Johnny’s Mantra

Slit wrists paint horrid pictures.

Noosed necks sing nasty songs.

Fallen angels create a lovely mess.

Laughter echoes when he’s gone.

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Has or Is This

Is there a story told through the eyes of Nietzsche while in his catatonic state?

But you don’t know it’s Nietzsche until the end,

or that he’s in a catatonic state?

Maybe he witnesses his sister’s first attempt to twist his theories into a way that supports German Nationalism, Aryanism and Nazism?

He makes it until the new century.

I don’t know if that makes sense

CATATONIC MEMOIRS

Ding, Ding, Ding

And the answer is bum bum bum bum bum bummdadaaaaaahhh:

SELF LOATHING

I can’t write the story because I hate myself and think I don’t have the skill to.

Why the fuck am I trying to write a short story. I barely graduated high school. English was the only honors class I managed to carry into High School, and I got kicked out of it in a month.

I gave up on school after that, but I never gave up on learning.

My dad told me, “I don’t care how you do in school as long as you’re smart”. He expected me to join the Marines at 18, like he did, but I knew I’d be kicked out if I tried. I ended up trying to join three years later, but I had too many tattoos. Yea, too many tattoos to join the Marines. The recruiter literally(grr) said: “You would be able to do any MOS—with the exception of two or three I can’t remember—IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THOSE TATTOOS. Yea, fucking bullshit. It’s one of the most retarded things I’ve ever heard.

My pops knew a guy who did pro bono tattoo removal for reformed gang members that would hook me up. I’m not a gang member. SEVEN TATTOOS. Jesus Christ. Almost did it, but decided against it. Not sure if it was a good or bad decision—probably the latter bec. even my dad has major issues with America’s foreign policy, and told me that I wasn’t the soldier type.

Jesus, another whiny post.

I’m not good enough of a writer. I’ve never been great at anything in my life. I’m good at a lot of things, but I get bored and switch to something else to keep my motivation. If this continues, I might be great at a lot of things if I survive to sixty.

Self loathing. We all experience it. Some of us jump off large buildings or into trains or into giant vats of acid. I told myself, that if I were to kill myself, it would have to hurt immensely. I’ve fucked up too much in my life to fade away after popping some pills. I deserve a carving knife to the jugular or attacked by a possessed murder of crows.

How depressing. Woe is me. I’m a pussy.

I can’t talk about suicide anymore because I only think about it in theory.

Boo.

You want to know what kind of shitty cocksucking person I am? I’m sad that I don’t have suicidal ideations anymore. Being depressed and not being able to pinpoint why is far worse than daydreaming about ways to permanently end it. Suicide comforted me. I always had a way out. Now I don’t.

Sorry for this dumb fucking post.

Stuck

I’m stuck on the chain story we’ve been doing so well on. I don’t have writer’s block, I can creatively write but not about the story. Yesterday, I edited and added more notes, but only wrote one sentence for the new segment.

I need to learn how to meditate, that would probably help, but I’d need a barb or muscle relaxer to be able to sit still…I don’t think that counts as meditation. If it does, I’ve meditated hundreds of times.

Any recommendations on directing my creativity to the thing I’m supposed to be working on?

I went for a bike ride. Took my dogs on a walk. Worked out.

Fudge.

Oh Yea, That’s What This Was Supposed to be About

A few months ago, I moved back to the city I was born and raised in. We didn’t plan on moving back to SJ, we just wanted to move from the house we were renting for three thousand dollars a month, with a pedophile landlord who we’re currently in litigation with because he unjustly withheld our deposit after telling us in person that the house was fine, the day before we moved out, with just a few stains to clean up on the carpet he had to replace anyways since we were there for seven years. He’s a fucking scum bag. We were kids when we moved in, and he thought he could take advantage of us, which he did via making us pay for plumbers every winter because the pipes were shitty, likely fucked up by tree roots or previous earthquakes rocking the fifty year old house.

We responded to the letter he sent regarding the withholding of the deposit professionally. His letter was so arrogant and rude, it only helps our case.

In one of his letters, he claims my brother and I tried to intimidate him…bullshit. We’re big guys, but we just walked around and said yea, yea, cool, alright—nothing at all considered intimidating, unless he was just intimidated by our natural state; if that’s the case, he’s a giant pussy…and he claimed to be in the CIA. We found out that was true. What a fucking bitch.

We’re going to get eight grand back from him; I only wish I could see his stupid fat face when he realizes he fucked with the wrong tenants.

Anyways, I didn’t intend on talking about my landlord in this post. Typical me, typical rambling, typical write about something I didn’t intend on and because of it, I get bored and cut the post short.

Oy vey.

Home, moved, how do I feel?

I’m right across the street from the drive ins. My family started going to it when you still had to put the speaker(?)radio(?) machine on your window. I remember watching the first Austin Powers there, and begging my mom to stay for the second movie, the scariest movie of all time: Kazaam. Still gives me the creeps. I also remember seeing the first Pirates of the Caribbean. I know we saw a lot more as a family, but I can’t remember.

The real fun started when I was around fifteen, when my friends and I would go with girls and booze. It was only six bucks per person, but we were broke kids so we stuffed everyone in the trunk. One time, I was stuck in a trunk with three girls. They said that being in the trunk made them extra horny—kind of weird, like a rape fantasy, I think—and my friend opened the trunk to me making out with one girl while another one jerked me off. I’m a slut.

We went almost every weekend. When we couldn’t stuff everyone in the trunk, some of us just hopped the fence to get in. Twenty people, two cars, hilarious. We never got in trouble, surprisingly—not because we were smart, the employees just didn’t care. During the summer though, a lot of cops were stationed outside of the gates of the actual drive ins. They were there to prevent drunk driving, reduce the likelihood of shootings and stabbings via gangs, and probably just to watch a free movie occasionally. On those days, we paid full price.

Fudge, that’s what I wanted to talk about: gangs.

I grew up on the south side of San Jose, only a few miles north of Morgan Hill. The neighborhood I grew up in wasn’t really dangerous, it had a few no go col-de-sacs, but they were only dangerous to outsiders. I knew most of the gangbangers via playing ball at the park, and they were always cool to me…but only because they saw me beat the shit out of a kid fucking with sister when I was twelve or so. A few did call me white boy too much but not in a derogatory way. One of my best friends shared my name, and was black, so white was an easy descriptor to use. But there were a few dudes who’s call me white boy in a derogatory—white boy basically means bitch—and I’d have to fight. I have a good fighting record but have been fucked up a few times: off the top I think I got fucked up three times, not including the three times I was jumped—they don’t count.

I lived in that neighborhood until I was 18, then moved into a hotel for a month. Yea, a hotel haha. After that, I decided to move into the mobile home my mom and dad bought. I lasted there six months, I couldn’t take it. My mom and dad hated each other, for what feels like, all my life; I think I only saw them kiss once. My dad bought the mobile home, and let my mom decorate the entire thing, foolishly thinking that would patch things up? I’m not sure, she ended up getting half of it when they divorced a few years later.

Oy vey, this is longer than I wanted it to be.

Speed up, speed up.

After leaving my parents house, I moved downtown with my girlfriend. We were in love most of the time we lived there, often having these pure conversations after taking ecstasy. Despite being a slut, we both were, we had more fun talking to each other on E than having sex…though the later was amazing. We’d have mind sex, go down to the courtyard and smoke an insane amount of menthols. Good times. We’re not with each other any more, she couldn’t take my personality. I felt horrible, as I always do, but especially in this case because she moved back from university in San Diego to live with me. I’m a piece of shit. Now I know, via my diagnosis(6years after this) that I was on the downside of a bipolar bender, and when I’m down, I don’t want to be around anyone. I’m not rude or mean, I’m just cold…almost apathetic. I hate myself.

Ehh fuck her. She’s a tattoo model who tried to entice me with her model pics not realizing I despise models—a hard thing not to know after being with me for years. Go ahead and model, but don’t act like you’re anything special…sorry rude. We’d talk every few years, and I’d get annoyed by how she changed, call her a cunt and ghost her. I’m a piece of shit. Now we don’t talk at all anymore, even if we run into each other. It’s for the best; I hope the dumb cunt has a beautiful life. Just kidding, she’s not a cunt, she’s just annoying, and I’m not just being a spiteful ex, she’s objectively annoying.

Geez, off topic again…what was this supposed to be about? I forgot. My homes throughout my life, gangs, exes…ah fuck it.

It was fun living downtown. Once I came out of my funk, I started partying a lot again, and at the time, I had a lot of friends throughout the city, most being graffiti artists or affiliated, a few bands and bouncers, older friends of my sisters. As a result of this, I was able to get into two clubs at nineteen. They snuck me in the back, told me to never go to the bar, they’d bring me drinks, and I could only drink beer. Good times. My girlfriend never went with me, it was at about the time we started disliking each other.

Best part about downtown is it’s the only place in the city you can walk place to place, seemingly infinite amount of restaurant choices, art shows held across the street. It sucks we weren’t twenty one at the time, but It was for the best.

My GF and I decided to move from downtown to the west side with my brother. He was looking for a place to live, we three got a place together. He’s not my blood brother, but he’s more than a best friend, blah blah blah, all that jazz.

My lady and I grew further a part; my best friend was in a deep depression so I focused on him more than anybody. We lasted a year there than her and I called it quits. She moved back to her mom’s house, and my best friend and I moved back to his fams house, where I slept on the couch for a few years. It’s a humbling experience. Having no room to retreat to, especially considering my anti social behavior. My Nonna woke me up every morning via loud coffee making. She was always a grump until noon; I made it worse by displaying an appallingly happy demeanor. She loved it deep down. She did so much for me. She treated me like blood. Fuck, I’m about to tear up. She fought cancer twice, but a year and a half ago passed away. I miss her. One of the most interesting and caring people in the history of humankind. Love you Nonna.

Fudge, still rambling…almost done.

From there I moved—again with my brother, but now his GS—to the house I just moved out of. It was perfect for three early twenty somethings. One of the first things we did was pass out envelopes to our neighbors asking them to come to us if we’re making too much noise……and fuck, we made so much noise. Parties every holiday, raves every other weekends. They hated us at first, but towards the end we all got along because we stopped partying at home. Too much work cleaning up, and no one was helping. But fuck, so many good times. So many good drugs. Surprisingly only one one night stand with a forty year old Asian woman, and some girl I met somewhere, can’t remember. Good times. I’m glad those days are in the past, I’m an old man now.

And now we’re here, back to the south side.

Oh yea, fuck, this post was supposed to be so short, I’m such a rambling mess.

I went to order a refill for one of my prescriptions via the app, and I realized I can never have it delivered; no doubt someone will swipe it—one of the worst neighborhoods is literally on the other side of the tracks, about a mile east. One of my sister’s friends got shot in the head while pulling out money at the Wells Fargo that shouldn’t be there. I was robbed for my phone and empty wallet by some dude who creeped up on a friend and I acting like he knew us, until he pulled out a pistol and stuck it in our faces. Having a gun in your face is surreal, it changes you forever. Two of my other friends also got robbed, maybe by the same dude.

We’re safe in my neighborhood, but the Trees(name of neighborhood) is close enough where shit left outside of your house is guaranteed to get stolen.

So I can’t have my meds delivered here. That’s all I wanted to say.

I’m a weirdo. Enjoy ye Sundays. Sorry if you got to the end of this.

Chain Story pt. 7 (With 1st Round of Edits)

Hello all, I made edits to the up-to-date draft of the chain story I’ve annoyed your feeds with. We’re still looking for people to jump on? I’ll give you a Klondike Bar.

I figure the protag’s character arc begins in a deep, dark pit of misery.

 

 

Civilization was created by few, built by many, and given to most,” my father told me from his deathbed. “It was given to my generation, and we destroyed it, now it’s time for you to create a new one.”

What a statement to spring on your misanthropic son before dying. How else could I respond but, “I’ll do it, pops.”

Do what? I don’t know. I still don’t know. It took me months to revisit the moment I lied to my dying hero. I tried to block it out, but the world around me represented the civilization my father asked me recreate. I couldn’t escape it. The memory killed a little piece of me each timed it flashed across my mind because I knew I didn’t have the empathy and hope needed to recreate civilization. I was the opposite of what he wanted me to be, what he wanted me to do; I wanted to find a pretty spot on a hill, play Vaughan William’s “The Lark Ascending” from my phone and watch the world burn; then strut down, put my cigarette out on the ashes of the civilization I despised and retreat to a small hut in Argentina to live out the remainder of my life. But I couldn’t now. My father, the last person I loved on the planet, gave me a purpose that I couldn’t ignore…not for lack of trying though. I allowed my pessimism and cynicism to rule my thoughts hoping that after enough time I could confabulate the memory, convincing myself that I said nothing before watching him die. The self loathing this would produce would seal this civilizations fate. It would die and never be recreated. A misanthrope could only dream. But I couldn’t. Pops would be proud that I gave up on trying to give up on society.

I still needed to figure out how to develop the hope and empathy I lost long before my father died. But how could I hope? How could anybody have empathy? I see people protesting for social justice, marching for change, but a part of me believes they’re not doing it out of empathy; there’s a social justice industry filled with professional victims and duplicitous opportunists, cashing in on manufactured outrage, turning banal statements and events into inexcusable acts of bigotry; the professionally offended telling the evil world that racism, sexism, homophobia, and plenty of other nasty isms and outrageous phobias are everywhere. I have to get over my immense hatred for those claiming to do right in the world before attempting to recreate anything. I have to stop looking at reality as a game rigged against me..or just block it out long enough to watch the perpetually offended purity spiral into oblivion. But even if that were to happen, I’d have to find a way to love the remaining people enough to try and save them. It’s bullshit. I’ll just have to block them out, convince myself there’s an iota of purity beneath reality’s stinky, crusty surface.

“Just block it out, E,” I tell myself

Block it out just like I do with almost everything that comes my way in this shitty city during my walks to work. Like that overfilled trash can, or the hobos who ask for food, money, drugs, or alcohol, or attention—anything they can eat, smoke or sell. Scums of the earth. I’m scum of the earth too, I remind myself as I kick a trash can on my way to the office, staining my pants with some viscous reagent of feces, urine and aids. It was a start to just another god damn miserable day.

I go to the men’s room and try to wipe it out with a soaked paper towel. Now there’s a seemingly obvious wet spot on my gray pants. I get even angrier as I walk out.

I’ve been in peak bad mood as of late, making work especially dreadful. My interactions with people were quick and dry, my motivation was low, and my morale was tainted. I hated everything about work; I hated everything about this city. I hated my life and I hated myself. Back in my apartment, I look at the mirror before I head to bed. I brush my teeth just to feel a bit more human. What disgrace I see in the mirror before me. I had ungroomed beard stubble and there were bags underneath my bloodshot eyes. I couldn’t comprehend how on earth women found me attractive, but they did. And because I hate myself, I hate them for not despising me. I’m like a puppy in the window of pet store; women stare at it, ready to feed and nurture it, but it’s miserable and it only wants out to bite your fucking face off.

Every night I wake up after a few hours, just in time to stand outside my apartment balcony and look at the sunrise as it slowly creeps up and starts to blind me. The concrete jungle sprawls before my eyes, and it just sickens me even more. Everything sickens me about this place. My dad, in his delusional Alzheimer filled last days, wanted me to create a new civilization. I promised him I would. I spat the mouthwash on the flower pot and headed inside. I had gotten up, dressed up, and now planned to show up to work. I looked at the hoards of sheep-like people before me, who looked just like me, dressed just like me, and behaved just like me. Anger and frustration in their faces; just like in mine. We’re all zombies living in a sad paradise, alive enough to “contribute to society” and not blow our brains out.

“Start a new civilization” said my dad. I spat my gum on the gray sidewalk and disappeared in the force and momentum of the moving crowd.

If there was one thing I had, it was time. Had? Already discussed. Needed? Not necessarily. I knew what he said, I knew what had to be done, but in the tangled rubber band ball of a “plan” in my mind, nothing discernible could be found. When one doesn’t have a plan, what else is left but time?

I step on the metro.

See this peon’s face in front of me. See his slack jaw and hear his loose tongue, in your mind. See him hitting on women at bars and then getting belligerent at them for not sleeping with him. See the role model in front of you.

I turn on my phone.

Look out the window. Watch a few skyscrapers claw their way past the train (relativity?) before the deadly blackness of the tunnel consumes its prey. Look out. Always look out.

I look at the time.

8:17

The commute was little over 45 minutes long. I’m lucky, by relative standards. I’m a lucky bastard. I’m lucky I hate women. Attention begets violence, begets loneliness, begets death and nothing but death. Possibly debt on the way. Am I in debt? The groggy morning mindset finally hits me full in the face after another restless night of sleep and I realize once again who I’m working for. Beside my useless education, Talk Corp–a combination social media/phone/talk buddy corporation. Who knew it took so many peons to run a company that helps people… well, talk? What kind of world do we live in where people can’t just talk anymore? I hate it. I hated it then and I hate it now. The flashbacks start to show up and I block them out once more…

Talk Corp Incorporated, the megacity of the social media scene. The unofficial monopoly of smartphones and smartphone bills. (Because of course the government won’t lay a finger on what keeps its citizens in check.) And of course, the inventor of the talk buddy. What Amazon started and failed to fulfill, Talk Corp raised the ante on and won. Government statistics state that approximately 47% of all citizens owned a talk buddy. They popped up in Japan, but were a bit one-dimensional and only a niche market for the lonely 20-30’s business-nothing wanker.  Then came the soccer moms: How do I deal with my passive aggressive husband who doesn’t pay attention to me except when I’m cooking and stealing his children’s attention? Honest questions. Honest answers. At least, that’s what the company strived to provide. I stretch my mind and remember a Kurt Vonnegut book about it but block that out, too. Too much history before a day of psycho-suicide isn’t good for the lungs. I haven’t decided whether I’ve started smoking, quit, or started again yet.

I… do not own a talk buddy. And it shows. If there’s one thing I haven’t lost, it’s my attitude.

And the one resource I do have, I notice, is slowly slipping away as well. The train arrives at my company’s stop. A city in and of itself. But this time, a faux-eutopia rather than a dystopia. The kind where the murders happen hidden in the minds of the victims behind closed office doors and livelihoods are ruined over typos in thousand-page reports on labor law influences in the married couple’s talk buddy relationship. Let’s talk together! I almost say, “I wish I could talk to my father one last time…” but block that out before it enters my prefrontal cortex, too.

I step off the train.

Time. Time for another miserable day. And another. And another. Time time time. Time to drain, decay, and segue. Do I have time on my hands?

Time to think of a fucking plan, you idiot. Argh. I fall irritated with myself. Perfect mood as I step into my cubicle and start the daily routine.

***************************

Over the weekend I received three hundred thirty-three emails, separated into three folders: one for all company-wide emails, one for emails sent directly to me, and one for anything highlighted important. I marked the first folder read without opening a single email, I skimmed through the second folder, opening up every one with a subject that applies to my current project, and opened all of the remaining four “important” emails; three of which were from a coworker who thinks we have a relationship beyond my forced hellos and occasional nods I strategically deploy during his banal weekend updates. In total, after my daily morning purge, I only had eight emails to actually read

I finished the last email, ironically from my boss, to her knocking on my cubicle wall.

“I’m going to need you to finish debugging the automated content review code by the end of today,”

No good morning. No how are you doing. No, “Mondays, am I right”. No nothing. But I shouldn’t expect anything. She’s a real cunt. A real cunt that didn’t know shit about code or programming but still got a job managing an engineering department. How did she get it? The fuck if I know. My annoying “colleague” heard that she was just waiting for someone to say the wrong thing so she could file a discrimination suit…and she walked around wearing a minority stuffed suicide vest of which you could trigger at anytime.

“Do you think she tans to make herself blacker than she already is,” the coworker joked.

“Do you think she converted to Judaism to increase her chances of being discriminated against? I mean, Muslim discrimination is so early 2000s; bigotry aganst Judaism is back en vogue.”

“Do you think…”

“No, she didn’t cut off her own leg,” I answered before he could finish his ridiculous, and unsurprisingly plausible, assertion that our Jewish African American boss cut off her own leg to increase the likelihood of her being able to twist a word or phrase in a way that could be perceived as discriminatory. I can imagine her presenting this quarter’s budget, and her boss saying, “Why do we need an extra engineer, they cost an arm and a leg,” and boom, she has his job, or wins a multimillion dollar suit and becomes an activist for the missing leg community.

“Yes  I  will  have  it  done  by  today,” I responded in monotone to prevent her from being offended by inflection or cadence or rhythm.

She turned and gimped away without a word, and I dreamt, as always, of her losing the other leg in a freak shoe fitting accident.

“God, I don’t ask for much, but please, please, please, take her other leg—I’ll go to church everyday,” I whispered at the ceiling.

I stopped daydreaming about her maiming once I remembered how screwed I was.

I fucked-off most of last week going down rabbit holes on Wikipedia, covering nearly every current major conspiracy: holocaust denialism and 9/11 conspiracies, flat earth and the Illuminati, lizard overlords and chemtrails, the military industrial complex and medical industrial complex; the latter two being the only ones with substantial evidence, forcing me to commit cursory skimming to prevent my depression from worsening over the fact that their are malicious cabals out to cash in on sickness and death. Oy vey.

When I got sick of reading about the shapeshifters likely controlling the entire world, I imagined my computer was the central hub for the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Every time I typed out a city or country’s name, my imagination flattened it via Peacekeepers, Minuteman I and II’s—I even borrowed the Soviet’s Tsar Bomba. Time flies when you’re daydreaming about dropping nukes on every population center on the planet. And now I’m fucked.

There’s no way I’ll finish the debugging by today…not without some performance enhancing drugs.

Kratom? Coke? Adderall? Hipster spliffs? Coffee?

All of the above.

Elijah dissolved three teaspoons of Kratom powder in his water bottle and chugged it, went to the bathroom and did a line off the closed lid of the toilet seat, and got a triple espresso from the automated machine in the breakroom. She was ready to debug the automated content review code.

First off, let’s talk about what working in the computer engineering department of a megalithic social media company is like. Imagine the library of Alexandria, in the palm of your hand. Then imagine that bit in the palm of your hand on a chip, and millions of those chips embedded in a server that is for all we know  in a nuke-proof bunker under the company’s headquarters. This comprises the code library accessible by Elijah to get his job done. In a sense, he was a very powerful person; a flick of the wrist, a click of the mouse, and the GPS tracker in Talk Buddy turns into a fart joke machine. In fact, he had never before realized the catastrophe he could bring down on the company just by modifying a few key lines of code in the company code library. At least, that is, if he could get past all the security mechanisms on the servers and computers, redundant, foolproof security mechanisms, protecting the company’s second most valuable asset.

It’s first most valuable asset?: It’s customers. The lonely and downtrodden in need of “connection”. Like broken dolls being sewn together. An extra body part here, a spare appendage there; all perfect. Normal.

Elijah shooed the thought of risking his job to bring catastrophic downfall to his company’s servers from his head and logged into the company’s code library. He navigated to the workspace dedicated for the automated content review. Explaining what the project about is a little complicated. In simple terms, it was a filter. The sadistic part? It filtered both input and output. If the user requested something from a Talk Buddy that was above the rating of the user, the Talk Buddy would filter it and present something of lesser adulthood. It filtered both the user’s input and the Talk Buddy’s output. Censorship, in short. There’s no bothering asking how the largest social media platform on Earth got away with such rampant infringement of Freedom of the Press; those were just the times. But people bought Talk Buddies. People with money, sometimes people without money (and greedy predatory loan-lending banks). Everyone needed someone to talk to those days. Never mind how in vogue the technology was.

Then there was the applicability of the automated content review (ACR) system to the social media apps the company owned. Chatbots, automated moderation, scanning user content for illegal or unwanton activity, suspicious even. That was just the tip of the iceberg. With a little twist, the company could delete the word “kitten” from all user interaction in the blink of an eye. ACR, folks. The most cutting edge technology in keeping narrow-minded, trigger-happy, overly-sensitive, overly-belligerent, overly-needy citizens from shooting themselves in the foot.

The kratom started to kick in and Elijah started to nod off. Work became a half-dream and inspiration started to arrive in waves of fire and warmth. Not quite bliss, the opioid did its job well. Syntax errors began to go away which Elijah was barely aware of, it just came naturally. What was that? What idiot wrote that method that way? Why wasn’t this algorithm optimized yet when it was already commented the shit out of? In all honesty, Elijah’s job wasn’t hard–he had the skills. Motivation and energy, no. But drugs took care of that part. And well.

Time flew. Elijah was barely aware of it. Half his mind was daydreaming about women he had dated and slept with before he began loathing them for not loathing him so much that he decided to stop. He had been out of control. He played the scene. He probably knew the name of half the respectable women in the city by now. He could recall each lady’s face visually in his mind, run his imaginary fingers over their skin and through their hair. The bliss. He almost missed it, until a syntax error in the code would bring him back to the current world. He never understood women. Maybe that’s what made him so good at exploiting them. He had yet to find someone who made him feel like the prey. Flip the tables, so to speak. But that was about to change very soon.

****************************

Elijah was nearly finished debugging when South Silicon City experienced a power outage, the third in four weeks. Like the previous two, residence of SSC were not given an estimated time of when the issue would be resolved, but in the past, power outages were fixed within a few hours, though it seemed to have progressively gotten worse despite SSC containing 3/4ths of the tech industry in SC, and each hour the county was down, companies lost a collective three billion dollars. The government reported the cause of these outages to be equipment failures, the result of the much rushed conversion from standard power to solar power the city implemented shortly after its creation, but they had no response to the failure of redundant power systems that kept the servers operating, creating suspicions that the cause was sabotage. Add in the fact that SSC was primarily commercial, having the least amount of residence in the city—most of which being wealthy executives, city employees, athletes, musicians, and the rest of those considered SC’s aristocracy—and the only other county experiencing similar outages was North Silicon City, where most of the remaining tech companies in SC were located.

Elijah was the first to ask to go home.

“The debugging is just about done. I only need an hour or two once power is restored to finish up, test run and implement. I’m off in an hour anyways, so I can just finish up at home, or on the train if the servers come back up. Either way, it will be done before midnight tonight, in time for a test run on the West Coast domain early morning, and if everything goes as planned, we’ll implement it world wide by noon tomorrow,” I spit at my boss through vibrating lips, forgetting that I only speak in paragraphs when I’m on one.

“I put our coffee machine out of business,” I follow up with an awkward laugh, hoping that would suppress suspicions that I’ve been putting coke in my coffee instead of sugar.

“Fine. But you know what will happen if it’s not done,” she responded with crossed arms and punchable frown.

I know what will happen? No I don’t, bitch, what the fuck is that supposed to mean, a threat? I thankfully only thought.

I ran to my desk to grab all my stuff, paranoid that the power might come on just in time for my boss to renege.

Before jumping on the shuttle to the train station, I smoked a hipster spliff to calm my stimulant addled mind down.

The shuttle in and around Talk Corp was the only high speed transit SC had. The train lines across SC still operated on outdated technology. After 40 years of planning, California was still without a high speed rail. At first it was just a matter of funding, but now it was a matter of partisan politics. Southern California miraculously turned Republican over the course of ten years. First, the New Republican party proposed and passed an amnesty bill better than the Green Party had ever even proposed. Second, a national emergency was declared by the President over the treatment of Mexican immigrants on both the American and the Mexican side of the border. The Cartel Wars, that killed more than five hundred thousand people, some of which American, was acknowledged by the government, allowing the reallocation of military funds used in projects across the world to be used to fight the brutal war raging on the continent. Joint military operations from the US and Mexican military crippled every cartel in Central America. This, followed by the legalization of drugs in all of Mexico, and parts of the US, destroyed the remaining cartels, making America and Mexico the top drug exporters in the world, and producing endless funds for the two countries to use to combat addiction and provide support to families who’d previously been destroyed by drugs. The final nail in the Democrats of Southern California’s coffin was a Wikileak exposing their decades long plan to exploit illegal immigration for votes, blocking bills regardless the positive effect they’d have on both Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants, holding their interests hostage while feinging benevolent support. The border wasn’t open completely, but an immigration program presented by the New Republican Party in Southern California allowed more immigrants than ever before to enter America. These immigrants were placed in programs all across Southern and Central California that provided proper education and job placement. It’s not known if the radical change by the Republican party was done out of empathy or a strategic coup to take back California, but the citizens didn’t really care, as long as it produced a positive outcome.Ever since then, the Democrats of Northern California and the New Republicans of Southern California have been at odds over any program that even slightly preferred one over the other; one of them being the California High Speed Rail. Just another case of partisan politics harming the people they claim to represent.

I got to the train station right as one left—a bad thing to some, but for a misanthrope like myself, barely missing a train just means you’re one of the first to get on the next and catch a single seat in the back car. This isn’t a sure thing, occasionally rude people in the back will try to shove to the front, but I’m intimidating enough to keep the line cutters at bay, occasionally unleashing elbow jabs at those asking me what scissors do.

The next train was late, as usual, but I didn’t care as long as I got a spot in the back. The doors open and the race commenced. I sprinted down the aisle, jumped up the stairs two steps at a time, and got to my spot before any of the other passengers got to sit down.

Alone, in a train full of people saying things that don’t matter, blasting music.

“I put my headphones on for this world I ignore”

High and ready to ride.

*****************************

Luna strutted into the back car from the only entrance, gracing the jointed doors of the train with ease, and sat directly opposite Elijah. Elijah’s immediate thought: trashy classy neo-punk anarcho-satiri-revolutionary foreigner with an attitude and a way with authority. Aside from that, he could not read her at all.

Her style screamed transgressive, with a heavy dose of troll; she had a Gucci bag  covered in graffiti—blasphemous to the average woman—accomanied with a button that said I love capitalism, a fuck Che patch using the famous Guerrillero Heroico picture of him that was ironically copyrighted and printed on shirts and shoes and posters, and sold for profit like a proper capitalist, and patch with the word EXTINCT, spelled out using symbols from various religions and ideologies; an obvious parody(?) of a similar design that spelled out COEXIST and made its annoying rounds in the 90’s and 2000’s. It was a neo-punk billboard representing transgressive thought and action. Old 70’s and 80’s punks trolled the “greatest” generation with shirts donning swastikas and rebel flags—this generation’s symbols were dollar bills and American flags..

He could not tell if she was “serious” or “poking fun at the system”. Both were outdated concepts in any case, if you set aside the anti-anarchist groups trashing the social sphere those days.

The no-smoking sign at the side of the exit door glowed proudly, and Luna busted out her lighter and a gold tin of cigarettes–not just cigarettes but cigarettes–from behind the “Fuck Cancer” design on her knee high socks, and lit up.

Elijah was too tired of the bullshit of the day, as with everyday, to tell her it was a nonsmoking train. Did he even care? He forgot.

The period of time that followed the lightup did not measure in seconds, but in sensuous puffs and blows of twirling smoke clouds. He imagined she would be a master at blowing rings if rings weren’t so symbolic of unity and cliche. Did she have a thing against cliches? He found himself obsessing over her in a way that no one in years had made him obsess. She was different.

And in those non-seconds-but-puffs that transpired, a train attendant arrived.

She spoke in French.

“Désolé mais j’ai une condition qui demande que je fume pour mon foie. C’est très grave et je demande un moment de silence a cause de ca et respite pour le santé,” she lied.

The attendant stared at her stupidly. “I’m sorry but there’s no smoking on here,” he brutishly spat out without qualm or concern for the state of her liver which he did not know.

“Tellement drôle.”

She put out the lit cigarette on the underside of a bottle cap she withdrew from her bag, melting the rubber, and littered the leftover butt and the bottle cap on the floor of the car.

“No littering,” the attendant blurted, and walked off disdainfully.

Elijah took off his headphones. He had actually forgotten to start the music and had overheard and witnessed the whole scene transpire. “Where are you from?” he asked as politely and nonchalantly as he could.

“The country of dead romance and brutal African colonialism. Where cholesterol is a foreign term and the cheese and wine are wealthier than 30% of the population living in non-slums at the edge of Paris.”

“The capital yourself, or rural?”

“I prefer not to say I’m ‘from’ either.”

A silence hung momentarily.

Elijah couldn’t hold his attitude back any longer;

“Nice bag. Bet it was a wedding gift.”

“Weddings are the State’s symbolic rape of the populous’ psyche for fetishistic respect of the family unit. Consider how there is no law that applies to families other than taxes and divorce.”

He was surprised to be outdone.

Elijah couldn’t hold back his lust any longer;

“You’re a rather fine, respectable young lady for someone who comes from the class that lives of their parents’ inheritance checks.”

“I pretend it’s earned income. Let’s just say I do more than the 99% for the progress of the system.”

Words: system, progress, 99%. Elijah’s cup of tea.

“And what kind of work is that?”

“I find things, I reach places that are hard to reach, and I cultivate a sense of home for those who have none. Sort of like a greedy banker without the greed.”

He didn’t understand what that last phrase was meant to mean but went along with it.

“So you’re in finance?”

“Money is simultaneously a material and a symbol. It is the physical manifestation of value, which is realer than the money itself. I create value for those who have none, and take it away from those who break it.”

“Sounds like you’re in anti-finance, then.”

“No. Not at all. Think orthogonally.”

Elijah thought orthogonally for a bit, and decided with:

“The third party. You work for the Centrists?”

She pursed her lips for some reason, then relaxed.

“Let’s just say it’s a sensitive subject to be discussing on an SSC rail line. I can explain more later. We’ve almost arrived.”

“Oh this is your stop, too?”

“I live around.”

If it weren’t so sketch he probably would’ve asked her to sleep with him already. But isn’t that exactly what he wanted? The risk? What was holding him back?

She read his mind and said, “It’s okay; I know a lot about you.”

Elijah narrowed his eyes aggressively. “Well you shouldn’t. I’m not your type and I’m not interested.” Accidentally, he read a little of hers.

“Mon dieu, the man knows what he wants, besides luscious legs and a seat warmer. Besides, I haven’t asked yet.”

Asked what?

They got off the train and hit the streets. Elijah’s high was starting to touch and go. He hit a landing at the exact moment his foot hit the sidewalk.

“I’m over here,” he said. They turned left.

They analyzed each other during the walk. She had the upper hand but neither of them knew it. Conversation seemed to have died. They were both fed up. With the times, and the day. Elijah wondered what had happened to her that day.

“Well, 27 Clay Rock Rd.” he spouted.

“Enchantée,” she bemused.

“Do you want to come inside?” he offered strategically.

Surprisingly, she said, “No, you’d be scared of what I’d do to you if I even told you.”

A hang.

“I’ll be off then,” she said, now aware of his address, and continued down the road to her unknown destination.

Elijah watched her disappear down the street into the crowds–of which strangely and fortunately there had been none during their walk together–gave up whatever it was he was trying to do–he wasn’t so clear himself–and went inside.

 

I’m Onto Your Shit!

I’m doing it again. Sabotaging myself again. Destroying a good thing again. Convincing myself that the wrong choice is the right choice, and that I’m stupid to think otherwise.

I’m doing it again. Self doubt. Self loathing. Selflistless. God, I’m annoying

I’m doing it again. Convincing myself that I could just have one drink.

I’m doing it again. Letting one of my split personalities split personality worm tongue me into drunken submission.

I’m doing it again. Lying to myself. Acting like everything is alright. Lying to my family.

I’m doing it again. Ignoring phone calls and texts from people who shouldn’t like me, let alone love me.

I’m doing it again. Saying I’m doing it again so I can do it again.

When I start getting meta I know I’m fucked. Infinite regress. Vantablack holes dematerializing my current self hatred, rematerializing it on another, just to do it again. My miserable ouroboros. Chasing my own tail while my tail chases me. Seven bells. It’s din din. That doesn’t make sense.

How boring.

I realized something really depressing the other day

and it sounds really stupid

but I miss my suicidal ideations.

They gave me a glimmer of hope that no matter what, I always had an out. One thing to have absolute control over. My stupid life.

God, that’s so fucking stupid. I’m sorry for those on the verge of making your last decision.

Sorry.

Suicide isn’t a joke.

It’s an HBO special.

Ba dum tss

 

BrainDead

I feel retarded tonight.

Sorry, the dreaded “R” word, I know it’s offensive blah blah blah, but let’s be real…retarded people can’t read.

I’m going to hell.

JK people, JK.

But I do feel retarded. I can’t spell, my thoughts are all moldy and banal. Oy vey.

I should just call it a night.

My friend brought over a fifth of Maker’s Mark.

I definitely should go to sleep.

Stupid brain. Stupid thoughts. Stupid me. Holy shit.

My creativity better come back…you hear that, motherfucker! You better come back, you goddamn slut.

She’s a pretty slut though; she likes roses and desire paths and watching people who pushed by you on the way out the train fall flat on their stupid fat faces. Shit like that.

Eh, one shot can’t hurt.

Cest la vie.