Eventually the only thing holding the operative together is the operation. Only thing holding the warrior together is the war. Only thing holding the addict together is addiction. The mission becomes so important that you accept the many adverse affects that result from it -- to your detriment -- and to the point that your mission and mission oriented mind well, it can simply never do without that mission ever again.
The mission loses it's importance, while the mind's hooks into the relevance and identity that you've hinged your personhood to, does not.
It was a balmy summer night in [REDACT].
One I'd felt many nights before, all over this part of [REDACT--]. [REDACT DUE TO LOCATION NAMES]. The list goes on and on. As does the knot developing in my throat as I write the names of all of those places where I left behind so many of my friends, family and memories that now I only can remember and reminisce on save for two or three people. It used to be ten.
Fentanyl, gun violence, drunk driving and toxic relationships is about a bitch isn't it..?
I don't know why I'm still here and they aren't. I don't know why I find myself alone and I'm barely in the twilight of my life. Although every day I travel forth into this shit storm chaos of an excuse of existence, it seems as if I am. Far older, and progressed in age and weariness. Far deeper into the threshold of when your body flips a switch and says "You know what bud, I've had enough, here's a fucking tumor".
Far deeper in these things I describe than any man at my age should be. Barely thirty years old and I can't conceptualize why the world is a fucking shit chute that should've been forgotten and retried ad infinitum fucking centuries ago.
My hotel room reminded me more of the life I had here before than the life I have now. As nice as the Best Western Inn is in terms of the shelf placement of shitty roadside motels, and as nice as the room looked the faint cigarette smell of a thousand nights worth of Newport's and Maverick's echoed in my nose like a goddamn boom box. The very same room I was in now, was the room that I had just 2 years previous cheated on my girlfriend in, now ex, with a stripper I had grown up with to one extent or another. She was always a lot of fun until she wasn't, as those things go.
Once she had done all my drugs and I had gotten a few lines in, we would laugh and chat. Have sex and fight. She would storm out of the room. I would stress. But this didn't answer the panicked abandonments affliction I'd felt coming on since I arrived.
I wondered how much of the current reeking after-shave du poor and hopeless dope fiend was my and hers contribution. Or maybe it was the time that a few of my friends came by to sell someone I had just met a bag of cocaine. So I could get high, he could get high, and we all could make some money except for the chump paying 80 for half a gram.
The Best Western Inn [REDACT] was the scene of more than a few nights of debauchery I participated in over the last 4 years. I had went for a run, and to my dismay could not access a gym on this day. Quite unusual for my usual activities in my home state.
This would be the first time I had stayed there involving my role as a witness to, and not actively enjoying -- debauchery. I was surprised at my resolve, and I was not surprised at all, all at once. I knew that I had no desire to relapse and drink or drug. I knew where it would take me, and somehow although every other time I had ever come home to my fellow degenerates I had relapsed... I did not feel the urge to burn and kick and shoot and mutilate my life into the bloody, charred pulp that I always did.
It felt good, and as good as it felt it was somewhat surreal and gave me a sense of panicked abandonment. Whether this was due to the subconscious bringing to the forefront the scenes of desperation in motel rooms such as the very one I was in? Other motel rooms?
As I sat here pondering that and reflecting on what my life had become in sobriety, I realized that it wasn't any of these things. I knew the familiar pang in my gut of the phenomenon of waiting for the other shoe to drop, all too well. I had only ever known instability in the truest sense of the word here. Now I was stable as anybody I knew up here, and still I felt like I should go hit the peep hole patrol, and grip my pistol a little tighter.
I shook my head like a dog trying to dry off, and went to go unfuck my hair in the mirror. What used to be a high and tight, now a mop with the same length on the sides and enough to look like a fucking Guido at the height of summer Jersey Shore on top. I put some pomade in my hair - I spent far too long trying to shuffle and comb it into the right pattern - and then proceeded out the door, to catch my Lyft from the lobby to my buddy [REDACTED'S] house.
[REDACT CONT] were brothers, and they always treated me well. I wasn't always the easiest motherfucker to be nice to particularly in the beginning either. Especially in the beginning. Even though I could be irritating at times he and his brother always helped me out and included me in things. Towards the end, when the drugs were beginning to overtake the bonds that held us together and in good shape it was a constant connection that continually frayed at the edges. Like an arm going through a sander that couldn't get past the bone.
[REDACT]. Otherwise known as [REDACT] to the people that knew him. Also went by [REDACT], and [REDACT], the king of nicknames and shit that made people laugh. We had been close friends since pretty early on in my times in [REDACT]. I had spent many nights engaging in nefarious substance use of all kinds at his mom's house in [REDACT]. The basement was a celebrated place where lots of memories, all not good, all not bad, had occurred. My memories there were only the best kind though. Maybe some would never have considered it celebrated. Fuck that shit -- I do. If I ever have the chance, my big dumb ass is going to buy the spot.
I arrived at [REDACTED'S] apartment that he once shared with his brother [REDACT] who had died of a [REDACT] overdose in the same apartment just shy of a year prior. [REDACT] hadn't ever been the same. I didn't realize what had happened in his mind's eye but I would sooner than I knew. A few short months were all that separated me from the ability to relate to how [REDACT] felt in those last months of his life.
The apartment was located in a complex along a road leading into downtown [REDACT], and was a nice place to live. Foreign to the rampant drug use and chaos associated with before.
Quiet and good quality apartments, it reminded me of where I had come to visit my dad as a kid. Multi-story structure, that had 3 or 4 upper floors, and then one basement floor due to the decline of the terrain on the rear side.
The Most Pleasant Sound
The most pleasant sound is the ocean. This sound is so lovely because the second I hear it all of my problems disappear. All the hate or anger I might have melts away. Every horrible thought leaves me the second I hear the salty melody drifting into my ears. After I hear the first wave crash I am swept off my feet. It is like I am levitating and don't need my legs anymore. This sound is so incredible because no matter what the day is or what the weather is like, the sound can carry me out of any situation or problem I might find. The ocean is the most pleasant sound to a person.
A diatribe against Generation Z
WARNING: Not for the faint of heart... or faint of logic. Remember: this is just my perspective.
This is as real as it gets.
So why a prose about what we call Gen Z? Why not on the "millennials", the "baby boomers" or even the "silent" generation of the 1930s-1940s? Because the problems, in my opinion, are more apparent today, especially in the current context of hypercapitalism.
First of all, the greatest scourge that invades today's youth is the overconsumption of social media. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. Social media has allowed us to develop our creativity, our communication, our ability to make connections that previously could not be thought of and to create important networks in everyday life. That's a fact. Without wishing to appear hypocritical, I also consume them, in particular YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for professional, artistic, cultural and personal purposes... without however publishing ten million selfies and endless "reels". By using this technology for purposes of selfishness and personal vanity, these young people become somewhat trapped by the illusion of this "reality" offered by social media. Since the arrival of TikTok, it is even more worrying than before. There is a real superficiality that emerges from this in believing oneself to be the master or mistress of an image. A bogus, soulless image that offers no substance to get things done. Once again, let's put things into perspective here: it's not bad... it can become bad if our quality of life is affected and we depend on it too much. Unfortunately, the observation is that the majority of people belonging to Generation Z fall into this social trap, namely the modification, even the transmutation of their social relations into purely synthetic and artificial relations. Why? Because I have more "followers" than anyone. Because I have 10,000 photos on my Instagram account. Because I chat about everything and nothing on YouTube and Twitch… In short, it never ends.
Secondly, a certain cultural narcissism arises from all this. Or on the contrary… could we say that it is an absence of culture? A veritable cultural maelström that continues to degenerate? In short, the death of our culture? Personally, I believe that one of the biggest problems of the current generation is precisely the lack of culture, the lack of identity markers, which is ironic, because we have been living under multiculturalism since the 1960s and 1970s. There should be more openness to cultural diversity within this generation… But, everyone tries to look alike, to copy a popular model and to model it in the most punctilious way possible. Everyone goes with the flow, like sheep following a shepherd, a new messiah proclaiming paradise-like happiness. That was the case before, of course. Today, it is magnified to a scale of 100. For example, if we rely on current trends in clothing fashion among young people (without generalizing again), there is a lack of originality somewhere. There is almost no difference here. Now, what used to be the antithesis has become an excuse for hypercapitalism and consumerism pushed to the extreme to seduce this youth. Everyone is on the same aesthetic level and it is aberrant. What happened to individualism? Authenticity? To the integrity of being? There is also a kind of hypersexualization of both men and women, which is a harmful influence on young people whether we want to admit it or not. Several examples come to mind when I walk around town, or even on the university campus today. Today, it has become fashionable to wear a bra or a sports bra in public under an open shirt, without any repercussions. A young man who decides to get a tan and go to the gym 24/7 just to flirt and have sex with someone else. Or even worse, a young woman who decides to wear a mesh or nylon sweater with nothing underneath. Imagine what that looks like!!! This is proof that we have regressed as a society and don't tell me it's social progress, please. It's far from being the case!
Finally, there is a real lack of sociability within this generation. There is no public place to discuss without the slightest controversy. In short, the Athenian agora is a concept that has probably disappeared from our history. All opinions are dependent. People seem more preoccupied with their cell phones and their iPads, even their egos, rather than starting a conversation or a debate on a captivating subject. Yes, I come back to my starting point. Social media helps build social connections, that’s for sure. Yes, it's important to express yourself out loud or on social media, that's clear... Freedom of expression, I believe in it and I will believe in it until I die. But, when we sit down with someone and spend more time on our cellphones… there is a problem. Or even the opposite… when his opinion does not join the status quo and then gets murdered on the spot. “Trolling” for “trolling” as we say in English. I don't want to get unnecessarily over the top, but it's behavior that I think is questionable. Without forgetting the exaggerated feeling of competitiveness that exists between each of us, as much for Generation Z as mine, i.e. millennials, and vice versa.
• Ex.: If I have a 2022 Honda Civic with the beautiful body, the beautiful "mags" and the rear spoiler, that makes me a "winner" and you a "loser".
• Ex.: I wear "catliner" because I want to please others, and not to express my originality as a person. Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj do. Why not me?
• Ex.: It's fashionable to be on TikTok. Hey! I'm going to scream like crazy on my iPhone while my parents cook dinner.
• Ex.: I'm chatting with you… while looking at my cell phone.
• Ex.: I wear a gold piercing on my nose and I have blonde hair because it helps me look better in our society, when in fact… I try to look like a Barbie doll because I have no credibility by displaying my real personality.
I can add more, but I believe that the essential is said on this point. Moreover, I'm observing that respect is often replaced by apathy. Most people of this generation seem to don't give a damn and take this value for granted. Student initiations on the university campus grounds, happy hours and the aftermath in city buses, bar outings that often end in riots and violence, etc., etc.
All in all, I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed with the direction this new generation is taking, without necessarily reprimanding it entirely. Maybe this is a temporary phase of our society? Perhaps it is the overly flexible and laxist education that these young people received from the beginning of their lives? Or is it the lack of a benchmark for each of them? No one knows and it is not my purpose to answer that. I can just watch, but with discomfort, worry and confusion. Once again, this is proof that navel gazing – or rather social narcissism will get the better of us, especially in America. On the other hand, I can reassure myself by telling myself that it can help one or two people to question themselves, to change their fate... to evolve in the right way, and not in the bad. Diatribe over.
© Marcel Nault Jr, 2022
a rich man stepped through the doors of the carrington hotel to stay the night. he was headed out west to meet his sister's newborn and had divided his trip in two with this stop over.
jewels winked at the staff as they directed him to his room and gold was dripping out of his pockets.
he saw himself to a solitary dinner in the grand dining room and ate lavishly. he sat in the eye line of two brothers who were waiting to meet an aunt. they had been working in the bathurst mines and promised to visit her for a meal.
one brother spotted a large gold ring hugging the wealthy man's thick middle finger. the blue stone in it taunted him and he nudged his brother. they knew it would relieve several burdens for themselves. that one ring could get them out of the mines.
they looked away as their elderly aunt sat down with them and demanded what they were gawking at.
the well fed, well dressed man unlaced his shoes on the edge of the bed. he was tired from the day's travels and quickly found himself pulling a large red doona over his chest.
the brothers peered in through the window. the ledge was precarious and their feet slipped often in the rain, but their determination cut through the weather.
the older started to have doubts as they checked for the steady rise and fall of the large man's chest. surely if this were to happen to him he would be distraught.
the younger brother didn't share the sentiment. after all, it was his fault as a rich sydney man to be stopping over here.
together they lifted up the window as quietly as they could and shimmied through.
the older brother crept, barely breathing, to the side of the bed. he held a deep inhale and started to slip the ring off. it proved more difficult than they were hoping and he turned to whisper to his brother.
"i don't think this is such a good idea."
he was shoved out of the way and his younger brother pulled at the ring without caution.
"what are you doing?!"
the sleeping man startled awake and yelled, eyes widening at the two young men by his side.
"HELP," cried the man.
the youngest slammed a knife into his chest which made him yell louder. he pulled out and aimlessly stabbed as much as he could.
blood dripped down his knuckles and his brother knelt aghast beside him.
the man was limp for the last few strikes and the ring was hastily pulled off.
"what have you done?"
the younger turned to him and realised what this could do for him without being halved.
he adjusted his grip on the knife and looked at his brother's eyes. they widened as he caught on and the younger was tackled to the ground.
blood trickled down the older's arm from a new gash and his hands wrapped around his brother's throat.
"stop. stop and we can leave. pretend nothing happened. please."
there were tears forming in his eyes but his little brother took another ill-aimed stab at his gut.
he groaned in pain and pressed his eyes shut. he felt his brother go limp under him, but didn't move his hands.
he sat in shock before lifting a loose floorboard and stashing the ring.
lights flicked on and shone under the door. he could hear footsteps.
"sir, are you okay?"
he gripped onto the window and gently slid out.
his brother is still looking for the ring. floating around the dining room and searching in cupboards.
people usually just think it's the wind.
huddled on a soiled towel
left to shiver in the stench
my outstretched hand
seeks only acceptance
raising its tiny head
to fit perfectly
in the hollow of my palm
In my mind, I'd say genuine laughter is the best sound to hear. It's pure happiness in audio form. You can hear someone laughing and catch the virus, start giggling like a fool as well. It's what a lot of us are looking for when we go to apps like Tiktok. A break from the general mundaneness of reality most times. Laughter is a small crack in the routine, for a moment all is lifted off the shoulders; a natural high. So... Yeah. Laughter. Just laughter. Whether it's babies or old people or the in-between, that shit is beautiful man. Better than any drug.
Driving home from a football game. Gone wrong may be an exaggeration, but it takes 5 minutes of walking back to the car for the headache to fade. We finish an embarrassing conversation that leaves me wondering if I've said too much.
The blinker clicks. I mutter under my breath. I try not to take my turn too sharp and end up in the opposite lane; I successfully turn. I had told her before that she could put on music. Now, soft guitar fills the car, accompanied by her voice harmonizing and her fingers dancing up and down in the air as she follows the notes. Her hair is an apricot orange, lit by the golden hour autumn sun. Leaves float down from the trees and rush towards the car, skimming the windshield. She lets me leave the windows down.
It is the rushing of the wind. It is her voice lilting as she sings. It is her small, happy laugh when I offer my hand at a long red light. It is my headache fading. It is my insecurities lifted. The earth whirs, but my mind is calm.
The thing about healing is that it's not just going to suddenly get better. Some days you'll feel fine and some days you wake up already feeling like shit before you even open your eyes. Some days you'll be able to smile through the pain and some days you'll cry into your pillow wishing for it all to be over.
Healing takes time. It's the dumbest cliche of them all, but it's the only thing you have. Time. You can keep trying, no, you have to keep trying to make it better, to find things that will make you feel better. They're there, I promise. You'll laugh again, you'll love again, you'll love living again. And some days you'll come back home and crash and break and cry again, because that's how it works. That's how the pain works.
You are hurting and that is alright. You have to learn to live with the pain and you have to learn to survive it. And you will survive it.
The most pleasant sound to me
No sound can be more pleasant than your mother's voice, especially when you are ill, depressed, having a hard time, sick of the world around you, feel like you can't carry your burdens anymore, then, her soothing, full of love voice eases your pain miraculously. It makes you feel alive. It's heavenly. Even if she isn't able to solve the problem and you know it too, her voice and words are enough to heal you. It cannot be compared to any other sound of the world.
Mother's voice sounds unarguably unique. In this world full of fakeness and pretentiousness, she is real, and full of love. She might not be able to understand your problem, but she understands you the most. Even science has proved that talking to your mother and listening to her voice heals depression.
People who can still hear this voice or sound are truly blessed. I pray we can hear this voice all our lives. Cherish this blessing called mother, never take her for granted!!
What's an engineered sound? Something that's been processed through a machine or edited heavily or is produced as the result of careful orchestration (source: me). Every sound I thought of (that was sfw) was a sound effect from an on-screen something that I watched with either really good headphones or Bose speakers on either side of me. Just to spit it out, these were them:
-Benimaru Shinmon's Crimson Moon
-The lion roars in Disney movies (look up the process, it's so cool)
-Shinra Kusakabe's little electro glitch sound whenever he blasts off and weaves
-"Ban~KAI" (see the theme)
-The close up and magnified crackling sounds of a fire burning in movies n stuff
In particular, Crimson Moon is elite. The electronic, bassy, spacious, resonant sound that feels much larger than it is is not only perfect for its corresponding visual and rightfully touted as one of the best FX in anime, but it also takes silence as the perfect accent to an absolutely peak fight climax in such a hurried and chaotic fight sequence. It hits all the marks for purpose, execution, style, compliment, and creativity. Okay, that aside
The thing I love about sounds like that is how effortful it really is to get it sound like that, to get it to sound just right and just natural enough in whatever it appears in. I never think of all the effort that goes into finding, tuning, and reproducing the sounds I hear, but foley art is so fascinating and frankly, very fun. It's comical when you see it happening, and completely undetected otherwise. It flies so low under the radar that you know it, but you don't really know it, know it. yk?
I watch a lot of cartoons. Voice acting is one thing, but the orchestration for such simple FX like a door opening or a leaf crunching is disproportionately misleading. It's so much fun to watch a grown man growl into a metal trash bin to make the sound of a lion roar, or watch entire heads of lettuce get obliterated to make the sound of walking through grass.
Obviously I'm not actively thinking about these ridiculous things when I'm immersed in my escapist hobby of watching stuff on a TV, but it's so fun to think about and giggle at. So much work goes into the silliest sounds sometimes that I'd rather hear the machined art than organic, more natural sounds like animal sounds, aesthetic asmr, and things that evoke peace. I want problems, I want chaos, I want to hear what the future feels like. Engineered sounds are the best