The Introduction

You know that moment, late at night, when you wake up suddenly and you aren’t sure why? Some tiny noise or shift in the light startles your mind awake. Maybe a dream has you falling or running and you instinctively flee the sleeping world for the day time realm of consciousness. This wasn’t that.

The resounding crash had me on my feet and my heart racing before I knew what I was doing. I looked around, startled but nothing seemed out of place. A second scream of shattering glass and falling debris assailed my ears. It sounded like it was right on top of me.

I rushed out of my room and looked around frantically for the source of the sound. Nothing. The house was still and quiet as the grave.
With that disconcerting comparison going through my head I carried on through to the front of the house. I could still hear shifting and creaking, though much more distant now. I stopped at a window to glance outside but there was no sign of disaster. No neighbors rushing out of their homes to find the source of the sound.

I could still feel my heart in my throat. What the hell just happened? Could it have been just a dream?
But no, I was well awake for the second crash. What was going on?

I walked into the kitchen, clean and organized as it always was. Which was to say not terribly. But the roof hadn’t caved in so I couldn’t say the sound came from here.
I walked quickly into my work room. Nothing seemed out of place.

I ran my hands over my face and sighed. Maybe it was just a bad dream…

“No, not quite just a dream. Sorry to tell ya”

I whipped around fast enough that I almost fell over. Standing behind me was a tall man, middle aged. He wore a bright colored suit and had piercing green eyes. His voice was almost sing-songy as he laughed at the fear that must have been clearly stamped on my face.

“Oh, dear boy don’t look so terrified. It’s not as though you didn’t know I was here”

He laughed again, and the sound of it made my blood run cold.

“Who the hell are you? What are you doing in my house?”

He looked down his nose at me and clucked his tongue “Such boring questions. Come on, you’re suppose to be smart. You tell me who I am. Come on, we both know you can”

I just stared at this lunatic, wondering what I had near by that I could use as a weapon.

“Now, don’t go doing anything we would both regret. Hitting me will only hurt you after all” He laughed again and sauntered over to my desk to sit down. “Fine, I’ll give you a hint. If you really want to get to know me, you just have to look in a mirror”
He kicked his feet up onto my desk and grinned an impossibly big grin as I edged away

I swallowed to find my voice then said “What, you think you’re me?”

“No, no no. Nothing like that. Well, actually, that’s pretty close. I’m part of you. A fun little part you’ve had buried deep, deep down for a long time” He spread his arms and threw his back to look at the ceiling “And here I am! In the flesh, so to speak”

I shook my head and kept slowly making my way backwards toward the door. I had to get away from this madman before he hurt me.

I turned to dart out the door and he was suddenly standing in front of me “You can’t run away from you self you know HaHa”

I gasped and fell backwards onto the ground. “Dear sweet god what are you?”

He frowned at me and touched the bridge of his nose “We’ve been over this. You know you don’t like to repeat myself. We are us. You and me, same person, different faces. You run around during the day doing…whatever the hell it is you do. And I’m your subconscious. The part you don’t talk to much. Awake and alive in that boney noggin. Just quiet before now” he crouched in front of me and smiled “Don’t believe me. Then try this on for size”

His form warped and in a flash he no longer had the same pale complexion and bright smile. He was a tall, young women. My ex-girlfriend.

“Is this more pleasant to look at” she said softly in a voice I hadn’t heard in years.

His….her….its form warped again and my mother loomed over me, stern and angry.

“Or this one? Come on, answer me damnit. I’m not here to be stared at!”

I closed my eyes and tried in vain to calm myself. This can’t be real. This can’t be happening. It was the vodka from the night before. I was still drunk and it finally caught up to me.

His melodic voice sounded in my ear “Sorry, but no. Your drinking couldn’t cause anything as clever as me HaHa” I opened my eyes and he was sitting right next to me.

I lurched away made for the door again. He sighed but didn’t get in my way this time.

I ran down the hall and back towards my room. Slamming the door shut I collapsed against  dresser and counted to ten. This can’t be real. It’s all a bad dream. You can wake up, you are in control here.

“Wrong again” I looked up with a start to see him sitting on my bed smiling at me.

“Come over here and sit down before you hurt ourselves” he patted the bed gently to indicate i should sit next to him. And lost to the confusion and terror that I must be losing my mind, I did.

“There we go! This is much better isn’t it?” He draped his arm across my shoulders and he felt real. Solid.

“Just you and me and all night to catch up. Oh, that earlier ruckus. That was me. I needed you up and alert for our little chat HaHaHa. Don’t worry, I didn’t actually break anything. Just made a lot of noise. I do love a good start”

I took a shaking breath and looked into his eyes. The bright green was almost unnerving to stare at, but I wasn’t going to be deterred.

“So, you’re me. Or, rather part of me then?”

“Now you’re getting it! Yes, I am you. Ish. I mean clearly you aren’t in control of me but we are one and the same. Different sides, same very sick coin”

“Ok, so you’re a hallucination. A manifestation of an illness?”

He scowled at me sourly, as though I had offended him “An illness? No, no, no. I am part of you. Don’t make me sound like a bad thing. This is great! You and me…you never have to be alone again. I can be here for you, every single moment from here on out”

I put my face in my hands and tried to think. Have I seriously gone off the deep en-…

“Hey, I can tell a lot about you because I am you HaHa, but I can’t read minds. You gotta talk to me. Tell me whats going on in that thick skull”

I looked at him again. He looked so familiar. So real. “I shouldn’t talk to you. That only enforces that you’re really here and you aren’t. I need to get help.”

“You got ‘help’, remember. They gave you those beautiful pills. Do you think that’s why I can talk to you now? How you can hear me? Maybe the pills actually work and they finally started cutting through the noise. Maybe that help is why you can hear me now, instead of just all that screaming and crying all the time”

I glanced over to my night stand where my medication sat. Could this be a side effect? Some times schizophrenics reported worsening symptoms on certain medications. Could I be schizophrenic?

“Let me guess, you’re asking if you’re crazier than you thought? No, again. I’m you. You aren’t crazy, you’re just getting adjusted to your new reality! It’ll be fun, you’ll see”

I looked at him again, his form becoming clearer as I spoke to him.

“If you’re part of me then I guess I can’t just get rid of you. But who are you? What do I call you?”

His bright red smile widened again and his bright, white teeth shone in the half light of the room.

“We are the same person, remember? But for now, you can just call me….Joker”

Patience

I keep trying to write here but recently I have been struggling to write at all.
I’ve had to start some medication that leaves me in a fog, dazed and stupid. I can’t focus on much of anything for more than five minutes and my inspiration has dried up.

I keep hoping I will push through it and get back to a place where I read and write regularly. But so far I haven’t managed to make it there.

So I’m writing this more or less just to write something. Anything. Just trying to shake the creative juices loose or get something moving again. With any luck at all I will start to see some positive effect from my medication and get back to where I am writing more. That is the ultimate goal in all of this. Improve the situation. Move my life forward again.

In the mean time, I have no idea what to say. I have a million fractured thoughts that would make brilliant starts to stories, poems or songs. But I can’t follow any of them. I chase these pieces like wisps of smoke. I can see them, I’m almost certain I should be able to reach them. But they slide through my fingers tips, insubstantial.

It’s a frustrating feeling, seeing so much potential that I just can’t make real. Fighting for a hold on something that use to be more readily present to me. But here I sit, ready to punch my monitor in frustration as I fumble words I’ve always managed so easily. I reread words I’ve written and hate them, seeing constant misspellings and errors in grammar or words missing entirely.

But still I try. I won’t let circumstance take my writing from me. And sooner or later, whether through adaptation or sheer force of will, I will see myself writing again. The process is just time.

Patience. Patience in all things. You can’t rush life, so to I must not rush health. Til then, I hope for the patience from others that I have failed to have with myself.

The Rapax

The world around us is made up of more than what we can see. Most interestingly is the different planes of existence that occupy the multiverse. A person could spend their entire lives searching and studying and documenting everything they came across and they would only touch on the tiniest percentage of what actually exists.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a large portion of what the multiverse has to offer. But one of the more interesting things I have encountered is a small plane of energy that doesn’t have a name to us at this time. It is occupied by two main species that, until recently, had lived out their lives with a unique balance. The beings here do not posses physical bodies in any sense that we can understand. They are concentrated thoughts given self awareness.

The first species we will call the Lumos. The Lumos are small, bright, fairly simple thought forms. They heavily populate this plane, their numbers appearing to grow suddenly from the growth of consciousness on other planes.
They are communal and are mostly harmless unless their stream of thought is interrupted in mass.

The other species appear to, at least among themselves, be referred to as the Grasus. They are a quasi-predatory species, feeding on the concentrated psychic energy of the Lumos. This doesn’t directly harm the Lumos, but they do find the presence of the Grasus disturbing because the Grasus prefer the darker, quiet of solitude to communal gathering and extinguish light as they absorb the ambient psychic energy.

Recently, the Grasus have faced a threat to their source of psychic food from an aggressive new species we will call the Rapax. This new species came to this plane from the greater Astral. They appear almost parasitic, drinking a place dry of psychic energy before moving on. However their method of harvesting the energy is far more direct than that of the Grasus.

While the Grasus feed off the ambient energy cast off by the gathered Lumos, the Rapax feed directly from them which is ultimately lethal to the Lumos.
Stranger still is the fact that the Lumos have embraced the necrotic feeding of the Rapax, because their influence makes the Lumos toxic to the Grasus, who the Lumos have feared for longer than they can remember.

I’ve begun to see an almost cult like worship from the Lumos, building structures of energy to house the Rapax in so the Lumos can visit them regularly and offer energy in exchange for what they seem to see as protection.

The Grasus have started to fight the Rapax for control of the various Lumos communities to prevent the poisoning from eating away their entire food source. The Lumos see the sudden increase of Grasus attention as an attack on them, leading to greater worship of the toxin that is killing them, but which also deters the Grasus.

The Lumos have also begun to spread the toxic influence of the Rapax by themselves, some Lumos communities even seeking out Rapax influence to ward off the Grasus.

Ultimately, I believe this will be the end of this plane. The Rapax no longer have to fight to stay since the Lumos work so hard to embrace them. And the Grasus are seen as so cruel due to their darker nature that they have to trap and farm the Lumos to isolate them from the harmful effects of the Rapax.

Eventually the Rapax will drain the life from this plane and the Grasus will be forced to leave or die.

This provides a lesson for us. Often, we will go with what appears safer and more comfortable than what is good for us. Often we shun things we do not understand even though they do not harm us at all, and embrace what we see as safety which harms or limits us.

We have to learn to question everything. To never let the lure of comfort restrict our ability to see reality for what it is.

Hopefully, the Lumos learn to do so. Otherwise their entire place will die.

Personal Truth is Hell

I’ve started this post more times that I can count over the course of more than 24 hours and I’m still not sure I have the right things to say what all is going through my head.

For very many years I have worked so hard to dedicate myself to the notion of truth. Not just facts, but truth. It’s hard for people to understand the difference sometimes, but fact is what simply is. It can be proven by numerous independent groups. Truth can be relative. Personal.
And I have fought to be able to see the fact, but also recognize personal truth in my interactions. You can’t maintain personal or social relationships without acknowledging personal truth.

And that can be hard. Because personal reality doesn’t have to line up with factual reality. And sometimes deciding which is more important can be hard. The capacity to face dozens or hundreds of separate realities and keep them all in the right place and order is insane. But I try.

I don’t always find the right balance. I tend to err on the side of pointing out fact and statistical probability. And this can be harsh and cold. Part of the reason is that I can’t understand how other people feel. I can guess and I can adjust based on who I see them being. And I like to think I’m good at that. But I can’t always cater well to personal truth. Despite my determination to always recognize and support truth.

In the last eight months I have had to question my personal reality more than a few times. I’ve realized that despite my determination to never lie to myself or accept a cover story to make tragedy easier, that I have actively ignored fact to accept what I wanted. And I was wrong.

I convinced myself that something that wasn’t true or factual was in fact real. I broke one of my cardinal rules. Don’t believe it’s true. Consider everything.

I want so badly to believe that I can find a relationship of any kind where I can just accept what I hear as truth and reality. Not just carefully constructed words to create a situation favorable to the person speaking them regardless of the other people around them. I want to believe that mind games don’t have to be a part of every interaction. But every time I find myself trusting someone I also find myself cheated or tricked.

It’s natural to subconsciously alter our behavior to create a favorable outcome. Everyone wants to be on the winning side. I pursue that sometimes at the expense of the people I care about. Because a core part of who I am is based around my ability to be the smarter and more capable person.

Physically I am broken. I am crippled and suffer from chronic fatigue and pain. I have fought off two decades of illness that no doctor will help me with. And so I have relied on my mind to stand out, to be successful.

A couple of years ago I began exhibiting sever mental illnesses. This has terrified me because I feel like I am only as good as my mind. And mental illness takes that way from me. If I lose that then I am worthless. Just another broken, crazy, useless man who will never be more than a medicated, slowly dying ass.

I’ve always been good at telling people how things will work out. I’ve studied and enjoyed behavioral psychology so I am good at reading what people do and why. In the last eight months I have been gloriously, massively wrong in my own life. Repeatedly.

I’ve trusted people who played me. Even people I was told constantly not to trust. I’ve been wrong. And if I can’t see what’s in front of me how can I be useful to anyone else?
I understand logically that I can’t be blamed for missing things. Everyone wants to believe that are worth being loved and important to other people. But I can’t shake the personal truth that I am better than that. I lied to myself, actively ignored factual reality to give myself something I wanted. And in the end I got burnt for it.

Factual reality is a cold, lonely place. Personal reality is so fluid and not close to fact. I just can’t find that balance.

And the harder I try to pursue the factual reality the fewer people I have around me. I can’t connect with people well because of that. But I can’t accept personal reality over fact.

If I stop counting the facts I just become the joker and no matter how hard I try Ill only be played by harley. I’ll just be an idiot. I won’t be the wizard. I’ll just be the asshole.

No matter how many blue lights I hear I can’t ignore the demons. The lights only seem to lie.

So I am a broken, dark asshole. But Im not accepting the lie just to make myself feel better. I may lose more people over it, but I can’t live the lie forever.
No matter what happens I will always get the factual truth. I can’t avoid it no matter how much more appealing the lie is.

Everything says “He died doing the right thing”. That’s not true. The fate is more like “He died ignoring the lie”. Cause someone will kill me for pointing out facts. Sarcastically cause I’m a dick.

I’ll stop here before I say something else I’m sure will be too much later.

**Please ignore what I am just going to assume are the many spelling and grammatical errors here. I have had a few to many drinks. Sorry to a certain mermaid, there is nothing left to smash but an empty bottle. I’ll make it up by making more empty bottles to smash. Cheers**

Labels and the Impatient World: This is why we’re screwed

***DISCLAIMER***
I have a lymphatic infection in my jaw so I am doped on lots of pretty drugs. So if there are typos (Spoiler: There are) or serious grammatical errors (Also yes) please forgive me.
This is also a touch long, partly drug induced, and perhaps a touch nonsensical but, I had to confront this today so I’m venting. Feel free to skip over and read the next thing I post which I promise will be less soap-boxy.

***END OF DISCLAIMER***

 

One of the biggest things to bug me these days is labels. Ok, so a lot of things bug me. But today, the one that annoyed me the most was labels.

I live in a weird little corner where my personal political, social, and spiritual views don’t fit neatly into a currently defined category. This leaves me in the unique position of having to try in the span of minutes to short hand a belief system that has been developed over a quarter of a century by literally thousands of hours of experiencing life and actively trying to connect with how other people see things. What’s more, it’s just one persons view.

On the short of it I believe people need to be free to be themselves. If everyone involved in any one decision or event is above the age of majority, of sound mind and knowingly, willingly participating…then have at it. Life is to short to spend hundreds of years redefining what other people are allowed to do. If Bob next door wants to dope up and have orgies every weekend, then as long as the orgasmic screams die down by ten, I’m ok.

I get this doesn’t always work. Life is nothing if not grey (gray? Screw you international spell check) lines. But as a rule, if you don’t like it, don’t stare in the persons window. It’s that simple.

And the more I try to understand why people are pissed about things that have nothing to do with them, the more I see it comes to labels. We work so hard to give everyone labels. You are Christian or Atheist, Conservative or Liberal, pro or anti this or that. Everything we are or believe is being cropped down into one or two word titles so that we can “understand” someone’s point of view without actually talking to them.

I get that labels have their place. As a man constantly starving for new knowledge, I appreciate that labels can be useful. It allows you to quickly sum something up without hours of conversation. If we had to completely re-explain the entirety of an idea before being able to address it at all we would never progress because we would all just be saying the same thing over and over. Labels can be good.

But we have two huge problems. First, people forget that a label cannot quickly explain everything a person believes. People are dynamic. They are chaotic, they change and grow and adapt. Even the more closed minded people will evolve over time. And knowing what someone believes without knowing WHY can completely change how it’s perceived.

Second, and honestly the bigger of the two problems, is that when we are still trying to define what we believe we use preexisting labels to explain ourselves to others. And after years and years of doing this, and not getting the chance to truly explain our believes, it becomes easy to just use this inaccurate label. So both sides are no longer trying to see the truth. Now apply this to seven billion unique people with ever adjusting views in an ever shrinking world….the idea of how much we are losing here is staggering.

Someone asked me the other day if I was Wiccan or Warlock. I laughed in their face. Some of you might understand why, but for those who don’t it would be like asking me if I was a Jedi or a Hobbit. In my experience so far the two don’t really exist in the same sphere. But then again, labels.

Anyway, when i stopped laughing, apologized for laughing at them and said no, they wanted to know (apart from why I laughed at them) what I was. Now, I’m being asked to define someone elses labels AND present my whole world view in a few short words in an environment where we aren’t suppose to talk religion or anything controversial. This generally means I just don’t talk, so I really had to work hard.

I tell everyday strangers I’m non-denominational spiritualist. To the people I know better I’m a non-denominational spiritualist sorcerer. I leave out the last part to the general public because crazy is a thing and most people already think I’m that. But it is the best way I can describe who and what I am.

Now, this label doesn’t really tell people much because the words are general (Non-denominational, really?) or they think it’s a joke (Sorcerer? Is that like, a party magician?). But the truth is I am not going to spend the time needed to tell a casual acquaintance in the middle of the work place, with a ever growing crowd (my conversations tend to draw betters on how  long before H.R. shows up with a warning) what two and a half decades of life have taught me about the nature of the undefinable.

In the end, we need labels because they make social and philosophical progress possible. But we cannot continue to use labels as an end all answer to what someone else believes. If you want to judge someone based on their beliefs (and you, sir, are already an ass for wanting to do so) then at least attempt a real conversation.
This rule is waved slightly for politicians and religious leaders. If you are going to intentionally flaunt your beliefs to the world it’s up to you to present a valid reason why. If you aren’t going to explain yourself I reserve the right to judge you harshly with no evidence. You’re on tv. You have been warned.

But for the individual person? Don’t judge based on a few short words used by millions to define their position. And please, think about the labels you use for yourself and for others. Those few short words can forever alter the shape of your world. Choose how you define yourself carefully. It’s how the world will judge you.