The One About Doorways

These post-Christmas lights that strobe and gleam over stale front yards, I don’t know whether to appreciate the purposeful distraction or detest them like expired decoration. I think that I like them for some reason, breaking up the drive as they go on singing an old song that lingers through the neighborhoods. The spirit of the season may have gone entirely unnoticed if it hadn’t been for them there – that reminder that it was the holidays, and that it was supposed to be ringing and magical.

And the snow – I don’t mind the snow this time. I don’t mind my tires spinning on broken roads or even the mush as dirt and mud is mixed in with the frozen slush sloughed off in uneven heaps. Every time it falls and the streetlights catch those little while pieces some part of me is appreciative. Yes, this is exactly the feeling. Yes, as cold and as terrible as it seems and as much as everyone will go on about their winter blues. Yes. Cover up what you can and be as frigid as we are inside.

I may be depressed. I may be tired and sad. But I am well aware that as long as I am working very hard, it will end and something else will eventually begin.

Dear Diary, I am starting to change. The more I listen to myself the more it scares me and the stronger I feel. I feel awful. Terrible. I feel like a bad person. I feel like I have failed. I feel like I want to succeed and that my new course will not be well understood by anyone besides myself.  I’ve been different for a while now – I know that – but the way that everything has been racing through me is finally saying those heartbreaking, excruciating things that no one wants to hear.

I’ve dared not even write about it. My private spaces are compromised a little more every day – exactly what will destroy me. Exactly what I’ve always wanted to happen.

This was good. This was settling and this was taking care of me. This was more than many people could hope to have in a lifetime. Dear Diary, my heart doesn’t want this, anymore.

There are problems within the system at work. Things that I’m not seeing. I’m good at picking up on the outside opportunist and the unfortunate criminals who try to take something in front of me. But we are losing product and the other day I let something go right out the door.

They called out a man who had picked out a range top of all random things, and paid for some electronic machines. They said that he had his receipt in hand and was good to go – the source, a trustworthy person. And when the cart came up I saw the items and the product that the employee had wrapped in plastic bubbles. I saw over a thousand dollars on the receipt and every sign told me: this is not one of those things you’re looking for. I also noticed that the man’s receipt had a woman’s name listed as the credit holder but I’ve learned that accounts are often shared and husbands and wives carry around shared wallets.

I let him go and the thing they had taken the time to retrieve, wrap and put on the cart had not been paid for. It had been a major oversight. It was one line missing on the receipt. And the credit card was reported stolen a few days later. We incurred several hundred dollars in shrink and it rocked my brain.

Now I have been at the door, looking over every receipt. Matching every model number. Being that security guard, being that bitch who inconveniences the majority of honest people who have folded their papers up and buried them deep inside their purses only to have to fish them out, all the while scowling at me. And every moment I spend doing this is a moment that I am not on the CCTV footage monitoring the salesfloor. It’s a new rhythm, a new balance that I’m working with now. But the numbers are so disappointing – over budget and not even halfway through the fiscal year. Then there are times when leadership is nowhere to be seen, and so many people passing through that working several cameras in one view cannot possibly show me everything that’s going on.

There is no control right now, I think, like a secret I’m keeping from busy workers in fear of how they’d react if they really knew. Sometimes, anything could really happen.

“Autumn, play your music,” William said, as he walked by. He was referring to the fact that I will normally cue up something on LastFM and let it stream loud enough to be heard by people who get close enough to me. It hadn’t been playing one discouraging evening and I thought, you’re right. I should just play my music.

Just play my music.

And then there is the ghost – the one I haven’t written about. I know better. My life’s history of romanticized goodbyes and the pointless, damning rush of my emotions pouring into someone or some thing that could never make me feel as good as the goodness I expel into it. It is a deadly addiction, threatening my own well-being the moment that I cannot sustain my own levitation.

“Ghosts aren’t real.”

“But I believe in you. And you aren’t here anymore.”

It’s fine, though. Worse things have haunted me.

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A Moment In Michigan

budsfrozen

Here are a few photos I felt inclined to take during the holidays with my family. In Shiawassee County a lot of people are without power (parents and brother included) due to an ice storm that hit Michigan several days ago. We stayed at a hotel for Christmas but I went to the house and was astounded by the thick of layer of ice over every tree branch. When the sunlight hit that ice I was absolutely breathless. This footage from my cheap gophone just isn’t the same as being there in person.

See also: a video I shot (under 2 mins) HERE on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrguXhjufJQ

 

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And of course, a photo of Christopher’s portal in the wintertime.

Observations Of a Villainess

He said, you can feel it as it starts to happen. You start to taste it.

And I stood there, immersed in his humility, with that little bit of blood he had missed between his nostrils.

He was branded when I met him, long sleeves rolled up high enough that it showed. I see a lot of scripture. The names of people. But I hadn’t seen a boy with a black flower, before.

When I got up close I saw that it was dated. Like little wooden crosses you see on the side of the road.

I made sure to shout something rude in his direction whenever I walked by. New hire and all. Some of my coworkers reported that they didn’t like him – said he was awkward. Eventually I told him so.

“I’m not awkward!”

The thought crossed my mind to explain it. How I came to regard him the moment I picked up on his uncertainty and made sure to speak a certain way or say a certain thing. And that once I broke though that, how he seemed okay and even likable.

He showed up to the holiday party wearing a pocket watch and a vest – I asked, “What kind of shit is this?” and he just smiled and whipped the bowling balls down the alley like he didn’t give a fuck. They had to tell him to stop throwing them so far out because they would  smash on the wood and spin out of control.

At random he proclaimed, “I’m so happy! I finally got one of my knives back” and I knew there were eccentricities abound.

He came from California. On his old driver’s license he is wearing a bow tie. He will tell you that he watches anime and reads manga and plays silly games on the computer and you will shake your head, silently wondering what you’ve missed since you did, too.

Abbey noticed that of all the easy targets, I never gossip about him. We always play this game, since I have to constantly enforce policy, that I am The Villainess.

“My evil powers will not touch that boy.”

“Wow. I think that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said.”

On his arm, is someone who died. Every day he wakes up and she killed herself and William doesn’t want her to ever go away.

It pisses me off. I fail to see what she accomplished in order to deserve that. Part of him should not be decided by the poor decision from an awful tragedy when there is still beauty to behold. It interrupts the space between his wrist and his elbow. There are so much better things within. I get so fed up if he comes around and I see it at the wrong time. I hate how it catches my eye.

In the hub a bunch of us were eating Thanksgiving dinner. A movie was playing on opposite walls, some action, some funny lines in the middle of explosions. When I looked up the hero’s family was sinking in a vehicle submerged in water.

“Why do the backstories always have to be so terrible?” William mused, sitting across the room.

I stuck my plastic fork in the stuffing. Never looking away from my plate I said, “Why is there someone who always has to die.”

Thump, thump.

It wasn’t until I caught myself staring at his bloody nose, wondering why that never happened to me, if it tasted like when I used to wriggle loose baby teeth with my tongue, that I was like okay.

Maybe his fuckin’ pocket watch…maybe his bow tie…maybe this child… is wonderful.

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Of Hashtags And Holograms

Sitting here with my devices tonight, I feel entirely disconnected. People in this place, on this phone, the limitless information streaming to my laptop… I should be closer to something than ever. Maybe it is that I am, and that the thing joining it is loneliness.

I just took the enterprise dive, the hologram slam right into one of your closets. I laid in bed with my eyes closed, imagining the scenario….then fumbling for my phone, trying to write it all down with my thumb before I fell asleep.

And while I was in there, messing around, I came across the care package I sent you a long time ago. You had held on to some part of it, I believed it, and I could see it there.

I thought, what sort of a fucking shame was that, to have cared so much that I still appear in your home. Your apartment. Your house. Beside a computer console of cheap, sawdust-glued composite with the long shelf across the top. In front of multiple square mirrors. Anywhere the light had cast.

And what more, I wondered, under my comforter and slipping away fast, given how much he had helped me back then, what more I could have learned during this very confusing time.

That character who stopped developing. I must have loved him. That lucky son of a bitch.

These machines have become so small that I can hold them in my hand and always be here, there, in the moment and away. I find the contacts every day and I plug them in. But I tell you what. It’s not the same as when the names were lit and we were all at the same place in different worlds. States apart and I felt closer to that mind piece, than I do today.

Those words in those moments…

Now the impulses are translated and they scroll in funny thought bubbles and it worries me. Scares me. I get the sinking feeling that they just don’t…make the whole trip. Anymore.

I had this vision when I was just a sore person wrapped in a pirate flag at my old laptop, that I would fuse with robot parts and it would please you. The logic and reason would settle in, the metal would clash against my skin and I could be that thing you never saw anywhere else and never gave up believing in.

Tonight. Codewriter, I am sorry.

I feel the plastic on my cheek and it is only me, surrounded by clicks and beeps. The noise and the lights and the fans and the information inside…no one else gets it. And the misfortune we wanted to see me beat… that I thought was circumstantial… it’s in every program, every version, every electronic chord, bubble that passes through the hose in my chest and the nails that were used to keep everything together.

This future that is here, it feels like the dread I had when my panic didn’t have a name. The faces that blend, the eyes that never really see me back in varying degrees of closeness.

I was afraid that it would be like this.

So I will extend and freeze this in time for whenever we meet again.

If you accept it, you’ll automatically connect. But the experience will be separate.

The most human, the most alive, your eyes upon these words I left and the sadness in never being simultaneous…

The best I ever felt.

End trans/