Continuance Not Clairvoyance

Continuance Not Clairvoyance

“Sir, look, I know your story; I’ve read what you saw; I just want to hear you speak the narrative yourself.”

“I told the guy like a hundred times what I saw! Like, what more can I say? I just feel like I’m in all sorts of trouble or something. I mean, I was like in my house, then there was knocking, and it all goes foggy, and I can’t remember. I don’t know what I did or what I saw. I just feel like I’m being interrogated. I mean, I know that I’m being interrogated, but nobody will fucking tell me what’s going on. I thought you were here to tell me what the hell is going on!”

“Sir, I’m sorry, but I don’t know what’s going on either. I too just woke up here to a non-stop round of questioning.”

“Who are you?”

“I’ve been instructed not to tell you, but if you can stay calm, I will tell you.”

“I’m like not going to fucking stay calm! Do you even know what I’ve been through today? I mean, you must know what I’ve seen or something, and I like wasn’t supposed to see it or something, and now I’m going to be killed or something! You don’t get it!”

“I do get it. I just don’t get all of it.”

“Then who the fuck are you?! And are you going to like fucking tell me what the hell is going on?!”

“Sir, you just need to stay calm. How about you have a seat. Sit back down. Just relax. Do you want something to drink or eat?”

“What is this like good cop now? I mean, that like other guy already scared the shit out of me. I’ll say whatever it is or do whatever whatever like I need to do or say to get the fuck out of here and back home!”

“Honestly, I think that’s why you’re here. I think they’re trying to get you back home.”

“Fine.”

“So, is there anything you’d like? Coffee? Tea?”

“I’ll take any soda and yea, I’m like hungry. I’ve been here all day.”

“Alright. Just sit tight. I’ll see what I can do. …

 

“Excuse me. Is there any way we can get something to drink or eat in here?”

“Maybe.”

“Thank you. …

“… See that was easy.”

“Yea, we’ll see.”

“Alright. Please, sir, just start from the beginning, and tell me everything that happened from the time you left work until you found yourself here.”

“Yea, fine.”

“Thank you.”

“So, I like work the night shift, and so I guess I left the factory around five in the morning.”

“Was it dark out?”

“No, not dark, but the sun wasn’t up yet, I mean, as best I can tell. There’s not much sunlight these days.”

“Yes, I know what you mean.”

“And I like walk toward the inlet, there’s like this small stream that runs through the far end of the main downtown area of the city.”

“Okay.”

“I always walk along the sidewalk that like runs along that like little stream every single day on my way home.”

“Every day?”

“Yes. Every single ephing day.”

“Okay.”

“But like this time, I’m like walking, and I see this guy like walking across the bridge, Sprouts Bridge, that like crosses the inlet to the west side of the downtown area of the city, and it was a little like strange.”

“Okay. Why, what was strange?”

“Like seeing a guy in the early fucking morning just walking that bridge.”

“What’s significant about that bridge?”

“Well, I mean, it like crosses the inlet to the side of the downtown area that’s basically deserted. There isn’t like nobody who lives over there anymore, so usually, there are like kids who want nothing but trouble on the bridge late at night and whatnot, but an adult man in the early morning? No way. I should know. I walk by that bridge every single day at exactly the same ass crack of dawn. You know?”

“Yes. I understand you.”

“So, since there was that guy there, I like noticed him. I saw him, so I just sort of stood there and look at him. I don’t think he saw me cause we were like walking different directions, but then he kept looking back like someone was following him.”

“Was someone following him?”

“Not that I could tell.”

“Okay.”

“So, then I like keep watching him until he stops on the middle of the bridge, and then he looks like he’s about to jump.”

“Okay.”

“And that’s when I decided I’d like get the hell out of there cause I don’t want to be like part of someone like, you know, killing themselves.”

“Alright.”

“So, I turn around and try to convince myself that I’m just going to mind my own business, but then everything like gets all colorful.”

“Colorful how?”

“Man, sorry, miss…Lady or whoever you are, I mean, you said you read the thing. This is when all the rainbow colored shit started happening, you know?”

“Sir, remember? I need to hear it from you.”

“Agh, ugh, uh, yea, fine. Okay, so yea, it’s like … it’s like … looking through a rainbow, you know?”

“No, I don’t know. That’s why I’m here.”

“Ugh. So, like picture a rainbow, and you know how you can like see through them cause they’re just like light and shit.”

“Okay.”

“So, yea like that, but like everywhere.”

“Okay. Then what happens.”

“So, yea, it was all like crazy, so I turned around to see if that guy was still on the bridge.”

“And he was?”

“Yea. He was still just standing there.”

“Did the colorfulness look any different around him?”

“What do you mean?”

“Did the way the world looked through the ‘rainbow’ as you say, look the same near the guy on the bridge?”

“Yea, I guess. I mean, I think so. I don’t really know if I’d know the difference.”

“Humf … Yea, I alright. Then what happens?”

“So, he’s just standing there, and since we’re like the only two people who could possibly be experiencing this crazy color shit, I decide that I’ll walk toward him to see if I can like chat with him about it or whatnot.”

“Okay.”

“And then as I’m like getting closer to the bridge, there’s this loud crack through the air, like thunder but sharper or something, louder, like a tree branch snapping or something.”

“Are there trees in this area of town?”

“Hell no. When was the last time you saw a tree, outside, on Earth, man! Sorry, lady, ma’am.”

“Okay. Alright.”

“So I look up for a moment, like up to the sky, you know, but I don’t see nothing, so then I look back at the guy, and he’s like looking back at me. So, then I just sort of stop dead.”

“Were you close enough to hear each other?”

“Nah. I don’t think so.”

“Was there anyone else on the bridge by that time?”

“Nah. No, I don’t think so. I mean, maybe, but I don’t think so.”

“No one else? Are you absolutely sure?”

“No, I’m not ab-so-lute-ly sure. But I’m pretty sure.”

“Okay. And then what?”

“And then he just disappears.”

“But how? What did it look like?”

“I don’t know. Like picture someone sitting here. Or yea, like I’m sitting here, and then the next moment I’m gone.”

“Was he there and then you looked away, and then he was gone?”

“No. I was staring right into his face, and he was staring back, and then poof, nothing.”

“Then what did you do? Did you go examine where he stood?”

“No. I mean, now that you say that, I think that’s probably what I should’ve done.”

“Okay. So then what?”

“So, then that’s when everything gets a bit foggy.”

“Alright. Then what’s the next thing you remember?”

“I was like sleeping, and then my work buddies were pounding on my door to like wake me up for work.”

“Did you tell your friends about what happened then?”

“Wait.”

“What?”

“I think I don’t know if the people knocking were my friends cause I don’t remember seeing their faces.”

“What do you mean? What happened then?”

“I don’t remember. I just remember waking up to pounding on my front door.”

“Were you in your own bed?”

“I think so.”

“Are you sure?”

“Well, no, now I’m not.”

“Where were you?”

“Well, like, I mean, the next thing I remember is that I’m like walking through some forest, garden place, but that can’t be right cause there aren’t no trees on Earth.”

“Where did you go after you walked through the forest garden?”

“I like entered a room full of books and stuff or something, it looked like old from like, you know, old history books of like when there were kings and queens.”

“Then where were you?”

“I was sitting in some small room with a big couch and like no ceiling or something, and then that guy came in and started talking to me and asking all sorts of questions.”

“Do you know what day it is?”

“Yea, sure. Well, no not exactly. But it should be [day, date] like an R-day.”

“What year?”

“[Year]”

“Alright.”

“What? What’d I say?”

“Nothing. I just. Wait here a minute. I need to talk to someone.”

Not Her, But She’ll Do

Not Her, But She’ll Do

“So, are you saying that the story was of an apocryphal nature?”

“Well, yes, it is.”

“Ah, apologies, yes, the story is still widely heard or told or seen?”

“Heard mostly. I never knew a written account existed for years. Well, I guess it was most of my life, thus far.”

“Understood.”

“People speak of the events as true. That was what drew me to the subject in the first place.”

“Speak to the first part, please.”

“What?”

“How people speak of the events, etc.”

“Well, there are a lot of people who believe that they’ve seen these, I don’t know what to call them except like, maybe disappearances?, but that’s not how those who speak of them talk about the, uh, event.”

“How do the people speak of the event, then?”

“Sort of … magic or some sort of sighting.”

“A sighting of what?”

“Alien beings or people from other dimensions.”

“Do you know what happens during these events?”

“Yes.”

“You’ve seen it?”

“No. I read about them.”

“You believe the written accounts to be true?”

“I’m not sure if I’d say I’m a ‘believer,’ but the situation as a whole fascinates me. You hear the tale or a rumor about a sighting, and then everyone’s interested in what it was exactly. You hear things.”

“And that was what drew you to the subject?”

“Yes, absolutely. I was absolutely fascinated by these accounts of people ‘disappearing’ and the flashes of light and all these different images of color and rainbows, and everything just seemed so, so, intriguing.”

“How is it that you came to read written accounts of these ‘disappearances’?”

“Various books stores.”

“Sorry?”

“Bookstores.”

“Oh, right. Yes. Apologies. And are you fond of this antiq … this form of media?”

“Media? I suppose. Yes, I like books.”

“Do you remember how you got here today?”

“ … ”

“Sorry. Let’s continue with what you read of these accounts.”

“Alright.”

“What was it that you found so fascinating and intriguing?”

“Well, I assume you know of the events; that is why I am here, yes?”

“Of course. The events are known by everyone.”

“So, don’t you find them fascinating?”

“You find them fascinating, and that is what is fascinating. Please, answer the question.”

“Geez, alright. I thought this was a simple sit down to discuss my research on the disappearances, but that’s fine, I’ll just get to my point.”

“Yes, it is important not to have hurt feelings.”

“I’m sorry?”

“When one’s feelings get hurt through a clear lack of revelry, people feel emotionally wounded.”

“Um, no. I don’t feel emotionally wounded.”

“Then why take offense to the directness of this situation?”

“I wasn’t offended.”

“Then why say, ‘Geez’?”

“It just seems rude to have all of this discussion be so one-sided.”

“This is a one-sided situation, however.”

“Is it?”

“Of course.”

“So, I’m being interrogated?”

“More or less. Remember, though, you came here of your own free will.”

“Did I?”

“Of course. How else would you be here?”

“Well, now I’m not sure.”

“Well, if you’re no longer sure about whether or not you want to continue stating answers to the questions asked, you are free to leave.”

“So, you don’t want to know about my research?”

“Do you want to speak to your research or do you want your feelings to feel good?”

“I don’t know what you’re getting at, ma’am, but I’m here because someone called me.”

“And you showed up.”

“Yes. I’m here, aren’t I?”

“Why?”

“Mostly because I need the money, but I also think that these stories aren’t just stories. I think that these disappearances are true. I think that every account is so similar that they cannot simply be brushed off as radical obsession with fill-in-the-blank affiliation.”

“What is the motivation behind the conviction?”

“That the stories are true?”

“Of course.”

“The motivation … I am motivated by the consistency.”

“How often do these disappearances occur?”

“No one can know for sure because there’s a good chance that every event hasn’t been reported.”

“When are you?”

“I’m sorry?”

“What is today’s date?”

“[date/day]”

“Year?”

“[Year]”

“Give a ballpark estimate based on your research.”

“There have been roughly fifty recorded incidents over the past thousand years or so.”

“Meaning what?”

“Meaning, I’d assume that an event happens maybe every ten years, but there’s a low probability that every event would be seen, and then who knows if the witness would be compelled to record the incident in writing. Therefore, I feel as though …”

“Enough with the feelings.”

“Jesus, fuck. I … would … es-ti-mate … that there’s no way of knowing exactly how many times or how many different people have not only seen the event but also, how many different people have disappeared through an event.”

“Ah. Very good.”

“Thank you.”

“No.”

“No, what?”

“No, thank yous. You have no idea where you are.”

“Within the scope of what these disappearances are or mean? I know! That’s why I’m here!”

“No.”

“No, what?”

“Physically. You have no idea where you are currently located.”

“Yes, I do?”

“This doesn’t matter. What matters is what are you researching now?”

“Well, I read about a hundred different books by people who have either documented as a witness or for someone else who has witnessed a disappearance and learned that there is ever only one witness to the event, even when the witness speaks of other people directly within their vicinity.”

“Yes.”

“Yes, what?”

“Please continue.”

“So, usually, the witness undergoes some sort of mental trauma wherein they feel … they think that they are crazy or have seen something they weren’t supposed to see, and then, they begin to fear for their own safety. Everything basically goes downhill fast, as far as mental stability and mental health is concerned.”

“For the witness.”

“Yes.”

“Understood.”

“Then the witness eventually forgets about the event and when people approach them about it later, they fail to understand its significance. So, if a witness doesn’t speak up fast and loud enough, there’s a really good chance that the witness will forget or write it off as ‘crazy,’ which means the only documented, known witnesses are the ones who really believed what they saw, believed it so much, despite being amongst other people who should’ve also seen the disappearance happen, that they raved about it until someone was willing to listen. Or in a few cases, the witness was prominent enough to write about it him/herself, and the written account was read.”

“So, what is it that you research now?”

“Sorry. I get excited and lose my train of thought.”

“Is it a train?”

“Figuratively.”

“Speak in the literal, please, no more ‘magic’ or ‘downhill’ or ‘trains’ that are not trains.”

“Jeez-us. You are one tough nut.”

“One last time, please.”

“You are impenetrable.”

“Yes. Continue.”

“Alright. These days, I suppose …”

“This really is your last warning. There’s no use for you if you cannot find confidence in your own action.”

“What?”

“You suppose?”

“What the fuck, lady? Nobody just talks so perfectly and ardently in conversation.”

“Try.”

“Jesus-fucking-christ.”

“Are you religious?”

“Fuck no.”

“Why is that?”

“Are you crazy?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Are you religious?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Well, if you are religious, you’re crazy. If you’re not religious, then you know why I think you’re crazy.”

“You only think that, though. How does that matter?”

“My thoughts?”

“Yes.”

“Because your thoughts matter.”

“To whom?”

“To you, the world, to everything that you wish and hope to be.”

“How?”

“You can’t be or exist without having the thoughts you have. Your thoughts are what makes you who you are?”

“Typical.”

“I’m sorry?”

“It doesn’t matter. Continue if you please.”

“I don’t remember the question.”

“Then sit there until you do remember.”

“ …”

“ …”

“ …”

“ …”

“ …”

“ …”

“Shit.”

“Yes.”

“Oh, something about no one speaks so impeccably in real life.”

“What is real life?”

“Goddammit. Do you want me to answer the question from before?”

“If you can remember it.”

“Shit, my research.”

“Ah, very good.”

“Yes, so my current research revolves around figuring out what exactly happens during these disappearances.”

“How can you, of all people, figure such a thing out?”

“I’m a physicist.”

“Are you?”

“Yes, I thought that was part of the reason why my work meant something to you.”

“Of course. Are you any good?”

“One of the only prize-winning females out there.”

“Prizes mean something to you?”

“Okay, just … you’re … what was it?, impenetrable.”

“Please.”

“Yes, fine, I will continue. It must be a matter of physics or at least something that has to do with the relationship between matter, humans, and space, time, and a transference or anomalous change in or of energy around those humans.”

“Must it?”

“Yes, absolutely.”

“Theories?”

“Of your demanded definitive state? No.”

“What is knowable?”

“Nothing.”

“Yes.”

“The obvious problem, for me personally, is that I have not encountered a witness myself.”

“Never?”

“Correct.”

“Never spoken to a person who was close to a witness?”

“I have spoken to people who have directly heard a witness speak of the event witnessed.”

“What would you ask?”

“Everything.”

“Where would you start?”

“Are you telling me there’s someone here who has recently witnessed a disappearance?”

“No. With what question would you start if you were to encounter someone who believed they saw a disappearance?”

“I’m not sure.”

“You have never given this any thought?”

“You said my thoughts don’t matter.”

“Of course they do.”

“Why?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Fuck, lady. Stop shit … just … just … stop … with the … word dom-i-nance.”

“Ah, very good.”

Ladybug & A New One

Ladybug & A New One

“Mother-fucking fucking-fucking christ,” Ladybug screams while storming about. “I am not screaming, and you did not use an exclamation point,” Ladybug sternly explains with its middle two … arms … rested upon its … hips? “Yes, hips will do for the sake of, what’s the word?, the, oh right, the imagination,” Ladybug nods, this time, with its middle two arms crossed across its … chest? Ladybug rolls its eyes as its middle two arms fall loosely by its … “Sides goddammit! Sides!” Ladybug shouts. “Yes, thank you. I am shouting now,” Ladybug thanks. “You totally suck at this, bee-tee-dubs,” Ladybug enunciates. “You’re allowed to speak,” Ladybug speaks. Curiously, Ladybug brings this to the attention of no one in particular and contemplates the validity of its perception of … reality. “What is it with you and your linguistics?” Ladybug asks, and continues, “Why do you not know anything?” A squirrel appears in the distance. “Yea, you can wiggle away this time,” Ladybug scoffs … “It’s more of a huff. That’s how the other one used to put it; I liked them better,” Ladybug huffs. “No, I’m not huffing now. Ugh, why do you suck so much?” Ladybug asks, this time, as it flutters off toward the apparent squirrel. “I don’t flutter!” Ladybug shouts as its distance grows closer to the squirrel.

“Sup, Lady,” the squirrel greets with a lift of the chin. “What’s with this one?” the squirrel points, with a thumb over its shoulder. “It’s Margaret,” the squirrel … “Margaret,” Margaret introduces, although one would never be able to guess the gender of a squirrel just by looking at them. “She/her is fine,” Margaret admits. Ladybug rolls its eyes and perches itself atop the acorn in Margaret’s … hands? “Yea, hands are fine where universal descriptions are concerned,” Margaret approves while waving the acorn around in one hand as Ladybug flutters to stay on top of it (the acorn). “Where did this one come from?” Margaret asks Ladybug. “The older woman off’d the last guy,” Ladybug shrugs. A lie. “What?” Margaret wonders with great concern as she, too, rolls her eyes. “The main problem with this one is that it won’t speak,” Ladybug gestures with feigned exhaustion. “Oh,” Margaret sighs. “Well, what’s this all about?” Margaret finally asks. The two glance over at nowhere in particular with an … impatient? … look? “Can it just shut up?” Margaret asks. “Unfortunately,” Ladybug begins, “I do not possess such power.” “If I look, I’ll stare,” Margaret admits. “Yea, this one’s a cutie,” Ladybug flirts. The two continue to stare.

More than a few minutes pass. “When were you last?” Margaret wonders, seemingly aloud. “It’s such a long story,” Ladybug laments with another big huff. “Very well, have you seen the Listmaker?” Margaret offers. “Oh. My. God. Yes. This was when everything started to go wrong, but nobody seems to know what’s going on,” Ladybug explains. “That seems about right,” Margaret states while stroking her chin with her left free hand as the right continues to gently toss the acorn up into the air with Ladybug still fluttering to stay atop it. “Okay, I know where you need to go,” Margaret concludes. “Thank Bromide,” Ladybug shouts … “Ugh, you forgot the exclamation point,” Ladybug corrects; “Here, I’ll do it again. Thank Bromide!” Ladybug’s excitement reaches its normal high as all of its flying apparati deploy, and Ladybug does a little happy dance. “Where, Margaret? Tell me, where do we need to go?” Ladybug asks, huffing and puffing for air after exerting itself beyond its normal daily physical movement. “Shut up,” Ladybug scoffs, at no particular one. “No, I’m talking to you,” Ladybug states with an over exaggerated eye roll.

Margaret clears her throat, “You need to find her” Ladybug plops itself down onto its … butt? “Haunches, the other one used to call them my haunches,” Ladybug offers as Ladybug plops itself down onto its haunches. “What’s the problem?” Margaret asks. “Obviously, we know this. Well, not this one, the other one and I, ‘we’ know this,” Ladybug states while leaving out the obvious that everything that needs to be known will be known by those who need to know. “Oh, well, that’s what I know,” Margaret admits. “That’s what everyone knows,” Ladybug explains.

The two sit in silence for a moment, a bit discouraged. “A bit?” Ladybug whisper-asks, greatly discouraged, nearly suicidal. “Alright, watch it,” Ladybug pleases as if in threat. “Yea, I am your greatest threat, Lingerer,” Ladybug threatens, for sure, this time. It becomes increasingly difficult to know exactly what and how it is that ticks off Ladybug in just the right way to make it intolerable to be around. “It’s you,” Ladybug points; “It’s always you.”

Stay At Home, Dad.

Stay At Home, Dad.

Alright, here’s something petty, perhaps something petty enough to warrant a Petty Report. The thing is that my dad, an old white man, has refused to Stay Home during “The Virus.” And now, after realizing that he must, he has essentially held his good behavior hostage for some of my writing. He’s made a deal with my brother as well, but I do not know exactly what it is that he (my dad) is getting from him (my brother). What he’s “requested” from me is one essay for each week that he “behaves” and stays home, piddles around the neighborhood, goes nowhere non-essential, which is nowhere as the material needs he needs may be delivered, etc., and no expenses. Yes, he requires extensive medical care, but none of them are urgent in nature; they are chronic.

So, if he just stays inside and listens to everybody about how he just needs to not be so stubborn and selfish, then he would simply do the right thing. Instead, he wants something in return. Again, like aforementioned, I do not know what he is getting from my brother, but what he wants from me is writing about this goddamn virus! He wants to know what I thought about it as it was all ramping up; he wants to know what I think about it now as we’re in the throes of it, and he greedily wants to know what I will think about it once it all has died down. I have no idea how many essays this will turn into as there are no knowns at this point, but I am to send them to him on a weekly basis every time he’s a good boy for a whole week. OMFingG. My father is a child.

And I’m his child, so I have no other option than to be petty about it, to almost refuse his wishes to teach him a goddamn lesson about stubbornness. But then, I’m just being stubborn. Ugh. And yes, I am well aware of how my “problems” are not real problems.

As Inquisitor

As Inquisitor

“I do not know why Mox lies so readily, ma’am, but in his defense, at least the lies are part of his overall character or lack thereof.”

“Of course. You do seem to be right about that. Where is he now?”

“I’m not sure, and none of the others have seen him in some time.”

“How much time is some time, dear?”

“I believe the last person who saw him was Uldin during the Bias.”

“How do you know of this?”

“A guarantor requested … ”

“Of course. Who is the most-capable person to find him?”

“Ma’am?”

“Yes.”

“If Mox is hidden, there is no way to find him.”

“There are ways. He has been found in the past, and this will not be the last time he hides, of course.”

“Who would you like for me to send?”

“Do not send anyone. Bring someone to me.”

“Right away, ma’am.”

> . . . <

“Do you know why you are here, Lingerer?”

“To tell the story, I believe.”

“How is it that you know the story?”

“Many years ago, I stumbled upon a different story that seemed to have no end, and so, I began my search to find its end.”

“And that is how you found yourself here?”

“Yes, ma’am. The story is being told as I watch it unfold.”

“Do you not know the end?”

“Yes.”

“I see. Please, proceed.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course.”

They sit in a lofty room, circular, cylindrical actually, and above their heads a large, round stained glass window spreads wide and fills the ceiling completely. Directly centered in the circular room, the older woman sits comfortably upon a rod-iron chair, facing one of the four doors that are equally placed around the circle’s wall, and in front of her sits a small loo table that supports a small, pink, carnival glass plate of crumpets, a stack of old-Earth tea cups and saucers and a glass, self-sieving teapot.

The day seems strange, full of tension as various individuals swarm in and out of the older woman’s office chambers after being called in, one-by-one, to be interrogated about yesterday’s incident. The older woman, of course, understands all and thus knows the cause of said incident, but the repercussions are what concern her, and the only way for her to understand what will be is to figure out the reason the incident happened in the first place. The older woman, feels the intensity in the air, a shift, the clouds no longer sway in a misty formation of carelessness; they know something. “Please, Kira,” the older woman shouts aloud throughout the room despite the fact that Kira stands outside the room. Immediately, the doors to the older woman’s left open as Kira ushers in the next person in question as the current person in question grabs a crumpet as the older woman abruptly dismisses the person with a wave of the hand and a, “Good. Don’t come back.”

For hours, people are summoned from every turn within walking distance to sit and chat with the older woman. Some have a small idea about who the older woman is, but most have no idea who she is or why they are there. Those who know of the older woman easily comply and follow the person who approached them. Those, however, who do not know the older woman, despite the oddity of the situation, do not know whether or not they have the right to decline the offer, if it even is an offer. Thus, all arrive into the office a bit scared, fearful, confused and sometimes quite resistant and demanding. The older woman flexes a certain amount of power and nobody seems to know how it is that she is able to do so. Nevertheless, the vast majority of people within the Orbital do not know the older woman, but for some reason, everyone seems to know of her.

The questions are simple enough, and everyone who arrives usually ends up feeling proud of their own competence. They, of course, have no idea for what the older woman probes, since great pains have been taken to keep the questioning reasonable and plain. Little effort, though, is made to comfort the fearful person in question. The older woman usually begins with a minute or so of pure silence, which ultimately leads to the offering of tea and crumpets to break the silence, “Tea? Crumpets? Sugar and cream are unavailable.” Once the person in question seems to calm down a bit, not to say that all ever calm down, and in fact, there were, on quite a few occasions, those who refused to even acknowledge the older woman’s demand that all be questioned. Eventually, however, they all comply because, “Frankly,” the older woman states as she casually sips some tea, “you must.” Once all of the niceties are established and the person in question realizes that the interrogation revolves around the incident and not around them personally, the older woman decides to make it about them, “Who are you, and where do you live?” Most, of course, begin to feel uncomfortable again as the older woman probes ever deeper into the personal lives of those being questioned. Some, of course, like the attention. Despite the overall consensus that the people in question are answering the older woman’s questions honestly, the older woman feels frustrated at the people’s overwhelming lack of insight and information, since, “For to know anything, one must first know one’s self; it’s no wonder that all of these people have wasted my day.” Angry now, the older woman takes a deep breath, exhales, stretches her neck as she sits up tall in her chair, “Kira, please.”

A moment later, Kira appears before the older woman. “Perhaps,” the older woman states, “since hours have been wasted, turns of a farther distance ought to be searched as well.” “But ma’am, does everyone who potentially understands the incident need to be interrogated?” Kira asks shyly. “Of course not, dear,” the older woman states to obviate further discussion. Kira knows better than to press the matter, thus, with this instruction, the older woman’s staff quickly sets out in an attempt to find out to what extent the incident is known.

“That’s enough,” the older woman commands with a raised hand, and continues, “No, that … Please, that’s enough.” The older woman looks at me. “Stop it!” the older …

“That … Stop it!”

“Ma’am?”

“Must the command be repeated yet again?”

“I’m sorry. I just don’t understand what it is that you want.”

“What is it that you do understand?”

“You want me to stop telling the story?”

“Of course.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Leave us.”

“But ma’am …”

“The daggers that stare hear the words of each whisper that fuels the flame of the conceited.”

When the mind wanders …

When the mind wanders …

I’m about to sit in silence for the majority of this entire day as I read and write and contemplate my life. Why? Because I must. Why? Because, lately, every day I have been having to deal with shit that I’ve never had to deal with before these days.

Everything is new but not necessarily shiny. Everything is different but not necessarily unfamiliar. Everything is challenging but not necessarily overwhelming. Everything is overwhelming but not necessarily unmanageable.

And all at the same time, I must continually remind myself that, “Everything is nothing.” And ultimately, I’m alone in this world.

These American bootstraps are made of rubber.

It’s that great ‘ol American Dream of These United States—individuality—to be able to do and pursue the thing(s), the life(ves) that I want/need/must obtain in order to be and feel fulfilled. And I must achieve all of these things on my own, and if I’m given any help along the way, I should be grateful.  Am I being treated poorly, or am I just being insecure? At eight in the morning, these thoughts cannot be brushed aside.

I know what I’m supposed to do; I know where I’m supposed to go, but the how seems to be the bit about which everyone knows very little. How?, they ask. You do!, they exclaim. But what?, I ask. Whatever you want!, they exclaim again. But how do I figure out what I want?, I ask. Ask yourself what you want to do!, they exclaim. And then do!, they exclaim again. And again, the how is lost.

Nobody wants to hear you.

I hear them say. Over and over I am pummeled by the reality that not only do I not matter, but also, it’s impossible to matter. Who, honestly, matters? You reveal your own importance by creating that importance, but to create one’s own importance reveals a true lack of it (one’s importance).

A sphere being pulled by one hundred thousand tiny suction cups, away from the center, outward, stretching the film of the mind suspended at its core. Pop—the perfect pinging petite pop of a tightly held thing set free—pop, pop, pop, pop, POP. All she wants is to run away. But where will she go and truly be happy? She knows there is nowhere. She knows there is no one. She knows that when all else fades and all else fails, alone she will be when her alive self becomes dead. 

The mind is not a palace it’s a cage. But within the minds of others is where I feel trapped. The perception, the perspective on a perception that all must be … translated.

When the mind wanders, where does it go?

An Assistant & A Lingerer

An Assistant & A Lingerer

“It is not a matter of good versus bad, nor is it a matter of what might be better or best. The issue revolves solely around determining what proves to be the most productive way to not only disseminate but also, to communicate the story.”

“That sounds like a matter of best-ness, ma’am.”

“Assuredly, it is not.”

“Why then am I here at all?”

“Everyone ought to be given a chance, if only one. Do you not agree?”

“I agree.”

“Perfect. Pray tell then how it is that you shared this story with people who have repeatedly shown that they do not deserve to know this story.”

“I didn’t tell anyone. I would never point at that which ought not be pointed.”

“Then who pointed?”

“Ma’am, I promise that I do not know who would do such a thing.”

“I believe you.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”

“There is one small problem, however.”

“Ma’am?”

“Stop right here.”

“I thought … ”

“Go ahead, look through the window into that room there.”

“ … ”

“Ah, but now you know the problem.”

“ … ”

“Who is that?”

“I … I can’t remember.”

“I believe you.”

“You do?”

“Of course not.”

“Honestly, ma’am, I do not remember.”

“Which is it? You do not remember, or you cannot remember?”

“Please. I … I just … What do you want from me?”

“Nothing, Lingerer. We’ve already discussed how this apparently has nothing to do with you.”

“No?”

“No.”

“Then why am I here?”

“Well, it’s simple really. The story was told, and of course, by now, you must have some small insight into who it is who must have told. No?”

“Yes, I do believe I understand.”

“Good. So, if you do not know that person sitting but a few feet away, then you’ll gladly enter the space to gather a more-rounded sense of his account.”

“Yes. Anything for you ma’am.”

“Excellent.”

“Am I to question him now?”

“Of course.”

“I see.”

“Is there a problem?”

“ … No … ma’am … I … what … What is it exactly am I supposed to ask him?”

“That is why you are here.”

“Understood.”

“One other quick thing, Lingerer.”

“Yes.”

“Be quite quick.”

“But I don’t know what it is that you want.”

“You can imagine what it might be, however, yes?”

A Few Things About Friendship

A Few Things About Friendship

After a year-long global excursion of procrastination, the lifemate and I have settled back into (we’ve been here for about four full months) our home state. Honestly, we’ve sort of been dreading this arrival due to the fact that there are simply too many people to catch up with, reconnect with, etc., etc., &c. Today marks the fourth day of March, and I’ve already had social engagements with people from my past every single month this year, AND April and July and October already contain bookings. I’m not trying to reveal how vibrant or lame my social life is, what I’m trying to reveal is the thing about friendship. Whether or not I am capable of such a feat (writing about the thing about friendship, not the having of friends) still remains unknown, but alas, the day is Wednesday and that means that I must write to this here Report.

The friend I saw yesterday, for Arbitrary Day, is a very old friend, someone I have known since before I was aware that I knew them (for the sake of the triviality of gender), i.e. our families are friends. I have not seen this friend since late 2012, just before my parents moved out of my “hometown” and the summer before I was to leave for Seoul for the next five-to-six years. They are a dear friend, and the strange part is that I was never super close to her when we were young. We shared a lot of the same extracurriculars (even traveling to South Africa for the same opportunity at the same time but being parted into separate groups), and we got along well, but close is not how I would describe us. I do not hold any of their secrets, nor do they hold mine, and yet, we are so very close simply because we share so many frames of reference, and we know a lot of the same people.

And that’s the strange thing about friendship because I also have a very new friend to whom I have grown very close, very quickly, and I feel so much closer to this person than I do the friend I’ve known all my life, and at the same exact time, I know that the old friend can be relied upon in a way that no new friends really can. All of this probably also has something to do with the thing about time, and the thing about time is something about which I basically know nothing. So, there’s that.

And then there was the friend who fit snugly in the middle. I have known this friend for a little over ten years, and we have been through some shit together. This friend, therefore, I realized fell in a category all their own: a person with whom we are close and with whom we are long-term friends. Meaning, our closeness has the same amount to do with how long we’ve known each other and the actual closeness of our relationship in present time.

I was not expecting to learn something like this from a small gathering of friends, old and new, for a small (too big, after one couple cancelled due to illness) dinner. It was awesome to feel all the feels I felt toward the people in my life. I’m both excited and daunted at the prospect of 2020 being an emotionally charged year filled with the re-connection and new connection of old and new souls. I’m already feeling burdened by the task of being a good friend to those with whom I feel especially bonded. But so far, it’s been worth the effort.

A Man … From Earth

A Man … From Earth

“Yea, of course I remember. I remember like it was yesterday. I mean, come on man, it’s not every day that you watch some guy disappear before your eyes.”

“Yes, that’s good, but what do you remember? Exactly?”

“I was just walking down the street, and there was this kid. Well, I guess I’m not sure if he was a kid; it was hard to tell.”

“So, you don’t remember every little detail, now do you?”

“Come on, man. Do you want my help or what? You called me. Remember?”

“Of course. I’m so very sorry. Please continue. Please try to be as detailed as possible.”

“Okay. Thank you. It’s like I was saying. I was just walking down the street, you know, leaving work …”

“Where do you work?”

“At the Q, P&R factory.”

“Where is the factory located?”

“Downtown. The far side of the inlet.”

“Please continue.”

“So, yea. Okay, so, I came out the backdoor of the factory and walked along side the building toward the inlet. I like to walk along the water because, you know, it’s hard to come by and whatnot. So, there I was, and I thought I’d just take a little break and sit or something cause I’m tired and going home didn’t sound all that exciting.”

“Sure.”

“And then, on the Sprouts Bridge, I see this guy just walking along. You know, there’s nothing strange about a guy walking, and it’s not like I’d never seen another guy walking before. So, but then he was looking a little, uh, like concerned, you know?”

“Sure.”

“Like, he was looking all worried and maybe like he was up to no good or like running from someone or something.”

“Yes, okay.”

“So, I started to walk to the bridge to get a better look at him and to see if there was anyone following him.”

“What time of day was this?”

“I mean, I just got off work, so I guess it was like five in the morning or so. I don’t really hang out at work, so it must’ve been like right after five, maybe like five fifteen or so.”

“Was the sun out?”

“Yea, but just barely. I mean, it wasn’t dark, but you know how it is around here. When was the last time you saw a sunny day?”

“Five AM then?”

“Yea, sure.”

“Great. Please, continue.”

“So, I’m walking to the bridge now, and there’s no one around, so I’m just thinking maybe this guy’s just tweakin’ or something. No biggie. But then, when he got to the like the middle of the bridge, he stood and looked over, you know, with that like look, like he’s gonna jump.”

“Sure.”

“So, I’m like, I don’t know what to do, so I just kind of start to walk away. I mean, I don’t really want to get involved with that sort of shit and nonsense.”

“Sure.”

“So, I decide that I’ll just turn around and start walking back home.”

“Sure.”

“But then, everything started to get all bright and like colorful, like I was inside a rainbow or something, you know?”

“No, I don’t know, but please continue.”

“So, I turn around to check on the guy, and he’s like standing there like he’s going to jump and there’s all this swirling rainbow shit nonsense all over the place, and I’m like trying to figure out where all this light and shit’s coming from, but I can’t figure it out.”

“Sure.”

“And then, there’s like this crack, sort of like lightning or something but like louder, and then the guy’s got his arms up to the sky and then everything like turned upside down or something, and then when it all turned right again, I saw the guy. He was looking at me! So, I sort of like waved or something, and then he just vanished. Poof.”

“Have you ever seen anything like this before?”

“What? Are you shitting me, man? Have I ever watched the world like go all crazy and then see a man disappear? No fucking way, man. I mean, have you?”

“What did you do after all of this?”

“Well, I mean, that’s when it gets all foggy. I don’t really remember how I got home, but like later that night, a friend of mine’s all banging on my door cause I’m like late for work and shit.”

“I see.”

“It’s possible, then, that none of this really happened, yes?”

“I mean, it’s possible. I guess. But, man, I know what I saw. Like I saw it all happen with my own two eyes.”

“None of this seems unreasonable to you?”

“What do you mean by unreasonable?”

“You believe what you saw and believe that what you saw is actually possible?”

“Well, I mean, I don’t know about all that and whatnot, but yea, I mean, I know what I saw, and I believe the shit I see. I mean, I saw it all happen.”

“Sure. Perhaps, just imagine for a minute that none of that happened? How are there no other people who saw what you saw that day?”

“I mean, it was early, and the factory’s not exactly in the middle of town. There’s not much else out there, you know?”

“Let’s just say the event did not happen. What would you say then?”

“Uh. I mean. I guess I’d just have to think that I had a crazy-ass dream, you know?”

“You tell other people, many other people, otherwise, however.”

“Yea, I gotta tell everyone who will listen?”

“Why is that?”

“Because it was just so crazy, man!”

“Can you explain the ‘rainbow-effect,’ as you put it, one more time, please?”

“Yea. Like, I was standing there, like watching the guy, and all the sky and world around me looked like all colored but with the wrong colors, like I was looking through a rainbow.”

“Have you ever seen a rainbow?”

“No. No one has, but I know what a rainbow is.”

“Do you know how they form?”

“Yea, it’s like when the sun shines through the rain when it rains, and the light’s all colorful through the water or something, right?”

“Sure.”

“So, yea, it was like that but all over, not just like over there in one stripe like in the pictures, you know?”

“Sure. Then what happened?”

“I told you, man. Everything got all cold and dark again and like the world turned upside down.”

“How is that possible?”

“I don’t know, man. I thought that’s why I’m here. I thought you wanted to hear my story cause you would like explain all this shit to me, you know?”

“Sure.”

“So, like, is that what you’re going to do? Like, I told you what happened, and you’ll tell me what it all means.”

“No one can tell you what anything means.”

“What? What the hell’s that supposed to mean. Why the fuck am I here, then?”

“You’re here because someone heard your story.”

“Yea, everyone, man. I tell everyone.”

“Why?”

“Cause it’s crazy man!”

“It’s unbelievable?”

“No, I believe it.”

“Do other people believe it?”

“Sometimes. But sometimes people just look at me like I’m the crazy one.”

“Are you?”

“No way, man. I’m not crazy. I’m like the opposite of crazy, just all straight-laced, and I go to work, and I pay my bills, and I just don’t do like crazy shit, you know?”

“Sure.”

“So, is there anything else you like need? I feel like I’ve told you everything I know.”

“Yes. You’re doing a great job. Please explain, one more time, the disappearance.”

“Oh, come on man, I’ve told you like ten times already.”

“ … ”

“Ah, fine. He was standing on the bridge, and then there was like this loud crack or something, and then he just disappeared.”

“A loud crack or something? What’s the something?”

“I do not know.”

“Sure.”

“It was like, I don’t know how else to explain it except it was like maybe when something breaks? You know, that sound, like that but really loud.”

“Sure. And then what happened?”

“Goddammit! He. Was. There. And. Then. He. Wasn’t.”

“Yes, but what did it look like? Was it fast or slow or something else?”

“Gah. It was like he was there, and then he was gone. Just, poof!”

“Did the disappearance occur at the same time as the loud ‘crack’?”

“No.”

“Which came first?”

“The loud noise.”

“How does all of this make you feel?”

“Well, right now, it all makes me feel annoyed as shit, cause I’ve like told you this same thing like a hundred times, and you keep asking me the same fucking questions. So, I guess I just don’t know how I feel about all of this. It’s just getting old.”

“No. How did the event make you feel?”

“Oh, I mean; I guess it makes me feel like wow, you know?”

“Sure. Anything else?”

“Well, like, I guess I’m not so sure about whatever it was that happened or something. Like, you’re all making me feel like I’m crazy. But I’m not crazy. I know what I saw!”

“Sure. How does knowing that you saw what you saw make you feel about seeing what it was that you saw?”

“Come on, man. What?”

“If someone else told you this story, what would you think?”

“Oh shit. I mean, yea, I guess I would totally think that person was crazy as shit, you know?”

“Sure.”

“And I don’t know if I’d believe them either, you know?”

“Sure.”

“But I did see it, so I guess now, if someone else said some story to me like this, I’d have to believe them.”

“Great. Come this way.”

About From-Scratch Bread-Making

About From-Scratch Bread-Making

So, I have this internet friend (and I only use this term because we have not seen each other, in person, afk, since … 2007) with whom I’ve been communicating lately, and she’s fun. She’s also incredibly insightful, in that she is my “Meme Queen.” She’s basically the only person whose memes choice really hit me in the face, and I love them. One of the memes she posted a few months ago had something to do with when friends begin bread-making, they’re definitely depressed. Obviously, she devirginized me of this meme, and I lol’d pretty hard until I had myself a good think.

The thing I enjoyed most was that this perception of people who make bread from scratch being about how depressed they are, and I responded by saying that it totally makes sense, because the making of homemade bread requires time, and most people do not have a lot of time, so if you’re unemployed or underemployed, there’s a really good chance you’re feeling underutilized, useless, etc., and this feeling combined with the act of bread making is what made the meme hilarious to me. And honestly, I don’t remember now if it was a meme or just someone’s tweet, and honestly, I don’t really fucking care cause that’s not the point.

Anyway, the point is that I checked myself. I had to contemplate how I felt, how I feel now when I want/decide to make some bread. For instance, this morning, I woke up feeling a bit exhausted (still from the day before, which is a story unto itself but that will not be addressed here, at this time), tired, drained, and overwhelmingly sad. I, personally, would not define these feelings as depressed as I know why I am feeling these feelings, but I also know that I was inspired to make a fresh loaf. It’s 0900 in the morning. There’s something about a fresh-baked, homemade loaf of bread that I know will satisfy me, comfort me on some level, and today, I am feeling the need for that comfort.

So, although, I do not agree that everyone who begins making bread from scratch is depressed, I am thoroughly grateful that this friend brought the perception to my attention. I do not wish to deny my from-scratch-bread-making proclivities so as not to appear depressed; that’s not it. Instead, I am truly grateful that now, every time I make or want to make a loaf of bread, I check-in with myself to see how I am truly feeling. And that is a great gift, a small nugget of a reminder to see how you’re doing.