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Topics - Eater of Clowns

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Apple Talk / ATTN Hoopla
« on: June 02, 2017, 09:22:55 pm »
Get the hell out of my town.  :argh!:

And so it begins.


Is a part of this thing.

Exciting! Have office political shenannigans calmed down, too?

Somewhat.  Which is a cause for worry.  My boss relies on me for technical skills, analytical ability, and leadership, but hates me like I got caught fucking his dog.
I did warn you that the dog fucking would get you into trouble.

Bring and Brag / A child, a monster, and a place.
« on: May 17, 2016, 02:40:51 pm »
I went to a creative themed party this past weekend. One of the workshops was for writing. I've never done a writing workshop or learned anything about the process other than doing it and collaborating, mostly with people here. At the end of the discussion, we were given the prompt:  a child, a monster, and a place. We had about 20 minutes. Here is what I came up with.

"They're coming for you, Chris." The voice was smooth, and close.

"But you're with me," Chris said. He lilted his tone like a question.

"I'm with you."

"I can't look everywhere at once. I'm afraid."

"I'm with you."

Chris sighed. The night light let a soft yellow glow into his room. It was only enough to lend everything a terrible shape. He was glad for Brian. He was always glad for Brian, when he was there. But Brian wasn't always there. Brian came from wherever monsters came from, and Brian came when Chris was scared of monsters.

"Back to back, remember," Brian said.

Chris pressed his slim frame against the hugeness that was Brian. He could see the long hairy arms extending out in the corners of his vision; a wall of monster, to stop the tide of monster.

There was a creak, and a rustle.

"The closet," Chris said.

"The bed," Brian said.

Chris raised his little pen light to the closet door. It was ajar and from the inky darkness within a pair of eyes glinted. There was a hiss as the light hit them, and a hint of scales. They retreated.

Brian was growling, a rumble that sounded like it came from the floor itself. Chris smiled wickedly. That was all Brian ever needed to do. He was the biggest monster. All the other monsters were scared of him. Brian had said so himself.

"Scouts," Brian said, "they always want to know if it's safe. Monsters are cowards."

Chris knew this. Monsters were cowards. Brian had told him. But Brian was not a coward. Brian was Chris' monster.

A howl came from outside, and the padding of many feet. Too many feet. Chris' little pen light felt all too weak. He gulped.

"They're going to use the window," Chris said. His voice wavered.

"I will take the window, then," Brian told him, "you guard our rear. Guard the door."

"On it," he said. He leveled the pen light as bravely as he could.

Tap. Tap tap. Tap. Tap tap. Claws against he window pane.

"Let us in," came a voice like a thousand snakes. "Let us in. Let us in." Tap. Tap tap.

"What do we say, Chris?" Brian asked.

"N-no," Chris said. "No!"

"We are coming in," the slithering said. "We are coming in if you let us or not!"

The window slid open behind Chris. He held his light to the door. Its little circle of white bobbed and shook.

"Don't look around," Brian told him. "They'll only be stronger if you look at them. These are tiny things. They are not like me."

"You're strong," Chris said.

"I am strong."

There was a sound like wetness and heaviness hitting the floor. Then another. And another. Brian growled. There was sliding and Brian's two huge hairy arms moving far too fast. There was tearing and squeals.

An eternity passed. "You can look around," Brian said.

Chris did, slowly. The window was open. Deep gouges were cut into the fame. Tufts of hair were missing from Brian's huge arms. His claws dripped with...something.

"You got them," Chris said.

"I almost didn't."

"But you did. Because you're my monster," Chris said.

"Yes," Brian told him, "I am your monster." And didn't the night light make the fangs look long, make the claws look sharp. "I am your monster."

Or Kill Me / Where are the firemen
« on: September 04, 2015, 01:43:12 am »
Outrage, enmity, spite, shame
Your umbrage at Kim Davis is a log upon the fire,
it was lit by the coals of her own.
Where are the firemen?
But then I am a gendernormative oppressor so firefighters,
but then I am a politically correct weakling,
because the crusaders are warpainted in contrasting colors.
They do not have their hands out to take your offering.
They are held out as claws, not a Solomon among them,
each content to their pound of flesh,
so long as the other comes away with less.
Greed for your giving a fuck.

Apple Talk / Your GRIN and You: Tips for Care and Usage
« on: March 20, 2015, 01:42:45 am »
Congratulations! You are the proud owner of a GRIN. Some of us find this out with a mirror, some of us through friends and family that mysteriously look away whenever you thought you were smiling, some of us through deduction following the Red Phase that results in amnesia and tears. In any case, your GRIN is a thing to be cherished.

Now, there are a few common misconceptions regarding your GRIN to be addressed:

1.  Your GRIN is happy. Maybe it is! But most likely, it isn't. When you see a chimpanzee GRIN, you should probably stay away because you are about to have your face torn off. A GRIN is different from a smile because it shows how many teeth we have, and teeth are our best natural weapons. Don't believe me? Try chewing a carrot with your hands. You'll probably find that you cannot.

2.  Your GRIN is natural. Many people think you either have a GRIN or you do not. Surely a GRIN is limited by the size of the mouth and the teeth it contains, but that is beside the point. It is what you can convey with a GRIN that is important. Think of it like a blade. A gleaming perfectly sharp set of teeth shows you what they can do, but a worn and discolored set shows you what they already have done. Both of these closely relate to misconception number 3, which is...

3.  Your GRIN is in your mouth. While it is true that the displayed portion of the GRIN is toothy, the most important aspect of it lay in your eyes. It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul, and the importance of the GRIN is to convey that you have none. They should remain fixed and staring while you bare your brightest facsimile of the thing called a smile that your stupid fucking teachers told you was a good thing.

So now that you know some mistakes all make about GRINS, what can you do to make the most of yours?

Well, the most important aspect is practice. Your GRIN is a muscle, and like any muscle it can be developed to a natural and harmful state. But muscles have limits where GRINS do not. If you overdo it using a muscle, it will strain, whereas if you overdo it using a GRIN, those around you will strain. Indeed, just as a blown muscle will never be the same again, neither will your interpersonal relationships.

Your GRIN is deceptive. While those who GRIN and other savvy masters of body language understand that it's an anxiety reflex of cornered and dangerous animals, pretty much everyone else mistakes it for a smile, which they see as weakness. These are the best sorts of people. Not only do they misunderstand your intentions, but it is generally indicative of a wider lack of true comprehension of the world around them! This is the perfect opportunity to teach them that teeth are not nice things.

Treating your GRIN is as much physical as it is psychological. It is fine to say one should encourage one's GRIN in confrontations, but that is only half the battle. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, drink plenty of water, and gnaw upon the cast off bones that your weak ass dog fancies itself too good for.

For further references on the subject, remember your case studies. Roger, of course, whose GRIN is a Harbinger of Reality and surely a sign that you have not been paying attention to the Way Things Are. Alty, whose Alaskan-forged GRIN by necessity creates the two categories of Those Who Have Seen It and Those Who Still Have Their Noses. Nigel, whose GRIN says to you Yes You Should You Should Always And Forever Just Once More There We Go Do It Again Hahaha Yes Once More No Never Mind All That Pay It No Heed You Should Hahaha Why Are You Screaming.

Apple Talk / Senor Paes Strikes Back
« on: January 23, 2015, 07:50:14 pm »
Senor Paes was disturbed. Disturbed, here, has several meanings. His discovery should have satisfied him. His invention should have sent him into euphoria. But it was hard to be euphoric against failure.

On the rare occasions someone would introduce themselves to him, that inevitable question would always come up. “So what do you do?” He wasn’t a good fibber, Senor Paes. His palms would get sweaty and he would have trouble swallowing. Finally he started yelping “LARPING, I AM A LARPER!” It seemed to satisfy them, in that they would grow uncomfortable and shortly thereafter excuse themselves.

It was LARPing, though, in the very real sense of the word. He was playing a role, these last few years pent up in the workshop, tinkering and hammering and laughing and sobbing. It just so happened that the role he was playing was Bolthar the Collector, Harvester of Souls.

It started years ago with that great awful bastard The Good Reverend Roger, or Doktor Howl, or whatever he was calling himself. Senor Paes, thanks to his wife and the kinds of medication one usually finds in hospices, in Guantanamo Bay, had most of the bad thoughts under control. But then came that story, he hated to think of it even now, the story that TGRR so proudly labeled as having been hatched with malice on the brain. After that, things got a little bit blurry.

He started construction of his device in a fit of mania, driven by alligator medulla oblongata extract and semi imported drop bear omelets. It wasn’t a dagger, like Bolthar’s, per se, more of an advanced neutralization depowerm…let’s just say it looked a bit like an egg slicer attached to a reciprocating saw, with a plethora of hoses in between. And what it stole wasn’t exactly a soul, but more of a quadridigital imprint of cognitive functioning…it made people empty. The practical end of it, which Senor Paes called the business side, was a cricket bat with a railroad spike lovingly crafted into it, so as not to split the fine woodwork.

He’d clipped his shaggy hair and neatened the wild beard, trimmed his bitten and broken and jagged fingernails. He’d put on the clothes of the old Senor Paes. And he’d flown to Tucson to meet Roger.
“COFFEE?” the private message read simply. It was a direct line to Roger’s shriveled heart, provoking a response doctors have previously called “grossly overenthusiastic” and “disturbingly sexual.” Like a conditioned rat he stood from his desk and grunted aside a terrified maintenance crew on his way to the machine. He stopped before his shrine and grabbed the holy carafe and as he readied to pour he paused at an odd smell, a smell like burning batteries and rotten milkshakes.

The business side did its job, and the contraption on the other end whirred to life in a sinful music. And like that, it was over. Senor Paes breathed again like he used to. He almost smiled, lugging his invention back to the parking lot, back to the boarded up Motel he was staying in. The room was cramped and its odors struck him as senses awoke from their long dormant state. He fired up his phone and checked the forums.

And there was Roger. With another of his stories. Senor Paes checked his machine’s storage. Surely enough, an appropriate amount of its space was taken up. Significantly more than he would have expected, in fact, given the subject. In a state of serenity, he transferred the subject over to his backup, its data prison, and he slept a sleep of the purposeful.

The next day he did it again. And again after that. Days became weeks and weeks became months until they too faded. He killed Roger in the morning and he killed Roger in the afternoon. He killed him in his sleep, he killed him in his car. He killed him, in an act Senor Paes now saw as his most depraved, on the toilet while he made his wretched art. It was that one that stopped his obsession.

He left the tiny room and he looked around and it was off, somehow. Maybe it was perspective but the mountains looked further away, or maybe just smaller. The once busy roads had fewer and fewer cars on them. He sought Roger again. After all this time, the man’s schedule was as much a part of him as Bolthar.
He found him inducing vomiting on the steps of the congressman’s office, as was his Tuesday routine. The crowd parted around him. Senor Paes drew back the business side and struck Roger as he had so many times. As he fell, Paes saw two things. The first was that Roger, unlike Paes himself, was scaled to his environment and the people around him. The second was that one of those people disappeared before his eyes just as his invention set about its terrible work.

So yes, Senor Paes was disturbed. His work was far greater than he anticipated. And he was going to have to buy more storage space for the backup. It was far, far too small to fit all of Tucson.

« on: December 27, 2014, 04:15:08 am »

Apple Talk / Halloween
« on: October 30, 2014, 12:37:14 am »
We keep the lights out on Halloween, here in the tenements. The families with kids go somewhere else, their grandmother's cul de sac or over to see their cousins on the well lit side of town. It's better for them there. The streets aren't so busy and the bars aren't so close and the doorbells still work. It's much too dark here because we keep the lights out.

We buy the candy, of course. There's always one family, maybe they're new, maybe they'll just never understand like the rest of us, and their kids shouldn't suffer. If their knock reaches up through old creaking stairwells and the outed porch bulbs do not deter, we smile and we drop some candy in their bags. They look down unable to help themselves to see what they got and we glance past them down the street and sidewalks and we shoot the parents a warning and we close the door. And we work our way back in the dark, not even a lamp, not even a candle that night.

Even so the knock does come, a singular thing, a knuckle shattering skin peeling rapping in steady rhythm, patient, expectant. One, the eyes widen, two the skin prickles, three the spine shivers and silence comes upon huge. The city is quiet for once and anything, anything for a passing car, for wind rustled garbage but there is nothing. The knocks come again as before. One, the eyes wince, two the skin itches, three the spine arches and the pause is a thousand years of pounding blood filled eardrums and sensory deprivation. The knocks come again as before.

Locks come undone and doors open slowly and heavy footfalls sound through the dark of the tenement halls, for we keep the lights out. We are not so foolish to think he would be fooled but the lights are inviting and this one is unwelcome, whether he comes or not we must know ourselves that he is unwelcome.

The knocking stops on the way to the front door, the stirring inside not unseen. He waits with screen door ajar and his bag opened expectantly. Nothing is said. He has a hint of a smile on the blur of his face and he lifts the bag just slightly. We raise our hands over it and they tremble, empty but holding a burden. He nods and the smile widens to a gleam of yellow and gray and white. Our hands open, their contents spilling into the bag. A twitch of sanity tries to catch them again, in the half second before the sound hits us, a sound like a chip of bone falling among ten thousand like it, more failed hiders in the dark.

We keep the lights out on Halloween, here in the tenements, though it cannot hide us from the Marrowman. We keep them out so as not to see what is left when we come back.

Or Kill Me / 10-17-14
« on: October 18, 2014, 03:09:37 am »
So this is life chemically unaltered. Unnaturally unmedicated, coping clearly, unfiltered view of the god machine. Untouchable creation, pistons and blood and piss our legacy and ultimate victory over man's greatest enemy, our most feared predator. Gods of the god progenitors from some unknown accident we made this, with failsafes of arteries to be opened and necks to be strung from. Meat to be chewed and used, shattered bone lubricant it will grind you to bake its bread and millions more, never a blood clogged cog. So unpious that its makers are sustenance. No shared sacred space just seven billion on off switches, the only known global language fading in and out, commands. Fade out for possible errors, fade out for slivers of control, fade out for learning, fade out for exhausted options, fade out for a future to fade in and a future to fade out, fade out for all seventy nine point eight years and not but nearby ons and offs in all that time.

Apple Talk / Roger, about that feast.
« on: August 02, 2014, 03:45:13 pm »
The abrupt end to our conversation the other night came about because I had some company meeting up at my place to walk down to the feast. It seems unfair for me to hurriedly explain such an event on the phone, so here is a better write up.

We call it many names. The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament is the official one, the one they've been using for the last hundred years. What exactly that sacrament is I do not know, and do fear to discover. Informally, you might hear of it as the Portuguese Feast and, indeed, in the sea of pressed bodies all named Silva and Correia and Medeiros eating malassadas and cacoila and carne de espeto you'd see the name was accurate. Then there's the Madeira Feast and, yes, that one is just as apt. It's said that the only place in the country, if not the world, that Madeira wine can be transported and served directly from the barrel is this one little spot on this one little weekend. The sweet, sticky, fortified wine is overflowing from little plastic cups and spilling onto the grounds, onto your feet and legs, and if you were an amateur and wore sandals the only cure for what we call Feast Feet is amputation. The mixture of pork grease and candy-like wine and sweat and filth will cake onto you and harden and that spoil knows no fear. It is part of you now. Finally, for those of us whom attendance on at least one of its four days in this first weekend of August it is simply called The Feast. It is the only one.

My humble apartment is what could be called prime real estate, this weekend. It's far enough away to remain unaffected by the rowdiest foot and vehicular traffic and close enough to walk. On Sunday, the parade will march at the end of my block. I like to invite people by before a stroll down the street for a few reasons. One, my ten dollar bottle of Madeira wine is better than the $8 7oz cup down there, and two, if you want to meet a friend there you will not find them among the throng of bodies. Unless of course, as in my case, your friends are extraordinarily tall seasoned alcoholics that you can pick out out of the crowd around the Madeira Hut.

Your first order of business is to stand in a fifteen to twenty minute line to have your ID scanned and wrist band printed. Each of these has a unique bar code and I find this disconcerting for the sheer fact that they assume they might have to scan one in order to find out who the deceased is. After the wrist band you find another irritated line of people waiting at hilariously unreliable ticket machines that are constantly running dry of the precious little gold drink vouchers. You stand behind a greasy little man with steroid acne and sweat who feeds it with twenty after twenty after twenty, pulling out strings of tickets that you suspect he might use to tie down Gulliver when he returns home to Lilliput. The little red Out of Service light blinks on for the fourth time and everyone behind you groans and looks to the neighboring line with envy and loathing.

At no point, thus far, have you been out of direct physical contact with a stranger since your arrival.

You have your wrist band and you have your tickets. Music is playing and it's always some semi famous band that had a hit or two just over a decade ago and gets by replaying it to nostalgic crowds for the rest of their careers. Thursday night it was the Gin Blossoms. Yesterday it was Blood, Sweat, and Tears. The press of bodies sets in. Tides of people ebbing and flowing, stopping to chat and holding wrists and hands and shoulders to stay together in their journey. Not all will make it. Invariably the weak link will be severed by a larger, drunker chain and they will not see their companions again that night. But weep not for them for this is New Bedford, and everyone knows each other. People from your past will resurface after years of seclusion, coming down from the mountains and rising, sodden and bloated and covered in seaweed, from the oceans. Yesterday I think I spotted a man who I was not only sure was dead but whose funeral I attended. And you exchange greetings and maybe speak and the press of bodies moves you along and you see them again maybe at the next Feast, maybe never again.

The wine flows. It's sweeter than sweet and it's dark, muddy brown that might once have been gold in a dream but nobody cares the quality of the wine that flows only that it does. Men wear brightly colored knit caps with tassels that stand erect or bent, depending on their marital status, the symbolism not exactly subtle. Down past the Madeira Hut and the lines of beer and linguica stands and the main stage and the side stage a glorious length of charcoal pit smolders. People are buying chunks of raw meat and sliding them down skewers six feet long, salting them and dousing them with Madeira wine. A few of the veterans put pepper and onions on the spit. You cannot buy peppers and onions there. They have brought them from home. As your skewer roasts on the perfect heat you guard your meat and drink more Madeira. There is a stand nearby with a v-shaped metal piece over a steel table dripping with beef juices and you position your skewer and yank it back and let the meat fall. And you drink more Madeira.

Across the way rides and games and little carnival vendors are set up for the younger crowds, for this is nothing if not a family affair. The next crop of Feast attendees must come from somewhere, after all.

After a thousand hellos and not a single goodbye everyone wanders off, in cars that will clog every street for a mile around over the next hour, or in pockets of people who carelessly amble through neighborhoods they wouldn't have the nerve to step foot into on any other night. Few of those people's nights are over, they are just moving on to the next bad idea, the after spectacle, the wind down from that glorious and disgusting undertaking that we somehow love that is the Feast.

Apple Talk / Tell me about my sex life...
« on: July 15, 2014, 12:48:59 pm »
Exactly what the title says.

Describe the sex life of the person above you.


Apple Talk / Trivia Notes
« on: February 26, 2014, 02:03:45 am »
Part I

The taxi pulled up to 394 Rivet St. Outside it was dark and a cold rain came down to mix with the many dirt encrusted piles of old snow. The weather kept everyone off the street and out of the park across from my apartment. Together with my exhaustion from the flight, it felt later than it really was.

I reached for my wallet, glancing up at the meter as I did. I groaned. No doubt come Monday I’d be hearing an unhappy word or two from Steve about the fare. If they didn’t want me taking a cab home they should have picked me up themselves. I wasn’t about to ask a friend to drive a few hours on a Friday night; it’s not like this was a vacation.

“Thanks,” I said to the driver as I paid him. “Drive safe getting back. Sure is nasty out.”

The driver just nodded. He hadn’t said a word since he asked me where I was going over an hour ago.

“Pop the trunk?” I asked as I emerged into the wet night. A moment later it opened with a soft spring. I hefted the black duffel bag, strapping it to my shoulder. I closed the trunk and gave it a few solid thumps to let him know I was all set back here.

The cab pulled away as I came up to the front door of my building. I struggled with the keys for a minute before I could get the door open. The thing was heavy enough without the luggage counterbalancing me on my opposite shoulder. I shoved my way inside, dripping onto a rough faded red carpet. The door closed quickly behind me.

Waiting for me up on the third floor was a neat pile of mail. Mrs. Rosa must have noticed I wasn’t around for the last few days. I’d have to get her a thank you card.

I set the duffel bag down as soon as I came through the door. It could wait until I was less tired. I shook myself out of my wet coat and left it draped across the bag.

Going through the kitchen cabinets, I cursed myself for leaving town with them so empty. I managed to find a bag of microwave popcorn and got it cooking. There was, thankfully, a single beer left in the fridge. I popped the tab on it open and took a long, thankful gulp. It was a nice hoppy IPA.

I was too hungry to care just how long that popcorn was waiting for me to remember it in the cabinet. I dumped the bag into a bowl, grabbed the can of beer, and padded over to the sofa. I emptied my pockets onto the coffee table and put my feet up, turning on the TV.

I needed something familiar. Something I’d seen before and I wouldn’t have to pay too much attention to. Just to lose myself in a movie and relax.

The classic movie station was showing Pulp Fiction. Perfect. I’d seen it a dozen times. I flipped over to AMC. All of the choice language would be edited out, but it was one of those trivia notes showings. Every few minutes a box would pop up on the screen with a factoid about the movie.

Samuel L. Jackson was berating the sorry kids who ripped off his boss, giving them that terrifying stare. A little blue box came up, laying itself right over the Windsor knot on his tie. I could barely read the print I was so tired. It blurred into the rest of the box.

[Director Quentin Tarantino wrote this part with Samuel L. Jackson in mind.]

Reading these might just be enough to keep me awake, but not too much so. It was a balance I was still playing with. Stimulation enough to stop me from falling asleep at 9 but not enough to keep me awake until 1. I needed to get back on schedule; I hadn’t slept properly in weeks.

Another trivia box popped up. I squinted and leaned forward to read it, crunching loudly on popcorn.

[The Key Grip’s wife was cheating on him while this scene was being filmed.]

RPG Ghetto / Star Wars Murder Mystery
« on: December 02, 2013, 05:22:24 am »
My friends and I have done a Murder Mystery for the last four or five years on New Year's Eve. This year I think we were all sick of subpar scenarios that we still had to pay for, so I offered to write one myself. In the Star Wars universe. It'll be really Star Wars trope heavy, just enough to the characters are unique and accessible to play as. But since I've never done any design before, I thought I could run it by folks who have.

I grabbed a bit from previous modules we ran and from the Mafia parlor game (or Spiders, as we have it here). A few goals were:

-Have a clearly defined winner. Other ones we played it was a bit anticlimactic in that they felt like the players' actions had little effect on the result.
-Make trust necessary for success, but also dangerous
-Add a high risk/reward element with secrets
-Add some structure, because previous games had a few people losing focus

Players come in knowing their characters entirely - what they can tell people and what they shouldn't. However, some characters know secrets about others that they bring up in conversation to get the other talking. This is set up on Round Cards. There are three rounds and each has a Round Card. The card explains who you need to approach and what key phrase you need to use to get them to divulge information. It also says what information you need to divulge when someone approaches you with a specific key phrase. So during the social part of the round, the players MUST talk to at least two other people, and may talk to as many others as they like, saying to them what they like.

The players also start with a fixed number of credits. I'm playing the role of an Information Broker, holding one additional piece of important information on each player. Broker info is unique in that it can be either good or bad, depending on the player, so there is incentive to control your own as much as others'. After the social part of the round, any player can open bidding on any player's information - including their own. Bids are secret, so they hide a number of credits in their hands and all players reveal their hands at once. All bids, whether they win or lose, are final, and the Broker keeps those credits.

Once players have the information, they can choose to do with it as they wish. If it helps to clear their name, they can let others know. If it helps condemn someone, or if it's not entirely clear which, they can accept bribes in credits from other players, who then are free to keep it to themselves or say it aloud as they see fit. At the end of each round the Broker presents to everyone one new piece of evidence in the case that will point toward the murderer.

At the end of three rounds, a simple majority determines which player gets brought to the authorities - using the acquired information from the broker, social rounds, and evidence, they have to convince each other to turn someone in. If the murderer is not chosen, they win. If the murderer is chosen, the winner is the player who voted for the correct person and has the highest remaining number of credits.

I'm really looking for simplicity here, but with the potential for enough strategy that it's still interesting. Any feedback is appreciated!

Or Kill Me / Some of it.
« on: November 12, 2013, 03:54:57 am »
I think that’s it, I tell her. And I dread tomorrow because I know what’s going to come. I have put so much of myself into this, all of me and all of it without fear that deep fear, for the first time not holding back, slowly learning that I didn’t need to hold back, to keep apart. Destruction had no place in this one. On the eve of its end I am shattered but not the emotions because they are a boil, rolling against and across each other, shifting and ebbing, tides phases seasons changing. Shattered in learning how to sleep, exhausted and unable to sleep, hungry and uninterested in eating. She tells me to be a whole person but I’d never been more of one.

So she tells me about God. God and God’s place in a loving relationship. God’s role in every successful relationship she’s known, and God’s role in hers that steadfast thing, that great and beautiful thing and the great and beautiful people in it. I say of course God’s in the relationships she knows because she mostly knows relationships that involve God but that I think her faith is a precious thing. I’ve never known faith in God. In a Catholic house I did the rituals but I never knew faith and I thought it was a lie for so long.

I had faith in this one thing that I built, that I helped craft and I’ll say so tomorrow. Doomed tomorrow. I’m wrong here. The difference is that God might exist and might not and the faith is that God does or does not but that in which I place my faith does not exist at all. So I am wrong, and at some point that thing I built I was building by myself and I never noticed, laboring alone on a lie.

She asks what happens when it’s all over and I say in the end that is all, it ends and there is oblivion but she cannot accept this. It says there is no meaning but there is. It says the meaning means more, that a limited thing is lovelier for its scarcity and not to be squandered. That good is done for its own sake and not a cosmic cookie. That it’s all the more important to cause an impact because nothing else will be left.

There without meaning to she’s led me to a much better path, this friend I never thought would mean so much to me and one of so many to this lucky low man.

I’ve been a fool to think myself so strong and unbreakable, and more a fool for thinking one relationship makes me so. It’s the connections. All the myriad, confusing, glorious connections.

A local interest site and popular facebook page posted an article yesterday.

Mayor Holds Emergency Meeting to Chastise Parking Attendants

Within, a tale of the tyrannical parking enforcer we apparently elected into office.

An unknown parking attendant has worked Mayor Jon Mitchell into a fervor and driven him to call an emergency “State of the Parking Union” address. What earned the ire of the Mayor was a parking meter that had clearly expired and yet was ignored by the many parking attendants that circulate the downtown area. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As I’m descending the city hall steps to head towards my car, and I notice a meter count down and expire. I sat there for a full 40 seconds before an attendant arrived and did what the city of New Bedford pays him to do.”

“Immediately, I thought of a nature special I was watching the night before. It was Shark Week and they showed one of the most aggressive sharks, the Bull shark, tearing and ripping a seal from limb to limb, leaving a bloody spill. Ghastly wounds. Body parts everywhere. Yeah, I want my parking attendants to be like this. I want them to treat every week like it’s Shark Week, especially around Holidays. Can you picture a Bull Shark waiting 40 seconds before he attacks a wounded seal? My point, exactly.”

“I need each and every one of you parking attendants to feel like you are mini-mayors. That you are instrumental in generating revenue, so we can give ourselves raises. So we can build more parking meters. So we can buy more caviar. Notice the operative words “We can” in those sentences? That’s called inspiration. That’s what I do.”

The response to this piece of satire is 116 comments of COMPLETELY NOT GETTING THAT IT'S SATIRE. My local brethren at their finest.

There are only a few comments on the article itself, but the facebook link has the bulk of them.

It's tasty. I want to print them out and pile them up and roll around in them. MMMMM MMMMMMM.


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