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Tie The Siren to the shaft.
Bind a feather to her feet.
Tuck her safe, into your quiver.

Now. Tell me.

Just what is it, that you're armed with? And.

If you could, would you shoot The Siren through the heart of another man?

Has a woman ever been the worst thing to happen to you? Did you hold her tightly to you, like a grudge?

Cure is nothing without disease, you see. Trust can never be repaired. Betrayed. Betrayer.

Love can be Irrevocable as The Night. Heartless as The Morning. Dawn happens with or without you. Happens no matter who your world is empty of.

Sometimes, what little Faith you have, goes on strike.

" What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."

Ever get the feeling, that your soul is rejecting your body? Ever get wreckless with what people value in you, just for something to do? Ever been careless when you could have been kind? Ever awakened from a dream and felt like a child left behind? Ever shown up late for the migration?

When the music swells, have you ever turned the other cheek and feigned distraction? Ever slowed your pace by just half a step in order to wave at the ship that was to carry you away?

And. Do you know:

That at the end of the day, all it really takes is one person to accept what you're offering.


lawnjart collaboration

I recently joined the UPS Writer's Guild and have hence been writing more, so I thought I'd share some of it.

The Writing Prompt: Think of someone you saw today but don’t really know and write about their day.

I awoke today to my roommate's alarm, again. I hope on all that is decent in this world that the person who came up with the tone and volume for that thing is now mentally insane, or in prison, either of which is not punishment enough. Anyways, after tearing the sheets off my bed as I most gracefully descended from the eight foot tower that is my bed I went to take a shower, but of course they were all occupied. Awwwfuckit I thought, I’ll go greasy. And just to complete the whole hippy image I realized that I had forgot to take my clothes from the wash the night before, three days in the same shirt is sexy for sure. Time for the cafeteria I suppose. I’d just like to put in a little side note here about how much I absolutely LOVE the caf, most especially it’s predictability, I mean where else can you know for absolute certainty exactly what food is going to be there and the exact level of it’s mediocrity? Never being one to break with routine I go with the corn flakes, milk, and oj, the NEW breakfast of champs baby. Champs of the chem lab anyway. After four hours of excruciatingly great fun I decided it was time for a nap, so it’s back to the dorm. As I approached the entrance I reached into my empty pocket and just for fun told myself that today I hadn’t forgot my keys. Well it wasn’t all bad, cause here came my RA who I’d recently gotten written up by and hadn’t talked to since. So after a little bit of a standoff over who could be the most awkward looking in their attempt to avoid the others gaze victory became mine, it’s the small triumphs that count the most. I’m seriously glad that the carpet in our hall is comfortable, because it is on it’s billowy surface that I’ve spent roughly half my time in college, waiting for my roommate to return and let me into our abode.

Announcement:

Destruction of Sevver street overpass set for February 21- 24th
Please consider alternative routes

Traffic to be diverted in off-peak hours

Expect major delays

Turn off two-way radios in construction zones

Today I am starting to really try to lose weight. This is my written commitment to myself.

I am keeping track of what I'm eating, in my special made diary. I am aiming to eat:
3 servings meat/alternative
6 or less servings grains
4+ servings vegetables
3+ servings fruit
2 servings dairy
3 or less servings fat

I will not eat after 10:30pm this week. Usually I have a snack immediately before bed, and I know thats no good! Next week if I am successful, I will move this to 10pm.
I will do weights and cardio work outs at least twice a week at the gym.
I will eat something every day within one hour of waking up, an unhealthy breakfast is better than no breakfast.
I will drink no more than 1 alcoholic drink a day 6 days of the week... one night to party!
I will allow myself one unhealthy meal a week.
I will drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

Today:
3 meat
6 grain
4 vegetable
3.5 fruit
1.5 dairy
3 fat
2 litres of water so far

You shouldn't date your coworkers. I didn't want to write another daylog but I thought the bad nights would be long gone by now and I'm running out of ideas. Dating someone you work with seems like a natural progression because you've already forged a bond through teamwork, you have a common goal, interests, all of that. I should have considered what would happen when it didn't work out. I guess it didn't matter at the time.

It's been five months. I should be done with this by now. We started to build our machine that summer. The tubes. We clicked immediately. We became Team A. We worked on everything together. But I was content with Michael, I didn't see the spark. We were both physics majors, typically clueless about unspoken signals and tension. The day I told him about Michael was the day he was going to ask me out. Brilliant.

This is a good job. It's challenging, rewarding, relaxed atmosphere. I used to dream of working in an astrophysics lab. Our machine was successful in the end. A record-setting balloon flight around the bottom of the world. Who would have thought the tubes would get that far? I did. I knew they were built with love. Congratulations all around, but he's not here to share them.

I fell in love with him after Michael and I technically fell apart, though after such a run we didn't call it quits until long after the fact. I still didn't get it, no one else would actually like me absurd. He didn't get it either, never having a girlfriend though it's not as if the girls didn't like him, he just didn't know how. We worked together for over a year until we really couldn't avoid it the issue anymore. At that moment I felt as if I had no control over my fate. Maybe I was just looking for a way out of being responsible for my own future broken heart. It didn't work.

Shortly afterwards he took a position in another lab for a change of pace. I'd never felt so good. I'd been graduated and he was in his senior year. He applied to graduate schools and was turned down. I waited around, enjoying my job and him and not knowing what to do next. My time with him was so intense, everything. I didn't know what to do and neither did he. It was a stressful time. I freaked out on a trip to California during spring break. How do you carry on a relationship you know will end? We should have broken up after that, instead he hid in his work and I waited. We reconciled eventually but only because we knew it would be ending soon anyway. After he left, well I got a one line email with a link to fark.com when the NASA press release came out. I did the same for Michael though, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

So it's not like I run into him in the street. There are just the artifacts left from our projects. The tubes. The tape on the ground where we mapped out the magnetic field. The foam cutter 3000, I used it yesterday. I'll leave this summer, and maybe then the nights will get better. Until then, hopefully this will help. Time to get some sleep.

I was bored one day, so I decided to destroy the Earth. That was pretty cool, pretty exciting, but once it was over I was bored again. Just sitting out there in space, you know, it gets kind of old.

So then I got an idea. I decided to recreate the planet just big enough to open up a circus on it. I wanted to make it the coolest circus ever so I made sure it had unbeatable attractions. Then this guy walks by and he was like "Hey, what are you doing?"

"Why, I am starting a circus," I said. "Look over there. I have a llama with five dicks. And look over there, see that giraffe with a tongue hanging out of its ass?"

The guy looked my circus over, he rubbed his chin a little, mildly interested I suppose. Then he said "Well, I gotta tell ya, that pink monkey that's felating everything in sight, it's interesting, but how ya gonna get people to come to this circus?"

"Well, I assume they'll just start showing up...any minute now," I said, looking at my watch. Actually, I didn't have a watch. I sighed and decided to put "Buy watch" on my to do list.

"That won't work," that guy said, "dude, you need marketing or something."

"That's it!" I said. So then I put up this huge sign that read "THIS CIRCUS IS REALLY COOL!" Then I stood back, looked at it, crossed my arms, and smiled at my accomplishment.

"Dude, that's it?" that guy asked. "Just a big sign that reads 'this circus is really cool?' Come on, man, you're gonna need more than that."

I considered it and realized he may have had a point. So I grabbed my trusty paintbrush and put a little arrow thingy above and between "IS" and "REALLY" and put another "REALLY" so then it read "THIS CIRCUS IS REALLY REALLY COOL!"

"Man, that's not what I meant!" that guy said.

"Look," I said, getting a bit annoyed, "they'll come, OK? With things like this, how can they not?!" I pointed to the little dog with testicles the size of beach balls (the poor thing just sat on them all day, panting and waving his little legs around, very heart warming).

"OK, the dog is cute, all right, but you need something other than that sign," the guy said as he shook his head.

"Come on!" I argued. "I've got a dung beetle that does a great impersonation of Arthur Fonzarelli, a bear that masturbates to Yanni, I've even got a newt that farts [The Star Spangled Banner!"

"Look," he said, "I know, you've got a great product here. Those things are great. And I especially like the cat that repeatedly bangs his head against the wall while listening to the Beastie Boys, but what I'm sayin is, you, like, need something other than the big sign to get people over here. They'll enjoy it once they're here, but you need to get them here. That's what I'm sayin, dude."

I got quiet and really thought about what he was saying. What if they didn't see the sign? I pondered that possibility as I watched the three-toed sloth that looked just like John Popper from Blues Traveler take a dump.

"All right," I finally said, "you might be right. Would you like to be Dude in Charge of Marketing then?"

"Well, I'd be honored," he said, "I'd love to work with you and those penguins over there singing Ween's Push Th' Little Daisies over and over again while doing Jell-O shots. That's a neat trick, by the way."

"Definitely!" I agreed. "Oh, have you seen the pig with the huge goiter that looks like Courntey Love's face?"

"Yeah, is that it over there sitting by that parrot that keeps reciting spam?" he asked.

"Increase the size of your penis! Ra! You've been approved for a home mortgage! Cum check out my webcam, I like it up the ass!" the parrot yelled as the pig sniffed its crotch.

"Hmm, I may have to kill that one," I said as I loaded my shotgun.

"Wait!" the guy said. "Look over there!"

I looked at where he was pointing and saw a big crowd of people coming to see my circus. There were men, women, children, and this strange old fellow hobbling on a cane constantly mumbling "hold on, I gotta poop, hold on, gotta poop!"

"Well, lookee here!" I exclaimed smugly to that guy. He rolled his eyes at me. I approached this gigantic woman wearing a pink muumuu and asked her why she was coming to my circus.

"Because the sign said it was really, really cool!" she replied as a fish stick fell from underneath one of her chins.

"Ha!" I said, pointing at the guy. "I knew my sign would work! Ta-dow! You're FIRED!"

"B-but..." the guy stammered.

"No butts," I interrupted, "I don't need you! I've got my sign, my five-dicked llama, Ween-singing penguins, and that beaver with a clone of Walter Matthau growing on its back!"

"Aw, cute!" yelled a little girl, pointing at the snake with a large, talking penis that sounded just like Jerry Seinfeld (the penis did, not the snake).

"Fine!" yelled that guy. He stormed away, almost tripping over the two conjoined-at-the-hip lesbian walruses that were making out with each other. Then he almost got burned by the fire-pissing fox.

Just then the dog with the huge testicles came rolling over. He whimpered as he watched the guy leave.

"I know, Ballz," I said (that's what I decided to name him), "I know you'll miss him. But we'll always have fond memories of him. Gone but not forgotten."

Then Ballz shit this massive turd, the biggest one I'd ever seen come out of a dog. As it plopped to the ground I realized that if I had to clean up after all these animals, maybe having a circus wasn't such a good idea.

"Sir!" yelled this big cowboy-looking guy. "Your foul-mouthed zebra is bein eaten by that huge tit!"

"Fuckshitmotherfuckerbitchasscunt!" the zebra exclaimed as it was being devoured by my huge whale that looked like a giant breast.

"Crap!" I yelled. And if that wasn't bad enough, I spied the farting newt getting stepped on the one-legged hippo that quoted lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail all day.

"WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?!" the hippo yelled in a British accent as it turned the newt into newtjelly.

"I don't think this circus life is for me," I said to Ballz as I scratched him behind the ears. "Come on, boy, let's go."

And then I solemnly walked away from the circus, Ballz and his huge testicles bouncing behind me. It tugged at my heart strings every time he yelped while traveling over large rocks. "You guys can keep it!" I yelled back to them. "All except for Ballz here! Me and him, we're off to seek bold new adventures together!"

And I knew as I headed toward the great, golden sunset, our shadows trailing far behind us, that with Ballz at my side, and adventure in front of us, I would probably never be bored again.

I wrote something yesterday, and then I nuked it.

At best it should have been a daylog. The only useful part of that write-up is this:


There is a way. Everything for a reason. To each his purpose.

In the late 80's a man named James Burke developed a television series called Connections. The premise was that society developed along lines orthogonal to the historical record. Because history itself is a story invented by people who want to the past to reflect imperfect memory.

Often, the connections Burke drew between events was tenuous. Sometimes it was solid. His methodology was simple. Progress in technology came about because people solved problems. The problems they solved were practical. And the solutions were often patented. They generated profit for the inventors. Follow the money. Follow the zealots. That's Burke's history of human advancement.

For instance

Transcontinental commerce led to the market for risk abatement. Lloyd's of London was formed and started insuring things. They demanded that the bottoms of ships they insured were coated with pitch, which created a greater demand for the stuff. The side effects of that were the increased availability of coal gas for lighting and the development of chemicals like naphtha and ammonia, which directly led to the development of rubberized materials (like raincoats for sailors). Meanwhile the sailors wearing the raincoats were increasing the spice trade, which exposed them to tropical diseases like malaria, which drove the need for a cure and the discovery of quinine's curative property. And then of course if you're in a boat in the tropics with a load of quinine and you're British and you have the other favorite British traveler’s drink, gin, you invent the gin and tonic. Eventually, you want cheaper sources of quinine, because in addition to curing malaria, people are drinking it in bars. That leads to the discovery of chemical side effects which give us artificial dyes, acetylene, and fertilizers. A hundred years later, a chemist working with all those things discovers polymer chains and plastics. So transcontinental shipping leads to plastics. You can draw a line, although it's a many-to-one issue. There are probably lots of lines.

Reference: James Burke's Connections I series, episode #7, The Long Chain


The rest of it was stream of consciousness idiocy unworthy of public review.

I'm sure there are many other things I've put here that fall into that category, and I should probably go through all of it and cull out everything I think sucks. But depending on my frame of mind, I would remove anywhere from 25 to 95 % of my write-ups, and I doubt it would be good for me as a writer or for the site to remove that much content, even if I do think some of it rots. As long as I take Dr. Goodyear's position that E2 is a great place to do a quick first draft, I think I'm cool with my content, and I hope you are, too.

It reminds me: I'm no Norman Mailer.

I had an idea to do a wu that was about 10,000 words long and it would consist entirely of the sentence, "Thanks for reminding me; I'm no Thomas Pynchon." repeated 1000 times. And in every sentence I would substitute another author where Thomas is, for about 1000 sentences.

Except the last sentence. The 1001st sentence would be, "Do you still want to fuck?"

I would call it the "Self-Loathing Node", in the spirit of The Loud Node.

*



This past week I was terribly stressed about my company. It's a startup and we're having the usual startup growing pains, and I'm VP of Engineering, so the job falls to me to control everything. I went to LA ostensibly to see riverrun, but with the dual purpose of meeting a bunch of icepeople who were returning from Antarctica and had almost-a-day layover at LAX before they went on to points northward. One showed up on Friday and didn't leave till Monday AM, which was good for me because that was my schedule, too.

I was extremely stressed out by the whole work scenario, but it was great to see my ice friend and riverrun. We drank martinis and had a nice Italian dinner at a restaurant by the beach.

On Saturday afternoon, the other ice people turned up and we did what most people would place in the category, "nothing", when asked what they had done. We basically strolled the beach path from Redondo Beach to Manhattan Beach, stopping for various foods along the way.

It's interesting to see ice people when they're not on the ice, because they exude a certain energy that attracts normal people. My suspicion is that it wears down after a while, the way a glow-in-the-dark watch dial fades after a few hours at night. But while it's intense, it's hard to get over.

One was assistant camp manager in the dry valleys, and I hadn't seen her for a few months. One was an IT guy and the other was what is known as a GA, or general assistant, meaning a fresh-out college kid who will do anything to get to Antarctica. She was still pretty bright with ice energy. One characteristic of people fresh off the ice is their sense of self-preservation is diminished to zero, so the idea of human-related violence or unfriendliness never enters their minds and they behave accordingly. I found myself cringing when they asked a group of teenagers who fit the Hollywood profile of those contemplating a drive-by what was at the end of the chains hanging from their pockets.

Truth is, they have no stereotypes. There are only individuals.

Ice people are what we would be if we were completely unbiased as a nation. I had to examine my discomfort. It was mine. The problem belonged to me.

Etc.

I learn things from ice people all the time. Even here in the temperate climes.

My ice friend who stayed is a woman I have now known for five years. We have had many ice adventures together and I have often used her picture on my home node. In real life she's ebullient, energetic, opinionated, well-educated, and generally fun to be around. At a dinner table in a restaurant on Sunday night I realized the two of us might seem like nuclear fusion and liquid helium discussing politics over halibut and oyster shooters. In my happiest days I cannot exude as must positive spin on life in general. I do not love anything as purely and absolutely as she loves life. And I don't know anyone who is as much the compressed central core of burning stars as she is.

How did we both get to the ice, I wonder? What quality common to both of us is key?--because I can think of none.

While we munched on our John Dory and halibut and opined on the future of the National Science Foundation in a political climate that advocates modifying 21st geology and chemistry to more closely match the musings of the Nicene Convention of 313AD, I realized what attracts me most to the ice is being with people for whom life means nothing without terminal, life-threatening challenge. People for whom the truth is that what keeps you alive on the flat white is not the flame from your white gas stove, but rather, the fire in your heart to consume as much of this life as is possible, every single moment.

And if you happen to be part of their life for even a millisecond, then you are to be understood and consumed as part of experience.

While I was with her, and riverrun can attest to this, the woman flatly refused to allow anyone else to pay her way. (Though I convinced her -- I think she relented because she knows me well enough to understand my escalation policy, which includes making a scene, starting fires, and threatening bystanders with warm dishes of crème brulee). She behaved as if there were no sum of money that she could not summon forth from her well worn Indian beaded wallet.

When I left her on Monday she was heading to Seattle to catch the Alaskan ferry north. She was going to spend three days on the ferry to Juneau. She had not paid fare for a stateroom. Rather, she was going to sleep in the public lounge. No sleeping bag. No pillow. No warm toasty blanket.

From Juneau she is catching another ferry across the Gulf of Alaska and she will spend a month sleeping outside on the uppermost deck, exploring wherever it stops, visiting small villages and glaciers, meeting new people every hour, breathing the cool salty air, watching the sun rise and set.

I am here in my office at work, thinking about her.

Today I wore the t-shirt with the man who looks like a cross between Che Guevara and Merle Haggard playing guitar and wearing hooker boots. He has two shadows, one orange, and the other is blue; he himself is yellow, with black felt outlining his features. I put on my “HE’S NOT MY PRESIDENT” pin. It’s routine now. Over my shirt I put on a green dressy overcoat jacket; it‘s not pure green, it‘s plaid. The bottom button is missing, and the top one is getting loose, soon there might just be one left. I have a shamrock pin on this overcoat, one where the clovers are shaped like hearts symbolizing the love of the Irish.

It’s morning and at school I’m sitting at a table. Alone. Girl One sits down next to me. She has blue hair and wears cat ears. She’s in my band, the drummer. Her mom’s a republican, I decided that she dyes her hair as both a political statement and to rebel against her mom, although both the theories are pretty much the same. Boy One comes in. He wears his almost Quaker-looking hat and what could be labeled as a gothic jacket, which he bought at Tripp. He’s the third member of my band, plays guitar alongside me. Girl Two appears. I used to be friends with her brother but he moved to live with his father I think in Ellington, Connecticut, although I’m probably mistaken. She’s either lesbian or bisexual, all I know is lately she’s been thinking of a polite way to break up with some girl. Girl Three goes over to Boy One. Yesterday was her birthday, or was it two days ago? She’s going out with Boy One. She has to leave school early everyday for I think six weeks for group counseling. Her parents are making her because they found out that she tried to cut herself eight months ago. Boy two walks in, holding hands with his girlfriend. He pierced his ear with a safety pin, yesterday we were talking about this. His girlfriend comes from a neighboring town and this is only the second time I’ve met her. The first being at a concert so I was unable to actually talk to her, although we do chat online. Then Boy Three sits down next to Girl One, a while ago I could tell he had an affection for her, now they are together. He takes out his cyber sex papers he printed out a while ago, they are quite amusing. Suddenly there is a Boy Four and he tells Boy Two that the safety pin in his ear is the devil.

During chemistry we were supposed to be doing a lab creating ball-and-stick models with… sticks and balls, but no one wants to do anything because it’s Friday and Monday starts vacation. I take out a needle. The 16 gage instead of the usual 30 gage, a dental needle. With this I repeatedly poke myself in the hand and arm, mostly the hand. I deliberately do this whenever I become bored or afraid, this time I’m bored. Someone asks me what is that for? They are asking about the needle so I say for fun as I thrust it into the palm of my hand. I didn’t feel it go in, I didn’t even think it did, but after a couple of seconds someone says blood and hands me a box of tissues. I decline the offer saying no thanks. Then I suck the blood and tell everyone that you’re supposed to recycle blood. The teacher says if I’d like I could go to the nurse’s office and get a Band-Aid. I don’t like the sticky feeling Band-Aids leave. I was about to say that it was okay but the bell rang and I was ready for lunch.

On the way to my locker to get my lunch I meet up with Boy Two and his girlfriend, she asks me what’s up and I tell her that for the past couple days I’ve had the damn sniffles and now I’m getting fucking stigmata. They laugh at what I said and I laugh at my stupidity. I show them my hand. Boy One and Girl Three are now here, Girl Three grabs my hand, her eyes widen in what I can tell is bewilderment, and says she’s sorry. I ask her why, you didn’t do anything? Boy Two’s girlfriend takes her pointer finger and touches the blood that’s on my hand, looks at it, then wipes it on her pants. Everyone jokes around saying she’s going to get AIDS. She says she didn’t drink the blood. I joke around and say I gave her pants AIDS. Her and her boyfriend go off to the cafeteria and he says that he’ll see me later.

I’m in the auto shop eating lunch with Boy One and Girl Three because I’m not a fan of the cafeteria and also I like to stand as I eat. Boy One tells me I should clean out the cut, because the hand gets infected easily. He gets out an alcohol pad and has me wipe the wound. He says it may burn a little. I don’t feel anything except for the wetness of the pad. I say my nerves must be shit because everything’s painless. He takes out a Band-Aid. I say no, I don’t use Band-Aids. He shows me the Vaseline or something a lot like it and says that I have to keep this on somehow. It’s okay because he finds some gauss pads. He says maybe he shouldn’t give out any more needles. I say no one will get hurt.

Some other students come in with a bowling ball. They decide to air-press it, to see if it breaks. A piece flies off at I think it was fifteen-hundred tons.

Boy One is talking to Girl Three and tells her that his hair is getting curly, he brings his fingers down the end side of the bangs. His hair is long and he was right, it curls. I tell him between the hat and the curly hair, he looks Jewish.

It’s time for Girl Three to leave so Boy One walks her to I don’t know where.

English class, the last class of the day. Once I sit down I realize I’m fucked because I forgot to finish the essay quiz from yesterday that I was able to take home. I’m lucky because the first thing she says is that it was just to see how we could write in a short period of time with given a topic. Which reminds me of the SATs. Shit, I haven’t studied much for those yet.

As I am walking home it is flurrying. I can see my breath. I don’t wait around for anybody because it’s cold and I don’t like it. Even if it wasn’t cold I probably wouldn’t of stayed, sometimes you have to be alone.

When I get home I see that my brother hasn’t put the dishes away and know he won’t so I do. I see that there are dishes in the sink but I feel that I’ve done enough for now so I don’t do them. Instead I go down to the basement, put on some music, and read.

When she gets home my mom gives a bracelet, the kind that has gotten extremely popular lately, yet this one reads; “Someone You Know Has LUPUS”. It’s too big for me because I have small wrists, which makes me happy because it really freaks me out.

Later on Boy Two’s girlfriend sees me online and says I gave her pants AIDS. We get talking and I ask her how her day was. She says it was great and wants to go to my school. She says I’m like ten times cooler than everyone at her school. This makes my week, maybe month, I don’t know, it’s not over yet. I have her read my last node because she read my first one and really liked it. She says she likes it. I say I wasn’t feeling too happy that night, but it’s okay because sometimes depression helps me write. She says she knows what I mean. I haven’t read any of her stuff, but I know she likes to write. She doesn’t like George Bush either. I know a lot about her but I don’t know her. Sometimes I feel that the only people I can connect with are people I don’t know.

A commercial for the ten o’clock news tonight shows stories about a murder investigation and a case of police brutality, the latter complete with video footage. Never in these things do they show anything positive. That just wouldn’t sell.

And now I am going to sleep, to escape reality, and to enter the realms of unknown…

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