short stories, Verse

I’m human.

I’m human.

I’m writing this because I have yet met anyone ready or willing to listen to me for the extent that, sometimes, these long streams of consciousness last. The last one went a good 20 minutes I’d say. That’s a long time to listen to anyone not standing up in front of an audience, holding a mic.

These rants tend to go in any direction really, like the doodles I’d draw in the margins of lined paper, bored in a core college seminar that I had to take, but wasn’t particularly interested in. Grammar 101 comes to mind. I’d just go wherever the pen took me. Free-form doodling. Perhaps it was a primitive graph of my brainwaves that ebbed and flowed by the Moon’s pull on ocean tides.

It all depends on the current events, when I’m talking—what I had to eat that day, my mood, my attitude toward the Universe at that moment, what has recently happened in my life, what I’m looking forward to and what I dread will loom overhead. Is it a full Moon?

Right now I’m concerned with the concept of Truth. And that’s no typo, Ms. Stackenblochen, from Grammar 101. I did pay attention to you long enough to know that you can capitalize ‘Truth’ when you’re talking about an absolute. The lowercase, everyday matter-of-fact ‘truth’ is but a speck in the grand Venn diagram of its granddaddy.

It’s what attracted me to journalism, in fact, this asymptotic pursuit of the Truth. How it will forever be subjective in any one, or a collection of human minds. That it can be interpreted. Journalists, true journeymen, have the keen sensibility and skill to focus their sharpest lenses on the event horizon of this divine singular ideal. Because though no truth will acheive Truth, there are those that are closer. There are facts the are truer than others. And purely articulated statements are filled with the rich cream center of what Stephen Colbert would call “truthiness.”

The Truth is: We are human

Men and women who witness such profound revelations—phenomena poking out from under reality’s wool pulled over our everyday eyes—within their experience, who’ve cracked open the marrow of our world, would have the most genuine sense of the human condition. For that’s what we are: humans. And anything we say or think as such will ultimately be human.

Our Truth, therefore, is also human.

While I always was human and always will be, even after death, in the memory of those that will succeed me, I could be more human, more humane, kinder and more compassionate to my fellow brethren. We all are human, but some moreso than others. Some of our auras glow brighter with truthiness.

And we are all in this together. We carry each other along, into that Great Unknown. Into that abyss that knows no bounds. And as we travel there, as we embark on an existential frontier as a unified, cosmic caravan, we tell each other, looking back on Earth, ever-expanding like an errant radiowave emitting out upon the ether, our collective thoughts wrinkle the very fabric of spacetime, whispering…

“What a dream.”

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Verse

The Pain

To know it is to feel it
The pain
To think about it
To suffer through it

So forget it
The pain
Stick it in the amnesia of a black hole
That void where things don’t exist

Don’t block it out
Erase it from the mind
The pain. What pain?
I know not.

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Verse

Apartment & I

My apartment is a spaceship.
I man the helm and set the course,
as boosters below my hardwood floors
send permeating shockwaves through the soles of my feet.

The walls shake
and light beams through the incongrous cracks
caused by this basement rumbling.
My mind ignites like rocket fuel
as I set imaginative sites on divine destinations.

We fly,
apartment and I.
We are but an instant away.
One serendipidous thought from the source.

Nay, not the source,
The dream.
The ceiling physically and figuratively barriers a beauty on the tip of my tongue yet to be articulated.

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Verse

My Bucket

Well my bucket is empty,
a clear glass vase.
Metaphors of emptiness
could go on for days.

My task now is to fill it,
to fill it once more,
Of all the thoughts, memories…
the feelings that happened before.

I’ll embark on a journey.
Inward, you see.
But my velocity will be faster
than any physical speed.

For the Universe, really,
it’s whatever we think.
And I can conjure a tale,
before you can wink.

Time is relative,
related to those who perceive.
Time for bed now.
Goodnight.

Dreams launch upon the eve.

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Verse

Joe Emoji

Emojis
Oh! Jeez.
Christ
Almighty
Bless me.
Gonna sneeze.

These li’l things
We place in texts
Instead of words
Make speaking a breeze.

But what do they mean?
I mean, what do they say?
That verbs are bad
And pics, the bee’s knees?

‘Cause I like to talk.
I respect my speech.
Rather write my prose.
Than paint decrees.

I’ve had it with clip art.
Don’t rob me of thought.
Articulation, Joe Emoji.
Resemble language? Let’s not.

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short stories, Uncategorized, Verse

It’s on, Nahtflix

 

Ron Spector has spent many sleepless nights in his living room. They amount to countless hours of scouring the Internet, streaming supergiant Nahtflix.com’s archives, to accomplish a feat that no one, especially Nahtflix, saw coming. His record for adding Nahtflix streaming movies to his personal queue, or “Un List,” in one sitting is 173. Yet, what’s more impressive about Spector’s acumen at the point-select interface is the frequency in which he enacts such marathon selection sessions.

“Some weeks I’ll sleep a total of seven hours,” the 33-year-old software engineer said. “I’ll run straight for 36 hours at a time. I’ll take quick power naps, lasting 5-10-15 minutes. Then I’ll launch a series of selection sessions. I can usually break 100 in under a minute. Up around 150, I usually run into dead ends, where I can’t select any new ‘net flicks. I’ll take a deep breath, jump out of the window (system operationally speaking) and select another movie from the main browsing section. I’ve logged up around 40 individual selection sessions in an hour—all snatching at least 50 movies apiece.”

His goal is to acquire every movie Nahtflix has to offer online, in his personal queue. He’s also tracking the patterns by which new sets of movies result from each preceding single selection.

“I want to study the living and dying of movie contracts on this popular entertainment website,” he said. “As you see new releases sprouting up, I also want to keep track of the movies that fall off the map. I think, from the observation of this living, breathing, cybernetic organism, we can determine an algorithm that defines a universal explanation for the natural growth and decay of life.”

Nahtflix officials, however, are not backing Spector’s online campaign at discovery. Chairman Ricardo del Flixo issued a statement Tuesday calling for imposed limits to cap high-volume members’ personal queues.

“Supersaturated ‘Un List(s)’ would lead to unlawful transparency of our assets,” del Flixo wrote in his 370-page motion, that also included an official request for a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) search and seizure of Spector’s hard drives and any cloud services that he’s had access to since the inception of Nahtflix, Inc. back in 2008.

The real question is will Spector achieve his goal before Nahtflix, Inc. can legally stop him? The mega-website must wait for Federal Courts to pore over written affidavits of online, business and financial experts to determine whether Spector should cease and desist all interaction of any kind with Nahtflix.com. If they find cause for alarm, both parties could testify in front of the Senate.

This, of course, raises more questions, like “Why doesn’t Nahtflix just cancel Spector’s account?” or “Or why don’t they set a cap on his queue alone?”

Those answers are simple: the company can’t. This case has already reached a national stage and, at this point, the publicity alone would send Nahtflix stocks plummeting, within hours of it hitting news sites.

Or so says Fox News Financial Analyst Frank Steamhed.

“Discrimination like this, by Nahtflix, on one of its members would be like the meteor that smashed into Earth and killed all the dinosaurs,” said Steamhed, a former hedge fund manager turned TV shock jock of stock talk. “No, they need to handle this in the courts and seek legality of their claims. The fact is, from a practical standpoint, no sanctions have been preset by the FCC to regulate such abnormal activity of a single user to his respective online service. At the very least, Ron Spector is testing Nahtflix’s ability to provide its service, whether he means to or not.”

Still, Spector maintains that he’s merely acquiring data for his human experiment.

However the empiric validity of Spector’s cause, the clock winds down to next Monday, when it will be wise yet imperfect judges who decide the fate of his unexplored science.

Courts, Wednesday, said they’d be willing to allow a temporary hold on Spector’s Nahtflix account pending trial. Spector, thus, has three days to complete his master ‘Un List’ before an indefinite halt on his account occurs.

“I estimate that I’ve logged only 5-10 percent of Nahtflix’s total offerings. And I’ve been at this for nearly six months, before the company caught wind of the abnormal activity by one user and then waged this legal battle against him.”

So Spector has taken to the Internet community and they have responded in electronic droves.

“I’ve developed a map that outlines the entire structure of the Nahtflix library,” Spector, a former hacker said. “I’ve shared it online and we’ve been able to assign different sections to willing extractors. This has certainly expedited the process.”

Regardless, courts could rule that all online behavior of this kind cease and desist for the entire Nahtflix nation of online users. With pedigree data of a person so interwined with everyday Internet usage nowadays, the FBI would have no trouble isolating those who would ignore this decree from the high court.

Penalties have been reported to include up to $10,000 in fines and one year in a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

Ever vigilant over the long dark weekend, Spector and his band of loyal surfers point-select-search through the night. Spector has published a website for those who wish to join, in the 11th hour of this race between big business and discovery.

Visit www.findalltheflix.net for more information.

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Profiles, Verse

Journeymen

The key to being a good journalist is self-loathing. I’m talking about the realization that what you have now, what you know, what you essentially are to the very core of your soul is not enough and will never be enough, without the accompaniment of some outside entity.

This zeitgeist is a ghost you chase throughout your career. You find traces of it in the stories you report on, but their faint scent is fleeting and some days even a bloodhound couldn’t help you on the hunt. So you loathe the status quo and keep moving, changing, adapting, learning, growing, devolving, degenerating, rebuilding, reassessing, reaffirming that you can muster the chutzpah to paddle into another wave of the socioeconomic surge.

That is the wild goose chase that gets you out of bed in the morning. The mythical carrot—a mirage of an intelligible Truth—that motivates you to put one foot in front of the other on the neverending path. Much like the most interesting man in the world stays thirsty, my friends, you’re driven by an unquenchable curiosity.

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short stories

Full moon Friday 13

“There is something afoot at the Circle K (this Friday).”

Tomorrow, the 13th of June, 2014, marks a full moon and Friday the 13th, two happenings that, alone, could be considered ominous. And together, their combined impact is something we’ve only seen a half dozen times or so over the last century.

The last time such a dynamic duo occurred was Oct. 13, 2000. And, after tomorrow, we won’t see another “Full Moon Friday-13” until the August of 2049. A baby could be born today and then run for U.S. President in the time it takes another one of these clusterfucks to occur.

I like to think back on that mystical fall night on a Friday in October 2000, at Stonehill College. I had recently embarked upon my freshman year. I was probably inebriated. It may have been the night I knocked down a $10,000 street lamp on campus. You see, Kevbo had discovered that if you charged them like a bull, you could somehow disrupt the electrical fuse for just enough time to blow out the bulb. They weren’t broken. Just temporarily out of commission. Well I shook that lamp a little too hard. Let’s just say that thing took a bath in the full moonlight. And came crashing, splashing, smashing down.

Dear Stonehill,

I owe you a street lamp, but it looks like the Class of 2004 donated that giant Back to the Future clock, overhanging outside dining commons. So maybe we’re even.

Anyway, Stonehill, Reunion 2014 was great. Derek, you’re pretty ugly now, huh? (Did not age well at all.)

So whatever tomorrow brings–perhaps an electromagnetic tsunami, from the nether regions of a Universe we’ve barely had the opportunity to comprehend, or the heightened tide of bad luck for all you superstitious folk–know that you won’t have another chance to ride this wave before one and three quarters score.

The last time I felt the raw surge of this Perfect Storm, I destroyed an expensive lamp. I don’t know what could improve upon that…

Make a lamp?

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short stories

Sega Genesis

Sega Genesis

Going for the trifecta in posting three days in a row. Never done that before. The 63 posts that I completed yesterday have taken me more than two years to author. And at least eight of them are chapters from an e-book I wrote (for all you dedicated Apple people, there’s a Kindle app), where I bound myself to publishing a new chapter every two weeks, like Sir Charles Dickens serialized his novels back in the 19th century.

So this will be lucky #64. Sixty-four is sort of significant. You can write it as 26 (two to the sixth power). It also reminds me of Nintendo’s 64-bit gaming console, N64.

Nevertheless, I was a Sega Genesis guy (16-bit).

So when I was little—maybe 8 or so—I’d play Sega’s X-Men like every day. Errrrry day. I completed level after level after level. Then I got stuck on the second-to-last stage for what seemed like a couple of months.

I just couldn’t figure out how to beat it. You see, at the end of this level, a message appeared. It said ‘RESET THE COMPUTER.’ Yet there was nowhere on the screen to reset the computer. A timer counted down, and frantically I searched for a solution. Time after time, the clock would dial down to zero and I would lose. I’d lose a life and have to start the second-to-last level all over again.

Eventually, I’d run out of lives and have to restart the entire game. Slowly, I’d make my way back.

After a while, when I approached this fateful, seemingly dead end, my eyes would glance down at the Sega Genesis itself.

There was a little, grey reset button there. It was installed by the manufacturers to reset the console, in case a game ran into glitches—kind of like restarting your computer. As I watched the clock winding down, time after time, an idea slowly crept into my mind: What if that was the solution?

I was extremely hesitant resorting to such a drastic measure. If it truly was not the solution, I would lose everything. No matter how many lives I had at the end of the second-to-last level, I would surely have to start from scratch. The risk for failure seemed too great.

One day, I got fed up with inevitably losing. I reached the end of that level and the clock began counting down. I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger (Dutch) when Predator initiated his self-destruct sequence and the digital wristband counted down in those weird alien numbers. In a fit of pure, pre-pubescent adrenaline, I threw caution to the wind and pushed that grey button.

The screen went blank. I thought for sure it didn’t work.

Then a little green cursor appeared in the upper-left corner of the TV screen. And messages scrolled across the display. The Sega Genesis had indeed not been reset. At last, I had “RESET THE COMPUTER,” as the X-Men game had been telling me to do.

This experience has stuck with me all these years. It symbolizes an evolution in thinking, a paradigm shift. In some ways it represents a fundamental change in the way I perceived Sega Genesis, the X-Men game and how I solve difficult life problems to this day.

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