Issues With Authority.

As I’m down visiting my parents for my 39th birthday, in between the awesome Mexican food (my favorite) and the Dairy Queen ice cream cake, my mother asks me if I remember when she sent us to summer camp that one year — and why she never did it again.

I had absolutely no memory of this.

Evidently I got up and left the classroom I was in, sought out my sister, Eve, and took her out of the classroom she was in, and then sat us both down beneath the trees outside, refusing to go back inside — or to let my sister in there, either. We remained beneath those trees until mom came to pick us up.

Though I had no recollection of the incident, I knew why I had done it. I remembered having done things like this before. Running, hiding or stubbornly rebelling against what I perceived to be oppressive authority — never in a violent way, though. This continued with my mother and about every job I’ve had: the omnipresent power-struggles.

I told my mother that I probably did it because adults in power, they tend to be dicks.

“They still are,” Eve, beside me at the table, chimed in.

I couldn’t argue. “This is true.”

The next day, Elizabeth and her boyfriend come visit me at my apartment. Elizabeth had baked me a pot birthday cake that kept me high about every night of the following week, as I ate from it slowly. We also smoked a bowl or two while they were there, during which time Elizabeth, a manager where I work, informs me that Connie has been promoted to assistant supervisor of the franchise.

My stomach turned. My teeth clenched. Hatred rose from within me and proceeded to consume me.

For the majority of the nearly fourteen years my unambitious ass has been working and rotting away in this fast food joint, Connie had been the store manager and my most immediate boss.

Though she calmed down near the time she was transferred to another store — mostly due to medication and becoming a grandmother, it seemed — she nonetheless remained an unempathic, narcissistic, deceptive, authoritarian asshole who could not be pleased, no matter how much you busted your ass to do a good job. After years of suffering under her reign, I was absolutely ecstatic to have someone else as a boss. Word had it that since the new guy bought the franchise they were trying to push her out — and now I learn they instead promoted her.

It isn’t, as Connie used to claim, that I don’t like women in power. I’ve liked the last two store managers we’ve had and they both had vaginas. I’d give my left nut to have Hillary at the throne instead of Trump despite the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of her. It’s a style of leadership that gets to me, that I find utterly intolerable, and this style seems nauseatingly commonplace.

I don’t know where my issues with such authority began, but they surely continue.

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Light And Shadow.

I hate standing in line. That’s what finally led me to avoid water parks, as a matter of fact, especially when I began smoking and they wouldn’t let you take a puff despite being outside as you stood in a herd of humans for an absurd length of time. More to the point, for the last two years in the very least, when I had to get my registration renewed at the DMV I met with an excruciatingly long line. Last year, I had to go to the place twice, because after waiting for over an hour for my number to be called the first time I had to ditch out to ensure I’d make it to work on time. So this year, I left early. Two hours early.

I didn’t even get too lost, which is unheard of, and upon arrival I found the place was occupied by at most five other customers. I didn’t sit for five minutes before I was summoned to the counter. Figures. So now I’m parked in the lot at work, smoking, writing, reading, wondering if the experience I had on my way to the DMV is unusual or one of those things many experience but for one reason or another never take the time to talk about.

On the drive to the DMV, along the long stretch of road I drive down on a daily basis, the sun shone through the trees lining the side of the road and cast an enduring barcode formation of long, slender shadows onto the path before me. As I drove through these shadows, the flickering began to effect my vision as it always does. It’s like when you watch one of those animate, hypnotic spirals online: my field of vision became like the surface of a lake disturbed by a relentless onslaught of waves. I try not to look at the road for too long, quickly looking to the side or down at my speedometer, which morphs to a psychedelic degree, hoping I can fight against the altered state it starts to conjure by limiting my exposure as best as I can.

This happens frequently, but it’s rarely this bad, probably because I don’t often leave this early and the sun is far lower in the sky when I typically drive to work at roughly three o’clock. Is this a typical visual phenomenon, or does this suggest my high hypnotizability? I’ve never heard anyone else mention this before, but it seems unlikely I’m the only one…

Tapping Beyond.

Naked. Marked
with bruises and scars.

That’s nothing: check
out my knees.
Gaze in wonder
as they bleed.

I know shame.
I know pain.
Hell, so far as I was aware,
that encapsulated
everything.

Then in she comes,
intro to happiness. To hell
with your bliss
and betrayal. That sneak peek
fucking ruined everything.

Why the seed?
Why the egg?
Why the womb?

Why be born just to die
in my arms,
and justify my existence,

constantly tagging,
reminding me that we’re tapping
into something beyond?

Notes of a Stubborn Subject.

To stand
here, powerless,
and watch it as it all falls
down,

I must imagine
what this sequence
represents is horrifying,
so I freely confess
my agonizing ignorance.

Is it fiction or fact?

Is this on a screen
in an otherwise dark,
cool, cavernous room,
or projected directly
into my mind?

And, regardless:
is intelligence truly a fatal mutation,
or can we embrace

the truth, fly and soar
to a place
so far beyond this?

And are you truly
the best route,
or are you here to save
yourselves
and in the process,
fuck us?

No.

Don’t tell me I’m you.
I’m not one of you,
part of this:

only your prey,
hopelessly
ensnared:

just a victim of your process.
By no means a willing participant
in all of this. Just a passionate
and stubborn subject.

I’ll find a way to stop this, inspire
some vague semblance
of justice
doomed to take hold.

Truth.

Test me for faith.

If found, by all means, eliminate.
I need no blind, constipating
platitudes, nor ignorant embrace
and subsequent evangelism.

Truth is fixed
as the target
here. Make no mistakes,
my dear.

Honesty, reality:
this is what I strive for.

Blind,
in silence,
show me, let

me listen to what I’ve been,
so I know

what to veer
from as I
aim for…

Narcassist Presumed Dead.

Such a deep ditch,
something more like a grave.
I mean, here, you lied down
and got covered up

like a political scandal
sufficiently snuffed,
all until you took the hint —

what must
have been one of countless
instinctive alarms delivered —
and jolted awake
inside your simple home,
self-sufficient, now
a coffin,

and wondered just how,
with instincts
so withdrawn
yet so damned grandiose,

you should make an entrance
and rise
from the presumed
dead again.

Of Grays and Chad.

Itching for a hideaway,
a costume,
a mask.

A place to rest your weary feet,
relieve your calloused soles
and call home,

a face to attract souls burdened
with a shared sense
of estrangement,

though they may lack the experiential
spectrum of betrayal you endure.

Empathy.
Endurance.

This is so wrong…

So fucking
determined.

So you found a way that refuses to deny
the whole truth, but rather fixes
on a mere aspect, yet denying the world
the whole story, the unabridged
manuscript, still

I know you’ve seen them,
that you’re another one.
Confessions may be denied,
but it seems we smell our own.

I can feel it your scream,
hear it in your words.

It burns in my guts.
I’m not alone.

Neither are you.

I was lucky enough to be born
into circumstances
in which I never had to endure
all that you’ve been through
on this so-called sacred earth,

though you speak
of other things
which remain
so hauntingly familiar…

It’s real.
You can’t just forget
to remember.

Please come ‘round,
use the power of your soul, heart,
thought and sound,

speak to your sisters and brothers
left gazing across the edge
of this dying world,

leave your mark,
offer your words.

Outer Space.

Gravitation
towards one another,
as is natural
among a populace sprinkled

with old, lost souls,
each a fish out of water,
square pegs
thrust into a swiss cheese
world, aching

as they try to file themselves down,
smooth their edges,
fit in, mark
all four corners

of their newfound territory
as they burrow,
so snug and secure in their
little place

where they can
feel safe and settled despite
that lingering
awareness that something is out of place,
that it is all about to break:

your four walls,
the floor from under you,
and your ceiling
of a sky,

erotically dancing,
stripping away
as you bathe

in the infinite beauty
and eternal ecstasy
of outer space.