My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Archive for December, 2008

Drowned kittens

December 20th, 2008 | Category: Creative Flash

And so he drowned a basket of kittens in a small lake at the heart of a peaceful wood. He explained to the unfortunate kittens why they had to drown and much to his surprise, the kittens understood.

They were, you see, very practical kittens, highly principled and empathetic toward the principles of others. So, while they weren’t particularly happy to be dying, especially in this particular manner, they understood the reason behind its happening, and solemnly accepted it.

They believed in Kitty Jesus and His Kitty Heaven, and so requested that they be allowed a simple kitty prayer. They were, of course, not denied this request before their end. They prayed:

Oh Kitty Jesus, we ask that You accept us into Kitty Heaven. Being that You’ve decided to fuck us over like this, us being adorable tabby kittens, innocent and free of sin, we figure it’s the least You could do.


Thus ended their simple kitty prayer, and shortly thereafter, their kitty lives.

Having drowned the kittens he returned home, humbled and warmed from the experience.


Almost 28

December 20th, 2008 | Category: Life

I’ll be 28 in eleven days, and I’ve never looked forward to my birthday less. Fact is, I wrecked everything I ever wanted. I don’t know if I have it in me to fix it. 

Rationally, I know that I shouldn’t give up and what-not, it’s all a choice and so on. I’m aware of all that, but I just don’t feel the little spark in me. I wish I did, but I don’t. People break, sometimes there are  no more fixes. I’m really tired, I get tired of building and re-building. I’ve lost so much so fast, I just don’t know how to cope anymore.

Fuck, there’s so much, it’s not just Sara. Lately, it’s even difficult to type. I let them dig around in my left arm for an I.V. and now half of my hand is numb. If that hand goes, I’m absolutely and astonishingly fucked. That really weighs on me. Having Sara just made things feel easier, I didn’t feel alone. 

I’m ridiculous and awful for feeling like this, I know. Still, here I am. I feel like a failure. 

By the way, if anyone comments with inspirational quotes and what-not, a basket of kittens will drown.


Books I Loved in 2008

December 19th, 2008 | Category: Opinions

So, I read, loved and wrote about some spectacular books in 2008, though they weren’t necessarily published in 2008. They’re just books that I think are really worth reading. So, here… we… go.

The Labyrinth by Catherynne M. Valente

The Labyrinth is very difficult to describe in a little review. It’s a dark and twisted fairy-tale. It’s a bizarre love story of sorts. It’s strange and beautiful. Ultimately, it’s a surreal journey into madness and a fascinating look into the futility of human existence. Valente’s prose are absolutely gorgeous, she perfectly captures the essence of insanity as her heroine walks endlessly through The Labyrinth, not knowing if escape is possible and desperately afraid to hope for such.

It’s a brilliant novel, one of the best I’ve read in awhile.

Quarantine by Jim Crace

The novel takes place during the time of Jesus, in the desolate wastes outside of Judea. A merchant, Musa, lies dying of fever in his tent. Despite being abandoned by their caravan, mostly made up of Musa’s uncles and cousins, Musa’s wife couldn’t be happier. Miri’s six months pregnant, left to do “women’s work,” left by the caravan to tend to her husband with the most meager supplies, but for the first time in years she’s filled with hope. She’ll be absolutely glad to be widowed. She’s glad to be rid of his family, she’s happy to dig his grave. This is because Musa is a drunken, disgusting, abusive, poor excuse for a man. He’s abusive in every way possible, verbally, physically, sexually. Miri would rather endure birth alone in the desert than suffer her husband any longer. She does her duty, says her prayers, anoints him with the proper salves, but she knows it’s pointless. She leaves Musa to die alone while she digs his grave. Meanwhile, five travelers walk toward nearby caves for their “quarantine,” forty-days of sun-up till’ sundown fasting. Each has personal reasons for their quarantine, but they’re all seeking spiritual rewards. However, one is far more ambitious than the rest. A young man from Galilee, Jesus. Jesus seeks an audience with God Himself. He’s bound for the most isolated cave, with faith as his only sustenance unless God personally sends angels to feed him. It’s Jesus who stumbles upon the tent while Miri’s away, hoping to find some hospitality and potentially, his last meal for forty-days. He finds stale dates, a water skin. Assuming no one is around, nor that they would mind, he helps himself. Of course, Musa is there, feverish and near-death. Near-death, until Jesus finds him…

City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer

The book is a collection stories and historical guides that center around the city of Ambergris, a city of religious fervor and political corruption. It’s home to eccentric artists and strange creatures. It’s a city that brims with life, and so much death. None of the stories are tied together in a linear fashion, the first story doesn’t flow into the second. I think each piece of writing easily stands alone, but as a whole they create a fully realized world.

Jeff’s use of his craft is absolutely amazing. His words form sentences that create life. I feel like I’ve spent a month in Ambergris, walking its cobblestones, barricading the door to my hostel, praying to avoid the chaos and death that shrouds the Festival of the Freshwater Squid. So few have the skill to write bizarre twisted worlds and make them so real, with such vivid characters. He sees the power of the written word and completely knows how to wield it.

The Tyrant by Michael Cisco

It’s the story of a brilliant fifteen-year-old girl, crippled by Polio, a graduate student revered for her work with ectoplasm. The stuff of the afterlife. Being so renowned, this girl, Ella, is invited to assist in an experiment that could change the way the world sees death. It’s an experiment with an epileptic man with unheard-of mental abilities. Through deep trances, he can project his consciousness not only from life into death, but even a state of possible life, the place before one lives or dies. For the experiment he descends into death, sending back both data and visual images displayed on lab monitors. Ella sees what he sees, and ultimately what he becomes. In life he’s a sad, cryptic man, but in death he’s brutal and vicious. He’s the Tyrant. He’s the man Ella loves. As for the experiment, it has unexpected and devastating consequences for the world of the living.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon is one of the better little novels I’ve ever read. It tells the story of Christopher, a fifteen-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum disorder. Christopher likes to walk his neighborhood late at night when the world is quiet and seems empty. He likes the solitude, it’s comforting. One evening he finds something quite disturbing, his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, stabbed to death with a garden-fork. His neighbor finds him holding poor Wellington, so of course, she calls the police. Christopher cannot tell lies, Asperger’s doesn’t allow it, he gets to go home with a stern warning to stay out of trouble. Christopher likes dogs, and murder mysteries, he’s a genius with puzzles, so he decides to investigate Wellington’s murder and write his investigation as a novel for a school project. 

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

So, I recently finished reading Choke by Chuck Palahniuk and it totally reminded me again how brilliantly Palahniuk can write. Though, it being one of his earlier works, I also worry that his best stuff is behind him. Palahniuk has an amazing knack for creating complete lunatic, fuck up, low-life characters who are still likable and relatable. At least, I find them relatable. Choke’s protag is Victor Mancini, a sex-addicted liar who may or may not be the Second Coming of Christ. Victor’s a med-school dropout working as an indentured servant at an historical theme park. His mother’s a senile social anarchist who spent most of his childhood in and out of prison, kidnapping him from various foster homes. If Victor’s not busy having sex with women from sex addicts anonymous, he’s pretending to choke at local restaurants. His saviors befriend him, hear his troubles, they send him money. Victor needs the money, indentured servant, sex addict, med-school dropouts don’t pull down enough to keep their moms in high-end nursing facilities. Victor also likes the idea that he gives people a story to tell, that he creates heroes one meal at a time. At the nursing home, the demented old women mistake Victor for men who wronged them in the past and he cops to every sin from incest to dog murder. It’s much easier for Victor to be someone else, with each confession providing closure until senility reopens the wounds. Victor’s best friend, Denny, another sex addict, collects rocks for every-day he doesn’t masturbate. He says he wants his life to about something rather than be about not doing something one day at a time. Still, the rocks are just a fix for a fix.

Palahniuk likes to write certain themes into every novel, like, losing everything to truly appreciate anything, or how hitting absolute rock bottom simply means there’s nothing left to fear, both of which I love. He also writes a great deal about things being just a fix for a fix. One addiction to fix another. Denny and the rocks. Victor taking responsibility for so many sins just to feel needed. I really understand such themes and I feel better knowing that other people have that same understanding. I think about the idea of a fix for a fix quite a lot, ever since the hole in my throat and and the tube in my stomach. The trache fixes my breathing and takes away my voice leaving thoughts and worries to fill my head until I can’t sleep, until I miss every drug I ever had. Brandy to slow everything down. Reading, watching movies, writing as much as possible so the brandy doesn’t feel necessary. Amazingly hot soup, astonishingly hot coffee, fantastically cold cereal go into my feeding tube because eating has become more about sensation than taste. The oral pleasure of sweet cocoa replaced by the sensual pleasure of heat from steamed soy milk as it passes through a tube to my stomach, to my chest, to my face. Fixes for fixes. Palahniuk’s writing, especially in Choke, Survivor and Invisible Monsters is so spot on as to make things that I think about more clear and less frightening. I feel less alone. 

Definitely read Choke, it’s darkly hilarious and quite provocative.

These are excellent books, my absolute favorites of 2008. There are plenty of holiday shopping days left, good fiction makes for a good gift.


Fife’s cousin

December 18th, 2008 | Category: Random Thought

The Idiot Mike had a life. Where is it now?


Apathetic post

December 17th, 2008 | Category: Random Thought

I found it hard
It’s hard to find
Oh well, whatever, nevermind…

1 comment

Old Age

December 16th, 2008 | Category: Life,Opinions,Random Thought

Nirvana songs are great because nothing Kurt Cobain ever wrote is particularly straightforward, there’s lots of room for interpretation. He never really told a story word for word, he liked to mix his true ideas with random thoughts or lines of poetry. On a Plain is a good example of this technique. Lately though, I’m really fascinated by Old Age. It’s an outtake song found in two box-sets, With the Lights Out and Sliver: The Best of the Box. The song’s so interesting because it sounds spectacular, but it seems practically incomprehensible. Kurt mumbles his way through it, and google-searching the lyrics doesn’t bring back consistent results. It took some doing, but I think I found a reliable version

I like listening to it, trying to crack it. To me, it’s a song about a losing battling with addiction, that last fix that can’t ever be the last. I’ve felt that struggle, the idea that this fix will make today feel safe so I can get to tomorrow, then maybe tomorrow I won’t need it.

I think that’s true of liquor, drugs, sex, a lover whispering in your ear, coffee, anything that turns off constant noise. I think life is just series of fixes, all the little things we need today to get to tomorrow. We all have different levels of noise, and how much we can take. Our fixes might not be the same, sometimes they’re ultimately destructive, but a life without fixes breaks. We replace the fixes we lose, try to drop the ones that hurt, that’s how we keep going.


Having had time

December 15th, 2008 | Category: Life

Having had time to look back and process the entire experience, getting myself committed is definitely one of the top five Goddamn fucking dumbest things I’ve ever done. I needed help, but Christ on crackers, I picked the absolute worst possible way. I basically did cut my wrists. I hurt myself, but not on purpose. I should just do the opposite of whatever the fuck I think is a good idea. I don’t do anything the easy way or the right way anymore.


Eloping isn’t romantic

December 13th, 2008 | Category: Life

So, in the very back of my mind I had a rather romantic idea of what it would be like to be committed. I kind of pictured a comfortable little room, lots of talking to therapists, nice meds to help me sleep. However, it really wasn’t like that, there’s absolutely nothing romantic about getting yourself committed.

I spent over twenty-four hours waiting in the emergency room, medical, then psych. The psych e.r. is cold and empty, the rooms have electronic locks, no curtains, shatter-proof windows. Since I’m trached with a vent, I got admitted to a medical floor and not the psych floor. I’m really not sure that the latter would have been better. Rather than talking, the first course of action is drugs. I got so fucked up on Remeron I couldn’t think straight for almost two days, my hands and feet swelled up, I didn’t feel real.

It’s all a little fuzzy, really. The entire  three-ish days were physically exhausting. I hadn’t felt so bad since my two-month stay back in 2006, only this time I volunteered for it, I signed up for it. I felt ridiculously stupid, like I was killing myself, but accidentally. In doing so, however, I reminded myself just how much I really want to live.

Eventually, I did get to talk to a psychologist, not a drug-pushing psychiatrist, she referred me to some out-patient therapists. Overall, I feel better about my situation, I don’t feel so lost and stuck. After Sara left, my life took a really bad turn, ridiculously so. An entire nice little future, gone in a blink. Apparently, I couldn’t cope. I had to do something to set things right again, and I think that’s what I did.

Still, I’m absolutely exhausted, and as a bonus, my trache got rather nasty inside, so I’m on ten days of IV anti-biotics. My arms look like a junkie’s, track marked and bruised from failed IV attempts.


Breakdown checklist

December 11th, 2008 | Category: Life

Get yourself committed √

Not sleep √

Get astonishingly fucked up on various drugs not in a fun way √

Have the custodian lady ask how your girfriend’s doing √

Regain strong desire to live √

Marvel at your spectacular stupidity √

Finish reading Fathom and love it √

Go for long walk outside with hospital permission to think on everything that went so very wrong √

Learn from a ridiculous and absolutely horrible experience √


Psych room

December 09th, 2008 | Category: Life

So, right now I’m in a psych room, it’s absolutely bare, there are no curtains. It’s nothing like a medical room. I’m sitting here writing and listening to Nirvana, which I find kind of beautiful.


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