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.

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The Epic Legends: The Great Trial of the Sword Kings

I know I have only posted one epic legend before, but lo, another has happened during my long absence.  A force that will no doubt shape many things to come.  Read on, dear friends, and learn of the Great Trial.

Over the past two years I became a proper adult human.  I know, you’re thinking “Surely, Sword King, you could never be considered Adult or Human!” and two years ago I would have heartily agreed.  Oh how times have changed.

Before I fought with raid bosses and people taking things too seriously, I fought with women, mostly in an attempt to get them to end the, my god, nearly ten year dating hiatus.  I’ve slayed trolls and took a picture straddling the Washington Monument, as if it were the great stone phallus of freedom granted to me for my unchallenged cocksmanship.

The foes I’ve faced of late have been far different.  I’ve had to deal with problems financial, navigate the treacherous labyrinths of federal and state bureaucracy.  I’ve had to watch as my father, a great man, was broken down by the state of the world and fell into depression, bitterness, and cynicism.  I’ve watched constant pain take its toll on him, I’ve raged at The Man for doing nothing to help.  I’ve made miracles happened, made promises I can’t keep, and kept promises I thought impossible to keep.

In September of 2009 my father lost his job after over a decade of hard, honest work.  At first I found myself in a panic, and then, as days turned into months I started to find solutions.  Solutions, sometimes from the unlikeliest of places.  From World of Warcraft, a good friend of mine needed a place to live in Northern Virginia for an internship.  We had a spare room and rented it.  His help came at a time when our resources were all but spent.  It gave us nine months of precious time, time to think, time to regroup.

From the mother of a man I consider a brother, and among the best, most stalwart friends anyone could have, I learned of a government disability aid program that did not require an extensive work history.  I applied, and just as the now-Guild Master was moving back to school, I was certified disabled.  I had enough money to make up for what was lost in rent.  Once more, we had time.

Time, however, grows short quickly when you’re living hand-to-mouth, making every penny count.  My aunt Gail and, yes, even my mother provided significant financial aid and support during the Great Trial of the Magic Sword Kings.  As bureaucracies stalled, bungled paperwork, the clock was running out.  My father’s own application for Disability was taking a long time, unemployment money had run out early this year, and I was pulling miracles out of my ass on a semi-daily basis.

My greatest duty, though, was to try and be a rock.  An immovable object of belief and hope that would keep my father and I from being swallowed by the storm.  Being the nerdling I am, I took a liking to the philosophies and purpose of the Blue Lantern Corps, who wield the power of hope, to which there is no equal.  I wear a Blue Lantern ring on my finger to this day to remind me that no matter how black the night, All Will Be Well.

If I learned anything from this, any advice I can pass on to you, take your strength where you can find it, even if it seems silly to someone else.  Never be ashamed of what makes you strong.

Hope and willpower and luck will only last so long, though, and the reality was that August was going to be my final month in D.C.  There was no avoiding it, the lease was up, the money would either be utterly depleted, or reinvigorated.  I hope for your sake you never have to live through a month, knowing that you stand on the precipice, and your fate is no longer within your hands.

In July, my life, and the lives of my entire family were at a great crossroads.  We waited breathlessly for word on a disability determination.  It is a very strange thing indeed to hope with all your being that the government agrees that things are, in fact, as painful as you think they are.

Two paths lay before me. If the money were to come through, I would be able to move away from DC, preferably to New England, and know I had succeeded in my task.  I would know that I had kept my promise to stand by my father through the dark and the light until we emerged triumphant.  We had no idea if it would happen, but day after day I would look my father in the eyes and tell him “I have no doubt.  We will succeed in this.  We will make it through.  We will survive.”  I believed it, harder than I believed anything.  I would, at times, recite the Blue Lantern oath as a sort of mantra, to keep me focused on giving hope, and holding hope.

Down the other path, the path of least resistance, waited catastrophe.  My father would have been utterly crushed, and I, for all my effort, would have followed suit.  No doubt I would have eventually made my way into the care of my mother’s family.  My father, though, my father had nowhere to go.  No one to turn to.  His family all but abandoned him long ago, and he abandoned them in turn.  If this had indeed been the outcome, I would not be writing a blog post.  I fear I would be writing a eulogy.

I’ve never faced an existential threat that didn’t come from the darkness within me before.  Like many who suffer from mental illness I’ve done horribly stupid things.  Over the past two years I’ve overcome addiction, I’ve found treatment for what turns out to be a supremely rare circadian rhythm disorder that is found most often in the blind.  I’ve made my peace with love lost and chances missed.  After twenty-four years, I have left Washington, D.C.  Reading my own blog (which I do think is a form of intellectual masturbation, but sometimes a man’s gotta do, you know) I remark often about how I “gotta get out of this place”.  Well I did.

The outcome was not ideal, nothing ever truly is.  We were victorious, though.  I was victorious.  I was right.  I remember sitting outside on that fateful September day when this long trial began, thinking I would never survive it.  To grow up is something people do in different ways.  Most go to college, or get jobs.  I fought my way through the dark to save my family.  And I kept my promise.  I never lost hope, I never lost faith, and I stood by my father as he has stood for me time and again.  I fought the world and won.

I do not write this from the forests and rivers of New England, rather the foothills of the Appalachians, four hours southwest of Washington.  It is peaceful here.  There is a tranquility that over time, I hope will heal many of the battle scars that I endured.  I know now that I can resume my life having survived the dark, and emerged the stronger.  Sure, Jerry Falwell’s megachurch and “university” are five miles down the road, and there is a church next to the local dildo shop, but that’s fine, after what I’ve been through I can deal with this.  I am happy to be able to look out on a clear night and see the sky filled with stars.

I’m a different man now, than the one I was when I started this blog.  A more proper man in some ways.  A wiser Sword King, to be sure.  And sitting here, at the dawn of a new day in my life I am reminded.  As Scott Mosier said, and as I echoed in my very first post here at The Chaos Fold, “Not every moment rules.”

But then again, some moments do.

This is one of them.

in fearful day, in raging night, with strong hearts full our souls ignite, when all seems lost in the war of light, look to the stars – for hope burns bright

 

Fourteen years.

Twenty-four years ago yesterday I was brought screaming, chestburster-style from my mother’s bio-prison.  Twenty-four years in the DC Metro area, twenty-four years since I was born in the building next door.

Fourteen years ago I moved from a townhouse to an apartment, for economic reasons.  it was cheaper.  I was ten, and the moving distance was one block.  Now, after two years of trial and triumph through seemingly endless crisis, I have spent my final day in the underground apartment that I have at times referred to as my fortified compound, the Citadel of the Magic Sword Kings, and a shithole.  My possessions are packed and ready for transit, my destination, unexpected.  I venture now to Lynchburg, Superjesusland.  Home to Liberty University and the cult of Falwell.  140 miles, four hours drive, but still just off a road a mere mile from where I sit now.

I move to a home on a hill, leaving much sadness, much anger, much bitterness, and yes, joy in the city that brewed me.  I do not know what trials await me, only that I have conquered much in my time here.  My fourteen years.  My twenty four.  My entire life.

So begins Chapter Two.

This is Andrew Zimmer from The Chaos Fold in Fairfax, Virginia, signing off.

Cocksucking has broken my friend.

After reading my epic screed on the philosophical implications of fellatio, my good friend Travis seems to have been broken.

He just spent a good five minutes with his fists balled into his eyes, his world unraveling at the thought of his mother, our high school principal, and Joan Fucking Rivers sucking merrily on man-meat.  He had a rather severe reaction, everything went black, save one white spot in the center of his vision.  He thinks still more on the matter, convulsing with terror with each new revelation.

He deemed it the ultimate troll, though one cannot troll with truth.  He answered a phone call from his mother, who I dutifully reminded him has sucked much cock.

At long last peace settles over him, as the truth sinks in, and all is revealed.

His thoughts?

“Perhaps that’s why people become pedophiles, to find something pure and innocent… and destroy it.”

God help us all.

This is all ridiculous.

While trying in vain to fall asleep at 7:30 in the morning, I had a thought.

The thought wasn’t a particularly dignified one, nor was it particularly profound on its own merit.

I realized that the vast majority of women I know have probably, at some point in their lives, had their mouths affixed to male genitalia.

Don’t judge me yet.

Anyway, when I mulled that concept over in my mind for a while something odd happened.  I began to panic.  I didn’t really know how to deal with that revelation, that all the people, from the elders who dispensed wisdom and cookies through my youth to the people I went to grammar school with, have probably sucked a cock or two.  It broke my brain.

In my continued effort to figure out how exactly this happened, and why it was causing a minor existential meltdown, I tried to put it out of my mind.  Didn’t work.  The whole notion is just too odd, that these people, many of whom I respect, love, care for, cherish, learn from, have partaken of an activity of that sort was hard to jive with.

Then it hit me.  The duality, between the fully-clothed, professional, intelligent human and the nude, carnal, animalistic human.  Its ridiculous.  Bordering on self-parody.  Only not so much bordering, it is self-parody.

I thought some more.

It doesn’t stop at that, everything is ridiculous.  And we take ourselves so seriously, too.  Here we are, contemplating the meaning of life, unraveling the great mysteries of the universe, and sucking dick.  The single greatest cause to believe in a god or creator isn’t the mysteries of life, or the complexity, because it really isn’t even that complex.  The greatest cause to believe is that life is so inherently ridiculous that surely, something must be playing a joke on us.

The more I thought the more ridiculous it seemed.

Human beings kill each other, go to war, create machines solely for the purpose of killing other humans.  And that’s the advanced part of us doing that!  The animal part, the so-called uncivilized part is the one that keeps the species going!  Sucking dick!

The way the universe works isn’t that complicated, just our explanations for the way the universe works are.  What goes up must come down, gravity.  There are thousands of theories and formulae that vie to explain that “phenomenon”.

My panic turned to calm, as I realized how ridiculous we all are.  For however hard we try to explain away the world, and however hard we try to kill each other, everyone’s still sucking dick, and that will save us all.

You never quite realize

I’ve been in this odd place for a while now. I call it the Cryogenically Unfrozen Effect, where I’m relatively unchanged, and the group of people I’ve known since childhood have undergone any number of cataclysmic shitstorms while I’ve been dark, so to speak.

Every now and then I check up on the miscreants I grew up with just to see what they’ve done.

The cute irish girl who slugged me after I asked her out in the seventh grade is pregnant. And she’s not the only former-friend with pod. Three others are as well.

The guy who I’d goof on in ninth grade looks like he’s fifty years old, completely bald.

My best friend from youth is married, as is my best friend of junior high.

Several friends from ninth grade are betrothed.

About ten people I know are dead, seven of those to Iraq and the rest to suicide.

My first girlfriend married thee walking embodiment of “puss”, who manages to retain that title despite being a Marine, apparently.

Untold numbers are completely debauched, unemployed, thrown out of college.

Most notably, the girl who made a bombing run on my ego in high school lost her porn job by getting knocked up. Ah, sweet justice.

You never quite realize how quickly the world moves until you slow down to watch it. It is oddly comforting in a way, to know that while many of my contemporaries have shot themselves out of the gun of youth straight into the supple flesh of world-ending cataclysm, I’ve only gotten better with age.

It’s good to be the King.

Pessimism

I’m beginning to think that my generation has gotten the shaft.

The boomers were often maligned for being self-centered and arrogant, which in many cases I can agree with. However, the boomers also gave birth to Rock & Roll, drove the civil rights movement, and ended the Vietnam war. With such a vital force at their disposal, they were of course the perfect people to break the spirits of the next generation before they could challenge their rule.

Here’s an example; my two best friends believe the government of the United States is irrevocably broken, and the only solution is violent revolution. I don’t hold to that, myself, but it speaks to the sort of pessimism that afflicts us.

In my observation, I’ve noticed two types of people my age. There’s the intelligent depressive, who has the brains and the guts to bring about real change, but is so depressed by their seeming inability to do so that they no longer try. Then, there’s the brainwashed slob, the person who votes Bush because “he’s cute!” and idolizes Paris Hilton because she’s dumb and rich.

Those are both based on people I do know, so I’m not just stereotyping women, there. In fact, women are more likely to fall into the former category, men have a much easier time subscribing to a side of most divisive issues.

Iraq: We can’t pull out! That doesn’t sound manly at all, we gotta leave it in there and get the job done!

Abortion: It’s wrong! Mainly because I have womb envy!

Homosexuality: It’s evil because men hitting on me creeps me out!

Even though I’m painting a very one-sided view of things, my personal opinion is that in any functional society there are two roughly equal masses of loud, screaming idiots on the far sides of any issue, who scream loudly enough to display to the more reasonable and intelligent people in between how inherently ridiculous their perspectives are. Then, popular opinion settles on the best solution, as it is rarely what any winger will talk about.

I suppose I’m a victim of that pessimism, too, at times. I live in the nation’s capital, which amplifies all issues of a political nature to a deafening roar. At times I want to emigrate, simply so I don’t have to deal with it anymore.

Problem is I love my country, and it pisses me off at how the elder generation has made that into an issue, and not a virtue.