Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Greetings! So, a fellow Reddit user reached out to me the other day wanting to collaborate. This is a link to his stuff lxstboys and let me tell you there is talent and entertainment abound here! Check it out and support us artsy, underground types :) This is a personal favorite of mine... You'll have to click the link for more.
 
Acid’s still lingering in my system. It’s been a little under twelve hours since I dropped, but lucy’s still altering my vibrations. Tingling with exuberated awe and undertones of delirium, I’m depleted while still vibrant.
 
‘Shit, sleep ain’t gonna be a thing in this condition.’
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Affirmation 1: The Alley


The following is an older piece of mine (circa 2012 that was my first attempt at bonafied  Sci-Fi (this is the first piece in what was meant to be a loosely strung together anthology of dystopian stuff) . Though I gave up on the initial project, it did serve as the basis for my novel (currently on hiatus as I've been exploring other creative avenues) and shit I've always liked this one. Thought it might be worth a share and may revisit it some day. I hope it's enjoyed by whoever finds it. Cheers - A.

 

 

“Hey boy.”

The child looked up and saw a straggly, grey haired homeless man sitting atop a discarded mattress in the middle of the alley.

 The crumbling industrial buildings and crowded market places of Ura Bin were home to many transient’s; Addicts, resistance members, fallen soldiers and the failed genetic experiments of The Affirmation were not uncommon sights in the gutter. Timothy looked over his shoulder twice before going any further.

“Boy, could ya spare some change?”

“My mom said I aint suppose to talk to no one. She told me to go straight to the market and back home…I’m sorry.”

 It’s oaky son. I won’t bite…please. It would mean a lot to an old man.”

After some hesitation, the boy reached into his pocket to grab some change, handed the man a fistful of coins, turned his back and started walking away.

“You got a name son?”

The boy stopped and turned around to face the man again.

“Timothy, Timothy Epley. What about you?”

“They call me Leo.”

“Hi, Leo” Timothy responded, frantically waving his hands. Up and down. Despite all of his cautious behavior, he was still a child and apt to waving his hands around just for the hell of it.

 The man chuckled, exposing his worn, yellow teeth.

“Well Timothy, thank you very much for helpin an old man out. I don’t suppose you wana hear a story?”

Timothy looked around. He could see the market from where he was standing. He could picture the people spread throughout the road going from stand collecting food, and batteries and toothpaste. He was so close. It was his first journey away from home by himself…he figured that he’d have more than enough time to stick around for just one story, besides what child doesn’t want an adventure every once in a while.

“Sure.”

“Well alright then. Come a little closer and I’ll spin ya a yarn.”

Timothy moved closer towards the man and looked him in the eyes. It’s something his father had taught him before he had left. Always make eye contact. He didn’t remember much about his father but that grain of advice had always stuck with him. Leo gave a nod of approval and began to speak.

“A long time ago, before the Great War and The Affirmation, I was a young boy about your age. That’s when I remember things bein different. Before things were…like they are today, I lived on a farm with my dad. It was a very simple life but I loved it. I would wake up early in the morning and help my dad take care of the livestock. We had a horse that I called Sarah, named her after my mom….Anyway I would visit her every morning. Sometimes I would sneak her a sugar cube and oh my God, she would gobble that up and lick my hand till there was nothin left.  It was wonderful.”

“Then, as I got older I kept hearin things about a war and a shortage of energy. I was still too young to know what it all meant but I was old enough o know that soemthin wasn’t right. It wasn’t too long before my dad sold the farm and moved to the city. With all of this talk of war and what not, he wanted to get all of his affairs in order in case anything happened and boy did things start happenin.

“We’d been in the city for a couple months when…when the war caught up with us. There were airships everywhere, all the time. They covered the sky and when they weren’t busy hoverin around, they were busy droppin bombs. My dad went out one day getting some supplies and I never seen him again. I cried myself to sleep for a month straight until I realized that he was never comin back and I uh…I been on my own since that day.”

Leo paused and took a syringe out of his pocket.

“Boy, I don’t wanna do this in front of ya. Can ya turn around till I tell ya when?”

Timothy turned his back on Leo as he tied off and plunged his rig into his arm. He hit the vein instantly and that warm, surreal feeling that only DREAM can produce coursed through his body.

“Okay boy…you can, uh…you can turn around now.”

Timothy turned around and faced Leo once again.

“Now, where was I?”

“You just got done talking about how your pa died sir.”

Ah, yeah. That whole mess.” Leo paused yet again, this time to cap the needle and put it back in his coat pocket.

“Well, after…after all a that, I stayed at my dad’s old place for a while. I watched the war unfold from my bedroom. It was bad, real bad. There were times that I couldn’t leave my house on account a the bombs and the bodies. Those were the worst. They would pile up in the streets blood and guts all over the place and it stunk to high heaven. But there were some good times too. I would go door to door sellin rations or anything else that I found layin around. It was a good line of work to be in. I made decent money and I like to think that I helped a lot of people get what they needed at the time. That went on for a few years until I met a nice girl and settled down.”

"Where is she now?" Timothy asked

A bereaved look spread across Leo's face as he spoke.

"I don’t know...I had to leave her."

"Why's that?"

"She wasn't safe. No one was safe really but I've...I've done a lot a dirt in my day and the people I was hangin around with...they just wasn’t no good for her…or my son."

Timothy stared in wonder at the old man.  Never in his life had he heard such incredible stories. He’d never dreamed of a time before The Affirmation and had never heard of any Great War. He was hooked and wanted more. Mom’s rations could wait.

“It was when I was doin all a this delivery business stuff, right at the tail end of the war when I first heard about Nero.”

“The Leader?” Timothy asked.

“Yup, The Leader.”

“Did you ever meet him?”

“Nope and I don’t know a soul who has but I remember when he came. It was a confusing time for a lot of people and he swooped in with the answers that people was lookin for. He said he came from a place across the sea, and spoke of a world where people lived as one. No war, no crime, no hunger. He said that people were happy and free…he put on a one hell of a good show that’s for sure and it wasn’t long before he started to win people’s trust. He founded this city Ura Bin, he built that big church up town, Capitol and after that he built all sorts of factories and housing units. People went along with it because Capitol gave them a sense of purpose and the weapons plants gave them a fightin chance in the Great War. Things seemed to be goin well for a while. Our military doubled in size and we fought off all a the enemy airships and expand our territory. Then things started takin a turn for the worse.”

“What happened?” Timothy asked. Genuine concern rang in his voice. Leo couldn’t help but smile, to be a child again, to be so young and full of wonder…

“Nero made somethin, somethin bad. He called it DREAM”

“What’s that?”

“It’s the stuff I’ve been puttin in my veins for twenty-two years.” Leo replied.

“It makes you feel alive, and on top of the world. You see things that aren’t there. You feel like you can do anything you want and everything that’s happening around you is okay and then, once it starts to wear off, you get sick. Really sick and you need more and more just to starve off that terrible sickness. Nero gave this stuff out to everyone; pastors, soldiers, children and once they came back for more... that’s when he got em. That’s when things went from bad to worse. Nero spent all a the spoils of war on more weapons and more soldiers. Pretty soon the streets were crawlin with em and there wasn’t anything you could do that they couldn’t see. People started to see less and less of Nero. He set up camp on some island a million miles away from here and just stayed there with his guards and his airships and all a his money but he still let everyone know who was in charge. Capitol became the official meeting place for party officials. There were guards stationed there twenty-four seven and the priests…they were evil just pure evil, still are in my book. They sacrificed people on stage and auctioned off their bodies to the research facilities in North Prova so they could use em in their sick experiments…They said they were doing the work of God but I just can’t bring myself to believe that.”

“What did you do after all of that bad stuff started happening?”

“I ran away. I tried to help people any way that I could. There were all kinds of resistance movements but none of those ever worked out. It’s too hard to fight for what you believe in when you’ve gotta stick a needle in your arm every three hours. I’ve been layin low ever since. Keepin quiet and waitin for things to change.

“You think they will?”

“I sure hope so kid.”

Leo paused and looked at Timothy.

“Boy, I’ve told ya too much. A fine young man like you shouldn’t have to hear about things like this. I’m sorry if I frightened ya at all.”

“No…you didn’t. I thought it was a really good story.”

“Thanks boy. Now go run along. Your mother’s probably worried about ya.”

“Okay, thanks mister. I hope I see you again someday.”

“Yeah kid, same goes for you.” Leo said with a grin.

Timothy stepped out of the alley and made his way to the market. Leo sat quietly for a few moments staring off into space.

“Ya turned out all right kid.” He said under his breath.

“Ya got my curiously and you’re mother’s eyes.” He could feel tears trickling down his face as he spoke.

“I really do hope things get better someday…I sure hope they do.”

 A massive airship hovered over the market place consuming the sun.

 “A new day has dawned friends. Rejoice in a new day of the Lord.” said the hissing robotic voice of the mid-day announcer.

 Leo huddled up on his dirty mattress and closed his eyes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Dope Show

9:00-ish AM

"There are final hits and there are final hits."


- Irvine Welsh


Hit the pipe for the first time in a long time. A familiar taste (lodged somewhere between battery acid and burnt plastic) followed by a burst of power long reserved for the Gods... and a lot of people would be much better off if it had stayed that way. Prometheus' gift of fire came with more of a price than his liver paid... Shit, rambling on and on and on. This is some gooood stuff but it's just the first hit. We'll see how it goes from here.


9:25 AM


M comes over. Green eyes, legs for days and hair that reflects the sun bringing an iridescent hope inside the the blacked out windows of my apartment. We're each other's soulmates. That's the mutual conclusion we came to one day after running into each other at some dive bar and fucking in the bathroom on an acid/coke "flip" (whatever the kids are calling it these days). Friendship, romance, most people's ideas of "love" (however lofty and/or naive) don't fit what we have but whatever it is possesses us when we're together and rips holes in our piles of fucked up brain-matter when we're apart. We blow a couple lines and suck back the sweet, sweet drip in unison, before busting out the ball gag. 


9:38 AM


As I enter her. Divinity (or you know... something like that) enters me. Another form of dark beauty not meant for mere mortals. We taste all manner of forbidden fruit in each other's meat and ingest our sacrament as needed. She snorts lines and I hit the pipe... not even once, twice... ten times. 


10:02 AM


Water, water, water, water, water.  Gotta stay hydrated.


11:00 AM - 3:00 PM


The next few hours are a blur. I smell like sex, stale cigs and cheap beer. M is frantically lacing up her combat boots and fidgeting with her skirt. Something about having to pick up her kid.


"I'll be back," She said.


Her voice like autumn leaves. A cloud of cigarette smoke followed her whispers out the door.


I'm alone for the time being. I pinch off some dope, swirl the pipe over the flame, inhale... exxxxhale. We'll see where this leads.


3:12 PM- Uh...???


Through me you enter into the city of woes 
Through me you enter into eternal pain, 
Through me you enter the population of loss. 
. . .
Abandon all hope, you who enter here. 

- Dante Alighieri

Shit what time is it? 6,7, 8 when? What day? Oh well.



Knock. Knock.

"Who's there?!?!" I yell over the white noise illuminating my television set. The South Park DVD I'd put in a while ago had run it's course. The first tingles of paranoia are setting in. Coded messages buried somewhere in the TV snow. No.. No! Fuck that. I need to sleep. I have a few 25mg Hydroxyzine  and half a Seroquel. It'll have to do.


? - 8:04 PM 


"Hey it's M."


"Oh... hey, C'mon in..."


I ease out of my pharma-nap and unlock the door.


"You okay man? I have subs."


"Nah, I'm good. Already knocked myself out a bit ago... Be careful with those. Like... don't get hooked. Coming off that shit is murder."


"Eh, dude owed me and didn't have any glass. Had to settle for em. I'm not a huge fan but it's sort of nice to chill out instead of... well you know, the other thing."


"No doubt"


She plops down on the sofa and we hold each other close. Melting into the lower-middle-class fabric of  my humble abode.


9:00-ish PM


Well, that didn't last long. Off and running again. Snuggling led to more sex. Sex led to an undisclosed amount of methamphetamines. Rinse and repeat.

"Jesus..." M sighs. I give her short which she happily accepts. I sniff a line off the of her left breast before we collapse into each other again.

"I wonder what the neighbors are up too."

"What?" She asks (though she probably knows full well where this is going).

"I.. uh, I don't know. They've had their lights on for a long time now. I just...wonder."

"Darling... might it possibly be time for some more Seroquel?"

"No, no. I took the last of that a while ago," I said robotically. My eyes peering from the tiny, tiny, tiny creek I'd strategically made in blanket reinforced shade, locked on the neighbors patio.

"I should go..."

"Hey no, no. You don't have to do that."

"I have to work in the morning... and probably sleep. Be careful okay."

My laser-beam focus momentarily broken.

"Yeah, yeah of course."

She kissed me on the forehead, picked up her purse.

"I'll call you before I go into work. Please... please be careful. I mean last time... with the hospital and everything."

"It's cool," I said.

"It WON"T be like that ever again. Trust me. I've got a system."

"Okay," she chuckled.

I was alone again... God damn, I can't let it be like last time. I smoke the last crumbs I managed to scrape from my ever-dwindling bag and brace myself for the crash. The euphoria is long gone. It's getting harder to write this down. Keeping track of it all is.. exhausting. Signing off for now. Sweet dreams.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cocaine Blues

There it was. The faint glimmer of steel, a lost treasure of old buried within foreboding ruins... or in this case weeks old food and cigarette wrappers. My hands after finally reaching the uncharted depths of my trash-can, clenched the orange crowned prince and after haphazardly running it through some lukewarm water I was ready to go to work.

My arm was on fire before the needle broke my skin (cue some long-winded post-structuralist rhetoric about the symbolism of the phallus penetrating the human form and bending it to its will through sex and endorphins). Once I registered, the icy, chemical taste hit the back of my throat and the all mighty bell ringer weaved its way between my ears. For one fleeting moment, I was a god among men. My meat, straining to make sense of it all collapsed on my floor. I heard the scurrying of roaches and God-knows-what-else on their way to gobble up the strands of blackened deli meat at the bottom of the same trash an that I'd dug my old rig out of before blacking out.

"Babe?"

I heard her voice. An unnamed woman lying next to me. I didn't know her name but didn't feel like I had to. A primal thread ran through us, un-quantifiable but present. Something that felt more real than anything else I'd encountered in... a long time. Can't be bothered with specifics. I've enver been good with those... Anyway.

"Yeah," I said groggily.

"Are you okay? You were tossing around and yelling again."

"Ah shit. Must have been another nightmare... sorry."

I flipped on the lamp and grabbed my glasses from the nightstand.

"It's alright. I wasn't asleep. Just reading."

"Oh yeah, what about?"

"Nietzsche."

"Jesus, now that's the stuff of nightmares."

She laughed.

"I don't know. He was misunderstood... I've always thought his ideas were hopeful or you know, wanted to be hopeful. He's not nearly as bleak as he's made out to be."

"I haven't really delved into any of his books since college... or many other books. Fuck grad school"

She laughed again. There was something so organic about it. That un-quantifiable thing that made me feel at home.

"Yeah, it sort of ruined reading for me too. Save for a select few. I mean... listen to this."

“What, if some day or night, a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh… must return to you—all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again—and you with it, speck of dust!’ Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god, and never have I heard anything more divine!’ If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “do you want this once more and innumerable times more?” would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?”

"Huh.. you're right. That is hopeful... In a roundabout way."

Her hand grasped mine.

"If you look hard enough, you can find hope in a lot of things."

I leapt up from my kitchen floor in what could only be called a reverse crash sequence. My heart was still racing as I let out a series of equally violent breaths. Two-steps away from hyperventilating, I made my way to the medicine cabinet in search of Xanax... or benadryl... or seroquel or... something. No such luck. I stripped, sat on the toilet and let a stream of cold water run from the sink (my utility bill be damned). It was withdrawal time.

Some time passed, and I eventually slept. The next morning (or was it past noon at this point?) I found myself in the kitchen again digging around in the black sludge/dead roach filled trashcan in hopes of finding some however-many-days-old residue that I could throw into a spoon for a little fun.

"Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?" I said to no one.

I guess you could say I was hopeful... Questionable motives aside, I was hopeful.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Detox

"Peel the skin from my face"
I tell surgeon's tools
Counting the moments til another quiet rape
Nerves scream to feel alive
Amidst the backdrop of B-Movie horror music
"I asked for this... It was in the mail from day 1."
The scalpel's cold knowledge slices away at my human form
A substrate born of milenial angst
Encrypting its morbid poetry upon my shrinking surface
Cold skin licks the sun and (to quench its dead thirst)
Drinks an ocean the size of a continent
Some far away land
Where pain meets pleasure
(A senate of Centobites)
Wher the end of the labyrinth lies
 At the bottom of a tombstone
As above
So below 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Metaphysics of Anarch(ism) X-Post from my Wodpress (also featured by Keith Preston on attackthesystem)

One critique of anarchism comes down one to metaphysics. As a movement there is nothing tethering anarchism (in its various forms) to reality. No culture, no legs to stand on, a verbose and detached intellectualism (ironically akin to that of the petty bourgeoisie) and thin moralist narratives run wild. We have Jesters, we have scribes and scholars but what we lack are kings. Not kings in the sense of despotic rulers of course. No, anything of that nature is clearly antithetical to our way. No Gods. No Masters. No Slaves. This still doesn't change the fact that anarchism lacks an overman. A new virulent breed divorced the trappings of antiquated ideas about "the working class" and romanticized stories of the CNT in revolutionary Catalonia (which have long since passed away and offer no substance in today's world. I would even go so far to say that we owe no loyalty to the dead...) Fortunately there is a fraction in our midst who are able to look past this and recognize our need for sovereign individual(s). Kings and warlords which through self struggle and rigorous discipline have become so hyper aware of themselves and the material conditions they live in that they no longer feel the need to fight, only to dominate their own minds, exert their will to power on themselves as sovereign individuals and by peeling away the festering layers of the state allow themselves to experience the liberation that this "Gnostic Awakening" brings quietly and with dignity. Of all the great thinkers who played their parts in developing egoism as a philosophical discipline, Ernst Junger's "Anarch" is the first to come to mind that paints a picture of the spirit of this liberated individual might look like.

"They found no mischief in me. I remained normal, however deeply they probed. And also straight as an arrow. To be sure, normality seldom coincides with straightness. Normalcy is the human constitution; straightness is logical reasoning. With its help, I could answer satisfactorily. In contrast, the human element is at once so general and so intricately encoded that they fail to perceive it, like the air that they breathe. Thus they were unable to penetrate my fundamental structure, which is anarchic."

"That sounds complicated, but it is simple, for everyone is anarchic; this is precisely what is normal about us. Of course, the anarch is hemmed in from the first day by father and mother, by state and society. Those are prunings, tappings of the primordial strength, and nobody escapes them. One has to resign oneself. But the anarchic remains, at the very bottom, as a mystery, usually unknown even to its bearer. It can erupt from him as lava, can destroy him, liberate him. Distinctions must be made here: love is anarchic, marriage is not. The warrior is anarchic, the soldier is not. Manslaughter is anarchic, murder is not. Christ is anarchic, Saint Paul is not. Since, of course, the anarchic is normal, it is also present in Saint Paul, and sometimes it erupts mightily from him. Those are not antitheses but degrees. The history of the world is moved by anarchy. In sum: the free human being is anarchic, the anarchist is not."

- Eumeswil, Page 41

The Anarch is, on the surface indistinguishable from any other lay-person. They do not indulge in long winded discussions in radical debate circles, nor do they participate in the idpol wars but keep their rebellion confined to their core. The Anarch is not allured by any cause. They see concepts that both hinder and enrich the human experience for what they are and are content to watch, to listen. Content to be at one with their inherent nature, a design far preceding our evolution. A carnal desire against all external authority.


My Wordpress age for further reading; (https://peoplespostmodernist.wordpress.com/)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dream Journal

There had been no passage of time in between me taking my nightly cocktail of narcotic bliss and arriving at... what/when/wherever the place I now found myself was. Black as the Tao an infinite nothingness, it took some time for me to regain my senses. To come to terms with it all. Suddenly, things shapes, sounds colors started coming into focus. Slowly building like some lumbering symphony until it all reached a crescendo and then boom! A patchwork of my life from birth til death. I saw everything I'd ever experienced (from my first time riding a bike without training wheels to my first time shooting up) and everything I had yet to. I looked away from kids, marriage and failed business ventures and (as all dope-fiends do) firmly planted myself in the past. I peaked into a window from a few years ago. Caleb and I were drinking. I could smell the nauseating, paint-thinner smell of McCormick's and stale cigarettes.

2010-ish

"Yo I spit rhymes like cyanide. No Cheech and Chong. beats like an H-Bomb leave ya dead and gone. Unmask Anonymous peer inside the void. Nietzsche's monsters got nowhere to hide."

"Ah shit yeah man. That was sick," I barked out before taking another shot.

Caleb usually sucked a free-styling but persistence and vodka certainly worked wonders sometimes.

"Thanks man... You know I'm (burp) really fucking glad I met you man."

"Uh... yeah man likewise. I'm always down to kick it with.. uh, interesting people."

"No man, I... really mean it. You're a good person... Don't do what I do. Don't fuck up with pills and shit. You should lay off of the k-pins and fuckin like whatever else. Don't (burp) don't fuck up like I have."

"Ah, it's straight. It's not like I'm hooked or anything... I'll be careful."

I pulled whatever ethereal version of myself I'd become back into the (for lack of a better term) Tao and floated around some more searching for something worth feeling nostalgic about. 

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed another movie reel. Amy lied in a sterile smelling hospital bed Her jet black hair matted into sweat drenched clumps. Her skin looked grey.Her eyes were...

"Nope, fuck that." I said aloud.

I moved on... I wasn't nearly as resilient as trippy-dream-me was.

1997

"Go on, reel it in! reel it in!"

I'd been skimming algae off the top of the lake not paying attention my fishing line. I bolted up. My small arms grasping my Winnie the Pooh fishing pole with all the strength a 7 year old could muster.
My dad held the base steady while I cranked with my right hand until my wrist hurt. As the line grew shorter and shorter I saw something breech the water. Dad snatched up the line with his hand and tossed the 6 or so inch bluegill into our boat.

"There we have it son. You're first catch," he said beaming from ear to ear.

I felt a giddy fear as I moved my hand towards the fish. It wriggled and I immediately jumped back. dad smiled and after getting a firm grip, ripped out the hook and tossed it back.

I exhaled and found myself in limbo again.

"Enjoying yourself?" 

"Holy shit!"

In lieu of legs (which this astral body of mine didn't seem to have) my whole world shook. My vision refocused and I found myself staring at a blonde twenty-something wearing a torn up, two sizes larger than her frame NOFX shirt. She danced through the ether with a cigarette dangling from her pierced lip like it was nothing.

"Who... who are you?" I asked dumbfounded.

"It's... complicated. Your... uh, Jiminy Cricket, guardian angel, tralfamadorian you know, all of that shit... You can call me Stephanie."

"Uh..." (still dumbfounded).

"Don't freak out man It's all good. Just thought I'd check up on you ya know? Don't get to do that very often. Dream states and acid trips are really the only window we have to reach "the normies"... That's what we call you guys, normies but anyway, dreams and acid trips are usually a clusterfuck and it's hard to have a productive conversation with anyone under those circumstances so we usually end up waiting. Waiting for moments like this. When everything lines up just right and your brain opens up to our world."

"So, this is your world?" I managed to choke out.

"Sort of, this is place isn't really anything. I call it the Oneness. A collection of everything and nothing. We're outside of time here. I'm sure you've picked up on that. It's sort of a neutral ground where everything coalesces. "Spirits" your word for us. Normies, thoughts feelings. They all move freely here."

"You sure I didn't accidentally take that Ket I've been saving for a rainy day?"

"Ha, no man. This is real."

"Well..."

"Well, well."

"Aright so your my guardian angel. I guess I owe you one... Maybe two or three."

"Don't sweat it." Stephanie said with a wink.

"It's kind of fucked up though. Where were you when my neighbors kid got raped. When that homeless guy froze to death behind the mall last week... When Amy died?"

"It doesn't work like that. We can't save people from suffering. If it wasn't for that... all of that bad shit than there'd be nothing to move things forward. Nothing to reverse entropy. Our job is to carefully balance things out. To use a light touch. Besides, suffering isn't all its cracked up to be... Everything repeats itself. Good, bad ugly it all cycles back around. We're both made of the same energy. Whatever formless blob we're connected to. Some call it "God..." I guess I'm inclined to agree. Probably the closest thing to a god that I know of. We just have different roles."

"Well if your role is to what... like oil the machine. Than what does that make me? Some kind of gear or cog?"

"No, you're much, much more than that. You're the eyes, ears, mouth... you're everything I'm not. You get to experience well, all of this. I just have a place on the sidelines. Makes me a little jealous at times. I've never been high, been in love, had my heart broken. That's the hand you normies have been dealt."

"Huh, I suppose that works in a roundabout way."

"A roundabout way. I like that... Hang in there. Things have a way of falling in place. Even if it looks like they're about to fall apart... You're probably gonna wake up soon. I should go..."

My eyes jolted open. I sat straight up and let out the heaviest breath of my life. The clock on my nightstand read 4:02 AM. Instead of taking a swig from the bottle sitting next to the aforementioned clock, I flipped on my light, grabbed a pen, opened the well-worn notebook I kept under my pillow and started jotting down everything I could remember. For the first time in a long time okay with not being able to sleep. The endless worry of minuets passing by, of being alone with my thoughts meant very little to me now. After all, what does a little bout of insomnia matter when you've had the chance to live outside of time?