Imagine

My new citadel is in many ways paradoxical.  It does not show up on any known mapping program, yet packages still make their way here.  It is not in Lynchburg, but it is said to be so.  Sometimes the GPS on my phone tells me I am in Lynchburg.  Sometimes, Rustburg.  Note that both these measurements are taken from my desk, which apart from standard cosmic forces, is stationary.

Lynchburg has an odd feel to it, an odd rhythm.  It is a fiercely independent city that is home to a less-than-welcome invader, upon Candlers Mountain.  Liberty University, the house that Falwell built, has a bad reputation among many of the locals I’ve found.  They had an identity, they were proud southerners.  Lynchburg was the only major confederate city never to fall to the Union Army during the Civil War.  While I, personally, find that honor dubious at best, I respect cultural identity.  When Falwell rose to prominence, Lynchburg’s identity was subverted by a megalomaniac whose views could charitably be described as “hateful” and is one of the few human beings, along with Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler, who I am truly glad is dead.    I know a good man never celebrates death, but I’m not a good man.  I am an honest man, and I hope all three are being hatefucked in the soul in their hells of choice.

The Libertards tend not to stray very far from their enclaves upon Candlers Mountain.  I’ll see a few here and there in the shopping centers directly adjacent, and one thing identifies them above all else: immaturity.  They’re loud, obnoxious, silly children.  The students of nearby Central Virginia Community College and Lynchburg College are infinitely more restrained in public, despite the reputation of the latter as a “Party School”.  I’m beginning to understand and appreciate the country in ways I didn’t back in D.C.  Not the south, mind you, the Country.  All the out-of-the-way places, north, south, middle, west.  Generally speaking the places where it is not uncommon, if you drive down a back road, to see cattle grazing, corn stalks growing, and above all else, trees.  Nature, unmolested by man’s presence.  I’ve seen more forest, field, and sky in my one month in this town than in all my twenty-four years in D.C.

Today, after looking around Craigslist for a while I found an absolute gem of a turntable, perfect for the little den we’ve set up here on Minas Macil.  My father called up the owner, and we went on a bit of an adventure trying to find his house among what can only be described as the backwoods.  It was not five minutes away, but so dramatic was the atmosphere that I could have sworn I’d traveled hundreds of miles into the heartland.  We live only in the foothills of the Appalachians, but the rolling forests upon mountains of increasing grandeur tend to impress even the most technological man.

When we met the owner of the turntable, he was many things I expected of a typical, proud southern man.  He was accented and loud, though not in a rude way.  He was working out in the shed, plenty of tools and timber were strewn about the place.  And, I’ll be damned, he was a nice guy.  Hospitable and surprising in many ways.  Yes, he had guns.  Proper guns, hunting rifles, mind you.  Safely kept.  In his self-described “man cave” he had a poster of John Lennon, as well as one of Dale Earnhardt and a Confederate flag bearing the slogan “The South Will Rise Again”.  As I helped my dad look through the various electronics he was trying to fix up and sell, I found myself and my father in a conversation with a man who was genuinely nice.  He was an individual, his record collection was formidable and tasteful.  This was no beer-swilling ignoramus, this was a man with tastes that were broader than I would have imagined.

It strikes me now that I was the most prejudiced man in that particular man-cave.  D.C. is even more poisonous than I thought.  Picking a side, picking an ideology, picking a “team” counts for everything there.  You look at a map and you see the colors of your team and the colors of the opposing team, and you think, “Wow, there are a bunch of fucking idiots in those places that have a different color”.  The entire time we were there, we talked about electronics, old records, old speakers, beautifully-kept vintage stereo stuff, and I know I’ll be going back at some point to help repair some of the more esoteric pieces.  It never occurred to me that someone could revere John Lennon and Dale Earnhardt, play the banjo and listen to Bach.

I know more today than I did yesterday.  I no longer feel like the stranger in a strange land, the civilized man among the apes.  That was plain wrong of me.  I realized I don’t have to talk about politics with someone, or know their political views, to get along with them.  I know I can look at a flag that will always be a symbol of hatred to me, but know it stands for something different for some people.  I can see why he admired John Lennon.  He was ahead of the curve.  There’s nothing in “Imagine” about one ideology triumphing over another, or one party winning the next big election.  There’s just a hope for a future where we can all find some common ground.

And the world will live as one.

On Seriousness

Since I returned there haven’t really been many dick jokes.  I feel I should remedy this.  A while ago, during my absence, I was cleaning up the kitchen in my former apartment, when I discovered a little bamboo skewer, charred at one end.  I had used it the night before to light candles when the power was out.  Now, however, an unspeakable urge called to me.  I noticed the tip left a black mark on my finger, as a pencil might.  The malformed box of neurons and psychoactive substances called my brain shifted gears.

Now, with impulse control less potent than that of an ADHD-addled five-year-old I took skewer in hand, just as Shakespeare himself may have once put quill to parchment, stirring the souls of kings and peasants alike, or Van Gogh held his brush aloft and carved color and beauty out of paint and canvas so many years ago.

Purposefully I approached the cutting board.  This was the time for something great to happen, there could be no other time.  If I was to delay, I was to fail!

Deftly, purposefully, I wrote “PENIS” on the cutting board, but like Icarus, I flew too close to the sun!  I added an exclamation point to the end.  Too much!  Surely it was too much!  So I scrubbed it away.

“That almost went too far.” I thought to myself, as I proceeded to draw a cock and balls next to the word instead.  Then I felt it in my veins, “No!  The exclamation point must go back in!  Where would mankind be if men such as me did not dare to push the boundaries of the ethical, the possible!”

And so the exclamation point went back in.  I knew that work of such beauty could not last forever in its original state.  Its glory would only dim with the passage of time.  Yet, it would have to be remembered in some way.  I fetched a camera to take a picture of my masterpiece before I washed it all away.

No shit, wordpress has below this field "Alt text for the image, e.g. "The Mona Lisa"".  I think that is appropriate

No shit, wordpress has above this field "Alt text for the image, e.g. "The Mona Lisa"". I think that is appropriate

There.  It was done.  My work photographed, I could wash it away.  I reached for the detergent.  And then, sensing genius swelling within once more, I stopped.  I waited.  A vile thought entered me.  I would wash the cutting board.  Not before creating a neon green snail trail of soapspunk leading from the penis toward the sink.  I am not proud, I am merely stating the events as they occurred.  I am a vessel, nothing more, nothing less.

Radioactive Spunk would make a good band name.

It is long gone, now, like so many other great works of art.  All that remains are these images, and this accounting of the events of that fateful night.  After washing the board I noticed that sudsing the soap made it look more realistic, but alas, my wings of wax had melted, and I had no more burnt bamboo to draw with.

 

My Night’s Sleep

Yes, I’ve been away from my blag here for a while, I’ll talk about that some later, but right now I want to talk about how I slept last night.

Seems dull, no?  Well strap the fuck in, because we’re going for a ride.

So I was lounging around with my father last night, getting ready for bed when my phone rings. I don’t recognize the number, so it goes to voicemail. Thanks to Google voice, while I wouldn’t have checked my voicemail before sleep I certainly checked my email, and something didn’t square. The sleep study I had scheduled, to try and pin down whatever gross mutation I am saddled with, for the SIXTH of January 2011 has apparently been spontaneously rescheduled for the FIFTH of January 2011 and I am LATE FOR MY STUDY. So, roundabouts ten o’clock (study was scheduled to begin at nine) I take the world’s fastest shower, pack sleeping clothes (note: I am a man, and do not usually use sleeping clothes, this was not easy), get in the car with my father, and travel to the hospital.

For those who’ve visited or lived here, you will know I live next door to the hospital. These fucking people scheduled it, however, at the affiliated hospital fifteen miles away, with heavy road construction between me and it. I have thirty minutes, so naturally, this was all very relaxing and just the sort of activity you want to partake of right before attempting a restful night’s sleep. When I arrived and got past the prick at emergency reception (you would think they would staff the pricks in a place where they won’t talk to people in need of genuine aid), I was escorted by a very nice fellow who asked me why I looked so wired and if I had been drinking caffeine (which was VERBOTEN).

“OF COURSE I’M WIRED YOU INCOMPETENT FUCKMOOK! I HAVE JUST HAD TO NAVIGATE A CAR THROUGH THE DARK PAST FLASHING LIGHTS AND INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT, TO A DESTINATION I HAVE VISITED ONLY TWICE BEFORE! FROM THE GODDAMN PASSENGER SEAT! WHILE WET! NO I HAVEN’T HAD ANY CAFFEINE WHERE’S MY BED!?” I screamed, loudly, in my mind, because it really wasn’t this guy’s fault that it was all bungled and fucked up.

Now I arrive in the room, the room where I am to “sleep” for the “night”. It looks like the room was decorated by a doctor from Victorian London and Lex Luthor’s most diabolical laboratory at the same time. The furniture is alternately horrifying in its unfeeling medical coldness with its probulators and tubey things, and handmade wooden furniture with ornate styling. There is a giant LCD screen that looks as if it is meant to broadcast instructions from Dr. Evil while I sleep to reprogram me into a heartless killing machine, and who knows, maybe it did, we’ll all find out now, won’t we. Directly underneath it there was a lovely little desk upon which sat forms for me to fill out.

“FUCK!”

I fill out the forms, giving the hospital consent to brainwash me and kill me and videotape me doing ridiculous shit wait what?! Videotape? I look above Dr. Evil’s global ransom screen and see an infrared camera that is FOLLOWING ME. This camera, henceforth referred to as the Eye of Sauron/Red Ring of Death for its blinding red LEDs surrounding it, has fixed its gaze on me. “I SEE YOU” I pretend to hear. Oh well, fuck it, this whole affair is deranged anyway, I’ll sign all the consent forms including one for electrical shocks which I really wish I hadn’t just skimmed over before signing.

Right, now time to sleep. I figure they’ll put a nice sleeping cap on that contains all the sensors and brain probes required, plug it into the vaguely dildonic looking machine next to the bed and we’ll be off. Then I see the attendant preparing them.

Electrodes. Old school. Glue to your skull type things. I’ve had an EEG before so I figure, oh well, I’ll just have to wash the spunk-like glue out of my hair tomorrow morning. Turns out there were a few more things to plug in than there were last time. I counted 12 electrodes in my hair on top of my head, six around my eyes, one on my throat, two on my chest, four on each leg and two on my right arm, plus two straps across my torso.

Me, 10% of the way through the procedure

Me, 10% of the way through the procedure

Oh, and four electrodes in my beard.

THEY.

PUT.

ELECTRODES.

IN.

MY.

FUCKMOTHERING.

BEARD.

Well this night was clearly going to be restful. I got into the bed, which was surprisingly comfortable, and was given the nostril-fucker device which completed my ridiculous cyberpunk bondage outfit. The Eye of Sauron looked at me with what I swear was fucking pity, and after some tests to make sure all the gizmos and probes and prehensile robotic copulators were functioning fully, the lights went out.

Now, if you want to play the home version of this game, its simple. Take all the cables from your router, computer, etc, and plug them into your goddamn face. Then put the router and the computer next to your pillow, and lie still enough that the machines will not be displeased. It is essentially what getting skullfucked by our future robot overlords would be like, post-skullfucking when Ribonulator 800 wants to cuddle and suck power from your neurons. And your hair and beard are full of a rich, nutritive glue that is a translucent whitish color, and difficult to wash out. Now RELAX AND HAVE A GOOD NIGHT!

Miraculously I managed to sleep. My sleep was consistently interrupted whenever I accidentally tugged one of the cables and displeased the Ribonulator and had to roll back over. Eventually the stress of the unblinking gaze of the Dark Lord Sauron and the probes damaged my calm and I hit the “GET IN HERE, ASSHOLE” button next to the bed (note that the device all the electrodes are plugged into is on the bed with you, while the button you have to push in case of distress is on the fucking nightstand) to demand my valium from my bag. I would have gotten up and taken it myself, but not only was I plugged into the Matrix, here, the blanket was a special weighted blanket that made it near impossible to sit up without the attendant removing it for you. I eventually fell asleep again. Then, I discovered that in lieu of an alarm clock they fucking shock your torso to wake you up when you’re “done”. This was 5:30 AM.

Now, the long, arduous process of disconnecting me from the mechano-tentacles of the Borg began, and I got up to wash my face and then fill out the “customer satisfaction” survey. If you’re wondering, yes, I did use phrases like “Eye of Sauron”, “facefucked by androids” and so on in this survey.

Then I saw myself in the mirror.

Bleak, bleary-eyed and miserable, hair all fucked up as per usual. Rub my eyes a couple times. Holy shit. It looks like I’ve been bukkake’d by Optimus Prime and all his friends. I wash as much of the vile glue out as I can before hastily calling for rescue.

Now tell me you're a naughty girl...

It is 7:39 now, and after showering and washing my face twice, I still do not have all of that goddamn glue out of my beard.

Sleep tight, everyone!

The Things I Have Done

To make my citadel less dude-centric and friendly for a female of the human race to stay in, over the past three days I have done officially more cleaning than I have in the past six years, easily.

I began by thoroughly de-trashing the premises.  The journey took me deep into the Underbed, where artifacts from strange aeons long past were recovered and thrown out.  It was not perfectly cleaned, due to the fact that the bed frame has seemingly assimilated various objects and I cannot dislodge them without extreme measures.  Swords and axes would be employed.

After de-trashing I began de-junking, which is not the same.  It is the process of taking the junk that is just lying around one’s dwelling, finding a proper, logical place for it and placing it there.  In the process I rearranged many books, statues, etc.

Then I sorted laundry into various piles (pile one: wash this now.  pile two: wash this later.  pile three: wash this in six months when it gets cold again.  pile four: oh god kill it with fire).

Phase two, codenamed Operation: Proper Amount of Suction, then proceeded as I vacuumed every damn thing the vacuum had a tool for.  Two full canisters of filth were liberated from carpeting, walls, ceilings, electronics, floors, corners, and potential Deep Crow nests.

With this complete I was exhausted and slept, with four giant piles of laundry flanking me and two full 30 gallon trash bags awaiting removal.

The next day I woke up at five PM, still, mustering my willpower I did two loads of laundry, destroyed the horrific former garments, folded, sorted, hung to dry further.  Shower, sleep (on bare mattress I did not want to sweat on clean sheets thus ruining the day’s efforts.)

Today, today was the day for shopping.  Groceries were retrieved, though entirely of the “I have no money so I am buying the cheapest of soda and pizzas” variety.  The real excitement came with my intrepid roommate’s purchases, beer and fine liquor was procured.  Maker’s Mark 46, the first new bourbon Maker’s Mark has released since Maker’s Fucking Mark.  It glistens, waiting, beckoning to us.  This must be saved, however.  Saved for the revelry to come.

Of course, my preparations are imperfect, though they are extravagant by my standards.  The bedroom “walk in” closet retains its inability to be “walked in to”.  This is necessary, for it contains five computer cases, two dressers, an anomalous cardboard box full of junk I was unable to dislodge, and many more artifacts from my youth dating all the way back to two bins of Duplo blocks.  To clean that monster would require explosives and industrial tools at the minimum.  My back can best be described as an ocean of pain, and I realize there are still objects of extreme ridiculousness that must be stored.

In summation I will leave the remaining tasks in the capable hands of the Bard himself.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews
, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

World Cup Thought Experiment

Imagine the scene.  You’re at the World Cup in South Africa, bleeding from every orifice due to the sonic pressure of the dread Vuvuzela.  Suddenly, during the championship game God descends.  Obviously this will cause a stoppage in play.

And He comes right on down and says to the crowd “Okay, let’s try switching things up a little bit.  There are 20,000 religious lunatics in the Vatican right now, and 20,000 soccer (Yes England I said soccer, how do you like Me now?) lunatics blowing Vuvuzelas in this stadium.  I am going to switch them for laughs.  Alright?  Alright.  Peace out, bitches!”

And just like that, 20,000 shrieking, lamenting, chanting, Catholics are in the stands at the World Cup in South Africa.  Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI is startled by his congregation suddenly being replaced with 20,000 drunks playing the Vuvuzela.

What do you, dear reader, think would happen?

Personally I think it would make both activities, Soccer and Organized Religion, a great deal more entertaining

The Return

June 21, 2010.  It seems like a date that never should have happened.  Some science fiction land where the aliens have landed to meet with the robot overlords on the nuclear-charred wastes that once were home to the human race.  While our current dystopia is wildly different than those imagined by Arthur C. Heinlein K. Dick, et al, it seems as good a time as ever, even at this late hour, to write once more.

The story of my world, this corner of planet Earth, just outside Washington D.C. continues to be one of absolute insanity.  The populace seems to be barely holding back their personal Deepwater Horizons of madness, rage, and sadness.  In fairness, that could be me projecting.  I continue to live in a truly ironic fashion, penniless yet owning no end of treasures.  Lonely but less physically alone I as a sapient being have ever been.  So it should come as no surprise that I was watching stand-up comedy when the panic struck.

Allow me to rewind the clocks to earlier in the day.  My life of quiet contemplation mixed with brief interruptions of gunfire from video games continued this day much as it had the prior.  I was playing a game, (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic if you must know) for the umpteenth time, having just created a character,  I saddled him with a horribly offensive name as that is the only way I can be evil in a video game, to create something so obviously not myself that I have no problem acting like the violent, impulsive cockend that defines the bad guy end of the Manichean morality systems that have been in vogue for oh so long.

Then the phone rang.  Rather, it buzzed with an odd sort of swooping sound, denoting receipt of a text message.  I was glad to receive it, as it had been sent by one of my very favorite people in the world.  I never got text messages often; I don’t know why I do now.  It strikes me as positive momentum, though.  Perhaps soon I’ll be a real boy.  The message was short and sweet, and I do emphasize sweet.  I was oddly touched by it, enough for the sudden uptick in my opinion of humanity to cause Double Hitler (my intrepid dark Jedi) to be nice to approximately three people before the force-choking of adorable animals began anew.  June 21, 2010 continued its unremarkable trajectory.

Several hours later, possibly, time gets fuzzy when you’re building a megalomaniac, I receive another message.  My great friend would be visiting!  Visiting soon no less!  In a week or two, they would be here! In my world!  Not their world, which to me always strikes me as far more appealing, and indeed I am far more appealing when I exit the orbit of this one to visit the other.  The reality didn’t sink in at first.  In fact I’m reasonably certain I committed at least ten more digital atrocities before it struck me.

I am not only uncomfortable in my world, I am embarrassed by it.

I sit, typing this in a room that has, over the course of twelve years, been engineered specifically to distract me from the fact that I have spent the majority of my life in the same room.  A room, which I must add, that is roughly 100 meters from the previous room I occupied, for the prior five years.  And an equal distance from the room that I first occupied, when I burst screaming into the world on August 24, 1987.

Spend twelve years in any one place and it will begin to reflect certain details of one’s life that you would rather leave behind you.  There is an inconceivable amount of garbage that has accrued in the dresser drawers, spaces behind and under objects, and closet space over the course of the occupation.  To remove it all would be impossible under present circumstances.  Indeed, objects exist in these areas that predate my own existence.  There are marks on the ceiling telling the tales of when I discovered that a pool cue for an overpriced games table I once owned could quite easily make small craters in the drywall.  Uneven paint shows where a large NASA sticker once covered a portion of the door for far too long, being possessed of some hell-adhesive that anchored it long past the point of novelty’s failure.  Most embarrassingly, a carpet stained with substances ranging from the bright pink remnants of spilled strawberry milk as a much younger creature, the not-quite-erased spot where 32 oz. of vodka and bourbon were jettisoned by my body.  Bits of snot that I concluded belonged on the walls, floor, or carpet for preservation through the aeons of the world.

Twelve years has shown a clear portrait of a messy tornado of a human who is obsessed with shiny things, and not terribly worried about being an unhygienic mess.  The results of my anthropological study prove stunningly accurate.

Yet twelve years is a long time by anyone’s count.  Has my carefully constructed world become a prison of my own design?  What will my friend think when they leave the fresh, polished world of the promised land behind to visit the wasteland?  She is far too nice to cast her judgment publicly.  Still, what sort of adult would continue to exist in this place?  Can I even allow her to see it?  Just how much can I clean this hellhole up before she arrives?  Will the strawberry milk stains finally come out?  Have I finally turned pro?

At 11:30 PM, on June 21, 2010, I turned over in my bed as I attempted sleep, tormented by the questions that now flooded my mind.

“Fuck.” I muttered aloud.

And then I wrote it down.  Welcome back Andrew.  This is the story of your life.

I’ve made it to the big-leagues!

For the first time in The Chaos Fold’s history… Godwin’s Law has been invoked.

*sniff* I feel like my baby’s all grown up now…  People are invoking Hitler in my comment threads… Its so beautiful… Oh I promised myself I wouldn’t cry!

via xkcd

via xkcd