Ode to writers, lost in obsession.

The characters disappeared as quickly as they appeared. Occasionally, they were combined into a string of words that would be considered by most as masterful, even visionary, before being erased with a swift and aggravated backspace attack.
This was not something that less than perfect could be remotely considered. This was the ultimate finale to guarantee a life of luxury, more than could ever have been achieved in his previous attempts; Just like his previous attempts, actually.

I hate it when phrases inadvertently rhyme… it doesn’t belong. Why won’t this forsaken synonym site load today?

This writer was obsessive. mumbling quietly to himself, he managed to become an ancient golem in a coffee shop, sitting there appearing suspicious but really, just oblivious. Seasons would pass, coffees would evaporate, people would come and go. Most of all his long term girlfriend. What travesty his obsession had bloomed into!

He was a victim of his own protective shell, a shell that had become so thick that it managed to block out everything indiscriminately.
It became so absorbent to attack that those attacks seeped straight to the inner mantle. Unfortunately, this absorption allowed the diseased words of disrespect, dislike and abandonment to infect his inner being right down to the Iron Core, until it, too, was converted into a hard shell, leaving only the Golem of which we spoke earlier.

*********************

Waking up one day, one year, he remembered the love of his life, the one woman, the one organism on this planet that allowed him, for just a brief moment here and there, to be taken away from his worries, from his absurd and uncomfortable ambitions that have oh, so many times proven nothing but detrimental to him and everyone around him. She gave him a cloudy mirror to look into, to see just a little of himself and what he was all about.

Occasionally, in the mist of her gifted silver glass, he could focus into the distance and see something more, something with a child and a puppy, a balcony and a patio heater. But clouds and fog cannot realistically stay still for so long, and these images are quickly burdened by an overpowering sense of duty, a duty to continue doing exactly what he has failed to do these passing eternities. Seeing her mirror shatter this morning forced tears down to his ears as he lay on his browning, caseless pillow.

Within minutes, he was up, focused and packing his laptop. Destination: Local cafe.

No more screw ups. No more deleted words or distractions. This will be the most constructive day all week.

Mumbling down the street, he made a mental note of a couple of inspiring phrases:

  • It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen, Orwell.
  • The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel, Gibson
  • The mountains bowed down like a ballet in the morning sun, Callahan

A fan of descriptive narrative, he was. Not a fan of creating his own inspiration. How could he? The only exposure his fundamental senses receive is the smell of coffee, the sight of an LED screen, the sound of mainstream singer-songwriters noodling on acoustic guitars and cover songs of once classic tracks, rendered asymptomatic via a heavy dose of rhythmically boring rappers overlaying the original format.
His sense of touch and taste had the best variety; a mix of cold and hot as he arbitrarily chose between frappuccinos and cappuccinos. Otherwise, there was the taste of saliva and the feel of his cheap plastic keys, slowly wearing away any texture of lettering that were glued on in the manufacturing stage.

Sometimes, if you watch him enough, you might see his glazed eyes peer out of the giant window to his right, but don’t expect anything much. He will only be thinking about the drab weather, or the concentration of carbon pollution in the atmosphere that day.
There will be flashes of his lost love, perhaps a few milliseconds a day. These are gratefully attacked by the virus of obsession, dismantled and assimilated into his powerful immune system.

But today, there will be no window to chance such thoughts. The cafe was closed.

What on earth is this? A fire? a public holiday? Curse those lazy bankers!

Not one to panic or blow a fuse, he browsed a little more down the streets until he found a noodle restaurant with WiFi and a plug socket. He needed both; WiFi to read excerpts from various other artists in order to paraphrase lines for his own devices. This would do him nicely. The chairs look a bit stiff, but it’ll serve a few hours at least.

He took a seat and ordered some noodles as to buy his right to abuse their contracted hospitality. Within moments, he was typing, erasing, stringing words together, mixing them around, browsing Kafka and Fitzgerald.
His peripherals went dark, the surrounding atmosphere virtually warmed and calmed to an imaginary room temperature, customers gradually and graciously fading into silence as his ears focused more and more on the 15 inch monitor that was his life support.

Within the next 5 or 10 minutes, 2 hours passed. He leaned back and glazed over his audience of gobbling noodle fanatics. An old man with a cheap beer. Parents with two seemingly annoying toddlers, a group of Asian girls, plus one guy – shorter than all the females. The waiters and waitresses wore yellow shirts and black trousers, shoes and sandals of their choice. There were only a few other customers.

One was his ex-love. Beside her, a man wearing black and blue. He was sure it was her. From the side, he could see the fashion, the distinctive nose and the small but beautifully kissable lips. The small but astonishingly reflective eyes were something he was suddenly desperate to see face-on, if only she would turn around.
But alas, if she did so, she would surely see him. He didn’t have time for tha… too late.

From an outsiders perspective, perhaps the man in the blue and black suit combination, you could see their faces simultaneously scrunch into complex and uncertain reflexive patterns, like a test dummy being rammed into a wall at 150 miles/hour. 45 minutes later, a few seconds passed and his love took the initiative. She stood up, her figure booming with grace and lust, 50,000 MeV of energy simply exploding into a catastrophic mess of attractive beauty.

Unfortunately, He was already eyeing his laptop screen through his newly awakened peripherals, so the things we would appreciate to the most grandiose levels should we be seated in his chair were largely unnoticed, just perhaps a blurry, misty rendition through her clouded mirror. As she walked over – her legs, so perfect – she spoke.

‘…how… what are you doing here? wow, hi… did you follow me?’
‘of course not… I live here now but… what about you? surely this is a vacation?’
‘yes… I’m with my boyfriend’
‘oh right him, wow great’ A perfunctory wave. ‘you look very… fresh’
‘fresh? thanks? hah, well.. wow you look good, too. I’ve missed you.’

Unbeknownst to him, she was with the black and blue man out of a fear of being alone. There wasn’t a day she didn’t think of Him. If he just removed that part of him, that single object of compulsion that destroyed everything around him without even an ounce of awareness on his part, they would be perfect. She tried so hard for so long to pull him out of it, to drag him from the quicksand of degradation, but eventually it became too much, with no evidence of progress. She had to leave before his very existence destroyed her.

For now, she was healthy with life, but only tolerably so. Seeing him was an immediate burst of hope for reprieve.

‘So what have you done to deserve a vacation in such an exotic land?’ He questioned with a jocular tone, practiced in previous experiences in social scenarios.
‘well, I saved the days up. eventually my job forced me to take the time off, legally and all that… How about you, why did you choose here, what’s here for you?’
‘well, I needed somewhere different to try and give me a fresh perspective. You know how it is… right now I’ve made some good overall progress but the last few days I’ve just approached another wall. You know, there’s always a problem for me with the development of a character. I mean, I have it all written down in notes, but Gregory, the protagonist, he seems stuck in his ways. He just isn’t progressing the way I had hoped. I’m thinking of just scrapping him entirely and going through the whole thing, censoring his existence and replacing him with someone… a bit more quirky, a bit more open to opportunity I suppose. You know what I mean? Gregory seems linear which, for the context of the story, isn’t suitable, so I need to…;

Over the next couple of minutes, his voice merely groped sensible structure, before letting it slip into loose mumbles again. Occasionally his fingers were typing, his eyes now permanently fixed on-screen.

She waited, but not for long. A tear in her eye was a personal signal that she needed to leave, so she left. She left him, she left the man in the blue and black suit, she left the restaurant. He never saw her again, and neither did her tolerable partner.

His peripheral slowly weakened. his senses dulled. his focus on synonym websites and famous quotations boosted and his noodle bill increased. Seasons passed, coffee evaporated, people came a went. None of which he really noticed.

The novel was never complete; a sound metaphor for his life.

Infinite Food Supply

I know everyone has been struggling with this topic for many generations, and I know that there is technically enough food in the world to comfortably feed everyone on it, if only we could distribute it fairly or whatever. I mean, just look at these statistical maps:

 

there-are-more-people-living-inside-this-circle-than-outside-of-it the-worlds-population-concentrated

 

And let’s face it, Houston isn’t exactly desperate for space itself, at 3,400 people per square Km. There are more people than that in my apartment building, probably.

But what most people seem to struggle with – with the exception of the Chinese Government – is the long game. Unfortunately, most great achievements and successes for the international community will have to be a long game, there are not many short-game solutions when it comes to things like world hunger. You can’t just throw 30 billion dollars into Africa and assume it will evenly spread around 20 African countries, transform the wilderness and inevitably become self sustainable.

No. If you wanted to transform the environment, a long game is in order. Years, decades of planning, research, ecological transformation, human control. Generations must pass for it to succeed, and yes, people will suffer and die in that process and you will probably just have to let it happen, within reason.

With that long game in mind, I have a new solution.
Recently, the UN has been promoting insects as a dietry option, and in many countries they already do. Some have stated a 2 billion sized portion of humans snack on insects including those from China, Thailand, Latin American and African countries.

italy-insects-food

 

With the UN now promoting it as low fat and high protein, I figure it’s a good time to get my new invention out there. But not yet.
Again, this is a long game. You can’t just expect the UN’s promotion to suddenly convert all us westerners and other countries with a different set of culinary opinions into bug loving hippies. Most of us are and will continue to be too grossed out at the idea of crunching into a stag beetle or a caterpillar you just found on a garden leaf.

So here is my plan, which benefits me several hundred years from now when I can finally make a profit from my product which I will describe momentarily.

We simply need to push the UN’s idea harder, and persevere for a generation or two, that bugs are nice, delicious and convenient. Think about it, right now, It’s completely normal for many countries to eat chickens feet, snakes, squid beaks, and, if I am to be controversial, human fetuses in pill form.

Even in the UK we’re pretty content with organs such as livers and intestines, blood of a suffering animal and various other meat choices that, out of context, sounds pretty disgusting. It’s only because of the way we are taught that bugs are repulsive and generally not remotely edible. Our mothers see us with a worm about to be chewed by our innocent mouths, rushes at us shouting ‘don’t eat that!’.
We, confused, oblige and drop it, or maybe suck it up in time before she gets a hold of it. The dirt is probably potential sickness waiting to happen, or good for the immune system to build up our inner strength, but either way, that worm was a lot of protein and not a lot of fat, according to the UN.

So on we go, growing up, becoming increasingly aware of insects and spiders and how scary and gross they are. Did you ever find yourself jumping around in haystacks and fields as a kid? Rolling around in the mud and playing with things you find on leaves? Did you ever then, reach a certain age where you found yourself in the same scenario, but far more aware of the possibility that you might… you know… TOUCH something alive in there? Oh man, there’s something in my shoe! Get out of the field immediately, it could be an ant!

Yeah… we didn’t give a crap as a kid. That fear and grossness is simply taught to us, the same way a baby chick is taught by it’s mother bird that the ugly predator at the bottom of the tree is dangerous.

But since our fear of insects is mostly unjustified, and based largely on ignorance (One of them stings, ALL of them sting), we can now teach our children to dismiss this concept. We can encourage finding a worm and eating it, perhaps after running it through tap water first if you’re a clean freak.

We can educate kids in school about which ones are good to eat and which ones you should just flick back onto the grass. Given a generation or two, the idea of insects being gross will be transformed. There might be fast food chains dedicated to insect burgers. Subway could become Bugway, Gnatdonalds – Burger Queen (ant), Starbugs Coffee. The marketing potential is endless.

As for me, I could make my own little pocket of gold. For poorer nations who actually need this as an option, they can make it portable. I will design a portable but reasonably sizable box. Sure, it can come in different sizes, why not.

This box can be strapped onto you on a belt, or around your shoulder, hanging down the side at your waist. What’s in the box? A UV light beams brightly, powered by the movement of your walking steps (yeah science can do stuff like that nowadays). It’s a walking, free and infinite snack device.

Just ten minutes walking around the open streets and you might get a bit pecking, but now nobody needs to fear, for they can just reach over, pull out a sliding tray of ready-cooked, ready-sterilised flies of all kinds (including mosquitoes) and gobble up a handful of protein.

The tray that the insect inevitably falls into can be littered with various spices, so when the poor animal falls, he becomes more delicious than ever. For those fashion conscious of us, scientists through my own R&D system will work on a various array of colours for the bug attracting light, and even ones that change to appeal more to different bugs as well as showing off a lovely cyber-fluorescent party scene right on your hip.

For those of you who rely even more on insects, of course it’s just common sense to separate it from your body/belt/shoulder strap, and just place it on the floor, or of course, attach it to a wall. Overnight, or even over work hours, it will attract a whole bunch of different, slower and less aerial insects, via various other miniature devices within. These devices are incredibly cheap. With the UV powered by footsteps (and can keep charge from the previous days walks), an audio speaker can record and play a loop of, say, a spiders favourite prey. Overnight as the animals pile up, it will attract even more creatures and you might even get something like a rat by the time you wake up, which is why I would suggest the larger box for families.

These embellishments may seem like a joke to you, but imagine in a few hundred years when bugs have become a genuinely viable dish. The very basics of the machine is bound to create millions of dollars for my cold dead corpse.

The best thing about it is that I’m pretty sure insects are infinite in population. Like bacteria in a petri dish, they can only proliferate to the extent that the size of the dish and the supply of nutrients allows it. If we are to decimate the numbers of insects (and I use decimate the proper way here; reduce by 1/10th, not totally destroy) in the world within a year, the other surviving insects simply have the opportunity to procreate even more. The balance will remain. Or at least, the fast breeding bugs can remain.

The slow, loser bugs won’t go unnoticed, since, when endangered they will simply become a delicacy, and people will make efforts to conserve them, like the stupid Panda. The only difference is that you won’t find a Latin Face-eating moth refusing to mate with another because its wing pattern is displeasing. Within a month, there will be 100,000 faces at risk of being eaten, likely by moths.

That being said there are no fears of animal extinction. Cows will become even more endangered than ever before because we will lose interest in them, the methane problem we all know about will diminish, animal cruelty will be vanquished and much less tolerated. Halal will fail to sustain its own existence in the Islamic world, in favour of the middle-eastern dancing Gnat, and after a few more follow up chain assumptions, world peace will probably follow.

But I don’t need to go that far into this ambitious project. If we can just stop at the point where you buy my product, I’ll be pretty satisfied.

Getting along

A problem for most people is, well, people.

Sure, some of you goons get along with people really easily and just carelessly gallivant around life, making wonderful friends and lovers, partners and end their life pretty much socially satisfied.

Sure, they accidentally murdered their one true love, and smoked themselves into paralysis, but on their death bed, as I stare at them, I can’t help wonder how they somehow manage to look down on me, as I loom over them with my own social inferiority yet unyielding health..

I don’t really know what it’s like for most people, but for me it is like one of those rooms with mirrors on either side of the walls, causing a sort of infinite hallway.

The goal is of course to reach the end, so I take a step into the mirrored eternity in the form of progress. Satisfied with myself, I give a pat on my own back. Sure, it’s just one step but I achieved it myself, me. I take a look back to see what I left behind… Ok, so it looks more or less the same. I look forwards, and… it looks more or less the same.

With that progress, stepping through the eternal glass, I’ve not only left a part of me behind in order to better suit the world, but I’ve also unlocked eternity +1, further into the distance ahead. Surely, if I moved one space, and eternity looks the same, someone has gone and added an extra step.

What’s going on?

Well, at first I just thought it was some sort of cruel joke. Trying to throw me off, confuse me. But then I realised it’s not very funny, and really, just annoying, and at points pretty upsetting.

How does one satisfy another? By being more confident like everybody demands I become (because for some reason confidence is a prized possession that nobody should be without), the more arrogant I get.

The more educated I become, the more argumentative I get. The more thoughtful I become, the less sensitive I get. The more sensitive I get, the less manly I get. The funnier I become, the more superficial I become.

Each time a step is made, I’m creating two new steps; one behind, one ahead. What on earth am I supposed to do?

Well, there is an obvious solution, but I hate it; break all the mirrors.

If I was to try and apply this to the metaphor in some way, I suppose I mean, destroy everything I am. Change my image and become a… normal person. But even though it’s obvious, it’s not a real option for me.

Sure, I constantly try to build myself, improve myself, but for some reason, certain parts of me that cannot be changed any more than the colour of my skin are a complete hindrance and I repeatedly have to just accept that this is it. This is who I am. Some people just aren’t meant to have success in certain areas of life. ‘people’ is probably that area for me, along with so many others like me.

Sorry guys, I think it’s just time to accept it, drop the whining and complaining and just put more efforts into stuff like gluing your fingers together or building a greater future for other people’s children, because you ain’t gonna have any of your own, and if you do, they’ll either socially reject you, or become social rejects. Either way, they won’t really take any finger-gluing time out of your schedule.

life has a lot of perception factors. We all think it’s human to be moral, but morality is an individual’s perspective.

Do I cheat on this person because they cheated on me? surely, that’s only fair, right?

Do I leak these documents which publically vomit the truth about our government, even though it’s committing espionage and will create a life long fugitive out of me, forcing me to leave my family, friends, money and everything I’ve spend my life building up to?

Do I kill my wife, who is permanently damaged physically, unable to do any tasks, and begs for death every day?

Do I raise my child a Muslim because I happen to be a Muslim, too?

Should I buy this smart phone, knowing that I could keep my old one and give the extra $500 to a starving man?

The answer to these, whether or not you think you agree on them, are generally one sided for the most of us, because that is how we are raised and taught, and that is our expectations. Some have more gray areas, but I think we are all largely expected to seek happiness, to have friends, raise a family.

It just seems intuitive and obvious that we follow this linear path to our graves. Well, for some people, it’s not so simple. For some people, personal happiness is the least of their concerns. For some people, raising a family in their current situation, in their state would be morally unjust for their potential child. For some people, having a way with people just isn’t that important.

Countless times, I find myself saying, rather matter-of-factly, that I do not get along with people in large groups, and I make various other observations about flaws in my own personality in regards to social expectations.

What do you think comes back at me? An entire cavalcade of pity and down looks, advice on how to be better than I am, self righteous know-it-all tips on how to be more like them, because they just so happen to apply more accurately to the international expectation that we need to become that thing… you know, ‘confident’. Meet new people. ALWAYS make sure we’re happy. If we’re not, quit or move out or change something!

I’m pretty certain it’s not just me who sometimes just wants to sit and be exactly who they are, who they became and who they will always be, even if it ends up buried beneath the surface in an attempt to get a lucrative career as a charismatic businessperson.

Unfortunately, for a lot of people, that hidden person is a lazy, unlikable buffoon who doesn’t belong in society. I think it’s about time to get out of the cities.