Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Week 4,5,6: Zeus Zaps Like a Thunderbolt

response to the watcher story:

believe it

it is time
to unwind
the dangling signs
from your hotel window panes

the cool frost building
on the cheap window sills
the pills grasped and
like shuttles
burning through
the atmosphere
like the mixing hues
of Fall crispy leaves
decorating the
matted forest floors
and doorways
into my mind
into your mind
the kind of find
you have as a boy
through the caves with bats
all around the sound
of their screech
resembles the peach
bursting into pulp
diction of this fiction
residing in your skull
flying into your bedrooms
fearing the demise
of the wise
of your other
your other caretaker


that he has come

for the last dance
the stance has been made
the train is left to steer
itself over the last frontier
as my tear
over your sunken
pale face

frozen in a moment

what were you thinking
what time did you wish

to venture back
into and out of

this mind

i become a human being

and not Zeus
on high

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Week 4,5,6: He was Omniscience, He was a Watcher

(NOTE: For the below, take each story and break it up in the entire scope of the manuscript. This will be like little chapters throughout the book, familiar, Vonnegut-esque stories to return to. Might be a cool little set up.)

God is not above you or below you or even inside you. He is this individual controlling things from some distant planet resembling earth but totally a parallel universe. The only reason this is being revealed to you is simply because He speaks through me. Not in the sense that I want to relay the meaning of life or tell you the future or explain the past or why many individuals pass on every day. Listen; there are a lot of people. Get it? How can one God possibly control or keep track of so many blips the size of atoms in a universe whose scope is beyond the imagination of the very beings that inhabit it. Exactly, you can't.

In order to really know God, I decided to petition Him one late night awhile ago after inhaling on a cigarette for most of the evening. The eyes were dilated and the lights were pulsing through my optic nerve, and unbeknownst to me, the master of all creation uploaded Himself into my psyche. That's right; God infused himself through my retina and into my mind. I must say, this is not for everyone as my eyes have been inflamed & burning from his presence for the last month. However, for research purposes, one must sometimes expose themselves to the very treatment they are out to discern.

My petition was not to change my life or corrode the pervasive sadness of not knowing what is to become of me or of us. I knew he would strictly forbid such questions. What I petitioned him to allow is to experience a sense of omniscience, because God supposedly knows all. Since I can remember I wasn't sure if I believe or want to believe or if I will believe in a higher power. For all I know, I am a schizophrenic experiencing hallucination and need to be on meds as soon as possible. Even with all that, you must trust me. You and I must get to the heart of the matter, and realize that after this experience, many stories are to be revealed. Not long, trite ones, but bits and pieces meant to illuminate our existence.

The petition was not submitted through prayer. It was sent out in the vacuum of space by a satellite. I didn't expect a response until one fateful night where everything froze and I felt a presence unlike any other.

Having God inside you is a bit like being disoriented after too many shots. You are literally drunk with power, drunk with spirit, intoxicated with a bright light burning up the fuel of your cells. It's a bit all encompassing, very trying on one's physiology.

So why experience omniscience, where did the ambition stem from? Well, let's see, it has been a dream of mine since I was a young, fledgling writer. Bundled up in my dorm room in college, I tried diligently to compose my first novel where its main character had the ability to take memories from the minds of a population of people under a strict dictatorship in some apocalyptic future. The mission of this mysterious character was to make these random people face their mistakes, relive their joys, to show them that this pain is fleeting; it is an illusion, a facade, a breath of air. Although it remained incomplete, I felt this would be the ultimate power, omniscience.

Too many times, one sits and gathers thoughts on some bench, while the stream of a crowd rolls past you. Don't you think about what is really going on with these people? Am I the only one wondering why this man is mumbling to himself? Or respectively, why we seem to do too much, spend too much, or be the Bluto chasing Olive Oil too much in the game of love? What are the stories that make a man, a woman, a child live on? See...if anything could help me unravel this mystery in a long line of mysteries, then having God live on in my mind for a brief period of time to show me his power would be quite enough to satisfy my undying curiosity. Thus, for the next few weeks, we will be given the opportunity to see what it is like to be God, to see what God sees, to feel what God feels.

As a disclaimer, I must admit this could all be disappointing. To convey God is silly, it is as ridiculous as all individuals claiming to be prophets, of which I am not. You may learn absolutely nothing, as none of this is supposed to change you. What I saw was random montages of images from the minds of people sitting with their heads against the wall dreaming of what life they had wanted, not what they were given. I wish I could ask God what the hell that is about, but the guy simply wouldn't respond.

Faith, God, religion, these are all mysteries, not meant to answer every question, but to confirm what makes us special, unique. This is what it seemed to be from my experience. So beware of false prophets who may have easily petitioned God as I have, as they may have distorted what they learned. By the way, it isn't as hard to get His attention as you may think. It is entirely feasible. I lived through it and it is beyond comprehension.

So on with the story.

A few weeks ago then, God flew through my retina; pushing the iris wide open while I tapped on computer keys as machines punch widgets in some Midwest town. The hot tea was steaming and the music shuttled through my speakers all distorted.

Unexpectedly, I found myself in a train.

It was not recognizable. It was a vast echo mixed with rattling rails jettisoning its bobbling heads back and forth. Memories were probably rattling around in their misfortunate little minds. Grogginess was all around me, I seemed dead or gone. There was a woman glancing at her watch and out the window repeatedly, while her husband was stared down the train walls. He was Asian, his shoes were brown, scuffed, and his sweater was grey. The woman had a scarf around her head, it was blue, her dress was a light shade of green, and her shoes were pale white.

I sat across from them and made the determination that these were folks I wanted to know. Not because there was something miraculous or massively intriguing about them, but there was some kind of despair coming from the movements of their bodies. I saw only a moment into their night evenings, those nights where they were old beyond their years and the days all coalesced, sticking together like spaghetti noodles.

Fluid and monotonous, the nights were usually ceremonial, rituals of how fleeting their days had become. They were skeletons of the past, like when one going to bed and it meant rising to a job, to taking the kids out, to looking forward to the weekend. The weekend was a Ferris wheel, you moved towards the top, you saw the Promised Land, and then it would end every time in the same spot you started . . . the cubicle. Life seemed contained back then too, because in the office in the scope of things, it was like passing the time and at least getting compensated for it.

These were the ghosts haunting the senior couple as they brushed their teeth, used the restroom, and cuddled late in bed with each other. Their solace and regret were all they had left. Life was not bad per se, but it offered no more rewards than the prospect of being another's brittle burden.

These thoughts seemed to barrel through their minds.

The man asking, "why her?"

The woman asking, "why him?"

They both asking, "Well, when?"

"Well, when" was the time when they would close their eyes and say good night and good luck to the world once so nurturing and vibrant.

My friends, there were no easy answers to such questions as to why they chose one another, but God did not offer me a resolution. So, I learned omniscience is a bit like people watching. You don't have the power to mediate or meddle in affairs. You simply are the watcher, the witness, ensuring that someone or something of greater magnitude can say, "Yes, this person mattered, as I was there to vouch for her or him." If this is all God can do, he does it, he is the witness to the crime.

It had been very silent the last few days ago (prior to their train ride I was witnessing). I saw this with the help of the Lord, mine eyes, mine brain.

They hadn't done much but search through the newspaper and call their grandkids (who did not return them). It was comparable to any other night, yet again; they were lying in bed staring off at TV recycling fuzz and erratic pulses of molecules. And they were on the same wavelength.

They broached the silence by coughing.

"I think it would be best if I die first," the woman said.

Her husband stared straight ahead similar to how he looked on the train. He was emotionless to her comments.

She stood up from the bedside, still with the knowledge that her grandson was visiting, in the other room in fact (hearing all this), and she should be happy.

All she can do is cry silently.

She longed into their arm watch chest mirror and saw her once beautiful body, frail, wrinkled her eyes and breasts sunk like pirate ships on the ocean floor gathering moss and schools of fish. This gave her confidence into her prior comments.

"Yes," she thought, "I would like to die first."

This is not something depressing; this is the realization that this...this is life. Because death is swinging you around, tangoing with loud bongo drums and mariachi horns. He is wearing a white tux, slow dancing to Air Supply's Greatest Hits and staring this woman's eyes. But all she could see was me in those eyes, burning through her pupils till I could see the movement of fires bursting along her Nodes of Rainier. In the end, it forced her to speak these thoughts aloud to her dazed, confused husband.

"Why you?" She asked.

Her grandson turned over and closed his eyes.

Her husband did not answer. He realized life had seen better days. Days where his grandson slept until 7AM and stuck around to discuss the paper (and nurse the coffee). Those days had been long gone, and so he began to envision himself as astronauts on moons and starships, as captains in WWI movies moving through mustard gas and bayonets. This was passing the time, these days and days imagining him in every profession, in every race, in every gender and sexual orientation. His wife used to bring women home, now she can only bring obituaries with their pictures. This is the cycle, the circle, the emblem of life: a paragraph summing you up at death.

"Oh, this is so bleak," I whispered and turned my face to the steel, train floor.

But God's fingers were wedged between the folds of my brain. He spread them apart and suddenly the thought popped into my head that maybe it is death itself that depresses us all. It isn't our fucking work days or our money or the Apple computers and Krispy Kremes or worrying about our fuck up kids; no, it's the constant knowledge that this will end indefinitely. This depresses you, and keeps those neurotransmitters at low levels. So maybe we should all block it out, we should remember that one of us will die first but we can sit in our beds and cry about it, ignoring one another, or we can rise up in the middle of the night, knock on our grandson's door and start a random conversation about the Great Depression and our Great war. Maybe it will be the time to discuss our ancestors in Japan, and plan for the next year's schooling. These are the decisions we make in our final days, do we stumble around in abandoned homes listening to the sounds of crochet and pool cleaners, or do we take a fucking trip to the Congo and ride down a river in the deep brush?!

The train bumped and bumped. As I sat in the seat, I seemed to slowly evaporate as we passed each exit, each tree, each insect deceased on passenger window surfaces.

My God, it is all a gigantic dead end, a dead end.

I love death. I love it.

Because in between, there was life.