Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So I'd love to write you a letter telling you I love you if I actually did. It's been years, hasn't it? Can you believe it?! I'd love to go back on a snowy night and hold your hand. That's exactly what I want to do. Did you always smoke cigarettes? I didn't, do you remember? How I'd love to quit now. You were never angry with me. I wish you had smashed your hand through the glass. I wish we had gotten angier with one another.

The Last Year of Life

Day 6. Office. 11:00AM
I wonder how it will come. Will I know? I don't know. Will I feel something trying to end? Will I go away and hide like a cat does? Sometimes I chew the grounds in my coffee into a thick paste and spit them all over the toilet seat in the bathroom.

The Last Year of Life

Day 5. Living room. 3:17PM
Fake it through church for who? and then I make myself two eggs scrambled with Old Bay worked into the guts. Slop it all up with some toast, cut the ends off for fear of encroaching mold. Then football. Yelling at the 47 inch panel* in front of me, a man trying with all of his might to stop a man trying with all of his might to go. I think about when I was 19 and wheeled a gargantuan television set into our living room. I think about how it was for free because all the tubes were busted and everything shown in complete red tint. Soaked in it. The red allll around us.
There is me. I am in my living room.

*The Z47LC6DF is a 47" Class LCD 1080p HDTV which features a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, 178º viewing angle and 3 HDMI™ V.1.3 connections and is the flagship model for 2008.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Far Too Well For Far Too Long (Or the Obligations of American Holidays)

Far Too Well For Far Too Long

(Or the Obligations of American Holidays)

Story by Christopher S. Bell

Lyrics by Emmett and Mary

“Screaming All the sound.
The dogs are barking loud
We drink until we find something to say
The broadcast fireworks display from another town
We can hear their singing with frowns on their faces
Inside a big city shoe
Lightening to rue the day

The newspaper promised a finale
Another shallow rally
Of Corruptible minds
Marching in lines

The broadcast fireworks display from another town
Amongst all the lights and sounds I checked my side to see if you were around

Sparklers flying like white light against the blackest sky
Calming reminding our minds
That we don’t want to die to today
We don’t want to fly into the light
We don’t want to close our eyes so tight

She misses the few
What is it we do
At the end with no one at our side?

The broadcast fireworks display from another town
She checks the skies to see if he’s around
Nobody’s around.”
– Broadcast Fireworks Display

Naomi Gordon awoke late on the Fourth of July, instantly regretting that she had even bothered to set her alarm in the first place. On the previous evening, the act alone had sent her through a less than stellar period of reevaluation as she pondered what exactly having a schedule for the holiday meant. The call from her mother, Charlotte, had come at the worst of possible times, Naomi having just injected herself with a dose of lower grade heroine, her dealer Dalton Applebee losing various out-of-state sources weekly, and yet still continuing to make new friends on his trips away from the cruel spin of East Heights, Vermont.
Charlotte was simply phoning Naomi to remind her that their traditional backyard barbecue was starting at two that year instead of one as it had in the past. She then started to ask her twenty-seven-year-old daughter various questions about the summer’s pull and how Naomi was handling not only three-months off from work at Easton Middle School, but also living alone as well. She didn’t know how to respond to such a routine maternal interrogation as her knees convulsed on the blue coffee stained couch, the euphoria from the smack feeling less than satisfactory, despite the fact that it continually helped her to numb the pain.
Her boyfriend of the previous nine years, Henry Vaughn, had died in the middle of May from an overdose, and yet the inevitable question of whether or not Naomi was still okay, and furthermore how she was holding up, didn’t usually make her feel so cold inside. Possibly it was the tone in her mother’s voice; the two having not seen each other since the middle of June, after an expected fight in the middle of lunch at Morris’ Bar and Grill ensued over various mundane details and mistakes from the past, Henry still being the main topic of their conversation. Naomi smiled at the thought of such familiar discourse, her dead boyfriend most likely content over the fact that he was still getting under Charlotte’s skin, even if it was from beyond the grave.
In fact, more often than not, Naomi Gordon thought about Henry Vaughn’s reactions to all the tiny and insignificant occurrence that had managed to come together in the six weeks since his passing. Although she was still mourning in her own way, (the most prominent solution being a quick phone call to Dalton followed by a knock on his door after school finally let out) the eighth grade English teacher often found herself filling in the blanks as if Henry was still around, not necessarily watching over her, but instead still engagingly making her heart skip beats and chills grow up from under her skin like flourishing house plants. He was a permanent resident of their medium-sized apartment on 1134 Mable Drive, and if nothing else Naomi was more or less completely okay with the fantasies; their materialization usually going hand in hand with the amount of heroin she would slowly release into her bloodstream.
As the morning began, Naomi thought about what their conversation would be like not only over the alarm sounding at 11:30 sharp, but also for the entire day, the Gordon’s Independence Day picnic being the kind of occasion that would usually branched off in two completely different directions. Either her and Henry would make light of the somewhat stuffy situation, various extended family members searching for lives to vicariously live through, or they would simply make an appearance before finding a familiar hiding place somewhere in the vastness of East Heights. Once there, they would wait for the sparkle off in the distance, their eyes bloodshot and enlarged, but nevertheless content to be seeing the world with such illuminated vision.
Naomi wasn’t even sure if she would stick around for her father’s illegal fireworks display that year, the thought of walking down the street for East Height’s Country Club over-priced show, being even more of a distant concept. She was simply going to return to the fold in order for her mother to exhale, and then hopefully dodge all the remaining bodies and faces seeking approval from a little girl they once knew. Naomi was beyond sick of their sympathies and furthermore all the available words and expressions that claimed to understand, but in truth had no idea how she was feeling at any moment, each subsequent day that passed without Henry becoming all the more unbearable.
She instantly popped a vicodin after eating breakfast in front of the television set, less than amused with the scheduled programs available for the day’s refrain. Multiple movie marathons were like her prescriptions except not nearly as effective. The commercial breaks always made Naomi think about the times when her and Henry would have the majority of the available advertisements memorized to the point where they could very easily predict what was coming next, like a drinking game with mixed results. He would soak himself in false pride after winning, to which she would simply roll her eyes and refrain from any kind of argument. It wasn’t her place to complain anymore.
Naomi could feel her body slowly but surely shutting down, as she stood naked under the showerhead, only a tiny smile surfacing on her face as the medication kicked in. It didn’t feel like her fix from the previous night, a thought that made her instantly want to stop by Dalton’s house at the far end of Ash Road before dropping by her parents’ humble abode. Rational sides of her subconscious then began to speak loudly at odd intervals, yelling at the woman while still softly reassuring her that no matter what her current condition was, she would be able to handle family traditions.
However, the fact that such an Independence Day was going to be her first in a long time without Henry at her side was striking the worst of possible chords with Naomi Gordon, despite the ritualistic smile on her face from the numbness. The twenty-seven-year-old pulled the orange and yellow sundress out of her closet, spinning it around on the hangar as she thought about what others’ opinions would be on such an outfit. She had worn it three years previously to the same event with a barrage of complimentary results, and yet Naomi wasn’t in the least bit sure if she was ready to take a step into the past, despite how vital it seemed. They would all expect for her to be a wreck, and yet in that dress, she knew it would be much easier to fake it.
She then took her time to pick and choose the intricacies of her own reflection, before quickly returning to the kitchen and beginning the covered-dish process. Naomi had been volunteered to make chocolate chip cookies, a task that was already viciously pounding on her buzz, despite the fact that she had purchased a tube of cookie dough the previous evening; the idea of making sweets from scratch being the farthest from her mind. She plainly pre-heated the oven before shoving the cookie sheet in and returning to the living room couch.
Naomi then rolled a thin joint with the remains of Henry’s stash, his plants from the previous eight odd years having been harvested completely. She didn’t bother to keep them around for the next season, but instead regrettably passed the tall green remains down to her former student, Lee Fisher, as her boyfriend had specified in one of the multiple letters found in his top desk drawer. Naomi had read through all of them in the previous six weeks, solemnly checking his spelling errors while wondering why she hadn’t ever seen him writing down such intricacies before. It almost made her wonder if she ever knew Henry at all, a thought that continued to pound down on her brain as the room filled with white smoke and she settled in for further recreational desensitization.
The bottom of the cookies burned, Naomi hazily convincing herself that such a happening wouldn’t necessarily effect the rest of her day as she scooped them into a clear Tupperware container. If nothing else, she knew far too well that all of her family expected the twenty-seven-year-old to fuck up at such a minimal task, which only further proved her initial point. She was in absolutely no condition to return to such a vicious and loosely judgmental cycle.
Yet Naomi still managed to promptly lock her apartment door before driving through the opposite end of East Heights and parking behind a line of freshly washed cars stretching down Brush Road. She then quickly grabbed the tray of charred cookies and headed into the madness with a less than optimistic smile caked on her face. It didn’t last long, her soul instantly sinking upon returning to the front door of her childhood home, and wandering if she should knock, despite the fact that mostly every available guest was bullshitting in the backyard.
Naomi then saw such familiar discourse as an opportunity to sneak in unnoticed and hopefully level out in the last available safe haven she had within the artificially framed walls. She took a nervous breath, peaking into the reliably empty kitchen for a split second as she dropped the required container of desserts on the counter next to the others before quickly rushing up to her bedroom. Naomi attempted not to look at the photographs of her and Henry’s phony smiles at senior prom as well as other heightened moments that seemed blown a bit out of proportion in the previous month and a half, their relevance completely insignificant before his overdose.
Her effort to put it all out of mind failed miserably, the slightly dusty bedroom full of even more mementos making Naomi Gordon comfortably docile as she fell back on her bed. The fact that such a space hadn’t yet been turned into a guestroom for various out-of-town family members was a blessing and a curse at the same time. She could still see the eighteen-year-old Henry, stoned and stumbling over his own two feet as he sneaked in through her bedroom window. The image had aged well, making her dwell in the reminiscent qualities of the past without much hesitation. It was impossible to avoid flashes from similar warm days when she knew that such young and inexperienced playfulness wouldn’t ever resurface in the same way again.
Naomi felt even worse about such a fact upon hearing her seventeen-year-old brother, DJ, in the neighboring bedroom, going through similar motions with his girlfriend of five months, Paige Hughes. She had known the girl well enough from eighth grade English and yet an inevitable separation had occurred between Naomi and her brother upon finding out that Henry had also been DJ’s number one source for narcotics the past year. The funk that the majority of the Easton High School body went through following her boyfriend’s death made the woman wonder about his legacy in a way that she never thought possible.
Henry Vaughn had had a delicately mysterious hand in the majority of the young and corrupted minds left clean without answers that previous May; his words that managed to stick, not necessarily as true as he had predicted. The upstanding sons and daughters of East Heights hadn’t quite found another available well to tap into, the Garden of Eden having been shipped across town to Lee Fisher’s bedroom closet, a list of available clientele quickly cut in half. Henry’s successor had inherited the ability to pick and choose, and if nothing else, it made Naomi feel nervously warm and fuzzy inside. A dry spell that was a direct result of his death: it just sounded divine in the back of her head.
Not much time passed with dire bedroom contemplation, the sounds of related and seemingly frustrated teenage sexuality eventually making Naomi spring up from her imprinted disposition in the mattress and head back down the stairs. Her mother was the first face she saw, questions of the cookies’ quality the first to come forth before she dramatically hugged her daughter and then without much thought sent her into the backyard to be slowly but surely torn apart by the wolves. Her jaw eventually ached from all the fake grins as Naomi finally weeded her way through the spoiled big-breasted cousins with newborns and suggestively defunct uncles, fixing herself a sectioned-off styrofoam plate of lukewarm food and settling down at the far end of the splintered green picnic table.
She then began to chew lightly, while one perpetually tense and overly simplistic thought filled her brain, unrelentlessly making the atmosphere and mood of such a sunny day turn to absolute blackness. Naomi Gordon needed a fix and there was only one place where such slurred bliss was available. She hesitantly pulled out her cellphone, calling Dalton as she pictured her balanced checkbook, the amount of withdrawals in the previous six week seeming beyond overwhelming, even for somebody who routinely had their summers off. He soon answered in a groggy voice, Naomi putting her hand over her mouth and the receiver so as to better muffle the words. Few were paying attention anyway.
Dalton was then coming up with excuses of his own, the Applebee family also having scheduled their own fair share of crackling festivities at Crown Lake that evening. The idea of the drive instantly made Naomi wonder if was she was obsessed enough with such resolved dependency to craft falsities out of thin air in order to forward the process. Then came the creeping whirl of Henry’s death playing over and over again in her head, all the scenes from her finding him on the living room floor, to his best friend Leonard Kenny’s incessant repetition at the ceremony making such a decision all the more justified. She would meet Dalton on the outskirts of the lake at seven o’clock sharp, the new schedule fitting both their diminished family routines to the proper degree.
The hours then passed unbearably slow for Naomi Gordon as she dodged various questions from late arrivals and uncomfortable subject matter with not only her mother and father, but DJ as well. He and Paige were looking for any available head-leveler, hoping that his older sister may be holding, despite her often roundabout turns toward or away from responsibility. She didn’t validate her brother inquisition with a response, but instead quickly returned to her maroon Ford and drove away from a location that could no longer sustain her skinny form. Suspending disbelief on other people’s lives was a necessary evil in such a small town.

Naomi sparked another joint upon merging onto the highway, traffic at an all time low by that point in the day. She thought about children running through their backyard sprinklers with sparklers in their hands as they forgot to think about the future. The now was understandably easier to stomach; such manufactured images continuing to surface as the sun took its slow descent off in the distance. Crown Lake reflected every drunk and smiling misanthrope as Naomi parked in the specified lot. She then impatiently stood on the tips of her toes, looking for Dalton’s rusty dodge and then finding her available means to an end, sitting without a shirt on behind the wheel. Naomi cringed as she opened the door and sat down, passenger’s side, trying her best not to see herself from the inside out.
“That was fast.” Dalton said, lighting a cigarette without much thought.
“Yeah, well it’s that kind of day.” Naomi said, anxiously. “Now where is it?”
“Ya know, I’m starting to worry about you.” He said with a devilish smirk before pulling the promised baggie out from his Hawaiian swim-trunks pocket.
“No you’re not. You would need a soul to worry about me, and I would need one to listen.” Naomi snatched the bag out of his hand before throwing him the crisp bills and hopping out of the car. She then strutted gracefully back towards her car, Dalton starting his own engine up and slowly creeping over in front of her, before rolling his window down.
“This isn’t like the other stuff. It’s better, and I know it, so just be cool, okay?”
“What do you care?” Naomi asked, turning back as she slowly moved her blonde hair out from her eyes, the baggie keeping other various trinkets company at the bottom of her small black purse.
“I don’t want you to end up like Henry.” He exhaled a soft cloud of white smoke before ashing his cigarette on the side of the car.
“You didn’t even know him.”
“I knew him longer than you did.”
“Well then why so little regret?” Her hand was firmly stationed on the car door, moments away from jerking the sticky hinge toward her.
“It’s still a business, Naomi.”
“Yeah, and this is just another quick and easy conversation between dealer and client, okay?”
Her eyes glared into the depths of Dalton’s for longer than both expected, before she crawled back into her uncomfortable driver’s side seat and he simply sped off, back toward the festivities. Naomi didn’t think much about the encounter, their words meaningless and more random than anything else. She simply wanted to return to the dead apartment, and hopefully sink into one of the blue couch cushions, waking up the next morning with a similar need for such roundabout phrases of faulty concern between acquaintances, both her and Dalton knowing that they shouldn’t be depending so much on each other.
However, upon her return to the tacky walls lined with full-size theatrical posters, (the only seemingly vital piece of art being a canvas paining from another one of her dead lovers) Naomi Gordon decided that possibly the imprinted couch wasn’t the best location for such an experience. Furthermore, as her troubled thoughts began to slowly curb; the various medications and buzzes wearing off, the eighth grade English teacher decided that it wouldn’t be so much of an absurdity if she perhaps planned ahead for the rest of her life. Naomi set the necessities back down on the coffee table, rushing down the hallway to the still animated bedroom, and pulling the one-piece orange and yellow sundress off over her head.
She then quickly wheeled the thick black suitcase out from the back of her and Henry’s shared closet, his designated outfits still dangling from multi-colored plastic hangars planted in the far right corner. Naomi unzipped and opened the husky vacationing device, first rolling her sweat-soaked dress up into a ball and shoving it into the corner, before tugging other ragged items of clothing from their hangars and shoving them into the available space. Soon Henry’s clothes were tossed into the mix, the twenty-seven-year-old refraining from any kind of discrimination or sorting system, but rather simply cramming every loose thread into whatever space remained.
Following such scattered madness, Naomi took a moment to catch her breath, while pressing the majority of her weight down on the bag, and strategically moving all the protruding pieces of cloth away from the zipper-line. Her eyes then fixated on the clear orange prescription of vicodin that sat on his dresser next to the alarm clock. She didn’t hesitate, but instead rapidly popped the white top off, letting several white pills fall into her right hand, others to the floor like snowflakes and dust bunnies.
Naomi Gordon then began to swallow the capsules, one by one, feeling multiple lumps in her throat, and not bothering to count their number. She instead darted to the bathroom, flicking the switch on as the light flashed overhead before permanently illuminating the grimy white walls. An understated sense of joy then washed over her as she cupped her hands and drank several sips of tap water, rubbing her neck and waiting for the first stage of her rebirth to seamlessly take place.
Naomi soon returned to her living room, each one of her steps feeling heavy as her eyes focused back in on the purchased baggy, all her available tools having been Henry’s at one time; their years together all of a sudden feeling likes a passing fad. She took an elongated sigh, sitting herself back down on the couch, moments away from another familiar round of preparation, and yet Naomi Gordon didn’t bother to smoothly suck up the clear liquid that night, and furthermore inject it into her black and blue veins; inevitable interruptions occurring as previously scheduled on front pages of the press.
The first crackle of light made her tense up, followed by all the others off in the distance, seen hazily out her second floor window. Naomi could feel her entire body slowly succumbing not only to the medication, but also to the exhausted kaleidoscope of unbalanced images that were beautifully burned into the back of her retinas up until that point. She wanted to get closer to the colorful lights that weren’t relenting, although the time elapsed between each vague sound striking her ear drums was coming farther and farther apart.
Nevertheless, Naomi Gordon found the strength to pull her window open, hopping out onto the rusted fire escape and following the stairs up two more flights before collapsing on the blacktop of the roof. She could feel the warmth from sun against her exposed back as the lackluster spectacles continued to dance off of each other, blurring in the blackness before coming in clear as day again. It was a show somebody wanted her to see, Henry Vaughn having most likely watched the entire affair on the television set as he commented on the universal appeal of such reacting chemicals.
She still thought of him, though, as her eyes eventually shut completely. It was the previous November again. Thanksgiving break. The snow reluctant was to fall as the two landlocked lovers carelessly drove to New York City for plans that weren’t in the least bit explained to Naomi by her boyfriend, and for that very reason made them all the more perfect. She packed lightly, expecting a storm and yet beyond surprised to find that the weather was working in both their favors. They would smile like teenagers at each other as helium-filled commercialized faces slowly drifted past their hotel room window. All Naomi Gordon could think about was how incredibly light she felt, as if she was moments away from floating away with the rest of their enlarged grins. Henry was content to watch the highlights on channel seven, just so long as she was inches away.

“And it’s all just something to say
Something to do
Something to fake

And it’s all just someone to love
Someone to hate
Someone to taste

And it’s all just occupied space
The thrill of the chase
The look on her face

When she knows it’s much too late
To plan another escape
To blame it all on fate

And she keeps on saying his name
Placing the blame
Ain’t it a shame

When we find ourselves all alone
Bored with the day
Riding on planes

And I guess that the price we’ll pay
Talking on phones
Running away

And I’ve been feeling so strange
We never change
It’s all the same”
– Corruptible Minds
i'm so fucked up
and ohhhh, i love it so much.
sometimes, only sometimes.

the men they try to walk through the door but forget where to put their
once they're there.
they're there, they're still there, though.

it's enough. is it enough?

it's enough. is it enough?
it was a bad idea to say yes. he listens to shitty music. it's not endearing. his scarf hugs his neck so that he doesn't have one. this is nice to look at. he's safe in there; he likes it very much.
we walk towards the tunnel and he reaches for my hand. i let him hold it, limp and stupid. my hand is stupid and i am stupid and i will not break his heart because it is not in any place that makes sense right now.
we're empty. we're bored. spending time makes it all seem so much worse.

The Last Year of Life

Day 4. Bedroom. 7:37AM
It's Saturday but I wake up before anyway. My body has tuned itself to do this. Every day. I don't use an electronic alarm anymore. I taste for the first time of the day. I spit on the pillow next to me. Rub it in. I did call Kenny last night. He was pretty busy, but as always, he was enthusiastic about hearing from me. I hastily ended the call before I could ask for his advice, though. Imposing is the

The Last Year of Life

Day 3. Hippy Duck's. 8:58PM
A band is playing some fuzz in the back of the place. i don't know what they sound live. Couldn't care. I'm three shots of gentelman jack in and I sip on the tail end of a beer that is circling like piss in the pot. The band is loud adn there is a woman in the front threatening to expose her breasts. she is youthful but
to see that. You can believe that or not.
I called Mindy earlier to confirm her attendance and she sprung it on me that her father was in some sort of need and she couldn't come.
She said he took down a glass of milk like he used to but that he vomittted all over the spotted recliner in the corner. Degrand smelled like a soiled chicken's pen today and it took every ounce of my concentration to finish today. Every opportunity available to leave the office i took. I worked all through lunch hour to make up for time spent away from him. I wish I could call Kenny I feel as if though he could make me feel better than this band is making me feel right now.

Watch out, kids! Thanks to Parental Control, mom and dad finally have a chance to do something about that "poor excuse" for a significant other that you adore! That's right, MTV is giving parents the chance to give the boot to the "losers" their sons and daughters date! But will the suitors these parents pick really be a better fit? And, if they are, will their kids actually admit it?

On each episode of Parental Control, one set of parents sends their pride and joy on two handpicked blind dates. Their hope? That one of the dates will catch their offspring's eye, thus leading them to dump their current companion. The twist? Mom and dad will be watching every minute of each date while sitting side by side with their child's current partner. Yup, they'll all be on the couch like one big, uncomfortable family!

Once the blind dates are over, the son or daughter must make a choice between "mom's pick," "dad's pick" and their current boyfriend/girlfriend. Will all this Parental Control spark a new love interest or cause these kids to run right back into Mr./Ms. Wrong's arms?

What parent hasn't been disappointed with their kid's potentially crappy choice in a "soul mate"? And what kid hasn't rolled their eyes and stormed off when their parents tell them that their true love is not "the one"? Yes, we've all been there and that's exactly why you won't want to miss this dating show with a twist!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 4, 2008
I kicked my leg up when I kissed him in bed. I was on top. I laughed over what I had done and spit came out. He let me wipe it off. My most comfortable second kiss.

Light shines through windows
Apples fall on empty streets
No one catches them

There are very many things. On Saturday, I painted my nails yellow.

Groups of men look like clouds.

An old woman touched me back in the same way when I put my hands on her shoulders. To answer my own question from days ago...this is what's magical.

Melted peanut butter on my palm looked like a miniature nipple, or the end of Erica's childhood toothbrush.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2008
I killed a fly and wore a nightgown to bed.

Brady Connel's Big Night Out

Brady Connel’s Big Night Out
By Christopher S. Bell
Nothing had been uniformly set in stone yet, despite the fact that Brady Connel was already three shades below normal at roughly eight P.M. on Friday October 17th, 2008. He felt that it wouldn’t be the most difficult of procedures to simply blame his recent heavy head and less than coherent thought process on his roommate of the past two years, Chip Varner, considering that such displacement usually managed to make Brady feel all warm and fuzzy inside depending on the situation. That night as well as the afternoon before it hadn’t started much different from any of the others. The still undeclared junior at Clearview University, returned to their small drafty apartment on Solomon Road, settling in for whatever the next ten to twelve hours of his life had to offer.
There had been talk circulating the previous Thursday about what exactly Brady was supposed to be doing, the most prominent of plans bearing down on him from his girlfriend of seven months, Sally Everhart. She had surprisingly managed to craft a permanent hold on the twenty-one-year-old’s constantly fluctuating persona, allowing him to settle into a more subtle idea of himself, and furthermore of the two as a slightly defunct and still highly disillusioned college couple. Brady felt close to normal when the two were together, hiding in their rented bedrooms and wondering when something else would ever manage to make nearly as much sense again.
For the most part, he had been open with her about all past and present features of his life, the most shocking of which managing to come forward at the end of April after the two mindlessly fucked each other for the first time on the white leather couch in Sally’s rectangular living room. Upon catching his breath, Brady instantly started discussing the North Shade Rehabilitation Center where he had spent his last week of summer in 2006 before college classes officially started. His medications were randomized as he blindly walked around the white-walled building, refraining from discussion with any of the other shallow participants and instead wondering why he hadn’t simply run off to New York as he had originally intended, upon fleeing Clearview University’s summer scholar’s program.
Visits were frequent from extended family members that week as both his parents attempted to figure out why their son was having so many problems all of a sudden. The arrogant misconception that they had raised a perfect fully fleshed example of an over-achieving human being struck awkward chords with both Joni and Victor Connel who had recently become lost in an overwhelming stream of mutual sexual satisfaction. Their success at raising an honor roll student who obtained full scholarship went to both of their heads, each diluted sex act that followed far from helping the situation.
Brady spilled about all his tender areas to Sally and felt no shame in continuing to do so in the months that followed. His summer spent working through the motions with her and the rest of his life while at Clearview felt like a much-needed step in the right direction. Yet as classes finally started up again, the two inevitably developing a rapport with one another, Brady began to feel the slow creep of familiarity drown his senses. Suddenly, going down on Sally before cellular biology or the two attempting to be social with others at house parties advertised through online networking services, didn’t help to sooth any of Brady’s constantly crackling nerves as the drugs had before their relationship.
Soon his prescriptions were running out again as the skinny misanthrope started spending more time with two old-reliable escapists like himself. Chip was continually jumping around to different stereotypical college girls, each one offering him a new, albeit completely recycled perspective on the inevitability of human connection. They were all passing fads with less than interesting stories to tell as far as Chip was concerned. He was simply waiting to meet a girl that could quite elegantly top his own particular brand of lowered self-esteem, her feminine wiles being fucked-up to at least an equal degree as his own less than complimentary technique in flattery.
The other dependable regular was Brett Larson, who was usually around, searching the depleted scenes of Clearview University for any strain of intelligent life. He had set his standards at an all-time following a teenage break-up with Darcey Klein, a complete and utter mystery to both Brady and Chip who would more often than not tell Brett to stop being a pussy and dwelling in the past. He rarely heeded their advice, though, instead deciding that no matter how extremely attractive the drunken short-skirt falling all over him in some random trashed living room was, the comparison to Darcey had to be made.
However, despite their abundantly obvious flaws, Brady Connel, for some strange reason or another, felt comfortable lodged between the two on his living room couch that Friday night. A large and sticky blunt was being passed back and forth amongst the three, neither one necessarily sure where their night was headed, but rather pleased that they were mindlessly participating in the proper pre-game rituals. The next turn toward cluttered and loud gatherings would be a much simpler step to take, and if nothing else, such depleted albeit highly rational college thinking was exactly what Brady needed in order find his own kind of ground again.
How exactly he was going to handle Sally was the only visible speed bump along the way, his cellphone abruptly vibrating on the messy coffee table, instantly killing Brady’s lightheaded buzz. He quickly coughed, handing the thick brown encasement to Brett and standing up from the couch; the incoming call shaking his palm as Brady grabbed the electronic device.
“Shit…” He sighed, looking at the caller ID. “How do I handle this call this when I’m so baked?”
“I don’t know why you’re avoiding Sally tonight anyway. I mean, if I had a go-to for pussy, I would definitely not be here right now.” Brett blew smoke rings out of his mouth.
“You just don’t get it.” Brady walked out of the living room, trying his best to zone out Chip and Brett’s hysterical laughter as they began to poke fun accordingly. He turned on his bedroom light, shutting the door before falling back on the creaky frame and mattress, taking one final breath before answering the phone. “Hello?”
“Hey, what’s up Brady?” Sally Everhart asked sweetly on the other line.
“Um… not too much, I suppose.” He instantly felt his nerves creeping up on him, Brady having refrained from telling Sally about his daily narcotic use since its development a month earlier. She smoked cigarettes that he constantly complained about, the two usually feeling like hypocrites with one another no matter what the instance. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing. I was seeing if you were coming over soon.”
“Oh, well I’m not sure if I’m gonna be able to tonight.”
“What do you mean?” Sally’s tone shifted quickly.
“Well just that I think Chip and Brett wanna go to the bar because it’s like this one guy they know’s birthday or something.” A lie that Brady instantly knew would only place him in a much deeper round hole.
“So why do you have to go with them?”
“I don’t. I just think I’m going to, ya know, to get a different perspective on the world. I mean, I feel like closed in when we just spend the entire weekend in either one of our bedrooms.”
“So I’m smothering you or something, is that what you’re getting at?” Sally clicked her jaw to stress her disgust with the conversation.
“No, not at all. I just need some space for a little bit, and then I’ll come over sometime later, after the dust settles or whatever. Does that make sense?”
“No Brady, it doesn’t. Why don’t I just meet you at the bar?”
“Because it’s like a guy thing tonight.”
“Are you assholes going to a strip club, is that it?”
“No, I don’t know all of the details yet. I just know that this is what my brain’s telling me I need to do right now, okay?”
“Fine, well I’ll be up, to wait for you, I guess.”
“Okay, well then I’m sure I’ll see you later. It shouldn’t be that long, I don’t think.”
“I hope not.”
Her last few words instantly made Brady feel like shit as lights flashed on his phone before dimming again. He returned to the living room, finishing up the remains of his beer and the blunt, and then without much hesitation followed Chip and Brett out the door. Their steps were then uneven as they passed various groupings of wide-eyed participants lost in their own standard-issued dreams. They were starting early and yet still finding exactly what they had intended for the entire night. There were places to get lost and frantic within the square blocks of Clearview, Illinois and yet all three couldn’t help but drift toward the familiar first.
The Tener Street Pub was a dive that offered few turns toward redemption. Located directly in-between Faber Laundromat and one of several Starbucks within in the confines of the college town, its multi-colored neon lights and smoky atmosphere appealed to a certain class of individual. There were depressed working class heroes occupying several of the black stools, their houses completely empty, no one waiting for their drunken return home. These used men and women were staples of a place that constantly sustained them and yet very rarely helped them to figure out any of the available questions that were circling in the air.
Then there were unexplainable clumps of university regulars spread out amongst the round tables. Most were students who weren’t in the mood for paying an obscene amount of cash for typically cheap beer down the street at the more hip joints. Others were professors, most of which happened to be male, some with wives, others with alimony who simply found some understated sense of satisfaction within the walls of the pub. They were finished with the idea of searching pages of dead scripture for enlightenment when pretending to occupy the space between the young and the permanent simply felt divine.
Brady focused on several individual expressions upon entering the bar, before getting conned into buying Chip a drink as his roommate strategically flirted with a plump brunette supposedly from his intermediate Spanish class. He then soon joined Brett at an open table with the drinks, deciding to simply hand the frosty mug over to a friend who was more willing to discuss life’s roundabout way, even if the conversation would eventually shift toward familiar territory. Brett would bring up Darcey, and Brady would inevitably have to counter with talk of Sally.
“Thanks man.” Brett said, upon his first sip.
“No problem. I figure Chip can fend for himself.”
“Yeah, well he’s good at it.”
“Yeah, I know.” Brett sighed before looking around the bar for any available opportunities. He then felt his heart skip a beat as his eyes instantly fixated on a face he somehow managed to lose track of within the encasing bubble of Clearview and furthermore his hometown East Heights, Vermont. “Oh man…” He said, almost as a reflex upon first glance.
“Nothing, just uh… Well I know that girl over there with those other two girls.” Brett tried not to be obvious as he pointed across the bar to Lucy Parrish, a former classmate of his at Saint Stephen’s middle school.
“Oh yeah, how do you know here?”
“We’re from the same hometown, and she used to go to shows back when I used to go to shows, and she’s fooled around with a bunch of people I know.”
“Is this going somewhere Brett?” Brady asked, instantly disappointed that he hadn’t simply gone straight to Sally’s apartment for routine intercourse and lower-level bitching sessions.
“I’m not sure. Do you think I should go over there and talk to her?”
“If you feel like it.”
“I just don’t know cause I’m not even sure if she knows who I am despite the fact that she’s made-out with tons of people I know.”
“Back in high school, though, right?”
“Yeah, exactly.”
“Well I’m gonna say there’s probably a pretty good chance that she’s even more slutty now which means your chances are even higher than you’re used to.”
“She may be celibate or something now too. I mean, you know what people are like in college, always going through different fads”
“Ya know, if this is gonna be like the whole Darcey thing where you just bitch about it for longer than necessary, I’m gonna go talk to Chip and tons of fun over there.”
“Alright, I’m gonna go talk to her.”
“Cool, have fun.”
Brady then watched as Brett nervously grabbed his complimentary beer up from the table and walked across the bar. He sat down coolly and instantly began to talk at a mile a minute, Lucy seeming to get a strange kick out of such an unnatural approach at conversation and potentially more, depending on how the night passed. Brady Connel then started looking around the bar again, less than thrilled to be occupying a space that failed to offer him any kind of answers. It was simply another spot to slowly sink into before warnings came from all ends claiming that it was time for him to settle on a clear path for the rest of his life.
However, Brady wasn’t necessarily expecting for an overly dramatic shift not only in perspective but also for the rest of his hapless college experience. He didn’t even notice her at first, their eyes off in completely different corners. A skinny and beyond beautiful woman in her early thirties wearing a thin black dress and drinking a green imported bottle of beer at a table all her own wasn’t necessarily a normal thing to see at the Tener Street Pub. Brady found himself stunned by such a sight as he tried to decipher what exactly the image meant to him.
Faded pumpkin and black cat decorations hung staggered on the wall behind her as bodies began to fill up the available chairs and tables between the two of them. He looked first, making eye contact that she seemed a bit reserved about, before soon smirking to herself, and then without much thought, beckoning the twenty-one-year-old over to her table. Brady felt his entire stomach sink at such an inclination, before grabbing his half-empty beer and gravitating towards the corner.
“Hello.” He said simply, upon sitting down.
“Hi.” She said back, taking a sip from her bottle.
“Well, I’m Brady.”
“Naomi.” A handshake and awkward silence was soon followed by laughter as both tried to speak at the same time. “Well um…”
“Yeah so I don’t know what to say. I mean, to help my nerves subside.” Brady once again felt unnaturally freakish, having instantly shifted towards the truth as he did with Sally rather than pretending to be somebody else for awhile.
“You’re really that nervous?” Naomi asked with a grin.
“Kind of. I don’t know. I don’t meet people in bars.”
“How long have you been going bars, Brady is it?”
“Yeah, um… About a month, I guess.”
“Well are first impressions of places always that quickly determined?”
“Um, yeah, I think so. I mean, especially in my case.”
“Well okay, I guess that’s fair.”
“But um, can I ask you something, and don’t think that this is a come on or anything, because it’s more like just a compliment, or ya know, the way my mind works.”
“Well go ahead…” Naomi said, as if she was talking down to one of her students.
“Why is somebody like you, and by that I mean, somebody who’s obviously far too breath-taking for a place like this, in a place like this, on a Friday night?”
“Ya know, that’s the kind of slightly complicated question I was hoping to avoid at places like this Brady.”
“So I already fucked it all up, didn’t I?”
“No, not necessarily. You’re just being too goddamn honest. I’m not sure how to handle it.”
“So you wanted some bullshit first, is that it?”
“Yeah, something like that. I mean, I think I’ve been through all the motions enough times now to know that in situations like this one, bullshit just seems to work better.”
“Yeah, but what does that say about us, or you I guess?”
“It says that I just want the kind of night that’s completely uneventful in the grand scheme of things, and by tomorrow everything will be the same again.”
“Is it ever the same again, though?” Brady asked, trying to be slightly philosophical.
“Ya see, already I know that picking you was a bad choice.”
“What do you mean, picking me?”
“Do you honestly think somebody like me would have trouble finding a drunk and confused college guy to bullshit with in a place like this?”
“I think somebody like you thinks they know what they’re doing, when really they don’t have any fucking idea.”
“Ya know, you’re right. I don’t. At least not right now anyway.”
“Well okay then.”
“So do you wanna buy me another drink?” Naomi asked, moving the bottle back and forth on the table.
“Yes, I do.”
Brady then quickly chugged the rest of his beer, before returning to an open space at the far right end of the bar and ordering two more drinks. He quickly glanced over at both Chip and Brett who had managed to converge at one table with their respective girls, going through all the motions as per usual. Brady didn’t take much time to think about what debauched location would be next on their list, but instead gracefully returned to the chair in front of Naomi and sat down for further proof that she wasn’t simply a figment of his imagination.
The junior was then at a complete loss as she began to dig deep into his life, asking a barrage of questions that Brady couldn’t necessarily come up with false responses for. He simply told her the truth as she forced more drinks down his throat, the two covering each other’s tabs. There was mostly talk of Brady’s high school girlfriend, Halle Gibson, who he still held slightly responsible for the odd and often open-ended slumps his life would continually fall into. She had come to visit him at the rehabilitation center on his second to last day there, the two mostly consumed by separate much needed silences.
Following such an encounter, which would turn out to be their last before Halle attended Bloom University in small town Colorado, Brady held onto the grudge, figuring that she had mind-fucked him to a proper degree. Naomi simply decided against offering her opinion on such a subject, while Brady concluded that mentioning his current girlfriend Sally, would have most likely been a fault in both their nights. He then uncomfortably ignored his vibrating cellphone, which he knew was from her call, while downing shots with Naomi. The two then continued to discuss matters of varying magnitude, while anxiously waiting for another corrupted face to walk into the bar. They would quickly analyze and offer their educated opinions on whomever the person was, both feeling unexplainably comfortable cutting complete strangers down to size.
As the clock soon struck eleven, time having managed to fly by, Chip and Brett walked over to Brady and Naomi’s side of the bar. They initially froze upon the sight of such a woman, before explaining that Brett’s new attempt at flattery, Lucy Parrish, knew about a party across town. Before Brady could decide against the inclination of drunken and belligerent faces with student loans piling up (figuring that someone so elaborately mysterious like Naomi wouldn’t be in the mood for said festivities) she quickly intervened. The thought of hiding amongst other complimentarily defunct individuals appealed to the thirty-one-year-old who was continuing to ignore the pounding sense of former responsibilities still on her shoulders.
There was then a line of footsteps to follow as Lucy led the way out of the bar with two of her other high-heeled friends next to her. Chip’s girl of the hour decided to stay within the smoke-filled walls, the pre-med. not phased by such a choice in the least bit. He simply latched onto another available brunette. Brady made light of such a pairing as he and Naomi took their time at the back of the line, each one filing their own fair share of complaints not only with the recycled college scene, but also every single stereotypical body they passed on their way across town. It was a parade of airbrushed looks with few distinctive qualities to discern from the next available bunch.
Within the plaster-chipped walls of the rented house that Lucy had heard rave reviews about, was mostly the same type of scene. Both Brady and Naomi felt like voluntary outcasts as they simply stole available beers from the cluttered fridge, before quickly ditching their drunken leaders and walking out into the front yard. A girl with silky blonde hair kneeled hunched over by the bushes throwing up the remains of her dinner while her best friend stood texting on a cellphone. The two were soon picking up their own separate pieces before walking through the leaves and grass to the front of the house, while Brady and Naomi simply looked each other over again with enlarged smirks.
“Well already I’m wondering why you wanted to come here.” Brady said simply as he took a sip from the bottle.
“I guess I just wanted to see if anything had changed.”
“What, you mean from when you went to college?”
“Yeah, exactly.”
“Well how long ago was that?”
“How bout I let you take a guess, Brady.”
“Okay, I’m gonna say five years.”
“It’s been nine years since I graduated.”
“Well then why are you taking a walk down nostalgia lane tonight?”
“I don’t know. I thought we weren’t gonna get into me, and ya know, all my bullshit that I don’t really think you need to hear about.”
“But I kind of want to right now, considering that I can only talk about my time spent in the ward so much.”
“Well you can keep talking about it if you want. I’ll pretend to listen.” Naomi joked.
“Forget it. Tonight’s just been a little too cosmic for me.”
“What do you mean?”
“Just that I feel like you’re from space or something.”
“Well maybe you should stop pegging me as somebody so dazzling. I mean, you don’t even know me.”
“Yeah, which is your fault.”
“Brady, did you ever stop to think that maybe I didn’t want to get to know you tonight, that maybe I’ve gotten to know enough people in my life up to this point where no matter what the case, everyone is eventually going to seem the same or not live up to my initial expectations or be like people I thought I once knew?”
“I don’t know. I mean, did you have expectations for me tonight?”
“Sort of. I was looking forward to fucking a total stranger, just to see if I still could, but I don’t think it’s gonna work out quite like that.”
Instantly Brady froze at such a statement as he tried to think of a reply, his mouth moving as muffled sounds initially came out. “But uh… Does it work like that for you?”
“Tonight it does.”
“Do you wanna get out of here?” He asked nervously.
It was then within one rushed moment and a series of looks that Brady and Naomi passively set their stolen beers down on the ground and walked back towards civilization. He held her hand tightly as they quickly sped past all the familiar molds of indulgence, back towards his and Chip’s apartment. The sticky door was then unlocked with ease as Brady led Naomi in through the messy walls and toward his bedroom, which had only been tainted by Sally’s naked form previously. Brady thought about his girlfriend who had left him a message that he hadn’t checked, and was still most likely awake at her apartment, waiting for him to show up with a movie and some marijuana.
He almost felt like a horrible person to be shutting the door behind himself and Naomi before the two hastily began to pull each other’s clothes off, and yet there was still an overwhelming sensation in Brady Connel’s gut that simply put, helped him to settle into the idea of cheating. He had more or less earned it following all the late night visits and conversations that seemed less than vital in the grand scheme of things. Brady and Sally had continually discussed the depleted condition of the human race, and yet it hadn’t struck nearly as much of a chord with him until he had gone through similar motions with Naomi that night.
Brady knew that for some reason or another, the woman he was drunkenly groping that night had lived, and yet at the same time, he wasn’t expecting to find out how much she had lived as he pulled her black dress the whole way over her head. Brady first began to kiss her breasts in-between abrupt and childish squeezes, the two having fallen back on his bed without much hesitation. He then slowly moved down to her stomach, stopping in the instant he saw a close-up look of the multiple red stretch marks still present. They looked like pregnancy marks, Brady lifting his head up and looking right at her with wide eyes.
“What are those from?”
“I thought we weren’t asking questions like that.”
“I just wanna know.”
“No, you don’t.” She said with a sigh. “Now, just kiss me please.”
He didn’t argue but instead continued to ignore his fluttery stomach as the two fell into each other, going through all the motions and then instantly feeling like shit seconds after their mutual orgasms. Naomi simply fell asleep, her head spinning from the alcohol. Brady settled in next to her, moving his hand up her body slowly, and also noticing several scars up and down her left arm before turning off the light. They appeared to be from needles and yet such questions weren’t permitted as she had set the rules from the start of their chance encounter.
Brady woke up alone the next morning, a heavy hangover and no substantial proof that Naomi had even been breathing next to him. He would get stoned with Chip before noon, eventually getting lunch at the dining hall and then calling Sally. The truth would make her feel like shit, Brady not glossing it over in any sense. She simply needed to know that he couldn’t have possibly been in love with her sinking soul considering all events of the previous night. Her tears wouldn’t hurt him, but rather simply help Brady decide that possibly college wasn’t the best of choices he could have made.
However, the junior would still regrettably schedule requirements for his next semester, deciding that leaning towards a degree in business was the most normal thing he could do. His classes would be boring for some time as thoughts of ex-girlfriends like Halle and Sally continued to pound on his brain. The Naomi situation wouldn’t come around full circle until a week before his final exam in accounting. His professor, Jude Farren, would be running through the numbers when his wife just happened to stop by unexpectedly with their one-year-old son Zack.
Then came two more glances across a space of look-alikes. The first was from Brady and that of pure astonishment as he saw Naomi, her blonde hair cut shorter, cradling her son while discussing the day’s refrain with her husband. The second was from Naomi to Brady who didn’t tense up or take a step back from the present. She instead simply breathed in before offering her one-night stand a sensible smile. He understood then and would refrain from telling anybody he knew of such truth, figuring that sometimes talk of bullshit was a much simpler path to walk in towns where every available face was glossed over. Brady Connel was right for once.

Living Alone by I. Matthew Rummell

In about 10 years, when I'm in my early thirties, I think there's going to be a huge spike in ironic nü-metal t-shirts. Yeah, sometimes we see a kid wearing a Slipknot shirt at a show nowadays, but I'm talking a real upsurge and shit. You should hit up the Salvation Army thrift store now and make a few bucks on eBay later, or whatever futuristic auction site will have taken its place.

rules, huh?

Friday, September 26, 2008

you can't get too far on rollerskates, girl.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Last Year of Life

Day 2. Bus. 8:45AM
Public transportation to and public transportation home. This morning, like many others, the bus is filled to capacity. I become self-conscious of the body odor emitting from my armpits, as my arms are raised and wrapped around the metal bar to maintain stability.
Unpleasant woman lacquered in make-up to an overweight man: Are you blind?
Man: What? No.
Unpleasant woman: Then why don't you let that lady take your seat?
The man chuckles and turns his head away from her.
Unpleasant woman: I know you have it in you. Come on, give her your seat.
Man: Mam, I'm not blind, but I am disabled.
The man lifts his pant leg up to reveal a prosthetic limb underneath.
The unpleasant woman turns away from him.

No songs were sung. No candles were extinguished.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Henry Vaughn's Big Score

Henry Vaughn’s Big Score
By Christopher S. Bell

Death by Non Art, Thou Understood
Death by Non Art, Henry Vaughn
” – Of Parades and Processions

The local radio station began to get slowly more fuzzy as Henry Vaughn reluctantly drove his mother Anna’s run-down brown Ford out of East Heights, Vermont towards the next available state. He was blindly following the directions of Dalton Applebee after the two smoked his last joint in the alley behind Henry’s house and then set off on their mission to hopefully score more tightly sealed plastic baggies for their suburban cohorts. Henry had quite a tall order already on his plate; the majority of disillusioned Easton High School students depending on his constantly evolving drug-dealing etiquette to help them numbingly get through another cold September night.
Plans had been loosely set in stone following news of Henry’s best friend Leonard Kenny’s recent good fortune. His mother and eleven-year-old sister, Leann, were spending the weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania for a routine tap dance competition. Leonard instantly thanked the gods upon hearing such news before crafting an open-ended schedule for the night’s cruel spin. He would be inviting a number of reliably fickle, albeit extremely attractive girls from his high school over for drinks and excessive drug use, hoping that the long-legged still slightly wet-behind-the-ears females wouldn’t tell any chiseled participants involved extracurricular athletics about said events.
Such wishful thinking quickly fell apart by seventh period that Friday afternoon, seniors Henry and Leonard both hearing about the proposed festivities through different sources. Leonard was walking towards the gym when fellow classmate Kurt Tipton (who was well known for throwing similar booze-fests when his parents vacated the premises despite the fact that Leonard and Henry had yet to be invited to one) asked what time he could head over to the Kenny’s small house on Sheridan Avenue. Leonard simply froze dead in his tracks wondering exactly how he was going to handle the recent boost in fake friends, before realizing that such acceptance into the out-of-town parents’ club could really only help him in achieving several of his short-term goals, the main one being getting laid before graduation in June.
Henry was on a completely different page as he hazily watched sophomore Brandy Ryan make-out with her boyfriend Curtis Buck a few lockers down in the blue and gold hallway. Soon Doran Reese was blocking the scene, asking if Henry could come through for him that night as he had in the past. The seventeen-year-old simply nodded his head and attempted to get through the remains of his day without promising too many more favors to anybody else. Such a thought proved to be beyond difficult as word spread equally as fast about Henry’s subtle East Heights’ connections.
Soon the capitalistic side of his mind began to take over as Henry collected various crumbled up bills and called Easton Class of ’92 graduate, Dalton immediately after school. Then the wait began as one had to clock out of Griffith Landscape and Lawn Service, while the other had to plead with his already exhausted mother if he could borrow the car for an evening of purely ambiguous happenings. As the pieces finally came together, Henry felt an undeniable sense that possibly everything was going to work out that particular night and yet as he crossed the border into Delaware, taking various back roads as instructed, such feelings soon subsided. He was falling out of his element with each mile clocked onto the odometer.
“I’m not getting anything.” Dalton said, fooling around with the tuner knob on the radio.
“Well keep trying. I don’t think I can deal with silence right now.” Henry replied, more on edge than he thought possible.
“I’m telling you, reception’s fucked out here. Why didn’t you bring any tapes?”
“Her deck doesn’t work. It ate my copy of Automatic for the People last time I used it.”
“Well, then I guess we’re just gonna have to deal with the static, my friend.” Dalton leaned back in the passenger’s side seat.
“Jesus Christ, this really is no man’s land.” Henry flicked the radio off and looked back up to the road.
“Yeah, I know, but what do you expect? This is where ya gotta go to get good shit.”
“Ya know, I was unaware that Dormer, Delaware was like an oasis of good shit, Dalton.”
“Well, you wouldn’t expect it, but this guy I know always comes through for me.”
“Whatever. I just wanna get all of this over with. I have a lot of other plans for tonight.”
“Ya know, high school parties aren’t exactly the most worthwhile of places to kill time, Henry.”
“You just say that because you’re time has already passed you by.”
“No, I say that, because it’s true. I mean, there’s other shit to do around town besides crashing some lucky motherfucker’s living room when the occasion presents itself.”
“Oh yeah, like what man?”
“I don’t know. There’s the woods, the Roaring Lion, other places.”
“Ya know, I’d prefer the absurdity of high school parties rather than paying some nasty-ass stripper to dance all over me.”
“Well you just don’t understand life well enough yet man.”
“And you do? You’re like three year’s older than me Dalton, and you obviously haven’t really figured too much out considering that we have to drive out of state to score some weed.”
“To score some good weed, we do.” Dalton clarified.
“Yeah, but I don’t exactly care about how good it is. I mean, I’m selling most of it off to spoiled assholes anyway. It could be the bottom of the barrel and they wouldn’t be able to the tell the difference.”
“But don’t you feel better knowing that you know the difference?”
“No, I don’t.” Henry said simply.
“Whatever, you just keep proving my points for me.”
“Well that doesn’t really say a lot considering how fucking stupid your points are Dalton.”
“Yeah, well… Make a right here.”
Henry turned onto another dirt road, putting his highbeams on so to better see the truly idiotic mess he was getting himself into. The woods began to get thicker around the car as Dalton started to hum to himself. Henry tried to think about simpler times, the only thought popping into his head being the previous summer when he had fingered Clara Petrella in the woods outside the East Heights golf course. She had called him strictly to get high and then paid off accordingly and yet every rushed sexual teenage incident that had occurred in Henry’s life up to point was missing one highly important aspect. He very rarely felt anything other than hormonal imbalances when messing around with typical high school girls. Love hadn’t stuck yet.
The turns came fewer and farther between as the two continued to head down the beaten path, Anna Vaughn’s automobile barely making it over the gradual bumps. Henry wasn’t sure how much time had passed as he constantly checked to see the remaining gas level in the tank, before another light struck his pupils from a distance. Dalton then simply pointed at the glow as Henry drove towards the dim destination, soon turning up a hill by a rusted black mailbox and parking in front of the medium-sized house. The two then quickly hopped out of the car, Henry stressing the fact that such an exchange of money and services needed to happen quickly in order for him to get back in time for the party at Leonard’s. Dalton reassuringly nodded his head again before ringing the rectangular doorbell.
“So how do you know this guy again?” Henry asked after five seconds of waiting.
“My drug dealer drove me out here one time.”
“Who was that?”
“Remember Shane Lashinsky?”
“Oh, well I guess you wouldn’t have. He graduated two years before me, and then got arrested for being drunk and high on PCP about a year ago.”
“Great story Dalton.” Henry replied dully.
“Yeah, well whatever. This guy’s more reliable.”
“He would have to be to live the whole way out here in bum-fuck nowhere.”
The front door then sung open and the man of the hour blankly starred at both of his new guests. Brian Dietrich wasn’t what Henry Vaughn expected. A tall and skinny individual in his mid-twenties with glasses and a face full of stubble, he didn’t exactly fit the mold for a typical drug dealer living out in the woods of Delaware. Furthermore as Brian’s expression quickly shifted from stoned and contemplative to joy, pulling Dalton in for a welcoming bear hug, Henry let out a much-needed sigh of relief as he thought one clean and childlike thought. Everything was going to be okay.
“So who’s your friend?” Brian asked Dalton as he pulled away from the embrace.
“This is Henry. We uh… went to high school together.” Dalton explained.
“Oh, well cool. Come on in guys, I got what ya need.”
Brian then gleefully led the way as Henry and Dalton followed him into the scatted space. Several candles on the table and counter tops illuminated the kitchen; a sink full of dishes and a tall overflowing garbage can just two of many obvious tells that Brian didn’t get out much. The walls were lined with other full black plastic bags of scum that the groundskeeper hadn’t gotten around to disposing of quite yet. The smell then filtered up from the bags and throughout the whole house, the living room sharing an equally nauseating aroma.
However, the smell wasn’t the first thing Henry or Dalton noticed upon their entrance, but rather the two fully nude blondes sitting on the bright blue couch, flipping through channels as they waited for further instructions. Both guests soon froze upon such a sight as the young girls looked at them with enlarged grins and then over at Brian who wasn’t saying a word, but rather gravitating directly towards a large black trunk sitting in the corner of the room by the sparked fireplace. He spun a cheap combination before opening the trunk and rummaging through various multi-colored shoeboxes.
“So how much did you say again?” Brian asked.
“Um, we’re not sure. We uh… were kind of hoping for a deal.” Dalton replied, Henry quickly pulling out the wad of Easton High School students’ cash from his blue jeans’ pocket and handing it to his friend.
“Well how much do you got dude?” Brian placed three boxes down on the floor in front of the trunk before letting the lid fall shut.
“Uh… let me see.” Dalton began to nervously count the bills in his hand, before opening his wallet and adding in his own contribution.
“I thought you said only one other guy was coming over.” One of the girls asked Brian, confused.
“Yeah, another guy is. These two are just here for a quick fix.” Brian explained back.
“Oh, well okay.” The girl leaned in over the rectangular coffee table, doing a thick line of cocaine with a rolled-up fifty-dollar bill before rubbing her nose accordingly. The other girl then soon followed suit; Henry Vaughn completely boggled by the situation.
“Six twenty-five.” Dalton finally said as he walked over in front of Brian, holding the pile of cash out in his right hand.
“Well shit, what exactly are you looking for my man?” Brian sat down on the floor Indian-style, opening up one of the boxes.
“I’m thinking a few cuts of whatever the best you got is, and then all the rest can be mids.”
“Alright, let me see if I can figure this out.” Brian grabbed the money and began to count it. “You two should sit down. Get comfortable.”
“Um, okay…” Dalton replied with wide eyes as he looked over at Henry.
His high school client reluctantly sighed before sitting down on the couch next to one of the blondes, Dalton instantly stealing the available recliner. The two were then completely silent, as the girls looked them over, one at a time. Dalton simply kept his head down while Henry began to stare at the various drugs and items of paraphernalia lining the coffee table. Besides the multiple lines of cocaine there were various pill containers, roaches, plastic bags of mushrooms and finally a large clear blue glass bong, dead center.
“How much longer is your other friend gonna be?” The same blonde asked, before grabbing the already packed bong from the table.
“A little while. Now shut-up, I’m trying to figure this out.” Brian kept counting the bills, while grabbing various bags full of different qualities of marijuana and placing them on a small black digital scale.
“Well I’m just getting a little antsy is all.” The girl replied, before taking a quick hit and blowing the smoke back out in rings. She then handed the bong to her mute friend.
“You’re fine.” Brian continued to check his addition before standing up from the floor holding two large plastic bags full of plants in each hand. He tossed both bags to Dalton on the couch and then grabbed the bong from the second girl. “There ya go man. I take it you can tell the difference.”
“Yeah, I think so. Thanks a lot Brian.” Dalton instantly darted up from the recliner, not taking the time to inspect the contents of the bags further until they were long gone. Henry was standing tall, a second later.
“No problem man. You can stick around for awhile if you want. I gotta a lot of shit here and not really too many other people coming over.” Brian plopped down on the couch in-between the girls to take his bong hit.
“Oh that’s alright. Thanks, but we both got other shit to take care of, so we’ll see ya around, okay?”
“Alrighty, take it easy dudes.”
Henry and Dalton were soon walking out of the living room together, not saying a single word to each other, but rather letting their individual looks speak louder than words. They were halfway through the kitchen when the front door opened again, and another mysterious figure walked in, holding a large double-barreled shotgun at his side. Neither one said anything as they simply froze dead in their tracks and the skinny man who was roughly the same age as Brian looked at them both before smiling largely.
“You two better not be going anywhere so soon.” He said in a squeaky voice.
“Okay…” Henry replied, petrified, looking over at Dalton who was at a complete loss.
The man then walked through the kitchen and into the living room, Brian doing a line of coke before standing up from the couch and turning around to greet his new guest. Henry and Dalton simply turned their bodies back as they stood completely cemented in the linoleum their separate palms starting to sweat profusely. Neither one of the naked girls said a word at first as their mouths remained open before ducking their heads down behind the couch cushions.
“Hey man, you finally made it.” Brian said before his already bloodshot eyes noticed the large shotgun at his high school friend’s side. “What the fuck Barry, I thought…”
“Just shut the fuck up. This has been a long time coming.”
He held the gun up on his shoulder, pointing the barrels directly at Brian and without hesitation pulled the trigger. The drug dealer’s body quickly fell back into the coffee table, the legs cracking before falling off completely from his weight. Separate globs of blood splattered on both naked girls who had been purchased specifically that night for Brian and Barry’s pleasure. They gasped in unison, before Barry turned back to Henry and Dalton in the kitchen and placed the already smoking barrel in his mouth. He then bit down hard on the metal, before quickly squeezing the same trigger and blowing his brains out as they were quickly caked on the walls as well as both prostitutes’ naked frames.
The house was then dead silent, as the gunshot echoed off of the walls, the four remaining people completely confused as to what exactly had happened. Neither one was in the least bit sure why Brian’s expected friend had so viciously decided to end both of their lives nor did they care. The girls grabbed their scattered skimpy and blood-soaked clothes up from the floor and were soon following Henry and Dalton out of the house towards Anna Vaughn’s car, both females having been picked up by Brian at the Dormer Mall parking lot a few hours earlier.
Henry attempted to screw his head on straight as he got behind the wheel of the car, two more passengers now occupying the back seat. All three voices then began to talk, trying their best to ground themselves in any available explanation as to why Barry had just up and shot his friend Brian and then himself. Despite how empty their heads were not one shred of an explanation was coming to mind, the noise of nervous voices beginning to swallow and consume everybody as they continued to ramble on and on without any available shifts towards clarity.
Finally as his life began to lack more and more meaning with every second Henry Vaughn quickly silenced all three passengers in a swift motion. “Everyone just shut the fuck up!” He yelled, the sound of his voice lingering in the car longer than the blasts within the house moments earlier. “Okay, so no one here knows why that happened, right?”
“No, we don’t have fucking any idea man. That’s why…”
“Okay, stop it!” Henry soon cut Dalton short again.
“What man, I was just…”
“No, you’re rambling, and you’re gonna need to fucking snap out of it, because we need to go back in there.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Dalton asked, completely appalled by such a suggestion.
“We need to get the fuck out of here.” The one blonde then butted in.
“Yes, this is not the place to be right now.” The other cried.
“Well fine, then I’ll fucking do this myself.”
Henry pulled the keys out of the ignition and quickly ran back into the house. He could instantly smell the powder from the shots having mixed in with the rotting garbage scent that was caked within the walls as each step taken toward the living room was a hair slower than the previous one. Henry thought about shutting his eyes then as he first looked down at Barry’s dead body, the entire back of his head hollowed out from the shots. Then a glance toward Brian, whose arms were sprawled, all blood from the chest wound having leaked out of his body, forming a symmetrical pattern on the light blue carpet.
Henry Vaughn took a large sigh as his nerves crept up on him before subsiding completely. He simply thought about better times that had sporadically occurred up to that point in his life as his hands quickly opened the thick black chest in the corner by the still lit fireplace. He then rummaged through the various shoeboxes, finding sealed plastic bags of drugs that were in so few words every bored suburban high school student’s wet dream. Henry refrained from sorting in any sense, but rather grabbed as many bundles of pot, mushrooms, acid tabs, pharmaceuticals, and cocaine, shoving what he could in his enlarged jeans pockets, while stuffing other supplies in four of the shoeboxes.
He then placed a box under each shoulder and grabbed the other two with his hands, before hightailing it back out of the house. His eyes remained fixated on the plaster-chipped walls, while the images of both dead bodies were light years away from leaving the foreground of his head. Henry Vaughn would later continually tell himself that such an incident needed to happen in order for him to figure the rest of his life out. Even as the years passed with variations of stoned vision, there was no denying that bearing witness to such a random and completely unexplainable murder helped much more in the process than etched pamphlets and taped television specials.
Henry was seeing the world differently, and yet even as he popped the trunk of his mother’s car and quickly stored the boxes, there was no denying that priorities for everybody had changed. Dalton sat in the backseat with his pants down at his knees, both prostitutes taking turns using their mouths in the best way they knew how. Henry wasn’t in the least bit sure how to handle such a sight at first as he returned to the driver’s side seat, but luckily his words were working on a much more rational level since having ran back into the house. Things were beginning to make sense, and there was now a trunk full of possibilities to help him level out once again.
“What the fuck man?” Henry scowled, starting the car up.
“Sorry man. They offered.” Dalton said with a smirk, his individual breathes beyond heavy.
“We can do you next.” The blonde, who wasn’t working, said.
“That’s okay.” Henry shook his head, quickly backing out of the driveway. “I think you should just knock it off.”
“Oh C’mon, uncool man. I need a way to calm the fuck back down again.” Dalton panted.
It was the last word Henry said for a long time as the girls finished and he drove as fast as he could back towards any signs of civilization. Not a single car drove past in the opposite direction towards Brian’s house, nor did any one of the four see flashing lights and hear sirens on their way toward the Dormer Mall. The girls, who said their real names were Nancy and Shelly, quickly hopped out of Anna Vaughn’s car, and into another with tinted windows parked at the far end of the empty lot. Good-byes were brief; both simply pleased to be alive, Dalton smiling largely from the complimentary blowjob as he sat back down in the passenger’s side seat.
Directions were then given out again as the lower-level drug dealer led the Easton High School senior back to their hometown, eventually coaxing Henry into splitting the haul with him. Dalton rolled multiple joints from the stash they had actually paid for, as the turns became more and more familiar along the way. Words were spoken only if either one felt that speaking was a necessity. Local radio stations came back in tune and helped subdue even more of the two hapless wanderers’ individual fears that would still loosely hang from the ceilings like streamers for sometime after that night in late September.
Dalton took bags of the harder drugs, placing them in his own trunk parked in front of his parents’ medium-sized house on Echo Avenue. He then coolly drove off in an opposite direction, the night still having plenty to offer despite the scab on his brain from Brian’s recent bad fortune. Much like Henry, he would pick away at it until the red mark eventually turned into a scar. It would then be a reminder of the way life was once, before he left East Heights for awhile searching for shades of enlightenment and free reign. Outcomes would be varied.
Henry smoked another joint alone as he drove towards Sheridan Avenue, deciding to simply park in his best friend Leonard’s driveway rather than searching for a spot somewhere on the crowded street. There was an overabundance of staggered automobiles having been parked by disillusioned high school students, mere hours earlier. They were all still inside the house, Henry focusing in on their shadows as he looked in through the living room window, before simply opening the door to drunken cheers. Deals were fast, taking place in Leonard’s bedroom as various Easton hallway regulars threw in for a blunt that Doran Reese just happened to steal from Galloway’s Corner store earlier in the day for that very reason.
Henry quickly lost count of all his profit, more crumbled up bills occupying the remaining space in his pockets. He knew that all of the leftover drugs in his mother’s trunk would stay fresh enough for the following weeks ahead, leaves systematically beginning to fall off the trees as teenagers attempted make graceful descents toward any discernable meanings in such a small town. The cash would add up before Henry Vaughn had a stoned epiphany of his own. He had seeds and enough cash for soil, water, fertilizer and most importantly lights; multiple areas of space available in the basement amongst boxes of his father’s old trinkets that were willfully left behind eleven years earlier.
The process would be slow, but nevertheless work out to Henry Vaughn’s advantage much in the same way everything had coincidentally fallen in his lap that night. He thought about such circumstance while standing on Leonard’s back porch alone, sipping from a red plastic cup of cheap keg beer and wondering if there were reasons for such unexplainable madness, or rather maybe such spinning properties occasionally collided at random, the seventeen-year-old just happening to be in the middle of everything that very night.
He stopped thinking, though, as his eyes caught sight of what would later be the deciding factor in the majority of his decision making. Her name was Naomi Gordon and she had heard from friends of friends that somebody just happened to be holding a surplus of plastic bags. The skinny seventeen-year-old blonde who was reliably lost in her own constantly depressing world centered around Easton High’s rival, Saint Marie’s Catholic School, didn’t hesitate to walk right up to the seemingly sketchy Henry and say the eight words that would inevitably change his life more so than anything else had that very evening.
“So everybody here pointed me in your direction.” Naomi said with a drunken smirk.
“Well what do you need?” Henry asked with a sigh, certain lost butterflies beginning to resurface in his stomach.
“Just something to help me forget about the fact that I’m stuck here at this specific place in this specific town right now with nothing but time to kill.”
“Well, I’ll see what I can do.” Henry replied sweetly before finishing the rest of his beer and settling into a brand new idea of himself, an outlook that felt refreshingly perfect.
“Wonderful.” Naomi leaned against the house and reached for the pack of cigarettes buried at the bottom of her small red purse.
“But before I do that, can I ask you something?” Henry reached into his pocket for his signature blue lighter
“Do you ever feel like this is a jumping off point?” Henry asked as he quickly sparked the end of Naomi’s cigarette.
“All the time.” She exhaled.
“Well okay, cool. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.”
He would pop his mother’s trunk again while thinking of more questions to ask her. She would instantly realize that such an encounter between the two wasn’t so much fate or divine intervention, but rather unavoidable in such a small town. Their separate thoughts would then converge as the seasons passed in similar outings. Henry Vaughn understood the why, that up until that point he had constantly concentrated on, and if nothing else such a fact would eventually rip him apart. There would be no other explanations made readily available, but rather simply another body to share the load, as driving back home under the influence became like riding a bike. Balance was a necessity.

The Last Year of Life

Day 1. Office. 9:35AM
By this time next year I won't exist any more. I started working here a little over three years ago, I was an up-and-comer, not a hot shot, but definitely expected to do some sort of something memorable. I was treated like royalty, they precociously catered to my every beckon, but I did not beckon much. Now, I exist in the hallways as a specter, like the rest of them. I listen to paper copiers churning, stale laughter, and phones buzzing like gnats inside of my ears. No one has mentioned that it is my birthday. I lean back in the old chair. I look outside of the small window of the office that I now share with a quite smelly Mr. Boris Degrand. I see the stately red bricks of the building across the alley. A pigeon is smashed to bits on the road below, ribs splayed like an open clam. A homeless man whom I have nicknamed Ozzie walks by, lips hanging low, staring at the road. I wish he'd turn and wave to me. I wish I could see mammoth cornstalks growing outside of the window, faintly swaying in a delicate wind.

sunshine recorder.

Certain things have scared me enough to make me feel scared right now. For example, the day of the red room. I had been crying and it all started to behave differently. I knew it had become more than what I could handle the second I started feeling it. I was there, I was moving, I was slow. Spiral staircase, carpeted. There was a red velvet throne at top. Climbing stairs up to hell was the hardest thing to do.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

this time last year

he called me a rotten cunt, threw a spoon, my cd. left in an outrage. i, of course, was crying. he went to a bar and saw some tits.


now seems like a good time to figure things out. to take things seroiusly. am i doing this for myself? what did i used to do? watch snow fall with candles on. indoors, buried:bundled:safe:still:or talking*

don't move too fast. take it easy. oh man, just take it easy. i brushed my teeth. friday 3 am something.


i'm getting stoned alone. how do i feel about this? okay. i'm trying not to give myself a hard time about things. it's so strange living here without him. i'm not ready to let go just yet. it's weird that people imagine things. i guess it's just an allowing of fear to be played out in one's life. so. it's over. not so bad. could we all just fear not being accepted in any way? some guy came over the other day and said that five chord progressions are bullshit.


this is a great corner to chill out in. this music is so abrasive. my infatuation with my roommate is not waning. i'm kind of just ignoring all the things i don't like about him. (not unusual) sometimes i think i could manipulate him into falling in love with me, but oh, it just might not be the best idea. it's yet another quiet yearning---completely fucking silent---haven't felt this simple of one in a long time.


it just started geting cold in here. i ate a banana. i'm gonna toke up again. this song. can't handle it. fuck, this looks like a dog house.
I'm sitting here in a 73 degree house with more food than i could eat in the fridge and pantry, more hot and clean running water than i could ever drink or shower with in the pipes, and more light than I could ever see with trying to find somewhere else to live. it's scary.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

feeding the hungry

1. People walk on the other side of a grid. It's my point-of-view. a.) I'm sitting on this side of the vertical and horizontal lines that make up the set of double doors, and b.) I am the only one looking.

2. If he submitted his answer early, before I even asked, does that make the answer more real?

3. Here is the grid pattern again. This time on a pastel yellow shirt. Looks like a man's shirt. That girl is not a man.

4. I can pull on any tab of skin from a finger, completely remove it, go back for more and still have enough left.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I collapsed after writing "Will this whole life be spent dreaming?"

'Aint no dreaming going on when you're hooked to an IV.
ahh, nobody is more important than the next. but some of you, i see, have found a more level and satisfying plateau. when i learned that word in elementary school, plateau, i was so fascinated and delighted with it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I miss that timidness of last year. We were barely secure enough to hold a gaze. Now, when there's silence, you need too desperately to fill it. I will tell you now only once and please remember this until/or after I die: I can trudge through any awkwardness with a smile.
Don't worry. Pump up the music. I feel so sick tonight, but you are playing, over the airwaves, the most unexpected of songs. And I wonder if you play this song for any reason, or to settle your rustling mind. Where does it even go, besides through the leaves of the trees in any forest across the world? Through days you convinced the girls you loved to go with you, where those little feathery things flew past your faces, and while you laughed as they tickled your cheeks, the girls only asked you how much longer they had to be there.
I'll wait for something I don't really understand and try not to be too upset that you are, not, in fact, in love with me.
i woke up abruptly from sleep just now and one thought popped into my head:
what if everyone actually got to know everyone?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The fire from heaven's eyes and its refuting

The “fire from heaven’s eyes” is a forecasting phrase taken from several ancient texts. Its usage is most notable in the earliest known version of what would come to be known as the Book of Lamentations (specifically Poem #4) in the Old Testament of the Hebrew Bible. In the Book of Deuteronomy in the Tanakh, the phrase is used just before the death of Moses. In addition, and peculiarly so, the phrase also has several mentions in the Arabic Qur'an, specifically in connection with Haman, the Pharaoh’s advisor who was commissioned to build a structure for man to ascend into the heavens. The phrase refers to the notion that the savior, redeemer, orchestrator, cultivator, etc. would someday visit the earth cradled in a single flame said to be launched directly from the eyes of God. The flame was said to appear to man in a specific series of twelve vast, bulbous lights. Each light would represent a different faction of the flame as an entirety***, and would appear only for a few instants (less than one second by current measurements) before being replaced by a completely new representation, a brighter and larger light. The pattern was said to repeat itself for a duration of just over twelve and one half minutes, repeating nearly 780 times in that time period. Because a physical account of the flame is not included in the texts, religious philosophers and Biblical scientists alike have long debated those actual physical properties the flame would display. The controversy starts at the base of the phrase itself, as the Hebrew word “ASh”, which is the singular Hebrew word for ‘fire’, is also understood as specifically ‘the fire of God’. A, aleph, often refers to "God," and Sh, shin, infers "bringing forth, or birth". So, the distilled definition for the word “ASh”, ‘fire,’ might be rendered, "The birth of God in us". It has been speculated that the chariot that brings the savior to us might also be the vehicle for man to obtain divinity. If the physical vehicle (the fire itself) is also the gateway to the divine, this poses some problems. Time and again the same text tells us that man is unable to obtain divinity, to see God, to become divine on this Earth. The physical limitations of our minds in mortal bondage are unable to be surpassed until existence and representation in an unearthly setting, a divine realm. If the flame itself is the birth of God in our physical selves, the appearance of the lights themselves would constitute the absolute presence of God. Transport, most likely the vacating of the mental capacities, would occur and would have to be instantaneous in nature to avoid the proposed sensory overload that would occur in the Divine presence. Man would be unable to see the lights and their increasing intensity because long before the brain could process the sensory data via the eyesight, he would be transported. Barring any intervention, a real-time realization would be impossible given the parameters of this universe. Man’s essence would immediately cease to exist in the earthly realm, thus negating the savior’s purpose for returning. Also problematic would be the actual increasing of the lights’ intensity, as it is said that the natural pressure and continuum of our planet would intensify as well due to the immense heat, and luminosity. Within the first few instants of the appearance of the first light, all of the planet’s oceans would boil, the high concentration of nitrogen in the natural atmosphere would ignite in a cataclysmic chain-reaction, the skins of all the animals, including humans, would turn in on themselves. The arrival of the savior in this divine carriage of fire would the sole cause of our Armageddon. What we can infer from all of this is simplicity. The savior will not arrive in the fire from heaven’s eyes because of the massive screaming it would produce. The savior will arrive on a whimper.

***The Twelve Lights of the Flame:
1) The Concept - Divine - Refers to the inception of being, the indefinable point at which God decided a distinct person shall exist.
2) The Construct - divine - Refers to the physical coital action of man and woman, the actual act that results in the creation of a distinct person.
3) The Connate – Divine – Refers to the indelible instincts, and tendencies common to all distinct persons at the instant of birth
4) The Consternation – divine – Refers to the period soon after birth at which the distinct person recognizes an external world, usually accompanied by the first sense of fear
5) The Confusion – divine – Refers to the early developmental period where the distinct person is freshly experiencing the external world, observing and detecting outside stimuli with limited self-interference (the subject is incapable)
6) The Convoluted – divine – Refers to natural progression of human consciousness through observation and experience, as complex thought, opinion and morality develop within the distinct person’s mind
7) The Continuum – divine – Refers to the ‘in motion’ experience of the distinct person. The immediate earthly experience as it is processed.
8) The Conflict – divine – Refers to the mundane imposed social dilemmas the distinct person is faced with during an experiencing life
9) The Consent – divine – Refers to the paradigm shift that occurs when the distinct person is confronted with imminent death and departure from the physical realm, occurs after the realization of absolute ineffectuality
10) The Conclusion – Divine – Refers to the point of worldly death for the distinct person, and the immediate cessation of the worldly experience
11) The Conviction – Divine – Refers to the event after the worldly death, in which the distinct person is made to be accountable for all pursuits, decisions and actions in the earthly realm, and a final judgment is made by God on where the subject shall spend eternity
12) The Connsumatory – Divine – Refers to the fulfillment of Divine prophecy by the distinct person, the validation of God’s original concept for the subject’s existence