The Phenomenology of Follow
Fastidious attention to detail must be taken in order to ascertain the correct directional, if any, pull of followedness as it is measured when an object being followed is facing backwards but traveling forward. The addition of a hat further complicates the equation. Such as, is the hat stylish? Is it merely there for the practicality of holding the note? Is the relationship deeper between the follower and the hat than just the beingness of follow?
To know one must simply look within. What drives you? What gives you that meaning in the morning to stretch those limbs one more day against the backdrop of a dark existence, and pull the curtains wide open? Are you following the mother of all motivation, fear? Is there a deeper purpose that you can elucidate with the vividness of a thunderstorm on a parched desert tundra? Are you dreamless?
After razor sharp skepticism and ruthless critical self-analysis, one may come to know who is being followed. In fact one may realize that both objects, that of the follower and the followed, are both following the beingness of follow. In layman’s terms, the one being followed needs the follower to exist, therefore the the one being followed is the actual follower, and the follower is the one being followed.
As to the matter of the hat. If it is a fizz, the man or woman must have a huge mustache. If it is a cowboy hat, it has to be a Quarter Horse like The Stranger’s played by Sam Elliott in the Big Lebowski. However feathers, chains and pink camouflage are totally out of the question, unless they involve other, less than reputable, extracurricular activities.
Half My Life a Dream, I Long for Fallen Blossoms
Over the wintry
Forest, winds howl in rage
With no leaves to blow.
It is at the cusp of a lonely road that I find myself, meandering there towards the end, where at the beginning I ran, half my life now gone like a dream, a dream that seemed so grand and noble, but could not be fulfilled by a will so weak. Where once a child wanted to save the world, to a failure of a man at the end of the lonely road, standing there as the gods look on and say, o’ the sham, how did we waste such a strong and healthy body, such an inquisitive mind, on a soul so pale and pathetic?
Even the wind seems quiet here. The distant stars seem ever more impossibly far and cold, and beneath my feet a crumbling façade of a dream falls into an abyss of time.
I look back once again at the road behind that led me here, at that childhood dream of a free world. The way twists and turns, and parts of the road are still covered by the debris of ambiguity, by my lack of courage and the inability to find closure.
But ahead of me at the end of this road, there is no mystery, no opaqueness, and the way is clear. In that endless pit of time I will reside as a failure, and there my destiny I will meet.
Inspired by My Thirty-Three Year's Dream by Tōten Miyazaki
She’s done it again. I’ve fallen under the captivating spell found in the endless depths of her eyes. I’m transfixed by the mirth, dark brown that dances on the edges of the iris. I know I’m being teased, but I can’t help but laugh along. She places her smiling face delicately within the palms of her hands, dark skin and gold jewelry catching the sunlight. “I love you,” I say without preamble. Her charmingly intense eyes widen slightly the same way they always do when she hears those words. Someday soon, I pray, they’ll soften in understanding and acceptance.
Suzanna took another gulp of wine. She swirled the ruby red liquid in her glass then sat back in the big leather chair. Sitting alone in the attic, she was drunk.
Coming to this cabin in the woods was her idea. She was worried. Everything was falling apart.
The first night here, they left the cooler of food sitting outside all night. A bear helped himself to their food. Greg left four hours ago to buy more food. Sam went after the bear. It bit her in the stomach. Danny raised that Shepard from a pup now she was bleeding out on the table. He's a mess and won't leave her side.
She filled her glass again. What if Danny figures out her real identity? Surprised he didn't recognize her when Greg introduced his best friend to his new girlfriend, she's been holding her breath waiting for Danny to realize she is his ex-girlfriend, the girlfriend that stole money causing his family to lose their restaurant and home. Danny held the key to her identity. Despite cutting and bleaching her hair, inserting colored contact lenses, losing thirty pounds and changing her name, sooner or later, she will say or do something, and he will make the connection to the woman who ruined him.
Excited to pick up her custom Harley, she called the dealership. When the voice on the other end told her she would always be noticed on her new ride, she knew she would never pick it up. She didn't want attention. She buried the money at this cabin.
Guilt from destroying the family didn't occur until she was dating Greg, a good and kind man. Coming here was strictly so Danny could find the money. Why continue with the original plan? If he finds the money, Danny is going to know her real name.
This weekend is going to hell!
John McGurk, Entrepreneur
The dancer kicked her leg high and swished her pink dress, cut low how McGurk liked it. He watched her and not the screaming woman who kicked her legs even higher, albeit with the benefit of a man carrying her aloft toward the door and the waiting Bowery cop.
“Where do they get it?” the barman asked him beneath the piano music. He poured three more fingers of whiskey for a swaying, unshaven man.
McGurk stroked his moustache and eyed the dancers, choosing. “Get what?”
“The carbolic acid.”
McGurk’s flat gaze remained on the edges of the dress, which had slipped a little, it seemed to him. “Don’t your missus clean house, Willie?”
“Not if she can help it.” A customer put three bits on the bar, so Willie extended the tube to him. The man took a deep breath, then began gulping as the crowd began hooting around him. “It could be a problem, Mr. McGurk,” Willie said.
The dancer on the left had stopped smiling, McGurk noted. He didn’t pay her to frown. She’d get a little pick-her-up before her time upstairs. “How’s that?”
“These women. That’s the third one tried to kill herself, now. In two weeks. The cops might ask questions about upstairs.”
“They all know upstairs. There ain’t a one of ’em but he dips his wick at McGurk’s after a patrol.”
The drinker coughed beer onto the floor. The surrounding patrons jeered, and McGurk smelled the camphor he cut the beer with. A drunkard reached for a dancer’s leg, then yelped as she brought down her heel on his hand.
“The customers, then,” Willy said. “Bit hard to have your fun while some woman’s burning her throat out next to you. And everybody’s heard about it.”
McGurk turned to his barkeep. “That’s right,” he said. “Everybody’s heard about it.”
John McGurk was a diligent man. He worked through the wee hours. Before the Bowery rose from its stupor sometime the next afternoon, he had affixed his new sign to the crumbling brick. New York City had 7,000 saloons, but everyone would hear about McGurk’s Suicide Hall.
Mystic Monks of the Full-Spectrum Light
Mystic Monks of the Full-Spectrum Light, through arts esoteric, can see beyond the black and the white.
To wit, the monks encircle a Mystic Supreme XL Bubble Machine.
(1) In unison the monks bend forward exhaling, raising hands high they inhale the Bubbles.
(2) Retaining breath they straighten, beating their chests with open hands.
Then forward exhaling as the high priest chants:
seen to our
world black and
burst in the
depths of our
bued with the
The Rainbow Meets the Shadow
Walken stepped out of the time-jet. He stood looking around the clearing in which he stood. Gray grass covered from the ground, and white flowers grew in patches. Above him a single black colored bird soared, silhouetted against a white sun. Tall, straight black trees with gray leaves swayed in the wind. The wind was cold, and Walken pulled his rainbow coat closer around him. He brushed magenta hair out of his orange eyes, with his hand. As the boy stood looking at the colorless world around him, he raised one red eyebrow. What was this? A world with no colors? How did one live in such a world?
Walken felt something brush by behind him, and quickly he turned. Nothing was to be seen but a few shadows. Then, one of the shadows moved, and took the form of a human. But what a human! The girl who stepped into view was tall, with black hair, gray eyes, and perfectly white skin. She was as colorless as the world around her; even her clothes were gray and white.
She timidly advanced towards Walken, and reached out a hand to touch the edge of his coat.
"Hello," Walken said, breaking the silence.
The girl jumped at the sound of his voice.
"Do you understand what I'm saying?" Walken asked, with a questioning glance.
The girl nodded slowly, her eyes glued to his coat.
"My name is Walken," said the boy, "What is yours?"
"Sayah," she whispered softly, her eyes now fixed on his hair, "What are you?"
"I'm a person, just like you," answered Walken.
"A person? You can't be!" replied Sayah with amazement. She pointed to his coat and asked, "What is that?"
"Yes, yes," she answered impatiently, "I meant why does it look like that?"
"Oh, you mean the colors? It's a rainbow coat," explained Walken.
"The colors? A rainbow coat?" Sayah repeated in confusion, "What does that mean?"
Walken stared at the girl. She didn't know what colors were?!? How did one explain colors to someone. Seriously, you just looked at them!
Sayah pointed to his hair, and said, "What did you do to your hair?"
"Nothing!" replied Walken, "I was born that way."
"Haven't you ever seen colors before?" asked Walken.
"No," Sayah waved a hand about her, "Do you see any, what did you call them? Colors? Anyway, do you see any here?"
Walken shook his head.
"Where did you come from?" asked the girl.
Walken pointed at the time-jet.
"I rode on that," he explained, "I traveled from my world here."
"Is everything in your world like you?" asked Sayah eagerly.
"Yes. I've never seen colors, or not colors, I suppose, like you have here."
"Could I see your world?"
"If you would like, I could give you a ride in my time-jet, and then bring you back."
Sayah's gray eyes lit up in excitement.
"Would you really?!? That would be like a dream..."
"Hop right in!" Walken said, holding the door of the time-jet open.
Sayah stepped in and fastened her seatbelt as Walken pushed buttons rapidly.
Soon the time-jet started; Sayah and Walken were swept up into the sky.
"How many...colors are there in your world?" asked Sayah curiously, after she had gotten over the first shock of taking off.
"Lots. Can't even name them," answered Walken, steering the time-jet carefully.
"How long until we get there?"
"Not too long; it's a pretty short trip."
Soon Walken warned Sayah to get ready for landing. They settled on the ground with a soft bump.
As Walken prepared to open the door, Sayah held her breath. The door slid open and Sayah stood speechless. Finally she whispered in a raptured voice, "It's like a dream... I can't believe it's real."
And then the colorless girl from a colorless world stepped out of a time-jet and into a world of colors, rainbows and sparkle. She would never be the same again.
Note: Walken means Rainbow and Sayah means Shadow.
The Inevitability of the End
Why am I fighting something that is going to happen naturally; that can't be stopped? What makes rushing the ending unnatural? Where did all these ridiculous rules come from that say I can't and why should I listen to them? Pain is everywhere. There is just the question of cause and transference. What is really left for me anyway? All the things I always thought were so important are all unattainable now and it only brings me pain whenever I get sucked down the rabbit hole of bullshit, American Dream, fantastical, fucking delusions. Everyone always wants what they can't have, but it's torture. What is worse than revolving your life around a concept that isn't real and can't become real for you, no matter what you do? You could argue that I should change my concept, that I should find an attainable goal instead. That's not very satisfying, and honestly if I'm dumping the weight of the entirety of my being onto a small insignificant achievement, I predict the collapse of the concept (or even several, if I was motivated enough to multiply my absurdly, masochistic baby steps). I'm not handling reality well. I'm not handling my existence well. I am my own worst enemy, and yet I am the only person I can never escape. I'm never going to allow myself to be happy, so why can't I just not be? I've been looking for a personalized and intellectual argument to this question for most of my life, and ironically, the society that insists upon the continuation of my pain and clear depression (among a longer list of issues) cannot seem to answer my query. This society that has become obsessed with everyone's opinions on everything being so vital, cannot even convince me of the reasoning. When did people stop telling ignorant assholes to shut up? When did the ignorant assholes stop feeling like their opinions were unwelcome unless they stopped being assholes? Why can't people understand and believe the truth of it all; that not everyone is going to give a shit about your opinion, and furthermore, most don't care. I get that everyone wants to feel loved and most people want to be liked, but when did the reality of "Not everybody gives a damn." go out the window? Why are we raising fucking narcissists? What kind of society does that? I mean, seriously, what the fuck?
No Rest For The Wicked
The night wears solemn black. The moon is red. Rico’s skin is white; as pale and perfect as the marble walls of the mausoleum in which we sleep. I lie with my head on his motionless chest, listening for the echo of a long silent heartbeat.
We are those who do not dream. I have not dreamed for six hundred years. We do not eat, nor do we drink, but we thirst for that which sustains us. Without it, we would cease to exist. A death, of sorts, though we cannot die.
If dreams are memories, then we are those who dare not dream.
I was born in the city of Orleans in the year fourteen hundred and eighteen of our Lord and Saviour. My mother called me many things but I was baptised Jean. So yes, I am Jean D’Orleans, but not the Jean D’Orleans who fought so bravely for the uncrowned king.
I was not yet a man when La Pucelle D’Arc drove the besieging English out of Les Augustins. When the forces of the Dauphin, led by Le Duc du Alencon, marched to Jargeau, I followed. Though still only a boy of eleven, I fought at Patay, Beaugency, Auxerre, Troyes, Rheims, and Paris itself.
I was not at Compiegne. I did not see The Maid burn.
I had returned to the city of my birth. Which was also where my father damned me for all eternity.
His Grace the Bishop was my father, though I doubt he ever knew it. My mother was a whore. I have my father’s eyes. I keep them in a box. It is a beautiful box, carved from the wood of the one true cross. It burns my hands to hold it, but still I cannot bring myself to throw it away.
The room was cold and dark. Winter sunlight struggled to pierce the one narrow window set high in the wall. The floor was made of rough cobbled stone. Someone, unseen, shouldered the heavy wooden door closed. It scraped over the uneven flagging.
I could not see them, but I knew the door was guarded by the same men who had brought me there. They wore long robes of dark wool. Their raised cowels hid their faces. Shadows within shadows. They did not speak.
His Grace stood behind me. His hair was white. His satin robes were scarlet. His heart was unfaltering black. His hot breath smelled like a slaughter-house. I cried for mercy. I begged for my life. A frightened child.
He hushed me. “The virtuous shine like the sun in Heaven.”
His hands slowly tightened around my throat.
That is all I remember of my ‘becoming’.
I did not know it, but the hooded men who had stayed in the shadows were in the service of Gilles de Montmorency-Laval. Le Baron de Rais.
I made certain I was there at Nantes to see the bastard hang until he was dead and his body burn at the stake for the rape and murder of hundreds of young boys. Boys like my beloved.
I found Rico in a cesspit. He was floating face down in a pool of fetid, fermenting human filth. His throat had been cut from ear to ear.
The year was 1436. I ought to have been a youth of some seventeen years, but the dead do not age, and so my appearance was still that of a child. The tower guards laughed at me when I stood in front of the gates of Le Chateau Tiffauges and demanded to see their Lord and Master.
De Rais. The Champion of all France. Having squandered an immense fortune, the Baron was a desperate man. Desperate enough to believe a charlatan called Prelati who had convinced Gilles he could raise the Devil himself.
It was a lie, of-course, but still the Baron sank deeper and deeper into depravity. Prelati was a fool. My father was not. It was His Grace, the Bishop, who succeeded in summoning a demon. I had ‘become’.
I could have torn the gates of Tiffauges off their hinges, such was my power, but instead I chose to turn my back and walk away. That night, I shared my terrible secret with Rico.
Rico stirs. My fingers brush a loose curl away from his forehead. He opens his eyes. At peace, Rico’s eyes are as green as summer meadows, but tonight they burn like hell-fire. As red as the moon we hunt by. A blood moon. A killing moon. A lovers’ moon.
Death’s cold kiss has soothed our mortal brows. Cursed are we. Lost are we to wander, clothed only in the night. The moon is our mother, and we glimmer, silvered, in the fullness of her shining. We are slayers of men. Devourers of souls.
Human weakness is our strength. Their lives are the coin with which we buy our way out of this purgatory. We trespass against those who would trespass against us. We do not carry a rod nor staff, and our tearing of their flesh brings no comfort. No salvation. We are those who do not forgive.
“Viens, mon precieux,” I whisper, taking Rico’s small cold hand. “Il n’y pas de repos pour le mal.”
Do I have faith, or do I believe? Yes. I have faith that you could only imagine. I am a living testimony of my faith. I could not have gotten where I am today without God carrying me on his back, or letting me walk on his feet to move. I have had times in my life where I didn't see an answer. But with my faith in him and all I believe in, a solution came and fixed it for me. When I knew my means and all I had to offer was shown but it couldn't help what I needed, he sent an angel to take care of it for me. When I worried about it, instead of praying about it, he sent a bird to remind me that he would never let me fall, and continue to do as I was doing. This is all true and I can prove it. So Yes. I will never lose my faith. And I hope I encourage others to trust in him. Amen.