Thursday, December 29, 2016

A quantum enabled conversation (side effects: nausea, headache, sleeplessness)

The bullets that pocked the windshield startled Mariella, but didn’t faze Paul. John’s immediate retort thud-thud-thudded explosively into the embankment, exploding the

Sara Hunt and Smith Jones were twenty and twenty-two in the year 2016. This campaign was the first they donated money to. They were avid Bernie Sanders supporters. Queer friends with weird jobs and open relationships. They were opposites in ways other than gender, too. She was tall and he was short. She was curvy, heavy. He was willowy and light. She was clean and passed as femme. He had non-binary gender and sexuality . She drove a car, he rode the bus. She didn’t carry a knife or mace. About once a month on the bus, he was hit on by men who didn’t understand who they were looking at.


They shared a two bedroom apartment between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan.


Between the two of them, they had donated close to five hundred dollars to the Sanders campaign. They voted for Hillary with gritted teeth. The election results crushed them.


* * * * *


Matthew White was twenty-two in 2016. His family donated to the Trump campaign. Matthew White rode the bus, did not have a job other than attending college at the prestigious University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. During Facetime™ sessions with his father he complained about being a minority on campus and swallowed a few times before whispering how persecuted he felt, how unheard his opinions were.


.  . .   I have no rational way to continue this look without doing research. To be continued.


* * * * *


Smith and Sara were drunk on the evening of  last warmest day: October 4, 2016. It was one of the rare confluencias cuando nadie tienen trabajar. Smith worked as a phlebotomist for a local for profit plasma center and Sara self employed as a cam girl on a largely philanthropic portal site, as well as via private chats and mysterious Paypal.com™ gifts or “rare book purchases”.






Part four

Listen. Love wins, acceptance wins. The problem is that love and acceptance are long term plans, and like the trees they are, they take a long time to grow and to bear fruit. Metaphors aside: there are rough times coming up.


2017 and 2018 were rough, but campaigners and organizers realized they were missing major, major issues. The two year election cycle is crucial for presidents, and those kowtowing to negativity were swiftly removed from their offices.


Look and pay attention, then vote. We did, you must, too. Progressives are the Tyler Durden(s) U.S. politics. They are weird looking and edgier and having kinkier sex than you. They are the people riding the edges of the U.S. political system and, just like Tyler Durden they will (problematically) drag you kicking and screaming and whining and crying through a revolution that betters mankind. Economics and slavery and taking care of humans during the industrial revolution. They’re the painful human humans who protect your humanity from things you cannot even fathom. They are Neil Gaiman’s Black cat and we haven’t even been caring for them. At best, we treat them like beggars, because we live in Troy --the Greek one, not the Michiganian one. Understand this: if progressive movements die, we all die. Stasis and reactionary tactics will destroy societies just like they destroy crops. Potato famines and ascendent fascism are equal.


* * * * *


I’d like to talk about distractions. The things that we do that just kill time. Something that we twitch at or on or through until we’re too tired to stay awake. I’m there now. I got home at 10pm, and it’s past midnight now, just barely, but I’m tired and I want to sleep. I spent two hours playing a video game --World of Warcraft, the “Legion” expansion, for those keeping track-- on a character that isn’t even my main alt. So I can start a healer. There are three types of characters: healers, protectors, and damage dealers. I am 99% of the time a protector. The job of a protector is to make sure that no one else in a group gets hit. Protectors build and pride themselves around being hit far, far more than healers and damage dealers. Protectors will die without a healer, eventually, but in all but the most trying situations, this is rare. Even the healer I am collecting equipment for can also be a protector.


When I am tired, I stare hard at my children and they cry. I am weak in real life. I am not a protector or a healer; I have bad aim. I cannot explain why this is the case, but I do know ways to mitigate and redirect my glares. Meditation, yoga, writing, and doing good work all help mitigate or refocus my baleful eyes. They turn me from a cloud to an icicle, which is what I need to be. Icicles can melt and provide relief, too: cold, clean water in a night with black clouds. A night like tonight, when my son asks me to stop and look at the sky and points out how similar to dragons and giant crabs the black clouds look.


They aren’t clouds. The clouds were bruised orange and purple, but the spaces between were plentifully less than the clouds, so the illusion was complete for him and we made animal protectors in the sky from the negative space, before I hissed and glared and let that all out. Self awareness without action is not acceptable. I am going to sleep, to sleep and to dream and to try again tomorrow. To love harder and more in the moment. To stop and think and stop “just reacting.” To go to the bank and take care of the bills for January.


* * * * *


If it’s a cool down, that’s good. Heads and hands on deck to smarten up the day.


. . . I hear a voice in my head. Call it my consciousness, or conscience --most people would call it one of those things. I think it is God, telling me what I need to do to bring more light to the world. I am a believer in God. I pray, unevenly and imperfectly and sometimes I do not listen when he talks to me. At night, when I am tired I ask for things I am not ready for:


Dear God, that is in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. You gave us this day our daily bread and we thank you lord! We thank you for our daily bread. Thank you, lord. Lord, we ask that you forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lord, I want to thank you too for my job, for this wonderful, calm and quiet apartment that you’ve blessed us to live in. Lord, thank-you, too, for my family and friends and lord, most of all thank you for being in my life, lord. For shining your light upon me and showing me the path I need to follow. Lord, all I ask is that I be allowed to serve you, lord. I want to share your light with as many people as I can lord. Thank you. Amen.


And then I’ll hear a voice, clear as day, tell me: get up and go write. And then? In the past, I haven’t. The voice is kind and firm, and I close my eyes, my heart races and I tell myself I am too tired, but that’s just fear talking. I’m scared to write, scared to put myself in front of the computer --scared of what might come out, but no more. When the voice says write, I will write. Because the people that show up are the people who get the credit. The people who put in the work are the ones that get paid. I’m going to try, at least.


Try and pray and light the way for my family and friends. Stoke the fire, and see about bringing it out into the world. Love and compassion shouldn’t be squirrelled away. Let’s see what love looks like when everyone, or at least a strong united majority feels it.


(I have not been godly lately. I have blasphemed in front of the innocent, I have taken the lord’s name in vain and I have not taken the lord’s name in vein, which we should all be doing. Let’s mainline divinity and see where it gets us, instead of wandering around in the dark. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for wandering, but there’s a purpose to paths. Let’s see what we can do, marching along together.)


I hada conversation with myself today. This is a conversation of that, and then I’ll recall the parts from earlier.


I have a headache, so I’d say this wont go long, but you’ve been waiting since 11am to do it. IS there a time difference?


Yeah, a day and a week and a few hours. It’s earlier, here though, so minus a day and add some hours or something. Ive got a headache too, it’s from keeping this connection open. In my world Trump was also elected, but the Democrats took over congress and the senate


So they were able to put Trump in the same position Obama was in? Cool.


YEah. we’ll see. The noisiest republicans are threatening


How, though?


Not much sense, I agree. Look. It’s important to know that writing is what keeps you going, in this world, and it’ll help you in that world, too. You need to write. There are books youve started that I finished and that’s what paid for so much of my life. I traveled, it was very Grant Morrison, honestly. The first, the high school book. I called it DoW high, no: D O W High.


I called it Alts.


Good luck with that --that name never crossed my mind, but it makes sense.


Its a videogame reference.


I don’t play videogames. Yes, I do play DnD, and lots of other tabletop games, card games and I got good at poker, too. Poker and . . . that’s it, really, for the competitive games.


Huh. But books? So you quit the U-M job?


Yeah, I quit after helping to hire _____. He seemed really good. I hope he’s happy


We’re friends in this world. Feels weird saying that.


It is weird. I’m not sure this is real or not. I don’t have any dire messages, I just wanted to see if we could make contact. And here we are.


Earlier, I could sort of picture a room, but now it’s just voices in my head


Yeah, i don’t see much either, though when you say that, I see the white tea room sun room with the comfy white wire chairs with the pillows --right? Right


Right. Like in book two, same room as the main character in that.


Yup. send it out. Get feedback. I know you haven’t. You should. It’s got potential. I know it has potential because after I finished it here, --The burn victim main character, the party, the weird narrative twist --it sold really well after a few rewrites. Three rewrites, honestly, but you need the publisher feedback. Publisher and agent feedback.


Sunlight is the best disinfectant.


Who said that?


My friend Peter.


He hates us --he hates me.


Did they get married in your reality?


No. Fucked that up. I didn’t get married either. Traveled the world instead. Became a writer. Wrote books, finished the octopus tattoo.


But the octopus tattoo started after I married Brandy.


We dated, Martin stopped talking to us, but I didn’t propose. I didn’t know her.


So no kids, no


No kids and lots of girls. Women. Travel. Japan, England, Italy, Greece. I lived with EM for a year in Europe, but we split.
[redacted] and I meditate just like you did, or do? It’s been hard keeping that up and I’m not exactly sure how this works.


I don’t know either


Are we both typing this? I keep thinking “We” instead of you or I


Let’s go with we


But that hurts like it’s wrong


Beteeen the eyes?


yeah . I’m typing with my eyes closed, sorry i’m only fixing my typos.


It’s cool. I’m doing the same. Or I think I am. Im talking about loud. I’m on a lot of DMT to be here. I don’t think I’m dead or dying or anything. I smoked it, and hooked myself to a device that keeps it coming, like a giant vaping mask. E’s baby sitting me, which must be weird


Nah, if anyone would, it’s her. I’m glad she’s well. We’re well.


Ya. Toes and what not.


Heh.


The completed tattoo was important to me. Writing is important as is meditation and yoga and keeping clean spaces. Fucks sake , man, clean spaces, okay? Take better care of your environment.  Na, never met her. Don’t talk to her anymore, but I’m happy you’re happy.


Cheers


Ya man.


I don’t know if we’ll hit again, but one of us will. Bngfty is our number. If you remember it, we’ll know we’re the same, if not, someone else.


Take care, get connected. Help more people. I’m guessing you didn’t go to church, eh?


No


There’s a church


Seriously?


YEah, B’s dad was in choir-ish and we went as a way to connect with family, but now I go when I can, which isn’t often. It was for a while but I had a rough two months, and I’m only now barely clawing my way through that.


Huh.


The church on the stadium Washetnaw --north side, korean and spanish signs. That one, not the journey of faith one. The pastor is good. Emotional, connected.

ASMR. unwind your brain. Pass out and wake up, okay?


I hope we meet again.



Sweet dreams

(((Fishes)))

Two and a half years is not a lot of time.

I met a woman when I was thirty-six who changed my life. I had a wife and two children at the time. I met her in the community recreation swimming pool. An Arabic woman with pale eyes and dark skin and a sky blue bathing suit. The night we met was the night of the cooperative school board meeting. We were hosting, but children weren’t supposed to be in attendance and our two bedroom, one bathroom apartment wasn’t able to accommodate that, so I took my children to swim for the few hours while the meeting happened. The three of us, my children and I, were swimming in the area of the pool with jets -- hot a hot tub, just a part with a strong current, where filtered water from the main pool was reintroduced. She came in and asked for a floatation noodle and it matched her bathing suit. Outside, snow whipped against the glass door. We were warm in the water because I made sure that the showers we took ended on a frigid note and I told my children, six and four years old, that it would be cold and it would hurt, but only the shower would hurt and it would make the pool like a bath and I wasn’t lying.

She sat down on the edge and waved hello to my son --we had seen her before, he and I, and he paddled over and said hello and asked if he could use her noodle. She explained she needed it and he nodded and came back and she floated over to my children and I and said, “I love you. You need money. How much do you need?”

I laughed and told her to get by I would need thirty thousand dollars. She asked how about to do everything? I didn’t even hesitate. I’d thought about this before. Many showers were spent graciously accepting anonymous donations from strangers because of fantastic leaps of judgment, faith, devil’s bargains and God’s grace. “Three million and two and a half years,” I told her firmly. She nodded. She asked me my full name and my bank --no, please excuse she apologized. Asked me my credit union. I told her it’s name and she nodded and closed her dark, naked lids over her pale eyes and smiled a wide smile. She opened them and extended her hand and we shook, in a winter storm, in a swimming pool, in Michigan.

The next day, on my lunch break I wrote myself a check for $160 and deposited it another credit union where I had student loans. It covered the interest and a tiny bit of principle.

I didn’t look my anemic bank account again until payday, February first. Just the usual amount. I paid our bills and sighed and hoped for a quick tax return. I went to church by myself, as always, and I nodded to myself and smiled at my children and I worked hard at my job, for the people I served. Would be enough, here to simply write: I worked hard for the people I served. ? It seems important, because though the concepts are similar, the truth is that family isn’t work or obligation. Family is love. Family is connection. A job with hierarchies that pays money is work. Family is family and family is love. I paid the bills and made sure we had money to spare and when a windfall or a thank you note came through my job, I passed it to my family. Tuesday evenings I worked until 9:30pm and sometimes I walked through the snow to the bus stop, and sometimes a colleague would drive me back to the apartment complex where we lived. Family.

Despite continuing to go to the recreational center swimming pool on Mondays, Wednesdays and sometimes Fridays, (as was our routine, so my wife could have an even to herself) we had not seen the Arabic woman with dark skin and pale eyes.

Midway through February, I checked my credit union account and found it over drafted, the $100 overdraft protection kicked in. I sighed. I talked to my wife about it and we had an argument, silent, angry words flying through the aether back and forth.

My birthday is PI day: March 14th. I have so many friends whose birthdays are March 13th it is ridiculous. Reality just saying, “Here, this day. It gets all the physics that will break during your lifetime. Me, Jackie, Terry, Einstein, Belinda. All these disproven theorists. March 13th and 14th. The tax return came on my birthday, too and my heart raced and I stared and for two weeks. I sat on it. I checked with my wife about the correct amount that our tax return should have been, and I nodded and paid off credit cards accordingly, and on Monday, April 3rd I called the IRS and told them there had been a mistake and asked them to take their money back. I confirmed my social security number and the routing and bank account number and read them the nine digits that had appeared as an electronic transfer labeled Federal Tax Return and the man on the line clicked about then told me, no, that was correct. No errors, no system errors. No clerical errors. Simply, three million dollars more than we had filed for, which was the correct amount, plus three million dollars. “Oh, thank you, then.”

“You are, at this time, welcome to return it if you do not wish to have such a, ah, thing, with you.” He said.

I replied, “Thank you, I think I will keep it.” I hung up. I called my mom and told her I needed to talk to her accountant. I refused to tell her why, only that it was good news.

Without telling my wife, I paid off our credit cards, our student loans and our rent for the year. I am a horrible liar, but I can keep a secret. Finally, though, she asked. We were

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Here we go redux

It started with this tweet:



Some schlub writer tweeted at an eccentric tech millionaire and it worked.

Areas of West Virginia like McDowell County (featured in this article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2016/oct/12/west-virginia-donald-trump-supporters-mcdowell-county-poverty-video ) were the vanguard of what came to be known as the F.U. Environmentalism movement. Crowdfunding for crowds.

The conversation, according to rumor, went essentially like this:

"Huh, but that's not close to the most efficient place a project like that could be situated."

"Are you going to profit from it? Because by my estimate, you're going to profit from it almost immediately and continue to do so for years to come. And you'd disrupt major energy producers. And save small towns all across the United States."

"I don't like the United States."

"Actually you do. But, even if you didn't like the United States, this is the fastest way to advance your company's mission statement."

At the end of 2017, Trump was impeached. This was, at the time, and history may corroborate this, the worst thing that could have happened to the United States. On the other hand, at that point, maybe it was moot anyway. Maybe it was for the best, since moderate or progressive governments would have tried to work with Tesla, and that may have slowed down the process, and I’m not sure the earth, Gaia, humanity, would have survived a slower transition to a zero carbon footprint, global society. I can’t honestly say one way or the other, but I do know that early-mid post capitalism is far and away better than late stage capitalism was.

There’s a stick in the line for you, I suppose. And we can go from there. From there, back to the early teens and the twenties. I’m sure there were many people who didn’t go hungry or die. Who didn’t fear for their lives on a daily basis. They had to exist somewhere, during that time. And now

Part 2

At the end of the first three months, Trump, before his impeachment hearings, bolloxed trade relations with China. In 2016 the United States functioned largely due to products produced in China. By the end of 2017, it was impossible. China stopped selling the U.S. things. Apple products stopped being shipped to the U.S. and prices spiked beyond purchase points. A society predicated on buying things and stuff lost its momentum.

Interest rates spiked, too, to keep money flowing, but that sped the demise of the debt inundated middle classes.



Back to Elon Musk and that tweet.

Despite two oil pipelines that the president endorsed (in what (during slower times) would have been impeachable conflicts of interest) Elon Musk began funding small towns in the rust and bible belts. His ecological-capitalist thrust was on two fronts: Pumping energy back into the system (If you have a negative energy bill, the power companies pay you) and charging and recharging home battery packs.

Ostensibly, Tesla™ sold personal solar and wind generators. In practice, small towns took out loans from Tesla™ itself to fund farm collectives of alternative energy. In mid to southern states, this collective model was efficient enough for small towns to afford commerce (back then, commerce was still a thing) as well as pay back their loans to Tesla™ in the length of a mortgage or so, not that money was ever Tesla™’s long term goal. (You’ll see)

The battery pack thrust was a closer-to-capitalist feint, but it, too, paid off. An evolution of a product design from the early ‘oughts, the battery packs from April 2017 onward are able to sustain an average house for two days without recharging. For smaller houses, or those with less than average wattage needs, a single pack could last up to four days. These packs had a functionally infinite recharge cycle as long as an average sized roof covered with Tesla™ solar panels received ten hours of direct sunlight, every two days.

In the summer, even northern states could accomplish this, but during the winter it proved impossible. So you could rent batteries, and much like the milk trucks of old, soon there came battery trucks, and whether or not your phone (cracked, and probably two years old or a generic touch screen by this point) recharged or your stove worked could become a roulette game of how long you could stretch a battery charge; like playing chicken with the gas needle on outdated, fossil fuel cars, of which there were few, and even fewer still that hadn’t been converted to electric engines.

In this moment, Tesla™ had the best American Electric cars, beating out Justin Trudeau’s Canadian national Solar electric models, and being less efficient, but more reliable than Monterrey™ Kinetic Electric.

* * * * *

A day in the life of a battery delivery team.


Paul Mills has worked for energy companies essentially his entire life. He was forty-three years old at this point y desde hace cinco años trabajó para Tesla™ Pack Distribution, SE Michigan branch. Paul es conductor of an armored truck that delivers batteries to a suburb entre las ciudades Canton y Ann Arbor. His two gunners are Mariella De Los Santos Cruz and John Smith, who had just finished Distribution Training. Mariella y Paul eran viejos amig@s, y entonces se aprovechaban a John constantemente.

“Hey John, I heard your refrigerator was running yesterday,” Paul shouted without taking his eyes off the slate grey interstate. He added, “You see those bushes on the right up ahead?”

Mariella replied, “Sí, no hace calor con humanos, jefe.”

“Cool. HEY SMITH? YOU HEAR ME? I said: I heard your refrigerator was running the other day!’

“What? Because I’m so ugly or something?”

“Nah man, because you just graduated training and can finally afford to trade your battery!”

Mariella snorted.





* * * * *

In 2019, Tesla™ released their first solar collecting Tar. While less efficient than Wind and less robust solar panels, Solar collection roads were enthusiastically adopted in southern states almost immediately, again through loans to Tesla™, subsidized by the money earned from negative energy balances at power companies.

Cars. Roads and cars. Despite legislation against Tesla™ car dealerships in many states, the effect on the auto industry was glacial.


* * * * *


Look. When Trump failed to put coal back into depleted mines and when the myth of clean coal was finally debunked the government flopped about and wailed like mermaid out of water. Tesla™ picked it up, slid the mermaid back into the ocean, then built sustainable, essentially self sufficient housing in towns.

By the summer of 2017, Veolia™ had formed a partnership with Tesla™ and together with JJT construction began selling Earthship homes.

These Homes were designed as part of the ecosystem. Imagine hobbit homes for humans, with grey water reclamation units and electricity for weeks. Paid for under contract for percentages of profits they made feeding energy back into the fraying municipal electrical grids.

One floor half above ground and three models: one two and two and a half storey homes. But never more than one storey above ground, always with runoff capture systems nearing 70% efficiency.

Water, right? It’s all about water. Gift of life and all that.

Water reclamation: Peruvian fog nets connected to Veolia reclamation and purification systems, into which also run house expulsion pipes.The Veolia™ systems are municipal grade, shrunk in size and cost by collaboration with Abel Co.™ and Telsa™ designers and engineers.

* * *

Why bullshit? The truck driver for Tesla is my father in law, named Wayne. He lives in Westland, Michigan, north of Ford, close to the graveyard. He worked for Tesla from the moment they started doing battery deliveries, and before that he worked for DTE Energy. When he worked at DTE he was something of repo man, for energy. He did the turn ons and shut offs, and checked out gas leaks and has the build of an American Football defensive lineman, but iswhite, except summers, when he was dark like well oiled leather because he walked outside, job to job to job fifty to sixty hours a week.


I worked that too. My work looked different, though. I was a designer. I designed experiences for people and helped -- i worked at a university, a big university and I wrote workflows and I had been there a long time. I knew lots of people and I spoke honestly and evenly with everyone from the janitors to the president of the branch of the college that I worked for. It did the university good. I worked and I designed experiences and then I shared the work with others. About one hundred people a year at the height of that job. At its most expansive.

Two and a half years is not a lot of time.

I met a woman when I was thirty-six who changed my life. I had a wife and two children at the time. I met her in the community recreation swimming pool. An Arabic woman with pale eyes and dark skin and a sky blue bathing suit. The night we met was the night of the cooperative school board meeting. We were hosting, but children weren’t supposed to be in attendance and our two bedroom, one bathroom apartment wasn’t able to accommodate that, so I took my children to swim for the few hours while the meeting happened. The three of us, my children and I, were swimming in the area of the pool with jets -- hot a hot tub, just a part with a strong current, where filtered water from the main pool was reintroduced. She came in and asked for a floatation noodle and it matched her bathing suit. Outside, snow whipped against the glass door. We were warm in the water because I made sure that the showers we took ended on a frigid note and I told my children, six and four years old, that it would be cold and it would hurt, but only the shower would hurt and it would make the pool like a bath and I wasn’t lying.


She sat down on the edge and waved hello to my son --we had seen her before, he and I, and he paddled over and said hello and asked if he could use her noodle. She explained she needed it and he nodded and came back and she floated over to my children and I and said, “I love you. You need money. How much do you need?”


I laughed and told her to get by I would need thirty thousand dollars. She asked how about to do everything? I didn’t even hesitate. I’d thought about this before. Many showers were spent graciously accepting anonymous donations from strangers because of fantastic leaps of judgment, faith, devil’s bargains and God’s grace. “Three million and two and a half years,” I told her firmly. She nodded. She asked me my full name and my bank --no, please excuse she apologized. Asked me my credit union. I told her it’s name and she nodded and closed her dark, naked lids over her pale eyes and smiled a wide smile. She opened them and extended her hand and we shook, in a winter storm, in a swimming pool, in Michigan.


The next day, on my lunch break I wrote myself a check for $160 and deposited it another credit union where I had student loans. It covered the interest and a tiny bit of principle.


I didn’t look my anemic bank account again until payday, February first. Just the usual amount. I paid our bills and sighed and hoped for a quick tax return. I went to church by myself, as always, and I nodded to myself and smiled at my children and I worked hard at my job, for the people I served. Would be enough, here to simply write: I worked hard for the people I served. ? It seems important, because though the concepts are similar, the truth is that family isn’t work or obligation. Family is love. Family is connection. A job with hierarchies that pays money is work. Family is family and family is love. I paid the bills and made sure we had money to spare and when a windfall or a thank you note came through my job, I passed it to my family. Tuesday evenings I worked until 9:30pm and sometimes I walked through the snow to the bus stop, and sometimes a colleague would drive me back to the apartment complex where we lived. Family.


Despite continuing to go to the recreational center swimming pool on Mondays, Wednesdays and sometimes Fridays, (as was our routine, so my wife could have an even to herself) we had not seen the Arabic woman with dark skin and pale eyes.


Midway through February, I checked my credit union account and found it over drafted, the $100 overdraft protection kicked in. I sighed. I talked to my wife about it and we had an argument, silent, angry words flying through the aether back and forth.


My birthday is PI day: March 14th. I have so many friends whose birthdays are March 13th it is ridiculous. Reality just saying, “Here, this day. It gets all the physics that will break during your lifetime. Me, Jackie, Terry, Einstein, Belinda. All these disproven theorists. March 13th and 14th. The tax return came on my birthday, too and my heart raced and I stared and for two weeks. I sat on it. I checked with my wife about the correct amount that our tax return should have been, and I nodded and paid off credit cards accordingly, and on Monday, April 3rd I called the IRS and told them there had been a mistake and asked them to take their money back. I confirmed my social security number and the routing and bank account number and read them the nine digits that had appeared as an electronic transfer labeled Federal Tax Return and the man on the line clicked about then told me, no, that was correct. No errors, no system errors. No clerical errors. Simply, three million dollars more than we had filed for, which was the correct amount, plus three million dollars. “Oh, thank you, then.”


“You are, at this time, welcome to return it if you do not wish to have such a, ah, thing, with you.” He said.


I replied, “Thank you, I think I will keep it.” I hung up. I called my mom and told her I needed to talk to her accountant. I refused to tell her why, only that it was good news.

Without telling my wife, I paid off our credit cards, our student loans and our rent for the year. I am a horrible liar, but I can keep a secret. Finally, though, she asked. We were

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Two Very Dark Years (Dos años oscuros)

"I'll go to bed and everything will be better in the morning." --Me November 8th.


Me at 4:30am, November 9, 2016: 
. . . 


I mean, and I say this lightly: Jesus fucking christ, you people. How can approximately 62,418,792 people think it is okay for the people who must represent us internationally to be so blindly privileged that racism, sexism, bigotry, and a general character trait set based off the "Player" principle of "Negging"  is acceptable? How?

I want to move to another country.

I want to stay and fight.

I want to do so many things that even if I just typed them would get me blacklisted and sheesh, who knows what else, but and (or) the weird thing is that the current president elect has threatened worse toward his opponent, who is actually the most supremely capable person ever to apply for the position of POTUS. FFS Clinton has BEEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE BEFORE. She has SEEN WHAT IT DOES TO A PERSON AND STILL WANTS TO DO IT. It is ridiculous that we didn't hand this to her in a landslide. 

. . . There are far too many echo chambers and there are far too many barriers to voting in this country, as it stands, and there are FAR FAR FUCKING TOO FEW Regulations on the way this country runs its elections. It is to a point where foreign countries, opposed to negotiations with the current POTUS have admitted to influencing this election cycle in favor of the president elect.

OOC

. . . There is always another narrative that can be followed. "Fight or flight response" is outdated. There is another way.

Violence, regardless of its cathartic flood, is not the solution. It . . . I don't know what it is, but I wouldn't want it inflicted on me, so I won't inflict it on others.

What I do want is someone to tell me when I'm wrong and to reach me, convince me my actions are bad, when my actions are bad. I want people to call me out on my misbehavior, on my micro-aggressions. I want to hear when I'm damaging society, and more importantly I want that put to me in such a way that I change my behavior for the better. And so I will show people when they are wrong, and I will suggest ways they can better themselves.

Amen.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2017 part 1

After the president elect approved the Middle Eastern Registration Act, I did what every red blooded, CIS white male Should do. I registered as a muslim. Myself and, literally, twenty other friends showed up two hours early and stood in the sweltering heat at the elementary school. We tried to joke, but the oppression stifled it. Instead we looked around us. We didn't understand what it really meant. We were, mostly, white citizens of the United (haha) States of America. We were raised here. We had never been oppressed or, again for the most part, had never been shot at.

My wife and I stepped into the air conditioning and I got goosebumps. Somewhere around a corner, a woman wailed. Someone, loud, midwestern accent shouted: Ma'am, please calm down or I'm going to have to arrest you.

I laughed. I had to laugh: I didn't know what else to do. I stood in line and shuffled forward with everyone else --all colors of people, none of them talking, many staring at their mobile. Many with tight jaws in the beige halls. Around the corner, carefully stapled to a tack board was a picture of a class. The wailing escalated, it was coming from the gym The class had thirty students, all colors of smiling children and a handsome black teacher. I teared up, then. Swallowed it and checked my phone, too. Two fat, white police officers wrestled a woman in a hijab through the doors --she writhed like a cat in a lake and

and here we go. Are you ready? (I wasn't)

One of the police officers tried to wrap her in a headlock and as he did her niqāb slid up and as she tried to push out of the choke hold, the niqāb slid to the side and she sank her teeth into the cop, who yelped and let go, pushed her away; the woman sprawled on the floor with the cop jumping toward her, a boot heel raised aimed and I kicked his raised foot, stomped through the air, toes out and pushed him and shouted, "Serve and protect man! Serve and protect!" My voice cracked and I pissed myself and fell convulsing to the floor with my spine on fire. Tasered. Twitching I curled fetal and covered up, ribs and neck. I shouted "serve and protect!" --it came out as drool. Someone kicked me square and hard on the tailbone and I started choking on laughter, on spit.

I stuttered, my teeth chattered; I grit them. "Shit on you." I snarled and that is the last thing I remember.




Thursday, November 3, 2016

He asked, "So then, shall we walk?"

Getting through a fear of success means breaking everything down into love.

Love is the single indivisible thing that we as a species have, and so, once the love is found in something, that is the size of it.

Take a step? Do it out of love. Figure out what the love in something is, and that is the core from which to start.

Lots of things get dressed up as something other than love, but eventually, and the process of getting down to the necessary depth may be brutal, but somewhere in there is some kernel, some iota, of love through which to change the world.

Figure out what you love about something, then figure out how to act on that love, and go from there.


A series of truths

I am terrified of success. Long term success, short term success. They both scare me equally.

I have buried this fear, but like lead or radioactive waste it is poisoning my groundwater.
I think this may be a collective unconscious issue my species has. We are obsessed with poisoning our groundwater and ignoring that fact.

The states of Michigan and North Dakota, Louisana, and probably a majority of the others, we have buried poison in containers, expecting them not to leak out.

I would like, regardless of my fears, to exhume those buried monsters and sacrifice them on the altar of the future, for the betterment of my species.

* * *

In November, in south-east Michigan in 2016, the high temperature during the day was 67° Fahrenheit. The leaves were mostly yellow or brown and many were fallen, but many more were on the trees. There were Ladybugs everywhere. There would be none in spring and something would wake starving, then starve.

Sunset was 17:21. The crowds, the families with young children began to lope home like a parade of November bears; Like so many migrating geese and as they left we sidled into the park on our thick and quiet electric motorcycles.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pupae

The next major societal challenge will be knowing who knows what and communicating (or not) that information clearly.

The first steps are learning what and to who we share information.


Monday, May 16, 2016

She finds it difficult to breathe in the steep stairway that leads to the bathroom. It is lit, but she's night blind, there is the pulse of the drums and the bass in the soles of her feet, through her heels.

Someone knocks into her, sloshing; sloshed. "Hey, hello?

Hello?

Are you there?

A hand, reaching

two hands, holding. Tugging, caressing. (This isn't sexual)

It is a flow

The thud up, of breath in his gut, under a halogen bulb, bloody summer night air, slick un-ruptured skin and a gasp, tears

Crocodile tears pero verdadero y la realidad es que todos pueden trabajar los mismos como son posibles.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The sand was warm between her toes and on her knees in the moonlight, as the looked up at him, her hands pulling at the small of his back. The roar of the ocean resonated with the blood rushing through her ears, cheeks, heart.

Grinning, she licked her lips and smiled; they both chuckled and he wrapped his hands in her lavender hair. "Come here," he said.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Confessional

The house is clean and organized for pictures.

Today and this weekend, the front and back yards will be cleaned for visitors, as will the inside of the house and the inside-outside of all windows.

It is raining today, a slow steady rain that started just before 7am. I put the Danger! Glass! Sign on the garbage before 7am. I called and talked to a woman from the garbage company and she assured me that it would all be removed today.

Everyone is asleep, so I am writing.

I am pleased but nervous about the state of the house. I think painting the trim and the window sills will do the house a world of good, as will putting down the molding. I'm not sure what we need to do now, so I will pray and listen, and listen and pray.

I turned the heat on again yesterday, that seems important to mention.

I took two days off work to get the house to the state it is currently in. This weekend, we are taking MANY boxes over to our friends' house, and bless them for holding our things while we find a new place to live.

This weekend, my plan, in addition to the painting, is to start in the basement and work my way up, cleaning and organizing as I go. There will be fast and slow spots, as with any activity, and I am looking forward to a deep clean, like that. My son will help! He loves to help, asks all the time how and if he can help and I will always find a way to let him help, because that is the best thing in the world, I think.

Grocery shopping this weekend, too. Lots to do. The deep clean may start today, and we'll call for another big trash load pick up the following week, too.

My son is awake!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Gaan Tender, Take two.

At twenty-eight years old, he started grinding his teeth. If asked, he would shrug, and smile and say thank goodness for socialized dental care.

At twenty-eight years old, he started waking, sweating, to the pounding on the floor of his apartment. His neighbors shouting angrily, or with concern, in a language he did not speak well, and certainly not in the deep hours of the night. The language of the country he was living in. Not the country his family was living in.

If he, Gaan Tender, did not get up when he woke up, he felt tired the entire day. This had always been the case with him. He learned to adjust his schedule accordingly.

Gaan Paul Tender. His mother a gardener, his father drunk, but decidedly the one to give him his first name. Spindly, tall, black, scarred, missing two fingers. Working third shift and driving a stick shift pick up truck. Smile like a January sun burst in Detroit, which is where he lived, with a roommate, in poured cement apartment, a few blocks from Wayne State University, which he had not attended.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Gaan Tender -- character sketches

1. Fixing his elven ears.
Laying on a thick table, ankles cuffed, shirtless, Gaan bit down on the chunk of wood in his mouth and forced his eyes open against the pain. The surgeon's knife cut deeply into his ear, and Gaan clenched the leather sheet under him; blood spurted and ran down his ears, pooled on his shoulders.

The surgeon said, "Bite the wood, grind it in your teeth. Grind the wood between your teeth, the Bettlebarb tree is a pain killer. I'm almost through the thick part."

Gaan nodded and sawed his teeth across the wood. The action distracted him, and the sweet mulch gumming up his mouth started to tingle on his teeth. The doctor said something, and the room started to swim. Gaan felt warm. Gaan closed his eyes, and slept.

He woke surrounded by embers and ash and the burned down support remains of the doctor's forest hut. He could not move. Gaan wet himself and passed out.

In Gaan's dream he was floating around inside an infinite smoke coil. He still could not move, but it bothered him less. He was not scared. He heard a voice. The voice told him secrets he didn't remember on waking. The voice explained it willl give Gaan what he wants, but that he, Gaan, will have to help it, the voice, in exchange. Gaan nodded and woke.

He was still in the burned out remains of the surgeon's forest hut. A small girl stared at him, hard eyes and a set mouth. Gaan looked at her, stood up and searched around in the wreckage where he remembered a desk to have been. He found what he was looking for, pocketed it and turned. He mimed tossing two gold coins at the little girl, who startled. Gaan smiled. "I was a half orc with very green skin who limped off, north, understand?" He threw her a gold coin and waited. He played with the other gold coin, running it along his knuckles while he did. "Of course you're a gimp half-orc, you gimp half orc," said tiny girl. Gaan tossed her the other gold coin and smiled at the girl, who smiled back at him. "Good girl," he said, and set off east, into the forest.