A Child’s Sensabilty

Time for another turn of The Ungame… this weeks question…

 

What Do You Like To Do In Your Spare Time?

 

Things over the last few years have changed as far as spare time for me… Somethings I have always done or been into… the change happened when I no longer saw writing as a hobby or spare time activity… but rather something I wanted to do with my life… up until then though writing is a lot of what I did in my spare time… well it still is… though I don’t see that as spare time anymore… I see writing more as my other job… an issue that may come up in another post… so what do I do with my spare time?…

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Comics… I read a lot of comics… which is to say that I try to… the stack gets taller and taller every month… single issues… graphic novels… they’re all stacked up on my desk… some of the comics that I make sure to read every month are Kill or Be Killed… Evolution… Malefic… Port of Earth… a wide range of comics… I’m not really big into DC and Marvel as much… Batman White Knight has been really good… I’m/ was really into Gwenpool and Spider Gwen… but the one series was canceled and the other is on its last few issues… I am pretty much done with Marvel and DC at this point… the movies are a whole separate thing for me… but as far as comics go… there are just too many things I don’t like about them than I like about them anymore… I’m not sure if that is mostly about getting older or an actual criticism of comics… as a writer, there are always going to be things I think I could have done better… But to me, the last few years of comics from the big two have been mostly pointless… 

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Legos… I used to spend more time playing with Legos… but now I just dabble with them from time to time… this lack of Lego building though is because of money and my daughter… before she was born and even in the first few years, I had them all to myself… now that she has gotten older… well Lego time is mostly me building things for her to destroy… then there is the overall cost… I can mentally justify the cost of the Legos… but not when I’m not really building like I was… 

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Movies and TV shows… I used to watch an ungodly amount of films… I’ve dialed back a lot as I’ve gotten older… in college, I worked at a video store… yeah they used to have those… and my wife worked in a movie theater… I would say that was the peak of my movie watching time… there were a few years there where I saw just about every movie to come out… I used to watch so many movies that I could guess the title and year of the movie by just seeing the first thirty seconds of the film… based on film grade… opening song… and if an actor or actresses name came up?… it was a done deal… yeah I was really bad… now I mostly watch Stand Up Comedy on Netflix… Have you seen the new Tig Notaro special?… I’m also a fan of Bill Burr… Chris Rock… Louis C.K. (the jokes, not the man)… Marc Maron… Ali Wong… and D.L. Hughley… I watch a lot of stand up… 

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And the final thing that I like to do in my spare time is Art… in fact I haven’t been writing that much lately because I have been focusing more on art… Which is why I feel pretty rusty right now… and I am in a super hurry to get things done… for that, I apologize… trying to get all the post done for next week in a day and I am running on zero ideas… need to be more responsible with my spare time… or so it seems… 

 

Getting to Know You Better…

Welcome to week three of The Ungame… This week’s question is throwing back to fun… as opposed to last week’s more serious question… 

 

This week’s question… What Talent Do You Wish You Had?

 

I’m pretty sure Ward and Lemons could guess this answer because we all joke about it all the time…I wish I had any talent for music… I’d play a fucking oboe if I could… I’ve loved music… ever since I was young… long tirade about my love for music can be found here every Sunday… (Lemonade and Glass)… the point is before I started writing… well that’s a lie… I actually started writing first… but I was writing mostly lyrics to songs in my head… by that I mean through my headphones because that is the problem… I don’t hear music in my head… I can play one good beat on the drums.. but honestly, I think we all have a beat that runs through us… it is just that some of us have more than one… that’s me… one beat pony… that wants to be the unicorn with a taped on horn… 

I started by trying to learn the bass… because no parent wants drums in their house… even me… haha… eventually at fifteen I convinced my mother to let me get a drum set… I played… and played… that same god damn beat until even I couldn’t take it…  I would try other beats… but somehow, I just kept playing the same god damn beat over and over again… I’m really good at that beat… around this time I was really into Nine Inch Nails… I like that they used a lot of samples… this appealed to me because I could never find anyone that wanted to make the music I wanted too… even this I couldn’t pull off…

In a lot of ways… I folded a lot of my musical aspirations into writing… Drinking Bleach… is from this whole concept album I had about a band… The Last Great Band… is based on the band I wanted to create… this offensive, genre mashing,  goth, punk, death metal band, and whatever… all of that fell through… turns out you can’t have a band without music… I was always more about the image… the idea… creating the characters in the band… see where I am going with this… took me a long ass time to see that it wasn’t the music I had a talent at… it was everything else… so that’s where I am now… wishing I was a drummer in the last great band… and digging out words buried in my head… 

 

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Can’t wait to hear about your repressed talent… don’t forget to drop a comment… I know it is much easier to just talk to the screen like I do… see you on Friday… for more words I’ve found lying around… 

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It’s A Funny Story… Even If It Isn’t…

Trying something new… Imagine that… I haven’t written anything new outside of poetry and the new story I am working on… Sadly that isn’t for the website… Redoing my next book… well kind of… I had this whole theme I was running through the whole book… I didn’t like it… not the story, but the theme… or the idea… shit happens… so I am overhauling a few things… and none of this matters… 

Recently I have decided that I’m really into boardgame boards… it is for an art project that I have locked in my head… so I went to my local Goodwill… and picked up any that I found interesting… one of them happened to be the Match Game… or so I thought… what I actually got was some came from the 70’s called The Ungame… yeah I had never heard of it either… more about the history of the game here… well the point of the game is to start a conversation or get you talking… the concept is just lame enough that I am in love with it… so at least once a week… I will be posting a question from the game… there are a fuck ton of questions… I will give my answer and then it is your turn… yeah… we are going to play a little game… 

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This Week’s Question

What activity do you engage in that involves all of you: your mind, your body, and your soul?

(Softball question I know… It’s the first week…) The most obvious answer for me is writing… I put everything into this… my books… and my projects… so I’m not going to waste your time telling you something you could have guessed…So I am going to have to go with the thing that takes more of me than writing… My daughter… 

Mind… my daughter tests me every day with her three million questions about the same thing… or when she says… “I show you… I show you”… when she wants me to hear her sing… as I am trying to put out a grill fire… life be damned… stop and look at me… or when I have to hear Twinkle Twinkle Litte Star one more damn time… when all I want to do is listen to my favorite song… 

Body… whether she is digging her tiny little feet into me like I don’t exist… or swinging her arms at me like a crazed mad woman when she doesn’t want to leave the park… making me look like a kidnapper or awful person… or screaming into my ear to the point that it rings… because why not… “You’re so funny”… No, I’m so deaf now… 

Soul… because I would give her mine without a second thought… even if it was to add only one more second to hers.. she is one wild crazy ass child… but every moment with her is worth whatever it cost… I don’t think the meaning of life is to create life… but I do believe that she has become my purpose in this world…

 

Can’t wait to hear your answer to the question… Even if it is writing… what are you working on?… Until it is my turn again… check out my wares at AmazonThreadless… 

 

5 Words I Like and One I Hate… Faggot

Vicarious, kaleidoscope, duality, but, and nihilism. Well, that was easy and now for the one, I don’t.

No one can remember the very first time they hear a word. I thought I did and I was wrong. This was intended to be a one part story, but it quickly turned into a two-part story. One I will have to tell in reverse.  As I was saying no one knows the first time they hear a word, but they can remember when the first time a word impacted them. Faggot is one of those words. The first time I heard it. The first time I felt its impact. I was walking home from school.

I was in the 6th grade so maybe all of twelve or possibly going on thirteen. There I was minding my own business walking home on the side of the road. At the time I lived in this tiny town in Illinois. A farming town not far from St Louis. This has nothing to do with anything. I’m just setting the location of the incident. Don’t be fooled ignorance can be found anywhere on this planet. Walking through the grass on the side of the road when a car of teenagers drove by. One of the assholes screams faggot at the top of their lungs.

The sound of his voice was enough to lock this memory in my brain for a lifetime. At the time I didn’t even know what the word meant. What he meant by it. But I didn’t need to. The word itself was enough for me to know it meant something awful. So vulgar in its delivery. Slammed into my face as though it had anything to do with who I was or what I was doing. I didn’t need to know that it had anything to do with being gay. I didn’t need to know that word’s meaning to know that I never wanted to use it.

Being young, being scared, being confused by this strange and awful word I began to cry. I ran the rest of the way home with tears down my face. My mom recognized something was wrong as soon as I entered the house. She went into to full-on mother mode. “What happened? Are you okay? Who do I need to kill?” It took a moment for me to get it out.  I didn’t want to say it let alone hear it again.

“Some kids in a car called me faggot.”
“Well, are you?”
“No.”
“Then it doesn’t matter. Words don’t have meaning unless you give them one. So some assholes called you a faggot. They are assholes. You gave them the power to let them hurt you. All they were trying to do was hurt you and you let them. People are going to say horrible things. They might even say them about me. Doesn’t matter unless you let it matter.”
I stopped crying.

That’s the thing about words. They don’t really mean anything. Placeholders for a feeling, a thought to cut like a knife. But no one said you had to let them cut you. I carry that message with me every time someone tries to stab me with their vulgar, easy exit words. I hear their bullshit attempts to piss me off and I laugh. I’m the biggest faggot on planet earth. What else you got?

Part 2

Words have a way of haunting you even when you think that they don’t. I said and I thought the first time I heard the word faggot was when those kids drove by. Maybe that was the first time I thought it impacted me as a person, but during the writing, I realized it wasn’t. I thought about just forgetting the whole thing. Thought about pushing it back down like I had for most of my life, but why should I?

Digging deep into the back of my mind. The first time that the word took something away from me was when I was a child. No idea what age I was. I could ask my mom, but we don’t talk about that time of our lives. It was during the reign of my mom’s second husband. The dark times of my life. The times I try to forget, but the memories always come back up. Stories for another time possibly.

As a child, I was really into gymnastics. No idea why, but I was. Maybe I saw it on the Olympics or something. My mom signed me up for classes and away I went. Every Thursday I got to learn something new for my new passion in life. Until one Thursday my mom couldn’t drop me off for my class. So my stepfather had to. Had to take some precious time out of his busy schedule of being an asshole to drop me off. Looking back after all the shit he put us through it doesn’t surprise me what he said when he picked me up and an hour later. “Did the little faggot enjoy his gymnastic class?”

I cried. He hit me like he always did. “Toughen up.” I don’t remember much after that. I know that I didn’t go to any more classes. I know that my mom always wondered why I lost interest in it and I’m sure I wondered, just like I do today, why I didn’t say anything.

 

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If you see something… say something… If something is happening… say something… I know the hardest thing we can do in this world is ask for help… I’ve lived through it myself… My mom got it the worst… I don’t blame her for what happened during that period.. but I do wish she had asked sooner… No one deserves to be abused verbally or physically… it is not normal and it is not okay…

Get Help 

Too Big To Fit With The Rest

This was supposed to be with the very first post for Lemonade and Glass… Then it grew too large to shove in there… so I was going to cut it down… Then the shooting happened and well that didn’t pan out… two months too late…

 

Cruci-fiction In Space by Marilyn Manson (Glass)

Holywood was a pretty amazing album as a whole… just about any song on there is one of my favorite… I chose this particular track because of the haunting and spacey music… I also think that this track blends the overall concept of the three album concept that Manson was working on… I think Manson takes on a lot of shit for his image and music… I had the benefit of not being subjected or shown a lot of what Mason was doing until after the fact… Told Manson was the most god-awful thing… the devil… made it something I had to check out when I was finally able to get my hands on it… It became for me a forbidden secret that I was a Manson fan… Which in retrospect was pretty fucking hilarious considering my parents had no problem with me listening to Cradle of Filth… who literally have a whole concept album about Lucifer… nor did they have a problem with me watching violent horror films… or playing violent video games… What can I say the late nineties and early 00’s… music was the evil of the day…

Manson I think was something else… and what that was, was exactly what he wanted to be… Manson tricked America into giving him power… If you really look at what he did… he didn’t do anything… that was what was so crazy about Manson to me… tearing up a bible?.. Any rational Christians should be smart enough to know that the message of Christ is in your heart not in a book… I mean if you want something to be angry about… Who prints and sells the bible for a profit?.. Then there was the media and political lead crucifixion of Manson over Columbine… Again America put him up on the cross… Not the actions that took place that day… still having issues with gun control… school violence… bullying… in America today…

If you actually listen to or know of the concept of his three biggest albums… It tells the story of a rock star transcending to the point of something more… an Anti-Christ Christ figure… Told in reverse no less… The concept to me was the most interesting thing about Manson… his whole narrative of how America creates celebrity… creates a monster… was fascinating… to not only listen to but to watch play out….

Since I have attempted to write this post yet another school shooting has taken place… Yet again the media is to blame… Not the actions of the shooter, but the media that drove him to do it… It’s been over a week since the latest tragedy and I have yet to hear anything from the shooter… One interview where he is like I did this because of this or I was influenced to do this because… However, We have had a rather interesting escape goat worth of responses as to why this all happened…

We have all this blame on mental illness… We have a problem with mental illness in America and maybe the world I’m not sure, but mental illness is a very vague term… again we want to go on the defense against something rather than the issue itself… guns were the problem here yet again… mental illness may have played a part and probably did… but having a mental illness doesn’t mean you are going to shot up a school… in fact, all it means is that you have a mental illness… guns shouldn’t be available to anyone with or without a mental illness… Check out Falling Down… a movie about a normal man pushed to the edge of his mental limits… a movie about a man who can’t take any more… completely normal yesterday… lost his damn mind the next… how do we stop him?…

How do we use these new proposals to end gun violence against someone who hasn’t been broken yet?… It is not as though you check the guns out and return them when you are done…  again we let children die and again we will fail to act… Really hope John Wick 3 is bloody enough to justify the next school shooting or we might just have to start getting rid of teenagers because we sure as shit aren’t going to get rid of guns..(Lemons here… yep… I will be crossing my fingers for gun control from down under… )

a lifetime for it to make no sense… we bleed the martyrs dry and wait for the next one… we say we care but have we ever?… 

Felling Sorry For Myself Once Again

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I’m a collector of many things. Things I like, things I don’t need. Legos, toys, pens, pencils, notebooks, trash, books, thoughts, words, and the list goes on. I don’t do anything with this shit. Stare at it as it mocks me. Stare at it as it reminds me of why I have to what it is I have to do. Remind myself when there is time. There is never any time. I can’t sit still long enough to make time. A million things going on at once and not a damn thing done.

A process I’ve cultivated for no reason at all.  My hands can barely get out the words. Broken and hurting from all the work.  A thousand cases in three days wasn’t enough. A thousand reasons to not give a shit flooding into my mind. What am I here for? Why do I waste my time? I’m here to serve and I do it just fine.

Two days off and all I can think about is work. It doesn’t think about me. So why can’t I stop? None of it matters. Every day I step into this place. None of it matters. If I just said fuck it. They’d hire someone else and move on. Maybe it is time I do the same? Never wanted anything they are offering. The money sure we all need some form of it. Health insurance? I’m there so much the only thing kill me is them or myself.

Could be worse. Could have to hunt and kill my own food. Make my own clothes. Build my own shelter. Invent my own vices. It could be worse. I could have to learn how to live.

For those of you paying attention… I didn’t get to my post 5 Words I like and One That I Hate this month… I have a draft, but it is shit… I was going to post the draft… Release it from my mind… But the story I want to tell is a story I want to tell… So next month… give it some more time… Ran out of time this month… Work is dragging me under once again… hints the post today… If I can’t give you the post I wanted… at least I can give you the excuse… It seems as of late that I am full of them… 

Stuck In Time, A Distant Past

“You said you’d love me forever.”
“No, what I said was I once gave a damn.”
“You lie as though you believe it to be true.”
“Truth has a funny way of appearing to be a lie.”
“Then we shall see in the end who is telling the truth or telling a lie.”
Blood spurts from her neck, a fountain of life erupting for the first and only time. “In the end, we shall see,” she says with a grin.

“Blood in, blood out we are nothing more than the thoughts and ideas we choose to believe. Some days I think yeah I am more than this. I am more than a few ideas I stole from those around me, but I would be wrong. Human nature is nothing more than a copy. A copy of the animals, the nature around us evolved to their current point. We all evolve our traits, our ideas, and our very existence. A thousand years ago we were different, but yet we can look into the eyes of our past selves and see the similarities.” She stands there staring at me from the other side of the hot shelve. A metal slab bathed in red light and her face staring back at me from the other side.

“What the hell are you going on about now?” She asks her blonde hair perfectly held in place. “Is this another one of your epic speeches you build up in your head?” Her head is replaced with her pushed up breasts. Already large enough pushed up to look even larger. A secondary benefit to this job. “You know what it doesn’t matter its dinner rush and my table needs those fries.” I stare at the exposed flesh of her chest, “No one ever wants to hear what I say,” I say into her chest. Her face returns, “What?” I turn to the timer behind me. I glimpse the chaos that surrounds me on all sides. Transcending, drenched in thought I watch the timer count down one second at a time, “At least another minute.” The timer slowly ticks away as each thought crosses my mind. The world is full of useless people like us with useless jobs and careers. Most of us could easily be replaced by machines, but then what would we all do? Sit around and think about nothing? If we are to believe we are all the same. Then we have to realize that each of us is always thinking about something. Something so profound it could change the world as we know it. Tech so powerful that. “The fries man, the fucking fries,” another cook shouts. The timer beeps flashing zero over and over in a distinct annoying pattern. “Today asshole,” her voice cuts through all the noise.

My hand pulls the fries from the oil and I turn the timer off. Reaching for the bowl all of this becomes apparent. All of this becomes useless not only in my mind as I pour the fries into the bowl, but in my heart. What am I doing here? I shake the sea salt over the bowl tossing the fries as I do. Why is it that I do these things? I grab the small square plate and place a handful of fires onto it. Am I destined for something more? I pass off the fires to her, “About fucking time. Get your head in the game asshole.” She disappears as I place the rest of the fries under the red glow. Like vultures to a carcass more breast appear into view and hands pick at the bowl until there is nothing left.

There was once a girl that stood on the other side of that counter. Another face in the crowd of many. I remember her shape, but not her face. She asked me for ketchup. Over and over. Too busy I shouted without looking into her eyes. A mouse of a person. She wasn’t meant to work in a place full of predators. A place built on selfish, demanding assholes. She was too sweet to understand she didn’t belong. These thoughts fired off in my brain. My actions replaying, my words floating in the air. All she wanted was ketchup. Nothing more. It wasn’t for her. It wasn’t a large request and yet I couldn’t possibly stop for a second. The world is on fire in my mind. She’s nothing more than another flame. The thought haunts me at times. My actions as I see her shape walk away. I knew I was wrong. I knew better and yet I did nothing until it was over. I placed the tiny cup of ketchup in the window. Waiting for her return. Three days later she was dead. Three days later she wasn’t there anymore. Three days later everyone got ketchup as I tried to hold back the pain, the tears, and the regret of something so small.

My actions didn’t condemn her. A moment in our short time together. I never even learned her name. I’m sure she knew mine. Prince of the demanding assholes. Loudest of them all. I know she knew me, but I didn’t bother to know her. They say there is a God, but every turn I take I have yet to see such evidence. Searching for a reason that justifies taking the life of a twenty-year-old girl I’ve stopped searching. She didn’t do anything. She wasn’t part of any mysterious way. A victim of the uninsured. Too quiet to demand I give her the ketchup and too polite to seek treatment she couldn’t afford. Had she spoken up, had she said something, had she known, had so many things had happened I wonder what she would be doing today.