Jahua the Debtor


Every city has a spirit and, perhaps a few are schizophrenic, because they could have many. The frantic nature of the world can create several voices that those within the confines of a city are compelled to follow. As to which voice you follow or which you hear, this could depend on several factors that I know nothing about. The voices are out there, summoning us to their whims in ways that remain beyond our comprehension.

Where we’re moved, we must at least hope, is in the name of good. Some spirits, however, choose no sides. They follow their whims and desires. Their means and goals are their own. They’re tricksters, because we can’t tell what they want. They do as they please, breezing through realities, as if they own them.

In this town, there are a few homes that leave out bags of bottles as an offering to such sacred tricksters. Usually, it’s the keepers of this faith that come to obtain these sacred offerings. The keepers of this faith are known as ‘the bottle men’, as they walk around with metal carts full of cans and bottles, in honor of their gods.

From time to time, an enigmatic figure appears on the streets of our city that appears to be just another ‘bottle man’, but is in fact a creature with intimate knowledge of other worlds. He wears a thick robe that covers most of his body. His eyes are silver and change to red when he’s mad. He carries a pack over his back that looks empty, but holds inside it the souls of countless vanquished enemies.

When a soul is stolen from its owner, the person remains as an empty shell of himself. The soul departs from his body, as in death, and he remains in a comatose state, for which he might never escape. The souls come from across the universe. Jahua wanders throughout the cosmos returning to those he’s defeated to mock them. He makes them pay for their souls with one penny a day. The interest he charges ensures they’ll never pay off his debt. Jahua goes door to door collecting his tariff and for those he’s yet to meet, he must go and challenge.

Jahua the Debtor comes to your door and waits to be welcomed, whereby he’ll come inside. He’ll drink nothing that you give him, take nothing that is offered. He sees it as owing you for your hospitality and takes it as an offense. Nobody knows what the challenge is, just that it’s some form of card game. The victim never seems to remember much, just the deck of neatly folded cards and glossy black. People have claimed to have bested Jahua, but have no proof. The effects of defeat are always obvious, as the color in a victim’s skin turns pale, their eyes become lifeless and without hope and their teeth rot into a vulgar yellow.

Jahua has taken his time in procuring the souls of the city, although he doesn’t have us all. It becomes necessary for those in the city to take precautions. Some of us never answer our doors. Jahua is a master of disguise and can even take the appearance of a close loved one. He cannot enter under an arch, so many people make their entryway into one to prevent his advance. This has been written off as ‘mere superstition’, however, several homes continue to make arches for their doorways, as a meager hope to fend off the offensive debtor and keep their homes intact.

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The Forgetful Root Scripture

“To be radical is to go to the root and the root is man.” -Erich Fromm

Memory is this great big root that’s different in all of us, because we all have different experiences that allow it to grow stronger, dig deeper and compel our spirits toward the future. Causalities arise because of the root, which is somehow connected between body and mind and held strong by remembering this connection. In some, the memory is not so strong and the root is maintained, while it doesn’t offer any form of extenuation that would otherwise help it grow. Instead, the root maintains a solitary path without the minute branches that would allow it to thrive.

These minute branches are what maintain certain pockets of resistance against the memory that strengthens the connection between body and mind. There’s often significant memories lost in the mire of these small branches, although it can also be tedious moments out of our lives that the mind sees no reason to remember. If you focus on a memory it grows like a weed. It can overwhelm the powerful root of all your memories and before you know it nothing of your past is remembered beyond this single weed that has grown out of control.

It’s a selective process, but in order to ensure that no single weed overwhelms it, the mind works to cut away these branches and keep itself as sturdy as possible. There’s no telling which memory will be the next to assume the mantel of authority inside you, as the mind has no way of clarifying which connection is right or wrong. It just connects. Something connects and a weed grows out of control. There’s no honorable mention. Everything just happens without causality.

It’s a selective memory that rules the world and it starts with every root within every person. We cling to these memories inside us and the root is sustained, while we forget certain things about ourselves. As long as we remember who we are, everything is fine. However, we might miss these branches, for they provide the details that no one else will ever understand, except for you. It’s very personal. Only you can determine the worth of a memory. Otherwise, you’re just a man or woman, a person, a living thing with wrinkles under your eyes to show your age, like the rings of a tree.

The little things about you are what connect these roots to the outside world. They connect us, because out there in the distance is another branch of another person’s root who wants nothing more than to connect. The roots are unique and yet, somehow, out of the vastness of the cosmos, they find a way to connect with other roots that infest this universe. It might be a singular connection, a point in reality where two distant bodies meet, but it’s still significant, because two roots that meant nothing to the world somehow find their way. All signs pointed to the roots drying out under the sun, like a worm that came up for too long after a storm, but somehow, they beat the odds and proved to the cosmos that they belonged.

If we choose not to acknowledge this connectivity it disappears. The roots don’t go away, however, but the chance to connect is gone. It creates this horrible gnarled appearance out of the roots, as one reaches out to the other, while the other pulls away. They offer their warmth against the cold expanse of the cosmos and are refused. Their roots die out. They gave too much of themselves in order to reach you. Even you, in acknowledging this connectivity, will lose a bit of yourself. You’ll never regain this connection if it goes ignored for too long. The energy between you will die out and the world will move on.

The connection isn’t always easy to spot, but when you do, it’s most likely because of these branches that connect to the thick root of our memory. You lose some of yourself over the years and maybe that makes the root into a coarse thing full of barbs and nooses, something that appears far more treacherous than it is.

Two neighbors, Aldus Grim and Mekhi the Red, choose hatred over what they share in common. For some, hatred provides for them a sense of importance, which I think strengthens the will of the deeply ingrained root of their memories. In this way, they are connected, although their hatred will never bring them together. I think that maybe they just don’t see. Aldus the Grim used to be exactly like Mekhi the Red. Aldus got a girl pregnant very young. He was a punk and never quite grew out of it. The difference is in age and experience. Aldus worked his entire life to support his family, while Mekhi is at the very beginning, with two kids and two jobs. His girlfriend works as well, but has another child wrestling around in her belly. Aldus had three children and now lives alone. His wife died only a few years ago. The constant appearance of misery on his face never really changed, not with her death, not with anything I can remember. Alcohol helped him through the misery and Mekhi is much the same. He’ll have his parties, which get too loud for Aldus, who usually calls the cops.

Their connection is to keep away from one another, because they know that they share a branch of reality. One is the future. The other is the past. They are one within the same cycle.  They work hard to stay away so that they don’t have to acknowledge their condition. Whether they should be coming together, well, who can say for sure? You’d like it to be possible for Aldus to reach out and help, maybe seeing some of himself in this young man who went down the same path as him, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Maybe it’s because that connection to himself, and not to Mekhi the Red, died long ago. Maybe the root is reaching out through Mekhi, trying to reach him, as his root withers into the future. Maybe it’s his past self calling out, begging him to understand that he was a young fool once. Now, he’s an old fool and the moment is gone. It’s much simpler to believe that youthful version of you no longer exists. He had to refuse it in order to survive and thus, it no longer exists.

The Whale Fall

Image result for whale fallhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_fall

A Whale Fall is when a whale nears the end of his life and decides to commit his body to an abyssal zone, which is a relatively deep area within the ocean, where he collapses and rots into the floor. The amazing thing is the life that comes about because of his death. Scavengers feed and multiply and thus, a cycle evolves and, as follows, an ecosystem. It comes from the husk of this beautiful creature, which commits itself to this place upon sensing its own demise.

I walked into my friend, Milky G’s, ancestral home. It was a place that he’d grown up, raised as a boy, well after his father left. He’d never known his father, although his mother had a few partners. None of her partners stuck around and he was left with her to care for him. She would die from a drug overdose when he was around the age of ten. After that, his grandmother took care of him, along with a few other members of his family. His uncle and grandfather also died in this house. I don’t know how much death it takes for a house to be considered haunted, but certainly, if there were ghosts to infect the city it would be here.

It was his grandmother who, being the only one to survive, after seeing two of her children die, not to mention a third who died years ago in childbirth, decided to raise him. Unfortunately, she was one of the great enablers of her time and thus, spoiled a young Milky G. He found out long ago that he could get away with murder, at least in her eyes, and when other family members would try to punish him she would intervene. She did the best she could for him, but the world and everything in it was rotting around them. We couldn’t see it then, but the chipped paint and gnarled corners with nails jutting out that tore open our arms and shoulders as careless young men who ran down the halls should’ve served as warnings.

The utter lack of interest in the twelve people who lived there should’ve been a dead giveaway. Nobody wanted to work on it, because it would’ve cost more than the house was worth. Towards what would be the end of his family’s time in this house, Milky G would be the last one in the house. The thing is that Milky G wasn’t handy. Within a few weeks, the plumbing seeped into the basement and after hours of trying to fix it, he finally had to call an expert. The second floor bathroom leaked into his first floor apartment and the water damage was everywhere. Tiles had to be removed and it left empty spaces in his ceiling. The floor of the bathroom mutated a putrid yellow and brown, which came out much clearer against the white ceramic tiles, which chipped and left the grey floor showing underneath.

Milky G wasn’t set on saving the house, but he didn’t have anywhere else to go. He had to make it work, because he had no idea what to do with himself. He never bothered with college, which was probably a fair assessment of his skills. He’d never been a good student. He never put the effort into studying, reading, understanding for him to be successful. It was much easier for him to be the clown. Becoming a clown for everyone was a mode of self-preservation, which claimed his entire life. He wasn’t good at telling jokes or making people laugh. He just… was a trickster. He manipulated and conned and, although people should’ve been mad, it never worked and usually ended in a catastrophic blunder. It’s terrible to think about it, but his life was a long-running, much more depressing episode of ‘The Three Stooges’.

He thought he was tough. He thought he was a force to be reckoned with, but none of that was true. He knew it, but refused to accept it. Several times, he was forced to acknowledge who he was and, although he surrendered every time, deep down it tore him apart. Deep down, Milky G wanted to be something so much more. I don’t know what he wanted to be… maybe he didn’t know either, but he understood that although he was this person, it isn’t who he should be.

Although it shouldn’t it most certainly was and he would never escape it. When I returned to his ancestral home years down the road, Milky G greeted me at the front porch. The porch is made of three concrete steps that are cracked and falling apart. Someone painted over them without sealing the cracks, so now the paint oozes into the slivers of broken ground. Milky G smokes a cigarette and stares at the other side of the road. The problem is there’s nowhere to stare. You can’t look down the road, across the street, a few blocks away, because you’ll be staring into someone’s apartment or right in their face and that’s just god damn rude.

He’s staring at his neighbors sitting on their porch. They don’t seem to notice his gaze, but he stares for most of the time that he’s talking. This entire block used to be full of people our age. They got old. They moved away. They found bigger and better things. Milky G let his cigarette burn out, before tossing it into a can next to the stairs. He led me into his home. The front hall light doesn’t work, but there’s enough light that we can make our way to his apartment. The scent of stale cigarettes and trash bombard my nostrils. The room is tossed, destroyed beyond all repair, as if it’d been raided. I don’t even notice at first that there’s a baby on a bed that’s just placed in the center of the room, amidst trash and rubble and filth and depravity and utter, ugly vulgarity that, although we claim we’re decent creatures, does exist and never, ever should. It’s one of the most horrifying sights I’ve seen and, for the life of me, I can’t believe the tranquility of this innocent baby boy. He’s far too young to understand. Ma and Pa needed an accomplice in life, so they decided to yank him out of that ethereal slumber beyond time and space. It’s not fair, but that’s the god damn cycle.

His girlfriend, Slinky Nostrils, was one of the most annoying creatures I’d ever known. When you’re young and you’re annoying people expect it, but when you’re old or have a child and you’re still this person it’s just infuriating. I know you can’t be expected to grow up in a matter of minutes. Logically, these are things I understand, but seeing the child nestled snugly in filth and debris… I’m glad I didn’t take a picture.I’m glad I can’t show you, although it’s an image I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Milky G tried opening a door into one of the rooms, but there was too much junk on the other side. He put his shoulder into it, before it budged and he could reach in and grab a clean shirt. Clean is not a word for anything in this place. He walks me out to the kitchen, where I see a large pit-bull in a cage. He owed someone money, as was often the case, and now had to care for his dog. That explained some of the smell at least, although I hadn’t noticed the smell of piss until we walked into the kitchen. The dog had apparently grown tired of waiting to be taken out and instead peed in his cage. Milky G threw down a few old newspapers to soak it up, but there were no windows to let out the smell, so here it would stay.

He opened the back door and let the dog run down the stairs. We could hear it barking and then another dog joined, as they ran along the fence, knocking it back and forth to get at each other. Milky G walked onto the back porch and lit another cigarette, as he watched his friend’s dog running along the chain-link fence. It had only about ten feet of fence to work with, so had to go back and forth. The neighbor’s dog did the same and it went on like that for a few minutes, before he turned back to me.

Milky G. The weight of his eyes is something I’d never want to measure. He thought he’d be great. He believed with all his heart. The lights on the back porch don’t work. I remember when we were young that one of his uncles got electrocuted trying to turn it on. Several of the lights don’t work and the sockets are frayed, broken and eager to ignite in a magnanimous fire that would get rid of this building once and for all. The only thing standing in its way is Milky G. The only one keeping this building from certain doom is a man who could barely pass gym class.

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a word that was said between us and, now that I look back, I don’t think any of it mattered. I have no idea how long I stayed. This place has a power about it, like one of many kingdoms of the Underworld. When I left, the sun was still out. The baby was still on the bed lined with garbage, but his mother was changing his diaper. I’m not rude enough to leave without saying goodbye, so I must’ve done that. I remember noticing on my way out that the ceiling was leaking outside the bathroom, at least enough that I could see the brown spot growing in the hall. I can’t think about that spot without imagining a biblical flood.

Milky G thought himself a great man, but that never came into being. His success was one of mass production. Countless Milky G’s roam the streets of, not just our town, but cities nationwide. They’re men who believe they’re greater than they actually are and have never given a proper assessment of their abilities. It’s a dangerous world that they create, because it has always sustained itself without a question. They worship the whale fall, because it gives meaning to this cycle. It promises that in death they will find meaning. It promises that their lives aren’t pointless. While I can’t deny this, I couldn’t see the point to Milky G. I don’t know why life seemed to take a particular appreciation in tormenting him every step of the way, but we all like to think that life enjoys kicking our asses more than the other. I mean… what about the whale?

Tom – Middle Manager

Related image

This is a story dedicated to… not just a manager… but a person of interest in a world that is evolving every second that we’re a part of it. Whether it changes for good or evil… well… who’s to say for sure?

 

Tom.

Tom –

Middle management

Sweaty, heavy breather, pained eyes hidden in cordiality, fragility, manager’s forced smile, talks in company slogans, insignificant, only a danger to those beneath him, only a danger to himself, has no self, none of significance, yet the duality of his corporate self and that dark creature within create such volatility, his presence is revolting, the duality creates a horrifying fragility to

Middle Manager Tom.

Thinning strands of hair on Tom’s head – shiny red skin – bald – vacation in Bermuda, one week off, fifty-one on, wife and kids smile – Tom the Dad on the right, them on the left

Murder – Tom sacrifices wife and children to dark gods, bathes in their blood, dances in ritual in honor of the moon – economic slave, to sacrifice and break the shackles

Fat gut – deprecations

Of body and spirit

Helter Skelter

Chronic masturbator

The Drug Guy of Tartarus

Related imageNobody talks about ‘the underworld’ these days. I find that disturbing. I love the pictures drawn out of ancient mythology of new worlds that you can pass through only by making some chilling sacrifice to prove that you belong. I’ve been considering the sacrifices we make every day to belong. We get a little older, sacrificing our youth so that we might stay a little longer. We get comfortable with loss and learning what to lose. You sacrifice a little bit of that youthful energy and hopefulness so that you might exist in this realm for a while longer.

Ask yourself, “What have I done to prove that I belong?”

It’s the same for when you want to buy drugs. It’s never an easy endeavor. Sure, we could legalize it and all this underground tom-foolery would dissipate within a matter of months… but we don’t have time for rational suggestions. Instead, we have to preserve the underground. It’s an environment unlike any other, with its own set of rules that have to be followed. It can be dark, mysterious, mischievous and down-right shady, but it has to exist. There are demands that the world of the living cannot meet. For that, you have the underground.

My dealer is a relatively normal guy. He just talks a damn lot about shit that I don’t care about. The price you pay for entering the underworld is having to listen for hours on end. Your sacrifice is made ever-so much more difficult by the fact that he won’t give you any drugs while you’re listening. You have to sit there stone-sober, as he rattles off trivial minutiae that he notices on a daily basis. It’s like meeting a character out of a children’s fable: you can’t cross the bridge without answering a few riddles. He just seems like a lonely guy living out a riddle of his own. He has dozens of friends and yet he has no friends. Plenty of people come to see him, yet nobody stays. Every creature within the underworld must live by the laws that govern. He follows a curse, for although he provides for the underworld a source of great power, he, in himself, possesses none.

I listen for a while. He believes in ancient aliens. He believes they built up mankind as a sort of cattle. He thinks we’re being moved in place and the earth is one great big farm. It’s weird that these theories always find some bearing on our souls, something familiar to embed in our psyches, like a god damn tick. I can’t forget the idea of the ancient aliens. Part of me would really love to relax and believe whatever. It settles into you. Doesn’t anyone else notice the parasitic nature of belief? A tick doesn’t rest. It bites down and chews. It’s chomping through you with all its might. You might feel it as an itch, but on the part of the tick its intent is malicious. It wants to survive. It HAS to survive.

Once he runs out of steam you’ve passed the test presented by the underworld. You’re free to escape. He works through the conversation and reveals vast treasures of the underworld. He gathers them up in sandwich bags, ties them up and presents them to you without a riddle. I don’t even know the question. I take what I’ve come for and leave, like any businessman, I offer a proper handshake and goodbye. He never seems to care that you go, as he folds over onto his couch and continues watching whatever is on the television. It’s usually cartoons or the History channel.

Embrace of Calliope

Image result for love jokeOur town isn’t known for much. It’s rare for us to get in the papers and when we do, it’s more likely for something terrible that will bring us great shame. After a while, you just sort of become numb to it. You laugh it off, not to laugh at yourself, but laugh at the regular humiliation of your people. It’s kinda like being a Cleveland Browns fan… for which I offer my deepest sympathies.

On the day in question, when we received our deepest veneration from the world, it took the death of two of our greatest patrons, Calliope the Immortal and Eseferon the Great. Their story was something that brought hope to the world, but their ending was what caught people’s attention. They died in each other’s arms. It was a beautiful moment, so much so that someone even took a picture and, someone even more morbid had it framed. It stood in our local library for a few days, before it appeared distasteful to some and had to be removed.

Now, what came as an even greater surprise and helped create a mythology about their love was that Eseferon the Great somewhat predicted their deaths. I don’t think he predicted it as much as hoped. He wanted nothing more than to fall asleep forever in her arms. Eseferon the Great told the world that he had cancer, stricken limbs with rigor before his death, pulsing pains here and there, but, so it goes, when Calliope moved her hands over his body he felt nothing more. He claimed to have a sore on his neck, but when she touched it the pain dispersed. He believed himself to have something terrible lurking in his sides, but with a gentle caress she made the pain go away. He claimed that her touch held mystical powers. He claimed that when he was around her he felt no more pain.

This was something he said over and over again. For years, he’d admit to believing that she had something special that he couldn’t put his finger on, although it was her love that truly drove him to feel better. Calliope the Immortal I never saw a picture of in her younger days, although she maintained an undeniable beauty in her declining years. She appeared above the fatigue of death, doom and old age. People thought they were both crazy, because Calliope never had a job and all she ever seemed to do was walk around. It was something to see, however, as if we had a guardian angel roaming the streets without concern. It almost seemed as if we should also live without concern. She’d walk through our Riverfront Park and disappear under the bridge, only to return, same upright stance, same graceful walk, as if above water.

The coroners said there was nothing wrong with Eseferon, although he was always the hypochondriac, but I’m sure he’d assume his lack of distress on his loving partner. Calliope called them back. Her gift must’ve run out. Either way, I believe they knew their time was running out. She’d held him together for so long. What do you do when you have no time left? They returned to what brought them here in the first place. They did what they loved to do.

Kama, Patron Saint of the Doomed

 


Doom is the word. It holds a great deal of weight at the tip of your tongue. Sound it out and let it settle. Your ears don’t want to accept the presence of such a word in your vocabulary. It’s a word that everyone deals with in everyday life, yet only a few know the definition. Knowing is struggling. Knowing is being defeated by life or other forces that prove much stronger, greater, more capable of breaking you down and making you feel like less than what you are. Doom is the word. It can’t be written out of the dictionary. It belongs, just like hope and prosperity.

Doom is a symbol of greatest despair. It’s the ‘nothing left, game-over’ scenario, when you have nowhere else to turn. You’ve run out of options. You’ve failed in a way that nothing will ever get better. If anything, it’ll only get worse. A symbol of doom weighs heavy on the soul. You don’t often notice them right away. More often, you live such a life that you have to look back and see, before you can pinpoint the augury of your downfall. Think of the Statue of Liberty and what it’s supposed to mean to a person coming in after spending days at sea, locked shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers, while you hold your child close to you and hope that you both can weather the storm. Imagine looking up over the horizon of ocean that you’ve seen for days and seeing that beautiful sign of hope: a distant flame in the endless ocean, her torch, held high above inequity and doom. Imagine what you feel, what you think, what you understand about your future. It’s enough to fill a man with hope. So too is that point when you’ve run out of hope. So too is that point when you have nothing, but to accept your fate.

The ocean is doom. Your old life is doom. Doom is the point of no return, when all hope is lost and nothing can be done to save you. It’s been symbolized by mythical places, like Hell or Hades, but in using symbols to define it, we’ve lost what it means for the truly doomed. True doom is reserved for those beyond reach. It’s for people so desperate they’d flee across an ocean for a better life.

What is hope? Hope is wishing for something better. The doomed have to hope that they can be absolved of whatever sin has caused their suffering. Hope is beyond the ocean, yet absolution is so much further.

If you walk beneath the Dunn Memorial Bridge in Rensselaer, New York, you’ll find several things. You’ll find a baseball field with a tremendous history to the sport, although you might not think it. You’ll find the noise insufferable, as cars speed above on their way to the highway. Of utmost importance are the pillars that keep the highway from crashing into the river. Several artists perfected their art against the sturdy concrete, as a proper reminder that almost anything can be made beautiful with a little effort. I found this one (Top Left) of utmost importance, not only to our town, but to the world. I call him, Kama, Patron Saint of the Doomed, because we all need hope in some form. The last time I walked passed this place beneath the highway, I saw its trash bins overflowing, while crows pulled out leftovers and made off with them like victorious scoundrels. I don’t understand that symbol, but I’d rather find meaning in something more beneficial.

For the lost souls that roam in our fair city, there is Kama, Patron Saint of the Doomed. The fallen angel, Kama, sacred returner of lost souls, watches over us all. Predators threaten. Call the city a haven and that’s what it becomes. Treat it like one and you live up to your word. Deliver on this promise and it is so. Kama is the protector. He pushes those forces that would cause us harm out into the ether, allowing us to remain, like a bubble along the river. After enough time, the bubble will pop and Kama will return from whence he came. Until then, he watches over us. Kama takes the form of the spider, but unlike most spiders he has not set this trap. This is not his web. Our web was empty, this empty city would’ve been picked apart if not for him. Every so often the web will tear, threatening a collapse into oblivion. Kama holds it together.

Outside forces work to tear down what we call sacred. It’s only a matter of time before they succeed and we are torn apart. That doesn’t matter. It’s not the point to preserve what is inherently doomed. It’s the point to try. It’s the point to try. It’s the point to try. Kama protects us. Still, even with him as our protector, our fate is sealed. We’ll collapse into oblivion, yet we have this time to enjoy our empire of dirt. Let his name, Kama, Patron Saint of the Doomed, be praised.

Muck Mouth Scripture

Image result for muck mouth#FreeMuckMouth

What do we do with our doomed? Those citizens that don’t register in our psyches as human, for those few, we have a lesser understanding. We see them pushing carts down the street far from the stores that they belong. We see them staring off into an endless world that we cannot see and wonder what could go wrong in a mind to create such a person. What do we do with them? How do we help? How do we make the world a little less fucked-up, so that maybe such a person could fulfill his destiny?

 

Spits at the wind

Spit comes back, sprays his face in mucus

Doesn’t even flinch

Sees the sun setting – stars waking, moon taking control

A whole world order rising and falling, rising and falling

“Stanky ‘D’ on a way down.” Muck Mouth says

Say what?

“Little grits… tight pussy… ‘D’ hangin’ low, ya mean?”

No… no one knows what the hell you’re talking

“English mo-fo… ha! Do you speak it?”

I guess not

He points to the sun, traces a line through the stars that we have yet to see

He sees something, I might never know what

Muck Mouth has a brilliant mind

It’s trapped in his shit brain

like the rest of us

Limitation

It always gets the best of us

We’re all trapped in muck

Muck Mouth’s brain

No discernible truth to this world

Just words to chew, salivate over, drool on ourselves

“Stanky ‘D’… no salvation,” traces his hand in the sky

I notice the sun and a line that follows over the horizon

Not the horizon, another line

It seems to be a space where the darkness drops over the light

Like a blanket collapsing over our sleeping world

When Muck Mouth sees the understanding in my eyes

He smiles – busted teeth, some missing

Good guy, great teacher

He speaks in myths and riddles

Sacred gods and goddesses made of night and day, light and dark, sun and moon

Their actions are coercion, control, power dynamics that our puny minds

Will never understand

Muck Mouth understands

If only, for me, to tap into the root of his wisdom

This is his scripture. —-I have no idea what the fuck you’re saying… and I think you know that.

Pooping in the Fitting Rooms


https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-walmart-crime/

Fun story time, starting with a fact I love sharing with everyone. Retail is the bane of my existence. I suffered through it for a long time and still see it as a terrible thing. I feel a tremble coming from my heart and receding through my limps whenever I walk into a store. My hatred knows no bounds.

Anyway, I promised a fun story and I’m not one to break a promise. On two separate occasions in our story somebody pooped in the fitting rooms Once, it happened when I’d first started at this store. A person piled up some clothes and just… you get the point. They asked everyone to clean it up, but we all refused. In the end, one of the managers had to do it. It didn’t affect me to have him do it. I liked the fact that he was made to, actually reveling in his suffering. For that time, sure, I became a sadist, but he made at least five times what I did. If anyone was going to clean up poop, why not him?

Second account of the ‘Serial Shitter’: it was a cold, blustery night. No… actually, what’s weird is on both accounts it happened around summer… hmmm. The person just pooped on one of the benches in the fitting room. They just pooped! What kind of weirdo does that sort of thing… and, if you’re the weirdo, please identify yourself!

We never found either attacker, but I think it’s the same person. These occurrences are separated by ten years, so the person is patient. He could’ve gone to any store, but he came to mine… maybe he’s from out of town and goes around pooping in local businesses. Maybe he’s a close friend. The ‘Serial Shitter’ is out there. He could be anyone and anywhere…. he could even be writing this story!

Wild Ogre Nether Regions

Ogre_Combatant

An ogre drawing from WOW… not actual footage of ‘Wild Bill’.

“…and then, one day you find ten years have got behind you

no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun…”

-Pink Floyd (Time)

Many a man makes himself into an ogre. Many a man is made into an ogre. Wild Bill followed the whims of every want and desire. He was a massive creature. He couldn’t be denied even if a person wanted. He couldn’t be put in his place. He could steal, bully and pillage all he wanted. He could eat and seemingly never be filled. His body was a landmine of desires, a vast pit that never became full. Wild Bill took all he could from life, until life finally stole some things from him. It chipped away at his youth. With that, his health followed. It always seems like a freak occurrence, when time stops you, when you have so much momentum you feel like you can go on forever. Wild Bill, set in his ogre ways, after many years, finally had to slow down.

I first met Wild Bill while walking through my city as a boy many years ago. He wore a pair of blue jean shorts and nothing else. He walked out of his front door with an angry, defensive look on his face, as I and a friend walked by. We’d done nothing to offend, but the Wild Ogres are so easily startled and often eager to fight. He’d look for any reason. it was important for my friend and I to maintain a safe distance, while keeping our eyes down. Wild Bill continued to stare. We could feel his hungry gaze. We waited for the words, ‘Fee, fie, foe, fum,’ to erupt from the ogre’s mighty belly, but that never happened. He just kept staring. He had a round stomach that hung out several inches from the rest of his lengthy body, which made it awkward to categorize, since he didn’t technically seem fat. Even after we were half a block away, the mighty ogre prepared as if to defend his hovel. My friend finally broke and had to look back. The ogre roared and we ran for our lives. That was many years ago.

The other time I came across the powerful ogre was when he was drunk at a local watering hole. I was much older by this point and he saw me not as a threat, but close enough to be… not a friend, but more a friendly acquaintance. He pulled me in for a rough hug. He had at least a foot on me and probably around a hundred pounds. I could feel his rounded gut, hard, pressing against me. He downed a mug of something, as if it were water, before slamming his palm against the counter for more. The table rattled under his weight, such a powerful creature. In no time at all, the ogre’s anger got the best of him. He ended up fighting someone out in the parking lot, being pulled away by three men, no less, before walking home alone. His anger, as it goes with most ogres, is the dominant emotion and always got the better of him.

Rage defined him. It could’ve been joy, although that emotion took many more years to set inside his heart. It started with a simple ‘hello’ and a wave from his porch. It ended with him running out in the middle of the street for me. It took everything for me to fight the urge to flee. He stopped me and put his hand on my shoulder. He knew me or remembered me somehow. We talked a little about things I knew nothing about. He wanted to talk some about himself and I didn’t mind. He was manifesting a friendlier nature and, although I found it surprising, I was in awe and had to respect it. When we both got older, me and Wild Bill, it was like we were both learning more about him. He was seeing himself in a different light, one never exposed in his volatile childhood days. He talked most of the time. I never got a word in anyway, but never wanted to interrupt him His stream of consciousness I found fascinating. He was digging for something and uprooting wisdoms inside himself that he thought ancestral, sacred, ineluctable. He couldn’t touch them, until now. I was uncovering buried treasures in his memory.

For years, his personality worked in a limited sense, which made him an outsider. He could be friendly around other ogres, but to others he made remarks that offended and bruised. He always said such things as jokes, although they were often personal. He could be boorish and rude. He was crass, vulgar. He was a slob. Women were his one true passion, but far from respecting them, he tried to use them as much as he could. He used them up like tissues and discarded them the same. He didn’t know how to maintain such a trivial, intricate relationship. Sex was easier for him, because it was a simple answer to a simple desire. Love and affection were far too complicated.

The last time I saw Wild Bill, proud Ogre of the Nether Regions, he wasn’t the same. Life caught up to him in its brutal fashion. It put him through hell. He’d been dealing with several rounds of chemo after an emergency visit to the hospital. He could’ve died right then, but his body was still strong in ways that most of us can’t imagine. He fought tumors and kidney failure, all to return to this life. Something changed in him. We talked for a while outside of one of the fine local establishments. A friend of his was being told to leave, because he came to the store without wearing a shirt. Wild Bill pulled the shirt right off his back and tossed it to him. The friend laughed and told him not to worry about it. Wild Bill had this grin, somber, silent… humble. It’s something of an evolutionary masterpiece. Amidst the anger of his youth, fighting to validate himself in this awful, wretched existence, his spirit found a way to manifest humility and kindness.

He’s an old man now. Humility’s what you have to look forward to after just a few decades on this earth. Humility is ugly and necessary. It’s the ability to beg, “Dear God, give me this one moment to go back and fix everything” and then knowing that just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean your prayers weren’t answered. You’ll never go back in time. You’re stuck here with us mortals in the present. It’s a beautiful thing. I like to think Wild Bill learned that, even if it came to him as the harshest lesson possible. Humility: he wouldn’t take anything for granted.