Slow to wake when nightmares replace dreams

I wake slowly. Knowing that the extra twenty minutes I snooze my alarm to won’t matter. But I still do it. I pet the cat by my side. She rolls over my hand and goes back to sleep. I long to join her. But that extra 20 minutes was a dream. A hope which fades with every passing second. I have to get up.

It’s not a particularly hard job. Nor a harsh work environment. I’m just tired. So fucking tired of too short weekends and work weeks which drag away hours from those weekends.

It’s what fuels discontent. What makes every day a little worse. The accumulation of hours without end. Without purpose. Without hope of change.

As the day wears on, I am reminded of good things. Of love. Of hope. Of kissable lips. Of the dream of the brighter world. The sadness lingers like hot breathe against soft skin.

Quench my thirst on love. On desire. On dreams of far places, where I am becomes we. And what was becomes joy.

When an author dreams

Out past the fringes on a world run in partnership with embodied ai there is a threat coming which has already fought 3 galaxy class military cruisers. After a battle in which 2 of the ai’s ran rather than risk destruction the third sent a tightbeam containing the footage of the battle and the last backup they had to the nearest outpost. Unfortunately, at light speeds the message took 12 years to arrive and while the message was intact, the backup was incomplete. It was was clear though that the enemy had no desire to negotiate or speak and instead desired only destruction.

They spun the backup up but were disappointed to find that most of its memories of the journey out to the rim had been lost. So they had no idea what vector the threat was coming from. Central had received word from the 2 retreating ships but their telemetry was incomplete. The leader of their expedition was lost.

The leaders backup was embodied in a small vessel capable of space flight and left to its own devices. No longer relevant.

Years pass as the Ai and humans prepare for a battle they are unsure of

The little Ai is seen as an annoyance, a demenstration of the fallibility of even beings such as they.

6 years later the little ai receives a narrow beam which nearly fries his tesseract brain with an overlad of information. The remaining telemetry and backup containing a couple of years of captivity. The data is seen as suspect but they are required by law to allow the ai his memories. Now the ai is distrusted because it’s possible the memories have been tampered with

But the ai knows that what’s coming was contained in one of the tower ships commissioned by humanity to explore out beyond the fringes. Ships which came back strange and requiring human/clone crew which engage in bizzare behaviour to further some unknown goal.

One such ship resides in the ai’s system and it flies out to it after seeking the assistance of a human. Since human thoughtforms are strange and since this human was willing to listen.

They arrive and find a massive interior dedicated to some kind of game in which the humans gather some kind of power to themselves and go on a journey. Gathering more and more power until they can win the ‘game’. Everything on the ship is a game and even death is impermanent. As a new clone will be grown and the consciousness embodied there. So many deaths has resulted in a kind of memory fatigue which means it’s inhabitamts no longer realize what they were trying to win

And the most frightening thing is, this ship type was what attacked the ai fringes those many years ago

Outside even when included

Every year my family gets together to celebrate the holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving. And every year they ask someone to say a prayer. This year they asked me. I said no. I was gracious about it, but I said No.

Because how do I say a prayer when it won’t be to their god. How can I say a prayer when it will first be spoken in the language of my prayers then again in their language. How would I explain that we don’t give thanks for what our god gave us but ask what we can do for our god. Not a god of blessings but one of a deeper path. How do I explain an entire lifetime of belief and structure and obligate choices. How do I even this prayer which is orchestrated would be an affront.

I don’t know. Don’t know how to tell them I’m not like them. In how many ways I’m not like them. And even when they grasp my paganism, they think that yule is a good thing, something similar to a celebration instead of a solemn affair.

It’s exhausting to stay quiet. To not broach subjects. To keep quiet on others. And still, there is always more. Lines that can’t be crossed and words that can’t be said.

My god would say, “The work is the work. You have to act before you can know.” And that’s true but how do you tell them that what they presume, even when told repeatedly otherwise, isn’t true.

It’s an odd feeling. To be included but excluded at the same time. To belong to something but not fit into it. There is a pressure and a sadness there.
I know how easy it would be to give in, to shred my self and conform. To lie and mouth their words in petty forgery of faith.

But then who would I be?

The gap grows in our manic grins

Imagination and hope seem to be the two ways we hurt ourselves the most. We live in some future world where the daily struggle to be alive, to exist, is easy. So we miss what might be in the moment. What opportunity exists right now. But still, that escape of hope is vital. Self delusion is neccesary. Without it, we would not be able to function in the corrupt and fucked up world where we are a step away. A mistake away from disappearance. From falling out of the daily beating of ‘normal’ life and into the shadow world where broken people and fractured society walk.

The consequences of failure are so high for most of us that we dont, can’t, take the necessary risks to get beyond the cliff edge. We depend on hope. On lotteries and sweepstakes and the hope that maybe we can live without being afraid.

This is the consequences of not just late stage capitalism but of a society that believes that anyone can be rich if they work hard enough. And so make sure that the rich don’t have to live in the same world as the rest of us. Because we aspire to be there one day and we don’t want to have our funds taken when we do.

But that’s poor people, honest people, thinking. The thought that a seventy percent tax rate means that they actually pay seventy percent the same way we look at our paychecks and wonder where all the money goes. They don’t. They have access to all the tax dodges and schemes which allow them to pay in the zero to ten percent range. So that’s what they pay. And those dodges are legal. Because they’ve convinced us that them paying less means that somewhere, somehow we will get paid more.

Maybe in the past wealth built things. Roads and schools and infrastructure. A thin cynical maybe. But now, wealth only builds more wealth. And companies do not pass record profits on to their employees. They pass them on to their stockholders. Which isn’t us, because we can’t afford to play in their arena. And even if we tried, that extra ten dollars a year isn’t going to change our life. And neither is the extra ten grand that tax cuts profit them going to make a difference, if they even notice.

So, why do we keep doing this? Because we hope. Because we secretly aspire to be there “one day”. And we think ten thousand is alot and we would love to have that money. But we are not them. And we never will be. The system is gated. And even if you squeeze through the bars, somehow…and become the wealthy. You do so leaving behind the millions of people who weren’t lucky enough to have the opportunity, the twin composition of chance and foresight, to squeeze through before you close the loophole behind you.

Other capitalist countries don’t have our problems. Because they have societies which are not built on iconoclastic single points. Which aren’t built on the idea that anyone can be rich. And while that thought structure is useful, it is also harmful. And we are seeing first hand exactly how harmful it is when protections are stripped away in an effort to protect their wealth. Rather than protect the rest of us from their casual predation.

Brief contemplation on the confluence of art and life

It’s hard to keep writing when the song in your heart is silent. When its constant mutters and chatter bleed off into silence so quietly that you jerk awake, lulled by the absence for those brief moments indulging in that quiet that never seems to stay. Until you see that the chatter has gone. And you are left with the quiet.

It’s no secret that I use my pain and bouts of depression to fuel my art. And there is no doubt that it has led to a well fed blood forest.

It’s weird. The quiet was the moments when I would create in. Maybe I need to reassess. And know that this is not quiet. Instead it’s the steady white noise, too busy to stop and think. Too busy to experience and grow. Far too busy. But what must that mean?

And can I get back to that without sacrificing what I’ve gained. I don’t know. I have this need to now commit to trying but that feels like the first step to failure. So instead I’ll commit to a small change. And perhaps that change will lead to another.

Hold me on the dark

Every choice I make has love at its core. I take actions from desire. From the desire to see a better future. Not one devoid of relationships, not one alone, not one where I sit in some glorified tower surrounded by a parade of pale delights. Always with an eye towards love.

I think that is why I have such a heavily scarred heart. Because while love and passion was wearing off, hitting that three month endorphin deadline, my love was building based on knowledge of the person. Each fact and thought and action building to a fuller picture, reinforcing my choice to love.

Because that’s what love is, a choice. A choice we make anew each day. Not some heedless rush of need to this conclusion of sex. Not some taste test to see if the person will last a bit longer in that endorfun gold rush.

But I get it, we want that instant connection. And the story I tell about Morgan is all about that. But it’s not a full picture. It wasn’t the meeting, it was the continuing choice to keep meeting. To not accept a one night stand and agreeing together to look and stay for more.

And that is love too. The choices we make together for each other. Not for ourselves. And not in the vacuum of our own hubris but in solemn, giddy, and laughing discussion of what we want and how we’ll get there.

It’s we. Rather than I. Not saying there isn’t room for I, but if it’s not we, then it’s not real. If it’s not we then it’s desire and obsession masked as love. A heady combination which never quite lives up to the firework you are expecting.

And still, there are fireworks. Love is what we should all choose to be. What we can choose to be. With whomever we want, provided they feel the same.

Love, it’s why we are here.

This is a broken world
But I am not broken

And the way forward is always love.

Six days to shed the dark

There is a song whose lyrics are ” l want you so badly my bones start to ache”. I’ve felt that destructive desire. That reckless, heedless rush of need which only cares for itself. It’s a fire that burns hot. Consuming all of the self in an effort to ignite the world. In a vain attempt to start a fire in the heart of another.

But I’ve been misremembering the lyris as “I love you so much my bones ache” because that is what the banked fire of love feels like when a smile or a word feeds oxygen to the flame and it ignites.

It’s like the singer was so close to the real. So close but so completely wrong. Love is a well tended flame. It doesn’t consume. It can’t. Instead it’s a nuclear reaction hitting the threshold needed for a sustained and steady force. Is it fire that can hurt? Fire that can burn? Does it hurt sometimes looking for a way to be expressed? Certainly. It’s the reaction at the heart of a star.

And like a star, it can last forever. I’ve found this to be a true thing. At least for me, and I am aware that I am…different. When I yield my control to love. Allow love past my defenses…past unbelief that I am worthy of love…past the pain of lost love…past dread of some future where the face of love wears disgust instead. When I do that, I love forever.

Like a runaway thermonuclear reaction.
Like a star.

I have burned many with that heat. There seems to be a limit to what most can stand. And yet somehow, love finds a way.

Maybe that matched fire is the only way. I’ve been looking for Earth’s when I needed a Sun.

Anxiety dreaming

I had an awful horrible dream. I was downtown for first Friday(an art and food thing) but I was also down there to retake a class in grade school. As myself not as a kid. And the teacher had reserved me a place right at the front. Then an adjacent classroom played a famous jazz song super loud and she started acting and singing like a jazz singer but completely out aync with the music and she had somehow transformed into a 1930s flapper. And the room transformed from a classroom to an upperclass parlor. Her manservant came in and offered her cakes and food and she declined all but a black and white. Then I was driving. I parked an headed to work but not before reminiscing with the crossing guard that this area used to be all construction and I remember drinking beer at lunch with my father on the job(never happened).

I was then in an elevator up to my futuristic bedroom and I met my older brother there and we talked about the woman I was seeing. After I talked to him for a bit I found myself on my phone. Scrolling through various messaging systems and I realize that this person I’m seeing has ghosted me. And I feel heartbroken and lost, like one does. I wander and find myself in a music shop where I meet a DJ who is demoing progressive drum and bass but who buries signal for some underground movement in it. I go to buy a copy but to do so you have to get it mailed an I don’t have any stamps. I pull up google maps on my phone and we have an argument about big data. Then I head off and I decide fuck it. I don’t owe this guy anything so I head back to my car with the intention of going home. I arrive at my car and find the windshield plastered by pseudo official tickets because there was a blue arrow painted on the ground to indicating handicapped parking. That’s not a clear symbol or a legal one, so I’m like fuck it. Then the security guard wanders by and she says “thought you could slink away, huh”

Then my alarm rings. And I’m left with this feeling of failure and sadness on waking.

Holidays are approaching

I’ve stayed up way too late doing nothing in particular. Watching strange shows from Brazil with great English voice dubbing. Looking at my phone wanting to feel connected…
Then it flashes me the battery warning and I think, “probably time to go to bed.” My cats asleep in the middle of my bed and I’ll displace her so instead I remember I need to write a post for tomorrow.

This week is Thanksgiving in the USA. Another holiday that has its roots in blood. As if all holidays aren’t problematic icons embodied in a yearly ritual to enshrine the victory of one group over another. I mean it’s hypocritical to teach that it’s about some historical togetherness and all but I question whether or not that actually matters. Knowing the truth about history is a good thing and it can help avoid past mistakes in favor of all new atrocities.

But being mad about a holiday seems pointless. Get together and change it if you need to. Change the name and people’s cultural relationship to it. But mostly, it’s an excuse.

That correct. All holidays are an excuse. Mostly it’s to take a day off. For those lucky enough to be able to afford it. And even for those who can’t, its the opportunity to say fuck it, I’m taking this time for myself. For my family, if you’re into that kind straight laced social structure. It’s a way to be irresponsible in a state sanctioned corporate sponsored commercially acceptable way.

And it’s a time to say hi to that cousin you only vaguely remember. To try to restrain yourself, or maybe this is just me, from getting into sociopolitical arguments with people capable of only spouting talking points and appeals to authority. (Headline-If you are making an appeal to authority without data to back it up, you’ve already lost the argument.) And eat food you wouldn’t normally eat.

Some people, mythically to my mind, get to hang out with friends and have fun. I’ve never seen it, except on Single person Christmas, aka Halloween, and even then that a socially awkward sexually charged powder keg. It’s one overly fruity mixed drink away from making a pass at your married boss with his wife right there. Or laughing at someone’s use of fetish gear as costume and demonstrating proper flogger technique in front of people you know are friends of friends who will spread that like wildfire.
Not that this is a bad thing, I just don’t like awkward conversations about what drunk, no filter me, said when I am sober slight filter me.

Maybe I’m just not who these Holidays are aimed at. I know there are people who love this stuff. Love the gossip about nothing and the skirting of taboo topics at least until someone says grace.

Another thing I don’t do. I’m fairly certain my lip service Christian family would neither take a blessing from my faith nor would my faith be likely to bestow blessings. Honestly, if asked for a blessing, I think the proper response would be something like, “The choices we make have consequences. Whether those consequences are good or bad depends on where you are standing when they occur. This means that whether we act or not, either is a choice. Make sure you make your choices wherever possible. Don’t allow your choices to make you.”

But there is no appeal to a higher authority which seems to be the point of prayer.

So maybe I just don’t get it. Or maybe I do. But in any case, Holidays are meant for people to pause and see. To look around in the frenetic drawn out scream, and maybe, for once, listen.

But what do I know? I’m just a man who needs to move his cat, so he can go to sleep.

The flensing knife turns inward

I’ve been creatively burnt out for the last few weeks. It’s not entirely anything to do with the big things like work or relationships. It’s the little things that I have let eat away at my free time. Leaving me with no time to sit and be. No time to experience the world as time slips away.

Being so busy that any time…and here I have to stop and redirect because work crept in. Because it’s gotten to be insidious. It slips into any crack which if I turn it off, it becomes that I was unreachable and that is the issue.

Which is why I am writing this at 4am.

In alot of ways work is better, my relationship is better but my friendships and my writing and my actual life seems to have all suffered.

I have never been one to strike a balance. I throw myself completely into things. And that passion sees me through but it also breaks me.

It’s the inevitable, inexorable schism between what is needful and what is best. And much as I thrive in the situation where the world is burning and every action I make can turn the rudder, eventually…the boat sinks and the drowning begins.

And I am oh so weary of dying by inches in that way.
Something has to happen. And I don’t know if I have the mental fortitude to make the life choices required.

It seems like I was so much happier when I was a villain. But maybe it was just that I was young and didn’t see the terminus. The inevitability of less ahead than behind.