Tag Archives: Depression

Sock It to ME?!

There’s no good way to schedule time for writing when you work two jobs and can’t anticipate when you’ll be calm enough to compose. However, I was able to make a transition chapter work yesterday without knowing what to do beforehand. It’s easy to get anxious about not knowing where to take the story from a specific point. That’s what happened with My City By the Bay. That book should have been published in 2013. It was not and that’s the way it is, Cronkite. I still have it on my hard drive somewhere, but I’d like to at least finish this current piece before I die.

I could find myself blaming my two jobs for my inability to sit down and write, or the fact I could go from functioning one day to exhausted the next, or that my equipment is severely second-hand (i.e. keys are starting to break, AC adapter and battery failure, etc.), or my house is ill-suited for writing. While problematic, no one could argue otherwise, I have been dealt the cards of this situation and really have no other option but to play them. Every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser. Right, Rogers?

Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I plan on typing the pages I’ve written tonight and it’s probably a decent idea to revise the previous chapters to include things I’ve left out, such as the name for the currency and the like. With that indifference, I say “sock it to me.”

More from my book:

Pooling rain makes small rivers down the path on the way back, sometimes large enough to slow down the wagon with the slurping and sucking of mud. Boards ramp up the wheels in the more difficult areas for us to move forward. At times, Molvin provides counterweight around the trees as a last ditch effort to save the load. Our relief finds its way through a round grate off the path, set in the webbing of a massive root system. Pounding three times, a voice shrieks from behind the iron.

“What is low, strong and moves all night long?” the banshee demanded.

“Your mother, Analeese, now let us in!” I stop mid-belch to clear the sour mash from my throat while wincing. The cowl of my cloak caves in and pours water all over my face. I grimace.

Analeese comes sliding outside like her ass is on fire. “Damn the gods, Jeshkin, quit being an asshole!” She rolls the lids right. Passing her, I wink with my right eye and show fillings in a wide smile. She hisses. There are times she claims her mother was raped by an anaconda and embodies the strength of the constrictor. I think she does it to intimidate people. She places the circle into its original position and pulls the arm back down onto the brackets.

Copyright © 2016 Corvidae in the Fields

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

I’ve tried to quit smoking. I really have. There have been several times I’ve torn up a mostly-full pack and thrown away the lighter. Other times I’ve woken up with pain in my ribs, vowing never to light up again. Yet, here I sit this morning after being outside with another menthol.

It’s hard, at times, to accept the root causes for me to do something so dangerous. Other times, I just don’t care. Why am I “saving” myself? After decades of bad timing or poor fits that I’ll find someone I can share this pent-up love? I’ll be wealthy enough to travel the world and not give a flip about paying the bills? I can go anywhere and feel like a friend? As society sits right now, I doubt it. I’m being trampled by other people’s ambition and their human nature.  A nature of all the vices and judgment they swear not to do, yet commit all the same. They call them “rights”.

Smoking is my seppuku. I’ve dishonored my master, America, and not bought into the aggressiveness that wins her favor. It’s a savage thought that is considered “healthy” by her. It’s a ruthlessness that she smiles upon. “Grab her! Take her! She doesn’t understand anything else!” Lady Liberty chides with rusted teeth. “You are animal! She is animal! She demands assertion!” …and so she rewards.

Reserved in nature. Virtuous in spirit. Prudence in money. Controlled in temper. These are all Holy wafers that burn upon the skull of the red, white, and blue madam. They are all treated in suspect and shied away as a Nosferatu would garlic.

I would like to remain positive. I would like to give the people of this world a false sense of hope, as movies and books do. It makes them feel less guilty, less culpable, and they can go back to their business as usual. However, I’m not sure that can happen. Bad things happen to good people.

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Dusk

A million troubles, that is all the world’s worth. Set in its revolving loop, it swirls an elliptical hurly-burly of debilitating woe. What is this human to do? The boy of a nobody and man of no means, I am careening through the bumpers and flippers of existence. There is no defense I could raise against such a foregone conclusion. My life, as it is now, is meaningless to such a hunk of space rock.  The only moving and shaking to be done is my calf as it balances itself on the lowest rung of the bar stool.

“Hey, Chris!” With my hand raised like an elementary school student, I wave the bartender down for a moment. A stern, set-faced man strides to my end of the bar and props his hands up on the bar. “What’s a drink for a man down on his luck?”

Scratching his stubble, he contemplates while watching a patrol officer yell down a soccer mom using the turn lane as a parking spot. “Probably whiskey,” he lifted his forehead in honest resolution. “That’s my drink of choice when the wife starts screaming about one thing or another.”

“All right, pour me a glass.” I’ve never been one for hard liquor, but after funeral, a fallout, and a fight with the repo man, I’m willing to try just about anything at this point.

A tumbler with oaken-brown fluid slid toward my hand. This was like the Wild West, right? An unfortunate cowboy drinking up liquid comfort. It felt comforting, warm and simple. The alcohol was still swaying from side to side, a maternal-like motion.  It burns my nose before I even drink. My next resolution is to stick with beer.

Chris laughs and wipes up the sputter all over the counter. My embarrassment adds a feather to the Mariner’s necklace. Life-in-death. That’s what this was: a walking nightmare.

With a shout, a fist fight erupts in the other corner of the bar. Two patrons are fed up with their misfortunes and take it out on each other. Profanity and alcohol are thrown in all directions before the stolid arms of order chuck them into the street like a wrapper or peel. No one would consider them otherwise.

This is too much. There is no enjoyment here from my last sound decision of the day. Crumpled presidents slide across the bar top and I head for a walk in the afternoon. Going home would be the end of me. My exercise is a testament to life and existence. I would let the Earth know I live and breathe as flesh and blood for their own eyes to discover.

Wooden feet on concrete clap out a melody for the tone deaf. People careening into disaster weave a chaos-laden path around me: road rage, pugilism, dereliction… the subjects of a raw life on public display. What good was there to be found roasting in the sweat of a cement convection?

On the stoop of a project house sits a weathered musician. Time has bleached his hair cotton white while his skin hold the marks of age as if it were keeping score. Hacking out 12-bar blues, his head blocks out the rest of the street. Barring other people’s problems, his steady strums create a reply. That was his answer to the madness around him, an old man pushing back the insanity by creating beauty. The tune lingers long enough for the sane to catch.

A new home is found for my last dollar in the guitar case of the old man, and I sit listening to the rest of his resistance. His enchantment with his craft made for little acknowledgement of my presence, but that is of no consequence. My admiration for the old man and his guitar would only describe a small portion of my attitude. He was troubled; we all are, but he avoided the destruction. Creation in misery is a pacifist protest against human nature.

As the sun makes a silhouette of his figure, I resolve to be that man and his guitar. I need to find my guitar, whatever that may be. There are too many troubles in this world for me to shoulder. I, like him, won’t admit those problems into my life. I, too, shall play ceaselessly into the impending night.

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Saturday March 8th, 2014

Today I have a couple of things to say for a change! There is reason enough to believe I should break them out into separate posts, as they’re different topics. What fortune! I think I’m more excited about that fact than I am the actual material but what happens next is still a bright spot on the grey-matter-gone-black that is my mental faculties. There may have been a spider or two that scurried away as I cracked open that cellar door.

Last night was shaping up to be a real Emo-city, cut-and-not-so-dry, window-gazer of an evening. All dressed up in suit and tie from a seminar I attended that day, I went to eat dinner out. The hurried, mechanical pace of American restaurants and a waitress too young to flirt with didn’t satisfy what I craved. Fortunately I keep a book at my side, being that dining alone is a way of life here. I thumbed the pages of The Jungle before setting out for a different venue. Ho-hum. That’s not in reference to the book, just the atmosphere.

Next stop was a swankier bar downtown. I’m not entirely sure why I went there. Maybe it’s because the women dress better? With better dress though can come attitudes, especially with the clientele being employees of a large corporate headquarters a few blocks away. Just as a side note, it doesn’t take much money to gain a sense of superiority in the Fields. A yearly salary of $70,000 could cultivate a behavior similar to that seen on “The Real Housewives of…” It’s slightly amusing, as I have been to much more wealthy locations in this country, but mostly tragic… and annoying. Most annoying was the woman so drunk she was laughing like Salacious B. Crumb and loudly.

Scratching cold starts in my journal, I could only stare out the window in efforts to find some sort of inspiration. A video comment by Ira Glass found on Jodie Llewellyn’s blog was running through my mind at the time, and I felt I needed a running start to have the spirit move me. I ended up walking out with little to show for it. The gloom of a failed evening was starting to follow me. So, I did the best I could: change cities.

Driving about 20 minutes north reveals a small college town with a better tone throughout, in my opinion. I set up camp at a sports bar near the highway just to sit and read. Those are what I’ve decided to be the staples in my life right now: reading and writing. Most of the time there was being conscious of a presence sitting next to me. Cocksure and country alpha, I could feel a pissy nature emit from the turned back of a patron. Was he jealous that I was reading, or just a jerk? Later in the evening he was joined by another and his dialog only assured me of the latter. Foul with crass etiquette (i.e. spitting), his  conversation covered a gamut of gems ranging from aggression to sour grapes.

Not quite ready to give up the ship, I stopped by a bar I usually visit for some tonic and whatever else I could squeeze out of Upton Sinclair. I don’t like the idea of being so frequent to an establishment that I either lose interest or wear out my welcome. Last night was not one to mull over that fine point. It turned out to be a great decision, as a girl broke my concentration with an inquiry of the reading material. After a well-received joke, I went back to reading as her significant other body-blocked our field of view. He was definitely jealous of our rapport, and I relished it like a villain.

Stepping outside for another broken promise, I had the pleasure of meeting two gentlemen from the local university. Both were philosophy majors with a interest in books. Naturally they opened up with my selection for the evening and we had a delightful conversation that ran almost an hour in the freezing cold. Steinbeck, Hemingway, Sinclair, Dick, Asimov, Kerouac, Bradbury, Heinlein, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald were all under the same roof. I could not have been happier even if I wasn’t a fan of some of the authors. The spectre of depression had been banished to the void for at least a night. Happily, I drove home content for a change.

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Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Coming up with topics for journal entries are a challenge I’d like to think I’ve won more often than not. On occasion, I look for help. Seeking help from other sources isn’t a shameful practice; only when people are being used does it become a problem.

My decision today was to visit a conversation starter website to simply provide a question for me to answer.  This is like an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares where he gave the cooks a handful of ingredients and asked them to make a dish. Without further ado, the question is:

“What is your favorite season?”

What is my favorite season? Do I have a favorite season? Are the seasons all that important to me? It’s sophomoric, but it’s still thinking. Thought is always appreciated over spectating. A non-thinking person is merely a vessel for rhetoric.

It just so happens I do have a favorite season. My thoughts on the matter were made known on April 6th of last year with “Winter of the Mind.” I think it’s one of my better pieces. The work is more descriptive of the mental anguish I feel while wading through the snow-bound months.

Fun fact: that flash was written in a Waffle House at 2:30 in the morning while intoxicated people gossiped about me from ten feet off. Drunk bumpkins are quaint. It reminds me of Bill Hicks screaming “well, looks like we got ahselves a readah!”

Spring is coming… someday, and I’ll be ready for it. Even the buds littering the property are given a free pass for the warmth of the wind and color of grass. No amount of lawn mowing will bring me down. I may have to do things I wouldn’t normally do, like sharpen a mower blade, but it’s nothing compared to irritation of putting in storm windows.

The upcoming season is, by far, the most pleasing of palettes: the rich greens, blues, yellows, and reds. It’s all full and succulent. Life just oozes from the tips of leaves and brings forth a supple vivacity I relish in nature. Seasonal areas around here also open up, and people come back from their Winter retreats. Life begins again in Ohio. Everything moves once more.

Everyone is different, and I understand this is a matter of personal taste. That’s to be understood. We can’t all like the same thing, and I wouldn’t want it either. To say it makes for a boring existence is trite, but I’d love for people to have their own preferences. For those Winter fanatics, I hope they enjoy the rest of it. It’s certainly driving me up a wall! 

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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

I happened to find this article from The Wire in my Facebook feed yesterday morning. The condensed version is Amtrak providing “residencies” to “writers” for “free.” As I’m lead to believe “free” is meant to be they don’t have a price tag yet, “writers” are to be determined by Amtrak, and “residencies” suggest spending a night in a sleeper car. What I gather is they’re still in the stages of determining if this will work out for them.

It all started when a New York City writer made a suggestion that found its way to the right people. Go figure. Once the test run was offered to a colleague of said writer, it made itself into print. Many involved in the writing community have expressed interest in the project for its “creative atmosphere.” I can agree. This combines two of my favorite activities: being in motion and writing stuff down on paper. I write on paper because I like to doodle, and edit, and tap my pencil on the pad and stick it behind my ears.

It made my heart ache for about two hours with flare ups each time I edited this entry.

Why would such a fun idea be so painful?

Granted it’s Amtrak, with its memories of crashes and other problems.

…but so what?

Airlines have their risks. Why the Hell does it hurt so much?

For the business conscious, it’s a matter of supply and demand. I could see the demand flying into outer space. The supply, on the other hand, would stay at a precious few. I did write my reflections on the amount of writers in this world, and how much of a mind trip it is. What would make me so special? Such things are declared to be a case-by-case basis.  I’m never good at case-by-case basis. I’ve known this since I was little.

I find myself often imagining the worst and hoping for the best even when history has given me many examples of outcome. I suppose I could work it around my job, but why even go that far? These things aren’t meant for me. The only time I get anywhere is by having a multitude concrete achievements to precede me. There isn’t anything magical about me.

Society is fickle, very fickle. Winning its favor was never my strong suit.

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Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Snow is not my enemy. I may have an aversion to the powdery, white precipitation but no real disdain. Ice, however, is my sworn nemesis as it makes the land slick with a Devilish sheen. Its only purpose is to frustrate any plans to leave the house, as my habitual affliction of cabin fever flares up like a match head. I do get lonely, and in such a frigid territory as the fields, Winter only makes it worse. The Christmas season doubly so. With my tongue-possibly-placed-in-my-cheek, there was a suggestion of a bottle of Jack Daniels and circus acrobatics on an overpass Christmas Day.

Much to my dismay, I only drive 300 feet to notice the freezing drizzle making command of my vehicle uncertain. Like a sensible person, I return to the house. I’ve heard two dispatches for emergency vehicles in the last hour. Some aren’t so sensible. Falcor skated in an unannounced Ice Capades of terror and sadness, as I creep home only being out for a mere five minutes. Tonight could have been the night I fell into a hilarious romantic comedy with the person others always say I would find. Frankly, if you know the name and the whereabouts of this woman, I demand you stop holding out on me. This isn’t the Price is Right; I’m not playing Cliffhangers again.

All wasn’t totally lost, as I kept busy with interior maintenance. Most of the day’s activities included the dismantling of the remnants of a finished basement, which had outlived its useful life several decades ago. Some basements were made for fun; mine was not. Utility basements should not be pushed into an awful career choice such as host or entertainer. It can only lead to the metaphorical unemployment line. Stand-up philosopher. Brilliant!

As for my writing, well, this is the first time in a week I’ve tried to put anything down. My blog is fancied a journal of sorts, as I peck away at something constructive, but I do want to write something a little more accessible. From my end, it’s to wonder how I relate to the rest of the world. The best I could ever deduce is to write fiction, as cliche as that sounds. What else does a single guy in the middle of a soulless land have to offer? However, ideas don’t always come to me in the vivid form I enjoy. That is to say they arrive from some ethereal plane in which I often think, “that would be fantastic!” Mood, life, and people often buffet me and consume my thoughts for days on end. That is where nothing gets done. I can definitely see why people enjoy muses.

Forget the dime, anyone spare a thought? Ha!

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End of November

The end of the month comes so quickly anymore. It was just Thanksgiving two days ago. The Christmas tree is being put up in sections. Most of the work is done, except for the bulbs. I have to stop frequently, not because of physical exhaustion, but that of mental. I want it up, for better or worse. There is a large debate on whether I should string up the bushes in the front yard. It’ll only be a matter of weeks before I take them down anyway.

Another friend is engaged as of last Tuesday. I’m happy for them both, or as much as a detached third-party can be. There’s something I’m lacking to truly feel the vicarious warmth of others sharing milestone moments. It’s hard to explain, but the emptiness suggests I wasn’t built to be warm… or aware of relationships, I suppose. There’s a part of me that says “you will feel it, when you find it.” That’s not helping.

It has been hard writing stories as of late. There has been a lot of emotional tumult and thought over the past few weeks. Sometimes, I wonder about my existence too much. From what I’ve experienced and what I’ve heard, people are way too quick to give flimsy advice when I discuss it. There is never anything quick and dirty that will help someone out of a hole. There may be an element of customization missing, and above all teamwork. Some people just need to put the money where their mouths are.

With all the rumination of my faults, I’ve come to a startling conclusion. I hesitate to write much further on it, as it gets very personal. I can also see it being too honest for polite company. You’re all polite company, correct? Sure, you are. However, I will say the revelation has had quite the helping hand in my concerns about life. I had to learn all this the hard way.

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Crime and Punishment?

October 17th, 2017

…or at least I think it’s the 17th. Maybe it is the 18th and I’ve miscounted? Oh, I’ve tried my very best to keep track of how long I’ve been in here. There are calendars available in the dining room, but there are so many different years scattered upon the table. I don’t have much of a reference point; I don’t know when this all started.

The house seemed to be permanently snow bound. I found that I could shimmy out the kitchen window with a little bit of effort. It’s not much of a victory though. I can’t go out much more than a half a mile without losing my sight of the structure. It’s simply a barren wasteland! There are no trees, no houses, nor anything else that would identify civilization within sight. I’m seemingly alone here.

For as remote as the location is, oddly enough I still get amenities. There’s running water, power, and climate control. That’s a nice creature comfort, as the cold burns me instantly the moment I venture out of the house. My refrigerator is always stocked, too. I can only assume it’s by some kind of human intervention, but no matter how hard I look, I don’t find anyone. I’ve scoured this house, too. There has been enough time for me to view the contents of this house in detail. It’s almost as if I were left here to die, but not by conventional methods. It often hurts to think about that. So, I turn my attention to this diary and the books from a bookcase in the living room.

October 30th, 2017

I found a HAM radio in the garage. How I missed it, I’ll never know. I don’t know how to operate one, but what is the harm in trying now? Maybe I could find someone on a frequency that could help me get out of here? My lips trembled at the thought of finding someone. To talk in earnest, to express gratitude, to share in conversation, to delight in the warmth only physical contact could provide all swirled in my head with speed. I couldn’t think straight! Maybe… maybe it would even be someone special? It could even be some dramatic romance I could relive with tears in my old age. The odds were against me, but it made my mind wander.

“Stop it! Stop daydreaming and work!” I told myself. I flicked on the terminal, and grabbed the receiver with force. “Hello? Is anyone there? Can anyone here me? I’m trapped in a house far from anywhere. All I can see is snow. There are no trees and no roads. I don’t know my coordinates. Please! Someone hear me!”

My response was the hiss of static. “Maybe I should try a different band?” I muttered. I moved to another frequency and repeated my distress signal again. There was little improvement. I’m not entirely sure how long I sat there in front of that radio, but it was enough to see the sun set and rise. After the last band was tried for the hundredth time, I gave up. It was all a cruel joke.

July 30th, 2018

It’s funny and sad to see snow in July. I can remember a talking head on television cracking a joke about global warming whenever there was snow in non-winter months. I can’t remember the face anymore, but can certainly remember hearing them. It’s crystal clear. It was a typical morning show with perky hosts you’d like to tag with a rock. Vacant and happy.

Speaking of voices, I thought I heard something the other day while reading a new book. New books spontaneously show up in the bookcase periodically. For the longest time, I thought the shelves were full and that I had read every last volume. On closer inspections, there never ceases to be a time when I would find one or two books I didn’t see there before. If this is from someone else stacking the shelves, I’d certainly love them to slip up and show themselves. They deserve to be punched in the face for what they’re doing.

I had out a copy of The House of the Seven Gables, and was slowing sipping some English breakfast tea when I heard it. It sounded like a whisper at first, and then became more audible as I paid attention. I heard a faint “he’s creepy,” and in reply “yeah, he’s pretty creepy.” Bolting upright, I grabbed the first thing I could lay my hands on. In this case, it was a decorative urn at the base of the bookcase. Slowly, I crept around every corner, every nook and cranny needed to be searched for the source. The living room, kitchen, dining room, garage, bathroom, and bedroom were thoroughly inspected for any sign of life other than my own. I found nothing.

In a fury, I flung the bedroom window open and screamed, “Show yourselves! You cowards! Why are you doing this to me? Why have you left me here?!” I finally collapsed to the bottom of the window in despair. The sill was cold but felt good on my hot forehead. I’m not sure how long I can go on like this. I didn’t want to die, but is there a purpose in living like this?”

Scared out of my wits at not only the audio hallucinations but the contents of such, I cautiously took my seat in the living room and picked the book back up. I was too shaken to read any further though.

December 29th, 2019

The concept of howling wind never hit home until recently. Snow whizzed at lightning speed past the windows, as it was yet another snow storm. They usually come in every two weeks or so. After sitting in front of the living room window for the longest time, the sound came to me. Most of my life it sounded like someone blowing air into my ear. That’s way too high pitched to be a howl. This time it was different and distressed me something awful. It reminded me of the family greyhound. It would howl at 5:00 each morning for its food. I can remember pulling my pillow over my ears to muffle the piercing sound of that dog. It never worked, though. I always got up and fed the loudmouth.

For the here and now, it was an appropriate memory. This place was hungry. It was hungry for me. It was waiting for me to die to share in the spoils of my death. It played with me like a cat does to a spider, and laughs at the anguish it causes. A tear rolled down my cheek at the thought of being the subject of such torment and ridicule.

May ?, 2020

Dammit! I fell asleep while the power went out. I have no idea how long I slept, as I’ve been known to stay in bed for days on end. All of my counting, now useless!

September ?, 2020

A new method of torture was introduced this morning. I awoke to the sight of a black tube pointing straight at my head. I was so startled at the sight of it; I fell out bed with a loud thump. Collecting myself, I moved in for a closer look. It was a turret camera. The noiseless half sphere stared at me with a blinking “rec” light on the side. My face went pale. “How many other cameras are there?!” I said, and without much delay, went running through the house. Sure enough, there was a camera in each room, including the bathroom, all with blinking red lights.

“You’ve got to be joking!” I yelled. “This has gone too far! Show yourselves! Now! Someone’s here, or can hear me! Stop this! You can’t do this! This is horrible! You’re horrible people!” Throwing myself on the bed I rolled up in the sheets. There’s a philosophy that tells people to live in the moment. The moment is now, but am I really living?

August ?, 20??

I could hear a tone in my sleep. It’s the high-pitched sound of silence. There’s no rest and no relief with it present. I think it’s coming from the camera. They all stare back at me expectantly, as if I need to put on a show for them. Entertain them, for chrissake! So, I put on a pair of briefs and hobbled into the garage. It has to be here, somewhere. Aha!

“You like to watch? Well, watch this!” I drew back and smacked the lens in the bathroom. The camera crumbed under the force of my framing hammer.  This energized me, and I ran into the other rooms for a repeat performance. They all had to be destroyed. The vultures! If they didn’t want anything to do with me, why were they doing this? This is torture! This is painful! If that’s all they had within their hearts, then they should genuinely leave me alone.

My satisfaction and vengeance wasn’t to last, as I woke up the next morning to brand new cameras in the same place they were before. It was all for nothing.

?, ?, 20??

Hot tears welled in my eyes. It had come to this? It wasn’t going to change for the next ten, twenty, thirty years. Not that I could tell, at least. I would end up right back here again, only with a different noose. The noose of age and ailment. Humans are such a pitiful, wretched, inexcusable species. Smart enough to see a cell under a microscope, but not smart enough to see the cell they’ve made for the likes of me. With such contempt and broken will I shouted at the rafters. “This is unjustifiable! This is the worst punishment Mankind has ever design to inflict upon humanity. It had no trial. No conviction. Yet it was carried out like a sentence! No contact. No help. No compassion. No clemency from some governor. Simply locks and bars and silence. I curse you all to your own design! I hope you wake up one day trapped in this house! I hope you all find yourself as isolated as you’ve left me! YOU ALL DESERVE NOTHING BETTER!”

Shortly before this all happened, I took the hammer and knock the drywall loose in the ceiling of the bedroom. There I flipped the rope over the exposed beam, and slowly lowered the loop on the other side. It felt so comfortable between my forefinger and thumb that I rubbed it for a few minutes. After the noose was around my neck, I put one foot on the bed and proceed to stand on the table. The air was still. The howling wind had stopped, and for one moment, everything felt peaceful. With the power of my front feet, the rocking motion sent the nightstand backward.

*******

A smooth, hot pink, Hello Kitty laptop was pried open on an economy-sized bed. The sisters of the Beta Delta Beta were gearing up for a Friday night out. Before the night’s festivities, one sister was eager to show her friend an obscure website she found on the Internet.

“This is some kind of art project. I think.” She explained. “From what I’ve seen it’s one guy, and he doesn’t seem to interact with anyone. At least, I never see anyone else in the rooms with him. It has been going on for years. Look!” A woman with the highlighted hair ran her finder down the video index off to the right. “Let’s see what he’s up to tonight.” A few muffled clicks of the laptop brought up the camera service.

Cam 1: Living room

Offline

Cam 2: Kitchen

Offline

Cam 3: Dining room

Offline

“That’s weird.” The woman with the highlights spoke as she was starting to look bad in front of her friend. “This has never happened before. They’ve never been down like this.”

“Maybe he finished the project?” Spoke a brunette.

“Maybe. There are three other cams. It won’t take long to check them out. He must be having technical difficulties today.”

Cam 4: Garage

Offline

Cam 5: Bathroom

Offline

“That’s a little creepy. Having a cam in the bathroom? You watch him in there?” Switching moods, the brunette became the critic. She was now bored with the whole idea and wanted to go out to a club. Maybe some kind of shaming technique would speed up the process.

“There’s one more cam. Just wait a minute! I want to see what’s going on.”

Cam 6: Bedroom

The video buffered and then snapped into dark hues. “It’s working! See? You need to stop being so impat… *GASP*!” Both women pulled away from the laptop as if the image would pull them in. The battered lamp on the floor still provided some light to the room. The bed had been a sufficient anchor to suspend a darkened figure in the air. As if to sense their presence the shadow slowly turned to the camera. The light was just enough to catch contours of a face and accusing hazel eyes staring directly at the lens.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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The Agony of Self Discovery

For decades, the allure of self discovery has crept into the minds of many. I’m no different. No, I’m not that self-assured pariah that thinks he’s got his finger on the pressure point of life, the universe, and everything. I’m the same way as many, many others. I’ve had quite a few moments of revelation from reflection. A bit of it was good, but most of it… honestly… is down right sad. It’s a major bummer, to put it quaintly.

If it constantly depresses me, then why in the world would I do it? Maybe I like beating myself up with introspection? Well, maybe I don’t like it, but I’ve been conditioned to perform it. Maybe I’ve been programmed to hold myself down to “know my place” in the world? God, that’s rich. Convince someone to sabotage their whole life in order to gain authority is clever, and best of all: it’s free! I’ll have to hand it to the elite, that deserves a round of applause. That’s better than Huxley.

Anyway, back to the point. I’m introspective quite a bit and, as one may guess, ran into another realization. This one isn’t so bad though, not so bad I’d lock myself in my study and play Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” until I thought he was pouring wine over my pitiful head. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the realization that I bury myself in my work because I fear any relationship would turn into a romantic Chernobyl. This would all be due to my meddling, of course. That one was rough to admit.

No, I’ve come to the realization that I’m an Anglophile. Now, most people by now know what an Anglophile is. If I didn’t, I’d fancy it being sexually attracted to the acute and obtuse. Instead of writing sonnets for lovely young maidens, I’d be reciting proofs to the isosceles’s daughter underneath her bedroom window. I’d be out in the pouring rain, holding up a Tangram to a full-figured rhombus.

OK, I’m having too much fun with that.

I love the English. There! I said it. I said for myself, because I didn’t say it before and I’m writing it down to burn it into my head. Not only am I an Anglophile, but I’m a Hibernophile and a Scotophile, too. Naturally, I’d want to know why. The mere thought that I’m a British fan boy isn’t enough of a taunt.

I didn’t have to go very far; it’s my environment. It’s the area in which I was born and raised, and not in the sense that the two are similar. They’re not. This is the Midwest, and I reserve every right to call it the “Midwest.” I’ll have none of that “Great Lakes” crap; I grew up in a cornfield.

I will say that I give people the latitude to enjoy their life, as they please. If someone adores Midwestern America, then good for them. I find it horribly stifling. What is with green bean casserole and Betty’s Salad, anyway? Pigs-in-a-blanket is not so bad, but casserole? Give me a tin miner’s pasty any day.

I’ve had people people try to scare me with horror stories of chavs and Birmingham and whatnot. My response is: IT’S BETTER THAN THE RUST BELT! Not only is this the Rust Belt, but it’s the rural part of the Rust Belt. Industrial city problems with country town salts. Some people enjoy that stuff, but I’ve had enough of truck stacks and Stars and Bars license plates. YOU’RE LIVING IN OHIO! THE SOUTH DOESN’T WANT YOU!

*Deep breath* OK, so that wasn’t so bad I suppose. It doesn’t change much, but it’s good to know why I prefer BBC America to Bravo. Maybe I’ll write some shoddy Ripper Street fanfic and find a place to order scones to make me feel better.

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