Doldrums

And Then There Was A New Toy

 

Your opinion is irrelevant.

Someone on the Internet doesn’t like me. This wouldn’t be the first time someone on the Internet doesn’t like me. I’m not the most likable person on this planet, but I always thought my charisma bought me some points. The rest of my “charm” is on charisma credit, which I’ll have to pay at the end of the month, every month. Thing is, I never thought of myself important enough to have my very own troll.

Over at Twitter – and a number of other places, while we’re on the subject – I use the “handle” EnnuiPrayer. This past Saturday, I received a handful of tweets from someone called BoredomAppeal that were mildly spiteful, but not interesting enough for me to actually pay any attention. It wasn’t until I visited this person’s page that I realized that I had my very own troll, raising my status from a blip on the radar to whatever’s higher than a blip on the radar. This person not only chose a similar “handle” as me, but a pseudonym, as well. Because I’m not inclined to ever mention my full name on any blog/social network site, I used my Blogger moniker, Observant Reader. BoredomAppeal’s moniker? Watchful Bibliophile.

Rather than playing into the game of cat and mouse – wit and dumbass – I opted to take the higher road by simply blocking the annoyance. I’ve also reverted my Twitter account into private mode, which I despise as I usually like it when strangers read my tweets (which they don’t) and like it when people retweet them (which is rare, but it happens). It’ll only be temporary until the troll tires and runs off to play with someone else.

Of course, if said troll knows about my Twitter, chances are, he knows about this blog, the Tumblr and the book blog. Not that it matters. I usually don’t read my book blog comments, Tumblr comments are only open to users – who are easily blocked – and this one needs approval before posting. In short, it’s no bother. However, I gotta admit, paranoia aside, I do find it flattering someone actually hates me enough to troll me. This only proves I’m doing something right.

 

 

Doldrums

Blaspheme Baxton Goes to Innsmouth

"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."

I took Blaspheme Baxton out for a spin last night for some Second Life action. I opted on her and not Alphonso Bookmite because I thought some old buddies would be one. Portia was, but I wasn’t going to intrude on her Second Life action (no innuendo intended).

I first joined Second Life to handle the drama occurring in my life a few years ago. After establishing some sort of community in-world, I realized the virtual life came with its own baggage. I lasted a year before leaving it behind. Every now and then I like to jump on to see how everything’s going and to escape from my dull existence.

Last night I stumbled into Innsmouth, based on the fictional town created by H.P. Lovecraft which is most notably featured in the story The Shadow Over Innsmouth (which you can read here). I wandered (actually flew over) the city, visiting the structures and taking pictures. I felt the pull of something that I’m still unsure how to decipher. I’m drawn to writing something great, but I haven’t figured out what.

It’s a bit strange, I know. But one of the reasons I loved Second Life so much was the ability to breathe life into two avatars. Alphonso Bookmite was tame, a virtual version of me (though, I made him way more attractive). While Blaspheme Baxton acted as my inner demon and bad habits multiplied. She was also the more popular one among the friends. Which just proves that people tend to like me more when I act like a total asshole who swears too much. It could also have been for the fact that I made Blas as a female who was far from tame. (Originally created as a straight girl, but after several propositions for sex, I made her a lesbian. That, by the way, didn’t stop the propositions.)

Blaspheme Baxton died the same day Michael Jackson died. However, unlike the latter, she still haunts the world she left behind. She might just make a come back. Maybe not as the DJ she was known for in her last days, but as the character that I need.

If you’re a Second Life resident, look for Blaspheme Baxton in Innsmouth. Or wherever she may wander.

Doldrums · Writing & Writers

Squares

 

You realize that sometimes you're not okay

 

Someone (possibly an ex-girlfriend) once told me told me that jealousy was evidence of love.

Hope Queener wants a change in life. Her only hope is that her grandfather, the patriarch of the family, will allow her to move on, take the internship that could introduce her too much needed connections. Hope Queener, the doting daughter, who heeded the family rules her whole life, knows the only way to undermine her grandfather’s conservative restrictions is to wait until he dies.

On a bus to Chapin City, Miguel Figueroa wonders what he has left in the world. His relationship with girlfriend Catherine is slowly coming to an end. The pressure of adulthood is hanging overhead. Catherine’s addiction to painkillers makes the new girl in town more and more attractive.

Fire burns, engulfing the scenery in its waves. The picture framed memories drown; the photo album hopes sucked within its whirlpool. There isn’t any hope left for survival, the arsonist says. When in doubt, frame the ones you hate, even if it means hurting the ones you love.

Eve Martinez clucks her tongue against her teeth and watches as boyfriend David sneers at the passing philosophy major. For months now, Eve has been seeing the young man behind her long term boyfriend’s back. Nothing romantic, but the feeling’s blooming. Ace’s are wild, David says, shuffling the cards. What about jokers? Eve asks. No one plays with jokers, Eve. It’s common knowledge. You play with jokers, you get burned.

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Doldrums · Writing & Writers

One Man Show, One Act Play

"The only thing you'll ever be is just a way for me to bleed on this stage"

As a kid, when my cats vanished, my family would tell it was because they went looking for their home. In no way was this an euphemism for death. It was an euphemism for sex.

Hope in November: Sitting on the bus from Chapin to Boroughs listening to the flavor of the month, a band named Anberlin. On her way to visit her dying grandfather, the patriarch of  the Queener family, Hope – or as her friends call her, HQ – prays her grandfather will allow her and give his blessing to her idea of leaving the state – and the college  she is attending – to attend an internship.

A conversation as we’re pulling out of Dairy Queen:

Jyg: Don’t you hate it when…Never mind. I forgot who I’m talking to.
Me: What?
Jyg: I was gonna ask, “Don’t you hate it when you’re sad for no reason?”
Me: You monkey.
Jyg: What?
Me: “Never mind. I forgot who I’m talking to.”
Jyg: Well, you’re always sad.

“You have to hear the entire story before jumping into conclusions.”

Javier’s lied before. It’s hard for me to trust him. When you’re raised knowing a father who can only disappoint you, you’re conditioned into always believing he’ll disappoint you, no matter your age. I feel childish holding on to imaginary grudges. And while I’ve allowed him human status for the past, it was current events that put me back into my funk. And now, I’m told he actually gave real, fatherly advice…Well, it’s hard to believe.

My niece, several years ago, sits with me at the table. I do my best to help her with a homework assignment. “Why don’t you talk to your father? He asks about you.”

“Your grandfather and my father aren’t the same man. You know a man who attempts to make an effort. I only know a stranger who made promises he couldn’t keep.”

Now she’s detaching herself from her father. Granted I don’t endorse or condone my brother‘s behavior or actions, he’s still my brother. And while I feel no attachment to most things human, a sense of fraternity is overwhelming. I love my family because they’re my family. They’re the people I can turn to no matter what, even though I don’t choose to. So in a sense, I – most times reluctantly – live up to my obligations as a son and a brother. I’m not blinded though. My brother is my brother. His actions, in no way, reflect those of my father. And while my niece is allowed to have a grudge against his leaving, I feel it’s unfair for her to do so. My brother, unlike our father, is attempting to be a father even though he’s no longer there. It’s not complete and utter abandonment.

“I’m gonna go back to bed. I’ll sleep until the world stops being ugly.” After a moment’s thought, “It’s never gonna stop being ugly, hu?”

The problem with me is I was too smart for my own good. In high school, I did my best to hide it. I aimed for average. When you’re average  no one cares. No one expects you to accomplish many goals, they just expect you to get by. Had effort played a role in my studies, I might have been something else. Might have given a fuck about it.

“Where’s your cat?” “Oh, he’s out fucking.”

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    Doldrums

    Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

    "Old age is not for sissies."

    Clank. Clank. Clank. Tiny explosions in the sky. Formidable foes. Let’s take a drink.

    Where was I? Telling a story. Feeling odd about growing old. I’m counting the days until my 28th birthday. An even number, goody. Excuse me while I figure out what I’m supposed to have accomplished at this age.

    I’m failing at life, that much is clear. Perhaps, I’m too much of a sissy. Bette Davis was right. This business of growing old isn’t for the likes of me. You need to be strong to handle this pressure. We’re in an age of sissies, though. I’m not alone in this. Why else would the business of age reduction be so popular? Why else are people “maturing” later and later? Get comfortable. We’re in for a thrill ride.

    This week, a car salesman asked me what I did to get by. Knowing full well it’s not what he wanted, the first answer that came to mind was, “Not much.” But we’re talking monetary wise. Where does my money come from? Selling my brain.

    “I write,” I said. “Freelance.” Which pretty much equates to unemployed to nine-to-fivers. I take odd jobs when I’m called upon to do them. It doesn’t bother me. I like it.

    He asks me if I write movie scripts. No. They’re too hard. Too much work and wildly different from what I’m used to. “I have a pretty good idea,” he said. “I just don’t know how to put it down.” I mentioned ghostwriters. Ghostwriters do all the work – or some of the work – and don’t get any credit for it. It’s the joy of our phantom brethren.

    I feel a little disillusioned. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on my mind, but there’s a lot that I’m not liking with the world. On Saturday, I admitted to Jyg that the world could vanish and I’d be happy if it were just the two of us. I do feel like that. I hate everything and everyone. And sure, I’ll miss my friends, but I feel so detached from them lately. They’re feeling more and more like digital images on the screens. Short sentences and vanishing words. I wouldn’t have much to say to them if they came to me in person. I feel so isolated. And I know it’s my fault for being so damn distant all the time. I don’t share my feelings with them, or with Jyg for that matter; not until I feel that they’re so overwhelming and crushing.

    I feel. I don’t know. Still. Immobile. It’s like seeing the world around you and knowing you should head outside and just let the waves of people pushing you through the world. Stay on the current. Vanishing into the crowds of all the people. But how can they function at all? When does the banality of living catch up to them? Or is it normal, human, just to not pay any mind to that? How can you possibly call that happiness?

    I’ll just wallow in my misery, thank you very much. It’s better here, anyway.

    Note: The title of this post is a quote from Chili Davis.

    Doldrums · Writing & Writers

    The Worst Things Beautiful

     

    Could I save your life, like you saved mine?

     

    Sometimes I forget people exist. Sometimes I forget they stop existing. Sometimes I forget some people never existed to begin with.

    Cassandra – but everyone calls me Cassie – wakes up one morning, staring up at the ceiling fan rotating above the bed she shares with long-term girlfriend, Flor. A buzz of a funeral procession echoes through her mind. She can ever smell the fresh, dug earth mounted. The murmurs of sobs and condolences. People speak at the podium. A preacher talks. She shakes her head and turns to see Flor sitting there on the bed. The night before, they spoke of their relationship. How it moved in two directions.

    “We’ll talk later,” Flor says before grabbing her bag and books, heading out the door. “You have some things to think about yourself.”

    Before walking out the door, Flor pauses and looks at Cassie lovingly. “I love you, Cassie. I always have and I always will.”

    Cassie goes through her day. There are shots that ring out. The student union roars in a rising crescendo. Screams. People talk. Four shots and then a fifth and then nothing. Cops and medics pull the bodies out. Five dead, including the shooter.

    There’s a tree I remember from my childhood. It stood gnarled and ugly. I imagined the imagines of dead children dancing around it. Skeletal masks upon their faces. I don’t remember if they were masks at all. For I know, their faces were skinned and they weren’t masks. Horror movie scenarios played and replayed in my head.

    “What’s the cucumber song you’re playing?” Anderson asks.

    “Shut up,” Mackie says.

    No. This isn’t right.

    “What isn’t right?” asks Mackie. “We’re not really here.”

    Damien chuckles from somewhere else in the house. There aren’t many things left here. “You have to learn how to accept this.”

    But that isn’t right either. Damien would never say something like that.

    There are days when joy just comes naturally to me. I’m filled with undefined energy. I can do things. Accomplish little goals I set for myself. Then the inevitable crash comes and it’s not enough for me just to get out of bed. I’m irritated by everything, everyone. I feel the crushing sense of being alone. I talk out loud to myself just to hear a voice. And then they…

    “This isn’t right,” Mackie jibes in. “You’re not right.”

    Cassandra looks at Flor lovingly. “You’re dead, aren’t you?” she asks.

    Flor simply nods. “You have to let go.”

    There isn’t any letting go. I hope for moderate days. I don’t wish for the depression to ever go away, no matter how much better life would be. I don’t let it define me. I use it to mold myself. There are just days when I can’t hold on to reality and I slip. Float. Fleeting. Somewhere above head. And I become another person. Speak with a new voice.

    And Anderson just smiles and takes Mackie into his arms as they watch Cassandra staring at the sunrise.