Posts Tagged ‘excuses’

Welcome back everyone,
hello-cute

Hey there 😉

As you know, on this blog I generally do my darnedest to keep things whimsical. I like to try and make intellectuality fun — at least as fun as someone bereft of said topic can make it — and that’s because I understand all too well that pretension will only get in the way of communicating what ideas I may have and would genuinely enjoy hearing others honest opinions about.

For that, I need you all to be smiling.

I require your guard to be down.

(But not your fly… XYZ, reader)

Now, some may call this peevish, and if you do I have a special place for you, (Just click the “X” on the upper right hand side of your web browser, and I’ve got the whole thing set up to redirect you exactly to where you belong on the internet!) but I believe in everyone’s opinion being valid. As I see it, we all have differing life experiences, which lend themselves to differing insights about the reality of being. Each of us alone is only a piece of the puzzle, only together can we see what is. Thus, you may have noticed, across the four some-odd-years that I’ve run this blog, (Say Thank-Ya!) that I’ve always made pains to refer to you all as one. Never referencing color, race, location or gender (unless that’s the topic in question), while addressing you all in these jaunty little introductions, or, in this blog’s previous incarnation, throughout the entire proof of my theorem.

"Humans"

“Humans”

Today though, as you may have already guessed, I’d like to assume a more sober tone. Today I’d like to discuss something that happened to me personally (don’t worry I’m FINE. It merely led to this week’s inspiration), which helped solidify the mere fragments of thought on the topic I’d had, up until it’s occurrence. At first I was going to obscure the introduction, being that the person who did this may well read this blog, but I quickly realized that I am no coward, and that relenting in such a manner would be tantamount to “Do as I say, but not as I do” — which is decisively Un-Cool. And so, without further ado, here it is…

(Wow, can’t quite find words which won’t elicit a giggle….)

(Well, whatever… You’re a mature audience.)

😛

I got my junk grabbed — like full on, a full handful, for a full second — and this was done by someone I work with. A Woman, no less. Now, as you may or may not know, I once worked as a topless waiter at a strip club. There this type of thing was routine, and I was able to shrug it off as the nature of the beast. However at my current job, working for CBS on a television show, this type of behavior, even with a flirty coworker (whom I certainly reciprocate with, just never to this extreme…), was, frankly, unacceptable. And so, with a heavy heart, and plans to kill the buzz, I approached her in a clandestine manner, asking for things to never again go to where she took them. She then responded vocally, amidst a large group of others — people without any knowledge of the aforementioned affront — saying, and I quote,

“Oh, be a man. You know you liked it.”

……

Now, it took me some time to process all the emotions — admittedly, mostly negative — that coursed through my mind at this moment in my life. I’m not going to lie… at first I wanted to smack her, but logic quickly argued against that. Then I wanted to wail vocally, explaining to the entire gymnasium full of our film crew that she had, in fact, sexually harassed me… but my days at the club popped in my mind and it all felt like a rather flat argument. The best reason I could find within for feeling so wronged was that, somehow, a power struggle had been breached… and quite unjustly. Finally I found a healthy way to deal with my feelings on the occasion — I’d write about it. And the story today, after three manifestations that I’d scrapped for being far too blunt, is the result of it all.

I’m not going to mince words here: Equality is a blanket term, it has NOTHING to do with entitlements or supremacy. If you truly wish to see yourself as an equal — a just contributor to modernity — than privilege becomes a slight. It’s abhorrent, as it assumes the same role of the oppressor which you, or (more likely) the brave people before you, had once fought so direly to be free from. You may or may not see how, but this piece is my way of confronting the racism I’d been subject to as a child, the class warfare I’ve bore witness to all my life, and the general ways that mankind has tried to keep his brothers and sisters down. It should also serve as warning to movements of equality, Feminism, Racial equality, First, Second, and Third world conflicts amongst each other, and any people who strive for their fair share, that sometimes we can take things too far. Equality, true equality, is blind to Gender, Race, Color, Size, and shape — and perhaps may someday include Species, Race, Planet — and even Galaxy and Universe.

Everybody’s on a journey throughout this life, one unique to them, and so every point of view is valid — and certainly deserved of a listen by the rest of us.

~J

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Ordinary Extremities

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“Ticket, please”, Bade the Conductor, approaching the squatted pile of rags at the far corner of the car.

The woman beneath didn’t stir.

“Hello Ma’am?” He said politely, “Sorry to wake you, but I need to collect your ticket now.”

Still the enshrouded figure remained nonplussed.

The Conductor bent, waving a translucent blue palm before the hooded cave of the woman’s visage, before kneeling and tipping his face in for a better look.

The fact that this man was, in actuality, a hologram — a mere segmented sliver of the conductors waking mind, present here only due to clever camera and speaker placement — was not lost on me. So at this thought, despite myself, I snorted a laugh.

From his hands and knees the man inclined his head in my direction, before craning his neck to peer under his arm’s nook at the wall of passengers which had built up across the car. The Conductor then got up, dusted off his knees, and approached me.

“Ticket Please”, he said, an accusatory lilt staining his custom level tone, seeming to imply some connection between myself and the vagabond across the way.

Casually I removed a balled fist from the pocket of my well pressed Sports Coat, never bothering to take the sole of my fine Italian loafer away from the door on which I leaned, thrusting it out then for the man to see, before hinging each finger out, slowly and in turn, to eventually present him with a bare palm. From the transparent ceiling above, at a point indeterminate due to the setting sun, a green laser light fanned out, sweeping my palm first in one direction and then the other before blinking out extinguished.

“Thank you.” Said the man, eying me suspiciously. Shooting a thumb over his shoulder, he soon added,  “How about you help me out? Go wake your little buddy over there so I can scan her ticket too.”

“Little buddy?” I scoffed, failing to stifle a second snort, “I don’t know that person.”

The man dove his face in toward mine, searching my eyes, darting erratically back and forth from left to right, before melodramatically stepping back to indicate the crowd.

“Tell me than, what’s this? Why is it you can stomach this woman’s clearly quite pungent odor, when the rest of my passengers huddle and cower like frightened livestock?”

I regarded the crowd, noting that easily three yards separated me from the next nearest paying customer. A singular huddled mass, the people all breathed as one; through sleeves, scarves, and hats — anything that might help stave off the offensive aura being generated by the woman just across from me.

“She’s harmless.” I asserted. “Besides, my desire to be left alone presently supersedes any musk this individual could possibly produce.”

And it was true. I’d hastily purchased a ‘standing room only’ ticket, knowing full-well the risk, and had accepted this unfortunate condition as mere penitence for my retreat.

The Conductor scrutinized me thoughtfully.

“Well then, friend” He began afresh, clearly changing tactics. “Give a guy without a hand, a hand, eh? This form may have function, but it has no form — if you’re picking up what I’m projecting down. Be a pal and, well… just tap her on the shoulder for me, would ya?”

I unfocused my eyes, looking straight through the shifting veil of blue before me to examine the mysterious figure just across the way. Indeed it seemed that the thing beneath the ratty pile of garments was, in fact, a woman… though without removing her thick and pungent wrappings it would be impossible to tell for sure. Long, dreaded hair flowed out from under the dark recesses of her cavernous hood, which then weighed down the loosely stacked garments cosseting her chest to detail two modest, though distinctly feminine, mounds. Carelessly crouched in the corner as she was — wrists rested on bent knees, back strait, shoulders level, with some indeterminate rigidity protruding diagonally underneath her thick vestments — the woman seemed more pious sentinel, particularly in this shade of divine azure, than penniless freight-hopper.

Malodorous scent or not, queer as it may sound… I soon found myself drawn to her. Something was brave and bold beneath that hood. Something new. Something I’d never encountered in all my worldly travels, and someone who the other people of this train would never dare try comprehend… I stared intently into the void cast by it, that hood. Searched every impregnable inch methodically, earnestly seeking but a single point of light being reflected back by flesh… but only found its darkness to be absolute. Just as I was ready to give up, prepared to simply walk on over as the Conductor had asked, a dual burst of slits flashed alight within the gloom, each punctuated by an iris of burning red. Their appearance, though brief, was married to a nearly imperceptible incline of her head, and the collective gestures combined to culminate as a simple yet strikingly vivid message; ‘Stay Away’.

I faltered. My composure shattered. Fear gripped my heart, and my easy lean slipped from the wall. My palms pressed firm to the doors behind me, unconsciously searching for a place to flee, and I found myself flat against the wall standing on tiptoes. The Conductor regarded my change, glancing over at the woman — who only appeared as she was — before whipping back around again to me, scanning my eyes for any sign of a ruse.

Eventually satisfied, he pressed a heavy weightless hand into my shoulder.

“Forget it,” He began, his voice imbued now with genuine care, “I thought you knew her”. He then added, dimming his speaker volume to a decibel only audible to my nearby ear, “I’ll just let the Staties deal with her once we pass Forrest Squarewood. That’s their jurisdiction, you know? They hate Planet Hoppers. Such a shame, too. Hate to hand over someone who’s fallen on tough times. But… a job’s a job. Word to the wise? Beware that woman, friend. She’s likely strange; wily. The type that can’t be trusted even for a second. You keep your distance, now.”

Abashed, staring absently through the clear floor at a tempestuous river we raced above, I nodded stupidly in response.

Then, I was alone. The conductor walking straight into the adjacent car, unperturbed by silly things of matter, like tangibility or mass.

“Get out-of-the-way, Moron!”, came a voice amidst the crowd.

“Move it, Jerkface!” echoed another, seemingly headed my way.

Then, all at once, the hermetically sealed line of average passengers burst, spewing forth, before the wound quickly healed, two attractive young ladies; one a petite Brunette, and the other a voluptuous Blonde.

“Jesus, Tria, you said she didn’t smell so bad. It smells like a Whorehouse’s Outhouse out here.” Exclaimed the Blonde, quickly masking her face with a jewel encrusted hand.

“No, Lo-Lo, that is not what I said at all.” Proclaimed the Brunette, exposing her pierced navel as she yanked a low neck line up over her nose. “What I said was, and I quote; ‘How bad could it be, that guy’s standing there?’ Answer: really, really, really, freaking bad. Wow. The last time that thing took a shower, John-John was on ‘Mercury House’. Am I right?”

“Hell, yes you are.”

“Am I right?”

“Oh my God, bitch, I already said, ‘Yes’. Can’t we just spark? That thing’s making me sick, already.”

“What am I, your mother, you whore? You need permission? Light it. Danm. Light that shit up already.”

“Shut-up, slut.”

“Hoe.”

“Bitch.”

Then, in tandem, they both concluded, “Whatever.”

Flashing each other a vicious pair of smiles somehow seemed to settle the exchange, and soon both were digging through their respective golden handbags, extracting, before long, a pair of Electronic Cigarettes.

The Blonde unscrewed hers at the center, peering inside. “Shit, I’m out. You got any left?”

The Brunette then unscrewed hers, turning about in circles while trying to find an angle for the overhead light. “I can’t tell, I think I need a refill too. You got any more on you?”

“Yeah, I think I do.” Said the one called Lo-Lo, juggling her effects, balancing her bag on a raised knee and struggling to keep her balance. “Somewhere in here…”

“Hang on.” Said Tria, tugging her friend violently by the hand, nearly toppling her over, and then dragging her by me. “Hi there, Mister.” she began, long lashes fluttering, salaciously brushing my arm, “Hold this for me, would you?”

Before I knew what was happening I found myself clutching a clutch, supporting a shoulder bag with my shoulder, and palming hand lotion — amongst other unidentifiable effects of superficiality — in my palm. The two young women, for their part, each held a strap of Lo-Lo’s Bag, and were both digging voraciously through its contents, stopping only to toss out bits of garbage onto the train floor.

Finally Tria produced a small container with a sealed lid.

“Is this it?” She asked, presenting it to Lo-Lo between two raised fingers and a thumb.

Lo-Lo snatched it unceremoniously, raking her friend harshly with manicured nails bearing a collection of tiny circus animals.

“Ah, you bitch”. Shouted Tria.

But Lo-Lo was lost in the vial. She eagerly popped the lid, hurriedly raised the opening to her nose, and huffed the noxious scent therein deeply. The display was for show. Once opened, even from back where I stood, the smell was sufficient to stifle even that of the transient’s across the car. Reaching inside they each pinched off a small amount before plucking their cigarettes from my open palm and stuffing their devices full. Within but a second, the gadget was reassembled, the girls pressed at the ignition, and each was inhaling deeply — leaving me as a forlorn baggage handler at the airport, and without any tip to boot.

From somewhere at the back of the crowd a man’s voice could be heard “Hey, you can’t smoke in here. It’s illegal. Some of us have an allergy.”

“Oh, yeah?” Challenged Tria. “Who’s gonna stop me? Not you. I do what I want.” And to punctuate this apparent fact, she took a long drag, deep down into her lungs, before exhaling a mighty vapor cloud toward the group.

A wheezing, raspy cough was the crowds only retort.

Lo-Lo then took a lungful in all her own, before breathing it out into my face, asking “So… what’s wrong with you? You enjoy smelling like ass or something, Mister?”

“I just want to be left alone.” I insisted, extending the clutch toward Lo-Lo, “I just got back from this long, pointless ‘inter-office relations-trip’ that my boss sent me on, and…”

“That’s not mine.” Lo-Lo interrupted, stepping back from the handbag disgusted.

“Yo. Don’t give that hoe my bag.” Interjected Tria, swiveling her head around like a snake. “She wouldn’t know what to do with one that’s not a fake, anyways.”

“Please, girl.” Pleaded Lo-Lo. “It’s been a long, hard day, and I don’t have the energy left to teach you the difference between a ‘Carl Mongoose’, and whatever it is you’re calling a ‘Petera’ Divine’ over there.”

“Oh, don’t you start with me, Miss ‘I-Don’t-Buy-From-Little-Persia-I-Only-Like-To-Look’.”

But Lo-Lo did start…

And then Tria continued…

And so, as the girls continued to debate the laurels surrounding the question, “Which one of their bags was better suited at holding things?”, I quickly grew weary of acting out the role of impromptu living mannequin. Thus did I proceed to place all of their loose effects into whoever’s shoulder-bag it was I was presently shouldering, to then merely lay the weighty satchel down on the clear floor at my feet, noting, as I did, the first patches of trees springing up on the ground far, far below.

It wouldn’t be long now. Soon I’d find out exactly what type of woman it was buried underneath all that dowdy patchwork.

Lo-Lo seized her bag from the floor with a huff, and shoved me harshly against the wall, saying “What the eff do you think you’re doing?”

“Oh-My-God” Chimed in Tria, slapping my shoulder. “I know that you did not just put her Ten Thousand Dollar, ‘Carl Mongoose’, Winter collection bag on that dirty-ass floor, with that filthy… thing… sitting right there.”

“Girls.” I began, tenderly as I could manage. “Don’t do that.”

“Don’t do what?” Demanded, Lo-Lo, as sprightly green tips began whizzing past her ankles.

“Don’t talk about another human being like that.”

“I will talk about whoever, however I want.” She insisted, the thickening wood growing steadily to overtake her height.

“Look, it’s clear this person has fallen on tough times. You don’t know her story.”

“We don’t care.” Insisted Tria, clapping her hands for emphasis on each word, all while massive shadows painted darting streaks across her form.

“Yeah, well… either way. You shouldn’t add to her problems. Just… leave her be. I’m asking you a favor.”

“Come-on mister. What, you in love? Bitch ain’t even got no clothes.”

“Hoe don’t have no money.”

“Trick smells like ass.”

The tips of the monolithic pines were now beyond the reach of sight, their numbers surging greater by the second still.

“Yeah, well… She’s a person. She get’s to live how she wants. What if this is what makes her happy?”

“What? You serious?”

“No makeup. No friends. No class. Smells like a dirty-ass construction worker that just tipped over in the Pora-a-John. Sitting here, doing nothing but stinking up the train for the rest of us normal, god-fearing, folk. Man, please: that ain’t even a lady.”

Suddenly light inside the car was squelched out entirely, as the encroaching tree line had finally grown bold enough to steal the setting sun.

A mind trembling scream rang out from somewhere amidst the crowd.

As the lights of the cabin pulsed slowly to life, and my vision oscillated between states of pure blindness and mere hazy shadow, I found the crowd was moving toward me, reeling back from some bewitching scene unfolding near its center.

It was then when I caught my first glimpse of the thing. Circumscribed by the ever swelling circumference of screaming and frightened passengers was a beast not quite human, with a wide drawn out squamous face, and a lithe lolling tongue — one which defied jagged rows of impossibly sharp teeth as it danced along their precarious peaks and valleys — actively tasting the air. It held a redundant dagger in each of its two claws, as all of it’s five fingers were adorned with vicious, corkscrewed nails, while it stalked through the crowd of lambs — slaughtering any and all without the sense or wherewithal to run.

Calcified as I was, agog from the massacre unfolding just before my eyes, I nearly didn’t feel the nagging pull of the two wildly wailing women persistently scrabbling at my back. However, when I nearly lost my footing while stepping on a familiar golden bag, the initials ‘CM’ forming a gaudy pattern all along it’s every facet, reality finally came home, drunk and crashing into the garage, and I became instantly aware of the two girls urging me to glance over to my left. There, at the epicenter of the car and just beside where we stood, a luminous pinprick wisp was floating, unaided, and steadily gaining in girth. The wormhole rapidly gained mass and began to pull at me, and, were it not for the frantic women holding firm at my arms, each demanding I, “Be a man and save them!”, and weighing me down, I may have even been engulfed by its mystical allure — cast to frightful plane. Then as the otherworldly draw began to ebb, and just as the brilliant vortex, hollow at its heart, had reached a sizable three yard diameter, another set of scaled and corkscrewed claws braced themselves at the lip of the dimensional rift, to then vault their master whole into our place in space.

The Reptilian beast landed to the floor of the car with a weighty thud, as the wormhole neatly cinched up behind it, sending a splintering shock-wave throughout the reinforced plastic at its wake, compromising integrity engineered to hold a hundred men. It spent but a moment in the throes of nausea before its slitted eyes were trained on us, and the women redoubled in their efforts of shrieking as it slavered and ambled serpentine our way.

Lo-Lo shoved me toward it with one hand, and held firm with the other, bellowing, “Fight it, Mister. Protect us!”

Tria wept, and held firm at my arm, wailing, “Make it go away. Tell it to leave.”

“Girls, let go.” I pleaded. “I can’t move.”

“Do something”, they screamed in unison.

Like lightning the creature was on me, effortlessly shifting its easy gait into a terrifying pounce, clutching then at my coat, arching me overhead, and slamming me down hard onto the floor. The ground groaned and quaked beneath the hammering of my mass, and all the air was stolen from my chest. As the room spun, and the light-show played, my whereabouts grew dubious, and my mind clouded. Sleep beckoned.

Somehow through the hypnagogic haze I felt the light playing on my face dim. Gathering my wits through great focus of effort, I synched my wayward eyes and fought to look out strait from my helpless supine form… only to discover forthcoming doom. The thing was upon me, mighty fist raised high overhead, blotting out the cabin light, and prepared to slam down into my skull. With a greater effort than my body had left to give, I rolled hard to the left, feeling the whipping air thrash my necks nape at the wake of its mammoth fist as it narrowly missed my face. Already undermined, the car yielded to the tremendous power of the things assault, and left me dangling through the floor, hanging precariously by the tips of my weakened fingers.

It seemed the end was near. The creature wasted no time in reeling back for a second strike, this one aimed at my fingertips which clung desperately at the lip of the opening, promising to cast me into an impending free-fall many kilometers long, either to be impaled on a tree, or to shatter my every bone against the distant terra. Resigned to my fate I turned my face toward my attacker, determined, at the very least, to go with my dignity intact. I matched his wild eyes with a level gaze, wholly free from fear, merely patient, and found myself in admiration of the speed in which it’s limb was capable of traveling — that is all before a warm spray misted my cheeks, and the hapless arm cascaded clear beyond me, tumbling freely into the open air beyond my dangling feet. Armless now, the beast hissed in pain, whipping about furiously then to confront its assaulter, only to be diced, just at the hinge of its jaw, by the returning upward swing of a Katana.

And there, flared by the wildly luminous cabin lights, stood a proud silhouette which wielded the brilliant blade — the lowly vagabond from the far corner of the car. Shed now of her outer layer, camouflage from the very start, she shucked her sword free from the serpents blood, highlighting, as she did, bountiful curves of dense musculature beneath an elite black and silken armor. She then kicked at the chest of the thing, still writhing even without a head, shoving it out beyond me and into the open air below, before dashing off, and out of view, presumably toward the panicked crowd at my back.

The drama then unfolded in screams and gasps, while I struggled and flailed, and failed, in extracting myself from my tricky predicament. Before long the cacophony, blind to my eyes, fell to stillness. Not a sound could be heard. Visions of an all-encompassing massacre filled my mind…

Finally then, after a silence of interminable length, where I never ceased in my struggle to re-board the racing car, it was the shallow voice of an elderly man which broke the strange repose.

“Thank You.” He said, voice quavering with emotion. “Thank you so very, very much, young lady.”

Then came another, quick on his heels, a woman this time. “Here, take this. Please, I insist. And… Thank you.”

Before long, another chimed in, a little boy, “That was really cool! Here, strong lady, it’s my favoritest… I want you to have it.”

And then came another, and another…. and another.

And so it continued, as my fingers quaked, from all the voices, of all the people in the car: gratitude. Thanks being showered on one who, only just a few minutes ago, the entire lot had all but condemned.

I felt the dimming of the overhead light once more, and, fingers trembling, strained to look skyward… and there she was, bearing a halo of light — and was she ever beautiful. Long dreadlocks framed an angled face that belonged on the cover of a magazine, were it not for the jagged scars and random battle-won maladies which gave it its fierce character. She had her rags back on now, and from all the errant, random, and poorly sewn pockets, people’s valuables jutted out. Precious necklaces, rings, jewelery and just plain cold hard cash overflowed the paupers clothes, creating a jaunty juxtaposition embodied in the sight of this mighty warrior woman.

She regarded me, as she drew her hood back over her head, sightlessly cleaned her blade on a rag, and sheathed the sword, asking, “You’re the one who defended me in my rags?”

I swallowed hard, saying all I could think to, “Yes…”

“You shouldn’t have done that…” She chided, a bright smile shining out from under the hood. “Look, times are always hard. People will have their opinions. All that really matters is how you react to the ordinary extremities of everyday life.”

I merely nodded, the wisdom of her words failing to presently pierce me in my condition — I was simply praying she’d help me up from my hole.

“Hey!” Came a voice, I knew to be Tria, “Take this. It’s worth alot!”

“Yeah, yeah!” Chimed in Lo-Lo, “And these. They’re yours now.”

“No.” Said the warrior woman, severity back in her tone. “I want you to keep them. After all, they’re all you have.”

She turned back to the hole, regarding me with pity.

“Pull yourself up.” She ordered. “You’ve done it before. I have no doubts that you can do it again.”

And then, without hesitation, she leapt through the hole — never to be seen or heard from again.

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~ FIN ~

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I sure hope you enjoyed this.

It’s 4 days late, and that’s because I took some more time with it — and it still feels like I could’ve taken another week or so to get it right.

Please leave your thoughts below, on the topic and the story, and I’ll add edits to this as time permits.

Thanks

~J

Happy New year, Everyone!

Good_News_Everyone_by_martynasx

Hey there, everyon… Woh!

Heh. Sorry about that. You caught me off guard. No offense intended here, but… you sure put on some weight over these last few weeks. (I barely recognized ya’!). I mean, you’re still dead sexy, Readers… My readers ARE the sexiest group of readers on the planet… but come on! Let’s get with it! It’s time to kick this thang off right!

Anywho, no matter really — we’re all allowed a bit of leeway around the holidays. In fact I believe I’ve missed two weekends worth of stories, myself.

(Tsk, Tsk…)

And so, I thought I’d make up for it today.

This story needs little to no introduction, as I’ve written it, re-written it — and then deleted everything I had because it was crap and re-wrote it yet again!

And now I think I’ve finally got something of merit.

🙂

WARNING: For those of you that live with ADD (like myself) you may want to break this story up — it’s mostly why I add the pictures FYI… ‘Virtual Bookmarks’.

This story was inspired by three splinters that, despite how many times I’d removed them from my thumb over the course of a week, continued to appear. So, as inspiration goes, this was… queer… but I really had a lot of fun with what i came up with here, and believe I nailed the syllogism I was after in the end (if I do say so myself)…

Let’s see if you can catch it!

Please enjoy.

~J

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Evolution

Ominous_Mist_by_clacier

He felt it wake up…

He always did…

It wouldn’t be long now…

Hurriedly, abruptly, Hickey threw out excuses, ended conversations, and broke away from the gaggle of foreign nurses and technicians which had congregated around him.

It knew. It surged within him, flaring up from the nape of his neck and growing quickly around his shoulders to embrace his chest and ribs. His eyes watered, blurring his view, as he made his way, serpentine, toward the Janitor, entrusted today with keys that had never before been used.

“I’d like to be let in”, requested Hickey, meekly. His face down and his hands jammed far too deeply into his pockets — feeling more vulnerable than an assistant to a post op, carpel tunnel knife-thrower on a spin-wheel, he told himself.

Wait, what? Where did that come from, he wondered frantically…

Fanning the flames of his fear…

Unknowingly Feeding his demon…

Far too slowly, the Janitor raked a suspicious eye across Hickey from head to toe — it took hours. This is insane, he thought. It was calling again — of course it would, once awake it never stopped — and he didn’t know how much longer he’d be able to resist. He needed to get away. Now. It didn’t know what today was, and Hickey didn’t know what it was, to be fair… not for certain at least. But he simply couldn’t let his peers see him like this; in this sad, weakened state. No way he could let this ruin him. It was a cutthroat industry they worked in, and he remembered well what it had taken to get himself to the top — and he was now, undoubtedly, at the top. He’d arrived. The big dog, chosen alone for this special patient. Looking over toward the crowd of his contemporaries, Hickey thought, All they’d need is a little leverage, and all my life’s work

“You alright, Dr. H.?” finally, the Janitor spoke, “Normally you’re the last one in the OR.”

The overly familiar tone hit a chord within Hickey, making him tic, cocking his head to the side ever so slightly… before something behind his eyes snapped. Suddenly, with deft, explosive speed, he reached out, seizing the man’s Adam’s apple in his fist — gripping it with tremendous force — before proceeding to tear his entire esophagus out through his throat with a violent jerk. He hoisted it then above his head, his slick and throbbing trophy, while letting its fresh, warm blood trickle freely down and across his wildly grinning visage.

Seriously_Scary_by_steelgohst

It’s not real, Sam… It’s your imagination…

You know that it is…

Fight it.

He snapped back to reality, “I’m fine, thanks. Maybe it’s the locked door, George.” He said, selling the ersatz politeness like a veteran used car salesman, motioning toward the door. “It’s… unnerving. Would you mind?”

“Of course, Sam. Of course.” Said George, expertly fishing a weighty, triple-decker key-ring off his belt loop in a smooth and well-practiced motion, before beginning to rifle through the keys. “Hey, did you catch that Re-run of, “House” last night by any chance?”

“No, George” replied Hickey, far more edge to his voice than intended. “I’ve told you, I don’t watch T.V.”.

George tried a wide, bronzed key in the knob — no good. “I know what you say, Dr.H… but everybody watches T.V.”.

“Well… not me”, Hickey answered, saddened somewhat by the prospect of this simple normalcy which had always eluded him.

“That Dr. House, he reminds me a lot of you. You know?” George continued as he tried a dull silver key in the handle to no avail — and as Hickey saw a flash of himself gutting him with all the subsequent wrong choices. “He never gives up, that House. And, like you,” he glanced back at Hickey, “He’d rather be good at what he does, than be healthy”. Finally, his third try, George got the right key. He stepped into the prep room, holding the door for Hickey, and used his custom key to flip the light switches on. ” You look like you need some sleep, Dr.H…”, he concluded.

“I’m fine”, said Hickey, abruptly — before slamming the door shut in George’s face.

Violently, without hesitation, Hickey clawed frantically at his neck, eventually quieting, for but a moment, the crippling familiar which now resided therein. How much longer can this possibly last, he wondered. What have I done to deserve this? Fuck that damned rat, he thought, punctuating each word in turn within his mind… before beginning to feel a familiar warmth radiate from his chest. Returned from their charge, and speedily en-route to engage their fresh one, his hands came back from behind his head contorted, crooked, and, to his great horror, bloodied — which stopped them dead in their tracks before awestruck eyes.

Just then the light in the adjacent OR flipped on, and through the semi-transparent waved glass, just beyond the gap between his stained, seized-up hands, he saw the silhouette of the mystery man, the man who was to be his patient, being wheeled into the room.

Running to the sink, his demon momentarily forgotten, Hickey flushed his hands under the cool water, liberating them from their red coat… only to unearth a brass substrate beneath.

No… It can’t be.

Not today!

His demon laughed at this, and swelled.

Now, visible throughout the tips of each of his fingers, were tiny, filament like shards of browned steel. Most lay flat beneath his flesh, glimmering under the surface against the pulsating fluorescents above, but some jutted out straight, little daggers planted firmly in his skin — their tips sharp, foreboding, and now fairly obviously the reason behind all the blood. Without much thought, he jammed his fingers into his mouth, clamped his eyes shut, and felt about with his teeth and tongue for anything protruding… before yanking them out one by one as they were found, and spitting them into the basin.

Ting… Bing… Splat…

He had to hurry.

Ting… Bing… Splat…

They’d not be far behind…

His humanity was fading. This, perhaps, was the only bit of higher reasoning that remained with him — that he was losing his mind. Whatever he had been, prior to the Rat invasion only two weeks past, he now no longer was. Doctor, Leader, Boss, Friend… The best at what he does… These titles meant nothing to him now. Now, he was nothing but a rabid animal — cleansing himself with his teeth, and using the finished bits to slake away tiny increments of his primitive, senseless urge. God, did he itch! It was nary unbearable. But he had to hold out just a little bit longer. After all, he could always stop the bleeding on his neck, but he could never take the hue out from his scrubs. He just needed to finish the extractions, wash his hands, and put on the gloves. Then, none would be the wiser. Nobody would know. He could finish the surgery in half the time he’d quoted, rush off home to be alone, as he always was, and then calculate his next step.

Just one step at a time, he assured himself.

Just one thing, and then the next, and then… eventually…

…I’m sure you’ll get to the bottom of this.

Licking his fingertips once again reminded him of the devolved state he’d been forced to adapt, but also proved to him that he was now, finally, finished with his task. And as soon as this realization hit, like a green light after a year and a half of sitting at an intersection, he jammed on the gas, succumbed to his need, and worked himself into a tizzy — scratching this way and that, up and down, left and right, and turning about while contorting his shape in order to reach more and more exotic locations… feeling, all the while, like the Tasmanian Devil he’d loved so very much as a child.

What a stupid thing for a kid to idolize, he thought. A mindless, spinning, inexhaustible appetite with eyes. A creature of pure instinct, with no situational awareness whatsoever…

“Sam, what are you doing?” Demanded Ann in a whisper from behind his shoulder — shattering his thoughts, ceasing his motion, and causing him to leap from fear and land on the Moon. Her voice continued on then as an omnipresent echo, a hushed thunder that rang out all across the surface of the great cheese ball where now he stood, agape and staring up at a half-lit Earth, “You’re bleeding…”.

At once, the room he’d forgotten came back into focus, and Hickey soon realized, much to his chagrin, that he’d been doing the ole’, “Hokey-Pokey-Tasmanian-Devil-Itchy-Dance” right before all his contemporaries while they washed in the sink and prepped for surgery — precisely what he’d been planning to avoid.

Well, you got your leverage, he thought morosely, closing his fists to hide his shame, now let’s see if you spineless invertebrates will do anything with it.

“Come here”, insisted Ann, her hand spinning him by the hip to face the crowd, hiding the blood behind his neck as she wiped it tenderly with a paper towel. “What did you do?”

He faltered. “I, uh. I had an itch…”

Gently she grabbed his wrist, as she simultaneously conducted her blind cleaning, saying softly, “Stop. Sam, we don’t have to do this. You look like shit. We don’t know any of these people. Hell, we don’t even know the patient! What are we doing?

“We’re doing the surgery, Ann.” He said plainly, noticing an eavesdropping technician over her shoulder, holding the door for the bulk of the flock as they migrated into the adjacent E.R.. His gaze darted as it met Hickeys, but he was sure he’d sensed a healthy modicum of self-pity in those eyes before they had. Likely trying to justify why it was Hickey and not him — or at least one of their own, this supposed celebrities’ entourage — chosen to perform the surgery.

Because he was the best, he assured himself.

Not anymore, came his unconscious response.

His demon cackled heartily.

“What, were you up all night working on your book again?” Ann inquired as the room finished clearing out, successfully fishing him from the void once more.

“No. I just…. I can’t sleep at all anymore. I actually finished all three a couple weeks ago.”

“Edits and all?”

“Edits and all.”

“So… What is it?” She inquired rather tenderly. “I am so proud of you by the way, Sam… I mean, Doctor Hickey. Truly.”

Her eyes penetrated him thoroughly, leaving him somewhat dumbfounded. Proud? Who was she to care about him? He returned her direct gaze with one of his own, and their eyes began a waltz, chaperoned by dueling smiles. “Well, actually, that night… the night I’d finished, that’s when this all started. I finished typing in the final edits, clicked save, stretched back into my chair — the most relaxed I’d felt in months, honestly — and that’s when I saw it. A rat. A big, brown, bulbous-assed rat, scurrying across my kitchen floor, right in my peripheral vision.”

“Sounds like you need a woman’s touch around there.” She teased.

“I maintain a VERY clean home, thank you” He defended, quickly staving off the worst of his demanding flesh as he rubbed hurriedly at his thigh, hoping not to be noticed.

paranoia-melissa-dzierlatka

The demon was starting to win.

He had to get this going.

…But, what of Ann?

“I meant no offense, Doctor.”

“Never fear.” He assured her, feeling her draw away some. He picked up the pace of the story now, to try and win her back. “Anyway, I did a bit of quick research and found a simple solution: Steel wool. So, I bought a few cheap boxes up the block, scoured my home for any tiny passages, and shoved a ball or two of the stuff into all the spaces.”

“I don’t understand. So… What happened to you, exactly?”

“That’s just it… I’m not really sure.” He distractedly scratched at his belly,  “I woke up the next morning itchy, with a shard of steel sticking out of my thumb — so I figured it must’ve been the steel wool, right?”

“Sure.”

“Only this shard… was brown. And also… there were more.”

“More?”

“Yes. Many more… More buried in my palm. More stuck into my thighs, and my legs, and neck… and even certain… delicate areas. I mean, I did a bit of juggling at one point as I wandered about from room to room, stupid in hindsight, but this seemed… strange. Obviously. To say the least…”

“I’ll say, but…” She trailed off, noticing his balled hands held firm against his waist. “Wait, it’s happening right now, isn’t it?” Hickey didn’t answer, but his skittish countenance said all she needed to hear. She laced her fingers tenderly about his hands. “Sam, let me take a look…”

“No. It’s… it’s nothing. I’m fine. Let’s just head in and get this over with.”

“Sam Hickey,” she began, in a tone which mirrored that of his mothers when he was in trouble as a boy, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but you choose me… correction, you fought this celebrity douchebag tooth and nail to have one of your own in the room with you, and you made that person me… and you don’t trust me?” Verily, heartily, Ann was offended. “I trust you…”

Gazing into her thoughtful, deep emerald eyes Hickey felt an immense sense of guilt wash over him. He desperately wanted to relent, but the urge was reaching critical mass within him. Besides, this issue was no simple matter, not that she knew that, or even could know — and time was of the essence.  At once, he broke away and crossed the room, headed over toward the box of sterile blue gloves, saying simply over his shoulder for closure, “After surgery”.

The other side of the room fell cripplingly silent.

She hates me… He thought.

Well… What else is new?

Without looking back, Sam Hickey threw on his gloves, entered the OR, and left Ann behind in the prep room… as she silently began to weep.

In the room, everything was prepared. The patient was drugged, unconscious and entubated, and the impromptu staff had taken their proper places around the patient’s table. The head laparoscopic assisting technician was extending a scalpel in his direction, and Hickey could sense the sneer aimed at him even through the surgical mask.

Well no matter…

Let’s get this done with…

Time to begin.

Looking back over his shoulder, hoping that the soul vestige of his team would soon be at his side, Hickey saw the shadow of Ann grow through the dense and waved glass. Slowly it moved toward the OR door, placing a tentative a hand on it’s flat face, before hesitating, and then slowly retreating back away from it… eventually leaving the prep room entirely to head back out toward the hall. He sighed, and, after a long beat of hesitation, reluctantly accepted the scalpel… just as the sole of his right foot began to flare.

This surgery was going to be a test of will he wasn’t sure he’d pass…

His foot, engulfed in flame, beckoned him…

The demon was growing inpatient.

In his distraction, he never noticed the patient sit up, nor plunge the needle into his neck.

Before he could react, the group of strangers leapt at him, arresting his limbs.

He suddenly grew tired…

His demon assuaged…

Then… Reality grew dark.

Hickey slumped to the floor.

Businessman laying down on white background

The next thing he knew, Hickey was strapped to a massive, upright rotary sander, the pad wildly spinning, wobbling off axis, and making him vomitous. Across from him, on a belt sander, stood Ann, chucking scalpels at him underhand in a windmill softball fashion and missing repeatedly by mere millimeters. Then the queer, detached, markedly unenthused voice of a Man neatly broke his stupor, saying levelly, “Sam? Sam are you there? Wake up, my friend. there is much to discuss.”

Hickey’s eyes cracked open in a flash, his illusion neatly rippling into reality while fear slowly washed over him — as he soon realized that he recognized nothing of his surroundings. He sat limp, exhausted, and cotton-mouthed on an ultra modern, cloyingly adorned, white chaise lounge, amidst an expensive, well furnished, wood finished office, and just before an impossibly wide, somewhat garish, highly polished oak and birch trimmed desk. Behind the desk sat the man who he was scheduled to operate on, a man who had only gone only by the pseudonym, ‘Bojangles’.

“Oh, good. You’re awake.” spoke the mystery man from behind his small fortress. “How are you feeling?”

Groggily, he pushed himself up easy on the sofa, and then swung his legs off to the side to sit upright — and he couldn’t help but notice that his palms hadn’t stuck to the lounger as they sought comfort to lie in his lap. Turning over his palms confirmed his suspicion: there, at the end of his wrist, was bone, blood, dermis, epidermis, nails and knuckles and hair… but no steel. Not one single fiber... He shot a wary, frightened look across the room to the man behind the imposingly wide desk.

“We’ve given you a drug that can stave off the metamorphosis, but only for a little while. You’ll likely need more soon.”

“metamorphosis?” Said Hickey weakly, with a voice around three pitches below the one he was accustom to.

“Yes. Congratulations, Sam Hickey. You’re evolving. And, very likely — if you’re anything like the others — dying. Rather painfully, I’d imagine. I’m so sorry.”

Hickey’s brow knotted.

Dying…?

Evolving…?

Others…!?

Hickey was at a loss. What was he to make of all this? Could he trust this man? This imposter, who’d drugged him, and kidnapped him, and brought him… here. Wherever the hell here was.

His lip twitched…

No. He had to get away. Surely his life was in danger. He shot a glance behind him, discovering the door, and sprang to his feet to dash toward it, quickly finding the floor — which was a surprising outcome…

Speaking relaxed and unhurried from behind him, the man said, “Try again in about ten minutes, the drug is an intense muscle relaxer. You’ll only hurt yourself otherwise.”

Though he couldn’t move to look, Hickey heard the voice of the man grow, and visualized his approach from behind the desk. Soon there was an easy hand snaking its way under his shoulders, which then helped him back up and into the comfort of the Chaise lounge. The man dragged a simple steel folding chair over from the corner of the room, and set it up to sit next to Hickey now.

“Here’s the deal,” Began Bojangles, an older, silver-eyed, bald-headed man, with liver spots and tired sunk-down eyes, wearing a sad, simple smile, “You can never go back to the world.”

Hickey’s eyes went wide, quavering.

“Now you’re a doctor, so I’m going to explain this under the assumption that you know the terms I’m about to use. Have you any questions, let me know at the end, and I will answer them with complete candor. I want you to know, that I am on your side. Alright?”

Hickey eased some, and nodded — knowing that without motor function, he didn’t have much other choice.

At least my mystery has a solution, he thought, …or at least an explanation.

“Very well.” Began Mr.Bojangles, before pausing to clear his throat from what sounded like a golf ball-sized lump of phlegm — which Hickey then involuntarily visualized kicking clear out of his mouth to land a Hole-In-One out the window, which didn’t exist, on a golf course he didn’t know was there.

It had awakened…

The demon yet lived…

It was merely coping with the soporific drug’s effects, itself…

Reaper_155

Bojangles continued, wholly ignorant to his own death and rebirth that had just transpired in the last second, “Lamarckism is true, and it stacks with Epigenetics. Your father, Ron, was a very hard worker, indeed… as was your mother, Diane. As a matter of fact, we followed your genealogy back to the middle ages, and found mostly scholars along the way. Long story short, you’ve tripped an evolutionary trigger. Something you did recently, I’d say about a week ago, maybe more, filled your RNA to capacity. The reaction you’re experiencing is your body’s response to a need for more storage space. An updating of the brain, as it were, which seems to uniformly take place in its oldest region: the Medulla Oblongata.”

Hickey just stared in awe, rapt at attention.

Feeling it was OK to proceed, Bojangles forged on ahead. “Psychologically speaking, who you are is not a single entity. You are the manifestation of three — well, mostly three — distinct personalities: each arising in the major regions of the brain. This happens in any sufficiently interconnected system, given enough time and exposure to the world; consciousness forms. Here is where the problem arises. Feeling itself falling into a death spiral… The brain stem has begun fighting back. The effects can normally be felt as psychotic hallucinations, paranoia, withdrawal from society, and extreme discomfort. Without fail, these symptoms will continue to get worse, and worse, until one day you will snap… and likely go on a killing spree. This is why we must remove you from society.”

Hickey blinked… Then blinked again. Nodding then, ever so slightly, for the man to continue.

“Right.”

Here, Bojangles took a deep breath. To Hickey, he seemed redolent to dive into this next bit. He steeled his mind as best he could to accept what was to come…

Bojangles went on, holding out his fist, “Here’s the deal.” slowly, he upturned his palm and opened his fingers in turn to reveal a tiny purple pill in his hand. “This is the medication we gave to you. It has the power to stop the changes. But there’s a catch. Ultimately, it’ll be your decision whether or not to take it.”

Summoning the whole of his lungs volume to formulate his words, Hickey took the bait, “What’s the catch?”.

“The medication will insure your sanity, granting you the ability to exist without all the pain and mental torture you’ve endured as of late. However, the way it does this is by attacking the culprit at the source… it will erode your Brain stem.”

“Meaning my heart…” Hickey ran short of breath.

“Will eventually stop, yes. And you will perish…. Years from now, though. Probably twenty, maybe more… I don’t know. It’s different for everyone.” He paused here, letting the last bit catch up fully, before moving on. “Moreover, and if I’ve extrapolated properly from your case file, the bit you’ll find most pertinent… because the drug is engineered to pass the blood brain barrier, the other regions of your brain will be subject to the same fate. Basically, your brain will deteriorate. You’ll be alive, yes, but you wont be yourself. We’ll take care of you, we’ll feed you, house you, clothe you, clean you — permit you endless entertainment — but what you must know before agreeing to taking this pill, is that you will cease being who you presently are. But, from what I can gather, this option is far preferable to the alternative; remaining who you are, yes, but being all the while trapped in your mind, as your reptile brain tries to take over, and you journey along the hellfire on a spiraling journey to certain madness…”

Again, all Hickey could do was blink. This was unacceptable. Inconceivable. How could he, or anyone for that matter, willingly give up their humanity just… to be alive. Some lump on a couch with a TV… All that had ever mattered to him was improving himself, and helping others — he’d never even invested the time in someone else to have a meaningful relationship — his brain had always taken precedence… and here he sat, numb, lost, and facing nothing but a choice to give all that up… Meanwhile, in this perspective, he still had so much living to do.

He’d left so much undone in his life…

Ann’s beautiful face flashed before his eyes…

A single tear rolled toward the tip of her attractive, aquiline nose…

His ire at the prospect gave him the strength to speak, “You said I had a choice. This… this is no choice. Nobody would take that offer.”

Bojangles looked to the floor, rubbing at the back of his head with his free hand, “Everyone has taken the offer. Give it time… The pain will return, and you’ll remember why it is that you’re here, speaking with me.”

And it was true. Even as the air passed his lips, a meager flare-up, no larger than a pimple, was forming at the base of Hickey’s skull. Already he could feel it grow. Had all the others actually chosen mental suicide, he wondered? It seemed rather hard to believe, being that these individuals, like him, had reached this end due to a generationally passed down passion for knowledge. Could he really take the comfort of death, over the pain of living?

His mind was made up.

He reached out for Bojangles, lithe, arthritic hand…

And closed the man’s delicate fingers back around the pill.

“I refuse” Said Hickey plainly. “I choose knowledge. I choose myself over some lifeless husk. Even if that means constant torture…”

Bojangles looked up from the floor, and searched throughout Hickey’s eyes for even the briefest glimmer of doubt –smiling broadly when he found that none existed.

“We’ll have to cut you off from the world — you know that don’t you? If you continue learning, you’ll only accelerate the process.”

“All I require is paper, and pen” Explained Hickey, “I will make it to the other side of this… if even that place exists.”

“There is no evidence to that fact…” Explained Bojangles, the hope in his eyes and inflection to his voice mismatched to the words implication.

“Regardless… I want you to observe me. I believe that, over time, being that I now know what it is that ails me, I can conquer this…” And, as he made the claim, almost as a test, a fresh hallucination was unfolding before his eyes — Bojangles made for a very uncomfortable trench-coat, as it turned out… however, Hickey moved on. “I will do my best to document my experience, and I hope, over time, you may come to trust me enough to permit me back into society.”

Now it was Bojangles who could only blink… And with the heavy crease at his eyes, it was nary unnoticeable. Eventually, he said “Very well. The choice is yours, after all.”. Suddenly light poured in from the now open portal behind them, and two imposing men carrying shackles came to stand behind them. “You’re a braver man than me, Sam Hickey. You may always change your mind…”

“I’d like that option to be taken off the table.” Said, Hickey, cutting him off. “Who knows what I’ll say under duress?”

Bojangles looked him over, saying eventually, “Fine. That’s fine. Of course you’d say that. It’s not protocol, but… I’ll make certain that it’s so.” The both of them stood, and embraced, like old friends, before the security detail began to gently bind Hickey’s limbs.

“And… Sam?”

“Yeah?”

“Good luck.”

“Thanks” he said, while being escorted out the door. Adding, beyond Bojangles sight, while walking down the hall and toward a padded cell. “It’ll never win you friends — but somebody’s always got to be the first, before anything can ever move forward.”

Bojangles wished for something to say, something that may carry this brave man through the harrowing years that were sure to come, but failed before the sheer intimidation of what this all represented. Instead, here merely fell to his hands and knees, knowing this to be all too true.

"Thank you..."

He whispered, “Thank you”, just before hearing the bolt of Sam’s cell drive home.

“Thank you…”

“Good luck…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for your time, everyone.

Hope you enjoyed the read.

Opinions are relished.

Have a great day.

~J

Salutations, superb supercilious simians!

How’s it hanging? Short shriveled and always to the left?

(I know, I know — a monkey throwback joke AND a “Liar, Liar” reference — 2 jokes in the first 10 words..! There, there *hugs you into my bountiful bosom* I know. It’s going to be all right. I know. Welcome home…)

I had been reading a wonderfully thorough, thoughtful, and honest account of a scientists changed perspective, surrounding whats happening to the brain while on psychedelic drugs, over on Reddit recently… hang on, lemme find the link… — HERE — and it really got me to thinking about all the unique compositions that our brains must take, enabling us to perform certain complex tasks. That line of thinking led me down yet another rabbit hole, circumscribing a series of questions surrounding one central idea, I.E.: what exotic and unique combinations of neuronal activity have we, as a species, yet to stumble upon… and what might these altered states allow us to do. Think of functional autism… Know how some days you’re the man? While others may find you boulder shouldered with a clipped tongue? What if you had a choice? The ability to shift gears, as it were — at will.

What else may you gain control over..?

Taking all this to its logical end, (and if you’re following my insanity at all up to this point, you deserve a gold star), I began my daily writing… and worked my way backwards from there…. I sure hope you enjoy.

~J

“The Day her life began”

Time retreated back to the unknown depths from whence it came.

The very fabric of the universe was undone.

God had been slain…

“BLAM”

"..."

“…”

The barrel rolled. The tension released. The hammer flew. Somewhere nearby, a universe sprang into existence which would support a host of tinkerers, gunsmiths, and engineers of myriad persuasions.

Slowly, with holy reverence, she lifted the pistol which now lay by her side, and greeted the frigid barrel with rattly, unsure teeth. Her tongue, acting of its own accord, probed the metallic stranger before reeling back frightened — arched as a hissing cat back in the furthermost recesses of the uncannily parched cavity. Tentatively she squeezed at the trigger, observing, with silent admiration, the hammers smooth and precising draw: a simple, momentary, accidental homage to the beauty of design.

No, this she couldn’t handle. This was the domain of wiser people, not her: some drug-addict waste of a life. She knew what had to be done…

There was no other choice. She’d never even wanted a child, (even when it easily could’ve changed her life with any one of over a dozen men…), the responsibility, she knew, would simply be more than her fragile psyche could support. The very thought of it paralyzed her — let alone pondering the mothering of full fresh galaxies, worlds, and people… Even now new forms of life, from the accidental warblings of her imaginative mind, sprang up all around her as her thoughts raced — neatly bifurcating into both matter and antimatter before disappearing into the thin ether all around, phasing down into their proper dimensions; the only stable places where they could grow, evolve, and prosper. Somehow, intrinsically, she knew all this.

……. I AM GOD!

It had all begun innocuously enough. Another night fleeing in desperate fear from her potential — she had come to terms with this cold reality some time ago, a brief silver lining to her staunch and stubborn nature, which otherwise had only served to deliver her precisely where was — chasing the bottom of an aged oak stock, paired with much smoke, and, the real culprit she’d now realized, the psychedelic mushrooms… Without that particular happenstance catalyst, she peevishly postulated, the seed of that thought would never have taken root in her. Sulking now, she wished she’d attributed, like all the others, that feeling of, “oneness with everything” to lend undeniable credence toward the thought of an all-encompassing God. But, no. Evidently her troublesome mind, and its own meddling realization here, was destined to grasp a truth so potentially devastating in its scope, that it threatened to destroy everything and everyone

Realizations, echoed on hollowed, tinny voices from ever-changing corners of her skull, began relaying a rapid fire series of truths directly into her psychological matrix. “The mind cannot exist in a state that the machinery itself cannot manifest, or support.”, They began. “Thus, every human experience hinges on all the exotic, common, and influenced ways that the brains neurons fire. It follows than, that reality starts between your ears, and extends to a world made up of nearly nothing. So why, if the potential exists, could not ones own thoughts manifest into the physical?”

So now, drawing on her studies of satellite imagery and maps of late, Melissa exploded upward on a rocket, quickly traversing the rotted roof over the abandoned squat, effortlessly accepting the house, block, town, and, before long, the entirety of New York state into her very being, just as soon as these things came into view. States seamlessly became Countries. Countries rapidly swelled to Continents. Continents yielded to the oceans, and jutted up once more upon the opposing shores. Before long, the entirety of the planet itself was in her game. She lived in it for a time, patiently breathing and letting her soul expand to fill the void. Finally now, as the full soul of the planet, she conceived a beam of energy, originating from the earths molten core, flowing outward as an explosive band — outward in every direction, out into the furthest regions of space… pulsating… feeling… expanding far beyond distances her human mind could ever hope to grasp… until, of its own accord, the feeling eased to a stop, draining her mind completely. Then, after an indeterminate amount of time had passed, one whispering thought, peeking its head into the whitewashed room of her mind and then passing the threshold with its head held high, tiptoed graciously, comfortably, across her state of zen: “If the theory she’d designed, in lieu of the divine line of reasoning, were true, and she could think her way into the proper mindset while sober, the true configuration of the universal fabric would become her reality”. Surely there would be answers there to glean.

Breathing solely through her nostrils, attention focused only on her breath, Melissa attempted to embrace the air flowing across her exposed flesh. She languished over the sensation, imposed only at first, that her skin had begun to radiate at its edge — blending with the world around her in the strange, love imbued way she could still vaguely recall from the night only just passed. Suddenly, somehow, she felt she’d accepted the surprisingly plush, tattered and stained red terry-cloth carpet as part of her expanding aura. She accepted its blemishes, they became endearing. She accepted its limitations, and became its friend. Imagining that each and every fiber, each and every strand, had now become an extension of her own body, made it so. Then, moving on, she perceived the tangible breeze licking heavily over her corporeal form, and the wind too became part of her energy, its trajectory acknowledged and absorbed by her creeping, steadfast awareness. It danced through limber, forest-like woolen passages below, darting to and fro, and tickling freshly raw and delicate nerves by the million. Before long, she found she was both aware of every distinct object in the room, and also, without a glimmer of doubt, certain that they were also an intractable part of herself.

She sat down, neatly crossed her legs, upturned her palms, and began to make her best attempt at meditation.

Melissa’s eyes cracked open, panic-stricken in her post sleep drug induced hypnagogic haze, deeply frightened, and ailed by amnesia as to where she was. Quickly scanning the dilapidated room, she soon identified the three lifeless bodies slung over the random bug infested, water-rot, furniture they’d together dragged into the squat from the curb the night before — fellow junkies, people she was calling, “friends” these days. Her heart went back to base from snare, and, as the vice subsided, the memory of the night before flooded back in full. Immediately she knew, the feeling had remained after all. Today was surely the day she’d have the strength to face the one thing that frightened her most — her own mind. Finally she could begin fresh. At last she’d stare down her demons, one-by-one, determine their vulnerabilities, and strike without mercy. This time, without fail, she would move on. This time she could get to the core of it all, her own subconscious, and finally address the fear. Whatever it was, fortified in the back of her mind, it couldn’t hurt her anymore. No, not today. Today, she would live — really live! — believing in her own potential to be great, and ability to achieve whatever she truly desired from life. By the time she got up, her life would truly begin…

Don’t you just love a good rule?

I know I do, and I know you do too — don’t play coy. They’re just so darn comforting, is what they are. The more the merrier, that’s what I always say. Otherwise, I mean, how else would we know how to behave — am I right? For, without rules, why wouldn’t we all just be purse snatchers, pickpockets, thieves, card sharks, or, better yet, politicians?

What a world that would be…

Yep, without a doubt, there sure is nothing like a nice, tidy little set of parameters to let us all know when we’re well within the guidelines of society. Nothing quite so comforting as an automatic feedback function to jerk our choke-chains and let us know when we are acting as we should, and when we’ve simply stepped over a line. Indeed, nothing is better for a budding society than a voluminous set of thorough, intertwined, and rigorous rules.

Wait a minute — what am I saying !?

I loathe rules! Nothing more efficiently stifles experimentation, or novel thinking — they’re pretty much the worst thing conceivable for society. Shackling guidelines, put in place by those who came before us, with the expressed purpose of making people do whatever seemingly made sense at the time, but was likely only sensible at the precise second of their origin — and, OK, maybe fifteen minutes or so after that?

No, thank you!

Rules, by nature, establish the status quo. They seek balance, normalcy, and comfort… but since when have any of those things actually been good for us? With respect to our progress — the only true goal of any society, other than survival — every innovation we’ve ever spearheaded has come about, to one extent or another, by being the exact OPPOSITE of these things, I.E: unbalanced, a little odd, and certainly well outside of our comfort zones. Do you suppose the first man who proposed going to the moon thought it would be tantamount to a Honeymooners marathon spent on the sofa?

He really did it. Wow...

Doubtful…

But I get it. I do. Particularly in the professional world, there’s more than a mote of logic surrounding the idea of detailing proper behavioral practices. After all, with the ever-present ‘lawsuit’ looming overhead, one would be wise to take pains and properly insulate oneself from the stupidity of those who merely operate around you — which can be as vast as the ocean is wide… That, at least to me, is somewhat practical.

However, notwithstanding, and that being said, why than would we, any of us, wish to actively impose extra rules onto one another, especially when outside of the professional realm? Why on earth would we ever seek to add additional restriction to our lives? Aren’t there enough guidelines imposed upon us which we have little to no say in, without imposing more upon ourselves? Guidelines that we expect our friends, loved ones — and complete strangers alike — to adhere to, despite their lack of utility, semblance of sensibility, or even the slightest ease of comprehension?

I am, of course, referring to Taboo.

Click this image for a better look. I might still suck at Photoshop, but I've compiled a set of at least 15 taboo's here in this picture. Can you find them all?

Taboo just is…

…and that might just be what irks me the most about it. Rules should serve a purpose and, when that purpose is exhausted, then be eliminated. I, admittedly, have logical issues. And by that I mean, if I can’t make logical sense of a rule, and nobody can aptly explain that rule to me, I will, and have, take(n) issue with it, and will proceed to go out of my way in order to break it.

It’s my nature.

Be the change you want to see in the world, and all that…

I want to see a world full of people who think for themselves. I want to see individuals do what makes sense to them, not some senseless stigma — and if that entails wearing white shoes after Labor Day to match an outfit, (despite the fact that that snob, Becky Sievermore, from the local community watch-group will attempt to oust you from the next local chapter meeting), well, by-golly-gee, I want to see you confident in doing that! To hell what others think about you — you do what makes sense, and if that loses you friends, well, than, why in the heck would you want to associate with those people anyhow?

Don’t follow, simply for comfort.

Comfort has never achieved a thing!

I invite you, here, today, now — be uncomfortable!

Break free from the status quo, and begin traveling new and exciting roads!

Isn’t it high time for a change, people? Aren’t we all ready to usher in a new world? A world where ‘Common Sense’ is just a trifle more common? I mean, for the love of all that is cheese, how can extra rules possibly help with that? I guess that’s my real grudge with rules, standards, expectations, and Taboo’s alike, their execution accomplishes the exact opposite of their intention.

Seriously!

Think about it…

The intention of a rule is to ensure that people behave in a civil manner. OK, I can dig it. The problem isn’t in that, the problem arises when we have acclimated SO MANY RULES that people cease to THINK about WHY the rules exist in the first place. What this inadvertently creates is a society of people who are living up to expectation, rather than thinking for themselves. These type of people are, by nature, followers, and will find it nary impossible to do anything the least bit satisfying with their lives. This, often times, can lead to depression, personality disorder, and overall mental discord.

My friends, all that made us human arises from thought, and when we sacrifice thought, or even expression — on any level — to some nameless, faceless, and, potentially, unjust system of caste based rules, we forfeit everything that might move us ahead.

Why would we ever want to do that?

Instead, as currently unrealistic of an ideal it is, I would like to see a world with no rules what-so-ever. Yea, that’s right. Sure, it might be messy at first, but when people hold others accountable for their faults, and the whole of our society begins to think about how others feel, work, live, and even dream, then, and only then, will we truly know the face of humanity, and, for the first time in history, be able to know what to do, collectively, in order to improve.

So, in conclusion, and contrary, I’m sure, to everything you’ve just read, I do believe in taboo — yet, only the one — the one and only thing that should be taboo is, in my opinion, the ultimate Taboo itself — Taboo.

~J

Aw crap — that did it…
LOOK OUT EVERYONE,
The Grammar Nazis are coming!

Not to worry, good reader, it’s all going to be OK — I’ve got a plan!

Just hurry up, grab the women, and come with me!

There should be a trap door here someplace…

GOT IT!

*Click*

Now hurry up and get in!

*Slam*

Phew…

You can breathe easy, friend, we’re good now. This is my old WWII Nuclear Bunker. She ain’t pretty, but we’ll be safe here. We’ve got enough supplies on those shelves to last us months — maybe even years. Ladies, grab us a couple of Schlitz, would you? Yep, not even those bastard Nazis would be stubborn enough to wait here that long. Oh, and don’t worry about them breaking down the door either. That thing we just shut behind us is eight inches of solid steel. I reinforced the floor too. They don’t stand a chance…

What do you mean, who are they?

You’ve never heard of the, “Grammar Nazis”?

Have you ever even been on the internet?

No, they’re not exclusive to the net — they’re right outside the door, you dullard. They’re Grammar Nazis! They’re the secret police force of language, working either for, or in league with the dastardly Webster cooperation, and they’re on a clandestine mission for a unilateral totalitarian regime-like standard for talking, writing, and, soon, overall expression.

Somebody call me?

See, language is smooshed, shortened, squeezed, tightened, altered, cramped, clipped, cut, “lol’d”, and “haha’d” more and more, each and every day — and the Nazi’s can’t stand this…

They prefer to work under the stringent principles of their sacred symbol, the four spoked, red and white, “W” (believing that the rest of us should fall in line as well), which states that they will simply not accept anything but perfection — and all the WTF’s, LOL’s, HAHA’s, OMG’s and ZOMG’s of this modern-day just won’t fit into their narrow, Webster defined, Aryan-like list of acceptable words. Never mind that these particular terms are acronyms, allowing for faster points to be made, (saving us all some valuable time in a minute-by-minute world), these sycophants toward Webster simply do not care. A word is only a word, when it’s a word written in one of their holy books.

But, hell, I say words should be words when they properly convey a thought — AmIrite?

The way I look at it, language shouldn’t be held to such rigorous standards.

*Pound, pound, pound*

“Nein. Speak properly — we can hear you in there!”

“Quiet out there, Krauss! This is between us men.”

Nein, nein, nein, nein, nein, nein, nein!”

*Pound, pound, pound*

“Not to worry, they’ll get tuckered out soon enough…”

See, friend, in its essence, language is just a place-keeper tool, used in lieu of mind reading. Seriously, no joke — look it up! Take a look into the Shannon Weaver model of language, which is the linguistic basis for all communication, and you’ll see just what I’m talking about. Basically, when a person wishes to share a thought, it first has to formulate somewhere, right? Namely, their head — and then you need someone else to share with (otherwise it’s just thinking). If the thought is complex, and hard to describe with non verbal cues alone, well than we have to encode our thoughts into words, and then speak them through a medium — in the case of speech, air — which it then travels through to reach your ear, and you can interpret it in any way you see fit.

Now, if I could read your mind, none of this would be necessary.

Yes, I'm bald under the hat. Is that ALL you ever think about?

But I can’t, and likely won’t be able to for a long while.

(Not until the singularity, at least)

So, in the mean time, I’m left to communicate crudely, pruning bits of my original thoughts to suffice ever-dwindling attention spans and time budgets…

HEY — pay attention!

I know they’re cute, but there’s no rush, we’ll be down here for weeks… plenty of time to charm them over.

However… Ladies? Could you tie up the robes? It’s distracting. Thanks! (Love ya!)

Now where was I?

Right!

IMHO, language is inefficient enough while spoken, and, when we talk, we’ve got emotion, inflection, pacing, gesticulation, eye contact, and body language backing us up. Also, because of all these things, all these cues we’re reading into, we get a general idea of the listener’s attention, which, then in turn, helps us to adjust accordingly to entertain (and, thus, know that we’re being heard — we’ve always got an ear while we’re entertaining).

Chappelle, please come back -- We miss you...

When we write though — which is just the same as speech in terms of communication, save for the changing of the medium; from air, to paper or computer screens — the inefficiencies of language are really highlighted, and to an extreme. That’s because, while writing, we don’t have the crutches of audible pacing or inflection to help place emphasis on our words, we’re left to use only the Nazis goosestepping mantras — the finite words and ways found in their dictatorial dictionary’s, and proper grammar propaganda texts — to convey our thoughts.

But they’re our thoughts!

And , I don’t know about you, (I mean, you look like a nice fellow — just not very bright…), but my thoughts are often wild, eccentric, interconnected to many things, and, because of all this, wholly difficult to express in this stiflingly rigid way. Being stuck crafting true communication with words which must interlock in a specific way, like Lego blocks, can sometimes hinder full elucidation. I mean, who really cares if I follow “proper sentence structure” (or use of quotes), just so long as you understand me, right?

Now, don’t get me wrong good buddy… Oop — Hang on.

Ladies, another brewski por-favor.

Better make it two.

Grassy ass.

Ahhh, that’s better… Anyway, I’m not saying that we should all just make up words, all willy-nilly like — nobody would understand us — but I am saying that there’s nothing wrong with a little tweak here and there. After all, that’s how language was devised in the first place. Playing around. Otherwise, I mean, what? We’re just done? So, that’s it? We did it? *Language complete*?

No! No effing way.

Language is alive. It’s living. It’s breathing. It has a heartbeat to match the times and trials it goes through, just like we do — or at least it should — and when jerks, like the ones outside this door, try to arrest the language, the only thing really getting locked away is true communication, ya dig?

This is why I’m saying that, “Irregardless” is, most certainly, a word.

Nazis, Kitty. "Take that Nazis"... Sorry, he's drunk -- again...

I mean, sure, we’ve already got “Regardless”. But, as a word, doesn’t that sound a bit clipped to you? Curt, even? Go ahead, try saying “Regardless” without sounding like a prick. Narry impossible, I tell ya! But, “Irregardless”… now that’s sexy. It’s not quite as sharp either. It’s almost like it’s laughing at itself in its own usage.

If “Regardless” were a warden dismissing evidence at a parole hearing, thus denying an early release, “Irregardless” would be a wild haired and wizened Scientist, mucking up a great point with a bit of unessential information and a tangent off topic, and thus, a wave of his hand and a muttering of the word can get him back to his point.

Why can’t there be room for both?

Now, again, if we could read minds, than none of this would matter. But we can’t. And, since spoken language has the monopoly on inflection and timbre, I say that the written word should be a little looser. Give us scribes a touch more elbow room to show you just what we mean — and how we mean to say it.

Ya feel me?!

Speaking of which, did you know that there used to be such a thing as an, “Interrobang“, which was a mixture of a question mark and an exclamation point (just like what I had to use two symbols to accomplish in the previous sentence) yep, you guessed it — killed by the Nazis.

As a matter of fact there was once this crazy guy, named, Hervé Bazin, who’d extended the idea of an, “Irony mark”, first proposed by the late 19th century french poet, Alcanter de Brahm, into a series of other punctuations, including; an authority point, a certitude point, a doubt point, indignation, love — and many more.

Wanna guess what happened to him?

Danm Nazis…

Look, as we move along, and evolve as a culture — we naturally gain knowledge. With knowledge, naturally comes preference. And, with preference, reason. Naturally. Thus, ample deliberation becomes a necessity to the newer, preference ridden, thought processes of the world — as, there is simply more to say. And, aside from just talking, there is much more going on — words trigger emotions.

Whether it’s “Irregardless” you’d want to use, to soften up the sound of your meaning, or “Spoked” (which appeared at the top of this page — got ya!) to describe something with spokes, or “Disinscent” to describe something with a removed incentive, or LOL to say that you’re laughing out loud, I say — SCREW THE NAZIS, and SCREW WEBSTER, you communicate however you’d like!

*Pound, Pound, Pound*

“We’ve come back!”

“We don’t care”

“We a have a plasma cutter”

(Oh crap)

“We heard what you were saying about us.”

“Oh yea, what do you think, Sauerkraut?”

“I think I can’t wait until I get home, to tell my wife all about how I squoze your scrawny, little, stupid neck”

“Bad news for you then, buddy”

“what”

“Squoze isn’t a word”

*Bang!, bang!, bang!*

“Guess we won’t have to worry about ole’ Krauss anymore…”

*Fluouoshhhh!!!*

“But it sound’s like his cronies are still lighting that torch, crap… Looks like we’re in for a shootout, friend.”

“Ladies, take cover. Friend, take this gun — YKWTD

~J

 

~ WARNING ~
Please Be Advised…
Just Ahead
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

(And don’t say I didn’t warn you…)

~~

Ahem…

Who is in charge of your life?

By: Jared B. DiCroce

~

Who is in charge of your life?

Is it you? Is it your wife?

Or is it your job, and your unending strife?

How about your kids? Or your Mom, or your Dad?

Or how about your past, and the loves which you’d had?

Or — is it you…?

But, then again, who’s that?

A husband, a lover, or an aimless gnat?

Are you truly in charge, as you so claim to be?

Or a merely the product of what’s built up to thee?

Is there any true choice in the world today?

Do we decide at all? Or, to say it succinct.

Are we truly distinct?

Or is it all just instinct?

~~

🙂

Now you know I love you, beautiful readers of mine, I’ve written you a poem!

I arf a poet!

(I warned you…)

I am not a poet — for a reference to this fact, please see above — but my own instincts advised me on how to approach today’s topic, and their conclusion was to begin somewhat whimsically. To charm you a bit, as it were. For I understand, full well, that ideas are born and live on nerves, and are thus quite sensitive to prodding.

So tell me, my people… are you sufficiently buttered up?

Excellent!

See, we’d all like to think that WE are the ones in control of our lives. Not the circumscribing forces around us, (though, admittedly, they might be factors in and of themselves), but US! We’d like to believe that WE are the ones that have the final say, when it all comes time to print, at the close of the business day.

(and there I go rhyming again…)

Now, and don’t get me wrong, I fully empathize with the fact that this is a general notion which we ALL intrinsically carry about ourselves. It’s the idea of who we are. It’s the idea that we are the ones who decide how we act in our own lives. Which is precisely why I knew to approach this gently… It is a delicate notion to attempt to disrupt, and one I carry too. For if we aren’t the ones in charge, than who is — and why even bother going on?

To a certain extent, it’s true; we do decide how we behave…

…when presented with all the facts.

However, the full truth is that, by and large, we are ruled mostly by instinct.

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. ~ Siddhartha Buddha

It’s true. Logically we can all be very smart people.

Instinctually we can be idiots…

But how do we fight this? If we’re talking about corruption from within, from our very own makeup, than what are our options?

A lobotomy?!

Dur....

If it’s who we are that we must be wary of, or some part of our basic makeup, than how can we possibly hope to change that? Wouldn’t any solution we derive be tainted by this same force? What can we possibly do bout all this?

It’s simple.

Know thine enemy.

Know your instincts!

~   ~   ~

So, and without further ado, let’s begin, shall we?

Fight or flight

I can take him, he ain't so ruff!

Under the auspices of Mother Nature, survival was a tough and deadly game…

… And throughout the duration of our long evolution (save for this last millisecond or so), we’ve been beneath the oppressive, weighty backside of this antagonistic wench. So, being that this is where we’ve spent most of our ‘growing up’ as a species, our brain naturally adapted to help us endure the strife.

We developed the infamous, “Fight or Flight” instinct: a hasty assessment of a hostile situation, leading to a severe lateral shift in mind-state to facilitate whichever determined end was, well… determined.

If Fight — “Put up yer dukes, little girl. I dare say it’s time to settle this with pugilistic fisticuffs”.

If Flight — “OMGTTGTFOOH” (Hover mouse for translation).

As options go, these two would be very well suited to any scenario presented within the documentary, “The Land Before Time” (that WAS a documentary, right?), as survival in the wilds of a prehistoric world would lean heavily on this logically ingratiated instinct.

However, in today’s world, neither is well suited to our growing human interconnectedness, or genial relations.

These mindstates are primal; ruled by fear, absent of logic, and a huge hindrance toward efficient resolution (Note: when your life is not in danger). Unfortunately their utility is not relevant to their presence — they are here either way and can be triggered in nearly ANY circumstance — which has led to more broken beer bottles and bar fights than history has pages to write about them.

However, by merely being aware of this perception shift, we are then capable of combating it.

Take a deep breath when that adrenalin shoots up your spine.

Remember that you are not a slave to your instincts.

Watch out for Fight or flight, my good people.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis is a process which exists all throughout the natural world, and always seeks a state of equilibrium.

Let’s say that you’re a Frog (Ribbit…), who’s living in a pond. Well than, for you, the law of Homeostasis would represent the delicate interplay between you (Sir Frogiccus maximus), your food source (The Fly’s at the pond which you eat), and the predators around that eat you (The Birds).

The Birds help to ensure that not to many of you Frogs survive, only the fittest — which makes your species strong. This, in turn, ensures that there are plenty of Fly’s to eat, as there are less of your kind around to exhaust your food source. And this, in turn, in turn, ensures that there are enough Fly’s left around to continue mating — which feeds you, which feeds the birds, and which keeps the whole cycle moving.

This is the equilibrium, this is the balance

There is a consequence to this physical, natural process though, one not often considered in daily life…

For a species living in nature, like the frog, this balancing act works quite well.

By maintaining the status quo, the Frog survives. By surviving, the Frog endures long enough to pass on its DNA. By passing on its DNA, the Frog continues to extend the longevity of it’s very species… and on and on it goes.

And, thusly, Sit down, you’re rocking the boat, became the theme song to all of nature.

The trouble is, us Humans too are a part of nature… The trouble is, the instinct which formed around homeostasis — the instinct to not rock the boat, to not change the status quo, to not try anything new for fear of destroying our very species — maintains… The trouble is, there is actually an instinctual mechanism working within us now to promote, “balance”, which also, inadvertently, works against change.

See, the brain has no concept of what you’re doing with your time — all it knows is that you’re alive, and so something must be working… you must be doing something right. The habits that you’ve forged throughout your life bring comfort to the sodden organ for this reason, as they mimic homeostasis within your environment. However, (and this is the tricky bit), any deviation from these habits, habits which you might very well know to be destructive within your life, represent a threat to homeostasis within the mind, and, also, to it in turn, the very endurance of the human race — and when presented with this threat, the brain FREAKS OUT.

Don't mess with me, body!

The instinct to maintain homeostasis is not as vital as it once was — we’re at the top of the food chain. There are no, “birds” around to make sure that we spend our time wisely. If a bear could burst through your door at any moment and eat you, you might think twice about spending hours in front of the TV, watching a “Matlock” marathon, and falling asleep on the couch — as, you would wind up bear floss.

Though the instinct to seek Homeostasis maintains…

This is why it is so hard to try something new.

This is why it’s so hard to break a bad habit.

This is why when we throw money at the homeless, they will spend it as fast as possible and get back on the street — they have homeostasis there, amazingly it’s become their comfort zone.

This is why being aware of the mechanism of homeostasis is so vital…

Once we are aware that this will happen — that we will likely, “Freak out” when trying something new, when forging a new habit, or when changing our very lives — than we can simply wait it out.

Knowledge is power!

Simply expect it to happen, (and it will), and then, immediately, it becomes easier to overcome. Merely make a logical plan, stick to it — do the work for a number of months while enduring the discomfort — and when the brain begins to get accustom to that new state of being, everything will then become copacetic!

The rest…

… and there are plenty more — so many, many bad instincts left behind from nature — but really, (Hopefully), the two above sufficiently whet your palate and got you thinking, and I can skim over the rest of these.

I had planned on going into further detail, but this post is running long, I now see that the two above seem to dictate the rest, and I have a life to live,

So…

…here we go!

Compartmentalized thinking

Thanks to Homeostasis, there’s comfort in the known. There’s comfort in categories. We feel better when we feel like we can understand something simply. We ask, “what’s your age?”, “where did you go to college?”, “who do you know?” — as if any of this could tell us more about an individual than a simple, honest, and in the moment conversation.

This compartmentalization is based in instinct — and today, more often than not, it blinds us from the truth.

Compartmentalized thinking also keeps us snugged up to the itchy trigger-finger which is the, “fight or flight” primitive mindset. When we have such neat and tidy ideas of what to expect, which are, lets face it, wholly unrealistic within a society of creative and free thinking individuals, we set ourselves up for a shock, which can trigger ‘fight or flight’, when a category’s limiting boundary is crossed.

Thus… just be aware that we have a tendency to categorize people and things — that we have a tendency to judge a book by its cover — and once you are, don’t!

Be aware of why you want to compartmentalize, ignore it, which will effectively negate it, and suddenly you’ll find you’re free to see things in all their natural and unique beauty.

Newly discovered limbless amphibian species -- Beautiful

Mob Mentality

I would venture to say that, “Mob mentality” is easily the most widely known ‘Bad’ instinct, (again, an offshoot of homeostasis), but still, amazingly, it endures as the most disregarded… I think people believe that they are not subject to it, that they are above it somehow.

They are not.

One needs only to reference the recent London riots to cite a source — of which there are millions.

Born of homeostasis, maintained through the “Fight” half, of Fight or Flight, this destructive behavior melds a group of individually intelligible individuals into a chocophonic mess — a single mindless entity.

My advice,

If everyone’s running to the right,

you might want to consider heading left…

(I’m just sayin’, It’s another dangerous instinct to be aware of…)

Reproduction

Men: Part of homeostasis is reproduction. You want to pork everything that moves right? Well that’s just homeostasis trying to ensure your species’ survival?

Be aware of why.

and then…

Stop that!

BAD!

Women: Your half of homeostasis cultured you to look for stability. You’re the child birthers/raisers and, instinctually, you want a safe nest to be provided for you by a man.

However, in modern times this can present a problem, particularly when things get rough for your man due to circumstances beyond his control — such as in tough economic times — as your instinct might press you to go look for another mate. But this is unfair to your partner, who will need you more than ever during this harrowing time…

Be logical,

empathize,

know your instinct and have the choice to reverse it!

~~

PHEW!

~~

In the end…

It’s rather obvious that we all have instincts in the mind — born of history and one-time necessity — which still work, and no longer suit us. This is why we must know what they are! We must know our roots. We must know where we have come from, in order to have any idea on where we’re going. Otherwise, as stated above, why bother going on at all?

If we’re nothing more than instinct, and we have no real choice to begin with, than what’s the point?

There wouldn’t be any, and that’s exactly why we must know.

That’s the reason to be aware of what makes us tick.

So that we can take a scant glance at the gears,

And decide if, possibly, things can turn better.

The only thing in life that we will ever have regret for learning, is nothing.

~J

We live in a curious time…

Complexity abounds. It’s all around us. For some, it’s within us. It’s certainly staring you in the face as you’re reading this, and, chances are, you don’t understand how it works.

Something to do with Ones and Zeroes…

Heck, I would argue that nobody on the face of the planet FULLY understands a computer anymore. Sure some can order parts on the internet and slap one together with relative ease, (hell, even I’m in that group), but who among men could go to a mountain, mine, refine, hone, craft, weld, assemble and create the thing from scratch?

Likely, not a-one of us.

Which seems like such a shame to me. Intriguingly knowing how each part of a system operates endows a person with an unparalleled perspective on how to improve it from within. But these days this all-encompassing comprehension simply isn’t possible — there’s just too much to know. Nobody has the free-time. Nobody has the money. Nobody has the memory…

And so, I can’t help but to wonder, isn’t it high-time we made a visit to the shop for an upgrade?

Homage to M.C. Escher

See, in general, and aside from computers, we live in a time of ever accelerated pacing and knowledge, (and, let me tell ya, that crazy train ain’t slowing down anytime soon), yet there are no more hours in the day than ever before for which to learn these concepts.  If anything, there are less; being that we’re tethered to the innumerous necessary daily distractions which allow us to function within this world at all, I.E. Cell-phones, Computers and the lot. Today, more than ever, we desperately need to comprehend an ever-growing volume of complexity, and yet, today, more than ever, who has the time but yet to skim?

It’s an interesting modern paradox…

We need to be fast, lean and agile to compete — yet also we need to sit still, study, and thoroughly learn what’s going on in order to compete. It would seem that the snowballing concepts of mankind have finally hit a critical mass of sorts within the mind, they’ve seemingly caught up with our potential, and now the memory, attention-span, and longevity limitations of the human mind are all being highlighted — and they’re coming up short.

Today, a lot of fingers get pointed around.

It’s Greece’s fault for what’s happening to the Euro. It’s the 1%’s fault for what’s happening in America. It’s China’s fault for permitting outsourced labor. It’s the cartel’s fault that Mexico can’t truly be free. It’s Monsanto’s fault for causing malnutrition within the masses. It’s yo mamma’s fault for being so damn fat! Sorry — don’t know how that one got in there (Still though, she can use to lose a few). But, seriously, whose fault is it really? Furthermore, does fault even matter?

How about we just find a solution?

That’s the grown-up thing to do, right? It’s just… it’s tough — being that all the involved factors can’t possibly be known to any one individual, let alone be understood by all the rest thereafter, in order to verify said solution… So in truth, in order to find a solution to the world’s ails, we first must find a way to hold all the intrinsic factors in mind at once — which is currently impossible with the brain alone. Thus, in order to even begin brainstorming for answers, we need to first find a workaround.

That’s the real issue at hand here.

Easier said than done, right? Well, not really…  There are at least three solutions which I can think of off the top of my head, and, being of the creative sort (much like you, good reader), likely many more still to be discovered. I’ve realized that the trouble lies not in conjuring solutions, rather, as I see it, the true trouble lies in getting people vested in pursuing these options. And so, here are but a few which we COULD (potentially) rally behind…

Solution #1: Enhance the mind

If the problem we face is an overwhelming amount of data, than a natural solution, from a strictly computational standpoint, would be to improve the hardware.

Sure, people tend to freak out about the thought of attaching circuitry to the mind in order to enhance its thoughts, but what new technology has not done precisely this? Think about it; “The Wheel”, the quintessential inaugural invention of mankind, was, in itself, an enhancement of the mind. It merely extended a thought, namely, “Ug want move faster”, into reality. Modern computers have merely continued this ancient legacy, as they perform myriad concurrent tasks, thousands of times faster than John Henry ever could have dreamed.

Sorry, buddy. They beat you in the end...

So why not just keep using computers?

We’ve been trying. But, like stated earlier, we’re reaching a breaking point. Computers are beginning to outpace us, and all the double-clicks, the bits of typing, and the looking from here to there on the screen are quickly dwarfing the need for the technology’s furthered progression. However, if you look at technology as another part of us — for it is only an extension of what we’ve invented, like the wheel, and thus IS US already — than we need to ensure that we, ourselves, can keep up with the growing speed of our devices. Meaning soon, “Having chips on the brain”, might imply more than simply thinking about that bag of Doritos (TM) in the cupboard.

Enter: the Singularity

The Singularity is a concept indicating a time when we’ll merge with the machines we’ve created. It’s already happening, and, if we wish to continue comprehending our world to the fullest, it might be necessary in maintaining the continuous growth of our culture. Thus far these circuits of the mind would be utilized mostly as a relay point to still existing physical computers, though I would speculate, as quantum computing continues to take strides in progress, that soon the paradigm of a, “physical computer”, will be nothing but a footnote in our history textbooks. That is, if we still have history textbooks.

(We will likely not have history textbooks…)

So, being that the growth of technology is measurable, it is not only likely that soon we will have to enhance our minds to keep up, it is inevitable — and also determinable as to when. All in all, making this option ‘one fine solution’ in addressing the problem of keeping up with the voluminous concepts of our modern world, as it’s certain to happen either way.

“Now, or later”, is our only real choice…

Solution #2: Trust

If the problem cannot be held in one mind alone, than, possibly, it can be shared across multiple expert minds.

Let’s say that you don’t buy into the idea of Doritos (TM) on the mind. Let’s say that you think we can solve all the modern ailments of the world with good old-fashioned elbow grease and honest cooperation. Let’s say, you feel that collaboration, without outside influence or bias, is actually possible as a means to reach resolution for an ever more complex world in the end.

Let’s say you feel we can trust others

Than, let’s say, I agree — conditionally. We’ll surely need a back-up. We’ll need a way of double checking ourselves against the overwhelming complexity we face. We’ll need to ensure that we’ve, including myself, not acted emotionally whatsoever. For this, we’ll need help.

Meet, Eric Berlow

Utilizing an outside system, such as Eric’s TED talk suggests, would be the perfect accompaniment for this type of solution, as it would keep everyone on task and honest within the method’s constraints. We would require varying trusted experts, in all respective fields, to continuously conjure additional factors for which to plug into the model he suggests (it’s only about four minutes if you didn’t watch it — and you should!), and in this way we could invariably find the real buttons for change, and act upon them more prudently, generating in the end, true, long-term and viable solutions to the world’s ever perplexing plot-line.

(I bet the butler did it!)

Solution #3: Forced Evolution

If our current brain isn’t up to task any more, than why not simply engineer a better one?

Genetic modification is what I’m talking about here, my people, and it’s my final, “Off the top of my head”, answer toward resolving the issue of our ever-increasing complexity, and the enduring, growing need for our complete comprehension of it.

In truth, this final solution is actually my favorite — mostly because it freaks people out.

In the eyes of the public, genetic modification is synonymous with maniacally laughing evil scientists, ginormous bolts of lightning slamming into over-sized Tesla coils, and their invariably resulting, freaky Snookiesque monsters,  but that needn’t be the case. Ever since Craig J Venter successfully sequenced the human genome I’ve been dreaming of the day that we could engineer and alter life, and soon that might become a reality.

Two brain hemispheres, puny humans... Why not three? More for the eats!

Precisely, Doctor Zoidberg

Since the late 70’s we’ve been engineering life from the ground up within bacteria, and lately this endeavor has become much more advanced. Recently it’s been branching out into ever more complex species, and soon (were we to make this our goal) it’s speculated that we could alter and improve our very own DNA.

For instance: How about a triple helix? How about an epigenetic code that we could alter at will. How about regenerative tissues, decreased need for oxygen, increased longevity, or even, as the good Doctor mentioned, how about another brain hemisphere?!? If we merely remove our collective biases from the equation, and our inherent assumptions about morality, we might actually be able to engineer a better version of ourselves…

Humanity Mach 2 — Version 1, 2, 3.1, 3.4, 4.2!

To me, as funny as this might sound, this seems like the most prudent and natural solution of them all. Bioengineering would be a way for us to remain organic, and, rather than having two communicating systems within the body, would keep us whole.

Cause I don’t know about you all, but I have plenty of voices talking to me already up in my brain…

We could systematically make improvements to the form and function of humanity, and we could have multiple versions of ourselves to colonize ever more hostile worlds around the universe. I imagine designer people, changed on a generational basis, and all with a fresh perspective on the story of life itself.

In this way we might finally understand life, and what it would take to help everyone thrive, all throughout the Universe!

So, anyway, what do you all think?
Is it time for an upgrade?

~J