Stream of Consciousness

An Atheist Christmas Special 2022

He spends too much time watching TV. Staring at the screen of his cell phone. Sometimes, he does both at the same time. Wasting hours that he’ll never get back watching media he won’t remember the next day. 

Remember that one TikTok video you watched while taking a shit? You sat there for at least five videos before you wiped and got back to whatever you were doing before nature called. Five videos worth of time after your final push. You sat on that toilet for five more videos breathing in shit particles exhumed from your shitty ass. And you saw that one video—not a thirst trap, but you do tend to like those as soon as they start—and it made you laugh? 

Of course, you don’t. Nobody remembers what they watched.

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Stream of Consciousness

Therapy Session

—And then it stopped.

She took the long way home. Traveled the roads of endless fields, dried from the summer drought. The rains were still months away. The first of autumn baptizing the earth, washing it of sin. Erosion. 

The car sputtered, pulsed. She hoped she wouldn’t get stranded. Wouldn’t know how to even call for help. What the answer would be when they asked her, “What is your location?”

I dunno. The side of the road. There’s a field of tall, dry grass.

—And do you often refer to yourself as a woman?

—I don’t often refer to myself as anyone, actually.

—But you’ve used a female moniker in the past.

—I have gone by many names in the past. A couple were female, yes.

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Fiction · Stream of Consciousness

The Muse

I volunteered to take over the department inventory. This led me to running between office spaces and jotting down what was kept in what room, what occupied which filing cabinets, and what was housed in which cubbies. At the end of it, I settled that things were too spread apart. Items went missing before I took over, falling between the proverbial cracks. 

I printed the list of items we should have and just went at it. I counted single, loose items and jotted down the amount we had coupled with the amount still packaged. I reorganized the cubbies and shelves, making sure to compartmentalize the items within the columns. 

“You’re good at that,” Evelin said. 

“Let me walk you through,” I responded, dusting off my jeans. “In the first column here, we have repressed feelings. Secret affections on the top, followed by inner anger, pride, and sexuality. Right on the counter underneath that, we have, of course, fear of rejection that comes with each. As you can see, that’s way too much to shelve with the other items.”

“And what about these?” she asked, motioning to the pile I have laid out on the tables. 

“The first table here contains the memories I don’t know what to do with,” I shrugged. “Minor things that hold no significance to the Host. Bits of trivia that aren’t conversation starters. Really don’t know where to file these away.”

Evelin assessed the cluttered and the organized and nodded. “Seems like you have a better knack at this than the last person. This job really drove them up the wall.”

“What can I say,” I said. “I’m a natural.”

I kept up with work, making sure to sort anger in the proper receptacle, labeling the serotonin and dopamine properly, filing away the important, life-changing memories in their proper storage bin. I cataloged conversations by subject and audience. Archived text messages and letters. And tucked away the sentimental value of objects in their proper exhibitions.

But one day, something happened. 

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Stream of Consciousness

Things Lost in the Woods

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

She stood at its entrance, noticing how the trees filtered out the bright sun. She felt its pull, its beckoning. She wondered if he felt the same pull. Wondered if he stood there just as she was, trying to make sense of the need to enter the woods. The breeze rustled through the leaves, swaying the branches. It swirled across the ground and spiraled the debris toward her. A welcoming gift. And in the end, she crossed its border, feeling the woods swallow her up.

“Everything goes quiet,” she thought with a smile, “in Night Ocean.”

Stream of Consciousness

“And if you’re ever around…”

Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels

Do you still read these posts? Keeping track of a life lived on display? There are nights when I lay staring up at the darkened ceiling, wondering if some part of you still think about me like I do you. There are moments in my life, stories that unravel with the passage of time, and I find myself wishing there was some way to let you know.

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Stream of Consciousness

A Trilogy of Heartbreaks Part 3 of 3

In the end, we were on separate islands. I had the boat, but you kept the paddles. No matter how hard I tried, the tide would drift me out farther into sea.

At night, our phone calls were sparse. An echoed sentiment of what we used to mean to each other. “How do you do?” to “I’m fine. How about you?”

Once I left you on hold as I collected myself in another room. I painted you a portrait with my tears, though I had no watercolor. Blank canvas – visual epitaph of our relationship.

You were the chapter I never read past. The book left in rough draft. A manuscript left on a train.

To say that you were the one who got away is a misnomer. I never had you in the first place. You belonged to the air, loose leafed notebook paper dancing a sweet bellow.