May 2005

Stories I tell...

There's a quiet rage. Those are the best kinds I find. There's something imminently more powerful in smoldering as opposed to an outright forest fire.

I think it's probably because once you're in the midst of the blaze you know exactly how things are going to play out.

When it's just the odd smell that you know means fire and you don't know where it's coming from, that's so much better.

So I'm sitting in the corner with some dirty old rags and a squirt can of lighter fluid wondering what to set fire to next.

What effigy is best suited for a burning?

Let's see, shall we?

If there is one thing that I do know, it is that no matter which way I turn, there's no shortage of fuel. Between expectations and inspiration there is a fine line drawn by conscience. I've lost track of where that line lies for me.

There is an enormous part of me that just wants to load up a super soaker with lighter fluid and leave the evening news with the arduous task of tallying up a body count. Fuck em all, as they say. Burn it all and whatever remains was clearly meant to stay.

Ah, but I would never get away with that, now would I...

Too many indiscriminate ears for that sort of business in this neck of the woods.

So I am left to the devices of which I have come to grow so comfortable. The claymores of words if you will. Hidden well enough that only those meant to find them will suffer their wrath, and even then, they usually don't care to know it.

But that doesn't change the fact that I do spit these words, with all of their venom. That does not hide my disappointment or my rage. If anything it only veils it thinly enough that those that it aims at might choose not to see it.

But that certainly doesn't change the fact that it is there.

There's a part of me that knows I should be happy for them. They have what they came for, and in that I suppose there should be some sort of cosmic fulfillment.

But I'm afraid that's not quite good enough for the likes of me.

The likes of me demand a last word.

The likes of me want them to know that I am not a matter of convenience, and to even be slightly considered as such is a weapon of great offence. I have never pretended to be convenient, and I certainly never will. I am terribly inconvenient. I have always been and I always will.

I have never looked for someone to save me or damn me. I have only looked for someone to listen. That is all that any of us look for, really.

I am endlessly amused by the fact that the things that I have built up are the things that betray me with the most. Empty words and empty promises. Repetition lost in itself. So many words dying for a change, but falling on their own swords at the first chance.

Enough.

I am tired of these games. Excuses are a dime a dozen, but reasons to blame come even cheaper. And me? I'm dirt poor these days.

I can taste it.

I can feel the dust in my mouth.

I can feel the ash clogging my breath and I am tired of it.

For the record, you should have chased me. You should have told me that I was wrong. You should have told me that really were there, and that you always would be.

v You should have grabbed me and wrung the illusion of loneliness out of me.

But you didn't.

Maybe you kept up your pride, but you failed me.

More fuel for the fire, as they say.

I haven't quit yet, and you certainly don't have the power to make me quit now. Hurt? Yes, but that's not yet been enough to make me stop.


I should have cut your throat when I had the chance...


And you...

You miserable excuse for a human being. You facist. You coward. Man o man, I really missed my chance with you didn't I? If I had half the morality I do and perhaps a little more common sense I should have upended you with that bad excuse for a coffee table when I had the chance. It would have been a whole lot smarter and in the long run probably would have saved myself a whole mess of trouble.

Unacceptable people are just that, and you my previous passing excuse for a comrade are and always will be such.

I wonder how you sleep at night.

I'm a failure, and I'm well aware of that, but you, you delude yourself into thinking that you are otherwise. You seem to think that in the midst of this hurricane of bullshit you wear that maybe all of your lies might add up to something more than the self serving web that you weave.

But still (and maybe I'm being an optimist here) I can't help but think that on those lonely nights when you're not out at the bars grinding up against some poor fool half your age that and you find yourself in your living room or in your all together too lonely bed that maybe you went wrong somewhere.

I'm sure that you can quickly find a chemical lie that tells you otherwise, but that doesn't change one simple fact.

You have never been able to be honest with yourself. Not about who you are or what you have done.

And that's the difference between you and me. I know exactly who I am and what I've done. I came to terms with all of that a long time ago, and I make a daily effort to keep up with that. You could never come to terms with yourself, so I suppose that I certainly shouldn't expect you to come to terms with me.


On a happier note...

Soon, I will be sitting on a beach drinking either exotic drinks with umbrellas in them or (after what I suspect will be a slightly longer search) a local beer that I will have never had before. I probably won't have even seen the bottle.

I'm wondering what kind of shape either the glass or the bottle will be in. I wonder what the texture will be like. I wonder if the humidity will be enough that there's all that copious condensation that you see in the pictures.

I intend to also bring a couple of books. It's not very often that I'm away from things enough that I am able to sit down with a good book and relax whilst sitting in the sun. Today I went out and did a rare splurge on some Vonnegut and Dr. Thompson. That should keep me busy I think. Over 720 pages in total. Throw in a couple of airport bookstore finds, and as long as I can learn enough Barbadosian to meet up with some locals and learn some things that I would never learn anywhere else with what will ultimately end up being an unnecessary amount of snorkelling, sunbathing and other fun and I should come back a happy more learned boy.

But really, I'm secretly hoping I can find a really cheap guitar.

Something's Wrong With The World Today...

I read a lot of books.

I try to read older books, or at least books written by older authors. There are many reasons for this that I don't need to bore you with at the moment as they won't apply to the point that I am about to try and make.

First of all, I've noticed, particularly in my authors autobiographical works and notes, that there is invariably the story about how families would all sit together in the living room and listen to plays or the latest new of the world huddled around a radio.

For slightly younger authors, the idea remained the same, but the centre of attention was this new fangled device called a television set.

Radio with pictures, imagine that.

Now I do have some pretty serious memories of my dad and I watching the original Star Trek (in syndication on CBC, I'm that fucking old yet thank you very much). I also remember that there was a family ritual every Sunday night of watching The Wonderful World of Disney and Fraggle Rock and all that.

The point being is that these exercises were always done as a family.

So then I started thinking about why the world seems to suck so much, and why so many people feel lonely and scared (not that a little healthy fear isn't a good thing, it is) and I think that I may have gone and come across maybe a bit of something.

Look at the major entertainment technological advances of the last twenty years. Ask yourself, what's the biggest?

Well Alex, could you form that as a questio...

Dammit, I hate when I do that.

If you answered computer, you are half correct. The real correct answer is the Internet (MSWord insists that I capitalize that, but I'm sure there's no connection there...).

Those two inventions have almost single-handedly redefined the ways in which a great many of us spend a good chunk of our free time.

Which leads into the next question...

When was the last time you saw a family gathered around the new pc surfing the internet?

Or the entire family sitting down together to listen to the latest batch of downloaded music? Never happens, Timmy just drops it in his ipod, plops on his headphones and surfs for porn while mom and dad are asleep.

The vast majority of consumer based entertainment products that are released these days are based on a single user.

We live in a world where we are told to be individuals, strong on our own. This is marketed and advertised in every way. We are told that we are at our best and our strongest when we are on our own.

While ancient societies focused all of their energies on strengthening the tribe and reinforcing the idea of community, we now focus on the individual, segregating ourselves so that we never have to admit that we might be wrong (as if that is some sort of a bad thing...).

I'm not sure that I get that.

I mean, I get the reasons and all, but I don't get why the vast majority of us buy into it.

Divide and conquer. There's strength in numbers and they know it. Best to cut them all up into little tiny pieces. Easier to fit into the grinder and they fight a whole bunch less.

Madness...

No one howls at the moon anymore. I've been listening for it lately, but all I hear is the occasional car and sometimes rain.

I like the sound of the rain better than the cars myself.

I think that a little insanity is required to keep a firm grip on sanity; I also think that a too firm a grip on sanity can also be a very bad thing.

I think that I'm going to set aside one day a month (at least) to go a little insane. I think that at the end of the day, everyone should, but these days, I'm finding that fewer and fewer people are willing to.

A shame that.

There are far too many questions out there without people being willing to try and answer them. There are far too many people eased into comfort. Fuck that. I'll take my shitty life and I'll shove it down your throat with a healthy measure of Tabasco just to make sure you get the runs to remember me by.

There are too many people out there who missed the point. There are too many people who got comfortable. Hiding it behind sharp angles and the pose of rebellion doesn't pass. If anything, it just dulls the edges of the things that are supposed to be sharp.

And then, they can't cut anymore, so what good does that do anyone?

Are you sure what side you're on?

I am.

I'm not on yours, I'm not on mine, I'm on theirs. I'm on the side of the idea that we can be and do better than this. I'm on the side that says that we are all, and can do better, than this.

Nothing around us is what it seems. It's all just a ride. But while I know that it's just a ride, I know what the ride should be. They showed me the blueprints.

A single note on a piano can shatter a wine glass.

Let it shatter you.

You know where to find me...

Nate@natepike.com