Writing Practice 11/4/2019

Please stop…

Please stop at the next turn sign up there.

There? I mean, here?

Yes, there. Now. Turn left. Yes, that’s good. So, have you been practicing long?

About six months. I had license in my old country, you know.

Really? Fascinating. Turn left at the next opportunity.

Yes, it was much simpler there, though. We had no road test, only parking lot. Road is not good here, because there are so many other cars! I don’t like it.

Well, that’s fine that you don’t like it, but we do require everyone to be competent, and safe, behind the wheel before they are allowed to drive on their own.

It is just so scary! None of the cars in old country were even nearly so big.

There to the right, please, and watch your speed. You are entering a school zone.

Yes, thank you. Do I need a signal for this? It’s a, what you call it, a traffic circle? Run about?

Roundabout. no, you do not need your signal to enter, but it is a good idea to use one upon existing. Do that now, please.

Damn! Missed.

Not a problem. We’ll go around once more… There, turn out there.

Oh, I have it now!

But you forgot the signal. In the exam the instructor won’t like that.

Perhaps I can give him big smile, he will think I’m pretty?

Yes, of course, he will think you are pretty. Everyone thinks you are pretty.

Oh, stop! You make me blush.

No, it’s true! All of the instructors at the school hope to be assigned to your car when you come in. Today is my lucky day. Don’t forget to slow down over this… Ouch!… speed hump.

Sorry!

Next time be a little more careful.

I will!

your test instructor on the action test, your evaluator, I mean, will instruct you to keep both hands on the wheel at all times, so, in the interest of practice, please remove your hand from my knee.

Sorry!

It’s all right, dear. As I said, that is still a very enjoyable situation. however, it is totally inappropriate for our current session.

I’m sorry again! What can I do to make it up to you?

Nothing, except continuing to drive carefully. No, don’t turn in here, I need you to continue out to the highway. Today’s practice is all about highway driving.

I’m sorry, I just need to stop and pull over for a moment.

Well, okay, but… what are you doing? No, stop! Put that back on! No, madam, I think you misunderstand what’s going on here!

This is not how to get good marks on the driving test?

This is most definitely not how to get good marks on the driving test! Madam, i can clearly see your breasts. I am going to exit the vehicle, and shall not continue until you demonstrate your commitment to ethics and professionalism.

Sir, perhaps you do not understand. This is ethics and professionalism for me.

You’re right, I don’t understand. What are you talking about? Hey! Put my zipper back up! hey! My wife won’t like this.

No, but you will! I have a 4 point 9 star rating!

On what?

Trickr!

Good lord!!!

Writing Practice 8/10/2019 – Can I have a bite?

Can I have a bite?

Please? Just a little nibble. I promise, I won’t take much. You’ll still have most left over after I’m done. I’m ever so hungry, and you, why, you have the most delicious looking spread around…

Why, I apologize. Certainly, I must beg your pardon. In no way did I mean to imply that I think of you as food. I admit, my choice of working was in poor taste.

Oh my! I’ve done it again. Once more, mister Bluebottle, please accept my apologies. It is in my way my intention to continue to suggest that you are mine to own, to taste, to eat, or anything of the like. How should I, a poor Trapdoor Spider from the wrong side of the room, ever even think to presume that I would ever rise to your level? You, Sir, are clearly the high of the society, and it should be, as you say, quite forthright of me to make such a presumption. I was only begging your forgiveness for my earlier outburst, which, too, presumed much too high a status and standard for myself, and far too low a social status for one so esteemed as yourself. For that I must beg your pardon, and I dare ask your forgiveness once more. Should you deign to grant me with such a blessing, I would, no doubt, be in your debt, for all of the foreseeable meals of the future.

Oh, my! I’ve done it again. Dearly, truly sorry, I am, I continue to put one or the other or yet another of my legs in my mouth, cumbersome and clumsy as it may be to do so, and I would not fault you, dear and good sir, were you to take your leave this very minute from my presence. The fact that you continue to stay does indeed warm my heart immensely. I shall, certainly, hope to find some time to repast you…

Goodness! Would you look at that? Now I’ve done and gone and done it again! Dear me, I don’t know what has come over me. I simply cannot get eating off my mind. You know how it is, my good sir. You must have had a similar occurrence at least once in your good life, of months and months long it is, such that you, too, recognize the futility of attempting to avoid the topic which weighs on your mind. You try, and try, and try, but every time, try as you might, you cannot eliminate the thought pre-occupying your spirit. For, it is as if an invading army has taken camp within between your ears, and their buglemaster continues to play the same chorus, over and over and over, incessant, such that you would rather poke the insides of your head out than listen to one more repetition. So it is with my own experience at the moment, I am afraid. “Eat him,” comes the though, and I do my best To punter, No, he is much to special. “Eat him!” No, I cannot do that to a member of such an esteemed family.

“EAT HIM!” The voice continues, pounding a drumbeat that bounces of the inside of my skull and ricochets across my eardrums, that sets up a chorus line and the buglemaster not only plays, he has recruited half a dozen others to join him, so that there is no more space between the words, it is one perpetual burden, one incessant command, one impossible to ignore dictum –

EATHIMEATHIMEATHIMIAEATHEIMEATHIMEATIHIEIATHEATIMEHIMEATHIMEATHIMEATIEAHTIMEIAHTIEMAHITIEMATHIEMEATHIEMAEATHIMEEAHTEIAEHAIEMAETHIMEHAIEMTEIHAEIMETH.

So, my good sir, what would you do, if you were me? Would you, if it could possibly be, eat yourself? or would you walk away from such a lovely, tempting meal, on a count of social status, and privilege, and power?

How should I decide too? I must admit, watching you struggle these last minutes with those bonds I strung not half an hour ago has certainly whetted whatever appetite I came to you with.

And, while this has been an interesting excuse for a conversation (I must admit, you’ve been awfully quiet this whole time, wondrous thing these silken gags I’ve learned so weave, aren’t they?), I must say, I do believe that they time has come to move our relationship forward. No longer shall we be equals, you, over there, helpless before my strong web, and me, over here, helpless before the grand insectual society. No, the time for parity has ended, and thus, it is time for me, and my kind, to regain our position as primary in the elite world of the dirty, dusty attic rafter. With that, Sir Bluebottle, I wish you good day.

May I have a bite? Don’t mind if I do.

A Philosophy of Life (unrefined essay)

Writing Practice 7/25/2019

My philosophy of life is…

My philosophy of life is still evolving. It’s never going to be completely static and arrived. That would be a naive way to view the world, as if you had arrived and had all the answers. We’re not Budhha over here. Which means we will constantly need to adapt our philosophy of life to new situations, new experiences, new people, who come into our lives. We need to recognize this dynamic nature, so that we don’t consider ourselves stuck, or stable, or solid, and get so entrenched in those ways, and so enamored with our own selves, that we cannot do any kind of modification at all when the time necessary for adaptation emerges.

Not to say we adjust according to every whim, every new fad in society. But we do recognize that there may be times when what we previously thought becomes insufficient to comport with the whole of the world presented to us, around us, beside and above us. We must, therefore, continually test and evolve to and refine our philosophies of life, even if those refinements are no more than to say, “yes, this philosophy also works well in that new situation.”

For us to wholesale, grand scale, top-to-bottom and soup to nuts try to remake our philosophies, though, is too large an undertaking. We shall be in a state of constant adjustment, whipsawing back and forth between extremes, with no real progress ever made towards the goal. And, since each philosophy of life shall have a different goal, one will hardly ever have the chance of Obtaining it, and either finding it a worthy goal or finding it wanting, should we continuously choose to bounce, to alternate back and forth between such options.

It is for this reason, much like the coxswain in he scull, that I advocate smaller and smaller steps of change each time, moving approximately half of your deficit each time. So, for example, suppose you’re starting out at the origin of a plane. You have two axes, the X and the Y. You decide that your best philosophy of life is designed to send you as far along the Y axis as possible. As much “UP” as you could go, as it were. Suppose, then, that you stat out living life, and find yourself traveling, or even just pointing, “EAST”, along that X- axis. Do you, immediately, slam on the brakes, and try to come to a full and complete stop?

Well, you could. Or, you could take the same energy you would use to stop, and you could simply apply pressure in the “UP” direction. Yes, you’d still going east, somewhat, but you would also be now heading more towards the UP than you were before.

Suppose it works. As it should. Eventually you may find that you have overshot your Y-axis, and are now headed a bit WEST-UP, UP-WEST, UP-LEFT, whatever. At this point, do you once again apply so much UP-RIGHT pressure as to continue to go back and forth across the axis?

No, if you are smart you will, after the first overcorrection, go less-right and more-up; if as, to be expected, you overshoot once more, your error will likely be less than it was originally. Continue to aim for your target, but with smaller and smaller corrective actions, and you will eventually eliminate your overshoots, and you will start to simply approach your goal, to be lived however and whatever and wherever it becomes you.

 

 

Paint Me A Picture

Writing Practice 7/5/2019 – Paint me a picture…

Paint me a picture of the sunset. Use red, and orange, and yellow, and sunflower, and orange-red, and burnt sienna, and pink, and pink-grey, and blend the colors together with the last few clouds of the day, and have them standing in stark contrast to the deepening blue of the sky, as the sun sinks lower, becomes larger, swells with its pride of having performed well for yet another day.

Streak the solid blue sky background with the white-blend-grey tops of clouds filling the vision, hanging there suspended as if on strings, or a scaffolding, fixed, waiting. Use the leftover melds of yellow-orange and orange-red and yellow-red-burnt sienna to color the undersides of the clouds, creating that stark contrast between day and night, below and above, the opposite of the way we normally think of the setup. Day is below the clouds, now, at sunset, as Sol has burned himself out once more, performed admirably yet again in bringing heat and power to the world, as she has given of herself to the surface, has divested herself of all that stored potential energy she has, and, instead of keeping it for herself, instead of maintaining herself on it, instead of restraint and inhibition, she has blessed us, with abundance, with abandon, and in so doing she has exhausted herself, like the fat sturgeon fighting the currents to get to her nesting station, as she has deposited her brood in their rightful place, as she, then exhausted, collapses under the weight of the biological urges within her, and dies, to drift back downstream in renewal and in anticipation, in foreshadowing the life of her offspring yet to come. She is the embodiment of self-sacrifice, of service, of giving of oneself for another, and we see the parallel in the sun in the way that she, too, like that mother full of futures, has been filled with our futures, our possibilities of the day, and she, in her infinite patience, has disgorged herself for us. Has given us of her energy, her power, her life-blood, so that we may live, and breath, and drive, and fuck, and we repay not but what we ineffectively, insufficiency, proclaim of her beauty when we write an essay such as this, when we paint a picture such as that, when we sing her praises, insufficiency, inadequately, imperfectly, yet, we still do, we say thank you, we appreciate all you do for us, we spend our time as we rest in the evening with gratitude on our lips and in our hearts and in our notebooks, and we, then, refill ourselves, even as Sol has gone away to fill herself one more, to drink of the eternal spring of Natural Refreshment, to be the way of renewal, to capture and store up, for us, to build up a huge, vibrant, dynamic reservoir of power, and warmth, and inspiration, that she, in her infinite patience and goodness and mercy, will, with the coming of the dawn, once again choose to bless us.

Writing Practice – 6/26/2019

Why did your side hurt this morning?

Your side hurt because, I’m sorry to say, that’s the last sign of cancer. The scans came back – you have a lump the size of a softball under your ribs. It’s now pushing on your liver, and that’s what caused your pain this morning.

I’m surprised you didn’t come see me earlier. Often, something much smaller than this will cause discomfort, if not outright pain, long before. Either you got very lucky (well, I know it’s not right to say lucky when you’re getting bad news, now is it? My apologies for that misstatement [No, I’m not sorry, I simply apologized. Sorry is an emotion,a. Regret for wrong and harm done. I did you no harm by stating it that way, so why should I apologize?])

Now, where were we? Yes. You must have either gotten very “unique circumstances” [Is that better. Wouldn’t want to offend you again.] in that you either did not feel the tumor pressing on your ribs and your liver and your intestines for months now, or you have an extremely high pain tolerance, and did not feel that the level had yet risen to one which necessitated modification. Hey! I’m trying to give you a compliment here. [Maybe yes it doesn’t much matter, how does it, because yes, you will be in quite a lot of pain over the next few months.]

Oh, I have also thought of another possibility. It could be that you did feel the pain, and that it was at a level that you knew you should get it checked out all those months ago, yet you were too stubborn to come to the doctor, insisting that you were fine, and thus prolonging your pride in yourself and your delusional belief in your faith to heal you.

What I am not derogatory. I am simply exploring all options, all possible avenues of the reason you had a pain in your side this morning, sir, instead of two or four or six months ago. We must admit, one of those reasons could have been your ego.

Now – If you will allow me to continue –

Yet another reason may have been fear. Fear of surgery, pills, or cost. All of which are reasonable fears, sir, but none of which are in the least appropriate for this situation. No? Your’e not fearful? Well, then, perhaps you’re stupid. And you don’t know that pain isa. signal to the brain that something is wrong somewhere, and you should take steps to alleviate the problem. SIT DOWN, SIR! I am not finished with you yet!

You, sir, may be affronted by my blunt manner. I make no excuses for it. I am a man of science, and I must approach the problem scientifically. Since, then, yo have not yet agreed with any of my hypotheses for why you had pain this morning, I must continue my exploration. Finished with your rant?

Good.

Finally, and, sincerely I do believe this is the final option, I must suggest that your felt the pain this morning because you are very, very smart and very, very shrewd. I can see, sir, by the way your bitter, shrill wife beside you treats you and me and my assistance staff outside that she is not a nice woman. She must be terrible to live with. It must be an absolute hell to wake up to that each morning. And thus I conclude, too, from what you have told me of your spiritual beliefs that there is nothing in the way of extraordinary measures that would be taken at the pronouncement of a terminal illness.

Thus, since you knew, at the outset of your pain, that you’d would likely have many, many more years of that same hard, shrill woman by your side, again respecting your religion’s prohibitions against divorce, you chose, in that fateful moment, to mask what you hoped would be a progressive, ultimately fatal condition. And, as it would, as it grew and intensified, that certainty that I, or another professional would announce you terminal only grew in parallel. Having that welcome possibility [illegible], a certainty with which you could assume that I would be the bearer of “bad” news to your wife, which at the same time [illegible] your release from the confines of this marriage, you finally decided that you were ready to abdicate your position as husband, aided and abetted by the tumor growing on your liver, thus achieving a dual purpose – ridding you of the confines of your marriage, while at the same time absolving you of the guilt of having done so of your own volition.

Do I have that about right?

I can only presume by your silence that I do. Madam, I am, in this one, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Your husband will die, likely within four to six weeks. I suggest you both prepare yourselves. My assistant at the front has a packet of references to a hospice, a funeral home, and a cemetery, also well as a grief share group and a widows’ support group. Good Day to you both.

Writing Practice 6/22/2019

Aware…

Aware of a feeling of pressure on my buttocks, the pressure of the seat below holding me up so I do not collapse to the floor. Aware that this same pressure would arise if there were no chair, and I were to be held up, floating a thousand miles above the center of gravity, by the Earth’s surface. Aware that this is an existential crisis without end, for, in removing one surface, I simply follow the deeper pull to be felt, to fall inexorably towards some other center of gravity, to tumble and sink through the reaches of space to meet not the Earth but the Sun, then not the Sun but the Black Hole in the middle of the galaxy, then not even that but the blackest depression holding it all together.

Aware of the sounds of excitement, and of studiousness, and of inquisition and learning coming to my ears form a multitude of directions, even dimensions. Two directions make a dimension, yes? How many dimensions make a space? Where do the definitions end? How many more layers might there be beyond us, and this, and you, and me?

Aware of a slight dampness in my shorts, and across the chest of my shirt, from where I did two unusual exercises this morning; One, I sat on a wet(ish) seat in my car, and to, I crossed that same chest with a wet(ish), damp, rather, seat belt. Both were the residue of my prior engagement with the vehicle, earlier int he day. I had attended a bicycle ride, which turned into a shower on wheels, due to the downpour that shifted its path from the predictions, and chose to pursue us fifty or so cyclists, simply hoping to enjoy the overcast experience. But when Zeus woke up, and began targeting us once again with jagged lightning, launched playfully (for him), yet dangerously (for us) from his divine grasp, to jag and tumble and streak down from the Cumulus House to the waiting earth, well, we decided He had sufficiently scared us, and rightfully so, turned to head home. Thus, I captured approximately half of one of Minnesota’s finger lakes in my shoes, socks, shorts, and t-shirt, and, having no magic Shammey to soak up more than its weight in liquid, was forced to improvise by leaving deposits of clean, refreshing liquid all over the interior of my vehicle; on the seat, dripped into the door well, squilched onto the backside of the seatbelt, to be discovered later like some kind of poisoned, cursed treasure that, instead of blessing me, becomes a kind of burden, leaving its stain and stench and taint upon the remainder of all my day, for as long as that leftover residue chooses to remain.

Aware of my own throat, and a feeling of thirst; aware that my stomach is not hungry, but there is a corresponding desire to eat. Why? What sets off such a need? A want? A preference? For it cannot be need – I have eaten at least half of all the calories I will likely require for homeostasis today already, in but these few hours I have been awake and moving. So what is it, then? Routine? Social custom? Boredom? I suspect boredom. I suspect that, were I to decide to engage my mind, my spirit, my body in a stimulating, engrossing activity, or book, or conversation, I would forget all about that wisp of a hint of a desire, to eat, simply out of “nothing-to-do-itis”. I should put that reason for eating out of my head. I should abandon that thought entirely. I should cut out, lobotomise, incise from my brain forever, that part of me which has such a thought. That would be drastic, but effective, and permanent, and complete, if I could it it out like a cancer. My fear ,though, is that it – this thought, this desire, this illness to eat when bored – is not so much a contained space, or object, like a tumor, or a lesion, but, rather, it is a distributed process – a parallelism spread out across many spaces in my mind, across the hippocampus and the cerebellum and the pituitary and the thyroid, and, were I to attempt to get all of it, were I to be successful [illegible………………..][illegible…………………..][illegible………………………] leaving me both unchanged, and unfortunately, damaged in all my other actions and affects. [illegible………….]

Aware that now my pen has run dry.

Writing Practice 6/11/2019

The Good Sonpage 107 – The world spun around me.

I could tell I had been drugged. After so many years of intentionally setting myself in this state of mind, I could tell the different types of after-effects. This felt like an episode of marijuana laced with some PCP. I’d done both individually, before, and knew I was happy high, and paranoid while tripping.

This felt like the combination. I wanted to hold everything that came my way and make love to it, but everything I could see had suddenly sprouted heads, and extra butts, and now the leaves had turned purple and the squirrels were the size of donkeys and their eyes were bigger than my head, and that freaked me out a little bit, too. But still I loved those huge, ridiculous donkey-squirrels, and I wanted to take them inside of me and to blend them with me, I wanted to melt them with my stomach acid and to merge their flesh unto my flesh, to imbue myself with the essence of donkey-squirrel, to merge my soul with the liquified, purified, gelatinous donkey-squirrel-orange-leaf-green-rainbow soul, to become a harmonious being outside of space, inside of time, to become a melded, blended, homogenous thing that had no individual identity but only a one-ness, a universality, a connection to the electric underpinning of the universe tangential path out of the cosmos and into, through, above and below and beyond the ether, to lose myself and to gain the donkey-squirrel, to make our consciousnesses become greater than the sum of our parts, to be absent from the body and to be present with the spirit, the Great Spirit, the Greatest Spirit, the one who guides, who directs, who rules, who controls and yet still allows the freedom, a purpose, a will to guide itself, to explore itself, to see where this uncertain, undefined, infinite future may flow to, to be unceasing and incessant, to permanently and effortlessly turn in circles of being, to love and to want and to live and to be, to exist, to subsume, to control and release, to breathe and to be exhaled, to know and to forget, to live and live and live and live and live forever.