Thursday, July 26, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
He had always looked for what is Approved. Things must have obtained approval for a reason, he reasoned, and thusly must be protected. Who was he to question this – and who was anyone else to? He hated the questioners, the thinkers, the curious, the disobedient or troublemakers of any kind. It’s when he saw the smile on the face of a superior he knew his path was right.
He liked being called a useful idiot, for he stopped listening after the word “useful.” In his world of blue melancholy, he removed all mirth. Perhaps he would laugh if all the others did, but to laugh on one’s own, never. His mission was forever seeking the proper way of living, honoring the ordained, being the good child. The dreams of the individual must be sacrificed for the common good.
Clothes were his one seduction. To be properly attired, now that cannot be beat! He bought only the best, forging himself to the peak of classic fashion. In early morning fog, he’d often wake to an unacceptably rebellious mind. It was a panic to invert the soul. “No, no,” he shivered. “Must build a bigger wall.” Then in meticulous consternation he disguised all doubt in dapper dandies. A look in the mirror provided confirmation. “Who couldn’t love that look!”
The assignment today was truly delicious – the greatest function ever! A non-conformist had infiltrated the highest ranks of the establishment. Oh, the damage his disagreement could do! And the best part was he was to kill him in the great Hall of Power, with all the glorious heads of state watching in nodding approval. Never had his pride felt so alive.
Brimming in his own world on the way to the execution, he failed to notice the Mockers in the street.
“Ain’t you a spiffy one!”
“I can’t tell if he’s a man or a mannequin!”
“Looks right proper with that corncob up his arse!”
The three mockers laughed in self-amusement and at the dazed look of this tormented deviant from nature. The puzzled shooter just couldn’t understand how anyone could mock him on the greatest day of his life, the day filled with more purpose than any other, a day to save society! Who in their right mind would mock that? These creatures must be evil. They must be deviants.
“Who ya trying to fool, guv’nor?”
“Yeah, pulls that corncob out and relax.”
“No crime it is to be yourself. Be happys with the way God made yer!”
With head twitching, the killer fought off their words. A seduction they be! Turning him against himself, trying to sway him from the path he knew served him best. Oh, how he wanted to lay down right there in the street and rest his weary heart! But he clung to his iron will and slowly edged away. He must leave these Mockers or become their apprentice. Run. Run!
The Mockers watched in bemusement. “How long before he catches up to himself?” Curious, they started to follow.
“Damn them!” cursed the deviant man. “They’re coming to finish me off with their satire.” So the shooter ran as never before. He ran to keep the very meaning of his life. He ran, literally, out of his shoe. But he dare not go back for it…
Looking back, seeing he was safe from the truth, time dripped into slow motion in front of the Hall of Power. As if trapped in a dream not of his own making, the shooter stood frozen. Before him lay the chance to cement his legacy forever. And yet he stood paralyzed. How? How could he do it now and be Acceptable? How could ever enter the great Hall of Power with one shoe missing?
At first, he decided this could not be happening and ordered his iron will forward. But it was happening. Then he searched for all possible scenarios where one shoe missing would be acceptable. But could find none. Like a giant pendulum, he swung back and forth between going and leaving.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Words said in a quiet panic.
With all the running, the pain, the frenzy, the fear, the sweat, the reality and the unreality, there had been no time. He had been in survival mode, that twilight strata between life and death, where neither outcome would come as a surprise. None who’d been through such experience ever told of it. Only by being there could it be known. And once having been there, you forever changed. You joined a club whose members could only be recognized by each other.
He’d been on the run before. Desperate times and desperate moments burned into his memory, branding him. He remembered these flashes with an unspoken dread: that only in risking death had he felt alive. There was a certain panic in that: that he never truly lived. He had found a home in hell – but hell was no home. His real home lay elsewhere. Of all the wretched nightmares thrust upon him, his truest terror was the thought of never finding that place.
So he returned to the home he knew. War. But in the war he felt a part of something. A mission, a team, a country. They were backing him, pulling for his survival. If he had died, he would have never died alone. Now the smell of death was upon him once more. And, yes, some of the old feeling came back of living through dying but something had changed. Why should the taste of fear be so different now?
Here, by the flickering fire in a cave, surrounded by a thousand enemies, lost in the strange land of his own country, his hidden fear came home to roost. This dread was new. The circumstances were the same but when he reached out for the old flame, he found…emptiness. Isolation. That’s what it was. It was all on him this time. Oh, dear God, what have I done? It was regret he had felt in the war, buried deep within.
He had never come to terms with it.
So maybe he engineered all this to punish himself. Clinging to the war had been a mistake. There had been no home there. He knew that. He couldn’t face it, but he knew it. Now horror of horrors, he was left with nothing. This was the end. The last illusion stripped away, his heart breaking in bleak darkness. He had so loved the taste of betting his soul and calling himself the master of life. Now the question was answered. A fool he be. And all that was left was to walk the plank.
Monday, July 09, 2007
But imagine if your lie sent thousands to die, thousands more to be maimed, tens of thousands emotionally scarred; unleashed years of terror, drove millions from their homes fleeing said terror and ripped further apart an already gaping wound in our world. What do you do if you're that kind of unspeakable monster?
Easy. You just disconnect.
The thought of actually being such a monster is unbearable. So one must devote all of one's life to keeping the lie alive you are something else. You somehow have to believe your evil has made the world a better place. Problems start, though, when others don't buy into your delusions. Oh sure, your fellow monsters will support you and call you good but even that won't be enough as truth becomes clearer.
Now our President Monster is crying because no one loves him. He/it desperately seeks to hoodwink history and declare himself a success - reality be damned. "Academics" are being brought in to offer advice on how best to fart and call it perfume. But is this really in the monster's best interest? Only an enemy tells you you do good when you do wrong. Luckily for the monster, he called on the Sarcastic Samurai!
Standing in the corner wearing a shirt saying, "VEEP CREEP" was a man of vice. "Excellent!" lauded the human creep.
The Oval Office monster was confused and sought understanding from the man of vice. "What did he say? What did he say?"
"I'm not sure, but I think he told us to go fuck ourselves. God, I like that in a man," breathlessly replied the creep.
"I like it too then!"
The Sarcastic Samurai relaxed his stance as he pondered if he were on the world's most bizarre candid camera episode. But comfortable now in a state of delusional acceptance, the monster poured forth its woes:
"You see, it's the people - they just don't understand my vision - it's from God hisself you see - life is just a fantasy! - and I'm living my beautiful dream. But the people have a problem knowing this and loving me like God. I have to be frankly, I thinks people have a complete understanding of what I do."
"Oh..." apologized the monster wearing its "I is your god" shirt. It nodded towards the veep creep. "What he said."
"Well," posed the samurai in feigned thought, "I suppose you could blow your brains out and call it victory."
The monster was very excited by the idea of victory but was cut off by his creepy partner. "Fuck him! Fuck you bastards with your goddam truth. I'm going to skull-fuck the truth right out of every one of you sons-a-bitches! What do you think of that?"
The samurai shrugged. "I think you should lick my shoe." Then he added with a smirking raised eyebrow: "What do you think of that?"
The creep licked his lips. "I think that's hott!" But as he made his move to the floor, the lightening flash of a sword erupted and a thud was heard with the rolling head of the creep. The samurai shook his head. "You people are too stupid for sarcasm."
"Awesome!" declared the monster president. "Can you do that to Iraqis, too? I promise to say you're doing God's work and spreading freedom!"
"A most tempting offer!" Sarcastic Samurai mused. "If only it weren't for that pesky soul!"
"Yeah..." agreed a crestfallen monster. "I hate mine too." Then, with tears in its eyes: "Have you no advice how to makes things better for me?"
"Indeed I do!" replied the samurai, sheathing his weapon. "Love your neighbor as do yourself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
It's difficult to describe the movements the monster made on hearing that. It was as if one could physically see its internal struggle to digest the words. Then came the venom: "That's sarcasm isn't it? I'm on to you now! You don't care about me! You don't care about anyone who doesn't benefit you! You're all about you, thinking you know right from wrong when the only thing you care about is selfishness. That's your god! I read about folks like you in my Bible. In the end, you guys are always exposed and hated!"
Sarcastic Samurai applauded. "There you have it! Well done!"
President monster blinked his eyes rapidly in confused excitement. "You mean I'm right??"
"Absolutely! I think there's no doubt as to your legacy now." The samurai motioned to the severed body of the veep. "Now be a good boy and clean this up. I'll be back later to piss on your head."
"OK! Thanks!" As the monster bent over the dead body, he was heard to mumble over and over, "He said I have a legacy! He said I have a legacy!"
Friday, July 06, 2007
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp only to put it under a bushel basket; they put it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house."
As Debby slipped the suicide string around her wrist, it was the fear of what would happen on the inside she dreaded more than any fear of what could happen on the outside. Falling 30 stories to certain death was at least a way out. Trapped in a life she could never leave, she was tethered to this world by her string of god's approval. She was addicted to it and she felt that to die an untimely death would also mean the end of all her adoration. So in leaving and staying she was torn.
Best to let the chance of a breaking string take all the responsibility.
Tears of regret dripped from her cheeks. The same haunting questions voiced themselves once more in loud tyranny. How did she let things go so far off? Who was she? What was she good for? Why couldn't she find an answer?? The aching emptiness pounded her temples and broke her heart. It was much too much to feel! “If God wants me dead then so be it!”
She was the superstar who ran away from life. Growing up, everyone could see the dreams in her and loved her for it. She fiercely believed in those dreams – but slowly gave up on herself. And the more she gave up, the more she need approval. To do What Was Expected became the paramount concern in her life. She rationalized that as her need. If she were ever to face life on her own, she feared to be exposed as not the stalwart defender of dreams for which she was so admired. So she hid in the discipline of her marriage and hopelessly grasped onto its illusion of fulfillment. But the more she let herself be used, the less useful she became…
“Oh, my God! What will people think!” Debby pictured her lifeless body splattered on the ground and the resulting shock of her parents and family viewing such an inappropriate spectacle. She shut off the pipeline to her feelings and grasped her way back onto the roof. Back into her trap.
Tim the Tormented always knew when someone had just come back from using the suicide string. It was the fresh look of despair that gave them away. “You know the difference between a woman and a girl?” he asked pretending to not notice her presence. “A woman knows the difference between being useful and being used.” He turned to his nemesis. “Oh, hi Debby. Are you a woman?”
Debby never broke her wall of silence. Façade Fred felt the need to interject though. “Wouldn’t you like to know!” Then he winked to Al to join in, who obliged.
“Seems to me, Tim, Debby here already has a man!”
Tim could strangle them both. Yet it was Debby’s silence that hurt him the most. Deflect, deflect, deflect. “You gotta be kidding! Who would want to make a life with her? Little miss Prom Queen has turned her back on everything she is! Tell me something, your Perfectness, you gonna teach your children to grow up and empty trash for a living too?”
The arrow struck home. “It’s easy for you to talk,” Debby railed back. “You don’t do anything. You live in a cave and comment on everyone’s life but your own.”
Having finally got a response, Tim had Debby exactly where he wanted her. Thus he ignored her. “I guess that’s just what we’re gonna do in this country: just keep on raising kids to be as stupid as we are. There’s a noble goal! There’s a secret every sick parent knows: a sick child will love you, a healthy one won’t. It’s good to have a plan!”
As defender of the world, Fred was threatened by talk of its demise. “You wouldn’t know a noble goal if it bit you on the butt! Some people live to serve the greater good. Not that that’s something you can understand.” Tim started to smile as he pictured Façade Fred’s idea of greater good.
Their old friend of Uneasy Silence arrived on the smirking lips of Tim. But all that was shattered by the meek, matter-of-fact voice of Debby.
“We’re out of trash bags. I’ll go get some more.”
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
"You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men."
With fevered hands he clumsily slipped the looped string around his wrist and tightened it. The wind was harsher and gustier than usual, adding to the sense of chaos and panic. Of course, it’s always somewhat windy when you're on a rooftop thirty floors up. As he reached the edge he hesitated, paused by the thought of the certain pain to come. But the soberness was drowned by waves of inner darkness, pressing him onward. This much he knew: he must have hope.
With pounding heart and sickened stomach, Al the Apoplectic teetered on the edge wall of the high rise building. It was nighttime and he was an unseen man. With nothing to live for – and everything to die for – he jumped. The string – as always – snapped sharply on his arm causing him to wince. But at least that way he knew was alive. Dangling 300 feet in the air exhilarated him and choked him. Al was a man who needed a way out and in this nether world between life and death he found sanctuary. If the string snapped, all problems were solved…
It had all started with the Election Won But Lost. Al had gotten the votes to justify his life but the results had been rigged against him. He never got passed the stinging bitterness. For his future for now, he saw nothing. For Al had been seduced by politics: the idea you can make the world a better place without becoming a better person yourself. With the strings of power ripped from his hands, he was left with only himself. And once there, Al found nothing…
Given enough time hanging, the spark of life resumed, cutting through the darkness. Terror had put him over the edge and terror pulled him back up. With a starry night above him, Al’s heaving chest looked down to where his precious life had literally hung by a thread. With shaking hands he gratefully pulled off the suicide string. But as he moved back from the edge and into safe haven, twinges of regret already started gnawing on him.
“Damn, it didn’t break!” greeted Tim the Tormented upon Al’s return. “The drama queen has arrived,” he dryly remarked.
“You know,” demurred Al, “your life isn’t so great, either. Maybe you should think about ways of improving yourself instead of always criticizing others.”
The stinging words failed to remove Tim’s smile. He knew Al’s reply before it came. Tim had to manipulate everything – even if it meant his own discomfort. He just hoped the other two – Façade Fred and Debby Do-Gooder didn’t join in. Tim’s tormented soul wasn’t sure it could handle all of that. But his gamble crapped out.
“Yeah, leave him alone,” joined in Fred, happy to return the torment to one who had so many times poked holes in his façade. “I bet ol’ Al over there has a heckuva better life than you.”
“It’s really not a nice thing to do,” weighed in do-gooding Debby. Rarely did she have the courage to raise an inclement word but she felt the wind at her back this time. “You would do much better to find ways to be positive.”
Tim’s burning soul lashed back at both. “Yeah, well, you’d do a lot better to keep your mouth shut like it should be. What kind of moron is positive about bullshit! And Fred-head thinks loser Al has such a great life then how the fuck do you explain him using the suicide string?”
No answers were to be found.
Sitting amidst so much blood, even Tim felt obligated to end on a few words of healing. “We’re all fucking janitors and our lives all fucking suck.” The words were directed at no one and to them all, helping to fill the painful vacuum of silence. Each returned to his rolling trash barrel in funereal solemnity. No one saw a way out. Where was hope?