Author Archives: shaman4664

About shaman4664

I am a husband, a paranoid schizophrenic and a mystic with interests in speech particularly political speech, current events and the future. Also interested in social and mental health issues a well as governmental policy effecting those issues. I am happily married to Meta and we are closing on our 25th wedding anniversary. I dabble in poetry, visual art of the mixed media variety, I imagine myself and author one day and am also curious about Philosophy, Metaphysics, Magick and the sciences.

All Hallow’s Night

My Bones remind me that time has passed

It seems like only a day has blown by

The calendar says otherwise

This night I look for the Moon

Hoping to see her dark form pregnant

There are within possibilities untold

This is the first full night

of the time between time

The space empty except

Moments, reflections, shadow’s shades and memories

of things that were yet are not

of things that are not but may yet be

This is the time before winter’s hard hush

When the cold winds  draw one in

Closer to the fire

to those moments yet to come

to one’s own moment of not

and of having had been

When I too become a shade or shadow

So in quiet reverence of the moment

of not being

I remember those who were

Their shadowy shade

In hopes that some day someone will do the same for me

When I was

But am not

The interminable wheel keeps turning

and she is always watching over us all

Always in the sky these dark nights

Always full of unknowable possibilities

Distant, coolly lighting our way

Into

Through the unknown

 

A walk in a graveyard

This little story happened during my third year in college.  It was the first year after I moved from the small commuter college to the main campus.  I was a standing Junior.  My grades weren’t great but I was passing.  I was a major in both Physics and Chemistry.  Right now to this very day that last statement sounds crazy especially since this university wasn’t particularly strong in either discipline.  It was true none the less.

I had quickly developed what was for me a large circle of friends.  We gathered a couple or three times a week for parties which were largely conversations.  Once though that first semester there had been strong drink.  That last alcohol ridden event happened later than this story.  Those conversations on occasion would turn to things spiritual.  There was a religious/new age flare to this group.  I was the only hard science or math major in the group.  One of the steady members of the group, a girl named Lisa, had a pressing interest in the world of the spirit.  She had a strong personality.  She was also an attractive woman.  My mother once described her as striking.

Almost everyday that year I walked passed the cemetery that was located near the center north side of campus.  The campus had built up around it over the years so that the cemetery was surrounded on three sides.  While it was still warm I would some times walk through following the road that entered and exited through the main drag that ran through campus.  During the warm time of year that road would be packed with traffic but by the time I left that campus through traffic had been stopped.  The problem was too, many drunken college students I think.

That cemetery had a few remarkable stones that dated back to the 1860s.  One in particular whose inscription was still clear to the eye laid flat.  I understood that this style of stone dated back to old Europe.  The stone had been laid that way so as to trap the dead within after all, we didn’t want mom or dad crawling out and wandering around.  Part of the inscription read:  She did not dieth, but only sleepth.  I though it was cool and showed it first to two of my male friends, John and William.  I think they were only mildly impressed, I mean it was just an old stone after all.  But as Halloween approached we got it into our heads that it might be cool to take the girls there, sort of as a freaky spooky Halloween walk.

I guess now that sounds a little rapey but that wasn’t our intention.  Of the six of us only two were dating.  That was John and Debra.  Calling it dating was a stretch though as she was born again and engaged.  The whole relationship would turn out to be a figment of John’s imagination, I think or a hoax maybe.

It was that dark holiday after sunset when we decided to take that nighttime graveyard walk.  It was a small party when the idea was suggested.  The event was alcohol and drug free.  It was festive.  I remember laughter.  I think I was the one who first brought up the idea saying something like “This would be a proper night for a cemetery walk.  It would soon be too cold for out door type activities.”   Someone else, William I think said something like “It is Halloween after all.”  He had this shy self deprecating smile that simply melted most girls hearts.  No one wanted to appear superstitious as we were college students after all.  Right at this second, as I write this, I believe that there were six of us but there might have been seven.  I believe I know that Donna or Laura were there but both might have been actually.

It was a warm late October night and that end of the campus was well lit so the footing was sure.  The graveyard was pretty close to the Quad were we all roomed.  It took about ten or fifteen minutes at a casual pace once we got outside to get to the east gate.  The conversation had slowed to quiet as we approached.  I don’t think there was a leader instead the course was chosen in some way that was quiet and almost organic.  In the beginning we stayed on the paved road that made a safe path through the oldest part.  This is were John had an attack of apoplexy over what he thought was a set of satanic symbols.  I can still here his hushed voice ridden with fear uttering the phrase “Satanic sigil!”  It is comical now but at the time I remember the icy chill that jumped up my spine when he spoke.  It took me about three minutes to cypher, in the dark, that the symbol was an eastern star.  I come from a family with a few masons as members and have a great aunt that was at the time in some sort of a weird dispute with the eastern stars so I felt reassured.  I remember the sound of my voice, the ridicule and sarcasm as I said, “Geez John, that’s an eastern star.”  I regret that tone today.

We didn’t have a path planned.  It was really more of a wandering that an established expedition.  John was at the front with Debra on his right and Laura, I think, on his left when he stepped into the graveyard proper walking in between the plots.  William, Lisa and I followed with Donna I believe.  I have a superstition.  I have had it since my first funeral at the age of 6.  I don’t like stepping on people.  Yes I know they’re dead and can’t feel it but I still don’t like to do it.  I might have said something to the effect, “I hate stepping on people” or something like that.  Being that this was the case I moved a bit slower.  It took time to pick your way through a graveyard with this type of a mind set.  William, Lisa and Donna stayed closer to me as the distance between us and the first three grew slowly.  Come to think about it now, the clusters of three up front and four in the back must have been for security or reassurance.  I think that graveyard walk was a lot more tense that it appeared to me at the time.

The Rec center some 20 or 30 yards to the east was well lighted and the main drag through campus was also well lighted.  This meant that the little road that traveled through the campus end of the cemetery was well lighted through there were areas of dark.  When John decided to walk between the graves and deeper into the cemetery to the north the light became patchy at best.  I mean that if you were walking you could find safe footing but there were lots of shadows.  The two groups, John, Debra and Laura up at the front and the rest of us some 20 feet back were having our own individual quiet conversations.  This created a quiet comfortable human murmur but I wasn’t really paying attention.   I was concerned with the people that lay under ground and not stepping in them.

It was nothing more than dumb luck really with the light like it was and my superstitious distraction.  The light had to be just right and the timing of when I looked up.  It was freaky really even when I think about it now.  What are the odds?  For as I looked up I saw two things almost simultaneously.  The first thing was Debra and Laura.  They said nothing.  They didn’t scream.  They simply turned around and took off at a full sprint.  I have never seen anything like that before or since until the moment of this writing.  There was no gaining speed they started at top speed.  The second thing I saw was John looking over his shoulder with a puzzled expression.  He was in mid stride his left foot heading for the ground.  The light must have been just right for there was no ground where John’s foot intended to land.  Instead there was an open grave.  William and I each caught one of the girls.  It was like being struck by a medicine ball.  If either of us would have been a shade smaller the impact would have winded us.  At the same moment I yelled at John, “OPEN GRAVE!” 

The warning shout was enough and John avoided stepping into the open grave.  He could have seriously injured himself.  He quickly joined the rest of us.  Honestly, at that moment, I don’t think any single member of the group wanted to be very far away from the rest.  That put a chill over the party I must say.  I remember some one saying over and over something close to “Please be empty please be empty.”   This phrase seemed to affect everyone.  She, who I believe was Debra, was pretty upset.  So was Laura but she simply huddled close to William like a soaked little bird seeking shelter from the rain against the bowl of a tree.  A that moment I determined to check the hole out and quickly walked up to it and crouched down and looked inside.  If the image of skeletal hands reaching out, grabbing me by the head and pulling me in just flashed through your mind’s eye that’s okay because it flashed through mind both then and now.

“Its empty,” yelled over my shoulder to the others.

I stood up quickly and walked back to the others before any had the opportunity to examine the grave themselves.  I carefully and quickly informed them again that the grave was empty.  They or We were all shook up pretty good.  Debra and Laura had become obviously quite uncomfortable.  John also had taken a pale hue and seemed suddenly less excited about the whole idea.  I didn’t wait and suggested that we head back to the dorm.  I don’t recall if  that night was ever mentioned again by any of us.  Well except me, right now for I have kept it secret over these last 33 or 34 years and that secret is, the grave wasn’t empty.  Only Meta had heard this story -previously and now you know it too.

Happy Halloween

The Thing from the Gutter

The tall wide form lumbered down the dreary dark street as some shrunken giant from tales of old.  A dwarf among his own kind but a giant here not that anyone single person would pay notice as the slick streets were empty.  Only one in three street lights were illuminated to save energy.  They glimmered a dim foul yellowish brown light as they struggled against the gloom of the thick moonless night.  It had rained that day for those of an age that referred to it as such and it felt like it might drip again, but precipitation at night was far less dreadful.  The brick and mortar buildings well over two centuries old slowly crumbled the blackened panes of glass staring out onto the street like great evil eyes watching the night. Only a rare establishment was open for the adventurous young their lighted interiors sending a muddy yellow cast out into the looming pitch.

His body was covered with a thick black duster.  The sheen indicated a leather especially treated for the elements.  His hands and head were fearlessly bare, his feet clad in heavy boots made of the same animal skin caked in a heavy layer of wax.  He kept his attention on his feet.  Each practiced step was carefully placed flat so as to encourage maximum traction.  After all it had rained that day.

The dim street light’s weak rays reflected off the pavement like moonlight off a black sea.  Ripples of grim yellow light flicker fluttering as under a slight breeze each traced but a side wise pattern of rainbow echos.  It was his feet though, that he kept his eyes on as it was the promised bottle at the end of this trip that had encouraged him to take this unplanned journey.  He shook the thing that hung from his left hand, something draped in a thick waxy oil cloth.  The sound of metal rattling and the squeaking squeal of alarmed rodents where a sure sign that his cargo was okay.  It wouldn’t do if what he had promised didn’t arrive alive.

He strode across the street without hesitation.  The ancient traffic sentinel still kept it’s post from insulated cables all though these relics hadn’t fared so well.  Rusty and skeletal the wind no longer stirred them instead blowing through with little resistance. Three of the four stop signs at the intersection had been long removed, not that it mattered for only the very young venture out after sunset anymore.  His long legs keep a steady slow pace as though they wee mechanical.  He didn’t have far to go.

He turned into a dark storefront.  It’s great plate glass panes gritty reflected a grey translucent glow.  The scarred  brick worn front was well into it’s later years.  The flaking mortar was much like the wrinkles of an ancient human face.  This might have occurred to he that walked if he cared to see.  He kept his eyes glued on the pavement.   He was fully well aware how treacherous the world beneath his feet could be.

Two doors stood with thick stainless steel frames that held thick plate glass worn and gritty like the windows through which people once shopped.  The one to the right lead into the dark and vacant business that was once.  This small downtown around once a great city grew had seen far better days.  Many of the spaces intended for retail had long been disused.  Again his eyes stayed on the ground.  His hand grasped the handle on the door to the left beyond which revealed a long flight of stairs.  He took them nearly two at a time hoping for the shelter offered somewhere deep inside.  Four long strides took his long frame across the second floor passed quiet apartment doors to  second flight of stairs.  These bent back upon themselves and covered almost the same deep distance as the first.  His pace quickened. He was close to his goal.

It was at the top where he took a hard left turn down a long dark hall.  It came to an end between two doors.  One was an escape route once for fires but now for most any environmental emergency.  The other a gateway into an apartment.  This apartment held an old friend and a promised bottle.  This bottle was in all probability the only thing that could have brought him out the night after a storm, other than work.  His knuckles rapped hard on the hollow wood three times.

“Took you long enough,” Muttered a shadow revealed as the door swung silently open.

“I had to find them,” The taller replied in a huff, “It took time.”

The shorter shadow grunted stepping back and to the traveler’s right.  He stepped into the dim apartment setting the object he had carried in his hand, still covered in thick wax oil cloth.  The metal rattled and squeaked as it had to support its own weight.

“Close the door,” The shadow fading in the dim light to reveal the resident’s dark features.

“Bitch, bitch,” Muttered the traveler as he pulled the heavy leather duster from his shoulders.  He shook it once with a hard snap drawing a hiss from the resident.  He pulled his leather All Conditions boots from his feet revealing bread wrappers over stocking feet colored white to grimy grey..  The traveler wore a heavy pair of brown canvas overalls partially concealed under a white lab coat.

“May I?” The resident asked.  He reached then thought better of it and instead pointed toward the cage covered under the heavy oil cloth.  The cage squeaked.  This was not a noise of metal but of rodent.

“You promised…” The giant in hiding commented as he pulled his feet free from the bread wrappers.  It was something of a struggle as the plastic was held tight to his calves by thick rubber bands.  The resident watched the struggle only for a few brief moments.  He smiled his lips cracking as if to laugh but no sound came into the world.

“Right,” He said finally disappearing around a corner and into the depths of the apartment.  The longer tall man finally free of the pesky plastic bread wrappers stepped into the living room.  The room was dimly light by a shaft of yellow light from the doorway to his left.  The machine in the window muttered and hissed releasing a dribble of cool freshly filtered air in to the stuffy apartment.  The air  had a thick stale quality that caused one to work up a mouthful of spit and swallow.

“Why haven’t you replaced this?” He asked looking from the window unit over his shoulder into the room that was intended for dining.

“Thomas?” The traveler called out careful not to yell, “This thing isn’t up to code.”

“Yes, yes,” Muttered Thomas as he pressed a fresh bottle into his friends hand, “You say that every time.”

Thomas continued passed the taller man reaching towards the carefully concealed package hidden under the waxy oil cloth.  The traveler made a warning sound causing Thomas to stop and look back with an expression that was almost hurt.

“I brought you the bottle, Did I not?”

He stood straight and looked up at the traveler.  The taller jostled the smaller to the side as he reached for the oil cloth.  A quick tug pulled it free to reveal a wire cage in which there where imprisoned four large rats.  Three were a mangy grey while the fourth was a pristine white with bright eyes.

“You put Morris in with…” Thomas said slowly.

“There is a good chance for weather tonight,” Interrupted the traveler as he slipped the bottle unopened into the left pocket of his lab coat.  It took him a moment to fish the pristine white rat from inside the cage while still keeping the others imprisoned.  He left Morris free to climb up the right sleeve of his lab coat to find its familiar perch on his right shoulder.

“Yes, yes,” Clucked Thomas, “The weather.”

He held the cage up looking at the three that remained.

“Are these mutants?”

“Unlikely,” The traveler answered having freed the bottle.  He studied the label while pursing his lips.

It was a bottle of Bushmil’s Irish Whiskey.  This fact provoked a smile on the travelers face.

“Do you have a clean glass?” Asked the traveler staring at the bottle.

“You know where to look,” Answered Thomas holding the cage high so that he could clearly see the rodents with in.  That answer meant “No.”  They had known each other for many more years than either cared to admit.   The shorter darker man walked into the next room still studying the cages nervous contents.  He still held it high as he walked directly to the far corner.  The taller paler followed watching his feet.  The carpet that covered the floor from wall to wall was pearly white once long ago.  This was apparent from the border around the room from a lonely couple of feet to a good yard in some places.  The rest had turned a dark dirty grey over years of use and a general lack of care.  The traveler paused by a large aquarium the top almost chest high that stood in the near center.  He paused looking down into the glass enclosure cracking the seal on the bottle.

“So what is this about?” He asked taking a sip from the bottle a letting the heat warm his mouth before swallowing, “What did you find?”

“It is really quite strange,” Thomas answered leaving the metal wire cage on the top of a leaning stack of magazines and papers.  The three sewer rats within stirred nervously.

“I was on my way back from Trey’s One Stop this morning,” Thomas began to explain as he rubbed his hands together the back of his left in the palm of his right.  This was a nervous habit he had possessed since at least university.

“The sun hadn’t yet fully cooked away the black,” He explained.  This was a statement about the time.  It was much like saying late morning.

“When I saw this mass in the gutter,” Thomas’ voice had gotten to that quiet calm full of latent expectancy, “I spotted it immediately.”

“Uh-huh,” Grunted the taller paler man pulling a full swallow from the bottle before replacing the cap.

“I tell you Robert, I don’t know how I recognized it.  I just did.  I poked it with my mail box key and I swear it responded…like…”

No two men in this lost small coastal town were more different.  Thomas was mostly unemployed.  It was something in his nature that caused him to shy away from bosses though he did have a skill set.  He was well educated, astute and he worked here or there mostly in the underground economy.  The people there didn’t ask questions.  They wanted their business kept private and they made it worth Thomas’ while.  Robert on the other hand worked in both the city and the county’s infrastructure department.  He was a trouble shooter.  This meant that every day one, the other or both gave him a crisis list and otherwise he was his own boss.  It would be hard for an outsider to understand their relationship.  There was something about Thomas that reminded Robert of his days back at the University.   That was when the excitement of learning and discovery over took both of them.  That was before the catastrophe when Climate Change was still the greatest threat.  In essence their relationship and these once and a while weird nightly projects evoked a sense of nostalgia that Robert enjoyed like a potent drug.

“Well let’s see the thing,” Robert prompted.  He unscrewed the cap on the liquor bottle and drew a shot letting it lay on his tongue.  The stinging warm from the first drought had been replaced by a strong sweet grain flavor.  The machine in the window whispered and squeaked.  Thomas had walked out of the room to Roberts left.  Robert though keep his attention focused on the interior of the empty aquarium.  His expression was peaceful and expectant.

“I wasn’t sure what to do with the thing,” Stated Thomas as he walked back into the room holding and ancient green plastic Tupperware bowl.  It had lost its lid long ago.  The crisis had caused all commercial plastic production to cease.  Plastic had become to important for production for profit.  His voice drew Robert’s attention as he replaced the capped bottle back into his right coat pocket.  He glanced into the plastic container as Thomas approached the empty aquarium.

Inside, at the bottom, was a bit of black oily sludge about the size of his palm.  It was frosty and when the light struck it just so it produced a flashing rainbow.

“You froze it?”

“I know what you are going to say,” Thomas clucked, “But I needed to clean out the old experiment from the test tank.”

He nodded at the empty aquarium as he squeezed the Green Tupperware bowl between his palms.

“Believe me, Robert.  This thing is nearly indestructible.”

Robert simply shook his head slowly from side to side.

“You, my friend are a maniac,” He stated finally.  An ancient memory flashed in his mind of an old stasis project Thomas had undertaken in college.  It involved a white rat, a freezer and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.  It was a strange and sweet memory.  The involved shenanigans flashed through Robert”s mind’s eye bring a slight smile to his features.  Thomas rapped his knuckles on the side of the green plastic as he turned it upside down over the open aquarium.  The palm sized bit of black sludge shaped like the bottom of the bowl fell free and landed with a sharp tingling thump on the glass bottom of the aquarium.

“It is still frozen,” Robert observed.

“Patience,” Thomas’ voice had a breathy quality.  He was excited.  There was the possibility of a new fundamental discovery.  This is why he went to college in the first place.  He craved the academic cutting edge.  It was close.

Robert shrugged putting the bottle to his lips.  He was trying to just sip but the spirits effect was starting to take hold.  The bottle had paused at just about the half way point to His lips.  He stared at the smooth chunk of what could only be described as coagulated axle grease.  Soft rainbows fluttered across its surface like the same colors on a slick of oil.  Robert had the distinct feeling or discontent in his stomach.

“I don’t think that thing is alive,” Robert said finally pressing the mouth of the bottle to his lips.  Thomas poked at it with his finger.  Robert swallowed hard.  That last sip might have been a mistake as that intense queasy feeling intensified in his stomach.

“It seems stunned,” Thomas said thoughtfully, “Or a bit sluggish.”

“That’s a mild understatement,” Robert said sarcastically as he twisted the cap back on the bottle of liquor and replaced it back in his coat pocket.  Thomas looked thoughtful and finally pulled the wire cage from the tottering stack of papers and magazines.  He pushed open the door and tipped the cage roughly shaking the three sewer rats from within to with out.  The rats quickly fell from the cage.  If they hadn’t wanted to be on the outside of that metal wire prison the task would have been nigh impossible.  They tumbled an twisted the short distance hitting the glass at the bottom of the aquarium.  Two of the three mangy sewer rats had landed entirely on their feet.  The third had landed on its side.  It bounced the highest and landed the nearest the black oily glob of coagulated axle grease.  There was sudden scramble after which three grey tattered sewer rats paced back and forth near the farther end of the aquarium.

Thomas seemed displeased.  He poked the blob from the gutter with his extended right index finger.  It was still frozen.  Robert’s stomach tingled and flipped a bit as he watched Thomas poke the thing with his bare outstretched finger.

“You ought to be more careful,” Robert said softly, “The thing could be dangerous.”

Morris shuffled nervously on his right shoulder.  Its whiskers fluttering in alarm.

“Yes, yes,” Thomas clucked, his mind distant, “I think I must thaw this thing out…let’s see.”

He muttered as he walked slowly back into a dark room just of to Roberts left.  Thomas didn’t bother to turn on a light.  Robert’s attention refocused on the thing that lay in the bottom of the aquarium.  His stomach flipped and he began to swallow.  He felt as though he might get sick.  He could feel Morris shuffling on his shoulder.  Thomas reappeared in the studio turned laboratory with startling speed.  He carried, among other things, a car battery and a pair of jumper cables. He set the car battery down on the dirty carpet next to his feet.  He shuffled through several pairs of long metal probes carefully taking a few minutes to read the resistor at the base of each.  It took him only a minute or two to make up his mind.  Finally having decided which long metal probes he wanted to use and affixing them to the end of the jumper cables.  They had been adapted for a new purpose.  The thick layers of black electrical tape wrapped around each of the Jerry rigged ends attested to this fact.

Robert had seen this device before.  He shook his head from side to side but remained quiet.  Thomas pulled a thick black rubber glove over each hand before connecting the thick copper clips to the heavy duty car battery.  He touched the probes together producing a thick snapping spark.

“You’re going to start a fire,” Robert warned.

“You say that every time.”

Robert remained quiet.  The point wasn’t worth arguing.  Instead he watched as the largest of the dirty grey sewer rats moved cautiously towards the frozen blob of axle grease.  Its nose worked overtime trying to get some sense of the thing that it and its companions shared the tank with.  The aquarium was nearly as high as Thomas’ shoulders but that did not dissuade the intellectual adventurer.  He moved the probes down towards the blob keeping them a safe distance apart.  The older bolder rat paid the probes no attention.  It’s focus was on the blob of black still icy and still sitting. The long metal probes closed each on the opposite side of the thing that Thomas had found in the gutter.  They had nearly made contact with the surface of the thing when a loud snapping crack sounded accompanied by a bright flash of bluish white light.  Thomas pulled the probes apart reflexively and waited a moment.

“Notice it conducts electricity,” He said thoughtfully.

Robert said nothing.  His mind was focused on fighting off the intense feeling of nausea.  He swallowed several times in a row.  The electricity snapped again accompanied by another flash of blue white light.  The flash briefly illuminated the room.  The light cast everything in blue adding a ghoulish flare.  Robert felt his body begin to normalize,  His gaze now was fixed on that bold older rat that had not strayed away from it’s study of the foreign thing.  It was bolder than I, Robert thought as his friend pulled the probes away and set them carefully on the top of the cage that swayed itself a top the stack of papers and magazines.  He reached down into the aquarium and pressed a single rubber clad finger against the apparent blob of coagulated decayed petroleum.

“Damn,” Thomas muttered, “Its still frozen.”

Morris the white reformed lab rat shuffled nervously on Robert’s shoulder.  Robert felt the top of the imported bottle with the tip of his fingers  Thomas huffed and walked back into the darkened room through a door way to Robert’s left.  Robert turned his head glancing hoping to see Morris.  They had been companions for several years and the calm friendly white rat had offered the man a great deal of comfort over that time.  It was less than a minute by Robert’s reckoning before Thomas reappeared carrying a boxy metallic object and another pair of jumper cables.  The cables this time were untampered with and it should have struck Robert as odd that Thomas owned two pair of these objects.  They were rare and expensive.  Copper had become quite valuable since the incident.

Robert forced his attention back to the largest of the trapped sewer rats.  It had gotten so close to the black greasy blob from the gutter that it could have pressed its nose against it’s frozen surface.  This evoked yet another round of nausea.  It had been some number of months since Robert had strong drink.  He had concluded quietly to himself that this was the cause of his gastric complaining.

“To many amps,” Thomas muttered half to the air and half to Robert, “Let’s try higher voltage.”

Robert still said nothing and watched the older bolder rat as it inspected the thing from the gutter.  Robert would have as on other occasions made some sideways comment about the safety of the home brewed transformer but he remained silent.  His attention on the rat as the probes again neared the thing from the gutter.  Blue light flashed illuminating the clutter of the room in a ghoulish cast.  This normally would have been more than entertaining for Robert.  It was the tangle of electric that danced across the glimmering thing and the startled jump of the nervous rat that held him.  He stared in eerie fascination as the rat found the spot in the aquarium most distant from the tangle of electric claws and the thing that flashed oily rainbows.

Thomas pressed on and held the probes letting the suspected new life form absorb the energy in reckless abandon.  It was after several long seconds that the thing had suddenly relaxed .  It took on the appearance of a blob of commercially produced grease.  It was no longer frozen.  Thomas left the probes near the thing, let the electric dance until Robert was about to scream at him.  Then, as if reading His friends mind, Thomas pulled the probes away.  The room flashed dark again.  The sound of the cracking electric ceased.  The thing throbbed as if taking a breath.

Thomas stood still.  A single long metal probe held in each casual rubber encased hand and well apart.  His teeth shown through a wicked smile.  His eyes were fixed on the thing.  Robert’s eyes were driven wide by disbelief. The thing slowly expanded and contracted it’s form relaxing so that it looked like a chunk of soft pudding.  The heating planet and the thick pitch colored pollution that rained down from the sky now most every day had created that thing.  Was such a phenomena even possible?  Could this be something else?

“Could the electricity have produced some vibration?” Robert asked no one in particular.

Morris the rescued white lab rat shifted nervously from side to side on his shoulder.  The black blob glimmered a greasy flashing dark rainbow as it slowly rose and fell with what one could only imagine was something like breathing.  The three grey sewer rats paced back and forth across the far side climbing over one another to avoid closing the distance towards the thing.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Thomas said defensively.

He set the probes so that they hung from both sides of the teetering stack of papers and magazines only half paying attention.  His excitement was visible.  Robert was turning a pale grey as the reality of the thing settled into his mind.  He pulled his hand away from the bottle in the pocket of his lab coat.  The thing moved sliding a thin pseudo-pod towards the far side of the aquarium and then pulling its blob like black pudding form towards the trapped rats.

“I discovered it so I get to name it, right?” Thomas asked clasping his hands together through thick black rubber gloves.

Robert said nothing swallowing the bile that hung about the back of his throat.  The feeling of the need to vomit grew yet he could not take his eyes off of the thing as it again pulled its black greasy glimmering body yet closer to the trapped sewer rats.

“Finally,” Said Thomas his toothy wicked smile hardening, “Vindication.”

He leaned forward hesitantly reaching a hand into the aquarium.  The nameless thing had closed more than half of the distance towards the three sewer rats.  They reacted by trying to bolt around it towards the side of the aquarium nearest Robert.  The largest rat followed by one of the smaller dashed like a grey shadow around the long side to the corner by Robert’s right hand.  The other lone rat moved to the left hand side.

How could something that moved that slow hope to survive in this petroleum tainted world?  It leapt.  A long finger of oily pitch leapt towards the lone rat.  It screamed as the thing caught it.  Robert jumped.  Morris crouched low on his shoulder only his whiskered nose moved.  Robert’s eyes widened to an impossible width.  The thing pulled its body over the rat, flesh bubbling under its oozing body.  The flesh liquefied leaving just bones.  The extended index finger of Thomas’ right hand, still encased in black rubber, pushed through the air towards the thing.

“I don’t know if…” Robert stated to say.

“Come, come Robert.” Thomas responded his eyes unblinking as his wide toothy smile began to press hard exaggerated lines into his face, “It knows me.  I rescued it.  I have fed it.”

Robert snapped his mouth shut looking to the two remaining rats that huddled in the corner just to his right side.  He touched the thing with the tip of his right index finger making a petting motion.  Thomas’ face had frozen in a image somewhere between joy and absolute madness.  The thing paid Thomas no obvious attention.  It instead began to pull it’s oozing black slimy body towards the remaining rats.

“How does it know?” Robert asked the air, “How does it sense the world?”

The thing pulled  away from the slowly liquefying bones of the first victim and was now determined to find the two that remained.  The two rats remaining had begun to panic trying desperately to find some way of scaling the glass walls of the fish tank.  The thing had grown in size.

“My discovery,” Thomas muttered pulling his hands from the inside of the aquarium, “My pet.  It is perfection.”

Robert instinctively shifted his weight from one foot to the other. He then shuffled his feet.   Something about this movement, some arcane sorcery, snapped him back into his right mind.  He stepped back from the aquarium.  The thing moved with startling speed leaping outstretched like a webbed hand.  The larger rat was lucky.  The smaller was not.  It left a piercing high pitched scream as the thing from the gutter caught it.  It’s flesh turning to a thick grey red syrup as the alien product from a polluted environment greedily a sucked it up.  Robert took a step back.  The remaining rat darted to the far corner putting space between it and the predator.

Thomas pulled his hands free from the thick black rubber gloves.  He began to reach his bare right hand towards the thing as it greedily consumed it’s meal.

“Thomas,” Robert said his gaze glued on the hand it’s fingers pressed together as if he were about to stroke a beloved pet.

Thomas made no response.

“Thomas?” Robert repeated the question watching as the hand closed the distance.  The thing had grown noticeably.  It was undeniable.  He pulled his gaze to his friends face.  There he saw what could only be described as insane glee and love.  The moment had been too much for his old friend.

“THOMAS?!” Robert’s voice broke into the air in a loud high pitch.

“It knows me,” Said the wanna be scientist, “I saved it.”

The thing left the second set of steaming bones as they slowly began to turn to jelly.

Robert took another step back increasing the distance between his body and the aquarium.  He pulled his gaze to the face of his companion.  Thomas had always been a bit strange.  Now it appeared that he was gripped by sudden dark irrationality.

Robert gently scrapped Morris from his shoulder and dropped him into the left hand pocket of his lab coat.

Thomas softly pressed the tips of the fingers of his closed hand to the oozing black mass and stroked it once.  The thing leapt on to him grasping his hand..  Thomas’s expression changed to confused fright.  The flesh of his fingers melted and the thing grew climbing up his arm.  He took a clumsy step backwards half stumbling into the tottering stack of papers and magazines.  The stack had been the most unstable and the sudden collision was too much.  It tumbled, the two metal probes still connected to their power sources went as well.  The probes must have connect as there was a loud crack of electric and a sudden burst of flame.  The thing had climbed to his elbow.  Thomas flapped his arm like a great bird and screamed.  The sound was close to hysteria.

That was it.  Robert was done.  He bolted.

His urge to flee was so strong that he forgot his bread wrappers.  He remembered his boots though and hesitated at the bottom of the steps to put them on his feet.  He didn’t bother to close his coat as he found his way into the outside.  A second ear piercing shriek sent shivers up his spine as he began his journey back home through the dark slick streets.  His feet moved quickly as his legs took long strides under the moonless night sky.  He worked to force the mental images of the thing and the sounds of the inhuman scream to the back of this mind.  It was in this region that he could forget.  Robert quickly covered three blocks before pausing and turning around to face the direction in which the apartment building stood.  He stood silently staring waiting for the flames of the fire sparked by the panicking Thomas to burst through the roof or out through a window.  What he saw after a score of minutes passed was nothing.  He did not perceive even a whiff of smoke.  He shivered fighting to maintain something that resembles sanity.

Robert turned away pulling the right side of the heavy leather coat open and glancing down towards the pocket on the same side of his lab coat.  There he spot the familiar whiskered face of Morris.  The sight of the rodent, whiskers wiggling to take in the scents of the world around him always made Robert feel better.  the atmosphere would have worried him any other time.  His feet inside damp boots would have drawn serious concern.  This was also true of the open oily treated over coat.  Tonight though this was far from his mind.  The thing that Thomas had discovered had reconfigured Robert’s priorities.

“I think we are moving,” He spoke in a regular speaking voice to Morris.

“I can find a job anywhere with my skill set,” He continued not leaving much time for the rat to reply.

“Have you ever seen an or the ocean?” He asked the rat.  The Rat simply looked back.  Her was comfortable in the pocket of the lab coat.

“I see,” Robert sounded concerned, “Well I have a cousin that lives outside Seattle.”

He nodded and smiled as his feet took long rhythmic strides out of the down town.  The thick darkness grew as there were no street lights out in the small city outside of the archaic downtown.

“I think I’ll put my two weeks notice in,” Robert stated still watching his small friend, “What do you think about that?”

Morris said nothing, not even a squeak.

“Good,” Robert sounded pleased, “I’m glad you agree.”

It would be shortly after that that Robert’s long tall form would be swallowed by the dark night.

 

 

+

Battle with Big Mac

Here is a weird little story.  It takes place in a McDonald’s in the fall (I think) of 1988.  This would be the fall after college and I parted ways and a month or so before my mother’s passing.  This would be when I worked night maintenance.  That’s was what the job title was though the work itself was much closer to Custodial.

Generally the shift was third and it started at 11 o’clock at night and ran until round 7 am the following morning.  The company liked to keep two maintenance men on the overnight shift for safety reasons.  This McDonald’s wasn’t in a high crime area.  It was on the south side outskirts of a rural college town in North West Ohio.  In the 1980s this campus had the second highest student population of any university in the state coming just after OSU.

I remember watching an occasional drug deal go down in the parking lot out front of the restaurant.  This would usually happen between 3am and 5am when the cops would head over to a Frisch’s on the east side of town to hang out.  This would be a perfect spot to make some joke about donuts but this was back when Frisch’s still made really good cheap food.  I remember this strawberry pie that was to kill for.  I remember it as “Home of the Big Boy.”

Also on those dark winter nights when I would take the trash out to the compactor there would be on very rare occasion a homeless person or two.  That was back when McDonald’s still used Styrofoam packaging on most everything and when they still had strict practices on how fresh the food had to be.  Once a Sandwich of any kind was produced it could only sit for so long before it was required to be pitched.  I don’t remember if it was 8 or 10 or 15 minutes.  So the food in the dumpster was pretty edible.  Generally when I encountered these people back in the coral where we kept the compactor I didn’t mess with them.  It might be tense for a couple of minutes before it became apparent that nobody wanted any trouble.

Like I said earlier, McDonald’s liked to have two men working the graveyard shift and that is how it was for slightly more than half the time I was working there.  It had one odd feature though that I had not seen since I was a child.  It was a life sized plastic Big Mac.  I think he was supposed to be some kind of a police officer, sheriff or constable.  It stood on a plastic platform that was green and meant to look something like grass, if memory serves.  He wore this English Bobby looking police hat/helmet on the very top of his head.  The whole thing was just a hair taller than I was.  I stood a bit more than six feet and four inches tall.  There was this metal button, really the head of a bolt that at one time, when touched, would cause a recording of the character saying something stupid like “Don’t forget to eat your fries” or some other shit.  I had been told, though I don’t remember by who, that it was broken.

It was during a time that there were only two people working night maintenance so each of us worked the shift in the store alone for two nights a week.  I don’t exactly remember the time of year.  My memory of that time is funny that way.  It could be a trick of memory or a trick of schizophrenia I Have no idea which.  I want to say that it was the fall but it just as easily could have been some time during the summer.  Right this instant, as I right this sentence, I am leaning towards summer.

I was in the store alone, it was late around 4 am in the morning and I was mopping the floor in the lobby.  I had worked there for several months by now and I was very comfortable in the store.  My mind wasn’t on my job.  I had turned my back and was walking backwards across the main lobby towards the side lobby that extended to the back where the bathrooms were located as well as Big Mac.

Somebody spoke.  I was involved in my own mental world so I didn’t here what had been said clearly but I did jump.  I had a strong chill run down my spine.  My first thought was that some one who worked at the place was playing a joke.  The manager would, on occasion, after being out bar hopping, sneak in and up on us to check and see if we were working.  It could have been him or any of the three or four people that had a key.  My second thought was that it was an unknown person with ill intent looking for some kind of advantage.  So I decided to walk around the store with mop in hand.  After making a full circuit what was fear had begun to morph into something more like rage and on my second pass I made sure that I was always between the space I was exploring and the way out.  I was still alone.

This would happen a couple more times.  It would be the second of these times that I would be down by Big Mac washing the windows in the exit door we it would pipe up again.  It said something like “watch out for the Hamburgler,” or some other shit.  I jumped nearly toppling the wash bucket turning and looking directly at the giant plastic Big Mac.  The mystery had been solved.  I moved my hand like I was about to punch the big dummy when I thought better of it.  He looked back at me those three buns and two delicious meat patties forming a dark evil grin.  The two plastic white and black cartoon eyes perched at the top of the sesame seed bun leering and taunting me.  It occurred to me that Big Mac only mouthed off when I was in the store alone.  I wondered if I had lost my mind.  He would only pipe up and sound off one more time after this before I decided to investigate.

One night when Ken the only other member of the maintenance staff and I were together working that I brought the subject.  I said that I was curious and I wanted to ask him a question.  He said that I should and I asked directly whether or not Big Mac was popping off while he was in the shop alone at night.  He said that it had.  Armed with this information I waited.  I didn’t wait for long before Big Mac popped off again one night.  How could such a scrumptious sandwich be so evil?  I told the manager about the incident.  He responded by saying something like “Its your imagination, that thing is broken.”  Ken backed me up with out prompting.  The manager said that he would get it fixed.

The fix didn’t take and Big Mac continued to mouth off.  It was like he was laughing at me.  I told the manager that there was still a problem and he said that he would take care of it.  This went round and round, Big Mac would taunt me and the Manager said  that he’d look into it.  It was getting frustrating and irritating until the last night and the last straw when I was mopping down the side lobby.  My back was to Big Mac the hamburger headed mother fucker when he popped off again.  I swear it said something like “What are YOU gonna do?”  It was laughing at me.  I know it was.  I jumped.  It had happened so many times and I couldn’t get over the fact that the damned thing still made me start.  I caught myself, the mop handle had almost made contact with that great evil hamburger headed monster but I managed to pull back.  That morning the manager was there at open and I told him about the incident.  The repeated that he would have somebody look into it.  I realized that this was a story, a fiction.  I responded that it would be good if he did.  I clearly stated that the next time that thing started talking in the middle of the night the fair manger would find it in pieces in the parking lot when he came to work the following morning.

The next night when I rolled in for work I discovered that Big Mac was gone.  Plastic green grass like platforn and all.  That was the end of Big Mac.  I had won the battle.  I didn’t need to fire a single shot.  Even in the darkest of times small victories always taste sweet and refresh the soul.

One last thing though, Big Mac only every talked when either Ken or I were in the store alone and as far as I know no one else ever had that experience at that specific store.

It is quite strange really.

The Gun Question

I have stated in the past here that I support the second amendment.  I wanted to make sure that this is clear at the beginning.

When I was young, before I started high school there was this thing called a seriel killer.  These were people like Bundy, Gacey and Manson.  They were a new phenomena,  This isn’t to say that this type of thing hadn’t happened in the passed.  It was just that it was so rare as to not be significant.  In the late 60s and early 70s it became significant.  It was a trend.  I suppose there are always predators in our midst.

It seems to me, I have no sources to quote here, that this type of crime began to fall off sometime in the 90s.  I always thought that the Vietnam war had something to do with it and it just took that long for the curse to work its way out.  That war was a war of aggression.  It was about control.  It was ugly and our military was largely conscript.  Of course that could be utter bullshit.  It just as easily could have been due to the presence of lead in the atmosphere.  You know, from leaded gasoline.

All of this is simply prelude.

Over the last two decades there has been a rise in this thing people and the media call Mass Shootings.  Again these acts happened before.  Back in the 80s it was called going postal.  These early shootings most often happened at work places.  Not that schools or churches were exempt.  They were just less common.  There were explanations at the time as to the whys of the event.  They were highly individualized.  It was unusual to hear the term disgruntled employee.  These crimes seemed to be rage related.  A final straw that broke the camels back incident.  I haven’t really researched this so I might be very wrong and or terribly biased.  For simplicity’s sake lets just say that these mass shootings were not only rarer but also different in nature.  This doesn’t excuse the incidents.  We are talking about degrees.  I am also letting you know that I have lived here in our fair country for some time.  I have memory, as faulty as it may be.

This trend in mass shootings over the last two decades though is different.  It seems to be hyper predatory.  Serial criminals were predatory too but their crimes were committed in private.  Their targets were vulnerable individuals like the elderly, those that lived alone, prostitutes, the inexperienced youth.  These were often the kind of individuals that would not be missed.  These new events that the media calls Mass Shootings are more like a spectacle.  Their target looks to be more often than not crowds.  These things are real attention grabbers.  Even those on the internet can’t help but to talk about them.  The targets are often schools, places of worships, night clubs, concerts and other public places where crowds gather.  They seemed to be designed to create panic during the incident and gather the most attention.  They look as if they are designed to cause the greatest possible fear among the citizenry and the media appears to amplify this effect.  The news coverage often describes so political motive or ascribes some type of mental health history.  That allows for the label of terrorism which may be true but I don’t understand it as such.  What effect are these killings hoping to achieve?

There would be a tendency for one at this point to drift into some Conspiracy Theory.  This is understandable as the crimes described are so hard to understand.

Some of these Mass Shootings are so frightening and disturbing to the public that the government must weigh in on them.  Some declare that there is need for more and stricter gun control.  Others insist that there is need for more funding to mental health services.  There is some arguing over which is more important, just enough arguing until some distraction comes along and the disaster disappears from the public consciousness until it happens again.  It seems as if this phenomena is beginning to be accepted as normal which I believe is what is referred to as normalization.  This is not to say that nothing has been done as some states have passed red flag laws.  Still this is nothing more than the treatment of a symptom.

I wonder about the Federal Government sometimes.  It seems to me that as a group, in the most general sense they are most afraid to do anything that would upset the domestic status quo.  That they want to do as little as possible other than cut taxes and increase military spending.  It feels as though their livelihood depends on doing as little as possible.  That actually following through on any statement about possible solutions to this problem might cost them in the next election.

I personally feel that both mental health and simply supplying enough cash to enforce all ready existing gun control regulations would be a good start.  These though only treat the symptoms.  I honestly think that we have not dealt with the cause.  There is this term, Gun Culture.  I don’t understand what it means.  I don’t know anyone that worships guns.  I haven’t heard of any gun holidays or parties you have to bring a gun to.   But the in film criticism there is the term Male Gaze.  That took me two years in which to gain some understanding.  Academics and the academically minded tend to speak in a code that leaves the rest of us out of the conversation.  It could be just a way of stating that we Americans are violent.  It could be that all people are violent by nature.

I don’t know.  Are we Americans violent?

Do we have the right to kill other people and if we as a group don’t have this right do some of us under certain circumstances have that right?  Well. women have the right to choose, at least in most states.  Is terminating a pregnancy violent?  I think in the simplest of terms it is taking a human life.  There fore I think it is violent.  I support a woman’s right to choose but I can also admit that it is a violent act.

What about the death penalty?  Is that violent?  We can say that our death penalty is humane but that does not change the fact that it is a premeditated act of killing or murder.  We can agree murder is violent whether you support the death penalty or not.  I generally don’t support the death penalty but I also don”t actively work against it.  It is like I said with a woman’s right to choose, just because we agree with a policy we should still be able to be honest with ourselves.

Police related shootings are obviously not premeditated but they are violent.  I have felt for some time that the internet has been amplifying the number of police related killings.  That the reality is that they haven’t actually been increasing as a percentage of population.  I don’t know this.  I haven’t done the research.  It is just a feeling.  There is a problem with this feeling though.  The idea that the rate of police related homicides hasn’t increased.  That we simply didn’t know or if we did we didn’t care is alarming.

I think that it is safe to say that our military possesses the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction of any group or nation on God’s little green earth.  This fact is a statement about the intent to do something very violent.  Does that massive ever present arsenal create some unknown complex in our national sub conscious?

When we look at our governments foreign policy it is hard not to notice that we (in the national sense) tend to support groups and nations that are engaged in violent activity.  We ourselves, as recent history has shown, willfully engage in the use of military force to achieve our policy goals.  As I have said previously, the individual is free to take what ever position they feel strongest about, this is something like a democracy after all.  It appears to me that the state can easily engage in violence as it sees fit.

This is not the results of some scientific study.  This is just how things look from where I sit.  It is simply a statement of what appears to be obvious to me.  That we are a violent people.  Maybe all humans are violent but I have never lived any where else.  We can have a long conversation about how we got here, to this place.   We can look at the custom of the open hand whether it is over head, at the side or waving a greeting or farewell.  We even offer an open hand in friendship with a hand shake.  These motions, I have heard it said, are a sign that a person is not armed.  That they are vulnerable.  A handshake is an indication that both are unarmed and vulnerable.  I have always heard that this tradition comes from Europe but I can’t say that I know that to be so.  Simply put it is a tradition in my country, America.  The idea that there would be a need for such a thing indicates a wild and violent nature that is in the very least we subconsciously acknowledge.

Whether this violence is part of the nature we were born with or is a thing we have learned or even some combination of the two.  This though doesn’t matter for the point I am trying to make.  People, individuals, are complex beings.  The vast majority of our own minds are unknown to us.  There are impulses and influences that contribute to how we think and how we perceive the world and our role in it.  We often obscure the darker less pleasant aspects of our own self, our own motives.  In essence we lie to ourselves.  Sophisticated people can use this mental habit against us and mislead us.  This is rarely for our own benefit.

If we believe that we are the bestest, the brightest and the most free people, nation, group of individuals but we are not willing to look at the monster that lies with in then we are unaware.  We create monsters out of the others, those that are not ours who are otherwise just like us.  We build enemies out of rage and paper or stand in fear of shadows with gun in hand.  Being moral, even if it is just one moral is hard.  There is risk in such behavior.  Being moral means having less, less money, less food, less medical care, less security and less recognition.  It is a quiet thing.

In the very least, if we cannot admit that we are a violent people.  That this violence sometimes makes up our minds for us, decides our course of action, then maybe we aren’t grown up enough to own fire arms of any kind.

I find this conclusion uncomfortable as I have supported the second amendment my whole life.  I still support it, if we are adult enough to have the right.

I don’t know.  It just a thought.

Have a better than average day.

10/12/2019

WOW!

Time simply flies.

I thought I had been away for only a year.  It was when I returned to this blog that I realized that it is far closer to two since my last post.  (I just went back and double checked the dates and…no its only been about 13 months.)   I just don’t have a proper sense of time as it passes.  This felt much more like a long day had passed even though I thought it was maybe a year.  This blog, all of my projects really, call to me, begs and cries but life has plans of its own.  A lot has happened and I am having  hard time sorting out just what to write about.   I think though it has been closer to two years and this site has changed quite a bit.

How much to say?

Well…  Meta and I finally got a new Psychiatrist about  a year ago last January I think.  That was a bit bumpy.  The first thing, really the only thing our new doctor did was take us off of our Benzos…  I never can say or spell that name.  We will just say nerve pills.  .  Meta use to take Xanax and I use to take Ativan along with our other psychiatric medication.  It seems that he does not like those types of medications.  I can’t hold that against him as doctors tend to have medications they like or trust and medications they don’t like nor trust.  Surprisingly I made that adjustment, with time, without any big bumps.  Meta on the other hand has had a much harder time.  Her nervous condition is much worse than mine and she is getting older.

She found herself trapped inside the house.  This was hard for her as she had a presence in the downtown where we live.  She would visit the various shops and the local library often.  She has what the doctors use to call an anxiety condition.  This isn’t like an anxiety disorder.  I have seen other people shake like she does on you tube.  It was old footage of men from World War One that had suffered from shell shock.  In the beginning she mostly relied on stress eating to cope.  Now Meta smokes weed.  People have a variety of views on marijuana  but the anxiety and the physical shaking is too much for me and I’m just watching.  She also has the feeling of bugs crawling all over her body which provokes scratching.  She had suffered from this before and our last doctor prescribed the Xanax in response.  It had been so long that she had largely forgotten what this was all like.  This has been hard for her to adjust to but she had managed thus far.

I have been picking up more of the house hold chores during this period and in these last few weeks she has finally started to come around and begin doing more around the apartment.  I think this is good.  I hope this is good.

My home state has medical marijuana but that is so expensive.  We have found that we still need to go to the street if she wants it which strikes me as strange.  I was under the impression that the whole medical marijuana thing was to reduce the trafficking of street drugs yet the legal stuff is so expensive.  Well, I think most any one would understand what I am trying to get at.

The staffing problem at the clinic has finally been solved by the addition of two nurse practitioners.  Maybe the word solved doesn’t quite describe the situation.  Improved is probably a better term.  Meta and I are lucky.  We have each other and a few family members that do help.  I know what it is like here.  The lack of funds prevent more people, therapists, case Management and MDs/NPs but there are a lot of people in need and the system still appears to me to be over loaded.  I sometimes wonder what it is like in other community mental health clinics across our fair country.

On top of this over these last two years Meta has lost three close family members.  I do what I can but I fear I might be some what emotionally stunted.  I know this has been hard on her.  I fear that I am not much when it comes to offering comfort for these kinds of losses.  Its hard to watch the world you were born in dwindle around you.  It is in these times that I feel the most like a space alien.

I hope all has been at least as good for all of you out there and that today is a better than average day.

Giggler

Sometimes when I speak

the words come into the world easily

with clarity

Other times they hit the air in a rush like Jetsam

on a rushing river

and Yet again these statements seem to hit the atmosphere

like a meteor from Pluto

I find as I get older that it becomes more difficult to self censor

It could be a lack of energy

a weird exhaustion

or maybe I no longer care

I don’t think it maters

I’m just a squatter

on this rock

Strange as it maybe I find that I crave silence now more than ever

It was a learned thing

silence

My words out of place

out of step

drew narrowed eyed glances

side wise stares

there was something strange there in those others’ gazes

as if they beheld something alien or irritating

It’s me, I tell myself

my eyes my senses that are the foler

The trickster

Still I try to conform

to simple social norms

Over the years I have gotten better at it

Until

I relax

I speak

The words make sense to me

But for the listener, for the outside there is a shock

They seem as it they had been struck

by a board

the sudden realization

That the label really belongs where it has been stuck

That I am a giggler

I snuck through

camouflaged

But now with age

That thing that caused me ebaressment

that label of shame

now produces cosmic hilarity

I don’t know,

I guess you had to be there