The Plague of Devia Mara.

1/4/99

Effectively divorced from my skin and all sensory stimuli, I felt myself descend as if into the proverbial rabbit hole, leading me towards what either constituted a lucid dream or another plane of existence. The debate is still raging. In either case, I was awake and knew this was not mundane reality I was literally falling into, and so I feared the entity that had attacked me so often when this sort of thing happened might lunge at me, so in response I resorted to a technique I had picked up in my Occult readings and refashioned to my own satisfaction. Chanting the made-up word only I know three times, I summoned my protective shield. Evidently, the conditioning I had subjected myself during my ordinary, waking life paid off, as it occurred without effort in precisely the way I always imagined it to function. Starting in my chest area, a white, glowing ball of energy swiftly grew to encompass my entire form, cocooning me in a protective bubble of energy.

To my relief and amazement, the vicious entity without certain form never showed. Though I could be mistaken, I do believe that this was the first time that I had found myself awake within an otherworldly space and not ultimately been subjected to his relentless violence. As I continued to fall down this nonphysical well I saw floating Gray alien heads strewn all about as if I was underwater, which did not seem to be the case, until I ultimately came to rest in an alternate version of my bedroom. There, my lucidity depleted significantly.

What followed, at least in the notes that, judging from my handwriting, occurred immediately afterward, constituted various non-lucid but certainly vivid dreams. I cannot be certain of their chronology, the degrees to which I succeeded in remembering them or whether they were separate dreams or part of a single, enduring narrative, but they were of an uncommon clarity and an eerie, dark overcast. Two scenes have direct relevance here.

Inside what I know to be a long building with a large parking lot that in retrospect I surmised must have been a bar or restaurant, I am sitting at the bar, a friend to my left and a girl sitting to my right. She dragged off a cigarette held between long, frog-like lips positioned beneath buggy eyes, and I got the overwhelming feeling that she was depressed. For some reason, I also felt that she looked like a Jennifer.

In the next relevant scene, I am introduced to what I explained in my notes as a sex-crazed girl in a dark room. I saw her as if from below, sitting on her sofa chair as if it were a throne. Leaning back, sprawled on the chair quite comfortably, she had her right leg bent at the knee and leisurely aiming to my right, with that foot resting on the chair, the other leg casually hanging off the edge. She was clad in a black shirt and pants, her shoulder-length black hair the only discernible feature when I focus on her head, which is entirely draped in darkness.

Though I would much prefer to think that I walked, given the position from which I initially viewed her I would have to say that I was on my hands and knees and crawled toward her, eventually atop her, though her position did not significantly change as I did so. Looking down, I spied her belly, as concave as my own at the time, and her comparatively loose black jeans, void of any belt. So inverted was her tummy that I could not only discern that she wasn’t wearing any underwear but clearly see her finely-shaven vagina. I then asked her a question, I think whether or not she would be my girlfriend.

“No,” she replied. “No Sex.”

In the dream notes, I mentioned that she for some reason looked as if her name would be Devia, though I have never, up to the time of this writing, known any girl by that name.

***

Sometime after having this dream, when I again decided to try my hand at fiction, I wrote a short story inspired by the dream, which I entitled The Hole in the Universe. It dealt with a group of guys who hung out at a bar based partially on the one in my dream, which was run by the girl I had called Jennifer. Their typical, end-of-the-workday routine was interrupted one evening when a biker entered the doors, offering cautionary tales to the group regarding a girl he was attempting to hunt down called Devia Mara. He claimed that though he had never met her himself she had taken home some of the guys at the biker bar down the street and brainwashed them, drained them of all will, and those that returned to the bar after nights with her came back changed, not at all themselves. After ascertaining they had not seen or heard of such a woman before, he told them to be careful and departed.

As the story progressed, his dire warnings proved to have merit, as she had evidently moved her territory from his biker bar to their own and started plucking them away one by one — though in this case, none of his friends ever returned to the bar or were seen again. The last member of the group and the one qualifying as the protagonist of the story feared she was seducing and then killing them and, despite the fact that he had still never laid eyes on her, soon became obsessed with hunting her down himself.

Ultimately he encountered her on the stairs at a bar, where she bit his lip and he passed out, only to find himself bound in duct tape to the passenger seat of a car upon awakening, with her in the driver seat. They engaged in a rather aggressive conversation, during which she insisted she had not killed his friends but only helped them to accept their true, individual natures and open up to life, leaving their group and the bar behind them in the wake. Though she eventually releases him and they walk together along a bridge, he stubbornly refuses to trust in and be swayed by her as they allegedly had.

Up to this point I feel my story was okay — not great by any measure, but all right — though in retrospect I certainly feel as though there was far more I could’ve done with it. I am, on the other hand, entirely unsatisfied with the ending, where she revealed herself to be something akin to a psychic vampire or parasite of the soul and left him alone on the bridge, paralyzed, slowly disintegrating into dust, falling into the water below. It seemed dreadfully inconsistent not only with respect to the promise I felt she had in the context of the dream that inspired the story but in the story previous to that point. For her to reveal herself as some simple personification of evil after teasing true depth and complex motives through their conversation seemed cheap, and the ending rather predictable, at least in essence.

To make matters worse, there are suggestions that this was my intent from the very moment I began writing the story, though I can neither recall any specific intentions nor have I managed to uncover any suggestive notes.

For instance, I do know that there was a good reason I chose the last name Mara for her. By the point I had written the story I am sure I knew that a mare or mara was said to be an evil spirit essentially synonymous with mythical creatures such as the succubus, Incubus and the old hag in that they were said to straddle the chests of people as they slept and suffocate them, giving rise to bad dreams or “night-mares.” It should come as no surprise that they are currently thought to be hallucinations caused by sleep paralysis. I knew all this as I had one such experience myself in March of 1995 and had subsequently engaged in obsessive research — and in an era that was BG (Before Google), no less. The sense I got from my research was that such entities were essentially psychic parasites, which is clearly reflected in the ending of the story.

Though I am fairly certain that I had no knowledge of it at the time, I have also discovered that Mara was the name of the demon that tempted Siddhārtha Gautama on his path towards enlightenment, which is to say to the trajectory that terminated upon him earning the title of Buddha. Mara is therefore considered in the eyes of at least some present-day Buddhist sects to be the personification of all that seeks to keep one bound to the wheel of death and rebirth.

In essence, my intention seemed to ultimately present her as a seductive entity that enslaved others and drained them of their power.

***

Though her face remained concealed within the dream, once I introduced her in the realm of my writing I gave her definite features. I was rather taken aback when I read it again, as it seems to describe Hypnotic Haylee, who I only stumbled upon far later, rather accurately:

“Her green eyes dug into me like a knife,” I wrote. “Her forehead was tilted further outward than her chin, and locks of her black hair fell across her face, reminding me so much of a predator fixating on her prey.”

While I never delved into how it was Devia changed those who became entangled in her web, hypnosis would fit nicely, and had I known enough about it at the time I feel certain I would have included it in the story as the means by which she “brainwashed” the guys at the biker bar. In any case, I’ve come to suspect that this is why I ultimately gravitated towards Haylee so many years later. She fit the profile of Devia in the dream to a startling degree and at least physically in the story that it inspired, suggesting that I have been psychologically projecting Devia onto her.

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Your Line.

And if you don’t even know
what it is that you want,

what you’re
ultimately aiming
for, 

and you aren’t well
enough acquainted
with your worst

scenario,
nor where you stand
now betwixt
the two, 

you need
to explore the extremes
in order to find

your line,
designating the center
of the road.

If you don’t know your direction,
and so your side…

strive to crank it open
within, strain

for wide eyes, to know.

Altered States in ‘08.

I. Body.
4/11/08

It’s April eleventh, and I’m on the toilet taking a dump and reading Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle when I notice that I’m getting incredibly tired all of a sudden. I wanted to type out the rest of my notebook writings this week, the shit I’ve been writing about everything, and the bit of shit from last week I never got the chance to type out, but the coffee is simply not kicking in for some reason. As I’m reading, I’m finding my eyes are closing and I’m getting that falling feeling, like I’m falling or wobbling out of my skin. I’m not just tired, no, I’m inexplicably exhausted, ready to zonk out, so I just finish my chapter and climb into bed. And, poof, I’m out like a light.

Sometime later, I wake up, immobilized. I can’t see anything, all is just a black, formless void, and I can only hear and feel things faintly, but it’s clear I’m being moved. It feels like I’m being pulled across some fabric of some kind, like polyester, and I can hear that high-pitched screeching as my body’s pulled across the fabric or whatever it is. I feel so numb and passive, though, so fucking relaxed that struggling to open my eyes and see what the fuck is really going on never even crosses my mind. In retrospect, that bothers me, and it bothers me even more that it only bothers me in retrospect and didn’t bother me at the time.

When I wake up, things aren’t right, and I immediately know this is the case. I’m awake, but I’m not in my body, not really, not in the physical sense. I still can’t say if this kind of experience is a dream or some parallel reality or another plane of existence, but the fact of the matter is that I’m wide awake in this place and it’s not our traditional waking world. Perhaps this is just a lucid dream. Regardless, I wake to find myself in some version of the room I used to live in when I was at my parent’s house. It’s dark and there’s a bed, a sofa chair, but the room seems tinier than my room was when I lived with my parents and far more cluttered. I get up, fully aware that this isn’t real, or at least what we traditionally regard as real, and I look around the room.

I stand up and look in the mirror, which I have developed a certain fondness for doing when this sort of thing happens, this astral projection or whatever this is. My reflected image seems distorted in places, and I don’t know if it’s due to smudges on the mirror or it’s just my vision, but overall, I certainly look like me. Getting real close to the glass, I start searching for the scratch on my nose that I know I just got at work last night, but I cannot find it, and I’m curious and amused. The longer and closer I look the more I notice that my eyes look a hell of a lot shinier, a lot darker, and the glare off of them is so great I can hardly see my pupils or iris. I reach for my cigarettes because I really want to smoke one, and I put one in my mouth, holding off on lighting it. I’m thinking about going out the door of my room, maybe roaming around, checking the place out, maybe going downstairs, but I’m still drawn back to the mirror, finding myself transfixed on the reflection of my own image. Suddenly, it looks as if my chest isn’t my chest anymore, but my back. It looks like my head’s on backward. And then I wake up.

I don’t remember anything exactly after waking up, but I remember walking down my parent’s stairs, and my mother is talking to someone, some guy I know, who has just come in from outside. It suddenly comes to my attention that mom was somehow observing throughout the whole parallel reality or dream experience I just had. That was my inexplicable and sudden assumption at first, anyway. When I hear her talk to the other guy, it seems that he observed it all, too, and they were quite interested in it all. She started describing the dream, and the guy’s agreeing with her, with every word she uses to describe it. She starts talking about some riverbank, though, and he nods, and that’s when I shake my head at both of them. “No,” I say to them, “mine was different,” because I remembered, of course, no riverbank.

Just then I look out the door the guy had just come in from, which looks no different from my parent’s door in reality, and I see a face, a body on the ground outside the door, just on the edge of what appears to be a river beyond the door. I feel an instant sense of alarm, yelling, “BODY,” as I run down the remaining steps and cross the dining room and run out the door.

When I get outside, however, there is no river’s edge – no riverbank, that is. Just a lush, green lawn, but the body is still there. It’s a young, blond-haired body, eyes closed, just lying there with his legs together, arms at his sides, comfortable and not looking dead at all. Just lying motionless in the sun upon the lush green grass of what seems to be a beautiful summer day. I’m not good at judging age, but he’s maybe nine or ten years old, I’d say, if forced to guess. I just look at him, curious and confused.

And then I wake up again, but I’m inside my head, trying to find a way out, trying to wake up in the right place this time, and suddenly I wake up in my bed. I run to my computer desk and try to write it all down, try to remember as much as I can because I feel this is incredibly important. My eyes, as I write, they’re all out of focus; it’s as if I can only clearly see out of one, and the other’s all fucked up. My teeth feel as if they’ve been clenching. Am I having seizures during these experiences? I’m not sure. I can’t be sure about anything.

I look at the clock, and it reads 10:34 in the morning. It was ten-something when I went to bed, which means the whole experience, it shouldn’t have taken longer than half an hour, and probably considerably less. My experience seems like it might have fit into those time constraints if it was exactly ten when I went to bed, but I would have had to have started “dreaming” or whatever as soon as my head hit the pillow. That seems incredibly unlikely.

And I think about the kid in the dream, and my mind goes back to the kid I saw on December 15, 2001, and the weird experiences that followed that encounter, and how that child I saw way back when seemed to be maybe four, and how the kid I just saw in the dream or whatever, he seemed to be maybe ten, and I just shake my head, because that doesn’t help this make sense.

II. Altogether Numb With Psychospiritual Novocain.
6/1/08

It’s the Wednesday before last. It’s raining outside, and I spent the drive home trying to relax, doing my little mental ritual that makes me feel more protected and secure, all the while hoping to high hell I won’t go tires-on-a-Slip-N’-Slide and hydroplane. And that my spare won’t go flat. That a deer won’t run out in front of me. That I won’t veer into oncoming traffic. I try to make the relaxation come on more easily by putting on some pleasantly distracting music, but the only songs playing on the radio bring back angry, frightening and depressing memories, most of them from high school, slightly before or shortly thereafter. I finally settle on listening to Guns N’ Roses November Rain, which is a peculiar choice, considering the song’s themes. You know. Rainy weather, death.

Having survived the trip home, I pull into what has become my usual parking space in the lot outside my apartment. I open the door, smell the exhaust from my car, put out my cigarette in the ashtray overloaded with tangled butts and clumps of soot. Outside, the rain beats down on me. I’m leaning in the open door, reaching in for my book bag, when something weird happens.

My consciousness suddenly shifts. Like a head rush, but more than a head rush. More breadth and width than a head rush. Just for a brief second, just for a blink, it’s suddenly as if I’m looking, feeling, hearing, smelling it all from outside myself, behind myself, above myself but through myself. It’s not just the perspective that’s changed, either, but my sense of self. It’s as if my everyday ego is just some costume I put on, some role I play, and this is a deeper aspect of me waking up after a snooze and just peeking through the curtain. And this hiding, now-peeking-out me seems so much more awake and alive. I feel like I am somebody I am, but I’m not the me I fooled myself into believing I was.

I look around and realize that I’m leaning inside a vehicle, reaching for a book bag. That I have a job and go to college and live alone and have somehow managed to survive enough to get here. And I am awash with perplexity and disbelief. I realize a lot must have transpired in order to get here and I am skeptical with respect to the notion that I really am. This can’t really be the case, can it? How did I get here? How did I make it this far? This is inconceivable, considering where I was last time I peeked out from behind the curtain. It’s exciting, I notice — the freedom I have — but the world is also frightening. I find it amazing that this world even exists, really. That the circumstances are the way they are.

It’s as if I’ve just really woken up out of this dream-like zombie state I’d been in since who knew when. And everything I — the me I think I am — takes for granted, it’s all so unbelievable.

This sudden shift in consciousness lasts a second, as I said, a mere second, and I shift back. I go on about my usual routine like it never happened, but inside my apartment, I’m contemplating. It’s so weird how we live the majority of our lives thinking we’re awake when in a moment we realize just how asleep we’ve really been. We’re altogether numb with psychospiritual Novocain, really.

III. The Blurs Strike Again.
6/16/08

It was Sunday, somewhere between four-thirty and five-thirty in the evening, I was at work, and I had just come back inside after having taken out the trash. It didn’t hit me until I looked at the face of Pops Girl in the drive-thru that something was wrong. Although I was looking dead at her I couldn’t see her entire face. I looked at Gus, at others, and it was the same thing. Looking at her eyes, I couldn’t see the bottom half of their faces; their mouths, their chin, were just gone from my field of vision. It affected part of the side of their face, too; focusing on one eye, I couldn’t see the other. I tried to act natural. Tried to keep calm. As I walked passed people, I noticed that in the upper-to-middle right-hand corner of my field of vision there was this purple blob, kind of like the blob you get when you stare at a light for a really long time, only this was remaining stationary, pulsating. And it didn’t remain a purple blob for long, either; soon it became what I’ve come to call a ”distortion worm.” In the same place in the upper-to-middle right-hand corner of my field of vision, it was this wavy line that looked a lot like a slithering snake, only it was stationary and pulsating, and though it was transparent, it distorted everything it obstructed and began to shimmer in these sparkling rainbow colors.

Maybe I should just shut up about it this time, I told myself. If I ignore it, the blurs will probably eventually go away, and trying to explain this to people who don’t understand and won’t give so much as half a shit won’t do me any good anyway. I went in the back, though, to start cleaning the top of the shake machine when Moe, over by the fryers, asks me if I’m okay, and I had to confess I didn’t know. I tried to explain to him what was happening, how it starts with the purple blob, transforms into a distortion worm and then it slowly grows across the center of my line of sight until I have nothing but the most minute amount of peripheral vision to go on. Two other guys in the kitchen, Louie and Ronnie, take interest in what I’m saying. Louie steps in and offers that it might be something in my eye, maybe a hair, or maybe a cataract or perhaps my eyesight has been going bad, but I shake my head, tell him I don’t see how any of the above could be true. For one thing, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. It happened first on September 30, 2002, and it happened on three more occasions after that. But it hasn’t happened to me in five years. Not since my last day at the first store I worked at, as a matter of fact. So it just doesn’t seem like this would be a cataract or my eyesight going bad. And the idea of something being stuck in my eye seems just as unlikely. It’s not my eye, it’s my field of vision — I can cover either eye and it’s still happening. It’s happening in my head, in my brain; the problem can’t be located in my eyes.

Back when this had begun happening the first time, it was shortly after I had met Angela Briss. Eventually, she and I would sit down over some coffee and she’d tell me some interesting, weird things that had occurred to her over the course of her life rather consistently — shit that sounded quite familiar. Among her experience was something she called “the blurs,” which was, it seemed, exactly what had been happening to me.

The last time I had an attack of the blurs was, as I said, my last day at the first McDonalds I worked at, which also happened to be the last day I had ever seen her. Just a few days ago, I finally found Angela online and tried to contact her, though I hadn’t heard back from her. I don’t see how that could be anything more than coincidence, but I think it’s worth noting. Another thing worth noting is that when I described this particular experience to my parents sometime later, it turns out my ”blur attacks” sounded exactly like what my mother saw during the extremely serious migraines she used to have when I was really young. The distortion worm would start at one end of her field of vision and slowly work its way across her field of vision, sparkling and pulsating until it reached the other side, at which time her migraine would just be over. The difference in my case is that the blurs don’t always go that far, but sometimes they go farther — either way, a headache never accompanies them, though I do feel a “pressure” in my head and my state of consciousness is drastically warped.

It’s also true that I’ve been freaking out a lot lately, however, and that I hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before. Aside from that, I’d been contemplating whether the ailments I’ve been suffering as of late might have been of a psychosomatic nature. One issue was the sharp ache in my right foot, which made it extremely painful to walk on — incredibly for one day, and then increasingly less for two to three days afterward. Then, after that had dissipated, I felt this lump in my ear and one morning I awoke with the entire side of my face throbbing with this profound ache that subsided in a day or two. Perhaps these ailments, as well as the blurs, were all psychosomatic reactions to stress, which for various reasons have been high lately. For one thing, they all occurred on the right side of my body. For another, I’m almost sure the blurs have to be psychosomatic because when I can manage to relax they suddenly subside.

As I was cleaning the shake machine, the blurs got a bit worse, with the distortion worm crawling a little further across my field of vision and another blob forming on the lower half of the right side of my visual field, pulsating. My vision got all surreal as if everything was in a sort of haze and at a distance, but it slowly seemed to calm, and after I went out for a cigarette it seemed to subside entirely.

Voluntary Amnesia (6/28/08 Dream).

Walking alone in what appears to be the front yard of my parent’s house, it is a dark, clear, warm summer’s night. I’m watching something in the sky that at first looks like a plane in the distance but suddenly it quickly accelerates forward, and in the end what I’m looking at is a saucer-shaped object with lights all over it in neon-like colors. I don’t know how high up it is, but it looks bigger than the moon would appear and it’s dancing, doing acrobatics in the sky above me. Soon another joins it, virtually identical in appearance to the first, and then another. It is absolutely amazing to watch them.

Though in retrospect my instinct should have been to run and take cover, instead I find myself laying down, putting my back upon the grass of the front lawn. As I do so, the magnificent, surreal light show above me continues, but I realize something is even more awry now. There’s a strange mixture of excitement and fear present in me, and I know something in particular is coming. From the especially dark area of the yard towards which the top of my head is pointing there comes something. A form. It approaches me, bends down and looks at my face, but as soon as it does so I close my eyes.

Suddenly, with my eyes closed, with my consciousness altering and drifting in and out a bit, I feel myself being lifted and moved around, and when I open my eyes again I seem to be in a pretty bright place. From the table on which I lay I can clearly see them walking around, surrounding me. Some are familiar. The little gray guys. But they don’t all look the same. Some are of types I never remember having seen before, not in personal experiences and not in my research into the experiences of others. I remember how the head of one of them struck me as unusual and interesting and that I hoped that I would be able to remember this whole incident well enough to be able to draw it later on. This led me to playing over in my head what happened from the point of seeing the objects in the yard until now over and over, trying to remember the sequence, burn every detail of it in my memory so that I could write about it later.

Like so many times before, I hoped they wouldn’t wipe my conscious mind entirely clean. I wanted to remember how real this was in order to abolish the skepticism that always followed an experience, the doubt that always ached in me about my sanity after they dropped me off. There was a moment there on the table when I thought that perhaps I should just ask them, beg them to let me remember the fact that this happens from now on, to just do away with the amnesia because I can’t stop them and I think I can handle the memories. Maybe I could just accept what’s going on and somehow learn to integrate it into my life because, really, for the most part, its the mystery, the inability to know whether this is insane or really happening, that drives me over the edge. If I knew for sure, maybe I could deal.

But then I began to recall the kinds of things thoat went on when they took me, the kinds of things that were in store for me pretty soon, as I waited there on the table, and I thought how maybe it would benefit me not to remember. That perhaps if they took my suggestion and let me remember it might just cause more pain, more fear, and may perhaps even destroy me and my life completely. And after that point, I have no recollection of what else happened in the dream, but I feel certain more happened.

The Flying Phantom and a Dangling Dustbunny.

9/15/17

T’was in the last week of this August and just after eight in the evening when I stepped outside my apartment door. Before I even fully turn around to close it behind me something black zooms passed my head. A near collision, too. Though it caught me by surprise, it didn’t strike me as unusual until it hit me: I’m not outside. I’ve merely stepped into the hallway of the third floor of the complex.

Turning my head, I watch as the bird, bat or whatever books down the hallway at record speed and smoothly banks to the left, towards the stairwell. It was too perfect, too smooth of a maneuver, as if it had intended to turn down the steps the entire time, as if it was well-acquainted with its environment.

Perplexed, I do what I typically do: examine the weirdness only to the extent that it doesn’t threaten my sacred sense of sanity and then ensure both of my feet are resting on solid, practical, mind-numbingly mundane ground by behaving as if it never happened. I turn down the opposite end of the hallway from which it came and make my way down to my car to go to work, wondering all the while whether the whole thing actually happened.

This is the issue, living the life I lead: I feel I have to constantly call any experience of mine that falls even slightly out of the realm of the ordinary into question. Anything even mildly out of whack with conventional expectations brings my experience into question. At least some part of me begins to doubt my sanity, though at times events I make a big fucking deal about in my head or on paper inspires nothing more than a shrug from the people around me when I tell them. I end up embarrassed over having evidently made something out of nothing. Conversely, I sometimes mention something under the assumption that while not conventionally spoken about in public discourse is perhaps a kind of thing relatively common, just not something people tend to acknowledge, and I receive a rude awakening when the person looks at me with a strange, worried, almost frightened look and may even tell me I’m crazy.

The safest waters with respect to confessions of the seeming weird are the people in my life that I know and trust infinitely more than the rest — people like Moe, Channing, Elizabeth and, when I feel confident it will not inspire further worry in them regarding me, my family. I told both Elizabeth and my parents about the bird/bat-black-flying-thing, and I received an ambiguous response with respect to the largely subliminal or unconscious realm of the Underneath — which is to say in the language of nonverbals, tone of voice, and vibe — but nothing short of dismissal as if it was nothing unusual on the Surface, which is to say the direct form of communication people of every form and flavour are well-acquainted with. It was probably a bird or a bat, they told me, just as I had suspected myself.

I had even surmised that, given this was not some hallucination, it — most likely a bat — must have squeezed itself through an air vent or something, and upon inspection I discovered that my memory had served me well in this case, as there was just such an air vent in the hallway, and it was positioned on the ceiling from the direction from which it had come.

No notices had been hung by the doorway, however. No sign that anyone else had seen a damned thing.

I wanted a definitive answer and, as with so many things, I solemnly presumed the mystery would maintain its status and I would be left in the dark forever. When I came home this morning — September 15, 2017 — just after my third shift had ended at five, I had picked up my beer at the Circle K in town, and so perhaps forty minutes past five in the morning. As I came up the steps of the side entrance to my apartment building I saw what I first determined, despite my natural inclinations, must be a monstrous dangling dust-bunny from the vent a short distance from my apartment door. It was the same vent I had earlier suspected the black flying thing must have squeezed itself through.

Fixated on it, I was compelled to take a closer look. It was a small bat, dangling from the air vent, peacefully wrapped up in its wings like a living burrito, sleeping away in the early morn. A grin blossomed on my face. From deep within me bubbled up a beneath-the-breath laugh. I was right after all: it had been a fucking bat. To make sure it was real, I even took a photo with my iPhone.

I like mysteries. I always have. But my interest in mysteries stems from an intense desire to know the answer, to in the very least gain greater understanding if I ultimately fail to determine the truth. There is such a sense of relief when a mystery is solved, when a plaguing question is answered, in the moment when a known-unknown becomes a known-known, that I cannot fathom why anyone would prefer ignorance and come to equate it with bliss. Lust should be reserved for reality, and it is sad that this is not always the case. We should flirt with ideas, but only so as to ascertain their true nature through observation, correlation and experiment. Creativity is a prize to be honored, a talent to be exploited — but if honesty and facts are not the aims, such focus is ultimately dangerous.

My Great Escape.

Again: to call this escape
is to frame the mundane

as a cage,
and that in itself implies
deception,

particularly
when you openly condemn
it as such. 

What is imprisoning us?
And do tell: just in what way
does this all constitute a jailbreak?

Careful, now. Be mindful.
This or that foreign, common
language, narrow, broad-spectrum: 

communication in every conceivable
sense, it is sure to reveal everything,
and with the truth, providing the key 

that serves to ensure 
my ultimate liberation.

Mindless Trolling Mindful.

Those lies
you tell so blatantly,
contradicting
yourself within the context
of the same damned
run-on sentence,

you’re the stereotypical needy child,
hopelessly narcissistic,
jonesing for a cocoon of psychophants
and not merely acceptance.

No understanding.
No empathy.
Devoid of the vaguest semblance
of compassion.

Just build a wall.
Isolate the cult.

Convert or degrade
all those who strayed
from your Kool-Aide, 

excommunicate or eliminate
that wretched resistance.
Given we survive, serve to remind
us of what all we became:

mindless trolling the mindful
as the blind lead the blind. 

On Focus and Structure in Daydreams and Writing.

After having written about it recently, I’ve come to wonder if my automatic thoughts, specifically those regarding explaining or justifying my behaviors towards authority and visualizing myself being interviewed, function for me in much the same way that I have found writing a letter to someone seems to. I remember how Vonnegut once said that whenever he writes, he imagines writing to or for a single person. In my experience, it helps my writing, my thoughts, gain focus and structure.

This makes sense, as communication first developed in a face-to-face context rather than the kind of abstract way we are capable of imagining, or even speaking on
stage in the form of a monologue or soliloquy. It is more natural for us to have a particular person in mind — real or imagined — to whom we are writing. This may also be why I default to explaining my motives to authorities or interviewers spontaneously in my daydreams: its a means of self-analysis, with focus and structure further provided by the questions involved. I’m asked question and actually strive to provide an honest answer (unlike, for instance, a fucking politician), as challenging as it might be for me to formulate it.

Of course, it is also true that I much prefer this explanation to the notion, at least with respect to my justifications to authority, that I am some spineless slave with a pasty, empty sack hanging below me, flapping in the breeze…