Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I'm in an inspiration drought, and still feeling lazy as hell, so I'm just going to post something I was toying around with awhile ago. A story about a guy who lives his life in stories. One of those, it doesn't matter if the story is true or not, the story itself can be important kinds of things. Haven't written anything else on it in awhile, but I might come back to it eventually.

Also, Megaman Legends 3. I'm not even sure what to say about this. I'm am at once both absolutely psyched and already planning on running back through the first two games...and horrendously disappointed. Psyched because I absolutely loved the first two Legends games and a conclusion to the series is gonna be a great thing. Disappointed because it's coming out for the Nintendo 3DS, which I'm not really interested in and which sounds like just another Nintendo gimmick I won't care for. Le sigh.

Anyways, same routine as always, comment with thoughts, etc.


For as long as I can remember— and granted, through the haze of booze, cigarette smoke, and neon, that isn't exactly that long— my life has always been about stories. It wasn't until I got here, a garage reeking of synthetic oils and elbow grease, amidst the constant clinking of poker chips and low hum of the ceiling fan that sucked in a half dozen or more trails of smoke from lazily smoked cigarettes. It was here, at the weekly poker game of a group of guys from every background who'd done everything, it seemed, there was to do anymore, that it all fit together.

I can still remember the first real story I was ever told. When I was a kid, my parents were killed in an accident. I was too young to understand the details then, too young to even understand the implications all at once. All I got was that mommy and daddy were killed somewhere in the desert where they were working, and that meant I wasn't going to see them anymore. Being only five or six, I still remember thinking it was like a TV show getting canceled or something; they were gone, but that didn't mean they couldn't come back at some point.

It wasn't until I got older that I got the whole story. My parents were doctors working in the Middle East, helping out those that couldn't afford or otherwise reach help. They had gone into Q'Irah just before the war, and had opened up a small clinic. At first they were helping the refugees from the south who were coming in by the bloodied truckload every day. They had a shoe-string budget, more bodies than beds, and the ever present threat of the Q'Irah government cracking down on them for aiding people they were attempting to exterminate, but they pressed on, saving hundreds, maybe thousands of lives over the course of a month or two.

Then, when the Pan-Pacific Alliance, united under the blinding might of our own country's military, declared war on Q'Irah for human rights violations, genocide, use of biological and chemical agents and a dozen other things (none of which included the vast economic boon expected from the reconstruction and “redistribution” of Q'rah's land and resources), shit hit the fan. Suddenly, instead of having a few more patients than they could handle, they were packed to the rafters with the dead and dying. Where, before, they had been able to stretch their thin supplies just well enough to get by, now they ended every week, if not every day, with nothing on hand. And worst of all, now it was not the Q'Irah government to be feared, but their own.

Day in and day out, they struggled. Twice they were robbed for supplies, mainly painkillers and bandages, once by a patient they had just released. The Red Cross ,who had been providing them supplies before, packed up and moved out, heading to PPA controlled territory. Every day, the howl of jets overhead got more frequent, and the dull rumbling of exploding ordinance got closer and closer. Finally, it was thoughts of me, their young son back home in the States, that settled them on the idea of leaving.

On their last day, they packed up what little of personal value they had left, closed up the shop, and planned to hop into a truck filled with supplies heading for the nearest PPA-held town, Khalef. The driver of the truck had been a patient of theirs, and, having owed my parents his life, gladly offered to risk his to help them. Early on the morning of March 13th, 2005, the nervous couple sat just inside their soon to be abandoned clinic and waited.

For two hours past the appointed rendezvous time, they sat in silence, waiting for their ride out. The truck, unbeknownst to them, had been stopped by Q'Irah soldiers only a few blocks from them. There, the driver was not lucky enough to escape death for questioning his government a second time, and was shot dead. My parents, left unaware, sat waiting until 8:32 AM, local time.

Then, too quick to leave them any time to say goodbyes, an explosion annihilated their clinic, as well as several buildings around it. The explosion had come from an Amistrian smartbomb, one that had landed, as it was designed, perfectly on target. That's right, their own government killed them. Some bad intel had pinned them as a gathering place for enemy militia, failing to mention that they were a medical facility, owned and operated by citizens of the United Amistrian Federation. The site was targeted and wiped promptly off the map in one of over a hundred other pinpoint bombing runs that day.

In accordance with their wishes, my grandma and grandpa on my mother's side became my guardians. Their assets were sold off or placed in either their name or mine, and their funeral was held in their hometown of Rockbend two weeks later. Aside from that our family got a letter from the government, complete with authentic stamped-on signature and the sort of feigned condolences that made you sure that you were reading one of a few thousand identical letters.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is Fine

Been a long time since I've written anything really, much less posted here. Such is life when you work, I guess. But, I guess tonight I finally got the necessary wild hare up my ass and decided to write a bit. It's not long, or particularly good, but I wasn't really inspired to write anything, so I just sort of stared off into space until my fingers started hitting keys. Seemed to have worked alright. Anyways, tell me what you think, and I'll try to post more often here lol


In the distance he can hear it— a high, desperate cry. It beckons him.
He wakes up, slowly, the darkness and deep fog of sleep and lethargy lifting slowly from his eyes as he silences his alarm clock. He sits up and rubs at his eyes before feeling someone stirring softly beside him. She's still asleep, he thinks, and pulls the covers up carefully, covering her shoulders. Beneath the long flowing river of scarlet that covers her face, he knows, is his wife. She is gorgeous, a masterpiece no great thinker could ever dream up, no great painter could ever capture perfectly.
He leaves his bed, dressing in only a robe before leaving their room. He has nowhere to be but wherever he likes, no one to. The kitchen is full, and, in minutes, he's made himself a simple breakfast of coffee, eggs, and toast. Taking his plate, he strolls out onto his balcony, leaving his dishes for his maid to clean. From here, his view extends out to the very reaches of the city in the clear morning air. He takes a seat, lights a cigarette from a pack left on the table for him by who-knows, and relaxes.
This is fine, he thinks, a man could certainly enjoy living a life free from worry in total leisure. But somehow, he can still hear it. Again, and again, it screams, calling to him. But for what?

Bolting upright, he swats at his phone, again silencing an alarm. Looking around, he recognizes the pale walls, the old but comfortable couch, and the view of skyscrapers surrounding him from outside the window. He is in the break room at his office building. Just a dream, he thinks, before punching back in for work.
At his desk, he works, relaxed but efficient. Soon, he knows, his bosses will promote him again, sending him ever higher up the corporate ranks, but he doesn't need it. He makes more than enough to make a comfortable living, and needs nothing he can't afford. A part of him wants to keep ascending, but he struggles to see the point. The work is long and mind-numbing, and he simply can't force himself to want more of it than he already gets.
As the day wears on and his pile of work gets ever smaller, he looks with a smile at the framed picture of his family and himself. Taken on vacation in Europe a few years back, he tries to recall more about the trip but it's hazy. He stares at the smiling faces of his wife and children. He already worries he sees them too little, but their time apart only makes their time together that much sweeter. He smiles at the thought and leans back in chair for a moment.
This is fine too, he thinks, a man could grow to love a life of hard work that pays off so well. But there it is again. Like a hand, reaching out and grasping desperately at him. It demands more.

The shock of the shrill alarm sends him tumbling half out of bed. Another dream, he sighs. Looking at the time, he panics and dresses quickly. It was a nice dream, he thinks, but no time for dreams. Thirty minutes before work, and he can't afford to be late. The squeal of car horns and the dull rumbling of traffic outside his window no longer bothered him, but the louder it was, he knew, the longer it would take to get to work.
Twenty five minutes later, and he is on the clock and catching his breath from the rough walk to work. The eight hours of cheap, menial labor, sandwiched between mile and a half long walks isn't anything he looked forward to, but it is just a job. It pays the bills, and that was what mattered for the time being. He isn't planning on being just a cashier for some big, soulless corporation forever, anyways. He would find something he liked better eventually— hopefully something that paid more— and then he would be set. Besides, he started thinking, maybe it's better to just have a job you don't care about when you're young. You could far more easily slack off in a dead-end job than you could in a “career,” anyways.
As he checks people out, he feels his phone vibrate in his pocket. A quick check between customers brings a smile to his face. That cute girl he had met working the graveyards at the gas station a block from his apartment texted him back. Sure lol coffee tmr sounds good :). As another customer pushes a cart of junk his way, he hides his phone, but keeps the grin on his face and the thought of a date in mind as he drifts slowly away, letting his body go on autopilot.
This is fine, too, he thinks, a man could get used to working hard for little reward, hoping good things come his way. Then it calls out to him again, louder this time and getting louder still. He covers his ears and winces in pain, customers looking on in caution and confusion.

Turning off his alarm, he looks at the time. It is noon, and he has overslept again. He sits up in bed and rubs his forehead. He coughs and it echoes off the walls of the bedroom of his tiny apartment. He is alone here.
The kitchen is clean enough to manage a cup of coffee, but the bread has gone stale, and he has put off getting eggs. His stomach grumbles, and so does he. Another dream, he thinks, and scratches his stubble. He checks his pockets and finds a mostly empty pack of cigarettes, stepping outside to enjoy a morning smoke with his coffee. Again, he clothes himself in only a robe. He is unemployed, and has nowhere to be today, no one to see.
Outside, the air is cold, and he wishes he had done laundry already so he'd have another layer to put on. He lights his cigarette and sips at the steaming cup of black coffee, but every drink and every drag reminds him of something. The energy bill is due tomorrow. Rent in a week. Savings are running low. Almost out of food. He sighs and stares out at the frost-covered parking lot for a moment before putting his cigarette out on the bottom of his slipper and flicking it out into the street and going back inside.
He sits at his desk and opens up his laptop. There, he sees it, his goal, his ticket out of poverty, his dream. It's his project, and despite all sense, it's what he has poured day after countless day into. Everything else, any other work cannot catch his interest, but this is the project that keeps him going, keeps him coming back. It is his passion, and despite how nonsensical or financially unsound it may be, it is something he cannot help but pursue. He dreams of it being a wild success, becoming rich off something he loves, but he also dreams of failure, of chasing a delusion into the gutter. It is a chance he is more than willing to take. Stretching and polishing off the day's first cup of coffee, he collects his ideas and gets down to work.
This is good, he thinks. A man can live an easy life, rich and without a care in the world. A man can live, spending most of his life so bored with hard work he can hardly remember the good times he squeezes in. A man can even live doing the bare minimum to get by, just trying to grab at whatever opportunity comes by. But, he thinks, I can only feel alive if I have a dream to chase, bearing whatever suffering may come so I can climb higher and higher towards an ever ascending goal. And, but for the steady tapping of his foot and the work of his hands, there was silence.