Thrown away in the desert of a failing imagination. Dreams of fitful imaginings cluttered with doubts. Images projected in general. Elements that have to be reassembled. Such is the state of one’s own vanity in the dead of empty early morning. Take the original and duplicate the layer within. Put another element in there and mask out the second layer appropriately. No matter what you provide, are you getting this right? Are you caught in the dawning of an essential mistake?
Awake, Awake again as if unsettled by the external Klang of metal upon metal. The thread of mental impressions caught in that waking providing an unsettling perspective to someone alone and anonymous in slow fade chronologically from this material existence. Is Hell nothing more than being trapped in the solitary cell of your own consciousness? Exhausting all the keys on this qwerty keyboard in what is now fast becoming an arcane language of a rapidly passing time! Who after all would want to be recognized for their notoriety in this present day rotten cake slice pretending culture? There are no more heroes offering virtue. Only murderous clowns that entertain the public prurient interests through the institutional retelling of the depravity of their mayhem. One’s own personal Hell would be eternally safer by comparison. When you are young you want to reinforce the notion of a connection with your immortality. When you get old you just wait for it to be over.
The billionaires now use their muscle to furiously trying to topple national governments through the auspices of the monster organizations that they daily dictate to. This wolf masquerading in a different variation of sheep’s clothing. A live ride into to town on the green line train through the ever-present insanity of the B’-ghetto. Singular escalators into the trash compactor. Pongo lines of young Japanese business men bouncing into pedestrians descending on the staircase designated “up”.
The process of self-expression is climb upon the same old monkey bars of the efforts of others. The words come canned with habitual meanings and the author re-configures their collective nuance, if he is clever. But given there are so many other foreign tongues, some related, some not, Then in that case devotion to this nuance can have an adverse quite opposite effect. The analogy of a strict seven year old reading level as the most easily translate-able another form of correspondence. Consider the current hurtle of the public access of online assets ceded by large service providers. Purposefully arcane but increasingly unforgiving of all but their own conception of exemplary performance. All in the name of the public good. All with the expressed goal of re-envisioning society their way and their way only.
The flame thrower in the carnival becomes a soldier burning the enemy with an equivalent weapon of war. Amazing in the circle of the street and unforgivingly deadly on the fields of war. You get what you deserve in the end based upon the path that you follow. Feather trimmed by the unexpected.
That old locus point in the universe of one’s own heart. New habits become old rituals before they are discarded. The bee ceaselessly looking for pollen in the desert. A ritual that is hard to break. The sweetest ‘meat’ lies safe betwixt the thistles. The trapdoor spider busily oils the hinges. His current abode just out of sight. Like everybody says in the end. No one ever saw it coming! You would think that someone, anyone would know any better by now? But knowledge in this day and age is like fudge. You take on more than you can handle and get a belly ache. And the pain displaces your own heart as the most logical center of concern. There is nothing to teach here. Not about that.
Loneliness is like a judge. You sit before it and offer solutions that once worked in the way back. But it stays there towering above you unmoved and impartial to your plight. No one ever finds love out of an overwhelming need for it’s lack. The best you can hope for is a happy accident. Or more reliably a waiting pet that is ever-dependent upon you for the relief of a bathroom break or the wonder of thumbs that open the refrigerator. That judge inside is always watching for you to screw up. And your happy criminal is always happy to oblige. It is always easy to see where you have gone wrong and then point that same trait out in others.
But try sticking a lever under the sun to displace it from the solar system and find it easier than contemplating a real substantial change in your own behavior. That is the job of that chancy thing called, ‘life’. The tire tread across your back that you can sort of see will always be able to tell you that.
The face in his mirror was his. Not necessarily the one he might have invented if such things were up to him. It was older more significant of those two old ghosts that had long ago bore him into the world. The asshole on the Internet was spouting his trivial in the next room on the old laptop. His last remaining companion. All the rest? Well. The voice had some comfort by way of familiarity. Such a fucking turncoat acting right wing but when he did his little bios of famous Liberal underclass types. A sense of reciprocity that in the context of the voyeur in that mirror was a hypocrite. That seemed to keep things balanced in terms of his own lack of current circumstances. The cigarette smoke was back. That previous week being worse than all the ones before. Come unspoken personality with kinky hair decided to buy some relaxer. At least that throat that had been burning from a lye type smell had calmed down a bit. But the coughing was still plaguing him. A whiff of smoke and he was nearly on all fours coughing his guts out. The liberal commentator had not rounded the corner yet with all his mock amazement. That on top of the choking was getting to be too much. Out the door before the summer Sun went down. A beer from the flagging universe of five dollars cash left in the wallet. It was the middle of the month and for the third month in a row was out of dough again. Five bucks would garner a beer and a dollar tip. That after a good long walk to the tiny tap that was distinguished by the fact of having the cheapest prices. Another little sliver adjoining a pizza joint that offered the American equivalent of the European, beer and a brat.
The keys and his wallet tucked into opposite pockets, he slipped the bottom lock on and slammed the door behind him. Downstairs the old codgers were sitting in their walking chairs soaking up the afterglow of the fading day. The parade of vehicles whisking by in preparation for the Saturday night ritual of a place to go. He started out in his five piece outfit of old worn pants and t-shirt, ball cap, mirrored shades, and sandals. The self that he projected mentally a far cry from the muffin top senior that still could surprise other pedestrians with the vigorous pace of his walking past them. Life after all was attitude. It didn’t matter if you believed it, 24/7. It just mattered if you could summon it when needed. Especially at those lowest times when stability was absent and pockets were next to empty. He calculated the necessary math for the evening as he passed various combinations of younger types. He was in possession of less money than they would spend as the local Italian beef joint. What did he care at this point? He had eaten thousands of pounds of steaks and driven autos that that the kids of today spoke in reverent tones about. Now it was different. A temporary situation until he got working again. Three years of resumes submitted weekly had proved that these times required more magic than art. But as far as he was concerned the persistence had not yet run out. He would keep on going if nothing else but the irritate those that believed that his kind should already be a memory in a grave somewhere.
The bar was next to empty which was surprising given that it was after six. Dark with four big screen LCDs blasting out the same pathetic visual assault of half-time rubbish and continuous ‘uh wah’s from some nineteen year old female pop star clone. He emptied his fiver out of his wallet and held it out hovering above the bar until the young Millennial bartender was ready to take notice of him. There wasn’t much conversation beyond ‘Miller Lite’. The Yuppie suburban guy in the Izod shirt two chairs down with his face pasted in a superior expression hovering a bottle of Heineken. What kind of half-paid for SUV did you drive the empty look in return momentarily mumbled? Perhaps it was apparent that like in all his other visits that they knew he was out of there to escape to plastic coated steel picnic tables just out front. He barely caught a glimpse of the bar life. But the prospect of somewhere between diffidently innocent and cynical did not bother to convince him. The rush of the motorway and the occasional trail of pedestrian wandering by was entertainment enough for him. The lower rent district of the premium ‘shruburb’ just opposite the highway always promised the true picture of everyday humanity. He wasn’t disappointed with two salt and pepper shakers blowing cones of smoke back and forth at each other engaged in what one might have speculated as a Tinder possibility. Another big hipped maiden walked slowly the other way smartly dressed in Summer attire that didn’t need to shout ‘whore; to inspire respectful if not admiring attraction.
The bottle of beer half shot he began to wonder about his own fate. Family dead or gone, with no job or prospects of same in the near future, and given his age perhaps never again. Funny how in the day and age you were spit out the door when the statistics demanded that you were no longer useful. “Fuck ’em!” It’s my life, not someone else’s!” But, it had become a life where he could no longer recall the last time of being excited or in love. Those feeling now as incomprehensible to him as fluent Japanese to an Congolese African. The space inside was hollow with nothing beyond the echo of stale memories to often well-repeated. No possibility of a spark to an otherwise long rusted heart. It was a wonder that he bothered to look when some young thing pranced by ever mindful out of the corner of her eye of possible attention to disdain. Why bother to play that game? His greater struggle was to twist up from the seat and not stagger back into the door wanting to trade his empty bottle for a full one. He had a Debit card with a little bit of cash on it. A spare dollar for the courtesy of service. One couldn’t stiff the help if one wanted to remain a future customer. The young Valkyrie approached him. Now at the end of the bar, he could get a good look at her as she approached. A slim well-proportioned vixen whose rack alone would up her tips by most at least two hundred percent. The the fissure atop her tight abdomen exposed by the purposely insubstantial midriff adorned by the jewel of a bronze colored baubble. Elegant but still hopelessly young.
“Hold onto the card?“, she said sparely. “Just one more beer.” he replied rather emptily. She frozen in the instant of though for the beat of a second hand. “Shh!”, her finger went quickly to her lips” as she pushed a fresh bottle of beer towards him. Caught off guard he droned a very unexpected, “Oh?” It wasn’t love at first sight but given the usual behavior of many of their age it was nice. A nice quiet little gesture to a stranger. He swiftly exiting to sit back outside in his accustomed place. Though his pride in near poverty still extended to always paying his way, he pondered that there were always exceptions to the rule. Not that we were talking about an extraordinary situation here. But something light and pleasant as he had once been occasionally expectant so many years ago. Some sense of self-awareness possessed him to sit up in his chair and untangle the knot of his upper back by twirling his spine and rolling his shoulders. Life was definitely a matter of attitude. One had to project quite dignity and respect and not just demand it as one might have though so much earlier in life. This beer nursed faster than the other and he was nearing the time to leave when the young bartender came out of the bar and stood before him. “Can I get you anything, because I am leaving my shift in ten minutes.” He shook his head at the model Aphrodite standing before him. He looked up at the brilliance of her youth as if peeing at the sun and asked if he had thanked her earlier? Much to his surprise she took his right hand in the two of her own and said, “Thank you/” and then quickly spun around and was gone. He turned back and stared back to the street nursing the silence in his thoughts. “I guess there are a few angels left after all?
Some kind of desperado hit town. And it ended up for some reason mistaking the detective for a tailor. And from the second floor balcony this nefarious figure dropping down his dirty clothes along with a piece of felt as well as another piece of leather. All upon the head of the hapless bystander as if he is some dumb indentured servant. Then yells down in a demanding tone, “Wash these and make me a Pez dispenser!” “A holder for my Pez dispenser!“, he followed. And what the fuck kind of sense did that make?
The question was, “What would George Washington have done if he knew to begin with what he was going to have to go through in later life?” The man’s family formerly consisting of himself, his father, a brother in truth, or perhaps in name only? They ad jointly taken possession of a very small magic flying carpet. One that allowed only two of them at a time to fly off to any location of their choosing without danger. His brother had gone off by himself on foot to some place far off and he wanted to fly over to pick him up with dispatch. To do so he had to fly into town to try to find the fugitive. When he did finally locate the fool and pick him up, his sibling was not happy about the amount of room that he had been accorded upon the carpet. He complained that he was worried that he might fall off with so meager an allotment of room. His current savior responds saying, “Are you worried about being too close to your brother?” Reluctantly the the malcontent replying curtly, “That’s fine!” With still silence now prevailing, the command was given aloud and they flew off.
His recalled that sometime long ago that he and his mother had unadvisedly taken a trip to a Hispanic country that in so many ways was not too dissimilar to Mexico. And in the course of hanging out in the wee hours at the hotel’s bar making the young man had made the acquaintance of a couple of local sly looking hombres. A few rounds of drinks downed and not knowing who these two really were, the three were suddenly accosted by Federales and arrested. All were taken to the main police station and in the confusion of the booking area the young man saw see an older woman that had previously been acquainted with his mother. The lady having arrived at dawn to straighten out her own snafu concerning an exist visa. The poor almost tearful young man ask her to please let his mother know what happened to him. But to do so in a very diplomatic gentle and most delicate way as his mother at ninety-two years and in very fragile health. He did not want her to die from the shock or any subsequent worry about his current situation. Or how it might potentially leave her high and dry. The police chief having arrived came by and hearing them speaking called over to one of his detectives to release the boy and take him back to the hotel. The chief telling him that it might be a very good idea to pack up and leave this fair country before he made any further mistakes in judgment like the one he had presently found himself within. That afternoon both mother and young man had packed their bags and left for the airport to swiftly return home.
The case the young boy now matured to aging detective was now on was definitely out of the ordinary. Just damn strange! And he was confounded in terms of the best way to proceed in a way that he had never experienced before. He couldn’t imagine how the killer that he was after could move about so seamlessly and undetected leaving no suspects or physical evidence like footprints in soft earth or fingerprints within the crime scene. Not even the evidence of an obvious smear by parties unknown having wiped them away! It was only when he had vacated his own premises in favor of staying temporarily at the latest most prominent murder victim’s chateau that he felt that he might be able to crack the case. Given that it seemed evident that if any mistakes or oversights were evident then they would be viewable there. The dead man’s estate’s expansive grounds included several large multi-floored structures. Some of them still in the process of having been a long time under construction with rickety scaffolds enclosing the newest of the bunch like a skeletal overcoat. The only way to the upper floors of this empty shell being widely spaced steel rungs that naturally were integral within the framework of same. After several days of making a through inspection of all the buildings his resolve began to fail as he realized that this was indeed truly an insoluble case. For days and nights he had to strode up and down all the long empty halls looking for an overlooked detail or something telling that was out of place throughout all manner of spaces that silently declared by the paucity of everything but dust that they had all been abandoned of human habitation long before their owner had been killed. Everything could be verified as regular activity by the few members of the staff that right up to the night of the murder had been in occasional residence there.
Yet he persisted, sleeping in a different bed each night in every one of the many large suites within the grand chateau. His automatic just in reach sensing an the inexplicable presence of someone or something watching him. No sound beyond an occasional groan of the wind displacing a shutter with its sudden violence. Or anything else to substantiate that second sense belying a persistent lurking dread. Could this killer possible be of another world having in their anger forced a passage to cross over from another dimension? A spirit previously betrayed smarting for the finality of revenge beyond the grave? He took turns with his partner to patrol the grounds throughout the night. The partner’s unannounced lack of presence one night verified by his corpse turning up in the morning just beyond the furthest building with the rotten scaffolds. Had he climbed up high after chasing something and possibly fallen? It was evident that the detective felt that he should have stood better back-up for the other. Any logic now being out the window wondering how he could not have heard some commotion to help catch this doppleganger in the act before it had become needlessly fatal. Obviously, his partner’s judgment of not informing him of that p[articular trek before hand seeming now hopelessly flawed and decidedly fatal. Feeling completely stymied and totally defeated on all fronts the man returned to his own humble abode. Though in hindsight of the recent comedy of errors it may have sounded foolish in hindsight that he had carelessly forgotten his usual weapon in the glove box of his car unattended. No alone and in pajamas he went to the bottom drawer of a wooden file cabinet where he had a backup. Completely exhausted and unable to much of anything much beyond retiring for a good night’s sleep he hadn’t bother to see if his auxiliary had been tampered with before he placed beneath the pillow beside him. Strange fitful demented dreams caught hold of him. Uncontrollable unconscious musings that suggested that some invisible fiend had been there before his arrival rigging his backup weapon in such a way as to reverse its deadly force backwards and into him the shooter. Enduring the most fatal of these conjectures he became convinced that he would be visited that night leading to what might be a final confrontation.
He awoke the next morning bathed in his own cold sweat somewhat surprised to have survived the night. His nerves completely shot to the point that he was convinced that he was on the edge of a mental breakdown he went to the local hospital to meet a physician that he had some long acquaintance with to write him some scrip to get some tranquilizer pills. He was directed to find his friend who had an office in the part of the hospital that served through a government contract as the regions VA ward. The old building having been bi-sectioned several times by haphazard attempts at modernization now a maze of sorts. He found himself wandering through what turned out to be the least traveled corridors of the institution. A disused section that served utility in storage closets warehousing old obsolete machinery and those few charity cases still hanging on bereft of both family and any hope of a recovery. There tucked in a small room just behind some WC’s was a small airless chamber containing several beds a voice terrifyingly familiar to him rang out. The patient closest to the open door was literally in the material sense not all there. The head and shoulders of what once was a lovely woman that he had known long ago in his past. But the thorax of same laid opened at the bottom exposing a polyglot of exposed internal organs and mechanical devices standing in for lost organs performing their functions all supported upon an improvised metal frame. He could see the bottom of her exposed lungs inflating then deflating heavily with this insane Christmas tree of salvaged body parts haphazardly strung out underneath. No sight of arms of legs or a covering for what had been hastily patched together from that which the land mine had left shattered overseas. “Frank”, the voice rang out. Her face looking up at me as he shuddered with slow recognition. She had been in his motor platoon. The one that had been ambushed by what had seemed like a full company which had destroyed all but four vehicles. He had commanded that mission. Somehow it seemed that with so much time on her hands she had bridged the gap between time and space to seek him out. The horror of the encounter shaking him to the bone. Something that made him wonder if everything previous that seemed real was not in reality but a conjured vengeful dream sent to him by her unconquerable will’s design to enact some form of latent justice.
Somewhere in the back of his mind’s eye he could picture that long lost vision of a dark haired vacant eyed lonely young woman. The one in wrinkled khakis whose very physical being seemed to beg the warmth of a simple embrace that the hard etched features of her face forever denied. He wanted to hold her but there was nothing left now save a pair of hollow eyes that not even an ocean of tears could ever fill.
That unquenchable universal angst leaving the last remnant of that thing called home. The pang of an arrow deeply lodged in your chest. Its dull ache waiting as if by an unexpected miracle that someone will call. Someone once known so well but now having no possibility of return. That possibility no longer existing. Still one goes on living in the routine waking up and waiting to it is time to go back to bed. The cycle repeating itself until it seems like normal facsimile displacing what was once considered as reality. What is life about beyond that tenuous bridge to the next second over the yawning gap of the present in flux? The next instant tirelessly fading into now. No way of stopping anything. No matter that empty stillness in surround. Senseless to play the game pretending a commitment to the waking game of picking a popular character to be. A life within interior spaces sheltered by a popular shared fantasy draped in the illusion of society and a mulch of universal consensus. That hoop skirt of science endured to remind one where they are supposed to belong. Living that temporal dream of brand aware consciousness.
He found himself at the end of a road trip to another city he was completely unfamiliar with. The look of the buildings and the arrangement of the architecture suggesting some lesser known urban sprawl somewhere along the Pacific coast. There on the street with his hands in empty pockets and no idea where he was. There was something in the haze of his fading memory about arriving there to go to a small college to speak at a lecture. But each time some details surfaced threatening some clarity they bobbed off back into a hazy forgetfulness. As best as he could figure he had initially taken a bus from a small park in a neighborhood of small two bedroom homes that looked like they had been built just around the time of the last big war. The bus stop being just after the highway dramatically curved in a long lazy ‘S’. He rode down until the street turned into an avenue and then a wide boulevard till he got off by what he reckoned was in the immediate vicinity of the university. Wandering about the city blocks near that six point intersection he found that he was becoming more disoriented. Sensing that he would be better to get back on the bus he returned to his last recollected starting point at the small park by the ‘S’ curve.
Standing there at the bus stop waiting for another bus that would take him back into the bustle of the city’s commercial center district where he had originally detrained it became horribly obvious that he had completely forgotten the college’s name. He began to walk down the street looking for any lasting visual landmarks that his previous journey might have inadvertently offered to the flutter of his inconstant mind. To his surprise he finds himself in the hallway of an old century old public school filled with young children. The sprawl of overly energetic kids and their belongings presently a gauntlet to his weary limbs attempting to avoid stumbling over them. The older female instructors fully engaged in monitoring the children so much so that he feels that his presence thus far being unnoticed might cause a stir if discovered by a fatal misstep on his part. The progression through the hall and a subsequent maze of rooms becoming ever more challenging to his endurance and maintaining the continued fiction of stealth. He collapses wearily onto a mat just in sight of an exist door unable to walk with his limbs on fire from the effort of high stepping to avoid boisterous six year olds. The man’s own possessions are now scattered about him in the playfully scattered detritus of the school’s paraphernalia. He wonders how he can explain himself splayed about in such a miserable condition as he does his best to recover his own goods.
The man realizes that his money has been exhausted down to a few quarters as he jams the most important finds back into their place. Half of the items possibly able to mistaken as some of the stuff that the kids had been playing with. And the man now is afraid that the teachers are going to notice him as a strange interloper catching him in the act of what looks like him stealing from their children. He looks over towards the door trying raise enough energy to get up enough even to his hands and knees to crawl towards the exit. It becomes evident that if he does not immediately find some way to move on that he will miss the appointment that had originally brought him to this city in the first place. Mind triumphing over matter he is on the boulevard once again hailing a passing woman on the sidewalk. But she won’t respond to his entreaties and he veers off to the left staggering down several blocks trying to regain his strength. To his surprise the neighborhood he travels through looking amazingly a duplicate of one that he had known intimately decades previous in high school. He runs into his long lost step daughter who after a quick conversations decides to accompany him to the place he is trying to find. In time she leads him back in the right direction and the board another bus heading towards the intersection that he had lost his bearings from.
Standing on the same corner with his daughter and another companion familiar to her that has joined them, he rushes off down a new lane towards what appears to be the entrance to the college’s campus. His two companions now involved in a lackadaisical discussion he leaves them behind in haste. The college is composed of several small public building giving off the aire of more a hostel than a school. There are scores of student types all with a dog walking their pets all about the parking lots and sidewalks. Back and forth through the momentary passing’s of owners being towed about by their canines at the end of taught leashes he wanders finally reaching what looks like the proper type of building suggesting administration. The residence hall looking type building next door providing as likely a destination he enters and climbs the short stairwell to what appears a lounge beset by the squalor of too many years of careless habitation. His daughter appears just behind him with her friend, both seeming more at home than the man. They sit upon the worn sofas watching the nineteen and twenty year old’s milling about energetically powered by their tireless youth. The accommodations awaiting upstairs being a warren of closet sized rooms with bunk beds sleep three or four to a space. He gets ready to ascend to our accommodations as our conversation seems to be annoying some of the more permanent occupants of the room and find to my shock that I need to pay money. Something that seems lost along the way if indeed his memory allows him to believe at this point that he ever had it to begin with. He finds out with equal shocked amazement that he is in fact now in another country left to the tender mercies of his long lost daughter’s finances to vouchsafe a night’s rest. The enfolding nightmare of this careless journey now finding the man without money, away from home, dead tired and without a clue of who to contact here, or what in fact the nature of his business was to be. All the dogs, all the kids, and his memory emptying like a leaky balloon. The temporal dram of consciousness doubtful as any sense of verifiable concrete reality beyond futility.
These days there is a default level of hopeless despair in finding one’s self to be naught but a human being. Your own exterior form being molded in such a way that the shortcomings that it accumulates pose insoluble questions throughout later life. That moment when you realize that you are simply the rider of that infamous horse that Aristotle so often mentioned. Knowing all too well its shortcomings being tied to this unavoidable beast from which you cannot ever dismount. The world becoming a very unforgiving place for the likes of you these days. And others knowing all the unimaginable trials waiting in the near future approaching just ahead will be fraught with that inflexible repetition of your own particular routine until at some unspecified point in time this continuum will come to an end. You will fall off the horse and out of this world as you know it. From that point on all will be naught but a random memory. An impression released into thin air and empty space no longer being needed. Then the biggest mystery of life will be answered, or not.
No sadness anymore for times past. Now just faced with an annoying weariness for the monotony of enduring the wait until then and having to interact with so many others who will not admit that it even exists. One might then hate the fact of a lack of immediate earthly transcendence while now still breathing. To something, anything, better. Or perhaps maybe less so? One’s own stubbornness versus the institutional resistance of all the others. The epitome of temporal existence expressed in an unrelieved tension on top of this perpetually angst ridden times with little empathy. Recreation that dissuades one from such thoughts providing more public respect than any personal inspiration that might reconcile them.
That slow incremental slide into an intractable jeopardy of recycling purpose through the trap of everyday habit. One can no longer claim to know the source of their own despair by being lost and abandoned to socially narrowed institutionally directed possibilities. One’s hopes waiting just ahead without wonder or worthiness. This finality, of itself, offering a cumulative lack of imagination as a valid excuse for forgetting all about the same.
After a third round of communication with Blurb.com (see “Authors Must Read” for details) I have pulled all my books from their company site and will no longer be doing business with them. Considering some seven years and hundreds of hours of time and money spent setting them up for print production by these clowns posing as business people. I do not do this lightly.
However, I cannot in all good conscious deal with a company that does not protect its customers. One that bends to the whim of parties unspecified and then won’t even provide any details as to what is exactly the situation is about. Let them service other careless Liberals who say and do what they are told and daily engage in customary hypocrisy virtue signaling but never backing up their pathetic words with and meaningful action.
Perhaps other authors who have a mind to bind their ideas into the printed page might reconsider the impact of the current corporate hegemony whatever their views in terms of similar cases of potential vulnerability to material that can be arbitrarily yanked at any time?
Everyone has their own path and challenges. For me I would rather have the power to control my own ideas as opposed to by bullied by some organization that won’t even give me the respect of a discussion. Goodby Blurb.com!