you hate how it’s always so dark, buy yourself a lamp that sheds light in exactly a way that you love, and the torture will seem less so.
  1. Dear three-to-five stone ring
    1. I need more brown in my life.
  1. We’re down to the embers.
    1. As the year burns on, all you begin to be left with are the embers.
    2. We’re at the point in the year when the embers begin to glow.
    3. I was born in an ember—December.
  1. If I’m invisible, the spotlight can’t shine on me.
    1. Why does nobody see me? I’ve been online since the early days when college forced us all online, and there is where I began to share my thoughts and ramblings until I became a self-proclaimed writer after I finished and self-published my first novel. And I got a Happy 9th Anniversary from WordPress, not too long ago, thanks! It’s mostly been a one-sided relationship as there aren’t enough eyeballs, here (yet). And I have ideas of the variety that can help, that can help make change. So what is it I fear so much? Why will IT not happen until I realize this fear? And why do I always only ever get what I want on time, never early? Why is preparedness so crucial? If I had lept, I would have assuredly failed. But now, why does the jump feel so unnecessary? Why does the long, tedious way feel so much more appealing? Who am I, and where am I going? 
    2. To the future, I say, the future. 
    3. But we must realize what the future needs, now, before we get there, so that we may impart, instill those needs into the future, as it is being built, so that the future arrives ready to embrace us all.

A Feline Frienemy

A Feline Frienemy

“You fucking fool!”

“I’m the fool? You’re trying to kidnap a grown man!”

“I’m not kidnapping you. I need your help, and now that I’ve spoken to you, your survival is … well, quite unlikely unless I also help you.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Keep your voice down!”

“You’re yelling too!”

“Fine! Just shut up for a minute.”

“Fine!”

“ … “

“ … “

“ … “

“ … “

“ … “

“ … “

“Just. … I can’t explain every single little thing right now, especially not in here. I know you don’t know me, but please, just trust me.”

“I. Don’t. Know. You.”

“Oh my god, I know that!”

“And you’ve like taken me hostage for some evil scheme.”

“Get over yourself. You’d be so lucky to be so important on this goddamn ship.”

“I was doing just fine, man, before you came along, and now I’m what? My life’s in danger?”

“Yea, well, it’s sort of your fault. No one asked you for your help in the first place.”

“Oh, sorry, for being a good citizen.”

“Well, now you can continue on being a good citizen.”

“What? No. You’re like a criminal on the run or something.”

“A criminal? When was the last time you ever heard about or saw a criminal on this goddamn orbital? Huh? You probably don’t even fucking know what a criminal is.”

“Well, then why you running?”

“I told you. We shouldn’t talk about this while we’re in here. That’s why I’m asking you to trust me and not just run off like some jackass when this thing stops.”

“ …”

“I promise I’ll explain everything when we got off this thing and get somewhere remotely safe. Just don’t go running off.”

“Fine, but if my life is in danger, I swear to god, I will kill you.”

“How will you kill me if you don’t know to do it until you’re already in danger?”

“Fuck you, man!”

“We’re almost there. We’re just gonna get off and walk straight toward the other chute on the backside of this one and travel somewhere else.”

“ … “

“Ready? Stay calm and just like, let’s shoot the shit. Follow me.”

“ …”

“Haha, no, the really crazy thing is how they won’t like give you an extra cup, you know?”

“Yea.”

“And I was like, it’s my grandma, just give her another cup.”

“Uh huh.”

“I mean, it’s a little bit sad. It’s not like I wouldn’t then pay for an extra anything, but the stupid clerk was like, ‘Sorry, we don’t do that,’ or whatever.”

“Yea. That sucks.”

That must be them, two men at the end of the capsule’s exterior just about to turn around the cylindrical tube. I run to catch them. It’s Mox, “But really the craziest part to me is that even though we live in the future with all this technology surrounding us and like making life so much more advanced, we still need to use cups.” At that the other one, Hauberk is it?, stops and looks at Mox, “What did you just say?” “No, we’re just chatting, remember?” Mox whispers. “Yea, but what did you just say, about technology and cups?” Hauberk insists. “Uh, I don’t know, I was just jabbering,” Mox admits. “What did you say!” Hauberk demands. “Jesus, man, keep your voice down. I don’t remember, something like how the future is so advanced,” Mox attempts to recall. “That’s it,” Hauberk cuts in; “The future?” “Yea, we live in the future,” Mox reiterates. “What,” Hauberk states flatly. “Yea, whenever it is that you exist, it’s always the future from whatever time came before, right?” Mox jabbers on, and then he catches the look on Hauberk’s face, “Are you alright man?” Hauberk looks back at Mox blankly. “Let’s just stick to the plan, alright? Just follow me,” Mox informs as he leads Hauberk to a different capsule chute. Mox waves for a capsule to transport them. The capsule arrives and the two embark, and I quickly jump on as well and sit myself down quietly in a corner, hopefully unnoticed. Mox speaks aloud, “Coax Twelve.” The automated voice inside the capsule acknowledges in that soft-spoken female voice of the future, “Coax Twelve.”

For the duration of the ride, the two remain silent. Hauberk looks unwell, and Mox is antsy. A pleasant ding and then a series of chimes ring out as the automated voice declares the destination, “Coax Twelve,” but both Mox and Hauberk are off the thing before the voice even begins. They are walking fast toward the underground transportation system. Mox anxiously looks around him to see if anyone follows. Hauberk mumbles something quietly to himself. “Just calm down, everything is fine for the time being. We just need to lose any tails we may have,” Mox explains. Hauberk nods but does not look to be in agreement with the plan. They reach the entrance to the underground tunnels and run down the four sets of stairs into the depths of Coax Twelve’s railway. A train of coupled cars approach, and the two board the set of cars headed directly for the Twelfth Coax’s Terrace, which seems like an odd choice, but perhaps Mox believes that he will be safest in a place close to the source of danger. The train leaves and within a few moments, the set of cars heading toward the Terrace breaks off from the rest and continues on its directed path. Mox lets out a small sigh of relief, “You doing alright, man?” Hauberk nods but looks pale. The train takes one more quick stop before it hits its express speed toward the Terrace’s station.

Eventually, the train arrives and the same automated voice speaks of the train’s arrival to, “Terrace Station of Coax Twelve.” Hauberk has nearly keeled over from the stress, and so, Mox gently lifts the man from his seat and allows the weight of him to hang on his shoulder as the two disembark. “Can you make it up at least this first flight of stairs?” Mox asks. Hauberk nods. The two, Hauberk supported by Mox, genially climb the first set of stairs. At the top, Mox gently leads Hauberk to a small little cafe-type place, “I’ll get you some water. Just sit tight.” Hauberk lands heavy upon a little bistro chair. And then he spots me from across the landing. Oddly enough, Hauberk waves at me and beckons for me to come near. I take a cautious gander about and then trot on over to greet him. He holds out his right hand, palm down, and I take a sniff. Hauberk is a kind fellow. He gives me a nice little rub of the ears; I rub up against his leg and purr as he smiles and laughs. Feeling giddy by my presence, Hauberk seems to cheer up, the color returning to his face, looking sprightly again. Perhaps he has forgotten the weight of his current predicament, but alas, I forgot that he still does not know the extent of his problems. “Grab him!” Mox yells from a few feet away. Luckily, Hauberk still sits in a bit of a trance so I trot off just out of reach. “Who sent you! Who are you working for?” Mox asks, in my specific direction. I’m fairly certain a person of Mox’s position cannot understand me, so I begin to clean my face with my paws in sheer innocence. “Noooo, get the fuck out of here!” Mox yells as he runs toward me, kicking a leg out in an attempt to cause me pain or harm. I scutter quickly just beyond his reach, and then I fluff up my tail and smugly walk around in a small circle. “Goddammit,” Mox spits; “I knew it; we’re being surveilled. We’ve gotta get out of here.” Hauberk looks at Mox in utter confusion, “What are you talking about? It’s a mangy little cat.” “When was the last time you saw a mangy little cat just innocently trotting about on the orbital, huh?” Mox challenges. Hauberk thinks for a minute, “I, uh.” “Exactly,” Mox points out. “That is not a mangy little cat. I mean, it is a cat; it’s just not just a cat, but seriously, we’ve got to go, now. Here drink this,” Mox commands as he holds out a bottle of liquid that is not water. Hauberk reaches for it and takes a sip. “You’re already looking better.” “Yea,” Hauberk admits; “I feel a lot better actually. I’m not sure what happened to me back there.” “Are you ready to walk some more? We’ve got a lot of tail to lose,” Mox asks and explains. “Yea, I’m fine,” Hauberk consoles. “Great, let’s move,” Mox calmly instructs.And then Mox looks over at me, “You stay the fuck right there.” I obey for the time being. The two continue to ascend the final three levels of stairs until they reach Ground Level within Coax Twelve. Just as I lose them over the top edge of the ground at Ground Level, I sprint up the stairs and jump into the heights of the trees that line all of the walkways within and throughout the orbital. I catch up to them, but it’s tough to follow at this height, and I cannot hear the words they speak. I simply track and follow them as they wander in and out of various capsule chutes and subway trains. At some point, I’m fairly certain that Hauberk caught a glimpse of me, but he hasn’t seemed to say anything about me to Mox. For almost an hour they walk about the orbital, constantly changing locations until they reach an unmarked building. I’m not following close enough behind them to see where they ended up, but it seems like they disappeared down a long, dark corridor. I hear the distinct sound of a door releasing its air pressure in an opening or closing fashion, and when I hear the second distinct puff, I quickly turn the corner to catch the last few moments of a fading blue light. Darby, I think to myself, and then I immediately make my way to find the old man.

September | week two in poetry

September | week two in poetry

In Moderation

  • It’s good for the soul to be a little bit miserable.

Welcome

  • This is our Hamiltonian dystopia.

Full Tilt

  • We are on the cusp of Taylor Swift doing something crazy.

The Difference Between Dissing, Dragging & Disrespecting

  • Billie Eilish is a pop-machine cog.
  • Longevity is a pipe dream for only true artists.
  • Look not down your nose at those who last.
  • Your influence is only temporary and superficial.

Solar Power

  • My grow light is plugged into a solar panel outside my window.

Gimch

  • Kimchi, oh kimchi, how I do miss thee.
  • Do you miss me?