The Angela Dreams.


In the dream, I was in this dark-lit restaurant I liked to hang out in, writing and watching people. I suddenly took notice of this waitress (seems like Angela, in retrospect) in the dining room, standing by the drink bar to the left of the counter. Though attractive, she seemed distant, even drugged, operating as if she were in some zombie-like, somnambulistic state. Instantly I recalled having seen her before, unable at first to recall from where but then realizing that I had met her while I was in the altered state of consciousness typical of an abduction episode. The altered state had endured, however, as her and I had sat down in a booth in this very restaurant and had spoken with one another on our experiences. It was there that she had given me a box, inside of which there were computer discs and what she described as pictures, which I had taken to be illustrations of her encounters.

Having finally remembered, I looked behind the counter, where I met eyes with a fat man. My sense was that he was of high authority, and I searched myself wondering if he played any role in the abduction. That, I believe, is when the fuzzy memory came to me.

In some hotel room, I am lying on the bed as an argument is going on between the girl, the fat man and I. Due to something said or done in that room, I was sure there was another girl involved, though not necessarily in a sexual way.

Now, sensing suspicion in his gaze as I remembered this, I casually look away from the fat man, doing my best to seem calm and casual while trying to hide my face in a way that would appear incidental. The last thing I desired was for him to know that I was onto something, that I had gained awareness of my secret relations with this girl.

Upon leaving the restaurant and going home, I went to the downstairs computer, where I thought I had put the box that the girl had given me when we met up in the restaurant, shortly before the memories disappeared behind a wall of amnesia. The box was indeed there, seemingly confirming my memory. Inside the box were the discs as well as some tiny red folders or envelopes within which there were pictures, as she had mentioned. Rather than illustrations from her encounters, however, they were instead nudie pictures of her.

It bothered me that I had forgotten all about this, that I had not gotten back to her or so much as opened the box. There was also evidence that someone had opened the box and gone through it, and I feared that it had been my parents.

I left the family room in the back of the house, where the computer was, for the dining room, where I spoke with a man who seemed to be an authority in some way. Unlike the fat man, he was on my side, however. In some way I knew this man was me, despite the fact that I talked with him as if he was some separate entity standing by support beam in the dining room.

As we are talking, the fat man walks into the dining room from the direction of the living room, where I had been at the computer. Suddenly, I become frightened at the prospect of the fat man seeing me talking to my secret twin, but he is suddenly and simply not there anymore. Now my only hope was that the fat man would not recognize me as he passed through.

He did, and began to talk to me, specifically regarding some reference to a claim I had evidently made to him in the hotel room about being in the Army. As I put on my Army boots, I told him that it was rough for me. There were some things, top secret things, that I could not talk about, so I preferred keeping altogether silent about the matter.

Suddenly, the dream shifts scenes and I find myself in entirely different surroundings. I am uncertain as to whether this was a scene directly following the last or a memory within the dream akin to the one of the hotel room. Regardless, I am either in the back of a bus, a train car or van without windows, sitting in a seat typical of those vehicles. Directly behind me, in the very last seat, there was a girl sitting alone.

As we began talking, it occurred to me that there was already some secret bond between us, that there was more going on between us than I was aware of. She was aware of it, too, and she was keeping that secret from me. It suddenly struck me that this may very well be “the other girl involved” that had been spoken of in that hazy scene in the hotel room.

Regardless, I found her incredibly likable and fascinating, so was eager to comply when she suggested we exchange emails and requested mine directly. At the same time, however, the fact that she had an email surprised and confused me to no end, as if I felt she could not belong to the world in which that would be possible.

I found myself asking her if she was an abductee, to which she responded, “Not exactly.” Then I asked her if she was a hybrid, though I caught the same kind of ambiguity from her in response. I don’t believe she answered. Finally, I just openly asked her who or what she was. She explained that she wanted to tell me but she couldn’t, or that she was certain I would be incapable of understanding it.

It was at that moment that I finally let her entire face sink in. Even in retrospect, she seems so real. She wore a black winter’s hat over her blond hair, and she had very deep, sweet, blue eyes. They were also very sad, and I felt certain that they were sad for me.


It was the sixth of July, 2002 when I had the dream with Angela. Her and I were having sex on a bed pushed into the back corner of a dark and otherwise vacant room. Halfway through I got up and exited through the door on the wall opposite the bed to do something I could only recall as being of intellectual importance. Upon my return, I found her waiting, legs spread, and we continued.

In the midst of our romping it came to my attention that her face was shimmering and shape-shifting between her own familiar facial features and that of Trinity from the Matrix movies, complete with her black, wrap-around glasses.

Looking to the left, I saw a door I had not noticed before. Light poured in from the open doorway, and there were people walking in and out of the door casually, though not apparently noticing us in the process. The only one who noticed us was looking directly at me from where he sat in a chair to the side of the bed facing me, the door to his back.

This was a guy I had not seen in some two years. Though I believe him and I spoke in the dream, I cannot recall so much as the gist of what the subject might have been. Little time was available after waking up to write down any details, either, as I soon realized I was late for work.

After driving there and clocking in, I went in the kitchen and started making sandwiches on line at our fast food factory. A short time passed before Angela arrived, clocked in and put on the headset for drive-thru. Then she broke routine by walking into the back kitchen, which made me feel guilty about the sex dream, because I’m goofy that way. When I turned around to look at her she was just standing some distance behind me, looking dead at me. Then she pointed to me, and right before abruptly departing for the front she said my name, announced, “I had a strange dream about you,” and grinned a wide grin.

Instantly I got that same feeling I get every time the world I live in casually contradicts consensus reality. After all, we had never before discussed or mentioned dreams to one another, and I had never recalled having had a dream about her before. Though the specifics of our dreams differed, as I was to learn later, both involved her and I on a bed, having sex at the climax of the dream.


I awoke just before noon to write down another dream. My sister had told me that this guy had been calling me, leaving weird messages on my answering machine. As I listen to one message that initially sounds like dead air, I play it back again, hearing two things said in a barely-audible demonic kind of whisper reminiscent of alleged EVP recordings. Playing it back over and over, I finally make it out.

“Creep,” it rasps, and then, after a brief pause, adds in swift speech: “You don’t know incest.”

Even in the dream I was perplexed by the message, as I have never experienced incest nor had I found reason to ever proclaim that I had. Despite these facts, for some reason I could only suspect that the voice-bearer had read something I had posted in my online e-zine. Dark as those writings may be, however, I did not recall having ever had that subject or theme manifest itself.

Though it could perhaps be interpreted as an extremely exaggerated way of my unconscious accusing me of not nurturing my family ties, it could also simply signify something taboo, and accusing me of not knowing it could suggest I do not know what it is like to live with a certain stigma. I toyed with possible interpretations, but the accusation of the voice in the dream still perplexed me.

After writing the dream down I went back to sleep, only to awaken later with another dream to document. From a short distance away I had watched as Angela, clad in her work uniform, ranted to someone about her parents, and I believe she mentioned one of her brothers as well. She said it all as if she was standing up for herself. These were words of passion. Never had she defended herself in real life — certainly never like that.

Afterwards I wondered if the demonic-sounding voice of the person that was “trying to get through to me” in the first dream was some part of Angela, and if the answering machine suggested telepathy. Perhaps the second part of the dream was the message translated as dream material. The fact that I saw her speaking to someone else implies that the message was for me, but not to me.


I run to the door of the house and look out, perhaps walking out a bit on the nearby porch, but sure not to stray very far. From the sky to the left of me I can hear the lethal winds thrashing violently in the distance.

To the right, passed the driveway and a short distance ahead, I can see a truck or van parked in my parent’s turn-around. In the driver’s seat is who I think is my cousin Jamie’s husband, though if she is with him I cannot see her. Whoever the blond-haired guy is, we get into a short discussion about the coming cyclone, which mostly involved him telling me about it.

Later on, inside the house, my mother was big on my sisters and I getting our blankets and putting them on our bunk beds. I was wary of her motives.

“Why?” I asked her. “What are we supposed to do — wake up cuddling with it?” I added that if it was just there as decorative memorabilia, it was fine.

I go into the apparently communal bedroom, where the bunk beds are positioned parallel to one another, set against opposing walls. Taking two shoelaces, I then tie them together and proceed to tie each of the ends to the two bunk beds, connecting them.

Later, I was in a little shed where there was food and drink stored in coolers and jugs, desperately looking for a place to pee. Then my youngest sister and her husband come in, however, both looking for a water. I tell them to just go and have sex, and my sister looks at me as if sex is a foreign concept, as if they are both innocent in that sense. I just laugh.

Then I’m back in the room, nearby the bunk beds. Placed up against a wall there is a desk, a small one, with two chairs on either side. Angela is suddenly there, and she sits in one chair as I take the other. I pull out a cigarette and we get drawn into conversation. I begin to tell her how not all the aliens are mean, and I really wanted to tell her about The Teacher, or as I call her, Nimi. Her eyes light up at my mention of it and she says, “Yeah, you were going to tell me about that.” Then I woke up.


Angela and I are at the fast food restaurant where we both work. She got a radio as a gift but her father wouldn’t let her keep it, so she has it with her in her book bag. She is not feeling well, lying down with her eyes closed. She tells me she sees these entities that have been plaguing her, and they are ugly.

Angela’s father is Danny, the abusive father of my childhood friend, Jimmy, and in time he arrives. I am in a more spacious version of the kitchen and it is dark. I lift a fryer basket that had been left in the vat of unheated oil and find a”Christian fish” in the basket, dripping with cool oil. Then I see Danny approaching. He looks just like Brad Garrett, the older brother off that television show, Everybody Lives Raymond.

It is just him and I in the dark, vacant kitchen. He says that maybe he should be the one to take Angela home later, since he would be around anyway. He says it in such a way that he knows it will terrify me. For some reason I hand a pair of scissors to him, holding the handles, and he grabs the blades. We both pause for a moment, holding either end, looking at one another, as if sizing each other up. He says, in a creepy kind of way, “You’ve got to be careful, or someone will cut you.”


I woke up in this large attic with all these people. Through the planks of wood at my feet I can see, in the room below, that there are scattered pieces from some torn-up notebook littered across the floor, presumably from the book bag I also saw nearby, and I wondered if it was my own.

Asking people around me where I was, what happened, I was told that I had been taken away and was now in a different country. I asked if I could call home. They said no. One girl comes up to me and says that the woman in charge will be lenient on me so long as I’m cautious. She was maybe some relation to the woman or someone on her good side.

So I get to go outside a bit. I see Angela and try to get her attention. Maybe she can give my parents the message that I’m here. She doesn’t see me, though, and disappears into this greenhouse. I follow after her and then, looking down, I am shocked to find a steak knife in my hand. I held it, hiding it beneath my sleeve.

I was suddenly very mad. Storming into another room, knife now drawn, I confront the woman in charge. People in the room were shocked, seeing this as an insanely stupid act, but I couldn’t play nice with her anymore, not in the face of this injustice.

“Hey!” I screamed as I approached her. “Hey! Why exactly did you take me? Kidnapping is illegal, you know.”

“This is where you came from,” she said to me, “but not where (or when?) we met. I told you I wanted you for my project.”

Indeed, I suddenly remembered her from a long time ago — she had wanted me to be part of a project, to do something for her. I could not remember what, however, at least upon awakening. Then the dream, oh so conveniently, was over.

A Guard Against Transparency.

In you walk with some tall, skinny fellow I presume to be your current boyfriend. As with last time I had seen you come into the dining room perhaps a month ago, when I look, your back is to me and I get the distinct impression you’re ignoring me. I feel determined to confirm or falsify it this time, so once you get up to the counter, I approach you within a comfortable distance and say hey. You do not so much as glance at me.

I know you’re high, I know you’re still taking it, but why you feel ashamed before me is beyond me. Have I judged you before? Never. Its your body, your life. I have my concerns but I respect your personal freedom.

I corner you into saying hello, but you still go out of your way to avoid my eyes, and I leave so as to put an end your obvious discomfort. You’re afraid of looking at me, afraid it might happen again — that I might hear what’s going on between your ears, that I may eavesdrop. You used to be amazed by the whole incident when you still worked here with me. Curious and excited about it. Now you’re avoiding me. Determined to hide something, keep it contained, and that’s your right. I would never intentionally intrude. I hope you know that.

I just hope you’re fucking okay.

100 Years of Zombies.

Its difficult to tell at times whether some people legitimately fear an impending zombie apocalypse or whether it just serves as some sort of running joke.

I mean, it sounds like one: legions of the undead mindlessly dragging their feet around the ruins of civilization in groaning, moaning herds, single-mindedly searching for a lively meal of flesh and brains.

Looking around, I have no doubt that shit is bound to hit the fan in any number of ways sooner rather than later. It seems to be that our global culture has a good number of “time-bombs” set to go off in half a century or less, as Jared Diamond has put it — climate change, overpopulation, dwindling resources, pollution, war. So there’s all that. I just don’t fear the zombies.

In saying all this by no means do I wish to come across as all anti-zombie. Truly, I am not. I enjoy the television show, The Walking Dead, and I liked the movies World War Z, Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. The current monster-fascination is clearly focused here and I’m not complaining at all. Though the previous cultural fixation on the vampire legend was fine at the beginning (thanks to Anne Rice) and stayed sexy for awhile (with Buffy), it took a nose dive into a steaming pile of dog doo with the Twilight plague in my humble opinion.

I am rather saddened that we did not spend so much time visiting the werewolf, as I find it to be a much more effective symbol for the aspects of human nature the vampire theme seemed to be exploring, but you’ll have that. The zombie is driven by instinct, but it is void of the romance of the vampire and the animalistic passion and raw sexuality of the werewolf. Both the vampire and the zombie also lack the dualistic nature of the werewolf that I find so appealing, too. This is why I think the werewolf would have made a good segue from vampire to zombie.

Rather than swinging between wolf and man, the zombie sits on the fence betwixt life and death. Though they aren’t really dead, they don’t constitute life, either. They take on the appearance of the hypnotized or the sleepwalker, or at least our common conceptions if the appearance. Half awake, half asleep. Half alive, half dead. They are the true creatures of the twilight, I suppose.

They don’t communicate or execute complex tasks — indeed, they seem to exhibit slow and messy movements, like a really drunk frat boy. They do not seem to feel a wide range of emotions, either, and show no signs of having desires higher than the drive for sustenance. They wouldn’t be too easy to outsmart or outrun, so what’s the fear?

Also important: zombies appear to be without the fundamental itch for a roll in the hay. This is an important point to consider, for if zombies do not reproduce, this would mean so long as no others were “turned” the zombie population would dwindle down to extinction within, say, eighty years or so. Unless zombies are immortal, of course, which would be fucking silly — about as silly as trying to imagine one of them riding a bike. Actually, one would expect them to have a shorter life expectancy given that their bodies, technically dead, would break down and waste away far more quickly. So maybe a hundred years of zombies, max.

That doesn’t sound so bad.

Passed the Lip of a Grave.

a dark hole
where fears swarm
like frenzied insects

bloodthirsty, malicious,

as the void
attempts to swallow
me down again.

Feeling trapped.
No exit.
My deep well
of weight and fire.

Through the heavy
emotional haze
a thought breaks in:
just let me die again.

It’s the only way.
Erased or back to square one.
Another endless cycle.

I shake it off.

Guilt and shame in reflection
upon the consideration.
Scaring myself again.
Such a frightening form
of overreaction.

Crawl on out,
pass the lip of the grave,
pull myself up,
determined again.

Still bleeding, still seething,
and still fucking breathing.

Silly Boy.

Live with this wall erect
betwixt thought and emotion.
A inverted life, a seed suspended,
awaiting its season,
must you die again to truly bloom?

Sensitive, extreme, always
Making the best of an endless,
hopeless situation.

Looking inside.
Open to the inner adversary.
Temporarily blind.
Waking up as passenger

in the vessel that holds
all that you are,
sitting beside another part that drives
as if this were a mind
of its own. In any case,

looks as if
you’ve been dethroned.
Just sit back, enjoy the show.
You piss-poor,
powerless soul.

Silly boy.

Can’t control it
till you own it.
Can’t own it till
you can steal back
the moment.

Looking inside,
feeling lost time through him.
Your land of the lost and found.
Something to build
a sound mind around.

You cannot control
what you do not understand:
only through self-discovery,
comes self-creation.

Step down from third person,
break down the wall,
be engaged in your life,
stand your ground,

own it all.

Of Astral Planes & Entities.

The astral projections, or whatever label you wish to throw on them — they began for me in May, 1995. Before that, before I began slipping down the fault lines of corporeal reality, I had been concerned about ending up in a rubber room because I was having memories and real-time encounters with what appeared to be alien beings. With this additional strata of insanity, I did not foresee contact with a mental health professional resulting in anything less than a new, sleeveless jacket and a small, well-padded room.

I did, however, have a peculiar circle of friends who were willing to listen.

When I had explained these out of body experiences to a friend of mine during high school, he remarked that they sounded eerily reminiscent of people’s experiences when they took various kinds of psychedelic drugs. This was a comment I found intriguing. Until twenty years of age I would not so much as drink a beer or smoke a cigarette, though I was already — spontaneously and against my will, free of charge or foreign substance — having the kinds of experiences that some people paid to have delivered to them by means of inhalation, injection or ingestion. To top it all off, knowledge of this did not even make me feel privileged.

Subsequent research confirmed his allegations: not only did many psychedelic experiences bear the qualities of my OBEs, some of the most potent ones — namely Salvia Divinorum and DMT — seem to comprise all of them. I also found that the world I experienced closely corresponds to the allegedly parallel, non-physical worlds described by many out of body travelers, among them Robert Monroe and William Buhlman. They described this world, popularly referred to as the astral plane, as being “thought-responsive” or sensitive to consciousness, effectively molded by the conscious and unconscious aspects of the out-of-body traveler. Even later, I would find that my otherworldly experiences — and so the astral plane and some full-sensory psychedelic experiences — also fit the characteristics of some lucid dreams.

Whatever the experience was, then, it did not require psychosis, psychedelics or death to get there, though that is not to say that they were not effective avenues. All one really required, however, was a slumber of appropriate depth, a snooze that sufficiently inhibited our senses receptors and brought on sleep paralysis while keeping conscious awareness acute.

From this one might conclude that lucid dreams might be mistaken for trips to the astral plane or vice versa, but what it really reveals is that the two are indistinguishable. The attempt to find distinctions has proven to be futile. Meeting up with a fellow out of body explorer in a predetermined otherworldly locale could be interpreted as evidence in support of a parallel universe, for instance, but it could just as easily be presented as further suggestion of what is variously called a shared, mutual, meeting or telepathic dream. This is a dream shared between two people, presumably through the medium of telepathy. Some are allegedly even shared lucid dreams.

Some of these dreams are shared between two living individuals, but there are also reports of dreams between the living and deceased. From this we might presume they can be shared between the dead as well. This would suggest that in death we not only retain access to the physical locale, but the capacity to dream. Even the dead, then, could not determine whether the world I am evidently dealing with is a network of dreamscapes or another plane of existence. If death is a transitory state, though, and both the physical worlds and telepathic dream worlds are constants, isn’t the distinction ultimately arbitrary? There are perhaps two different kinds of real which we have access to, be us alive or dead, much as the entity in my initial experience had gone to such lengths to convince me.

Of course, that still leaves the nature of that entity open to question, and if that was the same entity that later went on to attack me for years as I continued having these experiences. Dream characters are manifestations of your own mind, but that seemed more akin to a real conversation, and the later incidents felt like real, excruciatingly painful interactions. Was this another person, and were they living or dead? Was this a dissociated aspect of my personality?

I’m not sure how I could ever know for sure.

Sophia the Untouchable.

Absolute nothing is a fertile field.

If a universe Big Banged ex nihilo once, then it may have happened countless times before. Universes may still be Banging away into existence as you read this, all of them doing so in a direction you can’t point to (with all of this dependent on time having any meaning outside the context of a given universe and in the superspace that contains the hypothetical multiverse). We would perceive but one universe in a vast multiverse — and not much of that one universe, it would seem.

Current estimations hold that our universe is composed of 68.3% dark energy and 26.8 percent dark matter — substance we can neither grab nor perceive makes up most of everything, and apparently we are not a part of it. The normal matter that is accessible to our senses (and of which our senses are composed) presently makes up only 4.9% of our cosmic pie (in a potential superspace bakery).

This is not to suggest that our senses are sensitive to so much as a considerable fraction of that 4.9%, of course. We have a set amount of senses among those available in the animal kingdom, each picking up but a narrow range of a specific type of signal. This data is edited by our subliminal beliefs and values, integrated and finally translated by genetically-hardwired processes. This translation is stored in sensory memory and subsequently and involuntarily recalled by consciousness in working memory. Only then does it become our “immediate” experience.

All we know of the external world derives from what we “remember” regarding what our body experiences. As a consequence, our Here and Now is truly There and Before. Even at our most attentive we have no hope of living in the moment; we are forever riding its coattails. We are all living in the past and no one is ever right where they are standing now.

When your body’s memory of the moment passes by working memory, it might be stored in long term memory, from which consciousness in working memory might summon it through retrieval cues. When long term memory swallows something, however, it seems to in some sense digest it, break it down, dismember it — and so recall always involves creativity on the part of the recollector, as memories must be literally “re-membered.” To some degree one always incorrectly recalls past events and may even go so far as to produce “false memories,” which is to say one recalls events that never even happened in the first place.

Despite this, memory serves as the backbone for our sense of identity and our understanding of the world. Long-term memory suggests the temporal dimension, which is the only way we can make sense of the spatial dimensions suggested by sensory memory. Our reliance upon memory is inescapable. We require it to compile and associate data, scientific or otherwise. If we are honest, all that any of us ever know is memory, and all memory is ultimately false memory.

Even what we accept as imagination and fantasy is dependent upon the ingredients supplied by memory: it is no coincidence that the way in which we experience anything subjectively has analogues to our biological experience. Inner-senses are modeled after our biological senses and for all we know reveal our true consciousness as accurately and completely as our biological senses do with respect to external reality.

We try to make sense out of our external experience and so form worldviews; we try to make sense out of our internal experience and its relation to external experience and so form identity. As a consequence of our worldviews, we tend to conform our experience to them, and so further obscure our sense of reality. As a consequence of our identity, we tend to conform our internal experience in such a way that it reinforces our identifications. In so doing, we further obscure our sense of self. To make matters worse in both cases, this fatal flaw is the law and it is followed without exception: we can do no more, no less, if we have any hope to survive.

Mind Play.

Play the mind
as it’s played you.
Time to tune
the world within.

Find what shapes you, turn
the tables,
own your essence
and take the throne

so as to mould your own life,
change your own mind.

For so long
it’s smelled of death,
stained with sensitive bruises,
bitter to the taste
as it looks back
at you with a crowd
of divided eyes,

closing, blinking, wincing,
tearing up and seeing red,
all to a soundtrack
full of skipping records
playing broken tunes
as you jig
and chime on in
to the same old song and dance.

A vulture long circling itself,
diving to dine now
as ouroboros.
arming self-creation.

Justice Served.

Stuck between
talking to a wall
and preaching to the quire.
Pointless, exhausting
waste of energy.

No one gives a shit.
So alone in this.

Feel I always have been,
and so I will be,
till it’s all too late again.

Hard to recall,
when I really think about it,
what I’m fighting for,
who and why,

Choices have been made
for us,
we let them take it all away,
now we all suffer the consequences.

Justice served,
I guess, still
it’s such a sad kind of suicide.

A Sketchy Corner of Johari Window.

Break time at work is approaching, so I go to the coffee pot by the drive-thru window to grab yet another cup of coffee, eager to hide in my car, read and write for thirty minutes. Elizabeth is working the window, and I glance at the guy sitting in his car right before walking away. He eyes me in a manner that makes me feel awkward, though this is by no means in and of itself an atypical incident.

Upon returning from break, Elizabeth tells me something I almost feel she regrets telling me shortly thereafter. It was what that guy at the window had said to her just after I departed.

“Who is that guy in the blue shirt?” He asks. “He a manager?”

“No, he’s our maintenance guy.”

“He looks sketchy.”

Sketchy? Fucking really?

There is a girl at the counter, a customer, and I turn to her and ask her if I strike her as sketchy. After a moment’s consideration, she shrugs and nods. “Kind of,” she confessed.

Double fuck.

I then proceeded to write about the incident on a popular social network, which received some thirty likes. I have come to find likes rather ambiguous, and this instance exemplifies one of the reasons why. Do they find the story amusing? That would be the reason, optimally. Or is it that they agree with this assessment — that I’m sketchy? That? That would kind of suck.

I’m an artist. Perhaps he is a fellow artist and upon glancing at me recognized me as one of his own kind, going on to assume — correctly — that I frequently engage in the act of sketching. Maybe it was all one big misunderstanding, but I think not.

I know I seem off kilter, like I just don’t belong. That I’m weird. A freak of sorts. I’ve grown comfortable enough with that fact. Sketchy seems to imply something far more insidious or perverse, however, and it bothers me that I might give off that impression — not as much as it bothers me that it bothers me, though. After all, why should I give a flaming, airborne, rat’s left ass cheek what anyone thinks of me? It’s that damned sensitivity again. I wish I could turn it off.

You look around sometimes at the people that seem to accept you, even admire you in a way — people you consider close associates, friends, family. You think you know what they think of you, you tell yourself you know how they feel about you, perceive you, but there’s no real way to be sure that you aren’t just deluding yourself. I can’t help it: I find that terrifying.