Tiny Windows

A peep hole

There’s a clock in this apartment. After 8 months, I still don’t know where, but I hear it. I hear it constantly. What do clocks do? They tick.

They tick like a never ending itch, reminding me of the one thing I can count on in my life; consistency. My ears just want to scratch it, but they can never satisfy the stimulation.

I woke up on my girlfriend’s couch again. It was 2:37, or maybe it was 2:14. Another sunny day wasted. The way the mid-afternoon sun seeps in through the blinds and thin red curtains gives the room a sort of dusty, tarnished brass hue. It always reminds me of two things: that dream I’ve been having every two weeks, and the fact that I have been hiding out in my girlfriend’s apartment since July, but I haven’t seen her in 9 weeks.

I’m back on the couch. I hear that damned clock ticking still. The last thing I remember is trying to remember where my girlfriend ran off to, and the discomfort of synthetic wool on my bare skin.

A couple cars just drove by outside, I can hear the mist slapping rubber and pavement, it must have showered while I was out. I should, too.

There is a clock that I have no qualms with. The microwave clock. It actually tells me the time. Almost a quarter past one. Now I hear myself breathing. It’s a sleeping pattern, but my mind has my body handcuffed to consciousness.

I hear noises coming from the back door in the hallway of this rundown shit hole of an apartment complex. It’s the neighbor across the way just getting in, as well as an accompanying, hushed voice. It’s unfamiliar.

I don’t remember getting up, but I do remember feeling the light from the peep hole bless my eye with warmth and alertness. I can’t really see anything from this vignetted vantage point, but I hear noises from inside the kitchen of the neighbor across the hall.

A couple of hours must have passed, and I’m still glued to the peephole until, finally, a man who appears to be homeless comes up the outside stairs, enters the inner stairwell outside my girlfriend’s door and straight through to the basement door. I hear him descend the cement steps and scuffle about until it finally muffles out, and the momentum of his movements slows to an inaudible crawl.

Satisfied, I saunter from the kitchen door back into the living room and resume my post on the couch. I don’t remember any of my dreams and I sleep for 11 hours.

2 weeks pass, and my peeping episode grows. First a habit and now an obsession. On Monday, I spend 9 hours in total between my girlfriend’s two doors, just observing and waiting for God knows what to happen. Maybe He’ll make it clear what it is when I see it, though.

Front and back, front and back, front and back I go.

Yesterday, I put in 7 straight hours just at the front door until the UPS guy comes and sends me curling back into the depths of the couch, then I post up at the back door hole until 3 am as I listen to my girlfriend’s neighbor and his red-locked, red-rimmed bobble head of a love interest, Theresa, down a Coors and smoke at the top of the outside stairwell while they talk about how they wished to move to Denver.

They come and they go. Four times they do. I wonder what each sliver of audience they might bring. An hour and some beef passes and no return.

I look back at that same couch, my tomb, across the kitchen in the room over. Maybe it would welcome me. I step away from the door and ask my body if it feels tired.

I feel the rims on the bottom of my eyes tethered to the ends of my eye lids like bungie cords. My lungs calmly sprawl and curl up, and even my flowing blood settles from crashing waves to a tranquil stream of melatonin and Lord knows whatever other deficiencies my paranoia gifts me.

I hear the outer stairwell door husk open and clammer shut. I don’t remember moving, but next thing I know my left eyeball again attaches itself to the peephole.

It’s the homeless man. I’ve now seen him twice. With all disregard to anything around him he lumbers into the door between my girlfriend’s and neighbor’s apartments while he compulsively scratches head as if he were lighting a match. The sound of his footsteps dissipates until my ears fall off the trail.

The door, left cracked open, releases a dim light that tip-toes out of the basement and into our little hallway. It invites me beyond my door; my window; my 2 centimeter gateway to omniscience. It beckons.

I stop breathing for 5 minutes. I can’t hear anything, except for a scarce shuffling. It must be in my head, but every time I think the allure is departed, another shuffling from below plucks my mind like a stray hammer bumping into a piano string.

I unlock my girlfriend’s back door and slip it, against the silence, open enough to lean my head out. I become a statue as I conjoin with the stillness of the early morning for the next two minutes.

The faint brushing and rare infrasonic thuds from the dim light beyond becomes a little stronger outside my shield. With that strength, the invitation turns into a weak grip and leads me to step out of my girlfriend’s apartment entirely.

Time passes. Anywhere from a few minutes to a lifetime. I find myself two steps away from the top of the stairwell. I make less noise than my own shadow and tilt my head downward against the cinder block wall. I pick up the hushed reverberations from the basement on the other end of the stairwell wall. A rank smell dimly permeates my nostrils and tickles the less fortunate, finer tunings of my tongue.

It’s chilly.

He’s busy down there. For half an hour more, he slowly stirs along in that basement. Later, I hear the brash clank of the washing machine being fiddled with, but he doesn’t try to start it.

I hear muttered sounds, the kind the one only addresses to oneself. It’s so gentle to my ears that I struggle to distinguish what is sound and what is negative space.

His feet scrape toward the steps. The air moves with him and my nose confirms. I back away and quickly ooze through the door like egg white, fugitive from a smashed shell. I try to shut my girlfriend’s back door quickly without a creak nor a slam. It’s unknown if I am successful on either front. It doesn’t really matter. I’m back at my tiny window.

I wait for him.

I see a shadow at the end of the stairs. It’s still for a time, then the door pardons itself out of his way and he stands outside the pair of apartment doors. He’s holding a grocery bag in his hand. I’m not sure if anything is in it. He turns and faces my door. For a second, I didn’t budge. Then he steps toward the neighbors door. He fondles the handle.

It’s locked and he shows himself outside.

I suppose I’ve seen enough. I lock up, resign to my couch and tell myself I’ll go outside tomorrow and try to find my girlfriend. I sleep 10 hours and don’t remember a single dream.

The Friends Carousel

The Friends Carousel

The list of things they never prepare you for in adulthood grows like mold spores in a flooded basement.

If we are the sum of our decisions, then the equations our lives generate infinitely varies, however, the patterns carry recognizable similarities.

For instance, all my friends who did the settle down then have kids early on have large chunks of their equation that borrow from one another. Nothing is pre-solved, but that path is one that I feel comes more standard.

Perhaps it’s my myopic, narcissistic worldview; I’m living an admittedly seflish life right now afterall, but I sense that the course I’ve decided to travel comes with shakier theory backing it.

For instance, love. I’ve chosen to be single for 4 years now. I’ve preferred it. I’ve probably turned away opportunities for companionship that I wouldn’t have had I not made the choice to be single. Even when not trying to settle down, it seems that the norm is still to be pro dating someone. (I personally see little point in being in a relationship if I’m not looking to settle down; that’s what casual dating is for).

That said, how do we find this mythological love and companionship thing that all of our other friends seem to have settled for as we traverse through our 20’s and beyond? Early on, we have high school, college, and large, natural friend circles to pull from.

When you get older, you lose that. The alternatives people in my position have are endlessly intriguing, and I can write pages on them, but I want to keep it as a mere example now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the friends carousel lately.

From what I can tell, the friends carousel is pretty universal, but the reality of the ride is vastly different from person to person.

For the settled down folk, I see it as a standard sort of carousel, with a heavy carnie twist. Amid the usual vibrantly colored plastic horses and unicorns sloping up and down their poles, you have a hodge podge of out of place, bizarre pieces. Maybe a yellow toad with a cigarette holder and eyepatch, a gnome on all fours, and a minotaur all forced in there with the normalcy of the carousel.

They represent the outlier pieces of the friend circle that wouldn’t be there without the circumstance. Your in-laws, your husband’s wayward high school friend who got into the diamond class hard drugs in his early 20’s, or some of the parents you know from your first-born’s daycare.

After time, the carousel becomes normal to those riding it, and those of us on the outside see this bizarre, kind of uncomfortable looking ride that our settled down friends are contently riding.

As the far-from-settled-down friend, my place on this ride is that worn, plain brown horse on the inside track that is permanently saved. From time to time, I hop back on and have a good ride or two, before I have to scamper back to my own carousel.

Not to dichotomize my metaphor, but, for those of us who’s place in life is on the other side of the continent, our friends carousel is a ride made of nightmares and the terrors that resided under your childhood bed.

In my own experience, it’s something of a Gravitron meets a Swing Ride all set in a House of Mirrors. And for the hell of it, we’ll put some clowns, the scary ones standing around it with pitchforks, making sure you don’t try to get off. Because why not?

A natural detriment to taking a swing carousel and giving it Gravitron speeds are that these already hazardous carnival swings fly off rapidly and randomly.

Another friend engaged? That’s two gone.

He knocked who up? Another one bites the dust.

Then there’s all the ones you tell off because they were probably rushed replacements. Gone, gone, and gone.

All those girls you loved as friends, but didn’t like back? They’ve got voodoo dolls of you now.

And the girls you liked too much? They hit the eject button.

On and on and on it goes. It isn’t that you lose friends, but your situation — or ride, per se — dictates who you’re surrounded by the most. It makes sense. We’re just riding different rides, and maybe a couple years from now, I’ll join them on that raggedy typical carousel that you find in the mall. Of course, who knows how many of them will still be on that one.

The friends carousel is one of the most exhausting things I’ve discovered about adulthood.

Again, pleading ignorance to the settled-down carousel, but I don’t know if there has been a more difficult part of adulthood for me.

It’s forced me to have a social addiction of sorts. I’m a social introvert, but I am not the warmest personality to strangers, effort be damned. My sister is probably the closest thing to that in my entire family, but my dad, mom, and I all have varying struggles.

I’ll never walk into a room and walk out with bunches of friends. Half the time when I meet someone out, become ‘friends, and promise to each other to connect, I never personally follow through unless they persist, because in my mind I’m thinking that they’re just saying this whereas the social butterfly thinks that everyone in that room loves them and just hasn’t been exposed to how much they do; and they love those people back.

For that matter, I’ll rarely hangout with mutual friends over months, even a year or two and end up with them embedded into my running crew. I was out the other night with a big group, a rare thing today, and had a talk with a friend of mine — the mutual friend that is a friend when you’re all together, but still an acquaintance in that you’d never see them if the friend in the middle didn’t bring either of you along. We talked about crying. It was far from the most depth I’ve presented in a conversation, yet I think she was genuinely surprised the hear this stuff from me.

We’ve just never connected on anything more than the surface stuff and my heavily dumbed down public persona.

Thing is, I only really connect on a measure of depth, and I’ve found that I just do the watered-down thing out of necessity so that people like me.

Tracking back, the problem is that the churn of friends on this carousel is greater than I can reload. I’m a hell of a lone wolf, but sometimes you just want to have plenty of options to surround yourself with a big group, live fast, stay up too late, spend too much money, share some laughs, and wake up way too late wondering what you were thinking.

I’m a single lad in his physical prime. I like perusing. I love women, and the freedom my decision to remain a bachelor as long as it makes more sense than the alternative affords me to flirt with and look at them. I like to dance like a fool, or start a random “U-S-A!” chant in the middle of 308 (probably my greatest accomplishment in life).

Most of my friends who I’ve ‘lost’ to churn do, too, but their place in life doesn’t put them in those positions much, if ever.

Presently, I feel like I’m socially at my weakest, simply because the ease of assembling or being included into a social event that I have a burning interest in simply isn’t there. To take things one step further, the dwindling friends who remain on this Gravitron Carousel from Hell are experiencing the same decay loop (inverted feedback loop).

Their rosters shrink as mine does. We rely on each other to try to help find more people who share our carousel, but as the numbers shrink, the most socially magnetic friends also change rides, slowing down the ability for us to rebuild.

It’s an interesting cycle.

I think a lot about this part of my life equation a lot. I try to put myself into others’ shoes just to imagine the crappy parts of their friends carousel.

Most often, I sit there when I’m by myself and try to imagine how I can get one, two steps ahead of this blasted friends carousel. If I can come up with some crazy idea to infuse a surge of new social dynamism; the same social dynamism I’m hopelessly addicted to, because, at some point, I’ll prefer to try to settle down than I will to hang glide, and when that time comes, it’ll be a lot easier if my social circle is thriving.

I’m not entirely sure if these would merely be hacks, because in the end it seems that none of us can replace time or that beaten up, ragged brown plastic mare that is permanently fitted to many of my other friends’ seemingly tame carousels.

We’ll all be exhausted in our own ways. The carousel is mine.

Ride on, sailors.

Lucid – Hearts of Vengeance (ch 2)

II – Hearts of Vengeance


The desert

Wendyll woke with a mouth full of sand. He hated sleeping prone, really, he hated the resulting stiff neck he’d carry the rest of the day. He rolled himself onto his back, stretching his arms above his head as the moment saturated with the magisterial calm of the desert sunrise.

He appreciated it so much that he zoned out long enough to fall back asleep until he woke up covered in sweat and his own blistered skin.

“Oh… shfok,” he told noone.

At least his neck wouldn’t be as sore. Like a pair of conjoining magic beanstalks, he sprouted up on both feet and brushed all the sand off his washed-out green uniform. In front of him was a massive concrete complex, standing out like a wart on an otherwise pristine face of flat desert sand. Behind him he saw a lot of nothing, and a small dot that seemed to be a shapeless black cloud of mist and smoke.

“Must be 50, maybe 100 miles away,” he remarked, once again to nobody.

Aside from that there was nothing else, nobody else, except his campsite. There were four small animal hide tents placed closely next to eachother. They each had a cross scrawled on their sides in bold black paint.

“Oh, that’s right,” Wendyll really liked talking to himself.

He remembered there were four others. After the last encounter, there was only him.

They had been following a man they all called Vengeance, but his real name was Ryan. Wendyll always figured that if you’re going to have a leader, anything was a better name than Ryan; especially if this man is leading you to the withered heart of the merciless desert.

Wendyll wasn’t the type to get involved in anything. Truth be told, he was lazy, lackadaisical, maybe even a bit of a lunk; all things he’d tell you himself, but he had also never been on a crusade before. He always guessed that was how he ended up in this hellhole, alone and hopeless, but, then again, he couldn’t really remember the beginning of anything.

The only other thing he knew was that he had to proceed forward. That’s what Vengeance wanted, that’s what they had worked for, and now that Vengeance was gone, it was only fitting. He didn’t really care for any of the others.

“Well,” he sniffed, “time t’wrap up.”

He strapped a Red Ryder BB Gun to his shoulder, and jammed a machete between his belt and headed for the massive building.

He reached the entrance and ascended up a couple dozen steps. The doors as massive a spectacle as any, whoever built the complex must have a sort of Pharaoh complex, or at least the same affinity for scale. They were both already open.

The instant he crossed from the outside world to the building, darkness set upon him. He was in a hall, grand and dusted with shadows and sparse paintings of candlelight. Large, rounded stones lined the walls and floor as the air hushed into an approaching chill of freon — a far contrast from the blazing world outside.

Wendyll could see a window at the far end of the hall. The beyonding room was lit; fluorescent and modern. At the center of his view was a robed man in a heavy black cloak with red adornments; standing and motionless. Wendyll couldn’t quite make it out, but it looked as if he might be surrounded by people bowing to him in reverence. A dissonant and constant chorus of humming softly reverberated from the distant room. It was too far away for Wendyll’s eyes to fetch any specifics, but enough distinction remained to recognize that tan face, and thick black mop of hair. That face and the motionless man; Wendyll sensed he was staring right at him, as if the entire cult had been awaiting his arrival.

A bolt of terror crackled through his spine, and that same terror gripped his lungs as his breathing constricted and hardened into a dry panting.

“Damnit Wendyll, what in muddy cripes y’doing?,” he whispered to himself.

Wendyll darted to the far left wall, trying to escape the view of the man beyond. No good. He darted to the other side of the great hall, but it was no use. What awaited him was the centerfold of his vision, and with nothing to obscure him from the paralyzing focus of the room beyond. His instincts set back in and he resorted to what had kept him alive the entire crusade; he ran away.

“Man, what a toet-ul turd,” he chuckled to himself at the thought of a gangly man with toy weapons sauntering into the dark and then beelining back out into the heat. “Enjoy the laugh before y’rot, at least.” His center finger saluted back toward the cult.

The desert scene brought no reprieve. What he once saw as just a campsite, he now interpreted for what it actually was.

“Four tombs.”

He felt a strange tugging sensation in the back of his head, like a gale trying to rip a door open. Everything suddenly felt a little less real, slightly less dire. Wendyll felt something he hadn’t his entire journey. He felt control.

His entire body paused.

“Vengeance. Cocksucker’s still alive.”

He spoke those words not as if they were true, but as if the utterance made them true.

Whether it was always the case, or a new development, the words were true. Vengeance was alive. Memories slipped back into Wendyll’s mind.

“Vengeance is alive, the cult thought they killed him last night.. we were in, we were in a Skyscraper? Vengeance wanted us to fake his death so we could attempt an ambush, our Hail Mary.”

Wendyll was getting excited. Catching himself speaking a bit too loudly near the Hall’s entrance, he scampered back to the campsite. He noticed that the black cloud in the distance had dissipated.

At the tents he discarded the BB gun and machete, and picked up a hardback tome.

Wendyll awkwardly shouted in no general direction. “Ryan! Vengeance, hang tight chap, it’s stars’n stripes from here!,” he didn’t remember which tent had belonged to his leader.

Wasting no time, he scampered back to the hall with his book. Defiantly facing the window to the room ahead, he put the book in both hands and flashed its open pages toward the man in the window.

He held steady; waiting.

After several breathless moments, the archway doors ahead slowly opened, and, like zombies, dozens of people in grey and navy robes clumsily fumbled out the partially opened doors.

He ran up to the first wave and started swatting them with the antiquated tome. With each hit, bits of gossamer flesh and decrepit skin exploded like firecrackers in a July sky. Wendyll couldn’t believe his eyes, or what he was doing to these brainwashed people, but he also could barely see either, each swing of the book emitted a giant cloud of dust and age into the air around him until it swelled into a cloud of chaos and carnage.

As each person approached, Wendyll was inflated with the eponymous feeling of the man who had led him here, each blow like exhaling until the next being violently lunged at him. He remembered everyone of their faces before he smashed them. They all wore the same expression of fear and something else he couldn’t fit into a word, and then with a PWACK they broke apart.

Th’hell’ve you gotten me into, Venge?,” Wendyll cracked a smirk as he said that, proud that he could still be slightly corny given the scene around him.

In the same amount of time it took his facial muscles to tighten into a slim smile he found himself overwhelmed by the flock of dozens swarming him. Just then, he felt compelled to stop fighting, let the book fall out of his hands and permit the swarm carry him into awaiting darkness, and he just about did it.

The pulse struck him again. A bludgeoning shock stemming from the back of his head set the rest of his body into motion, and he scrambled for his life through the glut of human drones trying to rip him apart. The light before him grew, and he was encapsulated with a familiar, unbearable rush of heat as hell outside greeted him.

Hell had never looked so good.

Bones knocked against stone as he slid down the steps feet first. Each rhythm of pain came coupled with doubts as to why he was doing any of this.

“The man ‘snut even a gud leader. Selfish a prick as’ve known, violent to excess..,” he rolled off his hinds as he picked himself up, “f’nut worse, and I dunt r’member the last time he did anything for anyone but he’self.”

There was a certain allure to the man, though. Vengeance might have had his faults, in fact, Vengeance might have only had faults, but something about him just picked away at you and led you to go to awful places and hurt people and do stupid things.

“Shet, this better work.,” Wendyll was in the final stretch of his dash to the tents.

“VENGEANCE! It’s go time mate, c’mon!”

A still wind gently brushed an idle tent.

“This better be some kind of jape, man!”

Nothing, but he had no choice but to keep running as the mob continued trickling out of the complex.

He got to the tents, and opened up the first two he could reach finding nothing but a coffin in each.

“Leave it out,” he muttered in disbelief.

The dissonant hum of the aggrivated cult swelled.

The third tent revealed a crude dirt stairwell that descended at least twenty feet until it was swallowed by the dark beyond.

“Is this you, Venge? This the plan?” He looked back at the giant complex, and at the herd of people chasing him when he saw a small figure calmly emerge from cover of the distant temple. Dark black mop in his hand, he dragged a black and red figure of man-sized slack; the leader.

Through all the distance, Vengeance and Wendyll locked eyes. He spoke, and he could hear him as if he were right next to him.

“You’re awake.”

Awake? Wendyll had his doubts, but even covered in scratches and blood and bruises, he was definitely alive.

This is just a piece of what I wrote for NNWM a couple years back, but never finished. Just more one draft craps, this is an intro chapter set in a never ending sort of shared dreamscape with varying lucidity.

Hail to the Viral Overlords

Part of a longer piece I wrote and half-scrapped inspired by reading the following New Yorker article (and 20 similar articles of other similar people over the past 2 years)

Let’s talk about creating something.

Real influence has to be incubated. An artist can toil away for years in total obscurity until the universe grants them their moment of recognition and notoriety. In most cases, that never comes, but without that investment there can never be a chance to wield true influence.

Virologists, in the social media, web 2.0 sense of the term are like your sleight of hand magicians who impress us by pulling rabbits out of their top hat with metric obsessed gimmickry and unfettered plagiarism, where as the original creators in the world, almost all of which will never enjoy the suffocating reach the ardents of viralism tout, are the Gandalfs and Dumbledores to their Gob Bluth.

On paper, you can’t argue with the value in being able to spread things like wildfire. There is value. The problem is that they couldn’t spread an original idea, merely flint sparks in a drought-dusted forest.

Why, still, are we treating it like the holy grail?

Instead of condemning these people for blatant, rampant theft, and sociopathic obsession with breeding greater numbers, we laud them. We build cult after cult of personality. We want to hire them. “Find us the next code cracking savant!”

Yet, there is nothing definitive that leads us to conclude that the virologists have any long-term staying power.

The true ability of the virologist is the ability to swiftly identify patterns that are popular on a sub to microcultural level and amplify them to a point that the echo chamber obliterates our mental filter much in the way ‘turning the amp to 11’ mutilates ear drums.

While obesity and an addiction to fatty-sugar-laced foods is near-universally ridiculed as the issue, statistically, reaches epidemic proportions, we further slog our collective conscious with greasier, fattier, and sweeter tasting junk food of the mind. And more of it, too.

Tirelessly, we ferry an infinitely long train of drivel into a consciousness already struggling with bandwidth issues.

Sometimes when I see a dog obsessively trying to dig for nothing into a couch, I wonder if maybe, just maybe, the beast is performing an interpretive dance of the masochistic human cycle of information ingestion.

The mass-connected mobile world of metrics and A/B tests has given the virologists true power to hone in on the social pulse to the point where they have amassed so much sludge and grime off the floor that, as we iterate from Huffington Post to Buzzfeed to Upworthy to Dose to whatever is next, we’re left alone with a monstrous sludge golem, each one more terrifyingly imposing than the previous.

Real influence, real ingenuity is taking something that the world is neither familiar with nor quite ready to ‘get’ and turning them on to it.

Most ideas that make the most dramatic changes to the world are the riskiest.

My problem isn’t so much with the Church-state of Viralism as much as it is with the misappropriated reverence. A virologist takes oxygen and brings awareness of its existence to any mope they find who already relies on the stuff with each breath.

We already knew, throughout all of human history, that we love cats. We love dogs. We love animals, We love pets so much and everyone should love ours as much as we do. We love grumpy cat. I don’t know if we loved or hated the Taco Bell chihuahua, but the little guy’s burrito sales numbers take Alec Baldwin’s character from Glengarry Glen Ross and transform him from closer to loser.

Inherently, we knew, yet it wasn’t until we had an instantaneous connection to billions that we had a way to show everyone just how much we loved the little furballs that we understood — to the point where it is ruining it for everyone else.

I don’t believe that virology as we know it can sustain. A couple times a year, we get a new exposé on the newest viral wunderkind. We’ll take a peek into their quirky offices, their lavishly funded, just-barely counter cultured businesses that plan to shake the world up with their latest big ideas, and over time they’ll come and they go.

If anything, we can recognize the Church of Viralism for what it is (in most cases), a stepping stone for high-wired minds that are always looking for the next piece of the world to tap into and hack. Though, for every Jonah Peretti out there, there will be 10 more Eric Baumans (and even Jonah hasn’t proven that he will take Buzzfeed from Viral megachurch to something greater, but I guess I’m putting my money on him ahead of all the others).

Things will always spread, and with the Internet’s Borg-consciousness, we will always have use for the farmers who can best spread it, but when time comes to create something original and spread that, let’s accept that they are no better than anyone else.

In the interim, maybe we could tone down the obsession with the Internet’s equivalent of the Monsanto board.

I’m not happy with how blogging and it’s mutated cousin, virology, have hurt the integrity of journalism and turned the news cycle into an institution full of premature ejaculators. Others weren’t happy with what the 24-hour news cycle evolved into. Or Cable TV. And so on.

I accept that there is a large degree of inevitability, and I will likely be wrong on a lot of things, but those of us who push back on the inevitability of the current state of things are part of the same inevitability that molds the future. The old soul in me will lose a lot more than he’s currently ready to concede, while gaining a lot.

Until then, I push back fiercely and without rest on the broad implications that The Church-state of Viralism has on a sociocultural level. I invite anyone else who feels similarly to push in whatever direction they feel led. I’ll see you, a bit trampled, at the end of the stampede.

The irony of Robert Johnson’s soul-selling, guitar playing piece of mythology in American folklore is that you can’t really play the blues with no soul. In the same sense, all those who sell their soul for mass reach might help bring us interesting things or mere distractions, but let’s at least try to tip our hat to those who held on to their soul, grinding it through the wheelhouse in order to originate what others merely spread without proper credit.