Nay! to the Now-Narrowed Nincompoops.

Why is the notion of “living in the now” or “moment” nonsensical? Well, for one thing, it cannot literally be done. There is an unavoidable time lag between what is and what is being perceived due to the requisite medium of the sensory organs, and so the best a Buddhist could hope to do is press his lax face against the Samadhi-proof and well-tinted windows of perception.

For another, to ignore the past is not only to live in the present without context, but is to deprive oneself of the capacity to make educated choices as to the next course of action. Though I suppose the Now-person would not waste time considering that anyway, so blind he would be to anyone coming up from behind with a knife. So too with respect to what he might be a mere step away from slamming his stupid hanging head into, so fixed is he on his own two filthy fucking feet and that upon which those aimless soles press their weight.

And yet at times these Now-people demand more. The moment is not enough. They want you to live in the Here and Now.

At first this may merely sound like a rewording, but closer inspection reveals it to be emphasizing not just time and space, which seems covered well enough by the Now, but also one’s conscious attention, expressed as the Here distinct from, but with its implied proper placement in, the Now.

This may seem silly: how could one have their attention in the Now and yet not be Here? Well, they’re indicating they want your face pressed up against the glass, and it doesn‘t have to be. Even with our attention directed at the Now, we can be in one of three vantage points in terms of consciousness.

We have the first person perspective, where we see the world as filtered through our senses and our own values, beliefs, and personal history. We also have a second person perspective, which allows us to both step outside ourselves and look at ourselves from an “anonymous” outside perspective and allows us, through empathy, to slip into another person’s perspective, experiencing how the world must be for them. The last in line is, of course, the third person perspective, which allows us to detach from everything, rise above and look down on it all as a whole.

These are all very important perspectives.

And exclusion from all but the first-person leaves one a castrated soul, so to Hades with your prejudice against other temporal and vantage points, you wretched Now-people.

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Boss.

I’ve constantly found myself working under the reign of power-thirsty, control-hungry women not unlike my mother. My current boss of too-close-to-a-decade is no exception.

I used to think that Connie operated under the false impression that she had to be a bitch to do her job, lest she get walked on. Perhaps she learned this from a father, a mother. Maybe she watched her mother get walked on by men and friends all throughout her life and promised herself that it would never happen to her. Or maybe her mother oppressed her father as well as herself, and like many she grew to become like her mother and found herself drawn to men like her father. Either way, she treats her employees like her family had treated her as she was growing up. That was my working theory.

In other words, I wanted to believe that it was a defense mechanism she had picked up along the way in life. As opposed to, say, a direct means of controlling others to feed some egoistic need to exert power over all her surroundings out of the pure joy of doing it and the feeling that this somehow made her entitled to do so.

Now I’ve been forced to believe she really is a bitch. A narcissist. That she bitches just to exert control, that she enjoys making others feel lower so as to make herself seem higher. Like the way she acts towards and talks to me so frequently like I am a disobedient dog. Wiggling her goddamn finger for me to follow, pointing, saying look.

“Who did that? You do that? You go poopy on the floor?”

She also tends to make you feel like a dumb-ass when you ask a question, which is another tendency that some people share that truly makes my blood boil. The best way to learn something is to approach it naturally, as a child approaches it: either explore it yourself or, if this is not possible, ask someone in a position to know to alleviate curiosities or test the merit of your suspicions. Never afraid of admitting ignorance, or practicing a healthy level of personal uncertainty or perceptual skepticism. Making someone feel like a fool for asking questions is to discourage learning.

This discouragement she also adopts for herself. She also refuses to learn. Gus wanted to send her a picture of the dishes that the previous shift had left for him and wanted my help sending it through his cell phone. I asked him why he was bothering, as he should know damn well that it wasn’t going to make a lick of difference. She doesn’t need evidence. She’s Connie. She’s like a Christian: evidence to the contrary is interpreted as merely a test of her faith and ultimately only serves to strengthen her resolve.

While we’re on the topic, I hate how she answers questions with questions. This isn’t a fucking game of hot potato, I’m confessing ignorance and seeking data which I judge you likely to be privy to, which is an act of elevating you, and you repay me by forcing me down further than I had already knelt as if the sacrificial state of vulnerability and offering of self-deprecation were not enough to earn an answer, but only a less-than-subtle mockery of my alleged stupidity.

She also talks to you indirectly, by talking about you to someone else as if you weren’t there even though she’s clearly aware of your presence. And she makes it so impersonal, too, as she never mentions your name: “Someone,” she says with emphasis, or “if certain employees,” and things of that nature.

This is from the same person who has frequently complained about the maturity level of the store. Great way to lead by example. Glorious way to defeat that archaic ‘do as I say, not as I do” double-standard. Way to go, boss.

Horror-Love Story Manuscript for the Furnace.

A story unfolds around me as we speak, and I know how it will end. I don’t like to look at the end of a book a moment before I get there in the natural process of turning pages in the intended sequence, and this is not what I have done here. I know this story because I have watched the narrative unfold before, and this is bound to be just one more ever-so-faithful remake. And it has already played in that theater of a man before.

The sound of Nick’s cell phone going off at five in the morning combined with who Sadie told me texted her yesterday at work — Nick’s ex-girlfriend — makes me think she’s come down off of some enduring manic phase of her bipolar disorder, realized what she did, and wants to patch things up with Nick and try to weasel her way back into being his significant other again.

Here’s my concern with my roommate, Nick: he’s lonely. He’s horny. He’s withdrawn. He was heartbroken over the bitch he married, and it took him forever to submit his heart to a girl again, and once he did she broke it off with him in the most abrupt way possible, all while still owing him nearly a thousand dollars.

And now you want back for seconds? Let him find a girl that won’t throw him a cold shoulder after promising him her heart. He’s my friend and I don’t want him to lose any more hope than he already has and those sounds from his cell phone drifting through the apartment sound to me like the opening score to another sequel to a horror film that would be better suited as food for the fire.

Victim(hood/izing).

It’s racism, homophobia, prejudice, discrimination, sexism. Whatever you choose to call it, whatever particular manifestation you go with, its essentially the same, underlying problem. It’s all about mistaking the person for the category you have ascribed them to as if they had no personal qualities or individual characteristics. You only see black, white, male, female. Victimhood leads to victimizing, and the teeter-totter swings to and fro, and the oscillation feeds itself in idiocy, onward towards infinity. Nothing unites people like a common enemy, so it seems, as many blacks and whites, many men and women have joined hands in a collaborative effort to wield the almighty gavel of judgment down upon the homosexual community in a fervor fueled by hate. One would like to see that similarity in circumstance breeds empathy, that those who still bear the burden of an unjust history might see the parallels with the oppressed groups of modernity, but this all too often proves not to be the case, with this particular circumstance providing perhaps the ultimate fucking example.

No Chauffeur.

I often find that I worry about another person as if that person was me, though clearly in a peculiar circumstance in which I am unable to directly control my thoughts, feelings and actions. It can be frustrating, but I wouldn‘t give it up for the world, as it lets me feel closer to the person. I know that this can be helpful for another person as it reveals that you care, that you listen and observe them in an attempt to understand who they are and what makes them tick, that you know enough about them to pick out patterns, make educated observations, suggest certain courses of action.

Yet after a certain point I feel intrusive, I feel I’ve become too involved, gotten too absorbed in their inner state, saturated in their mental contents. I get the sense that I am treading on the other person’s most deeply held holy ground or sacred territory. And perhaps all for good reason: for at the end of the day, its really none of my business. It isn’t my life. It isn’t me, and I don’t know what’s best for the other. This is why I need to step back, offer support, remain dedicated to rationality and truth, and respect their freedom of choice.

It’s their decision. Love is not about control any more than it is about fear; love is mutual respect based on mutual understanding. Mutual respect demands guidance, never control. It demands valuing personal space. You’re always and forever merely the passenger; you are never the driver. Never their chauffeur. You’ve got your own road to conquer, and you have no right grabbing their wheel.

I have no right.

I need to keep my head and heart about me, even as I resonate with the head and heart of another.

Just Another Questionable Sacrifice.

This is what gets me the most. If you believe Jesus was the son of god and that he died for your sins, you essentially believe the most illogical story imaginable. Honesty, its not even good fiction.

We’re stranded on a deserted island together, and it is clear to us that we shall live out the rest of our lives here. Due to some trumped-up charges and guilt tripping I convince you that you owe me ten dollars. You have no money on you. You will never be able to pay me that ten bucks. That’s a debt you can’t repay, and I established the law that you owe me that ten bucks, and I can’t go back on my law because that would make me look bad, so I create a loophole in which I’m am not only me but incarnate as the son of me and pay off your debt to me for you. Now, instead of you owing me, you… owe me.

Yes, this is the lamest loophole imaginable. And this is the central story. And its not a good one. Not from a conceptual standpoint and not from an ethical standpoint.

First, it promotes human suffering. It spawned a religion who’s central symbol, George Carlin noted, is a method of torture and murder.

Second, who gives anyone the right to forgive everyone’s sins? It may sound good for the sinner, but what of those the sinner has sinned against? To them, this is clearly injustice.

Third, what’s so great about dying for our sins if you were the one who designated those sins into existence in the first place? Someone creates laws and executes them as well, and puts us in a prison of his own making, and then we’re supposed to be eternally grateful when he lets us out? And where’s the proof that we’re free, or that this prison was ever there to begin with — where’s the proof to those of us who are alive and could use it, of course?

Fourth, why should we inherit the sins of our great-to-the-whatever-the-fuck-power grandparents? Why should we have to pay off their debt? This sounds like a curse, and curses are silly. Is this a curse? And how could Eve or Adam know whether it was good or evil to eat of the tree, given that the tree was called The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and it would be logical to assume they could receive that moral knowledge only after eating of its fruit?

And last but not least, is dying as he allegedly did such a sacrifice if Heaven is such a great place and he basically got be king upon arrival?

Smileypushers.

Be positive!

Lower your expectations! You’ll either be right or you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Imagine this is “the best of all worlds” so as to inspire the adoption of an optimistic outlook on the state of our civilization that is totally at odds with the actual state of the world!

Every time someone feels down, don’t empathize with them, merely remind them of people who have it so much worse then them, thereby guilting them into faking happiness as they simultaneously, secretly pray to whatever silly god they believe in that you get stung to death by a frenzied hive of bees.

Or a herd of beecupines, which are transgenic organisms — a porcupine crossed with a bee, producing a genetically engineered porcupine with bee stingers for quills. Yes, I totally pulled that out of my filthy, lying ass. But wouldn’t that suck?

Plague of Suspicion.

Its so damned difficult
to find some stable,
sturdy ground to stand on
in the midst of this treacherous sea of life,
and every stone I come to rest my wary,
water-torn feet on

once confident its sturdy

only holds me so long as it takes me
to get moderately comfortable,
nearly ready to invest that damaged trust,
before it proceeds
to drop below my feet
like an anchor, leaving me without so
much as thread for a line
to hold myself in place
or hang myself by.

It has made me wary
of coming within a close proximity of certainty;
it has made me consider
getting a restraining order against
anything remotely resembling certitude.

I fear that one day I shall
get drawn in past the event horizon
of that wretched whirlpool
of fell-fledged, zero-point
epistemological nihilism.

Or that I shall invest
every last resource I have towards
floating on an illusion of indifference
in what to my mind appears
as too corpse-like a manner.

Unintentional Cumjuring.

You hold your cock in your hands like a pent-up gorilla that’s just discovered his dick for the first time, pumping away with your bony coil of lubed fingers like you’re a coked-up employee at the Amish Lady’s Butter-Churning factory and you’ve got a long way and a short time to meet quota.

Halfway through brainstorming for way to smoke the bowl resting on the file cabinet to your left using one hand without breaking rhythm with your other, you remember the porn playing on your computer monitor just in front of you. Though you find it suddenly and quite incredibly boring upon its rediscovery, you feel far too lazy to lean forward, reach out your spare hand and click another link. Instead, in a strange way fueled by nothing less than a lack of motivation, you suddenly reinvest value in your imagination as the proper apparatus to deliver the necessary stimulus.

Your head swings back, your eyelids close, you sink into the chair, and her image pops to mind. You had thought of her yesterday and sent her a text to which she never responded. Looking at her in your mind’s eye, you want to ravage her. You imagine her thinner, like she is in those photos on her Facebook profile, and you imagine aggressive sex and that you are both enjoying it. At one point in the fantasy you grabbed her neck as you pounded your manhood into her, telling her that she was yours. Obediently, in a raspy, joy-intoxicated whisper, she echoes that you own her. Even outside the context of this fantasy, you say. She nods obediently, saying yes.

You’re high. Maybe that’s where that weird line, and the concept behind it, emerged from. Regardless, you said it, shortly afterward you unloaded in blissful therapy, and just as the orgasm ended there was a buzz and vibration from just in front of you.

It takes you a moment to realize its your cell phone.

It was such perfect timing, it seemed as though you had somehow ejaculated life into the thing. Things got infinitely weirder when you instinctively checked the phone and found that it was a text from her. The girl you were just jacking off to the thought of. The text just said hi, in response to the text you had sent her the day prior.

You then put the cell phone back down. You light a cigarette in shame.

You psychic sicko.

Bruised My Music.

You liked that band. Rocked out to it all the time in your car on the way to and from work. You were already on the road to killing that CD just from playing it too much when she stepped into your life. As boyfriend and girlfriend, you listened to this or that song on the catch-scratch-riddled CD together, and it became the soundtrack to many fond, impacting memories.

Then it all goes south, sour, to shit, to hell and back in a goddamn hand-basket.

Suddenly the same songs that hit you so deep and wonderfully before you met her, the same songs that became enshrouded in a thick cocoon woven out of the web-work of once-oh-so-luminous associations with her and brought you so much joy when you heard them while you two were still an item — now those songs are ruined. Tainted. Stained by the blood of hope, who evidently wishes it to be buried along with her. Instead of a gateway to the heavens, this CD becomes a vortex of torment drawing you into its charred and lifeless core.

A dream falls to a dismal nightmare and it feels the need to drag every ounce of joy down along with it, as if this wretched turn of fate has not stung your soul enough?

Nay! Speak it loud and sincerely: Steal my breath away and then leave me for dead, but just leave the music alone, damn you. Leave it the fuck alone.