Thoughts

Feel as if I’ve adopted insomnia though it is more as if insomnia adopted me. Awake or asleep doesn’t matter my mind is running. A constant over saturation of ideas that are very much independent of one another. One after the other over and over with no resolve. Who have I become and what must I do to get rid of all these wasted thoughts?

Are these things really important to me anymore? Judge each other on the idea that we know anyone. Peace in the idea that we can understand something we have no idea about. Ignorance is tolerated because we are all ignorant. There is no solution to any of this. Constantly asking ourselves, myself what is it that I know to be true? We evolve in time within our minds. Not the same person I was before I died yet I feel the same as I ever have.

Chasing a shadow in the dark. Searching for whatever it is that I have become. Monster or man what is the difference this far along? At this point in time they have become one. Not sure I’m okay, but I’ll survive. Not sure I even have or had a choice. They say we do, but they also say there is a God that makes every decision for us. Conflicting conflictions right there if you ask me. The world is evolve or die. God or man the laws are the same. Simple and complex all at the same time.

Something Different

Before I’d Known
Suffering to suffer
Choking to drown
Breaking up the thoughts
A list of shit
Counting all the reasons to die
A method of self destruction
Repent for sins uncommitted
Struggling to struggle
Drowning to choke
Shattering the thoughts
A broken mind of shit
Listing out the reasons to live
A method of self deprecation
Forgiving sins uncommitted
Self reliance is masturbation
Playing God is fire
The devil had me before I’d known

 

Nightly Occurrence
My daughter hasn’t slept in years
A contiguous disease that we all fear
Nightly terror that doesn’t leave the mind
No matter how hard she tries she can’t hide
Demons in the dark, figures within the light
Flashes of evil coming for her life
Nightly occurrence with little words
“We are here for your soul my dear.”
A recurring chant faded into whispers
Silence only a child could hear

 

Don’t Say Anything Else
We break ourselves for no reason at all
Life a waiting game of death
Those on top will always be
Built in slavery system
Laughing though there is no air to carry the screams
Sixteen seconds and it’s already all wrecked
Smile for the cameras it will all be over soon
Breeding hatred with every breath
What the fuck did you expect
Your loving arms covered in poisoned thorns
How I missed the days when none of this mattered
How I miss the hope of living at all
Punched ticket to a solo grave
Soulmates or a slow wait

Knocking Another One Back

I read a lot. It helps recharge my writing battery? That and sucking dick. Nothing like a nice long cock going into your mouth every now and then to put some perspective in your life. Ground you back into the real world. I read a lot of comic books mostly because I like them, but also because most of the writing is in the art. I have a really hard time stealing the style of a book if it is in art form. As a writer it can be challenging because it is natural to pick up on the traits of the writer you are reading heavily. So when I am in writing mode, which seems to be always right now, I don’t read any actual books. I read comics. Problem is I am currently following way too many comics right now.

Lets count them out. I am currently reading in some form or another Black Monday Murders (Great Fucking Book), Motor Crush, Kill or Be Killed (GFB), Saga (GFB), Wicked + Divine, Deadman Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, The Fade Out, Deadly Class, Monster Musume, Prison School, Deadpool vs Punisher, Daredevil, Bullseye, Kingpin, Punisher, Invincible, Wayward, C.O.W.L., Criminal, Redneck, Black Cloud, Horizon, The Few(GFB), Eclipse, Moon Knight, Venom, Plastic, Clean Room, Unholy, Grave Lilies, The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Spider Gwen (Side note. I’m really, like really into all this Gwen Stacy stuff and I have no reason why. I can’t recommend you read it but I know that I am not stopping anytime soon. If anything they need a whole Gwen line of comics or something. Back to the list.), El Diablo, Pretty Deadly, Love in Hell: Death Life, Rumble, Hack/Slash, Beauty, Trees, Paper Girls, and those are the ones I like.

Not going to shit on the ones I don’t like or at least not today Batman. What the fuck though with the Rebirth? Tell me DC should I trust you not to stick a rusted out pipe up my ass again like you did with the New 52? Because I don’t. With that said Red Hood for life. Oh and because I hate myself I started reading a book despite what I said about not reading a book.

My Return

In some ways it feels as if a part of me is missing and in other ways I feel exactly the same. I hate being apart from her for whatever the reason. The long nights traveling for my job is when I feel it the most. Being on the road is like going through hell and then some. The restless nights lying in a bed of someone else’s filth. They say the beds are clean or at least the card on the pillow states, but are they ever really clean? How does one actually clean up the semen and the sweat that soaks up into the mattress? Sure your nicer establishments have some sort of protection. A mattress condom if you will but the cheaper places? The places I have to stay because my boss cares more about the bottom line than the comfort of the poor bastard who makes that line exist, those places are brimming with semen, sweat, and who knows what else.

I find myself sleeping on the floor most nights on the road. Not that the floors in these skank motels are any cleaner, but I’m less likely to sleep in somebody’s fluids. As I lie on this particular floor on makeshift bed of motel linens I wonder what she is thinking about in our nice comfortable bed. I wonder if she thinks of me or quite simply nothing at all. Another conference in the morning. Another meet and greet with unknown clients. Does well for business though I can’t say the same for my soul. I could say it would be good for me if I was the boss. If I reaped anything from any of this outside of a check. I wonder if I leave tomorrow night or the following morning. Something I should check, but I’m too lazy to get up off the floor. Either way it is just one more shitty flight to an even shitter place. When you are young you want to travel, to see the world, but as you get older and then a little bit more that sense of adventure seems to slip right out of your mind. Now all I want is a chance to make up for all those lost years of traveling, of being apart. Those long night without me by her side. It pains me to think about it. It pains me every time that I see her she has changed a little bit more.

The longer I am gone the farther we grow apart. I miss her and I miss her more whenever we are together. Where did those years go? Did I not live them? Or have I been living in this traveling coma for so long that I simply don’t remember. One thing I do know is that she is still waiting for me. Back home she waits for my arrival and I’m sure my departure. To her I’m sure I am seen as never going or never there. To her I’m sure that when this trip is over it will all be too late. That is what she said I’m sure or at least of what I remember her saying. She doesn’t say much anymore. Lays in silence mostly. Silently waiting for my return.

Fact or Fiction

“I know your life is a never ending nightmare full of horror and deceit. I know you are often at odds with yourself and this horrid thing called life. Every morning is filled with contempt as you have this endless debate on whether or not you should kill yourself in your shower or while your K-cup brews or in your car that is neither new nor old but works just fine. These things I know because I’m sitting right next to you. These things I know because I’m looking at the same things you are. These things I know because we share the same eco-friendly renewable water source in the same god damn forsaken city on the banks of some form of water. I know all these things, I think all these things because I too live a life of perfect balanced, zero struggle life know as modern society. Chances are we think the same exact way but out of pure boredom let’s say I don’t. Because we have to be different in this world. We have to be special when it comes to things like this in life. Odds are against us though beyond our thoughts. We went to the same school, learned from the same books, ate the same shitty food, and lived near perfect replicas of the same life. Let me guess you played doctor? Let me guess you owned a copy of GTA 3? Let me guess you couldn’t catch’em all on paper or digitized? Let me guess you thought you were special? Well you’re not, you and I are more alike than you and I might think. We are so close you and I that we could be one in the same. Chances are we are in fact the same robotic, institutionalized, modern guilt individuals walking side by side right now. We could say hello to one another but we won’t. We could relate our dream suicide scenario but we won’t. We could discuss just how much we actually hate each other but we won’t. Because what’s the point? Why tell you everything you already know? Why bother letting you in on our little secrets? We all have secrets, guilty pleasures, they are all the same but we have them. We imagine that they are the little things that make us different. That the tidbits of information we hold dear separate us from fact and fiction. When really there is no such thing. We live a life of fact and fiction. We live a life of knowing we are the same, fact. We live a life thinking in some way we are different, fiction. We live lives that are exactly the same. We fuck women and men who are exactly the same. We blindly follow the dumbest of our kind because we know that they are the same. We read books and stories, watch movies and shows on people or about people who are exactly the same. And like you I will do nothing to change this. Like you I will ride this life into the ground hoping for something better but being served up the exact same. There is no difference between animal and man we were put here to do the exact same, suffer until our last dying breathe.”

“What an interesting report Timothy,” the teacher calls out. “Not quite A material but informative all the same in its own way. Go ahead and take your seat with the rest of the class.” She shuffles some papers, disheveled herself, “Umm if we could have Stephanie, Stephanie Keaton come up next.” Stephanie gets up from her seat and takes her place at the head of the class. “Now Stephanie why don’t you tell us what you did this summer.”

Keeping My Eyes Closed and My Mouth Wide Open

The twisted knife of the world is dug deep within my back. The world isn’t black or white but a giant fucking rainbow of gray. The issues we have to face go deeper than skin color, emotions, or common sense. Most if not all of the world’s problem is our very selves. Who is to blame, what is to blame? What does it matter? They don’t argue with me and? My mind hurts trying to see how any of this even matters.

I don’t understand all this hate coming from all these holier than thou ass hats. Why the fuck do you waste your time going to church every Sunday if you are going to shit on the bible every time you open your mouth? Not only that, but in what contexts does the bible or any book even mention you will get into heaven? I can not fathom for even a second that God is letting anyone into its kingdom. The promise of religion doesn’t even make any sense to me at all. Why the fuck would someone put us on a planet to fend for ourselves with guidelines that we must follow to the letter to just get into a place that they could have put us in, in the first place? Here and now. Your actions define here and now. Not to get preachy, but religion wasn’t made to destroy one another. It was developed to unite each other in a time before laws. In a time before society existed. The farther we get from religious inception the crazier we seem to get.

5,000 or however many years ago people knew and believed that we go into the ground. Today people hope and they pray that their action however intended will get them to the front of the line. Moses, Jesus, Mohamed, Buddha, and all the others weren’t preaching about a world outside of this one. They were all speaking of the world we live in. Follow their paths to make this life better for all. Did they ever say anything about perfect? No they weren’t dumb ignorant assholes looking to destroy the world in hopes that they could have a place at the throne. To them it wasn’t about the after but the now. How could anyone take the story of Jesus turning water into wine not believe he was about having a good time? What the fuck else could you believe from that? That he was worried about anti-oxidant levels of early man.

The lord giveth the lord can take a way. The lord is an asshole that doesn’t exist. Understand that for fucks sake. Sadly even with how I feel I get it why people need religion. People need faith and that’s great. I will never say having faith is a bad thing. I’m happy for them even, but stop fucking killing, torturing, putting down people in the name of who gives a fuck. For the love of God process your sacrifice, your shame, and your hate for yourself. Stop dragging religion through the mud because you need justification. That’s not what it is here for. That is not why it needs to stick around.

Even if you are right, there is a God in the sky that is deciding every single thing on this planet. You have to see that you are wrong in your actions. This age-old question of which religion is right or wrong is getting real fucking old. It is not the God that defines the religion it is the people. We can’t keep using religion as a weapon when we are the problem all along.

A Lie Preview

Classes Start

It’s ten a.m. and I’m nearly a hundred percent certain that I am in the wrong class room, but I have no plans of leaving. The teacher, a young woman who is probably a few years older than me with rather large breasts, passes out the syllabus to the class. A two to three page document detailing everything we are supposed to go over in the course of the semester. Fucking gag me, the syllabus is more or less an excuse to mow down a few more acres of trees in South America. Considering our teachers will flood our emails with the same shit anyway. I’m sitting in the far corner of the room, far away from everyone else. The teacher goes into a speech about showing up late, her breasts bouncing with each word. Is she even wearing a bra? I find myself more entertained with her bust line than trying to figure out where I even am. Her words bleed together and I can’t tell if it is me or her who is not making sense of the words. It takes a moment but I finally look down at the syllabus to figure where I am. The paper says that I am in public speaking and I can start to feel the blood drain from my face. Things only get worse when I start to realize that each student is standing up and telling everyone in the class their name and a little bit about themselves and why they are in college. Most of the students here are going for degrees in criminal justice or something as stupid as that. I can feel my heart rate go up and I begin to wonder if anyone else can hear the pounding of my heart like I can. It sounds like an Edgar Allen Poe story in here. Am I fucking dying or am I losing my mind? I hate speaking in front of a single person and speaking in front of all thirty people in the class is making me feel like I am having a heart attack. I can feel the sweat bead up at the top of my head and drip down my face. I was not prepared for this nor would I ever sign up for this. I calm my shaking hand long enough to grab my backpack and slowly make my way to the exit in a near crawl. How this isn’t any worse than just standing up and saying my name is beyond me. The latest victim stops speaking as the teacher asks me where I am going. I stand up from my crouched position and give her a blank stare before running out of the room. My heart is racing a mile a minute as I wander the halls for what seems like days. Everything feels as though it is in slow motion but I keep trekking on. Wandering the halls isn’t an unusual thing for me. I do it a lot. Despite the fact that I hate this school I just can’t seem to leave. I’m never in class, but I’m never not at the school on school days. As confusing as that sounds I think it is because I feel guilty for not attending classes and it also has to do with the fact that I can’t afford to put more gas in my car. So, I might as well stay here and make the best of it. It doesn’t hurt that my drug dealer takes a lot of classes here as well. He says it helps him expand his mind. “Always got to be smart for the streets man, always.” When really he is just going to the school to expand his business, which has worked out pretty well for him in my opinion. It is here in a class for retards that I first met him. The class in question was a basic English course that all students have to take if they didn’t score a certain amount of points on the assessment test to get into this prestigious college. It can’t be over stated that I never wanted to go here so the idea of even trying wasn’t an option when I took the test. I just breezed through the test selecting any answer without reading the question. I was hoping that maybe they would deny me, but nope they accepted me with cash symbols in their eyes since my whole first term wasn’t worth a single credit. I decided today that I will walk around the campus. No use going through another embarrassing first day. The first day doesn’t count anyway. I stop by the bathroom on the first floor before heading outside in the cold. The ground looks much more interesting when I’m high on drugs. The school uses a special kind of salt that is blue-green in color and it does a really good job of clearing off the sidewalks. In the center of campus there is a pond that has long been frozen over. I walk across the wooden bridge that goes across the narrow part of the pond connecting one side of the campus to the other side. In the summer this is where I like to stand, but in the winter the wind comes across the pond and hits me like a cold hard slap to the face. I’m starting to really feel the trip as I walk past the library and head for the main building. I’m making my way to the cafeteria to purchase the overly priced food I really can’t afford and steal one of the overly priced energy drinks. I usually don’t steal things, but I’m not paying three fucking dollars for something I could get for a lot less someplace else. Plus, what’s the worst they could do to me? Kick me out of school? I walk into the cafeteria from the side door of the building. This door is on the opposite side of the student union, a place I try to avoid at all costs. I can’t stand this school and I can’t stand the students that go here even more. Most of them are so pretentious it makes me sick. Half the time I get trapped in some stupid conversation with one of them, and all I want to do is scream, “Look the fuck around.” They all like to live in some fantasy world that they are learning or attending some place that is giving them a higher education and we are not. I get nauseous thinking of the conversations I could get trapped into, but it is probably only the food.  The cafeteria is nearly empty, there must still be classes going on. I walk up to the cooler and pretend to get a drink, but really I just slip one of the energy drinks on the lower shelf into my jacket pocket. No idea what I grabbed but it is that simple, and free and simple is the name of the game. Today’s menu is beef stroganoff prepared by the master chefs the school hires. The smell from the food is close to that of a bowel movement. I never get the prepared meal so I decided on a cheeseburger that I am pretty sure is made of ten percent rubber. This is more of an impulse buy than a decision after the glorified lunch lady asks me if I was going to get anything or just sit there staring at the food. Don’t get me wrong I like being high but it has its negative effects too, such as time and how much of it is not perceived by my mind. After dropping three dollars and fifty cents on a cheese burger even the shittiest fast food place wouldn’t sell, I head back outside and walk to the Art and Science building to eat. Once inside I pound the energy drink down as fast as I can, hoping that the shit tasting cocktail and the drugs will keep me awake long enough to get through the next class. If I decide to even go to that one. My eyes feel like anvils as I eat the only food I will probably have today. A nasty side effect of the drugs is that I don’t eat and in the last couple of months I have lost over twenty pounds. I have always been a little bit heavy set so losing twenty or more pounds really isn’t as drastic as it sounds. Since I can’t afford new clothes no one has really noticed either way, but for once in my life I’m starting to think that I look better than ever. Maybe I will get my own commercial on TV from all the weight I’m losing like that fat fuck did from that restaurant chain or those fat bitches from the eighties. Then again I will probably die and everyone will forget about me. Good lunch, now I’m all set for more drugs. It is best to not have a full stomach or an empty one, this rule stands more tested before bed as the odds of dying in your sleep on your own vomit increase with such activity. I randomly use nearly every bathroom on campus on any given day, I even use the women’s room in the main building once because the men’s was to full. I use the bathroom on the second floor before checking to see what my next class is. Despite my best efforts I am ten minutes late for class, but it is the first day so no one notices. I take my usual place in the back of the room. The teacher, this time a man, passes out the same piece of paper I’m pretty sure I already have detailing what we will be doing in class this semester. It takes me a minute to actually realize that I have in fact seen this paper because I have already taken this class. Maybe it will be easier the second time around, who gives a fuck. I’m starting to feel even more tired now that I know it doesn’t matter.

My drug abuse doesn’t allow me to sleep as often as I would like. My depression and my drugs have very different ideas on the topic, but when I do sleep I dream of many things. I dream that I am a woman in a minivan and I’m emptying a shopping bag onto the passenger seat so I can place it over the head of one of the crying children behind me. I scream things as I hold it there. The words don’t make sense but given the context what would it really matter any way. I dream that I am chasing a school bus in a place that I once lived. The sky is blood red and all I can hear, all I can see is the children laughing before vomiting gallons of blood out the window of the moving bus. The blood washes over me as I run with everything I have. I never reach the bus and it never stops. Wave after wave till finally I give up. I dream of her, touching her, feeling her, fucking her. I roll over after coming and fall off the bed into nothing. I can’t move as I fall and I try to reach for the bed that has long since disappeared in to the darkness. I just keep falling and falling with no end. Farther and farther, and I never stop falling, never stop feeling confused until I wake up. I dream in blood and I dream in liquids. I dream so many things that sometimes it is hard to figure out what has been a dream and what has been reality. I often wake up confused to where I am or if I am even alive anymore. I imagine myself standing in the middle of Times Square with a gun to my head screaming, begging for someone to help, but no one stops to help me. I imagine that I pull the trigger and I can feel the bullet digging into my skull in slow motion so, I can feel every bit of pain as it rips through my head and exits the other side. I snap out of my state and realize that I am now sitting in an empty class room. I wonder if I am awake or am I still dreaming. There is a note that sits in front of me. It is from my teacher, “Maybe next time you can try to make it more than ten minutes before falling asleep.”

I stop by the bathroom one more time before going outside to smoke. I decide to blow the rest of the day off and return to my tomb. I get into my car and I sit there. I can still feel the bullet hole in my head. It is twenty degrees outside, but I don’t turn on the car. I don’t do anything. I just sit there. I sit in my car until I can no longer feel my toes from the cold. I sit there and I feel nothing. I sit here and think of nothing. I take another hit and begin my trip back home.

Hope you enjoyed a view more pages of A Lie. Now available on Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay. You can enjoy thousands of books right from your smart phone, desktop, or tablet with the Kindle app. Best of all it is free.

A Little Too Real

Do you ever feeling like there is no place for you in the world or that you think you know your place, but maybe that really isn’t your place? My cousin recently graduated from the Marines. Horrible pick for employment given the current leader. The point is though that for as long as I can remember anything about him he wanted to be a solider.

From a young age, the last time I happen to even see him, he knew his place in the world. Good or bad choice aside he wanted that and he got it. I don’t have any feelings for him. No sense of lost memories. We could pass each other on the street tomorrow and I’d keep walking, but I feel so happy for him right now. I am happy he has found a place and a place he wants to be. I’m about to turn thirty and I have no place. So sense of purpose in this world. I want to be writer, but I have my doubts.

Growing up all I ever wanted to do was do something in music. Having no talent, no friends to piggy back on, and no aptitude to even learn an instrument I dove into the part I was good at. Writing lyrics became writing poems. Writing poems became telling stories. It took a long time, but that is where I am now. Trying to write stories to find my purpose. At this moment in time I have published nothing, sold nothing, and with every passing day doubt myself and any talent I might have. I don’t even know another writer. Part of the reason I wanted to be a writer is that I could do it on my own. Which is becoming less and less true as time goes on. It takes a village or so I hear, but what does it take if you don’t have one? What am I fighting for if there is no hope of winning?

I have everything I want, well need, I want a lot of shit I don’t need, but writing didn’t get me the things that I wanted. The people around me did. My mom, my wife, my daughter, and the guy who hired me at my current job provided me the opportunities to be where I am today. Lost, but still here. I hope writing pans out. I hope it is my place in this world. Not really sure I have enough time to find another and start working towards that from the ground up. Maybe I am thinking about it too much? My cousin was only a kid when he said he wanted to be a solider and technically he is three months in to his place in life. Five years from now he might not even want to be a solider. I’m fifteen years into mine and all I want to be is a writer. Well a good father, a good husband, and a good son. Sometimes it may feel like we have no place in the world, but all that means is that we aren’t done fighting yet.

Drinking Bleach Preview

Drinking Bleach is my first collection of short stories from my earlier days. It is a mixed genre book filled with short stories, poems, micro stories, and more. From the early days of Chewing On Glass to the first story I ever wrote. This book covers a lot of ground. As always available on Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay. Enjoy thousands of books right from your desktop, smart phone, or tablet with the Kindle app.

Adult language and ideas through out.

Purgatory Part 2

“You know who I want to hear from?” After a very long awkward pause the voice continues, “I would like to hear from Franklin. Would you like to share today Franklin.” “It’s Frank dipshit,” the man riddled with bullet holes stands up. “You don’t have to stand up Franklin,” Sylvia says before laughing. Frank slams his body back into the seat, “Do I have a choice?” “Of course you have a choice. Being here isn’t punishment. Being here is to help you.” Frank shifts in his seat, “Yeah okay cause it sure as hell feels like punishment. We either talk or we have to go sit out there with the rest of the freaks waiting to come back in here. Not a whole lot of options for us here. Despite her smart ass comments I’m with Sylvia on this place. This is all bullshit, but I want out of here so what do you want to hear?” “Why do you think that you are here?” the figure asks him like he just volunteered to die or that in some way this was all optional. Thanks for taking twenty plus bullets to the chest and coming here. Would you mind filling out a small survey? Would you recommend this place to a friend? I’m starting to agree with Sylvia more and more myself. “I am here because those pig fuckers shot the shit out of me.” Frank tries to grab his shirt to show the figure his bullet holes, but he can’t and he quickly gives up. “There has to be a reason they shot at you.” “Yeah cause I was trying to get a little cash for my family.” “Oh yeah that’s real rich their Frankie. That totally justifies the reason you tried to rob a bank,” the business man blurts out as he shakes his head in disbelieve. “Fuck you old man. I did what I had to do to get by.” “Well what you did was against the law that’s why they shot your ass.” “Howard please let Frank speak you can have your turn when he is done,” the figure explains. “I was simply commenting on what Frank was saying.” “The freak said shut the fuck up lard ass.” These people are insane and I try to stay calm through all of it. I want to start getting upset too, but I know that it won’t help any of this. Frank starts back up with his story, “Anyways I took a bullet or two and now I’m here paying for my sins or whatever.” “Is that what you truly believe Frank?” The figure asks him. “I said it didn’t I? So yeah that’s what I fucking believe.” Frank looks over at Sylvia, “You think the freak’s got a brain under there? Cause he is pretty stupid.” Sylvia still isn’t talking and pretends that Frank isn’t even talking. “That’s not a very nice thing to say Frank, but are you done?” “Yeah I am.” “Can I say a few things?” “Like I give a shit,” Frank crosses his arms. “You really need to stop holding in all this blame and anger towards others. Realize that you might be the cause of your own misfortunes. No one told you to rob that bank or take those people hostage Frank. You made all those decisions yourself and you need to forgive yourself before it consumes you any farther.” “I didn’t shoot anybody you fucking freak. I didn’t shoot no body and yet here the fuck I am,” Frank screams causing everyone in the room to jump a little bit. As we all watch Frank place his head in his hands I think that this all sounds rather familiar to me somehow. The figure says nothing back to Frank and Frank doesn’t lash out as he walks to the corner of the room. Another somber moment in a place that is nothing but.

Breaking the silence. “I have a question for you. What are you?” I ask the figure. The hooded figure sits motionless and I try to look under the hood. Looking for eyes, a mouth, anything that could confirm what it is. All I find is darkness. Beth places her hand on my knee, “You can’t ask it things about itself.” “Why not?” I question. “It is just the way it is sweetie,” she shrugs at me. “What do you think it is?” I ask the group. “I think it’s a freak,” Frank shouts from the corner of the room. “Yeah we know,” Sylvia shouts back as she rolls her eyes. “We think it is the grim reaper or our idea of a grim reaper,” she says to me. The hooded figure finally speaks, “Howard you had something you wanted to say earlier?” We go on as if no one had said anything at all about the figure. “Ah, yes I did. I wanted to tell the group my story.” “Oh dear God,” Sylvia blurts out before going silent once again. She stares at her gashes. She traces the outline of the cut on her left arm with her finger. “My dear Sylvia, such a pretty name, James has yet to hear my story,” Howard says before turning to face me. He locks eyes with me and I can’t help but to not look right at him for his story. I’m more interested in hearing Frank’s story and trying to figure out why it sounds so familiar to me. Respect for others forces me to put that in the back of my mind as I listen to this old man’s tale.

By the way Howard speaks to me and the rest of the group it is as if he is selling us his story. “I have always been a salesman. From the time I was a small child selling candy on the school yard playground and until the moment I found myself here. I sell that’s what I do. It is in my blood, in my DNA. Hell I even convinced my neighbor to purchases my father’s lawn mower once. Slightly used I told him. My father was so pissed. I had to give my neighbor his ten dollars back. That was a lot of money back then, but with everything there is always something to be learned. I learned right then and there that with a strong enough pitch, a kind smile, and a great deal you can sell anything. I also learned to not sell my father’s things as well,” Howard chuckles. “Howard how did you die again?” Sylvia asks and he ignores. “If this story doesn’t end with you choking on a dick. I know I’m going to be disappointed by this story.” I try to not laugh or move my face in any way. “Always be selling became my motto by the time I was out of high school. I was such a good sales man I didn’t even have to go to college. I had, had a job since I was old enough to acquire one, and with my great talent and passion I was able to move up to head of the sales team in no time. I remember the days of the sale, out there on the open road selling my amazing products from customer to customer, city to city. These were the days before personal computers, the days were a phone call was only used to catch up when a letter would not suffice. Not like today where you kids have your gadgets glued to your hands. You kids today could learn a thing or two from talking face to face the way God intended for us to talk to one another. No these were the good old days, the all or nothing days, the days when making a living meant working your ass to the bone and asking for more.” “We fucking get it old man, Jesus.” “How are you Frank? You could learn thing or two as well from my story.” “Yeah like what? Cause I’m already dead dumb ass.” “You could afford to learn a little thing called respect and about working hard. Not just sitting on your ass and taking what’s not yours.” “It wasn’t like that,” Frank walks back over to the group. “You tried to rob a bank to get money that wasn’t yours that’s how it was Frank,” Howard says to the group looking for reassurance. “Wait a second, that was you,” I say. “That was me what?” “That was you who tried to rob some bank in Atlanta?” “Yeah so what?” Frank asks. “It was all over the national news. That happened months ago or at least I think it was months ago. No one else saw the story?” they all stare at me as though I am crazy. “I meant before you all died?” “Well it was against the law that’s why it was all over the news and that’s why they shot you so many times. How many times do I have to say that before you understand?” “Shut up Howard I’m talking to the new guy. What do you mean it was all over the national news?” Frank asks me. “It was ever where or so I thought. I’m trying to remember what all happened. It happened months ago, but I remember hearing about how three or four cops were suspended and then fired for using excessive force because you didn’t even rob the bank with a real gun or something. Plus there was something about the fact that the dead hostage wasn’t your fault either.” “Who killed him then?” Howard asks. “Apparently one of the officers thought they had a shot or was trying to be a hero. Well the gun fire scared the old man and he fainted on to the floor.” “I told him to stay down, but he wouldn’t listen so I started shouting and then the noise went off.” “Right well I guess in the confusion the cops thought you shot him so they all started firing on you. Turns out the man would have been fine, but they shot him and injured three others firing on you.” Frank stands there stunned and silent. He looks as though some revelation has come over him. “Is that all that happened?” Sylvia asks me. “Was I on the news too?” “I don’t remember,” I tell her. “After that band killed themselves and everything that followed the news stopped reporting on suicides. They even stopped reporting on suicide bombers in the Middle East. Anything to try and stop people from killing themselves.” “That fucking band. That band fucking sucked anyways,” Sylvia crosses her arms and leans back into her chair. “What about my family?” Frank asks me. “What happened to my family?” “The last I heard they were suing the city along with the other families, but beyond that I can’t remember anything,” I tell him. “Frank how does that news make you feel?” The figure asks. “I feel. I feel better. For the first time since I have died. I finally feel better about everything. It might have been worth it. I knew what I did was wrong but I didn’t even have a weapon. I took a toy gun that I painted black. I figured worst case I’d get some jail time. I never thought that I would die. It was a mistake. It was all a mistake.” Frank turn to me, “Thank you James. Thank you so very much.” “You’re welcome Frank. I mean I didn’t do anything,” I say shyly. All I did was repeat the news on TV. Frank begins to weep and cover his tearless face with his hands. “Frank,” the figure says in a light voice unlike its self. Frank looks up from his hands and his face is covered with small streams of tears. “You may leave now Frank. Exit the room and continue down the hall. At the end of the hall there is one last door. It will look like a wall with a handle. Once you touch the handle you will know what to do.” Frank wipes the tears from his face as we all sit and stare. Everyone is very confused as to what is happening. Frank turns to me once again, “Thank you James.” The bullet holes, the blood, the wounds disappear as Frank stands up and walks to the door. The room is silent as he exits, but the second he is gone the whole room erupts with noise. All the noise is a collection of different questions with all the same intentions. What else do you know? Everyone is out of their chairs and standing in front of me demanding answers. “I don’t know, I don’t know,” is all I repeat. “Enough questions everyone,” the figure says in its usual tone. “James is not the reason behind Frank’s ascension to the next level. James doesn’t hold the secret clues or answers to why you have died or are still here. Each and every one of you hold those keys. That is enough for today. Next time we will start with Howard again,” the figure gestures to the open door. “What? Why? Let’s just power through this. I mean we made real progress today.” “Can’t we stay for a little bit longer?” “Yeah we want to stay.” “I’m sorry but we are done for today.” “This is bullshit.” “Give it a rest will you Sylvia,” Beth says as she stands up. No one waits for the figure to get to the door this time. Again I am the last to leave the room. “I’m sorry if I offended you earlier by ask you what you are,” I tell the figure. “It is alright James. You have questions that want answers. Demand them even, but maybe it is you who need to wonder what you are?” Confused I exit the room. The door slamming behind me.

Sylvia is waiting for me in the hallway. “That was some trippy shit wasn’t it?” She asks me. “Yeah I guess. This whole place is trippy if you ask me. How long have you been here?” “No idea, it’s hard to tell time in a place with no windows or concept of it. When did that band die?” “Sometime last year,” I say to her. “So I have been here almost a year.” “And this is the first time you’ve seen some one pass over?” I ask. “Yeah, it was. But I mean I’ve heard of other people passing over or going away from other groups. So personally this was my first. I guess this place isn’t a bunch of bull shit after all.” “What do you think happens after we pass over?” “Fuck if I know. I didn’t even think that this was going to happen.” “Yeah me either,” I say staring at the floor. “Cheer up will you. You are about to be pretty fucking popular here after what just happened. Word gets around,” she smiles at me. “How? No one even talks around here.” “Are you kidding me? Some people don’t ever shut the fuck up.” “Yeah okay,” I huff as we make it back to the waiting area. “Where do you normally sit?” Sylvia asks me. I point to the far right corner. “Yeah we all got to start somewhere. That’s the newbies corner so course they are going to not talk. Those people are scared. Not far from that we have Freaksville. That’s where the messed up one go after they have been here awhile. If you aren’t messed up than you don’t belong there so don’t bother going. Then you have general pockets of people that haven’t been here that long. See over here and over there,” she points. “Why are you telling me all of this?” I ask. “Why the hell not? Lastly that side of the room is mostly filled with the people that have been here the longest. They are not the nicest of people. Real assholes if you ask me,” she walks me over to where she usually sits. “If this is Purgatory than where are the children?” I ask. “No idea. Take a seat.” I take a seat next to her as I look around the room. Already there are a lot of eyes looking in our directions. Sylvia gives off a little laugh and a fake smile, “See just like I told you.” “You weren’t kidding.” “Nope, you are going to be very popular. Too bad you don’t have anything to show for it. Might here some good stories though.” “Who’s that guy sitting over there with all the tattoos?” I ask her. “The one who’s staring you down like you’re a piece of meat at an all you can eat dinner?” “Umm, yeah that guy.” “That’s Layne Ambrose. Stay away from him if you can. That man’s got some real serious issues. He’s already been kicked out of several groups. I heard he even tried to bite someone in the one of the groups.” “We can do that?” “Bite some one? No we can’t do that James were not vampires. Though that would make this strangely worth it all. The most we can do is touch, but it’s pointless because we can’t feel it. We can’t do much of anything in this hell hole.” “Tell me about it. What about those two girls over there?” I ask. “What about them?” “What’s their story?” “How am I supposed to know?” She punches me in the arm, “You got a crush?” My arm stings a little, “No.” “You didn’t have a lot of friends when you were alive did you?” “No, not really,” I say awkwardly. “Yeah, that’s because you ask too many damn questions.”

 

Something Different

Slowly

Carrying the weight of our souls
Backpacking through living hell
I wish for more
But all I get is the same
Cavernous, carnivores
We eat our young
Shit out the old
A machine made of razor blade teeth
The cycle won’t end
For fear that all will be lost
For fear of death
For fear of something different
We think that we know everything
We know nothing beyond despise
The fact we can breathe
Is a miracle in isn’t self
Embrace this, embrace it all
See where it takes us after all
Slowly declining such a sad existence
Slowly
Slowly

Nine Dollars a Day

Against all odds
Raised up against the bets
Pulled it off
But lost it all
If you think you know
You learn to find
You know nothing at all
The importance of thought
A grain of sand
In a giant tidal wave of shit
You drown in it
You struggle threw it
But in the end
You only learn to live with it

A Place Called Home

Slowly killing myself
Slowly killing you
I take you down with me
To a deep dark hole
I’ve come to call my soul
After everything we’ve done
After everything I’ve said
There’s not much left to love
A fear I have come to commend
Slowly killing myself
Slowly killing you
I take you within me
To have and to hold
Forever of old
To a place called home