Saturday, September 30, 2006

Making Money Miserable

I understand about change. The fear of it, the fear of its costs, the fear that somehow things may never be good again. It's a false fear but you can't know that unless you face it. And a fear not faced becomes the Ruler of your life - and it's to that which rules you to which all your prayers are directed. Funny part is, not changing often brings all the calamities feared in the first place.

The longer you go not facing a needed change, the more absurd your life becomes (trust me on this one). In the Sixties we broached the idea of actual change - and have been running away from it ever since. Growing up isn't lethal - it just seems that way until you do it. But we have crawled back into our shells and decried "nothing must change", thus bringing us the ever growing absurdity of this: Today, our lives center around not making us happy but making money happy.

We know it's a false god - it's our dirty little secret. But it's so much fun pretending it's real, Mommy! "I made money happy today. I am a good person." We have whole industries built on this fabrication: banking, insurance, stockbrokers, risk arbitrage, etc. - all serve no real purpose! But no one wants to say the emperor has no clothes - that would mean (gasp!) change.

People say money is needed to make a system work. Hell, the only reason money was invented was so ugly guys could get laid! "If I can't buy nooky what am I gonna do!" I gotta admit, that one's got me wavering a bit. (Chants to self, "Change won't kill me, change wont kill me.") But let's take a closer look at what good our naked emperor is truly doing:

"You know, we could save our environment but it doesn't make the money god happy. So it must be OK not to." Good thinking that.

A man with a badge and a gun says: "I don't want to do this but you have to leave your house. You're not making money happy." That's the thing about money, it makes you do things against your soul.

And even if you are happy: "I'm sad to say this, but you have to stop working now. It doesn't make money happy." Love your job? Good at it? Being productive? Means nothing. Only thing that counts is if money is OK, not you. You go home now and die - oh wait, we're going to take your home from you too.

"Put him in jail, Barney. He's got no money on him and you know we can't have that." "You're right, Andy, we've got to make the money god happy."

Another starving child dies - by our choice.

Be like Sisyphus!

"The times they are a-changin'." Even if we aren't.

The amount of human suffering we've allowed is incalculable. How much blood is upon our hands? Regardless, the time of this concept has passed. We decreed that life must be made insufferable for those who do not serve money and yet in the end our lives have been made insufferable because we do. Funny that. I think things will sort themselves out just fine without money. Let's have a little more faith in our Maker. We haven't given Him a chance yet.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Harry-san and the Jisei of a Crazy Gaijin

Since I live in a "twilight world", a place between life and death where neither dreams nor doubts have meaning, I may as well wish for the impossible as well as the possible. I have a picture of my retirement: to at long last return to my beloved Japans and live out my days as a crazy gaijin wandering the countryside. A floating world to explore at the merest whim, or to spend a day in quiet meditation facing the mountain, a teacup sitting beside me. The timeless breeze blowing upon my face rinsing the sins of a lifetime away.

Today, I had an Incident. A piece of wire punctured my leg. At first I tried to pursuade myself it was a pine needle but I knew. I flashed back to high school where I read in class the part of a man who died of a shaving cut. What a cheap death, I thought. But how keen am I on staying here anyway? So I thought to myself: to tetanus or not to tetanus? I chose life.

No small thing this. Find a clinic, wait for God knows how long, face the fear of a shot and the pain of payment. Ugh. Part of me was defiant. "I shouldn't have to take this!" By virtue of my homelessness, I argued, I should not have to endure any more than I already am. In my overthinking way I start to wonder: what does this mean? I settled only on a grudging resignation.

"I have my books and my poetry to protect me."
-Paul Simon

This same day I had bought a book of Japanese death poems (jisei) at my haven Barnes and Nobles. A death poem was often written by monks, poets, samurai and nobles as a way to sum up life in its final moments. (Did I mention that in my retirement I wished to be a world class haiku poet?) And in my book I took comfort in this:

Someone asked, "When one is confronted with disaster, how can one avoid it?"
[Famous Zen monk] Joshu said, "Thats it!"
(The disaster lies only in the conciousness of "disaster". When you are in a given situation but do not define it, it is not "good" or "bad"; you simply react according to the circumstances.)

In other words: shit happens. I think Zen monks would appreciate the simplicity of that phrase. I, too, am a believer in Zen, that less is more. In the making of "Jaws", they found the shark became scarier the less it was directly shown as opposed to playing the shark music with the camera rushing along the water. The fear was in the imagining.

In this vein I composed my own haiku to hopefully snatch moments in time. On these things did I ponder: the dichotomy of the nightmare made of this dream world, the passing of our existence, the Zen of less is more and finally my jisei.

The noon sun grows high,
Flowers straining to reach it;
Swords glint before me.

The serene pebble
Lies at the base of the tree.
Night's shadow arrives.

Had I said nothing
As the flowers bloomed to life,
I'd have said the same.

Silent damages;
Lost in the forest of life
Hidden light burns bright.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Religion of the Year Contest

The Bishop!
I saw today where the Pope is apologizing, err, explaining his remarks once again concerning the Muslim religion. In a carefully choreographed scene by his papal handlers, his Holiness met with Muslim "ambassadors". The Pope raised his hand and gamely blurted out his best "High five!" The Muslim entourage exchanged confused glances among themselves, then an also confused Pope finished his script with: "I'm down with you, homie." Relations are reported to have soured.

Now, I was thinking, we just gots to get these folks talkin' ag'in. With my head leaning back against a tree on a beautiful, beautiful day, the wheels inside my furrowed brow were just spinning away and...nothing. And then...and then the good Lord Hisself spoke to me! (considering all the other assholes He's allegedly been talking to, why not me) Hallelujah! It's so clear an atheist could see it:
Month Python's 127th Annual Twit of the Year Contest.

My first thought on bringing these two sides together was simple: an Islamic Pope. Best of both worlds, neh? But with the message from On High, I realized tain't nobody gonna be happy wit dat! This needs to be a winner take all situation. And that can mean only one thing: cage match! Here's the rules: every religion, pick your Pope and bring it on, baby! After that, all ya gotta do is win!

My Pope can kick your Pope's ass!
We all know the Bible stories: don't matter how big or strong you are, if God wants your ass to win, you'll win! And whichever religion wins has their creed declared Religion of the Year. Lord help us if the Amish are victorious. But can you just imagine the enormity of the event?? World Cup, eat your heart out! Vegas, line up your holy handicappers! Peace be on earth, we have finally decided who is most holy!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Random Thoughts of a Sobering Mind

"What rock did he crawl out from under?"

I'm a world traveler, a jet setter. I'm comfortable there. It's home.

"He's a strange one. A real piece of work, that."

"Does anybody really know that guy?"

I've forgotten me, I've forgotten me...

Is there a way out?

Has anyone else cheated themselves like I have?

If I show their crimes, no one will listen. If I show my crimes, no one will hear. But if I show life as it truly is, then all crimes will be revealed. That's when they come to kill you.

How can I explain not being stupid anymore? I've built whole identities around it.

Portrait of the Artist as a Fraud

I've got these really, really bad vibes...

No one's coming to help you. No one can now.

Sometimes you just look around and say, "Oh my God, what have I done?"

Everything I've built on this identity, I would have to give up. But I can't deny the real one. Life must progress.

Man, am I tired...

I'm Dead Man Walking regardless. All this means nothing

I Won Blog of the Day Award

There'll be no living with me now!

I'm da Man!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Siren's Call

(Help! I can't get laid!)

The speaker's arms were flailing in Passion, fists clenched in furious Conviction. His Authority was unassailable, No Doubt visible in his words. This is a man who Knows Things, who explored Life and brought forth Answers. Good News was his song and Good Things his bribe:

"Es ist unser Wille, den dieser Staat für eine tausend Jahre ausdauern wird. Wir freuen uns zu wissen, dass die Zukunft unser völlig ist!"

In the crowd sat two women, one nudging the other. "I don't know what he's saying, but I like the way he says it."

"Indeed!" concurred her friend. "No one so passionate could be so wrong. It's exciting to listen to!"

"Have you seen those cartoons that make fun of him? Laughing at him for being such a loser?"

"Yes, I have. Very funny!"

"Oh, my! Look at the time. We better hurry to get in our votes for him."

"Indeed! I don't want to be called irresponsible."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's a Beautiful Lie

"There are some people, and I'm one of them, that believe [the current President] was placed where he is by the Lord," Tomanio said. "I don't care how he governs, I will support him. I'm a [reptile] through and through."
-actual quote by a woman, sober and not under duress
(all quotes in this posting are real)


Everything is beautiful in my world. My home is a modern marvel of convenience; my car sparkles luxuriously in the sun. While others may suffer, I know only comfort. My neighborhood is of the best, a finely manicured dreamscape where children play carefree. The blight of mankind is not to touch me. I am faithful and therefore blessed. But I know there are those who want to destroy my world, my refuge.

My godly blessings are my foundation. My heroes are those who fight to preserve them. In my life I seek only the fruits of my faithfulness. There are those who share my faith and we fight the good fight even though the blind and the misguided cry out against us. The true path is never easy but I shall never leave my world. And for that I say this prayer:

"Oh God,
My soul followeth hard after Thee. But those that seek my soul to destroy it shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword. They shall be apportioned for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God. Everyone that sweareth by him shall glory."

For selfishness is my religion, money my savior and I am my own God.


They are the Soulless Scalpels of Society, any job will do. Mindless dogs to be pointed in any direction, servants of the stewards of All That Has Been Deemed Good. To be given orders is to be given meaning, morality lay only in the faithful execution. There is a peacefulness to such men - Bitches With Orders - no need to question or determine wrong from right. That's already decided - by those who give the orders.

As instruments of society, guilt escapes them. If, somehow, their actions are later established to be improper, no blame is held. Who does not want to do his share, to contribute? Virtue lay in obedience - and blind obedience the most virtuous of all. The good soldier, the good man - he does what he is told, he is emasculated. If told to build a bridge, it is gladly done. If told to kill a man, it too is gladly done. There's no evil seen in obeying.

Today, a family is removed from its home for failing the gods of society. Yesterday, peace protestors got shot. Before that, millions taken to death camps, "witches" burned alive in horror, Jesus nailed to a cross. Bitches With Orders come in the night, with eyes unseeing and hearts unknowing, mad dogs set loose; futureless, vicious and rabid.


I have been chosen! "I'm driven with a mission from God." "There's a higher Father that I appeal to." I have been sent forth to shape the world according to God's vision. Praise be to me! Long have I struggled to reach this state of self-blessing. Feed me the power to do the Lord's work! "I change constitutions, I put churches in schools." To follow me is to follow God.

"If I tell you black is white and white is black, you're to believe me." Such is the leadership I offer you, come share in the glory! A greed for goodness, a destroyer of evil, an oppression of holiness - our will be done! Not just another God complex. The fever is growing around the globe. Another day, another holy war.

It's such a beautiful feeling, this lie of mine...its cup poisons me with pleasure...please don't say what I do is wrong...can't you see? if you would just agree with me, all my problems would be solved...i am my own star...the planet is dying and I must save it...I bring enlightenment to the me, this is not all just some selfish gesture.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Sobering Event

I've been having trouble sleeping lately. My back aches horribly as I crimp up during the night. There's just so much stuff eating at me that comes out when I lay down. Considering I've been on this path of self-destruction since I was a child, it's a wonder I get any rest at all. I'm not a drinker but I'm rarely sober. The tragedy of my crimes is un-faceable.

Pain has a way of pulling you out of your stupor. I sent an email to the spouse of Debby. With a little Goggling I was able to find the address fairly easily as he's a Senior V.P. at a national bank. The subject read: "A girl of dreams" and the body read: "Debby died when she married you." There was no reply nor will there be. Theirs has always been a house of silence - something I can understand.

It's my own reaction that has me on pins and needles. Some of the "old" feelings came back, rekindling the fear and dread and excitement. The possibility of Debby in my life in any form completely transforms my outlook. Instead of paddling away from life and growing ever farther away, I am desperate to paddle back to where she is. It's then I realize the horror of my ways. Water as far as the eye can see, no shore in sight. Dear God, what have I done?

The suicide urge came back to life; churning in my stomach, my heart racing. To have given up paradise for hell... The eternity of this feeling, a feeling of Ultimate Sin and betrayal. Judgment Day comes every day for me. I hear the angels crying and I am the cause. I share those tears.

People don't know the criminal I am - they also don't know I see the criminal in them. I remember back when we worked together thinking how could I describe my feelings if I were to live with Debby. It would have been like winning the lottery every single day; an endless, boundless joy of running down the street yelling, "Yes! Yes!" That's been replaced now with screams of, "No! No!"

So, instead of publishing a groundbreaking novel and making a revolutionary film - all inspired by her - I've ended up here, documenting my death. I'm a shadow man, too crippled to crawl out of the gutter. I die a miserable, dog's death - because that's all I've left myself. I love you, Debby.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sympathy For The Janitor

Please allow me to introduce myself,
I'm a man of filth and waste.
Carried the bags many a long year,
Lost my hope and sealed my fate.

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain;
Washed Pilate's dirty towel
He threw to me in his disdain.

Pleased to meet you!
You never knew my name.
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my pain.

I snuck around St. Petersberg
When I saw it was a time for a change;
Still lugged the trash and stinking rot
After all they'd re-arranged!

When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank;
Who buried them all?
The man of the lowest rank!

Pleased to meet you!
Can you guess my name?
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my pain.

I tried to flee
From the kings and queens;
I sharpened their knives
For the taking of lives.

I shouted out:
"Who spilled the hot coffee?"
When after all
It was you not me!

Pleased to meet you!
I'll never have a name.
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of your pain!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Would You Be A Terrorist?

In an Alabaman courthouse in the Sixties, a white supremacist stood trial for his participation in the lynching of a black man. In the weeks following the killing, he emotionally sobered up and came to deeply regret it. Detailing his crime on the witness stand, the man broke down. Seeing the boy's mother in the audience, he pleaded to her for the seemingly impossible:
to forgive him.

"Son," she serenely replied, "I already have."

Literally, there was not a dry eye in the house.


Would you be a terrorist if:

  • you watched your children starve to death day by day
  • your home was bombed - and you still owed the mortgage
  • each day was to be nothing more than a search for food
  • your son was drafted into the army - at 12
  • your teenage daughter was sold as a prostitute
  • you had NO SAY in your life

Poverty like a plague has contaminated more of the world than not. And as long as we place money over the human condition, it will only grow. The conditions I listed above are just a FEW of the horrors shared by our fellow man. Judge them if you will but who would you rather have as your neighbor: the well fed man or the man with no food? A man with a hungry neighbor never sleeps well at night; he always has to be on guard.

We think our war machine and money and - laughably - fences will allow us to sleep well. Man's folly never ends. One thing I've learned from studying history: we never learn from history. I started this posting with a story of forgiveness and there will be those who mock that idea because rage is oh so hip. But if someone were to ask me: why forgive? I would say because Jesus forgave you - and look what we did to him.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Enter the Sloth

Both the hip and the happening populated the cafe. Wannabe writers, comfortably leftist yuppies, the late night bar rats - all congregated 24 hours a day. The pricey menu gave a certain snob appeal but no one thought less of the coffee sipper and his book. Upscale funky. Conversation ranged from the superfluous to the sublime. A place in another lifetime where I would have loved to hung out.

Actually, I wanted to hang out there in this lifetime, too. Enter the sloth.

It wasn't true, but I felt all eyes on me. How could I not? With my brown scaly skin, the two wobbly antennae jutting from my head and the aura of a creature from the swamp - who could not notice that?? The plan had been the straight bluff: I'm OK, you're OK. But my bluff amounted to only a failed smile and nervous nodding. You're OK, I'm a sloth. Damn I wish I'd kept my human characteristics.

My scales are shedding all over table as I wait for the waitress. Quickly, I scamper to clear them off. Later, when they come to clean, they will be found. A moment of shame to live in absentia. But the goal for now is to keep the bluff alive. I exceedingly impress upon my order taker my normalness as I point out my desire for a ham and cheese omelette like any other human. Besides, I got your money god - you gotta serve me!

Damn thing is expensive. Hope I still enjoy it knowing the cost. The ordering ordeal is over, time now for the newspaper prop. People should see me reading and ask my opinions of current events. I'm informed, insightful and intelligent. Why not include me? Oh yeah, I'm a sloth. Once, I really was asked and fumbled the reply so badly all I got was patronizing smiles and a quick resumption of conversation without me. Maybe there's no such thing as a smart sloth.

My pleasant surprise as the food arrives is well rehearsed. My lobster claws grab the utensils as I attack the meal with a furious vengeance. See my appetite for life! The omelette is pretty damn good so I lose some of my angst over the money lost. But my sloth brain starts to click in. Are those people staring at me as they leave? Would I impress the cashier if I thanked her in Japanese? Damn I wish I could stay in this world for real!

Parting truly is sweet sorrow. Outside the door I can breathe once more - and once more be the man on the outside looking in. I want to burst out with my human side before it's too late. There's more to me than what you see! I swear! ...or maybe not – I’ve got this scaly skin for a reason. I bow my head and pay in my usual silence as I depart for the waiting gutter. A friendly voice bids me adieu.

"Have a good night,
Mr. Kafka.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Other Homeless Guy

If you Google "Homeless blog" you get this guy's site (it's on my permanent links to the left). At first glance, he seems someone who falls into the "houseless" category as opposed to the "homeless" category, which I talked about in an earlier post. Regardless, his blog has become somewhat of an advocacy for the homeless. "See the homeless as people." To which I heartily applaud, "Hear! Hear!" But that's not my goal.

My goal is only to get across my feelings as honestly as possible. If this makes the outcasts of society more human to you, that's all well and good. But I think this fellow would just as soon bury me. He wants to present the homeless as bright, shiny people. We're not. The prick in the BMW doesn't worry about being an asshole - neither do I. Being an advocate can make you dishonest.

He is gratified by an email from a woman who stopped to help a homeless person. "...I don't think this exchange would have gone the same way before I started reading your blog. The lessons I've learned from you changed my behavior. And I think that's a pretty powerful thing." Indeed. But the next person she may choose to help may actually be a dangerous being. I understand the anger of always being the first person accused when a crime occurs and the wrongness of painting all homeless as ne'er-do-wells, but then neither can you paint all homeless as those to be trusted. You can only argue for yourself.

The other thing that disturbed me is this: "Hooray, The emails from students, from every grade, are now coming in. Teachers are giving their assignments, inquisitive minds are starting at a running pace." This aint no goddam school project! This is not some fucking game!!! This is serious fucking shit and any cocksucker who says food and shelter is not an inherent human right is complicit. This isn't about saving the homeless. It's about saving ALL of society.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Portrait of the Artist as a Prisoner, Part 1

...i'm crawling naked on the floor...a crawling, compressed jaw, my neck are clenched in pain...i am voiceless but i manage a whisper, "Help me. Help me."...i'm staring at the cheap end table...the two red dots are blinking on the clock..."please help me dots, please tell me what to do"...i don't want to die...

The sign posting, maybe it was too much for me, like a bullet whizzing past my ear. I pretended it didn't bother me but it has. I haven't slept since I put it out. They will read it and find me. I can't be shaking my fist at the the world, my thread to life too thin. Drinking from the well of life renewed my rivers of frustration. It pained me to part with money horribly earned, but I had to get a room for hiding. I needed a cell of my own.

...nudity is a sin...if they break through the door and see me like this, it's all over for me...guns drawn, barking at me to explain myself...a man in the back, "Kill him! Kill him!"...they always have to win...come on, red dots, tell me what to do...did Tiger Woods really win five in a row? can he stand it? must just be building and building...when he loses, he'll be a fraud..."You said you could win every time!"...they're always looking for blood

...i can't leave the room...i can't be seen like this...the world is outside the window...but not for me...PTSD, i shouldn't have posted that sign...i'll write Debby, this is the end...she'll have to stand before God and say why she said nothing when I told her I needed her...i need her understanding ear...i'm a crawling cripple without her...please let me find rest...tell me what to do red dots...

Portrait of the Artist as a Prisoner, Part 2

It was supposed to have been a better night - a night in a hotel room a special treat. No longer able to bear the burdens of menial labor, Janitor Man evolved into a creature of the streets, doing odd jobs for money then breaking away once more. It galled him to spend his hard earned cash on a fleeting room, but then he thought: What am I saving it for? Retirement?

But it seems the comfort of an abode only gave free reign to dreams of torment, ghosts of the past rising up anew. How frustrating to have gambled his money on rest and received anguish instead. Into his imagination he retreated, trying to convince himself this bed was a bed he could keep. That the world was not out to kill him. All life simply a bad dream. He remembered how the fatally crippled boy in
"Mask" would retreat into thoughts of his dream vacation when a seizure attacked. But coping is not curing.

Janitor Man heard a sound in the hallway. Naked, he ran to the peephole to look out. Housekeepers had started their rounds. One was young and cute, her bare calves showing. He started stroking himself, barely suppressing the urge to run into the hallway. When he released, he sprayed the carpet as a cat marking its territory. He moaned to the bed and crawled into a ball of shame. This life never to be shared.

"Nothing left to do but die."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

View From a Bird

There are those among us who think they know what they know and then there are those of us who know what we know. It's up to me, the bird of "pray", to clarify things for you lost sheep out there. Let me be your guide on this thing called life. My powers to cut through the bullshit and to see things as they truly are will enlighten you and frighten you. But let's face it: there are just some people in this world who will never get it! (e.g. the author of this blog)

Life is all about one thing: Looking out for #1. You wanna be a sucker? Be my guest - just don't come crying to me later. Unlike the the whiney ass who owns this blog, I'm glad to live here. It's the good life for me! Let some other moron save the whales or whatever, I'm after the cash. Say what you will, but there ain't no happy poor people!

And this ain't no freebie either! I'm here today as a lavishly paid spokesbird for Polluting Overlords United Together (POUT). I'm responding to the evil media's usual outrageous propaganda:
pollution is bad. Oh, really? Well, huh, the "polluters" mentioned in that article provide jobs and money to people! That's bad, how? You wanna be healthy and poor? Or sick and rich! You're gonna die anyway, sucker, so be smart: live like a king! We're not going to change the whole system just because a few retards get asthma! Here's the bottom line: Money keeps us alive, the environment does not.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Guerilla Blogging

(Thanks to "Grapevine Bob" for the picture)

The Huffington Post is my main source for news. It's there I read about a fellow with a great idea: freeway blogging. I instantly though "Yes! I can do that!" What a good idea to put nurturing words everywhere. I knew exactly what I wanted to put up. There was supposed to be a coordinated campaign over the Labor day weekend but the sign making turned out to be far more labor intensive than I first thought.

"All we are saying is give war a chance." After reading that I thought how funny it would be if the sarcasm was actually lost on my redneck friends and they actually cheered it. Don't put it past 'em. I also put the re-worked lyrics I wrote in my original posting on the back. Yeah, I know I'm pissing in the wind, but it was worth it for me.

What I didn't expect were the mental and emotional hurdles to doing this. The thought of actual exposure dismayed me and put me on edge. The logistics and effort of gathering the materials, making the sign and finding the right spot to hang it were a burden I did not foresee. Interestingly, I feel differently about myself having done this. A change of focus.

As with any statement there will be cheers and jeers, signifying nothing. But the joy of knowing I have inflicted my words upon thousands of motorists is quite rewarding. Many people mistakenly believe the Constitution guarantees us free speech. It does not. Our belief in free speech guarantees us that right. Without that, the Constitution is only a piece of paper.

Update: The sign didn't last 36 hours. You can also see it at Freeway Blogger's posting.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

In the Shadows I Hide

Nobody really knows me. Heck, even I don't know who I really am. Am I legend? Am I scandal? Am I both? I'm like an amnesiac, images floating in my head, never knowing which are real and which are dreamt. When I have second thoughts on what my life could have been, I'm like a man facing a tragedy for the first time. If some of those images I see are real, I’m not sure I can ever come clean of the shame.

As I walk the dusky, dirty streets of a dying planet, I stare into the distant haze. A world gone mad. If a man has nothing to offer and does nothing, he has not sinned. Was not his place. But if a man has a gift and does not share it, he contributes to the demise. So I ask myself: was I gifted and did I destroy it?

In my senior English class the teacher went around the room throwing out these stock phrases we were supposed to give a one line response to. Stuff like “technology” and “world peace”. I know, I know - I thought it was lame then, too. So when I got picked for “world peace” my reply was: “World leaders should be made to lick each others feet.” It got a good laugh and it showed my feelings towards the exercise. We then had to write a five paragraph paper on our response and the teacher wrote on mine, ‘I predict one day you will be a great something, maybe even a writer.” I turned out to be a great something alright.

Now, I hide in the shadows, bleeding in my blog. I peer out from around corners, duck away at the sound of footsteps and breathe fearfully in the dark. If I’m on a job, it’s time spent in the bathroom I enjoy most, hidden among all the machinery, safe from prying eyes. There’s a question hounding me and the fleeing from it has sent me to the edges of the universe. I tremble in the shadows and pray, “Please, no one ask, ‘Who are you?’ ”