The bottle’s neck smelled like sarsaparilla.A most annoying smell that transposed itself to taste when one lifted the bottle’s open end to the mouth to swallow it’s contents. As the neutral sensation of carbonated mineral water was tainted by that fragrance it despoiled the experience of the drink. At two dollars a bottle, its presence as a staple to his daily diet had become an expensive commodity. Certainly not detrimental to his general health. In fact quite the opposite. But fatal to his lack of income which at present was next to insufficient. How unthinking of the anonymous party who stocked the local store to bathe their skin in some eccentric offbeat fragrance that for them was some sort of signature of individual personality. An unwanted commercially available pheromone that may have provided them with a greater level of social accessibility but to his sense of smell and taste only signified annoyance. The efficiency of his senses had come down to the bare minimum over too many years of constant assault by city living with its proclivity of volatile industrial ether. Acetone’s, keytone’s and kerosene’s. Ethyl methyl’s, pollen’s and dusts. The smell of tainted canals wafting up daily from ten miles to the south. It all intermixed into a noxious stew the presence of which was ever on display on the horizon each night at sunset. The personal signature of the massive enclave within which the bulk of his mortal existence had transpired. A scratchy dryness suddenly appeared as he cleared his throat of the sensation of thickened mucous with low grating vocal scrape.
His custom at the small supermarket chain was regular but small in revenue. The fact that the state was picking up the tab not adding weight to any potential commentary he might offer as to a positive suggestion by him of how to avoid such unfortunate inadvertent situations that would steal away customer satisfaction with the goods offered by the establishment. After all if he had wanted some flavored water there wee certainly more sophisticated and tastier alternatives available. He could imagine the scenario in this current era of faceless commercial consumerism. A prompt refund might be initially offered with a customary apology at his complaint when the touchstone of a recent sales receipt was produced, Maybe the thin unsubstantial promise of promptly seeing to it that an internal inquiry would be conducted within the next day so as to bring the offending shelf ‘stocker’ into line with store policies on personal hygiene. Part of him was rankled by the thought of this. One one hand there would be a certain Patrician satisfaction if on the next purchase the product’s containers had resumed their former neutral lack of taste or aroma. Yet this would cast him in a group that he himself personally despised. Those pinch nosed egomaniacs that thought nothing of disturbing the usual fast-paced rhythms of efficiently stocking shelves by hard working low paid staff who would now be eyed with an even greater level of suspicion in an economy that already had too many working far below their potential earning less dollars than they were supposedly deserved of. This might lead to unintended consequences? By some odd stretch of his imagination he could conceive of a scenario where through the consternation of an underling his rare and hard to find preference of brand would be struck from the store’s inventory? Then where would he be able to seek out the key active element in his own personal daily ritual of mental solace?
It made him even more cross to think how powerless he was to provide one measure of constancy to a diminished level of bare bones existence that by all intents and purposes should not have to suffer such constant and daily privation. When would this persistent economic drought lift and a reasonable level of local prosperity return? It was so unfair! The neighborhood was not by any stretch of the imagination destitute. The ghetto of urban blacks and Hispanics at the municipal border stood some two miles East. A curtain of struggling tax challenged White Middle class homes standing as sentinels to the ebb and flow shift of ethnic distribution. It was true that the endless stream of peoples from outside the nation had not been stemmed but quite the opposite, had been increasing. The first and second generations of same now economically acclimated and relatively prosperous and stable. The spectrum of goods and services locally available bearing ever more foreign sounding names with strange characters painted in garish jarring color palates that seemed to contradict those that once was long used to. He could recall so many memories of years past where one could rely on local standbys that had made their reputations solid through providing old world service and goods that were significant of those golden years of easily obtainable living. Now their empty store fronts were slowly being bulldozed having sat too long in the eclipse of what was formerly the good old days. It made his blood boil to see that other neighborhood across the boulevard just South stand so unaffected by all this! Large houses with many more bedrooms than needed by the average family/ Well-manicured highly decorated parcels of acreage that required ant-like crews of immigrant labor to maintain that immaculate fairy tale untouched appearance. As if everyone who lived there was somehow an Olympian far above the cares and woes of the normal folk that did without so that they did not have to. That was the myth and backbone of the credo of Capitalism! Something that despite all the social cultural dislocation that most felt one was required to give reverent lip service to.
He took another sip from the bottle and wrinkled his nose. Things were not like this before his mind responded to the renewed annoyance of that strange offbeat scent. It reminded him of those odd smells that would be occasionally wafting past into the open driver’s side window of his sedan when he found himself driving through that over-packed noisy decaying urban sprawl that was thick with perpetually dissatisfied ghetto-dwellers who seemed always surly and ready to impose the threat of violent confrontation. The associations one had when traversing those areas was to keep the windows rolled up tight and maintain a swift and as uninterrupted progress down the center lanes of a major boulevard making sure that one would not be unsuspectedly blocked by hostile parties who might have violent intentions on their mind. He absolutely hated those places and could imagine setting foot on the Moon without a space suit easier than strolling down the sidewalk of any of those avenues either day or night. Their incrementally expanding presence ever seeping towards his own tiny kingdom being so very significant of how bad things were getting in the world at large. He hated that smell. It upset everything! It made him want to sell or even just throw out everything, sell his property and go somewhere. Anywhere! Just as long as he didn’t have to deal with those ever-demanding hostile forces. It wasn’t fair! He and his parents had worked for years starting up a small family company that when times were good allowed them to live well. The shift in technologies and the fall of fashion restlessly progressing away from the style and substance that the business offered causing it eventually to close before the passing of his kin. He had to supposed that given his own advance in age that he was to be considered almost a dinosaur? Someone from a bygone era that wouldn’t have the skill base or proper mentality to continue in society in a manner that was productive enough to hire. His generation like that of his own parents being the most reliable and easy target of eventual scorn. It wasn’t true he heard an inner voice protest. Alas a deeper more steadied voice seemed to respond, “Indeed it was!”
Orwell would have been proud. That is, if Orwell really admired his own sense of vision about the world falling into perdition. The worldwide system of communication that initially had been free of constraint. But now one had to fear that one would be secretly singled out and barred for some arcane reference to what those who ran and controlled the system might consider as “inappropriate“. News items both real and ersatz were daily broadcast on tributaries of the larger upstream news wires. Liberally documented with what appeared to be grassroots phone captured video footage peppered with high quality ‘mood’ photos. Material designed equally as much to confuse as to clarify. Cadres of ‘trolls’ up and down the stream of information muddying the waters with enthusiastic disinformation cast in negative emotions urging ‘knee jerk‘ animal response from the average viewer. Pick any rabble rousing era in history and compare the genius of employing the crowd dynamic of schizophrenic single-mindedness without the actuality of a physical mass of humanity standing beneath the same tree. The virtual victim handing their plucked rhetorically by the neck swinging before all. The mob stirring its ire and rebounding ot back and forth between anonymous sources. Some actual personages and others paid agitators of the state apparatus who egged on any so foolish as to let their pent up emotions fly forth into typed text. The robust mechanics of this unified system growing ever more voracious for raw data. Collecting, organizing and storing every aspect of what was so foolishly inputted. Assaying the time and frequency of keystrokes. Building dossiers of cross referenced preference to model the behavior of the faceless individuals based on time of day and the voraciousness of their actions in accordance with the category of latest event.
How foolish anyone was to abandon their accustomed modes of real world discourse with their fellows in favor of the promise of a larger theoretically more admiring audience. A figment of one’s imaginary ego bound desire to find and have universal acceptance with the fiction of others that thought and felt and acted in consort with their own supposedly unique point of view. The opposite of this situation of course being the case. Liberty, as it once was known had become a sham. The general population no longer willing to mount inconvenient notions into any form of ground level immediacy of physical conversation. Preferring instead the absurd antithesis of what was in fact completely monitored discourse with what was in fact an artificial avatar of the state. The streets and byways of the land growing quieter by degree as the masses of humanity chased their own tiny personal handheld devices. Their rapt attentions ever focused hopefully on the appearance some small byte of information or string of text from some remote unseen source with a familiar ‘handle’. A world enslaved. Removed physically from the waking world and thrust into a consensual illusion of daily accessible mass communication with the mental construct of a diverse and accepting multicultural audience. Who knew anymore if their pen pals were human or just artfully guided collections of electrical impulses following algorithms set up to recapitulate one’s own previous responses over inauthentic events that to one’s shock might have never occurred in the first place. The hint let out from on high every once and a while that this was indeed the case. That the whole experience was a trap. A stratagem devised to create mass hysteria and then study the reactions of the two legged public at large. Like rats condemned to the pernicious curiosity of psycho scientists forever changing the maze keeping them away from food and fraternity with their own kind. Cruelty and perverse intentions conducted all in the name of a soul crushing ever-voracious Babylonian Hebrew deity Moloch whose fires needed to be stoked minute to minute with fresh bodies and fertile minds. The offerings to this fire illuminated drawn from the personal commitment of the unwary not understanding the danger in so frivolously sharing their innermost thoughts with this infernal beast.
The collective entity of humanity counted and the sum total of their thoughts, hopes and dreams added up and then recycled back to them in some perverse form of twisted reflection advocating further abstraction from the self in promoting the purchase of highly prices useless articles to enhance the ‘realism’ of the experience. When in fact the merchandise was simply a more intricate form of mental encroachment promising everything to its new owner but delivering a time wasting enhancement of sequestering more minutes of devotion during the day to steal away one’s mind away from one’s self. Everlasting temporal fame and the most up to date membership with that imaginary elite lurking just below the surface of awareness of the growing obsession for satisfaction of the same growing like a cancer obliterating the normal personality expressing anything individual. The entire society de-evolving into insects nervously seeking out their own kind trying to find their hive. The monsters administering this system either completely blind to its eventual ramifications or so morally bankrupt to only acknowledge the thrill of directing so many hundreds of million lives with the casual touch of a few keystrokes. The notion of enjoying an absolutely unique self as once considered the most enervating element in existence now close to extinct. The age of parasites feeding on the soul of humanity now having progressed into full swing.
There had long been a notion popularly held by recent generations now just past that vampires are real and do exist. Manifestations of bipeds that lived following the herds of humans through time and space as a pack of wolves might have in the Eastern forests of middle Europe before they had been denuded by the sightless industry of man. Shape shifter’s by the intelligent design of the great nameless invisible creator of all, they had many odd and arcane powers that their punier humankind could barely imagine in dark nightmare disturbing rest. The lexicons of descriptive words the reigning babble of many parallel languages unable to fully describe their powers over their prey. Only in terms of the strength in numbers did hominid’s enjoy any sort of advantage. This consequence coming from the husbandry of their betters in their species being bred at large as an expansive herd. The tastes of their master’s leaning towards variety creating much duplication. There seemed to be no inherent danger to their breed from what was generally referred to by these self-congratulatory superior entities. Many of their foremost leaders kept larger estates manned by select members of them for the amusement of play and basic sustenance to be harvested. The roles that these unwitting mortal were found to be most useful in being servants. The greater delicacy generally agreed within the brood being not simply blood or flesh but the capturing of their life’s forces drained at the point of death through fear serving almost as a condiment. There was a natural loathing that was harbored by some bipeds based upon a certain unexpected level of biological evolution of awareness. Careful watch kept to make sure that this phenomena was not contagiously spread so as to make the larger herd unmanageable. To the uncrafted sensibilities of their breed any extended attempt at a larger realization of their plight defeated by socialization. The rules of society in the hands of their ‘betters’.
Hello all you traitors to your own kind! You will get what is coming to you. What you have strived and connived for all along. No holiday will mark your victory. No statue will be erected to your fame. They will all be gone torn down in the beautiful impossible dystopia that you have built with ash and rock fragments of the one that you so righteously ripped apart. The work of millennia erased because it did not fit with the trend of the day proclaimed on your I-phones. I hope that you rot in the universe that you are hell bound to create in your self-righteous fervor. You are working hard to deserve it. A master hand from behind the scenes is evident. Whites betray themselves. Defile their own kith and kin. They would rather be slaves to a false ideals. Than fight for their own kind. Than defend their own cause for survival. Blinded, brainwashed, by an embedded enemy that pretends to be a friend. But that is obsessed in wearing the crown of thorns of another. Obsessed by the tale of one of their own that they murdered so very long ago. A band of common cutthroats. Pretenders to the thrown. A deceitful scheming ever restless insurgent bent only by a hatred of the human race. That squats over the moral high ground like a jealous hen. It summons its minions fanning the hot flames in what is worse in them. Turning them into a pack of wild dogs. You can hear the pack barking in midday. No longer simply a nuisance at night. Those subverted by the sham of governing sit idly by shivering in their hutches like lesser hens. Concerned only with protecting their own nests. Of squatting indifferently while they fail their oaths of office with complete indifference. The will not survive. But de-evolve. Blacks cannot change! They still are enslaved. And prefer to remain so because, “da pikin’s is always good!” Shiftless beggars deserving of zero respect. They can never pull themselves up out o the pig pen poverty the so richly enjoy. What fun to exert their mercurial mindless violence and get away with it. The sick twisted mentality of getting what’s coming. The will. But it will be their end. They will be gone after the whites are. Hordes of barbarians babble in their graveyard tongues. Uncaring of anything but what is deemed as wealth. Come from afar to sack and pulverize all that they do not understand. Cannot understand. Were never meant to by the strictures of the lands that they were raised in. That they left. They are merely hatchling’s wrought of former guilt of those that they have come to consume. To cannibalize. Amazing how frugal and effective this unseen hand works! Turning one against another. Blood must be shed to bring all to their senses. But then it will be too late. The world will move on and civil society will lay in shards. In its place a hostile workhouse that will slowly replace humanity by the clock. Commodities only from cradle to grave. Genetically modified to not even care. To be happy like a mindless idiot. To be ready to serve and serve and serve at the push of a button. Robots in name. And worth nothing. Amazing how well decadence works. A lesson passed down from the universe to the lions of old. The hyenas will eat you. The roaches will devour the rest. The seven plaques of Egypt revisited. The same old story brought to you by the same old culprits. Go ahead and laugh! It’s your funeral.
“The Reve Mal” It forever seem odd that of all mankind’s devices stories of one kind or another remain the most potent part of human existence. Not necessarily good stories or long familiar ones that have been repeated over and over so many times that they seem etched in the back of one’s brain. Stories that suggest an odd unexpected conclusion that border on the temporal quality of clever. Bundle them all up and you have the motivating force behind society begging along the way of course for it to include those of your own. Case in point of those fed to you by your unconscious in the collective realm of dreams. The current era being overwhelming leaving one a phantom padding about within their own personal museum of ultimate obsolescence. That adage of utilizing a fraction of brain capacity coming down in so many ways to a base level of time spent on contemplation.
“The house was filled with a collection of reptiles. The most notable being alligators and their crocodile cousins that congregated int he middle of the room snapping their jaws as one passes. It seemed a good time for a departure and my aged mother stood at the door to the hallway ready to exist down the short flight of stairs. I met her just outside and bundled her into the Lincoln Town Car onto the front seat. Then it seemed that her older sister also was in the back seat.”
At this point it is useful to stop to tell one and all that this is but simple illusion as it cannot be substantiated by any physicality in the current waking world. And as many have pointed out so plainly when one extrapolates under the bright Sun of midday. So many easy explanations existing presenting existential arguments defying that experience as if it was planted only within one’s head by a more earthly random experience. Yet from the insider perspective of within that single head that inspired it the waking world despite all its easy camaraderie cannot disprove it noting nothing more than a frequency of same. Offering only ones daily return to habit in believing that palpable reality need be proven by the simple fact of its continual intervals of repetition. This becoming a particular delirious dilemma for those types afflicted with an acute form of solitary aloneness that has not strict the convention easily at hand to derail it from being a positive belief.
Thus those afflicted went about their daily routine with a feeling that influenced their appreciation for the their immediate circumstances that could not be verified by actual experience. A distinct disadvantage in dealing with strangers and distant acquaintances, who of course were never privy to the eccentricities of the dreamer. How this all played out in the midst of so many faceless masses only a matter of importance to the one who experienced it. What weight could such a thing have in a sea of indifferent humanity? “For after all . . “, one might easily recite, “. . .what is one man’s opinion against the sea of the many?”
To consider the difference in the opinions of widely disparate eras forever seemingly obsessed with contrasting poverty with plenty it might be appropriate to reflect upon the differences of former times in terms of general popular attitudes. Those particular ones spotted in the from a distant past offering the promise of success gained by the experience of the amalgam of both experiences. Ones that surpass in blatant symbiosis the more contemporary ones which by comparison seem near to impossible to ever actually achieve. Freely available work almost on demand as livable wages for example. The talented being able to cut more favorable deals in terms of wages and benefits based on verbal performance. “Closer’s” versus “talker’s!” The newest most latest form of sensibility being to run general society like a meat packing house where nothing gets wasted despite any potential risk to the public health.
A more polite form of acknowledgement offered exclusively to those from other lands. As those with strange customs strangling the conventional experience of others considered indigenous. You’ll be solicited along the way by vague entities that routinely pass themselves off as just plain regular personable folk. The dreamy image posed in a few well-composed pictures set in a pleasing locale dressed in appropriately stylish outfits that are carefully configured to strike a positive chord with you as their prospective consumer and eventual targeted rival. The closet thing to this composite identifying label possibly being referred to as, “THE TEAM.” A very determined stratagem of lack of identity identifying that same old corporate firewall virtually protecting the company from any need for their accountability to customers for their services. Everyone and everything treated simply like a commodity.
Taking the long suburban road back to the ‘house’ that in reality has become a much smaller apartment through the emptiness of a semi arid landscape escorting my mother. One that is too far, knowing too late that we should have driven. Why we did not was a matter of forgetting for a while that the path back over open terrain always seems shorter than it in fact ever turns out to be. One’s age averaged and divided is occasionally put aside as a factor and the fiction of youthful endurance assumes a greater palpable fiction. A chain restaurant a block or two off the gravel path due east gleams quartz white as if it has just recently been built. A Disney castle mirage in the deep darkness of the mind. Salivation for the hopeful fantasy of plenty and tasty inside crosses the space between my ears within my own empty divide. I have grown up in the postwar age of advertising. The mental Utopia that the worship of everything new and improved allows you temporary entrance within. To conjure the mental picture is more immediate than to test the waters with your tongue and pocketbook. That is the actual realm of scant financial resources and the specter of starvation. The great kings and dukes of old along with their subsequent more modern social warrior imitators having forged a great mental trauma genetically passed on by too often playing too dangerously with the ship of state and so often running it aground. One remains ever mindful of their next meal hoping that if it be one’s last then at least it might be memorably distinctive as the best so far. This is progress.
Ron, the father, ends up on Johnny Carson as a guest. A failed entertainer from the ‘get go’ in his own mind. He rises up from the audience to follow the expected patterns of behavior on stage. His greatest secret dream. To be recognized as talented and out of the ordinary, and loved. What can any self-made man hope to find after he has found a knock off copy of the Philosopher’s stone and a deck of playing cards to gain a sufficient amount of ready cash? Money and all that it can buy is never enough. The ritual of an audience locked in their seats facing East towards the refresh of a hopeful morning Sun of the television is all too seductive. A crowning gift to the man who initially came up from nothing but for whom this persistent sense of the inescapable present provides never ever enough. this is the curse and blessing of his most formative era.
The two of us having wandered, end up waylaid behind a big strip mall on the bank of what is rapidly turning into a raging river rising up. The silt scraped from the bottom being thrown into the air like the froth of a chocolate milk shake. The building flood overwhelming the back access of truck supply lanes subsuming the loading docks. This apocalyptic chaos transforming dazzling cinder blocks from their intended task of securing items within to serve as a retaining wall protecting this unready location. The terror of the unexpected show of force of nature underestimated. A might deluge instantaneously conjured without a single drop of rain. Surely a figment of one’s pernicious imagination?
The awakening of these fictions in that other world of one’s former life precariously rewoven since the night before? Never to be believed but for the hint of a solutions that they pretend to offer? Should one play the gullible fool and volunteer their belief?
This quiet surrounding realm of framed photographs serving as dusty headstones embalming the past. Now long silenced.
A roadside bar that wants no one there. Yet the father figure is inside looking to make the owner’s wife. All on the pretext of an Italian dinner in an old scratched up Telflon coated frying pan. Squatting at one of the four spot round tables my mother and I wondering. No where to dare to sit with any safety lest we be discovered by the disconsolate owner and violently called out with our unheated glob of tomato paste still uncooked. – DREAM
Die Deutschen Frau, clean, dependable and functionally adequate, demanding acknowledgement of her superior utility. A mystery solved as a smelly Wisconsin SUV pulls up and her hearty and hale male counterpart de-trains from it. Into the coffee shop beside which his wife sits at one of the four outside sets of table and chairs. The conversation begins aloud on his return fielding his own cup of coffee. His wife having preceded him in this ritual. The talk is about writers and famous folk, or so it seems from just outside earshot. Fancy polemics or maybe just radical bum’s rush from U. of Madison evidencing the local spirit of moral equivalency. I remain in place at a distance casually practicing my ‘man spread’ mentally engaged in the current state of male virtues of today. Pemmican the mental meal of the hour as another pair of male miscreants arrive to take the field. The more immaculately dressed of the two begins the advance of a wandering tale that to his mind stretches the Spandex of incredulity for the sake of his partner. Such a trivial tale of baggage luggage mismatch and other equally contemptible fashion sins by a client WHO IS A WOMAN!?!. A CEO no less who, of course, should know better than most that appearance matters more than substance. The only continuity that might be offered in the sales kit of snake oil by such an organization being in the continuity of dress with matching demeanor of glib personality. Not a man’s task to comment save for the most recent cake slice of that culturally mixed up off-canted era of today!
I listen on. Having long ago lived my ‘Madman‘ years in publishing, I mentally counter the veracity of his claims, comparing the length of yarrow stalks to ‘tall’ tales. The heady claim of ‘epic nature’ of everything leaving his tongue being suggested in every breath as the ever-present handmaiden of the elite. This cult of nerds, ‘manginas‘ and neutered males treading past over the long dried ruts left in the dirt by former woolly bison. Perhaps these ‘tall tails‘ this upstart spins are a form of self-confession that relates his feelings that the world should be available to solely entertain him? His credo? Management by appearance. Administer all the little people from a safe distance through that superficial algorithm of ‘fit‘. Management to him is simply keeping the ‘troops‘ perpetually on parade and standing at attention. Ever formed up in tight formation through the afternoon on the corporate parade ground and in good marching order awaiting the call of the superficial. Careful so as to not stumble into any possibility of substance. “Only sure things please!”
The voice of reason across from him at the table speaks! Intelligent questions emanate from his unwanted gob. The mounting pile of questions being posed an obstacle upsetting its target. The outraged ‘squidy‘ furiously pumping out rhetoric designed to recapture the conversation with an overwhelming ‘baffle of bullshit‘. Jargon and stilted terminology freely being excreted attempting to cover his tracks. All to escape the insecurity of that thing generally acknowledged as common sense logic. Not part of the plan, it seems to this specimen from a rare phylum of corporate existence. One whose office life is lived within his own methane fumes of a ever festering pile of bullshit that his behavior has amassed. A place upon the ladder where persistence through continuous objections and deflections is the only doctrine that can be considered as worthy. Offered for your approval the story of the pathetic plight of a tiny germ desperate to gain entrance into a human body to inspire a common cold? The old techniques well-worn and time honored purloined from ‘The Pale‘. Exploit that chink in the armor by some faux expression of charity posing as deep concern. Then rip the sucker open to expose the naked breast to a sharp pointed mortal attack. That overwhelming lifelong bilious shibboleth of, “Find a need and fill it!” Argue, argue, argue!