Lost

Dark

dark hallwayThis is the story of one brave (?) boy and his need to go to the bathroom.

The boy lay in the bed, sleeping soundly. His chest rose. It fell. It rose again. The rhythm of a slow pulse, in and out, the coming and going of waves on the shore. Unexpectedly, a sharp intake of air and his eyes, blurry from sleep, cracked open. He was awake, and dimly aware of  one of the most basic needs; the need to go pee.

The nightlight at the far end of his room shone a comforting light, a sunlike glow across the warm peach painted walls and the soft carpet floor.

First things first, under the bed. The boy carefully got to the side of the bed, and like Spiderman hung his head carefully over the edge of the bed. Unlike Spiderman, he realized he did not have sticky hands and began to slip, causing him to scramble for a handhold anywhere on the loose duvet, which of course he didn’t find. A short tumble later, the boy was secure of two things:

  1. No monster under the bed.
  2. He was very awake.

Carefully picking himself back up to avoid the creaky parts of the floor, the boy snuck across the floor of his room to the door bordering his land, and the land of his brother. He guided the door open slowly. The door made all the noise in the world, much his chagrin, but his little brother slept soundly… for now.

Still, the boy knew what to do. He had a lot of practice with these floorboards, the hardwood a path of solid and creaky places to walk. Imagining himself a dashing adventurer, like Indiana Jones, the boy tip toed across the floor avoiding the noisy spaces like his heroes avoided the trapped squares.

*creaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak* went the floor.

The boy stood stock still. Halfway to the door on the opposite side of the room, and he made the loudest noise he possibly could have, practically thunderous. His brother would surely wake up.

As luck would have it, the brother slept along, and the boy stood still for a whole minute listening to his brother breathe. Just to make sure. Couldn’t be too careful around sleeping people, he thought. When the coast was clear, the boy made sure to be more careful while stepping around.

After carefully navigating the rest of the room with all the agility of a heavy set sumo wrestler on tip toe, the boy finally made it to the door. This part, however, was tricky. Very tricky.

This part had the Dark.darkness-7

On the other side of this door was a long hallway, where the brother’s room was on one end and the parents on the other, both on the long wall. Next to the bedroom the boy stood in was the washroom, not more than 3 feet distance. One small step for man, but several small steps for the boy. During the day, this wasn’t a problem, but at night… the risk was great.

Down the hall, at the very end, lived the Dark. Again, no issues during the day; the Dark had to hide in the closet hidden in the wall next to the parent’s bedroom. This was fine, the boy thought, except it didn’t stay there. At night, the Dark left the closet and swallowed the end of the hall whole, creating nothing but pitch black emptiness there. The boy gently peeked around the door frame, just his eyes, to see if the coast was clear. It was not.

Even in the briefest second, the boy could tell the Dark saw him, and turned its unknowable being his way. It was aware; not only that, the boy could tell the Dark was famished, too.

The boy hadn’t seen the Dark eat anyone. He didn’t need to, because it was obvious to him what the Dark would do to you. The boy broke into a slight panic. He felt very uncomfortably hot all of a sudden, and his palms began to sweat. Unseen eyes stared at him through the walls, making his skin crawl. It was waiting for him.

With all the care he could muster, the boy pulled the door open again, edging towards the boundaries between where it was safe and where he knew it wasn’t. The moonlight from the window across him lazily illuminated the area in front of him, showing the short-but-altogether-too-long distance between him and the washroom door. Sneaking a peek leftwards again, the boy could see the Dark preparing to move. It already lapped greedily at the moonlight, like a cat licking a bowl of milk. Still, its eyes were set on the boy. and the boy knew that once he’d made his move, he’d have to be fast.

Breathing deeply, skin crawling, the boy counted to three in his head. On one, he locked eyes with the bathroom door. On two, he checked the end of the hall to make sure the Dark was staying still. On three, he made a break for it.

He dared not look back as he practically lept to the washroom, and slammed the door behind him. He wasn’t sure, but the boy thought he heard the silent whisper of shadows slashing at the door. After a few moments, the sounds stopped and the house was deathly quiet again.
With that done, it was a normal routine. A wisp of moonlight peeped into the bathroom through a tiny window high up the far wall. The light bounced around the mirrors that covered almost every surface, allowing him to see many versions of himself in a row. Behind him was another version of him, his face unchanging, and another one behind that until infinite. The boy dared not say a word; in every reflection, the dark of another world hung behind the boy like a shadowy pall. He stared down, away from the disturbing mirrors of other worlds. A quick trip to the sink to wash his hands, and then it was time to go back to bed. scary mirror

He crept to the door and opened it a crack to see the end of the hall. The Dark was still there, waiting for the boy to dare to cross its territory. Little by little, the boy could see the darkness move towards him, and the hallway got darker by the second as the light was swallowed by the nightmarish monster.

Although no one else would hear it, the boy heard the Dark make a hollow growl, a tenebrous noise that chilled his heart. The boy had to move. Now.

He threw the door open and dashed for the bedroom. The Dark pounced, its deep murky threat instantly replaced with sharp, pointed malice as the shadow devoured the moonlight in the hall. Sprinting, the boy ran as fast as he could over the creaky floor of his brother’s room. He felt the cold touch of the Dark on his ankle, a near miss. It chased him still, snarling, swallowing any light in its way.

The boy practically dove into his bed head-first, using his duvet to create a protective dome around him, drawing all the little holes closed and securing any possible weakness. Just in time too; the Dark slammed into duvet, repeatedly. In the dark of the dome, the boy was alone, surrounded, and faintly crying to himself as the assault continued for what felt like hours.

Eventually, the beating at the walls stopped. The boy lay curled in a ball, breathing in his own fear and stress. The lack of oxygen was causing him to feel dizzy, but he dared not lift the duvet. He could still feel where the Dark had touched him, his ankle numb, empty and cold from the experience. The boy would stay like this for a while before finally being forced to surface for air, and eventually start the process of falling asleep again in the glow of his nightlight.

The following morning, the boy’s father would get up and walk to the bathroom. He would look at the door, and with an exasperated sigh make a mental note to grab a can of white paint for the three gashes in the door.5jr64

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Bedridden

monster bedIt’s a shit job, to be sure. You lie down, wait, and wait some more. You sleep sometimes, and that’s a help ’cause the time goes by faster. Still, you can wait a long time before anything interesting happens; in fact, the last time I had anything to do, clocks still made a ticking noise. Now, they just murmur with a small, almost impossible hum as their circuits flare at almost impossible speeds.

When the job’s good though, it’s real good. Nothing better than a job well done. You’re lying there when, for the first time in years, something lands on top of your bed. Then you go through the steps.

First step, wait until night. Has to be nice and dark, otherwise they’ll not see you coming.

Second step, slowly check to see who’s in the bed. This time, it’s a child; 5 years old, no older. This doesn’t happen all the time. If you get someone that’s older than 11, usually it’s no good and you go back and wait some more. I mean, you could try to go to the next step but most times you’ll be wasting your energy. Still, the boy’s 5, and we’ve got a catch.

Step 3, and watch carefully now, you gently grab the kid. If they’re too old, they won’t see you; which means you can’t do anything. Monsters can only be felt if they’re seen, and can only be heard if they’re thought of. Didn’t your parents teach you anything?

So once you’ve grabbed the little thing, you just gotta… there we go, yank them underneath the bed. Our job was easy this time; the bed didn’t have bars at the foot of the bed. We didn’t have to pull the bastard through the bars; I had to do that once, was cleaning the stains off the underside of the bed for a week!

Once you got the kid here, it’s easy pickings, easy to prepare. We’ve got claws after all, and they should be sharp.

You can always sharpen them some more while you’re waiting for the next one.

Pressure

i think I’ve figured out something that has been bothering me for some time. It’s a helpful thing to know, but it’s an ultimately shallow reassurance. 

I performed a lot during my undergrad: or at least I felt I did. I played euphonium in the wind ensemble whenever I could, culminating in about 6 years of play with that group. I’ve done a lot of performance work on the side, where I’ve done game casting and personal, self published work. Most people would think that someone who has done that kind of work for about 7 years now would be good at handling pressure. 

When performing, there’s always a sense of pressure. You feel stressed: like an egg with just enough force to put you on a breaking point, but it’s the spots where you can handle it. Where you are designed to handle it, even, trained to through years of iterations and luck and work. But you do it and you emerge kn the other side either broken or reborn, never anything in between. 

I usually ended up in the reborn category. I might have played badly or messed up somehow, but I always got to the other side with very few scratches. I would like to say I didn’t feel pride in the work, only in the process; that would be a lie though. I’ve felt plenty prideful of some of the things I have done, marking them like ticking little boxes on the checklist of my life: did you finish this? Yes. Did you get laughs? Check. Did this constitute a life moment? Why not? I spent time on it so it obviously will be a success: check. 

Every moment where pressure had a foothold I’ve looked at it as a personal test; like having the red key for the red door. If I didn’t make it, well it wasn’t of much consequence, since I could double back and get the key later. 

Now that I’m in the UK, things feel different. 

There’s pressure, per usual, but the pressure is far more than having the red key for the red door. Instead, the pressure is one of sink or swim, a primordial struggle where one survives and breathes fresh air on sandy ground or one drowns, their memory only surfaced as a cautionary tale for the young so that that they don’t repeat the same mistakes you did. 

Being in the UK is a pressure unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  The egg analogy from early is the same, except that the pressure is coming from all the wrong places and I already feel like I’m cracking. I know this moment in my lifetime, and the few moments after it, will make my life more bearable or a living hell where I have to struggle and fight for every second of time I can find for myself, let one anyone else I want to keep around in my life. 

I am staring at the  curtain in my room. It’s a deep, opaque black that lets no light through. Even at night I can see the shape of it, breathing in and out as the wind passes by my open window as if it was some shade, a ghost and a harbinger of the worst to come. My stare is consumed by it as I imagine the horrible things that could happen to me this year, but most shamefully that I come back home having not succeeded at what I tried to do. This time, there’s no doubling back for that key. I swim, and start a career which lands me I a life where I have control over what I wish to do, or I sink and come home, only to owe everybody everything and have no means of paying them back. 

The pressure is on, and I can feel it.

15 Minute Short Story: A really depressing guy with too many first world problems

The day was a rainy one. Tap, tap tap, tap tap tap, went the drops on the pane, the dreary pace of the day elongating with every minute.

A man sat in his study, surrounded by books unread and papers unkempt. He sighed heavily as he looked out the window, his hand swirling a glass of red. It was a stiff vintage, dry. Unfortunately, it wasn’t strong enough to disturb his reverie.

He thought of days long gone by… on second thought, not so long as that, but the time that had passed seemed an eternity. Happy faces on pretty women and handsome men, as he wined and dined them all. Rides on boats, the wind whipping at his face as he shouted and sang for the world. The expidition in the jungle, his feet nearly giving out after a long hike, or his despair as his headlamp went out during a typhoon.

It felt like someone else’s life, he reflected, someone else altogether different. Here he was, sitting in a chair, drinking wine he didn’t even really like. Why didn’t he get out of his chair and do all those things again?

Well, that wouldn’t work for the man. As he thought of it, he remembered that the country whose jungle he once crossed is currently uncrossable, its borders closed. The boat, sold long ago due to fiscal problems. Those handsome men and pretty women he remembered all were in different corners of the world, and long ago had forgotten him or he forgot them. He didn’t think of which was worse.

He sat in his chair, swirling his unlikable wine. He sighed again. What was the point of all this sitting and sipping?

Getting out of his chair, he made his way to the door of the room and opened it, exposing a long darkened corridor. Normally, it was full of vibrant greens and earthy browns, but today, it rained. When it rained, it greyed out all colour.

Walking down the hallway, he turned into his kitchen and grabbed a chocolate bar from the fridge. He liked the chocolate cold, that way it didn’t melt in his hands. Small things like that made him happier but did nothing to repeal the general malaise in his everyday life. Pondering the significance of melted chocolate, if there was any, the man made his way back to the study.

It’s not like I haven’t tried, he thought, to think of something interesting to do. He remembered all the ideas he had before: creating a broadcasting channel, becoming a movie star, attempting to go and travel again… all had met with their end before they could begin. What of his artistic endeavours? He could draw, write, sing, play instruments… he was a talented man, but his taste outstripped his ability by at least ten-fold. Everything he made disgusted him before he could finish it, and was discarded.

To add to all of these first world problems, he had no companion. That was entirely his fault, however, and he knew that. He wasn’t sure of being ready for that level of responsibility, especially not to the people he had met thusfar. He sighed, and sank in his chair much like a bear sitting down on its cave floor.

What on earth had his life come to? Pondering stupid things, and to no end. The rain fell outside, uncaring of his desires.

The King is Dead

Today, a king has died.

I first met him when I was 10 years old. He was a tiny ball of fur, black with a white stripe down the middle along his belly. He was curious, and friendly, and got along well with his siblings. He was adorable, and my brothers and I instantly fell in love with him.

We named him Oreo. Not very original, but it suited him.

As he grew up on the family farm, it became evident that he was the smartest in the litter. He knew his name, and came when we asked. He was a crafty hunter, only matched by his somewhat psychotic sibling, Boots. He adored being around people. At some point, we decided we needed a house cat. Oreo was that cat.

He didn’t live inside the house though. We let him out as often as he liked, and so he became very social with the neighbourhood cats. I always liked to imagine he was stalking and hunting with his little pride of cats while he was away. When he came back, several of his posse would come back and wait for him while he ate.

He was such a bad ass that dogs were often afraid of him. Between him and a golden retriever puppy, he assumed dominance. He fought off angry german shepherds. That cat was strong and proud, and nothing would take him down without a fight. He was truly the king of the neighbourhood.

He wasn’t always in the city. We used to bring him to the cottage. Because he was unused to cages and didn’t like them, we would let him roam around the car. One minute, he’d be on our laps: the next, my dad would be shooing him away from the dashboard. Most of the time, he was content to get attention and sit on the dash where it was warm, and thankfully out of the way for most of Dad’s driving.

The last time he went to the cottage was when I was 14 or so. He decided to hide on us when we tried to bring him back to the city. It took us almost 2 hours to catch him, between about 10 people looking. On top of that, he was ornery and upset during the trip back: we decided that was going to be his last trip there.

We brought him back to the farm every once in awhile, but those visits soon stopped: the rest of his litter, and even his mother Liquorice, had all started to go missing: killed or become strays. Regardless, we didn’t want the same happening to Oreo, so we stopped bringing him.

When I was about 19, Oreo began to get sick inside the house. Dad wasn’t happy about that happening on his expensive carpets, so the decision was made to send him back to the farm to live his days out. Unfortunately, barns are hardly cat proof, and when our neighbour went to feed him, he escaped.

We thought we would never see him again.

About 6 months later, after a Canadian winter, my brother and I were working, moving lumber. We hefted a particularly large log when we heard a noise. We had no idea what it was, so we listened. We heard it again, and it sounded a bit like a raccoon. A third time, and we were incredulous: raccoons don’t meow, and all our cats were dead. There was no way both of us were hallucinating, so we went looking for the source.

Defying every expectation, the King was still alive: nothing but skin and bones, minus a good number of teeth, and smelling like a ragged corpse but… still alive. After some coaxing, and a little bit of food, Oreo came out of hiding. Just like was in the past, he was extremely friendly and happy to see us. He even Remembered Steely, and rubbed up affectionately with the beast. I wonder to this day if Steely knew Oreo was alive all this time.

The problem presented to us was that Oreo would not be allowed back in Toronto; but there was no way we were going to leave him on the farm. This is when my brother Sebastien came to the rescue: because he was relatively independent and living in Ottawa, he would take care of Oreo with his girlfriend, Megan.

After driving to pick him up, and then making the long trek back to Ottawa, Seb put him through the vets. A few thousand dollars later, Oreo no longer had worms, was no longer sick, and was about as well as could be expected from a 10 year old cat with the feline version of AIDS.

From then on, every visit to see Sebastien and Megan was a visit to see Oreo. He hated the cute bandanas that the vet would put on him. He demanded your attention when you were watching a movie. If you were sleeping on the air mattress, he would join you (though I suspect it was more because of the air mattress than the person, but I digress).

This year, he went blind in one eye. Months passed, and Oreo was still the same cat. Then, two weeks ago, age hit him right in the sweet spot.

FAIDS has kicked in with a vengeance, and diabetes had robbed him of his sight. His inner ear had gotten messed up, causing his sense of balance to become completely screwed up. Instead of spending most days sitting on chairs and pretending to be human, or getting chin scratches, his day by day life became a struggle to find his litterbox and his bed.

He was confined to a single, but large, room for his safety. When Sebastien came back to Toronto to help my dad out, he brought Oreo with him. I watched as he spent his last days trying his hardest to meander around my dining room, his incontinence causing me to feel angry, and then guilty. This wasn’t the cat I remembered.

What I remembered was a proud, powerful cat with sparkling green eyes and a fierce sense of intelligence. A strong lion: and the sleeping sack of ever diminishing skin and bones was nothing like he was. I became angry, thinking how this could have happened. I then felt guilt for judging a creature who had no business being judged: he was living his life the best he could.

So I cleaned the floor, and I pet his now bony spine. He didn’t even have the strength to meow.

Today, I left with a little goodbye, thinking I would see him tonight. I left to go see a friend I hadn’t seen in some time, and have a good day. I made a grave mistake, as Oreo’s condition worsened: a terminal tumour threatened to cause him unbearable pain before he passed.

Sebastien, braver than I would have been, made the tough decision of giving Oreo a painless passing, a sweet sleep. I can imagine me being there, looking into his unseeing eyes as the light of life dimmed. I can imagine what it would have been like to wish him goodbye one last time, and thank you for being such an amazing friend. I imagine I was strong for him, and held him one last time like I used to so long ago.

I did none of these things. I was oblivious, and by the time I got home, it was done. Oreo was no longer with us.

I owed him so much, and couldn’t be there for him when he needed me; once, when he needed a new home, and once when he needed to go. I don’t think I will forgive myself for a long time.

Regardless, Oreo was the best cat I have ever known. Sweet, intelligent, and confident. I love him. I will miss him.

I am sorry I wasn’t there Oreo. I’m so happy Sebastien and Megan were. I am so happy that, with them, you were able to have a long and happy life. I’m sorry you had to go. I understand why you had to, though, and I’m glad it was peaceful.

The King is dead, and a little piece of me died with him.

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For a friend in need

These poems are for a friend who I really can’t help. I feel horrible for him, and I want to try to do something meaningful for him. These poems are the best I feel I can do right now.

Sam, stay strong.

We lead short lives
Like leaves underneath a foot
Our colour is crushed

Nature is ugly,
And awesome, but perfection
Must have an ending

A perfect life is
A creature; it has a head,
A tail, a body

Our lives are short, though
A life well lived is simply
A beautiful thing.

Take heart, my good friend
You will feel sadness and pain
Which gives way to joy

They lived a great life
Though ended, beautiful in
A love filled ending

Take from this, and know
Of beauty in a complete
Story of a life

Beginning, and then
Body, they loved and were loved
Ending, conclusion

They loved you, and you
Love them still, and that is all
That really matters

Fluidity in Life

Relationships are fluid.

Tonight, I went and celebrated the proper opening night of Todd’s show. Tonight was the advertised opening night, free for a fee to the public. Since I went last night to the private free show, I made sure to spend tonight relaxing and getting ready for his big cast party.

The cast parties are something we’ve always shared. It’s a party held on opening night of a play, used to show the accolades of the cast and crew of the show, and then drink copious amounts of booze and dance drunkenly with everyone. Back in first year, when Todd was just scratching the surface of these shows, he’d come to show his support for the upper years. Not only that, but it was a good excuse for me to go out once in awhile when I wasn’t shackled to my computer talking to Lorelai on screen. The tradition continued, with Todd and a number of other friends going out to enjoy a few beers, and dance the night away to awful music.

The past couple of times have seemed different, however. See, it’s been 4 years already. 4 years that were far too long, and way too short too. Time slogged past me it seemed, but in reality it was flying. And here was Todd, once a first year dramatic arts student, now a trained actor. He climbed to the top of his class, where so many had failed. Tonight was his night, the opening night of the most virtuosic work he had done to date. He was the lead in a 2 hour long show, where he was present in every scene and decided the fate of the play. He did excellently, and tonight was his &%$#ing night to SHINE.

I got to the cast party right on time; just as I entered, the whole stream of cast and crew rampage forth from the side door, whooping and calling, blowing bubbles and blowing kisses. The speeches were loud, emphatic. Full of energy. Nothing could go wrong tonight, no sir.

There was a big difference in how it all worked out. Todd was the life of the party now: he was the lead. He was a King for a day, a dream for so many people, or a distant truth from a long time ago for most. He was lording in it, loving it, and making sure that tonight was the best damn cast party he ever had, as it was truly his last within that setting. He had every reason to “max it up” as it were.

Here I was, however, sitting in the corner, nursing my pint of Keith’s (which was watery, funny enough. Maybe it’s because I’ve been drinking Okanagan beer so much lately) and feeling… resentful?

No, that wasn’t it. Todd obviously is my friend. I’m not going to be resentful of his shining moment. I was sad though, and it took me a while of sitting and drinking to figure it out.

Every good friendship has a core. That core is unshakable, and once founded is really hard to break. That’s why people can be friend over massive distances for huge spans of time. It’s essential to every good friendship; however, there is more. Around that core is a fluffy layer of contemporary thought, A.K.A shit that’s going on right now. Friends who hang out a lot have a lot of that fluffy part, whereas friends who are far apart have only the core holding themselves tethered to one another. It’s not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it does happen.

I could feel it happening. The fluff? It was going or already gone in a sense. Things were already different. Todd was celebrating his time alright, but it wasn’t with me anymore, or the rest of the guys. Not the same way. Can I blame him? Of course not, but it still taught me a valuable lesson.

Relationships are fluid, and depend entirely on context.

That might not be how things OUGHT to be; my claim is meant to be descriptive, not normative. Relationships can change quickly based on what context they’re being put into. Right now, Todd’s relationship with me was a core. Nothing more, nothing less. Honestly, it makes me sad, though it shouldn’t, and not in ways most would expect.

Since I know that I can’t be mad at Todd for what he’s doing, I am sad because I know it signifies the end of something we had. We had a tight knit relationship; but after 4 years of university, he’s graduating. Meanwhile I will still be in school, and that status change alone will cause our friendship to be something different, whether I like it or not.

All of this thinking relates to time. A common theme for me these past couple of weeks has been time; the passing, the coming, the going. My time with Todd’s friendship as it stands is coming to an end, and I can feel it. It’s almost palpable. Time seems to keep… flowing, going, dragging with it a lot of things that I will never have again. Nothing (Save for Nothingness, I suppose), with time, is solid and stable; unless you believe in a God of some sort, but since I can’t do that, the only thing that will be guaranteed to be stable is me and whatever/whoever else I can place my trust in not to. Even then, I will change too, and already have I’m sure.

This change is nonstop. You can’t rest, even if for a moment, and you won’t as you’ll see change all around you can there will be nothing you can do to slow it down. I can handle it. I know I can; but sometime, it just feels like it’s too much.

People told me that time was gonna fly, that change was going to happen, and that people would go in and out of my life. This shouldn’t be a surprise to me at all.

I just wish it all a bit slower, that’s all.

What am I doing?!

I have NO idea what I'm doing. Where's this space come from?

I have no idea what I want to write.

This is my second time writing that sentence tonight. It’s only showing up once because the first time I did that, I followed it up with a bunch of gobeldy gook that unfortunately resulted in my closing the internet and wiping my gobeldy gook.

The gook looked like this:

Qlskc aldic q;ekjcv w n erhois nfoiq dnf cmiqpwejf apsdochnqpwoeuzlkzlsp qpwo lkf qpoiusdpnbgpouqh dpo lupo uhapsod fqpowud fpaso qrjodhuf qpwoe rqpo wiuerhp as fpoqwopieruypslk,nvpqouh qp woiur hpoq whrfpq ofpo qwf q f pqowuhr poqhwpo fpq hwf 9qw 9f98 hqwpohf poq8whf qw8f hq f qpwf qwf pqw f8qw hfpo8qhwpfo8h psohdfpokjch  pqouhcolkjhlvmnlxzkjnv olijnsdlkqhpeourqh dkjvn lzkxihu pq l.

And that was supposed to represent my thoughts.

They still do, as a matter of fact. And I’ve typed an re-typed the next section at least 3 times with the aim of trying to create something to help my thought align themselves to something useful.

... precisely.

Totally hasn’t happened though. Which is puzzling, as normally when I tell my thoughts to do something, they do it. Or they get the soap. And by soap, I mean I totally mind crush them.

And I suppose that’s a pretty apt way to explain how life is at the moment, actually: it seems like although I do things, things aren’t apt to fall into place unless I glare at a problem with great disdain and displeasure. It’s a glare so sour that most things pickle on the spot; but nooo, life seems to find a way to go “uhh, how bout no?” and continues to do its thing regardless of what I want.

Upside, things that I do want are increasingly awesome! For instance, my girlfriend Kitteh and I made our anniversary, and neither of us have died due to bodily harm and/or mental onslaught! It’s pretty fantastic.

Speaking of fantastic, I’ve been doing well in school too, for the most part. And my HoNage continues to get better, and remains a way to feed my insatiable ego and remind me that I am still fabulous and fantastic.

I don’t know why I feel at a loss of control of things; it probably has a lot to do with the preoccupation I have with my lack of money and independence, although maybe a crippling feeling of “WHERE/WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOOOOOOING?!” has a hand in this.

-Phil

Thanksgiving!

Ah, Thanksgiving. The holiday where I have a the perfect excuse to eat fowl food ’til I get sick of it.

This year’s a bit different though: due to circumstances, I’m not having it with my family. Suffice to say that if I did, I wouldn’t be happy, nor would anyone else at the table; So I’m having a bit of an unorthodox thanksgiving.

The usual tradition is one of family: we get together in one big area, usually end up building or cleaning all day since the cottages need maintenance (and loads of it!) and then finish the day off with a massive dinner with turkey and stuffing and scalloped potatoes, among other things. Everyone has a great time, and the entire family (counsins, aunts, uncles) get completely stuffed and…

Like this but with people

Well, either way, that’s not happening for me this year. I didn’t earn my way into the family over the summer and now can’t go there without it being really, really awkward. Instead, I’m at my mom’s for the first time in 12 years, having had thanksgiving dinner a night beforehand at a sushi restaurant with her and my brother Julian.

In fact, instead of having dinner with my family as per usual on thanksgiving sunday, my girlfriend and her parents invited me to their thanksgiving. Apparently this means I’m in their really good books.

And ye, we doth add Phil, for his nose be too big not to include...

It’s a weird situation when I think about it: Thanksgiving dinner has always been about family and getting together for one weekend amongst a huge amount of crazy schedules. This year, I’m not going to be with my family, but with someone else’s. It’s kinda like I’m borrowing an extended family for a weekend.

So what is thanksgiving for me this year? I suppose that, even though I’m an atheist and “giving thanks” probably has a lot less meaning than it would for any of the christians ’round here, I’m giving thanks for my girlfriend and her family for including me with them, when I’ve only been around for 6 months. I’m giving thanks for my mom and my brother Julian for convincing me to come home, cause I think we all needed to see each other. I’m also giving thanks for one last opportunity to show that I can do well in school, cause “mediocre” doesn’t cut it these days, and despite all the flak I can give my dad he did give me one more chance, despite his judgement.

Mostly, I’m giving thanks that I get to eat a shit ton of turkey and I don’t have to cook it!

What are you all giving thanks for today?

Scheduling Nightmares

What happens when you take 6 gallons of milks and 45 kilgrams of chocolate, and put them in a blender?

A really big mess. What did you expect?

The same thing happens with scheduling multiple important dates and activities: for myself I’m trying to juggle 4 shifts a week, driver’s ed, social life, and Kitty, all the while trying not to go insane.

Or end up needing a maid to clean up my gray matter that’s exploded everywhere.

When I initially thought that I could do the job, get the license, and see/care about everything and everyone, I totally didn’t expect there to be a lot of trouble, let alone this much!

Either way, small update, need sleep for tomorrow’s shift.