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i'm like electricity, baby. i always take the path of least resistance. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
ignotum per ignotius

infodump . here
friendship . here

Q&A [logged 20160131.1115AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]

My mother has a lot of questions.

No, I'm not gay. No, I don't want to be a woman. No, I am not interested in transitioning. Yes, my wife knows. Yes, we're working through it. Yes, you can still expect grandchildren in the future. Please still call me Matthew, son, he & him. I'm just a man who occasionally wears women's clothes. Which, I add, I have always been though I never mentioned it to you before.

My mother's face strains as her mind grapples with a syntactical error. Man ≠ dress. I understand, I went through the same thing and it took me a few decades to resolve the terms. I appreciate that she's trying.

My father has one question.

"So, what if I'm talking to someone, and they say something negative about you, about this? That's going to make me really angry. Is it alright if I punch them?"

I hug him as hard as I possibly can. "Just follow your heart, dad."
Link14 million souls saved . comiserate

fitting [logged 20160129.0404PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]

Wow, is my first thought, it's so light.

The next is, there's no way this is going to fit.

The weirdest thing about what's happening is that it's happening. It's actually happening. The sudden reality of it, the physicality, is almost too much for me to handle. The dressing room is larger than I'd imagined, and more brightly-lit. My face is flushed from adrenaline and embarrassment. I take a deep breath.

It's just clothing, I tell myself as I put it over my head. For clothing, though, it's too light. Impossibly light and soft.

And tighter than I expected. I'm trying to squeeze in but it's catching in weird places. It's so light, I'm terrified I might tear it. There's no way it's going to fit. No way. Why would it fit. It wasn't designed to fit you. This isn't for you. You aren't supposed to—

And then it slips into place, and I'm a completely different person.

Wow, is my first thought, it fits.

The next is, wow, it really fits.

So, this is the first dress I've ever worn. It's an A-line skater dress, black and pink floral print chiffon. It hugs my torso and flows around my waist. The skirt falls just above my knee. It looks so good. All I can do is gawk at the mirror until my eyes start to fill with tears.
Link16 million souls saved . comiserate

leaves [logged 20150113.0735PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

Temping feels right. Not good right, but appropriate. Like: it is right for a leaf to be attached to the branch of a tree, fluttering in the breeze and soaking in sunlight. But it is also right for a leaf to be stuck in a storm drain.

Matthew has two part-time temp jobs, neither of which could be mistaken for rewarding work. The money he makes isn't even close to enough to pay his bills, but the income at least keeps him from digging so deep into his savings as he continues to go on fruitless interviews at places he'd prefer to be employed. Plus it gets him out of the house. Interestingly, it also provides a boost to his self worth to directly charge people for his time.

"My emails aren't sending," says Bob, Matthew's part-time temporary half-boss, and it's no surprise. Bob's Outlook Inbox has 45,000 unread messages from the years 2009-2015 (and the program crashes when it tries to calculate how many messages there are total). It takes Bob's computer a full minute to select the farthest-back email from August 2009 (Subject line: "Test", no body). Matthew deletes it, and thinks about leaves stuck in storm drains. Maybe they're grateful to not be in the sewer.

"I can fix this," Matthew says with a smile. "But first you need to sign my time sheet."

Link1 million souls saved . comiserate

parked [logged 20140925.0117PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

It's a rainy midday and Matthew sits in his car in an empty parking lot, reading old journal entries on his phone.

"I was such a petulant, entitled shit," he says.

"Mmm," says Counterpoint, "You've gotten a little better."

The past is a numb limb, attached but alien and remote. Matthew prods it and feels nothing. He considers amputation.
Link6 million souls saved . comiserate

shuffle pause play [logged 20140925.0259AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

Matthew sits with his fingertips at the home row, his pallor overwritten by iridescent computerglow. His music is paused. A significant amount of time has passed, and he hardly knows how to close the gap, to sum things up, to handily crystallize and convey the person he is at this moment or who he has been in the intervening timespan.

Counterpoint looks over Matthew's shoulder. "Ah, you appear to be," he pauses, sighs, "writing about writing."

"I'm trying to explain who I am now," says Matthew, "Relative to who I was before."

"Just list the facts," says Counterpoint.

Biologically speaking, Matthew is a different person: the cells of his body have died off individually and been replaced. Metaphysically speaking, Matthew is much the same. He still doesn't enjoy speaking to strangers, he still feels wildly unsure of even the simplest decisions he makes, and he still thinks most clearly in the quiet hours before dawn. His serotonin receptors still only function sporadically at best.

"I don't feel like that's very useful," says Matthew.

"What's left to say? We'll fill in the rest later!" Counterpoint says, and then leans over to unpause the song.
Link9 million souls saved . comiserate

refugee [logged 20120518.1109AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

As foretold, the waters rose a third time. Men in masks descended on Matthew's office and tore the walls asunder. Knocked over cabinets, disassembled desks, and ran great polyurethane tubes through the rubble. Industrial fans rip the humid air and disperse the spores the sprouted in the moist carpet.

Matthew sits in his swivel chair at the pile of bent metal and drywall shards that occupy the same space his desk once did. He takes a deep breath of stale air, and pokes at his phone. Eventually, someone from upstairs comes to retrieve him. 

His temporary desk is nearly identcal to his old one, except it is above sea level and deep - deep - in a cube farm. One neighbor streams Vivaldi, and the others chatter about unfamiliar children. The walls of his cube are ragged, slashed by a quasi-human hand. The corners of the desk appear to have been chewed on, impressions of molars in the simulated wood. Matthew considers the desk's previous occupant as Vivaldi storms.
Link2 million souls saved . comiserate

fiction [logged 20120517.0330PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

Delvin opens the closet door to find a number of aromatic candles flickering atop his desk, casting a dancing shadow down around his bed. "Hey." says a smoky voice from the shadow. He lowers himself to see under the desk and as his eyes adjust to the dark, they meet hers. "Hey," he says.

Counterpoint pauses, frowns. CTRL+A DELETE. The problem he has with writing is that he can't imagine writing anything that anybody would ever want to read. He thinks about writing about the things that are important to him, but he doesn't like actually thinking about important things. Important things are upsetting. Better to occupy himself with fiction. He closes his laptop and crawls out of his nest. 

The condo is quiet during the day. Matt and Lish are out, Bananacat tends to sleep. Counterpoint tends to sleep too, but today he's restless. If it was dark out, he'd take a long walk to clear his head, but he doesn't like to go out in the sunlight. 

Bananacat sleeps in a perfect circle on the carpet. CP kneels down to pet her on the shoulder but she wakes up and bites his hand, teeth sink into the meat between his thumb and forefinger. Counterpoint returns to his nest, shuts the doors, and gives sleep another try.
Linkcomiserate

property [logged 20120515.1259PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

"Ew," says Lichelle, her manicured fingernail picking at a buckled corner of countertop laminate. "I thought we agreed that granite is a must." 

"And look at this," says Aiden, "Would you just look." He opens the oven and he opens the dishwasher, and when they are all the way down the doors overlap. "How are we supposed to get any work done in here?"

Lichelle and Aiden flit around the space, calling out flaws to the realtor that anxiously tails them. This condo is a third-floor end unit, one bedroom one bath, and "open concept" in the sense that the entryway and dining room and living room are all the same room. Duct tape holds a small section of the ceiling/molding in place. Lichelle gestures toward it and the realtor notes it on the growing list of complaints:
  • More than the acceptable number of holes in the ceiling
  • Kitchen too small
  • Counters not granite
  • Spiders living in windowframes
  • Ugly paint in closet/office
  • Some sort of nest in the closet/office
  • Two people asleep in bedroom (rude)
  • Bathroom tiles crooked
  • Excessive dust
  • Walls are too lime green
  • Carpets are not hardwood floors
  • Cat smell
  • Broken lock on door to hallway
  • Building's security door easily forced

Matthew wakes to the sound of early-morning traffic. He climbs out of bed, stretches, runs a hand through his hair. He stumbles to the kitchen and fixes himself a bowl of cereal and spills it when he trips over the oven and dishwasher doors.
Link4 million souls saved . comiserate

leftovers [logged 20120515.1209AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

Counterpoint lives under Matthew’s desk. He’s made a little nest in the accumulated detritus, broken video game peripherals and spent sketchbooks. Matt offers him a hand to help him up but CP just shakes it. “Hey,” he says.

“Hey,” says Matthew. “How are you these days? Is everything okay?”

“Oh I’m just fine,” Counterpoint says. “Getting a lot of rest. Spending a lot of time thinking. I may write a novel.”

“That’s great. You should do that.”

"Yeah," says Counterpoint, "I think I will." He smiles weakly.

They continue shaking hands in silence.
Link6 million souls saved . comiserate

office [logged 20120514.0938AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

Matthew has a computer in a closet. The closet is sort of an office, in that it has a desk and a chair and a computer. Matthew can sit in his swivel chair and put his arms straight out to his sides and press his palms flat against either wall. The walls are a vibrant blue.

This is a color that Matthew selected from the children’s section of the paint store. According to its paint chip, this color is called Surf’s Up. The walls are cool on his palms. Matthew sits at his desk in his tiny office and lets the surf wash over him.
Link2 million souls saved . comiserate

reintroduction [logged 20120513.0233PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]

Matthew lives in the present. Not that he’s the carpe diem sort — it’s more that he clings to the present like it’s a bit of flotsam in the sea of an ephemeral past and unknowable future.

He doesn’t plan ahead or look back. He lives moment to moment.

Matthew takes these moments and crystallizes them. Captures them before they float away, pins them down with words. Solidifies these moments and carries them with him.

or, rather:Collapse )

Link7 million souls saved . comiserate

(no subject) [logged 20120512.1209AM]
Pseudonym Jones
I don't want this journal to ever disappear.
Link21 million souls saved . comiserate

epilogue [logged 20091209.1214AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |harvey danger ... wine women and song]

Life quickly devolves into bland beige paste. Matthew stirs the milk to hasten the process. His brain is soggy, saturated by painkilling chemicals. He spoons a mouthful of slurry and swallows without chewing. Next week: solid foods.

But his dreams are cautionary films. Food is chewed, mashed into gaping gum sockets. Embedded in biology that heals around it. Spoiled. Thobbing pain. The jawbone splinters under the pressure of swelling pus. Matthew's face rots. Melts. Dead skin slides away in swaths, dripping and beige.

Matthew stares into the bowl of cereal.

"How is it?" asks Counterpoint.

"Gmh," says Matthew, with the spoon in his mouth.

Link4 million souls saved . comiserate

wom wom wom [logged 20091202.1209AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |paul rothman ... scoobidoo love]

Teeth are little things sticking out of the inside of your face. Calcified extrusions used to smash food so you can swallow it for digestion. Inside each tooth is a set of nerves that intertwine with those of crucial head parts like your brain and eyes and sinuses. Matthew had four wisdom teeth which grew in straight (an unusual occurrence, he was told) and then promptly broke. Shattered into jagged rocks at the corners of his jaw, each with a set of nerves that ceaselessly broadcast throbbing pain. Then, they were removed from his head.

Counterpoint says that toothaches are why he doesn't believe in God. "Pain, in general, makes sense. But with toothaches, the pain is so out of proportion to the problem." He nudges Matthew with his foot. "Don't you think it's a little silly?"

Matthew is on the floor. His body is pinned to the floor by an amount of hydrocodone. He drools blood, but in the good way.

"I think an intelligent designer could have sorted that out a little better," Counterpoint says.

Matthew is not interested. He smiles a gauzy smile over a sea of beige carpet.

wisdomCollapse )

Link6 million souls saved . comiserate

you and yours [logged 20091127.0121AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |everclear ... hating you for christmas]

Oh boy! 2009 was a big year for Lish and Matt! As of this summer they are homeowners and now share a roof, a bed, and a mortgage. "Are those wedding bells I hear?" No, as of yet that is not what you hear.

This year, Matthew received a promotion. His new title: "Senior Contact Center Specialist." While we're not exactly sure what that title means, we do know that it signifies the complete demise of Matthew's dreams! Goodbye, creative aspirations! Hello, "second-to-bottom rung of the corporate ladder"! What's that? Matthew's unwillingness to remove himself from the joy-smothering office environment does not necessarily mean he will never achieve even the simplest of his life goals? Tell that to his "overwhelming sense of dread"!

This year, Alicia won an Emmy! ..."Not!" Her coworkers did, but she didn't. Better luck in 2010, Lish! That's if your company even survives into the new year! Would all the people who have their original shoulders please raise their hand? "Not so fast, Lish!" (Like you could raise your hand anyway!) Due to the ravages of rheumatoid arthritis, Lish is having her shoulder replaced and will be spending the holidays under heavy sedation. Yep, she's one of the "lucky ones"!

Finally, there has been an addition to the family: Bananacat (aka Banana, Nana, Nanners), a domestic shorthair kitten foundling! She has adjusted quickly to her new home, and will be having her uterus removed shortly.

Best wishes for the holidays and may you be happy and healthy in the coming year!

Fondly,Collapse )

Link5 million souls saved . comiserate

upwardly mobile [logged 20091124.1216AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |deerhoof ... the perfect me]

for old time"s sakeCollapse )

Matthew inhales an amount of crisp autumn air -- all damp, rotting leaves that plaster themselves across the surface area of his brain. When he shakes them off, he wakes himself for the first time in months. He is dazed, gasping. He moons at the walls of his cubicle, which suddenly seem less felty and are taller and father apart from one another. There is a clock, it reads nine-fifteen. His desk is now wooden and movable. There is a chair in front of his desk for entertaining visitors. Counterpoint is sitting there.

"Is this an office? Do I have an office?" says Matthew.

"You're back!" Counterpoint says. "It's been a while. Here, I have some papers for you to sign."

Matthew looks at the papers, struggles to make sense of their arrangements of words. "Things have changed," he says.

"Um, yes. You have this office, you're a homeowner, you have a cat... a mortgage, a gym membership."

The papers are on the floor. Matthew has his head in his hands. He mutters into his palms. He takes his jacket of the hook on his door -- his door -- which he pulls shut as he leaves.

Counterpoint starts and Matt says, "Early lunch" just before the door clicks closed.

for old time"s sakeCollapse )

Link15 million souls saved . comiserate

sunset ceremonies [logged 20090325.1025PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |the whip ... trash]

and yet there is more.Collapse )

Link6 million souls saved . comiserate

homeowner speaking [logged 20090304.1011PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |matt & kim ... daylight]

more bloodlust.Collapse )

"But Master," says Counterpoint, looking up from the open torso of the fallen improvateur, "How then should I create? If a creation is to be judged by its longevity, how can I make something that will be long-lasting?"

Pseudonym laughs. "Concern yourself not with longevity. Truly, nothing matters but for the eternal." With his sleeve, he wipes the blood from his lips and smears it across his cheek. "And nothing is eternal and nothing matters! It is best to create that which will make you happy and destroy that which does not."

"I don't understand! Happiness," says Counterpoint, "is the least permanent thing of all!"

"And that is why everything must be destroyed."

Link5 million souls saved . comiserate

re: blood [logged 20090225.0807PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |eazy-e ... gimme dat nut]

bloodlust.Collapse )

"If man is truly made in God's image, then our feature of greatest resemblance is undoubtedly our desire to create." Bickford smiles warmly, though it shows not beneath his paper mask. "We are the only species in His creation that expresses itself creatively, though our 'creations' pale in comparison to His. Through creativity we commune with our incomprehensible Father, and through improvisation -- with its immediacy, its purity -- we express our divinity at its least clouded by the human mind."

"If creativity is reproduction," Pseudonym responds, "then improvisation is masturbation: resulting in naught but fleeting joy and lasting emptiness. You will find nothing of ultimate value there."

Link6 million souls saved . comiserate

i don't read the bible, i don't trust disciples [logged 20081223.0548PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |gogol bordello ... supertheory of supereverything]

"One of the lights is out," Matthew remarks. "I should tap it."

On the roof, Matthew taps the burnt-out bulb, and it is burnt-out, and the tapping does not rouse it. The fat little Christmas light should be blue, but it looks black when it is out. He stands on the roof, his hands at his hips, looking at that dead bulb and letting the wind's teeth rip into him.

"I should get a replacement," he comments, standing at the edge of the roof, toes over the edge. "I'll just hop down and go get one."

"No," I say, and drag him back inside through his bedroom window. He almost had me that time, though.

Linkcomiserate

canyons, wax, and chips [logged 20081217.0212PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |gary wright ... dreamweaver]

After the Bellagio Buffet, Alicia and Matthew part ways -- she on a hunt for family souvenirs and he to find someplace quiet. Matthew finds a small faux-marble nook outfront of Caesar's Palace with a Hindu shrine and no other people. This little courtyard is pleasant; the Donny & Marie billboard is distant enough that its looped advertisement is just a murmur beneath the accordion-synth loop that plays from tiny speakers that litter the Palace grounds. The centerpiece of the shrine is a marble Ganesh surrounded by various Hindu bric-a-brac, the authenticity of which seems moot considering it is within walking distance of a fake Eiffel Tower, a fake Statue of Liberty, and a fake Venice. There is also a fountain, which is very calming.

Matthew sits on the edge of the fountain and I am there with a comment prepared about whether or not Indians typically made many marble statues. But then, there is someone else as is typical for Las Vegas, and I am not. "Hey buddy," he says to Matthew, "Hey buddy. Hey buddy." Matthew tries not to break eye contact with Ganesh until the man steps into his line of sight. Matthew wishes Ganesh was one of the ones with more than one head.

"Hey buddy," he says. He is wearing a puffy jacket, his human features obscured by the enormous nylon lumpiness. His hood is up and Matthew can only see his nose and his scraggety black beard. "Hey buddy listen buddy I need some help buddy." The thing with Vegas is that there are no victims of circumstance. If someone is poor in Vegas it is because of one or more bad decisions they have made. Matthew does not trust their sad stories, but that is something that is not specific to Vegas. So Matthew pretends to be deaf.

"Edd I can'd wead lipth of people wif beawds," he apologizes as he cranes his neck toward Ganesh.

bitchesCollapse )

Link2 million souls saved . comiserate

trundle [logged 20081211.1216AM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |m.i.a. ... $20]

While sitting in his car, Matthew contracts his face muscles, tugs at the corners of his mouth, in an attempt to release the endorphins associated with smiling without actually committing to the act. Through the day Matthew bottles his anger and then purges it in traffic, but December traffic is a particular battle and Matthew must temper himself so as to not give over too fully to the rage.

He jerks the wheel to the left to keep from skidding into the rear of a fellow driver who came to an abrupt stop at a yellow light.

"Christing fuck! What the shit!" Matthew thunders from behind closed, tinted windows, "Why do you always stop for yellows? Is that how you want to live your life?"

On the passenger side, I'm contracting face muscles as well, trying to stifle a smile.

Link1 million souls saved . comiserate

public urination was the case that they gave me [logged 20081208.0721PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |battles ... atlas]

Walnut Street with its tall cliffs of row-homes comes to an abrupt end at the soccer field on 63rd Street, forcing the cautious motorist to make a left or right turn to avoid driving onto it. No soccer game has ever been officially conducted on this field, though the high-intensity lights are on every night -- vigilantly defending the field from those rogue soccer-players who would start up an unofficial game under the cover of darkness.

There is a squat cement building next to the field, and a set of squat cement steps that run down to it from the sidewalks. Between the cement building and the cement steps is a dark cement crevice, hidden from the headlights of cautious motorists, the high-intensity lights of the soccer field, and the fleeting glances of rogue soccer players. It is not hidden from the cold winter air, though, a gust of which howls down the narrow corridor and across (what the good people at Extenze would refer to as) that special part of Matthew's anatomy. The effect is instantly sobering.

So now I'm there also, on the steps. "Maybe you have alcoholism," I say. I admit to being a little bitter about the situation.

"I don't have alcoholism, I have mid-twenties fun times," slurs Matthew. "Also shut up because I can't go when someone is talking to me."

I hum These Are A Few of My Favorite Things by way of extending an olive branch. I stare out across the field, watch the trees swaying in the distance. This isn't a bad place. This could be worse. The soccer players chatter from the shadows -- rather, from the other shadows -- waiting for their chance to play.

mspmCollapse )

Link7 million souls saved . comiserate

inflamation [logged 20081023.0904PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |talking heads ... psycho killer]

Monday through Friday, Matthew suckles at the teat of human suffering, and has become bloated with that sweet, sweet milk. The people who call him have miscarried, are addicted to painkillers, have had their cancer termed a pre-existing condition. They are scared, confused, and desperate. These people, at their worst, come to him for counsel and comfort. It is energizing, transformative.

On the other hand, Joanne is calling because she must know if her surgeon is a devout Christian and specifically if he prays before surgeries. This is not fulfilling. Furthermore, this information is outside of the scope of Matthew's database. Joanne is not happy about this. Joanne demands to know whether or not her doctor "is aware that God's hand is guiding him through the surgery."

Matthew covers the microphone of his headset.

"I don't know what to tell this lady," he whispers. "How do you answer someone like that?"

"Tell her that he sacrifices a goat on the operating table before every procedure," says Counterpoint.

Joanne sermonizes. Matthew cannot break in to provide counsel. Instead, he occupies his mind by imagining her surgeon dressing the walls of the operating room with goat entrails. Matthew imagines the dance the doctor does as he casts salt to purify the space. A set of chimes are rung whenever he requests a scalpel or such. Matthew thanks Joanne for her call, and instructs her to call again if she has any other questions.

Link2 million souls saved . comiserate

coagulate [logged 20081022.1241PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |beirut .. scenic world]

They won't turn the heat on in the office. Frost forms on the steel surface of Matthew's leg iron. The glue holding up his printed-out MS Paint drawings cracks and crumbles, exposing the dingy felt wall of his cubicle. His breath fogs the computer screen. Matthew is faced with a dilemma: drink his coffee or huddle against it for warmth?

"Huddle it with your insides," says Counterpoint. A valid suggestion.

In spite of the sudden cold, Matthew enjoys the onset of Autumn. He spends the day watching the tree outside his window ease into a peaceful sleep.

Link3 million souls saved . comiserate

come with your sharpened knives [logged 20081013.0951PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |man man .. black mission goggles]

Matthew is in his burgl'd car, surveying the damage. He is extrapolating the losses from the pennies that remain. For every penny that remains, there is approximately one nickel, one dime, and one quarter missing. There are forty pennies remaining. Counterpoint is in the passenger seat, calculating.

"Five hundred dollars!!!" he concludes.

"Revenge!!!" Matthew swears.

But first, he must rearrange the empty plastic hot-dog coffins in his back seat (the burglar had rifled through them) and make a proper revenge mix CD because honestly who can commit revenge without the appropriate soundtrack?

WARRRRRR.Collapse )

Link5 million souls saved . comiserate

all the time in the world [logged 20080903.0849PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |the aquabats ... sequence erase]

Counterpoint punches me in the arm and I'm back on the air, somewhere, stuck in traffic, slumped low in my bucket seat, and there's static on the radio. A signal is trying to get through, but all I get is partial syllables of someone speaking.

Counterpoint punches me again. "Do it right," he says.

"Fine, okay," Matthew says. "Stop hitting."

Matthew's awake, groggily aware of his surroundings. His eyes are crusty with weeks' worth of buildup. He checks his body for remoras. What is he thinking? What has he been thinking?

"What dreams did you have today?" asks Counterpoint.

Matthew had the following dreams: 1. He is sitting in a park and autumn happens suddenly around him. Leaves change color and fall en masse. 2. He is playing paintball with his friends, but their guns have accidentally been loaded with real bullets. Matthew is the only one who realizes. Everyone is in camouflage except Matthew, who wears red. 3. He is reading the newspaper but the ink gets on his hands. It burns like acid and eats away his hands and arms up to the elbow.

Traffic inches forward, and Matthew’s car drags its antenna through wispy signal streams. The radio garbles and burps out vowels.

"Why do you ask?"

Since he has been turning his brain off to better integrate with society, Matthew has been in tune with the global consciousness. "I've been monitoring your dreams for keywords and mapping them against results from the Web Bot Project, looking for patterns in linguistic shift." Counterpoint makes notes. Autumn, change, guns, accident, newspaper. "I think I can use you to tap into time-reverse experience. If I can interpret these results, maybe we can predict the future."

"So, what do my dreams tell you?"

"This election's going to be a big fuckin’ mess," says Counterpoint.

"Hm," says Matthew. "I guess I ought start looking forward to 2012, then."

Counterpoint twists the radio’s knob and the static fades away. "You don’t want to know what the global consciousness has to say about 2012."

while we still have time.Collapse )

Link12 million souls saved . comiserate

the adventures of basil ganglia [logged 20080618.0944PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |nancy sinatra ... these boots are made for walkin']

Time is skittish; it darts by when you're distracted but decelerates to an uneasy, lurching pace when you pay it attention. Matthew is in Vrksasana (tree pose) facing his wall clock (moved to eye level for this exercise). He breathes deeply and focuses on the movement of the red hand. Time nervously slows and Matthew sees each jerky step of the machinery. He closes his eyes and can fully sense the wavering second hand and the steady grind of the gears. His awareness expands and the hand struggles to move through the mire of time that quails around it.

Then, time stops. It huddles, frozen in place around Matthew. Fearful, it bolts backward, recoiling but pulling Matthew with it. Matthew is hit by a forceful blow - like being shoved on the entirety of his surface area - as he has his past self momentarily occupy the same point. It is only momentary as the shock jostles Matthew's mind and time seizes the opportunity to cascade past him.

"What--!" Matthew says and promptly dies of natural causes at the age of seventy-six, having spent his last relative second looking very surprised from a hospital bed for fifty-two years.

science!Collapse )

Link10 million souls saved . comiserate

lorem ipsum [logged 20080616.0709PM]
Pseudonym Jones
[Tags|]
[Mood |okay]
[Music |the ting tings ... traffic light]

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to apply for the position of Staff Writer.

First of all, I don't think I'm qualified for this job. This is not the ideal beginning to a cover letter but I feel like the application process is just lies upon lies and I'd really like to set out on the honest foot. Regarding the position: I meet all the listed qualifications (English degree, familiarity with your company, and writing experience), but to say that I am the correct person for this job is false.

I am passionate about writing. Did I tell you about my senior thesis? It was fifty pages about the punctuation in a single John Keats poem. That doesn't mean anything really, but people have reactions to it so I like to bring it up. I'm very interested in punctuation and words and letters. The mechanics of written language and how they affect sound and reading and understanding. People don't react much to that part but they seem to find fifty as a number of pages pretty impressive.

Here's the problem. I don't want to be in Marketing. I don't want to sell my words and punctuation that way. But I really don't know how I do want to sell my words, and frankly with each day it is harder for me to manipulate language, and less satisfying. I suspect it might be a good idea to seize this stable opportunity, cling to it, and hope that I can find satisfaction by other means.

This is a difficult, crossroads-type decision for me. And it is my policy to not make difficult decisions. Typically what I do at a crossroads is sit down and wait for all but one road to make itself unavailable to me. That is what I am doing with this letter. Writing a letter is very easy for me.

Thank you for your time. You will find my resume and three writing samples attached. I look forward to your decision.

Matthew

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honk [logged 20080611.0935PM]
Pseudonym Jones
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[Music |the 5678s ... hanky panky]

Hot office gossip for Wednesday June 11, 2008

Honk honk! Summer is in the air and so is the noise of dozens of tiny baby geese! At least, that was the case last week, before the property manager allegedly had the gaggle of goslings murdered! An anonymous source reports that they saw "a man in a uniform with this like aluminum pole" collecting corpses in a trash bag over the weekend, though it is unclear whether or not these activities were sanctioned by property management. Skeptics who cited the migratory nature of geese as a possible reason for their disappearance we countered by goose migration expert Steve from IT, who commented that, "those geese usually hang around until the end of June." Currently, there is no evidence of fowl play, but please alert a coworker if you get a gander at any goose bodies!

Honk honk! Summer is in the air and that means it's time to hit the pool -- but not the kind with water and chlorine and a child's urine! Gas prices are rising alongside the temperature and that means it's carpool season! All-American office roustabout Matthew has "taken the plunge," so to speak, and had been carpooling with his coworker Kate for the past week. Has it been a relaxing reprieve from the stifling summer gas prices or has it left him feeling "all wet"? "Well, I've been trying to find a way to talk about dead geese and the weather for two extra hours every day, so I guess carpooling is a blessing in disguise," says Matthew. Hey Matt, why don't you run that through the Sarcas-O-Matic a couple more times and tell us what you really think?

And that's all the gossip that's fit to blog! Tune in next week for a startling revelation on who used the last of the creamer! And what young man just purchased a swanky new suit for a job interview? Is it also Matthew? My lips are sealed, at least for this week!

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