Who Speaks for This Man?

Every time I attempt to define myself, it’s a war of weird conflicting ideologies and expectations. Magic rituals share space with chemical systems. Literary creations speak in their own voices, chiding and praising the actions of their creator as he wanders through life. I bark like an old man about the glorious Halcyon days of which I was never a part, and in the same breath I cry injustice like a rabid youth demanding revolution.

These are soldiers of mental contradiction, my internal voices—balanced insomuch as our certainty is never guaranteed against our own numbers. I, the functional engineer, the singular entity defined however inaccurately by corpus as “Joe Callan�, represents my true self only as much as a nation’s president reflects his citizens.

Continue reading “Who Speaks for This Man?”

Wisdom (Teeth), Education (Loans), and the Greatness of Great-grandpa Dave.

Well, the insurance company paid for about $30 of my triple wisdom tooth extraction ($1080), leaving me with a $1050 bill. No, this isn’t an argument for the public option or for HC reform. Instead of commiserating with me about how evil and dastardly my insurer is, let’s look at exactly what I did wrong in my rush to get the procedure done. Continue reading “Wisdom (Teeth), Education (Loans), and the Greatness of Great-grandpa Dave.”

DREAM: Brutality and Survival

Very unclear, very sketchy continuity. Before I go into this, it’s worth mentioning that I seem to connect both the preview for the remake of Romero’s “The Crazies” and the game preview of Bio-Shock 2 to the mood and grotesque visuals I experienced.

As I’ve said before, fear in my dreams doesn’t amount to panic or fear of death. My fears, even in a warlike scenario with monstrous creatures,  are all low-level operational stresses. Instead of broad-based existential fears like “Oh, sweet Jesus, how did I get here?” and “Where the hell did this disgusting monster come from?“, my fears are more momentary and functional: “can I make this jump?“,  “is this weapon powerful enough?“, “is ‘x’ person an ally?

The setting was enclosed. Brass, steel, iron, brick and stone are the best terms to describe the environment. A large building, somewhat resembling my head’s best guesses of what a combination of H.H. Holmes’ death castle and a derelict factory would look like.

It seemed like there were a group of us–men brandishing various weapons, most of us carrying some kind of gun (I had an iron bar and something small resembling a Kahr MK9 with its trigger guard missing). We all rushed through the building as if we had a particular waypoint to reach, and at certain moments I recall running over the same ground twice, maybe after falling through a floor or taking a wrong turn.

In many places, especially reconvergences with what I considered to be a “main path” through the building, I encountered others that neither threatening nor interested in cooperation. I saw some men apparently wounded or killed by humanoid creatures with anomalous or grotesque anatomy, but in any case I didn’t stick around to bear witness to their demises.

As I said, little continuity. Very blurry. Toward the end of the dream, I was on a top floor (as evidenced by a partially crumbled roof above me, showing a dimly-lit colorless sky beyond) with another man who was fighting off a creature.

I remember this creature vividly. Humanoid, but with no hair, elongated limbs, neither eyes nor sockets to hold them, indeterminate facial features otherwise, and the most memorable aspect of all–a viciously toothed mouth at the solar-plexus with a long prehensile tongue.

The man fighting it hadn’t succumbed, but he hadn’t harmed it either. Both were across a gap in the floor leading to darkness below, and I was determined not to fall through the gap (which I assumed would cause me to navigate the entire structure again as I had before–however unaware).

By the time I’d taken my successful leap, the monster had noticed my presence, hissing from it’s top mouth while opening its “solar plexus” mouth wide–long teeth and a tongue with which to grasp and pull prey. Not pretty.

The tiny gun being my only option, I missed my first shot while the second connected at the creature’s neck. It slumped to the ground quickly, but not wanting to take any chances, I fired 3 more shots into its head.

The dream ended with me firing my weapon at another creature, a snarling humanoid about 1/3 of my height that seemed to have technological or mechanical modifications in its body. My remaining shots seemed to do nothing but stick into the surface of this creature’s skin, and I woke up before either of us were able to directly engage the other.

Not quite zombies. There was no “infection” fear as involved in my standard zombie dreams, and there was no “protection” objective as I’ve had in my action dreams in the past.

No discussion, little interaction with others. Only brutality and survival.

“This Horrid Moment”

The tongue is razor-sharp and acidic when discussing the present. Odd though it may seem, this same creature somehow simplifies the flaws of the past into pristine nostalgic dream scape while filling the future with endless sparkling wonder.

How is it, then, that we long for both the innocence of before and the progress of after–particularly when we have no means of critically assessing how our perfect past has become this horrid moment, or how this horrid moment will become our harmonic future?

The answer is hidden within “this horrid moment”, the point of temporal flux at which we stand throughout our lives. This horrid moment is ours to shape–to meet either the world of our dreams or the world of our nightmares. It is this horrid moment, and ONLY this horrid moment through which the spark of will can manifest its designs in the greater world.

No moment of time so dramatically departs from the materially static record of the past and the unknown and unknowable shape of the future as does this horrid moment. It is the *only* moment any human shall ever have, and our fatal flaw is in our monumental failure to realize that this horrid moment is recurring. It is infinitely renewing.

This horrid moment is both your home and your mind. It is your position and your role, as you perceive them, in the greater world.

This horrid moment is the sole moment in which happiness matters…it is indeed the ONLY moment in which true happiness can be directly experienced.

Oh, shit–sorry. I meant to say: “There’s no time like the present!”