August 2003

Dropping Off The Radar?

I have often spent a great deal of time tripping through these pages amusing myself on life and all. What interesting turns it takes an all of that. Well being safely out of suburbia, but being relegated with that infamous NFA label, I can?t help but wonder what happens next.

I am writing this months Reprisal in a little tiny back room in the rear of a garage. Two of my closest friends were kind enough to put me up for a while, and it certainly is a lot cozier than one might expect.

Mind you, I have lived in some pretty hellish places?

One of the things that I have been particularly amusing myself with of late is the fact that many of those that will call themselves your friend only do that when the moment best suits them. Many people will be more than happy to take on the mantle of acquaintance for the simple value of having yet another title they can make themselves feel better with, but when something is actually needed of them?

Poof. Like the alien guy off of The Flintstones.

But that?s life I suppose. You have to find out who your friends are one way or another, and massive upheavals in ones life probably serve just as well as the next method of discovery.

The interesting thing is that I?m actually beginning to enjoy the whole discovery process. I?m really starting to get into watching the inevitable drift of people who were never meant to be anything more than the occasional line in the occasional story?

You know the one?

"Ohhhhh yeah, this one time, (insert occasional name here) and I? oh wait, you don?t know them? Anyways so we were out?"

And with that, these occasional people become simply nothing more than characters passing in and out of our lives. No biggie.

The fun part is the inevitable question you have to ask when you realize that all these people are nothing more than occasional names?

Whose occasional name are you?

 

And Todays Jackpot Is Estimated At?

 

Every day, people take a trip down to their local convenience store, or their local grocery store, and they buy lottery tickets. They buy what they think are chances at a better life, or a nice car and a big house. They buy may be wishes for all they things they think they want or deserve. They buy the idea that maybe through some magic whim of chance that they might be able to access all the things they have ever wanted.

All for a couple of dollars.

It funny when you think about it. Thousands of people, every week, looking for a chance, hoping that the odds might somehow play in their favour?

A moment on odds?

Statistics are a funny thing?

You can bend them pretty much any way you please. You can twist and turn statistics and odds into pretty much anything you like. At the end of the day though, you are left with cold hard numbers that leave people throwing away useless ticket stubs into a garbage bin. At the end of the day you have numbers that leave people behind. At the end of the day you have odds that you just can?t beat. Odds that end up owning you if you?re not careful enough?

For example?

People talk about the fact that the odds of being murdered are greater than that of winning the lottery. It?s a mathematical truth actually. You have a greater chance of being violently killed than you do achieving all of those dreams that they sell alongside cherry flavoured slurpees?

But there?s a flip side to that, one that people don?t often think about. If you have a greater chance of being murdered than winning the lottery, than it must be the case that you also have a greater chance of being a killer than achieving those millions.

Not only that, but given the alarming rate of recidivism these days, your odds are probably actually better of being a killer than being killed.

At least, that?s how I excuse myself?.

* * * * *

Psychiatry has a lot of different ways of explaining the human psyche. One of the few things that most of the schools of thought agree upon is that inside every mind there lurks two separate parts, two polar opposites that more often than not disagree as opposed to agreeing.

The commonly accepted names for these are the conscious and subconscious minds. The conscious mind is generally the one that we are aware of, the one that presents us with the idea of choice. The subconscious mind is considerably more hidden. You are never really supposed to know what the subconscious is up to. It?s more like a whisper in your ear that guides you to things, but that you never really know why you?re wandering over and giving that mini-hatchet undue attention.

The subconscious, some argue, represents what we really want as opposed to what we think we should want, or what we have been taught we should want.

This will be important later, trust me.

* * * * *

All in all, it was a gradual shift to that first divine moment. I had my job, I had my pretty girlfriend, I had a reasonably new sports car slash practical sedan. I rode the mass transit system every day on my way to my job (although I suppose I should use the word career), which I was good at, but never good enough to really excel at. I had what some might say was an above average quality life, but there was always something lacking.

Sound familiar?

So many stories I have read started like my own story does. Dissatisfied product of modern society takes life into his own hands and becomes the better person for it. He charges against all odds and in doing so finds the thing that he has been missing all this time and ends up making a huge difference for a lot of people, if not the world.

For the record, and there is quite a long list of people to tell you this, I am no fucking Brad Pitt.

I always thought that movie was funny. Hollywood hands you this "rebellious" type film, complete with sex symbol stars, lots of impressive fight scenes and explosions, laden with the idea that this or that is sexy or cool, and then tries to tell you in the same breath that everything that you are told is cool is a lie that you shouldn?t believe.

Amazing the subtleties of sales?

But that?s more of a counterpoint than a point, and probably wholly irrelevant.

My story doesn?t play out like that.

Life is not a Hollywood ending. At all. There are no exploding buildings. There are no beautiful girls just before the credits role. The truth of the matter is that more often than not, there is no ending. There?s just another day in the commuter vein, off to doing the same thing, with the fragments of some drama settling behind you.

That?s how it happened for me at least.

I broke up with my pretty girlfriend. Actually, that?s a lie.

She broke up with me. I wasn?t, and still am not to sure why. This sounds like a cliched story yet again, but I assure you, it isn?t.

You see, like we all do, I wanted a reason better than the one she gave me. When we are left, and told that the reason that we are left is because of the fear that we might represent something serious, we all come to question that. We can?t understand what it is that makes the reality of us scary. We can?t understand why the naked honest truth of ourselves is something that should be run from rather than embraced.

But you see, I did.

What stopped her from seeing me from all I tried to show her?

She gave the answer herself.

Fear.

So fear became my enemy.

* * * * *

I?m reasonably sure that the fact that my "breaking point", as many ignorant hacks in the fields of psychology would call it, was something so trivial pretty much excludes me from ever using the excuse of PTSD should I ever need it. I am honestly not that concerned though. One of the things that I have learned is that the legal system is more than happy to provide excuses for behavior that is a little less than ordinary if you only take the time to look for them.

But back to fear?(This would be the part where, if this ever becomes an amazingly overproduced Hollywood spectacle, there is some kind of static-y noise and a jump cut to show you exactly how much the digression gods had a hold of me there?)

I didn?t realize it for some time. I didn?t realize it for several months to be honest with you.

And then, one day, on the mass commuter transit, I overheard a conversation that would open up a whole new world of perfect freedom for me.

He was exactly what you would expect from the guy from the weekend. He was sitting on a bench bragging to his friends about his weekend, about the girl he took home from the bar. He was telling his story to his friends to let then know exactly how much of a man he was. He needed them to know just how much of a "real" man he was.

He was afraid of what it would mean if they didn?t.

And that?s where it all clicked. The reason that she left me wasn?t that I wasn?t good enough. The reason that I was hurting was no fault of my own. The reason that my life and the lives of so many others were upturned was simply fear.

And so, as I said, I named fear my enemy.

You see, in that moment I saw that little man for the coward he was. I saw the fear of being enough reflected in him. I saw all of the fears that not only the one that I had loved had, but also I saw all the fears of the world around me. And in that moment of total bravado on his part, I grew to hate that fear more than anything.

You see, I understood.

And on that understanding there came that precious separation. The separation between self and reality. The separation between self and everything that surrounds and crushes us. The separation of the conscious, restricted by the rules that surround us, and the subconscious that rules everything so secretly.

Imagine what it?s like to be able to simply let go and to see things for what they are. If one chooses to, one can actually let the conscious and subconscious minds trade places at the driver?s seat now and then. When you do that, when you give yourself over so that your motivations are simply instinctual, while being tempered but not ruled by the intellect, you can suddenly see all of the things that rob us of what we are.

The thing that robs us of not only all that we are, but all that we might be, is simply fear. The thing that takes away all that matters to the average human being is nothing more than fear.

So like I said, rather than creating a cult movement, or starting some sort of special organization designed to rid us of fear, I decided that it would be best if I placed all oweness on myself. After all, who am I to expect that people might see the simplicity of my solution?

So I waited?

You can?t leave an obvious trail. That?s the first mistake that so may of my kind make. So many allow for a connection to be made, to allow for some trail to be left for the authorities to solve like some puzzle crafted in Hollywood. Like I said earlier, life is far from Hollywood.

I waited almost two months, just to ensure that I was nothing more than a random figure looking to get home from work. I learned his patterns. I learned how he went to work, and how he came home. I learned it all. And most importantly, I waited.

The trick to this work is to make it all look completely random. The trick is to not be impatient. So many of my contemporaries get into this line of work in some puerile attempt to seek attention to themselves. I?m not interested in attention to myself. Not at all. I am more interested in taking these fucks, these users, off the face off the planet once and for all. My goal is not served by drawing attention to myself, rather the opposite.

You see, so many get caught up in the grandeur of their schemes. I have no interest in that. My only interest, once I realized the massive impact that fear can have on so many lives stemming from simply one, is to stop one at a time.

So I waited.

I watched.

And one night, when I knew that his racquetball schedule meant that he would be walking home alone at one of the darker hours (research is everytyhing?.), I simply walked up behind him, asked him the time, and then cut his throat with a straight edge razor and took his wallet.

Taking the wallet made it look like a mugging (I later threw the wallet in the nearby river and gave the money to a homeless man nearby).

If you spend enough time studying, you can learn where to cut. You can learn where to draw the line so that your victim won?t even have the chance to utter anything other than a gurgle. It?s all a matter of preparation. He never even had the chance to make a noise. He just turned and looked at me with a stunned expression and then tried to run in some futile attempt to find help.

Further note:

Contrary to popular belief, just because you cut a person?s throat, doesn?t mean they?re going to give up all that easy. There will be a period of time before they go into shock where they decide to try and fight for life.

The trick to all of this is to simply keep them in place until they simply lack the biological imperatives necessary for struggle.

Any human being can only last so long.

As I would later learn through experience, he didn?t last all that long. Shock set in quite efficiently, and soon enough he was nothing more than an unconscious pile of meat emptying itself.

Take 2:

This is where the separation that I talked about earlier really comes into play. Me being me, I would never have the stomach to cut another human being, let alone hold them in one place as the life drained from them. But on the train of mass transit, I decided that life would be far more interesting if I simply gave myself over to those whispers in my head. Maybe better judgement should have kicked in, but ultimately, I managed to go day after day watching this man, this virus, and switch the part of me that "said better" off.

So I did.

And I have to say when you hand yourself over to instinct, when you hand yourself over to that primal thing, there is a freedom in that most people will never enjoy.

Truth be told, most people are scared of it.

But I felt it. I felt the raw equalization of things flow over my hands. And I would be lying if I said I didn?t love it.

He wouldn?t inflict his fear on anyone anymore.

* * * * *

Next, in my town, I chose a woman. Really, in these days of political correctness, who is anyone to make a biased decision based on gender. As before, I bided my time. I chose her out and I waited.

Would you like to know about her?

As she would tell it:

She was a twenty-year-old stripper who had moved down from northern Alberta to make her fortune in the "adult entertainment industry". She liked Walt Disney and had a fondness in particular for Goofy. Truth be told, She was really a victim of her small town upbringing. Being trapped in Northern Alberta for as long as she was had created this need for her to go out and see the world and experience life as much as possible. She wasn?t going to be judged anymore either. She was raised Catholic, and she was simply tired of that judgemental attitude. No one was ever going to tell her that anything she was doing was wrong again.

What a load of bullshit.

She was preying on the loneliness of so many men. She fed her drug habit and made her rent by making lonely sad pathetic men think that they might have a chance at her. More importantly, she was feeding her fear of not being sexy or good enough with the fears of these sad and lonely, and more often than not, married men. She spent most of her time dancing onstage while her parents up North labored under the misinformation that she was a server at Denny?s. She lied and cheated her way through the strip clubs and video producers in town.

But when things slowed down, and when she needed a fix or some rent, she would make herself available. For the right price, she could be had.

I had her in the back of a stolen car (once again, if one only takes the time to research on the correct methods on hot-wiring a late model Lincoln, it?s all about research). Then, when she was feigning the moment of absolute ecstasy, just so that she could get me over with, I Took out the plastic bag that I had hidden under the seat earlier that evening, and I wrapped it around her head.

Once, again, I knew damn well that she would begin to fight immediately. I was ready for it. Like I said, preparation is key.

Condoms are everything when dodging forensics.

That and a completely shaved body.

Works miracles.

* * * * *

Once ensuring that minimal physical evidence is left behind, the big trick in making sure that you aren?t caught is to not get to cocky.

Too many of my contemporaries make the often-final mistake of being overzealous. If you try to do too much in to short a period of time, you ultimately end up establishing a noticeable pattern. It is inside that pattern that you create that allows for those that don?t see the beauty of what you are trying to accomplish begin to predict what you will do next and in doing so, put an end to your work.

Patience really is a virtue.

And luckily, I have it, in spades.

My method is simple, as I said before. I wait until someone who deserves what I will give them grabs my attention, and then I simply plan it out.

I only have to see the occasional dispute, the occasional argument that hides itself behind a deeper drama. One hint, that?s all I need. Just a taste?

And with that taste, be it victor or victim, I choose who is the most afraid. I choose who is the most hurtful, who can do the most damage to the rest of the world and I make them mine.

* * * * *

A note on the authorities:

It sounds clich鬠but if enough cops know that there has been a villain, you would be amazed at how many turn their eyes to what they see as a lesser evil.

I have learned that if you choose someone who has a history of causing problems, more often than not, their demise will either all too easily be ruled as an accident or simply something that would have happened eventually anyway. As long as you go with someone who is really an obviously less than desirable human being, not terribly noticeable, and you don?t do anything spectacular, no one really pays all that much attention.

It?s becoming something of a game for me now. Not only do I have the strength of my convictions, but I also have the challenge in coming up with new ways to do my work that ensure that no pattern is present. I have established an arsenal of ways to clean up these people that leaves no possible way for things to be traced back to me.

My new favorite?

Simply a hypodermic filled with any array of easily available, but completely fatal diseases. All you have to do is bump into the person hard enough that they don?t notice your true design, and they?ll never even know what you have done.

Most just end up looking at it as a matter of Karma, or an unfair happenstance of their lifestyles.

I really am invisible now. I have learned how to become anyone. I may be the man beside you on the train. I may be the homeless person begging for spare change. I can be a stock boy, or a clerk, or any of the people that you run into on a daily basis but never really think about.

They say, that the odds of being the victim of a violent crime are greater than those of winning the lottery.

Sometimes, I buy a lottery ticket myself, just for fun. I wouldn?t mind leaving this hellhole myself one day?

 

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors?

Been a while, but I?m a happier me these days. You only have to look up once in a while during a pleasant moment and say to yourself, "If this isn?t nice, what is" a couple of times a day before you start to look at things in a considerably more positive outlook.

Aaaaaaand as promised, the demo version of Revolution?

But first, a disclaimer:

This song is what is referred to as a demo. I do not know the correct or technical definition of a demo, but I can say this, a demo for me is the product of a few hours sitting at a computer and recording the ideas of a song. It is not about high fidelity. It is not about surround sound, it is simply about getting the ideas down so that someone like me who can?t read or write music might be able to go back and say, "oh yeah, that?s what I was doing!"

To put the minds of the more socially active to rest, no animals were harmed during the creation of this demo, and any resemblance to any persons living or dead is completely intentional and stems from the fact that I am a bitter jaded small man. If this demo offends your ears or your sensibilities (as I said it is quite lo-fi), closer examination of your media player will reveal that there is a stop button. If you really, really don?t like it, you will also find in your media player the option to remove any remnants of the song from your hard drive forever.

With that in mind, I hope you enjoy it for what it is, and also bear in mind that I do not currently own a reverb unit or a compressor so the vocals are shit.

clicky clicky

Ok? I?m done now.